CrossFit Over 40

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

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.