Monday, November 30, 2009

NOV 30 2009 - Press Progress

Squat 3 sets of 5 reps (85kg)
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.

NOV 28 2009 - "Death By Tabata"

Another fearsome named WOD!

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.

NOV 26 2009 - Sluggish Turkey Day

I lacked motivation. The squats went well, but the split jerks and conditioning were less than my best.

Squat 3 sets of 5 reps (81kg)
Split Jerk 5 sets of 3 reps (55kg)
As Many Rounds As Possible in 15 minutes:
5 Pullups
7 Push-Press (45kg)
9 Knees-to-elbows

I managed 7 rounds, plus one pullup.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

NOV 25 2009 - REST

After the past two days, it felt like heaven just to sit around today. Just a reminder, rest and recovery is when we get stronger. It's the calm after the storm in which our bodies rebuild. In the spirit of recovery, here's links to a few sites that have influenced my current nutrition and recovery:
(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.

Robb Wolf.

CrossFit Invictus.

Mark Sisson's "Daily Apple."


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NOV 24 2009 -

Here's video of the first two reps of my deadlift. My butt rises a half second before the bar moves. This means my starting position is not right. Heavy deadlifts are great for pointing out flaws in technique. The bar doesn't come off the ground until you get it right. I'm in the habit of a more upright back from pulling cleans and snatches. But when it gets heavy, you have to be in an efficient position. Bar over the mid-foot, shoulders just in front of the bar, back set, chest up, and butt no lower than the tight torso dictates. If you pause the video right when the bar starts up, that's what you'll see. So all the movement before that is inefficient.

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

NOV 23 2009 - Security

The workouts after rest days are always special. Today's was no exception:

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

Mark Rippetoe on Cheese & the Feds

"Yes, it is the law here that un-aged cheese must be made from pasteurized milk. I mean, really, what good is having a federal government if it can't make eating cheese safer for everybody? Imagine the landscape littered with the corpses of innocent children whose immune systems were not up to the challenge. Is that what you really want?"
- Mark Rippetoe

Saturday, November 21, 2009

NOV 21 2009 - Burner!

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)

200m Sprint

30 Burpees
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

NOV 20 2009 - Power Snatch

I felt much more comfortable about today's workout, compared to yesterday's. I've been working on my Oly lifts as part of my warm up, so I knew roughly what to expect. But the Olympic lifts aren't familiar to everyone, so here's a quick & dirty explanation of the exercise, and a vid.

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

NOV 19 2009 - "The Ensign"

Any time a named workout comes up on a CrossFit web page I worry. In the short time I've been following CrossFit Football, this is only the second named workout I've done. It's a modification of another workout I have done called "The Chief," which left me gasping on the deck. For me "The Ensign" was harder due to the substitution of ring dips every other cycle.

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)
"The Ensign"
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

My results:
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

Nov 18 2009 - Bouncing Back

After addressing some serious weaknesses the past two days, I'd like to review one point of progress I've made this year. I have become better at using the "bounce" in the bottom of a squat. I'd read about the hamstring stretch-reflex which can help propel an athlete out of the bottom of a full-depth squat, but hadn't been able to feel it until this Autumn.

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....

NOV 17 2009 - Discovering Weaknesses, Day 2

Yesterday forced me to address my jumprope skill deficiency. Today the problem was my whole left side. I'm right handed, so the left arm thrusters in the workout were a huge challenge.
Deadlift 5 Rep Max (125kg)
Max Rep Pullups 3 sets on 2 minutes of rest between sets (15,13,11)
As Many Rounds As Possible in 20 minutes:
1 Round = [15 Right-arm KB Thrusters (20kg), 15 Left-arm Thrusters, 106 yard sprint]

Just to review, a thruster is a squat with a press at the top. You stand up, holding a weight in your hands, and push it all the way overhead. Moving the weight quickly through such a long range of motion is great for developing functional strength and power. Today the CrossFit Football site prescribed single-arm thrusters, which required me to balance a kettlebell on my shoulder and press it overhead. It was hard work for my right arm, but also a constant fight for balance with my left. I dropped the kettlebell a couple times, and was drenched in sweat by the end. Here's the sweat angel I left on the mat.

I managed 6 full rounds plus 15 R-arm thrusters and 15 L-arm thrusters.

To give yourself a glimpse of how much harder this workout was than traditional barbell thrusters try brushing your teeth with your less dominant hand tonight. It's maddening how alien a familiar activity can become when done with the other hand.

NOV 16 2009 - Dealing with Frustration

Today's workout included Double-Unders, which means passing a jumprope underneath your feet twice per jump. To do them quickly takes skill, speed, and coordination. To do them poorly takes patience, a high pain tolerance, and a broad cussing vocabulary. I had a trying time with the jumprope today. I hope the neighbor kids didn't learn any new words from me.

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

NOV 14 2009 - Quarter Fight Gone Bad

No heavy lifting today, just straight to the conditioning workout: Quarter Fight Gone Bad. I've done FGB before, but never the heavier QFGB. I was curious to see how much it hurt. I ended up scaling the weights back to what's below. The prescribed 60kg thrusters and 25kg pullups would have kept my reps at about 1 each per round. I scaled back to what I thought would wear me out, but let me keep moving the whole 15 seconds each round.

