About 11 or so years ago I was at my water polo peak. I was smart, fast, and skilled. I was one of the better players in the nation. The 25th or 26th best actually, as I was an alternate for the National B team. But, there was one thing that I was not. Look back up to the line above where I list my attributes. You will notice that there is something definitely missing. Size. I am not big.
Sure, I am bigger (well, taller at least) than the average CrossFitter, and believe me, I feel it every time I do a thruster, any barbell movement actually, but I am not water polo big. Water polo players are big guys. At my peak I was about 195 pounds, playing a position where a good player would be about 235 pounds. That’s a lot of weight to give away.
But, I had this idea of playing pro ball in the Spanish leagues (the 2nd best in the world after the Italian leagues). So, I took a little break from playing ball and I really trained for size. I drank a gallon of milk a day, tried to eat hundreds of grams of protein a day, lifted 4 times a week, and squatted 20 consecutive reps every week all the while striving to add 5 pounds to the bar each week (Amundson used to scream at me to make the last five reps). And I did gain weight. I got up to 210 and I felt like a monster.
And then I got back in the pool. It felt great. I could not believe what a difference ten to fifteen pounds of muscle made. I was just as fast as before, but I was pushing people around right and left. It was great. I redoubled my focus in the weight room and got back into a regular polo schedule.
With every hour spent in the pool, my weight started to drop. I upped my protein intake to almost 400 grams a day, but to no avail. You see, my super hero power is losing weight. And I just could not do any kind of aerobic activity and keep some size. I ended up not trying out in Spain, a decision that I regretted here and there for a few years later, but not nearly enough to regret my life.
What you be bigger if you could? Smaller? What does physical size mean to you? Would it have made your life any different?
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AMRAP in 15 minutes:
1 Round=1x, 2x, 3x
x= one set of the following barbell complex
Thruster/Jerk (lower bar to back of neck)
Hang Power Clean
Do 1 set of the complex, set the bar down. Do 2 sets of the complex, set the bar down. Do 3 sets of the complex, set the bar down. That is one round. Start again with 1 set. Do not drop the bar during your sets. For every dropped bar, row 1 minute on 1 minute off for max meters.
RX’d weight-if you back squat over 400, 155#. If you squat over 300, 135#. If you squat over 250, 115#. If you squat over 200, 95#. If you squat over 150, 85#. If you squat over 100, 65#.