Mad Skillz

I’ll occasionally post blog for public consumption. Enjoy! And you’re welcome.

I slept until 8, which isn’t that unusual. (Keep in mind that I was wide awake @ 4:30 most each and every day for the last 5 years that we lived in Apex and I owned CFS.) Jeff surprised me by joining Luke and me for our morning walk around Carrier Park. Yay!

I was feeling a little sore after yesterday’s 45-minute metcon, and had almost talked myself into resting today. I knew my time was going to be limited, as we were meeting Brian and Danielle for lunch, so I decided to work on skills. And am I glad that I did!

Vertical ring hold
Establish max time

My goal was 2:30, 15 seconds more than current PR. And I got it. My forearms were on fire. And I don’t know that I could’ve held the hold for any longer.

Windshield wipers

I completed 15 unbroken reps. Could I have done more? Yes, but today was about form and control.

L-sit pull-ups

I completed 5 strict and unbroken. Six might’ve been too much. I recorded, and am pleased to say that I maintained L, i.e., legs didn’t drop below parallel.

V-sit ring pull-ups

Why V instead of L? Because the lever is different for rings, folks. Yup, strict and unbroken, with rings touching chest.


What? A headstand? Yup, my first attempt since ACDF surgery well over a year ago. I held for about 15 or so seconds, and with no neck pain.

Crow pose

What? Crow pose? Yup, again, my first attempt since well over a year ago. Not only was I able to hold for about 30 seconds, I was also able to spring back to strict plank.

Parallette HSPU

I had the confidence to attempt what is always a difficult movement. It took me a couple of tries to kick my legs up to the wall (with elbows locked, of course), but I was able to complete rep on first attempt. I was stoked, I tell you, stoked.

Run to end of driveway and back (about 30m to end of driveway)
Strict parallette pass through(s)

Pass through consists of strict plank, strict pushup with chest to hands, jump through to strict pike with hips extended, dip, return to pike, kick legs back to strict plank. Uhm, and on parallettes. That shit’s though.

Time = 11:?? 

I’m too lazy to walk to the garage and retrieve piece of paper listing time, so there’s that.

I made homemade pretzel bites (salted as well as cinnamon and sugar) and peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips in thumbprint.




I’m not quite sure why, but there has been a recent flurry of new followers. What I find surprising is that, whilst I have indeed been posting, none of the recent posts have been public, i.e., I am the only person who can read them. I’m heavily leaning toward taking the posts offline completely. So there’s that.

I first starting  blogging as I way to record races that I ran, mostly writing about my experiences running marathons. When I began to CrossFit, the focus on the blog changed, and I would often write about my learning experiences. When I opened CrossFit Surmount, the tone of the posts changed somewhat, as I often bit my tongue so as to not offend members (and potentially HQ). Now that I’m working out solo, there isn’t much to blog about except, well, my workouts. And that’s kind of boring, don’t you think? I’ve been basically recording components and results of workouts. I seldom post any additional commentary, e.g., musings on teaching, politics, others, etc. Although I’ll go on record as saying it doesn’t take a genius to know the difference between “past” and “passed.”

In other words, I’m not sure why anyone would even want to read. Convince me that you do, and I may consider continuing. This is, however, quite unlikely (and this may very well be the last public post).

I rested yesterday, although I did clean the house. Yup, that’s a workout.

Friday, January 19 | Squattin’

As I had a conference call at 10 regarding an upcoming training opportunity in Raleigh, I ate breakfast (I can’t recall that last time I’ve eaten before working out) after walking Luke and before the conference call, and worked out after the call; thus, I didn’t begin working out until about 11.

Back squat
Establish 5 and 3 RM

I warmed up at 135, then did sets of 5 @ 165, 195, & 215, a 5# PR. I then immediately attempted, successfully, 3 reps @ 225, another 5# PR. I then completed front squats sets of 4 @ 135, 165, & 190. As 190 is 3RM, I’m pleased. Uhm, I didn’t have baseline 4RM so I won’t count as PR.


1, 2, 3…8, 9, 10 kipping pull-ups
2, 4, 6… 16, 18, 20 hand release pushups
3, 6, 9… 24, 27, 30 air squats

Everybody knows how I love a bodyweight workout! Whilst I did complete all rounds of pull-ups and air squats in unbroken reps, I was only able to do so through the round of 14 pushups before having to break up reps. Mah shoulders!

