Burpees, Running, Pull-ups & More…

Coach S. led today’s session, and the skill session focused on “strict”, 6-count burpees. Let me begin by saying this was an awesome session, as the 615ers completed 5 rounds of 10 burpees as a group—and we got to shout the number of completed burpees after each one, i.e., “One!”, “Two!”, etc. (Uhm, I shouted the loudest, and some didn’t shout at all. I think they should be made to do burpees). We stretched between rounds, and this was also very beneficial.


8 rounds for time, with a 1 minute rest between rounds:

Run 200m

10 pull-ups

My goal was to run all 200m intervals in even splits and to complete as many rounds as possible of unbroken pull-ups while still maintaining proper form. I did complete all intervals within 2 seconds of each other, and managed to complete the first 6 rounds of pull-ups unbroken. Pull-ups did become more challenging as the workout continued, but when you’re doing 80 pull-ups in that short amount of time, well, they should get more difficult.

My time goal was to complete the entire workout in 16 minutes or less; thus, 11 minutes of work and 7 minutes of rest.

Lipps Inc


1 – 56 sec

2 – 54

3 – 54

4 – 56

5 – 1:00 min

6 – 1:07 (6 & 4 pull-ups)

7 – 1:20 (5, 3, & 2)

8 – 1:13 (5, 3, & 2)

Total 15:33

While standing outside preparing for one of the last intervals, I said to Renee, Will, and Troie, “This is tough!” Troie said, “Running and pull-ups are right up your alley.” “Perhaps,” I said, “but this is still tough.” Renee then said, “It’s because you’re fat.” I nearly peed my pants, and had a difficult time starting the next interval because I was still chuckling as I was beginning to run.

In an earlier post, I mentioned one of the issues I have with CrossFit, namely that coaches seldom treat running as a skill. Here’s my second issue: the music. I do not like ANY music performed by Metallica, AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Black Sabbath, Kiss (I detest Kiss), Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin, Quiet Riot, Rush, Van Halen, Eminem, and the list goes on and on. (I do like Linkin Park.) Yet this type of music is almost exclusively played during workouts.

Coach S. was kind enough to allow me to play my own playlist this morning, and the bitching and moaning began almost immediately. Between the skill session and the met-con, I was asked to not play my tunes, and instead to play the same damn playlist that is on an endless loop at CFD. If I hear “We’re Not Gonna Take It” one more time, I’m going to punch someone in the throat. I mean it. I will. If I must listen to this music the overwhelming majority of the time, then I think it’s only fair that I (and I know that there are others) get to listen to music that I like on occasion. Can I get an “Amen”?

(Troie did say that he liked the song “Funky Town”, as it remins him of his favorite movie, “Dumb and Dumber.” I told him that I thought the name of that movie was “St-w and St-wer”.)



About crossfitpaul.com (You don’t have to read.)

As I’ve been receiving some negative comments regarding my postings, I want to clarify my intent of recording my workouts — and thoughts.

Those who know me well know that I can be both exceedingly generous AND exceedingly selfish. This website is intended to allow me to be the latter. I want to have a virtual place to record my workouts, including strengths, weaknesses, achievements, failures, thoughts, and conversations. I don’t have a very good memory, and this allows me to vividly recall moments, some of them life-changing, that have occurred in my life. When I read about marathons I’ve run, it’s like being there all over again. When I read about Hero WODs I’ve completed, it’s like being there all over again. When I read about Michael Kelley, I want to punch someone in the throat.

I believe in freedom of speech, and I will write whatever I want to. I also believe in freedom of reading, so feel free to NOT read my postings if you find them offensive or derogatory. No one is forcing you to.

Words are like toothpaste: once they’re out, you can’t put them back in. In addition, the meaning of words is contextual, and it’s impossible for me to capture all of the subtle nuances of my interactions with others.

My favorite show is South Park, and I think/feel that Trey Parker and Matt Stone are geniuses. They skewer everyone and everything equally, all for the purpose of social satire and (dare I say) learning. I am no Parker or Stone, but the one thing I do have in common with them is that no one is fair game.

Am I racist, sexist, homophobic, heterophobic, ageist, Michael Kelleyist? That’s up for you to decide. My close friends already know the answer to this question.

Hero WOD “Badger” & 1st Time Coaching Sunday Sessions

First let me say this it’s always challenging completing a Hero WOD (as well it should be), but even more challenging completing by oneself.

