Setting Goals

Monday, September 28

I worked at out 6am, and the session was led by Coach Nick.

Thruster (KB or DB 5-5-5-5-5)
Work up to heaviest set of 5 reps

I completed sets @ 35 (KB), 40, 53 (KB), 55, & 60. That was plenty heavy enough! There were lots of males present; thus, the testosterone level was quite high. I didn’t pay the last bit attention to the weights that other males were lifting. Just so you know.

Metcon (Time)
50-45-40-35-30-25-20-15-10-5 double unders
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 pull-ups

I challenged myself in that I completed all rounds of double unders in unbroken reps and I completed at least 1 strict L-sit pull-up each round.

I missed the 16th rep of the round of 25 reps of double unders. Yup, I started over. I did, however, complete all remaining rounds in unbroken reps from start to finish. I completed strict L-sit pull-ups for rounds 1 through 4 and began rounds 5 through 9 with, you guessed it, a strict L-sit pull-up. I completed 3 reps the last round. That’d be 18 reps total. Did strict L-sit pull-ups slow me down? Yes. Was I concerned about having the fastest posted time? No.

Tuesday, September 29

I worked out at 9:30, and the session was led by Coach Marni. It was yet another fun day at CrossFit Surmount!

Metcon (Weight)
Every 2 minutes for 10 rounds (20 minutes)
1 press + 1 push press + 1 power jerk + 1 split jerk

I completed all 4 activities at 100, 110, 120, 130, & 140. Yes, a strict press at current 1RM! I completed 145, 150, & 160# push press + power jerk + split jerk and finished with 165# split jerk. Lifts felt good today.

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
11-minute AMRAP
11 box jumps (30)
1 forward roll
2 pull-overs
3 strict handstand pushups

I set a goal to complete all rounds in unbroken reps. I missed 1 HSPU and 1 pull-over. I did, however, work very consistently from start to finish. I also significantly improved ability to complete to pull-overs without pause or re-kip in between reps.

Score = 9 rounds + 2 reps

101 box jumps
9 forward rolls
18 pull-overs
27 strict HSPUs


Strict Muscle Ups and 5th Annual Xander Tribute WOD

I don’t like the month of September, mostly because it marks the anniversary of Xander’s passing. I think about him often and miss him terribly.

It’s also been a rough month due to current situation with Fiat 500X and bitchy supervisor at current (but probably not future) location of CrossFit Surmount.

The glass is always hall full. Perhaps I’ll get a new and better Fiat. Perhaps CrossFit Surmount will move to a new and better location.

Friday, September 25

Muscle ups were the focus of skill building so I attended all eight sessions today. I did work out at 9:30 and it was quite an enjoyable workout!
I attempted my very first strict muscle up during the 6 am session. Yay! And then throughout the day completed close to 30 reps of strict muscle ups. Yay! Strict muscle up were far easier than I thought they’d be. Yay!
Metcon (2 Rounds for reps)
8-min AMRAP
Work 30 seconds; rest 30 seconds
Rotate through following 4 activities 2x:
– Box jump overs (24)
– KB SDHPs (60)
– Forward facing bar hops
– Floor presses (95)
Rest 3:30
8-min AMRAP
Work 30 seconds; rest 30 seconds
Rotate through following 4 activities 2x:
– Box jump overs (20)
– KB SDHPs (53)
– Forward facing bar hops
– Floor presses (75)

What a gasser. I set a goal to complete more reps the 2nd than the 1st AMRAP, and I achieved this goal.

Box jumps overs: 17, 16, 18, 17
KB SDHPs: 21, 21, 21, 20
Bar hops: 28, 28, 32, 28
Floor presses: 27, 24, 30, 23

I was very consistent with box jump overs, SDHPs, and bar hops, and somewhat consistent with floor presses. Keep in mind that I was floor pressing about half of my body weight the last AMRAP. Shit got heavy.

Grand total = 371

Saturday, September 26

It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since Xander’s passing. I coached the 8:30 session and worked out with Jeff and Anthony at 9:45 and 11, respectively. Coaches Deborah and Doza were kind enough to lead sessions.
Xander Tribute WOD (Time)
In teams of 2 alternating activities EXCEPT running complete 8 rounds of 13 reps of the following as fast as possible:
— boX jumps (24)
— wAll balls (20 & 10/9)
— kettle bell swiNgs (53)
— Deadlifts (175)
— burpEes
— Run 200m (both teammates run and must start and finish ALL rounds of 200m together)

My goal both sessions was to complete all rounds in unbroken reps. I missed one box jump when working out with Jeff. Dammit.

Uhm, there’s very little rest when one works out with me. I can quickly complete 13 box jumps, wall ball shots, KB swings, deadlifts, and/or burpees, and I can most certainly run very fast. Jeff began to walk as we approached the entrance of the box during on of our later rounds. As I knew that I’d be completing 13 box jumps I said, “Pick it up. You can rest when you get to the box.” Although I didn’t hear it, Jeff replied, “There’s no f@cking rest with you.” Ha! I wondered why everyone was laughing.

As there was an odd number of athletes at the 11 a session I offered to partner with Anthony. Uhm, he had a look of terror on his face when I offered to do so. I immediately began my reps when he finished his. Uhm, I often had to “encourage” him to begin his next activity.

Both Jeff and Anthony did a great job!

Paul & Jeff: 28:43
Paul & Anthony: 29:14

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Wednesday, September 23

Coach Nick led the 6am session, and a good time was had by all!

27-min AMRAP
9 deadlifts (225 275)
9 burpee handstand pushups
18 Abmat sit-ups
36 UNBROKEN double unders
Run 400m

Rx + = 275/205 deadlifts, GHD sit-ups, AND unbroken double unders

A very challenging workout indeed! Yup, I completed Rx+.

Two hundred seventy-five pound deadlifts were heavy. I dropped every rep from the top but didn’t rest between reps. I’m reluctant to state that I completed reps unbroken. So I won’t.

Burpee handstand pushups went much better than anticipated. I focused on quickly pushing up once my head touched the mat and was able to do this for 6 or 7 of the first reps of each round.

GHD sit-ups also went much better than anticipated, and I completed all rounds in fast and unbroken reps. Yay!

Completing 36 double unders is a mind f@ck. I was ecstatic when I completed the first round in unbroken reps. Yay! The second round didn’t go as well and I failed twice when I had completed a mere 11 reps. I was able to complete 36 unbroken reps on the 3rd attempt. I was once again able to complete 36 unbroken reps the 3rd round but failed the 16th rep of the 4th round. Dammit. I rested for a moment and completed 36 unbroken reps. Coach Nick yelled “Thirty-five reps!” He’s funny. Yeah, very funny.

I entered the box after completing the 4th round and glanced at the clock. Forty-five seconds. I quickly completed 9 deadlifts, sprinted to the wall, and completed a burpee handstand pushup with just a second to spare.

Score = 4 rounds + 10 reps

45 deadlifts, 37 burpee HSPUs, 72 GHD sit-ups, and a mile run.

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Thrusters. Gah!

Friday, September 18

I attended the 9:30 session, led by Coach Deborah.

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

11, 1-minute intervals; rest 1 minute between rounds (21 minutes total)
– 3 floor presses (95)
– 3 SDHPs
– 3 power clean & jerks
– 13 lateral bar hops

A very fun workout! The minute rest was much needed. I worked efficiently and completed 17 rounds + 12 reps. That’s 54 floor presses, SDHPs, & power clean and jerks and 224 lateral bar hops. Uhm, I completed 14 lateral bar hops (as I always ended up on the wrong side of the barbell) for a total of 241.

A group of Surmounties then traveled to WV and spent Saturday whitewater rafting on the Upper Gauley. What an amazingly wonderful time! My workout Saturday, thus, was paddling.

I rested Sunday. And it was good.

Monday, September 21

Front Squat (5-5-3-3-1-1)

I discouraged folks from attempting 1RM and I made sure that I did not. I completed 5 @ 150 & 160, 3 @ 170 & 190, and singles @ 205 & 220. That’s just 6 pounds less than 1RM. Front squats felt great!

Metcon (Time)
Thrusters (95/63)
Wall ball shots (20/14 & 10/9)
Rest 1 minute between rounds 

I was truly dreading this workout and even briefly contemplated not even attempting. I’m glad that I did indeed complete, as I did far better than expected.

I set a goal to complete all rounds of reps unbroken. Nick worked out at the same time and I feared that it would turn into a pissing match. I turned my back to him. Yup, I did that.

I recorded times:
3:15 (1:02)
5:07 (:52)
6:40 (:24)
7:57 (:17)

I was very pleased that I was able to maintain intensity and was also very pleased that I completed all rounds in unbroken reps.

Tuesday, September 22

I spent the morning training Presentational Speaking for Conduit. I enjoy training soft skills almost as much as I enjoy coaching CrossFit. I picked up my loaner Fiat and went to the box to work out at 5:15. Coach Doza led the session. I was feeling very tired and hungry and perhaps should’ve just rested.

30 Bodyweight Bench Presses (Time)
As fast as possible!

I knew things weren’t going to go well after completing the first 5 reps. Dammit. I was only able to complete 25 reps and I failed 1. Dammit.

Metcon (No Measure)
EMOTM for 20 minutes
5 pull-ups odd-# min
5 ring dips even-# min

I wore a 20# weight vest and probably should’ve worn 25# or even 30#. I completed rounds of 5 pull-ups in 8 or 9 seconds and the rounds of ring dips in 7 or 8 seconds. All rounds were completed in unbroken reps.


Upside down 6

Wednesday, September 16

I worked out with the 9:30 athletes and was once again delighted that Jeff was able to join me! Coach Jen led the session, and it was fun.

Tabata This! (5 Rounds for reps)
Tabata Row 
Rest 1 minute 
Tabata Squat 
Rest 1 minute 
Tabata Pull-up 
Rest 1 minute 
Tabata Push-up 
Rest 1 minute 
Tabata Sit-up   

Tabata score is the least number of reps performed in any of the eight intervals.  Unit for the row is “calories”.  Post Tabata score for each exercise as Reps and total those for final score as Total Reps.

In the past I’ve made the mistake of not reviewing prior performance, so I made sure that I recorded score of last time I completed.

Uhm, but for whatever reason I recorded a “6” as a “9.” This may have worked to my advantage or disadvantage. Read on.

I recorded the following:
row – 9
squat – 18
pull-up – 9
pushup – 13
sit-up – 10

I had rowed 6 and not 9 calories, as mentioned, when I completed this workout over a year ago. I rowed 7 calories the first round and was very disappointed, as I wanted to at least match my previous score. I rowed 7 calories the remaining rounds. I thought, “I’m already 2 in the hole” when in fact I was already ahead by 1. My next thought was, “Complete 20 reps for air squats to come out even.”

And that’s what I did. I had at least 3 seconds remaining each round and could’ve probably completed 21 or even 22 reps. Mary-Ann complimented my air squats after the workout saying, “You were so fast! I couldn’t stop looking at you.” Uhm, she couldn’t stop looking at my ass. I know it, she knows it, the world knows it. Ha!

Thus, I was already ahead by 2 whilst thinking I was even. This certainly motivated me to work hard for the remainder of the workout.

I set a goal to complete 10 pull-ups and did indeed do so, completing the first 5 rounds in unbroken reps, round 6 and 7 in reps of 7 and 3, and the last round in reps of 6, 2, and 2.

And then I got greedy. Yup, I got greedy. i set a goal to complete 15 pushups and did so the first 5 rounds. I was then only able to complete 14 reps rounds 6 and 7 and only 13 the last round. Dammit. I should’ve and probably could’ve completed 14 reps each round.

I set a goal to complete 12 sit-ups each round. ‘Twas a struggle, but I managed to do so. My abs were on fire when I finished!

Score | 7 + 20 + 10 + 13 + 12 = 62

That’s a PR by 6 reps! Even I’m impressed!


I missed the box

Monday, September 14

I worked out with the 6 am athletes and the session was led by Coach Nick. Thrusters. Gah! Not only do I absolutely detest thrusters but I’ve also done more than my fair share in the past two weeks.

Thruster (21-15-9)

– Complete 21 UNBROKEN reps, then 15 and 9 unbroken reps.
– The same weight MUST be used for all reps, so choose your weight carefully

I had pre-determined that I’d lift 100# and that is indeed what I did. The first 10 reps of the round of 21 felt fine, the next 6 reps were a struggle, and the last 5 reps were mind over matter. Yes, I very much wanted to drop the bar. No, I did not. Jaclyn, Laurie, and I completed our sets together, and it helped to have someone share my misery. The round of 21 reps felt like a metcon.

The round of 15 was perhaps the most difficult round, as even the first 5 reps were challenging. Nonetheless I completed without dropping the bar, often resting whilst “cradling” the bar on my shoulders.” The round of 9 was far easier in comparison. I was delighted that I was able to achieve my goal.

EMOTM for 16 minutes
Rotate through following 4 activities:
2 rope climbs
6 power snatches (75)
6 box jumps (36)
24 double unders
Record time of SLOWEST round for each activity.

This was fun! The only problem I had was with the math, as Coach Nick had the clock counting down in 1-minute intervals. Even now I’m uncertain if my calculations are correct.

Jaclyn, Laurie, and Steve Dodge were in my group; thus, we completed activities together and began with rope climbs. I completed all rounds in 18 seconds. However, Coach Nick said that we began round 3 a second early so I bumped that time to 19 seconds. Yup, my slowest time. Nope, I don’t think I started a second early but I do what I’m told. As should all of you.

I got much faster with power snatches, completing rounds in 16, 17, 14, & 14 seconds. High box jumps are more of a challenge on the descent than on the ascent. I remained somewhat consistent and completed rounds in 15, 14, 16, & 16 seconds. I missed a rep round 2 of double unders but still managed to complete rounds in 12, 13, 11, & 12 seconds.

Thus, my slowest times were 19, 17, 16, & 13. (I’m not going to fight on the second for rope climbs. K? K.)

I witnessed a true pissing match whilst coaching the 4 pm session. I don’t particularly enjoy such high levels of testosterone.

Tuesday, September 15

I was delighted that Jeff was able to work out at 9:30! Coach Deborah led the session.

30 Bodyweight Bench Presses (Time)

As fast as possible!

I did indeed attempt at bodyweight and was able to compete 27 reps in 3 minutes. And I failed at 3 attempts. Yup, that’d be 30 reps. I’m going for it next week!

Partner WOD
13-min AMRAP
11 burpees
Row for calories
Partner A rows as many calories as possible while Partner B completes 11 burpees. Partners switch. Partners need not wait for each other to begin activity, e.g., athlete may begin burpees before partner begins rowing.
Score = total # of burpees + total # of calories

Jeff began with burpees whilst I rowed. We worked very well together, as it to be expected. We completed 18 rounds of burpees and rowed 171 calories for a total score of 369. I averaged about 10 calories per 11 strokes. I always began rowing as Jeff began burpees. Uhm, I had often completed 4 or 5 burpees before Jeff began rowing. Ha! I was fast and smooth on my transitions. What a fun workout!


CrossFit Level I Certification, Day Two

Sunday, September 13

Given how well yesterday went I expected the worst today — and was delighted that today was just as good of a day as yesterday was! All four of the trainers did a very nice job. My favorite, however, is Bobbi, and she led our deadlift/sumo deadlift high pull/medicine ball clean session. I have more tools for my tool kit. Yay!

The discussion on nutrition, particularly the Zone Diet, was very informative, and I may indeed give it a try. If, that is, Jeff (and perhaps others) will join me. The refresher on hip and back extensions was also informative. The session ob programming was less beneficial as, well, I’ve been programming for 2.5 years.

The CrossFit approach to the snatch is quite different than the USA Weightlifting approach, and I always struggle with modifying form. The session on the strict muscle up was too brief —and I there was too much testosterone and estrogen in the roomI’m going to attempt a strict muscle up one day this week.

I’m confident that I passed the test. Some of the questions, however, seemed like that they came out of left field.

Now, about the metcon. We completed this early in the morning after reviewing medicine ball cleans.

8-min AMRAP
8 pushups
10 medicine ball cleans (20#)
12 Abmat sit-ups

We were asked to pair up and I chose the person closest to me, Kris. She informed me that due to a knee injury she couldn’t squat below parallel. We were on our way to set up our equipment when Bob, who I partnered with yesterday, approached me to inform me that he was ready. Uhm, I already had a partner. It appears that someone didn’t show up today and there was an odd number of people; thus, Bob, Kris, and I worked together.


Bob and I went first. I ignored him, as Kris was responsible for coaching us. She told me to get my chest to the floor. I really wish people would realize that my chest is on the floor, as are my thighs and a face cheek. Try to not have your chest to the floor when your thighs and face cheek are. Go ahead, do it now. I’ll wait.

Couldn’t do it, could you? Kris’ other suggestion was to not go up on my toes when doing medicine ball clean, i.e., not to extend. Huh? Why wouldn’t you extend? And guess what? She went up on her toes when it was her turn. Imagine that!

I was pretty much left alone, and for this I’m happy. I completed 7 rounds + 19 reps.

Bobbi encourage me to get my CF Level III. I may very well do that.

It was a good weekend, and for that I’m grateful. I sure did miss Luke, though! And the kitties, but don’t tell them. They’re bad.


Focus, focus, focus…

Friday, September 11

I coached the 6, 7, & 8:30 sessions and worked out with the 9:30 athletes. There were three options and I chose the most difficult. Imagine that!

100 double unders
90 bent over rows (115)
80 negative pushups (3″)
70 stiff-legged deadlifts
60 weighted sit-ups (25#)
50 wall ball shots (25# & 10′)
40 sumo deadlift high pulls
30 calorie row
20 knees to elbows
10 muscle ups

I most dreaded the sumo deadlift high pulls and I was justified in feeling this way. I also wasn’t looking forward to 50 wall ball shots with the 25# wall ball.

I set a goal to complete in 35 minutes.

Double unders went very well, and I began with about 65 unbroken reps. Yay!

I completed 90 bent over rows in 9 sets of 10 reps. Shit got heavy very fast. I thought, “If  bent over rows feel heavy, I wonder how heavy sumo deadlift high pulls are going to feel!”

I set up 2, 45# plates near garage door and, as often happens, Luke was by my side or, in this case, directly in front of me. It was nice to see his smiling face. I was often tempted to stop and kiss him. I completed the first 40 reps in sets of 10 and then completed as many as I could (as many as 7 and as few as 3 unbroken) until 80 reps were completed.

Stiff-legged deadlifts completed in sets of 10 reps. I did rest between sets, often even walking away from the bar. I didn’t swear.

I had intended to break up 60 sit-ups into sets but was able to complete all 60 reps unbroken. Yay! But then came the wall ball shots. I had set up a gym mat for Luke, as I knew he’d want to be close.

I missed the 1st and 3rd reps. Dammit. I didn’t, of course, count them. I completed as many as 10 unbroken reps. I was struggling to catch my breath.

Ugh, 40 sumo deadlift high pulls at 115#. I didn’t complete any in sets of unbroken reps, i.e., I dropped the bar from the top. I also didn’t count 5 attempts, as I finished with bent as opposed to locked knees. Bad reps do not count!

Then came the row. Kelly-May had gotten on a rower a few moments ahead of me and I chose one beside her. I set a goal to row a calorie per stroke through at least 15. Not only was I able to do that, but I rowed 30 calories in just 29 strokes. Yay! Kelly-May matched me stroke per stroke. She’s smart like that.

Knees to elbows went much better than expected as well and I completed in sets of 15 & 5 reps.

Muscle ups. Finally! I failed the 2nd attempt but was able to complete the next 8 reps as doubles and finish with a single.

Time = 31:53

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Tuesday, September 8

I had every intention of completing the Hero WOD “Crain” on Labor Day but when I attempted to drive my new Fiat 500x to the box the parking brake got stuck. Yup, stuck. And it’s electronic. Dammit.

I drove Jeff’s car to work, contacted Fiat, spent an hour getting a shitty rental car, and most of the late morning and early afternoon dealing with towing. Barne’s towing was over an hour late and then driver needed to get a different truck.

And you know what? That’s okay. Shit happens, and there’s no sense getting upset over things that are beyond one’s control.

I coached at 6, ran with the endurance athletes at 7, coached at 8:30, spent the morning and afternoon dealing with Fiat, coached at 4 and 5:15, and worked out solo at 6:30.

Crain (Time)
2 Rounds for time of:
34 Push-ups
50-Yard Sprint
34 Deadlifts, 135#
50-Yard Sprint
34 Box Jumps, 24″
50-Yard Sprint
34 Clean and Jerks, 95#
50-Yard Sprint
34 Burpees
50-Yard Sprint
34 Wall-Ball Shots, 20#
50-Yard Sprint
34 Pull-ups
50-Yard Sprint
In honor of, Officer Michael “Freight” Crain, of Beaumont, California, who died Feb. 7, 2013
To learn more about Crain click here.

I measured 25 yards (from the garage door to almost the parking lot fence) and set up a cone.

Most everything was a struggle today. From most to least difficult: C&Js, wall ball shots, burpees, pull-ups, deadlifts, pushups, and box jumps. And running.

Uhm, I must admit that the only run that was a sprint was the very last 50 yards. The remainder of the sprints were a welcome relief from deadlifts, box jumps, wall ball shots, etc.

I completed the first round of burpees in unbroken reps. That’s the only round of any activity that I completed without pausing to rest.

Whilst completing 1st round I was constantly plagued by the thought that I’d have to do it all over again. Yup, another 34 pushups, deadlifts, box jumps, clean & jerks, burpees, wall ball shots, and pull-ups. And sprints. Yes, and sprints. There were times when I was relieved to reach 17 reps, i.e., half of 34. There were other times when I thoughts, “Shit, I’m only halfway there.”

I completed round 1 in just under 18 minutes. I knew then that I’d be able to complete the workout in less than 40 minutes, the time cap that was imposed. I did indeed sprint the last 50 yards and finished in a time of 37:27.

Wednesday, September 9

The 7 am session has been sparse as of late, and as only Coach Marni was in attendance I joined her.

30 Bodyweight Bench Presses (Time)
As fast as possible!

Having settled on 115 last week I increased the weight by 10 pounds. Yup, 125 pounds and that’s 87% of bodyweight. Yup, I may go for bodyweight next week. I completed in sets of 10, 10, 4, 2, 2, & 2. Shit got heavy, but I was able to complete in 2:16.

Weighted Pull-up (Weight)

I warmed up effectively and finished last rep at 70#, almost half my bodyweight. And a PR. Yay!

Burpee Surprise (Reps)
5-min AMRAP
Burpees to 45# (3″) plate

For an added challenge I completed twisting burpees, twisting to the left for odd- and to the right for even-numbered reps. What a gasser! I had completed 40 reps at 2.5 minute mark and then set goal to complete 80 reps. I was able to complete 82. Twisting certainly did add a new dimension.

Yup, chin is above the bar.
Yup, chin is above the bar.