Giddy Up

Sunday, October 15 | Run = Fun

It’s hard to believe that we’ve lived in Asheville a little more than 10 months, for it feels so much like home.

As Jeff is home for just a brief time during the weekend, he joined Luke and me for a 4-mile walk on the grounds of the Biltmore. We then had a very lovely late breakfast at HomeGrown, a restaurant that we hadn’t yet tried. ‘Twas delightful, and compares to Biscuit Head.

“You’re going to work out on a full stomach?” Jeff asked. “Of course!” I replied.

5 X 10, working up to heaviest set

As I knew I’d be competing 50 deadlifts, I was wise in my approaching completing sets @ 135, 185, 225, 275, and 310#, a new PR. Yay! The last few reps felt exceedingly heavy, and for a brief moment I doubted I’d be able to complete. Silly me!

Jeff joined me as I was setting up for conditioning, and I as needed little room for the remainder of my workout is has able to complete parallette pushups and push presses. It’s always nice when he’s around, and he certainly makes me laugh.

1, 2, 3…8, 9, 10 50m (25m up and back) shuttle sprints
10 box jumps and with steps after each round

I stepped down and toed off with left foot odd- and right foot even-numbered rounds to assure that I didn’t favor and/or injure the left or right side of my body. Luke positioned himself at the entrance to the garage, and I often gently tapped his back or scratched his head each shuttle sprint. Did this slow me down? Likely, and I didn’t care! Jeff was kind enough to capture a few pictures.

I set a goal to complete in 25 minutes. After completing the very last shuttle sprint I glanced at the clock to discover that I had a mere 30 seconds to complete box jumps. And I lost focus. Nope, I didn’t fall, but I did jump instead of step down, so that rep didn’t count. I nonetheless managed to finish in 24:57. That was close!

Monday, October 16 | AR

I was feeling tired, achy, and somewhat depressed this morning. Luke and I went for a 3-mile walk around the neighborhood, I took a quick shower, and then had trailer hitch installed on Mazda. Leonard’s is the best! They told me on the phone it’d take 45 minutes, when I got there they said it’d take 30 minutes, and when all was said and done it took only 20 minutes to install. Compare that to U-Haul who told me it’d take 45 minutes and it took 3 hours.

Luke and I ran quite a few errands, including picking up waterproof sealant for box I’m going to put on deck. I put the first of three coats on at 3 and, since I was in the gym and all, I worked out, albeit not nearly as strenuously as in the past 2 days. More than anything I needed to work out (get it, work out) some of the soreness in shoulders and back.

6X10 unbroken

I began @ 70, added 5# per set, and worked up to 95#. Uhm, and I don’t think that I could’ve completed 10 @ 100#. Shit always gets heavy by the 7th or 8th rep. Was nonetheless pleased, as I continue to get stronger and recover from ACDF surgery. Oh, I almost forgot to mention: I’m placing my hands farther apart on the bar, with my palms almost to the inner ring. And it helps! Why I didn’t think of this ages ago is beyond me. At the very least the bar travels a shorter distance.

Strict ring rows
Mountain climbers (both legs = 1 rep)

Yup, something fast and furious! I completed 16 ring rows out of the gate and then, well, quickly began to tire. I had two, count them, two missed reps in that I wasn’t able to touch chest to rings! I guess I was just getting greedy.

Time 3:13

Yup, very fast and very furious.

Tuesday, October 17 | Mind Games

‘Twas a cold night, and the four of us (Luke, Meg, Zac, and me) slept until 8. That’s late for us! Luke and I went for a 2-hour walk at Pisgah. I was wearing a sweatshirt, gloves, and hat when we began, as the temperature was a chilly 41, but all items were removed by the last half hour.

Every 90 seconds until failure
Clean, Jerk, & Thruster

Three distinct moves, i.e., I stood to full extension after clean and before jerk and rested barbell on shoulders before completing thruster. This was fun! And tough. I began at 65, added 5 each round, and worked up to 145#. I completed clean @ 150 but didn’t even attempt jerk. Why? I know not why.

That’s 18 cleans and 17 jerks and thrusters. That was enough.

50 sandbag burpees + forward and backward jump over sandbag
50 Abmat sit-ups
50 sandbag squats, 45#
Complete 3 power cleans, 95#, at the top of each minute

This got the heart rate up quickly! I completed between 7 and 10 (the first round) burpees, and it took me 2 rounds to complete both sit-ups and squats.

Time = 12:57

That was close!

Thursday, October 19 | Run = MBC & BJ

Luke and I enjoyed a wonderful walk at the Biltmore! ‘Twas a cold start and finish, and I wore my hoodies the entire walk. Yup, hoodies.

I had originally planned on doing wall ball shots, but Luke immediately positioned himself on a blanket by the wall ball target. I took that as a sign. I honestly think that this workout wouldn’t have been any more miserable had I completed wall ball shots.

9 medicine ball cleans, 20# and box jumps, 20″
7 medicine ball cleans, 25# and box jumps, 24″
5 medicine ball cleans, 30# and box jumps, 30″

Yup, 21 reps of each activity and 42 total reps each round for a total of 105 medicine ball cleans and box jumps.

