Box Review: SouthWind CrossFit

20150608_053859_resizedThis review is a long time coming. I first visiting SouthWind a few years ago while visiting my mother-in-law in Victoria, KS. Victoria is a town of maybe 1,000 and about 10 miles east of Hays, KS. Hays is a bit bigger and has one of the better breweries I have ever been to – Gella’s. Look it up. It is well worth the 15 minute drive south off of I-70 as you drive through Kansas. But that is off topic.

Hays is also home to SouthWind CrossFit – the only CrossFit gym within who knows how many square miles.

Now one might think that if you run a gym without any real competition for miles you could half-ass it, SouthWind does not. They have a solid space, not overly large, but plenty big for their client base (the class I attended while in town most recently had about 12 athletes and there was plenty of room). Their equipment is top notch with high quality Rogue bumpers and bars. A Nice rig, climbing ropes and even a space that can be use for sled pushing or dragging in the colder winter months. My wife tells me that the building they are in used to be a furniture store and they did a good job changing it to a CrossFit box.

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Strength class prior to the 6am class

When I got there early for their 6am class there was a few athletes, including the owner working on a strength program. They were doing some heavy squats, lunges and strict pullups. In looking around their Facebook page it appears they have a pretty competitive atmosphere and the weight being moved that morning was pretty impressive.

As the time moved closer to 6am most athletes showed up of all different shapes and sizes. Exactly what you expect for a typical 6am class and what I like to see – people there for all different types of goals.

The workout had a strength portion to begin, a nice quick WOD in the middle and a decent finisher. If I recall my previous visit correctly their classes last time were like this. They make the most out of of an hour.

They were in the middle of a 5/3/1 program and the day I attended was a “3” day for the push press. After the strength the metcon was 21-15-9 of burpees, KBS and double-unders – a very short WOD. Finally, the “cool down” or “cash out” for class was 100 lunges. Due to the humidity I took this portion outside. A theme whenever I go to the midwest to workout is how soaked my shirts get. Sweaty.

As I remember from my last visit the owner is super nice. The members were awesome and many introduced themselves to me before class. One of them gave me props on my time for the metcon. The class was fun, the athletes were lighthearted and it was a good time. Just what I want when visiting a box. I highly recommend SouthWind if you ever find yourself in north western Kansas.

Turkey Challenge – my performance review

Last Friday I wrote my predictions and strategies for the MBS Turkey Challenge. This was my first two-day competition and it was a bunch of fun. And once again I completely and totally overestimated my abilities…

WOD 1
10min AMRAP:
30 Snatch (75)
30 Snatch (95)
30 Snatch (125)
Max reps Snatch (145)

Last week I figured I would get done with the 75# snatches in about 90 seconds, done with the round of 95# around the three minute mark and giving my best to 145# after about six minutes. I cannot emphasize this enough – I was wrong. So wrong. Like I suddenly thought I was Rich Froning or something. My goal was 125 total reps and I only got 81.

I am not exactly sure on my times, but I did go 15-15 on the 75# snatches. I did follow my strategy here as I stopped after 15 snatches even though I could have continued. The bar started empty and I had to take the 15# plates off to put on 25# plates so the transition took a bit longer, but I think I was starting my round of 30 snatches at 95# around the two minute mark. As I started in at 95# I got through nine reps and my grip was suddenly failing. It was hurting. I kept mixing in hook grip and I had to control the bar down to my waist before letting go. That little bit of extra effort cost me my grip a bit, too. I am not sure when I moved on to 125#, but when I did I knew it would be hard to get to 145#. I was gassed. I always forget to calculate in how much work I have already done leading up to sections of workouts when I look forward. At this point the 60 snatches prior to 125 made 125 feel a lot heavier. I pushed for the last few reps to get to 81 and when I was done I was happy with that score. Continue reading

MBS Turkey Challenge …. Post Mortem

First, the bad news, the Odysseus Bar that was introduced during the MBS Turkey Challenge wasn’t a good idea. For those that don’t know the Odysseus is a bar of sorts that sits on top of a pullup bar…and spins. You can put pins into it so it does not spin, but when the pins are pulled it rotates around a pullup bar. The guy who owns Ethikon Fitness (the manufacturer) claims that it helps develop a proper kip. I don’t know what sort of testing he did to verify this statement, but it certainly makes a pullup more interesting.

