Sunday, March 1, 2009

Saturday 090228: Competition

I haven't posted for the last few days, so let me give you the rundown.
Tuesday, did a light AM lifting and PM rings workout.
Wednesday and Thursday, just worked at the gymnastics gym, going through the routine and making sure I've got all the connections right.
Friday was rest.

Saturday was my first gymnastics meet.
The routine went well. Although I haven't trained it in a few weeks, I put in the cross on the advice of my coach who suggested I try to throw it as there would be no loss in points if I didn't hold it long enough, which I didn't. Overall the routine scored a 6.1. The competition was a great experience and I now have a lot of things to keep in mind for the next one.

For video of my routine, go to:

As much as I'm ready to dive right in and get to work on improving my routine, my right shoulder is really giving me a lot of bad pain, especially doing any motion requiring rotation of the joint (think throwing a baseball) so I'm going to take this week pretty easy and let that all heal up. Then we're gonna be hitting it hard.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday 090223: Rings Strength, Lifting

AM Workout
5 rounds, not for time, alternating between
Front squat (x3)
Cross attempt

Front squats were 145-175-195-215(f)-215.
Crosses are improving, but not enough to compete in my routine on Saturday. That's the bad news. The good news is that they're close -- very close. The first 50-60 degrees is solid enough that I can rep it. I'm still fighting to keep straight arms and locked elbows on the last 30 degrees though.

PM Workout
7x through of:
Muscle-up or kip
Shoulder stand
Straddle L-sit
Piked forward roll

7x through of:
Muscle-up or kip
Roll to back lever
Piked hang

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday 090221: Rest Day

Friday 090220: Rest Day

Went to the gym; just did some work on the C2 to warm up and then had a long stretch session.

Thursday 090219: Rings Technique

Pretty sore, not getting enough sleep.
Took it pretty easy tonight, just ran through the routine twice, worked some backuprises and kips, then played around with vault for a while.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday 090218: Rings Strength

AM Workout
Kip, cross (spotted), forward roll: 3x1
Pullup, drop to front lever, pull to tuck planche: 5x1
Turkish getup (35lbs kb): 3x1 per arm

PM Workout
Ring handstands ad nauseum.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday 090217: Rings Strength, Rings Technique

Worked harness front lever pulls to cross, went through the first half of the routine about 5 times, the whole thing twice, then handstand drills.

Very surprised at how the deadlifts from yesterday seem to have made an impact on my swing, kip, and cast. Well, actually, not surprised at all: it's not an accident.

The gymnastics muscles also, magically, happen to be the deadlift muscles.

I'm not usually one to put links out here, but this one is worthy of checking out:

I'm mostly putting this up here because I need to keep taking a look at it. To paraphrase, for a goal driven athlete, "unplanned rest can be even more mentally taxing than your physical training. Spontaneous and unwelcome days off can wreak havoc on a CrossFitter’s constitution."

Thanks. I needed to hear that. Because it's totally true.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday 090216: Rings Strength, Rings Technique, Lifting

AM Workout
Cross pullout 1-1-1-1-1

PM Workout
Deadlift 1-1-1-1-1
Made it back to 200kg. See videos, below.
Muscle-up, L-sit, shoulder stand, straddle L-sit, forward roll to hang, muscle-up, L-sit, back lever, pike pullout, to 1/2 cast: 3x1
Stretch session

Video of 200kg deadlift:
Video of 185kg deadlift (with much better form):

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday 090215: Rest Day

Saturday 090214: Rest Day

Friday 090213: Rings Strength

Back squat: 5-3-1-1-1-1-1

Kip, forward roll to muscle-up: 5x1

Thursday 090212: Rings Strength, Rings Technique

Gymnastics Practice: went through the routine three times, then worked various moves with the counterweight harness. Finished with handstand pushups on P-bars and spotted handstand holds.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wednesday 090211: Rings Strength, Rings Technique, Lifting

