Grizzly Way 130816 & 130817 (My Struggle For “-est”)
No this post isn’t about trying to figure out Eastern Standard Time, though the mysteries of daylight savings time are still a bit lost on me, thankfully phone clocks are self adjusting. No; rather, this post is about losing touch with myself, and a recent struggle to regain a more enlightened perspective. Somewhere between this time last year, and the present, a very personal, very fun, rather wholesome adventure to become better was perverted into something I don’t quite recognize. Rather than setting and attaining goals, the notion of ‘est’ snuck in, biggest, strongest, fastest, best. These are dirty words, words that sneak into our lexicon and take thoughts and goals and turn them into doubts, anger, and frustration.
I keep returning to this notion of “not seeing the forest through all the trees.” Crossfit, especially competitive exercise, is filled with trees, so many that you start to focus on just a few, and the forest disappears. You begin to lose touch with the whole idea of the forest, you lose purpose and direction, and sooner or later you’re just lost. My friends, it’s time to see the forest again. The quest for est is exhausting and fruitless, it doesn’t lead anywhere and sooner or later you run out of reasons to keep pushing, and the harder you push the sooner you run out. With the next round of competitions coming up in a little more than a month now, I’ve decided to take a new approach, what is, is and whatever will be, will be . It’s a bit fatalistic, but in the end it doesn’t matter how these things play out, if you’re unhappy, what good was it?
Airdyne 30:30 (work:rest) x 16 sets, record calories per set
12, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 12, 13, 13, 13, 13, 15
4 Clean + 1 Jerk 60%, 70%, 80% x 4 sets
165, 185, 215
Jerk 3 x 3 @ 80%
Press 3RM; 2 x 3 @ 90% of 3RM
15 Ring Dips
10 GHD Situps
15 Wall Ball Shots (20#) 10 ft.
rest 3 min between rounds
17:10 (8:10 working time)
rest 5 min
Arch Body Rock for 60 reps total 30, 15, 10, 5
20 Hip Circles
I started doing full cleans again, and front squats. I took about 2 weeks off from these two movements because the quality of the movement was just so poor. It’s still pretty poor, but I’ve realized a couple of things, first, practice makes perfect, there’s no rule that says you have to go to absolute breaking point on anything, keeping things a bit lighter and trying to own the position can still be good. Also, taking them out didn’t really solve anything, all the same nags and pains are still there, so clearly skipping out on that extra work isn’t really solving anything either. From the video – obviously this isn’t conditioning, it’s building time under load, the bar path is actually pretty clean for the most part, I’m happy with that, I could be quicker under the bar, which is probably why I have bruised up collar bones, the jerks felt strong. All things considered, it was good to get back under a bar. Now I just need to find that tension…
My press is still peaked out at about 170×3/165×4, in that general area. Though considering the jerk work beforehand I suppose this isn’t the worst result. Only Mike really knows, perhaps its not even supposed to be going up, we might just be maintaining…though that seems unlikely.
Conditioning work on AM Airdyne days is less for the lung/aerobic capacity, more for movement capacity, building up time practicing larger sets, staying fresh and getting through movements. I sandbagged the first round of ring dips because I’m used to it, but I quickly stopped that and started going for the largest sets I could – usually that meant somewhere between 10-12, then hop off, quick shake out, and finish the 15. The situps and wall balls were all unbroken and for the most part uneventful, though my wall ball felt good, likely a result of all the mobility work.
Snatch 3 @ 60%, 3 @ 70%, 3 @ 80%, 3 x 3 @ 85%
125, 145, 165, 175
3 Clean + 1 Jerk @ 60%, 70%, 80%, 85% x 3 sets
165, 190, 215, 230
Front Squat 3RM; 4 x 3 @ 90%
Clean Pull 4 x 3 @ 95%
Accumulate 2 min of chin over bar hang (palms facing face)
30, 30, 20, 20, 10, 10
Row 30:30 (work:rest) x 16 sets, record calories per set
15, 14, 13, 13, 14, 14, 14, 13, 13, 14, 13, 14, 13, 13, 14
I’m just gonna come right out and say that Saturday was a mess, a downright mess. There are probably better words, and prettier pictures I could paint of the scenario, but I won’t beat around a bush, it just wasn’t pretty. About an hour in, I just sat back and started laughing, just have fun with it I said, it’s just another bad day.
Snatching was supposed to go in triples up to 175, and working at 175 for a decent volume, 9 reps. Considering 6 months ago my 1RM was about 165, doing 9 at 175 would’ve been nice, just mentally to get through. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, I did 2 sets at 125 because my first one felt so crap. The second one went markedly better, so I moved to 165, but those felt so heavy, that I had a hard to justifying the increase. I thought it would probably be better to get 3×3 at 165 in rather than push myself to breaking at 175. So that’s what I did, or attempted. By the 2nd set, as you can see in the video, it got a little nasty. That third rep is actually the first time I can remember bending my arm, and actually attempting a press out. Spoiler alert, it didn’t work. I also spent most of the day Friday filling my head with cue’s from PendlayForum that probably didn’t help either. The first rep in the video is probably the best snatch of the day, I almost have a completely vertical bar path, and no jump forward! Talk about getting excited about the little things…
A little shaken from snatching, the cleans brought insult to injury. After 4 cleans + 1 jerk Friday night, 3 cleans + 1 jerk Saturday morning was a lot to ask of someone whose clean is not only a little rusty, but also just not very efficient. Needless to say 230 got hard real quick. I did one of the 3 intended sets, then started missing cleans and had to move on. Frankly I don’t think it was any great loss. I tried to practice my front squatting at sub-maximal percentages, so instead of working to a heavy 3RM I went for about a 70% triple that would let me try and find some tension/technique where I need it. I didn’t really find anything, but I also didn’t spend all weekend with my knees wrapped in ACE bandage, so I’ll chalk that one up as a victory. Honestly after the front squats I was ready to leave, luckily I roped my friend Tim into some extra conditioning, misery loves company after all – thanks Tim!
I’ve said it before but stuff like rowing and airdyne intervals are great because it’s all about work. Put your head down and work. Breathe hard, sweat it out, shake off whatever didn’t go well. It turned my mood entirely around. I need to remember that the next time I have a bad day of weightlifting, I’ll just go do “Helen” and my day won’t seem so bad.