Back is Acting Up Again

Yesterday I walked 18 holes and could feel my back at the top of my backswing. It wasn’t feeling great the rest of the day. It was rough getting out of my chair last night and I could feel it throughout the night. So modifying movements today. Out in the garage at 4pm. I did some monster walks without the band.

Legs

  • 10 DB Lunges (30# DBs)
  • 10 Reverse DB Lunges (30#)
  • 20 Reverse DB Lunges (30#)
  • 30 Reverse DB Lunges (30#)

It was definitely more comfortable doing them reverse, as long as I braced my core properly when I stepped back with my left leg.

Midline

  • 10/10 Bird Dogs
  • 10 McGill Curl-up
  • 5/5 Bird Dogs
  • 5 McGill Curl-up

All with two second pause.

More Legs

3 Sets

  • 40’ Tip Toe Farmer Carry (40# DBs)
  • 12 Calf Raises (40# DBs)

Conditioning

7 Rounds (each, IGYG)

  • 15/10 cal BikeErg
  • 12 Pull-ups / 5 Strict C2B Pull-ups

I did the strict pull-ups so I wouldn’t put that stress on my back. Got faster each round on the bike and stuck to 3-2 every round of the chest to bars. We finished in 14:58.

Went for a 2.08 mile walk.

Different Routes to 45

Took a complete rest day yesterday with the workouts coming up over these three days.

Warm-up

  • 3:00 SkiErg (650m)
  • 80′ Lateral Monster Walk
  • 80′ Monster Walk
  • 10 Monster Squats
  • 20 PVC Passes
  • 10 Kip Swings
  • 10 PVC OHS
  • 10 OHS (45#)
  • 5 Kip Swings
  • 5 OHS (75#)

Conditioning

  • 21-15-9
    • OHS (95#)
    • C2B Pull-ups
  • 5:00 Rest
  • 45 OHS (95#)
  • 45 Pull-ups

I literally haven’t done an overhead squat in over a year, except for some warm-ups a couple of weeks ago before squat snatches. This was supposed to be chest-to-bar pull-ups again for the 45, but that would have taken me a long time so I scaled back to pull-ups to keep up my intensity. I went 12-9, 9-6, and 9 on my overhead squats and 8-7-6, 6-5-4, and 4-2-3 for my chest-to-bars. Finished that at 5:47. Then I went 13-12-10-10 and 10-10-10-5-5-5 on my pull-ups to finish at 16:46. Kept my intensity up so that was a good call for the pull-ups. I did wear a belt with so many overhead squats, which actually felt pretty good. Overall this went much better than I expected.

Midline

E2M – 5 Rounds

  • 16 alt V-ups
  • 16 Leg Lifts
  • 16/16 Side Plank Bounces

We’ve done this with 14s before at the park and my notes had said we could do 16s. I was getting 42-45 seconds of rest each round.

Squatting a Snatch and Heavy Thrusters

No invitations yet for the Age-Group Online Qualifiers, but they did release the cutlines. For the Men’s 40-44 it’s 2,025th place and I’m ranked 1,941st. Quads are already getting sore from the squat jumps yesterday. Out in the garage at 4pm.

Warm-up

  • 3:00 Row (757m)
  • 80′ Lateral Monster Walks
  • 80′ Monster Walks
  • 10 Monster Squats
  • 10 Toe Touches (w/ mini band)
  • 5 High Hang Muscle Snatches (45#)
  • 5 OHS (45#)
  • 5 High Hang Squat Snatches (45#)

I think it’s been over two years since I’ve done a squat snatch and probably almost that long for overhead squats. I was falling over with the empty bar in this warm-up!

Weightlifting

High Hang Squat Snatch + Hang Squat Snatch + Squat Snatch

The workout was take 12 minutes to do five complexes @ 65% of 1RM Snatch or a moderate weight. I did it twice with 75, then once at 95 and 115 before loading my working weight of 135 pounds. I wasn’t really thinking about the percentage until after my first set and then calculated 143 pounds off my all-time 220 max, so I was actually heavy for any recent lift I’ve done. Really started to feel better after the first two complexes with 135. Like riding a bike.

Conditioning

15-12-9

  • Thrusters (115#)
  • C2B Pull-ups

The actual Mayhem workout was 135# thrusters and strict weighted pull-ups with 50 pounds. Was always going to modify that, especially training for the AGOQ. It would be a good version to try some day, but not this day. I warmed up with 5 thrusters at each of 45 and 95 pounds.

