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Archive for the ‘strength’ Category

jack of all trades, master of none

So, the whole idea behind this post is to touch on a topic that came up last week during one of Coach Dave’s morning sermons.  The discussion related back to the ten elements of fitness and the goal to become good at all, rather than an expert at one.

CrossFit workouts train your body in all 10 of these components of complete fitness:

Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance- The ability of the body systems to gather, process, and transport oxygen. Stamina- The ability of the body to process, store, deliver, and utilize energy. Strength- The ability of a muscular unit, or combo of muscular units to apply force. Flexibility- The ability of maximizing range of motion at a given joint. Power- The ability of a muscular unit, or combo of muscular units to apply maximum force in minimum time. Speed- The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement. Agility- The ability to minimize transition time between one movement pattern to another. Coordination– The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement. Balance– The ability to control the placement of the bodies’ center of gravity in relation to its’ support base. Accuracy– The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.

Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

That being the case, growing up I clearly was looking at things from a totally different point of view.  Whenever I came across something that interested me, I liked to dive right in and focus on becoming a specialist.

First came swimming… from a young age I focussed on gaining all the training and badges required to get my instructor’s certification.  So much so, that by the time I was ready for this level, I was still 3 years too young and could only work as an assistant instructor.  Waiting 3 years is an eternity when you are a child.  So, after a little while, I looked for something else.  titan  005I had already started investing my time in to horses, so when I got bored with the swimming, it was an easy transition.  Of note…  I grew up with a single mom.  I was never destined to be one of the “rich kids” riding around on the best pony money can buy.  However, with some hard work and dedication I was able to gain the experience I needed to still have quite a successful go at the world of show jumping.  Unfortunately, throwing your leg over the back of a horse doesn’t come without its share of injuries.  Especially when you become the kid who gets to ride all of the crazy ones.  I was fearless, but with age this just sort of wears off.  When a fall in 2001 landed me with a broken vertebrae and separated shoulder.  I continued teaching, cause that was something I could do while I recovered, but the sands shifted for me and my confidence was never the same.

snowboardThen came snowboarding.  Same deal.  At this point, I had moved in with my dad and his new family and was lucky enough to enjoy a few winters with a membership at a private ski club.  Spent every weekend at the hill.  Self-taught involves it’s share of mistakes, but it was the only option.  Soon, I was certified as an entry-level instructor.  Then came even more time at the hill, teaching old ladies who were used to a casual coast down the hill as two-plankers to let loose a little strapped to a snowboard.

After growing up and moving away from home, I soon discovered that many of the hobbies I had known and loved as a kid were EXPENSIVE.  But the adrenaline junkie in me needed a fix.

mtnbike  006So… mountain bike racing fulfilled that craving.  24 hour and 8 hour team relays to be exact.  Flying down a steep slope through tight single track was quite the rush, but again did not come without its share of injuries.  Not the major kind like the horse fall, but I still have a pedal-bite scar on the back of my calf that will likely be there for life.

K8M_0352And of course ball hockey.  But while I have gone through seasons of intense hockey-packed schedules, this one I will never consider myself a specialist in.  I have been lucky enough over the years to play along side some AMAZING players though.

So now, after dabbling in pretty much everything that caught my attention in my first 30 years, I’ve found something I dig that I can concentrate on without becoming a specialist at any one thing in particular.  :p

Success!!

Might even celebrate with a Frat burger :p oooo… Or Brussels sprouts! Yes, I’m weird like that.

Just a quick note of thanks to Coach Sharon 🙂  A few months ago, the deadlift was something I feared to the point I was hesitant to put any weight on the bar! After hurting my back years ago doing it, I just didn’t trust my body enough to risk that happening again.  Then Coach Sharon took the time to explain how to lift properly and my confidence began to grow.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked my butt off to get here, but good coaching has certainly helped a ton!

😀 There isn’t an emoticon with enough magnitude to accurately express the huge smile that’s been on my face since this morning.  Today was Crossfit Total day.  I stressed about it all morning before heading to the box… First time ever, so I didn’t really know what to expect.  Coach Dave looked at me and said “smile!  This is going to be fun!”  As usual, he was right 🙂

image

I took this pic before remembering to add everything to find my “crossfit total” score…  460. Ok, so I haven’t done this kind of testing before, but I still PR’d on like everything.  😮 The heaviest I’ve ever back-squatted before was #115, strict press was #65 & deadlift was #155.  Today the stars aligned I guess 🙂 #215???  What?!  😀  Tried #225 twice, but failed.  Maybe should have only stepped from #215 to #220, but I’m totally happy.  AND  I beat my little sisters 1RM back squat.  I think that really was what got the ball rolling 😉

