Missed workout = Whiny Cindy

I’m kind of a whiny bitch when I miss a workout.

It’s true.  I missed my workout window on Saturday morning. I tried to shrug it off, but I was whiny and bitchy for most of the day. Plus we had all of these other activities to go to and I didn’t feel motivated to do any of them.

I feel sorry for my family for having to endure me.

Sunday morning I was able to work out. It was awesome. The rest of the day was pleasant.

The moral of my story: Morning + Workout = Happy Cindy

Sunday was a Ross workout day! Yay! The dumbbell exercises are a nice change from the barbell. They take time, so I made sure to be up super early so I would be done before the kids woke up. I almost made it. Mads woke up just before I started the core training, but Andy was able to distract her until I was done.

1-DB Split Snatch 3×5 @ 25# (each arm – 60 sec rest between sets)
2-DB Push Jerk 3×5 @ 25# (60 sec rest between sets)
4 sets: 5 1-arm DB Bench Press (20#) / 8 Pushups (60 sec rest)
4 sets: 60 sec wall squat / 10 jumping squats (60 sec rest)
Finisher: 3 sets 15 1-arm DB swings (each arm @ 25#) / 6 ring pullup holds to negatives
Core training: 4 sets: 5 wheel rollouts or 5 Flag / 10 Russian Twists / 15 V-ups / 12 supermans / 80 chinnies

I used the 25# dumbbells because the workout called for using 65%-70% of your max. The bench press called for using your 8-rep max, and I did regular pushups because I’m not able to do full-depth plyo pushups yet.

I threw in the pullup holds while I rested between rounds of the DB swings during the finisher.

All in all, good workout. I was hungry the rest of the day.

A WOD with JUST what I’ve been working on!

I saw this on Twitter last night, and I about fell out of my chair.


@CrossFitCentral CrossFitCentral
9/15 WOD: Strength: 5 x 5 Front Squat3 Rounds for time:50 Double Unders10 R-Arm DB Muscle Snatch10 L-Arm DB Muscle Snatch

OMG! A workout with exercises I’ve actually been PRACTICING! It’s like it was made for ME!

That does not happen very often. I love it when the stars align.

Zach changed up the strength part just a little in order to make sure we would have enough time for everything. So we ended up doing 3 sets of 5 reps for the front squats.

Cindylifts the barbell up on her last rep front squat at 105#

Results: 85-95-105

My shoulders are so boney, the bar is painful on my right shoulder and left a nice little bruise. On the 3rd set, I finally got smart and moved my bra strap to give me a little extra padding there.

Guess I need to grow some muscles there.

For the met-con, I knew that I had a choice — do double the amount of single jump rope swings and likely finish the WOD within the 10 minutes allotted OR attempt the double unders and likely not finish.

I chose the second option.  I mean — why do singles just to finish the WOD when I NEED to keep practicing those doubles?

I did better than I expected.

Finished: 1 round + 50 double unders + 10 snatches-R + 4 snatches-L @ 30#

Full disclosure: I did technically “cheat” at the double unders. I counted failures as well as successes, although I had way more of the latter. I figured, because I was doing two or three singles to get started on the doubles, they would make up for the failure. In all, I probably did more like 75 true double unders instead of 100. I wanted to make sure I got into the workout far enough to practice those snatches too!

Fight Gone Bad 6 happens in two days, and I’m so excited! I’m super thrilled and proud that Luke will be joining me. And I’ll be surrounded by tons of friends who will also be participating. Please consider donating to me before it’s too late!

Roast and ratatouille

You should have seen the meal I put together for my family Sunday night.  I WISH I had taken a picture, because I was so proud.

I made an arm roast in the pressure cooker (with one of the grassfed calf cuts in our freezer), ratatouille with eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes from our CSA from a Cooks Illustrated recipe, and braised cabbage from Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint cookbook.

Even baby girl got in on the beef.  But instead of the eggplant and cabbage, we steamed an acorn squash for her. She loves beef.  Both of my kids do!