Time = 11:07

55 pull-ups, 110 pushups, 165 air squats. ‘Twas a workout.




Whilst in high school I read an inspirational book that I borrowed from my brother, Stephen. I can’t recall the name of the book or the author, and I’ve attemptED to find both to give credit where credit is due. Credit for what? This quote that I’ve memorized: Persistence gives confidence, and continued right mental attitude, followed by consistent action, will bring success. It’s probably been 35 or more years since I read the book, yet I still remember the quote.

Monday, December 4 | Confidence

As I mentioned, I’ve added overhead squats back into routine, and was very pleased with progress.

7 X 5
1 X 3

I began light, at just 65#, and recorded all reps. I completed sets of 5 @ 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, & 95#. Uhm, last week I barely got 1 rep @ 95#. I then completed 3 @ 100#, previous 1RM, and singles at 105 & 110. Yup, I did an extra rep. That’s a 10# gain in a week, but certainly not anywhere near all-time PR of 135#. Persistence, confidence, continued right mental attitude…

I can’t even recall the conditioning. How funny is that?

Tuesday, December 5 | Action

Establish 5RM

I really didn’t feel like working out, and I really didn’t want to deadlift. But I did. And I’m glad that I did.

I completed sets of 5 @ 205, 225, 245, 275, 295, & 315#. Uhm, I have 10, 3, 2, & 1RM, but not 5RM, so I can’t consider that a PR. I was feeling strong, so I continued, completing sets of 3 @ 330 & 350#, a new PR. So I put 365# on the barbell and achieved a new post-surgery PR by 5#. I’m getting strong AF.

14-min AMRAP
3 70# KB SDHPs
2X7, 2X9, 2X11, 2X13, 2X15 mountain climbers per leg
8 box jumps overs with 180 twist jump off box

Sounds confusing, I know. I completed exactly 10 rounds.

I rested Wednesday.

Thursday, December 7

Floor Press
10X10, establishing 10RM
Completed 10 Abmat sit-ups after each round

I set goal of 155#. I completed sets 65, 75, 85, 95, 105, 115, 125, 135, 145, & 150#. I wisely chose 150 for last set. ‘Twas a struggle, and I seriously doubt that I could’ve floor pressed 155# 10 times.

6-count burpee with twisting jump over barbell
Strict ring rows

All unbroken in a time of 5:12


Jeff and I spent the weekend in NY with Brenda and Larry. We had a wonderful time! We attended the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. Having seen this with my mother a number of years ago I was surprised by two things: how much of the performance had not changed and how much I remembered. The only bad thing was the altercation, started by Jeff, that I got into with the asshole seated to my right. Uhm, I don’t need to listen to you play videos of the Family Feud and hear you explain the show to your son as the organists are playing. And the asshole fidgeted the entire performance.

We also saw the Saturday matinee performance of Come From Away. It was incredible! Uhm, and the woman seated to my right fidgeted the entire show. I seriously think she had some issues, as she constantly fixed her hair, scratched her head, adjust her glasses, rubber her eye, and stroked her chin. For the last 15 minutes of the performance she mangled a plastic grocery bag. Asshole.

We had a delightful dinner at Mercato, did a little shopping, and also did a little sightseeing. Oh, and it snowed Saturday! The city was absolutely beautiful.

I miss Luke, Meg, and Zac even when we’re gone for such a short duration.

I didn’t work out Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, and I can’t tell you the last time I’ve rested for three consecutive days.

Monday, December 11 | Back at It

The gym was cold! I wore sweats and gloves. Ha!

Work up to heavy double

I completed sets of 5 @ 65, 75, 85, 95, 105, & 115. I attempted 5 @ 125 but only pressed 4 reps. I then completed 3 @ 130 & 2 @ 135, both 5# PRs. Yay!

25-20-15-10-5 unbroken hang power snatches, 45#
50-40-30-20-10 unbroken air squats

This is exactly what I needed, and I was quite out of breath by the end of the workout.

Time = 6:58

Tuesday, December 12 | Twelve Days

I watched the “Active Shooter” series on ShowTime. I felt devastated, hopeless, exasperated, overwhelmed, hopeful—the list of emotions may be endless. I will never understand America’s obsession with guns.

I took Luke for a walk (he’s healing nicely) and then worked out in the gym, sans mascot(s).

