Sitting on a rower for 30 minutes is not exactly easy.
After 20 minutes, you’ve had enough.
After 25 minutes, you’re about to scream.
After 28 minutes, you convert minutes to seconds and just keep going.
Then try 10 minutes on the bike right afterwards.
I strained a muscle in my right arm again, so I’ve been doing no heavy weight. Today, I decided to row for 30 minutes and bike for 10 minutes for active recovery and because I felt like doing nothing else at the end of a long (and frustrating) week.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a 30 minute row. And, afterwards, I remember why.
Still, it strengthened my mental fortitude — something I need in CrossFit right now with the CrossFit Open right around the corner.
Today I got to work out for the first time after my surgery. It was glorious. To feel my heart race again and try and beat the clock. Magic!
For those of you who do CrossFit, you know you walk around in a state of perpetual soreness. Since I haven’t been working out, I haven’t had that. Today I got it back. I used to bemoan the fact I’m always sore. Then I accepted the fact I was always sore. Now, for the first time, I missed the soreness of CrossFit.
Today I got to work out for the first time after my surgery. It was glorious. To feel my heart race again and try to beat the clock. Magic!
At my last competition, the Turkey Challenge, we had a WOD with sandbags. I fell in love — so much so I bought two sandbags from Brute Force for myself for Christmas. One I filled with 35 pounds and one with 62 pounds.
Filling sandbags is not as easy as it sounds. Here are the steps and methods I utilized:
Buy sand (play sand is recommended) from your local hardware store or superstore
Fill the filler bags accordingly. A less filled bag is more unstable and will tax your grip and balance more. We used a funnel and a measuring cup that had a pour spout. This enabled us to accurately fill the bags with the same amount of sand.
Use a scale. After filling the bags, we would weigh the bags on a scale to make sure they were equal.
These Brute Force bags come with military-grade velcro. Velcro the bags and place them in the outer shell bag, shaking to make even.
You’re ready to begin!
WHY TRAIN WITH SANDBAGS
Sandbag training is utilized for unstable load training which is the ability to unconventionally move or lift an odd object that is unstable or has an uneven load efficiently. This type of training provides a much more dynamic and challenging training experience. You must engage your body’s stabilizer muscles, building coordinated strength and balance throughout your entire body.
Unstable load training is definitely challenging, no doubt about it. And fun. Once I’m healed from my surgery, I can’t wait to get started!
For the third year in a row, I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving by doing a CrossFit WOD called
Murph. A hero workout named for Lt Michael Murphy, who died in Afghanistan serving our country, it consists of:
1 mile run
100 pull ups
200 push ups
300 air squats
1 mile run
This is one of the most famous CrossFit workouts and is traditionally programmed for Memorial Day around the country. However, I began doing this on Thanksgiving as well three years ago to commemorate the Fallen.
The weather was perfect: 55 degrees and sunny. I invited one friend and it was him and me who performed it. It was fun. It wasn’t my best time, but I wasn’t pushing all out. It was, again, just doing the movement and enjoying life. Thank you to all who have served our country and especially to those who have made the greatest sacrifice and given their lives. Words are not enough.
Last night, I went to bed at 6:30 pm. I was physically exhausted — something I am definitely not used to.
After a 2-day CrossFit Competition, and I worked out yesterday morning with no rest day (I squatted and did a workout with a run, hang power snatches, and burpee box jumps), I was dragging all day at work and when I came home, I was tired. I couldn’t even eat dinner. I just went straight to bed.
CrossFit Competitions will wear you out — emotionally and physically. You want to do your best, you’re disappointed when you don’t do your best, you stress over the details like the drive down and when to eat, and then there’s the actual workouts themselves, which are bears to get through.
The Importance of Sleep after a CrossFit Competition
All of this equals exhaustion. When this happens, listen to your body and get some rest. Sleep is so important with CrossFit to let your body heal, recover, and rejuvenate. Here’s my advice after a CrossFit competition or some other grueling workout, such as a Tough Mudder or Spartan Race:
Get extra sleep. This will allow vital tissues and muscles to recover and recuperate after what you’ve just put them through.
Drink more than you think you’ll need. I usually lose about 4 pounds every CrossFit competition. Most of this is water weight. At a CrossFit competition, you usually don’t drink much because you don’t want to have to go to the bathroom, you forget, or you’re just too nervous. Afterwards, you need to replenish. Drink extra water and recovery drinks for optimal muscle recovery.
Take rest days. I’m a hypocrite. I don’t do this. I don’t like to get behind on my training. Yet, you usually suffer if you don’t (or you’re so tired you lose a whole night!). Give your body some well-deserved time off.
Take inventory of what you’ve learned. I learned a lot from this last CrossFit competition. I learned once again I’m stronger than I think I am when I flipped a 300 pound tire multiple times. I learned I need to practice on a bar that I can’t touch the ground on. I learned I can still kick ass when the I have to, especially if the moves are in my wheelhouse. I learned I still have the fire to compete that I thought I had lost from burn-out. I learned I’m just as good as others, if not better.
The whole point of CrossFit competitions is to learn from them, push yourself, and be proud of your achievement. You probably won’t win them all. But within each competition, there will be a personal victory — either a move you did you didn’t think you could do or a workout you annihilated.
Keep in mind why you compete in CrossFit, and you’ll just keep getting better and better.
Two-day CrossFit Competitions are rough: You’re tired from Day 1 and you have another tough day ahead of you.
Day 2 of the Turkey Challenge began with a “Burden Run,” and, yes, it is just what you think it is.
Wearing a 10 pound weight vest, you had to run with a 60 pound sandbag on your back for 150 meters, do 10 back squats with the bag, 6 lateral burpees over the bar, and then do max calories on the rower. 5 rounds. 2:30 minutes each. 30 seconds rest in-between.
I actually did really well on this one, except once I couldn’t get the bag up. But I got 4th place.
I did 7 tire flips with a 300 pound tire (never done that before).
AND I won my final WOD: 10 rounds of 15 double unders and 1 rope climb.
Overall, a great day. It boosted my confidence after the first day and has got me wanting more. After I take a break and get my tooth fixed.
Lessons Learned from 2-Day CrossFit Competitions
You get to do exercises you otherwise don’t: sandbag runs with a weight vest and tire flips.
I’m stronger than I think I am. I did 300 pound tire flips — 7 of them — and I didn’t think I could do one.
Overall, a great competition. Fun to watch. Learned a lot. Got remotivated for CrossFit. Good, albeit long, weekend!
On a snowy day in Colorado, today was Day 1 of the 2018 Turkey Challenge in Superior, CO, at the Sport Stable arena. I competed in the Masters competition and my daughter competed in the Teens Division.
I could have done better but tomorrow is Day 2, and I’m hoping to improve. I definitely need a break as I’m feeling burnt out on CrossFit competitions, and it’s showing.
It was fun to do with my daughter (this is her first CrossFit competition). It’s a popular one in Colorado, so it was packed. Lots of vendors, lots of excitement, and Matt Chan. What more could one ask for?