Strength Monday – 11/5/12

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In my quest for lean superhero-ness, I’m following the Wendler 5/3/1 strength training program. Twice a week, Dave and I are hitting the craptastic gym in our Converse to lift heavy and crank through a mini-metcon.

Feeling Spicy Good!

I’m sure my bursting energy and positive outlook today had more to do with the death of my head cold and a month of Whole30 eating, but I like pretending it’s because I enjoyed homemade mayo and cumin yesterday. We’re on the third week of our 5/3/1 cycle, which means we have one more hard workout on Friday, then de-load workouts (light weights) next week.

Everything about today’s workout was just as it should be. It felt hard in an empowering way. I got sweaty. The weights were heavy but not overwhelming. And, in a tiny Craptastic Gym miracle, the music didn’t suck.

5:00 treadmill
2 rounds:
10 PVC good mornings
10 PVC back squats
10 PVC behind-the-neck press
10 pushups (knees)
10 PVC rotations
shoulder & hip mobility


5 @ 75% of max = 135#
3@ 85% of max = 145#
max reps @ 95% of max = 160# – I did 7.

Overhead Press:
5 @ 75% of max = 65#
3@ 85% of max = 75#
max reps @ 95% of max = 80# – I did 3.
I was thrilled to get 3 reps at 80#. WOOT! Back in August, I attempted presses at 80# and failed… couldn’t even get one rep. So I’m taking this as a sign that my Armour prescription and Whole30 eating are working. Fingers crossed that the future proves the hard work I did this summer with the Wilson’s Syndrome Protocol and the “starting over” switch from Synthroid to Armour were worth the effort.


3 rounds, not for time, but keepin’ things moving:
11 deadlift, 85#: snatch grip, touch & go, touch & go
11 overhead squats, 40#
11 dumbbell overhead press, 25# dumbbells

Did you workout today? Lay it on us!

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  • Kelly says:

    Nice workout! Isn’t it great when you can kick that OHP in the butt – it’s such a fickle biatch, one week you can lift amazing weight, the next it’s like you never lifted ever!

    I have a question about your “Cashout” – how do you come up with them? On the fly, or are they planned? Do you have a resource you use to plan them out? I like the idea of doing a little extra after I’m done lifting, and I’m getting bored with my regular routines. Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Right now, I’m focusing my cashouts on low-ish weight and higher volume, based on the stuff I read in this article:

      I’m making up these cashouts myself, focusing on variations of the main lifts I do that day. So in my heavy set, I do standard deadlifts and overhead press… then in the cashout do variations (snatch grip DL, dumbbell press, etc.) on those at much lighter weight and I try to do the 11 reps unbroken.

      On the other strength day, I do back squats and bench press, then variations in the cashout. I’m trying this approach for 2-3 monthes.

      Another way to do cashouts is to do a short metcon. For those, I usually grab workouts from CrossFit gyms I trust. These are the ones I think have solid workouts:

      Hope this helps!

  • Holly says:

    I made something with cumin in it the other night and thought to myself “I hope Mel is taking a bath in cumin right now after a month without it!”

    Spices may actually have super hero powers!

  • AKM says:

    I would LOVE to try CrossFit. I admit…I’m the classic introverted bookworm who has NEVER been ANY kind of an athlete. There is a CrossFit place nearby that I am dying to try, but it’s $80 a month for 8 classes. That might be a good price — I don’t even know — but this secretary/grad student simply doesn’t have it. I COULD try something similar on my own, but I’m afraid I could actually get hurt not doing exercises properly and without training. Any advice?

    • Cathy M says:

      I just started CrossFit a couple of months ago, and love it. If you want to try it on your own, go to the CrossFit web site and get a subscription to the CrossFit Journal. They have tons of articles and videos about training the moves they use in their workouts. Your best bet is to work with a trainer if you can swing it at all, but I’ve watched a lot of the videos, and they are good.

    • Kelly says:

      See if they have an introductory or beginner ramp up type thing for free (our Crossfit did that) or a reduced price. Then you not only get some training, you can also see if you really like it.

  • Today was arms: push-ups, assisted pull-ups, and ball slams.

    Baking sweet potatos tonight for din din.

    Glad you are feeling better. I have had less headaches and tummy issues by Whole 30’ing.

  • Shannon says:

    Jog, butt kickers, high knees, lunge walks, squat jumps

    5×5 back squat working to 85% of 1RM (95#…not great)

    12 min AMRAP
    8 power cleans (65#, rx 75)
    Keep bar in rack position, 20 ft lunges
    12 ball slams (20#)
    Power clean to 20 ft lunges back to start

    My legs are JELLO, and I love it.

  • Tom R. says:

    Progress. Love it. I dragged a weighted tire. A lot.

    Re: cashout design, I know there are several apps out there that some folks use. I don’t personally, but might be worth a look. myWOD looks promising.

  • Cynthia says:

    Yep. Got my 3rd NROLforLife workout in. And couldn’t be happier!

  • Hi Mel,
    I’m going to Prague next weekend (Nov 16-18) and I know you are a Prague fan and have been there before. Do you have any restuarant tips? What was your favorite thing to see/do in Prague?
    Any advice is much appreciated 🙂