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Old 04-25-2008, 10:23 PM   #1
Stephen Smith
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'Steve's starting Crossfit!' Log

So, since I did my first official WOD today, I figured I'd better start keeping track of this stuff to chart my progress, so I'm keeping a notebook and I'll transcribe it here, whether anyone reads it or not.

First off, a little about me. I'm 43, 5'8", 190#, probably a little over 20% BF right now. I've abused my body pretty well over the last 43 years, including breaking both legs (1 being hit by a car, the other playing football), having no ACL in my right knee (I had reconstructive surgery, then blew it out again, also football, this time when I was 30 and out of shape and should have known better), broken fingers in both hands (racketball right hand, football right hand different incident, punching a steel door left hand, broken wrist there too), broken ribs (kicked by a horse), broken maxillar bone right cheek (hit in the face by a kayak while river rafting), broken toes right foot (practicing martial arts on a moving aircraft carrier hangar deck and hitting some hydraulic fluid on the non-skid), dislocated left shoulder, damaged meniscus left knee and broken right ankle (motorcycle wreck)... There's more, but you get the idea.

I'm setting out to prove that at 43, I can safely get into the best shape of my life using crossfit!). I stayed in pretty good shape for the last 4 years I was in the Navy (after I rehabbed from my ACL surgery, I committed to staying in shape, started using the gym on the ship and running and practicing Karate on the hangar deck), but in the 9 years since then I've been very intermittent, in large part because of the time it takes to get good results in the gym doing traditional bodybuilding, and the boredom that sets in even though I have always mixed up my workouts and done a lot of HIIT.

When I got out of the Navy at 34, I weighed 180# with about 8% BF, I could score 300 on the navy PFT, bench press 275 (I know that's not a good measure, but bodybuilding was the only weight training I Knew, and it's something for me to measure myself against), and overhead press my weight. 9 years later, I weigh 10# more with significantly less muscle. I started going back to the gym about a month and a half ago, and I just 2 weeks ago got back to benching my bodyweight again.

My goals are multiple. First of all, I want to stick with this program, and stop putting my body through the seesaw routine of getting into decent shape, then slacking off, over and over. Second, I want to beat the numbers I had right before I got out of the Navy within a year. Finally, and I'll probably have to go from the normal WOD's to CF endurance for a while, I did a short triathalon once while I was in college, and I want to go back and do another one and beat the time I had when I was 20. Not too much to expect of myself at this stage, I hope! Ok, now that I've captured these goals in a permanent record I can't back out...

Ok, now on to my current program. I'm currently doing the 5 introductory classes at my local CF affiliate. The trainer is teaching me how to do olympic lifts, and the different exercises I'm not familiar with, with good form. I'm only going to be able to do the workouts there 2-3 nights out of the week though, and less when I'm having to work a lot of overtime, so I'm going to start collecting my own basic CF workout gear. I'm also lucky enough to belong to a globo gym that doesn't mind me doing olympic lifts (I talked to the manager about that tonight), although they don't have a lot of the stuff I wish they did. My plan is to do the WOD's that my local affiliate posts when I'm there (he doesn't use the WOD's as posted on the CF website), and picking a WOD off the main website that fits in well with the basic rotation on days when I can't go there. I also do martial arts 3-4 days a week. I haven't done a normal WOD at the affiliate yet (just the intro classes, with a modified WOD at the end of all the skill work), and the trainer is out of town for the weekend, so I tried today's main website WOD.

Warmup: I did 3 rounds of the 'official warmup' 10 reps of everything, the pullups were assisted with a gravitron, and I did air squats since I didn't have a broomstick.

Then to the deadlifts:

3x135#
3x185#
3x205#
3x215#
3x225#

I was real tentative with the weights, since I've never tried to do heavy deadlifts before, just relatively light ones when I was learning the lift. 225# felt really heavy, but I also didn't have a problem doing the 3 reps. I also feel pretty good after finishing, although I have a feeling that doing deadlifts is one of those things that will catch up to you the next day, so we'll see. Next time those come around I'll use 225# as a starting point and see how I do.

