Monday, November 30, 2009
Press 3sets of 5 reps (47kg)
5 Rounds As Quickly As Possible:
. 7 L-Pullups
. 14 Ring Dips
. 100m Sprint
I was able to complete all 15 reps of the press at 47.2kg today! Last time I only got 11 reps. My squat feels strong, but heavy. I come up slowly. The conditioning workout took me 14 minutes, 30 seconds. The ring dips really slowed me down.
Alternating Tabata intervals of Deadlift (85kg) and Burpees for max reps.
8x[20 sec DL, 10 sec rest, 20 sec Burpees, 10 sec rest] for a total of 8 minutes.
Crushing workout! I was pooped after this one. 106 total reps.
Squat 3 sets of 5 reps (81kg)
Split Jerk 5 sets of 3 reps (55kg)
As Many Rounds As Possible in 15 minutes:
7 Push-Press (45kg)
I managed 7 rounds, plus one pullup.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
(Side note, there's some drama in the community right now; don't let it overshadow the quality of the information you use. Seek excellence.)
CF FootBall's Nutrition page.
Mark Sisson's "Daily Apple."
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Deadlift 5 rep Max (129kg)
3 sets Pullups for Max Reps (13,10,9)
As Quickly As Possible:
. 20 Thrusters (45kg)
. 100m Sprint
. 15 Thrusters
. 100m Sprint
. 10 Thrusters
. 100m Sprint
. 5 Thrusters
. 100m Sprint
The deadlift reps were HARD. If I can keep progressing on CF Football's linear progression I'll be back to setting PRs in a month. I'm looking forward to the chance to try a one rep max the next time the CFFB Total comes around.
I don't have dumbbells capable of holding 23kg each, so I used 45kg on the barbell. I missed out on some coordination & balance components in the workout, but was happy I got to go heavy. Not during the workout, of course. Any day that includes both deadlifts and thrusters is difficult. But it's great programming. If my nutrition and rest are dialed in, I can't help but get stronger in a hurry.
My finisher today was Tabata knees-to-elbows.
For knees-to-elbows hang from the pullup bar and touch knees to elbows. Try to keep from swinging. It's great for the abs & back.
Tabata intervals are 8x[20sec work, 10sec rest].
I got a total of 55 reps, spread between 8 and 6 reps.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Squat 3 sets of 5 reps (79kg)
3 Rounds As Quickily As Possible:
. 4x 53m Sprints (out,back, out,back)
. 12 Power Cleans (55kg)
. 6 Push Jerks (55kg)
As Many Rounds As Possible in 3 minutes:
. Medicine Ball Throw (20#)
. Broad Jmps to Med Ball
. Return to start carrying Med Ball Overhead
I finished the conditioning workout in 10:55. Looking at the CF Football site, maybe I scaled it too light. I chose 55kg because 65 seemed too close to my 1 rep max (70kg). If I'd used 65kg it would have turned into a 20 minute strength workout. At 55kg it was good for power production. I only had to set the weight down during the last round of push-jerks. Overall, this was an excellent workout. Lots of power production, a pull, a push, and sprints. Hits everything an athlete needs.
Today I added my first "Finisher" workout. I made a deck of cards with very short workouts that address one of my limiters or add core work. Today's turned out to be a fun combination of medicine ball throws and broad jumps.
Midway through my first round of power cleans a couple of door-to-door salesmen started asking me questions. I had no inclination to slow down my workout in order to more politely shatter their dreams of making a big sale. One guy was shouting what I think was encouragement as he approached. Fortunately (for them), before they could get within throwing range of my barbell, my lovely fiancee explained what I was doing and fielded all their questions. After I was done with the workout, I asked her what they were selling. Security systems. "Does it look like we need a security system?" she asked. I agree, it's much more fun to chase down criminals and beat them with a kettlebell. I wonder if there's a "Beware of CrossFitter" sign I can put up in the yard?
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Chin-ups weren't on the CFFB website, but I noticed that yesterday's were supposed to be strict (no kipping), so I did them strict today.
Strict Chin-ups, 3 sets for max reps (11,8,7)
As Quickly As Possible:
30 Back Squats with bodyweight (75kg)
Tabata Push-Press (25kg) - (12,11,10,9,8,9,8,9)
First time doing this workout with full bodyweight squats (I weighed 71kg this morning). Finished in 8:58. My goal was under 10 minutes. I broke the squats into sets of 5. The "sprint" felt like a slog. I had to stop for breath 3 times during the burpees. In Crossfit beware anything that's "only" one round. They burn!
