Sore all over

Yup, I woke up sore from head to toe. Justifiably sore from head to toe, yo.

I nonetheless worked out between the (last of January) Living Social and 11:45 WODs. I knew the jerks weren’t going to go well.

5 reps @ 70, 80, & 90% of 1RM

I only managed 3 at 90%, and didn’t care to put the bar back on the rack upon dropping after the 3rd rep. Besides, I’ve really been wanting to try the metcon since I had an opportunity to judge at the recent Carolina Fitness Challenge.

10-min AMRAP
6 power cleans, 115#
9 chest to bar pull-ups

I thought that the power cleans would be the most challenging part of the metcon, but I just now realized the prescribed weight was 155, not a mere 115#. Ha! The chest to bar pull-ups are difficult today.

I complete all rounds of HSPUs unbroken. Yup, I did that. I missed the 4th rep of the first round of power cleans (in that I didn’t pull myself under the bar fast enough), but I surprisingly completed the remaining rounds with no failed reps. I did drop the bar after a few of the reps, but I quickly completed the next rep.

How the hell did that happen? Could it be that my recent focus on clean, jerks, and snatches is paying off? Could it be that I’m actually getting stronger? Time will tell.

I completed the first 2 rounds of chest to bar pull-ups unbroken, and completed all but the last round in sets of 2, usually 5 and 4. I competed the last set in reps of 5, 2, 1, & 1.

I completed 6 rounds.

Live and learn.

IMG_0003I worked out with the 11:45 crew, as there were few in attendance, and all could be trusted to focus on form. Jeff was also there to assist.

— 99 KB swings (52/35)
— 88 pushups
— 77 pull-ups
— 66 wall ball shots (20/14 & 10/9)
— 55 box jumps (24/20)
— 44 slam balls (30/20)
— 33 front squats (55% of jerk 1RM; 85%)
— 22 shoulder to overhead
— 11 ground to overhead
— 220 double unders

45-minute time cap. 

I was the only person to choose to complete as prescribed, and to not complete as 11 rounds with double under cash out. I recorded times on whiteboard so as to track progress. My goals were to finish in fewer than 45 minutes and to complete all ground to overhead as power snatches.

— 99 KB swings – 5:14
— 88 pushups – 7:13
— 77 pull-ups – 17:01
— 66 wall ball shots – 24:00
— 55 box jumps – 27:15
— 44 slam balls – 30:36
— 33 front squats – 33:16
— 22 shoulder to overhead – 35:54
— 11 ground to overhead – 38:16
— 220 double unders – 42:55

I completed KB swings in reps of 30, 20, 15, 15, & 19, pushups in 3 sets of 10 and then rounds of 5 until the last 8 (yup, 4 & 4), and pull-ups in reps of 2 sets of 10 and then sets of as 5 or more. My arms were aching.

Then it got interesting. I had planned on completing wall ball shots in reps of 10, but felt strong and finished 13 out of the gate. And then I couldn’t breathe. I walked to the plyo box and sat my ass down. I thought, “Is this what Jay felt like last week?” I forced myself to complete wall ball shots, often completing 10 at a time — but always resting on the box between sets.

Slam balls in 3 sets of 10 and then 14. Whew. Front squats in reps of 22 & 11. Whew. Power jerks in rounds of 5 or 6. Whew. Power snatches one rep at a time.

Double unders. Finally. I completed in unbroken reps of 50, 25, 25, 25, 25, 25, 25, and 22.

While completing doubles unders I had this thought: I might not be able to finish in few than 45 minutes. 

I was relieved when I did.

There were many times during the workout when I thought: I should’ve done rounds instead. Dammit. 

Great job today, Deborah, Deirdre, Susie, Angelina, Chris, and Tom!

Not a single person showed up for Living Social CrossFit session at 3, but Stephen and Tijuana attended Open Gym. Tijuana and I held hands. That’s the best way to learn box jumps!

Coach Chris led the 4 pm session, and I just couldn’t resist the temptation. Yup, this workout was so nice that I did it twice.

My goal was to complete all 11 rounds in unbroken reps. I did that. Yup, I did that. For a slight change of pace, I used a 60# KB and completed Russian swings. I once again lifted 85#.

