Burpees? No thank you. Pull ups? Do we have to? Burpee Pullups? Yes, please! Go figure.

WOD for Tuesday 020513
Double Unders                        
Drills and more drills

The only way to get better at something is practice, practice, practice right? So that’s what we did. All things being equal, it went pretty well too.

The majority of my runs this morning were in the 10-15 range. I had a couple of runs in excess of 20 reps. Never did quite reach 30. There were misfires and runs of 3-5 too, but they were in the minority, so it feels like it was progress again today. Even though folks were laughing at me as I traveled the box floor backwards on my longer runs. I admit it. It is pretty entertaining.

There was a point where I had to walk away from the jump rope for a while because I was over thinking them. One set while focusing on pace, my hands started floating wide and I realized the rope wasn’t even touching the floor again. When I realized that and tried to fix it on the fly I stumbled. The next set while I was paying close attention to hand positioning my pace got frantic and I stumbled even quicker.

I just left the rope on the floor, found a spot on the pull up rig and practiced the burpee pull ups for a few reps to get double unders completely out of my head. It paid off too. When I returned to the rope I ran off one of the longest runs of the morning. Less thinking, more moving!

AMRAP in 15 minutes:
10 Burpee Pullups
20 Air Squats
30 Double Unders

This was a funny and fun METCON. Coming into this I had two goals. The first was to complete 5 rounds. I figured I’d have to luck into a few long DU runs to do that, but it seemed attainable. The second goal was to do all air squats unbroken.

Burpee pullups are exactly what they sound like. You do a burpee under a pull up bar. When you jump up out of the burpee you use the momentum of the jump to propel yourself up toward the pull up bar. In one fluid motion you catch the pull up bar and use the momentum from your jump to execute the pull up. I discovered I can do these. I actually think I’ve done them at least one other time. A couple of other folks took notice as I was practicing and complimented my form.

I explained that for months when I was trying to build the strength to do strict pull ups, Coach Jack would always suggest jumping pullups/negatives as the scaling option. He prefers these for his athletes over bands or other scaling techniques. Well, months and months of jumping pull ups paid off today. Burpee pull ups felt very natural. Sure, there’s an extra step coming up from the floor, but they felt pretty familiar.

Double unders were ok, but I didn’t hit enough long runs to meet that 5 round goal. I completed 4 rounds and 8 burpee pull ups. I’m pretty satisfied with that. I didn’t hit my secondary goal either. In the 3rd round I split the squats into 15 and 5. I had to. I felt like I was going to topple over from oxygen deprivation. Last set was 10 and 10.

This METCON was particularly fun because Nat and I were working at neighboring pull up bars and we paced each other very well. I can’t speak for Nat, but I was always very conscious of how far along he was in the WOD and I was determined to stay close. It was great motivation to keep moving forward any time I wanted to rest too long.

We traded spots leading each other over the course of the 15 minutes. He was stronger at the burpee pull ups especially late in the METCON. I tended to make up ground on the air squats. Double unders were a wash. It was a matter of who lucked into longer runs round by round. I don’t know Nat’s final score. I’m certain that we finished within a rep of each other. It really doesn’t matter.

The real value to me was having that person to chase, and occasionally try to out run. It made the METCON fun and we encouraged each other throughout. If Nat saw me doubled over catching my breath too long at the rig, he encouraged me to keep going. I did the same for him as we stood side by side doing air squats. It was definitely a shared experience. And that was cool.

I found it amusing today that I really enjoyed the burpee pull ups. On paper I shouldn’t. I don’t like strict burpees. I appreciate their value and importance to developing my fitness, but I don’t like ’em. But I do enjoy many burpee variants. I’m not addicted to pullups either, but I respect them. Somehow combining the two into one activity really appeals to me. I believe part of it is the discovery of finding new ways to be in motion.

There was something very cool about coming up out of that crouch and launching at the bar to catch it on the fly, moving seamlessly into a pull up. It was really satisfying when it worked. It didn’t happen every time. There was more than one rep in the third set where my footing wasn’t right or I was just too gassed and I ended up standing straight up, then making the jump to the bar a separate movement. BUT those were the exception. Most of the reps today were pretty fluid.

Remember, a few years ago I was the guy who had to stop and pause between tieing his left and right shoes to catch his breath. Getting in and out of a car was about the most complicated maneuver I could manage. So bouncing off the floor into a crouch and springing for a pull up bar? I’m not gonna lie. I was feeling pretty damn cool.

I’m finding that I’m really enjoying the current programming at the box. Ring Inversions/Skin the Cats on Friday, Paralette Shoot Throughs yesterday, and now burpee pull ups today. Each one a unique way to explore the limitations of how my body can move. It’s an interesting learning experience. These are things we’ve done before but somehow I’ve got a different interest level now. I’ve really enjoyed the once a month yoga as well. I’m finding yoga is certainly no less intense or demanding than crossfit, but it’s certainly less pounding. It’s great to have an opportunity to challenge the muscles without feeling like they’re taking so much impact.

I was watching “The Biggest Loser” last night and Jillian took her athlete to a parkour center for their last chance work out. That’s something I want to explore soon! I love Crossfit. I expect it will always be my primary avenue to fitness, but right now I’m getting curious about other ways to put my body in motion. I still have a long list of weightlifting goals for the next year that I don’t want to abandon, but the recent programming has reminded me that there are all sorts of other ways to move. I want to dedicate some time to exploring and practicing those.