CrossFit: How to Fill Sandbags

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:

crossfit chicks working out during crossfit competition with sandbags
Working out with Sandbags
  • 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!

CrossFit Hero WODs: Del

U.S. Army First Lieutenant Dimitri Del Castillo, 24, of Tampa, Florida, died on June 25, 2011, in Kunar province, Afghanistan, from wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire.

His CrossFit Hero Workout is:

  • 25 burpees
  • 400 m run with medicine ball
  • 25 weighted pull ups
  • 400 m run with medicine ball
  • 25 handstand push ups
  • 400 m run with medicine ball
  • 25 chest-to-bar pull ups
  • 400 m run with medicine ball
  • 25 burpees

This was a great workout to do without utilizing a barbell. All body weight movements with added weight. Fun to do. A great recovery workout. Perfect at home workout as well.

CrossFit Competitions: Turkey Challenge Day 2

Hot CrossFit Chicks sandbag run crossfit Competitions
Sandbag Run at CrossFit Competition

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

CrossFit Babes double unders Crossfit Competition
Double Unders at CrossFit Competition
  • 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!

 

CrossFit: What You Learn by Doing One Rep at a Time…

Since I’ve been working out by myself a lot, I’m in no rush. It’s become about the work, not the time.

When a heavy barbell move is programmed into a CrossFit WOD, I usually do one rep at a time.

I did a CrossFit workout programmed by Bergeron he named Jump City:

For Time:

crossfit girls
Crossfit Photos

1 Round:
800 Meter Run
80 Double Unders
21 Hang Power Cleans (155/105)

2 Rounds:
400 Meter Run
40 Double Unders
15 Hang Power Cleans (155/105)

3 Rounds:
200 Meter Run
20 Double Unders
9 Hang Power Cleans (155/105)

The hang power cleans were heavy for me, so I did them one rep at a time. During the hang power cleans, I kept asking myself, Why are these so hard? They shouldn’t be this hard. I started paying attention (since I wasn’t in a hurry to finish–I had no time crunch).

Why my Hang Power Cleans were Hard!

I noticed the same thing my daughter noticed with my bar muscle ups and ring muscle ups–my left wrist does not rotate. In essence, I have a death grip on the bar–a common fault for all of these moves.

This was the first time though I’ve become aware of this doing hang power cleans in CrossFit. It makes sense as to why I’d fail occasionally on my left side and why it would be hard–because I was stopping the upward momentum of the bar by not allowing the bar to rotate around.

For the rest of the CrossFit workout, I tried to be cognizant of this but, of course, like everything performed multiple times incorrectly, it will take a while to reprogram it.

But it’s a start.

And that’s all one ever needs.

CrossFit Workouts: How Different Modalities are Good for You

Yesterday, I did a workout that was 5 minutes of work with 5 minutes of rest for three rounds. It involved a 400 m run, pull ups, and a bike. It was a great workout and I really pushed myself.

Today, I just finished a workout of 30 power snatches, 1 mile run and then 30-20-10 reps of kettlebell swings and thrusters.

Both were great workouts. But the first one I pushed myself, went really fast, but had rest. The last one I concentrated on doing the reps of the snatches, a run, and then directly into the other reps with no break except to change weight on the bar.

Both felt great but I got different benefits from them.

BENEFITS OF MODALITIES IN CROSSFIT

  • Mental conditioning. Knowing a rest was coming allows you to push yourself more because you know you get a break. Knowing you don’t have any rest is more of a marathon/pace workout where you don’t want to run out of steam too quickly.
  • Physical conditioning. You need to work all your metabolic pathways (Short distance training- anaerobic training and Long distance training- aerobic training), which makes you better at both.
  • Constantly-varied, high-intensity workouts. The reason CrossFit is so successful is it is constantly-varied and you get an amazing workout. You constantly keep your body guessing as to what it will be working and you never get bored, so you’ll be more likely to stick to your exercise routine.

Pushing yourself is important if you want to progress. Equally important is finding your pace and sticking it when you need to–so you can push your long-distance (aerobic training). You need both in constantly-varied movements to accomplish your fitness goals. Happy Training!

Crossfit hotties doing ring dips
Ring Dips CrossFit Competitions

Why I Can’t CrossFit at Night

I went to do a workout at 4:30 pm this week. Not late, right?

Well, for my body, it’s late.

I’m used to working out early in the morning. When I vary my routine, my whole body is thrown into a tizzy. I usually don’t feel good afterwards.

Why Routines are Important

Your body is conditioned for habit. In fact, you function better when you’re on a schedule. Every time you have to make a decision, you are adding stress to your life. The more daily decisions you have to make, the more out of control you’ll feel according to psychologists.

CrossFit One Arm Front Squat
CrossFit One Arm Front Squat

When you program routine into your life, you:

  • Sleep better
  • Make better big decisions
  • Have more time for family
  • Have more time for hobbies

When you switch things up, be prepared for a major protest.

When it Takes Everything You Have to Get through a CrossFit WOD

This week, it took everything I had to get through it. There was a run programmed. I think what I did could be classified as a run, but a 5k race pace it was definitely not.

It was hard. My body protested every movement.

Lessons from Varying CrossFit Workout Routines:

  • Listen to your body. Scale when you need to scale. Half-ass when you need to.
  • Try to get extra rest the night ahead of time. This will help get you through the day and prepare your body for the variance.
  • Plan your meals accordingly. You’ll most likely have to switch up your eating times when you switch your workout routine.
  • Maximize recovery drinks and food afterwards. Drink extra water because your body will need it.

I love going to CrossFit classes with my community, so I will continue to strive to make it to classes even when my body protests.

You only live once. Make the most of it.

CrossFit: The Pros and Cons of Working Out by Yourself

CrossFit: The Pros and Cons of Working Out by Yourself

Since I now work full time, I’ve been working out a lot by myself. There are pros and cons to this.

CrossFit Assault Bike

 

Pros to Working out Alone:

  • Can workout on my schedule
  • Don’t have to wait on others
  • Under no pressure to finish within a certain time
  • Can do my moves however I want (e.g. strict versus kipping)
  • Do my own programming
  • Substitute moves or entire workouts to accommodate injury
  • Focus on what I need to focus on
  • Play my music (Hey! It’s the little things!)

Cons to Working Out Alone:

  • No push from others to go your hardest
  • Can be boring at times
  • At times it’s harder to get the motivation to even workout
  • Workout is not quite so mindless
  • Loss of community

Feel free to add your comments and/or thoughts about working out alone!