Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Eating is not a marriage.  You have to cheat sometimes.  It's natural and it will keep you sane.  The key is to control the cheats. Below are some Do's and Don'ts

DO Reward yourself with a cheat
DON'T cheat if you have no earned it

Like training a dog you should reward yourself for doing well.  But do not give yourself a treat if you bite hte mailman.

 Left:  Good.  Right:  Too much.

DO get a snickers bar
DON'T get a king size snickers bar

You are cheating for the taste, not to fill yourself up.  Give yourself a regular sized piece of candy, or a 2 scoop sundae.  You don't need the 5 scoop mega sundae or the entire box of swedish fish (I've done it).  get that sweet taste and cherish it.

DO enjoy the treat
DON'T think you have to go extra hard at the gym to work that cheat off

It will come off normally during your workouts.  No need to go extra hard if you cheat once a week.

All in all, just be cognizant of what you are doing.  You'll start to enjoy that candy more rather than just swallowing it.  In the end, you'll enjoy life more.


500m row
150 DU's
50 Burpees

Time: 7:50

Then did 106 DU's in a row (video below)
then did 6 T2B in a row which is a huggge accomplishment for me.  Thanks Brad!

Friday, January 20, 2012


I don't care how terrible of a picture of me this is..I'm psyched.

I did my first muscle up last night!

I can't begin to tell you how happy it made me.  Yes I know..Lots of people do lots of muscle ups.  I get it, in the grand scheme of things this is only one small step for man and a giant leap for no one BUT  it is exciting to me none the less.  I did it after our WOD for the day which makes me think it's better to be loose than trying to do it before anything.

Also during the WOD yesterday, I set a new PR i the Jerk getting 195!   I failed at 200 but I think with just a little more practice I will be able to get it.

The lesson here is...STICK WITH IT.  Also, what helped me is that I haven't tried a muscle up in more than a week after trying just about every day for a while.  If you're having trouble nailing a skill movement (or the snatch), take some time off from it, let your muscles heal completely then go at it again in a few days or weeks.  You might just find it to be a lot easier.

Next up....string 2 together.



4 x 10 GHD
4 x 15 30 lb slam ball
3 x 25 double unders


5 min amrap
250 m row
7 - 115lb OHS

2 +250

10 min to find max split jerk

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Track your Results and a Sweat Angel Contest!

Since I love people reading my blog, even though I make no money, I want to try and attract some new readers with a contest!   But before I get into the rules, let me enlighten you as to why I chose the prize that I did.

Do you ever have trouble remembering what your 1 rep max is?  Or how you did on that benchmark WOD last time?  or even what weight you used on that workout last month?  I always did, and that was part of the reason I started this blog.  It was a way to track my progress, which is important to my psyche as I move through crossfit.  Then I found how annoying it was to go to my phone every time I needed to look something up.

WOD Entry
Weights Entry

Then my wife, digital mustard, won a contest on Facebook through a company called Journal Menu.  What they do is create workout journals with a custom cover (or one of their standard covers).  I looked through what she won and I loved it.  It was exactly what I was looking for.  I ordered one in late December and had it a few short days later.  I started using at the beginning of the year and found it to be very useful.

With that in mind, the prize for my contest will be a custom journal from JournalMenu.com.*


With winter here, and cold temperatures taking over the nation, I feel that sweating has decreased.  With that in mind, I want all of you to work hard and make sweat even in cold temperatures.  So...


Simple.  Work hard and create a sweat angel.
This is a sweat angel, in case you didn't know.

Send me your sweat angel via e-mail or you can post your picture to my reformed fatty Facebook page.

I will take submissions through Feb 10th.
On Feb 13th I will put all the sweat angels into an album on Facebook.
The sweat angel with the most "likes" before Febuary 20th @ noon ET will win the JournalMenu.
If I get more than 35 submissions, or over 100 page likes, I'll add a second place which would be a non-custom journal menu.

Be creative!  Have fun!  Post any questions to the comments here and I'll be sure to answer them.

*Journalmenu.com has nothing to do with this contest.  I just like their journal and am using it as a prize.
I reserve the right to extend the contest if fewer than 10 submissions.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Good and Bad In People

Just got my 140lb Snatch.  Notice the spectators on the left yelling.  It was great!  Thanks guys! (Image: journalmenu.com)
 What blew me away the most during the event was the number of spectators.  It was not just athletes, in fact I’d bet athletes were outnumbered 3-1 by spectators.  What was great about all the spectators was that most were not only cheering on their friend or box mate, they were cheering each and every competitor on.  When someone struggled with a lift, you could hear the decibel level go up.  It was really great.

