Extra Rest Day

As you all know, I've been quite busy over the last few weeks and I'm really starting to feel it. Today wasn't any different, in fact it was an especially busy day. Normally I would be working out on a Thursday, but today I decided give myself an extra rest day. I'm really, really tired and I will be working out both days on this weekend, as it is the weekend of my Olympic Lifting Cert with (hopefully) Mike Burgener in Copenhagen. Can't wait for it! I really look forward to meeting Coach Burgener who is a huge personality if it comes to Olympic Lifting. He has even been training olympic weightlifting teams for the US which definitely means something. Also I will be able to make new friends in the CrossFit world. A chance which I don't want to miss, as CrossFitters still are very rare in Germany. And it's always fun to meet people who tick like you and are excited about the same things.
The Cert will take place at Butcher's Lab in Copenhagen but I hope to also be able to visit CrossFit Copenhagen or as it is called "The church of Pain", which is operated by some of the trainers I met at my Level I Cert last year.
So much for the upcoming weekend. I'm really psyched when I think about it!

Resting today also gives me the time and opportunity to write this article which is an absolute must, considering that the last article with "real" content is more than one week old. Can't have that.

Where do I start? Well I guess the best thing would be to start were I stopped. With the CrossFit Football Total I did last week. As I mentioned earlier, a Total always ends a training cycle and is some sort of benchmark where you test how much you've improved. If you remember I stated that I had improved a lot!

Well, here are the numbers:

                               20.05.2010                      29.01.2010        improvement by

1 RM Power Clean @ 100    kg                     @  90     kg        10   kg
1 RM Back Squat   @ 165    kg                     @ 157,5 kg         7.5 kg
1 RM Bench Press  @ 140    kg                     @ 140    kg            /
1 RM Deadlift         @ 170    kg                     @ 160    kg         10 kg

If you take a look at the actual numbers it doesn't really seem to be that much. But after working out for such a long time improvement doesn't come as easy as in the beginning and many athletes will have to settle with an improvement of 5 kg or something like that for a whole year. So I'm really confident that I was able to pull these numbers. Especially the Deadlift makes me happy. Though by numbers it is my strongest lift, it really is my weakest. In comparison to the weights I get on the other excersises my Deadlift should be way higher.

Here's a video of our late night lifting session. We stayed indoors again as it was late already, cold outside and raining like it was November. (sadly the quality of the video isn't too good. I'll try to get better ligthing next time)

CrossFIt Football Total 20.05.2010 from Nico on Vimeo.

After the Total I went to Spain for the weekend, which was great. I met with my girlfriend in Moaraira, a place near Alicante at the coast of the mediteranean sea. Beatiful! And the weather! No sport but lying at the beach, some swimming in the refreshing sea, some walking and some posing for fotos. I'll put some more pictures online in one of my next posts.

When I got back home on Sunday night I was falling into bed, dead tired but happy and fullfilled. After waking up the next morning I had to realize that there was no internet when I woke up. So much for returning early in order to get some work done. I did what was possible offline, as the university was closed as well due to the holiday. If I'd had known this I'd have stayed one more day in Spain!

Anyways. The abscence of internet did of course not stop me from working out. on Monday.

Workout of the Day (Monday)

Squats     5x5 @ 135 kg

Presses   5x 1 @   80 kg (PR!)

12 minute AMRAP of:

5 Pull Ups
10 Push Ups
30 Rope Jumps (should've done Double Unders but I can't. Need to focus on learning those!)

10 rounds and 5 Pull Ups.

The Squats felt pretty good for the first three sets but I started to struggle during the fourth set and number five was a real fight. But I managed it in the end.
The Presses felt really good. My overhead strength is improving very well and I hope to be able to get to the 100 kg mark by the end of summer.

The DWOD was a modified "Cindy" which some of you might know from CrossFit HQ or because I made you do it during one of our group workouts. The change here was a more violent opening of the hip in comparison to the normal Air Squat. I kind of missed that point by doing normal Rope Jumps instead of Double Unders. A better sub would've been Box Jumps. But I want to improve my rope juming and normally you do so by doing it.
All in all a good day. Pretty decent performances on both SWOD and DWOD.

