Monday, August 11, 2008

Crazy 8's

8-8-08 was the starting date of both the Olympics and the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City. OR is a biannual event where most of my friends get to come to town on their company's dime. Sure, they're here to work, but we always seem to find plenty of time for play. Generally, there's a fair bit of outdoor activities scheduled if, for no other reason than to sweat out the prior evenings toxicants. We had those this year, too. But we kicked off the show with something special, in honor of 8-8-08.

Last week my buddy Hans called to make sure I'd have a good workout concocted for us. A bit later I get a text asking if I knew it was 8-8-08, and suggesting a crazy 8 workout. Then I found out that the Chinese believed 8 to be a lucky number and we starting the Olympic Games at 8:08 on 8-8-08. Since a billion Chinese can't be wrong, I just needed a workout for us, that would include lots of 8s, to begin at 8:08.

Since my wife does cross fit, and neither Hans or I had done a real cross fit workout, I asked her to make up something hard for us. She came up with something where we'd do 8 rounds of 8 sets of 8 exercises. Each round would consist of 20 seconds of an exercise, followed by 10 seconds rest, repeated 8 times. We wamed up by practicing each movement for form and to get an idea of how much weight we'd use. It all seemed easy enough. So we began...

The 8:

push press (squat thrust military presses)
kettlebell swings
atomic sit-ups (fully extended body crunch)
one-arm kettlebell snatches
hanging knees to elbows

Of course, competition dictated that we both began doing way too many reps or using too much weight on our first set. The last few sets of most of the movements were brutal, especially since neither of us wanted to have the low number of reps. Soon, to the delight of Lisa, who was worried it wouldn't be hard enough for us, we were grunting and screaming like a couple of WWF wrestlers. By the end of a 40-minute workout we were bathed in sweat and pumped up like a couple of ticks. It seemed like a perfectly fitting way to kick off the Olympics.

Aftermath: By Sunday we both had a brutal case of classic day two soreness. Hans called from the show to ask if my stomach hurt. He said he thought he'd eaten something bad until he realized that his stomach muscles were just super beat up. He gave big kudos to Romney for her ability to inflict this on a guy who "has done a least a hundread reps of core work per day for years". As for me, I could barely raise my arms overhead. This didn't stop me from riding and climbing over the weekend, but it sure cut down on my ability to do them well. As of Monday I'm still hobbling around the house like I'm injured. I can't wait til our 9-9-09 workout.

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