Strength Monday 2/11/13 (w/ Bonus Twist)

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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.

Come on, Baby! Let’s do the twist.

My max set of overhead presses proved a little tough on Monday, and without thinking about it — and to avoid defaulting to a push press — I did a rather un-sexy version of the twist to squeeze out my last rep. I did not look like any of this cuteness:

My twist was a weird gyration — when my arms were halfway up to  the locked out finish — to press that damn bar the rest of the way. It started with a contraction in my abs, moved to a left hip swivel, then rolled to a right hip check that helped me eke out the last rep. It wasn’t pretty — but it wasn’t a push press either. Neener.

5:00 treadmill: started at 3mph and increased speed every minute til I was jogging

2 rounds:
11 jumping jacks
11 air squats
11 deep squat to hamstring stretnch
static squat hold & ankle stretch
shoulder mobility: arm circles front/back, overhead swings, chest criss-cross


3 @ 70% of max =135#
3 @ 80% of max = 150#
max reps @ 90% of max = 175# – I did 6.
Aiyeeee! That was some heavy stuff. (I’m delighted to regularly be hauling more than body weight from the floor!)

Overhead Press:
3 @ 70% of max =60#
3 @ 80% of max = 70#
max reps @ 90% of max = 80# – I did 4.
That’s right; I did the twist. Sadly, I was not wearing a leotard with fringes while I did it. But I was sporting my new, badass weight lifting gloves. Why did I wait so long to get gloves?! It made such a difference in my grip and confidence, not to mention I wasn’t wasting energy thinking, “This is really hurting my hands.” during deadlifts. (And between us friends, I do know why it took me so long to get gloves. CrossFit! There was a definite “real badasses don’t wear gloves” vibe at my first CrossFit gym, and the notion stuck. Stupid!)


5 rounds:
5 box jumps, 20″ box
5 deadlifts @ 65% of max, 125# for me
5 burpees
rest 90 seconds
My time: Each round took me about 1 minute (plus the :90 rest), so my total time was around 12:30.


2 X 7 deadhang pullups with a band
handstand hold at the wall My butt was kicked, and we had to get home to work, so I skipped my handstands.

Do you wear weight lifting gloves? And more importantly, what’s your favorite dance move?

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  • Tom R. says:

    Gloves. I try not to, but wintertime in the garage makes them mandatory. Can’t say I have the padded, fingerless version, to each his/her own. You should check out the Rogue gloves. Kinda badass.

    I don’t twist, but a WOD partner does exactly what you describe. He calls it “snake throwing up a rat” pose, which is also about right.

    Setback while doing deads today. “Pop” in the arm. Fingers crossed all is well with a day or two of rest. Need to take up yoga…

    • Mel says:

      HA! Snake throwing up a rat. LOVE it. That’s EXACTLY what it was like. Shameful!

      I’m sorry to hear about your arm. Fingers crossed that it was a momentary glitch and that you’re good to go.

      And yes, yoga would be a lovely addition to your life. DO IT!

  • Alexandra says:

    I wear gloves for everything. It’s not like I think I’m too precious to bust a knuckle. I’m a nurse and I can’t have breaks in my skin. I don’t want a blister to put me at increased risk for spreading infection at work.

    I’ve seen a lot of badass Olympic style lifters using grip straps. I don’t see how gloves are a failure in any way. You are kicking ass with both feet all the time.

  • Mel says:

    “You are kicking ass with both feet all the time.”

    Best compliment ever. Thank you!

  • Jake says:

    Lifting heavy stuff is fun!

    And no, no twist, and no chalk either. I started doing kroc rows to get my grip / lat strength up there (no failure allowed). That being said, I believe chalk is required for pr’s!

  • TNPrincess says:

    Absolutely wear the gloves! I got blood blisters – GROSS – my first week in CrossFit on the stupid pull-up bar doing shoulder shrugs or whatever they are called. I’d never seen blood blisters before; also I’ve decided that there is no point in my life for any blisters at all. Seriously, no one wanted to high five me for about a month!

