CrossFit Over 40

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

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!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fight Gone Bad - A look back

Looking back, I was not really happy with the 222 score that I posted in FGB. Of course, I had
never done it before and really had no basis for comparison. All I know is that a) I gave it all that I had and b) I had nothing left after round 1. You can see in the chart below of my results that O fell of really dramatically after round 1. I was in a fog.

The other thing I realize after the fact that all 5 exercises are really a variation of the same leg driving movement. So in addition to needing to improve my stamina, I need to improve my leg strength.

I was really looking forward to FGB and thought that it would validate the hard work that I have put in to date, but instead it is a reminder of how much work I have ahead. I did not get 300 this year, and I may not get 300 next year. I hope to minimize the drop off I had each round.

I also created a little data table of the CFOT scores. I am sure Harold can and will improve on this analysis. But a simple look shows that the avg CFOT score was 255 and it was pretty evenly distributed from 155-365. I would love to be able to slice this by years of CF experience, because I bet that is a large factor. I plan to find out for myself next year.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fight Gone Bad - in the hurt locker

I used up all of my awesome.

I fell apart more quickly than I expected. 222. Round 1 of 97, then I was done. The 1 minute rest had no effect Even my push press stamina failed. At least I have a target to crush next year.

Thanks Chad N and Soni for the assists. Awesome day.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

FGB: Countdown

I am resting up today and Friday with the intention of being fresh and ready to go all-out, and I mean completely all out, for FGB.

Fight Gone Bad energy and spirit has taken over CFOT. I too have caught the fever. Pre-Crossfit, I was strong and did some cardio, but I was not fit. I could not ramp up intensity, or maintain anything above a moderate effort.

My early Crossfit workouts left me winded, or should I actually say completely broken. I readily admit than many of my early 400m runs included portions of me walking. 800m runs for sure.

But as I improved my diet (thanks to the Primal Blueprint) and pushed through these intense workouts, my weight dropped and my stamina improved. Burpees, Box Jumps, runs of 800m or less are something I now look forward to and perform with gusto. There are absolutely still plenty of areas and movements that I need to improve - but I can really see progress in the way I move and keep up effort.

And as much as I like being stronger - such as hitting a PR yesterday with front-squats, I now know that the added strength is only a tool to better accomplishing other tasks. Stronger legs mean that I should be able to do box jumps more easily, and thus more quickly. Over the past months, my fitness values and philosophy have evolved. "What's my max bench?" is not as relevant to me anymore as compared to the 50 straight perfect push ups that I did during Coach Andrea. Because doing 50 push ups requires strength, but also stamina and determination.

So FGB - (the WOD as well as the charitable aspects) - has really sparked my interest. How will I match up vs. some very fit people when doing a brutal metcon? This is not strict shoulder press - an exercise (with ample rest) that I was probably top 10% walking in the door. This is full body movements requiring power, stamina and a refusal to quit. Stamina and the drive to push past pain are what I have gained during my time at CFOT. In our practice sessions, I have actually enjoyed pushing myself, and the harder I push, the more fun I seem to have. I am certain that I had a smile on my face during Tabata FGB prep - I loved it. Because once you ignore the pain (and there will be a lot of pain), beating the clock to get in one more box jump is like a game.

So game on. I am going to have some fun on Sat.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Front Squats 1*1*1*1*1, etc.......

I thought that my previous PR on front squats was 145. But Melissa reminded me of Sept 1 session where I did 200.

Working with Vinnie and Jack We moved up from 135 20 lbs at a time and then 10.

I got 205 (PR) and then jumped to 215. As I pulled away from the rack, Joel had a missed rep and I let that negative vibe into my head, and lost focus. As soon as I got down, I bailed out.

Time out. Water, focus, clear my head, and then try 210 instead.

Much better. Last attempt of the day (set # 8 already) was at 215. Felt good and then got a little stuck at the bottom. Gave it every thing I had, and slowly - very slowly - came up. That rep felt like an eternity, and I was seeing some serious stars.

Called it a day. A good day.

Vinnie is a beast - 300 and it looked easy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

FGB Prep - Tabata Stlye

Tabata workouts are kind of amazing. You alternate between going all out and resting, and somehow that brief rest really does allow you to step on the gas again. Although we did all 5 FGB exercises covering 40 total Tabata efforts - 5 minutes later I felt fine. Still sweating, a little tired, but mostly fine.

