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.

Hi, Michelle!

I think I’m going to very much like Tuesdays at CFZ

Today’s warm up consisted of running 400m (yeah!) walk outs (alrighty) and Spiderman lunges (surprise, surprise.)


Pistols are a definite weakness; thus, I was delighted that we had an opportunity to practice. We were to work in teams of two or three. Yeah, right, like that was going to happen. I’ll share a rack, but if there’s enough equipment to go around I’m going solo, bitches.

I used the smallest of the new boxes and a 25# plate, and completed 5 x 5 on each leg. Michael Kelley reminded me to hold the toes of the extended foot and I said, “Yes, Jack taught me that.” I miss Jack, but I’ll get to see him in just two days! Be sure to read Thursday’s post.

As I was doing the second or third set Michael Kelley approached and said, “You’ll have these in no time. I started out just like you and now I can do pistols easily.” It’s always about you, Michael Kelley.

Olympic Lifting
1 Hang Snatch + 2 Overhead Squats on the minute x 8 minutes, 50-60% of Snatch

Michael Kelley suggested that we go light and focus on form, so that’s what I did. I lifted a mere 65#, still more than 60% of 1RM, and it was good. I didn’t, however, complete a full squat snatch the first rep and Michael Kelley called me out on it. I gots to opens ups the hips, Michaels Kelleys!

2 Hang Cleans + 1 Split Jerk on the minute x 8 minutes, 50-60% of Clean & Jerk

Again, we were told to go light and focus on form. I lifted 95#, which is more than 60% of my 1RM, and that’s okay. Hang cleans are coming along nicely, and I’ve finally gotten the feel for them, particularly shrugging the shoulders and “bouncing” the bar off of mid-thigh.

Did I mention there were 15 people in attendance? Did I mention that I segregated myself and worked at the back of the gym and in front of the open garage door? At one point I heard Michael Kelley say, “Good job, Paul.” I wasn’t sure, however, so I asked, “Did you say ‘Good job, Paul’ or ‘Good job, Lauren?’” He confirmed that he had praised me. Well, that’s unusual.

He observed me during one of the later rounds. I was indeed squatting deeply. After completing the requisite 2 reps, I continued, and completed an additional 8 OHS – just to see if he’d notice. He eventually did. I can only imagine that he was looking for an opportunity to yet again smack my ass.

He also observed the last round, and said, “Make sure you’re pointing your left ankle outwards. Do it again.” I did, and held the bar above my head after finishing the jerk. I held it, and held it, and held it, again, just to see if he’d notice. Look at me, Michael Kelley! Damn you, look at me!

The only way I would’ve enjoyed this more would be if I could do reps every 30 instead of 60 seconds. I did use the rest as an opportunity to say “Hello!” to my favorites: Michelle, Claire, Amy, and Lauren. Yes, I have favorites. I only wish I could see Amy Scott on a daily basis. She’s my all-time favorite.

30 Double Unders (advanced: unbroken)
20 seconds, L-sit (parallettes, rings, or on benches)

As today was a skill day, I didn’t even bother to count rounds. I completed all but 2 rounds of dus unbroken, and held all ring L-sits for 20 seconds – although I certainly didn’t have my legs parallel to the floor.

Uhm, after yesterday’s core work, my abs were on fire, I tell you, fire! I completed 30 double unders less than Lauren.


I’m a quitter.

For a slight change of pace, today’s blog is going to focus more on my coaching inabilities. You read that correctly: inabilities. More in a moment, so keep reading…

I started my morning by coaching the 6am session, and, as has become the norm, there were many in attendance. How many? Fourteen, including two visitors from Georgia, Dan and Karyn.

We started the day with Daft Punk on Pandora and some new or not frequently done activities, including duck walks, opposing arm swings, bear crawls, and one-legged holds – with eyes closed.

We reviewed proper form for dead-lifts, and then athletes attempted to complete 3 reps heaver than last week. I saw some impressive lifts, as well as some form breaks. (I won’t mention any names, Burt. Oh, wait, I just did.) I’m enjoying getting to know and coach some of the newbies, including Timmy (of course he’s first on my list!), Chad2 (I refer to Chad A as Chad1), Amy, Will, and Heather. I remember when I was just starting out, and how important is was for the coach to provide direction and support. I promise to continue to do so – if I continue coaching.

