Thursday, April 30, 2009 by Daniel

Strength Cycle Week 8, part 1, aborted

God, apparently, does not want me to get strong. Despite the cold I went down to the gym to get in the strength workout, which proved fairly disastrous.

Back Squats x 3: 135 - 145- 155

...And that's where I stopped. My body was sending all sorts of "this is a really bad idea" signals - from pain in the ankle at the bottom of the squat (a first), to extreme degradation of form at low weights, and finally to extreme wooziness to near-blackout. OK, fine, I can take a fucking hint.

In related news: I am feeling very annoyed and somewhat concerned that, in the handful of weeks since I started eating meat, this is now my THIRD bout of sickness. Before, I hardly ever got sick - maybe once a year. What is up with that?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 by Daniel

Quit yer bitchin'

Max has resolved to work at keeping a more positive mental attitude about his workouts. I think that's an admirable goal, and one I need to adopt myself. In general, I try to be a positive and supportive person, but I have in the past had to consciously retrain myself to be less sarcastic, and I think this is similar: negative thinking begets negative emotions and leads to urges to give up, sandbag or make excuses. As addicted as I am to this fitness thing, I have noticed a tendency on my part to whine about the workouts (usually right before I have to do them), make sarcastic quips and in general be negative. There is a place for such things, but it's dangerous to get habitual about it. So here I resolve to accept and embrace the difficulty of the challenges facing me, and to quit bitching about them.

Speaking of painful...yesterday I joined Max, Ynez and Hodges at the track above Clark Kerr for some running practice. Unfortunately a section of the track was fenced off for construction, but we were able to use half of it, so we did 4 x 400 sprints, turning around halfway through (yuck).

400m sprints, every 5 minutes:
1:23 | 1:25 | 1:28 | 1:32

Then, at Ynez's behest, we did 3 x 100m sprints up a STEEP hill (top of Dwight).
0:38 | 0:33 | 0:34

The 400m times are pretty terrible. I attribute this to feeling a little sick (think I'm getting a cold), being a little heavy, coming back from a trip where I ate pretty poorly, and having to turn around.

I don't have a baseline to compare the sprints, but they were probably a bad idea - they hurt my ankle quite a bit, and I was limping the rest of the night and had to take some ibuprofen before bed. Frustrating.

Saturday, April 25, 2009 by Daniel

Beach Burpee Bingo

Today's the big (wedding) day, but we didn't really have anywhere to be until the ceremony at three, and with everyone busy making preparations, we made ourselves scarce and went down to the beach for an impromptu WOD.

AMRAP in 20 minutes:
100 meter sprint
15 burpees

8 rounds + sprint and 10 burpees

This was a gasser. Sprinting and burpees on the beach are challenging, especially when you're barefoot and the tide is coming in. It's hard to sprint in three inches of water! And it was fun when you'd drop down in the pushup position and the water would flood in just as you were about to drop your face to the ground. I did not approach this very intelligently - I made a new burpee angel at each round, with the idea that I could then use the angels to keep track of my rounds. This neglected to take into account the fact that Rebecca was going at the same time as I was, thereby making her own angels and confusing my math, as well as the fact that the first five burpees are by far the hardest, as your feet skid in the wet sand and don't provide good traction for jumping up until you've dug yourself a little trench. So I did not do it as efficiently as I could have - still, it was good to get out and move a bit, since I've been going stir crazy here.

The weather today was finally nice enough to WANT to go outside on the beach, too, which made the whole experience much more pleasant.

Beach Burpees!

The weather got nice, and Daniel convinced me to get out of the house to get active. I was feeling super sluggish and had had a low grade headache most of the weekend, but knew I would feel better if I got moving. Daniel got on the internet and found a park about .5 mile away that looked like it probbly had some lawn as well as some actual beach,so we headed down there.

We jogged there as our warmup.

Once there we discovered the lawn was prety much taken so we opted for a beech workout:

AMRAP in 20 minutes of approx 200m sprint + 15 burpees.

I got 8 full rounds (in 20:30)


Super Fun (in that major suck fest sort of way) :) I was very impressed with myself for keeping up with Daniel so well. I kept expecting him to lap me - but I figured out by round 3 that using the same burpee angel every time was helpful while he kept trying to make new ones, and i think that probably made a big difference. Also - I am pleased that all of my splits are so consistently in the same time range.

Friday, April 24, 2009 by Daniel

Stir Crazy 4k

I don't want to whine too much, but I am having a difficult time here in Oceanside. I did go for a run this morning on the beach, and that was nice. Turns out it was only 4k (it didn't feel very long), but I was more interested in running sprints than in keeping a steady pace. I didn't have the means to run a proper Sprint-8, so I guessed...I'm sure my sprints were more like 20 seconds and my rests were all over the place, but whatever - it was hard. I like running on the beach when there's a nice stretch of flat firm-packed sand, but unfortunately most of this beach is not like that, so there was much rock-hopping and running in bulldozer treads.

