Rowing Endurance WOD

C2 Rower @ LFF

3 Rounds:
20 seconds on/60 seconds off
20 seconds on/50 seconds off
20 seconds on/40 seconds off
20 seconds on/30 seconds off
20 seconds on/20 seconds off
20 seconds on/10 seconds off (Start next round after 10 sec rest)

2 min, 592m, 1:41.2 s/m avg, 38 s/m
2 min, 586m, 1:42.3, 39
2 min, 590m, 1:41.6, 39

I still have some remnants of the bronchial infection, as I had a difficult time balancing as I practiced handstand AND headstands. 

5 x 10 kipping pull-ups
5 min plank

5-3-1, Go!

I, for one, am very exciting that Dave has scheduled a new strength cycle based on Wendler’s 5-3-1 protocol (see below for details). With injury (that I’m choosing to ignore) and illness, I’ve lacked focus. I haven’t set any SMART goals, either, so this will allow me to do just that.
Warm-up:  Perform 5 reps @ 40% and 50%, 3 reps @60% “working 1RM”
Work Sets:  Perform 5 reps @ 65%, 75%, max reps @ 85% “working 1RM”
My 1RM for strict press is 125 lb. I completed 5 reps of 45, 65, 70 for warm-up, and then 5 reps of 75 and 85 and 7 reps of 95 lb. I struggled on the 7th rep, but did lock arms at top so it counted.
I also had my almost-tied-for-favorite-coach, Jack, observe form, and he said it was “good.” Jack has a rather large vocabulary. For a lawyer.
Metcon—10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Reps for Time: 
Chin-ups were to be strict, and this became (surprisingly to me, anyhow) very difficult. I completed all push-ups unbroken and with full ROM. I completed the first set of 10 chin-ups unbroken, but as I progressed I was doing as few as 1 rep at a time—to make sure my chin actually went above the bar. There were a few reps that I didn’t count. Ouch.
Time 5:50
I’m still not feeling 100% healthy, but it’s nice to be back on the road to recovery.
Post Press Loads and Metcon Time to Comments
For the strength segment, we are beginning a Wendler 5-3-1 Program). “Working 1RM” is defined as 90% of your current 1RM. These are strict presses, not Push Press or Jerk. Note that the final set of the day is for Max Reps.       
Some notes on our new strength cycle based on Wendler’s 5-3-1 protocol:
For the next four weeks, at least, we will be doing four main movements in our strength training program: Back Squat, Deadlift, Press, and Bench Press. We will incorporate full Snatches and Cleans on Deadlift days.  This does not mean that we won’t be doing any other weightlifting movements. This just means that the strength portion of our programming will be very simplified and very effective at making you stronger. If there is anyone who wants to argue that only doing these movements will not make you stronger, feel free to send me an email and I’ll forward you the addresses of some other gyms in the area…LOL.
We will continue to follow what amounts to an 8 day strength training cycle:  Day 1 Press, Day 2 Deadlifts, Days 3/4 Gymnastics and Skills, Day 5 Bench Press, Day 6 Back Squat, and Days 7/8 Gymnastics and Skills.  
All the barbell strength days will involve some math, so bring a calculator, or, better yet, pick up one of the new WOD Books.  The program is based on your “working 1RM”, which is actually 90% of your last max effort single lift. If you squat 300#, you will base the whole month’s numbers off 90% of that: 270#.
This is a four-week cycle. The first week you lift 3 sets of 5 reps. The second week you lift 3 sets of 3 reps. Third week is 1 set 5 reps/1 set 3 reps/1 set 1 rep. Fourth week is a deloading week of 3 sets at 5 reps light loading. All the sets work on percentages of the working 1RM number.

This Used To Be My Playground

I was scheduled to compete in D.I.R.T. today, but I’m still feeling phlegmy and I tire easily. I decided to do the WOD instead, particularly as it is such a beautiful day and the WOD was held outside.

Colin led today’s session, and the focus eventually became on mastering all of the playground apparatuses. More in a moment.