I added Tabata Push-presses as a finisher, since I have a rest day tomorrow. Tabata intervals are 8 rounds of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest. Do as many reps as possible. I use a weight that lets me go fast. Tabata work is great for building muscular endurance.
Friday, November 20, 2009
In the Snatch, the athlete must lift the barbell from the ground to overhead in one fast movement. The Power Snatch is a type of snatch in which the bar is caught overhead while the athlete is not in a full squat. In the video, you can see my hips are above my knees the whole time. Although my arms support the bar, the majority of the force is generated by an explosive hip extension.
3 sets of Chin-ups for max reps (15,11,12)
3 Power Snatches on the minute, every minute, for 15 minutes (45 total reps)
CFFB recommended using 70-80% of your heaviest power snatch for this workout. I'd say that if you're new to the power snatch, you can probably stick to right around 80%. I'm pretty sure some technique flaws are keeping me from having a heavier snatch, so I opted for 45kg (81% of my 55kg max). However, if you're brand new to heavy lifting, then strength may be a limiter, so those folks should stay closer to the 70% range.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I feel that I got the scaling about right for the power cleans, but perhaps I should have done fewer ring dips, or dips with a band assist. After cranking out 6 fast pushups I was struggling to do more than 3 dips in a row. They really slowed me down.
Squat 3 sets of 5 reps (77kg)
Press 3 sets of 5 reps (47kg - 5 reps, 4 reps, 2 reps)
Six cycles of 4 minutes each:
. 3 min As Many Round As Possible where
. 1 Round = [3 Power Cleans (55kg), 6 Pushups, 9 Air Squats or Ring Dips*]
. 1 min Rest
*on cycles 1,3,&5 do 9 Air Squats per round;
on cycles 2,4,&6 do 9 Ring Dips
Cycle 1 - 4 rounds + 3 power cleans
Cycle 2 - 2 rounds +3 power cleans, 1 pushup
Cycle 3 - 3 rounds + 3 power cleans, 6 pushups, 1 squat
Cycle 4 - 2 rounds + 1 power clean
Cycle 5 - 3 rounds + 3 power cleans, 6 pushups, 5 squats
Cycle 6 - 2 rounds + 2 power cleans
16 total complete rounds.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I think it took me a long time to develop the back strength and hamstring flexibility necessary to use the bounce. Until recently I had a "butt wink," or loss of lumbar curve, in the bottom of my squat. My hamstrings were pulling my back into flexion. Essentially my tight hamstrings and soft back were absorbing the bounce.
Here is a video of my overhead squat this March. Look for the quick rounding of my back in the bottom of each squat. Also, note that my heels come off the ground in the bottom of each squat - another sign of tight hamstrings.
Next is a video of my squats two days ago. Watch me start up fast, due to the stretch-reflex, then grind up slowly through the middle.
Now, if I can just keep my knees all the way out to the sides....
I managed 6 full rounds plus 15 R-arm thrusters and 15 L-arm thrusters.
Here's a video of both single- and double-unders, just so we're all on the same page. Singles are just regular rope jumps. Doubles make the whistling sound. I can't yet do double-unders back-to-back, so I alternate singles and doubles. WARNING! There's a truck passing my house, so you may want to turn off the volume.
Squat 3 sets of 5 reps (75kg)
Press 3 sets of 5 reps (45kg)
As Many Rounds As Possible in 15 minutes
1 Round = [5 L-Pullups, 10 Ring Pushups, 15 Double-Unders]
L-pullups require the abdominal strength to hold your legs in front of you. They also eliminate the ability to kip, so they take more arm strength. Ring pushups require all the little stabilizing muscles to work hard to keep your arms from wobbling around. And then the double-unders strike - requiring that you coordinate your arms with your legs and core for a quick, precicely timed jump. I broke my jumprope twice by snagging it on my foot or head. By the 15 minute mark I'd only completed 4 full rounds, plus 5 L-pullups, 10 ring pushups, and 7 Double-Unders.