I got to play with it last week when I did an i99 Fit class at MBS CrossFit and was able to do strict pullups on it easily and did some kipping pullups. I was told that wrapping your thumb around the bar is imperative to not falling off of it. I wrap my thumbs anyway so I am used to that, but I know a lot of folks do not wrap their thumbs around the bar when doing pullups (for shame! bad form!). I only did a few and it wasn’t in a competitive environment. Fast forward to this weekend…

In the team open division if teams completed the prescribed amount of work they could pull the pin on the bar and set it so it spun and then do as many pullups as possible with it spinning to reduce their score. In the first few heats only two or three teams made it to this point. Of those few teams I think I saw two people fall off of the bar. Since they were trying to kip they fell flat on their ass or back. None of them looked too severe. After a bit of watching some of the WODs outside I came back inside to watch the final two heats of the pro team event in which the bar spun for the entirety of the WOD. Each athlete on each team had to perform 50 pullups on the spinning bar and them heavy front squats. In the final heat I think I saw six athletes fall off of the bar. And unfortunately one of those athletes needed to be carried out on a stretcher and was rushed to the hospital.

The good news is that she is OK and MBS is reporting that she was able to walk out of the hospital without assistance and has a badly bruised hip. Continue reading

MBS Turkey Challenge

Time to put my thoughts and strategy on paper for the Turkey Challenge at MBS this weekend. I typically do this and hysterically overestimate my abilities. Let’s do that. I want to look back at this on Monday and wonder what the hell I was thinking…

WOD 1
10min AMRAP:
30 Snatch (75)
30 Snatch (95)
30 Snatch (125)
Max reps Snatch (145)

I think I can do 15 snatches unbroken at 75# really easily. I also think I can do all 15 in less than 30 seconds. I am going to attempt to do 15 in about 20 seconds, rest and then do the final 15 in about 1 minute. If I allow myself 30 seconds to transition weights (should be plenty of time) I will be on to the round of 95# after 90 seconds. At 95# I will drop back to 10 reps every 30 seconds, which means I will be transitioning to 125 at about the 3 minute mark. Add 30 seconds for transition and I am on 125# at 3:30. I will be a bit winded by now so I will shoot for 5 reps every 20 seconds at 125#. If I keep that pace I will be done with 125# at about the 5:30 mark, add 30 seconds for transition to 145# and I have 4 minutes to get as many reps as possible at 145.

At 145# with 4 minutes I should be able to get at least 30 reps. So my goal will be 125 reps.

Floater
Obstacle course Continue reading

How do you know you CrossFit too much? Top 10

How do you know you CrossFit too much, the original, linked here.

Here is a list of things I have noticed myself doing recently that just might indicate I CrossFit too much…and possibly am enamored with Starrett…

  1. When I sit down on the potty I make sure my knees go out and that my feet are pointed straight.
  2. When I get up I make sure to get up with my weight on my heels.
  3. I just picked up a piece of ice off of the floor and made sure my knees tracked out, back and head stayed neutral and that I could feel the tension in my hamstrings.
  4. When you pick up anything smaller in size with noticeable weight and a handle you think “KB Swings!”.
  5. Now that I can climb a rope I feel like I am showing off at the playground with my kids when I can climb the fireman pole without using my feet. When I get to the top I look around to see if other adults are impressed. They are not.
  6. Back to the playground – everything and anything can double as a pullup bar.
  7. I found myself sitting on the floor the other night and decided to put my feet out straight in front of me and see how long I could sit before leaning back on my arms.
  8. I have come awfully close to doing couch stretches on my office chair while at work. I haven’t yet simply because I don’t want someone to ask me what I am doing. This, of course, would send me into a 10 minute diatribe about hip movement and how sitting in a chair kills my squatting ability. I would lose any credibility I might have gained with my new co-workers.
  9. When I rest my arms on my desk in front of me I am seriously, no joke, really serious about making sure I have good shoulder position. I have decided that not only is my posture horrible as I sit all day but that crossing my arms on my desk puts my shoulder into a bad forward position causing pain. Try it. Try sitting with your arms straight on your desk, not crossed.
  10. I want to handstand walk down one of the aisles at work. Even thought I cannot handstand walk I still feel like I should.

And of course this list does not include the countless dreams I have about CrossFit on what seems to be a nightly basis.