Sunday, April 29, 2012


You know, I wasn't going to do this again.  I've learned so much from the last two BCCCs - how to eat for leanness and for maintenance; how certain foods make me feel; how eating to cut fat is NOT helpful to my strength levels; how fantastic greens are; how a tablespoon or so of grassfed heavy cream in my morning coffee is unbelievably delicious AND makes me a very, very happy person.

So when I saw that the BCCC (Swimsuit Edition) was coming up, I really didn't think I'd do it again.  Especially since I'm not really feeling the need to lean out more.  I mean, if I woke up one day with another inch off of my waist and hips, I wouldn't cry about it, but I'm happy with how I look, and I'd rather have cream in my coffee and chocolate on the weekends than drop more weight.

But...PhillyGuy is doing it this time.  And it's supposed to be all new and improved and stuff.  And when everyone started posting pictures of their meals in our facebook group...I just got too jealous.  So yesterday over brunch at Cafe Lift...

(prosciutto frittata. baked eggs with roasted peppers, prosciutto, onions and gorgonzola cheese. side of hot sauce.) ....I bit the bullet and decided I was in again.

So here's my goal for this one: meet my primary strength goals of a 300lb deadlift and 200lb back squat by June 30, WITHOUT getting fat.  I took a couple of my own measurements this morning and then met Meghan at the gym before classes today to get measured, both of which confirmed I'm just about the same if not a touch leaner: just under 29.5 inches at the smallest part of my waist (my tape) and 30.25" a little higher up (Meghan's tape); 38 and 1/8 inch hips (Meghan only - down almost 2 inches from my post-winter-BCCC measurements, but that could be just due to tape placement).

(For the sake of convenience, I'd also like to keep my weight below 150 so that my 300 pound benchmark will also be a 2x bodyweight deadlift.  But I don't actually care how much I weigh...I just want to deadlift double whatever it is.)

So...those are my goals for BCCC, round 3.  I'm REALLY, REALLY hoping to meet my strength goals.  With just about 60 days to go, it's time to train hard.


Thursday, April 26: cleans. 63x2, 83x2, 103x2, 113F (WHAT) - rested 30 seconds and power cleaned 113. Took 113 again for a single and got under it this time.  Ended with 118, which got up really easily, but again I barely got myself under it in time. Woof.  What happened to that magical week I just had where I PRed both of my oly lifts?  Fark.  Metcon: 60 yard shuttle runs - 6 total, rest 90 seconds between. Rounded to seconds, since we don't have a clock with smaller increments: 16/16/16/16/15/15.

Friday, April 27: beach muscle Friday. Bench press, peak of 2: 65-85-100-110-115-120.  Definitely a PR, since we never bench and back when I did, I always did sets of 8.  Metcon was REALLY fun - a team workout where everyone on the team had to do at least one 30" farmer's walk with the handles, plus the entire team had to get 100 strict pull ups. 15 minutes total.  Score was our average farmer's walk weight, based on everyone's heaviest carry.  I realized we cannot do math - we initially thought we killed this, but then someone realized we were counting the handles as 50lbs each, rather than 50lbs total.  Womp womp.  (This means that last week, when I thought Amber and I carried 320lbs, we actually only did 270.)  Still - I walked with 230 and then 290.  Tried and failed to get 330 off the ground.  Also contributed 10 pull ups.  I LOVE partner workouts.

Sunday April 29: double-session Sundays.  Started with gymnastics, doing some skill work for the muscle up. Ring dips (1 bodyweight; 4 or 5 with a mini band...these are still really hard for me); jumping muscleups; band-assisted muscleups - 2 or 3 with light band; 2 or 3 with two minibands, plus a couple of failures where I couldn't get up out of the dip all the way.  Metcon: 15 minute AMRAP of 5 jumping muscleups, 7 burpee tuck jumps, 12 hollow rocks.  7 rounds total.  

Regular session: turkish getups.  Having a lot of fun with these now that I'm using a barbell.  33lbs, 43lbs, 53lbs.  I shared a bar with Amber and told her my goal was to get bumpers on there because it looked cool.  We succeeded.  I had planned to skip the metcon but then got peer-pressured into doing it anyway.  Karen - 150 wallballs for time (20/14), with an 8:00 cap.  I kind of half-assed this, using a 10lb ball and completing 133 wallballs at the cap.

And then I ate steak and eggs.

