I (Hilary) always enjoy reading these sort of random survey things. So….we thought it would be fun to do a little question and answer about our Crossfit loves, hates, and just preferences in general. In no particular order, here is a quick rundown of our musings on Crossfit WODs, movements, and gym life.
Favourite Benchmark WOD
Hilary: I would have to say it’s a toss-up between Fight Gone Bad (although I’m not a fan of the Sumo Deadlift High Pull, but really…who is?) and Annie. FGB partially because I am currently on the leaderboard at my gym for this one, but also because I did it and didn’t find it particularly horrible (guess I need to push harder next time…gulp). Annie because it’s one of the few girls that I can currently RX, and the one that I’ve done the most, and have seen my time improve by over a minute. I like that it’s a quick workout to fit in, but still insanely challenging.
Jess: Does Baseline Count? I really love doing that quick WOD. My winter goal is sub-5 minutes.
Least Favourite Crossfit Movement(s)
Hilary: I have a nostalgic hatred for jump lunges because they were in the first-ever WOD I did. Although I realized after doing 100 jump lunges for time last week that I need to revise this answer because I finished in 2:15 and realized that they’re no longer that terrible for me (yay)! Honestly, there’s a lot of stuff I’m not good at, but not too many movements I truly HATE. I’m really not a big fan of squat holds, but I’ve been doing them for several months now and they’ve really helped my squat mobility a lot, so I can’t complain too much. I really don’t enjoy sumo deadlift high pulls. It just feels like such an awkward movement to me…I feel like it starts out as a powerlift, but then you get the hip thrust in there, and it ends as an Olympic lift. So confusing…what’s up with that?
Jess: There is no question, or even a close tie to my complete and utter dread every time I see “Thruster” on the board. Pair that with bar hop burpees and you have the 2014 Crossfit Open’s Workout 14.5 (http://games.crossfit.com/workouts/the-open), one of the only WODs that I truly thought I was close to death upon completion. The thruster gases me in an always unexpected and frustrating way.
Favourite Crossfit Movement(s)
Hilary: Kettlebell moves are my jam. Swings, goblet squats, Russian twists, but especially kettlebell snatches. I love them all. Our gym has specific Crossfit kettlebell classes that Jess and I go to a couple times a week, but KB movements make their way into the regular Crossfit classes too. Any time I walk into the gym and see something with kettlebells in a WOD, I’m a happy girl (unless it’s goblet step-ups. Those are just evil). I also generally like double-unders and have a lot of fun Oly lifting. Handstands and rope climbs are becoming more fun for me, now that I can actually sort of do them.
Jess: I really enjoy body weight movements: rope climbs, handstand pushups, pullups and toes to bar. I’m not particularly fantastic at any of these movements, but I find them exciting during a WOD. If I had to choose one it would be rope climbs. They make me feel like I’m on an epic adventure somewhere. (Que Indiana Jones Music!). Apart from body weight movements, I really love Olympic Lifting. My Clean is fairly respectable while I am still trying to demystify the Snatch (see below).
Hilary: Anything gymnastics based! I am working super hard, and have overcome some of my weaknesses, but I still really struggle here. I’m also not great at really sprint-y workouts, I’m more of an endurance girl. And I can’t do a strict pull-up (gah….I could write a post on that alone…SUCH a long process), therefore I am not allowed to try kipping pull-ups yet (coach’s orders). Body weight movements in general are harder for me ’cause I’m not a small girl. But I work on pull-ups three days a week, and am currently on a program from my coach designed to help me get faster. Gotta destroy those weaknesses!
Jess: Have we mentioned that our strengths/weaknesses are completely opposite? My Crossfit weakness is my strength. I’ve always been a very lean athlete having grown up riding horses and competitively showjumping. My muscles have been long and lean for as long as I remember. Now that I’m trying to ‘bulk up’, I find it extremely challenging to change my body composition as I feel I’m always fighting to keep any muscle I’ve gained.
Hilary: Honestly it feels like it depends on the day sometimes. I was going to say push press or jerk, but lately my back squat has improved a lot, and deadlift is feeling pretty good too.
Jess: Clean. (Although my husband would remind us that it’s not to be confused with “Cleaning” of the household variety…).
Hilary: Front squat has gotten better, but I still struggle with positioning in my elbows on the drive up. And strict press. I just find it hard not to get frustrated/demoralized on that one.
Snatch. Actually, Thruster.
*Side note: within a week of writing this, Hilary PR’ed her front squat, and Jess PR’ed her thruster…so yeah. Maybe we don’t know ourselves as well as we think? A follow up post on that coming soon. Maybe if you train weaknesses enough they get less weak?
Proudest Crossfit Achievement
Hilary: It’s hard to pick just one thing. There are so many little moments that have meant so much to me. The first time RX-ing a push-up workout after 9 months of Crossfit was pretty sweet. And finally kicking up in a handstand after months and months of trying. But I would say probably my proudest accomplishment is rope climbs. I worked for over 5 months, and literally when I started I had to use a band just to hold myself up so I could practice hanging. I got my first complete rope climb in September, and less than 2 weeks later had to do them in my very first competition. It took me forever, but I still did it! (Jess, on the other hand is a rope climb PRO. She can go up and down the thing 3 times in less than 30 seconds. I try not to hate her for it).
Jess: My 100lb. Power Snatch or 135lb Power Clean would be my proudest achievement, both within one week. Pretty sure I ran victory laps around the gym and played this song while continuing to lift:
A Memorable Crossfit Experience
Hilary: Doing Eva (5 rounds of 800 M run, 30 KB swings at 24 kg and 30 pull-ups) solo at a 6 AM class. I was the only one who showed up that day, so it was just me, my coach and Eva. I may not have been fast, and used multiple bands for my pull-ups, but I finished (and RXed those heavy KB swings by the way). I got very personalized coaching, and Coach Duncan would move my water bottle/the chalk for me while I was out running…and he even ran the last round with me. This is such a long, sucky workout, but I loved knowing that I could complete it, and had the mental grit to do it on my own.
Jess: Let me first say I think that was the only 6am I wasn’t sorry I missed Hil (Good job though- I remember that day!). My most memorable Crossfit experience would be the UG Series Beach WOD competition I participated in last July. I had an amazing time with my team and my gym. We had 25 athletes attend and had a blast together both before, during and after the competition. My Crossfit friends motivate me to try my best every day, in everything I do both inside and outside of the gym.
How would you answer any of these questions?