Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's called training

There's a tendency in CrossFit to make everything about competition. I'm not talking about the Games. That is a competition. I'm talking about the WOD, whether it's MainPage, an affiliate WOD, or your own programming you're following. People follow the MainPage to compete against everyone else on the same day. On the message boards, challenges go up to compare times in a metcon taken from someone's log. In our own training, we break out our favorite workouts and try to bust them out in a few seconds less than the last time we did them; we chase new 1RMs more often than we should; or we tackle some obscene workout from a MainPage video or the Qualifiers to see where we stack up. There's nothing wrong with this by itself. As Coach says, "Men will die for points," and so the competition provides valuable motivation to push through the pain that accompanies most CF workouts - to generate the intensity needed to get the most out of our training.

The problem comes when the daily competition takes the place of intelligent training. Last fall, I took this to the Stupid Zone. Last fall, I got in a contest with some folks on the message boards to see who could first get 10 consecutive muscle ups. I got stuck at three before my efforts to Grease the Groove led to some unpleasant elbow problems. Somebody else developed their own arm problem. We called the contest off, and as far as I know, none of us has made it to 10 still.

Lately, I've been doing workouts from the Games and Qualifiers, to train the kinds of heavy metcons I'm likely to face, but also to see how prepared I am - how I stack up against top competition. When I stepped into CF Central CT tonight and saw that they had max deadlifts programmed, I had a notion to try the brutal Sunday WOD from the Great Basin Qualifiers. However, after warming up with 155# cleans, common sense got the best of me. It didn't make sense to tackle another workout that would leave me staring at the bar wondering when I'd be able to complete my next rep. I needed an intense metcon, so I decided to cut the workout in half.

The decision paid off. I pushed to my limit. I had a couple failed reps on the cleans and C2Bs; I fought off room spins for a moment during each round; and I ended up lying on the ground for a couple minutes waiting for the pain to stop. Post-WOD bliss wouldn't come for a while, but I felt great about this (even if I wouldn't have been competitive).


Shoulder triplet
Dynamic mobility drills
Mountain climber burpees, 5x5
Burgener w/u
15 C2B pullups

Power clean/clean couplets 95, 135, 155x4


1,000m row
3 rounds:
    5 cleans, 155#
    10 C2B pullups
    15 box jumps, 30"

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What a difference a day makes

Yesterday felt so lousy that I figured I should hit a day reminiscent of the CFSB program and see if I didn't fall back in the working mode, instead of the whining mode. I did declare "CF Sucks" again after round 1 of the metcon, but I kept after it. It wasn't a goat fest, but aside from the short time domain, I wasn't exactly playing to my strengths. Felt good to go hard and heavy. Now, to do it again tomorrow.


Wind sprints
Air squats
Sampson stretches
Shoulder mobility drills

Heavy stuff
Bench press 45x5, 95x5, 135x3, 165x2, 185x3, 195x3, 205x3, 210x2

Got a new 3RM and 2RM in there despite not working bench since Fall. Gotta love how strength transfers from one movement to another.

Box jumps for height

Got 37 inches pretty readily, but the next jump was to 47 inches, and there's no way that was happening. Did a few horizontal tire-to-tire jumps too. Good fun, but not exactly a workout. Here's photo sequence of John hitting the 37-inch jump.

Deadlift 135x5, 185x3, 225x2, 265x2, 275x1

5 rounds:
    5 Deadlift, 275#
    10 Burpees

Nice cycling of burpees. I have a lousy habit of landing from the jump and then dropping into the bottom of the squat. Today that only happened two or three times, and that made for a halfway decent time on this WOD - despite me stopping to valsava with every DL rep.

Here's hoping I can get in a workout tomorrow and build on this momentum.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I've lost my edge

It was only a matter of time before my 2-on, 2-off, 1-on, 2-off schedule caught up to me. Today, I lacked not only the strength and endurance but the mental strength to push through. I had a workout that aside from the usual suffering would have been good fun, but not today. Today I couldn't muster the intensity, and I spent far too much time looking at the weights. It was all I could do to hobble down the road without walking. Today, I was hating CrossFit, and CrossFit was hating on me. I'll have to give this one a go some other time. It's a good combination of movements. It deserves a shot on a day that I actually feel like moving.


