Run, Paul!

I was awakened at 3:47am by the sound of Meg opening the dresser drawers – all eight of them. Damn cat. As I had planned on getting out of bed by 4, I wasn’t all that upset with her. Good kitty!

I’m in far less of a foul mood than I was yesterday, but still feeling somewhat out of sorts. I’m hoping my business trip to NJ next and personal trip to mother’s the following week will help me get over my funk.

Back to today… I arrived at CFZ at 4:50, and spent 20 minutes on mobility.


 I completed two warm up sets of 5 reps @ 135, 185, and 225#. Uhm, we were supposed to do 3×3 @ 75% of 3RM but I had in my mind 1×5 – so that’s what I did, 5 reps @ 240#. I recorded and reviewed all lifts, and my form was good. That is all.

No kettle bell swings for me today. I did try a few, but as I shouldn’t go heavy I didn’t think it useful to do 30 reps at a lower weight.

I had planned on doing burpee pull-ups, but changed my mind at the last minute and instead did the following:

18-minute AMRAP
200m run
10 plyo (clapping) pushups

My goal was to make it through a minimum of 10 rounds of plyo pushups without breaking plank, i.e., without lowering knees to the floor, and to indeed clap my hands together for each and every rep. I exceeded this goal in that I completed 10 rounds of plyo pushups unbroken, i.e., without pausing between any reps. I did, however, pause during the last few reps of the last rounds. And that’s okay.

This was a very fun and challenging met-con. I kept up intensity during running, not allowing myself to slow down and use the run for active recovery. During about the seventh round of plyo pushups I sensed that I might not make it to 10 reps without having to put my knees down. I reminded myself, “Tight abs, tight ass!” That did the trick! Coach, coach thyself. As folks arrived, I asked Lauren to keep track of the diminishing time. Thomas did so instead. I heard him yell, “Four minutes!” and I replied, “You’re not Lauren!” Thanks for counting down, Thomas. Next time don’t cheer for me. You sound too much like your brother when you do.

I completed 12 rounds + 200m & 6 pushups; 2600m (1.6 mi) run and 126 plyo pushups.

I was a sweaty mess, and had but 3 minutes to spare before 6am session began. We began with 5 minutes of yoga stretching, including pigeon stretches, and then did an additional 10 minutes of mobility. Good times, good times.

I recorded most everyone as they did one of their last sets of dead-lifts, so they could see why I was provided the specific feedback I provided.

Prior to 3 rounds of 30 KB swings, we spent 5 minutes on partner mobility. I shall never forget a certain someone saying, in essence, “Paul, do my daughter.” Hahahaha! We finished the day with 3 minutes of practicing double unders. Slow is fast, listen to your feet, establish a rhythm, and (perhaps most importantly) relax. I’m talking to you in particular, Burt.


Originality is merely unconscious plagiarism.

I’m in a pissy mood. As this occurs infrequently, I’m going to allow myself to be in such a mood. Indulge me. More in a moment.

This past Sunday afternoon I said to Jeff, “I’m going for a run.” He looked at me incredulously and replied, “You don’t run.” I said, “Seriously, I’m going to the American Tobacco trail and go for a run.” He still didn’t believe me, even though I changed into running shorts. He asked, “You’re just going to go for a run? You’re not going to do anything else other than run?” I replied, “I’m just going to go for a three- or four-mile run.”

And that’s what I did. And I thoroughly enjoyed myself! I didn’t even wear a watch. I ran on effort, taking one breath every fourth, third, and other step for miles 1 & 2, 3, and 4, respectively. In other words, I was sprinting at all out effort for the last mile. I got quite a few looks, but this may have been because I was shirtless. I didn’t want to stop running, yet I made myself do so. Perhaps I’ll run 5 miles next time!

Yesterday was a relatively easy day. Lal ( worked out many of the kinks and issue spots, and told me that my left shoulder had tightened up as a way of self-protection. Stupid self-protection. I stopped by CFZ prior to picking up Luke at Doggie Village for no other reason than to complete low bar back squats. I did warm up sets of 95 and 115, and then 3 sets of 5 reps of 135#. I recorded all sets. Lifts felt easy, as they should have.

Press, deload
2 warm-up sets
3×5 @ 75% last week’s weight

As I’ve only been doing presses for the past 2 weeks, it seemed pointless to deload; thus, I did not. I completed warm up reps of 45, 75, and 85, and then 3 sets of 5 reps of 100#.

