Paul Sandwich


I attended the 8:30 WOD coached by Jeff. This was a tremendous amount of fun!

Benchmark WOD “Barbara”
5 rounds for time:
— 20 pull-ups
— 30 pushups
— 40 Abmat sit-ups
— 50 air squats
Rest 3 minutes between rounds. Subtract 12 minutes rest time from total time.

I last completed this benchmark WOD on October 2011 in a time of 20:22 (rounds in 3:58, 4:06, 4:10, 4:08, and 4:00). I made sure to record my time and splits so that I’d have a goal time to shoot for today.

I claimed “my” spot on the pull-up rig, with Lauren to my right and Ashlee (sharing the Speal bar) to my left.

In addition to a time goal, I set a goal to complete all rounds of pull-ups, sit-ups, and air squats unbroken. I knew, however, that I wouldn’t be able to complete 30 pushups unbroken, so it wouldn’t have been a SMART goal.

I like working out with others, and Ashlee and Lauren were a pleasure to have my my side. Ashlee and I did occasionally bump elbows while doing pull-ups, but I’d quickly move a little to my right. She may have stolen some of my mojo.

I completed 20 unbroken pull-ups and was the first off of the bar. I completed pushups in reps of 20 & 10 and was the first to begin sit-ups. I completed unbroken sit-ups and air squats. I didn’t look at the clock until I completed the round. My time was 3:16, much faster than I expected. I knew then that I’d achieve a PR.

I rested 3 minutes between rounds as required. That’s a looooong time for me to rest. I began the second round alone, and I could sense folks watching me. And my awesomeness. Sorry for being so awesome.

I completed the second round in 3:23 with all unbroken activities except pushups, completing in reps of 10, 10, 5, & 5.

I completed the third round in 3:20. Why 3 seconds faster than the previous round? Because Lauren and Ashlee had begun air squats and were squatting on either side of me! Yup, I can be somewhat competitive. Again, sorry for being so awesome.

I completed the fourth round in 3:27, again with all activities unbroken except pushups. I completed in sets of 5 to 10.

The last round was the hardest. I nonetheless completed all activities unbroken except pushups, completing in sets of 3 to 10. I had slowed down considerably, and completed the round in 3:40.

Thus, there was a 23 second difference between my first and last round. I’m pleased.

I called time at 29:06.

Time = 17:06. That’s a PR by 3:31.

Goals achieved, yo.

As an aside, Coach Jeff was watching me like a hawk, particularly when I was doing air squats. Afterward I asked, “Were you making sure I broke parallel and extended my hips at the top of the squat?” He said, “Yes, as you were doing them so fast I wanted to make sure your form was correct.” I replied, “And I broke parallel and extended my hips on each and every rep, didn’t I?”

Jeff rolled his eyes and said, “Yes, you did.”

Practice what you preach.



968825_10100529203284187_1707183707_nMy friend Alexis posted the picture. I responded that I like Mondays (and Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Thursdays and Fridays and Saturdays and Sundays). I really do love my job!

As usual (at least for the time being), the morning started off slow. Mike attended the 6, no one attended the 7:15, and Deborah attended the 8:30 session (coached by Jannicka). Eleven attended the Boot Camp — 8 of them for the very first time. Yup, I’m really enjoying coaching the Boot Camps and will likely continue to do so.

Jannicka has been exceedingly generous with her time and talents. I let her know that she was welcome to work out at any time. (Not workout at anytime). She said, “I’d like to attempt a one rep max for a dead-lift, but I know I’m not gonna get it. I haven’t had a PR in a very long time.” I determined right then and there that she would indeed get a dead-lift PR. She warmed up and then I said, “Just go into the next room. I’ll put the weight on the bar and let you know when top begin.” Her previous 1RM was 190#. I loaded the bar to 195#. I said, “Chalk your hands, mixed grip, step up to the bar, and lift.” And she did! I didn’t, however, let her know how much weight she had lifted. I said, “That was a very good warmup. Go into the next room again.” I loaded the bar to 205#, her all-time PR. She once again lifted the weight! Congratulations, Jannicka!