Mixto - skirt steak, two eggs over easy, mixed greens.  Fabulous.  Here's to challenge number 3.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

highs and lows

I reached a new low this week.  I'd been pretty bad about maintaining my hands over the last week or two - usually, I take a pedegg to them two or three times a week to keep my calluses thin and avoid tears.  Apparently, the air has been dry lately, because on top of my usual calluses, I was getting very minor rips on my palms and fingers.  Tuesday afternoon, I saw that the scheduled gymnastics workout involved plenty of ring work. I want a muscle up this year, which means I need to seriously focus on my ring dips. 

And that is how I found myself sitting in my office on a Tuesday afternoon after a quick trip to Walgreen's, shaving down my calluses at my desk.  At least I closed the door.

Turns out that my brand new office pedegg is a great deal sharper than my older at-home pedegg.  I shaved off way too much of my calluses, and my hands are now soft, like a baby's.

Babies don't do a lot of kipping pull ups.

During yesterday's metcon (50 handstand pushups and 100 pull ups, to be completed in as few sets as possible), I couldn't hang onto the bar for more than 5 or 6 pull ups. By some miracle I made it through without any tears, but my little baby hands are really tender today.


Training log:

Monday April 23: I was pretty geeked out to work out with PhillyGuy, since this was his first regular session at CFCC.  Front squats, peak of 2 - 85-115-135-155 (failed on second - bottomed out)-155 easy.  I think I have 165 or 170 in me for a single, but we'll see.  Metcon: "Crushing Helen" - a crossfit football workout.  8 rounds for time, 60 yard sprint, 8 russian kettlebell swings (2/1.5p), 5 plyo pushups to a 45lb plate. 8:37, as RX'ed.

Tuesday April 24: baby's first advanced class.

Diane. 21-15-9 deadlifts (225/155), handstand pushups.  I've done Diane twice before - "scaled" both times because I thought the women's RXed weight was 185lbs. According to the regionals events, though, we were wrong.  With partial range of motion handstand pushups to a small medball, 10:22.  Based on my prior Diane times (6:36 with 135lbs and regular pushups, 8:00 with 155lbs and regular pushups), this is really slow, but meh.

Diane aftermath:

My knees started to visibly bruise during the workout.  Today, it looks like somebody nailed me over the kneecaps with a baseball bat.  I had planned to stay for gymnastics, but I was spent after that and headed home.

Wednesday, April 25: imagine my delight at seeing, the day after a metcon involving handstand pushups and deadlifts, regular session programming involving handstand pushups and deadlifts. I knew I was probably not going to PR anything, but it's still disappointing when it happens. Conventional deadlift, peak of 2 - 135-175-205-235-255F.  I got 255 up once and felt my back start to crank when I came out of the bottom on the second one, so I bailed and called it a day.  Frustrating, because 235 went up like it was bodyweight and I was hoping to get 275 in.  Womp womp womp.  Metcon: 50 handstand pushups and 100 pull ups, in as few sets as possible.  Come down out of a handstand, that's a set; come off of the bar, that's a set.  I finished the handstand pushups in 12 sets; would have done fewer but I kept falling out of the handstand.  However, my little baby hands could NOT hang onto the bar, and I did my pullups in sets of 3 to 8...guh. 35 sets total, using kipping HSPUs to an abmat and kipping pull ups.  Please kill me.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Vietnam, Varga, Vici

so I'm a big fan of LMFAO, at least while I'm working out...but seriously, "I'm runnin' through these hoes like Drano" is disturbingly vulgar.


We headed to Chinatown for dinner with some friends last night.  I love Vietnam, but the last time I was there was the night before the Broad Street Run back in 2010.  I remember carb-loading with a crap-ton of rice with my usual salt and pepper squid.  My, how times have changed.

Started with an extra-dirty martini upstairs at Bar Saigon while we waited for our table.

It's pretty easy to stay generally Paleo here.  I wouldn't be surprised to find out the sauces contain a decent amount of cornstarch and soy, but I'm just not strict enough to worry about something like that when I'm only eating it once every couple of months (or, in this case, once every couple of years).  I didn't snap a pic of my appetizer, but I started with grilled octopus (topped with crushed peanuts...see previous sentence).  Entree was the pork claypot.

That shit was fucking delicious.

After a short and overwhelming stint a couple doors down at Yakitori Boy (holy seizure-inducing lights, batman), we headed home...since I had an early date for a double session at CFCC, followed by an essential refeeding session at Varga.

