CrossFit Over 40

WODs, Diet, Crossfit OldTown Gossip and Lifestyle Ramblings by MarkyD

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last WOD of the year

A free for all day. I attempted 1 rep max clean and jerks and worked up to 190. I am rusty. Form was off. 185 was my best rep. Lots of misses before finally getting 190.

Diane - 7:49 PR. How far have I come in 2009? A year ago I had never heard of Crossfit. Six months ago I could barely deadlift 225. Today I strung together 21-15-9 of 225# deadlifts and handstand pushups with only 1 partition in round 1. I started fast. Later rounds quickly fell of until I was doing a rep at a time. But good effort.

Pictures later.

Happy new year and please be safe.

P.S. This combination of seeking a C&J PR, and then Diane PR will leave you broken the next day. My back is very sore. They both require violent pulling from the floor and then stabilizing overhead. What was I thinking?

That's hot (Yoga)

It was the last day of the year and I felt like doing something different. How about a Bikram Yoga class? Almost 2 hours of yoga in a room at 105 degrees. That is different. Most of the class times do not work for me as they are mid morning or late afternoon and conflict with my job and or home/child responsibilities. But no one else was at work, so I just chose to leave for 2 hours and try it.

I have taken about 12 yoga classes in my life. Not enough to be any good at it, but plenty to know that I am not very flexible. I was not sure how hot yoga would help or hurt.

It was quite the experience. Some random thoughts.

Look at all these people. Almost 35 people packed into there, every two feet or so and in three rows. Range from 20-50, mostly under 30. 5 guys and about 30 women.

That's hot. Walking into the room, is like walking out of Caesar's Palace Las Vegas in August and getting hit with that wall of dry heat.

What to wear. It is so hot that the rule seems to be the less, the better. I saw women in one piece body suits, booty shorts and sports bras, tank tops, you name it. Guys had shorts. Of the other 4 men, 2 had shirts on and 2 model looking dudes had no shirts. I was not sure which way to go. I started with shirt on, but within 10 minutes I had to pull a Harold. Bam.

And if you are wondering, yes. During almost 2 hours of stretching, twisting, sweating, back bends, front bends, etc, you see a lot of sweaty cleavage flying around and there are some very attractive and fit people in there.

What is the Bikram method. Unlike other yoga classes that may have a different focus, this class does 26 moves/positions in the same order every time. It is very regimented, as it the instructor.

The instructor. Had an army ranger shirt on when I signed in. Seems both very serious, and also nuts. Speaking of that, when class started he rolled in wearing just a black speedo. OK. During the class, we speaks almost non stop. Like a memorized script. The whole thing is weird. He also had rules, lots of rules. Water breaks only between poses, etc..

The class. It was hot, and the moves were hard. I could not do them all, but not everyone could. I am not sure that I will ever be able to stand on one leg and have the other leg fully extended in front of me while I pull up on my toe with both arms to lock it out. Do I want to do that?

But thanks to Crossfit, my core is strong and my balance pretty good. I could do more than some people and at the end I got a compliment. The instructor tried to argue with me that I had never done it before, or that it had been more than a year since I had done any yoga.

I will be back, as soon as I figure out how to schedule it in.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


First day back after more than a week away. When I saw the WOD on FB, I groaned. All the excitement I had to return faded, because, if I were to make a list of CF exercises that I need work on: double unders, rowing, and touch-and-go heavy deadlifts would all make the cut. And today we had all 3:


For Time: Row 2000m
(8:31 - which was not great but still a PR for me)



10 Deadlifts (250-lbs.)
50 Double Unders
8:47 & I suspect that I could have gone Rx at 275# and would have been still under 9.

I did not have it today. I kind of held back to start for fear of over doing it, and then I had nothing much in the tank. One highlight - because I am one optimistic SOB - round 1 of the DL was a breeze and I got all 10 touch and go. Looked at the clock and it said 22 seconds, and I was first done. Then my poor D/U's caught me and I did 3, 5 or maybe 10 at a clip. That takes a long time. And so it went.

Tomorrow I am bringing it. Look for a better attitude, effort and result.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

'Twas the day before Christmas....

'Twas the day before Christmas,
But between me and you...
it's not really my thing, cause I'm kind of a Jew.

So I went to a gym to hit a CFOT WOD.
10 rounds, heavy squat cleans,

I crushed it then put the bar back on the rack.
Then next thing you know, I was flat on my back.

I looked around, did anyone see?
When MarkyD got too dizzy and had to take a knee.

So the next time someone asks what Crossfit's all about.
Tell them a WOD done right can knock your ass out.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Snatch then Row, push up & pull up

10 minutes of 3 snatches per minute. Not my best exercise. I started with 95#. Moved up half way through to 105#. Felt OK, but it is a technical lift, and my form is avg at best.

350m row, 25 pushups and 15 pull ups. I went all out on this one. I am not the best rower (being short and 160# has some drawbacks), but I can crank some pushups. Pullups when you are gassed are always a chore. Went through 4 times. I am proud to say I cranked out 4 solid sets of 25 pushups with no breaks. I had some extra pent-up energy due to the cancelled Hopper, and I used it here.

Off to Central Cali for a week. Take care.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Death by pullups

Do a pull up in a minute. Each minute, add one more.

This was easily half mental toughness. I wanted to push it one last time before the Hopper on Sat. And I did.

The first few rounds were easy and a little boring. Once double digits came around it was all business. In rounds 1-10, I was done in 20 seconds or less. Later, I had less and less time to rest and recoup. Round 15 I got my last rep with a whole 2 seconds to spare. I knew I was done.

Final Tally - 15 full rounds, and 5 more for "fun". Lots of tape and no real rips, tears or blood. A nice day.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

DL, Lunge and Run

Today's WOD:

15 deadlifts @ 225#, 45 jumping lunges, 400m run
12 deadlifts @ 225#, 36 jumping lunges, 400m run
9 deadlifts @ 225#, 27 jumping lunges, 400m run

Time 15:02

Chriss suggested I scale back to 225# and I did. I was able to keep moving with barely a break. 15 minutes was OK, but how did people do it in 11 or 12? I am a slower runner, but I only took a few breaks on the lunges and very few on the DL. So I cannot imagine shaving 2 or 3 minutes off my time.

Pretty nice little workout. I am sure I will feel it tomorrow.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Strict Press 1x1x1x1x1

Good Day / Bad day.

I had no time for Crossfit today.Work is crazy. My only shot was to abandon the "getting my daughter Stella off to school" routine and make 7:30. I feel guilty having done that.

WOD was strict shoulder press 1 rep max. Previously I hit 175# or 176#. Today I worked up to 17, then failed at 180#. After a short break and tip from Jerry, I got back and nailed it. A PR and a second effort to get there. That was nice.

Then it all fell apart. I did a crappy 6 reps at 70% (135#) Then I had to rush to work and skipped the ring sips and double unders. I actually need more work on them than the press. Better than nothing, I guess.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Row, KB, WB, Burpee Intervals

A real gasser. I did 4 rounds. I was having unpleasant flashbacks to FGB.

Loved/hated every rep.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Deadlift failure

Todays WOD
6 rounds of
3 deadlifts - elite 315#
8 strict chins
8 strict dips
15 GHD situps

For the second day in a row I failed on a power movement. Yesterday I failed to PR on front squats. Tried as hard as I could, and got stuck. Today, after 4 complete rounds at elite weight, my back started to round on these very heavy deadlifts, and I chose to back off.

