Non-Rest, Rest Day

Three days on, one day off. It works for me, it really does. Today was to have been a rest day, but I wanted to do the WOD if for no other reason than to be able to speak to the challenges of and strategy for combining rowing with double unders. I’m at least happy that I didn’t push myself too hard.

I arrived at CFD extra early so as to set up and clean rowers as well as to set up equipment for warmup.

I still didn’t have enough time to stretch, warm up, and/or practice as much as I would have liked.

AFAP with 1-minute rest between intervals (subtract 4 minutes from total time):

Row 500m, 50 double unders

Row 400m, 40 dus

Row 300m, 30 dus

Row 200m, 20 dus

Row 200m, 10 dus

I couldn’t string my double unders together very well, as I’m tired, tired, tired. Ugh. My time was 9:03. (I also don’t particularly like completing AFAPs solo, as there’s no competition.)

I led the 10 and 11 am sessions. As there are nine rowers, exactly nine CFers attended both sessions. Who woulda thunk it? Dave, owner and proprietor, was also at the gym, but he was kind enough to allow others to uses the rowers. Dave is a giver, and not a taker. Unless he’s taking your membership dues. Or your parking space.

We began with pass throughs, lunge pass throughs, pushups, planche pushups, and shoulder mobility. To open the hips, CFers did 5 rounds of the following: 17″ box jump, lateral jump over paralette, 20″ box jump, lateral “twisting” jump over 2 paralettes, 3 kettle bell swings, 30″ box jump, and either monkey bars across pull-up bar station or 5 pull-ups. Each athlete then did the circuit for time, and Troie posted the fastest time of :21. He did fall, so I should really count the entire circuit as no rep, but I’m feeling nice today.

Why am I feeling nice? Because today was all 80s music! Colleen even dressed in 80s apparel, including side pony-tail.

We next practiced double unders to the music of The Pointer Sisters. You guessed it, “Jump (for My Love)”. Finally, we reviewed and practiced proper form for rowing: catch, drive, finish, and recovery.

Athletes then completed the WOD, and I witnessed some incredible improvements in performance and form. Michelle can now complete dead-hang pull-ups without a band. Kristen stunned me into silence when she consistently completed unbroken double unders. Channa and Kim are no longer sending their asses back before they drive. (Well, at least not as much.) Meaghan got 2 double unders in succession. Craig is quickly recovering from surgery, and rows like a beast. The list goes on and on.

The following are excerpts from an IM conversation between me and Dave.

Dave: great wods today (Dave doesn’t know how to punctuate or use the shift key.)
Me: Thanks, Dave! Let me know if I “over” coach. That’s what I most fear…
AND the reason I’m so good with beginners. They need extra coaching!
Dave: i don’t think you do
it’s part of “you”, which is what people will enjoy
esp on the weekends when things are a little more leisurely
I wish we had just one more rower so that Dave could have enjoyed this “leisurely” workout. Ha!

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Endurance, LMFGO, Community, and Dukies

An exhausting and rewarding day! I arrived at CFD early so that I could measure and mark 100m on the field behind the gym. My good friend Jay was one of the first to arrive, as I knew he would be. (I threatened to break up with him if he didn’t.)

About a dozen or more athletes attended the 9am endurance session that I coached. As there were 2 newbies, we spent time on form and then completed drills. The WOD itself was very difficult, as I knew it would be.

Every minute on the minute for 10 to 16 minutes run 100m and rest in remaining time.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? It was not, and it was a true test of endurance. A couple of athletes rested a few rounds, i.e., didn’t start every minute on the minute, and 4 completed all 16 rounds. Well done! Who were those athletes, you ask? Well, in order of who I like the most to who I like the least: Chad, Nick, Kristen (I like them all an equally incredible amount), and Michael Kelley.

As I ran all 16 reps whilst shouting direction and looking at my iPhone stop watch to keep track and yell time, I got quite a good workout myself.

Special shout-out to Channa. I promise I can make you sprint better and faster. Another shout-out to Jay. Your form has improved significantly, you’re running much, much faster. We just need to improve endurance! (Funny, Mary Ann also said that you need to improve your endurance.)

Ryan led the 10am session, and I had the honor and pleasure of joining Erin and Kristen for a 3-person team WOD. Our team name was LMFGO. (Figure it out yourself.)

As I was warming up, a fellow CrossFitter asked, “Are you on a team?” I replied, “Yes, my team is awesome!” She then asked, “Are you doing the WOD by yourself?” Ha, ha!

I will readily admit that I was a weak link for HSPUs and power cleans. I did pull my weight for pull-ups and box jumps. Here are the details.

