Strong wrists, warm heart.

Strength
Low Bar Back Squat
10 @ 60%
8 @ 70%
6 @ 75%
4 @ 80%

Conditioning
4 Rounds
1 min Handstand Push-Ups
30 seconds rest
1 min Front Squats
30 seconds rest

Then:

AMRAP 2 minutes
L- Sit Hang

Michael Kelley, thank you for stating 1 minute instead of 60 seconds. However, what is a 2-minute AMRAP of L-sit hang? Shouldn’t it be ALAP (as long as possible)? That’s what he said.

It was yet another awesomely wonderful day of lifting, conditioning, and spelling. Michael Kelley couldn’t spell “subtle”. No surprise. Michael Kelley could spell “altruistic”, although he didn’t know the meaning of the word. No surprise.

I was altruistic in that I allowed Chad, John, Heather, and Lauren to use the racks on the pull-up rig. I used the free-standing racks that I detest that are usable.

I thought that I had yet to establish a 1RM for LBBS, and communicated this to Michael Kelley. I did, however, lift a mere 180# on my last attempt just last week. It appears that both my short- and long-term memories are shit. Michael Kelley “established” that I should base percentages on 210#.

10 @ 125#
8 @ 145#
6 @ 160#
4 @ 170#

We spent a considerable amount of time focusing on mobility prior to squatting, and I could immediately discern a noticeable difference. Squats felt solid from start to finish, and I squatted well below parallel each and every rep. Michael Kelley said so. Here’s a recording of the final round. You’ll hear Michael Kelley say “A little deeper” on the third rep. (I shall make no inappropriate comments — even though I’d really, really like to…) What I heard was “No rep.” Thus, I did a 5th rep.

The conditioning workout was exceedingly challenging in that it was a wrist destroyer. Michael Kelley told us to FS 50% of weight used for final round of LBBS; thus, I lifted 85#.

I completed 8 unbroken HSPUs (a new PR) and a total of 11 the first round. Things went downhill from there, and I was only able to complete 7, 6, and 6 for the remaining rounds, often only doing 1 rep at a time.

Uhm, 85# was probably too light in that I was able to complete 20 FS all 4 rounds. How was I able to complete the same number of reps each round, you ask? I stopped after 20 unbroken FS the first round and had about 20 seconds of the minute remaining. I completed round 2 in reps of 15 and 5, round 3 in reps of 10 and 10, and round 4 in reps of 12 and 8, and each round I had at least 5 seconds of the minute remaining. More rest for me!

After the 3rd round I yelled, “Show of sore wrists: who hates Michael Kelley?” If I recall, most if not all wrists were raised. I also said this, “Listen up everyone, because I’ll only say this and I’ll never put it in writing: Michael Kelley is a very good coach.

Totals: 30 HSPUs and 80 FS

After a very short break, we were told to hold an L-sit for as long as we could and up to 2 minutes if possible. I used the rings, kept my legs bent but parallel, and held for 1:15. My. Back. Was. Killing. Me.

I will be coaching the 6am sessions each Wednesday beginning tomorrow morning. As I was preparing to leave, Michael Kelley said, “Paul, make sure you use two different color markers on the whiteboard, one for the WOD and one for the list of athletes.” I replied, “Sometimes I wonder who the gay one is in this relationship, Michael Kelley.”

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Power snatches. Oh, my!

Strength/Skill
5 Rounds
3 Snatch Grip Push Press + 3 Overhead Squats
Rest 60 Seconds
3 Snatch Grip Deadlift + Hi-Pull
Rest 60 Seconds

Conditioning
AMRAP 10
30 Double Unders
15 Power Snatch

Michael Kelley, why not state “rest 1 minute”? Also, it’s “high-pull”, you know, because it’s like you’re lifting the bar high. On a positive note, you said “like” less frequently today. On a negative note, you said “further” instead of “farther” and “lay” instead of “lie”. Baby steps, Michael Kelley. Baby steps.

I somewhat rested yesterday in that I didn’t complete a met-con, although I did run when coaching CFDers and I did take Luke for a 3-mile run. That’s a rest day for me, ladies and gentlemen.

