Friday, December 31, 2010
I've told that story time and time again and it ALWAYS holds true. Which is why I'm very excited for 2011. Happy New Year everyone! The New Year marks the most natural time to set new goals. As a life long competitive athlete it seems to be something I've done my whole life. And just like anything else, there's an art to setting new goals. In a nutshell, they've got to be Specific, Measurable and Achievable.
The thing I've found to be true over the years, however, is that goal setting can be kind of scary. I mean, what if I don't reach my goals? What is that going to feel like? What will people think of me? And not to sound all emo or anything, what will it all mean?
But that's kind of the point. You've got to put something on the line to keep yourself accountable. Not only do you need to articulate what it is you are trying to accomplish so that you can figure out the best way to get there, but you need to put it out there (at least to a degree) so that fear (of failing) can be the very thing that fuels your fire.
And the thing is, sometimes you will win and sometimes you will fail.
I think what separates the best athletes from the average ones is how they respond to failure. Or rather, how failure motivates them to work even harder. When you really want something, I mean really want it, and you put everything on the line to achieve it, failure can hurt pretty bad. But it's the people who never put anything on the line to begin with (thus avoiding the hurt of failure all together) that never achieve anything great.
Having said that my no. 1 long term goal is to win a medal at Nationals (Olympic Weightlifting) within the next two years.
A few of the things I'm going to do to get there is to:
1) Continue trusting and following my program (by Greg Everett at Catalyst Athletics) giving diligent focus to the precision and technique in my lifts.
2) Make sleep and recovery a major priority (the thing I believe to be my biggest setback in making gains) even if it means cutting back on some work and/or making less money.
3) And in my lifts, by Nationals this summer, I want to Squat 300lbs (136kg), Snatch 187lbs (85kg) and C&J 231lbs (105kg).
There it is, on the line.
3 Pos Snatch (Full, Above Knee, Mid Thigh)
123lbs (56kg) x3x3
133lbs (60kg) x3x3
168lbs (76kg) x5x5
Snatch Push Press
133lbs (60kg) x5x5
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Today, for the first time in a long time, I was very happy about a small achievement. Lately I have been very unsatisfied with any PR's. For example, when I C&J'd 98 kilos (216lbs) at the Cal Strength Open, I wasn't very excited. I felt more relieved and yet still frustrated because in my mind I should have been lifting that weight long ago. And when I snatch balanced 203lbs (92kg) I couldn't help but be bummed that I still haven't gotten an 187lb (85kg) Snatch.
Say what you will, but that's just kind of been my attitude towards my own performance lately.
But not today.
Today I had to do 3 Position Cleans (floor, above knee, mid thigh) with 163lbs for 3 sets of 3 (this coming after 2 sets of 3 at 153lbs). When I looked at today's program I thought "there's just no way." I mean, how was I supposed to keep my grip with that kind of weight? I didn't think I'd be able to hang clean it once let alone 3 times. And yet here I was being asked to do 3 sets of 3 at 163lbs (74kg). That was my attitude and on my first set, guess what happened? ...I failed.
But then I sat for a moment and decided to adjust my attitude. I sat there thinking about the weight and decided I was just going to do it. That's right. It was a conscious decision. I said to myself, "suck it up and get under that bar dammit." I reached inside and mustered up the commitment. And guess what... I did it! Yay me. Yay for little victories.
Until next Wednesday... 2 pos cleans at 173lbs.
63lbs x5 (29kg)
73lbs x4 (33kg)
78lbs x3x3 (35kg)
3 Pos Clean
153lbs x3x2 (70kg)
163lbs x3x3 (74kg)
180lbs x7x2 (81kg)
180lbs x5x3 (81kg)
3x8 113lbs (51kg)
GHD Sit Up 1x50
KB Side Bends 1x20 ea side (53lbs)
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
203lbs x5x5 -ouch!
So far in this new cycle I've done a million pulls and Deadlifts (Sn or Cln). I pretty much cln or sn pull and cln or sn deadlift every Monday Wednesday and Thursday and heavy (well I think it's heavy) for tons of reps. It's the worst. Interestingly enough I feel like my back is already feeling stronger which is great for good postural position off the floor- but I also feel stronger with core stability in my squats. So I guess even though I loath those pulls they're probably very good for me.
Monday, December 27, 2010
The above video is simply a highlight reel of my first week of training leading into the 2010 Arnolds in Columbus Ohio this March. Normally I go to see my coach Greg Everett at Catalyst Athletics 2-3 times per week. But with the Holiday season in full swing (and a broken down car) I wasn't able to make the 45 min drive over the hill in the first week of a new cycle. Greg offered to coach me via video this week, in order to be sure I was on the right track.
I felt that my training went well- after all, I didn't miss any lifts, I felt strong, and when I watched my video footage it seemed to look pretty good besides my chest dropping forward here and there. But this is the reason EVERY SERIOUS ATHLETE NEEDS A GOOD COACH. Here's what Greg had to say about my video:
If it weren't for the well trained eye and expert coaching of Greg, I'd just go on doing more of the same thinking everything was going well. I'd be wiring in, over and over, the wrong motor pattern, further ingraining bad habits.
