Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Here’s the long and short of it: Jen M. is a warrior.

Jen has been with us for years—actually, four years. Several weeks ago, while doing 500 meters of standing long jumps (it’s a long story) on the sidewalk in front of her condominium, Jen suffered a fluke injury, a painful and limiting hip and lower back muscle strain. For the first few weeks, she couldn’t bend over at all, and for these last few weeks, she still has to be handed weights (if we catch it in time), because bending over is incredibly uncomfortable.

Throughout this injury, Jen has never once missed a workout. She comes in every day for the ladies’ 10a group session with a smile on her face, expecting to work—expecting us to substitute or modify the day’s task in a way that allows her to continue to improve her fitness and stay active. This has meant running “Fran” with PVC and substituting shoulder presses for squats, to name a few. She has actively demonstrated the importance of training around an injury, and by taking this time to be a specialist, Jen’s shoulder and overall upper body strength has improved markedly.

Recently, Jen began physical therapy and has owned her injury and the recovery process, researching and learning about its origins, anatomy and therapies.

Jen is walking proof that there truly are no excuses to stop training, and that training may be most important when it is most difficult to literally and physically complete.

–Melody and John

Jenny Mac
30x barbell bear complex @ 95/65-lbs.

The barbell bear complex consists, sequentially, of:

  • power clean
  • front squat
  • push press
  • back squat
  • behind-the-neck push press
  • then, return the bar to the ground for the next power clean

The movements may be modified, broken-up or combined in any way, so long as these parameters are met:

  1. The power clean starts at the ground and finishes at full hip extension. Squat cleans and/or a deadlift + hang power clean combination are acceptable.
  2. Squats must finish at, or below the parallel position and presses must finish locked-out overhead.
  3. Presses may be strict presses, push presses, or push jerks.
  4. Squats and presses can be distinct or combined into a thruster. However, you may not receive the clean in a (front) squat and move directly into a thruster—stand first.
  5. You may rest anywhere but on the floor, even to re-grip. Resting on the ground in the middle of the set results in a penalty of five burpees, to be completed at the conclusion of the workout.


  1. train2live | June 13, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Jen, you are a true inspiration!! Well done and keep pushing!

    John/Mel, this is exactly the kind of story I needed right now!! Thank you.
    I look forward to trying this workout. My shoulders and upper body need strengthening.


  2. coach | June 14, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Neil A.: 9:14, 15
    Matt W.: 9:19, 20 (35-lb. dbs)
    Mike S.: 8:12, 15
    Jeff W.: 10:21, 15 (35-lb. dbs)
    Charles H.: 5:42 (25-lb. dbs)
    Sakar P.: 8:53, 10 (30-lb. dbs)
    Mayra C.: 6:44 (20-lb. dbs)
    Roselena R.: 8:06
    Rebekka E.: 10:23, 25 (25-lb. dbs)


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