Monday, May 16, 2011

Choose your poison... or weight

     Hey again there peoples. Sorry about yesterday. I got the blog out with seconds to spare. I figured you'd like something rather than nothing at all. So today I'm going to try to make it up for you, as you patiently wait for a decent ramble... just like I patiently wait for comments to appear. Alrighty, ramble on!

     Alrighty peeps. Today, we'll have a little sit down about some stuff we've talked about before, namely the weight. First, I want to share a famous blurb from Henry Rollins:

The Iron is the best antidepressant I have ever found. There is no better way to fight weakness  than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it’s impossible to turn back.

The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you’re a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black.

I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds
     Henry brings up a great point. The weight will always be the weight, and a 95 lb thruster is always a 95 lb thruster. The weight is a great marker of our improvement and our ability. Did you do Fran as Rx the first time around? Or can you kick the bitch around now and do it Rx? Strength and power make up a 1/5th of the General Physical Skill, and the greatest way we test that is with the weight.

     Sometime I can power that heavy load overhead, but what does it mean that I can't? It means that's it for today, but not forever. We have our days where we're not dialed in, and a previous PR feels untouchable. What do you do? You call it a day, you come back tomorrow, and you kill it! The weight is what matters, not excuses. And all the talk in the world is not going to move that bar.

     But hey, I'm only one simple CrossFitter. This quote has been thrown around a lot, and interperated by many. So, that's the question for today... what does it mean to you? Let's hear your thoughs, and for the hell of it, add in your heaviest PR (415 Deadlift for me). So pick your weight, move like you mean it... and do burpees.

3,2,1 GO!

Yesterday's Strength/WOD:

Warm-Up: 30 Burpees

3 x 10 Knees-Thru-Elbows
3 x 15 Hollow Rocks
3 x 30 sec Handstand Hold

Dynamic Barbell WU: 1 Rep of "The Bear" (PC+FS+PP+BS+PP)
- 45 lbs
- 65 lbs
- 95 lbs
- 135 lbs
- 155 lbs

Press 3 x 5
- 85 lbs (65%)
- 95 lbs (75%)
- 105 lbs (85%)

65 lbs (50%) x 5 x 10

4 3 min rounds for # of Power Cleans (decrease lbs per round)
10 Hand-release Pushups
20 Air Squats
Power Cleans
*1 min rest between rounds*
Round 1 - 155 lbs (7 PC)
Round 2 - 135 lbs (12 PC)
Round 3 - 115 lbs (13 PC)
Round 4 - 95 lbs (20 PC)
Total = 52 Power Cleans
Ugh, this WOD hurt!!! What was tough was stripping the weights in between rounds, left no time for actual rest. Good stuff though.

Day 30 Burpee Challenge / 495 Burpees Total


Sunday, May 15, 2011


     Morning people. Look, I'm going to be honest, today is cutting it close to the wire. Sleep, as usual, is scarce, but luckily its my day off. So, I'm going to try to get some Rext and Recovery in... I mean, I need it! So, as craptastic as it may be... enjoy the video, talk to you tomorrow... and do burpees!!!

"BREATHE" from Paul Schneider on Vimeo.

3,2,1 GO!

Yesterday's WOD

Warm-Up: 29 Burpees

2 x 15 Hollow Rocks
2 x 30 sec Plank Holds
2 x 10 Wallball Situps

Dynamic Barbell WU:
Burgener Warm-Up (for the Clean)
Clean Pulls
3 x 3 135 lbs
3 x 2 155 lbs
5 x 1 185 lbs
Snatch Grip Deadlift
2 x 5 95 lbs
3 x 2 135 lbs
5 x 1 155 lbs

Today focussed on Oly Movments

Day 30 Burpee Challenge / 465 Burpees Total


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Back again

     Good morning folks! Sorry about the last two days. Two days ago I just got bogged down here, and yesterday, for some reason, blogger failed to work right... so it was my fault I didn't ramble only once. So to make up for it, let us get to it!

     Ok, I know that in CrossFit we recruit the power of the hips like no ones business. And why not, nearly everything we do involves the hips... and if it doesn't, we find a way to them anyway (kipping pullups anyone?). However, there is plenty of things we need strong throughout the body, and today I would like to talk about the importance of a strong backside.

     So, why to we use those back and lat muscles for anyway? Well, think about stuff like: KB Swings, Deadlift, Snatch, Back Squats etc. Yes, a lot of the times we'll talkabout hip power for these movements (like the KB and Snatch), but if you're back is like a wet noodle, then you got nothing. Let's talk about the Snatch for a minute (head out of the gutter people).

