Running and Deadlifts. Oh, my?!

Tyler post-WOD
Tyler post-WOD

First, the Good News: CrossFit Surmount will be opening its doors Wednesday, April 3! That’s one month and two days later than I had planned, but I’m nonetheless excited and relieved.

I can be assertive – without being aggressive – when I need to. I’ve needed to be assertive one more than one occasion during this process.

Luke was so exhausted after spending all day yesterday, from 5:30am to 9pm, at CFS that when we finally arrived home he immediately went upstairs and crawled into bed. When we got here this morning, once again at 5:30am, he immediately went to sleep on the couch in the office.

He’s a funny dog.

Run 400m
21 deadlifts, 185#

I once again completed a main site WOD. I love running and I love deadlifting, so I had to give it a try.

I had a gut feeling that I could find a perfect 200m up and back course, and I did just that. What I like most about the course is that it’s hilly and on a dirt and gravel surface. It’s CrossFit, folks; it’s not supposed to be easy.

I set up the bar just inside the garage door so as to not track dirt into the box. Uhm, like the workers have done just about every day. Uhm, it’s an everyday occurrence.

I ran the first 400m in 1:35. Not bad. I completed the first 21 dls unbroken. Again, not bad. I completed the 2nd and 3rd rounds of dls in reps of 11, 5 & 5, and the 4th round in reps of between 8 and 4 or 5.

I so much did not want to complete the last round. I ran 400m and then did dls in reps of 3. However, even though I know that I completed 3 reps at the end of the 5th set of 3 reps, I had only counted to 14. I completed 4 reps the last set, just to make sure that I had indeed completed 21 reps.

My time was 18:50. My immediate thought was 185# and 18:50. My next thought was, “That sucked.” Weird, huh. Oh, I’m sooooo good at math.

It’s time for perspective. I ran 1.25 miles, completed 105 deadlifts, and deadlifted 19,425 pounds.

Tyler completed 13.4 at CFS this afternoon, and once again crushed it, completing 67 reps. He only had 1 missed toes to bar and jerk. I’m inspired by his athleticism and enthusiasm for fitness and CrossFit. (Tyler, notice I didn’t mention that I’m impressed with your shoulder flexibility. Ha!)

That box is made for sitting.

Jeff and I shared a late meal at Tacos Mexicos and then watched the penultimate season finale of The Walking Dead. All of last night I dreamt that I was college professor working at a university. The overwhelming majority of people were zombies, but all were unaware that they were, well, dead. Those of us who weren’t zombies had to act is if we were zombies in order to not be detected and, well, consumed. For me, this meant eating rancid tacos. Huh?

I worked out at 11 this morning, and completed a WOD I’m considering programming at CFS, albeit modified and scaled. I will indeed follow my own programming. I will, however, need to scale up on occasion.

I call this one The Terrible Tens

10 RFT
10 ring pushups, rings 5” from floor
10 GHD sit-ups
10 barbell jumping air squats, 45# barbell
10 seated box jumps, 17” to 24” box
10 ring pull-ups

I had programmed pull-ups before box jumps but completed box jumps before pull-ups the first round so I continued to do so for remaining rounds.

Uhm, I had programmed pull-ups before box jumps so as to not have to do box jumps after jumping air squats and to not have to do pushups after pull-ups. Dammit. I shoulda looked at the whiteboard.

My goal, of course, was to complete all rounds of activities unbroken. I thought that pushups would be my downfall, as I completed far too many pushups, including HSPUs, throughout the day yesterday.

Ring pull-ups were instead my downfall! I only made it through 7 rounds unbroken, and completed the 8th and 9th rounds in reps of 7 & 3 and the last round in reps of 6, 2, 1, & 1.

Another goal was to complete in less than 30 minutes. I barely made it, finishing in 29:43.

In addition to ring pushups, GHD sit-ups and jumping air squats presented little challenge. Seated box jumps, on the other hand, nearly killed me. I made sure to complete unbroken, and this entailed beginning in a seated position on the 17” box, jumping onto the 24# box, immediately sitting after jumping off of the box, and immediately jumping once again. Make sense? Good. Going on.