From one athlete to another, don't ever get complacent just because you think you're feeling and performing well. NO ONE is above needing a good coach. If you really want to be your best seek one out, and for God's sake do whatever he (or she) tells you to do:)
Friday, December 17, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
So this morning I worked up to a 215lb Jerk but we ran out of time so I didn't get a chance to go heavier. Then I came back at 10AM for my workout and the reality of sleep deprivation (and good stress) set in. I jerked 215lbs again thinking that with more time I'd get a bigger number but then ran out of gas and coordination to go heavier. Oh well, you take the good with the bad I guess. So with 5 weeks to go until my first American's qualifier, here was today's (second) wod:
Jerk 1RM-215lbs for the day
143x5 (man I was tired by this time)
3 sets of 5 at 36inches
3x10 strict toes to bar
Monday, July 26, 2010
It's week 7 now and the cycle has brought me to my old B.Squat 1RM for a single. The fun part is that it was a piece of cake. Yay me.
Snatch Pull off blocks
Plank holds w/45lb plate x2
Sunday, July 25, 2010
On Friday night we had something special go down at our gym. It was the first ever Greg Amundson goal setting seminar. Greg, one of the original CrossFit bad-asses, has been around since CrossFit was first developed here in Santa Cruz. He had lot's of great stories about the old days and team 6AM, a group of athletes that Glassman used to test the limits of human performance. They were stories of inspiration and motivation and ones that I will remember always.
The seminar reminded me of many goal setting, team bonding, and communication workshops I've done with my college and professional teams before. Only this time it was much more inspiring. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that it was being run by a real athlete who I admire. It wasn't just a person or small group of "professionals" who went and got certified to teach people about this stuff, but by someone who has and still does live it and breath it. Greg Amundson is a person who has consistently pushed his physical limits by exercising and mastering the mental game of positive inner dialogue and goal setting. He gave a fresh and enthusiastic perspective on these topics and at the end of the night 60+ lucky people walked away inspired and ready to conquer their goals.
Having said that, here are a few of my new goals as an athlete:
1 Month: Squat 300lbs/136kg
6 Months: Snatch 185lbs/84kg, C&J 220lbs/100kg, qualify for Americans, compete as a 63 which requires losing an additional 6lbs/3kg of body weight.
1 Year: This is a tough one because I really don't have a solid grasp or concept of what I am capable of. I am consistently surprising myself. For example, if you had asked me a little over a year ago (when I first trained with Coach Burgener for a CrossFit video and my PR was 118lbs/54kg) what my goal would be- I would have NEVER thought 175lb Snatch would be possible EVER let alone in 1 year. I would have under shot by a long shot. Probably said 135lbs. Now all of the sudden here I am just short of 180lbs (barely missed it recently). So what I envision in 1 year is Snatching 200lbs/90kg, C&J 240lbs/110kg and becoming a nationally competitive Olympic lifter.
7 Day: Get a full 7 hours of sleep each night, foam roll and ice everyday, focusing on recovery during a heavy squat week in which I'll be squatting my previous 1RM of 275lbs/125kg. Drink at least 65oz of water everyday. Only drink coffee before 2PM. Keep my diet clean and free of sugar.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
It's pretty amazing how much energy coaching can take out of you. That's not meant to be a complaint at all. I love coaching and would sure rather be teaching stuff I love to people who are eager to learn it than be sitting in a cubicle somewhere zoning out on a computer. But man, it's tiring. On Tuesdays I teach 5 hours straight in the morning. Then I squeak in my workout, followed by another 2-4 hours of coaching pitching. It's both rewarding and draining and worth being in my field.
Are there any coaches out there who agree when I say that every hour of coaching (assuming you are alert, attentive and, well, good) is equal to about 3 hours of office work?
I never failed but called it good at 153lbs because my shoulder was feeling a little aggravated.
GHD Sit Up
Monday, July 12, 2010
It's quite different than the randomly varied programming associated with general physical preparedness (although in some circles training for GPP is impressively evolving beyond randomness- but that's a whole topic in itself). It is quite structured, mathematically calculated, redundant (by comparison). It requires precision, and repeated execution of fine tuned motor pattern; hundreds and thousands of repetitions actually. It requires intense focus, and patience for both progression and time. It takes a deep appreciation for movement and body awareness and calls for a high level of intelligence and athleticism (symbiotic in nature- another good topic for a later post).
Strength training for the Olympic lifter is quite the opposite of a common method of training for GPP in which movements, loads, and time domains in both strength and metabolic energy systems are randomly varied. Training for GPP tends to be exciting for people. After all, it is always different, it is very social, and you always leave feeling like you "got a good workout in." And although it does not yield incredible strength gains or mastery of technique in a single discipline, it does get you generally fit (by definition).
This is precisely why most GPP folks who decide they want to try "specializing" by switching over to Olifting don't actually stick with it. They quickly realize that it will require everything I've listed above. They get bored. They lose patience and focus, then decide to go run in circles and do a bunch of burpees and wall balls:) -don't hate, I'm just poking fun and I've almost been there already in my new training. Well, not with the wall balls.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love CrossFit and the benefits it yields to the average person in terms of fitness, overall health, confidence, and empowerment. I have seen hundreds of people better their lives through CrossFit in every way- from the physical health improvements like increased bone density, complete remission of rheumatoid arthritis, people going off of prescription drugs for things like high cholesterol and blood pressure; to the empowerment brought on by doing pull ups for the first time, learning a muscle up, reaching strength PR's; not to mention seeing people improve their self confidence and social lives, improving their relationships and having their new healthy lifestyles rub off on those they love. I've seen these great results in others and in myslef as an athlete. I coach it, I live it, I breath it.