Holy posterior change, Batman! Whilst I completed sets of each activity in unbroken reps, I certainly didn’t work at a breakneck pace. I often had to shake out my legs and rub my lower back before starting box jumps. I was delighted that I didn’t miss any box jumps, as jumping 30″ felt like jump 30′ today.

Time = 17:29 (I think. I wrote this time down on a piece of paper. It’s very likely the correct time. I think.)

1 pull-up & toes to bar every 10 seconds for 5 minutes

I like this rep scheme, as you lose momentum and are forced to focus on strength. I pumiced and chalked my hands throughout. I’d definitely program something like this again.

I’m truly enjoying Will & Grace! I also very much enjoyed “Mindhunter” on Netflix. ‘Twas interesting to see Jonathan Groff in the lead role. And not singing!

Friday, October 20 | Intrepid

Again, so I don’t always go to the same places, at least one day a week Luke and I are exploring a new trail. Today we traveled farther South on the Blue Ridge Parkway, parked at an overlook, and hiked a little more than two miles South, turned around, and hiked another two or so miles North to the parked car. One of the hills was steeeeEEEEEEp! Luke was quite exhausted by the time we returned home. Uhm, he once again quickly positioned himself on the blanket in front of the wall ball target. That workout will just have to wait!

Power snatch
3 rounds

1 rep every 10 seconds for 5 minutes @ 75, 85, & 95#
Establish 1RM

The 90 reps were just a warm up to the 1RM max attempts. Ha! I was quite out of breath at the end of each round of 30 reps. I did, however, rest only long enough to put additional weight on the barbell and to reset clock.

This went much better than I anticipated. Perhaps the biggest change has been in placement of hands, as I’m placing them much farther away from the collars. What a difference! Yes, the bar has to travel a bit farther, but I don’t feel pain in my right shoulder.

I completed reps @ 100, 105, & 100#. I’ve been stuck @ 115# for about 5 years, and each and every time I attempted 120# I failed. Good thing I purchased incremental plates! I put 116# on the barbell and easily completed a rep. I yelled, “Fuck yeah!” Uhm, even though no one was in the garage with me. I kept going, completing reps @ 117 & 118#. I’m missing an incremental weight, so I put 120# on the barbell. A little bit of a struggle but a successful rep. I kept going and completed reps @ 121 & 122 but failed 123#. ‘Twas then that I realized I hadn’t turned on iPhone video. Dammit. I started the recording… and easily power snatched 123#. As that’s a 7# PR I called it a day.

I’m delighted that my focus on proper form and execution—and ACDF recovery—is paying off! It’s yet another reason while I like working out alone and doing my own programming, as I can work at my own pace and focus on my weaknesses.

10 double unders
2 strict handstand pushups
20 dus
30 dus
40 dus 
50 dus
10 HSPUs

I completed unbroken and strict HSPUs through round of 6 reps. I missed a rep of dus during round of 30 and 40. Glad I didn’t program unbroken!

Time = 6:35



Wednesday, October 11 | No Barbell

It feels like August: hot, humid, sticky, and moist. Luke hasn’t much cared for going for long walks so we began our day with a 4-mile meandering on the grounds of the Biltmore. I let Luke determine the pace.

I worked on organizing the garage and then set up for my workout. No barbell today!

11 RFT
5/leg jumping lunges
5 handstand pushups
5 burpees + (no jump) chin-ups

I thought for sure that my shoulders would eventually tire and that I’d be unable to complete 5 unbroken, albeit kipping, handstand pushups. I didn’t struggle a single round, including the last. Yay! What was the most difficult activity, you ask? Uhm, jumping lunges. And I’m sure that I’m going to be feeling them tomorrow.

Time = 20:12

I keep listening to Eminem’s “The Storm.” Yup, I’m listening to freestyle rap. What a scathing and spot-on takedown of the AIC. (I’ll let you figure out that acronym.)

Thursday, October 12 | Light Barbell

Luke has a thyroid condition, and will begin supplemental treatment tomorrow. That explains the gain weight. Yup, I concerned. We went for a 4-mil walk around the neighborhood, exploring streets not yet traversed. West Asheville really has some wonderful and unique homes!

‘Twas yet another moist day. And I’m feeling somewhat weak. Today was a little bit barbell, and little bit bodyweight. And it nearly destroyed me.

5 push presses, 65#
5 sumo deadlift high pulls
5 front squats
25 double unders
10 push presses
10 sumo deadlift high pulls
10 front squats
25 double unders
Rest 1 minute

I’ll readily admit that 5 reps felt relatively easy, and 10 reps felt laborious. I made myself complete rounds of PP, SDHP, and FS in unbroken reps, and by unbroken I mean I completed at fast, steady pace, only resting between activities. The only time I completed unbroken dus was the first round (both times) and the last round (last time). My legs felt like lead, probably because of yesterday’s jumping lunges.

