Greatest time of year is over….

3509614-holidays-are-over

The Holidays have come and gone. Definitely the best time of year. Everybody is a little happier and a little nicer.  Mostly because they are eating carbs. Nothing makes people smile like Mom’s Mac-n-Cheese. God bless the binge eating that occurs between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve! For many of us at 12 Labours, we affectionately call it Mass Season. Easy way to feel better about downing 5k calories in a day. Truth be told, it pays off! 76 PR’s for three rep back squats last week between the three facilities. Can’t go heavy if you don’t have energy.

2014 was a great year. Got a nephew in January. Work went very well. Kylie and I ate and drank our way through Charleston SC, which I highly recommend. Got back on track with hitting the box regularly which was much needed. According to Wodify I hit 32 PR’s which is good. I aim for one a week, which would be 52, however I am not as dedicated about tracking scores as I should be, so I’ll take it. December was the best with six. Obviously the extra eating and “cocktails” paid off. Alcohol is a fuel you know.

Back Squat:

355 x 3

375 x 1

Front Squat:

300 x 1

Dead Lift, a.k.a. the best lift:

455 x 1

Press:

205 x 1

Push Jerk a.k.a push press….

215 x 3

225 x 1

Grace:

4:14 vs. 6:38

Fight Gone Bad:

272 vs. 265

5K Row:

20:59 vs. 21:59

1K Row:

3:50 vs 3:58

What is more exciting for me is being a part of others hitting a PR. That’s what CrossFit has over every other training experience. It’s the Community. Pushing other people to achieve something they thought was far out of reach.

What’s in store for 2015? Back to the basics.

1) Do the whole warm-up

Yes, I am guilty of doing about a third of what is on the board. Some stuff I just don’t do. Wall runs for example. Running…you all know my opinion there.

2) Mobility…every damn day

Busted up and creaky. Need to work out the kinks.

3) Sports massage once a month

Had one Wednesday evening and I was able to walk normally. Absolutely zero pain in my knee. She found the spots and lifted me off the table a few times. To say i was tight and had congestion is an understatement.

4) Box Jumps

Only way to get better at them is to practice. Good times. I hate them.

5) Practice double unders every time I walk in the box

Still can’t get these going. It’s a mission in 2015

6) Follow Eat To Perform

I did WLC a couple of times. The last time we went through perfect. Zero cheats. Didn’t have much of an impact. So we will give this a shot for ninety days and see what the results are.

7) Compete

I have two competitions lined up already and looking for more.

That’s enough for now.

 

The Day Before KALSU….

Two things stood in my way of attending Midnight Filthy Fifty. Sleep and a few Ketel One martinis. Heard there was an excellent turnout and we may make it next year. No CrossFit today, the only WOD will be eating. It’s an AMFAP. As many forkfuls as possible.

 

Happiness....

 

Friday is KALSU and today is dedicated to carb-loading. I have never attempted KALSU before however I hear it is quite rewarding. EMOM Burpees and Thrusters. How bad can it be? Probably this bad…..Looking forward to it. I am sure it will be spectacular.

Bodies Hit the Floor

 

What is KALSU you may ask? It incorporates two of the most notoriously puke-tastic CrossFit movements. Burpees and Thrusters. Still want to know more? EMOM, every minute on the minute, five burpees followed by as many thrusters as you can in the remaining minute. The goal? Besides not puking, passing out, pissing yourself…etc. Hit 100 thrusters. 95# for the dudes, 65# for the ladies, and the bar for those who are new to thrusters.

Who is KALSU? A true American badass, that’s who. Story: http://www.si.com/nfl/2014/09/04/name-wall-si-60-william-nack-bob-kalsu

KALSU

 

Plan of Attack:

Any thoughts about beating this WOD make about as much sense as the following image. Lace up, chalk up, man up and embrace the suck.

At Dawn...we ATTACK!