AM Workout
DB bench press: 5-5-5-5-5
Muscle-up, L-sit, roll back to back lever: 5x1

Tuesday 090210: Rings Strength, Rings Technique

Stretch Session

40 minutes: work on backuprises, swings, and dismounts
Cross pullout (spotter, blindfolded): 5x2

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday 090209: Rings Strength

AM Workout
Cross pullout with band: 5x1
Straddle front lever: 4x1
Tuck planche: 4x1

Sunday 090208: MetCon, Lifting

10 minute AMRAP:
5 stair runs
10 thrusters (45lbs)
5 pushups
5 air presses
10 pushups
10 air presses

4 rounds

Deadlift 1-1-1-1-1
150kg, 170kg, 180kg*-170kg*-150kg

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Saturday 090207: Rings Strength, Lifting

Press: 1-1-1
60kg, 60kg, 65kg

Weighted muscle-up: 1-1-1
20lbs, 35lbs, 45lbs*

Friday 090206: Rest Day

Went and got some work done in the AM; a few 1/2 cross pullouts and some light squats and deadlifts, but nothing substantial. Needed the active recovery.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thursday 090206: Rings Strength, Rings Technique

Warm up and stretch

Swing and dismount: 3x1

Routine: 3x1

Kip to cross drill: 5x1

For time:
5 pushups
50 situps
10 pushups
40 situps
15 pushups
30 situps
20 pushups
20 situps
25 pushups
10 situps

For your viewing pleasure, two of the routines:

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wednesday 090204: Rings Strength, Rings Technique

AM Workout
Alternate 5x1 of each:
Short swing up to front lever (moment hold)
Slow drop from inverted hang through front lever

Single leg tucked front lever: 5x2
Muscle-up, tuck planche (5 sec. hold): 3x1

PM Workout
About 90 minutes of technique work on the rings; focused mostly on dislocates to felge and handstands.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tuesday 090203: Rings Strength, Rings Technique

AM Workout
Kip to L-sit: 3x1
Cross with band, pullout: 5x3
Straddle front lever: 3x1
Handstand on p-bars (10 sec.): 3x1
Short stretch session

PM Workout
Not in this order; working technique so kept things mixed up through the night.
Swing+flyaway: 8
Kip: 3
Backuprise: 2
Straddle L-sit: 5
Felge: 2 (not counting dislocate-felges)
Handstand: 5
Dislocate-felge: 3 (out of 7 attempts)

Followed by a stretch session.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday 090202: Rings Strength

AM Workout
Alternate for five rounds:
~Back squat (235lbs)
~1/2 cross, cross drop, jump to cross.
Stretch session.

Sunday 090201: Rest Day

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday 090131: MetCon

4 rounds for time:
~400m run
~25 bar dips

Finished in 13:52.
Who says you can't get a great workout in a hotel fitness center?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday 090129: Rings Strength, Rings Technique

AM Workout
Cross pullout with band: 7x1
Handstand (face to wall) (10sec.): 5x1

PM Workout
Swing and dismount: 5x1
Dislocate to felge: 12x1
Was only successful on one attempt. The rest were not fun. Lots of falling. Body seems to still be getting used to 2x per day workouts. On the plus side, shoulder flexibility seems to be improving.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday 090128: Rings Strength, Rings Technique

AM Workout
Weighted close grip chin-ups: 1-1-1-1-1
Stretch session

PM Workout
Swings, kips, backuprises, dismounts, other technique work: 60 minutes
Got dislocate to felge.

