Benchmark WOD “Cindy”

Jeff, Luke, and I will be visiting my mother this week, and will be leaving later this morning. I awakened at 3:30, obsessing about watering the lawn. I did so from 3:30 until 5:30, and then I (after unsuccessfully attempting to wake up Jeff and bring him with me) went to CFZ. As the temperature outside was only 70, I was able to open the garage door, turn on the fan, and work out in relative comfort.

I posted the following to my Facebook timeline: Getting my WOD in before, you know, someone posts a picture of their car thermometer and/or asks me, “Is it hot enough for you?” I’m thinking “Cindy”. The WOD, not my sister.

The last time I completed this WOD my score was 22+11.

I spent 25 minutes on mobility, and then prepared myself for the benchmark WOD. I completed the WOD at the pull-up station in front of the fan and facing the clock. I placed 5 stacks of 5 poker chips (each stack a different color) and my protein drink to my left, taped my hands, and turned up the speaker volume.

Benchmark WOD “Cindy”
20-minute AMRAP of the following:
5 pull-ups
10 pushups
15 air squats

My one and only goal was to complete 25 rounds. My tactics were the following:

  1. Begin at a comfortable pace
  2. Complete pull-ups and air squats unbroken
  3. Complete the first 10 rounds of pushups unbroken, and then complete remaining rounds in reps of 7 & 3
  4. Use the colored poker chips to easily determine number of completed rounds as well as modify pace if needed

I made two errors, although neither one cost me that much time. The first error occurred immediately after the very first round. I moved the first chip, stood up, and hit my head on the movable bar rack. I quickly removed the bar rack and continued. The second mistake was that I didn’t have the chalk nearby. As I didn’t want to waste any time, I didn’t chalk my hands one time during the workout. I’m glad that I’m taped them!

While not a mistake, I did begin at a rather slow pace. At the 10-minute mark I had completed 12 rounds & 3 pull-ups; thus, I knew I had to pick up the pace to achieve my goal.

I did ensure that my chin was well above the bar for each and every pull-up, that my chest and cheek touched the floor and my elbows locked at the top of each and every pushup, and that I completed air squats with full range of motion.

About those air squats… For whatever reason, I was having a difficult time using my arms in a coordinated fashion. Huh?

For one brief moment I thought that I would not be able to complete 25 rounds. I really had to push through the last round, and I finished my last air squat with 2 seconds to spare. Yes, I completed exactly 25 rounds – a new PR!

My new goal is to complete 26 or more rounds. In order to achieve this I will need to complete all rounds of pushups unbroken (which I could have possibly done today) and learn how to do butterfly kipping pull-ups. I wonder if my BVFFF, Michael Kelley, will help me learn how to do so. I’ll know if he responds to this post.

While I don’t record on the whiteboard, I don’t hesitate to record on the leader board. I moved Britt’s score to the fourth position and posted my own. (Hope this doesn’t hurt your feelings, Britt!)


As a favor to my BVFFF, Michael Kelley (and as I also only worked a half day at my real job), I coached the 6am and then attended the 7:15am session at CFZ. Burt, I will continue to keep my eyes on you. Claire, you continue to be awesome and will be even more so if you keep up your chest. Alex, I’m confident that you can string together more than one round of toes to bar. Thomas, very nice job with toes to bar. For front squat, remember: form, consistency, and then intensity.

I know, I know, faithful readers want to know about yours truly, not some nobodies! I can’t say as I blame you.

Michael Kelley was in a particularly good mood this morning. Let’s see if his mood gets worse as the temperature rises.

Front Squat
1-3 Warm-Up Sets
80% x 3
85% x 3
All percentages are based on 3RM.

I based on 190# 3RM; thus sets @ 155, 165, & 175#. While lifts were solid, weight felt heavy today.

High Bar Back Squat
1×20, 90% of 20RM

I based on 170#; thus I lifted 155#. Again, weight felt heavy today. I mentioned so to Michael Kelley and he said, “Heavy dead-lifts and high box jumps yesterday. I can’t imagine why you’re tired today.” He is and has such a HUGE ass.

10 Toes-2-Bar Knees-2-Elbows
10 Burpees

I mentioned to Michael Kelley that I had had enough of toes to bar earlier in the week when I visited without a doubt my absolute favorite CrossFit box ever CrossFit908. He said, “Then do knees to elbows. I think knees to elbows are more difficult than toes to bar anyhow.” So do I, Michael Kelley. My goal wasn’t really to do a more difficult met-con, but I could think of no reason not to do so.

