Yeah, despite having an awesome pair of wrist wraps, I still do have wrist problems, particularly my right wrist.
And NO…it’s not from cleaning and jerking it.
While we haven’t done that full movement in months, I’m pretty comfortable with my form on that lift (what did you think I was talking about?). For a while, I was wondering what the hell would cause this extra strain on my wrist. Catching the barbell for cleans has become a lot easier and more efficient for me. Everything seems to be in its right place. However, my right wrist would always have some issues.
I just couldn’t figure it out.
Even my standing desk “office setup” is pretty solid with an ergonomic keyboard and mouse, which are at the proper height. I couldn’t imagine what could be wrong…
…then it hit me.
This keyboard is fuckin wide thanks to the number pad on the right, forcing my mouse positioning to be outward and awkward.
I noticed in addition to some strain on the wrist, the front area of my right shoulder also has some discomfort during overhead squats or snatches. So there’s most likely a chance that awkward, outward positioning that I have day in, day out is to blame.
So what did I do?
Once again, another ghetto solution. I’m all about these simple yet effective tricks. My keyboard and mouse are on top of stacks of books, with the stack for my mouse being a little bit higher. I just shifted the top book on the mouse stack to the left, covering my number pad which I barely use anyway.
With my forearm angled inward, the positioning is more natural and causes a lot less strain on my wrist. Sure, nothing beats the positioning my keyboard gives my right hand, but it’s not like I can put my mouse over the “Y-U-I-O-P” area of keys.
I’ve had this setup for the past week or so, and I finally put things to the test today. It’s a deloading week, so I was taking it easy. Still, I got up to 225# on my squat clean, focusing on form. Then I did 60 75# overhead squats over the course of 5 rounds for a WOD.
So far, so good with my wrist. To think it was most likely this really basic problem I had that was messing up my wrist all the time.
If any of you are having constant wrist problems from cleans and whatnot, think about the everyday habits you have. The things you do every day. The shit you do at work. Think of anything that you do that may seem like a tiny issue with your body. This small issue could be something that you do all the time that only causes huge problems for you.
Kip it real, my friends.
Well…CrossFit sucks when your body complete shuts down during Fran haha.
My goal of a sub-5 minute Fran just didn’t happen. As much as I wanted to get that time, my body simply broke down.
On the bright side…I did improve my hang squat clean form and PR’d my front squat prior to that 5 minute AMRAP of Fran (basically a 5 minute cap). Sure, I can easily blame the lifts before Fran, but I’m not going to do that. It was just one of those days. As my friend just texted me:
I did catch myself shitting myself mentally…
…when I couldn’t get the first 21 pull ups unbroken.
…when I had to break up my set up 15 thrusters.
…when I didn’t even finish the 15 pull ups within 5 minutes.
You win some, you lose some, ya?
No worries. There are still many more opportunities to get a sub-5 minute Fran time. My hang squat clean form improved a lot thanks to 1 tip from my coach. The rep scheme we had for these was 22.214.171.124. Did 3 reps of 185#, then 2 of 205#. I knew 225# was what I wanted next, followed by 230# to tie a previous PR that was pretty damn ugly from what I remember.
The first try of 225#…uh…it looked terrible as fuck. I didn’t catch it high enough, so I muscled through it, even walking forward to help lock the bar properly on my shoulders to finish the rep.
I’m never proud of myself whenever I have to resort to such shit. Why? Pretty much every time it happens, I have the strength in me to pull it off properly. My form would just be off.
That’s why rather than screw a part of my body up with 230# on the next attempt, I knew I had to get 225# clean this time. Coach did some pretty good teaching when he asked if I knew why I ended up leaning forward like that. I said it was cause I couldn’t get under the bar enough to catch it properly. But he said there was more…
…my biggest issue was not extending my body enough during the pull of the hang squat clean. I’ve been focusing way too much on the drop all this time. So I listened to coach, and guess what happened?
I caught that fuckin barbell with the best form I’ve ever had. Feels good man. And to think about a year ago I couldn’t even do a normal squat clean, let alone hang squat clean, at over 200#.
