No shoulder work today and a few of my favorite movements made for an outstanding Monday.


Back Squat – Test for 1RM
I set a new back squat PR in December at 315 pounds. I was very eager to get beyond that today. Eager to the point of being anxious.

Coach Lindsay smartly put us through a comprehensive stretching series for warm up and each time she concluded a stretch I would turn to the barbell rack only to be called back to do one more stretch.

In my head I was hollering, “C’mon! Just let us go lift!” The routine was in no way excessive. It was thorough, appropriate and very necessary. In hindsight, I really appreciate that she put us through it. But in the moment, I was just so eager to put weight on my back, that I had very little patience for it. Eventually, we got to lift.

I worked through warm up sets of various multiple reps from 115 – 275 pounds, then moved to singles.

The single at 295# was a confidence builder. I squatted it and thought to myself, “Yes. This is definitely a PR day, but how much?” I spent a lot of time, perhaps too much, mulling that over. I didn’t really want to expend the energy to make a single anywhere between 295 and 315. That seemed like a waste of energy.

I really wanted to make an attempt at 325 pounds, but the more I thought about it, the more I allowed it creep inside my head. A thirty pound jump at the top of my range from one lift to the next sounded unreasonable. After a lot of mental back and forth I told myself, “Squat 320. Just be MORE than 315 and that’s a PR and a win.”

The lift at 320 pounds was definitely tough, but it was a good lift. Well worth a fist pump, a ‘hell yeah,’ and a quick trip to the PR bell! I’m optimistic that I can get that additional 5 pounds at the Crossfit Durham Crossfit Total at the end of August. So that was very cool.

Always exciting to start off a Monday with a new personal record!

7 minute AMRAP
7 Front Squats 155#
7 Bar facing burpees

Nothing going on here that required me to scale or substitute to protect my shoulder and that was a good feeling. I attacked this METCON in a way that I have not gone after previous workouts for quite some time.

155# is about 65% of my Front Squat one rep max, so I set a goal to never set the bar down. I achieved this, but didn’t quite go unbroken. In the later sets I had to reset my feet and/or take a couple extra breaths with the bar in the rack position. But once I cleaned it up, the bar did not return to the floor until all seven reps were done.

Bar facing burpees were a bit of a slog, but I kept moving.

When the seven minutes was over I had completed 4 full rounds plus 2 more front squats. I was very satisified with that score.

I got a little self-conscious during the late rounds of the METCON.

Sweat was pouring off me to the point where it was running off my nose in a stream. When I exhaled hard at the top of the front squat to reset my breath I was spraying a mist out in front of me! I was a sweaty, snotty slobbery mess.

I was also grunting and growling loudly each time I cleaned the bar for another set of front squats. I wasn’t really concerned about what kind of impression I might be making on my friends in the Crossfit class, even though we had one fairly new athlete with us. But I was aware of the bootcamp class finishing up outside coming in to return their gear.

Many of the athletes in that class are in the Friday class which I coach. I could tell that a few were watching me as they were returning their gear to the gym. For a moment, I felt maybe I was making a bit of a spectacle of myself. Ultimately I chose to embrace it telling myself, “Well, if nothing else, I’ll give them a lesson in intensity!”

I actually like working out in that 6am Crossfit class where the bootcampers can see me. I find it motivating to get out of bed just to be seen. I like them seeing me working out just like them, even if it means that some days they see me struggling.

It was definitely a fun morning!