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Cardinal_22

From the Ashes

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Most of you probably don't know me, but I was active on NF a good number of years ago.  It is true that I'm in the Warrior's guild and my first love is powerlifting - and for the record, I'm pretty bad at it.  But it's also true that I have a savage interest in CrossFit and was back to participate in the 2018 CrossFit challenge thread last year.  [We're doing this again, right?]   Sadly, a life event knocked me down pretty hard in November.  I had a skin biopsy come back bad, which required surgery to remove a moderate size chunk from my neck.  They cut deep enough to require two sets of stitches, internal and external.  This kept me out of the gym for 5 weeks and really destroyed my training base.  Since then, I've been slowly getting back into things, but up until last week I really haven't felt like my old self - no pun intended.

 

Those of you who are CrossFitters know that the open starts on February 21.  I don't expect to match my score from last year, but I'd still like to do reasonably well.  That means that full speed training starts today.  I need you guys to hold me accountable.  As such, I intend to do the following:

1.  Train like a madman.  The big focus right now is engine building, skill work (meaning handstands and rings), and stretching.  I also need to do enough olympic lifting to stay limber.  My training log is pretty far behind, so I'll try to record it all in this challenge thread for now.
2.  Eat like a boss.  More calories, more protein, and extra veggies.  Try to bring lunch to work every day instead of buying it there.
3.  Recover like Wolverine.  Make sure to get plenty of sleep, Bub.  'Nuff said.

For the record, last year I hit the 78th percentile worldwide in my age group (male 40-44), all workouts performed Rx, with individual workout scores as high as the 86th percentile worldwide.  After what happened, it is probably unrealistic to beat this score in February.  But I'd like to hit the 70th if at all possible.

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Welcome to the Ranger Corps!  You have very solid goals; I'm sure you'll smash it.  Happy Challenge!

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Week 0, day 1.  OK, so technically the challenge begins on February 11... but I'm just going to buck that trend and get started now.  Heh.  =)

Had a pretty good workout yesterday.  Details are at the bottom of the post, but to summarize, it was Olympic weightlifting followed by a CrossFit metcon.  There was a lot of snatching involved.  What I learned during the metcon (again... because I should already know this...) is that in a stressful situation, you need to stop and relax before attempting an Olympic lift.  Be deliberate.  Set your feet.  Focus.  Control the bar to the knees, then accelerate straight up.  If you just grip it and rip it, you're going to end up on the floor.  Hopefully not with the barbell on top of you.  Case in point, during this particular metcon, for every missed snatch you lose about half a round of burpees.  I ended up losing 1.5 rounds for 3 missed snatches, which is really unacceptable during a competition.  That's why we practice, eh?  Lesson learned.  Again.  =)

Dinner last night was pretty simple.  My gf is sick with a nasty cold, so I made pasta with a homemade Bolognese sauce.  I added tons of veggies:  onions, bell peppers, garlic, fresh tomatoes, and mushrooms.  I also snacked on dried fruit and some crackers.  Not super protein heavy, but lots of carbs definitely got the calorie counts up.  Today for lunch I'm eating chili and waffles... because, why not?  OK, actually it's because it was sitting in the fridge and needs to be eaten.  I usually have protein bars for breakfast and several containers of greek yogurt as an afternoon snack. 

Monday's Workout:

 

A.  Snatch.  1 from hip, 1 from above knee, 1 full
I did 65, 75, 85, 95, 105, 110, 115, 120 lbs.
Then 1 x 125 lbs full snatch from floor, 5 sets with just 1 fail (6 attempts)

 

B.  Back Squat
5 x 135, 155, 165, 175, 185, 195 lbs.

 

C.  Push Press
5 x 75, 95, 105, 115, 125 lbs.

 

D.  Weighted Planks
60 s x 25 lb plate, 3 sets.  1 min rest between sets.

 

Then did the programmed metcon:
10 rounds of 1 min each
AMRAP 30 s:
1 x full snatch at 155 lbs (Rx) or 75% of your max (scaled).  
Then max burpees over bar.  Your score is the total number of burpees.
Rest 30 s.

 

I got 61 total burpees, with 105 lb snatches.



  

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Week 0, Day 2.  Tuesday workout consisted of some "active rest" - a 3 mile run at roughly 9 minute miles, followed by an hour of handstand class later in the afternoon coupled with some extra handstand practice.  I hit a nice PR with a 30 step handstand walk right before class.  And of course, like most unexpected PR's I did NOT get it on film.  (ya ya I know... pics or it didn't happen...)  But I did manage to hit several 20+ step walks, including a 24 step walk that I did get on video.  I'll try posting it below.  