I began with a stack of 11 poker chips, and would move 1 poker chip after completing a round. About halfway through I thought, “I might get confused as to which stack represents finished rounds.” I then knocked over the finished stack.

After completing the next round I noticed that one of the poker chips was leaning on the stack and I thought, “Did I knock that off the stack by mistake? Does that chip represent a finished round?” Liz and I were working side by side, and I know that I had just lapped her so I asked her how many rounds she had completed. Whew. She confirmed that the chip did indeed represent a finish round.

I don’t know that I could’ve done 12 rounds.

I glanced at the clock after completing the 11th round and it read 33 minutes and change. I grabbed my jump rope off the the pull-up rig where I had left it and walk — I certainly did run — to the lobby. I completed double unders in rounds of 25 until last 22. I was done. Dee. Oh. En. Ee.

I ran to the workout area and quickly noted the time of 38:20, 4:35 minutes faster than earlier in the day. I’ll take it.

The two workouts couldn’t have felt more different, and yes, completing as prescribed was much, much more challenging.

On the mend.

photo-28I worked out after coaching the 8:30 athletes, and competed today’s programmed WOD.

5 @ 70, 80, & 90% of 1RM (235#)

I completed sets of 5 unbroken reps @ 165, 185, and 210#. Lifts felt and looked (yup, I recorded and reviewed) solid.

11-min ARMAP
1, 2, 3…
Dead-lift, 185#
Lateral bar hop/side
Toes to bar 

Rest 2 minute2

Max time weighted plank hold (up to 4 minutes)

This was kinda fun. I set a goal to make it through round 10 with unbroken dead-lifts, i.e., no dropping the bar, and unbroken toes to bar. As I knew I’d be able to complete unbroken lateral bar hops, I didn’t set that as a goal. Sadly, I only made it through the round of 8 toes to bar unbroken. Dammit. For the round of 9 I completed 7 & 2 and for the round of 10 I completed 8 & 2. Dammit. I did, however, complete dead-lifts unbroken through round of 10. Yay!

Total = 11 rounds + 8 dead-lifts

I wore a 45# weight vest and placed a 25# plate on my back for a total of 70#, which is half of my body weight. I held the plank for 3:03. That. Was. Tough.

Today was quite a day at CrossFit Surmount, as Angelina, Ashley, Lorraine, and Michelle were all able to complete their first ever toes to bar! The programming is working, yo.

Marguerita redux

I should’ve paid attention to the tell tale signs…

This past Friday I worked out with the 11:45 athletes, including Jeff. We were to establish 1RM for jerk. I felt incredibly weak, and was only able to jerk a mere 155#, well below previous 1RM. Gah! I thought, “Well at least I’ll be able to redeem myself during the metcon.”

SDHPs (95)

Sumo dead-lift high pulls and back squats at 95#? No problem. My goal was to complete in unbroken reps, something I could — and should be able to easily — do. The rounds of 4 and 8 went well. During the round of 12 SDHPs I lost focus and stopped after the 8th rep. I said out loud, “That was only 8. What just happened?” I completed the remaining 4 reps. After completing just 8 BSs, I stopped to shake out my legs. Huh? Why was I feeling so weak and lethargic? I completed the round of 16 SDHPs in reps of 4, and shook out my legs 2 or 3 times during the round of 16 BS. I was only able to complete 4 SDHPs at a time. On one hand, the reps were good, i.e., hands were above clavicle and body was at full extension. On the other hand, WTF? Only 4 at a time? My time was a disappointing 7:50.

And then it hit me: a cold. Dammit. I began sneezing, my nose began running, and my head felt like it was going to explode. I coached the 3, 4, 5:15 and 6:30 session, and then went to sleep.

I suffered through the cold the entire weekend, and wasn’t able to watch CrossFit Surmount athletes compete at the NCFit Open. Dammit. Everyone did a stellar job, and I received frequent updates and (often realtime) recordings. Congratulations to you all!

I didn’t exercise Saturday or Sunday, and I only did the metcon today. I’m feeling better, but I’m still rather weak.

I decided to give “Marguerita” another try.

Benchmark “Marguerita
50 reps for time OR 22-minute AMRAP
Burpee/Pushup/Jumping Jack/Sit-up/Handstand

I knew better what to expect, and I only 1 goal: to go all out and unbroken. I used 10 poker chips this time, and moved a poker chip after completing 5 reps.