5 Rounds, each for time
6/10 Pull-Ups
10 Dumbbell Thrusters
Rest 1 minute

Each round should be FAST. Scale the pull-ups to 6 reps to allow for unbroken reps, if 10 is (should be “are”) too much.

I chose 25# dumbbells, as I certainly didn’t want to use 30 and I knew 20 were going to be too light. TK evidently had his heart set on using the set of 25. Just as we were getting ready to begin, TK mumbled something under his breath intentionally loud enough for me to at least know that he was grumbling. Sheesh. I got so tired of his whining (i.e., passive-aggressiveness) that I finally exchanged my 25# for his 20# dumbbells, if for no other reason to stop the blathering. MK said something like, “It’s probably better that you use 20# dumbbells, blah, blah, blah.” I know what I’m capable of, and I was certainly capable of using 25# dumbbells, thank you very much. How does this story end? I was not the least bit challenged using 20# dumbbells.

I completed all rounds of 10 pull-ups and 10 dumbbell thrusters (surprise!) unbroken, in times of 31, 30, 29, 28, & 28 seconds; total time of 6:26 and work time of a mere 2:26. I barely broke a sweat, 1 minute was more than enough time for recovery, and again, I wasn’t challenged. Score = 2. I may very well go for a 5-mile run this evening.

We ended the day with a 5-min AMRAP of 20 lat pulls and 20 face pulls. I used a green band and completed 8 rounds + 20 lat pulls + 1 face pull.

I’m thinking about putting in a garage gym. What I have: plyo box, 20# med ball, rings, jumps ropes, dumbbells. What I need: bar, plates, rack/pull-up rig.

Dear World,

As I don’t constantly compare myself to you, please don’t constantly compare yourself to me.

Thank you,


Farmer’s walk and box jump arounds

Overhead squats continue to be a weakness, and I continue to show improvement. I do, however, need additional coaching, and Michael Kelley was kind enough to virtually provide. As I recorded all lifts, I sent him a screen shot of bottom of one of the squats from first round. I then sent videos. The following is our exchange of sexts…

PP: (photo) Below parallel?
MK: A little high
PP: (video) Video captures better.
MK: Still high
PP: (video) I don’t know if I can get lower.
MK: Second video was better 3rd rep for sure
PP: I’m staying light & working on depth, then.
MK: Joey and really stay back on your heels and think about dropping your body down behind your knees…if that makes sense
MK: Joey? No idea
MK: Oohhh, try*
PP: Will try. Thanks.
PP: (video) Let me know if I’m bothering u. Last 2 look better? Felt better.
MK: That was WAY better
PP: Ur advice helped. I’m shocked! 🙂
MK: Hate u
PP: Luv u
PP: (video) 85# I always struggle w 1st rep. Last 2 look better? U should always coach me virtually. I like u better from a distance.
MK: Yeah
PP: Yeah meaning better? U r eloquent.
MK: Yes I’m blunt
PP: Autocorrect? Changed fat to blunt. Proof ur work. Hugs!
MK: Punches

Thus, I send love and hugs and Michael Kelley sends hate and punches. Is it any wonder that I hate him so?

I did many, many reps at 65, 70, 75, 80, & 85#, and then finished with 5 solid reps @ 95#. Michael Kelley’s coaching did indeed help, and I’m very grateful to have him as a coach and friend.

I practiced muscle ups and handstand pushups. Fun, fun, fun…

I wanted a met-con that consisted of a skill we don’t normally do at CFZ as well as a “new” skill; thus, I created the following…

15-minute AMRAP
50m farmer’s walk holding 52# kettle bell in each hand
10, 30” box “jump arounds”

What is a box jump around, you ask? Jump on box, jump off of box going in forward direction, run right (odd #) or left (even #) around the box to the starting position. Lather, rinse, repeat.

My goals were to not stop working, i.e., run to box when farmer’s walk complete and run to KBs when box jump around complete, to not put down KBs, and to do all rounds unbroken. I must be pretty awesome as I achieved all goals.

It was, however, very tempting to put down the KBs, as my forearms were aching by the 7th round. I enjoyed box jump arounds, as the addition of running to any met-con is always fun.

I completed 9 rounds + 25m farmer’s walk. Yup, I had to then carry the damn KBs back from the farthest distance.

