Hard Indeed


I worked out with the 9:30 athletes, led by Coach Deborah.

First, I rested yesterday. Because I wanted to.

Second, I’ll admit that I kinda like when Deborah says, “Good job, Paul!” She quite often looks at me with a look of incredulity, and never was this more so than today whilst I was completing weighted kipping pull-ups.

But first, Lurong Paleo Challenge workout 5.

Metcon “X WOD” (AMRAP – Reps)

8-min AMRAP
15 snatches (95/75/45 & 65/55/35)
15 toes to bar/knees to 90/Abmat sit-ups
12 snatches
12 T2B/K290/sus
9 snatches
9 T2B/K290/sus
6 snatches
6 T2B/K290/sus
3 snatches
3 T2B/K290/sus
6 snatches
6 T2B/K290/sus
9 snatches
9 T2B/K290/sus

There was no way in hell that I was going to complete 95# snatches, as I’m snatched out. Yup, I said that. I’m snatched out. I mistakenly thought knees to elbows were required for level II but knees to 90 was all that was needed. How easy is that? Far too easy.

This was a tough 8 minutes. I completed rounds 15, 12, 9, 6, 3, 6, & 9 and then 8 snatches for a total of 128 reps.

Hard Cindy (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

20-Minute AMRAP of:
5 Weighted pull-ups, 35 pounds
10 Push-ups with feet on 30″ box
15 Squats holding a 45 pound plate

I had planned on doing Cindy X-X-X but at the very last moment changed my mind. I knew going into this that I wasn’t going to achieve a new PR; thus, I didn’t set this as a goal. I completed a mere 12 rounds. Yup, just 12. Okay, that’s nonetheless 60 pull-ups, 120 pushups, and 180 air squats. I completed all rounds of pushups and air squats unbroken. Weighted pull-ups were particularly challenging today as I wore a belt with 35# kettle bell instead of weight vest. BIG mistake. I completed kipping pull-ups, beginning all 12 rounds with no less than 3 unbroken reps. However, I had to kick my legs to kip, something I haven’t done in years, and it took me a a while to find my rhythm. The chain also dug into my inner thighs. Ouch!

I had a massage from Vincent from WODbody Massage, and it was much needed. I am, however, bruised.

For a slight change of pace…

A pic from the latest photo shoot! Rona is such a gifted photographer.
A pic from the latest photo shoot! Rona is such a gifted photographer.

I didn’t nap today. Yup, that’s how busy I’ve been. I coached at 6, & 7, ate Paleo breakfast, took Luke for a walk, coached at  9:30, met the Lovely Kat B. for Paleo lunch, and then worked out at 1. Whaaaat? I worked out solo, the first time I’ve done so in a very long time.

Why? Because I wanted to complete a challenging workout that I wouldn’t necessarily program at CrossFit Surmount. That means that I didn’t complete strength (floor press wasn’t going to happen anyway) or conditioning (wouldn’t have been very challenging).

So that I would hold myself accountable, I recorded the workout on the whiteboard.

5 rounds for time; rest 1 minute between rounds
5 burpee handstand pushups
5 burpee toes to bar
5 burpee 30″ box jumps
5 burpee 20″ wall ball shots to 10′ target
5 burpee pull-overs

I knew this was going to be tough, and it was. I set goal to complete all rounds of reps unbroken, knowing that doing 5 unbroken burpee pull-overs was going to be a challenge.

For burpee handstand pushups, I ensured that chest and thighs touched floor, that I stood to full extension before kicking legs to wall, that elbows were locked before descending, that elbows were locked at the finish of the HSPU, and that I began next rep standing to full extension.

Of all activities, burpee toes to bar were the easiest, and were somewhat of a welcome relief. Burpee box jumps were challenging, as my legs were still somewhat tired from the sh!tstorm that was yesterday’s Barbell Club workout. For burpee wall ball shots I ensured that I began first rep by completed medicine ball clean and that I didn’t let the medicine ball drop to the floor between reps, i.e., I caught the medicine ball and placed it on the floor.

Burpee pull-overs finally came together today. This makes me happy! Uhm, this activity isn’t easy to do, and in the past I’ve often paused — even rested — between reps. Not so today, for as soon as my feet touched the floor after a rep I immediately completed a burpee. While I often dreaded (and perhaps somewhat feared) upcoming burpee pull-overs as I was completing other activities, I began to enjoy them by the last round.