To save time, I jumped back to plank for pushup, i.e., I didn’t step back with 1 foot at a time. I also jumped feet to hands after pushups, and immediately completed jumping jack.

I positioned myself far enough away from the wall that I could do a freestanding handstand. If a foot did lightly touch the wall, I would remove the foot and hold a freestanding handstand for a count of 1.

I glanced at the clock when I had completed 25 reps: 8:06. I knew I could easily beat my previous time of 20:01.

I always record my workouts, and I’m glad I did so today. As I was completing the last 5 reps I had this thought: What if I miscounted? What if I only did 4 instead of 5 reps during some of the rounds? I then decided to do an extra 5 rounds just in case. I have since reviewed the recoding and I had completed 50 rounds in 16:09 (and 55 rounds in 17:23).


So very nice. I did it twice.

I’m very much liking growing a coaching staff, and today was the first day that the 11:45, 4, and 5:15 sessions were all coached by someone other than yours truly. How awesome is that?

Due to inclement weather, the 6 am session was cancelled. There were but 3 who attended the 8:30 session, including Coach Emily. I worked out with my fellow CrossFitters who attended the 11:45 am session that she led. .

Row 2K

Yup, after having witnessed this this past Saturday, I wanted CFSers to give it a try. Yup, I also wanted to give it a try. The last time I rowed 2K was way back in January of 2011 in a time of 7:33. I’m not quite the endurance athlete I was back in the day, and I am a little older now, too.

I also ate an apple smothered in peanut butter just prior to attending the session. I was secretly hoping that I’d have an excuse to postpone time trial until later in the day. I was thinking this very thought when Emily said, “Paul, why don’t you go the first round?” Dammit. I couldn’t then say, “No!”

I adjusted the damper and flex foot, set the monitor for 2K time trial, and I was off. Having rowed a mere 250m, I wanted to quit. With 750m still remaining I seriously considered stopping. I was breathing and grunting loudly, and I began to think it was going to be a distraction to others. But I just couldn’t stop. I focused on strokes/minute and power curve, and remained consistent. “Just hold on!” I thought. I make to to 1K. Halfway there. I really, really, really wanted to quit. I kept going. I set distance goals, i.e., 750m, 500m, 250m. I didn’t start my finishing sprint until there was 150m remaining — and I really should have started the sprint early.

My time was 7:30.0, a PR. I got off of the rower, crawled away, and the sprawled on the floor face down. I was gasping for air.

EMOM for 12 minutes
1 dead-lift + 1 hang power clean + 1 front squat + 1 power jerk

This was a tremendous amount of fun, and I’m very glad that I programmed. I began with 75#, increasing the weight by 5 or 10# most rounds. I wanted to complete the last rep lifting my body weight of 140, but after a failed attempt at hang power clean I lowered weight to 135#. Dammit. This also meant that I was the last to finish the round, and I felt all eyes upon me. ‘Twas somewhat disconcerting, as I’m so used to working out by myself.

I most certainly prefer working out with others, and I look forward to continuing to do so!

Great job coaching, Emily!

Coach Chris led the 4 pm session, and I decided to give it another try. This time I was able to complete the hang power clean at 140#, i.e., my body weight. Yay!

Both the 4 and 5:15 sessions were well attended, and Coaches Chris and Emily did a very nice job leading the sessions.

Eighteen athletes attended the 6:30 session. Once again, I was delighted with how cooperative folks are, and no one gets upset about having to share equipment, take turns, etc. I also witnessed improvement by most athletes. While I’m reluctant to call out specific individuals, Imma gonna do so anyways: Angie, Lauren, Jay, Kevin, and Michelle.

Dead-hang, yo.

photo-22Yup, I’ve been very busy, and was too tired to blog last night.

I completed yesterday’s programming, and power snatched a mere 105#. Yup, I’m still trying to protect my right wrist. Yup, I like beginning sentences with “yup” — and “uhm”.

