Last Day of CrossFit, 10/26/12

I finally made it through my 10th day at CrossFit.  Did I mention this was a $30 Groupon for 10 drop-in classes?  As I’ve mentioned before, a regular CrossFit membership is simply out of my price range for fitness.  So Kara and I are always on the lookout for fitness-related Groupons to keep things interesting, and learn more moves to incorporate into our own shenanigans.  This is the second time one of those Groupons was CrossFit-related.  Our next adventure involves some kettlebell classes!  I’m sure we’ll be posting about that soon, since our first class with the new Groupon is on Thursday.

I’m not going to mention the particular place I’ve been going to, since I’ve not given great reviews, and I don’t want to recommend the place to anyone.  One place I would recommend, however, is CrossFit Los Gatos.  They seem to have their ish together over there.  Anyway, here’s a rather late recap of the last CrossFit session I attended at this gym.


  • 320-m run
  • 10 double-unders with a jump rope (swirl the rope fast so it goes under you twice for one jump)
  • 10 reverse burpees (I love these! See video.)
  • 10 scissor legs
  • 10 kettlebell deadlifts + upright row (25 lbs)
  • 10 overhead kettlebell swings
  • 10 supermans
  • 10 pushups
  • 10 wide arm pushups
  • 10 narrow arm pushups
  • 10 knees-to-elbows

The reverse burpees we did looked like this, except without the medicine ball.


Work on kipping pullups.  Maybe one of the most notoriously criticized CrossFit moves.

My opinion:  it’s not a pull up, and I don’t care.  It’s still an interesting, useful, strength-building move. Don’t hate.  I also like regular pull-ups.

Work on double-unders, since they’re included in the WOD.  It’s all in the wrist, baby. I am still working on these — I usually do a pattern of 2 regular jumps, then one double under, then two regular jumps, and so on…

Workout of the Day (WOD)

There are three sets below.  You have 11 minutes to do as many rounds as possible of the first set, then move on to 11 minutes of the second set (no break!), and then 11 minutes of the third set.  Keep track of how many rounds you complete.

  1. 100-m run, reverse burpees, 10 double-unders
  2. 100-m run, 7 overhead kettlebell swings (25 lbs), 7 kettlebell deadlifts + upright row (25 lbs), 5 scissors
  3. 100-m run, 35 7” jumps, 5 knees-to-elbows

When I walked in, I was checking out the “score board” to see what other people had achieved with this WOD.  I decided to shoot for 15 rounds, and that ended up being perfect.  I finished exactly 15, pushing especially hard toward the end.  Around the halfway point, I wasn’t sure I’d make it, but I tried to increase my running pace, and I think that made the difference. I think I did 5 rounds of #1, 4 rounds of #2, and 6 rounds of #3.

Overall, I’d say I had a pretty positive experience with this CrossFit gym, but I think it’s because I am fairly familiar with how to position my body to avoid injury.  I also faked some max weights a few times, because I had the sense that the trainer would have added more weight to my bar than I really think is appropriate for someone with my level of strength.  I can definitely see that there will be many injuries occurring at this gym (my chiropractor is apparently quite familiar with the place), but it was a positive experience for me because 1) I think I’m pretty good at preventing these kinds of injuries, and knowing when to increase/decrease the weight, and 2) my fitness level improved a lot.  I have higher endurance, improved upper body strength, and more confidence in my ability to succeed when things are TOUGH (that’s a big one).  I also learned tons of new moves that I’m sure will be put to good use in future workouts.  =)



Silicon Valley Turkey Trot

Well, it’s official. Kara and I have signed up for the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, on Thanksgiving morning. My goal for the race is this: no walking. I’m sure Kara’s goal is probably something like (a) under 30:00, and/or (b) don’t trip/fall.

I kid, I kid. Kara’s had a couple of epic running wipe-outs in the time I’ve known her.  I’m sure I’m cursing myself by even mentioning it.  But this course should be fairly free of uneven pavement, so here’s to a safe, fun run. Also, here’s to pigging out afterward.  I think we’ll have earned it.

Anyone else have any big race plans coming up?  I have a friend who just ran a half-marathon, and I have to admit she was definitely an inspiration for doing a 5 k.  It’s been awhile.  Time to make up a running playlist.  One song I know will make the cut: Bulls on Parade by Rage Against the Machine.  Maybe for the last mile, eh?  SO MUCH ANGST!!!



Leg Day 10/22/2012 + Ab HIIT

This week’s focus for me will be on portion control.

