I worked out at 8:30 this morning. And it was “fun.”

WL-A: Floor Press (5 reps @ 65, 75, & 85% of 1RM)

I completed sets at 130 & 150, but was only able to complete 4 reps @ 170#. I felt a slight twinge in my right shoulder. I must ensure that I warm up more thoroughly, even if I must do so on my own.

MC-B: Metcon (No Measure)

EMOTM for 10 minutes
Odd-numbered minutes – 3/leg (alternating leg) front rack forward lunges
Even-numbered minutes – 3/leg (alternating leg) behind the neck backward lunges
For added challenge hold bottom of squat remainder of minute

I put 15 & 10# plates on the bar in case I needed to drop the weight from 95 to 75#. I did not. Yup, I also held the bottom of a squat during “rest,” although I often waited until 30 seconds past the top of the minute to do so. Holding the squat was the most difficult part on the workout.

MC-C: Metcon (No Measure)

10 rounds (15 minutes total)
In 1 minute, complete 5 planks alternating arms/forearms (left and right = 1 rep) and plank hold remainder of minute; rest 30 seconds between rounds

My goal was to hold all 10 rounds of planks without breaking form. Oh, did I mention that I wore a 20# weight vest?

Deborah was stationed near me, and she counts out loud. I don’t mind in the least. I did, however, notice that she slowed down as the workout progressed, as I had often finished 5 forearm planks before she said, “Three.” (Hugs, Deborah! You were “spot” on with the spotting, though.)

This was tough, and I sometimes doubted that I’d be able to complete all rounds without breaking plank and assuming child’s pose or down dog.

Okay, so this happened. In order to make the time go faster I began to loudly sing aloud to the songs playing. Gwen Stefani’s “Rich Girl” got me thinking about “If I Were a Rich Man” which got me thinking about “Fiddler on the Roof” which got me thinking about Bette Midler playing the part of Tzeitel on Broadway. Yup, that’s how my mind works.

I held plank all ten rounds without breaking form. That. Was. Tough.

Today was the first day of the 56-day Paleo Challenge. So far, so good. I do crave sweets, though. I’m okay with coffee without cream, I’m okay without bread, and I love walnuts & almonds & pumpkin seeds. I crave sweets.


I heart BBC


As much as I wanted to do so, I did not work out yesterday. ‘Twas difficult to rest. I watched the first 4 episodes of Game of Thrones.

I attended the 3rd session of the Barbell Club, and I can’t emphasize enough what an excellent coach James is!

A: Front Squat (5×3 @ 2,1×1 75% of 1RM)
One one thousand, two one thousand (descent), three one thousand (hold at bottom of squat). four one thousand (ascent), five one thousand (rest between reps). And then other two times per set.
As I just established new 1RM of 225 this week, I front squatted 170#. This was tough, the last rep of the set in particular. James critiqued my squats and said, “Nice job, Paul.” That’s all I need to hear to have my day made.
A mere 15 front squats yet I was a sweaty mess from start to finish.
B: Clean (Not TNG)
Not touch and go. I asked James what percentage of 1RM the cleans should be and he said, “The same as the front squats, about 70 to 75 percent.” I hovered the mouse over the graph for clean and as my 1RM is a recently achieved 170 that put the weight at about 125#. I had 135# on the bar. I said, “Good, that means I can lower the weight.” James replied, “Just do 135.” I honestly thought he was kidding, so I laughed and said, “You’re kidding, right?” “No,” he replied.
One hundred thirty-five is almost 80% of 1RM and almost 95% of my bodyweight.
I knew this was going to be tough, and it was. I surprised myself, however, in that I did a pretty good job, yo. I did miss the 3rd rep of the last set. Yup, I redid.
C1: Clean Grip RDL (Rest 60 seconds)
C2: Pendlay Row (Rest 90 seconds)
I worked up to 160 for RDL and 115 for row. This was also tough, and my hamstrings were on fire.
D: Metcon (Time)
PS & GHD sit-ups
James let us know that the prescribed weight for power snatches was 135#. Ha! He instructed us to choose a weight that wouldn’t allow us to complete the sets unbroken, i.e., that we’d likely need to drop the bar from the top.
I’ve never power snatched 95# in a metcon. Until today. My current 1RM is 105.
This was f@cking awful.
I completed all snatches as single reps. The GHD sit-ups were exceedingly easy in comparison, and I completed all rounds unbroken and quickly.
Time = 5:49.
Nineteen seconds slower than Jeff.

