It’s Hot!


Zembiec (Time)
5 Rounds for time of:
11 Back Squats, 185#
7 Strict Burpee Pull-ups
400m Run

In honor of U.S. Marine Corps Major Douglas A. Zembiec, 34, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was killed during a firefight on May 11, 2007

To learn more about Zembiec click here

I coached the 9:30 session. And it’s hot in NC. Steamy hot.

I completed the hero WOD solo as the CFK session was underway, setting up my workstation by the  rack closest to the garage door and using the Speal bar closest to that rack. So that the kids would stay out of the way, I set up cones.

As Darren has been known to say, “It’s hotter than Satan’s balls.” I partially filled a bucket with ice and water and had a towel, as well as my weight belt, at the ready.

I worked at a steady pace, completing all rounds of back squats without racking the bar and all rounds of burpee strict pull-ups without resting between reps.

Uhm, I ran without walking, as should be the case. I became parched whilst running the second 400m. Jeff was kind enough to get me a bottle of water.

I completed the first round in just over 4 minutes. Whilst I did slow down somewhat during remaining rounds some of that can be attributed to putting on weightlifting belt and placing cool rag on neck.

Time = 22:33

That’s an average of 4:30 a round.


The coaches haven’t met together as a group for a couple of month, and as Jeff is in town he was able to finally join us. Yay! Coach Nick led the session. As my shoulder still isn’t cooperating, I didn’t join coaches for tabata handstand hold.

15 pull-ups cash in
50-40-30-20-10 double unders and Abmat sit-ups
15 pull-ups cash out

“Annie” is my least favorite benchmark, as, well, if you have double unders and sit-ups the workout isn’t much of a challenge. My goal was to complete all rounds in unbroken reps, and I cam this close to achieving that goal I missed the very last rep of the round of 30 double unders. Dammit! I’m still pleased with performance.

Time = 8:06

Coach Josh approached me after the metcon and said, “I came off of the pull-ups before you.” “Yes,” I replied, “and I finished the workout two minutes ahead of you.” Ha!


Metcon (Time)

“The 12 Days of CrossFit”
1 decline pushup (24)
2 pull-ups
3 plate presses (55)
4 toes to bar
5 burpees
6 sumo dead-lift high pulls (95)
7 box jumps (24)
8 back squats (95)
9 KB swings (53)
10 wall ball shots (20 & 10)
11 stiff-legged dead-lifts (95)
12 x 12 (144) double unders

Stevie spent Tuesday night with Luke and me, and we had a delightful time! She and Luke get along famously.

As we’re reloading this week, I wanted to make the metcon relatively easy, i.e., no HSPUs, wall crawls, muscle ups, etc., and no heavy weights. The workout was indeed challenging, but certainly not as challenging as previous incarnations of “The Twelve Days of CrossFit.”

My goal was to complete all but found of double unders in unbroken reps. Yup, I did that.

I rested very little between activities, and this is why I am able to complete the workout quickly. It’s not necessarily that I complete SDHP, BS, wall ball shots, etc., any faster than many other athletes, it’s that I don’t need as much rest and recovery.

Time = 25:15

I found that funny as Christmas is December 25. Get it?


Front Squat (1-1-1-1-1)

After warming up, complete 5 singles, working up to heaviest weight. There should be NO failed attempts.

Luke and I ran a couple of miles with the endurance athletes, and then I attended the 9:30 session led by Coach Josh. After an ab workout we were on the racks. I completed singles @ 165, 175, 185, & 205#.

Metcon (Time)

Dumbbell burpees (25/20% of bodyweight)
Box jumps (30)

I strategically positioned by DBs and box and the clock counted down. I completed all rounds in unbroken reps, working continuously.

Time = 5:47


Drunk Games and Challenge Accepted


Metcon (Time)

Ranch Mini Chippper
For time:
50 Wall Ball Shots (30/20)
25 GHD Med Ball Sit ups
Hill Run w/ Med Ball*

*Since we don’t have a hill at CFS, we will substitute 2 laps around the building

Coach Nick was kind enough to program and coach this evening, and a good time was had by all!

