Servabo Fidem

Yesterday I coached the 6am session at CFZ. I worked out at 5am, although I didn’t do a met-con.

High Bar Back Squat
3 warm up sets of 95, 115, and 135
5 @ 65% | 136.5/140 150
3 4×5 @ 75% | 157.5/160

I lifted the set of 5 @ 65% and thought, “That feels heavy for being just 65%.” I looked at my notebook and realized that I lifted 150 instead of 140. Well, at least the first set of 160 didn’t feel very heavy.

In fact, all lifts felt relatively easy. I made sure to record last 2 sets, but unfortunately didn’t record the final of 3 sets. So I lifted a 4th set of 160. I made sure that no music was playing in the background, just in case I posted on YouTube or Facebook. No copyright infringement here at™.

I attended the 9:30 and then coached the 10:30 and Community WODs at CFZ. Michael Kelley was in a particularly foul mood, and we’re not on speaking terms at the moment. I haven’t bothered to tell him, though, so don’t let him know.

Servabo Fidem (I shall keep the faith)

Adam Young WOD

400m Downed Man Person Carry
100 Pull-Ups
100 Box Jumps
100 Kettlebell Swings
100 Overhead Walking Lunges
400m Downed Man Person Carry

WOD Standards:
You may pair up in teams of 2 or 3 depending on ability. Only one person works at a time.
For the carry, each person must carry at least once. The distance doesn’t matter; it just has to happen. For scaling, partners can run together and pass off a weighted object.
You can choose the order of the movements after the carry. You must complete all 100 before moving to the next movement.”
Box jumps (24″/20″): must hit full hip extension either on top of the box or while jumping down.
KB Swings (52#/35#): must end overhead.Pull-ups: chin over the bar, full lockout at the bottom.
Overhead lunges (45#/25#): plate must be completely locked out overhead. Each step is one rep.

Text copied from the CFZ page, although I corrected the numerous typographical and grammatical errors.

CFD posted the following information about Adam Young: Adam Young, a Raleigh Police Officer, and long time CrossFitter, was shot multiple times in the line-of-duty. Adam faces a long and painful rehabilitation process during which time neither he nor his wife will be able to work. We are conducting this benefit to assist him and his family financially and emotionally with a strong appreciation for the men and women that serve and protect the greater Triangle area selflessly. This is an opportunity for our Community to support one of our own. This WOD will honor Adam, his selfless service, and help support his family, during this most difficult time.

I partnered with Jeff, and he did awesome! He insisted that he carry me first. I let him know that he didn’t have to carry me far. He nonetheless carried me a little more than 100m, and I carried him the remaining 300m. He says my shoulder is bony.

Jeff scaled the pull-ups and I performed Rx. This is the first time I’ve done pull-ups since my shoulder injury, and I’m happy to report that all is relatively good. I made sure to complete no more than 10 reps at a time.

Jeff and I chose to do box jumps next, with Jeff jumping 20” while I jumped 24”. We used the same box, so we lost some time in the transition. Box jumps were the easiest I think they’ve ever been, and I was able to string together quite a few at a fast pace. I had planned on doing just 10 at a time, but didn’t communicate this to Jeff. I did 10, he did 15, I did 10, he did 15, so I then did as many as 20 at a time.

Overhead lunges were next, and I knew I wasn’t going to enjoy them. I held a 45# plate overhead while Jeff used a 35#. We each did 10 steps at a time.

As Chad wanted to use a 52# kettle bell, I gave him mine and grabbed a 60# kettle bell, intended to do Russian instead of American swings. Jeff started, using a 44# KB, did 1 swing and said, “Get me a lighter kettle bell.” I said, “Why don’t I start and you get a lighter kettle bell.” I did the first 5 or so Russian, but then decided to do all remaining reps American. Huh? I was feeling particularly strong today.

The last downed man person carry was grueling. I carried Jeff a little more than 100m, he carried me about 25, and then I carried him the rest of the way, putting him down a few times along the way. He started to feel heavy, although he most certainly is not.

We finished in 26:22.

