Athlete Journal: Ingrid Kantola, Entry 3 – 3/5/12

How many reps of snatches did Ingrid get on the week 2 CrossFit Open workout? And why does she think mobility and recovery work is SO important?


Journals will be posted at 3pm Pacific:

Mondays – Ingrid Kantola of CrossFit Central

Tuesdays – Peter Egyed of CrossFit Fury

Wednesdays – Michael Winchester of CrossFit Central 

Ingrid Kantola – Athlete Journal 3/5/12

(Read Ingrid’s Bio here)

I know I said I was going to write about nutrition and supplements this week, but I got a new shipment of products in this week and I want to try them out and tell you about them next week. Also I had a good experience with body work this week so I would like to share that.

Last Sunday I attended my regular Bikram class and walked away with especially loose hamstrings.

I added Bikram Yoga to my weekly schedule right around January 1st. I had never tried it and was incredibly skeptical of “hot yoga, and the teachers might yell at you” as Michael described it. I made it about half way through the first class before asking, “How much longer?” But afterwards, I was hooked. I felt great. My shoulders felt looser, my hamstrings the right amount of sore. I have attended at least two classes per week, up to four once, ever since.

On Monday, I met with Whitney and worked on some power clean technique while she ironed out some things prior to her trip to Columbus to lift at the Arnold Sports Festival. At the 1PM workout we started out with snatch balances where I worked sets of 2 at 125 pounds. We then went for a snatch max. My previous was 135 and I’ve been excited to try 140 for a while. I worked up by 5 pound increments and made 135 on my first attempt. It then took me three failures before I finally held onto 140 and stood it up. I was very pleased.

We followed max snatch with a heavy deadlift, handstand pushup, chest to bar pull up triplet. The heavy deads were not good. I did not warm up enough from the snatches to go into the deadlift. I felt a “tweak” on the lower left side of my back on my second rep. This is an area of my body I have had trouble with as it usually locks up on high reps of moderate weight front squats or squat cleans. I immediately iced afterwards, but knew it was more than just soreness to come. I wore a heating pad to bed and slept pretty well.

Tuesday morning my back was awful. I skipped Strictly Strength and our Olympic lifting class to do mobility work and stretch. I knew that half of the pain was soreness because the right side hurt as well, but the left was especially reactive to movement. I was diligent with the ice. I went to Bikram that night with the intention of taking it easy and doing only positions that did not aggravate my back. It was a solid session and I walked away feeling better about my mobility. I iced again and wore a heating patch to bed again.

Wednesday morning I work up feeling better, not great, but better. I was lucky to have an appointment with Dave Yancey at Next Level Chiropractic and Rehabilitation that morning. He did some serious active release therapy on my left hip flexor and loosened up my upper and middle back. I was sent to the table to get hammered and by that I mean they use the massage tool that looks like a hammer/gun to work my back out. I did a round of glute strengthening exercises that we call “Jane Fonda’s” to prep for my workout.

At the gym we did gymnastics skills, rowing, and a 3 round workout of running, kettlebell snatches, air squats, and muscle ups. My back still felt tight and tweaked, but none of the movements seems to irritate it. ICE. Then acupuncture! I see a duo of acupuncture students named Dwayne and Brian at the Austin Oriental Medicine Academy. They are supervised by Dr. Qin and they have been very receptive to my lifestyle as an athlete. They focused on working on my back through some points in my hand first, then applied some needlesdirectly to my back and legs. I am also taking a Chinese herbal supplement to help with the acute pain from this injury and to help strengthen the lower back area.

I rested completely on Thursday. No yoga, no mobility. All I did was think about SNATCHING!!!

I visualized myself doing every rep of The Open 12.2 Workout. I timed myself getting through 93 total reps in 10 minutes in my head. I headed to the gym to mobilize on Friday morning thinking only about what was going to make my back feel best during this workout. I planned to wear my weight belt and make sure I had lifted something heavy before the WOD started.

I planned to do the workout just like Rick Froning Jr. and Dan Bailey. They made it look simple and easy. I took the first set of 30 snatches at 45lbs in sets of 10. I took the set at 75lbs in sets of 6. Things were going well. Someone told me the first 60 only took me 4 minutes. I hit the first three reps of 100lbs in a row, then did a set of 2, then resorted to singles. I stayed close to the bar, but dropped every rep and had to reset. By the time I had reloaded the bar for my planned 3 reps at 120lbs I only had 25 seconds left. I stepped up and lifted, but didn’t get my arms locked out enough and lost it forward. I tried to regroup and attempted again to come VERY close, but lost it forward again. Lesson learned. Be smart about your rest and make every rep count. NO MISSED REPS.

My back held up fairly well through this workout. The weight belt has been great for my confidence and provided extra support to my midsection. I felt my back start to tighten probably around the 75th rep or so, but I stuck with my plan from WOD 12.1, to not stop and stay with the task at hand. I iced my back again afterwards.

The other lesson learned this week was to take care of your body. It is amazing how much healing you can accomplish when you get your body moving properly. I am definitely an advocate for chiropractic work as well as acupuncture. Try a mobility class that works for you. From Bikram to pilates or a Trigger Point session, be relentless about your body care and body work. While I was not at 100% for the snatch WOD on Friday, I was definitely much closer than I would have been if I had not had my chiropractor, acupuncurists, and yoga teachers to help me.

Overall I am happy with the Open WOD this week. While I would have like to get the 93 I imagined, and I lost to a pregnant Lisa Thiel who led the gym with 92 reps, I was happy to walk away with a snatch weight PR for the week and snatch reps PR as well! I will continue to train hard I’m looking forward to the next WOD – my guess is that next week will feature a couplet or triplet with pull ups, cleans, and box jumps!

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