Friday Brodowns

I like Fridays at the gym. Usually no running, nothing rough on the legs. Maybe to just give us a break after some rough weeks, but it’s nice to just focus on hypertrophy. Super sets and complexes to failure to just get a pump, and upper body. It’s starting to feel odd when I have a day that doesn’t leave me on the ground in a puddle panting. The workout was still rough, and my chest, shoulders, triceps and core all feel like they got worked; I don’t have that drained/exhausted feeling through after some of the tougher metcons we had this week. I did get plenty of sleep last night, so maybe this is what good recovery feel like.

I’m a little worried about that knot in my ass and a little twinge in my shoulder. About 3-4 weeks ago now we did some hand stand push up work, and I was trying to do some kick ups and landed wrong, and while it didn’t really slow me down or continually hurt, there was a pretty sharp pain in my glute. Normally, my legs feel fine. I don’t know if I reaggrivated it Wednesday, but it’s a knot that won’t loosen right now. I’m hoping the next 3 days of rest will let it finally heal.

My shoulder started Tuesday, during the strict presses. During one rep I let my elbow flare a bit and felt some tightness. Felt fine Wednesday, but I think I aggravated it with those burpees yesterday. Basically, I need to watch my elbows; push ups, pull ups, anytime something is going overhead. I think especially towards the end of the metcon yesterday I was just flaring elbows and overworked my shoulder. We did close grip bench and tricep stuff, along with front rack & overhead kettlebells today – it didn’t hurt, so when I use good form everything feels fine. Just something I’m going to be aware of going forward – form is more important than a good score. If I can’t do it with good form, I need to be going slower, or scaling differently. I do not want to have to suddenly take a year off because of my shoulder.

Warmup:

  • 1 min row (easy) (2:25)
  • 10 scorpions
  • 20 prone swimmers
  • 10 push up to down dog
  • 40s row (moderate) (2:10)
  • 20 banded pull aparts
  • 20 banded triceps pushdowns
  • 5 plyo push ups
  • 20s row (fast) (1:55)

Strength: 6-12-25 protocol

  • 3 rft (16:00 cap)
  • 6 close grip bench press (challenging weight) (115#)
  • 12 rollback triceps extensions (20# dbs)
  • 25 banded triceps pushdowns (red band)
  • no rest between movements, 3:00 rest after all 3 exercises

Metcon: “Sled Death Carry” – Max distance 18:00 with partner

  • asymmetrical kb carry with sled (25# kbs, 45#sled) (700m/1400m with partner)
    • 1 kb in front rack + 1 kb in overhead, alternate sides every 50m
    • sled belted to waist

That 6-12-25 workout didn’t look very difficult at first, but by the 2nd round my triceps were burning. The 3rd round I was trying to finish my last rep of 12 roll backs and when I extended up my arm gave out and the dumbbell almost came down on me. My grip didn’t fail or anything, I just couldn’t straighten my arm to finish the rep; I pushed to extend and it wobbled and then went noooope and I had to move my head because there was a dumbbell head coming down at me. Failure, or pushing it, was the stimulus the coach said we were after.

The sled death carry was a little misleading, but probably my fault it wasn’t so ‘deathy’. I did a warm up with 30# kbs without the sled and wasn’t feeling sure if I’d be able to keep the front & overhead positions while pulling the sled, especially after about 8-10 minutes. Still got a good workout, it did get a little tough to keep the core tight towards the end with that overhead kettlebell extended. I just remembered two weeks ago when we did around 5 rounds of sled pushes and then 4 rounds of like 20 russian kettlebells and 30 air squats, and probably went a little lighter than I could have. But there wasn’t any shoulder pain in the bench or the kettle bell carries.

I’m looking forward for an awesome weekend, heading into the mountains with the family for some hiking and relaxation. I’ll be ready to be back on Tuesday and after it again – hopefully glute/shoulder back to at least 95, maybe 100%.

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There is no chill

My parents are coming out to visit this weekend, and I think it’s going to be at the perfect time. I’m getting close to burning out. They’re staying until Monday night, so I’ll use their visit as an excuse to skip Saturday class and likely Monday’s as well. The rest will do me good. Work is picking back up, I start my first 8 week term of classes in late August. It’s a good thing I never really got much of a social life going this summer, because I’m not going to have any time soon. Working out, going to work, studying, and then taking the time to meal prep/plan and make sure I’m resting enough and eating well? That’s going to be a fun juggling act. It’s good that my new friends all love working out and are trying to juggle it all too. No hard feelings when you say you have to bail because you have to meal prep, or you’re just exhausted from the day and going to sleep at 8:30.

