If you want to run faster…

.. run with faster runners.

If you want to lift heavier, lift heavier shit. That’s my new motto. I lifted heavier shit on Sunday and today.

Sunday, August 30

I worked out during Open Gym and was joined by Kelli and (somewhat) Jay.

A: Metcon (No Measure)
7-min AMRAP
3 toes to bar
3 power clean & jerks (135)
6 toes to bar
6 power clean & jerks
9 toes to bar
9 power clean & jerks

Rest exactly 5 minutes before beginning B.
B: Metcon (No Measure)
7-min AMRAP
3 power snatches (75)
30 double unders
6 power snatches
30 double unders
9 power snatches
30 double unders

Rest exactly 5 minutes before beginning C.
C: Metcon (No Measure)
7-min AMRAP
3 deadlifts (245)
3 lateral bar hops
6 deadlifts
6 lateral bar hops
9 deadlifts
9 lateral bar hops

This was one of the more challenging workouts I’ve programmed for a Sunday. Shit felt heavy from start to finish. Things did not begin well.

I failed four jerks. Yup, four of them. I was often completing a power clean aaaaaaannnnnnnnndddddd then a jerk, i.e., I was resting with the bar on my shoulders for considerably longer than I should have. This allowed far too much time for me to get all up inside my head. I was one rep shy of completing round of nine power clean and jerks and this really lowered my score, as I was stringing together unbroken and kipping toes to bar from start to finish. Dammit. Score = 26

I don’t count missed reps. K? K.

Power snatches and double unders went much better and faster, and I completed a few rounds of dus, including the first round, in unbroken reps. When I struggled locking out the bar overhead for power snatches I’d take short break. I completed the round of 15 power snatches and quickly completed and additional 5 dus. Score = 200

Deadlifts felt heavy from the start and felt even heavier, if that’s possible, as the workout progressed. Given how quickly lateral bar hops when I felt like I spent the entire seven minutes doing nothing but deadlifts. I completed through the round of 15 and was able to get in a few deadlifts for the round of 18. I was very happy when the timer beeped. Score = 101

Monday, August 31

Where has the Summer gone! I worked out with the 6 am athletes led by Coach Nick.

Clean (Establish 1RM)
Set a goal to clean the same or heavier weight than 1RM thruster

My goal was to clean 170 and when I successfully cleaned 170 I cleaned 175. And then 180#! A 10# PR! I felt very strong this morning and focused on form — with Nick’s help, of course! Nick pointed out that whilst I’m cleaning the bar from the floor a tilt my head down for one brief moment. I know not why.

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
9-min AMRAP
9/leg overhead walking lunges (45)
9 burpee box jump overs (24)
9 second/arm 1-armed plank hold

For an added challenge I completed lateral box jumps. Gah! This wasn’t at all easy, but I did manage to complete all rounds in unbroken reps. I didn’t drop the plate from overhead even once. Yay! As it was crowded at the box this morning walking lunges were challenging, as I wanted to ensure that I didn’t get in anyone’s way. I’m not sure if I achieved this. I completed 4 rounds + 18 walking lunges. I will admit that I kept some in the tank because the coaches are meeting tonight and working out together. Should be fun!

Uhm, there should be no doubt that I’m squatting below parallel. K? K. (I also held plank for 9 seconds at a time. I don’t cheat my reps. K? K.)

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I’m loving my Fiat 500X Trekking! Rear windshield wipers, even when on intermittent, stay on continuous when backing up. How cool is that?

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Friday, August 28

Rene was a success but completing 105 pull-ups whilst wearing a 20# weight vest left me feeling a wee bit sore. I wasn’t looking forward to “Karen” today but, as all athletes who hadn’t completed were required to do so, I did just that. But first, front squats.

Front Squat
Establish 2RM

My 2RM was 215. Yup, was. I completed 2 reps at 217 and had two attempts at 220. I completed the 1st rep of both sets. The bar got a little bit in front on me the 1st attempt and I got stuck in the bottom of the squat the 2nd attempt. Dammit and dammit.

