Monday, January 31, 2011

Round Two

Carved out an hour to get round 2 workout in before I had to fly to NY. We did the regular mobility warmup but then got a surprise 50 KBS at weight you can do without breaking. I did 1.5 Poods. Next time I shoot for the orange bell.

Clean and Jerks - I have focused on improving this and it's coming around. I was able to 205 much easier than last year at the throw down. I need to get to 240.

Sara AMRAP 12 - 5 C&J at 115 and then 7 box jumps
8 reps plus 5 reps

10 second rest and then 1 minute max pull ups -24. I like these little challenges thrown in.
Definitely spent


Congratulations to Johnny Irish and Fireman Bill for their performances in the Crossfit Relentless Throwdown in Hartford on Sunday.   John took 3rd and Bill placed 9th.  This wods were brutal - Fran, 1 rep max Clean and Jerk, 5k Meter ROW (Ackk!) and 1 rep max Deadlift. 

I also want to say congrats to my wife who has just started doing crossfit and nailed her first double under on her first try.   That is just not fair considering how long it took me to figure out how to do them!

Im trying to get in a double today.  John and I conferred and as much as I wanted to lift he felt it was better if I did an endurance wod in so that is what i did.   I have always been a bit resistant to outside coaching but I have put my trust in John to get me ready for qualifiers.   There is a lot to work on - clean and jerks, dips, HSPU's, burpees, box jumps etc...

TOSH 3 rounds of
250m - 48, 55, 52
500m 1:42, 1:52, 156
750m 2:50, 2:55, 2:53

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Guest Crossfitter

One thing that I have found in common across all the different crossfit gyms that I have visited, regardless of size of gym, number of members, how long it has been opened is that every owner or coach has been enthusiastic in their response as to whether I can drop in.   Upon arrival they have been super friendly and helpful ( i have gotten rides back to my hotel, suggestions of where to eat and things to do).  Today was no different when I visited Crossfit Westchester.   Chris G the owner was fantastic, he treated me like anyone of his regular members and even shared his future plans for the box.   It got me thinking just how many boxes have I visited so I decided to create the visit.

  1. NYC Blackbox - I got to help lay down the rubber floor- damn those are heavy
  2. Crossfit Performance - BK made it fun for sure.  Looking to visit his new box.
  3. Crossfit San Francisco - KStarr, Boz and Angel - top notch coaches and what a view.  Probably the best view from a crossfit gym anywhere. Who doesnt love to train outside under a tent?
  4. Crossfit Sydney -I think I was the only one in the class without Vibram Five Fingers
  5. Crossfit San Mateo - Small world Brendon Mahoney is a Innov8 sponsored athlete and is friends with Lisa8 of CFNE.
  6. Lalanne fitness powered by Crossfit (San Fran) - Close to my favorite hotel in SF.  Coach Mike Perry grew up in Massachussetts
  7. Crossfit London - First gym I was in that had parallel bars. Locted Bethnal Green, in heart of London’s colourful and historic East End. What this means is that the neighborhood is a bit sketchy.  
  8. Crossfit Vegas - One of my favorite gyms - located inside a stadium.  Great layout.
  9. Crossfit Affliction (Fort Lauderdale)- Been to their first box and to their new box.  Coach Steven Bowser is a lot of fun to train with and to ride your ass while working out.
  10. Crossfit Richmond - Cool gym in an old building.  All I remember is a rowing, burpee brutal wod.
  11. Atlas Crossfit (Chicago) - Great gym.  Big space and a separate area for rope climbs and muscle-ups.   The think that I remember about this gym was that I was taking my time setting up my equipment for the wod when I realized there were no more 55lb Kettlebells left so I was stuck with a 70 lb'er for the WOD.
  12. Crossfit Chicago - This is the home box of one of my colleagues.   Its in an industrial park and has a nice gritty get down to work feel to it.   Really big space but needed a bit more equipment.

CrossFit Westchester WOD:

Part A:
2 minute Max Overhead Squats (95/65)
2 minute Max Pushups
2 minute Max Situps

First time - 35, 65, 95 = 195

Part B:
6 Deadlifts (225/155)
12 Box Jumps (24/20)

6 Rounds plus 12 reps

This is a goat with a strength.   Felt pretty good. Chris let me join the next class to do the 2 minute warning again.

Second time - 44, 63, 81 = 188
Pretty happy that I was able to be fairly consist

Friday, January 28, 2011


Still trying to recover from the West Coast trip and the daily grind while I was there. I'm still more sore from the trip than I was from a week of wods.

Today's WOD
15 minute AMRAP
5 Sumo Deadlift High Pull 95 lbs
7 box Jumps 24 inches
9 Situps

This doesn't look bad on paper but In reality it's not a walk in the park. After making a chalk line to help me count my rounds I preceded to wipe it clean during my sit-ups. I lost count as to whether I was finishing 3 or 4 which really pissed me off. In settled into a pace of a round a minute from that point onward. Final 15 rounds plus 1 rep, it may have been 16 but I'm rounding down.