CrossFit will always be there for me as long as I live. Heck, some of the best CrossFitters in my gym are in their 60's. But at this point in my athletic career, I'm ready for one last challenge. And let's face it, time's a tickin. As an athlete I'm going to give Olympic lifting all of my focus for the next little while and see where it takes me. I've heard that female lifters peak in their 30's (I don't have any scientific validity to back this up, it's just something I've heard) and I'm exactly 30. I've taken on the softball world and won championships. I've taken on the CrossFit world and won a regional championship. And now I'm ready to take on Olympic lifting. I'm part of Catalyst Athletic's weightlifting team and in week 5 of training. After just 5 weeks of specialized training I've already gained a ton of strength (I just snatched 80kg and C&J 93kg- thats 175lbs and 205lbs respectively). I'm excited to put my love of precision and a good challenge to use and I am having a blast. This isn't a goodbye to CrossFit, but only an intermission in an attempt to master one last sport while I have the chance.
Anyhoo, I'll be posting my workouts here from now on so feel free to check on in. Train hard ya'll!
then 3x12 Kipping Pull Ups- I just wanted to see if I could still do them. I'll probably get busted for that;)
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
76kg Snatch- miss
Yesterday I competed in the Bad Girl Open Olympic Lifting meet at the FIT Barbell Club in Los Altos. I Snatched 71kg (with a close miss at 76kg) and finally C&J'd 90kg (it's about freaking time) and totaled 161kg taking home 1st place. Not too shabby.
The thing that's so very different for me in Olympic lifting competition is figuring out where to put your adrenalin and excitement. In every sport I've played, adrenalin has been the key to turning on that sort of gnarly grittiness- that dirty nastiness- that mean-ness. There's been people yelling and screaming either for your or against you and the loss of control (in a sense) or allowance of letting everything go both physically and mentally was the key to success. In Olympic lifting it's way different. You need all of the same stuff, but you've got to find a different place for it. There's no yelling or screaming during your lift- just quiet and eyes on you. You've got to take all that adrenalin and to compress it down into your core until you're composed enough to let it all out in one explosive, powerful movement, yet with careful precision. And unlike in CrossFit where a max olifting competition usually consists of a certain amount of time to find a max effort (often sloppy, as press outs and such are allowed) you only get three shots to make each lift, so you had better plan carefully.
It's quite a different challenge, and one that I plan on mastering.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
So for this week it has been lot's of Snatching, C&Jing, F.Squating, and abs. That's the stuff I like anyways. And I believe Golden has a video he's been working on that he's going to share with us any day now. Check back soon.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
OH Squat (BW-143)
-I was really hoping for 15 but my shoulders were too fatigued. Next time.
North West Regional Day 1 Workout A
10 OH Squats (95)
50 Double Unders
4:56 tie for 2nd place
I was going to do the Deadlift (max in 90 seconds- score is total number of lbs combined) but then I realized that it was an axle Deadlift so it would have been too hard to compare. Sam is going to bring our axle bar tomorrow so I'll most likely do it then. Of course, it will still be tough to compare with a day off. Oh well. It's just for fun anyway.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Regionals are over. I placed 9th among a large group of phenomenal athletes. It's tough decide if I'm happy or upset. On one hand, I'm 10x the athlete I was last year when I WON the region. I did great in some very metabolic, light weight/high rep workouts that I would have bombed on a year ago. And that's something to feel good about. But the competitor in me is upset that I couldn't take it up just and extra notch or two. Why didn't I game the tire flip wod better? How did I not win the Jerk/burpee workout? Why couldn't there have been a max lift or heavy workout? But that's the sport. It can be anyone's day any weekend. One thing is for sure, this region is loaded with killer athletes and I know they will tear it up at the games.
It's calm around here now and it's a strange feeling to figure out what will come next. For now, it will be olympic lifting. The Bad Girl Open is coming up in a couple of weeks and if I can get in I'll most likely do that. Kyle and I are getting married in 3 weeks so there's a degree of relief that I can focus solely on that now. In the mean time, it's going to be physical and mental recovery for me while I drum up the next chapter.
Congrats to the top 4 men and top 4 women! Chyna, I'm rooting for you girl! Represent!
Friday, May 7, 2010
It's travel day for the South West Regional and we've got lot's to do. It's a competitive region and all of the physical and mental preparation is there. Now it's time to rock and roll. But before we head out I've got to teach class in the morning:
Kyle and I were driving to work in the morning on busy Ocean street when the car in front of us suddenly braked and swerved, then kept going. Right in front of us in the middle of the street was an entire family of baby ducklings trying to follow their mother to the other side.
"Should I pull over?" Kyle asked
"Yes pull over!"
The two of us jumped out of the car and held up out hands to stop traffic. We started first by trying to shew them across the street. The problem was all but two ducklings were too small to get over the center divider in the road. So we began to round them up. They chirped and scattered as we ran in circles trying to catch them, periodically having to stop cars from whizzing by. As we gathered two and three at a time we ran to the other side of the road to drop them off with their mother then returned to the street to get another batch.