“Karen”
AFAP
150 wall ball shots (20 & 10)

I knew out of the gate that this was going to be a disaster. I had set a goal to complete 25 unbroken wall ball shots but stopped at 10. I stopped at 10! I completed the first 100 reps in sets of 10 reps and then couldn’t even continue to do that, completing the last 50 reps in sets of just 5. My time was a very slow 8:56. Not a PR by a long shot.

You win some (FS) you lose some (Karen).

Saturday, August 29

Fight Gone Bad (3 Rounds for reps)
Three rounds of:  
Wall-ball Shots (Reps), 20#
Sumo deadlift high-pull (Reps),  75#
Box Jumps, 20″  (Reps)
Push-press (Reps), 75#
Row (Calories) 
1-minute rest

I last completed this benchmark WOD at CFCB February 2013 with 295 reps. Whilst I didn’t recall my exact score I knew that I hadn’t broken 300. I set a goal to do so today. I, like everyone else, kept a running count each round, i.e., I can’t recall exact number of reps for any activity other than wall ball shots.

Wall ball shots after Karen is no joke. I completed 25 reps each round. SDHPs generally went well and I didn’t really struggle any round. Box jumps went spectacularly well and I was able to complete quickly with a rebound off of the box. Push presses are always a struggle, but I often completed 5 and sometimes as many as 10 reps at a time. I’m short. Rowing sucks.

I completed 107 reps the 1st round and that gave me a boost of confidence. I completed 106 reps the 2nd and that gave me an even bigger boost of confidence. I still managed to break 100 the last round, completing 101 reps.

Total = 314

Yay, a PR!

I then held Running Clinic from 12:30 to 4:30. What an exhausting yet rewarding day!

I completed February 27 with a score of 295

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Rene

I had my first cup of coffee and my first mug of beer in 21 days. Twenty-one days! I dreamt about coffee last night as was wide awake at 4 am. Yup, I got out of bed and had a cup of coffee. And it was very, very good. I met Jennifer G. and Pauline for lunch and had a Harpoon UFO. And it was very, very, very good.

I rested yesterday but did work out Monday, August 24. Why did I rest yesterday? Because I bought a 2016 Fiat 500x! And it’s orange. And I love it.

Thruster (Establish 1RM)
Take bar from the rack, i.e., you do not need to complete full squat or power clean.
I set a goal to complete a rep @ 165, as 157 was previous PR and I had completed 5 or so reps at 155 for 31 Heroes. I faltered first attempt but did not re-rack the bar and successfully completed 2nd attempt. Yay! I then completed a rep at 170. Wow! I had two failed attempts at 175 but came very close to locking the bar out overhead.
Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)
7-min AMRAP
Max rep hand release pushups
Shuttle sprint 10m
Max rep hand release pushups
Shuttle sprint 20m
Max rep hand release pushups
shuttle sprint 30m

Score = total # of pushups
I set cone at workstation but I got distracted and my spot was taken. I set up on cone on the other side of the room and at the last minute was joined by Mac.
I completed 25 reps at the start and didn’t note until I reached 60. I didn’t have a good strategy for this as I completed rounds in 10 reps without pausing to rest briefly in plank position and getting in a few more reps. I completed 133 total.
I was looking forward to today’s Hero WOD. It was as tough as I imagined that it would be.
“RENÉ”
Danish Army Sgt. René Brink Jakobsen of Vang, Denmark, died Jan. 3, 2013, after being hit by an improvised explosive device while on foot patrol with his unit in Upper Gereshk Valley in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The 39-year-old was a member of the elite Danish Special Forces Ranger unit called Jaegerkorpet. Jakobsen is survived by his wife, Camilla; three children, Mie, Sara and Thor; and many loving relatives and friends.
Metcon (Time)
Rene
7 rounds for time of:
Run 400 meters
21 walking lunges
15 pull-ups
9 burpees

