Tag Archives: front squat

A Little Team WOD Today…

Energy drain hit me something fierce today or I would have written this up earlier, but AJ and I made it to Team WOD this morning at Continuum. πŸ™‚

Coach Larry was leading the charge today, but we had a small core of dedicated folks ready to tackle the day’s WOD. We were joined by Jonathan, Brent, Bill, Heather, and new member Rob. One of the smallest team WOD groups we’ve had in a while, but we had fun anyway. πŸ™‚


We started with some foam rolling of quads and calves, then moved to PVC pass-thrus, PVC overhead squats, and a World Cup-inspired game involving all of us in a circle in crab position with a 10# med ball. The goal? To kick the ball out of the circle. It was actually quite fun and goofy.

Once we were done with that we broke into teams. The workout was built for teams of 2, but Jonathan, AJ, and I formed a team of 3 while Brent & Rob, Bill & Heather paired up. \

rogue-black-med-ball-web6_1The workout looked like this:

  • Buy In – 75 DU/150 Singles (Both Partners Do All)
  • 400M Med Ball Carry (20/14) – Pass Between Partners
  • 40 Box Jumps (24/20)
  • 40 Push Press (115/75)
  • 40 Front Squat (115/75)
  • 40 Med Ball Sit-Ups (Pass Between Partners)
  • 300M Med Ball Carry (20/14)
  • 30 Box Jumps (24/20)
  • 30 Push Press (115/75)
  • 30 Front Squat (115/75)
  • 30 Med Ball Sit-Ups
  • 200M Med Ball Carry (20/14)
  • 20 Box Jumps (24/20)
  • 20 Push Press (115/75)
  • 20 Front Squat (115/75)
  • 20 Med Ball Sit-Ups
  • 100M Med Ball Carry (20/14)
  • 10 Box Jumps (24/20)
  • 10 Push Press (115/75)
  • 10 Front Squat (115/75)
  • 10 Med Ball Sit-Ups
  • Cash Out – 75 DU/150 Singles

med-ball-partner-sit-upsBecause we had a team of 3, we arranged it a bit differently:

  • 95# bar for Jonathan & I, and AJ did 65# I think.
  • Jump rope buy-in
  • 400m med ball carry (20#)
  • 50s (20″ box jumps, push press, front squats, med ball sit-ups)
  • 300m med ball carry
  • 40s
  • 200m med ball carry
  • 30s
  • 100m med ball carry
  • 20s
  • Jump rope cash out

I did box jumps through the first couple of rounds (50s and 40s) and moved to step-ups after that. And we divvied up the reps each round in a variety of ways. I was happy it wasn’t 90 degrees outside as we moved with that med ball, let me tell you. πŸ™‚

Took us 33:59 to finish up. Brent & Rob finished about the same time and Bill & Heather finished well ahead of us. But we all kept moving right along.

Thanks for a fun workout today and good work everybody!


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.Β  πŸ™‚

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

A Little Strength Work

This is a weird week for me and a shorter one than normal, with me taking a trip to hopefully go sell some books at a writer’s convention in Utah this weekend. I wasn’t sure I was going to get a Wednesday workout in — nor sure I wanted to ahead of sitting on a plane for a couple of hours — but when I heard what it was I decided I wouldn’t skip it. πŸ™‚

Evil Tricycle

So I arrived today for a noon workout with Coach Bill. Drea was finishing up her workout and Nick came in a bit after I did. We worked through the week’s warm-up with a few additions for hip and wrist mobility before tackling the assault bike for 5 minutes.

Now… I have a hate/hate relationship with the Devil’s tricycle. I hate it and it continues to hate me back. So any time I get on, it’s a struggle. Today was no different. I pushed for a minute and then took a break and then did a few chunks of 20-40 seconds with pauses in-between to appease my aching shoulders and knees. Not my favorite thing, but I did what I could.

