What Have I Gotten Into.

Has it been over a week since I posted? It has been a whirlwind of a week and the coming four weeks should prove to be even more hectic. I have spent only a few days doing light workouts with the wrestling team. My knees and shoulders have been really weak, loose and sore. I was hoping that this time not hitting it so hard would give me a chance to recover. This morning I did the warm ups with the kids and I thought that my knees were going to collapse or buckle, whatever they do. I haven’t been totally dormant; I have wrestled two days and light on the third. That didn’t go to bad.

The past several weeks have been crazy. My kids were out of school and my son was home from college. TJ my oldest boy left a little early back to Utah on Tuesday to compete in a crossfit competition. He texted me while I was at a wrestling tournament and told me he placed 2nd. After all of the competing he has done in high school and college he can’t give up the competition. I have been to a dual meet, a girl’s tournament and a varsity tournament in the past week. Now all of the kids are back in school and I started school myself. I have done that back to school thing to learn a new skill and have 12 units left to get an AS in computer graphic arts. Maybe I’ll continue on to a BA in graphic arts, I’ve always like that.

The next few months will be very exciting. I have 12 units in college, I’m still training for the Veteran’s National Wrestling Tournament, I’m in the thick of coaching the wrestling season, I have tournaments every weekend until March, and I still have to run my business and make a living. I don’t know that I would have taken such a load last year. Could it be that my training has boosted not only my physical metabolism but also my mental capacity? I would ponder on that but I’m too busy. It will be a challenge.

Over the next few months I may not post everyday as I had done in the past until I get a better feel for my work load. Life was so much easier with just training and work. I’ll keep you posted on my work, school, wrestling and I won’t forget my training because…..It’s not superhuman strength, its old man strength.

New Year or New Life?

My oldest Daughter winning the 2002 National Junior Freestyle Championship.

It’s the last day of the year. Where have I come from and where am I going?

As I close out this year several things come to mind but I’ll roll into that out a little later. On Friday we took our girl wrestlers to a tournament. This was a quality tournament for them; the brackets were broken up into elite, advanced, intermediate and novice wrestlers and they had teams from Texas, Colorado and Maryland to name a few. My daughter and our other experienced wrestler were rightfully in the elite class. Our other girl, who is a first year wrestler, was placed in the intermediate class. All in all we did well, Our bigger girl took first in the elite class, our first year newbie took second and my daughter who was in the largest elite class of the tournament took fourth even after twisting her ankle in her first match. Way to go Girls!

This morning I woke up early, like 3:30 am and had to force myself back to sleep. I tried again at 7:00 and got ready to go to the box. I rowed for 800m, did the warm ups and then went to the squat rack for some fun. I decided to work light and focus on form. I did a warm up at 225 and then added 50. Danny, who had been working at California Strength with Glenn Pendlay had a conversation with Glenn about my squats. The analysis was that I let my chest drop forward and didn’t let my legs do most of the lifting. So with Danny giving me input on my technique I decided to squat several sets of two, solely concentrating on form. I did 2 at 275 then 2 at 295 and followed with 2 at 305 and 315. At the 315 squat Danny said that the form was getting sloppy and suggested that I go down and work back up. I dropped to 275 and when I got to the bottom I held it for 2 to 3 seconds before I started my accent. I did the same with 295, 305 and 315. The form is improving but I need more work. When the fun was over I decided to row another 1000m for a cool down.

Now that the events and work out are recorded, let me talk about the last year and the future. I started CrossFit in April of this year and today will complete 9 month of training. I started at 215lbs and dropped to 200 lbs, although over the Holidays I have put 5 back on. I love food. My strength has increased to the point that I think I am now stronger than I was at 30. Someone posted in the Master’s Facebook page that she had been doing crossfit for about 3 years and was losing the excitement of training. I think that if all I did was train with no objective in site I would be bored also. After reading the posts on Facebook I am only more resolved to take this functional movement program and do something functional with it. My interest has grown in Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting. I have also discovered that they have rowing competitions. I wonder what else there is? I really suck at running and it is not my favorite thing to do but I might even give it another try on a very local level. If you have followed my blog you’ll remember my original intent was to wrestle in the Veterans division. Why they call it veterans when everyone else calls their old people competitions masters is beyond me.

When I was younger there weren’t as many things to do as a “Masters”. And frankly, I never even considered doing anything in the way of competitions let alone things that I have never done before. It’s all a matter of training I guess. We can learn something, train for it and compete even if it takes a few years. If we do it and suck, it will be more fun than not doing it at all and we may even gain some new friends. If we don’t experiment and try new things, well, we’ll just keep getting older but that will only go on for a limited time. I think the competitions, the training and the learning will keep me younger than sitting on the couch.

