Wednesday, June 30, 2010

so fresh and so clean clean

It was nice and cool out this morning after yesterday's rain! Maybe it's from spending a lot of time in the hill country as a kid, but the world always seems so... clean after a good rain.

The end of our warm-up at SICFIT Austin included 3 rounds of a barbell hang-clean complex.
5x shrug and drop
5x dip to pockets
5x dip to above the knee

All performed at 65lbs, (still focused on fixing my technique) working the jump-and-land and losing my exaggerated hip extension.

hang power clean
(4 minute rest interval)


My technique was solid on these! I started losing my grip on reps 3 and 4 of the last two sets though...

Feeling good!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday 29 June 2010

Just gotta say, the sunrise this morning was an awesome sight with all the clouds over downtown. Woke up with very sore shoulders! Trigger Point and foam rolling helped a little prior to warming up.

3 rounds through:
10 ring dips
10 pull-ups
10 overhead squats @ 45lbs barbell
10 handstand push-ups (down to 5 for subsequent rounds)
10 burpees

3 rounds for time:
10 dumbbell cleans @ 45lbs DBs
12 renegade rows @ 45bs DBs
sled drag forward then backward @ 225lbs

DNF. In eleven minutes I was a few steps from completing the second round. The cleans and the sled work felt solid, but the renegade rows crushed me. Tough day.

What the senate should ask Elena Kagan from CATO.

Petraeus Comes East by Free Range International.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday 28 June 2010

2x handstand walk

I'm getting better at these, could do a few "steps" at a time freestanding. Fun!

barbell push-jerk

Push-jerk technique feeling better... but my shoulders are still sore from Friday's HSPU!

kettlebell row
7 sets x 8 reps left, 8 reps right @ 1.5 pood

Went through doing one set push-jerk, then one set rows at a one minute rest interval.

Finished up today with 5 sets of 10 GHD sit-ups.

Go over to Elliot's blog and read Everything I Needed. Outstanding.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Spartan Saturday

I spent the morning up at CrossFit Central volunteering at the Spartan Challenge workout. Everybody was having fun and working hard! Good stuff. Hung around afterward and managed to get in some lifting...

barbell clean


Last set was work but not too heavy - still focusing fixing my technique - getting better at keeping a vertical bar path.

Team USA vs Ghana in the World Cup is next! USA! USA!

Friday, June 25, 2010

less is actually more

This is a copy of a great post by Leo Babuta, who also writes ZenHabits.

"The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” - Socrates

In that one little line, Socrates summed up one of the major problems with our modern society, and offered a simple solution.

Pretty brilliant, I’d say.

In fact, he negated the need for me to write more, but stubborn as I am, I will proceed. I’d like to talk about this capacity to enjoy less.

Is it difficult to enjoy less? No, not really, but it takes a change in mindset, which as with many such changes takes time and adaptation.

If you enjoy chocolate ice cream, as I do, when confronted with a tub of it would you also enjoy eating as much of the tub as possible? I know that’s what many of us do when faced with delicious food.

But what if you learned to enjoy just a few bites of the ice cream? And with each bite, savor the flavor, the coldness, the creaminess, the chocolatiness. (Yes, that’s a word, spell-checker – I made it up.)

If you love clothes, instead of buying more and more each weekend, can you learn to cull your wardrobe into a few quality, beautiful pieces that you can wear often, and enjoy more?

The same applies with anything we love … including online reading and communicating (email, Twitter, Facebook, forums). We often seem obsessed with more of it. But instead, consider reading just the quality stuff, and if a blog or Twitter feed doesn’t deliver quality consistently, consider dropping it.

Learn to love less television, movies, chatter, spending, shopping, eating out, junk food, technology, consumption, productivity. You get the idea.

When you focus on enjoying less, you focus on full enjoyment. You learn to be content with little, and when you do that, a life of happiness is at your disposal. The only limit to your happiness, then, is how much you can learn to enjoy less.

Friday fun

handstand-pushups @ 30" width and extra ROM on 45lbs plates
inverted walks (w/feet on partner's shoulders)

The extra range of motion meant I had to kip the HSPU. Gotta get those strict... Still, fun stuff!

"Linda got SIC!"
4 rounds 30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest:
deadlift @ 135lbs
bench press @ 135lbs
clean @ 135lbs
(one cycle through all movements is one round, score is lowest rep count)

This one smoked me!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

dream and achieve

"If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.”
- William Arthur Ward

Rest day!

