Holla! (Dedicated to Chad)

Today’s endurance WOD was the benchmark “Death by 10 meters”, and Kim, Chad, and Stew attended. With a continuously running clock, sprint 10 meters the first minute (each time resting the remainder of the minute), 20 meters (down and back) the second, 30 the third, and repeat until you are unable to complete the number of 10 meter down and back efforts required for the round.

I got a bit of a workout myself, as I ran all but one of the rounds (more in a moment) with athletes, counting off each 10 meters complete and also giving finishing time. Chad informed me that he thought he could make it to 20, i.e., 200 meters. Uhm, that’s quite an accomplishment for anyone, and I’m confident Chad can accomplish this in the future. This was, however, the first time he had ever attempted the WOD, and as Marshall McLuhan say, “The map is not the territory.” Chad did a great job, and during the round of 15 through 17, I acted as his “rabbit”, running slightly faster than he did while providing direction and support. For the round of 18 I said, “Chad, you’re on your own.” It was his weakest round, but I told myself if he made it with at least 5 seconds of rest I’d run the round of 19 with him. He did make it and with just 5 seconds left. For his round of 19 I began by running ever so slightly faster than him, and then I picked up the pace. Unfortunately, he was unable to keep up, and was just a few feet away from the finish when I called time. Next time, Chad!

I attended the 10am session, and the focus was on practicing gymnastics skills. There’s been much of this as of late, which I always enjoy, but as both a coach and a participant I prefer more structure. I practiced muscle ups, front levers, vertical holds, headstands (YouTube link), and handstands.

Metabolic conditioning
For time:
Run 400m 800m
75 pushups
Run 400m 800m
75 Abmat sit-ups
Run 400m 800m

I went forth and back as to what I wanted to accomplish, contemplating increasing distance of runs, reps of pushups and sit-ups, and/or both. As the clock counted down, Troie joined me on the sidewalk across the street from CFD. Troie always likes to start the met-con with a race. Ha! When “Go!” was shouted, I immediately turned around and ran in the opposite direction toward Foster, having decided at the last minute to run 600m instead of 400m. Uhm, instead of turning at Briggs I kept running and instead took a left at Washington, i.e., the 800m loop. Thus, I ran 3 intervals of 800m. Oh, well, you can never run too far or too fast.

I completed the pushups in reps of 30, 10, and then the last 35 in reps of as many as 5 and as few as 2. I completed all sit-ups unbroken.

Time = 14:54.

About 16 or so attended the Community WOD. Today’s skill was kettle bell swings, and the WOD was 12, 11, 10…3, 2, 1 KB swings, Abmat sit-ups, and burpees with a 15-minute cutoff. Oh, how I love burpees!

Tomorrow is a rest day, but I will be coaching one session at 11am. The WOD? A 5K race! Yeah!



I didn’t set my alarm last night. Was this my subconscious telling me to sleep in at least one day during vacation? Alas, I did awaken at what must have been 4:09, the time my alarm first sounds, but I was so relieved that the alarm hadn’t sounded that I fell back into a light sleep – even though Meg and Zac were pawing at my arms and legs and walking all over my chest and stomach. I finally grabbed my iPhone and glanced at the time – 5:25. I thus took my time getting ready, thinking that I’d join the 7:15ers. I even stopped at McDonald’s and purchased an English muffin and a cup of coffee. Paleo Schmaleo.

When I arrived at CFD at 6:35, folks were just beginning the workout. I asked Coach S. if I could warm up on my own and join the group, and he (somewhat) graciously agreed. He teamed with Craig and Troie while Michelle and I set up our own benches and bars.

Today’s WOD was a benchmark.

5 rounds of the following:
Max rep bodyweight bench press
Max rep pull-ups
Rest as much time as needed between rounds

The last time I completed this workout was September 18, and I achieved a total score of 125.

Uhm, I didn’t really warm up all that much, merely completing a couple of bench presses with the bar and then 95 lb. I did, however, weigh myself, and I still can’t seem to break 143 lb. Thus, I put 143.6 lb on the bar. I completed 8, 8, 8, 6, and 5 bench presses for a total of 35. I completed 24, 24, 21, 18, and 18 pull-ups for a total of 105.

Bench pressing is a weakness. The fourth round was the most challenging, as I didn’t center the bar between my grip, and I kept having to bounce the bar up to try and get it balanced – which I was never able to do. I usually completed the last 5 or so pull-ups with a brief pause whilst hanging from the bar followed by a big kip. I also could’ve rested more between rounds, as my forearms and biceps were aching after the second round. Wah, wah. I sound like a big baby. Even though I won’t mention his name, you know whom I’m referring to. Hint: his ass is HUGE.