But if nothing else, once again, I taxed my body farther than it could go. I am hoping to gain some strength for my efforts. Failed, or failing attempts are still attempts and the fact that I am doing met con sets of deadlifts with essentially twice my weight is pretty good.

I was feeling bad - because I hate to fail, scale, dnf, or modify. But I definitely gave it my all. So I am going to shake it off and come back tomorrow for some more.

Monday, December 07, 2009

CFOT vs. Sport & Flex

This is not a contest, but just an interesting observation. Because I still have more money than sense, I have not quit my membership at sport & flex. I believe that since I joined Crossfit in Feb, I have been there 5 times (i.e. Sundays, missed a workout at CFOT, my hot water heater broke, etc. ) Which means that each visit cost me a cool $100. I need to quit that joint.

Anyway, stopping in there once every other month is interesting. Because I forget what was like before CFOT. I saw some familiar faces, and frankly, they did not look so good. I saw a guy that got there when I did; he hopped on a stairmaster for 30 min and then he left. He is short and stocky like me, but believe me, when you are short and not in good shape, it shows quickly. This dude clearly has been diligently showing up to exercise all the time, but he had achieved negative results. Looked old, slow and heavy. It is like he was Bizarro MarkyD. Maybe I am a fitness snob now, but I wanted to slap him across the face and talk some sense into him.

My best guess is that he shows up, has no guidance, and does a combination of what he feels like and what he reads in a magazine. It ain't working. In contrast, I show up at CFOT, do what I am told to do (usually stuff that I am not great at, and would never choose to do on my own) and have coaches watching me to see that I am both safe and pushing it to the extreme. Plus I am challenged almost non stop by others in class, the whiteboard, facebook, blogs, and the coaching staff to be better, stronger and faster all the time. I am guessing no one either working there or working out there could give a crap about this guy if he does level 6 or 7 for his 30 minutes on the stairmaster.

OK - rant over. But next time you are find yourself in a non CF facility, look around and count your blessings.

Calling an audible

I could not make it to CFOT today. Between Monday morning rush, work, my daughters mid day flu shot and my wife working late, I missed all my chances. I could have gone a 6 am - not even. That is when my wife runs, and when I am still asleep.

Todays WOD was rough looking. 5 rounds of rope climbs, heavy push jerks and double unders. I went to the ol' sport & flex to do what I could.

Push Jerks: I tried the push jerks at S&H. Very hard to do when you are afraid to dump the weight. I was cautious. Worked up to 165 for 2 splits. Controlling on the way down, and not dumping the weight on their pretty floor, is harder than I thought. 2 reps was all I felt secure to do at a time.

Row: I hate the row, but I know it is a skill I need to work on. I did 250m intervals. Each time I adjusted the damper. 5, then 4, then 1, then 7 then 10. If you are not sure where to set it, I recommend this. While all of my times were slow, I did the best with it pinned to 10. Not sure why, but that is my new setting. Back to CFOT tomorrow.

Friday, December 04, 2009

First Friday - Dec

Other than the Hopper this is my first time doing more than one named WOD in a day. Chose Grace and Helen.

Grace - It is only a mere 2 days after surviving Jerry's Birthday Power Clean massacre - 86 reps of 165# spread out over 43 minutes. My shoulders were still sore. But compared to the 165# on Wed, Grace at 135# felt pretty good. I strung together 15 or so without a pause. Then a short break - 5 seconds count - and back on. One more short 5 second count and I finished one at a time. Pretty happy with my time, although I see it was a mere 1 second faster than August. I forgot about that one. 2 times ago I did 5 and half minutes. Next time I will be fresh and ready to finish strong. Serious lung pain after this one.

Helen - 30 minute break and then Helen. Paced myself to 13:09. Only 30 seconds off my best. Got all 21 KB swings in round 1. Major accomplishment for me. I do not like them and I am intimidated by them. But today was a step in the right direction. Next time - 2 rounds unbroken!

Off to work and feeling major league horrible.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


Jerry's birthday has ruined me. Woke up pretty damn sore. Maybe all those jerk presses were not such a good idea after all.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Jerry's Birthday

43 minutes of fun: 2 Power Cleans per minute for 43 minutes.

I initially tried 185, and thought better of it. Did 165#.
Felt good. So for the final 10 minutes, I did clean & jerks.

Now I am in the hurt locker.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Strict Press x 3

I have no record of doing sets of strict press x 3. Last com parables were 147# for 5, 150# for 4 and 175# for 1.

#Today I set a goal to hit my bodyweight of 161# for 3 and then shoot for a 1 rep max > 175#.

I hit 95#, 135#,155# then tried 165# and got 2.5. Did 161# for 3 and then tried 165 again. Only got 1. Guess what. I was toast and did not try any more lifts.

The extra was a nice strength builder AMRAP of 5 strict pull ups, 8 dips and 11 GHDs. I got 6.1 rounds in. Dips were giving me shoulder pain.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Overhead Squats

Wider stance + wider grip on the bar = better results for me. I had never done more than the 45# bar due to inflexible shoulders and back. Today, Chris S, Soni and Coach gave me some cues and things clicked. Much better.

Worked all the way up to 100. 105 went wrong, and then I proceeded to drop the bar off my head while dumping it. Thankfully Jerry had no interest in catching video of me today.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Absolutely nothing

Is what I have done since last Tuesday. I went to Florida, had Thanksgiving with my grandmother, and relaxed. Went to be early, slept in late, ate a lot and did zero exercise. It was a very agreeable schedule. This is the longest break I have taken since starting Crossfit.

I did work on growing a mustache based on encouragement from Soni and Patrick. Looking good.

I am either very rested and ready to be back at Crossfit, or I am in for a world of hurt.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pre-Break push

WOD - Power cleans, Lou Lateral Burpees and 400m runs. 4 rounds, alternating ladder 12, 9, 6, 3

Elite weight was 155# for the Power cleans. 3 people earlier in the day upped the ante and did 165#. Who better to try this than Vinnie and I. I was toying with the idea but then had no choice when Vinnie loaded his bar up.

Anyway, my time was not the fastest - 19:18, but I felt great sense of accomplishment doing all 30 cleans at Elite plus 10 pounds.

I am out for the break. See you all on Monday.

Monday, November 23, 2009


3 snatch
6 pull ups
9 box jump - 24"

I went light Pack weight this time 95# to try and increase the met-con aspect. That backfired. I could have done 105 or 115 and likely gotten in just as many rounds. The pull ups and high box jumps are what got me. That said, I liked doing the snatches at 95. I felt like I was getting under the bar a little and that I was not having to press it out at all. I guess with 95# that better be true.

1 more WOD and then T'giving and a week off. Sounds nice.

Holy crap! Power Week = PR Week.

Last week was unreal. Power week at CFOT! And looking back I am shocked at how I came through it. First of all, I showed up Sat, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thur & Fri. That kind of breaks my self imposed rest day rules, but this was a fun stretch. I skipped some of the extra work, so I guess that helped me survive.

But given that on Tues we had that wicked chipper with the 15 clean and jerks at 155#, and that was the WOD that was considered our Metcon day. This was some week.

