Thursday, January 8, 2009 by Rebecca

A return to the 5x5

Today Daniel and I started back up with our 5x5's. At the moment, we're only setting aside one day to do this instead of going to class. So when I told Daniel that what I wanted to work on was OHS and SDHP in order to focus and practice on my core and stability, but he pointed out that I couldn't move any significant amount of weight with those two exercises, and I would be forgoing the main purpose of the 5 x 5 practice which was to move enough heavy stuff to inspire my body to release HGH so that I can get stronger faster. I also realized that I get a fair bit of core and stability work in the CFEB classes, so I decided to compromise and do back squats and either cleans or SDHP. If we do decide to add Sundays then maybe I can add OHS then.

Warmup: 600m row (at a 'jog' pace), ME, 25 squats, 15 pushups, 30 situps.

Back Squat x 5: 45-45-55-55-55-55-55

Hang Power Clean x 5: 45-45-50-50-55(PR)-55-55
Leg Lifts in captains chair (inserted between clean sets) : 5 reps + 10 second hold, 10 reps + 20 second hold

Hang Power Clean X 1: 60-65(f)


I'm pretty happy with how today went.

The back squats were not the heaviest I've tried, and I am pretty sure there's room for improvement next week. My first warmup set felt ridiculously hard for an empty bar, and then Daniel reminded me about keeping everything tight and holding my breath, and the next set was MUCH easier. I am so lucky to have him around! He is going to be such a great trainer :-)

I found that the first 3 reps were pretty straight forward, and I'd start struggling around rep 4. I did not fail any reps, but a couple came close. Daniel and I watched a few squat and clean & jerk videos when we got home, and there was one from Coach Rip on "hip drive" in the squat - in which he essentially said you should lead with your ass when coming out of the hole in a squat, and that if you lead with your chest, you take the tension off your hamstrings and get stuck - which I think is exactly what was happening to me on the reps where I got stuck. On the whole, I feel like these have come a long way. My form has improved a lot, and a weighted bar no longer makes me stagger around in the cage. (let alone an empty bar)

As for the cleans, I didn't remember that I had ever really managed to clean more than just the 45# bar - though apparently I did on 11-8-08. However, I was still really encouraged at how (relatively) easy the bar kept going up. It's proof positive that I am a great deal stronger than once I was. I kept adding weight because 5 reps did not feel like enough work. The 1 rep max attempts were tacked on at the end while I was waiting for Daniel to finish his set. I was SUPER close to being able to pull 65 - i tried about 4 times (with rest in between) - but I just couldn't quite convert it. I think I'd be able to do it if I was well warmed up and otherwise fresh. I feel certain that it will come soon.

I'm glad to be doing this again, because as nice as the constant variety of CrossFit is, it's also nice to have something standard to go back to on a regular basis where performance gain (or lack thereof) is easily assessable.


Melissa Byers said...

Hey hey, strong work here! And yes, it sounds like your man is going to make one hell of a trainer. I'm glad you're working the big lifts - you'll see more bang for your 5x5 buck. As for squats, I love that Rip "hip drive" video. Also, play around with bar position - a tiny bit higher or lower on your back can make a huge difference in how it feels (and how they go). Keep it up!

Evelyn Rodas said...

"It's proof positive that I am a great deal stronger than once I was." Umm, yeah! Do you believe us now? LOL. Great work, Bekka! I love it that you and Daniel went home and checked out lifting videos.
Oh, and thank you for giving the leg lift contraption a name I can remember: captain's chair. Did you make that up? Now we need a good name for the Gravitron. Who makes these names up? They're even more dumb than the names they give make-up colors. Sea-foam green??? Who wants to put friggin' sea foam on their eyelids???

Jenn said...

Fantastic progress, Rebecca! Sounds like that 65# HPC is right there, just waiting to bust out.

Rebecca said...

Of course I believe you - I always did - it's just nice to see the evidence :-)

I heard "Captian's Chair" from ... someone ... don't remember who so I can't take credit. But I like the name Gravitron - it sounds all futuristic-y and Tron like. I do agree that make-up names are lame, but they are evocative.

Melissa - I did try playing with the bar position. My first warmup set was low bar, and all the rest were high bar. I think i really prefer it high - though I will try the low bar again just to be sure.

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