Tag Archives: Lurong Challenge

Lurong 2017 Workout #1 Redux

We’ll talk about the nutrition side of the Lurong Summertime Challenge 2017 another day, but today we retested on the 1st workout of this challenge. (We did this back on May 15…)

I headed in with the girls to the 8:30 class with Coach Drea today and we had a great set of folks join us — Nick & Lisa, Todd & Melissa, Connie, and Sarah.

Overhead-squat-1We started with about 10 minutes of mobility on upper body and anything else that needed work with a foam roller and lacrosse ball, then did a three round warm-up:

  • 100m row* or run/30 seconds on Assault bike
  • 8 overhead squats (with empty barbell or PVC – I used PVC)
  • 8 push-ups
  • 8 hollow body rocks

And then we did a lot of skill work with snatches and an empty barbell before grabbing a box, adding weight, and trying 3 reps each of:

  • power snatch
  • box jump
  • overhead squat
  • box jump

After trying the power snatch at 95#, I decided I’d drop the weight. So I went to 75#, which is what I thought Level 2 was. Apparently even THAT was overachieving for this workout. L2 was apparently 65#. Oops.

box-jump-failSo I did L2, but 75#/20″. Both girls scaled the weight but did 20″ box jumps.

  • 5 Minute AMRAP of:
    • 10 Power Snatches
    • 10 Box Jumps
  • Rest for 2 Minutes
  • 5 Minute AMRAP of:
    • 10 Overhead Squats
    • 10 Box Jumps
  • Rx 95/65# & 24/20″, L2 65/45# & 20/16″, L1 45/35# & 16/12″

Last time I made it through 96 reps with a 95# bar and 20″ step-ups (into but not through the 3rd round on either movement). This time (with less weight), I made it through 3 full rounds of each:

  • Three rounds flat of the Power Snatches & Box Jumps/Step-ups (60 reps)
  • Three rounds plus 4 more OHS of OHS and Step-ups (64 reps)
  • Total: 124 reps (28 reps more than last time!)

1kiekqFunny enough, looking back — that’s what Ev got the first time she did this workout with 55#. So I feel better. ๐Ÿ™‚

The girls each got through two rounds of each movements, plus:

  • Slight adjustment – apparently had the girls’ scores reversed
  • AJ: 46 + 53 = 99 reps total (front squats instead of OHS)
  • Mickey: 45 + 47 = 92 reps total

So they did great. Everybody did. Great work!

On to the rest of the day…


Cindy Wants Revenge and Creatine Issues

My question: What did I ever do to Cindy? Why is she so angry?

I missed the Lurong workout last week. Honestly it just wasn’t a good week for me, but we’ll get to the reason behind that after I talk about today.

Mickey and I hit the 8:30 workout with Coach Drea this morning. We had a good crew along with us — Sarah, Brent, Shannon, Todd, and Lisa.

silly-walkBut Coach Drea was in “evil trainer” mode this morning with our warm-up… She led us outside and up the hill to the west, then told us what we’d be doing:

  • 2 minutes of jogging the 100-150m back and forth
  • then 15 seconds of sprints and 45 seconds of recovery for 5 rounds

Yes, I said “sprints.” And though I jogged the 2 minutes back and forth, my “recovery” was a walk. ๐Ÿ™‚

But it didn’t stop there.

Once back inside, we did a long stretch of hip and shoulder mobility with a band on the rig. I swear I was sweating buckets during mobility, which is always entertaining. And then we did a few rounds (maybe 3) of:

  • 5 kips on the rig
  • 4 alternating one-arm planks (like the yoga move where you pivot to one side and then the other)
  • 5 wall-facing air squats, slow and steady as close as you can get to the wall without touching

cindyThat all took a long time. I think the mobility part of the workout was probably 35 minutes of our hour at least. And then we tackled the Lurong Challenge workout #3: Cindy Wants Revenge. Cindy plus rowing!