I am not into making New Year’s resolutions but I will make a New Life’s resolution. From today forward I will practice what I have taught the kids I have coached for the last 20 years: Practice, train hard and have fun. Maybe it’s time I should listen to myself, what have I got to lose? So I’ll challenge you also: Practice, train hard and have fun because…..It’s not superhuman strength, its old man strength.

Happy New Year!

Something New and Exciting!

I’ll be glad when my schedule gets back to normal, whatever that is. Since the kids have been out of school we have had wrestling practice in the mornings. I have to move my stuff out of the storage units and into my new shop before the end of the year. And, after weeks of working on it I finally got the truck fixed. I did get to the box tonight for a “death by…” work out.

TJ and I went to the box after moving several loads into the new shop. Tomorrow we’ll have more of the same but I have the wrestling team coming to help. Tonight for a warm up I rowed 800 m while everyone else ran 800m. Then we went on to 2 rounds of 10 dislocates, 10 OHS with pvc, 10 box jumps, 10 back extensions, and 10 toes to bars. I’m always the last to finish because it takes me longer to warm up these stiff bones. The toes to bar were really hard on the shoulders the first round but felt a little better the second round. Then we did some dynamic sprinter warm ups. That’s where we do the high knee, karaoke stuff and we finished with four 10m sprints and two burpees in a relay race. I wasn’t going to bust my ass on these , I just got my calf feeling better and I don’t want to blow it out again.

Tonight the WOD de jour was “Death by 10m”. That’s where we run a 10m sprint the first minute, then 2-10m sprints the second minute, 3-10m sprints the third minute and so on. The best of the day had been 17 rounds flat. I didn’t push my hardest as to stave off injury. I was the first to finish with 11 rounds plus 10 laps. Most others finished in the 12 to 14 round range and TJ hit the leader board with 17 rounds plus 12 laps. That’s my boy!

After all of that fun we did a plank hold for time. I really wimped out on this one with 1:21, my shoulders were aching and shaking after 20 seconds. In a previous class two people had 11 minutes plus in the plank. I need to work on that I guess.

Before all this fun had started I was talking with Jason when we arrived. He is the one with the higher CF total than I. He was telling me that his wife had entered him in a deadlift competition. That sounded interesting to me although it falls on the same weekend as the Division V Championships. I would have really liked to go. It started me into checking the powerlifting sites. I discovered that the American deadlift record for my age and weight was only 455 lbs. I’m not too far away from that. The squat was only 445 lbs. I’m not that far from that one either. I suck at the benchpress since my shoulders blew out but I can still get the minimum weights up.

There we go , just one more thing for me to try in my youth challenged age. If I do it, what the heck I might be good and if I don’t, well I will just get older. When it all comes down to it…..It’s not superhuman strength, its old man strength.

Holidays are Over.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Since I last reported I have only been to one workout and one wrestling practice. Thursday and Friday I spent the days working on my truck replacing the water pump. I hate to work on cars almost as much as I hate to run.

On Saturday we went to the box and after a warm up we did front squats. TJ and I started at 185 and added 10 lbs for every rep until failure. At 265 lbs we were both running out of power and time so we both PR’d at 265. That is a 40 lbs PR increase for me and about a 20 lb increase for TJ. I might have been able to go a little more TJ said because it didn’t look like my last one was too hard. I was happy with it.

Today we had wrestling practice this morning and the Box was only doing one group workout for the day. It was going on at the same time as the practice so I was out of luck.

I think that over the holidays I have put back on about 5 lbs as I have noticed my pants are getting a little tighter again. That 1500 calorie per day limit didn’t get adhered to to well. But with the major holidays over I think I can get going again on the weight control. I don’t do anything for New Years and haven’t for years since I quit drinking for my health.

Today I was watching weightlifting-practice on http://www.ustream.tv/channel/weightlifting-practice, California Strength does a live practice stream in the afternoons around 2:00 pm pacific time. One of the box owners was there working out for the day. While I work on the computer I sometimes will click on the link and watch the practice. You can learn some things during the broadcast. One of the questions that came up, “ Which do you recommend for training Olympic lifts, back squats or front squats.” Glenn Pendlay said that he thought that the back squat was more important. I would have thought that the front squat would be more important. It’s not to say that you shouldn’t do both but that given the druthers, back squat would be a better training tool.