As we gathered the last batch to take to the other side of the road the mother proceed to jump a 40ft bridge down into the river in which they were originally trying to get to. The two strong ducklings, just as before, followed. The remaining 8 were stuck, yet again, on the side of the road. Again, we began chasing the ducklings.
By this time one woman had pulled over to help as well as Steve from our gym who stopped when he saw us running in circles in the middle of Ocean Street wondering what in the heck was going on.
As cars zoomed by we strategized with one another to find ways to get the ducklings out from under the parked cars without chasing them back into the street. Finally, one would come darting out to which we would swoop it up in our hand like fielding a ground ball. As we gathered a couple at a time we approached the edge of the bride and looked down.
"Should I?" Kyle asked, wondering if he should actually just drop the duckling that far.
"I don't know. There's no way else down there but that water is so shallow." I worried.
"The others did on their own," he replied.
"Ok, try it I guess."
Kyle released the duckling. As as it fell it put it's tiny little wings out and just floated until it hit the water. There was a tiny splash and the duckling shook it's little feathers and swam right up to join his clan.
"Yay!" We both cheered.
We quickly scurried to round up the rest of the duckings 1 and 2 at a time to drop them over the bridge to join their mother until all 10 babies were saved.
The whole rest of the day I couldn't help but think about those baby ducklings. I was so teary eyed, yet happy- I kept thinking about how strange the universe and how it sometimes gives you back little gifts. Here's why. True Story:
In 2002 I was was about to play for a National Championship at the Women's College World Series. I was in the bull pin warming up which was located out beyond the outfield fence. My adrenalin was through the roof, heart pumping heart. There was a lot of emotion before this game, - I had just tragically lost my sister and was back so soon to help support my team. About midway through my warm up I wound up to release a fast ball and as it traveled toward the catchers glove, out of no where a little bird came swooping down and collided with the ball in mid air.
"Poof!" - a tuft of feathers burst in the air the the little bird fell to the ground, shaking as it died there.
I ran to it, distraught. Tears filled my eyes. I apologized to the bird as it shook it's last shake. Then I picked it up and took to the hill side that had flowers arranged in a WCWS logo. I buried it there under the flowers. I was shaken up. But I finished my warm up and went on to win a national championship.
So, call me a hippy but I was so happy when today, as I prepared once again for competition, the universe handed me this opportunity to save 10 little baby birds. And that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
75m tire flip
75 m run (return to starting line)
75m log carry (on shoulder)
75m tire flip (back to starting line)
75m run (back to log)
75m log carry (back to starting/finish line)
2 Muscle Ups
10 P. Cleans
Then there's another "floater wod" on Saturday with 2 movements to be announced.
I'm extremely stoked on the workouts. I feel like I'm VERY prepared. For the last 7 months in my training, no stone has been left unturned. My coach, Aimee, has had me do everything from heavy Sandbag runs and half-moons to Tire Flips to rope pullups, to these wierd rope swing thingys, to DB C&J and other DB variations on movements, to sledge hammer swings, to carrying bars over my head 100 meters, t0 lunges, to, well you get the picture. Not to mention I feel like I've done this exact WOD B about 1000 times this year (not really, but pretty much a million variations of it). I've also fine tuned my olympic lifting- I often even refer to myself as an olympic lifter. I can Snatch 22lbs over my body weight, Clean 50lbs more than my body weight, and Jerk 85lbs over my body weight. Not bad for a CrossFitter. I have more stamina than I've ever had, I'm stronger than I've ever been, all while leaning out by about 10lbs since last year. I can run, I can jump, I can lift heavy weight, and I'm ready for anything.
Now, I know Tamara thinks that I should be thanking her for "opting out of the individual competition to do the team thing" (that's what the scaredy cats are calling it), but, really, I'm pretty bummed. I hate to admit it but she's actually a really great athlete (contrary to popular belief) and great athletes make me work that much harder. Plus, it would have been fun being almost as tall as her with her standing on the slightly shorter 2nd place podium.
All joking aside, this is going to be a tough region and I respect all of the athletes participating very much. Just like last year, this region is loaded with top athletes from all of CA, AZ, and HI and they are only taking 4 men and 4 women. I was looking at the pre-qualified men this morning online (they did not mention any women hence my use of male examples) and there are FIVE of them listed. Not to mention there's about 5 others that I can think of that weren't mentioned there like last years Nor Cal winner Jeff Leonard. Now you throw in all of the other amazing unknown athletes that have since started CrossFitting in the past year and you've got yourself one dirty, nasty battle. Even as an athlete in peek condition it will be tough. But this year it will not be left to the luck of the hopper- I am ready for anything. I will be my best; physically conditioned, mentally prepared, solid as a rock. And if I get beat, I will tip my hat with respect to that athlete because they would be one hell of one.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Here's some fun new numbers that have grown significantly already since the new year.
Back Squat 268lbs
Front Squat 243lbs
SNPP+OH Squat 193lbs
Split Jerk (from the rack) 228lbs
Plus I've widdled down my goat list to just about zero. Here's what used to be on that list:
Aimee has had me attacking all of that for the past 20 weeks and I can confidently say that each has been checked off. I might still have a bad attitude about the wall balls if they came up because, well, I think they're stupid. But I can nail them. As for ring dips- I can now easily do multiple sets of 10 unbroken even when it's in a metcon. I've completed the double under flight simulator multiple times with no missed reps - using it as a warm up for my workouts. I can do 40 burpees in 1:45. I like when there's a long run or row these days because it feels like I'm taking a break for some aerobics (ok that might be a little bit of a stretch- but I really don't mind them and am in fact getting pretty good at them). And I've taken to warming up AND down with box jumps regularly.
