Thursday, September 29, 2011

Front squat

Yay, a strength day! I feel like I haven't had one of these in ages.

Front squat: 5-5-5-5-5

I got to be the demo girl, which started off my warm-up, and then I did one set of 5 @ 65#.

Work sets: 85-95-105-115-125

85 to 115 looked good and felt good.

At 125 I started losing control of my core alignment, my hips were popping in and out of line, and my weight was shifting all over the place in my feet. But, I powered through and completed the 5 reps.

This is a good starting point measurement for the strength cycle I'll be starting in November. I want to do a weightlifting program that focuses primarily on getting stronger, but also incorporates technique work. I'm hoping to find a coach to work with long distance if I can't find one in our new town. Yep, moving again in 30 days. :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

HPC goodness

The WOD today was very CrossFit Football-esque.

5 rounds:
5 hang power clean (185/135)
Sprint 50m
*rest 60 secs between rounds

Results: 8:35 @ 105#

I should've done this workout A LOT heavier. But I was gun shy due to my horrible performance on squat cleans the other day. After the WOD I did a few reps at 110 and 115 easily -- might even have been able to do 120 in the WOD.

Sometimes, like when I did a nice HPC at 115 this morning, I suddenly realize just how much I love weightlifting. Practicing it, observing others and talking about technique. This is something I could do for life -- now I just have to (continue to) figure out how to make that happen. :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Primal Recipe - Stuffed Peppers

The contest over the weekend at MDA was to post your favorite primal recipe. One of the most tasty primal/paleo dishes I know how to make is stuffed peppers with meat sauce over cauliflower rice. Since it's a combo I made up of mom's recipe for sauce and paleo meatloaf, I decided to write it up so I could post it for the contest. :)

Step 1: Meat Sauce
1lb grass-fed ground beef
1/2 white onion
1 large can tomato sauce
1 large can tomato paste
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp minced garlic (optional)
1. Grate onion using a cheese grater -- this makes it "disappear" into the sauce; or you can just dice it.
2. Using the pot you will cook the sauce in, brown ground beef with onion.
3. Add tomato sauce, paste, oregano, basil and garlic.
4. Simmer sauce on low for at least 30 minutes; an hour or two is ideal.
Step 2: Stuffed Peppers
This recipe is based on Mini Meatloaf Muffins from Christie.
1 lb grass-fed ground beef
6 red, yellow or green peppers -- I prefer to use red, or red and yellow
1/2 cup diced or grated onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 egg1/2 can tomato paste (can also use 1/2 cup of meat sauce, if you don't have tomato paste)
1. Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds.
2. Remove stems / cores from tops, and diced the remaining pepper "flesh".
3. Dice or grate onion
4. Combine ground beef, diced peppers and onions, garlic, egg and tomato paste.
5. Stuff peppers with ground beef mixture.
6. Place stuffed peppers into a baking dish, leaving at least a small gap between them. If you have any leftover ground beef mixture that didn't fit into a pepper, form into meatballs and place in baking dish.
7. Cover bottom of baking dish with sauce, and spoon additional sauce over the tops of the peppers.
8. Bake peppers in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes. Note: total baking time required will depend on the size of your peppers, and the amount of ground beef mixture in each one.
Step 3: Cauliflower Rice
1 large head of cauliflower

1. Cut decent sized florets off the head, and grate with a cheese grater until you reach the stem. Don't grate the stems, they do not cook as well as the florets. The grated florets should be about the size and consistency of rice or quinoa.
2. Once you have grated as much cauliflower as you would like, place it into a microwavable bowl. Cover (don't add any extra water!) bowl and microwave for 4-5 minutes.
Step 4: Enjoy!
Place a stuffed pepper and some of the sauce it was baked in over a serving of cauliflower rice. If you like more sauce, use more from the batch.

Squat cleans

Got to practice squat cleans in a WOD this morning.

5 rounds:
5 squat cleans (185/135)
100m sprint
10 AbMat butterfly situps

Results: 11:03 @ 95

I had a hope of using 115 in this WOD, thinking that maybe my squat clean capacity would be higher since my power clean PR went up by 10#. However, I quickly realized that until I do a ton of heavy front squat training, I won't squat cleaning more than 95 or 100 in a WOD. Stripped weight from 115 to 95 after my first 2 reps, boo.

Also had my first experience with blocking my airway with the bar on a squat clean. Woo, that was crazy! I think it's because I was using a men's bar -- that little bit of extra thickness probably threw off that delicate balance of keeping the bar on my shoulders without chocking myself.

Many of the clean felt like the flew up off the ground, and then the trouble was standing up with the bar. Again, the answer to this is heavy front squats. They are in my post-marathon strength training plan for sure.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday @ Audie Murphy

Went to the CF gym on base with husband today to get a Sunday afternoon workout in.

I made up a WOD that I missed last week.

Rest 60 seconds between sets.


Not exactly earth-shattering numbers, but I think those loads were appropriate as I'm working on dialing in new form on this lift. The true test of how well I did will be what hurts tomorrow when I wake up. If my hamstrings and glutes are as sore as my back, victory, and I can continue to get heavier. If not, then I go back to lots of reps at a lower weight and take the load up slowly.