Handstand walks are a really tricky beast - you have to overbalance and then "control" your fall by walking forward.  Ideally you would keep a nice hollow shape and tilt just slightly, but unfortunately my poor shoulder mobility doesn't allow for this.  So I have to keep a pretty significant arch.  The downside of this strategy is that once you arch too far, it's game over.  Case in point: in the video, I'm doing great until my knees flop over.  At that point, it's impossible to recover.

Dinner last night was perfect:  I grilled up some thick cut pork chops and a few yellow squashes.  My gf roasted some leftover carrots and potatoes from the other night.  Followed that up with the typical snacking on dried fruit and crackers for extra calories.  I"m happy with that.  Sadly, I hit the scale today and I'm losing weight (I'm down to 166 lbs), but that probably won't hurt me in the open, so I'll go with it for now.  Would like to put on a few pounds later this year if possible.

Anyway, here's the video in case anyone is interested.  Comments and criticism is welcome - I'm honestly  pretty bad at this stuff.

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Welcome to the Rangers! Following for CrossFit awesomeness 

 

2 hours ago, Cardinal_22 said:

Anyway, here's the video in case anyone is interested.  Comments and criticism is welcome - I'm honestly  pretty bad at this stuff.

 

Doesn't look bad to me, it looked amazing. Well done!

 

I may have started stalking you on Instagram :D

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Hi Friend! I'm a powerlifter who also sorts herself in to the Rangers. I just don't sit still enough to not join the Rangers! I'm also an old NF hand who left for a while because, life, and is back to working out and logging here. We have lots in common! I'm excited to follow along on your challenge, it looks like you have an exceptional start. 

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21 hours ago, Charlie_Quinn said:

I may have started stalking you on Instagram :D

 

Lol, please do.  I don't post a lot of stuff there, but I'm happy to share it.  =)

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Week 0, Day 3.  I went into my afternoon workout pretty sore, which isn't an uncommon thing these days.  Did some olympic lifting, ab work, and then a lot of engine building.  By the end, it was pretty hard to move.  What really killed me were the deadlifts.  It's not a heavy weight at all... 255 lbs is about 60% of my max from when I was healthy... but I think I reached the point where I just didn't have anything left.  The volume finally got me.

We did Pistol Squats in the last part of the workout, and I'm pretty bad at them - mostly because I rarely work on them, if ever.  They never really show up in competition because they are difficult to judge.  But I did get an interesting tip from the head coach after the metcon was over.  Apparently, Pistol Squats should be treated more like a Deadlift than a Squat.  If you try to keep a vertical torso (like I was), you'll make the move much harder.  Start by shooting your hips back like a Deadlift.  Then lean forward and bend at the knee, to keep your center of mass above your foot.  Stand up by pulling your knee back again.  I practiced a few after the workout was over.  It works great on the right leg (my stronger leg).  The left still has issues.

Dinner last night was salmon steamed in the instant pot, and then finished off with a quick sear on cast iron.  Served it with a brown rice / quinoa mix, roasted brussels sprouts, and some spiced tofu that my gf made the other day in the air fryer.  Snacked on three tangelos and then the usual dried fruit and crackers for extra calories.

Wednesday's Workout:
 

A.  Squat Clean from hip.  5 reps + 1 push jerk.
I did 45 lbs (bar), 95, 105, 115, 125, 135 lbs.

 

B.  1 Full clean & 1 push jerk.
I did 145 lbs, 3 sets.
150 lbs, 3 sets.
155 lbs, 3 sets.
160 lbs, 3 sets.

 

C.  Bent Over (Barbell) Rows
10 x 115 lbs, 5 sets

 

D.  Incline weighted OH situps
10 x 45 lb plate, 5 sets


CrossFit:

 

E.  "Capacity Building"
3 rounds of 2 min on / 45 sec rest. 
(That's 9 working sets total.  Rotate stations after each round.  Tip: keep the weight light.  Don't stop moving.)

 

Set 1:  
10 cal bike
10 burpees

 

Set 2:
20 KB single arm push press (10/arm)  -> I used a 26 lb KB
20 KB swings -> I used a 26 lb KB

 

Set 3:  
300 m row
30 air squats

 

F.  Metcon
10 min AMRAP:
5 Pistol Squats / side
10 Handstand Pushups
15 Deadlifts (255 lbs /155 lbs)

 

I got 2 + 11, Rx.  Pistols and HSPUs were hard.  Deadlifts killed me.  Ugh.

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Good workout!  I'm going to have to look into pistol squats.  Sounds interesting.

 

7 hours ago, Cardinal_22 said:

salmon steamed in the instant pot

 

I haven't tried oding fish in mine yet.  What settings did you use?

