Friday, December 30, 2011

I Got the Magic Stick

No...not that magic stick..if only...

No, I have something that makes all my muscles feel at ease. Or at least a little in a little less pain.  It is creatively called "the stick" and using it for about 10 minutes after a tough workout really helps to alleviate some pain and can help keep me loose.  Combining this with a foam roller can really get some of those knots out of the body.

the magic stick

This was just one part of a fantastic Christmas gift from my wife.  It included the stick, a rev. x jump rope (which I attribute to me getting 114 double unders the other day), an abmat, inov 8 shoes (which are awesome, another post later), wrist wraps, a life as rx wod bag (which is really small), a shaker,  and hand protectors.  All were things I had wanted and are really great.  Totally unexpected and completely appreciated.  Will any of it make me a better crossfitter....well no, but at least I'll look the part. She got it all from again faster which is a great site for the odds and ends for crossfit equipment.

Finally my schedule is slowing down and I'll have a lot more time to try and entertain all of you with my crossfit skillz...or lack there of.

This morning WOD

20 get out of the pools (in leui of 10 muscle ups which I still can't do)
100 75lb push press
1000m row

Time: 12:50

Which I thought was an ok time...then I watched Fronning do it.  He got 6 something and did the 100 push presses unbroken.  Monster.  But for us non beasts, the way I broke the 100 up was a set of 20 then sets of 10.  I really tried to focus on limiting my rest once I got to about 70.  I wish I focused on less rest more for the entire set of 100.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I'm still alive

I know it's been a while since I have posted.  Here is a quick bulleted list of my recent activities and thoughts about CrossFit:

  1. I signed up for my second competition.  PA's fittest on January 14th, under the scaled division
  2. I have been pissing in my gas tank.  Eating like shit and drinking every weekend, which has done 2 things
    1. Makes my endurance really crappy
    2. has made me look and feel like crap almost all the time.
  3. Holiday's kill me because of all the party's and delicious food.  Hope my readers are doing a better job of keeping healthy than I am
  4. I feel stronger, and can lift more weight, but put I'm completely cooked after like 1 round of a workout.  Short bursts are not bad (Last night I PR'd my 500m row at 138.3) but 5 rounds kill me.  

I'll try to find some time before hte new year to update a great post but until then I hope you all are doing well and have a fantastic Christmas!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What Division?

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!   Time to burn off those calories and build some muscle!  Well, now I have a reason to not let myself go this holiday season!  I signed up for another competition!  More info  below!

Immediately after my first competition ended (and before the results were released), I started to wonder "was I in the right division?"  Even though based on the registration page I was clearly in the intermediate division, I thought I got blown away.  

After the results were released though, I realized that I was in fact in the correct division.  Had I entered the "novice" division I would have come in about 3rd place (maybe 4th) and would have blown them away on the row.  So, I was in the right place.  Now, Festivus was unique in that it was made for beginners so none of the workouts would have to be scaled.

Yesterday I signed up for my second crossfit competition and I was again asked to choose a division.  Rx or scaled.  I asked myself the following questions:

Do I want to be challenged?  

Of course I do, why else would I do crossfit.  I don't want to be in a lower division only to win or place.  I want to be challenged and compete against my peers.  Which is why when I look at Festivus, I know I made the right choice, I wanted to go against people at my same ability level and those at the novice division did not deserve to go against someone who has more ability (currently) and has been doing crossfit possibly longer.  It wouldn't be fair to either party.

Will I be able to complete the workouts as prescribed?

Ahh..this is the one that eventually helped me choose scaled.  See, I can only do a few of the ladies at a prescribed weight, and competitions usually have time limits and high weights.  So, rather than sign up and not be able to finish any workouts and embarrass myself, I decided to sign up in the scaled division.  I think at my current level this was the right choice.  

So on January 14th I will be competing in the "Second Annual PA's Fittest" competition.  You can see more info here.  .  This will be taking place at my home box (Crossfit 610) in Allentown so any of my PA readers please consider making the trip for this event.  

WOD (Wednesday 11/23)

        5 WALLBALLS
        15 AIR SQUATS

Time: 8:42
Weight: 170 (a new pr)

WOD (Saturday 11/26)


Three rounds for reps of:
155 pound Squat cleans, 1 minute
20' Shuttle sprints (20' forward + 20' backwards = 1 rep), 1 minute
245 pound Deadlifts, 1 minute (I did 185)
Burpees, 1 minute
155 pound Jerks, 1 minute  (I did 115)
Rest 1 minute

Score: 134

WOD (Yesterday)

Strength: find 3 rep max back squat  Weight: 225

5 rounds
7 shoulder to overhead (135lbs)
35 double unders
Time: 8:48

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Thrill of Competition

One thing I have taken away from the CrossFit competition I participated in is the community.  Sure, CrossFit bills itself as a community, but I always took that to mean the community of your own box.  But this community goes well beyond the box, to other boxes and other members of the crossfit community.  It is welcoming and there is always at least one common interest to talk about (crossfit) that can be the intro to any conversation.

Beyond the friendliness, there is also a universal hope that everyone who embraces crossfit as their sport succeeds.  During festivus, there were at least 2 occasions where I heard an increase in the crowd noise during one of my WOD's.  When I dropped to a knee during hte clean, the place went nuts trying to will me up to complete the movement.  It was kinda amazing actually to have people that were competing against me, rooting for me to succeed.  I truly appreciate that and gladly return the favor by yelling for others when they need a pick me up.

Now, do NOT confuse this with still wanting to win.  I may be cheering for you, but when it is my turn, you better believe that I am going to try and beat your score.  But, I think everyone in the competition wants to beat you when you're at your best, not when you fail at something.  If you are gonna win a crossfit comp, then you will truly have beaten the best that another competitor has to offer.

I should note here that this is not unique to CrossFit either.  The same universal hope for success can be found in lots of competitions, but I have only seen it in Crossfit, running races, and Triathlons.  Has anyone else seen this evident in other sports?  (note: it does not exist in Golf, Softball, Baseball....)

