Tag Archives: squat clean

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!


Rough Monday, but Surviving!

Some days are tougher than others. The body doesn’t want to move. The brain won’t wake-up. Whatever the reason, Mondays are usually days to kick off the rust and get back into gear. Today was no different.

garfield-mondayMade it in for an 8:30 workout with Coach Drea today and there were a few of us – Jed, Dave, Abigail, and Matt. We tackled an intriguing array of movements for the warm-up, including a weird cross-body set of movements with a dumbbell or kettlebell that involved a lot of twisting and single arm movements.

Something tells me that the difficulties some of us had (*me* cough cough) doing partner Russian twists with a medicine ball on Saturday may have something to do with it. Twisting and turning in different ways was more than a challenge – it turned out to be downright painful going one way (right to left across my front) vs. not as awful the other (left to right), though I was passing the med ball over my right shoulder to Jonathan, rather than around my right side.

Anyway… warm-up aside (we were all groaning pretty good by the end), we then started warming up with some PVC squat cleans and clean & jerks, talking about the workout.

  • 12-minute AMRAP
  • Performance:
    • 115/75-lb. squat snatch, 1 rep
    • 115/75-lb. clean and jerks, 3 reps
    • 30 double-unders
  • Fitness:
    • 75/55-lb. hang snatch, 1 rep
    • 75/55-lb. clean and jerks, 3 reps
    • 50 single-unders

Warming up with 75# felt ok. I tried for 95# and my squat snatch was… um… underwhelming. I think my shoulders are still fried from last week. So I stayed at 75#.

1th9hbAnd, even funnier today, Drea asked me to do 30 seconds of double under practice. Normally I would say sure, but I couldn’t even string more than 10 single-unders together for some reason until about round 4 today. It was weird.

So I stayed with Fitness level, but stuck with squat snatches instead of hanging snatches. I aimed for 5-6 rounds (Drea said to shoot for 8), and managed 6 full rounds plus 4 — I picked up my rope just as time went out.

Squat anything with an overhead bar — like overhead squats or snatches — is always a challenge. That should have been easier than it was, but I’m happy with the results. I kept moving, despite fumbling through single-unders and taking my time on the lifts.

Great work 8:30 class!

My Hips Don’t Lie… They’re Mad

Some weeks you seem to find a theme to the workouts at your crossfit box. This week I think Dave nailed it this morning when he said it was a leg killer. He’s not wrong.

Made it in today with Ev for an 8:30 class with Coach Bill. Lara, Dave, and Logan joined us today as well. We started with the weekly warm-up as we chatted about the workout and some of the other things coming up. The Open figured prominently into that discussion, funny enough. 🙂

When we were done with the regular warm-up, we moved on to some clean and press drills with a PVC pipe and then an empty barbell before we added weight. Even before I got there this morning, I was planning on scaling to 135# at least. And when I added weight, even 95# squat cleans felt heavy — so I stayed there.

Funny enough, it wasn’t the barbell that was the biggest problem today. It was the burpee chest to bars. Going from the ground to standing, jumping to the bar, and pulling to a chest to bar was a bear.

Captain David Lyon

Our workout was “The Lyon,” named for Captain David Lyon, who was an Air Force Academy grad and based at Peterson – so a home town hero. He lost his life after an IED attack in Afghanistan in 2013. You can read more about the workout, and Captain Lyon, at the Crossfit Mainsite.

  • The Lyon
  • 5 rounds, each for time of:
    • 165-lb. squat cleans, 7 reps
    • 165-lb. shoulder-to-overheads, 7 reps
    • 7 burpee chest-to-bar pull-ups
  • Rest 2 minutes between rounds.
  • Ideally, use a pull-up bar that is 6 inches above your max reach when standing.

Front-squatThat’s the Rx version of this workout. I definitely would not be able to pull that off in any reasonable time frame and cleans from the ground have been a challenge in the last week or so. (155# power cleans last Saturday just about did me in.)

So my scaled version became:

  • 95# squat cleans, 7 reps
  • 95# strict or push press, 7 reps
  • burpee chest-to-bar pull-ups, 7 reps (until the last few reps where I switched to jumping c2b)

How’d it go? First two rounds went ok, and then the wheels came off. First round went great and I finished in right at 2 minutes. That didn’t last long. I think we were in the 3-4 minute range for rounds 3 through 5 for sure. And it was the burpee c2bs that were the limiting factor.

survived-didnt-dieNot sure what to say there other than the fact that — YAY, I GOT SOME C2Bs! — and burpees are awful in every context. I did the first three rounds unbroken with the barbell and started breaking the cleans into smaller sets after that, but always tried to do my shoulder-to-overheads unbroken.

Ev did hers in 20:13, starting with a 75# bar and dropping to 65#, but doing jumping c2b the whole time.

Took me 23:54 to finish. Definitely a tough one to just keep moving through.

I have to say that this week has really killed my hips of all things. Sure, my knees aren’t happy either, but my inner hip on both sides is just fired up for some reason. Need to find some stretches to start relieving the tightness soon!

