Tag Archives: back squat

Lots of Heavy Reps

Wow today was a challenge. Lots of reps at heavy weight.

rogue-black-med-ball-web6_1Arrived for an 8:30 workout with Ev and Logan. With just the three of us, Coach Drea had a quieter morning until I started bellowing during back squats. πŸ™‚

We started with a bit of the warm-up from last week:

  • 10 medicine ball deadlifts
  • 10 med ball shrugs
  • 10 med ball front squats
  • 10 med ball power cleans
  • 10 med ball squat cleans

And then we hit the ground running.

  • Back squat 10-8-6-4-2 reps
  • Shoulder press 10-8-6-4-2 reps
  • Deadlift 10-8-6-4-2 reps

squats-nyeI told you it was a lot of reps. And we were supposed to shoot for our 1RM at the top. HAHAHAHA… Ahem. Not quite. πŸ™‚

  • Backsquat
    • 205# x10
    • 225# x8
    • 245# x6
    • 245# x4
    • 245# x2
  • Strict Shoulder Press
    • 75# x10
    • 95# x8
    • 115# x5 (tried for 6, but couldn’t push any further)
    • 115# x4
    • 125# (failed twice)
  • Deadlifts
    • 225# x10 (now over my body weight, which is crazy – I’m below 220 now)
    • 245# x8
    • 265# x6
    • 285# x2 (couldn’t convince my body to work after 2)
    • 285# (failed twice)

I’m not going to say that some of those reps were pretty, but some were prettier than others. I stayed at some of those weights for longer than I wanted to because my body was telling me some nasty things.

So… I decided when I got home to add all of that up. For fun. 15,705 pounds. Nearly 16k pounds. 8 tons. No wonder my body was telling me nasty things. πŸ™‚

8 of these. Yup.

Time to rest up I think. Great work!! Thanks Drea!


Come Squat Away With Me!

With apologies to Styx, we were singing “Come Sail Away” this morning at the box with slightly different lyrics — thanks to Coach Bill!

A gathering of crossfitters appeared inside our box
They sang to me this song of lifts and this is what they said
They said come squat away come squat away
Come squat away with me…

(“Come Sail Away” by Styx, slightly altered by crossfit-induced endorphins)

As you might imagine, it was a good day at the box. πŸ™‚

Arrived for the 8:30 class on a rainy Thursday, but it didn’t dampen our spirits much. We had Coach Bill’s boundless enthusiasm, plus a great group of folks — Todd & Melissa, Sarah, Brent, Logan, and Coach Nicole was warming up for the next class.

body-weight-squat-illistrationWe did Nicole’s skills-based warm-up again today and struggled through as best we could. There are just a few things I can’t quite pull off, like running with a jump rope or getting up from the floor and twisting out of a cross-legged position. Not my cup of tea.

But the squat warm-up at the end? That I could do. Standing at the wall with a med ball behind you and dropping into a deep squat, then rising again — that was good. Squatting with a PVC pipe? Yup. Got that too.

Plus getting to work out with my wife? Big bonus!

And a workout FILLED with back squats? Count me in.

  • Back Squats:Β 10-5-3-1-1-1-3-5-10 (ascending to a peak and then descending again)

We all paired up and worked with partners while Bill wandered around making sure we were all on task. Logan and I paired up and got going pretty quickly.

illustrated-squatMy warm-ups included:

  • 45# x5
  • 95# x3
  • 115# x3

And then:

  • 135# x10
  • 165# x5
  • 205# x3
  • 235# x1
  • 255# x1
  • 275# x1
  • 205# x3
  • 165# x5
  • 135# x10

And Logan worked up from 115# to 215# and back again. He did awesome.

We were a bit slow (still finishing up as Bill was starting the 9:30 class, sorry Bill!) but we got through it.

Honestly my squats felt really good today. 275# was a bit more wobbly than 255# but only by a little. My one rep is 315# from January of this year, and I can tell just in the last few months that my squat positions have improved a ton since then. Overhead, not so much, but squats? Yes!

So I feel good! We’ll see how long that lasts! Great work 8:30 class and thanks Bill!

CrossFit Total, January 2017

Your CrossFit Total is one of those magical numbers at the box. Sometimes it goes up. Sometimes it goes down. But it’s a good indicator of your strength numbers across the board. Deadlift. Strict press. Back squat. Covers most of the major groups of movements. Lifting. Squatting. Pushing.