This was one of the most difficult workouts that I’ve completed in quite some time.

I listened to the Henry Mancini Pandora playlist today. Songs included Theme from The Pink Panther, Love Story, Walk on By, and Theme from Love Story.


Musica Mejicana

Don't panic!
Don’t panic!

I’ve been watching the documentary “Jazz” by Ken Burns. I’ve never been a fan of Jazz, but I most certainly am now. However, I still am not a fan of Charlie Parker. Sorry! Duke, Fats, Louis, Brubaker, Goodman, yes. Bird, no.

I’ve been listening to jazz music as I work out. Today, however, I listened to the Pandora playlist “Musica Mejicana”. Why, you ask? Because the hallway construction is being completed, the panic door hardware installed, and the inspections commencing! The landlord, while not making any promises, feels confident that everything will be complete by Friday. This Friday. I made sure to ask.

A month later than I wanted, but I’m nonetheless happy.

Bench Press
Max weight 3 normal, 3 wide, 3 narrow grip

In other words, 9RM.

As I didn’t have a spotter, I didn’t truly establish maximum effort. I completed sets @ 95, 105, 115, & 125#, 70# of 1RM. I continue to enjoy bench pressing, and continue to grow stronger.

Row 500m
Then, 3 rounds of the following:
10 hang power cleans, 95#
10 forward barbell jump overs
10 lateral box jumps, 24#

Lots or arms and then lots of legs, which means lots of core.

My goal was to complete unbroken, and that’s what I did. This was quite an aerobically challenging workout. I completed in 7:01.

I almost forgot to mention: the orange door is being replaced with a much sturdier door.

Math sucks

Luke is a great watchdog!
Luke is a great watchdog!

Another incredible day at CFS!

Luke’s Aunt Sandra visited, and Luke greeted her with a full-on hug. He put his front paws on her shoulders, pressed his body against hers, and kissed her face. He’s such a good boy!

Jeff, Tyler, and Tyler’s friend, Patrick, completed 13.3 at CFS this afternoon. All did a great job. Patrick completed all 150 wall ball shots and 90 double unders – and then completed 9 muscle-ups! As Jeff was his judge, I didn’t get to witness his spectacularity. I just made up that word. I kinda like it. Say it out loud. Spectacularity. My very good friend, Rona (aka Rowna) captured everything digitally, and I’m looking very forward to seeing the splendiferous pictures she took.

Rona asked if she could take a few pictures of yours truly, although she didn’t ask me to take off my shirt. She had the opportunity. “Do a few muscle-ups!” she exclaimed. Well, okay! I did my first muscle-up and heard Patrick say, “Strict muscle-up.” I sometimes forget that I begin a set of muscle-ups with a strict muscle-up. Because I can.

High Bar Back Squat
Establish 3RM

I set my goal to lift 205#, 2# less than 90% of current 1RM of 230#. I warmed up and then placed 2, 10# plates on the ends of the bar (in addition to the 2, 45# plates) and lifted a set @ 155. I placed metal 10# plates on the ends of the bar and lifted a set @ 165. I removed both of the 10# plates (rubber and metal) from the ends of the bar and replaced them with a 25# plate on both ends for a total of 185# (or at least I thought I had). The weight felt heavy, and I struggled with last rep. “Shit,” I thought, “I don’t think I’m going to be able to lift 205.” I rested a minute or 2, and placed 5# plates on the ends of the bar for a total of 195#. The weight felt incredibly heavy, and I had to fight to complete the last rep. I thought, “If I were a coach watching this set I’d say, ‘That’s your 3 rep maximum. Don’t attempt a heavier weight.’”

I was quite disappointed. I really wanted to lift 3 reps at 205#.

I began to remove the plates from the bar – and realized that I only removed the metal 10# plates. Thus, my last 2 sets were 205# and 215#! I exceeded my goal. Ha!

