Who would of thunk it, a rower! Cool! It's not all that surprising though. With something like 10,000 affiliates and the popularity of CrossFit it seems that most people will have access to one. So, how should you go about this workout?
First and foremost, if you do NOT have muscle ups, sprint like a bat outta hell. The tie breaker is your only saving grace on this workout. OK, that takes care of that.
This is a straight up conditioning workout so be sure to get your heard rate up and get a sweat going. You'll want to get a lot of good mobilizing of the shoulders and arms as well. If anything is going to give way here it'll be the grip and the lats. I'm not a fan of giving very direct warm up instruction, just be surer to really warm this one up.
Pace, pace, pace. For you competitive athletes you could probably do this in 1:30 if you went all out. But I suggest you slow things down and get this done between 2-3 minutes, The fact of the matter is, losing 15-30 seconds on the rower means nothing. Save your energy to move better on muscle ups. So slow it down.
- Ease up on your grip for the entire row. Don't grip the thing tightly.
- Set the damper to a lower setting. (I am seeing many people actually UP the damper setting. I don't like that as it will force you to use more grip and more lats. Take it to a 4 setting or so, and let your legs do the work). Try to stick to the same pace the entire row so that you get off it feeling strong.
Toes To Bar:
I like Carl Paoli's tip of getting that pinkie joint up and over the bar. The goal is that if you get a solid position of holding on to the bar, you use less energy and save your grip. Besides that, pace this out. You don't want to get to singles. But if you do, I found that getting a rep-popping off the bar-turning around-getting a rep, is a really fast singles rhythm.
I suggest hitting a set of 10, then doing 5-8 until that seems challenging, then go to 3's
If you know how to use your legs on this, do that. This means that you'll practically jump every rep, but it saves SO much energy in your arms. Basically: throw with your legs. A lot of people are suggesting you to with a huge set here, try to finish this off fast. Again, the goal is the muscle ups for the competitors out there, so I would honestly suggest you break this up as 4 sets of 10. You'll be really freaking gassed at this point and hitting a set of 30+ is could take so much out of you. Do 10, rest 3-5 seconds. You'll "lose" 9-15 seconds here. And as with the rower, losing a few seconds here is worth it to have energy on the muscle ups.
Singles. Don't waist your time on the eccentric, that will crush you for the muscle ups. Catch the bar, make sure you get the rep, then dump it. Ideally you use plates that have minimal bounce. You'd want to get immediately back on the bar the second you drop it.
You are either attempting to get as many muscle up as you can, or getting back to the rower and getting as many calories as you can. If you can bang out 10+ unbroken when fresh, then hitting triples is probably our best bet. Maybe even hitting a set of 5 as an opener. If you're not a stud on the rings, go to singles quickly and minimize you're rest.
The thing to remember here is that it's either an APRAP muscle ups, or get the heck back to the rowing machine, so be smart. You want to get through the rings fast as hell, but you DO NOT want to miss reps. Know yourself enough to take the rest you need to not miss reps. Especially don;t miss on the lock out. Be deliberate there and show those elbows locking out.
If you are one of the good ones who gets back to the rower, go all out. There is no pacing on round two; just get reps!
Some More Tips:
If you have the Reebok weightlifting shoes that are a little ore mobile, wear them. Shoot, if you like the added weight on your feet for kipping exercises, go ahead and wear your Romeleos if you want. The heel will help on the row, wall balls, and cleans, and probably won't hurt you all that much on the bar and rings.
Stay relaxed! One of the worst things you can do on workouts that have fatigued muscle ups is tense up and/or get frustrated. Find a tempo, stay relaxed, stick to it. This is 14 minutes of a LOT of movement, so stay within yourself.
Most of all, have fun!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
It's been a while since I've written about my own programming and how it's going, so I thought I'd share. It's been going well. I've steered away from the classic CrossFit plan and more towards a straight up strength and weightlifting focus, it's been fun to say the least! While I do enjoy getting my butt kicked in the gym with a brutal metcon here and there, I do very much enjoy the day to day demands of a very serious strength training program. I am watching my numbers creep up slowly but surely, and when I keep my food in check, my mood, energy, and weight all keep getting better and better.
The best part about the program as of late is that i have a group of people to workout with. Team Courage has been a slowly building project at the gym and as of now we have five really serious members, and another 3 who are a tad less involved. The energy around this group looking through the programming and hitting the gym hard has been one of the best aspects of my training I've ever had. Couple that with the feeling of pride I have every day when I walk into y own gym with the big orange wall and my logo on it, I just feel good about where everything is going.
