Don’t know what’s different in the world, but for the first time in a long time things were just fun again this morning.

Skill: Ring Dips
3 sets of 8 reps

I did the assigned ring dips, as opposed to scaling to bar dips or something else. Truth be told, I only did two sets. One set of 4 and one set of three. Although I didn’t get all of the assigned reps form felt good today. I’m very satisfied with that as lately I’ve felt like I’m flailing in the rings and very unstable.

The family installed a rig in our backyard over the weekend which allows us to utilize either rings or a heavy bag. I’m very excited to be able to start experimenting with more gymnastic work on my own time. Should be cool. We used to do that stuff: skin the cats, levers, etc at CFD, but it hasn’t been a focus for quite some time and I’ve really missed it. Having the ability to work on those things at home will be a real treat.

Strength: Clean 1RM
1 rep of clean at 60 %
1 rep of clean at 70 %
1 rep of clean at 75 %
1 rep of clean at 85 %
1 rep of clean at 90 %
1 rep of clean at 95 % 185#

185# or 95% of current 1RM (195#) was the heaviest successful lift on the day. Missed it once and then really stuck it the second time around.

Dithered for a while about what to attempt for my 1RM attempts. I’ve been chasing 200# FOR. EVER. Decided to go right at it.

First attempt I pulled the bar so high that it struck me in the throat. Completely startled me. I don’t know all the physics of the actual weight near the apex of a lift, etc. So I can’t tell you what the bar “weighed” when it hit me.

I can tell you that I panicked when it did. Iron pressing against your throat gets your attention really quick. End result, I bailed.

The second time around I tried to temper my pull and ended up not pulling high enough so I missed again.

So it seems there’s a sweet spot somewhere just under a true 100% pull which is what I need to get that elusive 200# clean. Still trying to dial it in though.

Once again I missed my goal. This is another lift where my 1RM has had a birthday, but that’s ok. I haven’t practiced cleans as a skill  since the first of the year while pursuing my pistol and bar muscle up goals. Frankly, today’s effort went better than I was anticipating. So it’s all good.

METCON
6 minute AMRAP of:
10 reps of wall ball at 20/14 lb
25 m shuttle run [pullup rig down and back 1x]
10 reps of kettlebell swing at 52 lb

This one was a lot of fun! Somehow scurrying around gym floor up and down the pull up rig and shuffling between exercises really suited my mood. First time in a long time that a METCON felt fun. This one had that playground WOD vibe that I covet. So I was all in.

Got through 5 full rounds + 10 wall ball shots in the 6 minutes alloted.

Good good fun.

 

Has it really been 4 days since I wrote last? Sorry ’bout that. Life is good. Hectic, but good. Hasn’t really been much time for casual writing. Here’s the basics on what went down this week.

Tuesday
deadlift 4-4-4 75%

Done as prescribed at 290#. Felt pretty good. I got the number 4 stuck in my head and convinced myself we were doing 4 sets of 4 reps. I was pretty thrilled when I rechecked the white board on my way to the water fountain after the third round and realized I was done!

METCON
run, slams, double under
15 minute AMRAP of:
200 m run
10 reps of slams at 30/20 lb
20 reps of double under

Whew! This one was a grind! I completed 5 full rounds, not quite RX. Double unders have evaportated on me. After two rounds I went to single unders 3:1, just to stay in motion. I finished the 5 round with less than 20 seconds remaining on the time cap. Rather than start another round I decided to stay and continue to attempt double unders until time expired. It wasn’t pretty.

I seem to have lost all synchronization between my brain and hands. I can run off 150 single unders with my hands pinned to my sides. Soon as I think about picking up the pace for DU’s I start flapping my arms at the elbows and things get weird. More practice.

I now view double unders like my kids’ sleeping habits. When our kids were infants and we were sleep deprived from feeding them every 3 hours and then trying to get them back to sleep everyone told us, ‘just hold out until 12 weeks. When they hit 12 weeks, then they don’t need to eat every 3 hours and they start sleeping through the night and everything is fine.”

Sure enough at 12 weeks it came to be that we could all sleep through the night and life became normal again. What no one mentioned is that later on they again can’t sleep through the night because of teething, growth spurts, whatever and the sleep deprivation cycle starts all over again!

I vividly remember the first time it happened with our oldest and all I could think was, “NOT. F’ing fair! We made it to 12 weeks! We’re supposed to be past this bullsh*t!”

