Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 18: I did Angie...and My Wife was Proud of Me

Today I started my goal of doing all the girls before the end of the year.  There are 20 girls so it may be a bit of a stretch but I think I can do it.  I'll use the open workouts to do them along with trying to set some PR's in the lifts listed on the the workouts page.  It was a coincidence but trainer Mike did the same workout today...but he did his in 9:38...I will not be even close to that

I don't have a good blog post for today, I promise a decent one tomorrow.


Strength:  8 minutes to find 1 rep max DL

WOD: "Angie"

100 Push-ups
100 Squats
100 Pull-ups
100 Sit-ups

Strength:  I pulled out a 285 and I think I can get 300 but ran out of time.
WOD:  30:18
This is what 100 pull-ups will do to your hand.

I am proud to say that I am getting really good with my Kipping Pull-Ups.  I think I can get 20 in a row..I will try next workout (Sunday) to get to 20 in a row.  I do think I can dead lift 300 lbs, but did not want to try unsupervised today as the dead life has a high potential for injury if done wrong.


Breakfast (3 points): Ham Omelet, Grapes, Nuts
Snack (3 points)    :  Watermelon, Nuts, Ham
Lunch (3 points)    :  Chicken Garden Salad, Strawberries
Snack (2 points)    : Protein, Blueberries

No Dinner

Water +1

12 points today.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 17: The Price to Pay for Greatness

Whenever I try to tell someone about CrossFit they ALWAYS want to do it.  They ask where I do it (CrossFit610), how often  I do it (4-6 times a week), what results I have seen (20 lb weight loss, much stronger)...and then the killer...How much is it?   This is where they get lost and think I am overspending and it's not worth it.

You'll be moving a lot more weight and have fewer inches.

It is expensive yes, I am not going to contest that...but the VALUE of the program is much more than that.  If they say "Wow, yeah I can see why it is expensive, but I just don't have the money", I will not bug them because they know their finances more than I do, and who am I to tell them what they can and can't afford.  But if they try to argue that I am being ripped off or that I am being over charged then I will defend the price.

How Much?

It is typically more than $100 a month for unlimited workouts at most box's (for an individual without a contract, most will be about $150).  Many offer a two sessions a week package for a significant discount (CrossFit 610 lists it at $69 a month), and others have punch cards that can be purchased (10 sessions for $150 at CrossFit KOP) which may be better for those who can't commit to a consistent schedule.


How much do you pay for your gym membership?  I pay $30 a month for my globogym (generic name for a regular gym) membership and that includes nothing but entry.  No help in working out, no instruction on using the equipment, no workouts designed to get the most out of me, and most importantly for one to get on me for not going.  If I want any of that, then I need to pay for a personal trainer.  Has anyone ever priced a personal trainer?   No...well they are REALLY expensive.  Try to get a personal trainer for unlimited 1 hour sessions a month.  You think it will be anywhere close to $100-$150 a month...NOPE..they will charge at least a few hundred more than that.
Actually, your trainer will kill YOUR kitten if you miss a workout
At CrossFit610 I get a trainer who pays attention to my form and helps me get the results that I want.  They watch my nutrition, frequently asking me to write down what I'm eating.  They try to push my limits without getting me hurt, I've moved up in every single workout since I started.  The results are measurable.  How much is 20lbs weight lost, a knee that doesn't hurt anymore, the ability to complete a triathlon with all personal bests, and a huge increase in self confidence and pride worth to you?   So if anyone asks if it's worth it, I will always tell them that I am the one ripping CrossFit off.  

For a really great write up on the benefits of CrossFit and the VALUE of the workout check out CrossFit York.

Shameless Plug


Strength: 7 minutes to find 3 rep max of hanging clean
WOD: 35 minutes to find 1 round, 5 round, and 10 round max OHS and do 400, 800, 1200 meter run.   Score is total weight moved and total time to do all runs

Strength: 115lbs (I got 125 up twice and dropped on 3rd happy)
WOD:   1 round max 125, 10 round max 65, 5 round max 95  Total:  1250
              Run:   400m 1:20  800m 3:20  1200m: 5:00  total: 9:30

Other news, I got there early and did some stretching and then tried to do my max pull-ups...PR'd that at 13 pull-ups in a row.


Breakfast (3 points): 3 HB eggs, nuts, watermelon and strawberries
Lunch(3 points):       Shrimp Salad with balsamic vinaigrette, cantaloupe
Snack(3 points):      Ham, grapes, nuts
Snack(2 points):   Protein, blueberries
Dinner(3 points):   Grilled Chicken, Broccoli, Salad, nuts

Water +1; 5 meals +1; <5 hours +1

17 points for the day

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 16: Excuses are like....well you know

"An excuse becomes an obstacle in your journey to success when it is made in place of your best effort or when it is used as the object of the blame."

