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Back to Basics, Part 2


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This is a continuation of my last challenge, located here.  Essentially, I'm training for an event on Memorial Day called the Murph.  It's described more below.  Other than that, I'm in the middle of the off-season for CrossFit.  I would like to address deficiencies that I have identified in my training.  Goals are:
 

1.  The Murph:  The Murph is an annual American CrossFit tradition that takes place on Memorial Day (May 27).  It involves the following:

     Part 1:  run 1 mile

     Part 2:  (partitioned any way you like)

          100 pull-ups

          200 push-ups

          300 air squats

     Part 3:  run 1 mile

To make things more interesting, the Murph should be performed in combat boots, and while wearing a 20 lb vest.  While I don't own combat boots, I have done the event in a vest in both 2017 and 2018.  This isn't really a competition, but it does require a bit of prep work.  (100 pull ups in a vest, anyone?  Ugh).  I will spend some time training for this.


2.  Handstand Work:  My open score last March really suffered due to the fact that I couldn't do a single strict handstand push-up.  In the last challenge, I finally nailed my first one.  But I still have a long way to go.  I resolve to keep working on them, at least one day a week, plus several days of accessory shoulder work.

 

3.  Front Squats:  My front squats are also pretty much garbage.  It's really holding back my ability to clean heavy.  In addition to the shoulder work above, I'd like to get stronger quads.  Once the Murph is over, add 2-3 days per week of front squats.  In addition, supplement this with pistol squats and lunges.

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- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

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Following for the Murph goal and for general awesome Crossfit goals! Front squats are killer for me too. I actually managed to bruise my collarbone yesterday because of front squats. 

 

For the Murph, I have the combat boots but not the weighted vest-- together, we fill all of the requirements ;) 

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Week 0, Day 1:  I'm off to a pretty bad start, although to be fair this is technically "week 0".  I did not get to run today because I was stuck at home getting a FIOS install.  After 10 years, they have FINALLY made it available to my block.  So of course I elbowed my way to the front of the line.  Now, I'm proud to report that my internet connection totally rocks.  But it took all day to install (I have 12" thick structural brick on the outside of my house and plaster walls on the interior, and the nearest telephone pole is in the neighbor's yard), and that's not so good for getting workouts done.  Lol.

I did manage to get in a CrossFit metcon at the end of the day.  Workout is listed below.  They suggested it should be mostly "cardio", although I found it to be pretty anaerobic.  Dinner was grilled salmon, served with rice and an interesting bagged "mediterranean salad" from Trader Joes.  Among other things, it had celery and shredded broccoli in it.  I would describe it as very dense.

As promised, here's the workout:
 

A.  Intervals
90 s on / 20 s off
KB swings (35 lbs bell)
Alt DB snatch (25 lb DB)
Wall balls (10 lb ball)

I hit the whole thing unbroken.  About 40 wall balls per round.  It hurt.

 

B.  10 min AMRAP
12 QUALITY alt pistol squats
24 single arm KB swings (53 / 35 lbs)
12 push ups

 

I got 2 + 20.  Hit every pistol.  Only did 35 lb bell.  I should have Rx'd it.

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- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

Member:  The 800 Club

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5 minutes ago, NicTheRugger said:

Following for the Murph goal and for general awesome Crossfit goals! Front squats are killer for me too. I actually managed to bruise my collarbone yesterday because of front squats. 

 

For the Murph, I have the combat boots but not the weighted vest-- together, we fill all of the requirements ;) 


There needs to be a team version.  We would kill it for sure.  =)

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- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

Member:  The 800 Club

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Week 0, Day 2:  Disaster struck today.  I was opening a box at work with a pair of scissors and I managed to cut myself pretty badly.  I pinched the pad on my fingertip between the scissors blades and cut it pretty deeply.  It was the fourth finger on my right hand and it bled a lot, all over my slacks.  At first I was worried that I had almost cut off a (roughly) 1 cm section.  But after examining it I found that the pad was still attached pretty firmly.  That being said, I'm probably going to need to heal up a bit before I can do pull ups, especially weighted ones.

