14/2/2017 Training

The last two weeks have been pretty good for training. Last week I finished the final week of my strict press and front squat programme, with some pretty heavy sets. We did 2×3 at 80%, followed by 3×3 at 90%. Looking back on it, the weight to volume might seem pretty high; and they were pretty tough sets, but the fact we managed to work our way through them without failing means they are probably pitched just right. It’s a big ask to perform 3 sets of 3 at 90% of your 1 rep max, but this is coming off the back of 2 previous weeks of progressive loading, meaning by the time you get to week 3, your 1 rep is going to be higher. We’ll be testing our 1 reps this coming Sunday, so we’ll have to see if it’s gone up or not, but I’m feeling pretty confident.

I also made some progress on bar muscle ups this week. I’m far from being a gymnast; I blame my heavy legs, but we looked at some progressions this week and I made some good attempts. My kip is good enough to get my hips pretty close to the bar, so I just need to work on the final part of the muscle up. Chucking your body over a bar that high up is pretty scary for the first time, especially if you’re not sure if your kip will get you there. What we did instead was to place a box under the bar, stand on the box and bend our legs so our arms are at full extension. Then you mimic a kip going forward and then on the back part of the kip, you jump and try to throw your torso over the bar. This took me quite a few attempts to get (and some very sore ribs), mainly to build enough confidence to throw myself over. Watching bar muscle ups, I always thought the press out would be pretty tough, but it was actually pretty easy. This is another thing to add to my list for Open Gym time.

These past few weeks I have also been completing qualifier wods for a local 3 way box competition between our gym and 2 others. I qualified fairly well for the Scaled Division and the competition was this Saturday just gone. I found that I wasn’t quite nearly as nervous as I normally am before a comp, and it was probably because there were so many familiar faces. The first wod was:

10min Time Cap


Calories on the Rower

STOH with incremental weight 30kg/40kg/45kg/50kg/55kg

Although the weights are relatively low, I went out far too hard on the rower and suffered for it by the time I got into the 9s and 6s. My game plan was to hit the first 2 sets hard and then plod through the rest at a decent pace. This was not a good strategy. In retrospect, this is one that needs pacing from the start. I placed 8th out of 18 for this, which was actually higher than I thought given how poorly it went.

We then moved into the second wod:

5min AMRAP

20 Dumbell Snatches (15kg – 10 right arm, then 10 left arm)

50 Single Skips

I was a lot more excited about this workout as skipping and light snatches are movements I do well at. Although the workouts were announced the day before, they left out one small piece on information: we would have to use their thick ropes, rather than our own speed ropes. Although it bothered a few of the Rx athletes (Rx was double unders), it wasn’t really an issue for me. My singles are good and even if I had to do doubles, I learnt on a thick rope so I might have had a small advantage had I been in the Rx category. Overall, a really gassy workout that was a sprint from start to finish. I placed 3rd on this workout which kept me in the running for a good finish.

Because of time constraints (the rugby was due to start soon and there were beers to be drunk), they made the cut after just the two workouts, rather than the planned 3. The top 5 from each category would then go forward to complete a cut down version of the 3rd wod. My placings meant I scraped in at 5th place. The final:

6min Time Cap

1 Rd of Cindy

1 Bear Complex (40kg)

2 Rds of Cindy

1 Bear Complex (40kg)

3 Rds of Cindy

AMRAP Bear Complex 40kg in Remaining time.

The scaled version of Cindy was 5 jump pull ups and only 5 pressups. This one sucked the most. I didn’t quite realise how much of a beating my quads had taken over the course of the day, but by the time I hit the 3rd round of Cindy, my air squats were slowing me down as I had to break them up into sets of 8 and 7. I made it to the AMRAP section, but I was gassed hard and everything was hurting. I managed to squeeze out 6 reps, but it wasn’t enough to improve my standing and I finished 5th overall. Super happy to have made it to the final, and it’s a great boost to my confidence for certain areas of my fitness, but has also helped to highlight areas I need to work on.

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