James can be reached at TwinFreaks CrossFit, where he is an owner and trainer. James coaches barbell lifting classes and CrossFit classes. Contact him by email at james@twinfreakscrossfit.com or by phone at 720-204-2631.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday 11/29

Dead lift day.

135 x 5
210 x 3
240 x 3
280 x 3
315 x 1
335 x 1

335 felt neither good nor bad. It's the heaviest I've been post-injury, and my intention is to bring the top dead up very slowly. I seem to be hampered mainly by fear, so I'm just going to inch the top single up a few pounds at a time and see if I can convince my brain and body that it's okay to lift heavy.


3 x 7

This is a PR and the kind it's impossible to feel good about. 3 x 10 is the minimum required here. Still it's impossible to suck completely as long as you're doing something to address your weakness. Soon there will be a concentrated hamstring blitz month; maybe December if it doesn't kill my rowing.

Monday is not bench day. Stay the fuck away from me if you think Monday is bench day. We're not doing "8 Weeks to your Perfect Beach Body" here. Take that shit to 24 Hour Fitness.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Cycle and What's Next

We started a new cycle of 3/5/1 today having decided to vary from 5/3/1 so that we get more heavy singles in with a view to preparing for max singles at our next meet, 3/5/11. I've decided that a reasonable goal for me is to total over 1,000. I believe I can gain significantly in the dead lift since I can train it again, and I should be able to find a few pounds on the squat and bench.

Sunday as always is press day, and I did:

45 x I don't know
75 x 5
100 x 3
115 x 3
130 x 3
140 x 1
140 x 1
145 x 1

I didn't feel especially good, so I shut it down at 145. I'll try to go balls out in two weeks and see if I can hit 155 or 160.

If you've been around, you've probably noticed I've been rowing a lot lately. I'm preparing for an indoor race in Denver 01/29/11, and I'm also doing the C2 holiday challenge wherein I try to accumulate 100,000 meters between 11/25 and 12/24. I figure the best way to get that volume without killing myself is to do two 6 km pieces Saturday and Sunday, and two 2 km's each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I'll see what my 2km time is on 12/24, and then figure out how best to train to shave a few seconds off in the next month.

I freaking hurt today. I'm going to see what epsom salts do for me. I'd take tomorrow off, but it's dead lift day.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Colorado Regional Write Up & Project Awesome

I knew Friday morning when I weighed myself at 184 I would be in for a long day. Two of us were well aware that we were flirting heavily with weight limits, and the team had scheduled a late afternoon sauna excursion with two sweating and two blocking the door shut. It was painful for me as I had to resort to some calisthenics in the sauna, but I weighed in at exactly 181.7 Friday night.

Friday night I tried to rehydrate and relax by playing over some chess games of David Bronstein, possibly my favorite player ever, but as is usual for me lately, I slept like complete shit. I woke up feeling adequate, and I figured ammonia and a Spike Shooter would get me through the squat after which I could take a token bench and dead lift and just enjoy the meet.

Problems continued during the rules meeting when we found there would only be one flight of squats as only twenty-one lifters were squatting. That meant that I would have to warm up at the same time as J-Heff and VP, that my attention would be divided between coaching and lifting, and finally that VP would have to help me with knee wraps and then squat seven lifters behind me.

First squat: 150 Kg - good lift - three whites. I was actually worried about my opener since the judging was ruthlessly strict. I just made sure I was well below parallel, and I didn't have any problems here.

Second squat: 165 Kg - good lift - two whites, one red. I made my second attempt at my low goal for the meet, a double body weight squat, and this was easily the worst and most frightening lift I've ever made. Even post injury I've squatted more in the gym, but with the judging I knew I'd have to take this one low, and I've been having problems getting to depth since my back fell apart. I went with ammonia, slapped myself, and performed some serious barbell voodoo such that the weight felt light coming out of the monolift and going down. Coming up I swayed heavily to the left. Usually if I have any problems I'm either over my toes or pitching right. I can't really describe how panic inducing it was to realize not only that I was failing, but that I was doing it in an entirely new, unknown way. I was sure the spotters would jump in, but when they didn't I knew I could either stay with lift and keep driving come what may or go down like the Titanic. I'm not sure how I arrived at the top, but I heard the "rack" command, got the bar the hell off of me, turned around and saw two whites.

Third squat: pass. My plan was to take a crack at 400 if I felt good. On the second attempt I wanted my wraps tourniquet-tight. We had timed this in training and found it took 120 seconds. I started wrapping four lifters out yet still felt rushed and didn't get the wraps perfect. I was probably feeling extra-shaky following the second squat, but I though any mistake with 400 pounds would be enough to get myself crushed, so having an official double body weight squat in the books, I stopped here.

First Bench: 100Kg - no lift. Here we had two flights. After coaching our three women through the bench and stressing to them not to jump any commands, I went in the second flight and inexplicably jumped the "rack" command.

Second Bench: 100Kg - good lift - three whites. No problem here, but it takes a toll to do the opener twice.

Third Bench: 107.5 Kg - no lift. I had no big expectations for the bench, but this was disappointing. I thought 107.5 would go, but it stalled about three inches off my chest.

First Dead lift: 150 Kg - good lift. By this time the lack of sleep was bothering me as the Spike had worn off. Absolutely everything felt heavy warming up, but this went up as easily as if it had been 100k. Here my plan was to take a second and possibly third lift only if I had hit a third squat that put me in a position to total 1,000. I wasn't even close, so I bowed out here.

Probably the worst part of the dead lift was that we again had two flights. I knew our lifters were in good shape here, so I was warming up while they were lifting. I missed seeing every one of their PR's.

Overall I was satisfied with my performance. Since injuring myself I have pulled over 300 pounds two or three times, and I had squatted over 305 only four or five times. I expected good but not great stuff to happen, and that's how it transpired.

I did, however, have a great time at the meet. We have the next three months of lifting programmed. The women will PR everything in March at our next meet, while I should break 400 pounds at the same meet. I feel like I can finally take on a full training load, and the 200Kg squat is now scheduled for next summer.

Don't be scared if you see us. We are almost certainly adding chains this mesocycle.