Friday, October 31, 2008 by Daniel

Climbing and Push-up Nicole

Morning workout:

Sprint-8 on rower: 3,030m
Climbing: 10a(o), 10c(o), 10c(f), 10c(f)

I made it up the 10c in the back corner that eluded me the other day, which was satisfying - I really did just need fresher arms to make it over the crimpy arete portion. Would've been clean, too, except for a misstep further up the climb. The fall on the last c was just from being tired and stupid - once I fell, took a breath and analyzed the situation, all I needed to do was stabilize with a higher foot instead of jump (as always).

Feeling pretty sore and burnt, I approached the evening WOD with some trepidation, telling myself that it would be OK to take it easy if it was too hard.

Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
Run 400 meters
Max Rep Push-Ups

100 RX (5 rounds: 30-20-20-15-15)

Turned out to be OK. My pecs were sore from the 5x5's and so my push-ups were not super-high in quantity, but I was very careful that they were all high quality (ie, chest touching the ground on every rep). I spent a lot of time in downward-facing dog. The runs all felt pretty fast. I liked this workout - I have yet to do a real Nicole for whatever reason, so don't have a comparison - but I liked the combination of metcon and strength-endurance.

Pushup Nicole

Warm up: Mobility Exercises, KB drills: snatch, front squat, OHS, 25m walking lunges, run/walk 400m, all while holding a KB (8kg)

Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
Run 400 meters
Max Rep Push-Ups

4 rounds, 59 pushups

18 (2:07)
13 (1:42)
14 (2:30)
14 (2:51)

This workout was 100% Rx. All pushups were full ROM, and I ran all of every run - so technically I managed to run a whole mile without stopping ;-)

I think I probably could have gone faster on my runs, but i really wanted to give my arms as much of a chance to recover as I could, so I didn't push as hard as I could have. The first time was not my best 400 time, but it was among probably the top 5 or so, and they all felt pretty strong actually. I was a lot more concerned with trying to figure out a way of running that would let my arms recover as much as possible.

I could not find an effective pushup stance that would let me rest after getting started, which is why my pushup count is low. I could pretty consistently get to about 11 or 12 pushups, and then I could 'rest' in downward dog (DD) exactly once and not for very long before my shoulders started screaming at me, and maybe push out 1-3 more, and that was it. Daniel said that he was able to rest in DD easily and at length. I am sure that if i could have found a 'rest' position that actually allowed me to rest, i could have done more. Maybe I need to practice holding DD.

That said, however, i still feel really good about my performance on this WOD.

Thursday, October 30, 2008 by Rebecca

A return to the 5 x 5

Warmup: Mobility exercises, 10 pushups, 30 situps, 30 air squats

Front Squats x 5:

Bench Press x 5:

Well - it was nice to get back to this. I decided to switch out back squats for front squats. Front squats keep you a lot more honest about keeping your chest up - you just have to - and I really liked them when we did them in class last week or so.

I got as high as 65# when we did them in class - but I decided to ease back into this a bit - so I opted to start with 60. The last rep of the last set was very nearly a bail, so that was probably smart. I felt like these were pretty good. THe knee wobble is there, and the corkscrewing is there on some reps - but my form and stability is much improved. It could still use some work (duh), but I feel that I now have the basics down enough to make it worth my while to try to progress.

I had thought about going with 55# for the bench - but Daniel said it looked easy when I practiced with it so I decided to do 60# instead (even though it didn't FEEL particularly easy) . Again, the last rep of the last set was very nearly a fail - but i pulled it out. (or pushed ;-) )
I don't know why, but my first set of bench press is always horrible. The bar goes up and down in this ridiculous completely uncoordinated way. It's like my muscles have to relearn how to do it. My second set was totally fine. And Daniel said that all my sets in general were looking really good. The bar is coming up evenly in one motion and is staying in the plane it should be in. I used to sort of 'ratchet' the bar up, one side at a time. My right arm definitely feels more tired than my left - which is awesome because that means it was actually trying to carry it's fair share.

Oh - and just to see if I could do it (which I couldn't not too long ago) I shoulder pressed the empty oly bar - it was only the one rep, but it was practically easy!

5x5's: Welcome Back

I've missed the 5x5's. I think they've done me a lot of good, and I'm anxious to try them in combination with my shiny new diet. So today we headed back to IW for some good ol' fashioned strength work:

Back squat: 130
Bench: 130

I backed it off 10-15 pounds from where I left them a couple months ago, and I think that was the right call - these felt plenty challenging, particularly the bench. It felt good to squat again, but I've never really been fond of the bench press, so that was more tolerance than good times.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 by Daniel

Let's call this one "Alex"

Since Max admitted to making it up specifically for him:

Three Rounds:
Run 800 Meters
21 Jump Squats
15 Kettlebell Swings 1.5 P/1P
9 Front Squats 1.5 P/1P
6 Kettlebell Push-Ups

19:46 RX

(Well, I did diamond pushups instead of KB pushups. They didn't seem any easier, just less dangerous)

Splits were 6:07 | 6:42 | 6:56

This was a real lung-burner. Apparently this week is about improving running speed and capacity. Joy. The hard part for me, interestingly, was the KB Swings. Everything else felt like it was over pretty quickly (well, not the running), but I just found myself dreading the swings and they felt like they took forever. Dunno why, really.

Running & KB Stuff

Warmup: Mobility Exercises, 10 Rock'n Rolls, 10 KB swings, 5 pullup attempts, 10 KB Front squats 12kg

For time:

Three Rounds

Run 800 Meters
21 Jump Squats
15 Kettlebell Swings 1.5 P/1P
9 Front Squats 1.5 P/1P
6 Kettlebell Push-Ups *subbed normal pushups



Well - except for the normal pushups instead of diamond or KB pushups, this was very nearly Rx ... though perhaps walking instead of running most of the last 800m would keep it from being technically rx, too (I had a disagreement with my digestive tract which caused a side-stich like cramp which just would not go away).

Still - I'm excited that I managed to use the Rx weight. About half way through my first round of swings, i thought I might have over estimated my capacity for swinging the 1 pood kb, but ultimately, I am glad I struggled through with the heavier weight. I believe this is the first time there's been a WOD with weight, where I've been able to do all the weight as Rx. That's satisfying.

Jump squats are definitely going on the goat list. I just don't have the elasticity in my muscles that it requires. Pretty much anything that involves jumping - jump rope, box jumps, jumping squats - it all sucks. I don't know whether it's a strength thing or a coordination thing or some combination of the two (it probably is), but when i land from a jump, my legs just don't absorb the shock, and it feels like I hit the ground hard/stiff jointed. It's hard on my knees. This was true to some extent with running too, but it's less true now than it used to be, so I am sure that I can learn to be bouncier ... but I am not particularly bouncy now. I really envy folks who look like their muscles are made out of springs when they jump - like it's a 100% natural thing for them to do.

My swings were ok, my front squats were actually really good, and my pushups were fine ... I tried a couple 'diamond' pushups before the workout - with my hands centered beneath me, and could only get about 2/3 of the way down before my arms gave out altogether. there's a muscle in my triceps area - maybe it's my triceps :-p - that hasn't developed enough strength to get me down there yet. I wonder if working on these pushups would help my pull ups and/or dips.

The runs were - bleah. The first one was actually among my better times for the 800 @ BIW. The second and third should just be forgotten. At least I was able to pick up the pace of the other exercises in round 3 since i wasn't winded from running.

I find that I can start pretty strongly, but that my 'action potential' peters out rather quickly. Less quickly than it used to for sure, but I still lack endurance. Particularly where running and longer metcons are concerned. ... One more thing to work on ... does the list ever get shorter? or will i just keep adding to it forever?

Intermittent Fasting: Week 8

Backsliding, for the first time in two months.

What went in (avg. daily):
Calories: 2,218
Fat: 126g (50%)
Carbs: 82g + 27g fiber (18%)
Protein: 170g (31%)

Weight: 175 (+1 lbs, 13lbs total)
Waist: 32.25 (+0.125", 1.75" total)
Bodyfat: 12% (+0.5%, 3% total)
Percentage to goal: 88%

My intake profile is essentially the same as it's been for the last few weeks, so I don't think that's it. I think it's likely the exercise: we did a very brutal burpee/pullup workout last Wednesday that basically thrashed me for the entire week - nearly every workout until Sunday felt like crap. In retrospect, I probably should have taken an extra rest day before jumping back in - instead I felt like I was scrambling to catch up all week.

This has been a difficult week for me, disciplinarily speaking, in a couple different ways. Fall has finally, definitively hit the Bay Area, and it is having a psychological effect. The lack of sun and colder weather is making it harder to generate enthusiasm for working out, and making diversions like video games more tempting. I'm also feeling hungrier, and burned-out on tracking in Fitday.

So part of me wants to just quit tracking for a while, freestyle the diet (adding more carbs in PWO), and start heavy 5x5 training again for strength and LBM gains. You know what it feels like? Hibernation. But another part of me is chafing at being so close to an unmet goal, so wants to keep working at this a little longer. I'm not really sure what to do at this point.

