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 Post subject: Andi's crossfit and bulking journal
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:09 am 
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Location: South Wales, UK
I've been doing crossfit for coming up to a year, and believe me when I say I started at rock bottom for all the strength and skills involved. I'm still not great at it, but I improve each time I go there. I plan to log this here (as well as on my tumblr http://themudsweatandbeers.tumblr.com) and hopefully will start to log my food intake too.

To begin here are my last two days worth of training:

WORKOUT 04/06/13 - SUUUMMMMOOOOO

Warm Up:
3 rounds:
200m run
5 SLOW deadlift @ 20kg
10 kettlebell swings @ 24kg

Lift:
15 mins to find 5RM Sumo Deadlift

WOD:
4 rounds
12 KB SHDP (sumo deadlift high pull) @ 16kg (unbroken)
12 KB Swings @ 16 kg (unbroken)
400m run
13 min time cap

OK, partnered up with Justin again tonight, and I have to say he’s really good at egging me on to up my weights. My previous 5RM on sumo deadlift was 90kg, and I got to this easily, upped it to 100kg, and I still think there was more there. I did a bonus 1 rep at 105kg and 110kg as I was running out of time but I was excited that I was lifting more than I expected. My previous 1RM of standard deadlift was 110kg, and I know I can now add some weight on to that next time it comes up.

I scaled the kettlebell weight for the WOD down to 16kg from the Rx 24kg, but I was quite surprised at just how light this felt during the workout. The run was the real killer in this. 24kg would have been doable, but I would have been much slower, and the WOD itself was a real lung blower so I probably made the right choice. I finished in 11:37 and prompted collapsed into a pile on the floor. It was nice to train outside again though.

Last night was the first time I tried out the home made pre-workout snack, and post-workout recovery drink, taken from Brendan Brazier’s Thrive recipe book. It was nice to make the final step into veganism knowing that I’m fuelling my broken muscles appropriately, and it was completely tasty and very thirst quenching to boot. The home made nature means I know exactly what’s going into it, and it’s pretty cheap too. Very pleased.

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Last edited by AndiMorris on Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:59 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Andi's crossfit journal
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:10 am 
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Location: South Wales, UK
WORKOUT 05/06/13
Warm Up:
(I arrived a few minutes late, so only did half of the warm up).
100m run
10 push ups
20 sec wall handstand
50 double unders
WOD:
3 rounds of:
5 clean & jerk 80/55kg
75 double unders
9 min time cap
Skills:
7 minute OTMEM
20 sit ups
then
7 minute OTMEM
12 push ups (scaled from 10 handstand pushups)
If at any point you don’t complete the round you replace the movement with 7 burpees on the minute for the remaining rounds.
———————————————————————————-
It was an odd session last night, I arrived late and so didn’t do the complete warm up, which sent me off kilter for everything, mentally more than physically I think. Then we did the main WOD before doing the skills session which felt very backwards.

The WOD I went for 50kg on the clean and jerk, and defaulted to power cleans, when really I should have gone for full squat cleans. I honestly didn’t even think about this at the time though. 50kg felt heavy, and my grip was slipping a fair amount, however I managed to complete the 3 rounds of this so it was the right choice to go heavier than I though I could have, I know I can do it in the future now. For some reason my double unders have gone backwards in recent weeks. I went for them in the first round and only managed to chain around 30, then it was all 10s and 5s until I reached 75. For the second two rounds I went for 150 fast singles instead to keep the intensity up. I was halfway through the last set of single unders when I reached the time cap.

For the skills session (if you can really call it that for this particular workout) I completed all the sit ups for each round without fail. I was close to the minute on the last two rounds, but I finished at least. The push ups was a different story. My shoulders were shot from the clean and jerks, and I always quickly blow out on push ups as it is. I finished the first two rounds, then failed the third getting only 10 reps in the minute, meaning the remaining 4 sets were of 7 burpees.

I’ve been eating very well since going vegan, and it’s showing by the loss in body fat. I’m down to 15.1% this morning, from 18% about 6 weeks ago, with not much muscle mass lost this I’m very pleased with how this is going.
Breakfast: smoothie
Morning snack: 25g nuts
Lunch: broccoli soup
Afternoon snack: peanut butter and some fruit
Dinner: Butternut squash and bean stew type thing
Evening snack: granola with almond milk

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 Post subject: Re: Andi's crossfit journal
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:56 am 
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Location: South Wales, UK
Workout 07/06/13

Warm Up:
2 rounds of:
200m run
5 air squats
5 burpees
10 second wall handstand hold

