Capacity Retest

FullSizeRender-19The Paleo Challenge is sadly coming to a close. Today was redid the first workout, the Capacity Test, that we completed September 16. I was quite anxious prior to the start. Jeff was kind enough to record (and I’m glad that he did as I lost count of reps on more than one occasion). I set specific goals for calories/reps, and met all but 1 of those goals. Dammit.

Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)

4 Minutes – Row for Calories
1 Minute Rest
3 Minutes – Chest to Bar Pull Ups
1 Minute Rest
2 Minutes – 165# Back Squat
1 Minute Rest
1 Minute – 135# Shoulder to Overhead

My previous scores were 68 calories, 35 C2B pull-ups, 21 BS, and 6 S20.

I did much better with C2B, better with BS, slightly better with rowing, and worse with S2O. I probably shouldn’t have completed push presses yesterday.

I set damper to 6 and rowed just 2 calories more than previous attempt, i.e., 70 calories. Well, okay then. I began with 10 unbroken C2B pull-ups, and then completed in reps of between 5 and the last single. I completed 25 BS, racking the bar about 3 or 4 times. S2O were miserable. I completed 3, 1, and then really fought for the last rep. I still had plenty of time but just didn’t have enough left to even power clean the bar. Uhm, I should’ve learned that lesson.

Score = 141; 10 pt improvement.


Dianne has agreed to be my partner for SuperFit Challenge in January! How awesome is that?

Conditioning. And strength.

The good news is that my left hamstring is healing nicely and quickly. Yay! I’ve nonetheless been taking it easy, particularly since I am hoping to improve my scores for WODs 1-3 of the Paleo Challenge.

I will definitely complete the Paleo Challenge again, and I look forward to promoting it at the box. I certainly feel stronger!

Whilst I didn’t complete strength for Barbell Club on Sunday (the day after the competition), I did complete conditioning. And this may have been one of my favorite workouts.

“Constantly Varied”

  1. 3 HSPUs
  2. 4 C2B pull-ups
  3. 5 burpee box jump overs
  4. 6 KB FS (53)
  5. 30 double unders

For each of the 7 rounds it was up to the athlete to decide order — but to ensure that the workout was constantly varied. The most difficult aspect of the workout was remembering what to do next! I suggested to Coach James that I complete strict HSPUs and C2B pull-ups, and he agreed. I wanted to ensure that I didn’t move too fast and potentially injure myself.

I’m just that smart. I truly am.

i completed the first round in the order listed, i.e., beginning with HSPUs and ending with dus. Gah! It was difficult ending with dus. KB FSs were the most difficult of all of the activities each and every round. The picture below captures the order that I completed, accumulated time, and time of each round. My goal was to complete each round in under 2 minutes, and I achieved that goal (although barely on the 5th round).

HSPUs got challenging during the 6th round, and I briefly contemplated kipping the last rep. I instead rested for a moment and successfully completed the rep. I completed the last round of HSPUs unbroken!


I rested yesterday. The whole damned day. And it was good. I only completed strength today. Just the damned strength. And it was tough.

Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)

Push Press
1 min max reps @ 85% of PRESS 1RM
Rest 3 min
1 min max reps @ 75% of 1RM
Rest 2 min
1 min max reps @ 65% of 1RM
Rest 1 min
1 min 9-10 max reps % 55% of 1RM

Weights were 120, 105, 90, & 75. Sh!t got heavy — and stayed heavy. I recorded, and am happy to say that my form was very good. Hips dropped, full extension (up on toes even), and locked out at top.

Round @ 85% | 6, 2, & 1 = 9
I completed each rep as a single, i.e., I reset before lifting. At the end of the round I proclaimed, “That sh!t got heavy.” Haha!

Round @ 75% | 8, 3 (failed attempt at 4th), 3 = 14
I strung most together, i.e., received bar for dip. Weight felt relatively light at start and very heavy at end.

