I’m almost too tired to blog.

photoAlmost, but not quite.

Another exhausting day, yo.

Coached Boot Camps at 6 & 7, WODs at 11:45, 5:15 & 6, and worked out twice. Yup, twice.

My first workout (CFS WOD tomorrow) began at 10:30. I wanted to ensure that time cap was achievable.

Athletes will choose one of the following options:

Option A
50-40-30-20-10 pushups

10-20-30-40-50 pull-ups
Run 400m after each round

Option B
50-40-30-20-10 pull-ups

10-20-30-40-50 pushups
Run 400m after each round

Option C
25-20-15-10-5 pull-ups
5-10-15-20-25 pushups
Run 400m after each round

Option D
25-20-15-10-5 pushups
5-10-15-20-25 pull-ups
Run 400m after each round

Time cap = 25 minutes

I chose Option A, as I wanted to challenge myself with pull-ups, as I find pushups to be far easier. Time = 23:29.

I attended the 4pm WOD led by Coach Jannicka and attended by my good friends Jay and May. It is very nice to workout with others!

19-min total
4 Tabatas; rest 1 minute between 4-minute rounds
Tabata A: handstand or headstand hold
Tabata B: DB burpees 
Tabata C: L-sits
Tabata D: twisting burpees

Scoring = total number of reps.

Uhm, yeah, so after completing 150 pull-ups and pushups just hours earlier, this wasn’t a walk in the park that it probably should be for me.

Handstand holds: 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 15, & 15 = 150
30# DB burpees: 6 reps each round = 48
Ring L-sits: 20, 20, 20, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15 = 135
Twisting burpees: 8, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8 = 59

Total = 392

Uhm, I did that math wrong while at CFS and posted the wrong score on the board. I suck at math. Fortunately, I’m awesome at just about everything else.

While my legs weren’t perfectly parallel for ring L-sits, I was very pleased with how much I’ve progressed.

Dumbbell burpees suck.

Jay “encouraged” me the last few rounds of twisting burpees, and I needed it! It was fun going neck and neck with Jay. Thanks for challenging me, Jay!

Challenge Yo’ Self

It looks like I'm pooping in a bucket.
It looks like I’m pooping in a bucket.

What an exhausting yet rewarding day…

I coached the 6 am WOD, 7 am Boot Camp, and 8:30 am WOD (as Chris now coaches the Monday @ 8:30 Boot Camp). I then dropped off Luke at home, visited chiropractor, ran errands, and returned to the box to oversee replacement of window. I completed today’s strength before coaching the 11:45 am WOD.

Bench press
30 unbroken reps @ 45 50% of 1RM
20 unbroken reps @ 50 55%
10 unbroken reps @ 55 60%

Thirty reps @ 100# went reasonably well. I perhaps should’ve and/or could’ve waited longer before beginning 20 reps @ 110#, as I was only able to complete 18 reps. Dammit. Ten reps @ 120# went swimmingly, although I certainly paused between reps.

I coached the 11:45 am WOD, returned home, got Luke, and returned to the box to complete the metcon.

5-10-15-10-5 OHS (65% of 1RM)

10/leg DB or KB reverse lunges between rounds of OHS

Having already seen folks struggle through this, I was somewhat apprehensive. Unlike most metcons I program, I didn’t try this one out first.

I’m glad that I didn’t, as I may have never programmed.

Sixty percent of 130 is 84.5. I warmed up with 65, put 15# and 5# plates on the bar — but had 10# and 2.5# plates at the ready if needed.

I foolishly selected 35# dumbbells. Dammit. That’s half of my bodyweight. Reverse lunges were much more challenging that OHS. Wow.

I am love, love, loving overhead squats, and today was no exception. I did indeed record the workout. While I occasionally took a few steps to steady myself upon rising, my form has improved dramatically.

I completed rounds of 5 & 10 OHS unbroken as well as first 2 rounds of reverse lunges.

I fell on my ass while attempting to complete 9th rep of set of 15. Ha! I completed remaining 7 unbroken.

I completed 3rd round of reverse lunges in sets of 5 reps, round of 10 OHS in reps of 7 & 3, 4th round of reverse lunges in reps of 5, last round of OHS unbroken, and very last round of reverse lunges in reps of 4 & 6.