Thanks Bill for pushing and great work 8:30 class! Good work on this one!

Pick it up in 3-2-1…

Sure Bill. I think I heard that a number of times this morning and at one point may have replied “Um Bill, love ya, but no.” 🙂 Yes, it was that kind of morning!

2528d6_ed3615fc7a2f482b923ca3913ed2ce07Did not want to wake up this morning. Not sure if it was the gray skies or rough night of tossing and turning, but 6am was not a happy time. I figured that a workout might give me a mood boost, and I was somewhat right on that front.

Made it in with my wife for an 8:30 class with Coach Bill — and we were joined by Brent and Dave. So a nice small group sweating for 12 minutes. 🙂 Of course, the 12 minutes started with our weekly warm-up and then some med ball work followed by PVC work followed by an empty barbell… 🙂

From there I warmed up with 95# on the bar and decided that felt plenty heavy, choosing to not up the weight to 115# today.

Even so, have to say this one was a bit of a challenge. There was no built-in rest for this workout. Just go-go-go! And I had to fight my body’s natural tendency to say “no-no-no”!


The workout was for total reps across 12 minutes:

  • 1 minute of squat cleans
  • 1 minute of push jerks
  • 2 minutes of squat cleans
  • 2 minutes of push jerks
  • 3 minutes of squat cleans
  • 3 minutes of push jerks
  • Performance: 115/75#
  • Fitness: 55/35#

I’m not a big fan of squat cleans and some of my push jerks may have looked a lot like push presses, but hey… I did ok. Earlier classes were seeing counts of 60-120 reps. I managed to get through 87.

Much like the rest of the week, I scaled the weight a little (115# became 95#) but everything else stayed the same.

  • 9 squat cleans
  • 12 push jerks
  • 13 squat cleans
  • 17 push jerks
  • 12 squat cleans (was really slowing down by this point)
  • 24 push jerks (and 5 or so of these were probably push presses)
  • Total 87

1rq4jqI was shooting for 90-100, but will definitely take 87.

Ev on the other hand scaled to 55# and did mostly hang squat cleans due to hamstring issues, but managed to get through 120 total reps. She kicked ass.

Not sure how Brent and Dave did, but I think Brent worked at 115# and Dave worked with an empty barbell, but both of them kept on moving the whole time.

Bill was his usual cheerful, motivating self this morning, so that helped keep us all going. Thanks Bill! And great work 8:30 class!

Weaker Strength Day

Some days are better than others. That’s a fact. And in the gym, I’ve had to do my best to listen to my body more often. Today, it was telling me to go lighter because everything felt heavy and my form wasn’t great. 🙂

0d955d5350d9ac0bb7be7f04b8e20fd4We had the whole Fitzy family in this morning, along with one of Mickey’s friends, Shannon, plus Connie, Bri, Larry, and Melissa. Coach Drea had a full house for the 8:30 class. We all worked our way through the warm-up of the week and then began tackling some Olympic snatch mechanics.

Starting with an empty barbell, we worked through quite a few different elements before we even added any weight to the bar. And that was definitely a good thing. After doing 150 kettlebell swings last night (plus 150 sit-ups), my hamstrings were a little sore and my lower back was also starting to say hello before long.

Eventually we started adding weight to the bar. The workout was 5×1 for snatches and then we did 5×1 for (squat) clean & jerks.

snatch5I warmed up to 95# and then added 20# more pounds for the first round… I was all over the place:

  • 95# (warm-up)
  • 115# (warm-up)
  • 115# (first round)
  • 105# (second round)
  • 105# (third round)
  • 115# (fourth round)
  • 125# (fifth round)

This wasn’t awful, considering my old 1RM is STILL 135# after nearly 2.5 years. Was it pretty? Um, no — especially since only about half of these were actually squat snatches. Most of them were pretty upright power snatches, but it was what my body was allowing today.

jerk-clipart-olympic-weightlifting-clean-jerk-hiThen we worked on clean & jerks. They were supposed to be squat cleans, but again I ended up with a mix of squat and power cleans.

  • 95# (warm-up)
  • 115# (warm-up)
  • 135#
  • 135#
  • 155#
  • 155#
  • 165#

Even with the mix of squat and power cleans, this was way under what I was shooting for. Was kind of hoping for 185# since I set my old 1RM at 205# back in November. But hey, listening to the body was good and we’ll have an opportunity to work more on this in the coming weeks.

So good work everybody! And I hope the 9:30 class had fun too!

Squat Cleans Are Not My Fave

After yesterday’s 250 reps, I was hoping for something a bit more “enjoyable” as far as the day’s WOD. Apparently I should get used to disappointment this week.

Coach Larry was finishing up today’s WOD when I got there and looking pretty miserable, but chugging through it. But before 8:30 we had a handful of folks… Melissa and her daughter, Lara, and Sarah. We began with a 400m jog and came back in for a little three round warm-up of:

  • 10 med-ball cleans (20/14#)
  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 banded good mornings

ring-dipWith that out of the way, we went through a squat clean refresher and some ring dip essentials.

