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-   -   Helen Wheels (http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=34787)

Helen Lawson 07-23-2008 12:51 PM

Helen Wheels
 
Started CrossFit last week and I'm totally addicted. I'll post more info about my first week in Crossfit later.

For now, here's my story (which is my bio from my website: www.CapitalRegionFitnessTrainers.com)

After spending over 17 years in the Information Technology field, I found that my body just didn't want to spend so much time at a desk any more. Over a period of several years I was diagnosed with both Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and Fibromyalgia (muscle disorder). After several doctors, blood tests, x-rays, medications, MRI's, etc? I even went through a 6 month Fibromyalgia clinical study program. After all of that, I figured out for myself that the more exercise I got the better I feel.

At one point I was spending more than 3 hours a day working out! I had always been a fitness fanatic, but I knew that 3 hours a day was not a healthy habit. My fitness routine was also interfering with my desk job and my family life. So, I started looking at ways to add more physical activity to my every day life.

With some help from my family and friends I decided that the best way to help myself was to help others too! In 2006, at age 36, I decided I wanted to be a Personal Trainer. I got my first certification and started taking clients later that year.

I started my career in the Information Technology industry and worked my way through the ranks as an application and website developer, designer, business analyst and project manager. My administrative, website, project management and people management skills have proven to be priceless in starting a business.

In addition, having a desk job for over 17 years helps me to understand the lifestyle that the average office worker leads. Most people that sit for long periods at their job develop muscle imbalances causing tightness and pain. This pain may manifest in the neck, back, shoulders, chest, legs, knees, hands or wrists. Spending just a few hours a week can reverse the effects of long term sitting at your job.

I live with my long time boyfriend Ray (over 13 years!) and my little boy Charlie (dog). I enjoy working out, playing golf, riding my bike, watching sports, going out to dinner and the occasional glass of wine. I learned to play golf in 1998 and now hold a 10 handicap. We are members at Shaker Ridge Country Club, but still call Schenectady Muni home. Even now with my fitness career, you can still find Ray and I at the 19th hole occasionally.

Helen Lawson 07-23-2008 12:56 PM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
OK, so why "Wheels"...because when i was young...just out of college...i was a groupy with a local band. They were playing at some dive bar in Oneonta one night and i decided to drink a whole bottle of Captain Morgan rum.

While i was puking in the bathroom the band played "Hell on Wheels" and dedicated the song to me...and from there on out my nickname was "wheels".

Helen Lawson 07-24-2008 08:17 AM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Crossfit Day 1: Wednesday 080716 : Deadlift 5-5-5-5-5 reps

First WOD! F/39/124 I'm a weak stringbean, but I'm ready to get serious!

Deadlifts: 60x5/70x5/70x5/80x5/70x5

And that is the most weight i have lifted in any 1/2 hour period doing anything!

I walk 18 holes of golf 4 days a week or so ... I may not be able to do it every day, but I'll try!

Helen Lawson 07-24-2008 08:19 AM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Day 2: Thursday 080717
Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
15 Push-ups, 12 Ring dips, 115 pound Push-press, 9 reps



3 rounds...only 30lbs push-press

Push-ups, dips, wait 5 minutes, press
Repeat
Repeat

This makes me like deadlifts a lot more!

Helen Lawson 07-24-2008 08:21 AM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Friday 080718
Weighted pull-ups 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 reps


Golf Tournament tomorrow so I need to take it easy today. Can't really do pull-ups yet anyway and don't have an assisted machine.

3 sets of 4 modified pull-ups on stationary bar w/legs straight and heels on floor.

Right bicep sore a few hours later...must not have been pulling very much with the left. Perhaps I'll try a few more sets later trying to pull more with the left.

Helen Lawson 07-24-2008 08:22 AM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Saturday: Rest Day

This was my first WOD week and I'm totally addicted!