Most importantly for me was how many fellow crossfit 610ers were there showing support for those competing.  I know Molly was very thankful for all your help in setting up, cleaning, judging…. But from my point of view it was that support during WODs that was most noticeable, I swear it helped me a lot in that snatch ladder.  From yelling out tips to just screaming "GET ON THE BAR!" although I can't remember specifics, I can remember hearing a positive vibe.  So thank you very much, it just keeps reinforcing that community atmosphere that we all built at 610.  
You can see me in the back getting my 115lb snatch.  (credit: journalmenu.com)

The bad that I noticed was how some athletes snapped at judges.  It was rare, but it did happen.  From "oh come on" to "that was a rep!" and on to "I know I was there!".  Shut up.  Are your eyes below your chin?  no..ok then you don't KNOW you're there.  See, when you're doing your normal WOD at your box, you will let yourself get away with a few questionable reps, no big deal...but when at a competition suddenly you can't do that.  The judges there are doing the best they can (and let's note here that they are volunteers).  Of course, I understand emotions are high and you're tired and you just want to finish but channel that anger into legit reps and if you get no rep'd then just go harder on the next rep.  If worst comes to worst, make it through that event and then make sure you don't get the same judge for the next one.

Mike said it best...don't waste reps and don't waste time arguing about whether something was judged correctly.  Just go out there and get it done.
(image: journalmenu.com)

(personal note:  I have screamed at umpires in baseball, football, and even got into a heated debate with a golf official once, so I'm just as guilty as anyone else here.  Just thought I would throw it out there.)

WOD Yesterday

Strength: 10 minutes 3 Power Cleans at 85% 1RM at the minute. (145)

5 rounds
12 -1.5 pood KB Snatch
12 - T2B
12 Burpees
Time: 15:41

Monday, January 16, 2012

PA's Fittest Competition Overview

I now have my second crossfit competition under my belt.  It was a bit of a wild ride to say the least.  Lots of highs and definitely some lows as well, but overall it was a fantastic day.  Here is an overview.

WOD #1: The emergence of Senor Denos

600m Row, 30 ring rows, 30 ring dips
Journalmenu.com was there to take photos!  More on them soon!

I got a little thrown off mentally for this wod, I thought it would be 30 ring dips then into 30 ring rows…nope.  No excuses though, it is what it is so just go out there and try and kill it.

It started well enough on the row, I was averaging about a 1:43 per 500m so I didn’t kill myself and I felt good going to the rings.  Then it started to go downhill…. I did 7 fast at first, then I could only do about 4 at a time.  But I made it through them before most of the people in my heat.  Ring row time.  This is where everything started to go wrong.  My blood was already boiling from how poorly I did on the ring rows but then when I started to do the ring dips one of the rings started to slip lower than the other one.  It would have been ok if it was just a little bit, but during one of my dips, it slipped all the way down causing a no rep.

This is where senor denos came out.  I started cursing…loudly.  I was just angry.  Not at anyone in particular, more than likely I was just angry at myself.  When time expired, I had only completed 23 of the 30 rings dips and continued to curse loudly and walk away.  You see, when senor denos comes out, I get loud…I just don’t care.  Some people have quiet disappointment…not me or him (how do you type when you talk about an alter ego?), I turn into a foul mouthed 5 year old who didn’t get his way.

I want to note here, I’m not saying that I would have completed if the ring didn’t slip. There was no way I was finishing that wod in time whether or not that ring slipped or not. At the time I needed to channel my anger somewhere and the inanimate object seemed the best choice.

I believe I finished at about 15th in this event.  It goes without saying that I did not come close to my goal.

WOD#2 Victory for Senor Denos

Snatch time.  This is the event I was most looking forward to.  The Snatch Ladder.  I felt great warming up for this event.  When my name was called, I easily made it through 85, 95, 105 and 115 ….now time to hit up 125.  My nemesis the past 2 weeks.  I HATED 125!  I was angry again.  But this time, I was angry at the bar. I channeled that anger and I got 125 up…EASILY.  Woah..ok that was unexpected.  Surely I would fail at 135…nope.  Got 135.  I actually slammed the bar down at this point.  At a weight that was introductory to the rx division, I acted like I was Jake getting 245.

Senor Denos didn’t care.  It was a 20lb PR for me.  Ok time for 140, I was on a high, I could lift a house right now.  Boom.  140 was over my head like it was nothing.  SLAM!   I’m the strongest man on earth!    Bring 145 to me so I can make it look like a paper weight.  3-2-1 go!  Oh shit..this just got real.  Failed on my first attempt (I should note that I was close on this).  Second attempt, not even close.  Third attempt…I hit myself in the face with the bar.

