Yesterday I had a 1:1 session with my coach Sam. For a variety of reasons it was a hard session to go to & I very nearly didn’t. But I went, unsure of how I would feel.
We warmed up with a 500m row then for something new 3 x 10 back extensions on the GHD, and no sadly I am not talking about the hair straightener. Below is what it looks like. You can also do the most intense sit ups on it as well.
The back extensions are a little disconcerting as you lean right off the front edge and then curl yourself under and then back up to as far as you can extend. The first couple seem ok, but after about 5 they become really intense. Through your glutes and back and hammy’s. I worked up a sweat and had my heart rate up whilst doing these.
The actual workout was going to be a mental challenge Sam tells me.
2 rounds for time:
20 back squats
20 back squats
We started out by stretching and doing some mobility work on hips. Some of these exercises feel like a workout in themselves I can tell you. After did that Sam wanted me to do a few air squats to check my depth.
In Crossfit a squat usually only counts if your butt goes below the parallel of your knees. I have never even got close to this depth. My squatting was a bit of a project since I started Crossfit to try get full range. Full range is virtually butt to the ground.
Anyway I took my stance and dropped into a squat. To my astonishment I had easily broken parallel and was lower than I have ever been before. And holding it comfortably. The look on Sam’s face was awesome. At first she was surprised but then totally happy for my improvement. Marc even too some pictures as proof to show me where I was sitting. I kept doing them and was stoked to have finally got there. I was surprised as my legs have been pretty trashed this week by the workouts and I have been quite sore.
Onto the back squats. I didn’t manage to go as low as I did with the air squats with weight on. I think that’s primarily a confidence thing in trusting that my legs are strong enough to lift me back up. But I was maintaining a decent depth on each movement.
We worked up to a weight which we felt would be challenging for the 20 reps. We set the bar at 40kg. My maximum back squat at the moment is 70kg for 1 so a little over half way.
20 reps is hard. And Sam was right this was a mental challenge to get through the reps. The first 5 or so were ok but then each rep after that required a lot of focus. If I wanted to rest I had to keep the bar on my back and not put it back on the rack. Again hard mentally to keep holding that weight. I tried to focus on pushing myself. Each squat I had to tell myself I could lift back up again. I was mentally drained before the session so this added another layer to that.
I got through the 20 reps and then had to get straight onto skipping. The first few skips were pretty ugly as my legs totally did not want to start jumping after the GHD and then Back Squats. Finished the skipping then back on the squats.
The second set was harder again, both physically and mentally. Sam was to my right encouraging me and pushing me as she always does so well. I thought of my amazing friend Hoffy who did 2000 burpees earlier this week and I know how much pain she was in doing that. I knew that pain for her last a lot longer than this workout would take me so I just focused and kept pushing through them.
I completed the entire workout in 9m15s. Which was ok. I wasn’t rushing through the back squats but then I wasn’t having a relax in-between each one either.
When I got home after the session I did another 20 squats just to make sure it wasn’t a fleeting gap in the time space continuum that allowed it to happen. This morning I got up and did a mini WOD which was:
3 rounds for time
15 push ups
15 push ups
Legs were a bit stiffer and not sure I got as low as yesterday but the depth was a massive improvement.
So far this week I’ve done 4 workouts and had 2 PR’s. One very very hard mentally tough workout on Tuesday where I gave it everything but felt disappointed in myself. My body is sorer than it has been for a long time, but it feels good to have that.
Tomorrow will be a good day. I am training with the crew in the morning then there are a group of people from the 12WBT program coming to give Crossfit a try. They are all a bit excited and somewhat nervous. But they will have a great time and I am happy to share something I love with others.
Crossfit is the universal sport that anyone can do. It just takes effort, commitment, and openness to the community and the desire to push yourself past your own barriers.