Initials Envy

Getting ready to complete 27 unbroken double unders.
Getting ready to complete 27 unbroken double unders.
SDHP, yo.
SDHP, yo.

Michael Erana. Best. Initials. Ever.

  • Things I love about owning my own box (in no particular order):
  • Bringing Luke with me to work any day that I like. (This might be the #1 reason.)
  • Following my own programming. CFS focuses on strength and conditioning. And we run. A lot.
  • Working out whenever I like. And for as long as I like.
  • Sharing more time with Jeff. He’s been a tremendous help, and I couldn’t do this without him.
  • Coaching, coaching, and coaching. And then coaching some more.
  • Meeting new and wonderful people that I wouldn’t likely have met otherwise. 
  • Being the center of attention and being in complete and total control. (This might be the #1 reason.)
  • Truly helping people reach their fitness goals. I’ve seen tremendous progress from athletes and in a very short amount of time.

I’m sure there are other reasons that I’m not thinking of right now if for no other reason than I just completed a grueling metcon. More in a moment…

I failed to mention that I did indeed complete bench press on Wednesday. Three reps @ 125, 135, & 145#. Nope, I didn’t have a spotter. Nope, I didn’t use clips. Boom.

Luke spent today at Doggie Village, and I missed him tremendously. I coached at 6 & 8:30, visited Dr. Alex at Brennan Chiropractic, ate a quick and light brunch, and then completed dead-lifts, 3 reps at 255 (meant to lift 250), 275, and 290#. That last set felt heavy. (Notice the bold font. That represents “heavy”.)


Spoiler Alert: Today’s blog contains information concerning tomorrow’s metcon. If you don’t yet want to know what misery you will experience, read no further!

Farther is a distance. That’s why I didn’t write, “read no farther”.

I completed the metcon at 1:45 having coached at 11:45 and then napping for an hour. Oh, yes, napping! Add that to the list above. I take a least 1 nap a day and sometimes 2. Or even 3.

Sumo dead-lift high pulls, 95#
Lateral barbell hops
Unbroken double unders

Wow, this was difficult. My goal was to complete all rounds unbroken, and not only was I not able to accomplish this, but at times I also completed the activities in the wrong order. I have digital evidence if you’d like to see.

I completed the first round unbroken. Ninety-five pounds felt heavy. I prefer pull-ups. That’s why I programmed chin-ups.

I completed the round of 15 SDHP unbroken, chin-ups in reps of 9, 5, & 1. Dammit. And then I forgot to do 15 double unders. Double Dammit.

I completed round of 12 SDHP in reps of 7 & 5. I then realized that I didn’t complete 15 double unders, but instead of completing chin-ups and then (italics used to emphasize) double unders, I completed 27 unbroken double unders and then 12 chin-ups.

I completed rounds of 9 and 6 unbroken. I completed 3 SDHP, 3 lateral bar hops, 3 chin-ups, and then rushed too quickly to the jump rope. I completed 1 double under and missed the second attempt. Dammit. I completed 2 double unders and missed the third attempt. Dammit, dammit. I finally (bold and italics) finished 3 unbroken double unders. My time was 12:12.

How close?

I coached the 6am session at CFZ this morning, and there were 13 in attendance, including the Kelley twins. The last part of the warmup consisted of partner shoulder massages, and as there was an odd number of people I partnered with Thomas, i.e., I massaged his shoulders. I said, “Let me know if I’m being too rough.” “No, you’re not being too rough at all,” he replied. I think there may have been movement. Not from me, but from Thomas.

Sorry about confusing RS with Bradford press this morning, folks. Thanks for keeping me honest, Burt.

Michael Kelley and I had a rather heated exchange this afternoon of a personal nature. While I won’t provide the details of our conversation, suffice it to say that I was angrier with him than I have ever been.

It’s not often that I get to work out with Jeff, so I attended the 5:15pm session for no other reason than to be able to do so. Michael Kelley be damned.

Maximum Effort Upper
Single “Board Press” – 1RM

It was much fun partnering with Jeff! I’m very proud of his significant improvements in both strength and fitness.