Hip mobility drills
Burgener warmup
Bear complex 45x3, 95x2, 115x1


3 rounds:
    400m run
    Dimishing reps (9-6-3) of:
    • 115# bear complex
    • Tire flip and jump through

That was ugly. It hurt plenty, but that may just be indicative of bad tire-flipping form. I'm guessing I never bore down and flattened my back, given my lack of focus. That only served to slow the runs down, too. Feh.

At least tomorrow is another day.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Exposing my own weaknesses

Took a little detour on the way home from CT yesterday to catch up with Sean Manseau at Pioneer Valley CrossFit. He had already done Jason (a total of 50 muscle ups and 250 squats) in the morning, but he was still ready for a late-night workout. Sean is a great coach and a really interesting guy - a former graphic artist, writer, and now affiliate owner. We were on the same page regarding tackling a qualifier WOD. He had in mind the Great Basin Sunday workout but I had no interest in box jumps because my calves have been locked up tight since skiing Sunday, so instead, we tackled the second European qualifier workout.


Shoulder mobility work
Kipping pullups and 5 bar muscle-ups

(Sean's sweet pullup bars gave me a chance to try these for the first time. Way easier than ring muscle ups if you've got a big kip. Take home message: I need more deadhangs.)

Burgener warmup
Tall cleans
C&Js up to 135#


    C&J, 135#
DNF - got through the last set of cleans in 19:50

So simple on paper, but this was awful. Even concentrating on form on the jerks (to the extent I'm able to execute well), the HSPUs were brutal - way, way harder than the 21-15-9 in Diane. They took Forever. By the end of the second set, I was teaching myself how to kip them and got pretty decent with it - a skill I'll put to use at the Qualifiers, if necessary, but not something I ever intended to learn. It's kind of stupid, really. Talk about non-functional. At the end, I was perfectly happy to accept a DNF rather than wasting time doing 9 more kipping HSPUs.

I don't relish the idea of doing HSPUs at the Qualifiers. Therefore, once I recover from this effort (my traps are killing me), I'll be greasing the groove on HPSUs - sets of 5 or less whenever I get the chance. (I wonder if there's somewhere at work I can do this without them deciding that I need to be laid-off for my mental health?)

Sean finished this workout ahead of me, having the sense to scale and do strict form using bands - what I tried to do in the last round with Zero success. (I couldn't budge myself). As a result, I got some helpful coaching in my last round. The highlight of the workout was when Sean told me to think of the Third Law of Newtonian Mechanics right as I was about to attempt my last rep. I decided I better stick with the previous cue about pushing myself under the bar. We had a good laugh over that one later, but he did bring up a good point. I had spent so much time working my form on the simpler push press that I've gotten out of practice with the jerk. No worries there, really. It's already at the top of my list for exercises to incorporate into my workouts over the next few weeks, and it's a skill that I know I've got in the bag of tricks somewhere.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Snow day

With the family out of town for the week, I decided to get in a ski day before it was too late. Drove up to Stowe to enjoy their closing day. It was an absolutely perfect day in the mountains. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and temperature hovered in the 40s all day - enough to soften the snow, but not so much to turn everything to slush. Mixing runs through the soft bumps, with high-speed cruisers, and adventure runs through the trees (where the late-season conditions left a few more rocks, stumps, and streams kept things interesting), I got in a little of everything out there. The quads started to go, but I figured I was skipping a CF WOD for this, so I kept pushing through to the end of the day. Finished up with a nice tailgate party until the sun went behind the mountain. A fine day. I owe you all some pictures on this blog, but the camera went with the kids for the week. (They're a lot cuter than me.)

16,000 vertical feet in 5 hours
3 beers and one t-bone steak in the parking lot

Saturday, April 18, 2009

You're never ready. It's just your turn.

