For the past year, I’ve been focused on losing weight and building strength. With the help of my compatriots at Crossfit Excellence, I’ve managed to lose forty pounds and do something I’d never thought possible — come to love lifting weights.
I’m still not very strong, especially compared with the bigger guys in the gym. But I’m getting better every day, setting personal records (also known as “PRs”) and developing new skills.
For the past few months, our trainer (Cody) has been leading us through a program designed to improve our abilities at a handful of specific lifts: squats, presses, and deadlifts. As a culmination of these efforts, our gym recently held a special Saturday weightlifting event. It was a blast!
Our goal for this event was to score as high as possible at the “Crossfit Total”. We were given three (and only three) chances to lift as much as possible at each of three lifts:
- Back squat — A standard squat with the bar racked on your back. Thighs must come to parallel (or lower) in order for a lift to count.
- Shoulder press — Rack the bar on your front shoulders. Press it overhead until your arms are locked. No bouncing or bending of the knees is allowed.
- Deadlift — Lift the bar from the ground until you’re standing tall, with arms and legs locked out.
It was awesome to watch my friends set new PRs:
I set PRs of my own. Going into the day, my one-rep max was 175# for back squat, 100# for shoulder press, and 275# for deadlift. (That’s a total of 550#, though I hadn’t achieved those all on the same day.) My results for this Crossfit Total challenge:
- I managed 215# for the back squat. On my third attempt, I went for 235#. The weight was fine — and I know I can do it again in the future — but my squat was too deep, and I came forward on my toes as I stood, which caused me to lose my balance and dump the weight to the rack.
- I couldn’t get above 105# for the shoulder press. This bummed me out, but I know this is my weakest lift. I’m not sure how to improve here.
- I improved to 295# on the deadlift. My third attempt was at 305#, and I came close, but ultimately just couldn’t get the weight all the way up. (As you can see from the video below.)
My final score for the day was 615#, which boosted me from the “untrained” category to “novice”. I’m good with that. I’ll work over the next year to move up from novice to the next level.
Crossfit Total at Crossfit Excellence
I can’t believe I love lifting weights, but I do. I just love exercise!