Vlog 15: Promotions & Push Presses
Check out my Instagram @8bit_barbell to see some lifts from this week.
Overhead Squat – Find a 3RM
I set a new 3RM at the end of April and I was determined to set a new one. My goal was to at least lift 225 lb. I warmed up to 226 lb. and started my lift. The jerk felt great and was able steady the weight overhead. I almost lost the first rep because I was slightly off balance. I was able to gain control of the weight and complete the rep. The last two reps were quick and had no issues with the reps. This lift was a multiple PR lift. I PR’d my overhead squat of 225 lb. by 1 lb. and my 3RM by 11 lb.
WOD – For Time, 20 Minute Time Cap
25 Squat Cleans (75 lb.)
Run (400 m)
After that overhead squat PR, I was ready to take on this workout. However, I greatly underestimated this WOD. At 75 lb. I was sure I could get through all the squat cleans, and take it easy on the run. The workout started okay but I knew I was in trouble after the first round. My 3RM attempts caught up with me and I could feel the burn in my legs. I kept a steady pace during the cleans, doing fast singles but I had to change it up in round two. I decided to go with a 5×5 scheme with a short rest in between sets. This worked but I took too long during the rest. I finished this workout with two rounds, 25 squat cleans and 200 m.
Power Snatch + Hang Snatch + Overhead Squat
Haven’t worked on snatches in awhile but I was excited to try this out. The movements felt good and I can tell that I’m getting stronger. My technique still needs a lot of work after watching the replay. I’m pulling the bar too high and I’m slow to get under the bar. I was able to PR this complex at 165 lb. which led me to try any max out my snatch at 175 lb.
This attempt was not programmed but I felt good doing the complex that I decided to try this out. After two failed attempts, I was able to successfully lift one at 175 lb. While I missed two tries, I felt very optimistic about future reps. Like the snatch complex I need to work on technique and my snatch suffered from the same problems. I’m pulling too high and moving too slow. This means that if I fix my technique, I could lift more weight!
Partner WOD – AMRAP 18 Minutes
Then in remaining time, AMRAP
30 Deadlifts (225 lb.)
90 Double Unders
This was a fun partner workout that wasn’t as bad as I though it was going to be. We split the run into 100 m sprints and split the row into 250 m sets. The deadlifts and double unders were split into sets of five and 45 respectively.
The run was not too bad since the distance was short. I was going at a quick pace but was not sprinting and the rest in between each run was enough for me to catch my breath. Towards the end of the run I slowed down a bit but it wasn’t too much. The row was much easier. I kept a quick pace (1:45/500m) and was not breathing too hard when we finished this part of the workout around minute 11 or 12.
The rest of the workout was tough. After all that work, the deadlifts felt very heavy. Breaking up the reps into sets of five really helped and I was able to go unbroken on all my sets. The double unders however were not as smooth. I would do a few and then break because I hit my feet or my arms were too tired. This was the longest part of the workout since I couldn’t string a lot of them together. After 18 minutes we finished with 2 rounds, 30 deadlifts and 36 double unders.
Lift Heavy and Level Up!
If you want to see some of the lifts I write about here, check out my Instagram @8bit_barbell
Overhead Squat – 3 Rep Max
My last overhead squat attempt was about a year ago. My lifts were done at 205 lb. and with all of the work that I’ve done in the past year I’m sure I could increase that number by 10 lb. I warmed up well, taking it slow and focusing on form and breathing. My first PR attempt was at 207 lb. The jerk to get the bar overhead felt heavy but I was able to keep it stable. I found a good pace and was able to get three reps without any problems.
My next attempt was at 215 lb. and was a lot harder. I almost missed the first rep, and had to take a short step to balance the bar. The next two reps were just as difficult but I was able to keep the bar straight and finish. It felt great setting two PR’s in the same day!
WOD – 10 Minute AMRAP
10 Power Cleans (135 lb.)
Run (100 m)
10 Front Squats
Run (100 m)
I wasn’t sure how I was going to do on this workout. The cleans would be easy but the front squat was going to kill my legs. The run was short so I wasn’t too worried. The workout started well. I did the power cleans in singles. The run was short and not too bad. The front squats were hard on the legs but that was expected. I did all the front squats unbroken. The first and second rounds were okay but the third is what killed me. The weight felt like 225 lb. instead of 135 lb. I kept the reps at singles for the cleans and unbroken for the front squats. I wanted to complete four rounds but I only finished three.
