Sunday, November 30, 2008 by Daniel

It's all Evelyn's fault

Apparently, Evelyn saw this WOD on the CF national site and went "ooh! , ooh!" and asked Max if we could do it. So, Ev, when and if you read this:

Not knoeing dat many numbrz, this shit was hard:

Three rounds for time of:
21 Knees to elbows
21 Kettlebell swing, 1.5 pood
21 Push-ups
18 Towel Pull-Ups
15 Box jumps, 24"
42 Supermans
Walking lunge, 150 ft

44:04, non-RX (I only did 10 towel pullups per round)
Splits were 13:34 | 15:59 | 14:36

Actually, it wasn't all THAT bad. It was just long, and a lot of volume. The only things that really killed my time were the KTE's, which I basically did in sets of 5, and the towel pull-ups, which I did in sets of...2. (This is why I only did 10 per round. 18 and my time would've been an hour.) Everything else was in large chunks, if not unbroken.

Chipper WOD hell

Warm up: ME, run 200m, 5 KTE, 10 KB swings, 10 pushups, 10 box jymps, 10 walking lunges.

Three rounds for time of:
21 Knees to elbows
21 Kettlebell swing, 1.5 pood
21 Push-ups
18 Towel Pull-Ups
15 Box jumps, 24"
42 Supermans
Walking lunge, 150 ft

38:12 - 2 Rounds

Round 1
Round 2
KB Swing 1P
Kip attempts
Box Jump 10"
Walking Lunge
4:42 - 50
4:32 - 47

This workout was hard. And I really didn't have a lot in the tank to start with. I very nearly stopped after the first round, but I'm glad I forged ahead and completed round 2. At one point, Max made some comment about how there was a "sneaky" amount of volume in this workout, and just about everybody who heard him yelled back "There's nothing sneaky about it! it's all right there!" When I saw this workout I thought Max might be trying to kill us. Apparently it was Evelyn all along ... thanks Ev! :-p But it definitely wasn't one of those workouts that seems easy on paper. I knew this was going to be beast.

Since I knew I wasn't going to complete the workout, it allowed me to go a little slower, and try to get better form on each exercise. A couple of my KTC actually approached much closer to KTE range. Most of my KB swings were actually overhead. I tried to make sure each pushup was full ROM. Rope climbing and towel pullups were WAY out of the question, so I decided to do Kip attempts instead. These are WAY harder than jumping pullups (duh). Box jumps were real jumps to the 10" box with some girder support - these still scare the *** out of me. But most importantly, the walking lunges felt better than they ever have before. There were plenty of strides that were wobbly and off balance, but there were many that weren't, and I even managed to cut three strides off the total in the second round by taking longer strides (47 strides instead of 50).

Saturday, November 29, 2008 by Daniel

Cleans and Thrusters, and a new daily challenge

Relatively low-key day today at CFEB, which suited me fine - give me a little more opportunity to recover, as I'm feeling a bit beat-up from the past few days.

5x5: Hang power clean and Thruster


My intention was to work up to 95 and then do the same weight for the next three rounds, but I got shamed into upping the weight by the folks around me (always good motivators), and was pleased to actually be able to do 100 and 105# thrusters, even if I failed on the last set. Thrusters have always been very difficult for me, but I think I'm getting the technique (if not the strength).

Twenty Deadhangs or Bust

I've also resolved to start the pullup program I posted a few months ago. My pullups continue to suck, and I can't seem to find the motivation to GTG the way I used to. I'm hoping this will provide the necessary structure to stick with it. My pull-up bar is mounted in our kitchen doorframe, so while I certainly can't kip on it, I can work on deadhangs while cooking dinner or doing the dishes or something - it only needs a few minutes each day. You're supposed to stay at each step for two weeks before proceeding. To mix it up a little, I'm thinking of doing chin-ups in the first week, and pull-ups in the second.

I skipped ahead to step 12 to start: 7-5-4-4-4

Mini Cindy, and body comp check-in.

Today - due to work, and sore hips, I did not attend CFEB class, but I did manage to get in a quick little workout on my own just to get my blood pumping. I did a 10 minute Cindy, but subbed situps for squats.

in 10 minutes I got 5 rounds + 1 pushup.

1:30 | 1:47 | 1:59 | 2:07 | 2:07 | 0:30

The last couple rounds the pushups were 5+3+2

Body Measurements:

Not sure what my weight is last time i checked it was about 122 or 124 - weighing the day (or two) after Thanksgiving just isn't going to happen :-p.

Biceps: 10.5 (R & L) (+0.25)
Shoulders: 39.25 (+1.25!!!)
Chest: 33.5 (+0.25)
Waist: 30 (+0.25)
Hips: 36.5 (+0.5)
Thigh: 20.75 R (0) 21.0 L (0)
Calves: 13 R (+0.25) 13.25 L (0)

Wow - a whole 1.25" in my shoulders! And another 1/4" in both arms. I guess I'm not just imagining that my T-shirts are getting tight. I got a couple comments on my muscular arms at Thanksgiving, too :) That was gratifying.

I'm not going to read too much (anything) into my hips and waist measurement today - (2 days after thanksgiving!) But I don't think T-day can have had too much to do with my arms and shoulder measurements - and those are the really exciting ones :-)

Friday, November 28, 2008 by Daniel

Dayventure: Climbing at Cosumnes

Our friend and climbing addict Kat is back in town for the holidays, and when she asked us if we'd like to spend the day after Thanksgiving going climbing on REAL rock with her, we jumped at the chance. We didn't read the fine print: Must wake up at 6am.

I don't know if it was all the bad food I ate or what (probably it was), but I had a bad night's sleep. My first nightmare in more years than I can remember. And getting up that early always sucks. But once we were all bundled into the car and hit a Starbucks, things looked better. Coming with us were Kat's friends Bryan and Erica, the narcoleptic. (She's not really narcoleptic. She just falls asleep a lot.)

Cosumnes River Gorge is a REALLY nice spot whose only real fault lies in its distance - about a 2 - 2.5 hour drive from home. But it's nice granite, with an easy 15-minute approach and bolts that are, on the scale of bolt accessibility, somewhere between ridiculously and very easy. A profusion of routes, too. All this led Kat to believe it would be very packed, but it really wasn't too bad. There were a few other folks, but not too many. The skies were clear by the time we got there, but there was a cold breeze blowing up the gorge, so we were often quite chilled.

We had enough gear between us to set up three routes, and we were the first ones there, so we went ahead and picked three. Our first was "Training Pants" (5.8), a nice large crack with some lie-backing that, unfortunately, Rebecca could not sort out the start for (Rebecca had a frustrating day, which I assume she'll detail later).

After that we did the first of the two "big-name" climbs of the area, "Unconquerable" (5.8). A tricky bit of crack leads to a man-sized chunk in the wall, presenting an awkward bit of roof to get around. After that, it's pure lieback to the top.

We traded ropes with a couple guys so we could do the other famous climb, "Dinkum's Crack" (5.9). I don't know how to crack climb, but I'm beginning to suck less at it. This climb had a super-easy beginning, and then narrowed to a tricky stretch of 10' or so with only a finger-width and frequently-shallow crack to work with. Apparently this is a good spot to practice trad leading, as the crack just eats up protection. I was not able to do the middle third gracefully, though the beginning and end went fine.

We sat down for lunch to watch a pair of climbers on the opposite wall of the gorge do the first pitch of what looked like about a three-pitch climb. The leader was using a combination of bolts and protection, and it was fascinating to watch him work. When he got to a comfortable ledge, he clipped himself in, pulled the rope tight, and belayed the follower up, who cleaned the protection as he went. I was bummed they didn't keep going, but we had an excellent vantage point to watch them work.

Finally, I climbed "Chamberlin's Chimney" (5.8), a fun combination of crack and chimney climbing that I think was ultimately my favorite. By now, however, the sun was going down, we were tired, cold and fairly well scraped up, so we trundled back to the car and then back home.

Cosumnes River - Climbing

Daniel made a really good post about this with pictures and all here, so I'll just stick to my own quick notes.

Climbing outside hits all kinds of massive anxiety buttons for me. So going on an outdoor climbing excursion is always kind of a mixed bag. Sometimes I do better at conquering the fear than others. Yesterday was not my best day.

My hips were in very poor shape from the previous day's trail run, and so the clambering and scrambling that always comes with an outdoor climbing excursion (that are already one of my prime anxiety buttons) was harder and more painful than it should have been. Even, on a relative scale, this was pretty easy scrambling.

I was pretty discouraged when I couldn't figure out how to start the 5.5 climb, and I did the 5.8 'unconquerable' but only about an inch at a time - I'd gain a couple inches, fall, gain a couple more inches, fall, rinse and repeat. It was stubbornness and Kat's patient, helpful belay, that got me to the top and not much else. (Daniel, who is reading over my shoulder, just informed me that the first climb was a 5.8 - not a 5.5 - so i guess that makes me feel somewhat better).

I tried unconquerable again towards the end of the day, and I managed to do the beginning a bit better than I had the first time, but I was very quickly reduced back to 'gain an inch' fall, and about 1/3 of the way up decided to call it a day.

It was a beautiful location, and while the sun was out, it was a beautiful day. The company was good, and it was very nice to spend a whole day away from the house and from work.

Thursday, November 27, 2008 by Daniel

Thanksgiving, part II: The Big Meal

Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday ever since I outgrew the materialism of Christmas. I love the opportunity to visit family in what is essentially a communal effort - everybody pitches in something. Plus: food. Without doubt, one of the best meals I'll eat each year. My family has some damn good cooks.

So, of course, all dietary considerations go out the window on this day. Considering the trail run and all the time in the kitchen and the fact that the only other thing I ate today was a couple eggs, I'm actually probably net negative, calorically speaking. But that's not due to any lack of effort on my part.

Every year, it's essentially the same routine. We gather at my aunt's house in North Berkeley, and gorge ourselves on appetizers - spanakopita, veggies and dip, stuffed mushrooms, hot artichoke and cheese dip, etc.

My dad carves the turkey. If I have any major regrets about being a vegetarian, one would definitely be the fact that this is a grand American masculine tradition, and I have no idea what he's doing. It's probably pretty gross, though.

We gather out on the deck to watch the sunset over the bay, which this year was quite beautiful.

Then comes the meal.

When I tell people that I love Thanksgiving, I often get quizzical looks and a, "But you're a vegetarian. What do you EAT?" Which always make me laugh. Here on my plate is (clockwise fro the top): Yams with brown sugar, homemade rolls (Rebecca made these!), green beans with butter, garlic and parsley, shallot and garlic tart, mushroom and leek galette, vegetable & cheese casserole, mashed potatoes with cashew gravy, brussels sprouts with apples and blue cheese, roasted winter vegetables, vegetarian stuffing, and three kinds of cranberry sauce in the center. I was able to put away ALMOST all of this. There were one or two other vegetarian things I didn't put on my plate, and for the meat eaters there was turkey and ham, as well as meat gravy and stuffing.

After dinner, there is the traditional period of repentance, when everyone exclaims disbelief at how much they ate, and how full they are, and then - not having learned one iota of a lesson - we do it all over again for dessert. This year we had: cheesecake, "mince" pie, cranberry upside-down cake, apple galette, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, and bread pudding. My mom, who owned a bakery for a few years when I was a kid, is primarily in charge of desserts. I contributed the cheesecake.

This picture of my brother-in-law Paul pretty much sums it up.

It isn't just the food that I love about this day. I love spending the day hanging out with Rebecca and cooking together - something we don't often do together, since she hates cooking. I love that KFOG (our favorite radio station) always plays Arlo Guthrie's 18-minute "Alice's Restaurant" at noon - a song I will now forever associate with this holiday. It is often the first time in months that I get to see some family members, and I like the opportunity to catch up with them. And I love the premise of the day. Setting aside some time to consider the things and the people you love, and feel grateful.

As always, I have much to be grateful for, but in this space it seems most appropriate that I express a few words of thanks for CrossFit, which I discovered this year and which I think it's fair to say has changed my life. I have never been as healthy or as strong as I am now, and it is my fervent hope that all that I learn and all that I work for will allow me to enjoy that many more Thanksgivings to come.

Thanksgiving, part I: The Trail Run

I've always been attracted to the idea of trail running. I've been a hiker all my life, but lately I haven't done it much because A) in order for it to be worth anything as exercise, you've got to go a long way, which takes a LONG time, and B) long, slow distance stuff is kinda anathema to CrossFit. However, trail running neatly sidesteps (ha!) both those problems. I've never done it, though - only recently have I come to actually think of running as something that *I* do, and not just other, crazier people with healthier knees, better cardiovascular systems and snazzier shorts.

So it was with a combination of excitement and trepidation that I approached today's special Thanksgiving Day Trail Run that Max organized. Excitement to finally be trying this, and anxiety about running on uneven and potentially slippery surfaces. Not to mention that I'd be running 5k, which is three times the longest amount I've ever run before this (I did say I'm not a runner), and it would involve some pretty serious hills - another first.

Yeah. Sucks, right?

5K - 25:12


Seriously. It had all the endorphins and challenge of exercise, all the beauty of a redwood park in the breaking fog, and none of the hassle of running on sidewalks or tracks (cars, dust, asphalt).

My path was in three parts. First came East Ridge trail, a fire road along the (duh) eastern ridge of the park. Ups and downs, but nothing too dramatic. Then came Prince Trail, which was really just a cut down to the valley floor - very steep, very short. Then came Stream Trail, which went up the center of the valley back to the northern Skyline entrance, where we started. The first half of stream trail was like that photo above - flat, wide, soft, dark, quiet, through tall redwoods. Then came the Up.

I learned two valuable lessons today. 1) Trail running is really fun, and 2) Running uphill is REALLY hard. I don't know the exact numbers, but some googling tells me it's about a 600' climb. I ran every step of that motherfucker, 'cause I swore I would, but DAMN.

I don't know if 25 minutes is a good time for this run, but the simple fact that I did it, and that I ran the whole thing, fills me with a great sense of accomplishment. It was a great experience.

The ending was complicated somewhat because Rebecca, who had started WELL ahead of me, was not back at the parking lot, and I didn't think I'd passed her. Which meant she'd either gotten lost, or I HAD run right by her and not even noticed, which would pretty much make me an asshole. I waited for probably 10-15 minutes, and then got worried enough to start running back the other direction. Thankfully, she was only a quarter mile or so down the trail (she had taken a wrong turn), so everything turned out fine.

Trail Running Rocks!

We met up with a few CFEB folks for a morning T-Day trail run. It was foggy and chilly, but the park is really beautiful, no matter what the weather. A few folks ended up at the wrong park entrance, and the start was delayed, but I had my own watch, I know I'm slow, and I needed to get home before noon if at all possible, so I started off on my own.

Daniel assured me that the path was pretty easy - just 3 trails - east fire trail, right on prince trail, right on stream trail.

My plan was to run 2 minutes and walk 2 minutes, alternating. I had the countdown timer on my watch set to 2 min, so all i had to do was restart it every time it beeped.

I wish I had had the presences of mind to hit my lap timer every time i switched trails, so I could get a better idea of how long each segment took me.

Things got a bit trickier when I missed the right turn onto the stream trail, and ended up on a trail I thought was the stream trail, but wasn't. That trail dead-ended, and I had the option of continuing on a much steeper, narrower trail, or backtracking, but since I thought i was on the stream trail, I didn't know that backtracking would have helped me - I just thought that maybe the stream trail =had gotten closed, and the maps hadn't been updated, so I set off up the narrower, steeper, Mill trail, which met up with the French trail - another steep and narrow trail - whose name I recognized, and knew that if I followed it I would eventually end up back where I started.

Up until the mill trail turn off, I had done very well at sticking to the 2 minutes run, 2 minutes walk. Once I started up the Mill trail that completely fell apart, and it was just run whenever I could manage the breath and/or strength.

I ended up adding almost a full mile to what I intended to run, and -probably - several hundred feet of elevation gain - unlike the stream trail, which is basically flat along the bottom of the valley except for the last steep climb at the end, the french trail goes up and down several times along the edge of the valley. And since I managed to find my way back to the stream trail just before it headed up and out of the valley, I still got to do that steep climb at the end, too.

Directional goofs aside, however, I loved this experience. I always thought trail running sounded fun, except it also sounded dangerous - high possibility for twisted ankles and such, but it was a lot ess scary than I thought it would be. Running through the park was beautiful, even in the fog. My new trail running shoes are awesome - even going down some very steep hills my toes never felt smooshed.

... As soon as my hips/ass stop hurting, I want to go do it again! ... The sore hips are a bit of a downer. I've now been hobbling around like an arthritic old lady for two days. That's no fun at all. But hopefully doing this more often will build up those muscles so they don't hurt so much. It'll probably be good for my squats, too. Strengthen up those glutes and hamstrings!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008 by Rebecca


Warm up: 10 squats, 10 pushups, 10 situps, 10 burpees


Three rounds for time:

Run 400 meters
1 1/2 pood Kettlebell X 21 swings (or 55 pound dumbbell swing)
12 Pull-ups

17:31 PR!

400mKB SwingPullups
Rd 12:32
5:38 (-:25)
Rd 22:46
6:11 (-1:37)
Rd 32:41
5:42 (-3:31)

The last time I did this I got 23:07 - that's an improvement of 4.5 minutes! It looks like most of my gains were stamina gains - just not falling apart in rounds 2 & 3.

Where this Helen and the last one are different: Last time I used the 12kg KB instead of the 16kg Kb. Last time I used the gravitron, and tonight was jumping pullups - those puppies are fast ... i kinda miss the gravitron. Also my KB swings were only to about eye level - not all the way over head - though it sounds like they weren't last time either.

My run times are pretty consistent across each round, but are actually a bit worse today than they were in July - at least in the first two rounds. There's a good reason though: in the first 100m of the first run my right ankle tweaked and threatened to give out on me entirely, so I decided not to push it too hard. I also don't think i like running in my new 'trail running' shoes. They're heavy, and clumsy. It's hard to run on the balls of my feet instead of using heel strikes. I am going to wear them on the trail run tomorrow - that's what they for! But I think, for now, I'll go back to wearing my little brown shoes for running workouts. I should really try to get myself to a store where they actually take the time to fit a good running shoe.

There's probably 40 seconds of transition time in each of the swing times and the pullup times from going down the wet outside stairs - except the last pullup time since it was the end.

Helen: getting closer

The gym was CROWDED tonight. Due to the holiday, they closed at 6, and class was at 5. Everyone was getting in their pre-thanksgiving climbing, so the workout involved lots of dodging cars and people and folks lounging by the rings where I was trying to workout. Maybe I should've just kicked one of them while kipping. Oops.

Three rounds for time:
Run 400 meters
1 1/2 pood Kettlebell X 21 swings
12 Pull-ups

12:54 RX (PR!)
Splits: 3:50 | 4:27 | 4:37
(Last time: 3:48 | 5:18 | 6:56)

A PR by a little over 3 minutes, and now I feel like I'm within striking distance of the Level II standard (11:30). The time killers here are A) the transitions and B) the pullups. The pullups I can address, and I think I'm going to embark on the twenty-deadhang program I've been wanting to do for a while. When I can do all three rounds of pullups unbroken, I think I'll be in business. I'm not sure what, if anything, I can do about the transitions - unless and until they put a pullup bar outside. If I can maintain my first round's time throughout, I'll get there.

Monday, November 24, 2008 by Daniel

Social Climbing at GWPC

Fun time at the Power Company tonight. Present were Max, Evelyn, Elaine, Brandon, James M., and of course me and Rebecca. John and Maeve were also around, but they were doing their own things.

Climbs: 10a(o), 10b(o), 10d(f+), 10c(o)

In general a good night. Pretty tired from the week's WODs, I treated this mostly as active recovery and a chance to concentrate on technique. The 10a was an easy bit of vert, but I made a couple stupid non-tree-sloth moves that forced some awkward catching. The 10b went much more smoothly. The 10d was the only really challenging climb of the night, and I had two takes on it - the first was a slip, the second was tired arms. It was a good climb, though - some good opportunities to rest, and some very delicate traverses both forward and back. The 10c was up a long negative with a roof at the top, but the holds were solid where they needed to be so there wasn't any awkward flailing about.

Most of the night was focused on Jim's 10d that I climbed back in September (You can see Max working the dihedral in the pic above). It's a good climb that I'd like to try again, but odds are it will be gone by the next time I get to the Power Company. Alas.

Social Climbing, #2

5.9 (c-) 10a (f+) 5.7(c) 5.9 (c-)

This is going to be a quick post because I am behind, and this actually happened almost a week ago. I'd say I had an OK climbing night, but there were an odd number of us, which meant that there was some amount of waiting around - which was fine since I was pretty sore from the week's WODs, and I knew I had to go home and continue working on a project for work, and so I wasn't able to just fully relax and have a good time.

The first 5.9 is a super friendly one on the east wall and I'm calling it a c- because I slipped at one point, and my belay was tight enough that my harness caught me before my arms did, but I never let go of the wall, and I think I would have been able to recover on my own. It was a nice way to warm up.

The second climb i tried was pink 10a on the south wall that has a very tricky start. I fell a lot tryingto get through that part of it, but once I got past it, I did well on the rest.

the 5.7 is a fun one that traverses a large part of the west wall, and goes up a dihedral, and even has a bit of an overhang. I climbed this one clean, even managing to get over the overhang part I fell on the last time I tried this climb.

The last 5.9 was a black one on the east wall - I think it was a (c-) as opposed to a c, but I can't remember for sure. It was also pretty friendly ... challenging enough to feel like you're working, but no impossible moves, either.

Sunday, November 23, 2008 by Rebecca

Death due to Tuck Jump (not quite the same as 'by')

Warm up: ME, Run 800m, 5 KB swings, 5 pushups, 5 KB cleans

For Time:

7 Rounds

Run 100 Meters
5 Kettlebell Swing 2P/1.5P *1P
10 Push-Up
15 Kettlebell Clean 1.0P/.75P
20 Double-Under *Tuck Jumps


4:06 | 4:24 | 4:46 | 5:00 | 5:05 | 5:30 | 4:30

I was seriously only going to do 3 - maybe 4 rounds of this. But I kept remembering that i was going to stop after doing the run - and i couldn't stop part way through a round now could I ... Jeez.

Everything here was really manageable - except the Tuck Jumps. OMG do tuck jumps really really suck. A lot. I MUST figure out how to do a double-under because tuck jumps will kill me. My left ankle feels a little bruised from the repeated heavy landings - i am not a graceful jumper, and I know my abs are not going to let me off lightly for punishing them further - they barely agreed to be on speaking terms with me this morning.

The one bright spot where these are concerned is that they look a lot better than they used to - most of the time I can get my feet reasonably far off the ground and my knees reasonably close to my chest - instead of the wimpy little jumps that used to pass for tuck jumps. But holy hell do I dislike this exercise.

I checked my time on my runs and they were all within the 35-45 second range. My last one was about 36. I spent a lot of time between exercises just trying to catch my breath. I know on at least one round I accidentally did more than 5 KB swings - i think there might have been a round of cleans that went over, too. And I lost count on my tuck jumps in round 6 - so i may have done a few extra of those f**ers too.

The KB swings felt pretty solid - though I didn't always get them all the way overhead. I counted them if hey were above eye level, but I definitely got several full ROM reps.

The pushups felt really solid. I definitely feel like these are one exercise I can really do now. I think only maybe the first round or two were unbroken. Typically it was a set of 7 and a set of 3. I was very consciously trying to make sure every rep was strict form, keeping my core solid. (another cause for my abs to exact revenge upon me).

The cleans were ... well they were fantastic on my left side. I was struggling with my right. I always started off with my right hand and got as many as I could with it, and then would finish out on my left. It was so easy with my left though, that I had ample time to try to figure out what it was that I was doing with my left that I was missing on my right, and after the workout was over (doh!) I took the opportunity to figure it out. There's the hip pop, and then this slight jerk back with the elbow - sort of like starting a lawnmower that keeps the KB close to the body. And I was missing the 'elbow jerk' on the right side. This causes the KB to really whack ya when it lands. I'll have to play with it some more. My right side tends to forget stuff if I don't work it repeatedly and often. >:-p (lame.)

I think that if i hadn't done every CF workout this week, this workout would not have been such a killer, but, I did, and it was. Not sure how I am going to accomplish any climbing tomorrow. Maybe just low nuimbers focused on form and technique. And lots of belaying ...

And Thus Endeth Skill Week

Max promised us a combination of all the skills we focused on this week as the culmination workout, and it proved to be a nice mid-size metcon:

For Time:
7 Rounds

Run 100 Meters
5 Kettlebell Swing 2P/1.5P
10 Push-Up
15 Kettlebell Clean 1.0P/.75P
20 Double-Under

30:35 RX

Splits: 3:15 | 3:53 | 4:49 | 3:53 | 4:38 | 6:04 | 4:03

Not sure what happened in round 6. I don't remember it as taking particularly long. The killer (for me) on this one was the double-unders. Since I can usually only do them two or three at a time, it takes forever for me to get through twenty. I'm seriously considering buying one of those Byers-recommended speed ropes, though I have no idea when or how I'd practice. But like the kipping pullup, a solid double-under is really critical to those workouts that call for it.

The 2-pood swings were not as bad as I feared, and the pushups, cleans and runs were fairly utilitarian. Took a few too many rests, but overall I'm just happy that I did a double-under workout RX'd.

Saturday, November 22, 2008 by Rebecca

Death by KB Clean

Warmup: ME, Burgener Warmup, run 800m

With a continuously running clock do one 1.5P/1.0P kettlebell clean the first minute, two 1.5P/1.0P kettlebell cleans the second minute, three 1.5P/1.0P kettlebell cleans the third minute... continuing as long as you are able.

Use as many sets each minute as needed. Switch hands as often as you wish or not at all.

19 Rounds + 15 12KG
(205 reps!)

Well - considering I had expected to use the 8kg KB and just focus on form for this workout I am pretty impressed by my performance on this one too.

Much to my surprise and delight, when I tried this movement, I pretty much had the form dialed, so my excuse for using a lighter weight was kinda gone. I didn't try a clean with the 1P weight - and I probably should have at least tried it, but my form when using my right arm did not hold up particularly well under large numbers of reps, so I think I really picked the right weight.

Since we could switch hands as often as we wanted, and my form was super solid on my left arm, I started with my right, and id as many reps as I could - usually between about 5 and 7, and then finished the rest off with my left.

I've decided that I am really starting to like kettle bells - there's something really satisfying about KB cleans and snatches when you get the form just right, and it goes up smooth and just fits where it should instead of flopping around and clobbering you when it lands.

It is clear that I am just getting better at everything. I am frequently less sore than I think I should be (although today is something of an exception to that rule. My abs aren't really speaking to me anymore as of this afternoon.) and I frequently do more than I think I will be able to. It's all super exciting!

Death by Kettlebell Clean

In the final installment of his "Death by..." skill-work series, Max chose KB Cleans. I have a rocky history with these. They were part of the workout that killed my shoulder (though it was really the push-jerks that were responsible). And there's just no getting around the fact that 1.5 pood is pretty damn heavy.

With a continuously running clock do one 1.5P/1.0P kettlebell clean the first minute, two 1.5P/1.0P kettlebell cleans the second minute, three 1.5P/1.0P kettlebell cleans the third minute... continuing as long as you are able.

17 rounds + 12 RX. (165 reps)

I alternated hands on each round, but it still rubbed my palms raw. Max frequently chided me that I was "too far out in space" on the cleans - which eventually I translated to mean I was sending them out too far in front of me on an arc like a KB swing. On the reps that FELT right, the kettlebell acted like it simply being pulled up on a string in a straight line. I was able to get this sometimes. Other times it bashed the hell out of my biceps and forearms.

After I was knocked out of the running, I watched others and realized that they seemed to be twisting their bodies and using their lats more than I think I was. I tried to practice a few more after taking a break to trying using more of my back, but was too tired and raw. I'll have to try again later.

Tomorrow is the culmination of all four movements, plus a little sprinting. It looks horribly brutal. Should be fun.

Friday, November 21, 2008 by Daniel

Double-unders, bitches!

Oh, yes. We're going there.

Given that up until now I have NEVER really successfully managed a double-under, I figured this class would essentially be practice. BUT, I FIGURED THE BASTARDS OUT. Well, sort of.

With a continuously running clock do one Double-Under the first minute, two Double-Unders the second minute, three Double-Unders the third minute... continuing as long as you are able.

10 rounds + a bunch of practice

Using the "jump-jump-DOUBLE-UNDER" method, I eventually was able to keep the pattern going to get multiple reps in on one run. After making it to round 10, I stopped paying attention to the numbers, and just focused on practice: keeping the rope under control, staying upright, and TRYING to get more than one double-under consecutively. I managed to do this ONCE. Which was AWESOME.

Death by Sit-up

Warmup: Burgener Warmup, 50 (consecutive!) single jumps, lots of attempts at other kinds of jump rope movements.

With a continuously running clock do one Double-Under the first minute, two Double-Unders the second minute, three Double-Unders the third minute... continuing as long as you are able.

24 rounds + 22 Sit-ups. (total: 322 reps!!)

Yeah - the WOD was double-unders. I can't do double-unders. At all. And not only that, but we were working out in the yoga room where you can't wear shoes - and failing - repeatedly - at double-unders in cold, bare feet SUCKS. I just don't have that kind of pain tolerance. Max suggested sit-ups as an alternate. I happily accepted. I can DO situps. Apparently I can do a LOT of situps!! 322 of them in 25 minutes.

I'm extremely impressed with my performance. There were two other folks doing situps instead of double unders - and I don't think either one of them made it past round 20. I was going really strong until about round 22 - getting them all done in 30-40 seconds), and then muscular failure started to set in. Rounds 23 and 24 finished pretty close to the wire, and I just didn't have any gas left in round 25, though i ALMOST made it.

I was having a pretty crappy day, and I had been kinda dreading going to a workout where I was going to spend an hour trying and most likely failing at double unders. It was great to be able to sub in something I actually could do, work my ass off getting it done, and feel good about my performance afterward. It did wonders for my mood.

The was one rock star classmate who went for like 34 rounds of the double-unders - he's got them DOWN - no double single double for him - just lots and lots of 100% consecutive double-unders.

While he was still jumping away, Daniel and I did some work on handstand holds. They have started to feel a little less scary. But there's a huge amount of work yet to be done on them.

Thursday, November 20, 2008 by Rebecca

Death by Pushup

Warm up: ME, Burgener Warmup, 2 air squats, 10 minutes equipment schlepping. 5 normal pushups, 5 negative incline pushups, 5 feet up on box pushus.

With a continuously running clock do one Push-Up the first minute, two Push-Ups the second minute, three Push-Ups the third minute... continuing as long as you are able.

Use as many sets each minute as needed.

11 rounds + 11
.. i think. I didn't write it down and apparently I didn't retain it.

Arg. I do not like these ladders. It's fine, it's fine, it's a little taxing, then it's impossible.

I was fine through about round 10 - form was good and finishing was not a problem, and then I my shoulders gave out, my form went to hell, and it just got Much Much harder.

I might have gotten a few more if I hadn't done 5 pushups in the warmup with my feet up on a box. That might have been a little overly ambitious.

Today (and yesterday) are excellent times for me to remember Melissa's excellent advice about giving myself props for what I CAN do and have acheived - not what I failed to do. 4 months ago I could not do a single full ROM pushup. Tonight I did 64 in the main wod along with several in the warmup.

Similarly, 4 months ago I could barely swing the 12kg KB. Last night I got nearly 70 something with the 16kg KB. Go me!

Daniel helped me with one handstand hold after class. That is a scary place to be! I REALLY don't like it. I don't know what it is about being upside down - but even though Daniel is holding my feet so I can't fall, and I have the strength to continue to hold myself there, it just floods me with anxiety and after 5-10 seconds I have to ask Daniel to help me down. Bleah. I can only assume that doing this more will make it less scary. So that's what I'll try to do.

Death by Pushup

Yikes, I'm a few days behind in my posting! Thankfully, it's not all that hard to remember what the workouts were or how I did with them.

With a continuously running clock do one Push-Up the first minute, two Push-Ups the second minute, three Push-Ups the third minute... continuing as long as you are able.

14 rounds + 12

My form deteriorated pretty badly in the last couple rounds - probably down to a C or so. Mainly just that I couldn't get back up if I went all the way down, but there was also some snaking going on. I wanted to go to failure, though, and that's definitely what happened: when I started falling on my face, I knew I was in trouble.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 by Rebecca

Death by KB Swing

Warmup: Burgener warmup, run 800m

With a continuously running clock do one 1.5P/1.0P kettlebell swing the first minute, two 1.5P/1.0P kettlebell swings the second minute, three 1.5P/1.0P kettlebell swings the third minute... continuing as long as you are able.

11rounds + 9 with 1P (16kg)
round 13 & 14 with 12 kg +1 swing.

Bleah. I wanted to work with the heavier weight. I thought I could do it with good form. My form deteriorated pretty rapidly. In the interest of the 'focus on the basics' nature of this week, I really should have worked with the lighter weight and gone for perfect form. When i did the swings in the WOD on Sunday with the 1P weight, i felt like they were pretty decent - which is one of the reasons i felt the 1p weight would be ok today. My hips just ran out of 'pop'.

Death by Kettlebell

So this week is "back to basics" week, with Max focusing on a different fundamental movement each day and combining them into some truly horrible thing on the weekend. Today: the kettlebell swing.

With a continuously running clock do one 1.5P/1.0P kettlebell swing the first minute, two 1.5P/1.0P kettlebell swings the second minute, three 1.5P/1.0P kettlebell swings the third minute... continuing as long as you are able.

17 + 5 rounds, RX (158 swings)

The quick summary of this workout goes like this: "Easy...easy...easy...HARD."

I was doing just fine until round 15, and then I started to fall apart. You don't have much time to take a break mid-round, and if you do then you're killing your chances for the next round, so once you have to put the kettlebell down mid-round, you're in deep shit.

It's a shame I didn't make it to 18, but I seriously had nothing left. My grip was failing and my hands were sweating, so I was starting to fear letting go of the bell (bad, obviously). My form was also falling apart, and I think in my tiredness I was overcompensating with my arms rather than continuing to rely on my hips. Things to keep in mind.

Monday, November 17, 2008 by Daniel

Monday Night Social Climbing

The start of a new tradition?

Rebecca and I arranged to meet James M at Ironworks tonight to get him on the wall - it's just criminal to belong to a climbing gym and NOT climb. We extended the invite to the whole CFEB crew, albeit with very late notice, and Max and Evelyn showed up for a little hanging out and pulling plastic. James acquitted himself admirably, flashing two 10a's and getting up a 10b with minor difficulty. He's definitely a natural.

My tally: 10a(c), 10d(f), 10d(c), 10b(f+)

The first d was a new one just put up today, and I fell because I stepped off-route, and when Rebecca corrected me I got flustered trying to fix it and just peeled off. I think I should get this one clean next time. The second d was one I did Friday, and it was even easier today - which is good, because YET AGAIN I fell off one of Jim's 11a's after only one or two moves. Why-oh-why are 11a's so much harder than 10d's?! The last 10b was also Jim (he was a busy boy today), and I re-dubbed it "too much shit in my way." At several points in the climb, angles are hampered and body positioning is made very awkward due to very large holds from other routes getting in your way. I don't know if I was just tired (I was), or if Jim was feeling mischievous (he probably was), but this felt quite a bit harder than your run-of-the-mill B. I'll have to try it again later.

We're going to try and make Monday night climbing a regular thing, with a standing invite to the Crossfit crowd to join us if they like. Next week we'll do GWPC, which (if not too crowded) is really a better place for social climbing, anyway.

Social Climbing

5.9(c) 5.9(c) 5.9(f+) 5.9(f++)

Tonight we invited our Crossfit friends to meet us at the gym to come climbing with us, and a few of them took us up on the offer.

The gym was really crowded tonight, and whenever it was my turn, the 10a's were all taken, but there are several very difficult 9's so I worked on those instead. My 'Into the White' 10a is gone :(

I warmed up on the easy 9 in the back.

The second climb i did is the red 9 on the middle pillar. James - our friend who was new to climbing tonight (but still managed to flash 2 10as fall once on a 10b and send a couple bouldering routes!) was belaying me - and he belays looser than I am used to - not dangerously so - just ... looser - and I actually find it to be rather motivating to not fall ... a little anxiety can go a long way towards making it expedient to make that next hold. In this instance I made it up a climb I likely would have rested at least once on.

The third 5.9 was a black one on the same pillar - with a large overhang bit right near the top of the climb. I was doing really well until I got to the overhang - and then I just couldn't quite figure out how to get over it. I think it was a right foot trust/strength issue. I did eventually make it over - but it was pretty much a couple inches at a time. Once I made it to the top, I stopped at that part on my way back down, and tried again to figure out how to get up - and still couldn't do it.

The last climb was a 5.9 Jim set near the campus board. I was tired, and I think Jim was in a bad mood today or something because it was a mean mean climb. I fell a lot. I'll have to revisit it with fresher muscles and see if it makes more sense then.

Sunday, November 16, 2008 by Daniel

"The 42"

Every year (so the story goes, as handed down by Evelyn), Max chooses a slate of his favorite exercises, and then combines them into a birthday workout to inflict upon the rest of us. This is his right as our trainer, and I do not begrudge him. And so, Sunday found us doing this...

42 Inverted Burpees
42 KB Swing 2P/1.5P
42 C2B Pull-Ups
42 KB Snatch Left 1.5P/1.0P
42 KB Snatch Right 1.5P/1.0P
42 Burpees
42 Double-Unders

41:11, 1.5 and 1P, Tuck Jumps

The inverted burpees were not as scary as I had anticipated, although I do have a goose-egg from continually bonking my head against the wall ~39 times. I did pullups on the rings, and they were pretty horrible - 6 sets of 7. So much harder than they should be. I REALLY need to get back on the GTG wagon with these guys. The snatches were far better on the right (3x14) than the left (6x7). It occurs to me that I really should step up to the 2 pood KB swing when the volume isn't too insane, so that I can develop a stronger hip pop and so the 1.5 pood doesn't seem so scary for snatching. I have the movement down, I'm just nervous about putting that much weight over my head, and the stress it puts on my shoulder and elbow.

Later that night, we went to Little Shin-Shin on Piedmont Ave to celebrate the Birthday Boy. It was PACKED! I think CFEB took up fully half the dining room, at two big (and augmented) tables. A fun time - CFEB folks are good folks, and we like hanging out with them socially as well

The 42 - Max's birthday WOD

Warm up: ME, 10 squats, 5 burpees, 1 terrifying handstand hold of about 5 seconds, 10 KB swing (16kg) 5 kb snatch each arm (8kg)

WOD: *subs

42 Inverted Burpees *regular burpees)
42 KB Swing 2P/1.5P *1P
42 C2B Pull-Ups *Jumping Pullups
42 KB Snatch Left 1.5P/1.0P *8kg
42 KB Snatch Right 1.5P/1.0P *8kg
42 Burpees
42 Double-Unders *tuck jumps


KB Swing
KB Snatch - R
KB Snatch - L
Tuck Jumps

Uh - LOL - looking at the times, I think I might have done as much as 10 too many snatches on my right side ... I kept losing count - and at one point i couldn't remember whether i was on 23 or 32 ... so I went with 23 ... I mean - i took a couple breaks - and I forgot to hit my timer for the left until I was 3 or 4 into the left - but I really cannot imagine that 42 right took twice as long as 42 left - at least not today when the form was really clicking and I was pretty easily able to string reps together - even on my RIGHT!

In fact, I'm very excited about finally getting this with weight on my right side - the form was working so well - that I thinkI probably could have managed to work with the 12kg KB, but I'm glad I did do it with the lighter weight, and really nailed the form.

The burpees sucked - but I did a little math, and even though i added 1:30 to the second round of them, that actually is only about 2 extra seconds per burpee. Really not bad, I think.

Daniel has said that he will take some time to work with me on handstand holds. - I really need to just take some time specifically to really work on them. I tried 1 in the warmup, and it did not go well. Daniel basically had to lift me up because I was too scared to kick up, and once i was there I just got really anxious. It wasn't a strength thing - I felt like my arms and shoulders could hold it, but I was just really afraid of falling. I'm determined to keep working on these though.

Saturday, November 15, 2008 by Rebecca

Quantum of Solace

Holy cow this movie TOTALLY ROCKED.

The action sequences are off-the-hook intense, and there are plenty of them. THe opening of the movie might be one of the most incredible, intense car chases I've ever seen. Daniel Craig is awesome and implacable - a lean mean James Bond machine. He has so much more depth than any Bond before him. I would go back and see this movie again in a second. Maybe I'd get a better audience.

I was extremely disappointed with my fellow audience members, tonight. The main reason I like to see movies in movie theatres is for the experience of going on a journey WITH a group of people - this crowd was not an interactive crowd - no cheering, no clapping, no hissing - nada. I've found that sometimes if I start applause or a cheer it will inspire the audience to respond - there are often at least a few people who just need 'permission' to get involved. This audience was not interested. Usually Oakland audiences are more generous. Honestly - if you're not there for the 'crowded theatre' experience, i don't know why you wouldn't just wait for the damn movie to come out on DVD and watch it at home. *harumpf*

But the movie (except for the opening theme which I really didn't care for) was excellent. If you like Bond films or action films, at all, you will thoroughly enjoy this thrill ride.

A-hiking we will go

I've been wanting to go hiking for weeks - maybe even months - but it just takes so much longer than the hour or two that a crossfit class takes, and we've been really busy, so it just hasn't happened. Well - the weather has been warm and gorgeous the past couple days, and today we finally got to go on a hike. Our friend Ynez came with us.

We went out to the Muir Woods area, and started up a fire road that meets up with the Dipsea Trail, and followed that all the way up to 'Cardiac Hill' - A beautiful outlook where you can see the Ocean stretching out in front of you on one side and the bay stretching out before you on the other - and today was particularly beautiful and clear. You can actually see the tip of Mt. Diablo WAY off in the distance (the two little bumps on the horizon to the left). I think Oakland is behind my head. We stopped here and had lunch - and didn't even need to put on our jackets - which is extremely rare for this particular spot. The last time we were up there it was so foggy that you could barely see the trees directly behind us. There was definitely no view.

After lunch, we went back down through Muir Woods on the Ben Johnson Trail. The whole hike was probably just a bit longer than 6 miles and took us about 3 hours - including our lunch break.

I am definitely NOT accustomed to doing anything for three hours at a stretch anymore, and my body was sore all over by the time we stopped, but it was an extremely pleasant way to spend the day, and I am very glad we got to do it.

Friday, November 14, 2008 by Daniel

Onsighting 10d's makes me feel pro

Rushed for time, so will keep this short.

Had two climbing sessions Friday, both of them went very well.

Thruster practice: 5x10 @ 65#
Climbing w/Tor: 10a(c), 10d(o!), 10b/c(o)

Climbing w/Bekka: 10a(c), 10d(o!), 10c(c)

That's TWO 10d onsights in one day! And neither of them even felt particularly hard! Now, I know that a lot of it is subjective, and there are 10B's in the gym I can't do without resting, but regardless: climbing 10d's is good for the ego. I might even try an 11a sometime soon...

I've been really focusing lately on what I call "Tree-sloth" climbing, as opposed to "Throw and catch" style. These are just terms I made up - I don't know if there are actual technical terms for this. However, in "Throw and catch," moves are made in a dynamic, fast fashion - essentially like a clean or jerk, you use a combination of momentum, leg and arm strength to temporarily make yourself weightless, and in that brief window you advance a hand up to the next hold. It's not that this is an invalid method or anything - I've seen very good climbers use it, and sometimes it's your only option - however, it comes with a couple attendant prices: 1) I believe it tires you out faster, since you have to generate a spike in energy, and 2) if, for some reason, you misjudge the distance, or misread the hold, or just fuck up, it is very difficult to rescue a throw-and-catch move. You will probably fall.

Tree-sloth climbing, in comparison, is very non-dynamic. Every move is stabilized, and you don't move a hand up unless you can do it in a slow, controlled fashion. Watching the really good climbers, most of them climb in this fashion most of the time. The trick is finding the most efficient body positions that allow you to stay on the wall with only three (or sometimes two) points of contact. It's definitely a more isometric type of exercise, and in very difficult positions you can feel the energy needle slowly moving from F to E while trying to maintain the hold, but ultimately I believe it forces more efficient movement, thereby tiring you out less while simultaneously reducing the risk of falling. In other words, it's good. So that's what I'm focusing on these days, particularly on the lower-level climbs where I have the mental bandwidth to think about things like technique.

Climbing - mixed bag.

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

Warmed up on the 5.9 by the wall near the campus board. the start of the climb has a slight negative incline, which left my forearms feeling a little pumped, but I did the climb clean and controlled.

Then I tried a pink 10.a on the back wall that has a very tricky start , has a ledge you have to climb up on in the middle, and then you have to get back on the wall sort of above you. I fell a couple times on this climb. I fell a LOT on the first 3 moves on the start, and I fell once after getting to the second half of the climb. I made it to the top without too much trouble after that ... but it was not a terribly graceful climb.

Next was a second attempt at "into the White." It didn't go a whole lot better than the first attempt. I did not cheat on any movements, but I rested - a LOT. I'd really like to watch someone climb it who knows what they're doing - because I came down from this climb just thinking that it is mean mean mean. If anything it gets HARDER not easier after the overhang. A lot of really unfriendly holds that require good finger strength.

Daniel had said that he was concentrating on 'tree sloth' climbing - smooth and steady movements instead of big dynamic movements. So I decided to try to concentrate on that with this climb, because, philosophically, that approach makes sense to me, but for most of the movements, I just couldn't figure out how to make it to the next hold without 'jumping'. It was really annoying to get to a hold, and realize the next hold was like 3 feet above me.

The last climb was a 10a on the slab on the back wall that I've been wanting to do for weeks now, but there's always been somebody on the rope. It was fun. Definitely required some balance and slow steady movements - daniel said it looked good, and it felt good.

Thursday, November 13, 2008 by Rebecca

5 x 5 (mostly)

Front Squat x 5

Bench Press x 5

Ow. 65# is heavy, and I will definitely not be moving past this weight in either exercise next week.

With the front squat, if I stayed really focused, I could get through all the reps, but if my attention wandered at all, that was it. I failed on the first rep of round 2 just because I stopped thinking about what I was doing, so I counted it as a false start. I failed on rep 3 or 4 of round 4 when I tried to power through feeling light headed instead of standing and breathing through it before I started the next rep. (Dumb).

Tom - one of the frequent weight-lifters we've become friendly with - gave me some good tips on my squat form - unfortunately, it was after I was done with all of my sets. ... I'm drawing a bit of a blank at the moment on what exactly they were though ... Crap! ... the main thing I remember is "use a wider stance". I had been using a stance that was just about shoulder width. He said that I wasn't keeping my back up and pitching forward as a result, causing me to do more work with my back than my legs, and having my legs further apart would help. I tried a couple reps, with an empty bar and it felt like it probably would work better - if I weren't already totally knackered. He also said that I wasn't staying tight all the way trough the movement - that - like with the bench press - everything should be tight all the way through the movement.

The Bench Press was ... HARD ... and it hurt my ass. I'll say that again. I hurt my ass doing bench press. LOL - WTF? Well - here's the thing - I had to clench everything to get that bar to go up, and my right hip/glute cramped. A bit.

The sets I failed I always failed on the 5th rep - i just couldn't QUITE eek out that last bit of effort. Many thanks to my excellent spotter (Daniel <3>:-p)


Back Squat: 140
Bench: 135 x 5-5-4-5-5

The squats felt good - I'm still not totally upright, particularly at the bottom, but I'm getting better and better. I think warming up on the Smith machine helps kinesthesically (or whatever I'm trying to say there).

The bench felt really heavy, particularly the last rep. It helps to visualize my body, particularly my core muscles, as a solid floor that I'm pressing off of. Keeps everything really tight. But I'm feeling it in my front deltoids more than my pecs, which could mean that I'm doing it wrong, I suppose, or it could just mean that's the weakest link in my chain.

Fight gone Upside Down

I guess it's been long enough without a FGB, so Max rolled all the exercises from the last few days of the national and put 'em together in FGB format. And if that wasn't crazy enough, FORTY people showed up for class at Ironworks. It was a madhouse. But nobody got clobbered by a kettlebell or kicked in the head, so all's well that ends well, I suppose.

Three rounds of:
Wall-ball, 20 pound ball, 10 ft target (Reps)
Burpees (Reps)
Inverted Burpees (Reps)
KB Swings 1.5 P/1.0P (Reps)

In this workout you move from each of five stations after a minute.The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. This is a five-minute round from which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. On call of "rotate", the athletes must move to next station immediately for best score. One point is given for each rep.

Score: 173.
I subbed regular burpees for the inverted ones.

Round 1
Round 2
Round 3
KB Swing
Wall Ball

Ouch. Definitely a killer - this score is about 80 points lower, I think than my best FGB score.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 by Rebecca

Fight gone inverted ... or not.

Warm up: I was 10 minutes late to class - so - none >.< WOD:
Three rounds of:
Wall-ball, 20 pound ball, 10 ft target (Reps)
Burpees (Reps)
Inverted Burpees (Reps)
KB Swings 1.5 P/1.0P (Reps)

In this workout you move from each of five stations after a minute.The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. This is a five-minute round from which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. On call of "rotate", the athletes must move to next station immediately for best score. One point is given for each rep.


Round 1
Round 2
KB Swing
Wall Ball

Except for the wall ball, I am pretty happy with how this went. I am sad I did not get to do three rounds, but that was my fault for being late to class. (and, frankly, I wasn't too sad at the end of round 2 that that was my last round). The class was ridiculously full. In fact, the whole gym was packed today. it was weird.

I did burpees twice instead of the inverted burpees because I've never kicked up into a handstand before, and i didn't have time to try it before class started and I wasn't going to try it for the first time in a ridiculously jam packed class where I might fall over and injure someone else, not to mention whatever damage I might do to myself in the process.

I was pretty excited to get 10 burpees in the first round and even 8 in the second (third?) ... I've never managed to get more than 7 in a 1 minute round.

I was pretty happy with my 19 KB swings in the first, round too - i believe the last 15 or so were consecutive. I was using the full RX weight of 35#.

The jumping pullups were easy to do quickly, and is clearly where most of my volume came from. I really haven't been working on finally getting my pullup much lately, and I need to get back to it.


Wow, this was unexpected.

What went in (average daily):
Don't know. Stopped tracking.

What came out:
Weight: 173 (-2 lbs, 15lbs total)
Waist: 32 (-0.25", 2" total)
Bodyfat: 11% (-1%, 4% total)
Percentage to goal: 100%

Time it took: 10 weeks

Burnt out on Fitday and feeling too OCD about what I ate and how it affected me, I decided to take some time off from tracking, until I felt like I'd enjoy it again. In the meantime, I continued to eat as I have been doing. I still habitually weigh in every Wednesday, though, (gotta keep the graph consistent!), and was really surprised with what I saw this morning - I haven't been feeling particularly thin or anything lately - indeed, just last night I had a bad dream that I was weak and pudgy again.

Nevertheless, there it is. I haven't been this thin since high school, and I've never been this fit before, period. I need new pants. I want to get back to focusing on strength gains, but for the time being I think I'm just going to enjoy where I am and how I'm doing for a while.

As I get more and more enamored of climbing, I get less interested in the big muscles. Climbing is far more about strength-to-weight ratio than it is about size, as the goal is more total muscle recruitment than it is mass - obviously, the less you weigh as compared to your strength, the easier time you'll have getting up the wall. So my goals are shifting from size to simple strength and efficiency. Jim (fellow CFEB athlete) is far stronger than I am, but not appreciably bigger. And he can climb 5.13-something. That, I think, is something to strive towards. It will mean forever being scrawny, but if it means climbing 5.12, then I'm OK with that.

Monday, November 10, 2008 by Daniel

Another broken Monday

This will be short and not so sweet...

Climbing at IW: 10a(o), 10c(f), 10c(dnf), 10b(f++)
Sprint-8 on rower: 3,030m

It was clear pretty quick that I was just too tired to climb effectively. I'm surprised I made it up that first c with only one rest, considering how long a climb it was. The DNF was due to a pincher hold that I just couldn't sustain long enough to move my other hand up, and the last b was one of those laughable rest-every-two-feet climbs.

I debated whether or not to do Sprint-8, but I had a lot of time before I needed to be at work, so figured it would be stupid not to. I had a relatively easy time keeping it below 1:40 on the sprints, but my rests were insanely slow - like 2:45 or something. Whatever - I got through it.

I <3 Rest Days.

Sunday, November 9, 2008 by Rebecca

Performance Testing

Warm up: ME, Burgener Warm up, run 400m

1: One Mile Run

2: Max Rep Pull-Ups
-Advanced: C2B Pull-Ups
-Intermediate: Pull-Ups
-Beginner: Jumping Pull-Ups

3: 400 Meter Run

4: Max Rep Push-Ups

5: Max Rep Kettlebell Swing
-Advanced: 2P/1.5P
-Intermediate: 1.5P/ 1P
-Beginner: 1P/.75P

1: 11:11
2. 19 Jumping
3. 2:08
4. 24!!!
5. 16 - ha ha ha

I really debated whether to go to class today or not. Yesterday was a huge amount of work, and I didn't get to bed until almost 2 and I was having major anxiety about work ... but I wanted to do some sort of aerobic activity before breaking my fast ... so I decided that I would go to class with Daniel, just do the mile, and be done with it. Ha. Right.

ooo - well - here's why this blog is awesome. Until just this second, I thought that my best mile time was 10:30, and today was a bit of a let down. Well - my memory clearly SUCKS - because I went to check my past time, and it turns out my GOAL is to get down to 10:30, and my previous best time was 11:21, so today's effort was ACTUALLY a PR! go me!

I still had major cramping issues in the last half. I dunno why, but practically the second i cross the 'start' line and begin the second half of the mile the cramp just appears. Slowly, but I can feel it gathering, and despite my best efforts to breathe it away, it still comes and smacks me down. I dunno if it's a psychological thing or my insides are really just only ready to put up with so much jostling before they tell me to QUIT IT ALREADY! Today it got so bad that I couldn't run 2 steps without serious pain.

I was probably between 200 meters or so away from the finish at 9:45, and I REALLY wanted to just run through the cramp - i was pretty sure I could hit 10:30 if I did - but I just couldn't quite do it. I DID manage to run the last 50-75 yards at a reasonable clip, though. I'd like to try running a mile at a proper track and see how that goes.

Max decided that the way to measure 'Max Rep' jumping pullups was that the jumping had to be continuous, and as soon as you failed to get your chin above the bar, you're done. I got 19. I feel like this is slightly confusing max continuous reps and max reps. For pullups, 'max reps' counts as long as you don't let go of the bar. You can hang as long as you're able. I think that for jumping pullups, the same sort of concept should count. Obviously you can't count holding onto the bar as any form of work with jumping pullups, but you should be able to count all good reps - even if there are a couple bad ones in there - as long as you are continuously jumping and actively trying to get good reps - little mini 'resting jumps' wouldn't count. Anyway. Next time. 19 is still pretty decent - especially the day after clean & jerks and SEVEN climbs!

the 2:08 400m is - astonishingly - the best one I have run recently. Though not a PR, I have to go back - and it was AFTER having run a mile! I was the last one done - but the only person who had my own stop watch and therefiore the only one who got my time, since apparently max had a stop watch malfunction. He tried to make everyone run it again after 3 minutes rest, but there was a class rebellion, and we just moved on to pushups.

so ... 24!! wow. Downward dog was a bit more helpful today than it was last week, but, again given how thrashed I felt this morning, I'm kinda astonished.

by the time the KB swings came up, I was just tired and done, and the 16 was a sort of halfhearted effort with the 12kg KB. someone walked kinda close to me and made me lose my concentration, and I was fine with that.

You know - it's kida fascinating ... most of today, and up until the writing of this post, I sort of felt like most of this workout was a wash - the original title had a "*snicker*" appended to it it because i thought it was kinda laughable to have tried to test performance on a day I felt so donein. But I actually got PR's, or near PR's for most of the exercises. I wonder how much was attributable to working out fasted, and taking advantage of the additional recovery fasting offers.

Daniel said that he was talking to a classmate today after class who said that he was inspired by me. Specifically by my willingness to push beyond merely 'tired' and really push for those extra reps or that shorter time or that extra weight. That was really nice to hear, especially when I wasn't personally very impressed with how I did today - although clearly I underestimated my performance.

Afterwards we went Rudy's where I had a Monster burger (two 6 oz patties) and FRENCH FRIES! and ate EVERYTHING. Wow was I hungry. I even had a huge class of milk before we got our food. Daniel was astonished when, after I polished off my massive hamburger, I proceeded to also polish off most of my fries. Frankly, I was too. But - FRENCH FRIES. Definitely couldn't let those go to waste! mmmmmm.

Benchmark Testing

Woke up this morning with an impressive case of DOMS (Rebecca's worse off than I am, though), but couldn't resist the opportunity to test a few benchmarks with the CFEB crew:

1: One Mile Run

2: Max Rep Pull-Ups
-Advanced: C2B Pull-Ups
-Intermediate: Pull-Ups
-Beginner: Jumping Pull-Ups

3: 400 Meter Run

4: Max Rep Push-Ups

5: Max Rep Kettlebell Swing
-Advanced: 2P/1.5P
-Intermediate: 1.5P/ 1P
-Beginner: 1P/.75P

Mile run: 5:57 (PR!)

Level III! I have Alex to thank for this PR. He was right behind me the first half, then pulled ahead of me and I spent the last 800 meters chasing him. He was probably a good 20m ahead of me heading into the last stretch, and I tried like hell to catch him, but he was pushing it too and I only managed to shave off about 10 feet. He was 3 seconds faster than I was.

...and it killed me. Bye bye, glycogen (I was fasted) - everything else I tried afterward pretty much ran the gamut from silly to ridiculous.

Max-rep pullups: 10 kipping, 8 chest-to-bar deadhang

Further proof that my kips are currently eluding me. Someday, hopefully, they will return to me.

400 meters: something awful

Max had a timer malfunction, thankfully, but my time on this would have been awful. 10 paces in, it felt like the last quarter of the mile. While I normally would have been up in the top 5, I finished somewhere around 10th, I think. I had nothing. It was just stupid.

Pushups: 30

This is probably actually fairly accurate. I might have done better on concrete, as my hands get sweaty and start slipping on the the varnished wood floor, but I don't think I could do significantly more than this. I was careful to hit the floor with my chest each time.

Kettlebell Swings @ 1.5 pood: 30

By this time, my stamina and enthusiasm were worn pretty thin. I did not push this all the way to failure, but rather until it got annoyingly difficult and I started grunting. With a better mental approach, I think I could probably get another 10 in before dying.

Saturday, November 8, 2008 by Rebecca

A little weightlifting, a little climbing, a lot of DOMS.

Today we did the crossfit class in the morning and met friends to go climbing in the afternoon. Since CF was 'just' clean and jerk, we thought that doing both would be fine - and it mostly was - but tomorrow is going to be painful.

Warmup: ME, bar drills, Burgner warmup with dowels.

Clean and Jerk 30-5-5-3-3-3

(I'm counting the weight of the collars - which i took off for the last set)

I also managed to clean 60# once.

IW finally got a 15# bar and 15# bumper plates which is very exciting since now I should be able to practice any lift.

The clean, more than any other lift I've tried so far - though I suspect snatches will be similar - really succeeds or fails based almost entirely on my psychology of the moment. If I think too much about the movement before executing it, it's NOT going to happen. I also have trouble with full cleans - while power cleans are much more doable. I think it's just because full cleans are really two movements, and I have a hard time stringing them together, or if it's one movement, i just haven't figured out how to get my knees out of the way.

I was bummed I had to move down in weight after my first set of three - i just couldn't get it. Dunno if it was psychology or just tired muscles.

Once the workout was done I decided to try cleaning 60# - just to see if I could - and I got it ... once. :-) I also wanted to try SDHP with 60# to be able to mark off the level 1 goal, but I was too fried and couldn't get it much higher than my lowest ribs.

after lunch and grocery shopping, we went to GWPC to meet our friends and get some climbing in. My hamstrings and hips were already starting to get sore, so I wasn't really expecting to accomplish much. But I surprised myself.

5.9(f) 5.9(c)? 5.9(c) 5.10a(c) 5.10a(f++) 5.7(c) 5.7(f)

That was a lot of climbing! ... or ... at least I am almost positive i did three 5.9's: the first with Daniel and the second 2 with my friend ... but i can only clearly remember 2 of them ... either way, that's still a lot of climbing.

Anyway, I know that my first climb was a yellow 5.9 all the way over by the stairs, and I took a rest about 2/3 of the way up the wall.

I'm pretty sure the 2nd 5.9 I did is the one my friend warmed up on, but ... I don't remember anything about it. ... I believe it was in the middle section of the east wall. .. i think there was some interesting balancy stuff - but cearly not so interesting that I remember exactly what it was ...

The last 5.9 i did was a green one on the east wall that had a lot of handle holds and moved all over the place that was really fun and pretty friendly.

The first 10a I did had a fairly tricky start that required enough flexibility to get your legs on two holds that were pretty far apart, but after that, it was pretty straightforward and fun.

The second 10a was not so much fun. It had a long section of negative incline, and I fell a lot. This was the only climb where i felt like i resorted to sloppy climbing to get up it - hence the frequent falls. It was probably a bad idea to leave this one for so late in the day because i didn't have the strength left to hang out long enough to figure out what my best route should be. And the handholds were kind of mean and tiny, too, which was another reason i didn't pause much to try to figure out the best beta. I'd probably do better on this with fresher legs and arms.

The 2 5.7's I did were just for fun @ the end of the day because i wasn't really ready to stop climbing yet, but there was a pair of girls on the rope that I needed to do the 10a I wanted to do and they just would not get off it. :-p The last one was atually a really interesting climb that travelled a pretty long way along one wall, and up accross some interesting features. There was one move that was getting up over an overhang and I just didn't have the strength to pull it off the first time and fell - but the rest was easy and fun.

A full day

Another double-workout day. This one kicked my butt pretty thoroughly.

Morning CF Class:

Clean & Jerk: 30-5-5-3-3-3


My form is still pretty bad at this, particularly as the weight goes up. I'm not at all good about getting under the bar, and I'm basically power-cleaning and then jerking with a tiny quarter-squat. I wonder if it would be helpful to go with a fairly low weight, like 95, and practice a clean followed by a front squat, many times, and maybe eventually be able to string the movements together. I'd like to try that.

Afternoon climbing at GWPC:

10a(o), 10c/d(f), 10d(f+), 10b(f), 10b(o)

Well, I promised myself I would get back to trying 10d's. 10d's are hard. So much harder than 10c's, somehow. Anyway, this was not a particularly good climbing session due to muscles already being pretty tired from the morning, but I'm still pretty happy with it. The c/d was a long slight negative followed by a roof followed by a fairly severe negative. One fall due to muscular exhaustion trying to get over the roof. Then the 10d, which started with a small overhang and then was just a long vertical on crimpy holds. Made it up, but had to take a couple long rests. The 10b was a great, complex book stem route that I'd say was more like a 10c - it had some really wacky gumby moves on it. The last 10b was what I am now dubbing a "cool guy" climb - one of those climbs that's really easy but complicated enough that it prompts some snazzy moves. It did have one mean little trick, though - a run of easy jugs leading up to a sloper that, from below, LOOKED like a jug. Nearly took a fall there.

Friday, November 7, 2008 by Daniel

Has anyone seen my pullups?

I've lost them. Ever since the burpee/pullup workout a couple weeks back, when I did 120 of them, I haven't been able to string together more than a handful of kipping pullups at a time. At first it was that my muscles did not feel up to the task, and then it was that I seem to have lost my kip. It's frustrating.

Anyway, today we did 5x5's, only we ran out of time (had dinner with my folks), so we only made it through the squats.

Back Squat: 135 x 5

Felt better than last week. I'm contemplating switching to front squats, to better practice for thrusters and cleans.

And OK, so I know the Smith machine is supposed to be evil and everything, but we messed around with it a little bit after doing our regular squats, and I think it could be useful as a warmup tool to kinesthetically feel the proper bar path. I did a few back squats on the Smith machine with just a little weight on the bar, and it felt really good at telling my how far back I really SHOULD be. I think I might throw a set or two on the Smith machine into my warmup, until I have the form nailed.

5 x wtf

Wow - this was the suckiest workout I've had in a while. There was just nothin there.

Warmup: row 500m 2:07 (PR),

Front sqauts:

We didn't have time to do bench press - probably just as well.

Part of the problem was that I did not eat as well as I should have during the day. And part of the problem was that I was still pretty sore from the Electoral Math workout - particularly my jumping pullup muscles which happen to be pretty much the same as my squatting muscles, apparently. Part of it was also being at an emotional low-ebb from a long and stressful week. And maybe I needed a better/different warmup. But whatever the cause, I new i was in trouble when i has to struggle through the last 1-2 reps of my 'warmup' sets.

But - so what. Bad days happen. I know it isn't really a bearing on where I am in the big picture. A new rowing PR was nice.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008 by Rebecca

364 Electoral Votes = 364 Reps

Warm up: Mobility Exercises (ME from now on :p ), 10 rock n' roll, 400m

"Electoral Math"

For time:

In any combination, perform the number of reps of the below exercises equal to the amount of electoral votes won by President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama. Example: If Obama wins 400 votes, 200 swings, 100 pull-ups and 100 push-ups equals 400.

2 Pood/1.5 Pood Kettlebell swings

w/ Full ROM Push-ups, Jumping Pull-ups & 12kg Swings

The first 100 reps took 6:40, the next 200 took about 9:40 each, and the last 64 took 5:30.

I tried to figure out a cycle for these three exercises, but 364 is a weird number, and i couldn't settle on one i was happy with, so I decided to ditch the idea of a cycle since there wasn't a set # of reps for any exercise, and just do one exercise until I was tired, and then move on to a different one - not even in any particular order. It was kind of a hard decision for me, because I really like having split data to look at to compare results, so doing things randomly really goes against the grain, but doing 364 reps of anything just sounds ridiculous and painful. (which was also the reason I opted for the lighter KB and jumping pullups *blush*)

Given my level of soreness today, I don't think the 'easy' route was a bad choice. My jumoping pullups were a LOT more about jumping than they've ever been before - I was able to power through about 20 at a time - in a set of 10 and then 5 and 5, all the way through to the end - but they really got my heart rate going, and my legs are DEFINITELY feeling abused today. go go jumping muscles - get strong and bouncy! I probably did about half of my reps with jumping pullups and made up the other half with probably about even reps of pushups and kb swings.

My pushups were pretty good. I could pretty much always get to 6 or 7 reps at the top of a set.

My KB swings were terrible. Even with the 'light' weight. Bleah. About half way through Max told me to think about trying to throw the kb out instead of up, which i thinked helped a bit - but they were stll bad. I DID mange to get 20 unbroken as the first 20 reps of the whole WOD, but pretty much not more than 7-10 after that.

Anyway, I am extremely happy that we had occasion to do this WOD at all :) Although it did have the perverse effect of making me wish - just a little - that Obama had not won by such a large margin.

The Mandate

In celebration of Barack Obama's victory, Crossfit Eastbay performed the following exorcism of our long national nightmare:

For time:
In any combination, perform the number of reps of the below exercises equal to the amount of electoral votes won by President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama (364 - we counted North Carolina).

2 Pood/1.5 Pood Kettlebell swings

37:15 @ 1.5 pood

I elected to do this in five rounds of 10 pullups, 20 pushups, and 40 KB swings, plus a handful of pushups at then end to reach 364. Even though I went with the lighter weight kettlebell, this still kicked my ass. I was feeling surprisingly weak from the get-go (too much rest? overestimation of current ability?), and those swings just suck the life right out of you - they're particularly insidious in that they have a delayed hit - you feel bad when you put the bell down, and then after a couple breaths you feel REALLY bad.

Splits were 5:01 | 7:41 | 7:31 | 8:25 | 8:37

Were I to do it again, I would try to balance the number of pushups and swings 30/30. I have lost my kipping pullup, despite feeling like I totally had it nailed a couple weeks ago. I don't know what happened. Gonna feel this one tomorrow, I think.