I was torn between 2 Hero WODs, both having been posted on crossfit.com this past week, “Small” (Three rounds for time of: row 1000 meters, 50 burpees, 50 24″ box jumps, and run 800m) and “Badger”. I was leaning toward “Small” when I realized why I was doing so. I can row, run, box jump, and do burpees until the cows come home. What’s one of my biggest weaknesses? The squat clean. Thus, I decided to do “Badger”.

3 rounds for time of the following:

30 squat cleans, 95 lb

30 pull-ups

Run 800m

I completed the first round of squat cleans in reps of 10, 5, 5, 5, & 5. I had 2 failed attempts, 1 time not squatting deeply enough and 1 time dropping the bar before I stood and extended my hips. I completed the 2nd round of squat cleans in reps of no less than 2 and no more than 5. They got progressively more challenging, and 95 lbs started to feel very, very heavy. I was also sweating profusely. The third round, you ask? More about that round in a moment.

I completed all rounds of pull-ups in reps of 5, with a very brief pause between reps.

Running was a pleasure, and I did treat running as recovery. However, during the 2nd 800m run I couldn’t stop obsessing over the upcoming 30 squat cleans. I was dreading having to pick up the bar, and began to talk myself out of doing so. “Know your limits, Paul. You don’t have to complete this WOD. Who will ever know?” I nonetheless picked up the bar, having decided that I would complete the round in reps of 2. I am pleased to say that I actually completed 3 reps in succession on more than 1 occasion. I was even more pleased that my form for squat cleans actually improved. It’s amazing how the human body will improve efficiencies. I did, however, almost have to stop after 20 reps, as I was certain that I was going to puke. I was working that hard…

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I completed the WOD in 37:07. I was completely spent, and have pictures to prove so. Enjoy!

I had the pleasure of coaching the 10am WOD, and there was quite a large crowd in attendance, including many good friends (you in particular, Ms. Amy). We spent 15 minutes on running drills and running 400m warmup, and then folks formed teams of 3 for the WOD — and it was a doozy!

In teams of 3 complete the following for time:

Run 1800m relay (each athlete must run 600m)

120 kettle bell snatches (52, 350

90 ring dips

90 push-ups

Run 1800m relay.

I made sure to discuss the importance of proper form and scaling, and encouraged teams to plan and discuss a strategy. I was impressed with how open and receptive folks were to my constant barrage of feedback, and I even called no rep on more than 1 occasion and to more than 1 person.

While all teams did a great job, the fastest team also had the best name: Menage a Troie, consisting of Kristen, Tracey, and — you guessed it — Troie.

Teams & times

I made sure that we had enough time for mobility, and the group spent 10 minutes using the foam roller and focusing on the legs.

As we were rolling the adducters, Troie encroached upon my territory. I said, “Troie, get any closer and we may have to kiss.” He didn’t budge. Amy said, “I really like to see 2 men kiss.” (You’re nasty, Amy, and I love it!) I then said, “Remember folks, don’t use the foam roller on bone. Being this close to me right now, I’m sure you have a bone, Troie.”

Surprisingly, only 1 person attended the 11am session, but as that person was Jamie, it was all good! She got a 1-on-1 session focusing on squat cleans, pull-ups, and running. She completed 7 rounds of squat cleans, pull-ups and a 100m run. Nice job, Jamie!

Lovely Lindsay!

Lindsay is awesome!

I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that my current favorite song is Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO. I played the tune for my and Michelle’s enjoyment prior to Coach Stew’s arrival.

Party Rock is in the house tonight
Everybody just have a good time
And we gon’ make you lose yo’ mind
Everybody just have a good time

Uhm, yeah, even I’m not quite sure what’s so appealing about this damn song. I do know that I’ll be singing it all day long.

Today’s focus was to have been on the power snatch but as today’s WOD included 25 said power snatches, Coach Stew was kind enough to substitute a partner warm-up instead. I partnered with Meaghan. We faced each other and threw an 8 lb medicine ball back and forth for 2 minutes for a total of 114 throws. Next, while still facing each other, I threw the medicine ball to Meaghan, she threw it back to me, I placed the medicine ball on the ground when I caught it as Meaghan “raced” the ball. She then picked up the medicine ball, threw it to me, I threw it to her, she placed it on the ground, and I “raced” the ball. Coach Stew said, “Chase the ball, Paul!” I said, “I’ve been chasing balls all of my life, Stew.”

There was a large group this morning, including birthday girl Lindsay!