I was considering doing the power clean and HSPU wod I saw posted on CFNE a few days ago but after a warm up at the prescribed weight of 185 I realized that the wod and travel had taken their toll already.

I really want to get that online Masters WOD in but it won't happen this weekend as we are on the road to the in laws. Something to look forward too today.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Delayed Soreness

Being on the road my diet isnt as strict as it at home and I think that it is impacting my recovery.   Last night I got a massage and was surprised how beat up I was.   Back, Shoulders, IT band, left hamstring and glutes were screaming throughout the whole thing.   I was hoping when I woke up this morning I was going to feel fresh and I actually felt worse than i did after 6 straight days of crossfit. 

I had planned to do 3 rounds of 15 OH squats at 135, 20 KBS at 55lbs and then 30 GHD's.   The YMCA SF is definitely not set up for a crossfit type work out with the low ceilings and tiny space for lifting.   I decided to just do the workout but not focus too much on the pace.   I modified the OHS to 110lbs so i could use the welded bars.   Not a great workout but better than nothing before getting on the flight home.

Running in the Basin

There was no way to do a crossfit work today between the 7am meeting and the typical substandard hotel gym.  So I met up with Dean Five Fingers and Dave Dempsey to do an early 5 miler.   Now I havent done a run that wasnt in the middle of some other crossfit workout in a long time.  It felt great to start the run not feeling beaten down or out of energy.    I convinced the boys to head towards the China Basin versus Fisherman's warf.  I really like to go in the direction away from the normal path.  I wonder how much it will change when our company starts construction on our new campus.

Dave Dempsey Race Commentator at the Dublin Marathon 2010
I have been following Dean's training and knew he was rounding into form for the Big Sur Marathon.  He also told me the training plan called for an easy 5 miler.   The wild card in this group was Dave.   I had no idea that he was an avid runner until the night before.  When I finished my interrogation I had learned that Dave had been a guest pacer in the Bay to Breakers and escorted the great Rod Dixon to a 4:20 final mile and new course record and that his marathon debut in Boston was a blistering 2:40.  Clearly Dave was a force to be reckoned with on the roads.   I have become so used to running in the discomfort zone I found myself gradually moving into that place.  This gradual increase in pace was easily matched by Dave which I guess perpetuated the acceleration.   Now at this point Im sure Dean was thinking these guys are nice turning an easy 5 miler into some kind of harder training run.   I finished hard to the Ferry building and did a nice cool down back to the St Regis.   It was a great way to start the day and the legs felt good aside from a slight tightening of my right hamstring. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rest Day

Not a lot of sleep last night.  Landed in San Fran just before midnight PST time and then woke up around 5am.  Long work day just wrapping up and now off to a work dinner.   Add that to a day in which I succumbed to the afternoon snacks and it wasn't an ideal rebuild and recuperation day.

I will try to do a 5X800 meter running wod tomorrow and then some other body weight exercise.

WODS O Plenty

I have never been more excited about my training than over the past month or so.  I feel like I am really finding time to work on my weaknesses and mixing in enough Crossfit Endurance Workouts and two a days.

I am just coming over a 6 day cycle and I am still feeling pretty fresh.   I wouldnt recommend 6 straight days but I wanted to get the work in while I could as I am on the road this week with a crazy schedule - Late night flight that doesnt land until after midnight PST (3am ET) and then the next few days start with 7am meetings and the whole thing is caped off with a red-eye home. 

I have come across a few wods that I really want to do in the next few days.   The first came from my colleague Sean Urban - The Widow Maker -20 straight back squats - you can rest but not put the weight down. The other is something Kettlebell Rob had posted -

‎"Crossfit Total Devastation" is a variation of the “CrossFit Total”. The “CrossFit Total” focuses on a 1 rep max effort on each movement. This variation focuses on max amount of reps in 10 minutes with a 5 minute rest in between efforts. This variation turns a Strength Movement into a Met Con.

TODAYs Workout

5X20 of toes to bar or knees to elbows

1x20, 1x20, 1x15 & 1x5, 1x15 & 1x5 and then 1x10 & 1&7 & 1x3

Ring Dips

10 reps - bodyweight

10 reps - 20lbs

5 reps - 35 lbs

5 reps 35 lbs

5 reps 35lbs

10 reps body weight

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cloak of Destruction

I was bummed last weekend to have missed the Sunday training session with Johnny Irish and Fireman Bill.   Now one of the really great things about crossfit is the chance to get to know the folks who serve our communities as Firefighters, EMTs and Policemen.  These folks are hard working, humble and always super nice. 

