Tales and tall stories…


1 Month On

The WODs

This week was a short week for me at The Chamber. With The KarriCup on Sunday, a Public holiday on Monday and an injured shoulder I only got 2 sessions in.

The 1st was Wednesday, with legs still a little fatigued from the 100kms on the bike on Sunday and squat clean & jerks on the menu it was going to be a fun night. Our warmup started with 3 rounds of 15x wall balls, 10x kettlebell swings and a 200m run (really a wortkout in itself). This was followed by the main event, 30 squat clean & jerks for time. With a weight of 40kg I completed it in 6:39, which I think was about middle of the field.

Friday’s session was to be Fran prep, 25 mins of thrusters to find your 3 rep max. Due to my dodgy shoulder(agrivated by the Wed sesh), I did front squats instead, which is the 1st half of a thruster anyway. Warmup was 4 rounds of 10x squats with a 20kg barbell bar, 5x crunches and a 200m run. For the 3 rep max I jumped in with some of the guys pushing the bigger weights. We started with a nice easy 40kg to ease into it, then progressed in 10kg increments to 70kg. By this stage the reps were getting harder to push out so we dropped to 5kg increases, allowing us to reach a max of 80kg. A good solid effort to finish the week.

Thoughs after a Month

Well after 4 weeks, i’m impressed. Really feeling some improvements. I’ve dropped about 5kg, feeling stronger (this was most noticable on the KarriCup) and best of all, just generally feeling fit and healthy. The Wife and I are really enjoying the sessions with Chad and the crew at The Crossfit Chamber, its a great community environment where you can train hard and have constant support from your peers. Looking forward to the next month and reaping the benefits. Also starting this month is the Crossfit Games, which I’m hoping to have a go at and see where I stand in the crossfit world (nowhere near the pointy end but will give me a base to compare with next year). Stay tuned for how that goes.


Week 3 – taking it ‘easy’

Sorry week three’s review is a bit late, was a busy weekend with KarriCup (write up to follow). Thankfully this was a relatively easy week so I could ramp down a bit before the race.

Monday started with a Paleo retest. This was used as  bench mark for the guys who competed in the Paleo Challenge. The warmup was a nice easy 400m run which led into 20mins to find your 1 rep Dead Lift max. I managed a respectable 140kg for my first go at this workout. This was then followed by Jackie, for time – 1km row, 50 Thrusters and finishing with 30 pullups.  I completed in 9:34, with 20kg for the thrusters and purple band for pullups.

Wednesday saw us doing a deload session, 20mins of gymnastics volume training choosing between; pullups, ring dips, handstand pushups or pistols. I went with the ring dips (orange band). This involved doing approx 4 reps of the chosen exercise every minute on the minute for 20mins. Not as easy as it sounds, oushing out the last few reps was an effort. We then finished the workout with a Tabata. A Tabata is; for twenty seconds do as many reps of the assigned exercise as you can – then rest 10 seconds. Repeat this seven more times for a total of 8 intervals, 4 minutes total exercise. The score is the least number of reps for any of the eight intervals. We had a choice of Double unders, pushups, air squats or situps. I went with the air squats (not the best choice before the weekend’s race though) and had a score of 11 (did manage a max of 14 in 1 set).

To finish of the week we started with a warmup of 10x 20m sprints with 12x air squats every 2nd sprint. Then we kicked off 20mins to find our 3 rep back squat max. Due to my race on the weekend I did power cleans instead so as to rest the legs a bit. I almost managed 70kg, but only got 2, the 3rd was destined to break me, but managed a consistant 3 reps at 65kg.

Week 2 – Battle Against the Heat

The weather in Perth of late has not been overly comfortable so this week would be a battle with both the body and the elements. Also to start the week I had an afternoon of water skiing on Sunday and a circuit with Training with Dave. This was going to be a hard week….