A recap:

Sat - Power clean x 1 - 200# - PR!
Mon - Power Snatch x 1 - 135# -PR!
Tues - Chipper
Wed - Front Squat x 2 - 210# - PR!
Thurs - Strict Press x5 - 147# - PR!
Fri - Deadlift x3 - 336# - PR!
and Fri - 1 mile run - 8:28 - PR!

You note that my last two days I did some incremental weights. I like Jerry's idea to always improve, even if it is only 1#. Plus a DL of 335# is just as hard as 336#, so why not.

2 days this week and then a week off. Happy days.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Deadlift x 3

Prior bests:
1rep- 335
3reps- 315
2 months ago 3x 275

Today - 3x 336 for a new PR and 3 rep max.

worked 135,225,275,315,336. Rep1 was solid, 2 tough and 3 the fight
of my life. I was not dropping it! I see 350 for 1 rep in my near

Ran 1 mile loop. Started, dropped iPod, stumbled and then started
running hard. After all that 8:28. Another PR.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Strict Press 5x5x5x5x5

Last time through this on Oct 1, I hit 135 for 5 and then 150 for 4 and a half. Today, I ambitiously started at 135 and then went 145 and tried 155. I was feeling good, but sure enough that is heavy weight to get for 5 reps. I got 2 good, one ugly and then a miss and drop. Took a break and hit 147 for 5. Baby steps, but it was a PR. I guess fuzzy math would say a 12 pound PR over last time's 135#, but given the almost at 150, maybe not really. Confused - me too.

Anyway - LtCol Dan hit a huge 165 12 hours earlier at 0515, and I was fired up to give it a go. Maybe if I warmed up light and went right to 165 - I could have done it, or close. But after a few sets, I was quickly tiring.

Does it make sense for me to try to match someone with at least 50 more pounds of muscle than me. Not a chance. But with this exercise I feel I can. And I will keep trying.

Although a shortish workout, and I skipped the extra - I was sore and muscles all kinds of pumped up later. My daughter called me Popeye again, so I will call it a good day.

This has been some kind of powerful run at CFOT. Counting back to last Sat, we have done 1 to 5 reps of: Max Clean, Max Snatch, Max Front Squat and Max Strict Press and tomorrow max Deadlift. On the other day, we did that nasty chipper with 155# clean & jerks for 15 reps. I better slam some protein. Got some almonds?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

225 Front Squat...... what I did not get today.

Given the front squat was my undoing at the CFOT Hopper, I have a score to settle here. I have made great progress of late (my 3 rep max on July 31 was posted as 155# which then increased to a 1 rep max of 215# on Sept 23.) But just like I could not do 21,15,9 with 155# after two hopper events, I could not quite get 225# today.

I ended with 210# for 2 and 220# for 1. The 220# was a little high, and rep 2 was low, but no getting back up. Best set was an extremely deep 205# for 2 that Jerry said was as deep as Vinnie's. That is as high a compliment as I can expect.


This workout had everything. Hardest part was 15 reps of 155# c&j. I knew I could do it, just not sure how long it would take or how wrecked I would be after. Not as much as I thought.

70# kb swings. 1st time doing that?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Snatch it

Snatch 1x1x1x1x1

Not my best lift. It is so technical and requires such flexibility. Jerry calls it more like ballet than weightlifting. No surprise I am a slow learner. Starting with just the bar and adding 20# at a time I did fairly acceptably at 45, 65, 85, 105 and 125. 125 was probably my best lift. At 135 I failed once and then tried 136 (why?) and pressed it out. Not really a snatch lift. Worked back down and the form was better at 105 again. I need to get under the damn bar and stop trying to lift it to the ceiling.

Worked on M/U progression. Raised the rings a little more over last time and hit 8-10 reps. Jerry suggested I not overdo it since tomorrow's WOD has lots. A chipper and it looks rough.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

9 months of Crossfit - A recap

It has now been just over 9 months since I started Crossfit. Seeing a new batch of eager new applicants at 10 am this Saturday, ready for their first intro class; made me think back to my day 1, and all that has happened since. At the end of summer, I wrote about my first 6 months. My results were visible and dramatic. I had lost more than 20 pounds and was getting stronger and making progress all the time. Almost every single max effort lift day ended with a PR. Oh, those happy early days.

Since then, things have naturally tailed off - although less than I expected. There is no way I could have kept up my initial pace. Otherwise, I would be as skinny as Chad N and as strong as Blain by this point. So in a few categories, here is what is new with me and Crossfit.

Diet & weight - I walked I the door at 187 and after 6 months I was down 21 pounds to 166. I was also noticeably more muscular. I have continued to follow the Primal Blueprint diet, but not nearly as strictly. About a month ago I hit 160 for the first time that I can remember since high school. I have had to buy all new belts and pants. Really. Then I went to Vegas – not a Primal town – took a break from Primal – and reasonable. Ever since I have not been quite as strict. And like clockwork, I have put a few pounds back on, and now weigh between 163-165 most days. I feel like that is a good weight for me. It is not like I could go the rest of my life without eating another piece of bread, pizza, a bagel, a cupcake, etc... But I try to limit. I don’t crave sugar at all. Sometimes it is OK to indulge. But the results further prove to me that the Primal Blueprint is gospel, because when I eat grains or sugar, I see an immediate increase in weight.

Injuries – Talk to anyone who has done Crossfit for a while, and there are stories of pain, injury and recovery. For me, it is in my left shoulder. I walked in the door with this problem, and the taxing workouts have aggravated it. I have a lot of pain. I have been to a few doctors, had an MRI and taken pills and taken breaks. The end results is; that the pain is not going away, and I have to manage it. I am old and I need to stretch - before and after. And I need to ice, and rest, and complain. I find a good rotation of those three is best.

PR’s – Funny thing. I was thinking about writing this with the theme that the PRs now don’t happen all the time anymore. And today, I went in and added 13#s to my Power Clean. What a nice day. I knew based on the programming, and work that we have put in, that this was coming. But better than knowing it, was doing it. It was great to step up to the bar and do it – twice. But for the most part, as my technique has gone from rookie to moderate, the gains have come in smaller increments and more slowly. But amazingly, they still do happen. It shocks me that at 40+ I can definitively say that I am the strongest that I have ever been in my life, and still getting stronger.

Fight Gone Bad – I was so full of myself going into this and really got my ass handed to me. I thought that 300 was a realistic goal, and I walked out with 222 and in a world of hurt. I don’t have the stamina or endurance that I need and there is only one way to get it. So I will keep coming in and working as hard as I can. That and my asthma inhaler – which I forgot that day - oops.

The Hopper – As good as a learning experience as it was, and as awesome as the atmosphere was to be a part of, I was disappointed in myself. The first event was the push jerk, and I happen to have freakishly strong shoulders. I always have. Even back in 1990 when I was a Wake Forest Cheerleader hoisting cute girls over my head. But I have been lazy, and never worked on the proper technique for the jerk. I was happy to push press 205 and still be near the top of the leader board. But others have shown me that with good technique they kept upping their weights. I know for a fact that if I had worked on this, I could have added another 20 or 30 pounds and instead of placing 9th, I could have been 4th or 5th. So lesson learned. The last event, I had to DNF. I thought I could do the very heavy 155# front squats, and I can - for 3 to 5 reps, but not 21-15-9. I should have backed off and scaled, even after starting. But pride and then injury got in my way. I tried one rep of front squatting this today, and sure enough it is still very heavy.