I hate math.

205 is 93% of 1RM and 150% of my bodyweight.

2 minutes to complete max rep double unders
Rest 1 minute
Tabata 1
Abmat sit-ups
Lunges (each leg = 1 rep)
Alternate activities
Tabata 2
Mountain climbers (both legs = 1 rep)
Dumbbell push press, 35#
Alternate activties

I completed 136 double unders.

As with any Tabata, my goal was to match or exceed number of reps completed during first 20-second set.

12, 13, 13, & 13 Abmat sit-ups = 51
14, 15, 15, & 14 Lunges = 58
21 mountain climbers/round = 84
11, 11, 12, & 11 DB push presses = 45

Total = 238

Abmat sit-ups and lunges were easy compared to mountain climbers and push presses. I challenged myself by using 35# dumbbells for push presses. You guessed it; 70# is just 1# shy of half of my bodyweight. I managed to complete 12 push presses during the 3rd round and then told myself that I could complete just 10 reps the last round. Uhm, but my goal was to match or better each round, so I had to complete at least 11.

The most challenging part of the entire metcon was completing 21 mountain climbers the last 2 rounds. I was sweating profusely and quite out of breath.

This week, perhaps? I certainly hope so!

Ladders and Luke

The water fountains are installed and ready to be inspected! I can hardly believe it.

I once again invited friends and family to visit CFS for pre-opening WODs. Those who didn’t pass out had a good time. I was delighted that some friends from CFZ visited, including Debbie, Margie, and Nicole. And Paul A. I almost forgot about him.

I failed to mention in yesterday’s blog that Wednesday I completed 30 muscle-ups, recording all reps and focusing on full extension of arms and turnout. What I discovered is that my first muscle-up is always with a false grip and with arm bent at elbow. Once I complete first muscle-up, I am able to switch to normal grip and with full extension. Gah! Not sure how I’m going to solve this problem that I’ll call “Maria”. I also completed 3, 5-minute plank holds with many, many variations. I’ve said it before; I’ll say it again. I have a 36-pack. I’m abulous. Abtasic. Abdorable.

I worked out this afternoon. Why do I program such challenging workouts?

Perform 5-minute rounds of the following, resting a minute between rounds:
Burpee and back squat (95#) ladder, i.e., 1 burpee & 1 bs, 2 burpees & 2 bs, 3 burpees & 3 bs, etc.
American KB swing (52#) and box jump (24”) ladder
Chin-up & elevated pushup (on 20# medicine ball) ladder
1-armed farmer’s carry; 1 round = 20m right-hand & 20m left-hand

My goal was to perform all rounds unbroken. I had to dig deep, but I achieved my goal.

I can’t recall that I’ve ever done a burpee/back squat combo ladder, and I can understand why. While I love burpees, back squats (even though a mere 95#) were just painful. I completed 8 rounds + 7 burpees.

KB swings and box jumps were just slightly less painful. I completed 10 rounds + 11 KB swings.

I find chin-ups to be much more challenging than pull-ups, even though I know that for most people chin-ups are far easier than pull-ups. I completed 9 rounds + 6 chin-ups. Jeff and Luke had arrived by this time, and Luke’s attempts at kissing my face were a welcome distraction.

Luke also decided to plant himself between the 2 cones I used to mark 10m. He’s a goofy dog. I completed 10 rounds with a few seconds to spare. I was very tempted to put down the KBs, but resisted the urge.

The totals don’t look very impressive. Alternating activities and performing a ladder made this workout very demanding.

42 burpees
36 back squats
66 KB swings
55 box jumps
51 chin-ups
45 pushups
400m farmer’s carry

Mixed up alphabet


The hallway is being widened and the panic bars installed. I wasn’t aware, however, that another layer needed to be added to the 2-hour firewall. It’s looking like we won’t be able to open until next week. Uhm, yeah, I’ve said that before…

Jeff says that he can’t believe how patient I’m being. I also can’t believe how patient I’m being.

