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 stuff and work on skills. (If you’re new to strength training, here’s a great overview of what all the lingo below means.)
On one hand, I had a triumphant epiphany yesterday. On the other, I endured a serious ego bashing. Let’s examine these conflicting forces, shall we?
I usually workout first thing in the morning, lest something that happens later in the day derail me from my commitment to move my body. But this week, I’m experimenting with a reverse schedule. I’m waking up early, meditating, then writing while I’m alert and energetic. After lunch, I’m scheduled to write for two more hours, then it’s workout time. Yesterday was my first time to try the revamped approach.
Thing went pretty much according to plan until we left for the gym at 5:00 p.m. Harrumph! Traffic! As work-from-homers, we’d forgotten about rush hour traffic. My frustration expanded exponentially as we crept forward slower than I could walk the same distance. Our commute to the gym usually takes 10 minutes; at the 20-minute mark, we weren’t even halfway there.
Then it started to rain.
And not just rain… it was a wrath of God storm: horizontal rain, thunder, lightning… the streets were almost instantly turned into running rivers, and at one point, I literally couldn’t see through the windshield. We decided that throwing around the barbells wasn’t worth being the people they show on the local news who make everyone wonder WHAT THE HELL THEY WERE DOING ON THE ROAD IN WEATHER LIKE THAT, so we decided to turn around and come home But by then, it had started to hail… plus horizontal rain, thunder, lightning, rivers in the street. We pulled into a parking lot to see if the storm would burn itself out. After 15 minutes, the drumming on the roof of the car finally let up enough for Dave to drive us home. Total round trip: 1 hour… with no workout to show for it.
When I got home, I marched myself out to my office and did the body weight workout I shared on my blog a few days ago.
Here’s the epiphany: Despite the fact that I’m sometimes quite hard on myself, I have come a long way. There was a time when I looked for any excuse to not workout. But there was no question yesterday that I was going to get my sweat on. I didn’t need to browbeat myself into it, and I didn’t take the inclement weather as a “sign” that I could lie on the couch instead. In fact, I wanted to workout. My body craved it. I was looking forward to it. I’m no longer the overweight girl who’ll do anything to avoid getting sweaty. I know it may seem silly that I have to remind myself of that, but sometimes I forget how much I’ve changed.
The Ego Bashing
Before we cheer too loudly for the good news above, let me be honest about the pushup situation.
Oh, my! The Pushup Situation.™
When I first started CrossFit in 2008, I made it my mission to get good at pushups. I started on my knees and eventually graduated to my toes, and I was excited about it. But then I had to backtrack because my hands were way out in front of my shoulders and my elbows bent so far to the sides, I looked like a goal post. I started on my knees again, with my elbows tucked in and my hands right under my shoulders, and eventually, I worked up to chest-to-floor pushups that were a thing of beauty. I remember the day I “did them right” for the first time, and there was no going back after that. I could string them together 20 at a time! I felt like a badass.
Then the thyroid meltdown happened, followed by a nagging pain in my right shoulder (which lead to months of rehab and no pushups). The thing about pushups is that they demand regular practice. Pushups are whiny little brats that need consistent attention. And honestly, my pushups are pissed at me right now because I’ve been spending so much time with handstands.
Yesterday was the first time in months that I attempted to do toe pushups at any kind of volume, where “volume” is five.
My workout consisted of four rounds. On the first three rounds, I managed to eke out 5 on my toes, followed by 6 on my knees, with really good form. On the last round, I collapsed on the third one and COULDN’T PRESS BACK UP. For serious! I was at complete failure.
But also invigorating! Guess who’s putting pushups back into her regular training routine?!
The pushups also played a role in my strength training workout today. My upper body is fatigued and a little sore and I can definitely tell that I Did Something With My Shoulders yesterday. Read on…
5:00 treadmill: started at 3mph and increased speed every minute t0 4 mph
11 PVC back squats
11 good mornings
5 toe pushups + 6 knee pushups
11 squat to hamstring stretch
static squat hold & ankle stretch
5 @ 65% of max =135#
5 @ 75% of max = 155#
max reps @ 90% of max = 175# – I did 5.
volume set: max reps @ 65% of max = 135# – I did 13.
5 @ 65% of max =60#
5 @ 75% of max = 70#
max reps @ 90% of max = 75# – I did 0. Seriously. I had to do them as push presses.
volume set: max reps @ 65% of max = 60# – I did 7.
Good Heavens to Betsy Ross! I had ZERO press today. I’m blaming the pushups; whiny little brats. My shoulders and arms were seriously noodle-y this morning. I can usually knock out 75# presses with no drama, but this morning I had to push press that weight. Dave’s awesome response? “That means you did what you’re supposed to. It’s all about lifting to failure, so good job!” And that is why Dave is an awesome training partner.
11 front squat, 75#
5 body rows
2X :15 seconds against the wall
What’s the skill/move you (reluctantly) need to work on?
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