Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hybrid Strongman Recap

That was FUN.

I started off my first competition ever by meeting up with the rest of team CFCC at Hybrid in Stamford, CT, around 8am. We weighed in, drank coffee, ate primal pacs (ok, well, I ate a primal pac - those things are GOOD), and did some general people-watching while we warmed up.

(Let me tell you...there were definitely some great people to watch. Everyone was ridiculously strong, but...yeah. Sometimes people take themselves real seriously. And sometimes they wear Tapout gear and use epic amounts of chalk for things that I didn't realize chalk could be used front squats. But whatever.)

I was all suited up with my new tiger knee socks, hoping they'd help me PR my clean & jerk.

Things started off very promptly, and I was pumped for the first event. I was in the women's middleweight class - 131-155lbs. First event was a "carrying medley:" 50' farmers' carry (125lbs each hand/250lb total), 50'' keg carry (125lb), 50" backwards tire drag (90lb). Don't let the relatively light weight of the tire fool you - that shit was TOUGH. This event was in the 50% or so of the day that I felt confident about, and I loved it.


There was a 90-second time cap - my back hit the wall in the tire drag around 1:12. In retrospect, I wish I'd run with the farmer's carry, since I definitely think I could have - but that's for next year.

Next up - yoke walk. My yoke was loaded with 320lbs. 90 seconds to get max distance.

It wasn't that heavy, but I felt a really sharp pinch in between a couple of vertebrae near the top of my spine/base of my neck. I'm not familiar with yoke walking at all, and I have no sense of whether that was an uncomfortable-but-not-serious pain, or a sign of possible injury, so I voluntarily backed out after my first 50' walk. I tried varying my setup per a teammate's recommendation, but the neck pinch was still there, so I left it alone after that. I do this shit for fun - I'm not going to risk real injury. Since I was very unsure of this in general, I consider it a success.

Third event was Atlas stones. As I mentioned last week, I trained with stones ranging up to 115 and 135lbs. I got the 115lb stone up to my shoulder easily, but could NOT MOVE the 135lb stone. So, the 130lb stone I needed to move for Hybrid was about a 50-50. Either the adrenaline would kick in, and that 5lbs would make a difference and I'd get it up (probably for reps)...or I'd struggle mightily and not budge it.

I stared that fucker down HARD.

And tried and tried and tried to get it up...and didn't move it.

My no-rep was not unexpected so it didn't get me down. Our fabulous coach Erin bought a bunch of stone molds while we were there, so you better believe I'm going to get that 130lb stone...and the 145lb stone...real soon.

Next up was the press medley - 60 seconds to get five implements ground-to-overhead however you could. I faced up with an 85lb sandbag, a 65lb dumbbell, a 105lb axel/fat bar, a 115lb log, and a 145lb barbell. Of these, I was confident about the 65lb dumbbell and knew I stood a solid chance at the sandbag, the axel and maybe the log. The barbell was 27lbs over my max clean & jerk - hence my prayers to the tiger-sock-god.

Turns out I should have asked my socks to help me get under that sandbag. I spent the entire 60 seconds trying to get it over my head. Motherfucker.

Finally, it was time for the front squat ladder. AMRAP in three minutes, racking after every round - i.e. - 1, rack, 1-2-rerack, 1-2-3-rerack, etc. My bar was 125lbs, and even though that's a pretty significant percentage of my max to date (155lbs), I felt real good about this.

And bam. Even though I gave up my belt halfway through to share with a teammate, which ate up a little time, I still got through 5 rounds + 4 reps, for a total of 19 125lb front squats. Not too shabby.

The CFCC team, post-competition and pre-stuffing our faces with beer and french fries:

Thanks to PhillyGuy and Erin for the pics of me looking strong and generally beastmode.

And then we drove home and I slept forever. Didn't wake up until almost 8:30 this morning - a solid hour later than I usually sleep. Hamstrings were REAL sore, my quads were all kinds of jacked up with scrapes and bruises, and my shoulders were bruised from the yoke...but I didn't feel like total death.

