Less lifting, more sleeping and/or shopping

Coach S. led today’s session, and the focus was on the clean. We first did a 5-minute “circle of pain”, and I had the pleasure of joining Paul K. and Meaghan, as the Big Boys enjoyed their own circle. (Notice I didn’t say “of pain”.) With 52 and 35 lb KBs, we took turns either running in place or completing 10 high pulls. All total, we probably each completed 50 or more high pulls with each of the KBs.

Cleans
1-1-1-1 from position 1
1-1-1 from position 2
1-1-1 full cleans

From position 1, I successfully completed lifts of 75, 85, 95, and 105 lb. Coach S. observed form and suggested (repeatedly and justifiably) that I work on dropping under the bar more quickly and loosening my death grip.

From position 2, I successfully completed lifts of 115, 125, and 135. For whatever reason, I begin to get very anxious when I place 2, 45 lb plates on the ends of a 45 lb bar. I can have 2, 35 and 2, 10 lb plates on the ends of the bar and not feel apprehensive, but as soon as the 45s go on I begin to freak out. I nonetheless felt solid on the 135 lb lift. Coach S. said that I was indeed extending my hips. Yeah, me!

I successfully completed full clean lifts of 145, and 155, my current 1 RM. Coach S., Brandon, Max, Troie, and Griff commented that I should be lifting heavier. Why? Because I was lifting the bar to my chest before dropping under it, and I should be only able to lift the weight to my navel before having to do so. I said, “I shouldn’t be lifting at all. I’m a middle-aged, gay man. I should be sleeping or shopping.”

I felt tormented today, and was struggling psychologically. I failed 165 lb clean attempts 5 times, and then called it a day. On most of the attempts I was this close. Damn.

I also received (perhaps too much) feedback from folks other than Coach S. Enough said. The most valuable feedback I received today was from Coach S., who reminded me to step up to the bar, position my hands, lower my ass, take a deep breath – and lift! I spend far too much time getting ready to lift, even from positions 1 and 2.

I was disappointed that I was unable to lift 165, but I learned much today.

Met-con
8 minute AMRAP of the following:
5 power cleans (155 lb)
10 burpees

Coach S. encouraged me to use the met-con to work on form, specifically faster elbows and looser hands, and that’s exactly what I did. I suggested 105 for the weight, but Coach S. strongly recommended that I lift 115, and that’s exactly what I did.

This was one of the more difficult met-cons in recent memory. My goal, of course, was to complete all cleans and burpees unbroken, and was generally able to do so. I can’t say, however, that all cleans were unbroken, as most times I dropped the bar and then had to reposition hands to lift. I was very surprised to find the burpees to be even more challenging than the lifts. I had to make myself do unbroken, and many times contemplated stopping after 5 or so to rest. I did pause ever so briefly to record rounds. I completed 7 rounds + 1 clean.

I then had the pleasure of coaching the 7:15 session, including Wendy, Jayme, Brad, Shane, Don, and Karl. I always enjoy the 7:15ers, and they are a genuinely great group of people. Here’s what they looked like at the end of the met-con…

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