Times: 3:32, 3:38, 3:33, 3:33, 3:27

I’m not quite sure why it took me seconds longer to complete the second round. I am pleased that the last round was my fastest! I also completed all rounds unbroken and didn’t miss a single rep.

This was fun! Not to worry, Surmounties, as it’s unlikely that I’ll program this workout.

Saturdays are made for Team Workouts

Saturday, October 11

I was randomly partnered with Danielle and Bonnie! Yay! We communicated well.

Metcon (Time)

– 800m sled pull (135/90) (100m intervals)
– 200 sledgehammer swings (10 swings/turn & 1 member at a time)
– 100 medicine ball tosses over Speal bar (10 tosses/turn/pair)
– 50 10m shuttle sprint + box jump over + box jump over + 10m shuttle sprint (relay)
– 50 “high five” partner burpees (2/member)
– Row 1600m (200 intervals & 1 rower/team)
– 5 300# tire flips
Teams may complete in any order, but once an activity is begun it must be completed.

We began with row, and I rowed first. I averaged about 1:47/500m each time I rowed. We then completed sled pulls. I carried 45# first 200m and then pulled the sled 100m. I rested, setting down plate, as Danielle and Bonnie took turns pulling the sled. The next 100m was uphill, and I walked backwards as I pulled the sled up and around hill. Bonnie was kind enough to carry plate as I walked 100m. So that Bonnie and Danielle didn’t have to pull the sled 3 times I pulled the sled the last 100m, again uphill. Gah! that last 100m was tough. We flipped the tire 5 times. It was much easier as a team than it was solo. Imagine that! We then completed 200 sledgehammer swings 10 reps at a time and then 100 med ball tosses 10 reps at a time. We got into a very good groove.

High five burpees were fun! We completed 2 at a time, the first with 1 and the second with the other partner. We did have some difficulty positioning ourselves, but eventually figured it out. We finished with shuttle sprints and burpee box jump overs, and I jumped and twisted. ‘Twas fun! We finished in 39:26.

The time went very quickly, and this was one of the most fun team workouts we’ve done!

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Sunday, October 12

Barbell Club!

A: Front Squat (Work to heaviest set of 3 @22×1)
Count of 2 on descent, count of 2 for hold at bottom, count of 1 for ascent. Sh!t got heavy. I completed final set @ 200#, close to 90% of 1RM.
B: Metcon (Weight)
12 Min EMOM
1 power snatch
1 hang snatch
Gah, more snatches! After watching “Gone Girl” last night, I’m very tired of snatches. I worked up to 100#, 87% of PS 1RM.

4 Sets

C1: Handstand Push-ups (Strict 3-5)
C2: Chest-To-Bar Pull-ups
James told us we could complete kipping HSPUs if needed. I completed 4 strict + 1 kipping pull-up the first round. I then completed 5 strict the 2nd round and James said, “You can complete more than 5 handstand pushups if you’d like.” I took it as a challenge, and completed 6 and 7 strict HSPUs the last 2 rounds. I completed 7 strict and unbroken chest to bar pull-ups all 4 rounds. James did mention that pull-ups need not be unbroken. Ha! Where’s the challenge?
Metcon (Time)
5 sets, each for time
20 cal row
20 wall ball shots (20)
Rest 3 mins between sets
This was tough. I set the damper to 4 1/2 and rowed about a calorie per stroke, keeping strokes/minute in upper teens. I then completed 10 unbroken wall balls. Time = 1:54. Prior to the second round James said, “The row should be a sprint.” I described my approach, i.e., low strokes/minute, and he encouraged me to sprint. So that’s what I did, keeping the strokes above 30/minute. I also completed another 10 unbroken wall ball shots. Time = 1:47. That was my fastest round. For remaining rounds I continued to sprint as I rowed and even increased damper setting. I said, “I’m wearing my WWJD bracelet. Before any workout I ask myself, ‘What would James do?'” I completed last 3 rounds of wall ball shots in reps of 10, 6, & 4. The last 4 reps were nightmarish. Remaining times were 1:58, 2:07, and 2:04, for a total time of 9:50.
Thom grumbled about the monitor of the rower turning off before the run. I said, “Thom, you need merely stroke a few times and it will turn on. Just like Evelyn.”
I’m a funny guy.



