Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bear Complex!

What's a bear complex, you ask?

It's a barbell complex that consists of 5 rounds of 7 sets of the following sequence:
  • Power Clean
  • Front Squat
  • Push-Press
  • Back Squat
  • Push-Press
You can't set the barbell down until each round is complete. Rest as needed between rounds, but keep increasing the load on the barbell until you find your max. Your score is the max weight with which you were able to complete a full round.

It sounds easy until you realize that this complex consists of 175 lifts in total.

Or until you watch others struggle through it.

Or until you try it yourself.

I tried it once before in my garage, but had forgotten how much I sucked at it, so I was excited to try it again with the rest of the 5 a.m. class at CrossFit Palo Alto. I was feeling giddy, and blazed through the first three rounds (at 65 pounds, 75 pounds, and 85 pounds). My plan was to lift 95 pounds during the fourth round and then jump to 115 for my final round, but Tim convinced me I was being a dummy. "Do the jump now, before you're too tired. Go for 105."

I finished (albeit just barely) the fourth round at 105. Good thing, too, because after I loaded the barbell up to 115, I crapped out before I could finish the final two sets of the fifth round. Was it disappointing? Yes. But I also enjoyed every second of this barbell complex, even as sweat poured off me in sheets.

I can't wait to attempt this one again. (And I will -- just as soon as I can move back into my house. I miss my garage gym.)