Tag: workout

The Truth…is out there…. and it hurts… so nicely

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it, well, at least once. Dropping in at a CrossFit box is so much more fun than hitting a globo gym. I’ve been lucky enough to travel a lot. During running days it was, ‘where’s the nearest trail?” or “is it safe to run around here?” With gym stuff it was, “why is everyone giving me the stink eye?” It just feels so impersonal to stop in at an out-of-town globo gym.

Dropped in at CrossFit Rite in Pittsburgh today. Got introduced, everybody introduced themselves. During the workout just about everyone re-asked my name, where I was from, etc… So good to feel welcome.

Then they kicked my ass.

50 deadlifts. Rx was 115#. Such an easy deadlift
50 walking lunges (thankfully, no weight)
40 back squats
40 Toes-to-Bar
30 power cleans
30 burpee box jumps
20 thrusters
20 double unders
10 pistols

I didn’t get out of the thrusters. What 2 weeks off, bad eating, and not really being in shape can do to you.

That 115# Rx weight was a bit screwy. 115# reads? Oh yeah, all day. And then it got real. My legs are nowhere near at strength. For the squats I dropped to 95# and then to a bare bar. Truth be told, there was a bit of ego involved, but that was soon crushed.

Toes-to-bar. While I can do them they are not pretty. Burpee box jumps were a lesson in humility. Thrusters. OK, I tried 95#’s. Lets just say I won’t be PR’ing Fran anytime soon. Ahhhhh the life.

Sweaty, nasty mess. Perfect way to close out the day.

How was your WOD?

TFW – You realize that all of your workout goals…. #crossfit #goals

…have been determined in a vacuum that was devoid of a couple of critical influencers:

 – that I have a family
 – that I work at a startup
Everyone has stress. Everyone has to deal with a lack of abundant resources. But until you’ve worked at a tech startup.
Holy, being duct taped to a rocket ship, Batman!…..
Soooooo maybe it’s not just the annoying surgery recovery thing that will be the limiting factor in 2015. Not giving up. Hell no. Just thinking about “how” to seriously get back on this horse and be in competitive shape come 2016.

5 (+2) things I learned from Judging a #CrossFit – like #Competition

Had the opportunity to judge at NorCal Masters Comp today. Really well run comp. I’d much rather compete, but since I’m not supposed to even be moving weight untilncm-final-small (1) March due to the hip surgery I figured it’s really good to give back and volunteer.

It was a great experience, and I learned a few things in addition to picking up quite a bit of stoke:

  1. Don’t even joke about competition’s being “easier” when you age-up to a new Age Group
    When I was a triathlete, we would often talk about aging up, “This 25-29 group is nasty tough. I can’t wait to break into 30-34 and get on the podium.” I judged several 60+ age groupers today. Even if I was able to bump from 45-49 straight to 60+…. I’d still get my ass handed to me. Wow. Really. Just wow.
  2. The WOD standard is the WOD standard is the …. WOD standard.
    I was legit judging everyone. Mostly judged folks in the middle of the standings. No-repped as needed. Had a couple of the leaders, and it was the same with them. Judged one person who clearly was having a really tough time with the heavy thrusters. WOD standard, which was reiterated, was “no jerking your thrusters.” This person was toughing it out in the lower range of points for the WOD, and I did let a couple of jerks slide. Turns out others didn’t know this person was on the round of 6 (they were on the round of 15), and they didn’t appreciate that the standard was being a bit lax. They are right. I wasn’t doing anybody any favors. The WOD standard is….the WOD standard.
  3. People want to do the right thing.
    Everyone I no-repped took the information and used it to make their reps better.
  4. This stuff is fun.
    Throwing it back to my triathlon days, whether it was IM or an all-out sprint course – folks show up to do their best. That spirit clearly lives in a CF comp. Saw folks digging deep for some really hard efforts on the floor. On a nice note, didn’t deal with any random prima donnas that we used to see in the transition area back in the  day.
  5. Don’t get wrapped up in the guy next to you.
    Bunch of no-reps at the start of the walking lunges and when people were next to someone and wanted to get ahead of them. Standard was for both feet to come together, pause, then move on (ala the old wedding march which, thankfully, is not done anymore). Really, really easy to just step through in the heat of the moment.
  6. Don’t change technique.
    Also on the lunges. Saw a few people “over reaching” on their steps. Sure, more a bit more ground was covered, but they burned out hard. I’d comment on what I saw with thruster technique, but I feel decidedly NOT in a position to do so as my thrusters totally and completely suck.
  7. Judging is not “thankless”
    Even folks who I had to no-rep several times were appreciative.
    Without volunteers these competitions just wouldn’t happen. Even a neighborhood 5k takes a small army of volunteers. Having 1 judge for every athlete in a heat, assembling rigs (and disassembling rigs), scoring, changing weights every heat… Lot of folks put in their time. Not to mention the organizers. Ain’t nobody paying for their private jet by throwing CrossFit competitions. Heard a lot of athletes saying “thanks” – which was cool.Don’t get me wrong… they were not saying it while doing burpees, but who says “Thank You” during burpees?…

