Monday, July 12, 2010

Deadlift, box jumps, and pull-ups, and more on goals

Today's WOD:

Deadlift 1-1-1-1-1

155-175-185-195-205 (failed on 210)

PR! I knew I had more in me last week. I felt a twinge when I tried 210, so I figured it was best to stop and not risk injuring my back.


3 rounds for time of:

5 deadlifts 145#
21 box jumps 20"
10 pull-ups

My time: 7:49. Had to scale it more than I wanted (was hoping to do C2B and 165#), but oh well. It was a good workout. I really have to work on box jump technique. I just can't get my body to spring. It's just power, thud, power, thud. But it still makes me stronger, even if it's awkward looking and makes my times slow.

More thoughts on setting goals

Last week I wrote about goals, and my four tiers of goals concerning training. To sum up, first tier is health, second tier is continual improvement, third tier is big improvements/new skills, and fourth tier is elite performance.

I had a lot of house cleaning time this weekend to think about things, and I concluded that while this is a good description of the way I think about training and goals, it is not a good prescription for what I should be doing. In other words, setting goals in this way is bad for me and is actually a harmful way to think about things. I am always achieving goals, which should make me feel good, but it doesn't because there's always a higher tier to achieve.

In addition, these tiers of goals do not necessarily build on each other. Staying healthy (tier 1) may mean avoiding overtraining to keep my cortisol in check, while in the short run, overtraining might get me some big jumps in performance or new skills. Health and performance can trade off. By optimizing on performance, you may risk injury (e.g., trying for a 210 deadlift and hurting my back), illness (adrenal fatigue), or even damage to your emotional health and motivation. By optimizing on health, you may make choices that hurt your performance. For example, I could probably lift more with another 10 pounds on me. But I feel healthier when I am as lean as I am. I could theoretically add dairy (if I weren't lactose intolerant!) and would put on muscle from the growth hormones, but I would expose myself to a gut irritant and insulin-spiker (and raised insulin levels translate to higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer).

A couple of times at the gym, women who are tremendous athletes (and very lean as well) have remarked that they wish they had my body type. And my instinctual response to that is, well, it's just genetics, you can optimize for your body type, but you can't change your body type to a completely different one. And maybe the same is true with performance. It's just genetics - I can't change myself into a great athlete (someone who does box jumps with aplomb, who instinctively gets how to Oly lift, who builds strength fast, who can sprint faster and deadlift more on their first day of CrossFit than I can on my 350th day). I can just optimize for what I have. And I shouldn't beat myself up for not being an elite athlete any more than others should beat themselves up for not having longer legs or a small waist.

This is all a little rambling, but here's the bottom line. My new goals are not tiered. They are broad and integrated and achievable, and they recognize trade-offs and represent what is most important to me. My new goals:
  1. Be healthy. This is the most important. I want to live a long life, have a high quality of life, and stay strong, active, and disease and injury free.
  2. Have fun. I have to remember that training is supposed to be fun. Also, it helps me to do fun things that I would not be able to do otherwise. The strength, coordination, balance, and confidence I have gained from training have opened up new opportunities, like snowboarding and rock climbing.
  3. Look good. I admit it, I'm vain. And the combo of CrossFit, Oly lifting, and Paleo has given me the body I've always dreamed of. This is an achievable goal that makes me feel good day after day. Maintaining that is a reasonable goal.
  4. Keep learning new things and making progress at my own pace. A big part of training for me is to push my boundaries. The important thing is to feel good about the progress I make without feeling bad when I'm not making progress.

Log cabin knitting: Squishy garter-stitch bliss

I am totally inspired by the courthouse steps blanket from Kay at Mason Dixon Knitting. I love the use of color and neutrals! I'm doing a little MDK log cabin knitting myself, just got a big shipment of yarn in this weekend and started the first block of the Moderne blanket last night. Pictures as soon as it doesn't look totally boring. I think all that garter stitch will be the perfect relaxation technique for the upcoming stress of selling the house, which goes on the market this week.


1 comment:

rosanne said...

You are right on my tail on deadlifts, girl! congrats on today's PR! Loved that dragon on your site. He's so cute.