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On 2/4/2019 at 5:36 PM, Cardinal_22 said:

...pretty hard in November.  I had a skin biopsy come back bad, which required surgery to remove a moderate size chunk from my neck.  They cut deep enough to require two sets of stitches, internal and external.  This kept me out of the gym for 5 weeks and really destroyed my training base.  Since then, I've been slowly getting back into things, but up until last week I really haven't felt like my old self - no pun intended.

 

Ouch!!!  That’s not good man, really sorry to hear that.  It’s amazing how much something like that knocks you back, but it does come back much quicker than it took to build in the first place.  Of course you know that already so I’ll just shut up now. :D 

 

On 2/4/2019 at 5:36 PM, Cardinal_22 said:

Those of you who are CrossFitters know that the open starts on February 21.  I don't expect to match my score from last year, but I'd still like to do reasonably well.  That means that full speed training starts today.  I need you guys to hold me accountable.  As such, I intend to do the following:

1.  Train like a madman.  The big focus right now is engine building, skill work (meaning handstands and rings), and stretching.  I also need to do enough olympic lifting to stay limber.  My training log is pretty far behind, so I'll try to record it all in this challenge thread for now.
2.  Eat like a boss.  More calories, more protein, and extra veggies.  Try to bring lunch to work every day instead of buying it there.
3.  Recover like Wolverine.  Make sure to get plenty of sleep, Bub.  'Nuff said.

For the record, last year I hit the 78th percentile worldwide in my age group (male 40-44), all workouts performed Rx, with individual workout scores as high as the 86th percentile worldwide.  After what happened, it is probably unrealistic to beat this score in February.  But I'd like to hit the 70th if at all possible.

 

Nice challenge! :encouragement:

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Week 0, Day 4.  Background story:  right around New Years, we put up a big sheet of paper at my CrossFit box and people wrote their goals for 2019 on it.  I added two: 

     1.  To get 5 unbroken ring muscle ups, and

     2.  To keep all of my hair
 

I'm not really sure what's going on with my hair.  But the ring MU's... now THAT'S an area where I can make some progress.  I had been trying for years but was never able to hit a single one.  Then, the night before CrossFit open event 18.3 (about 11 months ago), I made what can only be described as a Herculean effort and spent over 3 hours working on it.  I got my first ring MU that night, and something clicked - I somehow managed to hit 12 singles (in 14 attempts) during competition the next day.  I think it took me over 6 minutes to get that number.  I've been working on them ever since, but they are still pretty ugly.  

Fast forward to today.  I decided to do something unusual (for me) and squeeze in an extra CrossFit session at noon.  When I showed up at the gym the very first thing I did, before even warming up, was to try to get a ring MU baseline on film.  I've linked the results here.  Spoiler:  Looks like I'm going to need another New Year's goal.  But what to choose??  Apparently my 2019 goals were too easy.  Looking back at my 2018 New Years goals, they might have been a tad bit unrealistic:  1.  add 30 lbs to my back squat and 2. make it through National Airport without being strip searched.  So I guess I'll need to come up with something new.  Any suggestions?

Before moving on, I should do a quick analysis of the video.  My wrist position on my ring MUs has always been bad.  It's much better than it was last year, but if you look carefully you'll see a negative angle right at the joint, especially on rep 5.  I think it's because I'm not in a full false grip when I perform them, and my wrists are hyper flexible from all of the olympic lifting I've been doing.  It gets worse as I get tired.  That being said, a bent wrist at the top of a muscle up is concerning (to wit: you can break it) and I need to keep working on straightening it out.  I'm starting to do Russian Dips to correct this.  I'll post more on the topic later.  The other major issue that I can see is that my transitions need a lot of work.  I should swing down right into the next rep.  What I'm actually doing is just dropping down and starting the next rep with no momentum.  This is probably just a result of always doing singles and never working on stringing reps together.

The CrossFit workout was Overhead Squats, followed by what can only be described as death by hand release push-ups, among other things.  Later in the day, I had a 30 minute stretching session followed by rings class, which started with... ugh... MORE PUSH-UPS.  Except these were on the rings.  And they made me do decline push ups, to make it harder.  Needless to say, my shoulders are completely smoked.    

By the time dinner rolled around, I was seriously hangry and there were no Snickers bars to be found.  So I picked up carry-out Indian food for my gf and I.  I probably ate about 4000 calories today, and I'm not sure if it was enough.  But there's no way I could have physically stuffed anything else down.  So it'll have to do.  The CrossFit workout is below for the official record.

