I had the pleasure or working out with Marni, the newest addition to the coaching team, at 8:30 this morning. And what a work out it was.

First, Marni is an exceptional athlete, and she pushed me to work hard. She may not realize that she did, but indeed she did.

Having completed the workout this morning, Holly said, “You’ll get double my score of 315.”

For a change of pace, I didn’t set specific goal. I knew that I’d need to work at a steady pace.

Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)

1-min AMRAP rope climbs
2-min AMRAP slam balls
3-min AMRAP box jumps
4-min AMRAP double unders
5-min AMRAP burpees
4-min AMRAP Abmat sit-ups
3-min AMRAP pushups
2-min AMRAP pull-ups
1-min AMRAP rope climbs
Rest 1 minute between activities

I used 30# slam ball and 24″ box.

I completed 4 rope climbs. ‘Twas a strong start.

I worked on power jerks yesterday, and completed 50 reps @ 95# in 3:01. I mention this only because my arms felt tired during slam balls, and I rested at least 4 or 5 times during work. I completed 54 reps.

I didn’t rest during box jumps but did miss about 4 or 5 reps and completed 78 total reps.

My legs felt like jelly at the start of the double unders and I stumbled out of the gate. At the halfway mark I had completed 125 reps, so I set a goal to complete 150. I completed 254 double unders. Yay!

I hate math even more than I love burpees. I had completed 35 reps at the halfway mark and thought “Complete the same number of reps during the remainder of time. That’d be 75 reps.” Uhm, 35 + 35 = 70, not 75. I really had to push it during the last 30 seconds or so to complete 75 reps, but 75 reps I did indeed complete.

Abmat sit-up were, in a word, painful. I worked steadily for the first 2 minutes, than began to rest as needed. Near the end I was only completing 5 reps at a time. I completed 111 reps.

I began by completing 15 unbroken pull-ups, then completed in reps of 5, and then for the last reps completed in reps of 3 and then just 2. I completed 78 reps.

My arms were on fire, I tell you, fire! I began with 15 unbroken pull-ups, the completed in reps of 5, and finished with reps of 3 and 2. I completed 42 reps.

I wasn’t looking forward to the rope climbs, and only managed to complete 3 reps.

4+54+78+254+75+111+78+42+3=699 reps


Stay focused

I worked out solo for the first time in a very long. I reminded myself that the only person I was competing with was myself. Ha! I was very much in need of an endurance workout; thus, I completed “Coach Paul’s Birthday WOD.” It’s a gorgeous NC day and a great day to run! Uhm, every day is a great day to run.

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

I challenged myself by making the workout more difficult in that I completed burpee box jump overs and non-kipping pull-ups. My goal was to complete all rounds unbroken, including lateral bar hops and double unders. I didn’t achieve this goal but was nonetheless very happy with my performance.

I ran the first mile in an intentionally slow pace of 7:30. I forget to connect iPhone to TV so I wasn’t able to follow passage of time as the workout progressed. I completed all rounds of burpee dead-lifts, burpee box jumps, and burpee pull-ups in unbroken reps. I mistakenly completed 20 burpee pull-ups the first round. I didn’t, however, complete just 18 reps any other round. That’s not how I roll.

I lost focused during the last round (5th round overall) of lateral bar hops and missed the 50th rep. Dammit. I completed the other 2 rounds in unbroken reps. I completed the 1st round of double unders in reps of 45 & 18, the 2nd round unbroken (Yay!), and the last round in reps of 59 & 4. Yup, I was that close to completing in unbroken reps.

After completing just the 2nd round overall I thought, “Maybe I’ll just stop after the 3rd round.” ‘Twas tempting. I worked at a very steady pace and, for the most part, remained focused. I almost missed a box jump during the very last round. Almost.

The most challenging aspect of the entire workout was the last 5 or so reps of every round of burpee pull-ups. I so wanted to kip. I did not.

