Front Squats

Back on May 30th I wrote about doing a 21-15-9 WOD containing front squats and feeling good about using 95lbs for the whole WOD.  I also wrote in that post that my PR was 125lbs.

Now, this PR was and is far from being written in stone as I’ve never actually attempted a 1RM (one rep max) front squat to see where my limits are.  On Wednesday with Coach Steve, I was able to take some frustrations out on the barbell and rack and prove to myself that I have more in me.

I hadn’t originally planned on going to CrossFit 403 on Wednesday night because I had a meeting and some other obligations but by 530 my day had taken a nose dive and I was pretty cranky.  I hummed and hawed about whether or not I was going to go before Melinda finally said “just go, you know you’ll feel better afterwards”.

Not knowing what to expect, I got into the car and dragged my grumpy self to the box.

After a really solid warm-up with Coach Steve we started on front squats, being tasked with doing 3 front squats on the minute for 8 minutes—so if you do all 3 squats in 15 seconds, you have 45 seconds of rest.

Knowing what I have done in the past with front squats and having never tried 135lbs, I set the bar with 135lbs.  I felt confident that I’d finish at this weight and by round 6 of 8 I knew I had picked the correct weight because it was feeling heavy.  Round 7 and 8 both involved a bit of grunting but I finished well within the minute for all of the rounds so I was content.

The WOD itself was familiar to those who had done the 2011 CrossFit Open, though not to me.  Known as 11.1, this WOD is a 10 minute AMRAP of 30 double unders with 15 power snatches at 75lbs.

I decided that I was going to do this whole WOD at RX, so 75lb lifts and all double unders.  With RX in mind, I set a goal of 4 rounds saying out loud that I’d be happy with 3-3.5 rounds. 

With Coach Steve (who we decided REALLY needs a nickname) counting down “3…2…1…GO”, we were off.  I finished the first round just inside 2 minutes and thought to myself “holy shit, I might be able to maintain this”.

By Round 3 my double unders were messy and my snatches were using too much lower back and not enough leg (which Steve noticed and corrected swiftly).  Realizing that I was getting ahead of myself and doing things wrong I took a quick 20 second break to reset my mind–I was still under the 7 minute mark at this point.  I finished off round 3 and got back on the skipping rope.  I must have gotten a second wind though because I cranked off my double-unders in 3 sets and got back to the bar, doing 3 sets of 5 on the snatches.  The clock was sitting at 9:50 at this point so I quickly grabbed my rope and got one last double under in before time expired—

Final count, 4 rounds + 1 double-under, RX.

I was and am extremely happy with that, especially seeing the other folks who got 4 rounds + at RX.  Very happy indeed! On the drive home too I realized something else, I wasn’t mad anymore…surprise, Melinda was right.

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