21-15-9 reps of:
Burpee Box Jump
Overhead DB Swing (40#)
Weighted Decline Situp (25#)
Did a Bikram Yoga class at noon. It wasn't as warm today in the studio, which was nice given the sweltering heat outside as well as compared to Wednesday's class. I actually am beginning to enjoy Bikram Yoga - in all honesty, it's probably good that I do it since I'd otherwise be quite disinclined to stretch or engage in recovery techniques on my own. It was an energizing class and I managed to work through the tightness in my knee (which I'll talk about more below).
Also did a 5 x 5 deadlift workout in the afternoon with Mika. Nothing too heavy, around 60-80% of a max effort DL. I started at 145# and ended at 185#, going up by ten-pound increments each time, using the double overhand grip. The deadlift's my favorite out of all the strength lifts. Form is paramount - it's easy to see how someone might blow out their back if they were sloppy in the setup. I know that when I get to loads approaching my one-rep max, I sometimes rely too much on my back to pull up the weight, which causes rounding and less-than-ideal form. I'm trying to make sure I set up right each time and approach each lift in exactly the same way, regardless of the load.
I've also been doing more deadlift work of late because my right knee has been bothering me, and squats and running are quite literally a pain. There's an odd tightness in my knee cap whenever I perform an ATG squat, and every time my right foot strikes the ground during a run it sends a sharp pain up my knee. Locking out my right knee is also fairly painful (e.g. if I perform a pushup or a renegade row, which requires my legs to be locked and straight for stability). Thankfully, jumping doesn't hurt, and it doesn't flare up while walking either. I don't know if it's the IT band, patellar tendinitis, or runner's knee. Whatever it is, it's quite a bummer. I've been laying off the squats and running in hope that it'll recover. I think it might have something to do with my running form (I'm a notorious heel-striker), and my knee aches have predated my experiences with CrossFit. They were particularly nasty when I was predominantly involved with running, about two years ago.
Anyway, this is what Coach Rippetoe says in "Starting Strength", the bible of barbell movements:
"... (the deadlift) can be used as a leg exercise if injury prevents squatting. It is not nearly as effective as the squat for this purpose, due to the lack of hip depth used in the starting position. But this is the very reason it can be used if a knee or hip injury makes squats too difficult or painful, and at least some leg work can be done while healing takes place. A high rep deadlift workout can provide enough work to maintain some leg conditioning..."I can't sit still to save my life so hopefully my knee heals up by itself in good time. I'm hoping the Bikram Yoga will help. My knee has definitely improved since a couple days ago, so maybe it's been of some benefit. I'm aching to run again. Thank goodness for the Concept 2 ergometer, though - it's an excellent substitute for running!
"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
- Robert Heinlein