Tag Archives: bench press

Turkish Strength Day

Let’s start off by saying that apparently I’m not in the best mood today. Didn’t sleep well (on the couch, courtesy of the dogs). Stressed about a lot of things. And generally out of sorts. Exactly the kind of day I need to get into the gym even if my mood is telling me not to.

expressionless-faceSo I made it in this morning for an 8:30 workout with Coach Bill. Ev & AJ joined me along with a host of other folks – Kelli & Dee, Larry, Bri, and a new gal whose name I didn’t catch. I knew I needed the endorphins, so I tried to put on a better face than how I was feeling. πŸ™‚

We started with a 10 minute AMRAP as the warm-up. I think I made it through three rounds of:

  • 10 ring rows
  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 v-ups
  • 10 kettlebell swings (35# light)
  • 10 overhead squats with PVC
  • 30 second pike stretch (focused on hamstrings)

From there we did a little refresher on what a Turkish get-up looks like, some scaling options for weighted ring dips, and a bit on the bench press… and then we were off to the races.

The workout? Strength day with three movements, holding good form for each round and potentially increasing weight.

  • Weighted dip 3-2-2-1-1-1-1 reps
  • Bench press 3-2-2-1-1-1-1 reps
  • Turkish get-up 3-2-2-1-1-1-1 reps
Turkish get-ups (great Men’s Health article)

I started with Turkish get-ups, went to ring dips, and then hit bench press last.

  • Turkish get-ups
    • 3 – unloaded training barbell, 15#
    • 2 – 20# barbell
    • 2 – 25# barbell
    • 1 – 30# barbell
    • 1 – 35# barbell
  • Weighted ring-dips
    • 3 – no weight
    • 2 – 15# plate
    • 2 – 25# plate
    • 1 – 35# kettlebell
    • 1 – 45# (35# kettlebell + 10# plate)
    • 1 – 55# kettlebell
  • Bench press
    • 135# x3
    • 155# x2
    • 185# x2 (ugly)
    • 205# x1 (really ugly)

You’ll notice a few things in here… First, I’m missing a few reps. I think I actually did all the reps for the get-ups and ring dips, but I wasn’t writing anything down and don’t honestly remember how many I did. Oops. Second, I stopped really early on the bench press.

Barbell_Bench_PressBy the time I hit the bench press, my left shoulder was already a bit ticked off. I blame the Turkish get-ups. Once I stopped, I just spotted Larry (he hit 245#).

These long strength days are impossible to fit into a normal sized class. By the time we were done with the warm-up and the movement prep it was 8:55, leaving us about 30-35 minutes to get through 33 reps with good form across three very different movement types. Not enough time, so we rush a bit.

But I was happy with the Turkish get-ups at least. That’s the first time in a long time (since I partially tore my groin) that I’ve felt pretty consistent with them. My left arm was traveling out further than the right, and the right felt really good.Β I’ll take it.

As for the endorphins, I got a few and was right back into stressed mode when I got to the car. Long story there, but we’ll just say I’m a cranky bear today.

Sorry if any of my mood infects anybody today. I’ll do my best to keep it to myself. Great work 8:30 class and thanks Bill!


Lost the Mental Battle Today

Some days you’re the bug. And some days you’re the windshield. Today I was a bit of both.

Two Bugs Outstanding in their Field

Woke up this morning, my head full of crud from allergies and all the smoke in the air. Took some allergy meds and shuffled off to the 8:30 workout with Ev & AJ. We were far from alone – this was one of the most crowded classes I’ve seen in quite a while. Todd, Melissa, and their daughter; Dave; KB; Sarah; and a bunch of other folks. It was busy!

EMOMCoach Drea had us start quickly with a warm-up that was a workout in and of itself…

  • EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute) for 6 minutes
    • Odd Minutes: 10 band pull-aparts + 10 push-ups
    • Even Minutes: 10 Russian kettlebell swings + 10 goblet squats
  • Equipment used: thin blue band, regular push-ups, and 35# kettlebell for swings and squats

It was the push-ups that got me by the 5th minute. And then we went from there straight into trying to figure out how to structure the workout with so many people. I worked with Todd. Ev worked with KB. And AJ worked with two other kids.

