Monday, October 27, 2014

Masters Training To Whip Me Into My Place: Crossfit

In Crossfit, you are considered a Master based on your age. 35 years and up means your workouts might be catered a little differently than the standard WOD (workout of the day). In other words, they are modified for masters by a minuscule amount. This means I am two years away from the downhill... I felt like hugging random strangers when I saw my old Crossfit gym (Front Range Crossfit) was starting a new training program - Masters-only training on Saturdays (for age 30+ only). This meant I could have someone push me past my limits and be surrounded by 30 year olds+ while doing it. Yep. Sign me up. 

We had two coaches for class. One was Scott Olson, 1st place Crossfit Games Masters winner and Rhonda who both drilled me some spot-on coaching advise.  To start us off, Scott prepped us with the outline for the 2 hour training. He said double unders would be in our WODs, plus rowing practice. I actually stopped listening (and breathing) when he said double unders because I was hit in the gut with intense fear.

Double Unders and I have a history. And while I have recently been able to link some of them- my double unders are a complete debacle. Luckily, I wasn't the only one who had a double under dilemma, so I wasn't holding anyone back. Instead, I realized that, self-respect be damned, it was the perfect class for me because I got to improve my skills! I ended up getting more double under links than I ever have (IN MY WHOLE LIFE!) And just to brag a little bit, Scott told me that I am extremely close to becoming very efficient at double unders. And to think I almost peed my pants for nothing!

Masters Training Class Schedule:
  • Warming up
  • Rowing technique - Jon Kissick Team US Rowing to critique our rowing skills
  • Double Under and thrusters instruction
  • WOD #1 - 5 KB thrusters - 10 Double Unders - 150 Meter Run -
    EMOM (every min on the min.) 12 Min.
  • Rest/Recover
  • WOD #2 - 300Meter Row, 20 Double Unders, 10 Barbell Thrusters (95# male-65# female)
    4 Rounds on the 6:00 Interval

Double Under Fail. Look where the rope is
If you are asking yourself what a double under is, let me explain briefly. It's where you are jumping rope and you have the rope come under your feet twice while you only jump up once. So it's a fast rope movement with a high, slow jump. It requires practice, patience and coordination. I am completely convinced there has been a conspiracy against me being able to link them. One of the best things Scott taught us is that you want to make your double unders so effortless that when they are in a workout, they become a rest period for you. This is exactly what I want, I am done with them leaving me exhausted.

Current Double Under face
The rowing critique was helpful, it's my second time taking a class from Jon Kissick and I think he's full of amazing information. Jon rowed for the US Rowing team and even won a gold medal...Totally famous. My form was brought up a lot in class for all different mistakes but I enjoyed applying better methods and seeing the improvements on my rowing screen. Here's what I remember:
  1. My food pads need to be at #2 station because my knees were coming over my toes (I have super flexible hamys- thanks Yoga!)
  2. I was not leaning forward enough on the front end, need to wind all the way to 11:00 (like I'm about to pull a heavy load)
  3. I was pulling back on the rower before my legs fully finished their pull. This gives me less power because I start using littler muscles like my back instead of my legs
  4. I was retracting after the pull, and allowing my knees to bend before the bar. I need to bar to go past my knees before I bend my knees

So many fun tricks and manipulations to help you row better! It's so thrilling to see notable improvements in a skill set.  I saw huge drop offs in my split time when I hinged forward more so I was elated to see that.

Common rowing errors video here!

Our last WOD completely KILLED me:

300 Meter Row
20 Double Unders
10 Barbell Thrusters (95# male-65# female)
4 Rounds on the 6:00 Interval

 4 Rounds of this shenanigans was insane. It reminded me that I'm made of steel and I haven't been pushing myself hard enough in the gym to value that steel-made self. I Love you Crossfit. Back to the story, I finished each round between the high 2:00 min mark and low 3:00 min mark. I think officially my last time was 3:12min. which was my worst time, I can easily blame the exhaustion. I was able to do the thrusters unbroken and I rowed in 1:58/500m splits but the double unders were what slowed my roll. Hopefully not for long, Double Unders are beginning to become my bitch. Considering all the whip marks I have received from double unders, it's about time I take control back from the rope!

Stay tuned for more training!