Yes, you read that right.  I lifted and slammed my face into the bar.  Ouch.  Instantly I remember that there are 300 people here that just saw that.  Do’h.  I’m the dumbest man in the world!

Regardless I hit a 25lb PR on the lift.

Here I do have to say thank you to Jake for having his oly lift classes.  It was a huge help in preparing me for this.  His help along with some pointers from Mike and lifter Chris were critical in helping me get that weight.  My form is still a train wreck but it is miles ahead of where it was because of you guys.

Goal of 125 lbs was demolished.

WOD #3: “Fran” : Senor Denos Hates that Fran Bitch

I’m not going to go too much into this other than to say I sucked.  Plain and simple.  I was not mentally prepared for this workout.  Once I was done that snatch ladder I got too cocky or optimistic or something and just completely dropped the ball.  I finished with a time of 7:57, a full minute slower than just 3 days ago.  Terrible.  The only bright spot was doing the final 9 pull-ups unbroken (it was nice having Molly and Evan screaming at me…there was no way I was coming off that bar).  

This would be a silver on my original goal list but a non-medal on the new goals list.

Final Standing

In the end, I came in 15th place out of 36 competitors in my division.

I will have much more on this event in the coming days, including how I saw some athletes react to judging, the overwhelming support from those not competing, and a little bit more on senor denos.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fran is a good thing..maybe the best of things.

Yesterday I did Fran.

As posted on the Crossfit HQ facebook page.

Fran is a hard woman who you have to go at hard and fast she likes it no other way.  Problem is, you feel like you just went toe to toe with Xena Warrior Princess.  For those not in the know, Fran is a classic Crossfit workout that is a great measure of progress.  The actual workout is 21 Thrusters - 21 pull-ups - 15 thrusters - 15 pull-ups - 9 thrusters - 9 pull-ups.  Done.  Easy enough right?


Oh god no.

Every time I do this workout (4 times now) I come to the brink of vomiting.  For 5 minutes after the workout I'm useless to society.     But yesterday...yesterday I did something that I didn't think I would be able to do for another 10 months.  I completed Fran, prescribed (95 lbs), in 6 minutes 57 seconds.  Not elite by any stretch of the imagination (Sub 3 is elite) but what an improvement for me.   Two months into Crossfit I did fran at 65 lbs in 14 minutes and some change.  Then 3 months later I did Fran at 85lbs and pulled a 10:12.  This time I took another 3 minutes off the time to be sub-7.

My thoughts exactly

Will this ever become an easy workout?

No.  The answer is a definitive no.

That is what is great about Crossfit.  Whether you are new or Rich Froning, the workouts are hard, but not impossible if you scale it to your level.  Your time and weight will improve, but it will always hurt the same.  You have to keep pushing yourself to improve.  Ask Molly and Evan and they will tell you the same thing.All the workouts are like that. It is you against the clock and in order to win you have to beat that shadow of the past and push your body to the brink.   Then 6 months later you do it again and hopefully, the definition of brink will have changed for you.

It has for me.  And hopefully it will change again on Saturday and I can push myself through what I did yesterday.

New Goals:

Fran 2012: sub 5 minute
Fran at PA's Fittest:  Gold: Sub 6:30  Silver: 7:00 Bronze: 7:30

Monday, January 9, 2012

Garage Games WOD's Released

The workouts for the PA's Fittest competition have been released and as normal I'm kind of nervous.  I know I can do the workouts but obviously it comes down to how fast can I do them.  As I did with the last competition, I'll put some goals with each.  Remember, I am doing the scaled division but I will put what the RX division is doing in case people are curious (the numbers are M/F).  Please come out and check out the event if you're free this Saturday, there are going to be some amazing competitors there!

WOD 1:

Rx: 600m row 20/10 Muscle ups  7 minute time cap
Scaled: 600m row 30/20 ring dips then 30/20 ring rows.  HRPU can be done in place of ring dips

My goal:
Gold: 5:00 even
Silver: 5:25
Bronze: 5:45

Anything past 5:45 will be a failure to myself.

WOD 2:

Snatch Ladder

Rx: Starting at 135/75lb ending at 245/135lbs
Scaled: Starting at 85/55lb ending at 165/115lbs

Snatch ladder means that all the weights are set up and you move up 10lbs for each "rung" of the ladder.  You have 20 seconds to complete the move and 10 seconds to move to the next weight. Go until you fail.

Gold: 125lbs
Silver: 115lbs
Bronze: 105lbs

I have gotten 125lbs in the snatch once (kinda, my depth was questionable).  Just once.  I get 115lbs about 2/3 times and it's rare I fail anything below that.

