Monday, December 20, 2010

10-12-20: Overhead squats, pull-ups and dips

CrossFit Garden City WoD for Monday, December 20th, 2010
  • Jump-rope
  • Shoulder Mobility Circuit
Overhead Squat
Build to heavy triple in 15 minutes @ 41X1 tempo.
(4 seconds down, 1 second pause at bottom and top, up FAST)
AMRAP in 20 minutes:
  • 5 Chest to Bar Pullups
  • 10 Ring Dips (no rings... so...)
  • 15 Overhead Squats (50% of 3RM)
External Rotations x 10 x 3 @ 3010 (no idea what this meant... did some shoulder dislocates and more jump-rope)

Warmed-up with some jump-rope.  Going well until a random single bounce lit up my right ankle in agony.  Not sure what it was about... I tried to start up again, gingerly, waiting for more pain but it didn't come. Not even sure why I remember it, but it did scare the piss out of me.

Active warm-up, with a focus on shoulder mobility, including shoulder dislocates using the jump-rope to set the distance... my narrowest hand-width is still wider than the grip of our bar-bell, so I knew going in that if I had to dump the barbell, it had to go forward, since I wouldn't be able to safely go backwards without endangering at least one shoulder. Score.
It's best not to find yourself here. Ever. (This is actually an elbow dislocation... but still. Weight overhead, and strength and flexibility weren't enough to protect him... hopefully he makes it back for the next Olympics.) (
In order to try to be safe, I started out with the empty bar for a set of three. Easy enough. One thing I quickly picked up on was that my hips were feeling tight, which was making the depth on the squat a little hard to hit. Add to that my inherently inflexible shoulders (but I'm working on it, dammit, that's not just an excuse), and my alignment on the squats was really flaky at best.  Basically, I ended up having to use a stance that was a little too wide, with feet out a bit further than I wanted, to allow me to keep my torso more upright, so that my arms wouldn't end up further behind my head than I could safely/easily/actually keep them.

I love this picture, because it shows what perfect alignment should look like:
Awesomeness. (
Notice the vertical arms, with fully active shoulders (shrugged up, so the weight is carried on the muscles of the upper torso, NOT on the bone/bone socket of the shoulder!), above a slightly forward-leaning torso.  The weight is perfectly suspended over the shoulder blades, and further, directly over the middle of her feet. Perfection.

Well, I can't get my arms up to vertical with that much of a forward lean... YET.  So, I adjusted my stance, raised my torso as much as I had to, and did what I could.  More remedial work to follow to clean up form issues.

Weight progression towards heavy triples:
35# - 55# - 65# - 75# - 85# - 95# - 100# - 105# (hit for two singles, but failed at multiple attempts)
Highest successful triple: 100#

By this point, my shoulders were already pretty smoked. I pulled weight off the bar, ending up with a 50# barbell for the met-con.  Hit the pull-up tower hard for the first five pull-ups, cranked out dips in two sets of 5, and ran over to the bar.  Why, overhead squats with light weight was nearly easy... until I had to drop the bar after 11 reps.  Sigh.  Finished the set, and headed back to the pull-up machine.

Second set was a bit more shaky. Pull-ups broken up into 2-2-1, dips into 4-4-2, but the form was already gone on the dips. Pull-ups were all actually chin-ups, as I lacked the ability to even begin to generate a pull-up, no matter how I tried. Chins were very heavily "kipped," even as i tried to keep them even somewhat strict.  No good.  Second set of overhead squats was actually better than the first. I only made it 10 reps before dropping the bar, but I felt better going into it, and felt less surprised by the sudden exhaustion a bunch of overhead squats can suddenly hit you with.

Round three. aka "The Ugly One."  Chin-ups were all singles. I kept trying to work in a pull-up to give the chin-up-centric muscles a break. No good, I didn't have a single pull-up left in me. I pretty much didn't have any chin-ups, either.  I'm not sure if I could have done any more if I had a spot to work in a good kip... core-wise I felt ok, but I don't know if I had the arm strength to hold onto the bar even with a good active kip.
This doesn't even include the pull-up, just the core drive.  Note the range of motion around the shoulders.  Chances are that if I had room to do this, I would have merely sling-shotted myself off the bar. Seriously. (
After completing 5 of the ugliest pull-ups ever (until about 3 minutes later), I was back to the dips. Again, much rocking and kipping was engaged in, to greater and (generally) lesser degree. Final 3-4 reps were all singles. Ugly singles.  Back to the bar for a fairly uneventful set of 15 overhead squats. That marked more or less the end of the workout.  Oddly, I still had 7 minutes left.

Round 4: "The Unfinished Symphony."  Failed repeatedly to achieve even a single pull-up or chin-up.  Completed a whole bunch of partial negatives, none of which I wanted to count. Added on 30# of weight assist. Still no pull- or chin-up.  Went up to 50#. Still neither.  At 70# weight-assist, I was able to *just* get my chin over the bar with a chin-up. I was still unable to even begin a regular pull-up. I haven't felt that week in.. forever. It was instructive to feel it here, at the end (ha, in the middle) of a workout that didn't look like it was going to be *SO* terrible. Touche, sneaky workout, touche.

Music was a more or less uninspiring blend of various "rock" christmas albums, including "Season in Chaos: Music for a Brutal Christmas," "A Santa Cause: Music for a Punk Rock Christmas" and various Trans-Siberian Orchestra songs... but none of the good ones.

A good TSO song would be described as follows: (oddly enough, the good ones are all synced to Christmas lights... go figure!

And, just because its awesome: SLAYER!!!!

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