Stay Awake

2013-05-15 09.09.15 2013-05-15 08.42.01I’m going to try to stay awake long enough to compose this blog. I’m that tired. Coached 6am session, mopped the floor, coached Boot Camp (with Jannicka’s wonderful assistance), went to chiropractic appointment, went grocery shopping, coached 11:45am session, completed bench press 1RM workout (again with Jannicka’s wonderful assistance), answered numerous voice- and e-mail questions regarding Boot Camps, went shopping with Jeff for his birthday presents, completed metcon, coached the 5:15 and 6:30pm sessions, and finished the day by coaching the last day of Foundations for the lovely Tami, Lindsey, and Michelle.


Bench Press
Establish 1RM

As mentioned, Jannicka was kind enough to stay after working out at 11:45 to spot for me. I went through this very quickly, as I didn’t want to keep Jannicka and her daughter, Fanny, from their, well, lives. I warmed up quickly, did a few reps at 135, and then put 2, 15# plates on the bar for a total of 165#, 5# more then current CFS 1RM. Jannicka asked, “Is this your one rep max attempt?” I didn’t answer. I easily completed the bench press. Yay! I thought, “I’ve got a PR. Go heavy for the next lift. The most you’ve ever bench pressed, and sloppily, was 180. Try 185.” I replaced the 15# plates with 25# plates — and bench pressed 185#. Not all that easily, but at no point did I feel like I couldn’t complete the lift. That’s a 25# improvement!

Perspective: 185# is more than 130% of bodyweight.

Wendler works.

I hadn’t planned on doing today’s metcon, given how grueling yesterday’s self-imposed metcon was, but it looked like too much fun to pass up.

1, 2, 3…8, 9, 10 medicine ball clean & 10m shuttle run
Then, immediately complete as many pushups as possible — with toes on medicine ball. 

My goal was to work continuously — and execute proper form on med ball cleans. What a tremendous amount of fun this one was! I finished in 6:49. I was exceedingly proud of Josh who beat my by 3 seconds. That young man is a tremendous athlete.

As I instructed the others, there was no resting allowed at bottom of pushup, although you could rest in plank. I completed 25 unbroken pushups and an additional 15 with a slight rest in plank. That’s 40 pushups with toes on med ball.


2013-05-14 08.37.14 2013-05-14 08.37.08 2013-05-14 08.37.04 2013-05-14 08.37.03So, this Living Social deal is quite a deal. Thirteen folks attended this morning’s Boot Camp session, and there will likely be even more on Thursday. Mike and Rob were very patient.

Jannicka was kind enough to lead the warmup and cool down for the 8:30 session that I then coached. I like when I program a challenging WOD, as it happens far too infrequently. Right, Surmounties?

As I was coaching the lovely Glenda and the first-day-at-CFS Joshua, FedEx arrived with the first of many packages.

The hurdles arrived today; thus, I created a metcon to give them a try. Ouch. This was tough.

1, 2, 3…8, 9, 10
Slam balls (30#)
Hurdles (4, 19″ hurdles/rep)

I determined that the penalty for not catching the slam ball on the first bounce or knocking a hurdle post off of the cone would be a slam ball burpee. Because that’s just the sort of person I am. I placed a 30# slam ball at either end of the line of hurdles.

I had no idea how difficult this was going to be, and perhaps I shouldn’t have placde the posts on the highest setting.

I knocked off the post 1 time during the 4th round, so I had 1 slam ball burpee penalty. I love burpees, so it really isn’t that much of a penalty.

For the most part I jumped from where I landed, although I would occasionally find that I had a tendency to move my right foot forward ever so slightly just before jumping.

Did I mention how miserable this experience was?

I finished in 11:25. I haven’t been this much of a sweaty mess in quite some time. That’s 55 ball slams and 220 hurdles.

Wendler Works

I coached my very first CFS Boot Camp this morning — and absolutely loved doing so! As I’ve said time and time again, I most enjoy working with newbies.

I’ve already witnessed numerous high bar back squat PRs this morning, and was most impressed by Roda. Wow. I’ll say it again: wow.

