CrossFit: Bar Muscle-Ups and Heavy Clean and Jerks

Another needed workout. Heavy clean and jerks, which I have little confidence in and bar muscle ups.

My bar muscle up form sucks, and I’ve been struggling with them. I struggled today. But once I got over the hump so to speak, I got them again.

CrossFit Chest to bar Pull Ups

For me, nothing is really easy in CrossFit except body weight exercises and the long game. Everything else is a push to the end.

Overcoming Mental Barriers

In CrossFit, so much of this sport is overcoming mental barriers. You see a workout and you think, “I can’t do that.” And then you do and you wonder what why you thought you couldn’t.

Our bodies will do whatever we tell them to do–if we tell them to do it enough. This is the essence of building strength. With enough practice and repetition, human bodies can do anything–almost anything. We can’t jump to the moon!

How do You Overcome Mental Barriers?

There is no easy way to overcome mental barriers except to push them. Until you do them or push to the edge, your mind will tell you that you can’t do it.

For instance, heavy clean and jerks. I suck at them. They are hard for me. But I keep doing them. They don’t really get any easier. But in my mind I know I can do them; whereas, before I would doubt myself.

Ring muscle ups. I still don’t have them. I took a break from trying to do one because I strained my right arm. It’s finally better, so now it’s time again to take them on again.

No part of me wants to, I’ll be honest. It’s not going to be easy.

But when I finally get one, that moment will be magic.

CrossFit: More Mental Than Physical

Two rounds for time of: 10 bar muscle ups, 20 bar-facing burpees, 30 deadlifts at 155 lbs, and 40 wallballs at 20 lbs.

No problem, I tell myself.

Until I begin.

I haven’t done bar muscle ups since the Granite Games, and they sucked. It took 3 minutes just to finish the 10.

After that, the mental game began as I wondered why.

The second round of bar muscles up I slipped because my hands were so sweaty. My scar tissue is acting up so my finger is swollen, making my grip on the bar sketchy.

I need help, I thought, as I banged my chest once again on the way up, producing lovely bruises later.

I understand the ebbs and flows of CrossFit. However, it doesn’t make it any easier.

The Mental Game of CrossFit


When frustration sets in, it’s easy to

CrossFit Game Face

give in. To not care. To let the workout win. This is what will fortify the brain: pushing through even when you don’t want to and all you want to do is quit.

It’s normal to feel this way when you try so hard and still can’t get it. Or if you get it, it sucks.

Know when to reign it in.

For me, I’ve been pushing hard. Really hard. My mental game broke today, and it took everything I had just to finish–one rep at a time.

But finish I did.

And tomorrow is a new day to try again.

I’m Mentally Drained…


CrossFit is not only a physical workout, but it’s also a mental one as well.

On Monday we maxed Front Squat.

On Tuesday we maxed Power Clean.

On Wednesday we were supposed to max Back Squat.  However, I was not there mentally or physically.

Physically, when you max, you are using all out effort.  Two days in a row is taxing.  Along with a WOD afterwards, I’m done.

Mentally, no part of me wanted to max back squat today.  I got to almost 95% and stopped.  I just didn’t have it in me.

Maxing should be done one movement a week at the most.  However, we just finished a front squat cycle so many wanted to measure their gains.

For me, it was too much.  I’m sore.  My legs are gone.  My mind is checked out.

I’ll max back squat some other week.

This week I’d had enough.