Thursday, November 7, 2013

My First Rx Benchmark and The Superhero Unleashed Challenge

Today was a pretty exciting day for me.  This morning, I completed my first Rx or "prescribed" benchmark workout.  For all of my non-CrossFit readers, a benchmark is one of 21 workouts, named after women used to assess your level of fitness.  Some are exclusively body weight movements (pull-ups, push-ups, squats and the like) while others include kettle and barbells that come along with a "prescribed" weight for men and for women.  This weight can of course be scaled back to match your ability, which is what I've always done... until today.

This morning, our workout of the day was Grace - 30 clean and jerks with a prescribed weight of 95 lbs (women).  The first time I completed Grace, I scaled it to 65 lbs and completed it in around 4 1/2 minutes, a pretty respectable time.  This was a few months after I had started CrossFit and I was quite satisfied with the result.  Today, I approached the workout from a completely different angle.  I didn't give a damn how long it took me to complete it, I am capable of cleaning and jerking 95 lbs and I was going to completed it at the prescribed weight.  Well, it took me over ten minutes, but I did it.

The level of satisfaction I got today, despite the fact that I added six minutes to my time, far surpassed how I felt when I first completed it.  Up until today, my personal record for a clean and jerk was 95 lbs.  As in, that was my one rep maximum and I just did 30 of them.  I'm starting to learn that the biggest limit I'm facing is my own mind.  I'm not saying I can go twirl a barbell like a baton if I put my mind to it, but I am saying I can probably lift heavier weight than I have been.  Challenge... accepted!

Today was also the second day of the 21-Day Superhero Unleashed Challenge and I must say, compared to the Whole 30, this is a piece of cake.  Each day, you have the opportunity to earn up to six points.  Points are awarded for (1) no sugar, (2) no refined carbs, (3) no alcohol, (4) taking a fish oil supplement, (5) movement and mobility training and (6) executing a daily tip that's emailed to you.  This tip can range from a workout to writing out a list of things that stress you out.  Points are recorded daily with a posted leader board.  James has agreed to try this challenge with me as well and being that he's allowed his daily latte, as long as it's unsweetened, I have a good amount of faith he'll be able to stick with it.  

The think I really like is that it's based on positive reinforcement as opposed to hard and fast rules.  For example, Saturday, we have plans to meet up with friends to celebrate a birthday and knowing that I can have a cocktail or a glass of wine without feeling like I'm "cheating" is a bit step.  I can decide to sacrifice a point for that day and my program is still on track.  

I'm really excited to see how this challenge pans out over the next three weeks.  I'm trying to keep the mentality set up by my Whole 30, in a more "real world" structure and I think this is a great step in the right direction.  

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