Day one was nothing but overhead squats. These, in general, are at the top of my Goat List, but I was at least excited to work on some more strength stuff. Until I read these two little words... "for time". Ah, crap. From the CrossFit 603 site:
"Overhead squat (OHS) a total of 20 x your body weight (BW), for time.
For example, at a BW of 180#, that’s 80 reps with a 45# bar, or 20 reps with 180#, or any combination in between. Sorry for the complex math (no, not really). Here’s the equation: (20 x body weight) / OHS weight = # Reps. Do ‘em. Fast. Record BW, weight on the bar, and time."
Damn. At a body weight of 135#, that means I have to move 2,700#. I was planning on hitting a few reps here and a few there, working up to the last few reps at my previous 1RM. But clearly, that wasn't going to get me done with this workout fast, so I had to rethink. See, the weight I move is going to be the same no matter what rep scheme I use. I can move 45# x 60, or I can move 65# x 40. Either way, it's still 2,700 pounds, but I have to figure out how to do that in the most efficient manner. Which means I can't work with a weight that I'm going to dump a bunch of times... but I also can't work with a weight so light I have to do a stupid number of reps to get through. As Gant put it, "If you lower the reps, the weights get too high. If you lower the weight, the time under tension is too high." The part of my brain that handles math and logic hurts.
Despite giving this some consideration up front, I still didn't play this one right. I knew I should have stuck with just the bar, because I knew I could do sets of 10-12 at that weight with little rest in between. (Gant agrees, saying, "Between 8-12 reps is a good target... 4 sets of 10 is a good scheme for something like this.") But I decided to start at 50#, thinking 5# isn't enough weight to make much of a difference. Wrong. I got through 17 reps at 50#, and it took me around 4:00. I was doing 5-6 at a time, but with the overhead squat, every time you stop, the "get the bar back up there" process is both time consuming and physically tiring. Finally, I took time to drop the plates and started working with just the bar. And the remaining 41 reps went just as fast as the first 17.
I finished in just over 9:00, but if I did this workout again tomorrow, I would cut my time in half, just knowing how to play it. And it's a good lesson to learn, because we're going to have a LOT of these types of workouts in our programming. I'm not sure what to call them. They're for time, but not really a met-con, because rarely will cardio capacity be your limiting factor. They're muscularly fatiguing, but not pure strength work, because you have to create a manageable, sustainable load for yourself. It's certainly not a brand new concept, as CrossFit programs these types of workouts as well. But I've never worked the Main Page, so this is kind of a new challenge for me. High five, Constantly Varied.
If you're looking for something to do this week, give this one a shot. You can find the full program (including today's buy-in and cash out) on the 603 site. Let us know how you do - and what your strategy was going into it. As for me, I still moved 2,700 pounds overhead squatting, so I'm okay with a little bit of strategy melt-down. But you can bet your booty that the next time this one comes up (and it WILL come up again) I'll be ready.
My OHS form still needs serious werk...