I love burpees. I truly do. I think every met-con should have burpees.

My goal was to complete all rounds unbroken. I did, bitches. I ensured that my knees touched my elbows, not some other part of my shapely arms, and that I jumped at the top of each and every burpee. I truly did just that, bitches.

I completed 6 rounds + 10 K2E and 5 burpees.

Michael Kelley said, “So, do you think you’re better than everyone else?” I did not put my score on the whiteboard, and I doubt that I will ever do so, bitches.

I did jokingly say, “I got more rounds than all of you.” Kabool, who was getting ready for the next session said, “You’re a coach. You should.” I replied, “I’m no longer a coach, Kabool. Today was my last day. I gave Michael Kelley my notice two weeks ago.”

As an aside, I don’t think that being a coach necessarily means that you’re one of the best athletes in any box. We all have strengths (for me, endurance) and weaknesses (for me, strength). We can all improve. Michael Kelley, for example, could lose a few hundred pounds.

Nathanael then shared a story of the time he pierced his own nipple. I honestly had to quit listening, as I thought I was going to vomit. My nipples hurt just thinking about it.

Early this afternoon Michael Kelley sexted me asking how many rounds I completed. It’s not a competition, loser. (He completed 6 + 10 T2B.)

Run Sandwich

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I didn’t get home until after midnight last night, and I didn’t fall asleep until after 1am. Nonetheless, Meg & Zac awakened me at 5am. I fed them and Luke, and the three of them allowed me to sleep almost another hour. Thus, I got less sleep than the 6 hours that I normally do, and I could feel the difference all day today. I was dragging.

I arrived at the box at 7:30am. This was one of the best days ever, if for no other reason than because Michael Kelley and I were the only ones present. We seldom get to spend any quality one-on-one time together. I truly enjoy Michael Kelley’s company, as he’s smart, kind, generous, and just an all around good guy.


Michael Kelley said something funny. I can’t recall specifically what we were talking about, but he said, “I can’t hear you over your ego.” Ha! You’re funny, Michael Kelley. I enjoy your company. No, I really do. I’m not kidding. Seriously, you’re awesome. You look like you’ve last weight, too.


As I didn’t attend the Tuesday and Wednesday session at CFZ, I did a superset today.

Press & Dead-lift
Press 4×5 @ 90% of 5RM (100#) and dead-lift 3 sets @ 80, 85, and 90% of 3RM (320#)

I warmed up both press and dead-lift before starting. I began and finished superset with press at 90#, and all 4 rounds felt easy. Yeah! I think my left arm is almost healed. I did 3 reps of dead-lifts @ 255, 275, & 290#. I love dead-lifting. That is all.

I rested yesterday, although I very much wanted to go to 908 and do the scheduled met-con. I did it today.

Run 400m
Dead-lifts, 225#
Ring dips
Box jumps, 30”
Run 400m

My goal was to complete in less than 15 minutes, and to rebound all box jumps. I knew damn well that I wasn’t going to be able to do all dead-lifts unbroken, and I didn’t want to do ring dips to failure.

The first 400m run was just plain fun. This was the first time I ran in my new Reebok shoes. They may have a bit too much cushioning for me.

I completed round of 21 dead-lifts in reps of 11, 5, & 5. Twenty-one rings dips and box jumps were done unbroken. While completing box jumps, I began to dread dead-lifts. Huh? I almost wished that there was a 400m run between rounds.

I completed round of 15 dead-lifts in reps of 4 & 3, although I can’t recall exactly how this played out. Fifteen rings dips were completed in reps of 10 & 5, and 15 box jumps were unbroken, although I did rest ever so briefly at top of box on occasion.

I completed 9 dead-lifts in reps of 5 & 4, and 9 ring dips and box jumps unbroken. And then the unimaginable happened…

I jumped off of the plyo box after the last rep – and I didn’t want to run. I. Did. Not. Want. To. Run. In fact, I walked from the plyo box to the back door, and then made myself run. My legs were jelly.

I finished in a time of 13:29.

I give this met-con a 9.5! Nice programming, Tim!

Michael Kelley was kind enough to take pictures of me (and himself). He’s quite a talented pornographer.

That’s the ugliest muscle-up I’ve ever seen.