And after that we did a warm-up series with an empty barbell. Front squats. Thrusters. Push jerks. Everything we were doing during the workout itself. And before long it was time to start adding some weight to the bar. Here’s how it went…

  • Front-squatFront Squat
    • 95# x8 (warm-up)
    • 135# x5 (warm-up)
    • 155# x3 (warm-up)
    • 175# x3
    • 185# x3
    • 195# x3
  • Thrusters
    • 95# x3
    • 135# x3
    • 155# x3 (first one was rough, but last two went ok)
  • Push Jerks
    • 135# x3 (went ok)
    • 145# x3 (wow these were rough)
    • 145# x3 (two out of three went ok)

According to my notes, my 1RMs in these movements are:

  • Front Squat: 245# (July 2017) – 195# is 80%
  • Thrusters: 175#Β  (May 2016) – 155# is almost 90%
  • Push Jerks: 185# (July 2017) – 145# is almost 80%

i-survivedSo I guess I was right in the sweet spot of that 65-85% of my 1RM. Everything felt heavy today, but I did ok. πŸ™‚

Tried logging my scores, but Triib seemed to run into some issues so I’ll have to backtrack and try again next week.

Thanks Bill for a fun class and great work Nick!

Running? Again? (Team WOD)

Yesterday got away from me a bit, so I’m writing up yesterday’s workout now. πŸ™‚

Ev, AJ, and I headed in to Continuum about 9:30 for the 10am Team WOD and I knew it was going to be a sneaky workout. I’d looked earlier in the morning and it appeared easy, which is never a good thing. Even once we were there, Jonathan and I underestimated it a bit.

b04c6ed2970ac4c861a63625f42d9532We weren’t alone however. There were a good number of folks spread throughout. Ev & AJ teamed up. I teamed up with Jonathan. And we joined the throngs.

It began simply enough, with the same warm-up as the rest of the week, led by Coach Drea. We spread out for floor space and tackled it a movement at a time, avoiding the row/run/bike for 2 minutes at the beginning. We’d have plenty of that before we were done.

Once we were done with that, we grabbed an empty barbell and our partners and started warming up the rest of the movements: hanging power cleans and front squats. At first it was an empty barbell and then we added more weight. It was supposed to be 135/95# for guys. Jonathan and I felt like 115# was plenty heavy and stayed there.

Bill & Isaac demonstrated some ring push-ups (really low rings and you essentially do a push-up on them — difficult to stabilize a bit, but great practice for ring dips) and talked about toes to bar or knees to elbows.

1425faefe33929b0b86dcb3935ca368a--employee-motivation-work-motivationAnd then… it was off to the races.

  • 25 Min AMRAP, 2 person teams
    • 20 Hang Power cleans #135/#95/#75/#65
    • 20 Ring Push-ups
    • 20 Toes 2 Bar
    • 20 Front Squat #135/#95/#75/#65
    • 400 M run – Run together as team
    • (if 3 person team, increase reps by 10)
    • Must complete each movement before moving on

Like I said, seemed simple enough. Of course, it wasn’t.

Jonathan and I used a 115# bar for the cleans & squats, he did t2b and I did knees-to-elbows, and we both did ring push-ups and the run. When I say run, the first one was a run and the last two were… walk 200m and run 200m.

My issue with this workout was the lack of rest. You’d think with a partner, you’d get a little recovery time — but that wasn’t the case. And we weren’t the fastest of the teams or the slowest, but the run became my “rest” for lack of anywhere else.

1th9hbWe eventually finished 3 full rounds and got through the cleans, ring push-ups, and 12 of the t2b or k2e’s (3+52). I called it 295 reps, considering each 400m run 1 rep (each round was 81 reps, so 81+81+81+52 = 295).

Breathing was a problem. I was amused because we did the hanging and running hero WOD earlier in the week and I ran 400m five times, with plenty of rest in-between (the hangs became recovery time of 45 seconds to 1 minute), and the runs didn’t feel nearly that bad.

Cleans, we broke up in sets of 5 back and forth. Ring push-ups we did 10 each. T2b/k2e we did 10 each. And the first set of front squats was 10 and 10, second was 10 and 10, third was 10, 5 with a pause and 5 more, fourth was 5 with a pause, 3 with a pause, and 2. The lack of recovery time taxed everything pretty well.

Someday I’ll figure out how to “recover” and run at the same time. Someday.

