A Busy Saturday of Yoga and Weight Training

Yesterday was crazy. I think in the past I’ve maybe only once or twice done a workout during the day and then a session of yoga later that same day. A few hours of recovery, both mental and physical, seems to be a good thing for me. But this weekend we pushed that to a whole new place. And by the end my body was telling me I pushed it to a new extreme (which is why I didn’t write this up last night – I was exhausted, though it was a good exhausted!).

weirdmasteStarted with 9 am yoga over at CrossFit 719 with our yogi Ridds. As always, that was fun and got the body moving for a good hour. The whole family went and I think it set the day off on a good note. We did not stay for the team WOD because Ev and I had other plans.

We then had about 90 minutes to chill and relax at home. Got some water and Rehydrate, a little food, a bit of TV, and then we were off again.

Where to? This time – CrossFit Pick It Up just about a mile from us. It’s a box that’s new to us but moved nearby about half a year ago (into a storefront where n old pack-and-ship store was when we first moved back to Colorado about a decade ago). We knew nothing about the place  or the people, but had signed up for an Olympic weightlifting seminar with Jared Enderton for the day and it was being held there. So we killed two “firsts” in one fell swoop – attended a new crossfit box and a weightlifting seminar. 🙂

crossfit-pickitup-logo1009-2280Coach Bill at Continuum suggested Jared’s seminar for me a few weeks ago and Ev amazingly had the day off so we went together. Great way to spend an afternoon as a couple, don’t you think? 🙂 Neither one of us had any idea what to expect from the seminar, but were curious to see how it would go.

We arrived just after Coach Jared and Coach Tami (coach and owner at CrossFit Pandora’s Box) got there and met Coach Matt, who is the owner of Pick It Up. There were also a handful of other folks, most of whom attended Pick It Up as athletes. One of them (Addison?) actually works with our friend Lyle from Continuum, so that was a cool connection. And Matt of course knows Jimmy and Drea from Continuum. It’s a pretty good community of crossfitters down here in the Springs, which is fun. And I discovered that Matt knew me by reputation as well from my “epic Facebook check-ins” and write-ups, so that was really funny – and a bit humbling!

LOGO-280x230Once we were all checked in, Jared got started with a bit about who he is, where he comes from, and what his philosophy is. I would encourage you to go to his Enderton Strength website to get his story, but he comes across as a great guy with a passion for movement in general and weightlifting specifically. During the seminar we’d be focusing on two lifts – the Olympic snatch and the clean and jerk. Funny enough, neither of them are among my best lifts. (Not sure I have a “best lift” now that I’m thinking about it!)

Over the next five hours (we started about noon and went to a bit after 5 pm with a couple of 10-15 minute breaks), he talked a bit but I’d say we did a good 3-4 hours of getting on the bar. The majority of it was focused on starting position of hands, butt, knees, and shoulders. Though we’ve worked on “hook grip” at our box a bit, I’ve never really developed a hang for it – but on Saturday I think I did finally get over the hump to the point where I may use it more going forward. And I’ll definitely have a different approach to the bar, which may help with consistency as well.

We spent some time going for a “max” snatch and I worked from the bar I started with (65#) up to 115#, which is still below my 1RM of 145# but still decent. I have things to ponder as we move forward at the box and I may do some work to try and harness the techniques we focused on.

After our last break we worked on the clean & jerk and I knew I was approaching critical mass body-wise. That was about 3.5 hours after we started and my knees, hips, and back were complaining quite a bit. What surprised me though was how fired up my shoulders were. We did some shoulder press with an unloaded barbell and I wondered what the heck I’d gotten myself into. 🙂

I didn’t get very far with the clean & jerk, but went from a PVC pipe and empty bar (45#) back up to 125#. My one rep max here is 185# or so, but I was having issues picking up the bar off the ground, let alone getting it all the way overhead.

Long story short, I had a great time and learned a lot from Coach Jared and Coach Tami. I think Evie did too.

To put it frankly, they definitely “know their shit.” If you get an opportunity to train with either of them at Pandora’s Box or another of Jared’s seminars, I think you’d get a lot out of the experience.

That being said, I suspect that nearly 6 solid hours of physical movement might have been a bit too much for this computer geek’s 45 year old body, but I’m still alive and smiling today so I guess it didn’t kill me. 🙂

For more information about these places, check out:

Next week it’s back to Continuum for the regular routine. I’m hoping for no Filthy Fifty or Karen on the horizon while my body gets back to some sense of “Regular” – whatever the heck that is!

Have a great weekend folks!


More Front Squats and Hammies

So yesterday was a rest day. I visited our friend Caleb, the chiropractor, and he moved things around before taping me up with about a yard of Rock Tape. Knees. Shoulders. The “bubblegum and bailing wire” as my father puts it should hold me together for a few days.

Today started with a rash of meetings (work, what are you gonna do) but I knew I had to get in for a workout. My wife (and many other crossfit friends) made it in for the 8:30 and 9:30 classes this morning. I couldn’t fit that in, so noon class, here I come!

Arrived to see Coach Bill rowing a country mile and Coach Drea on the phone, so I changed into my shoes and started doing some couch stretching on the wall to loosen up a bit. By the time I was on my second leg, Coach Isaac came in and it turned out I was the lone participant in the noon class today.


Isaac had me start with a short row, then some Cossack squats, pigs-on-skates, squat-to-stand, high knees, and low-and-slow air squats before we got started on the front squats for the day.

  • 1×3@80%
  • 1×3@85%
  • 1×3@90%
  • 1×3@85%
  • 1×3@80%

My one rep max was still 185# set back in 2013, but Isaac suggested bumping it up a bit today. So we used 190# to base the numbers off of, which led to…

  • 80% = 155# (82%)
  • 85% = 165# (87%)
  • 90% = 175# (92%)

I banged out those three sets of three reps each pretty easily and both Bill and Isaac suggested I add a bit more, so I did:

  • 185# (97%)

And that felt pretty good. Especially since that was my old one rep max. Something tells me my one rep is going up. 🙂 So I worked my way back down to 165# and called it good.

pablo (3)Then we did the “accessory work” which included upright rows, leg raises, and weighted dips today. The first two were fine, but my knees (and hamstrings) were getting cranky so Isaac pointed me at a few stretches and foam roller movements to try to loosen things up. It’s quite obvious I need to do more mobility work (gasp) more often, so I’ll have to see what I can do…

If the class sounds pretty relaxed, it definitely was. Bill, Drea and Isaac all commented that the front squats looked good, so I’ll take that as good news. 🙂

Now I’m back to work and feeling everything tightening up. Yay team!

I think I’ll likely skip tomorrow and just do some mobility here at the house because Saturday will be a full day. We’ll start with some yoga and then my wife and I are doing an Olympic lifting class with Jared Enderton at a box not far from our house – should be fun.

Hope everybody has a great day! It’s almost Friday! YAY!

Front Squats and Angry Knees

Yesterday I faced the Filthy Fifty and came up short. Today my body told me just how many things are out of whack when I was doing front squats. Great start to 2016, not. 😦

Today is the last day of my vacation and the last day before the girls go back to school, so it was nice to get the whole clan into the box for a workout. And today we got to work with Coach Heather, which is always fun. But we weren’t alone… Larry, KC, Janet, and Ashley joined the four of us.

20160105_102735Started with a 400m run. And can I just say that running in new shoes was a challenge? I got a new pair of Nano 5’s for Christmas and the darn things are really stiff.

When we got back inside, we did a variety of movements including slow air squats, Spider-man lunges, grasshoppers, knee hugs, pigs-on-skates, and my personal favorite – roll-to-candlestick. When all that was done, we split up and headed to the many weight racks to start from front squats…

  • 5 @ 75%
  • 5 @ 80%
  • 5 @ 85%
  • 5 @ 80%
  • 5 @ 75%

front-squat-300x280And when that was done we were to do some skill work. 3 sets with 2-3 minute rest in-between:

  • 10 front rack lunges
  • 10-20 GHD sit-ups or weighted sit-ups
  • 10 front rack step-ups

So how’d we do?

Honestly we haven’t done front squat PRs in forever. The last numbers I have were 185# for a 1RM back in 2013. So using that as a base I should have done 140#, 150#, 160# or so. I ended up doing 135#, 135#, 155#, 135#, 135#.

My left knee is CRANKY. I blame the box jumps, but I’m sure it’s just from all the abuse of the last few weeks. Need to go see our good friend and chiropractor Caleb. 🙂

That made the lunges and step-ups hairy for me. After talking with Heather, I modified the skill work to be:

  • 10 body weight lunges (no bar)
  • 20 weighted sit-ups with the Khalipa med ball (25#)
  • 10 good mornings with an empty bar

Took a while to get through that. But I managed.

How’d everybody else do?

  • Mickey hit 75# on the front squats
  • AJ hit 35# on the front squats
  • Ev hit 105# on the front squats

And they all did fine on the skill work.

So all in all I’d say we survived. 🙂

Tomorrow will be a rest day. We’ll see if I can squeak in to see Caleb at some point.

Have a great day folks and thanks Heather for keeping us moving (and helping me adjust for my angry knee)!

Hitting the Wall

Today is the 4th of January, 2016… We didn’t get a workout in for the first three days of the new year, but today we got back to Crossfit Continuum to rectify that situation. And I almost wish I had stayed home.

I got to work out with my whole family today, plus a huge group of other folks… Elyse, Brent, Sam, Danielle, Lisa, Andrea, and a few new folks. We had folks everywhere. The class before us was Larry, Mike, and a new gal whose name I didn’t catch – and they all did great.

Though I have been dreading this workout for several days, I honestly just wanted to get it done. Because of the length of the workout (500 reps for time) we didn’t get much of a warm-up, but we Fitzy’s arrived early enough to get some good mobility and stretching in, so I wasn’t too worried about that. We did a 500m row and were pretty much off to the races gathering equipment and finding a place.

Filthy-FiftyIf you don’t know about the Filthy Fifty, it’s one of those “named” workouts in Crossfit that lives in infamy.

  • 50 Box jump, 24 inch box
  • 50 Jumping pull-ups
  • 50 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood
  • Walking Lunge, 50 steps
  • 50 Knees to elbows
  • 50 Push press, 45 pounds
  • 50 Back extensions
  • 50 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball
  • 50 Burpees
  • 50 Double unders (or 100 singles)

Essentially this workout is 500 reps for time. It’s insane.

I grabbed Mike’s equipment (53# kettle-bell, 45# bar, box, 20# med ball) from the last class and found a jump rope. Figured out where I would do my jumping pull-ups and was as ready as I was going to be.

My scaled approach changed a couple of things:

  • Box jumps and step-ups to a 20″ box
  • Single jumps instead of double-unders
  • Good Mornings with the 45# bar instead of back extensions on the GHD machine

Everything else I could pretty much do, or so I thought.

dnfI was slow, but chugging forward until I got to the push press, which I did strict (no knee bounce) because of the light bar. By the time I got to the Good Mornings, my arms were complaining. But I think it was the bouncing of the head up and down that really pushed me over the edge.

I got to the wall balls and the room was spinning. I only got through 10 wall balls before I had to sit down. I was done. Standing up is kind of important and if I couldn’t do a wall ball, burpees were going to be impossible.

Coach Bill later told me the color in my face wasn’t right and asked if I’d eaten. I did – had a good breakfast (three eggs with a bit of bacon for an omelet with my cup of coffee). But the day before I really only had one meal – lunch. Sometimes I just forget to eat. I did make a sandwich for dinner, but it was pretty minimal.

So a couple of things…

First, the Filthy Fifty is awful. And we have to do it again at the end of the month. Looking forward to this WOD less than I did for Karen (150 wall balls for time), which is saying something.

Second, I have to remember to eat better before one of these “chipper” workouts. I seem to be good up to about 30 minutes. Past that, my lack of conditioning comes into play and now apparently it also involves my diet which has been a bit wonky over the last month or so.

This month we’re falling back to a more paleo diet and one cheat meal a week. That will help with weight loss for me, but it may come with a cost to my strength due to not eating enough. We’ll see how that works. We may add in a couple of snacks a day like we did with the Zone diet and see if that helps keep us more fueled.

Anyway… Today was a DNF. Everything is up from there, so the next time should be a bit better. Hopefully.

I got through 360 of the 500 reps in about 42 minutes and my body gave up. Or I gave up because my body was reacting poorly. Either way, it was unpleasant and something I’d rather not repeat.

We shall see.

Everybody else did amazing, so great work folks!

The Last Workout of 2015

Wow. 2015 was quite a year. Only fitting we end it with a heck of a workout, right?

After doing Karen yesterday, I had a fun night with friends and didn’t get home until midnight – which was followed by tossing and turning and not sleeping much. So when the alarm went off at 7, I was debating whether I was going to do much of anything, let alone go do the last workout of the year at Crossfit Continuum with my family.

Well, Coach Clare and the rest of the 8:30 crew convinced me to get off my butt and do the workout. But I was a zombie at the beginning.

Clare had a full class this morning… we had Connie, Larry, Caleb, Mike, Clara, Danielle, Ev, and myself. Looked like the 9:30 class was pretty good as well with Karen, Dan, Monica, Deana, Robert, and maybe a few other folks.

We started with a short row of 250m and then some things like med ball cleans, one-armed kettlebell thrusters, a 30 second hollow body hold on the rig, some Frankenstein marches, pigs on skates, and then it was time to get our stuff together.

What was the workout? Well, it was 31 reps each of 12 different movements followed by a row. Of course the row didn’t make it onto the website, but hey… who are we to judge? 🙂

  • 31 – Push Press 75/55
  • 31 – Pull-ups
  • 31 – Snatch 75/55
  • 31 – Sit-ups
  • 31 – Toes 2 Bar
  • 31 – Push-ups
  • 31 – Box Jumps 24/20
  • 31 – Back Squats 75/55
  • 31 – Unbroken Double unders (or 365 singles)
  • 31 – Thrusters 75/55
  • 31 – Lunges
  • 31 – Burpees
  • 2015m row

We gathered our equipment… boxes and ropes for jumping, ab mats for sit-ups, yoga mats for some of our knees, etc. And we set off with a 32 minute or so limit so we didn’t run into the 9:30 class time.

Funny enough it was the pull-ups that gave me the most grief initially. Toes to bar became knees to elbows. When I tried a 20# box jump I nearly took myself out on the box, so I ended up doing step-ups. I did about 10 regular push-ups and the rest from my knees. And I can’t do a double-under so I did singles, but my knees were not up for jumping. I’d do 40 or 50 in a row and have to stop.

Long story short, I was a mess. I blame Karen yesterday. But I kept going. 🙂

In the time cap, I made it to about 120 single jumps before I ran out of time. A handful of folks made it to the row, but I don’t think anybody finished the row in the time we had. It would have taken me about 8-10 minutes to get through the 2015 meter row I think, but maybe longer because my knees are angry.

But we did the workout. There is no more to do this year but celebrate the end and move on. 🙂 Great work everybody!

Hope everybody has a wonderful and safe New Years’ Eve!!

Karen is still a dirty word

We knew it was coming. A retest on Karen. It’s part of the “In the Zone” challenge that our trainers are doing at Crossfit Continuum. We did Karen at the beginning of December. It was going to come around eventually… but dang. I am still not a fan.

So the 8:30 class was wrapping up when we got there. A few folks (Larry) were milling about. And Mickey and I were part of the 9:30 class. We were joined by Coach Bill (Coach Andrea was already there) and soon we had Lisa, Andrea, Karen, Connie, and the two of us warming up for Bill.

Started with a team 1500 meter row. Each of us rowed 250m. And somehow that was the easiest part of the whole thing. We did some work with wall ball cleans (Bill had me use the Jason Khalipa 25# ball to warm up), wall ball front squats, some squats, and even a few wall balls (among a few other things). I was happy to ditch the 25# wall ball for a 20# one. 🙂

20151230_102348After that we found our spots on the wall, settled on the music selection for the class (thank you Jimmy), and started off on our wall balls.

If you don’t remember, Karen is 150 wall balls for time. I had a time of 16:21 last time. We’ve seen people do it in 5-7 minutes, but most folks are in that 9-12 minute area. I was above and beyond that. Today was no different.

I tried to stick with a 15 or 10 rep scheme as long as I could, but my knees, quads, and left hip were all complaining bitterly. Not fun. So I’d do a set, walk and stretch, do another set, repeat…

On the plus side, I did manage to improve on my time. I hit 15:47 today, which was a 34 second improvement. I’ll take it. 🙂

20151230_102343Mickey did it in 11:36. I think she was right around 12 last time too, so she did well. That was after playing three separate indoor soccer games yesterday, so I was impressed she was still moving. We’ll see how she does at a game this afternoon.

My knees are complaining. I’m sure other parts will eventually too, but daaaang. I hope we don’t have to do it again for a few months!!

That’s it for now. Great work everybody! Thanks for pushing me forward Bill – I only swore at you once or twice. 🙂

Once we were done, it was time for some measurements. Didn’t change much, but did gain a few pounds. Gotta love the holidays.

Hope everybody has a great day!


Thrust That Weight!

Yesterday I couldn’t string 10 pull-ups together. But today was a different experience. Amazing what a difference a day makes!

Made it to the 8:30 class with the whole Fitzy crew (though Mickey sat this one out since she’s playing 3 different indoor soccer games today). We were joined by Ashley and KC and led by Coach Stacy. (The 9:30 class had Larry, Karen, Dan, Andrea, and another gal with Coach Bill, so I’m sure they had fun too!)

We started with a 1,000m row and then did fun things like Sotz Press with a PVC pipe, squat-to-stand, roll-to-candlestick (my least favorite warm-up), tripod (crow position) to a high plank, and a few other things. That was all to warm us up for a series of thrusters today.

It was seven sets of three reps, trying to get the three reps strung together with no break. We were supposed to shoot for a heavy 3 rep max at the top.

Mickey took this picture of me during the workout

It’s been a while since we last did heavy thrusters. I have down a 165# one rep max from May and Ev did 90#, but nothing for the girls.

(Corrected) AJ made it to 40#. Ev made it to 95# (did three single thrusters at 90#, not continuous), one at 95#, and attempted 100# but didn’t quite get there. But that was awesome since she now has a new one rep max!

20151229_092722I did a series that looked like this:

  • 95# x3
  • 115# x3
  • 125# x3
  • 135# x3
  • 145# x3
  • 155# x3
  • 165# x3 (old 1RM, now new 3RM)
  • 170# x1 (1RM)

I probably could have gone further but we were running out of time and I didn’t want to hurt myself ahead of doing Karen (150 wall balls for time) again tomorrow (not looking forward to that BTW).

I don’t feel too bad right now and will continue to do some mobility before attempting tomorrow’s insanity. But I’m very pleased with the results of today’s strength work. I got further than I expected. 🙂

After that we did some elevated pigeon stretch on a box, so that was good too.

I hope everybody has a great day. Thanks Stacy for keeping us all moving and grooving and great work everyone!!

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