The Most of the Bost — and McKee!

I had planned on attending the 6:15 session this morning, but (after repeatedly selecting Snooze on the iPhone), decided to attend the 7:30 session instead. I got out of bed, walked down the stairs, opened the back door for Xander, and reclined on the coach. And then fell soundly back to sleep. When I finally awoke, I decided that my body and mind were telling me to rest today instead of tomorrow.

Early this afternoon I felt the urge to post to Phillip’s wall. I couldn’t think of anything witty to say, so I posted “Are you coaching tonight @5?” Phillip replied, “I yam.” He was probably expecting me to make a witty comment about potatoes, but I instead posted, “I will be there, Popeye. Be sure to eat your spinach.”

Phillip is a great (not merely good) coach, and I truly enjoyed today’s workout!

We began by completing 3 sets of 20 dead-lifts. Phillip informed us to lift 60% of our 1RM, and do to all reps unbroken and to not reset our hands. I, of course, wanted to make sure I focused on form. Form, consistency, and then intensity. I warmed up with 135, then loaded the bar with 192 lb. I held the bar with both hands in an overhand grip. The first set was quite challenging, and this came as somewhat of a surprise to me. I was out of breath by the time I finished the set, and was already thinking about how challenging the next 2 sets were going to be. Phillip was kind enough to say, “Good job, Paul. Your last rep was as good as your first rep.”

I rested about 3 minutes and completed the second set, this time with my right hand holding the bar with an underhand grip. I increased the speed while still focusing on form. While more challenging than the first set, I completed all 20 reps unbroken and with generally good form.

I rested about 3 minutes and then completed the third set with right hand once again holding the bar with underhand grip. I completed the set unbroken, although the last 3 reps were particularly challenging. I was sweating and was very much out of breath. Sarah noted that I wasn’t beginning each lift with my shoulder back, and she was right. I still need to focus on form!

Phillip then demonstrated how to do reverse hypers. I tried and was unsuccessful in first attempts, as my hips were not placed high enough and I was thus resting on my stomach. It hurt! Once I corrected form, I was able to complete 3 sets of 10 unbroken, with 3 sets of 10 hollow rocks between each set.

I finished the day with Tabata intervals of GHD sit-ups, Abmat back extensions, and 26″ box jumps.

I asked Phillip if we were to do true Tabata or count total, and he confirmed that we were to do true Tabata. He said, “If you do two sit-ups, and then 10, 10, 10 and so on, your total is two. So, no sandbagging.” Phillip then looked directly at me. “I’m not a sandbagger!” I exclaimed. In hindsight, perhaps I am. Read on.

I completed 9 GHD sit-ups the first set — and all remaining sets. For each of the 8 rounds, I had a few seconds to spare.

I completed 20 Abmat back extensions for the first set — and all remaining sets. I often had 5 or more seconds to spare.

I completed 9, 26″ back extensions for the first set — and all remaining sets. I completed all rounds with 3 or more seconds to spare.

Sooooo, did I sandbag? Perhaps. I could’ve probably done at least 1 more GHD sit-up and box jump, and probably 2 or more back extensions.

Total score: 38

I then attended the CFE session led by Erin. I surprised just about everyone by running shirtless. As Phillip often says, “Sun’s out, guns out.”

Today’s workout consisted of a timed 800m run. We then ran 2 x 400m with the goal of running at a faster pace, then 4 x 200m (again at a faster pace) and 8 x 100m (you guessed it, at a faster pace). We rested 5 minutes after 800m, and then rested the same amount of time it took us to run all other reps.

I ran 800m in 2:50, 400m in 1:17 and 1:21, 200m between 39 and 40, and 100m between 15 and 17. I hated the 100m runs, as the turnaround at 100m is difficult, and slows me down considerably.

As I was getting ready to leave, I shared with Phillip that I told Erin that I was a better match for her than was he, as I was both strong and fast. Phillip said, “But you don’t have any yoke.” Sarah said, “Oh,  yes he does. I saw him shirtless.” To prove that I did indeed have yoke, I took off my shirt. Phillip’s only response? “Yes, you have yoke.” Haha!