They say it about death and bullriding. I often find myself saying it about CF workouts, so the last time I asked myself whether I was (or would be) ready for the Qualifiers, I just said "Screw it." It was time to find out. There's no more time to patiently build strength or perfect technique. I need to hit some of those heavy Qualifier workouts and just see what happens. Enter Qualifier workout #1 - Fat Helen. I bottom loaded my DB, so it would swing more like a KB. I'd never swung a 70# DB for more than a few reps before, and the longer lever arm of the bottom-loaded DB was a rude shock to the system, but it wasn't any worse than a bunch of heavy DLs. I don't feel great about my performance, but it didn't totally suck either, so I can't complain.

I've got another four weeks to train before the Qualifiers. The objective - make the time cut in every workout, and don't finish DFL in any heat. (Anything better will be a pleasant suprise.) Regardless, I don't intend to be suprised by the workout elements. There will be a lot of heavy metcons between now and then.


Jump rope 5:00
CFCC Dynamic mobility
Shoulder mobility quartet
Burgener warmup (just because)
TGU 35x3
DB Swings 35x10, 55x5, 65x3, KB-style 70x3

Fat Helen

3 rounds:

    Run 400m
    21 KB swings, 70#
    12 C2B Pullups

C2B's were broken into singles and doubles, because the swings took so much out of me. Swings were broken into 10 to start but mostly 4-6s thereafter. Pretty sure I could get down near 14 minutes, now that I know what a bunch of 2-pood swings feel like on my back.

Ring work
5 STC, pike through to L-hang (gotta get back to more of these soon)
MU progressions
4 consecutive MUs (PR)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Strength is king

It's no secret anymore. The strongest athletes are the best athletes. As Rip says, "Stronger people are harder to kill and more useful in general." That harder-to-kill bit rang lound and clear last night, as I tackled DT - the newest hero workout, dedicated to Staff Seargant Timothy Davis who was killed by an IED in Iraq in February.

The strength displayed by elite CFers is amazing. It's not the instantaneous, explosive strength of
Dimas or the massive, grinding strength of Konstantinovs. It's the ability to move reasonably heavy stuff repeatedly without tiring. Guys like Jason Khalipa, Josh Everett and other Games contenders have unreal work capacities. Me, well, not so much.

The difference between the traditional benchmark barbell metcons - Fran, Grace, Elizabeth - and the Games workouts (e.g., 30 squat C&J, 155#) or hero workouts like DT is remarkable. An extra 20# on the bar doesn't sound like that much when talking about max DLs or squats, but it makes a world of difference when you need to do 30 reps. Make no doubt about it, heavy metcons are the future of CrossFit. You might not be there yet, and I'm clearly not there yet, but it's my future - my immediate future. Kelly Starrett calls "
225 the new 135", the way to separate the wheat from the chaffe. Last night, I was the chaffe, but I wasn't going to give up on this hero workout.

Whether that was the best choice for my physical training, I don't know. The Rx'd weight was my previous 3RM for hang power cleans. I do know, however, that workouts like this are important mental training for me. I may not have mustered maximum intensity, but I learned something about the lay-of-the-land in Heavy Country. In the last two rounds, in part motivated by a desire to not have to clean that bar again, I managed 6 consecutive push jerks. While that was clearly a sign that I could have pushed harder. It was also a mental victory, forcing myself to both increase my work rate and to adopt better form to get the job done.


Burgener warmup
DL-HPC-PJ 45x5, 95x3, 135x2, 155x1


5 rounds:
    12 Deadlifts, 155#
    9 HPCs, 155#
    6 PJs, 155#

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My hormonal milieu

As you probably know, my training has been irregular with weekday workouts getting pushed aside by the working world pretty frequently. I've spoken about the slippery slope with respect to diet and carb cravings. However, I find that there's sometimes an equally dangerous slide when the workouts don't come regularly.

