It’s been awhile since we dedicated sometime to being upside down, and so Tuesday’s class started with a healthy does of HSPU work. A number of people have made progress in the handstand department, but it will take more work, sometimes on your own, to really develop these effort-based skills. Tuesday should have been both a chance to practice, but also an instructive reminder of this fact.
After the warm-up, class spent a few minutes reviewing the strength/skill block for the day which focused on HSPU’s mixed with hollow rocks. The general guideline was to complete a set of AMRAP handstand push-ups, followed by a set of twice as many hollow rocks. For those with sufficient HSPU, the suggestion was not to take the first or second set to failure, thereby increasing the overall volume of work.
Prep Sets: 1x 3 Wall Walkers; 1x 5 HS Kick-Ups
Working Sets: AMRAP HSPU + 2x Hollow Rocks
Options for the HSPU included scaling up to hands on plates, or scaling down to either one or two ab-mats. However, for those able to complete at least one HSPU, a minimum of 3 reps was put in place. Thus, if you could only do one HSPU, then you complete two negatives to fulfill the min. rep requirement; however, it was recommended that you scale up one step for the negatives (i.e., if I did one HSPU to 2 ab-mats, then I should complete the two negatives to just 1 ab-mat).
For those who didn’t quite have the control for the negatives, the next scaling option was to complete 1 max time HS hold, followed by 5 box assisted HSPU (with knees on the box). Those who hadn’t quite mastered kicking up into the HS were given a few practice attempts (2-3) to become more comfortable with the movement, before hitting the boxes for 5-7 box assisted HSPUs.
On the heels of our “Practice Like you Play” paragraph from last Sunday’s blog-post (“BATTEN DOWN THE SNATCHES“), it’s only appropriate to go back even farther to a blog-post we put-up almost a year ago regarding skill work (aka “Learn to Love Your Goats!“). While we started off talking about Malcolm Gladwell’s bestselling book, “Outliers,” and how we learn fine motor skills, the gist of the post was rooted in this thought:
developing skills is “all about progression and practice.”
Combine those thoughts and you arrive at the reasoning behind Tuesday night’s dedicated time-block for Handstand Push-Ups: without putting in the time time to practice the effort-based skill-work outside of workouts (think “met-cons/DWODs”), you will probably never improve on those skills. Some of you have been putting in the time before/after classes to work on a few of the more intense skill-based movements (think double unders, kipping, rope climbs, ring work, and handstand push-ups), but classes like Tuesday, with a block of time dedicated to practicing a single skill, will hopefully encourage more of you to begin doing the same.
The newly dubbed plyo-plate burpee is combination of a plyo-push-up and a plate-burpee: begin with one hand on a bumper plate and the other on the floor, followed by an explosive push up that allows you to transition so that the hand on the floor now becomes the hand on the plate, while the hand on the plate now becomes the hand on the floor; perform a second push-up, but instead of transitioning to the other side, push yourself up into a standing position and finish the move by jumping on the plate and then back off again. That equals one rep of a plyo-plate burpee (this was a helluva lot easier to demo than describe in writing).
The rest of the workout was, thankfully, easier to grasp in terms of execution. Complete 4 reps of the burpees followed by 8 alternating OH lunges with the same plate, completing as many rounds of the two as possible in 7min.
As a quick close-out, we took the opportunity to review the hollow position by executing a few timed hollow holds. Class worked through two sets of 15sec holds, with points of performance stressed in between, followed by one last set of 30sec. Definitely made for a warm mid-section.
As usual, a lot of good work, especially in a class with a little less structure than most are used to. For those who entertained thoughts of competing in this weekends Total Recall with CrossFit Dupont, it’s not too late to sign up!!
Sign-ups can be done through Balance’s MindBody page. For a rundown on the event, including a timeline and standards of movements for the Football Total (Power Clean, Back Squat, Bench Press, & Deadlift), check out today’s CrossFit Dupont post. Both Tom and Chris will be acting as judges during the day, although I’m not sure if that’s encouragement or a good reason to stay away. See you all on Thursday.