Right now I have the same attitude about double unders. I had them. I was getting decent. Stringing together runs approaching 20 reps at a clip. Now I’m foundering again. With practice, they’ll come back, I’m sure. I just hope it’s soon.

Thursday
Skill:
EMOM for 8 minutes:
2 Muscle Ups

Per the additional directions, since I don’t have muscle ups I did deadhang pullups. 2 per round. Although I confess, by round 6 I was doing on good deadhang pullup and one lips to bar pullup. Best I could do.

clean 1-1 90%
1 rep of clean at 75 %
1 rep of clean at 75 %
1 rep of clean at 85 %
1 rep of clean at 85 %
1 rep of clean at 90 %
1 rep of clean at 90 %

I got to 85% at 165#. 90% was too much on this day. On one of the reps at 165 I caught it DEEP. For a moment I thought I was pinned and would have to bail. Then I got pissed. I thought, “No way! That HAD to be one of the best technical catches you’ve ever done! By God,” and I shouted this part aloud as I rose, “STAND. UP!” So I did.

METCON
10 minute AMRAP of:
2 reps of double kettlebell clean
4 reps of double kettlebell push press
6 reps of burpee

Rx for this was “heavy as possible” on the kettle bells. I did a couple of practice reps at 52#. My left side wasn’t having any of that. So 44#.

I got 9 rounds and 1 rep. Guest coach Stephen said it best. This one was “spicy.” He warned us about pacing ourselves, but the first couple of rounds went SO fast and then there was the wall! Everything just slowed down SO much. Yeesh! I was pretty satisfied with the 9 rounds.

Friday
back squat 1-1-1-1 90%
5 reps of back squat at 60 %
3 reps of back squat at 70 %
3 reps of back squat at 80 %
1 rep of back squat at 90 %
1 rep of back squat at 90 %
1 rep of back squat at 90 %
1 rep of back squat at 90 %

Things felt GOOD here today. Worked up to the presribed 4 singles at 270#. Really felt like I could have had a banner day, if I’d tried.

Of course that was only after I put my lifting shoes on. Coach Rachel knows I get lazy about swapping from innov-8′s to lifting shoes and back and today was no different. I just didn’t want to be bothered. But in an early set she noticed I was forward on my feet and pointed out, “you know, a good pair of lifting shoes,” (or words to this effect) “would probably fix that.”

I just ducked my head and went off to change. Message received.

METCON
1 k row
rest for 3 min
3 rounds of:
10 reps of kettlebell snatch (right arm) at 52/35 lb
10 reps of kettlebell snatch (left arm) at 52/35 lb
10 reps of 24/20 in box jump

This was a cool METCON. I like to row and kettlebells are definitely to my strength.

I polished off the row in 3:39. That’s about 4 seconds off my PR and I wasn’t working THAT hard. I was pushing, but I wasn’t all balls out knowing the work that was going to come next. Makes me curious to test that.

The 3 rounds went pretty smoothly. Started the work at 6:39 and finished at 11:27. So average 2 minutes a round. I’m good with that.

All in all a good week. Except I could use some double unders and some sleep.

I had the audacity to go to the gym today dare I say, ‘expecting’ to hit a new clean PR. Some nerve.

Skill: Kipping Pullups

We worked on the 5 seconds on/5 seconds off kipping swing drill then 5 rounds of 5 of the ‘jump, push, swing’ drill. I confess, the utility of these particular drills is not readily apparent to me but knowing that they should be supporting my current goals, I try to take them to heart.

5 seconds of kipping swing, just doesn’t seem long enough to me. But that’s likely because it just takes me longer to get in motion and build up momentum.

Strength: Clean

I felt so good today. Rested, relaxed, loose, no aches, no stiffness. I walked into the gym thinking, ‘there are no excuses today. No reason why I shouldn’t clean 200# today.”  Then I started lifting.

Couple warm up reps at 95# – Nice. Everything felt smooth. ‘Aw, yeah, baby. Gonna be a good day!’ I call myself baby sometimes. Don’t judge.

Single at 65% – 125# – smooth. Good fast drop, flat feet, stuck landing. Now my confidence is climbing. “Damn, that felt nice! Gonna sprint to that PR bell today!”

