Thursday, November 10, 2011

Burnt Lung

I made it out to crossfit yesterday for the first time on a Wed. It seems the current weekly routine is strength and conditioning on Mon with the emphasis on strength, strength and conditioning on Wed with the emphasis on conditioning and strength on Fridays with little emphasis on conditioning.

Yesterday’s workout was called the “Burnt Lung” and as soon as a saw the name of the workout I knew I was in trouble.

Usual warm-up

20 wallballs
5 Burpees
400 meter run

10 ROUNDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*Wall balls – Explode out of a deep squat position with a 20 lb medicine ball and throw the ball up in the air to a line on a wall that is about 15 – 20 feet high.

Every WOD has one exercise that I think of as the “make or break” exercise of the WOD. That exercise has the biggest impact on the overall time to complete the WOD. In this WOD there was no doubt about what the make or break exercise was going to be, obviously managing the run was going to be the key. The person with the fastest time would be the person how could get through each round without walking. Run to fast and you’ll burn out forcing yourself to walk so you can catch your breath, run too slow and you might as well be walking. My strategy for this WOD was managing the run at a slow pace that allowed my legs to actively recover during the run.

So we start the WOD and right out of the gate everyone else takes off into the wallballs, rips through the burpees and sprints out the door into the run. I was the last to finish the wallballs, last to finish the burpees , walked from my burpee station to the door for the run and began my long slow jog solidly bringing up the rear in 10th. I kept up my pace and by round 3 I was in 3rd. During the run of round 4 I noticed the guy ahead of me slowing down a little so I lengthened my stride ever so slightly to close the distance. About mid way through the run on round 5 I pasted the guy ahead of me and took command of 2nd place. Now the only guy ahead of me was a little guy who was clearly a very strong running. He had a tougher time with the wall balls then me but he tore around the track. At the end of round 7 he was about 50 paces ahead of me on the run. When we finished the run on round 8 he stopped for a quick sip of water. I closed the distance by NOT walking from the door of the gym to my wallball station but instead I ran that short distance while he was taking his drink. This short extra bit of energy was enough to bring us neck and neck. I could tell he was not looking forward to the wall balls on round 9 so I gave him a little shout of encouragement that kicked him back into gear. Not the best strategy for winning the crossfit Olympics but who gives a shit. We got through the wallballs at about the same time but he ripped through the burpees then took off for the run at a sprinting pace. I could not keep up, going into the run on round 10 he was about half a lap ahead of me but I was still really really happy to come in 2nd out of 10 in our class. I finished the workout in 39 min which put me fairly high on the leader board for the day but nowhere near the top. Someone in the morning class finished the WOD in 29:45. I can’t even imagine getting through that WOD at that pace.

After I class I was desperately in need to massive amounts of calories so I skipped the tuna lunch I had planned and decided to eat fried chicken allow with a box of fries. Lately I have been doing research on the benefits of eating fast food after a super intense workout. It turns out the benefit is the feel of wanting to throw up for the rest of the afternoon…..perhaps not my best meal choice.

Fast forward to Thr morning. My entire body is sore, I am hobbling around like a 98 year old man that got run over by a truck. How will I get through BJJ and Judo tonight? I suspect I will be playing a lot of fetal position guard.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

11/8 - 202

I made it through class last night but I was in a complete fog the entire time. By the time Judo randori rolled around I was completed drained both mentally and physically. Mondays are really the only days where I will have crossfit, BJJ and Judo all on the same day. while it would be easy to skip one of these activites I dont get to any of them often enough to warrant skipping a class so I need to figure out how to suck it up and make through all 3 classes.

I had some really good training in both BJJ and Judo. In BJJ I had some very technical sets with Lex who is moving up EXTREMLY quickly. In Judo I had a chance to work some of the throws I will need to demonstrate during my Shodan exam and I got to practice my drop Koshi Guruma. I do this technique a little bit differently then how I have seen it shown in the past. I have been experimenting with a few different grips and styles and I think I have finally settled on one I can use in no gi. The next time I get up to JWs I will put it to the test.