Also, check out Free Range International's take on the McChrystal firing.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

wag the dog?

The big news story today is the firing of General Stanley McChrystal over comments made by himself and aides in a recent Rolling Stone article. Now yes, it is a big deal that a 4-star general and his staff made insubordinate remarks to a reporter. The timing however, is very questionable.

Let's look at a short timeline of events from this week...

Monday June 21st, 2010 @ 10:30PM EST:
The US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform releases a damning report titled "Warlord, Inc." The report details how billions of US taxpayer dollars have been flowing to Afghan warlords (and likely the Taliban as well) through a mafia-like protection scheme involving the shipping and distributing of supplies throughout Afghanistan. It is called the "Host Nation Trucking" contract - or HNT - and it is currently worth $2.16 billion dollars and is responsible for approximately 70% of all U.S. supplies in Afghanistan.

Tuesday June 22nd, 2010 @ 10:00AM EST:
Rolling Stone publishes online it's article "The Runaway General" which details - among other things - the fractious mood between military leadership in Afghanistan with Obama administration types like US Ambassador Karl Eikenberry and National Security Advisor Jim Jones. The article is largely a condemnation of counter-insurgency strategy and it's proponents. It also details comments made by General McChrystal and his aides that are insubordinate, which under the UCMJ allows the President to fire McChrystal.

Wednesday June 23, 2010:
General McChrystal resigns and his successor is named as General David Petraeus, a man with much more congenial ties to the Obama administration.

I'm no conspiracy theorist, so why go through all this?

Well it's because this media circus over General McChrystal's firing pretty well obfuscates what should be a HUGE story. It should be a huge story because, as the report states:

“The Department of Defense is grossly out of compliance with applicable regulations and has no visibility into the operations of the private security companies that are subcontractors on the HNT contract.”

And that “fueling unaccountable warlords and funding parallel power structures... the United States undercuts efforts to establish popular confidence in a credible and sustainable Afghan government.”

Now, consider this excerpt from a recent article by The Victory Institute:

"In this frame, the true back story of the Afghan strategy deliberations in the Obama war room this afternoon has little to do with General McChrystal and everything to do with the fact that the Department of Defense has dropped the ball in its support of the effort to legitimize the Karzai government by knowingly outsourcing the U.S. military and civilian supply chains to a protection racket that fuels the insurgency.

Moreover, the Department of Defense could have rectified the failed policy by re-tooling the effort following the announcement of the AfPak strategy in March, following the Triage assessment of General McChrystal upon assuming command last summer, following the 10 war council sessions that led to the December 1, 2009 announcement of a second troop surge, or at any time during the last six months following President Obama’s recommitment to the Afghan theatre with an additional 30,000 troops.

The U.S. Department of Defense had four major opportunities to step up and seal the breach in the failed elements of the supply chain; but, it chose, instead, to continue down the path of a failed policy – a policy, which has crippled all political shaping efforts in Kandahar, and has literally created an environment in which upwards of 70,000 armed Afghan civilians are operating with differing levels of oversight and regulation throughout Afghanistan.

The blood of all coalition soldiers and civilians, the blood of all Afghan and foreign contractors, who have died along the supply routes in southern Afghanistan since the signing of the HNT contract, falls to the hands of the Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff."

So... a hatchet-job article by Rolling Stone (detailing the comments of a well-known outspoken general) comes out the day after a the release of a report by the House Oversight committee (detailing monumental logistical screw-ups that undercut pretty much our entire strategy in Afghanistan) and dominates the current media cycle.

Seriously. WTF?

tough hump-day

Started today with a sore back and sore legs. Rolling out as usual prior to warming up seemed to help.

A) hang-clean complex
shrug only, dip to pockets, dip to above the knee

All sets at 95lbs to work form. Jeremy and Zach caught a bad habit of mine I've gotta unlearn: I'm using the open hips position to move the weight making my momentum forward instead of vertical.

B) hang-clean

weights not too heavy, all technique work

for time:
800 meter run
5 rounds of:
7 barbell push-jerk @135lbs
15 ring pull-ups

DNF. 3 rounds completed @ 115lbs in 12 minutes. The run wasn't too bad... just didn't have anything in the tank today. Tough.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

you can't be serious

all the time...

everyday opportunities

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
- Thomas Edison

A) 4 sets at 2 minute rest interval
overhead squat/front squat/back squat for 3/5/10 reps unbroken

Felt good. Hello shaky legs!

B) 3 rounds
handstand wall walk/sled drag 2@180lbs and 1@225lbs


partner AMRAP in 3 minutes
5 front squat to press @ 95lbs barbell
5 push-ups

Jacob and I completed 5 rounds and 1 thruster alternating one full round per person.

Another great day at SICFIT Austin!

photo by Jeremy Thiel

Monday, June 21, 2010

21 June 2010

4 sets of:
shoulder press/push-press/push-jerk for 1/2/3 reps unbroken

95-115F (strict press)-105-105-105
My strict press is weak and held numbers down, the push press and jerk weren't bad...

3x8 strict chin-ups with one minute rest interval
3x10 strict ring-dips with one minute rest interval


3 rounds for time:
20 dumbbell power snatch @ 50lbs DB
20 box-squat tire-jumps
400 meter run

15:18 @ 45lbs DB
Butt kicking WOD today. The DB snatch felt solid. The box-squat to tire-jump followed by a 400 meter run smoked my legs! Great start to the week!

Check out coach Mike Winchester's excellent post on human potential!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

rolling with the Patriot Guard

Yesterday I had the honor of attending the memorial services for United States Air Force Pararescueman TSgt Michael P. Flores, in the company of the Patriot Guard Riders.

I'm just going to say that it was a privilege to be there. Thank you to the Patriot Guard Riders for putting up with a "cage driver" in their midst! Yesterday was a day I'll never forget.

I've never attended a service with full military honors before. There was the honor guard that moved with polished precision, the sharp report of the rifle salute, and the all-encompassing roar of the missing man formation flyby....

It was a moving experience to say the least.

TechSgt Michael P. Flores was a 31 year old husband and father of two. As a "7-level" Pararescueman he was qualified to lead any mission PJs could be called upon to undertake. He truly was one of the best of the best.

The Pararescue creed:

It is my duty as a Pararescueman to save life and to aid the injured. I will be prepared at all times to perform my assigned duties quickly and efficiently, placing these duties before personal desires and comforts. These things I do,
"That Others May Live."

Friday, June 18, 2010

sweat-tastic Friday

Another beautiful and humid morning at SICFIT Austin!

2x sled drag

sled: 135lbs
Should've started with 75lbs OHS and gone heavier, but was still feeling my hamstrings and shoulders from Wednesday's snatch work, so I'm bringing out the 'ol cupcake. I made up for it on today's smoker of a met-con...

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

4 rounds for time, one minute rest between each round:

5 dual kettlebell clean and left/right press @ 35lbs KBs
10 sprawls
20 tire jumps

My round times were 1:09, 1:06, 1:15, 1:02

Round 3 sucked. Got after it on the last round though. Felt good! Stayed after class and worked strict muscle-ups and ring dips.

Happy Friday y'all!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

pick yourself up

Nothing's impossible, I have found.
For when my chin is on the ground,
I pick myself up, dust myself off,
Start all over again.

Don't lose your confidence if you slip.
Be grateful for a pleasant trip,
And pick yourself up; dust yourself off;
Start all over again.

Work like a soul inspired
'Til the battle of the day is won.
You may be sick and tired,
But you'll be a man, my son.

Will you remember the famous men
Who had to fall to rise again.
So take a deep breath;
Pick yourself up;
Dust yourself off;
Start all over again.

Pick Yourself Up
by Dorothy Fields

She certainly sings as good as she looks... Rest day!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuesday shoulders

I hobbled into SICFIT Austin this morning with some sore legs. Which didn't matter because we hit shoulders with a vengeance today.

2x handstand walk (with spotter)
2x wheelbarrow walk
3x 10 dead-hang chest-to-bar pullups

barbell push-jerk

Went down from 115 to focus on correcting some technique issues... hopping my feet and not being dynamic enough with the re-dip.

3 rounds for time:
10 dumbbell push-jerk @ 40lbs DBs
1 shuttle run

2:13 rx'd. Push-jerk felt solid with the DBs, legs like rubber on the shuttle run though...

I stayed after class and did some strict muscle-ups, and strict ring dips. I didn't keep count. Feeling good!


Monday, June 14, 2010

that others may live

On June 10th, the Department of Defense officially released the names of 4 Americans killed in Afghanistan while in the service of our country.

Staff Sgt. Michael P. Flores, 31, of San Antonio, Texas, was a Pararescueman (PJ) assigned to the 48th Rescue Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.

1st Lt. Joel C. Gentz, 25, of Grass Lake, Mich., was a Combat Rescue Officer assigned to the 58th Rescue Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

Staff Sgt. David C. Smith, 26, of Eight Mile, Ala., was a Flight Engineer assigned to the 66th Rescue Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

Senior Airman Benjamin D. White, 24, of Erwin, Tenn., was a PJ assigned to the 48th Rescue Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

Their pavehawk helicopter went down in Helmand province while supporting British troops. The men were assigned to units whose mission is combat search and rescue.

From the Arizona Daily Star:

They lived by the motto,

"These things we do, that others may live."

Flag Day

On this day in 1777, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes our national flag.

On this day at SicFit Austin we conducted strength training.

narrow stance back squat

The quads do most of the work on the narrow stance squat with knees straight ahead (still going below parallel with the weight in heels).

straight leg deadlift

Isolates the hamstrings, weights felt solid so I didn't think much of it until...

barbell lunge

Only had time for two sets of lunges. Hamstrings were done when I did these sets! Hellloooo shaky legs!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday cleaning

Another fun Friday morning at SICFIT Austin! After warming up, we got into gymnastics work.

2x handstand walk (feet against wall)
handstand practice (crow to handstand)

This was challenging! Usually the body weight stuff comes quickly for me, but practicing the crow was tough work. It's all about balance and control - so that in the future I'll be able to control handstands like this dude:


first sets were lighter to review and ingrain the correct form, the two at 135 felt solid

team "Grace" with Mark
30 FULL cleans and push-jerk for time @ 95lbs

3:48 We did alternating sets of 5 reps. Fast one! Feeling good!

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

oil spill solution?

It's called bioremediation. It has worked in the past.

from the Environmental Protection Agency:

EPA uses bioremediation because it takes advantage of natural processes. Polluted soil and groundwater can be cleaned at the site without having to move them somewhere else. If the right conditions exist or can be created underground, soil and groundwater can be cleaned without having to dig or pump it up at all. This allows cleanup workers to avoid contact with polluted soil and groundwater. It also prevents the release of harmful gases into the air. Because microbes change the harmful chemicals into water and harmless gases, few if any wastes are created.

Often bioremediation does not require as much equipment or labor as most other methods. Therefore, it is usually cheaper. Bioremediation has successfully cleaned up many polluted sites and is being used at 50 Superfund sites across the country.


Microorganisms have also been successfully applied during the removal of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. A number of microorganisms can utilize oil as a source of food, and many of them produce potent surface-active compounds that can emulsify oil in water and facilitate the removal of the oil. Unlike chemical surfactants, the microbial emulsifier is non-toxic and biodegradable. Also, "fertilizers" have been utilized to increase the growth rate of the indigenous population of bacteria that are able to degrade oil.

Use of microbes for bioremediation is not limited to detoxification of organic compounds. In many cases, selected microbes can also reduce the toxic cations of heavy metals (such as selenium) to the much less toxic and much less soluble elemental form. Thus, bioremediation of surface water with significant contamination by heavy metals can now be attempted.


They (oil workers) have a potential ally: microbes that have evolved an ability to break down oil that seeps from the ocean bottom. It gets devoured by a variety of bacteria, which eat it by chemically transforming its compounds into useful cellular constituents. "If it wasn't for the natural ability of bacteria to eat oil we would all be knee-deep in the stuff," says bioremediation expert Ken Lee of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Nova Scotia, Canada.

So could bugs help cleanse the gulf? A number of companies have tried to create bacteria that could break down oil on demand, but Lee and colleague Albert Venosa of the Environmental Protection Agency say that experiments have shown that novel bacteria, even if they show promise in the lab, cannot compete with bacteria already living on beaches and marshes. Experiments have shown that adding nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to the beaches can speed up the ability of natural bacteria to break down oil. "What would've taken 5 or 6 years to accomplish can occur in a single summer," says Lee.

While adding such fertilizers has worked in small scale coastal experiments in which oil was purposefully spread on wetlands, experts don't know of examples from an actual spill. The challenge with wetland marshes is that the toxicity of the oil can kill plants before the microbes have a chance to get to work on the oil. "If that happens, you can lose the whole marsh," Lee says.

There is more good info at

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

be wery wery quiet, we're hunting tew-wo-wists...

Seriously, is this a pathetic case of PR or the start of a game of terrorist hide and seek? I just hope we didn't actually publish a list of the 75 countries we've apparently unleashed our ninjas upon. Un-freaking-believable...

rainy day deadlifts


The weight felt solid but my form still needs work, I'm rocking forward slightly at the start of the movement. And that's not bueno... throws off my balance just enough that I'm on the balls of my feet. Gotta practice the deadlift more... Despite my flaws in form, I felt good moving those weights.

3 rounds for time:
10 deadlifts @ 155lbs
10 burpees

Unbroken. Fast and fun!

Go read The End of Busy from ZenHabits. Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

shoulders and sprints

Today our legs got a bit of a break - the focus was shoulders.

push press

I did 125-125-135-135-140. Last set was a little sloppy, but I felt that I had more in me... like maybe 145 or 150.

4 rounds in 1 minute intervals of:
10 kettlebell/dumbbell thruster @ 35lbs bells
5 push-ups (on bells)
1 sprint (approx 20 meters)

My times were :40, :40, :38, :38. I let my push-ups slide on the last round (ye old sagging back).

Still, good stuff this morning!

Monday, June 7, 2010

strict muscle-ups and box squats

It's late and I've got an early morning ahead, so today's post is gonna be brief.

The gymnastics portion of training this morning at SICFIT Austin was muscle-up practice. Since I've got 'em kipping, JT said to go for the strict version. Never even tried one before... GOT IT FIRST TIME!! That felt good!

Then we knocked out 3 sets of 10 strict pull-ups, 10 strict ring dips.

Skill/form work on box squat was next. Here's Kelly Starrett going over the box squat at CC this weekend:

We were running outta time so the box went away and we did:

body weight back squat

I completed 155lbs for 5-3-3-3-3. First set of 5 was very near failure, so I finished up with four sets of 3.

Friday, June 4, 2010

snatch Friday

Training this morning at SICFIT Austin focused on a lot of skill work with the barbell snatch! There wasn't a strength component, and not much gymnastics-wise outside of dead-hang pull-ups in our warm-up. Then we spent a good 30-40 minutes on snatch drills. Fun stuff!

We finished with an non-timed WOD of four rounds: 5 snatch balance, 10 strict pullups. Loving this!

Check out this video from Dutch Lowy's excellent post on getting stronger.

Happy Friday y'all!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Spealler on butterfly pull-ups

Chris Spealler of CrossFit Park City explains the butterfly kipping pull-up:

After seeing that I wanna go play! Where's the nearest pull-up bar???

deadlifts, sandbags, and whole milk... oh my!

Started day two at SICFIT Austin with slightly sore shoulders, but otherwise feeling good.


I kept the loads moderate to work on losing the last of ye ol' stripper deadlift...

handstand walk (feet against wall) x2
wheelbarrow walk (around gym interior) x2

the handstand walk:
Visit for more Videos

Just plain fun!

team of 2 for time:

100 box jumps
3 rounds: (20 sandbag front squats, 2 sandbag carries around outside of gym)
100 box jumps

DNF. Brian and I completed all but 50 box jumps (splitting the work in half) in 8 minutes with the 60lbs sandbag. Fun!

After class I did ten front squats with the 100lbs sandbag... sheesh! Turns out I had it easy today!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

garage gym training!

Today I met up with 4 guys and coach Jeremy Thiel for the first day of classes at SICFIT Austin. While I'm gonna miss seeing the early morning crew at CrossFit Central, this is the kind of training I need right now!

Day one was great, in fact I'm even more pumped up about it than when I walked in this morning. This is definitely going to hit my weaknesses!

shoulder press

95-105-105F(1 rep)-95-105F(2 reps)

3x max effort with approx. 1 minute rest interval
ring dips/ring push-ups


3 rounds for time:
15 kettlebell power swing
5 burpee
25m (estimate?) kettlebell carry

3:48 @ 1.5 pood

My shoulder press numbers obviously need work, but the rest felt pretty good! The burpees weren't as easy following all the ring work... didn't have that usual "pop" coming up off the floor. Good stuff!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

recovery IS training

Here's some quality info on taking care of your body.

All courtesy of San Francisco CrossFit:

Stretch Your Psoas Peoples

Your Overhead Break Is On

Your Poor Lats, Instructions for Care and Feeding

Your Tight Hips Betray You

Doode, Where's My Quads?

Knees and Hams, Knees and Hams

The following two videos are definitely worth your time.... if only to hear Dr. Starrett say things like:

"Four fingers of wine prior to doing this makes a difference."

"Worse is better."

and my favorite, "It's awkward to clean up vomit."

Rest day!