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Tabata Row & Run

Worked out @ LFF, and I had forgotten how much I dislike doing so…


Double unders
For each du completed, 1 sec rest between sets; between 19 and 38 unbroken dus


Tabata row
20 sec max effort with 10 sec rest x 8
732 m total, 268 watts/avg, 41 s/m avg
Averaged between 88 and 96 m


5 HSPUs with head touching ground
20 kipping push-ups, T2B, and KTE


Tabata run (treadmill)
20 sec with 10 sec rest x 8; 1% incline, 10.8 mpm (5:33 mpm) pace


Double unders 
For each du completed, 1 sec rest between sets; between 12 and 24 unbroken dus


While I was doing double unders, a trainer walked by me and yelled, “Kick your feet back! Kick your feet back!” Uhm, that’s not the way to do double unders. 


While I was running, a man came up beside me and didn’t even pretend to not be looking at my monitor. He mumbled something under his breath, and then left. 


After I did a set of 10 kipping pull-ups, a man did 8 (I counted) dead-hang pull-ups. Well, not really. He did not fully extend his arms nor did his chin come even close to going over the bar. 


I heart CrossFit. 

Damn Overhead Squats!

 
Today’s focus was on pull-ups. Yes, pull-ups. I think I’ve had enough of pull-ups for the foreseeable future. Nonetheless, I dos what I’s is tolds. I had planned on doing negative pull-ups for first set. I grabbed the bar and heard The Coach say “dead-hang”. I didn’t know if he was talking to me or someone else, but I’m not one to question authority so I did 10 strict dead-hang pull-ups. I haven’t done dead-hang pull-ups in months and months, and I had forgotten just how challenging they can be. I next did a set of 15 kipping pull-ups, and then finished with 5 strict chest-to-bar pull-ups. The Coach said the chest-to-bar pull-ups were “good”, and suggested that I widen my grip. I asked, “Because my chest is so broad?” He replied, “No, because you’re inflexible.” Touché.
 
Today’s WOD was in celebration of Ashley Thompson Denton’s husband’s birthday.

“No You Didn’t, Denton”
For time:
Run 200m
20 box jumps (24”)
Run 200m
20 thrusters (95#)
Run 200m
20 pull-ups
Run 400m
20 double unders
Run 200m
20 squat cleans (95#)
Run 200m
20 OHS (95#)
Run 200m
 
I felt incredibly weak this morning, and even contemplated sitting out this one. I warmed up with thrusters, first using just the bar and then adding 20 lbs. Even 65 lbs felt heavy, but I knew I had to at least make this challenging. I settled on 75 lb, knowing full well that the overhead squats were going to literally crush me.
 
Nick and Troie took off on the first 200m run. I seldom do, as I’d much rather pace myself. Did I mention that I was feeling incredibly weak? I was also feeling incredibly slow. They both finished well ahead of me. I set up at the station farthest away from the front door, and casually walked toward my station to do box jumps. I focused on form AND speed, and was the first to complete box jumps. Nick was closer to the door, and got a head start on me for the second 200m run. I was obsessing about the overhead squats.
 
I finished 200m run and again casually walked to station to do thrusters. I placed a wall ball on the platform to ensure that I was squatting deeply enough.  Much to my surprise I was able to perform thrusters with generally good form. The Coach even said “good” a couple of times. I even cleaned the bar without experiencing much pain, and was able to complete set in reps of 15 and 5. Granted, the weight was only 75 lbs. I was still dreading the overhead squats.
 
Nick was still ahead of me when we finished next 200m run. I chalked hands, and did 20 pull-ups unbroken and with very good form (if I do say so myself). I ensured that my chin was well above the bar, and probably should have tried a few chest to bar pull-ups. I was thinking about overhead squats even while kipping. Damn overhead squats.
 
I was happy that the next run was 400m, as this gave me time to use the run for active recovery. I also took the lead from Nick.  I took my time running; this did, however, allow extra time to worry about upcoming overhead squats.
 