Colin began the session with a typical Colin warmup. He did include two new things: jumping picnic tables and scaling walls.

Metcon–5 rounds for time of the following: 50m walking lunges holding 45 lb overhead and 15 burpees.

This was rough. I think the first mistake everyone made was allowing me to determine 50m. My sense of distance as well as my memory are both… What was I talking about? I like vanilla.

Sun’s out, guns out. Yup, I went shirtless. I also completed the WOD far away from the other participants, which included Phillip, Chad, Mats, and Brad.

I completed ONLY the first round of lunges and burpees unbroken, and all other rounds were a struggle. I took me 36 lunges to walk 50m, so I attempted to do at least 8 lunges before dissolving into tears and/or dropping the plate. At one point Colin yelled at me, and I thought I understood what he said but I wasn’t quite sure. The next time he was within earshot (remember, I’m still recovering from laryngitis) I asked, “What did you say?” He replied, “Think about how much energy you’re wasting picking the plate up and putting it over your head. Keeping lunging instead.” I said, although I don’t think Colin heard me, “Colin, you are a soft titty douche bag. I hate you almost as much as I hate Michael Kelley. I will no more keep the plate over my head as I will perform the River Dance. Go Parkour yourself.” (I may have only thought this. It’s all a blur.)

What I do like about Colin’s coaching is that he does carefully observe, he provides encouragement and/or guidance when needed, and he pays attention to everyone. He needs a new pair of Innov8s, though.

I ended up completing as few as 8 walking lunges and 4 burpees in succession. I hurt far too much to stop, but I just had such a difficult time catching my breath. Damn bronchitis. I blame Stew.

Time was 12:46.

We ended the session by playing on the challenging playground apparatuses. I was the master of the running circle thing.

The Yoke Knows

I had convinced myself that I would not travel to CFD, as I’m still feeling less than 100%, the posted WOD is one that I could do on my own @ LFF, I rowed 5K last night (20:30, 23 s/m avg), and — if I do indeed “compete” in D.I.R.T. tomorrow — I need to conserve my energy. My final and perhaps most legitimate excuse? The tilers are here all day, and Xander becomes very distressed. 

After much talking to myself, out loud I might add, I decided to venture to CFD nonetheless, with the intention of taking it easy. I kinda sorta did. I had planned on leaving Xander in the backyard, but took him with me instead. He loves riding in the car, and also patiently awaits for my return. We might begin to do this regularly when the weather allows. 

Richard led today’s session. I wish MY initials were RX. If they were, I’d legally have my last name changed to lowercase, and I’d always sign just my initials. 

I warmed up with an easy 5-minute row. Shayne and I talked about the miseries of being ill. She has “community” pneumonia. I may have misheard her. 

Strict Knees To Elbows — 25, 10, 10, & 5
Strict Feet To Bar — 5, 10, & 10

I could tell that I hadn’t worked out in some time, as this made my abs hurt. That hasn’t happened in a long time. 

Metcon — 12-minute AMRAP of 15 double unders and 15 ring push-ups (with a leisurely stroll from outside [dus] to inside [push-ups] CFD between rounds)

Here’s what made going to CFD a much better experience than doing this metcon @ LFF…

First, Jeff asked, “How good are your double unders?” I translated this as, “Paul, you are my competition. I must know if I have any advantage over you, oh god of CrossFit.”

Next, I decided to make the ring push-ups more challenging (so that I didn’t have to do as many rounds of dus and freaking further kill my lungs), so I positioned a 20″ box to do inverted push-ups. Doug had positioned a smaller box behind his rings. He asked, “Are you really going to use a box that tall?” I interpreted this as, “Paul, you’re overestimating your abilities.” “Yes,” I replied. “I might even use a 30″ box.” I didn’t want Doug to think he was making me doubt myself. “Why do you ask?” Doug said, “Because if you’re using a box that tall, I’m going to have to as well.” I let Doug know that I still wasn’t feeling my best. He didn’t seem to care. Haha! 