The workout? Linda:

  • linda-wodScore Type:: Total Time
  • Competitor:
    • 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps for time of:
    • 1Β½-body-weight deadlift
    • Body-weight bench press
    • ΒΎ-body-weight clean
  • Performance:
    • 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps for time of:
    • 1ΒΌ-body-weight deadlift
    • ΒΎ-body-weight bench press
    • Β½-body-weight clean
  • Fitness:
    • 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps for time of:
    • ΒΎ-body-weight deadlift
    • Β½-body-weight bench press
    • β…“-body-weight clean

Todd and I set up with:

  • 225# deadlifts
  • 135# bench press
  • 115# squat cleans

First of all, everything felt heavy today. Second of all, I knew breathing was going to be a challenge due to conditions outside. And third, I couldn’t get my head in the game.

Todd started with squat cleans. I started on deadlifts.

DNF!-!-I got through my round of 9 and quit the workout. Body-wise it didn’t feel good. Breathing-wise it didn’t feel good. I felt like I was slowing down Todd (and I was). And I think there was so much going on everywhere that I was just mentally blitzed.

Instead, I chose to bow out of the workout, let Todd do his thing, and just spotted for him, Melissa, and Dave as needed. Honestly I wasn’t needed. They all kicked butt.

Physically, the warm-up today added more stress to my body than it felt prepared to take after three workouts in a row. And afterwards, I was definitely wondering if we should have knocked down the deadlift weight a bit.

Last time we did Linda was a few years ago… And I did 275# deadlifts, 165# bench, and 155# cleans in 55 minutes. Damn I’ve lost some lifting strength somewhere.

Today, weight-wise, I probably should have done:

  • 212# body weight
  • Performance:
    • 265# deadlift (1.25x weight) – would not have happened, since 225# felt heavy
    • 160# bench press (.75x weight) – also would not have happened
    • 105# squat cleans (.5x weight) – sounds awesome
  • Fitness
    • 160# deadlift (.75x weight) – probably too light, might have done 195#
    • 105# bench press (.5x weight) – might have been better
    • 70# squat cleans (.33x weight) – probably too light, might have done 95# or 105#

Rather than beat myself up over it, I’m just accepting it and moving on. I didn’t inconvenience anybody but myself, so no harm no foul.


Todd did awesome. Sounds like Ev got pushed by KB a bit and did awesome. And AJ was doing great as well. Life is good.

Great work everybody!

Lynne for the Win!

Wasn’t sure I was going to be able to move this morning, but I was, so after a crazy morning I headed in for an 8:30 workout. Coach Bill had me, Todd, and Melissa this morning, so we had fun (not surprising, really!).

jumping-jacks-5JBrue-clipartWhile Bill was finishing up the workout, we started with a couple of rounds of:

  • 200m run
  • 15 jumping jacks
  • 5 push-ups
  • 5 pull-ups
  • 10 banded triceps extension
  • 30 second banded chest stretch, each side

It gave me an opportunity to break in my new WODies from Jerkfit. With as much as I’ve been tearing up my hands on pull-ups, I needed to try something else. These may do the trick. Worked great during the warm-up. πŸ™‚

With that done, we each warmed up to our working weight for the WOD.

  • lynne-wodLynne
  • Β Competitor:
    • 5 rounds for max reps of:
      • Body-weight bench press
      • Pull-ups
  • Performance:
    • 5 rounds for max reps of:
      • ΒΎ-body-weight bench presses
      • Pull-ups
  • Fitness:
    • 5 rounds for max reps of:
      • Push-ups
      • Ring rows

Even if I was feeling 100%, I would have shied away from body weight bench press at any sort of rep scheme. I think my one rep is 230# (April 2016) and now that my body weight is holding around 215#, that should be doable — maybe? But 3/4 was more realistic at 161# (I rounded up to 165#).

Bill said we should shoot for a weight where we could do 8-10 unbroken. HA!

