Posts Tagged ‘Open Gym’

Hey There!

How’s everyone doing today?

First and most exciting my rib/intercostal is back to normal! Last week, for the first time in 3 weeks, I was able to return working out. Over the last couple of weeks I had attended open gym a few times and did a few workout videos at home to test the area and make sure there was no pain.

The final test came shoveling my car out after Nemo last weekend. I was nervous the weight of the snow and the hours spent shoveling would set me back. This is what I was dealing with:

View of my car on Saturday morning.  Taken from the warmth of the lobby, there was no way I was dealing with that while it was still snowing.

View of my car on Saturday morning. Taken from the warmth of the lobby, there was no way I was dealing with that while it was still snowing.

Front of car on Sunday morning, when I finally decided to get my act together and shovel instead of going to the bar.

Front of car on Sunday morning, when I finally decided to get my act together and shovel instead of going to the bar.

Luckily, the snow wasn’t too heavy and I got some help from a friend and a plow. The entire job only took 45 minutes!

After giving my body a couple extra days to recover and ensure there was no pain– just in case – I hit up crossfit for the first time last Wednesday. I scaled it back with the weights and modified some of the exercises in an effort not to push it too hard too soon.

Thursday morning I met up with a friend to work out before work, we did a workout he created of burpees and cleans. The burpees went a little slower than I would have liked, many breaks were taken, but overall I was pretty happy with my fitness level. I thought it would have been much worse giving that I had taken the last three weeks off.

Friday afternoon, I hit up crossfit once again. For a workout that included death by burpees: 24 minutes, the first minute you do 1 burpee and have the rest of the minute to rest, the 2nd minute you do two burpees and so on. I made it to 13 minutes before switching over to ab mat sit-ups.

Before the workout started my goal was to make it to round 12, after barely completing round 13 I really wanted round 14, but my arms weren’t having it.

Saturday morning I went to open gym and completed a 3,6,9…21 ladder of deadlifts and pull-ups. Once again I scaled down weight (85 pounds for the deadlifts) and used a bigger band for the pull-ups. I took more breaks than I would have liked to complete the pull-ups. I feel as though I lost a lot of strength over the last couple of weeks, but regardless I’m just happy to be working out again.

Second and almost as exciting, during Thursday’s warm-up, I did my first double under. After whipping myself with the jump rope numerous times I finally got the rope to go around twice for one jump.
Friday I showed up to the gym a little early to practice double unders before class started. It took a solid 10 minutes of attempts before I finally got my second. I was ready to call it quits and designate that one double under as a fluke. By the time class started I was able to complete a double under and keep the rope going, stringing together single, single, single, double, single, single, single double.

Saturday and Monday at open gym I worked on double unders some more and can now complete single, double, single, double, single, double…

I have yet to be able to string together two double unders in a row, but I’m confident with some more practice it’ll happen soon.

I’m fully aware that these workouts might not qualify as taking it easy or that working out 4 days in a row isn’t really easing back into workout schedule. I waited until the pain had completely subsided before I attended a class again and scaled down the weights considerably (as considerably as one can considering I don’t use very heavy weights to begin with). I tested each exercise on my own before attempting to do multiple sets in class and promised myself that I would stop at the first sign of pain.

So there you have it, first week back was a success, no pain and a new trick!!

Good thing, because half marathon training is scheduled to start next week!


Your turn: what workouts have you been rocking lately?!


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Yesterday afternoon, after returning from a fun weekend of snowboarding and laughs, I headed open gym at my crossfit box for the sole purpose of determining my 500m row time.

After competing for one year on my college crew team (I was a walk on) I vowed I would never, ever, get on an erg, ever again.

I managed to avoid the erg for 9 years, until I went to my first crossfit on-boarding session two years ago.

Rowing wasn’t my sport – I barely survived the year – I’m an endurance athlete, not a strength athlete.

Rowing takes a lot of strength.

At the end of a race you would be absolutely dead. “Leave nothing in the tank” was a popular expression used by coaches before races, along with “if you’re going through hell, keep going” and “when you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on”.

When our boat crossed the finish line, there was nothing left in the tank. This was the first time I honestly felt as though I truly had nothing left. But just because the race is over, doesn’t mean you’re done.

You still have to pick the boat up out of the water and carry it back to the boat house.

Seriously, you have to CARRY the boat.

Rowing is a cruel sport; it is after all derived from a form of slavery.

I didn’t go back for round two after my freshman year. One year was enough for me.

While it was very easy for me to list what I gave up – a regular college experience, my body (my shoulders and thighs were huge), blood, sweat and lots of tears – in order to be part of the crew team, it took me a while to realize what I had gained.

I was forced so far out of my physical comfort zone. Pretty much every work out forced me to “tie a knot and hold on”. I had the callouses on my hands to prove it. And while at time this made me feel extremely weak, today I’m able to see the strength.

It taught me that I’m much stronger than I think I am; that there is a little bit left I just need to dig deeper and it forced me to turn “I can’t” into “I’ll try”. This helped me get through the struggles of marathon training. I use it every time I enter the gym to remind myself that I can in fact complete tough workouts.

There are also the amazing friendships that I made through crew, many of my friends frequently listed on this blog Erin, Kayla, Leanne and Kim are all former teammates. I consider them amongst my best friends.

Actually all of my college friends were either on the team or met through someone on the team.
I managed to avoid the erg for 9 years, until I went to my first crossfit on-boarding session.

A couple weeks ago, Kayla, Erin and I met up for dinner. Kayla just joined a crossfit gym so we started talking about workouts and of course the erg came up.

We were trying to remember our 500m pace, a popular crossfit distance, but races were 2000m (or 6000m in the fall) so we mainly practiced at those distances. I estimated that my 2k pace was probably around 2:05-2:10.

I remember wanting to break 2:05 so badly, but never getting there. Most girls on the team rowed at a high 1:5X or low 2:0X pace.

I was one of the slowest.

There is one crew work out sticks out in my mind, 6 500m sprints at 5-10 seconds below your 2k pace. I remember Karen, our coach, telling us that this was the only workout that made her cry. Karen was an amazing rower, she made it look so easy, if this workout made her cry what would happen to me?

To date, this is the only workout that has made me throw up (I came close to throwing up during the Filthy Fifty this past December). After round 4 I got off the erg, went into the hallway, got sick in a trash barrel, rinsed my mouth out and walked back into practice to finish my last two rounds.

“If you’re going through Hell, keep going”

Since that dinner two weeks ago, I’ve been curious to how fast I can row 500 meters. I believe the last time I did the crossfit baseline workout my 500m pace was around 2:08-2:10.

Yesterday, after a quick warm up, I hopped on the erg and rowed 500m in 2:03, much quicker than I anticipated.

After catching my breath and smiling to myself for a few minutes I switched gears and worked on pull-ups. I then got back on the erg and contemplated rowing 2,000 meters but quickly decided there was no need for that and rowed another 500 meters instead.

This time in 2:01!

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve noticed that I get excited when I see rowing as part of a WOD, though I’ll never be the fastest, I feel as though I can dominate the erg. I know my form is decent, I know I have the mechanics down and I know what it feels like to give it my all on the erg.

It’ll never be my favorite piece of workout equipment but I can honestly say I no longer hate the erg with the passion that I once did.

What workout equipment do you love or hate?

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