No Met-Con Thursday

I rested yesterday; thus I merely needed to demonstrate and not do inverted burpees. Speaking of yesterday, I think I may have temporary or permanent memory loss. While demonstrating dumb bell thrusters I said, “Be sure the barbell starts from the floor each rep.” I heard a collective “That’s a cluster!” And then my brain froze. I could not imagine, let alone demonstrate, a thruster. Huh? Fortunately the 6amers were forgiving, and Lauren was kind enough to demonstrate. Michael Kelley should fire me as a coach. He really should. Do it, Michael Kelley. Do. It.

Michael Kelley sexted me at 5:16 this morning.
MK: You’re working out today, yes?
PP: Yes.
MK: Couldn’t sleep…I’ll be there.
PP: It’s what I live 4.
MK: Sleep? Or my fat, but still attractive face?

While commuting to CFZ I witnessed some idiot obviously texting while driving. The idiot was swerving all over the road and they almost ran a red light. As I approached them I thought, “What idiot would drive a white Equinox?” Oh, that’d be Michael Kelley. I passed him and he followed me to CFZ, just like a minion should.

Yes, I was graced by Michael Kelley’s presence this morning. I had to listen to him blather on and on about his excitement regarding WOD 12.5, how he had to get his car inspected today, blah, blah, blah.

My left bicep and shoulder, you ask? Some days are better than others, and today is not one of the better days. I attempted to merely hang from the rings and immediately felt pain. I attempted a ring dip and immediately felt pain. It’s come to the point that I imagine punching Michael Kelley in the throat with my right instead of left hand. It’s that bad.

I spent time improving mobility, and while PVC pipe rolling I said to Michael Kelley, “My hamstrings are killing me. What did we do recently that would cause this?” I truly couldn’t think of a single thing. Michael Kelley replied, “Uh, 55 heavy dead-lifts?” Oh, yeah, I had forgotten about that…

Today’s Paul prescribed strength was the front squat and my goal was to achieve a PR. After warming up, I did 5 reps @ 115, 3 @ 133 & 155, 2 @ 175 and 1 @ 185. Michael Kelley was, of course, watching my ass observing my form. He said, “One eighty-five looked easy. I’d put 205 on the bar and match your PR.” Sometimes Michael Kelley provides good advice. I put 205 on the bar – and truly struggled getting out of the hole. I nonetheless successfully completed the lift.

I put 2, 2.5# plates on the bar, increasing the weight to 210#. Michael Kelley said, “Do you want me to leave?” I said, “Yes.” It’s not that he makes me nervous, it’s that today (but certainly not every day) I didn’t really need him—or anyone—yelling “Up, up, up, up!” I wanted to get the lift on my own.

First Attempt
I was very nervous, and my heart was beating very quickly. I walked up to the rack, placed the bar on my deltoids, stepped away from the rack—and it just didn’t feel right. I put the bar back on the rack, repositioned my hands, stepped away from the rack once again, positioned myself, and thought “Don’t let your elbows drop. Don’t think that the weight is heavy. Don’t get caught in the hole.” I squatted below parallel, raised my hips perhaps an inch or so—and got stuck. I almost immediately gave up and dropped the bar. I was quite disappointed and said out loud, “Didn’t do it. That’s my last try.” I began to take the weight off of the bar, and even returned the 2, 2.5# plates. And then it happened. I did math: 2×10=20+15=35. I thought, “I should have replaced these plates with 35# plates.” And then I had this thought, “Put the weight back on the bar and give it just 1 more try.” So I replaced the 10 and 20# plates with 35# plates and retrieved the 2.5# plates. I even used the calculator on my iPhone to confirm that there was 210# on the bar.

Second Attempt
I walked up to the rack. Stupid Michael Kelley Pandora was playing stupid Michael Kelley music, so I stepped away from the rack and pressed forward on the iPod until I found a song I liked, “We Found Love”. I stepped up to the rack, positioned the bar on my deltoids, stepped away from the rack, took a deep breath, and thought “Don’t let your elbows drop. Don’t let your back come forward. Don’t think of the weight as heavy.” I squatted, raised my hips just slightly more than I did the first attempt, got stuck in the hole, fought for it slightly longer than the first attempt, and then dropped the bar. I said an expletive. I felt completely defeated. I once again took all of the plates off of the bar. I thought, “Just give it 1 more attempt and 1 more attempt only.”

