It hurts to sneeze…

Best. Mascot. Ever.
Best. Mascot. Ever.

For the first time in a very long time, my abs are sore. Yesterday’s WOD was, in a word, spectacular! I enjoyed coaching the WOD today, and was pleased when Josh said, “You know it’s a good WOD when you can’t even finish it.”

I completed tomorrow’s scheduled strength/conditioning this afternoon.

EMOTM for 17 minutes (including 2, 1-minute rests) for a possible total of 120 reps
Power cleans & dips

  • At the top of the minute, complete 1 rep of either power clean or dip. 
  • Complete an additional rep at the top of each minute, i.e., 2 reps at the top of the 2nd minute.
  • You may choose to do either power cleans or dips at the top of each minute, but you may not do both power cleans and dips during any 1-minute time period. For example, if you begin power cleans at the top of the 10th minute, you must complete 10 power cleans within that minute. 
  • You may choose to alternate activities, e.g., power cleans on even- and dips on odd-numbered rounds. It’s entirely up to you. Yes, you may even choose to do all power cleans or all ring dips. I wouldn’t if I were you, but I’m not you. 
  • You must rest for 1 minute two times during the workout. Be sure to keep track of rounds/reps. I discourage you from waiting until the last 2 minutes to rest.

I completed 95# power cleans through round 10, rested 1 minute, completed strict ring dips through round 14, rested a minute, and completed the last round of ring dips. I completed all rounds unbroken except, sadly, the last round. Reps of 11, 2, & 2.

No slam balls or burpees for me, dammit.

Wall what with what?

It’s already been a wonderful day at CFS! As no one attended the 6am session (Rob & Mike, are you two still suffering from a hangover?), I updated contact information. And took a catnap with Luke. Maybe I’ll start referring to my naps as dognaps.

On a related note, Luke is obsessed with the garbage can in the women’s room. Please be sure to close the door behind you. (This comment is related not to dogs but to napkins. Think about it.)

Steve attended the 7:15 session and is demonstrating tremendous progress with squats, as is May who, along with Jannicka & Fanny, attended the 8:30 session. Good times! There was a full house at 11:45, including Jannicka & Fanny (yet again), Robin, Deborah & Steve, and Alex & Emily.

Notice use of ampersands and conjunctions. Good job.

I completed today’s strength, and it was awesome!

5 @ 75% of 1RM
3 @ 85%
1 @ 95%

As my HBBS 1RM is 225#, I lifted 170, 190, & 215#. I recorded all sets, and had to laugh at myself when, while reviewing rep @ 225 and at the bottom of the squat I heard myself say, “You got this.” When I racked the bar I said, “That was great! You felt strong.”

Yup, I talk to myself using the Royal “we”. As well I should.

I’m reluctant to post today’s metcon, as it’s one of two options that will be completed tomorrow at CFS.


Are you still reading? Are you a Surmountie? If so, know that I completed a much more challenging metcon than what will be posted this evening, so don’t be frightened.


  • 3 wall walk with HSPU
  • 12 GHD sit-ups
  • 9 dead-lifts, 205#
  • 12 strict toes through rings

The toes through rings weren’t the only activities that were strict. How so, you ask? Just wait a damn moment and I’ll tell you. Sheesh.

Wall walks began with a pushup. I ensured that my chest touched the wall and that my head touched the floor. I also ensure that my elbows locked before walking back down the wall. Most importantly, I actually walked back down the wall, i.e., I didn’t merely let my feet drop. That’s 18 wall walks and handstands pushups. And that was enough.

Wall walks with HSPUs were exhausting; particularly after yesterday’s slam ball pushups. I did complete all rounds unbroken, albeit it was only 3 reps.

I completed all rounds of GHD sit-ups unbroken. That’s at total of 72 sit-ups.

I didn’t drop the bar after a single rep while completing dead-lifts, and I lowered the bar with control. Say what you want, but I think/feel that this is much more challenging than completing reps as quickly as possible – and with potentially shitty form. I completed all rounds unbroken. Did you already do the math? Yup, 72 reps.

Strict toes through rings were the most difficult of all the activities – and this comes from a man with titanium abs. I ensured that I did not swing my hips or legs back before completing a rep. I completed the first 2 sets unbroken and the remaining 5 sets in reps of 8 & 4. Yup, 72 reps.

