Discovered today that I have LOTS of work to do on my overhead squats. It may be my weakest lift of all the ones I’ve experienced. Yet I take comfort that based on the cursing and general shaking of heads around me this morning, it’s tough for LOTS of people. So I’m in great company.

The strength segment of the workout was:  five sets of two lifts Overhead Squats. I’d gone back into my logs the night before and the only point of reference I had for this exercise was that I did 95lbs on a back squat Tuesday as part of the METCON, and 155# in a front squat as part of a strength training session on 8/24. But the front, back and overhead squats are all three very different lifts, so I felt like I was walking into today’s workout a bit blind. We had lots of time this morning, so I did a lot of reps with a bare bar just to refamiliarize myself with the motions of the lift.

Once I got comfortable with that I began with 65lbs, for the first set of 2 reps. It felt pretty solid, so I went to 75lbs for the second and third sets. Those were tricky, but I got through them reasonably well. Coach Jack came by and observed those sets and pointed out that there were two things I needed to pay attention to. I’m pretty confident that there were several other things I could have been concerned with, but for today he gave me two. 1) Stay back on my heels; and 2) keep the bar above my mid-foot throughout the whole lift.

I’m not sure why staying back on my heels and keeping my feet flat is such a challenge, but it’s a common theme that keeps coming up in all of my lifts. When ever a lift has a pop or jump to it, I automatically want to spring off of and land on the balls of my feet and toes. So it’s definitely a mental realignment.

I did the fourth and fifth sets at 80lbs and it was really difficult. I wasn’t confident that I was being consistent or using good form. There was still plenty of time before the METCON, so I did a third set at 80 lbs, a seventh and final set at 75lbs and then just for good measure to reinforce good form did 3 more reps with the bare bar again. Always end with a hit!

The METCON was an interesting Tabata Drill

Total 8 minute work out
Eight Rounds For Max Reps of:
Push Press, 20 seconds (75/45)
Rest 10 seconds
Jumping alternating lunge, 20 seconds (video)
Rest 10 seconds

Final score is the total number of reps completed. I was pleased to see the Rx of 75lbs for the push press. This reinforces the upcoming Fight Gone Bad 6 event on the 17th and it meant I was confident I could complete today’s METCON as prescribed. Jack pointed out that this would be a decent simulation for FGB given the on again off again rotating format.

I was mostly pleased with my push press results. By round they were 14-10-11-10-10-7-7-9. I got angry with myself at the 6th and 7th rounds. I felt like that was too much of an acceptable drop off. So I was really motivated for that round of 9 at the end. In my head, I had 10 as the target number, but didn’t quite get there.

My jumping lunges were 16-14-11-12-11-11-12-13. These were much more consistent in terms of intensity. And fairly consistent in terms of form, meaning my form consistently sucked throughout. Although, since I made all manner of new mistakes each round, you could make the case that my consistency wasn’t there either. ;- That’s ok though, this was the first time I’ve attempted this exercise and I was experimenting from set to set with different techniques based on what I observed other athletes doing. Each technique held it’s own advantages/challenges and honestly after about 4 sets, I think I kind of settled on my own style. The biggest question was, “What do I do with my hands/arms during the exercise?”

There was some conversation about doing them with your hands clasped on top of or behind your head. But that was all joking and not serious. I get the impression that’s the hard core version, if you’re an elite athlete. For the first set, I just kept my arms at my sides with my elbows bent 90 degrees and let them swing slightly as if running in place. That seemed to work ok. But I did announce to everyone and no one in particular at the end of the first set that, “Yeah, those are gonna suck real soon!” During that first set, I saw another athlete extending his arms well out in front of him alternating as he switched his feet. Like a cross country skier would reach out with a pole. I tried that the second set. It didn’t go well. In fact, at the end of the second set, I announced again to everyone and no one that, “yeah, the lunges suck NOW!” No one responded. I was either a) stating the obvious b)they were all lost in their own worlds of pain, or c) they didn’t hear me. No big deal.

The remaining sets I just kept my hands near my sides with arms bent, mostly just ready to reach out and catch myself if I toppled over to either side, which did happen more than once.

In the end, final score of 178, Rx. I was satisfied with that. I saw lots of much higher scores being posted on the whiteboard, but I’m not even into this a full month yet. The numbers will come in time. For now, I’ll continue to focus on consistency, form and intensity.

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