Each month, I will post a Status Update where I highlight my progress – this will include physical progress, and progress photos, as well as updated lifting stats. I also want to take this time to reflect on the past month’s achievements and failures and assess my mental progress. I think this piece of the pie is just as important as the physical changes that occur in our bodies, if not more important – if you remember from my biography, I was drawn to Crossfit because it celebrated goals over appearance, and that will continue to be my mission.
I am now 6 months into Crossfit!
Since my last check-in, the Crossfit Open has started! I am now 3 workouts in and loving every challenge thrown my way. We have an amazing photographer who comes to our gym for each Saturday workout, to capture action shots! Here is one of mine, from 17.1:
The Open has been pretty incredible to experience so far. As someone very new to Crossfit, these workouts exist solely as a challenge to myself, to gauge my fitness level, uncover weaknesses, and see where I can push myself harder. Our box has a DJ come to the Saturday heats to rev up the atmosphere and get your heart pumping! It’s such a fun environment – everyone is screaming and cheering you on, keeping you going, and inspiring you. It’s so amazing to watch some of the more talented athletes (especially our coaches) race against one another and give you spirit. The support is unreal. Crossfit Grandview has truly become a home away from home for me, that I look forward coming to every night after work (except Fridays, when I rest). I love having an opportunity every evening to work on myself, both mentally and physically. I love the person Crossfit is helping me grow into.
Time for stats! I’m going to keep previous months’ stats at the beginning, to help me understand what things are (or aren’t) changing; the current stat will be highlighted in red.
Weight: 158.81 >> 155.43
Body fat %: 25% >> 22%
Lean body mass: 122.05 >> 121.23
So interestingly things are down with increased calories, but I also haven’t been hugely consistent with my eating. I have a magical ability to stay right around 155 pounds no MATTER what I do – eat a ton, eat a little, eat healthy, eat poorly – 155 is my equilibrium! Trying to get into the 160s may be harder than I initially thought. Going to have to eat a bunch! I also think that while 2500 calories was a bulk for me before, now I am doing a ton more conditioning on top of lifting, so I am probably burning a lot of energy each day that isn’t getting replenished enough to gain.
I think I may only measure my body every few months or so; month-to-month there won’t be too much of a shift visually or numerically and I don’t want to see inconsistencies with how tight I hold the measuring tape / measuring in a slightly different place each time!
In terms of lifting stats, the only real achievement here in the past few weeks was my deadlift. We had a few heavy squat days in the 3 rep range, so no 1RM additions there. Really trying to focus on form during back squats right now rather than weight.
I’m really getting into Olympic lifting! While it’s not my strong suit right now, I’m in love with the movements – and as someone who’s not that great at endurance, lifting is usually my favorite part of Crossfit workouts. I’d love to dedicate more time to these lifts go forward and really work on form and strength.
What am I the most excited about?
- I did 14 double unders last week!
- I added 25 pounds to my deadlift PR to reach 245! I’m not sure if this means I wasn’t pushing myself enough the last time I deadlifted (220) or if all this training and eating is just paying off and my strength is really increasing. What I do know, is when I first lifted 200, I attempted 220 and couldn’t even pull it off the ground. About two weeks later, 220 went RIGHT up! When I got 245, I attempted 255 for fun and that one also didn’t move – so maybe that’s in my near future now.
- I’ve had a major revelation about my breathing this month. As someone who has exercised induced asthma, breathing is definitely a source of stress for me during tough workouts. It slows me down and keeps me from what I think could be my true potential. However, this month, rather than trying to time my breathing to my movements (which when you’re gulping for air is NOT easy), I timed my movements to my breathing! I matched my pace to my natural inhaling and exhaling and this made a monumental difference. I was able to move more consistently, and rather than taking long breaks to catch my breath before feeling comfortable to move on, I was able to take shorter pauses (about 3 breaths long) and then get back to it. This greatly increased my efficiency and speed during WODs!
What needs work?
- After 17.2’s muscle up workout, I am determined to get one of these! I have a strong kip, but need to focus on lat engagement and keeping my arms straight before getting over the bar. I’d love to keep working on these in the next month and see where I can get.
- Squat form needs some love. I irritated the tendons in my knee a few weeks ago by dropping WAY too quickly into the hole during heavy squat sets, rather than lowering down in control. More recent sessions have been much better since I’m focusing on this now! I’m hoping this is like my wrist soreness I had when I first started – proper form and increased strength will slowly help this heal over time as long as I don’t make it worse along the way.
- I worked my power snatch up to 105 today (woo 3 digit club!) so I’m only 5 pounds away now from the Level 2 qualification. However, my form is NOT great. See left for evidence. I almost look like I’m doing a bent over barbell row rather than a snatch! Here’s a video of the full movement: power snatch 105.
- Overhead squats! Shoulder mobility! More time spent on mobility, stretching, and recovery in general! This should be something I do a little bit every day.
Time to up my calories a bit more and GROW! As my coach likes to tell me, “it takes mass to move mass”.