Single at 70% – 135# – First lift – lost it forward. ‘It’s all right. No big deal,’ I’m thinking. ‘I was careless. Wasn’t focused. Pay attention this time’. Second attempt – sat on my ass in the catch. ‘Huh. Well sure. After being forward before, I was overcompensating.’ Third lift – nailed it. “Back on track! 200 here we come!”

Worked by 10# increments to 185#. 185# is 95% of my 1RM. Might as well have been 1850#. It wasn’t going anywhere. I missed all sorts of different ways. Rachel did her best to help me out, but it was in my head, plain and simple.

One lift it was, “my grip doesn’t feel right.”

The next time it was, “oh, I’m just too slow here.”

One time mid-pull it was, “is my left shoe tied? Because my right shoe is SO much tighter than my left. I’m not even sure that left one is tied. YOUR SHOES!?!?! Are you for real here?!?!?”

Up until I missed, I had been lifting with my back to the rest of the gym to eliminate visual distractions. Just me and the bar and the bare wall, you know? After the second or third miss, I turned around thinking, ‘well obviously I know what the problem here is. The feng shui of the gym is all eff’d up! This’ll get me right.” Like I said, all up in my head.

As time was running out, just before moving on to the METCON, I did strip the bar down to 155# and did one more decent lift. End with a hit, ya know? Definitely wasn’t the strength session I was anticipating, but that’s all right. I made up for it on the METCON.

METCON

5-4-3-2-1 reps of: double kettlebell thruster

100 m farmers carry (after each round of KB Thrusters

Then: 200 m run

Direction was use a KB weight that you can handle. I experimented with a couple of thrusters at 52#. Well, no. I considered experimenting with a couple of thrusters at 52#. I almost fell over backwards swinging them simultaneously up to the rack position. I went back to the rack for 40# kettlebells.

I really only had one goal. “Don’t put these suckers down.” Which I was able to accomplish. In fact, I was able to stay in motion the entire time going unbroken wire to wire in 6:58. I was very pleased with that.

It was an unexpected, but not a bad start to the week. Looking forward to seeing what the rest of the week holds.

Definitely one of those days where the double under gods elected to smite me.

Skill:
EMOM for 8 minutes:
Hang Power Clean from 1st position
Full Clean from 1st position
Use 50% 1RM

Done at 95# second half of the work when better than the first once I warmed up.

Strength: snatch grip deadlift

5 reps of snatch grip deadlift at 55 % – 185
3 reps of snatch grip deadlift at 65 % – 225
3 reps of snatch grip deadlift at 75 % – 255
3 sets of 2 reps of snatch grip deadlift at 85 % – 285

Things started getting weird here. Was definitely still aching mightily from Tuesday’s visit with the benchmark WOD Jack. The only consolation being that to a person, anyone that participated in Jack on Tuesday seemed equally pained. Misery loves company, no?

I did one set at 285. Did one set at 275. Did not attempt a third set.

METCON
wall ball, double unders – Level 1
10 minute AMRAP of:
15 reps of wall ball at 20/14 lb
30 reps of double under

Everyone sing together now:

Where oh where have my DU’s all gone?
Where oh where can they be?
Spent 10 minutes flailing like an ape with my rope.
I’m sure I was a spectacle to see.

3 rounds 39 reps – Ugh! Should have been much better than that.

Last round I couldn’t even string two reps together. Not pretty. They were just GONE!

Wall balls went nearly unbroken. I used the targets on the rig today rather than the wall. For the most part I liked it. Except that on one rep, the ball did not rebound out far enough. It carrommed off one of the pull up bars that jut out of the rig. The ball went sideways, I shifted under it to catch it, but failed. I turned my head away and ended up with a 20# medicine ball in my right ear!

I was not exactly a show of force today at the gym. No big deal tomorrow’s another day.

Speaking of Tomorrow – Funky Shorts Road Show – Day 2! Heading out to Crossfit Briar Creek to work out with a buddy that used to be at CFD. I’m looking forward to it and REALLY hoping there are no double unders.

Last night reading the posted WOD, I was sorely tempted to attempt the harder level-2 workout. This morning I was just sore, so I stuck with Level 1. It was the right call.
Skill:
5 Rounds
3 Unbroken Hi-Hang Cleans
Use 50% 1RM Clean – 95#
90 seconds rest between rounds

These went pretty well. The outside tops of my hips were extremrely tight this morning. Dropping quickly into a full squat was tough at the outset. Things loosened up eventually and these were ok.

