Being Humbled….

Kicked

 Two items: Steelers got humbled last night in a big way. So much for that streak and for the season. I thought 8-8 would be a pipe dream however they turned it around and won the division. At least we have that….Let’s Go New England. I hope Tom Brady has a career game. Take a picture. Probably the last time you’ll read that on this blog.

 

Second item. I got my tail handed to me yesterday.  WOD was as follows:

SPORT

In Teams of 2 with a Running Clock:

  • 30 – 20 – 10
  • AB for Cals (Assault Bike)
  • Pushups s(ring) f(regular)
  • 30 – 20 – 10
  • Power Snatch (115/75)
  • Toes to Bar
  • 30 – 20 – 10
  • Thrusters (115/75)
  • 200m Run (both partners run the 200m)

Our time was 33:33. Quite possibly one of the most challenging WOD’s I have completed. It didn’t seem bad on the board, however that was a huge mistake.

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We got through the cals on the AB and push-ups pretty quickly. Things turned to molasses when we hit the snatches and T2B. Those two movements together are crushers. Then it was game on with the Thrusters which also were challenging. Snatches and Thrusters we grouped in sets of 3-5. That was the most handleable way to get through the reps.

Then of course the next best thing to do was another WOD. We had an open house and we had two friends come in so it was game on again. A couple of 5 minute AMRPAP’s with push ups, KB swings, more assault bikes, rowing,…and of course burpees. Buck Furpees.

 

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Just finished breakfast and I have two crockpots going for foods this week. Heading out to yoga so I can get fixed. Pretty nice little Sunday. Maybe Bed, Bath & Beyond if we have time. Certainly won’t be watching football.

 

Five Weeks In….

Sandwich Guy

 

We just finished our fifth week of Whole Life Challenge. We have only cheated a few times, and let’s face it, when Lobster Mac’n Cheese is on the menu, you order it, and then crush it as though you haven’t eaten in days. We had some dessert for Kylie’s birthday, because what’s a birthday without cake? Or in this case, two cinnamon brownies with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, shaved chocolate and caramel sauce. Yes, it was awesome.

SG

All in all my energy level has been pretty good. I had the usual paleo flu the first week, however nothing ridiculous. I do know that i have to eat some rice or something once in a while. A full day or two without any carbs isn’t pretty. Grumpypants. Hit a few PR’s so far. Took two minutes off my Grace time and hit 285 back squat for ten reps. Previous had been 275 for 10. I have been running, scratch that, jogging on the weekends and that has been better. Five miles yesterday and three today. Knee is a little pissed at me, but let’s face it, i haven’t been kind to it. Back to PT next week where I am sure they will tell me to quit CrossFit and I’ll smile and nod.

Has anyone else tried Progenex Cookies and Cream yet? Big win. Mix some with ice and water in the blender and it is the same as a milkshake! Not, but it’s always good to hope. Remember that if you believe it, it must be true. They make the best tasting protein on the market and I think I have tried just about all of them. Maybe it was hydrolyzed and now it’s not or whatever the rumor is however I notice faster recovery times and results when I hit the awesome-sauce. Bottoms up.

progenex

Progenex Force is also a very solid pre-workout supplement. I used to swear by No-Xplode and I like Force better. It makes your face tingle so you know it’s good. I think the Beta Alanine is what gives you the pin prick fresh face feeling. Lactic acid blocking little dickens. I notice I don’t have the crash I used to get from other versions. This tends to last longer. Works great for a quick ten minute AMRAP or a longer run/jog/trudge march. Progenex: http://progenexusa.com/

force-pkg-mockup

 

What other goodies? Xendurance, PurePharma Vitamin packs, and FitAid. So basically, it looks like i just replaced booze and junk food with supplements. Whatevs. We go through this stuff just for the toys, the gear, and the awesome-sauce.

FitAid is a more paleo friendly version of KillCliff. The pre-workout/recovery/whenever you want one drink. Similar packaging with the taller slender can. Thank you Red Bull. It has all the joint friendly additives lick glucosamine, turmeric, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, green tea. You know, all of the good stuff that we never get enough of according to the supplement companies. Link: https://www.drinkfitaid.com/

fitaid

Two Weeks In….

 

Whole-Life-Challenge-1

 

No beer. No ice cream. Did i say no beer??? Two weeks in for the latest round of Whole Life Challenge. It’s been very good so far. The Paleo flu has come and gone. Only six more weeks to go. Would I want to do it long term? Probably not, however it’s good to do it a few times a year for a tune up. I have set a few PR’s which is always good. Strength stuff which I’ll take any day of the week. Let’s not forget, why run when you can dead lift and CrossFit isn’t supposed to be track.

