Well those were fun!


I had commented last week about how August had not been as warm as we are used too. The weather gods heard my snide remark and provided a retort. Their retort was a giant middle finger of humidity. Walking out the front door at 5:15am into an atmosphere of swamp air. Good times.

Heat

MON-FITNESS

10 Rounds

9 Wall Balls s(30/20) f (20/14)

6 Burpees to 6″ Target

3 Clean and Jerks s(185/125) f(135/95)

***25 minute cap***

Summary: Doesn’t look bad, right? Wrong. I switched out med balls because the first one got so covered in sweat I couldn’t catch it. Literally slipped through my hands. Ever have to switch spots on the floor for burpees because it was so slippery? I did. Looked like someone sprayed the floor with a hose. It’s not right. I should be studied. It’s improbably for so much sweat to be generated.  Finished it in 24 and change. The burpees truly were the hardest part. Did 135 weight for C&J’s. Probably could have done 155 instead. 185 would have been too much. It’s not the jerk, which for me is a strict press because I refuse to listen to coaches, it’s the clean, or in my case, the reverse curl, because again, I refuse…you know how that ends.

balls

TUES-FITNESS

“HELEN”
3 Rounds for time:
Run 400m
21 KB Swings (1.5/1pd)
12 Pullups

Summary: Any of our fellow cultfit followers immediately grimaced when they saw the name. She’s a bitch. I felt like I was running through pancake batter. I’m not built for speed. It was more trudging than sprinting. Did ring rows instead of pull ups. KB swings and RR were all unbroken. They aren’t the hard part. It’s the stupid running. Why run when you can deadlift? That’s my motto. Checked the lovely performance history tab in Wodify, and the worst time. Ever. Still a hell of a workout. Also did early birds which is a WOD before the WOD, and Gabe was coaching so the warm up was aggressive. There we go. All rationalized out.

helen

 

WED-FITNESS
Close Grip Bench Press
3-3-3-3-3
+
7 Min AMRAP
10 Pushups s(ring pushups)
20 Air Squats

Summary:

Bench press?!?!? Yes. Almost as good as deadlift day. Almost. Also did early birds this morning which was dips and push ups, I think. Felt pretty good. Jumped from 225 to 255 which was probably to aggressive. Got two and the third required some curling from the spotter. It happens. All in all I was happy with it.  The burner afterwards was fun. Again with the sweating. Did I mention it was hot this week?

FRI-FITNESS

Every 2 minutes for 20 minutes complete:

25 Double Unders/75 Singles

1 clean

***add weight every 2 sets starting at 60% of 1RM. Find a new 1RM***

Summary:

Cleans and I have had an unfriendly relationship for the past couple of years. Logically I should be able to clean 275 without much issue. Front squat is 300, deadlift is 455. Really shouldn’t be a problem here. Instead i have been stuck at 195 for two years or so. Finally got 200 Friday morning which felt pretty good. Attempted and failed 205 several times. I should have recorded the lifts. I was pulling it plenty high. Probably snatch height for most people, who you know….drop under the bar instead of what I do, which is reverse curl it to my neck. Also learned that I really like RX jump ropes. All of my singles were unbroken. The rope was very smooth. Definitely purchasing one.

It Never Happens LIke This!

 It Never Happens LIke This!

Three shirts bit the dust this week. You know it’s time to chuck it when you offend yourself. I apologize to those at City Dock Coffee Friday morning. Yeah, my bad. There isn’t enough Febreze to fix that one. Had to go. Just shy of a decade. Again, I am sorry. Smelled like Victory! And remember, we ….

wod-for-beer

The Open is Closed.

15.5
 15.5 We all saw it coming. We knew it would be thrusters, and a lot of them, and guess what. Thrusters. Thruck Fusters.  It could be worse. No burpees!!! I  was prepared as I could possibly be. Bullet Proof coffee in the morning.  Followed by a little BSN NO-Xplode…happy hour!  Last night’s IPA’s will have absolutely no effect whatsoever.

15.5 thruster

Going in I was thinking it wouldn’t be bad. I could break up the thrusters in halves since it’s 95lbs,  not super heavy, just a lot of legs. Rowing isn’t bad, just hard pulls to get a calorie a stroke. No worries! Then I watched the 900am class suffer through. I couldn’t leave. People had already seen me. A quick chat with someone who had completed it, and was finally fully functioning, resulted a in a rethink. Cut the thrusters in thirds.

27 cals went quicker than I thought it would. Set of 9. rest. Set of 9. rest. Set of 9. Back on the rower. 21 cals. Set of 7. Set of 7. Set of…whumph. What just happened! I can’t breathe and my legs don’t want to push back up. Finished the last set and then started 15 and that’s when the fun began. Coach Christa the Fembot in my ear, “you won’t catch your breath, just GO!”. “Back on the bar”. I calculated it would take me between 12 and 15 minutes to finish and it turned out to be 14:43. It’s not a matter of strength, it was a matter of wind. I was chasing something I couldn’t catch. My breath. Need to fix that.

Kicked

Two Natty Boh’s, and a Progenex shake and I was back to normal. I usually opt to go in the second round because, well nobody wants to go first, and I want to get it over with and it provides the opportunity to cheer on those who are still going through it. That’s they key with CrossFit. Something the other gyms won’t get. It’s the community. It’s the support and friendships. After that WOD, there was a potluck happy hour. As you can imagine, carb city. Krispy Kreme, pasta salads, chips,..you name it.

This year’s Open was by far my favorite. The scaled WOD’s were challenging however very doable. 15.4 was my favorite. Hit 100 reps. I happen to like push press and that helped significantly. 15.5 was the most difficult, however I liked it and hope it finds it’s way into the 12Labours rotation. You know it’s a good when you are washing down two Aleve with a a Manhattan a few hours after the WOD. Of course, looking forward to the 12Labours Team heading to Regionals, and then back to the Games. We expect great things!

12Labours

3, 2, 1….

It’s all About the Gear

GEAR

Truthfully, that is probably the number one reason we all do CrossFit. It’s all about the gear. We are in the process of packing for our move the end of this month. I. Hate. Moving.  I have a lot of stuff. Multiple paris of shoes, jump ropes, chalk, bands, wraps, gloves, tape, the list goes on and on. And for what? Because it might help me go a little faster or lift a little more. Nonsense. Americans love to buy stuff. Some of the brightest minds in the country are dedicated to separating you from your money. They are good at it too. Since I seem to buy just about everything I thought it would be a good idea to provide my opinion on what stuff you actually need, versus which is a nice to have dust collector.

Shoes:

Definitely think the right shoes go a long way in helping you perform your best. Innov8s, Reebok Nano’s, and Lifting Shoes. I have gone through three pairs of Innov-8’s, two of the F-Lite 195 and one pair of the F-210’s. I like the latter the best. The 195’s are a little too flimsy for bigger guys like me. I did not like running in them because of the lack of support however they are great for rowing, jump rope, lighter lifting etc. The 210’s are very low to the ground and I like them for deadlifts. Almost the same as going barefoot.

The Nano’s are the best all around CrossFit shoe. No issues with running and due to the extra stiff sole, Olympic lifts like clean and snatch are good to go at moderate weights. I bought two pair of the Nano ‘s and have been alternating them for the past couple of months. Picking up a third pair would just be silly, right? Exactly. So i bought two pair of the 4.0’s when they came out too. So, now i have four pairs. When are the 5.0’s due? Oh wait, Nike MetCons are out…so we know where that will land. Just doing more research for you folks….

Olympic Lifting Shoes:

Oly

I own both the Romaleos and first generation Reebok lifters. Have been eyeing up the another pair of lifters and will more than likely have a pair in the next month or two. I really hope Jen is reading this as she seems to think I have a problem with shoes.

Nike Romaleos:

They are expensive. Probably the most costly of all the options however I think they are worth it. I have had mine for over three years and they still look and feel pretty new. The raised heel helps align your hips to get a deeper squat and the extra stiff sole allows you to drive up through your heels without getting the squishy shoe feeling. Nice solid foundation. You feel bolted to the ground.

Reebok Lifters:

I have a pair of the first generation and I probably wear these more often than the Romaleos, not because they are better, however because they are more versatile. Got a WOD with snatches/cleans/squats and other stuff like box jumps, prowler, etc. These will be fine all the way through. Would not recommend pure oly shoes for the other movements.

Shorts/Pants/Shirts:

I sweat. Ungodly amounts of sweat. I should be tested. I prove Under Armour a liar every time. Can’t wick me! I have tried the more expensive UA shirts and they are still soaked by the time I am done. I stick to two companies now when I need to cycle through clothes.

Uberfit:

1stslider

Uberfit is a local business and has grown pretty significantly over the past two years. The shirts have a wicking quality and have great logos and designs. You all know how I feel about cardio….the image below says it all. I have had Uberfit shirts for two years plus and they still are in good shape. I think that says a lot for the quality considering the punishment we dish out. Stones, yoke carries, front rack barbells, etc. They take a beating. Also offer shorts, pants, hats, wrist wraps, and just about everything else you could think of. Enter Rook25 during checkout and receive 25% off your entire order. http://www.uberfitapparel.com/ 

Uberfit

Hylete:

These are the only shorts i have bought in the past few years. I still have the original pair and no signs of them being worn. They are a little more expensive, however they last. They also have zipper pockets and for some reason that means a lot to me. No idea why. Enter CFROOK during checkout and get a discount. Kylie also has their backpack/bag and absolutely loves it. Pockets everywhere….

Rehab/Injury:

Everyone gets hurt. It’s part of the fun. Sprains, twists, pulls, or just being sore as hell they day after. It’s all completely and totally normal. Obviously if you are throwing up, bleeding, can’t sit up or stand without feeling sick from the pain a visit to the doctor or ER is in order, asap.

Rehaband:

Pretty much the gold standard for knee and elbow protection. I have used knee bands and they are very helpful. Guaranteed to see fellow CrossFit athletes donning them at any competition.

Ice Packs:

Exercise leads to inflammation. Inflammation leads to limited ROM. Ice leads to less inflammation. The cold pushes the blood away. Regular ice packs from CVS are fine for home. Just tried Arctic Ease which are really cool. They don’t require time in the freezer. It’s a cold elastic wrap that can carried with you and are perfect for post WOD icing with minimal prep.

Trigger Point:

Lacrosse ball, grid roller/foam roller/PVC. These items will help you work out knots, tight spots, etc. Definitely worth the purchase. Muscles get beat up, period. Also recommend massage therapy if you can swing it. Painful, however very rewarding afterwards.

Jump Ropes: 

If you are serious and plan on doing it for more than six months than your own rope is worth the expense. Beware of false advertising. Some will advertise they assist with making double-unders more easy, however in most cases they just allow you to whip yourself faster. Personally i like the metal ones, they really make a mark. Let’s you know you didn’t come close to doing it right. IT’s more than spinning it faster, jumping also required.

 Wrist Wraps/Tape:

Hands get beat up. Wrists get beat up. Callouses are formed and then torn which result in a blood freakin’ mess on the bars, floor, etc. Tape your stuff. Whether to go with athletic tape or wrist wraps for your wrists is a personal choice, however make the choice and use one. Tape around your thumbs when doing high volume cleans, snatches, overhead work, etc. Also helpful to tape your hands when doing high volume pull ups, ring work etc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcS5lYs6DkU 

 

 

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.

 

 

Want to Get Better and Have More Fun?

cropped-crossfit-gear.jpg

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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Ready for Competition

It seems like there is a CrossFit box on every corner with more scheduled to open. This results in many choices for CrossFitters as each place is a little different. It also seems to result in more “competitions”. It’s a great day. Pay $50 – $100, get a few WOD’s in, compete against your friends, get a T-shirt. ALL SET!!!

Competition is important in advancing your growth both in CrossFit and your personal growth. I am a big advocate of competing with yourself in each WOD and also competing with other members who are of similar physical state or a little better. How else would you get better? Organized competitions are part of the CrossFit Kool-Aid. It doesn’t feel like a cult when we are around a bunch of people who are just like us! There are multiple options so be sure to search the net for any in your area. Kylie and I finished our second competition last week and below are some of my suggestions based on our experiences.