I would dearly love to work out some of my frustration with some CrossFit. Turns out there is an affiliate in town, but it isn't walking distance. Maybe we can finagle a ride. Rebecca has gotten trapped in the pages of a Dan Brown novel, though, so I probably won't see much of her until she makes it out the other side.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 by Daniel

Happy Birthday to Andy

CFEB Athlete Andy, that gorgeous hunk of manflesh you see over to the right, turned 23 this week, and in honor of his birth Ynez concocted this little piece o' pain:

For Time
23 1/1.5P goblet squats
23 Superpeople
23 1/1.5P weighted Walking Lunges
23 1/1.5P weighted sit-ups


It was a fun WOD, but pretty brief for a Birthday Blazer, which I feel should be particularly painful. Three rounds would've been better, I think. I did all sets unbroken except the HSPU's, which were my FIRST time doing them in a WOD. My ROM sucks (I use one of the yoga blocks as a target), but at least I'm not piking or doing them off a box anymore. They felt good, actually - I just wish I were strong enough to knock them out full-ROM. The weighted squats, lunges and sit-ups were all fine, with a pleasantly uncomfortable burning sensation setting in about halfway through the set.

We're leaving soon for a weekend in San Diego, which should be a fun time, but will interrupt our regularly-scheduled workouts. Hopefully we'll find a gym down there with a decent free weight setup so we can continue our strength routine, and I'm thinking a beach 5K might be fun. We shall see.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 by Daniel

CrossKitchen: Spotlight on Cortisol

Crossposted at CrossFit East Bay

As a breed, I've noticed that CrossFitters have trouble with moderation. I expect it's just another manifestation of the same attraction to extremity that brought us to the sport in the first place. Regardless of the reasoning, it tends to lead all of us to the same mental trap sooner or later: the "more is better" trap.

You know how it goes. That little voice that pipes up and whispers in your ear, "hey, if one workout a day is good, then two would be even better!" Or, "if dropping 500 calories a day from my meal plan loses a pound a week, why don't I just drop 1000 calories a day so I can lose weight twice as fast?" And so on. Humorous slogans notwithstanding, we tend to have an extremely high tolerance for discomfort, allowing us to push ourselves ever further in pursuit of our goals. You think you're so smart. Well, say hello to the check to your unbalance.

Cortisol, the stress hormone.

Although Insulin gets all the bad press, cortisol is a major player in your fitness, and is well worth your attention. Like just about everything, it does great stuff in moderation, but too much will hurt you.

What does it do?

Cortisol is released by the adrenal glands, and is responsible for a number of general-housekeeping duties in the body (glucose metabolism, blood pressure, insulin release, immune system, etc), but these are not the things that make it famous. It got its reputation as "the stress hormone" due to its elevated levels during moments of high stress, when the body goes into "fight or flight" mode, causing:

  • A quick burst of energy
  • Heightened memory functions
  • A burst of increased immunity
  • Lower sensitivity to pain
All good things. You know what else acts a stimulus for cortisol release? Exercise. However, if the body doesn't go back into relaxation mode for too long, or if cortisol is released too frequently, then the body reaches a state of chronic stress. This is where things get ugly.

  • Impaired cognitive performance. It actually makes you stupid.
  • Lowered immunity and inflammatory response. Meaning you're much more likely to get sick or to have a wound/injury that takes much longer to heal than it should.
  • Decreased bone density and muscle tissue. So now you're stupid, sick AND weak.
  • Make that stupid, sick, weak and chubby. Turns out that cortisol increases abdominal fat (particularly fat around the umbilicus). Yes, it is possible for exercise to make you fat. Have you ever known any chronic cardiofanatics who somehow keep a little bit of belly despite hours and hours slogging away at the bike/treadmill/elliptical? Bingo.
Excess cortisol is your body's way of telling you to slow the **** down. Remember: "Plan your rests or nature will provide them for you."

So what can I do?

All is not lost, exercise fans. With proper care and attention, you can beat the crap out of yourself in the gym an awful lot and still keep chronic stress at bay. Here are some tips:

  • REST. Numero uno primo importante. This can take a number of forms.
    • Sleep. Eight hours is the MINIMUM. If you're knocking out two-a-days or training particularly hard, kick that up to nine and a nap. If you have trouble sleeping, try to get your room as dark as possible (blackout shades or a facemask), try a white noise machine and supplement with Zinc/Magnesium just before bed. Going to bed earlier (before 10) is better than later.
    • Plan rest periods. Half-volume weeks every now and then are a fantastic way of taking a break and letting your body perform minor repairs without totally losing your training. The most common recommendation I see is 3 weeks on, 1 week half, 3 weeks on, 1 week OFF, but you can experiment to see what works for you.
    • Meditate. This does not necessarily mean chanting mantras in a dark hall thick with incense (though that works, too). Basically, I mean just sitting and breathing and being still. My favorite technique involves some grass, a tree, a sunny day and a cool drink.
    • Light activity. Sometimes called "lifestyle exercise," this is mostly just a form of moving meditation. Borrow a dog and walk it. Ride Inspiration Point in Tilden. Grab a friend and head out to Point Reyes for the day. Play frisbee. Just play.
  • EAT. In the immortal wisdom of Gita: "There is no such thing as overtraining, just undereating." Food - QUALITY food - provides your body with the building blocks it needs to repair itself. The more you're working, the more you should be eating to support that work. Don't be shy. If you're dieting with caloric restriction, then you are necessarily walking a thin line between healthy and overtrained, and it becomes critical that your food is of the highest quality.
  • Keep your exercise BRIEF and INTENSE. The body begins serious cortisol production at about half an hour into a workout, but it doesn't really outweigh the benefits until you approach an hour. Over an hour and you're just damaging yourself. Twenty minutes is the sweet spot (this is the reason many CrossFit metcons are aimed squarely at tweny minutes in length). If you want to run or bike, that's fine, but train hard sprints or intervals. (Note: If you're specifically training for endurance, then necessarily you'll have to violate this rule. Just be careful.)
  • Avoid other sources of stress. Exercise isn't the only source of cortisol production. If you have a job, class or relationship that's stressing you out, recognize that and take what steps you can to counter the anxiety and achieve more balance.
  • Get busy. Orgasms are a great way to reduce stress.
  • Make sure you're getting your C. Vitamin C is shown to help reduce cortisol. It's probably in your daily multi, but check the label.
Basically, it all boils down to supporting your body's recovery. The harder you're working, the more diligently you need to help your body repair itself with quality rest and nutrition. Nobody is superman - if you try to CrossFit at a high volume with too little sleep and food, you will quickly find yourself on your ass. If you recognize signs of overtraining, then back off for a bit and try a different approach - eventually you'll learn your limits and the best way of pushing them without going too far.

