Tag Archives: deadlift

A Complex to End the Week

Today marks the end of the week and the 5th day in a row I’ve made it into the box for a workout. Considering how Monday went, I won’t complain about the rest of the week. I often skip Fridays, but since we’ll be traveling this weekend I wanted to make sure to get my max time when I could. 🙂

dr-evil-air-quotes-yes-this-is-what-we-call-a-warm-upSo today was 2018 Team Series Event 7. Coach Drea had myself, Maria, Todd & Melissa, KB, and Dave, and we started with a little warm-up:

  • 2 rounds
  • 500m row
  • 10 single-leg deadlifts
  • 10 banded good mornings
  • 10 banded pull-aparts
  • 10 PVC slow and steady push jerk progressions
  • and something else I’m missing, but it’s fine. 🙂

With that out of the way, we did a good mix of PVC and then empty bar practice through the three movements of the workout…

  • Deadlift
  • Hang Clean
  • Split or Push Jerk

cf-team-logo-whiteThen we added some weight and got moving for the 10 minute workout.

  • 10 minutes to determine the 1 rep max for the complex
  • deadlift / hang clean / hang clean & jerk

Somehow I knew today wasn’t going to be as heavy as I wanted, but I was still happy with just doing some strength for a change… My PRs are 335/345# deadlift and 185/205# clean & jerk. I didn’t get close to that today.

jerk-clipart-olympic-weightlifting-clean-jerk-hiMy warm-ups were fine: 95#, 115#, 135#. And then I added more weight, trying to go every 2 minutes for the 10 minutes we had.

  • 145#
  • 155#
  • 165# (fail on jerk)
  • 165# (fail on clean)
  • 155#
  • 160#

It was interesting how this one went. I got a little wrapped up in the weight at 165# but decided to drop weight and try lower to see what happened. That seemed to be a good approach. 🙂

Great work 8:30 class and thanks Drea!


Another Catch-up Post Twofer

Seems I’ve been writing a lot of these of late. Work and life are conspiring to keep me busy. Here’s the last couple of workouts, plus we did yoga with V on Friday night (thanks V!)!

Saturday Team WOD

Saturday morning, Ev and I headed in for Team WOD at 10am. And we weren’t alone. There were 8 teams all together – mostly teams of 2, maybe a team or two of 3 people. But the place was definitely hopping. Caleb & Megan, Heather, Brent, Jimmy, Nick & Lisa, and a whole bunch of other folks. 🙂 Coach Drea had her hands full!


After warming up a bit (400m jog, some other things) it was time to pick teams. It looked at first like I would be on a team of 3 with a couple of other guys, but Ev and I decided to work together and we took it slow and steady the whole way through.

  • 2 person teams
  • Cash in – Row 2000 meters
  • 25 push press #135/#95
  • 25 burpees over the bar
  • 25 deadlift #135/#95
  • 25 burpees over the bar
  • 25 thrusters#135/#95
  • 25 burpees over the bar
  • 25 front rack lunges #135/#95
  • 25 burpees over the bar
  • Cash out 2000 m bike

pablo (4)Ev and I started on the bike and ended with the row. She used a 65# bar for everything except for a few deadlifts she did with my bar. I used 95# for everything except for the front rack lunges – I dropped the bar on those.

Bar over burpees were awful. The bike to start was rough. But surprisingly it was the row at the end that smoked me.

We finished in 30:45 and I was happy to be done. 🙂

Monday’s Metcon – Shoulders and Knees

This morning it was me, the two Melissas, and Bill with Coach Drea at 8:30. And I have to say I was not excited about this one. The numbers and movements are not among my strongest and I knew my body was going to object. 🙂

kangaroo-warm-upWe started with two rounds of the warm-up:

  • 1:30 rowing
  • 10 walking lunges
  • 10 reverse grip PVC passthroughs
  • :30 plank walk up

90 minutes of rowing? No worries. I managed about 18 calories the first round and sprinted to 25 in the second. Walking lunges? Bah. Reverse grip pass-thrus – these were a challenge. I couldn’t get past my elbows – very awkward. And the 30 second plank walk-ups? Interesting – plank, then down to elbows, and back up again.

Good warm-up. Definitely tests flexibility and gets things moving.

body-weight-movementsBut then… we had to face the rest of the workout.

  • Metcon for Total Time
  • For time:
    • walking lunge
    • push-ups
    • medicine-ball cleans
    • pull-ups
    • walking lunge
  • Competitor: 100m, 100 reps, 100m, 20/14# medicine ball
  • Performance: 75m, 75 reps, 75m, 20/14# medicine ball
  • Fitness: 50m, 50 reps, 50m, 20/14# medicine ball

Walking lunges are never going to be one of my favorite movements. The fact that my knee has to touch the ground over and over again just tweaks everything from top to bottom. And then just the sheer volume of reps in-between with two shoulder-intense movements like push-ups and pull-ups, plus med-ball cleans.

bodyweight_walking_lungeYeah, this was not something I looked forward to attempting. I seem to recall trying to get through 100 push-ups for time with Isaac & Bill one day and struggling mightily. Add to that hundreds of reps of other movements and yeah… Ugh.

