Tag Archives: Front Squat

“The Flash”

Slept in a bit, cause I could… Lena didn’t wake until after 7:00. Even with her two wakings between 12 and 1 I managed to get at least 6 hours of sleep. Cleaning around the house, breakfast was lots of coffee and “1.5” block of food (but actually 1.5p/5f/1.5c). Note to self: that much extra fat wasn’t a great idea even a full hour before the am workout. Made it to the 9:00 am CFA workout.

Agility Warm Up

Then the standards (ADs, SD, SS, HM, stretching). Push-Up (15), Squats (10), Knees to Elbows (K2Es) (12), Pull-Ups, medium band (10).


Worked on 5 rep max for Shoulder Press.

Results: 10×45#, 5×75#, 5×95#, 5×105# (PR), 5×95#, 5×95#, 5×95#

WOD: The Flash

The CrossFit Asheville WOD was:
Complete max rounds in 15 minutes of the following:
100 single jump ropes or 25 double unders
100 feet suicide drill with turn points every 20 feet
5 handstand push-ups
10 heavy kettlebell swings
12 front squats holding medicine ball

Used 44 lb Kettlebell; did band-assisted HSPUs; 12 lb medicine ball.

Results: 3 rounds & 1 suicide set.

In the heat and humidity, I got a good sweat going.

Strength Gains

I have three data points on this blog for shoulder work.

  1. Today
  2. June 6th
  3. April 30th

On April 30th and June 6th I established a 1 rep max SP of 120#. I don’t have any data on a 3 rep or 5 rep max for shoulder press. So I am glad I decided to do the 5 rep max today. By the end, doing three work sets at 95 lbs, I felt strong. In fact, when these work sets of 5 reps of shoulder press are compared with the work I did on the Push Press and the Push Jerk on 6/6, I am a little embarrassed! Obviously I am even stronger than I thought. I think that these work sets and my 105# five rep PR points the way to increasing the 120# PR in the 1 rep.

Injury Check in; Yoga/Stretching

Back is feeling on the mend. I could feel the twinges during the WOD but no big deal. I noticed that on June 6th I was complaining of left shoulder pain. Nothing remains of that, which, in retrospect, seems not to have even been an injury.

I did a fair amount of Yoga stretching last night. In fact I even got my internal heat going a little bit. It felt good and I plan to do some more tonight. I am going to focus on combining about 5 cycles of a warrior and standing pose sequence with some seated and twisting poses.

Leave a comment

Filed under CrossFit Asheville WODS

“The Swinger.” PUC Day 29.

My wake-up was a little hard. I went to bed at 10:30 but some itinerant folks were making loud party sounds in the creek behind my house the first part of the night, keeping Yael and I up. Not sure when I fell asleep, but not until after 11:00 pm. Also, I woke up spontaneously at 3:30 am, and didn’t fall asleep again until 4:15. Then up at 5:15 am. Which means less than 6 hours of sleep, and not continuous.

Nevertheless, yesterday’s eating was good, mostly healthy, entirely moderate, and today I felt good after a little bit of food, water, and coffee. Then off to the 6:00 am CrossFit Asheville class.

Warm Up

Agility running, shoulder dislocates, Sampson and Hip openers, other stretching, push-ups (15 strict), sit ups (10 strict), overhead squats (15), pull ups (8 dead hang, 8 band assisted).


The assignment was to find a 3 rep Front Squat Max. The last record I could find in my notebook regarding a 3 rep max attempt on the Front Squat was March 24th, 2009, were my 3 rep max was 160#. It’s hard to evaluate that number. I’ve lost about 18 pounds since then, since I weighed in at 201 lbs on 3/22/09. Anyway, I had a 5 rep max attempt on April 8th, I think, and there the five rep max was a lot less, about 130#. And at that time I weighed 10 pounds more than I do today. Hmmm.