The boys and I also enjoyed an ice cold Topo Chico and conversation with our meal.

Ahhhh… it was worth working in the kitchen half of the day. You know, I think I actually LIKE cooking.

Shocking, I know.

Despite the cooking and all of the other work I did Sunday, I was feeling really good after the kids went to bed.  I decided to throw in a quick workout, since Monday I’ll be resting ahead of Crossfit Total.

10 deadhang negative pullups
400 single jump rope swings / 35 double unders

5 rounds (1 min rest in between)
5 DB deadlifts
5 DB hang cleans
5 DB push press
5 DB squats

Time: 7:56 @ 25#

Those negatives are getting easier.  I’m even able to hold at the top a lot better than I could before.  And I’m determine on those double unders.  One day I will be able to knock them out as easily as I do single swings.

No workout tonight.  However, I will be rolling out some tight muscles and doing some mobility work.  I’ve been attempting the couch stretch lately… finding the “suckage.”  And I have FOUND it.  Ouch.

The importance of having a coach

Everyone needs a coach.  No matter what you do.

I didn’t always know this — at least not in these words. I left school thinking I was on my own, but in reality, you have to keep working on yourself, whether it’s your writing, career, personality, sport… you name it.

At work, it’s my peers, the blogs I follow, books, my husband.  When I did Kung Fu, it was my sifus (teachers).  They challenged me to reach beyond what I thought my potential was so that I would improve and exceed my own expectations.

It’s no different in the gym.  I can work out in my backyard all day long, but my coach is the person I turn to to help me get better.  Andy’s been a casual coach for me.  He constantly challenges me and helps me rethink my routines (even though sometimes I resist.  Hard.)  But spouses aren’t ideal coaches because they are your best friends first and your coach second.

I’ve found that the most effective coaches are your coach first and your friend second.

RedBlack Gym
RedBlackGymRedBlack Gym

 In this Gym we are your coach FIRST friend Second. Family always. Which gives us a license to break yo’ ass down. Only to build you stronger

15 Aug

I’ve had my coach for 2 1/2 years.  I am fiercely loyal to him.  He is the guy who demands that I give my all.  There are no excuses.  You either do the work or you go home.

I turn to him for guidance.  And what he asks isn’t easy.  But it works.

This morning I was practicing kipping pullups before class like one of the other coaches suggested when he walked up.

“You really want to get better at pullups?  Do negatives.  You’re about ‘this’ far from the bar.  It’s just a matter of strength.”

So that’s what I’m going to do. Because I trust him.  He knows.

Then during the workout, despite my best efforts to keep my core tight, I just couldn’t lift my hips at the same as my chest during pushups.  So he told me to do them on my knees.  Better to have good form from the knees than sloppy form from the toes.  It feels like a demotion, but he’s right.  So I did. Speaking of this morning’s WOD:

5 rounds
3 min AMRAP / 1 min rest
9 box jumps
6 DB goblet squats (M 55# / W 35#)
9 pushups

Results: 10 rounds (+ jumps each round, squats on first round) @ 35# KB

I know it’s not always easy to find that person who can be an effective guide, coach, teacher — whatever.  If you’re looking for a Crossfit coach, I found an interesting post about how to choose a coach, because there’s a ton out there now and not all of them are going to be right for you.

Who is your coach?  What do you like about him/her?  How have they helped you?

WOD at sunset

The setting sun as seen from the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge.This view stopped me in my tracks Friday evening.  The setting sun over Lady Bird Lake.  I was in the middle of my run with Steph, and I just had to stop and take a picture.

I don’t often run in the evening, and it was absolutely beautiful Friday night.  There was a cool breeze and the heat of the day was fading.

I had planned to work out Friday morning.  Early.  But SOMEONE had turned the volume on my radio alarm all the way down and I didn’t hear it, so I woke up late.

At 6:30.

Yeah, I know.  Some people consider that early.

I was grateful it wasn’t a Crossfit morning.