Played golf in a tournament on rest day...shot 80...PR! (I don't know how many of you play golf...but i'm betting not many)

Tomorrows WOD looks wicked! I'm looking forward to it!

Helen Lawson 07-24-2008 08:23 AM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Filthy Fifty

Missed this one, but will combine with tomorrows Row. 2nd day of 2 day golf tournament (Member/Member Championship) and we won! 2 Day total of 157 (2 person Best Ball/2 person scramble).

Laurie...your awesome and I did so much bragging about crossfit over these two days that I hope your reading this! The more beer I drank after golf ... the more people learned about crossfit... all good! No crossfitting after beer though!

Helen Lawson 07-24-2008 08:25 AM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Monday 080721: Row 2K combined with yesterdays Filthy Fifty (without killing myself over it)

Combined yesterday and today...this made me realize how weak and out of shape i really am...better than the average woman my age...but probably at the bottom of the wod list...for now!

First endurance wod:

30 "box" jumps -- 4 inches high ;-(
30 walking lunges (up hill!)
30 hanging knee lifts (to 90 degrees)
30 wall (tree) ball (8 lb ball)
30 burpees
30 double unders
50 SDHP's w/25 lbs

Time (including drinking a gallon of water and a quick shower afterwards): 1 hour

All good!

Helen Lawson 07-24-2008 08:28 AM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Tuesday 080722 : Push jerk 3-3-3-3-3 reps

Subbed push-press for push-jerk. Puppy...just don't feel comfortable enough with the jerk yet.

10x3
20x3
30x3
40x3
40x3

My back will be sore tomorrow.

Helen Lawson 07-24-2008 08:28 AM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Wednesday 080723: Rest Day

And just in time because i needed it!

Helen Lawson 07-24-2008 01:28 PM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Thursday 080724 : Fran

First Fran...my step mothers name is Fran...Hmmm? :evilsmile

20lb Thrusters
First 2 sets Pull-ups (21 and 15) assisted, last set of 9 pull-ups as negatives (First time able to do negatives!)

9:40

I'm amazed at the times and the weight women my size are using...i really feel like i need some encouragement...I'm weak...but i'm working on it. My arms feel like limp noodles!

Helen Lawson 07-25-2008 03:15 PM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
F/5'7"/124 lbs/39 yo -- Buttercup

So this morning i woke up thinking "I have to play in a golf tournament tomorrow so I'm going to skip the WOD today."

Then, I read the WOD and Jeremy story and I started feeling guilty. I was thinking all day that I would let down Jeremy and his family if I slacked off today. But, I'm still sore from the Sumo Deadlift High Pull and the walking lunges one day last week. And, my chest/back is sore from...i don't know what...but i still feel guilty!

So...one set of 21 squats and burpees down...

OK....set of 15 complete...by the end they didn't much resemble burpees but i'm doing my best...

Yeah! I finished my first Jeremy....that was for you kid!

Now...i'm going to go sit in a chair in front of a fan and have a nice cold beer! The beer i'll dedicate to Jeremys parents!

Touching story! I sent it to many friends with small children. I hope they do the burpees and teach thier kids to swim.

Helen Lawson 07-26-2008 03:43 AM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
I forgot to mention about yesterdays "Jeremy" that I just used a wooden dowel (no weight) for OHS and took 18 minutes....lots of rest between sets but didn't break up the sets too much.

Off to play golf now...Ballston Spa Member/Guest. I'll do Michael tomorrow.

Helen Lawson 07-27-2008 02:56 PM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
F/5'7"/124 lbs/39 yo
Michael: 800m run, 50 Situps, 50 Back extensions

Rested yesterday and did 2/3 Michael today.
I skipped the Back Extensions. My back has been a little stiff for the past few days and I'm playing in a two day golf tournament starting tomorrow so I wanted to take it a little easy.