Also, if you looked at the comments from my previous post, they were both fellow crossfitters and they had nothing but kind words.  I appreciate that.  And Brian..way to kill last Saturday, I have a feeling you are going to succeed at other competitions in the near future.

I hope everyone has a great thanksgiving holiday!

Monday WOD

Strength: 65% 5 x 5 back squat  
6 x 3 shoulder press


15 minute amrap
9 DL (185 lb)
15 Games standard box jumps (24")

Score: 7 +4

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Quick Summary of Festivus

That was everything and nothing like I expected it would be.  I knew it would be hard, I knew I would be pushed...I had no idea I would respond in the way I did.  I now have enough material to do a post every day for a week so for those who were wondering how I did here is a really fast summary.

  • Started on the Row to the max clean.  I did great int he row, coming in 9th out of the 24 competitors in my division with a time of 3:27 in 1000m.  
The very beginning of my first CrossFit Event 

  • Moving to the clean was a nightmare.  My legs were completely shot.  I used 135 as my "lets get a score" weight and actually failed on my first attempt.  In my mind I started to panic.  I decided to take about 45 sec to just rest and was able to get it up no problem.  Moved on to 155 and got that on my first try.  Then came 165...see video's below.  missed it like 4 times before getting it in with about 5 seconds to spare in the round. Came in 20th out of 24 on this wod.  I knew coming in that I would not place well here.  

  • The next WOD was the sprint to tire drag to walking lunges to shot put.  Holy hell my body wanted to quit here.  Sprint problem.  The tire drag was HORRIBLE.  So much harder than I thought.  Then the walking quads were BURNING.  Got to the shot put with about a minute and a half to spare. First throw 21 feet (ew), second throw 23, third 25, fourth 27 and fifth and final was 29 feet.  Not great but good enough for 14th place.  

The guy to my right came in 2nd overall

  • Finally the final WOD.  The one that I didn't know too much about.  750 meter ski erg to 50lb sandbag over the bar.  Now I thought the bar was 6 feet.. no big deal.  Then at the athlete meeting it was announced the guys were throwing over an 8 foot bar.  Shit.  My stubby little frame was really gonna struggle with this one.  First the ski.  That was different for sure.  A great workout and taxed my legs more than I thought it would.  It's equivalent to rowing time wise ~2:00 for 500m.  Now to trying to throw this stupid bag over that bar.  Attempt  attempt  Now i have doubts I'll get one in...then I get really pissed and take a few steps and will that fucking bag over the bar.  Got time to get a bunch more.  I got to about 10 with 1 minute left before they brought me a new bag which wasn't "broke" in the middle.  Boom...banged out 5 with no problem.  Then with 3 second to spare I get my 16th (or so I thought).  I collapse and the judge brings over my card and it only shows 15.  I ask "did that last one not count?"  "yes it counted"  "well then it should be 16 cause I was going back over the bar which are always even numbers"  "oh, well you must have missed one"  me frustrated "well I guess you had a better count than me".   So my "official" score is 15 but I know it was 16.  Anyway I came in 15th on this event (that one rep cost me a point)
Had to really work to get that bag over each and every time.

All in all I came in 16th out of 24 competitors.  Final Results:

I never quit.  That I can be very proud of.  When it came to tossing the sandbags I took about 15 seconds off the rower then went at it.  I didn't toss and then break.  I tossed, went to get the bag (or pushed it over the bar) then picked it up and tossed again.  No break, just go.  

Thank you to all who supported me on facebook or in person.  It was invaluable in pushing me to places I haven't been before.  I have a lot to work on but now I know that I can do it and will keep pushing myself.  

Friday, November 18, 2011

Follow my updates on Facebook

I'll be updating frequently tomorrow and I'm sure my lovely wife will take some pictures and post them to my site.

Also on Twitter if that suits ya.  @reformedfatty

Irrational Fear

So in 24 hours I will being my CrossFit competition "career" by competing in the "Festivus" competition in Hartford Connecticut.  I'm excited but cautiously nervous.  See, I have an irrational fear of coming in last.  I can live with not coming in first, but to come in last is just plain scary to me. It's not like having the slowest time at my own box, I know those people, but to embarrass myself at a competition...scary.

Not helping that fear is that the WODs are very strength-centric and none play into my strengths (double-unders, running, box jumps...).  This happens at CrossFit events, you can't choose your workouts, you have to be ready for anything so I have no complaints.  But even if I finish and get to the shot put first, I still have to find a way to launch a 12 pound ball further than guys that will likely be stronger than me.  In the clean, I have to hope my form and adrenalin can get me a few extra pounds.  I'd love to be okay with myself going out and doing my best (which I will do) but what if my best is the worst of those there?   It will be VERY tough for my ego to take that.
Does anyone actually believe this? Cause I sure as hell don't.

With all that said, I'm wayyyyy too cocky to actually think I will come in last.  I know I can compete with others that have been doing crossfit for a similar amount of time as me.  I've come a long long way in the past 7 months (wow, is that all it's been?).  I also know that adrenalin will be flowing, the other competitors will be screaming me on (which helps more than most would imagine) and if I take the time to warm up properly I'll do fairly well.   I fully expect to PR the 1000m row and the clean.

I should also note here that I over think EVERYTHING.


Strength/Skill:  Handstand practice.  I pulled out 11 full hand stand push-ups!  no abmat needed...but did have to Kip them.


15-13-11-9-7-5  SDLHP and lateral shuffle.

Time: 9:12 (95lbs)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fitness Routine...or...Sport?

In speaking with some people about crossfit they all think that it is simply a zumba, or Pilates type workout.  They assume that it is popular now but will someday fade away like they always do and someday we'll all laugh at the high socks much like we laugh at Richard Simmons now.  I'm not here to say that Crossfit will be hugely popular forever or not, I really don't have any clue about the long term strategy of the Crossfit label.  What I do know is that it has a lot going for it because of the competition aspect of the sport.  
Olympic Sports.  