So, the program itself is using three major sources as its motivation: the strength program I wrote two years ago that saw 100% success rate in all athletes who've gone through the whole thing, a very, very base level conceptual feel for the Bulgarian Method of training, and some aspects to how a few of the Catalyst Athletics weightlifting programs have been designed. I can comfortably say that this program is about 98% mine (most/all good programs use tons of research and ideas taken from other programs already in existence) and to be honest, I have an idea of what will come out of it at the end, but I am really curious to see just how big some of our gains will be.
We are pulling heavy weights from the blocks each day (working 80% and up on all sets) and then our strength work is seeing about 8+ programed sets each day. It's pretty brutal having to work up to 100+% of your 5RM or 3RM and then head back down to 85% and work back up again. The combination of load and volume is something that has taken a little to adapt to. But, I feel like I'm adapting pretty well and I am feeling stronger each day. My drill work with the Olympic lifts is now consistently only 10-15# below my best ever lift. While this is depressing that my 1RM sucks, it's promising that I am getting more efficient and consistent at heavy loads. Here's what a typical week looks like:
Monday: snatch, squat, snatch strength accessory
Tuesday: snatch, clean and jerk (light, drill)
Wednesday: clean and jerk, bench, front squat, c+j accessory
Thursday: snatch, deadlift, strength accessory
Saturday: snatch, clean and jerk, squat
It's been intense, but real fun. I am hoping to get to my first ever Weightlifting meet this coming weekend, but it's way down in San Diego and I am not sure I can get there. We'll see. Either way, it'd be SO much fun to actually compete at this stuff. I am setting up goals slowly but surely.
My food has gotten under control and I am down to around 235# consistently. I think that I'd feel my best around 225-230 and I'll probably be there next week and will plan to stay there for the next few training cycles. I have a lot going on, and all going in the right direction, so that's cool in my head.
Have a good deal of business and personal stuff going on that could be a lot better, and I will be filling everyone in on the details about all that pretty soon. TONS of growth for the company coming up but I want to keep some of it under wraps until things are 100% confirmed. I will also fill people in with some of the crummy stuff that has led to all this good stuff as well. Should be an exciting few months for sure. I do like writing about my workouts and programs, so I'll be sure to make a point to continue doing that as the summer progresses.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Had a litte double-dip today starting with a nice, hilly 5k in the morning (rolled in at just over 23 minutes, should be better than that, but with the hills, I wasn't all that dissapointed). In the evening I had max effort strict presses with an absolutely killer metcon. When I failed at 170# on the press (I was able to get it locked out on my final set, but with a massive struggle) I realized a little something, I have been beating my head against the wall for way too long wih hopeful gains. I'll get into that in a second here.
The metcon, well, the note in my log book says it all...wow. 3 rounds of a 500 meter row, 10 squat cleans at 135# and 5 handstand push ups. Now I am sure t would have been a tad easier if I could actually rep out the HSPU's, but to be honest, I am feeling so much better with these, and felt good with my time of 11:53. I know that unbroken HSPU's would get that well under 10 minutes, but I gave the rows and cleans my all, so I'm pretty happy. Yeah, that crushed me!
So on to my shoulder crap. I hav always been a pretty big advocate for supplimental training, as in, additional exercises that assist growth in specific areas to help improve gains. But sometimes, as is the case with anyone in anything, I can get caught up in certain things and totally forget the most efficient and effectove ways to train. You see, I have been so focused on getting my strict press numbers and HSPU's up, that all I have been doing is strict press and HSPU's. And this is just NOT the way to go about getting better. I have failed to perform isometrics, eccentrics and modifications of the desired movements with DB work and unilateral work. When I came to this realization (thanks to a great conversation with 1st String strength coach Matt), I also realized that I have been neglecting these additions with all my other moves. I need to mix in box squats, bottom up squats and presses, rack pulls, single-limb movements and isometrics. Given how my progress has been, I don't want to change things up too much, but I know mixing these in during de-loading periods, and as additional supplemental exercises, I'll see some added punch to my already speedy improvements.
This is proof that even trainers need to surround themselves with fitness minds. Nobody knows it all, and even the most knowledgeable (and I am NOT one of those people) will benefit from outside advice. Here's to always learning and keeping your mind open! Oh yeah, I had steak last night for the first time in probably over a year. Not too bad at all!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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