This was my first "run" WOD. I don't run! I barely jog. 3/4 mile took 10 minutes...I know, but I took my dog with me and he had to stop a few times to leave "presents". Then we ran into a loose dog and had to stop a minute for a little sniffing party. But, I alternated walking/jogging the rest of the time. I think i need to leave my dog at home next time i attempt a run.

Situps: Did 50 Pilates roll-ups in 5 minutes. (Legs straight, hands overhead, roll up to touch toes.) Good stretch for the hamstrings after the "run".

So, sad I know. 2/3 Michael: 15 minutes! :(

Helen Lawson 07-29-2008 04:36 PM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
F/5'7"/124lbs/39yo

First "Helen"! (my namesake! And I'm proud!)

400 meters (3/4 of the way around the block i live on -- walked the rest. Used Mapmyrun.com. People in my neighborhood usually only run if they've stolen something so everyone looked at me really weird!)

21 KB swings w/9lb kettlebell -- want to make up "Crossfit Total" later so didn't want to push it.

12 assisted pull-ups for first two sets. Last set 6 assisted and 6 negatives.

23 minutes -- sad! I know! But, i'm working on it and I'm just proud to be doing it!

FYI...there are streams of sweat running down my back and my friends told me this week that they can tell my arms are getting bigger!

Helen Lawson 07-30-2008 10:47 AM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Yeah...right...15K...LOL! Most "run" previously was "Helen" at 400m x3.

I worked on Pull-ups and made up "Crossfit Total"
Total = 180lbs

Back Squat: 1RM = 45lbs -- failed to get low enough with 55lbs.

Shoulder Press 1RM = 45 lbs (struggling)
Most previous was 30lbs.

Deadlift 1RM = 90lbs. (Guess -- i previously lifted 80lbs for 5 sets of 5 so I'm guessing i can at least get 90, probably more.)
Skipped Deadlift due to sore back and replaced with 40 minutes of Yoga and a Chiropractor visit.


NEWGA Championship (golf) Monday & Tuesday...didn't do too great (OK, I sucked). Came in 4th place in 2nd flight with an 88 & 93 (12 handicap) I started the 2nd day with a 9 on a par 5 but kept it together. Hows this for consistency: 51/42. Club Championship this weekend.

Helen Lawson 07-31-2008 11:34 AM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Rest Day...ahhhh....I went shopping and bought 2 bags of garden soil (50 lbs each)...put them in my car...brought them home and took them out of my car...carried them to my rock garden and spent 3 hours digging in the dirt.

Now I'm off to teach a Yoga class then a golf fitness clinic....then a tall glass of wine and a bowl of ice cream.

I love Rest Day!

Leanne M Lloyd 07-31-2008 01:40 PM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Hey Helen, keep up the good work!

Helen Lawson 08-04-2008 04:29 PM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
I took this last cycle off to play in my club championship (golf...again getting in the way...12 handicap). I shot 88 the first day (this really sucks for me) and 83 the second day (which i was happy with). The winner was 14 years old and shot 79/75. Got my butt kicked by a teenager(s). I tied for low net so at least got some name recognition.

My back is still a little stiff and my shins and knees have been bothering me on and off. I think i have to do any running on grass to start with and warm up a little better first.

I'll be back on track starting tomorrow!

Helen

Helen Lawson 08-05-2008 03:47 PM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Help Please!!!!!
I feel like such a wimp after looking at what other women my age & size are doing.

When I did the CFT the most i could back squat was 45lbs. When I tried 55lbs i couldn't get low enough and my back felt like it started to buckle. I had someone watching me with the 55lbs and said that the tops of my thighs were barely parallell. (sp?)

Today i did Back Squats 5x5 and after warm-up used 35 lbs -- i was doing this at home with no squat rack, no spotter and can't dump the weights so i didn't want to risk going any heavier. Later I walked 9 holes of golf (2 1/2 miles) and I was exhausted.

I can already tell i'll be sore tomorrow -- my butt is very fatiqued.

Am i just a wimp? Any suggestions?