Wear 20# weight vest for Rx+
I coached the three early morning sessions and worked out with the 9:30 athletes. I set a goal to complete in under 30 minutes and determined strategy to work at a steady pace. Yes, I set goal to complete all rounds of reps in unbroken reps knowing that I’d unlikely be able to complete 7 rounds of 15 weighed and unbroken pull-ups.
I ran the first 400m in 1:45, a good start given that the weight vest tended to flop around on my chest. Oh, and Luke ran with me! He’s such a good boy!
I completed all rounds of walking lunges and burpees in unbroken reps as well as the first 3 rounds of pull-ups. I completed rounds 4 & 5 in reps of 12 & 3, the round of 6 in reps of 11 & 4, and the final round in reps of 9, 3, & 3.
I would occasionally glance at the clock. I had completed 4 rounds in about 17 minutes and at that time knew that I’d be able to reach my goal. Uhm, I may have slowed down my pace. I may have. Just maybe.
Round 5, as I expected, was the worst round, and it was hard to imagine completing another 2 rounds.
Weighted burpees are tough! The weight vest drags you to the ground and then you have to fight the added when jumping and clapping.
It’s been a while since I’ve had the urge to hurl. Today was just such a day.
I get to have beer and pizza tonight!
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I Truly Can See Clearly Now

Friday, August 21

Ring Dips (Complete 3 reps every 30 sec for 10 min)
60 total reps
I wore a 10# weight vest and should’ve gone heavier. I recorded many of the rounds, including the very last. Yup, deltoid below elbow, full lock out at top, and hips dropped. Good job, Paul!
Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
10-min AMRAP
25 air squats
15 jumping air squats
5 weighted jumping air squats (45)
25 Abmat sit-ups
15 medicine ball Abmat sit-ups (20)
5/leg windshield wipers
While not overly challenging, this workout was nonetheless fun. I set a goal to complete all rounds of reps unbroken, and for an added challenge I set another goal to not rest between 25 air squats and 15 jumping air squats. I completed 5 reps shy of 4 rounds, and would’ve probably been able to complete those windshield wipers if Luke hadn’t taken over my yoga mat that I placed beneath the Speal bar. He wanted to be in front of the fan, and I can’t say that I blame him. Good boy!
Totals: 100 air squats, 60 jumping air squats, 20 weighted jumping air squats, 100 sit-ups, 60 weighted sit-ups, and 15 windshield wipers in a mere 10 minutes. Oh, yeah, I achieved my goals.

Saturday, August 22

What a busy day it was at CrossFit Surmount! Jeff is out of town and I was on my own. All three sessions were packed, with 17 attending at 8:30. Wow! As sub for 11 feel ill, I didn’t get to work out at that time as originally planned. I had to work out alone. Dammit. And during the hottest part of the day. Dammit.
Overhead Squat (Establish 3RM)
I set a goal to complete 3 reps @ 127, 2# more than previous 3RM, but was only able to complete 2 reps. Dammit. I should’ve warmed up my wrists more before even attempting. I did complete 3 warm up reps at 115, so that was today’s score.
Metcon (Time)
AFAP
A. 400m sandbag carry + 20 sandbag burpees
B. 400m run + 20 chest to bar pull-ups
C. 100m sprint + 200m sled pull (90) + 100m sprint
D. 400m medicine ball carry + 20 wall ball shots (20# & 10′)
I set a goal to complete all reps unbroken.
The sandbag was 40 pounds and, after having completed 31 Heroes just last week, sandbag carry felt light. I quickly complete 20 unbroken burpees.
I ran a very fast 400m and completed 20 fast and unbroken chest to bar pull-ups.
I sprinting whilst pulling that damned sled and, after a quick turnaround, completed 200m unbroken. Sprinting after pulling the sled is always a pleasure.
I sprinted another fast 400m whilst holding the medicine ball and completed 20 fast and unbroken wall ball shots.
Time = 12:14
That’s my birthday! That was a hell of a lot of fun!
Oh, yeah, I completed all rounds in unbroken reps.
I wore my brand spanking new prescription sports glasses and loved them! They definitely don’t budge when I exercise. I may, however, need to start wearing a headband so I don’t sweat inside them.

Sunday, August 23

I worked out at during Open Gym at 9:30 and was delighted that Coach Nick joined me. This was a tough WOD.

