On June 5th, I knocked out a half-Murph. That night, my dog had a nightmare, I went to pet him, tripped over a box fan in the dark, and managed to re-aggravate the injury to my left trap muscle that’s plagued me for the last 17 years.
At least I didn’t hurt it by sneezing this time.
So, I took two weeks off. The second week was even easier to skip than the first, since I spent it at a conference in Philly. Not working out made packing and scheduling easier.
But now I’m back, and it’s time to get back to it.
205 x 3
185 x 4
165 x 3
150 x 4
105 x 3
95 x 4
I basically took the weights from the last time I did this workout, and re-figured them as reverse pyramids (I did drop back a bit for the OHSs, since I’m still trying to take it easy on the trap). It went about as well as expected.
Good to be back.
I’d like to do a full Murph again this summer. And while I don’t plan on doing a whole ‘nother Summer of Murph, it seemed wise — considering my running performances of late — to ease myself in a bit.
.5 mile run
.5 mile run
Finished in 18:05. That’s more than eight minutes faster than when I did a half-Murph last year, a 31% improvement. At that rate, a full Murph would’ve taken me 36:10, two minutes faster than the time which was, frankly, incredible for me.
Not that I’m up to doing a full Murph that fast today, but damn if it didn’t feel like a good start.
First off, I’m writing this nearly two weeks after the fact. I occasionally have to write back entries since I use this blog tot rack workouts, but I usually don’t make a thing about it so that it reads better. I’m making an exception because my February 5th work negatively impacted the following two weeks.
Same sort of stuff I’d done the previous Saturday, really: handstand work, muscle-up progressions. I actually did about half a dozen handstands, which was great… but then I unlocked my elbows to see what a HSPU might feel like.
What it felt like was re-injuring my left trap muscle, which has been a problem since high school.
The ring dips and ring pull-ups I did as part of my muscle-up work just exacerbated things. Thanks to my one moment of trying something I damn well knew I wasn’t ready for, the next couple weeks sucked, work-out wise.
Teagle re-opens tomorrow, so it seems as good a time as any to reflect on the year that was.
2010 was a year with much to recommend it, fitness-wise. I got new PRs on a range of exercises, from deadlifts and back squats to the 400m and 800m runs. I did my first double-unders, and got reasonably consistent with the single-single-double pattern. And the Summer of Murph was something that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to pull-off, but I did so in excess of my expectations.
Flip-side: my shoulder press stagnated. I’m not really any closer to a muscle-up than I was a year ago. I can’t remember the last time I attempted a handstand, but I’ve yet to do my first and an actual hand-stand push-up isn’t even a shred of a dream at the moment. My weight’s falling in the 185-190 range pretty consistently these days, a far cry from the 177-182 range I’d settled into during the summer of ’09 and a solid five pounds heavier than where I was for most of ’10.
Tomorrow I’m back in the gym. I’m going to continue my shoulder press linear progression, and re-start a similar progression for back squats (another solid project from last year that bears periodic revisitation). I’ll start working on deadlifts again later in the week, and try to get back on the stick with Angie over the weekend. I’ll also be looking closely to my diet now that all the holiday food is consumed.
And maybe I’ll see if there’s a room in my house to practice handstands. Here’s to 2011.
Yesterday I mentioned that I didn’t feel like I’ve been pushing myself. Today started one of the three ways by which I mean to change that: The Summer of Murph. Today, I did a half-Murph: all numbers scaled to 50% of the as-Rx’d version.
.5 mile run
.5 mile run
It was fairly brutal, taking me 26:18. My runs took 25-50% longer than half-mile runs took me last year, and the body-weight stuff took me about 50% longer than ten rounds of Cindy would’ve. Granted, the fact that I wasn’t doing the half-mile runs back-to-back with each other (let alone with 10 rounds of Cindy) means that these things aren’t strictly comparable, it’s still a hell of a lot slower than I’d like.
In a month’s time, I’ll tackle this scaled to 60% of Rx’d, then 70% a month after that, with the goal of doing the whole boat in September. Hence the Summer of Murph.
The other two ways in which I’m going to try to bust myself out of my rut? Nest week I’ll begin four months of the back squat 5×5 linear progression recommended here, as well as going back to following the CF Ithaca programming. I man go easy on myself, but Clea doesn’t roll that way.