The 12 Days of PaulFit
1 strict HSPU
2 6-count burpees
3 strict ring dips
4 floor press, 75#
5 wall ball shots, 20# & 10′
7 back squats
8 box jumps, 24″
9 power cleans
10 KB swings, 53#
11 stiff-legged deadlifts
12(0) double unders

As I’m beginning to blog only for myself, I shan’t explain.

Time = 30:53

This was tough, but I did complete all rounds of activities in unbroken reps. As the workout progressed, I became more and more winded, and often had to talk myself into beginning next activity.


Social Media

Friday, December 1 | Push Press Ladder

For the first time ever, Luke did not listen when I told him “no,” and he chased a deer. He was out of sight for about 3 minutes, and that felt like 3 hours. He appeared fine when we met up. Evidently, though, he pulled a muscle, and began limping later in the day. I contacted his vet, she prescribed an anti-inflammatory, and he’s much better. We haven’t, however, been for any long walk, instead going for a few short walks throughout the day.

I absolutely abhor what’s going on in our country. That asshole is truly attempting to destroy our democracy. The bill won’t pay for itself, idiots. We’ve been down this path before. Going on.

My quads and hamstrings were still sore from the deadlift ladder, so I needed to work out some of the kinks.

Push Press Ladder @ 50% of bodyweight and up to 15 rounds

Seventy-five pounds felt light. And then 75 pounds felt heavy. That’s 120 reps; thus 9,000 pounds which is 4.5 tons.


25 rounds
Air squat
Forward lunges (both legs)
Reserves lunges (both legs)

Time = 9:24

I’m going by recall, as I honestly can’t recall how many rounds I completed and/or if a round began with more than 1 air squat.

Saturday, December 2 | Skills

Again, I love working out alone, and I enjoy programming. For example, I knew I wanted to complete a workout that was at least 30 minutes, that included running, but that was an AMRAP and not an AFAP.

I first worked on hang power snatches, recording reps, reviewing, and tweaking performance, for example not pulling too quickly.

3 hang power snatches, 75#
5 hang power cleans
7 floor presses
200m run (50m shuttle sprints X 4)

I worked continuously and completed 14 rounds in 32 minutes, or about 2.5 minutes a round. See what I did there? I didn’t know how long the workout would last, but ensured that I completed a round at the end, i.e., that I wasn’t running when the clock ran out.

Sunday, December 3 | Oh, squats!

Yup, today was the day to work on my nemesis: overhead squats. And I’m pleased to report that I continue to make progress!

Overhead squats
Sets of 5 reps working up to heaviest
Heaviest single reps

I warmed up with just the bar, and then did set of 5 @ 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, & 95. Uhm, just 2 weeks ago I was only able to do a single rep @ 95. I then did singles @ 100, 105, & 110, 10# heavier than last week’s heaviest single.

Every other minutes until HSPU failure; 3 attempts at any height or weight
Strict negative HSPU
Strict weighted ring dip

I completed negative HSPUs @ 4, 5.5, 7, 9, & 10.5″. I failed 2 attempts at 11.5″, but successfully completed 3rd attempt. Yay! That’s a 2.25″ PR, and matches my kipping HSPU PR. I failed @ 1′, and that’s okay.

I completed ring dips @ 35, 37.5, 40, 42.5, 44, 49, 54, 58, 63, 70, 75, & 80#, not even close to 1RM of 115#, but as I had failed at HSPU I stopped ring dips. The clock keeps you honest. I like that.

8-min AMRAP
8 air squats
Hops over 2 parallettes
Twisting burpee
Lateral hops over 2 parallettes, changing direction each round

Wow, this was a gasser. I worked continuously and completed 18 rounds.

I decided that I’m going to retire from blogging about my workouts sometime between now and the end of the year. I’ll likely continue writing, only the blogs won’t be posted for anyone but myself to see.

Counting Down the Days

Yesterday Jeff and I visited his mother, Brenda, and her husband, Larry. ‘Twas a very nice visit!

Sunday, November 26 | Front Squattin’

I took Luke for a short walk, knowing that Jeff and I would take him for a longer walk later in the day. Whilst Jeff went to Gold’s Gym for a spinning class, I worked out in our gym.