January 21, 2016 at 0141PM (1)We had a huge class today for Coach Drea. Ev and I, Jonathan, Amber, Vivien, Carrie, Jenny, Nic & Nichole, Adrienne, Jake, Tionne, and Caleb.

We did a 500m row, talked about the workout, then broke into little groups to get stuff done. I worked with Jake & Jonathan and Caleb joined us.

Started with back squats. We warmed up with a few reps with an empty barbell, then started adding weight. I got all the way to 315# today. Crazy.

Looking back at my notes, I was all excited. I thought I had achieved an impossible 50# increase in my PR. Apparently not.

  • 225# (2013)
  • 245# (2014)
  • 265# (2014)
  • 275# (2015)
  • 295# (2016)
  • 315# (2017)


11041187_10153302669719648_2090122082587817495_nSo only a 20# PR there. I was confused by my notes which had me doing 265# 5x a few months ago. Even so, first time I’ve broken the 300# barrier on a squat!

Then we did strict press. Same general rules applied. Warmed up with an empty barbell and then started adding weight. I got to 155#.

  • 85# (2013)
  • 115# (2014)
  • 125# (2015)
  • 145# (2016)
  • 155# (2017)

So a 10# PR there.

And then we moved to deadlifts. I thought I’d be doing ok there after doing a bunch of 315# deadlifts touch and go a couple of Saturdays ago. But my form was crap today and my lower back was bugging me so I didn’t get far. Only hit 335# there.

  • 295# (2013)
  • 315# (2014)
  • 325# (2014)
  • 335# (2014)
  • 355# (2015)
  • 345# (2016)
  • 335# (2017)


Barbell_DeadliftI’m going the wrong way on this one. Definitely need to take some time to work on form here.

Even so, my CrossFit Total hit 805# today (315# + 155# + 335#), so I’m not going to sneeze at it.

Based on my old #s, my previous totals were:

  • 605# (225# + 85# + 295#) (2013)
  • 715# (265# + 115# + 335#) (2014)
  • 755# (275# + 125# + 355#) (2015)
  • 785# (295# + 145# + 345#) (2016)
  • 805# (315# + 155# + 335#) Β (2017)

At least overall my strength is going the right way. πŸ™‚

Great work today everybody!


Crossfit Total, August 2016

Sleep has been tough to come by the last couple of nights, so I wasn’t sure how I’d do today. I’m only mildly disappointed. πŸ™‚

We had a great class today with Coach Bill (also saw Coach Drea and Larry joined us)… Me, Ev, and AJ, plus Sarah, Larry, Nic & Nichole, Melissa, Danielle, and the nice new gal whose name is just not sticking today. Started with a 400m run and 3 minutes of the bear complex (deadlift, front squat, push press, back squat) with an empty bar. Once that was done, we did some handstand work.

gymnastics-handstand-silhouette-body-silhouette-man-in-handstand-front-1Eventually I’ll figure out the freestanding handstand. But I was having issues not only with shoulders but wrists today. Wrists don’t work well as ankles apparently. I managed to kick away from the wall briefly to do a bit of balance work and then helped Larry with some partner freestanding handstands by more or less being the wall and keep him from going over backwards a time or two.

When THAT was all done, we did some more barbell warm-ups with the three movements of the crossfit total: back squat, deadlift, and strict press. And then we were cut loose.

I worked with Nic and Larry and we just kept adding weights (and occasionally removing them) from the bar. When we started I felt pretty good, so I was curious to see how I’d do.

For the back squat, we started with 225#, jumped to 275# (my old 1RM) and then put another 20# on for 295#. I probably could have gone a bit farther, but we were on the clock so I didn’t want to be the guy that kept us from getting done. πŸ™‚

Olympic weightsFor the deadlifts, I’m not sure what happened – but my low back above my hips was not happy. I knew when a 225# warm-up deadlift felt somewhat heavy that it wasn’t going to be a good day. We jumped to 305# and I did one ugly deadlift to get it up. And that was it. I attempted 335# twice and it just wasn’t happening.

Once that was done, we shifted to the strict press. And it felt great up to 135#, which was my old 1RM. It felt light. For some reason that was the beginning of the end for me ’cause I started rushing and not setting up properly. I attempted 155# a couple of times but eventually fell back to a really really ugly 145# which I did get up eventually.

So your crossfit total is your back squat + your deadlift + your strict press. 295# + 305# + 145# = 745#. Not awful. Not great. And 2 out of 3 PRs is nothing to sneeze at. I’m just disappointed the deadlifts weren’t happening for me today.

