Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wednesday's Workout: 3 Minutes Is A Long Time

My quads haven’t stopped aching since Murph, so I’ve been squeezing into a pair of compression pants before bedtime for the past few nights. As I’ve written before, multiple studies suggest that this body-hugging gear does appear to help reduce post-exercise trauma and muscle soreness when worn during recovery.

So did I notice a difference? Hard to say. I still woke up with stiff, sore legs. But hey: It’s deadlift day at CrossFit Palo Alto. I wasn't about to let a little achiness get in the way of another chance to work towards a new PR.

Strength Skill:
  • Deadlifts (3 sets of 3, 2 sets of 1)

PEE ARRR, baby! My previous best was precisely 2X my bodyweight, but today, I managed to yank 5 additional pounds off the ground. Granted, I didn't exactly set the world on fire, but it still felt pretty friggin' heavy. It took everything I had to stand up with the weight. And just as soon as I hoisted up the bar, I lost my grip on it, and the plates dropped with a resonant KA-CLUNK!

From across the room, Tim admonished me for splashing the weights before getting set. "In a weightlifting meet, you gotta hold it ‘til the white light goes off!”

“Oh, I saw a white light all right,” I responded.


As many reps as possible:
  • 3 minutes of strict presses (75lbs/55lbs)
  • 3 minutes of rest
  • 3 minutes of push presses (75lbs/55lbs)
  • 3 minutes of rest
  • 3 minutes of jerks (75lbs/55lbs)
There was a nasty twist to this one: During each 3 minutes of activity, the penalty for resting the bar -- either across the shoulders or on the ground -- was 5 burpees. Clearly, the objective was to keep moving for three minutes straight. Still, with 75 pounds on the bar, this didn't sound too hard. After all, what's three minutes?

Answer: An eternity, it turns out.

In the first round, I managed only 25 reps, and dropped the bar three times, which meant having to crank out 15 burpees. I expected the strict presses to be the most difficult of the three exercises, so I didn't freak out too much about my crappy performance. Still, I vowed not to drop the weight in the second round.

Didn't happen. In the second round, despite accumulating 31 push presses, I dropped the bar three times again. Another 15 burpees. Crap.

In the final round, I was determined to not only surpass my Round 2 results, but also keep the bar moving. No more burpees! No more burpees! No more burpees! I managed to eke out 32 jerks, but of course, I dropped the bar three times again -- the last time, just A HALF SECOND before time was up, which meant I had five final burpees to complete even after the clock had stopped.

  • Round 1: 25 reps
  • Round 2: 31 reps
  • Round 3: 32 reps
  • Total: 88 reps (and 45 burpees) as RXed.
The best thing about today's workout? I didn't once think about the soreness in my legs. The worst thing about today's workout? I'm going to have to wear a compression shirt to bed tonight.