Workout of the Day (Tuesday)

Deadlift 5 RM @ 157.5 kg

Complete 5 rounds of

3 Power Snatches
3 Snatch Pulls
3 Power Snatches

@ 55 kg

*   120 seconds rest between rounds
** do not drop the weight. one Burpee penalty per drop

I didn't drop the weight once, althoug it nearly ripped of my thumbs as I was using the hook grip.

I haven't always been using this type of grip but since I do, I've really started to apreciate it. You've simply got so much more control and the weight can impossibly slip out of you're hand. The downside, however, are calluses on the thumbs, which I didn't have before. But I don't care about the ones I got in my hands, so why should I care about the ones I've got on my thumbs, now. Also the hook grip needs some time still you get used to it. It hurts in the beginning and still does on heavy Deadlifts or hand tearing bear-complexes like this one. But you get used to it and once you've learned to cope with it, you realize just how much it improves your grip, especially on the explosive lifts.

Well this is it for today. It was the rather long wrap up of last week. I hope you enjoyed it.
I don't know if I will be able to post tomorrow. As I said before I'm off to Copenhagen. If not I'll get you a nice report on the happenings when I get back on Monday!

Until than, stay fit and go for it!

No time for nothing and no internet

I'm sorry for the long abscence. That wasn't planned at all. As you all know, I was in Spain last weekend. When I got back the internet was gone and it wouldn't return before Tuesday around midday. This meant that a lot of work piled up, with which I'm still not done with yet. On top of that I had my brother and my farther staying over for the last two days. This was of course great as I really enjoy their company, but it also meant less time for work.
The bottom line is that I didn't have any possibility/time to update the blog which really hurts me. I'll try to get a little wrap up of what's been going on over the last few days online by tonight, but no promises. Until then, just a quick glance at the beautiful time I've had in Spain.

Stay fit and see you soon!

CrossFit Football Total Prelaunch

Yesterday's Workout:

1 RM Power Clean

1 RM Back Squat

1 RM Bench Press

1 RM Deadlift

=> CrossFit Football Total

Awesome! Videos and a longer report of how everything went will follow. Right now I'm off to Spain for the weekend! Just so much, I pr'd a lot!

Stay fit and see you next week!

Good Times

Workout of the Day

Pull Up 1 RM

Complete 7 rounds of:

max Pull Ups @ 50% of 1 RM (20 kg)
weighted stair sprints @ 20 kg

Today was an easy going day. I was able to get a little sleep in the afternoon and was well fed when going into today's workout. Also, Pull Ups are not as taxing for the whole body as most of the lifts I normally do. But I'm not going to complain. I feel I'm going to need the rest. Acutally, I've got quite a feeling in my gut that a Total is lurking around the corner. The workouts which have been programmed lately have often been of lower intensity (see today, no time limit). Also the workload has been rather low over the last days and the excercises which were chosen, allow to rest while being active, if you get what I mean. This normally signals the end of a cycle and a cycle normally ends with a CrossFit Football Total. Looking forward to seeing how I've improved since last time.
As for today. I started with 24 kg on the Pull Ups and worked my way up to 40 kg in steps of five. I did the Pull Ups on the tree in my garden. The branch is quite thick, which makes grip strength an issue. This wasn't any different today. Actually, I believe I could've done more Pull Ups on the WOD and maybe 5 kg more on the 1 RM, if it wouldn't have been for the thickness of the branch. But I'm far from complaining. I prefer working out in my garden even though it might bring its difficulties from time to time.

The weighted stair sprints didn't make the grip problem any easier. I used two 10 kg plates and tried to get two steps in one while sprinting up the staircase in my house. Luckiliy it was late enough so no one was around to get run over by me.
On the Pull Ups I managed to get 6, 6, 5, 5, 4, 3, 4. I kept rest low between round even though the workout description said to rest as needed. I wanted to get a little conditioning from this and I liked the challenge that with shorter rest periods grip strength became even more of a problem than it was anyways.

