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7 Things I’ve Learned from Garage Games Training

Liftweight

Photo courtesy of Glen Jones

The Mid-Atlantic Garage Games are creeping up on us! We’ve been training hard for about two months now, and we’ve got one left to go. So here’s what I’ve taken so far from my experience training for this competition:

  1. Two- and three-a-days are rough. And time consuming. I’ve spent more time at the box than I have at my house some days. Extra volume takes a lot out of you. I’m at the point where my days with only one workout and a skill feel like rest days. If you had told me a day with a WOD would feel like that two months ago, I would’ve laughed at you.
  2. More training = more food. OMG – I thought I ate a lot before. Ha! I probably eat the equivalent of one extra meal more everyday than I was eating before I began training for this competition.
  3. If I don’t sleep, I can just forget about it. There’s just no way to do 2 or more WOD’s in a day and work on skills if I don’t get at the very least 6 or 7 hours of sleep. I will bomb. Sleep is CRUCIAL.
  4. Sometimes when I think I’m giving 100%, I’m not. Really pushing myself these last two months since I signed up for the games has made me realize the distinction between my potential (what I can give) and my performance (what I choose to give). Sometimes these are vastly different. I’ve been trying more and more to make them match up, but it can be incredibly hard to do that. Some days you just don’t feel like pushing through the pain barrier to crank out those couple extra reps. Maybe you ate a little too heavily beforehand, or you had one too many shots the night before. Whatever the reason, you make up excuses in your head during your workout for why it’s okay for you to give less than your best. That’s not going to fly when you’re neck and neck with someone at the competition. This is my biggest area of struggle right now – envisioning what it will be like when I’m there, and trying to figure out how I’m going to out-perform that other person. I am definitely my own worst enemy.
  5. Go hard, but don’t go overboard. Two- and three-a-days are necessary when training like this, but it’s important to realize your limits and the rest your body needs. I’ve been pretty consistent with a 3-on, 1-off, 2-on, 1-off scheme for my week, and it seems to be working well. Rest days aren’t binge drink in front of the TV days, though. If I’m not mobilizing properly on my rest days, the next day I’m still just as sore as I was before.
  6. I’m not very competitive. Yikes, right?! Yes and no. I am slowly learning what it means to really have the desire to win. I never played sports as a kid, so the closest I got to competing was trying to move up levels in my dance classes. It’s not really the same thing. It’s been fun and challenging trying to change my attitude about my performance, because I’ve really never had to do something like this before. More than anything, I hope becoming a little more competitive will help improve #4, and push me to give as much as I can, instead of as much as I want to. That might be the difference between winning and losing.
  7. I love Crossfit. I knew I loved it before, but this has changed it a lot for me. It’s just such a great thing, from the camaraderie to the physical transformation to the overall healthy atmosphere. I find myself more and more advocating that others join, or at least try it out, because I really feel strongly that Crossfit is the best way to get in shape, stay that way, and feel good about all the hard work you put in. And I’m sure everyone thinks this about their home gym, but my box really is the best.

As always, please feel free to leave some love! I would love to hear about other experiences you’ve had training for competitions or whatever else you have on your mind.

Weekly WOD Rundown

Hi there, faithful followers. Please excuse my absence the past few weeks. I was super busy with finals and such, but I’m happy to report that I’m all graduated with my BA in English, and the next stop is grad school in the fall!

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about the format of this site, and I think it’ll be best to change the weekly WOD’s from just a rundown of every single workout I do (cause I do a lot of them, and it’s probably pretty boring to read if I don’t have much to say about a particular one) to focusing on two or three from that week that have particularly stood out. So we’ll see how that goes.

I have also begun training for the Mid-Atlantic Garage Games in August, which will be held right here at our awesome Virginia Beach Sportsplex. I’m going to be competing with a team from my box – two guys and two girls, including me – and I’m incredibly excited for it! It’s already proving to be challenging and demanding, but I’m loving the added motivation that comes with pursuing a goal like this. So anticipate hearing lots about my trials and successes with that extra training too.

WODs that sucked this past week:
Tuesday, 5/14
“Tabata Something Else”:
Max reps of tabata pullups, pushups, situps, squats with no rest in between.

