There’s definitely something to be said for getting familiar with a workout. Had a much better performance on a benchmark WOD this morning than the first time I completed it.

WOD for Friday 101912
Front Squat – 90%

The front squats were tricky. It was very tempting to go after a new 1RM today. The METCON was more important today though, so I stayed within the prescribed guidelines. That meant working up to 5 single reps of 200#. That’s just a shade under 90% of my 1RM of 225#.

The squats felt very stable with high elbows keeping my back straight. Good lifts all the way through.  Looking forward to testing this lift for a 1RM soon.

21-15-9 Reps For Time:
Squat Cleans (135/95)
Ring Dips

So back in May I had my first date with this benchmark WOD.” It was ugly. I behaved badly and I seriously considered walking out in middle of the WOD that day.

Knowing that, I was determined to have a better performance today. There were two goals 1) Use more weight than the 95# I used in May and 2) Bring the WOD in under the 13:36 time. Essentially, just be better than last time.

The additional weight might sound counterintuitive, but my 1RM on a squat clean improved significantly over the Summer to 180#. While 45 squat cleans at 135# sounded absolutely torturous, 95# somehow seemed like selling myself short. I chatted with Coach Ashley T as we were finishing front squats and gave her the background. She suggested me to go with at least 105#. That was inline with what I was planning. I entertained the idea of working at 115#, but was worried about how that would effect my second goal. So 105# was the weight for the day.

I made the decision on the fly to use a purple band rather than the thicker red band that I used the first time on this WOD. I also committed to the strategy of subdividing all the sets into rounds of 3. So three sets of 7 cleans the first time through, 3 sets 7 reps of ring dips, etc.

That first round of 21 seemed to go on for-EV-ER! Moving into the round of 15 I felt like I had to really bear down and stick to my strategy. I was really tempted to break things down into 5 sets of 3 rather than 3 sets of 5 reps. Also had to give myself a bit of a pep talk about halfway through. Re-reading my post about the May WOD, I remembered that it was mid-way through the round of 15 when I almost quit. Just kind of reminded myself that a) I was well out in front of my May pace. b) I was feeling ok and c) pushing through to 10 reps without a meltdown would be an improvement. Knowing in advance how bad the WOD might suck definitely helped. 😉

Once I got through the round of 15, the round of 9 was uneventful. Final time was 11:40! Nearly two minutes better than May!

Keeping things in perspective, there were several people tofay who finished this METCON as prescribed well ahead of me. I know several others will as the day goes on. In the larger Crossfit landscape an 11:40 is not a competitive time. I understand that there’s a whole lot of work to be done. There are so many things at which I still want to improve.

Still, to add more weight for the cleans, to use less assistance for the ring dips and still make such a marked improvement on the completion time…that’s a great feeling. Not ashamed to say I’m feeling pretty good about today.

Couple random thoughts:
Craig and I should probably reconsider partnering on front squat days. The height differential is signficant enough that neither of us is truly comfortable with where the bar ends up racked. As he pointed out, if I would get around to finally hitting my growth spurt, we’d be ok. But until that happens, we might do well to look for better lift partners on heavy front squat days. We’ll see.

Guest Coaches Rock! I still get excited for it. It was a lot of fun working under Coach Ashley’s guidance today. I love her energy! I hope she starts coming to CFD a few mornings to participate in some WODs, even if she’s not coaching. Would be great to have her energy in the room.