PhillyGuy and I started our day slowly and fabulously. We ate take-out eggs from Famous Fourth Street (my omelet was the size of my head and stuffed with veggies - I added some smoked salmon for extra protein), watched Kevin James standup, and played scrabble.

And then it was back at it. Off to CFCC for some really light oly (clean & jerk only, focusing way more on form than weight and never getting above 93lbs), followed by my seven-minute AMRAP burpees for the open.

I could swear I did more, but my official score is 75. When my judge called out 50, I wanted to cry - I thought I was at 60, and I was feeling really good...but it wouldn't be the first time I screwed up counting. That was kind of a gut-check. But 75 isn't anything to sneeze at - particularly since I did it the day after Hybrid.

Next on the agenda: training up for the South Philly Rumble team competition at Crossfit South Philly. Go team!

Friday, February 24, 2012


this morning, I did something I've never done before and may never do again.

Attended a 6am session at CFCC.

So, here's the thing. This week I'm tapering for tomorrow's Hybrid competition. Last week, I worked out six days, and between messing with strongman stuff and the fact that I've been fighting off a cold (GODDAMMIT), I was absolutely exhausted come Monday. So, I took Monday off. I was planning to go Tuesday, but had to stay home and prep for a deposition that night. And then I went Wednesday and planned to go last night, but - thanks to a text message from my brother at 5:30 - remembered that I needed to meet my future sister-in-law at 7 to try on bridesmaids dresses. So...last night was out.

That would have left me with one workout this week, and even for a taper, that's just not going to do it. So, since I'm leaving for Stamford tonight, and since the competition starts bright and early tomorrow morning, it left me with no choice but to wake up at butt o'clock and get to the gym for the 6am session.

Honestly, it wasn't that bad - but not something I'd want to do regularly. Now it's 7:30 and I'm in the office, eating an omelet, nice and awake, having done a bunch of deadlifts already. Meh.

This cold, though. This is some bullshit. It probably explains a lot about my lackluster performances at oly on Sunday and Wednesday, but, you know...probably also suggests I'm in for a lackluster performance tomorrow morning. Which I'm not having. As soon as I started feeling the cold coming on earlier this week, I chugged water with oil of oregano, made it a point to be in bed real early, made sure to eat well, and generally did everything I could to stave this shit off. Like staying hydrated and drinking my veggies.

That brown concoction includes kale, celery, parsley, carrots, beet and (I think) an apple - which was the first fruit I've had in a while.

We'll see how it goes tomorrow. I'm coughing and I have some congestion in my throat and swelling in my sinuses, but I don't FEEL there's that. The tapering is fucking with me, though - I went from feeling really strong and really happy with my body composition to feeling like "AH! you're not ready! you cut too much weight last month and haven't trained hard enough to recover your strength! you're not going to be able to move anything! you had chocolate three times this week and should have had chocolate ZERO times this week and you're going to end up gaining ten pounds and having to move up a weight class!" Mentally, I know it's how these things go - I had the same struggles before every double-digit race I trained for - but it's still hard not to let that shit take over. So...WISH ME LUCK! And strength enough to lift that atlas stone.


Saturday 2/18 - strongman stuff. Unloaded yoke walk (~175lbs), yoke walk attempts at ~355 or 365 - couple steps. 125lb farmer's carry, felt good once I got stabilized. Atlas stones - 43-63-93-115 up easy, several fails with 135. Later that night, about 30min of dumbbell clean and push press with a pair of dumbbells - apparently, the dumbbell ground to overhead at Hybrid will only be a single, so I feel good about that. 30-35-40-45F, followed by 4 or 5 successful cleans and failed presses with the 45s. I got them overhead but couldn't lock out both arms at the same time.