So much for today. Tomorrow's a rest day. I might even be able to write a little rest day post, but I don't want to promise things I can't hold, so nothing guaranteed here!
Meanwhile check out the CrossFit HQ for video footage of the qualifiers which are taking place at the moment all over the world. You'll see some pretty impressive performances there, I can promise you that. This is really getting me pumped! I know my performance is far from what you see there, but also it makes me want to get there even more!

Stay fit and keep it real!

Going Overhead

Workout of the Day:    

Overhead Squats 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3

Complete as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of:

3 overhead any way @ 75% of bodyweight (65 kg)
6 Push Up
9 stiff legged Deadlift

11 rounds!!!!!

Today was the day! First time in what seemed to be ages since we've got some sort of good weather. This of course got motivation up! Also I had some stored up frust from university which really needed an outlet and what better way but to channel it into agressively attacking today's workout.

I hadn't been doing Overhead Squats for a while and during the warm up they felt a little awkward until I got my shoulders loosened up enough. I started out with 55 kg and got up to 67.5 kgon my last set. This was a huge PR as I my 1 RM lies at 72.5 kg. So doing 67.5 for three reps really got me exhilarated.

After the OHS my shoulders and arms were already pretty tired and I wasn't too optimistic rearding my perfomance on the workout. And the first five minutes seemed to prove my fears, but at around minute 10 I got into a very good rythm which I was able to keep until the end. After cleaning the weight from the ground I Push Jerked it all the time as this is the most efficient way to get heavy things over your head. This turned out to be a good decision as my shoulders were no issue at any moment during the workout.
After finishing I was devastated but also felt very happy about my eleven rounds! The feeling of acomplishment after doing a good job on a grueling workout is really what it's all about. Thanks to  René for keeping me from making breaks. It helps to have another voice but the inner one telling you to go on even though all you want to do is lie on the ground.
What's left to say? Great effort, great WOD! Also this has been the first time in weeks that I really got the intensity to the point it should be during all my workouts. I hope that I'll be able to maintain this for te future.

I wanted to take a video but the battery died after two or three minutes. I need to review the footage to see if it's worth the effort to edit and upload it.

That's it for today!

Stay fit and see you tomorrow!

Tales of Feasts of Strength

Yesterday's WOD:
Complete 5 rounds of:

20-40-20 meter shuttle drill (you sprint 20 meters in one direction, turn, sprint 40 meters into the opposite direction, turn again and sprint back another 20 meters and end up where you started)
8 Kettlebell Swings
16 Push Ups
rest 1 minute

Well, yesterday I was working out with René. We went to our nearby playground to do the routine displayed above. I thought this would be a nice an easy go. "Just" five rounds and a one minute rest between rounds. Well, I must have missjudged or something else must've gone seriously wrong, because after the first round I was already gasping for air and was really, really happy about the one minute break.
I believe it's been the sprinting which got us. It just robs you of all the oxygen in no time and leaves you gasping for air, making every following move a double effort torture.
After round one I wasn't even able to do all 16 Push Ups consecutively. Not really how I expected things to go. I was starting to feel sick after a few rounds and this feeling stayed way after we had already finished the WOD. So much for the training part. Let's get to eating.

Here's a picture of a "honey-chicken" I did yesterday. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture before cutting it in half.
I used a butter-honey-mixture with rosmarin and oregano to marinate the skin. Delicious!
Later I used the stocking to make the dressing for the salad.

Sorry for keeping it short today. Got stuff to do.

Stay fit and see you guys tomorrow!

Farther's Day Special WOD and the day after

Farther's Day WOD

Complete the following without time limit:

Walk a lot
Carry countless bottles of beer in a backpack
Climb trees while intoxicated
Try to hit a bottle with a ball, if successfull empty a bottle of beer
Get a barbeque going, if successfull eat as much meat as possible

Rest for the rest of the day!