I was quite exhausted, and also quite a sweaty mess. Thomas can attest to this, as I used him to demonstrate the downed man person carry. Sorry, Thomas. I very much enjoyed coaching this particular WOD as not only was it for a very worthy cause, there were also many moving parts. Thus, teams were often doing many different skills at the same time. However, all teams chose to do pull-ups following the first downed man person carry. Copycats. I hadn’t observed my fellow CFers during the 9:30 WOD, so I’m not sure if any teams did what I saw in the 10:30 session, namely facing each other on the box and doing 100 box jumps 1 at a time while taking turns doing so. It looked, shall I say, peculiar. I know that I wouldn’t have enjoyed doing so, as I prefer working at my own pace.

Oh, and let me go on record as saying everyone should participate in the warm up that the coach leads, as it’s disrespectful to not do so.

My favorite conversation of the day took place with Paul A as his wife, Heather, stood by.
PA: That was tough.
PP: We should try this WOD together, as we’d kick ass.
PA: I gotta work on getting my cardio up.
PP: So, is that the nickname you’ve given it?

I coached the Community WOD, and we did a half Chelsea. A good time was had by none.


Whatever, Michael Kelley.

So that my best friend a casual acquaintance, Michael Kelley, could get some very much needed beauty rest, I opened the box this morning. Yup, it’s open gym day. Yup, I was the only person there. As I missed Low Bar Back Squat Tuesday, I completed the prescribed workout today

Low Bar Back Squat
2-3 warm-up sets
5 @ 60% | 132/135
3 @ 70% | 154/155
2 @ 80% | 176/175
2 @ 90% | 198/200
1 @ 95% | 209/210

Squats felt great today! I began to contemplate a met-con during the set of 3 reps @ 80% and I had a thought that I had never had: I enjoy lifting as much if not more than met-cons. Huh? Where did that thought come from? More importantly, what have I become? If I focus more on lifting and less on met-cons will I get morbidly obese like Michael Kelley?

Speaking of Michael Kelley, he arrived just in time to observe my last lift. Upon completing lift I said, “That felt easy.” Aaaaand what did Michael Kelley say? “It should. Wait until next week when you do 103% of your one rep maximum.” Whatever, Michael Kelley. What. Eh. Ver.

Michael Kelley then shared with me how he and everyone laughed at my inability to complete handstand pushups while at CrossFit King of Prussia this past Monday. What. Eh. Ver.

I had no desire to complete any of the met-cons completed at CFZ earlier in the week, and instead completed the met-con I coached at CFD this past Sunday.

3 5 rounds for time of the following:
15 dead-lifts, 135#
Run 400m
15 GHD sit-ups

I had originally planned on doing 3 rounds. My one and only goal was to perform all rounds unbroken.

The first 3 rounds went very well, and I even made sure to begin running as soon as I completed dead-lifts (stationed near the open garage door) and to run to the GHD machine (stationed closer to the entrance of the box). I didn’t look at the clock until the end of round 3, as I told myself that if I completed the first 3 rounds in less than 10 minutes that I would do at least another round. I completed the round 3 in 9:30, so I continued. I then told myself that if I completed round 4 with unbroken dead-lifts and GHD sit-ups that I would do another round. Round 5 it was! I did complete all rounds unbroken (although the light dead-lifts started to feel quite heavy by round 5) and in a time of 16:07.

I will be coaching the 6am session at CFZ tomorrow. I’m looking forward to seeing most of you!

Jelly Legs

For the first time that I can recall, I didn’t know what today’s WOD was going to be, having not looked at the posted WOD online before traveling to Bridgeport. I was the first person to join the 6am session after the coach, Vinnie, opened the doors. I introduced myself and Vinnie asked about my background. I informed him that I was a CrossFit coach and that I specialized in endurance. He said, “Then you might not like today. We’re doing front squats and heavy kettle bell swings.” I have grown to truly enjoy squats of all kinds, and the front squat might very well be my favorite. 

After having attended only 3 sessions, I can confidently say that CFKoP is a great box! All of the coaches I’ve worked with have been great, and Vinnie is my favorite. I knew I liked him when I saw him carrying an orange Nike bag — the same one I own. In addition to knowing his sh!t, Vinnie swears (which I do indeed like) and has a great sense of humor. 

Our warmup consisted of a 400m run(!), stretches, wall ball shots, pushups, and then a review of the front squat using a PVC pipe and the wall. Yes, the wall. I will most definitely use this technique the next time I coach squats. 

