Row, Slam, Push

Today’s focus was the muscle up. I will go on record as saying that some days I have it, and some days I don’t. Fortunately today was one of the days that I had it. Sort of… I don’t practice muscle ups nearly as often as I should. My hands are calloused from bar work and pull-ups, yet my wrists are soft and supple (like Michael Kelley’s abs). In addition, my lats are very sore from yesterday’s workout. I wasn’t looking forward to performing one, let alone thirty, muscle ups.

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

I completed 3, 3, 2, 3, and 2. The skin on my wrists began to tear so I switched to 3 jumping muscle ups for the remaining 5 rounds. I raised the rings after each round to make things at least a little more challenging. Not much else to say.

3 rounds for time:
Row 500m
25 ball slams (I used 25 lb)
25 pushups

I knew this was going to be rough, and it was. My only goal was to row all rounds of 500m in less than 2 minutes, and I achieved this goal (1:49, 1:51, and 1:52). I performed the first round of ball slams unbroken, the second set in reps of 10, 10, and 5, and the last set in reps of 10, 8, and 7. I completed the first two rounds of pushups in reps of 10, 10, and 5, and the last round in sets of 5 reps. Total time = 13:20.

 Please don’t refer to a woman as a “chick”. I honestly do take offense.



For whatever reason(s), I feel incredibly weak, tight, and/or sore after a day of rest. Uhm, I rested yesterday. I also have some neck mobility issues due to Luke sleeping with his head on the left side of my chest (over my heart, of course!, Zac sleeping on the right side of my chest, and Meg sleeping on my stomach. As I don’t normally sleep on my back (I’m most definitely a side sleeper), I think this may very well be the cause. You think?

Jack led us through a brief warm up and then we began to work on today’s skill, the push press.

Push Press

Jack reminded us to push press and not jerk, and suggested that if our heels rose we should think about immediately placing our heels on the ground. Good suggestion, Jack.

I warmed up with 75 and 85, and lifted 3 reps of 95, 105, 115, and 125. Jack observed lifts of 125 and confirmed that I was not jerking. He did remind me to be “less purposeful” (my words) and to “just do it” (Nike’s tag line).

Perfect Form Kristen was working beside me. I had yet another existential moment, and I said to Kristen, “Do you ever have mornings where you wonder why you’re here? I’m a 48-year-old man. I wake up at about 4 o’clock each morning and I’m at CrossFit by 6. Why? To lift heavy weights above my head. Maybe I should be doing something else instead.” Kristen had no response.

I put 135 on the bar and was convinced that I would not be able to successfully push press that weight 3 times. I asked Jack to observe. I did indeed push press 3 reps of 135 – as just about everyone in the box watched. Jack said, “The first two looked almost too easy.” I asked, “Should I try my 145, my bodyweight and current 1 rep maximum?” Jack of course replied, “Yes.”

I put 145 on the bar and push pressed it once, and then got the bar to about top-of-my-head level – and dropped it. I was so pleased to get 145 above my head that, in my excitement, I didn’t focus and set up for the next lift. Oh, well, live and learn. I contemplated attempting again, but instead set up the rings to try one-arm ring extensions. I was able to successfully complete 2 rounds of 5 extensions each arm, but it was tough! I then attempted, for the first time in my adult life, backward rolls. Fun, yet a cause of my dizziness.

Perform 10 rounds:
One minute to complete 3 reps of push press at 75% of your three rep max, then max rep toes to bar in the remaining part of the minute.
Rest 30 seconds between rounds.

As I had just determined new 3RM push press, I did the math (that’s a lie) and determined that I should push press 95 lb. Uhm, that weight was too low, and I should’ve push pressed 101. For whatever reason, I thought that we were supposed to lift 70% of 3RM. I need to redo this workout. I also need to make sure I use a calculator and not rely on the kindness of strangers for all things math-related.

Nonetheless, this was a challenging workout. I quickly completed 3 reps at the top of each round, and Ashley D. and I were usually if not always the first to drop our bars. My strategy for toes to bar was to drop from the bar when Jack let us know we had 30 seconds left in the round, shake out my shoulders, chalk my hands, and finish the round – without dropping from the bar (if possible). As I also want to continue to develop core strength, I performed all toes to bar from a dead-hang position – no kipping for yours truly!

I completed 19, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 12, 12, 12, and 12 reps of toes to bar. The first 3 rounds were unbroken, i.e., I didn’t drop from the bar. I dropped from the bar with 30 and again with 15 seconds remaining for the last 2 rounds. I thought for sure that I’d be only able to complete 10 toes to bar the seventh round. When I was able to complete 12 I set that number as my goal for remaining rounds.