I straight up sucked at the WOD today.  During the first round, I felt a tinge of pain in my groin. Then it became a sharp pain and I could feel some tightness.  So I tried stretching it out and it continued to hurt, but I told myself I would never quit a WOD so I tried to continue.  I made adjustments of course and didn't give 100% but I did finish the workout.  To say I was disappointed in myself is an understatement, I was pissed.   
From Monday's WOD

As I drove home I started to rationalize with myself.  Had I continued to go 100% I could have pulled my groin which would sideline me for a few weeks, meaning no patriots triathlon, little CrossFit, and prolly some weight gain.  So, I prolly did the right thing and as I write this I can feel some soreness in the groin.  I'll try to stretch it out tomorrow and make sure I can go strong.  

So I guess the quote I should have written is "Better a bad excuse, than none at all. "


Skill: Keep rower under 1:35 for as long as possible

15 minute AMRAP 21-15-9
Box Jumps (27 inch)
KB swings (1.5 pood)
Sit up to feet with no hands

Skill:     :30 seconds
WOD: 146 reps 

The good news is that I am really getting used to the 1.5 pood KB....I think I'll be moving up to 2 by labor day (if not much earlier)


Breakfast (3 points) : 3 hb eggs, grapes, cantaloupe, cashews
Lunch (3 points):   Chicken Garden Salad, Cashews, blueberries
Snack (3 points): Pork chop, blueberries, almonds
Snack(2 points): Protein
Dinner (3 points): Salmon, shrimp, mixed veggies, strawberries

Water +1
<5 hours +1
5 meals +1
Sleep +1

For a total of 18 points on the day

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Days 12-14: Triathlon Success!

Finally the weekend of the Philadelphia Triathlon was upon me, I thought I was ready but there was still a lot of anxiety.   I've never swam in a wetsuit, will it be difficult?  Did I remember everything?  Did I train enough? Is 2 hours a realistic goal?   Ahhhhhh!!!!


In previous triathlons (I've done 2 before) I always just jumped in the water and tried to start swimming...MISTAKKKKEEEE!   So using that knowledge, I decided to bike the run course (about 3.5 miles) so I can get the blood flowing and my heart rate up.  Then they allowed some practice swimming so I took advantage of that by swimming about 100 yards.  This was my first swim in a wetsuit and it was glorious.  After getting out of the water, I was ready.  There was little nervousness..just a  little uneasiness because of the results of my last triathlon (dead last place in my age group and second to last in males overall).   Let's do this.

Race (pictures coming soon)

I always wonder what other people are thinking as they are going through a race.  In my mind I am all over the place, I will go from crossfit to work to phillies to hoping not to die.  During the swim portion of the race all I could think was "don't quit".  I was doing ok in the swim but the whole not breathing thing just gets to me. (I should note here that the warm up, paid off.  The 0 to 60 was not nearly as much of a shock as it has been in races past)  To be honest, I almost quit twice just because I couldn't remember why I was doing this to myself.  Then I remembered I'm doing it to prove to myself that I'm not getting too old, that I can still push myself to limits that were previously unknown to my body.  I kept chugging along.

Leaving the swim, Karen saw me and cheered fanatically and was with my friend Will who had shown up while I was waiting to start.  Hearing friends and loved ones cheer you on really gives you some extra strength and can be the difference in your time.  So I ran to my bike, threw on my bike shoes, and hopped on.  I averaged 17mph through the bike portion which is a PR for me (far superior to the 14.3 mph at my previous tri).  I learned that I need to attack hills more, rather than just trying to get up them.

Finally, after 55 minutes of biking, I get back to the transition area where I need to get out of my bike shoes and into my running shoes. My legs feel like jello.  My back is hurting from the bike.  I am in pain.  But I know I am less than a half hour from being done with this gruesome test of fitness.  With the exception of stopping for water (about 10 yards) I never stopped running...if you can call a 9 minute mile pace running.  I hear the finish line and I start sprinting, holding back vomit and tears as I cross the finish line.

Post Race

Did I achieve my goal?  Where is Karen?  This was definitely need my wife kind of moment, where I just wanted a hug (I don't care how fruity that sounds).  When I found her and got out of the finish chute I just collapsed, I needed to sit, my legs just didn't want to function, body was physically and mentally exhausted.  After a few minutes on the ground and a bottle of water I feel up to walking and finding some food to get my body needed nutrients.  I have an apple, banana, and some muscle milk for the protein and start to wonder about my time.

Wandering around the ground we finally find the posted times.  I am nervous as I try to get through a number of competitors and look at a sheet of paper with almost 1000 names on it.


The swim that I thought almost killed me was just the opposite..I killed it!  Sub-20 (19:54) minutes on the swim!   The bike I knew I did in about 55 minutes and the run was not great at 28:05.  For a final time of 1 hour 48 minutes and 31 seconds.  Beat my goal by more than 10 minutes!

Even with this completed goal I know I can do better.  Maybe that is the sign of my competitiveness...I will never be completely satisfied with my results.  I'm happy that I beat my goal, but I can go through the race in my head and  identify places where I know I can take another 10 minutes off by next year.  9 minute mile is not great, and my transition times are pretty weak too, throw on that my lack of attacking of the hills and I know I can do a sub 1:40 time.  I found that I am in the bottom half in both the bike and run...that's not very good and MUST be corrected.