A strength I have when coaching is keeping control of the session. Even though there were many present, the metcon went smoothly.

Except, that is, for my lack of correct instruction for the plate burpees. Having done what were called plate burpees in the past, I instructed folks to do a burpee and then jump and land on the plate. Uhm, I was immediately corrected by the regulars who evidently had done plate burpees in the past. I have no recollection of having done so. Anyhow, you do a burpee, lift and press the plate overhead, bring the plate to the floor, lather, rinse, and repeat.

I should have tendered my resignation at the moment. I would have avoided the debacle that happened later. Let’s call that my first strike. Everyone knows that when you get three strikes, you’re out.

The metcon looked tough, and I tried my best to encourage people. Nonetheless, I asked for a show of hands at the end of the day for those present who thought I should be fired. All hands were raised. (This may or may not have happened.)

As I was unable to leave work in time to make it to the start of the 5:15 session, I decided that I would do the metcon when the 5:15ers, including Jeff, started, and dead-lifts afterwards.

4 Rounds for Total Reps
1 min Plate Burpees
1 min Toes-2-Bar
1 min Double Unders
1 min rest

I used a 45# plate and substituted toes through ring for toes to bar. Why, you ask? Because my damn left shoulder is hurting, just behind that bumpy thingy. Know what I mean? Ugh.

I had no other goal than to work continuously, and I did not achieve this goal. Whaaaaaat? I. Did not. Achieve. This goal.

Jeff and Brooke (read her blog!) have become BFFs, so I didn’t want to come between them. Jeff was to Brook’s right, and I was to her left.

The first round of plate burpees began, and it seemed as if everyone was going at the same pace, for I could hear the plates being placed (or dropped) on the floor. I think I completed 14 reps the first round, and I do believe that Brooke completed almost if not as many as I did. I completed the first round of toes through rings unbroken, although I can’t recall how many. My damn jump rope was tangled, and it took me a good 15 seconds to untangle. I also once again struggled getting double unders started. Once I did, I went on and on. I completed a total of 100 reps total for the first round.

Plate burpees went smoothly for the remainder of the rounds, and I completed a minimum of 12. My mistake was dropping from the rings – when I really didn’t need to do so. It was always a struggle to grasp the swinging rings.

Oh, as an aside, Paul A. was doing “Fran” and he was directly across from me during the first two rounds of the metcon. I was as focused on him as I was on my own performance, and there were many times when I had to keep myself from coaching.

As another aside, I shall not comment upon the Kristin-Thomas interactions. You two really need to get a room, albeit a room with a GHD machine.

Double unders went reasonably well the last three rounds.

I completed 100, 90, and 92 reps for a total of 382. (I can see you smirking now, Michael Kelley. You are an ass.)

I’m frustrated. There, I said it. I lifted 225, 255, 275, and 315#. I attempted 325#, and failed. I lowered the weight to 320#, and failed again. I also realize that at this stage of my development my gains are going to be incremental and not exponential (as my gains were when I was beginning).

For whatever reason, I was compelled to offer to coach the 6:30 session metcon. I know not why. Michael Kelley, of course, quickly took me up on my offer. Imagine that.

There were at least three people present that I don’t recall coaching, although I might have done so during a Community WOD.

During the third round I said, “Write down your time and rest for a minute” – after toes to bar! Athletes were smart enough to correct me as they completed double unders.

That’s strike two.

One of the individuals that I know I haven’t coached before spent time at the beginning of the second round putting her hair up in a rubber band. “Well, then,” I thought, “that’s a waste of time.” She did the same thing at the start of the third round, and I said, “You need to spend less time fixing your hair and more time working.” Ouch. That must have hurt.

At the end of the WOD I saw her crying, and I think it’s safe to assume that it was caused by my harsh words. Let’s see, I have masters in Communication Studies with an emphasis in interpersonal communication, I’ve been a teacher/trainer for well over twenty-five years, and I’m a huge proponent of Situational Leadership. And I said, “You need to spend less time fixing your hair and more time working.”