Total time = 21:30

Why not give it another try?

IMG_3685I coached a Running Clinic at CrossFit Wake Forest yesterday afternoon. As I knew I was going to be running — and running fast! — I didn’t complete any conditioning. Melinda, Marianne, and Jeff attended the 8:45 WOD and I partnered with Jeff for the strength section. His press 1RM is 120 and mine is 115#, so we both lifted the same weight for the reps.

3 reps @ 80, 85, & 90%

I felt particularly strong, and didn’t struggle on a single rep. I like that! So, 110 is 78% of my bodyweight.

I had a tremendous amount of fun coaching the Running Clinic, and I was pleased to see immediate results. Again, I’m not sure why CrossFitters hate running so damn much.

I coached the 9:45 and 11 sessions at CFS this morning, and was delighted that Mandi and Rona attended a session! Mandi is strong. Very strong. Jay de Leon strong. I was, however disappointed that not very many Surmounties attended, and I fear that the WOD frightened many of them away. No need to be scared, folks! Those who did participate seemed to enjoy both the skill building and strength/conditioning. If you recall, I completed this WOD this past Thursday. Jay stated that it would’ve been better to do press, front squats, and then push press instead of push press after press. Uhm, I had done just that — but I finished with push jerks instead of back squats. So, there.

Folks practiced headstands, handstands, vertical ring holds, and skin the cats. Melinda is overcoming her fear of being upside down (and has the cutest scream), and Mandi skinned the cat on her first attempt!

Rona, with my assistance, got vertical on the rings. I said, “I’ve now been vertical with Rona and horizontal with Einar.” Einar is Rona’s husband. Ha! I’m kidding folks, so don’t get all up in my face, yo.

Within 20 minutes — but not as fast as possible. Instead, focus on executing proper form.
Choose a weight and complete all reps with this weight. In other words, you won’t be adding and/or removing weight from the bar. You should not be able to do any sets, with the possible exception of OHS, unbroken; thus, the weight should be challenging. No racks may be used. 

  • 10 overhead squats
  • 20 shoulder presses
  • 30 push presses
  • 40 front squats
  • 50 push jerks
  • 60 back squats

I only lifted a mere 65# last Thursday, so I increased the weight to 75#. I could’ve possibly gone heavier and still completed within 20-min time cap.

This was, however, even more challenging than I recall. I’m glad that no one was at the box to hear my grunt. I do have digital evidence if you’d like to hear and/or see.

I completed: OHS unbroken; press in reps of 7, 7, & 6; push press in reps of 11, 11, & 8; front squats in reps of 15, 15, & 10; push jerks in 5 sets of 10 reps; and back squats in reps of 25, 20, & 15.

Presses were the most challenging and push jerks surprisingly easy. I had to dig very, very deep to complete the last 5 back squats. I finished with 4:03 remaining on the clock.

I was quite exhausted, but nonetheless rested only long enough to prepare for the metcon I’ve programmed for tomorrow. (No spoiler alert as the WOD is already posted.)

10-min AMRAP
5, 4-count slam ball squats (30#)
10 slam ball pushups (30#)
10 box jumps (30″)

Completing this after having just pressed 100 reps and squatted  110 times was, in two words, a bitch.

Okay, okay, I’ll explain. Clean the slam ball and complete an air squat while holding the slam ball close to your chest. Place the slam ball on your right shoulder and complete an air squat, holding the slam ball in place with your right hand. Move the slam ball to your back and complete an air squat, holding the slam ball with both hands. Finally, move the slam ball to your left shoulder and complete an air squat, holding the slam ball (even Michael Kelley’s smart enough to figure this out) with your left hand. That’s one rep. Yes, that’s just one rep. So, 5 reps of 4-count slam ball squats consists of 4 air squats each rep.

My goals were to complete 5 rounds and to complete all activities unbroken. I swore quite frequently, but did complete all activities unbroken and completed 5 rounds + 5 reps. I had just 1 second left on the clock, but I did complete the last of the 4-counts of the 5th slam ball air squat. 

Sweet sweat angel
Sweet sweat angel

Initials Envy

Getting ready to complete 27 unbroken double unders.
Getting ready to complete 27 unbroken double unders.
SDHP, yo.
SDHP, yo.