EMOTM for 10 minutes
Odd-numbered minutes max reps hang power snatches @ 55 – 65% of power snatch 1RM
Even-numbered minutes max accumulated plank hold 

I settled on 65# for PS, and completed 19 and 17 unbroken reps the first and second rounds, respectively. I completed the remaining 3 rounds in sets of 2, completing 10 & 4, 8 & 5, and 6 & 6 from third, fourth, and final rounds, respectively, for a total of 75 reps. I held the plank for 1 minute each round for a total of 5 minutes.

I didn’t complete strength today, and that’s okay. I may attempt later this week.

Negative pushups (45/25# plate)
Dead-hang pull-ups

I completed all rounds of pushups unbroken. I discovered that I always crossed my right hand over the left and my left hand under the right. Huh? Why?

I completed 8, 2, & 2 dead-hang pull-ups the round of 12; 4, 2, 2, 1, & 1 the round of 10; 3, 1, 1, 1, 1, & 1 the round of 8; 2, 1, 1, 1, & 1 the round of 6; 2, 1, & 1 the round of 4; and single reps the round of 2.

Time = 5:47

I recorded. Yup, the pull-ups were dead-hang.

50 reps for time of:

This is a new benchmark WOD, as was posted on the main site a few days ago. The hardest part of the workout was keeping track of rounds! I had a stack of 5 chips and a stack of 10 chips; thus I’d move a chip from the stack of 10 after moving all 5 chips from the stack of 5. Got it? Good. Going on.

So that I wouldn’t hurt my wrist, I would gently touch the wall with 1 foot when finishing handstand.

My biggest mistake was starting off too slow. I had set a goal to finish in 20 minutes, and had only completed 25 rounds when the clock read 11:30. I did pick up the pace, and missed my goal by a second. Dammit.

Time = 20:01

Today’s totals:
Pushups = 92
Dead-hang pull-ups = 42
Burpees, jumping jacks, sit-ups, and handstands = 50

70/30 and under 30

Uhm, yeah, so like not a single athlete attended the 11:45 session yesterday — the first time this has happened. Perhaps the dreary weather kept people away.

I worked out during the noon hour, first practicing snatch exercises and then handstand holds. As I am able to hold a handstand with feet against the wall for longer than 2 minutes, I practiced freestanding handstands. As I was alone, I used the wall for assistance, keeping at the most 1 foot against the wall for support. I held for a mere 38 seconds.

EMOTM for 6 minutes
5 fast Russian KB swings (52/35)
8-min AMRAP
5 forward rolls (beside grey wall)
Bear crawl from grey wall to blue wall to grey wall wall to blue wall
5 medicine ball cleans/wall ball shots (20/14# & 10/9′)
Crab walk to grey wall

I scaled up to 70# KB and 30# medicine ball. I completed all rounds of 5 KB swings in 7 seconds for a grand total of 42 seconds. One of the slower times of the day.

I enjoyed the rolling, crawling, squatting, throwing combination, and worked at a steady pace. I got quite discombobulated during the workout, and I either completed 5 or 6 rounds + 13 reps. I should have used poker chips. Dammit. I blame Steve Dodge.

I attended the 11:45 am session led — for the first time — by Coach Emily! Emily did an awesome job, as I knew she would.

Run 1K
50 jumping pull-ups
25 floor presses (95#)

Look familiar? This is the WOD I programmed for today and completed this past Monday.

As I was able to complete all floor presses at the prescribed weight of 75# on Monday, I increased the weight to 95# today. That shit got heavy very fast.

My goals were to (once again) complete all rounds of jumping pull-ups unbroken, and to complete the entire workout in less than 30 minutes.

I very much enjoy working out with others, even Steve Burke, although he’s my least favorite Burke.

I ran the first 1K, completed unbroken pull-ups, and began floor presses. Ninety-five pounds felt heavy. Given that 95# is more than 65% of my body weight and more than 50% of my 1RM, it’s no wonder. I completed in sets of 10, 10, & 5 reps.

While running the 2nd 1K I thought, “You may have to break the 25 reps into sets of 10, 5, 5, & 5 or even sets of 5. Gah!” Yes, I thought “Gah!”

I completed unbroken pull-ups and floor presses in sets of 15 & 10 reps. Huh? Well, okay then! I was able to continue complete floor presses in sets of 15 & 10 reps for the remainder of the workout. The last 5 reps of the last set of 10 felt exceedingly heavy, but I nonetheless completed unbroken albeit slowly.

