Today was a breakthrough day! I was determined to complete 95 lb thrusters as Rx and to complete as many muscle ups as possible as Rx, i.e., not beginning the muscle up with a jump. While I can complete a strict muscle up, I’ve never done so during a met-con.
First, let’s do the math. Ninety-five pounds is 65% of my bodyweight. In addition (as faithful readers know), squatting is not a strength of mine. Uhm, full squats Wednesday, yesterday, and today… More about the met-con in a moment.
Today’s skill was focused on the rings. Coach S. politely asked me if I would demonstrate some of the skills for the 6:15ers, and since he said “please”, I was more than happy to do so, including the vertical hold, skin the cat, back lever, and front lever. Meaghan accomplished a near-perfect vertical hold on her first attempt, and this didn’t surprise me in the least. She was also kind enough to record muscle ups and progress with front lever. I only wish I also had her record back lever, as I’ve just about mastered it. By the way, Michael Kelley can’t skin the cat, let alone do a back or front lever. His HUGE ass is a detriment, I’m certain, you know, because of physics and all.
For muscle ups, I used a box to stand on to grab the rings in a false grip, and then to attempt to kip and, well, muscle my way up. I asked Coach S. if this was cheating, and he said it was not, as my feet we off of the box and the ground when I began the muscle up. Coach S. demonstrated muscle ups, and for the first time I can recall he gave this suggestion: lower yourself to the rings, i.e., do a ring dip, and then, kip for the next muscle up.
While warming up for the met-con, I said, “I’m going to use 75 lb for thrusters; the masters weight.” Coach S. didn’t say a word, although I heard an exhalation. Little did he know that I was using 75 lb just to warm up. I didn’t, however, exchange the 15 lb plates for 25s, but instead added 10 lb plates, you know, just in case I needed to lower the weight to 75 lb.
My goals were to not only complete thrusters as Rx, but to complete all rounds unbroken, and to complete as many muscle ups as possible strict, i.e., not jumping. I did tell myself, however, that I could substitute 3 jumping muscle ups for 1 muscle up if need be. And damn it if I didn’t eventually need to do just that…
Just before we began I said to Coach S., “I’m not going for a fast time; I’m focusing on form. Do not hesitate to call ‘no rep’ if I don’t do a thruster or muscle up correctly.”
5 rounds for time:
4 muscle ups
5 thrusters (95 lb)
I completed all 5 rounds of thrusters not only as Rx, but unbroken. Yes, I know 5 reps aren’t very many, but 5 reps of 95 lb thrusters – done correctly – is a challenge for me. Coach S. observed most if not all rounds, and when I saq his nearby I asked him if I had completed thrusters correctly. Each time I asked he confirmed that I had.
Using Coach S.’s suggestion of completing a ring dip prior to attempting an additional muscle up, I am exceedingly happy to report that I completed the first 2 rounds of muscle ups (wait for it… wait for it…) unbroken! I completed the third round in reps of 3 and 1, and the fourth round in reps of 2, 1, and 1.
And then it happened. My muscles were completely fatigued, and I began to struggle mightily. For the final round, it took me 3 attempts to complete the first muscle up, and another 3 (or more?) attempts for the second muscle up, and at least 4 (or more?) for the third muscle up. And I just could not complete the fourth and final muscle up. I tried and tried and tried and tried. It honestly wasn’t psychological; it was purely physical. I finally gave up and completed 3 jumping muscle ups. Thus, I did not complete the workout as Rx. Damn it. Should I have rested longer between attempts? Would this have helped? I do not know.
A few additional details, if you please. First, Coach S. coached me throughout the workout, and it was much appreciated. In fact, I had another breakthrough in that during the third or fourth round he suggested that I begin each kip by thinking of it as knees to elbows – and it worked! He also consistently reminded me to look at the floor as I rose, and to keep my elbows close. Second, for the third, fourth, and fifth rounds, after dropping from the rings I would walk counterclockwise around Meaghan, who was working to my left. At one point I said, “I enjoy walking around you Meaghan, as it’s much needed rest.” Third, everyone was very supportive of my attempts at muscle ups, and I consistently heard “Go, Paul!” Meaghan, in particular, would often look up at me as I was resting at the top of the muscle up and say, “Nice!” Fourth, Michael Kelley was foam rolling and none-so-secretly watching my every move. We all know how I hate Michael Kelley, and this was quite a distraction. He also has a HUGE ass, so I kept thinking that he was going to flatten the foam roller. Fifth, I often swore when I failed an attempt at a muscle up, and I swore loudly. And the word was a very, very bad word. My apologies to anyone I may have offended, and I’ll attempt to not do so in the future. Sixth and finally, this was one of the most successful days I’ve had at CFD in ages, and I left the box feeling energized and motivated. I shook Coach S.’s hand and thanked him for his excellent coaching and guidance. See, I’m not a dick all of the time, just most of the time.
Doug was kind enough to allow me to join the 7:15ers for ring work, and I was once again able to demonstrate the skills, coach, and show off a little bit. (Katie, let’s first work on getting vertical. Jayme, I forgot to ask you if lowering the rings helped any. Don, great job going vertical! Chad, as a clown, the rings should be – and will become – second nature.)
At the end of the workout I covered my hands in chalk and slapped my own ass. I asked Brad to take a picture, and I loudly proclaimed, “I’m suing Coach S. for sexual harassment, and here’s the proof.” He replied, “I never slapped your ass.” I said, “I know. I had to slap my own ass. That’s harassment, as you should be the one slapping it.”
Finally, between sessions, bootcamper Diane said, “Your ass is funny.” I thought she meant that I was funny. I said, “I’m sorry if I may have offended anyone, and thanks for thinking I am funny.” She said, “I meant your ass if funny. Literally. The hand prints on your ass make your ass look funny.” Ha!