WOD – 12 Minute AMRAP
30 Handstand Push Ups
3 Rope Climbs (15 ft.)
20 Handstand Push Ups
2 Rope Climbs (15 ft.)
10 Handstand Push Ups
1 Rope Climb (15 ft.)
-then in the remaining time-
This workout looked nuts. I’m okay when it comes to handstand push ups and bad when it comes to rope climbs. The handstand push ups will have to be broken into sets ten and five or whenever my arms give out. The rope climbs are just as hard since I have a fear that when I get to the top I’m going to slip and lose my grip. However, I wanted to give this workout a go.
The first set of handstand push ups were okay. I was able to get two sets of ten reps before having to switch to two sets of five. By the end of the first set of handstand push ups, my arms were “smoked”. Next I had to do three rope climbs. Which took a minute or two. I’m very slow when it comes to rope climbs since I hardly practice them and my fear of falling. However was able to complete three reps and was on to the next set of handstand push ups. My arms were very tired by this time and the reps were very slow. I would do sets three to five and have a short rest in between. It took forever but I eventually finished that round of handstand push ups. I was a bit quicker on my rope climb reps, I didn’t take a long rest.
I tried to sprint the last set of handstand push ups and rope climbs but my arms couldn’t take it. I was very slow on the handstand push ups and I was able to finish the rope climb quickly. I finished the first portion at 11:09. It took me a few seconds to catch my breath but I started on the burpees. I finished my tenth rep at time. I didn’t think I was going to die out that quickly on the handstand push ups, I need to work on my overhead strength and endurance.
Back Squat – 8×4 at 70% (286 lb.)
This was a good squat day. I the weight felt heavy but I was able to get in some quality reps. Around set six through eight, I started to have some sticking points. I would get stuck around parallel on the fourth rep but I always finished. My legs are slowly coming back.
Partner WOD – 16 Minute AMRAP
30 Double Unders
20 Wall Balls (20 lb.)
10 Cal. Row
This looked like a fun workout but the wall balls were going to crush us. Everything else was going to be manageable. The movements were alternated, giving us some time to rest. The workout wasn’t too bad in the beginning. I was able to get the double unders done unbroken until the last few rounds where I would trip up every few reps. My rhythm was off and I was exhausted but I finished all my double unders. I broke up my wall balls into two sets of 10 but that turned into four sets of five by the end of the workout. The rest was really on the row. I kept a consistent pace and tried to control my breathing. At the end of the workout we finished with eight rounds and 25 double unders. Our goal was nine rounds but we came up a bit short.
Lift Heavy and Level Up!
Front Squat – Three Rep Max
I decided to try and set a new PR for this lift. My previous 3RM was 275 lb. and I wanted at least 10 lb. increase. Warm up felt good but the weight felt heavy around 225 lb. I haven’t been doing many front squats which is probably why it felt different. I loaded my goal weight 285 lb. and started my attempt. The first rep felt very heavy but I was able to stand it up. The second rep felt heavier and my breathing was not great. I tried to catch my breath and started my last rep. I made it to parallel before I had to drop the bar. After catching my breath and thinking about the lifts I needed to fix my breathing and my bracing. My core was a little loose on that last rep.
After a few minutes I grabbed the bar and tried again. Hopefully the adjustments would be enough. The first rep felt just as heavy but I managed to stand it up without too much issues. The second rep felt better than the last attempt, the breathing and core bracing changes worked. The last rep was the hardest and I barely made the lift. My elbows dropped and it felt like my biceps were stabilizing the weight. Thankfully, I made the lift but that last rep felt “ugly”. I need to work on form before trying this again.
WOD – For Time, 18 Minute Time Cap
Run (400 m)
21 Back Squats (185 lb.)
Run (400 m)
15 Back Squats (185 lb.)
Run (400 m)
9 Back Squats (185 lb.)
Run (400 m)
After my front squat max, I wasn’t feeling great about doing this workout. Heavy squats and running are not my strong suit. My concern for this workout was the back squats since we had to start from the ground. Cleaning the weight multiple times was not going to be efficient so I had to do the squats unbroken. The run was going to suck but that was a given.
