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CFGOpen

11 Feb

The Open….

To preface- The Open is a worldwide competition where ANYONE can sign up and see how they compare. It costs $20 and you have to sign up online via games.crossfit.com and this is also where you log your scores every week. The Open is a 5-week competition where every Thursday, a workout is announced online and then every athlete has until Monday at 5pm to submit their scores online. You can perform this workout in your garage, your crossfit gym, or if you are traveling- you can drop in somewhere and do it there also. So, with that, let me tell you my CrossFit Games Open journey—-

I can’t explain to you what the open means to me until I start from the beginning. In January of 2013 I joined CrossFit and on March 6, 2013 the first workout of the Open was announced. The workouts are coined names such as 13.1 which means the 1st workout of 2013. (13.2 is the 2nd workout of 2013, 14.3 is the 3rd workout in 2014 etc.) 13.1 was a workout that involved burpees and snatches and at that time I had never snatched over 70lbs and for some reason during the workout I decided to split-snatch. Never do this. It’s ugly and awkward.

I did the workouts that were announced and every week I logged my scores. Every week I shocked myself and pushed myself harder than ever before. That is when I realized I was hooked on CrossFit. For me, it wasn’t about where I placed among others, it gave me a baseline to do better in 2014, and then better in 2015 and this year I hope to do even better. You have to have goals to keep pushing and The CrossFit Games Open is my own personal baseline. Better than before.

Fast forward to 2015. This was the first year they announced an Rx version and a Scaled version. This was also the first year that Muscle Ups were at the start of a workout (for Rx). So, if you didn’t have muscle ups, you had to do the scaled version to get a score. Last year I was determined to do all workouts Rx no matter what my score was. 15.3 was announced which started with Muscle Ups, and I had never in my life got a muscle up before. I practiced.. and practiced.. and practiced.. and no luck. Saturday rolled around and I had to not be so stubborn and I did the scaled workout instead. Right after finishing I decided to play around on the rings while the next group of people performed their workout. First attempt. Fail. Second, third, probably fourth attempt- fail. But then. Holy-f*in-shit I got a muscle up. And then two more after that before the time cap went off. What a rush.

Again, every year I surprise myself. In 2013 I PR’d my snatch, in 2014 I went unbroken on all 5 rounds of double unders and was sponsored every week to compete, in 2015 I got my first muscle up. From February 25-March 28 the CFG Open will be going on at our gym and I cannot wait to see everyone sign up and push themselves and to be better than yesterday.

BodyFit-PullUps

28 Jan

Mastering the pull up is still something I am doing even after 3 years of CrossFit. There are so many variations, such as, strict, kipping, butterfly, supinated, pronated, etc. This week in my BodyFit class we are going over the Pull Up and all the different variations, plus what to work on if you don’t have your first pull up quiet yet.

I have explained to the people who have came to my mini-clinic that these variations aren’t necessarily easier or harder, they are just different things to practice to build up their strength or if a workout calls for pull ups, these are alternates that you can use during.

These variations are not the only things out there I would try, but this is what I recommend in order to get your first pull up:

  • Jumping Pull ups: Get a box so that your arms are bent at about a 90 degree angle while holding on to the pull up bar. Jump to get your chin above the bar a few times, rest and repeat.
  • Jump & Hold: When you feel comfortable enough getting your chin above the bar, grab the pull up bar, jump up and hold yourself as long as possible with your chin above the bar. You will start to shake and this is okay. Then slowly decent and repeat.
  • Bands: I would recommend using 1-2 bands, but never more. Most coaches would prefer that if you are using a band to have them be strict pull ups. I think this will obviously build the strength you need to get a pull up, but if kipping is something you also want to practice, I would not discourage you from using a band. Just don’t let the band whip you in the face. I personally have been using a band to help me with my kipping bar muscle up, and in my mind- if this is helping, a band to help you with a kipping pull up is fine by me. If you have to use three bands, I would recommend building your strength up first so that you only need <2 bands.
  • Pronated: This is simply when your hands are wrapped around the bar, palms facing out, away from your body. This is the most popular type of pull up. While on this subject, I would recommend wrapping your thumb around the bar during your pull ups to prevent slipping off the bar. Just think about hook grip in a snatch or clean, if it gets heavy, you should hook grip. With a pull up, you’re lifting 100+ lbs of body weight into the air… wrap your thumbs.
  • Supinated: Or as some people call it, a chin-up. This is the opposite of pronated, when your hands are facing in, towards your body. This is more bicep intensive.
  • Kipping: If you have been doing CrossFit for awhile, you have seen what a kipping pull up looks like and it seems easy and fast… right? Well- yes and no. Hands down it is faster, but a kipping pull up is complex and unless you get the movement down of what your legs need to do I would recommend building your strength working on strict pull ups before attempting a kipping pull up. To break down the kipping pull up, watch this video: Gymnastics WOD (I love Carl Paoli who is the face of Gymnastics WOD and his instructional videos are awesome, so check him out to get more in-depth info about all sorts of things).
  • Strict: This is when you pull your body weight up, get the chin above the bar and then lower down using all upper-body strength with no kipping (or pumping) of the legs.
  • Butterfly: This is what games athletes are doing. Very fast, very efficient, very complex. There are two videos I want you to check out for more info:

 

Are you lost yet. Do you feel discouraged? Don’t be. Practice, practice, practice. You’ve got this and to help you practice here is a small warm up and workout for you to try on your own:

 

Warm Up

3 rounds

100m jog

10 PVC pass through

5 burpees

10 ab-mat sit ups

5 jumping pull ups

******

Workout

12 minute AMRAP

5 Jumping Pull Ups

4 Iron Mikes

3 Push Ups

2 SlamBalls (20lb)

1 Pull Up*

100m jog

*choose any variation of a pull up you want and it is good to switch it up every round

 

 

 

 

 

RopeClimbs

8 Aug

Oh hi Rope Climbs. Nice to meet you.

Sure- I have climbed a rope before in CrossFit, but this came from a lot of practice and a lot of confidence. As a kid, I could never climb the rope in gym class unless it had knots in it; I was always too scared to try the un-knotted rope, and thought I would fall off at the top. One day, maybe a year or so ago, I had Dan teach me how to climb a rope after watching some girls fail on them at a competition. I didn’t want to fail at them when I had to do them. I am sure I looked like a crazy person using most of my upper body to get up the rope and from then on, I knew I needed to get more proficient at rope climbs- using my legs, not just my arms.

Yesterday, after doing CrossFit for 20 months I did my first WOD with rope climbs. They have been programmed in the past, but I couldn’t get over my fear of coming down the rope when there is a “rounds for time” workout. I always thought I would freak out, trying to get the best time, and not know what to do when it came time to climb, or worse- fall from however many feet high. This fear is real guys. I am not making this up.

Anyways, back to yesterday. The workout was 10 rounds: 1 rope climb, 2 deadlifts at 205#, and a 100m run with a 20 minute time cap. I thought this was a generous cap. I was seeing times of 14 minutes, all the way up to 18 minutes. So in my head I thought I had this in the bag to finish before the time cap. Well, I was wrong. Yes.. I have practiced rope climbs one at a time on days that I am fresh. I have never felt or realized how hard it is to climb a rope when your grip is shot, you’re all sweaty, and after about 3 climbs, your inner thighs hurt like hell, but you know you still have a few more to go. I got through 8 rounds plus one rope climb and one dead lift (so nine rope climbs total in 20 minutes). For me, I did not like my final score, but still wrote it up on the white board, sat there for a minute and then smiled- because I pushed through a fear I have had my whole life. This is the part where I really just had to leave my ego at the door and realize that damn… I just did that workout Rx, it kicked my ass, but I was proud of myself for trying something new, and pushing through a fear.

