Battle of the Bleh

Late on the workout post. This week was a total give-in to the holidays, too. That needs to change if I want to see a change. Hold me accountable. Also, buy me a green resistance band so I can work on pull-ups.

Friday, Dec. 7th
CrossFit HEL – Skills Day

We started with a three station rotation, with four rounds of 30 seconds at each station.

1: L-sit
2: Handstand hold
3: Handstand spotting

Surprisingly, I was able to lock out on the L-sits. It’s not a perfect “L” shape, but hey! Something I can do.
Handstands are okay, too. I’m still not trustful enough to do an unsupported handstand on my own, but with a spotter, I do a pretty good job. Instead of kicking/levering into handstands this day, we started in somewhat of a downward dog position and kicked up. Surprise–I made it to vertical on the first try with this method.

Handstand spotting was actually the hardest part of the rotation, given that I was usually paired with a real tall person. I have a lot of active spotting habit left it me, given my background and some of those unfortunate tumbles I saw, so it took a bit of trust back off and let my partner do his own thing. I didn’t want to be responsible for him crashing and burning. Not the case, although I did have to apologize for stepping on his hands, to which he brushed off by underestimating my actual weight.

Stations were followed by a partner work-out of as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:

1: 300m Run w/ Sledgehammer
2: AMRAP of “The Chief” (3 power cleans, 6 push-ups, and 9 squats)

I am still, by no means, a runner, so carrying an 8lb. sledgehammer was a challenge. I found it easiest to rest the hammer over my shoulder blades and carry it that way. Being that this was a partner workout, I let my partner set the weight for the power cleans. 65lbs., a good 13lbs. heavier than my last power clean attempts, was our weight. By my last time through The Chief, I was near failing. I think our overall rounds came out to 19–that is, my partner did 12, and I did 7. Yiiiiikes. Imbalance, much? Again, a ways to go for me.

Monday, Dec. 10th
CrossFit HEL – Citrus Fruit

3-2-2 – working load: 135lbs.


5 rounds For Time of:
7 deadlifts – 115lbs.
30 squats
7 handstand push-ups, modified from a box

I can’t remember my time, as my notebook is in my locker right now, so I think it was 10:57 or so

Wednesday, Dec. 12th
CrossFit HEL – WOD: Can You Smell the Carrot?

Shoulder Press
3-2-2 – attempt and fail: 65lbs.; actual weight: 60lbs.
I found my first ceiling! Now to break through.


25 Wall Ball Shots – modified from 14lb. medicine ball to 12lb. med ball
50×3 = 150 single-unders
100m Run

20 Wall Ball Shots (20/14)
40×3 = 120 single-unders
100m Run

15 Wall Ball Shots
30×3 = 90 single-unders
100m Run

10 Wall Ball Shots
20×3 = 60 single-unders
100m Run

5 Wall Ball Shots
10×3 = 30 single-unders
100m Run

Time: 13 minutes, 59 seconds

Slow as Hell. It didn’t help that I diverted to: 1. tie my shoe halfway through one of the runs; 2. take a hit off my inhaler; and 3. trip over the jump rope multiple times. That said, no excuses. In essence, this WOD was another one at which I am not good at most of the components! However, I do see a marked improvement in my wall ball shots, as in they are going farther up the wall, and I can deal with the high volume (one way or another).

The lab was closed Friday-Sunday, and I had a prior commitment on Thursday. I headed back on…

Monday, Dec. 17th
CrossFit HEL – WOD: Jackie

Another one of the CrossFit benchmark WOD days. We started with our lifts, though.

Back Squats
3 reps – 2 reps – 2 reps

Final numbers for my working loads: 100lbs./105lbs./115lbs.


1000m Row
50 Thrusters (45lbs.) – Managed to use the prescribed weight for this portion! Yippee!
30 Pull-ups (C2B) – Modified pull-ups: jumping pull-ups from a box
For Time: 12 minutes, 49 seconds

Tuesday, Dec. 18th was a bust for me. It was bench press and a WOD w/ deadlifts. I was looking forward to trying it out until midway through the day when I noticed my neck was really tender. It got more and more tender, and my sinuses starting building up pressure. Hoping it’s a minor thing and not the start of a flu bug or similar, so I spent the night with some tea and How I Met Your Mother. (PS – The holiday episode? OMG. Cried like a fool at the end.)

Thursday, Dec. 20th
CrossFitHEL – HEL5

The HEL5 is my gym’s one rep max workout. It takes the CrossFit Total and adds in two other lifts: the bench press and the overhead squat. You get two attempts at each lift. After the workout, you total the best of your two attempts and that’s your number.

Here’s my breakdown:

Back squat – 130lbs.
Press – 65lbs. (I broke through the ceiling!)
Deadlift – 170lbs.
Bench press – 85lbs.
Overhead squat – 75lbs.

All these numbers were PRs for me, and although my total (525) was the smallest on the board, I did some digging and found a CrossFit Total table. Based on my body weight and the total for my first three lifts places me right in the Intermediate category. Whaaat? Awesome. I’ll take that as a definite sign of progress. Onward!
Questions for Other Beginning CrossFitters:
What are your goals?
How are you measuring success?
What’s your nutrition plan look like?
How are you staying motivated as a beginner (especially if you either started w/ low baseline fitness or are working through injuries, etc.)?

Now that I have an idea of where I’m at, I feel good about moving forward and pushing myself. I’m still trying to work through not aggravating old injuries, so that is a hurdle I have to face. At least I know I am competing with myself and not against my advanced counterparts.

There are definitely areas where I would like to see better tone. The fat doesn’t simply melt away, and I surmise a change in diet and adding in more active rest days will help. On the other hand, though, I can see better muscle tone in my quads and triceps; my arms aren’t as “flappy” as they were just a few months ago. Even my abs look a bit better. And of course, there’s the squat effect in which my rear end is a lot nicer than it has been recently. (But then again… I just ate some more Salt & Straw ice cream [cheddar apple pie, son!] after gnawing on a piece of pizza provided by Coach.)

The results are coming a bit slower than I’d like, but I also know that I’m doing what I can to be conscious of my limitations. Yes, I scale back a lot of things, but I also know I’ve been in PT for bad knees and hips, and my shoulders, ankles, and elbows are all very prone to injury. If I hurt myself, then it’s back to the baseline, so I’m going with slow and steady wins this race (for myself).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s