Running time: 2:43, 6:41, 10:30, 15:03, 19:35, 24:13
Times each round: 2:43 3:58, 2:49, 3:33, 3:32, 33:38
Accumulated time: 19:13

Saturday, October 14 | Ninety Minutes

Not only did I rest yesterday, but I also didn’t feel the desire to work out (which so often happens on rest days). I guess the previous three workouts wore me out, but not so much so that I’d end a sentence with a preposition. I did spend most of Friday cleaning and organizing, including separating travel size lotions, shampoo, condition, soap, and misc items. I also cleaned out the closet underneath the first floor stairs, placing the items on the top shelf of the garage. Nice!

Trump is giving license to homophobia. Anyone surprised by this deplorable behavior? Anyone? What an asshole.

Luke and I enjoyed a 3.5-mile walk from our home to Carrier Park and back, and then I made myself work out. I did not want to do so, and thought, “There’s nothing wrong with resting two days in a row.”

Odd numbered minutes: up to 5 push presses, adding 5# each round until failure
Even numbered minutes: max rep strict handstand pushups

This was just what I needed, and I felt strong until, well, failure.

I began push presses @ 65# and completed sets of 5 reps 13 rounds, i.e., up to 131#. Uhm, why 131 and not 130? Because my previous PR was 130; thus, a new 1# PR. And I’ll take it! I then completed a set of 4 reps @ 136, another 1# PR. I’ll take it as well! I then completed singles at 140, 145, & 150 and failed at 155. My arms and shoulders were getting tired. Uhm, because I was also completing HSPUs.

I completed 5, 4, 4, 5, 5, 4, 4, 4, 4 3, 3, 3, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 3, & 2 strict HSPUs.

That’s a total 19 rounds (40 minutes) and 77 push presses and 64 HSPUs. I push pressed 7,809 pounds, i.e., 3.9 tons. That’s another way to look at it, folks. Oh, if I include HSPUs I pressed another 9,600 pound, i.e., 4.8 more tons.

20-min ARMAP
– 5 pull-ups
– 15 airs squats

“Cin” because “Cindy” includes 10 pushups between pull-ups and air squats, and there was no way I was going to do any more pushing.

Again, it’s more challenging to complete pull-ups on the yoke bar. Certainly not impossible, but definitely more challenging as my palms are much more likely to tear. I pumiced and chalked my hands before starting each round, and whilst this slowed me down the short rest was necessary. I set a goal to have an even split, and just past the 10 minute mark I completed 13 rounds; thus, the goal was 26 rounds.

I completed unbroken air squats all rounds and unbroken pull-ups through round 23. For rounds 24 through 27 I completed in reps of 4 & 1. Yup, I completed more than goal of 26 rounds, and even managed to complete an additional 3 single pull-ups.

Score = 27 rounds + 3 reps; 138 pull-ups and 405 air squats

My hands didn’t tear, so pumicing and chalking was well worth the time.

Today’s workout lasted about 90 minutes, including warm up and cool down. Yup, yet another reason why I’m so enjoying working out by myself. I also felt quite accomplished, as was delighted that I did indeed work out!

Austin, Texas

Saturday, October 7 | Hotel Room WOD

I rested Friday, as I needed to do so after Thursday’s grueling workout. Jeff and I traveled to Austin, albeit from different locations, for a weekend getaway. We enjoyed a light snack (both of us) and beer (just me, as always) from the Archer Hotel restaurant Friday evening upon our late arrival.

I awakened rather early, as I was still on ET. I asked Jeff if he wanted to go to the hotel gym and he said, “You know I don’t like to work out first thing in the morning.” In his defense, he was still on PT. I completed a workout in our room. Because Texas.

6-count burpees
Air squats

That’s 85 total reps of both activities, and this was enough of a workout for the day. Did I complete for time? Uhm, it’s vacation, so no.

We had an awesome brunch and then spent the afternoon shopping and then touring breweries. And what a fun time we had! I was slightly inebriated by the late evening  hours, so I sobered up a bit before our delightful dinner at Lonesome Dove. The specialize in exotic meats. I stuck with steak. Because Texas.

Sunday, October 8 | Hotel Gym WOD

Jeff surprised me by suggesting that we visit the hotel gym! He rode the exercise bike as I worked out. In the brief time that I was there I saw three STDBs.

EMOM for 25 minutes
3 strict pull-ups
3 25# dumbbell hang power clean & jerks
3 DB squats
3 DB suitcase deadlifts

This was just what I needed, as I was able to sweat off some alcohol. Ha! And true. I completed rounds in between 25 and 27 seconds, although I didn’t keep track of accumulated time. I also completed all rounds in unbroken reps, including strict pull-ups. That’s 75 reps of each activity and 300 total reps (375 if you count cleans & jerks separately). That was fun!

Jeff and I spent the rest of the afternoon (wait for it…) visiting breweries. We started with a visit to my least favorite brewery, Jester King Brewery. Why? Because they specialize in sour beer. That’s some very nasty shit.

The last brewery we visited, Adelbert’s Brewery, was my favorite, so we ended on a drunk high note! We also visited Friends and Allies, Austin Beer Garden, and Celis, amongst others. At the very least I got a tee shirt from all locations and usually purchased a pint glass as well. Because Texas. And vacation.