The Coach - We are really lucky. Lucky that Crossfit has become more popular and available. And very lucky that Jerry Hill opened his doors near us. At the beginning of the year, I was in a real rut at the Sport & Flex, and in general. Turning 40 can be a crappy milestone and I was very depressed about it. Because turning 40, combined with many years of the same job, the same wife, the same house, the same kid and being depressed about your fitness is not good at all. I was bored and depressed about myself. I really needed a new (positive) focus and I believe that Jerry/Crossfit saved me. His enthusiasm from the minute I was thinking of joining through the shout out this morning for getting a PR is amazing and unfailing. And yet, what he really speaks is the truth. He does not encourage you just to make you feel better, he does it because he knows and believes in you. And while his critiques can be harsh – they are also true. He will not tell you a crappy lift is a good lift. And that is the way should be. I believe in Crossfit, but I truly believe in Jerry Hill and Crossfit Oldtown. I wish there was a way I could pay him back a tenth of what I get out of this.

Thanks also – To all the coaches and Crossfit Oldtown community. I see Jerry and Melissa the most, and I owe them for much of my success. This constant tips and cues and extra time with me are appreciated. I am also thankful for being able to listen to good tunes while I exercise, and for having my idea of fitness turned upside down. I am thankful for the community of people that give me tips and encouragement all the time. We razz each other for missing a day, but we also are there to pick each other up when needed. For example, after the hopper I stopped in at KSB by myself and had a beer and complained to Katie. Just venting really helped, and god knows my wife is tired of hearing Crossfit this and Crossfit that. And the daily chats with Soni and the near constants chats with Chad keep me learning, and encouraged. So thanks to all. Plus the other athletes at CFOT are so inspiring, from Grace who I am not sure I have ever spoken to, but I always notice she has perfect form and never quits, to Blain and Gar who are really strong - like I want to be. And Chriss S. who is our so-far CFOT Hopper leader and has a few years on even me. Why shouldn't I be encouraged to work hard.

That’s all folks. More fun ahead.

Welcome to the 200 club

Power cleans 1x1x1x1x1

I have not done 1 rep max cleans since Sept. something, or about 8 weeks. Last time I added a massive 2 lbs to my PR and climbed from 185 to 187. I have since had several WODs with power cleans that I hit 185 for 3 reps, so I knew I had to up my results today.

I tried to remember the many, many cues that Coaches Jerry and Melissa had given me. The biggest ones being a very powerful jump, and speed under the bar.

I worked up to 185. Then hit 195 - yay. Tried 200 and just barely missed. It was there, but I did not put my elbows up.

One last try. Big jump, quick under the bar, and elbows up. I felt it coming back down, but I would not let it go. Pointing the elbows to the window, I willed it back up. Felt nice.

Thanks for the tips coaches. A 13# PR feels real nice.

Look for a very special blog post this weekend. My overdue 9 months of Crossfit recap. It has not been all highs - as it can never be. My first injury, and disappointing days at FGB and the Hopper. I will expand.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Row, Jump, Press

Row: 450m, 360m, 270m
Box Jump 24": 30, 24, 18
Press 135#: 15, 12, 9

I am short and an admitted slow rower. So between the rows, and jumping what seemed like up to my waist, I was not quick today. Luckily the last part of the workout was presses (anyway overhead) with 135# for 15, 12, 9. While others groaned, this was my only chance to make up some time. I aimed to never put the bar down, but ultimately settled for at least 9 in each round. That minimized the cleans and the time.

It felt really good to be able to do the last round unbroken. And knowing that all I had to do was get it over head 9 times and I was done, was a great incentive. Sometimes it is nice to have one of those proud moments. Crossfit can be humbling. There are so many things that I cannot do, that hurt while doing, and way too many days of being sore and tired. Getting a little success once in a while is nice.

Anyway, after the WOD I worked a little jerk press drill with Coach Melissa. I told myself that after the hopper, I was going to focus on form and disregard time and weights. So, I dropped way down to 65# and maybe had that "a-ha" moment. If you hear the click overhead of the weightless plates being stopped by the bar in the lockout position - you have made the bar weightless. Great cue coach. And a beautiful sound once you listen for it.

I will alternate this drill with my muscle up drills and see if I can have a decent jerk press and muscle up in 2009. Two goals. Lets see.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Pre WOD work. I kept working on the muscle up progression. I plan to work the self spot method twice a week and raise the rings up a little each time. I tried to raise it too high all in one shot today, and had trouble. Patience and practice, and I will quietly get there in 2009.

A Vet's Day special - Hansen:

5 rounds for time
30 KB swings
30 Burpees
30 GHD

I had to scale. KBs are not my strong point, and even the 53#s killed me. Of course, looking across the room and seeing Alyssa hammer the same 53# or Joaquin hitting the 88#s did not help my self esteem. I also only did 15 GHDs per round as I am still getting into them. I do not need a case of Rhabdo.

In short, when you have a WOD and the 3o burpees are the easy part, you know you are in for it.

But I survived, and then stretched it out a little.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Recuperation Day

As in ouch - I still cannot sit down, go up or (someone help me) down stairs without some solid leg pain.

God knows that O/H squats and snatch balance are 2 things I need to get working on. Just not going to be today.
Maybe I will post Chad's results just to show that I still care.

I will be back tomorrow ready to absorb a Veteran's Day beat down.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Hopper Recap and some Pics

Just a few pictures and a few thoughts.

The team. What a group. I had already left, as did Blain and some others. I still had a full Sat to attend to.

Event 1 the push jerk. Or as I like to do it, the push press. No joke, I am going to be focusing on technique and I could give a crap about times, weights, etc... I need to improve.

Event 3. Front squats with 155 for 21-15-9 mixed in with KB swings of 53# of 18 - 30 - 42. Holy crap. I tried to hang with the big dogs and crashed - hard. My calf and quad was cramping, and I could only do two reps at a time. And then we had to clean it from the floor. Did I mention my cramping calf. I was afraid to jump. After throwing in the towel, I had a very painful calf lock up cramp. I could do no more. And it really sucks when that happens. Only 8 men finished at Rx weight. So I guess I was in good company.

Event 2. 30 reps at 105# over head and then a half mile (800m) run. How far have I come since joining crossfit? I could not make it 800m when I started. And on Sat, I placed 9th in this event. My eyes are closed in this picture, because I was close to home and in serious pain. But I actually look kind of fast.

Look forward to another hopper in my future.

Back in the (sore) saddle

Max pullups/400m runs in 24:00

What can I say. I am really sore. But to stubborn to skip Crossfit. Did I say that I was sore. Stairs and even walking are painful. But I went and tried to work through and hopefully past some of the pain. Doing a bunch of 400m runs was either going to be a great idea or a horrible idea.

Funny thing. Although, we did not do pull ups at the Hopper. I had very little energy for them today. The first run or two felt very bad, but eventually, I warmed up and felt better. I even booked it on the last 100m of a run and sprinted a little. Just the once though.