Today’s strength/skill was quite enjoyable, and I continue to like the programming at CFZ. Yes, I miss working on gymnastics skills, but I can do that on my own. I need to work on most lifts; thus, the programming fits my current needs. I failed to take a photo of my notebook, so I’m going on my somewhat poor memory. PP + OHS 65, 75, 85, 85, and 85 and DL/HP 75, 85, 95, 105, and 105. I was having difficulty getting my elbows high due to inflexibility, and Michael Kelley was kind enough to show me a very good shoulder stretch. Thank you, Michael Kelley. You’re the nicest Michael Kelley that I currently know.

Today’s met-con was brought to you by the CrossFit Games, as this was the first 2011 qualifying workout. While I didn’t complete (and/or compete) last year, I remember this workout all too well, as I judged a few people, including Jack.

Michael Kelley informed me that the weight for male masters was 75# — although he didn’t seem the least bit confident that I would be able to power snatch that weight. In fact, he suggested that I use a women’s bar and use some convoluted combination of plates so that I would be able to drop weight from the bar if need be. Oh, Michael Kelley: you of little faith and wide girth.

Double unders presented no problems, and I completed 3 or 4 rounds unbroken. The exceptions were the first round (because I hadn’t positioned myself far enough away from the wall and my rope hit an external plug box) and the last round (as I knew I had enough time to complete all 30, so I did in reps of 20 and 10, i.e., so I wouldn’t have to do any power snatches).

I completed the first round of power snatches unbroken. How the hell did that happen? I completed remaining rounds in reps of as many as 12 and as few as 3, but the reps of 3 were merely to finish out a round.

Uhm, I may have lost count of rounds, as in my mind rounds began with power snatches instead of double unders. I either completed 5 or 6 rounds + 30 double unders. I’m not trying to give myself extra credit here, it’s just that I have no recollection of middle rounds, and at one point I started to move a chip to the completed pile and thought, “Should I be doing this now? Is this the end of a round?” It’s amazing what impact oxygen deprivation will have one you.

Row, burp, pull, shoot.

Every time I view crossfitzeal.com I see a picture of Michael Kelley’s upper back replete (adjective: 1. abundantly supplied or provided, filled [usually followed by with]; 2. stuffed or gorged with food and drink) with CFZ shirt. At least it’s not a picture of his ass, although the home page does appear to be widescreen. Thomas, why no pictures of yours truly?

Michael Kelley “led” the 9:30 session, and there were about 10 in attendance. We worked on mobility, and then warmed up for the snatches. We were then given 15 minutes to work on snatch form – and possibly determine or establish a new 1RM. I’m not saying this just because I’m a gay man: I hate snatch. I do, I truly do. I lifted 65, 75, 95, and 100#, but all were power snatches.

Metabolic Conditioning
Row 1K
30 burpees
30 pull-ups
30 wall ball shots

I had honestly considered not doing today’s met-con, as this was my fifth day on, and I was feeling quite tired. Michael Kelley asked, “Who can row 500 meters in less than 2 minutes? If you can, go the first round.” I said, “I can’t.” Michael Kelley rolled his eyes, or at least I think he did. His eyelashes are freakishly long, so I can’t be certain. He asked for 4 volunteers, so I grabbed a rower.

I rowed the first 250m perhaps too fast, as my s/m rose above 30 and my pace was near 1:40/500m. Not smart, Paul, not smart. I forced myself to slow down for the next 500m, and then once again picked up the pace for the last 250m. Chadropractor also went the first round, and I was certain that he would row 1K faster than me. Alas, he did not. Have I taught you nothing, Chadropractor? I was the first to finish the 1K row.

I completed 30 burpees unbroken, albeit with a slight pause at the top of each burpee. Pull-ups were completed in reps of 10, 5, 5, 5, 3, 1, and 2. My arms were aching, and this slowed me down considerably. I completed 20# wall ball shots in reps of 10, 5, 5, 5, and 5.

My time was 9:34.

Sandra, Nicole, Leah, Rob, Britt, Lauren, and Michael Kelley attended the 10:30 session, and most of them did a great job on both snatches and the met-con. Michael Kelley did chest to bar pull-ups and used the 30# slam ball for wall ball shots. Whatevs. He did not, however, finish anywhere close to my time. Why not, Michael Kelley? Why not?

Dear Michael Kelley,

Hello! How are you? I am fine.

I am truly enjoying the time we spend together. The quantity of said time has certainly increased. I do ask, however, that the quality of the time we spend together improve. Specifically, I ask that you decrease the number of times you say the word “like” by a minimum of 50%. You may use the word like when making an analogy, e.g., “Michael Kelley’s ass is like a swollen zit about to pop.”

