Sunday, October 29 | Couplet

The high in Asheville today was a mere 42 and it was 37 when Jeff and I took Luke for his morning walk. We enjoyed a nice breakfast at Edna’s and then I began my workout.

Odd-numbered minutes for 10 rounds
3 hang power cleans, adding 10# each round and working up to heaviest set of 3 reps
Complete 5 wall ball shots (20# & 10′) immediately following 3 HPCs

This was the perfect combination, as it allowed enough time to rest between sets, the WBS prepared me for next part of workout, and this forced me to rest long enough between rounds and HPC attempts. Yup, I sometimes don’t rest enough between attempts.

My post-surgery HPC 3RM is 135, so I completed first round @ 65, feeling confident that I’d be able to lift 145 and knowing that I could potentially fail the last set and still get a 10# PR.

But I didn’t fail the last round @ 155#. That’s a 20# PR.

Every 45 seconds for 14 rounds and for time
3 HPCs @ 65% of 3RM (100#) and 5 WBS (20# & 10′)

I completed the first 4 rounds in 21, round 5 in 20, rounds 6-8 in 19, round 9-13 in 18, and the very last round in 17 seconds. This was surprisingly challenging, and there was little time to catch my breath.

Time = 5:48

As Jeff was home, Luke decided to snuggle with him instead of working out with me. It felt quite odd for him to be absent.

Monday, October 30 | Mischief Night

Growing up in South New Jersey the neighborhood celebrated “Mischief Night” the night before Halloween. Neighbors and their homes would be targeted and rotten eggs, rotten tomatoes, toilet paper, etc., would be, well, thrown at homes, trees, telephone lines, etc. I know not why. The next night we’d visit same homes for treats. I suppose the tricks had already occurred. By the way, I was too young to do much mischief.

Back Squat
Establish 3RM

I warmed up effectively, and then did first heavy set at 165#, followed by set @ 185, 200, & 215#, a 5# PR. Yay! I recorded all sets to ensure that I squatted below parallel. I did. I almost only lifted 211#, and that would’ve been a mere 1# PR. For upper body small gain like 1# is significant, but for lower body, well, 5# is a small gain. And 215# is almost 95% of BS 1RM, so there’s that.

Hang Power Snatch
30 reps AFAP, 65#

Again, gripping the bar much farther away from barbell collars makes a world of difference. This was quite fun!

Time = 1:06

5 power snatches, 75#
30 double unders

I set a goal to complete in fewer than 5 minutes. ‘Twas challenging to do so, as I only completed 1 round of dus in unbroken reps. I did at least complete PS in unbroken reps, so there’s that.

Time = 4:41

Our morning routine…

The kitties wake me up at sunrise. How so? By scurrying up and the stairs, jumping on the bed and me, and meowing. But I love them, so that’s okay.

I feed them first breakfast (they have second breakfast when Luke and I return from our walk), give Luke his morning medication, and prepare the French press. Luke retires to one of the couches. If it’s the couch facing South he naps. If it’s the couching facing East he rests his head on the back of the couch and looks at me longingly as if to say “Hurry the hell up.” He will sometimes go to the front door and whimper. I’ll open the door, ask him if he wants to go outside, and then patiently wait for him to do so. Which he never does. He’d rather wait for me to drink my cup of coffee and then take him for his walk.

I’ll say, “Let’s go for a walk!” and he walks down the hallway to the door leading to the garage. I’ll sit on the top stair to put on my shoes and Luke will either stay there with me or head down the stairs toward the open garage door. He doesn’t, however, go outside but instead waits for me. If we’re driving to our location I’ll unlock the car doors, open the driver side back door, place his stool on the ground, place a foot on the stool (so it doesn’t move), and Luke then jumps in the backseat.

We go for our walk. Luke always gets a Busybone and I usually eat a quick breakfast before heading to the gym, i.e., the garage. Luke of course joins me. If the day is warm he’ll sit on his blanket just outside of the garage door, and if it’s colder he’ll sit on his blanket in front of the wall ball station or near the foot of the stairs.

Every single day.


Tuesday, October 31 | Trick Or Treat!

‘Twas a glorious morning and Luke was in the mood to walk fast and even run! Thus we went for a 5-mile walk/run at the Biltmore.

Luke joined me in the gym/garage for today’s workout.

15 Rounds for Accumulated Time 
1 power clean, 135#
20m (10m up & back) farmer’s carry, 10m right & 10m left arms, 53# KB
3 burpees
11 lateral bar hops
5 knees to elbows
Rest :50 between rounds (11:40 rest)

Time = 22:53; 11:13 work time

This was fun, as any workout that has rest programmed forces one to work fast and steadily during work time, and that’s what I did, completing all rounds in unbroken reps. And 135# power cleans now feel relatively light. Yup, rounds took about 45 seconds to complete.

I purchased two large bags of candy and we didn’t have a single trick or treater. Dammit.


Han Solo

Wednesday, October 25 | Two and One

Luke and I (of course) enjoyed a 4-mile walk beginning and ending at home that included  walking in Carrier and French Broad parks. ‘Twas a chilly morning.

I ate breakfast and watched “This Is Us.” Yup, and cried. And then worked out.

Deadlift & Ring Dips
Sets of 3 DL working up to 3RM and then 1RM
Complete 3 strict and weighted ring dips after DL, working up to heaviest set of 3
Workout ends when 3 failed attempts at given weight of either activity

Deadlifts and ring dips? Why not! Whilst I may have an idea of the movements or activities I want to complete (often thinking about programming before I go to sleep the night before or thinking about during morning walk the day of), I determine what I’m going to do as I’m warming up and even whilst I working out. The advantage of working out alone! I knew I wanted and needed to do deadlifts, and as yesterday had so much pushing I knew I needed to do pulling. And I haven’t done ring dips in far too long.