An Abmat was used for the board press. My goal was to bench press 160#. Given my shoulder issues, I thought this would be a challenge. I lifted singles @ 135 and 155. I thought, “What the hell. Go for 165.” And that’s what I did. And the lift felt easy. I added another 10#, confident that it would be a struggle. Nope, 175# was quite easy as well. We were running out of time and I kinda sorta wanted to fail, so I put another 5# on the bar for a total of 180#. Even though I wasn’t speaking to him, I asked Michael Kelley to spot for what I was convinced would be a failed attempt. Nope, it was once again an easy lift, and Michael Kelley said, “That looked easy.” Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time for another lift. Nonetheless, 180# is the heaviest I’ve ever bench pressed, and is 125% of my bodyweight.

My question is this: Is a 145# man bench pressing 180# stronger than a 225# man bench pressing 225#? Your opinion matters.

RS Press 4×5

Jeff is much better at this than I am. I mistakenly did the first round @ 120#. I did the remaining rounds @ 105, 110, and 115#

Barbell Bent-over Row 4×5

I lifted 135, 155, 160, and 165#.


5 Pull-Ups
7 Dumbbell Push Press
9 Kettle Bell Swings

I completed chest to bar pull-ups, and used a 60# KB. I began with 40# dumbbells, but the first press hurt my left arm somewhat so I switched to right-armed presses using a 40# dumbbell. My goal was to complete all rounds and reps unbroken, and I came this close to doing so. Unfortunately, I was only able to complete chest to bar pull-ups in reps of 4 & 1 at the start of the 8th round. I completed 7 rounds + 5 chest to bar pull-ups and 7 push presses.

I completed 100 tricep banded pull-downs for accessory.

Speaking of this close… I often joke about quitting CFZ and/or opening my own box. I came this close to actually quitting. Yes, this close.


I was WIDE AWAKE at 4 this morning; thus, I was alert at the start of the 6am session. Can the rest of you who attended say the same thing? I didn’t think so. I’m talking to you, too, Michael Kelley.

Paul: How are you today, Michelle?
Michelle: Excellent!
Paul: How are you today, Lauren?
Lauren: Good.
Michael Kelley: I’m fabulous!

And I didn’t even have to ask…

On a side note, I finally made an appointment with an orthopedist to take a look at my left arm and shoulder. Unfortunately, the appointment isn’t until June 8. Until then, I’ll continue to avoid activities that cause pain. Most activities. Some activities. A couple of activities.

For example, while others did push press, I did bench press. I can’t tell you the last time I did bench presses. For whatever reason, Michael Kelley paid close attention to me today. It may have been the new Nike shorts I was wearing, as they do make my ass look niiiiiiice. Michael Kelley instructed me to “go light” and to play around with hand positioning on his the bar. I lifted 5 reps of 65, 75, 95, 105, 115, 125, 135, and 145# (bodyweight). Yes, there was some pain in my left shoulder. That’s life.

While my fellow 6amers completed 7-min AMRAP of 3 chest to bar pull-ups, 6 box jumps, and 12 dumbbell push jerks, I did the following:

7-minute AMRAP
3 box jumps, 34.5”
6 ring pushups
9 GHD sit-ups

I was originally going to do 3 hand release pushups and 6 box jumps, but Michael Kelley suggested high box jumps and 6 ring pushups. And I was okay with that.

My two goals were to complete all reps unbroken and to complete 7 rounds, i.e., a round a minute.

The timer counted down – and I missed my first box jump. Ha! That goal was unattainable. I probably should’ve at least jumped that height one time before starting the workout. I also missed another box jump at around round 4 or 5. Damn it!

I positioned the GHD machine so that I could easily see the clock. I finished the first round in 1:10. Ugh. Not fast enough. I compensated by running quickly from box to rings and from rings to GHD machine, as they were spaced rather far apart.

While running from the box to the rings during the 4th or 5th round, I witnessed what I thought was a total eclipse of the sun. It was merely Michael Kelley’s fat ass. I yelled, “Get your fat ass out of my way, Michael Kelley!” He smiled at me lovingly.

I glanced at the clock at the end of each round. As I was jogging running from box to rings and rings to GHD, I was indeed doing each round in less than a minute. With just 30 seconds remaining, I transitioned to the GHD machine, did 9 sit-ups, ran to the box, heard Michael Kelley say, “Five seconds”, jumped – and missed! I did, however, get in one last jump.

Total 7 rounds + 1 box jump; 22 box jumps, 42 ring pushups, and 63 GHD sit-ups.

Michael Kelley wants to me coach a session on Memorial Day. Should I? He also wants me to continue to coach the Community WOD. Should I? I think he or Tom L., co-owners, should lead the Community WOD. Don’t you?


