So lifting heavy s!@# actually requires a bit of forethought and strategy. Unfortunately my strategy today was uninformed and chronically flawed.

WOD for Monday 022712
Back Squat

I was thrilled Sunday night when I saw backsquats for new 1 rep max posted. Last time we did these I PR’d at 295, and I’ve been dying to see if I could break 300#.

Jack put us through some very effective, if somewhat awkward squat stretches to warm up. I not sure I’ve got the exact sequence here but I believe it’s reasonably close. Sequence one, feet standard width, do a squat with toes pointing forward. Hold it for a brief count, relax. Keep the feet the same width apart, point toes outward. Squat. Hold. Relax. Still keeping your feet standard width, point toes inward. Squat. Hold Relax.

After that we repeated that same sequence with feet spread wider than normal. After that, bring your feet together and repeat. Following that we did the squats with one foot forward and one back. I was reminded of how you would set your feet for warrior pose in yoga. After that sequence, we switched feet.

It was a very thorough set of drills to loosen the legs and hips for squats. After all of that, we did one more standard squat for comparison. I expected to bounce my butt off the floor. I just about did.

So for back squats I went with 135 for the first set of three. No big deal. Because I wanted to get to 300, I went straight to 225# for the next set. That was ok. For the last set of three I went to 275#. This was too much for many reasons. I tried it once and on the very first rep just went way to deep and lost the tension in my legs. I had to roll it off my back.

Stew was nearby and observed and we talked it over. After a quick drink I decided to try it again. Stew stepped in to spot me. I went up and down with the weight three times, but Stew had to assist to some degree each lift, either to get me past a sticking point or see me through. Jack also pointed out that they were probably not quite as deep as they needed to be.

I walked away and went to grab a drink. While I was at the fountain, I glanced at the gym’s PR board. I was thinking to myself, “well, no adding to the PR board today.” Not the best attitude, I know. And I was rolling over in my head, “Why the hell does 275 feels so freakin’ heavy?” Then I noticed something…I PR’d a 3 RM backsquat two weeks ago at 240#!

What the hell was I thinking trying 275 for 3 reps?! That was way over the top. I’d just lost track of that fact and really had no business pushing that much weight. If I’d paid closer attention to my own tracking sheets last night I would have mapped out the weights better.

Having sorted all that out in my head, I took a shot at 275 again for one rep. I think that one was decent. I did a final lift at 285#. Again, I went up and down with the bar on my back, but had a fair bit of assistance from Stew.

Ah well. Just wasn’t there today. So now I know that for this lift anyway, I’ve truly pushed myself to my limit. I’ve got to keep working at it, and will get after it again next time.

21-15-9-6-3 Reps For Time:
DB Push Press
Toes To Bar

I liked this one. I used 30 pound dumb bells for the push presses. It was a solid weight. Maybe a bit light, but I’m still favoring the wrist. I’m contemplating a visit to the doctor. It’s been ten days now and there are still some places where there’s specific pain when I apply pressure in certain directions. I’m starting to wonder if something may be fractured  at the base of my thumb.

Having said that, because these were DB presses and I could maintain a neutral wrist, these exercises didn’t bother me too much.

The highlight of the day today was discovering I can do some toes to bars! Not a lot, but some. That’s a first. I was able to do 7 legit TTB at the start of this WOD. After that they were “toes as close as I could get to bar.” After the set of 21, they became knees to elbows. But still, it’s always a great feeling when you pull off something you weren’t able to do before so that was cool. I guess shedding the rest of the ol’ hibernation insulation continues to pay off. I just don’t have as big a gut to curl up around as I once did.

Random Thought: I watched a whole bunch of folks that I respect tremendously do Open WOD 12.1 this weekend. It looked totally savage and the way it tore people up, I had NO intention of trying that WOD…EVER! But now I see that the Big D took a shot at it up north. I may just have to take a run at it in the spirit of brotherly competition…then again maybe I’ll wait to see what the next 4 WODs are.