Lovely Lindsay’s Birthday WOD

5 rounds for time of the following:

5 power snatches

5 burpess

5 power cleans

5 ring dips

5 thrusters 

The Rx weight for men was (wait for it…) 135 freaking pounds! Ha! I am not lifting almost my body weight over my head. Not now, probably not ever. The Rx weight for women was (wait for it…) 95 freaking pounds! Ha! 95 pounds in my current 1RM for power snatch. I had originally planned on lifting 65 but I manned up and lifted 75 pounds.

My SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound) goal was to complete all rounds unbroken, to lock elbows at top of snatches and thrusters, to squat below parallel at bottom of thrusters, and to complete WOD in less than 10 minutes. My focus was on intensity and NOT strength. (This is going to be a recurring theme in the upcoming months.)

This was a very difficult met-con. Yes, it was just five reps per round, but each round of snatches, power cleans, and thrusters got progressively more difficult. Burpees and ring dips were a welcome rest!

Ashley observed 4th round of snatches, and said, “Use your legs more and your arms less!” I said, “Groiuslkghdelskuop!” Yes, I exclaimed that exact work: “Groiuslkghdelskuop!” I completed my 5th rep, placed the bar on the platform, and rolled it to the rack so that I could do burpees. Ashley rolled the bar toward me. I rolled the bar back. She rolled the bar toward me, as she evidently thought I had more power snatches to complete. I looked at her and said, “Groiuslkghdelskuop!” I started to do a burpee and she got the hint.

I found the transition from thrusters to power snatches to be the most difficult, so I made sure to pause and record my completed rounds.

I was moving to the rings during the final round when Coach Stew yelled, “Nine minutes!” Griff was using rings to the right of where I had been completing dips, and he was swinging all over the place. Great form, Griff! So that I wouldn’t get kicked and/or elbowed, I moved to a different set of rings and thought, “Shit, this means I may not be able to finish in under 10 minutes. Focus on form, but power through, Paul.”

I did, and finished in a time of 9:46.

I was completely spent, and dropped to the floor after yelling, “Time!” Lindsay looked my way and smiled. I can only imagine what she was thinking, but if I had to take an educated guess I’d say, “Good. Paul is demolished. This is the best birthday WOD ever! I am awesome, and should be a professional model. Paul is cut.”

Coach Stew had marker in hand ready to record times. I said, “Please don’t even put my time on the board. I’m embarrassed. It was just 75 pounds.” He nonetheless did so.

Lindsay was kind enough to pose for birthday pictures!

If I run with the group 5 times, I get a mug!

For the second consecutive week, I ran with the Bull City Running / Fullsteam Brewery group. Unlike last week, I had much fun, got in a very good workout, and truly enjoyed running every last step.

(I first stopped by CFD to change. I entered the gym and Dave said, “I got 10 muscle-ups. That’s one more than you.” I replied, “Good for you, Dave.” He said, “It’s not often that I can beat you at anything. I did 1 muscle-up a minute for 10 minutes.” “Okay,” I said, “I got 2 rounds of 3 consecutive muscle-ups. Did you kip?” Dave said, “Of course.” “Uhm,” I said, “I did mine dead-hang.” Dave said, “I don’t know how you do that. That’s hard!” Haha! I love picking on Dave. I truly do.)

I spoke briefly with Kim, pointing out the bitch who said, “It’s just your personality.” Kim also mentioned how skinny I used to be. I think she might have been trying to tell me that I’m fat. Or fit. Probably fit.

A representative from Saucony was present, and I had the opportunity to wear the Hattori. While I liked the fit, I did not like the feel of the shoe. As I run landing on the forefoot and midfoot, I felt friction on the padding beneath my big toe. I was disappointed, and won’t be purchasing a pair.

I ran the 4-mile loop, and Mike ran the first 2 miles with me. I mentioned to Mike that I wanted to do some type of interval workout, perhaps 2 minutes on and 1 minute off, and he asked if he could join. Of course! As we began our run on the sidewalks of downtown Durham, I knew it would be difficult to get in a good 2-minute interval, so I suggested fartlek. Mike ran with me until just after entering Duke campus. By this time another runner, Ben, had caught up with us, and was running at a good pace. I ran a few solo fartleks, and we played yo-yo for a half mile or so. The second or third time I passed him I said, “I’m not trying to be a dick. I’m doing fartlek.” He replied, “I know. Good job!” When he next caught up with me, I asked if he’d like to join — and he did! We ran fartlek the remainder of the way around campus, and then ran together back to Fullsteam.

Kim bought me a beer. I split it with Alison as a thank you for this morning’s coaching. I like beer. I like pizza. I like running. I love CrossFit!

As I ran endurance this evening, tomorrow will be a true rest day. No CrossFit, no running, no skill building.