Having already worked out earlier in the day (and still recovering from spine/neck issues), I went into this knowing that I’d take it easy. And what better way to ensure this then by scaling. Uhm, and drinking beer whilst completing.

‘Twas a full house, so a staggered start. I began 3 minutes after the start of the clock and during that 3 minutes I drank beer and catcalled, you know, because I’m Paul. I used 20# medicine ball throughout.

I missed the 2nd ball ball shot. Ha! And I didn’t care in the least. I completed wall ball shots in rounds of 10, 10, 5, 5, 10, & 10, pausing in between sets to drink. I discovered that the J-hooks make great beer bottle holders. I slowly moved to GHD and completed 15 and then 10 unbroken reps. I took another drink of beer, called to Luke (who of course was by my side) and he and I ran around the building once. But I had forgotten my beer! I grabbed my beer and ran around the building a second time, resting medicine ball on right shoulder and holding beer in left hand. I finished the very last ounces just before entering the box.

My time was 9 minutes and change. And I had a wonderful time! Many folks stayed and watched the Games, with the last of us leaving the box at 10.


SAT JULY 23, 2016 | BBC

Metcon (Time)
Complete the following activities at % of bodyweight
– Deadlifts x 70
– Ground to shoulder x 50
– Shoulder to overhead x 40
– Thrusters  15
– Run 1.5 mile

– You may complete activities in any order, but once you begin you must finish the activity.
– You may run at anytime.
– You may accumulate meters for 1.5-mile run, i.e., you need not run 1.5 mile at one time.
– Time cap = 50 minutes.

I worked out at 8:30 and Jeff was kind enough to coach the session. I had a Plan A (heavier weights and fewer reps) and B (lighter weights and more reps) and went with Plan B.

I set a goal to complete in under 40 minutes. My tactic was to rest only long enough to record reps and to run only when fatigued. This tactic worked.

In order I completed S2O, G2O, thrusters, and deadlifts @ 75, 95, 75, and 205#, respectively.

Whilst others began with a run, I began with S2O, completing a few push presses but mostly power jerks. I can’t recall when I ran, but if memory serves me I ran twice during the set. Or maybe once. Or maybe thrice. I completed 15, 7, 6, 6, 9 (I likely ran before this set), 6, 5, 5, 5, 7 ( I likely ran before this set as well), & 5 for a total of 77 reps. I know that I never ran before between activities, e.g., S2O and G2O.

Like with S2O, I completed all rounds of G2O in unbroken reps, completing 10, 5, 5, & 5, then running 200m. I completed 10, 4, 4, 4, 4, & 5 and ran another 200m. Eight, 7, & 7 reps for a total of 76 reps.

Thrusters felt easy today. I hadn’t, however, been running frequently enough and thus wasn’t accumulating required distance. I completed 5, 6, 9, & 9 for a total of 29 reps, running once or twice between sets.

I had much running left to complete, so I broke up 49 deadlift reps into 7 sets of 7 reps, often running after a set (of a mere 7 reps). Whilst I did drop a few reps from the top, I often began with 4 or 5 unbroken reps and completed 3 sets in 7 unbroken reps. I finished with a 400m run.

Time = 39:36

I had 24 seconds to spare!


“Stranger Things” is an amazing series on Netflix. I will admit to being somewhat frightened.


I rested Monday in preparation for epidural and I rested Tuesday at doctor’s suggestion. I was looking forward to Wednesday’s workout.

The epidural procedure went well but I have yet to experience any positive results, i.e., I still have numbness in finger and thumb and weakness in left arm.

I attempted a muscle up prior the workout. I was able to easily get things started but was unable to lock out left arm and elbow. Dammit. I’m getting frustrated and impatient. Dammit.


Nasty Girls (Time)

3 Rounds for time of:
50 Air Squats 
7 Muscle-ups 
10 Hang Power Cleans, 135#

Having successfully completed this WOD in the past, I was looking forward to doing so today. As mentioned above, I couldn’t complete a single muscle up; thus, I scaled and modified.

Nasty Girls (Time)

3 Rounds for time of: 
50 Alternating leg pistols
7 sets of 3 Chest to bar pull-ups + 3 bent over rows, 135# 
10 Hang Power Cleans, 135#

In other words, I completed 21 C2B pull-ups and bent over rows each of the three rounds. This was much more difficult than completing a mere 7 muscle ups.