     When performing a Snatch, especially at heavy weight, imagine that your body only has two hinges. By that I mean, everything besides your knees and your hips are locked down. Arms are straight, core and back are like a 2 x 4, and our feet (inititally) are nailed to the ground. Once we begin the first pull of the Snatch (ground to knees) our core must stay super tight and our back rigid, the only thing moving is our knees come from flexion to extention. If you don't have the proper strength in your back to hold that weight without buckling, then you're going to have a bad day. The second pull (knees to extention), now we're begining to open our hips, and everything else should locked in (just like the first pull). Finally the third pull (pull our body under the bar), we have to have the appropriate strength to "catch" the load in a very low overhead squat and be able to support the weight till we are finally standing. Don't believe me? Check out the picture below of a legit Olympic Weightlifter.

     So there you have it... a strong back... just another tool required to achieve that elite fitness. Now, I don't want you to think you must look like the picture above. Stength is all relative. If you are able to move more weight that previously, then you're on the right track. So get strong, get fit... and do burpees!

"CrossFit has the potential to change the popular cultural perception of what exercise actually means over the next decade, and I will watch with delight as selectorized leg machines are melted down into more useful items like re-bar and manhole covers."
     - Coach Rip

3,2,1 GO!

Yesteday's WOD:

Warm-up: 28 Burpees

3 x 10 Hollow Rocks
5 TGU each side 45 lbs
2 x 20 Back Extentions

Dynamic Barbell WU:
Burgener Warm-Up
every 30 sec for 5 min 1 Hang Snatch + 2 Overhead Squats 45 lbs

Alternating Movements
1 -----> 12
Hand-Release Pushups
12 ----> 1
95 lb Thrusters
Time - 19:09
This was a bucket of pain! I figured I would do something for Friday the 13th... and that did the trick.

The Day Before's WOD:

Warm-up: 27 Burpees

Core: 2 rounds
10 Hollow Rocks - 15 Hip Extentions - 20 Flutter Kicks

Dynamic Barbell WU: 1 Power Clean + 2 Front Squat + 1 Push Jerk
3 x 65 lbs
3 x 95 lbs
1 x 135 lbs

3 x 5
245 lbs (65%)
280 lbs (75%)
320 lbs (85%)

Sumo Deadlift 185 lbs (50%) x 5 x 10

10 50 lb Right Arm Power Snatch
10 T2B
10 50 lb Left Arm Power Snatch
10 Situps
Time - 5:03

Day 29 Burpee Challenge / 435 Burpees Total


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Surviving the Globo-Gym

     Good morning (or my afternoon), how is everyone doing? Hitting those WODs up? Good to hear. The days have been busy, and getting more so as the days go on. Such is the life. Still finding time to get the WOD in, eat some paleo, and recover. So it can't be all that bad.

     Among MANY things, I miss my box... my CrossFit box of course. I have noticed something about the Globo-Gym here on base, its tough to do a WOD. I can see how people make fun or hate CrossFitters that do the WODs commercially... we just get in the way. I try to be very considerate in the body-builders Mecca. There is a lot of jumping around, and people sharing equipment. However, its hard to share a pullup bar when you're doing something for time.

     Thats probably the biggest apeal of the Box of the Garage Gym, is you generally don't get in the way. When you WOD in the box, everyone is doing the same workout, and you don't (usually) have to wait for someone to finish before you can perform any movement. Then again, you will never run into a meat-head Golobo-Gym rat at any CrossFit box. Even CrossFit classes in the commercial gyms normally have their own area. So I guess I'll have to be the jerk doing kipping pullups and burpees.

     Anyway, I'm going to ask again (and hope to get some answers). What has been your experience with the Globo-Gyms? We all started out there (unless your a CrossFit Kid), so I'm sure you all have stories. What do you got?!  Do the WOD, learn the movements... and do burpees!

"If you want to look like some Abercrombie model, then find another program and enjoy your nice, easy training style. If you are serious about adding muscle to your frame, then get under the damn bar and make it happen."
     - Coah Rip

3,2,1 GO!

Yesterday's Strength/WOD:

Bench Press
3 x 5
125 lbs (65%)
145 lbs (75%)
165 lbs (85%)

95 lbs (50%) x 5 x 10
I have not really done Bench Pres in a long time, I mean, I found my "1RM" (which is probably low-balling it), but I haven't done that much in a while... and it felt great!

10 Dips
10 DB Swings 70 lbs
10 Pullups
Time - 6:15
Would have been sub 6 minutes, if I didn't have to wait for some woman to use the aparatus for leg raises... damn!

Day 26 Burpee Challenge / 351 Burpees Total


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

5/3/1 is back!