In preparation of these Sunday sessions I had searched high and low for some really nasty wods.   I sent a number to Johnny Irish for review.   When I got to the gym the debate was still on, running was off given the streets are full of snow and the temp was about 10degrees but everything else was up for selection.  It was quickly sorted out that we would start a row and then follow it with a couplet.  A few more back and forths  regarding movements and weight (body weight) and Cloak of Destruction was born.

Cloak of Destruction
Cloak of Destruction
1000m row
10 reps of C&J's
750 Row
8 reps of C&J
8 reps of HSPU
500m row
6 reps of C&J
6 reps of HSPU
250M row
4 reps of C&J
4 reps of HSPU

Weigh In Time
Given we had decided on body weight,  Johnny Irish pulled out the scale and we all weighed in.
John - 195
Bill - 204
me at 174

These are 3 movements that are not in my wheel house at all.  The nice thing was that every round gets  little easier.  I tried to stay close on the first row as I knew that I was the weakest rower of the group.  I jumped off the rower and tried to play catch up and failed on my first rep.  I hadn't recovered enough and picked up the bar to fast to stay with Bill.  After that little learning experience I tried to find the steady pace.   It was a complete slog with the C&J's broken into sets of 1's and 2's.   I looked around every once and awhile to see how the others were doing but mostly I was focused on just doing. 

Final Times:

Johnny Irish - 23:16
Me - 28:09
Fireman Bill - 35:12

Bill had it the hardest in that he had to put up close to 200lb every rep.  That just takes the stuffing out of you.  You never feel better than in the glow of the 10 minutes after the WOD.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I was cleaning up my desktop a few weeks ago and came across a PDF file I had saved to read later.  I finally took the time to print it out and read on my next flight.  By the way  I generally have lots of books and files stored away while traveling so that if I get delayed or stranded somewhere I will have plenty to do.

The article "Confessions of a Steroid Addict" was a fascinating read.   Its mind boggling that someone can go from 150lbs to 200lbs practically overnight.   That said the story line was what you would expect - huge gains, and then a dramatic crash back with some serious health implications.  I can undersand the allure- who wouldnt like to improve dramtically.  At the end of the day its all about your personal genetics and how much work your willing to put in.  Check out the story for yourself.  Confession of a Steriod Adddict

I was excited for todays workout as the team wods are always more fun.  There is nothing better than sharing the pain and the success with a small group.   Even better because this was going to be my fourth day in a row.  I just hate to do a rest day when my schedule will allow me to train.

When I got to class everything changed.  It was just three of us and I really didnt want to force the others thru a workout with an additional 50 reps for a three person team so I decided to go solo.  The other fun part was that everyone had to choose a team name, Johnny Irish picked mine for me and I thought it was spot on.

WOD: “Team Ramrod” 
100 wall balls
100 pull-ups
100 sit ups
100 Burpees 
WOD will run in 2 minute cycles.

 I tried not to think too much about the fact that there were 100 wall balls and burpees.  The 2 minute cycle was actually a good thing.  If you could pace your self the changing of movements could help you just dieseling through it.  

Here is how the wod went:

Wall Balls - 53, 30, 17
Pullups - 35, 31 24
Situps - 64, 46
Burpees 27, 30, 43 Since this was the last exercise the 2 minute limited was gone and I just had to keep moving.  Since the other group was done it was just me and the burpees.  Did I mention this was the third WOD with burpees in the last 4 days?   Did I mention that I am pathetically slow at Burpees?  Never the worry in a crossfit box - Sarah appeared and didnt allow me to slow down or rest.  She was right there encouraging me along.   The last 10 were probably my fastest as I finally got dialed in.   Final Time - 21:58

The boys have rockclimbing on Saturdays so I usually stretch or practice some of the Oly lifts.  Today I decided to do a variation of what CFNE had posted on their Competitor WOD. 
Four Round of intervals at 10mph.
Round 1 - 1:30 at 10% inclince
Round 2 - 1:00 at 5% incline
Round 3 - 1:00 at 5% incline
Round 4 - 1:00 at 0 incline

Friday, January 21, 2011

The brilliance of Manny Ramirez

The late night work out followed by the early morning workout in my mind is harder than back to back workouts  Your body hasn't had the chance to recover but it has had the time to get sore and tight.    

Strength: Cleans 
This is a movement I am really trying to dial in.  Didn't go to heavy at all but tried to increase my efficiency.  Was working at 80% of my max which is only 155.  
I cant wait for Johnny Irish to start naming his WODs so that its easier to find them to see how you compare.  Ben and Heather Bergeron use drink names which I think is absolutely brilliant.  The result of the WOD and the drink is the equivalent - your lying on the floor in your own, sweat, vomit and urine.

