Friday, September 2, 2011


The photo above is one that our CrossFit coach took last week in a "Work Your Weakness" workout. The caption that he put on the photo was "Damon hitting some of those awful bulgarian split squats". While it certainly looks like I was working, I actually like this lift, and I have done them a lot in the past. They are a mainstay of workouts in the New Rules of Lifting books, and I've used them for years. But, it had been a while since I'd done them.

Last night was an interesting workout named Nicole. The goal was to do as many pull-ups as possible in 20 minutes. However, it wasn't that simple. We started with a 400 meter run, although our 400 meter loop is closer to 470 meters according to my GPS device. Then, we could do as many pull-ups as possible without coming off the bar or resting on the floor. As soon as you came off the bar, you had to run another 400 meters. Repeat until out of time.

This workout is different than many workouts in that it has some strategy. Also, every time you run, you are losing time to the clock while accumulating no "points". Do you run as fast as possible to do as many rounds of pull-ups as possible? If you do that, will the hard running compromise your pull-up total. Also, when you get to the point in pull-ups where you aren't cranking them out anymore, should you do a hanging rest for a while and then try to do a few more? Or, should you abandon the pull-ups, run and resume the pull-ups?

The people who scored highest tended to use the run hard, do pull-ups quickly, quit when you stall, and run again strategy. I used the run a bit easier, hang for a bit and eke out a few more pull-ups strategy. I managed five rounds, and my pull-up totals were between 11 and 14, for a total of 61. The best score yesterday was a 155 by a new guy to our gym - a very lean and fit college student who weighs only 140 pounds but can deadlift 375 pounds.

The coach picked the workout because it was the one year anniversary of the gym being open and Nicole was the workout on opening day.

Today, I'm working from home, so I'll work out on my own tonight, but I'll do a CrossFit style workout. Tomorrow, I'll do some short interval work before I settle in for the first full day of the new college football season.

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