Third Attempt
I started the recording and said, “Third and final attempt.” I stepped up to the rack, placed the bar on my deltoids, stepped away from the rack, and had a self-talk breakthrough. Instead of focusing on the negative, e.g., the “don’ts”, I remember to focus on the positive. “Keep your elbows up. Keep your chest upright. Drive with your legs as soon as you hit bottom. This weight is just a mere 5# heavier than what you just lifted moments ago. You can do it.” I squatted, struggled somewhat, but did indeed successfully complete the lift. When comparing 210 to 205, the heavier lift actually looked—and felt—easier! I did grunt, “Uhn” when I finally stood upright. And I smiled.

Michael Kelley was in the office surfing the web for porn uploading pictures. I showed him the recording and he confirmed that it was a good lift. He said, “I deserve the credit for your improvements in squatting, but I’m sure that when you blog about this later you’ll take all of the credit.” He knows me sooooo well.

I recorded the lift on the March PR board and took a picture. Michael Kelley said, “I like that my low bar back squat PR is on top of your front squat PR.” Michael Kelley, you’re not a top. You’re definitely a bottom. Just saying.

I was pleased that I ended the day on a positive note, and that I did not feel compelled to do a met-con. Michael Kelley said, “You front squatted 210. Isn’t that the same as your high bar back squat 1 rep max?” I hadn’t thought about it that way. I said, “Yes, it is. I suppose my high bar back squat weight should be heavier than my front squat, right?” “Uh, yeah!” said Michael Kelley as he, of course, rolled his eyes.

When getting dressed for work I noticed a red mark on the left side of my clavicle. Why only the left? .

Oh, I almost forgot to mention… I acheived my goal!

We have a new employee named Michelle Kelley. Her user name is mkelley. I’m trying not to hate her.



That last “B” stands for “bitches”.

Thanks to all who offered encouragement to yours truly. I’ll continue to blog until my fingers bleed or I once again grow bored of doing so—whichever comes first.

In retrospect, yesterday was also an alright breakthrough day in regard to the dreaded snatch balance [insert inappropriate comment here]. I think/feel that the focus on squats has also improved my snatch form. I certainly feel much more confident with both squats and snatches, particularly in regard to depth. I’ve looked at recordings of snatch balance over and over, and I’m amazed at how deep I am now able to squat and, perhaps most importantly, how in control I feel when I do so. I have Michael Kelley myself to thank.

Low Bar Back Squat
2-3 warm-up sets
5 @ 65% | 143/145
5 @ 70% | 154/155
5 @ 75% | 165
5 @ 80% | 187/190

I have grown to truly enjoy low bar back squats, and much of this has to do with – you guessed it – thinking/feeling like I’m finally seeing progress. I’ve said it before, and I may very well say it again: the programming at CFZ is awesome. Good job, Michael Kelley Mark Rippetoe! As I just established a new 1RM, today’s percentages were based upon 220#. While the last set was challenging, all lifts felt awesome. Uhm, 190 is 132% of my bodyweight. It should feel heavy. Yes, that’s Paul A. Michael Kelley yelling, “Come on, Paul!”

Notice 4 things about this clip of 5 reps at 165#:
1. Lauren and Rex squatting almost in unison.
2. Michael Kelley looking at my ass.
3. Michael Kelley relaxing, I mean “coaching”.
4. Michael Kelley saying, “Nice, Paul.” Alright? Alright.

What I removed from the clip is me saying, “This is what I think of Michael Kelley” and flipping off the camera.

5 Rounds for Time
11 Dead-lifts
11 Hand Release Pushups
11 V-Ups

I asked Michael Kelley what weight to use for dead-lifts and he immediately said, “Use 225.” I asked, “Why?” He replied, “That’s Rx.” I love hate Michael Kelley. This was to be a fast, intense met-con. And. It. Was. My goal was, of course, to do all rounds unbroken and I did not achieve this goal. It was a lofty goal anyhow, so I’m not too disappointed.