WOD 3:

Rx: "Cleaning up Fran's chest"
Chest to Bar Pull-Ups

Scaled: "Fran"
95/65lb thrusters

This is where setting a goal becomes difficult.  In August I did fran at 85lbs in 10:12.  Now I'm moving up 10lbs but it's like 5 months later.  So my goal setting is going to be kinda wide.

Gold: 7 Min
Silver: 8 Min
Bronze 9 Min

Let's hope this all translates into some decent results at the competition.  More info on the comp can be found here: http://www.thegaragegames.com/events/second-annual-pas-fittest/  and here: http://www.facebook.com/events/308144899225093/

Today's WOD

5 rounds
400m run
95lb OHS

time: 16:26

Did the entire WOD without putting the bar down.  Almost unbroken.  Rested twice with the bar on my back (once each on rounds 2 and 3).

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Crossfit Erotica

Another reason I love going to the gym is some of the laughs you can have there.  Whether it be laughing at someones wardrobe...or busting someones chops it can always be a good time.  What can also be fun is some of the crossfit/ olympic lifting vocabulary.  There are several double  double entendre ( A figure of speech in which a spoken phrase is devised to be understood in either of two ways. Often the first (more obvious) meaning is straightforward, while the second meaning is less so: often risqué or ironic.)

The most obvious dirty double entendre is the snatch. It can either be an Olympic lift..or a slang term for vagina.  

Here is the snatch that we do at crossfit (and olympic lifters do at the olympics)

In its most simple definition it is raising the bar from the ground to overhead in one movement.  Although saying that is like saying a golf swing is simply hitting a ball with a golf club.  It is very technical.  I equate it to the golf swing of crossfit.  There is so much going on and being out of line in one place can limit how successful you are at the snatch (and also the golf swing).

Lately I have been concentrating on this movement to try and increase my one rep max.  My snatch is a bit of a train wreck right now but slowly, with the help of my trainers and a some other crossfitters, I am learning the proper technique.  Of course, I had to post on Facebook about how I've been obsessed with snatching...this led to the most hilarious...and dirty...series of comments I've seen on Facebook.

It starts innocent enough with just a little dirty-ness thrown in there by me.  Then it just takes off!

I need to note here that these are females writing these comments!  (the first one was written in by my wife with her quick wit.

As these comments are streaming in I can't stop laughing.  It is hilarious.

I hope you all can have as much fun as we do with our workouts!

Saturday WOD


1 mile run
21 C + J (135 lbs)
1/2 mile run
21 C + J (135 lbs)
1 mile run

time: 36:28

Then I practiced snatching for about 25 minutes.  I got 125lbs for the first time!  But only got it once.  :-(   Gotta keep working on it!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Put Yourself Out There

Remember that time you tried that really strange food, something you never thought you'd try?  Then once it hit your tongue you ended up loving it and now it's one of your favorite foods?

You would never have experienced that food without trying it.  You took a chance and it worked out.  No harm, no foul.  For me, this experience was sushi, I love it now.  I would eat it all 3 meals a day if I could.

That is Crossfit.  It is something you never thought you could do, but once you try it you find that it's your favorite thing to do.

There are people doing crossfit at my box that I would NEVER have thought I'd see lifting Olympic bars with weights on the end over their head.  Rather than call them all out specifically I'll just call out one.  My wife, digital mustard.  If you saw her walking down the street there is no chance you'd think she was able to do snatches, clean and jerks, sumo dead lift high pulls, etc.  It is AWESOME to see, I smile a little inside every time I see her putting herself out there in a workout.

There is a large group of people that have come in after picking up a groupon and although I'm not the best ambassador in person ( I'm kinda quiet and may seem like I'm ignoring you, but if you come up and talk to me about something I'll open up quickly), I hope to help them any way I can.  I respect anyone willing to put themselves into something they never thought they would do.  If any of the new guys and gals read this, I wish you the best of luck!

If you are thinking about trying crossfit here are some things to expect and why they shouldn't scare you.

1.  Lots of loud noises, grunting, heavy weights being picked up and just dropped.

Imagine the complete opposite of Planet Fitness.
You will not see this sign at Crossfit Boxes (still wipe down your abmat though)

Yes, it's loud.  Yes, there are people grunting.  But EVERYONE there is doing it.  It isn't one musclehead in the corner doing it to look big and tough.  It is the tiny 100lb girl lifting a 35lb bar grunting right next to the monster guy doing 225 lbs (sometimes it's the tiny 100lb girls lifting more than the monster guys).  Everyone is into it, which is comforting cause you won't be the weirdo in the group.