On a very positive notes, pistols present little challenge, and I am able to quickly complete numerous reps. I switched it up a little in that I grabbed the sole instead of toe of shoe. One hundred fifty pistols is no joke, folks. Jaclyn and Alex were also completing pistols and for rounds 2 and 3 always had a significant head start. I was able to catch and pass them.

I missed 2 HPCs the first round but ensured that those were the only 2 reps that I missed.

Time = 33:22


The endurance athletes ran about a 3 mile fartlek, and Luke and I joined them. ‘Twas much fun! My legs were smoked but I nonetheless joined the 9:30 group for the day’s grueling workout, a mere hour after finishing the run.

Metcon (Time)

10 floor presses (95)
5 strict pull-ups
Max set of unbroken thrusters. Repeat the triplet until you have completed 100 reps of the thruster

I tried a simple floor press @ 95# and, well, couldn’t get it up [insert impotence joke here].  I set aside my ego and replaced the 25s with 15s. And all was right with the world.

This was a very challenging workout, regardless of the weight on the bar. I set a goal to complete 10 rounds or fewer and to finish in under 30 minutes.

I completed 10 unbroken floor presses and strict pull-ups the first couple of rounds and was doing singles was the last round. The floor presses were by far the most challenging part of the workout. I completed 15, 10, 10, 11, 11, 10, 10, 12, and 11 thrusters for a total of 9 rounds. That’s 90 floor presses, 45 strict pull-ups, and 100 thrusters.

I barely achieved time goal, finishing with just 2 seconds to spare.

Time = 29:58
Rounds = 9


Metcon (Time)

With a Partner
Box jumps
KB swings (53)
10m shuttle sprints
Hang power snatches (75)

I lingered after the 8:30 class and, as an odd number of athletes attended, I joined Kevin (the very last person to arrive) for the partner WOD. I scaled the shit out of it, completed Russian KB swings and hang power cleans @ 65#. Kevin and I worked very well together and finished in 13:55.

I’ve been watching The Games, and am anxious to see what the individuals competitors complete.

D-balls are stupid. Axel bars are stupid. Don’t get me started on Axl Rose. IMG_9274

Nike shoelaces

FRI JULY 15, 2016 | 5X5

Metcon (Time)

50 double unders
10 KB swings (53/35)
25 air squats

Coach Josh led the session, and I’m very pleased that he’s joined the CFS coaching team! I didn’t complete strength as I’m still babying my left shoulder. I also made sure to carefully complete KB swings.

This was a gasser! My goal was to complete within 10 minutes. I completed 3 of the rounds of 50 dus and 25 air squats as well as all rounds of 10 KB swings in unbroken reps. My legs were burning, so I did break up last 2 rounds of air squats. I missed the 47th rep when completing 4th round of dus. Dammit. I was doing well with last round of dus when my shoe came untied. I refused to stop and tie the laces, but in retrospect I should have. The shoelace kept getting caught in the rope!

Time = 8:49

SAT JULY 16, 2016 | GO, TEAM!

Metcon (Time)
In Teams of 3 or 4
Row 3K
50 burpees
50 pull-ups
50 pushups
75 deadlifts (185/138)
75 box jumps
100 Abmat sit-ups
100 Abmat back extensions
3k run (15, 200m runs)

– Only one team member may complete work at any given time.
– Teams may complete the work in any manner; however, any team member may complete no more than 400m row, 10 burpees, pull-ups, deadlifts, or box jumps, and/or 400m run per turn.

What a fun day at CFS! There were 27 athletes at the 8:30 session. You read that correctly. Everything nonetheless ran smoothly. Yay! I’m quite good at crowd control.

I completed the workout with Janet and Mike at 9:45. As we were a team of 3, that meant more work for all of us.

I rowed third, thus I rowed 3 times. I kept the pace at 1:40/500m the 1st round and between 1:41 and 1:43/500m the next 2 rounds. I hate rowing, I truly do. My legs are so short!

I began by completing 5 burpees and completed 5 the next round. We then took turns completing singles.