Monday, October 27, 2008 by Rebecca

Climbing 10/27/08

5.9(c) 5.9(f+) 5.10a(c) 5.9(f++)

This was a good climbing day - I tried to work on harder climbs than last week - which is why I fell more.

I was focusing on a couple techniques - using my legs instead of my arms more to pull me towards holds, and making dynamic powerful quicker moves instead of slower strengthier ones. The trick with the dynamic moves is trusting my feet to stay where I put them, and that's hard.

I was pretty thrilled to get up that 10a clean - and it was largely due to consciously working at standing up and grabbing for that next hold.

The last 5.9 had a lot of negative incline, and a ginormous overhang, and i basically just fell my way up it, but I didn't ratchet my way up (except maybe a little on the overhang) - i did finally make it. It's not on a wall that I get along with well.

Still, overall, a good night.

Just a little climbing

Couldn't bring myself to do any HIIT burpees this morning, so my only exertion today took the form of some fairly lame climbing with Rebecca tonight - my forearms are still feeling tired from the week o'pullups, so it was not my best showing...

10a(o), 10b(f+), 10c(dnf), 10b(o)

OK. The HARDEST FUCKING "10B" I've ever climbed. *cough*Jim!*cough*. If it wasn't upside down under a roof, it was negative without a rest on a line so far off plumb that you basically couldn't rest. I'm not saying it was bad - it wasn't! it's a good climb - I'd just call it a 10d.

I'll try the C again when I'm fresher - it was that hard section of the back corner where I ALWAYS fall, and required just a little more finger strength campusing than I could give it.

The last 10b was a beautiful, fun climb - nothing but big meaty bites of book stemming. Not too hard, but still some really satisfying moves. My only complaint would be that it's too short.

Sunday, October 26, 2008 by Daniel

Overhead Squats and Cookies

We went to both classes today, since neither one looked to be a killer and we were (surprisingly) not feeling particularly beat up from our Half-Murph.

The first class was Overhead Squats, a definite goat of mine. The prescribed workout was 15-10-5-5-5, but I just played around with the empty bar, working form. It took a little while, but I started to get the hang of it, even earning some compliments from Max and others. I went up to 55# x 5, but that was about as brave as I got. That shit HURTS, especially the wrists. But if I ever want to do real snatches, I've got to get a proper OHS. One more thing for the list.

Then it was on to the goofball workout Max concocted to reward us for a very difficult work week:

100 Meter walking lunge
42 Sit-Ups
Run 200 Meters backwards
30 V-Ups
Run 400 Meters
18 Knees-To-Elbows

12:01, not quite RX (my KTE's were not all kosher)

Actually this was surprisingly tough. The 100 walking lunges were really painful, the situps were fine, the running backwards was metabolically fine (if psychically a bit nervous), the V-Ups were less fine, the running felt downright luxurious after the previous freaky stuff, and the KTEs were just killer.

I have an easier time with the KTEs when I can hyperextend a little at the start, allowing a more vigorous abdominal contraction to pull my hips up. This isn't really doable on a bar that forces me to bend my knees to hang from, which made these KTEs harder than the ones I've done on the rings or the bar at GWPC. Or it could just be the previous ab work made me tired.

OH Squats and Tea and cookies ;-)

WOD #1 OH Squats
Warm up: Mobility Exercises, Burgener Warm Up ... don't remember what else - I'm sure there was something

WOD: OH Squats

dowel-dowel-9#-15#-15# .... give or take - I wasn't paying particularly close attention to the rep scheme - and just did a set whenever I felt well rested.

Wod#2 Tea & Cookies
Warm up: Mobility Exercises, 10 Rock'n Rolls, Jump Rope Drills, run 900m

"Tea & Cookies"

100 Meter walking lunge
42 Sit-Ups
Run 200 Meters backwards
30 V-Ups
Run 400 Meters
18 Knees-To-Elbows


100m walking lunge
42 sit-ups
run 200m backwards
30 V-ups
run 400m
18 knees-to-elbows*

With the OH squats today, my main focus was on form - which has gotten quite a bit stronger. Those who were watching me said that my depth was really good and that my form looked pretty solid. I do still tend to corkscrew a little bit to the left - but significantly less than I used to. I did not get brave enough to try these with an empty oly bar. I stuck to the dowel and some relatively light body bars. 9# & 15# I made one feeble attempt with the 30# body bar - but it is think and ungainly, and i did not make it down very far before I decided not to proceed with that bar. My wrists and shoulders got tired pretty quickly even with the light weight.

The second WOD today had several exercises I strongly dislike because they really push my issues to the fore-front. I'm going to steal Melissa Byers name for these exercises and create a "goat list". The first three items on this list:

Jump rope drills. I do ok on the regular two footed jumps and cross overs, but the moment i have to alternate feet, or change rope rhythm (doubleunders) everything goes to hell. My right leg/foot can't navigate on it's own.

Walking lunges - also on the list - they really emphasize how off balance I am.

Running backwards - um yeah - just hard.

I think I got closer than I've ever gotten before to getting the knees to elbows, but they're still not quite there.

Needless to say, if it weren't for the walking lunges this workout would have been much much faster. there was also a lot of transition time in between exercises. But Nick was doing them with a 70# kettlebell, so he was slowed down to my pace and kept me company and motivated. I'm glad he made it to class today :)

Everything else was essentially fine. And my strained muscle didn't give me any trouble.

Saturday, October 25, 2008 by Daniel


As blasted as I was yesterday, I couldn't believe it when I saw that Max posted Murph for today. I even had nightmares about it, I think. But I went to bed really early to get ~9 hours of sleep in hopes that I might recover enough to do the workout. Which sort of worked. I figured I'd start it, and see how I felt halfway through.

For time:
1 mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 mile Run

37:27 ~50% (ran the full first mile)

It was the pullups that did me in. They just weren't there. Even apart from Wednesday's rips, I felt like I was working with puny little Tyrannosaurus arms. I couldn't even knock out the first set unbroken, and it quickly degenerated into sets of 2-3. I wore bike gloves, which did not help, I think - they mucked up my kip. The pushups and squats were actually not that bad.

But I was getting a bad vibe from my arms - specifically the forearms and biceps, which have been so sore the past couple days. My time wasn't good - shaping up to be over an hour - so I decided to call it at halfway through, and ran 800m. Here are the splits (rounds are 10-20-30):

Mile 1: 7:27
Five rounds: 4:05, 4:24, 5:20, 5:30, 5:47
800m: 4:50

I'm getting better about feeling OK with DNF'ing, but it still chafes a bit. I think this was the right decision, though - it felt like a solid workout and I wasn't wrecked for the rest of the day. Tomorrow Max has posted what looks like the easiest workout in CF history, to be followed by Tea and Cookies, so we'll go and hang out and celebrate the end of a particularly brutal workout week.

Murph 50% Damn.

Warm up: 10 Rock'n Rolls, 10 CFEB sun salutations, run 400m


For time:
1 mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 mile Run

Partition the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats as needed.

33:23 50%

Splits Round = 10 Pullups, 20 Pushups, 30 squats (should have been 10 rounds)

Mile - PR

I ran 1 mile at the beginning, and hyper extended my knee/hamstring? - whatever the muscle or tendon is just above the back of the knee... just for ease of reference I will say knee - in round 4, completed round 5, and called it 50% - even though i did all the running @ the beginning. Drat! I thought that, after my 17 round tabata cindy last week, today i might actually make it through 100% of this Mother of a workout.

Initially I thought I would do the workout cindy style, but my watch freaks out after 16 rounds, and cindy style requires 22 rounds, also 5 pullups - as partial as mine are right now - hardly seems worth the trouble of getting up on the box to get to the pull-up bar. Round 1 was straight 10, 20, 30, but it was immediately clear that if I tried to string together 20 pushups for 10 rounds, I would be there for freaking ever. Round 2 was 2 sets of 5,10,15, which fixed my watch/round issue, but did not address my pullup transition issue, so rounds 3, 4, & 5 were 10 pullups, 10 pushups, 15 squats, 10 pushups, 15 squats.

The pushups were still the hardest (duh!) - I typically had to break them down into 3 sets - the first one was 4-5 and the last two were 2 or 3 respectively - but my form felt mostly pretty good, and I was still managing mostly Full ROM when i had to stop. Needing to touch with my knees was the sign of needing to stop and breathe. The other thing I learned from tabata cindy is that it's better to stop and rest BEFORE muscular failure. Recovery is quicker and more effective.

I was DEFINITELY on target to do quite a bit better than my last time through. Last time it took me 1:10 to do 75% (really wish i had my split data from that run :-< ). Today it took me 33 minutes to do 50%, and I definitely had the gas to keep going .... STUPID knee. I know exactly what happened too:

I discovered with Tabata Cindy that I was taking far too long to get my squats done-treating them more as a rest period and less as an exercise unto themselves, so I was trying to keep them metcon-y and popped up too enthusiastically- probably a few times. Since it's my right side I didn't even know I'd done anything bad until I was trying to kip, and it really hurt my knee to swing my legs. I had to switch from kip attempts to jumping pull ups for the last 4-5 pullups of the last set - jumping was ok - better than swinging anyway. and the final set of squats was ... less than comfortable, but manageable. I kept a bit more weight on my left leg and just got through them. So that's why round 5 is so much longer - that and the fact that I took a minute long break to find my water and my towel and just breathe a little before starting round 5.

