Thursday, December 16, 2010

5-5-5-5-5, 6-6-19-42?

Who comes up with these workouts?

Last night at CrossFit, we started with an expanded version of something called the Burgener warm-up. Instead of using barbells, we use thin pieces of PVC pipe and practice Olympic lifting movements.

Next, we did overhead squats, at what was supposed to be a fairly high weight, 5 sets of 5, or 5-5-5-5-5. When I started doing CrossFit, I couldn't do an overhead squat at all. My attempts on my own in the past resulted in me in awkward position, balancing on the balls of my feet instead of my heels, with the bar too far forward and my squat not very deep. Since starting CrossFit, the coach has worked with me quite a bit on this lift, focusing on shoulder mobility and ankle dorsiflexion. Years of distance running have resulted in a very strong and tight gastroc, which really inhibits the flexion of the ankle. (This lack of flexibility is very noticeable when I'm skiing, so I'm constantly working on it). After lots of mobility work, I can finally do the lift, but not with much weight. I did a few decent sets with just the bar - 45 pounds. I then did two sets with 65 pounds, but my form suffered. I went back to 45 pounds to finish the sets. I was working out last night with a group of very fit Coast Guard members. One of them was doing the lift with perfect form and 175 pounds overhead. I was very impressed. He told me that a year ago, he couldn't do the lift at all, and that he'd come that far in year. So, I need to keep working to make this old body more flexible.

The last portion of the workout was timed, doing as many reps as possible of the following sequence:

6 pull-ups (I'm still doing band-assisted pull-ups, but I'm getting stronger)
6 push-ups
19 air squats
42 reps of jump rope

Who comes up with 6-6-19-42 as a sequence? Anyway, I've been getting much better at pacing myself in these types of workouts. In the beginning, I would start way too fast and burn out quickly. Last night, I nailed the timing. I was just starting to flail as I ran out of time.

I did 5 full rounds, plus 6-6-15 reps. The most encouraging thing was 36 total push-ups with really good form. In some recent workouts, I've resorted to knee push-ups to get through the workout, but not last night.

I will admit that I'm feeling tired from the past two days. Unlike the young kids there, I can't do the full-on workout day after day. I'm getting better, but I'm trying to listen to my body when it tells me not to push too hard. So, tonight remains undecided.

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