    I felt badass enough being the only girl in the 5AM class at the time so I felt totally entitled to my gloves. I like the idea of being “a lady in the street but a freak in the” gym!

  • Melissa says:

    I used to wear gloves, until I read some article making fun of them, so I stopped, lol.

  • Katy says:

    I was a rower for over a decade and until the last few years it was unacceptable to row with gloves on. When I was training with the national team something changed one summer when one of the elite women had some blisters that wouldn’t let row for a few days…unless she wore a glove on the hand. The coach gave in and while you only used them if your hand was shredded, it was suddenly okay if it meant you could still train. Blood blisters, open wounds and infections were a major hazard in rowing.

    I had hands that left scratch marks on my face when putting on sunblock. Rough. No holding hands on a first date…

    I’ve never used weightlifting gloves but I think anything that gives you better grip is a smart thing. Especially if you are just starting out. Why tear up your hands on pull-ups? You should be shredding your lats!

  • Michelle says:

    I’ve only worn gloves a few times, however I found I can grip the bar so much more easily when using my bare hands & a bit of chalk. I also make a point to use moisturiser on my hands when I’m not training to keep my callouses soft.

  • nalani says:

    Why do people wear gloves? Will this prevent callouses? I lift @ a CF gym and nobody wears gloves. But I have nary a care about them. Just want to know what are the benefits and I may just get a pair…of gloves.

  • Isla says:

    I just started working out and gloves are on my list of things to buy this weekend. My dad wears lifting gloves when he rides his bicycle because he does a header off it at least once a summer and it’s hard to hold onto the handlebars when your hands are ripped up with road rash! The bloody road rash on the rest of his body is just a sign of a good ride!

  • NJ Paleo says:

    Great workout! Way to go on lifting more than body-weight too — what an empowering feeling! I wear gloves….and sometimes I still get blisters if we’re doing a million pullups at the gym. Personally, I think if you’re BA enough to do the workout, who cares whether you’re wearing gloves???

  • Carina says:

    DANG… you are fierce! I recently began a training program called 5 by 5 and my most recent dead lift was 115 and you do 5 sets of 5 reps and increase 5 lbs each time you train, you only train 3 days a week. It is getting heavier each week but I LOVE lifting heavy, at least heavy to me. 😉

    Oh update on the pull ups.. my goal was to do 5 unassisted and was able to do 1.5.. I can officially do 5 unassisted pull ups!! I discovered I can also do 20 burpee to pull ups, tiring for sure!!

  • Erica says:

    Once I’m all warmed up I do what my body wants me to do – sweat. My hands aren’t exempt. Since chalk is no longer allowed at most gyms, gloves are the only way to go to prevent blisters or dangerous grip slips. Own it!

  • Kristy says:

    Yep, I wear gloves. Still have callouses on my hands, so I’m really not sure why I wear them now that I think about it. Maybe I’ll start to use chalk, seems more badass…

    BTW…off subject, but I just got my copy of Well Fed in the mail and have 3 recipes in the works right now!

  • Arya says:

    I do not wear weight gloves, though when I first started lifting in high school I certainly did. Nowadays I prefer to feel the metal, and even the subsequent calluses.

    I am a belly dancer, so of course my favorite dance move is a shimmy!

  • Nicole says:

    I don’t wear gloves–I’d like to compete in a powerlifting meet again and gloves aren’t ever allowed in competition. I feel the bar better with my bare hands and plenty of chalk, anyway. Sometimes it hurts my hands a little if I’m doing higher reps, but I know it is just temporary skin pain; I’ve never had blood or blisters. I take care of my callouses this way:

  • Becky "Miso" says:

    What are you using for gloves? Crossfit specific or regular weightlifting gloves? I totally pulled a “snake & rat” yesterday…

    • Mel says:

      I’m just using the gloves for deadlifts because the bar was really hurting my hands… and sometimes for pullups ’cause the bar at our gym is super slipper.