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….

Eat to Perform

 

ETP Image 2

So i am trying Eat to Perform; http://www.eattoperform.com/ All I can say so far is that I can’t eat enough. It’s a ton of food. Also, three rest days a week. And rest means rest. Not my usual active rest bs, you know, where I don’t rest, just do other stuff. Mobility and Yoga is encouraged on rest days, however nothing strenuous. I am about two weeks in. No noticeable results at this point, however they do caution that it takes time and you have to commit to a full 90 days.

 


Advertised:

It focuses on Total Daily Energy Expenditures, or TDEE, gaining muscle size and strength, and eating strategically to provide fuel for workouts. Not centralized to CrossFit in any manner. Also stresses whole foods and carbs are a good thing, like rice and potatoes. I hope Paleo didn’t hear that…good God. Sustainable and flexible eatings plans, not short term dieting.

Lfits

Start the Process: http://www.eattoperform.com/start-here/

Weigh yourself. Have a glass of wine or a beer. It’s ok. Get a body fat assessment done. Have a bottle of wine or a six pack and finish it off with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Enter your information here: http://www.eattoperform.com/eat-to-perform-calculator/ Be sure to watch the video first. Enter the information again because you probably can’t believe you read the results right and obviously you entered something incorrectly. Nope, they are right.

ETP FUn

Purchase the E-Books and the Forum Membership?

A resounding YES. It’s $80.00 for a year. Not much money at all for having answers at your fingertips. Come on. We are CrossFitters. Usually higher than average disposable income and we are used to spending money for this stuff! A little caution however to do it only if you are really going to stick with it for three months. Just a thought.

Now What?

Head to the forum and enter your information. Explain you are a first timer and that you want some help understanding the TDEE calculations. A moderator, or which there are several, will review your numbers, answer questions, give you some pointers,etc. I have found they answer quickly and there are also people who aren’t moderators however they spend time on the boards and will offer advice.

ETP Image

 

MyFitnessPal:http: //www.myfitnesspal.com/

Definitely recommend a public profile on this page. It’s a pretty big database and will allow you to track your food intake. Make your profile public. That way the moderators from ETP can review your profile and make suggestions. 

It’s a bit early yet for me to give any real review of whether or not it works. I’ll give it another two and a half months and see where things land.

 

Eat-to-Perform-640x959

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.

 

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

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts Going Through the Mind of a CrossFitter

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CrossFitters are goofy. Our gym dues are the equivalent of a car payment and we’ll tell you how Paleo we are while we are pounding our third beer and eyeing up a bottle for a shot. We’ll drop forty bucks on a T-shirt which is only meant to be worn working out, and we’ll rip it off eighteen seconds into a thirty minute AMRAP.

It would be nice to tell you that the only thing we think about during a WOD is being focused on proper form, doing the movements correctly, and listening ever intently to the wonderful tips and coaching provided by our trainers. That would be a lie. This is a list of thoughts that go through my mind, as well as additives from extensive interviews of other CrossFitters. Three actually. While we were having lunch at Five Guys after dropping some serious coin at the dollar over liquor store sale.

The WOD doesn’t look that bad:

They rarely do! That’s the trick. People wouldn’t come to class if the WOD looked ridiculous. Sure, some you know will straight up suck, like three rounds of 500M row, 21 burpees, and 400M run. I don’t know who came up with that one, you are evil. The 20 minute AMRAP of farmers carry, ring rows, GHD sit ups, and wall runs did not look bad. However it was. Damn. Fooled me again.

I am going to smoke this WOD:

Similar to the previous thought. Usually the response when it is what appears to be a short AMRAP. The truth is we come out of the gate like a thundercat and blow the doors off the first round and then wonder why we can’t breathe. Save a little in the tank for the remaining rounds. You can rest when it is over, however you have to get through it all for it to be over.

Get off my rower…or that’s my spot:

We are territorial and most of us are superstitious. We have the shorts that make us run faster, well maybe some people do. All of mine are like running through mashed potatoes in snow shoes. We all have a “spot” in the gym where we are stronger, faster, and perform our absolute best. Stay out of our spot….please.

WTF, What the….?:

Usually the response when the coach puts 800 meter med ball runs in the warm up. No logical reason for those to be included. Can also occur when somebody puts 5 rounds of 50 walking lunges in a WOD. You know who you are. Hang your head low…very low.

What the….?

Didn’t we just do this…?:

We all like to think those in charge of the programming spend hours meticulously going through past WOD’s and thinking up new ways of torturing us, however they are people with other obligations and once in a while we do repeat WOD’s, which aren’t the hero or the named girls. It happens. Get over it. Better have a better score than last time or it’s off to Jazzercise.

I can do this Rx (Prescribed for you non cult followers):

21-15-9 of 225lb. Dead lifts and pull ups and your max dead lift is 230lbs. Probably not a good idea. Go for it! Stud.

Those aren’t real…

Three pood Kettle bells, yes they are and they are awesome! Burpee box jump over pull ups! Yes, they are real and they are not awesome. What did you think I meant?

That is a nice Snatch:

Some people can catch it low and the rest of us rely on the tried and true reverse curl to the forehead followed up with a shoulder press. What? It’s overhead. Thinking about this lift will only make it worse. Lift the barbell, while keeping your back at the same angle, open your hips, while shrugging  and getting bar high enough for you to jump under the bar. How do you jump low? Don’t know. I stick with reverse curls and my max weight hasn’t moved in over a year. That sucks, time for a beer.

Somebody went to Lulu:

Decked out from head to toe, including the headbands. I hear their clothes are great. They don’t make it in my size. Maybe I could buy two and sew them together? I have only heard good things so have at it! They are a great company and have great messaging.

Holy crap, I want those shoes:

I am a shoe whore and proud of it. Currently I have enough shoes to fill a closet however I am eyeing up the Reebok Lifters because obviously they would make me stronger….and as it turns out I got them for Christmas. Time for some more shoes. Maybe a pair of the Nano Speed….yeah, that’s the ticket. Those will help.

What is that smell?…Shoot it’s me.

CrossFit = SWEAT. Lots and lots of sweat. Sweat = Stink. Yep, you stink. All the moisture wicking fabric in the world won’t do a damn thing. I make Under Armour a liar every damn day. It looks like I jumped in a pool with my clothes on. I have a beach towel in my Jeep to sit on during the ride home. I may have to change seat belts….it’s that bad.

Still some dry tank top….

When will this be over…

It will be over when you finish. NO REST! Get going already. You won’t die. Biologically proven you’ll pass out first. You can’t catch your breath so don’t stop. Just keep moving forward.

Doesn’t everybody want a piece of this action? Sounds like fun, right? Tell your friends. The cult always needs new members. It’s like a human ponzi scheme. You can’t leave until you bring forth your replacement!

Have a great weekend!

CrossFitRook

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