I was first on the pull-up rig and completed 10 unbroken reps. We divided the work pretty evenly, and I always completed at least 5 reps my turn. I did, however, complete fewer pushups as that’s the activity that causes the most pain in shoulders.

Janet, Mike, and I pretty evenly divided the deadlifts, I completed more box jumps (as I can quickly complete 10 reps with a rebound), and Janet and I completed more sit-ups and back extensions.

I began with a 400m run (to the flagpole and back twice), Janet ran twice (if I recall correctly) and Mike and I usually took turns running 200s. I completed the last 200m run and I truly sprinted, ensuring that I took a breath every other step.

Time = 36:02

That was the fastest posted time of the day! I named our team “Team of Three Let Them Be.”

As there were 5 in attendance at the 11 session, I joined Jessica and Wendy. And what a fun time we had!

I once again was the third to row, and I rowed 1:42/500m pace the 1st round and about 1:44/500m the remaining rounds. Did I already mention that I hate rowing? I do.

Jessica and Wendy did a great job with pull-ups, pushups, and deadlifts! I did complete more box jumps, sit-ups, and back extensions. Our team, “Girls Rule, Boys Drool” began the 3K run first.

We were racing Wayne, David, and Chris, and I thought for sure that they would beat us. Uhm, I can be somewhat competitive. I began with a 400m run. I took turns with Jessica and Wendy, i.e., I ran every other run. Team “Boys Drool” was catching up with us. I was running the last 400m, the first 200m with David and the last with Wayne, and I was certain that it was a race to the finish.

And I wasn’t going to let Wayne win.

I passed him the last 10m only to discover that “Boys Drool” had another 200m to run. Ha!

Time = 41:30


I coached the 9:30 session and the WOD was “Hope for Kenya.” Instead of scaling I completed my own workout at 10:30.

And it was tough.

22-min AMRAP
6 GHD sit-ups
3 plate (25#) burpees + plate box jumps (26″)
2 plate (35#) burpees + plate box jumps (26.5″)
1 plate (45#) burpee + plate box jump (30″)
30-second forarm plank hold

Just placing the 3 plates was a challenge! I worked steadily and completed all rounds in unbroken reps.

The first round took me exactly 2 minutes. I determined then that I need not keep track of rounds with poker chips. The next round took me 2:01. I decided that I needed to pick up the pace and that’s what I did.

Score = 11 rounds + 6 reps

That’s 72 GHD sit-ups, 66 burpees and box jumps, and 5:30 plank hold. I’ve got to remember to rest forearms on a yoga mat next time. Ouch.

There was once again a very big group at CrossFit Kids! Coach Nick does a great job leading the sessions.


Heal Thyself!

This post contains content that may offend. Rated PG (possibly PG14).

Whilst my left arm is feeling better, I’m nowhere near 100%. More like 45%. Or less. Dammit.


I coached the 9:30 session and worked out before CFK.

10, 9, 8…3, 2, 1 deadlifts (185) and barbell facing burpees

I needed to get my heart rate up, to sweat, and to clear my mind. This did the trick. I completed all rounds in unbroken reps in a time of 8:16.

MON JULY 11, 2016 | BRAH

Bench Press (5X5 @ 75% of 1RM)

I attempted to bench press 95# and only my right arm worked. As there weren’t clips on the bar, the plates on the left began to fall off the bar. Weird. I completed the 5 sets at a measly 65# and the experience was almost surreal. My right arm is certainly stronger than my left. My left shoulder kept rising off of the bench, no matter how hard I tried to keep my shoulder planted on the bench. Again, weird.

Jackie (Time)

For Time:
1000m Row
50 Thrusters, 45#
30 Pull-ups

I knew I wasn’t going to get a PR today. I constantly reminded myself to slow down and take it easy, and that’s what I did. I rowed 1K in just under 4 minutes, completed thrusters in sets of 15, 10, 10, 10, & 5 reps and pull-ups in sets of 5, 5, 5, 5, 4, 3, & 3.

Time = 8:42

I was quite proud of myself for not going fast!

TUE JULY 12, 2016 | C&J

Clean and Jerk (5X3 @ 75% of 1RM)

No jerk for me. I completed 5 sets of 3 reps of full squat cleans, working up to 120#. I felt like shit.

