Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fitness 4: Form

Yesterday and today I had back-to-back CrossFit sessions.

Yesterday, I did kettlebells for the entire hour. If you don't know what a kettlebell is, think of a cannonball with an upside-down triangle welded to it for a handle.

The main exercise with a kettlebell involves swinging it around. I approached the kb like a dead-lift, picked it up, and pushed it back between my legs (swinging it). This gets the kb moving. Then, once I had swung it back and forth a few times, on the up-swing I pumped my hips explosively enough to scoot me back on the floor, and that helped the kb go even higher. After starting to get the hang of that move, then Dave had me shrug my shoulders as the kb reached the top of their arc. After you learn that, you do the following: on the upswing, after having pumped your hips and shrugged your shoulders simultaneously, you rapidly bring your fists in under your chin, squish your chest, and the kb's miraculously swing around and land in the pocket created by your upper bicep and forearm. I swore they were going to hit me in the chin. This is called a "clean".

Between swinging various weights of kb's, doing sets of cleans, and squatting and picking up and letting down the kb's, it's a wonder I made it to my car upright. My hamstrings and inner thighs were Uber-Sore.

After I got home, I immediately grabbed my backpack full of library books and walked out to the library.

Dave asked me today if my back was sore, and I told him not really, but that I'd gone for a walk afterwards, and he told me that he prescribes that for people who have stiff backs, to simply go for a walk...


*By the way, I found out what Dave used to do in the US Navy. He was a SEAL. This explains a lot... He also told me he had gone through back surgery... but the man looks like his muscles are steel ropes under his skin.

***

Today's workout focused on the upper body (mostly). I learned how to do a military press and some movements based on that, like the jump-press (I don't know exactly what it's called) and the clean and press. I believe my weight was around 20-30 lb on the barbell.

The military press consists of approaching the barbell, which is on a rack about chest-high. Take the barbell, load it against the chest, and step away from the rack. Then press the barbell straight up overhead, leaning back on the heels to get the face out of the way of the approaching bar. Lower to the sternum, repeat.

The jump-press is a "cheat" sort of move. The hips are used to lift the weight instead of the upper body. Maintain the barbell against the chest, and stick the butt out slightly. Lower and immediately jump up and press the weight up at the same time. Lock the arms in the upper position by pressing the shoulder blades together and shrugging the shoulders. Lower and repeat.

The clean and press is based on the previous move. After jumping and jerking the weight upward, when it's about head-high squat underneath it and press the arms straight. Lock the arms in place as above, then stand upright.

Dave wanted to see how many sets of each movement I could do. Each set consisted of one press, one jump-press, and one clean and press. I completed 10 sets before exhaustion set in.

I was really impressed that, even though we didn't focus on the hamstrings and inner thighs today, my hips and legs were really responsible for a lot of explosive movements today, and they are still sore. When I poke at my upper arms, I can feel the soreness setting in, too...

***

Thank god I have this weekend off! I'm going to O&J's wedding! :) Kim invited me to see the Getty museum with her and her boyfriend... I hope I can find it!! I forgot to hit up AAA before coming home, and buying maps of L.A.... (sigh).

1 comment:

Piggilicious said...

Hi Mel! I wasn't sure if you were at work today or not, so I'll just post here!

Crossfit just opened up a new branch here in Richardson! Joey and I went in to take a look, and I'm waiting for a response from the trainer.

It looks fun! And painful... but.. fun!