A better frame of mind last night, despite my inner thighs killing me from all that 200m running last time out. But there’s no rest with CrossFit – you must always keep going, so with that in mind:
I like the way the strength part of our WODs go in cycles. It gives structure to the training, and means that we’re not just aimlessly lifting stuff with no clear aim in mind. This is the main reason I joined CrossFit over a “normal” gym. I prefer to have my routine laid out for me to start with, so I can then work out the way to go once I’ve got some experience.
So to the back squat, and I finished my last set at 50kg seven days ago. I started at 45kg, as I wanted to see how my aching legs took the squat. It was surprisingly easy, so I went immediately to 50, and then did what the coach suggested we do – went up another 5kg from my best. I’m beginning to see the benefit of all this regular squatting. I could never have dreamed of approaching 60kg when I first started. The 15kg bar on its own was bad enough, but I am now realising that it’s all in the legs. If you squat regularly, you will build the strength.
But no amount of squatting can improve your strict press – that’s all in the upper body. The fact I can now do seven or eight press-ups in a row without cheating tells me I’m getting there slowly. Again, when I started I was barely able to get the 15kg bar from my shoulders to overhead (no dipping, remember – arm movement only for the strict). My improvement at this press has been the slowest, as with most people I think. But I stuck to my aim of improving where I felt I could, and started at my best from last week – 30kg. Two sets in I whacked another 5kg on, and up it went. A huge sense of satisfaction, although one rep was a slight cheat because I bent my legs slightly. The very last rep was a complete failure, as my arms were shot, and it only got halfway up. But the 40kg strict press is not too far away …
And as if my limbs had been through enough for one week, there was just enough time for a crazy five rounds of punishment in the form of dead lifts, press-ups, ring rows, and thrusters. I went for 40kg for the dead lift, and 25kg for the thrusters. My technique for the latter was dreadful. Not squatting down quite far enough for some, variable grip positions, elbows too low on the squat, not enough power to get it overhead. Regardless of that, I posted the second-fastest time of 18 people, including the super-fast girls. Ten minutes, 22 seconds wasn’t as fast as some of the morning WOD people managed, but I’m happy to no longer be the slow coach struggling to keep up. Mind you, had I done pull-ups instead of ring rows, I would probably have been a bit (a lot) slower. But I’m working on those, I promise.