Strike three. I’m out. Out, out, out.

I know that no one can make someone feel an emotion – it’s merely a reaction to something someone has said or done. In this particular instance what I said and did.

We’re starting Westside Barbell next week, yet I feel the overwhelming urge to take a one- or two-week hiatus from all things CrossFit.

Oh, earlier today Michael Kelley asked if I was a quitter. Uhm, I quit running races, and not just marathons but all races, about two years ago. So, yes, I’m a quitter.


After a wonderful long weekend of vacationing, I worked out solo at CFZ yesterday evening. For perhaps the very last time, I checked in via Facebook. Almost immediately upon doing so, Michael Kelley posted, “Get out!” I replied, “Does this mean I’m fired? If so, this has been the best vacation ever.” I haven’t yet heard a definitive response, so I’ll assume that I’ve been fired.

Overhead squats and snatches

Form, form, form. I completed 5+ reps of snatches @ 65, 70, 75, and 80#, focusing on depth of squat, as this is something I’ve struggled with in the past. I recorded all lifts, and sent quite a few to Michael Kelley for his review. He says that he didn’t receive them until well after I sent them, and he blames the air. Yes, he blames the air. When he finally sent feedback, he began by focusing on all of the things that I did wrong. I quote: Arms bent a little early. Hips were not fully open. Arms shouldn’t bend til hips are fully open and you’ve shrugged. Try a snatch pull then, followed immediately by a snatch.

Wow, way to bring a man down…

His last message was: Depth and timing are much better.

Well, thank you, Michael Kelley, as that one positive comment more than made up for all of the negative remarks! Truly it did. I mean it. I’m now motivated to work on snatch form, and I can’t wait for the opportunity to do so. I mean it. Truly I do.

As fast as possible and with correct form complete 30 reps of the following:
GHD sit-ups
Walking lunges with 40# dumbbell in each hand; front leg vertical to floor, back knee touches floor
30” box jumps; both feet landing completely on box and no resting on floor
Unbroken double unders

This was much more difficult than I thought it was going to be and much more difficult than it should have been.

I completed all reps of GHD sit-ups and walking lunges unbroken, and then things began to fall apart. For the most part, box jumps went well, although I had to redo 2 jumps as both feet did not land on box, i.e., my heels were off of the box. Uhm, double unders were a big hot mess, and it took me four attempts before I was able to complete 30 unbroken. Yes, four attempts. Worse still were pull-ups, as I completed in reps of 10, 5, 5, 5, 3, and 2. Huh? I also had to redo three pull-ups, as my chin did not go above the bar. Thus, a workout that should’ve taken me less than 6 minutes took my 7 minutes and 41 seconds to complete.


I arrived at CFZ this morning at 5:45 and was kind enough to unlock the box, open the garage door, select the Pandora playlist, and turn on the fans, including the Big Ass Fan. Michael Kelley arrived at 5:55 and the first words he said to me were not “Good morning” or “Thank you”; instead his first words were “The fan doesn’t need to be turned on this high during the morning hours.” I replied, “Good morning, Michael Kelley, and you’re welcome.” He’s the best manager ever. Best. Manager. Ev. Er.

Warm up, mobility, blah, blah, blah.

Low Bar Back Squat
Work up to 5 reps, heavier than last week

My goal was to lift 185#.

There were far too many people in attendance this morning; thus, we were asked to share a rack. I offered to do so numerous times, yet no one took me up on my offer. Perhaps they thought I wasn’t sincere?

Here are, in order, the people (of the regulars) I would be more than happy to share a rack with and the reason why:

Michelle and Claire (tied) because they are both awesome
Lauren because she’s awesomely strong
Timmy because he’s Timmy
Thomas because I can’t think of a legitimate reason not to

Here are, in order, the people I would not be more than happy to share a rack with and the reason why:

Chad, John, Burt, and Alex because they are all too damn tall
Michael Kelley because he’s fat

I lifted 5 reps @ 155, 165, and 185, although the reps at 185 didn’t happen like I planned. I know, I know, I’ve done this before…

I thought I had placed 45, 15, and 5# plates on the bar for a total of 175#. I had mistakenly left a 10# plate on the left side of the bar. I felt no difference when lifting, and was surprised when Alex, Michelle, and others noticed that the bar was leaning to my left. Thus, I lifted 185# for my last, albeit, uneven set. I called it a day.