Maltese-planche pushup with counterweight harness and feet on box: 4x5
Cross pullout with counterweight harness: 5x1
5 sec. L-sit hold: 7x1

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday 090127: Rings Strength, Rings Technique

Straddle front lever: 3x1
Galimore with straddle planche: 3x1
L-sit, press to handstand, lower to straddle L-sit: 7x1
Jump to planche: 3x3
Jump to maltese: 3x3
1/2 cross pullout from floor: 3x3
Kip cross drill: 5x1

Then around 20 minutes of felge to cross, inclocate, and dislocate work.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday 090126: Rings Strength

Cross with band: 1-1-1
Front lever: 1-1-1
Straddle planche: 1-1-1
Kip, L-sit, back lever: 1-1-1
10 sec. handstand hold against wall on p-bars: 1-1-1

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday 090125: Lifting

Press: 1-1-1-1-1

Back squat triples:

Cable machine row: 7x3

Saturday 090124: MetCon

5 Rounds for Time:

21 lunges with 45lbs barbell held overhead
21 burpees

Finished in around 18:00.

Friday 090123: Rest Day

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thursday 090122: Rings Strength, Rings Technique

Swing and flyaway: 3x1

4x of
Straight body pull to inverted hang
Straddle L-sit
Forward roll to muscle-up
Back roll to inverted hang

Muscle-up, L-sit, back roll to back lever: 3x1
New move! Only got it once, but was pretty tired at that point. Will need more work but this one's a keeper!

Dislocate, swing, flyaway: 3x1
Getting more laid out every time, one of these was very straight, the other two with a little pike.

Kip L-cross drill with feet on block: 6x2

Straddle front lever pulls (on high bar): 6x3

Wednesday 090121: Rings Strength, Rings Technique

Swings and felges: ~30 minutes
Backuprise attempts: 5x1
Got three of them!
Felge, L-sit, handstand, straddle L-sit: 3x1
Kip L-cross drill with feet on block: 4x1

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday 090120: Sick Day

Came down with a gnarly case of some food poisoning late Sunday night, just now getting over it late in the afternoon on Tuesday. Going to get well rested the rest of the day today so as to be fresh and ready to dive back in tomorrow.

Monday 090119: Rest Day

Sunday 090118: Lifting

Worked on cleans; full squat up to 80kg, power up to 100kg.
Then, deadlifts up to 180kg.

Saturday 090117: Rings Strength

Worked on kips, muscle-ups, and handstands on rings.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday 090116: Rest Day

Thursday 090115: Rings Strength, Rings Technique

Got back to the U.Va. Gymnastics club practice, so spent quite a bit of time working on technique this evening, mixing up portions of the routine over the course of about 90 minutes. Worked primarily on dislocates, felges, and dismounts.

Wednesday 090114: Rings Strength

Worked on various kips and muscle ups; then moved on to

L-sit, press handstand, straddle L-sit, forward roll: 5x1
Overhead squat (45kg): 5x3
Handstand hold, face to wall (20 sec.): 3x1

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday 090113: Rings Strength, Rings Technique

Kip, forward roll to muscle-up, 1/3 cross: 7x1
Cross pullout (spotted): 5x1
Squat clean + split jerk: 5x1
50-70-80-80*-85 (kg)

For time
2-man relay:
One person holds in a plank position, while the other completes 20 dips.
Repeat for five rounds (each person does 100 dips total).

Completed with Mike Z. in around 9:20.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday 090112: Lifting

Making up Sunday's workout. Will do the workout today, then Tuesday through Thursday, rest day on Friday; should put everything back on schedule.

Back squat: 4-3-3-2-2-2-1-1-1-1

Then did 4 one-armed handstands per arm. The left arm was great but the right was very unstable.

Sunday 090111: Rest Day

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday 090109: Rings Strength, Rings Technique

Should have been a rest day, but couldn't pass up one last workout at 5280 Gymnastics ( with Tony. Got some great pointers, and have got some great new power in my swing and dismount.

Pull to invert
Press handstand
Front roll to muscle up
Front roll to front lever
Back lever
Cross (spotted)

Then about 30 minutes of swing and dismount work.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thursday 090108: Rings Strength, Rings Technique

Twice through of . . .
3x1 swing and dismount
3x3 dislocates
3x1 felge, L-sit, press handstand
3x1 kip, 1/2 cross, tuck front lever

Wednesday 090107: MetCon

Went down to Front Range Crossfit for a quick workout.