Well, working on becoming a better athlete means developing more than just strength. I need to work on Double-Unders to increase my agility and coordination. I'll keep at it. A man I respect has a sign in his office that reads "Frustrating problem? You're about to learn something." Feeling frustration means we're addressing a weakness.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Quarter Fight Gone Bad
5 Rounds For max Reps:
1 Round = 3 minutes, broken down as follows:
15 seconds of Thrusters (45kg), 45 seconds of Rest
15 seconds of Weighted Pullups (16kg), 45 seconds of Rest
15 seconds of Burpees, 45 seconds of Rest
Physically, this was a hard workout. I had to give a lot of effort on the thrusters and pullups, though I think next time I'd do the burpees with a weight vest. I did 5 burpees every round and they weren't hard, which makes me think I can't go any faster. So I should go heavier!
Mentally, this workout frustrated me. My score was 61 total reps, slightly better than one quarter of my last FGB score of 230. At first I thought I may have scaled the Thrusters too light since I had a consistent number of reps each round. I guessed maybe 50kg would have been about right for me. But then I looked at the comments on the CF FootBall page and saw many scores doubling mine, and most of them at least over 100. Perhaps I didn't scale light enough. A much lighter bar would have let me do more reps, possibly increasing the total power output for the workout. But it's hard to tell from the first workout.
On reflection, I think that for my goals of increasing my strength & power, it was right to keep it relatively heavy. I'm curious if anyone has an opinion on what weights I should use next time. Please post a comment.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Well, maybe not. Reps #2 & 3 are good, but in #4 & 5 my hips come up first and I lean forward.
Presses were OK, though I felt some imbalance between my right and left arms. I wonder if I got one hand farther out when I shifted my grip after the clean.
The conditioning workout was a bear! I was breathing hard and shedding clothes in no time. The CrossFit Footbal folks have nailed the art of intensity. Doing two sets of the gymnastics movements instead of one big set of 6/12/18 kept me moving the whole time. Wicked.
Squat 3 sets of 5 reps (71kg)
Press 3 sets of 5 reps (41kg)
Rest 6 minutes
As Many Rounds As Possible in 15 minutes:
1 Round = 3 Power Snatches (45kg) + 2 sets: [3 Pullups, 6 Pushups, 9 Box Jumps]
I finished 6 rounds and missed the seventh by 5 box jumps.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Deadlift up to a 5 Rep Max (119kg)
10 rounds As Quick As Possible:
5 Power Cleans (55kg)
The workout posted on CrossFit Football called for powercleans at 75% of bodyweight. I weigh 70kg, which means I should have been lifting 52kg, but I don't have the right plates for that. On the other hand, the prescribed workout called for handstand push-ups, which I can't do yet. I substituted V-pushups. I put my feeet on a 24" tall box, my hands on the ground about 3 feet in front of the box, and bent my body into a V so that my torso was almost vertical. (I'll add a pic tomorrow.)
I thought the workout might take a really long time, so I imposed a cut-off time of 16 minutes to keep from losing intensity. Well, I finished in 15:01.
Squat 3 sets of 5 reps at 69kg (on 2 min rest)
Press 3 sets of 5 reps at 39 kg (on 2 min rest)
Rest 5 min
As Many Rounds As Possible (AMRAP) in 15 minutes:
1 Round = [1 Push-Press, 1 Pullup, 3Push-Press, 3 Pullup, 5 Push Press, 5 Pullup]
For the Push-Presses I used a 45kg bar. I was able to get 6 full rounds completed, plus 1 more push-press and one pullup. Very tricky.
Here's a short vid - the last 2 reps of my press at 39kg. I tried to keep my head more in line with my spine. I'm pretty happy with this, I have no doubt that I'm locking out overhead. If anyone has feedback, I'd like to hear it in the comments section.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Why am I subjecting myself to the CrossFit Football workouts?
Short answer: so I can do this stuff next year.
These guys are athletes at the Stone Mountain Highland Games. The guys in the foreground are throwing a 22 pound "Stone of Strength" for distance. The gentleman in black is tossing a caber. The caber is over 20 feet long and weighs somewhere between 120 and 140 pounds. When I saw this, I thought it'd be a lot of fun to try next October.
So, the long answer to "Why CFFB?" is that I believe that the CrossFit Football programming will give me the fastest strength and power gains.
How? CrossFit Football uses relatively heavy weights in fast movements through large ranges of motion. That takes power and trains for power. Sounds hard? It is. But when was the last time you did something easy and thought "That was something I'm proud of!" or "That will make me a better person!"?