This was tough, and I almost took off my shirt. After the fourth round I yelled, “Kristen, remind me why I’m here?” She exclaimed, “Because you’re enjoying yourself!” After the seventh round I said, “Kristen, this is tough. I don’t think I’m enjoying this.” If truth be told I most certainly was. 132 toes to bar total.


Wall crawls for me, wall falls for Jay

Dave and I “co-created” today’s WOD. Here’s what transpired…

Dave originally sent the following WOD:
In teams of two, with one partner rowing and the other performing the triplet, partners alternate until they have each completed four sets of 500m of rowing.
10 DB Push Press, 10 KB Goblet Squats, 10 Box Jumps. Score is max rounds and reps of triplet performed.

I replied:
“Dave, does one person row 500m as partner performs triplet as many times as possible? If so, it would be disadvantageous to row fast, as your partner would have less time to complete triplet. Does overall time count for anything? This could go very fast, e.g., if folks row 2:00/500m that’s 16 or so minutes. What am I missing?

Dave replied:
Hmmm… I still don’t get it either.

My response:
I suggest Plan B – an altogether different WOD. (Maybe one that includes wall crawls?)

Dave’s turn:
How bout wall crawls instead of DB Push Press? And instead of just 4 rowing intervals each, we do something like a total of 20 rounds of the triplet have to be completed…partners alternate running 400’s

My turn:
Partner A runs 400m
Partner B completes as many rounds of 10 wall crawl, box jumps (24/20) and 10 goblet squats (52/35) as fast as possible
Partner B begins triplet where Partner A left off
Team completes 20 rounds of triplets AFAP


Partner A runs 400m
Partner B completes 1 round of 10 wall crawl, box jumps (24/20) and 10 goblet squats (52/35)
Partner B may not begin 400m run until Partner A has run 400m and they have completed triplet
Team completes 20 rounds

Dave’s final response:
I like A.

Uhm, Dave, there really wasn’t an “A” or “B” choice. Just saying.

Dave happened to arrive at the box shortly after I did. I was listening to the 2009 OBC recording of West Side Story. Dave thinks Sundays should be “Show Tunes Sunday” and I wholeheartedly agree.

As I was doing the WOD solo, I modified slightly.

10 wall crawls
10 box jumps (24) with both feet on box
10 goblet squats (52)
Run 400m

I planned on doing 10 rounds. I knew after the first round that this was not to be. I completed the first round of wall crawls unbroken, the second rounds in reps of 6-1-1-1-1, the third round in 5-1-1-1-1-1, the fourth round in 4-2-1-1-1-1, the fifth round in 4-1-1-1-1-1-1, and the final round in reps of 5-2-1-1-1. The wall crawls got progressively more difficult, and were by far the most challenging part of the WOD. Talk about shoulder burners! All box jumps were done unbroken, as were goblet squats. I expected the goblet squats to be much more challenging than they turned out to be.

Okay, if you’ve done the math you’ve come to the realization that I only did 6 rounds. The first round took about 5:30, so I knew I wasn’t going to be able to complete 10 rounds and be ready to coach at 10am. During the second round I decided to only do five rounds. As I was completing the wall crawls during the fifth round I told myself it would indeed be my final round – if anyone arrived for the 10am session by the time I ran 400m. No one did. Bitches. Thus, I completed six rounds in a time of 34:16.

Even though the wall crawls took their toll, I truly enjoyed this WOD. In all honesty, I wish I had had time to complete 10 rounds!

I then coached the 10am and 11am sessions. Prior to doing so, I suggested to Dave that we decrease the wall crawls reps to 5 and perhaps do 10 and 15 box jumps and goblet squats, respectively. Dave suggested 7 and 9. Sometimes Dave earns his money. Today was one of those times.

Partner A runs 400m
Partner B completes as many rounds of 10 wall crawl, box jumps (24/20) and 10 goblet squats (52/35) as fast as possible
Partner B begins triplet where Partner A left off
“Team completes 20 rounds of triplets AFAP

For both sessions, I had folks line up from shortest to tallest, and then paired the shortest with the tallest, the next shortest with the next tallest, etc. Gotta mix things up!

As most teams hadn’t yet completed 10 rounds within 20 minutes, I suggested to Dave that we have a cut-off time, and we settled on 40 minutes.

Four teams completed the WOD during the 10am session, and 7 teams during the 11am session. Only 2 teams completed 20 rounds within 40 minutes. Well done! The other teams suck. JK!

