Thursday, January 20, 2011

11-01-20: Push presses, then sumo deadlift high-pulls and MORE push presses

CrossFit Garden City WoD for Friday, January 17th, 2011
Push Press
Sets of 3-3-3-3-3
21-18-15-12-9 reps of:
  • Sumo Deadlift High Pull 60#
  • Push Press

Top three photos show proper form (upright back leading to a vertical bar path). Bottom three show poor form, where the slight forward lean makes the bar path screwy, adding to the amount of work in an uncontrollably bad way. The dip motion allows you to drive the bar up, finishing the press with the arms. (
Sumo deadlift high-pull. Elbows stay above the bar (perhaps even a bit higher than shown in this pic). The bar is not "pulled" off the floor; with a rigid spine, the floor is "pushed" away from the body, and the bar is nearly caught by the hands, not yanked on. (

Started with a nice complete jump rope warm up, including a few new steps and rope maneuvers (most of which failed, and one of which left a welt on my left butt cheek that still stings a bit...).  Full active warm-up, especially focusing on shoulders and lower back, since both were a bit stiff and sore going into today.  Both loosened up quite nicely!

I then transitioned into warming up the push press with the empty (35#) bar.  My main concern was with making sure that during the dip, I kept the knees tracking over my feet. Its a fairly small motion, at least compared to a full squat, but I've learned the wrong way that doing it incorrectly will knock the everliving crap out of my knees. After several of those, I loaded a few 5# plates on the bar to mimic an empty olympic bar (45#) and did a few reps with that. I also warmed up with 55# and 65#, focusing on hand placement and trying to get the bar to rest on my delts for the dips. I had mixed success with that part of it.  Finally, I was up to my work sets.

First set of 3 with 85# was pretty easy.  After a minute's rest, I went for a set at 105#. This one felt pretty heavy, but certainly not uncontrollably so. At this point, with the weight climbing, I was acutely aware of that fact that all of these exercises are limited by my ability to clean the weight up off the floor. Not a problem at low weights, but at heavier poundages, form becomes a much greater concern. It suddenly struck me that here I was, nearing the midpoint of an exercise that, while using some posterior chain action to start the bar, relies heavily on the smaller musculature of the upper body.  Just yesterday, I was doing back squats, ALSO limited by the weight I could clean and jerk to get into position, and at similar weights!  So NOT an ideal way to train. Fortunately, plans are afoot to create a Regis Strength and Conditioning club (or even a non-profite affiliate?), and a proper rack, or 4, will be one of my top priorities. If we can fit them in around the Smith machine, that would be even better, since all the bodybuilding kids lurrrrve them some Smith machine, so it would reduce wear and tear on the real gear. ;)

So, third set was getting pretty heavy when I bumped up to 115#. Dip motion was solid, knees tracking solidly out over the feet, but I was getting some slight grip issues.  If I got the bar all the way back onto my shoulders or chest, my wrists were bent so far back that I was losing the grip. Alternatively, with a fairly secure grip, most of the dip was being absorbed by my shoulders and elbows, which were supporting the bar, rather than my body. This continued for the rest of the workout.  4th set, 120# was pretty hard, and my right wrist was starting to throb a bit from the bar (also possibly from ring dips the day before).  Final set was 125#, which I tried to complete with a ton of confidence, which I think I achieved. I was very glad to take all the weight off the bar, and build it back up to a total of 60# for the conditioning part of the workout.

Weights per round: 85# / 105# / 115# / 120# / 125#

After a substantial amount of recover, I bombed through the first set of 21 each sdlhps and push-presses, and then into the 18 reps of sumos.  Soon after that, my heart was pounding a WHOLE lot heavier, so I started having to rest, first in between full rounds, then between sets within the round.  Upshot was that every set was unbroken, which made me very happy. I tried to minimize the rest periods, taking as few breaths as possible to recover and get going again.

Total time: 9:00

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