Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Impulse Decision


all the cool kids are doing it.

Or, well, a few cool kids at the gym are doing it. And for the past couple of weeks, I've had the nagging awareness that I really need to clean things up if I want to drop a little more body fat (which I do). Problem is that I've been shutting down that nagging awareness with a bit more 85% dark chocolate than I should be eating in order to maintain - let alone continue to lose - body fat.

So, after chatting briefly with some fellow CFCC'ers on Sunday afternoon, I impulsively decided to start Whole30 on Monday. I may regret this decision in a few days (or, more likely, in about two weeks, when I won't quite be at the halfway point and the novelty of my "LOL NO MORE CHOCOLATE FOR A LITTLE WHILE" decision has worn off), but whatever. I do better with a structure in place, no matter how arbitrary.

I spent most of Sunday moving the gym from its cozy little home on 13th street to a much, MUCH bigger and swankier home on Chestnut Street.

CFCC men reassembling the pull up rig.

...about an hour after this picture was taken, and the rig fully assembled and all 1532 bolts tightened within an inch of their lives, we realized they'd put the main posts in wrong. Every single one of them had to be turned 90 degrees.

Moving is hard work.


Thursday 3/22 - yet another 6am class, so I could get my first crack at the games open WOD 12.5 7 minute AMRAP, 3/6/9....thrusters (100/65)/chest to bar pull ups. I made it all the way through the round of 9 for a total of 36 reps. While I was happy with this, since a few months ago I couldn't even do a single bodyweight pull up, let alone multiple chest-to-bar pull ups, I knew there was plenty of room for improvement since I did a whole lot of no-reps where I got high enough but didn't actually touch my chest to the bar.

Friday 3/23 - DEADLIFFIN' again. for an easy peak of 1. 135-165-195-225-255. PR, and I definitely had room for one more set, if we were going for a max and not a fast, easy peak. Metcon - easy Diane. 21-15-9 deadlifts (225/185), handstand pushups. Instructed to do 50% of our max - so since my max isn't 370, I wasn't RX'ing this one. 6:36, 135/regular pushups.

Saturday 3/24 - 12.5, attempt number 2. This time I finished the round of 9, did my 12 thrusters and got 3 pull ups into the round of 12, for a total of 51 reps. Glad I participated in the open - doing the workouts with everyone else was a lot of fun and gave me a few good chances to really challenge myself.

Sunday - moved the gym. And then gorged myself on easter candy and chicken sopa (a/k/a mexican lasagna) at my parents' house pre-Whole30. Woof.

Monday 3/26 - I was geeked out about working out in the new space, so I went even though it was an easy, short day. About 15 minutes of single-leg squat work - I am really farking close to a pistol on my dominant left leg, moreso when I add a 12kg kettlebell as a counterweight. Right leg - meh. Single leg squat to a box without much trouble on both sides. Metcon - row 1K for time - 3:59.3. Significant improvement over my prior best 1k row of 4:06. I still want to punch rowing in the face.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Poconos Weekend

i spent this past weekend here:

doing a lot of sitting and relaxing and hanging out in the hot tub and watching the boys grill lots of meat.

It was awesome.

I really needed it - I've been super burnt out lately and my work was starting to show it. So, four days off - it's not quite as good as a "real" vacation, but it sure did the trick. We got a four-bedroom cabin in the Poconos and had a few friends come and hang out with us. Even though Mike had to work Thursday, I booked it for the extra night, and spent the day catching up on some errands.

Like taking Cosmo to the vet. Not even the fabulous seasonal window display could distract him.

Poor dude hates the vet.

But anyway - I highly, highly recommend the random long weekend. I actually felt recharged when I got back in on Monday. Fancy that.

Training log - lots to catch up on here:

Friday March 9: sumo deadlift, peak of 2. 135-165-195-225-245. Metcon: ten minute partner row for calories, alternating on the minute. Total calories - 159.

Saturday March 10: CrossFit Games open WOD 12.3. 18-minute AMRAP of 15 box jumps (20"), 12 push press (75lbs), 9 toes to bar. 4 rounds + 3 toes to bar. Fuck me, that was rough. Toes to bar destroyed my forearms.

Sunday March 11: intro to oly. Snatched up to 73lbs - I'm getting much better but still so far from being good. Clean & jerked up to 113lbs. Jerk is getting really strong.

