Mo’ Plates and Weights

Friday, September 15 | Skillz

Luke and I went for a very nice walk at the NC Arboretum. Uhm, ’twas nice except for the mean dog that nipped at Luke’s nose and drew blood! Uhm, and the asshole owners didn’t say a single word, nor did they stop to see what had happened. Luke licked his wound and is fine, but still. Assholes.

I’m rewatching “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and I”m enjoying the episodes even more then second time around. Dee is my favorite, followed by Mac.

Power snatches
10X10 touch and go and then singles

Ah, it feels nice to power snatch sans pain. For each and every round and rep I placed my hands just outside of the outer ring on the barbell, not even close to the collars. What a difference!

4 rounds @ 65
2 rounds @ 70
2 rounds @ 75
1 round @ 80
1 round @ 85
Singles @ 90, 95, 100, 105, 110, & 115#

I attempted 120# and got all up inside my head. Dammit. As 115# is my pre-surgery PR, I’m pleased. Disappointed, but pleased.

Strict, negative handstand pushups

As I haven’t completed negative HSPU since surgery, I didn’t quite know what to expect. Uhm, I ran out of plates to stack. I increased height each round and successfully executed 11.5″ strict, negative HSPU, and I’m confident that I could go farther and further. (See what I did there? Farther is distance, further is degree.)

I need mo’ plates.


Saturday, September 16 | Pull Up to the Bumper, Baby

Luke, Jeff, and I went for a walk, including a visit to the dog park. Luke couldn’t be less interested in other dogs, as he only wants to stay near Jeff and me. (“Jeff and me” not “Jeff and I,” as I wouldn’t say “Luke wants to stay near I”. Remove the other person from the sentence and you can’t go wrong. Well, some of you can, but that’s another story.) We enjoyed another wonderful breakfast at King Daddy’s and Luke was once again lavished with attention.

Oh, and I saw a few folks, including one of the owners, from the box where I used to be a member. Uncomfortable? Not for me! I know that I’ve made gains due to my own programming and that it’s highly unlikely I would’ve made many if any improvements had I stayed. There, I said it. Shitty programming leads to shitty results. There, I also said that.

Weighted chest to bar pull-ups
Establish 1RM

As yesterday was pushing, today was pulling. I don’t want to walk around like a STDB. Wearing the weight vest, I began with 10#, added 5# each round, and worked up to 40#. Yup, I ran out of weights!

I need mo’ weights.


Unbroken pull-ups
Unbroken and rebounding box jumps
Complete 1 no jump & clap burpee before first rep of pull-ups and box jumps each round

For example, 1 burpee, 1 pull-up, another burpee, and 1 box jump to start. One burpee, 2 pull-ups, 1 burpee, and 2 box jumps next, followed by one burpee, 3 pull-ups, etc. Get it? Good. Going on.

My right hand hasn’t completely recovered from recent tear, so I made sure to have pumice stone, chalk, and towel (to wipe off yoke) nearby. It’s not often that I program rebounding box jumps due to potential injury. Oh, and my shin is now healed, i.e., no scab, from recent box jump debacle.

That’s a total of 96 pull-up and box jumps and 64 burpees.

Time = 21:15

Jeff was also working out (for only the second time together since the move), so my space was limited. And that’s okay.

By the way, Jeff seldom reads this blog. I know, right? You should shame him into doing so.

Sunday, September 17 | AF Rx+

I know, I know, I need a rest day. Jeff had to unexpectedly leave for the airport at 10:45 am instead of 5:30 pm, so I needed to occupy my time. Jeff and I did take Luke for a nice walk at Carrier and French Broad Parks and then Luke joined us for breakfast at Sunny Point Cafe. Everyone remarks about what a well behaved dog Luke is. The world needs more well behaved dogs and children.

I practiced double unders, but was disappointed when I attempted Air Force (10-20-30-40-50-40-30-20-10 unbroken reps) and missed the 19th rep of the round of 20 descending. I got all up inside my head. But, wait!

AFAP (10-min time cap)
10-20-30-40-50-40-30-20-10 unbroken double unders
1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1 strict handstand pushups

I completed all rounds of double unders in unbroken reps and finished the entire workout in 9:53! I felt quite accomplished. I know I can easily complete 50 unbroken double unders; this is a mind game, however, because if you miss a rep you have to begin again at 10 reps. Yup, Air Force as prescribed has a 10-minute time cap and all rounds of double unders must be unbroken, or (like I just said for those of you paying attention) you must begin again at 10 reps.

I actually stopped after the round of 10 descending and yelled “Fuck yeah!”

I remember attempting this with Coach Jack way back in 2011 and I completed most recently in March of last year, sans HSPUs. The HSPUs made the workout much more difficult, you know, because shoulders.

I rested a few moments, changed into my new running shirt and shoes (yes, I wore shorts), and headed to the park.

Run 5K

Yup, I felt the double unders. Today certainly wasn’t a maximum effort.