It feels good to be in a place where I don't have to worry about what might come out of the hopper.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Saturday was packed full of exciting stuff. It was the last day of our Firebreather series before the Nor Cal Sectionals. One that I was originally planning on missing since it was my day to max out on Snatch and C&J. However, I decided to join in the fun so Aimee said I could max out on Snatch in the morning, do the sectionals wods during the day, and save C&J for later this week.
First up- 74kg snatch! Thats 163 lbs- 20 lbs over my body weight.
After I snatched it was time to hit the wods. I did WOD B first with the girls.
AMRAP 10 min
7 Thrusters (75)
12 KB Swings (35-I had to go heavy at 45 because we ran out of bells)
7 Pull Ups
This workout was surprisingly cardiovascularly taxing. Since it was such light weight there was no excuse to ever slow down which made my lungs BURN! The bell slowed me down just a hair- I think I could have gotten another round with a 35 but let's just say I was very happy with my score.
WOD A: 6 min to complete: 800m Run/OH Squat (75) reps in the remaining time wod
This workout was not at all taxing on my lungs- the opposite of what I expected. I took my time on the run which I would do it about the same if I had to do it again. The only thing taxing about this workout was that my shoulders started to burn a little. I never dropped the bar which was good- it means I'm strong overhead which we've been working a lot. But since leg fatigue or cardio was never an issue I would have gone faster on the squats earlier rather than trying to pace. Still, I'm very happy with my score.
If course, it's time to be somewhat secretive about my performance now. At the good advice of my coach, I wouldn't want to go motivating anyone else to work really hard all of the sudden:)
Good luck everyone!
Sunday, February 28, 2010
(still a little nervous about my wrist)
Not for time
20 Muscle Ups
20 HSPU on parallelets
20 Toes to Bar
Thursday, February 25, 2010
It's been a good couple of days. Yesterday I did my usual Wednesday Snatch on the minute for 15min, followed by 5 singles, and I ended at 153lbs (69kg). This is the second time I've hit (well close enough) that weight. It's amazing how mental it becomes when you are chasing certain numbers. It was so hard when it seemed like I was chasing if for weeks, but now that I've got it, I'm confident and it feels so easy.
Today's metcon (featuring snatch balances at 95lbs) had a sneaky toughness to it- it was the kind that looks easy on paper, where you think "ok, cool, a nice quick easy metcon- let's just get in and out." But those, of course, often end up pretty tough. Or maybe I'm just tired and just sleep deprived because all I can think about at night is this little bundle of joy (pictured above) that will be arriving Tuesday.
The next few days are going to go by sooooo slow.
6 Snatch Balance (95)
6 Box Jumps (20)
Snatch on the min
Not on the min
Split Jerks (from the rack)
-again, with no jerk boxes these basically become singles
10 Power Cleans (115)
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
That's what I said after my 3rd set of Back Squats (5x5 of course) at 218lbs (99kg). When I walked into the gym sore and tired from the previous day's "Fire-breather" workouts, I didn't think it was going to happen. The numbers on paper just looked too big, and I was just too beat up. But I was going to give it a shot anyway because, well, that's what was on the menu.
After about the 3rd set I racked the bar and shouted, "I can't believe how strong I am!" Seriously, up until about two weeks ago the most I had done for a 5x5 was 205lbs- then last week when I thought 213lbs was going to be tough I surprised myself, and yet again this week at 218lbs I couldn't believe how solid each set was. Every rep- ass to grass, and although challenging, at no moment did I hit any questionable sticking point where I thought I might not be able to finish. That's 13lbs added to my 5x5 in just two weeks!
Hey, it's almost like this stuff works.
Sprints- 1 min rest between each
Sunday, February 21, 2010
That was yesterday at Catalyst. The bummer ending, however, was a botched clean and jerk at 90kilos (200lbs) in which my grip slipped and caused a weird slight disconnect between my left hand and the bar. The bar crashed down on me and tweaked my wrist. Stuff like this rattles me mentally because I consider myself kind of invincible injury wise. I've been very lucky my entire career (in strength and conditioning, softball, or otherwise) in avoiding anything major. So when something actually hurts it gets my attention. So I'm doing what I usually do- ignore it. Well, that plus lots of ice and tape.
Today we had our first of a series of fire breather workouts at CFWSC. Lot's of people showed (about 15 including our people, folks from CrossFit Los Gatos, and CrossFit Santa Cruz Central). The workouts were:
7 Clean and Jerks (155/105)
21 Double Unders
5 Thrusters (135/95)
9 C2B Pull Ups
Me- 7 rounds + 5 thrusters, 7 burpees, 2 pullups
The second workout was absolutely brutal. The thrusters and burpees didn't feel great on my wrist but I still managed to get a good score. When the clock is rolling I didn't feel a thing but afterward I could feel it stiffening up. I'm supposed to do that Austen/Kahlipa P.Clean/Burpee wod tomorrow (this was programmed before we knew what the wods were today which was a secret until this morning) but I think I'm going to ask Aimee if we can do it a little later in the week to give it a couple days rest. It was a great day though. It's nice to have the competition to gauge how training is going. I felt really freakin strong- and strong is good.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
108x1x5 (on the min for 5 min)- 49kg
113x1x5 (on the min for 5 min)- 51kg
123x1x5 (on the min for 5 min)- 56kg
not on the min:
I'm stoked my snatches are looking clean and I'm feeling strong.
