Tag Archives: fitness

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:

Good Things Come in Sets of 100

23 Feb

I’m starting to notice a trend at CrossFit Love. It appears our S&C coach, Joe, is slightly obsessed with the number 100. We just seem to do ONE HUNDRED of, oh I don’t know, everything. In fact, 100 of (insert exercise here) is our cool down, our “extra credit,” our  lil’ somethin’ somethin’ to remember CrossFit Love by.

In the past 2 weeks, I have easily done atleast 100-200 situps, not to be confused with “ab crunches,” on 6 different occasions.  I’m talking full on “Allll the way up, Jess.  I want your chest to touch your knees. What number are you on?” (75.) “You’re talking too much and not working hard enough.” (The thing is: We do so many situps, it’s hard for me to keep count. So, sometimes I talk outloud about forgetting what rep I’m on.)

I can guarantee you, though, that I certainly DID NOT lose count when Joe had us do “100 Pushups for Time” last week. Because, you know, we’re all expected to eventually be able to do 100 full regulation “I want to f***’n HEAR your chest hit the ground” pushups in sub 5 minutes. And if you’ve seen my chest (or lack thereof) you will understand how big of a deal this is. I’m suddenly regretting getting rid of that water bra. By the way, my time on those 100 pushups ended up being 10:01. I’m looking forward to cutting that time by half (I do mean that…. mostly.)

Last night? Oh, yeah, I was busy doing an “accessory exercise” of 100 standing single-arm band rows… on each arm. No biggie. (Actually, it was a biggie. My biceps and lats were burning something fierce.)

My unsolicited opinion on the matter? I think this “100 of everything” thing is working. I won’t deny that I do feel stronger. So, it appears that good things really do come in sets of 100.  But GREAT things come in sets of 300:

(Don’t tell Joe I said that; the last thing I want is to be greeted with a “300 Burpees for Time” WOD when I walk into class next week.)

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:


Meet My Vita-Mix

18 Jan

I would much rather try to navigate my way through speeding traffic in a pair of 5″ stilettos rather than try to navigate my way around a kitchen.  There is something about chopping and dicing while stirring and sauteing and oh crap! dinner is boiling up out of the pot, that makes me twitch with sensory overload.  The extent of my cooking knowledge is:  A Pampered Chef silicone spatula is the only cooking utensil I’ll ever need and extra virgin olive oil is definitely not pregnant.  So, believe me when I say that I am the LAST person on earth worthy of the splendor that is (drum roll please) a VITA-MIX.

When I first pitched the idea of getting a Vita-Mix to Ryan (“But it’s like 50 appliances in 1!  It makes icecream – your favorite!”) his first question was, “How much?”  End of discussion.  And when I told my Mom that we were saving up for one, because very rarely is the end of a discussion really an end of discussion, she responded with “No way!  That is way too much for a blender.”  And it is!  I don’t argue that point.  But after seeing a demo in person, Mom made a substantial contribution to our “Vita-Mix Savings Fund” and we were able to get our Lamborghini of Blenders sooner than expected!!!  Mom even threw in a dry blade for us so we now grind our own coffee beans and we can make our own oatmeal flour or almond meal if we want.

This ‘little’ kitchen appliance truly has taken our nutrition to the next level.  Aside from a can of tuna or tomato sauce, we no longer buy things in jars or cans where preservatives would be needed.  We buy things in bulk and now make our own peanut butter, almond butter, guac, and salsa using fresh ingredients.  It’s amazing – you just throw stuff in, blend for 20 seconds, and voila:

The smoothies that come out of this thing are Jamba Juice status but without the unnecessary sugar.  I use it to grate sweet potatoes for sweet potato hash and cauliflower for cauliflower rice.  We’ve made Primal Nutella, hummus, raspberry dressing.  We’ve even made soup with it!

HUGE thanks to Mom on this one!  Eating healthily has never been more fun!


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:

A Date with “Angie”

21 Aug

I completed my first “Angie” WOD! (Well, almost.  It was mostly as Rx’d.)

I don’t know why but I was SO so so nervous the entire morning before the WOD.  I found this a little weird because, well, I CrossFit with just Ryan, not in a group and not in an affiliate box.  I guess I was just anxious because I knew this would be a benchmark workout and I didn’t want to fail myself.

I was SCARED.  Scared because I KNEW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that at some point during that workout I would want to QUIT.  I knew it was going to hurt, I was going to burn, my muscles would want to give out, I would want to quit.  I knew I would have to dig deep and confront myself… my weak self.  And the thought of that was kind of… scary.

It’s weird how CrossFit will bring out the competitor in you.  I’m constantly afraid (maybe “afraid” isn’t quite the right word) of letting of MYSELF down.

Anyway, the “Angie” WOD is:
100 Pullups
100 Pushups
100 Situps
100 Squats

For time!  Aaah!

As expected, pullups took me the longest.  I did 60 unassisted pullups (a combo of kip and strict) and 40 band assisted total.  Everything else was as Rx’d.