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

20-min AMRAP
5 parallette pushups
10 toes through rings
15 med ball cleans (20)

This was tough. I did favor my right shoulder for parallette pushups but nonetheless completed as prescribed, and all rounds unbroken.

For whatever reason I broke the 7th round into reps of 7 & 3 reps. I completed the remaining rounds in unbroken reps.

Med ball cleans got more and more challenging to complete as time progressed, and I began completing singles as time progressed.

I had to really push through to complete last med ball cleans.

Score = 12 rounds; 60 pushups, 120 toes through rings, 180 med ball cleans.

The conversation occurred between B., his wife A., and me.

Me: B, you’re getting better at your beer selfies. The secret is to never look directly at the camera. 
B: I’m taking notes.
A: Are you talking about his beer selfie? I took that picture.
Me: You took the picture? Then it’s not a selfie. That’s like you giving B. a hand job and him saying that he masturbated. 

We sure do have fun!

I rested Wednesday. And it was good.


I ran with the endurance athletes this morning. Hill repeats! I took Luke for a walk in this miserable heat and then scurried to the box. I was already tired.

Metcon (4 Rounds for reps)

Tabata Really Something Else
Inverse Tabata shoulder press @ 75% of 1RM
Inverse Tabata front squat @ 75% of 1RM
Inverse Tabata deadlift @ 75% of 1RM
Inverse Tabata strict pull-up

The Inverse Tabata interval is 10 seconds of work followed by 20 seconds of rest for 8 intervals.
Rest 2 minutes between exercises.
Score = total number of reps.

This was tough.

I was supposed to have pressed 105, front squatted 175, and deadlifted 305. This didn’t happen.

Luke was on the platform directly behind me and I was constantly aware of his presence.

I attempted to press 95# and I couldn’t get my brain to lift the bar off of my shoulders. It just wasn’t going to happen. I settled on 65# and completed 4 reps all but the last round when I completed 5.

The strangest thing happened when I attempted to front squat 175#. I placed the bar on my shoulders, I felt pain in my left deltoid, and I couldn’t make myself even begin to squat. I dropped the 25s and lowered the weight to 115# and completed 3 reps all but the last round when I completed 4.

I took me the entire 2:20 to remove the bar from the rack, more it around and to the other side of Luke, and place the weight on the bar. The first interval had already begun before I even got the last plate on the bar. And then I couldn’t lift 305# off of the floor. I dropped the 25s and lowered the weight to 255#. Deadlifts felt incredibly heavy even at the weight. I completed 3 reps for the remaining rounds.

It was nice to finish with a skill that I could actually complete. Yay! Three reps a round.

Total = 109

Not Rx, and I’m fine with that.

I get a steroid epidural Monday, and I cannot wait.



Uhm, yeah, so it’s been quite some time since I’ve posted. Here are just a few of my excuses:

  1. I traveled to Boston, San Francisco, and Jersey City to lead Situational Leadership training for inVentiv Health Consulting (formerly Campbell Alliance).
  2. I somehow injured my neck, resulting in intense and consistent pain in left shoulder and arm, and numbness in left index finger and thumb.
  3. I’ve rested quite a few days (and for obvious reasons).
  4. I’ve been depressed due to inability to exercise. There, I said it.
  5. I’d rather re-watch GOT.
  6. These here United States of ‘Merica are pretty f@cked up. (And if one more person says “all lives matter” I’m going to punch them in the throat. Can you say “white privilege?”)

Here’s what’s happened since I last blogged.

Whilst in Boston I worked out at CrossFit Fenway. I attended an hourlong session that included heavy deadlifts, OHS, and rowing. The coach said nary a word to me the entire hour. Not a “good job,” not an “extend your hips.” Nothing. Nada. Not. A. Word. I did buy a tee shirt.

The excruciating pain in my mid-back began whilst traveling to San Francisco. If I hadn’t been in so much pain I would’ve been able to work out three days. The pain was so bad that I walked to a Minute Clinic to get prescription for muscle relaxer. There were a few times whilst I was training that I thought I might pass out from the pain. The redeye flight home was nightmarish, as I just couldn’t get comfortable.