An hour later, my legs are beginning to tighten again, and pain is coming back. This will be a fun week.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

CFOT Hopper challenge

I will have more to say about this later. Let's just say that I had some highs - finishing in the top 10 in the first 2 events - and some lows - hitting the Rx weight in event 3 and having a massive quad and calf cramp in round 2 causing me to throw in the towel, And oh yeah - some serious ass post event pain already. Could I have finished event 3? I would like to think no, and that I made the right choice. But I am having some second thoughts. Just like it is easy to cheer for some one else when you don't feel their pain, it is easy to revise history and think you could have pushed further. But 45 reps of essentially body-weight front squats is a ticket to the hurt locker, and for me it was a one-way ticket .

But I think I really did give it everything that I had, and today it just was not enough.

Tomorrow may be rough for all of us.

Friday, November 06, 2009

CFOT Mad Hatter Challenge

Hopper/Hatter - Let's see what Coach is picking the events from. I think Mad Hatter has a nice ring.

I have paid and there is no backing out. I also finally informed my wife that I need 3-4 hours free on Sat and was given a pass.

Check back on Mon. Let's see how this is going to go.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

11/4 - Recovery Day

Arms and shoulders are toasty from yesterday. So let's not call it rest. This is straight-up recovery.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

An even Hundy

WOD 11/4:

Total reps max strict shoulder press/strict pull ups
5 rounds of each exercise - 20 minute time limit
A round ends when you put the bar down, or come off the bar.

Once again my eyes were bigger than my abilities. I saw some of the earlier efforts and thought that I had a solid shot of leading the day. I never really account for fatigue, yet like gravity, it is always there to kick your ass.

My results by round:
Strict Press+Pull ups=Total
1 15+10=25
2 15+10=25
3 9+9=18
4 9+7=16
5 9+7=16

Total 57+43=100 (Good, but I wanted more)

Tim "The Natural" Reboulet put on a show with 20 pullups in round 1, and was leading the day with about 120 reps.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Snatch Met-Con, PR

3 Snatch (Elite 135#, I did Pro 120#)
6 Muscle Up (I subbed Lou Burpees)
9 24" Box Jump

Time 9:38

I flew through today, powered by a chip on my shoulder that I could not handle the Elite snatch weight of 135#. Last week we did the heavy deadlift metcon. That day the 15 rep Elite weight was 94% of my deadlift PR. I hammered it that day and got all 15. One of my most satisfying WOD's ever!

Today was a little different story. Today, the Elite snatch weight was 108% of my prior PR. I tried and knocked out an ugly, ugly pressed out snatch at 135# in the warm up, and was counselled to drop down to Pro at 120# (aka 96% of my PR) . I had three goals in mind today. Doing the Rx weight, doing the WOD in under 10 minutes, and getting Muscle-Up #1. Let's just say I accomplished one of the goals (time).

I love that I still walk in the door with crazy goals. Doing a WOD with 15 reps of 108% of your PR is not realistic. But that is just me. I like to think I am one of the strongest people at CFOT and that I should always do the Elite weight. Notice I said "think." Today, it was just not going to happen.

Subbing the Lou Burpees for MU's, I furiously attached this WOD and knocked it out in 9:38. As of lunch, that was the low time of the day. Granted, I scaled the weight and subbed a movement - so big deal.

After the WOD, I borrowed Soni's bar with 135# and worked it a couple of times until Jerry pronounced my last rep an ugly, but legit PR. Book it. 14 more and I could have done the WOD Elite!

Mark this down my friends. Nov. 2, 2009 will be the last day that I have to scale a weight and do less than Elite. Clock be damned, pain be damned. I am gonna pack a lunch and some almonds and it is gonna be game on.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Doing the Hopper proper

So the CFOT Hopper style event is in less than a week. For all of those who participated in the recent Mid Atlantic Hopper, or otherwise - I wonder what you recommend for the week leading up to an event. Plus this is First Friday, would I skip that?

The last few weeks, I have overdone it. I have been coming in 5 days a week. I think that is a little much for me - based on my feeling sore almost all of the time, plus my constant tiredness. My little trip to Vegas squeezed in this month did not help my energy level at all. So in a nutshell, I am sore, tired and apparently cranky.

Any thoughts or help is appreciated.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or treat

My first time through the CFOT Halloween tradition. Roll the dice for 5 rounds of two of the following plus a 400m run:

1- 15 toes to bar
2-15 thrusters 95#
3-20 hang power clean 95#
4- 20 burpees
5- 25 wall ball
6-25 box jumps

I escaped any seriously bad rolls: such as double 2's or double 6's. But I ended up with 4 rounds in a row of hang power cleans. I love them and all, but 80 reps was more than enough. I was hoping for burpees - and was rewarded in round 5 with burpees, and hang power cleans.

Happy Halloween. Lay off the treats.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Rest Day...

And another video! Stop the madness.
But I do think you will like episode 8.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Push Press - Behind the neck, snatch grip edition

I did not have it today. I did not have the leg drive (wonder why - oh, it was the combined beat down from CFOT handed out this Mon-Wed) , I did not have pain free or loose shoulders and I did not have the killer instinct.

I worked up to 205 with a small press-out and then packed up without attempting to dethrone Soni and his earlier 225# lift.

I am sure I got some work in, but I went less than all out. Not sure why I bothered.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Deadlifts, Pull ups, Double Unders


WOD: 5 Rounds
3 Deadlifts x 315#
10 Pullups
30 Double unders

Note to self, I have got to master these double unders ASAP. This workout was hard enough without the crutch of doing 1, 2 or 3 of these at a time.

But let's get one thing straight. I did 15 reps of deadlift at 315#. That is freaking awesome. 315# is 7 pounds less than twice my body weight. And my archives tell me that prior to October 2009, I had never, ever even gotten 1 rep more of than 290# off the ground. I walked in determined to go elite - and by the way, Coach we do notice that the elite and other weights are nudging up every time we walk in the door.

Has this happened to anyone else? On my last deadlift pull. I yanked so hard, that I honestly thought the music slowed down for a second, and maybe it went dark. Maybe it was just me?

Today, I was not looking at the clock at all. I just wanted to accomplish this, and safely. I have a silent rule that heavy deadlifts and racing the clock are a no no - so I dropped the bar and reset slowly and carefully for each rep. My time of 16:44 was good enough, especially considering that the double unders took me forever at my pace. My best effort was 5 in a row, and that was once.

Forgive me everyone in team 12:30 who had to suffer through my primal grunting, the LeBron James clouds of chalk, and all of the old school Ric Flair "Whooos." I had to psych myself in order to rip that bar off the ground. And I did it. After the last deadlift, I was satisfied enough that I almost walked out the box without finishing the rest of the WOD. Oops.

Tomorrow is a rest day. Unless Jerry posts a MarkyD Fave-5. I am allowed to revoke a rest day for a Fave-5, which are - 1 to 3 rep max weight of either: strict press, push press, jerk press, power clean, or, a night of drinking and carousing. I will drop everything for those. Don't believe me. I just booked plane tickets to Boca Raton for a college friend's birthday party because the theme is "A legendary night of food and port pairings." I don't even know what port is. But it is in my Fave 5, so I am in.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

WOD 10/27: Bite Me!


250m Row
20 Box Jumps
15 Ring Pushups
100-ft. Walking Lunge (2 x 25-lb. DBs)
Time: 22:02 (rough)

I know in the past I have read other people's blogs where they had some negative things to say about the WOD. And I thought, oh, just suck it up and do the work. Quit your complaining. Well. I take it back. I did not like this WOD. I am sure it was good for me, and it completely sucked the life and sweat out of me. But I have not felt this badly since FGB.