Total = 140. This is a 15-rep improvement, so I’m somewhat satisfied.


Canadian Swings

I once again coached the 6:15 session and attended the 7:15 session. Today’s skill was 20 minutes of gymnastics. I warmed up the 6:15ers with shoulder mobility and then kettle bell swing practice, focusing on keeping the elbows bent and using the hips. Here’s how it worked: athletes merely held the KB and lightly extended hips, and then on my count they exploded their hips three times. Why? To see how high the KB would go. Craig’s KB went so high that it went past vertical. “Craig,” I said, “that swing was so past American that it was Canadian.”

I spent most of my time during the 6:15 session with the lovely and delightful Meaghan and Michelle, both of whom did a wonderful job progressing on handstands and handstand pushups. Craig worked on dips, and Stew and Troie did what appeared to be weighted ring dips. Or line dancing. When it was my turn, I worked on headstands and vertical holds (both held for 2 minutes) as well as muscle ups. For the first time ever I completed a kipping muscle up from da flo! No more boxes for me.

13, 12, 11…3, 2, 1
Kettle bell swings (52/35, American or Russian)
10-minute cutoff

Stew was the only athlete from the 6:15 session to complete within 10 minutes, with a time of 9:44. Impressive. He and Troie both chose to do American KB swings. Speaking of Troie, he had but one burpee to go when time ran out. All of that line dancing must have exhausted him.

I thought carefully about my goals for this workout. First and foremost, I wanted to work continuously, i.e., to complete all rounds unbroken. Having watched the 6:15ers, I often observed resting at the top of the KB swing and between burpees. I decided, then, to complete Russian swings, as there most certainly would be no resting. I did, however, use a 55 lb KB. In addition, I decided to rest no more than 2 seconds when transitioning from swings to burpees and/or from burpees to swings.

This was quite a challenging workout. I did complete all reps unbroken, and I rested no more than 2 seconds when transitioning. KB swings seemed easy – compared to burpees!

About those burpees… For just about every round I was at my most exhausted and most tempted to stop and rest when I was completing the second to the last burpee, e.g., the 12th of the round of 13, the 8th of the round of 9, and even the 2nd of the round of 3.

I completed the workout in 8:15. Thanks, Doug, for your coaching and support!


Night & Day

Coach S. led today’s session, and there were but four of us in attendance: yours truly, Holly, David, and Jacqui. After leading us through a warmup and review of proper form, we moved to today’s strength.

Front Squat

My current FS 1RM is 200; thus, I set my goal at 175, i.e., 87% of 1RM. I warmed up with 75 and 95, and then did 3 reps of 115 and 135, and I asked Coach S. to observe lifts at 135. Afterwards he said, “Night and day between now and when you first started CrossFit.” I replied, “It’s because I can now squat below parallel.” Coach S. said, “And you’re not afraid of heavier weights.”

They may not be entirely true, as I’ll readily admit (as I often do on this blog) to being frightened of heavier weights. The fear isn’t paralyzing, but I can be somewhat debilitating.

Anyhow, back to the lifts… Front squatting 155 became a bit more challenging, particularly on the wrists, but the lifts were nonetheless successful. I put 20 more lb on the bar, and determined that even though it was the fourth set, as it was 87% of 1RM it would be my last set. Upon reviewing, I am pleased with how deeply I’m squatting and how I am much better able to keep my elbows up. Yup, night and day. You be the judge (link to YouTube). Coach S. once again observed and gave direction, and then said, “Do another set. Put fives on.” I does what I’s is tolds.

For a slight change of pace, I’ll record my self-talk in italics. I rolled the bar to the front of the rack. Two fingers; no more no less. It’s not that heavy. Rest the bar on the shelf. Damn, my wrists hurt. I squatted. Don’t rise until you feel like you’ve gone past parallel. Drive, drive, drive. I squatted a second time. Damn, this is feeling heavy. Up, up, up, up, up! Whew, that was close. Uhm, you’re probably not going to get this last lift. It’s okay if you fail, just be sure to drop the bar and jump back. Frack, I’m out of breath. How does that happen? I squatted. Drive, drive, drive! You’re almost there. Up, up, up, up! I’m suddenly very dizzy.

Front squat 3×185 – a new PR (link to YouTube!

5 rounds for time
Row 250m
6 Turkish get-ups (3 each arm)
Rest 2 minutes between rounds

I estimated that this would take more than 20 minutes total, and I was right. Yet again. My goal was to row in the 30s for strokes/minute, and to row each 250m slightly faster than the previous round. My second goal was to focus on form for TGU; thus, I used a 35 lb kettle bell. I achieved both goals.

