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.