Juli Peterson 08-05-2008 06:07 PM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Hi Helen, great job so far, you've really embraced CF, congrats.
Here's my .02 on your squats-
Get some good coaching so you know your form is strong. If you or someone else can video your squat, you can go to ************.com/forums and post it for Mark Rippetoe to review. He'll let you know what you need to do to improve. As your form improves, the weights will come.

As for being exhausted, does that have anything to do with your health issues? I do know this, strong matters. We (women especially) need to be strong. Have you considered a strength and conditioning program and supplement CF wods?

Good luck. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me:
jep60952002@yahoo.com

Juli Peterson
hutchinson, MN:)

Helen Lawson 08-06-2008 04:04 PM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Question about the DB Squat Snatch: In order to get down into full depth in the squat without tipping over i needed to brace my opposite hand on the floor. If it didn't i couldn't get to parallel.

Puppy version of today as best i could:

5 lb Dumbbell squat snatch, 15 reps
(11 each side, then 4 each side)
30 Assisted Pull-ups (both feet flat on floor)
5 lb Dumbbell squat snatch, 12 reps
(6 each side twice)
24 Assisted Pull-ups (both feet flat on floor)
5 lb Dumbbell squat snatch, 9 reps
(4 each side, then 3 each side, then 2 each side)
18 Assisted Pull-ups (1 foot on the floor)

27 minutes...but...I didn't give up! I refuse to give up! I can barely walk....but "Never, never, never give up!"

Helen Lawson 08-06-2008 04:08 PM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Juli Peterson (Post 367539)
Hi Helen, great job so far, you've really embraced CF, congrats.
Here's my .02 on your squats-
Get some good coaching so you know your form is strong. If you or someone else can video your squat, you can go to ************.com/forums and post it for Mark Rippetoe to review. He'll let you know what you need to do to improve. As your form improves, the weights will come.

... Have you considered a strength and conditioning program and supplement CF wods?

Thanks Juli. I plan on spending some time this winter at my local Crossfit facility to get coaching on proper form. (Can't do it now...golf season).

I'm guessing that the excessive soreness and exhaustion is partly due to health issues. However I also believe that strength can overcome almost any issues. So, i do what i tell my clients to do...suck it up and just keep working hard.

Some days are easier than others. :)

Helen Lawson 08-07-2008 12:04 PM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Modified Karen buttercup version:

75 throws with 4lb ball to 9foot target

4 minutes

:pepper: Starting rest day early!

Helen Lawson 08-07-2008 12:08 PM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
I forgot to mention that my legs are so sore that i can barely walk. My back and biceps also sore but no so bad...yet.

One client tonight -- Making her do 3 sets (about 21, 15, 9) of lunges, push-ups, box jumps, glute-ham extensions, and glute-ham situps. In case anyone is interested...i'll name this workout Deanna.

Then, home, wine, dinner, ice cream and sleep.

Leanne M Lloyd 08-07-2008 01:18 PM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Helen, I would get the book Starting Strength. the first 60 or so pages are devoted to squat. The Bench, Deadlift, Shoulder Press and Power Clean are also covered in depth. Even if you do get some coaching the information you get on the body mechanics and reasons for this or that position in your form is invaluable. Plus, your trainer won't always be there if you're working out at home so it'll be a good reference/reminder if you aren't sure about something.

Helen Lawson 08-08-2008 09:30 AM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Leanne M Lloyd (Post 369697)
Helen, I would get the book Starting Strength. the first 60 or so pages are devoted to squat. The Bench, Deadlift, Shoulder Press and Power Clean are also covered in depth. Even if you do get some coaching the information you get on the body mechanics and reasons for this or that position in your form is invaluable. Plus, your trainer won't always be there if you're working out at home so it'll be a good reference/reminder if you aren't sure about something.

Thanks Leanne, just got the book, and your right its great. I'm also scheduling some appointments at the local crossfit affiliate some time soon.