How do you know you are eating Paleo?

  • Dishwasher gets run twice a day, except on Sundays when it’s maybe three times
  • Two crockpots going at the same time is not strange
  • The lunchbox is significantly larger
  • paleOMG is your new favorite read
  • you’d kill for some sugar…..

One of the wonderful side effects of sober fridays and saturdays, is productive saturdays and sundays. Who else is up at five am on the weekends? This is probably my favorite time of year so it works out well because I am up and outside enjoying the fall while everyone else is in bed sleeping. It’s a beautiful world early in the morning.

What is Paleo? The chart below pretty much sums it up.

Paleo-Diet-Flowchart2-e1345400029955

 

 

This past Week’s WOD’s:

MON-FITNESS

  • Leader of the Pack WOD 1:
  • 10 Min AMRAP
  • Run 600m
  • 20 Hand Release Pushups
  • in time remaining get as far as you can in the following ladder:
  • 2 Power Cleans (115/75)
  • 20 Double Unders
  • 4 Power Cleans
  • 20 Double Unders or 60 singles
  • made it through eight cleans, i think i went up to 135 instead, or maybe 155.

TUES-FITNESS

  • Back Squat 10-10-10 ***last set should be 5-10 lbs heavier than Sept 8th
  • Worked up to 275 for 10 which was a 20 lb PR

WED-SPORT

  • 10 Rounds for time Partner WOD –
  • 3 Stone to Shoulder (145/95)
  • 6 Push Jerks (155/105)
  • 9 Pull ups
  • 12 Cals on Rower
  • Partner 1 goes through ENTIRE round, then tags off to partner 2. 10 Rounds total between the 2 people.
  • This was Kylie and I and we did well. Everything was Rx, except those stupid freakin’ pull ups

Thursday was running and wall balls, so it was a strategic rest day. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.

FRI-SPORT

  • 1RM Clean and Jerk ***take time to go over split jerk technique***
  • 15 lb PR, hit 205
  • Poor coach Rebs…to me a push jerk is a press, or a push press…..not ever a jerk

Saturday and Sunday are running days and running errands days. Work has been busy so this gives me two days to catch up on some stuff.

Want to Get Better and Have More Fun?

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Below are fifty rules/guidelines/recommendations I have collected during the past three years as a CrossFit addict. Trust me, it doesn’t mean I do all of them. Do as I say, not as I do. Isn’t that the way it is supposed to work?

 

  1. Make Under Armour a liar every WOD. Shirt can’t wic away awesome! It means you should give every WOD your all and leave nothing in the tank.
  2. Finish the round. Doesn’t matter what the clock says. It matters that you finish.
  3. Failing on a rep is good. If you aren’t failing, you aren’t pushing.
  4. Squat, Dead lift, Press, Bench, and sadly running too, should be done every week.
  5. Keep your gym bag stocked and in your car.
  6. PVC Pipe, lacrosse ball, field hockey ball, giant bands, should be in your living room for all to see.
  7. Mobility is a WOD, one you can do seven days a week
  8. Coffee, unsalted butter and coconut oil = breakfast
  9. Tequila, a juiced lime, and a salted rim = happy hour!
  10. Don’t take it too seriously…see rule above
  11. Food doesn’t have ingredients listed on a label
  12. Join a farm Co-op. Best vegetables you will get, hands down.
  13. Buy a cow, then eat the cow
  14. Visit other boxes often
  15. Do the whole warm up like it’s your favorite WOD.
  16. Show up ten minutes earlier than you normally would
  17. Stay fifteen minutes later than you normally would
  18. Athletic tape, wrist wraps, knee sleeves, oly shoes, jump rope, nanos/innov8’s. Buy the toys because they are the tools of the trade.
  19. Don’t be the no rep person….
  20. Introduce yourself to all drop ins and newbies. You were one too
  21. Chalk makes you stronger
  22. Once in a while, forget what you know, and do it EXACTLY like the coach tells you
  23. Kill Cliff, Progenex, coconut water, whole food, whatever your post WOD plan is, just make sure you have one. Need to rehydrate and feed the machine
  24. Your Box has a sticker, I am sure,…put one on your car and help advertise
  25. Sweat angels are beautiful
  26. Coming close to throwing up is ok
  27. Double unders suck. Get over it. Practice them
  28. There are no quick fixes
  29. Supplements do not replace real food
  30. Clean up your stuff. Bars go on a rack. Clips go in a bucket. Plates either go on a tree or on a stack. KB’s and DB’s have a shelf.
  31. Always smile, even when the coach puts up 800m Med Ball Indian run for the warm up. Coaches are people too….they make mistakes.
  32. The coach doesn’t want to hear you bitch.
  33. It’s Saturday at 800am, a few people are hungover. Don’t call them out. It’s not cool. They know they drank last night…..and so does everyone else.
  34. A “nice job” or a high five go a very long way with new members and drop ins
  35. F&*K cliques. The Box is a team. Support everyone.
  36. Take different classes so you get different coaches
  37. WOD/running/swimming early in the morning ensures a good night’s sleep
  38. Be truthful with scores, don’t cheat yourself
  39. Pick a goal every month and then work on it every time you are in the box. Even when you are beat and want to go home.
  40. Coffee is the lifeblood that drives success!!!!
  41. Tequila seems to always take things up a notch…..
  42. Bacon makes everything better….just try not to eat it at every meal
  43. Progenex, aka, awesome-sauce is the best tasting protein ever. It’s also expensive, however it’s worth it if it helps you recover faster
  44. Fish oil fixes just about everything. Creaky joints, good for the heart, etc. Take lots of it. You’ll know when you have had too much.
  45. Don’t let the muscle between you ears be the strongest one. It’s the only part of you that knows how much the bar/kb/db weighs.
  46. Listen to the coach when they tell you it’s too much weight. Putting yourself in danger to do it Rx is silly.
  47. Leave the music alone. Owner and coaches get to change it. Nobody else.
  48. Take three to five minutes to get your head right before you get out of the car. Work stays in the car. Life stays in the car. This is all about you.
  49. Don’t worry about 100% pale…do what works for you. Your are the expert on how you feel.
  50. Sign up for local competitions. Good way to meet people and you will do way more when you are in front of a crowd than when you are doing a regular WOD. Waaaaaaaayyy more.

Who has some more recommendations?

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 CrossFit Open

Here we go Again!

Here we go Again!

Better late than never! i thought i had posted this last week!

It was here and then it was gone….The 2014 Open is over and thankfully we didn’t have 150 wall balls again!  Hard to believe the five weeks flew by so quickly. I thought this years’s WOD’s were great. The first two were challenging to say the least however they were scalable and doable for those who don’t have double unders or chest to bar pull ups. I didn’t get a chance to do 14.3 however a box jump is the quickest way to kill a dead lift WOD. Not all agree obviously, as folks from the box absolutely annihilated it. That’s you Luke Espe. We done. 14.4 was also great, I scaled it as well, however I completed all 200 reps and got a great workout. That is what it is all about. Don’t Rx if it will take an hour to complete it. Scale it so it is challenging and you wind up in the fetal position on the floor, looking for Mommy to give you an ice pop and make it all better. 14.5 was a great way to end the Open. No time cap. You. Had. To. Finish. It. Somebody scheduled burpees for Tuesday’s WOD. That wasn’t right.

Pretty sick that  much hat 209,000 people signed up for the Open this year. (http://games.crossfit.com/article/209585-rise-open) Multiply that by $20.00…and well somebody is happy. Cha Ching! Usual names in the top spots, no shock there. They are robots. Sick, sick robots who don’t stop. Great to see folks from CrossFit BWI and Syndicate excel and I know several people are headed to regionals, which means a lot of us will be going as well to cheer them on. It’s all about the community with CrossFit. It is a team sport and the home team always wins.

So, what did I learn from this year’s Open?

Burpee Bar Jump Overs:

Those are quite possibly worse then TGU’s. That was a huge achilles heel for me and why I didn’t do Rx. Need to work on those big time. So what did I talk about after our experience at The Capital Throwdown? Train like you are going to compete. Do everything to the standard. What this means is any time burps come up, do them over the bar. Might as well since they will come up again I am sure!

Double Unders:

I need to finally get these. Of course I have no idea why I don’t have them yet. I never practice them and always jump right to two to one or three to one anytime they come up. You know how that ends. I am really good and efficient at single unders and can rip off 100 unbroken without issue. Of course that also means I still don’t have double unders. This is the year!

Overhad Squats:

Need to work these more because they are hard….and they suck….a lot. Practice makes perfect.

Make the Reps Count:

Power Snatch doesn’t only mean snatch. it’s a good way saying shoulder to overhead as well. Saw a lot of people using this in the first WOD and I made them all snatches. That means I got less reps. Sometimes it’s not about the name, it’s about finding the best LEGAL way to get the most reps. Same here for step ups vs box jumps. Save the shins and step up on that puppy!

All in all it was a great open. I am happy I did it again this year and I’ll do it again next year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Level One Certification Weekend

CrossFit

CrossFIt has been a part of my life for almost three years and I am still drinking the Kool-Aid full blast.  Lately I have been in a funk and have not been going to many classes, and not going all out when I did attend class, so it was definitely time for a jump-start. I decided it was time to obtain the $1,000 T-shirt! Level One Trainer Certification. Luckily CrossFit Federal Hill was hosting a seminar so I didn’t have to travel far. Surprisingly it took a few weeks to sell out, which I thought was odd, considering it was the first one in this area. I signed up early and got in the proper mode for studying! Procrastination.

Shortly after I paid the fee I received the Level One training guide. I read through it twice before the class. It is pretty basic and a lot of it is pictures which always helps the reading go faster. I saved it to ibooks which made it easier to read. A lot of the things I already knew, maybe I just didn’t practice. Some of us squat below parallel and some of us don’t. I definitely suggest you read through the guide a few times. 

I got there early Saturday morning and there were already several people there ahead of me. Everyone was still in their car in the parking lot, reading the training guide or just waiting. Anticipation was in the air, as was caffeine, beards, and black sports cars.  The trainers arrived in a minivan and all piled out…and it was game on.

The class was definitely organized. Everyone lined up, and filtered through the sign in table. Within twenty to thirty minutes, everyone was signed in and was seated and ready for class to begin. The trainers were very engaging, from the beginning they were quick to introduce themselves and let everyone know what would happen next. I would encourage any corporate trainers or event organizers to attend a Level One Cert. They trainers made sure to talk to people who were seated on the outside and it was clear it was to keep people seated, and keep anyone from wandering off. Really well done. 

The first day was a mix of one hour lectures and then small group work. Ten people to a trainer. The heaviest thing we lifted was a PVC pipe, however I was wiped out and sore as hell the next day. The trainers were all very passionate about correct form and made sure everyone got some one on one time, pointing out opportunities and ways to get better form and maximize efficiency. The lectures were all very informative and the format followed the training guide. My suggestion is to take notes on what the trainers write on the whiteboard, and what they repeat. If they say it twice, it will be on the test.

The WOD the first day was pretty tough. Thrusters and Burpees, nobody likes either of them, except sick people, and together they are even worse. But hey, we don’t pay the dues to lay up. I went in the third heat which was a mistake. Should have gotten it out of the way. I think was the last to finish, which was totally not what I wanted, but it happens. Definitely a lot of people cheering, which is nice. it is what it is. Move on. Everybody stuck around for a few beers afterwards. I have yet to attend a dry CrossFit event! 

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The second day was similar to the first. Lecture, group work, lecture…etc. The format followed the training guide. Sunday’s WOD was a little better. Med ball cleans, push ups, and sit ups. We covered nutrition and programming in the afternoon. I would have liked more time on the programming aspect of CrossFit. I’ll have to check and see if there is another seminar on that topic.

The test was challenging. Read your notes and read the manual. I would also suggest doing a quick Google search on CrossFit Level One Cert flash cards. There are several sites that offer flash cards. It would have been nice to have thirty minutes before the test to read through everything.

I would definitely suggest the course to anyone who needs a jump-start or is looking to expand their CrossFit knowledge and understanding. I don’t think you will find a better group of trainers. James, Joey, EC, Cameron, Dave, Melody, and Sarah were all very knowledgable, motivated, and engaging. Definitely looking forward to staying in touch with all of them. 

Tips; 

* Read the manual

* Write it down when the trainer repeats it or when they write it on the whiteboard

* Search for flash cards

* Read all of your notes Sunday morning and Sunday during the lunch break!

Trying and finishing last beats not trying every time!

Trying and finishing last beats not trying every time!

Playground Etiquette

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Yes. That’s right. I called it a playground. We jokingly refer to the gear as “toys”. We all have our own favorite “spot” on the playground where we are stronger, or gravity is weaker, or it gives us a better look at the clock…or some of the other members. Beware. I’ve had a little too much coffee today and I’m hungry. Those of you who know me, know that is not a good combination.

I think it is time to instill some eitiquette guidelines….actually, no,…straight up rules. You break them. Burpees, followed by more burpees, with a cash out of pistols and TGU’s. Seriously, your Mom doesn’t work there and if she does you are old enough to clean up after yourself. Turd.

CrossFit Rook’s Rules of Conduct:

Show up on time. “On Time” means ten to fifteen minutes early so you can fill you water bottle, tape what needs taped, get your shoes, wraps, bands, chalk, and whatever else you need in order to kick the WOD square in the tail. Class starts at the posted time. That doesn’t mean you waltz in at that time and then do your stuff.

Do the Whole Warm Up:

I am guilty of this, big time. Starting October 1, it is a short term goal to do the whole warm up. Even it if is an 800M Indian Run which in my opinion have no place whatsover in a warm up. Anything more than 400 is too much. It’s a warm up for the workout, not a workout before the workout.

Introduce Yourself:

Say good morning or hello to people whom you do not recognize and introduce yourself. Good rule of thumb is if you don’t know them, they probably don’t know you either. See how that works? In most cases they are fellow torture lovers who usually attend different class times. In other cases they may be a drop in which means they are traveling, staying in a hotel, eating crappy food, and are away from their friends and family. A cheerful greeting and handshake go a long way.

Don’t Complain:

The WOD’s are challenging and generally suck. We don’t pay a sum of money equal to a car payment in order to be instructed on how to complete cable curls and the pec deck. Of course they are hard. Of course they are going to be difficult. That’s the point.

Depending on who does the programming, and what model they are following, there may be some repetitive stuff. Now you’ll get better at it. A good example was earlier this week. We had J.T. which is a hero WOD, and could mean just triceps. Two days later we had close grip bench and wall runs. My shoulders and tris were jello. Now they’ll come back stronger, probably in three to six weeks.

Listen, then ask Questions:

The Coach will go through the WOD, the movements, the rep counts, the whole thing. At least give them the courtesy of being quiet and attentive. Let them go through everything before you ask questions, unless of course, they ask if anyone has questions. That would be a good time to ask.

Give 100% and be Honest:

Don’t scale to get a faster time and don’t short count reps. That’s B freakin’ S. Scale if you really can’t do the movement or the weight, or if you have been hitting it hard and need more of an active rest WOD than a beast maker. Talk to the Coach, they will be able to help you determine what is the right substitute. Short counting reps is the equivalent of taking money out of the collection plate at church. Don’t cheat!

Cheer on your Fellow Twisted CrossFitters:

What is the best way to cool down after a WOD? Cheering for those who are not yet done. Awesome work, you killed it, now go talk the new person or drop in through the rest of their WOD.

Put Away Your Toys:

The primary reason I don’t do the whole warm up? I go to 6:00am class and I spend the first ten minutes or so cleaning up the stuff that was left out from the day before. Bands still hanging from the pull up bars. Bumper plates left against the wall from HSPU. Barbells left on the rack from squatting. Rollers, ab mats, water bottles, weight belts……

Clean up after yourself. Put your stuff away where it belongs when you are done. If something was where it wasn’t supposed to be when you got there, and it’s still there when you are ready to leave, guess what? Put it away. Please. With Progenex on top. And maybe a pair of Hylete shorts on the side. Come on people. Legally, you are adults. Give others a hand in putting their stuff away as well.

Ring the Bell:

We have a bell that hangs from the wall. Ring it when you hit a PR or hit a “first”. Celebrate the win. Good attention is good. Miley Cyrus attention is bad. Really bad. No twerking.

Stretch/Roll/Cool Down:

You just spent 20 – 40 minutes tearing muscle fibers, driving your heart rate through the roof, and all in all, beating the total hell out of your yourself. Take five to ten minutes and cool down. Get a roller and hit the quads and upper back. Grab a band and hit the lats, chest, shoulders, hamstrings and calves. Hips are probably a good idea as well. Water or coconut water works wonders.

Drink the Kool-Aid:

Go all in. Give 100% if you expect to get 100% in return. That does not mean you have to drop $150 on strength shoes or buy out Lululemon before your first class, however it does mean you should become a student of the game. Countless websites offer a veritable cornucopia of free information about CrossFit and everything that goes into it. Spend fifteen to thirty minutes a day reading about CrossFit and all of the fun stuff that goes with it like Trigger Point, Paleo, Zone, Olympic LIfting, etc. and of course, reading CrossFit Rook.

Hit it hard today.

CrossFit Rook