Time: 22:30
Pace: 7:14 mpm
Splits: 7:21, 7:23, 7:02

That was fun!


Nemis No Mo’!

Tuesday, September 12 | Incremental Plates and Gains

I forced myself to rest yesterday, and as it was a rainy day this made the task all that more difficult. Luke and I did go for a 3.5-mile walk  light rain.

I also finished watching Luke Cage! I’m now also a fan of Method Man and Fab Freddy Five. WTF?

Asheville was certainly spared Hurricane Irma, but we nonetheless had very powerful winds last night that knocked out the power. It sounded like a shotgun when the two transformers blew at about 11:30 last night, and it startled all four of us.

Luke and I went for 1 2.5-mile walk this morning. Yup, in the rain. We did stop at Edna’s on the River for a cup of coffee both before and after our excursion. Uhm, whilst playing with Luke I also dropped my iPhone but fortunately only had to backtrack about a quarter mile to find it. As it was raining there were very few people out and about, so I didn’t worry about it being picked up and not returned!

The power was still out and it was still blustery outside so I worked out with the garage door closed. This meant that the kitties could join me!

Bench Press
Establish 1RM
Complete 11 20″ box jumps with step downs after each set

Why the box jumps? Because one must get back on the horse or in this case the box. My left leg still has a scab down the length of the shin, so I kept box jumps low so as to avoid injury. I’m smart like that. I also like auxiliary work as it makes me rest between sets. Why 11 box jumps? Why not!

Faithful readers know that I struggle with the bench press as I have small chesticles (not a misspelled word or typo). Prior to surgery the most I could bench press was a mere 65# on  good day. Whilst my progress post-surgery has been slow, it has been progress nonetheless.

It’s also very crucial for me to warm up effectively and thoroughly. To ensure that I did so, I completed set of 5 reps @ 67, 97, 117, 137, & 147#. Why the extra two pounds? Why not!

I then completed 3 reps @ 157 (a 2# post-surgery PR) and singles @ 162, 167, & 172# (also a 2# post-surgery PR). The lift felt good so I told myself I could attempt one more, and I successfully lifted 177#. Uhm, and the lift felt good so I told myself I could attempt one more, and I successfully lifted 182#! That’s a 12# PR! My goal is to bench press 200#.

25-20-15-10-5 75# hang SDHPs and floor presses
50-40-30-20-10 Abmat sit-ups and double unders

Okay, as I work out solo it’s not always important to compete against the clock; thus not for time. I worked consistently nonetheless. I set a goal to complete all rounds of all activities in unbroken reps. And I did! Yup, even the double unders.

I’ve never completed just the high pull of the SDHP, i.e., from the hang position just above the knee. I did so today as I wanted a pulling action to complement pushing yet I didn’t want to scrape the scab on my shin. Ha! Give it a try. I’ll wait…

Back already! Harder than you imagined? The most difficult of the activities was indeed the hang SDHPs, particularly the last few reps of the rounds of 25, 20, 15, and even 10. As there were just so many sit-ups, they also became challenging. But I didn’t break. Just like Luke Cage.



Wednesday, September 13 | EMOM

The day started out overcast with a light drizzle, the remnants of Irma. Luke and I went for a walk North on Michigan, West on Haywood, and Southeast on State to Michigan. ‘Twas a nice walk around the neighborhood, although as I forgot to wear watch I couldn’t tell you the distance.

I warmed up and then began practicing hang cleans & power jerks, as cleans & power jerks were included in next portion of workout and I wanted to be thoroughly warmed up. I recorded, reviewed, and ensured proper form and execution, you know, like a coach is supposed to do.

EMOM for time 30 minutes or until clean failure
Clean & jerk and wall crawl
Begin at 115, and increase weight by 5# every 5th rep until last 5 reps
Last 5 reps increase weight by 5# each rep until failed jerk; complete 2 wall crawls
Continue until failed clean

This was easier than I thought it was going to be. Uhm, until the final reps.

115#: 19, 19, 19, 17, 17; 1:31
120#: 17, 17, 17, 16, 16; 1:23
125#: 16, 15, 16, 16, 16; 1:19
130#: 16, 16, 16, 18, 17; 1:23
1135#: 19, 18, 18, 17, 19; 1:31
140#: 25
145#: failed jerk, 29
150#: failed clean

Things were going very well until a major distraction occurred during 26th round. I had my back to garage door and Luke was by the stairs being the good boy that he is. Just as I finished the jerk he began barking and running toward but looking past me. The neighbor’s dog was about to enter the garage! I yelled at the dog and attempted to shoo him away, all the time holding Luke back, you know, because he was going to protect me from the intrusion. I then saw neighbor smile and call her dog. Uhm, I don’t give a f@ck about your dog, but I don’t want to be working out with heavy weight around my dog. If Luke had approached just a few seconds earlier I could’ve dropped the barbell on him!

I’ll say it again: if you can’t control you dog than don’t let it loose.

That was a lot of squatting and jerking. I may begin calling jerking “Ted Cruzing.”

