Friday, January 30, 2009

One and Six Month Anniversary

It's been 4 weeks, 12 sessions of sweat and determination (thankfully no tears nor blood yet!) and I've completed a month of training at The Cell. It's quite surreal as I look back only two short months ago I remember the conversation with my brother well - he spent over an hour talking to me about Crossfit and now I've done a month and been featured on The Cell's Website page for athletes. Quite an honor as they have an Australian Olympian training with them.

This week also marked my 6 month anniversary of being in Australia! Cannot wait to see where the next 6 months take us.....

I'm on my own for two weeks now - off traveling to the east coast for a sustainability learning journey so I will be working hard to find time in our busy schedule to do some body weight only workouts. Should have some interesting photos to post at some point in time!

This last week kicked my butt physically. I can honestly say that I have never in my life pushed myself to the edge of physical fatigue the way I did this week. It was an interesting experience and not to mention frustrating when your mind is fit and strong and the limiting factor are your muscles!

Here's why:


10-20-30 reps for time
Ball Slams - 5kg
Walking Lunges
Over Head Squats - 12 kg
Time: 14:15min

21-15-9 reps
Hand Stand Push Ups (Blue/Purple Bands)
Ring Dips (Purple Band)
Push Ups (knees and bench)
Time: 17:47


Power Cleans 3-3-3-3-3 - 25kg

2 rounds of time of:
Burpee Broad Jumps, 10 reps
Walking lunges, 30 reps
12 kg Kettle Ball swings, 21 reps
Pull ups, 21 reps (purple band)
10kg Ball Slams, 21 reps
Time: 14:54 min

Whooo weeee!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Very Un-scientific

Week three of training 3x a week at The Cell in Perth is done! I cannot tell if I've made major gains and of course, knowing me, I expect to see them already. I'm impatient what can I tell you? It's typical for me for things I really care about - progress in Crossfit is no different!

Clothes are starting to get a bit baggy in the bum. A little looser in the waist, chest and arms. My partner is always pinching me in various places for fun - "pinching" fun of my various areas of zee body that I would prefer not to have a pinch - abdomen, upper arms and backside. Although it got me thinking and very unscientifically I can attest that the "pinchability" of my arm flesh is getting smaller and smaller! Here is my very unscientific proof (mostly to myself) that the thickness of the flesh that is pinchable is getting smaller - Whoo hoo!

Another small change I've noticed is the emergence of my arm veins. You might not think this is such a big deal but it is to me! My whole life, every time I've gone to give blood, especially with an inexperienced nurse, I come out black and blue as I have deep veins. They usually poke around in my arm crook forever and I end up with big bruises after several attempts to find my veins! So I'm very pleased to see these blue beauties "arising" to the surface! YIPEE!

So what else happened in week 3?

I learned how to do a back squat, knees to chest (tried for elbows and just couldn't manage...yet!) and I'm getting much better at handstand push ups. Oh! And I have officially "graduated" from the purple elastic band to the blue for pull ups!

Monday WOD:
As Many Rounds As Possible in 15 mins of
15kg Overhead Squat - 10 reps
Knees to Chest - 5 reps
Hand Stand Push-ups (purple/blue bands) 3 reps
8 rounds!

Wednesday Workout:
2 rounds Crossfit Warm up
Back Squats 5-5-5-5-5 - 35kg
Sorry no photo so I'll have to get one done soon!

Friday's workout:
For time:
20 Handstand Pushups (Purple and blue band)
30 Pull Ups (purple band)
40 12kg Kettlebell Swings
50 Sit Ups
35 Burpees
Time: 16:26

Ooooh how I LOVE burpees! (snort)
Can't wait for next week!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

2nd week down!

It's been an interesting week for me personally (economic slowdown-job security etc) and Crossfit has been like a rock in my life - giving me the ability to focus on just taking one day at a time and channel my emotions into power. It's something I'm traditionally not good at...just ask any friend or family member.

All this week, I tried to use all of the emotional energy I was feeling and poured it into my workouts. Monday I kettle bell swung with all my might, Wednesday I rowed my anger out and Friday I was a quiet warrior, determined to hold the pace and and not let my "love" of thrusters defeat me.

