Separate intention from impact

Warning: I’m going to vent. Leave is you so choose. You can always visit another time. I won’t vent until the end of this blog, though, so feel free to continue reading until you get angry.

Jeff and I watched the women’s Olympic weightlifting finals. For the first time in my life I actually knew what the athletes were doing. Jeff excitedly said, “They’re doing snatches? I know what that is! They’re doing clean & jerks? I know what how to do that!” I couldn’t help but yell at the screen, “Lock it out! Lock it out!” I also had an opportunity to watch some of the men’s gymnastics. Again, I know so much more about gymnastics than I did just four years ago.

CrossFit. Yes, CrossFit.

A very bad stormed passed our way last night and took down a pear tree in our front yard. First thing this morning Jeff and I spent about two hours removing the tree, including sawing, throwing, heaving, cutting, clipping, sweating, and swearing. The two of us work well together. It was actually somewhat fun to accomplish this task. Fun, but exhausting…

Luke was impatiently waiting for me to finish this task so that I could then take him for his Sunday walk. As the weather was cooler than it has been, although still quite humid, he had no interest in walking, and we began our 4-mile foray with a 1-mile all out sprint. We did fartlek the next 3 miles, usually running but sometimes walking between sprints. I love to run, but Luke loves to run. It was a very fun run. Fun, but exhausting…

I immediately went to CFZ for skill building, working on snatches and, for a change of pace, clean & jerks. There were quite a few present. I only offered assistance when I thought and/or felt like it was wanted. This included wall ball coaching for Brooke and Claire and kipping pull-ups coaching for Brooke. By the way, very nice job, Claire and Brooke!

Michael Kelley observed a few lifts and recordings of lifts that I shared with him, and provided much appreciated guidance. For whatever reason, I’ve been forgetting to look straight ahead when I do snatches. That one thing, looking at a fixed target on the wall, immediately helped my performance. I showed him a recording of a 125# clean & jerk. He said, “You need to open your hips a little sooner. You need faster elbows.” I said, “If I were a coach I’d say, ‘You’re showing significant improvement, Paul! Your timing is much, much better, you’re waiting to bend your arms, your squat depth is incredible, and you’re very explosive on the jerk. You could improve by opening your hips just a little more and by getting your elbows under the bar just a little bit faster.’” He replied, “At this point in your lifting you only need negative comments.” You are so very, very wrong. Nonetheless, I appreciate the fatback. I mean feedback.

I don’t say it often (or perhaps often enough): Thank you, Michael Kelley. Now shave that damn beard, as it makes your face look that much fatter.

I treated Michael Kelley to dinner last night. He had a salad, a porterhouse steak, a lobster tail, a grilled chicken breast, green beans, and a sweet potato. I kid you not. I took the opportunity to broach a topic that I’ve been reluctant to discuss with him, specifically my concerns regarding CFZ. He’s the head coach, and I don’t want to tell him what to do. Okay, that’s not entirely true. Nonetheless, I thought he was going to react negatively to my suggestions when in fact we were in complete agreement.

Thus, going forward I have permission to state to all in attendance that only coaches may offer coaching, particularly doing metcons. Quite a few folks have taken it upon themselves to coach others. Yes, I know their intentions may be sincere, but it can lead to confusion and contradictory information for the athletes.

I’ll take yesterday as an example. During the 10:30 WOD that I coached there were a few people who had attended the earlier session who were milling about during the metcon, i.e., in the midst of the athletes. I found myself often having to walk around them. I said, as I’ve said in the past, “You my cheer, but you may not coach.”

Thus, going forward only folks who are participating in the session will be allowed to be in the area where people are working on skills or conditioning. As there is plenty of space at the entrance to the box, athletes will be asked to wait there. Again, everyone is welcome to cheer.