In teams of 3, with only one person working at any time, complete the following as quickly as possible:
50 handstand pushups
100 hang power cleans (155/105)
150 pull-ups
200 box jumps (24/20)

We determined our strategery (yes, strategery) and order. I let Erin and Kristen know that I was going to do HSPUs Rx, thus I wouldn’t be able to do very many unbroken. I also set a goal to power clean my current, albeit not accurate, power clean 1RM of 135 lb.

I completed probably no more than 10 HSPUs.

I was the first to start the round of hang power cleans, and it was a freaking mess. The bar felt very lopsided, and I thought that I must be pulling more with my right arm. After completing 4 or 5 shitty hang power cleans, I put the bar down so that I could decrease the weight. Ryan was kind enough to assist, and here’s what we discovered: I had pulled 2, 45 lb plates from the stack, but I didn’t look at the plates to make sure the weights were correct. One of the plates was 35 lb, and that’s why the bar felt so lopsided! I replaced the 35 with a 45 lb plate, and completed my remaining reps cleaning 135 lb. Still not pretty, but showing improvement.

I also made a huge blunder in that when Kristen finished her 50th power clean, I did 20 pull-ups. Uhm, we weren’t supposed to do pull-ups until we completed 100 power cleans. I finished 20 pull-ups only to turn around and notice that Kristen and Erin were still doing power cleans. I glanced at the whiteboard and noticed my mistake.

For those of you keeping score at home, we did not count the 20 pull-ups.

We finished cleans, and then finally began pull-ups.

I’m somewhat competitive. (This may be an understatement.) I began the round of pull-ups and completed 15. Erin went next, and as she and Kristen were using bands, it took them some time to transition. So that we could keep up our pace, I would complete as many pull-ups as possible after both Erin and Kristen completed theirs. In other words, the order was Paul-Erin-Paul-Kristen-Paul-Erin, etc.

I also ran out of athletic tape and no one else had any with them. Yup, I tore my right hand. I tore it reeeeeeal good.

The order for box jumps was Erin, Kristen, and then me. We all did reps of 10 box jumps, although I did 20 my first round. I was feeling exhausted and spent, and I even missed a box jump! Why? Because folks began arriving for the Community WOD, and I was thinking about how I was going to have to modify the WOD as so many were already in attendance.

We finished in twenty-some minutes and some seconds.

There was a very large group in attendance for the Community WOD, including Jeff, Tegan, Rick, Lauren, Keith, Paul, and many faces I recognized from bootcamp. I had originally planned on teaching pull-ups. Given that open gym and the mobility WOD were also taking place, not only could I not teach pull-ups, but I had to coach in the very warm room next door. When I requested that the mobility WOD coach make room for all of us, he gave me attitude. He’s an asshole. His name is Michael Kelley, and I hate him.

Today’s WOD was a 12-minute AMRAP of 5 pushups, 10 kettle bell swings, 15 Abmat sit-ups, and 20 air squats.

Whew! I was exhausted and hungry, but it was already time to coach another session. Earlier in the week, Dave asked if I would coach a group of Duke MBA students. “I’d be delighted!” was my reply. There were greater than 20 in attendance, and they completed a partner WOD, with 1 person performing an exercise while the other rested. 15-minute AMRAP of 10 push-ups, 10 Abmat back extensions, 10 box jumps, 10 Abmat sit-ups, and 10 air squats. The students were very participatory, and seemed to enjoy themselves. (Dave, I sent many people your way. Feel free to give them my email as well.)

Pull Snatches, Thrusters, and Burpees. (And Larry, Moe, and Curly)

I attended the 7:15 session this morning, so as to workout before a team-building activity at 8:30. More about said activity in a moment.

I did arrive at CFD at 6:30 as the 6:15ers were finishing their warmup and preparing for the skill building. Griff and Max, for whatever reason, did the met-con earlier than and not with the remainder of the class, and Max asked if I would start the timer. He didn’t ask me to provide encouragement, but one need not ask to receive. Although Max and Griff started at the same time, Max eventually lapped that gaycist Griff. I would shout the elapsed time at the end of most rounds, and (even though they both started at the same exact time) it would sound something like this: Great job, Max! Your elapsed time is 3:30. Griff, your performance is quite mediocre, and your elapsed time is 4:45. I also had the opportunity to observe and cheer for the cool 6:15ers who did the met-con when it was supposed to be done. Ashley D. (not you, Denton), remember to extend your hips!

