Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday's Workout: Fat Gripz & PTP

CrossFit Palo Alto's closed for Turkey Week, so for the first time in a long while, I got to play around in my garage with some of my toys. Some of them -- like my Fat Gripz -- have been sitting in a box for a month, waiting for me to get off my ass and try 'em out.

Now that my back's feeling better, I want to work on getting it stronger -- and so my plan is to start doing some low-rep sets of deadlifts and strict presses, mixed with some super-short metcons. Sound familiar?

Yep -- I'm revisiting the Power to the People protocol.

Dallas and Melissa of the Whole9 have a PTP template from their CrossFit 603 days, so I decided to jump right in with their programming for Day One. First up: the "Buy-In":

3 rounds:
  • 20-second handstand hold
  • 15 Russian kettlebell swings (24kg / 16kg)
  • 10 box jumps (20″)
This was a fun way to kick off the morning and get the blood pumping rushing to my head. Once I was nice and toasty, I was ready for PTP.

  • Warm up: A few reps at a light weight
  • Set 1: 60% of 1-rep max, 3-5 reps
  • Set 2: 90% of Set 1 weight, 3-5 reps
Just to keep things interesting, I decided to wrap the Fat Gripz around my barbell -- I figured I might as well work on my grip strength, too. (Yes, I know that some folks say that increasing open-hand grip strength isn't necessarily going to help with support-grip moves like deadlifts or pull-ups, but I'm happy to settle for just generally increasing the strength of my hands.

I had trouble wrapping my thumbs around the width of the Fat Gripz -- my grip felt much more awkward than I expected -- but the starting weight was light, so I managed just fine. We'll see what happens as the weight on the bar starts creeping up.

  • Warm up: A few reps at a light weight
  • Set 1: 60% of 1-rep max, 3-5 reps
  • Set 2: 90% of Set 1 weight, 3-5 reps
I used the Fat Gripz on the strict presses, too, though I don't think it made much of a difference. Presses don't rely much on finger strength, so I'll probably skip the Gripz for this movement next time.

Cash Out:

3 rounds for time:
  • 30 double-unders
  • 15 knees-to-elbows
This sounded easy, but the KTEs rocked my world. I cranked out the double-unders without much trouble, but they wiped me out enough to make the knees-to-elbows a royal pain in the butt. Also, to be consistent, I'd stuck the Fat Gripz on the pull-up bar, too -- and it didn't take me long to start regretting it. Getting a handle on the bar was much more challenging than I anticipated, and my hands kept slipping off. Ugh.

Result: 4:27 as RXed.

I need bigger hands. My teeny little baby hands aren't cutting it.