And my front squat? My last PR from August was 255#…went for 265#…had it…but for some reason I had to drop the weight about halfway up. Went for 260# with a tough battle for the last quarter of the rep, and BOOM. Got it. Rang our PR bell lol.
As I’m writing this, I’m feeling much better about today’s workout. It didn’t affect the rest of my day, but it was a bummer at the time that I didn’t even come close to finishing Fran. Combining the racing of my heart post-workout and feeling a bit like shit, things weren’t looking good. Seriously, if I didn’t chill the fuck out during our cool-down stretch, I probably wouldn’t have accomplished anything else today.
Gotta love simple breathing/meditation exercises.
…that’s true. While I did have success with upping my carbs during my back-loading the past few weeks, this weekend I went overboard, as I mentioned yesterday. It did catch me by surprise to see Fran for today, so next time…I’ll be prepared.
Even with a cheat day on Saturdays, I know I’ll be able to handle Fran if she decides to show up again on a Monday. That bitch.
Kip it real, my friends.
…and shit, I have no clue how the fuck I pulled off such a thing. In my nearly 3 years of CrossFit, I’ve never seen something like this happen. Luckily, I was okay afterwards, but it didn’t help that our WOD that day was pretty terrible.
Here’s what we had:
100 back squats at 95/65 (did only 75#)
50 pull ups (subbed ring rows since a recent hand tear was still healing)
125 double unders
50 toes-to-bar (did abmat sit-ups)
I was wrecked from a solid week of WODs…and maybe that Thanksgiving feast finally caught up to me? Whatever it was, I just wasn’t feeling it that workout.
And it didn’t help that I pulled off the weirdest thing ever in my warm-up:
Yeah…that really happened.
Since my grip was shot and couldn’t do TTB during the warm-ups, I hopped onto the GHD. Ever since I finally learned how to properly use my glutes to pop up into the sit-up, I’ve been all about explosive GHD’s. Unfortunately, I totally fucked things up.
On the way down from my 3rd rep in the 2nd round of this warm-up, my feet lost that vertical positioning in the contraption, causing my feet to slip out and…yeah, I hit the floor. All I could do was laugh my ass off. Seriously…how the fuck does that happen? Who does that?
I was around a good number of people as well, and it didn’t embarrass me one bit. To tell you the truth, I actually found it rather amusing. What can you do in such a situation? Get beet red and act like it didn’t happen? Psh. I just decided to have fun with it and keep on rolling.
The next round for warm-ups, one guy joked:
“You need a spot?”
It’s a good thing I didn’t hurt my body. The only issue I felt was a slight pain in the ass, but I was good enough to get through this miserable WOD.
Oh man was it bad.
Grinding through those back squats was a feeling I didn’t want to experience again. My legs were just shot, so having to rest the bar on my back the whole time resulted in some lower back pain. I didn’t want to force things like an idiot, so I dropped the bar 4 times.
No big deal, right? Uh…
…every time I dropped the bar, I had to do a 45 second AirDyne sprint at 300 watts. Not fun.
Once I got through those squats, which normally are my thing, it was “smooth” sailing. Kinda. Sorta. Not really…but it was MUCH better than that back squat nightmare.
…have you ever messed up that bad in your CrossFit class? Who knows? Maybe I’m not the only one who felt out of a GHD…
Kip it real, my friends.
P.S. There are still a few hours left in Cyber Monday, so you can still catch that $5 Shipping for 5 Items deal at Rogue Fitness. And if you plan on doing any shopping on Amazon or Reebok for some CrossFit gear, there’s still a lot of good deals today and for the rest of the week.
You can also pick up some KippingItReal shirts and hoodies here:
P.P.S. Thanks for helping my Facebook Page get to 2000 Likes today!
It’s been over 3 weeks since my Garage Games competition, but I still have to finish off these posts, right? Can’t just leave ya hangin.
Here’s Part 1 if you haven’t read it already.
Alright, so day 1 had me pooped out. However, it was also alumni weekend for my college, so I knew I had to make an appearance to say what up to a bunch of friends, many whom I haven’t seen in years. Yes, that means I had like 3 beers the night before the 2nd day…oh well. Like the rest of my team, we were just doing this event for fun.