I’m still a little sore from yesterday’s Lotta Tabata, particularly in my hamstrings. Uhm, yeah, so doing so many back extensions on the glute HAM developer may not have been the smartest thing to do the day before attempting a new HBBS 1RM.

I was pleased, then, that I also got a PR today, albeit by a whopping 5 pounds. My new HBBS 1RM is 230#. I attempted and failed 235# twice, and got stuck “in the hole” both times. Dammit.

8-min AMRAP
30 double unders
9 burpees
30-second plank hold

Having programmed this, I knew it was going to be difficult. I didn’t, however, think it’d be quite as difficult as it was. Ha! I completed the 1st and 3rd round of double unders unbroken, the 2nd, 4th, & 5th round in reps of 5 & 25 (weird, I know), and the last round in reps of 5, 5, & 20.

I am the plank master. Bow to me. Do it now. Bow.

I completed 5 rounds + 3o double unders + 1 burpee.

A lotta Tabata

2013-05-12 12.06.35

I was awake well before 6 am and the weather was overcast yet cool, I took Luke for a long walk. He’s the world’s best mascot. True story.

I coached the 9:45 session and attended the 11 session, coached by none other than Jeff!

24-Minute Tabata (1-minute rest between activities)
Choose 5 of the following activities:

  • Sit-ups
  • Pushups or muscle-ups
  • Sumo dead-lift high pulls (65/45)
  • Squats
  • Toes to bar or toes through rings
  • Plate press (45/25) Pushup
  • Back extensions
  • Burpees

Complete 4-minute Tabata (20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest) of each of the 5 chosen activities, recording reps after each interval. Score = total number of reps.

Rest 1 minute between activities. Nonetheless, quickly transition from one activity to the next.

The clock will continue to run an additional 5 minutes (including minute rest) for a total of 29 minutes for any athlete who would like to complete 6 activities.

This was tough, as I knew it was going to be. I was surprised, however, by the activities that presented the biggest challenge.s

I decided to focus on the core. Duh.

I began with GHD back extensions, for no other reason than to get them out of the way. As you can see from the below chart, things started off fine. I completed all rounds unbroken.

Ring dips, however, kinda sorta fell apart. Huh?

I used 65# for SDHP. As with most rounds, it started off feeling easy and got progressively much more difficult. Nonetheless, I remained consistent. Jeff reminded me to get my elbows high. I completed all rounds unbroken.

Toes through rings, an activity that I usually excel at, were pure sh!t. My forearms were aching.

Pushups went okay, although I certainly didn’t complete any round but the first unbroken.

While I did complete all rounds of Abmat sit-ups (there was no way in hell that I was going to end with GHD sit-ups), my abs ached. How can titanium ache? Strange.

The LivingSocial Boot Camp deal was finally announced yesterday, and over 40 folks have already purchased. I have a very good feeling about this!

Activity 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
GHD back extensions 14 12 13 14 12 14 13 15 107
Ring dips 15 12 9 7 6 6 6 6 67
SDHP 9 9 8 8 8 8 8 8 66
Toes through Rings 10 10 7 6 7 5 5 5 55
Pushups 15 12 11 10 9 9 8 9 83
Abmat sit-ups 12 11 12 11 11 11 11 12 91


Luke and Glenda. (Ashlee should be very jealous.)
Luke and Glenda. (Ashlee should be very jealous.)

2013-05-11 11.37.31 2013-05-11 11.37.42

Community WOD
Community WOD

I had almost talked myself into postponing “Christine” until after today’s Health & Nutrition seminar, but I am very glad that I did not. It’s after 3 pm and I’m very ready for a nap!

I arrived at CFS at 8:45. After doing a half-assed warmup, I completed the last day of Wendler de-loading, pressing 5 reps @ 70, 75, & 80#. Presses continue to feel great, and I’m excited to attempt a new one rep max a week from today.

Benchmark WOD “Christine”
Row 500m
12 bodyweight dead-lifts
21 box jumps

I haven’t done this benchwark WOD in a very long time, and I had forgotten just how difficult it is. I didn’t re-read previous blogs or attempt to discover previous PRs.  It appears that I haven’t done this particular WOD in well over 2 years, and my previous time was 10:48.