I had to take a short nap before going to dinner. Ha! Jeff and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner but with shitty service. And shitty service makes for not the most pleasant of meals. Fill up our water glasses, folks! Gah!

Jeff and I traveled bright and early Friday morning and arrived home around noon. Larry built awesome shelving for garage, so I spent a few hours organizing. The garage gym seems much more spacious now. Jeff wanted to get a quick bit before he once again traveled, so I didn’t get in a workout. And that’s okay, because organizing the garage felt like a workout.

Tuesday, October 10 | Barbell Challenge

Luke and I enjoyed a 3-mile walk, he got a bath, and then we went to vet for his annual physical. Luke’s gained 15 pounds since the move to Asheville, but his vet isn’t the least bit concerned. He gets more exercise than most dogs, and he certainly doesn’t overeat. We ran some errands, enjoyed a late breakfast, and then I worked out. Yup, on a full stomach. Yup, Luke was by my side.

Activity | Bodyweight X #
Deadlift | 50
Back squat | 40
Power clean | 30
Bench Press | 25
Power snatch | 20
Rest 3 minutes between activities

I rounded up bodyweight to 150 for easier math. For example, 150 X 50 = 7,500 for deadlifts. I chose to do deadlifts @ 185# (a very wise choice in retrospect); thus, I needed to complete 40 deadlifts. I chose 135# for back squats (45 reps), 100 for PCs (45 reps), 95# for BP (40 reps), and 65# for power snatches (46 reps).

Whilst I need not describe guidelines as I was the only person to complete, it’s nonetheless important to note that activities could be completed in any order. For me that was BP, BS, PC, DL, and PS.

BP: 15, 8, 5, 6, & 6; 2:30 (time)
BS: 15, 5, 8, 8, & 9 8; 3:40
PC: 10, 7, 6, 7, & 8; 3:50
DL: 5, 5, 5, 6, 7, & 7; 3:14
PS: 11, 6, 7, 6, & 7; 4:14

17:28 accumulated time.

This was exhausting, I rested between sets of reps for far too long. And that’s okay, because I think I may still have alcohol in my system. It’s unlikely there’s any left now! Oh, and it feels like August. Yup, it’s moist outside.

This was just what I needed!


The title of this blog refers to Trump. Obviously.

How someone can be against healthcare for all, against gun control, and against preventing climate change, and yet consider themselves pro-life is beyond my level of comprehension.

I rested Monday, and I’m glad that I did. I needed it!

Tuesday, October 1 | Smile for a Mile

I took Luke for a walk at the Biltmore and we spent the time in quiet reflection. At te last count there are 59 people dead and more than 500 injured. By a “lone wolf.” Uhm, a terrorist should be the only term used to describe this asshole. 

Every 90 seconds until failure
3 presses
Every 90 seconds until failure
2 presses

I began at 65 and (usually) added 5# a round. As my 3RM was 120 I made sure to press 121. Yup, a 1# PR! I failed at 125, although I easily got in 2 reps. As 2RM was 130 I made sure to press 131. Yup, another 1# PR!

Uhm, and I was feeling strong I pressed 5 reps @ 110, a 5# PR. Just because.

22-min AMRAP
5 parallette pass throughs
5 strict ring rows 
10m shuttle sprints, 100m total

This was exhausting, as of course my (achieved) goal was to complete all rounds of activities in unbroken reps and with little rest between activities and/or rounds.

As is often the case, I kept an eye on the clock and set an additional goal to have an even split, i.e., complete the same number of rounds the second as the first half of the workout. I had just completed 8 rounds at the 11-minute mark so I set a goal to complete 16 rounds. And I honestly thought that I’d not be able to do so, as I got rather winded as the workout progressed. I pushed it during the last 4 minutes and completed 16 rounds with about 40 seconds left. Yup, I continued to work quickly and completed an additional 5 pass throughs and ring rows.

‘Twas bittersweet when “Don’t Come Around Here No More” began to play as I finished the workout, as it’s my favorite TP song.

That’s 85 pass throughs and ring rows and a mile of running.

Pushing, dipping, jumping, pulling, and running. Don’t tell me that bodyweight metcons can’t be challenging!

Luke positioned himself on his bed just outside the garage door and watched me work out. He’s such an incredibly good dog!

I watched the last episode of The Defenders. Love Daredevil, Jessica, and Luke, but not a big fan of perpetually scowling Iron Fist. What made his acting seem that much worse was Sigourney Weaver, as she ate up the screen.

Teaching continues to go well, although I am disappointed with absenteeism and students not handing in assignments. I continue to tell them that I’m not their babysitter.

Wednesday, October 4 | Paper Towels

Yup, I’m listening to Tom Petty whilst composing this blog. Luke is at my feet, Zac is sunbathing on the deck, and Meg is nowhere to be found. She’s likely hidden away somewhere. Bad kitty!

Luke and I went for a very enjoyable walk at the Experimental Forest this morning. I may or may not have seen a bear cub frolicking on the trail. Going on…

Witnessed dude mountain biking sans helmet. The worst part? He was whistling. Asshole. I’m trying to enjoy my solitude and I don’t need to hear your insipid whistling. Fortunately, as he doesn’t wear a helmet whilst biking, he’s likely not long for this world. There, I said it.