It's not any one thing I can put my finger on, but the loss of routine hurts in more ways than you might expect. Not only do I miss out on valuable training time, but I lose my training mentality. The notion of a Running Grace still sounds cool, but motivating to do such an ugly metcon does not come as easy. During the week, my body is adapted to resting comfortably in the evenings (even though that resting is usually me working on the computer). It takes some planning to convince my body to get off its ass. The other problem is my planning. I've had this nice CFSB program going - squats Saturday, deadlifts Sunday, metcon Tuesday, front squats or cleans Wednesday, and press Thursday. However, that neat little schedule hasn't been kept since the third week in March, and it was only kept once prior to that. Being off schedule isn't bad in-and-of itself. (Y'know, constantly varied and all that.) The trick is to not get thrown by it, to keep training when the opportunity presents itself, to not say because there's only a half-hour available that there isn't time to train. However, that's exactly what happened - too often. I got so wrapped around what my next workout would be that I'd put it off for a day, so I'd have time to do the workout I had planned, and then wouldn't have any time the next day. It's something I've been known to rant at others about - to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good - whether we're talking training or diet. Forget about 3-on, 1-off or 5 days a week; in March, there were many more days I didn't train (18) than there were days I did train, and I'm barely breaking even this month. (The scary thing is: I'm supposed to be getting ready for the Games.)

So, I've missed a bunch of training days. It happens to all of us at one time or another. My timing is particularly bad, but somebody doing a bad job of squeezing in workouts isn't something new. What I find interesting is how quickly my energy levels changed as I reduced my activity level - how comfortable the couch would look when I'd get home at 730 at night. That's the time I most often start my workouts, but after a long day at a desk and a few days without a workout, my body was fully adapted to inactivity and pretty happy with stasis.

The weird thing isn't that the body adapts to the easiest form of existence it can. That's the way we evolved to minimize stress. Unfortunately, it's my stress levels that cause the most trouble. It's not the stress of a high-pressure job. There's lots to do, but it's pretty interesting, and the long days come with comp time that I'm sure to put to good use. However, the travel and the associated diet, the disrupted schedule that has me working some nights and weekends, nights with too little sleep, and the challenge to find time for myself and my family amidst the increased workload, produces a classic physical stress response. My cortisol levels shoot up; I get inflammation of joints and tissues; and my work capacity suffers. It's like I get all the problems of overtraining without any of the benefits of the training that got me there. I'm doing a strength bias program, where I'm trying to encourage anabolic metabolism, and the rest of my life is telling my body to catabolize itself. Thus, some of my reduced training load is simply a sign that I'm listening to my body, doing what I need to do to keep putting up PRs when I do train, but but that doesn't mean I haven't also been slipping into some bad habits.

Part of the stress response is that I found myself craving carbs - more ice cream, dried fruit, chocolate-covered espresso beans (yum), a beer or glass of wine; even the bread looked good at Easter dinner. Fortunately common sense won out on that count, and I settled for a modest dessert of cheesecake with syrup-laden strawberries and a side of ice cream. Yes, this was a deliberate indulgence - an admission to myself that I'd slipped and might was well enjoy it, because it was high time I cleaned up my act. While this sounds like the classic case of giving up on discipline altogether because I slipped up a bit, it worked. My diet has been dialed-in these last two days - starting with an 18-hour fast from cheesecake until late Monday morning, done with the express intent of getting my insulin levels back under control. This is a strategy I've employed of late, when travel and a hectic life get in the way of a sound diet, I work in a fast to help get myself back on track, and then I return to the strategy of Just Eating good food.

I had every intention of working out last night - hitting that lovely row-burpee-run WOD that is just the sort of metcon Rx that my I need. Unfortunately, work kept me going until far too late, so today I ducked out of the CT office in time to visit CFCC and suffer whatever WOD Tom had cooked up for everyone.


Dynamic mobility sequence (hips and ankles)
Shoulder mobility drills
3 x 10 of supermans, mtn. climbers, situps, lunges
30 jumping jacks

Skill work
Power cleans 75x10x4 - focus on efficiency of movement and finishing with elbows up and active hip

50 squats - 2 16K KBs in rack
250 single unders
10 floor wipers


Tabata rowing


Tom actually had the fish game programmed for his athletes. I took on the tabata myself. Needless to say, it sucked. I really lost it on the last three rounds. (I was on a 960m pace before that.)

