Strength Monday – 06/18/12

photo –

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.

Traveling back in time.

The best thing about the Wendler 5/3/1 strength training program is that it both encourages and rewards consistency over superstardom. Since we started the program in January, Dave and I have both made gradual strength gains by doing the workouts twice a week, every week. I’m less squishy-looking than I was, too, so the results are trending in the right direction.

But the gift of Wendler 5/3/1 is also its curse because if you should, say, only do one workout before you go to Mexico, lift nothing heavier than a pina colada while strolling on the beach in Mexico for a week, then do only one workout the week after you return from Mexico, well… you probably won’t be ready to tackle the increased weight of the next month’s 5/3/1 cycle.


Today, Dave and I recommitted to Mondays and Thursdays at the craptastic, but we had to travel back in time to do it. We’re repeating the weights from our cycle in May because we were failing at the increased weight for June.

I don’t feel badly about it at all. In fact, it’s really great learning. The program works if we comply with the guidelines for how to make the program work. Where have I experienced that before? Oh, right. With just about everything in life.

Funny, that.

5:00 elliptical
PVC shoulder mobility
10 slow PVC Frankenstein squats + 10 PVC good mornings
10 slow PVC back squats + 10 PVC good mornings
10 slow PVC OH squats + 10 PVC good mornings
straight-leg march


5 @ 65% of max = 115#
5 @ 75% of max = 135#
max reps @ 85% of max = 145# – I did 10.

These felt great! Heavy, but not “why is there so much gravity today?” heavy. And my form was rockin’.

Overhead Press:
5 @ 65% of max = 55#
5 @ 75% of max = 60#
max reps @ 85% of max = 70# – I did 8.


3 rounds, not for time, just because, but I had a hustle on, sorta:
11  dumbbell step-ups, 20# box + 15# dbs
11 pulldowns, 90#
11/leg walking lunges, 10# plate overhead
11 one-arm rows, 30# db

This is a really kickass combo of movements, so I’m doing this cashout every Monday all month. My goal is to increase the weight a little each week.


:45 wall handstand

On my first attempt to kick up onto the wall, I crashed spectacularly! My butt crashed into the mirrored wall and made a very disturbing clang! (like, I felt all of the eyes in the gym on me), then I kinda crumpled and fell on my face with my butt sticking way up in the air and my t-shirt riding up over my belly. Very pretty! I tried to kick up again and didn’t make it all the way up, so I said to myself, “Forget it. I’ll just do it on Thursday.” Then I got scared I’d lost my handstand mojo, and I knew I had to try again immediately. So I did, and I made it, and I held it for 45 seconds. Whew!

Did you train today? Share, please.

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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...

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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...

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  • sarah k. says:

    I love the handstand story. Don’t we all have awesome days like that? I’ve still never tried one, but I feel it coming soon! I did well at CF today, after a (looong) week off. 16K KB swings, pull ups, and 400m runs. I somehow have an advantage with running, which is helpful to my self esteem, since I do everything else so slowly. If there are burpees, I am always the last to finish, no matter who else is there and how new they are to CF.

  • Jay says:

    Sounds like you gave it a good bashing!!! yep 6am workout, consisted of a 400m warm up run, then into 10 (each side) one arm pushups, one leg squats, dips on a bench (straighter legs the better), lunges with back foot supported, burpees, 400m run again, amrap of the above for 45 mins followed by a light jog and stretching, was a really good work out focused on really good slow movements rather than speed as it was a long amrap…keen for this afternoons weights session

  • Mariah B says:

    Today my workout was a rest day. For the past few weeks, its been too many metcons, too much stress, not enough sleep and far too little recovery… plus a car accident late last week. Yikes. Think I’ll take my fourth rest day in a row tomorrow, and be ready to hit it hard again on Wednesday.

    Sure is hard for me, in my recently-acquired exercise addiction (I’ve only been CF’ing for 7 months or so), to take a rest day now and then. However, I’m hoping it will help my nagging shoulder pain, tendonitis from burpees, and extreme fatigue.

    And good job on the handstand hold! It’s things like that, or box-jump-fail’s like crashing into a wall and gashing your chin open, that keep us humble and provide cheap entertainment for everyone else at the gym! 😉

    I love your lifting posts!

  • Amanda says:

    3×5 shoulder press
    21-15-9 front squats, burpees and pull ups. I subbed ring rows for pull ups. Still working on those! Two months in and I’m loving every minute! (maybe not the burpees 🙂

  • lane says:

    way to dominate your handstand after your wipeout! if i ever have to leave crossfit, the wendler program is definitely something i’d try on my own. i just love percentage-based lifting for strength gains.

    question: are you doing strict overhead presses or are you using a push press/push jerk?

    i did fran for the first time this morning and found it to be strangely exhilarating. i broke the 9-minute mark but had to scale the pull-ups with a purple band so i’m only counting it as a small victory.

  • Brandon says:

    My workout today was a buy-in of 50 walking lunges with a 35lb plate. Then I did Barbara. I did level 2 so only did 4 rds an used a band. Also ripped the crap out of my palm. Ouch.

  • De23 says:

    Today for WOD we did 14 rnds of 3 strict push press/3 airs squats every 90 seconds. I got up to 45, could only get 1 on 50, and so had to go back down to 35/40/45 for the remaining rounds.

    But the best thing is, I know exactly what you mean about the handstand mojo! I had done a kick up a few times last fall, but then I totally lost it and was not able to kick up at all when I tried at home. 🙁 But today was handstand MOD, and with a little encouragement and coaching I made it up at least 3 times. There was even a picture made that might show up on Facebook later today. 🙂