We were asked to team up and share a rack. I said, “Does anyone want to team up with the visitor?” Most had already paired with friends, but a woman looked at me sheepishly. I said, “Would you like to team up?” She replied, “This is only my second class since fundamentals. I’m sure you don’t want to team with me.” I said, “I’d be delighted to! Besides, we’re about the same height, so we should be using the same rack.” I introduced myself, and she told me her name was Alana. 

Front Squat

I told Vinnie that my 1RM achieved just last week was 210, and asked him how heavy I should go. He said, “Probably 165 to 175.” I did sets of 145, 155, 160, 165, and 175. I asked Vinnie to observe last set and provide feedback. He said, “Beautiful. You definitely broke parallel.” 

I did coach Alana, and she was very appreciative. She worked up to 75#. 

Cash Out
Front Squats (80% of successfully completed set of 3 reps)
Kettle Bell Swings (70# American)

I got out my trusty iPhone calculator and determined that 80% of 175 is 140. As the last set felt relatively easy, I upped the weight to 145, a few pounds more than my bodyweight. (As an aside, I always under-eat when I travel, and probably consume half of the calories I normally do. I know I’ve lost a few pounds this week, as my pants are loose at the waist.)

Alana wanted to go second, so I grabbed a 70# kettle bell, put 145# on the bar, and set my goal: all rounds unbroken. I asked Alana to count for me. 

145# felt heavy by the 5th rep of the first round. I did complete round of 9 FS and KB swings unbroken, although it took me 2 swings to get the first swing overhead. 

The round of 7 was painful, and I was very tempted to place the bar of the rack after the 4th & 5th rep. I wouldn’t allow myself to do so, and did complete the round of 7 FS and KB swings unbroken. 

I rested an ever so brief moment before starting the last round of 5 FS. I really had to dig deep to complete unbroken and with proper form. As instructed by Vinnie, I dropped the bar after the last rep. I completed 5 KB swings and gasped “Time” at 2:22, the first to do so and the fastest of the morning sessions. 

I collapsed to the floor and Alana said, “You made it look easy.” It wasn’t. I rose to my feet and said, “My legs feel like jelly, Vinnie.” He replied, “They should. You went hard.”

Alana had determined that she would FS 75, but I strongly encouraged her to go lighter and lift 65#, and I’m glad that I did. I spotted her for rounds of 7 and 5, and often gently guided her by the elbows. After the cash out she said, “Thanks for all of your help, and you were right to insist that I go lighter.”

I made sure to thank Vinnie and to praise his coaching abilities. I’m looking forward to WODding at CFKoP next and in upcoming weeks!


What a difference a day makes.

The CFKoP Dirty Thirty
30 Box Jumps (20″/24″)
30 Dumbbell Hang Power Cleans (25#/45#)
30 Dumbbell Push Press (25#/45#)
30 Kettlebell Swings (35#/55#)
30 Push-Ups
30 Sit Ups
30 Wallballs (14#/20# to 9ft/10ft)
30 Double Unders
30 Burpees


Happy Birthday Keith – ps. Keith is 30 today!


“A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows public opinion.”

-Ancient Chinese Proverb

 I attended the 6am session @ CFKoP, led by coach Stephanie, & there were 15 or more in attendance. Stephanie led us through warmup & mobility, and then reviewed standards for WOD.

My shoulder feels better, but I nonetheless went lighter on the cleans & presses, settling on 35# dumb bells. Yes, in retrospect I probably could have gone heavier.

As there were only 3 or 4 24″ boxes, and they were all quickly claimed by regulars, I grabbed a 25″ box. Uhm, I’ve never been to a CF with such a variety of box sizes.

Here’s what transpired…

Box jumps were completed unbroken & to games standard, i.e., I stood up on top of box before jumping off. I was the first to complete box jumps. I completed power cleans I reps of 20 & 10, push press in reps of 15, 10, & 5 (making sure I didn’t hurt my shoulder), 55# KB swings in reps of 10, pushups in reps of 10, 10, 5, & 5, Abmat sit-ups unbroken, wall ball shots in reps of between 9 & 4 (with 3 missed reps), double unders in 25 & 5, and burpees in reps of 5.

I was the first to call time in 12:45.

I felt much better this morning than I did yesterday evening. I’m a morning person. Don’t hate on me.

As with every CF that I’ve visited, the folks at CFKoP are very warm & friendly!

