After a week’s vacation experimenting with my own bodyweight only workouts, it felt pretty good to pick up a bar bell today.

WOD for Monday 070813

5 Rounds:
1st Position Snatch
2nd Position Snatch
Snatch (from the floor)
Rest 1 min between Rounds
Use 50% of Snatch 1RM

Did these at the prescribed weight, 75# based on my 1RM. Even with completing the assigned warm up it still took a round and a little to loosen up the hips. Dropping into a deep squat was a real challenge until close to the third time through. Except for that challenge, things felt pretty good.

Back Squat
5 reps @50% – 140
5 reps @65% – 170
3 reps @80% – 225
2 reps @90% – 250
Establish 1RM (no more than 3 attempts)

By the time we got to the racks for back squats my legs and hips felt very good. I was very optimistic about what the morning would hold. Based on a 1RM of 280# set a few months ago, I worked the weights listed above.

The most satisfying part of the working sets was that they felt quick. So often when I do back squats, particularly at the 80% range and higher, I get tentative. I’m inching down in my squat thinking, “Am I there yet? Am I deep enough? Is that below parallel? Should I start up now?” Then there’s this  instant of, “Oh shit! I’m there! Up. Up! UP! UP!” Today was just down, squat, stand. No concerns about depth. No pain in the right leg. Just down and up. Did wonders for my confidence.

First lift – 270# Pretty straight forward. Down and up. Stuck a bit coming up, but I was never concerned that I wouldn’t finish it.

Second lift – 290# This one had me wondering. Well over a year ago, I back squatted 300# one time. Since then, I haven’t been able to get within 20# of that lift. It’s been frustrating me to some degree for the better part of this year. It’s either a TRUE personal record in that even a blind squirrel finds a nut some days sort of fashion. Or it’s entirely possible that who ever was spotting me that day gave me a generous evaluation of whether or not I was truly below parallel. Either way, 290# is definitely beyond the upper limits of anything I’ve been capable of in 2013.

I stepped into the rack thinking the odds of lifting it successfully were much better than they’ve been in quite some time. It went well. Down quick but in control. Good depth and a smooth climb out. Got a bit forward, but held things in line to finish it. Very satisfying.

Third lift — 300# – Went down well. Felt like I was starting up ok, but I didn’t get far. Craig mentioned after that I let my chest cave. The bar folded me forward which meant my legs and ass were still driving upward, but my head, neck and more importantly the bar bell were not climbing with me. Ended up losing it into the safety rack.

All in all, a 10# improvement on my 1RM, which I’m confident I could replicate is satisfying.

I also really enjoyed the spotting other lifters today. I think Nat gets the prize for biggest gain on his back squat 1RM. Bested his expected goal by more than 40#, I believe. Way to go, buddy!

3 Rounds Not For Time, but good reps:
6 modified Glute-Ham Raises (see video below)
Max Effort L-Sit Holds
Finish with 100 Banded Good Mornings

I like this METCON. Coach Tripp pulled some rarely used exercises out of the hopper today. I always enjoy that.

The glute-ham raises were interesting. My partner, Einar, is significantly lighter than I am. Which means to anchor my feet he pretty much had to sprawl across my legs. It must have been kind of funny to observe.

The whole process impressed me as a combination workout and exercise in trust like those trust falls you do in corporate team building functions. There you are on your knees testing the strength of your core as you lean farther and farther forward just waiting for either your midsection or your partner to fail leaving you to belly flop on the gym floor.

I attempted to do strict L-sit holds. I don’t have them yet and it will be a while before I do, but that’s cool. I did tuck sits in the parallettes. Maintained holds of :35, :39 and :30 seconds respectively. I have no complaints about that. I was really impressed with Einar’s L-sit holds. Just damn pretty to look at.

The one thing I didn’t do that I would like to experiment with is an L-sit with one leg tucked and one extended. Not sure if I could maintain that or not. May have to tinker with it during warm ups one day this week. I’m just curious.

Banded good mornings are always so deceptive. Several guys in the box used green bands. For 100 reps? I wanted none of that. I tip my hat to them for their initiative, but a blue band was plenty for me.

The thing I like most about this METCON is that I can feel the soreness in places that I normally wouldn’t ache. From which I conclude we hit muscles and groups that don’t frequently get challenged. I always appreciate that. Plus, the variety of doing things that don’t come around often always makes my day.