“Dave, I know why it’s called a muscle-up…

… because it hurts all up in this muscle right here.”

The day after muscle-ups. Ouch

I coached the 6:15am endurance session, attended by the Meaghans and Lindsay with an “a”. We spent 5 or so minutes on mobility, focusing on the arch of each foot, and pressed for 5 seconds on with 10 seconds off for a total of 2 minutes each foot. Whew, that sounds much more confusing than it is. We next focused on drills, including hopping and “Charlie’s Angels”.


Run 400m

Rest 3 minutes

Run 400m

Rest 2 minutes

Run 400m

Rest 1 minute

Run 400m

Rest 2 minutes

Run 400m

Rest 3 minutes

Run 400m

I informed the athletes that the goal was to have even times for all reps. I discouraged them from looking at their watches, but instead to run on perceived effort. Just prior to the last rep, I challenged the athletes to run the last 400m 1 or 2 seconds faster than their fastest rep.

(When CrossFitters are running, I can’t keep myself from coaching. “Will, you’re looking down!” “Punky, if you don’t look up and I’m going to $%#^ing punch you in the throat!”)

We finished the day using the foam roller and The Stick, and discussed self-talk and internal monologue. Ashley joined the conversation, and Stew (as he was coaching) eavesdropped. I said, “Instead of saying to yourself, ‘I hate running!’ ‘This is difficult!’ ‘I don’t like running uphill!’ or ‘I hate Stew’ instead say, ‘I love running!’ ‘This is easy!’ ‘I like running uphill!’ or ‘I love Stew!’” Ashley laughed and Stew smiled. Yes, Stew smiled.

The Meaghans joined me for a 400m backwards run. I sincerely think/feel that the best way to learn pose running is by running while jumping rope and/or running backwards. Try it. You won’t be disappointed, although you might trip.

Alison B. led the 7:15 session, and Don, Allison, Chris, Lindsay (for the skill building) and I were in attendance. I like small groups, and I like when a gymnast is coaching ring work.

Today’s focus was on the muscle-up. Allison asked, “You have muscle-ups, don’t you, Paul?” I replied, “Some days. I hope I have them today.” I placed a 24” box to the left of the rings, and attempted a kipping muscle-up. Allison said, “Paul, what’s preventing you from doing muscle-ups is your kipping. Work only on dead-hang muscle-ups. When you can do lots of dead-hang muscle-ups, you’ll naturally begin to kip. I promise.” So, that’s what I did! Uhm, yeah, so dead-hang muscle-ups are difficult.


3 muscle-ups every minute on the minute for 10 minutes 

“Do I have to do 3 dead-hang muscle-ups each minute, or can I just do 1 or 2 and focus on form?” I asked. Allison replied, “You can, but the purpose of this workout is also to improve endurance.” Duly noted. This. Kicked. My. Ass. 

Here is what I recorded in my notebook:








X kipping

X kipping

X kipping

In other words, I completed 3 muscle-ups in succession for the first 2 rounds, and just 1 for the next 3 rounds. I almost completed a muscle-up the 6th round, but wasn’t able to lock my elbows and had to drop from the rings. My muscles were fatigued, so I “practiced” kipping for the last 3 rounds.

During the 4th or 5th round, Allison said, “I had a dream where I was doing muscle-ups and my arm fell off.” I said, “I had a similar dream, only I was having sex with a woman.” 




Wall ball shots, 10’ target, 20 lb wall ball

Run 400m at the start of each round

I can tell that I need a rest day, as I felt very weak—and slow! My goal was, of course, to complete all rounds unbroken. I didn’t come close to achieving this goal.

I did complete first round of burpees unbroken, but only managed 10 wall ball shots before having to stop and regroup. I completed remaining 20 wall ball shots in rounds as few as 5. Ouch.

I completed second round of burpees in reps of 10, 5, and 5, and wall ball shots in reps of between 9 and 5. Ouchity ouch ouch.

While running last 400m, I decided to do last round or burpees and wall ball shots in reps of 5. While completing 5th burpee I thought, “Just 1 more. Good. Just 1 more. Good. Okay, don’t stop.” While completing 5th wall ball shot I thought, “Just 1 more. Good. Just 1 more. Good. Okay, don’t stop.” Not very original, I know. 

I kicked Punky's ass.

Time 12:41 

There was a Katie AND Melinda sighting today! Yeah! Oh, a Dave sighting as well. “Dave,” I said, “I know why it’s called a muscle-up: because it hurts all up in this muscle (pointing to bulging bicep) right here.”