Weight – I am slowly making my way down to 200 from around 210. I want to drop a few more pounds before the holidays because I figure I will gain at least 5 pounds during the holidays and there are some tournaments near the beginning of the year I want to compete in. I figure 205 will be a lot easier to turn into 198 then 215 so this is a bit of a preemptive strike.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Todays Crossfit workout

Usual warmup

for todays workout the recommended mens weight was 95 pounds for the over head squats and 53 lbs for the kettbell swings. I scaled the overhead squats down to 75 pounds

21 OHS
21 pullups
21 Kettle bell swings
30 Double unders

15 OHS
15 pullups
15 Kettle bell swings
30 Double unders

9 pullups
9 Kettle bell swings
30 Double unders

I completed it in a respectable 15:45. The gym is starting to get pretty crowded and there are lots of new faces but only a few old faces. I wonder how many can stick with these workouts over the long haul, or perhaps I should say how many other will be able to stick with these workouts over the long haul.

I have no idea how I am going to get through BJJ and Judo tonight. My legs are dead.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My new friend from Bulgaria

Despite an overwhelming workload, a sick baby and life in general doing its best to keep me out of the gym I have gotten some really good training in lately. Let's recap:

Thr 10-20-11

Thursday’s Judo practice was a killer. My intention going in was to skip randori and focus on practicing the throws I will need to demonstrate for my Shodan test (I will be testing for my Judo Black Belt soon). When it came time to randori Ray wanted to do a kind of round robin sparring where everyone faces everyone one after another. I rounded out the group nicely so I took the hint and joined the randori group. The plan was 6 3 minute rounds. Well do to a SNFU with the timer and a time keeper that wasn’t paying close attention each round turned into an unknown time (felt like around 5 – 6 min per round). So 18 min of randori turned into around 30 to 40 min of randori. At first I was a little annoyed by the SNFU but in the end the training was just what I needed. Part of the Shodan test is nonstop rounds of randori against fresh partners every few min, so this was good preparation for that part of the test.


My first attempt at a how made Bulgarian bag. There are plenty of do it yourself videos on youtube if you are interested in making one. There were 2 pieces of advice I stuck to while making my first bag.

1) Don’t fill the bag with sand, it will be too heavy use wood pellets instead
2) Give yourself generous handles

When I got done making filing and taping I picked up the bag and thought “this feels really light”. So I took it inside and put it on the scale….15 lbs CRAP too light. Ok, no problem I will use this one to get used to the exercises then make a heavier one later. I identified 4 swings I liked and attempted to do 100 reps per swing. Let me just say, holly crap that thing will WEAR YOU OUT. I am up to 50 reps per swing and climbing. Ultimately this bag was too light and I made another one last Sat but I can certainly get a hell of a conditioning workout with this thing. Bag number two is 30 pounds and probably still an intermediate stop. My goal is to work myself up to a 50 lbs bag. According to I should be using a 37 lbs bag so the second bag is in the ball park.


No gi team training at JWs. The guys at JWs are all getting ready for no gi worlds so the training there was really intense. I rarely get a chance to work my no gi game so when I do I really try to make the best of it. I was really happy with how I did, both from the feet and on the ground. Off the feet I hit a few cross ankle picks, a few o’uchi garis, one snap down to front headlock takedown and one “almost” koshi guruma. I may give no gi a try in competition next year. The last time I competed in no gi was when I was a White belt so I am definitely overdue.


Won’t go into the details but I have been going and getting better and better.


Weekend workout – I decided on a new routine of 8 min rounds. So far I like it.

1 min jump rope
1 min Bulgarian bag swings in large circles
1 min continuous curls from a Sumo Squat position
1 min Bulgarian bag swings in an arching motion from one foot to the other
1 min Push press jumping jacks
1 min ultra wide grip bent over rows
1 min of sandbag squat, clean and presses
1 min sledge hammer swings (swinging like a baseball bat)