In the Zone, Day 3

So we all slept in this morning, but here’s how the meals shook out…

Clean except for dinner, so we’re doing ok.


  • 3 oz. steak = 3 blocks of protein
  • 2 eggs = 2 blocks of protein
  • 1 piece of toast = 2 blocks of carbs
  • 2 tsp of butter = 2 blocks of fat
  • 1 oz of coffee creamer = 2 blocks of fat
  • mix of strawberries, grapes, and watermelon = 3 blocks of carbs
  • total: 5 blocks of protein, 4 blocks of fat, 5 blocks of protein


  • Tortilla – 2 blocks carbs
  • Chicken – 4.5 oz = 4.5 blocks protein
  • .5 block of cheese
  • avocado – 1/4 avocado – 1 block
  • sour cream – 3 blocks
  • some tomato
  • kombucha = 1 block carbs
  • plus 1/2 apple = 1 block carbs


  • Zone bar – 3 grams of carbs, 3 blocks of fat, 1.5 blocks of protein
  • 1 hard boiled egg = 1 block protein
  • 1 string cheese = 1 block protein


  • Cheat – Rock Bottom celebratory dinner for AJ’s soccer tournament championship

In the Zone – Day 2

Yes, I managed to make to the box on Friday for Cindy. That was technically the beginning of our “In the Zone” challenge at Crossfit Continuum where we go through different challenges over the next few months. The first challenge – the Zone Diet. And boy is it going to be a challenge if the first few days are any indication.

Day 1 was not all that hot, as you might have noticed in the Cindy post. I really only managed to eat two meals the whole day – a salad and a rice bowl at Tokyo Joes. Both were tasty, but it just wasn’t a good day for regular eating.

*THIS* is a snack?
*THIS* is a snack?

But that leads to Day 2, which was yesterday. Pardon my language, but holy crap that’s a lot of food.

According to our wonderful box owner and trainer Drea, I’m supposed to eat 22 blocks of food A DAY… That’s 22 blocks of protein, carbs, and fat. In. One. Day.

Yesterday we were gone all day, so we were up early scrambling to pull things together before we left for a soccer tournament.

Here’s how the day broke down meal wise…

Breakfast (5 blocks)

  • a cup of coffee with 1 oz of creamer (2 blocks of fat) and one scoop of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (1 block of protein)
  • a cooked 1/3 pound hamburger (ended up being about 2 oz cooked or 2 blocks of protein)
  • a fried egg (1 block of protein)
  • a 8″ flour tortilla (2 blocks of carbs)
  • a medley of strawberries and grapes (3 blocks of carbs)
  • a second cup of coffee with another 1 oz of creamer (2 blocks of fat)
  • Total: 4 blocks of protein, 5 blocks of carbs, 4 blocks of fat

Snack #1

  • 4 oz of tuna fish, drained (4 blocks protein)
  • 4 teaspoons of light mayo (4 blocks fat)
  • 1 tsp relish (1/3 block of carbs)
  • 2 pieces of bread (4 blocks of carbs)
  • Total: 4 blocks of protein, 4+ blocks of carbs, 4 blocks of fat

Lunch (cheat?)

  • One steak burrito from Chipotle with guacamole, white rice, black beans, sour cream, cheese, corn salsa, green tomatillo salsa
  • No idea how many actual blocks it actually is, but according to the Chipotle Nutrition Calculator ( something like this
  • flour tortilla – 10 g of fat, 46 g carbs, 7 g protein (not sure how to count this)
  • steak – 4 oz = 4 blocks of protein
  • white rice – 4 oz = 8 tablespoons? = ~3 blocks of carbs
  • corn salsa – 3.5 oz = < 1/2 cup = ~ 2 blocks of carbs
  • green chile salsa – 2 oz = very little
  • sour cream = 2 oz = 4 tablespoons = 4 blocks
  • cheese = 1 oz = 1 block of protein
  • guacamole = 4 oz = 8 tablespoons = wow 8 blocks of fat
  • no way to figure out what this is in zone terms for me without food calculus
  • call it a cheat?