I am not a dietician. CrossKitchen articles come from my
personal experience, observations and research, and should not be
construed as professional medical advice.

Monday, April 20, 2009 by Daniel

Get up the wall, chubs

Terrible climbing tonight at BIW:

10a(o), 10c(f), 10d(DNF), 10df++), 10c(o)

If tonight is any indicator and I really can't climb 10d's reliably anymore, then I may have undergone a growth spurt and gained another 5 pounds. I'm definitely not as lean as I was when I started this strength cycle, but since I'm not weighing myself, I'm not sure how much I've gained - I've learned that every five pounds drops a letter, though, so this would put me at somewhere between 5-10 pounds gained.

It may not be the weight, or at least not entirely. It's very warm right now, which means greasy, sweaty hands that have a much harder time staying on holds, and my shoulders are both feeling pretty well toasted right now, so those could be factors. I'll try the 10d that I failed the next time I climb with Tor, to see if fresher muscles and cooler weather make a difference.

Not much climbing - just more lifting.

12:10 - 7:30 - not QUITE enough, but close.

I had a 5pm appointment to get my Brows threaded - which I have never had done before - and it turned into this traumatic emotional experience. It made me cry uncontrollably, and it didn't occur to me until about 2 hours later that it was because I am PMS-ing. Duh. Note to self: DO NOT get painful proceedures done when hormones are raging. It will end badly. The sweet lady who was inflicting such terrible torture on me took it very well, and was incredibly good natured about the whole thing.

Anyway, by the time I got to the gym, I was not feeling much like doing much of anyhting. I had the beginnings of a terrible headache, and just felt completely emotionally wrung out. I spent a good chunk of time just gabbing with other CFEB-ers - it was so hot that none of us really felt like working very hard.

I did 1 5.9 climb that went just fine, except that I got a HORRIBLE foot cramp afterwards, and so that was pretty much it for the climbing. So I decided to work on my deadlifts some more instead.


15 x 45#
5 x 95#
5 x 95#
5 x 95#
5 x 115#
5 x 115#
5 x 125# (not quite consecutive - back to bad form on #3 & 4 - paused and reset for #5)
5 x 125# (not quite consecutive - got first 3 and then had to break after #4 and #5)

I got nice compliments on my form. My hamstrings just get tired very quickly, and refuse to fire. I am sure that working these often will be a good thing for me.

8:00 - 5 oz black coffee
12:30 - cottage cheese, etc.
4:20 - 4 oz rosted chicken with 1/4 cup sauted broccoli, 4oz milk
6:30 - 12oz milk
9:15 - large serving chicken marsala, and 1cup (or more?) steamed asparagus with garlic aioli, 30oz milk

Sunday, April 19, 2009 by Rebecca

Strength Cycle Week 7 part 2

1:10 - 9:15

Some hip openers ... not a whole lot else actually. It was already overheating from driving to the gym in a very warm car.

warmup - at least 10 X 45#, 5 x 95# - was really trying to focus on form.


21 x 80#

Shoulder Press
warmup: 10 x 20#

34-40-55(f rep 3)-52(f rep 5)

21 x 32# (1:45)

You might notice that my deadlift weights went down about 15 pounds from last week. Well, I made a fascinating discovery today - actually 2 related discoveries: I have not been using my hamstrings (lately?) when I deadlift. And, my hamstrings are wimpy weak!

It was very clear to me from watching the videos we took last week that there was a serious error in my DL form, so I endeavored to correct it this week. And, thankfully, now that I know what feeling I am looking for, this is one exercise where I can actually tell the difference from good form and bad form just by how it feels in my body. When I do it right, my hamstrings are on fire, and my lower back does not feel the pressure of the lift. When I do it wrong, my hamstrings don't know the difference from simply standing up and my back does all the work.