The Coach said, “Try to do the double unders in 30 seconds.” I stumbled at first, but was able to string together the last 12 unbroken. I almost contemplated doing more, but headed out the door instead. The Coach said, “You did that in 20 seconds. Good job, Paul.” I think I may have actually smiled.
 
I had finally put some distance between myself and Nick, but was certain that I wasn’t going to be able to hold him off. Why? Damn overhead squats.
 
I ran the next 200m, and then prepared myself to be disappointed with squat cleans. I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t done squat cleans (or cleans of any sort) for so long or because I’ve watched so many other CFers perform squat cleans or because I’ve read so many articles about squat cleans or because I’ve watched so many videos of squat cleans (whew!), but my squat cleans were (dare I say) good! For the first time, I made sure to bring the bar to mid-thigh and then extend my hips as I lifted and fell beneath the bar. The Coach once again said “good” on more than one occasion. Progress? I think so.
 
I ran 200m yet again, and kept thinking “Overhead squats are going to be the death of me.” I was still slightly ahead of Nick as we both finished the run and began overhead squats.
 
I cleaned the bar, then pressed it above and over my head and rested it on my shoulders. I widened my grip and then pressed the bar overhead. I squatted, attempting to ensure that my ass touched the medicine ball. The Coach provided much direction, and even held the medicine ball with his foot so it wouldn’t move. I failed. I failed miserably. I failed miserable and loudly. I even fell on my ass as I was coming out of the fifth squat. I said to The Coach, “The bar is too heavy. I’m going to take off some of the weight.” He said, “Don’t do that. Just break into sets of five.” I was only able to complete three or four at a time, and thus had to clean, press, and press over and over again.
 
Nick finished well ahead of me, and was out the door before I had finished even 10 overhead squats. I finally finished, and ran the last 200m.
 
Time 16:36
 
This was a very challenging workout.
 
Today’s skills in order from strengths to weaknesses:
Running (no surprise here)
Pull-ups
Box jumps
Squat cleans (BIG surprise here)
Double unders
Thrusters
Overhead squats
 
 
I mentioned how tired I was, and Ashley Thompson Denton said, “I know. I feel twice my age today.” I replied, “So do I, and I’ll be dead when I’m twice my age.”

Jack said "good" 17 times. Yes, I kept count.

Jack led today’s session, and the focus was on the push-jerk. Jack led us through a warm-up, including double unders and kettle bell presses.

I haven’t attempted a push-jerk in months. I was setting up a stand-alone rack when Jack said, “Why don’t you just work in with Drew?” “Because I don’t like Drew!” I exclaimed. I acquiesced and joined Punky. (I was reluctant to work with Punky as I feared he, like most of the men-folk at the 6:15 session, would want to go heavy. Form, consistency, and then intensity is how I play this game.)

I, and then Punky, lifted the 45 lb bar. I asked, “What do you want to add to the bar, Punky?” I thought he’d suggest fifteens, but was delightfully surprised when he said “Fives”. Just 55 lb? I’ll take it! We increased weight to 65, 75, 85, and finished with 95 lb. Jack provided direction. I will admit that I asked for much direction, as I had forgotten most of what I had learned. Hand positioning? Same as for clean. Foot positioning? Not on a railroad track. Rear foot? Bend the knee. Jack had to keep reminding me to do so. After my last lift (which felt solid), Jack commented, “Try not to keep your leg so straight.” “Jack,” I said, “I usually can’t keep anything straight.”

Punky makes go-cart faces. You’ll have to ask him what that means.

Metcon
12-min AMRAP of the following:
5 kb snatches (53 lb) right-arm
5 kb snatches left-arm
5 burpees

Jack and I had discussed how difficult this was going to be, and also talked about substitutions. We decided upon 50 lb single-arm kb swings. I knew this was going to be challenging, and, as I was setting up, said, “This is going to suck balls.” Craig replied, “Way to think positively, Paul.” I deserved that.

