Archive for the ‘Workout Log’ Category

There is so much to learn in weightlifting.  Take today for example .. we did the CrossFit Football Totals (CFFB), which means finding your one rep max on the Power Clean, Deadlift, Back Squat and Bench Press.

Not necessarily in that order.

For some, the Deadlift wears them out, so they start there.  So it was I had to determine which was – essentially – the most challenging lift for me, then do it first.  Rather to get it out of the way.

This approach is similar to how I used to eat as a kid, and to a degree, eat today.  Honestly, who doesnt like to eat what is less pleasing first, so they can save the best for last!

Generally speak, women have approximately 50% less upper body strength than men; I know this from my studies in anatomy and physiology and specifically how that applies to Yoga.   In particular how I teach the male poses, female poses and gender neutral poses found within Yoga.  But .. back to CF, this upper body strength translates to the Power Cleans, which is lifting the weight off the floor and to the shoulder.  Whereas Deadlists, I really enjoy, but Back Squats .. not so much.

So it was that I started with the Power Clean, which is a lift we did last week, where I could lift 80# several times (4 all total), but not 85.  So it was today .. I tried, but you reach a place of no momentum, where the bar is simply not going any higher.

Interesting thing about the Power Clean .. how its supposed to be lifted with “explosive energy”.  This is clearly seen in the link I supply above, and depending on the weight, something I can do if its lighter.  But with most lifts, this one has a sense of “weightlessness” in it, or a place where the bar – in its upwards motion – reaches the peak of gravity, so is .. sorta-kinda weightless.  And it is at that exact moment where one is supposed to “get under it” to maximize the lift.

Yoga too teaches weightlessness.  Or at least, my interpretation of Traditional Hatha Yoga includes it.  Likewise, being weightless – often referred to as “levitation” in Yogic lore – is integral to the Hatha Yoga practice.  In fact, it even makes meditation easier.

Meanwhile, back at the box .. next came the Back Squat.  I like the squatting part just not the weighted squat part.

I really like Deadlifts, and did good today at 165# .. a PR.  This is a lift I have progressively moved on.

The Bench Press was also a PR, or as Tony pointed out by asking me, “How much did you do on the Weighted Push Up?”

This is when it occurred to me that, akin to Yoga, some of these lifts do correspond in a way the asanas/poses do.  Or, as I tell my clients, virtually every Yoga pose has a ‘vertical’ poses and ‘horizontal’ position, which is integral to my approach to the traditional practice.

So thinking back on the Weighted Push-Up .. I recalled that did this with 80# on my back.  Turns out, this was indeed a solid marker for where to start working on the Bench Press.

So it is, there is so much to learn about weightlifting.  Much of it is relatable to the body knowledge I already have in Yoga, other parts – where the weight is applied – is all new territory.

I love being an explorer!



Day Two of the CrossFit Iconz Challenge.  After the Warm-Up we moved into Fran.


Of note, I Cleaned 55# with relative ease – something that certainly wasn’t happening a month ago.  Not that I wasn’t able to, just not with the ease that I experienced today.  And though I did not do RX, I was only 5# off.


Something else I noticed: How I was able to feel/sense the weight I knew I could lift for the duration.  At 55#, for example, the weight was ‘there’ but I knew ‘not enough’.  So I went up 5#, and that is when I ‘felt’ it, a sensation of ‘this is right’, and ‘this I can do for 21, 15 and 9 reps’.


Not that it was perfect, because some of it was ugly, but ugliness/messy is akin to polishing a stone, one just has to work on it, with effort, with continuity and determination.  The shine is there, but one has to really want it.


All total: Fran, 60#, using the red band on the Pull-Ups (which is a step from the purple band I have been on), in 16:10.  So all total, both events were ones I really pushed myself on – in a sane, Yogic way.  And I feel good about that ..


Did my second Hero WOD today .. named after U.S. Marine Corps Captain Brandon “Bull” Barrett.

The Bull is NO BULL!

Two Rounds for Time
200 Double-unders
50 Overhead squat, 135#
50 Pull-ups
Run 1 mile

I had it easy this morning, because it was just one round.

As usual, that Double Under is times three for me .. so that was 600 Jump Ropes.  The most Ive done at one time; and I did them 100 at a time.

The Overhead Squat was also scaled.  I used the 22# bar.  After watching the Nasty Girls video, I decided to put the Medicine Ball beneath/behind me, to make sure I am dropping into a true squat.  Keefa and I even measured it, so I can find something comparable to practice with when away from the box (it was 16″ high).