Quick recap

10/27/2013

b4b  004I make dumb faces when I concentrate…  hmm.  At least I don’t stick my tongue out when lifting like I do at hockey I guess.  Today Crossfit Division held their Barbells 4 Boobs 🙂  It was a lot of fun.  Great time spent with great people and we brought together more than $1100 for Grand River Cancer Centre.  I’ve seen people I care about put up a fight against this disease, some are still fighting, some were taken far too soon…  The 30 clean & jerks we did today were nothing compared to what anyone dealing with cancer goes through and it always feels good getting involved in helping out a great cause.  I had moments during my 4:13 workout of thinking “hey hot-shot!!  You had to go for the extra 20lbs?” but I survived :p

10/28/2013

This morning was the start of our final de-load week for the “build a stronger shell” (bigger can if you’re a dude and the name appeals) phase.  Tomorrow I’ll be heading out of Waterloo for a GM conference and won’t be back to the box until Friday 😦  sigh…  Today’s workout had many parts to it:

Warm-up:

row for 20 calories, then 2 minutes

20 reps, not for time: push-up, 20″ box step-up & over

WOD:

Back Squat: 10-10-10-10-10 @ 40%-50%      #65
Push Press: 10-10-10-10-10 @ 40%-50%      #55
Pull-ups: 15 reps    black band (WOOT)

20 reps, not for time: dumbbell push-up, 20″ box step-up & over   #22.5

8 rounds: 40 sec conditioning ropes, 20 sec plank hold

Nice way to work up a nice little sweat right at the end there 😉  This was enjoyable.  After the DB box step-overs, my forearms were absolutely ON FIRE!  LOVE.  😀

In one of Dave’s sermons last week he brought up how he doesn’t want up to specialize in one specific element of fitness, but rather to become good across the board.  Growing up, my life was about specializing in whatever I found an interest in… Oops!  I’ll get into that later though.  Looking for pics to back this up, and off to my dreaded manager’s conference today. Why dreaded? Cause I’ve got visions of one of the gossip hot topics being “wow! Kate’s put on weight!”  My head is not in a good place about that right now… I may spare you the crying, or that might come later as well.  Sorry, you were warned.

test drive of a new mindset

Last night, I made a decision.  No more mister nice guy… with MYSELF.  No more “easing off” a bit when things get tough.  And no more crying.  :p

man-up-untitled[1]

I watched an interview of Camile Leblanc-Bazinet where she talks about going hard from the start and fighting to maintain intensity no matter what.  Made me think about the times I’ve backed off a bit when things got really tough.  Or scalled more than I had to.  Or started the WOD with a moderate intensity figuring I’d get tired and need to keep some fuel in the tank for later.  But that’s not the point.  The name of the game is give it all you’ve got.  Leave all the hesitation and self-doubt behind.  And try to never leave the box thinking “I could have gone harder.”  So, that’s my new game plan.  We’ll see how it works out 🙂  It also helped me get my butt out the door for my 7:30 WOD this morning when I was considering maybe skipping that for the evening class.  But that’s not how I roll.  Morning is my thing…  although I did sleep until my 6:00 alarm this morning.  Weird.  Maybe I somehow knew it was snowing out.  Thumbs down to that.  I was almost late getting to crossfit cause I don’t know where my snow brush is and had to break up the ice on my windshield with a plastic spoon.  Fail.

By the way… Camille and I are obviously soul mates.  Look:

camilleShe has my shoes!  (Along with every other person at my box, but whatever.)  And yes she’s married, but she just hasn’t met me yet.  😉  I’m not creepy, I swear.  She’s inspiring none the less.

Anyways, today was a perfect day to test my new game plan.  The WOD was intense!  Like, round 5 I thought I may vomit, but if crying is not acceptable, hurling certainly isn’t either.  Don’t worry, didn’t happen.

Warm-up – 3 minute row

Strength:

2x squat hang clean (I think that’s what it’s called)  15 min to establish MAX load – #85

5 Rounds of:

1 Minute: KB Swings 24kg/16kg   first round and a half Rx, then switched to “green tape”  don’t know weight on that one

1 Minute: Rowing- Max meters   Rx  <- check it :p

1 Minute: 40m Shuttle Run   Rx

See that?  Almost an Rx WOD 🙂 Somehow forgot to take a pic of my rowing distance 😦 but I did manage to keep the shuttle run consistent each round and completed a total of 161 KB swings.  Boo-ya!  When I was pretty gassed after the WOD and sweating like crazy, Coach Dave looked at me and said “how’d you like that one?  I’m turning things UP!”  Yes, this is true… But I turned things up today too!  It felt AWESOME 🙂

Finished this sh*t, put in my 5+ minutes of double unders practice (aka whipped the heck out of my forearms) and left the box with the biggest of smiles.  😀

Stay tuned…  work Dave and I are practicing double unders on the sales floor when there’s a shortage of customers.  Video to follow…

crossfit-bird_thumbHang clean?

nothing but net

CFdivision  009

Ok, this is just my opinion and you are free to either agree or disagree.  I’ve learned, and continue to do so, over my years of managing people that there is no right or wrong answer.  When dealing with a group of individuals, albeit ones who share similar interests, there is no black and white but more a wide range of shades of grey.  My role as a manager is, yes, to unlock the magic sequence to help each associate discover their potential, but while sharing camera knowledge and experiences is cool, it’s the psychology side of things that I really find intriguing.

