Category Archives for "Crystal McCullough"

Training Log – Monday, March 6 and Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Arnold was a blast, but man, it is good to be back in my own bed! Training was hit or miss last week, so glad to have two training days (even if they weren’t the best) under my belt this week.

I’m in Week 10 of this extended 14-week training cycle. And, it is kicking my butt!! Not sure if it is the week I’m on, coming back off of the trip, allergies, or a combination of them all. The show must go on and I’ll just be over here doing work! 🙂 Meet is in 4 1/2 weeks and I am bringing my ‘A’ game!!!

Monday Day 1 

I was supposed to use bands, but my set up is not ideal for bands right now, so I did the program minus the bands.

High Bar Back Squats

  • Step 1 – 50% (155#) 4×5 with 60 seconds rest b/t (should have had 25% band tension here)
  • Step 2 – work up to heavy double roughly RPE8-9 (should have been with the bands), but worked up to 255#/116k and stopped. I wanted to adhere to the RPE rule of the day.

  • Step 3 – no bands for 1rm (worked up to 275#/125k and called it a day).

Rib is still tender especially with a belt on and even more so when I take the belt off, but it is better every day!!

Deadlifts 8×1 starting at 70% working to heavy – 250# – 275# – 295# – 325# – 335# – 350#F As you can see, I overestimated my abilities and didn’t even hit 8 singles. The 335# was with no belt, which is a new beltless PR. Put the belt on for 350# with no luck. Some days the lift is there and others it isn’t.

ss Box Jumps 3×3 with 20″ focusing on explosion and landing at parallel

Accessory Work:

  • GHDs (Back Ext) 3×8
  • BB Rear Leg Elevated Split Squats RPE8 4×5 w/75#

Tuesday Day 2

No Front Squats on the program this week!!

I have to honestly say that so far this week, it doesn’t feel like my muscles are firing like I need them to. I could feel it from the moment I got on the barbell.

Slingshot Bench Press 2rm – worked my way up to 185#/84k. The second rep got off path and became a grinder. Decided to call it and focus on my next part of the program instead.

Competition Grip Bench Press

  • 83% x 5 (145#)
  • 88% x 3 (155#)
  • 90% x 1 (157.5#)
  • 95% x AMAP (165#) – 1 rep today and it was a grinder!!

Accessory Work:

  • Close Grip Floor Press (should have had 50# of chains, but don’t have them) 5rm then -10% for 5+ – hit 135# and then dropped to 115# for 12 reps.
  • Rope Pulls – 3×12
  • Bent over Barbell Rows w/2 second pause on sternum 4×5 with 105#

So far this week, everything has felt slow and heavy. It’s all good! Trusting the process and moving forward!

Next Meet: April 8

Weight: 72.7k



Arnold Week (and Westside visit)

Last week was a wash when it came to my training log, so my apologies!! At the end of the previous week, I jacked up my rib and training became a little sluggish Friday and then no training on Saturday. Start of last week (Week 9), I went to the chiro and had my rib put back in it’s place and some ART done. He thinks it was a cartilage strain as well and told me to take it easy.

I just messed around on Monday of last week with some light squats and deadlifts.

Tuesday, we headed up to the compound to get ready for our trip to Columbus, OH and I got in some solid training.

2/28 Week 9 Day 2

Front Squat 1rm with 7 second pause RPE 7 – worked my way up no belt until the very last one and thought I would see how I felt. It was tender, but didn’t give me much trouble until I took the belt off. Then, it hurt something awful. Happy I was still able to work my up up to 95k/209# in the midst of it all.

Slingshot Bench w/90% of 3rm for 3 – worked my way up to that 90% and hit 175# for 3 reps.

Competition Bench Press (no SS) 83%x5 (145#), 88%x3 (155#), 90% AMAP – hit 4 reps at 158# – it is funny I didn’t feel the rib until I was really using my lower body drive and just sitting up out of the position.

*I skipped my floor press due to the rib irritation

Accessory work:

  • Banded face pulls 3×12
  • Bent over barbell rows paused 2 sec at sternum 4×5 w/ 95#
  • OH DB fat grip carries 3×20 yds forward and backward with 20# dumbbells

We headed out Wednesday to Columbus, got the booth all set up, and made a quick trip over to Westside, but no training on that day. Too late and too little food. LOL

Thursday 3/2 Day 5 

I went ahead and did my squats and deadlift from Day 5 since we were at Westside and I knew the probability of getting it in otherwise was pretty slim to none. Rib was still irritated, so I had to test out the waters and see how it felt. It felt decent, but I didn’t think I could hit the numbers prescribed to me if I started out at the beginning %. Turned out to be a good call.