And here is a little math. Last week we did a FGB prep that had 1,000 seconds of total work. My score was 308. Today we had 800 seconds of work, and my score was 261. the 261 is a 5% improvement (pro-rata) over the first session.

Since the real FGB is 900 seconds of work, I am going to make a prediction. 90% of the 308 is 277. Adding in 5% (improvement) plus another 5% (extra credit for going balls out for the real thing) I am predicting a score of 304. Jerry says the gold standard is 300 - so that means I have very little room to slip up.

I am feeling good these days. Box jumps have never felt so effortless. I can actually feel my fitness starting to improve.

Monday, September 21, 2009

More plates please

In NY today and I hit the mainsite WOD. Shoulder press, etc.

Before you wonder about my shoulder; presses and the like are OK. It is pulling exercises that are causing my issue: cleans, etc. And I am dilligently doing rehab.

So anyway. Got 215 push jerk, and that was it. The (hotel) gym ran out of weights. A proud moment indeed.

PS: in NYC last night watching Giants game but not drinking was tough. But woke up fresh enough to sit through 9 hours of Japanese parent company lectures.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Clean & Sober

I like a nice drink once in a while, and sometimes several. Whether it is a beer at dinner, or a long night of drinking, I enjoy both.

But my Dr.'s advice to heal my shoulder includes taking Relafen, an anti-inflammatory drug for 30 days. Relafen comes with a warning not to mix with alcohol, so here I am - looking at 30 days without a drop. This will be a real test for me, and I am not sure that I can actually do it.

On day 2, I grabbed a beer with dinner and was about to open it, but somehow managed to put it back in the fridge. On Friday, my boss wanted to go to the Fishmarket after work, and I drank water while he had a cold schooner.

I am greatly enjoying the fresh feeling of waking up these days. For example, today - Sat, I woke at 7 am and started cleaning, so that I could get some chores in and still make it to CF Sat. We did runs, and maybe it was a really nice morning, but I thought running this am felt incredibly nice.

I will report back on how my mission goes and what effect it has on my weight, energy and attitude,

Friday, September 18, 2009

FGB Prep

This is my first year of CF and therefore, my first FGB. Harold gave me some sage advice, that this is a battle between your mind your body. He is right about that.

While I may be good at certain things - push ups, single rep max lifts - my endurance still suffers. FGB and the prep work is brutal, but it is good for me and I like it in some sick way. Todays prep was the hardest metcon I can recall. All 5 FGB stations for 40 seconds on, 20 seconds to rotate (and keep score) and 5 times around!!!!!

At one point in round 3 or 4 I felt like giving up. My scores suffered, and things got fuzzy. But when Jerry called out last round, I got psyched up and was able to pick it back up a little. Clearly push press is my best event, followed by box jumps, KB pulls, WB and then the lowly row. I have to chat with some people have been through this to make sure I have some strategy.

This was hard, hard, hard.

Score - 308. I dont know or care how that stacked up. I know I pushed through when I wanted to quit and I kept moving. That is all I can ask of myself.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pushups, pullups, rinse (400m) repeats

Another WOD in my wheelhouse. The news yesterday was that I need to take a 30 day break from lifting more than my bodyweight (my interpretation may not exactly be what the Doc ordered - he does not know me or Crossfit).

"Coach Andrea"
150 Perfect Pushups for time.
15 Pullup Penalty for every time you foul/miss range of motion/Res

So I took my anger, mixed it with Laurie's awesome choice of death metal, and hit this bodyweight WOD with all I had. Got 50 then 25 in rounds 1&2 and was halfway done in about 3 minutes - with Melissa watching my form pretty closely. Then I fell to 20, 10, 10, 10, 7 and a 18 to finish it. I took an extra break after pullup set #7 and convinced myself I could do the remaining 18. Feel that burn. Actually I am still feeling it.

9:11. Nice.

Then I still had some residual anger and I hit all 5 suggested 400m repeats. I am really pushing it, yet trying to follow Dr. orders and rehab my rotator cuff at the same time. This kind of regimen is new to me and kind of fun - for now. I will miss the Oly lifts dearly.

Weigh in

Funny thing. When I first step on the scale, I have no idea what it might say. Sometimes I am surprised. Like today. My diet has not been 100% strict of late. The last 10 days have seen 2 long nights of drinking in NYC, pizza, rice, some rest days, etc. Yet here I am down another pound or two.

