CrossFit Over 40

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

Monday, February 28, 2011

Thursday Metcon and Interval Rows

5 rounds
9 thrusters (95#), 30 double unders, 9 dips

First round was in 1:30 so clearly I slowed down a lot as I went. Of all things, the dips did it. Broke up everything a little after 2 rounds. Dips were the hardest and my triceps really hurt now.

15 minute break:
6 rounds - row 100m and rest 60 seconds.
21.0, 19.7, 19.6, 20.1, 20.0, 20.8
First round I was not as explosive as I should have been. Then I tired after round 3.

My Paleo Challenge photo of the month (week 8). I weigh the same as after week 2, but I am stronger and feel better still. Not too bad for almost 42, especially given my shape when I was 39.

2 Mile Run

I do not love distance running for time. You can remove the words "distance" or "for time" from that last sentence if you want to.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Deadlift x 1

Just 3 weeks after attempting - and setting a deadlift PR, I have done it again.

I am so thrilled with today's session. The lunchbunch was packed with regulars and other CFOT superstars. And the PRs were everywhere. Chad, Vinnie, John, Heather, Adam, Danny & me.

What fun.

I got 375 and it felt good.

Took a foolish leap to 400 and it lifted all of 1 inch. Backed down to 385 and was so close. Had it over my knees, but both lost my grip and felt a little tightness in my back. So I bailed. I want to come back tomorrow more than I wanted 385 today.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Met Con Thursday

110224 Thursday 5 rounds - 400row, 30 double-unders, 20 Medicine ball cleans, 15 toe-2-bar

I am not a fan of many workouts over 10 minutes, 12 and I get cranky. I never really committed in my mind to do 5 rounds of this, but Koz (Met-Koz) was ahead of me every step of the way. I figured, if I could not beat him in 3 rounds, I might as well push through for 5.

I had one focus and I was able to accomplish it. In rounds 1,2 and 5 I was able to get the double unders unbroken. 3 and 4 I broke once. Yes, I still do single, double, single double. But considering my past ineptitude - this was big. In round 5 I got off the rower, grabbed a quick sip of water and got aggressive as I finished all 30. I jumped harder than I thought I needed to, and it got me through without tripping up. After 2 rounds of not being able to get them all, that I was on a mission.

A serious confidence boost.

The rest of the wod, I was unremarkable. Workmanlike at best.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011


1 - HSPU wod1.) 12 minutes of HSPU (advanced for you) - I chose to do regular old hspu but do at least 3 a minute and really go for it at the start. I was able to to 5,5,10,21,5,5,3,3,3,3,3,3 = 74 in 12 minutes. Currently 21 would be the most consecutive strict hspu at cfot - for now.

wod2.) 5 rounds: 10 ring pushups (HTFU flash/turn the rings out at the top), 15 kb swing, 20 box jump

12:59. I used a 24" box jump, and kind of struggled through.

Tues - Interval Rows

A terrible day of work after the holiday weekend trip. I was lazy down in FL over the weekend, and now I am lazy + busy at work.

I realized that I was so busy I skipped breakfast, lunch and dinner. FAIL. Just snacked at my desk. Zero fruit or veg for the day.

At 9pm I left work and went to do some interval rows.

Week 3, interval wod 1 : 2x200m rest 90sec between (stay within 2 sec of best time to date), 2x400m rest 2 minutes between (stay within 3 sec of best time to date) 1x800 (stay within 4 sec of best time to date).

40, 40 - 1:33, 1:33 - 3:06.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

interval runs 5x400m...

Rest 2 minutes between each. Try to keep the same pace. These hurt more than you expect. They feel just like that horrible feeling during a wod when you are exhausted but have to keep going. Wait a minute, maybe that is why we are doing these.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cindy Deadlifts

5 rounds of:
3 deadlifts and then 3 rounds of Cindy.
Total of 15 deadlifts and 15 rounds of Cindy

So The Harold came up with a super duper complicated point system to score this wod. In the end, we were encouraged to deadlift as much weight as possible and also finish the whole wod in less than 15 minutes.

I chose 270. I was able to do all 5 sets of deadlift touch and go. I was also able to finish the whole wod in 13:20. As of 6pm, this was the best combination of weight and time of the day.

I was pleased that I had energy all the way through. After 6 rounds of Cindy, I had to break up the pushups and airsquats. But I finished strong. Being almost done is a huge motivator.