Running Backwards

The dogs had we awake at 3:30, and then again at 5:30, and all three were full of piss and vinegar. I arrived at CFZ at 9:15 already in much need of a nap. I greeted everyone, and then worked on mobility in preparation for today’s met-con.

We spent 10 minutes working on handstand holds and walks. To be honest, there didn’t seem to be that much interest from folks in doing so, including yours truly. The met-con was enough of a workout, and I didn’t want to smoke my shoulders prior to doing 50 pull-ups.

It appears that Michael Kelley noticed the I stopped by CFZ yesterday evening, prior to picking up Luke from Doggie Village, and erased my name and incorrect time for yesterday’s met-con. Jeff and Michael Kelley had written 10 minutes and change. Ha. Ha. Ha. While writing names on the whiteboard, Michael Kelley asked, “Do you even want you name on the board?” I responded, “No.” This shall remain in effect until further notice.

Nonetheless, many were curious as to what weight I was going to use, what specific activities I was going to perform, etc. I remained relatively quiet.

For Time
400m Run
50 Pull-Ups
50 Push-Ups
400m Run
50 Sit-Ups
50 Squats
400m Run

Scale up each movement however you wish. This is a requirement. Examples include: Adding a weight vest, do chest-2-bar pull-ups, perform weighted squats, etc.

I very much liked this met-con. Those who scaled up appropriately had a very challenging, rewarding, and exhausting experience. I also liked that no one was doing the exact same thing.

400m Run backwards wearing 26# weight vest.
50 Pull-Ups, 7 reps wearing weight vest and remaining chest to bar
50 Push-Ups, weight vest and hands placed on 45# plates
400m Run backwards wearing weight vest
50 Sit-Ups GHD
50 Squats wearing weight vest
400m Run backwards wearing weight vest.

The weight vest came unattached and painfully hit lower back during first reps of pull-ups, so I removed and finished with C2B. Michael Kelley was kind enough to fix weight vest so that I could continue to use. Pull-ups were moderately challenging.

I did pushups in reps of 10 (out of the gate) and as few as 1 (last rep). These were very challenging.

GHD sit-ups are always challenging, as I tend to get light-headed when doing so many during at met-con. I completed in reps of 20, 10, 10, & 10.

Air squats were the least challenging. I completed in reps of 20, 10, 10, & 10.

Running backwards while wearing a weight vest ending up being the most challenging of all of the activities, as I haven’t run with a weight vest and/or backwards in quite some time.

I completed in 23:03. And I was spent. Darren was kind enough to offer me a dry shirt!

I begrudgingly coached the Community WOD, and there were quite a few in attendance, including two newbies. The WOD was 12-minute AMRAP of 10 wall balls, 10 kettle bell swings, and 10 burpees. Just before the met-con, Michael Kelley sarcastically said, “Wall ball shots and burpees? Sounds familiar, as we did that just yesterday. You couldn’t come up with something different? There are many regulars here and they just did something like this yesterday.”

Uhm, the Community WOD is for visitors and not for the regulars (even though all are welcome to attend). I suggest you program and coach the Community WOD, Michael Kelley. There, I said it, and I feel much better having done so.


Yesterday was a loooooong day, as I was awake before 4am and didn’t get to sleep until after midnight. Stupid New York cabbie. Stupid American Airlines. Stupid JFK Airport. Stupid Michael Kelley.

As Ginger, Max, Luke, Zac, and Meg awakened me at 5am (and once I’m awake, I’m wide awake), I decided to attend the 6am session, coached by Fatty McFatterson, aka Michael Kelley.

I prefer structured mobility. Just saying.

Front Squat
2-3 Warm-Up sets
3×3, last set heavier than last time.

For whatever reason, I had not recorded last week’s FSs. Michael Kelley recalled that I lifted 190# for final set. He must read my blog or something. I warmed up with 5 reps of 95 & 135, and then did 3 reps of 165, 180, & 195#. During my last rep of 180, Michael Kelley “coached” me, saying, “Up, up, up!” While completing last rep and racking the bar I said, “I got it.” He replied, “You don’t like when I don’t coach you, and you don’t like when I do coach you.” Let me state this clearly, Michael Kelley: I just don’t like you. Hugs! Chad was kind enough to provide encouragement during my last heavy set of 195#. Thanks, Chad! You’re my favorite coach! By the way, 195# is 88% of 1RM and 120% of my bodyweight. I guess 3 reps should feel heavy. Yes? I said, “Michael Kelley, I just did 3 reps of 195 pounds.” He said, “I’m disappointed in you. You should have lifted 200 pounds.” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is an example of effective coaching and encouragement!