Michelle had earlier informed me that she had “called” me for partner glute ham raises, and I was delighted that she had. Nice progress, Michelle, even from just last week! We both did 3 sets of 8 reps. I focused on not merely pushing myself off of the mat, but instead continuing to engage my firmly and incredibly cute glutes and hamstrings.

10-min AMRAP
Power clean(s), 80% of 1RM
10 V-ups
Perform 1 power clean the first round, 2 the second, 3 the third, etc.

My 1RM for power clean is 145, so I put 115# on the bar. I (along with Alex) positioned myself at the far end of the box in front of the garage door. Just before we began, Michael Kelley said, “Make sure you’ve chosen a weight for the power cleans that’s challenging. You shouldn’t be able to do even three unbroken.” I looked at him and said, “I’m going to be doing many more than three unbroken.” I was lifting 90% of 1RM. Was I to have lifted 90 or even 100%?

This was a surprisingly fun workout, even though I had done V-ups just two days ago and I’m usually not very fond of power cleans.

Just after completing three unbroken power cleans, I made eye contact with Michael Kelley and said, “That’s three.” I did the same after rounds of four, five, and six, of course saying “Four”, “Five”, and “Six”. He happened to be watching me when I was doing the round of seven – as I failed the final lift. He smiled. There are no words to describe my thoughts and feelings regarding this behavior. Oh, wait, there are: You are an asshole, Michael Kelley. To make matters worse, I failed my seventh lift of the round of eight, and once again Michael Kelley smiled. To gain pleasure from my failure speaks of your character, Michael Kelley. Is it any wonder I hate you so?

The only positive thing I can say about you is that you were kind enough to remind me to push my hips back when I’m doing power cleans. I have this vivid mental image of you in my mind when I do power cleans, and as your ass is so big it’s difficult for me to distinguish when you’re pushing your hips back or merely standing upright. Also, given how huge your ass is, is it even necessary for you to push your hips back? I’m surprised you don’t fall on your ass more frequently. With that being said, I can only imagine that it doesn’t hurt when you fall on your ass. You probably bounce. Like Tigger.

I completed 8 rounds + 7 power cleans.

Michael Kelley and I exchanged sexts this afternoon regarding the possibility that I might coach a 5am session, ending in this exchange…

MK: You’re my #2
PP: Uhm, who’s #1?
MK: Me
PP: Makes sense. You’re my #7.
MK: Nice.
PP: You’ve gone up 1 spot.

Training for the 2014 Games has begun in earnest; thus, I arrived at CFZ at 5:30 tonight for my first accessory workout. My VFF (Very Fat Friend), Michael Kelley, was kind enough to share some programming with me.

Sled Pulls
3 rounds of pulling backwards facing toward and away from sled

This is the first time I’ve used this particularly type of sled, so Michael Kelley was kind enough to demonstrate. His belly jiggles like a bowlful of jelly when he did. I sometimes feel the urge to poke his belly.

Michael Kelley determined that the distance would be to the bushes by the sidewalk and back, roughly 50m.

I put a 45# plate on the sled, pulled it, and determined it was too light. Michael Kelley said, “Add a 25 pound plate.” He said this as I was adding a 45# plate for a total of 90#. This was fun, exhausting, and exhilarating! I enjoy trying new skills, and this was particularly enjoyable.

Michael Kelley then said, “Next is core. Do four rounds of 25 GHD sit-ups and 10 wall balls, using the 30 pound slam ball. No, wait, we’re doing ‘Fran’ tomorrow, so don’t do wall balls.” “Michael Kelley,” I said, “I was planning on resting tomorrow. I’m definitely not doing ‘Fran’.” He rolled it eyes as if to say, “You’re doing ‘Fran’.” He then said, “Do four rounds of 25 GHD sit-ups and 25 GHD back extensions.” So that’s what I did.

