My Introduction to Helen

I know it seems that I have been posting more here about my Crossfit Quest (Thanks to Scott Cohen for the quest) but in reality I have been putting together some posts for other networks like DM News and iMedia Connection so I did not want to flood the web with posts from yours truly.  So I’ve stuck with posting about my Crossfit quest and so far the journey has been pretty outstanding.  My back is feeling great…battling some slight leg issues but think it is mostly due to the fact that the workouts require more running than I’ve pretty much done in my life.  I’m also not as young as I used to be.

For those of you who are not familiar with Crossfit…the workouts are called WODs (Workout of the Day) and there is one for every day that you go to the Box (read as gym).  Depending on the WOD your lead trainer puts together for that day the types of exercises will differ from day to day.  This is to help build a well rounded athlete.  The WOD usually is comprised of a strength portion and then a MetCon.  A MetCon is a cardio element combined with strength element(s).  As there are many different variations of the WOD Crossfit, Inc, the governing body of the sport, does maintain certain standards that when performed are consistent regardless of the athlete performing the exercise.  This past weekend the Crossfit Games were held during which a lot of these standards were performed.  Team CFP, the team from the Box where I workout, competed in the affiliate competition and came in 12th.  If you check out some of the video you can really see how intense these WODs are.

This morning our lead, BK (who is still in California after competing in the games), brought us Helen.  All of the standard WOD are named after women.  They are called “The Ladies of Crossfit”.  Helen is a standard WOD and it is done for time.  This not only means you have to perform all of the exercises but you have to perform as fast as you can.  Crossfit is competition training, it trains you to get going.  Here is what Helen entails:

Three rounds of:

400M run

21 Kettlebell swings with a 1.5 pood bell

12 Pull-ups

You read that correctly.  Those exercises…all in a row…three times…for time.  For me in my second full week of crossfit…I was definitely nervous.  You always hear about the ladies and now to actually compete and do one…intense.  I think I held my own for a first time through.  The run continues to be my nemesis.  It is definitely my toughest section though the pull-ups are a killer after the first two exercises.  I went with no band on the pull-ups and was able to complete the first round no problem.  The second round I definitely struggled on the pull-ups and had to drop to ten reps.  I maintained that through the 3rd round so while I did not do Helen to a T…I definitely felt the fury that she contains.  I finished in a time of 13:23.

The way I look at it and how BK always reminds us…it is about obtainable progression.  If you kill yourself the first time out the chances are you won’t get out there for round two.  Start slow and build.  Everyone loves to see progress and improvement.  This doesn’t mean you stack the deck and not give it your all the first time out.  It means that you are in control and put your best out there every time.  While you may be competing with others the only person you have control over is yourself.  Don’t worry about what others are doing.  Stay focused on your own progression.

For me, I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings at the Box…bring the hurt.

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