I still need work on my descent. I still need work on using my legs, and which clamping style works best. I know that there will always be things to work on. But today- I feel like just getting up and down a rope nine times is an accomplishment and I will take that as a mental PR for sure.

CrossfitSouthDenver

25 Jul

It is this time, more than ever, that I have a reason to write about my gym, because in one week, my Network Affiliate: CrossFit Denver will close its doors for good.

 

CrossFit Denver (XFD) and CrossFit South Denver (XFSD) have been Network Affiliates for 2 years and just this week members found out that come August 1, XFD will be closing their doors, but memberships will be honored at XFSD. If you trained at XFD, this may be a time when you start to question if you want to continue crossfit, or if it is worth it to make the four mile drive south to XFSD. Let me be the first to tell you that as someone who has trained at both gyms- you will not be disappointed and should really give it a shot. Here is why—

 

For me, it all started at XFD. XFD was a small gym that wasn’t intimidating, the price was right for memberships, and Steve- the owner had been around for a while, and taught me the elements of CrossFit. I liked my small community. Then one day, after a few months of CrossFitting, I couldn’t make it to XFD and decided to try out XFSD since my membership allowed me to train at both gyms. I was intimidated, couldn’t believe how much bigger the space was, and there were some people in the front room making some big lifts to the point that I am sure my eyes got big, my mouth dropped open, and I wanted to avoid it like the plague. Although this all may sound like a bad experience- this was the best thing for me to take my training to the next level. I got comfortable at XFD— I may have even started to slack a little bit. At XFSD, there was some steep competition, and I knew who I wanted to catch, and that lit a fire under my ass. There were girls doing pull ups without bands, swinging 45lb kettlebells like that was the Rx weight, and at that time, could run circles around me. At XFSD, I got my first unassisted pull up, completed my first Rx WOD, and this was the first gym I was affiliated with as a CrossFit Games Open competitor- where although I didn’t contribute to the team score in 2013, the team was only a few spots away from being invited to Regionals.

 

If you were an avid XFD member, I am hoping you give XFSD a try because CrossFit isn’t CrossFit without the community you have surrounded yourself with. There are many of you that I hope to see at XFSD, because as Tom Borak said last night to me, “[The other gym] would have worked, but my family wasn’t there. My home is here [at CrossFit South Denver].” Home is where your family is and for me, my family is now joining in one home- CrossFit South Denver.

LeapsAndBounds

5 Jun

I feel like tooting my own horn today. I mean- when you’ve got something to gloat about, even though we have been taught not to flaunt it, or to be polite and not make others jealous, sometimes you just need some pick me ups and decided to gloat, talk about yourself, and really just boost your own self esteem. Try it sometime. But…. not all the time, people may get annoyed with you.

Anyways. What all started this is that a girl who was new to CrossFit recently asked me how long it takes to see results. My response to her was that you will see some pretty dramatic results right away, but looking back, over time I have seen the biggest results. I explained to her that before CrossFit I couldn’t do 1 pull up, and now I can say I have completed “Murph” which has 100 pull ups in the workout, or do 17 unbroken kipping pull ups, or 9 strict pull ups in a row. Pretty cool right?

Along those lines, I just pulled up a sheet I had created to track my progress from when I first started CrossFit and my lifts have gotten so much better and I have gotten SO much stronger. Check these numbers out:

 

1 Rep Maxes Then & Now

Back Squat:

Feb. 2013: 135LBS

June 2014: 175LBS

 

Clean & Jerk:

June 2013: 100LBS

June 2014: 135LBS

 

Deadlift:

January 2013: 130LBS

May 2014: 245LBS

 

Front Squat:

May 2013: 125LBS

May 2014: 160LBS

 

Overhead Squat:

August 2013: 105LBS

April 2014: 130LBS

 

Push Press:

April 2013: 75LBS

May 2014: 135LBS

 

Snatch:

January 2013: 75LBS

May 2014: 105LBS

 

 

BooYah.