 

I ran over the noon hour in my weighted vest (prior to the accident).  Went further than last week - probably just a hair over 3 miles.  After the accident, I bandaged the finger up really well, covered it with athletic tape, and tried to do handstand class.  I started off with my strict handstand pushup sequence:  10 furniture pads under my head, removing one at a time with 1-3 reps with each height.  I made it all the way to the floor, but I couldn't do the reverse sequence because I was too tired.  But at least I hit my second strict handstand pushup.  The actual handstand class was after that, which went fine.

 

When cleaning the wound after dinner, I noticed that it must have bled a lot during the workout.  The bandages under the tape were soaked.  I cleaned it up, slathered it with Neosporin and covered it for the night.  I may need to take a few days off CrossFit to let it heal.

Dinner was three homemade Asian dishes:  pad Thai with shrimp, basil chicken, and a cabbage salad, also with chicken.  I snacked on the usual dried fruit and crackers after that.

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- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

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21 hours ago, TGP said:

wow.

yeah setbacks SUCK

 

now, do you figure that in a couple days you'll be back to your routine?  or will you need to adjust things a little??


Definitely need some time to heal up.  I'll probably switch over to mostly legs for a few days.

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- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

Member:  The 800 Club

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Week 0, Day 3:  Busy day at work that involved some time in meetings off-site.  I decided to drive back into the city and try CrossFit in the early evening to see if I could still lift.  I had a fresh band-aid and two layers of athletic tape wrapped over my fingertip.  I did a (programmed) 7 minute snatch warmup with an empty barbell.  By the end of the warmup, there was a significant amount of blood leaking out from the tape.  Everything underneath was completely soaked.  The coach took one look at the injury and told me to just take the day off, which I did.

I need to be healed up for the Murph on Monday, but I can't just stop working out.  I think the best course of action is to switch to legs for now.  I can still run and squat, and maybe even sneak in some push-ups.  But no rings class tomorrow, no pull-ups, and definitely no olympic lifting.

Dinner was leftovers from last night - and we're still not done with them.  Ugh.

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- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

Member:  The 800 Club

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Week 0, Day 4:  I'm back on schedule, but only training legs.  Ran further than ever in my vest over the noon hour.  I'm a bit over 4 miles now.  After work, I hit the CrossFit box and did a volume squat workout.  No bleeding from my finger.

 

We had a pretty crazy thunderstorm during the afternoon; when I finally got home I found that the power was out due to fallen trees.  Of course, I did my best to take lemons and made lemonade.  I fired up the grill.  My gf and I had a nice, romantic candlelight dinner.  Bone-in pork chops and a salad with, quite literally, everything (we didn't want it to go bad in the fridge).  And I even got to leave the dishes in the sink, since the dishwasher was full and obviously couldn't run.  To top it off, I ate an entire box of Outshine bars for dessert so that they wouldn't melt.  Maybe roughing it isn't quite so bad, eh?   =)

For the record, the power did come back around 11 PM.  Perfect timing too, because I was worried I wouldn't be able to sleep without the A/C, or at least a fan.  It's 100% humidity and pretty warm in the city right now.

Workout:

 

A.  Back squats with vest (no belt)
Note: weights below do not include 20 lbs for vest.  
5 x 95, 115, 135, 155 lbs.
Then 5 x 165 lbs, 6 sets

 

B.  For time:
Accumulate 300 air squats, with 20 lb vest
I got 12:50.

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- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

Member:  The 800 Club

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Week 0, Day 5:  Not much to report today.  I got stuck at work troubleshooting electronics, so I missed my afternoon workout.  It's probably for the best; I really should taper off for the Murph.  Tonight was date night.  We had dinner at a Salvadoran restaurant at the corner of my gf's street.  It wasn't half bad either.

 

On Saturday I did a quick core & flexibility class, followed by a stretch session on my legs.  I"m getting a bit worried... my legs are still ridiculously sore from Thursday.

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- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

Member:  The 800 Club

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Week 1, Day 1:  This is it.  Memorial day.  My gym did an amazing setup for the Murph.  First, they hosted all of the scaled athletes back at the gym starting at 9 AM.  There were about 80 of them.  Those athletes did the entire workout as written, except that the last 1 mile run was a different course than the first 1 mile run.  It put them past the ballpark and over to the Yards, where a BBQ, beers, and a cheering crowd were waiting for them.  Really amazing. 