Tomorrow we have practice at 9:00 am and then at noon we are taking our wrestlers to do community service at the soup kitchen. Last year we went to the Children’s Hospital and it was very exciting. I might be able to make a later work out at the box because I need the work. I’m looking forward to getting on my regular schedule again because…..It’s not superhuman strength, its old man strength.

Back to Business

Here it is Wednesday and I have a few minutes before our dual meet tonight. I have been working out with my son for the last three days and if it wasn’t for our 12 days of Christmas WOD tomorrow morning with the kids I would be ready for a rest.

On Monday I had let TJ program the WOD for the S & C with the wrestlers in the morning and I wasn’t too energetic that morning so I only did the warm ups. Then we headed to the box for the first WOD in about a week and a half. Monday was front squats in a 2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2 program with the same weight across the sets. Although my previous one rep max was 225 I have felt stronger and decided to go with that weight for my 8 sets. After I as done I felt that I should have gone with a higher weight on that. It was really too easy. I should have gone with 245 or maybe even 255 to challenge myself.

On Tuesday, Buddy had a hollow body work out for us. I think he attended a Gymnastics Cert so he is all into the hollow body stuff, big time. We got there late and did the obligatory 5 burpees for each minute we were late. We were ten minutes late. The WOD was a 400m run, I rowed, and 10 L pull ups, 15 good mornings with 65/45 and 20 sit ups with a 20 lb plate. This was to be done as a 30 min. AMRAP. Even with the rowing for the 400m rum I still pulled out 5 rounds. The L pull ups are damn hard so I kipped on those. Hell, I was having a hard time doing the kip but still finished 5 rounds.

This morning I had to drive to Sacramento this morning so we got up at 4:30 and went to the 5:30 workout. Again we were late this morning because of the fog but we were only 4 minutes late and did our 20 burpees. After the warm ups, we got started on the WOD. We were doing 5-5-5-5-5 shoulder presses and then five rounds for time of 7 squat cleans, 155/105 and 14 kettlebell swings with 53/35. I decided to scale since I was or am still a little stiff and sore from missing a few days (10+). The shoulder presses I did a 65, 85, 95, 105(1) and back to an 85 to finish off the sets. I had trouble pressing because the shoulders and the 105 attempt did hurt. For the squat cleans I went with 135 lbs and maybe that was a bad decision. I got through the first two rounds and my shoulders were really weak. I ask Danny if I could adjust and he said to go with the 135 but do sumo deadlift high pulls. I struggled through two rounds of that and it was worse on my shoulders than the clean squats. The last round I just cleaned and did front squats to finish.

After the WOD I told Danny that I shouldn’t have taken so much time off. He laughed and said he hears that more often than not. It’s not that I want to take time off it’s just that the body needs it. Some of the joints felt better today with the exception of the shoulders and they felt weaker. As I get better and stronger I want to push harder and that is where the problem lies. If I take time off I get weak and then want to start back where I left off. Part of it is man pride the other is not paying attention and giving myself more time to recover. One of these days I’ll get it down because…..It’s not superhuman strength, its old man strength.

Father, Son and Daughter.

I know, I know I haven’t been blogging for a few days now and some are probably wondering where I have been. Since last week I decided to take several days off to heal some of my aches and pains. I visited a chiropractor and got an adjustment but I mostly just rested. My son is back from college for the next few weeks and I knew he would want to work out so I figured I better rest before I get into full sail again. He has a way of pushing me as I did him through his wrestling career.

We had a wild week last week as we had two dual meets and a tournament. On Tuesday night we wrestled Waterford High who beat us resoundingly last year. Our kids were strong and better conditioned. We beat them handily 50-27. My daughter had a first round pin of her male opponent and was then 6-3 on the season with three of those wins against boys. The three losses were from boys. Of the three, two of them were decisions of 12-10 and 8-7 scores. On Wednesday night we wrestled the perennial league champions and beat them 40-37. It was a home match and the night was filled with excitement. The last time we beat them was in 2005 so we have been waiting for a while now.

We were then off to a varsity and girl’s tournament on Saturday. I decided to have my daughter wrestle in the girl’s tournament even though she could have competed with the boys. With our girls team only three girls strong we ended up about 4th in the team standings behind teams with much larger teams out of 16 teams. My daughter and our other elite girl both took first and our third girl team member finish 4th. My daughter’s record now stands at 11-3. On the boys side of the tournament we took one first, one second and one 5th. All in all it was a good outing.