10 x 45 #
5 x 95 #
3 x 115 #
3 x 125 #
3 x 135 #
2 x 155 #
1 x 165#;
1 x 165#, fail on 2; finished.

Technically, this was not a 3 rep PR, since the highest 3 rep set was 135#. But it was an overall PR on the Front Squat, since I am certain I have never done 165# before. So call it a 1-rep max PR of 165, and a day of stressing muscles, learning movement, and building strength.

WOD: “The Swinger”

3 rounds of:
25 consecutive Kettlebell swings immediately followed by…
Max Rep Ring Dips.
Rest as needed between rounds. Increase Kettlebell weight as capable b/w rounds. Complete 5 burpees for every KB swing short of 25 per round and be sure to get DEEP in those dips!

Round 1: 44 lb. KB, 13 dips w/ band
Round 2: 45 lb KB, 12 dips w/ band
Round 3: 52.9 lb (24 kg) KB, 13 dips w/ band

I felt good about this.

Pull-Up Challenge Day 29

Reps 1 / 2-3 / 4-6 / 7-8: during warm-up at CFA (see above).
Reps #9-14: Yes, my first set of 6! Reverse grip. At 2:47 pm.
Reps #15-19: Set of 5! Front grip. At 3:06 pm.
Reps #20-24: Set of 5. Reverse grip. At 3:27 pm.
Reps #25-29: (in three sets: 25 / 26-28 / 29). Front grip. At 3:48 pm.

I failed after the first rep on the last set only because I tried to “cinch up” (shift and correct) my grip, and this aggravated my calluses. Done for now. Day 30 tomorrow!

Leave a comment

Filed under CrossFit Asheville WODS, Workouts

“Bear Hug.” PUC Day 11.

Decent sleep, from 11:45 pm to 5:00 am. Obviously, not enough sleep. I need to do better there. It’s forcing myself to go to bed early that is tough. One block breakfast. Then, the 6:00 am CrossFit Asheville workout.

Warm Up

Basic Agility drills; shoulder dislocates; hip-mobility stretches; 1 round of: Push-ups, Sit-ups, Squats, Pull-Ups. I did 12 reps. For the pull ups, the first three were unassisted dead hangs. Then we did minimal warm-ups of the “Bear Complex.”

“Bear Hug”

Today the CFAsheville WOD was called first “What a Bear,” and then “Bear Country,” and then finally, “Bear Hug.” Whatever… it’s a killer workout.

3 rounds of:

5 cycles of the “Bear Complex” (Power Clean, Front Squat, Push Press, Back Squat, Push Press) followed immediately by

1 set of max reps pull-ups, using assistance bands if necessary to ensure a minimum of 15 reps per round.

Rest as needed between rounds (3-5 minutes). Work to increase weight for the bear cycle each round. Post max weight used for bear complex and total number of pull-ups.

For this workout Rustan Adcock and I used the same bar set up, at 80# first round, 90# second round, 100# third round. For my pull-up rounds, using a 2 band combo of small band and mini band, I got 20 reps, 22 reps, 15 reps. It’s an extremely challenging (and in retrospect, fun) workout. During the last (fifth) cycle of the final Bear Complex I was quivering though it—technically, I failed the first of the two push-presses—and I just did what I could with the pull-ups. This workout technically gets posted as: 100# bear complex, 57 pull-ups.

Pull-Up Challenge Day 11

Reps #1-2: Front Grip. 5:30 am at home.

Reps #3-4: Reverse Grip. 5:45 am at home.

Reps #5-6: Front Grip. 6:15 am at the workout.

Rep #7: Reverse Grip. 6:18 am at the workout.

Reps #8-10: Set of 3. Failed on rep 4. Front Grip. 6:10 pm at home.

Rep #11: Reverse Grip. 6:15 pm at home.

Leave a comment

Filed under CrossFit Asheville WODS, Workouts

Front Squat, PUC Day 4

Decent sleep but not enough; low calorie day yesterday. One block breakfast (egg and grapefruit) before workout.