I warmed up and began first round of DL and RDs @ 275 & 10#.

3RM DL | 3 RDs
275 | 10
295 | 15
315 | 20
330 | 25
340 | 30
1RM DL | 3 RDs
355 | 35
360 (f)) | 40
360 | 45
365 (f) | 50
365 (f) | 55
365 (f) | 60

I set a goal to achieve new DL 3RM. As my previous 3RM was 325, I set a goal of 330 and was delighted when I got 340, a 15# PR. I then achieved new 1RM of 360, 1 mere 7# but I’ll take it! RDs felt sold throughout. When I ran out of bricks for vest I hung plates around my neck, ending with 15 additional pounds added to 45# weight vest. Uhm, and the rubber resistance band snapped the very first rep of last set of 3. I recorded to ensure that all dips were legit, you know, delts below elbows. All. Reps. Were. Legit.

I enjoy having Luke with me when I work out, even if he is napping most of the time. I teasingly tell him, ” You can cheer for me if you’d like, for you know how much I love being cheered for. ‘You got this! Niiiiiice.'”

5-min AMRAP
6-count burpee + jumping air squats whilst wearing 45# weight vest

More working out whilst wearing weight vest? Why not! I placed 45# plates on the floor to place hands upon so that pushups would be legit. I’m liking that word. In addition, nose touched whilst knees never touched ground for all pushups.

The strict pushup was definitely the most difficult part of the workout, followed closely by jumping air squats. I had not yet begun 15th rep when clock read 2:30 (dentist appointment!) so I set a goal to complete 29 reps. And that’s what I did. Because I’m too legit to quit.

Thursday, October 26 | No Barbell

It got down to below freezing last night! Luke and I went for a 3-mile walk around the neighborhood. I was overdressed, and I’ll know not to wear a Winter coat until, well, Winter.

EMOM for 10 rounds
20 double unders & 20 lateral bar hops
Rest 1 minute
EMOM for 5 rounds
20 DU & 20 LBH wearing 10# weight vest
Rest 1 minute
EMOM for 5 rounds
20 DU & 20 LBH wearing 20# weight vest
Rest 1 minute
EMOM for 5 rounds
20 DU & 20 LBH wearing 30# weight vest
Rest 2 minutes
EMOM for 1 round
20 DU & 20 LBH wearing 35# weight vest
Rest 2 minutes
EMOM for 1 round
20 DU & 20 LBH wearing 40# weight vest
Rest 2 minutes
EMOM for 1 round
20 DU & 20 LBH wearing 45# weight vest
Rest 2 minutes
Score = accumulated time

I wanted to work up a good sweat today, and I most certainly did. I had briefly contemplated including power clean & jerks, but upon warming up decided not to do so. Uhm, ’twas much upper body yesterday.

Times ranged from 21 to 32 seconds, and the lengthier times were because of missed DUs. I missed 1 LBH during the round wearing 30# weight vest. I also quickly discovered that LBH were more difficult than DUs. I felt like I weighed, well, almost 200#.

Score = 12:02

Saturday, October 28 | BP & HSPU

I rested yesterday, and I’m most certainly glad that I did. My calves were a wee bit sore, as one can only imagine. I don’t recommend weighted double unders or lateral bar hops.

As Jeff was home (and that’s quite unusual), I took Luke for a 2.5-mile walk around the neighborhood in the morning and Jeff and I took him for a 2-mile walk in the evening.

Jeff and I took Luke for a walk this morning, ate breakfast, and then I headed to the gym, i.e., I walked down the stairs from the 1st floor to the garage. Jeff did join me to spot for 2 and 1RM. He’s nice like that.

Bench Press

‘Twas a good day.

10 @ 95
9 @ 105
8 @ 115
7 @ 125
6 @ 135
5 @ 145
4 @ 155
3 @ 160 (3# PR)
2 @ 166 (2# PR)
1 @ 175
1 @ 183 (fail)
1 @ 183 (1# PR)

Yes, minor gains, but I’ll take them!

Negative HSPU

I had a Tim Gunn moment. Yup, I made it work. I used scraps of 2X4 lumber to achieve additional height. I worked up to 12″.

20-min AMRAP
1 strict HSPU
3 strict pull-ups
5 bench press jump overs (18″)
7 wall ball squats (20#)

I worked at a steady pace. I had completed 10 rounds and had begun squats at the 10-min mark, so I set a goal to complete 22 rounds. And that’s exactly what I did.

Stranger Things 2 if the shit. What incredible storytelling, acting, music, character development—you name it! It is The SHIT!


One-Oh-One & One-Oh-Two

Saturday, October 21 | I Nearly Died

Luke and I began our day with a wonderful walk at the Biltmore. I’m truly enjoying the change in seasons. I wore shorts, a tee with light, hooded jacket, and mittens. Yes, mittens. My lower body tends to get warm quickly whilst my hands never seem to thaw.

EMOM for 45 minutes; work 30 seconds & rest 30 seconds (22:30 total work time)
Deadlift + bent over row + power clean + push press + thruster, 101# + Sprint 20m (10m up & back)
Plank* in remaining time
Scores = barbell with sprint & plank hold

This was exhausting, and it got more and more exhausting as the workout progressed. In addition, the 30 seconds of rest time seemed to get decrease.

Why 101#? Why not! In addition, I did not allow thruster to be dropped from the top, i.e., I brought barbell to shoulder, mid-thigh, and then floor. What isn’t included but what also occurred was a jump over the barbell before beginning sprint and and jump to squat and plank hold. Because Lady Gaga.

