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Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in Crossfit, Lifting and Crossfit, Master, Olympic Lifts, Recovery, Strength Training

Testing Week & Day 1 AthleteWOD

Testing Week & Day 1 AthleteWOD

Saturday concluded my testing week courtesy of Crossfit Invictus and CJ Martin. It was really fun I have to say. Yes the Open was a test, a lot of tests actually, but they were really spread out, and not what you would conventionally think of as testing. There were no maximal efforts in the Open, at least not in a conventional, easy to measure strength way. This is why I wanted to do this week, even though I’d already signed up with AthleteWOD, it gives you instant feedback about your base for the next year, and numbers to build percentages off of. I’ll quickly recap the 1RM numbers and improvements.

Power Clean 275 .. 295 +20
Back Squat 375 .. 385 +10
Bench Press 285 .. 300 +15
Snatch 205 .. 220 +15

That’s 60 pounds of PR’s in a week, and I didn’t even test things like Clean and Jerk, any of the squat variants, a strict press, or a deadlift.

It’s also important to note that I didn’t really show any progress on gymnastics or conditioning, but that should not be surprising, as those are things the Open did test! So I had a pretty good grasp on capacities there, max pullups, max muscle ups, max HSPU, all numbers I pretty much knew, and didn’t expect to do better on. So the real question then is how do you set 60 pounds of PR’s a week after the toughest 5 weeks of competition? It’s actually not that surprising, peaking for the Open means unloading, and unloading keeps you fresher, and gives you a really great environment for performing at your best, which is why you do it. It’s funny but training hard actually hurts strength gains, you need weeks like this, where you’ve unloaded, volume is relatively low, and you’re not trying to make progress, you need a day or two a week leaving the gym that you feel like you could’ve done more, or should’ve. That’s the feeling you need to really let those adaptations you strive for take hold. Just going headfirst into training all the time will break even the best athletes, in reality the best athletes are those who can relax as good as they perform.

Take 15-20 minutes, not more, to establish a 1-RM Snatch
220/225 max attempt
Take 15-20 minutes to warm-up to a heavy-ish Clean & Jerk
Rest as needed, and then…

Against an 8-minute running clock, perform the following, in order:
Complete rounds of 21, 15 and 9 reps for time of:
95/65 lb. Thruster
and then, using the same barbell, build the barbell and establish a 1-RM Clean & Jerk in the remainder of the 8 minutes.

For time:
20 Deadlifts (315/215 lbs)
30 Box Jump-Overs (24”/20”)
40 Kettlebell Swings* (24/16 kg)
50 Double-Unders
50 Calories of Rowing on Concept 2
50 Double-Unders
40 Kettlebell Swings* (24/16 kg)
30 Box Jump-Overs (24”/20”)
20 Deadlifts (315/215 lbs)

I think now’s the good time to write a bit about strengths and weaknesses for next year. Things I want to change, and things that I like. Let’s start with weaknesses, because I’m pretty well versed in what those are; I’m bad at gymnastics, c2b, muscle up, pull-up, handstands, not growing up an athlete, these kinds of body aware activities are tough for me, and definitely something I need to build into slowly. A less weak weakness, but arguably more important is movement efficiency, the better you move, the more energy you have to contribute to training – its the only thing that can instantly improve performance. Finally, moving fast, I’m really bad at the 2-4 minute domain, holding a tough pace for periods longer than a minute. I hope AthleteWOD will tackle this.

A big strength of mine is still strength, I’m strong, not exceptionally so, but strong enough that building at my current pace for next year will be fine, not need for special emphasis, or strange strength programs. I’m good at moving slow, which seems like a weird thing to be good at, but it just means I’m good at doing 85% efforts for 20 minutes, there aren’t too many workouts like this in the Open, but its a good skill to have. Finally, I’m a thinker, and I think that’s a strength, though sometimes it’s a weakness if you don’t know how to do turn it off and just train. Analyzing, assessing, improving, all good things, tracking numbers, finding weaknesses and ways to address them.

Obviously the biggest change this year will be my coaching, but compared to where I was last year, I think I’ve gotten myself to a point where my weaknesses are less individualized, such that my coaching can be a little less individualized. I’m at a point where simply giving 100% effort to a well thought out, though somewhat templated program will still let me reach my goal. Oh and my goal for next year? I think breaking the top 100 in the region is appropriate, it’ll be tough, but goals should be tough, that way even if you fail, you’ve come a long way to do it. It’s taken a lot of thought to get to this point but I’m happy with where I stand right now – I’ve got my mind right and my body feels good – I’ve got a good base for next year and I’m excited to get after it.

Day 1 of AthleteWOD starts this afternoon.

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