Too many cleans! I had little choice but to complete the workout this morning. Yup, I was still sore from last night’s Barbell Club. I’m reluctant to count how many cleans I’ve completed in the past 12 hours.

Snatch Grip Deadlift (5 reps @ 60, 65, & 70% of 1RM)

De-load is delightful. I completed easy sets @ 170, 185, & 200#. I’m looking forward to next Friday!

PC-M: Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)

15-min AMRAP
1 squat clean (135/)
1 pull-up
2 squat cleans
2 pull-ups
3 squat cleans

This is Level II of the Lurong Pale Challenge. Level I was muscle ups (Yay!) and 185# squat cleans (Boo!).

Uhm, things did not start of well. Uhm, I missed the very first clean, stupidly attempting power instead of full squat clean. I quickly completed full squat clean and pull-up. I then very stupidly attempted yet another power clean. And failed. That was the last attempt at a power clean, and I completed all remaining reps as full squat cleans.

Sh!t got heavy very fast. The pull-ups were a welcome relief. I completed all rounds unbroken.

I completed all cleans one at a time. One. Atta. Time.

I yelled loudly as I stood up from each and every squat. Each. Ande’ry. Squat.

With time running out, I missed the 6th rep of the set of 10. I glanced at the clock, made sure that I rested, and completed the rep. I may have had time for another rep, but I was done.

I completed 9 rounds + 6 reps for a total of 96.

That was tough!

Flippin’ and snatchin’

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I rested yesterday. ‘Twas much needed.

I had my annual physical today, and as I’ve changed primary care physicians this was my first visit at the UNC Healthcare location. Uhm, the questionnaire stated: Check the box if you have homosexual preference. Uhm, it’s “orientation,” not preference. Uhm, it’s also 2014. I crossed through “preference” and penciled in “orientation” — and then didn’t check any box.

The nurse, Janet (named changed) asked, “Are you a runner?” “No,” I replied.” “A biker?” “No, I replied.” I thought, “Keep guessing.” She then asked, “Are you a swimmer?” I gave up and said, “No, I’m a CrossFitter.” “I could tell you were an athlete,” she replied. I took it as a compliment. Blood pressure 114/75, pulse 50, temperature 97.5, and weight 143 pounds. Dr. R, whilst listening to my heart, said, “This is going to take a while because your heart beats so slowly.” Again, I took it as a compliment.

A: Metcon (Weight)

Big Clean Complex (must be unbroken)
2 hang cln 1 full cln + push press
2 hang cln 1 full cln + push jerk
2 hang cln 1 full cln + 1 split jerk

This was tough. Coach James gave us plenty of time to warm up and establish the weight we’d use for complex. I settled on 125 and James, as he often does, encouraged me to go heavier. He said, “If you fail, that’s okay. You’ll know what you’re capable of doing.” I put 45# plates on the bar and successfully completed the complex at that weight. My cleans are much better than my jerks. I still fear re-injuring my shoulder.

B: Metcon (Weight)

Hang clean + C&J + jerk (heavier)

I was pretty much spent by this point. I first attempted 145# and didn’t even get under the bar. I lowered the weight to 135, and did sets at that weight, 140, 145, and 150#. I was done, and told James so.

C: Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)

90-second intervals; rest 90 seconds between activities
– Rope climbs
– DUs
– Tire flips
– Burpees
– Snatches

So that we could all complete in order, Jeff began rope climbs followed by me and then Mike. I should’ve thought this through, and this meant I was always the only person working as Jeff and Mike rested. Dammit. Tonight was one of those times when I often got in the very last rep just as the timer beeped, and this happened for all but power snatches.

I was dreading the power snatches before we even began. James encouraged us to power snatch 80% of 1RM, and as my 1RM is 115 I lifted 100#. Uhm, that’s more than 85%. Dammit. James said, “Even if you get just one rep I’ll be happy.”

Six rope climbs and125 double unders. So far, so good. Prior to tonight, I had not attempted to flip 300# tire, and I was worried that I would be unable to do so. I attempted the first flip, and just couldn’t position my hands correctly. I let the tire drop to the ground. I got the next attempt. I attempted again, failed again, and then completed a second flip. James said, “There’s 30 seconds left.” I could tell by his tone and demeanor that he was giving me permission to quit. Ha! No f@cking way. I flipped the tire a third and final time.