Likewise, I want to get serious with developing my upper body strength.  I used the rubber band for the Pull Ups, and did the 50 reps in sets of ten.  I also switched my hand position a few times (from wide-arm, to palms facing close-arm), but overall, did well considering I did 100 Hand Stand Push Ups the other day.

It was raining today – our first real rain in more than a month – so I did 1600 meters on the Rowing Machine.

All total: 20 minutes even.

I think I could do two rounds.  Lol .. next week!

I just found this letter posted on the mainpage of


Just wanted to drop you a line from Afghanistan:

I was introduced to Crossfit at Fort Bragg after Army Special Operations Command incorporated Crossfit into their HHC gym.  I was immediately hooked.  After arriving in Afghanistan I heard that two of the generals here love the concept and the exercises and are working on building a “garage gym” and filling it with Crossfit “tools”.  Until then those of us who already were doing Crossfit and those we’ve recruited use whatever tools we can find in the local gym or outside.  Our engineers have created some pull-up and dip bars and some lifting bars out of coffee cans, steel, and concrete.  We use dumbbells for kettle bells, brought jump ropes with us, have a few medicine balls, and jump up on picnic tables or benches.

Since arriving I’ve worked with 5 people who have taken up Crossfit regularly and two of those have recruited one more each.  At least four in the command element do Crossfit, as well as two other guys in the Plans section and several in the Engineer section.  What is even more satisfying is that people will call out “Crossfit!” when they see a group of us working out!

We downloaded many of the exercise videos and demos so that we can watch what we are supposed to do – especially the lifts – prior to doing them.  Nasty Girls is a favorite video of the higher-ranking officers to get motivated and Nicole, Annie, and Eva have reached almost worship status among many of the soldiers here.   I think they’d be more excited by them visiting than the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders!

Another favorite vid is Nicole vs. Glover.  Of course the girls like to watch Greg, and the guys are amazed at his muscle-ups.  My favorite quote is, “the deadlift is part of your DNA”.   You guys are too great –  I’m almost convinced the government needs to classify your concept so as not to allow our enemies to know about it!

Anyway, just wanted to thank you for the website and to let you know there are a lot of people out here spreading the word and who look forward to seeing what the new workout is daily.  Thanks for helping make America stronger!

MAJ M, 82d Airborne


As a Veteran I was attracted to CrossFit; seeing fellow soldiers using it for their personal and collective gain is additional motivation.

There were some things in the above letter that I did not recognize  – like Nasty Girls and Nicole vs Glover – so I googled both and included the links above.   After watching both vids .. I am both blown away and motivated to follow suit.  As a woman, it feels good to see what other women are doing.  It gives me something to aspire towards.

I also googled the workout ..

Nasty Girls WOD – 3 Rounds for Time

50 Squats

7 Muscle-ups

135 pound Hang power cleans, 10 reps

Ive been thinking about a CrossFit Goal for myself.  Think I just found it.

Conditioning day.  I like the cardio, but then I enjoy running.  I was hesitant when I first started CrossFit .. running on asphalt, which is something I have avoided since I left the Army.  But .. my knees have not been bothering me.  I imagine three explanations for this:

1-Wearing Vibrams;

2-Seeking the best diet for CF;

3-Doing CrossFit.

So .. to start the morning (already 79d outside at 5am!) ..


25 Double Unders

20 Sit Ups

10 Hip Extensions

10 Squats

Still no Double Unders here; though, I am starting to sneak in the occasional 4 or 8.  Mostly I do the 3 for 1, so in this case, 75.  Because I like jumping rope to warm up, I had already done 110 before I did the 75.


800 meter Run

50 Hand Stand Push Ups (HSPU)

800 meter Run

I used two abmats to judge the touchdown point for my head (I used to use three).  Which is not to say I touch down every time with two abmats; better to say Im somewhere in between 2 and 3.  Lol .. which is not to say I touch down every time .. but I can do about half (ok .. maybe 1/4 .. but Im getting there).


Total time: 10:00 minutes even.

When I finished, I did another 50 HDPU, and didnt even focus on the abmats .. just the drop, shoulder lock, then push back up.

Coach Keefa showed me a Kip to lift back up.  Interesting technique .. and it makes sense.  For example, in my additional 50, about 20 of those I did in Scorpion Pose because they are easier when the center of gravity is lowered.  The Kip move that Keefa showed me did just that: Dropped the legs into what I would call a Cobbler (Urdhva Baddha Konasana), then kicked them back up.  So .. lowering the gravity line to assist the lift.  Thats how I teach Yoga.