Monday March 12: Overhead squat, peak of 1. 45x5-65x4-80x3-90x1-100x1-100x1-105x1-115x1. Having never worked up to a max on my overhead squat before, this was an automatic PR. Metcon: grip destruction. 4 rounds of 60 seconds each barbell overhead (135/95), farmers' carry with kettlebells (2/1.5p), plank. Score is one point for each time you dropped whatever you were holding, and NO CHALK ALLOWED. 1 point, as RXed (dropped the kettlebells with less than 10 seconds left in the last round...womp womp womp).

Tuesday, March 13: strict band-assisted handstand pushups. These were TOUGH this week - I worked up to a couple with light bands and one with light + mini band, with plenty of fails in there. Metcon: Nate.

20 minute AMRAP of 2 muscle ups, 4 handstand pushups, 8 American kettlebell swings (2/1.5p).

Scaled with strict pullups instead of muscleups and average & light band assisted HSPU's - 10 rounds + 2 pull ups.

Thursday, March 15: CrossFit Games Open WOD 12.4. Fuck this WOD. AMRAP 12 minutes, 150 wallballs (14lbs, 9' target), 90 double unders, 30 muscleups. I mean, FUCK. I hate wallballs but plugged through these OK - after about 30, I started breaking them into sets of 5 and just chipped away. I finished the wallballs with about 4 seconds left and couldn't make it to my jumprope in time. Also, I could barely walk for three days afterwards.

Tuesday, March 20: muscle-up transition work - I did four or five with a mini band. Metcon: 21-15-9 front squat (75lbs)/pull ups. As RX'ed, 8:53. Happy with that - front squats were easy and I only failed one pull up, right at the very end. Time for me to work on stringing more than 2-3 together - I'm going to get much faster at these.

Wednesday, March 21: intro to oly. Snatched up to 79.6lbs (weird mix of pound and kilogram plates); failed at 81.8. regardless...PR! Clean & jerked up to 51kg (about 112lbs); failed three times at 53kg (about 116lbs). One day, these lifts are just going to come together for me, I'm going to keep my chest up and not pull with my arms and drop under the bar...and I will do a bodyweight snatch and PR my clean by like 50lbs.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Crack Veggies

so, these?

they're like crack. I found them in a little store in the sketchier portion of Suburban Station (per the label..."Nutty World") that sells, well, mostly nuts. And dried fruit, and other snacky things. And these? Like crack. I'm worried that they're soaked in sugar or something, but whatever.

Good training week for me.

Saturday, 3/3. Crossfit Games Open WOD 12.2, attempt number 2. 7-minute AMRAP of 30 snatches at 46lbs, 30 snatches at 75lbs, 30 snatches at 100lbs and max snatches at 120lbs. First attempt, I got 44 reps total. This time, I blasted that away with a total of 55 reps. If you're keeping track (and I clearly am), I did my max snatch 25 times. Baller. And then I got a massage. REAL baller.

Sunday 3/4 - intro to oly. Not much snatching - just up to 63lbs and mostly from boxes. Clean & jerk up to 103lbs for a double, and then backed down and did a whole bunch of hang cleans at 73, 83 and 88lbs to work on my form.

Tuesday 3/6 - strict band-assisted handstand pushup work. Did a set of 3 with an average + light band, then a few sets of two with two light bands. Probably could have managed one with light + mini but I just...didn't try. Next week, I guess. Metcon: 20-minute AMRAP 1 strict muscle up + 1 extra ring dip, 2 skin-the-cats, 40 double-unders. Scaled the muscle-up/dip to a bodyweight pronated grip pullup + dip with mini band. Pull ups got REAL hard. 5 rounds (I think) + 5 double-unders.

Wednesday 3/7 - intro to oly. Snatched mostly from boxes again, up to 67.5lbs. More form work on the clean & jerk - doubles at 35kg (77ish lbs)-40kg (88lbs)-45kg (about 100lbs), then failed 50kg (about 110lbs) three times and backed down to a bazillion hang cleans and 55/65lbs, followed by a few hang cleans and full cleans from the floor at 35kg.

Friday 3/9 - sumo deadlifts, peak of 2. 135-165-195-225-245. Felt good. Far better than 245 felt at the Total in January. Feeling good about PRing during peak week, and hoping that we do conventional deadlifts next cycle.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


(clearly we're not talking about the Hybrid Strongman competition here.)

no - for my second stint at the BCCC, I came in third place. While I'm very, very happy with my prize (which included tiger-print socks, a whole mess of Primal Pacs, and a $25 lululemon gift card), I'm much happier with THIS...