Doug led the 7:15 session, and the focus was on the snatch pull. After having success with the clean pull earlier this week, I was actually looking forward to today’s skill-building, and I wasn’t disappointed. I’m finally starting to get the feel of the pull, hip extension, and jump. As there were but 5 of us in attendance, Doug had ample time and opportunity to observe my performance and provide feedback, and he did just that. Thanks, Doug!

I warmed up with the bar, and I heard Doug say, “Good, Paul.” Yeah, me! The posted workout was 7 snatch pulls, working up to a heavy weight. As faithful readers know, I’m focusing on form, consistency, and then intensity. Given that, I didn’t do just 1 snatch pull until the last 2 reps.

75 & 95 x 3

105, 115, 125, & 135 x 3

145 x 1 (That’s my bodyweight!)

150 x 1 (Not the best snatch pull, but the weight was feeling rather heavy. I can’t imagine why.)

Today’s met-con made my heart pound, before, during, and after.

7 rounds for time of the following

7 thrusters (135/95; I lifted 95 lb)

7 burpees

Thrusters always remind me of my CrossFit Level 1 certification, and my inability to lift 95 lb, the weight I lifted today. I also couldn’t kip back then. How things have changed! I nonetheless felt very anxious just prior to the start of the met-con.

My goals were to complete at least first round of thrusters unbroken and to complete all burpess unbroken. Come on, it’s just 7 burpees, right? How difficult can that be, right? Very freaking difficult. Here’s how it all transpired…

The clock counted down, I cleaned the bar (cleaning 95 lb now feels quite easy), and did 7 unbroken thrusters. Well, kind of. I did squat deeply, I did extend my hips, and I did lock my elbows — for all but the last thruster! Doug called me out on it, and I’m pleased that he did so. I try to keep myself as honest as possible, but I would’ve counted that last rep. I gathered my breath and my thoughts, and did the final rep. My first goal was not achieved.

I completed all but the last round of thrusters in reps of 4 and 3.

I did complete all rounds of burpees unbroken, but I was certainly tempted to not do so. It took every ounce of resolve to not stop midway and catch my breath, and I was very, very winded after each and every round.

I was keeping track of rounds in my notebook. In my mind, I was thinking that 7 rounds looked like 4 hash marks with a slash, obviously representing 5 rounds, plus and additional 3, yes, 3 hash marks. Uhm, that’d add up to 8.

I finished my 7th round, looked down at my notebook and counted a total of 7 hash marks (including slash), and thought to myself, “That can’t be right. Does that what 7 rounds look like? Did I count the hash and slash marks correctly? Let’s see, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Yup. Have I really completed 7 rounds? I know I made a mark after each round of burpees. Have I really, really done 7 rounds? Did I mistakenly make a hash mark after a round of thrusters? I can’t remember doing so. That does add up to 7, right, Paul? Just to be sure, you had better do another round.”

And that’s what I did. And the last round was a bitch. I completed thrusters in reps of 2, 2, 2, & 1. I was in a world of hurt. I did complete last round of burpees unbroken, and I can recall Doug saying “Come on, Paul. Down and up. Down and up.” I called time at 10:48. I was drenched in sweat and completely exhausted.

Kate, Katherine, and Jillian, members of the Training & Professional Development team where I am employed, attended the 8:30 session, led by the always delightful ATD, as a team building activity. They did awesome, and I am very proud of each of them! I spent time teaching them how to do 6-count burpees, squats, and goblin squats, and even spent a little bit of time assisting them with band-assisted pull-ups. Their met-con was modified in that they did 6 rounds of 7 goblet squats and 7 burpees. Except Jillian, who did 10 instead of 7 reps. Glad to see I’m not the only one who’s bad at math!

Thanks for all of your coaching, ATD! You’re tied with Ashley D. as my favorite Ashley. And, my favorite Ashley D.

Deads & Cleans

I have grown to truly enjoy—and dare I say even look forward to—rest days. Yesterday was such a day, and with the exception of taking Xander for a 2-mile walk, I did no other form of exercise. No running, no biking, no lifting, no skill-building. (Kelly Fussell, this is a not-so-subtle hint.)

Jack led today’s session and the focus was on the dead-lift. I love dead-lifts. The focus was also on power cleans. I llike power cleans. I used to hate power cleans, so I’m making progress.

As I arrived early, I had a lengthy discussion with Jack regarding the dead-lifts. It went something like this:

Me: What weight should we be lifting for our 3 sets of 5?

