On the 5th Day of CrossFit…

My coaches gave to ME:

HELEN! Woooooo!

Helen scores from the 12 Days in 2014!


Now, what IS an American Kettlebell Swing?

In American KB swings, the KB extends overhead. It does not stop at eye-level (Russian KB swings), though there is a time and a place for both versions.

You might get a whole new slew of thumb callouses so tape those thumb-pits!

3 RFT:
400m Run
21 KB Swings 53/35 lbs
12 Pull-ups

Coaches Notes:
Rx: If you are still feeling fresh and up to the challenge, this is a solid one to approach Rx.

Helen is mostly a RUNNING workout. The other elements are meant to be done unbroken, so consistent RUN EFFORTS are where you will MAKE GOOD TIME. After the last pull-up, lean in and get your feet taking you out the door and out onto the path. One step at a time is closer to 400m than resting is.

You can only go so fast on the KB swing portion. Each swing is going to take a minimum amount of time. Find a rhythm and get your breathing to match. It helps.

KB swings should be unbroken. Related to that: avoid a death grip. Same with kipping pul-ups: there are moments where the KB is weightless. Soften your grip a bit and hold only when you need to. (**And please don’t toss or drop the KB as 25-50# orbs shouldn’t be tossed anywhere.)

Pull-ups should also be unbroken so if you can, go for it! If not, try to keep moving on them, even if they turn into singles. Singles are faster than standing/waiting to feel fresh for a double, or hopeful for a triple. Knock. Them. Out. Especially at the end of round 3.

Scaled: All the same notes for Rx apply for Scaled.

If you struggle with the Rx weight on the KB swings in OTHER workouts, you might choose to scale down on for Helen this time. Totally ok! Aim to do the KB swings unbroken, and if you don’t have a shoulder injury or other ROM limitation, then plan for American Kettlebell swings.

If an injury or previous issue prevent you from running, you can substitute 500m row for the 400m run. Row like you MEAN BUSINESS!

Challenging ring rows are the scaling for pull-ups.

For both Rx and Scaled, I am SO CONFIDENT that you can do what you set your mind to!

Helen is a classic benchmark and comes up with regularity. Keep track of YOUR notes and how YOU approached this one, so you can better gauge your progress when it comes up again.

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