That’s 45 OHS and 50 reverse lunges/leg. Ouch. That hurt. And it’s likely gonna hurt even more mañana.

Time = 9:31.

The added surprise was a weighted plank hold, using the same weight as one of the dumbbells. Although I used 35# DBs, I used a 45# plate for plank and held for 2:15.

I was done. I returned home, took a quick shower, returned to the box, and coached the first ever 4 pm WOD as well as the 5:15 and 6:30 pm WODs.

I’ll be happy when Chris is ready to coach regular WODs.

Happy Baby, Happy Birthday, & Ro(w)na

My view whilst blogging.
My view whilst blogging.

Catchy title, yes?

I’ve been enjoying watching the 2013 CrossFit Games. I will never understand, however, the propensity of just about every male athlete to shave his chest and compete shirtless. Why? Whywhywhywhywhy?

I coached the 9:45 and Jeff coached the 11 WOD. It’s been a looooong time since we’ve completed a team WOD.

In teams of 4
34-minute AMRAP
3, 10-minute rounds
Rest 2 minute between rounds

One (1) member will be rowing at any given time and for 2 minutes at a time. The other team members will be completing as many reps as possible of the following activities:
Wall balls (20/14)
Thrusters (95/63)
KB swings (52/35)
Weighted air squats (45/25)

Only one (1) member may complete an activity at any give time, and may only begin doing so when team member begins rowing.

Sixteen athletes attended the 9:45 WOD. Whew. As we have 4 rowers, we had the exact amount for 4, 4-member teams. I selected the teams and teams got to select team names: Junk, Luke, Sunday-Funday, and Oh, F@ck. Yup, Deborah created that last one. Ha!

I attempted to create teams that were evenly matched. Done. Scores were 1355, 1272, 1421, and 1419, respectively.

Team Sunday-Funday (Jeff, Ashley, Angie, & Emily) seemed to communicate the most effectively, and I expected them to post the highest score. They did, but by a mere 2 points. Ashley continues to grow stronger and stronger. Uhm, 63# thrusters weren’t even a challenge for her! Jeff’s V-ups were spectacular.

Eight attended the 11 WOD, and Jeff chose the teams. Team Awesome (what a misnomer) consisted of Jay, Mark, Cullen, and Michelle. Team Paul (a synonym for “awesome”) consisted of yours truly, Rona, Cheri, and Joshua. I think Rona selected the name.

This was tough. As I was focused on completing reps and rowing, I can’t speak to much else, you know, like number of reps I completed, distance I rowed, etc.

I was the first to row; thus, I didn’t complete wall ball shots until second round. I once again felt incredibly strong today, and was able to knock out numerous reps of wall ball shots (hitting well above 10′ target), weighted air squats, KB swings, and V-ups. I was blur of V-ups, competing 2 for every 1 that my team members completed. I’m being modest. I completed 3 for every 1 that my team members completed. I’m that abulous.

Thrusters, you ask? I completed only 5 or 6 unbroken at a time.

Rowing, you ask? While rowing went well, I didn’t very much enjoy. I was quite winded when I got off of the rower.

Team Paul posted the highest score of the day — 1427. Uhm, we should change the name to Team Awesome Paul. Or Team Paul is Awesome.

I very much enjoyed this workout, and Team Paul worked very well together. Rona celebrated her birthday today, and I was delighted that she began her day with us. All 4 of our communicated very well together, and the time flew by very quickly.

More Team WODs will be programmed in the very near future!

“Bear Complex”

After leading the warmup and reviewing requirements, I worked out at 8:45 as Jeff coached.

I felt very strong today.

There are a variety of ways to complete the “Bear Complex”; I programmed the following:

“Bear Complex”

Complete 5 rounds of 7 reps of the following, increased the weight each round and working up to the maximum weight possible.

— Power Clean
— Front Squat
— Push Press
— Back Squat
— Push Press

There are not time constraints. Be sure to rest between reps and rounds.

