3500m row & 60 bp

Luke wants to bench press. I need to train him to be my spotter.
Luke wants to bench press. I need to train him to be my spotter.

I had a loooooong talk with the landlord this morning. While I appreciate that he spent yesterday getting an HRC tattoo, I sure would like the damn panic doors installed. The plumbers were here briefly this morning, but apparently need yet another missing part for the water fountains. Uhm, there are no words. Actually, there are words, but this blog is rated PG-14.

I’ve been working on programming for when the box does indeed open. Initially the focus is doing to be on the basics: squats, dead-lifts, cleans, presses, snatches, etc. I do have a propensity for creating some challenging metcons, and this will continue. Tuesday and Saturday or Sunday will be devoted to a benchmark, hero, or lengthy WOD of my own creation.

Bench pressing continues to be a weakness of mine. After seeing this WOD posted on the main site I felt compelled to give it a try. I wasn’t disappointed. I was, however, quite spanked.

Row 500m
30 bodyweight bench press
Row 1000m
20 bp
Row 2000m
10 bp

I warmed up and worked up to 140# for bench presses. Uhm, I’ve lost a few pounds and now weigh 141#. I like to think that I have common sense. Should I bench press without a spotter? Why, sure – if I don’t put clips on the bar. I also loaded the ends of the bar with a 25, two 10, and a 2.5# plate so that I could decrease the weight if needed. This may have been the smartest thing I’ve done in a very long time.

I rowed 500m in 1:55 and @ 22 strokes/minute. I pressed 4 and 3 reps @ 140# but as I was pressing 7th rep I had a vivid image of not being able to complete additional reps. I removed a 10 and the 2.5# plates from both ends, thus decreasing the weight to 115#. And that weight still felt heavy. I completed remaining reps in sets of no less than 3 reps, sitting up and stretching my arms after sets.

I kept thinking, “I don’t want to row 2k, yet I have to row 1k before even doing so.”

I rowed 2K in 3:58 again averaging 22 s/m. That’s consistency, folks. I completed the set of 20 presses in reps of no more than 5 and no less than 3. I was obsessing over the next row. “I can always break it into 4 reps of 500 meters.”

I managed to row the last 2k in 8:02, averaging just about 2 min/500m. Given how exhausted I felt, I’ll take that as a successful row. Uhm, I once again averaged 22 s/m. This tells me that, while my s/m remained consist, my power output decreased.

I completed the last set of 10 presses unbroken. This tells me that 115# was too light.

I finished in 21:31.

Tomorrow evening I’m going to be leading 2, 30-minutes sessions (6 and 6:30) about squatting technique at lululemon at Streets Southpoint. You should be there. Wear your lululemon exercise clothes.


Strength AND Conditioning

Luke wants to know why I have no hair on my mid-thighs.
Luke wants to know why I have no hair on my mid-thighs.

Luke and I worked out together at 8am this morning. Sometimes he focuses too much on support and not enough on direction. For example, while I’m doing Abmat sit-ups he kisses my face when he should be reminding me to ensure that my shoulders are in front of my hips. He’s nonetheless a good boy!

I’ve been having much fun programming. Current and future CFS members, get ready to improve your levels of fitness, strength, and conditioning.

Front Squats
3 x 20 @ 45, 50, & 55% of 1RM

My current 1RM is a mere 205, so I completed sets @ 95, 105, & 115#. Don’t let the weight of the lifts be deceiving, as 20 reps at just about any weight can get heavy. I was able to complete the first set @ 95# beginning with 15 unbroken and fast reps. I paused briefly with the bar on my shoulders and completed the last 5 reps. I was lightheaded and had begun to sweat. The set @ 105# was perhaps the most difficult, and I was often tempted to rack the bar. I resisted that temptation. The last set felt, well, heavy. I was just about spent by the last rep and again had to fight the urge to rack the bar.

Notice I categorized this part of the workout as both “strength” and “conditioning”. My heart was certainly racing by the end of the last set.

50 power clean & jerks, 50% of 1RM full squat clean
Complete 5 Abmat sit-ups at the top of the minute beginning at the 1-minute mark
Time cap of 10 minutes

Wow, who comes up with this shit? Oh, that’d be me.

My goals were to complete in less than 10 minutes and to not let go of the bar during any set of C&Js until the last rep, and even though to place on and not merely drop to the floor.

 I kept a running count of 80# C&Js and completed in reps of 11, 5, 6, 5, 6, 6, 6, & 5; thus I also completed 35 sit-ups. My time was 7:52, so I had plenty of time to spare.

I managed to scrape off even more hair on both of my thighs, and I have bruise marks on my collarbone. Good times.

