Friday, August 29, 2014

Skin the Cat and other fun!

TGIF!  It's been a busy week for me, exercise wise.  I did four good workouts between Monday and Friday.  Today was not the exception (Thursday was).

Today at CrossFit we warmed up with our usual 1/4 (400 meter) run and three rounds of various fun moves.  Jumping up to the 8 foot high bar is easier once you get over the (I wonder if I can do it) uncertainty.  I showed up ten minutes early and got right into the warm up.  So I finished before the rest of the group.  I grabbed the Olympic rings hanging up above my head a little higher than arms length and proceeded to pull my knees up to my chest and then flip my legs over, and then I dropped to the ground on my feet after I flipped through the rings.

Mark came over and said "Skin the Cat."  I'm thinking....what is he talking about?  He then showed the class what Skin the Cat was and how to do it.  Before I tried it, He warned me that this was dangerous and if I let go of the rings or they slipped out of my hands it could result in serious injury. (Safety first!)  I said, that ain't going happen.  I wasn't about to let go.
 
So after he did it, then I did what he did, only not as perfect.  He said I was swinging my legs.  So I tried it again.  Not perfect but better.  Not counting Mark (instructor) I'm the young guy in the class (hah!)
 
The video below is what it looks like when done correctly:
 
Our WOD today was fun!  For an older guy, I'm really getting into the high intensity training mode.  It gets my heart rate up, I'm gasping for air, and I get a really good sweat on in minimal time.  Plus the time goes quickly and then you're finished.  Go home, take a shower and be about your day.
 
Here was the WOD for the CrossFit Seniors for me today:
16 Deadlifts with 65 pounds - followed by
 
16 dead hang one arm waist touch - Okay...I'm not sure how to explain this one.  You get horizontal underneath the two ring rows. (One ring for each hand)  You release one hand off of one of the rings and quickly tap your waist and then grab the ring again.  Then you release the other hand from the ring and touch the other side of your waist and then alternate for a total of 16 waist/hip taps.  This was for us old folks.  The kids get to try it hanging from the pull up bars.  This was followed by -
 
500 meter (1/3 of a mile) run with a 15 pound (6.8 kg) kettle bell in each hand.
 
When you came back to the building from your run, then you started round two and finished after round three.  I can't remember my time, I just finished first, as Dennis and wife weren't there today.
 
This workout was for the senior crossfit class.  The other classes did double the count (32 instead of 16) and twice the distance (1000 meters each time).
 
I am enjoying this time in my life!  I'm getting fit.  I'm getting stronger than I've been in many years.  I feel very blessed to be alive and healthy!  Health is a gift to treasure. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Problems with Squat Cleans

So today at CrossFit one of the many things we did was practice Squat Cleans.  Now I am not a big fan of squat cleans.  It is a mobility issue with me.  See how her elbows in the above photo are up at a 90 degree angle and her fingers are curled backward, and the bar is basically resting on her collar bone?  I have difficulty with all of those moves even without any plates on the ends of the bar.  I'm not very flexible with my arms. 
 
So today we were shown many types of stretching movements to limber up our arms and shoulders so that we ( I ) can hold the bar correctly and perform the movement in proper form.  I will practice them (the stretching exercises) because I want to be better at this.  I don't necessarily expect to ever compete, I just want to get the correct form and execute the movement correctly.
 
One thing I am proud of myself for accomplishing today was this:  There is a pull up bar that is mounted 8 feet above the ground.  That's 2.43 meters.  96 inches.  243 cm's.  Anyway...you get the idea.  In the past I've always found a pull up bar that is closer to arm's reach for my pull ups.
 
But I was watching a Youtube video the other day explaining that leaping up and grabbing onto a chin up bar 8 feet off the ground would help train a person for clearing those 8 foot walls better at the Spartan races.  It made sense.
 
So I stood in front of it, squatted down and pushed off with my hands up in the air.  I caught ahold of the bar coming down.  I was probably only a few inches above it with my reach as I was coming down but it felt great to know that I could successfully do this.  I have a one second window there (or less) where I don't actually see the bar.  It's kind of a jump / blind grab kind of thing.
 
So each time I had to do one of my three rounds of five each pull ups, I would use that bar.  Just to reinforce that feeling of success and knowing that this was something I could do.
 
We also flipped some truck tires today.  I flipped truck tires yesterday here at home along with plenty of other training exercises on our homemade Spartan training area.  I still suck at the traverse wall climb.  I'm not sure how I'm going to fix that.
 
So on Monday I was pretty pleased with my rope jumping and wall ball squats WOD in under 7 minutes.  In part because I got a faster time than Dennis.  We were kind of like the story of the tortoise and the hare.  He started out superman fast with his rope jumping and wall balls for the first two rounds and then ran out of gas.  He was gasping for air.  I was plodding along and caught up to him at the end of round 3 and passed him in round 5 finishing about 20 seconds sooner than he did.  But that was Monday.
 
Today was a different story.  Today our WOD was 4 rounds of a 200 meter run followed by 10 box jumps.  Dennis took the lead early on and held onto it.  He even did a 5th round and finished in just over 8 minutes.  My time for 4 rounds today was 7:41  He smiles a lot with our new found friendly rivalry.
Photo link: http://www.fitsugar.com/How-Do-CrossFit-Burpee-Box-Jump-35253353