Are you calling me a woman?

I love hill repeats. Endurance athletes did 20 minutes of hill repeats, first running uphill and downhill and recovering uphill, and then running downhill and uphill and recovering downhill.

Dave led the 10am session. I hate Dave, but not as much as I hate Michael Kelley. We were first told to partner up, and for the males to use a 20 lb medicine ball. I asked, “Dave, what if I’m partnering with a woman?” Ollie replied, “Are you calling me a woman?” It was then that I noticed that he and I were the only 2 males participating in the medicine ball workout. Michael Kelley was there, but he is hardly a man and was working on back squats or something silly like that. He left the bar on the rack and must do 45 burpees as a penalty. We did partner medicine ball throws, then squat and throw, then clean and throw, and then burpee/clean and throw. Ollie is strong and I’m smart. And I’m strong.

We completed today’s met-con outside – and what a beautiful day it was!

20-minute AMRAP of the following:
Run .2 mile carrying 40 lb sandbag
50 sledgehammer tire hits
50 air squats

Uhm, this is my kind of workout! I carried sandbag across shoulders for first round and on left shoulder until turnaround and right shoulder on the way back for remaining rounds. I completed all sledgehammer hits unbroken. I switched hands after each hit for first round, but then sped up the pace by completing 25 with right and then 25 with left hand for remaining rounds. I completed first round of air squats unbroken and remaining rounds in reps of 40 and 10.

I completed a total of 4 rounds + .2 mile run + 39 sledgehammer hits. I didn’t want this met-con to end. Alas, it did.

I led the Community WOD, and there were about 15 in attendance. My mother observed. This was the first time I’ve done a chipper WOD, so I didn’t know what to expect.

14-minute cut off
20 pull-ups
30 pushups
40 box jumps
50 air squats
60 kettle bell swings
Run 400m

A few completed within 14 minutes, so I had them start in reverse. James made it through 15 air squats.

Nothing clean about that jerk.

Dave led today’s session, and I’m growing to hate him more and more with each passing day. Ha! Today’s WOD was a “painstorm” from an affiliate CF.

For time:
1 ground to overhead @ bodyweight for each year you are old (145 lb, 47 reps)
(100 – your age)*10 reps double unders (530 dus)

In other words, one could power snatch, clean and press, clean and push press, and/or clean & jerk – as long as the bar went from the ground to overhead. I decided to clean & jerk. I did, however, complete all power cleans, with nary a squat in sight. No, this wasn’t my intention. My current 1RM for clean & jerk is 160; thus I knew 47 reps of 145 lb wasn’t going to be a possibility. I had decided to lift 115, a little more than 70% of 1RM. I did, however, begin with 145 on the bar. As soon as the clock started I attempted to clean and immediately dropped the bar. I dropped the 2, 15 lb plates from the ends of the bar and lifted 115 lb. I lifted 115 lb 47 times.

My only strategy was to clean & jerk until just prior to muscle failure, do double unders until I failed, lather, rinse, repeat.

When all was said in done I did clean & jerks in 8 rounds of 5 reps and the last round in 7 reps. I won’t say it wasn’t a struggle. Dave reminded me on more than one occasion to start with my feet closer together and to open my hips.

I recorded double unders as 25, 72, 101, 127, 150, 215, 250, 275, 310, 350, 375, 405, 445, 472, and 512 – just 18 shy or 540. Damn it! I did, however, count only successes, i.e., attempts were counted. I remember counting “117” about 5 times before I succeeded. For the most part, however, I was able to string quite a few dus together.

In retrospect, I should’ve worried less about clean & jerk and focused on completing more reps of dus from the start. I also took far too many leisurely strolls to the water fountain, and should’ve instead had water with me. I also, as usual, engaged in too much talk. After completing about 10 clean & jerks, I said to Dave, “I think I’m going to put 2, 5 lb plates on the ends of the bar.” Dave replied, “Why? 115 is enough. You have how many reps left? 40 or so? That’s a lot of reps.” I said, “I hate you.”

I was completing my 5th round of 5 at the halfway point, and I had only completed 215 dus. I knew I had much ground to cover, and I was less than confident that I could do so.

This was perhaps one of the most grueling workouts I’ve completed to date. It was also one of the most fun. I think that there’s something seriously wrong with me. Seriously.