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However, not everyone wants to be cheered for – including yours truly. For example, when I was doing the metcon yesterday quite a few people provided encouragement. My immediate thought is always, “This isn’t a competition. It’s just a metcon. I know what I’m doing here, and I don’t need anything from anyone but perhaps the coach.” Going forward, any athlete may request that they not be provided encouragement. This would include encouragement from folks attending the same session as well as folks standing by. You merely need to shake your head “no”. Coaches, of courses, will continue to coach. Coaches, of course, will continue to provide direction and support.

I have visited quite a few CrossFit boxes and I’ve never been coached by anyone who wasn’t a certified CrossFit coach. As a coach, I’ve never offered coaching at any other box unless it was explicitly requested, e.g., a Running Clinic.

I know, I know, everyone means well. We need to separate intention from impact.

Boston. Tour. Tacks. Syria. Cereal. Homies.

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A very bad storm passed through Boston yesterday evening, so I opted to not go to CrossFit Fenway — and yesterday was a rest day. Yeah, that. I also didn’t have enough time this morning to make it to CFF and back to the hotel in time to make it to an all-day event I attended.
When in Boston, one must run, so that’s what I intended — and started out — to do this morning. I began my excursion at 6:10am. I ran for about 2 minutes and began to get bored, so I began to fartlek, sprinting from one street light post to the next, running, sprinting, running, sprinting. You get the picture.
This got boring as well. I then completed 15 rounds of stair sprints, sprinting up and running down the stairs for recovery. While certainly not boring, stair sprinting did get exhausting.
I once again began to fartlek, only this time from parking meter to parking meter. I did this until I got to Liberty Square.
I completed 5 rounds of 10 box jumps (to about 30″ base of statue) and 50m (25m up and back) sprints. This was a tremendous amount of fun, although I was getting quite a few strange looks from passersby. Was it my orange shoes? CFZ shirt? Lululemon shorts? Incredibly cute ass? All of the above? Probably all of the above, but mostly that last thing.
I sprinted back to the stairs and completed 15 more rounds of exhausting stair sprints, and the ran back to the hotel.
I didn’t wear a watch, but estimated that 20 or at the most 25 minutes had passed, when in fact almost 40 minutes had passed. My how time flies when you’re having fun!

True Story

Yesterday was, for lack of a better word, interesting. I now have more than 500 followers of this blog. Hi, followers! I like most of you.

There were quite a few responses to yesterday’s post. My good friend, Kelly, said that it was one of her favorite posts of mine. My good friend, Dave, said that I was welcome to train and coach at CFD.

Michael Kelley and I began our text exchange at 9:38 and ended our conversation about an hour later. It’s like (I’m making an analogy; thus the word “like”) I’m having an extramarital affair with him, as there is conflict, distrust, love, anger, betrayal, secrecy, miscommunication, hatred, tension, attraction, repulsion, the list goes on and on. In fact, our relationship has everything but sex. I don’t like fatties, so this is fine by me.

Sayeth Michael Kelley: It’s hard being your friend sometimes. Until that comment, I thought you weren’t that smart. I’m not saying you’re smart, I’m just saying that you’re smarter than I thought you were, Michael Kelley. If you were very smart you would have said: It’s hard being your friend all of the time.

I promised Michael Kelley that I would try to be sensitive to his feelings. I’ll try. I’m not saying I’ll try hard, I’m just saying I’ll try. Maybe.

I arrived at the box at 5:45. And then 16 more people arrived, including Michael Kelley. As more and more arrived, I was very tempted to just go the hell home, as there is a tipping point where there are just too many people present for me to work efficiently and effectively. It was one big hot mess. I, however, took control of the situation. Read on.

After working on mobility and going over power snatch form (more in a moment), Michael Kelley instructed us to partner or team up with one or two other people of similar height and strength. I was going to have none of that shit. I moved a mat outside (where it was much cooler), grabbed a bar, some plates, and two dumbbells (to prevent the bar from rolling away), and set up for presses. As my goal was to press 110# and I knew I could easily clean that weight, I decided to forgo the use of a rack. Michael Kelley noticed and said, “You need to be a team player. You can work out with ­­­______.” I said, “F&ck no. I’m going to compete as an individual and not part of a team, so I need not work out with anyone.” As I was pressing a warmup set of 95#, he closed the garage door. I continued to press. He opened the door as I was finishing the set. Burt said, “Paul would probably prefer if the door were kept closed.” I replied, “Yes, if someone would occasionally pass plates underneath the door.”