Sunday 2/19 - intro to oly. Snatch, warmup with 53; 53x2, 58x2,63x1, 68x1, 68F, 68x1. Felt OK - tired. Clean and jerk - 73(1C, 2J) - 83(1C2J)x3 - 93(1C2J) - 103(1C2J) - 103(1C2J) - 108x1 - 113F (didn't commit at all - for some reason I went into this assuming it was a given, which is silly since it's 5lbs under my max) - 113x1 (real ugly. ELBOWS DAMMIT. jerk was fine). I was very tired after this and my elbows were unusually sore, so I iced them when I got home.

Wednesday 2/22 - intro to oly. Snatched 53x2 warmup, 53x2 loose/sloppy, 53x2 high but better, 53x2 F, then high; 63x2, 68x1, 73x1F, 73x1 (pressed out), 73x1 (pressed out - HEAD THROUGH!) - 73F. Clean & jerk: 73C&2J, then switched to kilograms. All sets of one clean, two jerks: 42kg-45kg-49kgF/49F/49F/49 (YAY) -57kgF (OOOPS)-47kg-47kg. So, funny story - after several fails at 49kg (about 108lbs - so ten pounds UNDER my max), erin told me to back down to 47kg (about 103). I loaded up the bar and then went to clean, and was absolutely shocked at how heavy it felt - I pulled it fairly high but was so surprised at the weight that I didn't even try to get under it. Um...I accidentally loaded it with 57kg, not 47kg. That's about 125lbs instead of 103lbs. Uh, yeah. This was an ugly night.

Friday 2/24 - sumo deadlifts, fast peak of 5 - required to rep every set out, no dropping from the top. 95-115-135-155-175. My last set didn't really feel heavy, but I did feel myself rounding a bit, which Tim confirmed. I feel it in my upper back now as I sit here in my office. Meh. Skipped the metcon, which involved a lot of rowing.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Dumbbell Cleans

Well, this competition should be interesting.

Spent a few hours today with some other CFCC'ers at Crossfit 1Force in south Jersey, playing with yokes, atlas stones, and farmers' carry bars...all fun toys that we don't have at CFCC that I need to be familiar with for next week's strongman competition.

Yeah, it was humbling. I felt good about the farmers' carry (two bars, 125lbs each). The yoke is REAL WEIRD, and I would have liked to have had one more shot with it at a weight closer to what I need to carry (320lbs) over the two tries I took with a higher weight (355lbs, and crapfest that was hard - I only got it a few steps), but I feel like I'll be OK with that the day of.

Atlas stones...yeah. The heaviest stone 1Force had is 135lbs. I need to lift a 130lb stone over a 48" bar at the competition. I lifted 115 without much trouble at all, but could.not.MOVE. the 135lb stone. It was strange to be squatting there, arms wrapped around a stone, applying every once of effort I could, and not be able to move the thing at all. Since 115 was so easy, I'm feeling okay about it, but not super-confident.

The only other thing I really wanted to test out before next weekend was the dumbbell clean and press. So, tonight, after hanging out on the couch and resting for a bit, PhillyGuy and I went over to our complex's gym so I could give this a shot.

At the gym at home, the dumbbells go up to 45, which I figured would be a decent level to train with. I started with 30lb dumbbells, and did a couple sets to figure out how to translate the barbell movement I've worked pretty hard on into a dumbbell movement, starting from the hang first. I progressed from 30 to 35 to 40, and finally picked up the 45s. After a complete fail followed by a couple successful cleans and failed presses, I pulled PhillyGuy from his treadmill to come film me and try to figure out where I was going wrong.

I present you...PhillyGirl dumbbell cleans. Kinda.

and again...

I just couldn't get both arms to lock out. PhillyGuy thinks it's the way I was starting the press - my wrists were turned the wrong way, which forced the dumbbells out instead of straight up - but by that time, my shoulders were smoked and I was way too tired to get it right, so I called it a night.