Warmed up with 95# x5, 115# x5, and 135# x5. They all felt ok, though 135# was starting to get spicy. Adding another 30# to hit 165# was going to be rough.

rockypr-300x213So how’d it go? Bill spotted me and some reps felt much better than others, just FYI. πŸ™‚

  • 4 ok bench presses and 2 rough ones, for 6 total
  • 13 pull-ups (a new PR)
  • 4 ok bench presses and 1 rough one, for 5 total
  • 12 pull-ups
  • 3 ok bench presses and 1 rough one, for 4 total
  • 14 pull-ups (a second new PR)
  • 2 ok bench presses and 1 rough one for 3 total
  • 12 pull-ups
  • 2 ok bench presses and 1 rough one for 3 total
  • 10 pull-ups
  • Total: 82 (thought it was 76 when I eyeballed it the first time)

Not too bad for a guy who just turned 48 today.

As for the WODies, they did pretty well. I tore ABOVE where they covered my palm on one finger, but it wasn’t awful. So I’ll live. πŸ™‚

Thanks Bill for the spotting and Melissa, Todd, and Caleb for the encouragement!

Have a great day!


Bench Press x5

This has been a weird week. Meetings at work have thrown a monkey wrench into my usual 8:30 workout plans on multiple days already. I’ve managed to work out with my wife a couple of times here or there, but our usual Thursday day just didn’t work out due to work meetings cropping up. Dang that work thing. πŸ™‚

is-it-friday-yetPlus, I managed to ding myself a little and pull a lat earlier this week. And yesterday during a workout I stressed my right shoulder on the assault bike. I’m a mess. I don’t like the assault bike anyway, but geez.

Even so, I did make it in for a 9:30 class today with Coach Drea. Ev went at 8:30 and worked with Logan. But we had a fun group too πŸ™‚ – Cara, Brent, Kayla, Steve, Nick & Lisa, and Caleb.

We started out with an interesting warm-up:

  • 2 rounds of
    • 1 minute of jump rope
    • ATYT with plates (shoulder work)
    • PVC pipe pushes (lock out overhead and engage shoulders)
    • Banded chest/shoulder stretches
    • Banded pull-downs
    • Push-ups off a bench

I think that was all of it. πŸ™‚ I was a bit worried today about the lat, but though sore it really didn’t get in my way at all. My shoulders didn’t really like the banded pull across the chest, but I did the best I could and we got through it.


Once that was done, we did a little refresher on bench press spotting and bench presses in general. I paired up with Steve and we vowed to stay pretty light today. πŸ™‚

The workout today was Bench Press – 5 sets of 5 reps, increasing weight if possible. Heavy if possible. And I wasn’t quite sure how I’d do. I knew my one rep max was in the 225/230 range and really didn’t want to push that too hard.

But we did ok. Started light and went from there.

  • 45# x10
  • 55# x8
  • 65# x6
  • 75# x5
  • ———–
  • 85# x5
  • 95# x5 (Steve stayed here a few sets and then went up to 105#)
  • 115# x5
  • 135# x5
  • 155# x5
  • 165# x5 (extra set)

Honestly didn’t feel too bad. And it shouldn’t have about 72% of my 1RM. The last set at 165# was a good push, but I should have probably ended in the 185/195# range. However – I’m trying to listen to my body more.

lift-all-the-weightsSteve did great and pushed hard in that last set of 5 where he added 10# to the bar. He did 105# for his last set and I only helped a little as spotter. πŸ™‚

(BTW, Ev said she made it up to 90# x4 and shimmied a bit on #4, so racked it and didn’t do rep #5. As she said – “I said form over reps and racked that bad boy.” Love her. πŸ™‚ )

When we were done, we did an interesting little dumbbell workout which amounted to three sets of:

  • 12 reverse curls into an overhead press (dumbbells in each hand – I went with 20 or 25#, which was plenty heavy enough)
  • 12 sets of exercises on the crossover symmetry bands

I only managed one set on the crossover symmetry stuff, but did the three sets of dumbbell work. And the whole time we chatted about nutrition questions (is food really necessary?), talked about Keto recipes (Cara has one for a Keto chili I might have to try), and more.

Long story short, it was a good day in the box. I have only missed one day this week so far (Tuesday) and may adjust tomorrow’s workout slightly so I can do Monday’s rowing workout. We shall see what the day brings. πŸ™‚

Thanks Drea for a fun day!

