The Grinch 2013

The socks are a bday gift from my very good friends, The Burkes!
The socks are a bday gift from my very good friends, The Burkes!


I woke up with very sore lats. I wonder why that was? Uhm, 230 pull-ups in a span of less than 24 hours will do that to a person. Even me.

I was nonetheless very excited about revisiting “The Grinch” at CrossFit Surmount. I completed this WOD last year in a time of 17:10. I didn’t, however, recall the time and it was only until Einar informed me of my finishing time post-WOD that I realized, well, just how awesome I am. Modestly awesome, I should say. And awesomely modest.

“The Grinch”
12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 of the following for time:
Dead-lifts (225/185)
Ring dips
Wall ball shots (20/14)

My dead-lift form has improved dramatically over the years, so I decided to dead-lift 245# today. Unassisted ring dips and 20# wall ball shots are manageable. I don’t know that I’d ever want to scale up to muscle ups or even skin the cats based solely on the number of reps. A heavier wall ball might be in order.

My goal was to complete all rounds of reps unbroken. The medicine ball became very sweaty, and I lost a hold of the ball during one of the earlier rounds. Dammit. I completed dead-lifts and ring dips unbroken.

Many of my very good friends, most of them nurses Filipinos, were there, including Rowna, Einar, Jay, and May! (Before you get all upset, it’s an inside joke. Those who know me well know I’m anything but racist. Okay? Okay.)

Uhm, yeah, so Einar thought he’d race me. Ha! Perhaps that makes him a racist! He did finish the round of 12 slightly ahead of me.

And. That. Was. All. Love you, Einar! Mean it!

I worked at a steady pace, and rested when needed. It was unseasonably warm and very humid at the box this morning, so much so that, in addition to the medicine balls, the floor and even barbells were coated in a layer of moisture.

I finished in a time of 16:58 — a PR! And Rx+ at that!

That’s 78 dead-lifts, ring dips, and wall ball shots.

I timed that one just right…

I wanted to practice power snatches, but was unable to complete strength with either session as, once again, the house be packed, yo. Uhm, 20 athletes at 9:45 session!

I was able to complete the conditioning during the 8:30 session, and Jeff was kind enough to coach.

Yeah, so, like I completed 120 burpees and pull-ups just yesterday. Yeah, so, like I perhaps shouldn’t have completed today’s conditioning. Yeah, so,  like I really wanted to do this workout, so I did.

22-min AMRAP
Run 400m
12 burpees

Maximum number of pull-ups

Like yesterday, I touched a pull-up bar that was a little more than 4″ above my highest reach at the end of each burpee. I set no goal for number of pull-ups, as I feared I might overdo it and perhaps hurt myself.

I’m smart like that.

I did, of course, set a realistic goal to run first 400m in less than 90 seconds and to complete all rounds of burpees unbroken.

Chris had claimed the Speal bar, so I completed pull-ups on one of the regular bars. In all honesty, I can tell no difference. I also set a pumice stone beside my paper and pen. I was good to go.

The timer began, and I got an elbow from both of the Donovans, Brad and Alex! Ha! I said, “You little shits,” and took off, with Alex not far behind. It’s nice to run with others. For that matter, it’s very nice to work out with others! I glanced at the clock upon my return to the box and it read 1:26. Nice. That’s a sub 6-min mile pace. I completed 12 unbroken burpees and then easily completed 20 unbroken, i.e., not even a pause at the bottom of the rep, pull-ups. No fatigue, no muscle failure. Good.

I ran another 400m, and just about everyone was once again on my heels. Twelve more unbroken burpees and just 16 pull-ups. While running my 3rd 400m I thought, “I should’ve at least done 18 pull-ups that round. I should be decreasing by 2 pull-ups per round at the most.” I completed 12 unbroken burpees — and then 18 unbroken pull-ups. Coach Jeff was watching me to make sure my chin went above the bar. My chin went well above the bar. Bitches.

Another 400m run, 12 unbroken burpees and 16 unbroken pull-ups. Well, okay then. “Finish strong,” I thought.

