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.
For the life of me I can't figure out why I am having such a hard time with keeping this blog up to date. For some reason I just can't bring myself to write like I used to and I know you guys are helplessly sitting by your phones/computers waiting longingly until I finally post again. While I make no guarantee to post every day, I can promise that I will try to get back into the rhythm of doing so. That all being said, I have two posts: a positive one, then a negative one. I'll start with the positive.
This past weekend, the last weekend of the CrossFit Games Open, I was up in Massachusetts for my cousins Bar Mitsfah. I was a little worried for a couple reasons: one, where and when would I get the Open workout? And two, how was I going to stay healthy?! Well, everything turned out to be pretty damn good and I am happy to say, I had one of the better workout experiences in a while. Flew up to Providence, hung at the relatives house for a little bit in Mansfield, MA, then headed over to CrossFit Torque, a small, family-run spot about a mile and half from the Patriots Gillette Stadium! The workout space was maybe around 800 square feet, but was very well organized. But what set these guys apart right from the get-go was how freaking welcoming they all were! Not just the owners and coaches, but all the athletes I met in my two visits, so nice, so friendly and it was impossible NOT to feel at home there. So, I hot the workout with the goal of beating my last years score of 111 total reps (for those of you who don;t know what the workout was, it was 3 reps of each of thrusters at 100# and chest to bar pull ups, then 6 each,then 9 each, the 12, then 15 and so on for 7 minutes.
My goal was to break up the pull ups early so that I wouldn't burn out, and start breaking up the thrusters around the round of 12. I would move comfortably through everything so that I didn't smoke myself and run out of gas. Well, I didn't give myself enough credit on this and when I dumped the bar 3 times on the round of 18 thrusters, I got so annoyed at myself for throwing such a light bar down that I kind of psyched myself out for the pull ups. I finished 1 rep shy of finishing my 18 pull ups, and a score of 125. About 10 seconds later I came to conclusion that I would do this one again! The bar was SO light! I had so much more in me, and I wanted to get everything out of this last workout that I could. And, if I wanted to give myself the best opportunity to qualify for Regionals, I needed every rep I could possibly get!
So, after a wonderful, celebratory Saturday (and eating about 8k calories in not-so-great food, including and not limited to about 4 pieces of wonderful cake!) I woke up sickly on Sunday and ready to get after it! This time around I planned on not putting the bar down at any point (this approach would force me to hold on to it until I just couldn't anymore), and break up the pull ups in the same way as last time which worked really well for me. I also committed to moving faster between exercises. And, to add to it all, I stupidly forgot my Oly shoes, and waiting for them to arrive I had the unexpected surprise of having 6 family members show up to cheer me on. Add the 6 or so people from CrossFit Torque who were waiting on me to finish and I had a whole slew of people ready to pump me up! Now, before a workout starts, having that many people watching you is a little nerve wracking. But, once the fun begins, and all your energy is focused into just getting through the thing; having that many people there supporting your every move does nothing but help like crazy! Needless to say, I was able to bang out 9 more reps, finishing 8 thrusters into the 21's and finishing with 134 reps! This helped a TON in moving me up in the standings. Unfortunately, when all was said and done, I finished in 61st place by only a few points (the top 60 make it to Regionals by the way). Such a bummer (and the inspiration for my negative post coming tomorrow).
Anyway, if you're in the South-Of-Boston area, check out CrossFit Torque, really cool people there. Now, I want to talk about our Saturday mid-day fun and how my family did some stuff I just don;t think people do anymore. We spent a good 4 hours outside, playing. We played bocce ball, basketball, football, some strange baseball game, rolled around the grass, played with matchbox cars and shot little Styrofoam rockets 50+ feet in the air and tried to catch them. When was the last time you went outside and just played? And I'm not asking this of the 6 year-olds that read my blog, I'm asking it of the teens, and adults, young and old. And if you haven't done it, is it becuase you think playing around is too childish? Is it because you don't have the time, or energy? Those don;t count as excuses in my mind. Because I was so hyper aware of how much time could have easily be spent sitting in front of the TV as a group, or sitting around eating chips and chatting. But instead, we were laughing, talking, playing, moving, running, inventing, imagining, being human and having fun. I think if the whole weekend went horribly wrong, I would have looked back at it in a positive light because of those 4 hours running around with everyone outside.
Next time you're with a group of people, especially if there are kids with you all, swallow your pride, take the stick out of your ass, and get out and play. It's more fun than sitting on your ass, eating bad food and melting your brains cells in front of the TV!
Mever Stop, GET FIT.
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