For plank hold, the first 10 rounds were traditional plank. I thought, “This is too easy.” For rounds 11-15 & 16-20 I completed 1-armed (r & then l) plank, for rounds 21-25 & 26-30 I completed 1-legged (r & then l) plank, and for rounds 31-45 I alternated the 5 planks, i.e., traditional, r-arm, l-arm, r-leg, & l-leg.

As if often the case, my times for barbell + sprint improved, which meant more time spent in plank hold.

Time for barbell + sprint ranged from 18 to 13 seconds—a full 5-second difference! This had everything to do with transitioning between lifts as well as sprinting faster.

The time for barbell + sprint ended when I was in plank position, and I positioned the clock so that I could easily see this time to record as I rested.

Barbell + sprint times : 18, 17, 18, 17, 16, 17, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 15, 15, 16, 16, 16, 16, 6, 15, 15, 16, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 14, 14, 15, 13, 14, 14, 14, 14, 13, 13, 14, 14,

Scores: 10:45 & 11:45

Even though I worked for a mere 22:30 it certainly felt like a 45-minute workout!

Monday, October 23 | Twofer

I rested Sunday. Jeff and I took Luke for a short walk in the morning hours before meeting friends for breakfast. As Jeff had to be at the airport at 2:30 I spent the rest of the day with him. Luke and I went for a 4-mile walk at the Arboretum after dropping Jeff off at the airport.

It rained dogs and bad kitties this morning and into the later afternoon hours! Luke and I went for a very short, moist walk this morning. He didn’t poop. I tried to get him to do his business this afternoon, but to no avail. He finally did so when the rain stopped and the clouds began to clean. Just thought you all would like to know.

I left the garage door closed, so the bad kitties joined me for part of the workout. Uhm, and they, along with Luke, eventually left me all alone. Bad kitties!

1, 2, 3…8, 9, 10
Wall ball shots, 20# & 10′
Floor presses, 95#
Chest to  bar pull-ups

That’s 55 reps of each activity, and that was more than enough. I completed all rounds of WBS and FP in unbroken reps, but only managed through the round of 7 C2B pull-ups unbroken. By the round of 10 I had to complete the last 6 as singles. Ha! Talk about muscle failure.

Meg often looked down upon me from the top of the stairs as I completed floor presses.

At one point whilst completing FP I thought, I wonder if I’d work faster or harder if I was working out with others? Perhaps, but form might suffer, I might be more likely to get injured, and I wouldn’t enjoy myself nearly as much as I do when I work out alone.

Ain’t that the truth.

Time =

10 reps
Wall crawl + burpee + twist + burpee + freestanding handstand + twist

Uhm, and I lost count and completed 11 reps. Not that it matters, as this wasn’t for time. I’m so delighted with progress of handstands that I often held for a few seconds.

Tuesday, October 24 | Montreat

Luke and I were excited to hike this morning, given that yesterday was the first day in a as long as I can remember when we didn’t begin our day with a long walk or hike. We headed to Montreat, one of my favorite places. Luke began to whimper in excitement as soon as we took the exit off of 40 to Black Mountain. What a gloriously beautiful morning it was! Luke patiently waited for me to take pictures. We did an out and back 100-minute walk. Yup, forgot to wear TomTom (and forgot that I keep a Garmin in the car, you know, in case I forget TomTom).

I ran a few errands, including a trip to Vortex Donuts, and it was noon before I began my workout. Yup, just after eating a very late breakfast of two donuts.

Power clean

I like this rep scheme, as no failed attempts count you really must stay focused. I warmed up with set of 10 @ 65 & 95, and settled on 115 for first set of 10.

10 @ 115 (1,150)
5 @ 125 (625)
3 @ 145 (435)
1 @ 155
1 @ 165
1 @ 175
3 @ 155 (465)
5 @ 145 (725)
10 @ 125 (1,250)

A few things to note:
— My goal was 175, as my HPC 1RM is 170.
— I also set a goal to lift heavier weights the second half of workout.
— I recorded and reviewed all set/reps. My form did falter during singles, but lifts were nonetheless successful.
— 175# is an all time PR, not just a post-surgery PR. Yay!
— That’s 5,145 or 2.57 tons.
— What donuts?

5 unbroken presses, 102# and up to 3 attempts/round max height box jump until failed 5 unbroken presses or failed box jump

Why 102#? Why not! And it’s just 1# shy or 75% of 1RM (although I didn’t know that at the time).

I completed 11 rounds of unbroken presses (55 reps) and failed 11th round at box jump @ 39″, although I did try 3 times. I did, however, complete 38″ box jump, and that’s just 1″ shy of all time max height.

It’s an apple, not a banana. Way to go, CNN!

Giddy Up

Sunday, October 15 | Run = Fun

It’s hard to believe that we’ve lived in Asheville a little more than 10 months, for it feels so much like home.

As Jeff is home for just a brief time during the weekend, he joined Luke and me for a 4-mile walk on the grounds of the Biltmore. We then had a very lovely late breakfast at HomeGrown, a restaurant that we hadn’t yet tried. ‘Twas delightful, and compares to Biscuit Head.

“You’re going to work out on a full stomach?” Jeff asked. “Of course!” I replied.

5 X 10, working up to heaviest set

As I knew I’d be competing 50 deadlifts, I was wise in my approaching completing sets @ 135, 185, 225, 275, and 310#, a new PR. Yay! The last few reps felt exceedingly heavy, and for a brief moment I doubted I’d be able to complete. Silly me!

Jeff joined me as I was setting up for conditioning, and I as needed little room for the remainder of my workout is has able to complete parallette pushups and push presses. It’s always nice when he’s around, and he certainly makes me laugh.