Unfortunately, my hamstrings are weak, and they tire very quickly - I suspect I have been compensating for them for a long time, and they just aren't used to having to pull their own weight, and I knew I was in trouble when I BARELY made it through my first work set @ 120#. And that was supposed to be my easy set. After the first (very difficult) 5 reps, I tested one rep the wrong way - i.e. the way I usually do it, using my back more - and it came up off the floor with ease. Damn! So I wasn't just having a weak day. I had to choose between pursuing that PR that I'm supposed to be shooting for every week or fixing my form. It's hard because pursuing that new goal is a tempting thing, but ultimately - there really is no choice. Pursuing good form is the only way to go. So I decided to suck up my pride and take the weight reduction, and focus on doing them right.

Daniel and I had a slight disagreement about this. He talked about how Rip says you have "train on the verges" in order to progress. And on a certain level, I agree. If your form is perfect 100% of the time, you're probably not working hard enough. But, for me, that means you might have degraded form at the end of a set or a series of sets. But if you can't get your form perfect on the first 5 reps of an easy set, you don't have any business going heavier.

I also know I finally nailed the form because Max came up to me later and said that my DL looked fantastic, and a classmate, separately, commented to Daniel that my DL form looked outstanding. (Although if they had been standing in front of me instead of off to the side they would have seen my right knee collapsing in. It's better than it was but there is still work to be done.)

I'm a *little* annoyed that doing it right is harder than doing it wrong (for now). Using good form is supposed to make it easier ... right? But I've known for a while that my hamstrings are a weak link - in all sorts of movements from squats to cleans to ... well just about everything, and now that I know how to make them work hard in the DL, I'm planning to work DL as often as possible, and whip those weak little hammies into shape. I suspect that once I do that, I will see significant improvements in many areas.

The shoulder presses were ok. I failed at 55# after rep 2 - so I decided to try 52# and i ALMOST made it. Rep # 5 got about 1/3 of the way up, but I just couldn't lock it out.
With the set of 21, I decided to stick to 32#, but I decided to time it and see if I could do it faster than last week. I did it in 1:45 this week, and watching the video from last week it looks like it took me 2:21. That's nearly a 40 second improvement, and they were definitely easier this week than last - I made it to rep 14 or 15 before having to take a break, and I only had to rack the bar on my shoulers once at about rep 17. I would say that this set really was unbroken. Next week will be 35# *sigh*.

Strength Cycle Week 7, part 2

Deadlift x 5: 225 - 255 - 285 (pr)
Deadlift x 21: 215 (unbroken)
Press x 5: 75 - 85 - 97
Press x 21: 67 (failed rep 20)
Split jerk x 3: 95-115-120-125-130

I didn't have Rebecca there to yell at me for the deadlifts, so I think I had some degradation of form on the very heavy set. I really need to remember to bring chalk with me - my grip is failing even with mixed grip, just cause it's so damn heavy. The big set was not as unbroken as it's been previously - I had to stop a couple times to regrip and take a (single) breath.

I was pleased to get 97 on the presses, until I looked at last time and saw that's the weight I did then - damn! It was only hard on the last rep, so I think 100 is doable. I really didn't think I'd make it as far as I did on the big set - failing on the 20th rep just sucks.

The split jerks went well - they're much easier for me than regular push jerks. I got 3x130, which was my previous 1RM - and it was a very UGLY 1RM. I think I could definitely get 135 now, but I don't know about 140.

Saturday, April 18, 2009 by Rebecca


I'm a little behind on posting - that seems to happen a lot over the weekend - so just the workout:

Warmup: Run 800m, 1 round CFWU, a lot of snatch form practice - really tried to work the 2nd pull mechanics - they're essentially the same as the clean, so it's very useful to try to get it down just right.


I don't actually know how many sets I did.

I started off @ 25# and worked slowly up to 35 and then back down to 30. I only got 1 set @ 35, and they were at least half-way just presses, so I went back down to 30 totry to fix the form.

I do not have the shoulder flexibility, not the bravery, or coordination to be able to successfully drop under the bar, so all of my snatches were muscle snatches.

A very full Friday, and not much on Saturday

Got in late last night (dinner with the CFEB crew at the warehome), so didn't get to blog Friday's workouts. It was a full day.

  • Sprint-8 on rower - 2,450m
  • 20 minutes POSE practice on treadmill - 6MPH/1% grade
  • Climbing: 10c(o), 10d(f), 10d(F+++), 11a(f+)
I held all my sprints below 1:32 pace on the rower, which is a first for me. I found that focusing on speeding up the return stroke as much as possible shaved a few seconds off my pace (but, of course, made it harder). The climbing was going well until I tried that 10d on the first pillar. 10d, my ass. That climb was at least an 11a. Super long, super pumpy, with nothing but tiny pinchers and a small, very awkward traverse over a roof. Hated that sonuvabitch. The 11a was slab and went pretty well until a move about 3/4 of the way up that I just could not figure out. Tor did it afterwards and I think maybe the problem was that my hips were too high (from the rope) to really make the move, so I need to try that again.


Warmup: 3.5mile run halfway around Lake Merritt and back at medium/slow pace
Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
24 inch Box Jump, 30 reps
115/80 pound Push Press, 20 reps
30 Pull-ups (C2B)

2 rounds + 20 box jumps, 95# PP

There were 18 people in class, so Max divided it into 6-person heats and several of the regular members of what he calls "Team CFEB" were put in the last group. So, with 40 minutes to kill until our turn, Alex suggested a run around the lake, which five of us ended up doing. I was wearing my Pumas, which are historically not good for my ankle with running, but I resolved to keep a medium pace and really focus on my footwork to avoid heel-striking. It was moderately successful. We made it halfway around the lake and decided to come back the same way, since the other half of the lake is just kinda shitty. My calves and ankles are definitely feeling all the running today.

The workout itself was a good one. I lucked out and was able to do ring pullups for 52 of my 60 pullups, which meant MUCH happier shoulders and calluses. I touch the rings below my clavicle now, so I'm calling that chest-to-bar, but for whatever physiological reason they are much easier/more consistent for me on rings than they are on the bar.

Worried about my shoulder, I scaled the weight (again), and it was probably the right call - I was doing the push-presses in sets of 5-7, and my shoulder was definitely not happy about it. It's not as painful as it was at its height last week, but it's definitely the press motion that agitates it the most. I hope I'm able to do my presses tomorrow.

I woke up in the middle of the night last night, and by the tenth step away from the bed I had decided today would be a rest day. Really sore. This morning's class was supposed to be 3RM snatches, but I didn't do that. I just practiced form, mainly with the empty bar, trying to figure out how to receive the bar, and hung out in the sunshine on a beautiful day. Afterwards several of the harder core class members did the Ecuadorean Destroyer WOD, which simply never looked like a good idea to me. I'm not a fan of gratuitous high-volume painstorms. We watched them hack away at it for a while, then cut out for a delicious lunch at Picante with Alex & Rebecca.

Friday, April 17, 2009 by Rebecca


11:10 - 7:40 wheeee! I think i still have some catching up to do - but this was a good start on making up for the last week's defecit.

AM Commentary
I stepped on the scale at Ironworks for the first time in a week or two and - usually I do it nekkid, but this time I just took off my shoes - and it told me I am 130# - that's 5 pounds heavier than usual. Philosophically, I am ok with this - and even body comp wise - looking at myself in the mirror - I'm pretty ok with this. I am a little fluffier than I would like, but not embarassing. I'll still take my shirt off in a WOD if I want to :-p But, the real reason I bring this whole sticky issue up is that this MIGHT explain why my pull-ups have back-tracked so far. They were a tenuous thing at best, and adding a few extra pounds would explain why I'm having so much more trouble with these.

Daniel gave me some very good advice though (he's really good at that!) - just keep working them, and after the strength cycle - when I work the weight off - they'll be much much easier! That will be my mantra for not obsessing about a little weight gain. Also - I think some of the weight is just pre-period bloat which will hopefully be gone in a few days.

Warmup: walk around the block carrying "something heavy" - i chose a 14# medicine ball - ME


Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
24 inch Box Jump, 30 reps *subbed step-ups to 20" box
115/80 pound Push Press, 20 reps *45#
30 Pull-ups *jumping pullups

2 rounds + 30 pullups.

Round 1: 6:47
Round 2:
. . 2:06 - Box Step-ups
. . 2:46 - pullups
. . 3:54 - Push Press
Round 3:
. . 2:05 - Box Step-ups
. . 2:31 - Pullups

Cash Out:
2000m Row: 9:20

Ether Max had this on the board wrong, or I just did it backwards - but I think I did pullups then push presses - I am sure I did for the last round.

In rounds 2 & 3 I did all the step ups leading with my right leg.

8:40 - 6oz black coffee
1:10 - cottage cheese, slivered almonds, cinnamon, coffee with milk.
3:50 - roasted chicken, sauteed broccoli
4:40 - 1 piece homemade jerky
7:45 - 16 oz milk, 2 pieces homemade jerkey.
8:45 - double cheeseburger from Giant Burger
9:20 - 1 beer

Thursday, April 16, 2009 by Daniel

Strength Cycle, week 7 part 1

Back Squat x 5: 135 - 155 - 180(pr)
Back Squat x 21: 135(ow)
Bench Press x 5: 115 - 135 - 155(pr)
Bench Press x 21: 115

Ugh. The squats went OK, up until the big set. That hurt a lot. The bench felt really heavy, both the fives and the big set. I'm beginning to think that doing this at half weight last week may have been a bad idea - hopefully next week will feel back to normal.

Next week: 185/140, 160/120

Wow. Those numbers look big. Next week the failing might start.

Wrecked. Just a little.

11:10 - 7:10 ... i meant to get up at 6:45 so i could get to work early to leave early - but the alarm didn't penetrate the fog until 7:10. I guess my body was determined to get a full 8 hours. And I was only 15 minutes later to work than I intended.

Warm up:
500m row, ME, hip extensions, shoulder dislocates, good morning squats, various stretches for hammies, quads and adductors.

Warmup: 10 x 45#
55-65-75 - f rep 5
21 x 60# (11, 7, 3) fail

Warm up: 10 x 45#
50-60-72 (f rep 3) new 2rm PR? Definitely new 1rm :p
21 x 55# (10,6,5) fail

Wow. Today just really did not go well. I think last weeks bad diet and bad sleep must have really done a number on me. I really struggled to do even half so well as I did the last time I did this 2 weeks ago.