Some days you have it…

…some days you don’t.
I attended the 5:30pm session @ CrossFit King of Prussia, PA (which is actually in Bridgeport). I arrived early and got to observe the 4:30 CFers. I had some idea of what I was in for.
Melanie coached, and she is very good! We first warmed up with rowing based on strokes per minute, and then practiced single and double unders. I strung together 68. Once my shoulder completely heals, I’m going to attempt 100 and/or 1 more than Michael Kelley’s best.
I was feeling tired already. I shouldn’t left then! Ha!
Melanie then walked us through proper form for power snatches. She carefully observed form and made correction when needed.
21-15-9 for time:
Handstand pushups
Power snatches (115#)
I informed Melanie of my shoulder injury and let her know I was going to only snatch 95#.
Melanie counted down from 3 and we were on our way. I was the only person attempting HSPUs as prescribed. I was able to complete 8 unbroken, but then for the remainder of the round of 21 as well as remaining rounds of 15 and 9 was only able to do 2 at a time at the most. Stupid shoulders. I was one of the last to complete the round of 21 HSPUs.
I was, however, able to quickly complete 21 power snatches, and was one of the first to begin round of 15 HSPU.
I had perhaps the worst met-con moment of my life. I had completed 5 or so HSPUs, and then had about 10 failed attempts. And by failed I mean FAILED. I couldn’t remain in an upright position let alone bring me head to the floor. I tried positioning my hands differently. Didn’t work. I tried resting. Didn’t work. I tried swearing. Didn’t work. I was ready to try quitting when, for reasons I have yet to determine, I was finally able to complete a HSPU. Stranger still is that the remainder of my HSPUs were successes. Huh?
I was the very last person to finish the round of 15 HSPUs, and by this time it was too late. Even though I quickly completed round of 15 power snatches, I was taking so long to do HSPUs that I just couldn’t catch up. In fact, there were quite a few who had started to put away their weights before I had even begun round of 9.
I did quickly complete 9 power snatches. Nonetheless, I was the VERY LAST person in my session to compete the workout. The VERY LAST. My time was 15:24.
I’m humbled. I’m not, however, humiliated. Should I be?


You know it’s been a very busy day if it’s after 9pm and I’m just now getting around to blogging…

Today was Open WOD 12.5 that I of course was unable to complete. My left shoulder is feeling better, but I’m not without pain.

So that Michael Kelley could do the WOD and have enough time to recover for whatever it was he did as I coached the Community WOD, I coached the 9:30 session and also counted reps for Michael Kelley.

I then participated with the 10:30 group but substituted front squats for thrusters and GHD sit-ups for chest to bar pull-ups.

7-minute AMRAP (as many REPS as possible)
3 FS
3 GHD sit-ups
6 FS
6 GHD sit-ups
9 FS
9 GHD sit-ups
12, 15, 18, etc.

Michael Kelley and I exchanged sexts yesterday. He suggested that I use 50% of 1RM for front squats. As I had just established new 1RM of 210# Thursday, Michael Kelley suggested lifting 110# today, just 5# more than 50%. I ensured that both hands touched the floor and toes for GHD sit-ups.

My goals were to do all rounds of GHD sit-ups unbroken, and to make it through the round of 12 FS unbroken. I exceeded this goal in that I made it through the round of 15 FS unbroken. The last round of FS I completed, of 18, I did in reps of 5, 5, 5, and 3.

Uhm, even 110# started to feel heavy by the round of 9 front squats. More surprisingly, however, was that GHD sit-ups became more and more difficult as well. Nonetheless, I completed all rounds of GHD sit-ups unbroken, and was able to get 5 (after the round of 18 FS) by the time the clock stopped.

Total = 113; 63 FS and 47 GHD sit-ups

I’ve been doing a hell of a lot of squatting lately. Fortunately, I’ve noticed a significant improvement in both form and strength.

I then had the pleasure of counting for Ben. (In all honesty, I had planned on doing the WOD a second time, but Michael Kelley insisted that I count for someone [even though no one counted for me] so that he could “coach”, i.e., take pictures and text.) Nice job, Ben! Let’s get that squat lower, okay? Okay.

I coached the community WOD. I’m always delighted when regulars also attend, and today that included Nicole, Kristin, and Michelle. 10-minute AMRAP of 5 KB squats, 5 KB push press, 5 wall ball shots, and 5 shuttle runs.

I’m looking forward to visiting CrossFit King of Prussia next week! 

He couldn’t escape his redneck past.