Wednesday’s workout was just brutal. Especially after that double-tabata Tuesday. I felt absolutely torched in the morning, and nothing felt good at all. The warm up run had me gassed and my legs burning. Thursdays class didn’t get much easier. My goal right now is just to survive the 5 days this week. I almost skipped todays class; I felt pretty tight when I woke up, and it took 10 minutes of stretching before I could comfortably get into a squat or lunge. And I still took a few passes on my hamstrings and glutes with the foam roller before warmups.

Wednesday Warmup:

  • Run 400m
  • 5:00 of pose running drills
  • then 3 rounds 30s on/10s off
    • hollow rocks
    • air squats
    • wall walks
    • kip swings

Wednesday Skill: EMOM 8:00

  • ODD: 15s l-sit holds
  • EVEN: 20s hand stand hold / hand stand walks

Wednesday Metcon: AMRAP 20:00 (4+21)

  • 10 kb swings (53/35)
  • 10 t2b (knee lifts)
  • 400m run (200m counts as 1 rep)

Thursday Warmup: light DB & Box – 3 rounds

  • 5 db rdls
  • 5 db sumo deadlifts
  • 5 db rows
  • 5 db front squats
  • 5 db front rack reverse lunges
  • 5 db box step ups
  • rest 60s

Thursday Strength:

  • sumo deadlift against band – 3 / 7 x 3 @ 55%, EMOM 8 (130#)
    • % based off unbanded 1rm sumo deadlift
    • reset after each rep, no touch and go
  • Kneeling jump + box jump – 3 / 6 x 3 rest 60s
    • dynamic vertical box jump scaled

Thursday Metcon: 3 RFT, rest 6:00, repeat 3 rft – 18:00 cap (5:15 first, 6:30 second)

  • 12 burpees
  • 12 db front squats (55/35)

Ahahaha. Yours truly COMPLETELY misunderstood the metcon when I read it on the whiteboard. Our coach was trying to prep us for it; she said it was supposed to be max effort. She warned us it was going to hurt. That we were lucky because at 6:15 it’s not going to be 95+ like it will be for the evening kids doing it. I was thinking to myself that doesn’t sound bad. Sure, all out sprints suck but if I rest 6:00 between rounds that doesn’t sound horrible. Oh you sweet summer child. I sprinted through those 12 burpees and front squats, I even did REAL burpees and not step ups, cuz, you know… max effort sprint. I finish my front squats with some of the cool kids in class; busted through that first round in about 1:15. I had about half a second to feel proud of myself before I see them drop into burpees again.

Oh fuck. 3 rounds, THEN rest. THEN repeat ALL THREE ROUNDS AGAIN? 12 burpees in under a minute is a PR for me – I’m assuming I did them in under a minute because I don’t think I transitioned to db front squats and broke out 12 in under 15 seconds. I’ve never gone that fast, certainly not over 10 of them. I’m still surprised after pushing like that in the first round I did the next 2 in about 2min each.

I also made it on the consistency board for June. They post up a list of all the members that made it to 12 classes or more each month, and the number of times each person went. Because of my membership renewal dates I was able to sneak in 13 instead of just 12. I notice not many people go 20+, only 2 or 3 each month it seems. One of my goals is to see my name around the top of that list every month. At least until October. June – October will be 5 months since joining, and 1 year of weight loss. If I can avoid injury, I think I’m really gonna like what 5x a week for the next 3.5 months is going to do.

Eight weeks down

This week starts week 9 of doing crossfit. The end of the beginning, if I’m allowed to be a little dramatic. It feels like that, too. Twelve weeks is nothing in terms of fitness. Instagram fitness models and coaches might claim a six pack is only 12 weeks away, but they never tell you that’s for already trained individuals that maybe took a break, or are just trying to finish up the last bit of their training they’re attempting. For your average person, sitting on their couch scrolling through insta? You might see a tiny start of definition, but by 12 weeks is barely enough to get your pulse up.

That’s the best way to describe where I feel right now on week 9 of 12. This is, by a long shot, the longest I’ve ever committed to a program. I’ve never, week after week, followed something for 9 weeks straight (I guess I should say 8, week 9 isn’t done yet!). I’m not feeling like a beginner anymore. There’s still a few new movements popping up here and there, but for the most part I know how/what to do, how to scale on my own. I’m joking with the regulars, making friends.