Nonetheless, this metcon sucked balls. I knew I looked like I was struggling when others (I recall Renee and Stew doing so) shouted words of encouragement. Words of encouragement to yours truly? That NEVER HAPPENS!

Yet another trail of sweat…

To add insult to injury, I set down the kb before switching from right to left hand, and only thought NOT to do so after halfway into the metcon. I demonstrated this technique as Jack observed. I said, “I’m awesome.” Jack replied, “That’s just a little better than good, and getting close to nice.”

The only part of this metcon that was easy was recording the rounds. When I was completing kb swings I was dreading burpees, and when I was completing burpees I was dreading kb swings. I was sweating profusely. 

With the exception of the time it took to record rounds, I did complete all rounds of kb swings and burpees unbroken. Jack, should I have gone heavier?

Total = 14 rounds

I was very, very close to puking, and am quite surprised that I did not do so.

CFE 2 x 6

As I arrived early @ CFD, I had the opportunity to encourage the 5pm CFers, including Tripp, Theo, not one but two Sarahs, Erin, and the loveliest of lovelies, Amy. As a way to encourage Amy, I ran with her during a couple of her first 200m runs. As we approached the 100m mark, i.e., the bus stop, I would run ahead, turn around, and hold my hands out for her to slap. I talked to her the entire time, saying things such as don’t shuffle, lift your knees, look up and not at the ground, bend at your ankles, let gravity do the work, etc. As Amy didn’t verbally reply, I thought that I might be pissing her off. I just did indeed piss her off by ending that last sentence with a preposition. I was delighted when, as she was beginning her very last 200m run, she yelled, “Run with me, Paul!” I did just that, and it made my day.

Erin led the CFE session tonight, and she began by running us (figuratively and literally) through some drills. We then ran 3 rounds of 30 sec. (was it 1 min., Erin?) intervals counting our footsteps. I ran 120, 136, and 136 steps.

Workout
2 min w 1 min rest X 6

I forgot to start my watch, so I don’t know how far I ran the first 2 min. For remaining intervals, I ran .33, .32, .32, .33, and .33 mi., or just over 6 mpm pace. It was very hot this evening, and I added lots of twists and turns, so I’m fine with the relatively slow pace.

Rocket Fuel

Jack led today’s session, and the focus was on the back squat. CFD is no longer doing Wendler, and I’m a little disappointed in that I’ve been in NJ the past 3 weeks and really didn’t get to give the program a college try…
 
I partnered with Nick, and I mainly focused on form, as I was “squatted out” after yesterday’s 50 front squats. Nick’s form has significantly improved, and he achieved a 3 rep PR. Congratulations, Nick! I also assisted Audrey on the rings with vertical ball-up holds. Keep your back straight and abs tight, and be sure to look at your belly button and not the floor. Most importantly, tell your husband that I’m going to make him an honorary member of my club. The Freedom Rainbow is in the mail.
 
Metcon
5 rounds for time of the following:
Run 200m
10 pull-ups
Run 200m
5 power snatches
 
I discussed options and substitutions with Jack. I was concerned with power snatches (as I still can’t clean) and he was concerned with pull-ups (as I did 100 yesterday as well as Saturday). “No one told you to do ‘Angie’.” So sayeth Jack. He next did what I would expect a good (nice?) coach to do. He assessed my skills, and insisted that I work on a weakness. While I have many weaknesses (but no weakness for ice cream, like that fatty Michael Kelley), I am particularly poor with overhead squats. Jack directed me to place the bar on the rack, place the bar on my shoulders, press the bar, and then squat—and complete 10 OHS instead of 5 power snatches. I placed a medicine ball on the platform to ensure that I squatted deeply enough.
 
Given how many were in attendance this morning, I had a feeling that the pull-up bars were going to be crowded, so I suggested that I complete the metcon in the following order:
10 OHS (45 lb bar)
Run 200m
10 pull-ups
Run 200m
 
Jack closely monitored my form for first round of OHS, and had to remind me to widen my grip, push my hips back, and push me knees out. I said, “Thanks, Jack. This is challenging.” He replied, “Just wait until the next round. I’m going to challenge you even more.”
 
