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.  http://www.thegaragegames.com/events/second-annual-pas-fittest/  .  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 ..no problem.  The tire drag was HORRIBLE.  So much harder than I thought.  Then the walking lunges...my 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 1..fail.  attempt 2...fail.  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 1...now 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:  http://crossfitrelentless.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/festivus2-final.pdf

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.  http://www.facebook.com/reformedfatty

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 ..no 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.