  • 12-Minute AMRAP
  • Opens with aย 30 Calorie Row
  • Thenย 2 Rounds of:
    • 5 Pull Ups
    • 10 Hand Release Push Ups
    • 15 Air Squats
  • The next round starts back at the 30 Calorie Row

Apparently some early classes made it as far as 3 rounds, plus. So though I was shooting for 3, I knew the row was going to slow me down, as would the push-ups. Anything over 2 rounds would be good. ๐Ÿ™‚

I made it through 2 rounds plus 3 reps. That boils down to about 183 “reps” in the 12 minute time cap. I did regular pull-ups and push-ups, and the regular air squats. My first 30 calorie row was about 2 minutes. Second was about 3 minutes. The killer for me was push-ups though. My first set of 10 was unbroken, but after that I was breaking it into 5 and 5 or 5-3-2 or whatever I could do.

Mickey made it through 1 full round plus 58 reps (she almost completed the third round of 5-10-15). She had to do a mix of pull-ups and ring rows, but she kept on chugging. Not bad for her second crossfit workout in a while (considering her first workout back was Murph!).

So we didn’t do too bad. Todd made it through 3 rounds plus a bit. Not sure how other folks did. But everybody was chugging right along!

Thanks Drea for a great workout!

Creatine and Me

So I mentioned that last week was bad for me. We started the Lurong challenge on my birthday, so this is the 4th week. And about the time we started, I also went back on adding some creatine into my diet.

now-creatineBack in October 2016, Jimmy suggested adding it to help with energy. So I bought Now Sports’ Creatine Monohydrate and added 1 heaping teaspoon to my Spark drink in the morning to help kick things off.

And that lasted until sometime in April when it ran out. I never had any issues and I do think it may have helped somewhat, but couldn’t put my finger on any particular energy boost from the stuff.

ON-micronized-creatineAt that point, I ordered a new type of creatine from Optimum Nutrition – Micronized Creatine Powder. I honestly didn’t think anything would happen negatively – I hadn’t had any issues on the other one and this one was well reviewed. So when the Lurong Challenge started and we shifted over to a Macro-based plan for meals, I just added this into the mix.

And holy cow, I started having some serious issues.

Mood swings from hell. Deep, dark depression in the afternoons. Anger. And I did my best to work through them, thinking they were a side effect of the diet change and lowering my carbohydrates (sugar crash, etc). But after a particularly bad bout last week, Ev and I decided we should just stop taking the stuff and see if it helped.

And honestly after not taking it for several days, I feel a lot happier. No mood swings. No anger or depression beyond my usual self-doubt, regret, and guilt (I’m human, it happens). So I think we’ll be not taking any creatine for a while.

I’m not saying that EVERYBODY has this kind of reaction – but damn. Not high on my list of things to try again for a while.ย I prefer normal me to depressed and angry me, 100%.

6 Minutes of Crazy With 2 Minutes of Rest

Today was Monday, so back to the box I went. And today also happened to be the 2nd workout of the Lurong Summertime Challenge. I have a separate post on some of the challenges with the dietary portion of the challenge, but will focus on the WOD today here…

dr-evil-air-quotes-yes-this-is-what-we-call-a-warm-upI arrived and found Coach Bill waiting for Jenny, Sarah, and I… We started with a nice little three round warm-up:

  • 250m row or 1m on bike (we all rowed)
  • 8 push-ups
  • 8 air squats
  • 8 kettlebell swings (I used a 35#)

From there we did some work with an empty barbell:

  • 5 good mornings
  • 5 back squats
  • 5 strict press
  • 5 straight leg deadlifts
  • 5 overhead squats

always-warm-up-thoroughlyAnd then we started loading up the barbell with weight to warm-up to the workout weight. I did:

  • 135# deadlifts
  • 135# back squats
  • 95# push press
  • 165# deadlifts
  • 165# back squats
  • 125# push press
  • 185# deadlifts
  • 185# back squats
  • 135# push press

After that, the fun began:

  • 2 Minutes of Deadlifts #275/175
  • 1-Minute Rest
  • 2 Minutes of Back Squats #225/145
  • 1-Minute Rest
  • 2 Minutes of Shoulder to Overhead #185/115
  • For masters men, the weights dropped to 225# deadlifts, 185# back squats, and 135# s2oh.

