Thursday, June 23, 2011

11-06-23: Benchpress rowing and running

Elm City Crossfit WoD for June 23rd, 2011
Bench press. Note the plates under his feet to keep him in proper alignment (either its a tall bench or he's a short dude. Not sure.).  There is NO excessive arch in the back, just enough to support his upper body as he preps for another rep. Also notice the spotter NOT touching the bar, but close enough to grab it if the lifter gets into trouble. (
Brian MacKenzie, one muscular distance guy. The guy who started Crossfit Endurance, actually. If he says Crossfit can help you run, I'd listen. As a matter of fact, I do! (Pic lifted from Crossfit All In)
Rowing. Fun for all ages. Effective for all ages. (

Strength: Benchpress 4 x 5
  • 1 set @ 85%
  • 2 sets @ 87%
  • 1 set @ 90%
WoD: 4x Alternating
  • 200m Run
  • 200m Row

I wasn't looking forward to much in this workout: I was still walking funny from Tuesday's running, and due to the limitations in the Dieselhaus, I wasn't even sure of my 1 rep max for bench pressing. Hard to work to a heavy weight when you need to clean the bar from the floor, lie back on the bench, THEN press it up. All usually without a spotter.  My "PR" was 125#, but I have no idea how many reps that was, or anything about the workout. So, at Coach Vin's suggestion, I used my warm-up sets to try to ease into 5RM territory, so I could at least come up with an estimated 1RM. 

My first work set was 155#, which felt nice and heavy, but I was able to get the 5 reps pretty easily. Using the weight percentage chart, I calculated that my 1RM *might* be about 190# (155# showing up as 85% of 190#), so for 87%, I went up to 165# as shown on the chart. I blew threw 165# like it didn't exist, so at Vin's suggestion, I went up again to 175# for my second 87% set. This time I nailed 4 clean reps and failed on the 5th (thanks for the spot, Vin or Larry, I forget who was there for that one!).  After a bit of discussion, we opted to keep me there for the final set, to see what happens.

Turns out, my lack of volume caught up with me really quickly. While I wasn't exactly rushing the sets, I also wasn't taking 5 minutes to recover from a set to failure.  The final set lasted exactly 2.5 reps long, and ended with Vin grabbing the bar just as I was about to lose my battle with gravity about halfway up. Basically, the overall muscle fatigue was too great, and I wasn't able to stay near my 3-5RM max (the percentages Rx'ed are actually high for a 5RM, making this an exercise in overloading anyways) to complete the workout. Vin assured me that would be one of the first things I would see blow up and get awesomer. I can hardly wait.

Benchpress: 5 x 155# / 5 x 165# / 4 x 175# / 2 x 175#

Alternating runs and rows. At first, I read the workout as being 2 runs and 2 rows, for a total of 800m. I was way too optimistic. 4 of each. A full mile. Argh.  I started stretching out my cementish legs some more. Upshot was this: Vin watched me start off around the parking lot, and immediately had some fixes to my stride that made running both more comfortable AND would keep me from being as sore as the longer distances on Tuesday made me. All about letting the heel touch down *a bit* AFTER the toes hit (or have the foot land flat) but NOT as a heel strike movement. Basically, it allows the calf muscles to deload for a second, rather than maintaining full tension on them for the duration of the run. Brilliant!

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