Tag Archives: strict press

Some Days Just Don’t Work Right

Today’s post is a bit of an apology for the 8:30 class by way of an explanation.

It’s just another Thursday. Like most Thursdays, I planned on going in at 8:30 with my wife (and kids if they woke up in time). And we all made it there for Coach Drea.

We had a full class – the four of us, plus Jonathan & Sarah, Caleb, Alan, Brianne, Danielle, and Connie. 11 people in total.

sportsrow-800pxWarm up was:

  • 250m row
  • 10 ghd hip ext or good mornings with empty barbell
  • 250m row
  • 10 empty barbell deadlifts
  • 250m row
  • 10 empty barbell strict press
  • I think we were supposed to go to 2000m total, but most of us stopped after the third or 4th 250m

After that we did some empty barbell work. Deadlift and strict shoulder press progressions.

And then we divvied up space and equipment for the workout:

  • Total Time
  • Barbell_DeadliftRx
    • 15-12-9 reps for time of:
    • Double body-weight deadlifts
    • 3/4 body-weight shoulder presses
  • Level II
    • 15-12-9 reps for time of:
    • Deadlifts #345/225
    • Shoulder presses #135/95
  • Level I
    • 15-12-9 reps for time of:
    • Deadlifts #155/105
    • Shoulder presses #75/45

My one-rep maxes for these movements are:

  • Deadlift – 345#
  • Strict press – 155#

Nowhere close to Rx weights of 456# and 175#. But even the Level II weights were out of reach, really. So I knew I was going to have to scale.

strict-press-illustrationDue to a shortage of bars and space, Caleb asked if we wanted to work together. I said sure and we warmed up together with the little EMOM that Drea had us do alternating between deadlifts and strict press:

  • Strict press – 75# x3, Deadlifts – 185# x5
  • Strict press – 85# x3, Deadlifts – 225# x5
  • Strict press – 95# x3, Deadlifts – 275# x5 (I started running into some issues here)
  • Strict press – 115# x3, Deadlifts – 275# x5 (didn’t add weight)

Caleb, due to participating in the Man Up Challenge in Denver this weekend, didn’t want to push too hard to fry his body ahead of the competition. So he agreed to stay at those weights for the workout.

Our goal was to get this done in 10-15 minutes.

  • I did 15 strict press at 115# (got through 10 and then struggled through the next 5 one at a time)
  • Caleb did 15 deadlifts at 275# (made them look easy)
  • Caleb did 15 strict press at 115# (made them look easy)
  • I started on deadlifts

Doing the deadlifts as “grab and drop” style vs. touch-and-go, I made it through 5 and took a break. Then a couple more. And one more.

1lnkelAnd I realized on that last one that I was in a fair amount of pain from my left hip to my tailbone. It ached a bit during the EMOM warm-up but I thought I could work through it.

Yeah, apparently not.

After my 8 reps, I left the bar on the floor, told Caleb to finish without me, and walked out the garage doors.

I walked two laps of the 800m path we have around the box, came in, grabbed my stuff, and walked to the car to wait for my family to finish up.


Now, I know that DNF > DNS. But this was a shitty way to end my workout. It disrupted Caleb’s workout. It put undue worry on Coach Drea. And it made my family and friends worry about me as well.

First, I’m fine. I’ll stretch and mobilize throughout my day today and survive. I don’t think it was the physical demands of this workout.

Second, there were two parts to my crash and burn today.


a) I should have either waited until more equipment became available (i.e. another barbell) or asked Caleb to drop weight.

That said, I didn’t feel like waiting was really an option due to a different style of class going on at 9:30 (new folks doing a different variation on the workout). And I didn’t feel like I could ask Caleb to drop weight again. We had already discussed 315# during the warm-up and then I had to drop to 275#. Asking him to drop again would not have been “cool” although he probably would have been fine with it.

b) The bigger issue was that my head really wasn’t in the game today. I’m honestly struggling with a number of things in life right now. Work is not going well. Some of my writing is going gangbusters but not paying, so it’s a costly time sink at the moment. My wife’s charity work had a trip fall apart at the last minute, so we’re now reorganizing our summer. And we just found out our dog has a lung tumor, so that’s weighing heavily on everybody.

may-the-gains-be-with-youI tried dressing the part, wearing myย Star Wars-themed “May the Gains be with you…” shirt. ย I tried getting into the right headspace during the warm-up, joking around with Bri and Jonathan and Sarah. And for a bit, I thought it might work.