Front Squat
Work up to heaviest set of 5

I set a post-surgery 1RM of 200# this past August, thus I set a goal to complete 5 reps @ 185#, a little more than 90% of 1RM. I knew it was going to be a challenge, and it was! I also know that I do better when I complete sets of 5 (no fewer, no more than) whilst working up to heaviest set, i.e., ensuring that I worked on timing, breathing, pacing, etc.

Every set was a ritual: position hands, step back, stretch back by placing head between shoulders, aggressively approach bar and place bar on shoulders, take small step away from rack, take a deep breath, and squat first rep. No hesitation!

I completed sets of 5 @ 95, 115, 135, 155, 165, 175, & 185#. The last set was a struggle, but I completed successfully. Yup, I recorded and reviewed all lifts.

25 RFT
10 unbroken box jumps

I set a goal to complete in 20 minutes or fewer. I used abacus to keep track of rounds, and I faced North for odd- and South for even-numbered rounds.

Jeff interrupted me the 6th or 7th round, asking “Where are my spinning shoes?” Out of breath I responded, “All of the shoes are on the table. Have you looked?” Ha!

I ensured that both feet landed on box, i.e., no heels extended off box, and that I landed in full squat and then stood to full extension. I truly believe that completing 25 rounds of 10 unbroken reps is more challenging than merely completing 250 reps, as there were many rounds when I wanted to stop at about the 7th or 8th rep.

Time = 18:41

I began to clean the kitchen and was elbow deep in Softscrub when Jeff asked, “Are you cleaning today?” “Uhm,” I replied, “obviously.” “But it’s my last day of vacation. You can clean tomorrow,” he said. Translation: “Spend time with me today.” So that’s what I did.

Monday, November 27 | Push Pressin’

I took Luke for a 90-minute walk in West Asheville and then worked out. I left the hallway door to the garage open but Luke and Zac only joined me for a short amount of time. Luke did, however, join me for the conditioning.

Push press
5 reps every 3 minutes, working up to heaviest set

My 5RM was 130, so I set a goal for 135#. I worked wisely today, paying attention to how I felt, as I wanted to be warmed up enough for last set but didn’t want to be too tired to complete.

I began @ 65# and added 10# each set, completing 5 reps @ 75, 85, 95, 105, 115, & 125. I briefly contemplated lifting 130 and then attempting 135 but I thought, “Reps at 125 felt good. Just go for it.” And that’s what I did, completing last set of 5 reps @ 135#. Yay!

Yup, I recorded and reviewed all sets.

10-0-8…3-2-1 pull-ups
20-18-16…6-4-2 unbroken double unders

Fast and furious, like Taco Bell.

Time = 6:06

Tuesday, November 28 | Power Snatchin’

Luke and I began our day with a 90-minute walk around the neighborhood. I sound like a broken record, I know.

I left the doorway to the gym open but no one joined me. Bad kitties!

Every 35 seconds for 42 rounds, for accumulated time
Odd-# rounds:
Muscle snatch + back squat + behind the neck push press, 65#
3 wall ball shots, 20# & 10″
Even-# rounds:
Muscle snatch + back squat + behind the neck push press, 65#
1 strict handstand pushup

Even though I only had to recall if I was doing WBS or HSPU, on two instances I did WBS, well, after doing WBS. I made up for it by doing two consecutive rounds of HSPU.

Slowest WBS rounds were 18 and fastest was 15. Slowest HSPU rounds were 14 and fastest was 12.

Times: WBS 6:19, HSPU 5:01; accumulated 11:20.

Sure felt like more than 11:20 or work.

BTW, after completing behind the neck Paul Potorti I always brought barbell to shoulder, mid-thigh, and then floor, i.e., the bar was never dropped.

That’s 21 HSPU, 42 muscle snatch  +back squat + behind the neck push press, and 63 wall ball shots.

Wednesday, November 29 | Ladder Time

Luke and I walked trails at the Biltmore today, something we haven’t done in a while. And we didn’t see anyone else on the trails. Yay!

I spent most of the morning grading speeches and preparing for the end of the semester, and didn’t begin working out until around noon. That’s unusual for me. Luke joined me and spent most of the time basking in the sun and rolling in the dirt. Yup, he got a bath afterwards.

Bodyweight unbroken deadlift ladder

I weigh 147 so I rounded up to 150#. My goal was 21 rounds and I didn’t achieve this goal.  Workout ended when any round could not be completed without dropping the bar.