Cleaning 45s isn't that bad, so I'm hoping 65 will be OK. The overhead bit...well, we'll see. We just caught up on this week's episode of Alcatraz, and I had most of a Green & Black's 85% chocolate bar for dinner, so I figure tomorrow is a new day.

A day in which I hope to seriously PR my (barbell) clean & jerk. We'll see.

More workout logging:

Thursday - off.

Friday 2/17 - weighted supinated (palms in) chin ups. Mini band - mini band - bodyweight - +5lbs - +10lbs - +15lbsF - +12.5lbsF. I'll get 12.5 next time for sure...and 10lbs was a PR, so I'm happy. Metcon: Fight Gone Bad. 3 rounds, 60 seconds at each station - wallball (20lb/14lb), sumo deadlift high pulls (2pood/1.5pood), box jumps (20"), push press (70/55), row for calories. Score is total reps + calories. 212 - meh. This was a very 95%-effort kind of metcon for me.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fran Again

I know I must be unbearable these days, since pretty much all I ever do is brag about how much progress I've made, both strength-wise and body-comp-wise. But this is my blog, and I get to do whatever I want.

So we're going to brag again.

From my workout log: here are the six-month goals I set for myself in January, aiming to achieve by the end of June - approximately a year since I started at CFCC.

We haven't deadlifted in a while so I have no idea how I'm progressing to pulling 300, but I'm feeling good about most of them - though maybe 5 deadhangs is ambitious. That shit is tough. But anyway - there are two goals there related to Fran, both made on the heels of my last Fran about a month ago. That time, I completed it in 10:24 using a mini-band for the pull ups.

Last night, we Franned again. And I decided to go RX'ed. There was a 10-minute cap, so I figured that I probably wouldn't finish, but at least I'd give it a shot. You know what's coming.

I FINISHED, BITCHES. 45 thrusters and 45 pull ups in 9:47. And it wasn't that bad - I have a lot more in me, especially once I can string together more than two or three kipping pullups. Sub-9 next time.

I am so goddamn proud of myself. I've gone from taking over 13 minutes to do this with a green/"average" band - and being unable to complete more than one pull up at a time with that band - to RX'ing it in just a few months. AND I killed both of my Fran-related goals months ahead of "deadline." Dear everyone: eat Paleo, do crossfit, and be super-badass.

And now a few gratuitous pictures, since I have no further content at all.

On Sunday, I was all bitter because I had to spend the afternoon at work after intro to oly. And the heat isn't on here on the weekends. So there I sat, at my desk, in an earflap hat, flashdance-style cutout t-shirt, and super-baggy sweatpants, praying that no one else was in. (And wow, my eyebrows need a weed-whacker.)

Breakfast this morning (and almost every morning): chicken sausage (found a great brand at Costco - roasted red pepper and spinach flavor, no added sugar or funky ingredients), two over-easy eggs, and a handful of raw spinach.

BAAAAH I rock.

Workout log:

Tuesday, 2/14: Skill work with strict muscle ups. False grip bodyweight pull up; got a muscle-up with two mini bands; many attempts with one mini band and mini+micro bands. GOD THESE ARE SO HARD. Metcon: 30 burpee pull ups for time, 3:40.

Wednesday, 2/15: Front squat to peak of one. 65x3, 95x2, 115x1, 130x1, 145x1 (PR!), 155x1 (PR!). I have more in me - starting heavier next time. FRAAAAAAAN. 21-15-9 thrusters (95/65) and pull ups. 9:47, as RX'ed.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Done, Done, on to the Next One

It's almost embarrassing, the ego this whole BCCC thing has given me.

Funny story. This weekend I was a bridesmaid for one of my best friends. We ordered our (super-cute) dresses back in August - at that point, I had been eating paleo about 80-90% of the time for a month or so, and I was down a little bit of weight, but not much. On top of that, I'm pretty hourglassy, and as usual, my bust size fell two sizes about my waist size on the chart. Long story short, I ordered a size 14, which had plenty of room to accommodate my chest, and I figured I'd just get it taken in.

