Slip ‘n’ Slide

photo-43Tuesday, April 29

I worked out with the 4 pm crew, led by Coach Liz. ‘Twas good (press) and bad (dead-lift).

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

Lifts at 295 & 315 felt good, but I couldn’t get first lift at 335# off of the ground. Dammit. I set my back, focused on glutes and hamstrings, and successfully lifted the weight. I failed again on the next attempt, and felt a slight twinge on right-hand side of lower back. Shitty form? Perhaps. I said to myself, “What would I tell an athlete to do if I were coaching them and this happened?” Don’t lift. So I didn’t lift.

EMOTM for 14 16 minutes
Odd-numbered minutes | 5 presses @ 50% of jerk 1RM (85#)
Even-numbered minutes | 10 windshield wipers

This went much better, and presses felt great today. I completed all rounds (Liz added a round of both presses and windshield wipers) of reps unbroken. Presses felt light, so I increased weight to 90 for 5th, 95 for 6th, and 100# for last 2 rounds.

I got some grumbling from athletes, as the workout was not “scored”. Not all workouts need to be a competition.

Wednesday, April 30

I worked out with the lunchtime crew, led by Coach Emily.

Hero WOD “Bradshaw”

10 RFT
3 handstand pushups
6 dead-lifts (225)
12 pull-ups
24 double unders

It is incredibly humid today, and everything in the box is coated in a layer of moisture. My goal, as always, was to complete all rounds of reps unbroken. Uhm, I only managed to do so for the HSPUs and the dead-lifts. I did, however, complete all but the first round of double unders unbroken.

I used the new Speal bar for pull-ups, and it was quite slippery. No matter how much I chalked my hands, it was very difficult to keep a grip. I completed the first 6 rounds of pull-ups unbroken, but then had to break the remaining sets into reps of 8 and 4 —  for no other reason than I just couldn’t keep my fingers around the bar. By the last rep, I was often hanging on by my fingertips.

About my pacing… I put on my weightlifting belt before completing all but the 3rd round of dead-lifts. I took off my weightlifting belt after completing dead-lifts and walked about 10 paces to pull-up rig. I chalked my hands, shook out my shoulders, and jumped on the bar. I walked from pull-up bar to jump rope. After completing double unders, I set up my jump rope for next round, moved a poker chip, shook out my shoulders, and began handstand pushups. At no time did I feel rushed. Again, I wonder if I’m pacing myself too slowly.

Time = 23:09

30 HSPUs
60 dead-lifts
120 pull-ups
240 double unders

I was drenched in sweat.

I very much liked this workout.


photo 2-2 photo 1-2I’m a week behind on C&J, so I completed 3 sets of 5 reps @ 75, 80, & 85% of 1RM. Sh!t felt heavy. I completed sets @ 120, 130, & 140#.  I then joined the 8:30 athletes for the awesome and spectacular surprise — “Death by Burpees”!

I positioned myself with my feet at the blue wall so that I could see the clock and my competition — Emily to my left and Kelli to my right. I also selected a bar that was 6″ beyond farthest reach, 2″ more than prescribed. I completed through the round of 15 unbroken, and then began to briefly pause after 5 or so reps. If I recall, most folks didn’t make it past the round of 14 or 15, so Coach Liz asked if she could start the cool down without me. Of course! I could barely hear some of the comments, as I was breathing quite loudly. I do think I heard the words “machine” and “inhuman”. Correct me if I’m wrong and let me know what I may have missed.

I made it through the round of 17 with about 10 0r so seconds to spare. And what did I do? I stopped. I was quickly catching my breath, and when the clock read 17:10 I contemplated attempting to complete 18 burpees in the remaining 50 seconds. I began to feel very disappointed in myself. I said to Coach Emily, “I’ll be back at 11:45 to try this again.’

And that’s what I did. I once again positioned myself so that I could see the clock and I once again choose a bar that was 6” beyond farthest reach. I once again made it through the round of 15 with unbroken reps. I was delighted when I completed round 17 with about 10 seconds to spare. Yes, I did have to pause when completing last round, but I did indeed complete all 18 burpees and with 3 seconds to spare. I had no intention or desire to attempt the round of 19.

I didn’t miss any reps during either workouts. I made sure to jump higher than I needed to to ensure that I’d touch the bar with both hands.

Let’s so some math, shall we? I completed 153 and 171 reps during the 8:30 and 11:45 sessions, respectively, for a total of 324 burpees.

Valuable lessons learned

photo-41Saturday, April 27

I worked out with the 8:30 am athletes, and we completed “Manion”.

Run 400m
29 back squats, 135#

I had planned on increasing weight to 140#, thus completing bodyweight squats, but as we needed to share racks I joined Jay, Mike, and Steve D. and completed 135# back squats.

I own the gym, so I’m not going to claim a rack. I instead used Jay’s, Mike’s, and Steve’s racks. For the most part, this worked out fine.

I began 2 minutes after the first wave. When I returned from my 400m run, Steve D. was completing back squats, so I was able to complete 29 unbroken reps using his rack.

Things didn’t go as smoothly the second round, as I used Mike’s rack, but upon seeing him return told him to use the rack. Unbenknowst to me, the other 2 racks were being used. I waited for what seemed like an eternity for a rack to open up, and then took off my weightlifting belt and said to Jeff, “I’ll just wait and complete it with the next group. It’s a waste of time for me to just hang round.” I was disappointed, and it showed. I can be impatient sometimes. Most of the time. All of the time. I grabbed a drink of water, sat down, and then a rack became available. I contemplated not finishing, but then set my ego aside, put on my weightlifting belt, and completed the remainder of back squat reps.

I ran all 7 rounds of 400m, i.e., I didn’t walk and/or jog. There were a few times when I had to navigate around a bottleneck, particularly at the garage door, as many people walked the first or last meters of the run. I finished in 30:35, about a minute slower than PR.

And, as I often say, that’s okay.

Sunday, April 28

I worked out with the 9:45 athletes, and I was the only male! I provided athletes the option of doing event 3 or 4 from CrossFit Games Masters qualifying workouts. I completed Event 3, but as prescribed for men up to the age of 49; thus row 50 instead of 40 calories and complete 50 instead of 40 double unders.

Event 3

50-calorie row
15 handstand push-ups
50 double-unders

It was nice completing this more as active recovery than as a competition. I focused on form, made every rep count, and stuck to my goals:

  • Row 55 strokes or less for 50 calories rows
  • Break up HSPUs into no more than 3 sets
  • Complete 50 unbroken double unders all 3 rounds

I rowed 53, 52, & 53 strokes, completed HSPUs in 3 sets of 5 reps the first 2 rounds and in sets of 6, 5, & 4 reps the last round, and (you guessed it) completed 3 rounds of 50 unbroken double unders. It’s been quite some time since I’ve achieved all of my goals, and it felt good.

Time = 18:56 (if I’m recalling correctly).

And on the third day he didn’t rest.

DSCN2903Did you miss me? I rested Wednesday and Thursday. I did coach endurance athletes yesterday and, yes, I did run with them. Let’s call it active recovery, shall we? Thanks!

I worked out with the 8:30 am athletes, led by Coach Liz. Coach Emily and I shared a bench for the bench press.

Bench Press
5 reps @ 65, 75, & 85%

It’s no secret that the bench press is one of my least favorite lifts. I just don’t have big chesticles. Nonetheless, the reps felt surprisingly easy today, and I completed sets @ 120, 140, & 160#. Thanks for spotting, Ms. Emily! Were you surprised by how underdeveloped my pectorals are? Remember, I’m fallible. And awesome. Mostly awesome.

3 rounds; rest 30 seconds between activities, i.e., between pull-ups and plank and then between plank and pull-ups
Max reps dead-hang and unbroken pull-ups
Max time plank hold with feet on box (24/20)

Quite a challenging combination, if I do say so myself. I completed 11, 10, & 9 strict, dead-hang pull-ups (30 total) and held the plank with my feet of 30′ box for 2:30, 2, and 2:30 (7 minutes total).

The box is looking awesome!

Peeps & Lorraine!

Zac is an attention whore.
Zac is an attention whore.

I am relieved that the CrossFit Games Masters Qualifying WODs are complete. I never want to do that again. Until next year.

When I checked the “final” results last night, I was in 94th place. I’m now in 100th. And that’s okay. I’m pleased with my accomplishments.

It’s been a very busy day, as I coached and/or mentored from 6 to 9:30, took Luke for a walk, coached the 11:45 session, painted until 3, coached and worked out at 4 (more in a moment), and will coach endurance at 6:30 and Foundations from 7:30 until 9.

For the first time in as long as I can recall, there was only one athlete, Lorraine, at the 4:15 session. As that is one of the busiest sessions of the day, I’m not quite sure why she was the only person to attend. Probably just an anomaly.

I think Lorraine was initially a little disappointed that Liz wasn’t coaching. Liz is a hell of a lot nicer than I am. Most people are. And I’m okay with that.

Did you all know that I’m not a hugger? And I’m okay with that, too.

As Lorraine was the only athlete, I followed my own coaching guidelines and worked out with her. And we had a wonderful time!

5 reps @ 65, 75, & 85% of 1RM

Uhm, I might have inhaled too many paint fumes today. I did a set at 240, and my next set was to be 280#. I took of 5s and 2.5s, and grabbed 25s, as I had intended to add 25s and 2.5s.

Uhm, but I grabbed metal 45s instead. The first lift felt heavy and I thought, “Jesus, the last set is going to suck.” It wasn’t until I had completed the 5th rep that I realized that I had 320# on the bar, 5# more than 85% of 1RM.


I didn’t reduce the weight and do a 3rd set. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.

10 rounds (20 minutes)
30 seconds row for calories
Rest 30 seconds
30 seconds max reps pushups
Rest 30 seconds

What a tremendous amount of fun this was! Lorraine and I rowed side by side, and I completed ring pushups.

My goals were to complete a minimum of 20 pushups a round and to row 109 calories or more. Why 109? Because Steve Dodge had rowed 108 earlier in the day. He was a collegiate rower. I’m fifty. Do the math.

I completed 18, 21, 23, 21, 22, 22, 21, 21, 22, & 22 pushups. Uhm, I didn’t achieve goal, as I only completed 18 pushups the first round. I did complete a total of 213 pushups. Lots a lot of f@cking pushups. I also have strap burns on both of my arms.

By the final round, I knew I was going to row more than 109 calories, but I nonetheless sprinted the last row. Total calories, you ask? That’d be 113.

Weird that I rowed 113 calories and completed 213 pushups. Don’t you think? And don’t you think your girlfriend was hot like me? Don’t you? Don’t you?

Werkin’ the core

Luke loves May!
Luke loves May!

I’ve been getting my days confused, and all morning I thought it was Wednesday. I considered not evening going to CrossFit Surmount during the noon hour to work out, as I knew I’d be able to do so this evening.

Uhm, Emily didn’t coach the 11;45 am session, you know, because today isn’t Wednesday, it’s Tuesday. Ha! I coach the session on Tuesdays. I’m glad I didn’t stay home and nap.

I worked out with the 4pm athletes, and it was good.

Establish baseline 1RM

I worked up to 355, and then attempted 375#. Twice. Dammit. I decreased the weight a mere 5# and successfully completed the lift. I new PR by, you guessed it, a mere 5#. I’ll take it! My DL and SDL PRs are now 370#. Uhm, that’s about 265% of my bodyweight. Wow.

Cash in 
500m row or 200 double unders
25/leg mountain climbers
5 wall crawls
25 Abmat sit-ups
Cash out
500m row or 200 double unders

I had planned on cashing in with a row to warm up, but at the last minute decided to challenge myself by cashing in with double unders. And it didn’t start well. Gah! I struggled with the first 20 or so reps, but then got into a groove and completed as many as 75 unbroken reps.

Completing mountain climbers after double unders was tough, and I completed unbroken reps of 10 & 15 the first round. Huh? What surprised me most about today, though, was that I did all four rounds of wall crawls one at a time, albeit with a very short rest time to shake out shoulders. I completed all rounds of Abmat sit-ups as well as remaining 3 rounds of mountain climbers unbroken. And I climbed that mountain fast!

I rowed 500m in about 1:52, so I was pleased with the row, yo.

