A few thoughts about the WODs from late last week

Thursday’s WOD
The only part about Thursday’s WOD worth discussing is the METCON. The only thing that needs to be said about that is “thank God for watchful coaches with sharp eyes.” They help you fix your glitches on the fly and prevent you from quitting or worse, hurting yourself.

Thursday’s METCON was pretty straight forward on paper (They’re always the one’s that crush you, too! Am I right?)
hang power clean, ring dip
10-8-6-4-2 reps of:
hang power clean at 80 %
ring dip

By the numbers, Rx would have been 165#. There was no way. I did some warm ups at 155# and at the last moment dropped the weight to 135#. Even that proved to be a monster challenge.

The round of 10 took FOREVER to muddle through. The guidance was that the lift should start from either right above or right below the knee each rep. That really confused me.

I decided that I would do each rep from just below the knee. But I was uncomfortable setting up the second position coming from the top down. I was unable to do a clean, drop the bar to position 1 on the hips then bend into a good postion two below the knee.

So I set the bar on the floor each rep. Then lifted up to position 2, pause, ensure that everything was in correct alignment, then lift. It was really slow going.

Ring dips weren’t any better. I’m not sure why I thought I’d be able to do them after having scaled them so much during the skill work (I did 3 sets of 5 instead of 3 sets of 10). I muddled through the round of 10, but they were done in pairs.

For the remaining rounds I snuck my way onto one of the two bars that other athletes had set up. I was careful to ensure that I didn’t interfere with their workouts. Honestly, by the time I was through the roundd of 8, it didn’t matter. It seemed like most of the rest of the room was done and I was pissed.

I was ready to walk away. Wanted to just let the WOD win, but I wouldn’t. I’d already scaled the weight back and scaled the dips back. I knew I should have been capable of doing it, but the cleans were SO damn heavy and I didn’t know why.

Coach Erin came by and observed the round of six and got me right. I was lifting out of position 2 and pausing in position 1 giving away any momentum. I was doing high hang power cleans with an extra pull tacked on.

Soon as she spotted and corrected this the remaining reps went much smoother. I was the last one done, by a long shot, but it got done and I got through it without hurting myself.

So thanks very much, Coach. I appreciate it.
Friday’s WOD
Funky Shorts Road Show – Day 3
I wandered over to Crossfit Chapel Hill at lunch time to work under the guidance of a good friend, Coach Greg. I was excited about this WOD for a variety of reasons.

1) 1RM Bench Press. I’ve been closing in on a landmark number for that lift and was resolved to get it today.

2) The METCON today was a COMPLETE playground WOD! It was exactly the kind of monkey around, tear yourself up WOD that I adore!

So the bench press. I got 250#, guys! (5# PR)That’s a number I’ve been chasing for a while now. Very gratifying to get it. Never hurts your feelings to PR while a visitor in a new box, either!

Now I’ll admit, it was about the ugliest bench press that I’ve ever put up, but I did it without anyone else touching the bar, so I got it.

It was one of those agonizingly slow lifts. The bar came down and touched my chest. I got about half way up and stalled. I stalled there long enough to hold TWO separate conversations!

Greg saw me stall and offered some encouragement with a, “C’mon, Paul. Get it.”

To which I responded, “I’m TRYING!”

At that point, my partner/spotter asked, “You all right? You need help?”

To which I growled, “NO! Hands off. I’ll get it!”

From that point on I it looked like some sort of looney tune lift. One side would rise ever so slightly, then the other side would catch up and pass the first, then I’d try to even out and level off, but that side would rise too high again.

In my head I imagined some little cartoon character running back and forth under the bench cranking on invisible jacks under each elbow.

Of course, then as I was reaching the top and getting some momentum I clanked the left side of the bar on the bottom of the J-hook and had to work around that. I’m pretty sure my hips were wiggling on the bench for the duration of the lift as well. Like I said, it was a vision!

Still, I got it!

The METCON
Work with a partner. One person works for a minute then rests while the second partner works for one minute.

Fat Grip Pull Up Hangs – First time through I hung on for 50+ seconds. Second time around not so much. It’s worth noting that based on the rotations, this was our last station each round.

Plate Steering Wheels – did these with a 15# plate. I noticed that after the bench press, as I turned the plate again and again, I got a sensation in my right shoulder that can only be described as ‘crunchy.’ Gonna need to watch that the next few days.

Turkish get ups with the kettlebell in the rack position — Done w/44# KB.

Renegade Rows – Done with 25# dumb bells. We didn’t have to do a push up between each row because that came next.

Push up plate slides — This is another one of those glorious drunken exercises. The inventor of this manuever had to be chemically impaired when the dreamed it up.

Start on the floor in a plank position with one hand on the floor, the other on the center of a plate. My partner and I used a 25#. Do a push up. After the push up, in the plank position bring the foot on the same side of the hand on the plate forward so that your knee touches your elbow. Now push the plate forward as far you can extending both your arm and pushing forward with your bent leg. Once fully extended switch hands so that the one on the floor is now on the plate, repeat.

Here’s the catch, the rubber bumper plates are textured and so are the rubberized floor mats. Those damn things don’t want to slide. At all! Still. You know what? I loved it.

Then as a sort of informal cash out, Greg challenged us to do 3 rounds max time plate holds with our hands pinched around the rim of our chosen plates. I used 25s. First round was a minute. Second round a minute plus one second. Third round, maybe 30 seconds.

I enjoyed the Workout thoroughly, but I have to say, all that grip, arm and shoulder work took all the fun out of driving my stick shift afterwards. I was smoked.

If you’re in that area, and looking for a gym, definitely check them out! One of the best parts of the gym is the location. It’s inside University Mall! I find that to be brilliantly entertaining!

It makes me giggle to imagine the startled horrified looks unknowing passers by must exchange on heavy deadlift or one rep max back squat days when literally hundreds of pounds of weights are crashing to the gym floor and athletes are celebrating PR’s with their barbaric yawps! Totally cool!

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