While there are many ways to complete this complex, the focus today will be on executing proper form. Thus, you must complete a power clean, ensuring that you stand up at full extension. Once you do so, complete a front squat. Again, stand up at full extension before completing push press (not push jerk). In other words, you may not complete a full squat clean and thruster instead of a power clean, front squat, and push press.

Lower and rest the barbell on your back and complete a high bar or low bar back squat. Push press (not push jerk) the bar from the back rack position, bring to shoulders, hips, and then floor to complete the rep.

Keep the bar in control at all times.

Thus, an athlete could reset between both reps and rounds. In addition, I announced that athletes could increase the weight between reps during the last round of 7 reps. Make sense? Good. Going on.

I planned on completing the last round @ 120 or 120#, about 75% or push press 1RM.

I used the first round of 7 reps as more or less a warm up, and completed reps @ 65#. Everything felt fantastic. Yup, I focused on form, yo. I completed the second round of 7 reps @ 75#, and everything still felt fantastic. I had originally planned on completing third round at 85 or 90, but instead settled on 95#.

And each rep felt, well, fantastic. My good friend Deborah was kind enough to record a rep @ 95# and then additional reps at heavier weights. Thanks, Deborah!

I completed the fourth round @ 105#. Awe. Some. Awesome. Awesomeawesomeawesomeawesome.

Now onto the final round. I completed reps @ 115, 120, 125, 130, 135, & 140#, i.e., a little less than body weight.

I thought, “Why the hell not try 145#?” And that’s what I did. Power clean went smoothly, as did front squat, push press (although a bit of a struggle), and back squat. I wasn’t, however, able to lock out push press from back rack. And that’s okay.

I seriously considered attempting the rep again, but the coach wouldn’t let me. He can be is such a jerk wonderful person.

Uhm, I push pressed 90% of 1RM and power cleaned 85% of 1RM. I call that a successful day.

I then coached the 10 am WOD, and what a large crowd it was! I so appreciate that Jay, even though he’s ungodly strong, listens to my coaching and feedback. He got a 15# PR on the Bear Complex as well. I was most impressed (yet again) with Melinda. Her form for each and every rep was, in a word (that I like), spectacular.

Form, consistency, and then intensity. Melinda demonstrated all three.



Nicole Redeux & Pistoles

photoI worked out at CFS Wednesday evening with the 6:30 athletes. As previously mentioned, I had spent Tuesday and Wednesday training Situational Leadership for a company located in RTP. The training went swimmingly. Thanks for asking, yo.

There was drama at CFS both Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m not a fan of drama.

I practiced kipping handstand pushups and then — yet again — completed the benchmark WOD “Nicole”.


20-minute AMRAP
400m run
Maximum number of pull-ups

Ran a total of 2 miles and completed 31, 18, 17, 16, 14, 12, 11, & 7 for a total of 128 pull-ups. Dammit. Two shy of PR of 130.

As I own the box, athletes always get first choice of pull-up bar. I ended up, well, on the end, and used my least favorite pull-up bar. Does it sound like I’m making excuses? Prolly.

I coached the Boot Camps Thursday morning, and then led a group of Lululemon athletes through a special WOD. I had so much fun doing so! I also wore my “Sorry for Being Awesome” shirt. As my friend Greg noted, I’m not really sorry for being so awesome.

After coaching the 8:30 session, I completed today’s programmed workout. I was not, however, able to establish a new dead-lift PR.

12-minute AMRAP 
Odd-numbered minutes
Maximum number pistols
Even-numbered minutes
Maximum number power snatches (75)

This was much more fun than I imagined that it would be! I scaled pistols in that I held toe of extended foot. I recorded, and am pleased to report that I did indeed squat below parallel.

And I took my time doing so. Yup, I focused on form.

Completing a pistol on both right- and left-leg counted as 1 rep. I completed 5, 5, 4, 4, 4, & 5 pistols. Power snatches went very well today, and I completed 10, 10, 10, 9, 10, & 11.

Total score = 87.


I led the first of a 2-day training event at a local professional organization; thus, I didn’t coach at CFS.

And it was weird.

I thought about CFS the entire day, and I missed being there.

I attended the 6:30 session led by the always delightful Jannicka. I finally had an opportunity to participate in a session that she led and to be coached by her. She did a wonderful job! Thanks, Jannicka!