Yet another 400m run. Like the previous 3 runs, Brad was hot on my heels. In passing I said, “At least you’re not gaining on me!” He should’ve elbowed me. As he couldn’t catch me, I suppose he couldn’t very well do that. Twelve unbroken burpees and 20 — yes, 20 — unbroken pull-ups. Huh? Where the hell did that come from? Glancing at the clock I knew I had time for perhaps one more round. 

My last 400m run, 12 very fast unbroken burpees, and less than a minute to complete as many pull-ups as possible. I did so by completing 12 unbroken, pausing at the bottom of the rep, completing 2 more reps for a total of 14, then 2 singles for a total of 16. I thought, “String at least 2 together.” I did so, bringing the total to 18. I finished with 2 singles, having to swing a number of times at the bottom of the pull-ups before popping my hips and getting my chin above the bar. That was a total of 20 reps the last round.

The score was the total number of pull-ups; thus my score was 110. I also ran 1.5 mile and completed 72 burpees.

Hot for Teacher

photo-4My first workout was completed at 9:45. As much as I would’ve like to have participated in the partner WOD, I most definitely needed to focus on coaching (and cat herding) today; thus, I had to improvise.

The workout as programmed:

Partner WOD
19:30 AMRAP
One partner works while the other partner “rests”. Partners work for 1:30 intervals, resting 30 seconds between intervals, and cycle through activities.

A: Front rack lunges (95/63) | L-arm KB or DB hold (weight determined by coach)
B: Pushups | plank hold
C: Power cleans (95/63) | bottom of squat hold
D: Ring rows | bottom of pushup hold
E: Back squats (95/63) | R-arm KB or DB hold

I cycled through by completing both aspects of each lettered round. My goal was to complete all holds unbroken, i.e., hold for 90 seconds.

I alternated legs and completed 28 lunges, all forward. I didn’t drop the bar to the floor. My left left is most definitely stronger than my right leg. I held a 44# KB in a waiter’s carry for the full 90 seconds. On to B.

I completed 41 pushups and easily held a plank for 90 seconds. On to C.

I completed 23 power cleans. My right wrist is still nagging me somewhat, so the bar did remain in a death grip. I held bottom of squat for 90 seconds. On to D.

My arms were getting quite tired. I was only able to completed 37 ring rows. I told myself to hold bottom of pushup (i.e., hovering just above the ground) for 45 seconds. I held the pushup for 45 seconds and told myself to attempt a minute. I did. No turning back now, so I held the pushup for the full 90 seconds. On to E.

I do love back squats. Once again, I didn’t drop the bar to the floor. I completed 33 back squats. I was then bound and determined to hold that damned KB for the full 90 seconds. I counted up to 45 and then down from 45. I struggled mightily during as 30 seconds still remained on the clock. “Ten, nine, eight, seven — you can make it, Paul — six, just five seconds left, four, three…”

And then my my elbow bent and KB descended and I cradled it in my arm. I find it amazing that my brain said, “Hold it!” but my body said, “F@ck you.”

Uhm, I’m not sure how to score this. Suggestions?

It’s a beautiful day, so I took Luke for a walk/run on the American Tobacco Trail. We had a splendid time! I arrived back at the box and began my second workout at 11:10.

After seeing the following posted on the main site, I very much wanted to give it a try.

10 RFT
12 burpeees
12 pull=ups

My goal was to have an even split, so I made sure to look at the clock at the end of the 5th round. My aspirational goal was to complete all rounds unbroken. I also made the workout a bit more challenging by touching a pull-up bar that was a little more than 4″ above my highest reach at the top of each burpee. That’s always fun!

Uhm, yeah, so I achieved both of my goals, completing 5 rounds in 6 minutes and completing the workout in exactly 16 minutes. Yup, all unbroken rounds. I did, however, have to really pick up the pace the last round in order to achieve the time goal. I’m like that, you know, all awesome and shit.

Didya do that math? Didya? Didya? That’s 120 burpees and pull-ups.

