What? Something wrong with that? We did ball slams at the gym again today! And it happens to be my birthday. Wait?! What were you thinking? Jeez! What-evah!

Warm Ups — Coach Stew lead us through some PVC exercises/stretches to get loose for the morning’s WOD. Then it was down to business pretty quickly. Before Stew rounded us up to get started, I decided to test myself. I wanted to see if I could pull off a single unassisted dead hang pull up. I was looking to give myself a bit of a moral birthday present. I was SO freakin’ close! Truth be told, I started to swing a bit and I was probably closer to a chest to bar pull up than chin to bar, but the way I had myself twisted/tensed I couldn’t get my chin past the bar without knocking out teeth. I will have that pull up by year’s end!

WOD for Wednesday 113011
Muscle Ups
3 reps on the minute for 10 min

Stew lead us through a progression on muscle ups which he learned recently. It was one of the most useful instruction sessions I’ve received for this exercise. Muscle ups have to be tough to coach. It’s a complex move with a wide range of motions and multiples sequences. You’re doing the exercise suspended in midair. You can’t exactly ask an athlete to “stop right there” as they’re going through various stages of a rep because they’re hanging from the rings. Working on the floor today and simulating the various stages of a rep really helped put the sequence together in my head.

We’ll ignore for now the fact that I lack the strength to actually execute a muscle up at this stage. Simply understanding how the exercise should be done helps a lot.

For the 10 rounds I did 5 ring dips each round. I used a fat red band for the first 8 rounds and a thin red band for the last 2 rounds.

3 Rounds For Time:
Row 500m
25 Ball Slams
25 Pushups

This was a great WOD to me! Demanding and fast paced. My row times were solid. The first one was 1:50 or so, the second was just over 2:00 and the third was under 2:10. I would have preferred the third round was under 2:05, but it is what it is.

I used a 20# slam ball and did all three sets unbroken. I may try a 25# ball next time we need to use them. I LOVE ball slams. It’s just an exercise that works for me. Other folks tell me they love the sound of a heavy weighted bar hitting the floor after they drop it after a successful lift. I get a comparable rush from ball slams. I just love driving that ball into the floor and hearing that thwak.

I also have a very Beavis and Butt-head reaction to talking and writing about ball slams. “Tuh-huh. Huh-huh. He said slam balls.” It’s juvenile, I know. Deal with it. C’mon, confess. If someone asks you “what did you do at the gym today?” Do you want to say, “Oh I did30 min on the treadmill and 45 on the elliptical,” or do you want to look at them with a straight face and justifiably tell them “BALL SLAMS!” I rest my case.

Push ups were a disappointment. I had grand notions of doing 75 strict push ups and getting the rare emotional satisfaction of tagging this WOD Rx on the white board. Yeah…I did 5 clean strict push ups and realized that if I was going to still complete this one on my birthday, I’d better drop to my knees. Ah well.

I have appreciated all of the birthday wishes from fellow crossfitters. To those who scolded me for not sharing the information at the gym this morning, I’ll tell you now the same thing I told Coach Stew on Facebook. “With age comes wisdom.” I didn’t know, but strongly suspected, that a birthday in the box would come with celebratory burpees or some other exercise. Why in my right mind would I volunteer for that? And as I told Coach Paul separately, since it’s MY birthday, I should get to pick the exercise! So tomorrow when I’m back in the box, I think I’ll warm up with 41 ball slams!