That's right, I'm calling it a sport.  And by calling it a sport I am dispelling a lot of nay-sayers of CrossFit.  One of the frequent complaints is that form is sacrificed when doing a long WOD that has a lot of Olympic lifts involved.  This is true, late in a workout proper form may fall to the wayside, but doesn't that happen in all sports?   Does a marathon runner have perfect running form at the end of a race?  Does an offensive lineman always have perfect blocking form late int he 4th quarter?   Is Albert Pujols swing perfect when he is thrown an off speed pitch?  The answer to all of these is NO they are not.  Form is sacrificed during competition.  Competitors will do what it takes to succeed or to at least try and succeed. 

How is crossfit different?  IT'S NOT!   

You practice by going to the gym every day and working on moves without the clock running so you can improve on your form.  Just like Kobe Bryant practices free throws, Crossfitters practice the snatch and the clean.  

That doesn't mean that you you can't use Crossfit as a way to stay in shape, lots of people play basketball, racquetball  tennis, softball..... to stay active and in shape.  Sport is an amazing tool to keep your body strong, your endurance up, and even can keep you in a competitive mindset; whether with yourself or against others.  CrossFit is just another sport that can be used to keep the body healthy.   

It is also worth noting that long hours at a globo-gym can help you succeed more at crossfit too, you don't HAVE to stop one to do the other.  If you want to get stronger, then lifting weights can surely help you out, there is no argument.  

Being strong will not make you a good crossfitter...but being a good crossfitter will make you strong. 


Did one hour of an Olympic lifting class and the snatch is my second most frustrating movement (very closely behind the muscle-up).  Learned a lot of good stuff, but I have a lot of practicing to do!

Strength:  8 x 1 snatch, increasing weight each time.  Got up to 110 but failed at 115.


2 rounds for time
20 wall balls (20 #)
20 Ring knees to elbow (on the ground)
20 game standard box jumps (30")

Time: 8:09

Cash out: 5 minutes to find max double-unders  Score: 64

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Release the WOD's!

On saturday (3 days from today)  I will be competing in my first crossfit competition.  That is fun to say.  The organizer of the event (Crossfit Relentless) has released the 4 WOD's that competitors will be "judged" on.  Below are each and I have added my expectations.

WOD #1:


In 7 minutes ski 750 meters and then as many reps as possible of sandbag throw over bar. Sandbag weights for all divisions are 50lbs for men Score = max reps

Tough to set a goal here because I don't know how high the bar is, and also cause I've never ski erg'd before so who knows how long that will take me!

WOD #2:

In 7 minutes perform 50 meter sprint , 100 meter weighted tire drag ,50 meter OH walking lunge and then remainder of time to establish a max distance shot put throw. score= max distance ( must shot put baseball,underhand type throws)
Shot put- 12lbs men
OH lunge- 35 lbs dumb bell
tire drag weight- 53 lbs men

If all I had to do was look at these, I'd be screwed...Luckily I don't thanks Jake!

My goal here is to get the shot put 25 feet.  Kind of a shot in the dark (get it?) but I practiced a bit last night with a 16lb shot and I think that went about 15-20 feet so a lighter shot should go further...right?

WOD's #3 and #4:

In 10 minutes row 1000 meters ,remainder of time to find a max weight ground to shoulder anyway (clean). Athletes will receive separate scores for both the 1000 meter row and the ground to shoulder .

Finally one where I can set some goals!  Since I know both of these movements well; I am setting gold, silver, and bronze goals.

Gold: 3:30
Silver 3:35
Bronze:  3:39

Gold: 185
Silver 175
Bronze 165

I am really excited to compete and hope I can represent CrossFit610 in a positive light.  I am not making a goal for how I finish, that is completely out of my control, I have zero clue how strong/ fit the other competitors are, but I can go out and give it every ounce I have.


It's been a few days and I've done a lot of WODs so I'll only post yesterdays.

Strength: 2-2-2-2-2-2 Power Cleans  I did 165 in the last 2 sets with little problem.  I tried and failed messing around with 185, got it high enough just didn't commit to it enough.

WOD Tabata for

Dumb-bell shoulder to over head: Score 5
Pistols:  score 4
double kettle bell swing (1 pood): score 5
GHD sit-up: score 5
Pull-ups: score 5

Total 24

This workout is the most deceiving workout ever.  "oh 20 seconds of work isn't that bad"  psssshhh  and the scores make it look like you've done nothing when in fact you end up doing at LEAST 8 times that number (and more than likely much more than that).  

Friday, November 11, 2011

I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything that I thought it could be

After going to a, not recomended, 5 days in a row of crossfit I am taking today off.  Rest/Recovery is almost as important as working out.  In fact we have the following quote up on our board.

What is the difference between rest and recovery though?  Rest is when you take the day and you do NOTHING athletic.  You sit on the couch, maybe play Call of Duty or Madden, and just veg out.  And you know what..this is fine from time to time.  It gives your muscles a chance to rebuild and get stronger, it gives your bones time to get less frail, and it even puts you into a better mental state.  Resting will make you stronger!   

Recovery on the other hand is "active rest", ignoring the oxymoronish nature of it it can be defined as doing something to stay loose.  Maybe stretching, or yoga to keep you loose and your body in  a good place.  It can also be a good opportunity to get some light yard work done like mowing the lawn or even something as simple as going for a longer than normal walk with your dog.  Whatever it is, it keeps your blood flowing and your muscles loose so that when you do to do the WOD the next day you'll be stronger, and still loose.  

Today I'm doing nothing.  I'm taking the rest route.  


Had a great warm up session that involved some Crossfit style dodge medicine balls.  This was a blast..except when a 14lb medicine ball almost took Molly out.  

Strength:  8 x 1 snatch balance (my least favorite movement)
I did between 85 and 100 lbs for this.