Lifting heavy sh!t is as much psychological as it is physical. Get all up out of yo’ head.

5 rounds not for time
Maximum number of bodyweight bench presses
Maximum number of pull-ups

The last time I completed Lynne was November of last year with a score of 144. My only goal today was to score 145 or higher, as I’m still somewhat (okay more than just somewhat) sore from the Spartan Challenge. Jannicka and I spotted each other.

I bench pressed 145#, a little more than bodyweight. I completed all but 2 pull-ups with overhand grip, using mixed grip for just 2 reps.

Unlike the last time that I completed this WOD, I immediately moved from bench press to pull-ups, i.e., I only rested between sets of bench presses and pull-ups. This made the workout very, very challenging. My forearms felt like they were going to explode.

I completed 10, 8, 8, 7, & 6 bench presses and 25, 22, 20, 20, & 20 pull-ups for a total of 146. That’s just 2 more reps than previous PR — and I’ll take it! I would’ve even been happy with 145 reps.




Luke and Glenda. (Ashlee should be very jealous.)
Luke and Glenda. (Ashlee should be very jealous.)

2013-05-11 11.37.31 2013-05-11 11.37.42

Community WOD
Community WOD

I had almost talked myself into postponing “Christine” until after today’s Health & Nutrition seminar, but I am very glad that I did not. It’s after 3 pm and I’m very ready for a nap!

I arrived at CFS at 8:45. After doing a half-assed warmup, I completed the last day of Wendler de-loading, pressing 5 reps @ 70, 75, & 80#. Presses continue to feel great, and I’m excited to attempt a new one rep max a week from today.

Benchmark WOD “Christine”
Row 500m
12 bodyweight dead-lifts
21 box jumps

I haven’t done this benchwark WOD in a very long time, and I had forgotten just how difficult it is. I didn’t re-read previous blogs or attempt to discover previous PRs.  It appears that I haven’t done this particular WOD in well over 2 years, and my previous time was 10:48.

At that time I weighed a whopping 140 pounds. Uhm, I may or may not be a mere 3 pounds heavier. Regardless, I dead-lifted 145#.

It appears that Rx for men may be 20″ box jump, and I considered this when programming the WOD. I required men, including myself, to complete 24″ box jumps.

My goal was to complete rounds of dead-lifts and box jumps unbroken, and I came very close to achieving this goal.

Many thoughts passed through my mind while completing the workout.

I focused on strokes per minute for rowing, stroking between 24 & 26 s/m each round. I completed rounds of dead-lifts and first 2 rounds of box jumps unbroken. I was exceedingly winded by the last round, and paused ever so briefly before completing the last 10 box jumps.

While rowing the first round I thought, “I don’t want to row any more today. Maybe I’ll just quit.” During the second round of rowing I thought, “I don’t want to row the last round. This sucks. I can hardly catch my breath.” I very much wanted the last round of rowing to go as quickly as possible, but time seemed to slow down and almost stop.

The first and second rounds of dead-lifts went very well, and I can easily dead-lift my bodyweight for 12 unbroken and fast reps. However, time once again seemed to come to a halt during the last round. I counted up, and when I reached 6 I thought, “I don’t know that I can dead-lift another 6 reps without putting down the bar.” The last 3 reps were the hardest and it took an incredible amount of will power to not drop the bar.

Fortunately for me, I’m incredible.

I so very much wanted to complet the last 21 box jumps unbroken, but, as I mentioned above, I paused ever so briefly between reps 11 and 12.

My time was 10:25 — a new PR!

It’s been quite some time since I’ve felt like throwing up after completing a WOD. I most certainly felt like doing so today. I held myself together and kept my breakfast down.

I coached the 8:45 and 1o WODs and the Community WOD at 11. It was the largest gathering for a Community WOD to date!

Dr. Alex Brennan led a very informative health and nutrition seminar. While I would’ve liked to have seen more members in attendance, those who did attend learned much.

Fight Gone Betterer

I know “betterer” isn’t a word.

I coached the 6am and attended the 7am session at CFBC. I made sure to ask athletes I coached if they had ever attempted Fight Gone Bad. Kirsten had, Tom had but had done so but alone (egad!), and Michelle and Jill had not.

