Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Vacation....from everything

Last week was my first ever "Guys Golf Vacation" in Myrtle Beach South Carolina.  It was really a good time, except that a week was a bit long.  During hte vacation I did everything I did before Crossfit.  I ate HUGE meals, snacked on fried food, sat on the couch and did nothing, and most importantly...drank my weight in beer.  I likely put on around 5lbs and definitely lost any definition I was starting to gain.
yeah..this is about right.  

Why did I do this?

Mostly cause I just needed to let loose. It felt good even with the consequences.  I'm committed to crossfitting but I don't let the crossfitting define who I am.  Sure I want to look great and be healthy, but I've said all along I do it so I can enjoy weeks like last week.  Some people do it so they can go to regionals or the crossfit games, and if I had the genetic make-up, or the time, to accomplish that I would take it more seriously too.  But that is not what I want with my life.  I want to be able to have golf weeks with buddies into my 70' great would that be?  And spending 40-45 weeks a year being healthy and another 5-10 being less than healthy should allow me to do that.

I hope.

One drawback to the week was I overslept and missed my chance to do 12.5  so I had no score to submit.  but fret not I will do the workout tomorrow (Thursday) and figure out where I would have fallen so I have an accurate measure for next year!

Congrats to everyone that made it through Opens!

An even bigger congrats to my former trainer Mike Abgarian for coming in 6th in the mid-atlantic, Molly for coming in 33rd, and Evan for coming in 45th!!!!!

 AND to the Crossfit 610 team for coming in 12th and qualifying for regionals!   Amazing job guys!

This week...I get back at it!  Time to prep for the Mid-Atlantic affiliate challenge.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

12.4 Karen is PMS'ing

Ew.  Yeah.  This was a hard one.  I feel like I say that a lot but this one I'm still hurting from.  Here is what it entailed.

12 min amrap

150 Wall Balls - This is where you throw a 20lb medicine ball at a 10 foot target...oh and you have to do a full squat each time.

90 Double - Unders - The rope must pass under your feet twice

30 Muscle ups - yeah...didn't get any of these.

Dude really doesn't have a neck.

It was a really tough workout.  150 wall balls is a classic crossfit workout named Karen.  I always have trouble cracking 10 PR on this is 9:50.  So assuming I did that, it would have only left me 2 min for double unders and hopefully some time to TRY a muscle up.


I started with 34 straight wall balls.  BAD IDEA.  I was cooked after that.  I then broke them up into sets of between 5 and 10.  I was hurting bad.  My shoulders were on fire.  But I finished stage one in about 9:25ish.  WOO new Karen PR (well the workout named Karen PR...I've def done Karen (the person) faster).  ;-)

Double problem.  Broke them up into sets of 30.  First 30 went fine.  Second 30 went ok.  messed up during the third 30 and did 15-9-6.  But regardless was done them in just a lil over a minute.  Leaving me about 1 minute to attempt a muscle up.  I failed.  I was really upset I failed, but looking at the scores being submitted made me feel better.

Looks like finishing the DU's gets me into around the top 50%...that makes me very happy.  But obviously a lot of improvement to be made.  I gotta get y motor up to try and get Karen completed in under 8 min.

I CAN do a muscle up..kinda.  Still can't do one from a dead hang, but I'm getting there.  See video below!

I decided NOT to try this one again.  My quads are burning big time and my shoulders are shot.  Instead I did my normal programming.

I'm heading to Myrtle Beach this week so I might be a little distant on posts, but I will get one or 2 up next week.  I make no promies on the content...I will likely not be sober while typing.


12.4 : 240 (all the wall balls and double unders)


10 min amrap as a team

one person carries 2 dumb-bells 200m while the other does push presses
I did 4 walks/runs with 45lb dumb-bells


10 min amrap

20 box jumps
while other person is jumping then am-mats are being completed

I did 7+19 rounds of box jumps.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Diet Diet Diet!

Lost in all my posts recently has been my focus on my diet.  I have been making extra effort to eat more "clean" and I think it has been paying off.  I have felt better after workouts and have started to look better in the mirror.  Below is a typical day for me (meaning 4 out of 5 work days).