Back squats
6X5 working up to heaviest set

Back squats went much better than expected, as I was feeling stiff at the start — and my knees kept cracking. After warming up, I completed a set @ 150, 65% of 1RM. Shit felt heavy, so I only went up 5 pounds to 155 for 2nd and then just another 5 pounds to 160 for 3rd sets. Uhm, my 5RM was 195, and as I hoped to lift heavier than that I went up 10 pounds to 170 and 15 pounds to 185 for 4th and 5th sets. I was much better warmed up and lifts felt strong, so I went for 200 the last set.

As I approached the bar I thought, “Be sure to back away from the yoke rack, as you don’t want the plates to bounce off the plate holders. No, stay close to the rack, as you’ll be less likely to even think about bailing on the last rep.” So I listened to myself, genius that I am, and stayed close to the rack for the last successful set at 200. I’m confident I could’ve gone heavier, but as I programmed 6 sets I kept with my programming. And I got a PR, so there’s that.

Yesterday’s AMRAP was exhausting, so I programmed something a little easier today.

EMOM for 10 minutes for accumulated time
5 deadlifts, 185
5 strict toes to bar with full stop between reps

Fifty deadlifts and toes to bar was all (and just) what I needed today. As is typically the case, I became more efficient as the workout progressed, and my times were 25, 26, 26, 26, 25, 26, 25, 23, 23, 21, & 21 seconds for accumulated time of 4:01 (again, if I did the math right).

If the shooter (whose name I shall never mention nor picture ever post) were a Muslim I’m certain we would be talking about a travel ban. As he was a “lone wolf” white man, there will be no discussion on gun control. Because ‘Murica.

Nothin’ but pics of Luke! You’re welcome.

Thursday, October 5 | Chipper

Luke and I went for an incredibly wonderful hike at Pisgah this morning, completing a 5-mile circular route on challenging trails and services road. The weather was a chilly 44 degrees at the start. I like it!

Today was all about endurance.

Complete activités in any manner, i.e., chip away at all activities and in any order; complete 25 jumping pull-ups or double unders (alternating activities each round) after completing 100 reps of any of the activities
100 reps of the following:
Back squats, 45#
Box jumps, 24″
Hand release pushups
Hang power cleans, 45#
KB swings (‘Murican), 53#
Push presses, 45
Sumo deadlifts, 70# KB
Wall ball shots, 20# & 10′

This was freaking tough. I decided to chip away at box jumps, deadlifts, KB swings, pushups, and wall ball shots before tackling barbell activities. Whilst I can’t recall the specific order, I completed 100 wall ball shots, pushups, KB swings, box jumps, and deadlifts in that order, completing alternate rounds of jumping pull-ups and double udders after completing the required reps.

Wall ball shots: 15, 4 X10, 15, 10, 15, & 5
Pushups: 20, 6X10, 13, & 7
KB swings: 15, 8X10, 5
Box jumps: 3X10, 15, 5X10, 5
Deadlifts: 10X10

Whilst wall ball shots are always a challenge, box jumps were the bane of my existence today. Probably because of so much squatting and jumping I did earlier in the week. Deadlifts, even though 70#, were also exhausting, and I had to remind myself to set my back and shoulders.

I went by both thoughts and feelings when working with the barbell, i.e., I didn’t set out to complete a certain number of reps each round. I usually began with hang power cleans, moving to push presses and then back squats. Yup, that was the best approach and that’s good thinking. I completed cleans, push presses, and back squats in that order, again alternating completing double unders and jumping pull-ups after each completed activity. Even though ’twas just the 45# barbell, shit got heavy.

HPC: 5X15, 2X10, 5
PP: 15, 6X10, 15, 10
BS: 15, 6X10, 15, 5

Time: 52:53

Luke rested outside of the garage door, enjoying the nice weather and sunny skies. He’s a smart dog.

Today’s Public Speaking discussion was about presenting. Finally! I’m really enjoying teaching, and have some wonderful students.


Wake Me Up When September Ends

Thursday, September 28 |Holy posterior chain, Batman!

Luke and I began our day with a 3.5-mile walk at Carrier and French Broad parks. I took the CX-3 to the dealer to have paint repaired and then worked out in the garage (as Jeff’s Mercedes was being cleaned).

2 strict HSPUs
4 pull-ups
6 165# deadlifts
8 30# box jumps
10 barbell hop overs (forward + backward = 1 rep

I programmed lower reps with upper body (as that was the focus the past two days) and higher reps with lower body. Uhm, the strict HSPUs were much easier than the hop overs! By the end of the workout my entire lower body was on fire. Deadlifts and box jumps combined are always difficult, but the barbell hop overs turned out to be the most challenging part of the workout. Yup, there were times I feared I wouldn’t be able jump backwards. I nonetheless completed all rounds of activities in unbroken reps. While the rep count was high, I certainly got in a good workout.

Time: 18:56

Paint chip was repaired on CX-3. I’ve also found a great place to store my AB Tech employee badge.