In the end, it's always going to be me versus myself....but it's not always a bad thing to think it's me versus the world.

Points for the weekend:

Friday:  15 points
Saturday : -5 (I celebrated with a  few beers)
Sunday:  -10 (no beer, but I kinda splurged at the Phillies game)

Week 2: 80 Points
Week 1: 115 points
Total: 195 points

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sir Charles Trying to Complete a WOD

I am competing in a triathlon today then enjoying Philadelphia so I don't have a detailed post for you but here is something I found funny.

Let me start this by saying I love Charles Barkley.  Speaks his mind without fear, he's hilarious, and he is one of the greatest NBA  players of all time.  But watching him try to do a crossfit workout is like watching his golf swing (or his bank account when he's in Vegas).  Painful.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 11: Goallllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllssssssssssss

No matter the activity, it always helps to have goals; CrossFit, or fitness in general, is no different.  Setting the goals can be almost as difficult as achieving them sometimes.  The key is to be realistic, sure you might have an end goal to complete a marathon but you can't have that goal to be finish a marathon next month if you haven't done a 5k since high school.  In today's rapid rewards society we all expect to get what we want instantly and sometimes forget the amount of work that must be done.

Some quick tips

  • Create Step-wise goals.  Separate them into short term, middle term, and long term goals
    • Go over these goals with a friend to see if they agree with them
  • Write your goals down!  Having them on paper make them much more "real"
  •  Try to stay consistent.  A good pace always helps things.  If you try to do something every day from the very start then you'll likely get burnt out, or worse you'll over train and hurt yourself.
  • Find people who have achieved the same goals that you want to achieve and ask questions.  At least in the CrossFit community they will be happy to help you.

Here are some links that might help you set your own goals then I'll get into my personal goals.

Workout X
CrossFit Initiative

My Goals

     Short Range (before my 30th birthday)
  1. Squat 1.5 times my weight
  2. Put up a 15 in the Cindy
  3. Finish the Patriots Triathlon in under 1 hour 45 minutes
  4. Have my weight be consistently in the 150's
     Medium Range (Before 2012)
  1. Complete Skill Level 1 (Link)
  2. Better my time on the Philly 8k
     Long Range Goals
  1. Complete an Olympic distance triathlon
  2. Run a half marathon
  3. Finish the broad street in under 1 hour 45 minutes
  4. Complete a "tough mudder" style race
  5. Complete level 2 and most of level 3 (Link
  6. Beat trainer mike in a workout (I may need to take a bat to his knee before this happens)

What do you all think about these goals...attainable?  Are they too lax?  What are your goals?  Maybe I can play copy cat.


Today I have a softball game so I miss out on my CrossFit training.  I decided to NOT take tomorrow as a rest day and I will do a WOD (prolly the FRAN) and find my max rep of the clean.


Breakfast (3 points): Ham omelet, cantaloupe, grapes, almonds
Lunch (3 points)     : chicken garden salad, strawberries
Snack (3 points)     : pork chop, plum, almonds
Snack (2 points)     : peach, almonds
Dinner (3 points)    : Chicken, green beans, salad, cashews

Other points:   Sleep (+1), water (+1), < 5 hours (+1), 5 meals (+1)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day 10: When Life Gets in the Way

It's amazing how often life gets in the way of our plans, whether they be dreams of a teenager..or in my case getting a work out in after a long day of work.  The group/class structure is one of my favorite things about CrossFit but it is also one of its weaknesses (for me).  Groups help me push myself for fear of embarrassing, but it also limits me when my job, errands, pets, etc get in the way.  I needed to make it to the gym by 6pm today so I could make it to the last group class of the day, which is typically not a problem...except when a meeting is called and does not end til 5:45pm.  I do not blame my gym because Mike has done more than enough to accommodate and I should have gone in the morning today anyways.

Normally I would be ok with having to take a rest day, but recently I have been really psyched to start tracking my times on the ladies (Fran was the WOD for the day).  I may try to do the Fran tomorrow or early Friday so I can get a time in the books.  But if you really do not want to take a rest day from CrossFit what should you do?

I found a great resource in CrossFit Stamford .  They created a page for traveling that has some great WOD's that you can do from home without any equipment (Link:  There are a lot of exercises you can do in your living room that can be compared frequently to gauge your fitness.  Time yourself in how long it takes to do 100 push-ups, sit-ups, or squats.  Write it down and track it as you go through time, I think you'll be happy with the progress you make as you go through CrossFit.  


Rest Day.  I Stretched a lot though so I could stay loose.

Breakfast(3 points): 3 HB eggs, turkey slice, grapes, cantaloupe, almonds
Lunch(3 points)     : Turkey Garden salad with balsamic vinaigrette and strawberries
Snack (3 points)    : Turkey slices, peach, almonds
Snack (2 points)   :  Protein, plum  
Dinner (3 points)   : grilled chicken, green beans, salad, strawberries and blueberries for dessert

This is what I bring to work every day!