I don't know why I feel so beat up - i JUST had a 50% week. But I really feel in need of another one. I've been pretty sore off and on since ... I dunno maybe last wednesday - definitely since Friday. Today my Trapeziuses are SORE - dunno whether it was the jerks or the cleans - probaly both, but I actually had a woman come up to me in the locker room today and ask me if I had an injury to my left shoulder because it wasn't moving when I walked.

And then there was today's performance - or lack thereof. I tried really hard to get thoroughly warmed up, by shoulders just wouldn't lossen up, and my hamstrings are just perpetually tight.

Daniel got video of my back squats - I might get around to posting it later - but essentially, I have the same damn problem with them that I have with my deadlifts - my hips rise faster than my torso putting me at a mechanical disadvantage. I'm not sure whether the weak link is my hamstrings or my core - probably a combination - but the first squats in a set are generally ok, and as I get more and more tired, I have a harder and harder time keeping my torso up when I try to get out of the hole.

I got 8 hours of sleep last night, and ate all the food I was supposed to today and yesterday ... but I guess the cumulative effect of several sleepless nights and early mornings was more than a day and a half of sleeping and eating could make up for. Well - i had a HUGE amount of food today, and I am heading to bed now to get as much sleep as I can. Rest little body! Get strong!

7:40 - 3 egg cheesy scramble, 2 slices turkey bacon. coffee w/ milk.
11:30 - 1.5 oz spicy cashews, 1 piece homemade turkey jerky - NOM.
12:45 - cottage cheese, etc.
1:30 - 1oz spicy cashews
3:30 - 1 serving green curry - tofu, asparagus, peas, spinach, cashews, etc.
6:45 - 1/2 piece homemade jerkey
7:30 - HUGE plate of roasted chicken w/ gravy, sauteed broccoli with slivered almonds, and spinach salad with walnuts, cranberries and feta. It was so huge that Daniel - who can hoover away a LOT - turned to me when he was about half way through and said" This is a lot of food" - in that dismayed "how am I going to eat all of this" sort of way (our plates each had about the same amount of food on them.). I can't believe I managed to eat the whole damn thing but by the end of Dollhouse, it had dissapeared.
9:15 - multiv, 2 glucosamine, 4 omega-3 (finally remembered!)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 by Rebecca

Cleans are my nemesis

12:15 - 7:30 - slept very soundly - only got up once.

ME, 1 round CF warmup

155/105* pound Deadlift, 12 reps
155/105* pound Hang power clean, 9 reps
155/105* pound Push jerk, 6 reps
* subbed 55#


I was sharing a bar, and we pretty much just switched off on rounds - which is why the rests are so hugely long. The first set is further skewed because I was having trouble with the cleans, so I let Ana jump in. In hindsight, it would have been interesting to wait until Ana was completely done to see how long it would have taken to go straight through. If I add up my work sets it comes out to 19:48. Obviously it would have come out something longer than that without the large rest breaks.

The hardest part of this workout for me (and it sounded like most people agreed with me) was the cleans. My best round was actually round 4, when i managed to get 7 before having to put the bar down. My form is truly funky with these, and there is just something in the mechanics that escapes me. Occasionally I get it right, and it just pops up - but most of the time, it's a real struggle. I think some serious work at either barbell SDHP or just practicing pull#2 of the clean - w/o worrying about getting my elbows around - might be helpful at drilling the order of operations into my body. My muscle memory is slow to pick things up, and needs lots of reinforement.

I was surprised that the push jerks were as hard as they were given that this is the weight I have been working my shoulder presses with - though since I haven't successfully gotten 5 in a row with them yet, i guess it shouldn't have been THAT shocking. Although I think I did fairly well with this weight in the FGB that we did not too long ago.

8:30 - 6oz black coffee
11:30 - cottage cheese, etc. Coffee with milk
1:30 - 2oz spicy cashews
3:30 - green curry
7:00 - 16oz milk
7:45 - Gordo's super carnitas burrito, 16oz milk
10:45 - 2 zma

DT, and hello Split Jerks

Max is convinced that the spooky amount of 155# overhead workouts lately is an indicator that they're going to feature in this year's games...but I don't know. I think we just find patterns in random groupings.

Five rounds for time of:
155/105 pound Deadlift, 12 reps
155/105 pound Hang power clean, 9 reps
155/105 pound Push jerk, 6 reps

20:44 at 105#

This one was a first for me, and I nearly took the AMRAP way out. My shoulder is feeling much better, but is still not at 100%, and I was worried about the push-jerks - so I was tempted to go with kettlebells and not do the jerks on the right side. But that's unbalanced, and I hate unbalanced workouts. So I went with the barbell and scaled it a bit low and took my time with it, which I think was the right call - at least my shoulder isn't angry with me now.

I started sharing the bar with James, which gave me ample rest while he did his rounds. But his back started tweaking in dangerous ways, so he pulled out after two rounds, leaving me with no excuse to not be working.

