Tag Archives: strict press

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 “Otis” Raible (CrossFit Main Site 180424)

This workout was called “Otis” and named for U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Christopher “Otis” Raible who was killed by insurgents during an attack on Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, on Sept. 14, 2012.  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.  🙂

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.  🙂 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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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#)  (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. 🙂


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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

  • 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. 🙂

8 of these. Yup.

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

Monday Strength Day?

Long ago in a schedule that made sense, we had a set schedule. One or two days a week (I think it was Tues/Thurs) were set aside for strength work and the rest of the week was metcons and other madness. A while back that changed and now the world is topsy turvy.

Now a strength day can show up at any time, unannounced. Yes, just like CrossFit to keep us guessing. 🙂

1rxcesAnyway, I didn’t make it in for a team workout on Saturday so I was itching to get back into the box today. And, as you might have guessed, it was a strength day!

We had a great group (as per usual) — Coach Drea had me, Larry, Dan, Connie, Bri, Todd & Melissa.

We started with a little two round warm-up:

  • 10 goblet squats
  • 10 strict pull-ups (I did 5 because I’m slow)
  • 15/10 calorie row

After that and a bit of a skill warm-up with an empty barbell, we were off to the races. I partnered up with Dan, which was awesome. I haven’t had an opportunity to do so since probably Christmas. And really haven’t seen him much since the Open. He’s a teacher and a busy dude. 🙂

The workout itself was 5×1 of Shoulder Press (Strict press), Push Press, and Push Jerk. And the goal was to shoot for your PR or above by the 4th or 5th round of each.

strict-press-illustrationWe started with the strict press:

  • 75# x5 (warm-up)
  • 95# x3 (warm-up)
  • 105# x3 (warm-up)
  • 115# x1
  • 125# x1
  • 135# x1
  • 145# x1 (old PR)
  • 155# x1 (new PR!)

Then the push press:

  • 135# x1
  • 155# x1
  • 175# x1
  • 185# x1 (old PR)
  • 195# x1 (no dice for me, but Dan made it look easy)

And then the push jerk:

  • 155# x1
  • 175# x1
  • 185# x1
  • 195# x1 (fail for me)
  • 205# x1
  • 215# x1
  • 225# x1 (Dan is a beast)

Overall, this was a fun day. Kudos to Dan and Larry for getting multiple PRs!


Thanks Drea!

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 my Star Wars-themed “May the Gains be with you…” shirt.  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.