On a positive note, Luke very much enjoys all of the attention he receives from the workers. He’s a very popular dog!

I worked out at 11 this morning, and it was good.

3 shoulder press
3 push press
3 push jerk

The goal of this workout was to complete all 9 reps in quick succession – with proper form, of course! I recorded all sets and maintained good form until the last set. I began to overextend my back, so I called it a day. I had hoped to do a final set at 115#. Next time, perhaps. I did completed set at 65, 75, 85, 95, & 105#.

Given that I wore a brand new shirt given to me by my very good friends Einar and Rona, I looked spectacular as I pressed. But, don’t I always?

My very good friends Mary-Ann and Jay once again wanted to spend some quality time together, so I invited them to workout at CFS this afternoon at 1. They both said, “Plank you very much, Paul.” They are both fabulous, although not yet “abulous”, people.

To make sure that the metcon I created wouldn’t completely destroy them and potentially end their marriage, I included it as part of my own workout.

Row for calories
Box step-ups (20/17” box – 1/2 bw men, 1/3 bw women)
Knees to elbow

My goals were to complete all step-ups and K2E unbroken and to row 1 calorie per stroke. It took about 9 strokes to row 8 calories, so I was close. I did complete all step-ups without putting down the 35# KBs and/or resting between steps. I also alternated legs for each step-up. I completed all rounds of K2E unbroken and kipping, although my elbows didn’t touch my knees for the first rep of the last round. No, I didn’t count that rep. Do you even know me?

I completed in 10:12.

It was a neck-and-neck race between Jay and Mary-Ann. Mary-Ann crushed Jay like a bug. Squish, squish. Granted she did scale, but still. Like. A. Bug.

During the workout I said, “The letter ‘J’ comes before the letter ‘M’ in the alphabet, but today ‘M’ is in front of ‘J’.”

Appalachian Spring

The following is one of the best email messages I have ever received:  The above permit has been approved and is ready to be picked up in our office. See you soon!

Yup, that’d be from the Town of Apex. I spoke with the plumbers this morning and the installation of water fountains will be complete tomorrow. Next up? Panic doors, you know, because it’s a disco and they’ll be a panic at the disco and all.

I listened to classical music while working out, and I shall continue to do so. Gerhswin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” while deadlifting and Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” while metconning. Is that even a word? I care naught. I suppose as it’s the first day of Spring that Copland’s piece is appropriate.


Deadlifts felt, well, heavy, as well they should. I completed sets @ 185, 225, 270, 290, and 305#.

Once again, I completed a main site WOD – and I’m glad that I did. We will most definitely be doing this as CFS.

12-minute AMRAP
4 shoulder presses, 75#
8 sumo deadlift high pull, 75#
12 front squats, 75#

This was both challenging and quite fun! My goals were to complete all rounds of reps unbroken and to keep my feet planted for strict shoulder presses, i.e., no pushing or jerking. If I open a gay bar that’s what I’m going to name it: No Pushing Or Jerking.

Doing 4 unbroken shoulder presses and 8 unbroken SDHPs wasn’t that much of a challenge. Doing 12 unbroken front squats proved to be much more of a challenge than I thought it was going to be!

As all lifts were from the floor, this meant I got to clean the bar before each set of presses and FSs. Notice I said I got to, not I had to. I’ve become quite fond of cleaning. And jerking. And cleaning & jerking. But not so fond of snatching.

I made a stack of 5 poker chips and set the clock to count down from 12. All rounds of shoulder presses were completed unbroken. I did, however, go up on my toes during the last rep of the 5th round. Dammit.

Having completing so many SDHPs in the recent past, this particular lift was the easiest of the three. I completing all rounds unbroken and also brought the bar to shoulders, mid-thigh, and then to the floor at the end of every rep, including the last of each set.

I did complete all rounds of front squats unbroken, but boy/girl was it difficult to do so. I was tempted to rest the bar on my shoulders on more than one occasion.