I guess this should sum it up pretty well. We've had a lot of fun but I believe going further into detail is not really what this blog is for.
Instead I'll instantly come to today.

Workout of the Day

Power Clean 3, 3, 3, 3, 3

Complete five rounds of:
3 Clean Pulls
3 Power Cleans
3 Push Press
3 Push Jerk
3 Good Mornings

*   use about 60% - 70% of your 3RM Power Clean
** rest two minutes between rounds

When I got up this morning I didn't really feel like working out. But I did everything possible to get myself back on track fast enough to be able to work out in the evening. Apart from the FD-WOD I hadn't worked out on Thursday, so I was eager to get back to the bar. Also I wanted to know how my Power Clean had developed since the last time. I definitely wanted to get a PR today!
So I warmed up pretty good to get the blood flowing and get ready mentally. If you want to know how I warmed up, follow this link.
Afterwards I felt ready to go heavy. I started out with 75 kg working my way up. My previous best had been 90 kg and I wanted to get at least 5 kg more. The Cleans felt good, my elbows were quick and I had a good, explosive hip drive. So after completing 75 kg, 80 kg, 85kg and 90 kg I went for the 95 kg and did it. No problem. The weight sure was heavy and I had problems turning my elbows around fast enough and getting under the bar, but still I got all three reps. Perfect start! I've had been doubtful if this would've been possible after a less than ideal day before, but it was.

The DWOD was a bear complex. The last time I had done this particular one was in February, although with a lighter weight. Today I used 65 kg. This turned out to be perfect. It was quite taxing, but I was able to get all the rounds done without setting the bar down. But my grip strength, my hands and my forearms defintely had to suffer. And while typing this I can feel my back already being sore. Tomorrow is going to be fun!

So much for the training. This blog has developed quite nicely since I've started it. I don't know if you realized it, but I've been adding features every now and than which will hopefully be used by you guys.
When I started this I had imagined it to be a little different though. I wanted to post every day. On training days my posts would of course be a summary of my workouts, but on rest days I wanted to write real articles about health, nutrition and sports related topics. I've been very busy though and my plans had to sort of move into the background. But they are still there and I would really like to make this not only a diary of my training but also a place for education.
So I will be trying to write more and get a little more content, than only my training logs. I hope that you'll like it!

Today I've also got a little goodie for you guys. I've been taking a picture of everything I've been eating for one day.

This was my "breakfast" on Wednesday. I ate this at about 14 o'clock. I had been fasting since 21 o'clock the night before so this was a rather big portion. Normally this would have been two portions, but I was really hungry after such a long time without food. The thing I did is called intermittent fasting. I will write an article about it as soon as my experimental phase is over.
What you see here, is about 500g of chicken breast, some steamed vegetables and some fresh raddish.

As desert I had ca. 100 g of heavy cream cheese with strawberries and some almond splinters. I told you I was hungry....

Later that day I had a Protein Shake, some walnuts, almonds and an apple. This is a typical snack I take about two times a day. Now, I know that the shake isn't optimal, but it's easy and quick and the prize is about the same as you'd have to pay for this amount of protein in real food. The only thing really bothering me is that it contains aspartame. But I'm telling myself that it is far less than what you'd get in e.g. diet coke or anything like this. So I guess it's ok to break with my "whole foods" rule.

Normally I would have had another warm meal at this point but as I had mentioned before I had already eaten a double portion as my first meal. Instead I had another shake, some nuts and strawberries. Yummie.

In the evening I had four scrambled eggs with full fat whip cream and one whole avocado.
I try not to get too many carbs before going to bed as insulin messes around with HGH (human growth hormone, you need this one for every growth process in you body, be it regenerational or new growth) production which is at it's peak during sleep. Also I tend to sleep better when I'm not skyrocketing my insulin before going to bed.