Strength: sumo deadlift 4-4-4 75%
5 reps of sumo deadlift at 45 % – 155#
5 reps of sumo deadlift at 55 % – 185#
3 reps of sumo deadlift at 65 % – 225#
3 rounds of 4 reps of sumo deadlift at 75 % – 255#

These were ok this morning, but a felt a bit heavier than usual. Not surprising given Saturday’s Tough Mudder. I started the first set with my hands too close together and the bar was all kinds of unbalanced. Coach Rachel spotted the flaw in my technique and got me right for the remaining sets

METCON
row, slam balls, deadlift – Level 1
4 rounds of:
12 calorie row
12 reps of slam balls at 30/20 lb
9 reps of deadlift at 185/155 lb
rest for 3 min
time cap for 20 min

Level 2 required a 40# slam ball and 225# deadlifts. On a ‘normal’ week, if I were feeling fresh, I think I would have taken that challenge. Today was not that day, though.

We had more athletes than rowers, so I agreed to start with the ball slams and end the round with the row. End time for the WOD was 14:27. Some rounds I took the full 3 minutes rest. Some rounds I took a bit less.

All exercises were done unbroken. The interesting thing about the WOD was that each round got faster. It was a spontaneous goal that I set when the second round came in faster than the first. I decided, “OK. Make each of the next rounds faster.” I honestly did not expect to be able to do it. But in the end the splits were as follows.

First round: 1:37.
Second round 1:30.
Third Round: 1:29.
Final round 1:27.

A very satisfying day. I’m definitely looking forward to tomorrow’s regularly scheduled rest day.

I was fortunate to be able to attend a Sunday seminar dedicated solely to the clean. The session was lead by Coaches Stew and Ryan.

Stew is a chiropractor. He does a fantastic job explaining the biomechanics of various lifts that just makes sense to me. So I always enjoy his instruction. We also share a military background so he knows exactly how to push my buttons to light a fire under my ass. Ryan also explains the lifts extremely well, has a great eye for identifying challenges in athletes’ technique and just watching his technique is remarkable. The guy is just flawless.

Sharing two hours of their attention with only four other athletes and nothing but cleans to focus on was pretty awesome.

I said it Friday, the goal on the day was to clean 200#. My 1RM going into the day was 185#.

I’m pleased to tell you I have a new 1RM of 195#. In fact, I lifted that successfully twice! Once was very ugly, but successful. I lifted it a second time to ensure it wasn’t a fluke. The second lift wasn’t textbook, but it was ok. All of the elements were there.

200# was like trying to catch a soap bubble. You have to be in the right spot at the right time. Conditions around you have to be just so and you have to have just the right touch. Too hard, pop. Too soft and the bubble bursts before you actually make contact, pop.

Well, there I was Sunday trying to catch a 200# soap bubble. I knew exactly what needed to happen in exactly what order. There was no confusion. There was no lack of confidence. I wasn’t afraid to drop under it. The strength was there. I pulled the bar plenty high plenty of times.   I just never could quite find the touch!

I made about 5 attempts at over the course of the last 20 minutes of the seminar and never did get it.

I walked out of the seminar with a funky feeling. I learned a bunch and improved my clean a lot. I look forward to practicing what I learned soon. It was definitely time well spent. I’m pleased that I hit a 10# PR, but I’m not satisfied.  Still. 200# was right there in front of me and I didn’t grab it. Pop.

 

 

Making some changes to the routine for the month of October, all in the name of a good time with friends and the continued pursuit of fitness.

Skill:
1 minute of Single Unders
30 seconds of Singles – right
30 seconds of Singles – left
4 minutes of Tabata Double Unders (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)

Jumping rope was challenging today. Today was just one of those situations where I know initially I wasn’t really concentrating. My mind was wandering outside the box and because of that I couldn’t get a rhythm going. Then when I really paid attention, I was over thinking, “where are my hands? Are my feet ok? Am I traveling? What’s around me? Watch the hands!” FWAP! “Ugh!” It seemed to be contagious too. Looked like most folks were struggling with their ropes today.

I had a few good double under runs, but didn’t do as well as I feel I should have. No big deal. We’ll just say the double under gods weren’t smiling on me today.

