That was my technique during today’s strength segment. I’ll explain shortly.

Warm Up

I have to give Coach Lindsay credit for coming up with some of the most creative warm up sessions. I was skeptical this morning. She had a circuit of 9 different exercise stations set up for us to cycle through on 30 second intervals. At a glance, it looked overly complex to me. I was convinced that people would be scrambling all over the box asking, “Wait?! Where do I go next?!” But to her credit she assigned each of us a station, ran the clock and cycled us through basically in a clockwise rotation and it all went very quickly and was very effective. It was good good stuff. Way to go, Coach.

Power Clean
As heavy as possible

I was eager to try and test a new 1RM for my power clean today, but I’ve been eager before and walked away disappointed. So I tried not to have too many expecations going in.

Warm up sets at 95, 115, 135 and 155 pounds all went well.

From 155 I moved up to 185#. This is where I applied a bit of strategy. One of the biggest mental challenges I experience when doing cleans or snatches is that as I jump up in weights, my initial reaction on the first pull as the bar first leaves the floor is, “Shit! That’s so much heavier than the last lift!” I believe that’s been getting in my way mentally. So today I decided to do something about it.

Before atttempting a clean, I deadlifted the 185# first. I didn’t even attempt a pull. I just wanted to stand it up and know what it would feel like coming from the floor and getting past my knees to my hips. That really seemed to help.

Once I set the bar down I said to myself, “See? No big deal. You could ift that dozens of times.” Having a real feel for the weight and having that confident mind set positioned me well for the actual clean, which went up quite smoothly.

From 185 I jumped to 205#, a 10# increase over my current 1RM for power cleans. Again, I deadlifted the bar, set it down and walked around my area telling myself, “See? No problem. Now you know what it feels like. No surprises here.”

The lift was not pretty. I did that thing where I cleaned the bar, but caught it on my hands and wrists letting it rest on my vertically positioned arms. I kind of paused and said to myself, “Yeah. I got this.” And only THEN remembered to shoot my elbows through easing the bar into the front rack position on my chest rather than truly meeting the bar. Definitely not the preferred technique. But I got it.

I wanted to improve my technique, so I repeated the lift at the same weight  and repeated the same mistakes. Still I stood the lift up so I was very pleased. I call it a PR, but I know it needs improvement. I’ll be working that weight for a while until I can catch it safely with proper technique.

3 rounds:
25 Front Squat (135/95)
25 Toes to Bar
Time cap of 15 minutes

I’m just gonna say it. This METCON ate my lunch! I’m not sure why it is. I enjoy the individual front squat lift. I consider it one of my stronger lifts. That 135# is a bit more than 50% of my current 1RM. In theory I ought to be able to bang out a bunch of reps at that weight. Yet somehow, front squats are absolutely soul-sucking when they show up in a WOD! I don’t understand why that is. I just find them to be incredibly draining and they make anything else partnered with them that much harder.

How much harder? To put this in perspective, I was actually disappointed to learn that I completed the first round in just under 5 minutes. I had been languishing through all of it thinking, “there’s no way I’ll have time to finish all of this. I’ll just go as far as I can until time expires.” When I looked up and saw that only a third of the time had gone by and I just might have to do all 75 reps of each exercise, it crushed me.

Toes to bars were a bit weird today. My kip and form felt better today. Both Coach Lindsay and Chip offered some guidance that helped. After the first round though, I just didn’t trust my grip for more than 3 reps at a time. I was paranoid about falling off the bar while inverted, so I kept coming off the bar to reset.

In the end I completed 111 reps, two full rounds and 11 more front squats. When Coach called time I was at the top of a squat. I immediately dropped the bar and then my knees gave out. I’m not sure who hit the floor first, me or the bar. I. Was. Shot!