Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Good, The Bad, & The Downright Ugly

I've had some good, bad, and some down right ugly training days since I last posted. I guess that's the nature of the CrossFit beast. On Thursday I did the CFS WOD of Shoulder press 1-1-1; Push press 2-2-2; Push Jerk 3-3-3 (155/165/185f/205/225/235/225/235/245). Friday I did the main page WOD which was Clean 3-3-3-3-3-3-3 (185/205/225/235/245/255/265f). This is one was definitely ugly- I ain't lyin'. You can see for yourself. Here are clips of the 245 x 3 and 255 x 3 lifts:

After a great coaches meeting at 7am on Saturday, I did the CFS daily WOD with Jenny. It was beautiful outside which made for a nice day to get out and run a couple of miles with ole' preggers. She did awesome!

Today at noon, along with Canyon, Brian, Steve, Andy, and Grant, I faced off with a hero WOD called "The Seven". It's a grueling yet fitting tribute to seven CIA officers who were killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan on December 30th, 2009. I did the workout last year and recorded a time of around 30 minutes. It absolutely crushed me. Today, although it gave me the worst beating I've endured since that time someone dropped a banana in my pants and turned a monkey loose on me, I managed to PR with a time of 26:55. The rest of the day I've had a severe WOD hangover. I could go for some water and a goodnights sleep...and a banana.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Stick To The Plan, Fran!!!

I went to bed last night with my morning all mapped out: I would wake up and make myself breakfast, sit down at the computer with a cup of coffee and write tomorrow's CFS daily WOD, then head up to the gym and hit yoga, train one of my clients, and finally go for a "Fran" PR at noon. That was the plan. Everything was going to plan and then as I was walking out the front door I noticed my dog had puked all over the carpet. The new carpet. As frustrated as I was at the time, I now realize that I should probably thank my furry little friend, Gizmo. Thanks to him puking and throwing my perfectly planned out morning into a frenzy, I pushed "going for a Fran PR" straight up to the top of my list...after cleaning up said pukie carpet, of course. But I did manage to hit that new "Fran" PR, finishing in 2:28 (previous best "Fran" time was 2:42). I owe an apology to the 10am yoga class for dealing with me replacing their zen-like silence with the sounds of me gasping my way through the whole ordeal. If only I could gasp loud enough to drown out the relentless barking from the dogs next door. Now that would truly be a moment of zen. Thanks also to everyone who hurled motivational banter my way. It definitely helped. Now if you'll excuse me, I must go apologize to my shitzu for being so hard on him earlier today and thank him for helping me PR on "Fran".

Monday, January 24, 2011

Do It To The MAXimum

Last Friday I did a Hero WOD that I wrote for Marine LtCol Max Galea'i who served in Iraq with one of my friends and one of CFS's great coaches, Captain Andy Koch. LtCol Galea'i was killed on June 26, 2008 while supporting combat operations in Karmah, Iraq. While serving as the Commanding Officer of Hawaii-based, Second Battalion, Third Marine Regiment, a suicide bomber dressed in an Iraqi police uniform detonated an explosive belt during a meeting of tribal sheiks opposed to al-Qaida in Iraq. In addition to LtCol Galea’i, two Marines, two Iraqi interpreters, the local mayor and over twenty key tribal figures were killed.

Friends remembered Galea’i as a dedicated husband to his wife Evelyn, father to his four children, a natural leader and a caring buddy who would never burden others with his problems. LtCol Galea’i served at posts in Virginia, California, Okinawa and elsewhere. His service awards include two Bronze Stars (one for heroic action in the first Gulf War), the Purple Heart and five Meritorious Service Medals.

Andy asked me to program a WOD that would fittingly honor this man who was said to be both large in physical stature and in personal character. After reviewing all of the hero wods to date, looking at the rep schemes, number of modlities used, and movements of each, I worked on creating a simple, straight forward, yet severely challenging Hero WOD called "Max". What I devised somewhat resembles "Murph" in that the WOD is for time and the repetitions may be partitioned in any way you wish. But what makes this WOD real nasty is the combination of 3 dynamic movements two of which that are extremely anerobic at the RX loads and 1 calesthenic movement that crushes the will of even the fittest of athletes. The WOD is:


For time- partition the reps as you wish:

150 KB Swings, 70lb
100 Burpees
50 Thrusters, 155lb

My initial strategy was to perform 10 rounds of 5 thruster, 10 burpees, and 15 kb swings. That lasted all of three rounds until I realized I needed to just finish all of the thrusters and then move on to my 7 remaining rounds of 15 kbswings and 10 burpees. Whether it was a good strategy or not, it's what I did and my time ended up being 28:07. It was one of the most mentally and physically demanding WODs I've done in a while- proof enough to me that it is worthy of bearing the name "Max".

On Saturday, I headed to St. Louis with Jenny and Vin to take my re-validation test for my CrossFit Lv 1 Cert. I had a blast getting to spend time with the two of them. It snowed a ton in STL on Sunday morning which made for some pretty sketchy driving conditions but, thank God, we made it- and also thank God- I passed my exam!

After getting back to town late last night and still having to post the CFS WOD, I finally crashed at around 11:30pm. Today I peeled myself out of bed at 5am and coached a great CFS bootcamp and then came home and took a good long 3 hour nap. It felt awesome.

When I woke up, I grabbed a bite to eat and then trained with Grant, Melissa, and Brian in a 15 min AMRAP of:

9 Front Squats, 135/95
9 Pull Ups
9 Ring Dips

Shouldn't have eaten so close to gametime! I was gettin' the pukie-pukersons by round 5! I managed to hang on and finished with 9 rds + 9 fsquats + 6 pull ups.

A couple clients and phone calls later I trained with Meggin- hitting a midline flexion/extension WOD of 5 rounds for time of: 10 Deadlifts @ 235/135lb and 10 Toes to Bar. My time was 5:15. Tough little gasser. CrossFit HQ announced the start date for the 2011 CF games open sectionals (March 15th). Now it's do or die time: Eat right, train right, recover right...or lose, right?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's Still My Turn!

On Sunday, I went bowling with Jenny, Vin, and Grandma Hicklin. Although it's never very much fun to get schooled by your 2 year old, your wife, and your mother-in-law, this WOD was hands down my most fun workout of the week. Exhibit A:

It was back to the grindstone on Monday with a massive dose of backsquats. I did 5 x 7 backsquat(225-245-255-265-275lb) then 5 rounds of 1 min max reps backsquat @ 225lb straight into 1 minute of push press @ 135lb straight into 1 minute of rest. I can't even begin to describe how sore my rear is right now. Lately, I've been trying to force-feed myself heavy backsquats in an attempt to get a little better at them.

Today I trained at 7am with Macy and James. We did 50 Chest to bar pull ups, 100 double unders, and row 1500m for time. I felt pretty groggy when I woke up this morning. After chugging a couple cups of java and getting in a good 20-25 minute warm up I felt slightly less groggy. My time was 9:20, Macy finished in around 11 1/2 minutes with a 25lb weight vest, and James came in strong in around 13 minutes.

As the 2011 CrossFit Games season rapidly approaches, it's been great to be getting some workouts in throughout the week with a variety of very solid athletes. This Friday, Andy K. and I plan to take on a WOD written in honor of a Marine who served alongside Andy and lost his life in Iraq. We'll be giving it a test-run prior to Saturday's 11am CFS Hero WOD. It promises to be a doozy...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Welcome To Value City

Yesterday (Friday): Did main page WOD from Wednesday- 15 minute AMRAP of Row 250m & 25 Push Ups. Got 7 rounds + 250m. So much for rest day, eh? You don't have to be Nostrdamus to have predicted that I wasn't gonna rest. But I figured I was feeling pretty good and it wasn't really the type of WOD that is gonna wreck you.

Today at 9am I did OHS 1-1-1-1-1-1-1. 205-225-235-245-255-265-275f. Decided to stop and live to fight another day. Here are clips of the 255 & 265 lifts:

I know it's a little late but while since we're still relatively close to the new year, I've been thinking alot recently about my resolutions and goals for 2011. It never fails that each year when I make new resolutions, I often gear them towards curbing my behaviors or vices. You may tend to do the same thing. If you're anything like me, as the year wears on and your good intentions wane, you may also tend to revert back to those same tendencies you were trying to deviate from. It got me thinking: At the end of the day, my behaviors and habits should ultimately reflect my core values. If I'm really wanting to make any lasting changes to my daily actions, I'm going to have to take an honest look at what I value most in life. This thought forced me to ask myself, "What are my personal core values?" In no particular order, here are a few that I've come up with so far (it's a work in progress):
1. I value my walk with Christ. I'm thankful for the opportunity life gives me to seek Him. My spiritual journey has had many highs and many lows, but the only times I've ever been able to experience consistent personal and spiritual growth is when I've sought Him daily. All too often I lose sight of this value and become malnourished. My attitude, decisions, and actions are poor when I'm not spiritually fed just as my athletic performance is compromised when I'm not eating enough or eating garbage.

2. I value my family. Jenny and Vin are my best-known remedy for lethargy, apathy, anger, and fatigue. Yet if I allow myself to forget that my family is one of my core values, they can quickly become the catalysts for my lethargy, apathy, anger, and fatigue. If I truly love and value Jenny and Vin, my actions and behavior will reflect it. I will listen. I will play. I will clean. I will be patient. I will engage. I will discipline. I will encourage. I will wait to fart. Nah. I will fart. Which brings me to my 3rd value...

3. I value my personal time. I'm very much like my mother in that I can easily get wrapped up in being a "social butterfly". I love good company and often overextend myself because of it. I'm still not the best at it, but I'm learning that sometimes it's okay to say, "No thanks- not this time." You know you're not getting enough quiet time when the only way you get quiet time is by taking a shower.

4. I value CrossFit Springfield. Even if my business partners kicked me out and I was no longer an owner and even if our members fired me from programming the website, I'd still show up and do the WODs just to experience the comradery of the CFS community. My resolve to stay true to this value drives me to pour my heart and soul into every athlete I train, every WOD I write, and every CFS business endeavor.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wee! Wee! Wee! All The Way Home.

It's been a great week of training. Since Monday I've hit a 20min AMRAP of 15 Ring Push Ups, 15 GHD Sit Ups, 30 Double Unders, and row 300m on Tuesday (6 rounds); the hero WOD "Roy" on Wednesday (15:53); and today 3-3-3-1-1-1 Front Squat (225-235-245-255-265-275f) then 5 x 2 squat clean- both reps must be performed within 20 seconds- 10 minute time limit (205-225-225-235-245 for 1- I failed on the second rep) then 5 rounds for time of 10 Front squats @ 135lb and 5 Muscle Ups (7:42). I went into today feeling the full effects of the training volume I've maintained over the course of the past few days. But I figured, "Hey, some little piggies take rest days, this little piggy trains SORE". Genius. Consequently, my numbers for both the front squat and 2 rep/20 sec squat cleans were less than par. Regardless, I'm actually pleased to be ramping up my weekly workload. With any luck in these last few weeks leading up to sectionals, my body will gradually begin to tolerate the routine and the higher doses of abuse. You can't exceed your limits unless you test them. At least that's the hope. That's also my way of rationalizing the weak sauce I served up today :) Tomorrow I plan to take a rest day or possibly perform some type of "active recovery" activity such as sleeping with my eyes open while counting reps. Or maybe I'll do 1000 burpees for time. Genius. Here's a short clip of the 2 squat clean w/in 20 sec portion of today's WOD:

Monday, January 10, 2011

Point Break...And Beyond!!!

After coaching a great group of CFS bootcampers at 6 this morning, I did 5 x 5 backsquat to 295lb, 5 x 5 shoulder press to 155lb, and 21-15-9 Rack thruster @ 135lb & Chest to bar pull ups in 5:47. My real test for the day came this afternoon at 1:30pm in the form of the CFS WOD:

For time:

11 Clean & Jerks
33 KB Swings
9 Clean & Jerks
27 KB Swings
7 Clean & Jerks
21 KB Swings
5 Clean & Jerks
15 KB Swings
3 Clean & Jerks
9 KB Swings

Clean may be performed as squat or power.

I used 185lb for the clean & jerk and 2pood (70lb) for the kb swings. My time was 13:55 with many thanks being owed to Steve, Grant, and Melissa who coached me through. Without question, this WOD has to be put in my top 10 list of "most uncomfortable" workouts I've ever done. It's, of course, a pretty subjective list because my level of discomfort is typically inversely proportional to how sorry I start feeling for myself when it begins to suck. But today, I'm happy to report: I went there...Emptied the tank...Jumped into the deepend headfirst. I took myself straight up to my breaking point where all I wanted to do was make the clock stop counting by working faster and more deliberately. To me, workouts like the one I had this afternoon are beautiful. They show me how much further I can push my mind, my body, and my will. I know I'm in my little "crossfit bubble" but, never-the-less, I find it impossible to deny the many parallels between the way I navigate my way through the suckiness of a WOD and the way I manage obstacles I face in everyday life.

And now, I shall retire to the couch and see how well Oregon manages the suckiness of losing the National Championship to Auburn.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Clean Livin'

Yesterday, after coming out of a flu-like fog, I managed to have a great training day. In the AM I did 5 x 3 front squat to 250lb followed by 3 rounds of 20 burpees & 20 chest to bar pull ups in 6:55. In the afternoon I did 500m row, 25 hang power clean @ 115lb, 25 ring dips, 25 toes to bar, 25 thrusters @ 115lb, 500m row in 9:43. Last week we moved into our new house. It's been a tremendous blessing- but the holidays and the two weeks in between the closing of our old home and the new one made it tough to eat as clean as I'd have liked to. Now that we've had the opportunity to get to the grocery store and stock up on fresh veggies and lean meats, I can already feel and see a difference in my workouts.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Filthy 50 Flu-Shot

It never fails that every time I hear there's a flu bug going around, I can't help but think to myself, "Ahh, I won't get it." Yet 60% of the time, I get it every time. Monday I woke up feeling sick to my stomach so, naturally, I figured maybe it was just that I needed to train. "I'll feel better after a tough workout and some food", I thought. Flu-like symptoms call for a dose of the filthy fifty, right? I guess not. Two hours after having The Kent "Payne-Train" push me through all 500 reps of the filthy fifty WOD in 21:42 (which, surprisingly, turned out to be a 5 second PR), I found myself laying on what felt like my deathbed. It's now 24+ hrs later and I still can't determine if what I had was actually the flu or some type of a WOD hangover. The symptoms for both conditions are generally the same: Low-grade fever, nausea, vomiting, body aches, joint pain, and a headache. Either way, I seem to have slept off whatever it was that ailing me.