Jack: You’ll first want to warm up with lighter weights, and the 3 sets of heavier lifts should be 80% of 1 rep maximum or higher. When I do this workout I lift 5 reps of 115, 5 reps of 185, 3 reps of 245, 2 reps of 265, and then do 5 reps of 285, 305, and 315. (I’m sure I’m misquoting Jack regarding weights. I’m sure he’ll correct me. He’s left-brained, I’m right-brained. Troie is no-brained.)

Me: What’s your 1 rep maximum?

Jack: 360. (I’m not misquoting here.)

Me: So, if my 1 rep maximum is 330, what weight should I work up to?

Jack: 280 to 290. See how you feel when the weight gets heavier.

Me: Are the reps supposed to be unbroken?

Jack: Yes. Don’t drop the bar, but lower it to the floor. You can take a second or 2 to re-grip the bar, but don’t pause too long.

Me: Do you think I’m pretty?

Jack. Of course I do, Paul.



5 x 125 lb

5 x 185

3 x 215

5 x 245

5 x 265

5 x 285

All lifts felt very solid. I switched grip when I lifted 245, with left hand under the bar, my preferred hand position. Jack said, “Try to see how heavy you can go with both hands over the bar.” “Why?” I asked. “It’s a good way to work on grip strength,” sayeth Jack. I replied, “Jack, after Tuesday’s workout, I don’t care to work on grip strength.”

I nonetheless lifted 265 without switching grip. It was much more challenging to do so. Jack observed and said, “Good!” (But with a small exclamation point. It appears that I’m making progress.) Jack also observed last round of 285 and said, and I quote, “That was good!” (Still with a small exclamation point, but he was more specific.)

Power cleans were next on the agenda. Cleans of any variety are a weakness of mine, and I know I need to work on them. The temptress Renee, however, almost talked me out of doing so, as she was doing yesterday’s WOD that included back squats (awesome!), wall ball shots (incredible!), and kettle bell swings (fantabulous!). I resisted the temptation.

Here’s how I imagined a conversation with Jack would go regarding the cleans:

Me: Jack, the pull cleans we did the other day were great! Pull cleans keep me focused on form.

Jack: Yes.

Me: How about if today I complete heavy pull cleans instead of power cleans?

Jack: But we just did pull cleans. Do power cleans instead.

Here’s how the actual conversation went:

Me: Jack, the pull cleans we did the other day were great! Pull cleans keep me focused on form.

Jack: Yes.

Me: How about if today I complete heavy pull cleans instead of power cleans?

Jack: But we just did pull cleans. Do power cleans instead.


Every 30 seconds for 12 minutes:

1 power clean 80% of 1RM

I put 32.5 lb on both ends of a 45 lb bar for a total of 110 lb, slightly above 80% of 135 lb, my squat clean 1RM. Yes, squat clean, not power clean. I usually lift 85 to 95 lb for power cleans.

We began, and (as there were but 5 of us doing the workout, and 3 of them shirtless) Jack observed closely. Throughout the workout, he gave me quite a few reminders. In order of quantity, they were: 1. Faster elbows!; Go lower!; Keep your back straight!; and You look pretty!

At about the 3- or 4-minute mark, I said, “Jack, the bar feels too light. It’s too easy for me to just use my arms and not my hips.” He replied, “Then put more weight on the bars.” I put 10 lb plates on both ends of the bar for a total of 130, or 96% of squat clean 1RM. The lifts immediately felt more solid. I did have 2 failed attempts, including the very last clean. My self-talk was “Hips, fast elbows, drop below the bar, shelf!”

Am I making progress? I think so. Am I beginning to enjoy the power clean? Uhm, kind of. Am I pretty? Most definitely. Jack said so.

Griff is a gaycist. Earlier in the week he overheard me telling someone that we named our cats Zac and Meg, and that I named Meg after Peter & Lois’ daughter from “Family Guy”. Griff thought I said that I named the cat after Meg from “Phantom of the Opera.” Huh? Four syllables versus 7. While the “f” and “ph” are sounded the same way, “amily” and “antom” sound nothing alike. I used to like Griff ever so slightly more than I like Max, but I now like them equally the same amount, which is very, very little.

Troie is far too vocal. After completing his last round of dead-lifts, he screamed (whilst wearing headphones, I might add), “I am awesome!” Troie was writing in his notebook as I was leaving CFD. I said, “This is what Troie’s writing: ‘Dear Diary, today I lifted something heavy. I like to grunt. I listen to my own music. I am awesome. Love, Troie.’” He said, “Yup, that’s about right.” I replied, “You’re about as smart as you are attractive.” I heart Troie.