I completed the first 3 rounds of dead-lifts unbroken, the 3rd round in reps of 6 & 5, and the last round in reps of 6, 4, & 2. Those last 2 dead-lifts were challenging.

I completed the first 4 rounds of HRPUs unbroken and the last round in reps of 9 and 2. Those last 2 pushups were challenging.

I completed all rounds of V-ups unbroken, although I didn’t count 2 reps as my fingers didn’t touch my toes. V-ups were more challenging than dead-lifts and pushups.

I completed the met-con in 6:32. I asked Michael Kelley how long it had taken him and he said, “I don’t know, 6:30?” I asked, “Didn’t you just do this met-con? Why don’t you know?” He rolled his eyes (imagine that) and said, “This is part of the ‘Outlaw’ programming, and I did it a while ago.” Whatever, Michael Kelley. 225 is 157% of my bodyweight yet only 100% of yours.

If you do review the clips (and very few of you do), you’ll notice that I’m wearing my “I’m Voting Against Amendment One” tee shirt. I was wearing the tee shirt when I stopped by Bruegger’s for my morning coffee. The woman behind the counter said, “I love your tee shirt. I’m voting against Amendment One, and I’m encouraging all of my friends to do so.” That made my day!

Paul A. Has Weight Envy

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Uhm, yeah, so I’m getting somewhat bored with blogging. I may begin to just record workouts and not post online. I hate Dancing With The Stars.

I worked out Sunday – the first time I’ve done so in a very long time. I arrived at CFD before 8, spent time on mobility, and then did a met-con.

3 rounds for time:
Run 800m
35 American kettle bell swings, 44#
25 hand release pushups

Even after Saturday’s 150 air squats, my legs felt great. Running, of course, was a pleasure. I completed the first and last rounds of KB swings unbroken, and the second round in reps of 25 and 10. I completed the first round of HRPUs unbroken, and the remaining round in reps of between 10 and 5.
Time 18:26.

I coached endurance and Kristin was once again the only athlete to attend the 9am WOD. There were only 5 at the 10 and 11am sessions, including 2 at the 11 session who were using their Living Social deals. Uhm, I’m beginning to take this personally. On a very positive note, Ms. Amy graced me with her presence! I kissed the top of her head. I’d do it again.

When I’m not in a good mood it seems to people as if I’m in a bad mood. CFZ 6amers, I wasn’t in a bad mood this morning. I wasn’t in a good mood, either.

1) 15 min Snatch Balance Practice
2) 3 Power Snatch on the min x 7 minutes. Heaviest weight possible.

Still nursing that damn sore left shoulder, but I do seem to be on my way to recovery. I have my friend, Jay, to thank for that! And ibuprofen.

I had planned on doing weighted ring dips instead of snatch balance, but after warming up with the group snatch balance actually felt quite good. In fact, for the very first time ever I feel solid and secure with snatch balance, and even received a compliment from Michael Kelley. Michael Kelley says “alright” far too often “good job” far too infrequently. I worked up to 80#. For the 7 minutes of power snatches I did reps of 65, 70, 65, 70, 75, 75, and 80. I went down from 70 to 65, as my form wasn’t good on the first round of 70. Michael Kelley says I need to slooooow down. I bet he hears that quite frequently in bed.

The met-con included jumping pull-ups. That wasn’t going to happen. In addition, the met-con was supposed to be a 10-minute AMRAP, but the met-con didn’t start until 6:56. Two words: time management. I created my own met-con.

3 rounds for time:
30 box jumps, 24”
20 Russian kettle bell swings, 60#

I completed in 5:47.

I kinda sorta thinking about possibly running another marathon.

Giddy Muscle Up

Paul P and Paul A. Thanks for the apron, Paul A!

Three things I care naught about:

1. St. Patrick’s Day
2. The color green
3. Doing muscle-ups to CrossFit games standards

Today was Games Open WOD 12.4. And it was good. I attended the 9:30 and then coached the 10:45 session. I also coached some of the 9:30 session, for reasons that I won’t mention on this blog. (Thomas Kelley knows why.)

12-minute AMRAP
150, 20# wall ball shots, 10’ target
90 double unders
30 muscle-ups

Yeah, like anyone at CFZ was going to get more than 1 round. Ha! My one and only goal was to get just 1 muscle-up.

