I’ve had a few classes at CrossFit RE after taking five personal training sessions with BeckyJo. Personal training was great because I had a chance to get to know her a bit more and see how I would feel physically during and after fairly high intensity workouts. It let me vent some of the “here are all of my special needs” blather that I was attached to. Like a lot of people, I just have to get that stuff out of the way early on, and then once I know I’m considered to be a normal person who will fit in, I can forget all that stuff and focus on the workout and on getting to know the other people at the gym.

It’s interesting to be a newbie at someone else’s CrossFit gym. Just the fact that in personal training I had to process the usual insecurities: “What if there are so many doubleunders that I’m about to pee myself? What if we have to do the Filthy Fifty and I can’t get through fifty without it turning into a death march? What if I’m the last one to finish every WOD?” etc etc. These things are not important. I can modify anything I need to. I needed to be told that.

So I’ve been treating every WOD as a practice session. Do a round or a set, rest if I need to, hit the next one. I can focus on doing things well rather than fast. It’s fun and CrossFit still makes me feel great.

Kyle came over today and we did back squats in the garage. He’s been off a bit, so he stuck with me on the weight. I had a one-rep max recently of 220, so we went up to 85 percent today, three sets of five at 185. Then we had lunch. I really appreciate and am grateful for how he and lots of other people in my gym world have kept in touch with me. It’s just a little bit like having a local extended family. Not quite the same, but they are people I can call on for help with certain things, such as feedback on excerpts from my writing project. I’m working on a book on weight training for older women.

Powerlifting meet follow-up

I ended up going to two meets this summer with Bull Stewart and his team. The first one, in June, I did all three of the lifts. My second squat was disallowed for lack of depth. I was so surprised! “Moi?” I’ve busted so many people for not squatting deep enough, so it was great for me to get a dose of my own coaching medicine. My third squat was deep enough and was at 215 lbs. Not a record for me, but a good conservative and confident weight for my first meet following a disallowed lift.

Bench presses and deadlifts went smoothly. I ended with a bench press of 110 lbs (conservative) and a deadlift of 248 lbs. I thought 248 would be on the edge, but with the excitement of the meet, I knew I could have lifted substantially more.

I love the supportive and friendly culture I’ve seen both at Bull’s gym and in powerlifting, at this meet. Really great. I decided later in the summer to deadlift only at the Alki Classic, a meet held on Alki Beach each August. With a busy summer, I was able to focus on training my deadlift only, and this was Bull’s idea because I was going to skip it altogether. I made my own plan to increase my deadlift in the five weeks I had to prepare, because I really wanted to set a personal record on Alki Beach. How fun would that be! My deadlift training plan that I followed is at the end of this post. And I did indeed set a PR of 264 lbs on my final attempt.

I used flat sneakers at the meet, after training in weightlifting shoes, to give myself more of a mechanical advantage. The advantage of deadlifting in flat shoes was something I knew about, but almost for arbitrary reasons I had made up my mind that I’d do all my lifts in WL shoes all the time. A trainer at CrossFit RE, Greg Gerard, suggested I try flat shoes for the meet, and I could not disagree. It worked. As soon as I knew I had lifted the weight about two inches off the floor, I KNEW I had it. If I get stuck, I get stuck right above the floor. I let out a scream to motivate myself to stand it up. I was really happy with this lift! I love the deadlift. Link is to my first deadlift session in September 2004.

It had been a long, hot day, so I got a photo with two powerlifting teammates and then Tom and I took off. I am disappointed I didn’t stay for the team photo because the whole team is so cool!

Here’s the way I trained during the final four or five weeks before the Alki meet in August 2017:

Week 1 – 7/15
Find 3rm: 3rm was 228 and I stopped
Week 2 – 7/21
7/21 I did deficit deadlifts at Bull’s place. Standing on about 1.5 inch planks,
8 singles at 225 then a set of three when someone (Rose Pristell) lent me a belt.
Week 3 – 7/28 – I did 230 x 1 off the blocks, then 230 x 5 off the floor.
Calc 1 rep max = 259 or 268 depending which calculation you use at timinvermont.com
Week 4 – August 3
Plan: Do a set of 3 at 233; actually ended up doing five at 233.
Week 5 -August 10
goal is 239×3 (This is the 3rm for 264×1)
Stiff leg dl from rack up to 155 for sets of 8
Regular DL 175 to 233 for 1 each.
Then take 264 out of rack and lower under control to floor.
Meet on Aug. 19; goal I trained for is 120 kg or 264 lbs
1st attempt 112.5 kg, same as last meet – succeeded
2nd attempt 117.5 kg – succeeded
3rd attempt was 120 kg and succeeded! (264 lbs)