Tag Archives: front squats

Squat Deep and Heavy…

We haven’t had many strength days in the last few weeks. Maybe one or two scattered here or there, but I don’t feel like I’ve hit many of them. Quite possible they have been on days I missed — but who knows.

Workout Labs has a great description of these

Today however, I made it. And we did a lot of squats with Coach Lara. We had another pretty good sized class today – Todd & Melissa, Dave, Taylor, Logan, Carrie, Megan, and Keith.

Started with the same warm-up as yesterday. I did manage to get in a few “jumping split lunges” today, but I will admit that they were awkward as possible and I nearly fell over more than a few times. πŸ™‚

Once that was done, we did some mobility — couch stretch with some air squats, some banded work to help us with high elbows during front squats, and then some work in our lats and shoulders with a foam roller or lacrosse ball. Nothing like digging a lacrosse ball into your lats to make you grimace, geez. πŸ™‚

Front-squatFrom there it was straight into some front squat form work with an empty barbell before warming up with some weight and diving into the workout:

  • Front squats – 5 sets of 3 reps

I paired up with Logan and neither of us was all too eager to jump the gun on weight today. Here’s how it went, including the warm-up sets:

  • 95# x5 (warm-up)
  • 125# x5 (warm-up)
  • 145# x5 (warm-up)
  • 165# x3
  • 185# x3
  • 185# x3
  • 195# x3
  • 195# x3

I really wanted to get up to 205#, but by the third rep of both sets of 195#, I was sagging forward at the bottom and had to recorrect to get my elbows up. By my last rep of the last set, I felt like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, so I didn’t push it any further. Focusing on form over weight, I didn’t want to get too far out of whack.

I’ve done better at this particular workout. We did it back in November 2017 and I managed to get up to 205# by the end. Didn’t make it today, but that’s ok.

Logan did great though – his reps looked very consistent all the way through, and he wasn’t alone. Lots of lifting going on today. πŸ™‚

Great work folks!


Weak Sauce Front Squats

Some days are better than others. Mondays are hit and miss these days, but today was definitely a bit of a miss. Messing with the nutritional side of things has left me hanging today. Next time will be better, I’m sure.

Went in at 8:30 with AJ and we joined Coach Drea for a class. Larry & Karen, KB, and Logan joined us for a merry band of six.

always-warm-up-thoroughlyStarted with 2 minutes of row or bike (I rowed) and then did:

  • 15 banded pull-aparts
  • Push up to side plank – 5 per side (these were kind of fun)
  • 10 jumping squats
  • 30 sec reverse grip hang from bar (definitely a challenge – right shoulder didn’t like stress from that direction)
  • 30 sec banded Samson stretch
  • 30 sec front rack stretch

From there it was all about warming up for the squats. Empty barbells were used for elbow mobility, hips and knees, getting everything moving. And then we broke up and added weight.Β There were enough racks for all of us to get one except for Karen & AJ who paired up.

So here’s how it went today…

  • front_squat
    How to Front Squat

    Warmed up with:Β 135# x5 and 155# x3

  • Then did 10×1 Front Squats
    • 175#
    • 185#
    • 195#
    • 205#
    • 215# – was very ugly and decided to stay here
    • 215# – fail – dropped
    • 205# – still felt heavy
    • 210# – still felt heavy
    • 215# – couldn’t convince my body to get under it and stopped

To give you some context… My old 1RM is 245#. I matched that back in January. My body simply wasn’t working that heavy today. It was over my current body weight, so I guess that’s something – but still I was a little disappointed.

Maybe I’m getting old or something? Nah.

On the other side of the room, AJ (now age 13) managed to do a 135# front squat, which is a 10# PR increase for her. She did awesome working with Karen and Drea was right there with her.

So it was an ok day I guess. Beats sitting at my desk. πŸ™‚

Head Not in the Game Today

Most days, something is out of whack. Mind. Body. Spirit. Usually I count myself lucky and say that 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. But today, two out of three were out of whack – maybe all three. That made it a bit tougher.

single-unders-foreverArrived for an 8:30 class with Coach Drea. We had Bill & Brent today. And even during the warm-up I could tell I was just off. The warm-up was:

  • 2 rounds
    • a minute of single unders and then a minute of double unders
    • 10 PVC pass-thrus (just first round)
    • 10 OHS with PVC
    • 10 hollow-body rocks
    • 10 push-ps
    • 10 v-ups or knee tucks
    • 30 second banded shoulder abstraction, each side

I did attempt a few double unders, but whacked myself in the head for about 30 seconds and decided I should just do singles.

