WOD 11.10.16

Because I had off from work on Monday and Tuesday (Fall break for school – hooray for annual leave days!), I decided that instead of going to the gym, I’d simply do a workout in the comfort of my own home. We are blessed with a screened in porch at home so although it was still pretty chilly, at least I had a roof over my head.

Warm Up:

Tabata – Double Unders

WOD

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Burpees

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 Taters

Finished: ???

The way this WOD works is pretty simple – I did 10 burpees and 1 tater, then 9 burpees and 2 taters, 8 burpees/3 taters…all the way until I finished with 1 burpee and 10 taters. For those of you who are picturing me doing a couple burpees and then snacking on some potatoes, let me show you what a “tater” is when it comes to crossfit:

Kettlebell Taters – Youtube

Basically, it’s a kettlebell swing followed by a front squat. I used a 25 pound kettlebell for mine – needless to say, by round 6 they really start to suck.

I forgot to start my timer for this WOD because in all honesty, I was wiped out from the double unders, so I have no idea how long this workout took me to complete. And in full disclosure, the original plan was to finish with another tabata of double unders, but the only thing I could do after finishing the burpee/tater mash-up was lay prostrate on the floor. So instead I did some stretching and called it a day.

bearfamilystrong.com | crossfit WOD

Travel Workouts

A few months after starting Crossfit I had to travel internationally for work, where I didn’t have the luxury of attending regular crossfit clases. Additionally, my hotel was pretty limited on equipment and space, so I found myself having to get creative in coming up with travel workouts. Originally I thought I was going to be stuck doing treadmill workouts again, but two of my coaches helpfully sent me some links for travel WODs to save me the trouble of trying to come up with my own crossfit inspired workouts while away. Most of them incorporated body weight exercises and not much equipment, making it much easier for me to do a workout in my room if I chose. In any case, I thought I’d share a round-up of some of the workouts I did while away, in the chance you find yourself searching for workout ideas while on the road.

Workout One:

This workout I was able to do in my room, even with limited space. I warmed up by doing a few inchworm/spiderman stretches, followed by Frankenstein walks and two minutes of jumping rope. I started with double-unders, but out of deference for the people in the room below me, I switched to regular singles so I wasn’t jumping so hard. After I was nice and warm, I did a relatively short workout:

Tabata: Sit-Ups

Tabata; Hand Release Push-Ups

“Sally-Up”

I’m not going to lie, the Sally Up about killed me, but I gritted my teeth and finished! And for those of you who are wondering, a tabata is simply four minutes of work, broken up into intervals of 20 seconds of work followed up 10 seconds of rest. Do that 8 times, and you’re done! I downloaded a timer app to my phone that includes a tabata timer, so I didn’t have to guess when to work and when to rest.

Workout Two:

This time I headed to the gym for my workout, and warmed up with inchworm/spidermans, squats, and a short jog around the perimeter of the gym. Then I did 30 Manmakers, alternating between 10 and 15 pound dumbbells. The link gives you an idea of what the manmaker should look like, except our gym adds a right and left lunge with an overhead press at the end:

-push-up, right arm renegade row

-push-up, left arm renegade row

-squat clean thruster

-right and leg lunge, with dumbbells held overhead in press position

This workout smoked me, but I felt awesome at the end.

Workout Three:

This ended up being a shorter workout, but effective:

5 rounds of:

– 10 push-ups

-15 sit-ups

– 20 squats

I finished with 2 minutes of jump rope – 30 seconds on, 15 seconds rest alternating singles and double-unders.

Workout Four:

5 rounds for time:

-10 high knee raises

– 15-sit-ups

– 10 goblet squats (20lb dumbbell)

Finished in 9:27

Not for time:

2 rounds of 15 burpees

Workout Five:

Benchmark WOD: Angie

It may sound crazy, but I actually did this workout – voluntarily. I didn’t come up with it on my own, there is no way I would have looked at this workout and said, “Oh, gee, I think I’d LOVE to do 400 reps of stuff while I’m away for work and on my own!” Yeah, not going to happen. However, I was chatting with the Husband and he shared that it was the WOD at our gym one day. At first I was relieved that I missed it, but the more I thought about it the more I wanted to see if I could do it. Unfortunately, my only option for pull-ups was an assisted weight machine and I am notoriously bad at remembering how the machine works, so I ultimately ended up setting the weight too heavy, which meant my pull-ups were easier than they could have/should have been.Note to self for next time: it will definitely take longer to complete this when I do it with banded pull-ups!