But it obviously was only a temporary fix. Wasn’t my finest hour.

So I apologize to everyone who was concerned when I walked out. It’s been a long while since that has happened.

I need to pay attention to my headspace and not push so hard during workouts, and maybe this won’t happen again. But I’m only human, so I doubt it.



Ah, push it

Somehow some Salt-n-Pepa lyrics fit today’s workout. The soundtrack we listened to was suitably 70s, 80s, and 90s in a weird mix, so I’m actually surprised we didn’t hear the song. ๐Ÿ™‚

At any rate, there were a few of us who joined Coach Jimmy for the 8:30 class this morning… Myself, Nic, Jenny, and Sarah prepared to do a ton of overhead work to tax our shoulders.

arm-and-shoulderWe started with a 500m row, then some shoulder work to get everything moving. That included some painful mobility work with a lacrosse ball and our hands behind our back that was… interesting. Jimmy’s Torture Time was definitely in session. One of the more interesting parts was doing wall ball “shots” as a push press instead of a thruster, so no squat at the bottom. It really puts a lot more stress on the shoulders — especially when you try to hit a 10 foot target doing a strict shoulder press to get it there. (I was glad I was using a 14 pound ball. HA!)

Once we were good and warm, we grabbed an empty barbell to do a little skill refresher before adding weight and getting into it.

Today’s Metcon was:

  • 7 rounds for time
  • 21 strict shoulder presses (75/55#)
  • 21 good mornings (75/55#)

shoulders-military-pressNow, looking at it last night I suspected I might be ok for a couple of rounds before I had to switch over. HA! I got through 1 round Rx and then had to start scaling…

  • 21 strict press (75#)
  • 21 good mornings (75#)
  • 21 push press (75#)
  • 21 good mornings (75#)
  • 21 push press (75#)
  • 21 banded good mornings (green)
  • 21 push press/push jerks (75#)
  • 21 banded good mornings (green)
  • 21 push press/push jerks (75#)
  • 21 banded good mornings (green)
  • 21 push press/push jerks (75#)
  • 21 banded good mornings (green)
  • 21 push press/push jerks (75#)
  • 21 banded good mornings (green)

If you’re counting, that’s 147 shoulder presses or push presses. I was breaking it however I could — 14/7, 11/10, 7/7/7, 7/4/8… Sometimes I’d hold the bar. Sometimes I’d drop the bar. And I was laughing at myself as my left shoulder/bicep started getting more and more ticked off.

In the last three rounds, I got some amazing jerks going just to pop under it, but I felt more and more like the right arm was popping it up and the left arm was just struggling to get under it.

Had to switch to banded good mornings because my elbows and biceps were not getting any kind of break while hanging onto the bar, taxing those bits and the bits above them even more. It was a challenge and everybody got done way before me. I just kept chugging through a handful of reps at a time until I was done.


I might have been dead last, but I finished. And I’ll take that today.

Great work 8:30! And then I watched Brent in the 9:30 class do it Rx+ with GHD extensions instead of Good Mornings and 75# on the bar — in about 12 minutes. Half my time. He rocked it.

Really everybody did. I was slow and steady and got it done. That’s what matters.

Thanks for the encouragement everybody! And great work!

And I would do 500 reps, and I would do 500 more…

… just to be the team that’s falling down outsideย your crossfit door… (apologies to the Proclaimers!)

I may be a little loopy at the moment. Just a little.

assault-bikeToday’s team crossfit workout was brought to you by Coach Clare and involved a little bit of everything I think. The joys of the Filthy 50 times 2 with a partner. Once again, Jonathan was my partner for this lovely little workout and my wife and his wife teamed up to kick our collective asses. Go figure.

We weren’t alone either — there were easily 18-20 people milling about today.

Our warm-up? A fun competition between four teams with 4 or 5 people each. Clare set up four assault bikes facing one another with a line in the middle. A foam roller would be set on the line and the two athletes facing one another would try and blow the foam roller with the force of the fan on the assault bike, so the roller would stay on their opponent’s side of the line.