I also began sneezing, and my BFF Brian informed me that I was likely allergic to ragweed. Or did he say rags? Or weed?

badge holder

Yes, I keep lip balm and dental floss nearby.

Will and Grace was hilarious!

Friday, September 29 |Listen

Luke and I went for a 4-mile walk on the grounds of the Biltmore estate. The sunflowers are still in bloom! I posted #beehappy. I wonder how many people thought it was a typo and/or didn’t see the bee.

bee happy

I went to the garage, stretched, and didn’t feel like working out. My body was sore and my energy was low. So I rested! And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what you’re supposed to do when you’re feeling under the weather. I did, however, clean the house from bottom to top. I’m versatile that way. Ha!

I met Jeff at the airport after he returned his rental car, we had takeout pizza, I took NyQuil, and was asleep by 9:30. I am watching “The Defenders” on Netflix. So far, so good, although I still find the Iron Fist annoying.

Saturday, September 30 |Listen

Jeff and I joined Luke for a walk at the Biltmore estate and then enjoyed a light breakfast at Edna’s on the River. Although I’m still feeling somewhat under the weather, I nonetheless worked out. I’ve often found that working out when I’m feeling somewhat sick does more good than harm.

EMOM for 25 minutes for accumulated time
1 strict HSPU
5 air squats
4 30# decline pushups
5 air squats
5 pull-ups

This was just what the doctor (i.e., me) ordered! I started off slow and ended up strong. Uhm, I was happy that I noticed before I started working out that I was wearing mismatched shoes.


Each round consisted of 5 pushups & pull-ups and 10 air squats, for a total of 125 (25 HS and 100 decline) pushups and pull-ups and 250 air squats. There, I did the math for you. I completed all rounds in unbroken reps.

Times: 38 (slowest time), 36, 34, 33, 33, 33, 34, 33, 32, 24, 33, 33, 32, 32, 31, 32, 32, 32, 31, 31, 31, 29, 29, 27, & 26 (fastest time) seconds; 13:20 accumulated time. If I did the math correctly, that is.

Uhm, it wasn’t until the 20th round that I realized I was wasting valuable time by turning around after HSPU to face box, for that added not one but two unnecessary turns as I had to turn around once again to place feet on box! I also told myself during round 28 that if I could complete that round in 30 seconds that I could take it easy that last two rounds. I did but I didn’t.

Luke spent some of the time just outside the garage door relaxing on his pillow and the rest of the time on his blanket at the foot of the garage stairs. But no one relaxes like Zac.

Trump’s response to the crisis in Puerto Rico shows his leadership abilities, i.e., he has no leadership abilities. When he is criticized his only defense is to divide and attempt to conquer. Anyone who still supports him is beyond reproach.

Sunday, October 1 | 400 Reps

I generally feel fine during the daytime hours but once the nighttime approaches I begin to cough.  I was wide awake at 4 in the morning doing so. Dammit. I slept until 8, although my sleep was restless.

I worked out in the early afternoon hours. The weather in Asheville is spectacular!

10X10 power clean & push presses, 65#; rest 1 minute between sets
Times: 30, 28, 26, 26, 25, 25, 24, 24, 23, & 23 seconds; 4:14 

10X10 push presses, 70#; rest 30 seconds between sets
Times: all rounds 9 seconds except round 10 in 8 seconds; 1:29 

10X10 jumping back squats, 75#; rest 1 minute between sets
Times: 15, 14, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, & 12 seconds; 2:12

10X10 hang muscle cleans, 80#; rest 30 seconds between sets
Times: 14, 13, 14, 14, 13, 13, 13, 13, 14, & 13 seconds; 2:14

Yup, I went light today, as I knew that I wouldn’t be able to go heavy given this damn cold or allergies or whatever. Whilst I only worked a total accumulated time of 10:09, I was a sweaty blathering mess by the end of the workout. And this workout was just what I needed, i.e., fast and furious and hopefully sweating out the toxins.

I was going to do a round of hang cleans @ 85# but, alas, I had to take Jeff to the airport.


Is it Fall yet?

Monday, September 25 | 25 & 50

I kinda sorta worked out Saturday, although the goal was only to work up a sweat, i.e., it’d be hard to categorize strength and conditioning. I completed 100 unbroken (TNG) 45# (barbell) hang power cleans, 75 unbroken 45# back squats, 50 ring rows (not unbroken), 25 unbroken hand release pushups, 20 unbroken pull-ups, and maybe some other shit that I can’t recall.

Our friend Camellia visited Saturday and we enjoyed an incredible dinner at Plant, a vegan restaurant. In all honesty, it was one of the best meals I’ve ever consumed. “Cheese” platter, beets, and plantains for appetizer and tofu bibimbap for main course. Oh, and Jeff and I shared a piece of carrot cake for dessert. OMFG.

Our friend Evelyn visited Sunday and we enjoyed a delicious and memorable breakfast at Biscuithead. Evelyn and I took Jeff to the airport and then we visited Highland Brewery, Vortex Donuts, and then enjoyed either a late lunch or early dinner at King Daddy’s.

