Another long blog and I offer no apologies. Not a one.
Yesterday was the first meeting of the By Invitation Only Gymnastics Club. The members currently include Lauren and Michael Kelley, and I am the coach. Lauren and Michael Kelley first demonstrated that they could hold a vertical position on the rings, and we then worked on back lever progressions. I let Tim know that I would have my hands all over his wife, but he didn’t seem to mind. I wonder why.
I then worked on handstand holds, walks along the wall, and overhead squats. Guess what? I don’t excel at everything. I know; that’s hard to believe, isn’t it? While I can do back levers and muscle-ups, I haven’t yet learned to walk on my hands. Please note that I don’t appreciate when others gloat, and if the behavior continues I might very well respond in kind. I can be rather bitchy when I want to. I can be rather bitchy even when I don’t want to.
Michael Kelley did the benchmark WOD “Helen” yesterday morning. He tried to talk me into joining him, but to no avail. While it wasn’t my plan, what I did end up doing was coaching him, particularly while he ran. “Helen” is 3RFT of 400m run, 21 KB swings (52#) and 12 pull-ups. Michael Kelley has mastered swinging and pulling (probably because of all of the practice he had as a teenager) and has certainly improved his running form. I ran behind him the first 400m, so as to not push the pace. I ran just ahead of him the second round, and offered direction and support. I ran with him for most of the last round, and again offered direction and support. He completed the WOD in 8:12, a 3-second PR. I’d like to think it was because of my coaching!
Today was an altogether different day, and I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. The right side.
I keep attempting to resign as a coach at CFZ, but my efforts are constantly thwarted. Damn you, Head Coach Michael Kelley! Why would I resign, you ask? Because I’m inadequte. Read on.
I coached my first ever Friday 6am session at CFZ this morning, and it was a disaster. I just wasn’t on my game, and I know not why. Oh, wait, it may be because I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
Courtney, Chad’s (chiropractor extraordinaire) assistant, attended her first ever session along with 14 other athletes. Yup, a full f@cking house.
I started the session promptly at 6. It was difficult, however, to get some people to focus on the activity, which consisted of Lacrosse ball mobility on feet. Next up was ladder drills, which I most certainly enjoy. We completed linear and lateral drills, focusing on explosive sprints at the end of each round. Amy, Courtney, and Lauren were the most coordinated. Hi, Burt! How are you? I am fine.
Next up was high bar back squats. I had it stuck in my head that we would be completing 2 sets of 12 reps when in fact we were completing 12 sets of 2 reps. I even said, “When you hit eight or nine, it’s going to start feeling heavy.” That’s bad coaching, ladies and gentlemen. Bad, bad coaching. As there was an odd number of attendees, all but Alex worked with a buddy. Thanks for helping Courtney, Kristin! Speed it up a bit, Alex.
As there were so many attendees, I had planned – and had communicated to them – that half would be doing dead-lifts as the other half did front squats/burpees, as there weren’t enough racks for everyone. In my mind, athletes were to take the bar from the rack for front squats. Fortunately, Head Coach Michael Kelley arrived at the box as we were getting set up and said, “Take the bar from the floor.” I should not have assumed that the bar was to be racked. That’s very bad coaching, folks. Very, very bad coaching.
Thus, everyone did deficit dead-lifts at about the same time. I instructed athletes to use a 25# plate or up to two boards. I have my reasons why. For future reference, you may use more than two boards. I’m not sure how many or what plates would add up to about four inches.
It was finally time for conditioning, namely on the minute every minute for ten minutes complete 3, 1 ¼ front squats and 5 burpees. Having watched the video posted, I incorrectly assumed that the quarter front squat was above parallel. (It still looks that way to me.) I later discovered that the quarter front squat is just below parallel, as instructed by Head Coach Michael Kelley. Thus, I incorrectly instructed people regarding proper form. This was incredibly poor coaching. Incredibly poor coaching.
I began the clock, and thought, “If we’re starting at zero minutes, we should end at nine minutes. Add a minute of burpees as an added challenge.” Do you see the error in my math? Do you? I’ll give you a moment. See it now? I had to count on my fingers to figure it out. Thus, the 6amers completed 9 instead of 10 rounds, although they did complete maximum number of burpees that 10th minute. This was incredibly shitty coaching. Incredibly shitty coaching.