My good friend, Dave, had an appointment this morning and was unable to find a substitute, so I coached the 11:30 session at CFD. I always feel right at home at CFD, and the athletes always make me feel more than welcome! Gail, Rama, Erica, Scott, Mark, Anne, Jaimie, J.C., Dori (my favorite Wiggen) and a few others were in attendance.

Gail, Rama, and Anne had already arrived. I was checking my email one last time before the session began when I noticed the top of someone’s head resplendent in a headband. I yelled, “Jaimie, is that you?” She replied, “Yes!” I said, “I could tell by the headband.” Anne jokingly said, “That’s the gay in you.” Haha!

Today’s WOD at CFD included 1RM shoulder press attempts, ring dips, and a 6-minute metcon of burpees and wall ball shots. I had a tremendous amount of fun coaching and, as athletes are now responsible for warming up before the start of the session (unless I’m mistaken, Dave), we had plenty of time after all of the work for, and by request of Erica, a yoga cool down.

I swear people make far more grunting sounds and painful facial expressions when practicing yoga than they do when lifting heavy weights.

Burpee toes to bar? Huh?

17c 17b 17a

I took Luke for an early-morning walk, and then we spent the rest of the morning at CFS. And what a fun time we had! As CFS is not yet open for business, I’ve been inviting friends to the box to visit and test-drive the equipment. The entire de Leon family as well as Rosa and Henry visited today!

Strict Ring Dips
OTM for 15 minutes
5 rings dips for first 10 minutes
10 rings dips for remaining 5 ring dips

I love ring dips – even if the Rogue strap scrapes the hair off of my lower arms. I almost didn’t complete the very last rep. One hundred pull-ups, pushups, sit-ups, and air squats yesterday and 100 ring dips today. It’s no wonder that I have abs of titanium.

By the way, I care naught for March Madness.

EMOTM for 16 minutes
Odd-numbered minutes
3 burpee box jumps, 30”
3 burpee strict toes to bar
Even-numbered minutes
5 dead-lifts, 225#
10 lateral barbell jump overs

This was incredibly fun! Yes, fun!

To challenge myself I jumped to the top of the box from wherever my feet landed on the burpee count of 2. I also placed my hands directly outside of where my feet landed when I jumped off of the box and immediately kicked feet back to plank as I lowered chest to floor. Again, as an added challenge I made sure that I didn’t swing my body after completing burpee and jumping to pull-up bar; thus toes to bar were strict. I completed all rounds of burpee box jumps and burpee toes to bar in less than 30 seconds.

Uhm, 225# feels heavy on a good day. I did complete all rounds unbroken and immediately completed lateral jumps. I completed all rounds of dead-lifts and jump overs in less than 20 seconds.

Even though I had more than enough time to rest and recover, I still found the metcon to be challenging. And a tremendous amount of fun! Did I already mention that?

I didn’t drink a beer yesterday. I might have to consume two beers today.


This blog begins with an apology to Alexis.

My dearest Alexis, I had every intention of attending your birthday celebration at Tyler’s. I did arrive at Tyler’s at 8:45 and went to the poolroom to look for you and the group. Uhm, I had forgotten that there is more than one Tyler’s. I looked at the invitation and noticed that your festivities are taking place in Raleigh. I’m too old tired to drive that far. I shall consume a beer in your honor. I just did. I think I’ll have another.

I led a 3-hour Running Clinic at CFD this afternoon. After having led similar sessions at 908, Invoke, Zeal, and Brier Creek, I have this down to a science. I’d very much like to hear feedback from those of you who attended today’s session!

As I demonstrated pose running, running backward, running while jumping rope, etc., throughout the day, I feel like I did a double.

Jeff will be running the Wrightsville Beach Half Marathon tomorrow, so he left for Wilmington late this morning. When he’s not here the house is very quiet, as I much prefer silence to having the TV or radio on for white noise.

This has allowed much time for quiet reflection. Read on.

I rested yesterday, although I did work on mobility. Luke and I had the box to ourselves today, so I decided to do the benchmark WOD “Angie.”

100 pull-ups
100 pushups
100 Abmat sit-ups
100 air squats

Although I couldn’t recall my times, nor did I look at this blog before working out to determine times, I knew that I had achieved a PR when I visited CF Fifth Avenue this past October. I just now reviewed my times for “Angie”:

October 2012, 15:45
January 2012, 16:12
April 2011, 19:30

I completed the WOD today in a time of 17:06. Here’s what I’ve been reflecting upon.