Over the next three weeks my son TJ will be here I’ll let him do the programming for the strength and conditioning sessions and I’ll do the workouts also. Then we’ll be off to the box for a second session together with our adult friends. Then we’ll be back to the school for a wrestling practice. Later during his the visit we’ll host a clinic with TJ demonstrating some of the moves he has perfected over the years. It will be fun but I better get the rest I need cause I know he will work me hard even if….It’s not superhuman strength, its old man strength.

Ball Humping

The weekend is over, all of the finals are done and as I ran to catch the phone yesterday I pulled the calf muscle again. The condition of aging really sucks. I haven’t worked out in several days because of the distractions and this morning I felt like I had fibromyalgia. I have never had it so I don’t know what it really is but I ached in every joint I had. I went to strength and conditioning in the morning but I didn’t do anything but demonstrate how to do kipping pull ups. I hate this. Is it the weather? I don’t know but I want my energy back.

Over the past several months I have read a lot of blogs from other people who dislike crossfit. Some have been associated with the crossfit organization and others are just opposed to the concept of no programming and the attitude of designing a work out to intentionally max out even the most elite athletes. As I read a lot of these articles about physiological metamorphosis or whatever it is, I wonder, “Does it really matter?” As far as I’m concerned it’s all theoretical bullshit. All I want is a program that I don’t get bored on, I have fun with and I feel better after I do it.

I have coached wrestling for 18 years and I have always gone to the gym for some type of work out or another. I understand periodization and programming but one thing I have learned over the years is that if the three conditions I stated above aren’t met then no matter how well the program is laid out, people will not stick with it. The scientific is for the Olympic training center not for the average Joe. Does any program work better than another? No, not if I’m not going. Do I need to focus on specific muscle groups? No, I’m not an elite athlete, that kind of crap won’t help me feed the dogs. If I train too hard can I risk injury? Yes, but mowing the lawn or taking a crap can pull muscles also.

I have only been doing crossfit for 8 months and the past few weeks have been a little hard to get to the box with all of the wrestling but I’m doing more than I have in the last 8 months than I have in the past 37 years which is when I graduated from high school. It is not my intent to single out crossfit as an all-knowing, all doing program. I wouldn’t care if the called it “ball humping”, I would continue to do it and wish it was around 30 years ago. Crossfit has made me get out and work hard again which is something that I haven’t found in all of the tens of thousands I have spent on other gyms over the last 35 years. For that, I am grateful. I will probably continue to read all of the pro’s and con’s articles and watch the videos although I don’t really think it will affect what I do. Because in answer to my first question, “No, it doesn’t really matter unless you are an elite athlete training for the Olympics.” You need to do what is good for you and what makes you continue to do it. My time has passed for the elite athlete stage so I will continue to do what doesn’t bore me, what is fun and what makes me feel better after I do it because…..It’s not superhuman strength, its old man strength.

Let’s Wrestle For It

Well I did make it to the box on Wednesday and it was a good WOD. I have missed several days and I noticed how fast I degenerate. We did a 15 minute AMRAP with 10 wall balls, 10 toes to bar and 10 – 24” box jumps. I did not move fast and only got 4 rounds plus 13 reps. Man was it hard. I would have never believed that I could lose so much in a few days. But there again, I did do Rx which has a little to do with it. That night we had a dual meet with a neighboring community and won 43-33. My daughter who wrestled the 113 lb weight class stuck the boy she wrestled in 1:35 of the first round. That’s my girl.

On Thursday we started practice with a 2 mile run and since I hadn’t felt any problems with my calf in the past few weeks I decided to go along for the run. Big mistake, after about a mile and a quarter my calf started to stiffen up and was about to go. I ended up walking the rest of the way and I was pretty sore. I wrapped the calf that night and this morning I felt a little better with some stretching. I should have known better not to push it.

When I got to practice this afternoon we ended up being one off in our wrestler pairing and so I joined in during the drills. I figure I went 45 to 50 minutes of drills and had a good sweat going. I could tell I was getting some work as my breathing and heart rate increased. I let the kids I wrestled do most of the moves and did spend some time working the moves myself for an example and to have some fun. We went a few situation rounds where we would get in a position and have 15 to 20 seconds to escape or hold the partner. That was fun but as we approached the end of practice I was getting tired. All in all I spent about 1 hour and 10 minutes wrestling and a good 10 going full speed. It was fun.

I need to hit the sack because I have to get up at 4:30 am to go to a dual meet tournament in the morning. We have about a 2 hour drive to the tourney. I just wanted to keep everyone up to date and also keep myself honest at writing my blog. Good night and remember…..It’s not superhuman strength, its old man strength.