And I’m still anxious as hell about doing things with them outside of the gym. They invite me to go biking with them, but I’ve never done real mountain biking; I’m from Illinois. We bought mountain bikes and rode them on the street. We might ride on a flat dirt/gravel rode or cut through a service trail through a corn field. That voice in my head tells me I’ll be slow, weak, holding the group back, and bring everyone’s time down. Rational brain knows I train daily with these people. They’ve seen my physical ability. If they’re inviting me, they either believe I can handle it, or they’re not worried about going a little slow or teaching someone new.

But anxiety brain says everyone’s going to have a bad time and hate me for being slow, and stay on my couch and “recover” instead. We have a camping trip coming up though, so biking will be done regardless. Then I’ll be on here, writing “oh em gee it was so fun why didn’t i go with them earlier i’m so stupid”. I’m nothing if not consistently stupid.

Monday Warmup: 2 rounds light band & moderate KB + barbell

  • 10 dynamic pigeon pose
  • 5 cook squat + oh reach
  • 5 walks outs > down dog
  • 5 tempo goblet squat (#35) + KB lower (4s down, 2 curl, explode up)
  • **hook grip**
  • 5 rdls
  • 5 hang muscle cleans
  • front squat
  • **on coaches call**
  • hang power clean + front squat
  • hang clean
  • power clean from mid shin + front squat
  • 3 single cleans (I refuse to say squat snatch or squat clean. If I say snatch/clean, it means full snatch/clean. Power, hang, rack are modifiers. not ‘squat’ damn it. RAWR.)

Monday Strength: 5 x 3 @ 55# clean, goblets w/53# kb

  • clean – use 3-4 sets to build to 90% then 3 singles testing 1rm
    • Rest 2:00 between sets
    • Beginners: 5 x 3 with empty bar/light load, perform 8 goblet box squats @ challenging weight in between sets
  • dimel deadlifts 1 / 3 x 30 @ 40% of dead lift 1RM (75#)
  • kb march 4 x 30s on / 30s off (25#)

Tuesday Warmup: 2 rounds barbell + light kb

  • 400m run
  • 25 jumping jacks
  • 5 walk out > push up > down dog
  • 5 kb windmills each side
  • 5 burpees
  • 10 thoracic rotations
  • 10 reverrse lunges rd 1, 10 air squats rd 2
  • 5 bent over rows
  • 5 sumo rdls
  • 5 sumo deadlift high pulls
  • 5 strict presses
  • 5 push presses

Tuesday Strength:

  • band resisted strict shoulder press – 3 / 5 x 3 @ 55%, rest 60s (55#)
  • chest supported db rows 1 / 4 x 12 + 1 second pause (20#)

Tuesday Metcon: 4 rounds 40s work 20s rest, score = total reps (219*)

  • wall balls (20, 14) (10#)
  • hand release push ups (3s negative push ups)
  • barbell sumo deadlift high pulls (75,55) (55#)
  • kb windmills (53,35)(alternate sides each round)(20#)

Monday was odd! No metcon? Turns out, that doesn’t make it easy, but I left class Monday with 90% of my shirt dry and my water bottle half full; it’s usually about 10% of my shirt is dry and water is gone. They made us pay with that little double tabata cycle today, though. Wall balls kill me. I like them, I find a nice rhythm with them, but holy crap 40s of them and I felt like I was back on 200m sprints. That last round, my push ups were 3 seconds down, a one count with my head on the ground to feel sorry for myself, and then the struggle bus to get back up. I think I was at 219 for my reps, but didn’t record my score because I have no idea if I kept count correctly and the people that were calling scores were barely over or under mine – I’m not not middle of the crossfit pack so we’re pulling a move from baseball and putting an asterisk on it.

Cleans still aren’t great, but I feel OK about that. The front rack issue is gone, but now I struggle with the extension. I either pull with my elbows too fast, so that my hips aren’t extending enough and I’m kind of just muscle cleaning and then falling into a squat, or I’m hyper extending and stressing my lower back when I catch. So I went light and practiced, and it’s starting to come together. My last couple sets I was keeping tight and not feeling any stress on my back. I wasn’t doing enough to hurt it, but it was one of those things that if you listen to your body, you know it’s saying sure, we can put up with this, but if you continue it or add more weight we might have issues.