You probably know, but tabata anything is 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds. If you haven’t done this with any exercise yet… please go experience it. It’s just insane. Unfortunately I ripped my hand by the third round of pullups, so the next five rounds were pretty painful. And the pushups! If you really want a humbling experience, do tabata pushups. I was down to 4 a round by the last couple sets. Situps and squats were a nice break, until the very end when I was about 90% sure my legs were actually on fire. At the end of this, I’m sure everything hurt but the only thing I noticed were my poor legs. So yeah, this is a great workout if you want to completely burn out your major muscles. Just remember each time – you can do anything for twenty seconds, right?
Result: 285 reps + one gross ripped callus

tabatacallus

Wednesday, 5/15
5 Rounds for time:
9 Deadlift (95/135)
6 Hang power snatch
3 Overhead squat

This sucked because, plain and simple, my overhead needs serious work. Snatches are a definite weakness, meaning hang snatches are just a total nuisance for me. After ripping my hand the day before, I could barely grip the bar properly either, which is part of why this wasn’t a great workout for me. I definitely can’t blame it all on my hand, though. I’ve got to work on my stability and confidence in my overhead squats and snatches if I want to improve here.
I’m not sure of my exact time for this, but I know my weight was only a disappointing 65 lb.

Favorite WODs this week:
Monday, 5/20
“Elizabeth”:
21-15-9 reps for time:
Clean (95/135)
Ring Dip
Then rest until 10-minute cap reached
Run 1 mile

I liked this because I’m pretty comfortable with a 95 lb. clean, and because I really need work with ring dips if I ever want to get a muscle-up.
Result: Elizabeth – 7:55, blue band for ring dips. Mile – 7:22

Tuesday, 5/21
5×3 Back squat, Increasing
Then 3 rounds for time:
12 Wallballs (16 lb/20 lb)
12 Box jumps (20 in/24 in)
12 Toes to bar

I didn’t think I would like this WOD because of my intense hatred for wallballs. But all my hatred has turned into hard work to get better at them, and I did the first two rounds of wallballs all unbroken and the last round in two sets of 6. I actually surprised myself with my time on this one. Yay!
Result: 5:44, Rx

Alright, I’m off to do some heavy push presses and front squats, then a surprise team workout that I’m sure will be just as fun-filled. As always, feel free to leave your thoughts or advice! Ideas for a team name are also welcome!

This Week’s WOD’s

This past week was particularly challenging because, once again, I was sick for half of it. I am just so elated that it is finally warming up and I can hopefully put this horrible season of flus, colds and obnoxious winter allergies behind me. Here are the WOD’s I somehow made it through this week:

Tuesday: 40-30-20-10 reps, for time:
Wallballs (16 lb./20 lb.)
Kettlebell swings (35/55)
Result: 13:28, Rx
Unfortunately, I went back to the gym way too early for how sick I was over the weekend. The result was this terrible time. I felt like I had to pass out/throw up the whole time. Lesson? Take your rest days when you need them! Working out sick SUCKS.

Wednesday: 5 rounds for time:
5 power cleans
5 front squats
5 push jerks
10 pullups
Rest 90 sec.
Result: 22:49 @ 95 lb.
Okay, no one took longer than me to do this. Proooobably because my max clean is only like 15 pounds heavier than this. I was literally throwing up in my mouth and thinking I was going to die. However, I feel quite accomplished… and sore – reaaallly sore.

Thursday: Could. Not. Move.

Friday: Open WOD 13.5
4 minute AMRAP of:
15 Thrusters (100 / 65 lbs)
15 Chest to bar Pull-ups
*4 minute bonus for every 90 reps (3 rounds) completed
Basically, unless you have a terrific Fran time, this was a 4 minute workout for you.
Result: 41 reps, regular pullups… Yeah, couldn’t get the chest to bars to save my life, so I figured I would at least get a decent workout, quit trying to get them and do regular pullups. So, for me this was fun and quick and relatively painless (compared to Wednesday, the thrusters were cake). For those competing and getting reps up in the 200’s, I imagine it was a bit more painful.

Saturday: Team open WOD at our gym for new people interested in joining. Basically lots of cardio – wallballs, burpees, box jumps, slamballs. A nice little break from my sore, sick week.

Choosing mental toughness over your inner whiner

I don’t know how it works for everyone, but my head REALLY tries to get in the way of my workouts. Here’s a typical conversation with myself when I’m getting fatigued, my heart rate’s unnervingly high, I can’t catch my breath, or am otherwise severely uncomfortable: “Oh, Chelsea, you should really fake passing out now cause this hurts way too much” – “Stop! Stoooo-oooo-oooop already, you idiot!” – “You will die. You’re gonna die. Look, watch this, dying, right now. Okay, you’re dead, now stop!” – “You can’t pick that up. No, literally, I will not let you pick up that stupid bar again. See that? You’re limp. You can’t move anymore. Nooooo, you stop right now.”