The “Other” CrossFit Total

My body is still sore from last week, so I knew today could be hit or miss. However, I definitely wanted to get that body into the box.

b04c6ed2970ac4c861a63625f42d9532Coach Drea had a few of us at 8:30 – Logan, Carrie, Melissa, and Dave. And we tackled the new warm-up for the week:

  • 10 fwd/back bends (hands on hips)
  • 6 trunk rotations (3 R/3L)
  • 3 Knee hug/ Quad pull (hug/hug/pull/pull=1)
  • 10 pistol chair (5/side)
  • 10 side to side squats (hold 5-10-lb db at chest)
  • 10 squat to stand
  • 10 PVC pass throughs
  • 10 PVC pressing snatch balance
  • 10 PVC pass throughs in the squat position.
  • 10 fwd/back leg swings
  • 10 side/side leg swings

Let me just say that my quads were still pissed off, so the quad pulls we did felt delightful. Not. πŸ™‚ (On the plus side, I do feel a bit more mobile after the workout, but that’s not saying a whole lot!)


Once that was done, we did a little refresher on cleans, bench presses, and overhead squats, then we got cut loose. Considering that we did a ton of cleans on Saturday, I was not looking forward to this one. πŸ™‚

  • Cleans (Power or Squat, I chose Power)
  • 95# (warm-up)
  • 135# (warm-up)
  • 155#
  • 185#
  • 205# (fail)

This proves once again (just like Saturday) that I really need to tear down this movement and start from scratch, then build back up again.

Then we moved to bench press. I helped out Dave and hopped in with Logan a couple of times, but ended up with:

  • Bench press
  • 135#
  • 165#
  • 185#
  • 205#

1th9hbI was laughing because my arse fell off the damn bench when I tried 185#, so there was a bit of a flailing leg and a kick to get back into position. Definitely not my finest hour — and could have gone further probably, but decided against it because of time.

And finally, I flew through the overhead squats:

  • Overhead squats
  • 95# (from the floor)
  • 115# (from the rack)
  • 125# (from the rack)

Called that one good too, though I probably could have continued.

So with my three top weights – 185, 205, 125 – I have an “other total” of 515# today. Not great, but I definitely needed to listen to my body. And I didn’t mind helping Dave. πŸ™‚

Good work folks! I know Logan, Melissa, and Carrie all worked up to PRs today, so they did awesome! And Dave gets better every day!

Shoulders are on Fire

There are workouts where you know you’re going to come out of it stronger than before and there are those workouts that flirt with pushing you to failure. Today was the latter.


Headed in for an 8:30am workout and we had a heck of a large class for Coach Drea. Bill & Amber, Sarah, Lara & Jordan, Carrie, Melissa, Caleb, Logan, and Matt & Abigail. There were people everywhere!

We started with the animals warm-up, moved on to push-up form, and then grabbed bars to practice push jerks and push press. And she did demos of bench press and ring dips. Plus we did some work on HSPUs and progressions.

Yes, this was going to be a doozy of a workout.

  • For time:
    • 40 push-ups (Performance) (or 30 knee push-ups Fitness)
    • 30 ring dips (Performance) (or 25 modified ring dips Fitness)
    • 20 handstand push-ups (Performance) or (20 pike push-ups Fitness)
    • 20 bench presses, 115/75# (Performance) (or 15 bench presses 75/55# Fitness)
    • 15 push jerks, same weight (Performance) (or 10 push jerks Fitness)
    • 10 push presses (Performance) (or 5 push presses Fitness)


Early classes used the Ace Ventura scene to the right to describe how they felt afterwards. And I can definitely concur.

We went in two heats and I was in the second heat. I finished in 15:38, but damn this was awful and my shoulders were on fire.

  • 40 push-ups
  • 2 ring-dips, wondering what the heck just happened, 3 more ring-dips, then transitioning to jumping ring dips where I would jump into a locked-out position and lower myself to the floor as slowly as possible
  • 1 pike push-up on the floor, laughing because I almost smacked my head into the ground. 1 pike push-up attempt from a plyo box, continuing to laugh. Moved to 20 strict dumbbell presses with 25# dumbbells overhead.
  • 1 95# bench press. shifted to 75#. did sets of 5, then a bunch of 3s.
  • 15 ugly-ass push jerks at 75#. Nicole did her best to coach about foot position and knees, but my shoulders were so fired up I could barely hold on to it for more than 2 or 3 reps at a time.
  • 10 push presses — ugly, ugly push presses in small sets

That was an awful, awful 15+ minutes. By the end my right arm worked, but my left arm was barely able to go over my head with assistance. I scaled every single part of the workout after the push-ups.

my-shoulders-are-on-fireThat was by far the ugliest performance I’ve done in a long while in class, simply because my shoulders were on fire the whole time. The push-ups didn’t feel bad, but by that first ring dip I was wondering what the heck I’d gotten myself into.

