Coacher, coach thyself!

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I know the title isn’t grammatically correct.

As a Powerlifting certification (that Michael Kelley attended) was held at CFD this weekend, WODs were cancelled and I coached at CFZ, with open gym held from 10 to 11 and first time ever scheduled WOD at 11.

I arrived at 8:45, and spent a solid 25 minutes on mobility and PT of left bicep. (I used a 15@# dumb bell, Jay, and was pain free.)

As I’m still resting my arms, I decided to do the WOD posted on the main site, the hero WOD “Manion”.

7 rounds for time of:
Run 400 meters
135# back squat, 29 reps

I knew the WOD was going to be tough, as well it should be, but I had no idea just how difficult.

I was worried that I wasn’t going to be able to back squat 135# for that many reps without failing, so I placed a 25# and 2, 10# plates on the ends of the bar, figuring that I could drop to 115 or even 95# if I had to. In addition, I decided that if I began to weaken and/or falter that I could stop after 5 or 6 rounds. I was ready to do whatever I needed to do to get the best workout – while still maintaining power output.

My goals from ideal to tolerable:

  • Complete as prescribed in less than 40 minutes
  • Complete as prescribed in less that 45 minutes
  • Complete 6 rounds as prescribed
  • Complete 5 rounds as prescribed
  • Complete 7 rounds, dropping to 115 if need be
  • Complete 7 rounds, dropping to 95 if need be
  • Complete as many rounds as possible and dropping weight as needed, i.e., dropping to 115 and 95

I set up the rack just inside the back garage door. It was a beautiful, albeit overcast, morning, with a temperature of 60 degrees.

The first 400m run was a breeze. There were many thoughts going through my mind. I was very concerned with failing on a back squat, for if I did so I’d have to either clean the bar to the rack or take off weights to get the bar to the rack. I didn’t want to do that. At the last minute I decided that I would do no more than 5 reps at a time, meaning that I’d have to rack the bar 5 (or more if I did less than 5 reps) times each round. And that’s what I did. And I’m glad that I did! I completed the first 3 rounds in reps of 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, & 4, running even splits for the 400m. I began with low bar but changed to high bar back squats for the fourth and remaining round. Regardless, I can unequivocally state that all squats were below parallel.

I was beginning to tire, and was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to do more than 5 rounds, as for the fourth round I completed in reps of 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, & 5. I was getting very, very winded. For the fifth round I thought to myself, “How would you go about coaching someone right now? What advice would you give them? Even if it was Doubting Thomas, what would you say to him?” I positioned myself under the rack, did a back squat, and told myself to pause and rest a second with the bar on my shoulders between reps. It was that easy. Instead of doing reps fast and unbroken, I paused a second or 2 before between each rep. It worked! I completed in reps of 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, & 4. I decided to do a sixth round, and decided to not drop any weight.

My legs felt like they were made out of concrete. I was having a very difficult time running, and I know my last 3, 400m runs weren’t very fast. I didn’t, however, stop.

I ran the sixth 400m, stepped into the box – and almost cried. I just couldn’t imagine doing another round of 29 back squats, let alone 58! I composed myself, positioned myself under the bar, and completed in reps of 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, and 4. I thought, “One last round, one last round. You can do it. Just start running.” And running I did, only this time my legs felt like there were made of concrete and then encased in concrete. I nonetheless didn’t stop. I positioned myself under the bar and thought, “Just 29 left. Get on it.” I completed in reps of 5, 5, 5, 6, 4, & 4. I actually did a round of 6!

I completed the WOD in 36:49, exceeding my ideal goal.

For perspective, I:

  • Averaged about 5: 28 or so a round
  • Ran 1.75 miles
  • Completed 203 back squats
  • Moved 27,405 pounds

Keep in mind that 135 pounds is 93% of my bodyweight.

I provided some coaching during open gym. (Eric, don’t let your hips wing. Alex, keep a neutral neck when dead-lifting.) Claire & Alex, Heather & Paul, Kristin, Jeff, Britt, and Jamie F. (who drove all of the way from Durham) attended the 11am WOD. We had fun on the rings and doing headstands, and then they completed the benchmark “Nicole”. I snapped some awesome pictures!

3 thoughts on “Coacher, coach thyself!

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