Since I don't have jerk boxes these ended up being like 8 singles rather than 4 doubles- not to mention I spend more time and energy unloading and re-loading the bar than jerking. But no worries, my jerk is solid.
Then, and this sucked, I finished with a nice long metcon.
30 Power Cleans (95)
30 Toes to Bar
It was a nice little Wednesday.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Wall Ball (14)
Ring Push Up
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Today Isabel was on the menu. And though I had Leah's energy to feed off of (who was in route to knocking me down a spot on the CrossFit Total board) I procrastinated on starting for quite a while. I was afraid I wouldn't PR and it would mess with my head. That's the only crappy thing about revisiting workouts you have great times on.
My pre-workout warm up consisted of the usual- rowing, dynamic stretching, etc. Then I proceeded to do 6 sets of 10 box jumps to "wake up my nervous system." Translation: procrastination.
It turns out it worked. Isabel in sub 2 min. Not too shabby.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Snatch on the minute:
46x1x5 (1 on the min for 5 min)
50x1x5 (1 on the min for 5 min)
54x1x5 (1 on the min for 5 min)
Since I was at my gym using pounds, not kilos, it ended up being the following in lbs:
*Every rep was good. I love those days.
Now for tonight:
DB High Pull (2 arm take from the knee)
Monday, January 25, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Now it seems Cliff's smack talking shenanagins has rubbed off on her. Today Leah mouths off to me that we need to have "one last hoo-rah" before she squashes my back squat record. The worst part? I was speechless. If anyone could do it, it would actually be her. Of course, by the time she gets there (264lbs) my Back Squat will be 300lbs so it doesn't really matter all that much.
Leah, darling, I don't mind being your rabbit. You just made Back Squating a whole lot more fun;)
300, here I come.
*Note: I actually have complete confidence that Leah will add 50lbs to her back squat in 4 months. Get it girl!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Jeez, it took me a couple of days to wrap my head around this to even respond. If you’re actually ready to listen to a coach, here is my prescription. But really, what do I know?
1.Come early to every workout or class. Properly warm up.
2.Start with rowing, shuffling, light jogging.
3.Move to high knees, butt kicks, double unders, high skips, frankensteins- wake up your nervous system.
4.Once you begin to warm up (this means you are sweating and breathing hard and feel like you need to take off your sweats and sweatshirt) begin to stretch dynamically. Don’t take off your sweats or sweatshirt.
5.Start with bigger muscles- do lunges, lateral lunges, squats, quad/ham single leg rdls. Static stretch hip flexors only with a Samson stretch or the like.
6.Warm up shoulders with arm circles, bear hugs, scapular push ups, dislocates, supinated kipping pull up hangs with a sway, etc. Gentle and easy, do “skin the cats” type stretches on the rings, further mobilizing your shoulder joints.
7.Begin to do slightly more explosive dynamic stretching moving your entire body through larger ranges of motion like ninja get ups, light Burpees, high jump knee tucks.
8.Do wrist circles and wrist stretches.
9.Stretch your calves against the wall. Do this with a straight knee as well as a bent knee.
10.Foam roll your quads, hamstrings, IT band. In a supine position, foam roll your upper thoracic region to prepare for over head positioning since you’ve got incredible tight shoulders. Foam roll or use a lacrosse ball to perform any self-myo-fascial release needed on “hot spots.”
11.Once you are breathing hard and sweating, take off your sweats.
This is the first 20 minutes. This should properly prepare you for just about anything that will come up in class or any workout for that matter. This will protect you from getting injured.
Avoiding injury- planning:
1.Have a plan. Don’t do random strength training. It doesn’t work.
2.If you randomly do heavy back squats “just because” you set yourself up for over training injuries, for example, if the next day hold heavy front squats and you just lifted heavy back squats the day before, you aren’t properly warmed up, and aren’t properly prepared, you could get injured.
3.Ask to see the strength training regimen for the month. After all, you have a key. Don’t you think we’d be so nice as to let you know what lifts are coming up? This way, if you are forced to work out on your own since your schedule, I presume, won’t allow you to come to class you can shape your workout accordingly. Better yet, have a trainer program those workouts for you. Even better yet, come to class. We’ve got that stuff all mapped out.
Avoiding injury-Post workout:
1.Static or PNF Stretch hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, calves, with a partner or a strap. This will help increase your flexibility- the thing that it inhibiting you from getting into proper positions and increasing your chance for injury.
2.Static stretch shoulders and lats and triceps with a dowel. Do this from as many different angles as your imagination allows. This will help increase shoulder flexibility, the thing that is inhibiting you to get in proper overhead, front squat, etc., positions thus increasing your change for injury.
4.Ice your wrist- it’s been hurt forever. Be proactive. Ice any other “hot spots” you feel after your workout. We have ice cups right there in the freezer.
