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Mark Kosmowski 08-04-2010 05:20 PM

Mark's improvements
I'm planning to join an affiliate next month, but went to my local gym to try the WoD experience. I suck. I'm currently 35, male, 6' and 290 lbs.

I based today's workout on Cindy:

AMRAP in 10 minutes
attempt 1 pull-up
5 push-ups
10 sit-ups
15 BW squats

I failed in push-ups of second set. I got frustrated. Only reason I didn't storm out was that wife was there doing her elliptical. While standing around feeling sorry for myself a gym staff came by to show me how to use the assisted pull up machine (I had only made it to 90 degree elbows). So I was able to do 1 pull-up with 145 lb assistance and then 5 with 175 lb assistance.

For WoDs in the future, when I have a failure, should I take rest then keep going or is it fail and done?

For the rest of this month I think I might just do slow strength work with dumbbell bench press, dumbbell squats and assisted pull-ups until I can join the affiliate.

Well, at least with this abysmal performance, no one will think I'm exaggerating my abilities. :)

Mason Tremblay 08-05-2010 06:04 AM

Re: Mark's improvements
Hey Mark, just thought I'd check out your log since it seems we are both just starting with crossfit.

Remember that you have to start somewhere, don't let the frustration get to you, use it to push yourself harder (though not to the point of injury). A lot of these workouts are meant to push you to your physical and mental limit.

For the pullups, I did a very scaled down "Roy" the other day (DL's, box jumps, and pullups), and after the first round I had to do either jumping pullups or negatives. From now on this is what I will do until I can do the appropriate number of pullups as RX'd.

Just keep working on the movements and they will improve faster than you can probably imagine. I'm going to keep an eye on your log so I can see those improvements myself!

Good luck!

Mason Tremblay 08-05-2010 06:05 AM

Re: Mark's improvements
Also, remember that the only way you will get good at crossfit movements is by doing them. If you need to just scale down the weight and/or reps to a range that you can finish, and work your way up from there.

Mark Kosmowski 08-05-2010 05:14 PM

Re: Mark's improvements
Thank you for the encouragement. I think I'm just going to work on strength until I'm able to go to an affiliate.

Today was from the "something is better than nothing" book.

15 sit-ups
5 pull-ups at 160 lb assist
15 seated low row at 105 lb
4 sit-ups (I was pinching my left testicle even after getting up and reseating so I moved on)
5 pull-ups at 160 lb assist
15 seated low row at 105 lb
15 sit-ups (pinching wasn't as bad, but still there - no pinching on first set :shrug: )
15 seated dumbbell press at 25 lb dumbbell
4 seated dumbbell press at 40 lb dumbbell (too heavy, didn't feel safe for stabilizers)

This took about 14 minutes.

I know it is nothing like CF, but I didn't even want to go to the gym at all today.

Mark Kosmowski 08-06-2010 06:11 PM

Re: Mark's improvements
In general, I'm probably not going to be trying CF workouts until September.

Did 20 reps of 20 lb DB bench presses, then 10 of 35 lb same. Then tried a bar benchpress (oly bar) with 90 lbs. Too much for my one elbow, so dropped down to 50 lbs and did 10 reps, then 7 reps with 70 lbs.

Then moved to decline bench sit-ups. Was at a different facility than usual and this decline bench was 50-100% more inclined and across whole body as opposed to just back. First set worked to get 15 then only made 6 on second set. Didn't want to push abs too hard in order to not be nauseous when giving blood immediately after workout.

Made some feeble abortive efforts at using the assisted pull-up machine - I tried a grip as if one is throwing a javelin and this was totally different than the palm forward grip I have been working on.

Mark Kosmowski 08-09-2010 06:20 AM

Re: Mark's improvements
Saturday and Sunday were rest days.

This morning I actually did something CrossFit-like in nature.

Measurements are estimates based on the Mk I eyeball.

15 degree decline situp / crunch (hands folded across chest, shoulder blades touch support, end of motion when elbows touch quads)

160 # assisted pullups, palm-forward grip

pushups with hands on 9" platform

100 # low row machine

I did sets to 1 or 2 reps before failure, moving to next exercise (a set is 1 set of each exercise, then move on to set 2, etc.).

