New strength cycle…

Now that the CrossFit Open is done, seems it’s time to get back to business at the box. This includes starting a new strength cycle with our coaches.

Wasn’t quite sure what that meant until last night and ooh boy it’s going to be a doozy. Coach Drea is mixing things up a bit this time. We’re doing strength, but not like we have been. More metcon, less focus on a single movement with more reps.

If you don’t know what a “metcon” is, Robb Wolf defines it as (excerpted from his post on “The Case for the Short Metcon”):

“The ‘Metcon’ (short for metabolic conditioning) is a staple of CrossFit style training. Typically it is two to three exercises repeated for rounds. A classic example from CrossFit is one called “Cindy”, one round consisting of 5 pullups, 10 pushups, and 15 squats. This is repeated for 20 minutes and scored based on the number of rounds completed.”

reading-the-wod-memeToday’s workout came in two parts… The first part combines a few strength movements with higher rep counts. The second was just there to make us sweat I think.

I arrived a bit later than I wanted and found the rest of my 9:30 class running a 400m to warm-up, so I dodged in the door, dropped off my stuff, and joined them. It was myself, Caleb, Joe, and Yolanda (I didn’t catch her name, but I think that was it). We worked with Coach Drea. Most of the 8:30 class had already popped out by the time I got there, but I did get to say hi to Danielle and Larry.

We warmed up with an empty barbell and did a 3 minute barbell series… 10 deadlifts. 10 strict press. 10 back squats. Lather, rinse, repeat. A bit of an abbreviated bear complex, but it worked to get things moving.

Once that was done we talked about the workout…

  • Deadlift – Work up to heavy set of 5 reps, touch and go.
  • Strict Press – 3×5
  • Pullups – 3x Max Rep Strict Pullups

Caleb and I worked together. Joe did his thing. And Yolanda worked a lot with Drea, which was cool.

Olympic weightsDeadlift-wise, we started with 135#, jumped to 225#, then popped up to 275#. Once we got to 5x at 275#, we both were less “touch and go” and more “crash to the ground without letting go, reset, and go again.” So I dropped weight-wise a bit to 255# and that felt better. Caleb went up to 305# and made it look easy.

From there we went to the strict press. Tried 135# off the bat, but it didn’t feel right to me so we went down. Ended up doing 5 reps each at 95#, 115#, and got to 4 reps at 135# before I lost it. Caleb pushed and got as far as 175# twice before he stopped.

Looking back at my PRs list, back in February 2015 my one rep max was 125# for a strict shoulder press. Considering I did that 5x today and 4x at 135#, I think my one rep may be going up.

After that, we did the pull-ups. And, as Larry rightfully pointed out today, my “strict pull-ups” are more chin-ups because of my hand position. I can’t yet do an overhand strict pull-up after 3 years of crossfit. But I can do a few with an underhand grip, so that’s what I did. And I managed sets of 4, 3, and 2 – which honestly I’m happy with. I expected it to be more like 3-2-1.

45-Plate-BWThus ends the “fun” part of this workout.

Then we did a 6 round series:

  • 6 ground-to-overhead with a 45/25# plate
  • 12 plate overhead walking lunges (each leg) – same plate
  • 24 Russian twists – same plate


Any time there’s “lunges” in a workout, I’m immediately screwed. Even after putting knee sleeves on, I was all over the place. Trying to keep the plate locked out overhead, I was completely unbalanced and couldn’t figure how to get my knees to the ground. So I rested it on my shoulders behind my head and did it that way for a while. Eventually I left the weight out completely and just did the lunges – and even those sucked.

So I got through 4 rounds of that mess in about 20 minutes and called it good so I could get back to work. Meanwhile Caleb finished his in about 22 minutes and Joe got through 4 or 5 rounds before he cut out.

Not my idea of a good time, but that’s why you go to crossfit. Every day is different. Some days you get movements you like and sometimes you don’t. 🙂

Thanks Caleb for working with me today – was nice to see ya! And I can hardly wait to see what Drea has in store for the rest of this week. HA!


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