Had a blast today. Wish I could have judged both days, but life gets in they way sometimes. If I’m not competing at NorCal Masters next year, I hope I can volunteer.

Disclaimer: event was not branded “CrossFit ™” – I’m using the term as a descriptor.

Is your switch On or Off? …. beast mode, digging deep, additional effort

WOD on Saturday was Team Angie [100-50-25 reps of pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups and air squats]. If you finished before 23 minutes you added in a 100cal ride on an Air Assault bike.

I explained the WOD after getting home, and my wife asked, “Wait. Do I understand this correctly? If you finish early you have to do MORE work?”

Me: “Yes Dear” (trust me, I know how to say “Yes, Dear”), “that’s how it works. Actually, getting to the extra work is a goal.”
Wife: “I’d plan on being done at 23 minutes and 1 second….”

10 If “finish time < time cap”
20 Then reward = “do more work”

So, where do you fit into this equation? Are you the “earn the right to do more work” type or are you the “do the workout – it’s already hard enough” type?

Granted, the question has a different answer for every workout, but let’s apply on-off light switchit generally. Who are you? When you get to the gym are you looking to maintain your fitness, which is a great goal, or are you looking to kick it up a notch?

There are a lot of terms and bro-science about working out and going hard. Some people like to call it “Beast Mode.” I like to think of it as a switch in our brain that we have to subconsciously turn ON. Sometimes you start the workout with your switch in the OFF position. Sure, you are working hard, but you aren’t necessarily digging deep. Then, at some point, you “throw the switch.” Good enough is no longer good enough. You need to go faster. You won’t drop the bar until you get another 3 reps… I’m not talking setting a Personal Record (PR) every time you do Fran. PR’s are rare, amazing but rare. Feeling good walking out of the gym knowing you gave your best effort is more realistic than basing your life on setting PR’s every day.

The challenge I have is understanding HOW to throw that switch on demand.

What is it that drives us to go from static to dynamic? Is it Beast Mode, or is that something else entirely?

Somedays it is so easy to go deep into that pain cave and almost surprise ourselves with the workload we can produce. Other days it’s like the circuit breaker has tripped and not matter what you do the switch just won’t flip.

I do know that it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more times I throw that switch, the better shape I’m in, the easier it is to “go there.” If I am out of shape, like now because of surgery recovery, it’s so much harder to get that switch to flip-up and drive my soul.

What position is your switch in, and can you turn it on whenever you want to?


Team Angie – bit of spark

In team of 2 do 100 then 50 then 25 reps of pull-ups, push ups, sit ups, and air squats.

If team finishes under 23:00 then buy-out of 100cal air assault bike


Teamed with Alessio. My butterflies were so much faster, and easier, than his kip. Push ups were a grind. Sit-ups are, well, sit-ups …

I forgot the air squats in rnd 1, but Alessio reminded me.

We were chasing a team of younger guys. Always a bit of spark.

The squats were tough for me. Duh. Hip is coming along albeit slowly and painfully.

Got done at 18’ish? Maybe?

So we got to do the bonus work. Started at 10cal each but switched to 5 cal each. Air Assault bikes suck!

Good WOD. Tore me up.

Might as well have been solo – WOD

Yesterday was a tough slog. Sometimes getting through the slog feels better than blasting through a wheelhouse WOD. Sometimes…. yeah, I felt good for doing the work.

Main thing is that my engine is weak. Just don’t have that drive to go deep in the pain cave. It will come back. It just takes time.

WOD was 4 rounds:
3 rope climbs
18 Toes-to-Bar
36 push-ups

With only 3 ropes and 25 people in class we all started at different points. I started with push-ups. Left shoulder still jacked, so it was right arm dominant push-ups for me. Rope climbs are something I can do but need endurance for, and I switched to 10 strict pull-ups for round 4. Toes-to-bar – knees to chest more like it.