I didn’t set my alarm last night. Was this my subconscious telling me to sleep in at least one day during vacation? Alas, I did awaken at what must have been 4:09, the time my alarm first sounds, but I was so relieved that the alarm hadn’t sounded that I fell back into a light sleep – even though Meg and Zac were pawing at my arms and legs and walking all over my chest and stomach. I finally grabbed my iPhone and glanced at the time – 5:25. I thus took my time getting ready, thinking that I’d join the 7:15ers. I even stopped at McDonald’s and purchased an English muffin and a cup of coffee. Paleo Schmaleo.

When I arrived at CFD at 6:35, folks were just beginning the workout. I asked Coach S. if I could warm up on my own and join the group, and he (somewhat) graciously agreed. He teamed with Craig and Troie while Michelle and I set up our own benches and bars.

Today’s WOD was a benchmark.

5 rounds of the following:
Max rep bodyweight bench press
Max rep pull-ups
Rest as much time as needed between rounds

The last time I completed this workout was September 18, and I achieved a total score of 125.

Uhm, I didn’t really warm up all that much, merely completing a couple of bench presses with the bar and then 95 lb. I did, however, weigh myself, and I still can’t seem to break 143 lb. Thus, I put 143.6 lb on the bar. I completed 8, 8, 8, 6, and 5 bench presses for a total of 35. I completed 24, 24, 21, 18, and 18 pull-ups for a total of 105.

Bench pressing is a weakness. The fourth round was the most challenging, as I didn’t center the bar between my grip, and I kept having to bounce the bar up to try and get it balanced – which I was never able to do. I usually completed the last 5 or so pull-ups with a brief pause whilst hanging from the bar followed by a big kip. I also could’ve rested more between rounds, as my forearms and biceps were aching after the second round. Wah, wah. I sound like a big baby. Even though I won’t mention his name, you know whom I’m referring to. Hint: his ass is HUGE.

Total = 140. This is a 15-rep improvement, so I’m somewhat satisfied.


Metropolitan Conservatory

Wednesday is usually a rest day, but I’ll likely rest tomorrow. Why tomorrow? After man makers and dead-hang pull-ups, my shoulders are sore — and I knew tomorrow’s workout involves bench presses and muscle ups, i.e., shoulder smokers. So, why not work out today and avoid bench presses and muscle ups tomorrow?

The best laid plans of mice and men, often go astray…

I arrived at 5:55 and was immediately joined by New Guy. I had briefly met NG when he attended a Community WOD, and then learned (by overhearing a conversation he had with Jacqui) that he was a recent graduate of Fundamentals. NG is a very nice person, and we chatted as other arrived.

Coach S. arrived and jokingly said, “Paul, you’re slacking here. You usually erase the whiteboard and post today’s WOD.” I replied, “I know, I know. I promise to do better next time.” Coach S. then asked, “Today’s WOD is threes, right?” “No,” I said, “it’s two, two, two, two and two back squats.” Coach S. said, “No, Dave switched today’s and tomorrow’s WOD, so today is bench press.” I quickly pulled up the WOD on my iPhone and discovered that yes, today was the bench press instead of the back squat. Shit.

Coach S. and I gathered benches and began to set-up stations around the pull-up rig. He said, “You’re going to work with New Guy.” I replied, “I’d be happy to, if that’s what you wish.”

After warming up with (you guessed it) yoga, we began to bench press.
Skill – Bench Press

NG had never bench pressed before, so I spent quite some time teaching him how to do so. I remember all of the guidance that Lori and Renee gave me when I was first learning proper form for the bench press and communicated that information to him: plant your feet firmly on the floor and make sure that you have a curved back; roll the bar to the front of the rack; place your hands evenly from the center of the bar; take a deep breath and lift the bar toward the ceiling, making sure to look at the ceiling and not the bar; take another deep breath, bring the bar to your chest and press your back to the bench; quickly press toward the ceiling, and then exhale. Lather, rinse, repeat. I also taught NG how to spot.

We warmed up with just the bar and then 75 and 95 lb. I then lifted 105, 115, 125, and 135. I asked Coach S., “Should I be pressing my bodyweight three times? Should that be my goal?” He said, “Go as heavy as you can.” I only had one set left. Shit.

