Posts Tagged by dead lift

You Need a Class on Jumping Rope?

That is the question I was asked when I told most people how I was spending my Saturday afternoon, and so you know…yes, yes I do.  Actually, it was much more that jumping rope. Yesterday I attended a Double Under and Pull Up Clinic an my gym that focused on breaking down each skill and working on ways to improve, and it was so much fun!  The best part is that it was women only, so there was wonderful support and lots of laughs.

The clinic was developed by two of our coaches, Gina and Amanda, who saw a need for this.  Many classes briefly go over the skills that we are working on that day, but don’t take the time to help you improve on technical movements like pull ups.  I’ve been doing CrossFit for a year and a half now and learned so much yesterday!

DU-Pullup10

We started the day by coming together to review the movements and to go over the importance of strengthening the body through other auxiliary movements.  Many of these included things we do in class every week, including barbell bent over row, pendlay row, dumbbell row and ring rows.

DU-Pullup12

The most interesting thing I learned was that dead lifts (only with a double overhand grip) help with grip strength.  This will definitely come in handy.  We were also tasked to push ourselves in all of these movements.  Many times we are not using enough weight to make these movements worth while.  I’ve recently started using 40# dumb bells for my  rows which is way more then I ever thought I could do, but I can!

DU-Pullup11

We reviewed various mobility movements that we often do as part of the warm up, but again we focused on proper form and slowing down the movements.  These included the thorasic windmill, cat/cow, t-spine rotation and heel touches.

DU-Pullup1

DU-Pullup2

Next up was a breakdown of kipping.  Kipping involves using momentum from your torso and legs to help achieve a pull up.  This involved a lot of rolling around on the floor.  First we went through the hollow rocks to superman drill, which then translates to the basic kipping motion when on the bar…light bulb moment!

DU-Pullup4

From there we worked on raising our knees while kipping, which brings you back behind the bar.

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DU-Pullup7

And from there we did what Gina called “jumping the fence” which is is s strong hip drive used as you pull up on the bar to give extra force.  Now I’ve never come close to a pull up without assistance from a band, but after putting all these movements together, it actually felt possible.  With a lot of practicing and strengthening, is a pull up really in my future???  Hopefully my hands hold up…

DU-Pullup8

Next on to double unders.  Now don’t laugh, but when I started CrossFit I actually struggled with jumping rope.  Yes, I know that is something you learn when you are about 5, but not having done it in so long I was a fumbling idiot.  Needless to say, it was quite embarrassing.  So then when I was told that I was supposed to pass the rope twice under with each jump, I felt defeated.  I’ve gotten a few here and there, but I’ve never been able to string them together and lately they have been few and far between.

We spent about 10 minutes working on wrist motion and body positioning, then moved into attempting to get some.  I basically managed to whip my leg numerous times…ouch!  

DU-Pullup9

There were a few girls who did start stringing them together and they were SO excited…it was great to watch.  I kept getting stuck on only one leg going through, but with practice I”ll get there.  My biggest struggle is moving my wrists fast enough.  Sigh…

So yes, I practiced jumping rope for a good part of the day and I had a damn good time doing it.  I left with some really helpful tips on how to improve two moves that I’ve been struggling with for a while.  Plus I had a lot of laughs, which always makes for a good day 🙂

What do you need to work on in your exercise routine?

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Sunday Funday: 11/3/13

Gah it’s November!  I decided this weekend the I am not a fan of November 1st – March 16th and here are the reasons why:

  1. It’s cold.
  2. It’s dark.
  3. It snows.
  4. Socks are required.
  5. The Holidays (yeah yeah…ba humbug!)
  6. It snows.

During these months, Operation Hibernation goes into effect in my house and on the weekends we crank up the pellet stove and cuddle with cats.  Well, I guess it’s not all that bad 🙂

Cats-Lazy-Weekend

 Well it’s been a strange week around here, but thankfully I’m starting to feel better.  Thank you to everyone for all the well wishes…I seriously love you all and you have no idea what that means to me.  I also want to thank everyone who supported me at Barbells for Boobs last weekend!  It was an amazing event and I actually surprised myself with what I could do.  I’ll have a full recap up this week, but here’s a preview of my hotness…oh who am I kidding, more like awkward faces…

B4B-Sarah

Besides fasting and lifting heavy things, here are a few other things that caught my eye this week…

Best Fitness Costume totally goes to this guy…

My best friend got a baby goat this week and I can’t deal with the cuteness! 

Oh and something that has made me cry laughing this week…Amy from The Ellen Degeneres Show going through haunted houses…amazing!

And really, always remember…don’t be a douche!

Always remember, laugh even when things feel crappy…they can only go up from here! xoxo 🙂

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Week 3 of the Lurong Living Paleo Challenge

Lurong-Week3

Well week 3 was VERY different from the first 2 weeks.  I started off the week great and ended it up in flames with a beer in one hand and banana fritter in the other.  If you’re gonna go down, do it right!