At that time I weighed a whopping 140 pounds. Uhm, I may or may not be a mere 3 pounds heavier. Regardless, I dead-lifted 145#.

It appears that Rx for men may be 20″ box jump, and I considered this when programming the WOD. I required men, including myself, to complete 24″ box jumps.

My goal was to complete rounds of dead-lifts and box jumps unbroken, and I came very close to achieving this goal.

Many thoughts passed through my mind while completing the workout.

I focused on strokes per minute for rowing, stroking between 24 & 26 s/m each round. I completed rounds of dead-lifts and first 2 rounds of box jumps unbroken. I was exceedingly winded by the last round, and paused ever so briefly before completing the last 10 box jumps.

While rowing the first round I thought, “I don’t want to row any more today. Maybe I’ll just quit.” During the second round of rowing I thought, “I don’t want to row the last round. This sucks. I can hardly catch my breath.” I very much wanted the last round of rowing to go as quickly as possible, but time seemed to slow down and almost stop.

The first and second rounds of dead-lifts went very well, and I can easily dead-lift my bodyweight for 12 unbroken and fast reps. However, time once again seemed to come to a halt during the last round. I counted up, and when I reached 6 I thought, “I don’t know that I can dead-lift another 6 reps without putting down the bar.” The last 3 reps were the hardest and it took an incredible amount of will power to not drop the bar.

Fortunately for me, I’m incredible.

I so very much wanted to complet the last 21 box jumps unbroken, but, as I mentioned above, I paused ever so briefly between reps 11 and 12.

My time was 10:25 — a new PR!

It’s been quite some time since I’ve felt like throwing up after completing a WOD. I most certainly felt like doing so today. I held myself together and kept my breakfast down.

I coached the 8:45 and 1o WODs and the Community WOD at 11. It was the largest gathering for a Community WOD to date!

Dr. Alex Brennan led a very informative health and nutrition seminar. While I would’ve liked to have seen more members in attendance, those who did attend learned much.

Clean & Jerk and Run!

Luke attempting to bury his Busy Bone in the couch.
Luke attempting to bury his Busy Bone in the couch.

I did indeed rest yesterday, and I sorely needed it. Speaking of sore, my lats are just that.

I did, however, see Iron Man 3. Meh. A bit predictable.

I also coached CFE at CFBC as well as the Community WOD and Foundations here at CFS.

It’s hot today. Luke has made sure to rest in the front office, i.e., his room, where it’s much cooler. He’s a very, very smart dog.

Ashlee and Almost-Always-Late-Angie attended the 7:15 session, and I joined them for dead-lift de-load, completing 5 reps @ 195, 215, & 225#. Angie is learning to kip toes to bar! Ashlee is learning to be even more awesome!

I had hoped to do the metcon well before the start of the 11:45 session, but a new member stopped by for a tour and to complete membership form. Yay! I didn’t start the metcon until 11:25. Terry got to see my shirtless. She’s one very lucky woman.

10 clean & jerks
Run 200m
Rest 2 minutes
3 sets of maximum # knees to elbow; rest 1 minute between sets

This was gruelingly fun! I recommended that folks press 65 to 75% of 1RM press, so I settled on 85#. My time was 7:21. I completed T2B in reps of 25, 20, & 15, (20, 15, & 8 kipping, respectively) for a total of 60 toes to bar.

Death becomes me

2013-05-08 06.47.04

Yet another busy, wonderful day! I coached all of the sessions today, and once again the 6:30 session had the most attendees. Nonetheless, we finished on time! I’m kinda awesome that way. True story.

I joined Jannicka, Fanny, and Steve at the 8:30 session and quickly completed Wendler de-load bench press, lifting 95, 105, & 115#. Explosive! Dead-lifts, not diarrhea.

I took Luke for a nice, long walk this afternoon, as it was a gorgeous day. Oh, how I love not having to work in a stuffy office. Another true story.

I worked out at 3:30. While I an indeed a morning person, I most enjoy working out in the afternoon.

