Monday, October 31, 2011

Burpee AMRAP

Tonight's WOD was simple, easy to explain, and guaranteed to put you flat on your back.

30 minute AMRAP of:


The only thing I added to this WOD was that the first 100 burpees were for time. After you note your time on those, just keep going... and going. I found that i took a few breaks, but because of the nature of the beast, breaks are needed... It's a bear of a WOD!

My next burpee goal is the 500 burpee challenge... Soon(er)- or later..

Sunday, October 30, 2011

DIY Fat Bar

I wanted a fat bar, but they are pricy! So, I took that as a challenge. The challenge? Converting a normal oly bar to a 1.5" "fat bar" for less than $10.00.

DIY "Fat Bar

What you need:
An oly bar (preferably one you don't want to use for normal bar work on a regular basis).
5' x 1.5" PVC pipe
A roll of athletic tape
A can of "stone" textured spray paint
A hack saw
A wrench (to take off a sleeve on the oly bar)

What to do:
Measure the entire grip area of the oly bar. Cut the PVC pipe to a shade shorter than the grip area.

Remove one sleeve from the oly bar.

Lightly spray the PVC pipe with the textured paint. This should be minimal - just enough to give the bar a little grip. When I say light, I mean very light.

Wrap the oly bar with the athletic tape in three places, the middle, and about 12" from each end. The thickness of the tape must be equal to the inside width of the PVC pipe. (minor adjustments may be needed).

When the paint dries, take the PVC pipe and slide it onto the grip area of the oly bar. Make any changes to the width of the tape needed.

Put the sleeve back on the oly bar, pick up the bar, and get to work!

I actually had everything lying around, so I pnly paid about $5 for the paint. The pipe is probably about $3, and you can find a cheap roll of tape for $2.

So far, the bar's held up great! If y'all have questions, let me know. I'll be more than happy to help.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

5k and Death by Pullups

If there was any doubt I did enough with one WOD, it was completely reaffirmed tonight. I did two WODs today - one in the morning, and one at night:

5k run

This was for a food drive for the Salvation Army. Not my best time, but I can't complain.

Then tonight:

Death by Pullup

Every minute on the minute, perform one pullup. Add a pullup every round until you can't complete the round.

Now, I normally don't post my scores (on purpose), but I got to round 23... And I'm paying for it in the form of 4+ blisters. The butterfly is awesome, but makes blistering so much quicker!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tabata Something Else

I was thinking about doing Tabata Something Else a few days ago, but didn't, until I saw it on Main Site today.

Tabata Something Else

8 rounds of:

Pull Up
Push Up
Sit Up

*must complete the eight rounds of each exercise before moving on. This is Max Rep per round. Each round lasts 20 seconds, with a 10 second break.

good luck!

I then had a cash out of a 1mile run. It was a miserable run.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Squat Clean

Today was a crappy lift day.

Squat clean


I was hoping tO get my power clean PR, but missed it by 15 pounds.

I then did handstand holds.. Which wasn't that great either..

Monday, October 24, 2011

Old School Mainsite

I really didn't know what I wanted to do tonight, so I randomly picked a WOD from the Mainsite. Lowe and behold, I came across this little gem from 2004...

21-18-15-12-9-6 of:


*start every round with 100' walking lunges

I was feeling good, so I added a final round of 3.
I was able to go through this entire WOD unbroken. I was able to use butterfly kips and gymnastic kips interchangeably - which let me get more reps in.

After I finished, I then worked on my strict handstand pushups. I still have some work to do there.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Messy Hero WOD

I did a hero WOD today, but not without challenges..


21-18-15-12-9-6-3 of:

Squat cleans 95#
Double unders
Dead lifts 185#
Box jumps 24"

*every round starts with a 50m bear crawl.

Between the second and third round, my nose started bleeding, and didn't stop until I finished. I still did okay - time wise, but definitely would have done better if I didn't have to stop as many times as I did.

