Clearing your mind

Yesterday was a long, long day.  Don’t worry, I’ll spare you the details of me fighting with my vehicles outside all day while it was -32°C (-26°F for US readers)….

By 600pm, I was frustrated, hungry, annoyed, moody, the whole range and I knew that getting some food in me and heading to Crossfit 403 would probably help my mood.  I said it on Sunday I think that it’s my escape, and last night it did a wonderful job of it.

Here’s the WOD Board in all its glory!

I was actually looking forward to this warmup because I don’t often enough get to practice skipping and double unders while I’m still fresh.  Usually we’re already into a workout or we do them post workout when I’m already a bit tired.  A good analogy for why I don’t try more double unders during the actual skipping workouts is something my buddy Ryan told me about golf—fix your game at the driving range, not on the course.  When I got to the skipping part, I have to say I was pretty happy.  I did 6 double unders last night, though not consecutively.  I can do one double under and maintain skipping, then do another one, then some more singles, and then another.  I haven’t yet been able to link double unders together.  I am ordering my own rope though so that I can play in the garage and outside (when it’s warmer!) and get this down pat.  After that, we did a 7 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) with one round consisting of 10 burpees and 10 toes-to-bar.

I don’t think I’ve ever talked about them before but basically you’re hanging from a pullup bar and you swing into an abdominal crunch, trying to touch the pullup bar with your toes.  Here’s a picture–

For a really great instructional video, check out this video from Jon Gilson at Again Faster.  They are a huge Crossfit supporter and Jon was kind enough to allow me to use his videos on the blog whenever applicable.  Well, here ya go (thanks again Jon!)–he covers knees to elbows first, toes to bar starts just after the 5 minutes mark.

There is also a modified version that most of us do, where you do this same motion but while on your back.  You lay flat on your back and extend your hands over your head as if you were grabbing the pullup bar.  Instead, hold onto your couch, friend’s legs, table, whatever is solid enough and swing your legs up as if you’re trying to do a reverse somersault and touch your toes to whatever you are hanging onto.  It’s still a great core workout and takes the difficult hanging aspect out of it.

For this 7 minutes AMRAP I was able to complete 4 complete rounds, 10 more burpees and 4 toes to bar (modified).  Pretty happy with that…that means that in 7 minutes I did 50 burpees AND 44 toes to bar.  Considering that over Christmas it took me almost 9 minutes to complete 50 burpees alone (link to that post), I can be pretty happy with that!

Onto the thruster/breathing ladder.  I’ve talked about ladder workouts before, click either of these links to see those posts (Pull Up Ladder or Pushup Ladder).  This one was slightly different though and was designed as a solo workout.  Here’s a thruster–*edit* added a new video, the other one wouldn’t work on mobile devices–

The way this workout works is based on calming your heart rate and breathing and staying as “centered” as possible; it’s both a physical and mental challenge.  You start with 1 thruster and when you’re done, take a step back and take one deep breath.  Back on the bar to do 2 thrusters, back off and 2 breaths.  Continue this until you get to 10 thrusters and 10 breaths.  If you can’t get there, that’s fine, start counting back down from where you ended up.  My partner and I stayed with a 45lb bar only as he was brand new and helping him to get the movement down is more important than adding a bit of weight—it’s still plenty physical at 45lbs!

We both got all the way up to 10 thrusters and 10 breaths, and started our way back down–do 9 of each, then 8, all the way back to 1.  When we finished, there was still one guy going and he had some weight on his bar.  Seeing he had 3, 2, and 1 to complete and the fact that he was by himself, I jumped in after he did his 3 and did 3 of my own at 65lbs.  Got him back on the bar for 2, I did 2, and then we both did the last one.  It was a good feeling to finish with some weight on the bar too.

Mission accomplished, workout successful, mind cleared…time for a protein powder shake, some yogurt, and bed…

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