Now this might not have been a typical day, although the amount of food is more or less what I normally tend to eat during one day. You might have noticed that there is no bread, pasta, grains, rice, potatoes or any other starchy food involved in my eating. I have found for myself that these tend to bloat me up. Also they do nasty things to my blood sugar and therefore my insulin levels which sends me on an emotional rollercoaster depending on the heigth of my blood sugar. No kidding, I can feel my mood depending on how long it's been since I've been eating when I use a lot of starchy foods.
There are several other reasons why I leave out these types of food, but I will cover that in another article.

Now the promised video of me nearly fainting while doing a Power Snatch.

Power Snatch from Nico on Vimeo.

It doesn't look too bad, but for a short time I was seeing nothing but black.

Stay fit and see you soon!

Heavy Days

Workout of the Day:

Power Snatch 5, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1

10 Broad Jumps for maximum distance (2.50m)

20 x 10m Sprints (10 secs rest)

Well, the last two days have been quite heavy on the lifting side. Today I did Power Snatches for my SWOD. Starting at 50 kg I worked my way up to a double PR! The Snatches felt great and I was eager to break my previous best of 67.5 kg which is a ridicoulisly low number for somebody with my bodyweight. So I went for 70 kg on the first one rep set, which I pulled easily. Having licked blood I wanted more and put on another 2.5 kg leading to a weight of 72.5 kg. Now many of you might think that 2.5 kg is not much weight. Of course you are right. That's about the weight of 2 1/2 one liter bottles of water. But if you're on the edge already, 2.5 kg can make all the difference. After all, weightlifting championchips are often decided by just 500 g. Imagine that!! A world class lifter who can easily Clean&Jerk 200 kg giving a damn about 500 g?! Well believe me, when you're at the upper end of your limits, 0.5 kg make all the difference in the world.
But today was my day and I was able to pull the weight, also I nearly fainted afterwards.. This is the first time this has ever happened to me. Luckily it was just a very short moment. I've got a video which I will upload next time.

The broad jumps and the sprints were fun. It's nice to play around with stuff you did all the time when you were young but sort of abandoned, as soon as you got to the age where you start worrying what other people think about you. The sprints were ugly as always but at least the distance was too short to feel really sick afterwards.

So much for today. Let me tell you about Monday.
Strength WOD:
Front Squat 5x 1 @ 110 kg
Press           5x 5 @ 67.5 kg
Ring Dips    15, 12, 10

Daily WOD:
As many rounds in 8 minutes as possible of
3 Deadlifts @ 120 kg
5 weighted Box Jumps with two 5 kg plates

The strength stuff felt good. I was able to pr on the Presses. I had been stuck with 65 kg for 5x 5 for a while but yesterday was the day I finally got the 67.5 kg. Remember me talking about 2.5 kg making all the difference? Well here we go again.
I was happily surprised by my strength on the rings. I still struggle a lot with all the stabilization work you've got to managa while up on the rings, but I can feel my strength and confidence go up slowly but steadily!

On the DWOD I was able to get 7 rounds. The assigned weights for the workout were 140 kg on the Deads and 2x 25 kg on the Jumps. I tried jumping with so much weight and barely got ten centimeters above the ground so I decided to go lighter ( a lot lighter actually). On the Deadlifts I didn't even have to try. I know that 140 kg is too much for me to handle in a workout like this. Too easy will form break down and before you know it you've damaged yourself. The workout was still taxing and I believe I got a better metabolic effect from it, doing more rounds.
Here's a video of me doing yesterday's workout. I cut out the obscenely long scenes where I simply gasp for air before getting back to the Deadlifts.

Deads and Jumps from Nico on Vimeo.

That's it for tonight. It's late already and I'm going to get some sleep, now.

Stay fit and see you soon!

A missed Day

Yesterday's Workout:

5 rounds for time of

5 Power Cleans @ 75% of 1RM = 70 kg
100 m Farmers Walk with 2x 25kg Plates

I finished in 11:58 minutes (which is far too slow!!!) I should've killed this one but I took too long on setting up for the Power Cleans and rested too often on the Farmers Walk. This little bugger was going directly for your grip strength. During the last rounds the Farmers Walk was really getting hard to manage without setting down the plates every now and than, to allow the hands to relax for a second. The workload in this workout however has been relatively low and I didn't feel devastated afterwards. I guess I simply didn't push it hard enough.

