Friday, May 28, 2010

Lifting Heavy Things

So you all have heard me talk ad nausea about intense aerobic crossfit WODs. (WOD stands for Workout of the day and it is the short intense varied work that people think of when they think about crossfit -- okay if they think about crossfit.) But there is another, often overlooked, component to crossfit. The component that my coach thinks is most interesting and the most important. And, unfortunately, the component hardest for me mentally and physically. And that is strength training, basically lifting big huge weights. And there is none of that high rep light weight nonsense where you building 'strength' and not 'bulk'. In our workouts the amount of weight you do varies based on the number of reps, but the point is to push yourself to the edge, so you're lifting a weight that you almost can't lift. Which is not only a physical challenge, but a huge mental challenge. For me, this past year has been about learning the movements and form of these exercises, so I can lift the heavy weights. I'm not there with all my exercises, but I'm working on it. My goal for the next year, is to get good.

Today I had a bit of a dead lift break through. Actually the sad part is that I was bad at dead lifts. Then I got good. Then I was really bad for a while. But today, finally, hopefully, I've turned it around again.

I was just reviewing the blog, and a little over a year ago I did a crossfit challenge that involved 20 70K (154lbs) dead lifts. I was too scared to do 70k and so I scaled back to 60K. I remember a month or two after that when I first started at my current gym, we did a workout with 70k dead lifts and I felt apart. It was just about the hardest thing I had ever done. (A 70k proscribed weight dead lift workout would be one where you do a higher number of reps). But, slowly I got stronger and 70k didn't feel so bad.

When I started dead lifting as part of strength training instead of just during the WOD, I really started to see improvements in my WOD dead lifts. My dead lift form was good, and I got so I was strong. I did a one rep max of 106k (233lbs) in November and felt like I could have gone heavier. Then tragedy struck. Sometime around the beginning of the year I was doing 1 set of 5 reps at 100k or so and I wasn't using proper form and I tweaked something in my hamstring. For the next couple months it all sucked. My brain was as tweaked (okay probably more tweaked) than my hamstring. I was scared to lift heavy weight. I kept failing in my heavy dead lift attempts. Even when I did lighter weight, my form was terrible and my back would start aching. Plus, I had to listen to Craig (my coach) yelling at me all the time. This went on for a frustingly long amount of time. But in the last couple weeks something clicked again and I got my groove back. Two months ago I tried 1 set of 5 reps at 102k and could only do 3. Today, Craig wanted me to try 102 again. I tried to convince him to let me try 100. Somehow, I felt my brain was up to the challenge of 100 but not 102 (4 pounds heavier). Plus, I really felt I needed to be successful, and didn't think I could at 102. But, Craig insisted, so I reigned my brain in AND got all 5 AND it felt good!

Whooooo, now to just get my squat, snatch, push press, and push jerk down. I've got 11 months until my next birthday. My goal is to be a weight lifting super star by then! Actually, my goal is to do a 46K snatch when I turn 46!

1 comment:

tracy said...

great goals 'berta! nice work on the heavy lifting...not many people can do that!