The big 5-0

I arrived at the box today to the sound of a VERY loud band reverberating around the place.  Our coach was the only person there, doing his own work-out, so he had the volume up.  We’ve got two rather good quality PA-type box speakers at our place, into which the coaches plug an iPhone containing mostly typical gym-type dance music, and you can hear them at the end of the car park with the door shut at this level.  I did a few stretches, tried to ignore that stupid song by System Of A Down, and checked the WOD.

Is Grace easier than Isabel?
Is Grace easier than Isabel? She is if she weighs 25kg.

The warm-up was weird.  A 600m run, a bit of jogging up and down the box with high knees and similar, and then a partner thing involving jumping over and crawling under each other.  Then 40 shoulder taps in the press-up position with a partner, a three-minute squat hold, and we were done.  Today’s coach always does different warm-ups to the others, but I suppose it mixes things up a bit.

Onto the strength part of the WOD, and my back squat best was 35kg three weeks ago.  I’ve had a few kilos on my shoulders since then, so I decided to push the boat out and start on 40kg.  I did one set of three reps, then another set at 45kg, and then (wait for it), three sets at 50kg.  Fifty kilos?!  That’s 110 pounds (seven stone, two pounds), and the most I’ve done in any discipline except the dead lift.  I was kind of encouraged along by the guy sharing the rack with me.  He reckoned I had more in me but I was happy to stick where I was, as I still had to do the ever-difficult strict presses.

Talking of which, this is the thing at which most people have the lowest weight, as there is no momentum from the lower body – you simply stand still and try to lift the bar from your shoulders to overhead.  My previous best was 20kg, but that was three weeks ago, so I was hopeful of making an improvement.  I started at 25kg with no problem, and then notched it up to 30kg.  I just managed it, but a personal record is a personal record.  I don’t think 40kg is out of the question in another three weeks’ time.

Just like “Isabel” a couple of weeks ago, “Grace” is another of the many named CrossFit WODs that people do at boxes all over the world.  All you have to do is 30 clean and jerks as fast as possible.  It sounds so easy, huh?  I wasn’t sure whether to go with my PR weight, as it’s 37.5kg and I was worried that I wouldn’t do the 30 reps in the four to five minutes in which the coach suggested we should be finishing.  So I wimped out and went for 25kg.  I should probably have gone for 30kg, as I found it relatively easy to bang out the first 15 reps without a break.  I was done in 3:26, which was only five seconds slower than the guy lifting 60kg in front of me.  It may have been fast, but I feel as if I cheated myself there.  I should have gone heavier, and I will do next time.  But one thing I did notice was that the bar is now coming straight up past my chest and onto my shoulders, instead of swinging outwards.  Technique sorted!

If the current work-out cycle continues, we’ll be doing this sort of thing again in another three weeks, by which time 25kg will hopefully be a distant memory for just about everything except maybe my overhead squat.

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