In general, it's been a few busy days! I missed my Friday workout due to university and a concert. The concert was taking place at the Wasserparadies, a local swimming pool. I've never been listening to a concert while being able to enjoy bathing. Really cool experience. The crowd was going all crazy after some time and we danced in the water which is much more exhausting than it sounds.
Here's a link to the homepage if you want to check it out.

After having missed Friday's workout I was planning on doing a double day on Saturday. But the little sleep I got after the concert and the fact that I had been at the university the whole Saturday morning aswell, changed my mind. My legs were still sore from last Thursday's WOD and I was really lacking the energy to do two workouts so I decided to do the Friday WOD and leave out the Saturday one. At first I was a little sad beacause I really liked the WOD which had been assigned for Saturday. But I prefer doing this one on another double day, when I'm rested and fresh.

I took a video of the whole thing but wasn't able to upload it yet. At the moment our internet connection is very weak to say the least. It's been an up and down for the last week but somehow this weekend it decided to leave us with nothing but 56k modem speed. I guess you all can imagine how long uploading a video would take under these circumstances.

So I hope you'll forgive me my briefness. Rest assured that as soon as we got the internet back on track I'll be uploading the video for you!

While I'm gone watch the Southwest Regional Qualifiers for the upcoming CrossFit Games live and for free here so you'll get a hang of what I'm going to be up against next year! I'm shitting my pants allready!

Well, stay fit and see you soon (if the internet god is mercifull)

Dancing in the Rain

Workout of the Day:

Rack Jerks 1, 1, 1, 1, 1
@ 70 kg, 80 kg, 90kg, 95, 97,5 kg(PR!)

For time:

30   Bodyweight Backsquats (85kg)
100 Sumo Deadlift High Pulls with my 24 kg Kettlebell
30   Burpees

I finished in 12:37 minutes.

Well, since I've moved my "gym" into the outdoors or more precisely into our garden, I've been blessed with good weather, which made working out a lot of fun. So today was the first day I had to cope with bad weather. We're of course not talking really bad "thunderstorm and danger of drowning in rain" kind of weather, but bad weather nonetheless. It was cold, misty and rainy but that didn't stop me from doing my workout and after a while I was covered in a cloud of steam. I was so heated up that I didn't feel the cold at all. The rain, which was more like a constant drizzle anyways, seemed to evaporize when touching my body. In the end I really enjoyed the change for once. The air was fresh and clean, making breathing easy.
Everything felt good.
I like doing Rack Jerks. They allow me to throw weights in the air that I would normally not be able to get over my head. I pr'd by 2.5 kg but I'm sure I could've done the 100 kg aswell.

The workout was hell! I had to split the Backsquats into sets of 15, 10 and 5 but the worst part were the 100 Kettlebell SDHPs. I did the first 30 without having to stop, than I did sets of 20 and 15. The Burpees were horrible as always ,but when I got to them I knew the worst part was over with, so they didn't really make things worse.
I'm happy with my effort, but my time should've been much faster. I really need to get intensity to the next level, if I want to go anywhere next year.

I had scheduled a team workout for tonight, but people didn't really feel like working out in the rain. I can't really blame them, although I hope they might reconsider next time after reading this (ok, this was more direct than subtle...).
All in all a very nice day in my little universe. I'll cook myself some good food now and that should be it.

Well, this just leaves me saying, don't be afraid of the rain! After all at least some of you're ancestors must have been out in the rain, hunting their food, or you wouldn't be here. They most certainly survived it, or again, you wouldn't be here.

Stay fit and see you soon!

Business as usual

It's been a few days since my last post. I've been busy with lots of things, but of course I've also been working out. Here's a short wrap up of my recent endeavours.