Helen Lawson 08-08-2008 09:39 AM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Last night I felt guilty for not doing too much of a work out so I did 10 real push-ups! (On the floor and on my toes, knees up!) PR! I'm sure i was only going down about half way, but that was the most real push-ups i've ever been able to do.

My chest, triceps and shoulders aren't sore at all either! So, next time Karen comes along I'll use the 8 lb ball. x 75 times.

However, my legs...uhhhggg....i can still barely walk! I think i must have been rocking forward on the snatch because my quads are extremely sore and hamstrings/glutes not much at all. I also think I may have been squatting too low. Next time I think i'll also video tape myself so i can see my own form.

And, my biceps and back are still a little sore from the pull-ups. My arms are much more sore than my lats so i must have been pulling with mostly arms. I'll hang a note on my pull-up bar so next time i remember to pull with lats.

Leanne M Lloyd 08-08-2008 09:43 AM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
grats on the push up PR! Glad you like the book :)

Helen Lawson 08-10-2008 12:29 PM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Made up yesterdays WOD due to golf tournament (i sucked) and beer. Rx was:
Five rounds for time of:
155 pound Hang squat clean, 9 reps
15 ft Rope climb, legless, 3 ascents

Buttercup version...and went really low on weight both to focus on form and because my legs are still a little sore from last weeks squats and snatches.

3 rounds...9 minutes:
5 hang squat cleans (13 lb bar)
10 Towel pull-ups

When i was done i played around with the pull-ups a little more (got my boyfriend to do a few) I also did a few negative pull-ups & 3 negative man push-ups.

Hang Squat Cleans: First time with any kind of "jump" in the lift.

Pull-ups: I sat on floor indian style holding towel attached to bar. Pulled up body weight without assistance from my feet. I couldn't lift my feet but didn't use them to push off of either.

Maybe i'll think about the run tomorrow. Goal 1 mile -- it would be my longest consecutive run in 20 years. :run:

Helen Lawson 08-10-2008 12:31 PM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
I've decided i have to stop "over doing" everything. Even though i may not be as strong as the other girls, if i'm sore for a week after doing something then I've done too much. So, especially during golf season I'm going to stick with the buttercup version for all new workouts. For those i've done before i'll use my own personal benchmarks to decide.

Richard Vanmeerbeek 08-10-2008 12:37 PM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
It's definitely important to do the WOD progressively. I would advise you to not "overdo" it, but don't give up on it either, soreness is GOOD.

Did you see any improvement in your golf game ? Since Crossfitting, I feel so much more solid in my swing. I have to say that my short game is suffering a little, all I want is hit the ball far now :)

Helen Lawson 08-10-2008 01:15 PM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard Vanmeerbeek (Post 371999)
Did you see any improvement in your golf game ?

I've found the mixing crossfit and golf is good and bad. I notice the strength i've gained in my forearms and hands from the pull-ups mostly i think has helped a lot in getting out of the rough and maybe helped to add a few yards.

However, i also get sore very easily and i'm finding it very difficult to swing a golf club when your whole body hurts. I kinda also feel like it is difficult to go from moving a barbell that weighs 40+ lbs to swinging a club that weighs almost nothing the next day. I often find myself swinging way too fast and gripping too hard.

I haven't quite figured out how crossfit and golf can peacefully coexist (and compliment each other), but i'm not willing to give up on either.

Helen Lawson 08-10-2008 01:19 PM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Helen Lawson (Post 371996)
Made up yesterdays WOD due to golf tournament (i sucked) and beer. Rx was:
Five rounds for time of:
155 pound Hang squat clean, 9 reps
15 ft Rope climb, legless, 3 ascents

Buttercup version...and went really low on weight both to focus on form and because my legs are still a little sore from last weeks squats and snatches.

3 rounds...9 minutes:
5 hang squat cleans (13 lb bar)
10 Towel pull-ups


I used the wrong bar...the one i used actually weighs 16 lbs.

