Let me start by putting out a few things for the record.
1. I do not recommend this work out to pretty much anyone
2. Muscle starts becoming catabolic at 45 minutes, so longer efforts are generally counter productive.
3. This WOD did have a method behind the madness
4. Every once in while you need to just do something a little reckless
So here is my WOD for 6 July:
Row 20 calories,
20 deadlifts @ 275lbs,
20 Bar muscle ups,
20 double KB clean and jerk 1.5 pood,
20 GHD sit ups,
20 Stone shoulder 116lbs,
20 Dumbbell Push Press 35lbs,
20 Turkish Get Ups with hip bridge 1.5 pood,
20 Split Snatch 115lbs,
20 Back Extensions,
20 Handstand Push Ups,
20 Sandbag Cleans 80lbs,
20 Toes to Bar,
20 Ring Dips,
20 Thrusters 115lbs,
20 Pull Ups,
20 Clapping Push Ups,
20 Kneeling Box Jumps 8in,
20 OH lunge with 45lb plate
It took me 1 hour, 24 minutes, and 46 seconds to complete.
I am generally really good with the longer time period movement, especially with body weight or light weight movements. I’ve also been shying away from longer time period work outs for some of the reasons listed above and because I do not really need to improve there.
During the course of this workout, I definitely felt like I was going to throw up, die, and quit. I also had a very lovely conversations with some leprechauns about why the stone was so heavy.
It took forever to finish, but I feel reasonably well assured that I can back up my claims for being good at long time domain work outs.
So, how did I come up with this monstrosity? I knew that I have not done a chipper in literally weeks, so I wanted to do one of those. I also get bored doing long work outs that only involve a couple of movements. I wanted to include stuff that was doable at a moderate repetition scheme, but that I tend to not like to do. I also wanted to do weights and movements that I generally ignore.
The WOD started with the row. I do not like rowing, because I am short and I have to have a high turn over rate to be productive in the slightest. Its just above swimming for my least favorite monostructural movement.
Next came the deadlifts at 275lbs. I love heavy deadlifts, but hate heavy deadlifts for high repetitions. I have a weak back, so I need to use good form otherwise I’d never be able to get through them. I was at the four minute mark when I finished these.
From there I went to the bar for bar muscle ups. I don’t know if I’ve ever done these in a WOD, and the only time I’ve ever even heard of them being programmed was at Pound for Pound. It was a lot of fun. I knew that these would fry my shoulders and back, so I did them in sets.
After that, things got interesting. The Double Kettlebell Clean and Jerks at 1.5 Pood were very difficult. They were heavy, I’m always worried about smashing my knees when I do them, and they really force perfect movement to do well. Also, dropping under two kettlebells is much more terrifying than dropping under a bar.
From there I went to the GHD sit ups, which were one of the few things I did unbroken. Definitely a favorite movement. I threw them in there to sort of give my shoulders and legs a rest station. I also knew that I would be moving slowly at this point and needed something to jump start the speed.
Next came 116lb stone shoulders. These crushed me at the Garage Games and I really have not practiced them since. I did much better with these than expected. I still cannot clean them straight off the ground like the big kids can, but I’m much faster than I expected to be. I’m a big fan of odd object training for both variety of stimulus and for the fact that they force you to use muscles at angles that you cannot replicate with a barbell.
Following this was the cartwheels. My old roommate, when I told him about the workout asked me: “why cartwheels”. I responded: “why not”. There was a real reason too. First, you never see them in a WOD. Second, they are an isometric shoulder movement, lest you want to ruin your moneymaker. Third, getting dizzy in the middle of a WOD like this adds a new degree of misery. Finally, they shoot your heart rate through the roof, which is something that made the next movement more difficult.
Next came the longest leg of this work out. Turkish get ups with the high hip bridge at 1.5 pood. This alone probably took me fifteen minutes. This is a movement I need to do for my RKC. It is a slow, controlled movement that when done poorly would knock out all of my teeth.
Turkish Get Ups are fairly difficult, but that high hip bridge made them nearly impossible to do repeatedly at any sort of speed. In hindsight, I probably should have used a lighter weight.
Following the Get Ups came the Split Snatches. If I had done that weight with Squat Snatches, it would have floored me. Split snatches require a lot more coordination in the lower body, but are awesome for anyone with shoulder issues. You can get much lower than in a power snatch, but you don’t have to have as much mobility as a squat snatch.
The back extensions were in there for the same reason as the GHD Sit Ups. I like them all for working on my weak back and keeping up the intensity after having the slow movements of split snatches and get ups.
Following that came another movement that I really struggle with: Handstand Push ups. I got through all of them in two sets, which is pretty impressive considering how awful I usually am.
Sandbag cleans are another enemy of mine from the Garage Games. I have been working on these a lot more than I had been with the stone shoulders. Having just done the back extensions, these were pretty tough since I didn’t have much left in my lower back.
I made it though the toes to bar and ring dips fairly quickly. A lot better than I had anticipated. I finally learned how to kip the toes to bar effectively, so I was able to do those unbroken. I did the dips in two sets. I thought that my triceps would be worse off from the handstand push ups, but I still had some left in the tank.