I had planned on doing my own thing, but decided to join the 6:3oers, including (in alphabetical order) Angie, Ashlee, Kevin, & Robin.

Press, push press, push jerk


I completed sets @ 65, 80, 95, 115, & 125#, somewhat different weights than yesterday. I did not, however, successfully press 125# — my current 1RM. I did complete push press and push jerk @ 125#, though. 

As much as I really didn’t want to complete another 111 burpees, I did just that. Just before the metcon began I thought, “You really don’t have to do this, Paul.” I increased the height of the jump to 6″ target above farthest reach of fingertips. And what a difference 4 inches can make. That’s what he said.

111 burpees to 6″ target

I paused ever so briefly after completing 50, 75, and then 90 burpees. I did, however, complete the last 21 burpees at a rapid-fire pace. I heard Jannicka say, “Try to match Paul’s pace. He’s speeding up!”

My time was 6:23, just 9 seconds slower than yesterday. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Burpees galore

I worked out after coaching the lunchtime crew at CFS. I completed both today’s and tomorrow’s programmed strength, as it’s unlikely that I’ll get to work out tomorrow or Wednesday. Dammit. I’ll be doing that corporate trainer thing that I used to do.

High bar back squat
30 reps @ 45 55%, 20 reps @ 50 60%, & 10 reps @ 55 65% of 1RM

I completed 30 reps @ 130, 20 reps @ 140, & 10 reps @ 150#. Wow, did the weight begin to feel heavy!

I completed the set of 30 in reps of 10, 5, 5, 6, & 4, the set of 20 in reps of 12, 5, & 3, and the set of 10 in reps of 5, 3, & 2. It was so damn tempting to rack the bar, but I did not.

I quickly set up and completed tomorrow’s programmed strength.

Press, push press, push jerk

Clean the bar and then press, push press, and push jerk. As the most difficult weight to lift will be the press, base your lifts upon your press 1RM. I suggest 50, 60, 70, 80, & 90% of 1RM. For example, if your press 1RM is 150, complete 3 sets at 75, 3 sets at 90, 2 sets at 105, 2 sets at 120, & 1 set at 135#. Reset before each lift, i.e., receive the bar after pressing, stand up, and then dip and drive for push press. Receive the bar and push press, reset, and dip & drive — and land on bent knees — for push jerk. You may not split jerk.

I completed sets @ 70, 80, 95, 105, & 120#, 55, 65, 75, 85, & 95% of 1RM. This was as challenging as I knew it would be — but also much more fun. Now that I’m coaching full-time my form on all lifts has significantly improved.

I vacillated (that’s a BIG word, readers) between completing today’s and tomorrow’s metcon and finally settled on completing tomorrows.

111 burpees to 2″ target

As in the past, I used one of the bars on the pull-up rig that is a little more than 2″ above my farthest (not furthest) reach.

I completed 80 unbroken, and paused a mere moment before continuing. I paused ever so briefly after completing the 100th rep, and then picked up the pace for the last 11.

I completed 111 burpees in 6:14!

550 reps

Sweaty butt print I left on the plyo box.
Sweaty butt print I left on the plyo box.
Self-portrait taken after the workout. That's Michelle, Angie, Ashlee, and Jeff.
Self-portrait taken after the workout. That’s Michelle, Angie, Ashlee, and Jeff.

I coached the 9:45 and Jeff coached the 11 session. I enjoy when Jeff coaches, but he needs to pay more attention to me. And take pictures of me.

Uhm, I completed well over 100 snatches, pushups, and ring rows just yesterday. I had contemplated substituting activities for snatches, pushups, and ring rows, but thought this might give the wrong impression to CFSers that I was working out with. So I manned up. I manned up real good.

The following is the posted WOD:

Complete 10 rounds of 100, 90, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, & 10 reps. You choose the activity. Any activity may only be completed for 1 round.
— burpees
— double unders
— jumping lunges 
— slam balls
— KB swings 
— ground to overhead (barbell, KBs, or DBs)
— shoulder to overhead (barbell, KBs, or DBs)
— box jumps
— pushups
— ring rows

As you can see, you can make the workout as challenging — or as easy — as you like. There are no prescribed weights or heights. Focus on executing proper form throughout. Use the same weight for ground and shoulder to overhead.

