A year ago I didn’t know squat. No, I really didn’t know squat. More specifically, I was unfamiliar with the squat movement.
That went for Air Squats, Front Squats, Back Squats, Overhead Squats, and WallBalls. I had never seen or performed any of them. CrossFit changed all that.
Now I live and breathe squats. In fact the past month has been “Squat Month”. Not that it has had an official Squat Month designation on my calendar, but Nicole and Greg have obviously been extremely deliberate in including this in our workout programming.
It is worth noting that we also began a 30-Day Performance and Nutrition Challenge at this time. The Challenge kicked off with three Benchmark WODs, including one that I labeled “Wall Ball Hell”. It is a cousin of Karen. The difference is that you get to break up the motion of wall balls with pull-ups. So it is less arduous.
- 40 wall balls
- 20 pull ups
- 30 wall balls
- 15 pull ups
- 20 wall balls
- 10 pull ups
- 10 wall balls
- 5 pull ups
The way the Challenge worked was that all participants did the three benchmarks at the beginning of the challenge and logged their scores, then repeated the same WODs at the end of 30 days to measure their progress. At six-thirty this morning a handful of us revisited the Wall. My time was six seconds less than a month ago. Let’s be real, you can vary a few seconds in either direction on any given day. Based on that fact alone, I would hardly declare this a marked improvement. But wait, there is more to this story.
Prior to doing the Wall Ball Hell WOD, we had been working on front squats. I was able to lift within five pounds of my PR. So we had already been doing some deep and heavy squatting going into the WOD. And I went from my barbell, directly to the wall, without removing my Oly shoes. 3-2-1-Go! I squatted and all my weight was firmly on my heels, my balance was excellent. My efficiency was markedly improved. My knees, hips, back and shoulders felt great. My strength and stamina were improved.
Though my time was only six-seconds better, my game was spot on. More power, more reps before resting, my pacing was deliberate. I finished strong and recovery was painless and rapid. The improvement was there, my pacing was very deliberate, because in the past I have been too eager jumping out of the gate, only to crash and have to grind through the balance of the workout. In hindsight, I could have pushed a little harder and trimmed more time off my score, but I am pleased with the improvements in my physical being and they are worth more to me than my score.
In this area of my fitness, I would declare the 30-Day Performance Challenge a success.