Steak and eggs for protein, potatoes for leptin refeeding, bloody mary for essential horseradish replacement.

I've spent most of the rest of the day lazed the fuck out on my couch.  I just watched three episodes of Khloe and Lamar (not even remotely ashamed of this) and am on my second King of Queens now.  Something about the rain makes me plant my butt under a pile of fleece and refuse to move...except to do this.

Judge away.  Matching yellow raincoats may be undignified, but it beats the hell out of trying to dry Sophie off before she runs upstairs and rolls around on my beautiful silk rug.

Workout log:

Monday April 16: My quads were very sore and tight after the 80 medball slams at the Rumble, so I spent an extra 10 minutes or so before class making sweet love to a foam roller and lacrosse ball.  Box jumps for height - worked up to 33" - which may not seem like much, but it's more than half my height, so I'll take that.   Front squat for a peak of three. 85x5 to warm, then sets of three: 85-115-140-155x2, dumped the bar on my third.  Metcon: 100 American kettlebell swings for time.  My left shoulder is still a little wonky, so I did russian swings instead.  With a 24kg kettlebell, 4:27.  I don't suck at kettlebell swings.

Tuesday April 17: snatch.  Getting much, much better at this. 53x2, 53x2, 63x2, 73x1, 78x1, 83x1 (PR).  I still pull with my arms a little bit, but I'm actually dropping down under the bar, so that's a big improvement.  Metcon: Four Leaf Clover. For time, four rounds of 20 jump squats/250m run.  My legs were still sore and were absolutely screaming for this.  6:44.

Thursday, April 19: squat cleans. 73x2, 88x2, 103x2, 118x1, 128F, 128F, 128F.  GAAAAAAH.  I was so close on this - it would have been a five-pound PR - but I just CANNOT stop myself from cranking with my arms.  Next week this is mine.  Metcon: For time, five rounds of 30 walking lunges with a plate overhead (45/25), 15 burpees to a plate.  I started this barefoot, since I just ripped off my oly shoes.  Surprisingly, the burpees and the lunges were kind of murderous on my toes, so I wasted a good minute after finishing my second rounds of lunges putting my other shoes back on.  15:23 as RX'ed.  Woof.

Friday April 20: beach muscle Friday.  Bench press, peak of 3: 45-75-90-100-105-110F (two reps, then stuck at the bottom of the third).  Metcon: 5 rounds of 30 unbroken double unders followed immediately by max strict pull ups.  Lynne-style, so no time component, and score was total pull ups.  Uhhh...yeah.  I intended to do this RXed, but after being unable to complete more than 20 unbroken DUs during my first three attempts, I decided to call it a day and scaled to 15.  Score - 15 total pull ups (supinated grip; 3/3/2/4/3).

Saturday April 21: Mindy.  20 minute AMRAP, 3 strict handstand pushups - 6 strict pull ups - 9 pistols.  Scaled with partial range of motion HSPUs and single-leg squats to a white box.  8 rounds plus three pull ups.

Sunday April 22: gymnastics followed by regular session.  Gymnastics - handstand walking.  I don't really do this well, but I managed to get a few steps a couple of times.  Metcon: 

15 minute AMRAP of 20' handstand walking, 5 toes to bar and 5 candle rolls to tuck jump. 

Score: 5 rounds plus four toes to bar.  

This was fun, but I was saving it a little bit for the next metcon.  Regular session - farmers walk.  My grip was a little weak from the toes to bar, but I completed three 30' passes - 200lbs, 280lbs and 320lbs.  I dropped the right handle twice during the 320lb walk, which is frustrating, but whatever.  


Took a third crack at the Open WOD 12.5 - an ascending ladder of thrusters and chest-to-bar pull ups.  On my first date with 12.5, I no-repped a crapton of pullups, mainly because I got high enough but didn't touch my chest to the bar.  On our second date, I figured out that the tiny amount of energy I expended doing a second kip to make sternum-to-metal contact was far more efficient than doing extra pullups, and got 51 total reps, or through the round of 9, plus 12 thrusters and 3 pull ups.  


I managed to beat my actual score from the open by four reps - making it to 7 pull ups, for a total of 55 reps.  I earned my brunch, bitches.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

south philly rumble

how i think i look when i work out

how i usually look

thanks for the great shots, hookgrip.

edited to add workout log...