But I was happy to get through 3+ rounds of that. When Jonathan talked before we started, he thought we’d get through 5 rounds — I predicted 3. We landed in-between. That’s compromise for you. πŸ™‚

Thanks for a challenging workout, Jimmy. πŸ™‚

Challenging Chipper

There are a bunch of terms and acronyms in Crossfit that get thrown around… Metcon. AMRAP. Chipper. Today was the last one. (For some good definitions, check out this page from Iron Hero Crossfit.) And we definitely chipped away at it a few reps at a time…


It was another crazy day at my house with half my family heading out on a trip, but I made it in for the 8:30 workout with Coach Bill today. And we had a fun group – Logan, Todd & Melissa, Carrie, and Lara. So we started off with Nicole’s warm-up before doing a bit of box, barbell, and medicine ball work to get ready for the movements in today’s WOD.

We did quite a bit of work on pistols off the box today — and I have to say I definitely still struggle with them, but I’m starting to get a bit better — maybe. πŸ™‚ Beyond that, we did some work with deadlifts, cleans, and front squats — with a medicine ball at first, then an empty barbell eventually adding a bit more weight.

For some reason, I really struggled today with simply shrugging with the bar. Worked fine with a medicine ball, but as soon as I got a barbell in hand it went wonky. Pulling too soon most of the time. So though the workout called for 135# at the performance level, I tried 115# and didn’t look all that hot, so Bill had me shift back to 95#. No arguments from me.

1z3bh1So what was the workout? It was a chipper for time:

  • 40 single-leg squats, alternating
  • 35 wall balls (20/14# performance, 14/10# fitness)
  • 30 box jumps (24/20″ box performance, 16/12″ box fitness)
  • 20 deadlifts (135/95# performance, 95/65# fitness)
  • 15 power cleans
  • 5 front squats

I ended up doing somewhere between performance and fitness, so let’s just call it “fitness.”

  • 40 pistols off the box, starting with a 20″ box for the first 20 and shifting to a 24″ box to emphasize control of the leg on the downward path
  • 35 wall balls (20# medicine ball)
  • 30 box jumps on a 20″ box (combination of a handful of box jumps and mostly step-ups)
  • 205 deadlifts @ 95#
  • 15 power cleans @ 95#
  • 5 front squats @ 95#
  • Time– 11:05

This particular combination of movements — pistols and wall balls — really creamed my knees to the point where box jumps were awkward and dangerous. I nearly fell on my first one and really only did about 5 before I shifted back to step-ups. Deadlifts weren’t bad, but power cleans were a struggle with the shrug again, and the front squats weren’t awful.


I did break up the wall balls more than i wanted, though had a couple of sets of 10 mixed in with some sets of 3-5. I’m a little gun shy of having the ball smack me in the face again, so I was way too far away from the wall. But other than that I kept moving pretty well. I did break most of it up, but in decent sets without a ton of rest between them.

Long story short, my knees are ticked, but I did ok. πŸ™‚

We’ll see what tomorrow’s workout is before I determine whether I’m going or not. πŸ™‚ But I will be there Saturday for the gymnastics class ahead of doing an online event for an online gaming convention I’m participating in.

Great work today folks – you all moved right along! And thanks for the encouragement Bill!

Front Squats to Failure

Today was an interesting strength day and maybe you’ll have some ideas on how I can work past the problem I hit the next time it happens — because it’s going to happen again.

1sgi63We had a strength day today. And though I didn’t get to go in this morning due to a few things, I was impressed by what the rest of my family managed to accomplish.

  • My 12-year-old daughter has a new 130# PR front squat.
  • My 16-year-old daughter made it to 120#
  • My wife made it to 150#, which was a 5# PR for her.

And our friend Caleb apparently did a lot of cleaning at the box (in addition to his own front squats) — picking up most of the bars that fell during bailed attempts for the three of them, plus Connie and Carrie. So Ev asked me to put a special shout out to Caleb for all the help. πŸ™‚


I went in for the noon class with Coach Drea, Bri, and Austen. We started with a 4 round warm-up:

  • 10 kettle bell goblet squats (I used a 35# kettlebell)
  • 10 ab-mat sit-ups
  • 15 calorie row (Bri & Austen only had to do 10)

Once that was done, we did a little refresher on front squats and got started pretty quickly thereafter.Β The warm-up was pretty simple… do a handful of reps at low weight and work up to 80% of your 1RM.