1, 2, 3…8, 9, 10 50m (25m up and back) shuttle sprints
10 box jumps and with steps after each round

I stepped down and toed off with left foot odd- and right foot even-numbered rounds to assure that I didn’t favor and/or injure the left or right side of my body. Luke positioned himself at the entrance to the garage, and I often gently tapped his back or scratched his head each shuttle sprint. Did this slow me down? Likely, and I didn’t care! Jeff was kind enough to capture a few pictures.

I set a goal to complete in 25 minutes. After completing the very last shuttle sprint I glanced at the clock to discover that I had a mere 30 seconds to complete box jumps. And I lost focus. Nope, I didn’t fall, but I did jump instead of step down, so that rep didn’t count. I nonetheless managed to finish in 24:57. That was close!

Monday, October 16 | AR

I was feeling tired, achy, and somewhat depressed this morning. Luke and I went for a 3-mile walk around the neighborhood, I took a quick shower, and then had trailer hitch installed on Mazda. Leonard’s is the best! They told me on the phone it’d take 45 minutes, when I got there they said it’d take 30 minutes, and when all was said and done it took only 20 minutes to install. Compare that to U-Haul who told me it’d take 45 minutes and it took 3 hours.

Luke and I ran quite a few errands, including picking up waterproof sealant for box I’m going to put on deck. I put the first of three coats on at 3 and, since I was in the gym and all, I worked out, albeit not nearly as strenuously as in the past 2 days. More than anything I needed to work out (get it, work out) some of the soreness in shoulders and back.

6X10 unbroken

I began @ 70, added 5# per set, and worked up to 95#. Uhm, and I don’t think that I could’ve completed 10 @ 100#. Shit always gets heavy by the 7th or 8th rep. Was nonetheless pleased, as I continue to get stronger and recover from ACDF surgery. Oh, I almost forgot to mention: I’m placing my hands farther apart on the bar, with my palms almost to the inner ring. And it helps! Why I didn’t think of this ages ago is beyond me. At the very least the bar travels a shorter distance.

Strict ring rows
Mountain climbers (both legs = 1 rep)

Yup, something fast and furious! I completed 16 ring rows out of the gate and then, well, quickly began to tire. I had two, count them, two missed reps in that I wasn’t able to touch chest to rings! I guess I was just getting greedy.

Time 3:13

Yup, very fast and very furious.

Tuesday, October 17 | Mind Games

‘Twas a cold night, and the four of us (Luke, Meg, Zac, and me) slept until 8. That’s late for us! Luke and I went for a 2-hour walk at Pisgah. I was wearing a sweatshirt, gloves, and hat when we began, as the temperature was a chilly 41, but all items were removed by the last half hour.

Every 90 seconds until failure
Clean, Jerk, & Thruster

Three distinct moves, i.e., I stood to full extension after clean and before jerk and rested barbell on shoulders before completing thruster. This was fun! And tough. I began at 65, added 5 each round, and worked up to 145#. I completed clean @ 150 but didn’t even attempt jerk. Why? I know not why.

That’s 18 cleans and 17 jerks and thrusters. That was enough.

50 sandbag burpees + forward and backward jump over sandbag
50 Abmat sit-ups
50 sandbag squats, 45#
Complete 3 power cleans, 95#, at the top of each minute

This got the heart rate up quickly! I completed between 7 and 10 (the first round) burpees, and it took me 2 rounds to complete both sit-ups and squats.

Time = 12:57

That was close!

Thursday, October 19 | Run = MBC & BJ

Luke and I enjoyed a wonderful walk at the Biltmore! ‘Twas a cold start and finish, and I wore my hoodies the entire walk. Yup, hoodies.

I had originally planned on doing wall ball shots, but Luke immediately positioned himself on a blanket by the wall ball target. I took that as a sign. I honestly think that this workout wouldn’t have been any more miserable had I completed wall ball shots.

9 medicine ball cleans, 20# and box jumps, 20″
7 medicine ball cleans, 25# and box jumps, 24″
5 medicine ball cleans, 30# and box jumps, 30″

Yup, 21 reps of each activity and 42 total reps each round for a total of 105 medicine ball cleans and box jumps.

Holy posterior change, Batman! Whilst I completed sets of each activity in unbroken reps, I certainly didn’t work at a breakneck pace. I often had to shake out my legs and rub my lower back before starting box jumps. I was delighted that I didn’t miss any box jumps, as jumping 30″ felt like jump 30′ today.

Time = 17:29 (I think. I wrote this time down on a piece of paper. It’s very likely the correct time. I think.)

1 pull-up & toes to bar every 10 seconds for 5 minutes

I like this rep scheme, as you lose momentum and are forced to focus on strength. I pumiced and chalked my hands throughout. I’d definitely program something like this again.

I’m truly enjoying Will & Grace! I also very much enjoyed “Mindhunter” on Netflix. ‘Twas interesting to see Jonathan Groff in the lead role. And not singing!

Friday, October 20 | Intrepid

Again, so I don’t always go to the same places, at least one day a week Luke and I are exploring a new trail. Today we traveled farther South on the Blue Ridge Parkway, parked at an overlook, and hiked a little more than two miles South, turned around, and hiked another two or so miles North to the parked car. One of the hills was steeeeEEEEEEp! Luke was quite exhausted by the time we returned home. Uhm, he once again quickly positioned himself on the blanket in front of the wall ball target. That workout will just have to wait!

Power snatch
3 rounds

1 rep every 10 seconds for 5 minutes @ 75, 85, & 95#
Establish 1RM

The 90 reps were just a warm up to the 1RM max attempts. Ha! I was quite out of breath at the end of each round of 30 reps. I did, however, rest only long enough to put additional weight on the barbell and to reset clock.

