My Week As Rx (Probably Scaled): April 30 – May 6

If you want to see some of the lifts I write about here, check out my Instagram @8bit_barbell

Monday

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.

Tuesday

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-
Max Burpees

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.

Wednesday

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!

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My Week As Rx (Probably Scaled): June 20 – June 26

 

Tuesday

I didn’t have enough time to complete all the Barbell Club workouts so I did the class instead.

WOD – AMRAP 9 Minutes

 

Row 30 cals.
-then-
5 burpees
10 pull-ups
15 kettlebell swings, Russian (54 lb.)
This was a difficult workout for me and I didn’t do as well as I hoped. The row wasn’t too bad. I kept a good pace and was off in good amount of time. The burpees and kettlebell swings were not too bad as well but I struggled with the pull ups. Since starting the Barbell Club, my gymnastics movements have deteriorated. I need to incorporate more strict movements into my training maybe doing more strict pull ups and handstand push ups. Other than my pull ups feeling horrible, the workout was great. I completed three rounds.

 

Wednesday

Snatch – 2×2 at 60% (95 lb.), 2×2 at 70% (110 lb.), 2×2 at 80% (125 lb.)
Same as last Wednesday and same issues. I was able to adjust quicker this time around. Surprisingly, the set at 80% went a lot better than the 60%. It could be because of the heavier weight or I’m getting better at snatches. I hope its the latter.
Jerk – 1 Rep Heavy
After the snatches I worked on my jerk. Previously, I was able to hit 100 kg. on my jerk and today I wanted to work up to that number. Started out around 60 kg, and worked up in 10 kg sets. I started having trouble at 95 kg. I missed this weight twice and finally was able to complete it on the third try. I need to use shorter jerk blocks since I felt the weights hit the block on my second to last attempt. I lost focus once I felt the weight hit the block and tried to attempt the lift. I should have just stopped and rested. I decided to end it there since I wanted to move on to the next workout and I didn’t want to tire myself out trying to get to 100 kg. I didn’t hit my goal weight but I will try again next time.
Clean High Pull – 4×3 at 85% (185 lb.)
We have been doing a lot of snatch high pulls and not a lot of clean high pulls. I had to ask one of the coaches to help me but I eventually got it down.

Thursday

Back Squat – 3×3 at 75% (285 lb.)
Haven’t done heavy squats this week so naturally, we have two programmed. Back squat and the front squat at the end. 285 lb. is heavy but it’s only three reps which isn’t too much. I focused on form and was able to finish quickly.
Power Snatch (Low Block) – 4×3 at 80% (125 lb.)
Starting to feel better doing snatches from the blocks as my form gets better. The bar loops out a bit but I’m working on bringing in the bar closer on the pull and turnover.
Clean Complex – Every 1:30 for 9 Minutes at 75% (165 lb.)
Power Clean + Hang Clean + Front Squat + Jerk
I had fun doing this complex. It’s a lot of work but I had fun with it. Thankfully, it was every 1:30 instead of every minute. I did spot some issues on the power clean and hang clean that I need to work on. I was able to finish all the reps without going over time.
Front Squat – 3×3 at 80% (245 lb.)
Final workout of the day and it had to be front squats! After that clean and jerk complex I didn’t feel like doing more front squats. I need to put in the work if I want to get stronger. I loaded up the bar and started doing some squats. My legs were warm by this point so the warm up wasn’t too long. The weight felt a lot heavier than what I remember but I managed to get through it. Thankfully it was only three reps. I worked on my usual weaknesses. Keeping my elbows up and straightening my back.
Lift Heavy and Level Up!

CrossFit Progress: Overhead Squat PR!

After weeks of heavy overhead squats, it was time to test my max. I wasn’t feeling confident going into today. I have been trying to get over a cold since Sunday but after last weeks 3rm PR, I was going to try my best. My target for today was 205 lb. and I was able to successfully finish the lift. I attempted 215 lb. but I wasn’t able to get the weight overhead. If I was able to get another attempt I would have done a split jerk instead of a push press. I am very happy with my result and I am looking forward to the next strength cycle. PR video below.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

Review: Inov-8 Fastlift 335

After talking to a few members and coaches about weightlifting (Oly) shoes, I decided to take the plunge and order a pair. The hardest part was deciding which shoe to purchase and what fits my budget. I settled on the Inov-8 Fastlift 335 because of its price point, versatility and availability. I have been using these shoes for a little more than a year and they have been great.

Looks and Fit

The Fastlifts come in a variety of colors but my favorite colorway is the black and red. The materials used were ripstop nylon as well as other synthetics. The heel platform is different from other lifting shoes that I’ve seen. Instead of a wedge it has a “power truss” which look like columns. I think the columns make the shoe lighter while still providing the same stability as a wedge. The shoe has one strap which keeps your foot locked down and instead of a rigid midsole this shoe also has a metaflex system. The flex point should help during movements like box jumps and brupees.

Since these were my first pair of weightlifting shoes I didn’t know what the fit was supposed to be like. A lot of articles online recommended a snug fit. The Inov-8 website recommends a half size up from your f-lites, but I decided to get my normal size. If they didn’t fit well I could always return them. Thankfully they fit well, not loose or too snug. Fastlifts are light weighing only 335 g or around 12 oz. I would be doing some olympic lifts in the coming weeks which gave me a great opportunity to test them.