Not to brag or anything, but our team dominated. We went Five for Five (Jonathan, Me, Sarah, Michael, and AJ). It was fun. Supposedly the team would have to do 2 burpees for every bout they lost (bike for 20 seconds and see which side it ended up on).

Filthy_Fifty_After that we set up equipment for this lovely workout:

  • Score Type:: Total Time
  • Teams of 2 For time:
  • 100 Box jump (24/20)
  • 100 Jumping pull-ups
  • 100 Kettlebell swings (35/25)
  • 100 Walking Lunge steps
  • 100 Knees to elbows
  • 100 Push press (45/35)
  • 100 Back extensions
  • 100 Wall ball shots (20/14)
  • 100 Burpees
  • 100 Double unders

If it looks familiar, it’s because it’s 2x the Filthy Fifty (see right).

Jonathan and I pulled our stuff together and did:

  • Jonathan (24″ box jumps), me (20″ step ups)
  • Jumping pull-ups
  • 35# kettle bell swings
  • walking or in-place lunges
  • knees-to-elbows
  • Jonathan (45# push press), me (45# strict press)
  • good mornings with a 45# barbell
  • 20# wall balls
  • Jonathan (burpees), me (sit-ups)
  • 100 single unders each

finished-lastHonestly I was pretty fried after the good mornings. And it took us a bit under 44 minutes to complete all of that. 1000 reps. We either split the 100 for each movement or Jonathan did more than I did. Just depended on where I was at.

I felt bad about doing sit-ups instead of burpees, but honestly I didn’t think I was going to get off the floor if I went down. My shoulders were screaming. My knees were pissed. Even as it was, five rounds of 10 sit-ups each was a damn challenge.

But we finished. And scaling is not the enemy. It’s what happens when you realize your body doesn’t want to keep moving and decide to change things up so you CAN keep moving.

I don’t think we were last. But we were damn close. And I feel like hell afterwards. It’s awesome.

Jonathan, thanks for being my partner in the madness. You kicked butt. ๐Ÿ™‚

And good work everybody who came! Thanks Clare for a good challenge!

CrossFit Total, January 2017

Your CrossFit Total is one of those magical numbers at the box. Sometimes it goes up. Sometimes it goes down. But it’s a good indicator of your strength numbers across the board. Deadlift. Strict press. Back squat. Covers most of the major groups of movements. Lifting. Squatting. Pushing.

January 21, 2016 at 0141PM (1)We had a huge class today for Coach Drea. Ev and I, Jonathan, Amber, Vivien, Carrie, Jenny, Nic & Nichole, Adrienne, Jake, Tionne, and Caleb.

We did a 500m row, talked about the workout, then broke into little groups to get stuff done. I worked with Jake & Jonathan and Caleb joined us.

Started with back squats. We warmed up with a few reps with an empty barbell, then started adding weight. I got all the way to 315# today. Crazy.

Looking back at my notes, I was all excited. I thought I had achieved an impossible 50# increase in my PR. Apparently not.

  • 225# (2013)
  • 245# (2014)
  • 265# (2014)
  • 275# (2015)
  • 295# (2016)
  • 315# (2017)


11041187_10153302669719648_2090122082587817495_nSo only a 20# PR there. I was confused by my notes which had me doing 265# 5x a few months ago. Even so, first time I’ve broken the 300# barrier on a squat!

Then we did strict press. Same general rules applied. Warmed up with an empty barbell and then started adding weight. I got to 155#.

  • 85# (2013)
  • 115# (2014)
  • 125# (2015)
  • 145# (2016)
  • 155# (2017)

So a 10# PR there.

And then we moved to deadlifts. I thought I’d be doing ok there after doing a bunch of 315# deadlifts touch and go a couple of Saturdays ago. But my form was crap today and my lower back was bugging me so I didn’t get far. Only hit 335# there.

  • 295# (2013)
  • 315# (2014)
  • 325# (2014)
  • 335# (2014)
  • 355# (2015)
  • 345# (2016)
  • 335# (2017)


Barbell_DeadliftI’m going the wrong way on this one. Definitely need to take some time to work on form here.