Avoiding injury- What to avoid:
1.Showing up without knowing what you “feel like doing.” Stand around, asking for suggestions, cherry picking the things you’d be willing to do, and then diving into it without proper warm up.
2.Not having clear, concrete goals. Are you trying to get stronger? Bigger? Better at metcon? Are you trying to get lean? Are you trying to qualify for regionals? Be clear about these goals. Have a trainer help create a strategy to get there.
3.Not having a coach. You can’t get very far without a coach. No matter how much you try to vary your metcon training, keep tabs on your strength training, you will ALWAYS subconsciously (or even consciously) coddle yourself.
I realize these details are less exciting, and lets face it, a pain in the ass but if you want your body to hold up and if it's any interest to you to stop wasting energy on rants and instead expend it trying to keep your squat from being beat by Kyle then it's probably a good idea to get serious about it.
Again, that's just me.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Competition, on the other hand, is not appealing to Kyle at all. For him, CrossFit is very personal. Intimate. It's something he does for himself; to be his own personal best. He doesn't see the need to try and prove anything to an opponent, to his peers; not to anyone. "What's the purpose?" He asks. "I don't feel the need to try and prove to anyone that I'm better than everyone else. It's not what drives me." He likes to be part of a team because it's fun (hence he's on our affiliate team) but doesn't see the need to put pressure on himself or lose sleep over personal competition.
We are all so different when it comes to the things that drive us. Sometimes, when I get to thinking about my own personality I sit and try to think as far back in my life as I can remember to make sense of my own experiences and how they shaped who I am today. I don't ever really end at any sure conclusions but it's still fun to try and put some pieces together.
On to the point of this post. I've periodically been working on an autobiography/memoir over the last two years and I was reading through some of the stories. The following short story marked the beginning of my softball career (which lead to my college career- which lead to my strength and conditioning career- which lead to my professional athletic career- to college coaching- and on to CrossFit). I don't want to give the whole thing away because I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do with it yet, but I've decided to post a few of the stories here. The following is the first in a short series from the book that I plan on posting here.
Chap 3: ADMIRATION
From time to time I reminisce in my head about my childhood and it usually dawns on me that I was fairly odd. One of my favorite things to do was play with large cardboard boxes; the kind of boxes that large appliances or packages come in. (Two of the best boxes I ever came across were a refrigerator box and a water heater box. Talk about “a find” to get your hands on one of those). For some reason I thought that if I climbed inside and closed up all the flaps that no one would notice that I was there. They would simply think I was just a package sitting around in the living room. As far as I knew it was as good as being invisible.
As do most little sisters I absolutely adored my older sister who was 4 years my elder. She was just so cool. In middle school, she started to wear the coolest clothes; black ripped up tights with a jean skirt and a white leather jacket with tassels on the sleeves. She even bleached her hair, wore dark eyeliner and red lipstick, and listened to The Cure. When she would have friends over after school, Mom and Dad still at work, I would take my box, which I had so carefully cut a thin eye hole slit into the side, and plop down in the middle of the living room so I could hang out with the cool kids…invisible of course. It turns out I was not so invisible.
“Jocelyn, get out of here!” Erika would yell, mortified. Her middle school friends would laugh.
“You are such a brat! I’m serious, get out!”
I would just sit there thinking that after a minute or two she would calm down and forget that a box had just walked in and plopped down in the middle of the room. Maybe they would start to think it really was just a box. And maybe they would just carry on about their business and I could sit there and watch the cool kids. Unfortunately for me it never worked out that way. It usually ended with my sister’s boyfriend, Frankie, bribing me with a kiss on the cheek in exchange for me going out to play in the back yard.
I wanted to do everything my sister did. I wanted to wear her eyeliner, and listen to her music even though I had no idea what the words were. I wanted to go hang out with her and her friends in the church parking lot around the corner or at the cemetery up the street while they smoked cigarettes. I definitely wanted to go toilet papering and ding dong ditching with them. And when I saw her practicing pitching in the back yard with my Dad one day, I wanted to play softball too.
I was about 9 years old when I joined my first team. We were called the Orioles and we were bright orange. I, of course, was the sucky kid who got stuck in right field where I was sure to never get a ball. I believe the official name for the position was "Rover," the name given to a fourth outfielder added to the field so more kids could play at one time. The first time I ever got up to bat against a fast windmill pitcher I watched three strikes go by in a row as my knees quivered. I was so scared I literally peed my pants. I remember because my dad yelled at my coach for not allowing me to go to the bathroom when I’d asked before the game.
“Do you see this? Look at her, she peed her fuckin pants!” he scolded her. My dad is one of those rare people that actually gets away with having a potty mouth, and with exception to this case, it's usually pretty funny.
“If she’s gotta go to the bathroom next time you’d better let her go!” I was so embarrassed I wished I’d had a box to crawl under.
My sister’s game was still in the 5th inning on the softball field caddy corner to us when my game was over. She was in the 14 and under division and she played for the Astros. They were forest green and got to wear real stirrups- not like us 10 and under kids who had to wear socks with a built-in stripe on the side. When I came over she was pitching against the Royals and I remember thinking that she had the coolest wind up. She would rock both her hands together passed her right hip and then burst into and underhand windmill. I stood there in my wet softball pants and thought, “That is so awesome. I could totally do that. I want to be a pitcher.”
