Tag Archives: back squats

The Power of Meh Today

Something is off today. Tossed and turned all night. Missed my usual caffeine first thing today (usually start the day with some Advocare Spark). And the deeper into the workout I got, the worse I felt. Likely some of it’s the continuation of the Murph hangover.

Made it in with the whole fam-damily this morning for an 8:30 workout. Drea coached and we had a lot of folks… Ev & I (the girls did mobility in the corner), Patti (did mobility with the girls), Connie, Brian & Reagan, Larry & Karen, Caleb, KB, Lara (shadowing Drea it appeared), and Todd. Might have been one or two others, but it was a good sized class!

7TaonKRbcWe started with this warm-up:

  • Run/row/bike 90 seconds (I ran 300m)
  • 5 Turkish get-ups each side (used a 15# or 20# kettlebell on left side and no weight on right)
  • 10 goblet squats, 2 second pause at bottom
  • 15 banded good mornings
  • Run/row/bike 90 seconds (ran another 300m)

After that we did some skill work with:

  • Back squats
  • Strict press
  • Deadlifts

And then, because we had such a big class, a few of us divvied up into a few groups. I worked with Caleb & Larry. Ev worked with Karen. Connie & KB worked together, etc.

U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Christopher “Otis” Raible (CrossFit Main Site 180424)

This workout was called “Otis” and named for U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Christopher “Otis” Raible who was killed by insurgents during an attack on Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, on Sept. 14, 2012.  Raible trained CrossFit with his wife, Donnella, and daughter Catherine. His favorite movements were deadlifts, squats, overhead presses and bench presses.

  • Otis
  • Performance: 15 minute AMRAP
    • 1 back squat, 1 shoulder press, 1 deadlift
    • 2 back squats, 2 shoulder presses, 2 deadlifts
    • 3 back squats, 3 shoulder presses, 3 deadlifts
    • Etc.
  • Use body weight for the squats and deadlifts and 1/2 body weight for the presses.


We worked our way up to the weights we’d use for the workout:

  • 225# deadlift (105% of my body weight these days)
  • 225# back squat
  • 105# strict press (49% of my body weight these days)

I knew during the warm-up that back squats were going to be my limiting factor today and I was right.

The plan was we would each start on a different movement and just work through each set. I started at deadlifts, moved to back squats, and finished with strict press.

scaling-wodHow’d it go?

  • 1-1-1
  • 2-2-2
  • 3-3-3
  • (dropped to 205# for back squats) 4-4-4
  • 5-5-5
  • (stopped back squats all together) 6 deadlifts, 6 strict press
  • 7 deadlifts (not counted in total reps)
  • Total: 57 (64 with 7 deadlifts)

Everything was hinging forward on my back squats, even when I dropped weight. Deadlifts felt good. If I could breathe right on the first one, I was able to stabilize better for every subsequent rep. And the strict press got tougher as we went, but was ok. I felt like I was arching my back the deeper we got.

Caleb & Larry both got into the round of 7s I think, so they were chugging right along.

Back squats just didn’t quite feel right from the get-go, so I’m not sure if it was my lack of sleep or issues stemming from Murph earlier in the week. Either way, as my daughters would say, “they were trash.”

Great work everybody!

Sorry I let off the gas towards the end, but my body just wasn’t having it.


Strength day!

So today is essentially going to be my last workout of the week, so I was happy it was going to end on a high note with a strength day. 🙂

Went in with Ev to find Coach Bill finishing up his own workout (I think he said he hit 355# for his last back squat rep) and in a good mood as per usual. Logan, Dallen, and Melissa joined us so we had a fun little group.

bodyweight_walking_lungeWe started with a 2 round warm-up:

  • 1 minute of rowing
  • 10 reps per side of single-leg DB deadlift (forward, not sideways, which worked well on one side and not so well on the other)
  • 50 ft. walking lunge (which actually wasn’t horrible)

But after that we did some things on the floor to open our hips a bit further:

  • On our back, one knee bent, raise the straight leg as high as we can while trying to keep our butts on the floor. Do that on each side.
  • Then, same position, try and do a loop with the straight leg – up, to the side, and around. Again, each side.

After that we did like a crab-walk position with our butts off the floor, attempting to move our arms (behind us) closer to our feet and back again. This was my least favorite part of the whole warm-up, as it really aggravated my elbows and fired up my shoulders.

illustrated-squatLastly, we did a little back squat warm-up. I teamed up with Logan and we warmed up gently to our starting weight of 135#. I wanted to feel things out today and wasn’t in a hurry, so we didn’t push too crazy right off the bat for our 7 sets of 1 back squat. I wasn’t going to get close to my 315# one rep, but wanted to see how things went.

