Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday's Workout: Full of Grace

If nothing else, today's workout offered proof that endorphin-generated exercise-induced euphoria is very, very real.

Strength Skill:
  • Weighted Ring Dips (2 sets of 3, 3 sets of 1)

 PR! On my final rep, I stuffed all 50 pounds into the weight vest, jammed a 30-pound dumbbell into my crotch, held my breath, and cranked out a fairly decent ring dip. It felt mighty fine, and for a second, I was tempted to go heavier...but it was time for the metcon.
And it was a doozy.
More after the jump...

  • For time: 30 squat clean-and-jerks (155lbs/100lbs)
Just like "Grace," only heavier, and with deep squats thrown in. It was also the final event of the 2008 CrossFit Games -- the one made famous by 14-year-old Kallista Pappas.

Frankly, I wasn't sure how to feel about this one.

Thirty squat clean-and-jerks didn't sound like a lot, and while I knew I couldn't manage all the jerks at the full RXed weight, I figured I could definitely go heavier than I did the last time I encountered Grace. (I went with 115 pounds.) But before today, I'd never attempted a squat clean.

While we set up our bars, Tim explained that it was acceptable -- though not preferable -- for us to get through the workout by power-cleaning the barbell up to rack position, doing a front squat, and then jerking the weight overhead. No squat cleans were necessary. But why pass up a perfectly good opportunity to jump into the deep end of the pool?

Here's what I learned today:
  • The deep end of the pool isn't as scary as one might think.
  • From a technical perspective, squat cleans aren't that difficult to learn -- especially once you already know how to do a power clean and a front squat.
  • But repeatedly exploding down into a deep squat -- and then standing back up with the weight across your collar -- takes a lot out of you. (Okay, maybe not you, but definitely me.)
  • I'm glad I wore my lifting shoes today. And not just because of the super-satisfying TWACK! they make against the floor when I properly executed squat cleans. They also kept me from tipping backwards and dropping the bar onto the top of my skull.
  • I really, really, REALLY need to stop taking such long breaks between reps.
  • Towards the end, I muscled up some of my jerks. Not good.
  • It took me more than twice as long to finish this "Heavy Grace" variation than I needed to wrap up good ol' Regular Grace.
  • But it was a blast. I can't wait to do this one again.
Result: 9:57.

After coffee, I got home and couldn't stop bouncing off the walls. Even when I suck at this stuff, I love it.