The next day I asked my dad if we could start pitching in the back yard after school.
Friday, January 1, 2010
I was practically just that, a bag lady. But I had my priorities and working out was one of them. I found CrossFit the first day I walked into Gold's gym about 3 days after I got to California. That was when Sam ran CrossFit West Santa Cruz out of the back. And it was instant love.
With a competitive athletic back ground I took to it quickly and began to dominate our record boards (although I had about 10 people to compete with!) Meanwhile, I met Kyle who had been CrossFitting for just 5 months. He had a deep love for CrossFit too and had his sights set on the 2009 Games qualifier. He urged me, along with Sam, to train with him for the qualifier. This marked the beginning of a very special friendship.
My involvement with CrossFit West Santa Cruz grew, I began teaching classes and Sam eventually asked me if I would like to partner with him. He had visions of something bigger and better than a group of 10 people CrossFitting in the back of a Gold's gym. And so did I. I wasn't sure how this would play out, but I wanted in. We needed someone with more business savvy than us to help us on the business end of things. That's when we brought in Cliff, owner of Adventure Out. He had been CrossFitting with us for months and seemed to share the same love of CrossFit. Not to mention, he was already a successful business owner and incredibly bright.
I could barely make my car payment or rent. I had no real job but worked part time in retail at a silver store. I was in the process of building a pitching student clientele, but that takes time and I was still new in town. I had even been looking for waitress jobs or hostessing jobs, but no one would even call me back for an interview. I wasn't sure how I was going to do this CrossFit thing, but I could feel it in my bones- this was meant to be, and somehow it would work out.
Then a light went off in my head. I had worked at my previous job for two years before I decided to come back to California. I had an excellent retirement plan that I had never even checked the statement on. I knew that with the economy in such a bad state, and having been there just two years that it wouldn't be much but I decided to check into it anyway. To my surprise I had built up close to 10,000 dollars! I really needed the money, and even though at the time it was theoretically a bad move I decided to cash it out. I lost nearly half of it to taxes but still had about 5 grand in my pocket. This was my chance to buy into the CrossFit business with Sam and Cliff. I was incredibly scared. Broke, and with no real job I was getting ready to buy into a small business using every last penny to my name, during a recession. When I expressed my fear to Cliff he eased my concerns, "Joc, nothing great comes from playing it too safe. Sometimes you have to take big risks to get big rewards." This was all I needed to hear.
Meanwhile, our sights set high, Kyle and I continued to workout together. We met regularly with our coach and my soon to be business partner Sam who put together a training schedule for us to get ready for the qualifiers. Kyle, who we joke about being a walking CrossFit encyclopedia, encouraged me all the time, spouting off other girls' numbers confident that I could make it to the Games. He only wished I'd started CrossFit a few months sooner.
It was nice to have a training partner and friend who was so supportive and excited for me in my training. Most competitive athletes/fitness gurus can relate when I say it is tough to get support from people around you. Most people don't understand the dedication and hard work that goes into something like this and quite frankly think it is strange. It's tough to avoid comments at dinner time when you pass on the bread and pasta and opt for extra meat or when you leave the party early, glass of water in hand, because you don't want to be wiped out for your workout in the morning. But I had finally met my partner in crime and it was something special.
With our new partnership formed, Cliff, Sam, and I began looking for Warehouse space. After seeing a handful of places we finally found the perfect space. But there was just one problem. It was slightly out of our price range. Now here's the part of the story that will be fun to tell my kids one day: I happened to be in the midst of apartment hunting, an escape from an unhealthy living situation. Cliff and Sam made a comment that the loft in the warehouse could be a liveable space- but this "kind of" joke quickly became a serious possibility. If we could make a living space right there at the gym, I could pay my personal rent and thus the gym would now be an affordable place to start our business. That's right, I literally moved in and lived at our new gym.
It's crazy to think about now. Weights smashing at 6AM, classes going until 7:30PM. People in and out all day long, all while being a permanent resident. But this was the start of our amazing CrossFit West.
The rest of 2009 flew by, only bringing more excitement. One month after opening our gym I won the Nor Cal Qualifier and earned a spot to the 2009 CrossFit Games. And whats more exciting? 3 months after that Kyle and I got engaged! (I love my gym but thankfully I've since moved into a house with him:) A true friend, now the love of my life.
After the games (and a bit of overtraining and burnout) I began working out with Aimee Everett (formerly Anaya) and in such a short time saw such huge gains. I was only sorry I hadn't met her sooner (but hey, I know from experience that everything works out the way it is supposed to). Aimee is now officially my coach. She has made training so exciting and has already made me stronger in so many ways. I am so incredibly excited about competing this year because quite frankly, all modesty aside, I'm going to be a freakin beast!
Wow. That's quite a 2009. And that's the condensed version.
Here's some of the numbers I put up this year:
Snatch- 148lbs/67.2kg- 4lbs over body weight
Split Jerk- 205lbs/93.1kg
Rack Jerk- 223lbs/101.3kg
Deadlift- 325lbs/ 147.7kg
Learned to Muscle Up, just in time for the qualifiers:)
Mastered double unders
Man Grace time of 7:14
Among other things
Thank you 2009.
And as my old college strength coach used to say, "it just gets better."