What an enjoyable weekend!

Uhm, yeah, so I also bought a Mazda CX-3. Why? All Wheel Drive, bitches! The first thing Jeff commented was, “It feels like a car and not an SUV.” That’s most certainly the case, and I like it! It’s a much smaller automobile than the Renegade as well.

Okay, I can finally talk about today’s workout. But first, Rosa Parks wasn’t protesting public transportation. Uhm, and I haven’t seen anyone protesting the American flag.

Bodyweight deadlift ladder (with a twist)

I’ve gained a little weight so I rounded up to 150#. There, I said it. The twist was that not only did reps have to begin on the minute but all reps had to be unbroken and completed within 30 seconds. Sounds easy, right? It wasn’t. I made it through round 17, and as I completed the 17 reps in 29 seconds I didn’t even attempt a round of 18.

Score = 17 (66 reps)

10 Round for Accumulated Time
25 unbroken double unders & 50m sprint; rest 1 minute between rounds

This was fun! Luke positioned himself on his bed just outside of the garage door and watched  my every move. For sprint, I ran 25m up and back, i.e., to almost the end of the driveway and back.

Times: 29, 28, 28, 28, 27, 27, 26, 26, 25, 25
Accumulated time = 4:29

Yup, all rounds of dus were unbroken. The reason my times got faster was not because I was sprinting faster, as one might assume, but because I was focusing on completing dus faster. And it worked!

Tuesday, September 26 | PP

Luke and I went for a walk/hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Yup, we’re exploring new places!

Uhm, yesterday’s workout left my hobbling, as my glutes and hamstrings were sore!

Push Press
Establish 5, 4, 3, 2, & 1RM

Yup, you read that right. I’ve been focusing on the shoulder press and bench press since recovery, and it’s now time to add the push press to repertoire. I completed sets of 5 reps until I could only complete 4, 4 until 3, 3 until 2, and 2 (you guessed it) until 1.

After warming up, I completed sets of 5 reps @ 95, 105, 115, 125, & 130, 4 @ 135, 3 @ 140 & 145, and 1 @ 155 & 160#. I failed at 162#. Shit got too heavy.

I recorded all lifts to ensure that I didn’t push jerk. I did not. I sent recording of final lift to Jaclyn with text “This is how you fight for a rep. Try it sometime.” Her reply? “That butt though.”

Lock your knees and squeeze your ass, folks. It works!

10 RFT
10 medicine ball cleans, 20#
10-second handstand hold

As glutes and hamstrings were sore, well, you know what I had to do. Werk it! Yes, “werk.”

My goal was to complete cleans in unbroken reps, and I did. By round 6 I feared this would not be the case.

For handstands I kicked up to wall but allowed only 1 heel to light touch. I then focused on bringing other heel away from wall whilst maintaining balance. I’ve made much progress. Yay!

Time: 8:59

Wednesday, September 27 | BP

It appears that I may have developed some allergies, as my throat is scratchy and I’m occasionally phlegmy. I almost cancelled an excursion with my BFF, but I am glad that I did not!

Luke, Brian, Flossy, and I went for a 5-mile rather arduous hike. I did work up a sweat. I didn’t get home until close to 2 and didn’t even consider working out until 4. I could’ve just as easily rested, but instead I focused just on strength.

Bench Press
5X5 @ 75% of 1RM (137#)
4X4 @ 80% (146#)
3 @ 85% (155#)
2 @ 90% (164#)

All lifts were successful. That’s 76 reps total, and that was enough!

Whilst traveling home from Brian’s the low tire pressure warning light came on. And this set me off. Why? Because my salesperson was to have contacted me Monday (“I’ll call you first thing Monday” were the last words he spoke to me) regarding trailer hitch and paint repair, but he did not. I sent an email message Monday, Tuesday, and today, and still no response. I then forwarded messages to internet sales manager, and still no response. I called the service team and they told me if I made it there by 5:30 that they’d be able to take a look at tires. There was an accident on 26 that slowed down traffic, so I called service and let them know that I’d likely be 10 minutes late. They assured me that they’d remain open. They did not.

I parked in front of the dealership and asked to speak with the sales manager. Now I was getting somewhere! He had a service member from Mercedes check tire pressure and reset light, looked at touch up that needed to be fixed and scheduled appointment for tomorrow, and began to find out what was going on with trailer hitch. It was then that my salesperson saw me speaking with the sales manager, approached, and asked me what was going on. “As you haven’t replied to any of my three email messages, I decided I needed to visit and talk with your manager.” He was visually shaken. “Did you not receive the email message I sent you?” he asked. “No,” I replied, “and I even checked my junk mail. I sent you messages Monday, Tuesday, and today, but I received no reply.” “There must be something wrong with our email server,” he said, and then began rambling about the CRM.

Uhm, I’m not buying it.

The sales manager was very nice and went out of his way to help. And that’s what customer service should be!

Luke @ Stone Mountain

Wrestling with Resting

Tuesday, September 19 | Hangin’, Pressin’, Rowin’, & Hoppin’

I rested Monday! ‘Twas difficult to make myself do so, but I did. Luke and I began our day with a 3.5-mile around the grounds of the Biltmore. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I forgot my iPhone at home. No music, no pics, no distractions; and I liked it.