GHD Sit-ups
GHD Back Extensions
4 rounds of 25 reps

I did the first and last rounds of sit-ups and back extensions unbroken, and the second and third rounds in reps of 25 and 10. As the rounds were not timed, I didn’t push myself, and all 200 reps were good. Not a false story.

As  I was leaving Michael Kelley said, “Westside Barbell programs slide pulls on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Saturdays, so if you’re doing them tomorrow do at 60% of today’s weight.” I replied, “Good. I can do that instead of ‘Fran’.” He rolled his eyes yet again.

Just you wait, Michael Kelley. Just you wait.

Worst. Date. Ever.

Am I breaking parallel, Michael Kelley? Am I? Am I?

I began my day by enjoying a 3-mile run with Luke. He’s a fast runner, and it’s always a pleasure to run with him. It makes me smile when he looks back at me as if to say, “Faster, Daddy! Keep up with me!”

I had a “scheduled” date with Michael Kelley at 10am to work on butterfly pull-ups. I arrived at the box after 9, and of course spent time on mobility. I’ve discovered that I need structured mobility when I’m warming up on my own, so I used the timer to ensure that I spent quality time working out tension in my hamstrings and shoulders.

5 X 6

As I successfully completed 5 x 5 last week, I increased the reps by one. Once I’m able to successfully complete 5 rounds of 6 reps, I’ll increase to 7 reps. Even Michael Kelley may be smart enough to determine my strategy. I completed 4 sets unbroken, with full ROM, but had to break the last set into reps of 3, 2, & 1; thus, it’s 5 sets of 6 reps again next week.

After watching the CrossFit Games, I was curious to try burpee muscle-ups. I did a round of 3, and then did a round of 5 – shirtless, I might add. As my friend Colin stated, the secret for me is to do muscle-ups shirtless.

As an aside, I’m considering training for possibly attempting to maybe compete in the 2014 Games in the masters division. The first step may involve shaving my chest.

Michael Kelley arrived almost 15 minutes late and spent all of 3 minutes and 23 seconds “teaching” me how to do butterfly pull-ups. I need to focus on over-exaggerating hip extension.

Sundays may very well turn into muscle-ups, overhead squats, and butterfly pull-ups day.

Overhead Squats

Sets of 10 reps

I recorded all sets. I lifted 2 sets of 65# and then increased weight to 75#. I showed Michael Kelley the recording, and he suggested that I attempt to go deeper. I decreased the weight to 65#, and did 3 more sets. I finished the day with one last set @ 70#, and was pleased that I went deep enough. That’s what he said. And by “he” I mean Michael Kelley.

Uhm, yeah, so Michael Kelley was leading a Foundations session, and “asked” me if I’d teach the dead-lift. I did, and then he asked if I would teach sumo and snatch grip. I did. He then asked if I’d teach kettle bell swings. And wall ball shots. And box jumps. “You said you wanted to help with Foundations, Paul,” he said. Uhm, yeah, so I said I’d consider helping with gymnastics and rowing. (I do enjoy coaching enthusiastic beginners, but don’t tell Michael Kelley. Because he’s fat.)

Kabool had earlier asked if I would help him with double unders, so I provided some coaching for him, as well as Burt. You’re getting better, Kabool. Avoid getting overly excited when you get a double under. Burt, be less sucky. Ha! Seriously, nice work, Burt. I did a few rounds of 50+ unbroken double unders as I played along.

The first delivery of Custom Fit Meals arrived, and I had half of the portion of the beef and feta frittata for lunch. Delicious and filling!

Words are like toothpaste…

Yesterday was an exhausting day, as it entailed a business daytrip to Chicago. I had planned on attending the 7:15 session this morning, but as I was wide awake at 4:30 I once again dragged my (albeit firm and nicely shaped) sorry ass out of bed and attended the 6am session.

