Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

Breathing Ladders

Something I’ve been meaning to play with for a while. Just because they sound messed up. Or more to the point seem to offer be mess me up potential.

Breathing Ladders…

Two things really interest me about this for climbing. Firstly breathing control is a big part of climbing, remaining calm and in control is the best way not to shake yourself off a route or pump out faster than you should. Secondly for climbing at altitude breathing is also key as it using what air there is efficiently, its way to easy to end up as a panting mess.

I was trying a breathing ladder with thrusters at CrossFit the other night there’s a real trick to it. I’m actually going to have to have a couple of goes just to get things going and play with it a bit. More later…

A Year of CrossFit

So I started CrossFit about a year ago and I thought it might be interesting to review progress after a year. Essentially I go 2-3 times each week except for breaks for climbing, travel, injury and illness.

CrossFit is hard. Doing it on your own is harder. I’ve got to meet and train with a really exceptional group of people and spent some truely great moments with them. Scott and Heather for getting me through “Murph” and William for pushing me the last 30 seconds of “Fight Gone Bad”, the Turkey Day workout to name just a few.

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The Kipping Pullup isn’t Cheating

Click on the image to see an animated pullup “Isn’t a kipping pullup a ‘cheating’ pullup?” I get asked this a lot. If you ask me the short answer is, no. It’s a different type of pullup. Just like a push press isn’t a ‘cheating’ military press – it’s just different approach. You use more of your body to achieve the same result so you can and should expect to be capable of more kipping pullups than regular ones. If you can do fifteen regular pullups you might manage thirty with kipping.

CrossFit is all about functional exercise, aerobic effort and max power output in which case using more of your body to achieve the same goal makes sense.

Useful links:

Eva T teaches kipping
CrossFit London’s A-Z of pullups
Discussion of the CrossFit forum

Picture of George working on his kip courtesy of CrossFit Eastside.

A Bit Broken Again…

I managed to break myself a bit deadlifting last week at Crossfit. I can’t help but look on the positive side… I managed 120kg (1.3 x body weight) a year ago I couldn’t have even got close.

Thankfully Ben at Redmond Physical Therapy was able to get me into his busy schedule – as an “alumni” and all. After an hour of examination, some massage and icing I can stand up straight again. Progress! Hopefully there’s time to get fixed up before the end of the winter alpine season – not that there’s been much of that this year.

Normal service is now resumed

A trip to Florida, a very sketchy landing at Seattle airport, a five day power outage, and illness all caused me to be much more grateful for Christmas when it really did arrive and to not quite get around to blogging about anything.

All that is now behind us and the official winter climbing season in the Pacific Northwest is but a few days old. Let the games commence.

Thanks to CrossFit Eastside for getting the year off to a flying start with a workout that could only be described as “ugly”:

  • 100 sit-ups
  • 500m row
  • 35 jump squats
  • 25 hip extensions
  • 25 push presses
  • 20 T ball slams
  • 20 box jumps
  • 10 knees to elbows and pullups (alternating)
  • 400m run

Sixteen minutes and change of “ugly” in fact. This year’s motto:

Pain now or pain later. You choose.

CrossFit Solo

So after a Turkey day workout extravaganza yesterday and what with the gym being closed today and the weather in the mountains sucking there was no alternative but to go workout on my own. So off to the garage for a somewhat cold and solitary ten minutes of pain.

Michael at CrossFit suggested pullups combined with overhead lifting/pushing makes a powerful combo and he’s not wrong. I devised the following; pullups for climbing and thrusters because I’m so very bad at them – “there isn’t a lot of pushing in your world”.


Set of 21, 15, 9 pullups (no kip) and dumbell push-presses with 50 squats after each set, total 150 squats.

The nice thing about this is you just camp out next to the bar and get with it. You could change it up with 400m run instead of squats. I’m tempted to add pushups too, just because.

A Destructive Relationship

The slow kipDestructive relationships, we’ve all had them. You know, the attraction outways all of the downsides. The object of your desires is; married, not interested in men/women or otherwise unattainable. Or, most likely, all of the above and crazy like a rabid wounded dog. Any sane person would walk away rather than entering into a train wreck of a relationship that can only end badly. Remember, “It’s all fun and games until someone looses an eye”. But no, it’ll seem like a really, really good idea.

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CrossFit – A Pullup Bestiary

A bestiary of pullups…

Slow kip Fast kip
Slow kip Fast kip
Assisted pullup Reverse handed kip
Assisted pullup Reverse handed kip
Bar muscle up Pullup with medicine ball
Bar muscle up Pullup with medicine ball
L pullup Behind the head pullup
L pullup Behind the head pullup

Special thanks to all those at CrossFit who took a few minutes to “get some more” after their workout the other night and help me with photos for this post.

How to suck at CrossFit

Or… How a load of M&Ms can cost you over a minute of your life.

  1. Work late.
  2. Get up early.
  3. Spend the entire day from nine until six in meetings with no chance to eat right.
  4. Live off coffee and M&Ms for most of the day.
  5. Make sure a few of the meetings are “awkward” just to get you nice and stressed.
  6. Show up late and miss the warm up.

I can pretty much guarantee that half way through the second run on Helen* you’ll feel like I did. Shite. I thought I was going to have to sit down and quit – luckily I’m way pig headed so I finished just about. 10 minutes and change – slightly over a minute worse than my best time. Lost forever.

Pity because I’ve actually been making pretty good progress on the whole Paleo Diet thing over the last week or two – more on that later.

“You are what you eat”

* Helen: 3 x (400m run, 21 x 56lb kettle ball swings, 12 x pullup)

A month of CrossFit

So I started doing CrossFit a in mid January but injury and illness have meant that it wasn’t until late March that I actually managed to commit to it regularly. For the last six weeks I’ve been doing it three mornings a week and sometimes squeezing in another session in the evening.

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