For real, it’s that bad. My inner voice isn’t a coach cheering me on… it’s more like a whiny seven-year-old utterly convinced the world is ending cause she can’t have another Snicker’s bar.

I have another problem. I HATE being cheered on. Weird, right? I really, really don’t like people telling me that yes, I can do it. Probably because the whiny seven-year-old doesn’t believe them anyway and it just pisses her off even more. And worst of all – I can’t have my caveman anywhere near me, cheering me on. The seven-year-old will not only rage, she’ll refuse to finish the WOD until he goes away.

Why am I telling you about the weird mental game I deal with working out? Mainly because being mentally tough is just as important as, if not more important than, having the physical ability to accomplish something. And if you have an inner voice that’s, well, let’s say similar to mine (because I really hope you don’t have the same ridiculous little kid screaming in your ear as I do) you’re not alone. Everyone has some kind of thought process going on when they’re working out at a very intense pace. Perhaps yours doesn’t necessarily beg you to throw up so you can stop – but maybe it demands that you slow down immediately, or that you lose momentum, that you walk away from the barbell, that you drop to the floor and rest instead of cranking out the rest of the WOD.

Whatever it is, it’s normal. When your body gets exhausted, your brain tries to protect it, so it is undoubtedly going to send you signals that you need to stop. So what do you do? Do you indulge the screaming kid in your brain and quit? Do you ignore it completely? Can you?

Here are some things you can do to try to keep the mental screaming under control and keep yourself coming back for more:

1. Remind yourself that you LOVE this.

People who do crossfit love crossfit. If they don’t love it, they quit (or at least they should). I’m going to assume if you’ve been doing it consistently more than a few months, you probably love it. You love getting stronger everyday. You love the camaraderie that comes with getting beaten up daily with a great group of tough people. You love the transformation you’ve seen in your body and your life.

But then the WOD comes. You know, that one. The one you maybe thought about skipping because you knew how hard it would be. The one that makes your bones ache to think about doing. Maybe that’s every WOD for you. Maybe it’s something with snatches, or thrusters, or whatever your crossfit demon is. Wherever you are with your fitness, there’s something that gets to you, whether it’s a specific movement or just that place you get to 5 minutes into a 10 minute amrap, thinking there’s just NO way you’re only halfway through and being devastating knowing you still have to push on until it’s over.

That’s the moment when you have to remind yourself of who you are and what you do. You’re a fighter. You’re a – well, let’s face it, you’re a freak who would rather do pullups while your ripped callus is bleeding out everywhere than take a nap on an elliptical. But you love that. Remind yourself when you’re on the verge of giving in.

2. Forget about the mistakes.

There’s nothing worse than a no rep to slow you down and make the mental battle that much tougher. As someone who frequently hits herself in the face with wallballs and the like, I understand. Pretend like it didn’t happen. If you focus on the fact that you failed, you’ll be overcome with the idea of failure. Then the negative inner voice wins, and it can be nearly impossible to finish the WOD, let alone finish it well. You’ve got to let the failure go and press on as if it never happened. This is hard for perfectionist-types who get really upset if they mess up once… not that I would know anything about that. Do the best you can to forget it and move on.

3. Stay calm, stay focused, stay present.

Yeah, easier said than done, I know.  Especially when your inner whiner is attacking you at full force. But try hard not to think about what you’re going to do after the WOD. Don’t even think about what it’s going to be like six minutes into the WOD. Take it one lift, one pullup, one lap at a time, and go from there.

This is probably just the beginning of what it takes to beat down your inner whiny kid, so if you have other ideas and suggestions, feel free to comment!

This Week’s WOD’s + Ripped Callus Remorse

Yes, I really like working out barefoot at Crossfit Great Bridge

Yes, I really like working out barefoot at Crossfit Great Bridge

So, the worst thing to happen to me this week was not 13.4. On the contrary, I think that was the least painful open WOD so far. The most painful thing to happen this week was ripping a huge callus on my left hand ten minutes before 13:4! And the subsequent horrible pain from having to apply new skin like three minutes before doing toes-to-bar. I don’t know if you’ve ever had to use new skin… but if you have, you know what I’m talking about. Yowwch. I even went out of my way the day before to buy gloves cause of my ripped callus on my other hand… then didn’t wear them, of course, cause – well, cause gloves suck.

Anyway, here’s this week’s WOD’s.