Let’s start with the positives….exercise.  Early in the week, I got 2 PRs that I was really psyched about!  The first was a 5# increase to my dead lift.  I didn’t quite make it to my goal of 230# because my back was feeling tight and we had 70 lighter dead lifts later in the WOD.  But I’ll take that 225# with pride!  I also increased my strict shoulder press PR by 4# to 74#.  Being the girl who never had any upper body strength…that’s a big deal!

Deadlift

225# baby!

Then later in the week I headed down to Walt Disney World for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend.  Not only did I run 10 miles and get this awesome medal:

Tower-of-Terror-Medal

But I did a TON of walking around the parks!  Not only is Disney always a super fun vacation, but it’s great exercise.  Check out my FitBit stats:

Fitbit-Stats

Both Saturday and Sunday include the 10-Miler since the race started at 10:00 pm, but subtract that and you have around 18 miles of walking in 3 days!  It’s a great way to burn off all of the not so good for you food that you consume while there, which leads me to the negatives for the week…the food & drink.  

Serious Paleo Challenge FAIL.  I knew this was going to happen since this trip was booked before I started the challenge, but I really fell off the deep end.  Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival is going on right now and it is my most favorite time of year.  How can you go wrong with strolling around World Showcase sampling food and drinks from all over the world?!?!  So I did just that, I ate and I drank, then ate and drank some more.  And you know what?  I really have NO guilt about it.  I had so much fun that I am ok with a few days off track.  RAD Living is all about balance and I would’ve been miserable if I didn’t enjoy myself with my friends.  So I had a blast and we’re moving on…

However this weekend has put me in a bad spot for the challenge.  I’m now only doing 17% better than the rest of the participants, compared to an already not very impressive 39% last week…yikes!  

Lurong Diet Stats Week 3

Basically all I can do is just get back on track this week and do my best.  It’s a new week! At some point I have to get in WOD 5, which is a combination of power snatches, kettlebell swings, ring rows and box jumps….should be interesting.  

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One Year of CrossFit

Sarah_Chalkmonster

One year ago today I walked into my first On Ramp class at CFM.  I was excited to start this journey, but terrified at the same time. It seemed like complete chaos in there.  The music was blasting, barbells were dropping and people were moving all over the place in some sort of strange dance I didn’t know the steps to.  It was thrilling to watch and I couldn’t wait to join in.  

CFM

During that first class we went over proper form and movement set up: shoulders back and down, squat stance, etc…  It was like a whole new way of holding my posture and moving my body, something that has now become second nature to me.  Our first WOD was a few key movements for time:

  • 200m run
  • 15/12/9 of:
    • Air squats
    • Push-ups
    • AbMat sit-ups
  • 200m run

I finished this in 10:45.  Not great, but not too shabby for my first day.  I’m sure I could shave at least 3 minutes off that time today….going to have to give it a try soon.

Since then I have made some pretty impressive (in my opinion) improvements to my strength and fitness.  Here are some of my weight improvements from the first time I did the movement:   

  • Dead Lift: 63# >> 220#
  • Back Squat: 53# >> 145#
  • Front Squat: 58# >> 128#
  • Overhead Squat: 43# >> 73# 
  • Squat Clean: 45# >> 73#
  • Power Clean: 63# >> 103#
  • Thruster: 33# >> 75#
  • Close Grip Bench: 48# >> 90#
  • Shoulder to Overhead: 33# >> 85# (split jerk)

I remember during that first week when I picked up my first 33# barbell, I thought it was SO HEAVY!  It never even occurred to me that I could lift over 200#.  Crazy!

220# Dead Lift!

220# Dead Lift!

Not only am I stronger, but my running has improved a great deal!  With minimal running training, I was able to PR my 5K time by 4 minutes, my half marathon time by 8 minutes and somehow complete a full marathon!  I don’t think it would’ve been possible without CrossFit.  

Christopher-Martin-5K

CrossFit has changed my life in more ways than I could have imagine.  It has not only made me physically stronger, but the emotional strength that has come out of it was unforeseen and just as rewarding…if not more.   I read a great article yesterday about how those who do CrossFit are “a society of those who simply want to be better” and this is 100% the truth.  It has given me the confidence to just be better.  To be better to myself and to others.  To strive to reach what I see as the unreachable.  To look my fears straight in the face and tell them to fuck off…I got this. 

CFM has become a second home for me.  I look forward to going there and that is something I have NEVER said about any other gym.  The only other place I look forward going to and torturing myself is Walt Disney World for a race, but that has a ton of other positive things surrounding it.  But CFM is different, I can go there and not be judged.  I have amazing coaches who not only look out for my well-being, but also push me out of my comfort zone.  Just yesterday, 2 different coaches told me to go up in weight and I’m so glad I did.  It’s pretty awesome to know that people have faith in your abilities even when you don’t.  

Barbell

And then there are the friends I have made.  I am lucky to have found a positive, supportive group of people through CrossFit who not only push me to be better, but make me laugh everyday. They make working out fun because let’s be honest, if we didn’t laugh our way through a lot of the WODs we would be miserable…they are HARD!  Plus it’s really cool to see everyone’s progress over time and how each of us have our own strengths.  Having this support system to talk about tough workouts with or to make me go on days where I’m just not feeling it has probably been the best thing to come out of CrossFit.  Totally unexpected and totally awesome.   