Is protein good to drink on a rest day?  or does it waste the protein?

 Other points:
Sleep: +1
<5 hours +1
5 meals +1
Water +1

18  Points for the Day!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day 9: Prepping for a Race

I have not mentioned it here but I am competing (competing is the wrong word, trying not to drown in a river is more accurate) in the Philadelphia Triathlon this Saturday.  It will be my third triathlon with the first two not ending the way I had hoped.  Will my crossfit training help my triathlon time?  It will be seen.
0.5 mile swim, 15.7 mile bike, 3.1 mile run
A question that I've been pondering for a while is how will I prepare for the race as the week goes on.  I did not want to take an entire week off because I think that would push me back in my training.  I also wondered if I should come off of paleo for the week and eat some more carbs because that is what everyone does....right?  WRONG!

I asked trainer Mike, a while back as he was preparing for the regional CrossFit games, what he will do the week of the games to prepare.  His response surprised me, but it made perfect sense.  He was not going to change a thing.  He was going to continue eating what he had been eating and will continue working out (albeit with his rest day set up the day before the games).  He said "why would you change what you eat?  You have NO IDEA how that change will influence your body".  and when you think about it, that should be common sense.  If you have been training by eating paleo your body knows how to react to that..and more importantly, YOU will know how your body will react to it.

So my schedule this week is as follows:

Monday: WOD
Tuesday: WOD
Wednesday: Morning WOD
Thursday: Softball with maybe an AM arm workout and stretching
Friday : light swim, short bike


50 Sit ups-10 Dead lift-40 Sit ups-8 Dead Lift- 30 Sit ups - 6 Dead Lift - 20 Sit ups - 4 Dead Lift - 10 Sit ups - 2 Dead Lift

Dead Lift Weight - 205 pounds
Time: 8:29


Had to cut the piece of Salmon in half! 
Breakfast (3 points): Ham Omelet (2 eggs and ham), Cantaloupe, Grapes, almonds
Lunch (3 points)     : Garden Chicken Salad, Strawberries
Snack (3 points)     : 1 oz pork chop, peach, almonds
PW Snack (2 points): Protein, plum
Dinner (3 Points)     : Salmon, Asparagus, Olive oil on salmon, dessert of fresh Blueberries

Other points
5 meals +1
<5 hours +1
Water +1

17 total points for the day!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 8: Cost of Ownership of your Body

Just because you're alive does not mean you get to live for free.  Like anything, personal upkeep costs money and you may sometimes need to go to the doctor to get fixed. Even with great health insurance that can take a toll on the health of your wallet.  I don't go by the saying " you are what you eat" but your health is in what you eat and eating healthy has the stigma of being expensive, just look at this article "" and some of the comments.

Broccoli Vs. Peanut Butter.  Courtesy of

It is pointed out that eating lots of calories does not lead to great nutrition, those calories have to contain some important vitamins in them.  Think of it as watering down your gasoline, sure your car would run for a while and your gas gauge would read full but eventually it's going to break down..and long before the same car that puts in "pure" gasoline.

This link "" shows what 200 calories of each food looks like.  You'll notice that you need very small portions of the candies to get 200 calories while you can eat a field of carrots or Broccoli.  Taking the 200 calorie count to the next level is "My Money Blog" which shows what 200 calories costs.  I think the author does a great job in showing why people think that eating healthy is more expensive..but if you could somehow do an objective analysis of health then I think the chart would flip over and the fresh fruits and vegetables would end up on top.

Here are some tips for eating healthy on a budget.
  • Look for sales and take advantage of your freezer.  Buy in bulk!
  • If there is a buy one get one free sale, take a look at the expiration date, Karen and I bought 40 dollars in mixed nuts yesterday because they were BOGO and they don't expire until October 2012!
  • Use coupons!  You don't have to be an extreme couponer, but you can clip a few.
    • When you don't get a newspaper, go to the manufacturers website, many have printable coupons there.
  • Pay close attention to serving sizes, you would be surprised how little it takes to fill up once you get used to smaller sizes.


Karen did her first prescribed workout today!  I'm so proud of her and the progress she's making.  Her goal is going to be easily accomplished IF she keeps up with her diet and working out.  We are helping each other stay committed to this way of life (which may end up making us get committed).  

Strength: Back squat (65% of max x 5; 75% of max x 5, 85% of max x 5+)
100 air squats
50 DU -10 burpee - 40 DU - 10 Burpee - 30 DU - 10 Burpee - 20 DU - 10 burpee - 10 DU - 10 Burpee
100 air squats

Strength:   120 x 5; 140 x 5; 160 x 10
WOD: completed in 17:25


Breakfast (3 points): 3 HB eggs, cantaloupe, grapes, almonds
Lunch (3 points)     : chicken garden salad, strawberries
Snack(3 points)      : deli turkey, peach, almonds
Snack(2 points)      : protein, plum
Dinner(2 points)     :  Chicken, broccoli, cauliflower (some olive oil)

8 hours sleep +1
5 meals +1
<5 hours +1
Water +1

17 points on the day!