On Monday I worked out with René. We did heavy Back Squats and Presses and a freaky cool WOD which I sadly haven't got on video. My Squats are going up again and I believe I've overcome the problems I had a few weeks ago.
I did 5x 5 @ 132.5 kg and everything felt really good.

I enjoy working out in the garden a lot. There's only one thing I'm a little concerned about. It's the ground. It's hard to find an even spot where both feet are at the same level of elevation. I try to work around this by simply changing positions from workout to workout, but it's not an optimal situation. I've been thinking about building a platform for a while (there is an excellent guide on how to build an outdoor platform on performancemenue.com), but am still hesitant to do so for various reasons. One of them is that I won't be able to store it in the cellar, respective it's going to be a pain in the ass to get the bugger upstairs before and downstairs after every workout. It's already an issue with all the weights and the bank and all the other equipment. A whole platform would simply be too much. Also I'm afraid a platform would destroy the grass which surely would upset my houselady, her husband and the gardener, who seems to have an issue with me using the garden at all. But luckily he's just the gardener and I'm the guy lifting more than twice his bodyweight.

Anyways, on the Presses I did 5x 1 @ 77,5 kg which seemed a little too light. This is of course a good sign and I really hope that I'll be able to stop moaning about my overhead stength in a not too far away future.

Afterwards we did the following WOD:
As many rounds as possible of
5 Kettlebell Snatches left arm with 24 kg Ketllebell
5 Kettlebell Snatches right arm with 24kg Kettlebell
5 Push Ups

I was able to complete 11 rounds and 5 KB Snatches. If you watch the video you'll see that KB Snatches are slightly different from "normal" Barbell Snatches, as they demand a certain amount of swinging movement instead of a strictly vertical upward pull.
The workout left us gasping for air and two days later, while im writing this my body is still hurting!

On Tuesday I did 5 RM Deadlifts. The numbers looked like this:
5x 20 kg
5x 50 kg
5x 70 kg
5x 100 kg
3x 120 kg
5x 150 kg
5x 155 kg

Very decent! I'm really happy about making such good progress ultimately. I feel very good (apart from the seemingly everlasting state of  soreness) and everything works out just fine.
In the evening I was working out with the group. Well, actually it was just Oli and Dave this time as everyone else seemed to have an excuse. We did, and you won't believe this, so prepare...... we did Sprints. I know, I hate running blablabla, but I figured out that what I really hate is long distance running. I still don't like sprinting but I prefer it to the long, grinding runs.
I pulled the WOD of the CrossFit Football website:
2x 100 m (rest 45 seconds)
rest 45 seconds
4x 50 m (rest 30 seconds)
rest 30 seconds
8x 20 m (rest 15 seconds)

This was brutal. I was feeling like I wanted to puke after the second 100 m Sprint already, but kept pushing. I had hoped that with the smaller distances things would get easier, but the decreasing rest time really made things worse. My last couple of 20 m Sprints barely deserve to be called a sprint. I could really feel my butt, hamstrings and calves going from powerful muscles, allowing me to run fast, to some sort of crippled, stiff and burning trash in a few seconds. Hell yeah! Good one! This one wasn't only about muscle power but also about mental power. It wasn't a grinder, which will take you 20 or more minutes to complete and is therefore tough on your mind. Instead this workout crippled you so fast, that in the end you felt like all you wanted to do is lie down and try not to puke. The rest periods, while important for the body, were making it a test of will to get back in position and sprint in an all out effort even though it was the last thing you wanted  to do. Dave and Oli know what I mean.

That's it for the moment. I'm planning on having some rest day posts which do not only describe my workouts but instead deal with some interesting topics concerning nutrition, training, vitamins and so on, but sadly my time is limited and I'm not able to do everything I want to. But stay with me and I won't let you down!

Until then, stay fit and enjoy!

Barbeque aftermath

The massive meat consume led to excess energy which led to a very good workout on Friday.