I had a couple minutes after finishing before the gym closed, so I did 5 cycles through the bear complex with 55#: power clean, front squat, push press, back squat, push press. Love that one. :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Kitchen WOD

Modified the good old standard at home WOD today.

50-40-30-20-10 lunges (total)
25-20-15-10-5 pushups
50-40-30-20-10 butterfly AbMat situps
25-20-15-10-5 PVC OHS

Took me roughly 30 minutes. Experimented with some "hollow" position stuff on all my movements. Had a bit of an interesting feeling in my triceps during round of 15 of pushups that I think was promising. Also trying something different with my squats, to hopefully feed into a stronger bottom position in my snatch and C&J. Due to my "special" alignment issues, I think I need to take the "butt thrust" completely out of my squat, and keep my pelvis pointed straight up during the entire movement. Obviously this won't be good with a low bar back squat, but I don't intent on doing any of those for quite some time. All high bar for me for the forseeable future, Greg Everett says so, and I believe him.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

5th Element and Primal Challenge

First off, yesterday I published my first solo blog post for my new blog, 5th Element Fitness. OMG it made me soooo nervous!

You'd think that after ~4 years of blogging, in one place or another, that one more post wouldn't be a big deal. But this is the first time I've blogged without a psuedonym and also declared the type of stuff I'll write about. I switched over to using my real name on this blog several months ago to help me get over the anonymity hurdle. But the stress of feeling like I need to have something truly interesting and well-written before hitting "publish" is still getting to me. I almost jumped out of my chair as I clicked "Publish Post".

Check it out if you are so inclined. :)


Also, Kelsalynn and I are attempting the 30 Day Primal Challenge via Mark's Daily Apple over the next few weeks.

In the interest of full disclosure, my current nutrition status is best described as "free for all". There was a short-lived revival of my Paleo/primal habits from Dec 2010 to Jan 2011 in order to fit into my shorts for my vacation to St. Thomas. That petered out once I returned home from my trip.

And it goes a bit deeper than just eating poorly... This past spring I began seeing a counselor because my on-off issue with binge eating (since adolescence, really) had gone completely out of control. You know the saying -- once something starts affecting your ability to live your life, it's time to get help.

My counselor suggested that I read a book -- Intuitive Eating. The book outlines a step-by-step process to follow to help retrain your behavior from unhealthy restricting or bingeing, to an intuitive way of eating. One of the concepts in the book is that placing any concept of good/bad or restriction on food is detrimental to developing a healthier relationship with food.

This concept made a lot of sense to me, and it gave me a lot to think about as I tried to implement it for myself. But since I never really went on to the next steps of the program (counseling took a bit of a different angle at my request, not my counselor being lax!), I find that I'm stuck in this mindset of "eating junk is OK, if I restrict myself it will be bad".

But I'm left weighing a lot of things in my head...

I don't want to try to start some kind of strict challenge, because I KNOW that is very likely to trigger bingeing behavior, and I do not want to cause that to happen. Things are 100% better than when I started counseling, and I do not want to have a huge setback...

However, I also am not happy with the weight that I've put on while eating "freely", which makes it really hard for me to resist the temptation to start "forcing" myself to eat Paleo again. I know that it works, and that I'd definitely lose this extra bit of weight if I started eating that way again. But even if I get the 8-10 pounds off that I am carrying, will it really be worth it in the long run if things start getting out of control again? Again and again I keep telling myself "no, not worth it".

So, back to the challenge. For me this challenge is not necessarily going to be about eliminating anything from my diet, or stopping anything, or having a list of "bad" foods that I won't eat.

It's going to be about a commitment to learn more about the practicalities of eating the way that makes me feel, perform and look great.

Of course I feel overwhelmed when I start removing foods, because as an inexperienced cook I start to feel like there's nothing I can eat. And the only way to remove those feelings of "there's no food!!" panic (which lead to bingees) is to learn to procure and prepare food that I love eating and this is healthy.

I guess the good thing is that because I never learned to cook many dishes, it's not like I'm starting over. I'm just starting fresh. Except for lasagna, I make a freaking killer lasagna. :)

This week I've done a few things to support my goal of learning and practicing how to feed myself great tasting and healthy foods.
 - I stocked up on a bunch of healthy fruits and veggies that I enjoy snacking on --  strawberries, carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower.
 - I bought jicama from the grocery store; Mel always mentions these, so I felt I should try it, just for shits and giggles. I haven't attempted to do anything with it yet...
 - I made a batch of meat sauce with grass-fed beef; sauce is a staple for me, especially since I use it to cook up my famous stuffed peppers (need to make those soon). I also got a big spaghetti squash which will be good for 2 or 3 meals.
 - I took fish oil today for the first time. 2 capsules and no weird burps yet, so I think I'll up to 3 tomorrow and see what happens. :)

Still more to do, but this is a start. My next priority is to get some more MEAT into my house. Learning to cook tasty protein sources is probably the number 1 way I could help myself eat healthier.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


AMRAP in 20 minutes:
10 push press (115/85)
10 kb swings (1.5/1 pood)
10 box jumps (24''/20'')

Results: 6 rounds + 6 PP, Rx

The verdict -- SLOW.  A better total for me would have been 8 or 9 at the Rx weight. I'm wondering if I should've scaled that down, seeing how low my score is compared to others...