Now go get strong. It’s sexy. I promise.

 

 

14.5Recap

1 Apr

Oh Thrusters… you have probably heard me call them very bad names and have never associated them with anything good or happy. Well 14.5 was announced on Thursday March 27 and for the first time in CrossFit Games Open history- this workout was ‘for time’ meaning that everyone would complete the entire workout and the time you finish would be how you were ranked. The workout consisted of: 84 Thrusters and 84 Burpees in a format of:

21 Thrusters – 21 Burpees

18 Thrusters – 18 Burpees

15 Thrusters – 15 Burpees

12 Thrusters – 12 Burpees

9 Thrusters – 9 Burpees

6 Thrusters – 6 Burpees

3 Thrusters – 3 Burpees

Top athletes finished this workout under 10 minutes. My goal was 20 minutes. I finished in 19:29 with no more gas in the tank. When I finished my last burpee I rolled over onto my back, closed my eyes for a really long time, kicked off my shoes, and just laid there for a few minutes. Catching my breath, gathering my thoughts, and realizing that was the last workout of the 2014 CrossFit Games Open, when I got up,  I walked over to Dan and hugged him – and this is when the emotions started to roll down my cheeks. I compare this workout to my last final exam in college. I worked really hard to get to where I am today and after putting in all of this hard work and dedication, it paid off. I may not be going Regionals, but I did the best I could and I improved from last year.

 

2013 CrossFit Games Open:

Southwest Region Placed: 1722/1989 (top 86%)

World-Wide Placed: 23235/27819 (top 83%)

 

2014 CrossFit Games Open:

SW Region Placed: 1134/3301 (top 34%)

World-Wide Placed: 15357/52543 (top 29%)

 

There are a few people I want to thank and mention, so here it goes:

 

  1. Dan: You are an amazing athlete and I love you so much. Every workout you did, you amazed me and so many other people at the gym. Thank you for judging me on most of the workouts, keeping me calm and getting me through them. My most memorable moment of you judging me was during the 14.4 ladder, where during the Cleans you said, “Do you want to be a top girl athlete? Prove it.” This made me push harder and pick up that bar 16 times before the clock expired. Thanks for always pushing me and being such a motivator. I think your two top sayings to me are, “Mental Toughness” and “Don’t Stop.” I am not ready to stop and this year and am working on that mental toughness all because of you. You are 2015 Regionals bound. xxoo
  2. Kelli: This was our second Open together and the first year- you had to talk me into it and this year I couldn’t wait to sign up. You have been a great partner to workout with and right before 14.5 started, when you came over and gave me a hug it was the first smile I had on my face all day. I was so nervous for it to start, but I was so happy to be doing it side-by-side with you. You kept me going and make every workout we do together fun.
  3. Jim: Thank you for judging me on 14.1.1. I put a .1 after this because it was my first attempt at 14.1 and as Dan Bailey would say, “This workout was my jam.” I was excited to have you judge me, and you really kept me calm and pushed me.
  4. Hallie: 14.1.2.3. I do this, because I knew in my head that I could do 14.1 with unbroken double unders, and when the clock went 3.2.1 I got 6 double unders, fucked up, got 10 more, messed up and looked at you and said we are redoing this. 14.1.3 started, and how about that- unbroken double unders and a better score. Yes!!! I also want to thank you for sponsoring me for 14.4 and doing my hair. I love the cut and your new salon (Starling Salon). You do amazing work!  One more thing- you are my idol at the gym. I look up to you and everything you do to prepare for the Open. Hopefully next year I can be at the top with you in at least one of the workouts. Training starts now. Like Dan… you are 2015 Regionals bound, and I want to help you get there.
  5. Emily: Holy shit. I knew you were a great athlete, but you really stood out to me this Open. As Katie would say- you have a motor and your lungs are amazing. Yes you are strong- but for the Open, you need lung support and need to be able to turn the brain off – both of which you are great at doing. Good job and congrats on being in the top three at the gym for four of the workouts.
  6. Veronica. Veronica. Veronica. Even with slamming your finger in the car door you still managed to get the best time on 14.5 on the women’s side. Holy crap woman. I know I pushed you to do the Open this year and I am about 100% sure you are not going to do it next year, but you should really be happy with yourself. You are an amazing athlete and a true inspiration.
  7. Shelby: I judged you on 14.2 – chest to bar pull ups and overhead squats and although at the 3 minute mark you didn’t move on, you pushed yourself for that entire time. 3 minutes feels like an eternity when you are trying to just get one rep. On 14.5 you surprised the heck out of me because I know that 65lb Thrusters are heavy for you. Finishing in just over 20 minutes was amazing to judge. You are on your way to do great things in the following year. And you can cross off your goal of ‘competing’ on the Goals white board. Because you are definitely a competitor now.

