Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Exposing my own weaknesses

Took a little detour on the way home from CT yesterday to catch up with Sean Manseau at Pioneer Valley CrossFit. He had already done Jason (a total of 50 muscle ups and 250 squats) in the morning, but he was still ready for a late-night workout. Sean is a great coach and a really interesting guy - a former graphic artist, writer, and now affiliate owner. We were on the same page regarding tackling a qualifier WOD. He had in mind the Great Basin Sunday workout but I had no interest in box jumps because my calves have been locked up tight since skiing Sunday, so instead, we tackled the second European qualifier workout.


Shoulder mobility work
Kipping pullups and 5 bar muscle-ups

(Sean's sweet pullup bars gave me a chance to try these for the first time. Way easier than ring muscle ups if you've got a big kip. Take home message: I need more deadhangs.)

Burgener warmup
Tall cleans
C&Js up to 135#


    C&J, 135#
DNF - got through the last set of cleans in 19:50

So simple on paper, but this was awful. Even concentrating on form on the jerks (to the extent I'm able to execute well), the HSPUs were brutal - way, way harder than the 21-15-9 in Diane. They took Forever. By the end of the second set, I was teaching myself how to kip them and got pretty decent with it - a skill I'll put to use at the Qualifiers, if necessary, but not something I ever intended to learn. It's kind of stupid, really. Talk about non-functional. At the end, I was perfectly happy to accept a DNF rather than wasting time doing 9 more kipping HSPUs.

I don't relish the idea of doing HSPUs at the Qualifiers. Therefore, once I recover from this effort (my traps are killing me), I'll be greasing the groove on HPSUs - sets of 5 or less whenever I get the chance. (I wonder if there's somewhere at work I can do this without them deciding that I need to be laid-off for my mental health?)

Sean finished this workout ahead of me, having the sense to scale and do strict form using bands - what I tried to do in the last round with Zero success. (I couldn't budge myself). As a result, I got some helpful coaching in my last round. The highlight of the workout was when Sean told me to think of the Third Law of Newtonian Mechanics right as I was about to attempt my last rep. I decided I better stick with the previous cue about pushing myself under the bar. We had a good laugh over that one later, but he did bring up a good point. I had spent so much time working my form on the simpler push press that I've gotten out of practice with the jerk. No worries there, really. It's already at the top of my list for exercises to incorporate into my workouts over the next few weeks, and it's a skill that I know I've got in the bag of tricks somewhere.


jenna said...


I would definitely have to kip the HSPU. I am not proud of it, but that's the fact. I am working on my HSPU big time, but I am confident that if HSPU comes up at my qualifier, I will at least be able to kip them. Just don't tell Tucker :)

Patrick Haskell said...

Apparently that the case for me, as well. I got the kip going pretty well, exploding to above my press sticking-point, even after my arms were toasted. I'll probabl work these once the week before the Games, but otherwise, I'm still training for functional fitness. I can't let my training get stupid for more than a day or two.