4 rounds
400m run (in the cold rain)
8 get out of the pools on the rings
40 double-unders

Time: 14:07

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'll have a beer hold the Alcohol, Yeast, Malts, and Barely

Last night after completing my WOD,  I headed over to a local bar to play trivia with my wife and some friends.  This is dangerous territory for me for two reasons.  1.  Beer  and 2. Delicious wings.   Aye!
So when I arrived I did something that was kinda of uncomfortable...when the bartender asked what I wanted I said "I'll just take a water".  I used to feel embarrassed doing this...I'm at a bar for Christ sake, I should be drinking an ale, a lager, or if I'm feeling particularly daring..a shot.  But I know something now, I learned it by comparing  my first 3 months of crossfit with the month of October....if I drink..I suck.  

I understand one won't kill me, but I'd rather use the 10 days I have to clean my body of toxins, not put small amounts of them back in.  After festivus, I have a few events that will involve more drinking (one being a brew fest..can't wait for that) and until then I can go drink free and still have a decent time at the bar with friends.


Crossfit Total!

Find 1 RM of Back Squat, shoulder press, dead lift

Back Squat: 255 (old 1rm 215)
Shoulder Press: 105 (old 1rm 95)
Dead Lift: 345 (old 1rm 285)

I kind of did well in all of them, although I'm a little disappointed in my shoulder press.  I was shocked at the back squat, I was hoping to get 240 and did much better than that.  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pace Yourself

One thing I learned very fast while doing crossfit workouts is that you have to pace yourself.  I can think of a lot of times where I went out and killed the first round of a 7 round workout..or of a long amrap..then just completely sucked after that.  A common way to say this is that I blew my load.  It is a lot like the scene from American Pie where Jim is with Nadia. He just blew his load and was useless after.  If you're unfamiliar with American Pie and know spanish, then the clip is below.

Some things that might help is to take small short breaks (this is something I have a lot of trouble with).  While doing a workout and you need to break put down the weight or let go of the bar and count to three.  At three MAKE yourself get going again.  Maybe in later rounds make it 5 seconds, but be sure to breathe steadily during that break.  Don't gasp, or swallow air...just breathe.  Very simple.  Yet in the middle of a workout when you think you can't go on breathing seems like one of the most difficult tasks.  Just keep moving.  Plenty of time to rest when it's all done.  

So just pace yourself, keep that in the back of your mind while doing the crossfit WOD (or other WODs that might take place in bed)

For those motorheads...this might make more sense to you.   Blew his nitrous too early.


20 Wall Balls
Bear Walk
20 Wall Balls
Burpee Broad Jump
20 Wall Balls
Army Crawl
20 Wall Balls
front rolls
20 Wall Balls
hand stand walk

I can say without question this was one of the more wacky and fun workouts.  Seeing the group do the rolls and hand stands was quite funny.

My Time:  11:00 Flat.   I took too many breaks.  Felt good though.


My day time meals were identical to yesterday.  But had the following for dinner:
I only ate half the steak cause of its size.

Monday, November 7, 2011

12 days...detox time

I compete in 12 days.  I decided that today was the day I start to really push myself with my diet and boy did I ever.  I did not eat a single processed item today, I avoided the candy dish at work and only ate what I brought in.  Here is the day:

What I brought to work.

8:30am:  3 hard boiled eggs (1.5 full eggs), plum, grapes, 3 fish oil pills, multi-vitamin
finished my first 24 ounces of water by 10am
Noon: large salad with chicken strips tomato, broccoli, romaine, balsamic vinaigrette dressing  (shit..that was processed..oh well.) and a pear.  Also finished second bottle of water.
2:30pm: cashews, apple, done third bottle of water.
5:15pm: had a bag of baby carrots on my way to the gym
7:45pm: Protein shake post workout
cooking the dinner

8:45pm: Chicken and Broccoli with soy sauce

Let's hope I can keep this going through the next 12 days.


Strength: squat 50% 1rm 3 x 10; 75% 1rm 3 x 10.


Try to do the following once a minute for 15 minutes.  If unable to finish in the first 7 rounds, then turn it into 7 rounds for time.

10 Knees to Elbows
8 45lb plate walking lunges
6 ring push ups

I made it through the second round at exactly 2 minutes..then from that point on it turned into 7 rounds for time.  Final time: 11:36

Candy is Bad Mmmm-Kay

Somehow I have to keep telling myself that...even as I enjoy the delicious peanut butter and chocolate in a Reeses cup...or the nuggaty goodness of a snickers bar... *drool*

Candy is bad..MMmkay

Around Halloween seems like it's impossible to avoid the allure of sugary treats.  This year I succumbs o thier magic worse than most years.  If you've seen the Jimmy Kimmel clip of parents telling their children that they ate all their Halloween candy, you could prolly picture my reaction if someone told me that.  Me as a child  would look like I was possessed by the demon from paranormal Activity.  No juror in the world could convict a 10 year old for murdering his parents after they stole his candy right?
What do you see here?

Anyhow, the outcome of eating so much sugar is always the same. Fat.  Lazy.  Strung out.  and un able to excel in crossfit exercises.  Oh well...  I just have to keep trying to convince myself that Reeses are not worth it...while my tongue keeps telling me how great they really are.


Partner WOD

3 rounds each of

50 double unders
40 Ab-mat sit-ups
30 jumping lunges
20 ring pull ups
10 135lb floor wipers

Marc and I finished in 33:55

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

17 Days Til Festivus Competition!

Between Halloween blizzards, falling trees and work..I've felt like time is something I just don't have so please excuse the lack of posts.  But I have been trying to keep up on my crossfitting, even if my nutrition has been crap.  With my first competition in just 17 days, I feel like I have to try and push myself to gain anything I can between now and then.  With that in mind, today starts my first of trying to go twice a day for 3 days a week.  There is a chance over training could set in, but I'll keep a close eye on that and monitor how I feel to not beat my body up too much.  My plan is to do the daily WOD in the AM and then do something more endurance centric in the evening.

Wish me luck!

buck furpees!


Strength: 15 min to find 2 rep max full squat
WOD:  15 min amrap 5 power snatch; 5 OHS; 10 burpee pull ups

Strength: NEW 1 rep PR:  115 lbs!  Pretty psyched that I beat my one rep max during a 2 rep movement.
WOD:  4+3  ( I hate burpee pull-ups, damn shortness!)