 

The best part is that they hauled a rig out of the gym on Sunday and set it up in front of Lululemon in the Yards for the 16 Rx athletes  (I was one of them).  It was set up right at the finish line in the Yards.  The Rx athletes started at 11 AM, after the scaled portion of the event was over.  There were eight heats of 2 athletes, with each heat leaving on an 8 minute interval.  The race was utterly amazing.  There were tons of people there watching, cheering, and clapping.  It felt like a professional event.  There were only two masters athletes there (meaning over 35), myself and one of my long time competition partners, Eric.  The two of us were put together in heat 5.  Eric always does the Murph un-partitioned, so I decided to give it a try.  Un-partitioned means that you don't break up any of the sets in part 2.  You do all 100 pull ups before starting any of the push ups.  You do all 200 push ups before starting any of the air squats.  It was hell.  But somehow I finished.

For the record, Murph is:

Part 1:  Run 1 mile

Part 2:  Accumulate the following, partitioned any way you like:

     100 pull ups

     200 push ups

     300 air squats

Part 3:  Run 1 mile

 

There are no breaks between the different parts.  And Rx means that the entire event is performed in a 20 lb weighted vest, including the pull ups, push ups, and air squats.  As I mentioned earlier, I did the whole thing Rx, un-partitioned.  My finishing time was 62:15.  (That's 1 hour, 2 minutes, and 15 seconds). 

 

Sadly, I had not recovered from Thursday.  Everything went great until I hit the air squats.  It was over 85 degrees outside, close to 100% humidity, and we did the workout in direct sunlight.  My quads were on fire.  I couldn't cool down.  Quite honestly, I finished on pure will power alone.  I think I would have had a much better time, maybe by 10 minutes or more, if I had rested on Thursday instead.  I guess there's always next year, but I'm still really happy with the result.

I'm happy to report that I didn't do any other workout today.  Instead, I went home, drank about a gallon of water, took a cold shower, and then had a nice nap.  My gf and I went out for dinner that night to a pretty nice restaurant in the suburbs.  They had these tuna tartare nachos that were amazingly good.  All in all, it was an amazing day.

 

Update:  For next year, I should probably consider replacing the 20 lbs of cast iron weights in my vest with 20 lbs of freezer gel packs.  You know, the ones that stay flexible when they are cold.  Not sure if this is legal or not according to competition rules, but it would REALLY help.

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- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

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Congrats on the finishing the Murph! I'm in awe of anyone who did it with the vest, as I was dying doing it without one. The push-ups alone would have killed me. 

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Great work; that's amazing!

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18 hours ago, NicTheRugger said:

Congrats on the finishing the Murph! I'm in awe of anyone who did it with the vest, as I was dying doing it without one. The push-ups alone would have killed me. 

 

9 hours ago, Cheetah said:

Great work; that's amazing!

 

Thanks guys!!!  The soreness is definitely kicking in.

- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

Member:  The 800 Club

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Week 1, Day 2:  Soreness from Murph is starting to set in.  Its getting worse as the day goes by.  I've been walking around at work as much as posdible to try to stay loose.

 

I went to handstand class tonight, although I didn't do very well.  My shoulders are feeling pretty weak.

 

Dinner tonight was pizza, followed by a lot of snacking on blueberries, crackers, and dried fruit.  Tomorrow I am getting a lead water service pipe in my front yard replaced.  The job will take all day, so I will probably miss my gym time.  Honestly, I think its for the best.  I could use a break.

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- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

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Rest is valuable, too.  Good luck with your pipe!

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  Level 44 Quasi-Human Ranger     

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Hi!  I hope you're having a good week!

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  Level 44 Quasi-Human Ranger     

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"Foxes Never Quit!"  -  Leicester City FC

KBO. - Churchill

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Week 1 Summary:  Wow, sorry for disappearing like that.  We had a large group of summer students start at work on Tuesday.  I've been completely swamped.  Luckily, there's not too much to report, so I'll just do a quick summary.