15 minutes to work up to 4 sets of 5 reps, all at the same weight. Go heavier than last time.

I lifted 4 X 5 @ 110, 5# heavier than last week. Michael Kelley observed my third set. He didn’t say a word, so I asked, “How did they look?” “They looked good,” he replied. Oh, Michael Kelley, you’re soooo eloquent. I admire your expansive vocabulary.

Presses did feel good today. I focused on tightening my abs and ass, and was able to avoid overarching my back. I’m f&cking awesome. I mean I’m “good”.

50 Bar Hops
8 Power Snatch
7 Bar Muscle-Ups

I had no desire to complete bar muscle-ups today. I set up my bar outside with 80#. My biggest mistake today was not planning for transitions. For bar hops, the bar was placed vertically on the mat, but I had to change the bar to a horizontal placement for the power snatches, so as to keep the bar from rolling away. This was a pain in the ass. I completed all rounds of bar hops unbroken, as well I should, and perhaps should have increased the amount to 100. My first set of power snatches were a mess, as I was basically doing muscle snatches. They were so bad that Michael Kelley justifiably removed the 2, 2.5# plates from the bar. I am more than capable of power snatching 80# — if I use proper form. I completed the first round of 7 muscle-ups unbroken, and I believe this is the first time I’ve done this in a metcon.

For the second round of power snatches, I recalled something that Michael Kelley said during the warmup, “Wait until the bar reaches your forehead, and then drop under it.” That’s what I did for the second round, and completed the 8 power snatches, albeit @ 75#, unbroken. I was ecstatic! The second round of muscle-ups didn’t go as smoothly, as the clasps were digging into my arms. Ouch. Michael Kelley was kind enough to adjust. I then thought, “I’ve done far too many muscle-ups in the past couple of days. No more today. Don’t risk injury.”

During the third round of power snatches I called to Michael Kelley. He asked, “What do you need?” I said, “I need you to watch.” He did, and he said, “Much better. You still have a very nice ass.” He either said I had a nice ass or muted hips. I can’t recall exactly. Let’s go with nice ass.

I completed chest to bar pull-ups for the third and fourth rounds. While I didn’t complete the last round of pull-ups (my hands were so sweaty!) or power snatches unbroken, I was still cranking them out rather quickly.

As I began my last round of bar hops, Michael Kelley yelled, “Thirty seconds!” I kicked it up a notch, setting a goal to complete as many of the remaining 50 bar hops as I could. Uhm, I did about 2 a second, as Michael Kelley yelled, “Ten seconds!” just as I completed all 50. I quickly did one last power snatch and called it a day.

Total = 4 rounds + 50 bar hops + 1 power snatch

After the metcon, Michael Kelley was “stretching” like-minded Super Woman, Michelle. As she was lying (not laying) on the floor, I hovered over her and said, “Michelle, the next time you see Michael Kelley tell him that, although he shouldn’t take full credit for this and start to talk about how wonderful he is, his suggestion to drop under the bar when it was as high as my forehead really helped with power snatches. It was a breakthrough. Tell him, though, that merely saying ‘Your hips are muted’ doesn’t really tell me much. When he coaches, he shouldn’t focus on what I’m doing incorrectly, but should instead give me a vocal cue to remind me how to do the movement correctly.” I heard an annoying, nasal, girlie voice say, “You’re a coach, you should know what to do.” I said, “Michelle, tell Michael Kelley that it’s difficult enough to do a met-con without having to think about ways to improve one’s performance. Coaches should be able to help people with this, and not expect them to be able to process that information while lifting heavy shit.” “Okay,” said Michelle, “I’ll tell him the next time I see him.” Thanks, Michelle!