I love running. I love running so much that each and every time I got to run this morning I yelled, “I love running!” I made sure to encourage everyone when they were running. All rounds of running felt wonderful.
 
I completed the first through fourth rounds of pull-ups unbroken. I am glad that I taped my hands.
 
For the second and remaining sets of OHS, Jack placed a bench parallel to the rack and positioned slightly ahead of where I was squatting. He told me to squat without my knees touching the bench. This was tough, but my form immediately improved. That Jack is one smart coach. If he tried, he could probably run faster, too.
 
Yes, the weight was light, but I did complete all rounds of OHS unbroken.
 
My goal was to complete the entire metcon unbroken—and I almost did. Unfortunately, my chin did not go above the bar for the final pull-up, so I dropped to the floor, took a breath, and redid the final pull-up. I ran the last 200m, and glanced at the clock as I finished with a time of 15:01. This was challenging (OHS) and fun (pull-ups and running).
 
My kudos and thanks to Jack for providing excellent coaching yet again.

Modified "Hammer"

Colin led today’s session, and began with a skill-building session focusing on vaulting. We began by jumping over a stack of mats, then onto a 20″ box, then from that box to another 20″ box, and then to a board on the floor. We were to stick each landing, including squatting as we landed on the board. This was much fun! Colin continued to challenge us. For example, we approached the pile of mats from an angle, hurdled the mats, etc. During one approach (when referring to our trajectory), Colin said, “Try to be straight.” I said, “I haven’t tried to be straight since I was 13 years old.” Amy giggled, and she has a delightful giggle. 


Speaking of Amy, “Telephone” by Lady Gaga and Beyonce played, and I reminded Amy that this was our song. She giggled again. 


Hero WOD “Hammer”
5 rounds for time:
5 power cleans (135 lb)
10 front squats
5 push-jerks
20 pull-ups

Rest 90 seconds between rounds


I had originally planned on doing a completely different workout, but Colin insisted that I participate with the group, and I’m glad that he did so. 


Colin and I discussed a substitute for cleans, and he first suggested dead-lifts. I politely declined. I suggested skinning the cat, and Colin gave me permission to do so.


I put 95 lb on the bar, tried a few presses, and lowered the weight to 90 lbs. We were just about to begin, and I thought, “At least lift 95 lb, Paul. Sheesh. Don’t be such a Michael Kelley.” I increased the weight to 95 lb.


Colin corrected my form for skinning the cat, as I wasn’t bringing my hips around far enough. I did all rounds of skinning the cat unbroken. That is 25 skinned cats. 


I did not position my fingers correctly during the first set of front squats. Nonetheless, I completed all sets of front squats unbroken.


As the weight was relatively light, I substituted push-press for push-jerk. While I did complete all sets unbroken, I struggled to keep my heels firmly planted, and came up on my toes on more than one occasion. 


After having completed 100 pull-ups yesterday, I knew another 100 was going to be a  struggle. I completed as many as 15 unbroken (first set); however, during the last three sets I often did one pull-up at a time, mainly to ensure that my chin went above the bar. This kept me honest.

Don’t I have excellent penmanship?

After the first round, I said to Colin, “Ninety seconds seems like a long time to rest.” His reply? “Attempt to complete all rounds in the same amount of time.” Interesting. If I had known this from the start, I might have started a little slower… 


Rnd 1: 2:00
Rnd 2: 2:27 
Rnd 3: 2:31
Rnd 4: 2:48
Rnd 4: 3:11


I checked my math three times. 


Total time: 18:57


Why was the last round so slow? Damn pull-ups and Michael Kelley appeared. As he is weak, those around him also become weak. I did waste some energy, too, repeatedly lifting my two middle fingers in his general direction. 


I was the first to call time, albeit not Rx nor the actual workout posted. I cheered for Kerry (I’m so glad she doesn’t spell her name “Kerrey”) and Amy. I also sang “Once In Love With Amy” from the musical “No, No, Nanette“.


I ran an easy 2 miles at 7:30 mpm pace and called it a day.