Michael Erana. Best. Initials. Ever.

  • Things I love about owning my own box (in no particular order):
  • Bringing Luke with me to work any day that I like. (This might be the #1 reason.)
  • Following my own programming. CFS focuses on strength and conditioning. And we run. A lot.
  • Working out whenever I like. And for as long as I like.
  • Sharing more time with Jeff. He’s been a tremendous help, and I couldn’t do this without him.
  • Coaching, coaching, and coaching. And then coaching some more.
  • Meeting new and wonderful people that I wouldn’t likely have met otherwise. 
  • Being the center of attention and being in complete and total control. (This might be the #1 reason.)
  • Truly helping people reach their fitness goals. I’ve seen tremendous progress from athletes and in a very short amount of time.

I’m sure there are other reasons that I’m not thinking of right now if for no other reason than I just completed a grueling metcon. More in a moment…

I failed to mention that I did indeed complete bench press on Wednesday. Three reps @ 125, 135, & 145#. Nope, I didn’t have a spotter. Nope, I didn’t use clips. Boom.

Luke spent today at Doggie Village, and I missed him tremendously. I coached at 6 & 8:30, visited Dr. Alex at Brennan Chiropractic, ate a quick and light brunch, and then completed dead-lifts, 3 reps at 255 (meant to lift 250), 275, and 290#. That last set felt heavy. (Notice the bold font. That represents “heavy”.)


Spoiler Alert: Today’s blog contains information concerning tomorrow’s metcon. If you don’t yet want to know what misery you will experience, read no further!

Farther is a distance. That’s why I didn’t write, “read no farther”.

I completed the metcon at 1:45 having coached at 11:45 and then napping for an hour. Oh, yes, napping! Add that to the list above. I take a least 1 nap a day and sometimes 2. Or even 3.

Sumo dead-lift high pulls, 95#
Lateral barbell hops
Unbroken double unders

Wow, this was difficult. My goal was to complete all rounds unbroken, and not only was I not able to accomplish this, but at times I also completed the activities in the wrong order. I have digital evidence if you’d like to see.

I completed the first round unbroken. Ninety-five pounds felt heavy. I prefer pull-ups. That’s why I programmed chin-ups.

I completed the round of 15 SDHP unbroken, chin-ups in reps of 9, 5, & 1. Dammit. And then I forgot to do 15 double unders. Double Dammit.

I completed round of 12 SDHP in reps of 7 & 5. I then realized that I didn’t complete 15 double unders, but instead of completing chin-ups and then (italics used to emphasize) double unders, I completed 27 unbroken double unders and then 12 chin-ups.

I completed rounds of 9 and 6 unbroken. I completed 3 SDHP, 3 lateral bar hops, 3 chin-ups, and then rushed too quickly to the jump rope. I completed 1 double under and missed the second attempt. Dammit. I completed 2 double unders and missed the third attempt. Dammit, dammit. I finally (bold and italics) finished 3 unbroken double unders. My time was 12:12.

Squat much?

I kinda miss coaching on Thursday mornings. As no one has yet to attend Open Gym in the morning hours, I cleaned the box. I’m truly happy that folks are heeding my advice and resting on Thursdays.

My workout began at 11:30.

Workout is one word and is a noun.

Work out is two words and is a verb.

I worked out at 11:30. My workout consisted of many, many squats. I made sure to spend ample time on mobility, as my quads are still a wee bit sore from all of the lunging that took place Tuesday.

Not for time but within 15 minutes
Choose a weight and complete the following:
10 OHS
20 shoulder press
30 front squat
40 push press
50 back squat
60 push jerk

I chose 65#. It was plenty heavy enough. Count the reps, folks! Ninety squats and 120 presses for a total of 210 reps. This was exhausting.

I completed OHS unbroken. Uhm, I didn’t complete any other activity in unbroken reps – not even the front squats. Strict shoulder pressing was the most challenging, and I completed in reps of 7, 7, & 6. Front squats went a little better, and I completed in reps of 20 & 10. Push presses were completed in reps of 15, 15, & 10, back squats in reps of 30 & 20, and push jerks (no split jerks) in reps of 20, 15, 15, & 10.