It’s my blog, remember? Don’t be offended. I am so very sick and tired of almost everyone talking about Whole30 and food choices. As folks were doing accessory work (I opted out), I said very loudly, “Did you all hear about someone putting tacks on the road this past Saturday on the Tour? About 30 bikers had flats, if I recall. And what about the situation in Syria? That’s tragic. See, we can talk about other topics than just food and diets.”

Wait, there’s more? Hell, yes. I talked Jeff into attending the 6:30pm session. He did today’s and I did tomorrow’s WOD. This meant I had two, count them, two opportunities to be observed by Mike. Michael. MK. Michael Kelley. Yeah, that last one feels right.

I warmed up on my own, and then did 6 x 10 fast GHD sit-ups, working on explosiveness. For a change of pace, I rested the top of my hands on the floor at the bottom of each rep.

Oh, I wore new shoes that I purchased for a whopping $17.

Work up to a set of 3 reps heavier than last week

I heart dead-lifting, I really do, but my confidence has been shaken as of late. I wrote in my notebook the following weights: 200, 255, 285, & 305#, 305 being 5# more than last week. For whatever reason, I started with 225 instead of 200#. Oh, well. I didn’t use mixed-grip until the last two sets. While 285# felt heavy, it was manageable. I thought, “Why the hell not at least attempt 315 instead of 305? If you can’t lift it, you can go lighter.” I attempted 315. I got it just below my knees – and then dropped it. Michael Kelley was observing, and said, “Blah blah blah it’s all in your head blah blah just go up to the bar blah blah blah pump yourself up blah blah once you get the first one the next two are easy blah blah you’re spending five minutes setting up blah blah blah blah blah.” Something that he said stuck, because I was able to successfully lift 315# three times. I knew that he was longingly watching me out of the corner of his eyes.

It was nice to coach Jeff between reps as he did press. Jeff, remember to rest with the bar overhead, take a deep breath, and then down and right back up.

1210-minute AMRAP
10-20-10m shuttle run
10 burpees

I had originally planned on going for 12 minutes, as that was the time on the clock for today’s scheduled WOD. My goal was, as could be expected, to do all rounds unbroken.

This is my kind of metcon. That being said, it was tough. So tough, in fact, that I got side stitches about 3 minutes into it. With 7 of the 12 minutes remaining, I told myself that if I continued to do all rounds unbroken that I could stop at 10 minutes. I needed this motivation, as I’m confident that I would have completed the same number of rounds in 12 minutes that I did in 10, as I would most certainly have rested during rounds of 10 burpees.

It’s amazing how many thoughts run through my mind during a metcon like this. Why does running hurt do badly? Oh, because you’re out of breath after burpees. And it’s 97 degrees. And running in the sun. It may be, too, that since you’re not coaching endurance and running with athletes that you’re losing some of that conditioning. Should I coach endurance again? If so, at CFD or CFZ? If I do, it must be focused solely on running, and be programmed for 3 months at a time. Oh, shit, more burpees. Wait, I love burpees!

I finished strong, and my last set of burpees was my fastest. I completed 9 rounds + 70m (10, 20, and half of 10m shuttle). Go ahead, bitches, gloat if you beat that score tomorrow. I care naught. Bitches.

I wore running shorts this evening, and Lauren asked if I only wore them when I worked out in the evenings. Yes, Lauren. Be sure to tell Michelle!

As of today, I have retired the phrase “True story”.

I often say “I hate Michael Kelley”. I don’t, however, say, “I hate you, Michael Kelley”. If I ever do, you’ll know that it’s the end of our affair.

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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!

Cluster Fiesta

A spectacular, splendiferous, glorious, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious kind of day at CFZ. I attended the 9:30 (16 in attendance) and coached the10:30 (17 in attendance) and Community (4 guests and many regulars) WODs. Yes, Michael Kelley coached the 9:30 session. He’s awesome. He’s my idol. He’s my hero. He’s fat.

