Today’s work out was pretty cool. Any time we get a chance to get on the rings I get excited. The creative and varied ways that one can  punish…er, I mean improve oneself on the rings is apparently limitless.

Today’s skill/strength portion of the session was ring push ups.  After 3 years of ROTC and 4 years of active duty Army service, I thought I’d seen just about every variation on the push up that there is. I was wrong again.

With ring push ups, you elevate gymnastic rings to whatever height you choose and then if you choose elevate your feet as well on any manner of platform. So you could theoretically have the rings 2″ off the floor and your feet on the floor. That’s a ring push up. You could have the ring the same two inches off the floor and have your feet up on a 30″ box and be nearly inverted. Technically, that’s a ring push up too. I split the difference. I raised the rings about 12″ off the floor and put my feet up on a 12″ box, so that my feet and hands were effectively on the same plane, but everything was off the floor. It was a wild ride.

The task was to do 5 sets to failure. It didn’t take me long. 9 reps the first set, 8 the second set, 6 in the third and 4th sets and then I got angry with myself and pulled off 9 in the final set. I learned something too while watching Coach Paul. Just like floor push ups, you can vary your grip on ring push ups. Without thinking about it, I just naturally did the first three sets with my closed fists facing inward towards each other. While I was resting after my third set, I watched Coach Paul and he had his hands positioned so that his closed fists were pointed back towards his feet. So I tried that one for the last two sets.

The METCON today was descending sets of Hang Power Cleans 15-12-9-6 reps each and then shuttle runs. The Rx was 135lbs for men. I had time both before and after the skill session and experimented with a 45lb bar, just to remind myself what the sequence of motions were for the hang power clean. Was a good thing I did too, because I kept taking the bar back to the floor. Coach Jack observed this and reminded me that the hang power clean starts from position one with the bar resting on your
thighs (technically, in the crease of your hip, I believe). So right from the start, he saved me some energy. But in the course of experimenting I determined 75lbs seemed like a solid weight for me.

In the end, it was a solid choice. I was challenged, but not overly taxed. I strained, but it didn’t hurt, so I was able to maintain focus on  consistency and form. You could certainly make the case that I could have gotten away with 5 or 10 more pounds because on at least one rep early on I was so “explosive” I popped myself under the chin with the bar. But all in all, I think it was a good weight. I frequently landed on the balls of my feet too, but with some additional concentration I got past

I know the shuttle runs were supposed to be sprints, but not at my current fitness level. Any shuttle run that’s 100m and back, 75M and back, 50M and back and then 25M and back is well beyond sprint range for this clydesdale at this stage. But it’s all good. The second shuttle run was round trips of 75, 50 and 25M’s respectively and so on progressing down.

All in all, I enjoyed this workout a lot. Definitely curious to see what tomorrow holds, but for now, I’m sticking to my plan of not scouting the workout the night before. We’ll see how long that conviction lasts.

Oh yeah, final time 8:55 for the METCON.