 

Five burpees followed by five thrusters is where I will start. That seems like a logical plan. Every three to five minutes do the five burpees and rest the remaining time. Also thinking about how to complete the burpee. The Taylor flop or stepping back one foot at a time. Whichever method that will conserve energy is preferred. Lots and lots of hamstring stretches. Tight hammys and burpees don’t go together. Shoulders and forearms will get smoked. It is what it is. Just. Keep. Moving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Summer is Over…..

Goodbye Summer

 

Seems like the Summer flew by faster than usual. Actually, the past year has flown by faster than usual. Fall is here which means football, bonfires, pumpkins, and cooler weather. We just finished our summer vacation, which was a little later than normal, however it was a blast. There were several boxes close by, however we decided to take the whole week off and rest up. Definitely looking forward to getting back to the grind and getting back in a routine. For those who are interested, Charleston South Carolina is a great area to visit. The foodie scene blows Baltimore out of the water. Beach is 20 minutes away. Golf courses galore. And of course there is a plethora of historical stuff if you are into that as well. All of the Westbrook brews were excellent.

Charleston Food

Beer

 

August was a great month with four PR’s. Clean, Front Squat, Back Squat, and Dead Lift.  I’ll take those any day of the week. So what did I learn over the past few months? Still having issues doing the WOD’s Rx, and the reason is because of the inability to complete the BW exercises like Pull UPs, HSPU, DU’s, etc. Really thought my recent purchases of Nano 4.0’s, Junk headbands, and Progenex would have changed all that. I was wrong. Obviously, I’m joking. I don’t like those movements, I don’t practice those movements, and have gotten very good at scaling those movements. I can rip off 100 singles without missing a beat. Ring rows are no problem. I scaled and got great at scaling. Whoops. So how do we combat this issue? Easy, buy more gear. No, of course not.

Yep. Time for a detox. the past six to eight months have been filled with great food and craft brews. These do not match well with performing well however it is what it is and that’s that. We signed up for the Whole Life Challenge which is always a good way to recharge and get back on track. It’s also about personal accountability, planning, dedication, and not bargaining with yourself. So much easier to put in a blog than to actually practice. If it was easy there wouldn’t be a billion dollar quick fix weight loss industry. Write that down. Watching the Steelers now, and if they keep this up, sobriety will be a pipe dream.

Dead Lift

Practice makes perfect. Or in the world of CrossFit, bloody shins, whip marked legs, torn hands, and bruised egos. Remember, we pay good money for this stuff! You can’t dead lift your way out of a poor diet. Trust me, I’ve tried. Cardio is simply dead lifting faster so that is automatically ruled out. Just need to practice more, focus on the nutrition and mobility. Looking forward to a great September.

 

 

The Day Of….

Great googley moogley. That was fun! 12Labours WOD is as follows:

  • 400 meter med ball run 20/14
  • 9 stone to shoulder 145/115
  • 400 meter sand bag run
  • 24 power cleans 135/95
  • 400 meter run
  • 5 rope climbs (15 ring rows)
  • 30 yard prowler push 255/155
  • 12 stone squats 115/95
  • 500 meter row
  • three sets 3 muscle ups, 3 hspu or three sets 3 ring rows/pull ups, 3 hand release push ups, 3 dips
  • 40 cal assault bike
  • 3 tire flips 450/350

All for joyous time. It was announced it shouldn’t really take more than thirty minutes. I beat that by thirty seconds, scaled. Subbed out KB squats for stone squats. Bad timing. Lots of running and everyone who reads this blog knows how much I LOVE running, and by love i mean hate however it is a necessary evil. Surprisingly the cleans were tougher than I thought they would be. Wound up doing four sets of six. Probably should have gone heavier on the Stone to shoulder. Did 115 for some reason. First rep was a ball slam. Basically caught it about two inches off the ground after the bounce and hauled it up.

Definitely a challenging WOD and a well run event. The cherry on top was it raised about two k, cha ching, for the coaches. Nice work everyone. Thank you Rusty for putting it together and for 12Labours BWI to host the event. It was awesome to see everyone giving 110 percent and having a good time.

Off to Jailbreak who I hear brews beer, and serves beer…which is handy, because I like to drink beer, in particular after that wonderful morning WOD.

 

Filthy Fifty; The Day After

filthy_fifty

 

All I can say is wow…. I had never done the WOD before. Only heard the rumors. Hands down, toughest WOD ever. Even tougher than 14.5 which I am sure all of you remember. Squat cleans and burpees for days….Yes, that’s the one.

What is it, dare you ask?

CrossFit_Filthy_50

Everything was fine until i got to wall balls and burpees. That is where the train left the tracks and i wondered why i pay money to do this stuff. I subbed step ups for box jumps and did ab-mat sit-ups instead, singles instead of DU’s, 150 of them.  All in all i was happy with the time of 40 minutes. I did much better at the lunges than I have in the past. Wall Balls and Burpees sucked the life from me and there wasn’t enough Kill Cliff to bring it back. No joke, those two probably took me fifteen minutes to complete.

If you haven’t done it, do it. If you have done it, do it again.  Definitely the toughest WOD, however very rewarding to complete as well!

Damn, hurt me so bad it affected my memory.  I thought I posted this already! Whoops. In any event, this has been my favorite WOD. It destroyed the 5k run that somebody posted for the previous week. Still not over that one….I will get over it soon I am sure.

 

 

WOD: Cindy…we all know her and love her….

thecindyworkout

 

It is April, which means May is right around the corner, which also means Murph is coming. What’s the best way to prepare for Murph? By doing Cindy of course! Twenty rounds of Cindy sandwiched between mile runs. Your friends will be at BBQ’s, opening pool parties, you know, enjoying themselves while you and the rest of the CrossFit addicted horde will be running pulling and pushing. Yay.

In my mind this is what “Cindy” looks like. She can’t hurt you. The highest rep count is 15 and it’s squats. You do this all day every day. How can this possibly be hard. She wouldn’t hurt you. She’s little and innocent. You are going to crush this…in twenty minutes there is no reason why you logically can’t get at least 20 rounds. At least. No way you get less. It’s Cindy.

I wouldn't hurt you...

 

Here is a picture of you before Cindy.

Bullet proof coffee, Kill Cliff, exuding confidence and pissing excellence. You are a mixture of Froning, Ricky Bobby, and the Hulk. Nothing will stop you from destroying Cindy. She stands no chance. She will run and cower in the corner.

Games08JeremyPostRun_th

 

Chalked, taped, stretched, rolled, rowed, and assault biked. You are warm, limber, caffeinated and fueled. 3,2,1 GO! Jump on the bar, get your grip right and…what the hell? How is that person already on push ups? shoot. I better get going. Knock out the first round in less than a minute. You own it. This feeling continues, until about five or six rounds in. Time to Suck it up Buttercup. Dig deep.

The rubber mat feels cool against your face as you have now resorted to hand release push ups. Don’t fall into that trap. Keep pushing. When squatting all you see is your sweat imprint on the floor from the push ups. That’s weakness leaving the body. It’s a good thing. Another pool has formed on the floor between your feet. Damn, should have invested in that Rogue headband!

Hands are starting to tear but it doesn’t matter because you are over halfway there and while 20 rounds may be out of reach you are however on pace to PR. No stopping you now. Damn, she is still doing unbroken push ups. How? Isn’t she tired!! WTF.

Three minutes left and you need two full rounds. No problem. Does that person not feel pain? Jeez…they have been doing two rounds to my one round. How the hell do they do that? Can’t focus on them. Finished the second round and started the third…you Pr’d but have to keep going. TIME! Because you are a bad ass you finish the round and this happens:

Mommy…?

Mommy…?

The walls are vibrating. Can’t really catch your breath. You’ve never sweated this much….of course you have. You are a CrossFitter. We sweat a lot. Heartbeat is finally slowing down. Need water. Vision is back to normal. Whew. Thankfully that is over. The average person would have quit halfway through. You have done more in the past twenty minutes than most people will accomplish all day. The hardest part of your day is over. Time to EAT!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mommy…?

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! 

20130902-082458.jpg

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!