Monday: 3×5 Back Squat, then
3 rounds:
20 burpees
20 toes to bar
Result: 135 lb. back squats
9:52, Rx
Yes, commence the hand-destruction that continued all week and culminated in the holes in my right palm and left… whatever that area on your hand is where all your main calluses are.

Tuesday: 10 min Amrap:
5 power cleans 125/185
7 handstand push-ups
9 ring dips
Result: 2 Rounds + 1 handstand push-up @ 95 lb. + band for ring dips
So… I didn’t really try to get a lot of reps with this WOD. I basically used it for skill practice of my handstand push-ups, because… I’ve never done them before! It was rough – it probably took me 4 minutes at least to get through the first 7 handstand push-ups – but I’m proud that I got through them. Not bad for never having done them before!

Wednesday: Sequence of:
21-18-15-12-9 unbroken pull-ups for time
Result: 7:49, broken
Then: 10 100-m sprints with 90 seconds rest in between (not for time)
Well, this is how my palm ripped. 75 pull-ups later…

Thursday: Rest!

Friday: 13:4
Y’all can look that up here if you haven’t been paying attention.
Result: 41 reps, Rx

Unfortunately, I was more concerned about the horrible burning in my torn hand than throwing 95 pounds overhead. But I liked this WOD. I wish I had done it over after my hand healed, but it’s alright, I feel pretty good about what I did.

For those of you who are at this point annoyed with me going on and on about my ripped calluses… go somewhere else because you’ve obviously never ripped a callus! It’s a tragedy! You work so hard to get these wonderful, hideous, stone-hard, perfect-gripping monstrosities to help you with your WOD’s, and then all your hard work is nothing more than a disgusting flap of too-hard skin on the floor. Yes, friends, this is only a taste of my sure-to-be hit, Ode to a Callus, coming soon to Functionally Fit. 😉

As always, I’d love any input you have about the Open or whatever other primal things you’d like to discuss!

This Week’s WOD’s


Meet my caveman. ❤

Monday:
On the minute for 20 min:
1st min – 35 double-unders
2nd min – 2 cleans
Result: 95 lb. cleans

Tuesday:
3×5 Shoulder Press
Result: 65 lb.
Then:
3 rounds, 3 minutes each:
8 Pull-ups
8 Thrusters (65/95)
1 min rest between rounds
Result: 84 reps, Rx

Wednesday:
3 rounds for time:
30 wallballs
20 box jumps (20″/24″)
400 meter run
Result: 16:59, Rx
Um… obviously, we didn’t know what 13.3 was going to be until after we did this WOD…

Thursday: REEEEEEEST! So very needed.

Friday:
13.3… Aka, Death by wallballs.
12 min amrap:
Karen (150 wallballs)
90 double-unders
30 muscle-ups
Result: 158 reps, Rx

Saturday:
10 min amrap:
5 deadlifts (135/225)
10 pushups
15 squats
Result: 160 lb., Rx

Questions? Advice to get better at Karen? (Yes, I know, man up. But omg…) Horror stories about 13.3? Anything primal is comment-worthy!

This Week’s WOD’s

Torture at Crossfit Great Bridge. (If your butt is in this picture and you really don't want it there, please let me know. However, you're a party pooper.)

Torture at Crossfit Great Bridge. (If your butt is in this picture and you really don’t want it there, please let me know. However, you’re a party pooper.)

Monday:
4 rounds for time:
400 meter run
10 overhead squats (95 lb./135 lb.)
Result: 12:14 @ 65 lb.
Lesson of the day… work on overhead squats. Obviously… 30 lbs. under Rx is pretty crappy.
On my own lifting: Deadlift 3×5 @ 155

Tuesday:
21-15-9 reps for time:
KB Swings (45/70)
BoxJumps (24″/30″)
Push Press (75/115)
Result: 11:50 @ 65 lb.
Lesson here? Don’t underestimate. Definitely could’ve pushed 75, added maybe an extra minute at most. Well, now I know.

Wednesday:
On the minute for 20 min”:
Even min: 3 Squat Cleans, increasing each round
Odd min: 30 seconds, max rep strict pullups
Result: 105 lb. final clean weight, 22 pullups
Not too shabby for my first WOD with strict pullups (no kipping allowed).

Thursday: 
For time: Sequence of 21-18-15-12-9-6-3
Toes to bar
Then 5 burpees + 20 double unders between sets
Result: 16:39, Rx
This was… way harder than it sounded when I read it.