Even so, my CrossFit Total hit 805# today (315# + 155# + 335#), so I’m not going to sneeze at it.

Based on my old #s, my previous totals were:

  • 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)

At least overall my strength is going the right way. ๐Ÿ™‚

Great work today everybody!


All the Presses

After yesterday’s horrible workout involving the Devils Tricycle, I was worried to see what they’d throw at us next. Thankfully it turned out to be not as horrible as I was expecting.

We had a ton of people today. Larry got us started and then did the workout with us after Coach Drea got there. Every time I looked up we had a few more bodies. ๐Ÿ™‚


I worked with Jonathan. Nick & Caleb worked together. Adrienne (and Jayda) worked with AJ & Mickey. Ev worked with Connie and Sarah. Larry, Todd, and John worked together. Jenny & her daughter worked together. And Melissa worked on her post-surgery rehab. We had people all over the place.

We started with some foam rolling and then shifted to 5 minutes of Cindy. The rig was bouncing with all the pull-ups!

  • AMRAP for 5 mins
  • 5 Pull-Ups
  • 10 Push-Ups
  • 15 Air Squats

I don’t think I was counting, but I got through a round in a little over a minute on average – so I got into the 4th or 5th. It was a great way to jump right into it quickly.ย Once that was done, it was PVC time – lots of movement reminders with strict press, push press, and push jerk.

Olympic weights

From there we divided up into our little groups and started warming up with an empty barbell, then adding weight a bit at a time before we got going with the WOD.

  • Strict press – 1-1-1-1-1
  • Push press – 3-3-3-3-3
  • Push jerk – 5-5-5-5-5

Drea wanted us to use whatever weight we got up to (starting at 80% and working our way up on the Strict press) as the start of the next set of movements.

Jonathan and I are pretty close on our one rep max for strict press. His is 150#. Mine is 145#. So we worked well together through that series:

  • 120#
  • 125#
  • 130#
  • 135#
  • 145# (10# jump)

It felt pretty good, so I suspect that my 1RM will be going up next time we try it.

So we started at 145# for our push press. We weren’t quite as aggressive on that one.

  • 145# x3
  • 150# x3
  • 150# x3
  • 155# x3
  • 160# x3

And that’s when I started falling apart a bit. My push jerks aren’t nearly as strong as they should be, but they’re getting better. Even so, my wrists were really starting to bug me when we started at 160#. So my sequence looked like:

  • 160# fail x2
  • 135# x5
  • 145# x5
  • 145# x5
  • 145# x5
  • 145# x4 (dropped last one)

I was happy with that. Jonathan did do 160# for quite a few sets before he dropped back to 145# with me. We were both pretty shot at that point.

Here’s an animated GIF of Larry doing one of his push jerks:


For shits and giggles, I decided to compute just how much weight we lifted over the course of the workout. Not including the warm-ups at all. I moved 6,635# over the course of the WOD. That’s more than 3 tons. I think I deserve to be tired. ๐Ÿ™‚

Meanwhile my daughters were kicking butt. My nearly-12-year-old daughter used 45# for the whole workout. She moved about a ton on her own.

And my nearly 16-year-old daughter maxed out at 70# and moved more than a ton.

I’m not sure what my wife got through, but I’ll update the post when I see her again later today.

Suffice it to say that the Fitzpatrick clan moved a lot of weight today and everybody else did too!! ๐Ÿ™‚ย Great work everybody!!

Crossfit Total, August 2016

Sleep has been tough to come by the last couple of nights, so I wasn’t sure how I’d do today. I’m only mildly disappointed. ๐Ÿ™‚

We had a great class today with Coach Bill (also saw Coach Drea and Larry joined us)… Me, Ev, and AJ, plus Sarah, Larry, Nic & Nichole, Melissa, Danielle, and the nice new gal whose name is just not sticking today. Started with a 400m run and 3 minutes of the bear complex (deadlift, front squat, push press, back squat) with an empty bar. Once that was done, we did some handstand work.

gymnastics-handstand-silhouette-body-silhouette-man-in-handstand-front-1Eventually I’ll figure out the freestanding handstand. But I was having issues not only with shoulders but wrists today. Wrists don’t work well as ankles apparently. I managed to kick away from the wall briefly to do a bit of balance work and then helped Larry with some partner freestanding handstands by more or less being the wall and keep him from going over backwards a time or two.