Time = 16:44

Zombie Apocalypse

10014654_647443318654326_1700232469109469620_nSunday, April 13

“Zombie Apocalypse”
Team WOD

In teams of 4 or 5, complete the following activities as fast as possible:
Run away from zombies carrying supplies — 1 mile and 45/35# supplies, 200m minimum per teammate with 1 teammate working at a time
Partner zombie dead-lifts — 50 reps, 315/275/225#, minimum of 10 dead-lifts per teammate with 2 teammates working at a time; 1 barbell per team
Team zombie skull crushers — 250 reps, minimum of 50 reps per teammate with 2 teammates working at a time
Team partner carries — 400m, each teammate must be carried minimum of 50m and 1 person may be carried at a time
Team leader daring “no feet” escape — details provided
Individual rope climbs — 10 climbs per team (first come, first served)
Leap away from zombies — 100 box jumps, 24/20, with 2 teammates working at a time, minimum 10 box jumps per teammate
Team “supply throw” — 14# wall ball

Jeff led the 9:45 session. Emily, Thom, Blythe, and I were the only team of 4. Uhm, and we were a spectacular team!

We began with plate carries. It had been quite some time since I’d completed a plate carry, and I couldn’t seem to remember how to carry the plate. Huh? On my shoulder? That hurt. Like a baby? Nope. By my side? Yup, that seemed to work best. Emily and I ran together, and I made sure to wait for her so that we could finish together, you know, since it was a team workout and sh!t.

Rope climbs went well, although I neither wore longs socks nor taped my leg. I completed 2 climbs using J-hook method.

Sledge hammer swings were next. It took some time to completed 250 reps. We all worked very well together. Uhm, I told people what to do. That’s sooooo very unlike me.

If memory serves me, we did partner dead-lifts next. Thom and I lifted 10 & 15 reps @ 315# the first and second sets, respectively. He has long arms, probably because he’s tall. Probably.

I completed the scaling of the pull-up rig, and pretty damned fast, I might add. I might, and I just did.

Uhm, team supply throws were a struggle. We had to re-do at least 2 or 3 attempts. Communication was the key.

I don’t know that I’m recalling the order or things correctly, but I do know that we finished with partner carries. I carried Thom 200m and he carried me the same distance.

We finished in 23 minutes and change — or at least we thought we had! Whilst reviewing the whiteboard, I realized that we had only completed 4 of the 5 team supply throws. Gah! Our weakest activity! We did, however, manage to complete last rep without the wall ball touching the floor. Our final time was 26:32, and this includes the rest time.

If there were a zombie apocalypse I’d want Emily and Blythe to be on my team. But not Thom. Ha! Did that make you laugh, Evelyn?

The workout was a tremendous amount of fun!

Monday, April 14

 I worked out with Rob and Brad, and Emily led the session. Yup, just the three of us.

Clean & Jerk
Establish baseline 1RM

I completed reps @ 135, 145, 155, & 165#. That’s 25# heavier than my bodyweight. The cleans were clean, the jerks messy. I even loudly proclaimed, “That’s a shitty split!” ‘Twas, too.

2-min AMRAP
Power jerk @ 50% of C&J 1RM

Rest 1 minute

4-min AMAP
4/leg  jumping lunges (75/53)
8 bent over rows
8 sumo dead-lift high pulls

Rest 1 minute

Run 1 mile

Wow, this was tough! I lifted 85# for power jerks, a little more than 50% of C&J 1RM, and completed 44 reps. I put the bar down at least 3 if not 4 times.

I completed the lunges/rows/SDHPs as prescribed. I began each set of lunges with a power snatch, and completed all reps unbroken. Completing sets of rows and SDHPs unbroken wasn’t challenging, but I nonetheless quickly became winded. I set a goal to complete a round a minute, and did so, completing 4 rounds + 5 jumping lunges.

I didn’t want to run. I hadn’t yet caught my breath. This is also the first year that I can recall having issues with pollen. My eyes itch, and my throat feels like it’s covered in pollen. Ick. It was also 80 degrees. Ick. My eyes itched so much whilst running that I unconsciously found myself closing my eyes.

And then this happened: during the 2nd 800m run I ran past the four dots indicated the 400m turnaround. I didn’t realize that I had done so until I found myself running uphill. Dammit. I estimated that I ran an extra 5 seconds past the mark, so when I finished in 6:36 and I conservatively asked Coach Emily to subtract 6 seconds for an even 6:30.

That’s a slow mile for me.