While completing the 6th round of FSs I thought, “This is the last time I’ll have to do this. Yay!” I was mistaken.

I completed the 6th round with less than 3 minutes remaining. I completed a 7th round and really had to dig deep to do 12 unbroken front squats. I quickly completed 4 presses and 2 SDHPs before time ran out.

7 rounds + 4 presses & 2 SDHPs. As usual, I was a sweaty, blathering mess.

3500m row & 60 bp

Luke wants to bench press. I need to train him to be my spotter.
Luke wants to bench press. I need to train him to be my spotter.

I had a loooooong talk with the landlord this morning. While I appreciate that he spent yesterday getting an HRC tattoo, I sure would like the damn panic doors installed. The plumbers were here briefly this morning, but apparently need yet another missing part for the water fountains. Uhm, there are no words. Actually, there are words, but this blog is rated PG-14.

I’ve been working on programming for when the box does indeed open. Initially the focus is doing to be on the basics: squats, dead-lifts, cleans, presses, snatches, etc. I do have a propensity for creating some challenging metcons, and this will continue. Tuesday and Saturday or Sunday will be devoted to a benchmark, hero, or lengthy WOD of my own creation.

Bench pressing continues to be a weakness of mine. After seeing this WOD posted on the main site I felt compelled to give it a try. I wasn’t disappointed. I was, however, quite spanked.

Row 500m
30 bodyweight bench press
Row 1000m
20 bp
Row 2000m
10 bp

I warmed up and worked up to 140# for bench presses. Uhm, I’ve lost a few pounds and now weigh 141#. I like to think that I have common sense. Should I bench press without a spotter? Why, sure – if I don’t put clips on the bar. I also loaded the ends of the bar with a 25, two 10, and a 2.5# plate so that I could decrease the weight if needed. This may have been the smartest thing I’ve done in a very long time.

I rowed 500m in 1:55 and @ 22 strokes/minute. I pressed 4 and 3 reps @ 140# but as I was pressing 7th rep I had a vivid image of not being able to complete additional reps. I removed a 10 and the 2.5# plates from both ends, thus decreasing the weight to 115#. And that weight still felt heavy. I completed remaining reps in sets of no less than 3 reps, sitting up and stretching my arms after sets.

I kept thinking, “I don’t want to row 2k, yet I have to row 1k before even doing so.”

I rowed 2K in 3:58 again averaging 22 s/m. That’s consistency, folks. I completed the set of 20 presses in reps of no more than 5 and no less than 3. I was obsessing over the next row. “I can always break it into 4 reps of 500 meters.”

I managed to row the last 2k in 8:02, averaging just about 2 min/500m. Given how exhausted I felt, I’ll take that as a successful row. Uhm, I once again averaged 22 s/m. This tells me that, while my s/m remained consist, my power output decreased.

I completed the last set of 10 presses unbroken. This tells me that 115# was too light.

I finished in 21:31.

Tomorrow evening I’m going to be leading 2, 30-minutes sessions (6 and 6:30) about squatting technique at lululemon at Streets Southpoint. You should be there. Wear your lululemon exercise clothes.

Strength AND Conditioning

Luke wants to know why I have no hair on my mid-thighs.
Luke wants to know why I have no hair on my mid-thighs.

Luke and I worked out together at 8am this morning. Sometimes he focuses too much on support and not enough on direction. For example, while I’m doing Abmat sit-ups he kisses my face when he should be reminding me to ensure that my shoulders are in front of my hips. He’s nonetheless a good boy!

I’ve been having much fun programming. Current and future CFS members, get ready to improve your levels of fitness, strength, and conditioning.

Front Squats
3 x 20 @ 45, 50, & 55% of 1RM

My current 1RM is a mere 205, so I completed sets @ 95, 105, & 115#. Don’t let the weight of the lifts be deceiving, as 20 reps at just about any weight can get heavy. I was able to complete the first set @ 95# beginning with 15 unbroken and fast reps. I paused briefly with the bar on my shoulders and completed the last 5 reps. I was lightheaded and had begun to sweat. The set @ 105# was perhaps the most difficult, and I was often tempted to rack the bar. I resisted that temptation. The last set felt, well, heavy. I was just about spent by the last rep and again had to fight the urge to rack the bar.