This went much better than I anticipated. Perhaps the biggest change has been in placement of hands, as I’m placing them much farther away from the collars. What a difference! Yes, the bar has to travel a bit farther, but I don’t feel pain in my right shoulder.

I completed reps @ 100, 105, & 100#. I’ve been stuck @ 115# for about 5 years, and each and every time I attempted 120# I failed. Good thing I purchased incremental plates! I put 116# on the barbell and easily completed a rep. I yelled, “Fuck yeah!” Uhm, even though no one was in the garage with me. I kept going, completing reps @ 117 & 118#. I’m missing an incremental weight, so I put 120# on the barbell. A little bit of a struggle but a successful rep. I kept going and completed reps @ 121 & 122 but failed 123#. ‘Twas then that I realized I hadn’t turned on iPhone video. Dammit. I started the recording… and easily power snatched 123#. As that’s a 7# PR I called it a day.

I’m delighted that my focus on proper form and execution—and ACDF recovery—is paying off! It’s yet another reason while I like working out alone and doing my own programming, as I can work at my own pace and focus on my weaknesses.

10 double unders
2 strict handstand pushups
20 dus
30 dus
40 dus 
50 dus
10 HSPUs

I completed unbroken and strict HSPUs through round of 6 reps. I missed a rep of dus during round of 30 and 40. Glad I didn’t program unbroken!

Time = 6:35


Wednesday, October 11 | No Barbell

It feels like August: hot, humid, sticky, and moist. Luke hasn’t much cared for going for long walks so we began our day with a 4-mile meandering on the grounds of the Biltmore. I let Luke determine the pace.

I worked on organizing the garage and then set up for my workout. No barbell today!

11 RFT
5/leg jumping lunges
5 handstand pushups
5 burpees + (no jump) chin-ups

I thought for sure that my shoulders would eventually tire and that I’d be unable to complete 5 unbroken, albeit kipping, handstand pushups. I didn’t struggle a single round, including the last. Yay! What was the most difficult activity, you ask? Uhm, jumping lunges. And I’m sure that I’m going to be feeling them tomorrow.

Time = 20:12

I keep listening to Eminem’s “The Storm.” Yup, I’m listening to freestyle rap. What a scathing and spot-on takedown of the AIC. (I’ll let you figure out that acronym.)

Thursday, October 12 | Light Barbell

Luke has a thyroid condition, and will begin supplemental treatment tomorrow. That explains the gain weight. Yup, I concerned. We went for a 4-mil walk around the neighborhood, exploring streets not yet traversed. West Asheville really has some wonderful and unique homes!

‘Twas yet another moist day. And I’m feeling somewhat weak. Today was a little bit barbell, and little bit bodyweight. And it nearly destroyed me.

5 push presses, 65#
5 sumo deadlift high pulls
5 front squats
25 double unders
10 push presses
10 sumo deadlift high pulls
10 front squats
25 double unders
Rest 1 minute

I’ll readily admit that 5 reps felt relatively easy, and 10 reps felt laborious. I made myself complete rounds of PP, SDHP, and FS in unbroken reps, and by unbroken I mean I completed at fast, steady pace, only resting between activities. The only time I completed unbroken dus was the first round (both times) and the last round (last time). My legs felt like lead, probably because of yesterday’s jumping lunges.

Running time: 2:43, 6:41, 10:30, 15:03, 19:35, 24:13
Times each round: 2:43 3:58, 2:49, 3:33, 3:32, 33:38
Accumulated time: 19:13

Saturday, October 14 | Ninety Minutes

Not only did I rest yesterday, but I also didn’t feel the desire to work out (which so often happens on rest days). I guess the previous three workouts wore me out, but not so much so that I’d end a sentence with a preposition. I did spend most of Friday cleaning and organizing, including separating travel size lotions, shampoo, condition, soap, and misc items. I also cleaned out the closet underneath the first floor stairs, placing the items on the top shelf of the garage. Nice!

Trump is giving license to homophobia. Anyone surprised by this deplorable behavior? Anyone? What an asshole.

Luke and I enjoyed a 3.5-mile walk from our home to Carrier Park and back, and then I made myself work out. I did not want to do so, and thought, “There’s nothing wrong with resting two days in a row.”

Odd numbered minutes: up to 5 push presses, adding 5# each round until failure
Even numbered minutes: max rep strict handstand pushups

This was just what I needed, and I felt strong until, well, failure.

I began push presses @ 65# and completed sets of 5 reps 13 rounds, i.e., up to 131#. Uhm, why 131 and not 130? Because my previous PR was 130; thus, a new 1# PR. And I’ll take it! I then completed a set of 4 reps @ 136, another 1# PR. I’ll take it as well! I then completed singles at 140, 145, & 150 and failed at 155. My arms and shoulders were getting tired. Uhm, because I was also completing HSPUs.

I completed 5, 4, 4, 5, 5, 4, 4, 4, 4 3, 3, 3, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 3, & 2 strict HSPUs.

That’s a total 19 rounds (40 minutes) and 77 push presses and 64 HSPUs. I push pressed 7,809 pounds, i.e., 3.9 tons. That’s another way to look at it, folks. Oh, if I include HSPUs I pressed another 9,600 pound, i.e., 4.8 more tons.

20-min ARMAP
– 5 pull-ups
– 15 airs squats

“Cin” because “Cindy” includes 10 pushups between pull-ups and air squats, and there was no way I was going to do any more pushing.

Again, it’s more challenging to complete pull-ups on the yoke bar. Certainly not impossible, but definitely more challenging as my palms are much more likely to tear. I pumiced and chalked my hands before starting each round, and whilst this slowed me down the short rest was necessary. I set a goal to have an even split, and just past the 10 minute mark I completed 13 rounds; thus, the goal was 26 rounds.