2 hours later and I am still afraid to eat anything more than my precious primal dry roasted, unsalted almonds and some water.

Monday, October 26, 2009

CFOT Hopper Challenge

I am in!

Per usual, my enthusiasm exceeds my abilities. But I am in anyway.

I am sure that the first balls out of the hopper will be some sort of muscle-up, double under, overhead squat triplet causing me to walk back home in tears with a DNF. But for now, I can dream of a WOD that is all about 200# push presses and 12 pullups. That would be like Xmas for me. And for the record, if that is the WOD, I will win.

You heard it here first.

Snatch & Go

You could tell that we would be doing a lot of snatches in the near future - as coach said so both last week and on Saturday. And as frustrated as he seemed with our collective ability last week, he seemed much happier today.

15 C2B pullups, 9 snatch, 400m run
12 C2B pullups, 12 snatch, 400m run
9 C2B pullups, 15 snatch, 400m run

Time 15:59

My PR in snatch is 125 (last week) and it was not perfect. So today, I scaled down from the Rx of 115# to 100#s to work the form. I also have flexibility issues which make overhead squats not really a part of my arsenal.

More than anything today, I focused on the explosive jump. Of course, the final part of the move is to get low and under the bar - quickly - but that is for another time. I find that personally, I can really improve on one facet of a move at a time, and that once that is routine, then move on to the next. By the end of the WOD, I felt very warmed up, and the range of motion was getting better and better. Next time we try a max snatch, I am going to nail a ton of light and mid weight reps to really warm it up. (Hello - I'm 40)

I was happy with the day. As happy as I could be when scaling. C2B pullups were good, although I had to partition after 5 reps, but I absolutely smacked mid chest to bar.

More videos to come by the way. Hope you like. But even though I like to have a good laugh, first and foremost, I love getting the work in.

p.s. The secret of the 12:30 class is out. 10 or 12 people today just killing it.
p.p.s Newbie Jen is a natural. I am jealous of her natural ability and I foresee her beating me in WODs any day now.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday WOD.

Once through for time

30 burpees (due to people not signing in)
600m run
30 pull up
30 thrusters @ 75#
30 wall balls
30 KB swings @ 53#
30 box jumps
30 burpees
600m run

Time 24:05.

Feeling tired, sick or something. Coming off 4 days of Vegas I came to CF 4 straight days and now the Sat WOD. Maybe it was the back squat, sprint air squats from yesterday. Considering the weight I was toting (245#) and the depth, it is a lot for the legs to handle. Plus, 5 days without a rest breaks my own rule. Later in the day I fell asleep on the floor while playing a game with my daughter. Guess I am tired?

Anyway. Unremarkable day for me. I just did the WOD in a workmanlike manner and went home. I liked it, but I did not attack it. Thrusters with 75# felt easy and I only had to drop twice – and only briefly. I tired, but not terribly so. 60 burpees is one way to start your weekend.

Friday, October 23, 2009

CFOT = Complete Failure Of The...Legs

Back Squat x 5, then 4 rounds of 200m sprints (sort of) and 30 air squats. Started to feel the love (tight quads, butt, etc) on the way back to the car. Good thing I live in a 4 level townhouse.

My rack position still suffers from shoulder pain, which throws off my depth and whole mojo. So I had more of a high or mid-back squat. Not ideal. But the effort was there and I moved 245 x5 - which is 30# more than last time through and equal to my prior 3 rep max.

My post-Vegas cobwebs are fully gone and I am back to full 100% awesomeness. Time to go back? Next week I have a trip home to CT to help my mom for a day. I may just have to drop in to Crossfit Fairfield County/Stamford and show the locals how its done.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Snatch it

I just checked and see that my prior snatch PR was 115. I remember that day, and I also remember how ugly that lift was and how bad I felt afterwards. And not a good sore muscle kind of bad - a bad form, bad technique kind of tweak my back kind of bad. Melissa took video of that, and you can see the horribleness. Kill me now, that looked ugly.

Today was a little better. I worked up to 125, and could possibly have moved up a little more. But instead, and more importantly, I worked a drop set or two with Melissa to really dial in the form. It is a catch 22. It is easier to have perfect form with less weight, and it is easier to get more weight with perfect form. Is that deep, or what?

The finisher was good. 3 rounds of 1 min row, 1 min of pushups and 1 min of KB swings. Chad C and I half-joked that we would get 40 pushups in round 1. I came close and got 36 and never had to rest in round 1. Nice. I like working out with Chad C because he is clearly more fit, stronger, younger, etc in all areas of crossfit. But I am close, and I always strive to match his effort. I have set a lot of PRs sharing a bar with him, including my 20# DL PR last week. I plan to keep that up. More often, I work out with Chad N. But our strengths are opposite. It is rare that we don't know which of us will do better in a WOD before we walk in the door. But even with that, he is getting stronger and I am getting faster, so soon it may get real interesting.

Overall, today had a couple of moments to get aggressive and start the day out with a clear head. Nice.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

5 round metcon

It is the week after the Mid-Atlantic Hopper and I am still easing my way back into Crossfit.

Wait a minute - I did not participate in the Hopper. I did not even spectate. I was in Vegas drinking, carousing and not sleeping for 4 days. Either way, I am still working back into Crossfit slowly.

Today was 5 rounds of 400m runs, 30 double unders and 10 kipping toes to bar. 30 double unders is about 29 more in a row than I can do. So this took a long time. I worked through 4 rounds and then subbed out 20 box jumps in the last round. A beautiful day for a run, but that did not make me much faster.

Time: 24:50 - slowest in the class?

Still a little dry and tired from Vegas. Slept 11 hours last night, so I should be good after one more regular night of sleep. I must come up with the exact Vegas recovery formula. I believe it is Days to recovery = Days in Vegas * (Age-29)/10.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Back in the saddle

I'm back. The guys Vegas long weekend was great fun. I contrast all the hard work and drive that our Hopper participants put on display this past weekend, and I was the exact opposite. My diet was bad, sleep was non-existent and my drinking was obscene.

Today's WOD was a quick 3 round met-con with 21-25-9 pullups, hang power clean and jerks (95#) and 400 m sprints. The first two exercises were actually 21-15-9 / 9-15-21 just to keep us on our toes.

My time was 14:56 which was OK. I should have easily been a minute faster. The clean and jerks felt very light, but I had no stamina. I was sucking wind and I absolutely am wheezing and tasting some crappy stuff in my lungs.

My body is laughing at me right now.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

UPDATE: Deadlifts - 1 Rep Max

I could not be more excited about hitting this WOD. Things have been clicking, and I foresee good things.

Plus it is my last WOD before Vegas.

Prior max was 315 which I did for 3. I plan to get me some.


12:30 class was me, Chad C and Chad N. Sean Soni was there to re-engage after vacation and before the hopper. No deadlifts for him.

With 3 of us, we all shared a bar and Jerry was right there with cues, tips and video. Very helpful.

I got 225, 275, 315 and then 335 - a 20# PR. Failed at 350 and 340, I was done.

A nice 10 minute finisher that took me 11 minutes.

And I'm out.

Vegas Baby!

