Front Squats

Wednesday night we did some front squats as the first part of the workout:
5 sets of 3 to 5 front squats, adding weight each set
I maxed out at 70 kilos, about what my past max front squat was. I felt as if I should have been able to go heavier by now.
Then, after a little rest:
10 kettlebell clean-front-squat-thruster complex (two 12-kg kettlebells)
Run to the stop sign and back
Three times through.
Before we started on the squats I didn’t warm up for some stupid reason, then ended up maxing out at 70 kilos on the squats. After completing the rest of the workout (8:30), I was still kind of cold, and since then I’ve had pain in my left kneecap. I knew I should warm up. I was being lazy and thinking I could get away with it. If I’d warmed up I might have been able to add a little more weight to the front squat and more importantly I probably wouldn’t have hurt my knee.

Deadlift Max

Last night we did some strength work including high-pull deadlifts, weighted dips, and regular deadlifts. We did several sets of three to five reps, increasing the weight for each set. I felt I still wasn’t too tired when we were almost finished with that stuff, so I kept adding weight with the help of a friend who did the pounds-to-kilos math for me. I ended up deadlifting a new max of 105 kilos, having added 5 to my old max of 100. If I can add another 13 or 14 kilos sometime this year I’ll have lifted double my body weight. Maybe in a month or two I’ll try adding another five.

Fight Gone Dippy

Last night we had a variation on Fight Gone Bad, where you do a minute each of several drills and move immediately to the next. After completing everything listed, you get a minute of rest, then do one or more additional rounds of the same thing. A partner counts reps and writes them down. The total of all reps is your score.
Last night I was partnered with my friend Erika. We make well-matched competitors and we both really enjoy this stuff, so it’s fun to work out together.
I’d had a strong Americano coffee in the afternoon and I was bouncing off the walls, so I went first and really pushed myself. Erika claimed to be sleepy but proceeded to get the same score as I did, with fewer reps of some drills and more of others. She’s amazing.

During the second round of dips, I briefly wondered if I was going to throw up. The preceding drills of plank rows and clean-and-jerk (more like a clean-and-thruster really) were painful and the dips were excruciating.
A dumbbell plank row was to put your legs in a sit-up apparatus, face down, and hold your upper body straight, cantilevered out in the air, and row the dumbbells up and down. This turned out to be a lot more exhausting than it looked.
After the workout was the gym Christmas party. We had a great time and feel so lucky to have made so many good friends there.

Front Limber

Last Friday I was playing around with handstands, cartwheels, and somersaults, along with Nancy. We were spurring each other to try things like one-handed cartwheels. I can do one on the left, having picked that up as a kid. I haven’t yet managed to do a one-handed cartwheel on the right. After a while I decided to try handstand rolls, but they make me so nervous that instead of tucking my head and letting myself down, I allowed my feet to fall back, kept my arms locked as best I could, and landed in a backbend. I swayed forward a bit but I held the backbend. Later I did it a few more times. This was exciting because the handstand-into-backbend (the first stage of a front limber) was the farthest I ever got in Chicago Park District gymnastics in fourth grade. I am now hoping to surpass that, maybe by becoming able to stand up out of the backbend, and then I will have gotten farther than I got when I was nine. That would be gratifying. As would being able to do it as elegantly as the girl in the linked slideshow.