So a long time ago, I started P90X with PhillyGuy. We both loved it and saw some results, but I never really got my nutrition in check, so I didn't see the super-intense results I was hoping for. Hence, I never took "after" pictures with P90X. But...I sure did take before pictures.

That's me - in March 2010, just about two years ago. While I lost about 7 pounds, I put them all back on during the fall of 2010, so this is roughly what I looked like when I joined CFCC in late June 2011, and when I started eating paleo in July.

Now, after (i) starting to eat paleo, initially about 90% of the time; (ii) going through a BCCC in October 2011 where I really got consistent, gave up artificial sweeteners, and stopped eating fruit, almond butter and Larabars every day; and (iii) going through another BCCC in January 2012, where I really worked on being strict, by omitting all chocolate, nuts, cream in my coffee, and even limiting fat and fibrous/cruciferous vegetables, here's where I am now (or, where I was in early February).

Um...BAM. That's 18-ish pounds down, four inches off of my waist, a couple inches off of my hips, and so, so much healthier.

And the reality is that today, as I sit here in my bed typing this up, I'm down another couple of pounds from THAT picture, even having loosened my restrictions a bit (hello, daily coffee with heavy cream, and weekly bar of chocolate).

I kind of struggled with putting these pictures out there, since this blog isn't exactly super-anonymous, but the fact is...I'm proud of this shit. I'm REALLY proud of discovering what works for me and being consistent with it, and I'm REALLY proud that I've become so strong and kind of jacked.

So I used my $25 gift card to put towards some real colorful Wunder Unders...

...which I wore last night to work towards my goal of pulling 300lbs by June. We're getting there.

Last night involved a lot of steak, a lot of scrabble, and a lot of this:


Workout log for my post-Hybrid week:

Monday, 2/27: overhead squats, peak set of three. After a set of 5 to warm up with an empty bar - 65-75-85-95-100. 100 felt pretty good and solid, so I'm happy with that - I haven't done an overhead squatting cycle yet, so I have no idea what my max might be. Metcon: tabata ab wheel rollouts followed by tabata hollow rocks. Score is your lowest number of reps of each workout - 6 rollouts + 8 rocks = 14. MEH.

Wednesday, 2/29: oly. Snatched to 63lbs, mostly off of blocks to work on the second and third pulls. Clean & jerk to 115 - felt REAL GOOD on this. I got some new cues from Jim, the olympic lifting coach, at Sunday's lighter session, regarding keeping my arms straight and "snapping the bar like a pencil," which have helped me get my elbows around faster.

Thursday, March 1: two-a-day. I went to the gym at 7am to do the second Crossfit Games Open WOD, which was a snatch ladder of sorts. AMRAP in ten minutes, 30 snatches at 45lbs - 30 at 75lbs - 30 at 100lbs - max at 120lbs. Since my max was 73lbs, I was just hoping to get one or two at 75. Killed it - 44 total, 30 at 46lbs and 14 at 76lbs (weird loads due to working with the ladies' bar). Repeating this one today now that I know I can move the weight for so many reps, and shooting to bring my score up to 50.

Second workout: regular CFCC session. WAY more fatigued from 12.2 than I realized. Hang squat cleans, 2 on the minute each minute for 10 minutes. Started with 83lbs for the first 3 or 4 rounds, up to 93 for the rest. I could have gone up but didn't want to - holy hell was I tired. Front squat, peak of three. 103-123-143x1, failed on the second. WAY TIRED. Metcon - three rounds for time, short loop run, 25 box jumps (20"), 50 doubleunders. I scaled this to 100 singles and used the jump rope time as my recovery, since I just wanted to finish this. 12:20.

Friday 3/2: DEADLIFFIN! sumo deadlift, peak of 3. Sumo deadlifts are more difficult for me than conventional, but this day felt strong. 135-165-195-205-215-235. Happy with pulling 235 for 3 - I'm feeling better about my goal of pulling 300 (conventional) by June. (Also, my other goal of pulling 2x bodyweight is now down to 296. Woot.) Metcon: tabata row for calories. I want to punch rowing in the face, even when I'm only doing it for 20 seconds at a time. Score: 53.

happy Saturday!