Monday, July 30, 2012

Jul 30 WOD: Cleans + Wendler Day 1

Since last week when I got my 3RM for back squats, I had been thinking of starting on a strength program. Some of the folks at the box had done Smolov with one of the coaches (who's also a champion power lifter, by the way!), but after hearing them talk about how they poured blood, sweat, and tears while doing the program, I decided it wasn't for me. Maybe not yet, anyway. One of the girls I talked to said it's super effective, though, and she gained lots of strength when she was through.

Anyway, I decided to go with the Wendler 5/3/1. It involves 4 workouts: dead lifts, squats, overhead press, and bench press. I am tweaking it a bit because I'm not going to do bench presses. The program is simple -- you do one workout a day, using a percentage of 90% of your 1RM for that lift, and you do 3 sets of 5. The following week, you do the same thing, except the weights are increased and you do only 3 sets of 3. The cycle ends after 4 weeks. I have yet to study where I'm supposed to go after that first cycle. I think I'm supposed to add to my 1RM and repeat the cycle, but lemme cross the bridge when I get there.

Available on
So here's what I did today (weights are in pounds):

Warmup: 3 x 45; 3 x 65; 3 x 85

65% x 5 = 5 x 100
75% x 5 = 5 x 115
85% x 5+ = 7 x 130

Assistance: KBS 2 x 10 (12 kg)

For the WOD, we did the following every 30 secs for 12 mins:

1 power clean + 1 hang power clean + 1 push jerk (Rx: 105)

I only used 50 lbs because I was scared of the push jerk -- overhead lifts have been my weakness ever since a barbell almost hit my head when I wasn't able to keep it stable above my head. I was actually planning on going with just 45, when Belen and Lala told me I could go heavier. And they were right. Sometimes, your friends and coaches know you better than you do yourself.

On Wednesday, I take on back squats!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Jul 27 WOD: Back squats and a couplet

I never thought I'd ever spend more than an hour at the box, yet there I was this morning, up and at it at 9 am. Actually, I went in early so I could work on my back squats. It's been weeks since the coaches told us to get our 3RM and I haven't had the guts or the zeal to do so until today.

Matt said I should do sets of 3 and rest for about 5 minutes in between sets, then he wrote the weights I was to use for each set. Here's what he prescribed (in pounds):

45 x 3; 65 x 3; 95 x 3; 115 x 3; 125 x 3

I was able to do the first 3 sets with relative ease (coz you know, back squats are never easy). On the fourth set, I was able to do 1 rep then I failed on the 2nd. So I was told to rest and then try again. This time, I was to do 110. I was able to do it, and Matt suggested that I try doing 115 again. I was able to get the first rep, but again, I failed on the second rep. That means my 3RM for back squats is 110 lbs.

If it were a woman on this ecard, it would be a good representation of me while trying to come up from the squat:

After that, it was time for the WOD. We had to do 21-15-9 of:

- Dead lifts (Rx: 155)
- Ring dips

I only used 95 lbs for the dead lifts and a box for the ring dips. My time: 5:52.

But wait, that's not all. There was a cash out of 50 medicine ball sit ups for time. I finished in around 3 minutes. After that, I worked on my double unders again. I'm improving, I'm improving! I can consistently (more or less) string together 5-8 now!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My CrossFit shoes

Whenever a WOD involved heavy lifting, I used to take off my shoes and work out in my socks. Before I decided to get new shoes, I only had my old pair of Nike running shoes to use for working out. Then I got these babies:

Inov-8 f-lite 195
I had wanted to get the Bare-XF 210, and I almost did. Good thing the store attendee pointed out these 195s and suggested that I try them. I did, and considering the price difference (the 195 is more than a thousand pesos cheaper than the 210), I thought it was a good buy.

I have tried running in them, but because it offers no cushioning, the farthest I've gone was 3 km. Any farther and my heels would be hurting. I should start getting used to running in minimalist shoes, though.

WOD-ing in them is a pleasure. I used them when I did my CrossFit Total, and I felt the stability when I was doing back squats. The outer sole has some sort of sticky coating that provides fantastic traction, and you need not fear slipping or sliding when doing box jumps. It doesn't hurt that they're so light and the uppers are made of mesh material so your feet never feel hot.

