Monday, April 4, 2011

11-04-04: Front squats, thruster/box jump couplet

CrossFit Garden City WoD for March 25, 2011
  • Jump rope
  • Active Stretching, shoulder focus
Front Squat (20X1 tempo)
Increase weight each set. Set of 5, 4 & 3 should be easy & fast. Set of 2 a bit tougher. Try to set a new 1 rep max over the last 3 sets.
5 sets:

The front squat. (CrossFit Sweatshop)
Field thrusters. MUCH harder than dumbbell thrusters. Trust me. (CrossFit Westchester)
The fourth photo shows the most important part of the box jump (other than making it up onto the box): Full hip extension. *This* is where everyone will cheat the move, making so that they don't actually really move their body weight the full height. That's cheatin'. (

I wasn't ecstatic about working out today. It was just a weird, off kinda Monday, and I was worried that might carry over to the workout. I really hate being right.

However, I do have to gloat a bit about being able to link together double-unders sort of without even trying. Not that I was able to do more than 10-15 at a time, but that about 10x to 15x more than usual. So that kind of ruled. Stretching was fairly uneventful in contrast.

The trouble started with the front squats. My previous PR was 185# for two reps. So, with a great deal of chutzpah, I figured I could easily hit it again for a single, then PR at 190# or 195#. I tried to plan ahead what my weights and jumps were going to be. I realized a few weights in that I'm an idiot. I started out, greasing the tracks, with a set of 10 front squats with the empty bar (35#). Easy enough. Slapping on 25# plates brought me to 85# for a set of 5. Easy. The next few sets were easy as well. It wasn't until it occurred to me that in my stupidity, I had programmed in 20# jumps for the final three sets of single reps. Stupid.

I easily hit 165#, but had an ugly dismount of the bar. As usual, for every set, I had to clean the bar up to the front rack, spend some time adjusting grip and whatnot (occasionally failing over to the less secure, but more easily attained "california" grip), then hit the squat. The dismount of the bar at 165# was really kind of ugly, and near as I can tell, really screwed me up for my attempt at 185#, a weight I HAVE cleaned before, and even squatted for a double. Not today. Today, I couldn't even clean the weight. I don't know how much was mental, but I tried 3 more times just to clean it, and damn if I couldn't get it up to the rack. They were all power clean and hang power clean attempts. Its possible that with a full squat clean, I might have gotten under it. I honestly didn't even try that.

So, final tally on the front squats ended with me missing the final two weight attempts, and failing to set a new PR.

Front squat: 85# x 5 / x 4 / x 3 / x 2 / 165# x 1 / 185# x 1(x) / (x)

The metcon was less exciting, but arguably even more grueling. Knowing my own limitations, I scaled the dumbbells back to 35# apiece, and 10 reps into the first round, really wished I went further down! Though I tried to shoot for unbroken sets of thrusters for each round, I was feeling pretty down from the front squat fiasco, and didn't once succeed. I did better with the box jumps (stepping down, rather than hopping). I believe I kept all of those sets unbroken, if somewhat slow and deliberate. Hell, with a stack of 6 crappy steparoebics steps all rickety and crap to jump onto, anything other than deliberate is suicide!

Thruster/Box Jump couplet: 22:15

A nice tag to the day came when several of the students asked about different exercises and diet approaches, which set a new high watermark for them showing interest in actual strength and conditioning, rather than "silly" body building. I call it "silly," since these kids aren't following the pros over at or doing Wendler 5-3-1 routines or Rippetoe's Starting Strength. Their routines seem to embody the worst of wandering around the gym, finding something that looks amusing, doing it until its no longer amusing, then wandering around again. Its difficult to try to turn them onto something that, while randomized, is also completely planned out before you go into the gym. And I barely do any crunches or bicep curls! Madness!

The soundtrack for the entire workout was the new Amon Amarth album, 'Surtur Rising.' HIGHLY recommended. \m/

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