Steroids helped, and I was able to work out at CrossFit Jersey City. The owner, Travis, was very hospitable and provided good coaching. It is disconcerting, however, to visit a box and  not have a single member say a single word. It’s certainly not like that at CrossFit Surmount! The first day we worked on C&J, but as my left arm wasn’t cooperating I merely worked on power cleans. I was very disappointed that I wasn’t able to complete JT, one of my favorite hero WODs. I attempted a handstand pushup and wasn’t able to, well, push up. I also couldn’t complete ring dips and even pushups were laborious. Dammit. The second day I visited we completed back squats and I completed a single at 235. I attempted a lift at 260, three pounds more than recently achieved PR, but failed. Travis said, “Too heavy.” Well, okay then. The metcon was 5 rounds of 50 double unders and 25 air squats. I crushed it, bitches.

Many more days of rest. I wanted to at least be able to complete “1776.” I did so, but in retrospect shouldn’t have even attempted.

Saturday I finally I had an MRI, and that was a surreal experience. I’m not claustrophobic. I did, however, open my eyes once whilst in the contraption, and then decided to keep them closed. I knew I needed to get to the root of the problem as I hadn’t had a restful night of sleep since the pain first began. I’d wake up in the middle of the night, unable to get comfortable and thus unable to sleep.

MON JULY 04, 2016 | 1776

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

Complete as many rounds as possible in 60 minutes of:
17 power cleans (135)
76 squats
Unload the barbell and carry it 200m  (100m up and back).
Next carry one and then the other plate 200m.
Load the barbell and continue.

I didn’t warm up effectively, and I should know better. I attempted a power clean at 135# and just couldn’t pull myself under it fast enough. I scaled to 105#, and completed the first 17 PCs at that weight.

I did, however, have a bar loaded with 45# plates. After completing 76 air squats I de-loaded the barbell, ran with the barbell on my back, grabbed a plate and ran, and then grabbed the other plate and ran. I loaded the barbell and thought, “Just try 135# again.” So I did, and I completed the remainder of the workout lifting that weight. And it was miserable. And I shouldn’t have. And I should know better.

Whilst I did run with endurance athletes on Tuesday, I didn’t work out. I also didn’t work out Wednesday. I might be getting fat, too.


Metcon (Time)

50 double unders
15 dumbbell FULL squat cleans @ 25/20% of bodyweight per dumbbell
15 burpees
50 double unders
– Rest 2 minutes

Thirty-five pound dumbbells. Gah! Josh, a potential member/coach, attended the session. I set up my station near the front of the box, as I often do. Luke was nearby, as he almost always is.

I completed 50 unbroken double unders, 15 unbroken cleans and burpees, and finished with another 50 unbroken double unders in 3:06. That’s a strong start!

I began each of the remaining 4 rounds with 50 unbroken double unders. (I remember a time when I really struggled with double unders.)

I did break up the cleans into sets of 8 and 7 the second round. Shit was getting heavy. I completed unbroken burpees, albeit certainly not at a fast pace, and broke up double unders into sets of 35 and 15. The round took me 3:45 to complete.

The rest was much needed after all rounds.

The most difficult part of the remaining rounds was most certainly the cleans. I completed third and fourth rounds in sets  of 3 (I can’t recall exact number of reps) and the last round in a set of four. I completed the third round in 4:01, the fourth round in 5:24, and the last round in 5:27. Yes, I slowed down, but I’m still pleased with performance. Oh, and I completed the very last round of 50 double unders in unbroken reps.

Total time = 27:44

My very good friend, Jay (who just happens to be a PT), recommended that I complete heavy farmer’s carries.


Metcon (Time)

200m farmer’s carry (35# DBs)
25 Abmat sit-ups
10 box jump overs (24″)

Luke really, really, really wanted me to play with him, so as I was attempting to not injure myself I held onto his pull toy as I completed sit-ups. Why the hell not?

Time = 16:20

I visited Triangle Orthopedics Friday afternoon. The verdict is that I’m getting old. Stronger muscle relaxers and pain relievers, and I’ll be getting a steroid epidural soon.

Good times, good times.