Worked on overhead squat technique, then . . .

21-15-9 reps for time of:
pullups (chest touches bar each rep)
goblet squat, 24 kg


Tuesday 090106: Rings Strength, Rings Technique

Stopped by 5280 Gymnastics and spent about 90 minutes in the gym, working on lots of rings technique work, trying to get back into the swing of things.

Felt great.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sunday 090104: Lifting

Bear complex to warm up, then

Shoulder press: 1-1-1-1-1
130-135-140-145-150 (new PR at 150lbs!)
Push press: 3-3-3-3-3
Split jerk: 5-5-5-5-5
* failed after four reps
** failed after three reps

Ice cream maker on pullup bar: 4x5

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Saturday 090103: MetCon

"Almost Tabata Something Else"

Complete 32 intervals of 20 seconds of work followed by ten seconds of rest where the first 8 intervals are sumo deadlift high pulls, the second 8 are push-ups, the third 8 intervals are sit-ups, and finally, the last 8 intervals are squats. There is no rest between exercises.

Sumo deadlift high pulls were with a 95lbs. barbell.
Total score was 320.
Pukie came a knockin' and I answered the door. Mom (who was a great scorekeeper) was less than impressed about that part.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Friday 090102: Rings Strength

1x of bear complex: without letting go of a barbell, do 4x each of
Squat clean
Front squat
Push press
Back squat
Back position split jerk
Back squat
Push press
Front squat
Squat clean

Handstand: 5x3sec.

Deadlift: 2-2-2-2-2

6x of:
10 sec. L-sit
10 sec. tuck planche

Thursday 090101: Rest Day

Wednesday 081231: Rings Strength

Maltese db press: 4-4-4-4


Tuck front lever pull on pullup bar: 4x4

Skin the cat on pullup bar: 7x1

Squat clean+press: 1-1-1-1-1

135-140-145-150*-150* (145 is PR tie!)

Front squat @ 185lbs: 3x3

Turkish getup: 3x3 per arm

Left arm @ 50lbs. kb, right arm @ 35lbs. db.

Tuesday 081230: Rings Strength

Hanstand pushup: 5x1 (spotted)
L-sit to tuck planche: 7x1
Cross pullout on short strap rings: 7x1
Tuck front lever: 3x1

Monday 081229: Rest Day

Sunday 081228: Rings Strength

Spotted handstand: 9x20sec.

Saturday 081227: Rings Strength

More snowboarding, then . . .

21-15-9 of the quadruplet:
Row, towel pullup, planche pushup, squat

Time was in the 12:30 range. The rows were done on a cable machine in a fashion and weight about equal to a C2 rowing machine but without the leg push. Towel pullups exposed a serious weakness in forearm strength.

Friday 081226: Rings Strength

Snowboarding for a few hours, then . . .

Pushup position shoulder touches: 5x10
Handstand pushup: 5x1 (spotted)

Thursday 081225: Rest Day

Wednesday 081224: Rest Day

Tuesday 081223: Rings Strength

Worked out at Front Range Crossfit (

21-15-9 reps for time of:
Barbell snatch (95 lbs.)
Crossfit Games Pullups (chest touches bar)


Then, 5x of kip, L-sit, 3/4 cross, tuck planche.

Monday 081222: Rings Strength

L-sit to tuck planche: 1x7
Back lever: 1x3
Ice-cream maker: 3x3
Ring row: 3x8
Shoulder press: 3-3-3-3-3
*Failed on third lift.
**Failed on second lift.

Sunday 081221: Olympic Lifting

Singles of clean and jerk up to a max of 85 kg and several failed attempts to jerk 90, followed by cleans up to 100kg.


The current goal is to put together a competition-ready rings routine for club-level competition. There are a number of meets in the first few months of 2009 where this will be possible.

