Some days when you least expect it, things just click. Today was also an example that some days you just have to let it happen, and how important it is having great coaches to guide you.

WOD for Monday 030512
Front Squat

Honestly when I saw the WOD posted Sunday night, I wasn’t excited. Couldn’t see how I was going to do front squats with my hand in a splint, so I just dismissed the WOD. Figured I’d work on pistols or perhaps do some running while other folks did the squats.

When I arrived this morning, after stretching out, Jack saw me walking away from the racks and asked if I was going to do front squats. I told him I wasn’t planning on it and held up my wrist in the splint as if to say, “not like this, I’m not.” He told me, “So fine. Do them like this,” and crossed his arms in front of him with his hands under his arm pits, arms creating a shelf in front of him. Kind of that classic, “I Dream of Jeanie” pose. I looked at him in disbelief and thought to myself, “is he messing with my head? He’s making this up isn’t he? What fool in their right mind would load any amount of weight on a bar and then NOT hold on to it?” But I trust the coaches. They’ve never steered me wrong before.

Jack walked us over to the racks and demonstrated with a bare bar how a person can actually execute a front squat really well with the arms in this crossed position. He explained that it’s a technique that you might see fairly frequently in the “globo-gyms,” but it’s not something they typically teach. I tried it once. Because you’re not actually holding the bar, being centered and really concentrating on keeping the arms up are going to be crucial. But it was doable. I was pretty surprised. We talked a bit more about how to bail out if a lift went bad and then it was game on.

Drew and Nick were gracious enough to let me join in their rotation. They were also generous enough to handle all the plates for the morning. I appreciate it guys!

Rounds of three were done at 135, 165 and 185. Since I didn’t check my previous max weights and had no real expectation of keeping up with them, I didn’t offer any suggestions about what weights to attempt. I simply told Nick and Drew, “Do what you’re going to do. I’m just going along for the ride and when I can’t do anymore I’m done.” I never really expected to get past 165.

In fact, because I wasn’t really taking the whole thing seriously, I never bothered to switch into my lifting shoes. Stew noticed that after the first round and asked I brought them. I told him, “yeah, they’re in my bag, but I didn’t expect to be doing this today, so I didn’t bother putting them on. I’m just monkeying around here.” He gave me a direct, “put them on.” While I know that’s what he said, somehow, I heard, “get your head in the game.” I do what I’m told, so ok. I switched shoes.

The first single at 205 was a real strain. I wasn’t convinced I got deep enough, but Nick seemed to think so. From 205, we went to 215. At that weight, I discovered the major distinction, for me anyway, between the two lifting techniques. With a normal rep, my hands would have been under the bar and I would have had at least some support. But using this cross arm technique ALL 215 was resting unsupported right on my clavicle bones. It was seriously uncomfortable. The pain was so sharp that at the bottom of the squat I couldn’t ignore it and bailed.

The guys reset the bar in the rack and mulled over what they wanted to do next. While they did that, I took another attempt at the 215. I didn’t rest the bar right on the clavicles for that lift. In that position, I was able to get down and up. Drew noticed and he was right that it became a bit of a race to stand the lift back up and get it back on the rack because the bar was inching forward and there was no way I was going to hold it out there for long, but it was a legit rep.

It wasn’t until I got home and went to enter the day’s lifts into my tracking sheet that I realized that 215# is a new 1RM! Definitely a pleasant surprise for a Monday.

AMRAP in 10 minutes:
10 Box Jumps (24/20)
10 Ring Pushups
10 Toes To Bar

For this portion, I did box jumps Rx. Jack set me up to do Land Mine (Line?) Presses at 70#. You insert one end of a barbell into an anchor/socket affixed to the base of one of the pull up rig uprights and he loaded a 25# plate on the other end. Lift the weighted end of the bar to your shoulder, then using your legs, hips and good arm press the weight up to the full extent of your arm.

I did TTB on the floor as well,(I guess technically that makes them Toe Raises? ) avoiding the hanging. That doesn’t hurt specifically, but I’m trying to behave myself. Just cause it doesn’t hurt, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

In the end, I did 6 rounds +24 reps. I was 6 TTBs short of a full 7 rounds. Pace was solid again today. I might have been a bit conservative in the first 5 minutes, but it meant I could do at least half the work in the second half of the WOD without burning out. Also probably could have handled another 10# on the presses because all reps of that exercise were unbroken.

Very solid day overall.