While I didn’t record specific times for 250m (and the computer on the rower was acting funky), I nonetheless know that I rowed all 250m in less than 50 seconds, and the last 250m in about 37 seconds. I increased s/m, beginning with 32 for first 250m and ending with 41 for last 250m. My splits were 3:02, 3:01 (8:03), 2:58 (13:01), 3:02 (18:03), and 2:38 (22:41) for a total 14:41.

Holly had been taking my name (as she was kicking my ass) for the first four rounds, and I at least wanted to give her a run for her money. I called time just 1 second ahead of her! It’s friendly competition, so don’t starting hating in me for taking pride in beating a woman. And, Holly is an excellent rower.

I weighed myself after the workout, and I’m still just below 143 lb. Uhm, most people gain weight during the holidays. WTF (What the Frack?)

Holly gets two PRs!

I’ve said I before, and I’ll say it again. I usually feel very weak after a rest day, and today was no exception. Caveat: while I did rest from CrossFit yesterday, I helped Michael Kelley assemble the pull-up rig for CrossFit Zeal. Keep your friend close, and your enemies closer. I’ve also taken Luke for a 2-mile walk every day for the past week.

My plans were to coach the 6:15 session and attend the 7:15 session. I opened the doors to CFD at 6, and patiently waited for folks to arrive. I waited, and waited, and waited. I had decided that if no one were to attend that I would do yesterday’s WOD (100 pull-ups, 1K row, 100 burpees). At about 6:14 Holly knocked on the door. Yeah!

We warmed up, went over the movements for press, push press, push jerk, and split jerk, and then we both began. I didn’t want Holly to have to do the strength – and certainly not the met-con – alone, and she was grateful for the company.


I was more concerned with observing and coaching Holly than I was about completing the strength segment myself, and Holly and I conversed throughout. I jerked 95, 105, 115, 125, 135, and failed at one attempt at 145. My forearms were sore from so much ratcheting. Stupid Michael Kelley.

During Holly’s second or third lift she said, “Jess and I were talking about how when you first join CrossFit you have a PR just about every day. I haven’t had a PR in ages.” I replied, “I know. I can’t recall they last time I had a PR.” Holly continued to lift, and many of her lifts were very good. After her fifth or sixth lift I asked, “How much weight is on the bar?” She did the math, smiled, and said, “One hundred pounds.” Uhm, that was 10 pounds more than her 1 rep max! “Congratulations!” I exclaimed. “Put five more pounds on the bar and lift it again.” She did just that. A 15-pound increase is incredible!

10-minute AMRAP of the following:
5 jerk (70% of 1RM)
7 ball slams (as heavy as you can go)
9 pushups

I settled on 105 lbs for jerk, and 30 lbs for ball slams (the heaviest I’ve attempted).

This was rough. I completed the first 3 rounds of jerks unbroken and as push jerks, the fourth and remaining rounds as split jerk, with the fourth and fifth rounds unbroken, and the sixth round almost unbroken. I didn’t lock my arms at the top and dropped the bar to the floor. Fortunately, Don from the 7:15 session had arrived and I yelled, “Don, run over here and help me, please.” Don started walking over. I yelled, “That doesn’t look like running!” He ran over and helped me lift the bar to the racks. I did the fifth rep. I completed the seventh round in reps of 3 and 2, and my last set in reps of 1 and 2.

I completed all ball slams unbroken, although I had to redo the first slam of the first, fifth, and sixth rounds as I didn’t catch the ball on the first bounce. Thirty pounds wasn’t as difficult as I thought it was going to be.

I completed the first through sixth round of pushups unbroken, and the seventh round in reps of 5 and 4. My shoulders were aching by that point.

When all was said and done, I completed 7 rounds + 3 jerks. I. Was. Spent.

I purchased the first season of Battlestar Gallactica (for a mere $14.99) at Target today, and was addicted from the first episode.

“The Grinch”

Dave was kind enough to allow me to coach a session at 10am today, Christmas day, at CrossFit Durham. I was pleased that seven people attended, including Kim C. and Paul Pi. (who both completed yesterday’s workout) and three of the MacLeods – but not Nick! I was hoping to sing “Jolly Young Not-So-Saintly Nicholas”. I shall do so next year.

My good friends at CrossFit908 posted and completed “The Grinch” yesterday, and I suggested to Dave that we do at CFD today. He thought it was a great idea. Most All of my ideas are.

