New Garage Gym Equipment

In addition to making my own Farmers Carry handles, I’ve picked up some new items to expand the garage gym.

I bought this 10 foot climbing rope on Amazon. The ceiling obviously isn’t high enough for rope climbs, but I can use it for legless climbs starting from a seated position on the floor or simply do rope pull-ups. Can never have too many ways to do a pull-up or hang!

An upper body lifting program I’ve been following assigns half kneeling single arm bottoms up kettlebell presses every week. When I’m at home I’ve been using a dumbbell, but it’s nowhere near the same stimulus as stabilizing the uneven weight of an upside down kettlebell. It’s a very challenging exercise; if you’ve never done them before you’ll have to start much lighter than you’d expect.

I picked up this adjustable kettlebell from Dick’s Sporting Goods plus two 10 pound plates and a 5. As pictured I took out 3 of the spacers, which are on the right side. With this combination I can adjust it anywhere from 20-45 pounds in 5 pound increments. I already have a 50# kettlebell at home as well as a 53# and 70# I keep at the gym since I use those a lot more there.

These furniture movers, or SuperSliders, work really well on the rubber gym flooring. You can put your heels or toes on one of these and slide your legs in and out for core work.

2017 CrossFit Games Open Results

As previously mentioned, due to tweaking my back, I wasn’t able to do the 5th and final workout of the Open this year. I’m feeling good to go now and didn’t want to delay my attempt on 17.5 any longer, so I did it in my garage yesterday.

When the workout was announced I knew everyone would be tricked into thinking they had to do the thrusters unbroken. It’s the beauty of the workout design. Change it from 9 to 10 reps and people would have thought different about it. I tried to convince people breaking up the thrusters would be beneficial, but nobody believed me. I certainly didn’t plan to do 10 sets of 9 unbroken thrusters.

I split up the first 9 sets into 5 reps, a strict 3 count to rest, and a set of 4 reps. I did the 10th round unbroken. It worked out great and allowed me keep a steady pace through the entire workout. I geek out a bit on split times over on my workout blog if you’re interested in that kind of thing. Finished the workout in 13:28.

While not official results, I calculated where I would have ranked this year if I had been able to submit this score. Overall through the 5 weeks I would have had 139,975 points in the Open division, ranking me 20,616 / 201,951 (10.2%) and 18,825 points in the new Masters 35-39 division for 2,455 / 38,106 (6.4%). My best year yet!

CrossFit Games Open Ranking History

  • 2012: 16,395 / 20,857 (78.6%)
  • 2013: 9,251 / 43,479 (21.3%)
  • 2014: 13,721 / 66,904 (20.5%)
  • 2015: 13187 / 118,237 (11.2%)
  • 2016: 19,060 / 139,037 (13.7%)
  • 2017: 20,616 / 201,951 (10.2%)

I don’t know why, but a bunch of these previous year numbers are substantially different in terms of participation (lower) that I’ve written about before. According to the current CrossFit Games Leaderboards it’s the data I come up with though. I always base it off the number of men who completed at least one of the workouts.

Zero Reps On 17.5… For Now

My 17.5 will have to wait. I tweaked my back 6 reps into a 17.4 redo on Sunday and it has turned out to be the worst one I’ve experienced. Walking and basic human function has been challenging most of the week. Thankfully I finally started to see some improvements this afternoon. I made it to the gym tonight to watch some of the crew crush the workout and then got to enjoy beer and pizza with everyone.

I’ll battle with 17.5 in a few weeks when I’m healed up. I’m going to finally find a PT and hopefully correct whatever keeps causing these back problems.

Thruster Attack Revisited

I just finished my second go-round of the Thruster Attack program I created almost 2 years ago. I didn’t remember it hurting so much. I started on November 12th and had to stretch out this final week so today actually marks 71 days.

img_8758Basically you do thruster intervals twice a week. The days start on opposite ends of the energy pathway spectrum, aerobic and anaerobic, and meet in the middle during week 10. For specifics, read the original post (linked above). I’m really happy with how well the program holds up. I’ve seen solid improvements in my fitness both times I’ve done it and several friends who just finished or are in various weeks of the program are also seeing fitness gains.

Many of us who enjoy fitness say we’d pick a heavy squat if we could only do one movement for the rest of our life, but a thruster might be the better choice.

While I think the program as originally written is solid, I tried out some changes on myself this time:

  • During the first 3 weeks, I did 2 extra sets on the heavy days.
  • For the first 3 weeks of Tabata work I kept the rep count at 8 for every set.
  • In weeks 4-5 I started to increase the reps during later Tabata rounds.
  • For weeks 6-10 I did 9 reps for every set of Tabata work.
  • After the first week or two, I rarely did any other exercising on thruster days.
  • Until the last few weeks, I was only doing CrossFit 1-2 other days per week.

All of those changes worked well for me, but may not work for others. The rep counts were low enough in those initial weeks where I could recover fast enough to add in the extra sets on heavy days. During weeks 4-5 the heavy days were the worst and I had to break up some sets. When I originally wrote this program and was testing it out, I’m pretty sure I skipped one of those weeks due to a work trip. In week 4 I had to do the last set of 10 as sets of 6 and 4. Then in week 5 I had to go 6-4 and 4-3-3 on the final two sets. While some of the Tabata work gets boring and turns into a grind, I was never in danger of failing any reps.

How about some numbers? Over the course of 20 sessions, I completed 2,309 thrusters and moved 146,890 pounds! Warm-ups would push those over 2,400 and 150k.

thruster-attack-btwb-chart.png
Thruster movement chart from Beyond the Whiteboard

Is it overkill doing so many thrusters? Maybe. Did I want to quit? Almost every workout. Does it work? Definitely.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 7

When I picked up the new Nano 7 I could immediately sense the improvements in the quality of materials over the previous versions of the shoe. Not to say they were bad, but the weave they used feels so much different on the 7. Overall the shoe seems to be a good mix of the best parts of each previous Nano. I think it’s also the best looking one.

I wore them for heavy back squats last night and they felt solid and stable.

Check out these cool new ads for Reebok’s “Be More Human” campaign.