Thursday, March 22, 2012

Deceiving workout

Sometimes, I get to CrossFit and look at the workout on the board, and think "This is going to be pretty easy." I should know by now that every time I think that, it's going to be really, really hard.

After our warm-up, we were supposed to do 5x5 of barbell push presses. I did 5x5 of hang power cleans instead to protect my shoulder. It's about the same distance that the bar moves, and hip extension is key to the movement, so it seemed like a reasonable substitute. I did my working sets between 95# and 125#.

Next was the part that looked easy:

400 meters of slam ball squat clean throws(*)
400 meter sled drag
400 meter run

(*) Slam balls are smaller versions of medicine balls, filled with sand, which stops them from rolling very far. Essentially, you squat in front of the ball, start to pick it up with two hands while moving upward, and then you drop under the ball. At this point, you are in a squat and holding the ball above your sternum. From there, you move up explosively, and essentially "shot put" the ball as far as you can. Then, you run or walk to the bar and repeat, until you've gone 400 meters. The prescribed weight for the slam ball was 40#. I tried 20# and it hurt my shoulder, so I decided to use the 10# version - a major step down from the prescribed weight.

I got through this portion of the workout at the front of my heat, but I was cheating by lifting such a small amount. And, it was still non-trivial. Then, I grabbed a sled. I've done short sled dragging intervals before with a couple hundred pounds on the sled. This was only 95#, but the distance was much longer. I "ran" for a little bit before deciding that was going to kill me. Eventually, I figured out that keep the sled in constant contact with the ground made for the most steady movements. So, I essentially dropped my center of mass a bit to make this easier.

When I finally finished the sled drag, the running felt almost easy in comparison, except for the fact that I was supposed to be going fast. My total time was 13:38. Most people who used the prescribed weight for the slam ball were over 16 minutes.

As I watched the rest of the people in my heat finish, both of my quads started to cramp up a bit. Clearly, it had been a tough workout.

Tomorrow is the last workout in the qualifying rounds for the CrossFit games. That workout includes thrusters and chest to bar pull-ups. So, I'm guessing those movements will not be in tonight's workout. But, otherwise, it's hard to tell what torture the coach will have for us tonight.

This coming weekend is the end of my ski teaching for the season. Sugarbush has now gone from 111 trails to 26 trails in 9 days. I'm just hoping we have enough snow for at least 3 more days.

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