20 minutes to establish 1 Rep Max Power Clean

My one and only goal was to not reinjure left bicep and shoulder. I achieved this goal. I lifted reps of 115, 135, and 145#. As I’ve lost 3 pounds, I power cleaned my bodyweight. I’ll take it. For now.

For time:

5 rounds (5 Power Cleans, 5 Thrusters)
Run 200m
4 rounds (5 PC, 5 Thrusters)
Run 200m
3 Rounds (5 PC, 5 Thrusters)
Run 200m
2 rounds (5 PC, 5 Thrusters)
Run 200m
1 round (5 PC, 5 Thrusters)
Run 200m

Use 50% of 1RM Power Clean
20 min time cap

As I knew there was going to be a very high volume of lifts, I chose to not go any heavier than 50% of 1RM and lifted 75#. That was plenty heavy.

My goal was to complete within 20 minutes. I had a sneaking suspicion that there would be many who wouldn’t be able to do so. I was correct.

The programming seemed straightforward to me, but there was much confusion from the start. I quickly completed the first round, and was well on my way to completing the second round when three or more of my fellow CFers, including Paul A., began to run 200m – after completing just one round. I said, “You have four more rounds to go! Five power cleans, then five thrusters four more times. Then you can run.” I repeated this phrase for each person who didn’t finish the first round.

After I completed the fifth round, I had a moment of doubt and thought, “Was that the fifth or merely the fourth round?” I looked around me, but I certainly couldn’t tell if folks were completing the fourth or fifth round. I began to run, but then turned around and did one more round. Quite a few were on my heels after I started to run, and I knew then for certain that I had completed an additional 5 power cleans and 5 thrusters. I briefly contemplated doing just three rounds of power cleans and thrusters for both the second and third rounds, but just couldn’t bring myself to do so.

Confused yet? You understand, then, why I had a difficult time keeping track of rounds. I completed many rounds unbroken, i.e., 5 power cleans and 5 thrusters, including the final round. I often completed 4 power cleans, placed the bar down, completed the fifth power clean and then did all 5 thrusters. I was pleased that I completed all rounds of 5 thrusters unbroken.

I know the metcon is tough when I don’t enjoy running. During the last 2 rounds, I sincerely contemplated walking part of the 200m. I did not.

Time = 15:50. I give this metcon a score of 9.5.

As there were so many athletes in attendance for the 10:30 session, I had to be much more direct than I usually am. For the most part, people listened. Thank you. Everyone had a least one good rep. Not entirely true story.

Community WOD consisted of 25 push press each arm, 25 air squats, 200m run, 20, 15, 10, & 5, with a 10-minute time cap. One person completed with just seconds to spare.

Opposites Day

Meg and Zac were emotionally needy most of the night; thus, I didn’t get much sleep. They also insisted upon being fed at exactly 4:30. I wish I weren’t such a light sleeper…

I arrived at the box at 5:10, and didn’t leave until 6:55. Yes, I spent much time on mobility. It’s funny how much I miss something I loathe so much. Yes, I’m talking about Michael Kelley mobility.

I attempted to complete Tuesday’s strength workout, and I was 50% successful in doing so. Read on.

Spend 15 minutes working up to 5RM press
Spend 15 minutes working up to 3RM dead-lift

I usually despise Michael Kelley press and love uhm, not Michael Kelley dead-lifts. Not today.

I set my goals to press and dead-lift heavier than 100 and 320#, respectively.

I successfully pressed 3 reps of 110 and 115#, 77% of bw.

I successfully dead-lifted 295, attempted 325# – and couldn’t lift the bar off of the ground. I knew going into the attempt that I wasn’t going to be able to lift the weight, and that it was too big of a leap from 295 to 325#. I also knew I was running out of time. Lesson learned.

I am, however, completely convinced the 320# is going to be my 1RM, 2RM, 3RM, 4RM… you get the picture. The same was true when I was a runner. I could only run so fast, but I could run that fast for very long distances.

