Friday, March 2, 2012

Milestone Fast Approaching

Next week marks week 4 of the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation program.  Week 4 is a milestone week where you try to achieve something significant to show how far you have come.
The week of program kick off Sam put me through one of the hardest workouts she has ever designed.  Because of it’s intensity we decided it would be a good benchmark to use to guage my improvements in work capacity.  I called it my Milestone WOD.  Here’s the blog I wrote about it at the time ………..
The WOD consists of
3 Rounds for Time
10 Rope Pulls (from ground to standing)
20 lateral travelling burpees under a rope
30m walking lunge with 7.5kg sandbag
This workout completely shattered me. I honestly did not think I would even complete it.  Even now it scares me.  It took me 30m06s to complete it.  Being Milestone week next week I am going to redo that WOD and our aim is to smash that time.
By the time I get to next Thursday I would have done 46 workout sessions since that first attempt.  All of them intense and hard.  I am hoping this hard work will be reflected in my results and I can smash that time. 
That WOD also challenged me mentally.  I really had to fight hard to keep going.  After 4 solid weeks of training I really feel a lot mentally stronger in my training.  Maybe it’s some of the extra pushing from Sam & Marc to take heavier weights when I didn’t think I could lift them and maybe it’s from seeing results and achieving improvements week in week out.  But I do feel like I can push myself harder and keep going even when I want to stop.
Yesterday I did a double session.  I had my 1:1 with Sam and because the stuff we did was different to the class later I decided to stay & do that as well.
She decided to put me through a Hero WOD for my session.  I was lulled into a false sense of security when she told me that it was going to be purely strength stuff which I love. Pffffft I should of known it wasn’t going to be easy. Partic when she took me to the board and told me it was a Hero workout.
The WOD was ‘DT’
5 rounds for time
12 Deadlift (45kg) The only weight I could Rx
9 Hang Power Cleans (20kg)
6 Push Jerks (20kg)
Seems simple enough on paper right? I was in a world of hurt just by the 2nd round.  How I was going to survive 5 rounds?
Ideally you would do this workout with the one bar set at your weight to enable quick transition to each movement.  However Sam still wanted the Deadlifts to be challenging so we had 2 bars.
Deadlifts are my strong movement, happy to do them all day long.  And for me 45kg is manageable for high fastish reps.  I managed to get through my sets of Deadlifts unbroken eg no stopping.
However my upper body strength is what kills me and my arms fatigue really quickly.  I was getting through the Hang Power Cleans but breaking them up into sets of 5 then 4, after the 4th keeping the bar on my shoulders to start the Push Jerk movement.  Each time I got to this sequence I didn’t think I could get my arms to lift over my head.  They were completely gassed.  But each time they did what they had to do.
As always I had Sam standing right beside me pushing me on and encouraging me not to stop and to keep moving.  Marc was also pushing me, telling me to pick up that bar & keep moving, don’t put it down, get it finished.  When you can hear your coaches pushing you, it creates a feeling of not wanting to disappoint them.  They are investing a lot of time and energy in my work at the moment and I want to keep repaying that by working as hard as I can.  My rest breaks were shorter than I have taken in the past and surprisingly I didn’t even stop for water. The only time I stepped away from the bar was to get more chalk on my hands.  So my work capacity is improving.  I finished in 15m18s which was ok.
It was a tough one again mentally, having to push through the pain and also my brain telling me I couldn’t do it or feeling like I had to stop. 
The second workout had 2 parts.
Death by Pushups
Every minute add one pushup and keep going till you can’t complete the required reps for that minute.
The first few minutes are pretty cruisy but it starts to get tough from about 6mins in.  Being my arms were already shattered I wasn’t sure how many minutes I would last but was going to give it a crack.  Last time I tried this I did the push ups on my knees and made it through 11mins just.  This time I was attempting them on my toes with the assistance of a band to support me. 
It started to get hard around the 7 minute mark and I started to break the sets up.  I was doing to doing them 2 at a time by the end.  I managed to make it all the way through minute 12 and complete 6 reps in minute 13 before my arms gave out.  A new PR and I was stoked considering how tired my arms were.
The next workout was front squats and working up to a new 1RM.
Front Squat 1,1,1,1,1
I haven’t done a lot of front squats, and when I have done them have had very little weight. Usually 20kg max.  I started warming up to get to my single reps and before I knew it I was starting my single reps at 35kg!  My form was good and my squat was a little deeper than I had previously gone.  Getting closer to full depth.  Eventually I worked my way to my final rep at 45kg.  I possibly could have gone a little heavier but had run out of attempts.  Still was happy that ever rep was a new PR.  That gave me a lot of confidence back with that movement.
It was a hard day of training after already having completed a circuit session in the morning. But the results for my hard work & sacrifice are being seen in my results both on the scales and in the box.  Now to focus on my Milestone WOD next Thursday

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