Mash Method Squats 

  • Set 1 – 93% x1 rest 2 minutes 78% x5 – here is where I backed off and did 86% (275#/125k) and 71% (225#/102k) instead to start
  • Set 2 – 285#/129.5k x1 rest 2 minutes 235#/107k x5
  • Set 3 – 300#/136k x1 rest 2 minutes 250#/113.6k x5

The weight ending up feeling good, but the pressure on the rib was almost unbearable, so I was a little too slow and cautious to feel comfortable any heavier. But, I was at Westside so I had to hit that 300#, right?!?!

Deadlifts off 8″ blocks 1rm – built up to 385#/175k successfully and got 405#/184k to move, but no success on this day. It will be mine soon!! There is something special about Louie Simmons asking you if you want another plate and cheering you on as you lift it. haha!! Even as I type this, I feel the exact same way about my own coach, Travis.

Due to time, I skipped my accessory work and that was all she wrote for the rest of the Arnold trip. This gave me time to give my rib some needed rest.

We had some amazing performances on that platform from some Mash Mafia weightlifters and had a Mash Mafia powerlifter lifting on Saturday in the IPF World meet with USAPL. Proud of my whole team that competed!!!

We even got to see some of our CrossFit friends and meet some new ones!!

We made the long trip home on Sunday!! It was a great time, but we are very thankful to be back home, in our own bed, with our schedule back intact 🙂





Training Log – Thursday, February 23, 2017 (cardio what??)

Yesterday morning, when I woke up, I didn’t think I would be doing our gym workout at 5am. As it was, I only had one person at 5am and it was an 800m run every round. We aren’t in a shady part of town, but a woman shouldn’t be running alone down our street that early in the morning, so…..I did it with her. I went at a recovery pace, but it didn’t really hurt any less. AMRAP30: 800m run, 3 rope climbs, 20 burpees. The final tally was 2 miles, 10 rope climbs, and 60 burpees. I try my best to condition at least 3 times a week through longer aerobic, strongman movements, or row/bike intervals. I may be a powerlifter, but I enjoy being fit, not just strong! 🙂

Later in the day, I hit my usual Day 4 program. Have to say the hip and hammies were lit and so I changed my set up on bench slightly as to not get a cramp. All things considering, training went very well.

Speed Bench Alternate Grip (Close Grip) w/10% chains

  • 55%+chains 3×3 (95#+chains)
  • 65%+chains 3×3 (115#+chains)
  • 75%+chains 1×2 (130#+chains)
  • 3×1 working up – 140# – 150# – 155#+chains (5# more than last week)

ss with explosive block push-ups 5×6 and 4×4 (rest 60 sec b/t first 5 sets and 90 sec b/t last 4 sets) – was supposed to be 12″ but only got up to 7″ today.

Accessory Work:

  • Plate Lateral Raises 3 x 10 w/7.5# plates
  • Pull-ups 3 x submaximal DOH and strict 10/9/8 – not my best day on these
  • Banded row plus external rotation 3 x 10

Weight: 72.6k

Next Meet: April 8

Training Log – Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Hump day training!! Legs were alright yesterday. Some residual soreness from the soft tissue work, but probably much better than they would have been had I not had it done.

High Bar Back Squat 1rm w/1 second pause – worked my way to 275#/125k and it felt like I had one more in me. This match last week’s 1rm w/3 second pause. I got greedy and tried to PR my high bar at 290# but the legs said not today! As you can see, legs were a little wobbly.

Then it was -20% (down to 220#/100k) for 3×3 with last set being 3+. Last week, I did this weight for 15. It wasn’t so much the weight was heavy, I kept feeling a clicking in my left achilles coming out of the hole, so I stopped at 10. Better safe than sorry!!

Squat Bottoms 5rm then  -10% for 5 – worked my way to 215#/98k and stopped. 30# less than last week, but still felt that clicking in the left achilles. Down set of 5 was at 195#.

Deadlift 3rm with 1st rep paused 1 seconds at the knee – I am proud of this one!! Last week, I hit 315#. Yesterday, I hit 325#/148k with no belt! My best ever 3rm is 330# and it was with a belt, no pause, and maximal. LOL Then it was -10% (down to 285#) for 2×3 no pause.