I also ask that you not only improve your vocabulary, but that you also use words correctly, e.g., “To further illustrate, place your feet farther apart.”

Your friend,

Paul

Fatty McFatterson

Yet another fun day at the Z! My tied-for-most-favorite-friends Claire, John, Chad, and Heather were there, as was the other Paul. And some fat coach, too.

Fatty is doing a great job programming, though.

Skill Work
1 minute Max Handstand Hold
30 seconds rest
45 seconds Max Handstand Hold
30 seconds rest
30 seconds Max Handstand Hold

Being upside down for that long that early in the morning is just wrong, I tell you. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I held 50, 45, and 30 seconds. I dropped from the wall due less to weakness and more to do with feeling like I was going to pass out. It’s also somewhat disconcerting to be upside down and looking across the room at other people who are upside down, particularly when said people drop from the wall. Just sayin’.

Strength
High Bar Back Squat
10 @ 60%
8 @ 70%
6 @ 75%
4 @ 80%
Rest 2-3 minutes between sets

As I arrived early (imagine that!), Fatty and I discussed what weight to use, as I have yet to determine 1RM for HBBS. Fatty suggested that I base percentages on 170#, but I didn’t think that would be heavy and/or challenging enough. I chose 190# instead; thus, I did 10 reps of 115#, 8 reps of 135#, 6 reps of 145#, and 4 reps of 155#. Lifts felt solid, and I finally feel like I squatting deeply enough – due to Fatty’s insistence that I do so. Thanks, Fatty!

Conditioning
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
Dumbbell Push Jerk
Sumo Dead-lift

Fatty suggested that we sumo dead-lift 55% of 1RM, so I lifted 175#. I asked if I could complete push jerks using kettle bells, but I was discouraged from doing so. Why? Because the 35# kettle bells at Z don’t have matching handles. Suffice it to say that I don’t like when a person’s shoes don’t match her/his belt. Fatty proclaimed, “Use dumb bells!” I selected 30#. Uhm, I probably should’ve gone heavier. (Shut your mouth, Paul S.!)

My goal was to complete all reps unbroken, and to quickly transition between dead-lifts and push jerks. I achieved this goal. I did not have a goal to crush anyone else, although I did just that.

Uhm, I completed push presses, and never felt the need to jerk; thus, the weight of dumb bells was probably too light. (Shut your mouth, Paul S.!)

I was one of the – if not the – last of the men-folk to complete round of 10 push presses. My immediate thought when this happens is always, “It’s all about endurance. You have plenty of endurance, Paul, so don’t feel like you’re racing anyone but yourself. You sure are handsome. You don’t have a six-pack of abs, you have a twelve-pack! Let’s kiss when the met-con is over.” They may not be exactly what I think every time this happens, but those were my exact thoughts this morning.

Fatty justifiably reminded me to put my ass (as he is always looking at my ass this came as no surprise) and shoulders back when dead-lifting. I did, however lock my arms at the top of presses.

I couldn’t help but observe others as they completed the met-con, and by the round of 4 I was clearly destroying demolishing making him cry like a Michael Kelley beating the competition. Fatty yelled, “Come on the most attractive Paul I’ve ever met, try to finish in under five minutes! I love you!” I didn’t glance at the clock, so I had no idea how close to the five-minute mark I was. I completed the last rounds as quickly as I could, and yelled “Time!” at 4:45, with 15 seconds to spare.

 

P is for “Paul”

Brief blog today, as I was the only person working out during open gym this morning! Thus, I was unable to tease, cajole, and/or belittle anyone. Damn.

I arrived at CFZ at 5:30 am. That’s not a typographical error. Meg and Zac once again awakened me just before 4 am. Bad kitties, bad!

I worked on mobility and strict press, as I thought there was no better way to warm up the shoulders and arms then pressing. Am I right? Yes, I am.

Press
3 x 65, 75, 95, 115, 120, & 125 (87% of bodyweight, bitches.)

Today’s skill-building can’t really be considered a met-con, even though the workout was timed – and I established a very good sweat.

30 muscle ups for time

I set up the rings hanging from the pull-up rig, warmed up with 2 muscles ups, and set the clock. (As an aside, I’m pleased that I can consistently do a muscle up on the first attempt. No more flailing about until I get it right. Form, consistency, and then intensity. Intensity, you shall be mine!)