Drive in to work -  large protein shake, banana
10:30am             - 3 hard boiled eggs (only 1 yolk), apple, other seasonal fruit, fish oil
Noon                 -  Meat (usually left over from night before), veggie (usually steamed broccoli)
Mid-afternoon    -  Turkey deli meat, trail mix (cashews, dried bananas, dried pineapple..)
Post-workout     -  Recovery shake
Dinner                -  usually some type of meat (chicken most often), veggies (usually broccoli cause I'm boring)

That is everything.  My wife and I like to have fish once a week which is usually salmon or tilapia.  We also have steak once a week or so.  It is not nearly as boring as it looks.  She is a master chef (in my eyes at least) and somehow finds ways to spice it up a lot of the time.  Some of her recipes are here: .

I do cheat once or twice a week when I get really stressed and have a snickers or some other candy bar in there somewhere.  on the weekends I don't really stick to a schedule, it is more "eat when I'm hungry" and try to eat healthy.  I do drink beer (sometimes wayyyy too much).  But hey...that's what I enjoy and that is who I am.  I've greatly cut down on how often I drink and now go weeks without a beer without batting an eye.

Remember, the point in being healthy is to enjoy life...not make life feel constrained.  Make healthy choices, but do what you like as well.

Where to Buy Food?

Recently, as in the past 3 weeks, we discovered the Allentown Farmers Market.  Holy Crap.  What a treasure chest of deliciousness!  They have everything you need to eat healthy..and above all you can up the health by choosing local, grass fed products.  We recently made the choice to buy the more expensive, but equally more delicious, free range chicken products, and grass fed beef products.  You don't know what you've been missing.  They actually TASTE better.  I've been told they are more healthy too. WINNING! (is that played out yet?)

I'm sure you can find something similar near you!

Prediction for 12.4

Come on you didn't think you'd get through an entire post without talk of the Reebok crossfit open did you?

The only thing I'm sure of is pain.  Both because my neck is still screwed up, and because even when I'm completely unscathed...the workout hurts.  But because I must prediction is

8 min amrap
10 - 185lb Deadlift
20 - Wall Balls

This is based on the fact that there has been no squatting thus far.  I would not be surprised to see some kind of front squat, or full squat clean in this WOD either.  At least wall balls are supposed to have a squat in them.  We'll see at 8pm ET tonight!

Recent WOD's


25 min amrap (eek!)
50 ground to over head 45 lb plate (I did 20lb slamballs cause my neck hurt with the plate)
100 Air Squats
125 calorie row

Score: 1 + 111


Rowed 10 1 minute intervals after doing 5 rep max back squat.  Stopped at 225 cause my neck started hurting.  Gotta get through this week without doing more damage!

Monday, March 12, 2012

A little like a car accident

Whiplash from a WOD?  yup.  only me.

12.3 is now behind me, but it did its best to make sure I don't soon forget the torture.  It was everything I thought it would be, but I persevered and got through it beating my goal by a good amount.


As I mentioned in a previous post, I decided to go one and done on this WOD because of the length and the relative heavy weight.  I took a rest day on friday to make sure I was at 100% for the workout and looking back, it might have been the best decision I could have made.  Saturday morning was upon me and I woke up and had a great ham omlet breakfast early enough that it would be digested before the WOD.

I did a pretty good warm-up well before the WOD of a 1000m light row and then some double unders to get my achilles adn calves loosened up for the box jump (I even did some triple unders, unstrung, just in case they were to pop up in a WOD).

Time to do the WOD.  My strategy was simple, keep moving through the box jumps and do as many toes to bar as possible.  Break up the push presses when needed.  Simple.

Round no-repped on the third box jump...could not hold it at the top.  Stupid me.  But then the push-presses.  Adrenalin must have gotten a hold of me because I was able to do the first two rounds un-broken.  I surprised myself a bit on that.  Then, as if that wasn't enough of a moral victory, I did the first 9 toes to bar unbroken.  This was the first time I was able to string toes to bar together in a wod.  I was through the first round in about 1:20.

I was through about 4 rounds at the half way point when things started to unravel.  I could no longer string toes to bar, I had to do 6 and 6 of the push presses with a long break in between.  I was gassed.  I kept moving on the box jumps but took a very long break during the push presses and could only do toes to bar 1 at a time.
The aftermath

I finished with a total rep cound of 251 (6 rounds +35 reps). 1 toe to bar short of 7 rounds.  It was a strange feeling at the end.  I was elated that I got 6+  but was really angry with myself for not being able to get that 7.

