Some days you just have to grind it out. That’s the way the WOD went for me today. Yesterday’s WOD was particullary tough. I’m still smarting from that one. I knew any workout today was going to be tough too. But I’m really trying to stay disciplined about 4 trips to the gym per week and the weekends aren’t viable. So game on.

Strength Session:
Backsquats – 4sets of 2 reps each.

I last worked this lift on Sept 23rd and got to a top weight of 175lbs. I was pretty sure at the time that I could get a bit more out of that lift. So when I checked out the WOD Thursday night, I made the mental goal of getting 185 today. I also watched the video provided that talked about the importance of lifting with the hips first. I tried very hard to keep that in mind today and found it very helpful.

I lifted 135 and 155 lbs for the first two sets. I’m not going to call them easy. They were solid and I felt confident enough in the form and stability that I went straight to 185.

Since I was going into new territory, I asked Stew to observe my set. I did both lifts and they were very challenging, but they were under control and I made them both. Stew’s observation was that they looked good, but he’d like to see me exercise a little more control in my descent into my squat. He suggested I should slow that down until I get to the bottom and then really explode and drive it back up.

With that advice, I attempted 185 again. The cummulative effects of yesterday’s WOD and pushing to a new level took their toll. I did the lifts again, but I don’t believe they were any better in form. They certainly didn’t feel stronger. If I really chose to push it, I’m confident that I could probably lift another 10 lbs or so, but there’s nothing to be gained in that right now. I wouldn’t be able to do it well with good form. So for now, 185 is the new PR  (can’t be disappointed about that!) and training weight for back squats.

The METCON got a little complicated:
3 Rounds For Time:
7 Muscle Ups
14 Thrusters (95/65)
21 Burpees

I can’t do muscle ups. YET! They are this very gymnastic driven move where you start with the rings over your head. You grab them,  haul your body upward past the rings and through so that in the end, you’re arms are locked out straight with the rings at your sides and you’re suspended there.  But like all good crossfit routines, there are substitutions, if you’re unable to do the prescribed.

Coach Stew let us know that if you weren’t doing muscle ups, you had to do ring dips AND pull ups (or ring rows, if you had done Thursday’s WOD) AND you had to do twice the reps of the muscle ups! Now, I understand and don’t debate the logic. The combined exercises best approximate the total movement of a muscle up. And doing twice the reps makes sense. Let’s face it, if you’re doing ring rows (I did some of everything) your feet don’t leave the floor, so you’re never hauling all of your bodyweight, so more reps is logical. Having said that, understanding the justification doesn’t mean I have to like it! I just had to do it! 😉

I didn’t do ANY unbroken sets of any exercise today. Just a fact.

So, first round. I used a blue band for assistance on all ring dips. I did 12 and 2, I think. Then I went to the pull up rack and did pull ups with a green band. I did all 14 but I had to pause. I don’t remember how the sets broke down. At the end of that set, I realized just how tired I was from Thursday’s effort and committed to doing ring rows for the remaining two sets. I found the ring rows during the second and third sets challenging, but refreshing. Sounds weird doesn’t it?

But they were refreshing in that it’s not an exercise that we work often. In my untrained uneducated estimation muscles ring rows exercise muscles that I apparently don’t work often at all. They weren’t easy to do, but it was evident that I was using muscles that don’t get taxed often, so my body felt fresh for those reps. It was the difference between doing a push up and driving your body away from the floor and hauling body up to the rings in a plank position. It was a nice change of pace.

Thrusters — I had to scale this to 75 lbs. That’s a modest improvement. In the past, I’ve had to use less, so it’s forward progress. These were really tough. I had to break the 14 reps into sets. I was careful and conscientious about my pauses. I decided at the start that any time I paused, I would allow myself 4 full deep breaths then back to work. That worked well throughout the wod.

Burpees — Not gonna lie, the last set was UGLY! I was slogging through. In the end the final time was 17:05. This was a tough grinding sort of a WOD that you just had to keep motoring through and keep your eye on the finish line. It was a very satisfying work out.

Related to crosfit, in terms of recovery anyway. I like to think of myself as a reasonably intelligent and resourceful man. Yet, I have been doing 6 months of strenuous crossfit workouts 3 to 4 times a week. Today, and just today for the first time, it occurred to me that my parent’s home where I work has a whirlpool tub h of which I can take full advantage. I have found a new lunch time routine!