CrossFit:

 

A.  3-5 sets of 5 reps Overhead Squat at 70%.
I did 45 lbs (bar), 75 lbs as warmup.
Then 4 sets of 105 lbs.

B.  4 rounds for time:
12 unbroken full squat cleans (95 lbs / 65 lbs)  <-- this means you can't let go of the bar or rest it on the ground
36 hand release push ups
72 double unders

I got 22:39, Rx.  All cleans performed unbroken as specified.

(Edited to clean up the text and make it flow)

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On 2/4/2019 at 11:36 AM, Cardinal_22 said:

 I had a skin biopsy come back bad, which required surgery to removemoderate size chunk from my neck.  They cut deep enough to require two sets of stitches, internal and external.  This kept me out of the gym for 5 weeks and really destroyed my training base. 

Yikes! Glad things were caught and taken care of. I know how a surgery like that sucks though, two years ago I had a benign growth removed right where the jaw, ear, and neck meet and it knocked me down for a while

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Week 0, Day 5:  TGIF.  I was ridiculously sore, so I kept it "light" and only did CrossFit today.  No weight lifting.  The workout was an old open workout, "11.5", which pretty much guarantees that it's going to be painful.  My goal was to keep every set of wallballs unbroken, which I did.  Dinner that night was date night.  We ended up going out for Italian food at a local joint.

 

Saturday and Sunday were rest days, because my gf's little brother got married (at a Buddhist ceremony - I'd never been to one before) and my big sister came into town for a visit.  Saturday's dinner, the wedding reception, was a 7 course plated dinner with all the trimmings.  It was amazing.  On Sunday, we kept it simple and grilled some seasoned burgers, with asparagus on the side.  Of course, I finished by snacking on my usual dried fruit and crackers.  My gf also made some homemade brownies, which were amazing. 

 

For the record, Friday's CrossFit workout is here:

A.  Snatch Grip Deadlift, 3-5 sets of 5 x 70% of snatch max.

I did 5 x 95, 115, 135, 155 lbs.

 

B.  Open workout 11.5:

AMRAP, 20 minutes

5 Power Cleans (145 lbs / 100 lbs)

10 Toes To Bar

15 Wallballs (20 lbs / 14 lbs)

 

I got 8 + 3, Rx.  All sets of wallballs unbroken.

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On 2/5/2019 at 11:08 AM, Cardinal_22 said:

but I'm just going to buck that trend and get started now.  Heh.  =)

 

Just like a Ranger!  Welcome!

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Week 1, Day 1:  For some reason, I'm really tired from the weekend.  And all of this snow isn't helping.  Had a two hour work start delay, and I really felt like I was dragging all day.  Even coffee didn't help.  Ugh.

 

I spent a little over an hour lifting weights, then did the CrossFit metcon after that.  What I learned:  after doing a set of moderately heavy EMOM squats, box jumps are miserable.  My gf and I made a lamb tagine recipe for dinner, served with rice.

 

For the record, today's workout is below.

 

Olympic lifting:

A.  Snatch.  1 hip, 1 above knee, 1 from floor.
I did 65, 75, 85, 95 lbs.
Then 100 lbs, 3 sets.
 
B.  Full Snatch from floor.
I did 1 x 105, 110, 115, 120, 125 lbs.
Failed a bunch of attempts at 130 lbs, so stopped here.
 
C.  Back Squat
5 x 135, 155 lbs.
3 x 175 lbs.
Then EMOM 3 x 185 lbs, 10 min.
 
D.  Push Press
3 x 95 lbs, 2 sets.
Then EMOM 3 x 115 lbs, 10 min
 
E.  Weighted Planks
60s x 25 lb plate, 5 sets
 
Then metcon: (20 min timecap)
21-18-15-12-9-6-3
Toes to bar
Burpee box jump overs (24"/20")
Row calories
 
I got thru round of 12, + 14 reps in the round of 9 = 212 reps.
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22 hours ago, Cardinal_22 said:

What I learned:  after doing a set of moderately heavy EMOM squats, box jumps are miserable.

 

Ouch!!!! That's gotta hurt!  The workouts are very impressive. 

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20 hours ago, Cheetah said:

Great job on the workouts!  I hope you get the hair thing sorted.


Well, on the bright side... if it doesn't work out, all I'll need to do to get ready for work in the morning is put a little polish on my head and I'm good.  =)
 

 

1 hour ago, Guzzi said:

Ouch!!!! That's gotta hurt!  The workouts are very impressive.


Thanks!!

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So I forgot to mention that I managed to do this while I was snatching yesterday.  Not really sure exactly what happened, because it was protected with bumper plates and never actually hit the ground...

 

20190211_164701.jpg

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