100 pull-ups (scaled to 50)

100 push-ups (knees)

100 sit-ups

100 squats

I broke up my reps in sets of 10 and I finished each exercise completely before moving on to the next. Not surprisingly, the sit-ups were easiest for me. Surprisingly, the squats didn’t suck as bad as I thought they would have. I finished it 20:28.

Workout Six:

Cindy (5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats)

So the first time I ever did a version of Cindy was my first “official” Crossfit class. After going through a bunch of technique moves and stretches, we ended the workout with a 10 minute AMRAP of Cindy. It was, to sum up the workout in one word, HORRIBLE. I barely got through 3 rounds in 10 minutes, and they were awful, poorly executed rounds at that. I used bands for the pull-ups and still couldn’t complete 5 correctly. Our gym teaches tricep push-ups and I couldn’t even do them from my knees – I had to move to a box and I still struggled. The squats were the only thing that weren’t completely terrible, but I still struggled with my form. I left the class feeling frustrated, weak, and beaten down.

Fast forward to just under three months later. I decided to do the RX 20 min AMRAP of Cindy, using the assisted pull-up machine since I didn’t have bands. Having learned from the somewhat botched Angie workout, I initially set the pull-up machine for 70 pounds resistance, but switched to 60 after 3 rounds. I found this was a good weight to complete 5 pull-ups – it wasn’t easy, but I wasn’t absolutely struggling to finish 5. Also in a surprise twist, I did “real” push-ups! I’ve been slowly working my way up from doing push-ups on my knees to the full extended push-up, and I found I was able to do a set of 10 at a time.

I completed 11 full rounds, plus 1 additional pull-up!

Compared to the horrific 3 rounds I completed in 10 minutes three months ago, this is proof positive of some pretty awesome progress! I was smoked at the end of the workout, but I cannot stress enough how great I felt about it when I was finished.

When all was said and done, I only ended up working out about every third day. I could have done more; but on the other hand I could have done nothing, so I’m satisfied with what I did. The best part was that I felt confident about all the exercises I chose, I know I got a strong workout in each time (vice doing a lackluster treadmill run), and I felt good about the progress I made.

Looking for travel workout inspiration? Check out this downloadable PDF chock full of ideas! Need some more? Here you go!

Crossfit

For the past year or so (probably longer), the Husband and I have been struggling with our health. As much as I even hate admitting it out loud – or on paper – we needed help, and we knew it.

When we look back, it’s easy to see where things went south. We’ve both been pretty healthy people – when Kevin was living in California he worked out all the time. Health and fitness were a priority to him – both for his personal life and in his profession.

For me – I started working out fairly regularly when I first moved overseas. I’ve had ups and downs, but I always maintained a somewhat regular fitness routine. And I prided myself on how I ate. I’ve been on a mostly Paleo diet for a couple of years, I completed several Whole30s…it was a part of who I was. Even before I decided to go Paleo, I’ve always been the one in my family who chose vegetables over dessert.

However, a few months after we got married we hit a series of trials in our personal life that led to a lot of stress. When added to the extreme Virginia winters, all we wanted to do – all we did – was stay home and feel sorry for ourselves, or go out to eat and feel sorry for ourselves. We thought we were helping each other out by offering comfort food when the other was having a bad day, when before we would have suggested something active like a run, or a hike, or a walk around the neighborhood.

Little by little we started to feel worse. Our clothes weren’t fitting…we were unhappy all the time…and we knew something needed to change, sooner rather than later.