Burpees? Hell, yes! James called “Halfway there” when I had just completed 15. I set my goal to complete 30 and completed 31.

I completed 1 power snatch, failed an attempted, completed a second power snatch, and failed again. James encouraged me to rest until there was just a few seconds left on the clock. I waited until there was 15 seconds, and completed 2 last reps for a grand total of just 4 measly reps.

That was tough. Total score = 169 reps.

Thirty-nine reps

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Monday, October 6

My abs were somewhat sore, you know, from 70 GHD sit-ups. I tried one V-up and wisely decided to not complete metcon. I’m just that smart.

Floor Press (5 reps @ 60, 65, & 70% of 1RM)

I completed sets @ 120, 130, & 140#. Deload is delightful.

Metcon (No Measure)

EMOTM for 10 minutes; complete 3 reps/leg
Odd-numbered minutes: Forward lunges with barbell behind the neck
Even-numbered minutes: Reverse lunges with barbell behind in front rack

Basically 5 rounds. I completed sets @ 95, 95, 100, 105, & 115#. I love lunges. Unlike many folks, I don’t feel sore the day after I do lunges.

Tuesday, October 7

Barbell Club! Yay!

A: Back Squat (10, 8, 6, 6, 4, 3, 2)
As he knew I’d ask, James instructed us to begin @ 65% and work up to 90% of 1RM. My current (although I don’t think accurate) 1RM is 240.
I completed 10 reps @ 155, 9 @ 170, 6 @ 180, another 6 @ 180, 4 @ 190, & 3 @ 205. The lifts felt good, and James provided positive feedback. He and I had a discussion about what weight I should use for last set of 2 @ 90%, as that weight would be 215. As 3 @ 205 felt good, James said it was up to me if I wanted to go as heavy as 225. So I went for it, and rather easily squatted 225 not once but twice.
I think I’m getting stronger.
That’s 94% of 1RM.
B: Snatch Grip Push Press
The back of my neck was sore from back squats, and receiving the bar from behind the neck push presses made it that much worse. I completed sets @ 65, 70, 80, 85, 90, 95, & 105. This was fun!
Snatch Grip Deadlift + High Pull
I completed sets @ 100, 105, 110, 115, & 125. James does a very good job of explaining the “why.”
Metcon (Time)
300m Row
21 Power Snatch
12 C2B pull-ups
This was very similar to last last Monday’s WOD. Uhm, I think I like 65# hang power snatches better than 75# power snatches. Again, 75# is more than half of my bodyweight. Again, dammit.
It was much fun working out beside Jeff, as he pushes me. I was the first off of the rower, but Jeff finished not too far behind me. I began power snatches and did about 10 unbroken. Jeff completed a hell of a lot of very fast reps, and easily left me in his dust. He was the first to begin chest to bar pull-ups.
Uhm, but I can quickly complete 12 unbroken pull-ups, and that’s just what I did. As I was approaching rower I looked at James and said, “At least I’m good at one thing.” I was once again the first off of the rower and this time Jeff and I finished snatches at about the same time. I completed pull-ups in reps of 6, 3, & 3. I had rowed 100m before Jeff began rowing and then had completed about 7 or so snatches before he began snatching. I completed pull-ups in reps of 4 and then 2s. I finished in 12:59.
James told us the time cap was 25 minutes. He may have been kidding.
I’ve decided I’m less mean and more impatient. Few things bother me more than when someone dawdles and then makes others wait, as this behavior demonstrates disrespect and disregard for others.


First, Paleo dieting continues to go well. We shopped at Whole Foods yesterday and I purchased ghee. And $150 worth of other groceries. Eating clean is expensive.

Friday, October 3

PC: Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)

Block 1
9 Thrusters
27 Double/Single Unders
Block 2
11 Thrusters
33 Double/Single Unders
Block 3
13 Thrusters
39 Double/Single Unders

This was the 4th workout of the Paleo Challenge and it did not go well for a couple of reasons. 1: The barbell club leaves me exhausted. 2. The barbell club leaves me exhausted.

I woke up with sore abs, of all things. Me? Sore abs? How the hell does that happen? I wisely decided to lift 75 instead of 95#. I was 20 double unders shy of completing block 3. Uhm, my goal was to complete block 3. Uhm, I fell apart.