Performance and Durability

This is my first pair of Oly shoes and I did not know what to expect. I tested these shoes during heavy lifting days and I did some metcons as well.

Heavy Lifting Days

The advantages of Oly shoes can be felt immediately. My ankle and hip mobility are not great; these shoes help keep me on my heels and maintain a more vertical torso. During heavy squats I’m able to push into the heels without the give from regular CrossFit shoes. Snatches and clean and jerks feel better in the Fastlifts. The first and second pulls felt easier and my turnover feels faster. With all these advantages I managed to hit a clean PR at 165 lb. during the first week, adding 10 lb. to my clean. I was able to also PR my snatch but that was a few weeks after my clean PR.

WODs

I would use these shoes for WODs that had moderate to heavy barbell movements. I wouldn’t use them for WODs that had running in them however since the raised heel would kill my running form. During WODs these shoes do not feel heavier than normal shoes which was a concern since those extra ounces add up. The shoes are flexible and do not hinder movements like box jumps or burpees.

Durability

So far these shoes have held up great and still look fairly new. All of the pictures featured in this post were taken a week ago and I’ve been using these shoes almost every week since I got them. I only use these shoes indoors and during certain workouts which helps with longevity.

Final Thoughts

I bought these shoes mainly because of the price, hybrid functionality and online availability. At the time these shoes were $150 but they may be cheaper now. I’m not sure if these would be better than the other hybrid shoes on the market but they are definitely well worth the price. If you have any questions or comments, leave them below.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

CrossFit Progress: Snatches, Snatches, Snatches.

My snatches need a lot of work. Last Friday I tried to hit a PR on my snatch. I attempted to lift 160 lb. which is 5 lb. over my current max. I failed all three attempts, but I almost made my last lift. I think with some more strength training and more practice I’ll be able ready. I need to work on some drills for speed  under the bar. I’ll talk to my coach and see if I can get some snatch balance work in. In other news I dropped 10 lb. and I’m finally down to 200 lb. Still have 30 – 40 lb. to go.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

CrossFit Progress: New Clean and Jerk PR!

I finally hit a PR on my clean and jerk. My previous PR was 205 lb. and today I lifted 215 lb. I learned that your mental state plays a big role in heavy lifts. I made two attempts at 205 and missed one of them. The difference between the two lifts were my mental state. I wasn’t 100% during my missed lift; I wasn’t focused. After reevaluating and some notes from my coaches I made the lift. I felt really good after and decided to try and PR.

Thankfully, it only took one attempt. My coaches were trying to get me to attempt 225 lb but I decided against it. I only had a few minutes left and I didn’t want to rush it. The next time a max clean and jerk comes up, I’ll definitely attempt 225 lb. I wanted to post a video but it didn’t come out well, next time.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

Review: Inov-8 F-Lite 235

My Nano 3s and Inov-8 Bare-XF 210s will not last forever. A year of CrossFit has taken a toll on them and the wear is starting to show. I was leaning towards the new Nano 4s but the design of the new Inov-8 F-Lite 235s caught my eye. I own a few pairs of Inov-8 shoes and I’m satisfied with their quality. My fiance purchased a pair for my birthday and I’ve been using them in the majority of my workouts ever since.

Looks, Fit and Sizing
The colorway and design of the 235s are very unique. It has a “yin yang” design with half the shoe being one of the two colors. The materials and construction feel solid and the Rope-Tec blends in well with the shoe. Using my 210s as a reference my fiance ordered the shoes in my actual size. The shoe fits well and better than my 210s. The toe box doesn’t feel as wide as the Nano 3s but it has plenty of room for your toes. They feel lighter than the Nano 3s and slightly heavier than the 210s. The shoe feels flexible enough for running and stiff enough for lifting making it an ideal shoe for any WOD.

Performance
I decided to do some squats and deadlifts to test out how these shoes handle lifts. I used a moderate weight when lifting and didn’t try to max out. These shoes were great and handle lifts well. They perform just as well as my Nano 3s. I didn’t feel the soles compress during heavy lifts and the shoe felt stable throughout.

After running in the 235s for a few weeks I have nothing but good things to say. I used a couple of 400m runs to test run performance. The 235s have a zero-drop profile and with the sticky rubber sole provide a lot of grip. I was concerned that the shoes would feel like the Nano 3s, thankfully that was not the case. The shoe grips the pavement well, only felt a slight slip when running through a wet area. My box doesn’t program rope climbs regularly and a rope is not set up at the box. I will update this post with any info on how the shoe holds up to rope climbs.

After using these shoes regularly for four months, I can say they are holding up well. The construction is solid, and the wear is not that noticeable. The quality is what I’ve come to expect from an Inov-8 product. The versatility of the F-Lite 235s is its strongest selling point. It does well in lifts and its a good shoe for shot to medium distance runs. I hope they release a few more colorways, black and red would look awesome.

If you have any questions, leave a comment at the bottom. Next on the review list is the Inov-8 Fastlifts and the Nike Metcon 1s and strength wraps.