“The 12 Days of CrossFit” x 2

photo-2As  I was responsible for feeding the cats their second breakfast, I did so after coaching the 8:30 Boot Camp. I also took Luke for a nice long walk. Thus, I didn’t arrive at CrossFit Surmount until 10:30. This meant that I had just an hour to gather equipment, warm up, and complete the WOD. Uhm, I didn’t really get to warm up, as I didn’t start the clock until about 10:50.

“The 12 Days of CrossFit”

1 wall crawl OR rope climb OR muscle up OR  Turkish get-up (per arm)
2 handstand pushups
3 chest to bar pull-ups
4 stiff-legged dead-lifts (95)
5 squats (front, back, or overhead)
6 ring dips
7 box jumps (24 30)
8 toes to bar
9 KB swings (52)
10 wall balls (20)
11 man makers
12 hundred (1200m) run

This was as difficult as I imagined it would be. I didn’t start of at all well, but my performance improved as time progressed. There’s something to be said for warming up before working out.

Uhm, having not even attempted a muscle up, I failed the first rep. Fortunately, that was the only failed rep.

I completed all rounds of HSPUs, C2B pull-ups, dead-lifts, back squats, ring dips, toes to bar, and KB swings unbroken. I missed the 5th rep of the very last set of box jumps. Yup, it was quite a Holly-day. Ouch. I also missed the third wall ball shot of the first round.

I used 35# KBs for man makers, and today 35# felt like 135#. I did not allow myself to take my hands off of the handles, but I certainly can’t say that the man makers were done unbroken.

I ran the old 400m course 3 times. Running is usually fun. Usually.

The final set of man makers went much better than the first set, as did all of the remaining activities — except that missed box jump.

Time = 38:27

12 muscle ups

22 handstand pushups
30 chest to bar pull-ups
36 stiff-legged dead-lifts (95) 
40 back squats back 
42 ring dips
42 box jumps 
40 toes to bar
36 KB swings 
30 wall balls 
22 man makers
1200m run

Coach Chris led the 4pm session (and splendidly, I might add), so I decided to do the workout again. Why, you ask? Because I do indeed enjoy working out with others. Why don’t I do it more often, you ask? Uhm, for a couple of reasons: 1.) I do not mind working out alone, and actually most days prefer to do so; and 2.) I wonder if, when I do work out with fellow Surmounties, if my doing so is inspirational or de-motivational.

I’ll rely upon those of you that worked out beside and with me today or who have worked out with me in the past to let me know. Is it annoying to have me work out with you? Would you rather I not do so? Be honest. Not you, Steve B. Lie to me instead.

I do attempt to level the playing field; thus, I completed the following:

“The 12 Days of CrossFit”

wall crawl OR rope climb OR muscle up OR  Turkish get-up (per arm)
2 handstand pushups
3 chest to bar pull-ups
4 stiff-legged dead-lifts (95 105)
5 squats (front, back, or overhead)
6 ring dips
7 box jumps (24)
8 toes to bar
9 KB swings (52 60)
10 wall balls (20)
11 man makers
12 hundred (1200m) run

As I knew what to expect, I paced myself accordingly. I truly enjoyed working out beside and with Sarah, Lorraine, Alan, Felicia, Brad, and Emily.

My goal was to complete all rounds unbroken — except for man makers. Goals should always be realistic. Ha!

I did begin with a muscle up and then thought, “Don’t push your luck, Paul. Do wall crawls or rope climbs instead.” I hadn’t taped my left ankle for rope climbs, but I had worn long socks. I did a rope climb for the remaining 11 rounds.

I completed all rounds of everything — including wall balls — unbroken, except for box jumps. I didn’t fully extend my hips for 1 rep, that I re-did, and I paused during one of the reps of the last round. I was all up inside my head, yo.

Uhm, 105# felt heavier than 95#, particularly when cleaning and jerking the bar in preparation for back squats. Heavy, but manageable. Uhm, 60# felt no heavier than 52# for KB swings. I used dumbbells instead of kettle bells for man makers, although I nonetheless used 35#.

Two, 35# KBs or DBs is half my body weight, bitches. Half of my body weight. Bitches.

