Monday, December 31, 2007

200lb Deadlift!!!

With meerly hours left in 2o07, I made my goal of lifting 200lbs in a Deadlift! I'm so excited. I'll post pictures/video later. Next up.. 225!

My new goal is to hit 300lb before 2009!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Entering the Zone...

Well - I'm jumping on the bandwagon and am going to start up the Zone on New Years Day. This morning I tried out a 4 block breakfast (normally will be doing 3 blocks, but I knew I wouldn't be eating again until around 2) - it was "eh", but it filled me up. Pancakes made with cottage cheese, eggs, oats, and peanut butter.

I have several meals plans out already and plan to do a whole lot of cooking on Tuesday. I'm looking forward to trying a Zoned Chili:

2 cups chopped onions (2C)
2 cloves chopped garlic (will probably substitute garlic powder)
2 2/3 teaspoon olive oil (8F)
8oz thin sliced lean turkey (8p)
3/4cup canned kidney beans (3C)
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (1.5C)
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms (1.5 C)
1/2 cup water
2-6 TBSP Chili Powder

This makes for 2 4-block meals. Since I'm doing 3 blocks though, I may modify it to make 3 3-block meals.

I'm all about cooking things ahead of time that I can just take and reheat. Also plan on making a 1-2 block egg concoction in muffin plans, and a 1-block peanut butter cup snack. Oh - also bagging up several 3 blocks worth of fruit and freezing them, to add to smoothies with protein powder and peanut butter. I'm kind of lazy when it comes to food, so making meals ahead is the only way I'm going to be able to stick to the Zone!

Um - yeah - since I'm supposed to be posting about Crossfit, not the Zone, I just wanted to say that I really missed the class during our week off - and I was really excited to get back in the swing of things Thursday and Friday! I second Adrienne in loving what an amazing crew we have. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, where I'm going to attempt a 200lb deadlift - which has been my goal to do before 2008! I haven't deadlifted in a couple of weeks, and we had a week off - so I hope I have the strength for it! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Clean and Snatch Standards

Well - since Jerry just posted about weight standards for the Clean and Snatch, I thought I'd post what they are, and then post the weights that I've hit so far. Since starting Crossfit, I've gained around 6-7lbs in muscle, and weigh in around 182/183. I'm just under 5'10". Lucky for me - they have standards for women who weight 181 - perfect! To get the snatch, I'm multiplying the Power Clean numbers by 0.78.

Oh - Novice equals someone who's been training for 3-9 months, and intermediate equals someone who's been training for up to 2 years. I've been doing Crossfit for just under 6 months, and barbell work for about 5 months.

Standards: Untrained Novice Intermediate Advanced Elite

Power Clean 54 100 118 155 193

Snatch 42 78 92 121 151

Currently - my highest Power Clean was 95lb, and my Snatch was 60lbs (I think). So I believe I'm right on track here according to the standards!

Oh - on the Deadlift - for the novice the weight is 174, for intermediate it's 204. I'm only 14lbs away from intermediate!! That's SO exciting!! I knew there was a reason that I liked the deadlift so much!

Almost there!!

I am officially 10lbs away from my goal of hitting a 200lb deadlift by New Years! My previous PR was 175lb.

Today, first I pulled 180lb - it was a great lift, and my form was right on. I was going to go up to 185lb, but Jerry challenged me with 190lb, so I went for it.

My form wasn't quite dialed in on this pull - but I still lifted the weight! I think my problem is that I didn't tighten my core as much as I should have - and I'm itching to try 190lb again and try to get my form perfect.

Jerry thinks that I already have a 200lb lift in me - I can't wait to test out that theory!

Out of all of the lifts, the Dead Lift is my favorite - even though I struggle with form sometimes. I think it's because I can pull more weight on it than on any other lift!

We also worked the snatch today - I'm good with my pull, but not with my speed. Similar to how I have trouble really whipping my elbows when I'm doing heavy cleans. I think part of it is that I am not as aggressive as I need to be - I can aggressively do the vertical pull, but when it comes to getting under the bar, I wimp out a bit. It's all good though - because even though it can be frustrating, I enjoy working on lifts and tweaking my form/speed. It's also inspiring to watch people like Andrea and Vinnie who do these pulls, like the snatch, beautifully! My progress may be slow at times, but I know that I'm constantly moving in the right direction! :)

Oh - and I just can't believe I'm only 10lbs away from my goal!! Woo-hoo!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Well - last time I hit Fran was in September, I was on the blue band doing 35lb Thrusters:

Cara (5r x 9r) 12:40 (blue band)

This time I did the thin band, 45lb thrusters. I believe my time was a lot slower (18 minutes?) - but frankly, I can't remember what I got - so once Jerry posts the scores I'll stick it up here!