Strength: Clean

3 singles at 75 % – 140
3 singles at 85 % – 160
2 singles at 95 % – 170

Cleans are getting under my skin again. More accurately, they’re getting in my head again. I recorded all lifts. I was reasonably successful. Missed a couple of reps at the 95% mark, normally I’d say that’s to be accepted and wouldn’t be disappointed with that.

Except that I kept working 170# until I hit 2 consecutive successful reps. Then I got a wild hair and loaded 200# on the bar. I have suspected for some time that I have the physical strength but not the mental toughness to clean this weight. I’ve just had this feeling that I should be doing more here.

Today I just needed to answer the question, “Am I strong enough to clean 200#?” While I stepped up to the bar with the intent of doinf full squat cleans I ended up doing two tentative pulls. In looking at the video later I’m able to pull the 200# well above my belt line. So to paraphrase Jay Z “My clean may have 99 problems. Strength ain’t one of ‘em.” So at least I’ve taken that out of the equation.

The issue, I believe, is that I’ve gotten so accustomed to yanking lighter weights much higher and not needing to squat deep. Now I’m afraid to get under the bar at that height. I’ve got to get past that.

To that end, I’m now registered for the CFD “Clean and Jerk” seminar in mid-October. Going to spend a few quality hours with Coaches Stew and Ryan and see if they can help me improve my habits and technique on this one.

METCON
Every minute on the minute (for 7 min):
plank hold for 30 sec
burpee

This was a deceptively tough METCON! Another example of the ‘simple ones always getcha!’ It doesn’t sound real rough right?

But I have to admit the planks wore me out much faster than I expected. I held the plank without faltering for 6 of the 7 rounds. The 6th round though, I admit, I piked my butt up for a couple seconds to relax and reset. In fact, I did it at least twice that round.

Technically, I suppose I should have started the burpees right then, but at the time the direction was, “if you fall out of the plank,” which in my mind translated to “if your pelvis hits the floor.” It didn’t occur to me that you could break the plank up as well as down. Sorry!

I did 46 total burpees across the 7 rounds. I’m pretty satisfied with that.

For the next few weeks, some of us that are committed to the November Tough Mudder are going to meet and do running/endurance focused training on Mondays and Wednesdays. So I’m shifting my schedule to Mon, Wed, and Fri for October. Monday and Wednesday run. Friday WOD. I’ll be curious to see if I see any noticeable gains in my speed or endurance in 3 weeks. I’d better if I want to keep up with this crew in November. ;-)

I also made a contribution to the Durham Animal Protection Society as part of my participation in Crossfit Durham’s fundraising Xander WOD this Sunday. I’m looking forward to taking part again. Why $15? $14, one for each year our family enjoyed with our previous dog Chester, who was a shelter rescue and an extra dollar for hope. Chester was a beautiful soul. As much as I love our Fabulous Miss O, there are still days when I miss Ol’ Ches.

Ol' Ches enjoying a Spring Day in the yard

Enjoying the Day Watching the Boy

72 fronts squats! 72! Holy smoked drumsticks! I did have a small PR of sorts today, so that was cool.

EMOM 6 minutes (I think)
1 Hang Power Clean
1 Full Clean from 1st Position
60% of 1RM

As prescribed, I used 110#. Don’t know about the rest of the group, but I was still a bit creaky and as Coach Rachel observed not really dropping down to meet the bar at all.

It was more I was yanking the bar up in a second power clean then doing a squat after that. By the third or fourth round, they were much closer to authentic squat cleans.

Strength: Deadlifts

5 @ 45% – 175
5 @ 55% – 210
3 @ 65% – 250
3 sets of 4 at 75% – 290

We had a small crew today so Coach Rachel was able to work with each of us repeatedly and provide more individual attention than other days. That was cool. The coaches are always careful and conscientious about making time to visit with everyone a couple of times. But let’s face it, if you only have 4 people to rotate through like we did today, versus the 12-15 we normally have in a 6:15 session, that’s easy math. 4 people simply get more in-depth individualized attention.

In my instance we talked about how I can modify my initial set up to start my lifts as I feel as if I’ve been sitting too deep and too far back on the bar.With her guidance and some on the spot video review, I found a better starting position that I was able to maintain throughout the morning.

Some how things moved a bit slowly though and I only had time to get through 2 of the working sets. I don’t mind too much. Better to focus and make sure the reps completed were quality.