My times:
14:47 min for Pullups
10:22 min for Pushups
3:58 min for Situps
4:08 min for Squats

33:09 min total for “Angie”


Oh, and this is totally unrelated to CrossFit but my picture above reminded me of the Stop CMV Awareness movement.  If you’re a woman, whether you CrossFit or not, it’s good to at least be aware of Cytomegalovirus!



19 Aug

I skipped last week’s “Nate” WOD.  I have a thing against working out while exhausted… I usually end up hurting myself due to sloppy form or just getting in a half-arsed craptastic workout with only half of my mind in the game.  (I’m one of those “all or nothing” types.)

So, instead of the Rx’d “Rest Day,” I did last week’s “Nate” instead… i did the WOD, not some guy named Nate.  (Just wanted to make that ultra clear.)

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
(2) Muscle Ups
(4) Handstand Pushups
(8) Kettlebell swings, 2 pood

I subbed 1 pood instead of 2 poods (because, hello, I am no Kristan Clever!)

I was more than pleased with my muscle up progression.  It’s been a while since I’ve been on the rings so I wasn’t sure if I’d need any band assistance.  But, I was able to warm up with THREE (hey, cool!) consecutive muscle ups.  I got through 4 solid rounds of “Nate” before having to ask Ryan for a spot and finished with 8 rounds total.  I’m cool with that.

GHD Nightmare

1 Jul

Sweet Baby Cheeses, what have I done?  WHAT have I done to my abs??!  I’m not a complete noob when it comes to the Glute-Ham Developer.  I COMPLETELY understand the potency of the move, I read up on the dangers of rhabdomyolysis and how GHD situps have been known to send people to the ER.  Yeah, I get it.

For the last 4 months, I’ve been incorporating sets of GHD situps into my warm up.  So, when I saw “3 Rounds of:  (30) GHD situps and (50) Thrusters” prescribed on CrossFit last Wednesday, I was ready!  And I went into the workout with the state of mind that if at any time my abs were exhausted or in pain, I would not force the issue.

Well, I made it through the entire workout… all 90 GHD situps, all full range of motion! (Here’s a pic of Ryan demonstrating the move.)

In fact, during the workout the GHD situps were EASIER than the dumbbell thrusters.  (Hold the applause!  It gets better!)

The next morning I was feeling great, still high from completing 90 (!) GHD situps.  And then I started getting sore that evening.  And then it started to feel like it was getting worse by the hour.  And then I had to fall, not climb, into bed.  And then Friday morning, I COULD NOT STAND UP COMPLETELY STRAIGHT.  (At the time I interpreted this to be, “Dang!  I had an awesome ab workout!”  Sick, sick, sick in the head.)  Saturday morning I decided to scale back on Run Drills and just take it easy.  And by Saturday afternoon, I told Ryan, “If we’re going mountain biking, we have to leave RIGHT NOW or I might not make it out of the house for the rest of the day.”

And then by that night it:

  • Hurt to even TOUCH any part of my midsection
  • I couldn’t sleep on my stomach or on my side
  • I couldn’t contract my abs.  No “sucking it in.”
  • My midsection got soft and puffy and squishy and swollen looking  (Ryan confirmed it!)
  • If I tried to stand up completely straight, I felt instantly nauseous and my lower back would get all crampy (it felt like menstrual cramps.  Yay me.)

For 5 days my ENTIRE abs hurt from my sub-sternal notch to my pubic bone, on the surface and the muscles deep inside… horrible, horrible pain.  I think I told Ryan, “I’m dying!  I’m dyyyying,” atleast once an hour at the top of the hour.  I think I even skipped an entire rotation of CrossFit; who knows, those five days were a blur.

I am SO not being dramatic here;  I am telling you:  I have never, ever, EVAR felt that sore before.  I’ve done Ab Ripper X and Turbo Core and Pilates ab routines – those pale in comparison.  Pale.in.comparison.  At one point, I started getting concerned and actually googled, “Symptoms of Rhabdo and when to go to the ER.”  And I’m not a fan of medicating muscle pain, so I figured, “Well, Jessica, you knew the potential ramifications and you went through with it anyway.  So now pain is the price you pay.”  Talk about lame.

Well, it’s been 8 days since the GHD workout.  Last night I hopped on the GHD to stretch out the muscle and yelped in pain.  It’s not nearly as bad as it was but I STILL don’t have full range of motion.  In fact, this morning kipping pullups were  out of the question.  I’m still too sore to fully extend (hyper extend?  Like, arch back) my torso.  I’m really hoping I didn’t significantly damage the muscle enough to cancel out the strength gains I’ve built up thus far.  Right now it just feels like a “regular” soreness one would get after a “regular” ab workout.

The GHD situp is so, so, so potent that, at this point, I don’t think I would outright recommend it to anyone that doesn’t already sport an 8-pack.  I love CrossFit but, take my word for it:  If you see an astronomically high number of GHD situps prescribed, unless you’re already an elite athlete, I would sincerely suggest giving a big “F— that!”  If I see GHD situps prescribed next week, will I follow my own advice?  Probably not.