2-mile run
72 burpee dead-lifts
84 burpee box jumps
114 burpee pull-ups
189 lateral bar hops
189 double unders
 270 burpees (without final jump and clap, obviously)

Time = 1:05:12

That’s slower than last year, but as I made the workout more challenging I am very pleased with how I finished. I’m also very tired.

Many folks have requested password for previous 2 posts about CF Level 2 cert. I have provided password to non-casual readers. Make sense? If someone only wants to read the blogs because of the topic, I don’t want them reading the blogs. Context, folks — you have to place everything in context. Thus, if I’ve ignored your request you know the reason why.

I ask that those of you who have the password not share it with others, and I also ask that you not share my comments and/or remarks. Okay? Okay.


I love FS

Jeff and I agree that we’re both getting strong, thanks in part to our participation in the Barbell Club. I mentioned this to Coach James and he replied, “The most important thing to me as a coach is seeing others progress.” He’s a humble — and very strong — young man.
Snatch (Heavy Single then back off DBLS)
I worked up to a good rep @ 100#, and then did doubles @ 80#. I have the strength, but I lack the shoulder mobility. Dammit. (You didn’t have to wait very long for my first “dammit.”)
Front Squat (6,6,5,2×3)
Me: You know what I’m going to ask, James. What percentage of one rep max should we begin and end with?
James: Start at 55% and maybe work up to 75%. Paul, do 6 at 135, 6 at 145, 5 at 155, and then maybe sets of 3 at 165 and 175.
I felt particularly strong tonight, and 135 felt far too light. The set of 6 at 145 felt too light as well, so at James’ suggestion I increased weight for set of 5 to 165. Uhm, still felt light and easy. I completed a set of 3 at 175 and, you guessed it, the weight felt too light. James said, “Don’t count that set.” So I didn’t. I did my “first” set of 3 at 185. Easy. I said, “James, I’m going to do the last set at 200.” He said, “Go for it.” I did, but I made sure that he observed. He said, “Every rep counted. You looked strong.”
I could’ve easily front squatted 215 (or more) for 3 reps tonight. That’s a confidence builder! Regardless, I achieved a new 3RM PR tonight. Dammit! Ha!
Clean Pull (@ 90% of 1RM)
I completed 4 sets of 2 reps at 155#.
Metcon (Time)
75 Dus
25 Strict pull-ups
75 Dus
25 GHD sit-ups
75 Dus
This was my kind of workout. Double unders are seldom a problem, and today was no exception. I was able to string together as many as 50+ each round. As usual, it was my shoulders that tired before my lungs. I completed as many as 5 unbroken and strict pull-ups and as few as singles. I completed 25 unbroken GHD sit-ups. Abs of steel, bitches. Abs. Of. Steel. I decided to complete strict handstand pushups, and completed as many as 5 unbroken and as few as singles for for the last 4 or 5 reps. I also missed a rep in that my head didn’t touch the mat before I pressed up. Yup, I re-did that rep.
Time = 11:40
Luke likes to be beside me when I lift so I made sure that I used the squat rack beside his couch. He finds BBC very boring.

It’s all about the pace, ’bout the pace, no gasping.

I coached the 6, 8, and 8:30 sessions and joined the 9:30 athletes, led by the always delightful Coach Deborah. ‘Twas a full house and a fun workout.

“The 12 Days of CrossFit”
1 wall crawl OR muscle up (bar or ring)
2 Turkish get-ups (53/35)
3 handstand pushups
4 power cleans (95/63)
5 KB swings (53/35)
6 front squats (95/63)
7 box jumps (24/20)
8 toes to bar
9 double unders
10 wall ball shots (20/14 & 10/9)
11 chest to bar pull-ups
12 calorie row

As I did a double yesterday, I didn’t go all out today. My one and only goal was to complete all Turkish get-ups using a 33# barbell with 10# plates (totaling 53# for those of you who aren’t mathletes), something I had never attempted during a workout — let alone for 22 reps. Whilst difficult, I am happy to report that I completed all TGUs. Yay!