From there we moved to some OHS skill work, first with an empty barbell and then with 10# or 15# plates. I grabbed 15# plates. Empty, my right shoulder started talking back. With 75# on the bar, I got through three reps, dropped it and said that was not going to happen today.

Drea suggested shifting to front squats, so I did that with the intention of pushing on those since I knew toes to bar would be rough. We did some active shoulder and kipping work, then shifted to knee tucks, knees to elbows, and finally toes to bars…

still-alive-memeI am happy to say I have a few toes to bars. But they are not pretty. Today was no different.

The workout was:

  • 21-15-9 (competitor), 15-12-9 (Performance/fitness)
  • OHS (115/80# competitor, 95/65# performance, 45/35# fitness)
  • Toes to bars (sit-ups for fitness)
  • Time domain – 5-7 minutes

My workout was:

  • 21-15-9
  • 75# front squats
  • toes to bars until I couldn’t any more and then knee raises

I never dropped the bar for the front squats on any set (I did pause, but didn’t drop) and I did t2b through the round of 21, then shifted part-way through the round of 15 to knee raises.

Finished in 6:03. Ugh. At no point today did I feel like I was moving well or mentally clear, but I did finish.

Probably didn’t help that I only got a handful of hours of sleep last night and probably need a nap.

Good work guys! Thanks Drea!

DNF but DNQ?

Today was a weird day of crossfit that started with a very rough night of sleep (or a lack thereof). Not sure what that boils down to, but it made for a rough workout.

Arrived with the whole clan for a change (Spring Break FTW) but we were far from alone. Coach Bill had a full house today. Dave, KB, Katie C, Katie E, Jonathan, Bri, Connie, and Todd joined us for a full class of 12 peeps. Made logistics a bit entertaining.

always-warm-up-thoroughlyWe started with a warm-up that was supposed to be 2 rounds of:

  • 1 minute row
  • 30 seconds jumping jacks
  • 30 seconds goblet squats

But ended up being (for me and a few others):

  • 1 minute single-unders
  • 30 seconds jumping jacks
  • 30 second goblet squats (I used a 45# kettlebell)

And then we did a mess of box jump and front squat warm-ups before dividing up into pairs so that one group could start and the other would go while they were resting.

  • Five 3-minute rounds of:
    • 10 front squats
    • 10 box jumps
    • Row for max calories (count your calories for your metcon total)
  • Rest 3 minutes between rounds.
  • Performance: Men, 135# squats and 30″ box; Women 95# squats and 24″ box
  • Fitness: (Drop to 4 rounds) Men, 75# squat, 20″ box; Women 55# squat, 16″ box

box-jump-failNow, during warm-up I did 24″ box jumps, so I know I can do them. But I had a feeling with the way my hamstrings were acting that front squats + box jumps would be a bit rough, so I lowered it to 20″. And even that turned out to be too much.

  • Round 1: 10x 135# front squats, 10x 20″ box jumps, 29 calories
  • Round 2: 10x 135# front squats, 10x 20″ step-ups, 22 calories
  • Round 3: 5x 135# front squats and couldn’t convince my knees to do the job, so rowed 90 seconds (24 calories)
  • Round 4: Bill had me switch to 1 minute assault bike, 1 minute break, 1 minute calorie row (17 calories)
  • Round 5: same as round 4, 20 calories
  • Total calories: 112 (average 22.4 per round)

What happened? Round 1 I missed a box jump and that threw me a bit off.Β Round 2 my left knee really started giving me trouble. Round 3 that knee got very cranky and I knew if I didn’t trust it on front squats that I wasn’t going to trust it on box jumps.

Meanwhile, everybody else was bouncing right along. Jonathan finished 107 total calories, averaging a bit better than 20 calories a round while doing actual 30″ box jumps. Todd was flying right along too.

I just didn’t trust my body after that first box jump miss and as the knee got crankier and crankier I knew I should just cool my jets.

Quick note: I still hate the assault bike. I did the round 4 minute ok, but my round 5 minute was all over the place. I much prefer rowing.