Unlike many workouts, there will be no scaling allowed during the workout. For example, if you choose to jump 30″, complete all box jumps at that height. You’ll want to carefully choose weights and height. When in doubt, ask the coach. That’s me.

You must complete all 100 reps of the first round and activity before beginning the round of 90. For example, complete 100 KB swings and then complete 90 double unders.

After much thought, I planned on completing the following:

100 double unders
90 box jumps, 30″
80 push-ups
70 jumping lunges/leg
60 slam balls, 30#
50 burpees
40 ring rows
30 KB swings, 52#
20 push jerks, 75#
10 power snatches, 75#

I quickly discovered the error of my ways and instead completed the following:

100 double unders
90 box jumps, 30″
80 push-ups
70 slam balls, 30#
60 jumping lunges/leg
50 ring rows
40 KB swings, 52#
30 burpees
20 push jerks, 75#
10 power snatches, 75#

I completed 100 unbroken double unders — the first time I’ve ever done so! As soon as I did I yelled, “One hundred unbroken double unders — a PR!” No one stopped what they were doing to applaud. I was crushed. Ha!

I completed box jumps in sets of 10. I did miss the 27th jump and scraped my left leg. Dammit. Fortunately, I didn’t hurt myself too badly. Yes, I re-did the 27th jump.

I also did slam balls in sets of 10. However, I didn’t full stand up after the 30th and 40th reps, so I completed an additional 2 reps at the end of the last set. I didn’t much enjoy completing 12 slam balls for the last set, but I did so. I began sitting on the box between sets and continued to do so for the remainder of the workout.

I love jumping lunges. I completed in sets of 10.

I don’t like KB swings. I completed in sets of 10.

I usually love burpees, but I didn’t much care for them today. I was pretty much spent by that time, and labored through them. I completed in sets of 5, 5, 10, 10, and 12. Why the additional 2? Because I didn’t jump and clap on 2 occasions. Dammit.

I completed push jerks in reps of 12 & 8. My shoulders were still smoked from yesterday’s workout, but push jerks nonetheless went well.

I completed 10 power snatches. One. At. A. Time. I also grunted very loudly as I completed each rep. I offer no apologies. My snatch form, as I mentioned yesterday, has improved significantly.

I yelled “Time!” at 32:32.

That was tough. Very, very tough.


Snatches and rings, yo.

Have I mentioned that my hamstrings are sore? And my abs as well?

I coached the 8:45, 10, and Community WODs. As usual, it was a full house at the Community WOD with well over 20 folks attending. How awesome is that? A former running friend, Mike W., attended the Community WOD, and it was nice seeing him, well, not running.

I took a looooong nap this afternoon, and didn’t make it back to the box until after 4. By that time I was less sore. Slightly less sore, at least.

My weakest lift is the snatch. You’re only as strong as your weakest lift, so today was all about the snatch. The hero WOD “Randy” consists of 75, 75# power snatches for time. There was no way in hell that I was going to do 75, 75# snatches, power or otherwise. As the focus was on form, I snatched a mere 45#.

I don’t care how light the weight is, when you complete that many reps the weight gets heavy. In retrospect, however, I could’ve gone heavier.

My form improved significantly as I progressed. I focused on looking straight ahead, extending my hips, shrugging my shoulders, locking out the bar overhead, and squatting below parallel. I’ve reviewed the recording and I’m pleased with my progress. I completed 75 reps in 7:05. Weird, huh…

That was a great warm up for practicing full squat snatch. I completed between 10 and 3 reps, reviewing the recording after each set. Snatches have never felt more solid, and I attribute much of that to the focus on overhead squatting as well. My goal was to successfully snatch 75#. I started at 45# and increased weight by 5# each set. Seventy-five pounds felt absolutely delightful!

I mentioned that my hamstrings and abs are sore. I completed 124 pull-ups yesterday but felt no soreness in my arms — until the metcon began.

Ring pushups
Ring rows

I decided on beginning the ladder at my lucky number 14 as the reps added up to 105. Rings rows haven’t been a challenge in the past. They were today! My goal was to complete all rounds unbroken, but that didn’t happen.