Yesterday WOD

Strength: 9 rounds of 3 cleans in 20 sec.  I used a light weight because of my hand injury.  115lbs
WOD: 3 rounds, 20 HRPU, 10 KB swings, 30 du's

WOD: 6:26.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Crossfit Problems

I see a lot of press about the harmful effects of crossfit.  I don't like it.  I feel like it comes from those who do not think too much, or who are too stubborn to get out of their own comfort zone.  I want to try and let people know the results I have seen, and what my take on their comments are.  So over the next week or so, I'm going to go into some of the common criticisms of the CrossFit program and give my take on the criticism and where I think it may have originated.

So here is one I hear from people who are into the traditional go to the gym and do 10 reps of like 5 different exercises.

"Doing high reps at such heavy weight is really bad for you"

Yes...Yes, you are right, doing extremely high reps of a heavy weight CAN be bad for you.  But let's clarify 2 things real fast.

1.  Not every workout is high reps and high weights.  In fact, if you have a trainer who knows what they're doing, then they will carefully look at the number of reps before choosing the prescribed weight.  Here are 2 examples of that.  First is a dead lift example.  In a workout with 15 reps in a row for 5 rounds, my trainer at the time (Mike) had a prescribed weight of 225lbs.  BUT he MADE each person do 5 reps of whatever weight they chose to make sure they kept their form..if he thought you could not keep your form through the workout  he MADE you take weight off.  He was very careful not to hurt you and hurt your form.  It kicked me down to 185 lbs, which as I'm sure you know is not an extreme DL weight.  The second example is a recent workout.  Molly created a workout where there were a large number of snatches.  The prescribed weight...75 lbs for males.  Surely it could be made heavier, but again, there was a large number of reps done so to be safe it was kept moderate to light.  And during that workout, the presiding trainer (Evan) was all over me to make sure my form was solid.  And that is a good thing.

2. When there are heavy weights involved, they are usually done separate from the WOD.  We start most workouts with a strength session in which we practice our movements.  Sometimes we do weights that are close to out 1 rep max, but the number of reps is low (usually 3).  So we practice our form at low weights and higher reps.

Now, I should have prefaced this with "If you have a good trainer" then this should be the case.  Crossfit is not just about lifting heavy weights as fast as you can.  It's about becoming fit.

There is one exception to this.  The pro's.  The guys you see on ESPN.  They are at a whole different level than those of us that are simply trying to become as fit as we possibly can.

So please, no more about how crossfitters are doing things all wrong.  Because I can walk into any gym across the country and show you 10 "normal" weight lifters who do way more wrong than we ever have.


Strength: 5x65%; 5 x 75%; 5+ x 85% Back squat.  Then 3 x 70%; 3 X 80%; 3+ x 90% push press

500 m row then 2 rounds of:
35 DU's
30 Jumping Lunges
25 DU's
20 KB Snatches
15 DU's
10 Turkish Get-ups

Time: 18:57  (I think I did too light a KB)

cash out: 500m Row  Time: 1:42.9 (PR by 0.1 seconds)

Boobies are a good thing...maybe the best of things

Although this sounds like a line from the blow job redemption (It is sad, but I think that movie title exists) but really who doesn't like boobies?  With that in mind...I think we all should all do something to save the boobies! Of course, crossfit has this covered with the "Barbells for Boobies" fundraiser which took place on Saturday.  The WOD was a simple one, "Grace", which is 30 clean and jerks for time.

As simple as it was, I decided to do this prescribed...which is 135 lbs.  I think it's important here that I note that I could not clean 135 as soon as 2 months ago, and now I was doing 30 of them.  It is also 82% of my one rep max for the C+J.  To say this was a challenge for me was an understatement.  I was at first shooting for a goal of 10 minutes.  Then I talked to Ed who said he did it around when he first started in 8 and some change so I changes my goal to 8 minutes.

I'm proud to say that I did accomplish my goal by coming in at 6:57.  It was a struggle, and I was the slowest male by a long shot, but I finished rx'd and for that I am proud.

Myself and digital mustard.  I have 135 on there, but was prepared to drop weight just in case.

Now on to the really impressive times.  Jake came in at 1:20...umm holy shit!  I wish I was there to watch but I had to lave early.  Mike and Tony also came in under 2 minutes which is just amazing.  On the girls side, I think a number of girls did the workout prescribed which is awesome.  Although the guys get a lot of credit, the girls at CrossFit 610 continue to impress and are getting better with each workout.

Guy or Girl, the support from the crossfit community has been great and the amount of time, money, and sweat put in by the community for these very worth causes is awesome.  Great job to all crossfitters across the country!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

No Pain..No Gain.

2 words for that statement.


Seriously, who said that?  I mean, I understand their intentions but if I know my body enough to know what is a "good" pain and what is a "bad" pain shouldn't I know to stop?   If I see a bone sticking through my skin and it hurts should I keep going so that I gain something? I shouldn't.  I should prolly go to the hospital or call an ambulance.

The reason I bring this up is because I had to quit in the middle of a WOD yesterday.  Yeah.  That almost hurt typing that.  But hear me out.  Even before the WOD began I had some discomfort in my left arm.  Nothing horrible, but it was certainly noticeable.  I started the WOD and the discomfort grew a bit and a few rounds in I started to feel some pretty horrific pain in it.  Again, I tried to fight through the pain and did about 3 more rounds and then it just got unbearable.  My arm went numb.  I tried bending my arm and it felt like there was a 10lb weight at the end.  Not good.  So I told Evan, “I’m Done”.

Unless the pain is chronic..then it's not temporary.

You may be asking…What is wrong with me?  Or you might be going “PAIN IN THE LEFT ARM..OMG YOU HAD A HEART ATTACK!”  no no no , not nearly that serious.  I have felt this pain before…actually I’ve felt this pain a lot..but always in my right arm.  And the pain always came when I tried to throw a ball too hard or too often.   So what did I do to cure that?  I took a day or 2 off from throwing hard.  I would do light tosses just to stay loose but nothing long or hard.  I have been going quite hard with my arms and shoulders the past few days and I think I just over did it. Pretty simple.  I’m going to ice hot my arm, take a day off from anything arm related and then go back on Friday morning and hope that it doesn’t hurt again.

