Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Off Your Knees or CrossFit Basic Training, Round 2

Five of us gathered in the lobby before class and we all had the same question: Are you sore?

Two of us were still sore post-yoga and Epsom Salt. Seeing that I was still walking down the stairs sideways, I had no idea how I was going to negotiate round two.

Instead of Leeny and Libbie, it's Leeny and Laurie running things for round two...


  • 30 seconds of stepping up on a rather industrial-size box

  • 30 seconds of the Russian Step Up (one leg remaining on box while the other touches the ground then knee up)

  • 30 seconds of jumping jacks

  • 30 seconds of Russian Step Up with other leg

  • 30 seconds of criss cross jumping jacks

  • 30 seconds of mountain climbers

  • shoulder rotations...then super planks

  • plank jacks

  • We do pull-ups with human-size rubber bands and we practice on the rings which are not so friendly the second time around; rings dips are crazy.

    How do you do a deadlift? Glad you asked. Make sure your shoestrings are under the bar, get the bar next to your shins, butt out, chest out, stare at the logo on the wall and, if you're me, Laurie's gonna correct your sorry form. My problem might have started with the lack of shoestrings.

    During swings, I get more of Laurie's attention. I'm gonna get you a towel. She also gets me a 25 pound kettlebell because, apparently, I wildly swung the 20 pound one. She loops the towel through the kettlebell (a technique she uses with men) and I try to practice better form. I swing the 25 pounder and the momentum almost carries me back which prompts one of my classmates to mock cough and say Epsom Salt...

    18...15...12...Time Priority

  • 18 Swings

  • 18 Push-Ups

  • 18 Slams

  • 15 Swings

  • 15 Push-Ups

  • 15 Slams

  • 12 Swings

  • 12 Push-Ups

  • 12 Slams

  • Before we start on 18...15...12, we discuss logistics. A classmate wants to know if we get tired, can we switch to doing knee-style push-ups and Laurie quickly said:

    I don't let people do them on their knees. If someone does push-ups on their knees, that means they've been doing it that way their whole life.
    Apparently, Laurie wants to free your mind...

    I decide to do push-ups on the bar that goes across the weight bench. Laurie corrects me on that one too. Later, she wants me to try doing a push-up with one of those human-size rubber bands attached to the pull-up bar and I actually like this method better.

    I feel punch-drunk and I'm the last one to finish 18...15...12. I stagger but I manage not to do a push-up on my knees. Now, if I can just remember all that stuff about proper form...


    1. I'm not a CF person, but find some of their vids quite inspirational. I am enjoying your reports very much and I look forward to reading more.

      I wonder why she'd only use the towel through the kettlebell technique with men. It's hardly a men's only thing: it's on p. 51 of Pavel Tsatsouline's Enter the Kettlebell. It helps focus on the hip drive rather than swinging with the hands.

    2. I am with Laurie on banning the knee pushups. In my experience, it's better to do the regular kind, even if you can only do one or two, or do them on an incline (like the steps) until you can progress. All the years of doing knee pushups, I never improved AT ALL; it's not a good exercise.

      I love that you were walking down the stairs sideways - I guess crab walk is pretty much the same thing as toilet sore :)

    3. Mich,

      Thanks and, yeah, I’m not sure if I’m a CF person; we’ll see. I’m impressed with your page reference and I just put the book on request at the library.

      Maybe men have more of a hip drive challenge than women? Of course, I would be the exception to that rule. I think I was using my arms too much and that’s when she intervened with the towel. At one point, it didn’t matter because I was so fatigued and nothing looked right about my form – not even to me.


      Thanks for the push-up feedback. I kind of left push-ups by the wayside and feel like I'm starting all over again. It's so easy to resort to knee action but not anymore... ;)

      It’s cool to see Leeny and Laurie doing push and pull-ups without assistance and with so much control.