One of my favorite plays is The Crucible by Arthur Miller. It is about the Salem witch trials and an appropriate literary reference as Halloween quickly approaches.
At one point during the play, the mass hysteria of the townspeople leads to Giles Corey, a honorable elderly man in the community, being accused of witchcraft and subjected to pressing. Giles refuses to admit he is a witch or wizard and as punishment more and more stones are laid upon his chest.
In an act of defiance, he ignores all the pain and anguish he is suffering and simply says, “More weight.”
He refused to give in and was crushed to death.
It’s a brilliant moment, especially in the film version starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Winona Ryder.
For whatever reason, my nerdy English-major sense of humor always thinks of this quote when doing any sort of heavy lifting at the gym.
The context is clearly very different than the witch trials of the late 1600s, but I always think of Giles and his ability to stay strong and absorb the pain.
Now as I enter week two of Smolov, Coach Teddy advised, “If you were able to finish every rep on Week 1 and your range-of-motion is above reproach add 10 to 20 pounds on squat and 5 to 15 pounds to push press.”
Thinking about the adjustments that I made to my form and technique and how the lifts felt by the end of the week, I decided last night to add 10 pounds to my back squat and 10 pounds to my push press. Here are my weights and rep scheme for week 2 of Smolov Jr.:
|6 x 6||7 x 5||8 x 4||10 x 3|
Last night the push press was difficulty but I made it through thanks to the aid of Coach Andy who recommended I keep my elbows bent during the dip rather than turn my hands too early to prepare for the position overhead.
The back squat felt good though supposedly Andy took a video of my form and I am interested to see what the tape reveals. More things to work on for sure.
Like adding more weight to the lifts, we also added more reps to the Cycle 1 progression, which we are doing every Tuesday for 6 weeks.
For the 10-minute EMOM of wall balls, we added 1 more rep from last week’s number. For the 10-minute EMOM of toes-to-bar, I remained at the same number as last week as I had difficulty finishing all the reps.
Finally, in the 8-minute EMOM of Russian swings and burpees, we added 1 burpee every minute. All in all, what I deemed last week as one of the most difficult hours of CrossFit suddenly became more challenging.
But to take liberties with an analogy, sometimes you have to fight through the pain and the sweat and the tears and say, “More weight.”
Just don’t do it in the gym at the expense of form or range of motion as it will crush you.