First off, I would to thank the folks who put together the competition, http://www.capitalthrowdown.com. Everything was started on schedule, or early and all of the volunteers were very helpful. It was a perfect example of how a competition should be run.

Research:
Visit the website for the competition. There will be different groups such as Scaled, Rx, and Elite. Look at the requirements for each and see which best suits you. Be honest with yourself and your skill level and pick the right group so that you are challenged. Winning isn’t everything, getting better and doing something you haven’t done before is more important.

Check out the WODs from the last competition. Chances are there will be some similarities. I think it is safe to say you can count on wall balls, some sort of sit up, pull up, rowing, burpees, single unders or double unders and some sort of strength movement like a deadlift or cleans, if you are doing the scaled version.

Train for Competing:

Be ready to be judged! It is not like a regular class where the trainer is watching another 8-12 people. A judge will be assigned to you and will watch every rep! No “good enough”. Either you squatted below parallel or you get the feared “NO REP!”. I got dinged on thrusters so Kylie got to do all of them! Sorry honey.

Watching, judging, judging some more.

Watching, judging, judging some more.

Where am I going with this? Wall balls will be in a WOD for the comp, so make sure any time you do wall balls you squat to full depth, get the ball over the line, and make sure the ball touches the wall. Aim small, miss small. Don’t aim for the line, aim for a crack in the concrete block just above the line and try to hit that crack. You may miss the crack; however, you’ll hit the wall every time. Another one is Ab-mat sit ups. Hands go on your your shoulders, back and head touches the floor, sit up and your elbows have to touch your knees. Hands do not leave your shoulders, otherwise,…NO REP! Do them this way every time.

Be Prepared:

Bands, rollers, lax ball, yoga mat, chalk, Oly shoes, jump rope, and tape. Bring them. Progenex, shaker bottle, coconut water, food, regular water, and beer. Bring them too. Camp chair, towels, Bio Freeze or Ben Gay, TP, and hand sanitizer. Be prepared for a port-a-potty. A tent isn’t necessary but does help if the sun is out. We take one and I recommend it. My point is, you have been doing CrossFit for a while if you are doing a competition so you already have a good idea of what you may need, so bring it. No such thing as over packing.

keep-calm-and-be-prepared-21

EAT!

I screwed up on this part. I don’t like to eat much before I work out so, of course, I didn’t eat much during the day. Our heats went at 8:30am, 11:30am, and 1:00pm. We left our house at 5:45am, met up with everyone, and got on the road about 6:20am. It took an hour to get there. By the time we got there, got unpacked, and set up the tent, it was just about time to go in for the orientation. Next thing you know, it’s 8:30am and I hadn’t eaten much or warmed up, so the first WOD sucked.

My point is make sure you are well fueled. Otherwise you’ll be flat all day and perform poorly. We brought food, I just didn’t eat much of it. I had a couple of Progenex shakes throughout the day however they are not the same as real whole food.

Warm Up:

Going in to a WOD cold leads to bad performance and injury. Use the down time to stretch and roll everything out. The Box had a nice warm up area set up with weights, Airdynes, a rower, kettle bells, etc. Use the stuff that is provided or bring your own. Most of the competitions I have been to also have massage therapy on-site and maybe somebody who uses kinesology tape, so take advantage! It’s free and if you like the service you can spread the word on Social Media.

Cheer Everyone On:

For many people it may be their first competition so cheer them on. Not all of us are elite and it’s still like the first day of school out there. How many people do you know who like to have strangers watch them sweat? Not many probably. Some cheers of encouragement go a long way.

Be Nice to Everyone:

Thank the volunteers. They gave up their day or weekend so you could compete. We are all part of the same cult so introduce yourself to others. Stick around afterwards and have a few cocktails. Ever been to a dry CrossFit event? Nope. Me either. Always a good time afterwards.

SO, what competition are you signing up for?

CrossFit Rook