It is that happy time for me when the guys from work go to Vegas. Before I found the solid community at CFOT, the guys at work did a lot of stuff together. Including a once a year trip to Las Vegas. Now in our 7th year, I am proud to say that only Chad N and I have made every trip.

Actually, since 2000, I have been to Vegas at least 15 times, if not 20.

Drinking to excess, getting little sleep and doing it again for 3 more days is a mental break but also true physical test. Doing it without 25 lbs of fat to buffer all that alcohol is going to be very interesting.

Carry on without us.

And for all those participating in and supporting the Mid Atlantic Hopper - go kick some ass and represent.

UPDATE: Fran - 5:30

I am so impressed with all the low times from this morning's Fran. To get a top 5 men's time, you basically have to go under 4 minutes. Way back on June 22: my prior best was 6:33

I have been feeling really strong this lately. My shoulder is recovering and I have been taking a few more rest days. I think it all clicked when we did the deadlifts last week and got 315 x 3. It is like: wait - I am actually getting very strong. I know that conditioning is my weak link, but I am glad to be making progress. Fran is better for me because it is shorter than some other benchmarks.

Andrea gave some solid advice - which was A: really jump the bar, B: don't drop the bar and C: don't bother to rest. Easier said than done, but she is right on all counts. You are not going to recover, and resting the bar on your shoulders is good enough. Still, I dropped once each round. Next time, I will do better.

In June I did not have a solid pull up. I only came of the bar once each round today, vs many many times in the past.

1 more WOD before Vegas and a little mental break. I am sooooo ready.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Strict (PR)ess

As in PR!

Looking way back to July 27 - I had a PR strict press that day of 170 when I weighed 168. Clearly Strict Press is one of the few things I excel at, but I want more. I want to keep increasing how much more than my body weight I can put over my head. Today I weigh 161, so let's roll.

I decided to knock this WOD out before work because I was too amped up to put it off for a few more hours. We got started with a nice 6 minute AMRAP of 15 box jumps, 15 Russian swings and a 9 cal row. I was late, and literally had to jump right into it. I could tell I had some energy because my box jumping was Soni-like spring jumps.

Time to lift. We had 4 guys and we shared a bar. I am pretty sure that I was pacing like an expectant puma in between lifts.

95,115, 135, and 155 all felt good. Then 165 felt pretty good too. I had planned to try some small increment like 171, but Mike Mann put 175 on the bar. And here it is - (the second clip)

Got it, but it was tough. I did not throw the bar down in my signature style. Throwing it down and then having to clean that much weight the day after a 36 heavy squat clean WOD is obnoxious. Mike did a drop set after his big lift, and others did Annie - but I had to get to work. I plan to ab mat later. Really!

A nice way to start the day.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Squat Cleans and some other stuff

I cannot do a muscle up. I might be close, or maybe not really. It is not stressing me out. The dips were hard on my shoulder, but 9 pullups were light speed (hell yeah - something I am good at). Runs were OK. But Squat Cleans really brought the pain.

I had a quick thought of the Elite level at 155#, but did 135#. They were tough, but my time was under 24 minutes, so maybe I should have done 145 or 155 instead. But, after 5 days away, this was a solid welcome back.

Once again, I wonder what the hell I have been doing for 20 years, because THIS is some kick ass fitness.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Rest then mini-vacation

When you can hardly open the child safety top on the Advil, it is time for a rest day. I honestly needed three takes to get that done last night.

Our daughter's school has conveniently closed for a teacher work day tomorrow before the Monday holiday, so we are bugging out of here and going to the beach for 4 days. I may hit 915 Friday on the way out of town.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Anyone catch the license plate of the bus that ran me over?

The day after..... After the dog fight to remember.

I miss my 20s. When I could do a workout like yesterday's brutal effort and wake up feeling OK. But after 40, my legs, arms and traps feel every one of the 50+ cleans I attempted yesterday (30 successes and at least 20 misses)

Today was max 1 rep jerk. I should have been excited and I should have PRd. But my sore legs did not want to dive under the bar, and I didn't really either. I believe I basically push pressed up to 185 and called it a day. Worked back down and tried to do proper form at 135 and then the bar. Did a drill with the PVC with coaches.

Then I shuffled off to work looking like Fred Sanford.

I am wondering if even coming in today was worth it, or should I have rested. Thoughts?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Ear Muffs

Holy Shit! I don't curse on a frequent basis, but ..... Holy Shit!!! This WOD just bitch-slapped me.

Today's WOD: 10 rounds of-
3 Power Cleans (Elite: 185#s, SONI: 165#s)
5 L-Sit Chins
7 dips (w 20 # vest)

If I ever thought I was Elite, this WOD kindly rejected that notion. Granted my prior Max 1-rep Power Clean was 187#. So attempting 30 reps at 185 is insane. But I really tried.

And here is how it went:
Round 1 @ 185 - 5 reps: 3 good, 2 fail
Round 2 @ 185 - 4 reps: 3 good, 1 fail
Round 3 @185 - 6 reps: 3 good, 3 fail
Round 4 @185 - 3 reps, 3 fail.

So I stripped off 20#s. Jerry was not really happy to see me
strip the weight, I could tell. Shockingly I failed some more at 165 . But after a me
ntal reset, I
got back on track. I don't think I got any round without at least 1 fail. I was knocked on my ass after one particular miss. Yeah, this was a dog fight. 50 L-sit chins and 70 reps of 20#
weighted dips were a relative breeze if that tells you anything.

The board said there was a 30 minute time limit, but although I was just done with round 7, I knew Jerry would not let me quit, and I was glad. 43:43 later I finished. Other than Murph, this was my longest WOD, and it was pure struggle. Jerry was there for me, and correctly pointed out my slow elbows and need for more speed getting under the bar. I agree that the power is there to get 185 more consistently, but the form is not. It is just hard to correct under extreme duress, mid-WOD.

This WOD was epic. I feel like a little bit more of a man just for finishing.

Rough day ahead.

Today's WOD of 3 heavy clean, 5 L Sit pullups (like above) and 7 dips for 10 rounds, looks rough. The Elite weight of 185# cleans, and an extra 20 pounds for the dips sounds brutal. Like I may not make it back to work after lunch.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Back squat 3 rep max

I previously got 245 #s for 3 reps, but that was months ago. In theory I should be stronger now and should have PR'd today. But I worked slowly up to 245 again, and that is all I had. I was pretty focused on getting deep, full squats, and I was told that I did.

The limiting factor was my rack position and my inflexible, sore left rotator cuff. My legs are sore, but my shoulder hurts.

I feel like power from a full, deep squat is the #1 basic movement in the majority of Crossfit exercises. So building strength and having perfect form are both very important. It is easy to get caught up in posting a big # on the board, but the dividends from this workout are not simply having a huge back squat total, but rather, being better at almost every movement that we do.

And then, after squats - A sprint to Montgomery, 12 KB swings (45), 12 box jumps, 12 slamballs - repeat 3 times. Not that our legs were tired or anything.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Why I Crossfit

Fall soccer is here and my daughter Stella is really starting to like team sports. Looking around, I notice that there are three types of dad's at these games: the absent, the idle and the active dad.

The absent ones simply are not there. I guess that is why you here the term soccer mom so much. Why a dad would miss his kids entire soccer season is beyond me. Girls playing sports is important and no one should be more excited to see their little girl hustling, competing and being tough than her dad.

