CrossFit Central WoD: Kill Those Legs

Today’s CrossFit Central WoD:

3 rounds for time of:

  • 100′ walking lunges
  • 15 dead lifts (225 lbs)
  • 21 pull ups

My time: 13:09

One of the more brutal WoDs on the legs that I can remember in quite some time — the combination of walking lunges straight into heavy dead lifts was hella-masochistic. I’m still feeling it in my thighs the next day.

Struggled a bit with the dead lifts, even though I’m one of the strongest dead lifters in the gym…more a stamina issue and grip issue. But they were definitely feeling heavy.

Posted in Dead lifts, Pull ups | Leave a comment

CrossFit Benchmark WoD: CFT

Going into CrossFit Total (CFT), my primary goal is to break 1000 lbs for my total. Which means that I go into the WoD with a goal for each lift that will enable me to get there.

Those minimum goals are:

  • Back squat: 375 lbs
  • Shoulder press: 200 lbs
  • Dead lift: 425 lbs

So far, I’ve broken 1000 on my last two tries (PR is 1035 lbs).

My goals by the end of this year:

  • Back squat: 425 lbs
  • Shoulder press: 215 lbs
  • Dead lift: 500 lbs

Back Squats

Started on back squat and hit 350 lbs on the first attempt. Felt pretty easy. Almost “too easy,” so I moved up to my PR on the second attempt and felt pretty good matching my PR of 375 lbs.

I’ve long wanted to post a 400+ lb back squat, so I got greedy and tried to increase my PR by 30 lbs by attempting 405 lbs for my final lift. Once I got the bar on my back and backed away from the rack, my stomach was clenching and I knew there was no way I was going to get through this lift without busting out a large and obnoxious fart.

There I said it.

So, instead of not being able to control the release of gas (never, ever, under any circumstance trust a fart) during the actually lift — I stood there with 405 lbs resting on my shoulders while I tried to “gently” and silently let the gas escape.

To no success. Oh well…sorry about that Jeff (my spotter). My focus was blown and I just barely missed the lift. Oh well…next time. I’m not “unhappy” with matching my PR of 375 lbs.

Although, after finishing the day’s WoD, I re-racked the bar with 400 lbs and did push it up.

Hit the 375lb back squat on second lift, which ties my PR. Instead of going for a reasonable bump for the third lift, I went for 405lbs.

And just missed it. However, after the WoD was finished, I tried again with 400 lbs and made that lift. Next time.

Shoulder Press

I know I have one of the biggest 1RM shoulder presses at CrossFit Central, but I have made very little progress on it over the last year. I hit my PR of 205 lbs the last time we did CFT 3 months ago. But the last 4-5 times I’ve done CFT I’ve always attempted (and succeeded) at lifting 200 lbs.

I’ve never attempted to try 200 (or 205) with my second lift and then try for a PR on the final lift.

With back squat and dead lift, my PR weight felt “easy” the last few times, so I felt confident going heavier. However, with the shoulder press, my 185 lb lift (usually my second attempt) always feel pretty heavy, so I’m content to hit 200-205 for my final.

Which is exactly what I did again this time.

My second lift (185) didn’t feel great, so I only went for 200 on the final lift (successful). It wasn’t too much of a struggle, pretty sure I would have pushed 205, but not sure about 210.

Next time out, I will hit at least 200 lbs on my 2nd attempt, so I can hit a PR on my third go.

Dead Lift

Only need 425 dead lift to get my 1000 lb CFT! My PR, set the last go around at CFT, is 455 lbs. And that was on my third attempt. Think I could have pulled 475 at least, which is my new goal for Thursday.

UPDATE: I started my first lift this morning with 425 lbs, which is what I needed to hit my 1000 lb min. goal. Jumped up to 455 lbs for my second lift, to tie my previous PR. I felt really strong the last time I lifted 455, but today I really struggled with it.

Not daunted, I put 4 x 45 lbs on each end of the bar and struggled mightily to pull 465 lbs. I was the last person to attempt the third lift, so I had a full audience — which was great as I needed all the support I could get trying to straighten that lift all the way out. I swear it felt like it took 30 seconds from pull to finish.

Anyway…I increased my PR on dead lift by 10 lbs, which gave me a 5 lb PR for CFT (1040 lbs).


Thursday’s dead lift finals were followed by a quick and painful little WoD:

  • 800m run
  • 50 double-unders
  • 30 burpees

Did my best on the run, which was better than I expected. Though I hate, hate, hate running in my Chuck-Ts. By the time I was done with the run, my calves were cramping…not good for the rump rope and burpees. But I slogged through. Every body else in class was done with the WoD when I was just starting on the burpees…so, once again, I had a full audience once again while I finished up (in 10:16).

Posted in Back Squats, Crossfit Central, Dead lifts, Shoulder Press | Tagged | Leave a comment

Row and Squat Clean-to-Overhead: Two Great Exercises that Go Great Together

Lots of fun today:

3 rounds for time:

  • 500m Row
  • 10 Squat Clean to OH

M:155 F:105

I hate, hate, hate squat cleans. Mostly because I have a fear of dropping my body under a heavy bar and having my knee(s) give out on me.