Last week I celebrated my birthday and was a bit more cavalier with my eating habits, particularly in the dessert category. For instance, on Friday I started off the day with a piece of cake! Sometimes a girl can’t say no to a homemade pumpkin cake… I don’t mind a splurge here or there, but this week it’s time to reign in the eating.

On to the workout. Today’s workout will start with the below warm up, follow with the circuit performed 3 times through and then as an extra bonus, there is an Ab HIIT for a finish.

Warm Up
5 minutes of moderate, steady state cardio. I will hit the treadmill, but feel free to spin, row or use the elliptical.
15 overhead kettle bell swings
arm rotations with a dowel overhead
10 pushups
10 good mornings with dowel
50 jumping jacks
20 Russian Twists

Repeat 3 times

Leg Day Workout 10/22/2012

Perform each move for 20 seconds, take 10 seconds rest and then proceed to the next move. Repeat the moves three times through for a total of 6 minutes.

  • V Ups
  • Russian Twists
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Leg Lowers



CrossFit Journal, 10/18/12 – Separating the Girls from the Women

Hardest CrossFit session to date?   Will I just continue to say that as long as I push myself?   I kid you not, at one point during yesterday’s workout, I actually (ACTUALLY) thought to myself “I would rather be running.”  If you’ve been reading along, or if you know me personally, you know that this thought is unheard of for Amanda.  I worked my ass off.  And two others in the room still KILLED ME.  I can blame it on the fact that I hadn’t eaten since lunch (usually I have a snack in the afternoon), but really that doesn’t make up for the difference.  I will definitely try this workout again, and try to improve my performance.  It would be simple to implement at the gym at work, so I look forward to trying again with Kara.

Warm up

  • 320-m run
  • 10 pushups
  • 10 burpees
  • 10 windshield wiper stretches
  • 10 Russian twists, 20 lbs
  • 10 V-ups
  • 10 good mornings with a dowel
  • 8 figure-8s with a kettle bell, 20 lbs
  • 5 box jumps (20”?)


Max height box jump.  Just keep laying big plates on top of a box, see how high you can go, and measure with a tape measure at the end.  Be smart, be careful.  I got to 29.5”.  I’m 5’4”.

WOD (Workout of the Day)

You have 2 minutes to complete:

  • 10 box jumps (20”)
  • 5 bar-facing burpees (see first video below)
  • As many hang power snatches (see second video) as you can in the remaining time (35 lbs for women, I believe it was 65 lbs for men)

You will repeat the two-minute circuit 8 times, and write down your number of reps (including box jumps and burpees) at the end of each circuit.  There is a 1-minute break between circuits.  Your score is the total number of reps completed.  In my case:  28-25-25-24-22-22-22-23 = 191 total.

Once again, I was not in last place (out of 4 people), but I was pretty far behind the two people in front of me.  There was a girl (excuse me, WOMAN!) who scored 353 reps, with the same height box, and the same weight on her bar.  I am still completely blown away by her performance.  She pushed really hard, and performed amazingly well.  Definitely inspiring!  That’s what I mean by separating (by a very large margin) the girls — me — from the women.  =)  I’ll get there!  I’m still proud of how hard I pushed myself.  I was definitely bordering on black-out at one point, and also had some serious heartrate and breathing issues at one point.  But I pulled through and finished the last round without giving up any more reps.  Whew!!


The Interrupted Workout

At the gym that Amanda and I use, there is an area with normal weight lifting machines and then a separate room for classes. This room is available all the time after work except for Tuesday and Thursday from 5:15p to 6:30p. When I went to the gym yesterday (Thursday) I, however, thought the class was from 5:30p to 6:30p and was planning to finish things before then.  To my surprise and dismay, I had to deal with the crotchety old instructor kicking me out 15 minutes early and disrupting my workout groove.  He moved my kettlebells to the door and went to take apart my step before I stopped him!  I would normally be more than OK with relocating and was planning to anyway, but his rudeness really caught me off guard.  I always try to be very considerate of other people in the gym, but this class only had four people to fill the huge area and we could have easily shared the room for the final 15 minutes.

</ end rant>

Anyone else have to deal with rude people in the gym?