I completed unbroken air squats all rounds and unbroken pull-ups through round 23. For rounds 24 through 27 I completed in reps of 4 & 1. Yup, I completed more than goal of 26 rounds, and even managed to complete an additional 3 single pull-ups.

Score = 27 rounds + 3 reps; 138 pull-ups and 405 air squats

My hands didn’t tear, so pumicing and chalking was well worth the time.

Today’s workout lasted about 90 minutes, including warm up and cool down. Yup, yet another reason why I’m so enjoying working out by myself. I also felt quite accomplished, as was delighted that I did indeed work out!

Austin, Texas

Saturday, October 7 | Hotel Room WOD

I rested Friday, as I needed to do so after Thursday’s grueling workout. Jeff and I traveled to Austin, albeit from different locations, for a weekend getaway. We enjoyed a light snack (both of us) and beer (just me, as always) from the Archer Hotel restaurant Friday evening upon our late arrival.

I awakened rather early, as I was still on ET. I asked Jeff if he wanted to go to the hotel gym and he said, “You know I don’t like to work out first thing in the morning.” In his defense, he was still on PT. I completed a workout in our room. Because Texas.

6-count burpees
Air squats

That’s 85 total reps of both activities, and this was enough of a workout for the day. Did I complete for time? Uhm, it’s vacation, so no.

We had an awesome brunch and then spent the afternoon shopping and then touring breweries. And what a fun time we had! I was slightly inebriated by the late evening  hours, so I sobered up a bit before our delightful dinner at Lonesome Dove. The specialize in exotic meats. I stuck with steak. Because Texas.

Sunday, October 8 | Hotel Gym WOD

Jeff surprised me by suggesting that we visit the hotel gym! He rode the exercise bike as I worked out. In the brief time that I was there I saw three STDBs.

EMOM for 25 minutes
3 strict pull-ups
3 25# dumbbell hang power clean & jerks
3 DB squats
3 DB suitcase deadlifts

This was just what I needed, as I was able to sweat off some alcohol. Ha! And true. I completed rounds in between 25 and 27 seconds, although I didn’t keep track of accumulated time. I also completed all rounds in unbroken reps, including strict pull-ups. That’s 75 reps of each activity and 300 total reps (375 if you count cleans & jerks separately). That was fun!

Jeff and I spent the rest of the afternoon (wait for it…) visiting breweries. We started with a visit to my least favorite brewery, Jester King Brewery. Why? Because they specialize in sour beer. That’s some very nasty shit.

The last brewery we visited, Adelbert’s Brewery, was my favorite, so we ended on a drunk high note! We also visited Friends and Allies, Austin Beer Garden, and Celis, amongst others. At the very least I got a tee shirt from all locations and usually purchased a pint glass as well. Because Texas. And vacation.

I had to take a short nap before going to dinner. Ha! Jeff and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner but with shitty service. And shitty service makes for not the most pleasant of meals. Fill up our water glasses, folks! Gah!

Jeff and I traveled bright and early Friday morning and arrived home around noon. Larry built awesome shelving for garage, so I spent a few hours organizing. The garage gym seems much more spacious now. Jeff wanted to get a quick bit before he once again traveled, so I didn’t get in a workout. And that’s okay, because organizing the garage felt like a workout.

Tuesday, October 10 | Barbell Challenge

Luke and I enjoyed a 3-mile walk, he got a bath, and then we went to vet for his annual physical. Luke’s gained 15 pounds since the move to Asheville, but his vet isn’t the least bit concerned. He gets more exercise than most dogs, and he certainly doesn’t overeat. We ran some errands, enjoyed a late breakfast, and then I worked out. Yup, on a full stomach. Yup, Luke was by my side.

Activity | Bodyweight X #
Deadlift | 50
Back squat | 40
Power clean | 30
Bench Press | 25
Power snatch | 20
Rest 3 minutes between activities

I rounded up bodyweight to 150 for easier math. For example, 150 X 50 = 7,500 for deadlifts. I chose to do deadlifts @ 185# (a very wise choice in retrospect); thus, I needed to complete 40 deadlifts. I chose 135# for back squats (45 reps), 100 for PCs (45 reps), 95# for BP (40 reps), and 65# for power snatches (46 reps).

Whilst I need not describe guidelines as I was the only person to complete, it’s nonetheless important to note that activities could be completed in any order. For me that was BP, BS, PC, DL, and PS.

BP: 15, 8, 5, 6, & 6; 2:30 (time)
BS: 15, 5, 8, 8, & 9 8; 3:40
PC: 10, 7, 6, 7, & 8; 3:50
DL: 5, 5, 5, 6, 7, & 7; 3:14
PS: 11, 6, 7, 6, & 7; 4:14

17:28 accumulated time.

This was exhausting, I rested between sets of reps for far too long. And that’s okay, because I think I may still have alcohol in my system. It’s unlikely there’s any left now! Oh, and it feels like August. Yup, it’s moist outside.

This was just what I needed!


The title of this blog refers to Trump. Obviously.

How someone can be against healthcare for all, against gun control, and against preventing climate change, and yet consider themselves pro-life is beyond my level of comprehension.

I rested Monday, and I’m glad that I did. I needed it!

Tuesday, October 1 | Smile for a Mile

I took Luke for a walk at the Biltmore and we spent the time in quiet reflection. At te last count there are 59 people dead and more than 500 injured. By a “lone wolf.” Uhm, a terrorist should be the only term used to describe this asshole. 

