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Reebok CrossFit Games 2011

12 Aug

The move to Colorado was delayed a week in order to attend the annual CrossFit Games… actually, it’s called the Reebok|CrosssFit Games now. Formality aside, I know it as the convention of fit hard-bodies. Everywhere you looked it was traps! deltoids! six-pack abs! and solid bums! made for oly lifting, sprinting, weighted pullups, and sled-pushing.

The energy was INFECTIOUS. It’s kind of pointless to write about it because it’s just one of those events you just have to experience. Not only could you watch these insanely fit athletes compete in an arena (yes, kind of like Spartacus but no one literally dies), but there was also bull-riding, stand-up paddling, coaching from Rob Orlando (yes, please,) workout gear shopping, jump-rope fitting, and CrossFit web-celebs to be met. In fact, it was at the CrossFit Games that I got to reunite with Joe Petrusky from CrossFit Love and hilarious and witty blogger, Fitbomb. For anyone that didn’t know, Fitbomb’s wife is the culinary genius behind NomNom Paleo (sometimes when I’m hungry, I go to her blog and drool at the pictures.)

Ryan "@deckerra" Decker, Joe Petrusky (owner of CrossFit Love), and me.

Henry "@fitbomb" and me!

Anyway, here is a very, very, very small collection of images. I got a little shutter happy (I’ve seen 6-pack abs before just not THAT many all in one location.)


Box-Crash: StoneWay CrossFit

8 Jul

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You will not find community like that of CrossFit. While passing through Seattle, WA, on this whirlwind cross-country tour, I was invited by Stoneway CrossFit box owner, Scott Rodriguez and fellow tweeps Katie and Heather to drop in for a WOD with coach Jess Fleming.

I took them up on the offer (and the opportunity to meet some tweeps in person!) and scheduled my touristy day of Pike Place Market, Space Needle, and Puget Sound around their 5 o’clock WOD. We started off with stretches and dynamic warmup which included wall walks (which, by the way, are harder than they appear!!) Then we worked in some 3×3 sets (at prescribed percentages of our 1RM) of either squats, deadlifts, or press.

Thanks to Katie Chasey for snapping this pic!

And then it was WOD time:
200m sprint
100 situps
75 pushups
100 air squats
200m sprint

Let me just come out with it and make it known: 2 months of nearly non-stopping roadtripping, less-than-ideal Paleo nutrition, and no WODs make for a very out-of-shape girl. But, coach Jess kept the encouragement coming and everyone there was SO upbeat and encouraging.

And here is the part where I say it yet again: You’re not going to find community like THIS anywhere else.

HUGE thanks to the StoneWay crew for letting Ryan and me box-crash! It was much-needed for me and very much enjoyed.

On The Prowl(er)

4 Mar

I’m feeling the urge to blog today because I might die tonight. No, really. Joe just posted our scheduled workout for tonight and I have Prowler sprints at 6:00 pm. “What are you doing tonight, Jess?” Oh, you know, pushing The Prowler and trying not to puke.  (Gone are the days when I looked forward to Fridays.)  My lack of excitement is warranted: The last time I did Prowler sprints, I almost didn’t make it home.

The Prowler is a deceiving little torture device.
p-(roll the ‘r’)-OWW-le-(roll the ‘r’)

Don’t do what I did and get it mixed up with the similarly scary-looking but sometimes FUN Cougar.

Unlike a cougar, there is nothing fun about the Prowler.  You’re going along, doing fine, just pushing the Prowler and BAM! It’s like hitting a brick wall. All of a sudden the leg muscles go on strike. My calves cramped up so bad, I thought I had rigor mortis. It’s like an arena death scene out of Spartacus with bodies hunched up or lying all over the place, but without the blood and boobs.

This pic is the exact opposite of how I feel after pushing the Prowler but I had to show you what my face looked like on the body of Crixus.

I survived my first Prowler experience but after struggling back to my apartment with a THROBBING headache, I had to lie with my head on the cold kitchen counter for nearly 20 minutes to fight off the nausea.  I’ve never before been so glad I had an empty stomach. In fact, nausea is guaranteed. Ask my fellow CrossFit Love member Chris. So, I know it’s not just me.

If you ever have the opportunity to push a Prowler, do not do as Joe recommended and YouTube “Prowler Flu.” Actually, you should totally watch this stuff:

Big Things Poppin’

12 Feb

©Jessica Camacho

That picture sums how I was about 2.5 weeks ago: lethargic, foggy in the head, UNMOTIVATED, unable to wake up, sick of these East Coast winters, groggy all freakin’ day, and out of energy.

I started noticing some not-cool things:

  1. I couldn’t go as hard at the gym. Just didn’t have the energy to.
  2. I didn’t even WANT to go the gym. (Highly unusual of me.)
  3. Bodyfat increases (naturally, given the above.)
  4. -10lb strength decreases on my squat and deadlifts

I’m a fan of: If you don’t like something in your life then PONY UP AND CHANGE THINGS. So, I sat down and literally wrote down some concrete goals:

  1. Get back into mountain biking shape – work the quads, hamstrings, all the good stuff.
  2. Squat, deadlift, bench press, and shoulder press every week to regain my strength.
  3. Benchpress my bodyweight in 2011.
  4. Get back into trail running shape – I should be able to run a 10k race on the fly without training for it.
  5. Work on the handstand pushups.
  6. Get back up to 3 consecutive strict muscle ups.

Then I set out to figure how to make all that happen. On a whim, I decided to search #CrossFit hashtag on Twitter. One thing hashtag led to another which led to this convo with Joe Petrusky, owner of CrossFit Love. (And, it just so happened that CrossFit Love is about 0.8 miles away. Puzzle pieces falling in place?  I think so.)

