Category Archives: crossfit

Head Not in the Game Today

Most days, something is out of whack. Mind. Body. Spirit. Usually I count myself lucky and say that 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. But today, two out of three were out of whack – maybe all three. That made it a bit tougher.

single-unders-foreverArrived for an 8:30 class with Coach Drea. We had Bill & Brent today. And even during the warm-up I could tell I was just off. The warm-up was:

  • 2 rounds
    • a minute of single unders and then a minute of double unders
    • 10 PVC pass-thrus (just first round)
    • 10 OHS with PVC
    • 10 hollow-body rocks
    • 10 push-ps
    • 10 v-ups or knee tucks
    • 30 second banded shoulder abstraction, each side

I did attempt a few double unders, but whacked myself in the head for about 30 seconds and decided I should just do singles.

From there we moved to some OHS skill work, first with an empty barbell and then with 10# or 15# plates. I grabbed 15# plates. Empty, my right shoulder started talking back. With 75# on the bar, I got through three reps, dropped it and said that was not going to happen today.

Drea suggested shifting to front squats, so I did that with the intention of pushing on those since I knew toes to bar would be rough. We did some active shoulder and kipping work, then shifted to knee tucks, knees to elbows, and finally toes to bars…

still-alive-memeI am happy to say I have a few toes to bars. But they are not pretty. Today was no different.

The workout was:

  • 21-15-9 (competitor), 15-12-9 (Performance/fitness)
  • OHS (115/80# competitor, 95/65# performance, 45/35# fitness)
  • Toes to bars (sit-ups for fitness)
  • Time domain – 5-7 minutes

My workout was:

  • 21-15-9
  • 75# front squats
  • toes to bars until I couldn’t any more and then knee raises

I never dropped the bar for the front squats on any set (I did pause, but didn’t drop) and I did t2b through the round of 21, then shifted part-way through the round of 15 to knee raises.

Finished in 6:03. Ugh. At no point today did I feel like I was moving well or mentally clear, but I did finish.

Probably didn’t help that I only got a handful of hours of sleep last night and probably need a nap.

Good work guys! Thanks Drea!


Good L’il WOD

Oh boy. Some weeks I wonder what I’m thinking. Today I was thinking “Larry was kinder than usual when designing today’s workout.” πŸ™‚

Made it in with Ev for team WOD at 10. Coach Larry was there along with Brent & Steve and we were joined by a bunch of folks, including Karen, Lisa & Nick, Lisa & Mike, Deana, and one or two others. We warmed up with some jumping jacks, air squats, and burpees before pairing up and grabbing equipment.

I partnered up with Steve today and Ev worked with Karen for this 30 minute AMRAP.

  • Started with a 400m partner run
  • Then each round was:
    • 24 front squats (95/65)
    • 48 abmat sit-ups
    • 24 push press (95/65)
    • 48 box jumps (24/20″)
    • 24 burpees
    • 48 walking lunges

survived-didnt-dieSteve scaled down to 55# or 65# on the bar and I worked with 95#. But we did scale to 20″ box jumps (and in the last round and a half I scaled to step-ups). The worst part for me was the burpees. Left shoulder was a bit annoyed by the end, but we chugged through.

We made it through 2 full rounds plus the 24 burpees in 30:05, but we’re going to round that to 3 rounds. πŸ™‚ Great work Steve!

Ev & Karen worked with 55# on the bar and 20″ step-ups. They made it through 2 rounds and got through 24 step-ups by the time cap. I think Nick & Brent made it through into the 4th round, so they may have been the furthest of all of us.

Great work everybody and thanks Larry!

Conundrums and Deadlifts

This week brought a few things to a head in my crossfit journey.

  1. I use crossfit as a mental escape valve as much as a transformative tool.
  2. My body has some limits even if my mind doesn’t want to accept them.
  3. Listening to your coaches is a good thing.

Let’s take a step backwards though and talk about today’s WOD. And apologies in advance because this post gets really long at the end…

sportsrow-800pxMade it in for an 8:30 with Coach Drea. Ev & I were there with Lisa & KB. Another small morning crew, but we were cheered on by little Noah so it was all good. πŸ™‚

We started with 5 minutes of running, rowing, or biking. I chose rowing, because the other two options are silly. πŸ™‚ My rower was set for calories, so through 5 minutes of rowing I got to about 62 calories. Not bad. The bad was that my left bicep and forearm were a little ticked off when I finished — but it released eventually. πŸ™‚

From there we did some warm-up:

  • Good mornings
  • Straight-leg deadlifts
  • Pistol chairs at the rig, 10 each side
  • Banded hamstring stretch, 30 seconds each side (lay on back, loop band over mid-part of foot, straighten leg, and pull)
  • Banded hip flossing (didn’t quite grok this one, so I can’t explain it. πŸ™‚ )

Barbell_DeadliftThen it was deadlifts all the way down. We warmed up with an empty barbell and then shifted to adding weight to the bar and finally warming up to our working weight for the WOD…

  • Deadlift: 5 sets of 3 reps

I warmed up:

  • 135# x10
  • 165# x8
  • 185# x8
  • 205# x5

And then did:

  • 225# x3
  • 245# x3
  • 265# x3
  • 285# x3 (very, very slow)
  • 265# x3 (couldn’t convince my body to get 285# off the ground again, so I dropped 20# – still slow, but not as ugly)

is-it-friday-yetMy best set was 285# x3 and it was UGLY. Let’s put that into perspective:

  • I did 275# x3 the last time we did this in December 2017
  • I did 315# x6 in April 2017
  • And my current 1 rep max is 345# set back in December 2016

I was supposed to shoot for 80-85% of my one rep today. That would have been 276#. My 285# was about 83% – so I was right in there.

The Elephant in the Room

So let’s talk about the REST of the week for a minute… Though I’ve only written about three workouts this week, in actuality I’ve done five. And it was pretty clearly a mistake when I was in more than a little pain on Monday night. I was on vacation (PTO) the first 2 days of the week and wanted to get as much done as possible… Silly me.

  • Monday morning (on vacation) we did a handstand walk/bear crawl/walking lungeΒ Elephant3workout (read here)
  • Monday night (still feeling ok), I did a supplemental workout with Ev & AJ and tweaked my right/lower back during a movement to the point where E-stim was the only thing that saved me that night. That was an interesting drive home.
  • Tuesday morning (on vacation, sore, but stubborn) we did Lynne – max effort bench press and pull-ups (read here). Bench press was rough, but I did well during my pull-ups.
  • Wednesday around lunch (back to work, wanting to escape) I went for a workout with Ev again and did a “birthday” WOD that involved a ton of movements and reps — handstand push-ups, dumbbell thrusters, knees to elbows, deadlifts, burpees, kettlebell swings, and pull-ups. To say that my body (and mind) fell apart during this workout would be an understatement and I scaled the hell out of it very very quickly.
  • Thursday (today) I did the deadlift workout I already talked about.

That’s 5 workouts in 4 days. Dumb. And the twofer on Monday was the beginning of the end.

To say that all of this was a stupid choice on my part would be the understatement of the week. I let myself down, but I also ticked off one of my coaches in the process. She’s not happy with me and we had a LONG chat over the last couple of days back and forth about adding more rest days back into the mix.

Anonymous-bullTomorrow will be a rest day. I plan on doing a mid-day walk around the neighborhood (2.5 miles) just to get some movement in. Saturday morning I’ll likely go do a team workout. Sunday will be a rest day. And then I have to figure out how to handle next week.

My issue is that crossfit is a refuge. It’s one place where I am only responsible for myself. I’m not letting people down at work or home. I’m not failing to keep my side hustle going. I’m just there to work hard for the hour or whatever it is, listen to my coaches, and do the best I can.

I have become more and more dependent on that refuge as the rest of my life has become more difficult to manage in a lot of ways. It’s an addiction of sorts. And though it’s largely a healthy one, I have increased my workouts per week without balancing that with enough bodily rest each week.

monkey-emojis-17So I need to find a balance between the bull in the china shop and letting my body recover. Logically, that makes sense. But the child inside is throwing a huge temper tantrum at the moment. He’s having fun and wants to continue, damn the consequences.

It’s pretty bad when you have to be an adult to temper the impulse control of your inner child.

I’m left with a couple of choices.

  • Shift to – Mon (Supp) – Tues & Thurs (Continuum) – Sat (Continuum) – which gives me rest days on Weds, Fri, and Sun
  • Stay with – Mon & Tues (Continuum) – Wed (Supp) – Thurs & Sat (Continuum) – which gives me rest days on Fri & Sun

But no matter what, I need to avoid multiple workouts a day unless it’s a competition of some kind — and in that case, I need to plan around that to give my body plenty of rest before and after.

We’ll try a few things over the summer and see if we can strike a good balance that helps my body recover and still keeps me active as much as possible. There will be at least two weeks (one in June and one in July) where there will be limited or no crossfit at all, so that will probably be good.

The next two weeks (around Memorial Day weekend), we’ll take it a little easy. Murph, if we get it in, always kills me.

I must achieve enlightenment like the great Wally Llama


Apologies to my coaches as I figure this crap out and do my best to listen to your advice. Thanks for all you do.

Lynne for the Win!

Wasn’t sure I was going to be able to move this morning, but I was, so after a crazy morning I headed in for an 8:30 workout. Coach Bill had me, Todd, and Melissa this morning, so we had fun (not surprising, really!).

jumping-jacks-5JBrue-clipartWhile Bill was finishing up the workout, we started with a couple of rounds of:

  • 200m run
  • 15 jumping jacks
  • 5 push-ups
  • 5 pull-ups
  • 10 banded triceps extension
  • 30 second banded chest stretch, each side

It gave me an opportunity to break in my new WODies from Jerkfit. With as much as I’ve been tearing up my hands on pull-ups, I needed to try something else. These may do the trick. Worked great during the warm-up. πŸ™‚

With that done, we each warmed up to our working weight for the WOD.

  • lynne-wodLynne
  • Β Competitor:
    • 5 rounds for max reps of:
      • Body-weight bench press
      • Pull-ups
  • Performance:
    • 5 rounds for max reps of:
      • ΒΎ-body-weight bench presses
      • Pull-ups
  • Fitness:
    • 5 rounds for max reps of:
      • Push-ups
      • Ring rows

Even if I was feeling 100%, I would have shied away from body weight bench press at any sort of rep scheme. I think my one rep is 230# (April 2016) and now that my body weight is holding around 215#, that should be doable — maybe? But 3/4 was more realistic at 161# (I rounded up to 165#).

Bill said we should shoot for a weight where we could do 8-10 unbroken. HA!

Warmed up with 95# x5, 115# x5, and 135# x5. They all felt ok, though 135# was starting to get spicy. Adding another 30# to hit 165# was going to be rough.

rockypr-300x213So how’d it go? Bill spotted me and some reps felt much better than others, just FYI. πŸ™‚

  • 4 ok bench presses and 2 rough ones, for 6 total
  • 13 pull-ups (a new PR)
  • 4 ok bench presses and 1 rough one, for 5 total
  • 12 pull-ups
  • 3 ok bench presses and 1 rough one, for 4 total
  • 14 pull-ups (a second new PR)
  • 2 ok bench presses and 1 rough one for 3 total
  • 12 pull-ups
  • 2 ok bench presses and 1 rough one for 3 total
  • 10 pull-ups
  • Total: 82 (thought it was 76 when I eyeballed it the first time)

Not too bad for a guy who just turned 48 today.

As for the WODies, they did pretty well. I tore ABOVE where they covered my palm on one finger, but it wasn’t awful. So I’ll live. πŸ™‚

Thanks Bill for the spotting and Melissa, Todd, and Caleb for the encouragement!

Have a great day!


Bears Don’t Crawl Like That…

First day of the week and I took some time off for work, so what else do I start my day with but working out at CrossFit Continuum? It’s the most obvious choice!

gymnastics-handstand-silhouette-body-silhouette-man-in-handstand-front-1Made it to the 8:30 class with Lara & Logan for Coach Drea, who was feeling a bit under the weather today. We started with a 400m jog and then did a couple of rounds of:

  • 10 air squats
  • 10 PVC passthrus
  • 30 second handstand hold
  • 30 seconds each side with a banded lunge
  • 30 seconds each side with some banded shoulder work

I will admit that I started out a bit rough, but got better as we warmed up.

From there we talked a bit about modifications for the workout. None of us had handstand walks, so we were all doing some variation. And I think we all ended up doing the same variation – starting a bit further away from the wall and then walking our hands closer to the wall from that position. It was going to be a challenge. But we talked about that and did some bear crawl work before getting ready to start the workout itself.

  • 15 minute AMRAP
  • 3 attempts on the wall for handstand walks
  • 50 foot bear crawl
  • 100 foot walking lunge

Bear-Grouping-2016011955-800pxI think it was the very first round where I hit the only issue I had with the workout. We were supposed to start out further away from the wall than usual, but on my second attempt, I moved WAY out and landed at a steep angle with my feet flat on the wall. And then I couldn’t figure out how to get out of the position. I didn’t have the leverage I needed to move closer to the wall on my hands and I tried to kick off of the wall and I was too far over. It was entertaining. I ended up bailing to my right shoulder (comparing it to one of Bill’s “bear rolls” from a few weeks ago). I didn’t hurt anything, but it was a weird situation.

By the end of the 15 minutes, I managed to get through 4 full rounds, plus 3 attempts and about 20 feet of a bear crawl. So I called it 4+4.

Here’s my fun observation. That weird rocking bear crawl where it’s left/left right/right instead of left/right left/right really does establish a bit of a feel for the side to side rocking motion we need to get familiar with for handstand walking. Considering how much I hated that particular movement when we started it, I was surprised to find that it actually HELPED. Damn coaches know what they’re talking about!! πŸ™‚

Anyway, I finished with a bit of foam rolling and then headed out. Lara kicked butt today and was beating both Logan and myself pretty soundly. I knew when she lapped me I was in serious trouble. πŸ™‚ (Just kidding)

Great work folks! Feel better Drea!

Team WOD Chaos

Team WODs have been hit and miss with the craziness of soccer this season, but AJ and I made it in today despite the chaos.


The day started with my writing “seminar” at the box, with an attendance of one. πŸ™‚ Drea, AJ, and I had a great chat though that lasted a good hour. It was wide ranging, covering everything from writing to podcasting and social media. Though I was prepared to talk about the writing and blogging portions, I was surprised at how much AJ contributed to the conversation around social media, YouTube, and podcasting. It was eye opening. πŸ™‚

7TaonKRbcAfter that though, it was time for a crazy team WOD. We had a small turnout – a few more than a dozen folks maybe. We started with a fun Indian run where we all ran in a line and the first person in line had to jog backwards to the back of the line over and over again. We only went 400m, but it was a casual pace and entertaining from start to finish with a mix of kids and adults running forward and back. πŸ™‚

Back inside, we did a combination of PVC pipe pass-thrus, air squats, burpees, and some push press skill work before breaking into teams of three.

I worked with Steve & Mike (Lisa Grant’s husband who joined us this morning), and AJ worked with Karen & Lisa Stamos. I think there were 4 or 5 teams all together, and Jimmy put together an entertaining WOD for the day:

  • 3 person teams, 15 second AMRAP for 80 cycles (20 minutes)
  • Working one at a time, each team member worked for 15 seconds at a movement. When they were done, the next team member did the next movement in the sequence. And when the 2nd person was done, the third member would do the next movement… the 1st person would then do the next one in the cycle.
    • Push-ups
    • Wall Balls (we did 20#)
    • Assault Bike for calories
    • Push Press (Mike and I did #75 and Steve did 65#)
    • Ab-mat sit-ups

I have no idea how far we got and I will admit to getting lost a couple of rounds in, but eventually I got back on track. Mike started with push-ups, which meant I did wall balls and Steve did the bike and then we were all over the place.

turtle-slowHonestly, everything felt fine (even 15 seconds of the assault bike), but push-ups were the hardest part of the whole thing for me. I think I was shooting for 8-10 reps on everything but the assault bike (couldn’t read the display and wasn’t paying attention to how many calories).

I will say that 30 seconds of rest after 15 seconds of work was an interesting set-up. Reminded me a bit of a Tabata (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, for four minutes). Definitely sweating pretty good by the time we were about halfway in!

I didn’t mind a short team WOD today – was a nice change of pace from some of the 30-45 minute workouts we’ve had in the past!

Thanks Jimmy! And thanks Drea for a good chat before. Hopefully it helped!

Elizabeth, We Meet Again

The “girls” of Crossfit are always looming out there. Call them what you will, but those benchmarks lay in wait, ready to pounce at any time.

Today… Elizabeth pounced at our box.

always-warm-up-thoroughlyWandered in for the 8:30 class with Ev, Todd & Melissa, KB, and Lara — and Coach Bill. Haven’t seen Bill for a while, so it was nice to catch up a bit. We started with a 400m jog (learned today that my No Bulls are definitely not great for jogging) and came in for two rounds of:

  • 5 inchworms + 1 push up
  • 10 overhead squats with a PVC pipe
  • 15 hip extension on GHD or good mornings (good mornings with a PVC pipe were fine)
  • 30 sec per side of banded front-rack stretch (I think we did more like a minute each side and the last round we did even more)

We did a little bit of clean skill work with a PVC pipe and empty barbell, then added a little weight to the bar. Did a little ring dip warm-up, then did 5 power cleans and 5 ring dips, added more weight, and did 5 and 5 again.

elizabeth-wodElizabeth is:

  • 21-15-9 reps for time of:
    • Cleans (we did Power cleans today instead of the usual Squat cleans)
    • Ring dips
  • Competitor: 135/95#
  • Performance:Β 15-12-9, 115/75#
  • Fitness: 15-12-9, 75/55# & push-ups instead of ring dips

Now Bill, in typical Bill fashion, wanted us to shoot for the 5-8 minute range.

My last Elizabeth time (I had to hunt a bit) was December 2016, so it’s been a while. I did 21-15-9 with 95# squat cleans and ugly ring dips, finishing in 10:47.

Today I did 21-15-9 with 115# power cleans and ugly ring dips, finishing in 8:56. This week has worked shoulders, lats, and triceps hard, so those ring dips were AWFUL. But my power cleans (mostly muscle cleans really) were ok after the round of 21.

Ev did 21-15-9 today with 75# on the bar and dips between two 30″ boxes — in 6:56. She did awesome.

I will take power cleans over squat cleans any day of the week. πŸ™‚

Thanks for the encouragement Bill, and great work everybody!!