It’s no secret that FGB isn’t one of my favorite benchmark WODs, as I’ve had disastrous results in the past. My highest score is 300, although I honestly thought I had consistently broken 300. Damn memory. You’d think that I’d keep better records, you know, like with a blog or something.

I made sure to review requirements for all 5 movements, and I also provided suggestions, e.g., rest against the wall with wall ball, well, on the wall. For push-press, try not to drop the bar, e.g., rest with the bar on shoulders, hanging, etc. Most importantly, pace yourself.

I failed to follow my own advice on most accounts.

I had the pleasure of working out with Jules, Alexis, Martin, Cameron, Chris, and Joe. Kirk led the 7am session, and asked me to do the warm up and cool down, which I’m always more than happy to do!

Martin is a Lululemon pimp. I’m going to visit after my 2pm meeting with financial planner.

Fight Gone Bad
1 minute wall ball shots, 20# wall ball, 10’ target
1 minute sumo dead-lift high pulls, 75#
1 minute box jumps, 20”
1 minute push press, 75#
Row for calories
1 minute rest between rounds

Instead of rehashing each round, I’ll summarize the entire workout.

This was much easier than in the past. I was expecting it to be far worse, and I took it far too easy. I paced myself, but my pace was, for the most part, too slow. I was hardly when all was said and done.

Wall ball shots went reasonably well, although I had about 4 or 5 missed shots that I didn’t count. I also dropped the ball once during the last round.

SDHPs were, for whatever reason, the easiest of the 5 activities. I did the first 2 rounds unbroken – and should’ve done the last round unbroken as well. Kirk praised me on a couple of occasions, so I hope my form was reasonably good. I did focus on pulling the bar up as – and not before – I extended my hips.

Box jumps went reasonably well, and I kept a steady pace for all rounds. In addition, I did all reps unbroken. Uhm, my pace may have been too slow, as I didn’t feel the least bit winded after the rounds. I did, however, feel very hot, as my box was positioned beneath the heater. I even contemplated taking off my shirt!

Push presses were the most difficult. I didn’t experience any pain in my left shoulder; I’m just weak! As I mentioned to anyone who would listen, 75# is a little more than half of my bodyweight. I didn’t complete any of the rounds unbroken, and usually dropped the bar 2 or 3 times. I did not, however, do any push jerks, and I’m very pleased that I focused on form.

I told myself to take it easy on the rowing, and that’s what I did, focusing on rowing a calorie per stroke. If memory serves me, I rowed about 12 calories each round.

This is the first time that I’ve kept a running score in my mind, and this may have been the most challenging part of the workout. For example, I completed 25 wall ball shots the first round, and when I began SDHP I started with “1”. After I completed 10 SDHPs, I counted the next rep as 36. I’m pretty sure I counted all rounds correctly.

My scores were 101, 102, and 92, for a total score of 295. The second round felt great. I should’ve gone out harder the first round, and I should’ve pushed harder the last round, particularly with box jumps and rowing.

I filed final zoning plans with town of Apex, met with architect, and have begun scheduling inspections. Fun times. Rogue pull-up rig, GHD machines, rings, climbing ropes, and C2 rowers will be delivered tomorrow. That’s the last of the equipment. The landlord will be demolishing wall tomorrow, and space will likely be painted early next week. Whew. So much still left to do!

Jackie | Eikcaj

I coached the 6am and attended the 7am session at CFBC this morning. Kirk and I shared a somewhat lengthy exchange regarding the expectations for today’s WOD. As I coach the first session on Thursdays, I like to make sure I do things correctly. I’m just that nice.

Kirsten, Daryl, Tom, Sue, Jazzi, Jill (who’s a hoot and a half), and David attended the 6am session, and all were spectacular. None more so, however, than Sue, who completed reverse Jackie faster than forward Jackie. I’ve never heard her yell “Time!” so loudly or enthusiastically!

I led both sessions through a warmup. Josh informed me that we might want to record warmups and sell the series. I think that’s called “infotainment”.