I’m getting better at body control and form, but the fact we don’t spend a lot of time on them means it’s going to take awhile, and I’m ok with that. After this 5 class week followed by a 6 class week, I’m hitting my limit. I met with my academic adviser yesterday and am starting my masters with the August term, so adding in another training session at night with work, school, and you know, rest so I can keep attending 5 classes a week… I think I’ll just take the clean & snatch form as it comes.

Birthday WODs

To celebrate heading into my late, late 30s, I made it to all 6 classes this week. It may be an excessive amount to continue. I want to say I’m only going to shoot for 4, maybe 5 at most, but that’s what I was trying to do this last week. If I wake up and feel fine, and the workout is something I know I need to work on, I’m going to go in. So I could easily find myself again sitting at 5 classes a week, and then agreeing to go to the partner wod because of my birthday, someone elses birthday, a coaches prewedding wod; things like that. This was the point of the unlimited membership, right? If I feel good, I go in regardless. 6 days, 7 days, 5 days. 3 days. Do whatever I can, when I can.

Earlier in the week the coach that usually does the classes I take and the one that on-ramped me was doing a PT session with another athlete and asked if I was going to show up for the partner WOD Saturday. My birthday being Sunday and we don’t have classes on Sundays. That’s really why I went to 6; each week day we were working on something I wanted to do, and then I felt pressured to show up for a pre-birthday WOD. People push me a lot more than I admit to myself sometimes.

It was a 3 person team partner wod, and it was probably the first time I tried to do a class with a hang over, and it was the hardest class I’d done yet. It felt pretty comparable to manion, and at one time I thought I was going to puke. I really attribute that to the hangover/dehydration – and I’m glad I’ve been putting mio sport/power-aide powder in my bottle to get them electrolytes (its what plants crave!); taking some large swigs of that might have been the only thing that kept the previous nights food down.

I actually kept the party pretty light on Friday night, but still did have a little hangover. I really was tempted to not go, but I’m glad I still went. A few extra people did show up from the 615 class and we went to brunch after, it was fun a good workout. They do an affirmation circle before the WODs on people’s birthdays, so we stood in a circle and everyone tried to think of original and nice things to say about me. Somehow, stuff like that doesn’t make me feel awkward; that or people singing happy birthday. I take comfort in the fact many people find having to do it difficult, so it makes me feel less awkward listening to them try.

Warmup: 15 minutes dynamic

  • running poses
  • a & b skips
  • high knees, butt kickers
  • 90 degree hip rotations
  • push up > down dog > l/r reach
  • 5 point stretch (knee raise > deep lunge > elbow to floor > reach up > hamstring stretch)

Metcon: AMRAP 30:00 (2 + 69)

  • teams of 3, split reps including run
  • buy in – 3 mile run
  • Remaining time
  • 30 barbell rows (135/95)
  • 30 wall balls (20/14)
  • 30 pull ups
  • 30 box jumps (24/20)

I knew about halfway through warm up that this was going to be a rough one. My energy wasn’t there. My hamstrings were a bit tight and took some time on a foam roller to get loose, but overall I felt good except everything felt harder than it should. We did a few rounds of pull ups, wall balls, and rows to get our weights, and every weight I tried at first I ended up going lighter. As it was, we split the reps, and I felt a bit bad. The owner and another guy I’d worked out with a few times before (he’s the guy rehabbing his knee) teamed up, and I’m pretty sure I’m the reason we didn’t get into that 3rd round like we were aiming for, because of those runs. Maybe 100m sprints would have been better, but I thought for the sake of attempting to push myself and not have my partners compensate for me too much we’d try 200m sprints. Bad, bad choice. That’s stuff I’m not good at. Make me row, run, or bike for a certain time, sure. Make me hit a certain time plus anything else (distance, calories) I’m gonna be holding the team back.

My second to last set of sprints that little quitter voice in my mind popped up that last 200m was bruuutal. You might want to drop to 100m. I don’t know why it always wants to quit towards the end, so I went all out on the last one. I’m glad we were splitting reps, and I went first, which meant the other 2 still had to do 200m each before I had to start the first set of barbell rows or I would have had to go have a spit. That rest got my energy back up, and I felt good through the first round and into the 2nd until those box jumps. Those seemed to drain most of what I’d gotten back, and then that 3rd set of wall balls took the rest. I was sitting there ready to start my ring rows, hoping I could catch my breath as they finished their wall balls and could at least put out 5 of my “pull ups”. I did, but if I was gassed from those sprints, I’m guessing the other two were gassed worse for having to try to compensate my times, and we couldn’t get through the pull ups.