It’s been ages since I’ve bench pressed, and the last time I attempted a 1RM I struggled lifting 160 and failed at 165. I thought, “What the hell. Go for 165.” As I was unsure whether or not NG could spot 165, I asked Coach S. if he would. He said, “Yes, let me work in first.” (Coach S. was bench pressing with the Big Boys.) Although I did struggle on the third rep, I nonetheless successfully bench pressed 165 lb three times. I quietly said to Coach S., “I just bench pressed five pounds more than my one rep max, and I did it three times.” He replied, “It must be the hormones you’re taking. Pretty soon you’ll be growing hair.” Ha. Ha. Ha. And ha.

I briefly contemplated not doing today’s met-con or asking Coach S. if I could substitute a different met-con.

Coach S. said to the group, “Everyone get ready for the met-con, or metabolic conditioning.” I said, “Is that what met-con stands for? I always thought it stood for metropolitan conservatory.”

I practiced a few jumping muscle ups and all felt fine, so I thought I’d give it a try. I did get Coach S.’s permission to do two for one, i.e., complete two jumping muscle ups for every one; thus, I’d complete 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 jumping muscle ups.

Metropolitan Conservatory
25 GHD sit-ups
1 muscle up (2 jumping mus)
20 GHD sit-ups
2 mus (4 jumping mus)
15 GHD sit-ups
3 mus (6 jumping mus)
10 GHD sit-ups
4 mus (8 jumping mus)
5 GHD sit-ups
1 mus (10 jumping mus)

The timer counted down from 10 and we began. I quickly completed 25 GHD sit-ups and 2 jumping muscle ups and ran to the GHD machine. I quickly completed 20 GHD sit-ups and 4 jumping muscle ups and once again ran to the GHD machine. I quickly completed 15 GHD sit-ups – and then things fell apart. I completed 2 jumping muscle ups and then, for whatever reason, wasn’t able to complete another, although I made at least a half dozen attempts. Coach S. came by and said, “Substitute pull-ups and ring dips.” As I had completed 2 jumping muscle ups, I completed 6 pull-ups and 6 rings dips and ran back to the GHD machine, feeling completely defeated.

I nonetheless completed 10 GHD sit-ups and ran to the pull-up bar. I completed 3 pull-ups and then felt drawn to the rings. Huh? I easily completed 8 jumping muscle ups in reps of 5 and 3. I ran to the GHD machine and completed 5 GHD sit-ups and ran to the rings for the very last time. As I was doing so, I said to Coach S. “I’m going to do those muscle ups that I missed.” Thus, I completed 14 jumping muscle ups the last round, in reps of 5, 4, 3, and 2. I no longer felt defeated, but certainly felt disappointed in my performance.

I hate Michael Kelley.


“Lynne” and Coaching

5 rounds of the following:
Max rep bodyweight bench press (145 lb)
Max rep pull-ups
Rest as much time as needed between rounds

The first and only time I did this WOD was shortly after joining CFD, and it’s one of the earliest entries in workout journal. I weighed a whopping 130 lb and could not complete a single kipping pull-up. My total score was 110. My, how times have changed.

This WOD is perhaps best completed with a spotter. I did not place clips at the end of the bars so that I could bail if needed. What I ended up doing was not attempting to get in additional presses but instead ensured that I could complete the rep and place the bar on the rack.

My biggest mistake was failing to realize, until the fourth round, that I could do broken pull-ups if need be. Where’s a coach when I need one? (I’m talking to you, Jack.) I completed bench presses in reps of 6, 6, 5, 4, and 4 for a total of 25, and pull-ups in reps of 25 (unbroken), 15 (unbroken), 18 (unbroken), 20 (12 unbroken), and 22 (12 unbroken). I could have perhaps completed more pull-ups as well as bench presses. My total was 125, so an improvement nonetheless.

I practiced muscle ups and double unders as I waited for CFers to arrive.

There were but 4 in attendance at the 10am session, and 9 at the 11am session. Here’s what athletes completed:

2 minutes of single unders
Hip flexor stretches
2 minutes of sprinting jump rope
7 minutes of mobility, focusing on legs
Pose running drills
2 minutes of jumping rope while running
500m warmup run

Bottom to bottom tabata squats (4 minutes of 20 seconds squats and 10 seconds held squat) then run 1 mile
Begin at bottom of squat and for 20 seconds count each rep from bottom to bottom; hold for 10 seconds at bottom of squat
Penalty: subtract 5 points if squat not held at bottom for full 10 seconds 

Having done this WOD in the past, I knew it was going to be challenging. I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again — the athletes were awesome, and all took direction regarding running mechanics. I’m also pleased to say that none were penalized.

I once again forgot to capture results from yesterday’s FGB.