I experimented with split jerks today, which I've never really played with. I really like them. They feel far more stable, and shoulder flexibility on the drop doesn't really come into play. Alex told me I wasn't dropping very far after the first round, so I tried getting under the bar a bit more on subsequent rounds, with good results. They're a bit slower than regular jerks (you can't really chain them together so much), but I think I'm gonna stick with them for a little while to explore the possibilities.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 by Daniel

Rockin' Recipe: Homemade Jerky

Crossposted at CrossFit East Bay.

I'm a big fan of jerky. Delicious, highly portable, packed with protein and naturally low-carb, what's not to love? Well, two things:
  • It's expensive.
  • Most commercial stuff uses low-quality meat and is packed with sugar and other crap.
With just a little effort, though, both these downsides are easily surmounted by the magic of JDIYDS (Just Do It Your Damn Self).

  • 1 Tbs liquid smoke
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • Favorite hot sauce (1/4 tsp - 1 Tbs, to taste)
  • 1/3c Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 pound (sliced thin), or 1.5 pounds (ground) meat (beef, turkey, whatever)
There are many different recipes out there, this is just one that I've tried and liked. Don't be afraid to google around for something that appeals to you.

Whisk together all the spices and liquids in a separate bowl, then mix with the meat (I use a food processor with the dull blade for this). If you are using sliced meat, put the meat and the marinade together in a ziploc bag and leave in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours.

Spoon the meat mixture out onto a long sheet of wax paper.

Place another sheet of wax paper on top, and roll out evenly with the rolling pin. The thickness is up to you, but I wouldn't go thicker than 1/4" - the thicker you make it, the longer it will take to dry and the more you'll have to gnaw at it when it's done.

I use scissors to cut the paper into smaller squares, then flip the paper over the dehydrator racks and peel it away. I also score the meat mixture so it's easy to tear into strips when it's done. If you used the marinated/sliced meat method, just remove the slices from the marinade, shake off excess liquid, and place on the racks. If you're using an oven, you'll want to get some of those large jellyroll pans with wire-mesh cooling rack inserts from the local restaurant supply store. Arrange the jerky in a single layer on the rack, and be sure to have space between strips for better air circulation. If you get into doing this regularly, it would probably pay to get one of these fancypants jerky guns so you can skip the previous three steps.

Place in the dehydrator, put it on "meat" and then go do something else for four hours. If you're using an oven, bake it for four hours at 250 - if you have a convection oven, make sure the fans are on. If not, just leave the door open a crack while you're baking it.

1.5 pounds of meat will yield about 12 oz of jerky. That would cost $15 at Trader Joe's, but (depending on what you used) you could make this for well under $5.

A Note to Vegetarians:
When I was a veggie, I tried to make vegetarian jerky, and every attempt was a dismal failure, so I'm sorry I don't have a recipe for you here. Stay tuned for an article on making your own spiced nuts, and if you want to purchase veggie jerky, my favorite brand by far is Stonewall's Jerquee, available at Whole Foods or in bulk online.

Rest Day! Tax day. ugh.

11:25 - 7:30 - Hooray! had to get up a LOT to go to the bathroom, but it was still 8 hours of time in bed. And we were able to FINALLY take the cone off the kitty on Saturday night, so the cat door is once again open, and all is well in the world of the kitties. I do not anticipate any further night-time disturbances from them.

8:15 Cheesy scramble with veggie sausage, coffee with milk
8:30 vitamins
11:30 1oz spicy cashews - need to remember to bring some Jerkey!
1:15 cottage cheese, etc.
4:15 bbq chicken & a yam
8:00 chicken quesadilla with cheese and salsa and guacamole, spinach salad , 16oz milk

Monday, April 13, 2009 by Daniel

Oh, right.

Forgot about Social Climbing on Monday:

10b(o), 10d(f+), 11a(f+), 10c(f), 10c(f)

So, not a great night for staying on the wall, but I'm happy with it regardless. The 10d was a really fun technical climb with a lot of exposed stemming and big, open-hand holds. The crux (for me) came in a dihedral that required a drop-knee to a hold right behind your ass, and I had trouble folding up that small - took a few attempts to get my foot up on top of the hold. I'm pleased I managed the 11a with only two falls - it was just vertical, so no crazy overhangs, but there were a lot of "you gotta be kidding me" sloping tiny holds that required some decent pinch strength to pull up on. It required a great deal of concentration, and the gym was crowded, so it's not too surprising that my falls came from neighboring climbers getting a little too close for comfort. The two 10c's were pretty straight-forward, I was just really tired and making stupid mistakes that led to one take each.

Social Climbing

3:30 - 9 again. Even BIGGER OW. To top it off, the email(s) I sent with the report I had been working so hard to get done before Monday AM didn't even go out properly, so when I got up @ 9, I had to scramble around and try to get it out asap. So glad I made the effort and lost so much sleep :-|

Came in to work around noon and left @ 5.

Got some climbing - but nothing terribly ambitious; I was tired.

5.9 (blue(?) tape - far south wall) (c)
5.8 (white tape up the dihedral) (c)
10a (light green tape southern end of the east wall)(f)

To sum up the rest week - I fail at rest weeks. I think it probably would have been great if I had managed to keep to a good sleep schedule and good eating, but apparently I fall off both those wagons when i think I'm "resting" and that keeps me from recovering as much as I might otherwise. As it was, Ifelt pretty darn beat-up at the end of the week.