Oh, that was 8:01 of work, but it certainly felt like a workout.


Wednesday, September 14 | 37

Luke and I began our day with a nice 5-mile walk at the Biltmore. He joined me in the garage, of course, for my workout. ‘Twas tough.

A. 11-min AMRAP
11 135# deadlifts
11 burpees with double mountain climbers
~Rest 3 minutes~11-min AMRAP
B. 9-min AMRAP
9 185# deadlifts
9 burpees with jumping lunges
~Rest 3 minutes~
C. 7-min AMRAP
7 225# deadlifts
7 20# wall ball burpees with with weighted sit-up
~Rest 3 minutes~
D. 5-min AMRAP
5 275# deadlifts
5 20# & 10′ wall ball burpees
~Rest 3 minutes~
E. 3-min AMRAP
3 315# deadlifts
3 burpees with strict handstand pushups

A few points of clarification are necessary, I suppose.

Double mountain climber burpees:
1. Bend over and place hands on floor.
2. Jump feet to plank.
3. Knees to elbows both legs and return to plank.
4. Chest to floor.
5. Pushup to plank.
6. Knees to elbows both legs and return to plank.
7. Jump feet to hands.
8. Jump and clap hands above head.

Jumping lunges burpees:
1. Chest to floor.
2. Stand to full extension.
3. Jumping lunge both legs returning to full extensions, i.e., feet underneath hips.
4. Jump and clap hands above head.

Wall ball sit-up burpees:
1. Place hands on wall ball with thumbs and index fingers together, i.e., tricep pushup position.
2. Jump feet to plank.
3. Chest to wall ball.
4. Push up to plank
5. Butt on floor, sit, and roll ball to lap.
6. With ball in lap, shoulders touch floor.
7. Sit up.
8. Place ball on floor, roll to starting position, and stand to full extension.

Wall ball burpees:
1. Place hands on wall ball with thumbs and index fingers together, i.e., tricep pushup position.
2. Jump feet to plank.
3. Chest to wall ball.
4. Push up to plank
5. Medicine ball clean to full squat
6. Throw wall ball to target.

Wall HSPU burpees:
1. Chest to floor.
2. Stand to full extension.
3. Strict HSPU

All deadlifts except final round were floor to floor, and rounds A, B, C, and the first round of D were completed in unbroken reps. Yup, I had to start doing singles the 2nd round @ 275#. Shit. Got. Heavy. During the last round not only did I do singles but I also rested between reps. Shit. Got. Very. Heavy.

Mountain climber burpees were the most challenging (likely because there were just so many of them) and HSPU burpees were the easiest.

A. 4 rounds + 11 dl & 2 burpees
B. 4 rounds + 9 dl & 5 burpees
C. 3 rounds + 7 dl & 6 burpees
D. 3 rounds + 1 dl
E. 2 rounds + 1 dl 

Totals: 151 deadlifts & 135 burpees; 28,655# (14.3 tons) moved




Irma and Emily

Friday, September 8 | BS!

‘Twas yet another gorgeous day in Asheville! Luke and I began our day with a 5-mile walk at the Biltmore. The cloudy skies were mesmerizing.

I wasn’t looking forward to back squatting, but I nonetheless listened to my rather dreamy coach and followed his awesome coaching.

Back Squat

Establish 1RM

I ensured that I was thoroughly warmed up (the 5-mile hike helped) and then began. Uhm, I achieved PR for 10, 5, and 1RM, squatting 10 @ 185, 5 @ 200, and 1 @ 230#. That’s 20# heavier than my last post-surgery attempt ! I completed singles @ 215, 220, 225, and dentist appointment. I went up a bit on my toes for the last lift but upon reviewing recording determined it was a successful, albeit not pretty, lift.

I wanted a metcon that lasted about 20 minutes. Damn, I’m a good programmer.

10 air squats
5/leg lunges, completing forward and backward for odd- and even-numbered rounds, respectively
15-second handstand hold

15 air squats
10/leg lunges
15-second handstand hold

20 air squats
15/leg lunges
15-second handstand hold
25 air squats
20/leg lunges
15-second handstand hold
30 air squats
25/leg lunges
15-second handstand hold

Of course I set and achieved goal to complete in unbroken reps. For handstands only 1 heel was allowed to lightly graze the wall, and then only if necessary. I remembered what Heather said and made sure to press my fingertips into the floor and the actively press. It worked!

Time: 19:53


Friday, September 8 | Hanging Around

Jeff joined Luke and me for a morning walk at Carrier and French Broad parks. Jeff quizzed me on what 19 artists are one award away from claiming the coveted EGOT. Uhm, Jeff was unaware of the term until I informed him: a recipient of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards. Don’t worry, artists, if you can’t sing you can still win a Grammy for the spoken word or a comedy album!