I had to go spend 4 hours @ work with my boss after this workout, so it's probably best that I did not totally wipe myself out, and only got through 50%. Also - the last time I did this @ 75% I was more sore than I have been - possibly ever - and for like 4 or 5 days! - that definitely won't be a problem this time (except for my knee - i don't know how that one is going to shape up. sigh.)

But one thing is clear. I have come a really long way even just since the end of August. :-)

Oh - and I managed to knock 20 seconds off my mile time. See Max - there was a good reason to run a whole mile at the start :-p

Friday, October 24, 2008 by Daniel


I am in shit shape today, man. Wiped. Exhausted. The last two days have totally fried my banana.

So, I probably shouldn't have done this:

Sprint-8 on rower: 3180m
Climbing: 10a(o), 10c(f+), 9(o), 10b(o)

But what the hell.

Thursday, October 23, 2008 by Rebecca

Diane #1

Warmup: Mobility Exercises, squat jump ... things, run 400m, waiting and watching 2 rounds of Diane :-p

3 rounds for time of 21-15-9
Deadlift 225/155 Pounds
Handstand Push-Ups

15:11 - subbed 97# deadlift and pike position HSPU off a chair.


Wow - well looking at my HR it's clear why I didn't feel totally gassed after this. It was hard, but I didn't feel like i needed a shower after class. I guess I am not good enough at these movements to do them fast enough for a metcon effect ... or something?

It was a close call whether we were even going to go to class today, and when, due to a shortage of bars, it became clear that I was going to have to wait for round 3 to start, and any weight I tried to deadlift just felt ridiculously heavy, i seriously considered just not doing it at all.

However, stubborness prevailed, and I got a baby bar set up with 95# , and started with group 3. I know that 95# on an oly bar = 95# on a 'baby' bar, but for some reason I find it much harder to lift. Maybe it's just becauseit's close to the ground. But for whatever reason my first set of DL just sucked - and took for frickin' ever.

Fortunatately, by the time I finished my HSPU, a classmate who was also using 95# but on a regualr oly bar was finished, and so I was able to use her bar, and the DL went MUCH better. The time for the second round is a little long because i paused to grab bloks to set the weight on to get it to regualr DL height. Peopel had been using them as head targets for their HSPU, but by that time, no one was using them anymore.

The few HSPU I tried before class were quite pitiful, and I was not expecting to be able to get any knid of significant range of motion during the workout, but I think the DL loosened me up a bit and got my blood flowing so that I was actually able to get a pretty good ROM for most reps.
Max said a couple times that these were looking particularly good. If i could find a non-terrifying way of kicking up to the wall, I'd try them against a wall ... but that has to be some other day when it's not part of a WOD, and I can just practice a bit.

Overall, I'm happy I stuck around and did the workout, and I'm fairly satisfied with my time. I wish i could have started with a real oly bar - I'm relatively certain my time would have been better. But - as Max pointed out when I was lamenting being such a weakling today that a 95# DL felt really heavy- yesterday's workout was a huge amount of volume - possibly more than I've ever done - and definitely more than I've done in one WOD recently - so I shouldn't expect to be working at 100%. And - as Daniel pointed out - a couple months ago a 95# DL was my 1 rep max, and I did 45 reps of it today.

It always comes down to perspective.


Sore as hell from yesterday, with ripped up hands, we weren't sure we were really up for this, but 6:30 found us rolling into the Power Company anyway.

3 rounds for time of 21-15-9

Deadlift 225/155 Pounds
Handstand Push-Ups

11:05 (or 11:45, I forget). 205# DL, HSPUs with one foot up in a ring.

Last time I did this was May, and I did 185# in 14 minutes, and if I recall correctly it crippled me for the weekend with an extremely sore back. Hopefully this will be better. It didn't actually feel that bad - with fresher muscles, I think I may have been able to do 225#. Next time.

I'm still a chickenshit about the HSPUs. I tried kicking up to the wall a couple times and my ankle really hurt on my clumsy, jarring come-downs. I suck at inversion. I really just need to practice kicking up and coming down a few times so I can just get over it.

That said, I felt pretty good about the assisted-HSPUs I did tonight. Max said they looked freaky with one foot up in a ring, but they felt pretty solid and like I was working the right muscles in a closer sub than piking off a box - maybe I'm wrong about that.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 by Daniel


Jesus, this one kicked my ass hard.

Ten rounds for time of:
12 Burpees
12 Pull-ups

40:05 RX

Splits were:

That last round was because we had to move downstairs to make room for yoga.

All the pullups were kipping on the bar, which is, uh...about 110 more bar pullups than I've ever done before. I was able to knock out a couple rounds unbroken - not necessarily the first rounds, it had more to do with finding the right rhythm and riding the bar. I did notice that the power of the pullup is really generated in the swing-thru at the bottom, and if I really hyperextended and arched my back, the power that generated made it easier to get over the bar. It also, I think, worked to keep me centered under the bar, keeping me from swinging. I'm pretty confident I have the bar kips down now. My hands have the blisters and rips to prove it, too.

The burpees were burpees. About halfway through I started doing them in two sets of 6 with a few breaths in between, but overall they were more or less what they always are.

Suprisingly, no complaints from my shoulder on this one.

Burpee Pullup Hell

Warmup: Mobility Exercises, run 400m, 25 OH squats with PVC, 10 shoulder 'dislocators'

Ten rounds for time of:
12 Burpees
12 Pull-ups *subbed kip attempts



Looks like i was mostly pretty consistent. Round 7 is when i went outside to pour water on my head. it was HOT in there. it was like doing Bikram Crossfit or something. I do not perform anywhere near as well in the heat. I am convinced that one reason round 10 went faster is because we had to make way for the incoming yoga class so i "had" to go do my last roud downstairs ... in front of a fan :-D

Even if the heat wasn't a factor(which it totally was) - I'm pretty excited just to have completed this workout. I also finished it just about the same time Daniel did, which is impressive to me. I know he was doing real pullups and I was not - but kipping attempts take somewhat longer than jumping pullups, and Daniel's really been rocking the burpees lately, so I would have expected him to be done substantially before me. Maybe it was jutst an off night for him, but I don't know if I've ever completed 100% of a workout close to the same time Daniel did. And just as a benchmark - in a non-competitive sort of way - that says to me that I have come quite a long way.

I really tried to apply what I learned in tabata cindy - intense work followed by quick rests - taken before muscular failure, and for the most part, i think it really helped me stay focused - though that got harder and harder as the room got hotter and hotter and I got more and more tired.

I wore padded biking gloves, and that mostly saved my hands from re-ripping, though I did manage to re-rip the patch of skin in the middle of my left palm. The bar got really sticky from tape residue since everyone had their hads taped, so it would have been a particularly bad scene without the gloves - several people ended the evening with war wounds. I think that maybe next time i will try adding a bit of tape to the particularly rip-prone areas underneath the gloves.

Almost no-one from the 5pm class finished the full workout, and more often than not, lately, it feels like I've been modifying volume for one reason or another, so it felt really good to complete the full workout. Tomorrow is Diane. That's going to be rough.

Intermittent Fasting: Week 7

So close...

What went in (avg. daily):

Calories: 2,231
Fat: 140g (55%)
Carbs: 76g + 21g fiber (16%)
Protein: 150g (27%)

I lost track of my fasts this week.

Weight: 174 (-1 lbs, 14lbs total)
Waist: 32.125 (-0.125", 1.875" total)
Bodyfat: 11.5% (-0.5%, 3.5% total)
Percentage to goal: 94%

Fell off the wagon a little bit this week, protein-wise. In fact, in general I didn't eat enough this week - I think I had three sub-2k calorie days. I want to be careful not to slip into a regular deficit here, so a binge day or two is probably called for. This close to goal, though, the temptation is definitely high to eat less, thinking it will help shave off those last few fractions of an inch.

I've been thinking more and more about what to do when I hit my goal, which (fingers crossed) should be next week. I want to refocus on gaining LBM, but not with a traditional bulk. I admit that after several weeks of having a definite plan, and having that plan WORK, I'm anxious about going back to the wilderness of dietary uncertainty that is effective LBM gain. I think I might try freestyle for a little while - eating a LOT on rest days after hard effort, but continuing to IF and eating less on other days, maybe keeping one or two morning HIIT sessions per week to focus on fat-burning a couple times a week. Maybe try to get my overall daily average up to the 2800-3k range, but in a very spiky, rather than steady, fashion.

I'm also thinking of bringing more carbs back into the picture, post-workout. Mr. O'Donnell suggests this sort of carb-cycling to more quickly replenish muscle glycogen, but I am not yet clear on just how many carbs is a good target for a post-workout meal. 100g? Are a couple glasses of milk sufficient, or should it be low-GI carbs in food? I will have to do more research.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 by Daniel

The Plunge

I have taken the plunge, and enrolled to be a ISSA-certified fitness trainer. After much research, I went with ISSA as the consensus of CF affiliates on the forums seemed to say it was the least-useless national certification. And they accept CrossFit certs for their Continuing Education Units (ie, to maintain the certification), which nobody else does.

So! 12-16 weeks, they say, to complete. I have no idea where I'm going to find the time for this, but I'm excited!

Eureka! Home-made protein bars

I have been plagued by discontent with protein supplementation for quite some time now. At first I liked ThinkThin bars, but then I read about the evils of aspartame and all the other crap that's in them. Clif Builder Bars are good-tasting with responsible ingredients - but they have a lot of sugar in them, and cost about $2 a pop - which adds up. And the protein mixes are no better - I couldn't find anything that didn't have sucralose or worse, and they're always cloyingly sweet and frequently have highly questionable ingredients.

A lot of research pointed me to, which lets you make custom blends of various types of high-quality proteins with various flavors, including no flavoring or sweetener at all. So I took the plunge and ordered three pounds (a fair amount) of mostly high-quality whey with some casein, which came out to $38. Now I just needed to figure out the most palatable means of ingesting the stuff.

After much experimentation, I have finally figured out a home-made protein bar recipe that I'm really happy with. With only four ingredients, these little puppies taste EXACTLY like raw peanut butter cookie dough, provide 19 grams of protein with only 4 grams of carbohydrates, and have no artificial chemicals or sweeteners. AND they only cost 72 cents each! In short: just about perfect.

Ingredients (per bar):
For experimentation, I found it was better to make them two at a time, and now that I have the recipe I make a batch of 8 or 10 for the week.

  • Mix peanut butter, protein and stevia in a bowl - it will be dry and flaky, with small chunks.
  • Add cream and mix until blended
  • Portion out (each bar is 1/4 cup), wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Nutritional info (per bar):

Calories: 276
Fat: 21g
Carbs: 4g + 2g fiber
Protein: 19g

  • It's kind of hard to overstate how much these taste like raw PB cookie dough. It's uncanny.
  • I have tried almond butter in several permutations. The texture comes out very gluey. It's not inedible, but it's not really enjoyable. The peanut butter makes them nice and crumbly with a great mouth feel, while you really have to choke down the almond butter. I have read about people mixing almond butter with coconut oil for a snappier texture, but haven't had the nerve to try that yet. I also need to try cashew butter.
  • I broke out the prices of the ingredients, and it comes to 72 cents per bar. This would go down even more if I bought the protein in batches of more than 3 pounds, or found a cheaper source.
  • It's important to use heavy cream. I tried half-and-half, and the texture was gluey and chewy like with almond butter. Nowhere near as good.
  • Despite all their positive attributes, these ARE gut-bombs. DO NOT EAT within two hours before exercise. You will deeply regret it. I did. There is a lot of fat in them, and they will fill you up like crazy.

Monday, October 20, 2008 by Rebecca

Back to climbing!

5.7(c) 5.9(c) 5.8(c) 5.9(f) 5.9(dnf)

This was a lot of fun. I have to agree with Daniel, it felt like old times - before I broke my finger, and before Crossfit when climbing was the most fun thing we did - and it hasn't for a long long time. I didn't realize how much I missed it.

It was extremely satisfying to climb three clean climbs, and the fall on the 4th was at a massive overhang where the geometry of the move just escaped me. I don't feel bad about not making it. The last climb - well - my callouses are not what they were, and it juts hurt my hands too much to hang on to the holds. I'd like to try it again when I am fresher, though I think it will still be a tricky climb for me.

I've lost a lot of technique, but I am confident that it will come back quickly. I am looking forward to the next time.

A bit backwards

This month's Mondays will not go according to the regular schedule, due to a work thing requiring me to show up early and thereby preventing me from climbing with Tor in the mornings. While at first I was highly annoyed at this, if the next three Mondays are like today, then it'll be fine: I can just go climbing with Rebecca in the evening!

So, this morning's HIIT:

80 burpees, sets of 10

I wanted to do 100 in celebration of tomorrow's ending of the burpee challenge, but I ran out of time.

And this evening:

3x10 weighted incline sit-ups (25#)
climbing: 10a(o), 10c(o), 10d(f+), 10b(o), 10b(f+)

The climbing felt good, despite some strong residual soreness from Tabata Cindy. The first 10a was laughably easy. The 10c was a good climb, vertical with a little bit of dihedral action in the middle, and only challenging in a mental sense as the end goes WAY off plumb, so a fall would be...dramatic, and probably impossible to get back from. It felt really good to be back on a 10d, even if it was probably the most insanely crimpy arete climb I've ever done (damn you, Jim!). Many of the holds were too small to use the pads of the fingers, requiring me to pull off my fingerTIPS, which got pretty painful pretty quick. I followed that with a 10b that looked a lot more challenging than it was (big 10' roof, but massive jugs). The last 10b was harder than it looked, and I was tired and doing all sorts of stupid shit trying to muscle my way up it. When I finally stopped, took some breaths and asked myself, "what is the most efficient way I could do this move?" I usually found an easier, more controlled method than the big dramatic jump-n-falls I was perpetrating.

It was really nice to climb with Rebecca again - the past few times we've climbed, it's been with friends and we haven't partnered with each other, so it's been a long time. Tonight felt like old times, when we first started. Too bad the gym was so damn crowded.

Sunday, October 19, 2008 by Rebecca

Tabata Cindy - OMG Really?!

Warmup: 2 quick climbs - a 5.7 amd a 5.9 - both clean. mobility exercises, a 400m run ... don't remember what else.

Tabata Cindy
Perform 60 intervals of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest of:
5 Pull-Ups
10 Push-Ups
15 Squats
Once again my damn watch totally freaked out after round 16 - it says the total time was 36 minutes (i forgot to completely stop it after the last round) but if I add up all the splits i get 50 minutes! I need a new watch/HR monitor :-P

Regardless. I'm 95% sure I got at least 16 rounds+ 2 pushups - i may have gotten as many as 18 + 2 pushups.

Either way - HOLY COW!!! My PR before this was a whopping 9 rounds. At least I think so. my watch malfunctions lead me to believe that my last attempt was somewhat higher than 9 or even 10.

Splits (such as they are):
17 & 18?
18 or19

A couple sets are longer and shorter because I forgot to hit the lap time on my watch until after the pullups (like round 10 & 11). Once again my limiting factor was pushups - by the end it was taking me 3 to 4 tabata rounds to get through all 10, but they stayed pretty strong through at least round 10, which is pretty damn impressive given that I didn't even HAVE a pushup a couple months ago. I was determined to make as many of them as possible full ROM, which is why they started taking so much longer - I could have eked out another round - maybe even two if I had just resorted to using my knees - and I still did for a couple reps here and there - and i think my whole last full round - so it wasn't a complete victory - but they still went comparatively really really well.

The jumping pull ups were ... probably too easy an option. It's just that even though my skin has healed, my hands are still really tender, and trying to kip just hurts - even taped. But i won't get there unless I work at it. so. no more being a baby.

I felt like my squats had really improved, too - but without a mirror it's hard for me to say for sure. Max was snapping pictures - i don't know whether he was taking videos too ... I'll ask him if he caught any of either media of my squats.

I think the enforced work and the enforced rest of the tabata structure works really really well for Cindy - or at least it did for me. The main thing it pointed out to me - and Daniel found this to be true too, is that in a normal WOD I wait too long to rest, and then rest too long. I found that with this structure I was super motivated to try to fit an exercise into a tabata period so that I could use the 'rest' time to transition between exercises. This was particularly important going from the squats to the pullups because i had to navigate up onto a box to reach the pullup bar, and if I was hurrying to do it in the middle of a tabata period, i was more likely to misstep and have to try again - wasting precious seconds.

If my splits are to be believed - and I think the earlier ones probably are accurate, I got through 7 rounds in the first 10 minutes.I nearly died when I'd gotten that far and Max said - ok - you're just about 1/3 of the way through. What?! only a third?! Considering that I got through 9 rounds in the whole 20 minutes last time, I was really amazed I was going so fast.

Another issue of note: this was my first workout in an intentionally fasted state. (As opposed to just poorly fed). If these results are any indication of performance in general, IF is amazing! We went to Rudy's for lunch afterward, and I made the mistake of having coffee with milk in it before our food came - and it was a LONG time before the food came - and I felt really jittery and out of sorts for a long time even after eating, which i didn't like. I suspect things wold have gone better if I had had a whole big glass of milk before the coffee.

So much for feeling bad about not seeing good performance. This totally rocked. Now if I can just get my pullups dialed, I'll be able to do it RX! Jumping pullups feel a little bit like cheating.

Oh yeah - and it was really nice to finally get in two clean climbs. There's definitely some muscle memory lacking, and some technique to re-learn, but it felt good all the same :)

Tabata Cindy

Pretty much just what it sounds like:

Perform 60 intervals of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest of:
5 Pull-Ups
10 Push-Ups
15 Squats

16 rounds RX.

Did this downstairs on the rings with Raphael and James C. Max lent me his watch, which can do intervals, so I was in charge of calling out "rest" and "go," while also juggling my rounds and keeping an eye on the clock to be sure we were doing 30 minutes of work. I think I screwed up and shortchanged us a little on the number of intervals. Max's watch stopped beeping, so I assumed he'd programmed it for 60 intervals, but he tells me he didn't and that it's more likely I just stopped it by accident with my wrist. We couldn't have been TOO far off, as I know we started before the main class and we finished a little before them, too, but I think we may have had a couple more minutes to do. Oh well. It's not like we didn't get any work in.

So this was three more rounds than my last Cindy, in ~10 more minutes' time. Not particularly great. The enforced rests of the tabata protocol DID make it easier, I think - for a large swatch of time in the middle, I felt I was holding down a pace that I could've kept for a long time. It successfully enforced the notion that I rest for too long when I take rests, and that I should A) stop a little earlier, before failure, and B) start again after just a handful of breaths. Hopefully I can keep this in mind and apply it to future WODs.

Afterwards I did some practice at bar-kipping upstairs, and I think I've nailed the form down, even on the bouncy bar (which was giving me trouble). The trick, for me, is to NOT swing so much. It's much more of a pumping, snaking action - I can envision a ledge in front of me at about knee height, and I swing with my hips to get my toes on that ledge, and then push off the ledge to finish the move....or it's like holding a long string and snapping one end of it, so you get a wave that travels down the string. It's like doing that with my body. When I got into the groove of it, chest-to-bar pullups seemed quite natural and easy. It is hell on the hands, though, compared to the rings.

Saturday, October 18, 2008 by Rebecca

5x5 Front Squats

Warmup: Mobility Exercises, 10 Rock n' Roll, 10 CFEB Sun salutations, Kip attempt, KB clean & pp ladder 1-5 each hand, KB snatch practice 10 each hand

Front Squat 5-5-5-5-5



Well - this went pretty damn well for a workout I wasn't sure I was even going to be able to do.

A bit of back story: I somehow managed to tweak a muscle in my inner right thigh last night climbing - not sure how or when, and it kept me tossing and turning all night, so I woke up grumpy, and thinking that maybe I should just skip class today.

Daniel was an incredibly good sport and listened very attentively to me complain about how I felt like I'd hit a progress wall, and my climbing was suffering, and I was tired of having all these injuries, and I just had a half intensity week and I wasn't getting the results I was expecting, blah blah blah, whine whine whine. Woe. Is. Me.

Shortly after getting out of bed, and just for kicks, I decided to try one of the bent arm pull-ups I've been doing on the pull-up bar, and HOLY SHIT! - I actually managed to get my chin all the way over the frickin' bar, and hold it there while I yelled for Daniel - who was innocently doing whatever it is he does in the bathroom in the morning - to come take a look. (I had to have 2nd party verification!)

... it's still not technically a deadhang pull up since I didn't start from a hang position. I still haven't figured out how to do that - but OMFG! I got my chin up over that bar! I even managed to do it a second time a little later in the morning - after about 20 minutes or so.

Ok - so. fine. I guess ... maybe ... I'm not so entirely pathetic and worthless afterall, but my thigh still hurts, and just squatting kinda hurts, and Front squats in particular have always sucked for me, so, ... I'll go to class , but maybe I'll just watch, or work with a dowel - definitely an empty bar is the heaviest I'll go. ... Definitely not more than that. >.>

I was glad that rock n'rolls were part of the warm up. They helped me stretch out that sore muscle a bit. The KB clean and push press drills were OK - I used an 8 kg KB - nothing very heavy. I had to move down to the 4kg kb (so ridiculous - hardly even worth doing :-|) for my right handed snatches. I felt like I was getting them really well on the left, and on the right, it wasn't so much a matter of weight as that I just couldn't quite get the coordination of the movement.

For the front squats, we were supposed to do 10 reps with the empty bar to warm up. They started getting really hard around rep 5, and since that was going to be my work set weight anyway, I decided that was plenty. My strained muscle was definitely kicking up a fuss about being required to work - but it was a whine and not a yell.

We have a limited number of bars, and we don't have racks where we have class, so people generally form into little groups with similar weight lifting capabilities, and the people who aren't lifting serve as human racks. So I was in the lightest girl group, and I just helped other people do their reps for a few rounds. There's actually a fair amount of squating and lifting involved in being a human rack, so I suspect this helped to warm me up further.

Once I finally got around to trying my first 45# set , it went up easy, and although my sore muscle twinged really loudly on the first squat, the rest of the squats were easy. More weight was definitely necessary.

A couple more rounds of human rack duty, and I try 55#, it feels totally solid. Almost easy. It was definitely work to get back up, but I was never in doubt that I'd get there. I had to ask the girls I was working with whether I was getting low enough, because it just didn't seem right that it was that easy.

Set #3 I went up to 60#. Same story. Set #4, 65#; still felt really solid. Set # 5, I decided not to push the limits of my strained muscle, and kept it at 65# - though I sorta wish I had gone for 70# I think I could have done it. The last rep was definitely hard, but totally doable.

A couple things of note: the two things that have given me the most trouble with front squats in the past are A) the weight always pulls me forward - I think this is due to poor squat form and holding the bar wrong. B) my wrists get tired and give out.

I think today worked well because my squat form has gotten a lot more solid, and after watching other people struggle with how to hold the bar, I got a really clear picture of how it should work, and I was able to really solidly lock in how to hold my elbows up and comfortably hold the bar on my shoulders with just a couple fingers. Bye Bye wrist strain! :)

It's hard to say since I did not have a mirror, but my knees felt really stable. It didn't feel like I was fighting with them to stay out for most of the reps - although there were one or two in round 4 or 5 where I could definitely tell that my right knee had collapsed in, and getting back up got a lot harder. Also, looking back at my log, it says that 60# is the heaviest I ever managed to go with a back squat, and this is 5# more than that - definitely a PR :-D.

We filmed me doing 55# back squats on August 7th. And I was all wobbly just holding the bar, and my knee collapsed in with every rep. Back and front squats aren't quite the same animal, but everything felt much much stronger and more solid today. I wish I had video so I could compare.

I'm finding this whole fitness journey to be a massive head game. It seems to be all about managing expectations. Today I expected to be able to do basically nothing - and so I am super excited that I did better than nothing. Yesterday I expected to be half-way decent at climbing, and so I was disappointed when I wasn't even close. It's terribly frustrating. It's very easy to be overly impressed/satisfied with the progress I've made so far and to overestimate my current capabilities. It's a hard line to walk: not taking it too easy on myself, yet pushing hard enough to expand my boundaries, but not so hard I injure myself. Unlike front squats, I doubt this aspect of training will get much easier with practice. I just have to learn to be patient with the "down" times, and know that as long as I keep working hard, I will see gains. Usually when I least expect them.

Front Squats: 5x5


On 9/11 I did my last 5x5 back squat, and that was at 140. Considering this was my first real work at front squats, I'm pretty happy with this. I do need to work more at keeping my chest upright at the bottom of the squat - the front squats are excellent at keeping you honest on this point.

Friday, October 17, 2008 by Daniel

Rowing and climbing...and climbing again

This morning at IW:

Sprint-8 on rower: 3200m
15 minutes jump rope practice
3x10 weighted (25#) incline situps
Climbing: 10a(o), 10b(o), 10c(o), 10b/c(f++)

The rower was tough today, for some reason - had a hard time keeping the sprints below 1:40 pace. That said, I went the furthest distance I've ever done, so I probably had the damper a little bit higher.

For my easy cardio post-HIIT, I realized last night that jump-rope practice is a good option - better than running, anyway. It's not super-tough because I can't do double-unders yet, but it does keep the heart rate up a little. I'll do more of this, and maybe someday get a DU.

Climbed mostly on the back wall, slab or vertical, and they were all quite easy. The b/c, however, was a nasty little bitch of a difficult climb on the center column, all overhang and deep slingshot moves. My falls were all just muscle exhaustion.

So what better way to spend the evening, than to....go climbing again? This time at Mission Cliffs.

Climbing: 10b(o), 10c(o), 10a/b(o), 10c(f)

The b was long and vertical and too easy for a b. The c was AWESOME - a long chimney/crack climb that Jim set, with holds INSIDE the chimney, and a good chunk of some brutal lieback. My right arm was wiped after that, so I went to the slab/double-overhang wall, where the b I wanted was taken, so I did the comp route a/b instead. Fun climb. The last c was a LONG-ASS climb on the main lead wall, negative for ~40 feet and then vertical for the last 15. I sprinted up the negative as quickly as I could, since a fall would entail some wild tarzaning, and rested once I got to the lip where the line would be plumb. Sadly, I found there was an excellent rest two moves later, so I could have done it clean with a little more perseverence, but it was the end of a long day of climbing so I don't feel too bad about taking the break off the wall.

And now, bedtime. I'm quite wiped.

Climbing - too long off the wall and not enough to eat == BAD

5.9(dnf) 5.8(f) 5.7(f) 5.9(f)

Wow what a crappy climbing night. There were two main reasons for this. Reason A) all I ate all day was a piece of toast with cashew butter and coffee and a handful of trail mix (so, so stupid). Reason B) I've been on the wall exactly twice in the last 5 weeks, and not a whole lot more often before that either, so all of my hard learned technique is going out the window.

I've sort of been under the assumption that getting better at crossfit just == getting better @ climbing. and the reality is that getting better @ crossfit = getting stronger, and while better strength definitely helps, crossfit does not actively work my forearms and, getting better @ climbing will only happen with more climbing.

I am hereby resolving that going forward I WILL find time to go climbing no less than once a week, and I will actively try to go more than once.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 by Daniel

Filthy Fifty

I was nervous about this one - my shoulder and ankle are both feeling much better, but they're still not 100%, and this is a shitload of volume, many of the movements are somewhat iffy. But it all came out OK.

For time:
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 (superman)
50 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball (45# thruster)
50 Burpees
50 Double unders

40:14 - subbed tuck jumps

This is a whopping 16 minutes faster than last time (!!), and I suspect that's nearly entirely due to better burpees. In fact, some things were a little slower than they could have been, because I was protecting my injuries (specifically box/tuck jumps and KTEs). As for how the injured joints fared - well, there was some protest, particularly from jumping around on my ankle, but it was manageable.

Here are the splits, which I find very interesting:

Box jumps: 2:15
Jumping PU's: 2:06
KB Swing: 2:29
Walking Lunge: 1:43
KTEs: 8:37
Push-press: 3:05
Superman: 2:37
Thruster: 6:22
Burpees: 7:22 (!!!!)
Tuck Jumps: 3:38

Last time, I remember the burpees alone taking me over 20 minutes, done in excruciating sets of 5. Tonight's were sets of 10, and yes, they sucked, but by now burpees are like old, really shitty friends, and not sworn enemies. The KTEs were very hard, as were the thrusters. Max insists they're the same as wall-ball, but I disagree. It's true that because of my height I do not have to throw the ball as far, but I also have a physiological theory that wall-ball includes a brief moment when the muscles are not bearing ANY weight, and in this moment fresh, oxygenated blood can wash through the muscles. This is also why I still find kipping ring pullups to be easier than kipping bar pullups - there is a moment of letting go that refreshes the muscles.

Tonight felt good. I felt like I was pushing at the right rate to be very hard, but not so much to flame out or feel like puking. Consistent. I don't know the times of the second group, but I came in third in the first group behind James and Matthew, and I'm very pleased with that placement.

Filthy 50 -> Funky 40

Warmup: Mobility Exercises, run 160m

Filthy Fifty (Funky 40)
For time:
50 Box jump, 24 inch box *step-up to 24"
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Dumbell or Plate Swings, 35 pounds *25# plate
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows *knees to chest
50 Push press, 45 pounds
50 Supermans
50 Thrusters, 45 pounds *25# plate
50 Burpees
50 Double unders *tuck jumps


5:49 - Box step-ups & jumping pullups
3:43 - Plate Swings
3:14 - Walking Lunges
4:43 - Knees to chest
10:46 - Push Press
1:59 - Supermen
8:22 - Thrusters
8:12 - Burpees
3:42 - Tuck Jumps

As Daniel points out, I did 30% more work in 10% more time, so I guess I did better than last time, but looking at my splits ... most of the "improvement" appears to have come from doing a 1-for-1 replacement of my step ups to a 24" box instead of a 3-for-1 replacement of doing step-ups to a 10" box.

My Back extensions and Knees-to-chest were better - but they might be just because i didn't have to go down a flight of stairs to do them.

The push-presses were much longer - a little more than twice! - but they were 15# heavier this time, so I don't feel bad about that.

The thrusters ... I dunno the weight was about the same - but I am inclined to believe that doing them with a plate is somehwat harder than doing them with a comparably weighted bar. Maybe that's just wishful thinking.

I'm relatively happy with the burpees - it only took me 14 more seconds to do 10 more burpees. Unfortunately, the pushup movement really started to hurt the tweaked spot in my back, so I had to start using my knees around rep 15 or 20.

Meh. I had hoped for better improvement.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 by Daniel

Intermittent Fasting: Week 6

This week was pretty crazy food-wise. Not really sure why, just ate different sorts of things and had days that were WAY off goal, either over or under, in protein and carbs and calories. Still, on average it doesn't look much different from past weeks, which is good.

What went in (avg. daily):

Calories: 2,381
Fat: 140g (52%)
Carbs: 89g + 25g fiber (17%)
Protein: 178g (30%)

Fasting days: 4/7 (avg. length: 16.6 hours)

Weight: 175 (-1 lbs, 13lbs total)
Waist: 32.25 (-0.125", 1.75" total)
Bodyfat: 12% (-0%, 3% total)
Percentage to goal: 88%

Ab muscles are a little more visible now, but not yet enough that I would call it a six-pack. Funny that once I gave up on the vanity goal (the six-pack) and turned my focus to fitness goals, I'm finally starting to get one. Maybe a six-pack is like love: it only comes when you aren't looking for it.

My ankle is at about 85% and my shoulder is feeling pretty good, so I think the active recovery week worked. I might try running again today, to see how it feels.

I'm really starting to itch to turn this around again. I want to start 5x5's of weighted pullups and dips to help progress towards a muscle-up, which is my primary goal at this point. If I can keep this rate up without backsliding, I'll be at my goal in two weeks and I can start eating to support real muscle growth again - hopefully a slow LBM-only bulk, this time, so I can get off this rollercoaster.

Interesting observation: since I drastically lowered my carbs to focus on fat and protein, I've noticed that I'm NEVER cold. Indeed, I've taken to sleeping with the window open every night and my legs outside the covers just to keep from overheating in my sleep. Sweaters and sweatshirts frequently get uncomfortable. So for some reason my thermogenesis has really kicked up. A little googling turned up this gem on an extremely crappy and probably highly disreputable supplement site:

Among the nutritional activators, the various macronutrients have different effects on the thermogenic response. When you ingest food, your metabolic rate increases above the fasting level. In the case of protein, energy to process the protein, which is then used for tissue growth and repair. On the other hand, carbohydrates and fat function primarily as fuel and are used more efficiently as such by the body. Carbohydrates and fat therefore have a much lower thermogenic effect than protein.

So I would guess this is my body taking all that protein and converting it to glycogen, since I'm not giving it enough glucose, and the heat is a byproduct of that conversion. I don't know whether this means anything (good or bad), but it's interesting to note.

Monday, October 13, 2008 by Rebecca

My first Linda.

Warmup: Mobility Exercises, 10 squats, 10 pushups, 10 situps

BW Bench Press
¾ BW Clean
1 ½ BW Deadlift
Set up three bars and storm through for time.

1:05 - i accidentally erased the split data on my watch - but there was a lot of down time, so it probably wouldn't have been particularly instructive.

We decided to join Evelyn for Linda tonight at GWPC. I guess you'd call this 50% - I 'set' my BW @ 60# - I originally intended to DL 90# BP 60# Clean 45# - but ended up with a 55# BP and and switched to 85# DL 1/2 way through the firstround.

In hindsight - I probably should have stuck to the original plan. Once I warmed up a bit, those weights were fairly easy. Starting in round 7 I was able to get straight through the BP without racking. In fact, i was able to get through most rounds without much rest, which leads me to believe I wasn't working quite hard enough.

Since there were three of us, and only three oly bars, and the person on Bench needed to be spotted, there was quite a bit of waiting and resting and re racking of weights between rounds, so I'm sure my time would have been much shorter if I had been able to do it straight through. The weights might have felt heavier more quickly, too. But it was fun to do it together, and for it was good just to get a benchmark for this. Actually I think I got almost as much of a workout from racking and reracking weights on everyone's bars. I know my lower back did. :-p

It was good just to be moving heavy things around.

Bonus workout: Linda

Well I THOUGHT I was done for the day. But then Rebecca saw that Evelyn was hosting a peer-workout of Linda tonight, and she asked if we could go. I've never done Linda before because of its crazy commitment of bars, and this seemed like the best opportunity that I was likely to get, so what the hell? We went.

BW Bench Press
¾ BW Clean
1 ½ BW Deadlift
Set up three bars and storm through for time.

1:04 at 72% RX

Never having done this before, but having heard many stories of how evil it is, I went conservative with the weight - hey, it's technically still recovery week, right? So it was 190# Deadlift, 95# Clean, and 125# Bench (we got the order wrong - oops). I think these were probably the right weights to use if I were doing it the right way, but with all the long rests in changing the bars around and spotting the others, it actually felt a little too light. I suspect I'll still feel it tomorrow. The deadlifts and cleans were easy enough to do in unbroken sets, but I was often one or two shy of a full set with the bench.

I felt like a real asshole monopolizing the bars for a whole hour, but at least there were three of us using three bars - I could not have justified taking all three bars for myself. It is a very difficult workout to accomplish logistically.

I felt better and better about the cleans as the workout went on. I'm still not dropping NEARLY enough to get under the bar - my knees are hardly bending at all. I have the same problem with Push Jerks, and haven't even gotten the courage together to really try Snatches yet. Oly lifts intimidate me.

More climbing, more rowing

It's getting difficult to come up with post titles for Monday and Friday mornings, since they're always the same thing...

* 16 hour fast*

Climbing: 5.9, 10c(o), 10c(dnf)->10a, 10c(f+)
Campus pull-ups: 4 sets of 2 (leg-assisted)
Sprint-8 on rower: 3,115m

Tor brought his little rugrats with him today because of the holiday, so we were limited in our climbing to the section of wall that allowed us to keep an eye on them while they filled their brains with Elmo and his gang. Not a particularly good climbing day - that first 10c went well, a nice vertical climb with a bit of stemming at the end. The second c started bad and went nowhere - the start is a crazy two-block gaston thing that we just couldn't figure out WHAT was supposed to happen, and even after skipping it I couldn't get past the roof, so I just switched to a 10a that was on the same rope. The last c started well, but got iffy up at its little mini-roof.

I've resolved to spend some time with the campus board each week. My grip strength is not good, and frequently is what spits me off the wall. I currently can't even hang off the board, but after messing about a bit today, I figured out how to step up on the ledge underneath it with one foot, thereby modulating how much weight I have on my fingers. It's still REALLY hard, but in this manner I'm currently able to knock out two pull-ups before my fingers fail. I figure a few minutes, twice a week, and maybe eventually I'll actually be able to hang from the damn thing.

Sprint-8 was tougher today. Tried to keep the speed under 2:20 while resting, and under 1:40 while sprinting. Got it as low as 1:35 a few times, but that seems to be my current bottom limit.

Sunday, October 12, 2008 by Rebecca

Body Comp Analysis

Weight 124(0)

Arms: 10.25 (L&R) (+0.25)
Shoulders: 38 (-0.25)
Chest: 33.25 (-0.5)
Waist: 29.25 (-0.75)
Hips: 36 (-0.75)
Thigh: 20.75 R (+.75) 21.0 L (+.5)
Calves: 12.75 R (-0.25) 13.25 L (0)

Body fat content according to this Zone Body Fat % Calculator
BF% 22 (-2)
97# lean body mass
27# fat


I'm excited that my arms and my thighs are bigger - less excited that my shoulders and chest are smaller, but a 3# gain in lean body mass is cool :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008 by Daniel

Rows and ladders

Another deceptive ladder workout today, this one from Max's fiendish brain. I was tempted to try running, considering how much better my ankle is feeling, but ultimately decided to drag a rower outside and use that instead. This was probably wise, as I would have been tempted to push harder than I should have in a race mentality running with others. Despite its not being a 1:1 effort, to keep things easier I just rowed the same distances as the runners.

* 17.5 hour fast *

Run 1000 meters in 10 minutes
Run 900 meters in 9 minutes
Run 800 meters in 8 minutes
Run 700 meters in 7 minutes
Run 600 meters in 6 minutes
Run 500 meters in 5 minutes
Run 400 meters in 4 minutes
Run 300 meters in 3 minutes
Run 200 meters in 2 minutes
Run 100 meters

3:37, 3:20, 2:57, 2:37, 2:14, 1:49, 1:25, 1:04, 0:41, 0:19
Total time: 20:03

As I said, this was deceptively difficult - on paper, it looked like there would be a LOT of resting - and there was, 35 minutes of it - but that only let you push harder on the efforts, and they really started to burn after the first round or two. It was a good HIIT workout - my heartrate got noticeably higher than it does with Sprint-8 - but the downside is that it takes a lot longer.

An interesting thing about rowing: it's easier to sustain top speed, but harder to get there. So my times were inverse to the fastest runners - in the first rounds I finished ahead of them, but in the short sprints they were faster than I was.

Running Ladder - DNF

Warmup: Mobility Exercises, 10 Rock n roll, 10 CFEB sun salutations, 10 situps, 10 pushups, run prep

Run 1000 meters in 10 minutes
Run 900 meters in 9 minutes
Run 800 meters in 8 minutes
Run 700 meters in 7 minutes
Run 600 meters in 6 minutes
Run 500 meters in 5 minutes
Run 400 meters in 4 minutes
Run 300 meters in 3 minutes
Run 200 meters in 2 minutes
Run 100 meters

1000: 6:14
900: 5:50
800: 5:49
700: 5:56
600: 4:39
500: 3:46

Yuck. This workout sucked. It sucked for a lot of reasons, but it was a struggle right from the get go. I'm trying to retain the fact that I have never run more than a mile, consecutively, ever. And that the most I've run in a single workout, is 1.75 miles in the before and after runs for Murph. So by those standards, running (and walking) the 4500m I got through is a pretty significant achievement.

Still, it does not stop me from feeling that, on a better day, i could have completed this workout, or at least performed better on the parts i did complete.

In hindsight - i was probably doomed to poor performance (i won't say failure) on anything I was going to try to do yesterday - it was the first day of my period, my work situation is looking more and more precarious so my stress levels are high, and I was also apparently fighting a bug since I woke up this morning with a sore throat. I should have known that something was not right when I felt tears of frustration forming just a few meters into round 900. I tend to get excessively emotional when I'm getting sick - it should be an immediate red flag for me - but i frequently don't recognize the signs until after i get sick. I thought it was just stress and hormones. So, I tried to power through it. Dumb.

I was fighting a side-stitch from step one. I had to stop and walk for increasingly long intervals starting in round 800. it was only a little walking at first - my 800 time is nearly identical to my 900 time. Things really started to go downhill in round 700 - my time was even longer than for 800. I don't think i actually ran the full 600m for round 600 - I wasn't quite able to make it all the way to the starting line by the starting time (a minute to stumble 200m is not quite long enough), so i just started where i was and guestimated the 'right' distance.

By round 700-600, in addition to continually being right on the edge of a horrible side-stitch, my right hip flexor was really beginning to hurt. That's usually the first thing to give out on long hikes or when we're snowshoeing. By round 500 my feet were really hurting, too. I started round 400, but about 10 strides in - as badly as i wanted to- I decided it just wasn't worth possibly doing real injury to myself to try to finish ( i was also a weepy mess at this point).

I know I've come a really long way since I started this in May. And I know that the stars were very badly aligned, and I should not be discouraged. But workout's like this one make me feel like I haven't progressed at all. Fortunately, it just makes me want to work harder.

Friday, October 10, 2008 by Daniel

HIIT and climbing

Surprisingly sore today, considering I was at half-weight for last night's WOD. Mainly in the traps - I suspect it was the cleans. Anyway, due to the recovery week, I resolved to stick to vert and positive climbs, and avoid any big overheads and negatives. Unfortunately, at Ironworks that leaves...about 4 climbs.

* 16 hour fast *

Sprint-8 on rower: 2,990
Climbing: 5.9, 10b(o), 10c(f), 10b(f), 10a/b(rp)

Climbing felt pretty good, actually. Ankle didn't really bother me, which was great, and my shoulder only twinged a few times. It's become an angle thing - effort at the wrong angle hurts, but if I relax and shake it, something kind of clicks into place and the pains stops. I really don't know what that means.

I think I need to work a little harder during my recovery minute. 26SPM is probably too low - I should try to keep it above 30, I think.

Thursday, October 9, 2008 by Rebecca

Second PT session

So today was my second personal training session with Max (i think i failed to blog the first one :">)

We mostly worked on cleans and push jerks ... right before a WOD with ... cleans and push jerks .... more about that later. We were going to work on pullups, too, but my hands just weren't up to that yet. I tried just gloves - not so good - i tried tape and gloves - also not good - probably worse - tape without a protective bandaid HURTS - bare hands definitely not a go. Max said he'd work with me on pullups next week.

I think that the cleans are coming along nicely - though I haven't yet successfully cleaned a heavier weight than 45# - and the push jerks aren't too bad - the two main problems (as they always have been :-w) is getting my right side to do an equal amount of work as my left, and keeping my right knee from falling in/keeping even weight on both feet. Max got some good video of me doing 20 HPC and PJ for time with an empty 45# oly bar - i think the total was 6:25.

Today's WOD:
Five rounds for time of:
135/95 pound Deadlift, 15 reps
135/95 pound Hang power clean, 12 reps
135/95 pound Front Squat, 9 reps
135/95 pound Push Jerk, 6 reps
I did 3 rounds in 20:55. bleah.

Round 1 was with a 45 pound bar - 15# bar + 30# of weight
Rounds 2 & 3 were 35# - 15# bar + 20# of weight.

Round 1 went really long (9 minutes!) because i was trying to find a hex hey to get the collars off my bar, so i could take the weight down. I don't know whether it was fatigue from the PT session or what, but the 15# bar with 30# of weight felt a lot heavier than the 45# oly bar I had been using earlier. I failed my last front squat in the first round pretty awkwardly , and ended up on the ground with the bar bell on my lap. (Max said we were not allowed to drop the bars directly on the roof - so i tried really hard not to). But it was at that point that I decided i should be using less weight.

Round 2 & 3 were about 6 minutes each. I decided to call it a night when folks around me started finishing up, and my muscle strength started failing. I figured the work I'd done earlier + the three rounds I completed were plenty. I'm definitely going to be sore tomorrow. Heck - I'm sore now.

I'm sure i would have done a lot better starting fresh.

I think the front squats were actually the hardest exercise, followed by the cleans, and, interestingly, it was my wrists more than anything else that really gave out. I also think I really just need to learn to engage my back muscles ALL THE TIME. they're lazy. They don't work when I'm sitting, they don't work when I'm rowing or squatting, etc. - i always have to consciously 'activate' them. It's something I should work on when i'm just sitting at my desk @ work.

I could get used to this

OK, so remember how I was all bitching and moaning about having to do a recovery week and blah blah blah? Well, this evening as I watched all my classmates suffer through a horribly grueling heavy "bear" workout while I got to toss around 65 pounds, I couldn't help but feel...a little relieved. Even at half-weight, this was a lot harder than yesterday's walk in the park, and had I done it at FULL weight (I would have tried 95#), I'd probably be a wreck right now.

Five rounds for time of:
135/95 pound Deadlift, 15 reps
135/95 pound Hang power clean, 12 reps
135/95 pound Front Squat, 9 reps
135/95 pound Push Jerk, 6 reps

~28:00, 65# barbell

I shared the bar with Elaine, so that time is a bit longer than it would otherwise have been. It'd be silly to keep serious track of these 50% workouts, so I'm pretty lax about the timing.

That said, it was still pretty rough - at least the cleans and front squats. The deadlifts were nothing, and the push-jerks (push-presses, really) were such low volume as to be over before they started. My shoulder gave me a little grief on the negatives bringing the bar back down at first, but I learned how to basically drop and catch the bar so there was minimal exertion in the pain-causing range.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008 by Rebecca

50% Barbara

Warmup: Mobility Exercises, 5 Jumping Pullups, 10 pushups, 20 squats

50% "Barbara"

Five rounds, each for time of:
10 Pull-ups
15 Push-ups
20 Sit-ups
25 Squats

Rest precisely 1.5 minutes between each round.
Results (no HR Monitor today):

Round 1 _ 3:29 _ 1:41
Round 2 _ 4:14 _ 1:33
Round 3 _ 4:05 _ 1:33
Round 4 _ 4:30 _ 1:46
Round 5 _ 3:53

Hmmm. Not terribly consistent. I wish i had enough laps on my watch to track each exercise separately to see where the bottle neck is.

I know that i was having trouble counting reps today, so in the rounds that were significantly longer - #2 and #4 particularly, i may have done extra reps for forgetting my count. I suspect that pushups were probaly the most variable exercise.

All pushups were full ROM. However i realize that when i am tired i rest at the bottom of the pushup (i.e. collapse on the floor). From now on I am going to try to only rest in between reps, and not in the middle of them.

To be kind to my hands, I decided to go with jumping pull-ups instead of the kip attempts I did on saturday. I had bandaids then tape and then padded biking gloves. I tried it with just the tape, and it was pretty painful. It seemed to be fine with the gloves. I don't know whether kipping would have been ok - probably best not to push it first time back on the bar.

I was definitely sweaty when i was done, but i did not feel totally wiped out. I could not have completed the full workout in the time alloted - there were only 17 minutes left when i finished, and it took me 26 minutes to finish half - and i know the second half would have been noticeably slower. I probably could have done 75%. But this way i should be well rested for my PT session tomorrow with Max.

Half Barbara

It's time. I promised myself that I would take half-volume recovery weeks every 4-5 weeks. The trip to Florida was near the end of August, and it's been pretty full-tilt since then. My body has two annoying, persistent injuries it's trying to get over, so I'm gonna play it smart this time and TRY to avoid further injury by giving my body the tools it needs to fix itself. It isn't easy.

There was some debate as to whether to go to class at all today, but ultimately we decided that it would be better to get some work in and hang out with the CF folks than to stay at home feeling sorry for ourselves, so in we went, and I'm glad we did.

* 17 hour fast *

Five rounds, each for time of:
20 Pull-ups
30 Push-ups
40 Sit-ups
50 Squats

Rest precisely three minutes between each round.

20:00 even
sub: Russian KB swings (1.5 pood) for pull-ups. Half-volume, half-rest.

This felt stupidly easy. More like a glorified warm-up than a workout. But I guess that's what is meant by "recovery." It felt like cheating. I felt guilty, watching everyone else kill themselves. Like staying home from school when you're not really sick.

Oh well.

Intermittent Fasting: Week 5

So I tried an experiment this week: not stuffing myself. I still tracked what I ate, but if I wasn't going to hit my protein goal for the day, then I just let that go and didn't cram food into an already-full stomach to try and meet the goal. Therefore, my average daily calories and macros went down. Let's see what happened...

What went in (avg. daily):
Calories: 2,116
Fat: 125g (52%)
Carbs: 83g + 21g fiber (18%)
Protein: 151g (29%)

Fasting days: 5/7 (avg. length: 17.2 hours)

Weight: 176 (-2 lbs, 12lbs total)
Waist: 32.325 (-0.125", 1.625" total)
Bodyfat: 12% (-0%, 3% total)
Percentage to goal: 81%

Well, I knew that I was heading into stubborn fat territory, and things would slow down as I started chipping away at it. So my rate of .25"/week has cut in half. I don't really know if the diet change made a difference - it's so small when averaged out that I doubt it. My workouts have gotten rather inconsistent as well - I damaged my shoulder on Saturday, so between my ankle and my shoulder I'm nursing some annoying injuries, so I'm going to be spending more time doing rest and recovery for a little while until they heal. I don't know what this will do to the weight loss - Mike O'Donnell would probably tell me I'm working out too much as it is, so maybe backing off for a little will be beneficial all around.

Monday, October 6, 2008 by Daniel


Man, do I feel beat up. This is not unusual on Mondays, but with the addition of ankle and shoulder injuries, today feels a little worse than normal. I'm very grateful that I get to rest until Wednesday evening now - my body needs it. My abs and back are quite sore from Michael yesterday, which makes just moving around a challenge today.

* 17 hour fast *

Climbing @ IW: 10a(o), 10a(o), 10b(f), 10b(f+)
Sprint-8 on the rower: 2,880m

The climbing was a little better than Friday, but I still don't feel up to more than a 10b at this point - it just requires too much pressure on my foot at odd angles. Today was very tiring - every climb I did had a roof and/or negative incline the whole way up, so it was a lot of pulling. Good for the foot, bad for the shoulder. The times I fell on the b's were just muscle exhaustion - I was always able to get the move after a few seconds' rest. The second 10a starts out with a roof that is WAY off plumb, so although the holds are big, solid jugs, it's a pretty adrenaline-loaded start, considering the Tarzan-like consequences of a fall.

Sprint-8 was sprint-8. Sprints on the rower make my ass hurt.

Sunday, October 5, 2008 by Rebecca

Michael - the "no hands" workout

So - Ynez invited me to go with her to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival on Sunday, but that meant that we would have to miss the regularly scheduled CF classes, so we agreed to meet at the gym a little earlier to get our own workout in. Since my hands were completely wrecked from Saturday's workout, I suggested we do Michael - no hands required.

I knew Evelyn was looking to do something earlier in the day, too, so we invited her to join us, and posted a general message on Facebook, and a few other folks with torn up hands, or later commitments or other injuries decided to join us. There were 6 of us in all: And before you say - but there are only 5 of you, Maeve was there too, but she got done super fast and left before this pic was taken.

Warmup: Mobility Exercises, Some Pushups, some squats ... probably shoulda done more, but we were slow getting started and folks were antsy just to get underway with the WOD.



Three rounds for time of:
Run 800 meters
50 Back Extensions
50 Sit-ups


37:20 RX! and PR :-D

Round800mSitupsBack Extensions
(10:30.9)12:29.9 148

I am fairly pleased with the results of this workout. It's a good 5 minutes off my last time, though it's not a direct 1-1 comparison due to different situp and back extension substitutes.

This time, for the situps, I did a variation of GHD situps using one of the big ole tractor tires there. They are definitely harder than normal situps.

I also did real back extensions - not hip extensions (video) which is what i think i've done in the past when using the GHD thing, and not supermans which is what i did last time. Back extensions are a lot harder (for me) than hip extensions. But they definitely work that series of muscles in my lower back that gets quickly fatigued when I'm trying to squat correctly, so this is probably a good exercise for me to work on.

I had a really interesting experience on run # 2. Using the flat GHD apparatus puts a lot of pressure on my calves and hamstrings, so when i am done, my legs are all wobbly, and for the first 100-200 meters of my run I was being very careful with my stride and mostly just focusing on not tripping over my own feet, and also on my breath, and then when i was about 2/3 through the 800m, i realized that I was just running, pretty strongly, without a threatening cramp or anything. That was pretty cool. I usually have to fight my way through the runs. The last run was much more of a struggle - but it had nothing to do with cramping up, i just couldn't quite get enough oxygen - but i didn't ever have to stop and walk - which in my book is a total victory.

Now, of course, my abs are quite unhappy with me - it hurts to laugh! Ow. But it was a good workout.