CrossFit Journal, 9/19/12

Yesterday’s CrossFit class was another doozy.  This time, though, I have a couple of critiques of this particular “box” (what Crossfitters call their gym).  See the end of this post for my rants.

Warm-up

  • 380-m run
  • 10 hand-release pushups (I do not approve)
  • 10 overhead pass-throughs with a dowel (here at 2:44)
  • 10 6” jumps, arms overhead (tap a bar above your head, if you can find one at the right height)
  • 10 doubleunders (jump rope, spinning the rope fast enough to get under your feet twice in one jump)
  • 10 (5 on each side) Turkish getups with a PVC
  • 10 sit-ups

Skill

Turkish Getups with a Bar.  Do one on each side, at each weight.  I did 12 lbs, then 25 lbs, then 30 lbs.

As you can tell, this is really technical with a bar (as opposed to a kettlebell).  It would be very easy to injure yourself, simply by losing your balance and rotating your shoulder the wrong way, so only work with a comfortable weight.  Better safe than sorry.  More tips:  Go slow.  Keep your arm completely vertical, elbow locked, at all times.  Keep your eye on the bar — always look up.  Tilt the bar very slightly forward for easier balance (at least for me).  Again, do NOT overload your bar!

Workout of the Day (WOD)

5 rounds, as fast as possible of:

  • 480-m run
  • 6 turkish getups (3 each side) with the bar (I started with a 25 lb bar, but quickly downgraded to 15 lbs to be safer.)
  • 15 hand-release pushups
  • 15 V-ups

My time was 32:55.  I think I could have done with a slightly heavier weight, but unfortunately, there was no 20-lb bar.  No matter, though, I was WIPED OUT at the end.  I am definitely bringing up the rear when it comes to these group workouts.  I actually kind of like it.  These people are insanely strong, and I love the motivation.  I can already feel that running is getting a bit easier (oh, I still hate it, but it’s easier).

Now, for the critiques I mentioned at the beginning:

1) Hand-release pushups. Not a fan.  These bring your chest all the way to the ground, and you have to pick up your hands when you’re on the ground, every time.  I understand the point — it forces you to do a COMPLETE pushup.  You get the full range of motion.  But what I also see is that, if you’re not strong, or your pushup form is weak, then you end up “doing the worm” on the way up, with a slumped back.  And it wasn’t just me.  Some of the strongest people in the class were doing their pushups this way, too, and it just looks totally wrong.  You lose all of the benefit of holding your body stiff (think, plank) for a pushup, and you also are probably causing yourself some back problems.  I think the better thing to do would be to WORK UP to this.  Start with regular pushups on your knees, progress to regular pushups on your toes, and when your back/core are super strong, try the hands-up when you go down.  To be fair, I don’t really think this is a universal CrossFit thing.  I think this video (also by a CrossFit affliate) is much more useful:

2. While I think Turkish Getups with a bar are an awesome idea, I think that trainers might want to take a little bit more responsibility for instructing their clients/crossfitters about the proper amount of weight.  There was a big guy in our class doing a weight that caused him to drop the bar, and lose his balance at the end of every rep.  I think this is really unsafe.  As I said before, you could easily injure your shoulder, not to mention drop the bar onto your body as you’re coming back down into the lying position.  And if we’re talking about CrossFit standards (i.e. for the CrossFit Games), I’m certain that he would receive a “fault” for every one of his reps.  I think it’s essential to preach form before weight, and our trainer failed to do that last night.  I was disappointed.

However, I was not disappointed in myself!  Despite finishing last in our 5-person group, I kicked ass. And actually, I beat everyone in the morning group (everyone’s times for the day are written on a whiteboard), so I feel good about that.  I’m really pushing myself and it feels great.  =)

-Amanda

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