Skills:
HSPU practise
3 sets of max effort handstand push ups

WOD:
Rx:
“Omar”
10 thrusters (42.5/30kg)
15 bar-facing burpees
20 thrusters
25 bf burpees
30 thrusters
35 bf burpees

Level 1:
18 min AMRAP
5 thrusters
7 bf burpees
10 thrusters
14 bf burpees
15 thrusters
21 bf burpees

I enjoyed the skills section again today. I am making progress with my kipping hand stand push ups, and can now do a few in a row with one abmat, I think I’d probably be able to do a few at rx too (15kg plate each side of abmat). For the max-effort sets I did 6,4 and 2, which obviously isn’t great, but it’s better than I’ve done before, and each time the only reason I broke was because I kipped away from the wall, meaning I came back down to my feet.

The WOD was a different story, I was in a quandary. When I first saw the workout on the board I wanted to do the Rx version, but with a scaled weight, probably 30kg, maybe even 25kg, but Coach Reeves said that there was no more mix and matching, we either do Rx, or level 1, which was fair enough. He was trying to get me to go for Rx weight (rightly) saying that above all else I need to work on my strength and the best way to get stronger woudl be to lift heavier, but I was insistent that 42.5kg thrusters at that amount would be too heavy for me to get anywhere with the workout. I chose to scale to Level 1, at 35kg. It was killer, I managed to complete 1 round and 25 reps and it was hard going. I had to break the thrusters up in to sets of 3s apart from the very first set of 5. This just showed again how much I really need to do some serious strength training.

In hindsight, Reeves was right (coaches usually are!!!), and I probably should have just gone at 42.5kg, and just did as much as I could, and I fully deserved being called “Andrea” for going lighter.

I was on tour over the weekend, so there was no training since Friday night, and I’m at the studio most evenings this week, so I don’t imagine I’ll be able to get more than one session in, which is highly annoying, but that’s life.

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 Post subject: Re: Andi's crossfit journal
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:05 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:39 am
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Location: South Wales, UK
Workout 18/06/13
Warm Up:
3 rounds:
200m run
5 kipping pull ups
5 air squats
5 push ups

Strength:
5x2 hang power clean & jerk (45kg)

WOD:
Level 1:
18 power clean & jerk (40kg)
600m run
12 power clean & jerk
400m run
6 power clean & jerk
200m run

Extras:
3 sets of max effort strict pull ups (6,5,5)

My first workout in over a week as I’ve been on tour with the band, and have also been in the recording studio a few evenings, meaning I simply haven’t had time. This will also be my only session until next week as I’m off to France for a festival on Thursday morning. Annoying, but life outside the gym does take a preference.

Strength felt fine in this. I still don’t think I’m getting enough of the shrug and pull out on my olympic lifts, but I can feel it getting better. It was pointed out to me that I am maintaining the hook grip even when the bar is in rack position and then into the jerk. I need to work on keeping the hook for below the rack, and then opening it up for the above the head movement.

I found this WOD a real struggle. Rx was 60kg 21-15-9, which is too heavy at that amount of reps for me, so I scaled to the level 1 workout at 40kg. It still felt brutal though, with the runs being taken as a rest in between the lifts as I was completely drained of energy during them. The weight itself didn’t seem too heavy, more the amount of reps. Still I was going to go lighter, and now I’m glad I didn’t.

Before the class started I had a bit of time so I decided to do 3 max effort sets of pull ups. Previously this is always around the 4 reps mark, so I was pretty pleased when I easily did 6 reps on the first set, and 5 for the remainders too. I could potentially have got another rep or two out aswell I think, but I didn’t want to completely blow myself out before the class started.

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 Post subject: Re: Andi's crossfit journal
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:32 pm 
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Your post made me think of that song - "Started from the bottom now we here." Checked out your tumblr, solid stuff man. Keep pushin'.

-Dylan


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 Post subject: Re: Andi's crossfit journal
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:19 am 
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Thanks Dylan.

This was the last workout I did before Hellfest last week, but didn't have time to post it up here.

WORKOUT 19/06/13
Warm up
200m run
8 wall balls
5 burpees
Mobility
100m run
8 wall balls
5 burpees
Strength
3x3 front squat (tried 70kg but felt too heavy, went down to 60kg)
Wod
In pairs
1km run
100 thrusters 30/20
60 pull ups
1km run
100 burpees
60 Ring dips
A quick write up tonight as I don’t have much time. The front squat I was disappointed I didn’t stay at 70, next time.
The wod was utterly killer. The thrusters were broken into sets of 10 and once they were done I couldn’t see me having any strength left to do my share of 60 pull ups. However we broke these into sets of 5, mine in a 3 and a 2 after a couple of sets and they were done. The second run I thought my legs were going to stop working, they felt like lead weights. We managed 88 burpees between us before coach called time. All in all horrific.

