Great crowd this morning even on a cold soggy dark day. That makes working out so much better when you’re among friends.

WOD for Thursday 011713
Front Squat – 85%
Shared a rack with Brian and Craig today. I worked the 5 assigned sets of 3 at 185#. That’s around 75-ish percent of my 1RM. While my upper body felt good and I was able to maintain proper form throughout most lifts, my feet were a bit of a challenge today.

One set I was getting forward into the balls of my feet. The next I was rolling my feet inward as I descended. Going into the third set Coach Erin suggested I bring my feet in some a bit closer to, but not quite under the shoulders. In the moment it confused me. I could have sworn that very recently she or another coach encouraged me to spread my feet out a bit. But I confuse easily, so that may have been in reference to a back squat. I don’t know.

However, the last three sets with my feet closer together but still with toes pointed out were better than the preceding lifts. The last set of the day actually felt the best and Brian confirmed that they appeared to have the best form of any done on the day. So I ended with a hit.

AMRAP in 15 minutes:

5 Clean (135/95)
10 lateral jumps over your barbell
Run 100m

So I looked at this WOD last night and thought, “10 rounds should be achievable. 12 would be fantastic.” Yet again, I learned this morning what a lousy judge I am of the effort necessary to complete any given WOD.

I did the WOD Rx and the cleans got VERY heavy, very fast. I had a challenge the first round with dropping the bar after each rep. You wouldn’t expect that to present a challenge would you? However I found that with the bar racked on my chest in a loose grip that allowed my elbows to rise as they should, getting out from under the bar strained my wrists. I was trying to pull the bar away from my chest with my arms and that was bending my wrists back farther than was comfortable.

About halfway through the second set it finally occurred to me to do a small dip drive. Just enough to alleviate some of the pressure of the bar on my chest. That little lift was enough that I could then step backwards and clear my hands and arms out from under the bar allowing it to drop. Some days it comes together and I can be just a little bit clever.

I really enjoyed the lateral hops! I’ve said before that I wish I could find an opportunity to do some downhill skiing. Lateral hops are much like slaloming downhill. When it was time for hops, I went to my happy place out on a favorite ski run in the Adirondacks envisioning the perfect ski run. Don’t laugh. It helped! I got through all lateral hops unbroken.

Runs were not nearly as pleasant. It’s rained all night here in Durham. There was a very slight drizzle going on during the WOD and it was around 50 degrees or so. Not cold, but it was damp, dark and dank. But hey, it’s all part of the game. If we get the 2-4 inches of snow tonight that the weather stations are calling for, tomorrow could be a VERY interesting workout.

I actually called out to the box as I returned from the third round run, “Would you, could you in the rain? Would you, could you, with the pain?” In the moment, it amused me. If anyone noticed or responded, I couldn’t tell or missed it over the noise of the other athletes working.

When the 15 minutes expired, I had completed 6 full rounds, 5 cleans, the 10 lateral jumps and was headed out the door for one last run.

Call it 6 rds + 15 reps. No where NEAR the 10 rounds I was envisioning. Ah well. I’m pleased to have completed this one Rx, so I’ll take it.

Dave, the gym owner, posted pictures on Facebook of the new 35# and 40# slam balls that have arrived at CFD. During the front squat work I made mention of them and exclaimed how I was looking forward to playing with them later in the morning. “Playing with balls” of course led to some suggestive banter between Craig, Brian and I. My response was, “Hey, we’re all adults here, so let’s be honest. Who among us doesn’t enjoy a few good ball slams in the morning?” I noticed that both Craig and Einar on the neighboring rig had to take a few extra moments to compose themselves before their next sets of squats. Am I wrong?

Being the slam ball addict that I am, I did experiment with a 40# ball after the WOD. I did a quick set of 5 reps. I’m not sure I’ll be working with the 40# ball regularly in a WOD. It felt a whole lot heavier than 10# more than a 30# slam ball. We’ll see.

Definitely a fun day today.