  • 135#
  • 165#
  • 185#
  • 205#
  • 225#
  • 235#
  • 250#

Fun observations:

  1. Apparently I did like my wife and somehow managed a calf raise before settling into my 225# or 235# rep. 🙂
  2. 235# and 250# felt better than 165# did for me.
  3. And I really had a lot more in the tank with as good as 250# felt.

proton-positiveHitting 250# was about 80% of my 1RM and I worked up from a little more than 40%.

So not a bad day. A relaxed strength day was just what I needed to finish out my week. And apparently I need to do more ROMWOD kind of stuff over the next few days to keep my body happy.

Great work 8:30 class and thanks Bill!

Burpees Still Suck

In case you were wondering, burpees still suck. Such a simple movement – throwing yourself at the ground and then hopping up again. And yet it inevitably fries something on me, especially my shoulders. Yup. That kind of a Monday.

lemmling-Cartoon-owl-African-800pxMade it in for an 8:30 workout to see if it would adjust my mood any. Was a cranky bear yesterday (I felt bad afterwards). Not sure if it was the time change (daylight savings time is stupid) or the fact that I ate pizza, drank soda, had cookies, AND candy on Saturday night. Might have been a combination of things (day had a rough start).

But that was yesterday. What would today hold? Technical difficulties and burpees. Damn burpees.

There were a few of us with Coach Drea this morning – Dave, Emily, KB, and myself. And I think we were all a little owly.

We started with 2 minutes on the rower or bike and then did 2 rounds of:

  • 15 overhead lunges (step forward for first set, step back for second)
  • 20 second hollow body hold (first set), 20 seconds of hollow body rocks (second)
  • 20 second arch body hold (first set), 20 seconds of arch body rocks (second)
  • 10 PVC passthrus
  • 10 false grip ring rows

illustrated-squatFrom there it was to some air squat practice, some back squat practice, and then back squat warm-ups and burpee warm-ups.

  • Metcon: Rounds and Reps
  • 20 minute AMRAP
  • Performance
    • 20 burpees
    • 10x 3/4 body weight back squats

Yeah, burpees were the worst part of that whole thing, though the squats got more difficult as I went on.  I used 165# for my 3/4 body weight back squats and normal burpees.

It was recommended we use this as practice for the two-footed hop method of burpees that’s being used in the Open this year, or mix that with some step-in style burpees. I did the first 45 burpees with the hopping style and the rest were mostly step-ins.

Made it through 4 full rounds plus 14 more burpees in the 20 minutes.


My issue was my right shoulder. It got very cranky, as it always does, creating longer and longer breaks in both burpees and back squats. But I felt like most of my squats were pretty good and my burpees, at least the first couple of rounds, were decent.

Everybody was hopping. And Emily was shouting at me for motivation during the workout, which I appreciated. 5 more minutes! 2 more minutes! Time was going very slowly it seemed. 🙂

Anyway – great work 8:30 class and thanks Drea!

Tired Body Back Squats

First day of the week and an odd week at that, but I did make it in for the 8:30 class this morning with Coach Drea. We had a fun crew – Ashley, Melissa & Todd, Dave, and Logan (and the 9:30 crew was fun as well, with Nick & Lisa, Andrew, and a mess of other folks).

always-warm-up-thoroughlyWe started the day by tackling the new warm-up from Coach Nicole, which proved interesting since most of us were sore from 18.2 over the weekend…

  • 30 second active squat hold (pushing out knees with elbows) – could barely get into a squat when we started
  • 10 pistol chairs at the rig
  • 10 Jefferson curls with a dumbbell 10x (used 25# dumbbell)
  • 10 straddle compressions (split legs, lean over a leg with torso, sit up, switch to other leg)
  • 30 second Superman hold
  • 10 forward table holds (I was only able to put hands behind and move forward to stretch elbows and shoulders)
  • 30 second hollow body hold
  • 10 scap push-ups
  • 30 seconds of kip swings
  • 10 pvc passthrus

Then we did some additional work:

  • 10 pull-downs with a banded PVC pipe on the rig, while in a hollow body hold
  • 15 walking lunges with a PVC pipe in an overhead squat position
  • walk across room in a waiter carry of a dumbbell (25#), alternating arms
  • (We did all of this 2x)

illustrated-squatBut after that it was a bit of back squat refresher with an empty barbell and then we were off to the races for our 5×3 WOD. She gave us the option that if our bodies were feeling a bit rough today to go with a single weight for the whole workout and focus on good reps. I did that. 🙂

I warmed up with 135# and 185# and decided very quickly that 225# sounded like a solid weight to work with for my 5x3s. It’s about 10# over my body weight these days, so it wasn’t exactly light. My 1RM from last year was 315#, so 225# is about 71% of 315#.