17:06 is not and is 1:21 slower than my fastest time. That’s significant. My strategy was to complete pull-ups in 3 sets of 10 reps, reps of 5 for as long as possible, than reps of 4, 3, 2, and 1 if needed. I did just that, and was completing in reps of 4 until about the 75th pull-ups. The only single I completed was the very last rep. I completed 100 pull-ups in a time of 6:56, and noted the time. I am confident that all pull-ups were completed with full ROM, as I didn’t allow myself to go to failure for any sets.

My strategy for pushups was to complete 3 rounds of 10 and then in reps of 5 for as long as possible. I did not, however, want to do any sets in less than 4 reps. I completed the first 30 in reps of 10 and the last 70 in reps of 5. Pushups felt awesome today, and both my chest and cheek touched the floor for each and every rep. 11:27 had passed; thus I completed 100 pushups in a time of 4:31 – and that includes transition time.

Abmat sit-ups and air squats went much better than planned, as I was able to complete both rounds of activities unbroken. Yes, 100 unbroken sit-ups and­ 100 unbroken air squats. I completed sit-ups in a time of 3:33 and air squats in a time of 2:06, again both times included transition time.

I have never completed sit-ups and or air squats unbroken when completing this WOD. Why, then, was my time slower? There are a few possible reasons.

First, I wasn’t competing with anyone but myself, i.e., there wasn’t anyone in the box doing the WOD doing the reps at the same or faster speed. I generally don’t need this motivation. I certainly don’t need anyone to determine pacing.

However, if there are others doing the WOD at the same time, I will admit to not always ensuring that all reps of good. There, I said it. I become far less focused on executing reps with proper form and ROM and much more focused on crushing the competition. If I were to have been judged while doing “Angie” in the past, I am confident that many reps wouldn’t have counted. I am confident that all reps counted today. As I was so focused on form, I was far less focused on speed of reps. In fact, while completing air squats it wasn’t until the 50th rep or so that I thought, “Pick up the pace, Paul. This is an AFAP.” I was focused on quality and not quantity, and this may have been another reason that my time was slower.

While I’m not pleased with my time, I am pleased with doing sit-ups and air squats unbroken. I shall not attempt this benchmark WOD for at least another 4 days.


Dear Diary,

My former BFF was well aware that Jeff was once again going to be out of town and that I would potentially be in need of some company. I was excited to receive a text from him earlier today and felt confident that he would attempt to remedy his mistakes of the past and include me in his plans. Alas, as is usual, he merely wanted something from me, in this instance he wanted to know if Tom had left concrete screws at CFS.

I suppose he is now my FBF. Forever didn’t last very long at all…





Ten minutes.

580484_10151353581707196_1293452055_nThis close to opening. Yes, just this close. Three “panic” doors need to be installed and part of hallway needs to be widened slightly. While it’s very unlikely this will take place tomorrow, everything should be good to go by early next week. I. Cannot. Wait.

I’m anxious to try 13.2. Jeff will be running the Wilmington Half Marathon this weekend, so he will be unable to judge me. I asked my former BFF is he could spare a mere 10 minutes to act as my judge, and he said he wouldn’t be able to do so until Sunday. Ten minutes, that’s all that I asked him for. Sigh.

I did once again judge Tyler, and he crushed it. I most fear the shoulder to overhead, as 115# is heavy. Maybe not to you, but certainly to me.

On a related topic, any of my Level 1 certified friends who would be willing to act as my judge tomorrow or Saturday? I really don’t want to have to wait until Sunday.

I was somewhat rushed today, as I wasn’t able to pick up the architect drawings until after 3 and had to allow time to travel to CFBC to coach endurance, so I only worked on conditioning. I programmed this on the fly, and it was (a word I use far too frequently) challenging.

18-minute AMRAP
5 forward rolls
25 double unders
10 strict deficit pushups (hands of 45# plates) with 1-count pause at bottom
5 pull-ups

Two things made this particularly challenging. First, Luke, having never seen me roll, thought I was playing, and each and every time I rolled he got all up in my business. And that’s okay, because he’s Daddy’s precious angel sent from heaven. Second, jumping rope while still somewhat dizzy wreaked havoc on my sense of equilibrium.

I completed everything but the first 2 rounds of dus unbroken. Once I remembered to pause a moment before beginning to jump, it was quite easy to do 25 unbroken dus. I’ll try to remember that for the next time.

I completed 10 rounds + 5 forward rolls & 25 double unders. That’s 55 forward rolls, 275 dus, 100 pushups, and 50 pull-ups. I was a sweaty, happy mess.

I coached the Endurance WOD at CFBC, and was somewhat disappointed that only 4 athletes, all males, attended. Did I scare folks away? Are folks focused more on the CF Games? Were runners afraid of a “Native American” run?