Death by Inverted Ring Rows
Rest 2 minutes
Death by Pull-ups

This is the first time I’ve done DbIRR, and it was, well, difficult. I placed my feet on a 30″ box and the rings were 36″ from the floor. I completed 11 rounds + 11 reps for a total of 77. Wow, just wow.

My previous best for DbP-U was 15 + 15. I had every intention of besting that score, and I did so. Yup, I did so. Yup, I recorded the workout starting at round 10.

I completed all rounds unbroken through 15, and then began to fall apart. I finished round 18 in exactly 59 seconds. How close is that? I had to really fight for the last 3 reps in order to do so. I completed 18 rounds + 10 reps (I was falling apart the 19th minute) for a total of 181 pull-ups. Oh. Em. Gee.

While I didn’t row a 500m time trial, I did take the opportunity during the break between the 5:15 and 6:30 sessions to hold a plank. Cullen kindly placed a 45# plate on my back. While it was a struggle (and I did grunt and swear) I did manage to hold for 5:30.

I’m modestly abulous.

This may require math

I'm teaching Glenda how to rest.
I’m teaching Glenda how to rest.

I’m exhausted. And I feel wonderful! I coached at CFS at 6, 7:15, 8:30, & 11:45 am as well as CFE at CFBC at 5 and once again at CFS at 6:30 and 7:30 pm. Wow.

Today was a partner WOD. Fortunately for Emily Rob has returned! Unfortunately for Emily’s husband, Alex, Deborah and Steve attended the 8:30 session so that they could WOD as a couple. I had just returned from the restroom when I overheard Alex say incredulously,  “So, that means I have to work out with Paul?” Ha!

Jannicka, Fanny, and Roda attended the 11:45. There was much discussion about partners, but in the end I asked Roda to decide. She said, “I choose you, Paul.” She’s as smart as she is strong.

All partners had been selected for the 6:30 session when who should arrive (almost late ) but Lauren. As she was without a partner — you guessed it — I did the WOD once again.

Partner WOD
12-min AMRAP
5 box jumps (20/24)
10 burpees
15 air squats

Partners will take turns completing rounds, i.e., Partner A will complete box jumps, burpees, and air squats as Partner B rests.

If 1 or both partners are up for a challenge…
5 box jumps (24/30)
10 twisting burpees
15 air squats (20/30# slam ball)

Rest exactly 2 minutes

12-min AMRAP
5 KB swings (35/52)
10 burpees
15 barbell jump overs

Again, partners will take turns completing rounds.

If 1 or both partners are still up for a challenge…
5 1-armed KB swings (35/52)
10 6-count burpees
15 bench jump overs

Okay, so to level the playing field, namely the rest time, I completed 30″ box jumps, slam ball burpees (25# with Alex, 20# with Roda, and 15# Lauren), slam ball air squats (30# with Alex, 25# with Roda, and 20# with Lauren), 1-armed KB swings using 44# KB, and bench jump overs.

Alex = 15+24
Roda = 15 + 4
Lauren = 18 + 20

Let’s conservatively say that I completed 48 rounds and say I did half, 24. I did 12 rounds of each set. That’s 60 box jumps, 240 slam ball burpees (as I did slam ball burpees throughout), 180 slam ball air squats, and 180 bench jump overs.

Did I do the math correctly?

I also did all rounds of reps unbroken. Don’t believe me? Ask Alex, Roda, and/or Lauren.

I very much enjoyed today. As it was a partner WOD I was still able to coach. As all who attended today were familiar with all of the activities, I trusted each and everyone person to focus on form.

I’m also a pretty funny guy. You should visit CFS to discover just how funny (and awesome and awesomely funny) I am.

I’m also very modest.

Chuck Taylors

2013-05-05 11.54.08You guessed it — another productive and exhausting day. Uhm, and it’s just 2pm!

Cullen is helping with the upkeep of CFS, so he and I met at the box this morning at 8. I’m a wee bit anal-retentive, so it’s nice to have help cleaning the place. Thanks, Cullen!

We then had our first meeting of the CFS coaches, including Jeff, Jannicka, and Chris. I very much like the team that is forming, and I certainly like being the Head Coach. I will be the first to admit that I have control issues.