They cost me a pretty penny but they sure are worth it. See, this is how CrossFit makes me poor!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jul 25 WOD: First time, first WOD

If you're familiar with the old Coke commercial that came out in the 80s, doesn't the WOD name just invoke images of young, giddy love and happiness? And because I love that commercial so much, I just have to post it here.

We were all made to do the intro WOD -- the same one we did the very first time we tried (and fell in love with) CrossFit. It was used as sort of a benchmark to see how we've progressed. It's 15 mins AMRAP of:

- 7 wall balls
- 7 pull ups
- 7 box jumps
- 7 burpees

The first time I did this workout nine months ago, I used a 3 kg ball for the wall balls, a green band for the pull ups, and a 12" box for the box jumps. I felt like death and completed 4 rounds. Today, I used a 10 lb ball, a blue band, and an 18" box -- I still felt like death but I completed 6 rounds + 1 box jump. Win!

After resting a while, Ann, Lady, and I all decided to do Grace, since we missed her yesterday.

I used 55 lbs; my time: 3:45. Now I regret that I didn't go heavier. Next time, Grace!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Jul 23 WOD: Nate

Well, today went better than Friday, that's for sure. The board says we're to do the benchmark hero workout Nate today. It includes muscle ups, and since a lot of us couldn't do muscle ups yet, most went for the scaled version, which was 20 mins AMRAP of:

- 4 chest to bar pull ups
- 4 ring dips
- 10 kettlebell swings (Rx: 24 kg)

I used the blue band for the pull ups, a box to put my feet on for the ring dips, and 16 lbs for the KBS.

My score: 12. Take that, you 16-kg kettlebell! Although I have to say that I was afraid that I might accidentally let go of the kettlebell in the middle of a swing, so I had to tighten my grip several times. I was able to do all the reps unbroken, though!

And now, another gratuitous CrossFit video. I like this one because it shows how different the CrossFit Games is from other spectator sports. You go to the CF Games because you want to see how these superfit athletes will do in one of the exercises you've done at the box before. And I'm pretty sure almost all of those who followed the Games has had some exposure to CrossFit -- they've tried it, they're doing it, or they wanna do it.

Have you ever seen such a beautiful and grand display of fitness, health, and beauty? It's like CrossFit Christmas!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Jul 20 WOD: Annie-Grace doubleheader

I DNF-ed this workout. I'm kinda proud, though, because I know I did my best. It didn't look too difficult on the site, but it started looking nasty as Jordan explained it.

There's a 25 min time cap to do 50-40-30 of:

- Double unders
- Sit ups

After that, you do 20 clean and jerks (Rx: 75 lbs), then 30-40-50 of:

- Double unders
- Sit ups

Tere convinced me to use 55 lbs for the clean and jerks, and I'm glad I did. I told myself I'll be happy if I could get to and finish the clean and jerks. The first few reps were shaky, but I made it through. Then it was time for the DUs and sit ups again. I got 6 of the 40 DUs when the 25 minutes ended.

Two casualties of the WOD: my pride and my knuckles.

It's ugly. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I hold the handles like Speal said I should in his DU tutorial. Sigh. I should've asked if they had a cold compress there at the box.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Jul 18 WOD: Mini-Cindy and a surprise

True to the CrossFit philosophy of preparing people for the "unknown and the unknowable," the coaches had a pleasant surprise for us today. On the site it says we're doing 8 mins AMRAP of:

- 5 pull ups
- 10 push ups
- 15 squats

So, that's like an 8-minute Cindy (because Cindy is 20 mins AMRAP), right? But wait, that's not all.

After the 8-minute WOD, we were given 2 mins to rest, then the surprise was revealed: we do the same thing, but depending on how many rounds you got in the first workout, the reps are multiplied by 5. This time, the workout will be done for time.

I was able to do 6 rounds, so that meant I needed to do:

- 30 pull ups
- 60 push ups
- 90 squats

It was fun but doing 30 pull ups using the blue band is no joke. My time: 10:55.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Jul 16 WOD: Death by squats and pull ups

The CrossFit Games just wrapped up, and after the dust had settled, Rich Froning Jr. and Annie Thorisdottir were respectively crowned The Fittest Man and Woman on Earth. They're the first back-to-back champs in CrossFit Games history. Wow.