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Turkey Get-Ups

Dave was gracious and allowed me to coach today, and for that I am thankful. As I was unsure how long today’s WOD would take to complete, I planned on arriving early and starting the WOD by 8:15. Due to forgetfulness (CFD key on different key chain), I didn’t arrive at CFD until 8. By the time I prepared the whiteboard and set up my stations it was 8:15. “Hell,” I thought, “I’ll just use the row as a warm up.” In retrospect I would’ve benefitted from a more vigorous and thorough warm up.

For Time:
Row 500m
50 Box Jumps (20”)
50 Pushups
50 Sit-ups
50 Jumping Pull-ups
50 GHD Back Extensions
50 Dips (Rings or Bar)
20 Turkish Get-ups – alternating arms (52/35)

I knew that a 52 lb KB was going to be far too heavy…

I rowed 500m in 1:49. While I didn’t complete box jumps unbroken, I rested no longer than 2 seconds and always at the top of the box. I did pushups in reps of between 20 and 3. Abmat sit-ups were done unbroken. Jumping pull-ups were harder than I remember, but I was able to complete rather quickly. I completed GHD back extensions in reps of 30 and 20. Ring dips became more difficult as I progressed, and I completed in reps of between 10 to 2. I looked at the clock after completing ring dips and it read 14 minutes and change… I was quite spent.

I did the first set of Turkish get-ups using a 30 lb KB, but my form suffered, so I used a 25 lb KB for the remaining reps. For whatever reason, I began using my left arm. Even though the weight was light, 20 Turkish get-ups became more and more challenging each and every rep. I remember thinking to myself while completing the seventh rep, “I can’t believe I have 3 more reps on each arm. This is brutal.” I nonetheless completed all reps unbroken.

I then coached the 9am and 10am sessions, with 20 and 10 in attendance, respectively. I then got to witness firsthand just how grueling this WOD was… Nice job, most of you!

Front Lever Progress

I usually don’t attend a CFD session on Wednesday, but as I took a much needed rest day yesterday I did indeed attend today. I had originally planned on attending the 7:15 session, but as I was awake at 4am I joined my fellow 6:15ers, including the always lovely Renee, Kristen (with her mother in tow), Drew (aka Punky) and others, including Lori. Yes, Lori! What a delightful surprise.

After a yoga warm up (boring, boring, boring), we worked on the rings. I practiced vertical holds, back lever, and skin the cat. As I was completing a round of skin the cats, Alison entered the box and gave some very helpful pointers. (More about Alison in a moment…)

6 rounds for time of the following:
10 power cleans (95/135)
10 ball slams
10 toes to bar

I was not present for most of the demo regarding the ball slams, but I did review the video that Dave posted. We were told to not worry about catching the ball on the first bounce. Hmmm…

We were told to scale the power cleans as we would be doing 60, and were encouraged to lift 60 to 70% of our 1RM. My 1RM for a full squat clean is a mere 155lb and for a power cleans is 135; thus between 81 and 108 lb. I decided to lift 95 lb but mistakenly put 115 on the bar, i.e., 2, 35 lb plates. Just before the met-con Renee was kind enough to help me replace the 35 lb plates with 2, 25 and 2, 10 lb plates – just in case I needed to lower the weight.

My goals were to make sure the bar rested on my deltoids and that my elbows were raised (in addition, of course, to popping my hips, not using my arms to lift, etc.) and to do all rounds of T2B unbroken. I knew, however, that this wasn’t going to be a fast met-con, as the power cleans were sure to slow me down.

And slow me down the power cleans did. In fact, I was the very last person to complete the first round of power cleans and was one of the last people to finish the met-con. And for this I am very proud.

I completed the first 4 rounds of power cleans unbroken and the last two rounds in reps of 6 and 4.

After completing the first round of ball slams incorrectly, i.e., not catching the ball after the first bounce, I ignored (what little I received) direction and focused on dropping very fast into a squat and quickly catching the ball. I am very pleased to say that I did just that for the last 5 rounds. I did, however, have to break the last round into reps of 6 and 4.

I completed the first five rounds of T2B unbroken and could’ve finished the last round if my sweaty hands hadn’t slipped from the damn bar. I quickly chalked and completed the last 5 reps on a non-Kenny bar. Time 15:14.

I very much want to improve my ring work. As Alison is a former gymnast (and thus very skilled at all things gymnastic) I asked if I could join the 7:15ers for just the ring work and she was kind enough to allow me to do so. She led us through an awesome warm up focusing on shoulders and mobility. Most importantly (and selfishly) she gave me some great pointers for skinning the cat, the back lever, and the front lever. Here is proof. Thanks, Alison!

Skinning the Cat

Front Lever