My strategy was to not go all out on wall ball shots; thus, I didn’t ever go to failure. I completed wall ball shots in reps of as many as 25 and as few as 5. Wall ball shots were the most solid they’ve ever been in that I didn’t throw a single air ball. Yeah! I completed 150 in about 8:30, certainly slower than my best “Karen” time.

I was quite out of breath when starting double unders. As I was counting for myself, I may have mistakenly completed more than 90 – as many as 30 more than 90. Why, you ask? Because after completing the first set of double unders I think I started counting from 1 on the second set. Oh, well. No harm. Why no harm?

Because my shoulders were fried, and I couldn’t have gotten any more than the 4 muscle-ups that I did get in the remaining time. I had no intention of externally rotating, as my left shoulder is still sore; thus, my 4 muscle-ups wouldn’t count in the competition. Glad I’m not competing!

It’s Ladder Time!

I usually rest on Thursdays, but as I have an appointment tomorrow morning (and don’t want to work out Friday afternoon before attempting 12.4 Saturday morning), I will rest tomorrow. What will I be doing tomorrow morning, you ask? I am the keynote presenter at the 2012 Ligon Middle School Career Day. I will be talking about overcoming the fear of public speaking for an audience of 400+ 6th graders. Should be fun!

As today is my Friday, I planned on doing high bar back squat. I didn’t, however, let Michael Kelley know about this, as I expected to see him at CFZ by 6am. Alas, Tom was there in his stead, so I had to determine my own number of reps. Damn you, Michael Kelley!

High Bar Back Squat (based on 205# 1RM)
10 reps @ 50% | 102.5/105
8 reps @ 60% | 123/125
6 reps @ 70% | 143.5/145
4 reps @ 80% | 164/165
2 reps @ 90% | 184.5/185

All reps felt great, so I thought, Why not do at least one rep at maximum? And that’s what I did. That rep felt awesome, so I thought, Why not try 210 since you failed 1 attempt at that weight just last week? And that’s what I did. No getting stuck in the hole or dropping the bar this time, ladies and gentlemen. Michael Kelley did review recording and sexted: …that was f@cking low. It was, Michael Kelley, it was. For all lifts I focused on driving through heels as soon as I hit bottom. It worked! Uhm, yeah, so that’s a PR.

I wanted a short, intense met-con, so I made one up on the spot.

1 shuttle run (out and back 10m)
5 airs squats
2 shuttle runs
10 air squats
3 shuttle runs
15 air squats
4 shuttle runs
20 airs squats
5 shuttle runs
25 airs squats
4 shuttle runs
20 airs squats…

Down and then back up the ladder. I went up, down, and back up to starting round of 5 shuttle runs. Time ended with 10m remaining; thus I completed 170 air squats. It’s a good thing I’m not doing any wall ball shots air squats any time soon!

Even though I’m no longer posting results, I’m kind of looking forward to 12.4.


Even though I’m still suffering from Daylight Saving Time lag, I was at CFZ by 5 this morning. I spent 25 minutes on mobility, completing stretches that my good friend Jay suggested as well as using the lacrosse ball on my feet and shoulders. I then warmed up dead-lifts and completed my own met-con, created by my very best friend Michael Kelly.

5 rounds for time:
6 dead-lifts, 245#
Run 400m

This is my kind of workout. Michael Kelley had originally suggested 5 dead-lifts, but while I was completing the first round I thought, “Mix things up a bit. Do 6 dead-lifts.” My original goal was to complete in less than 12 minutes (albeit completing 5 dead-lifts a round) and to complete all rounds of dead-lifts unbroken. I finished in 12:15 and did indeed complete all rounds of dead-lifts unbroken. 245# started to feel mighty heavy by the fourth round. Pretzel M&M’s.