5 rounds
5 Squat Clean 135
7 Burpees
9 Chest to Bar Pull-ups

My first round was blazing - I felt great on the Squat Cleans and even better on the burpees.  Chest 2 Bar slowed me downtown but still a good round. Right around 1 minute.  Im thinking cool this will be awesome.   The second round is always the round of reckoning.   All the movements you just did seem to require 100% more.  The weight feels heavier, you cant catch your breath and the clock seems like it is in hyperspeed.   This is the time to stop participating in the debate that is occurring between your body and your brain.  If you are able to check out of that conversation and just keep moving - its all good.  
 While this stuff is spinning around in  your  pumpkin,  your suddenly snapped back into the present by a  strong suggestion from Johnny Irish  to "pick up or get back on the bar".   Historically this is where I would have been thrown back into the ongoing debate and joined the brains side of the battle.  "Doesn't he know Im giving everything?",  "Wouldn't I have done one more rep if I could?".   The good news is that I have adopted a new strategy for when Johnny Irish is urging me.  I immediately join the body's side of the argument.  The body is saying just let me keep going, I can do one more, its what i was built to do. I have concluded that the dumber you are the more successful you can be at least in sports.  How else can you explain Manny Ramirez's success.   In all seriousness he doesn't seem to dwell on his mistakes he just operates in the now.   Its a good idea.
When it all came crashing to an end my time was 9:29.    A time certainly crushed later that morning by Johnny Irish.  
Its fitting that I wrote this and then opened another browser to find this headline. The Tampa Bay Rays have reportedly reunited former teammates Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez.
I have decided to get a climbing rope for my back yard.   I figure it can double as a swing for the kids and from time to time I can hit it for a wod.  If anyone has any suggestion on how to attach it to the tree let me know.   Rope Climbing

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Areas for Improvement

After reading Johnny Irish's blog about doing a rowing version of Tosh I knew I had to do it.   Rowing is an area that I have improved in but i have left myself much room for growth.   Wifey is under the weather so my morning schedule was limited by having to make the trek to Chestnut Hill to drop the kids at school. The mission was to get Tosh in before my first meeting.  For those who dont know Tosh - he is very evil.  It is 200m, 400, 600, 3 rounds with your rest the equivalent of your work.   On the rower John had gone with 250, 500 and 750.   After some quick math I realized that at best I was getting two rounds in. 

200m  :41, 42
500m 1:47, 1:58
750m 2:58 , 2:58

Consistent - but not nearly fast enough.   With that under my belt the workday flew by and I headed to do my second workout of the day. Warm-Up 3X10 Dips.    Will do these everyother day till I improve. 

Since it was a rowing WOD John had us work in heats.   Dave C and I were selected to do the WOD first and then do our strength workout.   Most people tend to go out to hard on the row and burn themselves out.  This was most likely going to me as well, after I looked at the times on the board and figured out that  it would take an avg round of 3:20 to get close to Bill's time of 10:10.   First 500 felt good it was a 1:33.   The Deadlifts at 185 werent bad either.  Then I went to jump to the box and my legs said no f**ing way.   A crash into the box on the first rep is never a good omen.  The next two rounds my row slowed down to 1:57 and 2:09.  From there it was just trying to hold it together.
FINAL TIME 12:07.    Need to get at least 1 ROW wod in a week.

Strength Work = Deadlifts 3x5
Now I was feeling pretty torched after Christine  but the good news was I was loose and warmed up.  
Round 1 - 5 reps at 275
Round 2 - 5 reps at 325
Round 3 5 reps at 325
I opted to do another round at 325 and got them all touch and go.  Next time we have DL's I want to up that to 365.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Usually things are easier when you have help

Im fully recovered from that bout with the flu which is a good thing.  I lost 2 days of training because of that and then Tuesday was a travel day and jammed worked day and work dinner.   These are the challenges I need to deal with in my programming.  

I have a CFNE buddy who is now working in NYC during the week, so i had sent him a message to see if he wanted to work out and whether he was found a convenient crossfit gym to midtown.   Jack was enthusiastic to get together to workout but had not found a crossfit box that had the right hours or location.  So we met at the Equinox gym in Grand Central.  He suggested an early start to avoid working thru the crowds.  Now Jack is another one of these freaks of nature.  51 years old - strong as an ox and can bust wods like a 20 year old.  I knew I had to bring my A game to stay with him.   We did a some rowing and mobility work before we hit a wod off of the CFNE site.

“Adrenaline Shot”
21-15-9 Reps for time of:
Dumbbell Hang Squat Cleans (40, 30)

Jack and I staked out our spots and hit it 3,2,1 go...   First round of DHSC I was slightly ahead.  Now as I mentioned Jack is as strong as ax and he was moving that DB like it was a pom pom.  We hammered through the second set neck and neck,  Hit the third set and I had to put the DB down and it cost me.  He used that advantage to hold me off.  My time was 7:55 and Jack did a 7:53.  No way i do that workout that hard without someone to go head to head with.  That is what I love about crossfit.