Notice I categorized this part of the workout as both “strength” and “conditioning”. My heart was certainly racing by the end of the last set.

50 power clean & jerks, 50% of 1RM full squat clean
Complete 5 Abmat sit-ups at the top of the minute beginning at the 1-minute mark
Time cap of 10 minutes

Wow, who comes up with this shit? Oh, that’d be me.

My goals were to complete in less than 10 minutes and to not let go of the bar during any set of C&Js until the last rep, and even though to place on and not merely drop to the floor.

 I kept a running count of 80# C&Js and completed in reps of 11, 5, 6, 5, 6, 6, 6, & 5; thus I also completed 35 sit-ups. My time was 7:52, so I had plenty of time to spare.

I managed to scrape off even more hair on both of my thighs, and I have bruise marks on my collarbone. Good times.

My good friend, Dave, had an appointment this morning and was unable to find a substitute, so I coached the 11:30 session at CFD. I always feel right at home at CFD, and the athletes always make me feel more than welcome! Gail, Rama, Erica, Scott, Mark, Anne, Jaimie, J.C., Dori (my favorite Wiggen) and a few others were in attendance.

Gail, Rama, and Anne had already arrived. I was checking my email one last time before the session began when I noticed the top of someone’s head resplendent in a headband. I yelled, “Jaimie, is that you?” She replied, “Yes!” I said, “I could tell by the headband.” Anne jokingly said, “That’s the gay in you.” Haha!

Today’s WOD at CFD included 1RM shoulder press attempts, ring dips, and a 6-minute metcon of burpees and wall ball shots. I had a tremendous amount of fun coaching and, as athletes are now responsible for warming up before the start of the session (unless I’m mistaken, Dave), we had plenty of time after all of the work for, and by request of Erica, a yoga cool down.

I swear people make far more grunting sounds and painful facial expressions when practicing yoga than they do when lifting heavy weights.

Burpee toes to bar? Huh?

17c 17b 17a

I took Luke for an early-morning walk, and then we spent the rest of the morning at CFS. And what a fun time we had! As CFS is not yet open for business, I’ve been inviting friends to the box to visit and test-drive the equipment. The entire de Leon family as well as Rosa and Henry visited today!

Strict Ring Dips
OTM for 15 minutes
5 rings dips for first 10 minutes
10 rings dips for remaining 5 ring dips

I love ring dips – even if the Rogue strap scrapes the hair off of my lower arms. I almost didn’t complete the very last rep. One hundred pull-ups, pushups, sit-ups, and air squats yesterday and 100 ring dips today. It’s no wonder that I have abs of titanium.

By the way, I care naught for March Madness.

EMOTM for 16 minutes
Odd-numbered minutes
3 burpee box jumps, 30”
3 burpee strict toes to bar
Even-numbered minutes
5 dead-lifts, 225#
10 lateral barbell jump overs

This was incredibly fun! Yes, fun!

To challenge myself I jumped to the top of the box from wherever my feet landed on the burpee count of 2. I also placed my hands directly outside of where my feet landed when I jumped off of the box and immediately kicked feet back to plank as I lowered chest to floor. Again, as an added challenge I made sure that I didn’t swing my body after completing burpee and jumping to pull-up bar; thus toes to bar were strict. I completed all rounds of burpee box jumps and burpee toes to bar in less than 30 seconds.

Uhm, 225# feels heavy on a good day. I did complete all rounds unbroken and immediately completed lateral jumps. I completed all rounds of dead-lifts and jump overs in less than 20 seconds.

Even though I had more than enough time to rest and recover, I still found the metcon to be challenging. And a tremendous amount of fun! Did I already mention that?

I didn’t drink a beer yesterday. I might have to consume two beers today.