In the spectrum of DFL > DNF > DNS I think DNQ (Did Not Quit) or FBS (Finished But Scaled) need to fit in somewhere… I didn’t exactly quit, but I stopped the workout we were doing and adapted it per my coach’s suggestions to keep moving. And I swore like a sailor a good portion of those last 4 rounds.

Just not my day. Good work folks. πŸ™‚

Light Strength Day

So… today was supposed to be a rest day for me. I usually skip Wednesdays just to give my body a chance to recover a bit. And I was sore this morning, so I figured I’d use the break. But then my brain kicked in and said I should go workout.

confusedboy-800pxA battle ensued. Some of it was on Facebook and I had friends weighing in on all sides. Some were “go for it.” Others were “listen to your body.”

Ultimately I decided to go in at noon. I had a meeting go nearly 2 hours this morning and I needed to escape, but I figured I’d go lighter and listen to my body when I got moving. Best of both worlds.

Just me and Coach Drea at noon. She finished up her own workout and then got me started on warming up.

Rowed for 3 minutes and then went through the same warm-up as yesterday from Jefferson Curls to calf stretches. From there it was right to the rack with an empty barbell:

  • 45# (empty barbell) front squats x10
  • 135# x5
  • 155# x3
  • 165# x2

Front-squatFrom there, it was one rep every 3 minutes for 10 rounds:

  • 185#
  • 195#
  • 205#
  • 215# (this felt heavy)
  • 215#
  • 215#
  • 215#
  • 205#
  • 205#
  • 205#

To give you some context, my one rep max is 245#, but it’s been a few months since I hit that. When 215# felt heavy, I stayed where I was and just focused on not leaning forward out of the bottom. Some attempts were better than others. My elbows were higher than they’ve been for a while, so it was good to get some mobility there at least. πŸ™‚

Along the way, Drea and I had a rambling conversation about many things, while little Noah fidgeted in her arms, waving at himself in a mirror. He’s a cutie.

So definitely a light day, but I have to say I felt better after I was done. At least loosened things up a bit. Thanks Drea for the workout and the conversation!

This week has the potential for six workouts. We’ll see how #4 goes tomorrow. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

  • 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. πŸ™‚

  • 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. πŸ™‚
  • 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. πŸ™‚

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

Have a great weekend folks!!

Front Squat Triplets

Mondays. Everybody at my house has struggled a bit this morning, but I made it to Continuum for an 8:30 class. Coach Drea had a good mix. Logan, Todd & Melissa, Brent, Matt & Abigail joined in.

jumping-jacks-5JBrue-clipartWe had a different warm-up today (new warm-up every week) and it made a minute seem like a very long time in spots. πŸ™‚ We did 1 minute each of:

  • Single-unders with a jump rope
  • Jumping jacks
  • Straddle hamstring bends – left/middle/right/up/right/middle/left/up…
  • Knee hugs & quad pulls (wow balance was awful on the quad pulls today)
  • Lunges side to side, staying low with both feet on the floor
  • Hamstring flossing (the key to clean hamstrings is to floss regularly! HA!)
  • Squat into a sky reach, each side (Buddha Prayer Sky Reach)
  • PVC Passthrus — with and without a 2.5# weight. (much harder to do weighted for half that)
  • Inchworms to a plank without a push-up
  • Table holds (hips forward for me, but some folks could actually table today)
  • and we added some wrist/forearm stretches with a PVC pipe, adding 10 squats on each side while we did it — that was more of a challenge than it should have been. πŸ™‚

Once all that was done we grabbed an empty barbell for some front squat refresher before tackling the workout. I worked with Logan today.

  • 5 x 3 Front Squats


We were supposed to start at 75% of our 1RM, but I didn’t quite hit that until about round 3. πŸ™‚ Honestly my elbows and wrists were not quite right and my hips didn’t feel hot either. Took me a while to arm-up.

  • 165 x3
  • 175 x3
  • 185 x3 (Roughly 75% of 245#)
  • 195 x3
  • 205 x3 (Roughly 84% of 245#)

Logan did two sets of 190# as the last two and did awesome. His 1RM was 205# so he was a lot closer than I was.

And weirdly the last two sets for me actually felt better than the first two sets, so I’m not sure if it just took me that long to warm up or what.

But we got through it and did a little couch stretch at the end for good measure. Not a bad way to start the week at least. πŸ™‚ Now we’ll see if we can get the rest of the day on track… HAHA.