Looking back, I could have deadlifted more. Used 280, 290 or 300? You only know by doing it, and now I now that I can handle 270 for 3 reps and do some other stuff. I feel like I am getting both stronger and better conditioned. Or maybe just better conditioned, which allows me to maintain my strength under durress?

KStarr likes to say that good mobility allows you to express your strength over a greater range of motion. Well, I will add that better conditioning allows you to express your strength while being metabolically challenged. You can quote me.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Front Squats x2 then Tabata Front Squats

Given the screaming pain that my legs felt just 19 hours ago doing row intervals, I am lucky I could do anything. No less PR for 1 rep on front squats - I finally got that 225 for 1. Missed the second rep, so 215 x2.

Then tabata front squats. 50% of your 2 rep. I used 110. And got 44 reps. Rounds ranged from 8 to one with a measly 4 reps. Not a great showing.

Monday, February 14, 2011

hspu and strict pullups, then row intervals

15 minute amrap of 1 hspu / 1, 1 strict pullup, then 3/3 then 5/5 and start back at 1/1 as you repeat.

I was able to get 9 full rounds of that. Danny came in later and got 10 rounds. His pullups were effortless. So even though I did well, someone always can do better.

Part 2, I came back to do my row interval extra work. today was 200m sprints every 2 minutes. I went for it and really taxed myself. Round 1 was the fastest split I have ever done. No surprise, I could not maintain it. I was able to improve at the end, but at great physical cost (pain). My range was 37.8* to 42.8. So the split was 5 seconds. The goal was 3. But the 37.8 was a full 2 seconds better than last week, and my last row was 40.7, which was inside that 3 second window.

But as I said, it hurt - a lot. I felt really bad for 15 solid minutes. Like I had done Fran. And an hour later, I was still not great. But I know that I really pushed it, and I know it helps.

Jared came in and did his runs and encouraged me. John Scott had just finished, as had Melissa. I am proud that we are all working so hard. This work is really awful. It is worth it, but awful while you are doing it.

*A 37.8 second 200m row is equal to a 1:34.5 500m pace. I know that I could not maintain that pace for an entire 500m, but I could come close. I note that for the few times I was watching the display, I saw a 1:33 pace listed. So I must have maintained that pace for nearly the whole 200m. Most of the time, I just close my eyes and count pulls. I have an idea of when I am nearly at 200m, and closing my eyes seems to less awful than watching the display count down.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Find a squat clean a.d jerk 1 rep max. Then 12 minutes of 3 sq cleans and then double unders.

I tried 165. Felt ok. The used 135. After 9 rounds my lower back tightened up. 120 double unders. First DNF in a while.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thursday Metcon

Row 1000m, the 1 C2B pullup, 1 burpee, 2/2, 3/3, 4/4, 5/5, 6/6, 7/7, 8/8, 7/7. 6/6, 5/5, 4/4, 3/3, 2/2, 1/1
Then Row 1000m

Tried to keep the standing around to a minimum, as well as the bent over gasping.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Breathing squats

Warm up with back squat x2 then do 20 reps without racking it at about 80%. Called breathing squats, because by the end, you are doing more breathing than squatting.

I warmed up to 225x2. Could have done more, but I was holding back for the set of 20. Next time 250x2.

175x20. I was lightheaded but the weight was bearable. Did the first 10 with no trouble. This was not a real struggle. But I still felt awful afterwards. Next time 195x20.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Ring hspu and push press metcon

wod1.)12 min to find press x 1

alt-wod1.) ONE advanced HSPU (advanced for you) every 30 sec for 12 min.

wod2.) 16min amrap 8 ring pushup, 8 push press (75w,115m) 8 box jump (24″)

WOD 1 – Had to take it upside down. 15 ring hspu. 4 in the first 2 minutes then 11 more on the minute. Took a while to get used to them.
WOD 2 – 8 2/3 rounds. I was fried.

A little video of the ring hspu

Friday, February 04, 2011

Deadlift vs Paleo

30 days into the Paleo challenge. I had a real question going into this:

If I cleaned up my diet, would I lose any fat, muscle, weight or strength?

Apparently I can have it all. My diet is cleaner (but not perfect), and with the same exercise regimen, I lost weight which I have to assume was a little fat and added 10# to my deadlift, which I think is a great test of strength. Another 30 days for me.

