When nothing goes right, go lift

by ~jenniferlynn on August 11, 2014

in CrossFit

Friday marked seven weeks since I last ran or jumped, other than some minor activity during a recent partner competition. While this sounds like part of a twelve-step program, the inability to run has been a bit of a blessing in disguise.

Without drawing out the catastrophic event that caused the injury (to which there is none), my diagnosis (which was inconclusive), and my treatment (typical RICE), the point is, my foot finally was functioning without pain, and I was able to run 3 x 400s as part of “Helen” and felt awesome. Since I was registered for Tough Mudder on Sunday and I already signed up to repeat the half-marathon I did last October, this is great news.. right?

Yeah… not going to happen.

Neither of them.

My foot issue came in the midst of a second cycle of Oly lifting, which consumed 3x a week of training (one day of class, two days of assigned homework), which means I have only been able to fit in two traditional WOD classes a week. Not being able to run, jump, burpee, box jump, or double-under has put a damper on traditional Crossfit activities, but it allowed me to shift my focus to Oly lifting and my ongoing quest for a muscle-up. I have been doing so much snatching and cleaning, push-ups, pull-ups, ring rows, and ring-dips. And I love every minute of it.

I recently wrote about Crossfit being a gateway drug, and being able to steer away from the regular Crossfit classes and shift my focus to strength training has helped me to realign training with my goals. Or, perhaps, it is realigning my goals with my training. Running, specifically half-marathon training, is nowhere in line with any of my goals anymore. I’ve been there. Done that.

When nothing goes right,go lift. If all else fails, there is always the barbell. Lifting has become a big part of my life and I want to just do more of it! For more Crossfit and lifting related posts, check out @winetoweights at www.winetoweigtlifting.com

I love Olympic lifting.

Love it. I am on week 10 of my second 10-week cycle and even though my conditioning has significantly deteriorated and the majority of my gym-time is spent with an Oly-focus, I PRed Fran and RXed Helen recently and am able to do more strict pull-ups and ring-dips than ever. I miss WODs but struggle to find the time to do our normal class (composed of warm-up, strength/skill, and WOD), plus do additional Oly and gymnastics work. While the classes are constantly varied, we likely will not hit the big lifts multiple times during a week, and there could be a missed opportunity to focus on building skills or efficiencies in the lifts without putting extra work in before or after class.

And for most people – that is perfectly okay!

But for me, I want to Olympic lift more, I want to do gymnastic skills more, and I want to need to WOD more.

Through no disrespect to my box and its programming, I made a decision to do something a bit different. In part, I both thank and fault the box for steering me away from the traditional classes. It was because of my box’s add-on Oly class that I discovered how much I loved Olympic lifting. For a fixed price, they offered a 10-week program to focus on the lifts and while I walked in looking to gain some quick tips, I did not realize how much I would enjoy it and want to stick with it even more consistently. I paid my dues for a second session which is ending, and as much as I loved it, I just cannot invest more money on top of my current membership.

With that being said, I am channeling the programming over at The Outlaw Way.

It is scary.

It is intense.

It is high-volume and lots of Oly lifting, gymnastic skills, and WODs.

It is taking everything I love and everything I hate and mashing it into a single training session. Five days a week. It will be physically and mentally draining. It will make me stronger physically, but also I am expecting it to push me to a breaking point mentally, as it has been awhile since a WOD has made me cry..

I feel like I am betraying my box for looking at different programming, but it because of them that I am where I am today. And it is through their programming that I was able to figure out what kind of training makes me feel best and will help me achieve my goals.

I am anxious to start this program, and I even did a trial run doing it two days last week. It was perfect. I have seen the program do great things for others that I know; increased Oly lifts, increased squat (something I have been stuck at for a year), significantly improved muscle-ups, handstand push-ups, chest to bar pull-ups.

It is the perfect mix of straight up heavy-lifting and skills plus conditioning, with a significant focus on Oly. I heard the call of the owl, as a fellow athlete told me.. and so I am answering..


Your turn..
Have you ever dealt with something that led you down a different, and better path?
Do you prefer to balance your strength training and conditioning, or focus on one at a time?
Have you ever done a program outside of what your box prescribed?
Anyone else have an experience with Outlaw? 

Amy @ The Little Honey Bee August 11, 2014 at 4:10 pm

I love and admire your ability to turn a “negative” situation into a learning experience and ultimately a positive outcome. I can totally understand (and feel) your newfound love for Oly lifting… I have been loving it more and more. I usually do my box’s program but have been trying to add a bit of a pull up program too. But honestly, my pull up program hasn’t been happening all that often haha
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~jenniferlynn August 11, 2014 at 4:12 pm

I have been doing pullups/pushups, and ring dips/ring rows alternating everyday (5x/wk). Major progress this month! Just set aside 10 minutes and do like 3×5. Just doing it a few minutes a day can help majorly!

Chris @ ifailedfran August 11, 2014 at 7:48 pm

So you’re running away from CrossFit bc of your injured foot huh? Haha see what I did there? =)

Good luck chasing down what makes you happy!
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~jenniferlynn August 11, 2014 at 7:49 pm

So witty! 😉

Jen @ Chase the Red Grape August 12, 2014 at 6:03 am

That’s really awesome and sounds so exciting!

Sometimes we all need to reassess what we are doing, what works and what doesn’t – just because we loved something previously doesn’t mean that a new love can’t take it’s place.

