Wednesday, December 15, 2010

CrossFit Total

On Monday night, we were supposed to do the "CrossFit Total" test in the gym. I was not only beat from skiing all weekend, but I was also extremely busy at work. So, I did the workout last night, on my own.

Basically, the workout is really a test. Excluding warm-up reps, you try for a maximum score in the back squat, strict (or military) press and deadlift. There is no time limit for rest between sets, but it has to be a single workout. You can't do one lift one day, go home, eat and sleep, do the other lift the next day, etc.

This rule is important and it certainly affected my total score.

Coming into this workout, I had worked out really hard last week. Then, I took a rest day on Friday, skied all weekend, and took another rest day on Monday. I still felt some fatigue from my first full weekend on snow, but it wasn't too bad.

I worked from home yesterday, so I did the workout on my own in my local gym.

Last week, I tied my lifetime best in the squat at 285 pounds. A year ago in December, I had a good month and set new PRs for the back squat at 285 and deadlift at 355. I had three attempts, and wanted to start with a weight I knew I'd hit, then try a slightly higher weight, and go from there. So, I started at 275 and it went pretty well. I was leaning towards an attempt at 285, but decided to try to break my PR on the next lift instead at 290. I nailed that one. So, I went for 300 on my third attempt and nailed that one. I was off to a good start.

I had never really done this lift before starting CrossFit recently. I had done push-presses a lot - a lift where you dip a bit and then use momentum from the legs to help drive the weight overhead. But, this kind of movement is forbidden in the strict press. Consequently, this can be a frustrating lift. If you get stuck on the way up, it seems like you're done. In the bench press, it's possible to get stuck, adjust pressure somewhat and resume. But, not in the strict press. I knew I could do 115, so I started there after my warm-up and hit it easily. My goal was to try 125 and if I made that, 135. On the attempt at 125, the movement started OK, but then slowed to a crawl. I could see my face in a mirror in front of me, and my face got all red and I thought my head would explode. But, the bar kept moving very, very slowly. Finally, after what seemed like forever, I completed the lift. There was no reason to try anything higher. I was done here.

I've been frustrated by my deadlift recently. As I mentioned above, I did 355 last winter, but I haven't been close to that since March or so. I hit 325 last week and that was on the edge. It's been interesting that my squat is improving while my deadlift has regressed. The difference between my best in each lift was 70 pounds a year ago, but only 25 pounds now. After my warm-up reps (limited after the previous hard work), I decided to start at 315. I knew I could lift that much and I did. Then, I got greedy. Rather than trying to tie my best for the season, I was thinking about my high-end goal of more than 750 pounds for my total, so I jumped to 335. I failed miserably. I barely got the bar off the ground and I just stalled. That frustrated me, but I felt like there was still a silver lining. I would drop to 325, nail that one, and get exactly 750.

But, the attempt at 335 plus the other lifts had taken too much out of me, and I stalled out again, although I came close on this one.

So, my total was 740.

There is a formula called the Wilks formula that uses age, sex, and bodyweight to adjust lifts so they can be normalized. My Wilks total was 220. I don't know if the coach calculated the Wilks total for anyone else. My primary interest is that it takes my age into account in a gym where 3/4 of the people are half my age.

I've been lifting for less than four full years right now, and only doing CrossFit for a couple months. Overall, I'm pretty happy with these lifts, but I need to keep working on them.

My eating yesterday was dead-on - bacon and eggs for breakfast, a veggie based soup with some protein for lunch, and a salad and grilled beef for dinner.

My pants are fitting better than they were a few weeks ago.

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