I coached the 9:45 session. Jeff, Melinda, and Cullen attended.

About halfway through the WOD Melinda said, “I’m sorry for making sounds.” I replied, “You only need to apologize if you fart. Otherwise, keeping working and don’t worry about any sounds you may make.” I continue to be impressed by Melinda’s progress. I most admire her commitment. I know she never leaves anything in the tank, and today was no exception!

Cullen completed his first post-Foundations WOD. Afterward I said, “You picked a hell of a WOD for your first day. This was tough.” “From what I’ve seen,” Cullen replied, “they’re all tough.” He’s a smart man.

It appears that many Surmounties suck at math. I’m not alone! I warmed up the 11amers and Jeff coached the session.

Dead-lift 40 x bodyweight
Back squat 30 x bodyweight
Shoulder to overhead 20 x bodyweight
Snatch 10 x bodyweight
Run 1 mile

I weigh a whopping 140# but rounded up to 145#. My strategy was to go relatively light with weights and to do additional reps. I also decided to not break up lifts, i.e., complete all dead-lifts before moving to back squats. In addition, I completed lifts from least to most challenging.

Dead-lift 185/32 reps
Back squat 115/38 reps
Push jerk 85/35 reps
Snatch 65/23 reps

I was very pleased with my performance. I completed: dead-lifts in sets of 16, 11, & 5; back squats in sets of 12, 10, 8, & 8; push jerks in sets of 10, 10, 8, & 7; and snatches unbroken. I ran a mile and finished in 18:48.

My good friend, Jay, let me know that he was going to complete the optional 200 double unders, so I accepted his challenge. My total time was 23:00.

I wore my Chuck Taylors for the WOD, the first time I’ve done so for a WOD that included running. I liked it!

I ran the mile in 4, 400m intervals. A ran to 64 and back and thought, “I’ve got a 400 meter lead. Good.” I ran to 64 and back again and thought, “I’ve got an 800 meter lead. Half mile. Good.” While running the 3rd interval I thought, “Sh!t, what is someone chose to row instead of run? They could be crushing me right now!” I paushed ever so briefly by the closed garage door (it was cold this morning) and listened for the rower. No sound. I was relieved.

I suppose I might possibly be somewhat competitive. Maybe.

I still see burpees

One of my favorite pictures from the Running Clinic
One of my favorite pictures from the Running Clinic

A late post as it’s once again been a very long, productive day.

Today was “Burpee Hell” at CFS. I was pleased that so many athletes challenged themselves. Burpee slam balls, burpee wall balls, burpee box jumps, burpee pull-ups, burpee toes to bar, the list goes on and on.

It’s no secret that I love burpees. Expect to see even more variations, Surmounties.

I led a Running Clinic from 1 to 4, and it was very well attended. The time seems to fly whenever I coach, and 3 hours felt like 30 minutes! Griffin won Death by 10m.

I didn’t get to work out until after 4, and that’s quite unusual for me. I have noticed, however, that I am much more flexible since I’ve begun coaching full-time, as I stretch and cool down with each session. Ah, yet another benefit of owning my own business.

5 reps @ 75% of 1RM, 3 @ 85%, 1 @ 95%

I pressed 90, 100, and 110#, and all of the lifts felt great! I recorded and reviewed. Even as I was pressing 110# I can be heard saying, “Well, that was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be.” Ha! I don’t even realize that I’m talking out loud until I review the recording.

I wanted a challenging yet not-too-long metcon today, so I programmed the following…

Run 400m
21 back squats, 95#
7 burpee muscle ups

My goals were to complete all back squats unbroken, as the weight was relatively light, and to successfully complete all muscle ups, i.e., no failed reps. Done and done.

Regardless of the weight, 21 fast and furious back squats begin to feel heavy. And I do mean fast. For all the rounds I completed back squats as quickly as I possibly could, still executing proper form.

Burpee muscle ups are a challenge in that you have to ensure that you immediately grasp rings in a false grip. Talk about accuracy! I learned a long time ago to still the rings before completing the burpee muscle up.

1200m run, 63 back squats, & 21 burpee muscle ups in 13:47.