2. Shirtless sweaty dudes 
I think the fact that I hated Ice Man shaped my perception

I saw someone say on facebook that they tend to avoid these type of people at their gym.  I did too.  I used to think that they were douchebags just showing off to attract the ladies at the gym.  I can assure you that they ones doing it at Crossfit are not all douche bags (except for if you have anyone nicknamed fox, he can be a douche  :-P   jk jk).  To be honest, I thought for sure the first time I saw some of these guys that they are dicks who looked down on me cause I could do 1/4 of the weight they did.  I could not have been more wrong.  They all will help you through your crossfit journey.  Whether it be letting you know when you had bad form, help you clean up a bar, or just give you some encouraging words when you need them.  If you're a woman then just enjoy the view and go with it.

Note: Don't play dodgeball against a team of shirtless dudes...they cheat.

3.  The warehouse or garage like facilities. 

The first words out of my mouth when I went to CF610 the first time were "where the eff are we going?"  It was in some sketchy looking building with a truck port.   But that is the beauty of it, you don't need pristine facitilites with mirrors, tv's, and a smoothie bar.  You get a place that has what you need and that is all.  Weights, pull up bars, racks, rings, and rowers.  Simple.  It gets the job done.  To do the "minimum" you get in do a workout and get out.

My other crossfitters, what else should people new to the sport expect? What did you see that scared you the first time you went to CrossFit?


5 rounds
9 DL
6 Hang Power Snatch
3 OH Squats

Weight 95 lbs
Time: 10:54

I did horrible on this WOD.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Glance at the Past, a snapshot of the present, and a peak into the future


Wow..what a difference a year can make.  I never knew what I couldn't do until I tried to do it.  It started with me thinking I was an awesome athlete and strong enough to get by, then I weighed myself and realized I was at almost 190 lbs on a my tiny frame.  Then came "the biggest loser" through the ROC social club, one visit to a crossfit box later..I was hooked.  I still vividly remember telling Mike that Karen and I were gonna try the crossfit thing, his reaction was classic...him going without any doubt in his voice "you're going to win".  the confidence he had was kinda infectious.

Then came elements 1.  Which I puked during.  After I puked, while I was resting and thinking I was done for the day, he came up and said "why don't you hop on the rower now".  What?  Really?  I was hooked.  Elements 1 was the single most enlightening experience of my life.  Suddenly I knew what I didn't know.  And what I didn't know was that I was weak.  Both mentally and physically.

Here are some metrics on where I began crossfit at in 2011

Back Squat: 185
Push Press: 95 lbs
Bench Press: 110 lbs
Box Jumps: 20 inches
Pull ups:  I wish
Wall Ball: 10 lb
Double Unders:  haha right.
Clean: <95 lbs
HSPU: not even close but could do 2 abmats

Some of those numbers I'm being generous with myself on and I'm not putting the benchmark wods in there right now.


Today I am in much better shape than I was to start 2011.  Although, I will say I'm not in the best shape of my life (that was right before Vegas) but I will be there soon.

Back Squat: 255+
Push Press: 145 lbs
Bench Press: 155 lbs
Box Jumps: 36 inches+
Pull ups:  Last try was 22 straight
Wall Ball: 20 lb
Double Unders:  114 in a row
Clean: 170 lbs
HSPU: got 11 in a row

Goals for 2012:

I'm going to stick with the cliche and put some goals for 2012 here.  I'll put 2 for each movement, one is a realistic goal and the second will be something I'd really have to push myself to achieve.

Back Squat: 300 (2x body weight)
Push Press: 175 (185)
Bench Press: 200 lbs
Pull ups:  30 in a row (50)
Clean: 200 (225)
HSPU: consistent in a wod
Shoulder Press: 135 (155)

Jerk:  200 (225)
OHS: 155 (BW)
2000m row: 7:15 (<7)
Snatch: 135 (155)

Annie: <7 min (6:30)
Karen: <9 min (8:30)

Helen: <8min (7:30)
Grace: <5 min (4 min)
Fran: <7 min (<6min)
Cindy: 20 rounds (22 rounds)
Angie: <20min (15 min)

There.  It is in writing.  It means I have to man up to these goals.  Notice there is not a weight goal or a body shape goal.  If I can achieve all of these, the looks and the weight will be a by product.

I am going to do a better job of tracking my wods both online and in this great journal I got from www.journalmenu.com.   It will help a lot to be organized and able to better track my progress.


6 rounds
30 seconds of thrusters followed by 2:30 of rest.

36 total was my score (6,7,5,6,7,5) @ 125lbs