Another day at the office … thanks Doug Young

As I was getting ready to work out with my training partner, I called him to see what he felt like doing.  We read a really great article on intuitive training written by Bill Starr, so we constantly listen to our bodies and really just feel where we’re weakest — no set programs, just understanding that everyone is different with different needs and doesn’t necessarily fit into the mold of a program.  My training partner and I are generally the same size, build, body make-up, etc., so I am really lucky to have someone that not only shares the my passion (and we don’t have to continuously change the settings on our squat racks!), but also feels that he needs to work on the very same things I need to improve on.  He and I had done heavy pulls from the floor and a lot of exercises that made our hands a little tender already, so we agreed we’d do some back squats and maybe some snatch-grip power shrug pulls off the high blocks. 

Well, it’s safe to say that plan didn’t go very well.  I recently got a Pendlay bearing bar from MuscleDriver USA (highly recommended if you are cost-conscious yet still want the same general effect of a bearing bar), and it needed some breaking in to get that nice whipping action most bearing bars have.  We stayed to our squat plan … only we did hang cleans into front squats, which didn’t help my training partner’s hands that have recently had his fingers splitting at the base joint where it meets the palm.  For those that don’t know, it hurts a lot, and pretty much limits any heavy training (because we never lift anything heavy from the ground, right?).  It didn’t help my hands that were pretty tender and I foolishly didn’t file my callouses when I should have after the last really heavy pulling day.  Still, both of us managed to get through those and then — because men will be men and I was wearing my tribute shirt to Doug Young from 70sbig — we decided we would do the not only the power shrug, but also some snatch-grip high pulls as well.  We’re dumb, and both our wives married down the evolution totem poles, but, my bar is now that much more broken in.

Was it worth it?  You bet.  If you didn’t click on the link to Doug Young, I’ll still tell you how amazing this behemoth of a man was … right after you punch yourself in the face for not clicking my links.

::Waiting … go get some ice, too, so you can help stop the swelling::

Ok, Doug Young was, by any definition, a HUGE man.  I put the t-shirt on today and instantly felt stronger and a little more motivated.  Still, as time tends to do with an idle mind, I began to think about my hands and wanted to preserve them.  Then I thought about how Doug Young, while at 110 kg (242 lbs), not only won national and international championships in powerlifting (different from weightlifting, but still requires feats of strength and speed), but set records for his massive totals during competitions.  How does this relate to my hands?  Well, in the 1977 National Championships, Doug Young posted a preposterous 2017 lbs total (a 722-lb squat, 556-lb bench, and a 738-lb deadlift … almost sounds like a CrossFit Total, huh?  He’d easily win that event and then eat his competition, so shut up, Rich Froning, I don’t like you) … WITH THREE BROKEN RIBS.  If you don’t find that impressive, take that ice pack off your face and continue to punch yourself vigorously in the ribs until one of the breaks and then try to do something simple like a push-up.  Therefore, I remembered this great man and his great feats of strength under some pretty ridiculous circumstances, and I proceeded to lift heavy so that I could one day be like him:


Wednesday, 15 February 2012 

1)  1 x Hang Clean + 2 x Front Squat
50 kg 1 x 3
90 kg 1 x 3
110 kg 1 x 3
120 kg 1 x 2 — recent PR, so I was stoked about doing this twice
125 kg F — tried, but it got the best of me.  I kept the bar super close … so close that I knocked my sternum and knocked the wind out of myself.  We got a good laugh at that.

2)  Snatch-grip High Pull off Tall Blocks 2 x 3 — bringing the bar up to the nipples
70 kg — 80 kg — 90 kg — 100 kg (sternum) — 110 kg (sternum) … I want traps like those of Dmitry Klokov.  He was only bringing a snatch high pull to his chin at 170 kg at 1:34 in that video … no big deal or anything.

3)  Snatch-grip Power Shrugs 2 x 3 — fullest extension and huge shrug
110 kg — 120 kg — 130 kg

4)  Behind the Neck Snatch-grip Push Press 4 x 3
90 kg – 90 kg – 95 kg – 95 kg … Again, at 1:43 in the video, Dmitry Klokov is only push pressing roughly 200 kg (that’s 440 lbs, guys) effortlessly.  Seriously, that dude is a freak.  In case you haven’t noticed, I have a man crush on a couple of dudes.

5)  WOD:  “The Chief”
5 x 3 AMRAP of:
3 x 60 kg Power Clean
6 x Push-ups
9 Air Squats
Rest 1 minute

Round 1:  3 + 3
Round 2:  3 + 7
Round 3:  3 + 12
Round 4:  4 + 1
Round 5:  4 + 3

My goal was to go up in repititions every round.  The first round I was going through the motions, but it still hurt.  Since I don’t believe in differentiating between a clean and a “CrossFit clean,” I tried to see how I can speed up my set up for every clean.  I think I did a fairly good job at that.  Also, there is no such thing as a “CrossFit clean” …  a clean is a clean!  Don’t waiver on technique.  Technique and intensity should never be at odds, but that’s for another day.

In honor of all those great beasts out there, keep training hard.  Dmitry wants the rip the head off the lion, do you?

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