I hate Thrusters. Especially heavy thrusters. I put them at the end of the work out so I would have something to dread while I hit a long stretch of body weight exercises. I really struggled with these, but it was the right weight and place to put them.
The pull ups were fast and I butterflied all of them.
Clapping push ups were challenging, but good.
The kneeling box jumps were hard. It was hard to have that much explosive power at the end of an hour and fifteen minutes of work to complete both the box jumps and the clapping push ups. Which was kind of the point of the work out, to deplete the system and still need to use the fast twitch muscles.
Ending with overhead walking lunges was just and evil painful thing to do to myself.
So the point of the WOD was really just to see how well I could keep myself together and stay explosive in a super long duration time period. Really worked the recovery aspect of the whole thing.
If you got nothing else from this article, hopefully you learned some new movements out of this really long article about a really, really long work out.
I forgot to take after pictures. This was my meal for an entire day of working out at Camp Darby.
Its two racks of short ribs, two packages of mushrooms, a chopped up sweet vidalia onion, and a small sweet potato that I shredded.
I also added some oregano and parsley. It came out pretty well. Cooking short ribs for five hours on low in the crock pot makes everything amazing.
Better when cooked
Today’s food log comes from a Crossfitter who is a few months into it. He’s been seeing some tremendous gains recently. He did his first competition at Rumble by the River, is hitting PRs almost every time he lifts, and once he hammers out a few form issues, will be beasting it.
Breakfastegg white omlette with some type of meat (sausage, beef, pork chop, fish or bacon) real eggs 3-4 times per week
Lunchsome type of meat (like breakfast) with vegetables(usually squash and zucchini or cabbage)Snacknuts, jerky, grapes or a single piece of fruit
Dinnermeat and vegetables(squash, zucchini, asparagus, broccoli etc.) we have potatos(sweet or white approx twice a week)on the weekends I gorge on either shrimp and scallops or a big ole strip steak
Snack fruit(watermelon, orange, kiwi, pear) or craisins and some nutsMixed in between breakfast and lunch are 2 cups of coffee96-128oz water per day
Depending on the mood a diet drink or 2 during the weekA few alcoholic beverages tossed in there on the weekends - tequila and club soda- vodka and sugar free Red Bull- Red Bridge(I just can kick the beer)
I’ll put the grade up front: He’s right most of the time, I just see two major problem. The first is that he’s either under eating at most meals which is forcing him to snack throughout the day. This goes to show that he is either trying to mentally limit his calories (despite his high work output) or is having a hard time regulating blood sugar with the high glycolytic demand of the Crossfit Inception programming.
Also, absent is any form of post-WOD nutrition. I’m assuming that he eats lunch pretty shortly after the WOD, but if he switched the timing of one snack to post workout, he’d see a lot of benefit from it.
I previously talked about eating the egg yolks to get choline, and I don’t think I need to repeat it. If you need more of an explanation, than call in sick for work and take a look at Chris Masterjohn’s site.
As for the booze, Robb Wolf says to drink as much as you need to maximize your sex life and not so much as to decrease performance (not sure if he means in the gym or elsewhere on that stipulation).
I tend to be a little more of a performance prude. I’m very obsessive compulsive (shocking!) about this diet and work out stuff, so I draw my line a little closer to nerd than most are willing to. Really a personal call, but its a choice.
Also loose the soda, there are literally a thousand better ways to get your caffeine fix if you need it.
Every now and than I look at the Crossfit Inception website for the WOD and get the impression that Chris is calling me out. I know this is probably my own neurosis, but than again, it could not be.
The WOD today was 75 reps of 95lb overhead squats in as few sets as possible. I hate overhead squats. They are one of my nemeses. Fun Fact: all of my nemeses have a totem old school Batman character.
Damn quizzical overhead squats, why don’t you just tell me where you’re keeping Commissioner Gordon.
I am horrible at overhead squats, but have made a lot of improvement in them in the last few months.
In October I couldn’t finish a scaled Nancy at 65lbs. I did the WOD yesterday in 6 sets. So that’s a pretty good improvement as far as I’m concerned.
If I had to rank the things that helped them in order it would be:
1. Doing them…a lot. I do work in that position (snatches, snatch balances, etc) on the weekly and I do the Burgner Warm Up everyday.
2. Mobility WODs. I used to have a much harder time getting into that position, since following the MWODs my shoulder range of motion has increased dramatically.
3. Getting smart. This comes from both having good coaches and reading as much as I can about them. My proficiency has increased because I am now breathing at the right time, finding my depth quicker, and in a slightly narrower grip.
4. Olympic Lifting shoes. Having more stability and dorsiflexion helps compensate for the fact that I’m still sort of a disorganized mess from the waist up in this movement.
I really liked this WOD. Going for fewest sets is a lot of fun. I definitely think I can do a lot better next time too. It still takes me a long time to warm up to full range of motion in my shoulders, which cost me reps in the lower sets.
My day off involved two different WODs.