Part of the carnage I left behind...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Marine PFT

Marine PFT:

Max dead hang pull-up (up to 20)
Max crunches in 2 min (up to 100)
3 mile run

I PR'd by 3 pts.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mainsite - Running Angie

I took two days off to recover from last week. I saw this main site WOD, and really wanted to do it. I actually learned two things from this WOD: 1) never underestimate the power of main site, and 2) double check your math

5 rounds of:

200m run
20 pull-ups
200m run
20 push-ups
200m run
20 sit-ups
200m run
20 air squats

For time.

This is the named WOD "Angie" broken into five rounds with a run between each exercise. Angie is one of my favorite WODs, and I enjoy running. I liked this one too- after I shook out the cobwebs from two days of not working out... Which took almost thre rounds.

While this in and of itself would be a difficult WOD, I (in my oh-so-wise ways) calculated what a 200m run would be... Instead of measuring it out. Turns out my 200m was 275m - adding almost a full mile to the WOD. Oops!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sled Pull with Gear

I went a bit nuts this past week with the WODs and the lift work, so I decided to change it up tonight with a "Strongman" AMRAP

As many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of:

Sled pull 40'
10 KB swings 1.5p
Sled pull 40'
10 med ball situps 20# (then dump 45# plate)
Sled Pull 40'
Sandbag Carry 40' (leave sandbag)
40' lunges w/ 45# plate overhead
Sled pull 40'

*This is a shuttle pull. Unless otherwise noted, all the equipment must be in the sled when pulling.

This was a pretty good WOD, and has a lot of potential to be even better. I'd definitely toy with the weights, order, and length of the WOD.

Two ways to do the overhead lunge..

Friday, October 14, 2011

3 Named WODs With a 'Bit' of Running

I had some frustrations to get out tonight, and so did a buddy of mine, so we did this WOD. I have actually been planning something like this for a while and today just seemed to be the perfect day.

1 mile run
1 mile run
1 mile run
1 mile run

For time

*The WODs are the following:

-Light Jeremy
21-15-9 overhead squats @65#, burpees
-Light Grace
30 clean and jerks @95#
-Light Elizabeth
21-15-9 squat cleans @95#, ring dips

*You may choose the order of the WODs.

This one was a toughie. But I wish I would've added a round. I still had some gas on the tank..

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Why We Smile

I was watching the 2011 Crossfit Games this past week. While only the men were featured, I was reminded of an interview where "Iceland Annie" explained that she was happy when she was doing Crossfit. During the suckfest, she smiles because it makes it "all go away." She furthermore said that, when she is working the hardest, she is the happiest.

Tonight, in the middle of the second mile of running, I realized exactly what Annie was trying to say. I was struggling to get to the top of a hill, however I refused to stop. I was free and unrestrained. It was my choice to sandbag the run, or to take it to another gear. When I pushed through, I claimed a small victory. This victory belonged to me - this victory is one that many people don't have the capability to claim - this victory made me smile.

Now, I don't claim to be a doctor (of medicine), claim to know the nuances of endorphins, or claim to have read any studies substantiating my theories. However, I can say from my experience that(while there are very few things I can control in life) I can control the effort I put into keeping my self healthy.

To explain this a little better:
Two years ago, I claimed to be in shape. I claimed that I was 225, and honestly thought that I was a tough guy. But this "tough guy" couldn't run a full mile without having to stop and catch his breath. This "tough guy" was really on the heavier end of 235, and this "tough guy" was not happy.

One random day in January (January 16, 2010, to be precise) I decided that I was going to change. I was sleepy, lazy, working out MAYBE once a week. I had no excuse. I had no control, and wanted to gain that back. My goal was to run a 5K in 3 months. If I were to do that, I would in my mind) reach the "pinnacle" of fitness for somebody like me. So... I started P90X, faithfully followed Tony Horton's quirky jokes, and his seemingly egregious workout regimen. I finished the program, and ran that 5K. I paced at 8:20 per mile and it took me three days to recover.

Now that I successfully completed P90X, and that 5K, I realized three things: 1) I didn't reach any pinnacle of fitness. Many people smoked me, and didn't need three days to recover. 2) I needed to continue my fitness journey because 3) the journey of fitness was making me a happier person.

It was now time to take total control. With a little persuasion from my wifie, some coaching, and a lot of mentoring, I drank deep in the Crossfit Kool-Aid. I hated the WODs, but I loved doing them. I dreaded starting a WOD, but was happy I did it. I didn't think I could complete the WODs, but wished I went faster when I finished.

It wasn't because I was becoming a "tough guy". Far from it. There were many people I would never realistically be on their physical level, but I saw small victories in myself. Five more pounds here, two seconds there, one more inch... I became better. I was freeing myself from the shackles I placed on myself from years of menial exercise routines.

While I can't control many things like the economy, the weather, politicians, other people, the job market, I can control me.

Therein lies why Iceland Annie, myself, and thousands of Crossfitters embrace the suck, why we come back for more every day, why we are okay with rips in our hands, why we are chronically sore, why we frequently work ourselves to exhaustion, and why we smile.

Abbate (With a Little CrossFit Kids)

I was only planning on doing one WOD today, and to help Parks with CrossFit Kids. Well, his WOD was 15-12-9 of OH Squat and Burpees. I was doing it along with him, but that kid's quick with his burpees! So, after I caught my breath from that, I did Abbate:


1 mile run
21 clean and jerk 155#
800m run
21 clean and jerk
1 mile run

for time.

This was tough - and probably made a bit worse because I did deadlifts and split jerks two days ago. I grinded through, though.

(I'm not all about the treadmills, but use what you got!)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lifted Heavy Things

Today I lifted heavy things in fact, at one time tonight, I had 650# on 2 bars...


Dead lifts
Split snatch

For weight.

Alternate lifts until you're done with both.

While I didn't do terrible, I merely tied my PRs, but couldn't pass them - try as I might.

At least I wasn't this guy..

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sandbag Jonas

It was Jonas' birthday yesterday, so I wanted to do the WOD named after him, however it wasn't very long ago since I did this one. So, I decided to change it up a bit.

For Time:

21 KB Swings 1.5p
21 Sandbag Front Squats
21 Pull-Ups
21 Double Unders
21 Sit-Ups
21 Sandbag Back Squats
21 Sandbag Thrusters
21 Sandbag "Rack to Overhead"

* 20' Standing Sled pull with the sandbag in the sled must be done between every exercise
* Sandbag weighs approx 100#

This was a good WOD. I DID, however, smash my face a time or two with the sandbag. I actually really like doing strongman lifts in a WOD - the constant variables of strongman equipment throws an interesting "wowie" in every wod - ergo the higher likelihood of smashing your face with the 100# sandbag.

I did a buy in, and cash out today

Max rep butterfly kipping pull-ups. I'm pleasantly surprised with the amount of reps I'm finally able to string together.

Sitting (Hands-Only) Rope climb attempts

Sunday, October 9, 2011


DNF - Three letters that cause anxiety in every Crossfitter, who fear and avoid these letters at all cost. The reason the notorious "DNF" on the white board is shunned at all costs is because a of its meaning - Did Not Finish.

DNF is the proverbial scarlet "A" so innocently written in erasable marker - only to be wiped away within the next few hours, yet each and every DNF becomes etched in the minds of that failing Crossfitter - branded in their memory for weeks, months, and even years. Personally, I have two DNFs. They are seared into memory. I remember the WOD, the day, the round, the weather, the clothing I wore, and the specific exercise where these WODs ended prematurely. I also remember the trivial excuses why I quit - which seemed so very valid in the moment of failure.

Crossfit translates into real life. For example, Crossfitters expect the unexpected and prepare for the unknown. Crossfitters must be able to think and reason under stress, and quickly make wise decisions on the fly. Crossfitters must dig deep in the middle of any given suckfest, to finish what they started, and come out on the end better than the day before... All valuable experiences in real life.

I'm just now starting to realizing that I don't really shy away from group workout settings, I shy away from "toxic competition". What I mean by this is best illustrated by something Rory Mckernan stated during the 2011 Crossfit Games:

He stated that Crossfit is different from other sports because competitors cheer for each other. Athletes cheer on their stiffest competition. Crowds cheer for the guy in last-place as loud as the winner - Unlike a Red Sox / Yankees game where fans either cheer, or boo. You are a winner, or a loser.

In Crossfit, the only way you "lose" is if you don't finish, and don't push your own limits. For example, I have a goal to complete Fran in under 3:00. Although I shaved 12 seconds off my last Fran time, I didn't get under that 3:00 mark. But I didn't fail - because I pushed myself, and I finished the WOD. Express failure would be a DNF, personal failure would not be giving it everything I had.

During the 2011 UFC Expo, Katie Hogan and Kristen Clever were paired up as a team. Hogan was asked what was going through her mind during one of the events. She stated that she knew she had to do her best because she kept having the image of Clever tapping her foot - waiting to start - going through her head. That pushed her to do her best.

While these two athletes are "elites", if Hogan decided to sandbag the WOD, or quit, Clever would've only been able to cheer, encourage, yell, and hope. Yet the team's fate was in Hogan's hands, and if she quit, the team gets the DNF.

During every WOD, there comes a point where it hurts, it seems too hard, it's not what you expected, there is muscle fatigue, or you just don't think you can endure. But based on my experience, during those incredibly difficult moments - those times where it would be so easy to take the DNF - a quick breath, a change of pace, switching a grip, or gritting my teeth, and pushing through will get me to break through, to continue, and to be proud of my results. I learn what I'm made of - a quitter? A slacker? A sandbagger? Or a winner?

In Crossfit, and in life, we have a support system. People to coach, help, encourage, and (at times) carry us. Here, my win is your win, my victory is your victory. The improvements made may be credited to all, although many times, manifest in one. But the decision to accept defeat - to accept a DNF rests in the "one"

...And while the scarlet DNF belongs to the "one", the "many" bear the burden of the DNF - etched in their minds for weeks, months, and even years.

Friday, October 7, 2011

"Uncle" Chipper

I did a variation of "Say Uncle" today

400m Run
14 Handstand Push Ups
14 Overhead Squat 115#
14 Power Snatch 115#
14 Box Jumps 24"
400m Run
21 Push Press 115#
21 Double Unders
21 Elevated Parallette Push Ups
21 Pull Ups
400m Run

For time


After a few minutes of recovery,

I did a couple rounds of the Burgener Warm Up

This is to help in several lifts, but especially in the squat snatch.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Back Squats

Simple day of lifting!

Back Squats


I haven't done these for about three months. I did pretty well though. I matched my 1 rep max, and actually got two reps at that weight!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Main Site!: Hand Stand Push-Ups, Lunges, Chest-To-Bar Pull-Ups

The Wifie convinced me to do a Main Site WOD with her tonight. It was tough, but I was able to get through it RX'd

5 Rounds of:

6 Handstand Push-Ups
12 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
24 Walking Lunges w/ 35# dumbbells (had to use 35# plates)

For time.

While I wasn't close to the "elites'" times, I'm finally getting through WODs that involve HSPUs RX'd (even if I have to kip on them..)

Monday, October 3, 2011


Only a small handful of WODs actually scare me and Fran scares me the most - and rightly so!


21-15-9 of:

Thrusters 95#

For time.

I was flat on my back after this WOD for about 20 minutes. I'm getting so very close to the sub 3 club!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

"Boot Camp" 5k

I did a "boot camp" 5k.

It was a 5k with the following obstacles:

Hill run
Tire carry 400ish meters
Bear crawl through a sand volleyball court
Three (3) A-frame climbs
A trail run
Perpendicular wall climb
Monkey bars
Rope wall climb
Tire pit
Over-under on rails

And a big cargo net climb

I took 7th on my age group and 19th overall - out of around 180 people. It was fun!

"Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo! That's Jacktastic!"