  • 45# bar (x8)
  • 95# x6
  • 135# x5
  • 155# x5
  • 185# x3


And then we started 10 rounds of 1 rep each, with the intent of getting heavy quickly and beating our old PRs.

  • 195# x1
  • 205# x1
  • 215# x1
  • 225# x1
  • 235# x1
  • 245# x1 (my old 1RM)

And that’s where the trouble set in. My next few rounds were:

  • 255# x1 (bail)
  • 250# x1 (bail)
  • 245# x1 (couldn’t even convince my body to squat under it)
  • 245# x1 (same)

Then we were done.

Quite honestly once I bailed the first time, I was in my head. That’s been a pattern with me for a long time. Last week when we did the strict press/push press/push jerk strength day, I was done as soon as I bailed at 195#.

There’s something about that crazy little mental loop I hit after a fail where my brain simply starts shutting certain movements off like it did today.

1sgidyHere’s what I attempted to do after the first bail:

  • drop weight
  • walk it off
  • focus on breathing

None of that helped. πŸ™‚

So my question is this… how do you RESET after a bail/fail on a lift? Drea and I talked after the workout and she said she also fights that. But I don’t have any clear things to try next time.

Not looking for the Holy Grail here, but some ideas on what works for other people. πŸ™‚

Thanks Drea for the encouragement today. And great work to both Austen (who almost got 135#) and Bri (who hit 170#) — you both rocked it!

I am content to have matched my old 1RM from January 2016. It was a good lift then. It’s still a good lift. πŸ™‚

Have a great day!

Monday Sets of 3

I’ll start off by saying that other than about 15 minutes of foam rolling on Sunday, I did very very little over the weekend after doing battle with 17.5. Therefore, I knew I had to get my rear end into the box to get moving again come Monday.

So here we are at Monday. And I did just that. πŸ™‚


We had Coach Bill this morning, which was fun. But we had a great mix of folks – Jonathan & Sarah, Nic & Nicole, Bri, Sam, Carrie, Larry, and Jake. It’s Spring Break, so the place was hopping.

Started with a 400m jog and then did a few minutes of couch stretch, a 30 second handstand hold, and some work with an empty barbell. I’d tell you what we did with the empty barbell, but I don’t want to scare off later classes in case it comes up again. Suffice it to say that Larry figured it out quickly and the rest of us groaned along. πŸ™‚

From there it was just a matter of breaking up into groups of 2 or 3 to get moving. Today we did:

  • Front squat 3-3-3
  • Thrusters 3-3-3
  • Push Jerk 3-3-3
  • All starting about 85% of our 1RM and moving upwards

20170327_092607I worked with Nic & Jonathan and they’re both stronger than they think they are. πŸ™‚Β We warmed up with a set of each of the movements at 115# and went up from there quickly.

  • Front squat – 155# x3, 185# x3, 225# x1 (fail)
  • Thrusters – 135# x3, 145# x3, 155# x3
  • Push Jerk – 155# x3, 175# x1 (fail), 175# x1 (fail)

My 1RMs are:

  • Front squat – 245#
  • Thruster – 175#
  • Push Jerk – not sure, but my push press is 195# and my clean & jerk is 175#

So to put that into %:

  • Front squat – 63%, 75%, 92% (fail)
  • Thruster – 77%, 83%, 88%
  • Push jerk (% of average of 1RM PP & C&J at 185#) – 84%, 95%, 95%

Not too bad really. Jonathan is a beast, hitting 255# & 275# on his front squat, 175# on his thrusters, and 175# & 185# on his push jerks. Nic was right there with him, pushing 225# front squats and 185# push jerks.

It was a good day. My left shoulder is a bit cranky, but otherwise I actually felt a lot better moving by the end than I did when we started.

Good thing I got in and got moving. πŸ™‚