On to the workout:

I made up this workout in a couplet form. You perform the two moves, one after the other, three times through before moving to the next set. But first the warm up –

Warm Up
5 minutes of moderate, steady state cardio. I will hit the treadmill, but feel free to spin, row or use the elliptical.
15 overhead kettle bell swings
arm rotations with a dowel overhead
10 pull ups
50 jumping jacks
10 russian twists


Couplet One

Side Lunge to Curtsy

Couplet Two

  • Overhead Tricep Press
    x 10, with a 20lb kettlebell
  • Around the World
    x 5 with 5lb dumbbells
Around the World

Couplet Three

  • Bicycle Abs on Bosu
    x 20
  • Slidey Abs
    x 10
Slidey Abs

Happy Friday Everyone!

CrossFit Journal, 10/16/12

I headed back to CrossFit yesterday after a little hiatus.  Travel and a cold threw a wrench in my routine, but I was happy with how strong I still felt, even after the break.  I have to admit that I was really nervous about whether there would be a ton of running, because my throat/lungs are still recovering, and I wasn’t sure how much ground I’d lost as far as cardiovascular fitness goes.  I always find that my endurance with running goes away really quickly if I don’t do it for a week or so.  And I’ve heard rumors from the other CrossFitters about recent workouts that have included up to 5k in running, in addition to requisite lifting routines.  I’m so intimidated by that… I know I’d get it done, but it would really suck for me.

But, I had fun last night!  We ended up doing a lot of partner work, and things seemed a little more low-key than usual.  Also, everyone seemed a bit more friendly and chatty, so I enjoyed the fitness camaraderie.  In my opinion, it’s the number-one virtue of this fitness trend (I know that some people will gasp (!!) that I’ve called it a “trend.” What do you think?) .  I absolutely love group fitness, especially when everyone has higher-than-your-average-fitness-class motivation.


  • 480-m run
  • 30 jumping jacks
  • 10 hand-release pushups
  • 10 overhead pass-throughs with a dowel (here at 2:44)
  • 10 low, slow squats
  • 10 Knees to Elbows
  • 5 burpees
  • 10 scissors
  • 10 ring dips, or simple tricep dips, with or without elastic assistance


Tabata Partner Medicine Ball Situps.  Almost exactly like the video below, except when our partner had the ball, we would just wait for the ball to come back instead of doing an extra situp without the ball.  Personally, now that I’ve seen this video, I think we should have done the extra sit-up!!  But I can always implement that later in another workout of my own design.  =)

For the Tabata format, we did as many reps as possible in 20 seconds, then took a 10-second break.  This was repeated 8 times for a total of 4 minutes.  My partner and I kept to a pace of 10-11 situps per round, using a 12-lb medicine ball.

Workout of the Day (WOD)

More partner work, this time a 20-minute AMRAP (that means As Many Rounds As Possible in 20 minutes).

  • 5 ring dips
  • 10 hand-release pushups (ugh)
  • 15 air squats (you must break parallel for it to count — that means your butt goes below the level of your knees)
  • the prescribed number of burpees (see below)

Here’s how the partner workout goes.  Partner A goes through the first three exercises (dips, pushups, squats), and at the end completes one burpee. When she’s done, partner B goes through the first three exercises, and at the end completes two burpees. Then back to partner A… at the end of the first three exercises, she does three burpees, and so on.  So each time through, you add a burpee.  Partner A always does the odd number of burpees, partner B always does the even numbers.  Partner A rests while partner B works, and vice versa.  Together you complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes.  Together, my partner and I completed 12 full rounds, plus 15 reps (all the way through the push-ups on the 13th round).

Since I was curious, I added up exactly how many reps of each exercise I did.  I was partner A.

  • 35 ring dips
  • 70 pushups
  • 90 squats
  • 1+3+5+7+9+11=36 burpees

Anyway, it was another great workout.  I think I’m ready for some running next time.  Still, not too much.  I still loathe it, but I’m less worried about my fitness level than I was before yesterday’s workout.  😉  Don’t be so skeered, Amanda!  When’s the last time you were unnecessarily intimidated by a future workout/fitness event?  I know I always feel that way before a race event.  Gah!

Happy Hump Day!


Leg Day 9/20/2012

Here is another lost workout from the period in September when I squeezed them in as I could. Blogged for your enjoyment.

Sweat. Enjoy. Repeat.

Workout Inspiration:

Warm Up
5 minutes of moderate, steady state cardio. I will hit the treadmill, but feel free to spin, row or use the elliptical.
15 overhead kettle bell swings
arm rotations with a dowel overhead
10 burpees
50 jumping jacks
10 russian twists

Dead Lift. Start with a 30lb bar and slowly add as much as you can to perform 10 clean dead lifts and keep good form.

Proper Dead Lift Form

Repeat 3 times

Workout for 9/20/2012