As I’ve never completed a workout like this before, I didn’t have any set goals regarding time and/or string of unbroken muscles ups. I have been only able to complete 5 unbroken muscles up in the past, and was (dare I say) delighted when I completed 8 unbroken muscles (a PR!) at the start. I made sure that I dropped from the rings before reaching muscle fatigue. Well, at least for a while…

I completed the remaining muscle ups in reps of 4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2, 2, 1, and 1; thus 10 rounds. I had a failed attempt at the end of rounds 7, 8, and 9. I completed 30 muscle ups in 7:27.

Michael Kelley finally arrived at CFZ looking sleepy-eyed and tired. Poor baby. He was kind enough to record me completing yet more muscle ups, first 7 unbroken with not perfect form, i.e., elbows slightly bent and arms internally rotated, and this round of 3 unbroken (and 1 very funny attempt) with much better form, e.g., arms fully extended and externally rotated. Thank you for recording, Michael Kelley. Next time, make sure you position yourself and the camera in such a way that your HUGE ass doesn’t cast a shadow.

Uhm, that’s a total of 42 muscle ups.

Lavender

Michael Kelley: Why does the autocorrect on my phone keep changing “maybe” to “mauve”?
Me: You probably have the language set to “gay”.

After working on mobility focusing on the Achilles, we practiced double unders. I was able to complete 85 unbroken, and would have completed 96 – if Michael Kelley hadn’t been watching me. It’s a race to see who will be the first to complete 100 unbroken double unders. I discovered a course correction that I need to immediately implement, but I shan’t share what it is.

Today’s met-con was, dare I say, fun!

5 Rounds
10 Power Cleans
10 Box Jumps
10 Burpees
10 KB Swings
Rest 2 minutes

32 minute time cap
For the Power cleans, use a weight that’s about 67% of your 1RM. If you don’t have a 1RM, choose a challenging weight that allows you to maintain proper form. Choose a challenging box and Kettlebell.
*If you deviate more than 5 seconds per round, you will be given a penalty. Each penalty is worth 15 grasshoppers and there is a max number of penalties at 4.

My current 1RM for a clean is 160 (achieved just last week), and I communicated this to Michael Kelley. He said, “I’m sure you can power clean 135 or 145, can’t you?” Well, maybe – but 50 times? He got out a calculator and said, “Use 95.” Uhm, that’s because 67% of 145 is 97.15; thus, I used 95 lb for power cleans. I next said, “I’m going to use a 44 lb kettle bell.” Michael Kelley replied, “Use 52 pounds. You can swing a 52 lb kettle bell 10 times.” I can, so I didn’t argue. I used a 30” box. I’m 66”, so that’s almost half my height. (“Bitches” is implied at the end of the last sentence.)

My goal was to complete all rounds and reps unbroken, and focus on quickly transitioning from one activity to the next.

I almost achieved my goal, but I failed on the 49th freaking box jump! My right foot landed, but my left foot didn’t quite make it to the top of the box. Thankfully I didn’t fall. I did, however, have to redo that box jump. Here’s the rest of the story…

I completed all rounds of power cleans unbroken, although during the last round I completely disregarded form and only focused on speed. My bad.

Box jumps were the most challenging of the 4 skills, but with the exception of the 49th jump, I completed all unbroken. I made sure both feet landed solidly on the box, and that I extended my hips.

I did indeed complete all rounds of burpees unbroken, although I made myself take a half second pause after the jump at the top, as I wanted to make sure I kept something in the tank.

Kettle bell swings were also completed unbroken, although Michael Kelley takes umbrage that I bend my elbows. I don’t hate Michael Kelley that much.

I completed the 1st and 2nd rounds in exactly 2 minutes, the 3rd round in 1:58, the 4th round in 1:56, and the last round in 1:54. Damn, I deviated more than 5 seconds! Why? First, I told myself to not even look at the clock and to not “game” the met-con. Second, Lauren was cheering for me, and I didn’t want to appear weak like Michael Kelley.

I was exhausted at the end of the met-con, but as I had deviated more than 5 seconds I asked Michael Kelley, “How many crickets do I have to do?” He looked at me with his normal expression, which is to say dumbfounded, and said, “You mean grasshoppers?” Ha! I was a bit confused. The grasshoppers were exceedingly challenging, and I did in reps of 20 and 10.