We had an exceptionally enjoyable breakfast at King Daddy’s, a wonderful late lunch at Universal Joint, and an evening walk to Archetype Brewery. Luke joined us for both meals as well as visit to Archetype and, as always, was very well behaved. It’s awesome that after almost 24 years of marriage Jeff and I still very much enjoy spending time together. Best. Husband. Ever. I’m referring to myself, of course.

I worked out after breakfast.

T&G hang power cleans and then establish 1RM

I competed sets of 10 @ 65, 75, 85, 95, 105, 115, & 125. Shit started to get heavy, so I completed 3 @ 135 and then began doing singles. I set a goal of 155# and was quite nervous when I attempted. Uhm, the lift was easy. Huh? I then completed singles at 160, 165, & 170#, an all-time PR, i.e., not just a post-surgery PR. I didn’t even attempt 175#. You gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, no when to walk away. I didn’t need to run.

Uhm, and that’s 78 HPCs.

10 “barbell” 6-count twisting burpees with varied hand positions
5 strict ring dips

I counted burpee reps aloud, more so that I’d remember hand placement more than anything else. Hands began with a thumb distance between palms for count 1 and with hands about a palm distance outside of knurling for reps 5 and 6, working my hands back toward the center of the barbell for rep 10. The change in hand position added a challenge, as did slight incline. I ensured that all pushups were strict and that chest touched barbell. Strict ring dips also added a challenge. I completed the workout in unbroken reps in a time of 6:43.

Friday, September 8 | Emily

Jeff and I have been watching coverage of Hurricane Irma. Hey, idiots, global warming is a real thing and not a worldwide conspiracy amongst scientists and people a hell of a lot smarter than all of you nonbelievers. Fucking idiots.

I planned on doing a hero WOD today and had narrowed down choices to about three. And then I read today’s main site WOD and tribute to Second Lt. Emily Jazmin Tatum Perez. I paid tribute to her service. But wait, she’s an African American female! What will all of the white supremacists think? I’ll say it again: fucking idiots.

10 rounds for time of:
30 double-unders
15 pull-ups
30 squats
100-m sprint
Rest 2 minutes

I’m in desperate need of a pull-up bar, as the yoke is destroying my hands. For the first time in as long as I can remember I tore my right palm below the finger I use to salute white supremacists. This occurred on the 7th rep of the 9th round. As there was a 2-minute rest between rounds I was at least able to quickly tape my hand before final round, although the pain prevented me from completing more than 5 unbroken reps and the last 5 reps were singles. Speaking of pull-ups, the most unbroken reps I was able to complete was a mere 9 the very 1st round. The yoke is no joke. I also got out of rhythm on double unders the 3rd round and it took 3 sets to complete 30 reps. I completed in unbroken reps 8 rounds. I completed all rounds of air squats in unbroken reps. Uhm, and air squats were the most difficult part of the workout. Huh? I measured 25m from garage door to near the beginning of our driveway and completed 2 shuttles each round.

Totals: 300 double unders, 150 pull-ups, 300 air squats, and 1K run. You probably could’ve done the math on your own unless, of course, you don’t believe in global warming. It’s unlikely you can count past 10.

Time = 41:08; work time = 23:08
Rounds: 2:11, 2:03, 2:26, 2:12, 2:24, 2:30, 2:16, 19, 2:16, 2:31


Monday, September 4 | Small Leaps and Tiny Bounds

Work up to heaviest single

I completed 10 @ 185, 9 @ 225, 8 @ 255, 7 @ 270, 6 @ 300, and singles at 315, 325, 335, and 352#, and post-surgery PR by a mere 2#. Ha! And then I couldn’t lift 355#. A PR is a PR even if it’s just 2#, I suppose.

5 rounds
7 T&G reps hang muscle clean + front squat + press + back squat + behind the neck press
Work up to 50% of bodyweight

Yup, a modified version of the bear complex. Because bears. This was also a great way to focus on form, specifically placement of feet and hands. I recorded all rounds and reviewed to ensure that: 1. only heels left the ground; 2. hands were not repositioned on barbell; 3. muscle and not power cleans were completed, i.e., no receiving the bar with bent knees; 4. strict presses were completed, i.e., no push presses; and 5., no resting between activities and/or reps each round.

Breathing was critical, and I generally took a breath each activity (with exhalation and quick inhalation at end of each activity). Yup, I could’ve hyperventilated. I did not.

I completed rounds @ 65, 67, 69, 71, & 74#. Weights may seem light but shit got heavy by the 5th and then 4th rep each round, with behind the neck press being the most difficult of the activities. Duh.

Luke was always nearby yet slept through most of today’s workout.




Tuesday, September 5 | Mind Games

I know, I know… I need a day of rest. I also needed to work up a sweat and work off some, I don’t know, beer. Ha!

Luke and I went for a 5-mile hike at the Arboretum. As you enter the site a large sign reads: DO NOT APPROACH BEARS. Uhm, if you need to be told not to approach bears you should approach bears, as we don’t need you and your progeny in the gene pool.