Round @ 65% | 11, 4, 5 = 20
I again strung most together.

Round @ 55% | 15, 7, 5 = 27

Total = 70 reps

I have asked the lovely and talented Diane to be my partner for Superfit competition — and she acquiesced! How f@cking awesome is that?!

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2014 Triangle Invitational

The event began with a bumpy start but ended with a very smooth finish. The CrossFit Surmount Masters team consisted of Angie, Dianne, Glenda, Jay, Jeff, and yours truly. (Notice that I listed in alphabetical order.) I am delighted with the performance of the team, and we worked very well together.

Event 1 | 3-mile partner relay run

10346535_10205148764218644_7254339799566568672_nBumpy start, you ask? When Event 1 was announced I was both relieved and excited: a 3-mile run, with M/M, F/F, and M/F partners running together with both holding end of nylon rope. We quickly decided that Glenda & Dianne, Jay & Jeff, and Angie & I would run as pairs. Angie is a very strong runner — when she’s not sick. She was sick with a cold. When it was our turn to run we got off to a rather quick start. I told Angie that I was going to allow her to set the pace. She may have gone out too strong. This became apparent 400 or so meters into the run when her breathing became labored. Teams began to pass us, and with about 400m left one of the other 2 masters teams did just that. I said, “Come on, Angie, let’s catch them.” And she stopped. I said, “You can’t stop, Angie.” Angie had to stop 3 more times. I was trying to be patient, but I did begin to quite literally pull her along. I kept thinking, “I’m a runner and a running coach. What’s this going to look like if we do poorly?” And we did, finishing 17 of 24 teams and third out of the 3 masters teams. Gah! I began to doubt my abilities. This became apparent for Event 2.

Event 2 | 8 min to establish ground to overhead 1RM

10641234_10205148759018514_4641345164012757343_nI had decided prior to the event to begin with 145 and then lift 155 or more. This didn’t happen due to my own feelings of insecurity. I instead easily lifted 125, and when it was next my turn only increased weight to 135. I distinctly recall emcee Kristen saying, “And that’s a strict press of 135 from Paul Potorti from CrossFit Surmount.” I was quite embarrassed. Jeff lifted 200 and Jay lifted 260! Men placed 13 (because of me) and women 17. Not bad, but not good. And it was because I doubted myself and sandbagged. Dammit. We nonetheless moved to 2nd place in masters, and there we remained. The 1st place masters team was strong, and we never caught them. And that’s okay.

Event 3 | Double “Fran” 21-15-9 thrusters (75/55) and pull-ups M/F & M/F

10688368_10152438461021179_8933843485105048915_oDuring thrusters the non-working partner held barbell in front rack position. I partnered with Dianne, and as she loves thrusters (her words) and I love pull-ups we decided she would complete all thrusters. Yay! My goal was to complete all rounds of pull-ups unbroken. Dianne did a spectacular job! After she completed thrusters I grabbed her hand and ran (dragger her) to the pull-up rig. Ha! Poor Dianne, it’s not easy to run after squatting. I quickly and easily completed pull-ups unbroken, and many commented that it looked as if I was doing chest to bar pull-ups. I wanted every rep to count. Jeff and Glenda more evenly divided the work. We completed the workout in 6:58 and placed 8th overall.

Event 4 | 10 minutes 25 hang clean M/M (115) and F/F (75), 100 toes to bar (all) and in remaining time ARMAP DL (155/115) M/F, M/F and non-working partner holds bar at hip

