Tag Archives: strict press

Strength Day – Overhead Work

Yesterday was a doozy of a workout, so I was happy to see that today’s was a strength day! Huzzah!ย Made it in for the 9:30 workout with Coach Lara, Caleb, Nick, and Janiece, as the 8:30 class was heading out. We had a fun little group. ๐Ÿ™‚

old_windmillWe started with little warm-up:

  • 500m row
  • 10 PVC Passthroughs
  • 10 Inchworms
  • 10 Windmills
  • 10 Seated Forward Tables

And we bounced from there to some skill refresher on the strict press (or shoulder press), push press, and push jerk, with an empty barbell. From there we each found a rack, warmed up to our starting weight for strict press, and got going.

So how did it go?

  • Strict Press
    • 75# x3 (warm-up)
    • 95# x3 (warm-up)
    • 115#
    • 125#
    • 135#
    • 145#
    • 160# (fail)
    • (old one rep: 155#)
  • Push Press
    • 95# (warm-up)
    • 135# (warm-up)
    • 155#
    • 165#
    • 175#
    • 185# (fail)
    • 180# (fail)
  • Push Jerk
    • 135# (warm-up)
    • 155#
    • 165#
    • 175# (fail)
    • 165# (fail)
    • 155#

strict-press-illustrationSo my heaviest overhead movement was a 175# push press, followed by a 165# push jerk, and a 145# strict press. My old 1RMs (which still stand) are: 195# push press, 185# push jerk, 155# strict press.

As I told Lara, I didn’t really care about the weight too much. But she said my form was pretty good, so that made me happy. And I moved some weight and had fun. What more could I ask for?

Meanwhile, Nick, Caleb, and Janiece all had some nice lifts too. ๐Ÿ™‚ Great work everybody! And thanks Lara for the encouragement!

Post-workout Nutrition Check-in

So it’s been a month since I started back with some nutrition coaching with Drea and time to check in and get measured. My measurements didn’t move much, largely because I was incredibly uneven across the month of October. To say that we have been crazy in the last 4-6 weeks would be an understatement.

  • 2-OCT-2018 – 220.4#, 22.1% Body Fat
  • 6-NOV-2018 – 221.8#, 22.3% Body Fat

tom-Bathroom-scale-800pxWe had a long chat about a number of topics, but I ended up with some goals to work on:

  1. Get some help with meal prep from the girls. Ask each to prepare one item each week (roast veggies, crock pot or insta-pot something, chop something, etc).
  2. Commit to making breakfast for myself every day after I feed the dogs at 6am.
  3. Commit to writing in my journal every night at bedtime to help wind down.
  4. Pick 1 meal from the meal plan to duplicate during the week.

And I’m still tracking “points” for myself:

  • 1 point for a workout or yoga class
  • 1 point for double-under practice
  • 1 point for using the crossover symmetry bands
  • 1 point for a “good” meal (no bread/tortilla, more veggies, more protein, etc.)
  • (new) 1 point for checking in with Drea (once a month)
  • (new) 1 point for any sort of meal prep

Today for example, before dinner, I have 5 points (breakfast, lunch, workout, meet with Drea, and insta-pot chicken for shredding). Compare that to this past Saturday night where I ate like crap, hardly moved (we drove 250 miles), and I had quite a bit of wine and champagne to drink. That scored me a big fat zero. ๐Ÿ™‚

Most days have been in the 2-4 point range, with a few 1s in there too. I’ve been pretty uneven. We’ll see if I can do better in the next 30 days. Like all of life, it’s a work in progress.

Thanks Drea for helping get me back on track and the good chat!


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#) ย (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!

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 โ€œOtisโ€ Raible (CrossFit Main Site 180424)

This workout was called “Otis” and named forย U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Christopher โ€œOtisโ€ Raible who was killed by insurgents during an attackย on Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, on Sept. 14, 2012.ย ย 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.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

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

Strength Struggles

After Tuesday’s Flying Wallenda act on the rings, I needed a little recovery time — so yesterday ended up being a rest day. But today I was right back at the box for an 8:30 workout with my wife, Coach Drea, Dave, Todd & Melissa. A fun little crew.

soreshoulders-800pxWe started with 2 minutes on the rower (or bike) and then did two rounds of the week’s warm-up. After that it was right into some empty barbell skill warm-ups for the day’s movements: strict press, push press, and push jerk. Strength day!

Apparently my shoulders were a little sore after Tuesday. They didn’t feel awful, but I could tell my left shoulder was a little torqued after the rings the other day; especially the front of the shoulder. So I wasn’t quite sure how far I would get.

Traditionally these have been good movements for me:

  • Strict press: 155# back in January 2017
  • Push Press: 185# back in February 2017
  • Push Jerk: 185# back in July of 2017

20180315_093617Today, I didn’t quite get there, but that’s ok. I’m overall in better shape than I was a year ago, so I’m ok with that.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚ Drea started a running 2 minute clock and we’d do a lift every 2 minutes — 5×1 for strict press, push press, and push jerks.

  • Strict press: 95, 115, 135 (fail), 125, 135 (fail) — 125# top
  • Push Press: 135, 155, 165, 175 (fail), 175 (fail) – 165# top
  • Push Jerk: 135, 155, 175 (fail), 165, 165 – 165# top

So a few pounds lighter than a year ago. Life is good though. Next time. ๐Ÿ™‚

I really need to probably scale back on weight again and work on form on these movements anyway. One day at a time.

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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#) ย (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. ๐Ÿ™‚


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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

8 of these. Yup.

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