A Man with a Plan

I worked out at 8:30 this morning, although I had briefly considered resting today instead. As I no longer rest on Thursday due to Barbell Club, I am going to be resting on Saturdays and as needed.

I need far less recovery than most.

WL: Snatch Grip Deadlift (Establish baseline 1RM)

I had a less than successful lift at 175 (in that I didn’t lock my knees at top of lift) and thought, “Just put 285 pounds on the bar and make it a good lift.” And that’s what I did. I attempted 300. It wasn’t going to happen today.

MC: Nicole

20-Minute AMRAP of:
400m Run
Max Rep Pull-ups

Last July 25 I only managed 128 pull-ups, 2 shy of PR. I set my goal to complete 131 reps, as gains at this point in my development are incremental and not exponential. The temperature had risen to the low 80s and it was humid. This makes for slippery bars, so I set up pumice and chalk beside my station.

I took it easy on the 1st 400m run and didn’t even bother to look at the clock upon my return to the box. I completed 32 unbroken pull-ups, i.e., I didn’t pause between any of the reps. I also wanted to make sure that I didn’t go to muscle failure. I also kept a running count of pull-ups, not so that I wouldn’t have to do the math but because I wanted to make sure that I reached my goal of 131 reps.

I based the remaining 400m runs on my breathing, running the 2nd 400m with a breath every 4th step and the remaining 400m runs with a breath every 3rd (or sometimes even every 2nd) step. I ran 400m seven times for a total of 2,800m, just 400m shy of 2 miles.

I completed 18, 20, 18, 14, 16, & 15 pull-ups the remaining rounds, having written down 32, 50, 70, 87, 101, 117, and 132. I was disappointed in the 5th round in that I only completed 14 pull-ups, as I was concerned that I’d reach muscle failure and not achieve my goal. I did complete as many of the last 5 reps of rounds as singles, attempting to get in as big of a kip as I could.

I also made sure that I had enough time after the 7th 400m run to rest and then get on the bar. I didn’t rest long enough, as there was still time remaining on the clock when I dropped from the bar. Being the purist that I am, I finished with about a 75m run.

I surpassed my goal by one rep. Yup, just one rep. Again, gains are incremental and not exponential.

I. Was. Spent. It took me another 30 or so minutes to stop sweating.

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Tuesdays and Thursdays are my Favorite Days

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I coached the 6 am BC (fun group) and the 7 am endurance athletes. I enjoyed today’s endurance session, as I got to run with the athletes for “Native American” run. Holly was the second to the last Native American standing. Standing is if she were holding a purse, but standing nonetheless. 

I had my annual eye exam this morning as well. My vision is still 20/15 ten years after having lasik surgery. Myopia has set in, though, and I need progression glasses. Imma gonna look like Clark Kent. 

I attended the Barbell Club led by Coach James. I am delighted with his coaching, as he confirms what I instruct but often in a different manner. We complement each other well. For example, I say, “Drop your hips, knees over your toes” and he says, “Imagine that you’re scratching your back on a wall.” Same concept, different delivery. 

A1: Press (Complete 5 sets of 5 reps)

I completed the first set @ 95 and the remaining sets @ 105#. James told me to think about drawing my belly button to my sternum — and it worked! I made sure to ask for his coaching, and he obliged. He reminded me to not hyperextend my back when the weight gets heavy. 

A2: Push Press (Complete 5 sets of 3 to 5 reps)

I completed the 1st set @ 125, 2nd @ 135, 4th set @ 145, and 5th sets @ 155# — but only 3 reps. The last rep was a struggle. 

B: Hang Power Clean (Work up to 3RM in 7 minutes)

I approached this in the wrong way. Uhm, because I thought the clock was counting down instead of counting up. Dammit. I completed sets of 3 reps @ 115, 135, but then failed at 155#. Dammit. I had more than 4 minutes left and not less than 3 as I thought! dammit. I dropped the weight to 140 and successfully completed 3 reps. I increased the weight to 150 and successfully completed 3 reps. I increased the weight to 155 — and only got 2 reps. Dammit. Yup, that’s what I said: Dammit. 