I really need to practice more on the gymnastic side of CrossFit, I really struggle – but as my strength grows I do see progress which is the main thing!
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Renee @ Bendiful Blog August 12, 2014 at 8:41 am

As you know I don’t like crossfit but I am a HUGE fan of Olympic Lifting. I’m so happy that you are enjoying it too. I’m actually reading a power lifting book right now all about Olympic lifting. It’s fascinating. My husband was an olympic lifter for years so lifting with him is always a challenge take no prisoner style 🙂 Enjoy it Jennifer!
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danielle August 12, 2014 at 8:44 am

I also would rather spend more time doing oly work and gymnastic skills–there just isn’t enough time in the day!! Several folks at my box are begging for a gymnastics class once a week where we can spend quality time working on MUs, HSPUs, etc. it just hasn’t happened yet.

Curious about Outlaw–are you doing your own programming at your CF box? Or at a globo gym/home? Just wondering about the logistics!

~jenniferlynn August 12, 2014 at 8:49 am

I have a lot of equipment at home.. but lacking a solid pullup bar (I have one of the in-door ones), and do have rings, but couldn’t work on muscle-up worth with a low ceiling. And.. have a couple guys at my gym doing the programming now so going to bro it out with them in the back 🙂

danielle August 13, 2014 at 10:47 am

that’s awesome!! always nice to not have to do it solo.

Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer August 12, 2014 at 9:52 am

Just like you said, CrossFit is a gateway drug! Find what you love and then do it. Will you be doing it on your own or still at your box? Have you talked to your coaches about it? Personally as a coach if someone came to me wanting to do a different type of competitive programming I would do my best to help make that happen.
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~jenniferlynn August 12, 2014 at 9:57 am

I haven’t talked to them about it, and honestly I feel really badly about it..

We have three guys that do it right now in the evening classes and since I have been doing a lot of Oly lifting and this assigned “homework” in the back, I feel it’s kind of an extension of that.

Would you look down at someone for doing something like that? I know some of the people have made comments about the guys that do it now that it’s like an insult to the current programming, but that’s not at all what I am trying to make it.. I just feel the classes are great for most people – but I want to step it up more and this seems like a perfect solution to trial..

Samantha Angela
Twitter: SamanthaAngela
August 12, 2014 at 10:14 am

It’s exciting to start a new programme and to learn new things. Olympic lifting is great. It’s a fantastic way to develop strength and to focus on form.
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karla @ finding my fit August 12, 2014 at 10:30 am

i’m the same way that i feel kind of bad doing my own strength programming … but i have goals that i expect to meet and sometimes the strength/skill portion just isn’t enough.
i’ve found myself utilizing open gym time much more to get in what i need. i love the METCON portion of programming but i have been weight lifting for so many years (since i was 12 from swimming) and i need to be truly challenged to gain strength. best of luck and let us know how Outlaw is 🙂

emily August 12, 2014 at 11:07 am

Are you able to do the Outlaw programming at your crossfit gym? or do you have an Outlaw gym near you?

emily August 12, 2014 at 11:09 am

oops! just read the response above

~jenniferlynn August 12, 2014 at 11:11 am

Yup, they post the workouts so i can do them here!

Jennifer Charles August 12, 2014 at 11:44 am

Something similar happened at my box when a few people wanted a different type of programming. It actually involved into a separate Competition Class that is now on the schedule. We work on more advanced gymnastics movements and heavier lifts. It’s not Outlaw (which looks pretty awesome), but there were enough of us who wanted that kind of programming that it warranted an actual class. Maybe your box owners would consider doing something like that?

I know it’s hard not to feel disloyal, but you do pay and you need to get what you want out of what you pay for.
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the gelt August 12, 2014 at 11:45 am

chris mccune at “i failed fran” sums up my feelings on this more eloquently than i can here, but take a dash of “i am an athlete” and add “i don’t care if you crossfit,” and you’ve got a close approximation of my stance. your avenue to happiness + health = your business and no one else’s. b’hatzlacha [good luck!] and get it, girl. keep us all posted on your progress!

Martha August 12, 2014 at 2:48 pm

I am SO FLIPPING EXCITED for you. As a tough girl who always paves her own way, I think it’s a brave leap into self discovery for you, as well as a great way to tune into goals that really move you.
I’m a really flippant person (c’mon now, I can’t even keep a consistent blog for more than 8 months at a time 🙂 ) but I think self experimentation and bio hacking keep the fitness journey interesting. There are twists and turns and set backs and ooh, look over there! I want to try that and I want that!
There is nothing wrong with putting your focus into something that ultimately inspires you and moves you, and if people “look down on you for it,” then maybe they don’t have your best interest at heart. Give it a whirl, outlaw girl! If you love it, great, if it’s something that doesn’t pan out exactly how you want it to, great too. As long as the dedication and commitment is there and you feel like you are growing as a human and or athlete, what could it hurt? I’m excited for your new journey!
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GiGi Eats
Twitter: dubagee
August 12, 2014 at 10:28 pm

I COULD NOT AGREE MORE!!! Go work out if life is just not going your way!!! It will certainly make you feel SO MUCH BETTER! This is why I work out day in and day out!!!
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sue August 13, 2014 at 7:33 am

Sounds pretty interesting. I don’t think you should feel bad, it’s not about the gym or the coaches it’s about you. Maybe you could teach me a few things.

Alex @ Alex Tries it Out
Twitter: alex_j_meyer
August 13, 2014 at 9:41 am

I’m really curious to hear more about this!

I think there’s a certain point where you need to take control of your own programming – so good for you. You know what you need to grow, and that’s not always the standard WODs. I’ve even seen it at times for me – when I really, really need to work on a move and it’s just not in the programming – but luckily the peeps at my box are really good about letting me selectively sub.

There’s a competition program at my box, and though I desperately wanted to join when it opened up, I just couldn’t swing the extra money. I’m hoping that post-wedding, that might be different – but at the same time, the intense training also terrifies me. We’ll see what I do.

Good luck!
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