Meanwhile Larry did awesome. And Nic did great. πŸ™‚

AJ also did amazingly well – 135# back squat, 155# deadlift, and 50# strict press I think. And Ev did 205#, 265#, and 75#.

Definitely a day for PRs! Great work everybody!


Curses, foiled again!

I’ve been taking it easy from crossfit this week, which is to say I’ve only been twice… on Tuesday and now today. Why? Because I’m trying very hard to let my groin pull heal. In fact, I thought it was healed enough to let me do back squats… silly me.

12w2wrMy wife went at 8:30 this morning and managed a 200# back squat. That’s a 15# increase over her old 1RM and awesome. I was hoping I could get close to my old 1RM today but that was not to be.

It was just me with Drea at Noon. She let me do a 500m row and then some warm-ups – Cossack squats, marching bridges, grasshoppers, banded good mornings, and fire hydrants. After that it was PR time…

Started with back squats. Did 135# and it felt ok, so I jumped to 225# as a reasonable jumping off point. My old one rep is 275#, which I did a year ago (May 2015), so 225# should be easy enough since I was doing 5 rep sets of it two weeks ago…

Nope. Got it once and my groin pull twinged and that was it. <sigh>

12w300Then we moved to bench press. My old 1RM was 220# (set back in November 2015) but I was worried about how my groin pull would feel there. Last week I wasn’t able to even lie down on the bench without it hurting. How would it go this week?

Well, I could still feel it, but it wasn’t nearly as bad. So… warmed up at 135#, jumped to 185#, then 205#, then 215#, 225#, 235#… at 235# I had a little help from Drea, so we backed off to 230#. It wasn’t pretty, but I got it all the way up.

So that’s a 10# PR increase. I’ll take it. πŸ™‚

After that, things went wonky. Our little conditioning WOD after the strength bits was a 10 minute AMRAP:

  • 12 dumbbell deadlifts
  • 9 dumbbell hang squat cleans
  • 6 dumbbell push jerks

From experience, I can say that my body is not very balanced strength- or mobility-wise. Even during the bench press today I noticed that the right arm did most of the pushing and the left arm struggled to keep up. Well, dumbbell work for me just pushes that to an extreme.


I went with 25# dumbbells. Should have been easy, but it wasn’t. There’s something about having to stabilize both arms independently that just throws my whole body out of whack.

Deadlifts went ok. Not great, but ok. And the squat cleans… geez. Started fine but as my grip and arm failed, I noticed more and more that the left hand grip was disappearing quickly but flexibility and stability on the left side went away even faster. Mobility of pulling that arm up and back into a clean position was nonexistent after a while – to the point where I dropped the dumbbell on that side and just did cleans on the right. I think it’s the same issue that has me stuck on chest-to-bar pull-ups.

Not sure how many rounds I got through – maybe 3 and into 4 or 2 into 3 – but ultimately it didn’t really matter. I was amused watching the left side of my body give up, just like I was amused seeing how far I couldn’t get with a back squat – a movement that I love.

Long story short, it’s back to recovery mode… Just stretching and using Deep Blue and letting those muscles knit themselves back together in some way that lets me get past this and over this hump.

One day at a time. πŸ™‚

Thanks Drea for hanging with me at the noon class and good work to everybody who kicked butt today getting some new PRs!!

Sprints on Strength Day???

Today has started out well… I managed to skip a meeting I didn’t really need to be at anyway and get to a morning workout with my wife. It was a nice change for a Thursday, especially after dealing with allergies all night and coughing. Ugh.

I really wasn’t sure how I’d do physically today with a stitch in my side from coughing last night and a slight wheeze. I’m a bit of a mess with all the trees growing out of control this week (and the next few)… hopefully the air will shift soon.


Though today is a strength day, I saw that the second half of the workout involved a series of sprints. I went in thinking “sure, I can sprint on a rower”…

We arrived a hair late for the 8:30 class, but were definitely not alone. Drea and Jimmy were there and a whole bunch of folks were running in the parking lot when we arrived: Lori, Maria, Ashley, KC, Carrie, Jenny, Todd, Abby, Adrienne, Danielle, and David were all running or getting ready to run. Somehow Ev and I managed to avoid the warm-up jog and fell in with the barbell warm-up instead…

The barbell warm-up was sets of different movements with an empty barbell… 10 deadlifts. 10 push press. 10 back squats. 10 upright rows. 10 overhead squats. Once all that was done, we broke up into groups because there were so many of us.