And I was glad I stayed there. One of every three reps each round, I felt like I was going to my toes. My hips were really tight for no good reason today.

But we made it through. And then we did our strict pull-ups and ring dips… Made it through 11 strict ring dips and 4 strict pull-ups. Most ring dips since we started and about average on pull-ups. Just not getting very strong in that direction.

Great work today everybody! Good start to the week!

I hope to get in a workout at home tomorrow and then be back in for Wednesday night, Thursday morning, and Friday night for 18.3. We’ll see how it goes. 🙂

Thanks Drea!

Six in a Row?

Some weeks it just works out that I get to spend more time in one of my favorite places. This was one of those weeks. Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. Friday night with 18.2 and today with a team WOD. Yeah, I may be a little sore, but I’ll be good to go come Monday again. 🙂

Today’s workout was written up by Coach Larry and it was a good one to take advantage of the beautiful weather we had this morning. We all might have been a little slow (except for Brent, who ran hard every round it seemed), but we survived. 🙂

Ev, AJ, and I headed in and were joined by Caleb & Megan, Austen, Deana & Marino, Stacy & Shaun (and Stacy’s sister), Nick & Lisa, Jonathan, and Brent. Not sure if I missed anybody, but I was a little surprised by the fact the had so many after 18.2 last night. Was a fun crew. 🙂

keep-calm-and-amrapWe started with a modified version of the warm-up we did all week and added some running drills, but were pretty soon off to the races.

  • 30 Minute AMRAP – Teams of 2
    • Partner A – 400M Run
    • Partner B – Shoulder to Overhead (135/95)
    • Switch and repeat
    • Partner A – Run 400M
    • Partner B – Back Squats
    • Switch and repeat
    • Partner A – Run 400M
    • Partner B – Sit Ups
    • Switch and repeat
    • Partner A – Run 400M
    • Partner B – Box Jumps (24/20)
    • Switch and repeat

Jonathan and I tackled this one together. We initially were going to go with the 135# shoulder to overhead but I convinced him to drop it to at least 115# after a brief attempt at three reps. 🙂 I think Marino & Shaun were doing it with 95# and that probably would have been the better plan. 🙂 Ev & Lisa worked together and AJ worked with Austen. And there was one team of three I think.

7TaonKRbcI started running because that’s one of my least favorite things to do, so I might as well get it over with. 🙂

  • Run 400m, Jonathan did 22 s2oh
  • Jonathan ran 400m and I did 24 s2oh
  • I ran and Jonathan did 38 back squats
  • He ran and I only got through 23 back squats. My hamstrings were singing by that point. 🙂
  • Then I ran and Jonathan did 69 sit-ups
  • He ran and I did 65 sit-ups
  • I ran and he did 39 24″ box jumps
  • He ran and I did 42 20″ step ups
  • And then we started over…
  • I ran and he did 23 more s2oh
  • He ran with about a minute left and I got through 10 more reps
  • Total reps in 30 minutes = 355

Now, I’m not going to lie. I ran the entirety of the first 400m and did some combination of walk/run for every other lap. 🙂 But other than that I felt like I hung in with everything but back squats. Apparently the 55 dumbbell squats I did last night may have caught up with me a bit. 🙂

Anyway… We did great. Everybody kept moving and that was really the name of the game. By the time we were done, Drea & Jimmy were there, along with Todd. I

We watched Nick & Todd take on 18.2 while our friendly neighborhood chiropractor put us back together. Yeah, it was a good day.

Thanks for a good workout that got us out in the sun today Larry! And great work everybody!

A Late Monday

Today was a weird day. I seem to be saying that a lot on Mondays lately.

On top of the fact that today was a 2 hour delay due to the snow and icy conditions early this morning, we were going for Hamilton tickets (I was trying to get tickets for Ev & the girls). But, like most of the 110,000+ people who tried for tickets, we were denied. So much for most of my day babysitting the ticket site in a browser. 🙂

That meant I started with intentions of going to the 8:30 class, then the Noon class. And Ev calls and says she has a half day so suggests that we go together to an evening class, so Noon becomes 4:45… and we DID get there eventually with Coach Isaac and a bunch of folks: Katie, Deana & Marino, Dan, Karen, Monica, Jake, Steve, Kelli & Trey. There were a lot of us!


