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Learning a new skill

February 14, 2012

Today’s crossfit workout included a new skill for me: rope climbs! In fact, that was part of what convinced me to go into the gym, even though I feel like I have too much to finish before flying to Florida tomorrow. Fortunately, the rope climbs were not part of the WOD, so they were not for time today. We were doing them slow, to learn the technique. Several people from my crossfit gym were at a crossfit competition over the weekend, and one of the workouts over the weekend included five climbs up an 18 foot rope. They said that people who did not know how to do the rope climbs really struggled with it. They would mostly use their arms to pull themselves up. They might be okay the first couple times up the rope, but by then their grip strength was gone. Rope climbs, done right, use more leg strength. The trick is to grip the rope right with your feet.

We use thick winded ropes, probably about 2 inches thick. Our gym ceiling is 12 feet, so not as high as what they did this weekend, but high enough to practice! And since I went to the noon workout, there were only three of us, giving each of us plenty of practice time. We only have two ropes, so the class at 5, which normally has 10 people, will struggle a little more. To do the rope climbs, we first grabbed the rope with our hands, then pulled our legs up. With our legs pulled up, we gripped the rope with our feet, then used our legs to push up. Grab the rope again with our arms, and repeat on up. The foot movement did not feel natural. You couldn’t just grip the rope between your feet, you kind of had to wrap it around a foot / calf to keep it tight enough to support your weight. So the trick was getting used to the foot grasp. I struggled a bit, but by the end I was getting it. I do have a bit of rope burn on my right calf though. I also jumped down pretty hard one time. Next time I’ll have to work on sliding down the rope a little better.

Once we were done with the skills portion, today’s workout was 12′ AMRAP (12 minutes, as many rounds as possible) of 12 box jumps (24″ box), 6 thrusters (95 lb bar), and 6 bar facing burpees. Bar facing burpees start like a normal burpee, but then the jump is over the bar. It was a tough WOD, but I did it at Rx, even though my arms were sore. I got through my first set of thrusters without putting the bar down, but after that I had to break the thrusters up into sets. I got through 5 rounds + 7 box jumps. Happy with that.

And tomorrow, off to Florida for a long weekend vacation. Yay! Obviously some rest time, but I do plan to workout at least a couple times down there. To pack: running shoes, shorts, shirt, gps watch, jump rope, gymboss interval timer, swimsuit, and goggles.

278 days till Ironman Arizona.

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