Bear with me, this one may get complicated. Yesterday’s workout was about sticking to the plan. Today’s WOD was all about making adjustments on the fly. Tuesday was also a great example of why Crossfit, with coaches always on site to lead WODs, is such a great program. Coach Jack was really watching out for me this day and helped me in a variety of ways. I really appreciate that.

Tuesday’s strength session was:

Kettle Bell Snatches: 3 sets – Do as many reps as possible with each arm.

Jack advised us to choose a medium weight to allow us to do a fair number of reps. The kettle bell snatch is a bit weird to me. I had to figure out during the warm ups how to do a rep properly. I’ve only worked this exercise once before and the motion is still kind of foreign. I find that if I don’t concentrate, when I let the kettle bell down from the top of the rep I want to add a little half swing/hip bump to build up momentum for the next repetition over my head.

I knew it was wrong. I had reviewed the instructional video Monday night, so I knew what a rep should look like, but still I was twisted up. Jack helped me re-learn the move and in the end the three sets were clean. I opted for 30 lbs for round one. I was able to do 30 reps with each arm before I burned out. Jack and I talked it over and he encouraged  me to move up to 35 lbs for the next sets. In the second set, I got 26 reps with each arm. Third set I got 24 reps with the right arm and 18 with the left.

That last set was a bit disappointing. I know my left arm is weaker than my right and I’d set a goal for myself to do at least as many left handed reps as right (ideally, I would have done more left handed), but it wasn’t meant to be. When I snatched the kettle bell up on the 18th rep my arm was so tired it was quivering. I was concerned I might drop the kettle bell on my head, so I ended the set.

6 RDs for Time
20 KB Swings (Rx 52, American)
Rest 30 sec
15 Box Jump (Rx 24″)
Rest 60 sec

I talked about this with Jack before we even started warming up. With the exception of Fight Gone Bad, I’ve never seen a WOD that had rest periods built into it between exercises. I was curious why it was constructed that way. 6 RDs of Kettle Bell swings and box jumps didn’t sound too bad to me. Jack pointed out that with the rest periods built in it should be our goal to do all sets unbroken and really do them as quickly as possible. There was no excuse to stop during the exercise set.

So that was the plan. I think I’ve talked about it before, but the last time we used kettle bells Jack suggested I move up to at least 40lbs and challenged me to consider using 44 lbs. As any good coach will, and the coaches at CFD are the best, Jack has been observing my workouts and he’s seen how I’ve progressed. I really appreciate that he’s challenging me to move forward. Some days it’s easy to justify working a lighter weight under the umbrella of “well, it allows me to concentrate on better form or go faster.” It’s comfortable and it fits my confidence level.

Having him observe how I use kettle bells and push me to the next level is awesome. It’s exactly what I need. I’m not always the best judge of my own ability, so having the coaches on hand to advise is fantastic. As a former soldier, I’m pretty trainable. I take direction from authority pretty quickly. If a coach says, “you’re ready to make the next step up,” I’m inclined to believe them and will give it my best effort to make it happen.

I grabbed a 20″ box and set a 45lb plate on top to create a 24″ platform for the box jumps. That was overly ambitious. I got through two full rounds and during the 60 sec rest, kicked the plate off the box to go back to 20″. The 24″ box jumps were just too slow. It felt like 15 individual sets of 1 rep each. I wasn’t able to string any jumps together and it felt counterproductive.

Somewhere around the 3rd or 4th set Jack came by and asked me what I thought about the built in rest periods. I was too oxygen deprived to actually answer, so I think he understood how I felt. I did notice that he walked away with a particularly satisfied grin. He also mentioned that the 44 lb kettle bell looked like the right weight. He said it looked challenging but he pointed out that all sets so far had been unbroken and my form looked solid.

After the WOD Jack came around one more time and we discussed the kettle bells again. We both agreed that for now 44 lbs looks like the correct weight. I did all 6 sets unbroken and Jack pointed out all reps were fully extended and over my head as they should be. So the weight wasn’t compromising my form. Jack warned me that I’ll probably only be using this weight for a couple of weeks and to expect to move up to 52 lbs in the not too distant future. I have seriously conflicted emotions about that. But if the coach says it’s time, then I’ll make it happen. 😉 Oh yeah — total time to complete the METCON: 16:12. It was INTENSE!