Then afterwards I realized something else...My neck hurt....bad.  Like really bad.  I have no idea WHEN I hurt it but there was no doubt it was hurt.  Today (Monday) it is still hurt....bad.  Feels much better but I'm still in a lot of pain, and sleep is an issue.  I self-diagnosed a sprained neck, or more commonly called..whiplash.  I'm really hoping that I am heeled by next week as I'm going on a golf vacation and I kinda need to be able to move.

Oh well.  Here are the stats


WOD 3: 1058/2338 (better than 55%)  WOO HOO!  I'm in the top half!
Overall:  1398/2350 (better than 41%)

WOD 3: 12358/28284 (better than 57%)
Overall:  16794/28441(Better than 41%)


I FINALLY beat Bob Harper in a WOD.  I got him by 9 reps.  Not a huge victory, but a victory none the less.  He is still destroying me in the standings though.  Gotta really go balls to the wall for the final two WODS to have a chance.

Friday, March 9, 2012

12.3 Now we're getting into some real s**t

This is the type of stuff I was expecting when I signed up for the open.  A triplet!

18 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)

15 box jumps (24")

12 push press (115 lb)

9 Toes to bar

I do have a question for everyone..who is worse at inflicting pain.  The folks at Crossfit HQ or the team from fear factor?   I think it's a toss up.

In the previous two workouts, I was able to do try once then have a repeat.  This time, I'm aiming for the one and done approach.  18 minutes is a long time, and 115lbs on the push press is a lot of weight for me.  My body will be toast for a while after this one.  I did one round on Thursday night and I know I'm in for a load of pain.  I will be officially completing the WOD tomorrow morning at 11am.

Observations & Tips

- The push press is killing people.
- People are taking their time on the toes to bar
- box jumps are a time to breathe
- The best are able to do everything unbroken
- 6 and 6 is a great way to break up the push press if needed
- Jerking is acceptable, so do it to save your shoulders
- You CAN DO MORE THAN YOU THINK.  You do NOT need to rest as much as you think.
- Push past your idea of uncomfrotable

When Do You Workout?

This morning I decided to attend the 6am class to root on my wife and the other 6am competitors.  I know they are at a slight disadvantage  because they typically lose out on the atmosphere of 10's of people yelling (they might have 2-3).  I also think they deserved to have some photos taken to brag about the insane amount of work they put in.

In my experience, I've noticed that my WOD results are low when I attend the 6am.  This is ok during normal WOD's but these WOD's count for something.  I've even read several articles that said working out in the morning is best because that is when a male's testosterone is at it's highest which yields the best results.    I'm not sure how true it is, but I'll believe anything when it comes to working out.

of course, everyone needs to find that time which works best for them.  I usually just find the time that fits best into my schedule and allows me the most sleep.  Remember...sleep=recovery=best results!

Recent WOD's

10 to 1 thrusters and ring dips (10 of each first round, 9 the second...down to 10
13:51  (95lb thrusters) Missed doing the thrusters unbroken by messing up on the round of 5. Grrr.
Cash-out: 30 slam-balls for time-0:56  (30 lb)

5 min amrap (5 burpee box jumps 10 abmat sit-ups)
rest 5 min
7+1 then 6+4

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Closing Thoughts on 12.2

Well it's over.  Finally.  That workout was terrible for me.  I tried a redo at it on Sunday but just could not muster the strength to beat 35..I got 31.  What's worse, for me at least, is that I finished dead last in my box (at least out of people who signed up for the open).  

How do you deal with that kind of ego blow?

you shake it off that's how.  But I do not mean just forget about it.  I mean do not let it affect your future performance.  In fact, I'm going to remember this for a long time and use it as fuel to get better.  I don't like feeling this way.  I feel weak. But I know that's not entirely true.  That workout was just not a strong point for me.  
I hate you 135 lbs.  I hate you so much.

After looking at these pictures I think I might try spreading my arms more.  Might help.

It is kind of cool to know now that I have a specific area that I need to work on more.  And I will.  I think starting next week I might debut a new workout reginemnt that I have been toying with.  It is still crossfit but I want to supplement it to increase my gains.  Still need to chat with my coach about it though.

Let's hope that 12.3 plays into some of my strengths..or  at least isn't a glaring weakness.  Come on double unders!


WOD 12.2

Worldwide: 24065/31243 (better than 23% of male participants)
Mid-Atlantic:  2008/2572 (Better than 22% of male participants)


Worldwide 20654/31402 (better than 35% of males)
Mid-Atlantic: 1678/2566  (better than 35% of males)

WOD yesterday

on the minute for ten minutes do 3 pull-ups
then max reps power cleans at 75% 1rm (145 for me)
Score is tabata style.

