I don’t know what lives in your gym, but at CrossFit Austin, there’s a little demon that lives at the bottom of the squat. He seems to only come out of hiding for CrossFit Total, and I’m not sure if he and his brethren haunt others, or just me.
He looks like this:
Right about the time I should be thinking about keeping my core tight and pressing my knees out – in that dark place at the bottom of the back squat where I simultaneously feel both weightless and the weight of the world – the imp whispers to me so that only I can hear him.
Don’t go too low… you won’t be able to stand up. Na na na-na na… you can’t stand up. You can’t stannnnd up. Neener, neener, neener, You can’t stand up.
Sometimes he recruits a few friends to help me with deadlifts, too. They hang themselves from the bar, chattering amongst themselves.
[She’ll never get this off the floor. Never. Never. Never.] Hey, girlie! You’ll never get this off the floor. Ha hahahahahahaha!
Oh, man! I hate those little f*ckers. But yesterday and today, I outsmarted them… and found myself with two new PRs.
I did CrossFit Total on January 18, and it looked like this:
Deadlift: 185# – which I’d be stuck at FOREVER
Back Squat: 140#
Press: 85# (a new PR!)
Yesterday, my lifts looked like this:
Deadlift: 195# – WOOT! New PR.
Back Squat: 150# – WOOT! New PR.
Press: 80# – Sigh. I just crumbled under the 85# yesterday.
HA! The barbell and I snuffed out the demons and imps on the squat and deadlift. Wanna know how we did it?
I’ve talked before about being comfortable being uncomfortable. Yesterday, when it was time to address the bar (hello, barbell!), I gave myself a little pep talk first, then did the new breathing trick I learned recently, and did battle with the imps. I’m really loving this idea of the barbell as the weapon against the monsters, rather than the enemy itself. I like thinking the barbell is on my side. Is the barbell the ultimate weapon? It just might be.
The Back Squat Pep Talk
“To make it count, you’ve gotta get low enough. And you can go low! Knees out, core tight. No reason to be scared down there. Just keep it all tight and STAND UP. Just stand up.” Then I cleared my mind, ignored the imps taunting me from that hole at the bottom of the squat, and took my first breath to settle the bar on my shoulders. Positioned my feet, sucked in an even deeper breath and sat the hell down into it… then I stood up. Done.
The Deadlift Pep Talk
“It’s gonna feel heavy. No matter how little weight is on the bar, it always feels shockingly heavy on that first pull. Do not be fooled. Don’t give that weight any respect. Respect the bar, not the weight. Core tight, press your knees out, lead with your chest, and just STAND UP. Just stand up.” Then I cleared my mind, drop-kicked a few imps off the bar, and in one fluid motion, got my hook grip in place, and stood the hell up.
I had so much fun doing that, I went to the craptastic gym today to hang out with the barbell again. Big thanks to Coach Wes for posting really kickass strength programming at CrossFit Austin every Tuesday. Since we lifted heavy-heavy yesterday, I opted for a workout that had an interesting weight+rep scheme and wasn’t too heavy. I got a little sweaty and had that just-right feeling when I was done: I’d done some work, but I wasn’t wiped.
Press @ 60% 126.96.36.199.3.3 – rest :40 between sets + 3 pushups (55#)
Squat @ 60% 188.8.131.52.2.2 – rest :60 between sets + 3 pushups (95#)
Deadlift @ 60% 184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1 – rest :60 between sets + 3 pushups (115#)
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