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I had the pleasure of attending sessions at my CrossFit away from home, CrossFit908, both yesterday and today. Tim and Erin, the owners of and coaches at 908, are extraordinary athletes, incredible coaches, and just plain damn nice people. I am always warmly welcomed, and everyone I’ve met goes out of their way to greet me and engage in friendly conversation. It says something when me – who doesn’t remember names – remembers the names of 908ers, including Pat (of course), Jim, Jason, Allen, and Brian.

Yesterday’s WOD was a beast, and very challenging after having done a workout just 12 hours earlier. I also ate a warm chocolate chip cookie while driving to 908. True story.

Work up to 3 sets of 5 reps

Tim is direct. I like that. He asked, “How are you coming along with thrusters given your issues with hip mobility?” Tim recalled how much I struggled with squats in the past. Notice I said “in the past”. I replied, “Watch.” I cleaned the bar and did a few thrusters. He said, “Not bad, not bad.” I don’t know if that means “not good”, but I’ll take it. Tim also said, “Make sure you rest the bar on your shoulders. You should know that. You’re a coach.” Again, Tim is very direct. I made some lame excuse about there not being enough weight on the bar, and went to work.

I warmed up with reps at 65 and 75, and then did 2 sets of 5 reps at 95#. I recorded the second set, and Allen, who was coaching the session, commented that my right knee was coming in. I hadn’t noticed this in the past, and I’ll need to keep focused on it. Tim recorded and coached me through last set of 5 reps at 100#. He reminded me to keep my elbows up. 100# was a comfortable weight, and I felt like I had the bar in control – without hurting my left arm or shoulder.

6-minute AMRAP:
15 wall ball shots, 20# wall ball, 10’ target
10 burpees
Rest 2 minutes
6-min AMRAP:
15 toes to bar
20 OHWL, 45” (each leg counts as 1 rep)

This. Was. Tough. Three minutes into the first AMRAP I thought, “I could just quit now. I have an excuse. I already did a metcon this morning.” I didn’t. In retrospect, I probably should have. I was only able to complete the first 2 rounds of wall ball shots unbroken, and even had to break up the last round of burpees.

I struggled with toes to bar, and I still can’t seem to string them together. In all honesty, I’m afraid to attempt to do so until my shoulder is completely healed. I was only able to complete the first round without dropping from the bar. Overhead walking lunges are never fun when holding a 45# plate over your head. I broke all rounds into 10 steps at a time. Ouch.

I completed 4 rounds + 8 burpees & 4 rounds + 17 OHWL.

As I don’t do so at Zeal, I didn’t give Allen my rounds to put on the board. Tim, once again in his directness, asked, “Do you think you’re better than everyone else?” Ouch. That’s sincerely not the reason that I don’t put my name on the whiteboard – but I can see how it might be perceived that way.

Jim was attempting muscle ups after the workout. Yes, I felt compelled to do so. I jumped on the rings, did a muscle up, and Jim said, “You barely even kipped.” Uhm, I was so tired that I did what was basically a strict muscle up. I did a couple more and Pat said, “That’s the ugliest muscle up I’ve ever seen. You don’t even kip!”

I was feeling much more myself when I attending this evening’s session, once again coached by Allen. Avon was the first to greet me, and I want to bring her home with me to live with Luke. Maybe I shouldn’t put that in writing.

I arrived early to work on mobility, as my hamstrings were feeling the after effects of yesterday’s numerous squats.

Tim was also kind enough to allow me to try on some Reebok shoes. Yes, I bought a pair. I’m such a shoe whore.

I also got to see Erin complete the metcon, and I asked her how many rounds she completed. She said, “Why do you want to know, so you can do one rep more than me?” She was smiling when she asked. Both Brian and Jason were on the pull-up rig near me, and just before we began Brian said, “Ten rounds, Paul. We did this workout in the past, and you should be able to get at least 10 rounds.” Little did he know that I planned on completing more rounds than 10…

18-minute AMRAP:
10 pull-ups
20 double unders
30-second plank hold

I give this metcon a 10! My goal was, of course, to complete all rounds unbroken. While I did hold all planks for 30 seconds (or more?) and completed all rounds of pull-ups unbroken, I didn’t complete 2 rounds of double unders unbroken.

Jason and I were neck and neck the entire time, and it was fun to compete with him. He was faster at pull-ups, as he completed them as butterfly. I completed double unders faster, and we usually completed 30-second planks at about the same time. I was, however, positioned farther away from the pull-ups bars, and often had to maneuver around people to get to my jump rope. Jason also mentioned that I pushed him (not literally) to begin his plank hold more quickly, as I would merely throw down the jump rope and get right into the plank.

