Seriously, Double-Unders Are Hard!

So my last post was around a month ago… and I talked a little about the O-Course. I’ve almost forgotten how hard that was and that means I might be ready to try it again. There seems to be some interest at work to form a team that is willing to do the Warrior Dash, Spartan Race and Tough Mudder. I’m game for all three… but I’d be lying if I told you I’m super excited about running a race where the only thing that stands between you and the finish line (after a ton of running) are live electrical wires… don’t even ask me how you’d train for that. I was always taught NOT to stick your fingers in the electrical outlets.

So the last month I’ve been able to stick to my 4-5 day a week sessions at CrossFit. It’s turned into a solid habit where I now ponder doing a weekend class or attending some of their skills sessions on stuff like Weightlifting, Pull-Ups and Pistols… yesterday I missed my morning class because I was home sick. By 4:30pm I was feeling better and decided to go do a session rather than miss it. Really enjoyed it and felt like the right thing to do. Someone needs to tell me the difference between a habit and an addiction… not which one I’m experiencing.

Four weeks ago I hit my first double under after trying for a few weeks. A double under is when you are skipping and are able to rotate the rope around twice in one jump. This means you need to spin the rope quickly and jump a little higher than normal. After practicing daily during the warm-ups, I was able to string together a few more. Now I can do 5-10 where you do a double, skip normal, do a double…  I was stoked! I went home and told my wife and kids about how happy I was that I finally hit one. I even showed them, on the front walk, with a skip rope we had around. I went back inside and my 8 year old son, Cooper, grabs the skip rope. After practicing for 10-15 minutes, he managed to hit a double under. My wife laughed. Cooper asked me when he can start coming to CrossFit with me. Sigh! Guess I’m going to have to up the stakes and get those doubles going unbroken! That goes on a long list of stuff I want to be able to do like; hand-stand push-ups, pistols, muscle-ups and a 95lbs thruster. Sooooooo many things I suck at!

You might have noticed that I’ve stopped with the charts and graphs. Reason is that I’ve hit my target and now I’m really working on getting stronger. That means dropping body fat% and trading a pound of fat for a pound of muscle. Sounds easy… but it isn’t. This is slow, but then again, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Next week I’m off to Paris with my wife (no kids… grandparents coming up to watch them). Found a CrossFit gym near our apartment. For what it’s worth… if you plan to go to Paris for more than a few days, get an apartment. We are using a company called Cobble Stay. They are great and have places all over the city. I’m saying right now that I will be eating baguettes, cheese and croissants. I will drink red wine. I will likely need to work it off when I get back… some things are worth the sacrifice! Least I’ll be able to walk a ton while I’m there! Looking forward to getting away for a week.

Sitting at the Big Kids Table

Last Friday marked my last day of CrossFit Bootcamp (Monday marked the start of the Regular CrossFit class) … which means 12 weeks of 5-day-a-week BootCamp workouts is done. For clarity, I repeated the BootCamp three times (each is 4 weeks long).  A lot of people do the 4-week BootCamp once then move to the Regular CrossFit class, a few people do the Bootcamp twice, fewer still do it three times. I went three times because I know I needed to form a habit. After 3 months of getting up early every weekday, I’ve managed to establish something of a routine… I think it’ll be a routine that’s hard to break. I also felt I needed some time to try and get in better shape and keep up with the CrossFit regulars. The added benefit is that over the last 3 months, I’ve gotten to know 3 classes worth of people and a handful of them now are regulars and show up at the same 6am class I go to. The CrossFit BootCamp introduces you to a lot of the CrossFit terminology and a lot of the main non-weightlifting-type of workouts. We do a ton of lunges, GHD work, Kettle-bells, box jumps, running, pull-ups, sit-ups… you get the picture…makes it easy to hit the ground running with doing the Regular class.

Last Friday also marked my last BootCamp Fit Test. So what were the results? My time was 11 minutes and 55 seconds… down 55 seconds from 4 weeks prior.  Oddly enough only two of us were there that day. Kind of odd since it was like only two people showing up to graduate.

Now that I’m doing the regular CrossFit workouts (sticking with 5 days a week), what’s the difference you ask?  The focus on As Many Reps/Rounds as Possible (AMRAP) during a fixed time or a fixed number of rounds/reps in as short amount of time as possible is common across both. The warm up (around 15 minutes) is different and incorporates burpees, ring dips, pull-ups along with stretching. After that there is always a weightlifting component where we do 2-3 focused lifting routines. Lastly we have the option of Strength and Conditioning Stream or a more focused Weightlifting Stream… I tend to always go for the Strength and Conditioning Stream because there is a good mix of stuff. I’m guessing people get to choose because they might want to focus on different aspects of their fitness or maybe they are prepping for a competition.

Today’s WOD (Workout of the Day) had us doing the following (can also see it here:

High hang clean 3×3 @ 50%-65% 1RM
Bench press 3×5 reps @ 73% 1RM

Rest 5 minutes

Complete the following for time:

  • Run 800m
  • 40 Push-ups
  • 20 Box jumps
  • Run 100m
  • Rest 1 minute
  • Run 100m
  • 20 Burpees
  • 40 Pull-ups
  • Run 800m

I tend to have the most problems with the weightlifting. Not due to the weight. Weight can always be scaled or adjusted… but more around the terminology and the coordination of the lift. Bench press is easy… pretty straight forward. The High Hang Clean is a different story and requires a little hop, deep squat, elbows out, loosen hand grip and then driving upwards to a standing position. It sounds easy but it’s not yet second nature… but it’ll come with time. Thinking of getting one of those narrow PVC pipes and practicing. It’s like trying to do Double-Unders… at some point it’s just gotta click (hope its soon!).

Glad it’s the weekend! Tomorrow I might be hitting the yoga session at CrossFit but not before I go to the market with one or both of my sons. One is an early bird and one isn’t. They both love the Peameal Bacon Sandwich they have there. See below… that’s the spot… Carousel Bakery. I also need to load up on some veggies and fruit and maybe something to grill!

$5.25 buys you a piece of deliciousness.