CrossFit Total 3

In 16 months since joining North Shore CrossFit, I’ve come upon the CrossFit Total three times.  [Sidebar: When was the last time it took you almost a year and a half to hit the same workout the third time?  Is it time for a change?]

The first time, I was in the initial discovery phase a month and a half in – finding out what I was capable of never having lifted very heavy at all before joining.

My CrossFit Total that first time at the end of August 2009 (all numbers in pounds U.S.):

  • Total: 555
  • Back Squat: 215
  • Press: 105
  • Deadlift: 235

The second time I took on the Total in May 2010, I moved everything up substantially, hitting new personal records (PR’s) on all the lifts:

  • Total: 630
  • Back Squat: 255
  • Press: 110
  • Deadlift: 275

Tonight, going into it, I had visions of great lifts – Back Squat: 275, Press: 115, Deadlift: 300 – and all kinds of excitement about getting on the weights.  When all was said and done, my hopes of a 690 Total had gone the way of the seconds on the timer with somewhat anticlimactic results:

  • Total: 595
  • Back Squat: 245
  • Press: 115 (PR)
  • Deadlift: 235

Though the numbers don’t show “progress” by themselves, I have no choice but to consider that:

  • I’m a 5’9″ Japanese boy who weighed in this morning at a whopping 153.4 pounds.
  • I hit my target on the standing barbell press for a PR of 115 and gave 120 a solid effort.
  • My back squat technique has been retooled over the last couple months for better mechanics and is greatly improved technically.  It may take a little while to bring the strength back up to where it was in May.  I got 245 with authority and 255 didn’t feel overwhelming on my shoulders and core (which are greatly improved since May); not to mention, I had full control on the way down and finished my 255 attempt with a perfectly executed bail to the back.
  • I’ve not had a ton of heavy deadlifting recently and I had a coaching assist (thanks Dave) during my warm-up as I was lifting with Olympic-style technique to start, which was slightly inefficient when working toward a max deadlift.

Overall, though the score is mildly disappointing and the question of why I couldn’t get 265 to budge in the deadlift still lingers, I am happy with the result.  In my mind, I’ve not gone backwards, I’ve progressed technically and will eventually surpass any prior weight records I set when I was a bit less technically sound.  I’ve got all kinds of patience.

When we don’t hit our mark, we move forward with the objective of becoming slightly better each step following.  I’m far better at the lifts than I was the last time around and am already looking forward to tomorrow’s Olympic lifting instruction session where I’ll be able to apply a bit more quickness and momentum to my lifts – I desperately missed that piece tonight.

Tonight, I couldn’t have asked for a better crew to work out with.  Nancy to my left, steady, quietly knocking down the lifts with awesome persistence and focus adding strength and health with every movement; Kathryn and Alexis helping each other destroy their Totals (making it look really easy, to the point that I had to fight off the thoughts of “what the heck is wrong with me?”); and Doc Franson cranking away at a workout some of the fittest in the world would be happy to survive (way to rock it Doc!).  I couldn’t see what was happening down at the other end of the gym but from what I could hear, there were monsters down at that end too).  It was my very happy place doing my thing boxed in by awesome athletic giants who are more than happy to let their work do all the talking.  I’ll never get over it – great job folks!

I depart tonight with a conversation that destroys our concept of the “impossible”:

Boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Boy: There is no spoon.
Neo: There is no spoon?
Boy: Then you’ll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

Next time we approach our one-rep max (or the next seemingly impossible task), let’s remember –

There IS no max

Until the next time, 595 CrossFit Total it is.

Back in the rhythm, back in the pursuit, ready to take on the world once again – onto tomorrow!



1 Comment

  1. Very detailed analysis – impressive! How about if we draw an analogy with the stock market: the improvement may not be linear as long as there is a trend. This will allow for some (hopefully small) deviations from the straight line as long as results grow over time…

    Also, we used to do quite a bit of met-con work and less strength building. It seems like Coach Dave is trying to change that slightly (8-6-4, etc.) I have also read that some other people would do 1 met-con day, one Oly lifting, one gymnastics/bodyweight, one strength and see better results than following the main site. I can send you a link to this discussion on Crossfit forums.

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