     Let me start off with, "I'm sorry." I did not get a blog out yesterday, what with the days being very busy and night being busy and little sleep... it just didn't happen. I'm back now, and I'll try not to let that excuse fly too much. So, why don't we get to it?

     Ok, so the inclusion of the Wendler program has begun. I really like this program, and it has boosted my numbers greatly in the past. Seeing as how my strength has decreased, its time to get those numbers up! Let's review how this works, or at least how I'm making it work for me:

A Squat
B Bench Press
C Deadlift
D Press

Rep scheme
1 - 3 sets x 5 reps (65%, 75%, 85%)
2 - 3 sets x 3 reps (70%, 80%, 90%)
3 - 5/3/1 (75%, 85%, 95%)
4 - 3 sets x 5 reps (60% 65%, 70%)


Week 1 - Mon: A1 / Wed: B1 / Fri: C1
Week 2 - Mon: D1 / Wed: A2 / Fri: B2
Week 3 - Mon: C2 / Wed: D2 / Fri: A3
Week 4 - Mon: B3 / Wed: C3 / Fri: D3
Week 5 - Mon: A4 / Wed: B4 / Fri: C4
Week 6 - Mon: D4 / Wed: 1RM test A & B / Fri: 1RM test C & D

     When I did this before I did this with a 4 week cycle and tested on week 5. If the movement wouldn't fit in that week I would bump up the next time it showed up. This time I'm not going to be jumping around with the weight, it will actually be in order... porobably like it originally should have. In addition to this I'm doing the "Big but Boring" program. here's an example of Monday.

135 lbs x 5
155 lbs x 5
175 lbs x 5
105 lbs Sumo Box Squat x 5 sets x 10 reps (60 sec rest between sets)
... and 24 burpees

     So I did the noted reps above, and then about 5 minutes after I loaded the bar with 50% or my max. I focused on solid form with speed. Since its at 10 reps this is more hypertrophy work (building muscle). I'm not trying to "get huge" or "ripped", but... big muscle moves big weight, and at some point I'm going to need more of the later to achieve the former.

     This may not be the CrossFit model of Constantly Varied, but I have goals in mind during this deployment, and that is to boost my strength numbers. I'm still working on my MetCon and my skills, so don't you worry. Now plug in the numbers, complete the work... and do burpees.

No video today, instead I have a great quote by our good buddy Coach Rip:

On response to a guy who had some life problems lately and afraid of sounding like a "pussy": "You don't sound like a pussy at all. You sound like a normal human being, just like me, who thankfully has a barbell to keep him sane when things get shitty...and realize that one workout out of thousands does not affect your overall progress. Training is a process, not the events of one day"

3,2,1 GO!

Yesterday's WOD:

Push Press 3 x 2
135 lbs
155 lbs
165 lbs (f)
I just wanted to keep putting the stress of heavy weight on my body, and I haven't done heavy push presses in a long time. I figures 3 sets of 2 reps would be good, and not kill me for Bench Press tomorrow. To be clear I did get 1 at 165 lbs, just didn't get the other.
7 minute AMRAP
3 Pullups
3 Stups
6 Pullups
6 Situps
9 Pullups
etc... (just like WOD 11.6, the never-ending ladder)
Rounds - 21 + 16 Pullups
That just felt good. I believe that added up to be exactly 100 pullups, I don't feel tired one bit!

Day 25 Burpee Challenge / 325 Burpees Total
Damn! 300's here we are! We are half-way to our first test... that's right, Day 50 is going to be for time, so be ready!


Sunday, May 8, 2011

To sleep or not to sleep

     Morning folks. Anoter beautiful 100 degree plus day. At least I know I'm getting a good (and possibly harmful) dose of Vitamin D. Oh well, the wife sent me a wonderful car package, including a good amount of more Vitamin D and Fish Oil. Which reminds me, make sure you wish you Mom a happy Mother's Day. The woman raised you for goodness sakes! I'm sure your Mom would agree that you need a good amount of sleep, which is what we have for you today.

Probably not the kind of sleep you need
      Alright, serious now. Below you will find a wide aray of 16 interesting facts about your sleep. Think about it... and fact #3 is a bit strange if you ask me.

     Well, I hope you got some insight from that poster. We've talked about sleep before sometime last year (Stop hitting snooze... and get some real sleep). So sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite... and do burpees!

3,2,1 GO!

Yesterday's Strength:

1 RM Squat 205 lbs
Could have gone heavier and even tied my PR, but again... I'm playing this conservatively

1 RM Deadlift 375 lbs
I thought I was going to meet Pukie on that last pull, blah!

Day 23 Burpee Challenge / 276 Burpees Total


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Odd stares

*sorry folks, late post here's the 9 AM ramble*

     Hi guys and gals. Once again we're plugging away at the rambles. So let me just let you know I saw some interesting lifting yesterday. There was a bear of a man yesterday, but I found it odd that with his chicken legs he had to use straps to deadlift 165 lbs one at a time. These were not multiple reps either... I'm just saying. Moving on.

