Thursday, September 15, 2011

Strict Press PR

A friend of mine mentioned to me recently that my blog is, um, somewhat boring. Now, she doesn't really exercise much - yoga and a she's a hasher. I can easily see that this could be boring. The title of the blog suggests that it's about ultrarunning. I haven't finished an ultra in a couple years right now, although I did a marathon this summer and I'll do another this autumn.

It's not ski season, so there's not much to say about skiing.

And, I do talk about nutrition, and I'm making good progress with a Paleo/Primal diet, but I don't spend a whole lot of time talking about that. My doctor thinks it's a fad. My boss, a doctor, also seems to think the same thing. I see what is happening with my fitness and physique, and I think the diet and CrossFit should get the credit. However, while my weight is down and my strength is up, I'm far from being a cover model for Mens Health or some other such magazine. Even if I ever did have the lean, ripped body, there's still the rest of me that would need airbrushing, I suppose.

So, am I just talking to hear myself talk? Is this just a diary that I allow the whole world to see? I don't think that's really true, because there's a lot I'd write in a private diary that I'd never even consider writing here.

Perhaps it's just a glorified workout log. I do wonder if someday, my currently teenage children will stumble upon this and read it, and find out more about the dad that they ignore on a regular basis. After all, Project Runway or video games are way more interesting than a dad, at least right now.

Well, enough of that rambling. Time to write about what I always write about - a workout.

We started with strict press work at CrossFit yesterday. The rep pattern was 5-5-3-3-1-max, starting at 70% of max and going up by 5% each round. Yesterday was 9/14/2011. My best ever strict press is 125, first achieved on 12/14/2010 - nine months prior. I've done 125 a few times since, but I've failed at every attempt higher than 125. The shoulder injury that I suffered in March of this year has been part of the issue, but it's a frustrating lift. Just like the bench press, an increase in this lift comes with lots of workouts doing the lift in question, and with the addition of muscle mass in the upper body.

So yesterday, after finding that my single rep at 90% (112.5 pounds) went pretty well, I decided to skip the 95% set and try for a PR at 127.5. That would be a 2% improvement in 9 months - not very significant at all. But, I did nail the rep, and then did 3 additional push presses at the same weight. So, at age 49, there's something in my life where I'm still improving.

After that lift, the rest of the workout seemed pretty easy:

12 minutes, as many reps as possible:
12 push-ups
12 sit-ups
12 box jumps

I came within four box jumps of completing 6 rounds. If my arms weren't still feeling the effects of 200 push-ups on Monday, even if they were knee push-ups, I would have done more reps.

When I got home last night, I spent two hours watching the CrossFit Games on ESPN2. I've officially crossed into CF-nerdom now, I suppose. It was nice to see a lady from our gym doing so well in one of the workouts. And, my wife really enjoyed watching it and she will be doing her first ever CF workout this coming Saturday. My daughter, on the other hand, had a completely different viewpoint. She seemed a bit weirded out that I get home late every night because I'm doing something that ridiculous. Then, I told her about CrossFit kids, and she is now interested in trying a workout with one of her friends.

Because I stayed up late, I overslept this morning and never got to the gym to row before work. I'll definitely row tomorrow after work, and maybe I'll get in a few thousand meters after CF tonight.

1 comment:

Jannick Kjaer said...

Hi Damon,

I am sorry I am leaving a comment, I can't find your email. I am writing you in the hopes that you want to participate in an e-book we are writing about ultra runners.

We want to tap into the collective craziness (we mean that as a compliment:-)) of this community to challenge and inspire other people to make their own life an ever-greater creative expression of their own goals and dreams… without limits.

We would ask you to answer two questions about your experience with ultra running.

If you'd like to participate please shoot me an email at


All the best,