In the workout I went 9-6, 7-5, 5-4 on my thrusters and wore a belt. Just making sure not to push it too hard or take too many risks as my back gets used to some of this stuff again. The lifts themselves actually felt ok, but just gassed me. Looking back at WHOOP, my heart rate wasn’t even that high, so I probably should have pushed more with shorter rests. I went 9-6, 7-5, 7-1-1 on the chest-to-bar pull-ups and was losing my butterfly in some of the later sets since I’m out of practice. Finished in 5:24.

Skill / Accessory

3 Sets

  • 3 Handstand Kick-ups
  • 10 Calf Raises (20# DBs)
  • 40′ Tip Toe Farmer Carry (20# DBs)
  • 10 Calf Raises (20# DBs)

I Can (Butter)Fly

My shoulders and abs are kind of sore. Out in the garage at about 10:30.

Warm-up

  • 5:00 SkiErg (1,039m)
  • 2x30s Dead Hang Partner Push
  • 10 Kip Swings

Midline

4 Sets

  • 120′ Uneven Farmer Carry (70 & 45# KBs)
  • 8 Evil Wheels
  • 10/10 Banded Rotations & Holds (blue)

Conditioning

30:00 AMRAP (Partner)

  • 40 Sumo KB Deadlifts (70#)
  • 20 DB Push-up + 2 Rows (40# DBs)
  • 40 DB Lunges (40# DBs)
  • 30 C2B Pull-ups

Done with Brandi. We each alternated two sets of 10 deadlifts, then two sets of five of the push-up plus two rows complex. I did two times 10 lunges and B did two times 15 Russian swings. For the pull-ups we alternated each doing threes sets of five pull-ups. I wanted to challenge myself with the chest to bar after sucking in that Open workout. I started out with a regular kip in round one and felt comfortable with my head not hitting the ceiling, so I thought I’d try butterfly in round two and it felt good. Certainly easier to get my chest to the bar per rep because I can use my hips and legs more. Probably the best I’ve done butterfly chest-to-bar pull-ups ever and the first time I’ve done any in over a year. I did start losing some of my kip in last two rounds but never came off the bar through a set of five even with some resets. I started first and got through five full rounds, the deadlifts and 4 of the dumbbell complex. Really grippy workout.

So ready for a rest day tomorrow!!

21.3 & 21.4

My quads have been very sore from Monday’s workout. On the bright side, I got a new bed last Thursday and my back has felt so much better through the night and getting out of bed in the mornings. I’ve hit 100% of my sleep need, according to WHOOP, every night so far too.

Even though I set a PR last week, 21.2 dropped me in the standings, as expected.

21.2
Men: 43,082/111,116 (61.2%)
40-44 Masters Men: 4,377/15,955 (72.6%)

Overall
Men: 31,132/121,837 (74.4%)
40-44 Masters Men: 2,748/17,509 (84.3%)

Note: for the number of total athletes I only count those who have submitted a score, which is why it differs from the percentiles calculated by CrossFit.

Looks like I’ll need to place about 830 for this workout to make the top 10% in my Masters division. If there are two scored parts this week, I would need to average a placement of about 1,645.

With the earlier 3pm announcement of 21.3 today and some plans for tomorrow night, I was out in the garage at 5pm to warm-up and finish my Open.

Warm-up

  • 5:00 BikeErg
  • 80′ Lateral Monster Walk
  • 80′ Monster Walk
  • 10 Kip Swings
  • 10 Front Squats (45#)
  • 4 T2B
  • 3 C2B
  • 2 Bar Muscle-ups

CrossFit Games Open Workout 21.3

15:00 Time Cap

  • 15 Front Squats (95#)
  • 30 T2B
  • 15 Thrusters (95#)
  • 1:00 Rest
  • 15 Front Squats (95#)
  • 30 C2B
  • 15 Thrusters (95#)
  • 1:00 Rest
  • 15 Front Squats (95#)
  • 30 Bar Muscle-up
  • 15 Thrusters (95#)

I thought there was a good chance we’d get two parts! This is actually a pretty cool workout, but they had to unnecessarily complicate things with a starting line and this eight foot area.

It’s also pretty shitty that the original equipment list mentioned a place to do pull-ups, but didn’t mention chest to bars or bar muscle-ups, which much different in requirements. Not sure how many people doing the workouts at home have a high enough garage for those two movements. Also, having to move forward eight feet runs in to issues with garage doors being in the way. Not sure what they’re thinking with dumb requirements like these. I turned my bar the other way and stood well past the 8 foot line so I wouldn’t have to worry about hitting parts of the garage door.