Front Squats

6:00 am. CrossFit Asheville WOD: find five rep max for front squat.

My workout:
10 x 20 kg bar
5 x 40 kg
5 x 50kg
5 x 54.535 kg (20 kg bar + 30 kg + 10 lbs)
5 x 59 kg (20 kg bar + 30 kg + 20 lbs)
3 x 63 kg (20 kg bar + 30 kg + 30 lbs), FAIL on 4th rep.

It is worth noting here that 63 kg is about 139 lbs.

My previous record is a 160 lb. three rep max.

Workout was followed by coffee, water, and 3 block breakfast (chicken thigh plus grapefruit and apple).

Pull-Up Challenge, Day 4

Rep #1, 6;15 am: I hit the first pull-up (front, “false” u-grip) at the workout. Failed on a second rep (reverse, “false” u-grip).

Reps #2-3: After 11:00 am at home (front, “false” u-grip): feeling strong!

Rep #4: At about 3:00 pm (ffug); not feeling as strong; serious pain in my callouses.

A Note Concerning Power (Intensity) and My Personal Pull-Up Challenge

The formula for power is as follows:

                          Work x Distance
Power (aka Intensity) =    _______________

This formula allows us to analyze the way a pull-up challenge will result in increasing power for me, and therefore, in theory at least, will force an adaptive response (stronger lats, greater fitness with respect to this one task).

One rep of a pull up is always a set amount of “Work x Distance” for me. Or rather, it is, assuming my arms remain the same length (duh), my grip remains constant (actually it varies), and my weight remains about the same (I must bear in mind that I am losing weight at a rate of close to one pound per week lately). All things being equal day to day, each rep of pull-ups amounts to the same load.

Since I increase the number of reps done per day, the denominator of the equation is constantly increasing, which points towards increasing power.

On the other hand, you’ll notice that I spread the reps out through the day. I do this to encourage recovery and growth in strength. Also, if at this stage I tried to do them all in one minute, I’d fail at the task. So it’s necessary.

Obviously, if I could do them more quickly, that’d be more intense (i.e. it would generate more power).

But the beauty of the challenge model is that the maximum value for “T” [ as in the formula P = (W x D) / T ] is 24 hours. At first, I can go as slowly as I want. Later, I can do some quickly, and others slowly. But no matter how you look at it, over the course of the three months power output will is very likely to increase. As I approach 100 reps per day, the available rest time (= waking hours less minutes spent doing pull-ups) will shrink. Bingo! Intensity achieved.

Leave a comment

Filed under CrossFit Asheville WODS, Workouts

Thrusters and other Olympic Lifts

So far I remain at novice level in Cross-Fit inspired workouts. But today I did some stuff that made me feel tough, and made me think about the virtues of Olympic Lifting.

The Olympic bar is used in regular gyms primarily on bench press set ups or, increasingly, in highly controlled smith-squat machines, where the bar is really a part of the machine. In other words, your standard gym doesn’t actually let you use the Olympic Bar as it is designed to be used: for “Olympic lifting.”

So far, by being in cross fit, I have trained with the free-floating 45# and 35# Olympic bar plus weights on the following exercises: deadlifts, front squats, hang power cleans, and thrusters (a combination of front squat and push-press). Today we did “thrusters.”

Thrusters can be totally outrageous or more controlled and even aerobic.

What I can’t believe, looking back on my morning, was that I was taking a 90# weight and pulling it off the ground, bringing it to my shoulders, front-squatting with it, and then “thrusting” it overhead.

Ninety pounds is a lot of weight man.

The virtue of so-called “Olympic” lifting is that it is about full range of motion and full body exercise. Every Olympic weight lifting movement combines major muscle groups from front and back, top and bottom, and involves the stabilizers and small muscles throughout the system. The result of training in these movements is “functional fitness” and a feeling of real body confidence. Not to mention you can get big.

Leave a comment

Filed under CrossFit Asheville WODS, Workouts