For Time:

  • 1000 Meter Row
  • 50 Thrusters (45,35)
  • 30 Pull-Ups

Rest 5 Minutes

“Reverse Jackie”

For Time:

  • 30 Pull-Ups
  • 50 Thrusters
  • 1000 Meter Row

10-minute time cap for both Jackie and Reverse Jackie

To the best of my recollection and searching abilities, I had not attempted this benchmark WOD prior to today, although I’ve coached it a few times and completed modified versions. As is often the case, after having coached the WOD I had little desire to complete the WOD. I honestly had no idea how long it would take me, but only hoped I’d be able to complete within 10 minutes.

I was full of excuses this morning. “I’m a slow rower because my legs are so damn short.” “I slow down with pull-ups because I haven’t yet learned how to butterfly.” “Forty-five pounds is a third of my bodyweight.” I wanted to tell myself to shut the frack up. (I’ve learned that both “frak” and “frack” are acceptable spellings of the word. I prefer “frack”.)

My goals were to row at or below 22 s/m, to complete thrusters in reps of 10 and to rest the bar behind my neck, and to just make it through the fracking pull-ups.

Uhm, so I like really kept the strokes per minute less than 22, often falling below 20 and as low as 18. I nonetheless rowed at about a 1:56/500m pace, and I’m fine with that. I wasn’t even the first person off of the rower. (Joe, were you off of the rower before me?)

I completed 4 sets of 10 thrusters, and the last 10 in 2 sets of 5 reps, and I’m fine with that. As I had warned others, even 45 pounds begins to feel heavy when you’re doing so many reps.

I completed pull-ups in 4 sets of 5 reps, and the remaining 10 doing whatever it took to ensure that my chin went above the bar. The 30th rep was indeed a single, and I’m fine with that. I called “Time!” at 8:26. While not my best performance, (you guessed it) I’m fine with that.

I was the first to finish of the 8amers, not that Joe Alexis Martin Chris Nadia Josh anyone was keeping score.

I rested exactly 5 minutes and the sheer drudgery began.

I completed pull-ups in reps of 10, 5, 4, and then whatever it took. Yup, lots of singles.

Thrusters were much more challenging this time around, and I frequently gently placed the bar to (i.e., not just dropped on) the floor. I completed in reps of 10, 6 sets of 5 reps, and 10. I had already begun to grunt loudly.

Rowing was miserable. Just miserable. In fact so miserable that I stopped rowing after 250m. I’ve never stopped rowing in a WOD before! My left shoulder was on fire. I informed Josh and he suggested that I stop at 500m. Do you even know me, Josh? My pace was 2:07/500m, i.e., sloooooow. And I cared naught. With just 200m left I sprinted if for no other reason to get the fracking rowing over and done with. Joe made a comment that I didn’t quite hear over my own grunting, but I imagine it was this: “Paul’s grunts are awesome! I only wish I could record the sounds, you know, for my spank bank.”

IMG_1852 IMG_1853


I was wide awake at 4:30am, yet I had no interest in going to CFZ for open gym. Huh? I also knew it would benefit me to take a rest day, even though I rested on Tuesday. Huh? I also couldn’t think of a metcon I’d be interesting in doing. Huh? I made myself go back to sleep, and a restless sleep it was. My sorry ass was dragging all day if for no other reason that I started tonight’s REM cycle. I should know better. As the day progressed I had an overwhelming desire to exercise. Huh?

Michael Kelley is once again trying to convince me to coach a 5am session on Mondays and Wednesdays. I’m still leaning toward not doing so. I honestly don’t want to have to awaken at 3:30am. Who the hell does?

I informed Michael Kelley that I would be attending open gym this evening, and told him I wanted a challenging workout that didn’t involve heavy lifting. He suggested “Barbara”. I quickly searched for “Barbara” on this awesome blog, and discovered that the last time I completed this benchmark was a year and a day ago.

Jeff joined me, and decreased the reps by 10 for each activity. (Michael Kelley, why did you insist that Jeff not do this WOD? Why? Why?)