I heart CrossFitters. 

I completed as many as 15 and as few as 1 (the latter rounds) of dus unbroken. I completed the first 3 rounds of push-ups unbroken, and then did in reps of 9 & 6, 8 & 7, and the final round in 6, 5, & 4. 

I completed a total of 8 rounds, although I lost track and may not have counted an additional round. 

I’m not back yet, but I’m getting there. 

Rowing Cindy

It had been 4 days since I had attended a CFD session, and 3 days since I had exercised (if a 10-mile run counts as exercise), as this past Saturday I came down with a very bad cold. When I’m sick, I have a difficult time recalling what it feels like to be healthy and an even more difficult time convincing myself that there will come a day when I’m no longer sick. Melodramatic, I know, but it suits me. 

I had intended to attend the 6:15am session, but couldn’t drag myself out of bed to do so. I instead spent the 2 hours between when I awoke (4:30) and when I finally got out of bed hacking up a lung. I am amazed by how much snot and phlegm the human body can produce. 

Anyhow, I attended the 5pm session, led by Dave, with 5 of the most wonderful people you could ever meet: champion rower, Anthony; l-sit Josh; v-sit Lindsey; Phillip’s second best friend, Keith; and “I married a man who possesses less than half of my intelligence, charm, and/or good looks”, Dori. Jack also attended.

We practiced l-sits. I’m still amazed that I can straighten my legs. 

Metcon–Rowing Cindy
4 rounds for time:
Row 500m
3 rounds of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 air squats, i.e., Cindy

Should I have rested another day? Perhaps. Did I nearly die? Maybe. Did I come the closest I’ve ever come to puking DURING a workout? Yes. 

I forgot workout shoes, and instead had to wear weightlifting shoes. I didn’t like rowing in them, but other than that, weightlifting shoes worked fine. 

Josh was first off the rower, followed by Dori’s husband. I like Dori. She’s very nice. She’s smart, too. I completed the 1st rounds of Cindy unbroken. I should’ve warmed up my shoulders more, though, as the first 10 push-ups huuuuuurt. After completing the 15 pull-ups, 30 push-ups, and 45 air squats, I convinced myself that I could stop, as I shouldn’t push myself too hard. Josh and Dori’s husband got on their rowers and I couldn’t bring myself to quit just yet. “One more round, one more round.”

Josh and Dori’s husband were yet again off of the rowers before me for the second rounds of Cindy. I did start to gain some ground. I completed the seconds rounds of Cindy unbroken.

“Okay, then three rounds. You can stop after three.”

I didn’t. 

I completed all pull-ups and air squats unbroken, and only had to stop momentarily during the last of the 3 rounds during the 3rd set and the last 2 rounds of the last set. May not make sense to you, but it does to me, so I’m not re-writing. Sue me. I know a good lawyer. Her name is Dori. 

I was the second person to call time, and I made sure I was facing the clock when I did so. Some coaches (Dave, mostly) like to add seconds to the time. I called at 19:09. Dave recorded 19:11. 

I spent a good 5 or so minutes walking outside in an attempt to not puke. I came very close to doing so. 

Jack and I had a friendly conversation about the importance of competition, fartlek, and how we both hate Michael Kelley. 

10-Mile Run

I had a difficult time sleeping last night, and I fear I may be getting a cold. What’s the best way to avoid letting a cold catch you? Run away from it, of course! Given that today’s CFD WOD involved rings, pull-ups, and l-holds, i.e., using the arms, AND today is an absolutely gorgeous NC day, running instead of CrossFitting was an easy decision.

Jeff and his friend, Angie, also ran 10 miles on the American Tobacco Trail, and they were just starting as I arrived. Unlike in the past, I made sure to stretch before I began. I caught up with them before the 1-mile mark. There were many runners and bikers out today. Here are some of the comments I heard: “That’s guy is fast. I’ve seen him race.” “Nice pace!” “I wish I could run that fast.” “Yes, Angie, he’s fast. Sometimes I hate him.” (I think that’s what Jeff said.)