A pretty short session when you get right down to it, but I needed to just be given a workout and do it. I had my rings, jump rope and DBs with me, but figured the external motivation and a workout partner would do me some good. Good to see Tom's new place. It's in the back of a kickboxing place with a climbing wall. I could make good use of those facilities, if I get there earlier in the day before the kickboxers show up. They've even got a climbing wall. Hopefully, however, my travelling days are numbered and within a couple weeks, I'll only be down here occasionally. While I'm here, however, I might as well make the most of it. On that note, I was too tired to shower and then head out to dinner, so I stopped at the grocery store and made a nice dinner - tuna steaks in coconut milk with an arugula/spinach salad. Maybe not the most impressive workout, but I got the most out of my day.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Get with the program

Now that I've decided to leave the CFSB behind until after the Qualifiers, you may ask, "What does my new program look like?" Funny, I have pretty much the same question. The new program has a few key characteristics, including:
  • an emphasis on intense metcons and associated suffering;
  • skill work to address my weaknesses (overhead lifts [shoulder strength and the dip-drive], hamstring/shoulder flexibility, and have I mentioned endurance and muscular stamina?); and
  • not too time consuming, as I'm busy at work.

Sound familiar to anyone? Could be the MainPage WOD, couldn't it? Just what I was doing back in January to get on track for the Games, before I decided to do a CFSB cycle first. Well, as much as I admire Coach G's programming, he doesn't know my weaknesses, my varying schedule, the equipment I have available in my travels, or the weather around here. Still, the format of this new program will be familiar. There will be the occasional CFSB-like day (particularly shoulder press day), where I warmup, do skill work, do heavy work, endurance work, and a metcon, but I won't have the time for that every day, and I need to attack some longer metcons. I will regularly pick metcons from the mainpage, not cherry-picking so much as goat-herding; I will do my share of short, brutish, heavy metcons of the style that I expect to see at the Qualifiers; and I will do a series of Girls to benchmark my progress relative to where I was when I started to think about going to the Qualifiers. Many days, I'll also do skill-work also to address weaknesses, like push presses and jerks, muscle-ups, handstand pushups, etc.

Saturday's workout also marks another change in my workout program. I went to the Y and had a fun, little warmup, where I did a nice variety of gymnastics work as part of my warmup on the plush gymnastics mat. However, when I went down to the weight room to do some overhead lifting, I couldn't find a single space where I could safely bail. This, despite the fact that there were only three other people there. They'd moved the furniture around in such a way as to maximize the impression of space for people whose intent was to find a place to rest their alternately underdeveloped or oversized ass, while they isolated that particular muscle group that was sure to make all members of the opposite sex swoon with desire. Now, I'm in the habit of redecorating the room to make space for myself, but this time, there was simply nowhere to move the various benching units to make space for some snatches and overhead squats that wouldn't put them on top of one of the three other people in the room. I simply gave up and went home, deciding that it was preferable to hit my workout in the 40-degree garage and out in the rain. I owe the directors at the Y a letter explaining the reason for my cancelled membership, but that's a matter for another day, because my hope is that I can be diplomatic and persuasive enough that they'll consider their failure to provide value to somebody with the simplest of needs by the time next winter rolls around. (I don't intend to live in this same place long enough to make insulating, heating, and pouring a new floor in my garage a worthwhile investment.)



Free-standing handstands
Forward rolls, shoulder rolls, handstand rolls, hand-walking, cartwheels
HSPU on parallettes (partial ROM and full ROM [ears below bars] in pike position)

Burgener warmup x 2 (once at Y; once at home)
Snatch-OHS-snatch balance complex 75x2, 95


5 rounds:

    400m run
    15 OHS, 95#


Pretty happy with that for my first time as Rx'd. I did everything unbroken with the only rests coming before I picked up the bar and then with the bar overhead (unless you count that slow first half of the run in the last round, where I was recovering from a screaming metcon headache). This almost gave me the Fran cough - just the kind of effort I need to produce more often.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Changing gears

Got my last max effort day in at the tail-end of my CFSB program. It wasn't the smoothest implementation of programming with all my travel and missed workouts, but I definitely got stronger just the same. With six weeks to the Qualifiers, it's time for me to direct my programming more directly toward my weaknesses, which means more metcons and fewer squats. I'll keep deadlifting and working on my overhead lifts every week, but I need to focus on work capacity over time, rather than strength and short-term power. I'll go back to training those, because strength, speed, and power are quite simply fun. However, I need to focus on cardiovascular endurance, muscular stamina, and building my willingness to just plain suffer. First, however, I got to enjoy seeing how much progress I made lifting heavy 3-4 times per week for a couple of months. I was pleasantly suprised.