Ive never done 50 Hand Stand Push Ups before .. so lets see how I feel today during Yoga classes!

This mornings CrossFit. I like the cardio (in my vibrams). HSPU = Handstand Push Up. When I was finished with the second run (after time), I did another 50. I can break the plane ever so often .. lol .. but more ‘ever so’ than often! 😀

Already, by 5:30am, its 73d.  Lol .. but in the box .. its much warmer!  Evenso, stepping outside just last week felt much cooler; now .. not so much.  But then, by 8am its already 80d.

Started the day with ..

Warm Up – AMRAP, 5 mins

50 meter Sprint

15 Squats

10 Push Ups

I did Yoga Push Ups this morning – aka: Chaturanga.     I was on the fourth rep, and had just finished the Squats, when time was called, so I did 30 Push Ups total.   I felt good about the first 20; meaning, they were the best PUs Ive done since I started CrossFit.  Now .. that could be because: 1-I was doing Chaturanga, or 2-Because I am appreciably stronger.  Either way, they felt good.


Deadlift 5 . 5 . 5 . 5 . 5

Snatch 2 . 2 . 2 . 2 . 2

I like the Deadlift .. lol .. and have said that before.  Today, I lifted more weight than I ever have.

My overhead max is 55#.  I tried 60, and could get it to shoulder level, but no higher.  With the Deadlift, today was the first time to lift over 55#.

I started with 45#, for 5 reps.  That felt ‘easy’, so I went to 55#, also for 5 reps. I was feeling good about my form .. very comfortable .. so Keefa suggested 75# for 5 reps.  That felt good as well, so the next was 80# for 5 reps, then for the last set, 95#.  To be sure, I chose to do that last set a second time, so ended up Deadlifting 95# 10 times.

Lol .. when I read the CrossFit forum and see what other women are doing, that doesnt sound like a lot of weight.  But for me .. it is, and it felt good, so am happy!

Next up was the Snatch.  Coach Keefa wanted us to go light on weight, so we used the 5# bars.  Our primary focus was on technique.  Which is yet another reason why I like CrossFit Iconz .. the emphasis on technique.  Being orientated that way, and teaching Yoga that way, it is something I know the value of, so appreciate it when I am on the student end.

Ah .. the Snatch.  There is that roll or wave movement again; the ripple from heel to hip to shoulder to overhead.  I am still not fluid in it, but am at a place were I can feel where its not right – so thats improvement.

All total .. Im liking the lifting part more than I thought I would when I began.  So far, Ive favored the conditioning days over the strength days.  Now .. Im on the fence but leaning to the strength side.

Warm Up – Junkyard Dog

Now here is an odd warm up for you (if the name is not unusual enough).  Its a partner assisted workout where you jump over some one sitting on the floor, in the first half; then leap over their back, then crawl under them in the second half.  Both partners work so its an opportunity to rest between the two sets of jumps.

WOD – 4 Rounds

20 Burpees

15 Sumo Deadlift High Pulls

15 Kettleball Swings

I really like the SDHP.  I like the fluidity of the movement, though, admittedly, Im still working on smoothing it out.  At the same time, its something that always leaves me very sore in the upper pecs.  Something I chalk up to a lack of enough upper body strength.

Yoga strength I have a plenty .. CrossFit strength is a work in progress.

In all, I pretty much breezed through this WOD.  Lol .. which is not to say it wasnt challenging enough, because it was.  I ‘breezed’ through timewise mostly because of the Burpees, which are very similar to something I teach in Yoga.

In my Yoga classes, its simply a plavana, or a ‘float back; jump’, but I teach them differently, more as a vinyasa or repetitive movement.  For example, instead of doing an full Sun Salutation, I will do the Yoga Plavana .. which is, again, sortta like a Burpee, but longer, slower, and with controlled breathing.

For the Kettleball Swing, the 20lb was a bit light, so Keefa suggested the 25lb dumbbell.  Good call, because that was right at my edge.

For the Sumo Deadlift High Pull, I used the 15lb bar with two 10lb plates, for a total of 35lbs.  This was the same weight I have lifted before here; and before, I aggravated the pectoralis major.  Today, its either the scalene or one of the clavical ligaments .. not sure which yet.

After the 4 Rounds I continued with the SDHP, to work on technique.  I really wanted to concentrate on the heel-press / hip push.  Doing so, I think the upper tension occurred because I was not always shrugging, as I should, in the rolling motion needed to lift the weight here.

Eitherway, I ended with 14 minutes and 35 seconds.

Everyday is an adventure .. mine just happens to include Yoga and Weightlifting!