Emotions are a powerful thing and important to express. I'm grateful to be learning a new way to express them!

Monday's workout:
Over Head Squat 5-5-5 (15.5kg)
Pullup Ladder (purple band)
Dip Ladder (blue)

Work out of the Day
21-15-9 reps
Box Jumps
Kettlebell swings 16kg
Sumo Deadlift High Pulls

Time: 8:13am

Wednesday's workout:
Deadlift Max weight

WOD - 5 rounds for time
Row - 250m
20kg Push Press 5 reps
35kg Dumbbell Squats 5 reps
Time: 11:48mins

Friday's workout:

Handstand Pushups 3x max (purple and blue bands)
8/11/6 (I flubbed and lost my concentration!)

Pullup ladder
(I graduated to the blue band after this one!)

5 rounds - each round timed
55kg Sled pull 10m
25kg Thruster - 8 reps
90 seconds rest
Round 1 1:22mins
Round 2 1:13mins
Round 3 1:07mins
Round 4 0:57sec
Round 5 0:52sec

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thrusters vs. Mind

Crossfit is hard. Apparently it doesn't get easier either because the workouts scale up with your increasing fitness levels.

Wednesday's workout this week was particularly hard for some reason. I had eaten a good breakfast and lunch, had a good night's sleep the night before, was staying away from sugar (yeah!) and yet this workout kicked my ass and really screwed with my head....

Warm up was:
Press 5-5-5

Deadlift 3-3-3

Work out of the Day was:
20kg Sumo Deadlift High Pulls (SDHP) - 25 reps
Pullups (purple) - 10 reps
20kg Thruster - 25 reps

By the time I got to the end of the pullups I was messed! I kept thinking - "I'm toast, how am I going to get through 25 thrusters!?" I honestly didn't think I was going to make it. I find Thrusters one of the most challenging Crossfit movements so far...heres's why (watch first 59secs):

That's a looooong way for the weight to travel and then be pushed back up over your head. It's a bugger! I was just using a solo bar as well, eventually weights will go on the bar!

I love Crossfit because it constantly challenges your mental strength and without it, Crossfit simply cannot be done, no matter what level!

Old Dog learning new tricks

I felt like this at the end of week 1 of my crossfit journey! Yesterday, Jason says to me we are going to do handstands and I got the giggles! I haven't done handstands since I was about 15yrs old so I figured it would be pretty interesting. So we tried a few against the wall and it turned out to be not so bad. It's really strange how little body awareness you have when you are upside down with all the blood rushing to your head! Then I was told I was going to do pushups from the handstand position! OH MY GOD?!

Luckily they were 'assisted' by a large rubber band sling (no other words to describe) and when I got into the thing and I had to fight to get my hands on the ground (pulling against a rubber band to do a handstand isn't something you get to do everyday!) I got an even bigger case of the giggles!!! Here is the progression of teaching this "old dog" a new trick!!

(it's too bad you cannot see my face - I'm laughing like crazy!)

Friday's workout was:
Back Squats - 5-5-5

Handstand Pushups (HSPU)
3x max - Purple AND Blue rubber bands!

WOD - 5 rounds for time
Pushups (knees) 5 reps
35kg Deadlift 5 reps
Pullup (Purple band) 5 reps
Time: 5:37 min

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

First torture at The Cell

Committing to 3x a week work outs with Jason at The Cell, I went for my first "torture" (as Fall Gall puts it) yesterday!

5x5sets 24kg -Front Squats

5 rounds for time
Kettle Bell Swings - 15 reps - 16kg
Ring dips (blue band)- 5 reps
Time: 6:34

OUCH! Again I knew it wouldn't be easy but this one was TOUGH! In my third set, my left arm would lock out and I had to take a break and finish the 5th dip of the set. It was amazing how hard the workout was from a cardio perspective. Breathing HARD! I got though it with two coaches yelling and then promptly laid on the floor and felt like I was going to vomit! (Can vouch, the new rubber floors feel nice and soft)

Friday, January 2, 2009

All on my own

Before deciding to take a very needed full 2 weeks of everything (reality basically), I had a few days where I could do some workouts on my own. I have been reading the workouts on Eva T's blog (see blog roll) and found a few that I could do without equipment.

