Monday, August 31, 2009

dispatches by Michael Yon

Michael Yon is an independent journalist who has spent the last several years reporting literally "on the ground" from Iraq, the Philippines, and currently from Afghanistan. He started out paying his own way, and is now funded entirely by the support of his readers. He isn't affiliated with any newspaper or network - he is also his own editor and photographer. Go check out his work, and get some "ground truth." Writing is seldom more powerful than this.

His latest dispatch: Precision Voting

31 August 2009

WOD: @ CrossFit Central
"CrossFit Total"
1 rep max back squat (3 attempts)
1 rep max barbell press (3 attempts)
1 rep max deadlift (3 attempts)

I didn't start off well. As a warm up, I did a set of five 135lbs backsquats, then threw 225lbs on the bar and started a rep without focus, without breathing right, and failed. Spectacularly. I could have hurt myself, but was l-u-c-k-y and bailed without any injury. Being stupid with heavy weight is a recipe for injury. So, I picked myself up off the ground, stretched a bit, turned my brain on, talked with my coach Lance, and decided it was best to revisit backsquats another day. Then I got down to business and focused on the barbell press.

back squat: 225F
press: 105lbs (PR tie), 115 (PR), 120 (PR)
deadlift: to be done Wednesday

So... I started off very very poorly this morning, but ended up with a new best on the press, a lesson learned, and no stupidity-induced injuries. Case o' the Mondays? Could be. But come Wednesday, I'm going to beat the backsquat and deadlift like a crappy copy-machine!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

30 August 2009

"It is not length of life, but depth of life."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

WOD: Rest day.

Part four of the Barry Sears Nutrition presentation is online at the Crossfit Journal. Like the others, it's packed with excellent info and a free download.

Also- a great read from coach Kelly Starrett at CrossFit San Francisco: Your poor lats, instructions for care and feeding.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

29 August 2009

WOD: CrossFit at RunTex
"Fight Gone Bad"
3 rounds, 1 minute at each station, 1 minute rest between rounds:
push-press @ 75lbs barbell
wall-ball @ 20lbs medicine ball
SDHP @ 75lbs barbell
box jump @ 20" box

I broke three hundred with a score of 302!!!!! The caveat is that the first round we only had the 14lbs medball... which Zach, Lisa and Ben thought was too easy, so they dug out the 20lbs medball for the second and third rounds. So... it's not technically a PR. Next time... next time I will own FGB with a legit three hundred plus score. So, I'm looking at today's workout as at test run for the upcoming Fight Gone Bad fundraiser September 26th.

I am ready. Bring it on!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

28 August 2009

WOD: @ CrossFit Central
"3 rounds for time"
50 squats
400 meter run
20 dumbbell push-press @ 45lbs DBs

My time was 16:33 rx'd. My back was killing me the entire workout. Wow that sounded like an old man... Anyway, fun one today! Thanks to all you fast-movers in the 6:15 class who yelled me on to finish this morning.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

27 August 2009

"The deadlift is functional in that it's very hard to imagine a more useful application of strength than picking heavy shit up off the ground."
- Mark Rippetoe

WOD: "Active" rest day. Holy hamstrings Batman! My legs and back are SORE. It hasn't hurt this much to just move in awhile. Yesterday's WOD was brutally awesome. Brusome? I've been stretching and my trigger point set came to work today... good times!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

26 August 2009

WOD: @ CrossFit Central
5 rounds of:
max rep body weight deadlift
max rep pull-ups
*rest 1-2 minutes between rounds
*score is total number of reps accumulated

I completed a total of 123 reps, with a barbell set at 160lbs. This was a grip killer! I fell off the pullup bar on the first round!! Literally fell and landed on my butt... nothing injured but my pride. Too bad you can't hook-grip the pullup bar... I tried... tough and fun this morning!

Check this out: (from CrossFit Slayer's page)

Numbers 2 and 11 are outstanding!

Also, check out Michael Yon's latest dispatch from Afghanistan. The British "canceled" his embed after this one. Hmmmm?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

25 August 2009

"There are few things graven in stone except that you have to do your squats."
- Mark Rippetoe

( photo)

WOD: Rest day. Legs torched. Somehow I managed to miss Wes and Veronica down at the track this morning. Sorry y'all!

Monday, August 24, 2009

24 August 2009

WOD: @ CrossFit Central
"for time"
800 meter run
25 wall ball shots @ 20lbs medicine ball
800 meter run
50 med ball slams @ 20lbs medicine ball
800 meter run
25 burpees

My time was 16:23 rx'd. Ouch.

Then Jen threw 3 minutes of bottom-to-bottom Tabata squats at us: 20-10-9-9-9-10. No matter how hard I fought it, I couldn't hold the squat/"rest" position... first time that's happened. My legs are destroyed! Good times...

Check out the recent posts by coach Chris Hartwell. He's posting a food-log in photos for everyone to see. Good stuff and helpful, but be careful - you might leave hungry...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

23 August 2009

hang power clean

Met up with Alex, Jen, and Andy at CrossFit Central and knocked out some hang power cleans. My weights today were: 145lbs- 155-165-175-180F-180-185PR

Feeling great!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

22 August 2009

"You gotta have fun. Regardless of how you look at it, we're playing a game. It's a business, it's our job, but I don't think you can do well unless you're having fun."
- Derek Jeter, New York Yankees

WOD: Rest Day!

Diet = Way of Life

"The word 'diet' comes from the ancient Greek root which means 'way of life.' We've corrupted that to think of a 'diet' as a short term period of hunger and deprivation. It's a way of life. And for what purpose? To control inflammation."

The CrossFit Journal released a third video to the earlier two-part series of Dr. Sears discussion of inflammation and diet as it pertains to our overall health and well-being (and consequently our athletic performance). I'm harping on this because it's free to download and one of the most concise explanations I've seen of how diet determines your health (not just longevity, but your quality of life). Take the time to watch these, it's worth it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

21 August 2009

WOD: CrossFit Central at RunTex
"team of 3 for time"
150 thrusters @ 95lbs barbell men, 65lbs barbell women
150 KB swings @ 1.5 pood
150 pullups
1500 meter row

Decided to jump into the class at RunTex this morning where Meg was covering for Jeremy (have fun in Vegas gentlemen!). Eric, Mandy, and I completed the WOD in 19:36. Tough one. Doing fifty plus 95lbs thrusters is no joke!!

Go read Michael Yon's recent post about our military's effort in evacuating one wounded British soldier. Seriously, go read it. You'll be glad you did.

Happy Friday y'all!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

20 August 2009

"I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen."
- Frank Lloyd Wright

WOD: Rest day. Not only am I sore, I woke up tired. Not bueno, so I'm going to bed early tonight!

Here's a great interview with Carey Kepler from the CrossFit Games site. Great stuff.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

19 August 2009

WOD: @ CrossFit Central
5 rounds for max repititions:
1 minute squat-cleans @ 135lbs barbell
1 minute pullups
1 minute rest

My total score was 88 rx'd. That's squat cleans and pullups combined, and since I only got about 4-6 squat cleans a round, my score is mostly pullups. My strength is improving and I'm usually moving the prescribed weight, just not very fast. Yet.

I'm not going to get political often with this blog, but had to after reading an interesting post on Cooling Inflammation blog. In it, Dr. Ayers takes on the healthcare debate: National Healthcare and Diet.

"All of the degenerative and autoimmune diseases that form the core of current healthcare diagnosis and treatments are rooted in an inflammatory diet and lifestyle dictated by agribusiness and uninformed by science. The media nags about people eating too much and exercising too little. Our obese population is encouraged to lose weight by eating less. Food fat is demonized. Statins are prescribed with religious zeal to lower blood lipids to reduce cardiovascular disease. All of this “health” advice is wrong and unsupported by the biomedical literature."

So right now you're nodding your head saying "well no sh** Sherlock." Problem is, there are how many uninformed Americans that need to hear this? Go back and re-watch the recent videos of Dr. Barry Sears from the CrossFit Journal and ask yourself what healthcare would look like in America if all we did was change the way we ate? I'd bet we wouldn't be on the verge of bankrupting our country with a nationalized healthcare plan... and that's my $.02.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

18 August 2009

"We are not creatures of circumstance, we are creators of circumstance."
- Benjamin Disraeli

WOD: Rest day.

When I read the quote above I was reminded of one of my favorite poems, one that most of us read in high school:

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever Gods may be
for my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the Captain of my soul.
- Invictus by William Ernest Henley

Michael Yon posted another dispatch from Afghanistan yesterday: The Kopp-Etchells Effect.

Monday, August 17, 2009

17 August 2009

WOD: @ CrossFit Central
"5 rounds for time"
50 walking lunges carrying a dumbbell anyway @45lbs
30 dumbbell swings @ 45lbs

20:24 rx'd. Rested the DB on my shoulders the whole way - shoulders and arms very, very tired from "Ryan" yesterday, so there was no going overhead on this one! Still smoked me!

Check out these two videos of Dr. Barry Sears discussing the Zone diet and inflammation in the CrossFit Journal. Free to download, and worth your time.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

16 August 2009

WOD: at Pure Austin
5 rounds for time:
7 muscle-ups
21 burpees

29:08 as rx'd. Good one! A butt-kicker though, stringing together multiple muscle-ups got rough fast.

Text and photo from Maplewood, Missouri Firefighter, Ryan Hummert, 22, was killed by sniper fire July 21st 2008 when he stepped off his fire truck responding to a call.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

15 August 2009

"It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves."
- William Shakespeare

WOD: Rest day!

A good read from Dr. Michael Eades: hardwired to the past.

"We are carnivores to our very cores – were we not, we would still be roaming the savannas with brains the size of grapefruits."

Friday, August 14, 2009

14 August 2009

WOD: @ CrossFit Central
AMRAP in 20 minutes of:
400 meter run
max rep pullups

My numbers today were: 27, 18, 5, 15, 15, 12 for a total of 92. Ripped my right hand and slipped off the bar on the third round (the one with only 5 reps), still though, pretty happy with my performance overall... this one was as tough as I remember!

Tomorrow afternoon I'm going to be at the testosterone festival! Come down and cheer people on as they take on the Spartan 300 Challenge! Or better yet, sign up and do the workout yourself!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

13 August 2009

WOD: with Austin Unscared
With a continuously running clock do:
1 parallel bar dip the first minute.
2 parallel bar dips the second minute.
3 parallel bar dips the third minute.
4 parallel bar dips the fourth minute...
continue to failure.

I completed 13 rounds + 5 reps of the 14 round without kipping for a total of 96. This one turned out to be tougher than I thought... then I did one round of max strict pullups and got 16.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

12 August 2009

WOD: @ CrossFit Central
"3 rounds for time"
500 meter row
10 man-makers @ 45lbs DB
(one rep of a man-maker: stand while holding DBs, drop into a plank position, do a pushup, row with your left then right arm, jump your feet up, then do a full squat-clean to thruster)

DNF. Again. I completed two rounds + 8 man-makers rx'd at the 20 minute cutoff. So close to finishing... I had nothing left by the cutoff, and almost puked.... so I guess I'm OK with another DNF. Good one this morning!

Check out this photo I just saw on the Affilitate page:

and the story that goes with it. Too cool! If that doesn't make you smile, nothing will.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

11 August 2009

"We must remember that one man is much the same as another, and that he is best who is trained in the severest school."
- Thucydides

WOD: Rest day. It's a "listening to my body" day. I'm wrecked from yesterday's WOD. My legs are amazingly sore... it literally hurts to walk. On the upside- I slept like a rock until 9 AM. It was awesome.

Michael Yon's latest from Afghanistan.

PaNu on Vitamin D.

Monday, August 10, 2009

10 August 2009

WOD: @ CrossFit Central
"5 rounds for time"
21 kettlebell swings @ 2 pood
14 burpees
7 backsquats @ 155lbs barbell

DNF. Starting on the backsquats, I completed 3 rounds + 7 backsquats + 18 KB swings rx'd at the 20 minute cutoff. Not finishing sucks, but I was able to move the prescribed weights throughout! Surprisingly it wasn't the 155lbs backsquats (my body weight) that seemed that hardest, it was the 2 pood (70lbs) KB swings that really kicked my ass this morning! I had to wait about 30 minutes after the workout before my legs quit shaking so I felt OK to drive home... good stuff!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

09 August 2009

"Action is the foundational key to all success."
- Pablo Picasso

WOD: Rest day!

Go check out the video of CrossFit Central's Crystal McReynolds taking on the chipper workout at the 2009 CrossFit Games! Awesome.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

08 August 2009

WOD: with Austin Unscared
"5 rounds for time"
21 KB/DB swing
15 squats
9 parallel bar dips
5 pullups

10:28 rx'd with a 45lbs DB on swings. Good one this morning. Feeling great!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Eating Clean, Livin' Strong

Check out CrossFit Central's new nutrition blog:

Eat Clean Live Strong

"This is not a DIET, this is a lifestyle change." Right on. Nutrition is the foundation of the pyramid for a reason. Make sure you are building on a quality foundation!

07 August 2009

WOD: @ CrossFit Central
"running Grace"
3 rounds for time:
400 meter run
10 clean & jerk @ 135lbs barbell

17:43 as rx'd. Waaaaay too slow. It started out well enough, I was moving the weight well and feeling good about my technique, until the middle of the second round... when I broke the barbell. That's right, broke it. Unfortunatley it didn't snap in half or anything cool like that - a bolt that holds the caps on the ends of the barbell popped out and the 45lbs plate on my right side, along with what I'm calling the "cap" (the thick ends of a barbell that hold the weight plates) started sliding off!

So... after a short string of expletives, JDP helped me rig up a different barbell to finish the WOD... Chalk that one up to the unknown and unknowable!

Some good reads:

Michael Yon's latest dispatch from the Helmand province of southern Afghanistan, west of Kandahar. In news parlance it's a "highly contested" area.

If you train outside in Texas during the summer - and let's face facts here, only wimps "exercise" in the air conditioning - it's imperative that you avoid heat stroke. I know the article is from the New York Times (get a rope) but seriously folks... read and heed.

Raw milk? I know I know - it's not paleo, but if you'd ever had some, going back to pasteurized whole milk can be like developing a taste for Guinness but only having Coors light on tap. Bad analogies aside, for those who like raw milk, it's worth tracking some down. Stop by your local farmer's market, or check here for a list of dairy farms in your area.

Happy Friday y'all!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

06 August 2009

WOD: @ Austin Unscared
"for time"
21 dumbell push-jerk, 100 meter run, 21 pushups, 100 meter run
15 DB push-jerk, 100 meter run, 15 pushups, 100 meter run
9 DB push-jerk, 100 meter run, 9 pushups, 100 meter run

men: 45lbs DBs, women: 25 lbs DBs

My time was 7:58 rx'd. Quick and fun one!

Do you eat eggs? I love 'em... over-easy, scrambled, with bacon... anyway, check out this article on egg-labels like: cage-free, free-range, organic, etc... which one should you pick? Get informed!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

05 August 2009

"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

WOD: Rest day.

Woke up at 8 AM. Crashed last night and didn't set my alarm. Obviously didn't make it to my 6:15AM CrossFit class. I have not been getting enough sleep lately. Wednesday of last week was the same way. I've been working too late and getting up too early. I've been drinking more and more coffee. It seems that Wednesday is the day it catches up with me.

Everyone has heard that lack of sleep is bad, but I found some interesting tidbits in this article from the Washington Post. Here are portions of the article jumped out at me:

Physiologic studies suggest that a sleep deficit may put the body into a state of high alert, increasing the production of stress hormones and driving up blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. Moreover, people who are sleep-deprived have elevated levels of substances in the blood that indicate a heightened state of inflammation in the body, which has also recently emerged as a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.

"Based on our findings, we believe that if you lose sleep that your body needs, then you produce these inflammatory markers that on a chronic basis can create low-grade inflammation and predispose you to cardiovascular events and a shorter life span," said Alexandros N. Vgontzas of Pennsylvania State University, who recently presented data at a scientific meeting indicating that naps can help counter harmful effects of sleep loss.

"Inflammation" is a key word because exercise induces major inflammation in the body - to the muscles in particular - and eating zone/paleo is proven to help repair and reduce inflammation in the body. Adequate sleep is also key here... whoops.

Other researchers have found that even mild sleep deprivation quickly disrupts normal levels of the recently discovered hormones ghrelin and leptin, which regulate appetite. That fits with the theory that humans may be genetically wired to be awake at night only when they need to be searching for food or fending off danger -- circumstances when they would need to eat to have enough energy.

I suppose that since I'm not up late hunting and gathering to stay alive, sleep deprivation doesn't count as part of the paleolithic diet...

In addition, studies show sleep-deprived people tend to develop problems regulating their blood sugar, which may put them at increased risk for diabetes.

"Regulating blood sugar" is another important point. If you read Dr. Barry Sears' book "Enter The Zone" you'll learn that maintaining health over any period of time is all about balancing your blood sugar levels. It also happens that this is key to your athletic performance, and recovery for that matter. Now go re-read the parts above.

It's time to fix what I've been doing wrong. Tonight I'll be in bed no later than 10PM. Make sure you are getting enough sleep!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

one year of CrossFit

It's my CrossFit birthday today! In one year of consistent training I'm in the best shape of my life and I feel like I'm really just getting started! Along the way there have been successes and setbacks, new friendships, and one run-in with pukie... but most of all I've become mentally stronger!

I've grown to love facing down and defeating what I like to call the "inner-wimp" that we all have. The one who says: this sucks, this hurts, just slow down, take a few more seconds of rest... some days it's an all-out fight with the wimp, and some days that little punk doesn't show up at all!

Most importantly though, it's a privilege to be part of such a inspired community. So thank you to all my coaches, and everyone I've had the pleasure to train with! You all make it fun! It's been a great year, and I can't wait to see what the next one will bring! Cheers!

04 August 2009

WOD: with Austin Unscared
"4 rounds for time"
400 meter run
10 burpees
15 pullups

12:34 as rx'd. Burpees right after the run keeps your heart rate elevated... this was a fun one!

Monday, August 3, 2009

03 August 2009

WOD: @ CrossFit Central
"fight gone bad"
three rounds
one minute each station, one minute rest between rounds
score is total number of reps

Push Press @ 75lbs
Row (calories = points)
Wall Ball @ 20lbs medicine ball
Sumo Deadlift High Pull @ 75lbs
Box Jump

Only did two rounds in class today. My score was 206 rx'd. Despite waking up tired, feeling good this morning!

weekend recap

"What this power is, I cannot say. All I know is that it exists... and it becomes available only when you are in that state of mind in which you know exactly what you want... and are fully determined not to quit until you get it."
- Alexander Graham Bell

Sunday's WOD: Rest day!

Saturday's WOD: by CrossFit Central at RunTex
team workout for time
400 meter run
100 KB swing @ 16 kg KB
50 pullups
400 meter run
80 KB swing
40 pullups
400 meter run
60 KB swing
30 pullups

Mallika, Wade and myself finished with the fastest time: 19:29! Fun one, but that hill run around the block at RunTex is no joke. After that, got to hang out with everybody, eat some breakfast tacos and watched this video: The Movement!!

The Movement - A Short Film from CrossFit Central on Vimeo.