Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday's Workout

The strangest thing about getting up to exercise and finishing my workout before the break of dawn? By the end of the day, I've mostly forgotten what happened in my early-morning CrossFit class. The details get hazy, as if everything at the gym actually occurred in a dream. As a result, it sometimes feels like I've gone days between workouts.

I'm looking forward to forgetting about today's session.

Strength Skill:
  • Presses (3 sets of 5, followed by 3 sets of 3)
We're not talking about push-presses. No bending of the knees, no hip drive, no jerking the barbell -- just strict muscle presses, engaging the lats and core to force the bar overhead. A pure upper-body exercise -- one that's vastly superior to the bench press. As Mark Rippetoe points out, unlike the bench press:
Pressing a bar overhead develops core strength, and somehow manages to do so without a Swiss ball. Since the kinetic chain -- the parts of the body involved in the transmission of force from the places where it is generated to the places where it is applied -- in the press starts at the ground and ends at the hands, everything in between these two points gets worked, one way or another. This includes pretty much everything. Specifically, the trunk and hip muscles have to stabilize the body while the force being generated by the arms and shoulders gets transmitted between the bar and the floor. This can get really hard when the weight gets up close to 1RM [1-rep max], and heavy presses require and develop a thick set of abs and obliques.
Sadly, I don't have a "thick set of abs and obliques" (yet?), and my current 1RM is a puny 110 pounds. (I ought to be able to go heavier, given that I don't seem to have any trouble with handstand push-ups.) Nonetheless, I gave it all I got, and managed to accrue a ton of time under tension -- mostly because I wasn't able to quickly power the bar up.


This was the part of today's workout that fried me. It triggered traumatic flashbacks to Fight Gone Bad.

AMAP (As Many As Possible):

3 rounds:
  • 1 minute of push-ups
  • 1 minute of deadlifts (using a 135-pound barbell)
  • 1 minute of pull-ups
  • 1 minute of rowing
  • 1 minute of rest
The entire workout takes 14 minutes (if you don't count the final minute of rest). Your score is comprised of the total number of push-ups, deadlifts and pull-ups you can crank out, added to the total number of calories you row.

Result: I blazed through the first round (50 push-ups!) but was gassed for the final two rounds. My totals:
  • Round 1: 93
  • Round 2: 77
  • Round 3: 76
  • Total: 246
The good: My last set of deadlifts was unbroken. I didn't let go of the bar, and I didn't rest. Thirty-one reps in less than a minute! Plus, I was the point leader in my class today, which helps make up for my last-place finish on Wednesday.

The bad: I can't move my arms.