I didn’t intend to take a week off to begin the new year. Until I sat down to write this post, I was unaware that it’s been more than a week since I’ve been to the gym.

I tried to go to the gym on the second of January, but failed to check the schedule. The box was running on a limited holiday schedule. I was not. I improvised and did a heavy bag/ring pull up workout in the backyard that was a whole lot of fun. Since then, I’ve been traveling for work and have been unable to get to the box and uninspired to do travel WODs. It felt nice to be back in at CFD this morning.

Today’s group was quite small (only 5 of us). This meant Coach Lindsay had ample time to provide lots of individual attention to all the athletes. That was greatly appreciated.

Strength:
Complete 5 Rounds (not timed)
1 Hang Power Snatch
2 Hang Snatch
1 Power Snatch
2 Snatch
Start with 50% 1RM and work up as heavy as possible

I started at 75#, increased by 10# each round, ending at 105#.

Coach Lindsay’s observation on my technique was that in the hang position, I was not sitting back properly and I was not loading my hamstrings correctly. This was compromising my hip extension and forcing me to rely too heavily on my arms and shoulders.

The resolution was to not sit so far back and deeply from the hang. To be honest, it felt so foreign from the hang that I’m not sure I made significant improvement there. I have always struggled with the hang positions anyway.

However, from the floor, the new position meant I had to really concentrate on pulling my knees back. The result was the bar followed a much straighter path from the bottom to the top. This was very noticable and I could also really feel myself moving my body around and under the bar rather than moving the bar around me.

The end result was the snatches from the floor felt MUCH more stable and smoother. The drop under the bar felt much better today than I can remember in quite some time.

Next time we’re doing snatches, I’ve got to remember to start with, “knees back.”

Metcon:
5 Rounds:
1:00 Max Calorie Row
1:00 Max Burpees
1:00 Max Double-Unders
1:00 Rest

So let’s get the excuses out of the way up front. My jump rope broke during warm ups. The nut that holds one handle in place popped off during our last round of double unders. So I used a gym rope for the METCON. I respect the idea that an athlete should be able to make due with any equipment on any given day. At the same time, if you jump rope frequently with an individual rope, then you know that you just develop a feel for it and become accustomed to it. Being forced to use a different rope on the fly will set you off your game. At least, it did me.

I was very satisfied with Max Cal Rows. I pulled 22 reps each the first 3 rounds, and 21 the last two. Very consistent.

Burpees were all right, but not quite as consistent. 13, then 2 rounds of 12 and two rounds of 11.

Double-Unders were just a mess. 15, 11, 15, 13, and 12. I’d love to blame the challenge solely on using an unfamiliar rope, but that wasn’t the only issue. Coming into double unders panting madly after rowing and burpees was TOUGH. It was really difficult to settle my breathing, stop my hands from shaking and maintain good form.

If I did the math correctly, I believe that’s 233 total reps. Not bad. Not thrilling. I definitely gave away a lot of reps on the double unders.

Controlling my pacing/breathing is definitely one of my goals for the coming year. I’ve got to learn to stay calm during a METCON and not get all wound up in the first minute. Have to learn to control my mind and subsequently my heart rate and breathing better.

I love the scheduled programming at the box for the next 8 weeks! We’re doing past Crossfit Open WODs on Fridays, and benchmark WODs on Saturdays. This will be a great chance to retest and get some new benchmark scores.

The only challenge week over week is figuring out, “OK. Do I do the Open WOD on Friday or the Benchmark on Saturday?” So many choices, but I really like having the information in advance and the opportunity to choose.

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