Metcon (3 Rounds for reps)
Burpee + 185# back-squat ladder
Rest 3 minutes
Burpee + 115# shoulder-press ladder
Rest 3 minutes
Burpee + 245# deadlift ladder

For the ladder pattern, perform 1 rep of each exercise the first minute, 2 reps of each the second minute, 3 reps of each the third minute, continuing as long as you are able. Use as many sets each minute as needed.
Score = number of minutes completed for each ladder

Back squats felt very heavy. Coach Nick matched me burpee for burpee. For a while. During the 2nd round I said, “I’ll be happy to make it through round 5.” We were both able to complete round 7 and, even though there was time enough to attempt and additional round, I did not. Nor did Coach Nick.

Uhm, yeah, so 115# strict presses are very difficult for me, given that my 3RM is 120#. I said, “I’ll be happy to make it through found 5!” Wishful thinking. I had to break the 3rd set up into 2 and then a final rep. Whilst I did complete 4 burpees, I couldn’t complete a single press. So, just 3 rounds. Nick did the same.
I suspected that deadlifts would be the easiest lifts for me, and I wasn’t disappointed. I completed through round 7 in unbroken reps, i.e., I didn’t drop the bar until last rep. I broke the round of 8 into sets of 5 and 4, and did a few doubles the round of 9. I should’ve gone for a 10th round, but as Nick had dropped out after 7 I decided to call it a day.
That was one of my favorite workouts!
My view whilst working out.
My view whilst working out.

You win some, you lose some…

Tuesday is my rest day, but I nonetheless completed the strength portion of programmed WOD.

AFAP
30 Back Squats at Body Weight

My previous PR is :56 and I missed beating that by 2 seconds. Yup, I completed 30, 140# back squats in 57 seconds. I should’ve had a clock in front of me to look at for motivation, as I’ve done in the past. I’m nonetheless pleased with performance.

EMOTM for 10 minutes
2 Power Cleans at Body Weight

I’ve truly grown fond of power cleans, bruised clavicle and all. I easily completed first 7 rounds at 140 and then increased weight to 145, 150, and 160# for last sets. Yup, I completed 2 reps @ 160#, a new 2RM PR.

Today’s workout was a bitch. And I loved almost every minute of it. Almost.

Run 400m
25 power C&J @ 85/75% of body weight
50 lateral box jumps (24/20)
75 hand release dead-lifts @ 100/90% of body weight
100 double unders
75 power snatches @ 50/45% of bodyweight
50 calorie row
25 hand release burpee + lateral bar hop
Run 400m

You are allowed one barbell
Round down >2.5# and round up if 2.5# or >

Wow, just wow. This was tough! I set a goal to complete in 40 minutes. I took it easy for the first 400m and clock at 1:40. The power clean & jerks were the hardest part of the workout. Until the snatches, that is. I completed 20 power C&Js at 120# one at a time. One. At a. Time. Jerking 85% of one’s body weight shouldn’t be easy. It wasn’t.

I was delighted that 24″ lateral box jumps were so easy to complete. I did, however, have my only failed rep of any of the activities. I completed 10 reps jumping to the right followed by 10 reps jumping to the left. I did so again but lost focus on the last rep jumping to the left and, if I were being judged, didn’t quite jump laterally. Dammit. I re-did that rep. I finished the last 10 reps laterally jumping 5 to the right and then 5 to the left.

While not overly difficult, 75 body weight deadlifts were nonetheless quite challenging. I completed as many as 10 and as few as 7 reps any set. I made sure to wear weightlifting belt.

So as to save my shoulders for the snatches, I completed doubles unders in sets of 50, 30, & 20 reps. Double unders presented little challenge.

Uhm, 75 power snatches is the hero WOD “Randy,” although 70# is lighter than prescribed. I did no more than 5 and no less than 3 reps, dropping at the most 5 reps from the top. Yup, shoulder, mid-thigh, and then the floor. It took me a long f@cking time to complete the reps. There were quite a few times when I felt like I might hurl. I did not. I did, however, contemplate dropping the weight. I had a good talking to with myself, and it went something like this: Really, Paul? You’re going to drop a mere 5 pounds and then not complete the workout as prescribed. Just finishing the f@cking snatches.