Snack #2 (~4 blocks)

  • Green apple whole = 2 blocks of carbs
  • 12 cashews = 4 blocks of fat
  • Turkey lunchmeat & swiss = 4 blocks

20151003_193858Dinner (5 blocks)

  • 5 oz of cooked steak = 5 blocks of protein
  • 1 whole red potato = 2 blocks of carbs
  • sauteed mix of yellow squash, zucchini, broccoli, snow peas, carrots = 1ย blocks (about a cup)
  • cider beer = 2 carb blocks
  • sour cream (2 tsp) = 2 blocks
  • butter (2 tsp) = 2 blocks
  • olive oil (on veggies) = 1 block
  • steak sauce = 1 carb block


Same as my original statement. Holy crap that’s a lot of food.
I understand that the idea is that we rev up the system so our metabolism is burning more calories more efficiently and working on the stored calories in our fat pockets, but dang… I haven’t eaten this much food since I was probably in college.

My biggest problem so far is wrapping my head around the sheer volume of food and the preparation time as we figure out what the heck a block is here, a block is there, etc…

This next week is going to be rough.

Cindy Friday?

Ah Fridays. They’re supposed to be easy, right? Apparently not. I even took the day off… silly me.

This morning started with a bang at 4:30am when the alarm went off to get my wife and girls up to go to the box for a 5am workout. Of the three of them, only two headed out, and I went back to sleep for a bit with the dogs.

I got up at 6:15 and was ready to attack the day, or so I thought. About that time, my wife and daughter got home. I had a cup of coffee with a splash of creamer (I’m a rebel) and a scoop of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. Headed to the basement to post on my games blog. Life was good. I should have known better…

Highway to the Diet Zone…

20151002_102147Today is the first day of the “In the Zone” challenge at Crossfit Continuum. Over the next four months we’ll adjust diet and work on a few other things to improve our performance in the box. This month we’re starting with the Zone Diet. And after looking at all the documentation last night I was more than a little worried about how it was going to go.

When I emerged from the basement I discovered I had a panicked teenager to deal with. Zone isn’t the easiest thing to get started with and we just kind of dropped it in the middle of everything else going on at our house. We didn’t go shopping. Didn’t meal prep at all. Just *blam* – here are some printed PDFs, go figure it out. And my daughter was in a time crunch before school, lost with what she needed to accomplish food-wise.

We defused the situation, got her set up, and figured out some stuff for lunch and snack to take to school, and I ran her to school. Meanwhile my wife helped our youngest get her stuff together.

And then we pretty much headed back to the box for the 9:30am class so I could do Cindy (after taking our youngest to school and dropping the car at the dealership for a regular service – wouldn’t do to have a SIMPLE day, not at all).

Keep in mind I have had a cup of coffee at this point. So far, not tracking well for eating on this diet.

Cindy Lou Who?

Today’s WOD was Cindy as a benchmark (20 minutes AMRAP, 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air squats). Not one of my favorites, but a standard workout for crossfit. No biggie.

We got to the box in time to watch the 8:30 class work through it. Monica, Daniel, Lori, and Lisa. Our 9:30 class had a new gal, plus Joel, Heather, Danielle, Elyse, and Lyle. Both classes were full of good folks, as per usual.ย And if your name wasn’t “Brian,” you killed it. ๐Ÿ™‚

While the 8:30 class was chugging away, Coach Drea did my measurements. I think the weight was off, but we got ’em done and will compare at the end of the month to see where we’re at. Apparently for my body type I’m supposed to eat 22 blocks a day. That’s a lot of food. I’m still wrapping my head around that.

And then I tackled Cindy. I did ok for a few rounds, but that 20 minutes went fast. Ultimately I got through 9 full rounds plus 3 pull-ups. That was 273 reps. Compare that to other folks like Daniel who did 22 rounds or even my eldest daughter who got through 13… I didn’t do that hot. And I’m ok with that – it’s my benchmark, not a competition really, so fine.

When we were done, I had my recovery shake (a Progenex Loco Mocha) and we talked with Drea about the diet stuff. Still not food, but something to put in the system anyway.

Everyone did awesome during the workout, so that was cool. ๐Ÿ™‚

Rest of the Day

So other than a cup of coffee and the Progenex, I still haven’t eaten anything today at this point.

My wife and I headed toย The Martianย starring Matt Damon and split a bottle of water. No snacks. We were good kids. And then we headed to Saltgrass for a tenderloin cobb salad. Finally, food! (Great movie, still a better book. Just sayin’.)

We think it was about 4 blocks give or take. So not quite a 5 block meal, but hey, there’s something in my belly now.

Still lost about the Zone stuff, but will eventually wrap my head around it. And of course soccer will get in the way of that this weekend with at least three games in a tournament for our youngest.

This too shall pass. Maybe by the end of the month we’ll get it figured out.

Not a great day off so far, but hey… it’s not over yet. Who knows? Maybe I’ll eat something else before I’m done…

Hope everybody had a good day and has a fine weekend!

Back Squat Thursday

Today’s post title should really be “crap, I can’t count” or “dude, go a little lower.”

Made it to an 8:30 am class with my wife and Larry at Crossfit Continuum and we had both Coach Isaac and Coach Zac today. We’ve been in a strength cycle for a while now and this is week 3. Next week should be the end of it.

math-is-hardStarted today with a 500m row and then did a few things… Frankenstein walks, sumo deadlift high pulls with a kettle-bell, Cossack squats, slow air squats, stand to squat (gorilla pose from yoga essentially) and pigs-on-skates. But after that it was all business.

Today’s series was 3 reps each at 80%, 85%, 90%, 85%, and 80% of our one rep max.

My percentages would be 220#, 233#, and 247# so I figured I’d go 225#, 235#, 245#. What I ended up with was 225#, 245#, 265#. So at the high end I did 3 reps at better than 95% of my one rep max. Some days barbell math is hard.

What was funnier to me was warming up… I started with 135# on the bar and did a back squat where Isaac kept saying “lower… lower… lower… now how’s that feel?” I was lower than I’ve ever been in a back squat and it didn’t hurt. It was very strange. I attribute some of that to being chiropractically adjusted yesterday by Caleb. And the good feelings didn’t last the whole workout, but it was a nice change.

Took a while to get through the five rounds and by the fourth round my right knee was a bit cranky, but still… I managed to get through it all before Isaac pointed out that I’d done 265# three times at the top, not 245#. Oops. That math thing. Something tells me my one rep is going to go up if this progress continues. ๐Ÿ™‚

20151001_093321Meanwhile Ev & Larry were chugging away as well. She did 135#/145#/155# as her progression. 155# was her old one rep max (165# is her new one from May I think she said) and she did it 5 or 6 times working with Isaac, so I suspect her one rep will be going up as well. Not sure what Larry hit at the top, but he was chugging through the reps pretty quickly as well.

Once that was done we had two movements to work through… a “weighted squat jump” and good mornings with a bar. When Isaac demonstrated, he did them as lunges initially but by the time we got to them it was more straight up and down, exploding upward from the bottom of the squat. He suggested a 95# bar but eventually dropped that to the regular bar.

It wasn’t too bad. I’m not the best jumper in the world (my brain gets in the way), but I did ok with an empty barbell. Funny enough the jumps were more fun than the good mornings today. My low back and hips were a little fired up so it was a bit wobbly. I didn’t get through all three sets by the end, but did two full sets alternating 5 of each for 20 total each round.

So it was a good day is what I’m trying to say. ๐Ÿ™‚

Next week should be good to finish up the strength cycle and see if I can beat my one rep max for back squats at the end. I think I can. ๐Ÿ™‚

A big thank you to Isaac and Zac for helping us out today!

Leaping into Tuesday

This week is already better on the workout front. Workout #2 for the week is in the books…

20150929_102841Was going to try and make it to the 8:30 class, but work insanity struck again and caused me a little grief so I had to reschedule. I work as a code monkey, i.e. “software engineer”, and stumbled on a mystery after being asked to look into a test failure at 6:45 this morning. I left the computer chugging away rebuilding some stuff and headed in for a 9:30 class.

When I got there, one of my box mates, Andy, asked if this week was going any better than last week (last week was rough) and I had to say “Not really.” But by the end of the class, the endorphin rush had kicked in and I was feeling better. One more beneficial side effect to crossfit beyond getting in shape and interacting with a mutually supportive community. ๐Ÿ™‚

Whereas it looked like everybody was exhausted and beat up a bit by yesterday’s workout, today folks were smiling and happy. Amazing what a difference a day makes! It was Monica, Andy, Ashley, Nicole, and Mike in the 8:30 class with Coach Drea.

For the 9:30 class it was me and Sam with Coach Drea, so a quiet class. Sam is small but mighty. ๐Ÿ™‚

Today was a strength day at Crossfit Continuum. We’ve been in a back squat cycle (which I missed all of last week) and it continued today (and again this coming Thursday)…

We started with an 800m run or 1000m row and I chose to row today to save my knees a bit of wear and tear. Took me about 4:15 to do that, so not bad. And then we jumped right into warming up to our starting weight for back squats.

Back Squats

Today’s progression was 5@75%, 5@80%, 5@85%, 5@80%, and 5+@75%. And honestly I was feeling pretty wimpy today. My one rep max is 275#, so I should have been at 205#, 220#, 235#. Instead I worked at 205#, 215#, and 225#… a bit lighter than I should have, but still good.

I warmed up and went through this progression…

  • 45# x1
  • 135# x1
  • 185# x1
  • 205# x5
  • 215# x5
  • 225# x5
  • 215# x5
  • 205# x6

Took a while, but we got it done.

Skill Work

And then we did some skill work, which was quite interesting. The easy part was a 3 rep back squat series at a lighter weight where you go down to the bottom of the squat, come up halfway, then drop again and stand. I did those at 135#. They weren’t too bad.

20150929_102820The bizarre one was this strange “seated box jump”. I’m about 5’10” and longer in the torso than the legs. Even so, I can usually pull off a 20″ box jump when my knees cooperate and occasionally even do a 24″ box jump (or step ups). But I’ve never attempted one while sitting on a low box.

Talk about playing mental games with yourself… Geez. I couldn’t think myself up from my butt onto a 20″ box to save myself. So Drea had me start small. Jumping onto a 45# plate. Then 2 plates. Then 3 plates. And even after that I still couldn’t convince myself to jump to 20″. These plates are a little over 3″ (maybe 3 1/4″). So three of them is about 10″ high. I was able to jump on three. I could probably do 4. But even after psyching myself up to do that, I couldn’t bring myself to jump on the damn 20″ box.

It’s all in my head. I suppose there are a lot of things like that…

It was just amusing. I sat there on the little box and stared at the 20″ box like it was three feet tall. It was crazy.

Someday I’ll conquer my brain. Until then… one thing at a time. ๐Ÿ™‚

Great work Sam! Thanks Drea for all the help!

And I’ll be back again on Thursday for more back squats. ๐Ÿ™‚

Monday, Dragging Monday…

Morning folks, for at least a little longer. Last week was awful (only made it to one WOD on Monday and then did the team WOD on Saturday with my family), but I’m hopeful that this week goes better. Hope springs eternal. And it started off with a WOD today at Crossfit Continuum, so that has to help.

Actually it started out with a couple of meetings for work, but they weren’t too bad. And I got a post up on my other blog (Moebius Adventures). So if all that happened and nobody was screaming loudly about anything, it meant I had time for a workout!

20150928_104050Got there about 9:15 and watched the 8:30 class finish up with Coach Drea. I saw Monica, Emily, Mike, Lori, and Larry, plus a new guy. And none of them looked happy. That didn’t bode well for today. Most folks took around 30 minutes to complete the WOD and looked completely spent at the end.

There were four of us in the 9:30 class… Heather, Nick, Andrea, and myself – led by Coach Bill.

We started with a 400m jog and then did a whole mess of different warm-up exercises… Half handstand push-ups, pike sit-ups, handstand holds, wall squats, fire hydrants, mountain climbers, and even roll to candlesticks. Those are always so much fun. Not. And then we warmed up with our front squat and push press weight on the bar…

Today’s WOD was 4 rounds for time:

  • 30 push-ups
  • 115/80-lb. front squats, 20 reps
  • 115/80-lb. push presses, 20 reps
  • 30 sit ups

I had multiple issues today… wrists, knees, and shoulders. But honestly it was my left knee that caused the most issues. Those fire hydrants had me put my knee on the floor and it seems that any time it gets direct pressure on the floor, it gets fired up – and not in a good way. And everything collapsed that direction today.

I started by scaling the weight a bit and only put 95# on the bar. My push-ups were fine for a while, but eventually I had to go to my knees and that fired it up further. And the front squats just made it more angry. So by the middle of the 2nd round I was trying to figure out what to do. I jumped from push-ups to a couple of front squats to my sit-ups just to keep doing *something*. Bill had me drop the front squats and replace with air squats and drop the number of reps in the middle, and that helped reduce some of the stress on the knee.

20150928_104054But my workout went something like this:

  • 20 regular push-ups, 10 from knees
  • 20 95# front squats (in sets of 5)
  • 20 95# push presses (in sets of 5)
  • 30 sit-ups
  • 10 regular push-ups, 20 from knees
  • 2 front squats
  • 30 sit-ups (Bill chatted with me)
  • 10 regular push-ups, 20 from knees
  • 20 air squats
  • 20 push press
  • 30 sit-ups
  • 10 regular push-ups, 20 from knees
  • 20 air squats
  • 10 push-press
  • 40 sit-ups
  • 20 air squats
  • 10 push-press
  • 10 sit-ups

Took me 35:38 to finish. I think I got all the reps in, but boy was this scaled up the wazoo. My goal was just to keep moving, doing something – anything. And I was prepared to just do sit-ups until Bill suggested the alternative.

Thanks for the encouragement and suggestions Bill. I’m not sure I would have gone as far as I did without the severe scaling in the middle. To say it was “heavily modified” is an understatement. But hey, it’s done and I can move on with my day… Great work everybody!

We’ll see if the knee responds to a bit of ice and ibuprofen and hope that it’s happier with some back squats tomorrow.

Have a good day folks!

Monday, Monday…

Morning folks.

I’ve decided that instead of writing up my WOD progress in Facebook, I’d do it in my blog. I have a bit more flexibility writing it up here and it will go immediately to my Facebook wall anyway, so it amounts to about the same thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

This week is going to be a bear and I’m only going to get a couple of chances to work out, so I figured I might as well start the week with some physical activity in the box.

Arrived for an 8:30am workout at CrossFit Continuum with Coach Drea. We had a full class today. Lori, Monica, Mike, Larry, Todd, Nicole, Casey, and yours truly. (The 9:30am class came in later – looked like Heather and Andrea joining Drea for that one.)

20150921_093031Started with a 400m jog instead of a 500m row. Why? Because it was nice outside and I wanted to. No other reason. After that we did some shoulder mobility and then one-armed kettlebell thrusters, jumping pull-ups, hollow body rocks, roll-to-candlesticks, and mountain climbers. Sets of 10 each. And we went through the whole thing twice.

I was ok with everything in the warm-up (even the one-armed thrusters, which I’m not great at) except for the roll-to-candlesticks. Several months ago I did one and damn near killed myself by backpedaling into a counter on the wall. I’m not good at them. The idea of thrusting my body off the floor into a standing position is something that I just can’t wrap my brain around, and my body knows this. (For an example, check out this excellent post at GymnasticsWod explaining the movement…)

Once that was done we grabbed an unloaded barbell and did some thruster practice, just to refresh our memory of how those work. Front squat into push-press. Not an unfamiliar movement, but not one we’ve done for a little while in any sort of high frequency.

And we worked on pull-ups. Chest-to-Bar is what the workout calls for, but only a handful of us have those down. After not working out for a few days (confession time: it’s been three days since my last WOD), nothing was moving easily today. But I did the best I could.

Today’s WOD is here. 10 minute AMRAP. Thrusters and C2B pul-ups in an ascending ladder. 5/5/10/10/15/15/20/20/etc. 95# on the bar for guys. 65# for ladies. Pretty straightforward.

20150921_093026Some folks from earlier classes made it to 100 reps, which meant they were well into the round of 20 or starting 25, which is impressive. I personally was shooting to finish the round of 15s and maybe get into the 20s. And I did. But I lowered the weight slightly to 75# because my left wrist wasn’t moving well and I knew this combination was going to do me in pretty quickly.

I made it through 5/5/10/10/15/15 and got one thruster in the 20’s round done. So not too bad. My thrusters were a bit rough in spots but ultimately it was the pull-ups that killed me. I have multiple hand wraps in my bag and like a dummy didn’t use any, so by the end I had a couple of places that tore.

20150921_103149Other folks in the class got into the 90s which was awesome! The beauty of crossfit is that I’m only ever really competing against myself in any workout, so I can cheer everybody else on while I’m sucking wind. ๐Ÿ™‚

After all that we did some mobility work. Quad mashing with an unloaded barbell and then rolling our upper back between the shoulder blades on that same barbell. My shoulders were cranky, so I did a bit more banded shoulder mobility as well.

I’m not too painful after all that. My left hip is a little cranky. Right knee. And right elbow. But those will improve through the day.

So there you have it… Monday WOD… DONE.

Next couple of days will be crazy. We’ll see how they play out.

Hope you all have a good day!

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