Going in I wasn’t sure I could do butterfly or even kipping C2B because of the height needed for my head. I knew I’d have to do single whacky muscle-ups on my low pull-up bar too. Not a ton of strategy for me here since I’m restricted by my setup. How about… not toast my back with all of the front squats and thrusters?!

I work grips and a belt. I did the front squats unbroken, 5×6 T2B, 9-6 thrusters, unbroken front squats, 5-5-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-1-1-1-1 for C2B (all kipping style), 9-6 thrusters, unbroken squats, and then single bar muscle-ups. Not ideal conditions for several things, but I made it work(ish). I got through 14 bar muscle-ups. I didn’t have any expectations going in because of the pull-up bar situation and I had no idea how I’d handle that many squats/thrusters.

CrossFit Games Open Workout 21.4

For Max Weight – 7:00 Time Cap (immediately after 21.3)

  • Deadlift +
  • Clean +
  • Hang Clean +
  • Jerk

I took 2 minutes loading the bar and resting before my first attempt. Went 165-185-205-220 and made sure not to start that final rep until a few seconds before the clock hit 22:00 to use all my rest. Nice that they changed the rule and the complex only had to be started before the time was up. The hang clean was the worrying movement for me, due to my back. Happy with what I got.

After tweaking my back each of the last four years during the Open I’m happy to have survived without any new injuries this year. Now I can start thinking about golf season. 🙂

Four EMOMs

My body feels good. Still not sleeping great from the time change. I did some PT exercises at lunch and then went to the gym around 4.

Warm-up

  • Monster Walks (Hip Circle)
  • Steamboats
  • PVC Passes

Conditioning

  • 8:00 EMOM (alt)
    • 10 cal Ski
    • 2 Legless Rope Climbs (11′, no jump)
  • 2:00 Rest
  • 8:00 EMOM (alt)
    • 40 DU
    • 10 C2B
  • 2:00 Rest
  • 8:00 EMOM (alt)
    • 10 cal Ski
    • 12 HSPU
  • 2:00 Rest
  • 8:00 EMOM (alt)
    • 30 Zeus DU
    • 8/8 Box Step Downs (16″)

I really concentrated on my back during the ski and limited my range of motion. Because of that I didn’t scale up from women’s calories. Our ceiling is much lower at the new location. I started on my knees, which also meant no jump and no momentum going into the first pull. Much harder. Probably made it close to a 15′ rope climb. I never missed a regular double under and did all of the chest-to-bars unbroken with a regular kip, not wearing any grips. Was pretty stoked about that. I did the handstand push-ups 7-5 each round and felt good. Great idea to get out the Zeus rope. LOL!! Definitely got my heart rate spiked so I scaled to 30 reps. I stopped on purpose during the first round doing 20-10. Then missed at 9 and 10 in the second round. The final two rounds were unbroken. Jumping up to a higher box for the step down (heel taps) was much harder on that left leg.

Midline

McGill Big 3

  • 8-6-4 Curl-up
  • 8-6-4 Side Plank
  • 8-6-4 Bird Dog

I’ll get these in later after dinner.

Results

I went back to the Doctor today for the results of the MRI. I have mild disk bulges at L3-4, L4-5, and L5-S1. I also have a small piece of a disc fractured off on the left side under L5, which is where my pain always is.

Went to the gym at 4:30 and did some walking up and down the hallway to warm up. I also did a few air squats for the first time in two weeks. That was actually really scary.

Conditioning

10 Rounds

  • 6 cal Echo Bike
  • 3 Strict C2B Pull-ups
  • 12 Push-ups
  • 6 Knee Raises
  • 1:00 Rest

I was actually going to do 6 ring rows for the second movement, but I must have been caving my midline, because they first set didn’t feel very good. Quickly switched to the pull-ups for the remaining rounds. Finished in 19:45.

Accessory

  • 3x 105/105’ Suitcase Carry (25#)
  • 3x 105/105’ Suitcase Carry (30#)

I was walking up and down the hall, which is 105 feet long and switching arms at each end. So I walked six lengths before taking a little rest and then going heavier.

Midline

The “Big 3” from Stuart McGill.