10351141_10205097692826988_4906107059387755270_nI was looking very forward to this event, as we could subtract 10 toes to bar for each bar muscle up completed. At the very last minute the rules were changed and bar muscle ups were not allowed. Dammit. Jay completed all hang power cleans, and did so quite easily. He’s strong. Glenda completed all hang power cleans. She’s also very strong. I began with kipping toes to bar and completed about 15 or so. We then cycled through, with all 4 of us doing our fair share. The head coach then called no rep on 3 of my reps as I didn’t bring my feet back far enough. Huh? I didn’t argue. I did, however, do last 10 reps as singles. Jay and Dianne began dead-lifts (although it was supposed to have been Jay and Glenda). When it was my turn to do dead-lifts I began completing reps very quickly. And then felt a sharp pain in my hamstring. It hurt! Thus Jay, Glenda, and Dianne had to complete dead-lifts. I did, however, have to hold that barbell at my hips for a very long time. Shit got heavy. We completed 319 reps and placed 4th overall. Yay! We were solidly in second place for masters.

Event 5 | 5 burpee box jump overs (20″), 10 FS (115) & 2 rope climbs M/M; 5 burpee box jump overs (20″), 10 FS (75) F/F & 2 rope climbs

Jay & Jeff and Glenda & Angie did an incredible job! Angie most certainly redeemed herself by doing legless rope climbs each and every time. ‘Twas a sight to behold, and I was exceedingly proud of her! We placed 5th overall!

Event 6 | 15 bar facing burpees, row 400m (M), 50 dus, 50 dus, row 300m (F), 15 bar facing burpees

IMG_1678We decided that I’d begin with burpees, you know, because that’s a strength of mine. I was, however, concerned about my hamstring. I wore a knee brace around my thigh. Jeff rowed, Jay and Dianne did dus, Glenda rowed, and Angie finished with dus. We had initially planned on Angie doing dus, but she struggled prior to the warm up so I strongly suggested (cough, cough) that Angie and Dianne switch activities. Dianne has very consistent dus. We were behind the Masters of Milltown (the first place masters team) and Angie caught them by the end! It was tied score at 4:44 and we tied for 11th place. As all 6 of us got to work together, this was a tremendous amount of fun!

Prior to the workout I let our judge, Sarah D., know that I often get called “no rep” for burpees because, as I don’t have large chesticles, judges often don’t think my chest touches the floor. At the end of the workout she said, “It’s obvious that your chest is touching the floor. I don’t know why a judge would think that you weren’t.”

Event 7 | 12 min OHS

Men completed OHS @ 75 & 95 for minutes 1-3 & 6-9, respectively, and women completed OHS @ 45 & 65 for minutes 3-6 & 9 -12, respectively. I truly doubted that I’d be able to do OHS @ 95 and told Jeff and Jay that’d I try but that I might have to do 5 S2O instead. (Athletes had to complete 5 s2O if unable to complete OHS to allow next person to take their turn.) Jay, Jeff, and I decided that I’d go first for OHS @ 75 and go last for OHS @ 95. This went much, much better than I anticipated. I completed 15 OHS out of the gate and, during next turn, completed more than 10 (I can’t remember number). Jay completed more than 30! During round at 95 I completed more than 10 during my first turn. How the hell did that happen? During my next turn I also completed more than 10 very fast OHS. Again, how the hell did that happen? The team completed 292 reps and placed 3rd overall!

Musings, Ravings, and Rantings

IMG_1674We placed 2nd in masters and 6th overall. That’s a tremendous accomplishment, and I’m very proud of our team! In all honesty, I had very little interest in competing. I only did so because I didn’t want to disappoint Jeff (in particular) and my very good friend, Jay. I repeatedly said, “Our only goal is to have fun.” And that’s what we did! I observed other coaches being kind of douchebag-like. “Warm up now!” “Eat your bagel now!” I provided direction and encouragement but I did not reprimand or show disapproval. After the mile run Angie was apologetic. I said, “Don’t worry about  it Angie. You’ve been sick — and I’m a hard person to keep up with.” Dianne told me that she was worried that she would disappoint me and let down the team. She most certainly did not! All team members held their own. We all had weaknesses (insecurity with G2O) and strengths (pull-ups). We adapted as needed and communicated very effectively. My favorite workout was completing Fran with Dianne. My least favorite was T2B and deadlifts, for obvious reasons.