Okay, so I suck at math. For whatever reason, I thought the clock would count up to 18 minutes instead of down from 18 minutes; thus I planned on adding 30 to whatever time displayed on the clock. Uhm, I’m certain that my first plank lasted longer than 30 seconds, but I wanted to make sure it was at least 30 seconds. I would look at the clock, and then use the fingers of my left hand to count down. It would sound something like this, and yes, I often counted out loud: 39-38-37-36-35, that’s 5 seconds, 34, 33, 32, 31, 30, that’s 10 seconds…” There were quite a few times when I honestly didn’t know if I had held the plank for 30 or 25 seconds, so I held it for an additional 5 seconds just to be sure. Stupid math.

I completed 15 rounds + 10 pull-ups + 20 double unders + 20-second plank. Jason completed exactly 16 rounds; thus, beating me by a 10-second plank. Nice work, Jason! We both put our totals on the whiteboard.

While I have been known to take off my shirt during particularly grueling workouts when the weather is overly warm, I’m generally modest. I moved to the side of the box to take off my sweaty and put on a dry shirt, and as I was doing so a young man said, “I’m not taking off my shirt now.” I thought he said, “Why are you taking off your shirt?” I asked, “What?” He replied, “I’m not taking off my shirt now. You’re ripped!” Hahahahahahaha!

Thanks, Tim, Erin, and Avon, for your continued hospitality, and I can’t wait to visit once again!

It looks hard…

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As yesterday was Sunday, I completed overhead squats. I am pleased to report that I had a breakthrough in that I am able to complete the first rep of a set of OHS. As always, I recorded all rounds. If I had any doubt that I was not breaking parallel, I redid the set. I completed sets of 5 – 7 reps of 45, 65, 75, 80, 85, 90, and 95#, and 2 sets of 2 reps of 100#. I was the only person in the box from 9 to shortly before 10, when Michael Kelley arrived looking slightly less bloated than normal. I then turned on the overhead light (I lift with lights off and garage door open when I’m there alone), and he looked as swollen as ever. Michael Kelley, make sure you meet lady friends in a dimly lit environment. And wear vertical stripes.  I didn’t do a met-con. Let me say that again: I didn’t do a met-con.

I attended this morning’s session, even though I know I am going to CF908 this evening. More than anything, I wanted to see Michael Kelley before I left town continue the low bar back squat series.

While warming up, Michael Kelley had the audacity to say that he found the Community WOD boring. Michael Kelley, you only did the Community WOD was so that you could “beat” the firefighters and look at their asses while doing so. Oh, and eat a HUGE quantity of food afterwards – including my French fries. It’s no wonder that Thomas is my favorite of the Kelley twins.

Low Bar Back Squat
2-3 warm-up sets
80% x 5
85% x 5
90% x 5
All percentages are based on 5 Rep Max

As I last lifted sets of 5 reps @ 185, I lifted 150, 160, & 170# today, slightly more than prescribed weights. I recorded all lifts. I felt strong today, and lifts felt easy. Michael Kelley said, “It looks hard.” As I know the lifts looked easy, I can only imagine that he was talking about my junk. I guess it’s not just my ass that looks good in Lululemon shorts. True story.

Partner Glute Ham Raise

I had the pleasure of partnering with Thomas. (Thomas, no one can make you feel an emotion – it’s merely your reaction to something she or he may have said or done. Thus, I can’t hurt your feelings. I do, however, know what buttons to push. Don’t believe me? Ask your brother.) Glute ham raises hurt both the glutes and the hamstrings. I think Michael Kelley abbreviates “hamstrings” as “ham”, well, because he’s fat.

400m Run
immediately followed by
3 Hang Power Snatch, 75#
7 Box Jumps, 30”

I was somewhat confused at the start, as I thought the 5 minutes included the 400m run. Instead, the 5-minute AMRAP began as soon as the 400m run was complete. Given this, I didn’t feel the least bit compelled to run with much effort, particularly since I’ll be doing a workout at CF908 this evening. Did I already mention that? I’m very much looking forward to working out there tonight and tomorrow morning. I love CF908. Tim, the owner (along with his incredibly strong wife, Erin), competed in the CF Regionals.

