Tag Archives: deadlift

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:
    • 1½-body-weight deadlift
    • Body-weight bench press
    • ¾-body-weight clean
  • Performance:
    • 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps for time of:
    • 1¼-body-weight deadlift
    • ¾-body-weight bench press
    • ½-body-weight clean
  • Fitness:
    • 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps for time of:
    • ¾-body-weight deadlift
    • ½-body-weight bench press
    • ⅓-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!


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.

Defeating my inner critic with math

Today is a case where I either should have scaled the workout or should just accept that I did the best I could with what I had today. Either way, the inner critic is having a field day.

20180506_165630Made it in with my new shoes (#NOBULL Canvas Trainers, very comfortable!) for the 8:30 workout with Coach Drea. We had Todd, Emily H, and KB too – so a fun group.

Started with a 2 minute run, jog, or row (I rowed, thanks). And then we did a couple of rounds of:

  • 30 second hollow-body hold
  • 10 reverse lunges
  • 10 one-arm thrusters with dumbbell (20#), 5 each side
  • 10 good mornings (PVC pipe)

And then we did a bit of skill work with an empty barbell – strict press, front squat, deadlift – before warming up to our starting weights.

The workout? It was a doozy:

  • 2 rounds for max reps of:
    • 2 minutes of shoulder presses
    • Rest 1 minute
    • 2 minutes of front squats
    • Rest 1 minute
    • 2 minutes of deadlifts
    • Rest 1 minute
  • Performance: 115/75# strict press, 155/105# front squat, 225/155# deadlifts
  • Fitness: 65/45# strict press, 75/55# front squats, 115/75# deadlifts

Olympic weightsI went with all performance weights, switching between them during the 1 minute “rest” between rounds. And all I will say is UGH. Drea gave us the target of 100 reps to shoot for.

  • R1: 12 strict press, 115#
  • R1: 15 front squats, 155#
  • R1: 17 deadlifts, 225# (mix of touch and go and grab and go)
  • R2: 11 strict press, 115#
  • R2: 10 front squats, 155#
  • R2: 11 deadlifts, 225# grab and go
  • Total: 76 reps

After the workout I thought it was 66 reps, but after doing the math again I was off by 10. So it wasn’t quite as bad as I thought initially.

c17bd3367f238b2513cc8a7f49474ae9--on-writing-writing-tipsEven so… Ugh. I fell apart in the second half of this workout.

Do you want to know how to quiet your critic? Apply math.

  1. Reps completed – at least 10 in each 2 minute window
  2. Weight moved – 12,820 pounds, 6.4 tons
  3. Completed 28 deadlifts at over body weight (225# is about 10# over what I weigh now)

So I’m going to tell my critic to shut the heck up.  🙂

Great work this morning folks! Y’all killed it!

Another Twofer

This week has just continued to be wacky. Ended up going to a 4:45 class on Wednesday night and the 8:30 class on Thursday morning, so I’m just rolling them together again.

Wednesday – A Deadlift Deficit

Yesterday started with a meeting, which led me to Coach Shaun’s 4:45 class in the evening. It was me, Sean, and Jonathan. We started with some foam rolling and moved into the week’s warm-up before jumping into deadlift skill work.


But the meat of the workout was deficit deadlifts. Essentially as my 17 year old put it, “deadlifts on platform shoes.” Sure, it was kind of like that.

The idea is that by standing on plates, you have to reach a bit further down, which if you do enough — hopefully it will help strengthen the pull when things get really heavy with a regular deadlift. Apparently there is some controversy with them. (BarBend has a great article about them.)

We started out pretty low on the height and I really didn’t go very far up from that. I started with a set of 10# plates and moved to 15# plates. The workout was 5 x 3 Deficit Deadlifts, so five sets of three with increasing weight.

weight-plates-299537_960_720First we warmed up with a few sets:

  • 135# x5
  • 185# x3
  • 205# x3

And then we started on 10# plates:

  • 225# x3
  • 245# x3

I decided to go up in weight and plate height, so shifted to 15# plates.

  • 265# x3
  • 295# x3 (in retrospect a bit too big of a jump)
  • 315# x1 (got one very wobbly kneed deadlift up and dropped after that)

That last rep was ugly. I’ve never had my left knee shake like that before, but that whole left hamstring and hip were telling me off a bit even at 295#. I should have done 285# and 305# I think, but of course I just threw plates on without thinking a whole lot.

I wasn’t hurt by it, but I definitely should have scaled back a bit towards the end.

Fun, laid back class. Thanks Shaun and great work guys!

Thursday – Burpees Say What?

And then today I went in with Ev to the 8:30 class with Coach Bill. We had a good crew – Todd & Melissa and KB joined us. It was great to have KB back!

burpees-suck-white-e1415664950623We went through the warm-up with Bill and then did some additional work to get shoulders and wrists all limbered up for the movements to come. Shoulders were a little fried, but as always the wrists got fired up by the back and forth work we put them through. Good for cleans, but it didn’t make them happy.

And then we started warming up for hanging squat cleans and burpee C2B. Mostly squat cleans. PVC pipe. Empty barbell. Light weight (95#). Heavier weight (115#). And I had weights out to go to 125# but decided to stay at 115# to try and get through the first set of squat cleans unbroken.