That minute of rest is a joke. ๐Ÿ™‚ During the minute you had to swap weights around and I was lucky if I ended up with 10 or 15 seconds of dedicated rest during the workout.

baby-raised-eyebrows-hmmm-why-do-i-feel-like-this-is-going-to-kick-my-butt-laterI got through:

  • 225# deadlifts, grab and go style, x26
  • 185# back squats, x12
  • 135# s2oh (mostly strict and push press), x16
  • Total: 54 reps

My wife did this workout at 5am this morning with the women’s masters weights:

  • 145# deadlifts, x35
  • 115# back squats, x18
  • 85# s2oh, x15
  • Total: 68

Result: She did awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚

So I think we’re doing ok. We’re one week in and getting more efficient (sort of) at the macro diet stuff, though it seems I’m always in the kitchen or doing meal prep. We will survive and make this work.

Great work 8:30 class and thanks for the encouragement Bill!

Let’s See Those Elbow Pits!

If you’re wondering about the subject line, don’t worry — I’ll explain it in a while.

First, let’s get a couple of things out of the way.

  1. lurong-challenge-2017Today begins the Summertime Lurong Challenge. It’s a combination nutrition and workout competition that they do every year. This year they have both a Paleo and a Macro option for nutrition tracking, so we’re doing it again. I tried Macros a while back and I think it can be effective, but it requires a lot of preparation, which is something we kind of fall down on…
  2. Today is my birthday, so I’m a bit more lenient than I should be on some of the tracking. That said, so ย far I have to admit I’ve kept to the program pretty well. The only slight slip was going with a gluten-free brownie with my tasty, tasty lunch at Progressive Paleo. But I’ll still count myself as on track. ๐Ÿ™‚

Evie took the day off to spend it with me, which was awesome. And we started the day by heading into CrossFit Continuum for the first workout of the Lurong Challenge.

Coach Jimmy had Ev & I, Sarah, Joe, Jenny, Carrie, and Nic to contend with. We started with a bit of mobility as everybody arrived, then had an episode of “Jimmy’s Torture time”…

  • 3 rounds
  • 1 minute jump rope (single or double)
  • 10 PVC pass-thrus
  • 10 PVC overhead squats

When that was done, we did some work on overhead squats with a PVC pipe before shifting to an unloaded barbell. And that was over, we grabbed a foam roller and the torture really began… Lay on the floor, put the barbell over your head and the foam roller under your shoulder/upper back… Then let the torture begin.

Honestly though I’ve done that particular stretch before I’ve never felt it like I did today. Definitely shifted some muscles in different directions than normal.

And we also did some runner’s lunges with some pushing and pulling of knees. That was a challenge as well. I think I was already sweating pretty good when we got through the warm-up.

Once all that was done, we started warming up our power snatches and overhead squats with weight and then it was off to the races.

  • 1p3cnx12 minute double AMRAP
  • 95/65# barbell
  • 5 minute AMRAP of
    • 10 power snatches
    • 10 box jumps @ 24″
  • 2 minute rest
  • 5 minute AMRAP of
    • 10 Overhead squats
    • 10 box jumps @ 24″

So a couple of things off the bat.

  1. Overhead squats are not my favorite. Though I’ve improved a ton with them over the last four years, it’s still uncomfortable in a workout. (Yeah, I know – I’m supposed to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Still working on that.)
  2. I forgot my knee sleeves. Didn’t think about taping my knees. And my knees didn’t like step-ups. But I did 20″ step-ups anyway.

It was a good push. Breathing was a challenge, but we pushed through the first chunk ok. The second chunk wasn’t as good however. I struggled with the overhead squats and my knees were starting to complain about the step-ups.

20170515_093127So how’d we do?

  • I got into the 3rd round of step-ups (53 reps)
  • I got into a 3rd round of overhead squats (43 reps)
  • Total: 96 reps

Ev did better than I did with 55# on the barbell and 20″ step-ups:

  • 3 rounds + 2 reps (power snatches) (62 reps)
  • 3 rounds + 2 reps (overhead squats) (62 reps)
  • Total: 124 reps

She did awesome. I did ok. Been a while since we’ve done overhead squats. And I honestly think that sometimes the warm-ups do a great job of wearing me out before I actually get to the workout itself.

That said, I have a couple of fun things:

  • Jimmy really likes the idea of “elbow pits” — I think he said that particular phrase so much that Jenny even looked at me at one point and said that “Elbow Pits” had to make its way into my write-up. Here it is. ๐Ÿ™‚ We had to focus on turning our Elbow Pits out quite a bit, that’s all I’m saying. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • And one thing that may have finally stuck is how we’ve been dropping the bar from overhead during workouts where we’re doing multiple reps in a set. Instead of lowering both arms slowly, stressing the joints and muscles as you take the loaded barbell back down the bar path — roll the wrists forward and just let gravity get it. That saved me quite a bit of wear and tear today even though I was slow as molasses.

So thanks Jimmy! Between torture time, elbow pits, and learning how to drop the bar more effectively, I think I learned something even if I didn’t do all that hot during the workout itself. ๐Ÿ™‚

Great work everybody else! Y’all killed it!

Failing at the Fooding, Lurong Challenge 2017 Prep

Food. When did it get so complicated?

Oh yeah, when we started adulting. Having to buy the food. Prepare the food. Eat the right food and right amounts of food.ย Add to that the fact that our food needs change over time as metabolisms adjust and we age and suddenly it’s even harder.

0511-1005-0201-0040_Black_and_White_Vintage_Cartoon_of_a_Man_Asleep_at_His_Desk_clipart_imageBah. Adulting is hard.

And in my case, I sometimes… forget to eat. I get busy. Or get lost in my own head. Or decide to punish myself for something stupid. And oops, guess what, suddenly I’m starving or angry or tired and wondering why.

We’ve done many different things over the last few years. We tried Atkins. We went paleo. We did Whole30. We tried Zone. I tried the Macros thing. Though I’ve seen results when we’ve gone strict, it’s usually because we’re measuring everything and I don’t eat enough.

Some things have stuck.

  • Hand-Drawn-Coffee-Cup-Line-Art-800pxI’ve cut out 95% of the soda from my diet. At one point I used go through a 12-pack of Diet Dr. Pepper in 2 or 3 days. (I have the last can sitting on my shelf as a reminder of those days.)
    • Side effect: I now drink a lot of coffee and vanilla almond milk creamer. And I start every day with Advocare Spark.
    • Starbucks, Advocare, and the grocery store have benefitted from this change. And I only occasionally drink a Coke now and then if I’m out with my gaming buddies.
  • We try to eat pretty paleo most of the time at home. I’d say maybe 80%. That leaves us room for pizza, bread, etc. when we want it. After all, we’re working out so we can be a little more free with our food, aren’t we?

Some things haven’t.

  • Though I don’t drink actual beer very often, I can’t say that my alcohol intake is down all that much. I enjoy cider beers, sweet wines, and Amaretto on the rocks.
  • Consistency-wise, I’m not all that great. I still eat more fat & carbs than protein. I like tortillas and bread. I’m not a huge fan of salads.

So as we approach May and look towards the Lurong Challenge 2017, I’m trying to dial in a few more things to help keep me on the straight and narrow.

My goals for the challenge (after May 15, the first day of the challenge, which is actually my birthday and all bets are off):

  • No-tomar-alcohol-2400pxCut out alcohol for the challenge (and possibly beyond).
  • Cut out coffee for the challenge or limit to one cup a day with almond milk creamer, which is allowed.
  • Stick with Advocare Spark in the morning and possibly in the afternoon if caffeine crash is too horrendous, especially in first week.
  • Try to stick with three solid meals a day (800 calories each on training days, 600 each on rest days) as per the Macro Calculator for the challenge
  • Go with 69g protein, 33g carbs, 23g fat as Macros

We will see if this helps lean me out any.

My challenges:

  • question-mark-clip-art-7599Getting enough protein.
  • Updating stand-by meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    • 3 eggs, 1 Aidells Chicken & Apple Sausage, green onion (24 protein, 21 fat, 9 carbs) = not enough protein, don’t want to add more eggs and sausage adds too much salt
    • 2 eggs, 1 slice cheese, 2 slices ham, bagel (37 protein, 25 fat, 56 carbs) – too many carbs
    • 2 eggs, piece of whole wheat toast (18 protein, 13 fat, 29 carbs) – too many carbs
    • good lunch choices?
  • guidelines for eating out and measuring?
  • standard paleo dishes tend to be a bit light on protein (and difficult to prepare for a family of four)
    • Good stand-by plans for dinners ??
    • prep lots of grilled chicken, taco seasoned ground beef, chicken fajitas
    • others?

A resource:

A few recipes I know we’ll use:

So that’s where I’m at. The idea of meal planning and a “diet” or “nutrition” plan never sits well with me. It’s not like it’s being forced down my throat or anything, but it always feels like a) it’s harder than it should be and b) the effects don’t last.

I’m hoping that if we can find some good stand-bys and just repeat meals as we find things we like, we can keep chugging along ok.

Does anybody else have any good tips, resources, or stand-by recipes?

Lurong Challenge 2014, Week 5

Wait… What happened to weeks 3 and 4?

I had every intention of writing one of these each week, but as you can see that has not happened. ๐Ÿ™‚

A couple ofย interesting observations about this Lurong Challenge.

First, a busy family life and scheduling insanity has definitely reduced the effectiveness of the challenge this year vs. last. As a family we have not had the time to do meal planning with running to school, soccer, and whatever other events creep up each week. As a result I feel like I’m falling down in the food part of this challenge. (Even though I purchased a membership to MealFit from Thomas Cox, we have not taken advantage of a single meal plan yet.) We seem to fly by the seat of our pants every day and as a result there’s been quite a bit more cheating this time around.

Second, I think the workouts themselves have been awesome. Not sure if that’s because I’m in better condition now than a year ago or not, but I suspect that’s a big part of it. Though I’ve torn my hands repeatedly over the last few weeks (and still need to invest in a new pair of gloves), I have enjoyed them even if I haven’t always kicked butt at them. The challenge is just that – a challenge. And I feel more physically able to take on those challenges skills- and strength-wise this time around.

I’m not sure I’ll do the challenge again, just from a logistical standpoint. But I do appreciate the chance to adjust my diet for the better even if I’ve been inconsistent.

Has anybody else been struggling this year vs. last? Or are you doing better this year?

Lurong Challenge 2014, Week 2

I’m guessing you’re wondering where I talked about week 1, and I actually skipped it. You really don’t want to hear me moan and groan about the things we dropped from the diet again. ๐Ÿ™‚ That said, I did want to talk about a couple of things I’ve noticed.

lurong-challenge-logoThis is the third reboot of the “paleo lifestyle” in the last couple of years. We’ve done a few things, from the Whole30 challenge to the Lurong Challenge and each has served as a bit of a “reset”. Each time we do this, it seems to get a little easier to shift away from the bad habits that creep in over time.

My biggest bad habit was a major coffee addiction. I can’t drink coffee without creamer, so really it was about the creamer more than the coffee itself – but it’s all tied together. It’s funny how I was never a coffee drinker until dropping soda from my diet. As a result, I started drinking a few cups a day. Right before we started the challenge I was up to two POTS of coffee a day, which was ridiculous.

no-coffeeWithout coffee over the last week, I’ve actually not been too bad. I drink a lot of iced tea now, which is my fall-back (unsweetened, but various flavors and always a mix of caffeinated and decaf tea bags). So it’s less really about the caffeine and more about the constantly drinking something with a bit of taste to it. Water gets old after a while. Unfortunately, we’re going through a gallon of iced tea a day as a family (my eldest is just as bad as I am). So I’m not sure we’re turning the corner on the caffeine addiction… but it’s a process.

Back to my point though… Last week I felt great even though I was doing a bit of detoxing. Body was sore after workouts (crossfit WODs Tues, Weds, Thurs, and Fri, plus yoga on Monday) but not overly so. And other than being really tired in the afternoons (more a matter of balancing out some things diet-wise) I physically felt stronger and had more in the tank for each workout than I expected.

We cheated on Sunday for a friend’s birthday and went to P.F. Chang’s for lunch. Had all the usual suspects – Chiang’s Spicy Chicken, some crab & cheese-stuffed wontons with plum sauce, a little egg drop soup, and we split a piece of blueberry cheesecake three ways. That was Sunday. Today, I’m not feeling quite as “energetic” – go figure. So the diet does make a big difference in my performance and overall feel.

That said, I’m still going to cheat once a week. It’s a given. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a reward for being “good” and it’s just one meal, so the transgression passes pretty quickly body-wise usually. ๐Ÿ™‚

The second thing I’ve noticed is that even though this is a competition in some sense, it’s not the Crossfit Games-level of competition. It’s just a WOD. And I am so much happier for that little fact.

crossfit-logoUltimately I am only competing against one thing… myself. And I’ve come a long way in my almost 2 years of crossfit. I’m stronger, faster, and generally I think a more well-rounded person with the physical activity I get at the box every week. It offers that social outlet and at the same time provides a much needed escape from the desk (and my brain), letting my body get out and play for a while.

But when I did the Crossfit Games workouts (especially the last one), the stress of the “competition” aspect really got to me. I was comparing myself against everybody else, when what I needed to do was focus on the only thing that mattered – doing my best and fighting through the workout. DNF really irks me. But when I climbed into that weird space in my head where I was never good enough or fast enough and focused on negatives (I suck. I can’t finish. I shouldn’t even try.) I was lost before I started.

The clock and the crap going on around me shouldn’t matter. It’s JUST A WORKOUT. And so far I’m keeping that mindset as we work through the Lurong Challenge this year. I may get a little cranky in a few weeks when we redo the first three workouts to see if we’ve improved. But I need to forget about previous weeks and just stay in the moment.

(Note to self – start working on meditating.)

It’s very funny how little things like diet and mindset make a big difference. ๐Ÿ™‚

So how am I doing so far in the Lurong Challenge 2014? Not too bad. I gained about 30 pounds between my lowest point in the challenge last time (197#) and where I was when I started (207#) and am already down 6 pounds in a week (down to 201#).

Workout 1 — got to 124 reps on level II. Half of that was my row for calories – ended up with 65 calories. 17 pull-ups. 25 back squats. And 17 push presses.

Workout 2 — got to 66 reps on level II. Made it through the 65#, 75#, and 95# snatches and almost got one 135# done for round 4, but ran out of time. Takes me a while to flip weights and we were adjusting weights between each round.

We’ll see how workout #3 goes in a couple of days. I am just happy to have snuck in workout 2 on a Monday (usually a challenge).

So if you’re doing the Lurong Challenge – how are you doing so far? Are you having more issues with the stricter diet or the workouts? Curious minds want to know!