Week 1 review
Day 1: 18 points
Day 2: 13 points
Day 3: 17 points
Day 4: 15 points
Day 5:  7 points
Day 6: 10 points
Day 7: 13 points

+20 for 5 WODs for the week which gives me a total of 113 points.   

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day 7: Need a lil help from my friends

A HUGE congrats goes out to Lauriann and Tom, the wedding was wonderful and of course the bride looked amazing.  As an added bonus so was the food!  I actually ate really well and continued my no drinking streak in the face of an open bar.  More on the food below.


Does mowing my lawn count as a WOD?  no...didn't think so.  Even though I did not do a WOD I did have crossfit on the mind.  While Karen was out I spent about 30 minutes stretching my legs and back.  I am able to get lower each day but I need to get my own piece of PVC to do some other arm stretches.  

One of the tips I picked up while at CrossFit Norwalk was that shoes can make lifting heavy weights difficult.  Weightlifters use special shoes that provide less cushion than running shoes which can help keep you on your heels.  By staying on your heels you use are more stable and use the biggest muscles (upper leg) in your body to do a lot of the heavy lifting.  This can reduce injury and make lifting more weight possible.  I did a quick search for weight lifting shoes, and they are very expensive so I do not think I'll be making that investment anytime soon, but I do see more crossfitters doing heavy lifts barefooted.  

Menu from the wedding.  It was amazing.  I did not eat the first or second course, only the salad and the entree (surf and turf)
I need to make a correction on my points from yesterday, I ended up NOT having any wedding cake.  I'm picky and do not like chocolate cake so I did not have a piece.  This gives me 2 points for the meal yesterday.  Although I did eat more than 5 blocks of meat so I will take one off for that.  Here is where I need your help.  I originally took off one point for a champagne toast, but look at the picture you think that small amount of champagne should be worth -1 point?   Please use the poll below.

Is this small amount of Champagne worth -1 points?

Breakfast (3 points)
3 hb eggs (2 whites)

No lunch

Snack (2 points)
protein shake

Dinner (3 points)
Pork Chop
Broccoli cooked with a lil olive oil

Snack (3 points)
Strawberry smoothie with protein powder

8 hours sleep: +1
<5 hours between meals: +1

13 points on the day.  Not bad for a lot of time in the car.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 6: CrossFit Norwalk

Prior to leaving for the wedding this weekend, I knew I needed to find a way to work out.  The hotel gym wasn't going to cut it so I took to the internet to see if a CrossFit affiliate was close.  Luck would have it that there was one in Norwalk just a few miles from Karen's house.  Most CrossFit affiliates have a great program where all you need to do to participate in a WOD is to bring a T-shirt from your home box or pay a small fee (usually $20 or less).

I got a fantastic workout at Crossfit Norwalk.  The trainers (Susan and Khaled) were really great and even though I was just visiting they took the time, and effort, to watch my form and give me some valuable tips on improving.  I think this may be the final nail in the addiction coffin, to know I can do this anywhere with a friendly community of crossfitters is really reaffirming. If you're ever in the Fairfield County Connecticut area (Stamford, Norwalk, Greenwich, Darien...)  I highly suggest visiting CrossFit Norwalk.

Push Press, My left arm looks funny.
Warm-up: 400m run, 10 each of kb swings, PVC OHS

9 Deadlifts
30 Air Squats
9 Push Press

Warm-up: Went well, figured out I may be too tight in my shoulders while doing kb swings
Deadlifts: 135 lbs (Weak! But it was my first time doing deadlifts since elements so read this post)
Push Press: 75lbs (up from 65 lbs earlier this week)
Time: 14:16
The double chin makes an appearance!

I will write about some tips I received today in tomorrow's post.


Eating well while traveling can be difficult because of a lack of familiarity with restaurants in the area.  Eating out, even eating healthy out, can come in wrong portions or sometimes the menu is not all that accommodating.  Below are some of my own practices that help.
  • Rather than eat at a restaurant, go to a local supermarket and grab some fresh fruits and pre-cooked meats.  
  • Nuts are expensive!  If you have a stipend, use it all and buy some nuts that you can bring home with you.
  • Sides can make or break the meal, look at the sides and if they are vegetables and french fries just ask for a double serving of vegetables.
  • Get a to-go box in the beginning of the meal.  This way you will always have it in the back of your mind to NOT finish your meal and eat it later.  This will save money too because you can get 2 meals out of 1.
Even with those tips, there are some occasions where you just have to bite the bullet and have some dessert.  Dieting does not have to be horrible, allow yourself some cheats.  If I'm at a wedding and the cake looks good then I'm going to eat it, if there is a champagne toast I'm going to drink it.  These special occasions are important and you don't want to look back and say you missed out because of a diet, just enjoy it in moderation.