Wow. Tomorrow is going to be a rest day because I may not be able to raise my arms over my head. πŸ™‚

Great work 8:30 class! (And 9:30 class, since I stuck around for the nutrition seminar with Nicole at 10:30!)

Briefly Swole

When I looked at the WOD last night on my phone, I was wondering if I was reading it right. Rowing, sure. Most of the WODs we’ve done in the last few weeks have had at least a partial row in them. I’d rather row than run, usually, so that’s ok. But the other part confused me. Bench press? In a metcon? Okey dokey then.

Went in at noon today due to a meeting-heavy week, and that was fine. Mixing it up every now and then is a good thing, right? Coach Drea had me, Lorna, and Adi today.

We started with some announcements.

Old Levels and New Levels for WorkoutsFirst, no more Rx/Level II/Level I stuff. Now we’re doing Competitor, Performance, and Fitness, and I couldn’t be happier. The scaling options always seemed a bit arbitrary to me anyway and now we have terms that I can sink my teeth into. Honestly I’ve never seen myself as a competitor, but I can definitely slide myself into the performance or fitness categories without problem. Maybe that is only temporary for me, but I’m ok with this change in labeling for the time being.

Next, apparently we’re adding a gymnastics class on Saturday mornings before team WOD and Coach Nicole will lead it. So now we have an Oly class with Coach Alex, a Strongman class with Coach Sean, and a Gymnastics class with Coach Nicole, to supplement the normal classes during the week and the Team WOD on Saturdays.

Again, count me in. I think more options is good and with additional training we get to fill in the gaps in a more focused environment. I just wish I had more time to take advantage of these classes, though it’ll happen on a haphazard basis. Hopefully they don’t mind if we drop in here or there.


From there we moved on to our warm-up… And today’s warm-up proved I have very little hip and lower back mobility at all before we did some bench press warm-up with an empty barbell while lying on the floor.

  • Score Type:: Total Time
  • Performance, 5 rounds for time of:
    • Row 500 meters
    • 15 bench presses 115/75#
  • Fitness, 5 rounds for time:
    • Row 350 meters
    • 15 bench presses 75/45#

Olympic weights

IΒ knew that the limiting factor was going to be the 75 reps of bench press. Even at 115#, which is about 50% of my 1RM, that was going to be a killer. And the 500m row was supposed to be done in under 2:30 each round.

So how’d it go? I started with 115# and figured I’d have to drop eventually (I did go to 105# for the last round). And I did the 500m row. Adi started with 105# and figured he’d have to drop eventually as well (he did, dropping to 95# for the last round). And he also did the 500m row. I’m not sure what Lorna did for weight, but she was killing it on the other side of the room.

My 500m rows were pretty consistent. I started at 1:50 and ended at 2:18. So only about a 30 second drop off from start to finish wasn’t too bad for me.


The bench press however is where I felt it very quickly:

  • Round 1: 8 + 7 @ 115#
  • Round 2: 5 + 4 + 3 @ 115#
  • Round 3: 5 + 3 + 4 @ 115# (last one was very ugly)
  • Round 4: 5 + 2 + 2 + fail and reset + 2 + 1 (with Drea spotting)
  • Round 5: (dropped to 105#) Lots of 2s and 1s (with Drea spotting) – 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1

Finished in 21:47 and we were shooting for 20 or under. So not far off.

Here’s the thing. I kept up with Adi until I had to drop to 1s and 2s in the last round. The fact that I’m twice his age and could keep up with him makes me VERY happy. I’m not knocking Adi — he was struggling just as much as I did with the bench press and I was faster than him on a few legs of the row.

I’ll take it. πŸ™‚

Thanks Drea for the spotting and great work Noon class!!