We started with the new warm-up for the week:

  • 3 rounds of “warmup tabata” (move slow and methodical)
    • Standing behind the neck snatch grip strict press w/PVC pipe
    • Air squat
    • Seated forward table
    • Plank to pike
  • Then:
    • 1min lat smash/side
    • 1min couch stretch/side

climbing-rope-atje23--853-pAfter all that, we did a little refresher on J-hook and Spanish Wrap for rope climbs, figured out where we were going to do squats, and got going…

  • For Time:
  • Performance:
    • 15 body-weight back squats
    • 5 rope climbs, 15-ft. rope
    • 12 body-weight back squats
    • 3 rope climbs, 15-ft. rope
    • 9 body-weight back squats
    • 1 rope climbs, 15-ft. rope
  • Fitness:
    • 21 back squats #65/45
    • 7 lay-to-stand rope climbs
    • 15 back squats #65/45
    • 5 lay-to-stand rope climbs
    • 9 back squats #65/45
    • 3 lay-to-stand rope climbs

illustrated-squatI did somewhere in-between performance and fitness, alternating between back squats and rope climbs with Dan, so mine looked like:

  • 7x lay-to-stand rope climbs
  • 15x 205# back squats (about 12# lighter than body weight for me right now)
  • 5x lay-to-stand rope climbs
  • 12x back squats
  • 3 lay-to-stand rope climbs
  • 9x back squats
  • time: 7:05

Not too shabby. 🙂 Thanks for being my partner and pushing, Dan! You definitely hauled butt on those first 15 back squats and we ended up going a wee bit heavier than I was thinking. 🙂

Great work 4:45 class! And thanks for putting up with our shenanigans, Isaac!

Team WOD Saturday with Mickey!

Hello Saturday!

This morning it was just Mickey and I from Team Fitzy going in (indoor soccer and work prevented AJ and Ev from joining us), but we made it in for Team WOD with Coaches Jimmy & Drea. We were definitely not alone! Marino, Caleb & Megan, Lara, Dee, Brent, Robert and his cousin, Stacy, Amber & Liam, and a few others were there to join us.

b04c6ed2970ac4c861a63625f42d9532We started with the med ball warm-up and did some PVC work before diving into a refresher on all the various movements for this workout using an empty barbell. Mickey and I teamed up and used different barbells, but decided we’d chug through the workout together. 🙂

Jimmy put together a good workout today… I never took his name in vain so far as I can remember, so it must have not been TOO bad. 🙂

  • AMRAP – 5 rounds of 5 minutes each with a 2 minute rest between
  • 2 person teams
  • each person must complete the couplet before the next person can start
  • Round 1
    • 5 Deadlift #185/#125
    • 9 Push-ups
  • Rd 2
    • 5 Front Squat #135/#95
    • 9 Sit-ups
  • Rd 3
    • 5 Thrusters #95/#75
    • 9 Burpees
  • Rd 4
    • 5 Back Squat #135/#95
    • 9 Pull-ups
  • Rd 5
    • 5 Front rack Lunges #135/95
    • 9 Cal Bike/Row

lift-all-the-weightsSo how’d we do? Well, I knew a few things would be scaled through there. 🙂

  • Round 1 – 10 rounds
    • 185# deadlifts (me)
    • 105# deadlifts (Mickey)
    • regular push-ups for me and a mix of regular and from-knees for Mickey
  • Round 2 – 7 rounds
    • 115# front squats (scaled from 135# for myself)
    • 75# front squats for Mickey
    • regular sit-ups
  • Round 3 – 5 rounds
    • 95# thrusters (me)
    • Mickey started at 55# and dropped to 35#
    • Burpees sucked across the board. 🙂
  • Round 4 – 5 rounds
    • 135# back squats (me)
    • 55# back squats (Mickey)
    • pull-ups – I got through two sets of 9 unbroken and Mickey did a combination of regular kipping pull-ups (looked great!) and ring rows
  • Round 5 – 4 rounds +5
    • Dropped all the way to a 45# bar for me on these — lunges aren’t my favorite thing anyway, but adding weight makes them even worse!
    • Mickey did a 35# bar for her lunges
    • and we rowed

So not too bad… We kept moving, had fun, and didn’t scale a whole lot. 🙂

Plus I got to talk geeky with Robert, Caleb, and Liam. What more could I ask for? 🙂

Have a great weekend folks!!