Prior to the workout I doubted myself. Yup, that happens sometimes. I thought, Set up a 15 pound barbell with 15 pound plates just in case 53 pounds get to be too heavy. What if you can’t even get off of the ground? No, don’t do that. If need be, you can always use the 53 pound kettle bell. Don’t even think that, Paul. Just know that you’ll be able to do Turkish get ups at 53 pounds. You did sets of 3 each arm at 45 pounds just the other day, and this is just 1 set at a time. 

I’m not only my worst enemy I’m also my best cheerleader.

I’ll break it down by activity.

  • 12 wall crawls | Perhaps the easiest of all of the activities. Yup, chest and nose to wall at top of rep and descended with control. (Cough, cough.)
  • 22 TGUs | I struggled get off of the floor for a couple, but, as mentioned, completed all 22 reps. This was by far the most difficult part of the workout. As I mentioned to the 9:30 athletes, this was a great equalizer, as I could only go so fast.
  • 30 HSPUs | All unbroken rounds.
  • 36 power cleans | This felt light. Very light. I liked that.
  • 40 KB swings | All sets unbroken beginning with a rep from the floor, i.e., no swing before swinging overhead.
  • 42 front squats | Uhm, this was painful. Nonetheless, all rounds in unbroken (and loud) reps
  • 42 box jumps | Fast, but I missed a couple. Why? Because box jumps are easy, and I didn’t focus. Dammit.
  • 40 toes to bar | To protect my shoulders, I didn’t complete unbroken, although I remained on the bar. One at a time, folks. There’s nothing here to see.
  • 36 double unders | I completed all rounds of 9 unbroken reps. Uhm, now that I think about it this may have been the easiest activity.
  • 30 wall ball shots | Three rounds of unbroken reps.
  • 11 chest to bar pull-ups | Both rounds of unbroken reps. Chest to bar each and every time, folks. There’s much here to see.
  • 12 calorie row | Twelve strokes!

I should’ve remember to protect my elbows. Dammit. (I made you wait a long time for that one.)

A Lotta Squats and Double Unders

I decided to join the 11:45 athletes, as I seldom work out during the noon hour. A very good time was had by all!

A: Double-Unders (Spend up to 10 minutes practicing doubles unders)

I completed rounds of 51 and then 84 unbroken reps, well below PR. My shoulders gave out before my lunges or legs.

B: Back Squat (Complete 30 unbroken reps @ 50% of 30RM)

It took me 36 seconds to 85# back squat  30 times. The last five reps felt heavy.

C: Pistols (Practice progressions)

Unlike other members, I haven’t been practicing pistols or pistol progressions. Fortunately, I remember how to do so. We didn’t have much time, so I only completed 4 reps/leg.

D: Metcon (Weight)

EMOTM for 15 minutes

1 clean + 1 power jerk + 1 front squat+1 thruster
– 2-count rest between reps

The hardest part was often the 2-second rest between lifts. I completed 2 sets @ 75#, then increased weight by 5# each round. As there was a bonus round, my last set was @ 145#.

I should’ve gone for 150#. Dammit.

I had considered skipping Barbell Club, but as Jeff, Thom, and Evelyn couldn’t make it this evening I thought it best that I participate. I’m very glad that I did!