From what I've read about him, Rich Froning Jr. seems to be a very down-to-earth guy. And I love that he has a tattoo of Galatians 6:14 on his side. This is the perfect time to get a Fromance shirt, yes?

From CrossFit Reebok
I don't think anyone can say anything bad about Iceland Annie. Say her last name (Thorisdottir) aloud and it sounds like "Thor's daughter", which is quite fitting as she seems to have the powers of a demigod. I love that she always has a sunny smile on her face.

I want this shirt, too!

From CrossFit Reebok
Okay, enough of the Games. On to the WOD. We had to do the following on the minute:

- Front squat
- Strict pull up

So, on the first minute you do 1 squat and 1 pull up. On the second minute you do 2 squats, 2 pull ups, and so on until you're not able to complete a set anymore. After that you do, for time, a descending ladder according to the number of sets you were able to complete. So if you were able to complete 10, you start with 10 squats, 10 pull ups, then 9 squats, 9 pull ups, and so on.

What made this challenging (for me, at least) were the strict pull ups! Try as I might, I couldn't for the life of me pull myself up for the 6th time.

My scores: 5 sets; 3:25.

Ooh! In other news, I was able to string together 8 double unders! But almost immediately after I realized I was doing it, I tripped. Next goal: string together 10!

Friday, July 13, 2012



Yup. No WOD-ing happened today due to family duties. I feel so disoriented. And bad. I miss DOMS.

It's been 7 months since I started doing CrossFit, and I'm still sooo in love with it. Like giddy-in-love with it. Why? Let me count the ways.

1) Doing something new each time you walk into the box. I'm 7 months in and I have yet to repeat a workout. I know that some fitness gurus frown upon the randomness of CrossFit programming, and I can't say they're wrong. But for me, the results speak for themselves. I've never been fitter, even when I used to go to Fitness First almost everyday for 2 years. Crazy.

2) The community. I could walk into any class and find a friend. Yes, introverted me, finding a friend. I love that everyone in the box shares something in common, which is the suffering you endure during every workout. There is always something you can talk about with the people there -- paleo stuff, your dead lifts, your dog, other people.

3) Getting physically and mentally stronger. As mothers whose boys play football (soccer moms, they call us), my sister and I have to pack and lug around heavy stuff whenever the boys have a tournament. Guess who gets to carry the heavier stuff? :) I'm also a wee bit more mentally tough now. Whenever I encounter difficulties outside the box, I recall the most difficult WODs I've done and survived. I'm reminded that I can and will get through anything life throws at me.

4) And last but not the least: the smell of rubber plates. My new favorite smell!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Jul 11 WOD: A triplet + max reps

I am eggzoited about the CrossFit Games. It's too bad that we don't have ESPN3 over here and I think the only way to watch it is through live streaming. I can't believe they're having the athletes do a swim-bike-run routine! Then again, these athletes must have come prepared for anything -- physically and mentally. Like what the coaches say, "Be prepared for the unknown and the unknowable."

For today's workout, we had to do 3 rounds of:

- 15 chin over bar pull ups
- 15 ring dips
- 15 butterfly sit ups

There is then a 2 min rest period, followed by max reps chin over bar pull ups. After that there is another rest period of 1 min, then max reps ring dips.

I used the blue band for the pull ups, and I did my best to put my chin over the bar every time. I paced myself and made every rep count as much as possible, especially for the pull ups. I did band-assisted ring dips for the first time. Wasn't so bad.

My scores: 10:30 / 11 chin over bar pull ups / 13 ring dips.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Jul 9 WODs: CrossFit Games Open 11.2 + Bootcamp

I don't think I'll be joining the upcoming paleo challenge. I've mulled it over, and I thought, what for? Paleo challenges are great for people who are totally new to the lifestyle. They're the ones who'll benefit the most if they join. As for me, I'm like, been there done that. I learned a lot from the last challenge I joined: I learned how to plan my meals, how to cook, how to discriminate healthy from unhealthy food, and how to read labels. I haven't regressed and I try to eat as paleo as possible. Or am I telling myself these things because I'm too chicken to join??