Again, I’m truly enjoying CrossFit Zeal! Come visit me when I coach the Community WOD this and most Saturdays at 11:30. You know you want to. Do it. Do. It. Doitdoitdoitdoitdoit.

Benchmark “Fran” at CFZ

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“Fran.” Ugh. Having known that we were going to do this benchmark WOD since late last week, I was dreading going to CFZ this morning. I did indeed rest yesterday, but, as like every other time I rest a day, I felt incredibly tight and inflexible when I was awakened – at 3:58! – by Zac and Meg. My first thought was, “Wait until the alarm sounds.” My next immediate thought was, “’Fran’ is today.” I was then (not “than”, Michael Kelley) wide awake…

I fed and then played with Zac, Meg, and Luke, ate a light breakfast, prepared my protein shake, and departed for CFZ at 5:20, 10 minutes earlier than I normally do. I was stretching when Michael Kelley entered the box, sporting a new doo. It makes him look ever so slightly less fat, although it makes his ass look even more incredibly huge.

Michael Kelley led us through a painfully delicious mobility session, and then we were off to the racks.

Strength
Low-bar back squats
5×3

Michael Kelley reviewed proper form, including sending the hips back first, bending or folding upper body, and driving with the hamstrings when ascending.

I completed 3 reps of 135, 155, 165, 175, and 185. I will admit, however, that I was obsessing about “Fran”. Michael Kelley said, “We have plenty of time before ‘Fran’, so let’s spend some more time on mobility.” I seriously considered punching him in the throat.

We were finally ready to prepare our workstations for “Fran”. Michael Kelley said, “Choose a weight and a band for pull-ups that you think you can use and still complete workout in less than ten minutes.”

The last time I completed “Fran” was a little over a year ago, and in a time of 8:34. It was a struggle, and I know my form was less than spectacular. This morning my head was swimming with ideas, and “Go light, but go fast” was what I had decided to do. I didn’t, however, communicate this to Michael Kelley, and he said, “Use 95 and see what happens.” Ugh.

I warmed up thrusters with just the 45 lb bar, and then added 2, 10 lb plates and warmed up with 65. I once again added 2, 10 lb plates and warmed up with 85. My shoulders were on fire, and I didn’t think I’d be able to lift 95 lb once, let alone 45 times. I nonetheless added 2, 5 lb plates, and lifted 95 lb twice. I did not, however, replace the plates with 2, 25 lb plates, as I thought for certain that I would have to drop weight from the bar – and I wanted to be prepared to do so.

“Fran”

21-15-9
95 lb thrusters
Pull-ups
My one and only goal was to finish in less than 7 minutes – even if that meant dropping weight. While not a goal, I told myself that I could do all rounds in sets of 3, e.g., 3 sets of 7 for round of 21. Oh, if only I had been actually able to do that…

The timer sounded, I cleaned the bar, and completed 15 thrusters. I was already spent, and already dreading picking up the bar. I nonetheless did and completed the last 6 thrusters, and I was the last person in the 6am group to do so. I was stationed about 5 or so meters from the bar, so I walked to the bar and completed round of 21 pull-ups in reps of 12, 6, and 4 (although my count may be off for this and all rounds of pull-ups). Oh. My. God. Pull-ups. Hurt. Like. Hell. I thought my shoulders were going to dislocate.

I dropped from the rig, walked to my bar, and completed round of 15 in reps of 5, 4, 4, and 2. Ouch. The entire time I was doing thrusters I kept thinking to myself, “Just stop. Quit. If you keep going you’re still going to have another round of 9. Step away from the bar.” Each time I dropped the bar it bounced farther (not “further”, Michael Kelley) from the pull-up rig. Near the end of the round I grabbed one end of the bar and dragged it closer to the pull-up rig. Michael Kelley said, “Follow the bar, Paul.” I was tempted to drop the bar outside of CFZ and follow the bar damn home. And then go to a bar. I completed round of 15 pull-ups in reps of between 5 and 2. Ouchouchouch.

I walked from the rig to my bar, and completed the round of 9 thrusters in reps of 3. It took every ounce of resolve I had left in my body to not drop the bar after the 8th thruster, as I so very much wanted to do so. I completed the round of 9 pull-ups in reps of between 4 and 2, and called time at 6:57, 1:37 faster than my previous best time. Not stellar, but certainly better.

My body was aching, my head was reeling, and I dropped to the ground in child’s pose. Uhm, I don’t know that I’ll dread “Fran” any less the next time we do. Just saying.