CFM-Girls

While I have made tremendous strides in my fitness this past year, I’m still nowhere near where I want to be.  Body weight movements are still very difficult for me.  Pull-up, push-ups, burpees, box jumps…REALLY HARD.  In fact, I can’t do any of them without scaling down or having some sort of modification.  I know if I lost weight these things would be easier for me, but I sadly have a love affair with food and booze that is difficult to break up with.  I am eating MUCH better these days and try to eat clean 80% of the time, but I’m not perfect and still love my bread and martinis.  I know I’m getting stronger and leaner so this will come with time and practice.

Clearly, I love CrossFit.  It has made exercise fun and coming from me that’s saying something!  I used to HATE weight training and dreaded doing it with a passion.  I would do these repetitive exercises alone in my basement and just be bored to tears.  To actually look forward to power clean practice is mind-boggling to me.  I don’t foresee stopping anytime soon and all I want to do is GET BETTER.  With every PR I hit, the more exciting this sport becomes and the more I want to keep going.  Yes it’s hard, yes it hurts and yes I must be crazy, but I love it 🙂  

I must be crazy if I'm smiling on an Air Dyne!

I must be crazy if I’m smiling on an Air Dyne!

Have you tried CrossFit?  
If so, what have you learned from it?
If not, are you interested in trying it?

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That Day Everyone Got A PR!

So apparently it’s testing week and I LOVE testing week.  It really let’s you see how far you’re progressing and most times it’s a guarantee you’ll get a good PR.  Last night, this bell was getting a workout!

PR Bell

Monday I had that awesome 13# front squat PR and my legs were feeling a bit sore, so I was hoping last night’s dead lifts weren’t going to be a problem.  My prior PR was 210# and that was tough, but I was going for it.  I started building up to that 1RM (4 x 135#/3 x 165#/1 x 185#/1 x 205#) and all was good.  Dead lifts are probably my favorite lift because I can put these thick thighs to some good use!

I added 10# and was able to get 215# with a little difficulty, but I wanted more.  So I went for 220# and at first really didn’t think I was going to get it, but Kat and Coach Dave were screaming at me to get it, so I blocked out those bad thoughts and pushed through.  HELL YEAH!  I dropped the bar, high-fived Dave and ran to that PR bell 🙂

Not great form...need to work on that lumbar curve

Not great form…need to work on that lumbar curve

Nailed it!! 220# PR Baby!

Nailed it!! 220# PR Baby!
Ignore the ridiculous face please…

Now it was Kat’s turn!  She had actually never tried for a 1RM before but figured it was going to be somewhere around 245# or so.  She did my 220# with ease and Dave started pushing her to keep going.  The coaching is really what makes CrossFit unique.  We have great coaches at CFM and Dave in particular has been incredibly helpful and always encourages us to push ourselves with more weight.  He sees that we can do it and just cheers us on to get there.  It’s also very comforting to know that someone is keeping an eye on you during the heavy lifts.

Dave pushing Kat to pick that bar up!

Dave pushing Kat to pick that bar up!

Oh and look at my girl Ashley getting to a 158# dead lift in the top left of that photo…that’s a 30# PR!!  GO ASH!  Kat kept building on those dead lifts and skipped the next skill set to find out what her 1RM was.  Girl got to 275#…beyond amazing!!  She rang that bell with pride and I couldn’t be more proud.  So cool to watch!

KM Dead Lift2

Setting up…

GET IT GIRL!!

GET IT GIRL!!
Actually I think this was around the 250# mark…there was a lot more weight on that bar

I’d say that the majority of the class got a PR last night and the energy was so exciting!  Our other coach for the night, Deb, was encouraging everyone and yelling at people to get those maxes!!  After the skill work, it was time for THE WORST WOD EVER!  I was sure that if I was ever going to puke in a class, that was going to be it.  Here was the damage:

3 rounds for time: 500m row, 20 dead lifts (93#), 15 burpees

For time workouts are always horrible because you are pushing yourself to the limit to get done as fast as possible and who am I kidding…not finish last!  I finished with a not very impressive time of 18:04, but I finished.  Deb was right there with me for my last burpees pushing me to get it done…man did I need that.  Those burpees are no joke and they sure do get you dirty!

Dirty Burpee Knees Yes, I'm wearing pants (no I'm not...)

Dirty Burpee Knees
Yes, I’m wearing pants
(no I’m really not…)

So there…proof that FIT REALLY DOES HAPPEN!  Remember all those “I Can’t” thoughts?  Well it’s days like this that I like to keep in the arsenal of kick ass days to remind myself that I CAN!

Sweaty & Happy

Sweaty & Happy

These days are also great because you can go home and eat ALL the food without any guilt.  🙂

Feed Me!!!

Feed Me!!!

What are your GREAT successes in the gym?

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