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….

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

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.

 

 

What Happened to August? What Happened to Summer?

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Hey, what happened to August? It was the first and then it was Labor Day in the blink of an eye! What gives? I haven’t written a post in over a month which is odd. Too busy sucking up the last drop of Summer…….Shandy. It was a great Summer and I am sorry to see it come to an end. Cookouts, pool party’s, trips to the beach. Mostly done for another year. The good news is Autumn is upon us. Football, brats, and cooler temps! Definitely my favorite season.

August was a good month. Definitely learned a lot and made some progress.

100 Day Burpee Challenge:
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What a wonderful challenge. Day one, one burpee. Day two, two burpees and on and on it goes. Miss a day? The next day you do those as well. Miss day 25? Good news is you have 51 to complete the following day. Kylie and I are on day 33. Doubtful I will make 100 days however I will go as far as I can. Definitely learned about pacing and foot placement. It’s better to have your feet under your hips when coming up. Wide feet equal a sore lower back.

I have had wrist issues so I have been taping my wrists. Some argue it is a little overboard. They are welcome to their opinion. I like tape and use plenty of it. I have noticed my wrists feel better so it’s working. I have also focused on putting my weight on my fingers instead of entirely on he heel of my hand.

CrossFit Total: I finished at 940 which is about ten to fifteen pounds less than last time. Squat was off because my knee was off. It feels better since I have been back in rehab and following the advice of well educated and trained medical professionals. Interesting how that happened. According to my Mom I am not stubborn, I am obstinate. I think I’m stubborn and don’t understand what she means. September will be dedicated to getting back to 100%.

Hotshots 19 WOD: https://hotshots19.crossfit.com/

CROSSFIT’S MEMORIAL WOD
Show your support by attending the memorial event in Prescott, or host the workout locally on August 31st and donate online.

AUG

31
“Hotshots 19”

Six rounds for time of:
30 Squats
135 pound Power clean, 19 reps
7 Strict Pull-ups
Run 400 meters

This is still fresh in my mind since we just completed it less than 48 hours ago. Quite possibly the toughest WOD I have attempted. Do not under estimate this beast. It may not look daunting on the white board…..you are wrong. Six rounds of “am i done yet?” Do not go towards the light. You won’t die, you’ll pass out first.

One of the trainers pointed out that I was bouncing the bar off my upper thigh during the clean, which I refer to as a reverse curl. This is not the first time she has told me this, nor is it the second or third time. We should consider it a recurring theme. So, instead of continuing to do it my way, incorrectly, I took her advice and shrugged more, and what do you know? Again, taking advice from a well trained professional paid off big dividends. Interesting how that happened. Refer to the previous paragraph referencing stubbornness.

You can get through anything and you should listen to your trainers. They know what they are doing. Unless they have 800 meter med ball runs in the warm up. Obviously they are delirious and require medical attention.

Whole Life Challenge: http://www.wholelifechallenge.com

We are getting ready for our third run. We are currently 100% Paleo 80% of the time so it won’t be a big change for us. It really only results in a reduction of weekend beverages which is fine. We are looking forward to it. We always find some great new recipes and always come out feeling better and performing better at the end. We’ll be on vacation for one of the weeks which means we’ll have to stockpile points!

Selected for Athletes of the Month: http://crossfitbwi.com/2013/08/30/augsept-athletes-of-the-month-robert-and-kylie-taylor/

This was a huge honor for Kylie and I. CrossFit has had a significant impact on our lives and we can’t imagine not being a part of it in the future. It is a team sport and we have a great team at CrossFit BWI and CrossFit Syndicate.

Heading out to the box shortly to have some quality time with Cindy. I hate Cindy. Just kidding, I love Cindy.

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Ten Crossfit Truths

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I am coming up on my two year anniversary of CrossFit. “Come on in.” they said. “It’ll be fun.” they said. It has been fun and I have learned a lot. Before I wrote this blog I searched for other blogs with a similar topic and found more entries about CrossFit myths. Below is my take on the truths.

1) CrossFit is not a cult. The best boxes are a community comprised of individuals striving to get better in each of the ten components of CrossFit. No flowing white robes. No Kool-aid. Just people focused on getting better.

2) CrossFit is addictive. I have yet to meet anyone who was not hooked after their first WOD. It hurts. It leaves you gasping, in the fetal position, on the floor. It makes you wonder how the 125 lb woman next to you lifted more, lifted it faster, and isn’t sweating nearly as profusely. It is also fun as hell and provides a sense of accomplishment which is unmatched.

3) CrossFit is contagious. It’s all we talk about. I am sure our friends and family get tired of hearing about it, until they try a WOD. Then it’s on like donkey kong.

4) Not all athletes are “elite”. I hate the word elite. Almost as much as I hate the words epic or slim fit. Froning is elite. Iceland Annie is elite. They also have all day to train, eat, and rest. I am not trying to be the best in the world, only better than who I was yesterday. Most if our trainers are top shelf athletes and I appreciate the dedication. You don’t have to be elite to CrossFit.

5) Competition is powerful. “I can’t do that.” is soon replaced with “Holy hell, I did that!”. Competing against both yourself and others is a sure fire way to get better.

6) CrossFit is expensive. Dues, $150 – $200. Progenex $60. Nanos or Innov8, $90-$125. Reebok, Lululemon or Under Armour shorts, shirts, pants, etc. $$$$$. It is an investment in yourself. Aren’t you worth it? The clothes don’t have a huge impact so save the dollars and invest in the gear like shoes and a custom fit jump rope. A quality post WOD protein is also a good idea.

7) CrossFit does not get easy. It just sucks a little less. The workout is going to punch you square in the throat. Would we want it any other way? It’s only thirty minutes, or less in most cases.

8) The WODS you hate are the WODS you should not miss. Yesterday was a perfect example for me. Nicole. 20 min AMRAP of 400 meter runs and AMRAP pull ups. I hate both, hence I hate Nicole. Don’t skip the stuff at which we suck, as we would never get any better.

9) Nutrition is the foundation. Paleo is preferred by most CrossFitters I know however that does not mean it is the best. Each athlete has to test which plans work the best based on individual needs. Drinking three nights a week while alternating cheeseburgers, pizza, and fried Oreos is not a plan conducive to increased physical performance, sadly.

10) Rest and mobility are important. Lifts, running, rowing, push-ups, etc., all result in torn muscle fibers. That is why we are sore after a workout. Rest and mobility work help heal the tears, making the muscle fibers thicker and tougher. Skipping these is the equivalent if skipping the lift or the workout all together.

11) CrossFitters tend to push harder and want more…..whether it is physically, professionally, or personally. No quitting. No giving up. No time outs. Every rep, set, and round counts. There are no shortcuts. Skip a rep, suffer the wrath.

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Whole Life Challenge

My second trip through Whole Life Challenge is complete. It was a much better experience than the first time. Cheat meals were at a minimum. I lost 13 pounds. Didn’t lose anything in inches which is weird however I am not getting hung up on it.

I was able to shave nearly two minutes off my WOD time which is a 19 percent improvement. Five rounds, 135lb. dead lift for 10 reps followed by fifteen wall balls at 20lbs. First round was 9:50 and my last round was 7:56. Definitely happy about that; however it’s never good enough!

Key Factors:

Meal Planning. Fail to plan, plan to fail. Paleo is inconvenient. Unless you have meals and snacks ready to go, you will wind up hungry or eating something you shouldn’t. Sundays were a day of cooking for the week. We definitely ate out less and saved some money; however grocery store trips were more frequent and more expensive. Not too mention we ran the dishwasher every day!

Exercise. Every day we did something. It can be as easy as taking the dog for a long walk at a faster than normal pace, or yoga, or a serious WOD.

Mobility: I think I spent more time on Mobility WOD than any other site. Do them all! Ten to fifteen minutes every day helps flexibility and your mind. It’s good to unplug or disconnect for a while.

Cheat: we definitely had some cheat days. Beers on opening day. Ice cream after dinner. Take the zero and move on. It helped us stay sane! Well as much as we are anyway.

I am definitely happier about the progress made during our second WLC. Now we just have to keep going. Paleo is the real deal. My first cheat meal after it was done was brown rice on my burrito bowl. REBEL!

Knock it out of the par this week.

Rest Days; Take Them

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Image courtesy of Jessica Sepel

Wednesday is one of my favorite days of the week. It is a rest day. I am still up early however I am not heading to CrossFit BWI for a WOD. Time to repair the damage I did on Monday and Tuesday, which was pretty serious. Those WOD’s were no joke.

I used to not take rest days and then wondered why I was tired and was always sore. It shouldn’t have taken me that long to figure it out. I am stubborn. So be it. “I paid the dues so I am going” six or seven days a week. Not very conducive to healing. We spend a lot of time tearing down our muscles so we have to give them time to heal.

The only time we grow is when we sleep. That explains why I am 5’8″ and my brother is 6’4″. When we were growing up he would sleep to noon, and I would be up early. He slept more so he grew more. That makes scientific sense, right? The same is true for muscles repairing themselves. All of those dead lifts from yesterday tore the muscle fibers in your legs, back, arms, and shoulders. That is why your muscles are sore. Now they need time to put themselves back together, and get bigger so they are harder to tear. They can’t heal if you are tearing them apart four days in a row.

So, what is active rest? Stretching, Yoga, light exercise like walking the dog, slow swim, etc. Fran doesn’t qualify as active rest, and neither do Turkish Get Ups. I hate those things. I take two rest days a week. Sunday is the active rest day with Yoga. Wednesday is an off day, with the exception of the next few weeks because of Whole Life Challenge. I’ll probably get in the pool for a while this afternoon and do so mobility work tonight.

Mobility. Very much needed and probably overlooked by those who need it the most, including myself. Click here. Kelly Starrett has been kind enough to post videos for just about every type of issue with a solution. Need to work on squat depth, should not working, ankles not loose enough, etc. Do a quick search on his site and you’ll find a half a dozen different suggestions to get rid of the sticky junk and become a supple leopard.

Today I’ll eat a little more, all Paleo of course. Need to load up the fuel tank for tomorrow morning’s fun and provide enough nutrients for the necessary repairs. I’ll spend some quality time with the grid roller and a lacrosse ball. Getting old sucks, however it does beat the alternative.

Take your rest days. Eat well. Kick ass tomorrow morning.