Slip ‘n’ Slide

photo-43Tuesday, April 29

I worked out with the 4 pm crew, led by Coach Liz. ‘Twas good (press) and bad (dead-lift).

3 reps @ 80, 85, & 90% of 1RM

Lifts at 295 & 315 felt good, but I couldn’t get first lift at 335# off of the ground. Dammit. I set my back, focused on glutes and hamstrings, and successfully lifted the weight. I failed again on the next attempt, and felt a slight twinge on right-hand side of lower back. Shitty form? Perhaps. I said to myself, “What would I tell an athlete to do if I were coaching them and this happened?” Don’t lift. So I didn’t lift.

EMOTM for 14 16 minutes
Odd-numbered minutes | 5 presses @ 50% of jerk 1RM (85#)
Even-numbered minutes | 10 windshield wipers

This went much better, and presses felt great today. I completed all rounds (Liz added a round of both presses and windshield wipers) of reps unbroken. Presses felt light, so I increased weight to 90 for 5th, 95 for 6th, and 100# for last 2 rounds.

I got some grumbling from athletes, as the workout was not “scored”. Not all workouts need to be a competition.

Wednesday, April 30

I worked out with the lunchtime crew, led by Coach Emily.

Hero WOD “Bradshaw”

10 RFT
3 handstand pushups
6 dead-lifts (225)
12 pull-ups
24 double unders

It is incredibly humid today, and everything in the box is coated in a layer of moisture. My goal, as always, was to complete all rounds of reps unbroken. Uhm, I only managed to do so for the HSPUs and the dead-lifts. I did, however, complete all but the first round of double unders unbroken.

I used the new Speal bar for pull-ups, and it was quite slippery. No matter how much I chalked my hands, it was very difficult to keep a grip. I completed the first 6 rounds of pull-ups unbroken, but then had to break the remaining sets into reps of 8 and 4 —  for no other reason than I just couldn’t keep my fingers around the bar. By the last rep, I was often hanging on by my fingertips.

About my pacing… I put on my weightlifting belt before completing all but the 3rd round of dead-lifts. I took off my weightlifting belt after completing dead-lifts and walked about 10 paces to pull-up rig. I chalked my hands, shook out my shoulders, and jumped on the bar. I walked from pull-up bar to jump rope. After completing double unders, I set up my jump rope for next round, moved a poker chip, shook out my shoulders, and began handstand pushups. At no time did I feel rushed. Again, I wonder if I’m pacing myself too slowly.

Time = 23:09

30 HSPUs
60 dead-lifts
120 pull-ups
240 double unders

I was drenched in sweat.

I very much liked this workout.


photo 2-2 photo 1-2I’m a week behind on C&J, so I completed 3 sets of 5 reps @ 75, 80, & 85% of 1RM. Sh!t felt heavy. I completed sets @ 120, 130, & 140#.  I then joined the 8:30 athletes for the awesome and spectacular surprise — “Death by Burpees”!

I positioned myself with my feet at the blue wall so that I could see the clock and my competition — Emily to my left and Kelli to my right. I also selected a bar that was 6″ beyond farthest reach, 2″ more than prescribed. I completed through the round of 15 unbroken, and then began to briefly pause after 5 or so reps. If I recall, most folks didn’t make it past the round of 14 or 15, so Coach Liz asked if she could start the cool down without me. Of course! I could barely hear some of the comments, as I was breathing quite loudly. I do think I heard the words “machine” and “inhuman”. Correct me if I’m wrong and let me know what I may have missed.

I made it through the round of 17 with about 10 0r so seconds to spare. And what did I do? I stopped. I was quickly catching my breath, and when the clock read 17:10 I contemplated attempting to complete 18 burpees in the remaining 50 seconds. I began to feel very disappointed in myself. I said to Coach Emily, “I’ll be back at 11:45 to try this again.’

And that’s what I did. I once again positioned myself so that I could see the clock and I once again choose a bar that was 6” beyond farthest reach. I once again made it through the round of 15 with unbroken reps. I was delighted when I completed round 17 with about 10 seconds to spare. Yes, I did have to pause when completing last round, but I did indeed complete all 18 burpees and with 3 seconds to spare. I had no intention or desire to attempt the round of 19.

I didn’t miss any reps during either workouts. I made sure to jump higher than I needed to to ensure that I’d touch the bar with both hands.

Let’s so some math, shall we? I completed 153 and 171 reps during the 8:30 and 11:45 sessions, respectively, for a total of 324 burpees.

Valuable lessons learned

photo-41Saturday, April 27

I worked out with the 8:30 am athletes, and we completed “Manion”.

Run 400m
29 back squats, 135#

I had planned on increasing weight to 140#, thus completing bodyweight squats, but as we needed to share racks I joined Jay, Mike, and Steve D. and completed 135# back squats.

I own the gym, so I’m not going to claim a rack. I instead used Jay’s, Mike’s, and Steve’s racks. For the most part, this worked out fine.

I began 2 minutes after the first wave. When I returned from my 400m run, Steve D. was completing back squats, so I was able to complete 29 unbroken reps using his rack.

Things didn’t go as smoothly the second round, as I used Mike’s rack, but upon seeing him return told him to use the rack. Unbenknowst to me, the other 2 racks were being used. I waited for what seemed like an eternity for a rack to open up, and then took off my weightlifting belt and said to Jeff, “I’ll just wait and complete it with the next group. It’s a waste of time for me to just hang round.” I was disappointed, and it showed. I can be impatient sometimes. Most of the time. All of the time. I grabbed a drink of water, sat down, and then a rack became available. I contemplated not finishing, but then set my ego aside, put on my weightlifting belt, and completed the remainder of back squat reps.