No one can make you feel an emotion. You choose to react to something someone says or does. I say this because it appears that Michael Kelley’s feelings have been hurt. (Notice I didn’t say that I hurt Michael Kelley’s feelings.) I offer this public apology, Michael Kelley. I am sorry that your feelings were hurt by the words I chose to use. I need to be much more careful in choosing my words and take into consideration how those words may be perceived. While I may think I’m being humorous you may think my words to be true. I think, feel, and believe that you are a gifted, albeit fat, coach. More importantly, you are a dear and cherished friend. I promise to buy your something pretty.

An aside… I am an auditory learner and trainer; thus, I learn and coach by listening and talking more so than by watching and/or doing. On the return flight home last night, the woman two seats to my right popped her gum the entire flight. The woman seated across the aisle from me noisily turned the pages of a magazine. The woman seated directly behind her very noisily and continuously refolded her newspaper to a “readable” size. I am happy that I remembered to pack my noise cancelling headphones. I only wish I were allowed to wear them from the time I entered the plane until the plane landed. Damn flight attendant said I couldn’t do so—even though I showed her that the headphones weren’t plugged in.

With that being said, I continue…

My very good friend and respected coach, Michael Kelley, for whatever reason, has developed a habit of elongating the last word of a sentence. I’ll give you some examples… “Alright, everybody, grab a baaaaaaaaar.” “Okay, let’s go outsiiiiiiiiiiiide.” “Be sure to squat deeeeeeeeeplyyyyyyyyyyy.” This is my issue, not yours, Michael Kelley. I’m annoyed by this behavior, but this doesn’t mean that you annoy me. K? K. Hugs!

Front Squat
Take 15 minutes to work up to a set of 3, heavier than last time.

I wrote “Goal 185#” in my notebook. I achieved this goal. After warming up, I lifted 3 reps @ 135, 165, & 185#, having lifted 180# for my final set last week. While the very last rep was challenging, at no point did I think or feel that I was going to fail and/or have to bail.

By the way, during my set @ 165# I heard Michael Kelley say, “Nice depth, Paul.” When I finished the set he was nowhere to be found. For a brief moment I thought it might have been Thomas who complimented me. When I asked Michael Kelley if he had indeed told me my depth was good, he confirmed that he had. Thank you, Michael Kelley. Even a self-reliant achiever such as your BFF needs occasional praise.

I recorded my last 2 sets, and I’m pleased and proud to say that there is no doubt that I squatted below parallel.

I finished FS with about 8 minutes remaining, so I set up for the dreaded HBBS.

High Bar Back Squat
1×20, heavier than last time

As I lifted 170 last week, I put 175# on the bar today. That’s 85% of bw and 75% of 1RM. No wonder it felt so freaking heavy. I recorded and have reviewed the recording a number of times. My squats are not as consistent as I would like for them to be, as some of the reps are questionable in regard to depth. Surprisingly, the last 5 or so were the best.

100 Double Unders
50 Kettlebell Swings, 52#
25 Burpees

Michael Kelley had evidently completed the metcon yesterday, and had recorded his score of 2 rounds + some dus on the whiteboard for all to see. He only records his scores when they’re good. For example, last week it took him well over 15 minutes to complete 3 rounds of 15 power cleans and 50 squats. When I lovingly teased him about it he said, “Well, I didn’t put it on the board.”

I just wasn’t feeling it this morning. For the first time in a very long time, I struggled with double unders, and I just couldn’t establish a rhythm until I had stumbled my way through 50 or so. The most difficult part of the metcon was the KB swings, and I most certainly know why. I consciously made myself break each set into rounds of no more than 10 reps, as I didn’t want to risk injuring my shoulder. Burpees are burpees.

I completed 1 round + 164 reps, i.e., 100 dus, 50 KB swings, and 14 burpees.

At the 6-minute mark, Michael Kelley looked in my direction and noted that I had just completed my first round of burpees. And then he smirked. Yes, he smirked. I honestly wanted to punch him in the throat. Immediately and repeatedly. I did not, however, as I’m a bigger (not in the fat sense, like Michael Kelley) person than that.

I approached Michael Kelley after the metcon to confirm my suspicion. I said, “I saw you smirk at me when you realized that I wouldn’t be able to beat your score. Don’t deny it.” He replied, “Well, it’s not very often that I beat you in a metcon.” Truer words have never been spoken – other than these four words: I hate Michael Kelley.