I am just going to say that my metabolism is all revved up from the Crossfit added muscle, and an 80% strict Paleo/Primal diet. It is 9am, and I am literally chomping at the bit to hit Crossfit at lunch. I took a rest day and I really am all revved up.

If anyone at all is struggling with trying to lose some fat, and have enough energy to do Crossfit, I highly recommend reading the Primal Blueprint. Nothing works perfectly, and nothing works the same for everyone, but this is working very well for me.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What's up Doc?

I dragged my MRI into the Ortho Dr, and he gave it a careful look. Good news is that he thinks surgery is a last resort and most likely not needed for me. Bad news, he wants me to lay off the heavy lifts - especially the overhead lifts. Take some anti-inflammatories and get rehab 3x a week on the ol' rotator cuff. See you in a month.

Doc, why don't you just kick me too. I love lifting heavy weights, and especially overhead. No heavy clean, no snatches, no oh squats, no jerks, etc... Guess I am going to be subbing in box jumps and burpees like a mother.

I did decide that I am still going to participate in FGB. I may have to use a smaller KB, but I really want to be a part of that. So I will.

For the love of burpees

First of all, today is a rest day. I am a little sore (um, maybe very sore) after just 2 days this week- so I am going to listen to my body and rest. Also, today is my consult visit with the orthopedic surgeon to review my recent shoulder MRI. I am fairly certain that I do not need surgery, but I want an actual Dr. to look at my shoulder and agree with my personal assessment. What does a possible minor small SLAT tear mean anyway? If he says no, then it is back to the chiro and lots of stretching.

But for today’s post, I write about burpees. Just saying the word strikes fear into many people. And I used to be one of them. But all of a sudden, something clicked, and I find that I can do them. And the more that I am doing, the faster I can go. So all of a sudden they are fun for me. Exercise can and should be fun. As in, watching a kid run across a playground becuase it is fun. Not sure how or when this happened, but it feels great. I guess as I continue to lose weight - now 163 - they have gotten easier - than when I was 186! The primal blueprint is still working for me. I also bought and read "Paleo for Athletes" which has some good tips as well.

Believe me, there are a lot of things that do not feel great to me – box jumps, rowing, squat cleans, lots of wall balls -but for now, I can cross burpees off my list of things I dislike. Oh, wait, I just ticked of 60% of the FGB workout. I am going to suffer that day. But today is a rest day, and I am going to enjoy it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

3,2,1 .. Gone - My fastest 3 round metcon ever

400m Run
20 Push Presses (75-lbs.)
15 Sumo Deadlift High Pulls (70-lbs.)
10 Pullups

Time: 11:35

As soon as I saw this WOD, I knew I was going to get after it hard.
-3 rounds - so it was short.
-400m runs. I paced myself because with my asthma putting on the afterburners will basically ruin me for the rest. But with 400m I could stay close.
-only 10 pullups per round - which I can do
- the highest reps was 20 push press @ 75 lbs - which for me is a dream
- KB HP with 70lbs I did not like, but I could do 5 at a time and get through 3 mini rounds each time

So I went for it and got 11:35. First round was 3:25, on the run I tried to keep pace, and blew through the other parts - did all 20 presses in a burst of 15/5 without putting the bar down. Middle round was the hardest and took 4 minutes. I was running alone, and had no pace. Last round I went for it and kept at about 4 minutes. Had to drop the bar on rep 18. I was so pissed (and tired) I nearly heaved on the bar. Has that ever happened?I did not want to be the first.

But I didn't - so a good day.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Max Wt Chin plus AMRAP sq cleans and pushups

I was able to get 68lbs plus me up and over, but failed on 70 twice. Guess I know where my max is right now.

But that was nothing. the 10 minutes AMRAP 5 sq cleans and 10 pushups sent me gasping outside when done. My legs had no pop at all, and even with only 95lbs on the bar, this totally gassed me. When you feel like that on a Monday, you have to wonder what you have been up to and if it is time for a rest day.

Perhaps it was my day last Friday that included, a 7 am wake up, a 4 hour BOD meeting, 4 hours of emailing, a visit to CrossFit NYC, and then 8 hours of mild to moderate drinking with my HS friend and a coworker. Last call 4 am - yup time for bed. 4 hours of sleep, time to get to the airport. Then a weekend of chores.

I am tired just reliving that.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Barbara- Crossfit NYC Black Box


5 rounds: 30 pull up, 30 push up, 40 ab mat, 50 air squat - rest 3 minutes after each and repeat.