Friday: 
Crossfit Open 13.2!
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 10 minutes of:
5 Shoulder-to-overhead (115/75 lbs)
10 Deadlifts (115/75 lbs)
15 Box jumps (24″/20″)
Obviously the girl weight is 75, not 115. The Crossfit website apparently puts the men info first… sexists.
Result: 169 reps, Rx

Questions? Comments? Snide remarks or constructive criticism? Comment away.

Rumor has it…

There’s some kind of big deal happening today.
Oh yeah, it’s INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!!

Jk. F that noise. It’s the Crossfit Open.

cf open

Put on your big boy pants and man up today, everyone.
(My feminist contribution to Women’s Day. You’re welcome.)

Seriously, though, good luck to everyone competing. I won’t be competing but I will certainly be suffering alongside you all through this miserable 17 minute disaster of a WOD. Remember that yes, it is a competition, but more importantly we’re all just trying to be better than yesterday. Now go kick some ass!!

CrossFit Games Open 13.1
Proceed through the sequence below completing as many reps as possible in 17 minutes of:
40 Burpees
30 Snatch (75/45 lb)
30 Burpees
30 Snatch (135/75 lb)
20 Burpees
30 Snatch (165/100 lb)
10 Burpees
Max rep Snatch (210/120 lb)

Haha… snatches on Women’s Day. Okay, I’m done now.

This Week’s WOD’s

Can I just say… ow. I’m exhausted. CF Open WOD’s all week long. My body is crying. But happy at the same time, of course, because it loves working hard!

SAMSUNG

Monday:
18 Min Amrap:
15 Box Jumps 20″ girls/24″ guys
12 Push Press 75 lb./115 lb.
9 Toe to bar
Result: 5 Rounds, 65 lb. push press

Tuesday:
7 Min max rep…..BURPEES, to target
Result: 80 reps

Wednesday:
10 Min Snatch Amrap
Result: 65 Reps w/ 30@35 lb., 30@55 lb., 5@75 lb.
(Just sayin’… I hate snatches. Owwwwwie. And this is scaled. The open progression for women is 45, 75, 100, 120. WHAAAAT.)

Thursday:
15 Min Amrap:
9 Deadlifts 100 lb. girls/155 guys
12 Pushups
15 Box Jumps 20″/24″
Result: 7 Rounds + 9 ex. deadlifts, mod. w/ girl pushups

Friday:
Really, I don’t even want to talk about Friday. My thighs are cringing at the memory. But okay.
12 Min Amrap:
150 Wallballs (AKA Karen – yeah, this is its own workout. It’s hard enough by itself.)
90 Double-unders
30 Muscle-ups
Result: Karen + 90 singles… Crying about my feet cramping/laughing at the prospect of having time to complete one whole rep. Really though, I should relegate myself to a daily wall-ball practice. I am the absolute WORST at these. My chin is always scraped up cause I can’t catch to save my life, I drop the ball out of clumsiness half the time instead of exhaustion like I should – it’s just a pitiful mess to watch. Um… tips? Places I can buy a good face mask? Help!

Also, my calluses seem to be spreading like the black death. Yuck. I mean, I know it’s part of it but they are just so ugly. I now have a small pocket to store things in my middle finger.

SAMSUNG

Nasty. And, of course, everything looks worse covered in chalk…SAMSUNG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ah, well, nothing a little bacon love can’t make right.

SAMSUNGWell, I hope everyone’s WOD’s have been totally ridiculous and soul-crushing this week. Looking forward to more impossible possibilities next week!

This Week’s WOD’s

I’m going to be doing a post a week to document where I am on my personal Crossfit journey. Feel free to totally ignore these posts if you’re uninterested, or you can definitely leave comments or advice if you’d like. I’d also be interested in your WOD results and progress if you’d like to share!

Monday:
On the minute for 20 minutes: 1 squat clean + jerk @ 85% of max
Result: 100 lbs.

Tuesday:
“Helen” – 3 rounds for time:

Run 400 meters, 21 kettlebell swings @ 35 lbs., 12 pullups
Result: 12:18 (blue band for pullups)

Wednesday: No WOD, had to work 😦

Thursday: Co-Ed Couples WOD (with my wonderful boyfriend as my partner!)
14 rounds for time:
6 deadlifts (Men 225, Women 135)
7 burpees
8 kettlebell swings (Men 55, Women 35)
Then 1600 meter run
Result: 20:40 Rx

Friday: 3 rounds for time:
10 power snatches
10 box jumps
Result: 6:42, 65 lb. snatch, 20″ box

Then 3 rounds for time:
10 clean + jerk
10 pullups
Result: 8:43, 65 lb., blue band