 

I am sure there are many more people I could give shout outs too, but I want you all do know that I am very proud of the people who stuck to it and completed all five workouts during this year’s Open. It is over and we all got better. Let’s prepare for 2015!!

DysfunctionalFitness

26 Mar

The Turkish Get Up is probably the most dysfunctional CrossFit movement I have ever done. You are holding a weight above your head, propping your body up to a standing position and then going back down the same way you got up. So weird to me. But last night, after taking 20 seconds off of my CrossFit Baseline (5:20 personal record) we took 15 minutes to establish our 1 rep max of a Turkish Get Up on both sides. My previous Turkish Get Up heaviest posted weight was 20kg (44lb). So let me walk you through my attempts last night. We were using Kettlebells (KB) and for my first, second, and third attempt I used as warm up weight of 25lb, 30lb, and 35lb. Just because I was successful with the 20kg KB six months ago, does not necessarily mean I was going to get it again. So, on my fourth try I took the 20kg KB and with a little help from my breathing, I was successful on both sides. So now what? Well- try the 24kg (53lb). Whoa- can a 9lb increase feel heavy or what?!? Right side- done and done. Left side- you stupid bitch. I am right handed- so yes it is my dominate hand, and I slowly, but surely got through the Turkish Get Up, and then knew what needed to be done. The left side was next. I held the KB took a few deep breaths, and started my way up. Step-by-step (“day by day” —Sorry this is a reference I hope some of you get from TGIF tv back in the day) I made my way up on my left side and then when I was descending, the KB twisted off my arm and fell onto the mat. Without hesitation, I told myself I had to try it again since I was SO close. Is the anticipation building yet? I hope so. Holding that KB with my left hand has never been so hard. Shaky. Forgetting when to inhale, and then to exhale. I got to the standing position again with all of the other athletes cheering me on. I started my descent; knee on the ground – right hand on the ground – swiping my leg out from under me – and LAYED BACK DOWN!! Success. My new 1RM for the Turkish Get Up is 24kg (53lb) – Hell to the ya.

So this got me excited about the Turkish Get Up, and come to find out, according to CrossFit BelAir (too many 90’s references right now), the Turkish Get Up, “ is a functional movement, training a wrestler/grappler to escape from the bottom position and get back on their feet in a fight. This is easier said than done, especially when the guy on top is driving his shoulders into your chest and jaw and you are gassed. The guy on bottom first needs to create space between him and the guy on top.  He needs to get his shoulders and hips both off the ground and away from the guy on top. The guy on bottom’s second movement is to use his arms and or legs to maintain space and thereby keeping the guy on top from pressing the advantage. The guy on bottom’s third move is to pop up into the standing position. All three movements may involve the guy on bottom using a stiff arm to keep the heavy/fast/angry guy on top at bay.” So, if I am the guy on the bottom – hopefully the guy on top only weighs 53lb and I’ll be alright.