Right after I woke up, I went swimming. I sort of made an ass of myself at the Callaway Gardens Sprint Triathlon in the water. That 400m swim was ridiculous. I felt like I was having a slap fight with the water.
The two big new additions to the monostructural Crossfit movement repertoire this year have been swimming and the airdyne. The reason for both of these really comes down to that most Crossfitters are inefficient at them, and inefficient movements build greater work capacity.
Its the same reason why hill sprints are more effective than flat sprints.
Think of how hard doing a set of dead hang vs. kipping pull ups are. Next, think of which one leads to a greater adaptation.
This was my first time in the water since the sprint tri. I re-watched pretty much every swimming technique video on the Crossfit Journal before doing this. The WOD was a 500m time trial. I did this in the short pool at my apartment complex, so I was able to take advantage of pushing off the wall. I think I mis-guesstimated the distance, but whatever.
I really focused on kicking consistently aka trying not to swim like Joe from Family Guy.
Since it was Fourth of July weekend, Crossfit Inception was closed for the long weekend. Since I have a Rogue Barbell set in my garage, it was time to get some yoke.
The second WOD was another step in the quest for some diesel and involved four different parts.
A. Shoulder Press @70%1RM 5×5
B. Good Morning 5-5-5
C. 30 Dumbbell Bench Press Rep Out
D. Every minute on the minute for 10 minutes, 2 Front Squats @60%1RM
So, I’ll break down the whys for each of them.
A. Shoulder Press @70%1RM 5×5
This is the standard for developing shoulder strength and is the keystone for beginner and intermediate strength training. I used my 1RM of 140lbs, so I did the sets at 105lbs. For 5×5 you keep the weight the same across all sets resting 2-3 minutes after each.
There really is no better way to develop overhead strength. Since overhead strength is a major weakness, it only made sense for me to do this today. So the why behind this one is frankly very obvious. Press to get strong overhead. Also, always start with the most neurologically demanding lift first.
Sets of 5 are torture because you need to keep your focus and radiant body tension for so long. Try to press without contracting your core or lower body, you will not lift much. That is probably the most important part of these sets, they force me to stay tight throughout.
I last did this at the same weight in May. My notes were pretty dramatically different. I barely made it through a few months ago and it felt light today.
B. Good Morning 5-5-5
I last did this in September 2010 and lifted 95lbs. Today, I got 145lbs.
The only time I’ve done this lift in between was as a substitutions for back extensions during Hero WODs at Inception. That’s a pretty big jump.
This is a lift I’ve sort of neglected because it is primarily a hamstring strengthener, and I don’t think that that muscle is a limiting factor for me on anything. What I was looking to get from it today was something to train me to keep my back in the proper position during the low bar back squat without actually back squatting. When I squatted on Friday, I found my back starting to round under the upper limit weights.
This is bad both for my back and for my lift. It is probably the reason for the 150lb difference between my current deadlift and back squat 1RM.
Working on staying tight, holding my torso with a full chest, and resetting it was a great assistance exercise. Still very light for what I am trying to get to, but this may be a missing link.
C. 30 Dumbbell Bench Press Rep Out
I only gave myself one attempt at this. The goal for this was akin to that of the kettlebell snatch test. The time period was about half or a quarter, and it was not a very complex movement. However, this served a pretty specific purpose. First, dumbbells are a unilateral tool which allows me to work on the ligaments and tendons that the bilateral movements neglect. I have been working on upper body strength for a few months now, but am starting to worry that by using the barbell almost exclusively for that purpose I may be neglecting all of the smaller muscles.
This also served a “powerbuilding” purpose of stimulating hypertrophy. Hypertrophy is the increase in size of the muscle due to the increase of the size of the cells or sarcoplasmic volume or increased contractile proteins. This can also be known as getting my swoll on. Or getting yoked.
Its pretty common sense to realize that a larger muscle has a greater contractile potential and that training the aerobic lactate potential of the muscle (its type IIa muscle fibers), will allow me to stabilize stanches and overhead movements for repeated repetitions better and to get more weight overhead.
I did one set of this because, it serves a purpose, but is not a corner stone of my workout.
D. Every minute on the minute for 10 minutes, 2 Front Squats @60%1RM
I had to guess on this weight because I do not have a recent front squat 1RM. I used 135lbs.
The purpose of this dynamic effort work, which is still growing in Crossfit popularity due to the influence of Westside Barbell, is to increase the explosive power of a powerlift. There are plenty of different way, names, means, and methods to do this, but the principal is the same.
The difference between fast lifts and slow lifts is obviously speed. This is not to say that squats and deads are done slowly on purpose, just that the weights are so heavy that they are lifted slowly regardless of how fast you are trying to go.
Training with an underloaded weight creates a stimulus to develop the super fast twitch type IIb muscle for maximal efforts with the stress of using a super heavy weight. This is known as underloading. Underloading makes you faster and more powerful. It allows you to train a slow lift like a fast lift.
Since I had done good mornings, I chose to use the front squat since it is more quadriceps dominant.
Yes, I over-analyze every WOD this much. To be honest, a little more. I am a huge dork, but hopefully will one day be a super fit and jacked dork.