True story.

Shirtless Wonder


I was finally able to complete muscle-ups and back levers. The human body is an amazing thing; given enough time, it will heal itself.

While Zac, Meg, & Luke awakened me at 5 they did allow me to sleep until 7:30. I can’t recall the last time I slept that late.

I took Luke for a 2-mile walk on American Tobacco Trail. It was already hot and muggy by 8:30, yet Luke wanted to occasionally run – while carrying a stick in his mouth, of course!

I arrived at CFZ shortly after 10, and spent a good 25 minutes on mobility, focusing on my shoulders and lats.

Today was all about testing the left shoulder and bicep. I completed 6 x 5 muscle-ups, focusing on full range of motion. I recorded each set, and here is the last set. For the first time in a long time, I was able to complete with almost full range of motion, i.e., arms full extended and locked out at the bottom with palms pointing out. For whatever reason, I have to start with a false grip and then change to a regular grip at the top of the first muscle-up. Hey, if it works I’m going to continue to do it.

I completed 5 back levers. Kristin K. (and others) arrived @ 11. Upon reviewing my 4th back lever I discovered that I had gone past horizontal. Huh? I’ve never done that before. I asked Kristin to let me know if I did go past horizontal. As you can see from the recording, I did indeed, but was able to self-correct.

Colin P. almost immediately provided feedback for both muscle-ups and back levers via comments to Facebook posts. Thanks, Colin! Your remote coaching was a tremendous help.

The final thing I worked on was fast double unders. Today’s motto was “fast is fast”. I completed unbroken rounds of 25, 30, 35, 40, and 45 dus at a very fast tempo. I had hoped to complete 50, but after two failed attempts and with time running out I called it a day.

I cannot express how delighted I am that my shoulder and bicep is finally almost healed. I just have to remember not to overdo it. Friends, don’t hesitate to remind me to do so. Michael Kelley, mind your own damn business.

Roar Like A Lion

Jeff and I attended the 8am session at CrossFit Nittany. This morning’s session was coached by Jen, who warmly greeted us when we entered the box and who engaged us in lively conversation. Jen is a fit athlete and talented coach.

As we arrived early, I got to spend time on mobility before the session began. We then completed a partner warm-up called “Partner Fun Time” consisting of the following:

Run 200m while partner does sit-ups & then switch
Partner wheel barrow up & back
Run 200m while partner squats & then switch
Partner wheel barrow up & back
Run 200m while partner does pushups & then switch

Jeff was, of course, my partner. I completed about 20 GHD sit-ups, 40 air squats, and 30 HRPUs.

Back Squats

There were about a dozen athletes in attendance and only 3 racks. Even I can do the math. I shared a rack with Jeff and another very tall gentlemen. The rack should have been lowered one more notch, as I struggled re-racking. I also ran out of time, as I warmed up with sets of 135 & 155# before completing 3 reps of 175 and 2 of 195#. As folks were already warming up front squats and getting ready for the WOD, I didn’t want to hold up anyone. I’ll get back to my routine Thursday when I return to CFZ. (Michael Kelley, I don’t miss you. Not.One.Bit.)

4 rounds for time
5 muscle-ups (or scaled versions)
10 front squats, 135#
30 double-unders

This was tough. I completed FS and DUs outside, as the box was full to the brim. My goal was to complete rounds of muscle-ups unbroken, as I can’t recall completing a met-con that included 5 muscle-ups. And, if I’ve done such a met-con, I know I wasn’t able to string them together.

I did indeed complete all rounds of muscle-ups unbroken, although I did struggle on the very last rep. Jen was kind enough to provide encouragement, and I’m most grateful! Bryan had also arrived, and he gave words of encouragement. (Bryan, I plan on visiting each time I’m in Reedsville. Just so you know.)

I completed first two rounds of FS unbroken, the third round in reps of 6 & 4, and the last round in reps of 4, 3, & 3. FSs were tough!

I was obsessing about damaging the cable of my Rx jump rope, since I was jumping on asphalt, and this impeded my performance. I only completed the last two rounds unbroken.