I am developing my own programming, but am actively seeking out assistance with this. I have drawn guidance from Crossfit, Performance Menu, Gym Jones, postings on various message boards, and numerous other fitness blogs. My thanks for making their information public, I hope to continue in this same spirit with my own experiment.

Note that I will be changing this plan as time goes by and I get advice from the many people who have offered their help with this process. I will be making notes for changes in italic font; anyone using this blog in the future will be able to gather more information by looking at the process of what I've learned and changed than by just observing the finished product.

The plan is for a 2/1/3/1 schedule. The reason for this is that the gymnastics gym is going to only be available Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. The equipment available there is far superior to that available elsewhere, both for skills and strength work.

Here’s the main idea of the programming:

Saturday: Ring Strength, MetCon
Sunday: Lifting
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Ring Technique, Ring Strength, MetCon
Wednesday: Ring Technique, Ring Strength
Thursday: Ring Technique, Ring Strength, MetCon
Friday: Rest


Once a week perform Olympic lifts and their component parts, as well as other activities using the big muscle groups. Go heavy on these days, but also use the time to make sure that technical proficiency on these lifts does not backslide during this period of stepping out of normal programming.


Two or three times per week, perform a short, intense workout, generally a combination of multiple exercises. The workout should last between three and ten minutes, and should be done at a very high level of intensity. Combinations of different movements, not necessarily all ring-focused are favored.

Ring Strength

This is the main portion of the programming geared exclusively to reach the goal of building and perfecting a routine. Inspired by Catalyst Athletics / The Performance Menu, the idea here is going to be to program in 4-week intervals.

Strength elements will generally be trained at relatively low volume and near-maximum capacity.

The odd-numbered four week cycles focus on building strength for the individual components of the routine while improving technical proficiency throughout. For elements already learned, this means repeating them, sometimes with weight added, with an emphasis on holding correct form. For elements which have yet to be learned, this cycle will focus on developing the correct form and technique, which means more assistance and repetition, and repeating the same exercises more often through the week. Expect a great deal of work with elastic bands and harnesses as well as work with weights and other exercises off the rings.

The even-numbered four week cycles focus on developing the entire routine, connecting elements together, and increasing the ability to train elements at or near maximum exertion on a frequent basis. For elements already learned, this will mean connecting all of them together in a single effort to practice execution of a competition-length routine. For elements which have yet to be learned, training will be low in quantity but performed at a maximum level of execution, preferably with a spotter rather than bands or a harness.

Ring Technique

Practice the more technical elements of the rings routine in large quantity. Focus on swinging, balance, and dismount elements, repeating them at great quantity, limited generally by fatigue preventing proper execution technique.

These will require strength but also focus on form and will generally be done when fresh.

Other Elements of Programming

In addition to this schedule, at least twice a week, do other activities such as swimming, running, or playing any sort of other sport. Keep lose and keep sane. Make sure that at least one of these activities is some sort of outlet in which performance is not tightly tracked and measured and is instead done just for the fun of it. For me, that’s playing volleyball or going hiking. The concept is to retain sanity and prevent burnout; although that does not mean that this part is less important than any other component of the programming.

Additionally, and somewhat conversely, do a mental workout once every few weeks. These are workouts that, while not necessarily physically draining, they are mentally demanding. Examples serve more for definition than anything else: 10x25 meter underwater swim on 1:00 intervals; muddy trail run during a rain storm with belly-crawl component; or a mile sand bag carry.

The idea is to push yourself toward a goal that you know you can physically do, but may or may not be able to push through mentally. You have to keep your mind sharp and will yourself to finish the workout. Once you’ve gone through this type of thing to reach your goal, you will be less likely to drop out of the program. You’re quite literally hazing yourself.


That is the programming schedule in a nutshell. I am very much open to feedback on this: it’s the primary reason I started this blog in the first place.