We did things backward and then did some strength work.   First 3 rounds of Deadhang pull-ups 15-10-7 and then 3 rounds of dips 10-9-7.  Need to keep hitting those.

Jack thanks or hosting me.  Lets hope that Rebook opens a nice big box somewhere in midtown.  That would be really cool.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Down for the Count

The plan today was to meet John for our Sunday morning sufferfest.  We had planned on each bringing in a few workouts and drawing them out of a hat.

It never happened.  Last night I thought that my stomach was a bit unsettled because I was at birthday party and was very lax about eating Paleo.   It turns out that I have caught the bug that my wife and kids had -  Fever, Malaise, Stomach pain etc...   I felt like I was hit by a truck.   Its 8pm and I am just feeling well enough to get out of bed.   I guess when you are sick its not really a rest day but I guess the down time is not a bad idea.  Im hoping that I recover in the next 1-2 days.

Dr Tabata and Deadlifts

Few things in life live up to their hype. But the Tabata Protocol--which sounds like it could be a tantric sex act or a secret martial art--deserves its reputation. It's a simple cardiovascular-training routine that's been proven to improve performance and fitness in a very short time-

The Tabata Protocol--named after Izumi Tabata, Ph.D., a former researcher at Japan's National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya--is an interval routine developed by the head coach of the Japanese speed-skating team. (It's called a protocol because Tabata and his team took the speed-skating coach's workout and studied it to quantify just how effective it really was.) The workout consists of six to seven 20-second full-speed sprints interspersed with rest periods of 10 seconds.
In Tabata's study, the researchers found that guys who used the routine five days a week for six weeks improved their maximum aerobic capacity (a measure of your body's ability to consume oxygen--the more oxygen you can take in, the longer and harder you'll be able to run) by 14%. What's more, it also improved anaerobic capacity (which measures your speed endurance, or the duration you're able to sprint at full effort) by 28%. So the Tabata Protocol is the rare workout that benefits both endurance athletes and sprinters--hard to accomplish. Consider: A study of traditional aerobic training--running at 70% of aerobic capacity for 60 minutes--for the same number of weeks showed an improvement in aerobic capacity of 9.5% and no effect on anaerobic capacity.
The key to the Tabata Protocol's effectiveness appears to be the short rest intervals between sprints. Conventional interval-training guidelines suggest keeping a 1:3 work-rest ratio. That is, your rest periods should last three times as long as the duration of your sprints. But the Tabata Protocol's work-rest ratio is 2:1, which means your rest periods are only half as long as the time you're working. And according to another Tabata study, that formula isn't just more effective than traditional aerobic training, it's also more effective than typical interval training. In that other study, Tabata and his colleagues compared their original protocol to a second configuration of intervals that consisted of 30-second sprints interspersed with two-minute rest periods. Despite the fact that this required subjects to sprint for more time at a higher intensity, the original Tabata Protocol still proved more effective at boosting both aerobic and anaerobic capacity.
On paper, the Tabata Protocol offers a quick way to get fit in just four minutes of high-intensity work per session. But don't be misled: This regimen is grueling. It was originally developed for Olympic-caliber athletes, and Dr. Tabata reported that they were wiped out by the routine. It's worth mentioning that when testing the protocol--described as 6-7 sets--most of the subjects were exhausted after the sixth set of sprints and couldn't complete the seventh. 
Deadlift 3 – 3 – 3 – 3

I am very conservative when it comes to Deadlifts as a result of an injury.   Started at 275 (3) and then worked up to 315lbs.   This was hard enough but not taxing.

TABATA squats  - I did anywhere from 24 -21 reps
TABATA lunges - Pretty Consistently did 13 reps

Friday, January 14, 2011

String them together

The biggest challenge that I have with staying on top of my training is being able to string days or hours together.   What I mean by that is that my programming is consistently challenged by my work travel schedule.   If I have a 6am flight and the day ends with some kind of dinner or other event my opportunity to train on that day is shot.   The other challenge that goes along with that is getting adequate sleep.  In order to make sure I get a workout in I have to get up extra early which I know most crossfitters do, but its tough when the day doesnt end until close to midnight.

Here is a good article on the topic - Stress, the Business Traveler and Corporate Health

Since I did a double session yesterday and plan on working out both Saturday and Sunday I needed to be smart about the movements and things I worked on today.    Decided with Coach John that weighted pull-ups and Annie would be good but not to brutal. 