It was a grinder. With people at all stages of the WOD I couldn’t key off of anyone in particular to get just a little bit of spark. I tried rope climbs with gloves. Great for the way down – sucked for the way up.

Honestly speaking, this was a total fucking slog that I didn’t even finish within the time cap. Wasn’t happy at any point during this one, but that’s the nature of the beast. The only way to get the engine back is to do the work.

Buy Out: 50 calories on the Air Assault bike. averaged 13.x cal/minute, so I got that going for me.

Not every day is wine and roses.

Ugh. Really. Just “ugh”

WOD was meh at best. Deadlifts and a mini Iron Triathlon.

5 sets of 6 deadlifts at 75% 1RM, every 3 minutes

That’s a LOT of time standing around. Should have been pulling 320# (max 425#), but, things being what they are, I pulled 135#. During warmup I did 5 reps at 225#’s. That hurt my hip. It was not a good feeling. Just to be part of the group I did 135. Yeah, 30% of max….

I know… I gotta heal. I have to fully recover. I can hurt myself. It’s only been 4 months BUT!!! still really sucks.

I won’t eve write the WOD. Here’s a pic.

That’s a LOT of reps. Felt all kinds of suck. Big reminder – you are NOT in Open condition.

Bailed out after the Front Squats, and I didn’t even hit depth.

Keep moving. Keep recovering. Tough road though.

Hope you hit it hard today.

WOD 1/11 – ring dips? No thank you….

Team WOD. In teams of two:

WOD 1_11Descending push-press and ring dips, 20 cal on our spankin’ new Air Assault bikes every round.

Teamed up with Steve, as usual. It’s good as we push each other. He is much stronger. I am faster. Kinda. I have a lot of CrossFit style muscle endurance to get back. Did it Rx which wasn’t too heavy but started hurting after a bit.

Ring dips? I don’t think I did a single legit rep…. Damn I suck. The only way to get better is to do the work though. In the first round Steve yelled, “Kip them RON!” – but I have never tried to kip ring dips. Watching him I had the idea, but I looked like a flopping fish gasping for breath.

Air Assault Bike? I don’t care what kind of shape I’m in. I know how to ride a damned bike. If you have ever done a 20k or a 40k time trial on a bike you have learned what pain is and how to get there. 10 calories is nothing. Head down and go.

The distal ends of my quads were screaming after this WOD. I tried to walk it off, but I could only hobble. Tough stuff.

My girls came with and focussed on rope climbs. One would climb about 10′ up and hold on while the other would swing her. Try it. It’s great workout for both parties.

Then we did “Sexy Abs Sunday” – 40 sit-ups, 30 v-ups, 20 toes-to-bar. I think I need to workout just so Sunday’s won’t kill me.

4 Months to the day – hip surgery





September 12th, 2014, 4 months ago today, I had my hip ‘scoped. Doc cut off a lot of bone that was impinging, snipped out part of my labrum, and pulled over 50 free floating pieces of cartilage out of my hip.

On March 15th I should be able to workout with weights again. The 75 power cleans I did on Thursday and the 50 push presses I did yesterday don’t count… 😉





Goals, motivation, goals, motivation…. blah!

I don’t like New Year’s Resolutions, but I do think the beginning of the year is a convenient time to set some goals that we should strive to accomplish within this manmade calendar window of 12 months. I put out a shortlist a few days ago that encapsulates my main thoughts for 2015. Those are my key drivers, but there are a few other things on my mind.

That said… “goal without a plan is just a wish” – is a true statement. It’s not just the “goal” that we need it’s the plan to achieve the goal. Underpinning all of it is the most critical element, the motivation. “Why” do you want to do something? Without a “why” there is little to no chance to succeed.

I have so many things on my mind. Career goals. Family goals. Financial goals. Workout/Fitness goals. And I am having a hard time pinning down concise, actionable goals. I’m also having a hard time pinning down my motivation in each area that I am interested in pursuing.

The fitness related goals are myriad. I want abs. Defined abs. I’ve never had them. Even when I was really skinny (6’2″ 150#’s) I didn’t have them. I want consecutive muscle ups. I want…..

OK. Time to cut the BS and hit the honesty.

I want to be a mother fucking badass.

Not that I have a clue what that means. I just know that’s what I want above any other fitness, financial or career goal.

Is it concise? No
Is it actionable? No.
Is it even measurable? No.
Am I so insecure that I won’t even know it if it happens? Ummmm, hell yes.

So I’m kind of stuck here in a rut of my own making.

Anyone else floundering a bit?

Goals, motivation, goals, motivation…. blah! was originally published on Getting to Rx