12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 of the following for time:
Dead-lifts (225/185)
Ring dips
Wall ball shots (20/14, 10’ target for both males and females)

Uhm, I had planned on resting today, or at the very least just working on skills. I just couldn’t help myself, and I did indeed do the WOD prior to the 10am session. I did, however, go somewhat easier than I typically would.

My one and only goal was to complete all rounds of activities unbroken. I knew that I would need to dead-lift less than 225 lb. and to also increase my rest time between activities, and that’s exactly what I did. I settled on 205 lb. for dead-lifts. I achieved my goal. The rounds of 10, 9, and 8 dead-lifts were particularly challenging, ring dips weren’t the least bit challenging, and wall ball shots were somewhat annoying. Why? I shot three air balls, and had to redo. One of the those air balls was the first rep of the round of 3. Ouch.

I rested a long time between many of the activities, often leisurely walking to the water fountain for a drink, putting a band-aide on a cut on my leg, opening the door for folks as they arrived, and singing along to Ru Paul’s “Ho Ho Ho” Christmas album. I completed the workout in 20:54, and was completely exhausted after having done so.

Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good night!

The 12 Day of Crossfitmas

It’s Saturday, folks, and you know what that means: I coached endurance WOD, WODded, and coached community WOD.

I went forth and back (I never say “back and forth”) regarding what the endurance WOD would be. 100m sprints x 20? 200m sprints x 10? 2-mile time trial? Death by 10 meters? I was going to allow athletes to help me decide, when – just 10 minutes before the start of the session – I had one of my awesome ideas that I’m so known for. Awesomeness and modesty are what I’m best known for. And my good looks. And intelligence. Wait, I almost forgot strength and speed.

First, today’s traditional WOD was the “12 Days of Christmas
1 – Burpee pull-up
2 – Turkish get-ups
3 – Knees to elbows
4 – Wall ball
5 – Kettlebell swings
6 – Box jumps
7 – Push press
8 – Medicine ball cleans
9 – Double unders
10 – Jumping lunges
11 – Pushups
12 – Pull-ups

The first round is just one burpee pull-up. Then the second round is 2 Turkish get-ups and 1 burpee pull-up. The third round is 3 knees to elbows, 2 Turkish get-ups and 1 burpee pull-up. This continues so that the 12th round incorporates all 12 movements.

Endurance athletes ran 200m each round, i.e., after each burpee pull-up, for a total of 12 times (2400 m or 1.5 miles). Will, Rebekah, Sarah, and Nick joined in the festivities, and while there were some modifications of activities, all did splendidly. I did, however, enforce a 50-minute cut-off.

The WOD looked so incredibly fun that I did the same thing at the 10am session, and Kim C. joined me. My goal was to complete all rounds of activities unbroken, and I came this close to doing so. What tripped me up, literally? Read on, dear friends. Read on.

I completed all 12 rounds of 1 burpee pull-up with a dead-hang pull-up, bringing my chin well above the bar. Fifty-three lb. was posted for Turkish get-ups, but I chose to use 35 lb. No problem. Three knees to elbows? Well, I don’t mind if I do! Four wall balls shots with 20 lb. ball and 10’ target? While this shouldn’t have been a problem, I didn’t hit the wall for 3 shots during different rounds; thus, I had to redo. I have come a long way with 53 lb. kettle bell swings, and these presented no problems.

Six, 24” box jumps. Ugh. For whatever reason, I just couldn’t get into a rhythm; try as I might. During the fourth or fifth round, I missed the box. Yes, I missed the box. Not only did I have to redo that jump, I became cautious for remaining jumps. During the twelfth and final round, I had to pause for more than a brief moment between jumps; thus, I can’t call all rounds of box jumps unbroken. 

I thought 7, 75 lb. push press would present a challenge, but I seem to have gotten stronger. However, 8 20 lb. medicine ball cleans became the activity that I most dreaded, although I did complete all rounds unbroken. Nine double unders were usually done unbroken, and I certainly didn’t rest when I missed and I only counted successful jumps. My legs, however, were becoming fatigued due to all of the sprints. Ten jumping lunges are all kinds of fun. I did mistakenly begin round 8 with jumping lunges instead of medicine ball cleans, so I did end up doing an extra 8 walking lunges.

Both rounds of 11 pushups were done unbroken, as was the round of 12 pull-ups. All 12 rounds of 200m runs went well – except that last 200m. I. Thought. I. Was. Going. To. Die.

I completed the workout in 40:24.

Just 6 people attended the Community WOD, and they completed a modified, much easier “12 Days of CrossFit”.

This is the fifth day in a row that Luke and I have gone for a 2+-mile run. I’m once again enjoying running! We passed numerous runners, as Luke likes to run fast. Very, very fast.