Time Stood Still

I was looking forward to resting today, but rest just wasn’t in the cards. Xander awakened me at 4 to do his business. I let him outside, and crawled back into bed. He would have none of this, and he insisted that I take him for a walk. As I suspected, he had to poop, and he doesn’t like to poop unless I’m there to praise him for doing so. I am like Xander, and Jack is my me. More in a moment.

I was wide awake and I knew that today’s skill was clean pulls—a skill I desperately need to work on improving. It was meant to be.

Jack, Craig, Michelle, and I arrived early, and as we had CFD to ourselves I asked Jack if I could play a song for Michelle. He obliged. I said, “Michelle, this song is by one of our favorite artists, and it reminds me of me.” I played LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It.”

Girl, look at that body.

Girl, look at that body.

Girl, look at that body.

Girl, look at that body.

I work out.


Craig and Michelle. I like Michelle.

We laughed, we cried, we made fun of Troie. Craig scored 1 point for wearing an orange shirt. He lost 5 points for having a picture of Aquaman on said shirt. Final score -4 points. Fail.

As mentioned, today’s skill was clean pulls. Jack instructed us to grab a bar and gather around as he reviewed proper form.

Me: Are you going to wear your weight-lifting shoes, Renee?

Renee: Yes. Why do you ask?

Me: Because if you are, I am, too.

I also wanted her to notice my very short shorts. She made no comment regarding my very short shorts and I was very, very disappointed.

Jack asked us to demonstrate our clean pull abilities. I noticed that many folks weren’t using a hook grip. So as to not appear that I was coaching over Jack, I asked, “Should we use a hook grip?” Before Jack could respond, another coach who was present said (in a condescending tone, I might add), “You always use a hook grip for cleans, Paul.” I replied, “I know that. I just wanted to make sure that everyone else did as well.” I do know that you always use a hook grip. Having coached a WOD that included power cleans just this past Sunday, rest assured that I watched many youtube recordings of cleans, and I carefully reviewed the progressions that I learned during my level 1 cert.

Clean Pulls


Jack informed us that the weight for clean pulls should be between our 1RM for power cleans and dead-lifts. That’s quite a big range, as that’s between 135 and 330 lb. I warmed up by completing the following: 5 reps of 75 and 5 reps of 95. I constantly asked Jack to watch my form. In other words, I wanted him to see me poop, and to praise me when I did so. He reminded me to fully extend my hips before shrugging my shoulders. We discussed, and I had somewhat of a breakthrough. I have been focused on where the bar is in relation to my thighs as my cue to shrug instead of when my hips fully extend. My form immediately improved, and I was praised quite a few times for pooping.  I completed 4 reps of 165, 2 reps of 175, 2 reps of 195, and 2 reps of 200.

As we were putting away the bars and plates, I said to Renee, “You didn’t notice my short shorts.” She replied, “Oh, yes, I most certainly did.” “Why didn’t you say anything about them?” I asked. Renee said, “Because you’re like a little kid. If I tell you not to do something, you’re just going to do it more.”

That Renee is one smart cookie!

I truly enjoyed working on clean pulls, and learned much. Thanks, Jack! You’re my second favorite coach. I am my favorite coach.

Uhm, did I mention that I completed 79 weighted pull-ups just yesterday morning?

Metabolic Conditioning

AMRAP in 20 minutes:

Max rep pull-ups

100m farmer’s walk (52 lb KB each hand)

I once again felt rushed getting ready for the met-con, and didn’t claim a spot on the pull-up bar or get a pair of 52 lb kettle bells. Max and Griff were kind enough to share their kettle bells. Thanks, Griff!

My goals were to complete at last 5 pull-ups per round and to not drop the kettle bells during farmer’s walk. I completed 91 pull-ups and 14 rounds of farmer’s walk. That’s 1400m, i.e., almost a mile.

This met-con felt like it would never end, and this may have been the longest 20 minutes of my entire life. I completed pull-ups in reps of 10, 7, 6, 6, 7, 6, 6, 4 (I was sweating so much that I slipped off of the bar), 6, 6, 6, 7, 6, 5, and 3 (I once again slipped off of the bar).

Ashley Davidson may very well be my new favorite Ashley. We were completing the met-con at a very similar pace, and were usually close to each other during the farmer’s walks/jogs. I reminded her to keep her head up, shoulders relaxed, arms by her side, and to jog—and she made sure to remind me of the same. Why jog, you ask? Because the sooner you could put down the damn kettle bells the better it was. My forearms were already beginning to ache by the fourth round. Yes, the fourth round, and I had 10 more rounds to go. This was a true test of one’s grip strength as well. As I told Jack, it’s obvious that I use my right hand more than my left hand, as I had a more difficult time keeping hold of the kettle bell with my left hand. Let’s see, I use my right hand to write, my left hand to draw and mouse-click, I wear my watch on my right arm, when I race I lead with my left arm. I guess I use my right hand more to **********. I also use my right hand to ***** my *******.