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 Post subject: Re: Andi's crossfit journal
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:26 am 
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Location: South Wales, UK
Workout 26/06/13
Warm Up:
50 double unders
3 sets max effort pull ups (6,5,3)

2 rounds of:
200m run
200m row
10 sit ups

Strength:
3x5 Push Press (PR at 45kg for me)

Endurance:
1km row for time (3:58)
5 minute rest
1km run for time (4:20)
5 minute rest

WOD:
"Annie"
50-40-30-20-10 double unders & sit ups
8 minute time cap

The strength session felt good, my last two goes at 3x5 push press were 40kg and 42.5kg, so 45 was the next obvious choice to move to so that I could keep building strength in what is my weakest of the compound lifts. It felt heavy but achievable, although in some reps I could feel that I came very close to jerking as opposed to pressing. Probably because we’ve spent a lot of time learning the clean & jerk recently.

Endurance was ok, I feel I went as fast as I could throughout, and at least I have a benchmark to go against next time, although doing the run after the row obvious hindered the time somewhat.

Annie is a favoured home WOD of mine as it requires very little equipment. My previous best time in this is 12:30, so I knew I had little chance of finishing within the time cap, but I was determined to have a go. Unfortunately my double unders really got me here. It wasn’t so long back that I had these nailed and I could regularly chain 40-50 reps together, but recently if I get 10-20 it’s a one off. Last night was no exception, meaning I only got as far as finishing the last set of 30 sit ups. I started on the 20 double under set, and my rope broke cutting me short! I had however already gone over the time cap so I called it a day there. This just emphasises the need to keep on practising skills that you think you have, as they don’t stay with you if you don’t. 50 double unders a day for me from now on.

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 Post subject: Re: Andi's crossfit journal
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:42 am 
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Workout 27/06/13 - Barbell Club
Warm Up:
100 double unders
Mobility

Lift 1:
Work on snatch technique broken down into sections, then,
4 rounds of:
1 x power snatch
1 x squat snatch
Increasing weight each time if possible
Then:
5 x 1 squat snatch at the heaviest weight reached above (27.5kg)

Lift 2:
Work on clean and jerk technique broken down into sections, then,
4 rounds:
Clean & Jerk
Increasing weight each time
Then:
5 x 1 clean & jerk at the heaviest weight reached above (50kg)

Lift 3:
3 x 2 front squat (60, 60, 65)

Extras:
3 x 8 sit ups with plate held in the air (10kg)
3 x 30 plate twists

Barbell club for the second time last night, and again it was really really good practise to break technique down to the minute level. I’ve previously gone heavier on both snatch and clean and jerk, but in the above lifts I was really forcing concentration on getting power from the hips and not my arms, and also getting quickly under the bar to catch in the bottom of the squat. I’m not quite there yet, but it’s better. I still lower myself into the squat after catching more in a power snatch/clean position, but the last few reps I did get down pretty quickly.

Front squat felt ridiculously heavy at 60kg! I presume this is because it came after an hour of drilling the Olympic lifts, but still I thought I could go heavier than this on the front squat. I tried the last set at 65kg, and made it, but holy shit it was a struggle. It could also be that i have lost a reasonable amount of weight recently, so perhaps some strength has gone too.

All in all another good session at barbell club. I definitely want to make it to more of these when possible.

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 Post subject: Re: Andi's crossfit journal
PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:05 am 
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Location: South Wales, UK
Workout 29/06/13

Warm Up:
3 rounds of:
5 pull ups
10 x 20kg overhead squats
10 varying hand position push ups

Lift:
5x3 overhead squat (30kg, 35, 40, 42.5, out of time)
5x3 thruster (40kg, 40, 42.5 out of time)

WOD:
10-1 pull ups
1-10 squat clean wall balls (9kg)
10 minute time cap

Pretty pleased with this session overall, I got new PBs in 3 reps on overhead squat and thrusters, and with more time I know I could have gone heavier. Also I chained 10 kipping pull ups together for the first time ever. It was the only round I managed unbroken in the WOD, but to be honest that was mostly as the bar kept twisting and so I kept losing grip. Excuses excuses and all that, but it really is the truth. I didn’t manage to finish in the 10 minute time cap, and but managed to finish the round of 4 pull ups, which I’m happy enough with.