Jump rope 7:00
Messing around on rings

Heavy stuff
Deadlift 45x10, 135x5, 205x3, 275x2, 315x1, 345x1, 365x1 (PR already), 375x1, 385x1

45 1/2 BW thrusters, 85#

3:38 in sets of 26 + 19

Goal was one unbroken set, resting in the rack or overhead. It's one of two remaining Level II fitness standards, both of which relate to work capacity and muscular stamina. This one is particularly tough, and there are plenty of damn strong athletes who have struggled with it, so I don't feel too ashamed of falling short, but I'm going to keep after it, as it gets after one of my primary weaknesses - stamina on the overhead lifts.

Core work
Overhead barbell walk, 95# X 150 feet

Felt more like shoulder work than core work, but that's too be expected after the thrusters.

All in all a pretty easy day, but max effort lifts have a way of catching up with you, so tomorrow I may feel differently about it.

A reasonably comfortable PR.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Embrace the suck

A few days ago, somebody on the boards posted a question about how you master the mental game of CrossFit. That is, how do you dig down halfway through a brutal metocn and convince yourself to do the very thing that all your instincts are screaming at you to stop doing? There were plenty of good replies to this question, but the phrase that occurred to me (and it's one that I've never really liked) is "Embrace the suck." For some reason I never liked the sound of the phrase before, but when I thought about it I realized that it is exactly the mindset I need to push through an upleasant challenge, a particularly nasty WOD.

When you get right down to it, you need to be willing to accept discomfort, to relish that discomfort, to know that the pain you experience at the moment will bring you strength later. It won't bring you comfort. Sure, it may make the physical and psychological challenges of your day-to-day life easier to bear, but it won't make the next workout any easier. Learning to push yourself through discomfort only makes things worse. You get stronger, yes, but by pushing harder, the pain increases. It's a vicious cycle. The more you suffer, the stronger you get, the more it sucks the next time. You'll get stronger, but don't expect it to get any easier. It will just hurt that much more. To make the next step as a CF athlete, I need to learn to love that pain - to recognize it as future strength and hold onto it rather than turn away; I need to Embrace the Suck.

The cruel irony was that yesterday's workout was one of those challenges that was bound to make me question that entire philosophy. Whatever Evil Genius first decided to pair running and DLs can go fuck himself. Heavy DLs screw the back up tight and encourage the body to develop an antiPose stride, where you struggle to simply lean forward slightly. I knew that as soon as I went out for the second run, I'd be in that sort of discomfort that comes from getting your core squeezed mercilessly by itself. Fuck embracing the pain; the pain was embracing me. I knew this would be the challenge of this WOD coming into it. I knew that I had to push through, but when it comes to heavy DLs, pushing through needs to be done with a measure of caution.

I've never been a fan of DLs in a metcon. Maximizing power output is too easily done at the expense of proper form and loss of form on heavy DLs is a recipe for injury. However, after working the DL almost weekly for over a year, I've got the form locked in pretty well and can tell when I'm starting to slip. If Coach G. is going to program DLs on the mainpage with regularity and they're thus likely to show up at the Qualifiers, I need to figure out a way to get efficient at doing them with solid form. I'm not sure I didn't err on the side of caution yesterday (breaking the DLs into sets of 2 and 3 for the most part), but it was a good effort toward pushing through the discomfort and keep putting out the work I know I can produce. As I get accustomed to this particular flavor of pain, I hope I can up my power output on workouts like this. (Of course, there are many flavors of suck I need to learn to embrace more fully, but that's where that Constantly Varied bit comes in. More on programming soon.)