The first round was okay. The run was normal but the squat took a lot of effort. I broke up the reps into 11 and 10. I probably should have went with sevens. After that first round my legs were on fire and my lower back was tight as well. The second round was almost the same. I broke up the squats into sets of five. The last round was the hardest. The weight was heavy and I missed the jerk. I had to reset and take a few breaths before trying it again. After the squats, I was exhausted and my legs hated me. I had to finish the run though and after 400 m I finished the workout in 17:30.
Back Squat – 6×6 at 60% (244 lb.)
Squat maintenance day, nothing crazy.
Partner WOD – AMRAP 20 Minutes
20 Overhead Squats (115 lb.)
30 Sit Ups
Run (100 m)
I did this workout with my wife and it was a lot of fun. We broke up the reps in half for all movements and alternated on the run. We kept a good pace on the movements. The burpees and sit ups went by quickly. The overhead squats took a bit more time because we broke it up into sets of five. We did it at a steady pace and pushed each other until the end. We finished this workout with four rounds and 30 sit ups.
Strict Press – 8×4 at 70% (115 lb.)
I haven’t done much strict press lately and this weight felt heavy. I took a few minutes in between sets to rest. At the sixth set, it started getting very heavy. I was struggling on the third rep and almost missed the fourth rep on set seven and eight.
WOD – 18 Minute Time Cap
Ground to Overhead – 10,000 lb.
I did this workout back in 2014 and posted a short description of the workout on the blog. It was also my first POST! My previous time for this workout was 19:45, 15 seconds under the time cap. This time around, the time cap is 18 minutes. If I finish the workout, it will be a PR. My set up will also be the same. I’m going to do the workout with a 100 lb. bar and the sets will be 10×10. I will be doing the reps with a clean and jerk instead of a snatch. If I did snatches, I’ll definitely gas out.
The workout started well. I did 10 reps unbroken for at least four sets. At set five, I had to break up the reps into two sets of five. My shoulders and triceps were burning making the jerk harder to cycle. This slowed me down considerably and I stayed at this rep scheme until the end of the workout. At set nine I was getting very tired but I wanted to finish as quickly as possible. I decided to snatch the last five reps and managed to do them unbroken. I finished this workout at 16:10, 3:35 better than the last time!
Lift Heavy and Level Up!
Now that the Open is over, we’re back to our original programming.
Back Squat – 8×4 at 70% (275 lb.)
After squatting a bit last week my legs are almost back to normal. My old numbers were 275 lb. and I wanted to work up to that. I loaded up the bar and I got to work. I took about three warm up sets before putting on 275 lb. The first set felt heavier than usual but after a few more reps the lifts felt normal. I was taking about two minutes of rest in between sets. Around the sixth set I could feel the fatigue in my legs and on the eighth set I almost failed my last rep.
Partner WOD – AMRAP 16 Minutes
7 Dumbbell Snatch (50 lb.)
7 Dumbbell Squat (50 lb.)
7 Russian Dumbbell Swings (50 lb.)
Run (100 m)
Partners alternate rounds
This workout doesn’t look too bad on paper. Some rest in between sets and relatively low reps made me think I would be able to do each round quickly. My goal for this workout was 16 rounds total. I underestimated the fatigue on my legs. All those heavy squats really did a number on them. My first round was quick. The snatches, squats and swings were easy. The run however, was the hardest part of the workout. I tried to pick up my running pace in the later rounds but I couldn’t. My pace slowed as I finished each round. At the end of 16 minutes we finished 14 rounds. I was short of the goal but I gave it my all.
Clean and Jerk Complex – Find A Heavy Rep
Power Clean + Push Jerk + Hang Squat Clean + Split Jerk
This was a fun clean and jerk complex. The hardest part was going to be the hang squat clean and split jerk. Holding the bar for that long was going to strain your grip and challenge your breathing. I didn’t know how heavy I wanted to go. I’ve been doing a lot of clean work at 198 lb. and 205 lb. so I decided to shoot for a weight around there.