Hang Snatch (5×3-5)
I completed 2 reps @ 100, and 1 @ 105 — a PR. James justifiably reminded me to pull myself under the bar. Yup.
Snatch Balance & Snatch Pull-Under
I completed set using the 45# bar. As James said, “Never do more than three reps at a time.” Sound advice, James.
2 Halting Snatch DL+2 Snatch Pulls
This was tough on the hamstrings. Difficult, enjoyable, and applicable. I completed 4 sets @ 115#.
Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
7 min AMRAP
6 Kettle Bell Snatch
30 DUs
9 Chest to Bar Pull-ups

This was tough. I was convinced that I’d only be able to complete KB snatches at 44#, but was pleased that I was able to do so using the 53# KB. It’s all in the hips. And the pull. And the punch. James provided positive feedback (and I may have even heard an exclamation point). I missed the last rep of the third set (with left arm) in that I unconsciously used my right hand to push up KB. Huh? I re-did rep. I completed first round of C2B pull-ups unbroken, and the 2nd and 3rd kind of unbroken in that I didn’t drop from the bar but did get in an extra kip for the last 2 and 3 reps, respectively. My chest did indeed touch the bar each and every rep. I completed that last round by completing 5 unbroken reps and then 4 singles. I completed all rounds of dus unbroken. Yup, I did that.

I completed 4 rounds + 5 KB snatches. And was spent.

No one would give…

I had the pleasure of joining the 9:30 athletes this morning, and ’twas a full house!

We de-loaded push press (5 @ 70, 80, & 90#) and Pendlay rows (3×5 @ 135#), blah, blah, blah. Then came the fun stuff.

For 10 minutes
:00 – 1 unbroken toes to bar or V-up
:10 – 2 reps
:20 – 3 reps
:30 – 4 reps
:40 – 3 reps
:50 – 2 reps

My goal was to complete 7 rounds of toes to bar, and I planned on resting 3 rounds. Whilst I did indeed complete 7 rounds of T2B, I didn’t rest a single round, instead completing V-ups during remaining rounds. Why didn’t I rest?

It was as if everyone was waiting for me to give. As I mentioned, there was a full house, and most everyone was completing V-ups. And just one person rested, and she only rested one round. It was as if they were willing me to break. Ha! I truly enjoyed the motivation, and I certainly wouldn’t have completed all 150 reps if they hadn’t motivated me to do so.

I did complete all rounds of T2B and V-ups as prescribed. i.e., I began first rep at start time, completed all reps within 10-seconds, touched toes to bar or hands to toes, etc. I only enter Rx when it’s truly Rx. I’ll leave it at that.

That was a considerable amount of ab work, even for yours truly.

6-min AMRAP
500m row
AMRAP inverted burpees

As I’ve mentioned before, I particularly enjoy working out with Kelli, as she always challenges me. Today was no exception. Perhaps she enjoys working out with me as well? I chose my rower and then spot on the wall for inverted burpees before realizing that she had chosen the rower beside me and a spot on the wall to my immediate left.

We began rowing, and we matched each other stroke for stroke. Uhm, I matched Kelli stroke for stroke, as I had planned on rowing 18 s/m and averaged 24 instead. I rowed 500m in an easy 1:49. I did get a head-start on the inverted burpees and had probably completed a half of a dozen or so before she joined me. When she did begin, we were pretty evenly matched, although my pace may have been slightly faster. Why do I mention this?

Because I counted 35 reps. I don’t recall losing count at any point in time, so in my mind I completed 35 reps. And that’s a good, honest score. I was mixing my sfh recvoery up my awesome CrossFit Surmount shaker bottle and the following conversation occurred…

Kelli: How many reps did you get?
Me: Thirty-five.
Kelli: That can’t be right.
Me: Why not?
Kelli: Because I got 35, and you started before me and did them faster than I did.
Me: You were with me neck and neck. I’m sure that you also got 35.
Kelli: You got at least 40 or 45.
Me: I counted 35, so that’s what I’m putting into Wodify.
Kelli: Then I’ll put 30.
Me: You completed 35 reps. Put 35 down. In my mind I completed 35 reps, too, and that’s what I’m putting down.
Kelli: I’m sure you did more than 35 reps.
Me: It really doesn’t matter how many reps I did or didn’t do. You completed 35 inverted burpees, and that’s awesome! Enter 35.