Hero WOD “Tumilson”
8 rounds for time
Run 200m
11 dumbbell dead-lift burpees

The WOD was posted on the main site page yesterday. The Rx weight is 60#, but as we only have 40# DBs, that’s what I used. In retrospect, I could’ve possibly used KBs, but I wanted to hold the DBs throughout the dead-lift burpee, so I opted for DBs.

My goal was to complete all rounds of DB burpees unbroken, and that’s what I did – and with an even split. In other words, I worked continuously.

This was a challenging WOD, although it would have been even more challenging with heavier DBs.

Time = 17:20

I posted this on Thomas Kelley’s Facebook page when I arrived at the box.

TK: How long are you going to be up there? [“Up” there, Thomas? Really? Why the preposition?]
PP: Not much longer. No, you may not join me.
TK: I do not wish to join you. I just wanted to come put my crap away. [Thomas can’t seem to say “shit”. I find this humorous.]
PP: I put your crap away. I’ll post a pic. [I positioned one of his wrist straps hanging out of the garbage can and posted the pic.]

I was 50m into 7th round when I saw a HUGE ass. My first thought was that it was the Goodyear Blimp Michael Kelley, but it was the other Kelley with a HUGE ass, Thomas. As the front door was locked, he was walking to the back of the box, supposedly to put away his shit crap. I think he’s trying to steal me away from Michael Kelley. True story.


I attended the 6am session at CrossFit Nittany, led by Jennifer. It was a full house this morning, with about 20 people attending.

The warmup consisted of 2 rounds of:
200m run
30 sledgehammer hits on tire
100m run
20 box jumps
50m run
10 bridge ups

I didn’t particularly like the warmup, mainly because there were only 2 sledgehammers; so much time was spent waiting for your turn. Bridge ups hurts my wrists. Enough whining already, Paul!

Yesterday I asked Bryan if a Hero WOD was scheduled for today, and he mentioned that we would be doing “1776.” He said, “It starts with a mile run.” I replied, “You had me at ‘mile run’.”

Run 1 mile
7 rounds of 7 clean & jerks (155) and burpee barbell jumps

This was a very challenging workout, as I did clean & jerks just this past Monday and because I can’t recall every doing 49 (or more) clean & jerks in a day – let alone a workout.

I used the women’s prescribed weight of 105#. And I’m fine with that.

, like all but 2 or 3, chose to run 2, 800m intervals instead of the 1-mile loop. The 800m interval at CFN is tough, as there is a about a 300m decline and then 300m incline.

I had 7 poker chips (not as nice as those at CFZ) to help me keep track of rounds, but I’m pretty certain that I nonetheless lost track of rounds and completed 8 rounds. Perhaps I should rename WOD “1876”.

Uhm, the burpee barbell jumps were a welcome relief from clean & jerks.

I completed the WOD in 20:47.

Thanks for your hospitality, CFN! I’ll be sure to visit the next time I’m in the area.

Run Sandwich

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I didn’t get home until after midnight last night, and I didn’t fall asleep until after 1am. Nonetheless, Meg & Zac awakened me at 5am. I fed them and Luke, and the three of them allowed me to sleep almost another hour. Thus, I got less sleep than the 6 hours that I normally do, and I could feel the difference all day today. I was dragging.

I arrived at the box at 7:30am. This was one of the best days ever, if for no other reason than because Michael Kelley and I were the only ones present. We seldom get to spend any quality one-on-one time together. I truly enjoy Michael Kelley’s company, as he’s smart, kind, generous, and just an all around good guy.


Michael Kelley said something funny. I can’t recall specifically what we were talking about, but he said, “I can’t hear you over your ego.” Ha! You’re funny, Michael Kelley. I enjoy your company. No, I really do. I’m not kidding. Seriously, you’re awesome. You look like you’ve last weight, too.


As I didn’t attend the Tuesday and Wednesday session at CFZ, I did a superset today.