 Dear 6:15ers,

 Hello! How are you? I am fine. I humbly apologize for grunting, swearing, and crying during this morning’s met-con.

 Your friend,


Tight abs…

… tight ass.

I think I’ve discovered the cause of my adductor pain: overhead squats. I was somewhat hobbling yesterday afternoon, and had considered resting today. Yesterday evening I went for a relatively easy 15-mile bike ride on the American Tobacco Trail, and this active recovery helped considerably. Yeah, active recovery! Boo, 100+ degree weather.

Jack led us through a somewhat grueling warm up.

Jack: Everybody grab a medium-sized kettle bell.

Me: Should the kettle bell be of medium weight or just of medium size?

Lawyers tend to use intentionally ambiguous language.



I had hoped to complete presses in my Corner of Shame, but when I went to set up my bar Griff informed me that he and Max were using that platform. “See, our stuff is already there!” Griff whined. Then he looked longingly at Max, as (as expected) Max had already removed his shirt. I’m going to bitch slap both of them sometime very, very soon. Jack suggested that I work with Punky. “I don’t want to work with Punky, Jack. I want to work by myself today.” Why? Because I didn’t want to feel rushed. I set up a rack on the floor, and as I was finishing doing so Troie asked, “Can I work in with you, Paul?” First, Troie, it’s “may” not “can”. Regardless, I said, “No, I’m working by myself. Get your own damn rack.” Some days I just wish I weren’t so damn popular. Today was one of those days.

Dave had posted that we were to use approximately 50% of 1RM. As my 1RM (determined just last week) was 130 lb, I pressed 65 lb for first round of 10. I then easily pressed 115 lb. I asked Jack, “Should I go heavier for second round of 10 presses?” He replied, “Most people are going a little heavier. You can if you like.” Do I look like most people, Jack? Do I? We all know that I don’t give into peer pressure either. I increased weight to 75 lb for second and last rounds of 10. Damn you, peers! I lifted 125 lb, up until just last week my 1RM, for second heavy press. I was debating what weight to lift for final round, and I once again asked for Jack’s guidance. I informed him that I had pressed 130 last week. He suggested that I match that or go slightly heavier. I put 135 lb on the bar, took a deep breath, tightened my abs and my ass, and easily pressed the weight above my head. I held it above my head for quite some time, as Jack was assisting Kristen and I wanted him to see. I could contain my excitement no longer and yelled, “Jack, 135 lbs! A new PR!” He scoffed at me. Or he may have smiled. It’s hard to tell sometimes with Jack.

While getting ready for the met-con, Jack approached me and said, “That’s a milestone.” “Why?” I asked. He replied, “Because you pressed 135 lb. You put 2, 45 lb plates on a 45 lb bar, and that’s 135 lb. That’s why it’s a milestone.” I, however, had put 2, 10 lb and a 25 lb plate on both ends of the bar. Jack next pointed in Troie’s direction as Troie was completing his last press. “I know,” I said, “Troie is strong.” “Look at the weight he’s lifting.” I did. “I know, Jack, Troie is strong.” Jack finally pointed out what I should have figured out. “He’s pressing 135 lb, the same weight that you just pressed.” I made sure to make Troie aware of this. I said, “Troie, be sure to tell all of your friends that some middle-aged, gay, skinny guy pressed the same weight that you did today. Tell them repeatedly.” I love teasing Troie. I’d like teasing him more if he’d wear a shirt.


3 rounds for time of the following:

10 OHS (135/95)

50 double unders

Yeah, 135 lb. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Jack and I agree upon 75 lb, as this was 10 lb heavier than the weight I used for 100 OHS just last week. I placed a medicine ball beside my space (for squatting down to) and prepared myself. My heart was pounding rapidly due to my increasing anxiety. We began, I snatched the bar overhead and did 10 OHS unbroken. I focused on pushing my hips back and locking my arms. Jack watched closely. I completed the first round of dus in reps of 49 and 1. I steeled myself, grabbed the bar, snatched it overhead and did another 10 OHS unbroken, yet ugly. I did the second round of dus in reps of 20, 20, and 10 (or thereabouts). I steeled myself yet again, grabbed the bar, snatched it overhead, and did the last round of 10 OHS unbroken. While I was very tempted to drop the bar after 7, I somehow had the resolve to not do so.