As an aside, I haven’t sworn during a workout in ages. Wendy’s kids were watching me closely, and I want to be a positive f@cking role model.

The 50 calorie row was surprisingly difficult, and I’d estimate that it took me close to 60 strokes to complete. I didn’t want to get too winded, so I really took my time on the recovery.

I usually like burpees. Not so much today. I completed 5 and rested, and then looked at the clock. I knew I’d have to complete unbroken if I hoped to achieve goal. I completed the last 20 reps quickly and unbroken and then began run. If that’s what you want to call it. I glanced at the clock and had about 2 minutes and 40 or so seconds remaining. I began the last what can only be called death run.

It was just 400m. I told myself to count to 4, 1 at the 100m mark, 2 at the 200m mark, 3 at the 300m mark, and 4 at the finish.

It was all that I could do to will myself to continue running. I really, really, really wanted to, well, just walk. I did not.

I called time at 39:01. Yay!

Did I mention that that was tough? Because it was.

Pre-WOD
Pre-WOD
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Post-WOD
Post-WOD
Post-WOD

My Least Favorite Lift

I’m on Day 13 on the cleanse, and I’ll have to say that I’m truly seeing the benefits. Food tastes so much better! I don’t feel the need for any salad dressing other than simply a little vinegar and oil. No salt, no pepper, no problem. I have, however, lost too much weight. I weighed myself this morning after having eaten breakfast and I still only weighed a mere 139 pounds. Yes, that’s only 4 pounds lighter than my normal 143, but I’m still concerned.

I’ll have to put on 4 pounds on beer next Wednesday.

I worked out during Open Gym yesterday, completing the programmed WOD. And it was a beast.

21-18-15-12-9-6-3
Deadlifts (225)
Alternating leg burpees

I jotted down times after each round, although the times were to the minute or minute and a half and, well, aren’t accurate.

21 – 4
18 – 5
15 – 4
12 – 3
9 – 2:30
6 – 1:30
3 – :46

Yup, it took me 20:46 to complete. I completed rounds of 21, 9, 6, & 3 deadlifts in unbroken reps and broke rounds of 18, 15, & 12 into 2 sets. Alternating leg burpees were tough, as the added pushups wreaked havoc on my shoulders. I did indeed rest between sets of reps.

I coached the 11 am session and witnessed folks suffer, so I didn’t feel so bad. ha!

I worked out at 6am this morning, as that was the only session that I didn’t coach. Yup, I coached 7 sessions today.

Bench Press (Establish 3RM)
I set a goal to complete 3 reps at 165, 5# more than previous 3RM, and I achieved that goal. I completed 2 reps at 170# but failed 3rd rep. Dammit. I hate the bench press. I think I’d rather do thrusters. There, I said it. By the way, I bench pressed 118% of bodyweight 3 times.
Max Number Unbroken Pull-ups (AMRAP – Reps)
Did I mention that my shoulders were smoked from yesterday’s alternating leg burpees? I set a goal to complete 30 reps, did that, I made sure to drop from the bar. Could I have completed more? Yes. Would it have been in my best interest to do so? No.
Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
7-min AMRAP
7 box jump overs (24/20)
14 Abmat sit-ups
14 Abmat back exensions
This was a fun workout, and “fun” isn’t even in quotes! I completed all rounds in unbroken reps. Even though I used Body Glide I got a raspberry on my coccyx. Dammit. I completed 6 rounds + 16 reps. Yay!

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31 Heroes

Coach Nick was kind enough to lead the 8:30 session so that Jeff and I could work out together. Thanks, Coach Nick!