But the sunset and weather on  Friday evening more than made up for the wrinkle in my plans.  Steph and I were running the 3 mile loop as a warmup to a WOD I had dreamed up earlier in the day.  The run was fairly fast, considering our stop in the middle for a photo, so we could get to the WOD before it got too dark.

3 rounds
20 Situps
10 DB push press
20 Tuck jumps
10 DB snatch (5 each side)

My plan was to use 2 dumbbells on the push press, but to simplify things (and to make the walk with the dumbbells to the park near Deep Eddy a little faster) we did 5 on each arm.

It was quick and fast, and my abs were screaming during those situps after yesterday’s WOD with 120.  Those tuck jumps were also no joke.

Time: 6:29 @ 20#

If you get a chance to run at sunset — do it.

My new favorite dumbbells

It’s amazing how much of a difference just 10 pounds can make.

This evening, Andy and I decided to do the workout we planned for Sunday but didn’t get to because we were so busy and tired.  It was a dumbbell WOD.

5 rounds (1 min rest in between rounds)
5 DB deadlift
5 DB hang power clean
5 DB push press
5 DB squat

I’ve been in this terrible habit lately of flaking out — so I very nearly talked us out of it again (I had already seen what Tuesday’s WOD would be — ooohhhh.  Rough.).

But Andy talked me back into it.  Then I had a decision to make — weight.  Would I use my trusty 20# dumbbells?  Or my 25# dumbbells?  The 25s are intimidating.  They feel SOOOOOOO heavy compared to the 20s.  I worried I wouldn’t be able to do the push presses.  But I imagined Zach and my friends taunting me over wimping out on the weight, so I pulled out the 25s.

I was pleasantly surprised. Once I got through round 1, I realized I could lift the weight, so then I wasn’t timid anymore.

This was an awesome WOD.  I managed to average about 40 seconds per round.  Total time: 7:33

It was an awesome feeling to jump the weight up.  I think 25# DBs are my new default.



What changed? The weather for sure….

Stephanie, beth, Madeline and Cindy sitting on the couchEven when the temperature drops like a rock to about 30 degrees — windchill closer to 20 — My “I AM” buddies suck it up and show up.  This is us after our WOD on Wednesday.  The wind had chilled us to the bone, and we were trying to warm up inside with some hot peppermint tea.

Fortunately, this workout was pretty darn fast — even with the strength component.  And we’re all fairly evenly matched, so we didn’t need to spend a lot of time taking off or putting weight on the bar.

Back Squat

What’s awesome is that — even though I don’t have a rack — with 3 of us, we were able to be a “human rack” for each other.  That meant we could squat more.

Results: 75-95-105-115-125

I could really feel the squat cleans from Thursday when I balanced the bar on my back.  Yowza!  What I need is one of those chair massages to focus just on my shoulders and neck.

We followed up our strength workout with a met-con:

AMRAP 12min
10 DB deadlift
10 DB shoulder press
10 DB hang clean

Results: 5 rounds + 10 deadlifts @ 20#

20# is still a huge struggle when I’m doing shoulder press.  I knew this WOD would be tough at that weight — and that my number of rounds would be low as a result — but something in my head has clicked on that pushes me to do the max amount of weight possible on every workout.

I’m not sure what changed.  I used to worry about not being able to keep up.  Now I relish trying the “elite” or “RX” weight.  And I beat myself up if I do a workout and know I could have gone heavier or it wasn’t as challenging as it could have been.

Competition?  Perhaps.  Or it could be that I’m 4 1/2 months post-baby, and no longer can I say, “Oh, I’m pregnant” or “Oh, I just had a baby” as excuses for not pushing myself.

It’s official.  I’m recovered.

Or maybe it’s just time to up the ante, and this challenge has lit a fire in me.  Whatever it is… I’m dialing it up.

Attack of the double workout

It’s happened.

My weekend workouts have brought me to my knees.

It’s Sunday afternoon.  I’m wiped.  I’m already in my pajamas. It’s agony to stand up and walk, and sitting on the couch is about the only thing I can do.