The workout was:

  • 12-9-6 reps for time of:
    • Hang squat cleans (125/85# Performance or 65/45# Fitness)
    • Burpee chest-to-bar pull-ups (Performance) or Burpees (Fitness)

My workout ended up being:

  • 12-9-6
  • Hang squat cleans @ 115#
  • Mix of burpee c2b and regular burpees

My hanging squat cleans actually felt ok at the lower weight once I got going. But I was struggling to find a way to do jumping chest to bars today. I could do regular c2b but failed multiple times at jumping ones on a lower bar.


Bill said to shoot for 8-10 minutes and I laughed, but it kept me at the lower weight. I still struggle with squat cleans and even 125# this past weekend for Kiana’s WOD was a bit of a challenge.

So how’d it go? Well, Ev did the workout with 55# hang squat cleans and jumping C2B burpees, finishing in 6:08. I wasn’t quite that quick. 🙂

  • 12 hang squat cleans @ 115# – paused with bar on thighs, but didn’t put it down
  • 6 slow burpee + c2b
  • 6 slow burpees
  • 9 hang squat cleans – I know I broke it up but don’t remember quite how – might have been 3-3-3
  • 9 slow burpees
  • 6 hang squat cleans – broke it into 3 and 3
  • 6 slow burpees
  • 7:27

My burpee + regular c2b combination was SLOOOW and I had to keep coaxing myself back up to the bar after each burpee. I decided that if I continued that way I’d still be going at the 10 minute mark — though the c2b’s were good, it was very slow from floor to bar. So switching to more “regular” burpees was a better solution.

But I was happy with the result. I got done in under 8. Mission accomplished.

Great work 8:30 class! You were all moving right along!


CrossFit Total, Feb 2018

Going in today, I knew we were doing the crossfit total. And I knew I was a bit under the weather, not just with a cold, but muscle sore from the last few weeks (and Angie yesterday didn’t help). But we’d see how far we got. 🙂

man-this-week-is-fascinating-and-all-but-is-it-25447476Made it in for the 8:30 with Ev. Drea had a good crew – Logan, Kayla, Melissa, and the two of us. Caleb came in about halfway through as well, so we had a few folks in attendance.

Started with the week’s warm-up and then did some empty barbell work to refresh our back squats, strict press, and deadlifts. But from there, we were off to our various racks to start this thing off. Last year I hit 805# — I wasn’t going to get anywhere close today.

Back squats felt bad from the get-go. My inner hips are still pissed off from whatever we did a couple of weeks ago in our squat intensive week. I managed:

  • 135# x8
  • 185# x5
  • 225# x3
  • 255# x1
  • 275# x1

And I stopped there. It just didn’t feel great, so rather than push my luck I gave in.


Strict press was funky too:

  • 95# x5
  • 115# x3
  • 125# x2
  • 135# fail
  • 125# x2
  • 135# fail

And finally deadlifts…

  • 135# x5
  • 225# x2
  • 275# x1
  • 305# x1
  • 335# fail

So with my totals today I’ve dropped off a bit:

  • 605# (225# + 85# + 295#) (2013)
  • 715# (265# + 115# + 335#) (2014)
  • 755# (275# + 125# + 355#) (2015)
  • 785# (295# + 145# + 345#) (2016)
  • 805# (315# + 155# + 335#)  (2017)
  • 705# (275# + 125# + 305#) (2018)

Eh. Some days are like that. Body is tired and I’m fighting a cold. Not a good combo, but we got some weight moving anyway. 🙂


And when I was done, I did the pull-up and ring dip challenge… made it through 3 ugly strict pull-ups and 6 not awful strict ring dips.

Tomorrow is definitely a rest day. Then maybe I’ll get back in on Saturday. 🙂

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

  • 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. 🙂

8 of these. Yup.

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

Deadlifts x3

There are days where lifting heavy is the best thing you can do for yourself. I didn’t realize that until a few years ago. But when the world gets crazy, the barbell simplifies it.

Today I made it in for an 8:30 class with Coach Drea. We had Melissa, Carrie, Lorna, and Matt. A fun core group. I haven’t really worked out with Matt before, and he was fun — has a positive attitude for sure.

We did the same warm-up as yesterday. Only thing I did slightly different today was start with 5# plates for the arm movement bit (A-T-Y-T-repeat) and then drop them after a couple of sequences. My left shoulder was popping even without the weight, so it was probably good to do it without. 🙂

I still want to sing Y-M-C-A when we do this A-T-Y-T movement… 🙂

When that was done, we did some warm-up with an empty barbell around the deadlift, focusing specifically on the midline today. Pulling your belly button to your spine, essentially. It’s an interesting turn of phrase because if you ACTUALLY did that, I think you’d have to be mostly dead — but it works well as a cue.

Barbell_DeadliftAfter that, we warmed up to our working weights.

  • 135# x5
  • 225# x3
  • 275# x3

And instead of going up in weight, we stayed put and used the same weight for all reps and rounds.

The workout was: 5×3 Deadlifts. So I stayed put at 275#, which is about 82% of my 1RM (335# was my last 1RM). And I did five sets of three touch and go deadlifts at 275#.

Each round felt a little easier, funny enough. So that was good. Though my back was bugging me a little today from the Turkish get-ups we did yesterday. By the end, it wasn’t. And we finished out with some leg stretches on our back — knees tucked side to side, one leg straight side to side — then on our front the scorpion stretch for shoulders and back.

All in all it was a good day. I’ll take it.

Great work 8:30!!