Yet the Paleo Challenge continues…

Saturday, October 5

I did not rest, as Rona was taking pics and I selfishly wanted more action shots of, you know, me. I did, however, take it relatively easy. To ensure that I didn’t overdo it, I completed the workout solo. It was a full house, with about 25 in attendance.

Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)

– Air squats / Weighted air squats / Jumping weighted air squats (45/25) / Barbell squats (95/63)
– Pushups / Weighted pushups (45/25) / Clapping pushups / HSPUs
– Ring rows / Pull-ups / C2B pull-ups / Muscle ups or strick pull-ups
– Abmat sit-ups / Weighted sit-ups / T2B / GHD sit-ups or strict T2B
– Lunges / Weighted lunges (45/25) / Jumping lunges (45/25) / Barbell lunges (95/63)

Tabataish. I began with weighted air squats, using the 45# rucksack and completing 51 reps. Not bad. I next completed 17 HSPUs, beginning with 11 unbroken. For a change of pace I completed strict ring pull-ups, i.e., no kipping. Even though it wasn’t in the correct order, I moved to GHD sit-ups (as the machines were available) and completed 40 reps followed by 20 strict T2B and 33 GHD back extensions.

For the next round I completed 39 jumping air squats, again using the rucksack, 45 reps of parallete pushups or pass throughs (yup, Rona was taking pics), 31 strict toes through rings, and 22 C2B pull-ups. Angie joined me whilst I was completing 2nd round of GHD sit-ups, and it was fun to have someone challenging me. I completed 39 reps, just 1 shy or reps completed 1st round. To end with a challenging activity, I completed 24 reps of 95# forward lunges.

Score = 376

Rona has taken some spectacular pictures, and I’m looking very forward to seeing what she captured.

Sunday, October 5

Barbell Club! Yay!

A: Front Squat (1 and 1/4s)
I love front squats. My goal was to complete last set @ 80% of 1RM, and I did that, completed sets of 3 reps at 165, 170, 175, 175, & 180#.
B: Power clean & jerk (Work to heavy single in 7 min)
I started light and didn’t get very heavy, working up to just 145#. My brain is protecting my body, specifically my shoulders, so I struggle with the jerk. Dammit.
Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)
Forged Tabata
8 sets :20 work & :10 rest; rest 1 minute between tabatas
Do all 8 sets of each movement before moving on
1) Power clean 115#
2) KBS 70#
3) Ring dips
4) Burpees
Wow, this was tough. I was truly hoping that James would let me go lighter on PCs (and make Jeff and Thom go heavier), but he didn’t buy my argument, saying “The power cleans may be light for Jeff, but the ring dips will be light for you.” Sound argument. I offered to complete weighted ring dips. James didn’t bite. Dammit.
Jeff and I worked out near each other, although my back was to him for all but the burpees. I surprised myself with PCs, completing a total of 40 (to Jeff’s 45). As time went on, I got better at opening my hips and receiving the bar. Uhm, 70# American KB swings are tough, and I only completed the first 3 rounds unbroken. I then completed swings for 10 seconds, rested 5, and completed swings the last 5 seconds. This worked well, and I completed a total of 45 swings (to Jeff’s 42).
Ah, ring dips, how I love thee. I completed as many as 10 unbroken out of the gate, and completed many singles during last 4 rounds, completing a total of 56 rings dips. That’s a lot of f@cking ring dips.
I positioned myself in front of the fan for burpees and Jeff positioned himself to my left. We both completed 8 reps the 1st round. Jeff asked, “Was that 8 reps?” I replied, “Yes.” And we continued. I thought, “Jeff’s going to try to keep up with me. On burpees.” He wasn’t able to do so. I completed no less than 7 reps a round and made sure that I completed 8 reps that last round, completing a total 58 reps. Uhm, I don’t know how many rind dips or burpees Jeff completed (and I didn’t ask, you know, because I’m nice and sh!t).
Total = 199, 1 rep shy of 200. Dammit. Had I known I was that close to 200 I would’ve completed another rep of something.
KB swings were the most difficult, followed by PCs. Burpees were the easiest, followed by ring dips.
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Luke resting. Me, “I love Free Fall Kill Cliff so much that I’d make love to it. If only the opening weren’t so sharp.”