High Bar Back Squat
1×20, heavier than last time

I wasn’t looking forward to this, as I knew the weight was going to feel very heavy. And it did. I completed 20 reps of 175#. I had to frequently rest between reps, and that’s okay. Yes?

Wall Ball, 20#

While Michael Kelley had written “Paul Po” on the whiteboard, he was smart enough to also have written “N/A”. He’s smarter than he is good looking, but that’s not saying very much. I’d estimate that his IQ is the same as his waist size: 48.

This was a fast and furious met-con, and I liked it very much. For the first time in ages, I think I may have gone out too fast. Egad! My goals were to complete all rounds unbroken, and to complete the met-con in less than 5 minutes. I did not complete all rounds unbroken, but I did complete in less than 5 minutes with 14 seconds to spare. (Shhh! Don’t tell Michael Kelley my time.)

I completed rounds of 3, 9, and 15 unbroken, and round of 21 wall balls in reps of 5, 6, 5, & 5 and burpees in reps of 7, 5, 4, and 5. This was exhausting! My score = 8.

If time permits, 1-3 sets of weighted planks.

I completed 2, 1-min held planks with 35# & 1, 1 minute and 15 second plank with 45#.

My left arm and bicep are feeling much, much better.

It’s true what they say: Opposites attract.

My fellow 6amers know what the title references.

I coached the 6am (and attended an evening) session at CFZ. Again, I’ll state that I’m concerned that I’m over-coaching. I’ll count on all of you to let me know if this is indeed the case.

Of note: Michelle completed sumo dead-lifts successfully and pain free; Burt didn’t hurt himself on box jumps; Lauren moved closer to the box prior to jumping; John and Chad are both strong; Chad jumps too high when doing double unders; Claire is very consistent; and Alex likes to walk like a farmer.

I was as disappointed as I imagine Lauren and Alex were when they missed last set of 3 heavy dead-lifts. Some days it’s just not meant to be, so please don’t get too upset. K? K.

I finally saw an orthopedist, and I am pleased that I did. I have a mild case of bursitis in my rotator cuff and slight inflammation in my left bicep. I got three, count them, three shots of steroids. My shoulder already feels much, much better! I’m supposed to take ibuprofen and avoid lifting with left arm for the next 10 days. I think I’ll skip the ibuprofen. K? K.

Michael Kelley and I exchanged the following sexts…
PP: If I go 2 z 2nite will you promise 2 ignore me?
MK: Sure
PP: I’d say thank u but I’m ignoring you.

Only three of us attended, including Jeff, Greg, and yours truly. Michael Kelley was blaring shitty country music, and my ears began to bleed. I warmed up with lacrosse ball and KB focusing on hamstrings – and of course that’s what Michael Kelley asked us to do. I moved my box toward the door, then into the lobby, turning my back to him and then removing him from my sight. He tried flirting with Jeff, thinking that this would annoy me. It didn’t. In fact he spent much time “coaching” Jeff tonight. Again, it didn’t annoy me in the least. Jeff’s not attracted to fatties.

2-3 warm-up sets
3×3, last set heavier than last week

After completing sets of 135, 225, and 265, I completed sets of 3 reps of 275 (originally planned on 270, but as warmup was 265 this just seemed silly), 290, and 320#. Uhm, that’s my “current” 1RM! Yet another PR, and I do not have Michael Kelley to thank, as he ignored me. Wait, he was supposed to do that. He did, however snap a photo and did say something like, “That was okay.” Again, I don’t listen to him.

Barbell Bent Over Row
4 x Max Reps @ 40% of 3RM Deadlift, rest 60 seconds

I didn’t complete barbell bent over rows, as I’m following my doctor’s advice. Kind of.

10 Box Jumps
15 DB Push Press
20 Double Unders

Having seen the 6amers do this WOD, I knew I’d enjoy it – and I did! I give it a score of 9.5. Michael Kelley had written my name on the whiteboard, and I erased it. He once again wrote my name on the whiteboard, and I once again erased it. He gave poker chips to Jeff and Greg, but didn’t even offer any to me as he knew I wouldn’t accept. I didn’t want him to be able to count the chips and know my rounds.

It became quite obvious that he was counting my completed reps. I thought he was making marks on the whiteboard, but he was instead moving chips from one pocket to the next. As he’s usually playing with himself, I didn’t notice.