The idle dads show up, plant a lawn chair and sit through the game, then go home. Is it so hard to stand up for an hour? Based on the demographic of the 40 year old white men I see at these games, I think it might be. A lot of lazy, round dads out there.

The active dad. I am glad to say this is me (at least it is now). Helping chase down the out of bounds balls, and playing a pickup game with Stella after the real game is over. I think Stella is a little sad that I can out run her this year. But she loves that we can run and play together. So do I.

Being an active dad is my #1 reason to be Crossfit.

Friday, October 02, 2009

First Friday - Helen

Today was my 2nd ever Helen. I finished in a PR of 12:44. Clearly I can do it better in the future.

Helen and I have some baggage. In July I did my 1st Helen, and totally bonked. I ran the first run in an all-out sprint of 1:29. Not good. My heart was ready to burst through my chest and I was barely able to crawl through it in 15:43. If I didn't think I was going to die, I would have been laughing along with Danny who watched me tank and declared "He blew his wad on that 1st run". Comparing that effort to today is interesting. After slowly pacing the first run today in 2:30 (hello granny!) I did the rest of the 8 parts of the WOD in 10:14 - vs last time where it took me 14:14 for the final 8 portions.

Today, in addition to the measured jogs, I held back on the first round to see what effect that would have. But I dialed it back too much, as I never got to the hurt locker. I am still learning about my abilities and how hard I can push to get right up my optimal performance without rendering myself useless. I have started out too hard and crashed many, many times including my last times through Helen, Grace, and this week's FGB. Unlike some CFOT firebreathers, I can not go 100% all-out and maintain it indefinitely. I wish I could, and I am getting better, but I am not there.

I got all 21 KB swings in rd 1 and partitioned once each in rounds 2 and 3. I hate these less than I used to. Pullups: I made it through the first 2 sets of 12, but had to break once in rd 3. Rd 2 may have been the best and fastest set of 12 pullups I have ever done. Frankly, I am putting it out there: that set of 12 pullups was faster than anyone else could do a set of 12. I was in the sweet spot of not pushing it in rd 1 and not yet being tired as I was in rd 3. Thanks also to Coach M for specifically calling me out right as I got on the bar in rd 2 - "lets see those frog kick pullups!" and I did not disappoint.

I am still winding down from a week where we did FGB (bonk) and then I set a big deadlift PR (huge breakthrough for me). Now that I have posted a more respectable Helen, I can cross that off my list of disappointments. I am going to take the weekend off and hit it more intensely next week. Other than the Deadlifts, I was on cruise control this week, but I did get 4 sessions in that than beats the alternative.

Shout out to:
Barett who crushed Helen in a very impressive 9:07. And Mike Hart who did Fran in 5:56. I know my "coaching" him through it was annoying, but I hope it helped. Those two guys were way into the hurt locker - respect!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Strict Press 5-5-5-5-5 and a weigh in

I'm such a loser. I showed up at 9:25 for the 9:15 class, thinking class began at 9:30. Ahh, No. The only one who hated that more than Jerry, was me, because stretching for more than 3 seconds might have been good on a heavy overhead day with my troubled shoulder area.

Yesterday Doc told me that the shoulder was improving and said I could strict press, but not push press or jerks - which are more sudden and violent movements. Perfect timing Doc. CFOT WOD - Strict Press max x5. I was going to guess cleans, but my guessing is off lately.

I knocked out 75, 95, 115, and 135 x 5. The last reps at 135 were tough. I had a wild thought of attempting my new slim bodyweight for 5 (see below) and Jerry suggested that I split the gap and try 150 first. It was a struggle. Rep 3 was tough. 4 was bad and I arched my back like crazy, then dropped it. I was scared of what my form might do on rep 5. There are very few things that scare me, and we did them both this week: max deadlifts and max overhead press. If your form is off, you can get hurt. A bad pushup is embarrassing, but you will survive it. Form failure on heavy DL or overhead press - get in bed and call me in a few weeks. I love putting a big # on the board, but I also love coming in the next day. Brian and Health's form was much more solid than mine today. I knew it, and I shut it down and moved on to 3 rounds of metcon with Brian. He smoked me there too.

BTW-where the hell were the 09:15 regulars - Chad, Vinnie, Tony, Nicole, Kelly? Resting up for 1st Friday?

Bright spot - despite my dietary lapses of late - (Yesterday I ate: 2 full breakfasts, 2 ice coffees to wake up, burger and milkshake for lunch, and pizza for dinner!) - I weighed in at 159.5 on the CFOT scale. My official lowest weight that I can remember since college.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Once again, I liked the look of todays WOD, but the day got away from me. I still am sticking with my plan to hit 4x a week plus maybe Sat. So the day after the U2 concert seemed like a great day to rest up.

Back at it Thurs at 12:30

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Deadlift X3 - 315# a 25# PR!

Feels good. PR on 7/30 was 290.

Today I did sets of 3 at 135, 185, 225, 275, 305 and then 315. The last rep on 315 was a real dog fight. Felt a serious buzz after that one. Glad the camera was off.

Before and during the set I was in a zone. By 305, I was the only one still lifting, so eyes were on me. I was locked into an angry determined zone (as you can see on my face in the pics below)

If the last struggling rep is where you build strength, than I am stronger now than I was this morning.

And now some pictures.

A big lunch coming up. DL x 3

Me tackling Diane during Sept First Friday. 21-15-9 Deadlifts of 225#s and also handstand pushups. I remember the deadlifts getting heavier with each rep and each round. Doing deadlifts for speed is a crazy idea, as form can mess you up. So it is imperative that I get stronger so that the 225 is not really heavy.

Monday, September 28, 2009

25 # sit up, push ups double unders

During our session today, Joel and Karen did make-up FGB and it was something to see. Karen did it with her 20# birthday vest getting 260 or 280 - I forget - and Joel nailed 315. He made it look easy, and he admitted that his strategy was to hold back early and be consistent throughout. Seeing that his final round was the best, he accomplished that. Compare that to my dead man walking fog, and I think I need to hold back a little. It is something I plan to tinker with.

Today, our WOD was 5 rounds for time of 15 weighted sit ups (25#s), 15 pushups, and either 30 double unders or 90 singles. I was still feeling a little sorry for myself after completely gassing out during FGB - so I did singles and did not even try to battle double unders. Today was not the day. I was on the fence about coming in at all, as I still felt mentally and physically drained after FGB. I pointed to that day and the event, and then crashed during it, leaving my tank empty. But I have turned the page and I am glad I started up again.

I did some solid work and the pushups were good. Made it through 3 rounds unbroken and then took one break in the last 2 rounds. Single unders were pretty fast and I think I did all the rounds in about a minute. Time 13 minutes flat. This workout was in Chad's wheelhouse and he crushed it in about 9 minutes.

Part II: Max single weighted chins
I started slowly (no weight) and then did 26, 35, 45, 53, 58 and 63. I did not try 68 or 70- today.

I was able to pull off the elusive 1 finger chin up.

Great moment: Jerry tried a 1 finger chin up, and could not. I said " Hey - there is 1 thing I can do that Jerry can not do" Flash forward roughly 6 seconds and Jerry angrily mastered it. I knew I could get him fired up and over the bar!!