Okay, a moment of honesty. There was a visitor to the gym, and I observed his incredible OHS form – and speed. While he wasn’t lifting 135, he was certainly lifting a heavier weight than was I. I picked up my rope for the final round of dus and noticed that he had already started. “I have some catching up to do!” I thought. I completed last round of dus in reps of 20, 15, 10 and 5 (or thereabouts). I yelled time at 4:32. He finished dus shortly thereafter – and then began last round of OHS. It appears that while he was fast with OHS, he wasn’t as fast with dus.

I have an incredibly large ego. There, I said it.

I rested for about 10 minutes, and then did week 3 of pull-up club. At Phillip’s suggestion (insistence, chastisement) I wore a 10 lb weight vest. I completed 5 reps for the first 4 rounds, 11 rounds of 4 reps, and 5 rounds of 3 reps. For whatever reason, rounds 6 and 8 were only 3 reps, while the last 2 rounds were 4 reps. Total 79.

Rowing, dipping, & coaching.

I’m still experiencing some lower back pain, so I spent much time rolling it out. And it was painfully good. As I had CFD to myself, I blasted the OCR of “Spring Awakening”. (Jeff and I saw the original cast on Broadway, including Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff. Amazing.)

4 rounds for time of the following:

Row 500m

21 ring dips

I wanted to work the legs and arms, and this did the trick. I averaged 1 stroke/10m, i.e., 50 strokes/500m. I kept pace below 1:50/500m. I completed first round of rings dips unbroken, second round in reps of 11 and 10, third round in reps of 6, 5, 5, & 5, and last round in reps of 5, 5, 4, 4, & 3. Total time 13:29.

I had a tremendous amount of fun coaching the 10 and 11am sessions. We warmed up with shoulder pass throughs and “moving” squats. Next, pairs traded off rowing for 1 minute and completing ring dips. I spent time reviewing proper rowing form, and rowers stroked on my command (stroke, 2, 3, stroke, 2, 3). I was pleased that most (not you, Scott) averaged 25 s/m or less. No one counted ring dips, as the focus was on form. All did 3 rounds of rowing/dipping, with a brief pause during transition.

We then reviewed power clean progressions and box jumps form. Last night I watched far too many videos of power cleans on youtube. Yup, I dreamt of power cleans all last night…

Dave programmed today’s WOD, and (as I let him know) me likey.

5 rounds of the following NOT for time:

3 power cleans — heavy

6 box jumps — high

I allowed 30 minutes, and I was glad that I did. It was nice to not have to race the clock, and to instead focus on form. Heavy weights were lifted, and very high boxes were jumped. Well done, all! (If I recall correctly, Anna, Amy, Kristen, Kristen, Emily, Jay, Josh, Patrick, Maggie, Erin, Jen, Alison, Scott, Justin, Nate, Melissa, Brad, Paul, Troie, and Jayme. Who am I missing? I’ll update as I recall.)

My latest diatribe (a bitter, sharply abusive denunciation, attack, or criticism). Why is it that male CrossFitters insist upon working out shirtless? Yes, I have occasionally taken off my shirt, and those few times have been when it’s been ungodly hot outside and/or I’m sweating so profusely that my shirt is drenched with sweat and is no longer helping cool me down. There are quite a few CFers, however, that take off their shirts before they even begin to work out, let alone break a sweat. Unless you’re sweating profusely, a shirt will help wick away the sweat, and will actually keep you feeling cooler for a longer period of time.  AND, most if not all of the CFers look far better wearing a shirt. I’ll name names if you like. Keep the damn shirts on!

If I ever open a CF, I will have this sign posted:

I will, however, have this sign posted:

I heart running (even in this heat…)

I arrived at CFD early so as to complete yesterday’s posted WOD.

20-min AMRAP of the following:

400m run

10 burpees

I heart burpees almost as much as I heart running, so I was looking very forward to this workout. Yes, the heat was oppressive, so I completed burpees just inside the front door of CFD.

Damn sports watch. I set the timer at 20 minutes, but mistakenly set for 20 hours. I completed 1 round + 200m before I realized my mistake. I reset timer and started over.

My goal was to complete 8 rounds and unbroken burpees. I complete 8 rounds + 300m, and all rounds of burpees were indeed done unbroken. Well done, Paul. You’re awesome! (And modest.)