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 Post subject: Re: Andi's crossfit journal
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:35 am 
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Location: South Wales, UK
Workout 01/07/13
Warm Up:
400m run
10 box jumps (24")
10 press (20kg)
10 push press (20kg)
20 air squats

Lift:
Strict press 1-1-1-1-1-1 (32.5-35-37.5-40X-37.5-40X)
Push press 3-3-3-3 (40-45-50-52.5 last set only 2 reps)

WOD:
400m run x 3 (1.23, 1.24, 1.32)
2 minute rest between rounds
500 row x 3 (1.55, 2.02, 1.58)

Disappointed in my strict press numbers. My previous 1RM was 40kg, and I honestly thought I would beat this last night, however I really struggled with 37.5kg, and failed twice on 40kg. I’ve obviously lost some strength with my recent weight loss.
Push press felt ok, I failed the last rep of the last set as my form slipped and I could feel it nailing my back, so I backed out.

The WOD was surprising. For some reason I had bags of energy in the runs and ran all three rounds quicker than I ever have before. I really had the motivation to go for it, which is unusual with me and running. Rowing was similar, although this felt much harder, and I mainly just aimed to finish in under 2 minutes per round, which I nearly did.

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 Post subject: Re: Andi's crossfit journal
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:26 am 
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Location: South Wales, UK
Workout 02/07/13

Warm Up:
400m run
3 rounds of:
8 burpees
10 air squats
10 ground to overhead

Lift:
1RM snatch (pause 2 seconds at knee)
Any time it is power snatched instead of full squat snatch must be followed by 2 overhead squat.
Power snatch followed by 2 x OHS rounds were 20kg, 20kg, 20kg, 30kg, 32.5kg, 37.5kg, 37.5kg
Squat snatched rounds were 20kg, 30kg, 32.5kg, 35kg

WOD:
Rx - Diane - 21-15-9 deadlift 100kg, HSPU
Level 1 - Scaled weight - 18-15-12 - Deadlift, HOG Push Ups.

I liked the format of the lifting session today, it really pushed me to practise getting under the bar for the full snatch, rather than lock up in the power snatch position which I all too often do. I basically took the approach to stick at the weight until I manage a squat snatch at it, with any failed reps being a power snatch into 2 x overhead squats. This worked well, especially at the 35kg weight where I must have got the technique much better than ever before as the weight went up and I got right underneath and caught it with no effort at all. It just shows that technique plays such a part in lifting, making otherwise heavy weight move around with ease. Not that 35kg is heavy of course.

I like the simplicity of Diane, and would have loved to try and Rx this, but that’s just something for the future. 100kg is too heavy for me to attempt 45 reps at it in quick time, and I would have spent far too long on the handstand push ups to really warrant this, so therefore I went for the level 1 workout, at 70kg which had the same amount of reps, but just split differently. This was super intense and I finished in around 8 minutes (I forgot my actual time). Coach Reevesy picked the weight correctly for me, it was doable, but the last few reps of each set were killer. The hands off ground push ups seemed easier than I thought too, normally I blow out very quickly with push ups, but I’ve recently changed the position my hands and arms are in and it’s made a large difference.

That was my last session at the box until probably next Tuesday as I’m off the Czech Republic festival today to play at Obscene Extreme in Trutnov. If I get any time I’ll pop to Crossfit Praha to pick up some swag, but our flight times look like they will clash with their opening hours.

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 Post subject: Re: Andi's crossfit journal
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:51 am 
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Location: South Wales, UK
Workout 09/07/13

Warm Up:
400m run
3 rounds of:
5 deadlift (20kg)
5 hang clean (20kg)
10 tuck jumps
then
400m run

Lift:
1rm clean (squat clean 50kg and power clean 52.5kg)

WOD:
5 power clean (85% of 1rm)
10 box jumps 30"
200m run
4 power clean
8 box jumps
200m run
3 power clean
6 box jumps
200m run
2 power clean
4 box jumps
200m run
1 power clean
2 box jumps
200m run

Completed Rx (42.5kg) in 8.14

Cleans felt pretty good today, I didn’t actually beat my 1rm, but I know I’m dropping under the bar quicker than I used to, and I can feel my technique is getting better. I did squat cleans until I failed at 52.5kg a few times, then I went on to power cleans and failed at 55kg. I’ve done higher than this before at both, but as mentioned my technique has improved, and I’ve also lost nearly 10kg in weight since April, so some strength has also gone. Fairly happy with this.

The WOD was fine, power cleans felt light at the prescribed weight, and the box jumps although high didn’t pose a threat.

