Two strength workouts

I fell behind on blogging. That happens so fast.

Last week Scott had us do some weighted pull-ups, and I did one for the first time with a 16-kg kettlebell attached to me. I went in the next day by myself and worked up to this again, and did six singles at that weight, resting 45 to 60 seconds in between.

Yesterday I worked on barbell pressing and squats. On the presses, I got up to not as heavy as I hoped. I worked up to two singles at 40 kg and then did several sets to failure at 37 kg: 3 reps, 2, 1, 1, 1.

On the squat, I worked up to a new max of 102 kg. I had ridden my bike to the gym, so by the time I got home (after that workout plus running a couple of training sessions) I was extra tired. I like that.

CrossFit Total at Local’s Gym

Local’s Gym, the Lynnwood CrossFit affiliate gym, hosted a CrossFit Total yesterday. Scores are posted here. I squatted 175, 210, and 222 pounds; pressed 75 and 89 pounds (and missed 91); and deadlifted 220 and 255 pounds and missed on 266, which would have been twice my body weight. Guess I better work on that. My total was 566, up from 523.

Jenny O. was especially impressive among the women, deadlifting about 302 pounds at about 128 body weight. Awesome. 

Testing max lifts

Having completed one cycle of Scott’s program for O-lifting, I needed to test max lifts in order to start the next cycle. (I haven’t tested them all yet.)

Overhead squat: 50 kg (I may be able to do more but I stopped at 50) (previous max was 37)

Back squat: 100 kg (previous max was 85)

Snatch: only 27 kg because I don’t want to count it if I can ONLY power-snatch it (catch it high). Going to a weekend O-lift workshop in June for two days and hope to improve this.

Deadlift (tested for fun, not for O-lifting): 115 kg (previous max was 110)

Clean and jerk: 53 kg if I recall correctly (duh, it was only last Saturday)

Front squat: ? – still need to test

I have to plug these numbers into Scott’s new spreadsheet and then I can start on the next cycle.

To work on overhead squats, I want to do sets of 5. That means using 80 percent of my 1-rep max, or 31 kg. I have my work cut out for me. We have an 18-year-old female athlete who is my same weight and has overhead squatted bodyweight (60 kg). I want to catch up with her. if only for a 1RM. She’s working on overhead squatting bodyweight for 15 reps, a common goal of more accomplished CrossFitters. If I ever do that… well, I guess there’s no real reason to think I never will… but it won’t be as soon as the young lady I’m thinking of does it! She’s incredibly strong and has the fast recovery ability of youth.

I used this calculator for various-rep max weights if you plug in the max lift that you’ve done.

Fun with barbells

Yesterday’s women’s barbell intro class was fun. It was a great learning experience for me as a trainer and teacher working with a group at various levels of experience and natural athleticism. I was lucky to have two volunteer assistants from the gym, because it would have been a lot harder to manage without them. We taught and practiced (a little) the squat, press, and deadlift, and then ran a totally unofficial CrossFit Total (three attempts at each lift; total the heaviest of each in pounds for the score) so that people could get a taste of the lifts and of one way they can be used as benchmarks and in a competition.

We also made a video clip of each person’s lifts. Some looked better than others and I hope people will use the videos to compare good form with common mistakes. If I do the event again, I might skip the CFT in favor of more teaching, in order to make the common mistakes less common more quickly.

As I expected, it was rewarding to talk with other women about various kinds of weightlifting. They were not much better informed than I was four years or so ago, and they seemed happy to hear about the differences between weightlifting/Olympic lifting, power lifting, body building, and everyday weight training with machines and dumbbells, plus why CrossFitters value some lifts over others and how we use them in workouts. We didn’t have time to do a CrossFit workout, of course, but were able to just touch on it.

Afterward most of us hung out at Hale’s for a while. A good day.

I didn’t complete the CrossFit Total in the interests of time (neither did my helpers) but I did get a PR squat of 100 kg. Allison also hit a couple of PRs. We are still beginners enough to get frequent PRs–a reward to “not” being elite.

Recent max lifts

For reference. Now that I finished the snatch and clean and jerk program Scott gave me, I retested some max lifts in order to start over on a new program.

Snatch: 32 kg
Clean and jerk: 53 kg
Squat: 96 kg

This week I hope to also test the overhead squat and front squat, and try for a higher max on the squat–the 96-kg one was a few weeks ago.

Deadlift and press benchmarks

Tom and I have been having so much fun making movie clips in the gym. He caught my PR 42-kg press (95 lbs) and 115-kg deadlift (253 lbs), also a PR, with the camera so as usual I couldn’t resist posting them. The older I get the more I’m going to enjoy these–the activities AND the video documentation. Hopefully I’ll be able to press 44 kg by my 44th birthday this year.


“Fran” workout, take six

21 thrusters (weight: 65 pounds)
21 pull-ups
15 thrusters
15 pull-ups
9 thrusters
9 pull-ups
Time: 5:34

Last time (a couple of weeks ago) I did “fran” all alone in the gym and I was slower with less weight. Yesterday I was well rested and there was a noisy room full of people working out. I was really glad to be that much faster and heavier, and had no shoulder problem.

I had been unusually tired the previous two days after doing a lot of snatch practice followed by heavy squats to a new max (96 kg) on Monday. I wasn’t sure that should have made me feel totally spent for two whole days, but Scott told me he experienced the same thing when he was doing more O-lifting practice.

CrossFit Total

Rainier CrossFit hosted the CrossFit Total event. The CFT gives you three attempts at three lifts (squat, press, deadlift). Your heaviest of each are totaled, in pounds, for your score. I squatted 192, pressed 89, and deadlifted 242 for a total of 523. My old total, last August, was 496 so I was happy with yesterday’s result, but I need to practice deadlifting. My deadlift had not gone up.

My squat and press were new personal records. I can now press two-thirds bodyweight overhead–rewarding, because I had specifically been working on that.

My eyes should be looking straight ahead. It sure is hard to break habits such as where your eyes are pointed.

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