I ran all 7 rounds of 400m, i.e., I didn’t walk and/or jog. There were a few times when I had to navigate around a bottleneck, particularly at the garage door, as many people walked the first or last meters of the run. I finished in 30:35, about a minute slower than PR.

And, as I often say, that’s okay.

Sunday, April 28

I worked out with the 9:45 athletes, and I was the only male! I provided athletes the option of doing event 3 or 4 from CrossFit Games Masters qualifying workouts. I completed Event 3, but as prescribed for men up to the age of 49; thus row 50 instead of 40 calories and complete 50 instead of 40 double unders.

Event 3

50-calorie row
15 handstand push-ups
50 double-unders

It was nice completing this more as active recovery than as a competition. I focused on form, made every rep count, and stuck to my goals:

  • Row 55 strokes or less for 50 calories rows
  • Break up HSPUs into no more than 3 sets
  • Complete 50 unbroken double unders all 3 rounds

I rowed 53, 52, & 53 strokes, completed HSPUs in 3 sets of 5 reps the first 2 rounds and in sets of 6, 5, & 4 reps the last round, and (you guessed it) completed 3 rounds of 50 unbroken double unders. It’s been quite some time since I’ve achieved all of my goals, and it felt good.

Time = 18:56 (if I’m recalling correctly).

And on the third day he didn’t rest.

DSCN2903Did you miss me? I rested Wednesday and Thursday. I did coach endurance athletes yesterday and, yes, I did run with them. Let’s call it active recovery, shall we? Thanks!

I worked out with the 8:30 am athletes, led by Coach Liz. Coach Emily and I shared a bench for the bench press.

Bench Press
5 reps @ 65, 75, & 85%

It’s no secret that the bench press is one of my least favorite lifts. I just don’t have big chesticles. Nonetheless, the reps felt surprisingly easy today, and I completed sets @ 120, 140, & 160#. Thanks for spotting, Ms. Emily! Were you surprised by how underdeveloped my pectorals are? Remember, I’m fallible. And awesome. Mostly awesome.

3 rounds; rest 30 seconds between activities, i.e., between pull-ups and plank and then between plank and pull-ups
Max reps dead-hang and unbroken pull-ups
Max time plank hold with feet on box (24/20)

Quite a challenging combination, if I do say so myself. I completed 11, 10, & 9 strict, dead-hang pull-ups (30 total) and held the plank with my feet of 30′ box for 2:30, 2, and 2:30 (7 minutes total).

The box is looking awesome!

Peeps & Lorraine!

Zac is an attention whore.
Zac is an attention whore.

I am relieved that the CrossFit Games Masters Qualifying WODs are complete. I never want to do that again. Until next year.

When I checked the “final” results last night, I was in 94th place. I’m now in 100th. And that’s okay. I’m pleased with my accomplishments.

It’s been a very busy day, as I coached and/or mentored from 6 to 9:30, took Luke for a walk, coached the 11:45 session, painted until 3, coached and worked out at 4 (more in a moment), and will coach endurance at 6:30 and Foundations from 7:30 until 9.

For the first time in as long as I can recall, there was only one athlete, Lorraine, at the 4:15 session. As that is one of the busiest sessions of the day, I’m not quite sure why she was the only person to attend. Probably just an anomaly.

I think Lorraine was initially a little disappointed that Liz wasn’t coaching. Liz is a hell of a lot nicer than I am. Most people are. And I’m okay with that.

Did you all know that I’m not a hugger? And I’m okay with that, too.

As Lorraine was the only athlete, I followed my own coaching guidelines and worked out with her. And we had a wonderful time!

5 reps @ 65, 75, & 85% of 1RM

Uhm, I might have inhaled too many paint fumes today. I did a set at 240, and my next set was to be 280#. I took of 5s and 2.5s, and grabbed 25s, as I had intended to add 25s and 2.5s.

Uhm, but I grabbed metal 45s instead. The first lift felt heavy and I thought, “Jesus, the last set is going to suck.” It wasn’t until I had completed the 5th rep that I realized that I had 320# on the bar, 5# more than 85% of 1RM.


I didn’t reduce the weight and do a 3rd set. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.

10 rounds (20 minutes)
30 seconds row for calories
Rest 30 seconds
30 seconds max reps pushups
Rest 30 seconds

What a tremendous amount of fun this was! Lorraine and I rowed side by side, and I completed ring pushups.

My goals were to complete a minimum of 20 pushups a round and to row 109 calories or more. Why 109? Because Steve Dodge had rowed 108 earlier in the day. He was a collegiate rower. I’m fifty. Do the math.

I completed 18, 21, 23, 21, 22, 22, 21, 21, 22, & 22 pushups. Uhm, I didn’t achieve goal, as I only completed 18 pushups the first round. I did complete a total of 213 pushups. Lots a lot of f@cking pushups. I also have strap burns on both of my arms.

By the final round, I knew I was going to row more than 109 calories, but I nonetheless sprinted the last row. Total calories, you ask? That’d be 113.

Weird that I rowed 113 calories and completed 213 pushups. Don’t you think? And don’t you think your girlfriend was hot like me? Don’t you? Don’t you?