10 rounds
50 unbroken double unders
Complete 1 pull-up each time there is a break in 50 double unders
When finished 10 rounds, complete 1 pull-up for each remaining rep in round when there was a break in double unders

In other words, if one completed 35 & 15 reps one of the rounds one would complete 1 pull-up before beginning next round and complete 15 pull-ups when all 10 rounds of double unders are complete. Confused? I’m not.

I completed 50 unbroken double unders rounds 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, & 10. Whew. I broke at 45 round 2 (5 reps), at 48 round 7 (2), and 19 & 38 round 9 (31 & 12). Yup, I lost my focus round 9. Dammit. That meant that I completed 4 pull-ups during 10 rounds and finished with an even 50 pull-ups.

I took 12 minutes to complete 10 rounds and finishing time was 17:36. I completed pull-ups in reps of 10, 5, 5, 5, 5, 4, 2, 3, 3, & 2, 2, 2, & 2.

That was fun!

Marvel’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones were incredible, and I enjoyed every episode. Iron Fist was shit, and I had to make myself watch (although I certainly multitasked whilst doing so). I’d very much like to watch the Defenders and, as a purist, feel compelled to watch the four main characters in the series. I’m watching Luke Cage now — and it might be the best of the four! The music alone tells a compelling story.

It’s my third day of teaching at AB Tech and a student told me I was his favorite teacher. Made. My. Day!


Thursday, September 6 | 100 HPS

I rested yesterday! ‘Twas a very rainy start to the day, so Luke and I went for two, 1-mile walks. The clouds cleared and it turned out to be a glorious day! Yup, Luke and I went for two more walks for a total of close to 6 miles. I logged over 25,000 steps yesterday.

‘Twas a very cool 47 degrees at 8 o’clock when Luke and I began our 6.25-mile hike at the Arboretum and Pisgah National Forest. I remembered to bring gloves and a thin hoodie. Uhm, my hands will likely be cold between now and the middle of March. Dammit. The leaves have not yet started to change. I’m sure it’s going to be beautiful in Asheville, and I’m glad I’ll be able to explore on weekdays and (hopefully) avoid too many tourists.

10X10 hang power snatch, working up to heaviest set of 10 unbroken reps

Today’s focus was on form; thus I recorded each set and reviewed prior to completing next set. Oh, and this was a day that I appreciated having .5# weights.

I completed sets @ 65, 67, 69, 71, 73, 75, 77, 79, 81, & 85#. Yup, I bumped the weight more than 2# for last set, and I’m glad that I was up for the challenge.

I successfully experimented with hand and shoulder positions, incrementally bringing my hands farther away from collars and almost ending with hands at inner ring. What a difference! This may help once I completely recover and (perhaps) add overhead squats beck to repertoire.

Strict HSPU
Max unbroken reps

Eight. That was it. And that’s okay, as it’s progress.

10-min ARMAP
35# 1-armed KB manmakers; opposites shoulder as well as nose must touch ground each rep; 1 rep = r+l arms

This was tough! I completed is sets of 5 reps, although it’s likely that I completed 6 reps during the round of 10 to 15. I finished the metcon with 8 unbroken for a total of 28 reps. Keep in mind that’s 56 pushups and squats.

I worked up a very nice sweat. Yay!

The same people who say that recipients of DACA should follow the rule of law are the same who support the illegal behaviors and pardon of Arpiao. And that asshole in chief.


Wake Me Up When September Ends

Friday, September 1 | UB

‘Twas a mostly overcast and cloudy day, including a torrential downpour @ 3. For a change of pace, Luke and I went for a 5K neighborhood walk exploring some roads less traveled.

Bench Press
6X10, working up to heaviest set of 10.

Oh, the dreaded bench press, most (former) nemesis. After stretching and warming up, I completed sets @ 65, 80, 95, 110, 125, & 135#. Yup, 135# was goal, but after struggling to complete last rep @ 125# I was certain I wouldn’t be able to get 10 reps # 135#. The struggle was real, but I did indeed complete all 10 reps without failure and without placing the bar on the rack. As 135# is 80% of 1RM, I’m pleased.

20-minute AMRAP
5 barbell (on the rack) rows 
5 burpee + 10 lateral sandbag hops
5 45# sandbag squats

Yup, instead of ring rows I placed a barbell on the rack, ensuring that chest touched (whilst in strict plank with no kipping, of course) barbell each rep. Uhm, any workout that includes pushing should include pulling.

Lateral hops over the sandbag are much more challenging that hops over a barbell and even over a parallette, as you don’t necessarily have to jump as high but have to hop much wider. Make sense? It does so to me. The burpee & lateral sandbag hops were definitely the most challenging part of the workout. Those who know me well know why I included squats today, the day after completing more than 200 reps. Suffice it to say that my legs felt much better after the workout than they did before. Okay? Okay.

I set a goal to have an even split, and had completed just a few reps more than 6 rounds and the 10-minute mark. Setting a goal like this ensures that I continue working with intensity throughout the workout.

Score = 12 rounds + 8 reps

At the start of the very last yet not completed round I began completing rows after burpee + hops, i.e., I had forgotten to complete squats. I finished rows, did squats, and then completed 3 burpee + hops reps, finishing with 2 seconds to spare.

Score = 12 rounds + 8 reps

Saturday, September 2 | Finally!

Luke and I picked Jeff up from the airport at midnight. As I had consumed multiple cups of coffee it wasn’t until close to 2 that I was finally able to fall asleep.

Jeff didn’t join us for our morning walk, so I decided to mix things up a bit today. Luke and I walked to Carrier Park and traversed the loop clockwise. (There were many annoying runners preparing for a race.) We then walked to the dog park. Uhm, Luke is always excited to go there but then has no interest in playing with anyone but me.

Luke and I are a lot alike. Or is that alot a like? Ha!

Back to the walk. We then walked along French Broad to New Belgium and then traveled Haywood to Michigan to 5th Ave. That was 5.25-mile walk. The temperature never got above 60 degrees.

BTW, lateral sandbag hops left my glutes feeling quite sore.

Jeff and I enjoyed a wonderful breakfast at Biscuit Head. I enjoyed a mimosa chicken biscuit and a mimosa. And I’m pleased to say that I can get inebriated from just one drink.

I didn’t work out until 3 pm, you now, because I needed to nap.

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 (until near failure), then attempt 1RM

Today went much better than I expected, particularly since I bench pressed yesterday.

I began with 10 @ 65 and as reps decreased I increased by 5# until singles. I completed doubles at 105 and worked up to 130; thus 6 sets of doubles and a 2RM max. As I struggled with a single at 130 just a couple of weeks ago this gave me a boost of confidence. My goal, of course, was to press heavier than 1RM of 135#. I considered lifting 131, 132, etc., working up to and than hopefully past 135 but instead put 136# on the bar. Yup, I used the new .5# incremental plates!

And 136#, whilst somewhat of a struggle, was a successful lift. Yup, I put another pound on the bar and pressed 137#. Yay! This is remarkable post-surgery progress and proof that programming is working. Again, yay!

I watched the recording numerous times, as I really struggled for it. Mind over matter.

Before I proceed, I want to once again reiterate how much I’m enjoying programming for myself. Two upper body days in a row? Why the hell not! I have also included active recovery in conditioning, e.g., sandbag squats yesterday after heavy and numerous squats the day before. Read on and see if you can determine active recovery, both physical and psychological, that I programmed today.

25 Abmat sit-ups
10 20″ incline pushup + box jump with step down

Count 1: hands on box
Count 2: jump feet to plank
Count 3: chest to box
Count 4: pushup to plank
Count 5: jump feet to box
Count 6: jump on box, landing in full squat with elbows inside knees

Whilst not overly challenging, I nonetheless worked up a good sweat.

Time = 16:09

Sunday, September 3 | Runnin’ is Fun

What a gorgeous day in Asheville! Jeff, Luke, and I went for a 4-mile walk at the Arboretum, the longest distance Jeff has walked since his surgery. Yay! We then enjoyed a wonderful brunch at Broken Egg Cafe. People are always impressed with how well behaved Luke is, as he rests while we eat and never begs. Best. Dog. Ever.

Jeff and Luke joined me at Carrier Park for today’s workout. It was nice having them count rounds and reps (even if not needed).

1, 2, 3… 10, 11, 12
53# KB burpee + squat
50m (25m up and back) shuttle sprints

There’s nothing better than burpees and running!

Count 1: hands on handle
Count 2: jump feet to plank
Count 3: chest to handle
Count 4: pushup to plank
Count 5: jump feet to KB
Count 6: Russian KB swing
Count 7: KB squat
Count 8: KB to ground

My achievable and achieved goal was to complete in unbroken reps and with no rest between activities.

That’s 78 burpees and close to 2.5 miles of running.

Time = 31:52


Aegon Targaryen

Monday, August 28 | Anne

Luke and I began our day with a nice, cool, 5-mile walk on the grounds of the Biltmore estate. Stupid people use retractable leashes. There, I said it.

As this is the fourth day in a row of exercising, I took it relatively easy. One could even say it was a day of active recovery. Yeah, one could say that. By that way, that’s what I’m saying.

100-80-60-40-20 double unders
25-20-15-10-5 knees to elbows & Abmat sit-ups

Somewhat like Annie, I know. Yes, Annie is one of my least favorite benchmark workouts because, well, it’s too easy. This was a little more challenging.

I completed all rounds of sit-ups in unbroken reps. Duh. I also completed rounds of 60, 40, and 20 double unders in unbroken reps and broke seldom and rested naught during rounds of 100 and 80. Knees to elbows were a bit more difficult because of yoke. Dammit.

Time = 13:12

Tuesday, August 29 | Nine Years

I received a text from my mother-in-law congratulating Jeff and me on our nine-year anniversary. Ha! We’ve been together going on 24 years, but got legally married in San Bernardino, CA nine years ago today.

Luke and I began our day with a 4.5-mile walk in the neighborhood as well as Carrier and French Broad parks. I can tell that we’re about to experience a change in seasons, and I’m none-too-pleased. The reason I don’t like Fall is that Winter follows. Perhaps I’ll have a more positive experience now that we live in the mountains? Yes, that was a question.

My intent was to program an exhausting workout today. Uhm, this was one of the most challenging and exhausting workouts I’ve completed in a very long time.

For Accumulated Time
Every other minute on the minute
2 strict HSPU
3 strict pull-ups
4 30″ box jumps
5 25# wall ball shots to 10′ target
14 double unders

Each round built in intensity, i.e., strict handstand pushups aren’t that aerobically challenging, pull-ups are slightly more aerobically challenging for (even if strict) you complete them faster than HSPUs. Then box jumps, wall ball shots, and double unders, all increasing in intensity — and heart rate. I was gassed as the end of each and every round and was often still catching my breath when the next round began.

I completed unbroken double unders 12 rounds, HSPU, pull-ups, and wall ball shots all rounds. I missed the VERY LAST box jump! I broke the skin, but my shin feels fine and I’m not experiencing any pain. That’s good.

I was dreading the wall ball shots each and every round, and I’m convinced that that is why I missed the last box jump. I lost my focus! Dammit.

The second was my slowest round (1:12), as I hadn’t set up my jump rope and I kept missing reps due to frustration. My fastest round was the sixth (54 seconds) and I completed most rounds in 56 to 58 seconds.

Accumulated time: 19:54

Today was my first day teaching at AB Tech, and I had a blast! I truly feel like I’m in my element when teaching at the college level. Students seemed responsive and receptive, and I hope this continues to be the case. The classroom was unbearably hot, and I’m glad I won’t likely be wearing a tie again this semester.

I also get a sense that things might be a little different than they were 20 years ago. You think? I intentionally yet casually mentioned my husband and nary an eye was batted.

Wednesday, August 30 | Bear Crossing

Yup, the title says it all. As Luke and I were traveling to Shut In trailhead we had to slow down and eventually stop to allow a rather large black bear cross the Blue Ridge Parkway. That makes the 4th bear sighting and 9th bear we’ve seen this year. So far. Luke and I went for about a 5.5-mile walk (I forgot to wear TomTom) and I rested the remained of the day. I needed it.

I did indeed scrape my shin, but I’m happy to report that the wound is healing nicely.

Tuesday, August 30 | 150

Luke and I went for a 5-mile walk around the neighborhood and neighborhood parks. With the expected spike in gasoline prices, I’m driving as infrequently as possible. ‘Twas overcast and began to drizzle as we enjoyed another Thursday morning spent together.

I don’t often share my dreams, but this one is too funny not to share.

I was wearing a cooking apron. And that’s it. And it wasn’t even tied in the back. Ha! I was sweeping the driveway and Jeff cautioned me that the neighbors might be offended. “This is Asheville,” I replied.

I was then suddenly in Jaclyn’s home, still wearing just a cooking apron. She asked, “Will you clean the inside of the windows? Only the top windows need cleaning, so you’ll need to stretch and go on your tiptoes.”


Back Squat

Yup, that’s 60 back squats, not counting warm up reps. I wore weightlifting shoes and belt, and I recorded all sets. My post-surgery 5RM is 195, so I set a goal of 180#. I successfully completed set @ 105, 115, 135, 155, 170, & 180#. That last rep was a struggle. I don’t know if it’s psychologically a good or bad thing that I couldn’t have had bailed on the lift, as if I did so the plates would’ve likely hit Luke. And I certainly don’t want that!

10-8-6-4-2 parallette pass throughs
10-20-30-40-50 air squats

Yup, fast and furious and unbroken. Uhm, that’s 150 air squats in addition to about 100 I did including warmup.

Luke didn’t budge the entire workout.

Time = 6:23



Barely a Bear in Sight — Until Sunday

Friday, August 25 | Tight Space

I rested yesterday. I didn’t want to, but I did. Luke and I did begin our day with a 6-mile walk at the Biltmore Estates. By the end of the day I had taken over 30,000 steps. Yup, that’s a day of rest for yours truly.

This morning Luke and I went for 7-mile hike/walk beginning and end at the Arboretum and including most of the miles in Pisgah. ‘Twas a cool 60 degrees at the start and the cooler temperatures mean that Luke has a spring to his step. Yup, a spring to his step when Fall approaches. It took us about 2:15 to traverse that distance, and this included stopping for pee breaks (me, not Luke), taking pics (me, not Luke), and conversing with passersby (me, not Luke).

Thursday’s workout was all barbell, so no barbell today.

5 ring burpee + toes to bar
5 ring burpee + chest to bar pull-up
5 ring burpee + toes to bar
5 ring burpee + chest to bar pull-up
Complete 5, 4, 3, 2, & 1 air squat(s) after burpee & before T2B/C2B pull-ups for rounds 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5, respectively

Count 1 | bend and place hands on rings
Count 2 | jump feet to plank
Count 3 | chest to rings
Count 4 | pushup
Count 5 | jump feet to hands
(5, 4, 3, 2, & 1 air squat(s) rounds 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5, respectively)
Count 6 | T2B/C2B pull-up

That’s 120 burpee, 60 T2B and C2B pull-ups, and 300 air squats. Yes, 300 air squats.

As air squats decreased in number and became easier to complete the rest time between T2B and C2B pull-ups decreased and those two activities became increasingly difficult. I did mistakenly complete T2B a rep but did, of course, complete C2B pull-up as well.

I counted out loud until 10, with reps 1 through 5 being T2B and 6 through 10 being C2B pull-ups, obviously, and used the abacus to keep track of what amounted to be 12 times, with a different color representing each subsequent round. Makes sense to me even if it doesn’t make sense to all of you.

Time: 26:52
Average heart rate: 117 bpm

Saturday, August 26 | Mah Legs

I didn’t pick up Jeff from the airport until close to midnight last night and then didn’t fall asleep until after 1. I slept until almost 8. Wow! Jeff surprised me by offering to go for a morning walk with Luke and me. As Jeff’s knee is still healing, we only went for a 3-mile walk in Carrier and French Broad parks. We all enjoyed breakfast at Taco Billy and then I   retired to the garage for a workout.

Yesterday’s 300 squats left my legs feeling somewhat tired, but I focused on legs today nonetheless. Functional movement, folks. Functional movement.

Strength & Skill
Deadlift & Box Jumps
5 X 10 increasing weight and height

I set up box before beginning deadlift so that I could quickly transition from deadlift to box jumps. I completed deadlifts @ 135, 185, 225, 275, and 305# and box jumps @ 20, 24, 27, 30, & 32″. I stepped down for 20 & 24 but did not rebound for any jumps. In addition, I landed in squat with elbows inside knees and both feet firmly on box.

I set a goal to complete 10 deadlifts @ 300 so was pleased that I was able to complete set @ 305# (a post-surgery PR). I honestly don’t know if I could’ve lifted any heavier, as the last two reps were a struggle.

10 44# alternating arm Russian KB swings (5/arm)
10-second waiter’s hold alternating arms

This was meant to be fast and furious, and it was. I also didn’t place the KB on the ground during workout.

Time = 4:44

Sunday, August 27 | Constantly Varied

I’ve spent numerous hours preparing for the upcoming semester, including updating 19 PowerPoint presentations. It astounds me that a professional publisher (not AB tech) would create such amateurish slides. And anyone who uses text boxes to create bulleted lists doesn’t know what they hell they are doing. And don’t get me started on the slide masters. Or graphics.

Jeff was once again able to join Luke and me (not “me and Luke” or “Luke and I”) for a morning walk, 3 miles on the Biltmore grounds. We then enjoyed a wonderful meal at King Daddy’s where everyone commented on what a good dog Luke is. Don’t I know it. For the second day in a row I worked out on a full stomach. And it matters naught to me!

Rounds of up to 5 reps
Begin @ 75# increasing weight by 10# each round
7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, & 1 rounds

In other words, 7 rounds of up to 5 reps @ 75#, 6 rounds of up to 5 reps @ 85#, etc. Again, I’d never program this at a box. It’s one of the reasons I’m enjoying working out by myself, i.e., I can complete my own programming! And not have to explain (or justify) it to anyone else.

I completed all 5 reps/round @ 75, 85, 95, & 105#, i.e., 35, 30, 25, & 20 reps, respectively. I completed 3, 1 & 2 @ 115, 1 & 1 @ 125, and 1 @ 130#.

That was 119 strict presses.

Bear Complex
For load:
5 rounds of 7 reps:
1 power clean
1 front squat
1 push press
1 back squat
1 behind the neck push press

You may not drop the bar between reps but may rest between rounds.

Yup, I’m completing the Bear Complex once a month, only this month I decided to mix things up. And I just ended a sentence with a preposition.

Begin at 75# on barbell and 20# weight vest, increasing weight 5# on barbell and weight vest (10# total) each round; 75 & 20, 80 & 25, 85 & 30, 90 & 35, and 95# & 40#. 

Why? Because I had just completed 117 presses, so no need to continue to overly taxi arms. Uhm, but I did focus on legs both Friday and yesterday, so there’s that. I found completing the complex whilst wearing a weight vest to be much more challenging than, well, completing as prescribed.

One of the challenges was keeping the bar close during power clean, as the weight vest protruded and impeded ability to do so. I recorded last round and was surprised to discover that I completed muscle instead of power cleans.

I counted each rep out loud to ensure that I completed the requisite seven each round.

The first round (75 & 20) was relatively easy. The last round was not. Yup, the behind the neck push press was the most difficult of the activities, although both front and back squats were also challenging, you know, because of the added weight. I was in essence squatting almost 190# the last round. No wonder it was tough!