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

NOV 13 2009 - Power Cleans & Sprints

I got to run in the street in these:
I've been using Vibram Five Fingers shoes for all my weightlifting and the workouts involving short runs (400m or less). They take a couple weeks to get used to. I had to start by walking in them for 30 minutes at a time until my arches were strong enough for running. I run using the Pose method, which emphasizes landing on the forefoot and avoids "heel striking." The Vibrams definitely let me know if I ever land heel-first. In fact, I've only done it twice. For weightlifting, the Vibrams are great, I feel like they give me a much better feel for how and when my balance shifts. And I get much better power transfer through the thin, solid rubber sole than in running shoes.
Power Clean 5 sets of 3 reps (65kg)
Rest 5 minutes
Sprint 110m every minute, on the minute, 10 times.
I was happy to get all 15 reps up on the Power Cleans. I lost count on the sprints and accidentally did eleven. My fastest was just under 17 seconds, the rest were right around 20.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

NOV 12 2009 - Slightly More Solid Squats

Strength work today went well. The depth is good and I feel like I was a little better at controlling my back angle in the bottom of the squats. But here's a vid so you can judge for yourself.

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

NOV 11 2009 - Thank You, Veterans

We owe more than we can know to those who have served in the military. Thanks to all of you, for your service and your sacrifice.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

NOV 10 2009 - Rain Sprints

I did this workout in the rain in the dark, running through puddles. At least I stayed warm from all the hard work.

Deadlift up to a 5 Rep Max (119kg)
10 rounds As Quick As Possible:
5 Power Cleans (55kg)
5 V-pushups
50m Sprint

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.

NOV 09 2009 - How To Trick Yourself Into Lifting More

Had you asked me yesterday if I could push-press 45kg (99#) 55 times and do 55 strict pullups in 15 minutes, I'd have said "No." But it's amazing what one can do by breaking things down into smaller sets.

Today's Workout:

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

NOV 08 2009 - Why CrossFit Football?

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

NOV 07 2009 - Bear Crawl? Are You Kidding Me?

I had no idea what effect the bear crawl in today's workout would have. I'm still new to the CrossFit Football programming, so I had not encountered it before. Since I live on a poison-ivy covered hill with no sidewalks, I elected to take my barbell and kettlebell down to the park and crawl around on level grass. I'm sure the passers-by thought I was nuts.

5 Rounds for Time:
9 Rack Thrusters (45kg barbell)
20m Bear Crawl
7 Ball Slams (24kg kettlebell)
20m Sprint

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

NOV 06 2009 - Sprints

I haven't sprinted in a while. I found it mentally challenging to work on balance, explosive hip extension, fast cadence, and breathing all at once. Next time sprints show up in the workout I'll warm up with some Pose running drills. I learned about the Pose method at a CrossFit Endurance Certification in 2007 - it's helped me run my last few triathlons faster and with much less joint pain. Check out the CrossFit Endurance website for videos of their drills.

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.

NOV 05 2009 - Correcting My Press

Here's a side view of my press lockout position. Note that the bar is NOT directly over my head. There is a vertical line between the bar (where I'm gripping it), my shoulders, and my feet. As viewed from the side, at least some of the lifter's ear should be visible in front of the arm. Locking out fully in the press means pinching your shoulder blades together and shruging your shoulders up to your ears. However, I'd like my head in a more neutral position: head in line with the spine. I have a tendency to tilt my head forward when I pinch my shoulder blades together in back. Avoid that, but get the bar shrugged all the way up. That last 1/4 inch of height on the bar provides a lot of benefit for your shoulder health by balancing the strength around your shoulder girdle. You can prevent a lot of rotator cuff issues and postural problems by pressing all the way to a full, shrugged-shoulder lockout.

Apparently the heavy set of five deadlifts and seven weighted pullups a couple days ago wasn't enough for the guys at CF Football. Today there were more waiting for me in the conditioning set.

Squat 3 sets of 5 reps
Press 3 sets of 5 reps
As Quickly As Possible:
10 Deadlifts, 10 Pullups,
9 Deadlifts, 9 Pullups,
8 Deadlifts, 8 Pullups,
7 Deadlifts, 7 Pullups,
6 Deadlifts, 6 Pullups,
5 Deadlifts, 5 Pullups,
4 Deadlifts, 4 Pullups,
3 Deadlifts, 3 Pullups,
2 Deadlifts, 2 Pullups,
1 Deadlift, 1 Pullup.

I squatted 66 kg because I forgot to put a 1 kg plate on the right side. It felt a little unbalanced, but I thought it was because I had not centered the bar on my back. Oops. I pressed 37 kg. For the deadlifts in the conditioning sets I lifted 75 kg, which is less than the 150% of my bodyweight (I'm 70 kg) that CFFB prescribed. But it seemed about right - it was heavy enough that I had to break up the set of 9 and take two breaths, but light enough that I kept good form on all but two of the 55 reps. I'd really like to do this workout again in a few weeks. Pullups were definitely my limiting factor. Again. I broke them into sets of three on the first set. Then singles by the third set. ARRRRRGH!

Well, that's why I'm training. I'll get my set of 33 unbroken pullups on my birthday.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NOV 04 2009 - Creatine

Today I rested. And bought creatine. It has a myriad of health benefits, just some of which apply to lifting heavy things. You can start by checking out these articles:

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

NOV 03 2009 - Weighted Pullups

Today was a heavy lifting day; no conditioning work.

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.

NOV 02 2009 - My Experiment With CF Football Begins

After looking over the past few months of programming on the CrossFit Football website (, I think it's exactly what I need. They program for strength, power, and speed - all limiters for me right now. The site offers a lot of options, to tailor your programming to your needs, and the "New to CF Football?" link does a good job of describing how to get started.

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.

NOV 01 2009 - Squattin' Heavy

After two rest days, it was time to hit it hard with a one rep max squat attempt. I followed it up with a scaled-down Crossfit Football conditioning workout.

1RM Back Squat
Rest 4 minutes
For time:
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.