In a way, I’m actually happy to be feeling it in my left arm, it kinda means that I’m working it hard and assuming I didn’t actually injure it, it might get stronger.

So I guess that statement is almost correct.  Let me restate it though.

No (educated) pain.  No Gain.


30 Minute AMRAP
10 to 1 power snatches
19 double unders
8 ring dips
1 rope climb

I got 10 rounds in with 7 minutes left before I had to shut it down.

Love this.  And as the person on fscebook who posted it mentioned.  You have to have the right diet.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

B-O-O-M Boom

Yesterday was a day I needed.  I have been thinking I have hit a wall in my training and I wasn't making any improvements.  I felt I was not getting any stronger and my endurance was crap.  I thought "Hey, I made progress but ehhh..not much".

As is often the case...I thought wrong.

Let's go back in time.  A time when I was not reformed fatty, but rather was just known as fatty.  It was ~2 weeks into crossfit and I saw Cindy up on the board.  5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats.  Do as much as you can in 20 min.  I thought to myself..ok that's not too bad but I have to use a band to do the pull-ups.  A black band.  A band that almost doesn't stretch cause I'm too light for it.  Essentially, doing a pull-up required very little work.  So the time begins and I go.

First round..ok not too bad.

Second. Again not so bad but have to rest on the push-ups

Third-ninth..I'm resting all the time on the push-ups while the guy next to me is just flying through them.  I'm in awe..what the fuck!  I'm thinking to myself "Should I even be in here?"  Brad (the guy next to me) says to just keep the WOD the push-ups on your knees.  Great advice and helped a lot.   So I do and start to move a little faster but only complete 9 rounds in 20 minutes.  Nine.  For comparison A fantastic score is more than 30.  An average score is prolly in the 12-17 range.  I did 9.  I had the lowest score in the class.  I felt like a complete failure that day.  I thought I was athletic..then I met Cindy and she kicked me in the balls and made me cry.

What's sad is that I found this on a Phillies Blog.  I'm gonna go cry now.

Flash forward to the present day. Where I am reformed (or so I say).

I can do the whole workout RX'd now.  We start.  I get going on the pull-ups.  Do rounds 1-4 before I look at the clock.  Still more than 16 min left.  I'm averaging 1 round a minute!  Then I get done 10 rounds and there are still 9 minutes left!   I keep going and I finish with 16 rounds and 13 reps into my 17th round.

I improved my score by 7.5 rounds!

And the worst part, the part that will keep me coming back to the gym, that I'm not satisfied.  At All.   I set a goal for myself of 15 rounds and beat that goal.  Now I have a new goal.  I want 20.  I want to average one round a minute.  I'm not setting a time table for it.  But next time I see Cindy on the white board.  I'm shooting for 20.

Oh..and before even doing the WOD  I PR'd my clean and jerk by 50 pounds.  No Big Deal.


20 Min AMRAP
5 pull-ups
10 push-ups
15 Air Squats

16 + 13

Strength:  7 x 1 C+J

I turned this into my attempt at my one rep max.  Went the following:

95-115-135 (x2) - 145 - 155 - 165 - 175(f)

Because this can be broken up into 2 movements I am saying I PR'd 3 things (power clean, push jerk, clean and jerk).   I felt like I could push-jerk a lot more weight though, it was the power clean I failed on.  I may try that later this week if I get the chance.

Skill: 50 push press with PVC after the WOD.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Weight Ain't Nothing But a Number

With all due respect to the pedophile R. Kelly, weight is nothing but a number.  Using that number as motivation and as a measuring tool is fine and dandy when you are first starting.  If you think you look big and want to get smaller, it is obvious that you would fixate on your weight.  But once you're at a point where you think you look OK and only need some minor improvements you need to stop looking at your weight and start focusing on something else.  Whether that be body fat percentage, bicep circumference, or your Fran time you need to give up on using weight as the be all that ends all.

The reason I bring this up is because I've been eating like shit the past 2-3 weeks.  I mean fast food 3-4 times a week, a few beers a few times a week and wings whenever I can get them.  Now, I've been eating ok for breakfast and lunch but I'm still not where I SHOULD be.  This morning I jumped on the scale and to my surprise, I haven't put on a pound.  I'm still in the mid to lower 160's.  Does this mean I should keep going the way I am?  NO!  Not at all.  My stomach is far less defined than it was just a few short weeks ago.  I'm using a more subjective measure of my progress now, but still If i were using the objective weight measurement then I'd start thinking " I can eat fast food forever!"  

The moral of the story is.  Eat well.  Drink water.  Sleep a lot.  you'll feel great, look great, and be regular.  (I don't know what regular has to do with anything but thought putting 3 things would sound better)


Strength:  7 x 1 Shoulder Press from the front; 7 x 2 shoulder press from the back.
WOD:  20 Back squats ( 155) then 3 rounds of 15 wall ball sit-ups, 15 burpees, 15 ground to overhead dumbbells (35 lb dumbbells)

Strength: was able to do 95lbs on the front, then was able to do 85 lbs on the back
WOD: Time 15:20

Felt good during the WOD  My shoulders were absolutely burning though.  After the WOD there was a skill cash out of hand stand holds and I did one..then I tried to do a full HSPU..below are the results.
The mat has a hexagon shape to so does my head.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Jager is bad for you

So it's now October..well actually it's been October for a while now...adn that means a few things.  1.  It's getting colder and darker so going to a morning workout is harder and harder.  2.  It's time for halloween 3.  It means it's getting into my favorite beer season.  See I like beer.  I'm not quite educated enough to call myself a beer snob but I do like to try micro-brews.  I'm not a huge fan of hops though so keep IPA's away.  This love affair with beer has recently been very active.  I've tried many types of Oktoberfest beers with Stoudt's being my favorite so far, although Hex by Magic Hat is also VERY delicious.  Last night (a Wednesday) was kinda rough because I met with some guys and we drank many beers...ate many wings...and then..took a shot or 2.  Now I should say no to shots...especially on a Wed night...but I was in a celebratory mood so suuuurrreee.