And the next thing I knew, I’m under a bar demonstrating a squat, doing interval burpees, finding my max pushups, shoulder pressing, doing sandbag sprints, bench pressing, doing clean & jerks, and learning how to use a kettlebell (and this is just my first week.) I needed this so badly. You have no idea. I’m going to be the next Mini Macho Camacho.

Don't laugh at my game face.

Sweet Diggity

28 Jan

Don’t be fooled by the rocks guns that I got,
I’m still, I’m still Jenny Jessi from the block.
Used to have a little, now I got a lot.
No matter where I go, I know where I came from.

I’m in a J-Lo mood after watching the hilarious American Idol tryouts this week.  Speaking of “used to have a little, now I have a lot” I had the opportunity to test out my max pullups (strict, no kip) in a friendly competition among friends.

Thirteen.  Thirteen strict pullups.

Man, I remember feeling defeated and crying under the bar ’cause I thought I’d never get my first pullup.  And now… Thirteen!  And it feels GOOD.  Kind of like THIS good:


Deadlifts Just Got More Special

11 Jan

When CrossFit dropped a 25% off code on Facebook, I was like “Yes please!” to a new pair of knee highs!  These will come in handy for deadlifts this Thursday.  The shins (not to be confused with The Shins) will thank me later.

Getting Serious

23 Sep

We’re starting to get a little psycho serious with our scaling.  And by “psycho” “serious,” I mean busting out the Strength & Conditioning text book, pulling out Rippetoe’s “Strength Standards” chart, looking up 1RM charts, running calcs with an iPod calculator, and strategizing.  Psycho, no?

So, tonight’s WOD of:
Shoulder Press 3-3-3-3-3-3-3
was the perfect opportunity to test out scaling.

Theoretically, since I was completing sets of 3 reps, I could (should?) lift at 93% of my 1RM.  (For shoulder press, my 1RM is 75#.  Thus, 93% of 75# = 70#)  My goal was to lift 70# by set 4 and finish the WOD at 70#.  And since the purpose of tonight’s WOD was strength development, we made sure our rest between sets was capped to 2 minutes.

As it turns out, the scaling in relation to our 1RM was right on point!  Like, whoa.  What I like most is that there is a lot less guess-n-check going on.  EFFICIENCY, baby.  Looks like I might be busting out the ol’ calculator more often for powerlifting WODs.

Do you guys calculate your theoretical loads based on your 1RM’s?  What’s your strategy?

Don’t Upset The Rhythm

22 Sep

Last month I got the closest I’ve ever gotten to a legitimate Toes To Bar (TTB), kipping of course.  Things just… clicked!  It’s weird swinging away from the bar and seeing it almost entirely out in front of you.  I need to work on “folding” up more, I know.  But, I feel it’s a huge progress just getting my toes up that high.

And I’d like to emphasize for anyone not familiar with CrossFit… the *kipping* TTB is less about abs development and more about hip drive, hip drive, hip drive.  It’s about speed and power.  It’s about getting your toes to touch the bar for a lot of reps… AS FAST AS POSSIBLE.  So, yes, I swing.  In this clip, I’m experimenting with techniques:  Bring my toes up all at once?  Bring the knees to elbows and then flick the toes up after?  All that will work itself out later, for now I’m just working on keeping the rhythm.

Patrick Cummings of Again Faster gives a pretty good tutorial on the kipping TTB here.  After watching it, I can see I need to work on closing the lats more as I bring the legs up.  Who knew kipping could be so… involved.

The Dirty Dozen

22 Sep

I’m baaack!!!

It’s been a weird past month for me.  Summer’s time limit has me feeling pressured to go OUTSIDE and play in the sand, ride my bike, trail run.  My Strength & Conditioning exam has me feeling pressured to stay inside and study.  My never-ending pile of gym laundry has me feeling like a Hoarder.  And somewhere in between all that I’ve had to MAKE time to CrossFit.  So, mentally, I feel like I was half-assing my WOD.  But, physically, I’ve been setting PR’s like crazy!  And now I’m just confused!

Lots to catch up on… For starters,  completed my first “Dirty Dozen” today.  I think of it as the “Filthy Fifty’s” not-so-hotter, younger sister.

You know you’ve turned a new leaf in CrossFit when you can bust out a set of Double Unders, Knees-to-Elbows, and Butterfly Kip pullups all faster than you can crank out one set of Box Jumps!!!  Oh, and my latest hate is Wall Ball.  Though, that may just be because I wall ball in a hot and humid stairwell that smells of yesterday’s bacon first thing in the morning.  :o|  I always feel nauseous in there.


23 Aug

Today was an Rx’d Rest Day so I took the “day off” to work on my Snatches.  Why would I do that??  Because SNATCHES  SCARE  THE  LIVING  SHIZIT  OUT  OF  ME.  (Yes, I’m cyber yelling in a freaked-out kind of way!)  I don’t blame myself for twitching uncontrollably whenever I see “Snatch” on a WOD.  I mean, really, I’m supposed to essentially deadlift into a jump and go airborne with a weighted bar and then drop down into a squat and catch the bar OVER MY HEAD?  (I obviously have confidence issues.)

But, after an hour and 15 minutes of practicing, filming, reviewing the tape, and practicing again I feel much more confident about the whole thing.  There is a lot of fine tuning that needs to be done but overall I’m cool with the progress, especially considering that I’m not with a box or affiliate. I’m CF’ing in a globo, and I don’t wod in a group with CF coaches so Ryan and I are learning these moves from various Burgener threads floating around the CF forums, by reading up on the technique, and by watching tons of vids (especially those of Olympian Eva Twardokens.)  Considering all that, I think we’re coming along just fine.  The more reps I did, the more comfortable and stable I got with the motion.  Ahh, makes sense.

Some of my progression footage: