My heart grew three sizes that day.

December 21, 2014

In the past it has taken me 17:10 to complete The Grinch as prescribed and it took me 16:58 to complete the workout Rx+ (having opted for heavier deadlift) last year. I chose to complete as prescribed to see just how fast I could do the work. Seventy-eight reps of three activities isn’t a walk in the park. Or is it? I joined the small group of athletes who got their lazy asses out of bed and attended the 8:30 session.

grinch“The Grinch”
12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 of the following for time:
Deadlifts (225)
Ring dips
Wall ball shots (20 & 10)

I set up my workstation near the front of the box and completed deadlifts with my back to the other athletes. I could nonetheless hear the dead-lift reps. As always, my goal was to complete all rounds of reps unbroken. I missed a wall ball shot during the very first round. Dammit. I completed deadlifts. ring dips, and remaining rounds of wall ball shots unbroken.

I worked at a steady pace and only rested between activities. I need to rest less between activities. I truly do. I marked off completed rounds through 6, knowing that I could keep track of rounds 5 through 1.

I determined that once I began round 5 that I would not rest between activities. And that’s what I did, i.e., I worked and didn’t rest. My heart rate skyrocketed!

I finished in a time of 13:51 — and was quite surprised by and pleased with my time!

Brad thought that there was a workout at 9:45. Silly Brad! As Barbell Club was held yesterday so that Coach James could travel to NY today, ’twas just Jeff and I — and then Brad — at the box. Brad decided to complete “The Grinch” and I decided to join him so that he wouldn’t have to workout alone. I didn’t, however, complete with prescribed activities.

12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 of the following for time:
Box Jumps (24″)
Russian KB swings (60)
GHD sit-ups

I chose these activities to work legs, arms, and (of course!) core. I also knew that the time domain would be similar, so I set goal to complete unbroken reps and in a time of 13:51 or less.

This wasn’t easy, as my legs were very tired. I didn’t miss a rep, worked at a steady pace, and finished in 13:16.

FullSizeRender-71 FullSizeRender-70

I coached the 11 am session, and it was a full house! We also had two visitors, and both enjoyed the workout and were complimentary of my coaching. Yay! Jeff and I then treated Evelyn to lunch. And Thom. But mostly Evelyn. I need to purchase new cupcake trays, and I’m not sure of the best way to purchase. Online? Department store? Craig’s list? Yard sale? I guess you could say that I’m buy-curious.

You gotta listen

December 20, 2014

I coached from 8:30 until 11:45 and then attended Barbell Club. As always, ’twas fun!

Coach James had a spill on his mountain bike. Ouch. “Evelyn,” I said, “I am interested in many different types of bikes. Street bikes, mountain bikes, even motorcycles. You could say that I’m ‘bike curious.'”

Front Squat (5×4-6 @ 21×1)
If you break tempo STOP

Front squats continue to feel awesome, and the FS has become one of my favorite lifts. I completed sets of 6 reps @ 115, 135, 155, 165, & 175. I was able to maintain tempo and ensured that I held bottom of squat for a count of one-thousand-one.

Hang Snatch (In 8-10 sets work to moderate dbl hang snatch)

I didn’t complete even 8 sets, but did work up to a set of 2 reps at 90, completing sets @ 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, &, 90. I do believe that the hang snatch is my least favorite lift.


James asked Evelyn what she did for a living. Evelyn said, “I’m a buyer for Stock Supplies.” I said, “Evelyn, I’d like to know all about your job as a buyer, like what you buy and what you do on a daily basis. You could say that I’m ‘buyer curious.'”

Metcon (Weight)
2 Snatch DL+1Pull
6 sets
I worked up to a set @ 110. Jeff says I don’t pull high enough.

Metcon (Time)
Box Jump
Push Press

James instructed me to lift 95# and to jump 24″. My mistake was not warming up the push press. I completed 21 dl and bj unbroken and rather quickly. Whilst completing the 5th rep of push press I felt a slight twinge in left shoulder. I looked at James and said, “I”m out.” He said, “Just do heavy deadlifts and box jumps.” Uhm, I did heavy deadlifts yesterday and “The Grinch” is programmed for tomorrow. I dropped the weight to 65# and easily completed 21 unbroken push press. I put the plates back on the bar and completed 15 unbroken dls and bjs, dropped the weight to 85 and completed 15 unbroken push press. I added the plates and completed 9 unbroken dls, bjs, and pp. My time was 6:29.

I’d very much like to attempt this metcon again with heavier weight. Yup, heavier weight.


Counting down the minutes…

December 19, 2014

What an awesome week of PRs it’s been at CrossFit Surmount!

After Dianne completed her 4th or 5th PR (and made it look far too easy) she said, “That was hard.” I replied, “I know what hard looks like. That would be a great tagline for Viagra.”

I joined the 9:30 athletes for today’s posted workout.

Establish deadlift 1RM

I was able to successfully dl 365, 5# shy or lifetime PR. I attempted 375# twice, and I only got the barbell off of the floor the first attempt. Given that just a few weeks ago I couldn’t deadlift at all because of sore hamstring, I was nonetheless pleased.

Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)

Min 0, 2, 4, & 6
Pistols (alternating legs)

I completed 8, 8, 8, & 10 for a total of 34 reps. Whilst I’m unable to keep my extended leg straight, I am still able to keep my foot from touching the leg.

Metcon (4 Rounds for time)

Min 1, 3, 5, & 7
Max L-sit (parallettes or rings)
You MUST begin L-sit at top of min and have only 1 attempt per round.

I held L-sit on parallettes for 20, 21, 21, & 31 seconds for total of 1:33. My abs were on fire!

I returned at 4 to complete tomorrow’s programmed metcon, as I’ll be attending Barbell Club and won’t be able to complete.

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
20-min AMRAP
10 chest to bar pull-ups/handstand pushups (alternate rounds)
20 back squats/front squats (95/63) (alternate rounds)
30 double unders

This was challenging, and time seemed to come to pass by very slowly. I was also somewhat self conscious as I was completing workout whilst 4 pm athletes were deadlifting.

I completed all rounds of chest to bar pull-ups and double unders unbroken (although I missed 2nd du of 2 sets and had to restart). I completed all rounds of BS and FS without dropping the bar to the ground and even completed the first 2 sets of BS and FS unbroken. For the remaining rounds I often had to rest the bar on my shoulders and shake out my legs. Handstands were particularly challenging.

For whatever reason I allowed ring and pinky fingers to not remain under barbell during first round. Not a good idea. For remaining rounds I only allowed pinky fingers to rise like I was drinking a cup o’ tea.

Score = 7 rounds + 6 reps

40 chest to bar pull-ups
36 HSPUs
80 BS
60 FS
210 dus

I had a cup of cream of broccoli soup from Panera and then got sick to my stomach. Blech.

Meg is always all up in my business whilst I blog. Bad kitty!

Meg is always all up in my business whilst I blog. Bad kitty!


December 17, 2014

I had the pleasure or working out with Marni, the newest addition to the coaching team, at 8:30 this morning. And what a work out it was.

First, Marni is an exceptional athlete, and she pushed me to work hard. She may not realize that she did, but indeed she did.

Having completed the workout this morning, Holly said, “You’ll get double my score of 315.”

For a change of pace, I didn’t set specific goal. I knew that I’d need to work at a steady pace.

Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)

1-min AMRAP rope climbs
2-min AMRAP slam balls
3-min AMRAP box jumps
4-min AMRAP double unders
5-min AMRAP burpees
4-min AMRAP Abmat sit-ups
3-min AMRAP pushups
2-min AMRAP pull-ups
1-min AMRAP rope climbs
Rest 1 minute between activities

I used 30# slam ball and 24″ box.

I completed 4 rope climbs. ‘Twas a strong start.

I worked on power jerks yesterday, and completed 50 reps @ 95# in 3:01. I mention this only because my arms felt tired during slam balls, and I rested at least 4 or 5 times during work. I completed 54 reps.

I didn’t rest during box jumps but did miss about 4 or 5 reps and completed 78 total reps.

My legs felt like jelly at the start of the double unders and I stumbled out of the gate. At the halfway mark I had completed 125 reps, so I set a goal to complete 150. I completed 254 double unders. Yay!

I hate math even more than I love burpees. I had completed 35 reps at the halfway mark and thought “Complete the same number of reps during the remainder of time. That’d be 75 reps.” Uhm, 35 + 35 = 70, not 75. I really had to push it during the last 30 seconds or so to complete 75 reps, but 75 reps I did indeed complete.

Abmat sit-up were, in a word, painful. I worked steadily for the first 2 minutes, than began to rest as needed. Near the end I was only completing 5 reps at a time. I completed 111 reps.

I began by completing 15 unbroken pull-ups, then completed in reps of 5, and then for the last reps completed in reps of 3 and then just 2. I completed 78 reps.

My arms were on fire, I tell you, fire! I began with 15 unbroken pull-ups, the completed in reps of 5, and finished with reps of 3 and 2. I completed 42 reps.

I wasn’t looking forward to the rope climbs, and only managed to complete 3 reps.

4+54+78+254+75+111+78+42+3=699 reps


Stay focused

December 15, 2014

I worked out solo for the first time in a very long. I reminded myself that the only person I was competing with was myself. Ha! I was very much in need of an endurance workout; thus, I completed “Coach Paul’s Birthday WOD.” It’s a gorgeous NC day and a great day to run! Uhm, every day is a great day to run.

Run 1 mile
6 rounds of the following:

— 12 burpee dead-lifts (225#)
— 14 burpee box jumps (30″)
— 19 burpee pull-ups

— 63 lateral bar hops/double unders (alternating rounds)
Run 1 mile

I challenged myself by making the workout more difficult in that I completed burpee box jump overs and non-kipping pull-ups. My goal was to complete all rounds unbroken, including lateral bar hops and double unders. I didn’t achieve this goal but was nonetheless very happy with my performance.

I ran the first mile in an intentionally slow pace of 7:30. I forget to connect iPhone to TV so I wasn’t able to follow passage of time as the workout progressed. I completed all rounds of burpee dead-lifts, burpee box jumps, and burpee pull-ups in unbroken reps. I mistakenly completed 20 burpee pull-ups the first round. I didn’t, however, complete just 18 reps any other round. That’s not how I roll.

I lost focused during the last round (5th round overall) of lateral bar hops and missed the 50th rep. Dammit. I completed the other 2 rounds in unbroken reps. I completed the 1st round of double unders in reps of 45 & 18, the 2nd round unbroken (Yay!), and the last round in reps of 59 & 4. Yup, I was that close to completing in unbroken reps.

After completing just the 2nd round overall I thought, “Maybe I’ll just stop after the 3rd round.” ‘Twas tempting. I worked at a very steady pace and, for the most part, remained focused. I almost missed a box jump during the very last round. Almost.

The most challenging aspect of the entire workout was the last 5 or so reps of every round of burpee pull-ups. I so wanted to kip. I did not.

2-mile run
72 burpee dead-lifts
84 burpee box jumps
114 burpee pull-ups
189 lateral bar hops
189 double unders
 270 burpees (without final jump and clap, obviously)

Time = 1:05:12

That’s slower than last year, but as I made the workout more challenging I am very pleased with how I finished. I’m also very tired.

Many folks have requested password for previous 2 posts about CF Level 2 cert. I have provided password to non-casual readers. Make sense? If someone only wants to read the blogs because of the topic, I don’t want them reading the blogs. Context, folks — you have to place everything in context. Thus, if I’ve ignored your request you know the reason why.

I ask that those of you who have the password not share it with others, and I also ask that you not share my comments and/or remarks. Okay? Okay.


Protected: Crossfit Level II Certification Day 2

December 14, 2014

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Protected: CrossFit Level II certification, day one

December 13, 2014

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I love FS

December 11, 2014
Jeff and I agree that we’re both getting strong, thanks in part to our participation in the Barbell Club. I mentioned this to Coach James and he replied, “The most important thing to me as a coach is seeing others progress.” He’s a humble — and very strong — young man.
Snatch (Heavy Single then back off DBLS)
I worked up to a good rep @ 100#, and then did doubles @ 80#. I have the strength, but I lack the shoulder mobility. Dammit. (You didn’t have to wait very long for my first “dammit.”)
Front Squat (6,6,5,2×3)
Me: You know what I’m going to ask, James. What percentage of one rep max should we begin and end with?
James: Start at 55% and maybe work up to 75%. Paul, do 6 at 135, 6 at 145, 5 at 155, and then maybe sets of 3 at 165 and 175.
I felt particularly strong tonight, and 135 felt far too light. The set of 6 at 145 felt too light as well, so at James’ suggestion I increased weight for set of 5 to 165. Uhm, still felt light and easy. I completed a set of 3 at 175 and, you guessed it, the weight felt too light. James said, “Don’t count that set.” So I didn’t. I did my “first” set of 3 at 185. Easy. I said, “James, I’m going to do the last set at 200.” He said, “Go for it.” I did, but I made sure that he observed. He said, “Every rep counted. You looked strong.”
I could’ve easily front squatted 215 (or more) for 3 reps tonight. That’s a confidence builder! Regardless, I achieved a new 3RM PR tonight. Dammit! Ha!
Clean Pull (@ 90% of 1RM)
I completed 4 sets of 2 reps at 155#.
Metcon (Time)
75 Dus
25 Strict pull-ups
75 Dus
25 GHD sit-ups
75 Dus
This was my kind of workout. Double unders are seldom a problem, and today was no exception. I was able to string together as many as 50+ each round. As usual, it was my shoulders that tired before my lungs. I completed as many as 5 unbroken and strict pull-ups and as few as singles. I completed 25 unbroken GHD sit-ups. Abs of steel, bitches. Abs. Of. Steel. I decided to complete strict handstand pushups, and completed as many as 5 unbroken and as few as singles for for the last 4 or 5 reps. I also missed a rep in that my head didn’t touch the mat before I pressed up. Yup, I re-did that rep.
Time = 11:40
Luke likes to be beside me when I lift so I made sure that I used the squat rack beside his couch. He finds BBC very boring.

It’s all about the pace, ’bout the pace, no gasping.

December 10, 2014

I coached the 6, 8, and 8:30 sessions and joined the 9:30 athletes, led by the always delightful Coach Deborah. ‘Twas a full house and a fun workout.

“The 12 Days of CrossFit”
1 wall crawl OR muscle up (bar or ring)
2 Turkish get-ups (53/35)
3 handstand pushups
4 power cleans (95/63)
5 KB swings (53/35)
6 front squats (95/63)
7 box jumps (24/20)
8 toes to bar
9 double unders
10 wall ball shots (20/14 & 10/9)
11 chest to bar pull-ups
12 calorie row

As I did a double yesterday, I didn’t go all out today. My one and only goal was to complete all Turkish get-ups using a 33# barbell with 10# plates (totaling 53# for those of you who aren’t mathletes), something I had never attempted during a workout — let alone for 22 reps. Whilst difficult, I am happy to report that I completed all TGUs. Yay!

Prior to the workout I doubted myself. Yup, that happens sometimes. I thought, Set up a 15 pound barbell with 15 pound plates just in case 53 pounds get to be too heavy. What if you can’t even get off of the ground? No, don’t do that. If need be, you can always use the 53 pound kettle bell. Don’t even think that, Paul. Just know that you’ll be able to do Turkish get ups at 53 pounds. You did sets of 3 each arm at 45 pounds just the other day, and this is just 1 set at a time. 

I’m not only my worst enemy I’m also my best cheerleader.

I’ll break it down by activity.