Press & Dead-lift
Press 4×5 @ 90% of 5RM (100#) and dead-lift 3 sets @ 80, 85, and 90% of 3RM (320#)

I warmed up both press and dead-lift before starting. I began and finished superset with press at 90#, and all 4 rounds felt easy. Yeah! I think my left arm is almost healed. I did 3 reps of dead-lifts @ 255, 275, & 290#. I love dead-lifting. That is all.

I rested yesterday, although I very much wanted to go to 908 and do the scheduled met-con. I did it today.

Run 400m
Dead-lifts, 225#
Ring dips
Box jumps, 30”
Run 400m

My goal was to complete in less than 15 minutes, and to rebound all box jumps. I knew damn well that I wasn’t going to be able to do all dead-lifts unbroken, and I didn’t want to do ring dips to failure.

The first 400m run was just plain fun. This was the first time I ran in my new Reebok shoes. They may have a bit too much cushioning for me.

I completed round of 21 dead-lifts in reps of 11, 5, & 5. Twenty-one rings dips and box jumps were done unbroken. While completing box jumps, I began to dread dead-lifts. Huh? I almost wished that there was a 400m run between rounds.

I completed round of 15 dead-lifts in reps of 4 & 3, although I can’t recall exactly how this played out. Fifteen rings dips were completed in reps of 10 & 5, and 15 box jumps were unbroken, although I did rest ever so briefly at top of box on occasion.

I completed 9 dead-lifts in reps of 5 & 4, and 9 ring dips and box jumps unbroken. And then the unimaginable happened…

I jumped off of the plyo box after the last rep – and I didn’t want to run. I. Did. Not. Want. To. Run. In fact, I walked from the plyo box to the back door, and then made myself run. My legs were jelly.

I finished in a time of 13:29.

I give this met-con a 9.5! Nice programming, Tim!

Michael Kelley was kind enough to take pictures of me (and himself). He’s quite a talented pornographer.

It looks hard…

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As yesterday was Sunday, I completed overhead squats. I am pleased to report that I had a breakthrough in that I am able to complete the first rep of a set of OHS. As always, I recorded all rounds. If I had any doubt that I was not breaking parallel, I redid the set. I completed sets of 5 – 7 reps of 45, 65, 75, 80, 85, 90, and 95#, and 2 sets of 2 reps of 100#. I was the only person in the box from 9 to shortly before 10, when Michael Kelley arrived looking slightly less bloated than normal. I then turned on the overhead light (I lift with lights off and garage door open when I’m there alone), and he looked as swollen as ever. Michael Kelley, make sure you meet lady friends in a dimly lit environment. And wear vertical stripes.  I didn’t do a met-con. Let me say that again: I didn’t do a met-con.

I attended this morning’s session, even though I know I am going to CF908 this evening. More than anything, I wanted to see Michael Kelley before I left town continue the low bar back squat series.

While warming up, Michael Kelley had the audacity to say that he found the Community WOD boring. Michael Kelley, you only did the Community WOD was so that you could “beat” the firefighters and look at their asses while doing so. Oh, and eat a HUGE quantity of food afterwards – including my French fries. It’s no wonder that Thomas is my favorite of the Kelley twins.

Low Bar Back Squat
2-3 warm-up sets
80% x 5
85% x 5
90% x 5
All percentages are based on 5 Rep Max

As I last lifted sets of 5 reps @ 185, I lifted 150, 160, & 170# today, slightly more than prescribed weights. I recorded all lifts. I felt strong today, and lifts felt easy. Michael Kelley said, “It looks hard.” As I know the lifts looked easy, I can only imagine that he was talking about my junk. I guess it’s not just my ass that looks good in Lululemon shorts. True story.

Partner Glute Ham Raise

I had the pleasure of partnering with Thomas. (Thomas, no one can make you feel an emotion – it’s merely your reaction to something she or he may have said or done. Thus, I can’t hurt your feelings. I do, however, know what buttons to push. Don’t believe me? Ask your brother.) Glute ham raises hurt both the glutes and the hamstrings. I think Michael Kelley abbreviates “hamstrings” as “ham”, well, because he’s fat.