  • 6-4-2 Curl-up (10s hold)
  • 6-4-2 Side Planks (10s hold)
  • 6-4-2 Bird Dogs (10s hold)

Strict Intensity

Yesterday I was hungover and took a couple of naps. Had to shovel the heavy wet snow, which actually accounted for my second highest WHOOP strain score of the week. Glad it was a rest day, because I would not have been able to fitness. After a solid night of sleep, I woke up with a 96% recovery score! Got to the gym early today for open gym again.

Warm-up

  • 150 cal Echo Bike

Took about 14:25.

Accessory

3 Sets

  • 10 Prone Fly (20# DBs)
  • 10/10 Tricep Kickback (35#)

Gymnastics

  • 15:00 Handstand Walk

Tried to focus on pushing through my shoulders, hands out, and bent knees today. Feeling more and more comfortable each time I practice. Got out to 21-22 feet on my longest one. Here’s my final attempt.

 

Conditioning

15:00 AMRAP

  • 3 Strict HSPU
  • 3 Strict C2B Pull-ups
  • 12 Walking Lunges (25# DBs at sides)

I like programming low rep strict movements in a workout like this, where it’s a challenge but I’m able to keep moving without rest. After getting round one done in about 40 seconds I was worried it was too fast. Then after not slowing much through about five rounds I set a goal to stay under a 1:00/round page. Even though I started dropping from the top of the C2B and quickly grabbing on for the next rep, I was able to make up time by speeding through step through lunges. Was able to do all of the HSPU unbroken without a problem. Finished with 15+5.

Midline

  • 3x 20 Dead Bug
  • 3x 10 Curl-up (3s pause)
  • 3x 10 Bird Dog + 10 second hold (each side)

More Bench PRs

Most of my soreness from Sunday is gone already. Out in the garage around 4pm. I jumped on the Airdyne for 5:00 and did 104 calories for 2.57 km.

Bench Press

  • 2x8x45#
  • 5×135
  • 3×185
  • 2×205
  • 2×225
  • 5×245
  • 5×245
  • 5×250
  • MAX @ 225 (10)

Last cycle was a failure when I could only get 4×240 and had to drop to 235 for 2×5. Three weeks ago I did 4×5 with 235-235-240-245. My previous 5RM was 245, so getting it twice and then beating it was great. The 10×225 was one rep better than three weeks ago, for another PR.

Accessory

5 Sets

  • 5 Strict C2B Pull-ups (fat bar)
  • 10/10 Kroc Rows (53#)

I stayed on the bar and went through the descent on every pull-up, compared to dropping from the top and doing single pull-ups like I normally do. I felt strong.

My Take on Frantasy Land

Had great night of sleep and didn’t wake up until ten after 8. Went to open gym at 10am.

No B.S. Bench Press

  • 10×45#
  • 10×95
  • 5×135
  • 5×175
  • 5×205
  • 5×225
  • 4×240
  • 2x5x235
  • MAX @ 225 (7)

I’ve been struggling through this entire second cycle of the program. I couldn’t even hit one full set of 5 at the recommended 240-245 and then the max reps was seven again, which is what I got during the first two times of this cycle. Maybe it’s time to try benching in the evening. Or maybe I’m not eating enough. Or maybe all of the cardio is affecting my ability to get stronger.

Conditioning

  • 9-6-3
    • Thrusters (95/65#)
    • Bar Muscle-ups
  • 2:00 Rest
  • 12-9-6
    • Thrusters (75/50#)
    • C2B Pull-ups
  • 2:00 Rest
  • 15-12-9
    • Thrusters (55/40#)
    • Pull-ups

This is my take on Frantasy Land for an everyday CrossFitter. When I came up with the rep schemes I was wondering if I could go unbroken through the entire thing. Hahahaha!! I did go unbroken (very slowly) on all of the thrusters, but the dream was crushed early when I had to go 5-4 on the first muscle-ups. I went 3-3 on the 6 and did the final 3. First part took me 3:46. I almost quit the workout right there. I started with a set of 7 C2B, but after that I don’t remember. I do know I was doing a bunch of singles to end the 9 and then all of the 6. Took me 5:09! I felt better for the final couplet doing 3×5, 3×4, and 5-4 for my pull-ups. That took me 4:47 to finish. End time on the clock was 17:42. I am just not comfortable with a bunch of barbell work in a metcon right now. 😦 Stood around resting way too much in between sets and movements.

I don’t know if I’m coming down with something or what, but I wasn’t feeling great the rest of the day and skipped out on an engine workout again.