I saw Jeff and Angie once again at the 6-mile mark for me, 4-mile mark for them. Jeff was kind enough to give me a drink from his water bottle. I’m proud of him for also running 10 miles, his longest distance to date!

My back felt a little tight, so I eased into the run. I took one breath every forth step until the last mile, when I picked up the pace. Splits ranged from 7:05 to 7:45 mpm, and avg was 7:31, as I ran the distance in 1:15:11.

This is the longest distance I’ve run in about 6 or so months. It. Felt. Great! (I think I’ll always love running.)

Modified Wittman

I attended the 5 pm session once again if for no other reason to hear Tripp laugh. He did, and on numerous occasions. I also got a great big hug from Theo. Who needs Stew? Amy Scott-Potorti, Lori, and Erin and her lovely wife Phillip were also in attendance. 

Yes, my right arm is still causing pain, so while others completed weighted pull-ups, I practiced GHD sit-ups and the front lever. 

Today was a hero WOD named after Sergeant Wittman.

7 Rounds for time:
15 KB swings (52 lb)
15 power cleans (95 lb)
15 box jumps (24″) 

I had watched this on, and knew it was going to be difficult. I also knew that I couldn’t do power cleans. Dave suggested that I do deadlifts instead. I’m getting tired of deadlifts, Dave, just so you know.

7 Rounds for time:
15 KB swings (52 lb)
15 deadlifts (165 then 135 lb; more in a moment)
15 box jumps (26″)

Since I wasn’t completing power cleans. I at the very least wanted to challenge myself with box jumps; thus the increased height. 52 lb KB swings are now somewhat easy, although I didn’t do them American style. At Dave’s suggestion, I raised my arms as high above eye level as I could without causing myself pain. KB swings were Russian-American. 

I completed the first round of unbroken. 

Second round 6, 6, and 3 dls, and the weight felt heavy, 10 and 5 swings, and unbroken jumps.

Third round 4, 4, 4, and 3 dls. I completed 2 KB swings and nearly dropped the KB, as I experienced a sharp pain in my back. Dave said, “Swings after deadlifts probably hurts your back, huh?” “Yes,” I said. (I thought, “You are a bitch for making me do deadlifts, Dave.”) “Do you want me to take off some weight?” Dave asked. “Yes,” I said. I always say “yes” and never “yeah”. I rested a moment, massaged my lower back, and completed the remaining swings, albeit in reps of 3 and 4. Jumps were unbroken.

For the remaining 5 (yes 5, and not 4) rounds, I completed dls in no less than 3 and swings in no less than 7 reps. I completed ALL box jumps unbroken. Yes, I’m that awesome.

I had been noting my rounds in my workbook, but then doubted myself, and thought I had mistakenly recorded a round I didn’t complete. I had a sense of what others were doing, and while Lori and Erin finished ahead of me so did a few others who I knew I had been besting. I should trust my math skills. Haha! I had been recording accurately, and did completed 8 rounds. 

During about the forth or fifth round, the following conversation occurred:
Phillip: Good job, Paul. Use your hips!
Me: Phillip, you sound just like your mother when you say that.
Amy: The next thing Paul’s going to say is that you sound just like his father.

Oh, Amy, you know me far too well! 

During about the fifth or sixth round, I needed to blow my nose, and did so on my Paul Frank monkey shirt. It looked like the money had hangers. I didn’t care. 

Time 21:23

This was a very tough metcon. Ouchity, ouch, ouch.

Rowing for Calories

It’s fitting that I rowed for calories tonight, as I’m feeling somewhat fat. 