But today’s technique didn’t feel too bad, and I felt I was dropping quickly and deeply into my squat to receive the second pull. However, coach Zach said that I was still pulling too early with my arms before my hips were fully opened and before my full shrug.

Gotta work on that.

The brutal part of this WoD is that the motion and muscles required to do a good squat clean (drive with the legs, then pull with the arms) is replicated in the rowing part of the WoD. So after you finish hammering out ~2:00 minutes on the erg, you go straight to heavy squat cleans.

Brutal, I tell you. Brutal.


I was the only guy in class who attempted the RXd weight of 155 (Navy Jeff wasn’t in class today), and finished in 16:24, which was just OK. After the first round, I was only able to do 2 squat clean-to-overhead reps at a time before having to reset, which slowed me way down.

Posted in Cleans, Rowing | Leave a comment

CrossFit Central WoD: Jen C

Today’s WoD is named after one of our coaches, Jennifer Cardella, who was also a member of our box’s Affiliate Team that took 2nd place at the 2009 CrossFit Games.

Barbell Complex:  Each series to be done with maximum load, bar may not be set down:

  • 9 Deadlifts
  • 6 Hang Power Cleans
  • 3 Push Jerks

*5 attempts to get maximum weight on the bar.


Damned poor technique on my power cleans (bending my arms and pulling with all arms before fulling extending my hips, combined with a poor grip) equaled failure.

The dead lifts were no problem at all at the weight we were lifting, nor would the overhead presses have been much problem. But those damned cleans got me.

Successfully completed a series with 155 lbs on the bar, but failed on the squat cleans on two attempts with 165 lbs (was only able to get 4 cleans each time).

Posted in Cleans, Crossfit Central, Dead lifts, push press | Tagged | Leave a comment

Pull, Push, Burp at CrossFit Central

Today’s CrossFit Central WoD:

5 rounds of:

  • 1 min max pull ups
  • 1 min max burpees
  • 1 min max ground-to-overhead w/ 135 lb barbell (think Grace here)
  • 1 min rest

That was brutal. The pull up bars this morning in the 31 degree, 5:30 a.m. morning air were a bit BRUTAL on the hands.

Still rocking a green band on pull-ups, but making great progress with it…doing up to 20 kipping pull ups at a time on the green band now — despite still weighing in at 250 lbs. I don’t think I’ll be doing RXd pull ups during WoDs until I’m under 220 lbs, though.

Burpees are my own personal hell. I don’t know if there’s any exercise that I hate more. They absolutely destroy my cardio/lungs.

Which made going straight to the power clean to press all the harder. After the first few reps of the power cleans — after my forearms stretched out and defrosted — I felt my technique was pretty good, catching the bar in a nearly racked position before using a push press to lift it overhead.

Was the only person in class doing #135 lbs today — though it was just Fred and I as the only two men in class today.

Knocked out a total of 66 pull ups, 53 burpees, and 33 power clean to press. Not bad, not great.

Paleo check in: great breakfast and lunch, and then cheated with a holiday oatmeal raisin cookie that one of my colleagues gave me. Sigh.

Must. Do. Better.

Posted in Burpee, Cleans, Crossfit Central, Pull ups | Tagged , | Leave a comment

CrossFit WoD: Helen

First go at Helen today, which is:

3 rounds for time of:

  • 400m run
  • 21 KB swings (1.5 pood)
  • 12 pull ups

Subbed rowing for the running — and on this WoD, that did me no favors, as my arms never got a chance to recover between exercises.

Also subbed resistance band pull ups for regular pull ups.

My time was 13:46. Really thought I might meet Mr. Pukie a few times on this one.

Cash Out

3 rounds of:

  • 15 walking lunges with 1 pood KB
  • 15 KB push press (1 pood)
Posted in Crossfit, Crossfit Central, Kettle bell | Tagged | Leave a comment

CrossFit Garage Gym WoD: St. Paddy (Again)

Back in March of this year, I took a few months off from my CrossFit affiliate to help rest and rehab my degenerative knees.

One of the first Gargage Gym WoDs that I designed for myself was the March 17 “St. Paddy” WoD, which is:

3 Rounds (for time) of:

  • 400m row
  • 20 pull ups
  • 15 sit ups
  • 10 push press (95 lbs)

I completed this WoD in 18:57, using jumping pull ups as a sub for pull ups.

I wanted to see if I’ve made any progress on this WoD, so 5 months later, I gave it another shot. My time today was a bit more than a minute faster, finishing in 17:50. Also, I did the more difficult resistance band pull-ups instead of jumping pull-ups…so all the better.

  • On the third set of pull ups, my hands started to blister, and by the 7th rep, my hands were a mess.  First set of 20 pull ups were done uninterrupted, the second set was done 10-5-5, and the third set was 9-6-5.
  • Rowing splits were 1:47, 1:59, 2:04
  • Push press was not too difficult, and was able to do all three sets uninterrupted. Form felt better in the third set once I started really opening up my hips to propel the weight up, instead of just pressing it with all arms.

My goal is to get this under 16:30 by next St. Paddy’s day.

Posted in Crossfit, Pull ups, Rowing | Leave a comment