*edited for grammar

Last edited by Stephen Smith : 04-25-2008 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 04-26-2008, 08:31 AM   #2
Stephen Smith
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Re: 'Steve's starting Crossfit!' Log

Well, I was right about the deadlifts catching up to me today. I feel it most in my hips/glutes, although some in my thighs, and lats. Also quite a bit in my calves, which I didn't expect... No pain in my back, except for the muscle ache in my lats, so I guess that's a good sign that I'm at least approaching good form.

Today has me a little intimidated... I have martial arts practice today, so I'm going to sub that for the CF warmup, no problem there. I haven't tried the hang power snatch with that much weight though, so I'll try it with just the bar and see how my form feels before I put any weight on it. If I don't feel like I can safely do 95# I'll figure out what a good weight is before I start the 'timed run'. I'm not going to go out and try to kill myself this time, just get a feel for the workout, and get myself a time to beat next time.
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Old 04-26-2008, 03:46 PM   #3
Stephen Smith
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Re: 'Steve's starting Crossfit!' Log

Ok, that was definitely rough, I'm still dripping sweat after 10 minutes back inside my apartment. Good thing tomorrow is a total rest day for me, I'm going to need it.

First of all, a half hour private lesson followed by an hour group lesson at the martial arts studio (I just started Shaolin Kempo, United Studios of Self Defense, at the beginning of this month... my previous martial arts background is 10 years in the past, so it feels like I'm starting over) was probably a bit more than a 'warm-up', but I was still feeling good so I went straight to the globo gym to try to tackle the WOD as best I could.

On to the WOD. I played around with the hang power snatch, but never could get the movement to feel right, even with just the 45# bar... 95# I did a couple, but it always felt like I was trying to reverse curl, then press... maybe I'm just too burned from the Kempo practice. I tried out doing a normal clean and jerk, and I could do that ok, I've practiced it more so I guess my body knows the move better. So, I decided to substitute clean and jerk for the hang power snatch. I also scaled back a bit and did 10 vs. 15. Here's the numbers I came out with:

10 clean + jerk 95# / 400m run, 5 sets for time

round 1: 6:28
round 2: 13:12 - 6:44 split
round 3: 20:24 - 7:12 split
round 4: 28:03 - 7:39 split
round 5: 36:22 - 8:19 split

A couple of notes: The runs felt good every time, I probably lost a little time as I went, but the majority of the time I lost in my splits getting slower was in resting between the C+J's. First round I did all 10 with only a few seconds on the ground between each one, 2nd round did 7 straight, then had to catch my breath before the last 3, the last 3 rounds I broke up into mini sets of 4/3/3. Getting the bar up wasn't the problem, it was being totally winded and out of breath. the running legs felt like rest after the C+J's. Of course, I also wasn't going all-out on the runs, mostly because I knew I'd need the energy for the bar.

There was also a good 45-60 seconds of slack time each round, walking from the front door of the gym to the back corner where the squat rack is, but I counted that into my time, since that's probably where I'll be doing this next time around, and it was technically rest time anyway. I didn't throw up, but I pushed myself to the edge of it that time. It didn't help that it's a balmy 92F here in Murrieta this afternoon. This is the first workout I've done that's really left me feeling humble, although I'm sure it's only the first of many...
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Old 04-27-2008, 05:23 AM   #4
Stephen Smith
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Re: 'Steve's starting Crossfit!' Log

Wow... Thank goodness today is a rest day. Just got up for work, and every muscle from my traps down to my glutes is totally wrecked. I guess it's the combo of the DL's Friday, and the C+J's yesterday, or maybe just the difference in intensity, but my muscles never felt this broken down doing conventional bodybuilding, especially my back muscles. even though it is a rest day, It's gonna be a long day at work.
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Old 04-29-2008, 05:38 AM   #5
Stephen Smith
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Re: 'Steve's starting Crossfit!' Log

Yesterday, had my 5th intro lesson at the affiliate here in Murrieta. First, did skill work... Box jumps, snatches (now I understand what I was doing wrong Friday), sumo deadlift high pulls, rope climbing, kettlebell swings. Then did another mini-WOD:

One minute each of:
box jumps (12" box, but it still made me work, it's gonna take some doing to move up to 24" boxes)
SDHP's
push press
kettlebell swings (20#)

Damn, that's a lot harder than it looks on paper (screen?). Did 2 rounds, so 8 minutes total, and that was with a few minutes rest between rounds... still felt like I'd had my *** kicked at the end. I didn't even think about counting how many of each I did in a round, I was just trying to get through each minute as it came.