10 x 1 min with 1:30 recovery
1 – 281m, 42 s/m, 21.5 cal, damper 1
2 – 284m, 40 s/m, 22 cal, 2
3 – 287m, 43 s/m, 22.5 cal, 3
4 – 286m, 40 s/m, 22 cal, 4
5 – 286m, 40 s/m, 22 cal, 5
6 – 287m, 40 s/m, 21.5 cal, 6
7 – 279m, 38 s/m, 21 cal, 7
8 – 278m, 40 s/m, 21 cal, 6
9 – 276m, 40 s/m, 21 cal, 5
10 – 270m, 42 s/m, 21 cal, 1

Damper @ 6.5 seems to be sweet spot.

3-minute rest.

5 x 25 dus with 1 minute rest.

Stretched and foam rolled.

Michael Who?

My third-most-favorite-coach, Stew, led today’s session, and the focus was on determining 1RM for the snatch. Monday’s push-ups and yesterday’s medicine ball cleans exacerbated the issue with my right forearm. Almost-tied-for-favorite-coach, Jack, arrived at 6am, and we discussed the issue. Jack suggested that I focus on lower body only and/or don’t do any activities that cause pain. Jack is smart. Stew is tall.
I joined the group for the snatch warm-up, and then warmed up dus and back squats, and practiced landing in center of box for 24” box jumps.
3 rounds for time:
10 OHS (115 lb)
20 push-ups
30 double unders
Run 400m
Jack and I had discussed substitutions, and Stew agreed on our decision.
3 rounds for time:
10 back squats (135 lb)
20 GHD sit-ups
30 double unders
Run 400m
I ran from station to station, completed all back squats and sit-ups unbroken, and completed as many as 25 dus unbroken. (Practicing does have its benefits.)
Even though my metcon was different, I enjoyed the friendly competition. Punky Drewster was the first to begin the 400m run, with Troie not far behind. By the second round, Troie was leading, I wasn’t far behind, and Punky had dropped to third. By the last round, I had 200m on Troie and 400m on Punky. Take that, Stew’s boyfriend and other boyfriend!
Time — 12:40

6:15am Is My TOD. 5pm Is Not.

I attended the 5pm session of CFD this evening. Why? I had the pearly whites cleaned this am. I the trained Presentational Speaking from 10:30 to 4:30. I rushed to Durham, and was already feeling tired. Yup, shoulda rested today. 

Yesterday was VD, and my gift to Michael Kelley was my not posting that I hated him. I’m extending the gift one more day. I’m  just that nice. 

I was hoping for a Phillip sighting (I shall call him Phillip and not Phil from this moment forward) but instead got a Finding Nemo sighting. Nemo noted that my sister-wives, the lovely Amy & delightful Kristen, were also in attendance. 

Nemo: You get all of the CrossFit women, Paul!
Me: It says a lot about my competition that the middle-aged gay man gets all of the women, Nemo.

Dave, my tied-for-second-favorite coach, led the session, and the focus was on handstand holds. I practiced these last night, and my shoulders were already feeling sore. I also knew what the metcon involved handstand push-ups! I practiced against the wall, and made a discovery: I’m not bringing my feet far enough from the wall to go vertical, and I do better bringing one foot away from the wall at a time. I’ve mastered the headstand, but have a looooong way to go with the handstand. 

The metcon had been posted on, and I was anxious to give it a try. Stupid me!

AMRAP in 20 minutes:
10 KTE
15 medicine ball cleans (20 lb)

The workout had toes through rings instead of knees to elbows, and Dave was kind enough to allow me to try. A few of the “men”, and I use the term loosely as the group included Jonathan, tried, and noted that TTR was less challenging than KTE. Whatevs. 

HSPUs were the biggest challenge, and I struggled each round, often competing 1 rep at a time. I did all sets of TTR unbroken. I completed medicine ball cleans unbroken until 10 minutes into the workout. I then struggled mightily, completing as few as 4 reps. Dave kept saying, “Don’t stop, Paul!” I kept thinking, “Why is this so freaking difficult?” 

8 rounds + 5 HSPUs.

Tripp has a wonderful laugh. It sound like a combination of Conan the Barbarian, a squealing pig, and a 12-year-old girl.