The push press is like the strict press, but with a little dip and jump. So much of what we do in there is about coordination....making this muscle snap/activate when that other muscle does this other thing. This move requires the glutes and quads to snap while the arms push the bar up, which also requires the lats to activate. It's a thing of beauty when it all works together...and all those muscles working together to accomplish the lift means heavier weights can be moved.
I just realized I added TWENTY POUNDS yesterday to the weight I was struggling with on the strict press last Tuesday!!..
((Sorry...I had to take a moment to do a happy dance!!))
...Then we moved over to the super scary pull up bars. The rings used for the dips on Monday were on the pull up bars, but they hang down so I wasn't too nervous going over there. (You think I'm kidding...I'm not really kidding...it's like going to a Halloween haunted house. You KNOW there are things in there that are going to jump out at you and you KNOW they are not really going to hurt you, but your blood pressure rises anyway. That's how I feel when I even think about the pull up bar.) I started to get nervous, but then the coach broke down the movement.
Side story about the coach...there are three coaches in this gym, two males and a female. They all have their own personality (naturally) but the female comes from a gymnastics/dance background. She really knows how to break movement down in a way that makes it feel like taking baby steps...which is REALLY comforting to me. It's not "we're going to go over to this bar, jump up and bring our knees up to our elbows...", it's "we're going to jump up and hang. Then we are going to activate our shoulders forward and back. We aren't going to swing like this (demonstrates swinging), but we are going to control our bodies like this (demonstrates the difference and shows us how to tell...)".
We all had a favorite teacher in school...so far she's my favorite coach in the gym (sorry guys, I know you are the favorites of other people there...).
So...she broke down the movement into pieces I thought I could handle and then I put my big girl pants on and faced that stupid bar. I hung from it, then I moved back and forth, then I attempted to bring my knees up to my elbows. I didn't really make it but I sort of did something that almost looked like I was trying to do something like it! :D
And...theeeen we were introduced to a "new" concept.
ITF has all kinds of abbreviations for the WOD to making the writing of it simple and easy. The "!" doesn't mean it's a really excited 10 like I originally thought ("OH--we only have to do 10 really good reps of two things! YAY!!!" I mean, come on, who wouldn't get excited about that!?) Uh...no...not quite. The coach called it a "differential" but my mathy husband told me it's actually a "factorial".
Whatever it's called, that lovely exclamation point means you do 10 reps of both, then 9 reps of both, then 8 reps of both....and so on down to 1. If my math is correct that means you are doing 55 of each thing. I think there should be another way of expressing that because (as everyone who knows me knows) I LOVE the exclamation point!! (Someone said I AM an exclamation point, and I LOVED that!) I think seeing that in this WOD and now knowing what it means, and feeling the after effects of it this morning, I don't really think using that symbol is appropriate. I think it would be better to use something that resembles stairs would be better...or a ladder (although ladders generally go up and down...).
When we got to the WOD I was back to being nervous. My shoulder didn't REALLY like knees to elbows, but it wasn't hurting. It was mainly just coming off the bar that it really didn't like at all. At. ALL. But once I was off the bar I was pretty okay. So I decided to just do my best. I could always take weight off the push press or do V sit instead of K2E (another abbreviation).
I don't think I did, but there is a chance I lost count in there somewhere. I really tried hard to keep up with what I was doing, but somehow I ended up finishing before the guy in our group. Now...he was lifting A LOT more weight on that push press that I was, but I was sure he was ahead of me the whole time...but when I thought I was done he was still going. I have got to get better at that. (I know it will come with practice because I used to not be able to count swim laps either.) Either way I didn't take weight off and I didn't do V sits and I didn't hurt myself because I did listen to my body!
I'm happy to report today that my lats are sore enough I know I worked them pretty hard, but my shoulder does NOT hurt!!!!! In fact, I would go so far to say it feels a skinch better than usual!! (I think shoulder day is going to be my hardest and my best day of the workout week.) Who would have thought?
We also talked about hand care. I don't know if I talked about it here, but when I was considering doing this ITF thing I watched a video (that I can't find anymore) talking about "hand care" for "rips". That was almost a non-starter for me but I talked to Turtle (who has been doing CrossFit for years) and she told me rips don't have to happen. (For anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about...when you do a lot of work with barbells or on the pull up bar your hands can get callused and that skin can rip...) Well...the coach ((I have to think of a name for her)) talked about how to care for your hands to avoid rips, not how to care for them after rips. (Yet another reason she elevated in my estimation.) I know some of you are thinking it's crazy to do an activity where you have to worry about ripping your hands, but even guitar players have to callus their fingers up in order to play.
One more day and I'll be officially half-way through this introduction. I'm still loving it....
Until next time...