Our first WOD of the week was all about upper body; hang power cleans and hand release pushups followed by a 200m run for sets of 20-15-10-5. This was after a 10min warmup of volume trainingwhich involved sets of 3-4 pullups on the minute. My first set for 20 I managed with 40kg on the bar and began the 2nd likewise but after almost dropping it on myself I scaled to a more managable 30kg for the rest of the WOD. The pushups went the same way, full for the first set and a bit before scaling down to knees and by the end I was luck to just push out a normal pushup. Finishing time was 11:26.

Wednesday was another smash in the heat & humidity. Warmup consisted of 4 rounds of 15 kettlebell swings + 20 walking lunges. Then the main event; 100 pullups for time with a 50m sprint at the top of every minute then returning to the pullup count. No mean feat with the conditions, but I managed a reasonable 7:57 although I have some decent blisters to show for it.

By Friday the body was starting to feel the sessions of the week and the heat was not going to help. Tonight was to be no reprieve, Deadlifts & everyones favourite – Burpees in sets of 21-15-9. All this after a ‘warmup’ (I used that term lightly) of 20m sprints – 6x forward, 4x backwards, 6x side to side running, 4x heal kicks & 3 rounds of 5x pushups & 10x air squats. My 1st set was with 70kg on the deadlift and full burpees, halfway thru the 2nd I had to scale the weight to 60kg and the burpees were getting hard. I kept the 60kg again on the final round but the burpees became pushups. Time was 6:50, nowhere near the 3.50 ballpark of the front runners but a good place to be after only 2 weeks. The night was then finished off with a stretch session compliments of Amy.

For those that were keen there was a special Saturday session to be held at the South Perth foreshore. Due to other commitments I was unable to make it but the Little Lady was able to attend. Dealing with temps near 40C this was going to be a hard sesison. The workout was done in teams of 2 (with only 1 member working at a time), with a goal to complete; 100 Thrusters, 100 kettlebell swings, 100 Burpees & a 2km run for time. The Little Lady and her teammate finished in a very respecable 22.42.

I am going to enjoy a weekend of forced recovery ready to face what Chad has in store for us next week.

Week 1 in review

With my first official week of Crossfit out of the way its time for the review.

The first session for the week was a Monday evening. For our first official WOD we were faced with Elizabeth, inspiration from Warnie here. Liz brings with her; 21-15-9 Reps for time of Squat Clean 60 / 40kg & Ring Dips. Still being beginners our workout was scaled so we could actually complete it. This is normal if some of the exercises are beyond your limitations. The pictures below show our full workout for the night including warmup and times with weight used and assistance (resistance bands). I managed to complete Elizabeth in 10:48 with 40kg on the squats and the red & yellow band for the dips.

Check out a demo of Elizabeth

Session two for the week was a Wednesday evening Squat fest. This involved 5-3-3-1-1-1-1 Front Squats with a 20 minute time cap, increasing weight across sets or until failure. I started with a warm up of 40kg x5 and progressed from there. My first single set max was for 80kg, this felt a lil easy so went for 85kg on the 2nd. A bit harder but still felt i could get more. I pushed hte 3rd to 90kg. Well that extra 5kg felt like 100kg, on the lift the legs started to jelly but I somehow got up. The fourth was a go for broke set, I aimed for 95kg. This time that extra 5kg may have been 100kg. I reached the bottom of the squat but couldn’t get the lift, my legs went to jelly and it was all over, I had found my max.

Tonight(Friday) was the 3rd and final session for the week. Chad had a 3km run time trial organised for us. Great I love running….NOT!!! and nor do my shins. My alternative was a 3km row. Not as easy as it sounds but definitely less painful to my body. Our warm up involved 10x 20m sprints followed by 5x running backwards sprints. Then we started the time trial. I managed a 12:51 for the 3km row, apparently not bad for a first time. I now have a baseline to work from. The 3km time trial was followed by 10 mins of gymnastics volume training with 3 choices of exercises, Pullups, Ring Dips or Handstand Pushups. I went with the ring dips as I knew I could manage these. The 10mins involved doing 3-4 reps of your chosen exercise on the minute, having me finish with a total of 40 Ring Dips.

And that finishes another week at The Crossfit Chamber. Looking forward to another big one next week with Chad and the team.

