Sumo Dead-Lift Medium-High Pull

Yesterday afternoon my very good friend Amy posted the following on Facebook: You’re a great coach, Coach. Little does she know how meaningful this message is, as I often doubt my coaching abilities. Don’t tell anyone.

Jeff repeatedly reminds me that it’s important for me (and for him) to do I want to do, for example, practicing yoga, giving up distance running, coaching at CFD and CFZ, etc. As I have been restless and somewhat unhappy, he supports my taking a week (or more) off from CFZ to attend sessions at CFBC and/or CFD. (You told me that I was always welcome, Dave. Remember?) If I decide to quit CrossFit, run a marathon, continue and/or quit coaching at CFD and/or CFZ, open a lululemon, buy a new car, etc., he’d completely support me.

Michael Kelley informed me that he will not be reading this week’s blogs. I told him that I would password protect posts, but I’ve chosen to not do so.

This morning Michael Kelley informed me that, as CFZ members read this very blog, he was “irked” that I stated that CrossFit Zeal bores me.

Once again I’ll remind all readers: it’s my blog, so I’ll say whatever I want to say. You may choose to not read.

By means of an example, I would nonetheless like to clarify what I mean. Here goes…

Up until this season, I have been an avid fan of “The Amazing Race”. It’s the only reality show that I’ve had the least bit of interest in watching. I now find the show to be quite boring. This is not to say that the show itself is boring; I’m just bored with the show. See the difference? Good. Thus when I stated in an earlier post that I was bored with CFZ, this doesn’t mean that CFZ is boring; it just means that I’m bored. Still with me? Good.

As another example, I find running to be anything but boring, but a few years ago I became very bored with racing. And I haven’t raced since.

Been there, done that, got the tee shirt.

More than anything, I just need a change of scenery. That’s why I attended the 6am session at CFBC. It’s not that I don’t like CFZ, Michael Kelley, and/or (most of) the CFZ athletes. Are you still with me?

Josh led this morning’s session, and he was surprised that I was waiting in the parking lot when he arrived. He wasn’t late, I was just very early. As I told him, “At my age, I need extra time to focus on mobility.” That and I’m notoriously early for just about everything.

Josh warmly welcomed me, and he and I talked about his recent CFE certification and his marathon relay experience. Nice work, Josh! (I can coach to run faster. Just say the word.)

I was but one of four attendees at the session. I estimate that I had 1K square feet all to myself. I won’t say another word.

I enjoyed the warm up that consisted of straight-legged bear crawls (forward and backward), air squats, KB swings, pushups, running, and then a good 10 minutes of some delightfully painful stretching that focused on the hips. Ouch.

Front Squats
5 @ 70%, 3, 3, 3, 1, 1, 1

I forgot to bring my weightlifting shoes. That won’t happen again.

Josh explained the requirements, and then I asked him to do so again. Ha! Josh did a great job of reviewing the front squat. The only thing I do differently is that I don’t place my hands around the bar before grasping with a 2-finger hold.

We completed FS on the platforms, and plates and clips were easily accessible.

After warming up, I did 5 reps @ 145, and 3 reps @ 175, 180, & 185#. Josh said, “The third rep should be a struggle.” And it usually was.

I then made a major blunder. I attempted 1 lift @ 205, still 15# less than all-time best 1RM but nonetheless my current 1RM. I felt nervous. Read that again. I. Felt. Nervous. I was all up inside my own head, yo. I racked the bar, stepped away from the rack, squatted, and got stuck at the bottom. Josh commented, “You’re speed is very good. You’re squatting very low, and I can see how it’d be easy to get stuck.”

I lowered the weight to 195# and easily completed the lift. I increased to 200# and again easily completed the lift. I increased to 205#, the weight that I was just unable to lift, and again finished the lift. Did I have to struggle to get my hips under the bar and rise? Yes, but I never felt close to failing.

Josh provided great coaching throughout, and he observed almost every lift. My only criticism has much more to do with me than Josh, and faithful readers will know exactly what I’m talking about. Josh said, “You got this, Paul.” Ha! (Please don’t take offense, Josh. I’ll explain the next time I see you.)

Tabata “Mash Up”
Sumo dead-lift high pulls (95#)
Air squats

We completed 16 rounds (8 minutes) and alternated between SDHP and air squats, beginning with SDHP. Josh reviewed requirements for SDHP, including 3-part hips/legs/shins finish. I had planned on using 80 or 85#, but as 85# felt easy and manageable, I put 2, 25# plates on the bar. Rx, yo.

Josh may very well have said how the Tabata was going to be scored, but I had it in my mind that we’d have a score for SDHP and air squats that would be the lowest number of reps completed for any round.

My goal was to attempt to complete as many reps as possible the first round, gauge from there, and determine goal number of reps on second round. I completed 9 SDHP (but just barely) and 20 air squats the first round, and 8 SDHP and 19 air squats the second round. My goal, then, was to complete 8 SDHPs and 19 air squats for the remaining rounds, and I did so through the 6th round. I often had 2 or 3 seconds remaining during round of air squats. That’s okay, as it was nice to have just a few seconds of extra rest before starting SDHPs. I then heard Josh say, “Get as many reps as possible. Don’t leave anything in the tank!” I then realized that we might be counting total number of reps. Damn it. I completed 8 SDHP and 20 air squats the 7th round, and 9 SDHP and 21 air squats the last round.

When all was said and done, I was a sweating, heaving mess. After confirming with Josh that the score was total number of reps, I grabbed my iPhone and launched the calculator app. As I was sweating on the screen, the calculator wouldn’t work. I did the math wrong, and incorrectly reported my score to Josh. Once I had caught my breath and composed myself, I re-did the math, and wrote my correct score on the whiteboard.

66 SDHP + 156 air squats = 222 total reps.

My shins and thighs are banged and bruised.

Thanks again, Josh! I look foward to WODding at CFBC again later this week.

I had to stop by CFZ this evening to gather my jump rope, weightlifting shoes, and notebook. I let Michael Kelley know that I would be stopping by, and also told him that he could leave my belongings in the office if he didn’t care to see me. When I entered the box I immediately saw my shoes placed on a bench — and in clear view. Well, okay then. I greeted everyone (after I peed), making sure to say hello to Michael Kelley. Blah, blah, blah.

Nathanael asked, “How was your day, Paul?” I replied, “Good. It was the first day of orientation for new employees. As they are located all over the country and Europe, the first week of training is held remotely.” “Will they be here next week?” Nathanael asked. “Yes,” I said. Michael Kelley approached and asked, “Did you say that you won’t be here next week, Paul?”

We’ll see, Michael Kelley. We’ll see.


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