I got 4 because on the 5th round I screwed up.  rounds 6-10 I was done the 4 with at least 12 seconds to spare.  

Friday, March 2, 2012

First Try at 12.2 "Satan's Snatches"

Pre-Anger.  75lbs over head

This is a perfect name for this workout, thank you reader Chris.  I completed my first go at it last night and it certainly was a bit of hell.  The 75 lb round was easy, was through it in about 2 minutes or so and did not rush at all.  I knew it was the second round of 135 lb snatches that were going to get me…and for once, I was right.

It took me at least 10 tries to get that 135 over my head.  With each failure I could feel my blood pressure going up.  On that 10th fail I finally lost it.  I dropped to my knee, yelled, then punched the floor.  I’m sure you’re asking “why punch the floor?”  and I have no real answer for you.  I just needed to vent.  Luckily for me, my hand didn’t break (but hurt pretty bad).  As I approached the bar for my next attempt, that anger was still there and I just let loose everything I had….and boom…bar was over my head. One.

This is what I think happens to me when I'm angry.  I go Super Saiyan. In reality...I just look kind of stupid.

By the time the clock hit zero I had managed to channel that anger into 5 reps (two in the last 30 seconds).  My final score…35.  Not great at all, but a big moral victory for me.  Big shout out to Fox for coaching me through it a bit, definitely helped get those 5 in. I do plan on completing this a second time on Sunday so we’ll see how that goes for me.

I thought about what others can possibly learn from my experience and I think it comes down to the following

For weight Training (going for PR’s)

- Get angry
- Focus that anger into the bar
- FORM! FORM! FORM!  do whatever you can to keep good form…that includes NOT watching me and my form
- Control Breathing
- DO NOT GIVE UP.  I don’t care if you can barely move the keep trying until that clock is at zero.
- Music should be angry music, think hardcore rap or heavy metal.

Now, as I wrote this I realized there are times where this is not the answer. (listen to your parents kids..violence is not the answer)

Tips for endurance

- Stay focused
- Be calm with yourself.
- Control your breathing (in a different way than with weight lifting)
- Go to your happy place
- Focus on something other than running/biking/swimming…
- Music should be calming but with a good beat.

In the end, it really comes down to finding what works for you.  But I think I found what works for me.  Good luck to all competitors out there, whether in the crossfit open or elsewhere!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thoughts on the second workout 12.2

Oh man.  Crossfit HQ really wants us to hurt.  The movement of choice is ……..THE SNATCH

WOD 12.2

10 min AMRAP
30 snatches (75/45)
30 snatches (135/75)
30 snatches (165/100)
Remaining time AMRAP 30 snatches (210/125)

Now, once you stop giggling from saying snatch so much you start to realize how insane this workout it.  The good news is that you can do any form of snatch (muscle, power, squat, split) so no worries about getting low enough on the squat.

The bad news is that it is a snatch and it is so technique oriented. So when I’m tired I am going to have to really try and stay focused on the many facets of the movement.  I have gotten 135lbs exactly once.  That is it.  I saw this and immediately went “oh shit” .  Then I watched the standards video and saw what Dan Bailey and Rich Froning did and my jaw was on the floor.  In 10 minutes they got 95 and 98 respectfully.  That.  Is. INSANE.  Good to see they didn’t just let the publicity get to their heads.  I mean really?  Come on guys.  Make us believe we have a chance (and by “we” I mean the other elite guys).

Gold Goal: 40
Silver Goal: 35
Bronze Goal: 31

Going to push myself to my lifting limits on this guy.

The number to win the world will be…105.  (fun to guess).  What is your guess?

As you may know, my goal for the open is to beat mega-trainer Bob Harper.  The first week was not good for me with him getting 118 burpees compared to my 98.  This week I may have a chance.  I’m not sure how his oly lifts are but I can’t imagine him getting past 135…let’s hope I’m right.  But I do know one thing..he knows I’m shooting for him (or at least whoever manages his twitter feed knows).

I got to him on Twitter

Recent Wods


5 rounds
400m run, 25 du’s, 15 HSPU (1 abmat)  [20 min time cap]
4+438 (2 HSPU from finishing)


21-15-9  pull-ups – row for caloris
5:12  (happy I did the 21 pull-ups unbroken)