I ran 400m in an easy 90 seconds, and then completed 5 rounds + 3 power snatches & 5 box jumps in 5 minutes. Again, I didn’t push myself. All rounds were done unbroken, and I’ve gotten faster with 30” box jumps. Yes, I know you told others to only jump 24”, Michael Kelley. I sometimes don’t listen to you.

I enjoyed the met-con, and give it a 7.5. The score would be higher if we ran farther. In fact, we should’ve run another 400m at the end. Yes? Yes.

AMRAP, Lal, ALAP, and Five

Another great day at CFZ, mostly because I created today’s met-con. Yup, that’s the number one reason. I attended 9:30 and then coached 10:30 and Community WODs; thus, an AMRAP and an ALAP.

Michael Kelley led us through a 20-minute mobility session (and I led 10:30ers through very similar routine). Nice job, Michael Kelley.

AMRAP of the following:
3 muscle-ups (sub 6 unassisted ring dips + 6 pull-ups or 3 wall crawls + 6 pull-ups)
9 bodyweight jumping dead-lifts
9 burpees with lateral jump over bar

I will begrudgingly admit that there were times when I wanted to scream at myself for creating such a grueling workout… My goal was to complete all activities unbroken, and I barely achieved this goal.

The least challenging activities were the burpee with lateral jumps. No problems, although I had left such a pool of sweat on the floor that my feet did occasionally slip.

Muscle-ups were somewhat challenging, but I nonetheless completed all rounds unbroken. However, during the second to the last round my left hand slipped, and I evidently twisted all about. Michael Kelley had a shocked look on his face, and I later learned that others (including Nathanael) who had observed were also concerned for my safety and well-being. My first thought when my hand slipped was, “Bring it under control. Your goal is to complete all rounds unbroken.” I did take me quite some time to bring the ring back to my body and extend my left arm and lock my elbow. I was able to do so, and then did final muscle-up of that round. If there was an awesomeness award handed out today, I would have most certainly been the recipient. My ass also looked spectacular in my Lululemon shorts. Two awards, then.

Jumping dead-lifts at 150# (2# more than bodyweight, 75# less than Michael Kelley’s bodyweight) were the most challenging. Michael Kelley and I both instructed athletes to use only overhead grip, and that’s most certainly what I did. I very, very, very (yes, a third “very” is necessary) wanted to drop the bar before the end the last couple of rounds. But I didn’t. I should probably get a third award for that.

So, how many rounds did I complete? Read on…

I once again erased my name from and did not record my rounds on the whiteboard. Michael Kelley, of course, wanted to know how many rounds I completed, you know, so he could attempt to best me. I told him that I got 6 rounds and some reps.

Michael Kelley, as well as Jeff, Thomas, and my massage therapist and friend, Lal, attended the 10:30 session that I coached, as did about 8 or 10 others. (I can’t always mention all of you, so don’t get your feelings hurt. Yes, I’m talking to you, Chad. Okay, okay, nice work on muscle-ups. Oh, and your outfit was pretty.)

A few observations…

Jeff continues to get stronger and more fit, and was one of the few people to get his chest consistently to the wall for wall crawls. As I mentioned to Thomas, it’s important to work consistently; thus, there are times when you need to scale during the workout. Lal did a great job, and I hope that he’ll return! (We will, however, talk about your conversation with Michael Kelley.) Michael Kelley started off strong. End of comments.

Community WOD was 12-minute AMRAP of 5 toes to bar, 10 six-count burpees, and 15 jumping air squats. Some local firefighters attended.

Just yesterday Jeff said, “I don’t know why Michael Kelley would program a workout that he knows most people won’t be able to do.” I said, “Jeff, I programmed the WOD. As I’ve said to Michael Kelley, there are times when we need to challenge the more advanced athletes, including me. I want a WOD with muscle-ups. Others, including you, can scale, and get still get a great workout. Just a moment ago Jeff said, “I owe you an apology. I was skeptical of your workout, but it was both challenging and fun.”

I completed 9 rounds + 3 muscle-ups, 9 jumping dead-lifts, and 5 burpees with lateral jump; 30 muscle-ups, 90 jumping dead-lifts, and 86 burpees with lateral jump. That’s more than Michael Kelley completed. How many wards am I up to, five?

I often talk to Jeff about no longer coaching and instead focusing more on my own fitness. Today Jeff asked, “Are you really going to quit coaching? Don’t because I really love going to your sessions.” Shucks, Jeff, that’s very nice of you to say. We’ll see. We will see.