I think one of the things I really like about crossfit so far is that when I see a workout that interests me, I become curious and wonder, "could I really do it?", "how long would that workout take me?"'s like catching a bug that just nags away in your head until you put your gear on and go and do it!

The other aspect that gets me about Crossfit too is some of the workouts don't look that hard. For example, I tried the 10-10-10 (pushups, situps, squats) 10 times workout for time from Eva T's blog and I was DYING! I went from thinking, "oh this won't be to bad" to "oh my god, just let me get through this!"....evil yet addicting. I felt like a million bucks after wards - HOT and WET by the end too...sweat sweat sweat! My time was 18 mins

The other workout I did was Run 10 mins - 20 squats every 1 min running. Again, duped by how simple the work out looked (I wasn't going to kid myself that it would be easy) I did my best to just complete it! Sweat sweat sweat.....good bye fat...melty melty.

By the way, Eva T - I have to admit, I'm secretly in love with your arms! Your arms look like how I feel on the inside so I hope one day I can have my inside and outside match! I have read that some women are worried about getting "big" from doing crossfit but HOT DAMN, I think muscles are way sexier! Thanks for the inspiration!

Beginning Workouts

Gratefully after my conversation with my brother I found a certified Crossfit coach in Perth! Yeah Jason! Many congratulations to Jason and biz partner for opening up The Cell soon!

Well, I'm not dead - nor did I puke! I did feel like it a once during "Fight Gone Bad" and I certainly felt as if I was made of cement a few times during runs - ARGH - but I pushed through and lived up to the HOT and WET name - whew did I sweat!

Here are some results from my fundamentals session

3 Pull Ups (Purple Band)
7 Push Ups (on Knees)
12 Squats

8 rounds and 3 pull ups in 10 mins

21-15-9 reps
30kg Deadlift
14kg Press
Time: 9:13 mins

15-10-5 Reps for Time
6.5kg Thruster
12-8-4 Reps Pullups (Purple Band)
Time: 7:14mins

Fight Gone Bad:
3 rounds, 5 movements -45sec/movement. 1 min rest
Wallball 5kg
SDHP 16.5kg
Push press 16.5kg
Box Jumps 10inch box
Score: 169 points

It started on an ordinary day....

It started out like any old Saturday....hanging at home, trying to catch up with people in Canuck-land on Saturday morning - talking to my bro, Fall Guy from Vancouver Crossfit when the conversation steered into Crossfit (again!). I'm not sure what was different for me this time but I began to listen and hear something that I was looking for....

I'm the same old story as so many others - struggled (and still do) with my weight most of my life; struggle with eating habits/sugar addiction/emotional eating (any of this sounding familiar?) and have been on a plateau with my weight loss for the last 18 months. Although I've managed to maintain my weight even after finishing a graduate degree and moving to two different countries...I'm proud of this!

Considering I used to weigh - SHOCK - 209lbs (95kg) at my heaviest, floating around 174lbs (80kg) right now isn't too bad! Most people don't know I weight this much as many people say "I carry it well" (I'd rather not actually!) I'm 5'3" or 1.6m tall so ideally, I would like to be down around 140lbs (63.5kg). I had been thinking that I needed to shake up something to get off the plateau when my brother started talking about Crossfit (again!! I swear they take you out back and make you a raving lunatic - go shout it from the mountains kind of crazy) and I started listening...

After 1.5hrs on the phone, hearing all about how good Fall Guy was feeling, how he is in the best shape of his life, how the work outs are scalable, interesting, challenging and that I could use a rubber band to get my ass up to do a chin up, I was willing to take a stab.

"Give it 6 months" were his last words....

So, here I am at the start of my 6 month journey and wanted to document how it goes - I've been through the fundamentals and can feel myself turning into a raving lunatic - not quite shouting from mountain tops yet but perhaps I will be in a few months...stay tuned. I start regular work outs on Monday...