Saturday, November 7, 2009
5 Rounds for Time:
9 Rack Thrusters (45kg barbell)
20m Bear Crawl
7 Ball Slams (24kg kettlebell)
Here's some explanations of the above terms:
1 Rack thruster = 1 Back Squat + 1 Push-Press at the top. A Push-Press is like a shoulder press with a little knee bend and hip drive to add momentum to the bar. The key to the Rack Thruster seems to be driving hard at the end of the squat to launch the bar up as much as possible before your arms take over. I found that these were much less painful on my wrist than front thrusters (which require a front squat, and mean I have less grip on the bar). Rack thrusters are most easily done by stepping under a bar in a power rack to get the bar in position on the back. I have no rack, so I clean & jerked the weight overhead and lowered to my back before starting each set.
Bear Crawl = Crawl on all fours with only hands and feet touching the ground. Don't crawl on your knees. This turns out to require a lot of accessory muscle work in the shoulders to keep on course and keep one's face out of the dirt. Hand turnover speed was my limiter during the bear crawl. The rack thrusters took it out of me; it was all I could do to keep from face-planting.
Ball Slam = Pick up something heavy, hold it fully extended overhead, then slam it into the ground. Very primal. Very satisfying. Releases all manner of inner turmoil/ angst/ demons. It'll cure what ails you. Not having a heavy enough medicine ball, I settled for aerating the park's mulch by slamming my 24kg kettlebell into the ground. It left craters!
Overall - great workout for me! It hit one of my weaknesses (overhead lifting) from two angles by requiring strength and power for the rack thrusters, then agility and stabilization for the bear crawl and ball slams. I took 16:04 to finish; I had to break the last two rounds of thrusters into two sets. Next time this workout comes around my goal is to keep going through the whole round.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Power Clean 5 sets of 3 reps
10x 40m Sprints, Rest as needed
I rested one minute between each sprint. Tried to remember my pose form. Tried to start explosively. Balancing the forward lean with the hip drive at the start was the most challenging.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
or Google it. I'm sure there are even more reputable articles.Of course, I'm interested in it primarily to aid in lifting heavy things and sprinting fast. I get the unflavored variety and mix 5 grams (1 teaspoon) in my post-workout protien shake. I paid $24 for 1000 grams, or about twelve cents a serving. You can probably find it cheaper on the internet, if you're inclined.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Snatch: work up to a heavy single rep
Clean & Jerk: work up to a heavy single rep
Deadlift: work up to your 5 Rep Max
Weighted Pullups: seven attempts to work up to a 1 Rep Max
I snatched 55kg, C&J'd 65kg, deadlifted 115 kg, and got a 20kg + body weight pullup.
Each day's workout is composed of a strength workout, where the goal is to lift heavy, and a conditioning workout (they call it the daily wod), which is usually performed for time, or max number of reps. Since I'm not competing in a sport right now, I'll be using the off-season workouts. CFFB offers three levels of strength workouts, for people at different percentages of their strength potential. I feel pretty far from mine, so I'm going to begin with the amateur strength workout, in order to make the fastest progress. Once I stop making progress on the amateur level, it'll be time to move up.
Since I'm relatively small and weak compared to football players, I'll be scaling the workouts - using lighter weights, and sometimes fewer reps. I'll post only the workout that I actually do. If you want to see the posted workout instead of my scaled-down version, check it out on their website. Here goes.
Squat 3 sets of 5 reps
Press 3 sets of 5 reps
Rest 5 minutes
As Many Rounds As Possible in 12 minutes:
5 Hang Power Cleans (55kg)
7 Ring Rows
9 Box Jumps (20" box)
I squatted 65kg, pressed 35kg, and got 7 complete rounds plus 3 hang power cleans. My right wrist is still unhappy with overhead pressing.
1RM Back Squat
Rest 4 minutes
4x100m Sprints (on 30 sec rest)
30 Push-Press (35kg)
4x100m Sprints (on 30 sec rest)
Here's video of my heaviest squat. I'm doing a low bar back squat, so I have a more horizontal back angle than you may expect. You can see that my hips go just below parallel with my knees. (Sorry for the camera not being level.) That's the good news. I'd like to see less delay between when I drive my hips up and when the bar starts up. What's going on is that my back muscles are not set tight enough, so I'm losing power transfer. The increased back angle makes for more torque (and thus more work) on my back muscles. Back strength was the limiter for my heavy squatting. Also, those are bumper plates, not metal - the total bar weight is 95kg. The conditioning took me just under 9 minutes, including rests after each sprint.