31 Minute AMRAP of:
Partner 1:
8 Thrusters, 155# 
6 Rope Climbs, 15 ft.
11 Box Jumps, 30″

Partner 2:
400m Run with sandbag, 45#

This is a Partner WOD – Partner #1 will perform the work listed above. Partner #2 will run 400m with a sandbag (45/25). Once Partner #2 returns from the run, Partner #1 will grab the sandbag and begin their 400m, while Partner #2 continues work wherever #1 left off.
To learn more about 31 Heroes click here
Yup, those are 155# thrusters and I didn’t scale! At least not the first time I completed the workout. Read on.
Observations/Anecdotes
  • Jeff and I worked very well together, as is to be expected. We communicate very effectively and often only nonverbally. We are supportive of each other and there are never mean words exchanged.
  • Jeff began with thrusters and, in retrospect, this was a wise decision as he did most of the reps. I didn’t have to complete a thruster when I returned from 1st run and only had to complete 5 thrusters overall. Nonetheless, those 5 thrusters were awfully difficult. I had 2 failed attempts in that I wasn’t able to lock out arms on push press. I thought that beginning with full squat clean was the best option but then discovered that I did better when I began with power clean. Lesson learned.
  • I completed most of the rope climbs, as he had often finished 1 or 2. I completed at least 20 rope climbs. It got crowded at the ropes but folks were very cooperative.
  • I completed all of the box jumps. Yup, 55 box jumps.
  • Lucky was constantly by my side! He followed me to the ropes, then to the box, and then to the barbell. I made sure to keep a watchful eye on him so that he wouldn’t get hurt.
  • I’m a purist. If I’m to run 400m carrying a sandbag, well, that’s what I do. I don’t try to time it so that my partner can or doesn’t have to complete certain activities. Thus, I did indeed run 400m each and every round.
  • James took an early lead for the first 400m run. I passed him at 100m but could hear Mac breathing down my neck. I’m generally not competitive but today I was. There was no f@cking way that I was going to let either of them beat me to the box. Ha!
  • I finished the 11th box jump with 7 seconds remaining on the clock. I could’ve attempted another thruster. I chose not to. Again, ha!

Score = 125 reps, i.e., 5 rounds

My very good friend Jay evidently struggled with “Karen” yesterday. He puked. Not a good thing. He had signed up for this morning’s 8:30 workout but eventually appeared at 9:45. There were an odd number of attendees and, although he had originally planned on teaming with Lauren and Ashlee, I informed him that I’d be his partner. I’m certain that this didn’t make him all that happy. I scaled thrusters to 115# (the weight I did last year) but completed rope climbs and box jumps as prescribed.

Observations/Anecdotes
  • Uhm, running with that damn sandbag was much more difficult this time. My legs felt like lead.
  • I was very chatty when I ran. I suppose it was an attempt to alleviate some of the pain.
  • During the 2nd or 3rd run I was catching up with Kelli. Still in my chatty mood I said, “By the end of the day I will have run a 5K carrying a sandbag.” She replied, rather sarcastically I might add, “Nice.” I said, “Did you just say ‘nice’? I’m going to punch you in the throat!” “No you won’t because you’ll drop your sandbag!” she exclaimed. I sprinted to catch up with her and she took off. I did catch her but when I did so she abruptly stopped, knowing that I wouldn’t turn around. She’s smart like that. She called it “Top Gunning” me.
  • I once again did most of the rope climbs and most of the box jumps. I also did quite a few thrusters, even completing all 8 reps one of the rounds.
  • Uhm, yeah, so there were times when I wanted to go outside a drag Jay’s ass into the box. I kept thinking, “Where the f@ck is he?”
  • I nonetheless ran each and every run. I keep thinking, “Jay is in there suffering. Run faster!”
  • Lucky ran with me one of the rounds. Yup, he stayed right by my side. I love that dog! He went home today and I already miss him terribly.

Score = 112 reps, i.e., 4 rounds + 12 reps

I first completed this Hero WOD September 3, 2001. I also missed a box jump and got MRSA. That’s some serious shit. I completed 95# thrusters that year and just last year completed at 115#. I’m quite pleased with finally attempting and completing this workout as prescribed.

Today is day 11 of the purification/cleanse. I was able to eat meat and I discovered that I didn’t miss it in the least. I could easily revert to vegetarianism.

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