I wasn’t the least bit tired at the end of the day, and the pain in hamstring had already subsided. I completed an easy mile run, 2 very easy C&Js, 45 pull-ups, about 50 T2B, 15 or so deadlifts, a mere 15 barbell facing burpees, and about 45 or so OHS. That’s an easy WOD at CrossFit Surmount, and this was spread out over the day!

We had a very large group of supporters, so who were the all day long. I’m usually oblivious to everyone whilst working out, but there were a few times when I noticed and/or heard Surmounties. A HUGE Thank You to all of you!

There was certainly questionable judging, and there were times when it was obvious that the focus was on our team. For example, during OHS the head judge remained at our station for a significantly longer period of time than he did so at other stations, and called no rep for, well, what were good reps. However, during the final event I, along with many others, observed many, many failed reps that were nonetheless counted as good. Uhm, one need to not only squat below parallel for OHS: one must also open hips at finish. I don’t think any of us are much interested in competing in this particular event next year.

I would very much like to compete again in the very near future! I think many Surmounties would like to do so as well.

One last rant: It’s surMOUNT not SURmount. Sheesh.

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Feeling Blah


Monday, October 20

I skipped both front squats strength on Monday and Barbell Club on Tuesday. I was feeling weak, so I rested. I’m also getting quite apprehensive about Triangle Invitational. Believe it or not, I don’t much like competing. I’d much rather just work out. Dammit.

OPT A: Metcon (Weight)
EMOTM for 10 minutes
1 power clean
1 forward lunge/leg from front rack
1 reverse lunge/leg from behind the neck
1 shoulder to overhead

Men 65% of bodyweight
I weighed 140# so I lifted 90#. All went well.
Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)
Every 30 seconds for 5 minutes
5 UNBROKEN wall ball shots (20/14 & 10/9)

When/if a wall ball shot is missed discontinue round.
This was fun! I didn’t miss a single rep; thus, 50 reps.
OPT A: Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)
AMRAP in 5 minutes
Burpees to 6″ target
87 burpees. And I took it easy.

Wednesday, October 22

I worked out at 8:30. ‘Twas fun.

PCIII: Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)

7-min AMRAP
6 Handstand Push Ups
8 American KB Swings (70/53)
12 Sumo Deadlift High Pulls

This was yet another Paleo Challenge workout, and while not the most difficult it was nonetheless challenging. What I thought would be the easiest, SDHPs, turned out to be the most difficult. What I thought would be the hardest, KB swings, turned out to be the easiest. Okay, that’s not entirely true, as HSPUs were the easiest. I completed all rounds unbroken until the 6th round of HSPUs, and I had to complete in reps of 3, 2, & 1. I did manage to get in 2 KB swings for a total of 138 reps. That shit got heavy.

1A: Metcon (Weight)

EMOTM for 5 minutes
5 bent over rows
Rest 3 minutes
Increase weight as form and execution improve


I worked up to 5 reps @ 215# — a PR!

1B: Metcon (Distance)

Every 30 seconds for 5 minutes
3 box jumps
Rest 3 minutes
Increase height as form and execution improve


I worked up to 38.5″. I was reluctant to go any higher as Invitational is this weekend.

1C: Metcon (Weight)

EMOTM for 5 minutes
5 power cleans
Increase weight as form and execution improve

I worked up to 135#. Given that I couldn’t do this once this past Saturday I was happy with results.

CrossFit Total

I consumed 2 eggs, 4 pieces of bacon, a half of an avocado, and 16 oz. or coffee. I then weighed myself. A mere 141 pounds. Dammit. It take a lot of effort to eat as much as I do.

I worked out with the 8:30 athletes, and a good time was had by all. It’s a delight watching people go beyond their expectations!

Things went just okay for yours truly. And that’s, well, just okay.