Every 90 seconds until failure
3 presses
Every 90 seconds until failure
2 presses

I began at 65 and (usually) added 5# a round. As my 3RM was 120 I made sure to press 121. Yup, a 1# PR! I failed at 125, although I easily got in 2 reps. As 2RM was 130 I made sure to press 131. Yup, another 1# PR!

Uhm, and I was feeling strong I pressed 5 reps @ 110, a 5# PR. Just because.

22-min AMRAP
5 parallette pass throughs
5 strict ring rows 
10m shuttle sprints, 100m total

This was exhausting, as of course my (achieved) goal was to complete all rounds of activities in unbroken reps and with little rest between activities and/or rounds.

As is often the case, I kept an eye on the clock and set an additional goal to have an even split, i.e., complete the same number of rounds the second as the first half of the workout. I had just completed 8 rounds at the 11-minute mark so I set a goal to complete 16 rounds. And I honestly thought that I’d not be able to do so, as I got rather winded as the workout progressed. I pushed it during the last 4 minutes and completed 16 rounds with about 40 seconds left. Yup, I continued to work quickly and completed an additional 5 pass throughs and ring rows.

‘Twas bittersweet when “Don’t Come Around Here No More” began to play as I finished the workout, as it’s my favorite TP song.

That’s 85 pass throughs and ring rows and a mile of running.

Pushing, dipping, jumping, pulling, and running. Don’t tell me that bodyweight metcons can’t be challenging!

Luke positioned himself on his bed just outside the garage door and watched me work out. He’s such an incredibly good dog!

I watched the last episode of The Defenders. Love Daredevil, Jessica, and Luke, but not a big fan of perpetually scowling Iron Fist. What made his acting seem that much worse was Sigourney Weaver, as she ate up the screen.

Teaching continues to go well, although I am disappointed with absenteeism and students not handing in assignments. I continue to tell them that I’m not their babysitter.

Wednesday, October 4 | Paper Towels

Yup, I’m listening to Tom Petty whilst composing this blog. Luke is at my feet, Zac is sunbathing on the deck, and Meg is nowhere to be found. She’s likely hidden away somewhere. Bad kitty!

Luke and I went for a very enjoyable walk at the Experimental Forest this morning. I may or may not have seen a bear cub frolicking on the trail. Going on…

Witnessed dude mountain biking sans helmet. The worst part? He was whistling. Asshole. I’m trying to enjoy my solitude and I don’t need to hear your insipid whistling. Fortunately, as he doesn’t wear a helmet whilst biking, he’s likely not long for this world. There, I said it.

Back squats
6X5 working up to heaviest set

Back squats went much better than expected, as I was feeling stiff at the start — and my knees kept cracking. After warming up, I completed a set @ 150, 65% of 1RM. Shit felt heavy, so I only went up 5 pounds to 155 for 2nd and then just another 5 pounds to 160 for 3rd sets. Uhm, my 5RM was 195, and as I hoped to lift heavier than that I went up 10 pounds to 170 and 15 pounds to 185 for 4th and 5th sets. I was much better warmed up and lifts felt strong, so I went for 200 the last set.

As I approached the bar I thought, “Be sure to back away from the yoke rack, as you don’t want the plates to bounce off the plate holders. No, stay close to the rack, as you’ll be less likely to even think about bailing on the last rep.” So I listened to myself, genius that I am, and stayed close to the rack for the last successful set at 200. I’m confident I could’ve gone heavier, but as I programmed 6 sets I kept with my programming. And I got a PR, so there’s that.

Yesterday’s AMRAP was exhausting, so I programmed something a little easier today.

EMOM for 10 minutes for accumulated time
5 deadlifts, 185
5 strict toes to bar with full stop between reps

Fifty deadlifts and toes to bar was all (and just) what I needed today. As is typically the case, I became more efficient as the workout progressed, and my times were 25, 26, 26, 26, 25, 26, 25, 23, 23, 21, & 21 seconds for accumulated time of 4:01 (again, if I did the math right).

If the shooter (whose name I shall never mention nor picture ever post) were a Muslim I’m certain we would be talking about a travel ban. As he was a “lone wolf” white man, there will be no discussion on gun control. Because ‘Murica.

Nothin’ but pics of Luke! You’re welcome.

Thursday, October 5 | Chipper

Luke and I went for an incredibly wonderful hike at Pisgah this morning, completing a 5-mile circular route on challenging trails and services road. The weather was a chilly 44 degrees at the start. I like it!

Today was all about endurance.

Complete activités in any manner, i.e., chip away at all activities and in any order; complete 25 jumping pull-ups or double unders (alternating activities each round) after completing 100 reps of any of the activities
100 reps of the following:
Back squats, 45#
Box jumps, 24″
Hand release pushups
Hang power cleans, 45#
KB swings (‘Murican), 53#
Push presses, 45
Sumo deadlifts, 70# KB
Wall ball shots, 20# & 10′

This was freaking tough. I decided to chip away at box jumps, deadlifts, KB swings, pushups, and wall ball shots before tackling barbell activities. Whilst I can’t recall the specific order, I completed 100 wall ball shots, pushups, KB swings, box jumps, and deadlifts in that order, completing alternate rounds of jumping pull-ups and double udders after completing the required reps.

Wall ball shots: 15, 4 X10, 15, 10, 15, & 5
Pushups: 20, 6X10, 13, & 7
KB swings: 15, 8X10, 5
Box jumps: 3X10, 15, 5X10, 5
Deadlifts: 10X10

Whilst wall ball shots are always a challenge, box jumps were the bane of my existence today. Probably because of so much squatting and jumping I did earlier in the week. Deadlifts, even though 70#, were also exhausting, and I had to remind myself to set my back and shoulders.