Not sure how to feel about getting a faster time 3 months ago than I got this time around. Then again, this time I went 10lb heavier on the thrusters and had a lot less assistance on the pull-ups, so it's really hard to compare the two. I can only get 2-3 pull-ups at a time on the thin band, which slowed me down significantly. I wonder what my time would be if I did 35lbs/blue band now though - probably could cut it in half!

One thing I've noticed about my progress since starting Crossfit is that my strength has been increasing greatly and fairly quickly, but while my endurance/cardio is getting better - it's taking a LOT longer to see improvement there. I wonder if this is the normal - anyone know?

Sunday, December 2, 2007


I hope you have a great celebration!

Friday, November 30, 2007

F'in Famer's Walk!

Wow that hurt! I did my first Farmer's Walk today - with 20lb dumbbells. Holy shit, that was painful! I didn't drop it once - by the end, my hands and one elbow and the rest of my damn arms were all killing me.

So - this was my first taste of a real strongman/woman exercise. By "real", I mean an exercise that isn't also used in other sorts of competition (like the deadlift). Shut up - I'm trying to make this into a milestone! Yes, I know my logic is flawed...


Today's work out was wonderfully brutal, as usual. I'm kind of pissed that I lost some strength in my pull-ups, because every time since I've returned we've had a circuit with them, they've slowed me down significantly. Ah well - I guess it's a good thing that they keep popping up, only way for me to get stronger!

I'm getting better at Turkish Get Ups. My two really weak points strength-wise are my core and my shoulder stability, so I need to become best friends with the TGU's, since they work both! Overall I have pretty crappy endurance, but that gets worked every MWF, so I'm not too worried about that. My other issue is that I get mentally down on myself sometimes - thinking that I can't finish.

I guess I'm just a work in progress, however I'm VERY motivated to keep working on things!

Wow - this has been a really jumbled post. So I'll just end it with a picture of me fighting to keep my torso straight and elbows up doing a front squat:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Back in the Swing of Things

I must say - when I was on my trip, there were very few things I missed, but Crossfit was one of them.

I've lost a bit of strength in my pull-ups, and a bit of stamina, but today I hit a DeadLift PR of 175x1 that I'm really excited about!

This was my bodyweight before I started Crossfit - now I'm up to 180 (but my clothes are a bit looser!). I think I can hit a 180 DL - that will be my next goal!

I really do love lifting - it's fun for me. The MWF intense intervals are not what I'd call fun, but they're definitely addictive. But lifting... THAT is playtime!

Monday, November 19, 2007


Well, for the past 10 days I have been in the Galapagos Islands, and/or traveling to/from the Islands. I only got one X-fit workout in, but I did a lot of hiking, kayaking, and snorkling - so I THINK I'm all good. Then again... I also did a lot of eating... ANYWAY!

I was told to do a get-up with a tortoise - this was as close as I was able to get... and I took this in honor of my fellow cross-fitters!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


I love rowing - I swear!

I actually do enjoy it - but I get smoked so quickly on it... that it gets hard to feel the love after a few minutes in!

My 500 meter row was 2min 8seconds - 12 seconds faster than my goal time! Yay!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


In barbell class today I made 2 PRs:

Deadlift: 170lbx3
Clean (from the floor): 95lbx1
(last time I did a clean it was from a hang and my max was 80lbs)

I've been doing the barbell class for a little under 3 months, and it's amazing to me how much stronger I am in such a short period of time. I'm also really happy with my progress on form, even though I know I still have a long way to go.

I've really fallen in love with lifting - it's my favorite part of Crossfit. I've never competed in any sports before (outside of gym class), but I've decided that if I ever am to compete, it would be in lifting.

I've been looking into it - and have discovered strongman/strongwoman.

Once I've built a good base of strength and technique/form, I want to start training for strongmen events. I'll be looking for a place to lift stone, flip tires, etc. Then maybe eventually, in a few years time, I'll actually be strong enough to compete in an event.

The only strongman event/lift that we work in class is the deadlift - which is lucky for me, because it's my favorite lift!

So - now I have a long-term goal, that fits perfectly in with the exercise regime Jerry currently has us on - as it focuses on overall strength and endurance.

What do you all think? Anyone else interested in strongman/strongwoman?

