Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday's Workout

At the start of class this morning, we learned that the gym’s Max Effort Black Box programming was evolving ever-so-slightly. Instead of just doing three-week cycles of strength skills workouts paired with short metcons, we’re now adding a fourth week to each cycle devoted exclusively to longer WODs.

I love working on improving my lifting technique and developing strength, so I was a little bummed out at first, but it didn’t take me long to warm up to the idea. After all, this is an opportunity to do something new and different. With the exception of the occasional Hero WOD, we rarely devote much time in class to working the aerobic/oxidative metabolic pathway. Plus, we’re only testing our ability to “go long” one week a month -- which means we won’t be spending too much time in the land of catabolism.

And hey, at least we’re not doing three Hero WODs this week.

On tap for today -- “Cindy”:

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes:
  • 5 pull-ups
  • 10 push-ups
  • 15 squats
I love bodyweight-centric metcon workouts. We’ve done a half-Cindy before, and a three-quarters-Cindy, too, and both were fun. And just a few weeks ago, we did Murph, which is basically 20 rounds of Cindy sandwiched between two 1-mile runs. But we’d never done a full, classic Cindy in class until today.

I really, really wanted to crush it. My goal was to complete 18 to 20 rounds in 20 minutes -- but I was hoping to end up closer to 20 than 18.

I shot out of the gate, blazing through the pull-ups, push-ups and squats in record time (for me, anyway). The first round took me 30 seconds, tops. I didn’t slow down much for the next few rounds, either. I felt awesome.

And then the wheels came off.

I had zero problems with the pull-ups or squats -- I never had to drop off the pull-up bar before finishing each 5-rep set, and the squats were fast and easy. But the push-ups were killing me today. Tim suggested that I adjust my hand positioning to put less stress on my shoulders, but for whatever reason, my push-ups just fell apart today. After ten rounds or so, I had to stop every 4 or 5 reps. After 15 rounds, I was reduced to pausing every 3 reps or so. It was ugly. I found myself looking forward to the squats and pull-ups just so I could take a break from the push-ups.

Result: 18 and a half rounds. (I made it 11 reps into my 19th round, but didn't finish -- what else? -- the push-ups.) Not terrible, but I certainly didn't get as close to 20 rounds as I'd hoped.

Of these three exercises, push-ups used to be the easiest for me -- so much so that I’ve obviously neglected them in favor of learning other moves. Today, they were the rate-limiting step. Looks like I need more practice.

But not today. Too damned sore. I'm too achy to even kick myself properly.