Upon finishing my CrossFit Total, I was a little shook. I tried so hard to get stronger. I followed three days on, 1 day off. Mixing in WODs with the Wendler programming and trying different WODs from CrossFit Mainsite.
Now there are always factors that affect your lifting; particular rest, recovery and nutrition. It wasn't the best lifestyle choices in the form of food and I am not much of a sleeper to be quite honest. So I dialed it in, started looking at food differently, tried my best to sleep some more. And found something that caught my eye at http://darwinbarbellclub.blogspot.com/.
So, after 6 weeks of tackling the Russian Squat Program, I started with a body weight of 202 lbs and a max BS of 335 lbs. I was very dedicated to the program, following it exactly as prescribed. It was 3 days a week and I recovered as indicated. I did nothing but what the program itself stipulated. I ate pretty well, following a zone type meal plan and experimenting with a couple days of intermittent fasting and some Paleo recipes.
The trip was definitely something to learn from. Playing around at 80%+ of your 1 rep max is very difficult. Let me start by saying that the site actually says:
"(NOTE: This program can be VERY difficult to complete) "
This statement could not be more true. Take for example the 6 sets x 6 reps days at 80% of your 1 rep max. Brutal, disastrous, to say the least. My midline was sore going into that Friday similar to doing 10 sets of 20 reps on the GHD machine.
There were days that I mentally felt were more challenging than things we face in life. I was uncomfortable, unsettled, and sometimes feeling a little apprehensive (to say the least). There were days that trying, hoping, and can't were in my vocabulary. On those days, it always seemed that someone was there to lift me up, get me going, and most importantly, to get my head out of my ass.
The program went really well for me. I finished this past Saturday at a bodyweight of 198 lbs and had a PR of 355 lbs. 4 lbs over what the program had called for. Over the past 6 weeks there was a lot of grunting, groaning, and yelling. There were sore days and there were the "that's it?" days. My ability to move weight got better as Coaches and athletes alike would look from time to time at my form, making sure I wasn't coming up on the ball of my foot, making sure that my hip wasn't moving first, that my chest was leading the way.
I can tell you in words how to form your goals, I can give you steps to take along your way, and now I can provide from experience that goals are an incredible thing to have and that getting there isn't easy, but, at the same time, achieving them is the most amazing thing.
So whatever you are doing, whatever your path may be, work diligently, listen, laugh when you need to and yell when you have to. They are your goals, only you can work to get to them.
As for my box, we work together, so thank you to everyone who helped me along the way (and CrossFit Ironwill for providing a couple days of this program as well) and to Lori for being patient and listening.
“The greater the loyalty of a group toward the group, the greater is the motivation among the members to achieve the goals of the group, and the greater the probability that the group will achieve its goals.”
- Rensis Likert