METCON

Front Squats at 505 bodyweight

27-21-15-9

Ring Rows

8-6-4-2

Oh sweet mercy, this was a grueling workout. Honestly though it did not go as long as I anticipated. Most Tuesdays the time domain for METCONs run 15 minutes plus. I had it in my head that this METCON should be no exception. But hey, Crossfit is constantly varied right?

This METCON represents the first time that I’m aware of that lifting half my body weight was LIGHTER than my 1RM on the assigned lift and therefore to my tactical advantage! I consider this a PR of sorts. If not a PR, then certainly a sort of milestone.

It’s like I’ve passed a certain tipping point. For the first time in 2+ years my body weight is low enough and my lifts are high enough (ie: I’ve hit a certain modicum of strength and ability) that the body weight percentage worked to my advantage. I did some happy dancing about that.

As for the workout itself, I split all the front squat sets into sets of three, but not equal sets. I remembered a trick I read on line for dividing up big work. Divide the first two sets into equal but more than one third of the work and leave a smaller more managable set for the last one.

For example, for the round of 27, I did 10, 10 and 7. I don’t recall how I broke down the 21 and 15 rounds, but I used the same strategy. The round of 9 was 5 and 4. I like the tactic. It definitely made the work less daunting in my mind.

For ring rows, feet were elevated on a box and  were all unbroken.

I was the last one done today, but I’ve got no problem with that. I stayed with my plan and it worked for me and I finished in 9:07. For a guy who was expecting to go for at least 15 minutes, and was steeling himself for a 20 minute grind, that was a victory in it’s own right.

Have no confusion though. I had nothing left. My legs were smoked. I saw Mike leave for a run and as Renee laced up her shoes she mentioned to me, “Mike just left for an 800.” My response was, “Awesome. He’s a bright boy. He’ll find his way back.”

We laughed over that and Renee left shortly after that for her run. I crumpled into a chair hoping my legs would stop trembling so I could work the clutch in my car. It was a good day.

 

It can’t be overstated how much I enjoy hanging out and working out with these people. Here’s why.

I get these goofy ideas from time to time. Funky short Fridays are a prime example. There’s no logical reason to dress differently on Friday for a workout. Yet a number of folks have embraced it.

Today we went one step further. It was a themed Funky Friday. Today’s theme was: the 80′s! Here’s a glimpse of the primary players. The ladies get big props for locating and wearing leg warmers, but in my mind, Mr. “Bo Knows” take s the day. You can’t vote against a guy bold enough to wear a neon yellow fanny pack! As you can see, I opted for the preppy look.

80's day at Crossfit Durham

Look at these lunatics! Love ‘em!

I was so impressed and kind of tickled that so many folks jumped on the idea and dressed accordingly. More than one person approached me and asked if we’ll do this again so they can participate next time! That’s just awesome! Rest assured we will!

Coach Erin was gracious enough to run an 80′s station on Pandora for the morning and the mood was set.

Even the folks who didn’t dress up seemed to appreciate the zaniness of it all. There were lots of smiles and laughter all over the place this morning.

Skill:
Deadhang Pullups
4 sets of 8

Substituted ring rows – They were fine.

WOD:

5 reps of bench press at 60 % – 140
3 reps of bench press at 70 % – 165
3 reps of bench press at 80 % 190
4 singles of bench press at 90 % -210

Brian and I shared a bench today. We worked quickly through the warm up sets and each knocked out 2 singles at 210#.

After the second one I mentioned that I was really looking forward to testing for a new 1RM on this lift. So Brian and I conferred and decided that we’d use the last two lifts for that purpose.

My current 1RM is 235. It was an aggressive jump, but I went straight to 240 and hit it! With one lift remaining, I went after 250#. It was really close, but I needed help to finish it out. Still a 5# PR is very satisfying.

METCON
8 minute AMRAP of:
6 reps of hang power clean at 70 %
4 reps of clean
2 reps of front squat

OK – this METCON was just mean! But I kind of liked it. I was the victim of my own bad math today. Maybe I was still celebrating the bench press PR in my head. Maybe I was caught up in the 80′s silliness. Likely it was some of both.

70% of my 1RM Clean is 130. I had no intention of attempting that. My plan was 125, with insurance plates to scale to 115, if necessary. I threw 2 35# plates on a 45# bar and then added 2 10# plates. The first round was AWFUL! I mucked my way through it and then shed the 10′s and completed the rest of the METCON.

