2014 USAPL Raw Nationals Week 16 – Chaos, the Plague and Getting Educated

2014 USAPL Raw Nationals Week 16 – Chaos, the Plague and Getting Educated

Jul 1, 2014

I knew going in that this week was going to be weird.  Too much stuff to do and not really enough days.  So compressed training and not a lot of sleep which is just exactly what you want when you’re in the middle of meet prep and recovery is supposed to be your primary goal.  Yeah…….. that was totally going to work out.



What’s the best way to start a super busy week of training and craziness at work?  With a sinus infection, of course!  Sunday night stuff started feeling a little suspect, which led to hot toddies and sinus meds in an attempt to kill it before it got a good foot hold.  This failed miserably and I woke up Monday morning to watery eyes and enough pressure in my head that I felt like my face might explode.  But other than that I felt fine.  No fever, no fatigue (aside from the normal Monday lack of enthusiasm)…….  So I popped some more meds and decided to get on with it.

Got out of work late again thanks to a meeting that ran over but that at least gave the most recent dose of sinus meds a chance to start working.  The goal for the day was to squat to a heavy 3 in sets of 3 and before the nonsense with my sinuses started, I had decided I was going to get 405.  And I got it.  It wasn’t pretty and it didn’t really feel like any of them were really in the groove.  By the last rep I was starting to get a little dizzy since that whole breathing thing wasn’t going like it normally does.  So I screamed at the last rep, (because that makes it like 20% lighter), racked the bar, unhooked my belt……..  Then I realize how relatively quiet it’s gotten and hear:  “Way to show off.” from the coach of the Oly class that’s working in the area where the power racks are (yes, I kind of invaded their space to lift)  That’s when I realize most of the Oly class is staring at me in stunned silence.  There was some kind of wave from me (and I might have said something but I’m not totally sure because I was still waiting for all the spots to clear from my vision.)  From the platform next to the power rack, I hear someone say “That’s damn impressive” and I think I said “Thanks!”

There were supposed to be paused squats after this but their weren’t because paused squats (yes, this is becoming a thing) and because after all that I would have sold off a little piece of my soul not to have to do them.  Luckily, that wasn’t necessary.  So I moved on to bench:

paused bench – 4×3-4 reps (end with a hvy 3)
145×4, 175×4, 195×4, 205×4

These were a bit less dramatic but laying flat on the bench made it feel like I was drowning in my own head.  They also made me forget how to count/follow directions and the last set ended up being 4 instead of just the 3 I was supposed to do.

I then skipped all the ab stuff I was supposed to do in favor of going home and going to bed since I wasn’t going to get a rest day like I normally do.


I was feeling a bit better by Tuesday morning even though I was still popping cold meds like candy.  Deadlifts for this week were to work to a heavy 2 and then do 2 more sets at that weight.  So part of me wanted to get all crazy and pull the double at 415 that I missed a couple weeks ago.  But knowing that I was going to have to do 2 more sets of it AND that I wasn’t totally over the sinus thing or completely recovered from Monday kept me in check a bit.  (See, I can make good decisions……  Sometimes.)

The first set at 405 felt pretty good.  The second set was a little dicey.  The third set…….  The first rep was fine.  The second took a long time.  Like a really long time.  Children were born, seasons changed, people died.  It went on so long, my coach forgot he was taking a video, dropped the phone and came closer to make sure I could hear him yelling at me.  Which I kind of couldn’t because it was one of those lifts where the edges of your vision kind of start to get black and you go a little deaf.  I did get it in the end though I’m sure there are probably about 4 different places in the lift I would have gotten red lit.  Definitely not the kind of lift I want to do in a meet.  Ever.  But I really can’t be that unhappy with it.  My heaviest work before the Arnolds was 3 x 1 at 395 and I’ve already exceeded that in a way I didn’t really think was possible considering how fickle my deadlift is.  So I’ll take it.

After that was some sitting down because spending so much time with my head down deadlifting (because I set up from the bottom) did not help my sinuses and all the crap sloshing around in my head made me a bit dizzy.  Thankfully, the only thing I had left was Stiff Leg Deadlifts from a 4″ deficit (also not good for my head really) and some sit-ups.  So:

SLDL – 4×3 to a hvy 3 rep abmat situps – 1×100
225, 275, 295, 315 40, 40, 20

There was a bit more sitting down between the sets of SLDL especially at the end.  And the sit-ups……..  I’ve done 100 in one set before but I just couldn’t do it today.  At 40 I got this really incredible cramp in my abs that felt like everything had tied itself in a knot.  I didn’t even know this was possible but it meant there had to be a break to stretch and it pretty well slowed down finishing them.


Before we get to Thursday…….  Wednesday morning I had to get up to go to DC for a conference.  That meant getting up at 4:45am the day after deadlifting.  Getting up the morning after deadlifting for me is always and exercise in will and I normally get like 2 more hours of sleep.  Somehow I made it.  There was a lot of caffeine involved.  A lot.  And some more cold meds.  And a very long nap when I got home that afternoon.

All of that means that I actually felt pretty rested when I hit the gym on Thursday and was off the hard drugs for the first time all week.

Worked up to a heavy double on squats.  Going in, I was thinking like 425.  But………  I’d has a little bit of weird in my elbow as I finished my squats on Tuesday.  It went away completely when I was benching so I didn’t really think anything else of it.  Until I started warming up my squats and realized that it was pretty damn uncomfortable to get under the bar.  I stretched, I rolled it on a lacrosse ball, we hit it with the voodoo band.  It didn’t really get any better.  It also didn’t feel any worse as the weight got heavier so a bit distracting but nothing that seemed like it was going to be a deal breaker.  Just to be safe, we went a head and dropped my heavy single down to 420 and it went off with out a hitch but it was very clear when I was done that the elbow was not happy.

We decided to go a head and bench anyway and just see how that felt.  And it was fine.  I little wonky for the first couple of warm up sets and then everything felt good.  This is a huge relief.  I was really worried that what was a distraction squatting would keep me from benching any kind of real weight but it doesn’t look like that’s what’s going to happen.  I hit a smooth paused triple at 210 as my top set.

Again, there was more stuff to do but I decided to try and give the elbow a rest and see if we can’t get it back to feeling good before I have to hit a heavy single next week on my squat.


And the reason I had to do my normal Saturday training on Thursday?  I went to the USAPL coaching cert being held at Crossfit Diesel.  Thanks to Matt Gary for putting together a great cert.  I know we all learned a lot.  And now I’m all official.

Coaching Cert


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