When THAT was all done, we did some more barbell warm-ups with the three movements of the crossfit total: back squat, deadlift, and strict press. And then we were cut loose.

I worked with Nic and Larry and we just kept adding weights (and occasionally removing them) from the bar. When we started I felt pretty good, so I was curious to see how I’d do.

For the back squat, we started with 225#, jumped to 275# (my old 1RM) and then put another 20# on for 295#. I probably could have gone a bit farther, but we were on the clock so I didn’t want to be the guy that kept us from getting done. ๐Ÿ™‚

Olympic weightsFor the deadlifts, I’m not sure what happened – but my low back above my hips was not happy. I knew when a 225# warm-up deadlift felt somewhat heavy that it wasn’t going to be a good day. We jumped to 305# and I did one ugly deadlift to get it up. And that was it. I attempted 335# twice and it just wasn’t happening.

Once that was done, we shifted to the strict press. And it felt great up to 135#, which was my old 1RM. It felt light. For some reason that was the beginning of the end for me ’cause I started rushing and not setting up properly. I attempted 155# a couple of times but eventually fell back to a really really ugly 145# which I did get up eventually.

So your crossfit total is your back squat + your deadlift + your strict press. 295# + 305# + 145# = 745#. Not awful. Not great. And 2 out of 3 PRs is nothing to sneeze at. I’m just disappointed the deadlifts weren’t happening for me today.

Meanwhile Larry did awesome. And Nic did great. ๐Ÿ™‚

AJ also did amazingly well – 135# back squat, 155# deadlift, and 50# strict press I think. And Ev did 205#, 265#, and 75#.

Definitely a day for PRs! Great work everybody!


Shoulder your EMOM

Yesterday was Murph. We survived. Life is good.

Today we’re back to the usual routine. Work a bit. Work out a bit. Back to work… But today starts summer vacation for the squirrels, so they tagged along. And because summer break has begun in earnest, we had a full class today for the tag team pair of Coach Stacy & Coach Larry.

snatch5What does that mean? That we had fun like we always do. ๐Ÿ™‚

So it was Ev, Mickey, AJ, and I, Stacy & Larry, Sarah, Ellen, Jenny, Melissa & Todd, Danielle, Connie, Ray & Melissa, Ashley, Lisa, and a few new faces. Bodies everywhere. Probably 15 or more of us all together.

We started with a 400m jog, then did some thoracic high fives, bridge-ups, Spider-man lunges, and snatch press balance with a PVC pipe… but then the fun began. We did a lot of squat snatch movements and a few overhead squats (with PVC pipes) to not only remember the movements but warm everything up in the process. Stacy & Larry tag-teamed with Ray as the demonstration model.

The first part of the workout was a 12 minute EMOM for strength.

  • 1 Squat Snatch + 1 Overhead Squat As Heavy as Possible

I probably would have tried 115#, but after frying shoulders during Murph I decided that 95# was plenty heavy – especially for combination overhead movements. And I’m glad I did.ย It was a struggle a few times, though I only had two rounds of the 12 where I either had to do a power snatch, then a squat, then an overhead squat after that – or failed outright at the first snatch and then did a power snatch, squatted it, then did an OHS.

Olympic weightsBut we got through it.

When that was done, we moved on to the day’s conditioning work. An 8 minute AMRAP of:

  • Shoulder (Strict) Press #115/80
  • Each time the bar hits the ground, perform 50 double unders or 50 singles

With already-fragged shoulders, I knew this was going to be a major challenge so I banged out as many as I could to start at 95#. Did 10, 5 + 5 with a rest in the middle where the bar didn’t hit the ground, then 5, a break, and 5 more with another break. All in all I was out jumping rope three times, though I didn’t quite finish the last round of 50.

So I got through 30 reps total, but it was a big push towards the end. The last one I did was ugly as sin.

When we were all done, we cleaned up and did a little mobility before heading to the four winds. Thank goodness tomorrow is a rest day for me. Maybe my shoulders will forgive me for all the abuse. ๐Ÿ™‚

Great work everybody! Fun working out with Ray and the rest of the gang! And thanks Stacy & Larry for the guidance today!