Amuse me and allow me to discuss a non-CrossFit topic…

Last night Jeff and I saw Ben Folds in concert with the NC Symphony. Ben Folds is incredibly talented, and the show was spectacular. We had orchestra seats and from where we were seated I could easily watch Ben play the piano. The man has dexterity—and stamina.

Jeff and I arrived at 7:30 for the 8 o’clock start. Seated in the row directly behind us were three already very loud and drunk individuals, two brothers and a woman (who I don’t believe was related to and/or dating either and/or both of the brothers [yes, both uses of “and/or” are intentional]). One of the two brothers was exceptionally rude. He hooted and hollered (yes, hollered) very loudly, made inappropriate remarks about Sarah Hicks (the conductor), sang off-key or whistled along with most every song (even when he obviously didn’t know the tune or lyrics), and even, in a rare moment of silence, belched loud enough for everyone to hear—and then didn’t excuse himself. During one of the sing alongs, he basically screamed the wrong note. He was so loud and so bad that Ben ended the song and called him a douche bag. The only enjoyable part of this was that Ben then made up a song about this asshole, called “Single Douche Bag” (although I’m not sure if he made up the song on the spot or if he had it ready for any douche bag who happened to attempt to ruin his concert). To add insult to injury, a man seated directly behind Jeff had an obvious sinus problem and spent the entire concert snorting and coughing. No, he did not cover his mouth.

Listen, assholes, I know you paid good money to attend the concert. So did everyone else. For perhaps the first time in my life, I imagined acts of physical violence against someone. The thought actually crossed my mind, “Punch both assholes in the throat. It will be worth being kicked out of the concert.” It’s a concert hall, not an outdoor arena or a stadium.

Okay, now that I’ve got that off of my chest, on to today’s CrossFit workout. This should be brief.

High Bar Back Squat
2-3 Warm-up sets, 50-60%
2×5 @ 65% | 136.5/140
3×5 @ 70% | 147/150

As new brand spanking new 1RM is 210#, that’s what I based percentages on. Yes, I rounded up. Yes, I ended both of those last sentences with a preposition. Lifts felt easy, and I told Michael Kelley as much. He replied, “Wait until next week. The percentage goes up to 75.” Wow, Michael Kelley, a whole 5%? I’m sooooo scared! I did not record lifts—because I no longer need to as I’m confident that my form is good, bitches.

Turkish Get-Ups, Alternating
Focus on form and technique, not speed.

Michael Kelley asked me to demonstrate, and I did so. I performed one Turkish get-up using my right arm. However, when I came up to my left elbow I felt, you guessed it, pain. So I told Michael Kelley that I would not be doing Turkish get-ups. He said, “Do ring work or something.” He then had perhaps his only intelligent thought of the day and said, “Or you could help me coach Turkish get-ups.” That’s what I did. Keep your elbows locked, Heather. Make sure you land on your elbow before ending on the floor, Alex and Claire. Spot your opposite hand, Chad. Learn to read, Paul A.

For Time:
45 Kettle bell Swings
45 Double Unders
35 KBS
35 DU
25 KBS
25 DU
15 KBS
15 DU

I knew I wasn’t going to do American swings. (As an aside, this morning a co-worker informed me, and I quote, “I hate all Democrats.” Wow, just wow. That’s quite an overgeneralization.) I settled on a 52# KB, and as the (very smelly) box was crowded, I set up my KB just outside of the gayrage (spelling intentional) door. I placed my jump rope beside the pull-up rig, where I had just enough space to complete dus. Michael Kelley said, “As we only have 10 minutes left, complete as much work as you can in the next 10 minutes. No one will complete this met-con in under 10 minutes.” Uhm, have I mentioned that Michael Kelley SUCKS AT TIME MANAGEMENT? My only goal was to complete the workout in less than 10 minutes.

I completed the rounds of 45 and 35 KB swings unbroken, round of 25 in reps of 15 and 10, and round of 15 in 10 and 5. It hurt.

I must remember to warm up double unders. I completed the round of 45 in reps of no more than 15. Ugh. Fortunately, I completed all remaining rounds unbroken.

My time was 6:42. Yup, that’s less than 10 minutes.

I feel like punching someone in the throat. I stopped by CFZ before I picked up Luke from Doggie Village this evening. If there hadn’t been any witnesses, I would’ve done it.