CFdivision  010

Where am I going? Lol. The original intention of my rant was to talk about achieving goals at the box, and off I jogged on a related, but different path…  What can I say?  I’m tired today :p we lifted heavy this morning and now maybe I could use a nap.  But noooo… I’m sitting in a coffee shop, typing away on my iPad, waiting for my mom’s flight to arrive from Florida and trying to not be a brat who is slightly annoyed that I was asked to take the day off work to drive more than an hour to the airport to pick her up when her house is a 15 minute cab ride from the runway… I should have just coughed up the $$ for the cab.  But I’d be disowned for sure.  Sigh…

CFdivision  006

Ok, I’m over it!  And really going to focus now (hopefully).  First off, this chick got her first for-real, legit, Double Under this morning 😀 Coach Dave can vouch for me, he witnessed it  😀  That’s right!!  WOOOT!!  I even got a shout out on the Crossfit Division Facebook page haha.  Along with the comment:

Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.

While I’m telling myself this is not to suggest a lack of talent on my part, I can definitely agree that I am more than willing to work hard!  Damn hard!  Coaches are there to point you in the direction you need to go to find success, but from there it’s up to the individual to make a choice whether to succeed or fail.  Talent isn’t enough…

Ok, last Monday of our heavy lifting phase:

Back Squats: 9-9-9-9   #115
Push Press: 9-9-9-9    #65
Pull-ups: 9-9-9-9   — 1 set w/green band, then switched to ring pulls

*Based on how you feel, add #15-#20 on all Squats/Deadlifts and #5-#15 on all Presses*

After completing the big 3 – pick two of the following: Do 4 sets of 8-15, based upon load and feel.
Good Mornings
GHD Situps
Reverse Hypers  4 x 12
Sit-ups
Weighted reverse bridge hold (30 sec)  1 x 35, 1 x 45, 3 x #60!!  Last round, 60 seconds  (BITCH, PLEASE!! 🙂 )

Ok, so I didn’t jack up the weight for my back squat or push press.  But DUDE!!  I crushed the accessory stuff AND did a double under.  My first for-real-legit-double-under.  AND scored 5 goals at hockey.  Thankfully Murphy and his law waited until the very end of our game to land me a good hard slash right across my shin exactly where the box bit me last Tues.  Much appreciated.  I didn’t pass out, but came pretty friggin’ close, but didn’t.  It’s all mind over matter sometimes…  :p

** SIDE NOTE – as adding a little tagging action to my post, I realized it’s been a long time since I’ve felt justified to slap on the “weight loss” tag.  Anyone else find they actually gained weight since starting crossfit?  It doesn’t upset me as much anymore, but come on?  WTF?

can’t fix crazy

Sleep, work, crossfit, eat.  Repeat.  That just about sums up my life heading into November.  September and October had a bunch of fun pre-planned variety between checking out the Element team challenge, running surviving the 7km obstacle race @ Badass Dash and running the Color Me Rad 5km with my kick-ass kid sister.  However November will ramp up in intensity at work as the month progresses and the Christmas season rolls into action.  Thankfully crossfit gives an element of constantly varied, cause otherwise it’s all pretty much same sh*t, different day until then :p

f76b49dd79caad064ad1fabf79dbf448[1]

Today I managed to make it to the box for the first Sunday WOD in quite a while.  I like these ones cause it’s usually a team or partner effort 🙂  I walked in to see Coach Jenna hop off the rower and Coach Sharon strap in to rock and roll.  Judging by the level of “enjoyment” she seemed to be experiencing (not so much!) I was maybe a bit scared of what we were about to have dished our way.  Is that part of the coaching strategy?  A little “Fear THIS kids!  It’s going to suck :p”  You didn’t disappoint Sharon 🙂  This WOD was awesome!!

Warm-up included a bunch of the usual stuff and a “fun” little Tabata sit-ups session.