I worked with Todd, KC, and David today. This is only David’s second week at Continuum, but he chugged right along with us. Todd and KC pushed me a bit, which was good too.

Barbell_Bench_PressWe started with back squats: three sets of five heavy squats. Last week I did 185#, 205#, and 225#. Today once we warmed up to 225# I did three sets there. We were supposed to add 5# but my right knee was twinging a little, so I stayed at 225# until it felt comfortable (though hard to push through 5 reps). My one rep max is 275# so I suspect I need to add more weight to this movement next week if I really want to increase that at all.

And then we shifted to bench press. Again, we were supposed to do three sets of five. Last week I did 135/155/175#. This time I did a set of five at 175#, a set of five at 185#, and then a set of 4 (with help on the 4th) at 185#. That last set was spicy. Might have pushed a bit further than I expected there, but we’ll see what it looks like next week. My one rep max is 220# and I would like to increase that a little.

Then the fun began. Remember how I said I didn’t think I was going to run, that I was going to row? Ha!

traffic-cone-webWe were supposed to run ten 100m sprints, with a 90 second rest between each one. If you haven’t noticed, I don’t like running. David asked about it today and I said I’m the guy who if chased by a bear would probably end up stopping to fight the bear so someone else could run for help – not that I’d survive, but because I hate running that much.

So what did I find myself doing? Running 100m sprints in the parking lot. Even my trainers and my wife were surprised. So was I to be honest.

I ran 5 of them. I didn’t get to 10. But I was happy with 5. We had to run from one “island” in the parking lot to an orange cone. And I slowed down a little each time, but had fun.

Don’t quote me on that. You did not just see me say “fun” and “running” in the same paragraph.

I’m still not breathing all that great, but my body isn’t hurting as much as it usually does after running. There’s a big difference between sprinting and jogging for me.

Next question for the week is whether I’ll get in for the Friday Hero WOD tomorrow… we’ll see what it is. I’m not holding my breath (which is good, since I’d probably be coughing like a fool).

Great work everybody!



Push Dem Weights

It’s a beautiful day in Colorado today… Sun. Snow. Sun. Must be Spring!

Didn’t get to work out with my wife this morning, but did get into CrossFit Continuum for a noon class with Coach Isaac. Got to work with Mike and Ernie as well, so that was fun.

spidey-civil-warWe started with a 500m row and then did some warm-ups like pigs-on-skates, Spider-Man lunges, knee hugs, shoulder to overhead with a plate, some PVC pipe pass-thrus, deep squats, and so on. All of that while discussing the state of DC and Marvel comic book movies. Yes, I do love my box. I’m surrounded by my people. πŸ™‚

Once that was done we split up to do the strength part of today’s WOD…

  • Back Squat –Β 3Γ—5
  • Bench Press –Β 3Γ—5

We were to go somewhat heavy, but not too far overboard. He suggested to hit around 75% of our one rep maximum…

I think I went too light on my back squats… Started at 185#, 205#, and 225# which was prettyΒ short of my 275# PR. Five reps was a challenge but not awful.


But I made up for it on the bench press. My PR there is 220# and I did 135#, 155#, and 175#. Five reps at 175# was definitely a challenge. But I survived. πŸ™‚

After that though we did another MetCon… And it was not as unpleasant as the one on Tuesday, but still unpleasant.

PushupFor Time (partition into reps as we choose):

  • 100 Kettlebell Swings #53/35
  • 100 Push-ups

I can do a lot of KBS… Those weren’t so bad. But the push-ups… they were no fun. Considering that each push-up is essentially a body-weight bench press… ugh.

Isaac’s goal for me was not so much about the time it took to complete the workout, but breaking it into manageable reps and to keep moving. My hope was to go with 10 reps of each as long as possible and I did for a while…

Took me 20:51 to complete the whole thing, but I was done with the first half in 8:50, so the second half definitely dragged. Isaac was down on the ground with me for those last 15 push-ups and helped motivate me to finish. And it was a good thing. πŸ™‚

Mike destroyed the workout, doing it with a 70# kettle bell in under 8 minutes. And Ernie did it with a 35# kettle bell in about 18 (maybe less). So I was the slow man on this totem pole, but did finish. Great work everybody!

Thanks Isaac for pushing me to complete that thing!