Box Review: CrossFit Julia and the Tough Pumpkin

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Me during the farmer carry

This post is well overdue. It has been over three weeks since I competed in the Tough Pumpkin at CrossFit Julia. I competed in the “Rookie” competition with three other members from my box. It was a two male, two female competition aimed at CrossFit competition rookies. I know one of the girls on my team was a rookie and it was her first comp, the other female has been in a few competitions just this year, but her range of motion is just barely adequate and she is still working on a few of the basic movements (pullups, for example). This was my third competition this year (and my third ever) and the second male was a college swimmer, but I am not sure if he has competed in a CrossFit comp before.

Julia is a fairy small box located in pretty much the exact opposite corner of the Denver metro area from where I live. I live in Southeast Aurora and Julia is in Louisville or what could be considered outside the Northwest corner of the Denver metro area. While the box was small they appear to do a great job with storage of equipment and have adequate floor space. I would guess that if they have a class of 15 individuals they are pretty tightly packed. But, hey, so are we at my box.

Julia does have a nice entry way with a desk and seating area and a decent sized room for children. They have some cabinets where I’m guessing some members might keep post-workout nutrition along with other basic eats.

I heard really good things about this competition from last year and was looking forward to the WODs. Last year I heard they included some sort of football toss, catch and run into a WOD. Continue reading

CrossFit movements I dread

This thing might literally kill me someday…

I can’t help but anticipate the next CrossFit workout. At my old box I had to wait until the early morning hours to see what the WOD was. I would wake up at 4:30 to get ready and get to my box by 5:30 am for the early bird special but I always had to check my phone or PC to look at the WOD before getting in the car. At my new box I can check it a day in advance as they always have the following day’s WOD posted along with the current.

There are some movements that I love. The movements where I can lift heavy and lift easily and feel like I can keep up. I like wall balls, anything with kettle bells, and, as much as this amazes me to type this, I love running. Man, a few years ago I would laugh if I said that out loud. No way could I love running! Today I do. I like any WOD that includes running or rowing. I like power cleans and any “hang” Olympic lift: hang power cleans, hang snatches, etc. Basically anything that doesn’t require a full squat! I don’t mind pullups or pushups. While I still struggle with a high volume of pullups I like them because I can do them! Along with running, pullups were something I never did back in the day.

What do I hate? What do I think are the top five worst CrossFit movements? These are movements I hate and when I say “hate” I say it with love. I  hate broccoli, but I eat it. It’s good for me. I haven’t found anything in CrossFit that will keep me from CrossFitting, but these movements make me sort of dread the WOD. When I see these I know I will be challenged and know that I will probably have trouble breathing… Continue reading

Box review: CrossFit Durango

CrossFit Durango is not easy to find even when you are sitting right in front.

CrossFit Durango is not easy to find even when you are sitting right in front.

The family and I made a trip around Colorado. In 26 or 28 years living in Colorado I had never been to Durango or pretty much anywhere south and west of Alamosa (and I was at the Sand Dunes when I was much, much younger) or south of Grand Junction – and the only time I have been in Grand Junction was driving through on my way to Las Vegas when I was closer to 21 than I am now. It was great to see that part of the state. Durango seems really cool and the passes we had to drive over as we left Durnago and headed north to Grand Junction were awesome. My wife hated them as she is afraid of heights, but I thought they were cool.

At first, during the trip, I figured I would use the exercise rooms at the hotel to get my lift on. I did this the first few days (WOD 1 and WOD 2 out of the hotel) but then my wife suggested I look for CrossFit boxes on our trip and she didn’t have to suggest twice!

I Google’d CrossFit in Durango and was surprised to learn that CrossFit Durango was right in the same area we had been walking around window shopping earlier that day. When I arrived the following morning at 0’dark AM I realized why I hadn’t noticed it – very little signage on the outside.

The inside of the box is pretty. No other way to put it. With the polished wood flooring for lifting evenly spaced out and spanning the width of the gym it looks really good. The wood paneling on the walls used for wall balls or whatever was obviously placed there by some sort of interior designer and it is by far the prettiest box I have been to.

The pullup bars and racks are on the right as you walk in otherwise all of the plates, kettle bells, dumbbells, etc are hidden away in the back, eliminating any sort of clutter feel. All the mobility tools, PVC, wall balls, etc are also neatly stored in the back which gives the gym a clean and open feeling despite its small floor space. I didn’t really notice how small it was until we did the WOD at which time logistics got a bit complicated but the coach made it work. Continue reading

WOD – 12.01.2012

Today’s magical number is 10. And you need a park or high school or something similar.

Warmup
Jog to a park or somewhere with a hill and benches. I jogged to Cherokee Trail HS which is about a half mile from my house
Stretch periodically along the way – runner’s pose, hip swings, etc.

WOD
10 different exercises consisting of

  1. 10 hill sprints – find a short, steep hill and sprint up it 10 times with the only rest between sprints is walking back down the hill. As soon as you hit the bottom of the hill turn around and sprint back up.
  2. 10 l-sits – find something to press off of into 10 l-sits and hold each one for as long as you can.
  3. 10 sets of 10 bench jumps. I jumped onto a park bench which was maybe 18 inches high.
  4. 10 kickups into a handstand.
  5. 10 sets of 10 pushups.
  6. After your 100th pushup immediately do 10 deep dips off of a bench.
  7. 10 sets of 10 lunges (5 per leg). I started to make my way back home and did these in the parking lot.
  8. 100 meter bear crawl. Break it up however you want.
  9. 10 bench burpees. Do your burpee and jump onto the bench after each, like you would with a burpee pullup
  10. 10 sprints up stairs. There is a set of stairs that is about 2 flights on my way back home and similar to the hill sprints I finished by sprinting up the stairs 10 times with the only rest being as I walk down the stairs. As soon as I hit the bottom I sprinted back up.

Warmdown
Brisk walk back home

WOD – 11.27.2012

Went to CrossFit Durango today. Nice folks.

Warmup
10 minute tabata mixing in jumping rope, pushups, situps, squats and a few other things
Mobility work

Strength
Build up to a 3x OHS

WOD
3 RFT
20 KB snatches @ 50lbs
80 foot overhead lunge with a 45lb plate

It was a good workout and was a bit painful after doing 100 lunges yesterday. I finished the WOD in 8:33 and was gassed.