The ALAP began and 9:20 and continued through lunch at J.D.’s. I was nice to Michael Kelley for As Long As Possible – a total of 4.5 hours. That’s a PR!

A whole lotta burpees

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As Michael Kelley asked me nicely, I opened the box today at 5:45am, and Lauren and I were the only two present. Luke was waiting patiently in the car until Doggie Village opened at 7. (All windows wide open and temperature just 72, so he was fine.)

I had already decided to do tomorrow’s strength today so that I could rest tomorrow, and had communicated this to Lauren. Michael Kelley arrived at 6:15, and said, “Luke growled at me.” I replied, “Like father, like son.” (Why were you there this morning, Michael Kelley? Why? Why?)

As he was writing on the whiteboard and inappropriately touching himself I said to Lauren, “Let’s see how long it takes Michael Kelley to say something about me doing front squats. Stupid Michael Kelley.”

Front Squats
2 – 3 warmup sets, then 3×3 @ 75% of 3RM

I warmed up with 5 reps of 45, 95, & 115#, and then 3x5 (oops) @ 150#.

Michael Kelley observed (unsolicited, I might add) set @ 95#. I was intentionally going as deeply as I could and then exploding to the top. After I racked the bar he rolled his eyes. I asked, “What?” He said, “You’ll see when you look at the video. You look like Alex.” Alex squats very deeply. I also squatted deeply today, but again, I did so intentionally.

Yes, I did record all reps. No one can argue that I’m not breaking parallel. True story. Lifts felt light and solid, as they should have.

When I was completing one of the sets @ 150#, Michael Kelley approached and said, “You know we’re doing front squats tomorrow, right?” I said, “How long did it take him to say something, Lauren?” I then said, “I’m doing the WOD today because I’m resting tomorrow.” Michael Kelley rolled his eyes and asked, “Does that mean you’ll coach the 6am class for me?” “No,” I immediately responded. Selfish Michael Kelley.

High Bar Back Squats
2 x 3 @ 65% of 20RM

I completed 2 sets of 10 reps @ 115#, and lifts felt exceedingly easy. Each and every squat was well below parallel.

I had originally planned on doing an AFAP today, but as Lauren was doing a 15-minute AMRAP I decided to do the same. This is an original (if there is such a thing), and I don’t recommend it.

15-minute AMRAP
3 burpee chest to bar pull-ups
6 burpee box jumps, 24”
9 burpee KB dead-lifts, 52#

Yup, a burpee before each and every rep. I expected burpee chest to bar pull-ups to be the most and burpee KB dead-lifts to be the least challenging, respectively, but the opposite was true. My goal was to do all reps unbroken, and I achieved this goal.

Below is a list of quite random thoughts I had during the met-con:

I certainly understand why I used to be called “One-Pace-Paul”, as each and every round is just about 2 and a half minutes. Why don’t I feel the need to slow down?
I’m glad I chose 24” box jumps, as I don’t think I could jump 30” today. Smart move, Paul.
Why the hell do kettle bell dead-lifts feel so heavy? It’s only 104 pounds.
I think I might be drooling. I’m glad there’s no one here to see.
Maybe I should consider coaching at Lifetime. I’m good with beginners, and I think I’d be successful. I should talk it over with Jeff and see what he thinks.

I completed 6 rounds + 3 chest to bar burpee pull-ups & 2 box jumps; 21 burpee chest to bar pull-ups, 38 burpee box jumps, & 54 burpee KB dead-lifts. Uhm, 113 burpees total.

I was to have coached a group of newbies from my place of employment, but due to a late start and heavy traffic, I had to unfortunately tell them it wasn’t going to be a possibility. Jeff was to have joined us, and I phoned him on my commute — my 75- instead of 30-minute commute. As he was there, he and I completed the WOD I had planned for the newbies, although modified to be more challenging.

But first, that gym was hot, and Michael Kelley insists upon keeping the gayrage (spelling intentional) closed. He moved the fan to the front of the box so as to at least move some cool, air conditioned air into the space, and then selfishly stood in front of the fan. I said, “Move your fat ass, Michael Kelley. Why does it suddenly smell like vagina in here?”

Every minute on the minute for 10 minutes:
3 chest to bar pull-ups
5 burpees
10 air squats 

I know, I know, more burpees. I completed all rounds within 30 seconds.

Grand total for burpees = 163. That’s a whole lotta burpees.