Although the day is not over, I know how it's going to turn out so below are some of the meals.  I've had breakfast, lunch and a snack...I'm going to have a piece of cake at the wedding and likely a champagne toast.

Breakfast (2 points)
2 eggs

Snack (post workout) 2 points
Protein Shake

Lunch (2 points)
Flat steak Salad with Walnuts

Snack (3 points)
HB egg
Half Apple

Dinner (-2 points)
I'll have the healthiest option for the main meal, but I'll get the negative from the cake/dessert.  It's a wedding, cut me some slack.  I'll edit this tomorrow with what I eat just to show that I did well during dinner, but not so hot on dessert.

5 meals +1
water +1
8 hours sleep +1
<5 hours +1
Champagne Toast -1

10 Points on the day. +20 for the 5th workout of the week!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 5: Some bumps in the road

A balanced diet is critical in getting the most out of your body...duh.  There is no point in trying to beat that into anyones brain because it is common sense.  Beyond a full days balanced diet, there are some times where "overloading" on some key nutrients can be very beneficial.
I prefer strawberry flavored whey.
During training you break down protein and burn amino acids (source).  Replenishing protein immediately after a workout can really help in keeping your muscles in best condition.  Some research suggests that consuming whey before/during/after a workout can actually cause your body to burn more fat reather than burning muscle.  This is ideal for two reasons, first want to look your best and second of all, more muscle is a good thing.  Personally, I use a protein shake right after my WOD and sometimes have a piece of fruit.  I like the taste of protein shakes, it is a nice change from bland water.

Here are a few other links that show this.  Does anyone else find it funny that I use livestrong (Lance Armstrong) for advice on supplements?

Will Drinking Protein After a Workout Help me Gain Weight?
What to Eat Before and After a Workout to Build Muscle?
Whey Protein After Your WOD
Why Whey?

What sources do you use when you are curious about nutrition?  I'd love to hear them!


After 4 straight days of CrossFit, I'm resting today.

It's a wedding weekend which makes eating well especially tough, I will take my first negative points.  Tomorrow I will post about ways that I TRY to cope with travel and try to make the best of social events.

Breakfast (3 points)
2 HB eggs

Snack (2 points)

Lunch  (1 point)..although paleo, I did eat more than 5 blocks of meat.
   7oz steak
   broccoli, squash, carrots

Snack (2 points)

Dinner (-2 points)
  Rehearsal dinner
  5 oz steak (or so the menu said)
  broccoli, squash, carrots
  Ice cream, cookies

Late night snack (-2 points)
  fun size milky way

Other Points
Water +1
5 hour rule +1
8 hours sleep +1

Only 7 points today because of some unhealthy food choices.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 4: It's not the size of the boat, it's the motion of the ocean

Who knew that this phrase could be used in more than sailing and sex?   It is something that a lot of men have a problem with in all 3 activities, concentrating on size!   Good form can help decrease injuries and, in time, increase the amount of weight you can lift.  During my first week of CrossFit I used a 1/2 pood (~17lbs) kettlebell for my kb swings.  I looked rediculous, a 180 pound man swinging this little tiny ball!  Looking back, it was certainly the right move as it was the form that I needed to learn BEFORE I could move on to heavier weights.  In kb swings, injury to your back, shoulders, and wrists can be a concern if you are not using the proper form/weight.  The same goes for most weight lifting exercises, get your form down pat, then move on to higher weights.
I love saying the word pood, I think I'll report my weights in poods.

I bring this up because today I graduated to a 1.5 pood (54lb) kettlebell! Still not rx weight, but it is one step closer.  It was quite the transition and it really made me realize how important it is to pop your hips when raising the kettlebell over your head.

Also want to say great job to my wife for graduating to the black band on her pull-ups, up from jumping pull-ups.


I went to the 6am class today which was horrible.  I'm tired, in a bad mood, tired, have nothing in my stomach and most of all..TIRED!   I think it showed in my numbers as I did really bad in my Tabatas.  I might re-do this workout during an open gym to see if I can improve on my score.

Skill:  400m run...BACKWARDS
         3 min epor pmuj  (jump rope backwards)

  Pull Ups
  Row for Cals
  KB Swings
  10m Runs
  Hand release Push-ups

1 min rest between workouts
Your score was the least you did during the exercise
Add total for final score

My Scores:
2:01 for the run
122 backwards jumpropes


Pull-ups: 4
Row for Cals: 4
Runs: 6
KB: 4
Push-ups: 5

Total: 23


I've been focusing my tips on fitness lately, tomorrow I will post on nutrition.

Post Workout Snack (2 points)
Protein Shake

Breakfast (3 points)
Ham Omelet (2 Eggs)

Lunch (3 points)
Chicken Garden Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Snack (2 points)
Grilled Chicken

Dinner (2 points)

Other points
5 Meals +1
<5 hours +1
Water +1

For a total of 15 points on the day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 3: I'm like an old rubber band...if I stretch, I break

Let me start by directing your attention to the right hand side of this screen where there are some links that might come in handy.  First are some pages, the CrossFit Dictionary and the rules to the Best Shape of My Life Challenge.  Go here when you get confused on what I'm writing about and why.   Also please visit the other links I've added, most are great sites...others are just some more of my own fitness stuff.