I then had the pleasure of coaching the 6am session. Today’s skill was the split jerk, and everyone (with the exception of an injured Ryan) achieved a PR (even Paul A.)! I was most proud of Claire, for she achieved 2 PRs today. Most impressively, she failed on her first attempt at 98#, but had the determination to rest, try it again, and succeed. Chad split jerked 205#, and  is just too damn strong. I would hate him if he weren’t such a poor runner. Lauren is a beaste (intentional “e” at the end) and lifted 130#. That’s almost as much as I weigh. John lifted 165 — and that’ s more than I weigh (but not nearly as much as Michael Kelley weighs). Last but not least, Heather kicked asses and took names for the met-con, starting from behind but finishing ahead of everyone. She’s my favorite endurance athlete. Let’s see, have I missed anyone? Nope, I didn’t think so.  Nice job, everyone!










Paul A., don’t try to race me. You. Will. Lose.


My left shoulder and bicep hurt, blah, blah, blah. I did see my very good friend Jay, who also happens to be the world’s best physical therapist, and it appears that I merely have inflamed muscle tissue. Nothing broken, nothing torn. Ice and Ibuprofen. Good news!

There was a Visitor from another box and Michael Kelley spent most of his time and attention on him. I was very jealous.

Low Bar Back Squat
5 @ 50% | 105
5 @ 60% | 126/130 (percentage/actual weight lifted)
5 @ 70% | 147/150
3 @ 80% |168/170
2 @ 90% | 189/190
1 @ 100% | 210

I was moving slowly this morning. After putting on my weightlifting shoes and grabbing my notebook and barbell collars, I leisurely walked to the whiteboard and recorded the reps and percentages. I then walked to the posted chart and recorded 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90% of 210#, my estimated 1RM. “Michael Kelley, this chart doesn’t go to 100%, so I’m not sure what I’m supposed to lift for the last round.” He replied, “Then lift 260.” You’re very funny looking, Michael Kelley.

Squats at 105 and 130 felt, for lack of a better word, rusty. My knees cracked and my hip flexors screamed. I thought, “This is going to be one of those days.” Squats at 150, 170, and 190 felt great. Huh? Yeah! Yes, I did record all but sets of 50 and 60%, and pried Michael Kelley away from the Visitor and had Michael Kelley view, asking him to be certain to notice the depth of the squats. (Like I really need to tell Michael Kelley to look at my ass…) Visitor mockingly said, “You record yourself?” Yes, I record myself, and it truly has helped me analyze and then focus on improving form.

I was feeling quite nervous before attempting 210# squat. I was delighted, I tell you, absolutely delighted when I was able to squat 210 without very much struggle. (Notice I didn’t say without “any” struggle.) I thought, “Put another 10 on the bar and give it a try.” And that’s what I did. I was beyond delighted, I tell you, absolutely beyond delighted when I was able to squat 220 without very much of a struggle. My second PR of the morning!

I really wanted to attempt another lift, but I knew that time was running out. I put 5# on the bar, squatted, struggled at the bottom but was working my way out of the hole – when Visitor assisted. Damn it! I know he meant well (or did he), but I nonetheless was disappointed. I blame Michael Kelley.

Not Fran
21-15-9, 95#
Front Squat
Pull-Up Right-arm Russian KB swings, 44#
Double Double Under (42-30-18)

Yes, today we were to have completed “Fran,” although I knew I wasn’t going to be doing thrusters or pull-ups. This was one of the most grueling workouts that we’ve done in quite some time. My goal was to complete all rounds, including dus, unbroken.

The first round of FS felt light, I tell you, light! The second round felt twice as heavy as the first round, and the last round felt as heavy as Michael Kelley, i.e., 200+ pounds. I completed all rounds unbroken.

The first round of KB swings felt easy, the second round difficult, and the third round painful. I completed all rounds unbroken.

I completed first round of dus in reps of 10 and 32. Damn, not unbroken. I completed the remaining rounds unbroken. I did, however, have to count 21 and 21, 15 and 15, and even 9 and 9. I knew I wouldn’t be able to remember 42, 30, or 18, let alone multiple by 2. Yes, that’s how much I suck at math.

I completed the met-con in 5:13.

Congratulations to my friend Chad who completed 10 unbroken double unders! Chad, you looked smoooooth, i.e., not at all like Paul A. Chad informed me that he could hear my voice saying, “Slow is fast, slow is fast.” (Paul A., Heather suggests that you hear my voice repeatedly saying “Slow is fast” your next date night. Okay? Okay.)