Total time = 10:13

I was a sweaty mess when all was said and done. I very much enjoyed this met-con, and give it a score of 9.

CrossFit Nittany is a great box! If you’re in the State College, PA area, be sure to visit. You’ll be warmly welcomed and provided great coaching.

It’s true what they say: Opposites attract.

My fellow 6amers know what the title references.

I coached the 6am (and attended an evening) session at CFZ. Again, I’ll state that I’m concerned that I’m over-coaching. I’ll count on all of you to let me know if this is indeed the case.

Of note: Michelle completed sumo dead-lifts successfully and pain free; Burt didn’t hurt himself on box jumps; Lauren moved closer to the box prior to jumping; John and Chad are both strong; Chad jumps too high when doing double unders; Claire is very consistent; and Alex likes to walk like a farmer.

I was as disappointed as I imagine Lauren and Alex were when they missed last set of 3 heavy dead-lifts. Some days it’s just not meant to be, so please don’t get too upset. K? K.

I finally saw an orthopedist, and I am pleased that I did. I have a mild case of bursitis in my rotator cuff and slight inflammation in my left bicep. I got three, count them, three shots of steroids. My shoulder already feels much, much better! I’m supposed to take ibuprofen and avoid lifting with left arm for the next 10 days. I think I’ll skip the ibuprofen. K? K.

Michael Kelley and I exchanged the following sexts…
PP: If I go 2 z 2nite will you promise 2 ignore me?
MK: Sure
PP: I’d say thank u but I’m ignoring you.

Only three of us attended, including Jeff, Greg, and yours truly. Michael Kelley was blaring shitty country music, and my ears began to bleed. I warmed up with lacrosse ball and KB focusing on hamstrings – and of course that’s what Michael Kelley asked us to do. I moved my box toward the door, then into the lobby, turning my back to him and then removing him from my sight. He tried flirting with Jeff, thinking that this would annoy me. It didn’t. In fact he spent much time “coaching” Jeff tonight. Again, it didn’t annoy me in the least. Jeff’s not attracted to fatties.

2-3 warm-up sets
3×3, last set heavier than last week

After completing sets of 135, 225, and 265, I completed sets of 3 reps of 275 (originally planned on 270, but as warmup was 265 this just seemed silly), 290, and 320#. Uhm, that’s my “current” 1RM! Yet another PR, and I do not have Michael Kelley to thank, as he ignored me. Wait, he was supposed to do that. He did, however snap a photo and did say something like, “That was okay.” Again, I don’t listen to him.

Barbell Bent Over Row
4 x Max Reps @ 40% of 3RM Deadlift, rest 60 seconds

I didn’t complete barbell bent over rows, as I’m following my doctor’s advice. Kind of.

10 Box Jumps
15 DB Push Press
20 Double Unders

Having seen the 6amers do this WOD, I knew I’d enjoy it – and I did! I give it a score of 9.5. Michael Kelley had written my name on the whiteboard, and I erased it. He once again wrote my name on the whiteboard, and I once again erased it. He gave poker chips to Jeff and Greg, but didn’t even offer any to me as he knew I wouldn’t accept. I didn’t want him to be able to count the chips and know my rounds.

It became quite obvious that he was counting my completed reps. I thought he was making marks on the whiteboard, but he was instead moving chips from one pocket to the next. As he’s usually playing with himself, I didn’t notice.

I recorded completed rounds in my own notebook.

One goal was to attempt 30” box jumps quickly, i.e., quickly springing from the floor to the box. Another goal was to do all push press, albeit one-armed, fast and unbroken. Another goal was, of course, to do all rounds of double unders unbroken. My last goal was simple: keep working. I saw far too much rest from the 6amers.

For the first time I was indeed able to do fast, 30” box jumps. Yeah! Michael Kelley can’t do that. It’s called gravity, Michael Kelley. You’re fat, remember? I also don’t jiggle when I jump.

I completed all rounds of right-arm push press unbroken, using 30# dumb bell.

I completed all but the first 2 rounds of dus unbroken, completing 15 and 19 (19!) unbroken the first and second rounds, respectively.

I kept working the entire 12 minutes.

I completed 8 rounds + 7 box jumps.