Date with Fran

Today was our final On Ramp session. We stepped into the Push Progression range of exercises. This took in the press, push press, push jerk and thrusters. One thing to note when doing the push press, don’t forget to tilt your head back otherwise you will smash your nose, like I did today. Lets just call it a noob mistake I won’t be making again.

Next was our first WOD (Workout of the Day). It was to be a simplified(for beginners) version of Fran. This involves 3 sets of thrusters and pull-ups in descending numbers, 21-15-9. Normally its 40kg for the thrusters  but simplified was 20kg and pull-ups were done using the rings. For an example of the full WOD check out the video below. Fran is used by many crossfit affiliates as a baseline test for getting a starting point for you to work from. Lets just say its not easy, time for me was 4.19mins.

Next week we start normal WODs, so stay tuned.

On Ramp session 2

Well last night was the second On Ramp session and we were set for another big one with Chad at The Crossfit Chamber. We were now moving onto the Pull Progression sequence of movements. This started with learning the correct techniques for deadlifts and went on to include Sumo Deadlift Highpull, the Clean (the first half of the Olympic Clean & Jerk event), Kettle bell swings and finished with burpees (everyones favourite).

Following the techniques lesson we moved onto a short workout session. This was 15 deadlifts(40kg) followed by 5 burpees. We were to complete 4 sets of this for time. Looking at it on the board it didn’t seem such a daunting task but by the 3rd set the body was feeling it. Sticking it out to the 4th gave the jelly arm feeling but thankfully just over 4mins and it was all over. All up another good session.

Saturday will see us completing the final On Ramp session and then doing our first official workout and setting a basline for ourselves before getting into normal sesisons.

Crossfit, here we come

Again it has been a long time since I last posted. But its time to get back into it. A new year, a new topic.

I’ve been interested in Crossfit for a while, I think the first spark was seeing it on The Biggest Loser with Commando Steve. Over the coming year I hope to document my introduction and progression thru Crossfit. I’m not really going to go into what it is it too much as there are many other sites that do a better job of it already. Simply put, Crossfit is a strength and conditioning program.

When I first got interested in Crossfit, finding a local gym that practiced it was a difficult task. The closest 1 I found was in Joondalup, just a wee bit too far to travel. Recently though I visited the World Games Expo and happened to come across the Crossfit stand. After a bit of a chat with the guys I found there was a local gym not far from home that had opened not long ago. As part of the expo they were offering a free session to try it out, decision made, I was going.

Welcome to The Crossfit Chamber.

I took a midweek visit to check out the place and meet the crew. Chad is the trainer running the show, a very approachable young guy who knows his stuff. It looked like the goods so I booked a free session for the wife and myself.

Last Saturday was D-Day. We rocked up ready for a good workout, and weren’t disappointed. There were 3 others there to give it a go as well. Chad had organised a great introduction workout. It involved a 200m run, a kettlebell swing, and body pullups. Might not sound like much but when you put it all together as a circuit and complete for time, it’s a damn good workout. This our 1st introduction was a good start, we decided we’d continue and do the On Ramp sessions.

The On Ramp sessions basically run thru the techniques used in many of the workouts and help you work on getting it right at a slower pace before hitting it hard in the normal sessions. This helps to get the most out of your workout and reduce the chances of injury.

Tonight was our first On Ramp session. We were introduced to the Squat progression. This as the name suggest goes thru the different variations of squat techniques used, both with & without weight. Following this we did a workout involving some of the skills, again this was for time. While this short session may have lasted just under 10mins it was worth a normal hour in the gym. And we both know we will be feeling it tomorrow.

With the 1st On Ramp session done the wife and I are definitely looking forward to the 2nd one (although tomorrow we may have second thoughts).

If your keen to learn more there are many videos on youtube to whet the appetite and websites from Crossfit affiliates all over the world. Once you’ve decided to give it a go, check out your local Crossfit gym and they will be none to happy to help. Those near Redcliffe can check out The Crossfit Chamber, I have a few free session passes to get you started or tell Chad I sent you.

See you after the next session