Things have been going well with the woman I’d started seeing earlier last month, and have been/will be spending the day with her. We went around my favorite trail (so far) in Boulder, and taking a break before a baseball game this afternoon and steakhouse for dinner. I’m uncomfortable with people doing things for me or letting them in, I’m trying to get better at it. It’s nice, and a lot better spending my birthday grumpy and alone like usual. Here’s to another year getting healthier.

Turning points

I had a coworker ask me today what my turning point was. What made me decide to stop being 360lbs and be the person who talks about balancing 5 days of crossfit with 3 days of olympic lifting. I give her credit, she prefaced the question by saying I didn’t have to answer, acknowledging how personal it was. I appreciated it enough to lie.

Today was floor presses. A fucking miracle, we didn’t even sniff legs. No hidden burpees. No wall balls. No air squats or lunges. Just bro’ing out.

Warmup: 2 rounds/ light band light db

  • 2 minutes bike or row (oh shit, I lied about no legs)(ps went super slow)
  • 10 db floor press
  • 10 renegade rows
  • 10 single arm banded triceps pushdown
  • 10 single arm banded lat push downs

Strength: 3 RM all day this week

  • close grip floor press 3 /8 x 3 building to 1RM, rest 60s (155)

Metcon: 16 rounds to bro town AMRAP YEEET (233)

  • AMRAP 4
    • db bench press (25#)
    • immediately into
  • AMRAP 4
    • barbell curls (55#)
    • immediately into
  • AMRAP 4
    • russian twists w/plate 45#
    • immediately into
  • AMRAP 4
    • bradford press (front + back = 1) (55#)

WHOOO them shoulders burning tonight boys! Big city slams with big city snipes.

Bradford: fuck you, and your press. Anyway, that’s a 155 close grip floor press. The floor press is a bench press that you can’t bro – all shoulder, triceps, chest. You can’t get leg drive, you can’t flare your elbows. 4 weeks ago I did 145 ONCE with a full range close grip bench press, legs kicking (tried two but had to get help picking it off my chest). 2 weeks ago I chickened out and only went 125 for 5 reps on a regular bench. Today I did 3 reps at 155 with a floor press. Was that me, just yesterday, questioning crossfit’s ability to give strength gains?

I have to give credit to the guy I was paired up with though. I was thinking about 95, 115 would be my working sets. But I’ve seen this guy lift and he’s strong, so I was just going to follow him. I lifted everything he was, and we got to 115 and I did it and thought it wasn’t bad, so I’d just keep following him. He goes to 135, and I follow him. He puts 155 on and I’m already thinking well that 135 felt ok, I like his style. Lets see how far we get! and as I’m daydreaming of my personal PRs, he lifts up and almost immediately drops the bar on his head. I barely reach down and grab the bar, we didn’t have clips so half the weights tilt over and almost drop. We rack it, I apologize for being a piece of crap and make sure he’s OK, and then I just drop under it without a second thought. I figure ‘well, mine can’t go that much worse!’. I popped off a pretty solid 2 reps, with a little shake on the 3rd.

I’m glad to see my body responding as well as it has. Kissing 40 like I am, all you hear is these tales about how everything hurts, you don’t recover as quick, this excuse, that excuse. Everyone’s joints hurt. The only thing I know is going into the gym and making my legs pick me up works. Sometimes I can do a lot of weight, sometimes I can only handle a small amount. But one thing’s for certain – my legs feel better on days that I do that than days that I don’t.

Banding together

More band work today: band resistance sumo dead lifts. That conjugate method coming back into play. Can’t do a a movement more than once in a 4 week period! I have to keep telling myself it’s no big deal. I don’t know why it messes with me. I’m still constantly fighting this feeling of wanting to focus on olympic lifts, but I’m starting to push the idea in my head that it’s not a big deal that I’m not. I was going to write about it yesterday, this constant thought in my head to try an olympic focused program. Or to quit after my 90 days at the box and focus on developing my strength for snatches and clean & jerks. Is it really that big of a deal that over a month we do flat bench, close grip bench, floor presses, and push ups, instead of bench press 4 weeks in a row? Would that change really make me feel that much better?