I made it through the round of 19 and whilst attempting round of 20 the following self-talk took place: Shit is getting heavy. Breathe every rep. But you might pass out! Pause at the top to give your legs a rest. But my grip strength will give? No it won’t. You’re only on rep 6. Shit, there are many reps to go, and I don’t think I’ll be able to hold onto…

And I dropped the bar without making a conscious decision to do so. Ha!

Score = 19 rounds (190 reps, 197 total)

‘Twas odd that I completed 19+7 rounds and that added up to 197 reps. But then again, I’m not good at math.

That’s 2,950 lbs, just under 1.5 tons that I moved. So there’s that.


Much To Be Thankful For

Tuesday, November 21 | Press, press, press, press, & press

Luke and I went for a brisk 5-mile walk around the neighborhood, with some running thrown in for good measure. Luke really loves the colder temperatures!

I made French baguettes last night and made French toast this morning. OMFG, so good!

Luke joined me for most of today’s workout. He’s good about letting me know when he’s ready to go inside. How? He goes to the front door and barks. Ha! I then have to “remind” him that I can let him inside through the garage. Good dog!

Every 3 minutes
5 presses, working up to heaviest set
Complete 10 Abmat sit-ups each round

I began @ 75# and added 5# each round, with the last successful set @ 120# — a 10# PR! I was quite exhausted, you know, after having completed 50 presses (and 100 sit-ups), and only managed to press 125# two times. And that’s okay, because I hadn’t programmed anything other than 5RM.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 power cleans, 120#
5 bent over rows
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 handstand pushups

In other words, PCs and HSPUs increased by one rep but BORs were always 5 reps each round. Thus, 15 PCs, 15 HSPUs, and 25 BORs.

‘Twas tough. All rounds in unbroken reps, as it should be.

Time = 3:57

Tabata double unders
Score = total reps

I set a goal to complete 200 reps. I surpassed goal, with 3 rounds of unbroken reps and total of 237 double unders. That’s an average of about 29 reps a round.

Wednesday, November 22 | Workin’ on my weaknesses

I took Luke for a short walk this morning, and he was none-too-happy. I worked out and then met Tara and her daughter for a longer walk. Luke was then much happier!

Overhead squat

Yup, I’m working on OHS at least one day a week. I recorded all sets/reps and reviewed before completing next set/reps. I wanted to ensure depth of squat, which is always more challenging with overhead than with back or front squats.

Both grip and stance were wide, and that’s okay.

Ten @ 65, 8 @ 70, 6 @ 75, 4 @ 80, 2 @ 85, and singles @ 90, 95, & 100#, 5# heavier than last week. I did complete last rep twice, as depth of first rep was questionable. Depth of next rep left nothing to question. Yay!

10-10-8-8-6-6-4-4-2-2 hang power snatches, 65#
30-second plank hold after each round

What a shoulder workout! Thirty seconds of plank hold was both a welcome rest and a miserable experience.

Time = 9:04

I made a pumpkin pie and even made crust from scratch. I also made a loaf of bread as well as a bread twist. What have I become?

Thursday, November 23 | Heavy then Fast

After a short walk around the neighborhood with Jeff and Luke, I got in a quick workout before delving into cooking my first every Thanksgiving dinner. Can you believe it? Other than the lima beans and cranberry sauce, I prepared everything else: turkey, stuffing (including bread from scratch), mashed sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and gravy. Oh, and pumpkin pie with homemade whipped cream! OMFG, so good.

Anyhow, back to the workout.

Complete 23 reps of the following lifts @ 75% of 1RM 
Complete 23 twisting burpees at the end of each set

A: Bench press, 135#
B. Back squat, 175#
C. Deadlift, 275#

‘Twas meant to feel heavy and, well, it did. I began BP and BS with 5 and deadlift with 8 (if memory serves). Deadlifts were from floor to floor, i.e., no dropped reps.

This was quite exhausting, as I was already out of breath before beginning burpees. I also ensured that burpees were unbroken. Yup, no resting.

A: 4:15
B: 4:50
C: 3:50

The times make sense, as there was more range of motion with BS than with BP and DL. DL uses the largest muscles, and is one of my strongest lifts, so it also makes sense that I’d be able to complete DL the fastest.

Friday, November 24 | Skills & Strength

I took Luke for a short walk, made hearty breakfast, graded speeches, and then Jeff and I took Luke for a longer walk. I worked out as Jeff was ran errands.

Every other minute until failure
Hang pull + hang power clean & then push presses
Record time each round

Round | Weight | Reps | Time
1 | 65 | 10 | 42
2 | 70 | 10 | 41
3 | 75 | 10 | 42
4 | 80 | 10 | 45
5 | 85 | 8 | 35
6 | 90 | 6 | 27
7 | 95 | 4 | 10
8 | 100 | 2 | 8
9 | 105 | 2 | 8
10 | 110 | 2 | 8
11 | 115 | 2 | 9
12 | 120 | 2 | 9
13 | 125 | 2 | 9
14 | 130 | 2 | 9
15 | 135 | 2 | 9
16 | 140 | 2 | 10
17 | 145 | 2 | 11
18 | 150 | 2 | failed push press

In other words, the first round consisted of 10 reps of hang pull, hang power clean, hang pull, & hang power clean followed by 10 push presses.

Uhm, my goal was 135#, so I was delighted with results. I’m feeling strong! The focus on technique is paying off.

Accumulated time = 5:32 (not counting last hang pulls & hang power cleans

10 RFT
50m shuttle sprint (25m up & back) + 5 KB swings, 53#
50m shuttle sprint + 5 triceps pushups on KB 
50m shuttle sprint + 5 Abmat sit-ups

I worked consistently, focusing on smooth transitions. For example, after tricep pushups I moved KB and position Abmat and after sit-ups I moved Abmat and positioned KB. I wanted to ensure that I didn’t rest after shuttle sprints.

Oh, Jeff moved my car just before I began today’s workout. I asked him to allow Luke to get into the car so that he wouldn’t get too excited and try to follow him. Jeff did so, and Luke remained in the backseat, with both driver’s side doors open wide. Ha!

Time = 16:43






… and then consistency.

Friday, November 17 | Form, consistency…

Luke and I walked E on 5th Ave., N on Michigan, W on Haywood, South on State, N on Hanover, E on Indiana, S on Michigan, and W on 5th Ave. Yup, a counterclockwise route.

Every 30 seconds for 30 minutes (60 rounds) for accumulated work time
Burpee, deadlift (185#), DB (30#) alternating arm hang power cleans, strict toes to bar

I thought this was going to be easier than it turned out to be.

As a former coach I would often emphasize to athletes that they first focus on form. Once the form is correct it’s important to execute good form with consistency. Finally, perform the movement with intensity, e.g., faster, heavier, etc. That’s what I did today.

The time for the first round (and quite a few additional rounds) was 18 seconds, and I even had a round that took me 19 seconds. The last round was my fastest, clocking in at just 10 seconds.

Round 14 took me 17 seconds, as did rounds 15 though 22. Rounds 23 through 31 took me 16 seconds to complete, rounds 32 through 34 15 seconds, rounds 35 through 45 14 seconds, rounds 46 through 52 13 seconds, rounds 53 through 55 12 seconds, and rounds 46 through 49 11 seconds.

I worked on faster transitions, often jumping over the bar to quickly begin HPC. I also concerned myself less with proper hand placement on the barbell for deadlifts. As the weight wasn’t the heavy, it didn’t matter much if hands were or were not evenly spaced.

By round 50 I seriously wanted to quit, as even though there was slightly more rest time between rounds I was getting winded by performing the activities faster. Duh.

Time = 15:14

That was a good workout!

Saturday, November 18 | ACDF Anniversary

I had ACDF surgery a year ago today! It seems like a lifetime ago. And to think, this time last year I knew that for the next 3 months that I’d only be able to walk as the only type of exercise I was allowed to complete. I can’t believe how patient I was. Ha!

Luke and I went for an awesome walk this morning. He was full of energy, and I’d estimate that we ran 1.5 miles or so of our 5-mile hike on the Mountains to Sea Trail in Pisgah National Forest. We didn’t see another soul! Yay!

I really didn’t feel like working out today, and had to talk myself into doing so. It wasn’t that I was tired or sore, I just didn’t feel like working out. This is quite unusual for me.

Uhm, I’m glad that I did indeed work out.

Every other minute
1 rep, beginning @ 65# and adding 10# until PR of 165; then add 5# until failure
3 attempts at any weight allowed, but 2 minutes rest required

I’ve been experimenting with programming, and have been quite successful.