I went by both thoughts and feelings when working with the barbell, i.e., I didn’t set out to complete a certain number of reps each round. I usually began with hang power cleans, moving to push presses and then back squats. Yup, that was the best approach and that’s good thinking. I completed cleans, push presses, and back squats in that order, again alternating completing double unders and jumping pull-ups after each completed activity. Even though ’twas just the 45# barbell, shit got heavy.

HPC: 5X15, 2X10, 5
PP: 15, 6X10, 15, 10
BS: 15, 6X10, 15, 5

Time: 52:53

Luke rested outside of the garage door, enjoying the nice weather and sunny skies. He’s a smart dog.

Today’s Public Speaking discussion was about presenting. Finally! I’m really enjoying teaching, and have some wonderful students.


Wake Me Up When September Ends

Thursday, September 28 |Holy posterior chain, Batman!

Luke and I began our day with a 3.5-mile walk at Carrier and French Broad parks. I took the CX-3 to the dealer to have paint repaired and then worked out in the garage (as Jeff’s Mercedes was being cleaned).

2 strict HSPUs
4 pull-ups
6 165# deadlifts
8 30# box jumps
10 barbell hop overs (forward + backward = 1 rep

I programmed lower reps with upper body (as that was the focus the past two days) and higher reps with lower body. Uhm, the strict HSPUs were much easier than the hop overs! By the end of the workout my entire lower body was on fire. Deadlifts and box jumps combined are always difficult, but the barbell hop overs turned out to be the most challenging part of the workout. Yup, there were times I feared I wouldn’t be able jump backwards. I nonetheless completed all rounds of activities in unbroken reps. While the rep count was high, I certainly got in a good workout.

Time: 18:56

Paint chip was repaired on CX-3. I’ve also found a great place to store my AB Tech employee badge.

I also began sneezing, and my BFF Brian informed me that I was likely allergic to ragweed. Or did he say rags? Or weed?

badge holder

Yes, I keep lip balm and dental floss nearby.

Will and Grace was hilarious!

Friday, September 29 |Listen

Luke and I went for a 4-mile walk on the grounds of the Biltmore estate. The sunflowers are still in bloom! I posted #beehappy. I wonder how many people thought it was a typo and/or didn’t see the bee.

bee happy

I went to the garage, stretched, and didn’t feel like working out. My body was sore and my energy was low. So I rested! And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what you’re supposed to do when you’re feeling under the weather. I did, however, clean the house from bottom to top. I’m versatile that way. Ha!

I met Jeff at the airport after he returned his rental car, we had takeout pizza, I took NyQuil, and was asleep by 9:30. I am watching “The Defenders” on Netflix. So far, so good, although I still find the Iron Fist annoying.

Saturday, September 30 |Listen

Jeff and I joined Luke for a walk at the Biltmore estate and then enjoyed a light breakfast at Edna’s on the River. Although I’m still feeling somewhat under the weather, I nonetheless worked out. I’ve often found that working out when I’m feeling somewhat sick does more good than harm.

EMOM for 25 minutes for accumulated time
1 strict HSPU
5 air squats
4 30# decline pushups
5 air squats
5 pull-ups

This was just what the doctor (i.e., me) ordered! I started off slow and ended up strong. Uhm, I was happy that I noticed before I started working out that I was wearing mismatched shoes.


Each round consisted of 5 pushups & pull-ups and 10 air squats, for a total of 125 (25 HS and 100 decline) pushups and pull-ups and 250 air squats. There, I did the math for you. I completed all rounds in unbroken reps.

Times: 38 (slowest time), 36, 34, 33, 33, 33, 34, 33, 32, 24, 33, 33, 32, 32, 31, 32, 32, 32, 31, 31, 31, 29, 29, 27, & 26 (fastest time) seconds; 13:20 accumulated time. If I did the math correctly, that is.

Uhm, it wasn’t until the 20th round that I realized I was wasting valuable time by turning around after HSPU to face box, for that added not one but two unnecessary turns as I had to turn around once again to place feet on box! I also told myself during round 28 that if I could complete that round in 30 seconds that I could take it easy that last two rounds. I did but I didn’t.

Luke spent some of the time just outside the garage door relaxing on his pillow and the rest of the time on his blanket at the foot of the garage stairs. But no one relaxes like Zac.

Trump’s response to the crisis in Puerto Rico shows his leadership abilities, i.e., he has no leadership abilities. When he is criticized his only defense is to divide and attempt to conquer. Anyone who still supports him is beyond reproach.

Sunday, October 1 | 400 Reps

I generally feel fine during the daytime hours but once the nighttime approaches I begin to cough.  I was wide awake at 4 in the morning doing so. Dammit. I slept until 8, although my sleep was restless.

I worked out in the early afternoon hours. The weather in Asheville is spectacular!

10X10 power clean & push presses, 65#; rest 1 minute between sets
Times: 30, 28, 26, 26, 25, 25, 24, 24, 23, & 23 seconds; 4:14 

10X10 push presses, 70#; rest 30 seconds between sets
Times: all rounds 9 seconds except round 10 in 8 seconds; 1:29 

10X10 jumping back squats, 75#; rest 1 minute between sets
Times: 15, 14, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, & 12 seconds; 2:12

10X10 hang muscle cleans, 80#; rest 30 seconds between sets
Times: 14, 13, 14, 14, 13, 13, 13, 13, 14, & 13 seconds; 2:14

Yup, I went light today, as I knew that I wouldn’t be able to go heavy given this damn cold or allergies or whatever. Whilst I only worked a total accumulated time of 10:09, I was a sweaty blathering mess by the end of the workout. And this workout was just what I needed, i.e., fast and furious and hopefully sweating out the toxins.

I was going to do a round of hang cleans @ 85# but, alas, I had to take Jeff to the airport.