In my quest for lean superhero-ness, I’m following the Wendler 5/3/1 strength training program. Twice a week, Dave and I are hitting the craptastic gym in our Converse to lift heavy and crank through a mini-metcon.
Grin Grimace and Bear It
Not this bear:
I mean the deadly Bear Complex. In case you’re not familiar, it’s a workout made up of 5 rounds of a barbell series (a.k.a., “complex”) that includes 7 reps of the following:
power clean — front squat — push press — back squat — push press
You do that SEVEN times to make up one round — and you do five rounds. If you’re doing it as RX’d.
It’s tough, man! It’s a… well, it’s a bear.
And I love it.
Here’s a video so show you how it looks in action:
So that was my cashout on Tuesday. Exactly two hours after my workout, my abs started to complain, and yesterday, I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. In the very best way possible, but hit by a truck, nonetheless.
Yesterday was a 12-hour writing day, and I took breaks every hour to do yoga breathing and lie on the floor, stretching my various sore muscles and being grateful I could shuffle around in yoga pants, Ravens sweatshirt, and barefoot shoes.
Here’s some free advice from me to you: Don’t neglect your cleans because when you finally make your way back to them, as we all should, it can be painful business.
(I should also mention that it was totally badass to throw around the barbell that way. I didn’t do the Bear Complex as RX’d because I was using it as a cashout, and I might have rested more than prescribed, but it still kicked my ass. Just as a bear should.)
5:00 treadmill: started at 3mph and increased speed every minute til I was jogging
2 rounds with PVC:
11 jumping jacks
11 air squats
11 good mornings
static squat hold/ankle stretch
hip and shoulder mobility
5 @ 65% of max =125#
5 @ 75% of max = 145#
max reps @ 85% of max = 165# – I did 7.
Oh, my! These are getting heavy. We call this Serious Weight when we’re at the craptastic.
5 @ 65% of max =60#
5 @ 75% of max = 65#
max reps @ 85% of max = 75# – I did 4.
Only four reps at 75# was kind of disappointing. I’ve been doing a set of band pullups at the end of my warmup, and I think I need to move them all to the cashout because I think those 7 assisted pullups tanked my OH press. LAME!
For time but not really:
3 rounds of Bear Complex: Without putting the bar down, but rest between rounds as necessary: power clean + front squat + push press + back squat + push press. Do that sequence 7 times to make one round. (Note: RX’d is 5 rounds with an increase in weight on each round.)
7 reps @ 50# (rested until I stopped gasping)
7 reps @ 60# (rested until my vision cleared 😉
7 reps @ 60#
My time: 10:31
I had fun with this one: sometimes I did a full squat clean instead of a power clean, and on some reps, I combined the front squat and push press into a thruster. (‘Cause you doesn’t love thrusters? Oh, right! I don’t.)
2 X 7 deadhang pullups with a band
handstand hold at the wall, lots of jiggling my feet away from the wall but still no true, free-standing handstand. Yet
Tuesday evenings are my time to go to Kundalini Yoga, and usually it’s a mostly relaxing, meditative experience. But this week, Harmanjeet decided we needed to “break through blocks,” which turned out to be code for “shit-tons of poses that work the core.”
Have you ever done the Bear Complex? Wanna try it? Let us know in comments.
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