Helen Lawson 08-11-2008 04:39 PM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Did the towel pull-up/hang squat clean yesterday so wasn't too excited about pull-ups again. n. I subbed Inverted Rows to hit the back slightly differently at least. Couldn't run today because of too much lightning.

On a good note, this was the first time that i felt strong enough to go for time. I think that means I picked the right exercises/weights. Next time I'll try to ramp it up a bit.

Buttercup version: 13 minutes

10 GHD Sit-ups
10 Hip & Back Extensions
10 pound Thrusters, 20 reps -- 2 dumbells (5lbs each)
20 Inverted Rows (bar at shoulder height/heels on floor)

20 Sit-ups
20 Hip & Back Extensions
10 pound Thrusters, 15 reps
15 Rows

30 Sit-ups
30 Hip & Back Extensions
10 pound Thrusters, 15 reps
15 Rows

Helen Lawson 08-15-2008 08:26 AM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Falling behind again because of golf tournaments (Thursday, Saturday and Sunday this week) so dont want to go too heavy.

This morning I did the Shoulder Press for CrossfitTotal and managed 38lbs 3 times after extensive warm-up.

Hopefully I'll finish CFT tonight.

Helen Lawson 08-15-2008 04:36 PM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
I made up the crossfit total (cft) today. I didn't want to do my absolute 1RM since I had no squat rack, no spotter, couldn't dump the weight, and have a golf tournament the next 2 days.

So I gradually worked up to a set of 3 of each to estimate my 1RM:

38 lb Shoulder Press x3 = Estimate 1RM = 41.8 (Actual PR 45 lbs)
43 lb Back Squat x3 = Estimate 1RM = 47.3 (Actual PR 45 lbs)
83 lb Deadlift x3 = Estimate 1RM = 91.3 (PR -- most previous was 80lbs)


Actual CFT = 164 lbs x 3 (Estimated CFT = 180.4)


Thats a PR on Deadlift by only 3lbs. No PR on Shoulder Press or Back Squat but i didn't push it as much. I'll push the PR's after golf season!

Helen Lawson 08-18-2008 05:14 AM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
I'm bummed that I'm falling behind because todays Tabata looks like a great workout and I doubt i'll have time (or energy) for it tonight.

Why am i behind again? Golf season: This weekend I played 2 golf tournaments, both alternate shot with a partner. Saturday was Pinhurst with Ray. I did "ok", not great, but "ok", my partner didn't do too well at all, but we still won our division. Sunday I played true alternate shot scotch ball with Laurie and it wasn't pretty. We did well on the front (43 with 2 birdies) but I stunk up the back because i had the hooks ( for some reason i decided to flatten out my swing).

So, this morning I tried to get back on track:

For time: 11 minutes

30 Pull-ups -- Indian style legs touching butt to floor/chin to bar
30 Chair Dips -- Knees bent 90 degrees -- got to work on these
20 Pull-ups -- Switched to heels on floor touching butt to floor/chin to bar
20 Dips
10 Pull-ups
10 Dips

Helen Lawson 08-19-2008 04:16 PM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Deadlift PR!

Warm-up
10 x 16 lbs
5 x 63 lbs
3 x 83 lbs

Deadlift 1-1-1-1-1
93 lbs-93 lbs-93lbs-93lbs-100 lbs

Most deadlift previously was 83 lbs!

I know I'm weak, but I'm very excited to have lifted 100 lbs for the first time doing anything!

FYI....also did 6 man push-ups (probably not low enough, still working on it).

Thanks Coach!

Helen Lawson 08-20-2008 05:06 AM

Re: Helen Wheels
 
Oooopppsss....guess i was supposed to do 7 deadlifts and I only did 5 at Max. I think its a good thing though as my hams and back are a little stiff/sore today. If i had done any more it may have been too much.

I will however read more carefully next time.


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