Thursday, February 3, 2011

11-02-03: Push presses, very short skill met-con practice

CrossFit Garden City Wod for January 24, 2011

  • Jump rope
  • Active Stretching
  • Shoulder Dislocates
Push Press
Increase weight every set - build up to heavy 3 rep max

Conditioning: Pullups and double-unders
  • 5-4-3-2-1 Chest to bar pull-ups (jumping C2B)
  • 10-8-6-4-2 Double-Unders
Alternate exercises (5 C2B, 10 DU, 4 C2B, 8 DU, etc.)

Eva T. rocks shoulder dislocates in the bottom of a squat. Which means she has fantastic balance and insanely flexible shoulders. Rotten Olympic skiers. The goal is to be able to bring the bar front to back and back to the front with perfectly straight arms. The shoulders are activated (shrugged) to allow this to happen while going overhead, and this has insane amounts of application to overhead squats and the olympic lifts. (
Note the torso stays vertical during the dip phase. The reason is simple... that way, when you extend your knees, snapping the bar up, it travels UP! Had you leaned back, it would tend to be pushed back. Ditto for leaning forward. Its a simple concept, but can be tricky to unlearn if bad habits have crept into your form. (

I went into this workout with VERY sore shoulders, the cause of which isn't immediately clear. There's a chance its from Monday's workout (dumbbell push press/kettlebell swing/squat tabata triplet.), since the pain is on top of my shoulders, feeling like its actually the bones. My guess is that on the push press, I was catching the rear head of the dumbbell on my shoulders on its way down... repeatedly.  Either way, I was excited to get warmed and loosened up, and worried about doing any more damage.  Why not go straight back to push presses, but this time using a barbell, so that there would be little or no impact, while reinforcing the workout that was gained a few days ago? Perfect.

Started out with some jump and active stretching, taking some extra time for shoulder dislocates with the jump rope, spending a bunch of time slowly working my way in. I didn't make it very far, which is unsurprising, given my utter lack of shoulder flexibility.

I warmed up push presses with the empty bar, just to make sure the movement didn't hurt all on its own, and thankfully it didn't. I added a pair of 5# plates, to simulate an empty olympic bar, and still had no problems. I continued warming up with shorter sets of 55#, 65# and 75#.  The final warm-up felt a bit heavy, like I had to actually work to do a proper push-press, so I decided to try to do two things: Start my work sets at 85#, and go up by 10# jumps with every set. I hoped that wouldn't be too over-eager in the later rounds, but also didn't want to sell myself short and stop increasing just to avoid the *worry* of a failure, rather than just failing.

The first 3-4 rounds were actually pretty easy, though I struggled the whole time with both properly cleaning the weight up to the shoulder rack, as well as grip once it was up on my shoulders. I was able to STOP cleaning it and having my thumb end up on the wrong side of the bar... not a good habit with heavier weights! I did manage to keep my knees tracking over my feet and toes for all of the dips, which was a very big improvement over the last time I did heavy push-presses.

Long story short, I managed to complete the workout as planned, though was truly getting towards the end of my strength on the final set at 145#.  Of course, working out during my lunch hour, and hoping to get in the met-con as well, I probably was NOT recovering long enough between sets. So, that might have allowed me to continue increasing the weights even longer. Ah well.

Strength sets: 85# / 95# / 105# / 115# / 125# / 135# / 145# x3 (all successful)

I substantially shortened the met-con, both for a lack of time in which to complete it, as well as because I have nowhere NEAR the strength or skill to complete it as noted. I opted for a much reduced version that would give me the chance to work both skills while getting me back to my desk in a timely manner! Hardly the stuff of elite athleticism, but someone has to bring home the Paleo bacon, so... :D

I didn't bother timing the met-con, which was good for two reasons: 1) All of the chest-2-bar pull-ups were jumping, which meant my turn-over on them was very fast, compared to truly strict pull-ups. 2) My ability to chain double-unders is still atrocious, so a total time would be far too LONG.  Between the two, it might have evened out to a reasonable amount of time, but I figured off the clock I could stop, reset, and improve the movements if need be, rather than just being a slave to the timer. It wasn't great, but it could have been worse!

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