Thursday, August 29, 2013

What Keeps Me Up at Night

Yesterday's WOD:
5 rounds for time
6 muscle ups
8 shoulder-to-overhead (Rx 105, I did 65#)

I did what I could. Obviously I had to scale because I have neither a muscle-up, nor multiple reps at 105# yet. My one-rep max is 105 for a clean and jerk, 110# for a power clean. Everything felt as heavy as the humidity was thick yesterday morning. Not my best day at CrossFit.

Taking another step back from a muscle up, let's consider the things I cannot do yet, let alone a muscle up: an unassisted pull-up from a dead hang, an unassisted kipping pull-up, unassisted ring dips, any form of chest-to-bar unless attached to a very strong band, pushups on my toes v. knees (without "snaking" up from the floor), handstands, handstand pushups, inclined pushups from a box, for that matter. Clearly that is a long list of "don't haves yet." For that matter, sometimes I still struggle with proper squat position.

I do emphasize the "yet" because I know that these things will come with time, and that it's a matter of building upper body strength. I have never been a powerful person in terms of brute strength, and yet I have been astonished at what I have been able to accomplish so far. I have gone from an original dead lift of 125# to 215# in less than one year. Something is getting stronger, of that I have no doubt! There are other momentous milestones as well, such as climbing a rope, box jumps, proper kettle bell snatches, nailing difficult PRs in all areas of weightlifting, running the track without keeling over, unassisted jumping pull-ups, learning how to use the GHD machine, getting the first double-unders, shaving three minutes off of my original benchmark WOD. There is so much.

What keeps me up at night are WODs like the one I encountered yesterday. I was instructed to use a band strapped to the two rings and form a sling, lie back on it, and do a "transition" to a muscle up--12 reps in lieu of the six prescribed actual muscle ups. I understand the coaches want to push us out of our comfort zones sometimes, but I am beyond a beginner in this area. I cannot do a ring dip comfortably yet, and so to ask me to do a complicated set of movements into a locked-out ring position is fairly ridiculous. I believe it is difficult for some of the coaches to fathom that someone could actually be as weak and inept as some of us are when we begin CrossFit. I'm not exactly a beginner anymore, but I'm not what I would consider even "intermediate." I was not offered a viable scaling option, so I had to make my own, which I'm not sure was very useful. I did as many transitions as I could, but felt I was struggling so much with the band that I was losing intensity in my WOD, so I did as many assisted ring dips as possible until I could no longer lock out my arms. I came home from my WOD thinking "help? a little help here...?"

That said, I would love to know some real progression exercises that would take me from feeble weakling on the rings to maybe, possibly, someday accomplishing a muscle up, or at least a bar M.U. Then again, what does a 40-something mom of two kids need to do a muscle up for? I'm not actually sure that a muscle-up is something I'm putting on my bucket list. I'm open to someone convincing me that it should be there. There is a comment section for stuff like that.

Which, by the way, I know y'all read my blog. How about dropping a comment now and then? (I can see the page hit count going up, up, up, so you're not invisible! Just admit that you read this crummy blog and leave a comment.)


  1. I've been vacillating between "Yes, I admit it. I read your crummy blog. ;)" and "I don't always read your blog but when I do, I never comment." (in my most interesting man in the world accent). I wish I could give you some insight and tips on muscle-ups but, sadly, my upper body strength is lacking as well. Just keep on, keepin' on and you'll get there!

    1. Hey Jill! I'm glad you read my crummy blog! :) Thanks for the comment, even if it wasn't very helpful on Muscle ups.