Tuesday, October 15, 2013


This week's strongman training went much better than last week's. Apparently removing booze from my life and sleeping like the dead (and eating a lot) actually does improve recovery and athletic capacity. Who'd have thunk? The medley that almost killed me last week? Well, we did it again, and this time we added a 450 lb. backward sled drag (75 ft.) to the end of it. I'm not going to lie; I was scared. I couldn't even finish the farmer carry without assistance last time, and my body literally felt like it was going to stop functioning, and now I have to do that plus more (incredibly heavy) work? Gulp.

But I impressed myself, in that I did the whole thing unbroken without assistance, and in much less time than before, even with the added work. I figured out an easier way of carrying kegs that allowed me to take longer steps, which saved my legs a bit, the weather was better (last week was really dry), and my body is just getting better, stronger, and more capable. If last week's effort was a 10 on the difficulty/pain scale, this time it was like a 6 or 7. I was winded, for sure, but no more so than a normal Crossfit workout. I'm very happy with this, I was afraid I was always going to feel like dying, and I wasn't sure I could handle that, mentally.

This week we also did an overhead medley: one rep each of keg press (pretty light, maybe like 60 lbs.), log clean + press (185 lbs.), axle clean + press (210 lbs.), and circus dumbbell press (~110 lbs. I think). I ended up doing it twice through, just to get in some conditioning, but I smoked this, mostly due to my experience with Olympic lifting and knowing how to actually jerk a weight (which involves dropping under the weight after you've applied upward force) instead of just push-pressing it (which has no re-bend of the knees). The other two dudes who are around my level are both stronger than me on pulls from the ground, and just overall, but I beat both of them at this due to my technique (neither of them were able to complete 2 run-throughs, as they kept failing their lockouts).

They kicked my ass on the Atlas stone, though. I've never even lapped a stone larger than about 175, and here I was being told to lap and load a 240 pounder. At first I couldn't even budget the thing from the ground, but then I got tackied up (tacky is a pine resin that's incredibly sticky, which improves grip on stones) and was able to lap it a few times, and actually load it over the yoke once. The other guys loaded it for multiple reps, which made me feel like a chump, but it's just something I have to practice and get used to. I was left with 6 gnarly bruises for my efforts (forearms, biceps, and inner thighs), but they say my body will adapt and stop bruising as I do the movement more.

I don't have any strongman training this week, as the other guys will be at Strongman nationals in Texas competing. Since I do have access to some strongman equipment at my home gym I plan on coming up with a couple of medley-type workouts for myself this Saturday, and I'm thinking I can probably talk some other dudes to give it a shot too, so that should be fun. Maybe some keg walks and tire flips, plus a prowler push or drag. We'll see; it's fun to play around with this stuff, as it's pretty endless with regards to possibilities.

So, yeah, getting stronger, still feeling good, still not drinking, still not worried too much about diet. I told myself I'd focus on not drinking for at least a month before making any other changes to my routine, and I'm halfway there as of today. Next month I should be pretty used to not drinking, so I'll then make some changes to my diet so I can improve my body composition again. It'll be pretty cool if I can actually lean out a bit over the holidays this year, instead of my normal 20 lb. gain.

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