Friday, 31 August 2007

Run 070830

Run 2.98 km - twice around the block but missing the 100m down the cul de sac to our house the second time around.


Compare with 070814.

About a minute slower. I don't know why either. I forgot to wear the knee support I bought for when I'm running too.

Better than sitting on the couch anyway.

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Muscle-up ladder 070829

With a continuously running clock do one seated muscle-up the first minute, two seated muscle-ups the second minute, three seated muscle-ups the third minute... continuing as long as you are able.

Use as many sets each minute as needed.

5 rounds of seated muscle-ups.

I was very strict on keeping my legs out of it and not turning it into a squat muscle-up, which meant it got a lot harder. A good thing.

While not a brilliant effort, some valuable lessons were learned about not letting my hands drift away from my body so I'm happy.

Notes from Coach Mike Burgener's O-lifting workshop

Available at, the July 27, 2007 post.

Especially the Burgener warm-up.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Fran 070826

Pack -ish

Three rounds, 21-15- and 9 reps, for time of:
65 pound Thruster


First go 'round with the lady. I've been looking forward to getting a stake in the ground for some time.

Pull-ups broken as heck, but no jumpers.

Thrusters, don't talk to me about thrusters!
Elbows inside knees or outside?
Elbows up like a front squat or down like a shoulder press?
Do you think I could remember any of that?
Felt like a gangly uncoordinated, oh, that's right, I am a ....

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Deadlifts 070825

1 x 85kg
1 x 90kg
1 x 95kg
1 x 100kg
1 x 102.5kg
1 x 102.5kg
1 x 102.5kg

I've finally lifted more than my bodyweight (about 91kg today) for something!
I now have another problem, 102.5kg is all the weight I have.

What a nice problem.

I went for a gentle 800m walk afterwards to make sure my hips remembered how they are supposed to move, to be repeated occasionally.

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Squats, pull-ups, HSPU 070824

Four rounds for time of:
25 Squats
10 Pull-ups
5 Handstand push-ups - to 8" of phone books


The pull-ups were very broken in the 3rd round so the 4th round it was 3 full pull-ups and 7 jumping. I should have done that earlier and kept the pace up a bit more.

Hindsight's a wonderful thing.

Shoulder Press

Chris (Kempie) Kemp from CF Northeast England posted the following on the Crossfit Manchester Message Board. I'm stealing it for here so I can find it again more easily.
The original post is at

A max shoulder press is a bit of a yes or no situation. It will either get up past your eye level in which case it will almost certainly go all the way up, or it won't. Either way, very little risk of things going awry. I have plenty of experience at this particular lift and working it hard with plenty of weight (and plenty of fails) never came close to having a problem.

Your best best is to start light, reinforcing perfect form and incrementally increasing weight. Once you reach a point where the weight really slows down or you want to compromise form note that weight. This is around about where you will be working for a while.

Form points

Start position - make sure that the elbows are at least underneath the bar. If they are behind the bar, not unly are you badly set up to drive overhead but the bar will be sitting very low on your chest. Push the elbows forward a little and the bar will move up towards the shoulders.

Body tension - if your body is not locked tight, there is no way you will make a max lift. Grip the ground with your feet, flex your thighs and squeeze your glutes HARD!! First time I got this bit right, I didn't walk comfortably for days. This is similar to Pavel's irradiation technique. By squeezing a muscle hard, neighbouring muscle groups will tighten up and so on. Glutes will drag spinal erectors and abs into play really shoring up the mid-section.

Squeeze the bar up - As you approach max loads the press becomes like a deadlift - you just have to push and push until the d**n thing starts moving. You will need to lean back a little so your face is out of the bar path but limit this to a very small shift of weight to the heels. Do NOT lean back at the waist and arch the back. As the bar travels past the forehead and out of sight shift your weight back onto mid foot and get all that locked down structure beneath the bar and keep pushing. As the bar gets close to lock-out push your head through the "window" formed by your arms and the bar so it is all the way overhead.

Recovery - to get the bar back down tighten up again and slowly control the negative all the way down. If it is coming down fast, bend the knees a little as it hits your chest to soak up some of the impact.

Longer than I had planned but the overhead press is too important to miss out on. Maybe a true max will have to wait but you can definitely train towards it in the meantime.

Cheers, kempie

Friday, 24 August 2007

Shoulder Press 070822

Shoulder Press 5-5-5-5-5 reps

5 x 40kg
3 x 45kg
4 x 45kg
3 x 45kg
5 x 40kg

Yeah, alright I should have gone 42.5kg, I know.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Front squats 070820

Front Squat
(3 x 50kg) x 7

Start weight wound up being my finish weight.
My form was better, I felt it in my quads and hamstrings instead of my back and glutes.
It just wasn't there today.

Sunday, 19 August 2007


Handstand push-ups to 4 Auckland phone books - 200mm - 8inches
Jumping ring dips
Push ups

12-10 Yes, I know it should have been 9, but I did 10. No I don't know why.
Pike press
Jumping ring dips
Push ups


Knocked a minute off, but it was still ugly.
Next time I'm to go to dumbbell presses as soon as I fail to hit the depth marker for HSPUs. Pike presses are too easy to cheat at.
I tried to do real ring dips, I really did!
Push-ups were better than last time, although like the last run for
"Murphy", there's a long way between better and good.