In my first post, where I tried to define total fitness, I failed to mention flexibility.  To be honest, it is just something I never think of when it comes to my fitness, sure I "stretched" but I always looked at it as more a formality.

Kipping will help stretch a few muscles..and has the benefit of helping me work on proper pull-up form

Today's WOD really showed my lack of flexibility as I really struggled to get into the proper position to complete my power snatches.  Neither my legs or shoulders would go to where they needed to be without a lot of trouble.  As Mike told me, it was only my first time so going into the proper form is a work in progress.  He gave me some suggestions on how to increase my flexibility which unfortunately will take some time but at the least I know how to fix it.

Skill: 2 Snatches on the minute for 10 minutes
WOD: 3 rounds for time 15 hanging snatches 20 t2b

Skill: 65lbs (used lighter weight because my form needed work)
WOD: 13:44 at 65lbs 
Finished with a 500m row for time: 1:49 

Video Showing a snatch ....this is safe for work :-P

Of course, most immature people (me included) think of this definition.


Breakfast (3 points)
3 hard boiled eggs (2 whites only)

Lunch (3 points)
Chicken Garden Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Snack (2 points)
Grilled Chicken

Post Workout Snack (2 points)
Protein Shake

Dinner (3 points)
Grilled Ham
Broccoli and Cauliflower with a small amount of butter

Other points
Sleep +1
5 Meals +1
<5 hours +1
Water +1

For a total of 17 points on the day.

If you look at the time this is posted, I clearly will not get my 8 hours of sleep, especially since I'm supposed to go to the 6am class.  I hate the morning.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 2: I am The Biggest Loser....but most of you already knew that

It was 8 weeks ago that my wife and I signed up for "The Biggest Loser" through the ROC Social Club and at the time I was doing it to make her happy.  I knew I needed to lose a few pounds but it was something that I figured would just happen for me as it always has.  Then I weighed myself and the real world hit me, I was 187 pounds and the come back of "round is a shape" came out of my mouth.  It was time to do something.  CrossFit 610 hosted the first weigh-in and I saw what CrossFit was for the first time.  I was psyched to start but I've never been able to keep a workout routine for more than a few weeks before getting bored and quitting the gym. CrossFit changed that.  I vomited the first workout...and I've never been so hooked on a workout that was so painful.

First (right) and Second Place
8 weeks later and I was "The Biggest Loser".  My final weight was 165 pounds, an 11.65% weight loss!  There were people who lost weight by just dieting, but I lost weight AND was MUCH stronger.  I was not able to do a single pull up at the start of the 8 weeks and by the end I could do 12 straight.  It was a total transformation.  The paleo diet is based on non-processed foods that were available pre-agricultural revolution (more than 10,000 years ago).  Lean meats, berries, vegetables and "good" fats such as cashews and almonds were the base of the diet.  I'd be lying if I said I never fact I cheated a lot but kept with the workouts and minimized the cheats so they were "small cheats".  My wife also lost more than 13 pounds but we came in second for the competition to another team that also did CrossFit.  That's right, CrossFit 610 trained the top 2 teams of the biggest loser challenge in the Lehigh Valley.

Day 2 of the Best Shape of your Life Challenge


Skill: 800 meter run 3 min rest then 400 meter run
WOD: 15 minute AMRAP 5 Push Press 7 box jump 200m run

Skill Times: 800 meter:  2:59  400m:  1:15
WOD: 8 +13 reps into 9th  75lb weight, 24" box

Photos by John Haney


Adjustments needed to be made from the day 1 measurement debacle and they worked out really well.  Instead of 16 ounces of lettuce, I switched to 1/4 a head of lettuce which is much more manageable.  The meals went well today but I still need to work on my snacking as it is tough to get all the necessary components (fat, carb, protein) into the snack.

Breakfast (3points):
3 HB eggs (2 whites)

Lunch (3 points):
Chicken Garden Salad

Snack (2 points):

Snack (0 points):
Protein Shake

Dinner (2 points):
Green Beans
Broccoli (made with olive oil)

Other Points:
Sleep +1
<5 hours between meals +1
Water +1

I am giving myself 13 points for the day.  I am not counting the extra point for 5 meals because one was only a shake.