Before - Deadlift / Weight - 355/163 = 2.18
Now - Deadlift / Weight - 365/157 = 2.32 +7%

I am really wanting a 400# deadlift in 2011. Along with a 225# clean, a 3:30 Fran, 50 double unders, and on and on. I think these are some realistic goals. But for now, I am really shocked that I have lost 6 pounds and yet not lost any strength at all. Really shocked.

And now - time for a beer or two. I earned them.

There is no failure, only feedback

Big day. My 2 year crossfit anniversary. The double under throwdown with Mike Hart. I was excited. 2 minutes most double unders. I thought I would go in, do 50 and win. Sure enough, after 2 minutes, I had 51 and was leading. But we got a curveball. The contest was changed to the first one to 100. I ran out of steam fast. Mike Hart pulled ahead. He ended with 100 in 4:12 while I was on 88.

So I lost. In front of my coaches, peers and the Internet.

But all in all, I reveled in the moment, did better than I had ever done before, and know more than ever what I need to work on.

"There is no failure, only feedback" - Tim Ferriss

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Happy 2-Year

This is going to be a love-fest of a post. On February 3, 2009 I walked in the door at CrossFit OldTown. I had been a proud dues paying member of Sport&Health for 10+ years. I liked the spin classes. There was a little bit of socialization, a feeling of being part of a group. But that was not doing much for my fitness. Was there not something out there that had that group aspect, yet would actually work? What could that be????

Anyway, at 39.5 years old, despite the spin classes and bicep curls, I had been gaining 2 pounds a year since my twenties and was almost 190 pounds. My doctors scolded me and told me that I would soon be 200 pounds. I was on Lipitor and had highish blood pressure. It hurt when I ran, so I stopped. I ate crap. Not a pretty sight as you can see here:

I had thrown in the towel. I would never run again, and I was not going to be fit. But that idea just pissed me off. Pissed me off enough to finally do something about it.

So I walk in to Crossfit OldTown and spill my guts. Jerry was there - cause he is always there - and I laid it out: "I have been gaining weight, I was totally out of shape and I was about to turn 40. I was scared. Could he help?" He looked me over, and very confidently said "You turn 40 in 3 months, we can absolutely do something by then!" He was so sure of himself. I did not believe him.

I did not believe him at all.

But I signed up and agreed to come to the ramp up class the next day.

Feb 4th 2009 - Ramp up - Day 1: with Danny Hoang. A basic circuit of pushups, airsquats and abmat situps. 10 minutes. I was destroyed. But intrigued. I came back the next day and we ran to the mailbox and did some body weight movements. 3 rounds. Except I could not make it to the mailbox. I could not run 200m without stopping!

But I kept coming back. I was sore. Could not walk kind of sore. Ice baths, epsom soaks, massages, advil. I tried it all. But I kept coming back. I brought Chad "Hollywood" in. He brought Sue "Bollywood" in. Then in May, Jerry added a lunch class. I had found my home. And I was making some progress. Here is me on my 40th birthday in May 09 after 3.5 months of CFOT, Sweaty, sore, still heavy - but happy. I was ok with turning 40:

I had lost 5 or 10 pounds. My diet was still not great. I did not like the Zone - I thought it is crazy. I still think it is crazy. I think food quality is way more important than food ratios. But it works for some people. Chad introduced me to the Primal Blueprint. It was simple: Eliminate foods like: bread, sugar. pasta, etc. Try to adhere 80% of the time. Admittedly, it is Primal light, but I got on board. Then I started to lose weight. Real fast. A pound a week at first. By the end of Summer 09 I was down from 187 to 170. And stable. I quit my meds. My blood pressure was down from 140/90 to 100/60. My pulse was 60. I could make it to the mailbox, and back! This was insane. My doctor was shocked and asked what I did.

Flash forward another year. I am hooked like crack. I sign up for the Fran challenge and knock 25% off my time in 6 weeks. A near 5 minute Fran. I win money. Not bad. I sign up for a Mid Atlantic Hopper Team. I train really hard. Melissa & Danya teach me muscle ups. We compete. The events did not suit me at all, but I had a great time and the training took me to another level. Here is Team B_Awesome:

Here we were so happy - must have been before the events. This may be my single favorite CrossFit moment. There have been many. But training for this event and being part of the team and CFOT community really did a lot for me. I recommend everyone do this once. By the way. Danya later attacked the deadlifts WOD with intensity that I have never seen. She was pregnant but did not tell us. And Laurie deadlifted her "P/R" (bullshit) for a dozen or two reps. Jeremy was solid. I did my best, but wish it was better. I note that I was 41 and everyone else was 33 or less. Watching 43 year old Jeff Tincher win the final event opened my eyes further. Watching Jerry workout as well. Age means nothing.