I forgot to set the timer, but the clock read 11:38 when I started and 11:51 when I finished, so less than 15 minutes.

Yup, I may be programming this at CFS. Just so you know.

I rested as long as it took me to load plates on a 33# bar before I began the next workout. I enjoyed this workout. Verb. Noun.

9:30 AMRAP
7 front squats @ 75% bodyweight
Run 200m

Why 9:30? Because I grow bored and tired of workouts that are in minute increments. I lifted 108# for front squats, and once again it felt heavy enough, thank you. My goal was to complete all rounds of front squats in unbroken reps and to sprint – not jog or slog – when running. I completed 8 rounds + 25m and achieved my goal. Running and then squatting is always challenging, and cleaning and then squatting 75% of one’s bodyweight that much more challenging.

Guess what? This workout might also be programmed at CFS in the very near future.

Slamming balls!

I just happened to wear the shirt that Einar gave to me. He's such a great guy!
My good friend Einar gave me this shirt I’m wearing — because I admired his! Twinsies!

What a busy day! I coached @ 6 & 7:15, took a short nap, took Luke for a walk, coached @ 11:45, took Luke for another walk, removed packaging from new training bar, strength bands, 45# steel plates, and slam balls. Yes, slam balls!

As I completed 10 minutes of plate pushups yesterday, I modified today’s programmed WOD. It was beastly.

9-min AMRAP
5 chest to bar pull-ups
20 slam balls, 30#
Rest 3 minutes
9-min AMRAP
5 face to floor pushups with feet on 20” box
20 air squats holding 30# slam ball.

Wow, I had forgotten just how challenging slam balls could be. My goal was to complete all rounds unbroken, but I was unable to do so. I missed 1 slam ball, and my chest didn’t touch the bar on 3 different occasions. No, I didn’t count reps, but I also didn’t drop from the bar, and even when I missed a rep I continued to complete unbroken. I completed 11 rounds + 4 C2B pull-ups.

I did complete all pushups and air squats unbroken, averaging about a round a minute. Air squats became progressively more difficult. I completed the first 2 rounds holding slam ball in front of chest and then rotated through holding on upper back, on right shoulder, and on left shoulder. I completed 9 rounds + 5 pushups + 4 air squats.

Total = 59 chest to bar pull-ups, 110 slam balls, 50 pushups ups, & 184 air squats. It’s no wonder why my entire body aches.

I coached CFE at CFBC @ 5, and the WOD and Foundations at CFS @ 6:30 & 7:30. That makes for a loooong – but wonderful – day!

Plate whaaaaat?

I felt particularly weak-minded but incredibly strong-bodied today. Huh?

I was warmed up after coaching Roda, Robin, Jannicka, Fanny, and Emily, so I worked out at 1 this afternoon.

Today was the start of week 2 of Wendler. I like the challenge, and I hope Surmounties do as well.

3 reps @ 80, 85, & 90% of 1RM

I based percentages on 1RM of 225# and rounded up; thus 185, 195, & 205#. I didn’t waste energy spending too much time warming up, and only did 5 reps @ 135 before putting 25# plates on the bar to complete first set. Yup, I recorded all sets. Yup, I looked not only abulous but assulous as well.

The set at 185# felt great, although the last rep is always a wee bit of a struggle.

The set at 195# was a bit more challenging. Nonetheless, I completed all reps with good form. I have evidence. I’ll be happy to share.

I then got all up inside my head, yo, during the last set. I began to think just how heavy 205# felt and then reminded myself what I told others earlier in the day: Don’t think or say that the weight is heavy. Just get under the bar, move away from the rack, squat, and explode out of the bottom.

I squatted once and I thought, “Sh!t, that may not have been below parallel.” I squatted a second time and thought, “Okay, that was a good squat. Should I do a fourth just in case?” I squatted a third time. While I knew that I could successfully finish the lift, it was again just a wee bit of a struggle to do so. “Hips forward!” I yelled to myself, but not out loud although when I am in need of expert advice I do indeed talk to myself. (Did you like that, Melinda? Ha!)

I reviewed the last set and was delighted to discover that my first squat of the last set was indeed well below parallel. And I looked assulous.