I coached the 9am endurance session, and today’s WOD was a doozy. Row 10, 20, 30, and 40 calories; run 200m after each round; rest 1 minute between rounds; finish with an 800m run. There were 7 in attendance (Mark, Colleen, Katya, Jayme, Will, Matt, and Jed) and exactly 7 rowers. Yay! I’m seeing some improvement with running form, but I saw far too much shitty rowing form. Yes, I’m talking to you, Will and Jayme. I had to lay hands on Jayme, specifically laying hands on her ass. I made sure to let Cliff know.

Ryan led the 10am session, and the focus was on the KB snatch. Regular readers know that I dislike the KB snatch, but not nearly as much as I dislike the barbell snatch. I completed 3 reps each arm of 30, 35, 40, and 44 lb. I completed 3 reps of 53 lb on right arm, but failed miserably with left arm. I was getting tired. Ryan showed a different and better way to grip the KB handle. Thanks, Ryan!

I’m still experiencing some pain in my lower back, and the KB snatches exacerbated the issue. I had originally planned on doing the met-con solo, but instead had the pleasure of joining Anna for part of the partner met-con.

150 wall ball shots 

1200m run holding medicine ball

100 burpees

As I couldn’t do wall ball shots due to back, Anna did 75 on her own. I ran 400m, Anna ran 400m, and I ran an additional 400m, running with a 20 lb medicine ball held on alternating shoulders for 100m at a time. Anna did 10 burpees, I did 10 burpees, and then we did 1 and 1 each until about 50 burpees. I could tell that Anna wasn’t getting enough rest, so we completed the last 50 in reps of 5 each. Anna is strong. In fact, she’s much, much stronger than her boyfriend. And much better looking. And smarter. And funnier.

I led today’s Community WOD. The focus was on forward and backward lunges. There were 6 in attendance, including Jeff, and participants completed a 10-minute AMRAP of 7 pushups, 7 forward lunges (each leg), 7 air squats, and 7 backward lunges. I’ll say it again, I truly enjoy coaching the Community WOD!



Yesterday’s workout of 100 OHS took its toll, particularly on my quads. I had a somewhat restless night of sleep, as the pain in my quads was so excruciating as to cause me to awaken from a deep slumber on a least 3 separate occasions. I haven’t felt this sore since after having run my first marathon well over a decade ago. I nonetheless rolled my sorry ass out of bed and attended the 6:15 session, led by Jack.

I made sure to arrive early, and I spent much time using the foam roller and focusing on my quads. Whilst warming up, Renee commented that my shorts were too short. I disagree. You be the judge.

Jack led today’s session, and the focus was on determining new dead-lift 1RM. While we had plenty of time to warm up and work up to 1RM, I felt rushed. I warmed up with 135, 205, and then 295. Yes, that’s a BIG leap. I then asked Jack if I should attempt current 1RM before attempting new 1RM, and he suggested that I do just that. I lifted 330 lb, my current 1RM, and it was somewhat of a struggle. I would have liked to have had the time to recover and attempt 335, but my peers (damn you, peers!) were already putting away their plates and bars and preparing for the met-con.


5 rounds for time of the following:

10 GHD sit-ups

10 pull-ups

10 burpees

I claimed a GHD and set it at 12. As there were 5 of us using the GHDs, I was asked if I would share with Punky. I heart Punky, but I hate sharing. I mean it, I really do. I nonetheless agreed to do so, and it was to my detriment. I’ll explain.

Punky completed the met-con in the order stated above. I started with pull-ups, once again using a rack instead of the pull-up bar (and once again regretting my decision). As I completed first set of pull-ups before Punky had completed GHD sit-ups, I completed first round of burpees and then GHD sit-ups. While I did have to wait momentarily for the GHD machine during the third round, things were going swimmingly, and I was able to complete all rounds unbroken in that order: pull-ups, burpees, GHD sit-ups.

For the fourth round, I completed pull-ups (in reps of 8 and 2) and burpees (unbroken). I had evidently lapped Punky, as he was still on the GHD machine, so I did fifth round of pull-ups. As I had little time to recover, I was only able to complete in reps of 5, 4, and 1. I completed fourth round of burpees, and then went to the GHD machine that Punky had just departed from. As I was fearful that I would have to wait for the GHD machine for the last round, I completed the fourth and ffith round, i.e., 20 GHD sit-ups, unbroken. While winded, I dropped to the floor and quickly completed last round of burpees. I called time at 7:22.

I was spent, but quickly recovered and cheered for and assisted my friends. Will asked me to anchor his feet for Abmat sit-ups, and I was happy to do so, as he was wearing compression shorts under his shorts and I wasn’t able to see his junk. Thanks, Will!

Jack and Michelle were sporting new hair dos. Michelle’s looks very nice!