This is how the event worked. Each team has 16 minutes for max calories on the damn Airdyne. Either your pair of guys or pair of girls would start things off, alternating after how long you desire. Each pair has 8 minutes on this easy to underestimate machine. Some teams had their athletes alternate every 2 minutes, which is ridiculous. We took the advice of one of our box’s teams with the 30 second alternating strategy.
Yes, since this was a cardio-based workout, my performance wasn’t too hot, but I got through it, along with the rest of my team without stopping or slowing down. I’m tellin ya…it’s easy to think the Airdyne is a piece of cake. Yeah, you think these are weak, exercise machines grandma would use, but they’re far from the opposite.
Post-Airdyne was ridiculous. It felt like my legs were stuck in the extended position, so I went outside to walk things out a bit. Before our team went back to the parking lot to chill before Team Fran, I went back inside to grab my backpack.
I nearly stumbled into the lobby doorway like a motherfuckin drunk. Walking across the street to the lot wasn’t fun either, until we finally got to chill and shoot the shit in the lot.
I actually really enjoyed chillin in the parking lot. Before signing up, I honestly didn’t know the rest of my team, so it was cool getting to know them while trying to figure out the best way to tackle upon each WOD. It almost felt like pre-gaming for a Dave Matthews concert, except without the drinking & people dancing on the ground.
We had our fold-up chairs, some Paleo meals and snacks, and an unusual sunny fall day waiting for us after every WOD.
Okay, first of all, my Fran time isn’t that great, but I love how I’ve progressed from a 25 minute, scaled Fran back in college (65# thrusters and really light Gravitron-assisted pull ups) to 5:15 Rx’d back in March I believe.
That was my goal. To beat my last PR with a sub-5 minute time.
Easier said than done, especially after a weekend’s worth of workouts. Thrusters really aren’t my thing, so even after an hour and a half break following the Airdyne event, my legs were still shot to shit. They were Jello.
It didn’t help that our heat kept getting pushed back. From heat 5, we ended up in heat 7. Team Fran allowed for only 1 barbell/1 person to go at a time with a 21 minute cap. Since I was one of the few to have done Fran before, I said I’d go first so there would be enough time for the rest of the team to get in as many reps as possible.
As I said…21 minute cap…so basically close to an hour passed after our expected heat time. I was getting nervous as fuck, doing all sorts of random fidgeting and mannerisms…yet exaggerated. Think Nomar Garciaparra’s at-bat routine on roids.
Then finally, our team was up. Just a few minutes beforehand, I actually wasn’t sure if I’d do this Rx’d, as it might cost our team a lot of time having to switch weights again on the barbell as our other guy following me was going to do it scaled. This would be his first Fran…and man what a way to start this love/hate relationship.
When I found out our teammates are allowed to swap weights while a teammate is doing pull ups, I knew I had to do this Rx’d. I wanted to PR. Bad.
But I was still nervous as fuck. It was so bad that when we were setting things up, I put on WAY TOO MUCH chalk on my hands. I didn’t want to think about it at the time, but in the back of my mind, I knew I was going to tear my hands. Oh well…#yolo
Before I knew it…BOOM. Shit began.
I got through my 21 thrusters and pull ups rather quickly and unbroken. If I remember correctly, I was at around 1:15 after the 21 pull ups. Unfortunately, like last time, my brain and body crapped out around 7 reps through 15 thruster. Shit.
It really was just a grind from then on. My body was wrecked. All I wanted to do was crash and rest. But you’re in that competition environment even if you’re just doing this for fun. The shouting from your friends in the crowd. The Skrillex in the background. The hint of crimson on your shorts.
Wait…I was bleeding? Haha no…it wasn’t that time of the month for me 😛 As I was on my last set of pull ups, just trying to get my last few reps through, I knew I tore up a bit.
“3 more!” said our judge.
Fuck it. I banged out the last 3 with some regular, non-butterfly kips. And I was done. 5:23…no PR.
All I had to do now was cheer on my team.