Fast forward through five more months, two 30-day challenges, quitting diet soda and other artificial sweeteners cold turkey, and a whole lot more consistency. I waited as long as possible before I took my dress to get altered. My lady took that shit in FOUR INCHES in the chest, and as much as possible in the waist without messing up the pockets (yes, a dress with pockets - so fabulous). And still, on the wedding day, when I put that dress on, it hung off of me, somewhat like a sack. As luck would have it, one of the other bridesmaids ordered down a size, and wasn't loving the fit of her dress we switched. And her size 8 was still too big for me.

So, yes. I've been channeling Ron Burgundy. "HEY EVERYONE! COME AND SEE HOW GOOD I LOOK!" And now that I'm close to where I want to be, body composition-wise, I'm ready to shift my focus.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I've signed up for a good old-fashioned strongman competition.

("You people have held me back long enough! I'm going to CLOWN COLLEGE!" "...I bet none of us expected him to say that.")

In less than two weeks, I will be carrying a keg, walking with a yoke over my shoulders loaded with 320lbs, heaving a 130lb Atlas stone, and - gulp - clean & jerking 145lbs. Which, incidentally, is 27lbs more than I've ever cleaned OR jerked before. So, my focus has shifted away from fat loss and to maximizing my strength. Which could really use some maximizing.

I've loosened things up a bit, but am still keeping my nutrition pretty strict while I train. I'm having cream in my coffee regularly now, but am limiting chocolate (or other sugary treat) to the weekends only. I'll probably be OK with more fibrous veggies (cauliflower and green beans and whatnot), but recently I've been having only greens (spinach, kale, collards) out of sheer laziness, so that might continue. I'm also trying to include more lean meats, since I have a tendency to eat mostly pork chops and red meat, but I'm not actively avoiding them.

Example: my post-workout dinner last night.

Two salmon burgers with mustard, small sweet potato nuked and topped with cinnamon, chipotle chili, paprika and salt, salad with raw spinach, cherry tomatoes, handful of bacon crumbles, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and granulated garlic. Side of food and workout log.

Speaking of workout log...boy, it's been a while since I've caught this blog up.

Thursday 2/2: Greasing the groove with supinated strict pull-ups, on the minute for 10 minutes. Started with 2 each minute, failed on the second starting with the fourth minute, so backed down to one. 13 total. Split jerk, up to peak of 1. 55-70-85-100-110 push press -110 (PR!)-115 (PR!). Metcon: 4 rounds for time, 8 push press with 75% of max (for me, 85lbs), 8 toes to bar, 8 single leg squats to a box. 11:35 as RX'ed. Push press could have been faster, but I felt strong and never failed, so that's good.

Saturday 2/4: Gymnastics skills class, handstand pushups. Strict with bands - up to light bands for a couple reps. Kipping - REAL CLOSE. Need to learn to push with my arms. Stayed around for regular session. 3 rounds for time of 10 deadlifts at 65% of max, 50 doubleunders. 16:04 as RX'ed (165lb deadlifts). I could have lifted 50 more pounds and still taken just as long, since my DUs go to shit when I'm fatigued.

Sunday 2/5: Oly. Snatched up to 68.4lbs (weird weight due to combo of pound and kilogram plates); cleaned up to 49kg (about 108lbs).

Tuesday 2/7: Skill work with strict muscle ups. Bodyweight false grip ring pull up (god, that shit is SO HARD) (TWSS). Band assisted muscle ups with two mini bands. SO HARD. Metcon: "Sammy's Day Off." AMRAP 12 minutes, 4 chest-to-bar pull ups, 4 ring dips, 4 handstand pushups, 4 kettlebell snatch (1.5/1pood). 4 rounds + 2 pull ups; scaled with mini band for pull ups, light bands for HSPUs, and push ups for ring dips.