I did not do the programmed conditioning workout, as I did something similar yesterday. I also didn’t want to complete too many muscle-ups on a day when I have to demonstrate muscle-ups so damn many times.

10-min AMRAP
Max number of plate pushups
10/leg twisting/walking lunges

I used a 45# plate for pushups and 25# plate for twisting/walking lunges. The score is total number of pushups.

You’re probably thinking, “What the hell are plate pushups and twisting/walking lunges, Paul?”

With a 45# centered at chest level in pushup position, I placed right hand on outside, left part of plate and completed a chest to ground pushup. I then crossed left hand over right hand and placed left hand on outside, right side of plate and – you guessed it – completed a chest to floor pushup. Right hand over left, later, rinse, repeat.

Here’s the catch: pushups had to be strictly unbroken, in other words, no pausing at bottom and/or top of pushup. Also, if either knee touched the floor the pushup would not count.

Twisting/walking lunges consisted of extending right leg, ensuring that knee was above ankle (cankle if you’re Michael Kelley), and twisting to the right. I looked down slightly each lunge to ensure that middle of plate was past hip.

Twisting/walking lunges were tough. I’d lunge 10 steps forward, turn around, and lunge 10 steps back to the 45# plate, again without pausing.

I swore quite frequently during the workout.

I completed 24, 20, 20, 14, 14, 12, & 12 pushups for a total of 116 pushups. That’s a lot of damn pushups, yo. I lunged 6 rounds + 12 steps for a total of 132 lunges. That’s a lot of lunges, yo.

Tomorrow’s WOD may include plate pushups and twisting/walking lunges. I hated this workout that much.

Marky Mark!

I had every intention of arriving at CFS by 8 so as to have enough to clean and do a long workout. NBC aired 2 episodes of “Park and Recreation”, and I just had to watch them both. I didn’t arrive at CFS until 8:30. This only allowed enough time for me to test drive a metcon that may or may not be programmed in the very near future.

11 bench jump overs
7 power cleans, 100#
3 muscle ups

Wow. Just wow. This was quite challenging. I thought muscle ups would be the most and jump overs the least difficult, but the opposite was true. I did complete all rounds unbroken, and given that I usually lift 95# for power cleans, I was happy that I was able to successfully power clean 100#. My time was 9:01.

I coached the 9:45 session, and there were quite a few folks in attendance. Jacob is much stronger than he thinks he is, Marianne takes direction well, and Melinda is a beaste. I added an “e” on the end.

I had planned on coaching the 11 am session, but as Mark didn’t have a partner I asked Jeff to coach on my behalf. He agreed to do so. (Yes, he had a choice.)

Partner WOD
Run 1 mile
Row 2K
75 shoulder to overhead
75 barbell plate squats
75 American KB swings
75 burpees
300 double unders
6 rope climbs

  • Only one member of a team may work at a time.
  • Each team member must run a minimum of 400m, row 500m, complete 25 shoulder to overhead, squats, KB swings, and burpees, complete 100 double unders (or 300 single unders), and climb the rope 2 times.
  • Teams may complete activities in any order. However, team must complete all activities before moving to another activity, with the exception of rope climbs.
  • Rope climbs may be completed 1 at a time.

Rona got lost. That’s a blog in and of itself.

I let Mark decide the order of activities and the weight for the S2O. To the best of my recollection, here’s what happened. (Mark, feel free to correct me.)

We began by each running 2, 400m intervals, with Mark running first. He said, “We can run to warm up.” Oh, Mark, running for me is always a pleasure and never merely a warm up.

We next completed S2O with 75#. Mark began and completed in reps of 10 and I did reps of 15. I was, however, going to finish with 10 reps and let Mark do the last 5. Mark, however, had already walked all the way across the box to get ready for rope climbs. We each did 2 climbs, taking turns doing so.

Burpees were next. Mark completed 10 and I completed 15 reps at a time. (In just about the same elapsed time, wouldn’t you say, Mark?)

Mark chose to row next, and he chose to row 250m at a time. I very much liked this strategy, as it allowed me to go all out and still have plenty of time for recovery. I kept the pace at 1:37/500m and stroked at about 32 per minute.