If you don't know what kind of events go on in strongman, this is a good place to read about them (and what muscles/skills they use):

Monday, November 5, 2007

Max Effort

Today was a max effort day - where I got to officially put down some numbers and compare them to the "healthy beginner" standards:

Push-ups: 4
Squats: 50
Sit-ups: 57
Pull-ups: 6 on the thin band. No-band, here I come!
KB Swings - on a 45lb Kettleball, 30 in a row

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Goals for the next 2 months

So, Jerry sent us a list of benchmarks - there are 4 levels: Healthy beginner, intermediate athlete, advanced athete, elite athlete.

The healthy beginner stage should be able to be reached in 3-12 months. I've been doing Crossfit for 3 months at this point. I'm going to list all of the benchmarks, and where I'm at on them. Some I have surpassed, some I know I have not yet reached, and some I have not tried. The ones in purple are goals I already have set for myself! The ones in orange are goals I have already surpassed, and the ones in red are benchmarks that I have not yet tested.

Exercise Benchmark Current
Squats 50 Free Squats 50 in a row!!
Push-ups 10 Pushups ? 3 standard
Static Hang 30 seconds ?
Sit-ups 30 situps ? 30 no problem
Kettleball Swings 25 KB swings 55 KB swings, 45lb, 4 minute, can probably do 25 36lb non-stop
400 Meter Run 2:04min ?
Deadlift 135lb 172lb (single) 145lbx5
Military Press 45lb 60lb (single) 50lbx5
High Pull 90lb ?
Knees to Chest 10 sitting knees
to chest ?
Wallball 25 wall balls I don't know how many I can do in a row
800 Meter Run 4:20min ?
500 Meter Row 2:20min ?
Vertical Jump 10in ? Probably with box jumps
Dips 3 dips Probably cannot yet do 1, but I have not tested this

Pull-ups 3 pull ups Not quite - thin band
L-Sit 10 second ?
2000 Meter Row 9:50min ?
MB Cleans 10 can do many more
Christine 15 min ?
1 Mile Run 9 min ?

I'll be finding out my baseline 500 meter row on Friday!

As per Jerry's comment, I've edited a few of the benchmarks

Monday, October 29, 2007

I suppose I should introduce myself...

Mmmm... turkey leg...


::swallows quickly::

Hi! Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Cara, I'm a 25yr old Fed living in Alexandria, working in Arlington. I work full-time for the EPA, part-time for an animal shelter, and am going to grad school part time at GMU. I'm single, a Leo, my favorite color is green, and... oh - this isn't quite the type of introduction you were looking for, eh?

Let's start over. I'm Cara, and I used to be exercise-phobic. Well, more so, have exercise ADD. For my whole life I had yet to stick to regular exercise for more than a couple of months (not counting gym class!) I had tried crew, dancing, swimming, running, weight training, martial arts, and yoga - none of which I was able to commit to. I never did organized sports because I'm not very competitive or athletic, and I didn't want to disappoint a team.

On Monday, July 23rd, I decided to try out Crossfit Challenge Alexandria. And this is what I did:
Hah! Just kidding. That's what everyone else did - I did a circuit of squats, push-ups (modified), and sit-ups. I had an anxiety attack in the middle, but I finished the work-out Jerry gave to me, and I came back that Wed. And that Friday. Soon I started the Barbell Class as well and am now coming to Crossfit 5xs a week.

I'm addicted. I'm addicted to exercise. I don't think I can fully describe how this simple fact continues to amaze me.

My goal is simple: I want to be able to consider myself athletic. I have never been athletic in my life. Running a mile has always been a challenge for me. I've never done a full push-up (until now! I'm almost there!). I've always gotten winded quickly. I want to feel strong and healthy!

Of course, there are other goals that go along with being fit. Like running a mile in under 10 minutes. Doing push-ups and pull-ups un-modified. Keeping my torso up when I squat! Keeping my title as reigning female rower (which will be lasting until this Wed, I'm guessing).

So - welcome to my Crossfit blog! Currently I can Deadlift 172lbs, Press 60lbs, and Clean 80lbs. Let's see where those numbers will be in a month! (My immediate goal is to hit a 200lb deadlift by the New Year!)

Welcome to my blog!

I am so close to getting in a pull-up without any assistance. I'm on the single thin band, which I'm really excited about, but I'm also really anxious to get off that band.

Why, you ask?

Is it because I'm excited to finally reach my goal?

Is it because I want to speed up my transition from other exercises to chin-ups?

Is it because this would be my first step towards a muscle-up?

Well - those reasons are all well and good, but honestly, I want to get off of assistance because the DAMN BAND KEEPS SLIDING OFF OF MY FOOT AND WHIPPING THE BACK OF MY LEG!

Soon... soon I will be free of the sadistic band....