I got sick over the weekend - some kind of gross sinus thing - and even though this morning it was better than it had been yesterday, I could still tell I wasn't 100%. I had no "oomph" on my dip-drive on the push presses, and failed on a couple attempts. Just didn't feel "on". Plus the PP's hit me right where I'm still fatigued from the gymnastics seminar this weekend. I definitely used every muscle in my arm and shoulder this past weekend! I'll be posting a recap of that this week sometime, or maybe this weekend.

Friday, September 9, 2011


Have been wanting to do this one again (first time) for a while, I was bummed that it came up on a day where I had to play it safe and not get too sore. But I mentioned to another girl after class that we should get together and grind it out at Rx weight (115) so it may still be in my future. :)

5 rounds
12 deadlift (155/115)
9 hang power clean (155/115)
6 jerk (155/115)

Results: 8:22, 65#

I put 75# on my bar, then changed my mind and took off 5's and added 10's to go to 85. Which I tried, and realized would mess me up. At which point I was pretty much out of time for messing with my weight, so I pulled off the 10's and went. Definitely too light, but it was still a good workout -- more like a barbell complex.

Jerks were messy. I power jerked (push jerk for you CrossFitters) and was pressing out on a bunch of them. I just get wonky when I don't split jerk. But that takes too long during a CF wod.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Audie Murphy gym

They opened a new gym on base where we're at, and I wanted to share some pics with friends, and this seemed like as good a place to do that as any. :) Spare my Facebook friends more CrossFit overload. :-p

I really should've taken a picture right as I walked in the door, but I was immediately drawn to the right side of the gym to take a picture of the rowing machines. Sorinex pullup / rack rig and a couple lifting platforms in the background.

View of the same stuff from the opposite end of the room. You can see a tiny piece of a GHD on the right side. I think there are 3 or 4?

Sleds! Along the back wall. Crash mat for ropes in the background.

Badass ropes. I might actually jump from the top on purpose just to land on that awesome mat! Let's make rope climbs like deadlifts -- back to the ground under control strictly optional. :-p

Boxes along the left wall. Tons of other agility stuff too, and also a bunch of weighted vests. I need to check those out and see if you can unload them to something less than 20#.

Weightlifting area and power cages in adjacent room. Don't know if there's any free-standing squat racks, if not, I may not be able to do much front squat or overhead focus in this gym. There doesn't seem to be enough room to back out of the power cage without tripping over the platform.

However, there is something totally amazingly awesome about this weight room -- THERE ARE TONS OF 15kg BARS!!!!! I have died and gone to weightlifting heaven. Seriously, half the bar seems to be ladies bars. Hallelujah! My current CrossFit gym only has 45# and 15# bars, so I will definitely be doing some of my weightlifting practice at this gym. I can't hook on the 45's, and I can't stand NOT to hook now that I've been doing it for so long.

More rowers in another adjacent room. Holy shit! Too bad I won't be living here during the 100,000m Christmas challenge this year. (Just looked back through my archives, and I didn't post at all about doing the challenge last year. That's probably good because I wouldn't do it again with a written reminder of how much it sucked!! :-p)


Hit the noon WOD today for the first time. Nice crowd, but they headed out pretty fast after the WOD. I still like the 9:30am group the best cause they love to chat afterwards. :)

This workout was pullup and pushup heavy, but being mindful that I'm attending the gymnastics cert this weekend, I modified. No need to show up to that class with hands too tender to even hang from the bar or rings.

AMRAP in 20 min:
25 pullups ring rows
50 pushups AbMat situps
75 squats

Results: 3 rounds + 12 ring rows

Damn, ring rows are killer! I forgot how annoying and hard they are! If I could artificially attach my hands to the bar and remove the grip elements from pullups, ring rows would be WAAAY harder, since there's no way to use momentum to help yourself up.

I focused on pulling my shoulder blades back and opening my chest, but I still felt this more in my arms than my pecs. Booo. Still figuring out the best ways to try to get those muscles activating more.

Hotel gym quickie

We went house hunting for our next move in November, and flying home we were delayed overnight due to the crazy storms and tornadoes in the south. Having planned on working out at home that night, we did a quick workout in the hotel gym.

They had dumbbells, so I decided to do a modified version of Angie's birthday WOD, since I still haven't done that one. After that, I don't know if I wanna do the real one! :)

3 rounds:
16 DB hang cleans
16 DB thrusters
16 pushups

Results: 16:46 -- I used 20# DBs

Even with just the 20#s, my arms were really getting tired! It is sooooo much easier on your shoulders to rack the barbell than dumbbells.

After I finished that, husband still wasn't done so I didn't want to just sit there, but I did not want to do another rounds of thrusters. :) So I did a couple easy rounds of:

15# DB bench press
20 bicycle cruches

Since starting yoga, I've become a believer in the bicycle crunch, those things are awesome!