I also provided coaching on rowing for Will, double unders for Burt, and muscle ups for Thomas. Michael Kelley is a show off. I was merely demonstrating stringing together muscle ups when he had to jump on a set of rings and do the same. Is it any wonder why I hate him so much. So very, very, very much. Very.

Run, Paul!

I was awakened at 3:47am by the sound of Meg opening the dresser drawers – all eight of them. Damn cat. As I had planned on getting out of bed by 4, I wasn’t all that upset with her. Good kitty!

I’m in far less of a foul mood than I was yesterday, but still feeling somewhat out of sorts. I’m hoping my business trip to NJ next and personal trip to mother’s the following week will help me get over my funk.

Back to today… I arrived at CFZ at 4:50, and spent 20 minutes on mobility.


 I completed two warm up sets of 5 reps @ 135, 185, and 225#. Uhm, we were supposed to do 3×3 @ 75% of 3RM but I had in my mind 1×5 – so that’s what I did, 5 reps @ 240#. I recorded and reviewed all lifts, and my form was good. That is all.

No kettle bell swings for me today. I did try a few, but as I shouldn’t go heavy I didn’t think it useful to do 30 reps at a lower weight.

I had planned on doing burpee pull-ups, but changed my mind at the last minute and instead did the following:

18-minute AMRAP
200m run
10 plyo (clapping) pushups

My goal was to make it through a minimum of 10 rounds of plyo pushups without breaking plank, i.e., without lowering knees to the floor, and to indeed clap my hands together for each and every rep. I exceeded this goal in that I completed 10 rounds of plyo pushups unbroken, i.e., without pausing between any reps. I did, however, pause during the last few reps of the last rounds. And that’s okay.

This was a very fun and challenging met-con. I kept up intensity during running, not allowing myself to slow down and use the run for active recovery. During about the seventh round of plyo pushups I sensed that I might not make it to 10 reps without having to put my knees down. I reminded myself, “Tight abs, tight ass!” That did the trick! Coach, coach thyself. As folks arrived, I asked Lauren to keep track of the diminishing time. Thomas did so instead. I heard him yell, “Four minutes!” and I replied, “You’re not Lauren!” Thanks for counting down, Thomas. Next time don’t cheer for me. You sound too much like your brother when you do.

I completed 12 rounds + 200m & 6 pushups; 2600m (1.6 mi) run and 126 plyo pushups.

I was a sweaty mess, and had but 3 minutes to spare before 6am session began. We began with 5 minutes of yoga stretching, including pigeon stretches, and then did an additional 10 minutes of mobility. Good times, good times.

I recorded most everyone as they did one of their last sets of dead-lifts, so they could see why I was provided the specific feedback I provided.

Prior to 3 rounds of 30 KB swings, we spent 5 minutes on partner mobility. I shall never forget a certain someone saying, in essence, “Paul, do my daughter.” Hahahaha! We finished the day with 3 minutes of practicing double unders. Slow is fast, listen to your feet, establish a rhythm, and (perhaps most importantly) relax. I’m talking to you in particular, Burt.


Originality is merely unconscious plagiarism.

I’m in a pissy mood. As this occurs infrequently, I’m going to allow myself to be in such a mood. Indulge me. More in a moment.

This past Sunday afternoon I said to Jeff, “I’m going for a run.” He looked at me incredulously and replied, “You don’t run.” I said, “Seriously, I’m going to the American Tobacco trail and go for a run.” He still didn’t believe me, even though I changed into running shorts. He asked, “You’re just going to go for a run? You’re not going to do anything else other than run?” I replied, “I’m just going to go for a three- or four-mile run.”

And that’s what I did. And I thoroughly enjoyed myself! I didn’t even wear a watch. I ran on effort, taking one breath every fourth, third, and other step for miles 1 & 2, 3, and 4, respectively. In other words, I was sprinting at all out effort for the last mile. I got quite a few looks, but this may have been because I was shirtless. I didn’t want to stop running, yet I made myself do so. Perhaps I’ll run 5 miles next time!

Yesterday was a relatively easy day. Lal ( worked out many of the kinks and issue spots, and told me that my left shoulder had tightened up as a way of self-protection. Stupid self-protection. I stopped by CFZ prior to picking up Luke at Doggie Village for no other reason than to complete low bar back squats. I did warm up sets of 95 and 115, and then 3 sets of 5 reps of 135#. I recorded all sets. Lifts felt easy, as they should have.