After a work meeting, I hit the Black Box on 26th st. I like the coaches there who are a good mix of encouraging and real pricks. Hari coached us through Barbara and explained it to death. Are New Yorkers mathematically impaired? Start the clock and go already.

He liked my frog kick chin ups, but did not like my pushups. Noted.

Time - 35.20 - 12.00 = 23.20.
Shoulder - OK. The legendary Jacinto showed me the most awesomest warmup/stretch ever. I will share on request. To tired to write it now.

More random thoughts:
Out of chalk - that sucked
Class was a mix of firebreathers and hotties -I love NY.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Not a happy day. Dr Bills gave me orders to shut it down for a week. I maybe/possibly/could have something wrong inside my shoulder and it maybe/possibly/could be getting worse. Possible minor SLAP tear in my rotator cuff. It has likely been that way for years, and has been aggravated by my aggressive regimen.

More news next Wed. after seeing an ortho surgeon.

Another day, another PR, blah...blah...blah

I walked in today with low expectations. My cleans from the hang have never been anywhere close to my abilities from the floor. Cause I was doing them wrong!!!! My current floor power clean PR came last week when I hit 187.

Today it clicked with help from Melissa, and by watching Joel's perfect form and Chad C.'s lightning fast elbows. Plus new Chris, went from bad to perfect form in 10 minutes right before my eyes. That was inspiring.

It is all about getting the butt back and creating that lever effect. I had been dipping my knees and going straight down. Watching rep #1 on video was an A ha! moment. Once I fixed that, the weight kept going on and going up. 65, 85, 105, 125, 135, 145, 155, 165, 175, 187 fail, 185, 190 fail - and done. 12 attempts is plenty. 190 was so close I could taste it. A heartbreaker.

So many 200+ lifts today. I am so ready to hit that. 125% of my body weight sounds awesome!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Tabata Toast

Jerry is an evil genius. Tabata squats backed up by muscle ups is a sick combo. Twice through is insane. And for the many of us that cannot yet get a muscle up, subbing 5 pull ups + 5 ring dips is flat out brutal.

Yeah, I loved it.

My first muscle up is on deck soon, but it was not today. Maybe it is my weak, throbbing left shoulder that I am getting an MRI on in the a.m? More on that tomorrow.

This was a classic Crossfit workout. Deceptively simple on paper, quick, and deadly. Tabata squats drain you, and it is as much mental as anything. When you let your mind drift, you can have an off round, and mess up 7 other rounds of solid output. I got sloppy and only got 12 in the last round - ruining the 16+ I had gotten in every other round. I even had a 20 one round, all for nothing.

8 rounds, 10 seconds rest and then:

sets of 5 pull ups and 5 ring dips non-stop for 4 minutes. Come on! I did almost 50 pullups + 50 ring dips in 4 minutes. That is awesome - and pain inflicting. I am so much more capable than 6 months ago. The difference continues to floor even me.

By the second go round, I was so spent, that after 7 full cycles of pull ups and ring dips, I saw there was only 10 seconds left and I threw in the towel. I never, ever like to quit - but seeing as I had to make a run to the bushes - I think it was ok.

Definitely came back and trudged through the extra work of 3 rounds of 20 pushups and 30 ab mats. When you are already toast, doing the extra work is icing on the cake. I could hardly get off the floor, but I pushed through. I am sure to be rewarded somehow.

100% Completely spent. My wife was late coming home from work too, so I had to scramble to make dinner ASAP. I would have preferred to lie on the floor like a post WOD Soni, but not tonight.

Tomorrow I hope to emerge from the MRI tube with an answer - and then directly hit the lunch WOD. There is something wrong with me for sure.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Predicting a PR

Now that is cocky. Or is it confidence. Or both?

Anyway, today is max weight Push Press. My current PR is an even 200.

Follow up...........

Funny think about predicting a PR. You actually have to show up, and do it. When I hit 200 a month ago, I recall that it was a quick lift and that the lockout was momentary. Today, I tried to lock out and hold it to be sure each lift counted and was solid.

Ramping up, I got 160 x 3. That was pretty good. Then I hit 170, 185 and right to 201. Felt heavy, but got it and held it. Next I tried 211, and it was too big of a jump. I should have tried 205. But time was getting away from me, and I wanted to get 9 minutes of FGB metcon prep.