And I suck at counting. And math.

I completed all rounds of ring pushups unbroken, and rounds of 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, & (duh) 1 unbroken.

I don’t cheat. If I miss a rep, I make sure that I re-do. If I’m not sure what round I’m on, I always re-do that as well.

For example, I didn’t successfully complete the last rep of the 7th round of ring rows, so I re-did. After completing the round of 6 ring pushups I thought, “Is this really round 6? Have I already done round 7?” The additional ring row threw off my counting, I suppose. While completing the round of 6 ring rows I thought, “Do what you’d tell any athlete to do. Do another round of 6 just to make sure.” And that’s what I did.

Uhm, even that math isn’t correct.

I have since reviewed the recording and, yup, I did the round of 6 twice; thus, instead of 105 reps of ring pushups and ring rows, I completed 111.

Time = 8:43.

I consider today a breakthrough day for the snatch. [Insert inappropriate comments here.]


Nope, not a badge of honor.

I haven’t been this sore after completing a WOD for as long as I can remember. The combination of GHD back extensions, GHD sit-ups, toes to bar, and stiff-legged dead-lifts left me hobbling most of the day. I may rename the machine the HGD for Hamstring Glute Developer, as sequential placement emphasizes importance.

I coached the 6 am Boot Camp and then visited Dr. Dave at Brennan Chiropractic. He commented, “You’re very tight.” Yup. I coached the 8:30 WOD, ran some errands, worked on programming, took Luke for a walk, and then coached the 11:45 WOD. It was then my time to work out.

My hamstrings were so tight that I didn’t even contemplate attempting an OHS 1RM or completing “Jackie”.

Benchmark WOD “Nicole”
20-min AMRAP
Run 400m
Maximum number of pull-ups

So why would I run if my hamstrings were so tight? Because there’s no better way to loosen tight hamstrings than by running.

I last completed this WOD a little over a year ago with a score of 130 pull-ups. I didn’t achieve or exceed that score today, and I know why. Read on. But before you do, a little note about the weather. It’s hot and humid. The temperature outside was is the mid 90s and it was even hotter in the box. I was a sweaty mess from start to finish. I did not take off my shirt  nor did I drink a single sip of water for reason that I shall not share on this blog. Ok? Ok.

I mapped a new 400m route that went from the back of the box into the RV parking lot and by some of the the storage units and then back.

I am somewhat of a purist. I completed all pull-ups with regular, i.e., not mixed, grip.

I completed 8 rounds for a total of 2 miles. I completed 20 unbroken & 5 single pull-ups, 20 & 1, 15 & 1, 15 & 1, 12 & 1, 12 & 1, 10, and 10. For whatever reason today, once I was done, well, I was done. With the exception of the first round, I could only complete 1 additional pull-up after completing many unbroken.

The 7th round was miserable in that I literally slipped off of the bar after completing the 10th rep. I had planned on completing 13 and am confident that I could have. Dammit. Not only did I slip from the bar, the callous underneath my middle finger of my left hand tore. I felt searing pain. Dammit. I quickly glanced at the clock and saw that I had less than 2 minutes remaining in the WOD. I took off running and returned to the box with just 20 seconds remaining. My hand hurt, but I was bound and determined to get in as many pull-ups as I could. I had just completed the 10th when the clock beeped signaling the end of the 20 minutes. Dammit.

I don’t consider tearing one’s hands to be a badge of honor. I should’ve taped my hands, but I chose not to for reasons that I won’t share on this blog. Ok? Ok.

I completed 124 pull-ups, 6 shy of PR.

And that’s okay.

I coached the 5:15 WOD and Jeff was kind enough to coach the warm up and strength for the 6:3o WOD.

I witnessed Jay de Leon snatch 200#. Wow! He’s so freaking strong!

Establish 1RM

I did just that, squatting 130#, 15# more than most recent PR and tying all-time PR. I’ll take it. I attempted 140# 2 times. I shouldn’t have been so greedy and should’ve instead attempted 135#. Uhm, 130 is 90% of my body weight.

And that’s okay.