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 Post subject: Re: Andi's crossfit journal
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:32 am 
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Reading back through this I've noticed a common theme being a loss in strength since losing weight. I've lost nearly 10kgs since the end of April, and most of it has been fat. I've dropped from around 18% body fat to around 12.5%, although that is measured on my bathroom scales, so a pinch of salt is taken with those figures, I mainly use it to check the numbers are at least going in the right direction. I don't believe I'm at 12.5% now as I would expect to see some ab definition around then.

Anyway, I'm going to try and add another 200ish calories to my diet in the hope that I will start to regain muscle and strength, and hopefully now that my diet is clean I won't put on all the fat I have when I've tried to gain weight in the past.

A typical day looks like this at the moment:
Breakfast @ 7am - smoothie (fruit, spinach/kale, 1 scoop of vegan blend protein, ground flaxseed, 1tsp chlorella powder, 1tsp maca powder)
Morning snack @ 10am - herbal tea, 25g mixed nuts, 1 piece of fruit
Lunch @ 12pm - whatever I bring in to work. My girlfriend is very good at batch cooking clean vegan food so it's always a portion of this.
Afternoon snack @ 3pm - 2 spoons of peanut butter
Pre workout @ 6pm - handful of dates, or a Thrive foods Direct Fuel Bite, if I've made them in time.
Post workout @ 8pm - lemon-lime recovery drink as per Brendan Brazier's recipe
Dinner @ 9pm - same kind of deal as lunch, a portion of something.
Bed @ 10pm

I'm looking to swap out the peanut butter as the afternoon snack with a homemade energy bar, as I think this will bring more variation and some more clean calories too. It would be good to have some bran flakes or similar as an evening snack, but dinner is already very close to bedtime.
I do have concerns that my dinner is late, but I literally do not have time to fit it in anywhere else. Sometimes I make it home from work to hit the 6pm crossfit class, and so then dinner is usually around 8pm.

I'll see how this goes and see if I'm starting to see my lean mass go up without my BF% going up, and if not see what else I can change.

Any tips?

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 Post subject: Re: Andi's crossfit journal
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:38 am 
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Location: South Wales, UK
Workout 13/07/13

Warm Up:
800m run
3 rounds of:
5 overhead squat (with pipe)
5 vertical jumps
10 lunges
400m run

Lift:
8 x 2 hang snatch (20, 30, 35, 37.5x, 37.5x)

WOD A:
4 rounds:
2 mins max effort wall balls (9kg) - 86
2 mins rest

WOD B:
5 mins to complete:
800m run
Burpees

Score is amount of burpees completed. (12)

I enjoyed the lift section of this. My snatch technique is coming along, and I’m starting to feel more comfortable dropping underneath the bar. It’s still not quite fast enough, but it is getting there. I was annoyed not to beat my previous best of 37.5kg in hang snatch though. 4 failed reps and I knew it wasn’t going to happen.

The WOD was horrible. I hate wall balls and very quickly blow out on them. VERY disappointed in my score of 86 reps and I was embarrassed to write it up on the board, but if anything that’s just incentive to smash it harder the next time.

The second part of the WOD started with an 800m run, which to be honest I was still puffing from part a during, so it was essentially a slow jog with some burpees at the end. The heat didn’t help matters either.

I have some time now where I’m not on tour for two weeks, so hopefully I’ll be able to get more sessions in per week, and reap the benefits.

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 Post subject: Re: Andi's crossfit journal
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:46 pm 
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Workout - 15/07/13 - Sweating my knackers off!!
Warm Up:
3 rounds:
200m run
10 thrusters (20kg)
10 box jumps (24")
10 lunges
30 second front squat hold

Lift:
5 x 2 back squat (75kg)

WOD:
3 rounds:
400m run
20 burpees
20 sandbag thrusters
16 minute time cap (Did not finish - got to 3 thrusters on last round)

Super hot session at the box tonight, doing the WOD outside was nice, but holy shit was I sweaty by the end of it. Us Welsh are not used to this kind of heat.
Really trying to concentrate on keeping my chest up and my knees out in the squat, depth is never a problem, it’s the getting back up that is. Went for 75kg to maintain form, which I mostly did, so this was probably the correct weight. Will definitely look to add some weight onto these compound lifts now I’m eating more, and cleaner than I’ve ever eaten before. I’m determined to break the stereotype of the weak vegan.

The WOD was horrific, it looked ok when written on the board, but it wasn’t. The sandbag thrusters just took everything out of me, and from the second round it was a huge struggle. I knew I wasn’t going to finish the last round, and I’m fairly pleased that I got to the thrusters. Just a little more push on the last run and I could have maybe finished the workout. Who knows.

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