Oh yeah, this is gonna be some fun...

Edit: Oh yeah, at least by yesterday evening I was feeling pretty much fully recovered from Saturday, so that's a good thing!
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Old 04-29-2008, 05:43 AM   #6
Richard Vanmeerbeek
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Re: 'Steve's starting Crossfit!' Log

Hehe I'm glad you enjoy the *** kicking Stephen, Crossfit is going to be a lovely ride I can assure you

Keep going at it, you're already doing great !

Rich
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:53 PM   #7
Stephen Smith
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Re: 'Steve's starting Crossfit!' Log

Thanks for the encouragement, Richard! I'm just getting my feet wet, and I'm already hooked. I know I have a long way to go, but every journey begins with a single step, right?

As for tonight... Substituted my Kempo class for the CF warmup, and regretted it. Not that it wasn't an adequate workout, but we did a bunch of box-jump equivalents (jumping back and forth over a sparring dummy laid on its side, 100x), and then sparring, so my legs were already sort of toasted before I ran. I didn't try to push it fast, and it's a good thing, because by the end it was all I could do to finish the distance, I had to gut out the last about 1K to keep from stopping and walking, but I did complete it non-stop. 32:25 was my time so JUST over a 10 minute mile average... I'm actually pretty happy with that, considering that's the longest distance I've tried since I started exercizing again, and I managed to make it through even starting out with tired legs. I guess my next goal is to get the next 5K in under 30 minutes, and then I'll go from there.

Again, thanks for the encouragement. I need to start checking out some other peoples' logs more, myself. It's pretty daunting how many people post their logs on here though...
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Old 04-30-2008, 07:19 PM   #8
Stephen Smith
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Re: 'Steve's starting Crossfit!' Log

Wow, today was a killer. Started out with 3x CFWU, 10 reps on everything, but skipped the pullups since they're part of the WOD. As for said WOD:

65# Thrusters, 10 reps
10 pullups

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes. I made 11 full rounds, with about 20 seconds left over, but by the time I was over the bar again there was no point. I did stay over the bar for a few minutes, just bending over with my hands on my knees trying to get my heart to stop pounding in my ears and my breathing to return to normal. I looked around after I stood back up, and it dawned on me that I've never seen anyone in my globo gym bending over trying to catch their breath after a workout... pretty sad, when you think about it. It was a good thing I hadn't had anything to eat since a small snack 3 hours ago.

A few clarifying disclaimers... First, my thrusters ended up being somewhere between a full dip thruster and a push press. My right knee is doing a little pop after my run last night. No pain, but feels like a tendon on the outside of my knee is slipping out of its bone groove or something, so I didn't trust myself deep. Second, there's not a real pullup bar in my gym, so my pullups were on a gravitron machine, and there's no way I could kip on that thing, so I was doing them with a gravitron weight assist (45# I think? maybe 55?) dead hang.

So, I need to come up with a real pullup bar outside of the CF affiliate, since I can only go there some days. Then I need to work on unassisted pullups and get my kipping technique down. Finally, I need to not overdo things and hurt my knee.

Rest tomorrow. Much needed.
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Old 05-01-2008, 09:01 PM   #9
Stephen Smith
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Re: 'Steve's starting Crossfit!' Log

Well, today was supposed to be 'active rest' with my Kempo class, but my sensei decided to do a CF fight gone bad - type workout, 30 seconds each on 6 different exercises, then another round 20 seconds each, then a 10 second round... so much for rest day. Most of the time the intensity isn't much beyond warmup level, with lots of skill work, but occasionally he decides to push the fitness a bit more.
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:09 PM   #10
Stephen Smith
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Re: 'Steve's starting Crossfit!' Log

Ok, yesterday's non-rest rest day was not enough, and I'm still pretty achy all over, so I'm gonna take today as a rest as well, and hit it tomorrow morning. Haven't decided whether to do today's 'murph' tomorrow, or just do tomorrow's WOD. I haven't done a named WOD yet though, so I'm leaning that way... Wish me luck!
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