I finished a mere 20 seconds faster than earlier in the day. I’ll take it.

Time = 38:07

Grand totals:
13 muscle ups
11 rope climbs

44 handstand pushups
60 chest to bar pull-ups
72 stiff-legged dead-lifts (95) 
80 back squats back 
84 ring dips
84 box jumps 
80 toes to bar
72 KB swings 
60 wall balls 
44 man makers
2400m run


Notice anything, Amy Scott?
Notice anything, Amy Scott?

I worked out at 10am this morning, and once again completed today’s programmed WOD at CrossFit Surmount. I made sure to include squats, twists, sit-ups, and back extensions, you know, for active recovery, yo.

I do put careful thought into programming.

Man makers

Work up to your heaviest weight. Use DB and/or Kbs. Then, complete 10 man makers as fast as possible.

For the first time ever, I practicing using kettle bells. I completed a set of 10 reps using 35# KBs in a time of exactly 2 minutes. That was tough, and merely keeping one’s balance is a struggle when grasping the KB handles. As tomorrow’s WOD includes a mere 12 man makers, I may attempt with 44# KBs.

4, 4-minute Tabatas; rest 1 minute between Tabatas. Complete both Tabatas A and B 2 times. 

Tabata A (min 1-4 & 11-14)
Shoulder to overhead (75/53) 
Russian twists (20/14)
Bent over rows (75/53)
Abmat back extensions

Tabata B (min 5-9 & 16-19) 
Slam balls (30 or 25/20 or 15)
Front squats (75/53) 
Abmat sit-ups
Sumo dead-lift high pulls (75/53)

Score = total number of reps.

I lifted prescribed weights of (what began to feel heavy) 75#, 20# for Russian twists, and 30# for slam balls. My goal was to work throughout entire 20 seconds of all 32 intervals, i.e., only rest during 10-second rest between activities. Uhm, it doesn’t sound at all like a lofty goal, but I’m here to tell you that this was a very difficult goal to achieve.

I kept a running count and recorded total reps at the end of each Tabata. I did occasionally glance a the clock, but relied upon the sound of the beeping clock for beginning and end of intervals.

Push jerks: 14, 14, 14, 13
Russian twists: 38, 39, 40, 41
Bent over rows: 27, 25, 27, 27
Back extensions: 26, 24, 27, 27
Slam balls: 13, 11, 13, 12
Front squats: 11, 10, 12, 11
Sit-ups: 12, 12, 12, 12
SDHPs: 9, 0, 8, 10

Uhm, it was only upon reviewing recording that I realized I didn’t do the last 20 seconds of SDHPs during the 2nd Tabata; thus, score = 0. Dammit. I would’ve been able to break 600 if I had only completed 9. Dammit. Dammit, dammit, dammit.
Looking at my numbers now, I’m pleased with the consistency of my performance, as there was at the most (ignoring zero SDHPs) a 3-rep difference during any interval and I completed about the same number of or even increased the number of reps the second time through both Tabatas.
It’d be nice to have someone telling me, “Get ready in five. Sumo dead-lift high pulls in 3, 2, 1, go!”
I really, really, really, wanted to rest during the last 2 minutes of the last Tabata. I. Did. Not. My. Goal. Was. Achieved.
Tabata A-1 = 207
Tabata B-1 = 78
Tabata A-2 = 216
Tabata B-2 = 90
Total = 591

Wiped Windshields

Both of yesterday’s sessions at CrossFit Surmount were packed to overflowing, so I didn’t have an opportunity to work out with a group of like-minded athletes. I’m still nursing a somewhat sore wrist, although it’s almost completely healed. It was probably best that I not attempt bench press 1RM. I did, however, complete the metcon as competitors were attempting back squat 3RM.

10-min AMRAP
5 wall balls, 20# & 10′ target
5 knees to elbows
5 plyo pushups
5 American KB swings, 52#

My goal was to complete all rounds unbroken and to complete 10 rounds. Uhm, I should know better than to not complete a few reps of all activities before starting the clock. I threw 2 air balls during first round! Thus, I didn’t achieve my goal of unbroken reps. Once I got into a groove, things progressed much more smoothly, and the first round of wall ball shots was the only round of any activities that weren’t completed unbroken, including knees to elbows.