James reminded me to have “fast elbows.” That’s always been very challenging for me to do. 

C: Metcon (Weight)

4 Sets
Clean grip DL 2+1 clean pull 1.1.1 (3 singles)

Per James’ suggestion, I kept 155# on the bar. He instructed us to begin each dead-lift and pull with a squat below parallel. I recorded myself the last set to ensure that I did. 

D: Metcon (No Measure)

EMOM for 15 min
Min 1: 2 Wall Walks
Min 2: 30 DUs
Min 3: 8 Russian KBS (heavy)

James suggested that I complete 40 double unders instead of 30, and I did. I should’ve completed more than just 2 wall walks, as wall walks aren’t the least bit challenging for me. Just saying. We weren’t instructed to record our times, but I did so nonetheless. 

Wall walks: 10, 8, 8, 8, & 9. When I ascended the wall I left a trail of sweat that made ascending the wall the second rep, well, slippery. 

Double unders: 20, 19, 25, 21, & 18. The 3rd round was quite shitty, but I finished with a round of 40 unbroken double unders. I felt relaxed. 

70# KB swings: 13, 13, 13, 12, & 12. Try as I might, I couldn’t swing half of my bodyweight 8 times any faster than 12 seconds. 

I was a sweating, disgusting, smelly, and elated mess! 

Fun in the Clouds

I worked out with the rather large contingent of 9:30 athletes. I was one of two Pauls there. Coach Deborah led the session, and a good time was had by all. 

Gym A: Vertical ring hold (Hold for maximum time)

Gym B: Skin the cat (1-min AMRAP)

I provided instruction for some of the athletes and then went about my merry way. I’m like that. I skinned 15 cats in 60 seconds. Luke was proud of me. 

Zac is on a diet, and he has to lose 2 pounds. He thinks that if he’s affectionate that I’ll feed him. Typical man. 

OPT 1: Metcon (Time)

Row 2K
Then 7 rounds:
– 7 deadlifts (225)
– 13 box jumps (30)
– 14 toes to bar

OPT 2: Metcon (Time)

Row 750m
Then 7 rounds:
– 7 deadlifts (185/115)
– 13 box jumps (24/20)
– 14 V-ups

No rest for the awesome. I set a goal to complete the 1K row in 8 minutes and to take it easy on deadlifts, box jumps, and particularly toes to bar. 

I rowed with the first wave and the second wave began at the 4-minute mark. I competed the 2K row in exactly 8 minutes. Yup, exactly 8 minutes. I got to row with all of the athletes. And they got to row with me. 

And it took me 30 seconds to get off of the rower, put on my weightlifting belt, shake out my legs, and begin the 1st round of deadlifts. I completed all 7 rounds in unbroken reps, i.e., I didn’t walk away from the bar although I did drop most of the reps after fully extending. 

I also grunted loudly. No surprises there. 

I missed 1 box jump in that I didn’t fully extend my hips. Dammit. I only completed kipping toes to bar during the first 3 rounds, and then it was singles. Why? Because I didn’t want to re-injure my shoulder. I’m just that smart. Wait, what? Oh, I skinned more than 15 cats. 

Time = 27:38

Luke found a stick!
Luke found a stick!

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I was in a funk earlier in the day, probably because of the continuous rain. Jeff laughed when I said I suffered from seasonal affective disorder. I guess I was indeed SAD.

Today was the start of the Endurance and Barbell Club 8-week cycles. As everyone know, I truly enjoy running — and coaching running. 

As only Jennifer G. and Karina attended the 11:45 session, I joined them for strength. I was feeling weak and lethargic, and it showed. I completed sets of 5 thrusters @ 105, 115, & 135. I did, however, complete a rep @ 157#, and that’s a PR. As much as I wanted to do the metcon of sprinting single unders and ring rows, I did not, as I knew the BBC metcon was going to be challenging. 

CFS – Barbell Club

A: Front Squat (Work up to 1RM in 10 minutes)

I front squatted 225#, a 5# PR. I’ll take it. I attempted 235#, but probably should’ve only attempted 230#. Yup, I failed. 

