Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday's Workout: Push It Real Good

This week's programming at CrossFit Palo Alto has been muy, muy bueno. It's not just the quick, challenging metcon sessions that I'm raving about; I'm also a big fan of the strength workouts we're doing in this cycle: Heavy thrusters on Monday, deadlifts on Wednesday, and today, handstand push-ups. These might just be my three favorite strength-biased exercises -- mostly because I'm at the point where I'm proficient enough at them to shift my focus to fine-tuning my form and adding more weight.

Strength Skill:
  • Handstand Push-Ups (5 sets of 5)

I love practicing HSPUs as a strength move, though they tire me out pretty quickly. Twenty-five of these -- with breaks after each five -- was perfect, but the next time high-rep HSPUs are programmed as part of a WOD, I know I'll be in for a world of hurt. Tim's promised to program Workout 1 from the Regionals sometime soon (which involves running 1K, cranking out 30 HSPUs, and then rowing 1K). I know I'll get through it fine, but I can't say I'm looking forward to it.

Today's metcon, after the jump...


For time:
  • 1 front squat (135lbs)
  • 1 ring dip 
  • 2 front squats
  • 2 ring dips
  • 3 front squats
  • 3 ring dips
  • 4 front squats
  • 4 ring dips
  • 5 front squats
  • 5 ring dips
  • 6 front squats
  • 6 ring dips
  • 7 front squats
  • 7 ring dips
  • 8 front squats
  • 8 ring dips
  • 9 front squats
  • 9 ring dips
  • 10 front squats
  • 10 ring dips
In total: 55 front squats and 55 ring dips. And given that the barbell starts on the floor (no racks allowed!), this workout actually includes a minimum of 10 cleans, too. Fun!

I wasn't confident that I could consistently clean the RXed weight of 135 pounds, so I went with 115 pounds instead, which I regretted as soon as the workout began. The first few rounds were almost too easy -- the front squats felt good, and I was blazing through the ring dips. 

But by the time I got to the 6-rep sets, I wasn't kicking myself anymore for scaling this WOD. I noticed that my cleans were no longer, well...very clean. And I started getting sloppy during the middle of my 8-rep set of ring dips, too. Tim had to yell at me to get all the way down before popping up.

Still, I really meant it when I said that this workout was fun. It was exhausting, too, but I had a good time trying (and ultimately failing) to catch up with XFitMama, who flew through this workout like a (pregnant) bat out of hell. She finished a full minute before I did.

My result: 9:14.

Oh -- and watch out for the Terminator, too. His arm's still on the mend, but the robot is powering up. The guy did today's workout using dumbbells and a fully-loaded weight vest. And he cranked out a bunch of handstand push-ups, too, which I'm pretty sure isn't part of his approved physical therapy plan.

Suffice it to say, some highly-motivated (and highly-motivational) people show up for class at 5 a.m.