Why It's Really Cool To Have Realistic Expectations
Strict Press... my most recent max effort was bumming me out, man. 48lbs? That's so... puny. And I struggled to lock it out, too. I left the box after that 1RM attempt with mixed feelings. Sure, it was my first-ever attempt at that lift. But... but what if I'm not progressing as much as I'd thought. Could I actually be regressing? The horror. The feeling sat with me all day until that night it hit me— Wait, what is the standard for a press lift?
I've been regularly using the Basic Strength Standards found on crossfit.com to help me set goals and benchmarking expectations. It's pretty dead on, from my experience. When I started, I was solidly in the Untrained column for my weight, if not below it. Slowly but steadily I've been creeping on that Novice ranking.
The press was one benchmark I didn't have memorized yet. To the internet! According to the BSS, I had blasted by the Untrained standard and was only 2 pounds shy of Novice. What! No wonder it felt so impossibly heavy, it was.
Ah, 48lb Press... maybe you're not so evil after all. We just had a misunderstanding. I let your puny numbers fool me when you meant serious business. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice do 50 burpees.
Pep rally time: Stop eying everyone else. Some of us are slow physical learners, others are tanks. Having a sense of where you fall on the progress-o-meter means you won't be like me— MISSING OUT from the joy of surpassing a milestone in the heat of a WOD. (It also helps you from swaggering up to the bar and waaaaay overshooting what you're capable of. Ouch.)
Check out the BSS, read Google or talk to your coach about what's reasonable for you. Knowing what you're able to do now versus what you're capable of achieving (hopefully soon) is key to keeping it all in perspective.