5 rounds for time
20 pull-ups
30 pushups
40 Abmat sit-ups
50 air squats
Rest 3 minutes between rounds and subtract 12 minutes from total time

A year and a day ago I completed this WOD in 20:22. My goal today was to complete the WOD in less than 20 minutes; thus 19:59 would be fine but 20:00 would not. I also decided to go all out. The last time I completed this WOD I did all rounds of pull-ups, sit-ups, and air squats unbroken. I knew that this would be less likely if I focused on intensity, but I also thought it was likely that I could improve my time.

I completed first round of all activities unbroken. I completed pull-ups in reps of between 15 and 2, pushups in reps of between 20 and 5, and all rounds of sit-ups unbroken except the 4th round that I completed in reps of 20. Finally, I completed all rounds of air squats unbroken.

My times were 3:22, 3:23, 3:35, 4:15, and 3:41. Yes, the 4th round was particularly challenging! Regardless, that’s pretty freaking fast, right? My total time was 18:30, a PR by 1:52.

The 3-minute rest between the 1st and 2nd round was more than enough, between the 2nd and 3rd round enough, between the 3rd and 4th round barely enough, and between the 4th and last round not quite enough time.

I was more exhausting than I can recall being in quite some time. Jeff commented that I looked pale, and insisted that I rest before driving home. Smart man!

Michael Kelley politely asked if I would demonstrate rowing to the new members attending Foundations. I did, because he’s my best friend and all. And because I can coach the shit out of rowing.

I don’t Kare for Karen

I had a restless night of sleep (or what sleep I got) for the first time in as long as I can remember. The first song I heard on the radio this morning was “Blue Monday” by New Order. How appropriate. “And I still find it so hard | To say what I need to say | But I’m quite sure that you’ll tell me | Just how I should feel today”

I’m about to say what I need to say, but don’t tell me how I should feel today. You have been warned. It’s my blog, so I’ll say whatever I want to say. Now is your time to surf to another site if you so choose.

I, like most everyone (except Jeff), was obsessed with following the 2012 CrossFit Games since this past weekend. I was truly impressed by the skills and abilities of the athletes, and found myself cheering most for Kristen Clever. It was a foregone conclusion that Rich and Annie were going to win the men’s and women’s competitions, so I found the final event somewhat anticlimactic.

I also watched some of the Master’s competition, and honestly enjoyed it as much as the Opens; because I could imagine myself completing many of the workouts. I could not imagine myself doing many of the Open workouts.

I vacillate between longing to compete and having absolutely no interest in doing so. I’ve set my sights on attempting to quality for the 2014 Regionals. That gives me a year and a half to prepare. I’ll need that much (or more) time.

I made a spreadsheet listing strengths and weaknesses. For example, muscle-ups are now a strength, snatch is still a weakness, and sled push is an unknown.

Again, it’s my blog so I’ll say whatever I want to say. I’ll need to complete 2 to 3 doubles a week, and I fear that there may not be the opportunity to conveniently do so. Even if I were to do so during a regularly scheduled WOD, I fear that I’ll get in the way of my fellow CrossFitters. I am also concerned that my current box doesn’t have enough accoutrements for me to effectively prepare to compete. I need more shit, including but not limited to tires, sledgehammers, sandbags, atlas stones, etc. I may have to talk to Dave and come up with a plan where I could possibly once again coach a couple of times a week in exchange for use of CFD… I think I just did talk to Dave.

I’ll also need to find a balance between working my full-time job, having a personal life, coaching, and working out.

Whew. I’m exhausted just thinking about all of this. Maybe I should set my sights on 2015…

Low Bar Back Squat
15 minutes to work up to a heavier set of 5 than last time.

On the way to work it dawned on me that I may not be correctly increasing the weight each week in that I should probably be going heavier. I’ve only been increasing the weight by 5 pounds. I warmed up and then lifted sets of 5 reps @ 165, 175, & 180#. All lifts felt solid, including last set. Shouldn’t I be struggling? 180 is just 80% of 1RM.

Partner Glute Ham Raise

I had the honor and pleasure of partnering with Michelle this morning. Faithful readers know she’s one of my favorite CrossFitters. I most admire her positive attitude. And damn, girl, your body is rock solid!

