Backsquats, push presses and ball slams? I really couldn’t ask for a better combination of exercises to kick off the week.

WOD for Monday 010713
Back Squat
Establish 1RM

Surprisingly, I wasn’t able to push back squats as far as I wanted to today. Last week was a deload week were there were no strength sessions all week. Just METCONs. Benchmark WODS, but just METCONS all the same. I expected to be fresher and stronger today. Some days it’s there. Some days it’s not. So be it.

I worked with Brian. This guy is getting seriously strong and in a hurry! Congratulations on that PR today! It was awesome!

Me? I worked through sets of 5 at 95 and 135#. A set of 3 reps at 185#. A set of 2 reps at 225#. Then singles at 235, 245, 255, and 275. That’s 30 pounds shy of my 1RM.

I don’t think there was any thing particularly wrong with the lifts. Just didn’t have the strength and or will to push beyond that today.

AMRAP in 8 minutes:
3 Push Press (185/135)
5 Ball Slams (30/20)

I was literally giddy about this METCON. Push press is one of my favorite lifts and I’ve said extensively how Ball Slams are far and away my favorite exercise. This one was going to be a whole lot of fun and it did not disappoint.

The challenge of the morning was picking a solid weight for the press. I can push press 185# a few times, if I take it off the rack. Taking that much weight off the floor is a whole other story! That’s 10# shy of my 1RM for a clean. No way I’d be able to clean that for multiple rounds.

Keeping the CFD site direction of “load should be heavy, but you should be able to complete all three lifts unbroken,” I scaled back to 145. This was an appropriate weight. I was able to do all reps unbroken, but it got VERY heavy in the later rounds.

I hit 5 rounds before the midway point and the thought occurred to me, “I’m going too fast. I’m not going to have the strength to do another 5 rounds.” The very next thought was, “Bullshit! That’s your goal now. GO!”

Pleased to say that I completed 11 rounds even.

Back Squat — This is a funky lift to me right now. It’s one that I felt like I advanced with pretty quickly, but hit a peak and since then have not progressed as quickly as I would like. The chart tells the story pretty well.

Tracking the Back Squat

Tracking the Back Squat

Close to a year ago, I pushed this lift to just under 300#. It took four months to add 5 additional pounds and get to 300#.  From there it was another 6 months to add another 5 pounds and get to my current max of 305#.

I think my goal for this lift is to hit 360# over the course of 2013. That would be a bit over 1.6x bodyweight. Understanding that I’m not going to modify my training program to emphasize one lift over another, this seems like a very ambitious goal, but I’m going to stand by it.

DIRT Competition — So I’m enterning a competion. I’ve registered for the Durham Indoor Rowing Trials on Febraury 23. I’m kind of excited for it.

This is the first time since joining CFD that I’m taking part in a organized competition. I’ve registered for the 2k, 1k and 500M rows in the Master’s Division. I elected to skip the 30 minute row for distance. That just sounded excessively abusive.

I’m hoping the coaches at CFD will give me a little latitude with training for the next 6 weeks. I’d like to substitute rowing for running for all WODs that include running from now until the event. I feel like I have precious little enough time on the rowers and I’d like to squeak in as much time as possible.

It’s going to be an interesting event. I’ve looked at the times for some of the contestants in my age bracket for previous years’ events. I will have to have a spectacular day to be competitive, but it’s not out of the question for the 500 and 1000M rows. I’ve never tried to row 2000M before, so I don’t even know what that’s going to feel like. I might need to get into the gym during open hours and practice that one time, just to understand what it feels like. Hell, I’ve only ever rowed 1000M one other time, so there will be quite a learning curve.

Still, I’m excited to do it. I’m not ready for a competition like the Carolina Fitness Challenge yet. There are still way too many exercises that I have to scale down way too far. But I can row. So it seems like a fun way to get my feet wet in the competition space.

On a totally separate, but somewhat fitness related note, anyone else out there a fan of “The Biggest Loser?” I watched the first half of the season premier last night and had to turn it off. I think that’s going to be an individual post to come later.