Set 1 reps: 20, 8, 10, 20
Set 2 reps: 15, 6 - stopped after pull-ups due to seeing Mr. Pukie waving at me from the other end of the gym (nausea).

It took about 10 - 12 minutes to do this workout. The only breaks I took between exercises were to wipe off equipment in accordance with gym rules and between sets 1 and 2 long enough to write down what I did. I still don't remember if I did 8 or 10 assisted pull-ups, so I recorded it as 8. The low row was at a slow - medium speed due to concerns about lower back and the rest of the exercises were at medium - high intensity for as much as I was able to (2nd set of sit-ups got slow for the last 3, but I wanted to get at least 15 in).

If anyone is reading this, a verification of whether this would be considered CrossFit would be great. Thanks!

Mark Kosmowski 08-11-2010 04:43 AM

Re: Mark's improvements
Tuesday had no workout due to illness.

Today I did the same routine as Monday, except that I dropped the pull-up assistance to 152.5 from 160 lbs.

Set 1 Set 2
sit-ups 20 15 + 1*
pull-ups 9 5
push-ups 10 8
low row 15 10

Total time: 10 minutes (I'm not tracking seconds right now).

* One of my situps I went down with my elbows not quite contacting quads (maybe 1 cm away) so I didn't count it towards my goal of doing at least as many as last time.

Mark Kosmowski 08-11-2010 02:07 PM

Re: Mark's improvements
After reading a thread here on how to prepare for the APFT in a short timeframe, I was inspired to do some push-ups against a table throughout the day. In the up position, my body made a 45 degree angle and I did 20, 15 and then 20 more push-ups throughout the day. I'm feeling it in my right tricep area while doing them.

Mark Kosmowski 08-11-2010 05:00 PM

Re: Mark's improvements
I went to the gym again on the way home.

Sit-ups, pull-ups and push-ups as before, only 145# for the pull-up assist. No low row.

set 1: 25 / 8 / 8
set 2: 10 / 6 / no more push-ups

time: 7 minutes

What I learned:

Don't do WoD push-ups after cranking push-ups out throughout the day.

I did more sit-ups in the first set than usual, but then died in the second set. I don't know what this means.

I'm rapidly progressing with pull-ups. Maybe my pull-up thing is mental / CNS / skill related. :shrug:

Anthony Giurato 08-12-2010 09:23 AM

Re: Mark's improvements
[QUOTE=Mark Kosmowski;824089]If anyone is reading this, a verification of whether this would be considered CrossFit would be great. Thanks![/QUOTE]

Crossfit isn't a type of workout, it's a mind set. It's trying your best to be good at all fitness domains (strength, power, endurance, etc), not just the ones you are good at or enjoy. Running a 5k is Crossfit. Climbing a mountain is Crossfit. Deadlifting is Crossfit. But picking just one of those to do day in and day out is not Crossfit.

You are working hard to lose unnecessary weight, and gain strength and endurance. That is exactly what you need to be doing, and yes, I'd say it is Crossfit.

Staring at Pukie in the face is part of hard training, but I'd advise avoiding him more often than not right now. You'll see him plenty later. For now, slow it down just a little bit so that you feel tired and maybe hear your stomach talking to you a little bit, but you don't need to be pushing yourself to the max yet.

Also, make sure you are giving yourself at least a day in-between hard pull up or push up workouts. For many who can knock out 20+ of each, they don't exhaust them as much. For you, it is closer to strength training and you will need longer to recover. If you are adding extra push ups throughout the day, don't go to failure. It's great to do them, but do something like sets of half what you can do. Then, next week add one or two reps to that. At that rate, it doesn't take long for your numbers to jump up.

More than anything else, you need discipline. If you are starting at the very bottom, you have a longer way to go. But if you keep it up, you will see some great numbers you will be proud of, and you will be much healthier for it. Keep up the great work, and don't get discouraged!

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