Today’s workout was a doozy:

  • 27-21-15-9 reps for time
  • squat cleans
  • ring dips
  • Rx/Level II weight – 95/65#, Level I weight – 55/35#
  • Ring dips, leg-assisted ring dips, and push-ups

Quite honestly I knew I was in trouble even during our squat clean warm-up. Between knees and hips it was going to be a challenge to get through 72 of them. But it turned out to be a combination of shoulders and low back that really slowed me down. It took nearly 9 minutes to get through the first round with a combination of actual ring dips and “leg-assisted” ones.

By the time I got through the round of 21 squat cleans, I decided I’d just do push-ups instead of ring dips. But even so, it took me 23:48 to get through the whole thing.


Let me qualify a few things for this one though… I really wanted to quit. My head already knew what my body would figure out pretty quickly – squat cleans still suck. And honestly it wasn’t the weight. I would have struggled with an empty bar just as much as I did the 95# bar.

My cleans looked like crap. Many followed this pattern – straight leg, bend down, snag bar, clean and drop into a squat, then drop it. It’s no wonder my back was bugging me. And if I had done all the ring dips I’d still have been going at least another 10 minutes. The few ring dips I did do were not pretty.


There’s something about combination push and pull workouts. Squat cleans were a pull. Ring dips were a push. And neither movement worked well. It was like my burpees yesterday. Every one looked uglier than the one before.

Meanwhile I watched Lara and Sarah essentially drop far enough and fast enough into their squat that their butts might as well have hit the floor. Ass to grass. They did great.

It was not a good workout for me. I nearly quit at least three times. The door was open. I could have just walked out. Instead I wandered, shook it out, and tried to reset. I never openly said “I quit,” but damn I came close.

Would it have been any different if it was just 21-15-9 instead of 27-21-15-9? I don’t know. That extra round was definitely a mental game.

Larry was always circling, giving encouragement. And I heard some of the other nice folks in the class encouraging me as well. So thank you to all of you. It did help.

Great work folks! Y’all killed it.

The Merry Twelve Days of Christmas WOD

Well, I was merry when I began and exhausted at the end, so I guess it did its duty today. 🙂


If you haven’t seen the “Twelve Days of Christmas” WOD in various places, it’s a workout where you follow the same scheme as the “Twelve Days of Christmas” song and do a different body weight or barbell movement for each “day”, using the rep scheme from the song…

1 squat clean, 2 pull-ups, and 30 double unders (or single unders), etc.

Today CrossFit Continuum ran the 12 Days WOD three times – 9, 11, and 1. The Fitzy clan went to the 9am workout to get it out of the way early. And we weren’t alone. 🙂

Coach Larry kept us moving. We had Caleb & Megan, Clara, Vanessa, Stacy, Danielle, Brent, Bill, Todd, and a few others milling about. It was packed. We had people all over the place.

We started with a 400m team run (an “Indian run”) with a medicine ball that we passed from person to person until we hit the end and then that person ran it back to the front and started over. It became guys vs. girls pretty quickly and the girls showed us up. We won though because guile beats skill apparently. 😉

After that we did some warm-up stretches as a group — Spider-man lunges, jumping jacks, etc. — and then Larry went through a quick refresher on some of the movements with a PVC pipe and watched us go through them.

This was a fun group so everyone was giving everyone else grief, of course. 🙂

And then the real fun began. This is always a challenging workout  I worked with Brent – he and I kind of waterfalled our way through most of the movements:

  • santaimages1 Squat Clean 135/95
  • 2 Muscle-ups/Chest 2 Bar/Pull-ups/Toes to Bar/Knees to Elbows
  • 3 30 Double unders or Single unders
  • 4 Burpees
  • 5 Box Jumps 24/20
  • 6 Thrusters 135/95
  • 7 Hand Stand Push-ups or Pike Push-ups
  • 8 Goblet Squats 53/35
  • 9 KBS 53/35
  • 10 Wall Balls 20/14
  • 11 Situps
  • 12 Push jerks 135/95

We adjusted the weight from 135# to 115# and scaled in a few other places. I did jumping C2B, single-unders, step-ups (with a few 20″ box jumps), and I did a few HSPUs but quickly fell to pike push-ups. The killer? The squat cleans. Wow. Those 6 reps were the roughest part of the whole thing.

Brent hummed right along through all of it. I think he said today was the first HSPU he’d done since his elbow surgery and he looked great. He did Rx movements through most of it too.

I slowed him down a bit. But we finished the whole thing in 58:34. I was the last one to finish off the push jerks I think, but wast just happy to get it done and under an hour. 🙂

Ev and the girls did great. But everybody kicked butt. Great work folks!

And now… on the last day of Christmas my true love gave to me a rest day! 🙂 And maybe some ice for my sore body parts after 6 days of workouts this week. 🙂


We wish a big Merry Christmas to every one of our friends and coaches at the box — and all those CrossFit peeps we’ve met this year from all over the place. It’s been another fantastic year of CrossFit for us and it’s not even quite over yet.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Well Wishes for Everyone!!