CrossFit Total
Back squat 1RM + press 1RM + deadlift 1RM

I wanted to establish new 1RM for all lifts, but who the hell doesn’t want that? I got off to a good start, first back squatting 245, 5# over 1RM, and then back squatting 255#. Yay! I successfully pressed 135#, but had 2 failed attempts at 141#, 1# more than 1RM. I just couldn’t get the bar off of the ground today when it came to deadlifting, and this may be attributed to still-sore left hamstring. As the Triangle Invitational is the weekend, I didn’t want to overdo it, either. I deadlifted 345, 25 less than 1RM, attempted and failed both 355 and 350, and called it a day.

255+135+345=735. That’s a 60# PR!

BS | 180% of bodyweight
Press | 96% of bw
DL | 245% of bw

Luke watches to ensure that I squat below parallel.
Luke loses interest once I finish the lift.

Not at all graceful

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My day began early, as I arrived in Pittsboro at 7am for the 5th Annual Pittsboro Elementary School Monster Dash 5K. Nope, I didn’t race, but instead represented CFS and led a group warm up just prior to the race start. It was very well received! For the first time in a very long time I wanted to race. Yup, I wanted to race. If I hadn’t had to rush to CFS for 2nd Annual Barbells for Boobs I may have very well stayed and done so.

I led the very colorful 8:30 session and then worked out at 9:45. I offer no excuses for my lackluster performance.

“Helen meets Grace”
Run 400m
21 KB swings (53)
12 Pull-ups
30 Clean & jerks (135)

Helen was a breeze, Grace was a disaster. I completed all rounds of KB swings and pull-ups unbroken in a time of 9:37, a full 37 seconds slower than fastest time. I was saving something for Grace. i shouldn’t have.

I had every intention of completing as prescribed, but after 2, count them 2, failed attempts at a 135# power clean I lowered the weight and completed 30 C&Js at a mere 115#. One at a time. One. Atta. Time. My total time was 18:59. I’d estimate that it took me at least a minute to transition from Helen to Grace, so I completed Grace in around 9 minutes. Nine very slow and miserable minutes. I just wasn’t feeling it today.

One a positive note, Julie made Luke a wonderful birthday cake! On a negative note, I’m down to 140# — even weighing myself after consuming large breakfast and consuming many fluids. Dammit. Yes, I like the Paleo diet, but it’s a struggle for me to maintain 143#.

“I promise.”

No Barbell Club this evening, so I worked on skills during open gym. I was joined by my very good friend, Jay, as well as Jeff — and Luke!

I worked on deficit handstand pushups using plates. I set up 2, 25# plates farther away from Abmat than I normally do so as to allow enough room for my (very broad) shoulders. I made sure that I kicked my legs up wall and began at full extension. I then lowered my head to the Abmat and completed rep. I easily completed 3, 6, 9, 10.5 & 12″ handstand pushups, so I attempted 15″. And failed. Dammit. I kept interrupting Jeff to record. I attempted 13.5″ and, although I struggled, I successfully completed.  I attempted 15″ two more times, each time saying to Jeff, “This is my last attempt. I promise.” I called it a day, and told Jeff that I wouldn’t be attempting again.

5 wall walks
10 box jumps (24 & 30″)
4 wall walks
8 box jumps
3 wall walks
6 box jumps
2 wall walks
4 box jumps
1 wall walk
2 box jumps

I set up 24″ box with 30″ box in front of it. I’d jump on the 24″ box first and 30″ box next, turn around and jump on the 30″ and then 24″ box, turn around again (if applicable) and jump on 24″ box, etc. Get it? Good. Going on. I completed all rounds unbroken and with no failed attempts at either wall walks or box jumps.

Time = 3:59

The plates were still set up for deficit handstand pushups. I said, “One last attempt, Jeff. I promise!” He replied, “You keeping saying that.”

I attempted — and completed! Yay! It was a great way to finish the day.