I kipped the shit out of knees to elbows.

I completed 10 rounds, and with just a few seconds remaining on the clock completed 2 additional wall ball shots. That made up for the 2 air ball shots.

This metcon was surprisingly challenging, particularly and surprisingly the clapping pushups.

I completed today’s programmed workout this afternoon, immediately after coaching the 11:45amers.

Turkish get-ups

I practiced TGUs with barbell, and successfully completed reps @ 45, 50, & 58# — a PR!

50 windshield wipers
25/leg DB lunges, 40#
15 back squats, 95#
5 wall crawls
Rest exactly 1 minute

5 wall crawls
15 back squats
25/leg DB or KB lunges
50 windshield wipers

As I knew this was going to be challenging, I determined my strategy: complete windshield wipers and lunges in sets of 10 reps, and complete back squats and wall crawls unbroken. My goal was to have an even split.

Thus, even though I could’ve easily completed more than 10 unbroken windshield wipers when workout began, I made myself drop off of the bar and rest a moment. I did complete windshield wipers in 5 sets of 10 reps. I used 40# DBs for lunges  and completed in 5 sets of 10 reps (5/leg). The lunges were much more difficult than the windshield wipers.

Although the bar remained in the death grip, I did clean and push jerk the bar overhead. I easily completed 15 unbroken back squats and 5 unbroken wall crawls. The clock read 5:41.

I rested a minute and did the same thing in reverse — with one exception. I completed the last 20 windshield wipers unbroken, and I’m glad that I did, as I finished in 12:21. Thus, I completed the down ladder in 5:41 and the up ladder in 5:40. Yay!

Did I do the math right? I used my fingers.

The BIG Five Oh (how I love burpees)!

I remember this moment all too well. Although I hadn't moved the chip, I was completing my last round and was midway through last round of 63 double unders.
I remember this moment all too well. Although I hadn’t moved the chip, I was completing my last round and was midway through last set of 63 double unders.

Yup, today is my 5oth birthday, and I feel great! My life is wonderful, and I enjoy every single moment of it.

I completed today’s CrossFit Surmount programmed WOD with the 8:30 crew. Jeff was kind enough to coach. He didn’t, however, believe me when I told him that I was going to complete the workout not as a partner but as a team WOD — with Me, Myself, and I. It had always been my intention to do so.

Run 1 mile
6 rounds of the following:

— 12 burpee dead-lifts (225#)
— 14 burpee box jumps (30″)
— 19 burpee pull-ups

— 63 lateral bar hops/double unders (alternating rounds)
Run 1 mile

Partners were to divide work evenly (although I discovered that this didn’t always happen). I, on the other hand, would be completing all reps. Just they way I like it.

The distance was long, the dead-lifts heavy, the box high, and the rep count even high as well.

My only goal was to have an even split, and I achieved this goal. Gah! It was very tough to do so.

I ran 2, 800m intervals for both miles, and completed the first mile in 6:30. As I was pacing myself and preparing for the upcoming work, and I was pleased with that time. Jay and Nathanael were partners, and I do believe that Nathanael tried to race me during one of the 400m runs. Uhm, I wasn’t about to play his reindeer games.

I worked steadily throughout the workout, and completed all but 1 round of lateral bar hops (I missed a step) and rounds of double unders (I knew I wasn’t going to get 3 rounds of 63 reps) unbroken.

Let’s do the math, shall we?
2-mile run
72 burpee dead-lifts
84 burpee box jumps
114 burpee pull-ups
189 lateral bar hops
189 double unders

While not complete burpees, as there wasn’t a final jump and clap, I nonetheless completed 270 burpees. That’s more than the requisite 50 birthday burpees.

I completed through round 3 in just over 30 minutes, and completed the WOD in 1 hour and 9 seconds. That’s a steady pace, ladies and gentlemen.