  • 12 wall crawls | Perhaps the easiest of all of the activities. Yup, chest and nose to wall at top of rep and descended with control. (Cough, cough.)
  • 22 TGUs | I struggled get off of the floor for a couple, but, as mentioned, completed all 22 reps. This was by far the most difficult part of the workout. As I mentioned to the 9:30 athletes, this was a great equalizer, as I could only go so fast.
  • 30 HSPUs | All unbroken rounds.
  • 36 power cleans | This felt light. Very light. I liked that.
  • 40 KB swings | All sets unbroken beginning with a rep from the floor, i.e., no swing before swinging overhead.
  • 42 front squats | Uhm, this was painful. Nonetheless, all rounds in unbroken (and loud) reps
  • 42 box jumps | Fast, but I missed a couple. Why? Because box jumps are easy, and I didn’t focus. Dammit.
  • 40 toes to bar | To protect my shoulders, I didn’t complete unbroken, although I remained on the bar. One at a time, folks. There’s nothing here to see.
  • 36 double unders | I completed all rounds of 9 unbroken reps. Uhm, now that I think about it this may have been the easiest activity.
  • 30 wall ball shots | Three rounds of unbroken reps.
  • 11 chest to bar pull-ups | Both rounds of unbroken reps. Chest to bar each and every time, folks. There’s much here to see.
  • 12 calorie row | Twelve strokes!

I should’ve remember to protect my elbows. Dammit. (I made you wait a long time for that one.)

A Lotta Squats and Double Unders

December 9, 2014

I decided to join the 11:45 athletes, as I seldom work out during the noon hour. A very good time was had by all!

A: Double-Unders (Spend up to 10 minutes practicing doubles unders)

I completed rounds of 51 and then 84 unbroken reps, well below PR. My shoulders gave out before my lunges or legs.

B: Back Squat (Complete 30 unbroken reps @ 50% of 30RM)

It took me 36 seconds to 85# back squat  30 times. The last five reps felt heavy.

C: Pistols (Practice progressions)

Unlike other members, I haven’t been practicing pistols or pistol progressions. Fortunately, I remember how to do so. We didn’t have much time, so I only completed 4 reps/leg.

D: Metcon (Weight)

EMOTM for 15 minutes

1 clean + 1 power jerk + 1 front squat+1 thruster
- 2-count rest between reps

The hardest part was often the 2-second rest between lifts. I completed 2 sets @ 75#, then increased weight by 5# each round. As there was a bonus round, my last set was @ 145#.

I should’ve gone for 150#. Dammit.

I had considered skipping Barbell Club, but as Jeff, Thom, and Evelyn couldn’t make it this evening I thought it best that I participate. I’m very glad that I did!

Hang Snatch (5×3-5)
I completed 2 reps @ 100, and 1 @ 105 — a PR. James justifiably reminded me to pull myself under the bar. Yup.
Snatch Balance & Snatch Pull-Under
I completed set using the 45# bar. As James said, “Never do more than three reps at a time.” Sound advice, James.
2 Halting Snatch DL+2 Snatch Pulls
This was tough on the hamstrings. Difficult, enjoyable, and applicable. I completed 4 sets @ 115#.
Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
7 min AMRAP
6 Kettle Bell Snatch
30 DUs
9 Chest to Bar Pull-ups

This was tough. I was convinced that I’d only be able to complete KB snatches at 44#, but was pleased that I was able to do so using the 53# KB. It’s all in the hips. And the pull. And the punch. James provided positive feedback (and I may have even heard an exclamation point). I missed the last rep of the third set (with left arm) in that I unconsciously used my right hand to push up KB. Huh? I re-did rep. I completed first round of C2B pull-ups unbroken, and the 2nd and 3rd kind of unbroken in that I didn’t drop from the bar but did get in an extra kip for the last 2 and 3 reps, respectively. My chest did indeed touch the bar each and every rep. I completed that last round by completing 5 unbroken reps and then 4 singles. I completed all rounds of dus unbroken. Yup, I did that.

I completed 4 rounds + 5 KB snatches. And was spent.


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