2011. I set more goals. I sign up for Pete's Paleo Challenge. Paleo is more strict than the Primal Blueprint. I give up cream in my coffee. Somehow, I survive. Soon I don't care. I lose more weight. I hit 160 pounds. I play 160 in the lottery and win $500. Paleo is fun! But I use that for new clothes because my waist is 30 inches and my pants were 34 or 36. I can maintain that without any trouble. I am as strong as ever. Here I am doing Linda.

My time was pretty damn good. 20 some minutes. My time in a lot of WODs is pretty good. Improvements are incremental and hard to notice these days, but still steady. It requires a new mindset and smaller, different goals. But I still set goals. Cause without a target you will never get there. I admit that I have achieved a lot. And yet, I am not satisfied at all. I have a ton of weaknesses. On the whole, I think I am good at half of what we do. Very good at 5% of what we do. I think that is an honest assessment.

I try to work on weaknesses, but it is natural to do what is easier. So sometimes I just want to strict press, when I should be doing GHDs or double unders.

Here are some basic things I have learned in 2 years.
-Doing what you are already good at has less impact on you.
-Working out moderately hard for a long time has very little impact on you.
-Partial range of motion is useless.
-Routine is the enemy.
-Do the MWOD every day.
-Take criticism. If Danya says to sink your squats, it is because you are not doing them right.
-Complain later.
-Talk to people. There are members that are smarter, tougher and fitter than me. Go to the socials and ask questions of members and coaches. Learn!
-The randomness and variety of Crossfit as programmed by Jerry Hill is the single best fitness program I have found. Better than the shake weight. Just show up, don't complain and do the work as hard as you can. Complain later.
-Watch the whiteboad and compete. Push yourself. Sean M has no idea that I try to beat him everyday. He is fitter and better than me at everything. Probably a better dancer than I am. He is not aware that I watch his times and shoot for them. Does not matter. Next month I may pick someone else. One day it will be Jerry. I am aware of beating Jerry in a WOD 2 twice. By 1 rep or a few seconds. 2 out of 500. But it can happen. And that is why you try as hard as you can.

It has been a long and amazing two years. A lot of hard work. A lot of pain. But more satisfying than anything else. Crossfit works and CFOT is implementing it as well as anyone. The community is strong. I consider Jerry and Melissa family. They push me and praise me. I am just one member out of 200+, but yet I feel like the program was custom made for me alone. It is magic. My fitness is better. My confidence is better. My life is better.

2 years. Maybe I had some unique special athlete gene hiding inside me that allowed this transformation to occur. Maybe I could add muscle and stamina and lose fat better than others. But I doubt it. I think that improving your diet and doing what Jerry and Melissa tell you to do can accomplish the same for anyone.

(Left) Jan 2009 - Age 39 (Right)Jan 2011 Age 41

Hell yeah!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Muscle Ups and Push Jerks

Ahhhh - that does sounds lovely.

For time. 9/7/5 of muscle ups and push jerks (165#)


I did singles on the muscle ups with no rest between them. I was guarding my shoulder from the violent swing back on the way down. My shoulder was hurt a month ago doing muscle ups and this was the first time I have tried them at all since. Between losing 6 pounds, my mobility wods, and the rest - I had no trouble at all. Missed one rep out of 21.

Push Jerks. It is crazy that 165 is now 8# more than I weight, and I still basically push press this weight. I love that.

All in all a WOD in my wheelhouse. Fun day.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


wod1.) As many 1-5 unbroken hang squat clean ladders as you can in 10 min. (Do one then drop, 2 then drop, 3 then drop, 4 then drop, 5 then drop, start back at 1…)

HTFU= 155#.

I did 2 full rounds at 155 and that was exceedingly tough. Had to back off and finish 4/5ths of a round at 135.

wod2.) For time: 100 double-unders, 500m Row.

5:30 for 100 d/u's then a 2 minute row. Sucked.

OHS, hspu, Lsit

Monday 1/31:

A triple WOD day.
1 rep OHS - 145# which was a 10# pr. My shoulder range is limited and so am I. The bar it out front and I have to arch my back to compensate. This is ugly.

ladder up of hspu and t2b. 12 minutes. Right in my wheelhouse. 11+ rounds. That was hard but fun.

Lsit - on dumbells. Terrible. Could not do them.

I need to work those weaknesses.