First off, “Jim vs. Not-Quite-Swine Flu”: one round for time of recovering from an enterovirus. I seem to have done this in about a week, but I was still feeling it today. I also felt the two months since my last deadlift, and more than expected (as demonstrated by the load difference between my first and second sets).
225 x 5
185 x 5
185 x 5
225 x 3
245 x 3
255 x 3
That first round just felt off, but the next two rounds using what’s been a metcon weight in the past helped me find my form again. The last three sets felt very good, and today’s lesson seemed to be do deadlifts more than once every two months or so.
If I got sick back when I was doing traditional weightlifting, it was all to easy to talk myself into going in for a “light” workout as soon as I felt even the least bit better. This would inevitably lead to a relapse. I don’t have this problem with CrossFit, apparently: I have enough respect for the WODs that I wait until I’m damn well better before I try to workout again. I consider this a feature, not a bug.
This is relevant because I came down with an annoying stomach bug last week, and as such this is my first time back since last Monday. Naturally, I decided it was a good time to battle shoulder press again, this time doing a 5×3 workout to shake things up and lift some heavier loads.
105 x 3
115 x 3
120 x 3
125 x 1, 115 x 1, 105 x 1
105 x 3
Things went well until set #4, when I had to keep stripping weight to get in three reps. I was somewhat disappointed, since I’d hoped that 125 would be my “heavy three”; but that honor seems to go to 120, and that’s just how it is right now.
Today was supposed to be a 7×1 hang power snatch day. I started off slow, with the mindset that I was still working on my form. Three sets in, though, two things occurred to me: first, I keep falling back on the notion that my natch form “needs work”; second, if I’m gonna work on the form, single reps is not a great way to go. So I dropped back to my starting weight, and did three reps for each of the last four sets.
65 x 1
75 x 1
75 x 1
65 x 3
65 x 3
65 x 3
65 x 3
After really nailing the form throughout those last four sets, I’m confident going forward that I can start treating the snatch like I do the clean, the deadlift, or anything else: just do it when it comes up in a WOD, with minimal hemming and/or hawing.
I’m also going to try a more regular workout schedule. The Cornell gym with the nice Olympic lifting racks is closed over the weekends during the summer, and this is making it tougher for me to do WODs outside of the work week. The fact that it’s summer and I’d rather spend my weekend time doing active things outdoors than driving to the gym isn’t helping either.
So for the next few months I’m going to try working out Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. That way, if I get in a WOd on the weekend, it won’t screw up my schedule. If I’m just active — hiking, running, etc. — that’s still a solid level of exercise. And if I’m a complete couch potato… well, at least I got in four workouts that week.
We’ll see how it goes.
I was a bit nervous about this workout: my previously problematic squat form is what led to my knee problems. But since I’ve been cleared to get back to it as long as I started out slow, there was no excuse not to jump in and do my 5×3 back squats today. My results:
95 x 3
115 x 3
155 x 3
185 x 3
215 x 3
I started out with a very low weight, and it felt fine, so I started ramping it up. The final set was at the same weight as my final set from the last time I did back squats (when I did 135-155-175-195-215), and my knees didn’t buckle or hurt. If I keep up the physical therapy exercises and stretches, I can definitely push this a lot harder next time it comes up.
My physical therapist cleared me to start doing Olympic lifts again, but told me to ease into it. Naturally, the first Oly WOD to come up in the queue involved multiple rounds with high reps. As such, I decided to stick to the Puppies scaling on this one, and not keep time: I focused on the form, and on my knees.
Five rounds for time of:
75 lb deadlifts x 12
75 lb hang power cleans x 9
75 lb push jerks x 6
I manged to get my form to a place where my knees didn’t twinge very easily, which was good. Unfortunately, I need to work on a balance with my deadlifts: it was tough to get the right curve in my back without bringing my knees over my toes. That’s something I need to work on.
As I said, I didn’t time myself: I’d do a full round, then help Nina with her form on deadlifts and push jerks. But I did manage to finish five rounds in about the time it took Charlotte and Judd to do their rounds at the Pack scaling (20-25 minutes), and didn’t injure myself. I’m feeling pretty happy about that. I think I’ll keep the Oly WODs at Puppies level for a week or so, then scale them up to Pack, which is where I’m able to do most of the other WODs these days.
Edit: Huh, apparently Puppies scaling would’ve been three rounds, using only 35-45 lbs. So I guess I did near-Pack scaling. Cool.