So how’d it go?

  • Performance reps:
    • 75m walking lunges outside
    • 75 push-ups (started with 10 and did sets of 5 mostly, happy to say I didn’t drop to knee push-ups)
    • 75 med-ball cleans (20# medicine ball – sets of 5-10)
    • 75 pull-ups (started with a set of 10, then a set of 5, then dropped to ring rows for the remainder – sets of 5 for the most part)
    • 75m walking lunges – more awful than the first set
  • Final time: 33:06 (or so)

The switch from pull-ups to ring rows was not unexpected. My knees were ticked after the first round of walking lunges and my shoulders were fried before the end of the push-ups. The med-ball cleans added insult to injury, and the pull-ups were bound to fall apart.

survived-didnt-dieI was more surprised I think that Melissa, Melissa, and Bill all crushed the walking lunges and left me in the dust. The final 75m, I started before any of them and was still the last one done. They are uncomfortable, slow, and still better than they were 5 years ago.

Ultimately, I’m just happy that I finished this one.

Thanks all!

CrossFit Total 2018 and a Shifting Mindset

Today marked the 4th workout of the week for me, which is pretty good. I was a little sore going in, but that’s nothing new. Both knees were a little cranky and my right shoulder was saying hello after squat snatches yesterday, so I knew it might be a lighter kind of day than I wanted but I was willing to listen to what my body was telling me.

gears-head (Small)That’s a key point for today’s workout — one I have gone back and forth on over the years mentally. Is it a key measurement in my strength training? Yes. But today it was a bit of a watershed moment instead.

We had a fun group this morning in the 8:30 class for Coach Lara… Drea, Nancy, KB, Bri, and a gal whose name I didn’t catch at all (my bad).

We did one round of the warm-up:

  • 200m jog
  • 15 air squats
  • 10 Cossack squats (lateral lunges)
  • 20 PVC pass-throughs
  • 15 abmat sit-ups
  • 10 burpees

And I noticed two things today, starting with the warm-up… First, I was the first one back after a 200m run, which was weird. Second, my 10 burpees went unbroken. Neither of those items is normal for me.

burpees_m_workoutlabsAdd to that the fact that I ran last night for the warm-up at the 4:45 class (twice!) and you’ll see a bit of a shift. I’ve been trying to do more running when given the option in class to try and get over the fact that it’s one of my least favorite activities. And it’s starting to pay off.

From there, we did some warm-ups of the day’s movements (back squat, strict press, deadlift) and then split up to conquer the workout.

  • CrossFit Total
    • 1 rep max back squat
    • 1 rep max shoulder press/strict press
    • 1 rep max deadlift
  • Score = total weight for all three

crossfit-totalI haven’t looked at my CrossFit total for a while, but let’s take a look back:

  • 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#) (February 2018)

We went up for a long time and dropped off starting this year. I wasn’t happy about that, but the excuses piled up. In February, my body was tired and I was fighting a cold. Today, my knees were bugging me and my right shoulder. “I’m getting older.” Yup.

So how’d today go? Well… not great, but a tad better than February.

  • Back squat
    • 135# x5 (warm-up)
    • 175# x3 (warm-up)
    • 225# x1
    • 255# x1
    • 275# (fail)
  • Strict press
    • 135# x1
    • 145# x1
    • 155# (fail)
    • 150# (fail)
  • Deadlift
    • 135# x5 (warm-up)
    • 225# x3 (warm-up)
    • 275# x1
    • 295# x1
    • 315# x1
    • 335# (fail)
    • 335# (fail)
  • Total = 255# + 145# + 315# = 715#

Black-And-White-CalculatorLike I said – a little better than 7 months ago, but not by much. And I was disappointed… for a while.

Then I realized how much my body has changed in the last year or two. Cardio has become easier. Body weight exercises have become easier for the most part. My movement quality has improved for the most part.

And if I stay able to do body weight or better at most of the major lifts (back squat, front squat, deadlift) and work on improving the other lifts (overhead squat, snatch, push press, cleans) while maintaining my ability to continue to move well… That’s success.

Is that a cop out? Nope. I’m still in the box working hard as often as I can and feel pretty good a majority of the time when I eat well. (Yes, nutrition has fallen off a bit of late, but I’ll work on getting that back in line.)

Great work today, 8:30 class!

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!