Oh man…I felt insanely out of it at this point. Then I looked down at my hands as I was battling through my temporary “Fran lung” breathing. Yep. And my hands tore up a lot more than I thought they did. It was easily the worst I’ve seen them from pull ups. The blood was gushing a bit. It was a beautiful sight.
For serious though. I couldn’t stand, think, or talk. For the first 2 minutes after my Fran, I had to lay out on the floor for a bit. Still…I was cheering on my teammate as much as I could. Bless one of the people from my box who grabbed some paper towel for my hands. After some clean up, I just covered my hands with the power towel, got up, and kept cheering on my team the best I could.
It truly was an electrifying moment.
No, we didn’t get to finish, but that wasn’t the point. I’m so proud of my team and what we accomplished that weekend. Going into this competition, we all had some mental limits on our CrossFit and general athletic abilities, yet in the end, we all finished with something that surprised us.
For example, my teammate Bob who went after me in Fran actually Rx’d! I had no idea since I was in the middle of my pull ups when he decided not to switch up his weights. Huge props to him. None of us were able to remember when he started and finished since we were all caught up in the moment, but from what I (barely) remember, it was something in the 7-8 minute range. Really solid for a first Fran.
Possibly…and possibly Rx’d…unless I’m in San Francisco by then 🙂
Yeah, shit got pretty bad in my area – power was lost (the least of everyone’s worries), homes by the coast floating away, and places we cherish absolutely destroyed.
Fortunately, our house only lost power for 3 days. No biggie. Honestly, it was actually a great change of pace. Since I couldn’t work, I simply read, ate, relaxed, and CrossFitted. The things I had were luxuries compared to the stuff most people had to deal with.
Which is why I found it pretty ridiculous that people would call into local radio stations complaining they couldn’t watch the previous night’s football game or wrestling match. Cool story bro. People died, are homeless, and don’t have the bare necessities we take for granted every day.
I just felt very thankful that my friends and family made things out okay. Last year because of Irene, my friend and business partner at Weekend Swap had a HUGE tree branch go through his bedroom.
Alright, so I chose to stay home on Tuesday rather than venture out on roads scattered with electrical wires and tree branches just to hit up the box. We didn’t have power there, but some really dedicated athletes hit up a 6:30am class with only a truck’s headlights in the garage doorway as light. Some pretty cool stuff.
My WOD for that day was supposed to be a 1k row, 50 hang squat cleans at 85#, and 35 pull ups for time. Here’s my modded version of it:
5 minutes on a bicycle trainer @ about 70%-80% effort
50 hang squat cleans with a Powerade cooler of ice (lol)
35 strict pull ups on a good ol’ Iron Gym
Sounds like a mouthful, but they weren’t that complicated. Basically, I’d hold the cooler (the ice was for keeping our food cool) by the handles, clean until I have the hip extension, then bear hug that cooler into a squat…repeat.
And why strict pull ups? Well…I wanted more of a challenge and kipping just doesn’t fly with an Iron Gym.
There are 3 problems with kipping on this pull up bar setup:
1) The bar most likely would fly off.
2) The doorframe is too narrow for some crazy kips (I’d clip my elbows…or maybe my elbows are 2 pointy :P).
3) The bar’s too low to the ground. I pretty much only butterfly now, so my feet would hit the floor when I’d kick my legs (even though I’m short haha).
Finished with 13:42.
With all the people online and on the radio bitching about really small things regarding this hurricane, I knew I had to turn off that noise. It’s funny/weird how much we were able to post things online despite the lack of power. And as I said, that’s the least of our worries.
Being in a really fortunate situation, I knew to make the most of it. I’m sure there were people also complaining that our box wouldn’t open at certain times or our owner wouldn’t post some at-home workout. Uh…he has his own family to take care of…
There’s always a way to solve these small problems or avoid them. Just think differently. I’ve probably said this before, but since I love it so much and have applied it so much lately, I might as well say it again…when people zig, you zag.
Any of you east coasters still battling with the aftermath of that bitch Sandy? Let me know what’s up.
Kip it real, my friends.