Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Modifying workouts

Yesterday was a great one.  I had one of my clients/friends back in town from college and we got together in the morning to get a workout in.  Sunday I had gone out on the bike for a little over an hour and half performing 4 minute intervals of high intensity sprints.  I was able to burn just under 1200 calories in that time.  Man, was that fun!

So, I had a gymnastics, or body weight exercise, and a weightlifting exercise to do.  I picked pull ups and dips and thrusters.  We worked a little bit on power cleans and did some 1-leg RDL's and GHD sit ups, so I wanted to get some good intensity out of the workout.  I loaded the bar with 135lbs, his with 115, and we went 10 reps of each exercise, then 9, then 8, etc. down to 1 each.  All in all it took me 16:44, and him 17:54 and left us both very tired both cardiovascularly and muscularly.  Today, I confirmed with him: sore as hell.  A quick side note on this workout:  I initially loaded 185 on the bar, performed 1 rep, slid off weight to 165, another rep... still brutal, so went down to 155... nope.  Finally finished the set on 135 and completed the workout there.  I was a little overzealous with the weight, I realize that now.  BUT, I guess it's safe to say that I could probably get a much better time next time without all that weight changing...!

Today, I went with the same friend and another one to the ball field (upper 60's in November!) and threw and hit for a while  All I can say about that is I really, really love baseball a lot.  If I say anything more I'll get distracted and ramble, so, I'll leave it at that.  What I really want to talk about today is the fact that I have to put a lot of thought into the workout because my foot is bothering me. After the Marine Corps Marathon, the top of my left foot started hurting like crazy.  I decided to take it easy to see if it would pass seeing how I have had some really strange things happen to my body after long runs.  So, a week later I was feeling pretty good and figured the potential stress fracture was nothing more than a deep bruise.  As of yesterday, it was almost completely healed, until a few hours after that workout.  It's still pretty fine, but seeing how I have another marathon in less than two weeks, I figured I should take it easy with running and jumping.  So, I have to modify my workout.

Today I have a metcon, a gymnastic exercise and a weightlifting exercise.  I wanted to do some form of sprint with box jumps and wall ball (a workout I did with a big group a long while ago and had a blast with), but with the foot feeling a little tender, I need to avoid that.  The great thing about CrossFit I find is that everything seems to have something else that is pretty similar.  I can replace running with rowing, or the versaclimber, or even swimming or biking if I want.  Knees to elbows instead of box jumps.  They are very similar movements of the body, focusing on the hip flexion and extension, but one has zero impact on the joints.  I think that having a focus on utilizing as many different exercises as possible allows a much broader frame of reference when choosing workouts.  Many people have the basics stuck in their head, but I have found that with most CrossFitters (and generally intelligent lifters) all one has to do is think of the way the body moves within an exercise, and when looking to modify or change something, understand how to utilize the same basic movements with another exercise.  Burpees in place of thrusters; inverted rows or even cable pulls instead of pull ups; tire flips in place of deadlifts or cleans, you get the picture.  Also, I feel like it's rare in the average gym-goers repertoire to use metcon and gymnastics within a workout.  I mean, think if the intense workouts one could get in the woods, or a jungle gym if you just use your surroundings, yourself and a little intensity.  It's always easy to modify something if you understand how your body moves.  Just think, you can push and pull anything in the world, it doesn't have to be a bar or a dumbbell.

Today's modified workout: 800 meter row, 50 wall ball (20lbs), 50 knees to elbows for time.  Rest the same amount of time it took to perform the workout.  Repeat three times.

Never Stop, GET FIT.

Josh Courage

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