I'm doomed to stay on Puppies for this one for the rest of my natural life.

Last time
Pike press - feet elevated
Ring dips - 4 reps of the first round full, the rest jumping
Push ups


Well that was yuck.

If the WOD I did yesterday played to my strengths, the only one of my weaknesses this didn't hit was running. And pull-ups. And OH squats. And.... , oh what the heck, it hit a lot of my weak points and lets leave it at that.
Skinny little arms and shoulders let me down, darn close to literally on those last pike presses.


Saturday, 18 August 2007

Michael 070817


Three rounds for time of:
Run 600 meters
15 Good-mornings - 20kg
25 Sit-ups - improvised ab-mat


Last time 'round I tried Pack and this WOD is what broke my knees good and proper, and put me off training for nearly a month.
So this time I did what I should have and started with Puppies. When I tick that off, THEN I move up. I learn eventually.
Good-mornings because back extensions off a small swiss-ball are just a waste of time for me. Plyo-boxes and a Kempie style GHD are calling big time!

If GD or anyone who has experience running reads this, how do you warm up for a running WOD? I usually use runs as part of my warm-up and that would just be silly.
I could row, is that sensible? This really feels like a dumb question, but as anyone who's read my posts will know, I haven't run at all for about 25 years, so I really am that ignorant in this area.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Murphy 070816

For Time:
1/2 mile Run
35 Pull-ups
70 Push-ups
120 Squats
1/2 mile Run


Broken Cindy style into 7 rounds. 140 squats again to keep the rounds even.

Full pull-ups. No jumpers. Yay!

My God, my abs hurt. Those L pull-ups and sit-ups the other day really did them in. They killed me trying to hold the plank position in the push-ups.

Thought I might break 30 minutes, but that damned run.......
At least I did better than the shuffle/totter last time. I forgot to time the runs, but the running action and pace was better, although there's a long way between "better" and "good".

Last time it was:
For Time:
1/2 mile Run
35 Pull-ups -jumping
70 Push-ups
120 Squats
1/2 mile Run

Run 4:27
Broke it into 7 rounds and did 20 squats per round because 120 doesn't go evenly into 7, or the other way 'round, whatever.
First round of pull-ups were dead hang and so were three of the next.
Run 5:55

The rain died down for the first run and picked up for the second, but by that time I didn't care and it felt good anyway.

At one stage two police cars pulled up just behind me and then rolled along a bit, like they were following me. Had me a bit concerned until they stopped, I was wondering how I was going to get them to let me finish the run and clock my time. I figured they were unlikely to think I was an escaping felon, either that or they knew that at the pace I was doing they could pretty much go off and have lunch, do some paperwork and I still wouldn't be far from where they left me.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

L-pullups, double unders, GHD situps, back extensions 070813

10-10-10-10 rep rounds of:
h-Pull-ups - What L pull-ups look like when your hamstrings are too tight to straighten your legs out
Double unders - LauraR style. Got a few doubles in there though, uhh, that's two double-unders without stopping.
Swiss ball Sit-ups
Swiss ball Back Extensions


L-pullups were done with a supinated grip and even then dropped to being singles for the last set.
I'm not going to look back on this one fondly, but I'm at a conference for 3 days and getting home late after sitting listening to lectures all day, so it was good to get off my butt and do something.

Monday, 13 August 2007


I told LauraR that I play bodhran in sessions at a couple of irish pubs, and after the explanation that bodhran is not a New Zealand drinking game, she asked me if I had any videos of my playing online. The fact that this dumbfounded me for several minutes is probably an indication of my age, it just hadn't occurred to me to do that.
I haven't taped a Session yet, but yesterday I sat down and put together a few minutes of me messing around on my own. I'll put it up here so anyone from Brand X who wants to find out what I sound like with my funny accent can watch it, I talk a little as an intro.
This not my best playing, by a loooong shot and there are two reasons for that:
  1. I haven't been practising much between Sessions.
  2. I've only had this bodhran for a couple of weeks and it's a much better instrument than I've had access to before. It was made for me in Christchurch, New Zealand, by Davy Stuart, a noted instrument maker in these parts with a sideline in bodhrans. That I still haven't clicked with this thing gives me great hope, because it normally takes me a couple of Sessions to figure out how to drive a new drum. This one is still frustrating me enormously after 5, so I know there's going to be a lot more I can do with it once I understand where the sounds are.
Normally I can move the tone around a lot more than you'll hear in the video. At this stage all you're going to hear is a lot of walloping.
Enough excuses, here it is.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Painstorm XXVIII

What I believe was Puppies Painstorm XXVIII - in a boat - without an odometer
3 rounds of:
Row 2 min - and hope it's 400m
10 pushups
15 I don't know what you call them, but as close as I could get to jump-to-supports without belting my head on the rafter
20 squats


Row because my knees need a break.

Had a tough time thinking up a warm-up for this one because it hardly needs it. Went for a walk to get things moving, in the rain, which I didn't mind, until the lightening started and I decided this was another occasion where being over 6 foot was not a good thing. Any variation on jumping muscle-ups is another.
That rafter is flaming hard!

I think I need a knee brace for my left knee now that I'm actually doing running WODs. Going to hunt for one today.
Any recommendations for useful types of models gratefully received. The sort that have adjustable tension above and below the kneecap make sense to me.

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Shoulder Press, Push Press, Push Jerks 070810

Shoulder press 1-1-1-1-1 reps
Push press 3-3-3-3-3 reps
Push Jerk 5-5-5-5-5 reps

Shoulder press
1 x 40kg
1 x 55kg - failed - misloaded, thought I was doing 45kg, prat!
1 x 50kg - equals all time PB
1 x 50kg
1 x 52.5kg - failed, but I gave it a bloody good shot!

3 x 52.5kg
3 x 55kg
3 x 57.5kg
3 x 57.5kg
3 x 57.5kg
All PBs, even for a single. Never had that much weight over my head before. Ever.

1 x 57.5kg - failure to launch. Complete lack of technique.
5 x 50kg - struggling
5 x 50kg - better
5 x 50kg - got it!
5 x 50kg - got it!
4 x 50kg + 2 failed attempts - too confident, should have waited longer after the last set.
Tweaked my back slightly somewhere in there too, probably early on. Not staying tight enough.
I don't think I've ever done push jerks before?
The difference was in catching what for me is a heavy weight over head, with emphasis on the catch. The weight goes up easily, it's getting everything lined up to catch it that tripped me up.

I didn't video it. I was going to, put a white shirt on and everything! Wink
As per LauraR's suggestion, I will work on push jerks with a reasonable load to get more comfortable with the movement. I was really shocked at how badly I did with the push jerks, I was hoping for 60kg, which would have been a HUGE breakthrough!

Friday, 10 August 2007

Nicole 070809

Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
Run 400 meters
Max rep Pull-ups

+ the driveway
Total: 31

All full pull-ups, no jumpers.

Probably a bit much for me really, but I did it!

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Snatch 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 reps

1 x 22.5kg
3 x 25kg - practising the second pull
1 x 27.5kg
1 x 30kg
1 x 32.5kg
2 x 35kg - one marginal, one dropped forward, one very high
1 x 35kg

LauraR's still the champ at 80lbs, but that's a PB for me by a long way and I suppose the biggest overhead squat I've ever done by 15kg too. I'm not going to list the OH squat on the BrandX forum as a PB because I'm not sure it meets my standards for depth.
What I'm really please with though is that for the lighter weights I was really throwing myself under the bar and catching it very low. The bar didn't get much above waist height. When it got heavier my timing went all to pot, which is why I lost one forwards, but I wasn't horribly far off.

I didn't video it because I was sure it was going to be rubbish! I wish I had now to see if I'm pulling straighter. I tried to very hard.

Very pleased with that. Very very pleased.

And, it turns out an old friend took up competitive olympic lifting for few years while I was out of the gym scene for 15 odd years and can help coach me. We'll see whether that pans out. Not the same as GD or Coach Burgener's loving care and well chosen verbal kicks in the butt, but it's got to be better than trying to do it by video.

Sunday, 5 August 2007


Run 2.98 km - twice around the block but missing the 100m down the cul de sac to our house the second time around.


Didn't stop. Not disastrously puffed. Not a blistering time, but I kept moving.
My legs were still tired and sore from the previous two day's efforts, but I proved to my satisfaction that running (trotting if we're going to be accurate) uses different muscle groups from "real" leg work.

Quite happy with that.

You know if you train during the day there's this big yellow thing in the sky that lights things up so you can see where you're going?
Haven't seen it much for a long time.

Saturday, 4 August 2007


Needed to plug the hole created by a rest day at HQ falling on one of my workout days and I chose LauraR's creation "Fry-anne"
Never again will I choose to do a workout involving thrusters the day after Jason.

50kg Deadlifts
30kg thrusters


That was an extremely unpleasant experience.
I knew my legs were sore after the squats yesterday, but they just had nothing to give when I asked them to explode me out of the bottom.

Deadlifts were a little light.
Thrusters were a PB, I've only ever used the bar before. See why it was a really stupid choice?

And I'm running tomorrow.
Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad

Friday, 3 August 2007


50 Squats
3 Seated muscle-ups
25 Squats
6 Seated muscle-ups
15 Squats
9 Seated muscle-ups
10 Squats
12 Seated muscle-ups


Pack next time.

I suspect my muscle-up form was questionable, i.e. more leg than I should have used. As I started the 3rd round and realised I hadn't heard the 10 minute beep go off on my watch I decided I must be taking shortcuts somewhere and made more of an effort to leave my legs out. Still hard not to use them when you start struggling.
I really need a place to hang a set of rings at head height or above so I can get into jumping muscle-ups and eliminate that option to cheat.
At times like this I wish I was LauraR's height, I'd have more options.

I should have done pack. I thought I'd be in worse shape after the cold and I didn't want to wreck myself on the first workout back. I feel like I let the spirit of the workout down a bit.