It wasn’t until I was putting things away that I realized what I’d actually started at 135#, and then shed back to 115#.

In the end I completed 3 full rounds, plus 10 reps. It was miserable in that satisfying way that only CrossFit can provide. It was one of those, “Oh, God this hurts. Ain’t NOBODY gonna tell me I can’t drink a beer tonight. I have EARNED it!” My fellow 6:15 CrossFitters, I appreciate you. I salute you. And I will toast you with an adult beverage later this evening. I promise.

 

That’s right. I’m thinking I may start recording some of my lifts. That may or may not have a happy ending. Remains to be seen.

Skill:
Complete 3 Rounds (not timed)
1 Hang Power Clean
1 Hang Clean
1 Power Clean
1 Clean
Use 60% 1RM – 125#

Cleans felt good today. The body felt loose so dropping quickly was smooth right from the start. Landed forward a couple of times, but not too concerned about that. Just need to watch.

WOD:

deadlift 1RM
5 reps of deadlift at 50 % – 195
5 reps of deadlift at 65 % – 250
3 reps of deadlift at 80 % – 315
2 reps of deadlift at 90 % – 345 (1x)
1 rep of 1R m deadlift (3 attempts)

First 1RM attempt was at 370#. It felt really correct. Thought I kept my weight back appropriately. Pushed through the legs, glutes etc, then stood it up and extended the hips. It felt right.

From there I jumped to 390# and with a bit more than a week off from the gym and was pretty confident about going after 5# over my current 1RM and PR. Simply did not happen.

First attempt I got it off the floor, maybe higher than my shoe tops and then I was done.

The second attempt, Renee let me borrow her weight belt. That was a whole new experience and may have been a tactical error on my part. I didn’t even get the bar off the floor. It was so unfamiliar and I was so caught off guard by the feeling of how my midsection resisted and pressed against the belt that I was completely distracted from every other aspect of the lift. The bar never left the floor.

My initial reaction was, “I really didn’t like the way that felt with the belt on and that’s disappointing because mine is supposed to arrive today.”

Thinking it over though, I’m realizing that I probably gained some good intelligence from that lift.

I always thought/assumed that I’ve been keeping my core tight on heavy deadlifts, but it’s obvious from that one lift with the weight belt that I was mistaken. As soon as I started that lift I felt everything above the belt just collapse into and over the top edge of the belt. My abdomen was pressing out against the belt form the inside. Seems to me I’ve got some remedial work to do.

Lifting with the belt will definitely take some practice and getting used to.

I might video some of my lifts. I want to see how I set up and see with my own eyes what moves in what order. I believe I’m doing things right, but I just don’t know. We’ll have to see. I never thought I’d take this stuff seriously enough that I’d want to analyze video. I also recognize that this kind of contradicts my whole, “let’s take things as they come and relax about the PR’s” mindset that I’m trying to embrace.

The reality is I’m just curious. I’m not worked up about it the way I was before. I just want to know. I’ve been sitting on 385 a LONG time. I know I’ve gotten stronger in almost every aspect. So I have to believe that I’m doing something wrong at the very high end of the spectrum that I haven’t put my finger on.
Level 1
Every minute on the minute (for 6 min):
3 reps of handstand push-up – piked on a 30″ box
6 reps of pistols (alternating) – holding onto pull up rig support
max reps of burpee

Score for this WOD was total number of burpees accumulated.

I may have scaled this too aggressively today. I think I should have chosen a more challenging scale for either the HSPU’s or the Pistols.

Feel like if I had picked one of those two exercises and scaled them up a bit further, either by piking the HSPUs off the wall to get more vertical, or perhaps using a band or ring strap for support on the pistols I might have gotten more out of it.

In my mind, those are always two of the toughest exercises to scale. Scale too much and I don’t feel like I’m pushing myself enough to get better at them. Don’t scale enough and they can eat up an entire WOD on me and frustrate me.

Of course I say all this and one might infer that I was flying through these and spent all morning doing burpees. That’s not really the case. My final score was 30 total burpees across 6 rounds.

On a side note: my weight belt did arrive this morning. In this box.

weight belt

That’s a lot of box for a 36″ belt!

While I appreciate the vendor’s effort to demonstrate this was a new belt, never been folded, never been bent. I would have gladly accepted it rolled up, if it meant using a smaller box. This was overkill. ;-)

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