Agility drills
Barbell TGU x 3 each
OHS 45x15

Skill work
Muscle up progressions
4 MU singles

Finally getting the hang of this as a controlled movement. Hope to give the 30 MU for time WOD a go before the Qualifiers.

3 rounds:
    Run 400m
    10 DL, 260# (1.5 x BW)
    20 Box jumps 30"

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hey, this CFSB shit works

I'm certainly not the first to say it, but it was the first time I got to test it myself. I'd gotten "PRs for reps," while working through the program, but I hadn't gone after a 1RM before this week. Thursday's shoulder press test was unsatisfying, due in no small part, I'm sure to the inconsistency with which I worked it (5 times in the last 7 weeks and not at all for the 5 weeks after I set my PR in December). My squat, on the other hand, has been getting lots of love and attention from ME sessions, to DE box squats, to sets of 20, and a handful of new 5RM efforts, but I hadn't done ME sets of less than 5 since January. Today, I got to see how those lighter weights translated to the truly heavy stuff. As you might guess by now, the anwwer is: quite well, thank you.


Row 500m D6 144.5
Hip mobility drills

Heavy stuff
Back squat 45x5, 135x5, 185x3, 225x2, 275x1, 295x1, 305x1 (PR), 315x1 (PR), 320f

A little more aggression and I would have had that 320. I got stuck halfway up with my form locked in solid and held it there for a couple of seconds, but couldn't push through. If I'd hit it harder to begin with, I'm pretty sure that would have gone up too. Still, I'm very happy with this.

Skill work
Handstand practice 8:00

Need to do some shoulder mobility work ahead of time next time. I'm getting pretty solid, but I just don't have the range of motion to lock everything out where it needs to be to make these easier.

3 rounds:

    Row 500m
    50 squats
    25 DB swings, 55#

That was rough. The swings were hard, but unbroken. The squats got broken every round. I was really feeling the heavy stuff. Still, the performance wasn't half bad. I'm planningto give metcon more attention between now and the Games, and hope to have this workout under 12:00 by then.

Core work
GHD 2x15

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bring what you got

Sometimes you've got plenty in the tank and are firing on all cylinders. Sometimes, you just gotta limp on through. There was nothing objectively wrong with me tonight. I just didn't feel it. My timing was off, my strength wasn't there, and I felt all kinds of strange during the metcon. Still, you can't wait for everything to be right; sometimes, it's just time to get after it.

Yesterday I managed a morning workout that didn't even merit a post.

One mile run 7:23

Was supposed to be 5K, but my back/left glute were attacking me, much like they did during my three-hour drive the previous day, so I bailed on the run. Was short on time anyways, so no big deal. Felt much better today, but didn't get out to the gym until 8:30 pm - not my favorite time of day (unless I'm getting to bed early or grabbing an after-dinner drink). No such luck tonight.


Jump rope practice 4:40 (max 3 DUs)
Shoulder mobility triplet

Heavy stuff
Shoulder press 45x5, 95x5, 115x3, 125x1, 130x1, 135x1, 137f (141 is my PR)

Had hoped for a better showing after my CFSB work, but no matter what I do with my programming, I'll be keeping the shoulder press and other overhead work in a regular rotation. One of these days, I'll see some strength gains there.

Filthy 50

30:11 (PR by almost 3:00)

Box jump, jumping PUs, swings, lunges, PPs unbroken, but
DUs took 5.5 minutes
Got to burpees at 18 minutes (previous best was to wall ball by then)
Burpees took 5.5 minutes
DUs took almost 7 minutes (in 1s, 2s, 3s & 4s)

Felt like puking after the wall ball. (Yes, Jenna, I walked away twice. Even tried to walk away from the burpees, at which point I just dropped and did three more.) Sat down after the burpees at the hands of a metcon demon. Felt pukie close at hand and had weird muscle spasms that made it feel like somebody had placed a heavy hand on the side of my neck. Very strange. Got some evil calf cramps as I was finishing up the DUs and hobbled inside feeling Angry Hungry. I swear, if I found a person in the fridge, I would have ripped off their arm and eaten it. Thankfully, I was able to take out my primal aggression on some leftover London Broil and fruit. Good to get in a solid midweek session.