I found this note in my mind:
Dear Tom L., co-owner of CrossFit Zeal,
You should fire Paul, as he’s an incredibly shitty coach.
As I had an appointment this morning with my chiropractor, Chad, I attended the 7:15 session. I was but one of four attendees, including my Jeff and my Heather. Let’s get down to the brass tacks, shall we?
Head Coach Michael Kelley led the session. Jeff accused me of breathing down his neck. Next up was high bar back squats.
I completed 12 sets of 2 reps at 145#, i.e., my bodyweight. (I weigh 145#, Burt. One. Forty. Five.) Michael Kelley had the luxury, with such a small class, of the group completing the reps together every 45 seconds. I focused on speed, i.e., one second down and one second up. I forgot, however, to focus on repositioning my hands so that they weren’t outstretched to the ends of the bar. After about the 3rd or 4th rep, I didn’t rack the bar correctly on my left, and that side fell off of the rack. I also skinned the top of my left thumb. Lesson learned. For the remaining rounds, I positioned my pinkies on the outside smooth area between the knurling. It worked! By the way, my bodyweight felt incredibly light. This must be what it feels like to Michael Kelley when he hugs me and lifts me off of my feet. And then twirls me around and around.
I stood on 3 boards for deficit dead-lifts, and lifted a mere 165#, i.e., 50% of 1RM. I like deficit dead-lifts, but the weight was far too light. Again, we all completed this at the same time with exactly 30 seconds rest between rounds.
We were instructed to front squat 60 to 70% of front squat 1 ¼ doubles we had done last week. As I lifted 165, I calculated the range as 100 to 115#. I just checked my math. I was correct. I put 2, 45 and 2.5# plates on the ends of the bar and had 2, 5# plates at the ready.
I completed the first 5 rounds in about 25 seconds per round. This felt too easy, so I replaced the 2.5 with 5# plates for a total of 105#. I completed rounds 6 through 8 with this weight, and it still felt easy and I was still completing within 25 seconds, so I added the 2, 2.5# plates for a total of 110#. This still felt far too easy. Burpess always feel easy. There, I said it.
I should’ve used additional guidance of 55 to 65% of FS 1RM, which would’ve put me in the range of 120 to 145#. I honestly thought that was only to be used as an option for those who hadn’t determined 2RM for 1 ¼ front squats.
For the 10th and final round (Head Coach Michael Kelley is better at math than I am), we were instructed to complete as many burpees in the remaining time of the minute as we could. I completed 18, and could’ve gone on and on and on. I loves me some o’ dem burpees.
This afternoon Head Coach Michael Kelley and I exchanged the following sexts:
MK: That wod sucked
PP: I thought it was too easy.
MK: Then u did it wrong
Uhm, he thought I did it wrong? Really? He coached me!
I once again visiting CFZ this evening, and told Head Coach Michael Kelley that I would likely do part of today’s WOD again, probably dead-lifts and the metcon. But first, sled pulls.
I wore a weight vest with 25#, and completed 4 rounds total, 2 each of 60m backwards and forwards pulling 160#; thus, 185# total (not including the sled). In addition, I “sprinted”, and completed 30m rounds without stopping. After each round I completed 10 toes to bar. Keep in mind that I was still wearing the weight vest. For the 4th and final round I completed as kipping toes to bar. And I was loud.
Joining my fellow CFZers for the remainder of the time, I first joined them for deficit dead-lifts, only this time I stood on a 35# plate and used a green band. This was more challenging, and much more fun.
Yes, I did the metcon a second time, only this time with 120# so that I wouldn’t be accused of doing it “wrong”. Once again, I completed all 10 rounds, and all within 25 seconds. Midway through I noticed Head Coach Michael Kelley observing, and I asked, “I am doing it right?” He replied, “Yes. Your burpees are too fast, though.” He smiled. I did, too. I was determined to match number of burpees from the morning, and completed 19, one more than goal. Yeah!