Thursday 2/9: Greasing the groove with supinated pull ups. Same as 2/2 - two for first three minutes, one for last 7. Split jerk - warmed up with 45x3; then 65-85-105-115 push press -115. Metcon - 21-15-9, overhead squats (95/65) and wallballs (20/14). 8:37 as RX'ed. Wallballs super slow, but squats great - did first 21 unbroken and split into 4's and 5s for the rest.

Sunday 2/12: Gymnastics fun - cartwheels, roundoffs, iron cross ring work. Oly: snatched to 73lbs (PR!), clean & jerk to 118lbs (PR!). My form REALLY started to come together for me this week, particularly with the snatch. SO HAPPY.

Monday 2/13: Greasing the groove with pronated pull ups, one bodyweight each minute (up from 2 with mini band last time). Legit. AMRAP doubleunders in 5 minutes: 54 (FAAAAAARK - last time we did this I got about 120). I knew then that the metcon was going to be ugly for me. "Big Jim:" 3 rounds of 400m run, 9 thrusters (135/95), 12 box jumps (30"/24"), 15 double unders. A whopping 26:06, as RX'ed - and the last 15 DUs took me SIX MINUTES. SIX! I bet I spent 12 minutes of that workout on double unders. Like I said...they go to shit when I'm fatigued.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

BCCC Round Two, Done

I feel like butt today.

I weighed in on Tuesday night, marking the end of my second CFCC BCCC. I felt fabulous - lean, hydrated, happy, all that jazz. And I was! All of that, despite chintzing out on my sleep for the first few days of the week, getting to work at 6:30am to finish up a massive project, and all that good stuff.

So, first, the good news. My second challenge was just as successful as the first. Major changes I made this time around included limiting cream in my coffee to weekends only (Saturday and Sunday), no nuts or nut butters, no chocolate whatsoever, introducing a leptin refeed on heavy workout days, limiting bacon to weekends only for the last two and a half weeks, and towards the end, eliminating any midafternoon snacking and eating chicken and seafood only, which meant cutting out the red meat I generally have about four times a week. (This is all in addition to the cuts I made in the fall, including no soda or artificial sweeteners, no fruit, very little dairy, no more daily Larabars, and no grains whatsoever.) A typical day included eggs, raw spinach and chicken sausage for breakfast, maybe a half rotisserie chicken or a salad with spinach, chicken, avocado and tomatoes for lunch, and some kind of meat and green (usually kale or collard greens) cooked with a slice of bacon.

Results? I've lost another few pounds (7, by the gym scale, but I think my weigh-in number was a little inflated, so let's call it 4 or 5) and another inch off of my waist and hips.

Get this. Since October, I've lost FOUR INCHES off of my waist. FOUR. I'm down to 29.5" from 33.5"...while eating steak and bacon and a whole lot of greens. And that doesn't count the weight I lost before I got measured in October - which must have been at least an inch or so from my waist and hips, simply based on how my pants fit.

Seriously? Back in September I wrote about how a specific pair of chinos was fitting me really well. They'd been wearable but snug, and then after a couple months of sorta-consistent paleo, they were fitting nice and loose. I put those pants on about a week and a half ago, and you guys, they slide off my butt completely while buttoned. I bought pants at J.Crew last week in an emergency 9:30 am trip when I realized I forgot to bring my skirt to work (rode there in sweats). They're a size FOUR. I know, I know - J.Crew and its vanity sizing - but guys, I was buying tens there. Vanity-sized or not, I'm down three sizes.

Anyway, gloat gloat gloat gloat gloat. I'm getting pretty jacked and my performance at the gym is improving significantly. And I may or may not have committed to doing a strongman competition in a couple of weeks.

But back to today. So, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday - up at 5, at work and billing by 6:30. On top of that, last night was a major client entertainment event that kept me out until about 10pm. I was able to cobble together some largely paleo options from the buffet - a few slices of red meat (I think it was beef, but might have been a leaner cut of lamb), a square of white fish, some eggplant. I had a chocolate hazlenut truffle for dessert (it was really kind of gross and super-sweet).