- Monday, 4/9. shoulder still funky. Front squat, peak of 5. 85-105-120-135. Metcon was supposed to be a crapton of pushups for time (150 men, 100 women) - I subbed 100 box jumps (20") - 7:09. meh.

- Tuesday 4/10. Shoulder feeling better. Snatch, focusing on sitting and getting into a full squat. 53-63-68-73. Decent night. 1K row before and after...woof. 4:18.2, 4:19.7. WHAT. My best time for this is about 3:57, so that was...craptacular.

- Wednesday 4/11. Really light weighted glute bridges - sets of 5, up to 165lbs. My favorite metcon: 5 rounds of 5 deadlifts (275/185), 10 burpees. 5:52 as rx'ed, compared to 8:00 even last time.

- Thursday 4/12. Squat cleans, with some jerks thrown in to practice for the Rumble. 64x4-78x2-88x2-98x1-98x1-100x1-113x1-118x1-123x1 (PR). Stayed for gymnastics (this was stupid) - single-armed handstands and bridge ups. Shoulder was not having it.

- Sunday 4/15. South Philly Rumble. Overhead squatted 115 - dumped 120. Did 80 medball slams and a handful of 95lb squat clean & jerks. Ate like a champion afterwards.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Totally Compliant

Whole30? LULZ.

Yeah, in addition to all that cream in my coffee, I really threw this concept out the window this weekend. First, there were a couple glasses of a fabulous supertuscan.

PhillyGuy and I spontaneously decided to have dinner at the bar at Amis. We enjoyed some fantastic preparations of a baby lamb that clearly died of natural causes. sausage over polenta, mixed grill with a lamb chop and some ribs, sal's meatballs, grouper. Lots of non-Whole30-approved bits, but in general, great choices.

And then this happened.

More than Just Ice Cream. That monstrosity in the front was my selection - banana chocolate ice cream (tasted exactly like circus peanuts), hot fudge, crushed peanuts, marshmallows, whipped cream. In the back, apple crumble (far superior to their much-overhyped apple pie...but then I'm not really a pie or crumble person).

We walked off the diabetes on our way back to the car.

And then it was Easter. And this was my Easter dinner, eaten on the couch over a couple games of Scrabble, several episodes of Mythbusters alternated with the Masters, and Mad Men.

I bet eating deconstructed Reese's is precisely what made Betty the size of a small house.

I skipped the gym on Sunday because I managed to bruise my left rotator cuff Saturday afternoon, somewhere during back-to-back gymnastics (many handstand pushups, a little one-armed handstanding, and some attempts at handstand walking) and regular session (turkish getups). I turkish-get-upped a barbell for the first time, starting with a ladies' bar and then adding weight. Happy with my 43lbs, but I'm thinking that's where the impingement happened. Metcon may not have helped - seven rounds of max strict pull ups (any grip) alternated with 15 hollow rocks, no resting between rounds. My score was 20 pull ups, using a supinated grip - 4 in the first round, so that's bringing me ever closer to my goal of five strict pull ups by the end of June.

This is the same shoulder I injured back in the fall. It's already feeling much, much better, but I'm still trying to be cautious with it so that I'm in decent shape for this weekend's South Philly Rumble. I'm generally awful when it comes to working out injured, and I can already tell this week is going to be a struggle - snatches are on the schedule for tomorrow, and I'm really feeling like I'm on the verge of a breakthrough with dropping under the bar. BUT. I'm already our team's weakest link, so, you know, it would be helpful to have functioning joints so that's not working against me as well. So, here's to being patient (GAH) and happy Monday, all.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday Indeed

My office is closed today. And, while we had been planning on heading up to visit PhillyGuy's family this weekend, he's been knocked on his ass by a really nasty cold, so I think we're going to stick around here.'s kind of a bonus day for me.

This means that, even though I had to get a couple hours of work in this morning, I got to do it from the comfort of my own bed. And then leisurely make some eggs and leftover pork, and watch the entire Today show, and feed the dogs some sorbet...

...and then eventually cleaned myself up a little bit and headed to CFCC for the noon class.

After I seriously PR'ed today's metcon (more than two minutes faster than my prior time - which was scaled) I grabbed an iced coffee and wandered around the city for a bit until I started to get hungry.

(Incidentally...I'm not really doing the Whole30. I've been having heavy cream in my coffee every day. I haven't had anything processed at all, or anything with added sugars, or chocolate, so I guess there's that - but yeah. Not so much the Whole30. Sorry I'm not sorry.)