Yes, after spending time on mobility and drills, the 5 of us, myself, Greg, Adam, Rob, and – damn it, I can’t remember his name. It’s one syllable. His girlfriend’s name is Stephanie. He’s a soccer player. Help me out here, folks! Anyhow, the five of us did indeed complete an Indian run. Greg was the last person standing, other than myself, of course. I crushed them all. Ha! Greg and I ran 3.2 miles. I rounded down to a 5K. Nice work, all!

Jeff and I had dinner with our very good friends Jay, Mary-Ann, and my new BFF, Jacob.

Total = 130 SDHPs

Panic doors. Yes, according to the Town of Apex, I need panic doors, you know, because so many people will be attending WODs at CFS. Okay, then, panic doors are being installed. Club Surmount. I kinda like it. The occupancy will now be well over 75, so the Fire Marshall should be leaving me alone.

I coached the first CFE session at CFBC yesterday and was quite pleased that so many athletes chose to attend. It’s difficult diving right into coaching without thoroughly first explaining CFE programming, pose running, my philosophies, etc. Folks were very patient, and I hope large groups continue to attend. Tomorrow is “Native American” run. Fun, fun, fun.

My former best but still very fat friend Michael Kelley worked out at CFS today. I spotted him when he did his last bench press. I also spotted him looking longingly at all of the awesome new equipment at CFS. I also spotted him taking a large quantity of M&Ms from the candy dish in our living room and placing said M&Ms in a rather large plastic bag.

Michael Kelley did his thing and I did my thing. We also shared a rather lovely lunch together. I do kinda sorta maybe possibly perhaps miss him just a widdle bit. Wednesday Workouts might be our new thing.

I worked on OHS form doing last set of 3 @ 115#. I make funny faces when I OHS.

10-min AMRAP
10 SDHP, 75#
Run 200m
10, 10m farmer’s carry shuttle sprints
Run 200m

This was far too easy, and in retrospect I should’ve made it a 20- or even 30-minute AMRAP. I was 10m shy of completing 3 rounds.

I didn’t even break a sweat. I like to sweat. After enjoying lunch with my FBBSVFF, I took Luke for a long walk on the ATT. And then I did another metcon. This one was more challenging.

100 SDHP, 75#

My goal was to complete in sets of 10 and to complete in fewer than 8 minutes, thinking I could average 12 or so a minute. I finished with 9 seconds to spare. The last 2 sets were tough but manageable. As I often encourage athletes to do, after bringing bar to collar bone (with elbows above bar) I bring the bar to mid-thigh and then to floor. I felt no back pain today and I don’t expect to feel any back tomorrow, either.

Yup, I recorded. Nope, I haven’t yet reviewed.

Ladder Time

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I’m patiently waiting for news from landlord, architect, and Town of Apex. Jeff continues to comment that he cannot believe just how patient I am being. We’ll see how long this patience lasts…

I attended the 11:30 session at CFS and Luke was my coach.

I warmed up by mopping the entire workout area and then doing 10 or so minutes of yoga.

Low Bar Back Squat
3-3-3 @ 75% of 1RM

What’s so nice about working out by myself is that I can take my time doing warm up sets as I prepare for sets at heavier loads. I did just that today, doing between 10 and 5 reps @ 95, 115, 135, 150, and 160. For whatever reason, my left shoulder “shelf” felt uncomfortable during lifts. I recorded all sets and I did break parallel. That 3rd rep was always a wee bit of a struggle.

I haven’t done this in quite some time… 180# is 125% of my bodyweight.

Yesterday’s WOD left me sprawled on the floor. Uhm, so did today’s WOD.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Front squats, 95#
Box jumps, 30”

I like ladders, although I like descending much more than ascending ladders. Yup, I programmed ascending so as to challenge myself.

Just 95# for front squats? Uhm, the weight starts to feel heavy after so many reps. Just 30” for box jumps? Uhm, the height starts to seem high after so many reps. Chin-ups instead of pull-ups? Constantly varied, folks. Pay attention.

My goals were to complete all set unbroken and to rest no longer than a count of 3 between activities, as I’ve noticed that I’ve begun to sometimes rest too long between transitioning from one activity to the next. a

I achieved my goals, and taking such shorts rests was an added challenge.

I ensured that my neck was well above the bar for every chin-up. If you’d like proof I can show you the bruise on my Adam’s apple.

I took off my shirt before the start of the last round. I. Took. Off. My. Shirt. Faithful readers know what this means, so I’ll say no more.

I’m very much looking forward to the start of coaching CFE at CFBC this evening! I’m also very much looking forward to leading a Running Clinic at CFD this Saturday. Oh, and I’m excited about opening CFS – whenever that finally happens.