In regards to gym stuff, I've been so sore that I can hardly move.  On a scale of 1 to 10, where a 1 is a minor twinge and a 10 is "my entire upper body has seized up", I'm sitting around 9.  I can't lift my arms over my shoulders without help.  And I can't lift them straight over my head even with help.  It's that bad.  It hurts to straighten my elbows all the way, although I can do it with some effort.  And I'm walking funny.  Lol.  At least on Monday & Tuesday, Advil was my best friend.  I mentioned earlier that it was 85 degrees during the Murph at 100% humidity and I did the workout in full sunlight.  What I didn't mention was that I sweat so much, my sunscreen gave out.  You should see my neck - it's bright red.  In summary, I can say with confidence that I'm a hurting unit.  Murph was punishing.

In response to all of this I decided to take an easy week.  I did handstand class on Tuesday and a stretch session plus rings class on Thursday (both of them were more like recovery sessions than workouts).  Neither day went well.  Other than that, all I did was rest.  Food was good but not great, mostly because I've barely had time to eat lunch during the day with all the summer students around.

By the time Saturday rolled around, I was starting to feel a little better.  Hoping for the best for next week.

 

 

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- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

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Week 2, Day 1:  I'm feeling a lot better today, but I'm still sore.  My legs are fine now, and so are my arms.  But it still hurts to hang from a pull up bar.  I decided to try a CrossFit workout... mostly because it was legs day.  I was a bit weak, but the workout was fine.  Based on my performance I figure I'll need a week to get back into things.

Dinner was grilled salmon, served with asparagus and rice.  I snacked on dried fruit and crackers.  My gf and I discovered a Netflix series called the Umbrella Academy, so we started watching it tonight.  If you haven't seen it and like comic book stuff, I highly recommend it.  It's based on a Dark Horse Comics series.  Very good.

For the record, the workout is here:

 

A.  Snatch grip DL
2 x 105% (145 lbs), 2 sets
2 x 115% (160 lbs), 2 sets
1 x 120% (170 lbs)
1 x 130% (185 lbs), 3 sets

 

B.  AMRAP
5 rounds of 2 min work / 2 min rest
12 cal bike
8 back squat from rack at 50% (145 lbs)
4 box push

 

I got 5 + 2, Rx

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- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

Member:  The 800 Club

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Week 2, Day 2:  Soreness is almost completely gone.  There's just a little tweak now when I hang from a pull up bar, but it's minor.  I ran over the noon hour (in my weighted vest! - I guess old habits die hard), but only went about 2 miles.  Handstand class was tonight.  Before class, I tried doing my usual strict handstand pushup progression with a stack of furniture pads.  I got doubles down to 5 pads.  Then I switched to singles.  I hit a rep at one pad, but couldn't hit a rep to the floor - I think I was too tired.  Next week I should be back up to full strength.

Dinner tonight was homemade chicken marsala, with salad and rice. I snacked on fresh blueberries and crackers.

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- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

Member:  The 800 Club

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Week 2, Day 3:  As of this morning, I'm officially completely pain free.  Finally.  8 days of severe DOMS really sucked.  But now I have a new problem:  I'm weak.  I can't do a single strict pull-up.  As in, zero.  I hang from the bar, pull up, and nothing happens.  This is a bit frightening because normally I can hit about 15 unbroken.  What makes this especially strange is that nothing else seems to be affected by very much.  Yes, my front squats are low by 10-15 lbs (we lifted today at 95% in the metcon), but that's not a big deal.  I'm going to stay calm and assume that this is part of the normal recovery process.  Yikes.

We had another legs day at CrossFit, which is fine with me given my upper body condition.  After the workout, my gf and I went out for dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant.

 

Crossfit:

A.  Front Squat (numbers based on 210 lb max)
3 x bar, 95, 135 lbs warmup.  Then 
2 x 88% (185 lbs)
1 x 92% (195 lbs), 2 sets
1 x 95% (200 lbs), 3 sets.  Failed all 3.  =(

 

B.  AMRAP 20 min
12 DB front squats (30% total) (30 lbs DBs)
12 weighted step ups
12 alt OH lunges

 

I got 6 + 27, Rx

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- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

Member:  The 800 Club

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