Mark chose plate air squats next, and we used a 45# plate. Mark completed 15 and I completed 25, Mark completed 10 and I completed the remaining 25. I could tell he was getting tired. I wanted to give him more rest time. He still completed the required 25 reps.

We completed our last 2 rope climbs.

Kettle bell swings, using a 52# KB, were next. Mark completed 10 and I completed 15 or more at a time.

Last up was double unders. Uhm, Mark didn’t have his rope ready. Uhm, I hadn’t retrieved mine yet, either. Unfortunately, 2 of my jump ropes had become tangled, and Jeff couldn’t seem to get them untangled and/or he was coaching and distracted. Probably that coaching part. Yeah, that.

We took turns with double unders. We finished in a time of 36:42.

I very much enjoyed partnering with Mark, and I tried not to push him too hard. I know that partnering with me can be a challenge in that I leave very little time for my partner to rest – and I need very little rest time myself. I felt bad that I didn’t evenly split the work, and I hadn’t even asked Mark if that’s what he wanted to do. Sorry, Mark!

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I began the day by leading runners and walkers through a warm up before they raced the RWHRMA

5K Fun Run/Walk. I always enjoy seeing runners attempt to squat.

Jannicka was kind enough to coach the 9:45 am session at CFS – her first time doing so! I was disappointed that I wasn’t there to watch her do so. Next time, Jannicka!

I led the 10 am and Community WODs, and then completed the programmed WOD. I continue to be pleased by the turnout.

5 @ 75, 80, & 85%

Both Jeff and Lauren joined me. I lifted 90, 95, & 100#. The last rep of the last set is always so damn difficult. I nonetheless completed all reps, making sure to rest 2 minutes between sets.

12-min ladder
Wall ball shots (20# & 10’ target) and toes to bar

My only goal was to keep working, and to pause for no longer than 3 seconds at a time. I completed wall ball shots unbroken through round 12 and toes to bar unbroken through round 9. As always, once I am no longer to kip toes to bar I have to do each rep one at a time. Ouch.

I completed the round of 13 wall ball shots & toes to bar with 1 minute left on the clock. I thought, “Great. I can make it through wall ball shots and not have to do any more toes to bar.” I finished the 14th wall ball shot with 15 seconds left on the clock. Gah!

I completed 13 rounds + 14 wall ball shots & 4 toes to bar.

Michael Kelley wants to get together for lunch tomorrow. I told him that I’d let him know. Should I join him? Your vote counts!

Everybody’s thrustering (thrustering, thrustering)

The aftermath
Sweat angel
Sweat angel

I truly enjoyed today’s metcon. Thrusters be damned!

So far today folks have attended the 6, 8:30, and 11:45. As no one attended the 7:15 session, I worked out then.

5 @ 75, 80, & 85% of 1RM

I recorded all sets, completing sets @ 240, 255, & 275#. While the weight did feel heavy by the last set, I was pleased that I was able to maintain proper form. What does this mean? I lifted with my legs and not my ass and I maintained a neutral neck and flat back. I did, however, every so slightly round my back on the very last rep. True story.

Run 400m
15 thrusters
15 box jumps

I settled on 85# for thrusters, and in retrospect should’ve lifted 90 or even 95#. Why? Read on.

Luke joined me for all 400m runs. He ran very fast the first round, moderately fast the second round, somewhat slow the third round, and very slowly the last round. Read on.

For an added challenge I jumped 30”. Dead-lifting, running, and thrustering (I just made up that word) made for tired legs.

Okay, I should’ve gone heavier for the thrusters as I was able to complete the first, second, and last rounds unbroken and the third round in reps of 10 & 5. Box jumps were done unbroken and with no failed attempts.

I’m all over the place today. Read on.

For the very first thruster I first completed a power clean. While running the second round I thought, “If you were coaching an athlete, what would be your suggestion?” For remaining rounds I began each set of thrusters with a full squat clean.

Luke had to stop and pee during the first 400m run. I mean really, really pee. I did not subtract the time it took him to really, really, really pee from my total time.

During the last 400m run I said to Luke, “Come on, you’re slowing me down!” I then felt very bad for saying that to him, so I stopped running and gave him a big hug. He kissed my face. I love that sometimes slow-moving dog.

As I often say, “It’s just a metcon. There’s no need to get upset.”

I finished in 17:49.