My quads are sore, I can’t get under the bar, I have no energy – a bad day

Bar facing burpees really tax my quads and hips

There are bad days in the gym and then there are days like today. When I went to bed last night I think I already knew that this morning was going to be horrible, and it was. I even got my best night of sleep in a few days (my two year old has been waking up in the middle of the night the past three or four nights for some reason…and last night she slept all night), but it didn’t matter, today was rough.

Let me go back a few days (a week)…I think my poor performance today started last weekend on Easter Sunday. I ate like crap on Sunday and my mother-in-law was in town and she arrived with ingredients to make cookies with my kids. It was going to be that kind of week and it was that kind of week. I think I probably had sugar everyday last week. I have went months without pure sugar in the form of candy, donuts or cookies over the past few years. To have it everyday…and in the form of jelly beans or mom-in-law cookies?! Disaster waiting to happen.

I have also been doing a couch stretch almost everyday to help loosen my hips which in turn has really helped my knee. Now why would couch stretch be to blame for this morning? I have my theories!

On Thursday my WOD was three rounds of 250m row, 15 KBS @70#, 25 burpees, 15 KBS, 250m row with 12 minutes of rest. This was a killer because I tried to get sub-five minutes on each of the three rounds (was not successful) and the 12 minutes rest allowed for me to go all out each round. After I was done with the WOD I did my couch stretch to help cool down my quads and hips that were barking a bit after the burpees and rowing. The first 30 seconds on each leg was good and the second 30 seconds on my right leg was good, but then I moved to my left leg for the second 30 seconds. My left leg is definitely tighter than my right and it is not hard to believe that it is my left knee that typically bothers me. I moved into the stretch for my left leg and I think I tried to stretch it too much. It kind of hurt and hurt different than normal. I stopped. I sat for a bit and got up to walk around and it felt OK, but felt like I had a knot in my quad. Right in the middle of it about three or four inches above my knee.

I could walk and felt OK the rest of the day. No issues, right?

Then on Friday I did the 45 minutes on the airdyne with muscle-up and handstand work every five minutes and I could feel my quads and knees on the AD (makes me wonder if I am sitting too low on it?). When I was done my knees felt a little flaky so I spent a lot of time on the foam roller and with the lacrosse ball to loosen up. When I was done it all felt better.

Keep in mind that Friday was my third day in a row and, more importantly, my fifth day in a row eating like shit.

Saturday I got to the gym early to do three rounds of 15 deadlift, 15 ring rows and 20 box jumps and then help set up for a charity WOD for a coach at our box. Still felt pretty good. No issues.

I coached all of the heats which was about 90 minutes worth and I wanted to do the WOD, too, so I could show support. I hoped to get some time to warmup as it had been almost four hours since I did my WOD when I first arrived, but I realized that the final heat was coming up. I tried to warmup while coaching the second to last heat and then asked another coach at our gym to coach the final heat because I wanted to participate. I did a half ass job warming up and the WOD had 30 bar facing burpees, 60 wall balls, 14 pistols and 1 C&J AHAP. I warmed up to 215 for the C&J and thought I could have went bigger, but knew that after all the other work 215 would feel heavy enough. I plugged through the work and after the burpees I could feel my quads and my hips (bar facing burpees always do that to me). Then I added the 60 wall balls and 14 pistols and tried to do the C&J. It wasn’t happening. I failed to mention that while warming up the jerk really tugged on my quads. I knocked off 10 pounds and then did the C&J and went back to the burpees. Another 30 burpees and five more wall balls before time was called and I was spent.

All day yesterday I could feel my quads. Between the bad couch stretch, the poor eating and poor sleep, the extra work on Saturday and everything else I needed a total day off yesterday, which is what I did.

This morning my legs felt OK, but not great. I was actually surprised that I could squat without feeling my quads so I gave the max clean and jerk day a go this morning. I knew I had to do full cleans so as I warmed up that is what I did, even with the light weight. They felt OK, but heavier than they should all the way up to about 165. Then I jumped to 185 and for some reason could not make myself squat. I could power clean it, but no squat clean. I tried five or six times. Nothing. OK, so let’s just get heavy power clean then. 195 was rough, but I got it and the jerk looked AWFUL! I barely split , it was so ugly. Then 205 couldn’t happen. Nothing. I know I can clean 205, but not today.

Then onto the muscle-ups. I don’t have muscle-ups but to work on the transition of not using a false grip (I have decided I can’t swing using a false grip so I need to get good at transitions without it) I do jumping muscle-ups. I typically set the rings to about a height where I can touch them flat footed and reaching almost as high as I can. today I almost had to have the rings near the top of my head. I only got 10 inside the 90 second limit for today and it was ugly.

Then onto the row. I hate rowing for time (who doesn’t?!) and was not looking forward to 1k. I started off pretty good and probably too fast and finished slow for a time of 3:22. I guess the time isn’t too bad, but it took me FOREVER to recover. I laid around for too long, couldn’t move well after and was coughing even after I got down showering nearly 30 minutes later. Three minutes of work really messed me up.

I spent yesterday cooking for the week so my nutrition should get back in order quickly. I am not looking forward to any sort of sugar cravings or crash today or tomorrow. And tomorrow’s WOD with heavy thrusters and more burpees should just finish me off if my quads don’t feel any better. The harsh reality of how important nutrition, sleep and listening to your body can be.

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