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Measurable Progress!

February 8, 2012

Yesterday’s crossfit workout was pretty intense: 15-12-9-6-3-6-9-12-15 reps of thrusters and Sumo Deadlift High Pull with a 75 pound bar (that is, 15 reps thrusters, 15 reps SDHP, 12 reps thrusters, 12 reps SDHP… total of 87 each by the end of the workout). For those who don’t know, for thrusters you start with the bar on your shoulders, do a full squat, come up out of the squat hard and fast, and push the bar all the way overhead. The momentum from standing up should do a lot of the work to push the bar overhead. SDHP starts similar to a standard deadlift, except your hands are closer together on the bar and feet in a wide stance. You do a deadlift, but continue to pull the bar all the way up to your chin.

We did this exact same workout last year in January! Yay, data to compare! When I did this workout last year, I scaled it down to a 65 pound bar. Yesterday, I did it at the prescribed 75 pounds. Yesterday I took about 17 minutes 30 seconds, within 6 seconds of last year’s time! Same time but lifting about 15% more weight? Yes, I think that counts as substantial improvement!

Not sure whether I’m on the way down or up, but this is part of a thruster. I know it was early in the workout, because I remember seeing Eric taking photos (meaning I was not so exhausted yet to not notice things around me!).

And on to the SDHP. This is clearly not the first round of SDHP, because you can see the sweat on my face. But I like that I have a straight back, weight over my heels, butt down, chest up, driving with the legs. Yay for photos that show I’m doing it right! You can see Ken in the background catching his breath — he beat me by several minutes, but this workout is way too intense to finish without brief pauses to catch your breath between sets.

And see the determination as I drive that up! Just like with the thruster, most of the lift in the SDHP comes from the legs. If I didn’t already have momentum from the legs, I could not finish lifting the bar with my arms.

And one last photo, near the end of the workout, finishing off the last painful thrusters. By the end of the workout, I was doing thrusters in sets of 3 or 4: pick up the bar, do three or four thrusters (till I couldn’t do anymore), put it down briefly to catch my breath…

I’m happy with the workout. Felt good during the workout and had clear measurable progress. I don’t know whether I was fresh or tired when I did this workout last year, but I went into yesterday already tired, so if anything, my time would have been slower for fatigue.

And today, my legs are really sore. Stairs are not fun. And lifting my arms overhead (like getting the walnuts for breakfast this morning) is difficult. But I think I’m still going to go for a run tonight before my swim lesson, and definitely have to go to my swim lessons. I’m getting my wisdom teeth pulled tomorrow, so I’ll have at least three days forced down time to recover.

284 days till Ironman Arizona.


From → training

  1. Hi Jeff, I am also blogging about my journey to IMAZ2012, but I am local. I found you on wannabee’s blog. It is fun meeting others that are taking on the challenge. Cycling is my weakness and swimming is my strength (or at least I thought it was until I started training with a group and my coach is breaking down my stroke). Anyway, would love to follow and share. You can find me at I am happy to help you with any local questions you have. I have raced on the part of the course as many of our tris are staged at Tempe Town Lake. Happy Training. From the Happy Turtle in AZ (aka Beth)

    • jbkosbie permalink

      Great to hear from another IM in training! Just checked out your blog, will definitely be following it. I think you’re lucky that swimming is your (relative) strength. I’m learning to swim now, working on the breathing. I can’t do much beyond 100 yards in the pool. But I know I just need to keep practicing the technique and the distance will come.

      How are the hills on the Arizona bike course? I grew up in San Diego and learned to cycle where I couldn’t go more than a mile from home without going up mountains. I loved that. But now in Chicago, it’s flat as a pancake, and I barely cycle because I miss the mountains. Obviously I’ll pick the cycling back up leading up to IMAZ. But I can’t do much about the mountain specific training. I mean, I can use a trainer, which might help, but who wants to be on a trainer in the middle of summer? At least I’ve heard the swim course is pretty calm. So if I can get used to swimming in Lake Michigan, hopefully I’m set for that!

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