B1: Bench Press (Close grip; rest 60 to 90 sec)
B2: Strict Pull-up (Complete 5 to 7 reps)

Jeff and I shared a bench and bar and I did BP first; thus, I didn’t immediately do pull-ups. And that’s okay.

I completed 5 @ 135, 6 @ 140, 5@ 145 & 150, and 3 @ 155#, 80% of 1RM. Coach James told us that if we could easily complete 7 strict pull-ups that we should complete strict chest to bar pul-ups instead. and that’s what I did. I completed all 5 rounds in unbroken reps of 7.

C: Metcon 

Min 0, 4, 8
12 Deadlift (225)
12 Burpees
300m Row
Rest remainder of each round

This was challenging. I’ll admit that I was anxious prior to the start, but I quickly settled into a good pace. 

I mistakenly used the competitor plates. They bounce too much. I completed the 1st set of dead-lifts in as many as 4 unbroken and in as few as single reps. Burpees were completed without a jump and clap, and I quickly completed unbroken. I rowed hard, as instructed to do so by James, and strokes/minute were in the upper 20s. My time for the first round was 2:12. I knew I could do better.

I completed the 2nd set of dead-lifts in unbroken reps of 6, 4, and then 2 singles, 12 unbroken burpees, and another fast row. My time was 2:09, a mere 3 seconds faster than 1st round.

Coach James instructed us to make our last round the best, so that’s what I did. Twelve unbroken dead-lifts, 12 unbroken burpees, and a fast row. I truly sprinted the last 100m and finished in 2:04.

I did have to chuckle as I glimpsed Luke asleep on the couch as I worked out.

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Total time = 6:25

That was fun! I’m looking very forward to the next 8 weeks of BBC. 

Neither Spain nor plain.

I worked out at 8:30 am, and Angie once again crushed me like a tiny little bug.

CFS – CrossFit

Floor Press (Establish baseline 1RM)

I warmed up with 95, 115, 155, & 175, and then completed singles at 185, 195, and 200#. Uhm, that’s 10# more than bench press PR. My shoulder is almost completely healed, so presses didn’t cause any pain. 

Luke liked to attempt to overtake my territory. 

Metcon (Time)

5-10-15-20-25-30 wall ball shots (20 & 10)

Run forwards 50m, backwards 100m, & forwards 50m after each round

Three days in a row of running. It doesn’t get much better than that. 

It had rained during the 6 and 7 am sessions but it didn’t rain while we ran. Dammit. My goal was to complete all rounds of wall ball shots unbroken, and I did not achieve this goal. Dammit. I did complete the rounds of 5, 10, 15, 20, & 25 wall ball shots unbroken, but during round of 30 my heart rate increased dramatically. No sense pushing it, so I let the ball drop after 19 reps, and then powered through the remaining 11 completing as few as 3 reps at a time.

Running and wall ball shots are a challenging combination.

Time = 12:31

It’s a long from from the garage door to the wall…


Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens!

There are indeed a few of my favorite things: Luke, running, and burpees.

I worked out at 8:30. I led the warmup and then Jeff coached the session. 

Athletes were presented 3 options, and I chose the most difficult of the 3. I set a goal to complete in fewer than 45 minutes, run continuously, and to complete all rounds of burpees unbroken. I achieved all 3 goals. I asked Jeff, “Are you proud of me for completing all of the rounds unbroken?” He replied, “I’m not not proud of you.” 

OPT A: Metcon (Time)

Run 200m carrying sandbag (45/25)

10 burpees over sandbag

Run 400m carrying sandbag

20 burpees over sandbag

Run 600m carrying sandbag
30 burpees over sandbag

Run 800m carrying sandbag
40 burpees over sandbag

Rest 2 minutes

Run 800m
40 6-count burpees
Run 600m

30 6-count burpees

Run 400m
20 6-count burpees

Run 200m

10 6-count burpees

2.5 mile run and 200 (100 sandbag and 100 6-count) burpees. Luke was particularly attentive today, and was as close as he could get to me as I did all rounds of burpees. He made me laugh! Janet and May also made me laugh. 

I completed the first half in 22:33, rested 2 minutes, and called time at 44:15. That’s a negative split, folks. Yes, I can run faster without carrying a 45# sandbag, but 6-count burpees take more time to complete than do sandbag burpees. I also did the round of 20 6-count burpees at a faster pace and the very last round of 10 6-count burpees as fast as I could. ‘Twas fun! 