Weighted Dead Hang Pullups  5X5 (35lbs)   probably could have gone a little heavier

Next up Annie,  The key to this WOD is not messing up, You really need to string the double unders together.    I absolutely crushed this while in Vegas a year ago, one of those rare times when you hit all of the double unders consecutively.  Today was not that day.   I started and got to 25 and the rope broke.  ABORT ABORT.   Nothing like having a grove and then having to fix the rope and then start over.   2nd time through all kinds of misses left and right.   Sit-ups were fine, all chest to knees.  Time was 7minutes flat.

Double Down - Chasing Bubba

I have been really thinking about the new masters ages and even though I am a year away from qualifying I am really pumped.  This 45-50 age group is full of cyborgs.   I have been training next to a few of them the last couple of years,  Everyone knows Big Bri after winning the masters competition at he games last year.  I will be shocked if everyone doesnt know Bubba Hagood come July.  Look at these recent performances:
  • Elizabeth - 6:30!
  • Angie: 14:02 Rx 
 These times are no joke as everyone knows Ben Bergeron demands full and complete range of motion.  Bubba is training like a mad man.  If I want any chance of staying close to him I will have to pick up my game and really double down on my weaknesses.

So last night I walked back over to Crossfit Craic for round 2.   (Having the gym so close is awesome.)  Coach John had done Elizabeth earlier in the day as well as the gang at CFNE so I had a lot of metrics. Elizabeth combines two areas that I need to improve my form and strength in -  cleans and dips.  After a good warm-up it was the familiar 3.2.1...go.   It was a drastic improvement on the dips from a year ago.  Even the cleans were better, not great but better.  Having good form in the cleans makes a huge difference.  You can really wear yourself out pulling that bar as opposed to getting under it.  My time was 9:46 = This is a huge improvement over the 12:48 I put up back in '09.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Post Snow Storm

Strength: Bench Press 3-3-3-3-3
I dont think I have bench more than a half dozen times since college and that was a long time ago.   My 5 rep max I established just last month at 175.   After a short warm up I started at 185 and that went up easy.  I then went to 205 and only got 2 reps. I  gave it another shot and only got 1.  Dropped to 195 and got 3 and then only got two on the next set.   

5 rounds for time
Row 250
20 Push ups – release at the bottom
15 wallballs

Head to head with Ian on this one,   The slow part about this was the pushups because you had to release your hands. Absolutely no rythm at all

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jack WOD

AMRAP 20 minutes:
10 Push Presses, 115lb/75lb
10 KB Swings, 55lb/35lb
10 Box jumps, 24″/20″

Result - 9 rounds 3 reps

I love my son whose name is Jack, this WOD not so much.  Two goats of out 3 makes for a tough wod.   What is the best way to get better at your weaknesses?  Work at them everyday.  It is tempting to do the fun wods and the ones that we excel at.   The last week and half has been a series of wods and drills focused on things I suck at.   I am really trying to improve my HSPU's, Overhead Olys - C&J, Snatch and Push Press, and box jumps.   Its good to take video of yourself from time to time to look back and watch the improvement.   I compared my Fran from last year about this time to the one I did on Sunday, Night and day.  Im not talking about the time either but the form and range of motion.  If you focus on being efficient with your movements everything else will fall into shape.  

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Say "Fran" to a crossfitter and you sure to get a strong reaction.   This has been on the calendar for a few days but I have been good not let it get in my head.   With a workout like Fran there is a tendency to really overthink it.   I find that I have done best when I just go and do it.   That said I was anxious just like I used to get before any college soccer game.  I think this is normal and actually useful if you can channel the energy properly.

There were suppose to be 4 of us doing the WOD but sickness and an upcoming competition limited to me and Coach John.   By the way I think Coach John should have some crossfit nickname like Craic John or Irish John or Shamrock John,   I wonder if I can get any of those to stick?   I suggested since it was just the two of us we shouldnt do it at the same time.  This way you dont have to even count all you need to do is do.  Its amazing how hard counting can be when all your blood is pumping everywhere but to your brain.

John elected to go first and hit it hard pressing straight through the first set of 21 Thrusters and Pull-ups.  His PR going in was 3:48 and he was on target to smash that.   John worked through the next round without slowing down much at all.   At this point Sarah and I are go crazy - screaming and cheering to give it everything as there are only  9  reps to go.   John's final time was 3:19,  He took 29 seconds off his time,  Amazing.

Now I was up and the bar was set very high.   The last time I did Fran was close to 8 months ago and I hit a PR of 3:42.   I made sure that I was good and warmed up, jacked the heart rate up a few times and recovered.   Then it was down to 3, 2, 1 go .....   First round of Thrusters and Pull-ups straight through.  The second round I got 15 Thrusters not straight through but I didn't put the bar down and then into the pull-ups which I were a combination of kipping and butterfly. Down to the last 18 reps.   I had to put the bar down after 5 reps of Thrusters and then I made it through the pullups.  Final Time 3:35 a new PR.  I was very happy with that.   John and Sara told me I was ahead of John's pace through the second round.  I think I would benefit from doing some heavy thrusters and really focusing on my butterfly pull-ups.

