Double-Unders. Dude.

My workout today was not magical. It definitely was not one of those days on which the WOD feels transcendent, and I am all-powerful, and I feel super-charged and knock it out like a superhero.

Today was a long slog that ultimately made me feel like about a billion bucks. ‘Cause I got really sweaty, and I worked really hard, and I did stuff I’m pretty sure I’ve never done before.

Our workout:

snatch clusters: @ 60% = 35#, rest :30 seconds @ 65% = 40#, rest :45 seconds

10 rounds:
3 chest-to-bar kip pullups, blue band
6 Russian swings, 16kg
9 double-unders
My time: 14:13

Bonus Fun
:30 handstand hold

The Skills Part
I’m not sure what’s been happening lately, but my snatch has gotten a bit wobbly. [pause while we all snicker at the word ‘snatch’] I’ve grown more confident with the clean, and my overhead squats have always been pretty solid, but major destabiliation was happening when I tried to smush them together into the snatch.

Working with the lighter weight this morning was AWESOME because I finally got my confidence back, and those snatches were Solid. And I got sweaty. Which is a great start to the day.


The WOD Part
First, can I point something out? TEN ROUNDS.

I know the reps om the WOD were low, but still! TEN ROUNDS.

I read a blog recently that shared advice I’ve read many times: set your ego aside, don’t worry about the clock, and use the WOD to work on skills sometimes.

People have offered that wisdom before – but this time, for whatever reason, it stuck.

So before the clock started, I decided that I was doing all the chest-to-bar pullups with the blue band, even though I wasn’t sure I could actually get my chest to the bar every time and even though I knew I absolutely, positively could do it with the green band.

I also decided that I was going to do all the double-unders in the workout, no matter how long it took.

The pullups weren’t very pretty, and it was so humid, I actually stopped in the middle of doing three little pullups to re-chalk my hands and the bar. Yes, I “rested” during a set of three. WHATEVER. I did them all with the blue band, and if my chest didn’t totally get to the bar in the 9th and 10th rounds, it was in the vicinity.

Double-unders were my triumph. Again, not so pretty. I could feel myself making a squinchy face, and my ponytail flew over my head and smacked me in the forehead on almost every hop. Pretty! I did one single jump in between each double-under, and I had a bad habit of tripping on the rope on #7 almost every round. But I did them all: 9 per round. 10 rounds. 90 double-unders.




For me? Slightly miraculous.

I’m stupid pleased with myself.

Which removed some of the sting of finishing dead last (which I don’t mind so much) while I provided entertainment for the rest of the class in the shape of my remaining two full rounds. Man! I hate having an audience for the end of a WOD – although their encouragment was very sweet.

My current PR is two double-unders in a row. Next goal: a string of three. Stay tuned…

Want to read more? Here’s a post I did way back in 2008… the day I eked out seven double-unders in a row with TWO singles in between and got the first preliminary glimpses of my thyroid odyssey.

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  • emily says:

    Not sure how long your ponytail is, but I tuck mine under the strap of my tank top (or into my t-shirt) to keep it from flap flopping everywhere during double unders.

  • Jennifer K. says:

    Congrats on the DUs!
    I actually kind of prefer the small rep/many round WODs to the the ones with 20 or 30 reps. What drives me nuts is that there's always ONE person who has to do the math and announce just how many reps is in the WOD before you even get started.

    And I'm with you on the ponytail thing. I've actually knocked hair out of mine with the rope and ended up with it in my eyes by the end.

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Emily –> You must have a really long ponytail. FUN! Next time we have DUs on the menu, I'm going for two braids.

    Jennifer –> I didn't realize our total numbers until my classmate Nick said, "You did 90 double-unders today." Neat.

  • Robin says:

    Great job on the workout. DU are my nemesis. But like you I'm determined to get them sooner or later.

    Just remember, someone has to finish last. But yeah, it sucks to have an audience.

  • Meghan says:

    Props to you for grinding through a tougher workout instead of doing the bare minimum for time. Sometimes it's those skills like double-unders and pull-ups that are waaay more ego crushing than the heavy lifts. A few weeks ago I had a bad double-under day and left the gym with slash marks up and down my arms. The following day my 8th grade students were very concerned that I had been "cutting" myself. Nope…just a day in the gym, kids. 🙂


  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    I've asked for a speed rope for my birthday, and I'm a little anxious, thinking about the welts that thing might impose on my tender, pale skin.

  • Amy says:

    Hell yeah! That sounds brutal!