I recorded completed rounds in my own notebook.

One goal was to attempt 30” box jumps quickly, i.e., quickly springing from the floor to the box. Another goal was to do all push press, albeit one-armed, fast and unbroken. Another goal was, of course, to do all rounds of double unders unbroken. My last goal was simple: keep working. I saw far too much rest from the 6amers.

For the first time I was indeed able to do fast, 30” box jumps. Yeah! Michael Kelley can’t do that. It’s called gravity, Michael Kelley. You’re fat, remember? I also don’t jiggle when I jump.

I completed all rounds of right-arm push press unbroken, using 30# dumb bell.

I completed all but the first 2 rounds of dus unbroken, completing 15 and 19 (19!) unbroken the first and second rounds, respectively.

I kept working the entire 12 minutes.

I completed 8 rounds + 7 box jumps.

Fast Pressing

While stretching my calves, hamstrings, and hip flexors, I overheard MK talk about how the other groups did yesterday’s WOD outside, and how most of them got 7 or more rounds. That’s comparing apples to oranges, as walking with bar overhead vs. holding bar overhead and doing step-ups are two entirely different things. My calves wouldn’t be so damn sore today if I had walked with the bar overhead.

I dislike the song “Payphone”, as I can’t imagine anyone actually using a payphone. I am listening to both the movie soundtrack and OBC recordings of “Once”. Incredible.

4×5 (sets across), heavier than last week

I lifted 85# last week, so I went conservative and lifted 95# today. For this first time that I can recall, MK emphasized speed – and I hadn’t been doing this prior to today. All 4 sets felt relatively easy. Lauren was kind enough to record third set, and she said, “That was fast.” MK observed last set and said (and I may not be recalling this correctly, as I tend not to listen closely when he talks), “That looked too easy.” (He may have said, “That looked too fast.”) He asked, “How much heavier is that than last week?” I said, “I lifted 85 last week and 95 today.” He scoffed.

Form, consistency, and then intensity. Right? Right.

Chest to bar pull-ups
3 on the minute x 10 minutes

I used my own weight vest. Is there anything wrong with that? I don’t think so. The other weight vests are smelly. Mine is not. I asked MK how much weight I should use, as last week I completed all 30 reps with relative ease. I was thinking 10#. He suggested 5#. I went with 5, and probably should’ve gone with 7.5 or 10#.

Michelle brought up the topic of CrossFit competitions, and mentioned that there should be weight categories. I wholeheartedly agree! And here come the haters. “You’re at an advantage for bodyweight activities. You can run fast. You have endurance.” And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I’ll never compete. Never ever evah.

I completed all 30 reps with full range of motion and had less of a bend in my lower body than last week. After the last rep of the seventh set, MK once again scoffed at me. I asked, “Why the look?” He replied, “Do you really need to lift your chin for a chest to bar pull-up?” I jumped back up on the bar, didn’t lift my chin, dropped from the bar and said, “If I don’t lift my chin I hit my nose on the upper bar.” It’s self preservation. I’d rather lift my chin and not bloody my nose. Right? Right.

My drawing of pull-up bars.

For time
100 Kettlebell Swings

Last night I posted on Facebook that I was going to use the 70# KB. I had no intention of doing so, although I had every intention of using the 62# KB. And that’s what I did. I positioned myself at the end of the box facing the clock. As I was taping my hands, MK walked to the KB, looked at the weight, and said, “That’s not 70 pounds.”

As the weight was heavier than what I typically use, my goal was to complete in reps of 10, and with the exception of the first round (20 reps), that’s what I did. Even though I taped and chalked my hands, I had a difficult time keeping grasp of the KB handle. I also felt an occasional twinge in my left bicep, so I wasn’t overly aggressive with swings.

At one point Chad, John, and I were all swinging in the same rhythm, and I began to imagine the three of us doing a synchronized swimming routine. I would, of course, have to be the person that’s flipped out of the water.

I completed the KB swings in a time of minutes and seconds. I did not call time, nor did I give any indication that I had completed my last swing. In fact, I completed quite a few more rounds of 5 or more swings. MK asked, “What was your time?” I said, “I’m not done yet.” I did, however, have to let Lauren know that I had completed the swings, as she began to cheer for me during additional rounds. MK said, “I know what you’re doing. You don’t want your time on the board.” MK has a remarkable grasp of the obvious.

I give this met-con a score of 4.