Ouch. All day today I had a hangover.  So the moral of the story is just say no to shots.
I'll have one of each please.


Dynamic Warm-up

1000m row
Double Unders

My time: 20:46

This workout really hit on my strengths.  I'm getting pretty good at double unders so any workout with a large number of them involved is a strength.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kitchen Sink

Today Trainer Molly threw just about everything at us.  It wasn't a particularly brutal day, there have been many that were worse, but the sheer number of different motions was a bit different...and good.  I realized that after being sick my strength has decreased a bunch but I haven't lost any of my (few) skills.  I was able to do 74 double unders when I was warming up.  More importantly, when I was screwing around I came REALLY close to doing a muscle up.  Before you give me the grenades and horseshoes quote,  you need to understand that I know "almost" counts for nothing...but mentally it's a huge lift.  I actually was able to get up and turn my wrists over...if I had thrown my head forward I would have gotten it.  I may try again tomorrow or Thursday.



Choose 3 goats and do a 10 minute AMRAP of them.
My goats:  Box Jumps, KB Swings, Pistols
I did something like 7 rounds.  Didn't really keep track.

Why box jumps?  The reason I chose box jumps is because for some reason, whenever they are part of a WOD it winds me faster than any other activity.  I have no idea why.  Breathing?  Because it's a fast motion?  No idea...but that's why it is in there.  I included KB swings because I need to get my form down when doing a 2 pood swing.  I did reasonably well with this, but I think I still need to work on keeping my back straight.  I'll have to practice with a 1.5 pood from here on out.


7 rounds (!)
6 hanging cleans (115 lbs)
8 get out of pools (or 4 muscle ups which I can't do yet)

Time: 24:46

Then finished with 4 - 100m runs with 1 minute break between.  I need to do this cash out more often.  I like it.

My diet is getting much better..finally.  I drank my allotted water and also got in my fruits and veggies today. I'm pleased.

My favorite song of the moment

Monday, October 10, 2011

Old Habits Die Hard

Since I've returned from Vegas my health has just crashed.  As I mentioned, im recovering from a nasty cold but beyond that I've let my diet go to shit.  I've had fast food just about every other day for the past week and a half, ate about 2.5 dozen donuts in the past 2 weeks and have let my love of fall beer start to take over.

But today it all goes back to pre-vegas Dennis.  Today Karen and I got up at 5am to go to the 6am crossFit class.  I hated every second of getting up...but I'm loving every second since the class ended.


I tried to come back to crossfit late last week (Thursday) and do the WOD.  I finished, but just about died.  This cold didn't wanna die!

100 Burpee to pull up  - 17:37 (multiple flem spit up breaks...yeah hows that visual)

Today (10/10)


40% 50% 60% all x 5 Back squat
75% x 5; 85% x 3; 95% 1+  on the push press.  I was able to do 2 at 95% then jerked on the 3rd.


AMRAP 12 minutes

12 T2B
5 over the box jumps
200m sandbag carry

4+17  (and only about 15 meters LEFT on the run.  So pissed)

Felt decent for the WOD, it was clear I have been gone for a while and lost a few steps.   May return tonight for some work on stuff.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Phillies Play-offs are Killing My Training

So I haven't posted since my trip to Vegas...for that I apologize.  Here is a quick re-cap of why I haven't:

  • Was Jet-lagged like woah!.  After 5 days in Vegas, you lose all ability to understand time/dates
  • All the traveling combined with horrible food and being around a billion different people destroyed my immune system and I ended up with the worst cold I've had in years.  
  • The Phillies are in the play-offs and that consumes most of my time through reading blogs, getting stressed, and going to games.

So there is my excuse for not posting.  


I am now 30.  wow that was hard to type without tearing up.  I'm old.  My body is now in the sunset of my life...  Eff that!  I started 30 off with more excitement than I started my 20's and with a whole lot more legal activities.  Kicked it in VIP when I turned 30, then gambled my way through my first day as a 30 something.  The last WOD I did as a 20 something took place at Crossfit Las Vegas.  

As with every box I've visited so far, the people at CF Las Vegas were incredibly nice.  The box was incredibly spacious and not a ridiculous distance from the strip. Karen and I even got a ride back to our hotel from one of the members!  It was greatly appreciated because it saved us both time and money. 

Las Vegas WOD

5 shoulder press
4 push press
3 push jerks

Every 2 minutes.  I used 75 lbs and although it looks's not once you get to the 4th round.  The push press and the push jerks were really easy but the shoulder press part was actually really difficult.  Prior to the WOD we did Reverse Pull-ups which is where you pull yourself up then come down as slowly as you can which really hurts!   But it was a good pain.

After the WOD the party began and I didn't think about crossfit again for a while.  But I did think I looked pretty good at the if crossfit could regrow hair.....


upon returning to PA my body was completely exhausted.  Little sleep, lots of alcohol, and little nutritious food will do that to anyone.  I returned on a Tuesday and expected to start crossfit on Wednesday...then it happened.  I started to cough.  Then came the headache.  Then no sleep cause my body was hot, then cold, then sweaty but still cold, and finally it all hit at once and knocked me out.  I felt like Paquio was punching my head from the inside while my lungs felt like I was working in a coal mine for 40 years.  Thankfully my wife was there to care for me and to let me sleep til 12:30 on Saturday and then 11:30 on Sunday.  I can't remember the last time that happened.  

Needless to say, crossfit was not happening at all.  It finally started to clear up on Sunday.  Monday (Yesterday) I finally made my way back to the gym. I can't say I was 100% but I needed to get a workout in. My legs felt like jello, I was less flexible than when I was there last (I didn't think it was possible either), but I was able to kill the pull-ups.  