It was beautiful out - sunny and a little warm - and I drifted in and out of Macy's, Banana Republic and Lululemon. I've been working on clearing all of the too-big stuff out of my closet, which has left me with some pretty limited options, but for some reason I'm having trouble finding new stuff to replace it with. (Talk about first world problems.)

By the time I made it home around 3, I was definitely ready for lunch. And some daytime TV.

In the mix:

small head of romaine lettuce, an entire can of sliced black olives, half an avocado, a bunch of rotisserie chicken shredded up, and about a quarter of a jar of Green Mountain Gringo roasted chili salsa. (God, I love that stuff).

So, yes. A good Friday, indeed.

Workout log:

- Tuesday 4/3: front squat, peak of 2. 80-120-130-130-140. Metcon: 21-15-9 front squat (155/115), russian kettlebell swings (2/1.5pood). 10:25 as RX'ed. WOOF.

- Thursday, 4/5: I had a hot date with some lady friends Thursday night, and we were planning to travel this weekend, so I sucked it up and went to the 6am class. Longer metcon - Christine. 3 rounds for time of row 500m, 12 bodyweight deadlifts, 21 box jumps (24/20").

15:24, as RXed.

Two things: my bodyweight deadlift is now 145 (!), and I shaved almost three minutes off my previous time, which I scaled to 115lbs or 50% of my then-max. I still hate rowing and am not really good at it.

- Friday, 4/6: overhead squats, peak of 5. Couple sets with the bar to warm up, then 65-80-80-85. Meh. Metcon: Jeremy. 21-15-9 overhead squats (95/65) and burpees. Last time I did this was in mid-October. I used 55lbs then and finished in 9:19. Today? I did it RX'ed in 7:10. AND I snatched into the first rep each set - the very first was probably one of my best snatches to date, actually, since I managed to get all the way under the bar. Too bad I couldn't quite replicate that for 15 and 9. Anyway - beastmode.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Upgrade Monday

Nothing like ending your Monday with grassfed ribeye grilled with truffle salt.

Truffle salt courtesy of, my new favorite "flash sale" site.

Also pictured: mushroom salt and magic unicorn salt...which I realize is basically just expensive, fancy Season-All, but damned if it's not delicious on everything. Kind of like regular, cheap, non-fancy Season-All.

It wasn't even a particularly rough Monday - work is manageable, no crises came up today, and I did 42 strict pull-ups in today's metcon. Really, I guess it was a pretty decent day. Regardless, I'm happy to upgrade it with some cowshare steak.

Workout log:

Tuesday 3/27 - front squat, peak of 3. I must have tweaked my left hip flexor doing single leg squats the day before, because I couldn't get below parallel without a crazy tightness on that side. Did three sets and then stopped, spending the next 5-10 minutes of class with a kettlebell and lacrosse ball, trying to ease the tightness. 85-115-125. Metcon - three rounds, Lynne-style, of max pronated strict pull ups immediately followed by max ring dips. 3/1-3/1-3/0, as RX'ed. That last attempt at a ring dip was REALLY bad.

Thursday 3/29 - freestanding handstand work. I couldn't do the regular metcon due to hip pain, since it started with 100 air squats and 75 walking lunges, so I did a special snowflake workout: 5 rounds of 60 second handstand hold, 15 hollow rocks, 15 superman rocks, 10 American kettlebell swings with 1.5pood. HOLY SHOULDERS. 15:15, including about a minute or so of time at the beginning spent dicking around to figure out a substitute workout.

Friday 3/30 - DEADLIFTS. My favorite. Peak set of 3: 135-165-205-225-235. We played red light/green light for the metcon. Ridiculously fun.

Saturday 3/31 - some practice with the squat clean and thruster. I was fine with just the 45-lb bar, but once I added tens, my hip was screaming again. Metcon was a Fight-Gone-Bad style AMRAP - 3 rounds of 60 seconds each, row (for calories), hang squat clean (95/65), thruster (95/65). Subbed hang power cleans and push presses; total score was 118.

Monday 4/2 - strict press, peak of 3. 43-63-73-83F-78. Metcon: descending ladder of thrusters (45/33) and strict L pull ups, 50/15-40/12-30/9-20/6. Subbed strict supinated pull ups for the L pull ups. 16:51. The fact that I can do 42 bodyweight pull ups without failing a single one - no matter how long it took me - still kind of blows my mind, since I was so unspeakably bad at pull ups just a couple of months ago.