I can’t answer why I want to do those things, though. What would I hope to get out of a weightlifting program that I’m not getting from crossfit? Do I think I’ll really have more fun going into a weightlifting gym, standing on a platform, and just spending an hour going through drills and 2 lifts (or just one)? Do I really think it will get me a better body than this mix of strength, skill, and conditioning work I’m doing daily now? It’s not as if when my 90 days are up in August, if I switched to a weightlifting gym and program, I’d going to be competitions in a few months. The only thing it will do is help me get my snatch and clean weight up. I’d likely have to go back to running on my own for cardio. I’d probably start ignoring my plyometric work. I’d have to put more daily effort into it instead of just RSVP’ing to a class and showing up. I’d have to drive 20 minutes to the gym instead of 3.

All for (maybe) increasing my numbers on oly lifts. I think my problem is the research and interest. When I was powerlifting, or right now researching weightlifting, I’m completely nerded out to it. I’m watching videos at work, looking up programs, absorbing everything I can on the lifts and techniques. Crossfit, I just go and do. I’ve spent so much time the last 10 months focused daily on my fitness, Crossfit feels like cheating. It feels weird to just hand over the reins and I think I need to just start focusing on other aspects. Sure, I have crossfit goals, but I think I really need to get it through my head that I’m not going to be elite, I’m not going to be good enough to be winning competitions. If I could do it all over, yeah, I’d stick with that YMCA lifting program when I was 13 instead of being a whiny brat and playing video games and eating candy, and I might have tried to become a competitor or made my life about coaching. But, I think I need to realize it’s too late for any of that now.

At 38, I’m not going to switch careers. I don’t have enough savings to stop working and focus. I don’t have the financial freedom to take a chance like that. Pursuing coaching seemed like a nice plan when it wouldn’t cost me anything to get the degrees, but now that it would it’s certainly moved from something I was thinking about to something I’ve pushed into the “you wish” bucket. I need to be happy with where I’m at. A good job, living in an awesome state. And I should be happy with what I have done. I’ve done a pretty damn good thing; I’m sitting pretty steadily at 205, which seems like a good weight for me. I’m maintaining it pretty well on ~2500-2700 calories, and starting to lose inches instead of lbs, so plenty of leeway there. I have a good plan and programming – crossfit 5/6x a week. My nutrition is mostly under control.

I can finally relax. Maybe not exactly, but at the least I can set & forget; I’ll continue to build muscle and lose body fat if I keep this up, no changes, no research, nothing special needed. What am I supposed to do with this free brain time? Study devops I guess…

Warmup: barbells + boxes, 3 rounds

  • 5 rdls
  • 5 sumo stance rdls
  • 5 front squats
  • 5 good mornings
  • 5 bent over rows
  • 5 step-ups each leg
  • rest 60s + add weight

Strength: (125lb, seated vertical jumps)

  • sumo dead lift against bannd: 3 / 8 x 3 @ 50%, every 60s
    • reset on each rep
    • based off 1rm sumo deadlift (no band)
  • kneeling jump + box jump: 1 / 6 x 3
    • kneeling jump + box jump = 1 rep
    • rest 60s
    • scaling: seated dynamic vertical jumps 6 x 3

Metcon: “Abs of Steel” 12:00 for time (8:38, 15#)

  • 50 toes to bar
  • 50 front rack walking lunges (115/75)
    • every time you put the bar down, complete 10 bar facing burpees

Dead lifts felt good. Pretty easy to add the band resistance, just put the band in one foot, wrap it over the bar and put it around the other foot. Because we were doing rdls in warmup, I did the first 2 banded sets as sumo rdls instead of deadlifts, and my right side’s been feeling a little tight since. Once the coach reminded me I should bend my knees, the weight came up easier and the strain went away, but there’s still a bit of that over worked tight feeling. I’ll throw some muscle rub on it and take an asprin tonight, should be fine tomorrow.

I chickened out on those front rack lunges. That threat of bar facing burpees looming anytime you set the weight down had me scared. Our coach said she wanted the weight to be tough (something we could do about 10 reps of) but ALSO wanted us to do 3 sets or less. So, I went with an empty trainer bar and did a set of 30 and set of 20. The fact I did 30 probably means I went light, but you know what? I certainly didn’t feel cheated doing that set of 20 after those bar facing burpees. Also, it gets a little interesting trying to navigate walking lunges with a bunch of people walking around with 8ft barbells in front of them.