Press, deload
2 warm-up sets
3×5 @ 75% last week’s weight

As I’ve only been doing presses for the past 2 weeks, it seemed pointless to deload; thus, I did not. I completed warm up reps of 45, 75, and 85, and then 3 sets of 5 reps of 100#.

5 Rounds, each for time
6/10 Pull-Ups
10 Dumbbell Thrusters
Rest 1 minute

Each round should be FAST. Scale the pull-ups to 6 reps to allow for unbroken reps, if 10 is (should be “are”) too much.

I chose 25# dumbbells, as I certainly didn’t want to use 30 and I knew 20 were going to be too light. TK evidently had his heart set on using the set of 25. Just as we were getting ready to begin, TK mumbled something under his breath intentionally loud enough for me to at least know that he was grumbling. Sheesh. I got so tired of his whining (i.e., passive-aggressiveness) that I finally exchanged my 25# for his 20# dumbbells, if for no other reason to stop the blathering. MK said something like, “It’s probably better that you use 20# dumbbells, blah, blah, blah.” I know what I’m capable of, and I was certainly capable of using 25# dumbbells, thank you very much. How does this story end? I was not the least bit challenged using 20# dumbbells.

I completed all rounds of 10 pull-ups and 10 dumbbell thrusters (surprise!) unbroken, in times of 31, 30, 29, 28, & 28 seconds; total time of 6:26 and work time of a mere 2:26. I barely broke a sweat, 1 minute was more than enough time for recovery, and again, I wasn’t challenged. Score = 2. I may very well go for a 5-mile run this evening.

We ended the day with a 5-min AMRAP of 20 lat pulls and 20 face pulls. I used a green band and completed 8 rounds + 20 lat pulls + 1 face pull.

I’m thinking about putting in a garage gym. What I have: plyo box, 20# med ball, rings, jumps ropes, dumbbells. What I need: bar, plates, rack/pull-up rig.

Dear World,

As I don’t constantly compare myself to you, please don’t constantly compare yourself to me.

Thank you,


Farmer’s walk and box jump arounds

Overhead squats continue to be a weakness, and I continue to show improvement. I do, however, need additional coaching, and Michael Kelley was kind enough to virtually provide. As I recorded all lifts, I sent him a screen shot of bottom of one of the squats from first round. I then sent videos. The following is our exchange of sexts…

PP: (photo) Below parallel?
MK: A little high
PP: (video) Video captures better.
MK: Still high
PP: (video) I don’t know if I can get lower.
MK: Second video was better 3rd rep for sure
PP: I’m staying light & working on depth, then.
MK: Joey and really stay back on your heels and think about dropping your body down behind your knees…if that makes sense
MK: Joey? No idea
MK: Oohhh, try*
PP: Will try. Thanks.
PP: (video) Let me know if I’m bothering u. Last 2 look better? Felt better.
MK: That was WAY better
PP: Ur advice helped. I’m shocked! 🙂
MK: Hate u
PP: Luv u
PP: (video) 85# I always struggle w 1st rep. Last 2 look better? U should always coach me virtually. I like u better from a distance.
MK: Yeah
PP: Yeah meaning better? U r eloquent.
MK: Yes I’m blunt
PP: Autocorrect? Changed fat to blunt. Proof ur work. Hugs!
MK: Punches

Thus, I send love and hugs and Michael Kelley sends hate and punches. Is it any wonder that I hate him so?

I did many, many reps at 65, 70, 75, 80, & 85#, and then finished with 5 solid reps @ 95#. Michael Kelley’s coaching did indeed help, and I’m very grateful to have him as a coach and friend.

I practiced muscle ups and handstand pushups. Fun, fun, fun…

I wanted a met-con that consisted of a skill we don’t normally do at CFZ as well as a “new” skill; thus, I created the following…

15-minute AMRAP
50m farmer’s walk holding 52# kettle bell in each hand
10, 30” box “jump arounds”

What is a box jump around, you ask? Jump on box, jump off of box going in forward direction, run right (odd #) or left (even #) around the box to the starting position. Lather, rinse, repeat.

My goals were to not stop working, i.e., run to box when farmer’s walk complete and run to KBs when box jump around complete, to not put down KBs, and to do all rounds unbroken. I must be pretty awesome as I achieved all goals.

It was, however, very tempting to put down the KBs, as my forearms were aching by the 7th round. I enjoyed box jump arounds, as the addition of running to any met-con is always fun.

I completed 9 rounds + 25m farmer’s walk. Yup, I had to then carry the damn KBs back from the farthest distance.