Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Still on a roll in the gym

I've had a few really good weeks in the gym, although I have to admit that I am really beat up from yesterday's workout.  We've been doing lots of testing the past few weeks and I've been happy with almost every workout.

Let's go back to last Monday, where the first part of the workout was to work to a 1 rep max squat.  I tend to think of myself as having two PRs in the squat.  Last year, I made a very concerted effort to work on mobility and get my squat to an appropriate depth.  Before last year, I'd done a 375 pound squat, but I know my depth was not OK.  Last year, I re-focused on form and I got to a 350 pound squat with good depth.

We've just completed a 16 week cycle in the gym focusing on squats, bench presses and deadlifts.  But, when we started, I was still feeling less than 100% after my January surgery, so I was somewhat cautious, especially with squats and deadlifts, where the total weight I'm lifting is high enough to cause injuries.

Through the cycle, I'd worked up to 315 a couple times, but never higher than that.  Last Monday, I worked up to 305 in my warm-up and then went for my heaviest reps since late November last year - the day I did 350#.  I got 335 fairly easily.  I got 355, but it was a challenge.  After some rest, I put 375 on my back and stepped back from the rack, but I could tell it wasn't there.  I simply re-racked the bar and called it a day.  So, I was better than my 350 in November, but I'm still not back to 375, and I still need to get 375 with good depth someday.

On Wednesday, we did bench presses.  I had done 200 (a PR) two weeks earlier, so my goal was at least 205 this day.  My warm-ups took me up to 165.  Then, I did 185 and it was difficult but not too bad.  I managed 205 as well on my next lift.  And then, I failed at 210.  I think if I'd skipped 205 and gone straight to 210, I might have gotten it.

Friday was deadlift day.  I'd done 405 two weeks prior, and I hoped to get 410 this day.  My all time best is 440, but I simply haven't recovered enough from my surgery to do the training to get back there yet.  The 405 two weeks ago had been a major struggle.

I did warm-up reps through 345.  My first hard rep was 375 and it felt like work.  From there, I went to 410, and I was disappointed to not make the lift.  The bar was still moving when I bailed, but I felt like my back was rounded and my shoulders weren't back enough, and the injury risk seemed too high.  I then tried 395 and failed again.  This was my 5th consecutive day of CrossFit and I was tired, so that might have affected this lift.  But, this is probably my best lift overall and I still need time to return to my previous level.

Yesterday, I was surprised to see that we were testing again - this time for the front squat.  Like the back squat, I consider myself to have two PRs on this lift.  With a cross-grip, I've done 280.  With the correct grip, I've only ever done 250.  About a year ago, I decided to abandon the cross-grip and force myself to work on the proper grip and related mobility to this lift correctly.  I did warm-up sets to 225 and then switched to singles.  I nailed a single at 255 - a 5 pound PR for the proper grip.  From there, I decided to jump to 285, and I got that one as well.  I made one attempt at 295 and failed.  However, if I'd gone straight from 255 to 295, I think I might have made it - still room for improvement.

When I started CrossFit, my best deadlift was 365.  My back squat was 265.  My front squat was 135.  My bench press 175.  My snatch PR didn't even exist.  Those numbers are now 440, 355, 285, 205 and 133, and all but one of those numbers has come in the past two weeks.  Not bad for an old fat guy.

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