Grizzly Way 130313 (On Being Heavy)
At first I have to go backwards and talk about my Progenex post. I forgot to mention a pretty big point, Whey Hydrolysate is not universally equal, the hydrolysis process leaves an incredibly bitter taste. Some companies have figured out how to do it without the bitterness but they’ve patented the process and make it impossible for people to follow their footsteps. The most notable example is PeptoPro which is hydrolyzed casein. Progenex doesn’t state if they have bitter proofed the process or simply flooded it with Sucralose so you can’t taste it. I’ll have to let you know how bitter it is – let’s be honest, I’m going to chug it down regardless, it’s the quality.
Now to the good stuff; I used to be pretty heavy. Not college football strong and heavy, or even an athletic heavy. It was the kind of heavy that can only be gotten through years of terrible dietary habits and inactivity. The kind of heavy that our nation is now confronting. At my heaviest I weighed 240 pounds with about as much muscle as a 12 year old peewee football player; and not even the good kid, the one who only played 2 minutes a game and ran the wrong way on the field. I’m painting this picture because otherwise what I’m about to say might seem a bit melodramatic. I’ve reached the point of my weight gain where the mental hurdle is larger than the physical one. I’ve spent the better part of the last four years watching numbers on the scale go down, not up; to flip that switch and watch progress I fought so hard for disappear. Obviously the 240 I’m shooting for now and the 240 I was are very different, and the goals are different. It’s hard to describe the mental challenge of it, but its one I hope to work passed in the next two months as I push for 220.
This week on Barbell Shrugged they talk about gaining weight and strength. You can listen to the same things my coach Mike has told me. In the episode he talks about how he’s going to transition for the American Open next year from a 77kg lifter to an 85kg lifter by making a 30 pound jump. Coincidentally the same amount of weight I’m trying to gain in an almost identical time frame. Funny that. They also talk about the hurdle of sucking it up, putting on the weight and keeping that 8 month goal in sight, even if the abs start to fade.
Press 5RM; 2 x 5 @90% 145; 130
Every min on the min 8 box squat pistols for 12 min (deep as you can) 14″-16″
8 Rounds: 10:58:00
12 KB Swings (70/53#)
Today continues the streak of very strange workouts. Today is the first day in the last 5 weeks of Mike’s programming that there hasn’t been any Olympic lifting drills. I’m not going to lie, this disappointed me, I like training for explosiveness, I like grooving good technique, and I like moving weight fast. Not only that but in the whole workout there is only 4 movements. All but one I really don’t care much for. My press is not great, really my overhead strength in general I would say is lagging behind some of my other areas, so it’s good to work on sure. That being said – my shoulders felt awful today, and the toes to bar yesterday really wrench them good, I never feel good after those. Still I was able to come within 5# of my 150×5 from last week, which sets me up well for this cycle.
Pistols are a strange creature. They require strength, coordination, and pretty phenomenal mobility, especially in the ankle, where I am worst. You see, the length of my femur requires a large amount of dorsiflexion if I have any hope of keeping my hip balanced over my heel, which is required for efficient squatting and balance in general. Without the requisite dorsiflexion, things start to break down pretty quickly. Add to that fact that I’ve probably only ever done pistols once other than today. Ontop of which you can add the squats I did yesterday, making contraction of the quad a rather painful endeavor today. Really it’s just a bag of worms. I hope Mike meant 8 pistols total, 4 per side, because that took me 30 seconds. If he meant 8 per side I’d be doing 12 minutes straight of pistols, which seems excessive.
Conditioning today was tough as well, though good practice for 13.2 I suppose. Lots of volume through the shoulder, good posterior chain activation, and a decently tough bodyweight movement. The 12 swings got to my shoulders by the 4th round, the burpees got to my lungs around the 5th rough. I made it a point not to pick up the kettlebell until I knew I wouldn’t have to set it down, perhaps slower overall but more in tune with my goal of strength and speed. I’d rather be intense and explosive through all 12 than grinding and slow.
Let’s talk about 13.2 for a minute.
10 minute AMRAP of:
5 Shoulder to overhead, 115 / 75 lbs
10 Deadlift, 115 / 75 lbs
15 Box jump, 24 / 20 inch
I’m just gonna start off by saying, I don’t like this workout. Where 13.1 intrigued me, 13.2 disappoints. First, Crossfit has long suffered the critique that high-rep box jump workouts are an opening for ruptured achilles, then you program a workout where thousands of people will do at least 150 box jumps. Also, I feel the weight is too light for these movements, mostly the dead lift, 115 is a joke. I think even just switching the box jump volume with the shoulder to overhead would’ve been a better move. Hindsight is 20/20 and we will see how it separates the field, or if it does.
Feeling pretty beat up at this point in the week, looking forward to a day of active rest tomorrow to gear up for 13.2