I had a super long workday today, from 9am to 8pm and I was running late! I wanted to join the 8pm class (I thought I would be able to leave work 10 min early), but ended up arriving in the box at 8:15pm. It was super busy so I decided to just do my deadlifts instead. They were doing a 1RM back squat and since I already did that last week I wasn’t too interested to join in on that anyway.
I almost didn’t even go to the box, because I was soooooooo tired! Not normal… But the deadlifts went alright. Managed to get my rep goal :). I never really try to do more than my rep goal calculator tells me… it’s heavy enough… haha. But glad that I can always match it (on the deadlift at least).
5 x 115 lbs
5 x 135 lbs
8 x 155 lbs
Then I joined in for the second part of the WOD, which was….
- Karen! with 3 burpees EMOM.
Karen is 150 wall balls for time. Torture!!
We had a 15 minute timecap and I didn’t manage to finish it :(. I managed to do 124 wall balls and all the burpees, which is 45 burpees in total. I really did push myself so much more than I would have done a couple of months ago though. I remember previous wall ball workouts and whenever there are a lot of them I usually used the 10 lbs ball. I used the 14 lbs ball now. And it felt quite light, but of course… that only lasts for a couple of reps and then it just starts hurting. Quite happy how I did, even though I do feel that I could have pushed a tiny bit harder to maybe be able to finish it in time. Always room to improve ;).
The book I just read had an interesting paragraph about this workout. On why it sucks so much haha. Let me share it here.
The benchmark WOD is 150 repetitions of a single movement: wall balls. The movement is not technically difficult—all you have to do is throw a 20-pound medicine ball (14 pounds for women) up to a target 10 feet in the air and catch it on the way down to a full squat. Explode out of the squat to launch the ball again. A hundred and forty-eight reps later, you’re done.
With every rep, the ball shoves you down, and you have to push back, only to get shoved down again. The essence of a shove, what makes it so demoralizing, is that you have to absorb force from something that’s not working very hard to generate that force. That’s why bullies shove. And while you’re being repeatedly shoved by a twenty-pound ball falling from ten feet in the air, your heart rate is maxing out. Your body wants a lot more oxygen than it’s getting.
The shortage of oxygen, plus the experience of being shoved, produces a groaning sense of awfulness. Not pain, in the sharp sense that pain is acute and local. It’s a global awfulness, a misery, like flu. The mind responds to this awfulness with a loud, dissonant drone of “just make it stop.” The only way to finish “Karen” in a reasonable amount of time is to mentally compartmentalize the horrifying totality of the task, ignore the mental imperative to stop, and just concentrate on the next few reps. When you can do that, you’ve learned how to keep moving past the siren song of comfort and relief to the finish. The benchmark time for “Karen” is a pretty good proxy for a person’s general ability to suck it up.
Excerpt From: J.C. Herz. “Learning to Breathe Fire.”