Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday's Workout: Taking It Easy

I was thisclose to staying in bed this morning. I'm scheduled to attend Patton Gleason's Flow Running Seminar at CrossFit Palo Alto tomorrow afternoon, so for a brief moment, I contemplated playing hooky today. But I'd seen the doctor at the sports clinic again yesterday, and he'd encouraged me to keep mobile, so I pulled myself out of bed. I figured I'd join my fellow 5 a.m. nutjobs and see what I could do in the gym.

Strength Skill:
  • Weighted Ring Dips (5-3-3-1-1)
To make sure I didn't aggravate my back, I didn't add any weight today, performing only bodyweight dips. And I didn't follow the rep scheme; I settled for just three solid sets of three. The slow reps felt good and clean, and I'm glad I resisted the urge to throw on some weight just to appease my ego.

Believe it or not, I'm doing my damnedest to focus on active recovery rather than the usual all-out RXed craziness.


For time:
  • 22 kettlebell swings (32kg / 24kg)
  • 500-meter row
  • 22 burpees
  • 100 double-unders
  • 22 kettlebell swings (32kg / 24kg)
As soon as I saw the kettlebell swings, I knew I had to scale this one way, way down. In recent months, I've worked my way up to 32kg (70lb) overhead kettlebell swings in metcons, but I knew going anywhere near RXed today would result in a disaster of epic proportions. Heavy swings would surely exacerbate my back problem.

"What can I sub in place of the heavy swings?" I asked Tim.

"Light swings," he said. Right. Duh.

I picked up a 16kg kettlebell and cranked out a couple of practice swings. They felt light -- too light, I thought. But then again, maybe "too light" was exactly what I needed. It would get my back muscles moving without unduly straining them.

Even with a light weight, I wanted to be careful. "Am I going to wreck my back even more with the kettlebell swings?" I asked XFitMama.

"Don't go overhead. Stop at chest level," she advised. XFitMama is usually the first to go balls-out on WODs (remember when she did Kelly in her eighth month of pregnancy?), so when she suggests scaling down, I listen.

As a result, the kettlebell swings were easy and fast. I also rowed conservatively, bracing my core, making sure not to overdo the pull, and aiming for a slow 'n steady 2:00 time. The burpees and the double-unders were the movements I could do without worrying about my back, so I dove into those; I quickly learned, though, that burpees are no picnic after rowing, and the double-unders aren't easy after burpees. Nonetheless, I managed to consistently string together a couple dozen double-unders at a time, and got through the rope-jumping pretty quickly. And with a super-light kettlebell, the final set of swings were over in a flash.

Result: 8:14.

Admittedly, I felt a twinge of envy when I spotted Mark and the Terminator ripping out 70-pound kettlebell swings. But I didn't feel an ounce of regret.