I had my yearly preventive physical today. Doctor visits are more fun when your doctor is gushing and excited about your charts and progress, and saying things the whole time like “you don’t understand. I do these appointments all day and look over blood work and this almost never happens. I never get to tell people lets take you off this medication, or surrreee you don’t need that one anymore!” I almost want to go back to my old doctor in Illinois that I had for about 15 years, and all she did was watch my weight go up, diagnose me with condition after condition, and sigh and say in that exasperated voice once again “you really should lose weight”. Just to let her have that same feeling of a patient that finally took their advice.

Hardio cardio

To get the big news out of the way: I did a proper clean! And then went a little heavier, and repeated a proper clean! My first clean, my coach wanted more extension in my hips. My second clean, I was so focused on my hip extension I didn’t pay attention to my left hand, and I lost control of the bar. It slipped out of my hand and between my fingers, and half-jammed it. I had to sit a second in the catch to adjust my front rack and then push up & thrust, and that sucked. That’s how you learn, right? Lift with intent. Do every movement with intent. When I lose focus, that’s when I catch my foot on a box jump. So for my 3rd set of thrusters, I set up for the clean, and this time went through the entire checklist, and pulled. Keep the over the bar, extend the hips, elbows high and tight, pulled the bar into my front rack while driving down into my squat, and boom. I’m there, in the squat, elbows up, bar on my delts, fists closed on the bar. Awww yeah.

So I added another 10lbs, pushed out a few more sets of 3 thrusters, and can officially claim a clean and thruster PR of 75#. I’ll take it. Technically a front squat PR too (if you can clean it, you can front squat it). It’s not a lot at all, but it means one big thing to me – I can use the barbell and 10lb bumpers and start pulling from the ground normally like a big boy now. Closing my fists around the bar and controlling it like that is a huge step in my training, as now I can start adding weight (slowly of course) and pulling from normal heights.

I have to remind myself to have patience. I’m in the grind now, and I need to get used to it. The last 10 months have been prep work, getting me ready for the real work. Its time to build muscle and strength, and that comes in terms of YEARS. 4 weeks ago I was whining about how I’d never get the bar into my front rack. Today I turned the corner and am ready to finally start adding weight. I’m on week 8 of 12, and all my numbers from May have gone up about 20lbs for lower, 10lbs for upper body stuff. If that keeps up, I’ll be squatting 225, deadlift 305, bench 205, pressing 155, and cleaning 195 in a year (training imbalances for the win!). Those numbers don’t sound bad at all, and I’m probably low balling it – improving my form and training imbalances (like at the moment I can bench 145 but squat 125) means my squat & deadlift might jump even higher in the coming months as my legs catch up.

Warmup: 2 rounds + 2 rounds w/ barbell

  • 15 cuban press w/ negative (pvc)
  • 10 dynamic lat stretches
  • 30 thoracic rotations (15 each side)
  • with a partner, Junkyard Dog Warmup (5 reps, 1 round each)
  • 5 rdl’s
  • 5 muscle cleans
  • 5 front squats
  • 5 strict presses
  • 2 sets of 3 thrusters with pause on coaches call, add 2.5 & 5lbs to bar

Strength: 3RM Thrusters (2 @ 55, 3 @ 65, 3 @ 75)

  • 3 / 6 x 3 max weight thrusters from floor, rest 2:00
  • try to build weight each round until 3 rep max effort

Metcon: Hardio Cardio (assault bike – 10 calories)

  • 10 rounds
  • 30s work 60s rest – calories on bike or distance on rower
  • score = worst distance/calories out of all rounds

UGH! That stupid bike. My goal was to keep it at 12 each round, and I don’t know what happened but round 4 I just didn’t have it and put up a 10. I’m proud of myself for continuing to shoot for 12s after that, but still that sucked. Also, should probably describe the junkyard dog warmup, which was some bullshit as well. Partner sits on the ground with their legs straight in front and their arms out to the side making a ‘T’. The other person starts from behind the partner and jumps over one arm, turns and jumps over their legs, then turns and jumps over the opposite arm. That’s 1 rep, and then you turn around and go back doing the same thing.

Every jump was just filled with dread that I was going to smack their arm or land on their legs. But it did something pretty helpful, and that’s get them hips explosive: and who was getting good extension on their cleans and thrusters? This guy.