Strength:  85% push press (which was 125lbs for me)  5x3 in 10 min

"Flynn (fake Lynn)"
5 rounds
Max reps back squat (choose your weight I did 185 lbs)
Max pull-ups

Round 1: 6/15
Round 2: 3/12
Round 3: 4/12
Round 4: 3/12
Round 5: 4/22

That's right.  I set a new PR for pull-ups with 22 in a row....and ya know what....I think I can do 30 if I'm healthy.  Thinking I can do something and actually pulling it off are obviously completely different but I'm gonna try it soon.   I also tested a new grip to give my callouses a break and it really helped a lot. 

So that is the update.  Tomorrow depends on whether the Brewers win tonight.  I am not doing the early morning WOD's this week because I want to get as much rest as I can until this cold is completely kicked and if the brewers win, then the Phillies play at 8pm tomorrow leaving me time to WOD...else they play at 6pm and then I can not WOD.  


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Vegas baby...Vegas

Tomorrow I head to Vegas to celebrate my...Gulp...30th Birthday on Saturday.   The fatty will return for most of the trip but I hope to visit a few crossfit boxes while I am out there.  I can't believe that I'm going on a vacation but still can't bring myself to get away from crossfit.  It is actually kind of fun to visit new boxes, and of course collect their t-shirts.   IT is like a vacation from your home box, where you get to try other equipment that may or may not be as nice as yours.  You can also get a different perspective from the coaches at that box.  I will be sure to recommend the boxes that I visit while I am out there.

I have to get up at 4 in the morning to travel and catch my flight so I'm gonna keep this short and leave you with a scene that will hopefully NOT be me this weekend.


Today was a Hero WOD


SSG Joshua Hager, United States Army, was killed Thursday February 22 2007 in Ar Ramadi, Iraq. 

21 OH Squats (75lb)
42 Pull-Ups
15 OH Squats
30 Pull-Ups
9 OH squats
18 Pull-Ups

Time: 13:09

Followed by a 1500m row

Round 2: Did a 5000m row and a 1 mile run during the 5pm class.

Tomorrow I'm in Vegas.  Unlikely any posts will come while I'm on the trip.  Sorry loyal readers!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I should call this diet of the year.

Today was the worst diet day I've had in months.  Ready for this awesome list of food

Breakfast: Protein Shake
Snack: 2 eggs
Lunch: non existent
Snack: single twizzler, 3 swedish fish, and 4 small tootsie rolls...oh and a mint
Dinner: Can of corn and a protein shake

How's that for awesome?!?  Cavemen are turning over in their graves.  Every crossfitter in the country just collectivly gasped...or would have had they all read this at the same time.
I want to scrooge mcduck dive into this pile

Does this happen to me occasionally...yes.  Do I like it to   What can I do about it though...I have no idea.

It's real easy to just say "I'm not gonna do that again" but in reality it might happen again.  My laziness at work will get the best of me and I'll skip lunch rather than run out and get something.   But it does lead to an interesting question for those super paleo people.

Is it better to skip a meal or to eat fast food?

I honestly have no idea what the answer is.  I hope the answer is to just suck it up and eat McDonalds.  I could really go for a 20 piece right now.   Mmmmmm...


3 squat cleans (135 lbs)
40 DU
30 KB swings (2 pood)
20 ring push-ups
2 squat cleans

40 DU
30 KB swings
20 ring push-ups
1 squat clean

40 DU
30 KB swings
20 ring push-ups

Time: 19:48

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fight Gone Bad Recap

That was the aftermath.  Complete exhaustion.  How did I get to that point?

The day started for me at 5:30am when Karen awoke so she could meet up with some of the other Crossfit610 folk at the gym.  Since I was picking up a friend of mine on the way down, I was going solo.  Stepping outside I was in for a bit of a rude awakening, it was freezing!  Thankfully I had semi-prepared for it with sweatpants and a hoodie.  After picking my friend up, I headed to the Piazza at Schmidts.  
The set up

Upon arrival, you could immediately tell it was a crossfit event.  People wearing funky socks, a few muscleheads, and some people stretching.  As I went up to register, I heard the owner of Crossfit Love asking the participants what they had gotten on the workout previously.  Since I had never done this workout I didn't know what to say, I knew that trainer Mike had me do a variant of the FGB before and I scored 200.  So that is what I went with.  This put me in the very first men's division...meaning those who are doing RX weights but who are not experienced crossfitters.  I also have to count for the very first heat of ladies.

After counting for Lisa from CrossFit Prime (who did an awesome Job BTW) it was time for me to start getting loose.  I just did some double unders to get the blood going.  Which soon after starting I realized the blood was not going enough...huge mistake on my part.  Finally it was time to go.  Unfortunately I was starting on the rower.


Away I went.  I was flying on the rower (at least for me).  This may also have been a  mistake as the adrenaline was getting the best of me. Most of the workout was a bit of a blur.  A lot of my thoughts were me getting pissed at myself for stopping.  Below are some pictures of the first round.

I really put too much effort into the first round and kinda blew my load.  I got 107 reps in the first round.  Then the second round came. My wife was nice enough to take a video of the entire second round...she had no idea it would be the worst of my three rounds.

Click for link to video.  
From Fight Gone Bad 6

Ouch.  I was feeling like death after that second round.  on top of that death feeling was a feeling that I was putting up a horrible number.  I needed to push myself in the third, and final, round.  After a minute "rest", and quite possibly the fastest minute of my life, it was time to go again.  Away I went.  I pushed myself as much as I could, and I had a great group cheering me on.  I did better in the third round than I did in the second.  But still not even close to the first round.  You can see on the picture below where I blew it out.

Final count...263 reps for the 3 rounds.  I had almost 30 more reps in the first round than the second so I need to either pace myself or get in better shape to carry over 100+ reps for each round.  I can sincerely say that I put it all into the workout, but I can also say that there is a lot of room for improvement.

As for the fundraising...THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR DONATIONS!  I was able to raise $457 for an amazing cause. I'm sorry I couldn't get a rep for every dollar, but I gave it all I could.  

There are more pictures here: