Friday, December 31, 2010

back in the ATX!

Oh how it feels so great to be back in Austin! My holiday was extended thanks to the snowstorm that hit the east coast Monday. I got to spend a few extra days with my Mom in Maine, and a little bit of a travel adventure getting home. No complaints though - I didn't sleep in any airports. JetBlue took care of me. They booked me on American Airlines flights (which allowed me to get home today) and covered all my expenses, including my hotel room and meals in Boston last night.

I've been up since 3AM eastern time, so before I go take a nap, I'd be remiss if I didn't wish everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Have fun, be safe, and I will see y'all next year! Peace.

Friday, December 24, 2010

merry and bright

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! The snow started just after my plane touched down Monday afternoon... and this is how my mom's garden looked Monday evening. Love it!

AND big thanks to Shawn, Ginny and the crew at CrossFit321 here in Brunswick Maine for the workout Wednesday evening! Hope all goes well with moving to your new location. I'm sure 2011 will be filled with continued success!

CrossFit321 WOD 22 Dec 2010
AMRAP 20 minutes:
5 chest-to-bar pull-ups
10 ring dips
15 overhead squats @ 95lbs

5 rounds + 5 pull-ups , 10 ring dips rx'd

I hope every one's Christmas is merry! Peace y'all.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


"We lift ourselves by our thought, we climb upon our vision of ourselves."
- Orison Swett Marden

Rest week ahead! More shortly...


Thursday, December 16, 2010

translation? funny!

You just gotta laugh! H/T Cat

take action

"Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action."
- Benjamin Disraeli

for time(s):
run 1 mile = 6:28
rest 6 minutes
run 1200 meters = 4:34
rest 4 minutes
run 800 meters = 3:09
rest 2 minutes
run 400 meters = 1:12

Definitely happy with today's times. Especially as we weren't on a track - we had to turn around every 200 meters! Even though the last 400 was an all-out sprint, that time is 5 seconds off my PR. Good stuff today!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010


"To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities."
- Bruce Lee

REST DAY! Moving slow. Walking on some seriously sore legs today... I did get in some foam roller and mobility work - because there are no mobility rest days.

It's a beautiful "hump day" here in Austin, Texas! Enjoy it y'all!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


"I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor."
- Henry David Thoreau

sumo deadlift


Satisfied here - 295lbs was the first challenging weight.

for time:
ring dips
one-arm overhead walking lunge @24KG kettlebell
250 yard sandbag run @70lbs

12:24 rx'd. Fun one! The sandbag runs slowed me down though...

Despite being back in my usual sleep deprived stupor, felt good this morning! Hump day is on deck!

Monday, December 13, 2010


“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press on.’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
- Calvin Coolidge

back squat
5x5, sets across

All at 195lbs - up ten pounds from the last time. I'll take it.

My mentor Big Mike Gregory back squats 385lbs on his way to a 2nd place finish in Dallas last weekend at the All Cities Open. Congrats Mike!

Visit for more Videos

Have a great week y'all. Peace.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

aim high

"The tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal.
The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.
It isn't a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled,
but it is a calamity not to dream.
It is not a disgrace to reach for the stars,
but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for.
Not failure, but low aim, is a sin."
- Benjamin Mays

Thanks to Elliot for posting the poem.

5 rounds:
max reps bodyweight bench press
max reps pullups

bench press @ 155lbs/strict pullup

My bench press numbers got bad fast - happy with the pullups though. Felt good to work hard this morning. Peace.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

attitude alterations

"The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind."
- William James

Jim Collins asks if it's time for a "stop-doing" list?

And check out Coach Travis Holley's post: What It's All About

Happy hump day!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

go after it

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
~ Jack London

Staying busy but definitely "going after it." More soon! Peace.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

find a way or make one

"Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward."
~ Kurt Vonnegut

Thursday and Friday taught me a lot. Scratch that - it's more like they smacked me over the head with things I already knew, but had been avoiding.

Thursday, I was exhausted and half-sick. And the day before. Most of this week actually. It's what happens when you combine 18 hour days and little sleep. Like 5-6 hours a night. I left my office Wednesday night about 10PM and crashed as soon as I got home. I slept for 12 hours, missing Thursday morning training at SICFIT Austin, and appointments I had later that morning. Decidedly NOT BUENO. I got up, still tired, ate a quick omelet and drank a cup of coffee, then sat down on the couch and opened up my laptop to check my emails. While my laptop was powering up, I put my head back and promptly fell back asleep... for over two hours. All I managed to do Thursday was go to my office and work.

Aside from the obvious - that this is no f**k!ng way to live - I've finally admitted to myself that by making my life like this, I'm holding myself back. It's impacting my professional life but most importantly, it's impacting my personal life. My career, my relationships, and my fitness are all suffering.

I've got to a point in my life where no one thing is a priority, and thereby everything has suffered.

I've not been giving my coaching the time and energy it deserves. My "day job" is suffering too. I'm tired all the time, to a point where I'm basically neglecting my personal life.

I'm pissed that I took this long to admit that I'm doing this to myself. The good news? I'm the one who got my life like this, so I can change it.

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

Thursday woke me up to patterns I developed in my life that I've been stuck in for several years, even before crossfit.

I know one thing, I'm finished living this way. It's been way too long since I've sat down and really looked at where I want my life to go, and what I want my life to be. So that's my new priority.

There is one other thing I know - once I've decided where I'm going - you better watch out 'cause nothing is going to stop me.

"Aut inveniam viam aut faciam."
Latin phrase meaning:
"I shall find a way or make one."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

stand out

"Why fit in when you were born to stand out?"
~ Dr. Seuss

split jerk
5x3 @ 90% 1RM

All at 165lbs. Happy hump day y'all. Peace.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

feeling the bday love

"All you need is love."
~ John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Thanks everyone for all the birthday love I'm receiving today!!

L2R: Mark, myself, and the "Jordanian juggernaut" Firas after some post-workout recovery tacos and coffee!

A. 800 meter warm-up run, 300 single-unders, max double-unders in 1 minute

B. muscle-up skill work, max muscle-ups in 1 minute

C. Aaron’s B-Day Special!!
***5 Rounds:***
-31 seconds hold chin over bar
-31 seconds hold active squat
-31 seconds hold ring dip extension
-31 seconds hold handstand

D. tabata shuttle run (20 yards)

Monday, November 29, 2010

unleash yourself

“You cannot be great if you never try to be greater than yourself. That's where true greatness really lies. Unleash yourself.”
~ Erwan Le Corre

You gotta read Blair Morrison's latest post: Fitness is...

Hey! What's this still reading here stuff?? Go. Read it. Then re-read it. Absorb it. Apply it. Unleash yourself.

box squat
10x2 @ 85% of 1RM, sets across
4-count down, fast up

All at 185#, felt good.

WOD from CrossFit Football
for time:
kettlebell American swing @ 2 pood
dumbbell thruster @ 50lbs DBs

7:59 rx'd

Slow. Swings and pull-ups unbroken, but I took all day long on the dumbbells. Hellllloooo Monday!

I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was as great as mine! I spent the weekend in Pearland with my family, where I met my cousin's baby girl Charlotte!

Charlotte and me

Charlotte with her mom and dad

Life is great! Peace.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."
- Albert Schweitzer

If I tried to list all that I'm thankful for I'd inevitably, mistakenly, forget someone. So...

I am thankful for all the blessings and challenges in my life. I have a great life! I try to never take it for granted.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving y'all. Stay safe and watch out for each other. Peace.

Monday, November 22, 2010

spirit polishing

“The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit.”
- Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido

Happy Monday! I'm crazy busy today - throwing up a short post to start the week. I did strength training this morning.

back squat
5x3 @ 95% of 1RM, sets across



Friday, November 19, 2010

this day

"Nothing is worth more than this day."
- Johann Wolfgang von Geothe

A little fall color in the Texas hill country.

hang power clean


That ****ing third rep! On the first set @ 175 I wasn't lifting like I meant it. I was in my head on the second set @ 175. On the last set @ 175 I lost my grip. An OK day. I need to practice more footwork on the receiving position...

I'm hill country bound for the weekend! Have a great one y'all. Peace.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

define your destiny

“Your thoughts will become your words. Your words will become your actions. Your actions will become your habits. Your habits will become your character. Your character will define your destiny.”
- Gandhi

Positive Self Talk: Defining Your Destiny

Roundtable in Tahoe: The Psychological Component

Holy psoasinator Batman - it's a rest day!!

And check out this sick "speedflying" video!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I walked into SICFIT Austin on sore legs this morning. Since I missed "Fran" yesterday, I was pumped that Winchester had another gut check lined up for us. I was just hoping my legs would hold up...

"Lumberjack 20"
for time:
20 deadlifts @ 275lbs
400 meter run
20 kettlebell swings @ 2 pood
400 meter run
20 overhead squats @ 115lbs
400 meter run
20 burpees
400 meter run
20 chest-to-bar pullups
400 meter run
20 box jumps @ 24" box
400 meter run
20 dumbbell squat-cleans @ 45lbs DBs
400 meter run

32:02 rx'd

I took forrr-evvv-errrr [gratuitous Sandlot refrence] on the deadlifts. Did those in three's until 15, then 2,1,1,1. The two pood swings were cake but I had to break up the OHS. Posterior chain was pretty well done after the deadlifts - truthfully it was pretty well done after yesterday's squats - but I digress. The stretch with bodyweight stuff was gravy. Did the burpees, pull-ups, and box jumps all unbroken. That felt damn good! The DB cleans became a matter of willpower. Thanks again Firas for getting in my face on those! Even managed to pick up the pace on the last 200 meters back into the gym. Lying on the floor was quite a reward today!

Good times. Hopefully I can walk normally tomorrow. Life is great! Peace.

Monday, November 15, 2010

the iron and Andy Irons

Good $h!t here... if you've already read it, read it again. You might be surprised at what jumps out at you this time.

The Iron
by Henry Rollins

I believe that the definition of definition is reinvention. To not be like your parents. To not be like your friends. To be yourself.


When I was young I had no sense of myself. All I was, was a product of all the fear and humiliation I suffered. Fear of my parents. The humiliation of teachers calling me "garbage can" and telling me I'd be mowing lawns for a living. And the very real terror of my fellow students. I was threatened and beaten up for the color of my skin and my size. I was skinny and clumsy, and when others would tease me I didn't run home crying, wondering why.

I knew all too well. I was there to be antagonized. In sports I was laughed at. A spaz. I was pretty good at boxing but only because the rage that filled my every waking moment made me wild and unpredictable. I fought with some strange fury. The other boys thought I was crazy.

I hated myself all the time.

As stupid at it seems now, I wanted to talk like them, dress like them, carry myself with the ease of knowing that I wasn't going to get pounded in the hallway between classes. Years passed and I learned to keep it all inside. I only talked to a few boys in my grade. Other losers. Some of them are to this day the greatest people I have ever known. Hang out with a guy who has had his head flushed down a toilet a few times, treat him with respect, and you'll find a faithful friend forever. But even with friends, school sucked. Teachers gave me hard time. I didn't think much of them either.

Then came Mr. Pepperman, my advisor. He was a powerfully built Vietnam veteran, and he was scary. No one ever talked out of turn in his class. Once one kid did and Mr. P. lifted him off the ground and pinned him to the blackboard. Mr. P. could see that I was in bad shape, and one Friday in October he asked me if I had ever worked out with weights. I told him no. He told me that I was going to take some of the money that I had saved and buy a hundred-pound set of weights at Sears. As I left his office, I started to think of things I would say to him on Monday when he asked about the weights that I was not going to buy. Still, it made me feel special. My father never really got that close to caring. On Saturday I bought the weights, but I couldn't even drag them to my mom's car. An attendant laughed at me as he put them on a dolly.

Monday came and I was called into Mr. P.'s office after school. He said that he was going to show me how to work out. He was going to put me on a program and start hitting me in the solar plexus in the hallway when I wasn't looking. When I could take the punch we would know that we were getting somewhere. At no time was I to look at myself in the mirror or tell anyone at school what I was doing. In the gym he showed me ten basic exercises. I paid more attention than I ever did in any of my classes. I didn't want to blow it. I went home that night and started right in.

Weeks passed, and every once in a while Mr. P. would give me a shot and drop me in the hallway, sending my books flying. The other students didn't know what to think. More weeks passed, and I was steadily adding new weights to the bar. I could sense the power inside my body growing. I could feel it.

Right before Christmas break I was walking to class, and from out of nowhere Mr. Pepperman appeared and gave me a shot in the chest. I laughed and kept going. He said I could look at myself now. I got home and ran to the bathroom and pulled off my shirt. I saw a body, not just the shell that housed my stomach and my heart. My biceps bulged. My chest had definition. I felt strong. It was the first time I can remember having a sense of myself. I had done something and no one could ever take it away. You couldn't say s--t to me.

It took me years to fully appreciate the value of the lessons I have learned from the Iron. I used to think that it was my adversary, that I was trying to lift that which does not want to be lifted. I was wrong. When the Iron doesn't want to come off the mat, it's the kindest thing it can do for you. If it flew up and went through the ceiling, it wouldn't teach you anything. That's the way the Iron talks to you. It tells you that the material you work with is that which you will come to resemble. That which you work against will always work against you.

It wasn't until my late twenties that I learned that by working out I had given myself a great gift. I learned that nothing good comes without work and a certain amount of pain. When I finish a set that leaves me shaking, I know more about myself. When something gets bad, I know it can't be as bad as that workout.

I used to fight the pain, but recently this became clear to me: pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness. But when dealing with the Iron, one must be careful to interpret the pain correctly. Most injuries involving the Iron come from ego. I once spent a few weeks lifting weight that my body wasn't ready for and spent a few months not picking up anything heavier than a fork. Try to lift what you're not prepared to and the Iron will teach you a little lesson in restraint and self-control.

I have never met a truly strong person who didn't have self-respect. I think a lot of inwardly and outwardly directed contempt passes itself off as self-respect: the idea of raising yourself by stepping on someone's shoulders instead of doing it yourself. When I see guys working out for cosmetic reasons, I see vanity exposing them in the worst way, as cartoon characters, billboards for imbalance and insecurity. Strength reveals itself through character. It is the difference between bouncers who get off strong-arming people and Mr.Pepperman.

Muscle mass does not always equal strength. Strength is kindness and sensitivity. Strength is understanding that your power is both physical and emotional. That it comes from the body and the mind. And the heart.

Yukio Mishima said that he could not entertain the idea of romance if he was not strong. Romance is such a strong and overwhelming passion, a weakened body cannot sustain it for long. I have some of my most romantic thoughts when I am with the Iron. Once I was in love with a woman. I thought about her the most when the pain from a workout was racing through my body.

Everything in me wanted her. So much so that sex was only a fraction of my total desire. It was the single most intense love I have ever felt, but she lived far away and I didn't see her very often. Working out was a healthy way of dealing with the loneliness. To this day, when I work out I usually listen to ballads.

I prefer to work out alone.

It enables me to concentrate on the lessons that the Iron has for me. Learning about what you're made of is always time well spent, and I have found no better teacher. The Iron had taught me how to live. Life is capable of driving you out of your mind. The way it all comes down these days, it's some kind of miracle if you're not insane. People have become separated from their bodies. They are no longer whole.

I see them move from their offices to their cars and on to their suburban homes. They stress out constantly, they lose sleep, they eat badly. And they behave badly. Their egos run wild; they become motivated by that which will eventually give them a massive stroke. They need the Iron Mind.

Through the years, I have combined meditation, action, and the Iron into a single strength. I believe that when the body is strong, the mind thinks strong thoughts. Time spent away from the Iron makes my mind degenerate. I wallow in a thick depression. My body shuts down my mind.

The Iron is the best antidepressant I have ever found. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it's impossible to turn back.

The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you're a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.


Over the weekend, thousands of people around the world took part in a 'paddle out' to say goodbye to Andy Irons. RIP Andy.

I did strength work today.

back squat
5x5, sets across

185-185-185-185F (x4)-185

I didn't take long enough rest between sets 3 and 4... otherwise, I'm feeling good. Peace.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

be manly

"Manliness consists not in bluff, bravado or lordliness. It consists in daring to do the right and facing consequences whether it is in matters social, political or other. It consists in deeds, not in words."
- Gandhi

Since it's "mo-vember" check out the 35 manliest mustaches of all time.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Defiant Saturday

This morning I picked up Ingrid and we headed to Pflugerville's Defiant CrossFit for their free Saturday workout. This was the first time I'd been up to Defiant since coach Heather Hodges opened it's doors. It was great to see some familiar faces - Lory and Chardonnay were there - and to make some new acquaintances. After warming up we got after a team workout.

15 minute AMRAP for total reps
team of 6, one person at each station, one person resting, rotate upon completion of sandbag run:
sandbag run
bicycle crunches
kettlebell swings
box jumps

I don't recall my team's total count, but it was a fun one!

Heather and her crew have put together a great gym with a fun and welcoming environment. Thanks to Defiant CrossFit for hosting a great workout this morning!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday PR

I did strength work this morning.


285(5)-295(5)-300(3)-300(3)-305PR TIE-310PR-315PR

Feeling great! I tipped the scales at 156 today, so that's double-bodyweight! I gotta say, it's fun getting the beginner's jumps in strength gains. I finished up with HSPU and weighted ring dips.

Check out this solid piece on doing squats to warm-up for deadlifts.

And just 'cause, old-school powerlifter/bodybuilder Franco Columbu deadlifting heavy.

Have an excellent weekend y'all. Peace.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

what are you busy about?

"It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?"
~ Henry David Thoreau

I've let my "busy schedule" get a little outta hand recently and nearly got sick at the end of last week. Lessons are usually learned the hard way - OK well I usually learn lessons the hard way! Driving myself to near exhaustion got me thinking about my focus and how I've been chasing my goals. Some serious reassessing is underway...

Anyway, this post at has some great tips on slowing down yet living life fully. It's a read that's definitely worth your time.

I slept in today. It. Was. Excellent. Make mine a REST DAY!

Heavy deadlifts are on deck. Can't wait!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

happy birthday Marines

On this day 235 years ago, two battalions of Continental Marines were organized in Philadelphia, forming what is now known as The United States Marine Corps. Happy birthday Marines!

CrossFit.COM WOD
overhead squat
155PR TIE-165PR-165F-165PR TIE-170F

front squat
155-165PR TIE-175PR-180PR-185PR

back squat
195-200-205-210PR TIE-215PR

Feeling good! Weak numbers maybe but they're moving in the right direction...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."
- Epictetus

This morning I rolled up to the gym feeling well but still a bit tired. Honestly, knowing that recovery work was going to be on the whiteboard helped get me there today.

"mobility recovery/week"
A. 10 minutes foam roller/trigger point
B. 800 meter run
C. shoulder work:
*figure-8 with a 15# bumper, 30 seconds each direction
*small circles, arms extended with 5# plates, 30 seconds forward, 30 seconds backward
*large circles with 5# plates, 30 seconds forward, 30 seconds backwards
*figure-8 with 15# bumper, 30 seconds each direction
D. KB work @ 16kg
-10 Russian swings/10 American swings
-10 windmills each side/5 TGU each side
-10 1-hand Russian swings each side/10 snatch each side
-10 windmills each side/5 TGU each side
-10 Russian swings/10 American swings
-10 1-hand/1-leg (opposites) Romanian deadlifts each side/5 clean&press each side
E. 10 minutes shoulder/chest/lat mobility work with bands

Felt good to move. Speaking of moving, check out this free running show reel by 3RUN!

Think I'm ready to go full speed again! "Hump day" is coming! Peace.

Monday, November 8, 2010

keep advancing

"If you would attain to what you are not yet, you must always be displeased by what you are. For where you are pleased with yourself there you have remained. Keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing."
~Saint Augustine

I've been fighting off being sick since Friday. Took today as another rest day. I'll be back at it mañana.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


“Greatness is primarily a matter of conscious choice and discipline.”
- Jim Collins

Congratulations to the SICFIT ladies who dominated at Saturday's Hammer and Chisel competition!

1st place: Lindsey Smith
2nd place: Chardonnay Poole
3rd place: Ingrid Kantola
4th place: Brittany McKenna (not shown)

Friday, November 5, 2010

trust yourself

"As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live."
- Johann Wolfgang von Geothe

It's a REST DAY!! Peace.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mumford & Sons, snatch work

Last night Ingrid and I saw Mumford & Sons at Stubb's. They put on an outstanding show!

I've been in "GO! GO! GO!" mode so much lately my "down time" usually involves eating a quick meal and passing out. Occasionally I've even cut out the meal part and gone right to sleep! So it's hard to describe how special it was to just slow down and take in a great show - all in the company of a wonderful, beautiful woman! Life doesn't get much better.

Here's Mumford & Sons performing their song "Awake My Soul:"

This morning at SICFIT Austin we worked the barbell snatch...

800 meter run
3 rounds of "Cindy" w/strict pull-ups
100 jump-rope double-unders

snatch deadlift 3×3

snatch high-pulls 3×3

hang-squat snatch 3×3

OHS 3×3
I only did one set at 135 lbs. My legs were talking to me after yesterday's backsquats, so I skipped on to full snatch work.

squat snatch 3×1
105-115-125F-125PR TIE

Just missed 125lbs so I got an extra one in and hit it. My squat snatch still needs lots of work, but it's getting better. And I got 'em all without using my crutch: the split-snatch... improvement feels good!

Peace y'all.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

busy hump day

"Opportunity's favorite disguise is trouble."
- Frank Tyger

Quick post today... got a lot to do and little time to do it!

back squat
65%W1RM x5 @135 lbs
75% W1RM x5 @155 lbs
85% W1RM x5+ @175 lbs

Warmed up with 135 lbs x 10, and 155 lbs x 7, then checked the "working" percentages. Oops. First two sets were easy. Again. 9 reps at 175lbs.

muscle clean

All at 135 lbs. Feeling good!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

election day

"Polling gives me an election."
- El Arroyo sign

It's election day boys and girls! I hope you exercised your right to vote.

800 meter run
3 rounds of "Cindy" (5 strict pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats)
100 jump-rope double-unders

A. Turkish Get-Up
3x 5R,5L

16kg KB- 20kg KB - 50lbs DB

B. AMRAP 10 minutes
7 squat cleans @ 115lbs barbell
12 pull-ups
21 jump-rope double-unders

3 rounds + 4 cleans rx'd. The weight and pull-ups felt solid, but my double-unders sucked today. I got one round unbroken and then struggled with the rest in small sets. Otherwise, fun one today!

Monday, November 1, 2010


"Weak points come from not doing the things you suck at doing. The difference between a successful athlete and a crappy one is they always do the things they have to do, not what they want to do."
- Dave Tate

Today I'm starting Jim Wendler's 5-3-1 strength program. It's a percentage based system designed to build consistent strength gains over time.

You start by taking your one-rep max (1RM) for the squat, deadlift, standing press, and bench press, then base your working percentages on 90% of that 1RM. I'm calling it the "working" 1RM or W1RM. Mathematically it looks like this: W1RM = 90% 1RM.

Then you go through the 4 week cycle below for all 4 lifts:

Week 1
Set 1 65% x 5
Set 2 75% x 5
Set 3 85% x 5+

Week 2
Set 1 70% x 3
Set 2 80% x 3
Set 3 90% x 3+

Week 3
Set 1 75% x 5
Set 2 85% x 3
Set 3 95% x 1+

Week 4
Set 1 40% x 5
Set 2 50% x 5
Set 3 60% x 5

Each time you see 5+, 3+, or 1+ you are supposed to go for max reps with that weight.

At the end of 4 weeks, adjust your W1RM by adding 10 lbs to your squat and deadlift, and 5 lbs for the presses. Then begin the 4 week cycle anew.

You can also check out T-Nation's article covering the 5-3-1 program.

65% W1RM x5 @195lbs
75% W1RM x5 @225lbs
85% W1RM x5+ @255lbs

The fives at 195 and 225 felt easy. And I didn't really mentally prepare myself for the fight that 5+ @ 255 became, and only managed 13 reps. That set was work! Truthfully though, a bit of a cupcake:

cup⋅cake [khup-keyk]
1) to wimp out
2) giving in to the pain

Being a disappointed with my 5+ set, I felt like getting more lifts in, but I reminded myself to be smart and follow this program by the numbers. So live and learn right? The next 5+ set I do definitely won't be weak sauce!

Perhaps not the greatest start to 5-3-1... but still feeling good on a Monday! I'll take it. Peace.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

“Be yourself; everyone else is taken.”
- Oscar Wilde

REST WEEKEND! Happy Halloween y'all!

Friday, October 29, 2010

succeed first in your mind

"We succeed first in our minds."
- Dutch Lowy, from his recent post: Get Your Mind Right!

REST DAY! Did mobility work and some stretching.

See y'all tomorrow morning at the Butcher Challenge!

Have a fun Halloween weekend! Be safe and watch out for each other. Peace.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

bring yourself peace

"If half a century of living has taught me anything at all, it has taught me that nothing can bring you peace but yourself."
~ Dale Carnegie

A. 1 Strict Press, 2 Push Press, 3 Push Jerk. Unbroken. X3


Just OK performance. Strict press being the limiting factor. Push press and push jerks were cake at that weight. Still, shoulders felt decent after yesterday's split jerks.

B. Partner workout:
-Run 440 yds. / max rep pullups
-Run 440 yds. / max rep KB swings @ 24kg
-Run 440 yds. / max rep overhead squats @ 95lbs
-Run 440 yds. / max rep squat cleans @95lbs

*Person 1 runs while Person 2 completes max-rep pullups. When P1 returns from run, P1 completes max-rep pullups while P2 runs. Continue on in this fashion until the workout is complete.
**Score = Time – # of combined reps (as a team) for all 4 movements (1 rep = 1 second)

Teamed up with Firas on this one. I started on the run and anchored the reps portion of the workout.

Our time was 17:02 rx'd or 1022 seconds (workout) – 249 (total team reps) = 773 seconds final score.

My rep counts were:
46 pullups
40 KB swings
17 OHS
13 squat cleans

Smoker of a workout. My low back got super tight on the squat cleans. Felt good for a couple of multi-rep sets, then it just got painful to get set in the deadlift position. At least it happened at the end of the workout...

My body is apparently ready for a rest day! So I'm looking at you Friday... Peace.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

hump day lesson

"I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!"
— Dr. Seuss

Decided to work some heavy split-jerks today. This is quickly becoming a favorite lift of mine...

shoulder mobility drills
pvc roller legs/foam roller upper back
pvc pipe pass-through
pvc pipe push-jerk
7 barbell push-jerk @45#
5 barbell split-jerk @135#
2 barbell split-jerk @155#

split jerk

165-175-185PR TIE-195F-195F

I hit 185 solid and was thinking "OK feeling good, time for the PR tie at 195!" For some reason, I had it in my head that my 1RM was 195lbs. Oops. The lesson here: check your log and see your numbers before you start the workout!

A little mistake like that can throw of your mental game without you knowing it. If I had known I hit my PR on my 3rd lift, my confidence would've been soaring going into lifts 4 and 5. Instead I was thinking about not hitting a lift I (imagined) that I'd already done.

So, lesson learned. Moving on. Not a "bad day," just a "slightly off" day. But it's still a training day. I got some heavy work in, and built more confidence with heavy weights.

Happy hump day boys and girls. Peace.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

sandbagging it!

"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves."
~ Victor Frankl, Holocaust survivor and author of Man's Search for Meaning

Just liked the quote.


A. Athletes start in prone position, heads facing forward. Coach places unknown weight sandbag (40#, 50#, 55#, 60#, 80#) behind each athlete, at random. On “GO”, 100 ft. sandbag sprint. Drop sandbag at the 100 ft. mark, turn and sprint back without sandbag. Upon crossing start line, 5 burpees. Repeat x3.

B. 50 ft. forward sprint, 50 ft. backward sprint. Upon crossing the line, 10 burpees. Repeat x3.

Didn't keep track of times on the sprints. Just worked hard. Felt good.

C. 3 rounds for time:
3 man-makers 45# DBs
6 shoulder to shoulder pullups (shoulder touches bar on each rep)
9 toes-2-bar

5:21 rx'd. Another grip testing workout! Loving it!

Monday, October 25, 2010

rest weekend? check.

I hope your weekend was as wonderful as mine. Mine was spent in the company of a marvelous woman, some great friends, and my family! Slept in (and napped!) on Sunday. There was also chocolate-covered-bacon! Seriously. Think about it... Chocolate. Covered. Bacon.

Here's how you make the best cheat-meal ever:
1. fry bacon
2. at low heat, melt a bar of quality chocolate
3. pour melted chocolate over bacon
4. sprinkle crushed walnuts, almonds, etc. (optional)
5. let cool
6. eat!

Oh yes. It was as good as it sounds.

I also want to direct your attention towards another great post by Blair Morrison: Fitness Is...


Take advantage of yours.

A farmer doesn’t plant crops without a harvest. An investor doesn’t invest without a return. But such is the tragic circumstance of a man who trains day after day without using what he’s gained.

With the surplus of material floating around the Internet, shelved in libraries, and taught in schools, it’s easy to lose ourselves amongst the methodology. Nutrition, programming, recovery, adaptation—there’s so much to know that the ‘process’ of fitness becomes a trap well laid. All this information fights for our attention and, as a result, we lose the forest while sifting through the trees.

That forest, while superficially unique from person to person, typically boils down to a better quality of life. Could be that we hate having to ask for help getting in and out of the car or that we feel self-conscious about the forty pounds we’ve gained since high school. Maybe we’re tired of being told we’re too small, too clumsy, and too slow to be an athlete or we simply want to get control of our asthma. Regardless of the particulars, we are all driven by a desire to transpose weakness. Pursuing fitness is the means to do so."

Take the time and read his entire post. Then shut off your computer and go live!


This morning I assistant-coached the early indoor classes with Big Mike. Then I did some strength training.

back squat


Feeling good! A 225lbs back squat isn't far off!

It's a new week, make yours a great one. Peace.

Friday, October 22, 2010

burning the candle at both ends

I decided to go ahead and do a workout this morning after assisting with the early indoor classes. Regular intense training and a lack of sleep is NOT a good combo...

3 rounds for time:
21 deadlifts @ 225lbs
12 pull-ups

7:32 rx'd. Just blah. Felt like I had no "go" from the start. Even got chills while warming up. Anyone ever get that? Another warning sign I ignored. Only resulted in a bad workout this time. However, being this stubborn on a regular basis is how injuries occur. Anyhoo, I only got the first round of pull-ups unbroken. Then my grip was gone! The deadlift weight wasn't a problem, it was keeping a hold on the damn bar - even with the hook grip - that was the hard part.

I'm going with lack of sleep as my excuse for today's poor performance. I stayed at the office until 11PM last night. So I'll just say that I was rolling on a less-than-needed amount of sleep.

Rest weekend here I come! Hope yours is a safe and fun one. Peace.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

kung-fu grip?

I was thinking after Tuesday's workout that I needed to work on my grip strength. Winchester must have though the same thing...

A. Warm up.

B. 3 rounds, 60 seconds work each station, 10 second transition between:
-Bar dips
-Single leg box jumps (20″)
-Tire flips
-Towel pull-ups (dead-hang)
-Dual plate pinch hold (25#/15#) *10 rep penalty for dropping plate(s)
*Rest 2 minutes between each round. Score for each round is total reps.

My reps = 92-77-72

Dips, box jumps and burpees were money - but the towel pull-ups followed by plate holds was some seriously awesome grip work! I didn't drop the plates either! My forearms were toasted at the end of 3 rounds, but the grip training had just begun...

B. Grip work:
-1 x isometric hold to failure, chin above bar. Hands face towards body.
51 seconds, felt good here
-1 x isometric hold to failure, chin above bar. Hands face away from body.
29 seconds, grip gone!
-1 x dead hang to failure. Grip of choice.
32 seconds, fingertips almost from start, tough!

C. K-Star mobility WOD
-Stay in a deep squat for 5 minutes
This was the easy part!! So we mugged for the camera... L-R: Brian, myself, and Mark.

Another great post by Elliot Schrock!

See y'all Friday! Peace.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

hump day!

The greatest day of the week! Also, it's a REST DAY! Did the mobility WOD for today though.

Now turn up the volume and enjoy! Peace.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

a solid beat-down, a must read

This morning saw another solid training session at SICFIT Austin! We warmed up with a run, 4 rounds of "Cindy" (5 strict pullups, 10 pushups, 15 squats), and some hip mobility drills. The hip mobility work was much appreciated after yesterday's squats.

weighted 20" box jump

This was fun... like playtime. I worked up to 120 lbs (60 lbs sandbag under each arm). Failed at 150 lbs (75 lbs sandbag under each arm). I had shaky legs going into the WOD...

5 rounds for time:
250 yard run w/60lbs sandbag
15 deadlift @ 135lbs barbell
10 power clean @ 135lbs barbell
5 push-press @ 135lbs barbell

In 20 minutes I completed 3 rounds, the sandbag run, 15 deadlifts, and 3 power cleans. Grip strength (or lack thereof) became a limiting factor... along with not having done much met-com work lately. Legs felt OK on round one, but were toasted after that.

Coach Crystal McReynolds joined in today's fun and showed the 0630 boys how it's done - finishing in 17 minutes and change!

Another no-bull$h!t assessment of the situation in Afghanistan by Tim at Free Range International.

See y'all mañana. Peace.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday squats!

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

This morning I got to work with Carey Kepler, who covered the 0530, 0615 and 0700 classes for the recovering Big Mike. I really enjoyed the experience, and have definitely learned from observing different coaches' styles. Good stuff today!

Afterward I did strength training.

back squat


All sets performed in the low-bar position:

I'm pumped about my numbers today. I took about 4 to 5 minutes in between the last 3 sets - instead of my previous 2 to 3 minutes of rest - and it made a huge difference. Hello jello-legs!

Below is the CC crew after Saturday's coaches WOD. Lisa Thiel is right - Saturday morning reminded me how lucky I am!

It's a new week! Make yours a great one!

Friday, October 15, 2010

a cheerful soul

"There is one thing one has to have: either a soul that is cheerful by nature, or a soul made cheerful by work, love, art, and knowledge."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

I like that the first two things he lists are work and love.

Going with a short post today...

deck power clean

175lbs started to get sloppy... went back down for the last set.

sled drag fwd/bk x6 @ 360lbs

sled drag w/lateral steps lft/rt x4 @ 270lbs

weighted strict pull-ups

Pull-ups felt good, heaviest DBs at SICFIT Austin are 50lbs...

Happy Friday boys and girls! Have a great weekend. Peace.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

shoulder mobility and tacos! ohh my

This morning is the first time my shoulders haven't been sore since Sunday! It gets better... the whiteboard had mobility drills and recovery work all over it when I walked into this gym this morning!

We warmed up with a few "late" burpees (for Firas), a row/run combo, inchworm stretch w/scorpion, and some PVC pipe lat/shoulder work (pass-through, dislocates, cat-cow stretch). Then we went through twenty KB windmills with 16kg, two sets of air-squats/push-ups/pull-ups, and the 5-way shoulder mobility drills.

5x1 @ 85% 1RM

All at 105lbs. Truthfully, felt pretty easy.

After class the 0630 crew, Winchester, and Sam Sneed went for breakfast at the newest Torchy's Tacos in town! They opened yesterday at 5119 Burnet Road A.K.A. directly across the street from SICFIT Austin!

Damn good way to start the day! Peace.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

seek within

"Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without."
~ Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.

If you have yet to see the recent "positive self-talk" series in the CrossFit Journal, now is an excellent time to do so. They are both free downloads. So no excuses!

Positive Self-Talk: The Greatest Adaptation

Positive Self-Talk: Defining Your Terms

I got in some strength work this morning after assisting with the 0530, 0615, 0700 indoor classes.

squat clean


Still catching the clean a bit forward on the balls of my feet. Had a couple of good sets in there though. Getting better every day!

Happy "hump day" y'all! Peace.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

grip killa

Woke up to painfully sore shoulders again this morning. Got to SFA early to go through some shoulder mobility drills and make sure I warmed up well. It was a good thing I did...

Today is Mike Winchester's 27th birthday! So we started off class with 27 burpee-pullups. Goooooood morrr-ning shoulders!

back squat
5x1 @ 85% 1RM

Felt great here. All 5 sets at 185lbs. Easy day. The hard part was next.

1 min KB clean/strict press right hand @16kg
max pullups
max ring dips
rest 2 minutes, repeat left hand, rest 2 minutes

1 min KB snatch right hand @ 16kg
max pullups
max ring dips
rest 2 minutes, repeat left hand, done!

15 KB clean/press right, 30 pullups, 18 ring dips
13 KB clean/press left, 19 pullups, 18 ring dips
18 KB snatch right, 12 pullups, 14 ring dips
20 KB snatch left, 10 pullups, 17 ring dips

The toughest part was doing pullups right after KB snatch. Grip on the bell hand was non-existent on the pullups immediately following. It felt... interesting to only have a solid grip for pullups one hand at a time.

One of this morning's pull-up sets. L-R Firas, Brian, Mark and myself.

Good times!

Monday, October 11, 2010

be in the moment

"Be happy in the moment – that’s enough. Each moment is all we need – not more."
~ Mother Teresa

Quite a moment: The aurora borealis captured over Alaska's Wrangell mountains and featured recently on NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day website. Photo by Paul Alsop.

Holy incredible soreness Batman! I've been tired today as well despite some solid sleep last night, so I'm taking another REST DAY! Have a great week y'all.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Saturday training, Sunday of rest

"There is nothing training cannot do. Nothing is above its reach. It can turn bad morals to good; it can destroy bad principles and recreate good ones; it can lift men to angelship."
~ Mark Twain

Slept in Saturday and it was everything I remembered it being! After a cup of coffee and quick bite to eat I went down to the gym and did some o-lifting practice and a short metcon.

push-jerk (skill practice)
9x3 @155lbs

My plan of 5x3 quickly turned into something like 9x3! Most of my sets were at 155lbs, got in two at 165 but went back to 155 to maintain focus on technique. Getting better at this lift, but I've still got a few bad habits I need to replace with the correct ones! I was fortunate to get some excellent tips and corrections from Michael Stanwyck of CrossFit LA who's visiting Austin this weekend. Thanks again Mike!

heaving snatch balance


For the first time practicing snatch balance, felt pretty good.

3 rounds:
with 25lbs weight vest
400 meter run
10 strict pullups
10 decline ring pushups

11:07 rx'd

Now it's a REST DAY!! Hope y'all had a great weekend. Peace.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday lifting

In keeping with my new routine - after assistant coaching with Big Mike's M-W-F 0530, 0615, and 0700 indoor classes - I've been focusing on strength work.

This morning I did deadlifts. I warmed up with a 500meter row, barbell OHS, pvc rotations, and some body weight movements. Then I went through a couple of light sets (135x5, 225x5, and 245x3) before getting down to business.



Felt great today! My current deadlift 1RM is 305, and so I'm definitely happy with hitting 295x3! It's been a great week!

Have a safe and fun weekend y'all. Peace.

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be."
~ Lao Tzu

Thursday, October 7, 2010

active recovery Thursday

It's another beautiful day in Austin, Texas!

Check it - Kstar covers shoulder mobility today (nice shirt too!). Just what I needed after split jerks yesterday.

Big Mike stepped in to coach for the traveling Mike Winchester this morning.

3 rounds, with a 25lbs weight vest, max work 30 seconds each station, approx 1:30 between rounds
* sledge hammer tire slams
* KB box steps with 1.5 pood
* push-ups

I didn't really keep track of reps, just made sure I worked hard for the whole 30 seconds. We finished up class with bear crawl ladder drills. I had some fun and worked some of the soreness out of my shoulders. Thankfully today's workout was geared towards recovery! Good stuff.

See y'all mañana. Peace.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

hump day PR!

After assisting Big Mike's 0530, 0615, and 0700 indoor classes I continued with my strength work focus.

My legs and shoulders are still a bit tight and sore, so I rolled out and then eased into a long warm-up with rowing, OHS, pvc rotations, and pull-ups. Then did a few light sets of strict press, push-press, and 3x3 split-jerks.

split jerk


I'm really starting to enjoy this lift. I asked Big Mike to watch my 165 attempt - and with tips on getting under the bar a little faster - 175 and 185 felt solid. Actually wanted to go for 195lbs but self discipline got the better of me. Gotta stick with the program! Feeling great though - any day with a PR is a good day!

Dutch Lowy split jerks 245lbs at CrossFit Central back in early 2009.

Happy hump day y'all! Peace.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

active recovery Tuesday

"Recovery is 100% of the recovery and 0% of the work and work is 100% of the work. Otherwise its recovery."
- Jacob L.

I'm back training with the early morning SICFIT Austin crew on Tuesdays and Thursdays due to midday scheduling. I'm pumped to be training with these athletes again!

My legs were pretty torched from all of yesterday's work, so I was relieved to see what we had in store today.

800 meter run
3 rounds:
10 pvc OHS
10 pushups
10 pvc rotations
10 dead-hang pullups

2-3 minutes work at each station, time at station dictated by the runner's 800m time:
* inch worm with scorpion
* row
* burpees
* 800m run
* dual KB rack hold (@ 53 lbs)

Turkish get-ups

20 @ 35lbs KB (10R,10L)
2 @ 45lbs barbell (1R,1L)
2 @ 65lbs barbell (1R,1L)

Drank a recovery shake and took a nap right afterward. Good stuff today! Peace.

Jeff Martone and the Turkish get up:

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday PR!

Back from a great rest-and-play weekend! After assisting Big Mike's 0530, 0615, and 0700 classes this morning I got in some strength work.

hang squat clean


Felt pretty good here, wanted to do more but decided to get into back squats while still somewhat fresh.

back squat

155(5)-165(5)-185(3)-185(3)-195(1)-205(1)PR TIE-210(1)PR!

No jump in numbers except... hitting a new PR!! After working on cleans! That's starting the week off right!

Enjoying Polvos margaritas, paleoish food, and great company at a post FGB5 celebration last weekend:

Chris Spealler won the 62kg division at the USAW open this weekend!! "Speal" continues to inspire...

What are 3 characteristics of successful leaders?

Make it a great week y'all! Peace.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


"When I quote others I do so in order to express my own ideas more clearly."
- Michel de Montaigne

press, sled, clean, and dip

My shoulders were still sore despite taking yesterday off, so I got to the gym a little early for some foam roller and mobility work.

5x5 press @ 60% max


five 40 yard backwards sled drags (10 yards down & back x2) @ 275lbs
:25, :20, :20, :19, :19,

I fell on my butt in the first one, but stayed on my feet for the rest. Legs felt like J-E-L-L-O at the end of this!

team of two for time:
hang power clean @135lbs
ring dips

6:28 rx'd. Rich and I split the work evenly (works out to be 21-15-9 each person). Good stuff today!

Feeling great! Peace.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


"Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking."
~ Albert Einstein

Your Brain on Computers: Attached to Technology and Paying a Price
Once you're done reading it, turn off your computer and go do something outside in this beautiful fall weather!

Today is a REST DAY! Peace.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

wild Tuesday

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
~ Edmund Burke

Slept in this morning and within minutes of waking I got a txt message about the shooter on campus. I was shocked. Quite a surreal way to start your day. Now I don't know whether this kid was merely a bad shot or had a change of heart and decided not to kill innocent people but either way, I'm very glad that nobody else was hurt.

More will be known about this guy soon, but I'll bet you the 9mm Beretta in my bedside table that the gun control debate will be raised in the wake of this...

I do know that the world is still a wonderful place and we shouldn't let the few evil people in it overshadow the many, many more good people out there. It may not always seem like it, but the "good guys" have always outnumbered the "bad guys." The trick is, us good folk have to keep stepping up in the face of evil to make it back down.

Retired US Army Lt. Col. Dave Grossman has an article about one kind of stepping up, and uses the analogy of a sheepdog. Please take the time and read it. It's worth every minute.

Another great read I recommend is by Jack Hoban, a martial artist of note, and part of an organization I had the privilege to train with before injuring my knees awhile back. Basically, he talks about approaching martial arts training with the focus of protecting life (either yours or others). Heady stuff, but good stuff.

I digress, but to make my point I'm going to hit y'all with a zen saying:

"It's better to light a candle than to curse the gathering darkness."

So get out there and shine your light. Whatever it is you do, no matter how small the act, people notice. Stepping down from my soapbox now. Peace.


Oh yeah I trained today! I arrived at the gym a little early this afternoon to hit the foam roller for a few minutes before class started. My shoulders and calves were pretty torched from FGB5 and yesterday's HSPU. Big Mike had us do some hip mobility drills as part of our warm-up, then we got in some solid interval work.

5 rounds, 90 second rest interval
In one minute, perform 10 unbroken pull-ups and max rep burpees.

my burpees today were 21-19-17-17-17

I managed to stay fairly consistent with the burpees, and alternated between the regular and butterfly kip on the pull-ups.

four 200 yard sprints (50 yards down and back x2), 2 minute rest interval

:33, :34, :34, :35

I didn't really feel yesterday's squats until we got into these sprints, but I was smoked by the end of this! Good stuff.

See y'all mañana.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday musing, getting in the loop

Just saw this quote... thought it was an interesting perspective on "being somebody."

"One day you will take a fork in the road, and you’re going to have to make a decision about which direction you want to go. If you go one way, you can be somebody. You will have to make your compromises and ... turn your back on your friends, but you will be a member of the club, and you will get promoted and get good assignments. Or you can go the other way, and you can do something, something for your country and for your Air Force and for yourself. ... You may not get promoted, and you may not get good assignments, and you certainly will not be a favorite of your superiors, but you won’t have to compromise yourself. ... In life there is often a roll call. That’s when you have to make a decision: to be or to do."
- Colonel John Boyd

Col. Boyd developed the concept of the "decision loop." The OODA loop is about how people or organizations react to an event.

Observe: the collection of data
Orient: the analysis of that data to form a mental perspective
Decide: the determination of a course of action based on that mental perspective
Act: the physical playing-out of that decision

The faster you can move through the loop the better. If you are faster than your opponent, you get "inside" their loop and have the advantage. It's good to be in the loop.

But I digress - back to the quote. While I disagree with the notion that you must compromise yourself to "be somebody," I've been alive long enough to see that there isn't a shortage of those willing to compromise their integrity to "get ahead." Anyhow, that's my take on what the Colonel was referring to.

So perhaps the question should be: When the moment of decision comes, will you maintain your integrity?

it's a beautiful Monday

It's a perfect fall weather day in Texas! We had morning temps in the 50s, highs in the mid-70s and not a cloud in the sky... it doesn't get much better!

back squat
5x5 @ 60% of max


165lbs isn't 60% of my 1 rep max (my max NOT being 275lbs), but I knew I could do 5-7 unbroken reps at that weight so that's what I went with... I need the heavy days!

2 rounds:
4 minutes max rep handstand-pushup
3 minutes max rep sandbag-turkish-getup @ 50lbs
2 minutes max rep kettlebell swing @ 1.5 pood
1 minute max rep "dummy jumps" (jump side to side over sandbag)
rest 3 minutes

I completely lost track of my count on this one. So I got in some hard work and had a little fun... no clue what my total reps ended up being...

Here's a shot of downtown from South Congress Avenue, just 'cause.

photo by Carlton Wade

Hope your having a great Monday! Peace.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

worth watching

"One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure its worth watching."
- unknown

You know what else is worth watching? Kelly Starrett's mobility tips for air travel... AKA how to weird out other passengers on a plane. Good stuff!

Rest day!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fight Gone Bad 5

Today was the 5th year of Fight Gone Bad, a charity fundraiser, and my third year in a row as a participant. It's always a blast to take part in such a great event with the outstanding people that make up the central Texas CrossFit community. So here's a big "thank you" to all the volunteers who got up early and worked all morning - and a hearty "well done" to Ingrid Kantola who laid the organizational smack-down all over this year's event (she coordinated the schedule and getting the gear necessary from five separate affiliates so that over 220 athletes could take part in today's event)! Nicely done!

"Fight Gone Bad"
three rounds for points:
one minute at each station
one minute rest between rounds
score is total number of reps

push-press @ 75lbs barbell
row (calories = points)
wall ball @ 20lbs medicine ball
sumo-deadlift high-pull @ 75lbs barbell
box jump (20" box)

My score today was 326! Despite my low back and side cramping through round 3, that's a new PR! Just happy to finally break 300...

Most importantly though, I want to thank all those who donated their hard earned money to the great organizations that were sponsored by today's event!

Have a great weekend y'all! Peace.

Friday, September 24, 2010

ready to fight!

"Deep within man dwell those slumbering powers; powers that would astonish him, that he never dreamed of possessing; forces that would revolutionize his life if aroused and put into action."
- Orison Swett Marden

The time has come.... Fight Gone Bad 5 is tomorrow! See y'all there!

REST DAY. Peace.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

strive on

The following is from today's post by Blair Morrison at AnyWhereFit:


Everybody has it. Few reach it...

The good news is that physical potential does not expire. It has no shelf life. Whatever state you’re in at whatever moment, you can always be better. SO BE BETTER. Too often people try to do this by setting a number to hit, a person to beat, or a mirror to impress, implicitly attaching a finite quality to the process. This focus is flawed. As you change and improve, so too should your potential grow and your ambition swell. Remember that fitness is a goal inadvertently attained through the systematic overestimation of yourself in all fields. It’s a byproduct of setting the bar too high, of striving for perfection and falling just short. It’s knowing that you’ll never get there but trying your damndest nonetheless. It’s constantly pushing your limits in every direction regardless of your skill....

Do this and we inevitably yield the best version of ourselves."

Read the entire post here. Seriously - go now - you'll be glad you did.

Never stop striving to fulfill your potential. Peace.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

paleo for the masses

Check it out! The new book by Robb Wolf gets some love from Tim Ferriss on the Four Hour Work Week blog!

back squat hump day

It's hump day boys and girls - and it's the first official day of fall. After assisting Big Mike with the 5:30, 6:15, and 7AM classes, I did some strength work. Gotta work on your weaknesses! Mine, is moving heavy $h!t...

I got a solid warm-up in that included some rowing, just working out the soreness in my back and shoulders.

back squat


Felt good. Every set was hard work. Thought I could do 195lbs on the last set, only got two reps and had to dump the bar. No worries though. Working to failure is how you get stronger! So watch out, I can still meet my goal of a 1rep max back squat at 225lbs by Christmas. Stay tuned...

Also played at rope muscle-ups with JDP and Ben. Fun! Tough stuff, but fun!

Talk about a great morning! Go and make yours a great day y'all. Peace.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

getting smoked on a rainy Tuesday

With shoulders a bit sore from yesterday we started our warm-up with the usual dynamic movement drills, a short jog, and then got right into the strength "warm-up."

3 rounds:
7 backsquat @ 155#
7 decline pushups
7 deadlift @ 245#
7 chest-to-bar pullups

Felt better this time. Completed all the squats unbroken, and got 2 rounds of the deadlifts unbroken. Round 3 on deadlifts went 5-2. Good strength work, but my legs were toast at the end. Just what I need to be doing! Then, just when I was expecting a short break, Big Mike sent us on a mile run!

1 mile run

Didn't time it, just did it. Big thanks to Chris Hartwell for pushing me through that run, I felt like I'd just done a workout at the end of it. We got a few minutes to catch our breath and before getting into the workout.

team of 2, 3 rounds for time:
While team member 1 (TM1) completes 5 barbell burpee-clean-and-jerks @ 135#, team member 2 (TM2) does laps of farmers walks with pair of 45# plates. Then TM2 goes to the barbell while TM1 does farmers walks. This = 1/2 of one round.

While TM1 completes 5 barbell burpee-clean-and-jerks, TM2 does as many handstand pushups as possible. Then TM2 does the barbell work while TM1 does HSPU. This = the second 1/2 of one round.

Walt and I took 16:14 to complete this. It works out to 30 burpee-clean-and-jerks and a lot of farmer walking and HSPU. I was absolutely smoked at the end of this one. Today was as much a mental conditioning day as it was physical. Good stuff!!

One year after losing his legs to a land mine explosion in Afghanistan, Dan Cnossen is running!

photo courtesy

This weekend he is running the Navy 5 miler in Washington DC. There is no limit to this guy's badassery! If he can run - with no legs - one year after losing them in Afghanistan - AND he's still not finished with surgeries to repair all of his internal injuries - there really are no limits!