Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Workout Recap/REVIEW: CrossFit Excellence

Monday: 5pm MI CrossFit.  Walked a mile from the bus stop and arrived early enough to sit in the sauna a little to warm up.
Skill work (not strength) was deadlifts.  We worked on form...although it turns out our coaches haven't all conferred on what they feel is good form for deadlifts, so throughout the week we got some differing opinions.
Kept the weight very light.
Scaled the handstand pushups to plates.  Used my kip which is helping a ton.  Can't wait until I get stronger and can do them RX from the floor!  Red band for the pullups since there were so many.  Scaled kettlebell swings to Russian swings with the #26 due to a tight back.  RXed situps and (my fave!) burpees.

Was trailing the boys for most of the WOD but knew I could make some of it up in the burpees if I REALLY pushed myself.  I did, and I was pretty happy with my time!  Loved Wodding with some folks I don't always get to see.

Got in some extra mobility at home before bed.  Always a great idea.

Tuesday: Travel/rest.  Between work and driving to Portland afterwards, not much time for moving.  Packed healthy snacks.  Went to bed early.

Wednesday: CrossFit Excellence.  I was looking high and low in Portland for a good box to visit while Jared had his med school interview.  I was surprised to find that almost every box has a drop-in fee, even for first time out of town guests!  All the boxes I've visted previously offer the first class for free, or, better yet, offer free classes to any travelling CrossFitters.  Got a little spoiled at CrossFit Amped and Graham CrossFit, I suppose.  Posted on Facebook my plea for help, and some friends from MICF suggested CrossFit Excellence in Lake Oswego.

I emailed Jen at CrossFit Excellence, who got back to me right away and was really welcoming!  She asked what class I'd like to visit and made sure I knew that they didn't charge visitors.  I told her I'd be at the 9:30 class...I had to drop Jared off at the school at 8 and I didn't know what to expect from traffic (and my own lack of directional skills).

Well, even with getting a bit confused and arriving and then leaving and arriving again (parking is below the building - look for this door which I missed), I was there by about 8:15.

Jen was doing "Gwen" and the box was pretty much empty.  I apologized for being so early, but she was really flexible and said I was welcome to work out at 8:30 if I felt ready.


She asked whether I wanted to do my own thing or follow their programming.  I love to see how various boxes run things, so I asked to do their programming for the day.  She started me out with five minutes of mobility.  We focused on feet and calves (partner calf mobility hurts like heck but is soooo good for you).  I mentioned Kelly Starrett and she replied, "Everything he does is art."  I knew I liked this place!  Plus I got the class to myself - gotta love personal training.

After mobility, we went into the warmup, which was preset drill/skill work.

I was a level II, so I started with 5 minutes of work on my double-unders.  So thankful Jared bought me a rope for Christmas!  I brought it on the trip and whipped it out of my bag.  Then I did paralette L-sit (for a personal PR of 0:27!) along with bar dips (holy crap those are hard), false grip pullups, and some GHD work. 

I do kinda wish there had been more of a MICF type warmup before the skill work.  I have really tight shoulders/neck and it's tough to go into something challenging like L-sits and dips without doing something light like pass throughs first.

Then, we were on to the WOD!  It didn't look too hard until I realized it was 3 rounds long.  I thought it was a once-through for time!

I love situps and kettlebell swings, but running is always a challenge for me.  I told myself I was not gonna be a wimp and I was gonna RX in under the time cap of 30 minutes.

We did abmat situps, which are different than what we do at MICF, but Jen reviewed proper form with me.  She also translated pood for me so I knew which kettlebell to use (ladies was #36).

With Jen cheering me on, I finished my first round in 9:18.  I knew it would be tight to get it done in the cap since it's sometimes hard to keep your first round pace.  I was able to do the situps unbroked, but had to break the swings into sets of 10-20 reps.  Jen said my form was great on the kettlebell swings (shoutout to the great coaches at MICF!) which was encouraging.  I really made myself push it on the runs and tried distracting myself, since usually the mental part of running is the hardest.  You know, when you tell yourself, "This is so hard.  I suck at running anyway."  Instead I counted steps, thought about good form, tried to lengthen my strides, and recited Scripture in my head.  Oh, yeah, and watched out for a train when crossing the tracks.

My second round was actually faster than my first, which really movitated me.  It was a killer workout and I couldn't do more than wave at the gal who showed up early for the 9:30.  But I finished in 27:49, which means I had negative splits for my rounds!  If that is a CrossFit appropriate phrase.

By the time I caught my breath, there were about four ladies present and doing mobility for the 9:30 class.  They were really sweet and glad to have me visiting.

Overall, I would highly recommend a visit to CrossFit Excellence!  It reminded me a lot of Mercer Island CrossFit.  Not super fancy box, but well equipped.  Knowledgeable coaching (Jen just renewed her L1 cert - she's been coaching for over 5 years and has done additional certs including going through the CrossFit Endurance seminar twice) and friendly community.  You'll get a great workout and feel right at home.  Thanks to Jen for having me and to Chris and Heidi for recommending it!

Post WOD with Coach Jen
I also got in an hour of walking toodling around Portland and did 15 minutes of mobility after our long drive home.

Thursday: Rest Day.  Got in a good little walk home from the bus and 20 minutes of mobility.

Friday: CrossFit and Racquetball.

Skill work was the 2 Minute Challenge for February: Med Ball Cleans.  Coach Jared gave us a run down of good form...and bad form.  We got one "free" warning on our form but if he had to no rep us and make us slow down to do it correctly, he would.  A good mid-range number to shoot for was 40.  I got 39!

Debated scaling the WOD but decided to try to RX...later it turned out I should have scaled since my numbers were so low.  (The point of this type of workout is a high output of reps.)


Had to run to the bathroom at the last minute before we started the WOD, so I missed the first three movements in the first round, hence low score for round one.  Double-unders kicked my butt...could only do a few at a time.  Gotta keep working on form.

Love love love finishing my weeks with racquetball.  I played REALLY well this week and made a stellar comeback to (almost) win on one of the games.  My endurance and hand-eye coordination continue to improve.  Fun to see CrossFit paying off in other sports.

Saturday: Mobility/Wendler's Week 1 (Deadlifts).  Started doing mobility to get in the mood to workout since all I wanted to do was eat cookies.  Realized I really needed the mobility and took like 35 minutes on it.  Yikes.  Was gonna do deadlift and strict press but only had 20 minutes left so did deadlifts only.  Highest load for the day was one lift at #185.  Nice to see the months of working on dumbbell rows pay off in my deadlift form.

You tell me: Do you pursue any other sports besides CrossFit?  Try any great boxes lately?  Ever do any less glamorous lifts to help your fancy lifts?

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