As it is, I barely made it to work by 10:45! My days at the 9:15 class are numbered.

A good day.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Fusion massage

I thought a massage was supposed to be relaxing. But not when my back/traps/shoulders are sore to the touch from the Diane WOD on Friday.

55 minutes of squirming and then a nice 5 minutes of a head massage.

Hope it does some good later.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Diane - First Friday

Going into today, I knew I could deadlift 225, and I knew I could do a handstand pushup; but I was really not sure if I could do 21-15-9 reps of each, or how long it might take.

Bad move - I watched Pat Barber do Diane in 3:01 on the main site. While we are similar size, he is an elite athlete, and I am not. He did 21 of each exercise like it was a warmup. I was kind of relieved to see that he did not do the whole damn thing unbroken.

I was warmed up and ready to 3,2,1, GO.

I was able to do 10, 5, 3, 3 deadlifts and 12. 5. 4 in HSPUs. Wow, not bad. As we progressed, it was a real dog fight to keep the back from rounding and to keep moving. Deadlifts drain you and are not really a speed exercise in my mind. I guess if you are really strong, then 225 can be. But I had to battle.

The last few HSPUs I did not use the wall with my legs. The upward momentum kept me balanced on my hands - that was cool.

8:42 and out. Looking forward to a happy hour and a holiday weekend. see ya.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Day of unrest

I planned on a rest day. But today is 1 rep max cleans. I need to work these.


And work them I did. Prior max was 185. I went 135, 155, 165, 175, 190 (fail), 185 ,187 ,190 (fail)

So I added a massive 2lbs to my PR. I'll take it.

Petranak baseline - 4:42. felt good, other than the row in my non-sneakers. Need to bring those in next time.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


I am faster than I used to be, but still not fast. And I am not satisfied. I do not want Danny, or Chad N or anyone else to be stronger or faster than me. And that is just how I feel about that. Plus, I saw on the board that 43 people could power clean 225lbs. When the hell did that happen? A few months ago 205 was the low end of that list, and I thought I could get on there.

Enough bitching. Today we did 3 rounds of 20 ring dips, 20 wall ball and a 600m run. I felt tired on the runs. I am not sure if it was the ring dips, the wall balls or the accumulated pain from the brutal Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday WODs. Really! Those were 4 of the toughest WODs all bunched up that I can remember. I hoped to be able to book it on the last run, but I could only manage to do really go fast on the last block. Chad N. was maybe a block ahead of me, and I had a fleeting thought of sneaking past him, but I just could not. Time = 18:40.

Good news was I am pretty sure that I kept moving at all times. Rather than wait around, I went from one station to the next and just kept working. But catching your breath while running is tough, and this was tough, so I could not catch Chad or Danny, or SONI, or Russ, or ...........

Tomorrow is a sure-fire rest day. Book it.

Weigh in!

Dec 08: 185lbs - Oofa

June 09: 170 lbs down. Crossfit and the Primal Blueprint seem
to work for me.

August '09: 164 lbs & still losing? I am not really even as strict with the Primal diet. More cheats and a lot of eating. But I like
what is going on.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Front Squats

I could tell this would be a good day. The warmup of box jumps, bootstrappers and lunges felt good. When have I ever said box jumps felt good? Looking back, I see my 3 rep max was 155 and my 1 rep max 185. I worked up slowly and tried to remember all the many cues, including:

Fingertip grip with the bar rolled back onto the shoulders, elbows up, feet at 30 degrees out, butt back, keep elbows up, and drive it.

Did I forget something?

Anyway, I continue to feel strong and the squats were going down deep and up easy. 185 - my
previous PR - seemed like a breeze. Melissa video'd and everything looked good. No forward lean, etc... Then I hit 200 and felt good. Could have gone another round or two. I also skipped the run with Chad and Joel - each with sub a 7 minute mile!

But I called it a day. Maybe it was wrong not to use every ounce of stregth. Not to keep squatting until I failed on multiple attempts. Not to run the mile with speedy Joel and Chad C. But I can't take it to that point every time and expect to make it in 5 days a week. I just can't.

But I am not training for a hopper, the Crossfit games or some other hard-core goal. Honestly, I am training to be able to kick the ass of any delinquent that tries to date my daughter. She is almost 7, so I figure when I am between 50 and 70, I will be kicking a lot of ass. I better go call Tony Blauer! (here with a jacked up Chad N.)