WOD – In teams of 3 with a running clock & with one person working at a time:

1500m row  *250m each, then switch

1200m run   *400m each

90 box jumps   *we opted for 10 each, then switch for box jumps & burpees

90 burpees

1200m run

1500m row

I was part of a great team 🙂  We pushed and encouraged each other and finished everything in a respectable (or at least I think so) 30:13.  Funny part of the WOD for me today was I found the run possibly the most challenging part.  Me!?  The runner?!  But this wasn’t the casual leisurely trot I have been so accustomed to in the past…  I HOOFED it!  My team was counting on me 🙂

 

While I would have loved to stick around for the yoga class offered at 11:15, I had to hustle out today to get to work on time, well, almost…  and unfortunately.  Is there a full moon tonight?  Or was it maybe last night?  I’ve had the dumbest jack-a** customers on the planet today.  I don’t have any issue dealing with the dumb, it’s the jerks that I have to fight to keep my cool with.  Working in retail or customer service doesn’t give anyone the right to treat ya like their punching bag to abuse.  I’d rather do burpees…

I guess everyone needs their dose of crazy from time to time.  Now I just need to lift something heavy… or cook something awesome 😀  I came across a recipe for pumpkin spiced sweet potato waffles today that I want to try.  Don’t have a waffle maker though…  Going to give it a try using the George Foreman and see how that goes.  If nothing else, should make for interesting photos!

strong enough

There’s so much bouncing around in my head that I don’t even know how to organize my thoughts to put in to text…  Plus, the new drugs I’ve finally (and still reluctantly) agreed to test drive are making me feel high.  Like, I maybe shouldn’t have driven to work this morning 😮  Great.  Won’t be popping these bad boys before heading into the box anytime soon!

I’m going to complain for a moment.  The nerve pain in my right leg is driving me a little crazy.  And bitchy.  My poor staff 😦  I’m trying not to be, I swear…  Arrived at Sport Chek on thursday for my shift in my Birkenstock clogs.  Not dress code at all.  Walked into the office and told my manager “I can’t wear running shoes.  It’s Birks, or I call in sick.”  haha his face was a little priceless, but was cool with that.  This was after I drove towards the mall with running shoes on while fighting off tears and the urge to barf.  Yup.  No fun at all.

strongenough

So, I shouldn’t make up my own theories, but sometimes sh*t happens.  My leg pain was better since I moved closer to work (eliminating all the time sitting in a car) and even better when I first began crossfit.  However, the current lifting phase has made things increasingly worse again.  I’ve somewhat resolved in my head to be happy with the load I’ve worked up to, but not try to continue to add weight.  I’m still working hard.  Still getting a great workout.  Still making progress.  Coach Sharon shared some of her infinite wisdom yesterday and her inspiration was exactly what I needed.  I was having a sucky day cause I was disappointed that my back squats were again #115.  Same weight I squatted two weeks ago.  However Sharon reminded me that last week cause I was having problems with my hip, my back squat was #95 and only 5 of 7 rounds.  SO… it counts as a #20 add.  🙂  And I rocked it.  Butt was back.  Knees were out.  And I didn’t get “stuck in the hole” at all.  Only managed to get in the back squats and strict press in the morning before having to head to work, so I came back after work to finish up with my front squats and accessory work.  Thanks to a push from coach Will, quote – stand UP Kate!! when I was struggling through my last few reps of my last two sets.  In the end, rocked #115 for the front squats as well 🙂

Back Squats: 5-5-5-5-5-5-5    #115

Strict Press: 5-5-5-5-5-5-5     #65

Front Squats: 5-5-5-5-5-5-5    #115

*Based on how you feel, add #15-#20 for all Squats/Deadlifts and #5-#15 for all Presses*

The important part… based on how you feel.  My back squats and strict presses were the same load as 2 weeks prior, but I was up #10 on my front squats.  I’ll celebrate that little victory 🙂

After this very long sob story (cause I want you to know I truly understand) the point is its about Mindset!! You can let it defeat you or you can defeat it. You can focus on what you can do or get frustrated by your limitations. I promise you even just do this program and remaining at the same weight you will still get better! That is the key to this…..just to be better than yesterday.     Coach Sharon

Thank you Sharon 🙂  I will aim for “better than yesterday”

Yesterday was one of those eat everything in sight kind of days too.  Like, if it’s not nailed down, it’s fair game.  On the bright side, I can now cook some new exciting stuff 🙂 cause my fridge is pretty much empty!  Roasted a batch of brussels sprouts and butternut squash last night for today’s lunch.  The Brussels sprouts didn’t make it.  About half of the squash did :p  Thankfully it was also a completely exhausted day, so by 9:00 I was doing the head bob and pretty much ready for bed.  Maybe could have forced myself to stay up a bit later and I might have slept past 4:30am, but oh well.  Gave me 4 hours to cook some stuff before coming to work 🙂  Including:

sweet potato brownies

sweet potato brownies

A batch of paleOMG’s sweet potato brownies for my staff at our Saturday meeting 🙂  These pieces of pure awesome lasted about 45 seconds.

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