     Actually I want to talk about the strangeness of the Globo-Gym. Now since I'm deployed I don't have the CrossFit box easily accessible... I'm still looking for it, if it exsists. So, I am forced to use what I have available, which means no bumper plates, no real pullup bars, and very few places to squat. I digress.

     Besides the odd staring contest I mentioned earlier, there was something else to stare at... me. I'm not bumping up my own ego, but yesterday I wanted to spend some time working on my gymnastics skills: handstand holds and planche holds. So I was working on my hollow rock and trying to do my handstands. Aparently this is not something people routinely do. It was tough to actually find the space to do this in the sea of machines.

     So, have any of you tried to bring CrossFit to the Globo-Gym and met with some blank stares? I think that soon we find more and more people that do or have heard of CrossFit. In that respect, are you spreading the good CrossFit gospel? Tell friends and family about it? I'm sure mine are sick of hearing it. So lets hear some more Globo-Gym stories. Move the weight, sprint hard... and do burpees.

Garage Gym: "Bring What Matters; We Supply The Rest" from Garage Gym Store (G2S) on Vimeo.

3,2,1 GO!

Yesterday's Strength/Skills:

Bench Press 1RM 195 lbs
I'm actually really suprised I was able to move that. I think I could have pulled a PR of over 200 lbs, but I wanted to play it safe.

Handstand Hold/Planche Hold practice

Day 22 Burpee Challenge / 253 Burpees Total
These ar starting to suck


Friday, May 6, 2011

I'm still here folks!

     Hey again everybody! Its been a long 5 days... or 6 days, I don't even know anymore. Besides the point, I'm back now. I know you've missed me... and I'm sure every day, at 9 AM CST you've been waiting for my word, and have heart broken without it. Well, I'm sorry to put everyone through all of that. SO let me make it up to you... let's ramble!

If only
     So, I've had a realization on this trip. I have gotten substancially weaker! It bums me out a little bit, at first (I'll explain) Here's a list of my regressions:

Back Squat PR 225... currently well under 200
Deadlift PR 415... currently 365
Sumo Deadlift PR 345... currently 335
Press PR 135... currently 130
Bench Press PR 200... currently no clue, but less than that

     Alright, so onto a little more of an explaination. So at first I said I was a bit upset by all this. However, if CrossFit has taught me anything, is that we must be humble. I have to accept the fact that beause of training and travelling I just haven't been able to "get r' done"... as it were. But out of this, I am able to focus so much more on a very strict and beautiful form. Have I gotten slower too? Maybe, but again... I can focus on form, which can make me more efficient and faster once again.

     Do you guys get what I'm saying? We don't have to be breaking the boundries of the PR all the time. We have to sit back and reevaluate where we are in outr training, and work to improve it. We have to be ready for the mental challenge of getting better... odd as it sounds. I know, for myself, I'm going to be adding back my gymnastic skills work. Also I'll be making my Strength work seperate from my WODs, and adding in more dynamic work to build speed and power (here's hoping).

     Anyway, back to my listening (reading) public. Have you guys ever entered the realm of the plateu or maybe even regression? What did you do to get over the hump? Did you change nothing and battle through? Change your diet or rest and recovery? It's different for everybody, ever if just by a little. So think about your training, put it to use... and do burpees.

Crossfit Regionals 2010 from Samer Abou-Zaki on Vimeo.

3,2,1 GO!

Yesterday's Strength/WOD:

Sumo Stance Box Squat 165 x 3 x 3

1RM Sumo Deadlift - 335 lbs

1RM Press - 130 lbs

Ok, so I've been slowly working my squat back up to par. I've favored the Sumo stance and go to the box, working on the eccentric and concentric pieces of the movement. My Deadlift has most definitaly gone down the tube, but I was supprised that my Press hasn't really moved down that much... in fact, I was quite proud of that current 1RM! I thought it would be a lot less, 125 felt awesome, 130 was a grind, but I made it up.

On the minute for 20 minutes
4 Pullups
8 Pushups
12 Squats
This is actually a test to work on my goal to get through Chelsea by the end of the deployment (which is 5/10/15 for 30 minutes). I felt pretty good, I could have gone for longer, and maybe should have. But now I know I'm ready to go longer. So maybe next time I'll do the reps RX but scale the time... only time will tell.

Day 21 Burpee Challenge / 231 Burpees Total
Man, we're moving right along!