My shirt, shorts, socks, and shoes were soaking wet. 

Luke being Luke.
Luke being Luke.
Luke closely monitoring my performance and May being May.
Luke closely monitoring my performance and May being May.


Dodge (A Bullet).

I worked out with the 8:30 athletes. In an obvious attempt to win my favor, Steve Dodge wore an orange shirt. I kinda sorta felt sorry for him because neither his wife, Sarah, nor his mistress, Thomasina, were present. I asked him to be my partner, and he acquiesced. 

But first, strength.

CFS – CrossFit

“You Pick Two” for squats, i.e., complete 2 of the 3 squats (BS, FS, OHS).

A: Back Squat (Complete up to 35 unbroken reps at 50%)

B: Front Squat (Complete up to 35 unbroken reps at 50%)

C: Overhead Squat (Complete up to 35 unbroken reps at 50%)

As I repeatedly told people, one could complete up to 35 reps. I knew, however, that I’d completed 35 reps, being awesome and all. Thirty-five truly unbroken, i.e., no resting bar on back and/or shaking out legs, back squats at 120#. Thirty-five OHS at 72# in sets of 15, 5, 10, & 5. I rested bar on shoulders between sets. Oh, how I used to hate OHS. 

D: Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)

“4 x 4”

Complete four (4) 4-min AMRAPs solo or with partner

Rotate through the 4 activities, resting 90 seconds between each

- 50m sled pulls (75/65% of bodyweight | 10m = 1 rep)
– Toes through rings
– Lateral parallette hops

– Seated box jumps (30/24)
If completing with partner, only 1 person may work at a time, but work need not be divided evenly between the partners.

Steve and I worked well together. I think he was surprised that I wasn’t a dick. I honestly enjoy partner WODs, and I’m not, you know, as big of a dick as many people think I would (or certainly could) be. I began with 50m sled pull at 110#, and then Steve did the same (although not at 110#). We continued through the 4 minutes and completed 7 rounds + 30m for a total of 38. (I’m going on memory here.)

We completed toes through rings in reps of 10 at the start, and then as many as we could, and then singles. Yup, I completed a few more reps than did Steve, but that’s okay.

We usually completed lateral parallette hop overs in reps of 10 and completed well over 200. (Again, I’m going on memory here). 

I do recall that we completed 54 seated box jumps, usually taking turns. I could tell that Steve was getting winded, so I occasionally completed 2 or more at a time. I’m just that nice. 

Our total score was 437 reps. Four hundred thirty-seven wonderful reps. 

I’d partner with “A Bullet” weekends and holidays years ending in 00 never again almost any day of the year!

I coached the 9:45 and Community WODs, and then held a 4-hour Running Clinic. I incorporated some new learnings, and was pleased with the results. 

Have I mentioned that I love running? Truly a functional activity. 


Cluster, but not fiesta.

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Luke didn’t want to get out of bed this morning.
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He covered his own head with the pillow.

For a slight change of pace, I worked out at 9:30 this morning. ‘Twas a fun workout!

A: Handstand Push-ups (Establish max # unbroken reps)

I took it easy today, and completed 21 kipping HSPUs. Yup, I don’t want to re-injure shoulder. 

Vertical ring hold

I held vertical ring hold for 2:05. As I was doing so, sweat ran up my back. Get it? Up my back, from my waist to my shoulders. 

Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)

5-min AMRAP

5 reps of the following:
– Power cleans (95#)
– Front squats

– Stiff-legged deadlifts

Rest 2 minutes

5-min AMRAP

5 reps of the following:
– Thrusters
– Back squats

– Bent over rows
1 round = 15 reps

This was even tougher than I thought it was going to be, Perhaps I should’ve rested another day. Or three. The only 3 activities that I truly did unbroken were stiff-legged deadlifts and bent over rows. I should’ve been able to complete rounds of front and back squats unbroken, but instead occasionally shook out my legs. I also completed clusters instead of thrusters for all but the very last rep. I completed 6 rounds + 4 power cleans for the first metcon and 4 rounds + 3 thrusters the second round for a disappointing total of 157 reps.