Funky workout this morning. I ended up flat on the mats not once but twice. Still it was a solid workout! I felt like I came out a winner.

Strength Session
Hang Cleans

When I saw this last night I got excited. We did cleans back on Sept 27 and I worked up to 125 lbs. I was excited because back then, Jack suggested that I should probably add weight to eliminate my over-reliance on my arms and force me to get down under the bar faster and ultimately improve my form. I’ve been itching to test this “more is better” theory for this lift. I set a goal of lifting 140 lbs today. I think the results were mixed. Here’s why…

The first three sets of two were 75, 95 and 115 lbs respectively. They were all solid and I stayed focused on popping my hips and getting under the bar quickly. The lifts felt solid in all three rounds. Fourth round I went up to 125. First lift was fine. The second lift ended dramatically. I’m not even sure what went wrong. I just know that as I was getting under the bar it all felt wrong and instinct just said, “Aw shit! Just make sure the bar and your body are going in opposite directions, or you’re gonna get hurt when you go down!” So that’s what happened. I dropped my elbows pitching the bar forward and as it started to drop I tried to shove myself away from it. Since I was mostly squatting at that point, I was forced backward into a tight reverse sommersault. I’m pretty sure there was a “dammit” involved. Brendan, who was working out near me asked me what happened and I just told him, “well obviously, I didn’t stick the landing.” It was all good natured.

I took a slow walk around the inside of the gym and reset my head to try the same weight for the 5th set. The 5th set went off smoothly. I was able to lift the 125 twice successfully and the form felt pretty good. Since I had the time and had set the 140 lb goal for the day, I set up for a 6th set at 135. I was able to lift it twice successfully, but the lifts were slow and awkward. I think it was a combination of being fatigued in the other sets and even though I did lift the 125 successfully, I was questioning myself for increasing the weight again. Ultimately, I’m glad I proved to myself that I can do it, even if it wasn’t pretty. For training purposes, I think 120 or 125 will be a challenging, solid weight to practice at for a while until I get the form better. So, I didn’t meet my goal, but I did lift more than last time and I’m getting more comfortable with the lift, at least from position 1. So that’s modest progress in my mind. Even though I got knocked to the mat, I got up again and got right back to work.

5 rounds for time:
Power Snatch (Rx 135/95)
KB step ups (Rx 20/17) 52lb KB

I wasn’t going anywhere near RX for this one. Last night, I made up my mind that I’d try to do the METCON with 95lbs for the snatch and 40 lb KB. Yeah, that didn’t happen either. I tested the 95 lb on the snatch and figured out pretty quick that 95 was going to be too much, so I scaled back to 75lbs. I looked for 40 lb KBs but didn’t find any, so I opted for 35’s. Looking back, I wish I’d found the 40’s. I’m reasonably sure I was the first one done with the METCON this morning completing it in 7:18. In my mind, that means I didn’t challenge myself enough. I did all sets of snatches unbroken. I probably should not have been able to do that. I really had to pay attention to form at the end of the 4th set and all through the 5th because I could feel things getting kind of ragged, but if I were really taxing myself, I probably shouldn’t have been able to do the last two sets unbroken.

I would have done all step ups unbroken except I stumbled once dropping the bells and catching myself on the box. It was a simple lapse in concentration. It was a 20″ box and I guess I only stepped about 19 and change. But I was far enough into my stride that I couldn’t simply get a foot down and reset. So that’s twice in one day that I ended up going down to the mat.

I guess you could make the case that today’s focus during the METCON was more on intensity than consistency and form, but I’d still prefer to find that place where I can concentrate more on consistency and form first, then let intensity follow.

I’m finding balance in all of it’s definitions is becoming a recurring theme lately. More on that later.