I started with a light weight and worked up to 198 lb. Everything felt good except for my breathing. I had to focus on my breathing during the hang squat clean and split jerk. I was usually out of breath by then. I manged to lift 198 lb. and moved on to 205 lb. and the 216 lb. I managed to lift 216 lb. which is somewhat of a PR. 216 lb. is also 96% of my current clean and jerk max. I may need to retest that number.
WOD – 15 Minute Time Cap
100 Single Unders
15 Hang Clean and Jerks (115 lb.)
After the clean and jerk complex, I was very confident doing the hang clean and jerks at 115 lb. I should be warmed up and able to rep these out quickly. I was wrong, very wrong. The first round of singles were easy and I got through them quickly. The first round of hang clean and jerks however, were terrible. My plan was to do eight reps and then seven reps. I did five reps and then scrapped that plan. I stayed at five reps per set for the rest of the workout.
I only finished four rounds of this workout at time cap. I under estimated how fatigued my arms were. The cleans were easy, the jerks were hard. My shoulders were burning by the end. It was a fun workout but I should have scaled the weight to 95 lb. to finish the jerks quicker.
Lift Heavy and Level Up!
Fridays (Guam time) are going to be boring but at least Dave Castro is not jerking us around with mystery workouts. We are back to our regular programming but I have a lot of takeaways from this years open.
Surprisingly, we didn’t do two movements that were in the Open since 2011. Snatch and wall balls were not featured in a workout this year. They will more than likely be in next years Open.
My goal was to be on the first page (for Guam) but that didn’t happen. I placed 62nd, my lowest placement in the open. Either I’m getting worse or everyone else is getting more fit.
I placed 62nd because I didn’t do the work. I can’t blame anyone or anything except myself. It sucks but I do have a plan. My conditioning needs a lot of work. This past year, I have been doing a lot of Olympic lifting and not much cardio. I need to find a balance between these two and I need to work in more gymnastics work as well. I want that muscle up! I have a full year to work on these things and hopefully I can get back to the front page of the leader board. I hope you hit some goals in this years Open and if you didn’t, we have a lot of time to work on it.
Lift Heavy and Level Up
|Ace Ventura making a second appearance in this years Open.|
18.4 – For Time, 9 Minute Time Cap21-15-9
Deadlifts (225 lb.)
Deadlifts (315 lb.)
50-ft. Handstand Walk
The last time I did Diane was three years ago. I did it scaled and finished in four minutes. With the weights being heavier and the handstand push-up standard being a little harder, this is going to be interesting and I’m shooting to at least finished Diane under time cap. I’m not even looking at the 315 lb. deadlift or handstand walk. If I make it to the second deadlift, it will be icing on the cake.
After watching a bunch of tips on Youtube and Instagram, I decided I was going to try to keep a steady pace and try not to go hard out of the gate. I’m going to break up the deadlifts and handstand push ups into a few sets enough to not go to failure on either movement. The new handstand push-up standard is going to be an adjustment and I’m not sure how that’s going to go.
I warmed up with the deadlifts and was very comfortable with 225 lb. I tried out the new standard for the handstand push up and realized how hard it was going to be. My upper body was going to be tired before the end of the first round. During the first round, the deadlifts were easy. I broke it up into sets of five and finished at 1:12. The next seven minutes were a struggle. I started strong and finished disappointed. A few friends recommended that I break up the handstand push-ups into sets of three. The first six reps were good but I could feel my shoulders and triceps start to fatigue. A few reasons were I was trying to make sure my feet were above the line at the top of the rep and when I finished. I would hold this handstand position for about three to five seconds each rep which takes a toll.
As I completed more reps, my form started to suffer. I would arch my back and I wouldn’t be able to press out to my fullest. That’s when the no reps started to come in. After my first no rep I was about half an inch below the line. I tried my best to get my heels up but I was holding a handstand for about 10 seconds by this time and my arms gave out. A few more reps and no reps and the time cap hits. I was only able to finish 17 handstand push-ups.