Amazing People who are making the world a better place

As I reflect on the senseless violence that just occurred in Tucson I think about a two people in Boston who I know that are working to make the world a better place. 

So I'm sure a few of you saw my post last night about my wife's and my friend Josie.  Josie just turned 51 and instead of a party for her she threw a party that focused on the Louis D Brown Peace Institute, Zumix and the THEE Slap Bracelets dance group. (check out their video they are amazing It was a chance for us to learn and be inspired by their mission and work.  Josie you are amazing.

  • The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute is a non profit organization in the City of Boston that assists and supports families of homicide victims. Their Core Principles are Love, Unity, Faith, Hope, Courage, Justice and Forgiveness.

    The Peace Institute is named after Louis D. Brown, an ambitious young man who dreamed of becoming the nation's first Black president. But big as his dreams were, and as hard as he pursued them, Louis' dreams were shattered. At only 15 years old, on December 20, 1993 while on his way to a Christmas party, he was an innocent victim caught in a gun fight  in Dorchester, MA just as he was about to enter the subway.
  • ZUMIX was founded in 1991, in response to a growing number of homicides—many of them among youth—in Boston. Addressing the problems of escalating violence, substance abuse and mortality, and the growing underserved youth population of East Boston, ZUMIX sought to provide alternative ways for youth to deal with frustration, anger and fear. The mission of ZUMIX is empowered youth who use music to make strong positive change in their lives, their communities, and the world.
  • THEE Slap Bracelets are lead by 18 year old Khamari Bendolph who found solace through dance after his father and brother were brutally murdered in 2004.  He founded the Slaps as a dance group with a certain sense of social responsibility and, as such, the Slaps have collaborated with community groups such as Peace Boston and participated in awareness events since its founding, such as the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute’s Walk for Peace.
The other person that has inspired me is my Dentist Dr Charles Badaoui who is in currently in Guatemala on an annual trip with Medical Missions for Children. MMFC is a dedicated group of approximately 375 medical, surgical, and dental volunteers who use personal vacation time each year to travel to remote geographical locations around the world in order to help heal children and young adults suffering from tragic facial deformities, such as cleft lip and palate and severe injuries.   Dr. Badaoui thanks for all that you and your colleagues do!

There is hope in the world when we all decide to do something and get involved.  If you can't give your time at least make a donation however small to these charities!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Sort of Homecoming

I have been really wanting to get over to CrossFit New England for a long while and today was the day. It was a perfect storm - a hero wod and a nice dusting of snow. Walking thru the door was like going home -all kinds of memories racing through your mind but an overall warm feeling of comfort.   I named this a sort of homecoming because CFNE is home for me even though most of my training now is at either Crossfit Craic or some non descript hotel gym.

CFNE continues to draw all kinds of amazing athletes and I could see the 7:30 class was going to be no different.   Adding the homecoming was the old guard (Dennis, Maura, Julie, Craig and so many others) ready to test their metal against a hero WOD.   It was at that point that I was reminded of what makes crossfit so special.   A group of amazing athletes ready to go at it at early on a Saturday morning for nothing more than to honor U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant John Rankel - a true model of Courage, Commitment and Heroism.  As at any Crossfit box that was everyone's first mission, the second mission is not competition or winning but encouragement and support.   With that the count was given 3, 2, 1 go..... and we began  “Rankel”

Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
6 Deadlifts (225, 155)
7 Burpee pull-ups
10 Kettlebell swings (70, 53)
Run 200 meters
Post Scores to Comments
U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant John Rankel, 23, of Speedway, Indiana, assigned to 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, 1 Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Camp Pendleton, California,  was killed on June 7, 2010, while supporting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan

I really enjoyed this workout,  the biggest difficulty I had was with the burpee pullups.  I wasnt able to get any rhythm going and ended up doing deadhang pullups.  Score -  6 rounds plus 11 reps.  Just short of the goal that Mel had put out there for us at the beginning of class. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

First flight of the year

Since this blog is called life on the road I had better focus in that a little. The great news on the first trip is the plane was only half full in both directions. In fact I am typing this at 30k feet in a row all to my self. On the way out to Minneapolis the guy behind me talked at his seat mates for the whole flight. The guy furthest away put his noise blocker headset on so he was probably fine but the poor woman next to him, I feel for her. The whole plane was silent aside from this one guy going on an and on about what he did, lawyer but mostly expert witness, as well as everything he knew about sailing and where he had sailed. Clearly if I was next to him I would have been heads down working, that's generally my strategy.