I met with René around noon, to work out together and to introduce him to the Power Clean. Well actually the High Hang Power Clean. René had never before done any of the Cleans but since he's started on the CrossFit Football Program he'll need to do these a lot. The same will be true for the Snatch but we'll tackle these one at a time. The ecercise might look easy, but it is actually quite a complex movement and needs a lot of training. Some people say that if you've passed a certain age, it will get impossible for you to learn the perfect technique. But I believe that René did very well!

My SWOD was 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2 Power Snatches. The numbers looked like this: 50 kg, 52.5 kg, 55 kg, 57.5 kg, 60 kg, 62.5 kg, 65 kg, 67.5 kg. My Snatch numbers still are very weak. I really hope to get some insight and cues on my technique at my seminar in Kopenhagen.

Afterwards we did a Pull Up/Push Up ladder. The set up is simple. You do 1 rep per exercise in the first minute, 2 in the second and so on. Sounds easy right? Well try it at home!
I managed to get 12 rounds! I've never before come so far. Great!!! I can see improvement in all areas and nearly from day to day. I hope this will go on for a while!

On Saturday one of my obvious weaknesses came to light, though.
7 rounds for time of:
3 Deadlift @ 120 kg
6 Handstand Push Ups
9 Box Jumps (I used my new, home made bench for this)

 HSPU's are still killing me. I'm making very little progress here although I feel my general overhead strength increasing. I'll be patient and keep on hitting overhead days hard and hopefully this will improve.
Here is the second part of the WOD (for some reason the camera wasn't running on the first half).

I'm on the video! from Nico Bartke on Vimeo.

I'm posting this from a friends house as my internet connection hasn't been working properly during the last days and was totally gone this morning. Sorry about that. I'm trying to fix it or find a work around.

Until then, stay fit!!!

Wonderfull Weather

Well, I've been enjoying the wonderful weather we've had all week long. I've been trying to spend as much time outdoors as possible. And who wouldn't, having such a beautiful garden just down the stairs.

Unfortunately, this means less time in front of the computer (well this actually is a good thing), thus less time to write the blog (this is the bad thing). But I'll try to make it up to you by documenting my outdoor activities and by writing high quality posts.

On Thursday we've had Dave's Birthday barbeque in our garden. I managed to get my workouts done before that. I did Squats and Rack Jerks from behind the neck. For the Squats the protocol was 5x 1, for the Rack Jerks it was 1, 1, 1, 1, 1. Now you might have realized that I write down stuff in different manners. In this example I did one rep for five sets on both excercises. I just write it down differently to know what my goal was, when I review my workout journal. 5x 1 means five sets of one rep with the same weight each time. 1, 1, 1, 1, 1 means five sets of one rep but with an increasing weight for each set.
My SWOD for Thursday looked like this:

Squats         5x 1 @ 155 kg (on my first set I used 157.5 kg [PR!!] but it was too heavy for all five sets)
Rack Jerks  70 kg, 75 kg, 80 kg, 85 kg, 95 kg (PR!!)

Get what I meant? Very good!
You might remember that I've been struggeling with my Squats recently. Well I pr'd on Thursday so that's over with. The Rack Jerks felt very good aswell. I pr'd by 7.5 kg and could've gone for more. But I didn't want to overdo it.
My DWOD was "The Volkswagen". I don't know why the workout is called like that. Volkswagen are not known to be the strongest cars... but hey! A workout called after a german car producer? I'll take it!

The Volkswagen
21, 15, 9 for time of:
Benchpress @ 70 kg
Pull Ups

I finished in 5:35!! Hell yeah! Good one, I like it. Actually you are supposed to do the Bench Pressing at bodyweight. But I'm happy I scaled down a bit! It still was a killer.

The Volkswagen from Nico Bartke on Vimeo.

Afterwards we did the barbeque. I forgot to take pictures, but rest assured, we ate a lot of meat!

Well, it's late now and I want to get this online. But I've allready written the rest of the post, I just need to wait for the videos being uploaded. So rest assured that tomorrow there will be more!

Stay fit and enjoy!