The weight didn’t even begin to feel heavy until at about 125#. I failed @ 165#, and had to talk myself into not quitting. I rested the required 2 minutes—and failed again. I was exasperated! I nonetheless rested 2 minutes and tried again, this time successfully.

I put 5 more pounds on the barbell, and the clean at 170# felt easier than the previous rep. Huh? I even said to myself, albeit out loud, “What the fuck?” Okay, a PR. I put 5 more pounds on the barbell, and the clean at 175# was successful. I was shocked! I put 5 more pounds on the barbell and completed a clean @ 180# on my very first attempt. That’s an all-time PR! I unsuccessfully attempted 185# three times. And that’s okay!

I’ll turn 54 in less than a month and I’m hitting PRs. In my humble opinion, a few things account for this:

  • I’ve demonstrated patience whilst recovering from surgery.
  • I work out for as long as I’d like, and am not the least bit concerned with time; thus, I take as much or as little time as I need to warm up, I rest as needed, and I complete as many activities as I’d like to program.
  • I’m truly focusing my programming on me, as I don’t have to be concerned with how others may like or dislike strength cycle, metcon, etc.
  • I record all lifts, and review each and every lift before attempting next lift.
  • As I work out alone, I don’t feel the least bit competitive. No one is watching me and attempting to beat my score or lift a heavier weight, etc. (Few things piss my off more than being watched by other athletes as I work out.) This isn’t to say that I’m not competitive with myself.
  • Luke.

11 hang power clean & jerks @ 65# and AFAP
Strict, negative HSPU
End with no longer able to complete HSPU (1 attempt per height allowed)

I completed 8 rounds, and times for HPC&J were 27, 25, 24, 23, 23, 23, 23, 22, & 22 seconds. HSPUs were 1, 2.5, 4, 2.5, 7, & 9.5″, and I failed at 11″. As kipping HSPU height is 11.5″, I’m happy!

6-min AMRAP
Wall ball shots, 20″ & 10′

It’s a running joke that Luke often positions himself in front of wall ball station, and today was no exception. Ha! He’s an intuitive dog, for just before I was to begin the conditioning he asked to go inside to keep an eye on the bad kitties.

My goal was 100 reps and I managed to hit that damned target 104 times. I also nearly died.

Monday, November 20 | Sumo, yo!

‘Twas a very cold start to the day, with the temperature a mere 32º. I got to wear my new Cole Hann orange puffy, AKA, “Kenny,” coat!

I made dinner rolls from scratch last night, the first time I’ve ever attempted to do so. I couldn’t stop thinking about the wonderful deliciousness that I would be enjoying once I arrived home. I smothered rolls in Paleo nutbutter and raspberry jam. OMFG!

Luke joined me for today’s workout, insisting that the garage door remain open. What Luke wants, Luke gets. Because he’s a good boy.

Sumo Deadlift
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, & 1
Then establish 1RM; 3 attempts at any weight
Complete 10 53# Russian KB swings after each round, including failed attempts

I haven’t included SDL in strength cycle in quite a long time, so I set a moderate goal of a single @ 95% of DL 1RM of 360, i.e., 342. I rounded up to 345.

As I’ve stated numerous time, lifting is as much psychological as it is physical.

10 @ 185
9 @ 205
8 @ 225
7 @ 245
6 @ 265
5 @ 275
4 @ 300
3 @ 310
2 @ 315
1 @ 320
1 @ 330
Fail @ 340
1 @ 340*
Fail @ 345
1 @ 345
3 failed attempts @ 350

* I passively approached the bar, thinking that the previous failed attempt at 340 was going to result in another failed attempt at this weight. I positioned my feet and hands, and then, well, putzed around. I thought, “With this approach you’re certainly not going to be able to lift the bar. Reset and start over. And that’s what I did, aggressively approaching the bar, positioning feet and hands, taking a deep breath, and successfully deadlifting the weight. Grip it and rip it. Yay!

I forgot to do a round of 10 KB swings after very last round of failed attempt @ 350, thus 170 KB swings total.

11-min AMRAP
3 burpees
6 lateral bar hops, with 6th including 180º turn
3 burpees
6 no-rebound 24″ box jumps

Combining lateral bar hops with box jumps can wreak havoc on Achilles, so I made sure to program no-rebound box jumps.

My goal was to complete a round a minute. I picked up the pace the last 3 minutes and managed to complete exactly 12 rounds; 72 burpees, LBHs, and box jumps.