I’m dreading the next time the baby needs me to get up and tend to her.

So what brought me to this sorry state?  Definitely Saturday’s team workout, with a run and a double WOD on top.

Jenny and I ran a couple of miles Sunday morning, since the Paramount 5K is closing in fast.

Then, Beth and Stephanie and I met at Zilker around midday to do Week 5’s endurance WOD.

16 rounds tabata running
20 sec sprints / 10 sec rest

We started on the trail across Barton Creek from Lou Neff Point and headed east to Auditorium Shores.  In the 8 minutes, we made it there and then some, covering 1 mile — which is pretty fast for me.  I actually thought this one was going to be fun, but with the rests so short, it was hard to regroup.  I found myself gasping the time to the others, only to hear the bell a second later.

We walked back to the playscape, which was a nice recovery.  Then Stephanie and I decided to knock out one more WOD for the week.  It was a calculated decision to pile up 2 workouts in one day.  I already knew I was going to be tired on Monday.  I chose to rest instead of pushing through until Friday without one.

At the top of a dumbbell sumo deadlift high pullHalfway through a dumbbell swing

We chose a spot in the field near the playscape at Zilker.  We got quite a few looks as we swung around those dumbbells, which was awesome.  I love attracting attention sometimes.

I had Beth take some pictures of us while she timed the workout.  Here’s what we did:

Sumo Deadlift High Pull

Time: 8:03

I used a 30# dumbbell (the weight for the elite level).

I think I’m going to go to sleep early tonight.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzz…

Women and weights

My friends Beth and Stephanie came over Wednesday to do a strength WOD and one of our weekly EPOC workouts.

Beth said she left her house telling her kids that she had to go lift weights, and her son said exasperatedly, “Why are moms always doing that?”

“Most moms aren’t always doing that!” she told him.

It’s true.  Most moms don’t.  In fact, there are so many myths about women weight-training that persist even today!  (Here’s one of my favorite posts that debunks those myths.) But maybe my kids will grow up with the impression that moms — all women, really — should lift weights heavier than 5 pounds.

Anyway, our strength WOD was a long one this week.  We followed it up with a fast met-con.  (Damn!  I wish I had pulled out my camera!)

Shoulder Press 1-1-1-1-1
Push Press 3-3-3-3-3
Push Jerk 5-5-5-5-5


No such luck on meeting that I AM goal of an 80# shoulder press — not yet!

100 dumbbell snatches for time

Time: 8:00 @ 20#

Whew!  I followed that up with some major eating at dinner.  Pressure-cooker chuck roast.  Delish!

Yeah, we’re nuts

At 5:15am, I was sitting on my couch, in my workout clothes, waiting for a knock on the door.

Two of my teammates agreed to come over this morning to do our strength component for the week and knock out one of the WODs.  We had gone back and forth over what time to do it.  After 5?  Later?

Finally we decided on 5:30am — the same time as the class we go to twice a week.  Instead of sleeping in on a day off from Crossfit, we chose to get up and workout.

Yeah, we’re nuts.

It was a lot colder this morning, but we were laughing (as quietly as we could) as we warmed up.  It was dark, and there isn’t much light on my back porch where the bars are.

We were OK.


Results: 95-115-135-145-150

I’m getting stronger.  This was a hard set, and I’m proud I was able to get closer to my max for 5 sets.

We did the met-con out front.  I wonder what the neighbors thought as they heard us curse the WOD and sprint our way up and down the sidewalk.  Probably — “That Cindy again — doing her Crossfit.”

5 rounds
10 DB Clean
5 20 yd sprints

My friends thought it was an AMRAP and were looking at me weird when I stopped and checked the stopwatch.  Then I was like — “No, you’re done!  It was only 5 rounds!” — and they laughed.  Everyone was relieved that it was over.

Results: 9:45 with 20# dumbbells (in between elite and intermediate level)

I hope we do this for the rest of the challenge.  It’s so much easier doing these extra WODs and pushing myself when I know I have someone there with me.  Especially the endurance stuff.

This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.