Gearing Up

This morning I went to the school for a workout with the kids. We had a short 300m run and the 20 double unders, I actually got two in a row, then two sets of 10 overhead squats with a 20 kilo bar, 10 box jumps, 10 thrusters with a 20 kilo bar, 10 sit ups and 10 burpees. I decided that we would work on our crossfit totals today and we started with deadlifts. The 4 kids that come in the morning are dedicated even though one is my daughter and she has to come. She is a trooper though and this morning when we were done with the deadlifts I ask her how much. She said “I don’t know.” So I went over and counted, “(45+25+5+5)x2 plus a 45 lb bar, Hailey you did 205”. She looked at me with a sheepish grin and said “Really?” Mind you, she tips the scales at 108 so 205 is big time for her. If she knew how much it was I don’t think she would have attempted it. I think she is getting into it; she bought some black and pink lifting gloves.

We ran out of time and didn’t get any more done but the deadlifts. I only did 405 lb, I just don’t have any strength in the early mornings. I think I am an afternoon person for working out.
In the mornings I generally like working and doing calculations while my mind is fresh. Then by the afternoon I don’t want to think just work the body.

This week is going to be a pretty busy week, I have to jobs that are trying to get permitted and I have two more finals to complete for my college classes. Tomorrow I have some extra work to get done so I won’t get to the box for another day but I will certainly make it on Wednesday.

Project deadlines, finals week, our first wrestling dual meet on Wednesday and to top it off I blew a hole in a radiator hose tonight. I don’t want to hear anyone whine about schedules. I’ll do it of course with a smile because…..It’s not superhuman strength, its old man strength.

Wrestling with the Big Boys

I took Wednesday off from working out with the exception of doing some grass drills at wrestling practice. I decided to lay on my back, hold my knees and roll back and forth on my back to loosen it up. All of the sudden I got this terrible cramp under my front rib cage and I shot open flat. I rubbed it out but it hurt like hell. Man I hope that never happens again.

Thursday I held strength and conditioning with the wrestlers as usual and we only had 4 shows that morning. I had scheduled a 600m warm up run but it was so cold and windy that we all decided to do single unders in the warmth of the room. I told them that we could do 5 minutes straight and for every fail we had to drop and do 3 push-ups. Hell, I think I did 30 push-ups. We then went on to do 3 rounds of 10 wall balls, 10 burpees, 10 OHS, 10 ghd sit-ups and 10 box jumps. The WOD that morning was a 12 minute AMRAP of 12 reverse pull ups, 6 deadlifts at 90% 1RM and 20 double unders. While they did that I did 5 sets of 5, overhead squats with 95 lbs. I need to work that movement a lot more than I do.

At wrestling practice I did the usual walking around and coaching, nothing too strenuous. The last part of our practice our heavyweight (273lbs) needed a workout partner. Even though I would be giving up 73 lbs and I have almost 40 years of age on him I decided to go the full scrimmage. It was 3 two minute rounds, full metal jacket so to speak. After I pinned him six times in the first two rounds I decided to let him go on top position the last round. At this point I am not really winded too much but I am getting pretty fatigued in my upper body. I mean I am strong but 4 minutes of throwing around a 273 lb kid was getting to me. We got in referee’s position and the whistle was blown. We rolled around for a few seconds but with my shoulders not being as strong as I want, it was hard to lift him and I up off of the mat. Then with about 43 seconds left in the match he came across with a cross face and tweaked my shoulder and I laid there and said we were done.

Now that was not what bothered me, remember that rib cramp that I said I never wanted again. As I was walking out to the car I stopped to talk to a parent and I started to feel that cramp coming on again. It got worse and worse. I almost couldn’t drive home. When I got home I wrapped an ice pack on the cramp area, started to down some tonic water and finally crawled into bed about 8:30 and it was still hurting until after I went to sleep. When I awoke this morning it feld a little better but was still tender and I had a sight bruise a couple of inches under my nipple. I don’t know if I hit it during wrestling but it is strange that it started 15 to 20 minutes after we were done wrestling. It is the weirdest thing.

Although our heavyweight is not the best wrestler on the team he is still strong and big. I do feel that I did wrestle pretty well. This was the first full match I have had in several years and although I got tired I didn’t feel as though my heart was going to jump out of my body. I rested the ribs today and today’s practice was challenge matches for the varsity and JV positions on the team. This was the first year I can remember that we had a full two hour practice devoted to challenge matches. Anyway, rest is good but I can’t wait for more because…..It’s not superhuman strength, its old man strength.