This morning I felt like total ass. So tired, so draggy, so dehydrated. I've been chugging water all day, plus a coconut water around 10:30, and I'm finally starting to feel semi-normal. I have no appetite, but ate a salad for lunch anyway, which I think helped. And my gut is not happy with me. Whether this is just from lack of good sleep or from some flour sneaking into my dinner last night, I don't know - but it's a really, REALLY good reminder of just how craptacular I feel when I don't take good care of myself. least I'm getting jacked.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Home Stretch

And we have officially entered the last week of this season's CFCC BCCC.

Like last time, it's now time to crack down and eat only the cleanest crap imaginable. Lean meats and greens only, baby, other than my up-to-thrice-weekly leptin refeed. No more snacking in the afternoons (this will save me about $20-30 in buffalo jerky).

What's a leptin refeed? To borrow a great explanation from Mark Sisson:

"The purpose, as I see it, of carb refeeds is the restoration of leptin levels in the dieter. As we know, caloric restriction reduces leptin levels. With lower leptin comes increased hunger and reduced adherence to a diet. Cravings arise. Energy wanes, immunity suffers. The lack of leptin elicits the cascade of hormones that down regulate metabolism and energy expenditure. Your muscles use less energy and become more efficient – but weaker and less effective. Menstruation and fertility become issues. Dropping calories even more just makes the problem worse. You need to restore leptin, at least for a bit, to right the path. A carb refeed can help you achieve this."

The rest of Mark's post and the comments are very informative - I highly recommend you check it out.

Anyway, what this translates into for me, at the recommendation of my oh-so-wise coach, is to have something starchy on the same day as a longer metcon - over ten minutes. Usually, this is a sweet potato with cinnamon, cayenne pepper, chili powder, paprika and salt - no butter necessary, and it's goddamn delicious. Last night, I had about 3/4c of baba ganoush (eggplant, lemon juice, olive oil, tahini, paprika).

(Incidentally, I had that baba ganoush, together with chicken shwarma meat over a salad, around 9:15 after a 24-hour fast AND a 12 minute metcon that kicked my ass. Nothing has ever tasted so good.)

So, here we go. Until next Tuesday, I'm suspending my love affair with all kinds of red meat (steak! lamb! ground beef! pork [no, contrary to what the Pork Council's ad campaign would have you believe, this is NOT white meat]) and replacing it with plenty-o-smoked salmon, fish, chicken, shrimp and scallops (most of which I have in my freezer). My love affair with collard greens and kale will continue. Bacon...I'll miss you this weekend, but we'll be back together soon.

And you better believe I'm going on a bender at Sweet Freedom bakery when I'm done.


- Monday, January 30: greasing the groove with pull ups. 2 strict pronated grip pull ups, with mini band, every minute on the minute for ten minutes. 20 pull ups, easy. Next week, bodyweight for these. Back squat, peak of 20 (yes, 20). I did two sets - 115 was really fast & easy, so I took my second set at 125. Still pretty fast, and while it got tougher for the last 3 or 4 reps, I didn't see Jesus, so if we ever do this again I'll start higher. Doing 20 reps with 66% of my max doesn't suck.

- Tuesday, January 31: strict muscle-up skill work. Couple false grip ring pull ups with mini band and with no band - not there yet unassisted. Couple band-assisted muscle ups - these feel REALLY weird. Light + mini easy, light band less easy but still up. Metcon: 12 minute AMRAP of 3 forward rolls, 6 burpees, 12 double-unders, 15 air squats. Lesson 1: when you do a lot of squats Monday, air squats on Tuesday are kinda painful. HOLY CRAP. Lesson 2: my double-unders go to crap when I fatigue. 5 rounds + 6 burpees, as RX'ed.