My husband was the first to take action. A few months ago, he approached me with a meal plan he got from a nutritionist friend of his. When I first it, I cringed and immediately started to think of a hundred reasons why it wouldn’t work or why I wasn’t going to do it. It was pretty restrictive, with very low carbs and almost no sugar at all. It also limited portion size which is something we both desperately needed. At first I wanted to say no. I told myself that all I needed to do was another Whole30 and I was confident I’d get back on track. But my husband needed this, and in support of him (and because I needed it too, whether or not I wanted to admit it or not), I agreed.

He also approached me with something I’ve been adamantly against for years.

I’ve done some crossfit type workouts in the past, although admittedly never any of the Olympic weightlifting stuff. Most of what I did was body weight exercises like squats and burpees and sprints, not that there is anything wrong with any of those exercises. It was the crossfit stereotype that I had no interest in – trying to push tractor tires around, working so hard you throw up (no, thank you!), pushing other people so hard they throw up, snubbing your nose at any other type of workout…it wasn’t a crowd I wanted to be a part of.

But then Kevin found a crossfit gym in our area that he was really interested in. The biggest sell was their mission statement, which includes a line on Faith: seeking to put other’s needs above ours as we live out our Christian values. He loved the fact that faith was so important to the coaches/owners that they wanted to be known for it and I agreed wholeheartedly, although I still didn’t want to go to a class. However, they also offer a free Saturday morning class for people who just want to come and try it out.

As previously mentioned, I was not one of those people.

Unfortunately (or fortunately?) for me my husband was one of those people and so he signed us up. And when he approached me about it on the Friday night before, I agreed to go. When I woke up on Saturday morning I was singing a different tune.

Admittedly, I was cranky. And rude. And I’m surprised that he didn’t just throw his arms up in defeat (or disgust) and leave me at home, which is what I deserved. Instead he put up with my bad attitude, handed me a travel mug of coffee, and packed me into the car.

I was nervous when we pulled up in front of the gym – a nondescript office in a nondescript office park. I didn’t know what to expect and in my head all I could think about was the stereotype.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The Saturday morning classes are tailored to people who have never done crossfit but want to see what it’s all about. They don’t use any barbells or do any Olympic weightlifting – in fact, members must complete a mandatory two week “Basics Class” to learn all the proper techniques and moves prior to participating in any of the regular weekly classes. On Saturdays they do a group warm-up; then they review all the moves of that day’s workout, and then we go!

I was relieved when I saw the WOD (workout of the day) written on the whiteboard:

5 rounds of 1 minute each:

– Row or run (200 meters outside if running)

– Dumbbell push press

– Double unders

– Burpees

– Box jumps

All moves that I knew how to do – hooray! Not only was the workout a lot of fun but I pushed myself, felt great, AND met a lot of new and friendly people. By the time we left Saturday’s class, I was hooked.

We signed up for the two week Basics course that same day, and I quickly learned that this gym is not at all like the stereotype. For one thing (and probably the most important thing), the coaches are incredibly focused on good form and technique. Instead of pushing someone past their limits or forcing them to do more weight, they make gentle (or sometimes not so gentle, depending on the situation) corrections to form, and they always want to know if there’s something going on that might require you to take it easy during that day’s class. Don’t get me wrong, there have been more times than I can count where a coach (correctly) suggested I should add more weight, and I never once regretted it. That said, if I try something that’s too heavy and my form suffers, they are more than quick to tell me to decrease the weight. The other thing I like about our gym ties into their faith-based mission statement. Although our gym doesn’t have crossfit classes for children, it’s very family oriented and it’s not unusual to see a pack and play set up off to the side holding a bouncing toddler cheering us on. Also – this may be insignificant to some but to me it’s important – it’s a very positive, upbeat community. There’s no (okay, there’s limited) swearing, and instead of screaming at others to push harder or to add weight, everyone cheers each other on during the workouts, particularly if someone is having a rough time on it and needs some encouragement to finish their sets or reps. It creates a welcoming, friendly environment and Kevin and I have come to view the coaches and other members as family.

Needless to say, I am so glad Kevin dragged me to class that Saturday! It’s a decision I don’t think either of us will ever regret.