For today's workout, we did the 2011 CrossFit Games Open Workout 2. It's 15 mins AMRAP of:

- 9 dead lifts (Rx: 95 lbs)
- 12 hand-release push ups
- 15 box jumps (Rx: 18")

Grabbed from the CFMNL website
Almost Rx'd again. I say almost because halfway through, I started having a hard time doing strict push ups and couldn't keep the correct form. Bah. I blame all the cake I ate during the weekend!

My score: 6 + 2 HRPUs.

After resting a while, Ann and I decided to join the bootcamp.

Round 1: 8 mins AMRAP of:

- 5 burpees
- 4 sprints

< 2 min rest >

Round 2: 8 mins AMRAP of:

- 10 mountain climbers
- 4 frog hops

The frog hops were fun but we were super tired! My scores: 9 + 3 rounds.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Jul 6 WOD: TGIF birthday blowout

I confess that I toyed with the idea of skipping the workout today as a birthday gift to myself so I can relax for a bit at home. But I knew with utmost certainty that I would regret it so I went. I'm glad I did because I loved today's WOD!

We were given a 20 min cap to do:

- 30 dead lifts (Rx: 115 lbs)
- 30 toes to bar
- 30 burpees
- 100 double unders

I used 115 lbs for the dead lifts as prescribed, did knees to elbows (which eventually became "knees to wherever") instead of toes to bar, and did the "dubs" as prescribed!

It was brutal. What helped me through it was breaking up the reps into sets of 10. And I'm so happy I was able to do that even for the burpees. It took me about 7 or 8 minutes to get those 100 DUs but I did it!

My time: 15:56.

In other news, it's been announced on Facebook that there's another paleo challenge coming up. Should I join or should I join??

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Jul 4 WOD: Alternating tabatas

According to wikipedia, the tabata is "20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise (at an intensity of about 170% of VO2max) followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for 4 minutes (8 cycles)."

I think it's a great exercise because it's short and sweet, but also intense enough to kick you in the *ss. You can tabata just about any exercise as long as you have a timer. You don't want to be counting on your own because you'd be too busy getting your *ss kicked (or kicking *ss, depending on how you look at it).

Anyway. We did alternating tabatas and tabata abs today:

- Squat cleans (Rx: 65 lbs)
- Burpees

< 1 min rest >

- Mountain climbers
- Russian twists (Rx: 14 lbs)
- V-ups

Screen shot of the WOD from the CFMNL website
My score: 39. The breakdown of lowest scores: squat cleans - 3; burpees - 4; mountain climbers - 20; Russian twists - 6; V-ups - 6.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Things I want to improve on

I know that I absolutely need to do these things better if I want to do the workouts as Rx'd. One thing at a time.

1) Burpees. Among all the things I want to improve on in CrossFit, the burpee has got to be at the top of my list. It's simple to do but try doing 10 of that for 10 rounds and you are so not going to be happy. I've tried applying what I've seen in the video below when the WODs call for burpees. Not that easy.

2) Double unders. Y'all know this is something I've been working on. I practice this pre-WOD and now it's part of my warm up routine. Apart from getting the wrist action and jumps right, I think another important part of having consistent DUs is having the right rope. Which is why I'm on the lookout for good, cheap speed ropes.

3) The clean. I love cleaning. I do. But no matter how many times this comes up in WODs, the movement always feels alien to me at the beginning and I'd always need to do a few sets before I feel comfortable. It doesn't help that there aren't any mirrors at the box, so I have no choice but to rely on muscle memory and the coach.

So, I want to be able to do these 3 things well first before working on more difficult and complex movements like hand stands and snatches.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Jul 2 WOD: Hurdles

Today's workout was short, sweet, and -- dare I say -- fun! There were 2 sets of hurdles set up in the middle of the floor. One for men (24") and another for women (16"). The workout was 12 mins AMRAP of:

- 5 hurdles
- 10 kettlebell swings (Rx: 16 kgs)
- 15 lunges

I didn't push myself as much as I usually do today because I've been feeling woozy from a cold. So I took my sweet time in between sets and even during the lunges (which were hell on my quads).

My score: 8 + 2 KBS.

In other news, this totally made my day! Thank you for being gorgeous, Mr. Gosling!