Front squatting, cleaning, and pull-upping

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Ah, CrossFit908, my home away from home. Since my last visit, the box has tripled in size, and is now as big as CFD. The entire setup is ideal, with a large space for movable racks, rowers, and boxes, a pull-up bar that easily holds 25 or more, rings permanently attached to the ceiling, a climbing rope (!), and ample equipment — including Atlas balls. Best of all? Tim finally got a haircut. I’ll give his lovely wife, Erin, credit for that. 

The box is without power, so Tim had the doors open. This provided ample light, but it was cold! My hands quickly became numb. 

Back Squat

I warmed up, and then did 5 reps of 135 lb. Tim observed and suggested that I widen my stance, angle in my toes to about 10 or 15%, and focus on my knees going out over my toes as I descend. He noted that my knees tracked in on the descent, but that I corrected my form as I rose. Great advice as always, Tim. I then lifted 5 reps of 155, 3 reps of 165 and 175, and 1 rep of 185. The last lift felt heavy, and I was feeling somewhat unsure of myself. 

Me: Tim, should our last lift really be 100% of our one rep maximum?
Tim (without hesitation): Yes. 
Me: That’s 200 pounds. That’s more than I weigh. Is it okay of I fail?
Tim (again, without hesitation): Yes. 

I went forth and back and finally settled on NOT lifting my 1RM, but instead lifting 5 lb more, i.e., 205 lb. My last attempt at 205 was quite a colossal (I like that word) failure. 

I rolled the bar to the front of the rack, positioned my index and middle fingers under the bar, lifted my elbows and placed the bar on my “shelf”, squatted, and rose! Tim was yelling, “Come on, Paul, finish it!” (Or something like that.)

I placed the bar on the rack and said, “That’s a PR.” Tim shook my hand and congratulated me. What, no cowbell? Just moments later Erin also got a PR — lifting 205 lb as well! I’d like to think that I was her inspiration. 

Tim said, “But you didn’t fail.” 

Hang power cleans

Tim asked me how much weight I intended to lift for hang power cleans, and I said 105 or 115. He suggested that I go lighter, as this was to be a fast met-con with little rest. He said to all, “Choose a weight and a pull-up band that will allow you to complete the workout in les than 10 minutes. You should be able to complete 3 or 4 unbroken reps.” 

Erin backed the car up to the open door, opened the hatchback and car doors, and turned the car radio up as loud as it would go. Tim used his iPhone as a timer. 

I completed the round of 21 hang power cleans unbroken, and pull-ups in reps of 15 and 6. The pull-ups were more challenging than the hang power cleans, and this was due to the pull-up bar being so damn cold! I couldn’t feel my hands on the bar. I completed the rounds of 15 hang power cleans in reps of 5. I failed the 6th clean, being unable to jump and then get under the bar quickly enough. I, of course, didn’t count it. I thought, “This is a clear sign to do 5 at a time.” I struggled on the round of 15 pull-ups, stringing together as many as 6 and as few as 2.

The last round of 9 hang power cleans went much better. I had planned on doing in reps of 3, but felt strong and completed in reps of 4, 3, and 2. I completed pull-ups in reps of 5, 2, and 2. My forearms were aching, and my hands were frozen! 

I finished in 6:07, and Erin finished about a minute later. I said, “Congratulations, Erin, you’re the second place female!” She laughed, and I joined her. 

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