For Time:
150 Wall Ball, 20#

I was not looking the least bit forward to this workout. To add insult to injury, by the time Michelle and I finished glute ham raises all of the 20# wall balls had been claimed. Tim was kind enough to say, “Paul, I have your wall ball. Here, you can use it.”  Tim, it may be my wall ball (yes, I have an orange 20# wall ball that I keep at CFZ), but it’s on loan to the box; thus, first come, first served. Burt, who’s always a gentleman, was kind enough to attempt to hand me an 18# wall ball. If I’m going to throw the damn wall ball 150 times, I want it to be 20#. Michael Kelley was kind enough to suggest that I go the first round, as I was likely to complete the metcon faster than some others. Again, first come, first served, and as everyone had already staked their claims to a wall ball and a location, I most certainly wasn’t going to ask them to wait.

Again, it’s my blog, so I’ll say whatever I want to. While I can’t quite describe the emotion I feel when this happens, for the time being I’ll say it’s anger. It angers me when people compare themselves to me. “Paul’s time is around 7 minutes, so that’s a good goal for you.” Really? I’m 48 years old, a whopping 5’6″, and weigh 145 pounds (when I’m soaking wet), and I’m who folks are comparing themselves to and, in essence, competing against? And don’t tell me it’s a compliment, because I’m not buying that shit. Given my past history, I know damn well that if someone beats my score, time, weight lifted, etc., they typically gloat. “I beat you, Paul! Look at how awesome I am!” Congratulations, you’re 20 to 30 years my junior, you’re 3 to 10 inches taller, and you weigh 10 to 80 pounds more than I do. If you’re a middle-aged, short, skinny male than by all means, compare yourself to me. Everyone else should aspire to beat someone comparable to themselves.

Whew, I yet once again got that off of my chest.

I began the metcon at the 12-minute mark, when most had already finished. I wiped down the wall ball that Chad had used, wrote “12” in my notebook, set the wall ball on the floor, and counted down while looking at the clock. I wanted to make sure I began with the wall ball on the floor.

My goal was to break the shots into manageable sets so as to avoid missed reps. I wore my weightlifting shoes for added stability.

My fellow 6amers were doing glute bridges as I was doing the metcon, and I was keenly aware of them the entire time. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself, so I held in as many sounds as I could.

I felt like everyone was staring at, or at the very least, listening to me.

I never ever want to do this metcon solo again – unless I am the only person in the box. Michael Kelley did say, “Rest the ball on the wall. Don’t let it drop to the floor.” I wasted precious time and energy flipping him off – with both hands. My strategy was to allow the ball to drop to the floor, count down, pick up the ball, and go. I completed in reps of 25, and then 10 until I reached 130. I finished by completing in reps of between 8 and 3 — 3 being the last 3 reps. It was a miserable way to end, but again, I feared that I’d miss if I didn’t rest for a moment. Oh, and somewhere near the end I really didn’t know if I had 9 or 8 reps left, so I did 9 just to be sure.

I had a very, very difficult time keeping track of time. I know, I know, I should be able to quickly add up from 12, but I just can’t. I wasted still more precious time counting up on my fingers. “Twelve, thirteen, fourteen and sixteen. That’s three fingers. Three minutes and sixteen seconds have passed.”

Vacillate. There’s that word again. I vacillated between wanting no one to be there to wanting those that were there to provide some encouragement. Again, I would have preferred to complete this metcon along with others, so that attention was not drawn to me.

To those of you who ignored me, I thank you. To those of you who cheered for me, I thank you. To those of you who ignored me, that was rather rude of you. For those of you who cheered for me, you know me well enough to know that I didn’t want or need your encouragement.

I think my personality vacillates. True story.

I completed the metcon in a very disappointing 7:36, 6 seconds slower than my PR.

One last closing thought…

While watching the final event of the Games, Elizabeth, Isabel, and Fran for a combined score, I thought, “Dear God, now every fool is going to attempt this workout. This should truly only be done by elite athletes. Anyone who’s not a well-conditioned, fit, and strong athlete is likely to injure themselves if they attempt.”