Morning Chalk Up Community

CrossFit – Two years in…

January 9, 2024 by

Seems an age since I wrote my first post, but it's only been a year! It was a lessons learned piece on my first year of CrossFit, which included some goals (long and short term) which I thought would be good to check in on...

  • Double bodyweight deadlift (~160kg) - I've managed a 3RM at 152kg, so I think this is definitely possible... although not actually achieved yet.
  • Back squat 120kg - Done! Managed to get this during the holiday break in an open session. Failed 122kg, but probably rushed it a bit.
  • Bench 120kg - We did a sneaky 1RM dealer's choice at the end of an olympic lifting session and of course I chose bench. I managed 112kg, so not quite there yet.
  • Clean 100kg (with good form!) - Done! The first time I cleaned 100kg it wasn't great form, but since then have managed a clean and jerk at 100kg which felt much better.
  • String together kipping bar muscle ups - Done! It was a journey.
  • Land a kipping ring muscle up (and perhaps string a few together) - Done! Strict have been good for a while but kipping was another story. Only recently I managed to get these and put a few together. Not the best form, so still plenty to improve on.
  • Hold a handstand for 30+ seconds - Very close. I've managed ~20 seconds a few times. This is something I definitely need to work on.

Considering all of the above I'm pretty happy with my progress, at the ripe 'young' age of 42!

CrossFit Adelaide recently celebrated 15 years, and as a gift to our Coach quite a few of us wrote thank you notes. This was a great time to reflect on personal achievements and the one that stood out for me (even though it wasn't a specific goal) was handstand walking...

That's me... upside down!

While my legs aren't straight and I'm certainly no gymnast, I can maintain a decent length walk. It was one of those "I wish I could do that" movements when I first started, so pretty stoked about it.

Stats

While I didn't track my second year as closely as my first, I can still call on some stats from the app we use to record results (current at the time of writing)...

  • Total of 495 workouts (1034 since joining two years ago - there can be more than 1 in a single WOD session)
  • Programming breakdown - 31% Gymnastics (love), 26% Monostructural/Metcon (hate), 43% Weightlifting (love/hate)

Imbalances

One thing I didn't pay too much attention to in the beginning were imbalances. According to my stats I have quite a few 'major' imbalances. I would definitely agree that my upper body strength greater than lower, but seeing the numbers certainly puts it in perspective. All of my upper body lifting is leaps and bounds ahead of anything remotely leg related (yes, I used to skip leg day!).

It would also appear that my speed is much better than my endurance! The shorter punchier workouts are definitely better for me than the longer ones, but I think the longer ones get in my head a bit. Going into them I generally tell myself to start slower, then I end up staying slow the whole time! This is definitely something I can work on, and be much better at. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is a big part of CrossFit, and it's something I need to improve on.

Injuries

None. Well, unless you consider general soreness an injury!

I have tweaked by lower back a couple of times, but I'm comfortable in knowing why and how to avoid it in the future.

A big part of staying healthy was swallowing my ego and getting to know my limits. I can still Rx the majority of the workouts we do, but have no issue scaling when required. I'd rather have longevity in training than the alternative.

Still Progressing?

Happy to report... yes. The 'PB honeymoon' is definitively over, but my gains are still there. When you first start you can get tricked into thinking that your initial progress will be with you forever, and it can be very humbling when you realise it won't be, but I'm over that hump. For me now it's small gains on most things, unless it's a new movement that I'm achieving for the first time (and there are still plenty of those left!).

Not too long ago I still struggled to string a good number of drag rope double-unders together, but now I'm far more comfortable and relaxed while doing them. Small technique tweaks can make a huge difference.

New Goals?

Apart from the ones above that I haven't quite achieved yet, I don't have anything specific other than 'show up'! It would be nice to reduce some of my imbalances, but with our Coach's programming the way it is, this will happen by default. My leg strength has improved so much over the past two years, and I'm positive it's only going to continue that way.

I'm considering the CrossFit Open for my age group this year. I wouldn't go into it expecting amazing results, but would certainly be fun as a personal challenge.

It would also be amazing to eventually get a 200kg deadlift, but with my back the way it is I'm not sure I'll ever risk it. We'll see how this year goes!

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