Kelli did indeed enter 35 reps, as did I. Did I probably lose count and complete more than that? Likely. Is it at all important? No. Do you see where I’m going with this? I hope so.

Today was a truly fun and challenging workout! I like that even I have been sore lately. No pain, just soreness. And that’s okay.

Nose to the wall

I just couldn’t resist Tabata Something Else. Jeff was kind enough to coach the 8:30 session so that I could do so. I kept a little in the tank for Barbell Club.

Tabata Something Else (AMRAP – Reps)

Complete 32 intervals of 20 seconds of work followed by ten seconds of rest where the first 8 intervals are pull-ups, the second 8 are push-ups, the third 8 intervals are sit-ups, and finally, the last 8 intervals are squats.

There is no rest between exercises.

Post total reps from all 32 intervals.

I completed 45 ring pull-ups, 93 ring pushups, 100 weighted squats (45#), and 58 GHD sit-ups. I ended with sit-ups instead of squats to allow others to complete workout in order. I didn’t count 5 ring pull-ups as, you know, the reps didn’t count. Full range of motion, folks. Ring pushups went swimmingly, and I completed 15 the first round and no less than 11 any round. I feared that weighted squats would be taxing, as my quads are still somewhat sore from “Jenny.” Doing squats was good for the soul — and the quads — and I completed no less than a dozen a round. Ending with GHD sit-ups was challenging on the hamstrings. Nope, not the abs. Yup, the hamstrings.

Total = 296 reps

Barbell Club

A: Front Squat (1 and 1/4s 5×3-4 sets)
I completed sets @ 95, 135, 145, 155, & 165#. I was confused as I thought we were to complete 5 sets of 3 or 4 reps, but James instructed us to completed sets of 5 reps. And 1 and 1/4s are freaking tough. I like when James says, “Good, Paul.” I would like it better if there was an occasional exclamation point. Just saying. Just saying! (Hear the difference?)
B1: Wall Walk (5 reps)
B2: Turkish Get Up (6 reps)
Rest 2 min between sets
Uhm, we started with TGUs and then did wall walks. Huh? I asked to complete TGUs with barbell instead of 53# KB. Knowing that barbell TGUs are much more challenging, I used a 15# bar with 15# plates for a total of 45#. Shit felt heavy. I noticed that I hold my breath until I stand to full extension, and then hold my breath until I finish TGU. That works for me. James instructed to to not only touch our chest to the wall, but to also touch our nose to the wall. I did so, and it smelled like Teen Spirit.
I did not completed Heavy Fran. You have to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away and know when to run.
I ran. I ran so far away.

Second Best Partner Ever!

I spent the morning at WakeMed Soccer Park. Uhm, CrossFit Surmount will unlikely be hosting many (if) any races. “CrossFit is scary!” “CrossFit will make me a slower runner!” “Where are the restrooms?” Fortunately, Kathryn, Stuart, and Gabe were there — and they helped me break down the set up, too.

As Jeff coached all morning, I joined him at noon for the partner workout.

With 1 Partner
24-min AMRAP
– 5 6-count burpees
– 10 American KB swings (53/35)
– 10 pull-ups
Partners alternate activities

I began, completing 5, 6-count burpees. I made sure to take my time, as I know that being my partner can be, well, exhausting. I completed all rounds of 6-count burpees, pull-ups, and KB swings unbroken. Yup, I did that. Jeff struggled with pull-ups, and this gave me ample time to rest. Yup, I said that. We communicate very well together, and our transitions are very smooth. We nary need to say a single word!

We completed 24 rounds + 5 burpees (me), 10 KB swings (Jeff), and 1 pull-up (me).

Thus, I completed 65 burpees, 120 KB swings, and 121 pull-ups. I felt strong today! Oh, except that I’m very sore from the waist down. Yup, that. The hero WOD “Jenny” was very challenging, and I’m feeling the aftereffects of all of those squats.