I really enjoy going to Minneapolis as I lived there while on a project for 2 years and had a great experience I arrived to a beautiful sunny day with temps in the low 20's. In had planned to do a meeting and come right home but the last flight wouldn't allow it. that gave me the chance to pay visit to MOA that's not a typo for MOMA. It's the mall of america. I was curious to what kind of shape it would be in as it had just opened when I lived there 18 years ago. I think of malls some what like casinos. They either need to be blown up or upgraded or they fall out of favor. MOA had changed the indoor amusement park had changed a lot.
Let me be clear I'm not a mall or shopping fan but was curious as this type of place is atell tale for culture and vibrancy or direction of a community.

I'm hoping to squeeze in a workout before soccer tonight but not sure if schedule will permit.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Planning Ahead

The week of no travel has ended and I have to got MSP tomorrow. I have really been a nice groove. Especially staying Paleo since I got home. This trip messes up my On/rest plan but I will work around it.

Do you ever open the browser to check tomorrows wod? Well today I got an email with a message regarding Sundays WOD. Sundays have been special sessions that I am considering as games ready practice. Last week we did Bull and this week we do Fran. Bull clearly messed with my mind last week and Fran will but in a different way. With Bull I was clearly worried whether I could do 60 OHS. Fran is just thinking about how to drive through intense pain and the need to not stop! My PR is nothing to write home about compared to the Firebreathers, butI would love to shave a few seconds off.

Yesterday CFNE did a few more of their Paleo Benchmarks - the mile and a 2 min drill. This is where the power of a big box full of top notch athletes can really help A huge pack of antelopes pulls the rest of the group along on this run for sure. Some great scores for the 2 min drill - I want to try that one out.


Handstands and Hand Stand Pushups

Kettlebell Cleans - need work on my KB skills


Since I did deadlifts on Monday I did a WOD which was on the main site on Monday

3 rounds for time of:
Run 400 meters
30 Overhead squats, 75 pounds
21 Pull-ups

Coach John and Glenn did it earlier in the day so I had something to shoot for. The time to beat was 12:27.

Round 1 - Felt good on first run 1:25 and the first round was fast - 3:20
Round 2 - Started the 2nd run and nothing was working (gassed and legs gone) Managed a 2min 400. The rest of round 2 took 2:48 total - 8:15
Round 3 - This run felt better probably because I was crawling 2:20(thats not even an 8 min mile pace) 2:41 to finish the round which is cool. TOTAL time - 13:18

I could taste the blood in my lungs after that.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Off Program WOD

So Monday should have been a day off but with a vacation day I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity. Coach John M has been great with helping me adjust the programming for when I am on the road or am still taxed. So we went with 5X5 of Clean and Jerks. Last round was 175 which is decent for me considering my max is not much better. Then for the WOD AMRAP 6 minutes @ 135 of 12-6-3 Deadlifts, Power Clean and Jerk. Still trying to dial in my technique. Got off 4 rounds plus 9 reps. I was smoked. This high intensity short wods are a goat. Glad to have Tuesday off.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bull Wod


Two rounds for time of:
200 Double-unders
135 pound Overhead squat, 50 reps
50 Pull-ups
Run 1 mile

Feeling good that this one is in the books. The Overhead Squats were as bad as I thought they would be. I lost all kinds of time in that movement as John and Bill went through those OHS like they had dowels in their hands not a loaded bar. I felt good on the pullups and was able to get put together decent reps. The run was not very smooth and boy did I just want to walk. Finished in 57:17. First round 27:09, second round 30:08. John absolutely scorched it in 46 minutes and Bill wasnt far behind him. Good effort all around and nice to train with this crew. Glenn gutted it out even though it appeared that he was succumbing to the stomach flu that has taken down his family.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hero WOD

I have been thinking about the Hero WOD that I am going to do tomorrow. Listed below:
2 Rounds for time of:
200 Double Unders
50 Overhead Squats (135. 95)
50 Pull ups
1 mile Run
Generally I don't think about the workout that much but this one has me a bit spooked. First off the volume is super high and the crossfit Cyborgs (i.e. Derek Mohamed and Harry)took over 50 minutes. I'm especially worried about the double unders. If I cant find my rhythm its going to be brutal. I will be thrilled to get to the run portion so I can do it all again.

This WOD Is a tribute to U.S. Marine Corps Captain Brandon "Bull" Barrett, 27, of Marion, Indiana, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, was killed on May 5, 2010, while supporting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Rest in peace Brandon.

New Year Day WOD

WOD: “2011″
2 rounds for time

11 burpees
11 box jumps 24″
11 knees to elbows
11 push ups
11 air squats
11 kb swings 70#
11 wall balls 20#
11 pull ups
11 double unders
11 thrusters 65#

This WOD was a great way to start the new year. Good size class and got a chance to battle it out. 11:39 Couldn't find my rhythm on the double unders for some reason. Lost time there.