I’m on season 6 of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and enjoying every moment. Sweet Dee!

BTW, I was ecstatic that Lena Waithe and Aziz Ansari won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a comedy series for “Thanksgiving,” I’ve already watched the episode a couple of times and plan on revisiting again. On Thanksgiving, of course!

T&G hang power cleans and floor presses

7X11 timed sets (HPC only)

I completed sets @ 65, 75, 85, 95, 105, 115, & 125#. That last set of both HPC and FP was tough, and my form began to go to shit on HPC.

Times: 18, 19, 19, 19, 19, 24, 36 sec

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 125# bent over rows
5-10-15-20-30-35-40-45-50-45-40-35-30-25-20-15-10-5 lateral bar hops

This was a gasser! My goal was to complete in unbroken reps, and even I thought I wouldn’t be able to do so. But I did. The descending rounds of 45, 40, 35, and even 30 were a mind fuck. Yup, I had to keep focused as to not miss a hop. That’s 100 bent over rows & 500 lateral bar hops.

Time = 11:42

Teaching continues to go well, and I’m looking forward to informative speeches.

Wednesday, September 20 | Cleanin’ & Thrustin’

Yup, Luke and I began our day with a 3.5-mile walk at Carrier & French Broad parks. We had to say close to home and not travel far as car was scheduled to be detailed.

I had a quick breakfast of oatmeal with raisins and Luke & I retired to the garage/gym to work out.

I hate thrusters.

5X10 TNG

Each set began with full squat clean just because. I warmed up and then completed sets @ 65, 76, 85, 95, & 101#. I worked on speed and explosiveness, and was pleased with performance when I reviewed recordings.

Establish 1RM

Well, I was certainly warmed up enough to attempt! I completed singles @ 105, 116, 126, 136, 146, 151, 156, & 161#, a new PR! As clean 1RM is 165, I’m pleased.

50 strict chin-ups
50 strict handstand pushups
Complete 10 75# hang power clean & jerks after each set until chin-ups completed, then complete 5 HPC&J

Chin-ups: 8, 8, 7, 7, 7, 6, 5, 3 (8 sets, 51 reps total)
HSPU: 6, 7, 6, 5, 5, 5, 3, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2  (12 sets, 51 reps total)
HPC&J: 8X10 & 4X5 (100 total)

Whilst not for time, I certainly worked up a good sweat! I like having the liberty of taking as long as I want to work out, as today’s workout took about 90 minutes to complete.

Things to note:

  • I should’ve gotten 7 or even 8 HSPUs the first round but forgot to wear my Metcons! I changed into Metcons for remaining rounds.
  • During one round of HSPUs Rihanna was singing ‘Cmon, ‘cmon, ‘cmon.” And it helped.
  • During what I had hoped to be very last round of 3 HSPUs I threw up a little bit in my mouth the first of what would only be 2 reps. Dammit.
  • It’s always nice to have Luke nearby, and he’s very good about staying out of the way. I bet a child wouldn’t

Thursday, September 21 | Takin’ It Easy

No barbell today, as the last two days left we wanting to take it easier today. I listen to my body. You should, too.

EMOM for 30 min
7 Abmat “hands to box” sit-ups
5 no-rebound 24″ box jumps
Record time each round

As is usually the case, ’twas harder than I imagined it would be (but certainly not one of the more difficult metcons I’ve programmed).

The Abmat was positioned “frog legs” distances from box, and at I placed both palms and wrists firmly on top of box, i.e., wrists could not extend beyond edge of box. Backs of hands and shoulders touched floor at bottom of each rep as well. That’s 210 sit-ups and 150 box jumps.

The slowest round was the 2nd (27 seconds) and I completed 2 rounds in just 20 seconds. Fast transitions were the key! Accumulated time 11:26.

Thursday, September 22 | BAF!

Luke and I explored a new part of the neighborhood this morning and discovered that we can easily walk to EarthFare, as it’s just 1.5 miles from our home. Yay!

5X5 @ 75% ( 275#, closer to 80% but whatever) & 4X1 @ working up to 90% of 1RM (315#)

Immediately upon entering the garage Luke positioned himself exactly where I was going to deadlift. So I moved the barbell out of his way. Because Luke.

Deadlifts felt great today, probably because I was wearing my new Nobull shoes! Sets of 5 reps were completed floor to floor, i.e., didn’t drop bar at top of 5th rep. Singles, of course, were also floor to floor, like they’re supposed to be when working on getting stronger.

7-min AMRAP

My goal was 112, as that would be 1 rep more than PR of 111. Uhm, but as I didn’t look up provisos PR midway through the workout I thought it might be 117 or maybe even 119. I completed 60 reps at 3:50, the halfway mark, so I set a new goal of 120: that way I’d most definitely get a PR.

Holy shit, that was tough. But I did it, and with 1 second to spare. Yup, 120 burpees in 7 minutes! That’s an average of a burpee every 3.5 seconds. Try it.

Oh, and obviously a PR!