Is anyone else out there doing CrossFit?  And if not, let me know and maybe you can come in and see or try what it's all about.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 1: More Lettuce than I Thought Possible

Day one of the Best Shape of My Life Challenge (BSOL) is in the books and I think I did well.  Ended the day with 18 points which is 2 less than the max possible.  The points are broken out below:

Breakfast at 9am (3 points):
1/4 Cantaloupe
1 cup grapes
3 eggs (only one yolk)
15 cashews
2 fish oil pills

Lunch at 12:30pm (3 points):
2 cups lettuce (which i ignorantly measured as 16 oz more on this later)
5 oz grilled chicken
1 tomato
~2.5 TBS of dressing
1 Large Apple
1 peach

Snack 4pm (3 Points):
3 cashews
1 egg white

Post workout snack 7:45 pm (2 points):
Protein shake

Dinner 8:45pm (3 points)
5 oz chicken
2 cups peas

My food was ok, but I need to find some more healthy fats.  At the same time, I'd also like to get a bit more defined which means I want to limit my fat intake.  The parsing that Karen and I did last night helped a lot as just about everything was grab and go.  It was also nice to cook on the grill and sit outside last night.  The weather was beautiful!

The salad was insane, 2 cups of a solid should NOT be measured the same as liquid ounces.  I ended up eating almost an entire head of lettuce!  I am not concerned because 1 head of lettuce is about 4 calories but still a lot of food for one man to eat.  Lesson I learned is that lettuce can be eaten in just about any quantity so I need to fit it more to myself.

Salad from hell.  They serve these for families, and I ate it alone.

Workout (no points for working out a single day)

I biked to the gym for the first time, ended up being a 5 mile bike each way but it was great in warming me up and prepping me for my triathlon in 10 days.

Over Head Squat (OHS): 21 18 15 12 9 6 3
Ring Dips                       :  3 6 9 12 15 18 21

I had to use a purple band to complete my ring dips because my arm strength just is not up to par yet.  I completed the workout in 21:11 which is respectable for me and I really pushed myself with 65 lbs on the squat.  my wrists felt like they were about to break!  Prior to the WOD I finally figured out my 1 rep max for back squats which ended up being 185lbs (WEAK!).  Lets hope I can improve that over the next 6-8 weeks.

Other Points

+1 -  5 meals
+1 - <5 hours between meals
+1 - half my body weight in water
+1 - 8 hours of sleep

We shall see what day 2 holds for me, I'm a little concerned with keeping up on water.  Any tips from the fish out there who drink a lot of water?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Preparing for the Challenge - Shopping/parsing

Grocery shopping while trying to be healthy is always easy, you just avoid 95% of the super-market and stay on the fringes.  It's the fringes where vitamins and protein hide.  Occasionally you may have to venture into the aisles to grab some almonds or cashews (which taste WAY better in my opinion).  As you venture through the more rural areas of the supermarket you will start to get concerned about some of the prices but fret not as this fear will subside once you begin parsing the food into service sizes (listed below). 

In addition to the fresh veggies, fruits, and meats; Karen and I also purchased some fish oil pills to keep my heart and our joints healthy.  If you go back to the rules of the challenge, this will limit any point losses I may incur. 

Grand total for the shopping tip: ~$140 for the entire week of food (some food will be frozen and last more than 1 week) plus a 2 months supply of fish oil pills for 2 people.  Break this into cost per meal, assuming 5 meals a day, and you get ~$2 per meal.  Take away the fish oil and it is much less than $2 a meal (on average).  Compare that to ANY fast food or meal from the middle of the store and you will find that buying healthy food is MUCH cheaper than purchasing a meal.  Of course the prep time will be more....

The Prep

Iron chef's have nothing on my wife when it comes to cutting fruits and vegetables into proper serving sizes. Vegetables are measured, weighed, cut, and bagged in record time.  There was a time commitment to prepping all of the food, we spent something on the order of an hour in the kitchen setting everything up and planning our meals for the week.  Although this was a MAJOR pain in the behind, I don't have to think about it the rest of the week. 

Examples of some of the prep:

putting grapes into 1 cup servings and bagging
Cutting strawberries and bagging into 1 cup servings
Parsing a cantaloupe into 1/4 melon servings and bagging
chicken into 5oz serving sizes and bagging
etc.  .....

Finally we ended up with a fridge that looked like this:
This was half way through the ended up much more full.

Below you can see how we broke out the food into blocks.  Some of the baggies are in 2 block portions because that is what we planned to eat to get to our required blocks.  
Courtesy of CrossFit 610

If you have any tips on making this process go faster it would be appreciated.  Tomorrow begins the challenge, time to get 8 hours of sleep!

Best Shape of Your Life Challenge

Define the best shape of your life, go ahead think about it. What comes to mind?

Balanced Diet?

Well, the answer is all of the above. To be in terrific shape you have to be a good weight for YOU (not to be confused with super thin), be able to do some minimal strength exercises, be able to do those exercises multiple times and to eat well. If you do all of the above you WILL be in terrific shape, it's science.

What does this have to do with me and my life? My crossfit gym has decided to run "The Best Shape of Your Life Challenge" and I accepted. By incorporating every aspect of personal well being, the challenge will bring me to a point where I hope to, literally, be in the best shape of my life. Below you will see the rules to the challenge as well as some of the diet guidelines that I will attempt to follow. I will post my progress as I go through the weeks and hopefully I will see some very positive changes in the next 8 weeks (more than I already have by joining crossfit, but more on that in a later post)