Unilateral RDLs 4×5 each leg w/75# KB


Wishing safe travels and good luck to all the Juniors from Mash Mafia competing at Nationals in Kansas City this weekend!! Go Ryan, Cole, Matt, and Jacob!!





Training Log – Tuesday, February, 21, 2017 (Where are my legs?)

Week 8 Day 2. I have definitely learned my lesson!! No more crazy weird extra leg stuff on a Saturday!! My legs were still trashed yesterday!! Probably worse than Monday! Regardless, I still had a good training day and work was done!

My featured image says it ALL!!

Front Squat 1rm w/7 second pause at RPE7 – this was my first clue legs were not gonna cooperate all that well. Can’t really explain how tired and sore they were. LOL. Last week, I hit 100k/220#, so I was happy with how the legs felt that I could still hit 98k/215#.

Slingshot Bench Press 3rm – Week before last, I hit 190# successfully. Last week, I hit 185# fairly easily, couldn’t get a rep at 195#, and dropped down to 190#, where I could only get 1 rep. Yesterday, 175#/79.5k went up easily, so I jumped to 195#/88.6k. Got the first 2 and hit a ceiling on the last rep. I am not completely comfortable with the slingshot, and, to be honest, was afraid to flare the elbow too much and get out of place. Progress was made being able to hit that top set for 2….and a half reps….Even added a pause in there for good measure 🙂 Do you hear my panic in my voice asking Morgan to get it on that last rep??

Competition Grip Bench Press (no slingshot)

  • 88% (153#) x 3
  • 93% (163#) x 2
  • 95% (168#/76k) x 1 – Felt pretty solid!!
  • Max 178#/81k – Training PR Butt came off bench 🙁 BUT I DID PAUSE!!! I will get it soon!!
  • 85% (148#) x Max Reps – ended up with 4.

**My hips/hamstrings would cramp every time I put my foot down. The leg drive wasn’t there on any of my bench press. Looking forward to another bench day when I have some fresher legs!! 🙂

Close Grip Floor Press 5rm then -10% for 3×5 (last set 5+) – supposed to use chains, but don’t have enough weight. Ended up at 135#, which isn’t my best. Down set at 115# with 13 reps on the last set.

Accessory Work:

  • Banded Face Pulls 3×12
  • Bent over BB Rows with 2 second pause at sternum 4×5 with 105#
  • OH Fat Grip DB Carries 3 x 20 yards forward and 20 yards backward w/25# DBs

WODBody set up at my gym yesterday and I took full advantage!! She worked on my legs from hip to knee (front and back) for a whole hour!! Needless to say, I am sore and have hickeys on me in weird places due to cupping, but I’m hoping it will get all this junk out of my system and get back to normal!! 🙂

On to Day 3!!

Next meet: April 8

Weight: 72.5

IG: @crystalmaccf

Training Log – Monday, February 20, 2017

Week 8 begins!! I cannot tell a lie. Legs still felt trashed from Saturday’s post workout conditioning fest. It’s my own fault. I asked for it. LOL. Back home in Fayetteville from a great weekend with the Mash family (and my two favorite boys – Wayne and Morgan, of course 🙂 ) and back to the daily grind.

High Bar Back Squat in 3 easy steps 🙂

  • Step 1 – 60% weight (170#) plus 25# band tension for 3×5 resting 60 seconds between sets
  • Step 2 – with bands, build to heavy double staying RPE 8-9. Built to 240#, no belt, which is 5# more than last week.

  • Step 3 – Remove bands 1rm staying RPE 8-9. Not sure how I pulled it off with the trashed legs, but hit 285#/129.5k, which is what I hit at Nationals, but the speed was much different. So much faster and not maximal this time! I wish I had a side by side comparison! My high bar is definitely quite a bit less than my low bar. It is coming along though!

Deadlifts 12×1 pausing at knee for 2 seconds (starting at 70% working up to <90%)

  • 250# – 255#- 260# – 265# – 275# – 280# – 285# – 290# – 295# – 305# – 310# – 320#
  • No Belt!! and no video 🙁 Thought I was recording, but I wasn’t. The 320# is the most I’ve done beltless, especially with any kind of pause!! It felt great!!! Guess you will have to take my word for it this week….

ss with Box jumps (focusing on height and landing at parallel) 3×3 20″

Accessory Work:

  • GHD 3×8 (back extensions)
  • BB rear leg elevated split squats 4×5 (RPE8) w/95#

Great start to the week. Hoping the legs don’t feel trashed all week!!