Numbers and Goals, Inspiration and Motivation

Perhaps like most CrossFitters, I keep track of my progress across a few chosen fitness benchmarks whether it is monotructural, benchmark metabolic conditioning WODs, gymnastic movements, or weightlifting PBs. Mine may not be the best way of tracking things, and might not even prove useful in programming or any sort of assessment but at least I can see at a glance where I am and where I may want to go.

At the moment it is all about the Olympic Weightlifting moves, the Clean & Jerk and the Snatch. Whilst I am still working on improving my handstand and eventually do handstand walks, as well as doing Rachel’s rope and ring classes (just because it’s fun) I have always been fascinated with the classic lifts once I had a better understanding of it’s technical intricacies.

My goals now, to carve it on the proverbial rock of the interwebs, is to get 100kgs on the C&J and 75kgs on the Snatch. This is approximately 1.5x bodyweight on C&J and a bit more than 1x bodyweight Snatch, up from my current PBs of 85kgs/62.5kgs respectively. Lofty goals for sure (as much as 20% increase), but better to aim for the stars and reach the moon (or something like that).

I don’t have a time frame for it since travelling for work is getting in the way of proper training. But in order to keep the goals firmly in my sights, I have decided that I will reward myself with something permanent and close to my heart in the event that I achieve the numbers. Now Socs might not have approved of that reward, but I still have time to convince her. Maybe she will be so impressed with my (weightlifting) moves that she would just say yes. I’m keeping the reward as a surprise…

On a different note, Socs and I have always endeavored to make this blog a bit more lively with pictures so I leave you with a picture of me doing a fuck ugly power snatch at a measly 35kgs.


Ouch! But I’ll live.

Another session at Crossfit London today, and for those who think that scaled workouts are a walk in the park, here’s what I brought home with me today after doing scaled pull-ups (i.e. less reps than originally prescribed and assisted by a blue band):


Well, that’s one way to remove callus…

Skill of the week:  Handstands and Handstand Push ups; Progression: “Nose to Toes” and Handstand Push Ups with feet on the box
Skill: Double Unders
Strength: establish 1RM Snatch
5 Rounds —
3 Hang Power Snatch (30 kgs)
6 Pull Ups (blue band)

My “nose to toes” are still not as close to the wall as they should be, but maybe if I practice my forward roll and learn how to bail out of it properly then it can improve.

On my snatch, I have finally lifted that 35 kgs again!  Having only done it once before, I have been doubting myself and even wondered if it really happened.  But today Kat had added the weight in without letting me see it — the idea that I should “just lift” and not think too much of the weight.  Result:  35 kg snatch!  She did add in a few more (37.5 kgs) but that didn’t quite happen.  A new snatch goal has been set!

The workout originally required 12 pull ups.  On my first round I was kipping the reps even with the band and I got called out for that.  So on my next reps, I could only string them into 2s and then just singles.  Even then it was a struggle to do them strict and with the proper height.  Hopefully my persistence tonight — and some continuous training —  I can add to my 1 pull up and improve on any next WODs with strict pull ups.  Finished 5 rounds at around 11:30 with blood on my hands, literally (see photo above).

Hobbled home after that,  and I was seriously walking funny and very slowly.  Did I mention that I still have a bad case of DOMs from Tuesday’s squats?

Mix and match

5/3/1+ Bench Press 135# for 6 reps
5/3/1+ Deadlift 127kgs for 1 rep

Olympic Lifting
Snatch practice 60kgs

I almost decided to be a lazy bastard and sleep out the tremendous heat that is Manila (shameful for a local, I know) but I got a sudden burst of energy and decided to head out before laziness got the better of me. I’m looking at my numbers for the bench press and I may need to be a bit more consistent on what weight I lift. Last time I did it I went for bigger numbers and it felt ok. This time, when it should have gone up, I ended up lifting lower weights (following the correct calculations). That basically means it is all screwed up and I am not following the programming. I simply estimated my 1RM last time around and I think I was a bit off on that.

If you’ve noticed, my deadlift numbers are in kgs. That is because the only place I could do deadlifts was the Olympic lifting area. As they only had kg plates in 15s 20s and 25s, I had to use the lbs plates to make up the remaining poundage or kilos (whichever you prefer). I psyched myself to do 2-3 lifted it, thought it was a bit heavy and just pushed through. It was a ‘slow’ one and had a bit of wobbly knees moment. I gave it a bit more thought as to why it felt heavier than expected, and was even contemplating on doing it again as I should be able to lift it at least 2 times. Then it hit me, redid the math and ended up loading 127kgs on the bar instead of the intended 114kgs! Unintended PB!

It was then on to the Olympic lifting session and I screwed this one up as well. I didn’t warm-up properly despite sweating bullets at this point. I failed on every single attempt on the 60kgs. I think it was a combination of the heat, new shoes (I believe the dynamics of my movements changed a bit wearing the Oly shoes) and not going through the different components of the move properly (I think I was lacking the explosion from pockets and I wasn’t aggressive on the second pull). I will consider doing snatches again next time I come in, or do something else.

Burpees got in the way

3×10 Front Squat (50kgs, 40kgs)
1RM Snatch (62.5kgs, 30kgs)

15 minute cap
10 rounds
100m run
10 Deadlift 85kgs, 55kgs
10 Push up

You got that right… 62.5kgs snatch! PB! But I’m getting ahead of myself. We first did 3×10 Front squats and I was initially thinking of doing 60kgs or maybe even 70kgs. However I wasn’t feeling it, and decided to stay safe and stuck with 50kgs. It wasn’t difficult, but it wasn’t easy either.

It was off to some snatch drills then on to trying for a 1RM. I started off doing 40kgs to warm up, and a few more on the 50kgs. No more faffing about and I went straight to 60kgs. I failed on the first attempt, but nailed it on the second! It was a bit of a surprise too! Nobody was looking and I just let out a scream and started dancing around the gym. Goal done, and with the push from Chris I decided to give 62.5kgs a try. It came up on the second attempt as well, I think. I tried for 65kgs but failed on all attempts, close though. So that will be my new target.

The WOD was horrible with the heavy (for us) deadlifts. Socs managed only 7 rounds plus a run while I finished 6 rounds plus a run. The deadlifts got me bad as I had to do them standing over a 10kg plate. I ended up doing singles on the last round with my back tightening up a bit.

Sad happy man

17 minute AMRAP
40 Burpees
30 Snatches 35kgs
30 Burpees
30 Snatches 60kgs
20 Burpees
30 Snatches 75kgs
10 Burpees
As many as possible Snatches 95kgs

Well that’s done.

Managed to do only 100 reps and finished the first set of snatches at 7m37s. It was what I was expecting, but not what I was hoping for. I think I managed to start on the 60kg snatches around the 10 minute mark, which was better than my initial plan. However I failed all of my attempts which was disappointing. I was however able to get the best ‘no rep’ ever on the snatch which is encouraging. Big thanks to Kat, Tom and the rest of the folks who cheered for me.

I reviewed all the failed attempts and I think 60kgs is now definitely in the bag given that everything was in place in terms of technique, even after 100reps of burpees/snatches. I got the bar overhead and it was just a matter of controlling it and standing up.

Big congratulations to everyone in the box, especially to those who had PBs in their snatches after that epic WOD. You all are an inspiration!