Without a judge, I would have did great in this workout. However, it’s this kind of thinking that is holding me back. Instead, I should be trying to “hold the standard” as Logan from Deuce Gym would say. A lot of people were able to get through the first half of this workout and with a lot of work, I will be able to get through it as well. I wasn’t defeated by the standard, I was defeated by myself. At least their is a way forward and with some time, I’ll be able to complete these handstand push-ups without a problem.
We have four movements that have not been used in a workout but has been featured in every Open: chest-to-bar pull ups, barbell snatch, thruster and wall ball. We also haven’t seen a repeat workout yet but I can’t see any workout that has all four in it. The movement that is definitely going to be there is the thrusters and not sure what else, probably wall balls. This last workout is going to be fun and it’s probably going to hurt.
Lift Heavy and Level Up!
My legs after 18.2
18.2 – 12 Minute Time Cap for 18.2 and 18.2a
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 reps of:
Dumbbell Front Squats (50 lb.)
Burpees Over Barbell
Burpees is a movement I hate with a passion! Mainly because my cardio sucks and I take forever to finish large sets. The dumbbells should be okay but I know it will get heavier in the later rounds. The workout looks fun but I know I’m going to start dying in rounds nine and ten. 55 reps of each are going to suck.
My plan for this workout was to keep a steady pace and not go too crazy in the first few rounds. The burpees are going to suck but I would just have to power through it. My first weight for the clean was going to be 185 lb. just to get a score and I would try to push for 225 lb. or more.
I set up my first clean at 185 lb. and warmed up to 205 lb. The cleans felt good but I knew I would feel different after the workout. The first few rounds were great and felt too easy. This workout is deceiving because you only get to halfway at round eight. I kept my pace and felt okay up to round eight. I started to feel the burn in my legs at that round and I had to concentrate to control the breathing. The squats were okay but the burpees were killing me, especially since they changed the standards. I could feel the fatigue setting in but I was determined to finish under time cap and get to the cleans.
As I finished the last two rounds, I felt like I was going to throw up. My breathing was erratic and I tried to focus and breathe after each burpee. I finished at 11:25. I would have liked to have finished under 10 minutes but I had to catch my breath and at least complete one clean. With 15 seconds left, I completed the clean. I was disappointed in my performance but at least I finished. I hope 18.3 will be better.
Lift Heavy and Level Up!
Raise your hand if this was you this past weekend. That’s a lot of bandaged hands! After a week in Tokyo and not working out at all, I knew this was going to be rough. Even if I did workout last week, it was going to be hard. 20 minute workouts are the worst but I’m up for anything.
8 Toes to Bar
10 Hang Dumbbell Clean and Jerks (50 lb.)
14 Cal. Row
The Dumbbell is Back
Like last year, we’re starting off the open with a new movement, dumbbell hang clean and jerks.I would have preferred the snatch but the open is about pushing yourself and being uncomfortable. The dumbbell weight wasn’t going to be the problem since it’s not too heavy of a weight. The toes to bar and row however were going to kill me.
I wanted to complete the toes to bar in sets of four and keep going until I would have to start singles. I was sure I could handle the dumbbell clean and jerks and go unbroken for all reps. It’s a new standard and I would have to be mindful of all the points of performance. The row was going to be a grind. I usually die out on long rows and 14 cals. was going to be rough. I didn’t want to start out with a crazy pace but I wanted to stick around 800-900 cals/hr.
The workout started off well. I stuck to my game plan and it worked up until round four. At the start of round four, my abs started to cramp. I had to take a few deep breaths and stretch but I had to start doing singles. I also had to take a few moments in between reps since I couldn’t recover fast enough which slowed me down considerably. I was getting no repped on the dumbbell clean and jerk transitions because I wasn’t standing up fully for the first rep. It was an extra rep but I wasn’t frustrated with it. The row was a grind. First four rounds went well. I was able to keep a pace of 900 cals/hr but had to drop to a pace of 750 – 850 cals/hr in the later rounds.
It was a tough workout. My hands ripped slightly but it wasn’t bad. I was able to complete six rounds at the end of 20 minutes. It’s not a great score but I gave it my all. In the coming weeks I’ll pray for a heavy workout. A clean and jerk or snatch would be awesome. I hope your 18.1 went better than mine and good luck in the coming weeks.
Lift Heavy and Level Up!