400m Run
immediately followed by
3 Hang Power Snatch, 75#
7 Box Jumps, 30”

I was somewhat confused at the start, as I thought the 5 minutes included the 400m run. Instead, the 5-minute AMRAP began as soon as the 400m run was complete. Given this, I didn’t feel the least bit compelled to run with much effort, particularly since I’ll be doing a workout at CF908 this evening. Did I already mention that? I’m very much looking forward to working out there tonight and tomorrow morning. I love CF908. Tim, the owner (along with his incredibly strong wife, Erin), competed in the CF Regionals.

I ran 400m in an easy 90 seconds, and then completed 5 rounds + 3 power snatches & 5 box jumps in 5 minutes. Again, I didn’t push myself. All rounds were done unbroken, and I’ve gotten faster with 30” box jumps. Yes, I know you told others to only jump 24”, Michael Kelley. I sometimes don’t listen to you.

I enjoyed the met-con, and give it a 7.5. The score would be higher if we ran farther. In fact, we should’ve run another 400m at the end. Yes? Yes.

Run, Paul!

I was awakened at 3:47am by the sound of Meg opening the dresser drawers – all eight of them. Damn cat. As I had planned on getting out of bed by 4, I wasn’t all that upset with her. Good kitty!

I’m in far less of a foul mood than I was yesterday, but still feeling somewhat out of sorts. I’m hoping my business trip to NJ next and personal trip to mother’s the following week will help me get over my funk.

Back to today… I arrived at CFZ at 4:50, and spent 20 minutes on mobility.


 I completed two warm up sets of 5 reps @ 135, 185, and 225#. Uhm, we were supposed to do 3×3 @ 75% of 3RM but I had in my mind 1×5 – so that’s what I did, 5 reps @ 240#. I recorded and reviewed all lifts, and my form was good. That is all.

No kettle bell swings for me today. I did try a few, but as I shouldn’t go heavy I didn’t think it useful to do 30 reps at a lower weight.

I had planned on doing burpee pull-ups, but changed my mind at the last minute and instead did the following:

18-minute AMRAP
200m run
10 plyo (clapping) pushups

My goal was to make it through a minimum of 10 rounds of plyo pushups without breaking plank, i.e., without lowering knees to the floor, and to indeed clap my hands together for each and every rep. I exceeded this goal in that I completed 10 rounds of plyo pushups unbroken, i.e., without pausing between any reps. I did, however, pause during the last few reps of the last rounds. And that’s okay.

This was a very fun and challenging met-con. I kept up intensity during running, not allowing myself to slow down and use the run for active recovery. During about the seventh round of plyo pushups I sensed that I might not make it to 10 reps without having to put my knees down. I reminded myself, “Tight abs, tight ass!” That did the trick! Coach, coach thyself. As folks arrived, I asked Lauren to keep track of the diminishing time. Thomas did so instead. I heard him yell, “Four minutes!” and I replied, “You’re not Lauren!” Thanks for counting down, Thomas. Next time don’t cheer for me. You sound too much like your brother when you do.

I completed 12 rounds + 200m & 6 pushups; 2600m (1.6 mi) run and 126 plyo pushups.

I was a sweaty mess, and had but 3 minutes to spare before 6am session began. We began with 5 minutes of yoga stretching, including pigeon stretches, and then did an additional 10 minutes of mobility. Good times, good times.

I recorded most everyone as they did one of their last sets of dead-lifts, so they could see why I was provided the specific feedback I provided.

Prior to 3 rounds of 30 KB swings, we spent 5 minutes on partner mobility. I shall never forget a certain someone saying, in essence, “Paul, do my daughter.” Hahahaha! We finished the day with 3 minutes of practicing double unders. Slow is fast, listen to your feet, establish a rhythm, and (perhaps most importantly) relax. I’m talking to you in particular, Burt.