Time = 29:23

That’s 2 minutes and 25 seconds faster than 2 days ago, and with floor presses 20# heavier.

This is a clear indication that I perform better when working out with others. Yo.

Mon and run

Mondays are incredibly fun-filled for yours truly, and today was no exception. Coached from 6 to 7, grabbed a quick breakfast and completed some errands, coached from 8:3o to 10:30, took Luke for a walk, coached the 11:45 session, worked out, ran home and took a quick shower and picked up Luke, and then coached from 3 until 7:30 (although I did get to complete team WOD as Jeff was once again kind enough to coach). Whew.

I completed Wednesday’s programmed WOD. (Don’t worry, Surmounties, as this is one of three options.)

Run 1 K
50 jumping pull-ups
25 floor presses, 75#

Running, jumping, pulling, and pushing. Uhm, fun, fun, fun, and fun! It was a beautiful, sunny day, so running outside was a pleasure. I also set up a yoga mat just outside of the garage door and completed floor presses there. My goal was to complete all rounds of pull-ups and presses unbroken, and I did just that.

It wasn’t quite as easy as I thought it was going to be. Having completed 150 squats yesterday, my hamstrings were a bit sore, and that made both running and jumping troublesome. I also had to keep my eyes closed as I completed floor presses, as the sun was overhead. And very bright. Nonetheless, a good time was had by all.

Time = 31:49. I think. I know that I was completing rounds in less than 6 and a half minutes, but I didn’t write down the time and then began a side conversation. I may have to do the workout again on Wednesday, you know, just to be sure.

As mentioned above, I completed today’s partner(s) WOD, and I had the honor of doing so with Joshua W. and Anthony.

Partner(s) WOD
In teams of 2 or 3, with 1 person always rowing for maximum number of calories
5, 3-minute rounds; rest 1 minute between rounds (19 minutes total)
— Burpees
— Presses (45/33)
— KB Swings (52/35)
— Burpees
— Presses 

If working in a team of 3, Partner A rows for calories while Partners B & C complete maximum number of burpees. Partner must complete burpees in single reps, i.e., take turns completing 1 burpee at a time. Partner B then rows while Partners A & C complete presses. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I began with the row, and rowed 50+ calories. I kept strokes/minute under 20, and managed to row a calorie/stroke, as I had planned. Anthony and I next completed presses, Joshua and I completed KB swings, Anthony and I completed burpees, and Joshua and I finished with presses.

I always feel sorry for anyone who partners or teams with me, as I go at a rapid-fire pace and I need little rest; thus, Anthony and Joshua were afforded little rest. Both most certainly held there own, and I didn’t get the least bit upset when either Anthony or Joshua rested. Anthony didn’t rest once during round of burpees. Impressive!

Our total was 588, although I can’t recall how many presses, KB swings, or burpees I completed. I did work up a sweat, and had a wonderful time!

Active recovery, yo.

A buck fifty

My hamstrings were a little sore this morning, but that didn’t prevent me from completing today’s metcon. I did so with the 11 am athletes, as Jeff was kind enough to coach. I faced the front of the building, with Janet behind me and Dianne and Lauren in front of (and facing) me.

50 back squats (95)
25 weighted sit-ups (20/14)
25 toes to bar
50 back squats (75)
30 weighted sit-ups
20 toes to bar

50 back squats (55)
35 weighted sit-ups
15 toes to bar

This was tough, as I knew it was going to be.

I completed the round of 95# back squats in reps of 25, 10, 5, 5, & 5. I wasn’t the first to complete the reps. Lauren was squatting with me rep for rep, although she continued when I stopped after the first 25 to shake out my legs. I completed the round of 25 sit-ups unbroken, but wasn’t able to use an Abmat as there were over 2o athletes at the session. Yup, weekends are busy at CrossFit Surmount. I completed toes to bar in reps of 10, 10, & 5.

The round of 75# back squats felt the heaviest, and I completed in 10 rounds of 5 reps. Thirty unbroken sit-ups and toes to bar in reps of 5, 5, 4, and singles. Gah!

The last round went better than expected, and I completed back squats in reps of 15, 10, and then sets of 5, followed by 35 unbroken sit-ups and toes to bar in reps of 4 unbroken — yup, just 4 — and singles.

Time = 14:33