Sunday, April 12, 2009 by Daniel

In which I discover Windows Movie Maker

Technically, today should be half-volume too. However, I have determined that half-volume strength workouts are just ridiculous, so I cut it short a day early.

Deadlift x 5: 225 - 250 - 280 (pr)
Deadlift x 21: 210 (unbroken)

Sadly, my shoulder is still too messed up to do presses - I made it to rep 7 of the 10-rep warmup and my shoulder was screaming at me. But enough typing! Today we took video:

I've never actually taken video of my deadlifts before. Three things stand out to me here:
  1. My back is actually much straighter than I feared it was, even at heavy weight.
  2. I tend to shoot my hips up too early before the weight leaves the ground, particularly on the first rep of every set.
  3. When the weight gets heavy and I get tired, my shoulders round a bit more than I'd like. I'm not sure how much of this is solvable at high weights, but it doesn't look great.
Then it was on to 3RM cleans outside:

(props to Byers for the soundtrack idea)

Observations: Pretty spry on the 75 and 95, but as the weight goes up over 100 my receiving goes way downhill. It's clear from the bottom of the 75s that I'm tipping WAY forward at the bottom of the squat, and would never be able to hang on to that at heavy weight. More front squats are necessary, but then...I knew that. Also, fast elbows really help. One alarming thing is how hunched my upper back is on the first pull off the ground - that ain't good.

Strength stuff - it's definitely starting to get hard.

3:30am - 9:45 am great. big. ouch. stupid work project.

Warmup: easy 500m rowing, hip openers, pushups, situps, squats.

Warmup 10x45#, 5 x95#

115-130-140(f rep 5)

21 x 100# (f rep 18) - 1 LESS rep than last week.

warmup: 10 x 20

35-45-55 (f rep 4)
1 less rep than last week. since i have failed at this weight for several weeks, next week i should either switch to 3 x 5 or, change my target to 52#.

21 x 32#
Never had to put the bar down, but i did have to rack in on my shoulders a couple times. MUCH better than last week. Not sure whether to do this weight again next week until it's more like actually consecutive, or to up the weight since i "Technically" made it through. I'm sort of leaning towards option A, though Daniel suggested option B. I have to ruminate.

I find the videos tremendously helpful. I can very clearly see why I ran out of deadlifts. I was lifting with my back, not my legs, and my back just decided it had had enough abuse. It's tricky, because i manage to lift with my back while keeping it fairly straight, so Daniel did not catch the form error, but looking at the video, it is very clear where the "power" is coming from, and it ain't my legs. I need to focus on keeping my torso more upright, and really solidifying that lower back arch. I am pretty sure that the culprits are my tight, weak hamstrings. I need to do a better job of stretching them out prior to these lifts. Open hips won't help much if my hamstrings are too tight to utilize the ROM.

My presses definitely got better after I got to watch the video of the first set to see what I was doing wrong.

We attended this week's FireBreathers class - where daniel did some good work on his cleans - i stalled out at 60# and realized that I have a huge amount of form work to do before I have a prayer of these getting any heavier. The ones that I got at 60# were just all wrong, form wise. I was also really tired, so I just sat and watched and videoed other people for most of the class.

Breakfast - cheesy scramble, turkey bacon, and coffee with milk
PWO - a little homemade jerkey, and 16 oz milk - minus about 2 ounces I spilled on myself :-p graceful.
Lunch - andronicos salami and cheddar sandwich on a wheat roll w/ homemade ice tea
Snack - about half of a ginormous (delicious!) grapefruit, and some home-made Jerkey
Dinner: 2 bbq chicken legs and a yam and salad with milk

Saturday, April 11, 2009 by Daniel

Farewell to Half-volume

Today was the last day of my "recovery" week. Ironically, I feel more thrashed than I have at, I think, any time in the last five weeks. Not completely sure why. The climbing played a part, certainly, as did the very difficult OHS workout on Friday. At any rate, I felt fine this morning with this little guy:

Three rounds for time of:
30 Kettlebell SDHP 2P/1.5P
21 Burpees
Run 400 meters

7:17, half-volume (3 x 15/11/200)

The volume was low enough that I never needed to stop moving, which was nice. I like kettlebell SDHP, but that's probably because I do them wrong - by starting with the kettlebell back between my heels, I get a little bit of an arc when pulling them up, and I find this much easier than doing it with the barbell.

I can't imagine that it isn't because of yesterday's OHS, but my right shoulder is fucked. It feels like it did back in the burpee challenge. The weird thing is that it felt just fine until AFTER today's workout. I'd be shocked to get injured from 33 burpees, but something bad happened. Thankfully we're heading into rest days, and hopefully it'll clear itself up.

Friday, April 10, 2009 by Rebecca

50% Blog week, too.

It has been a crazy hectic week with bad food and bad sleep big work deadlines and 50% workouts or no workouts and I just haven't had time or energy to devote to blogging.

Despite the 50% nature of the workouts, I feel pretty beat up. Probably mostly due to getting 2-3 hours less sleep per night than usual, and not eating particularly well.

Thursday, I did not make it to the gym @ all.

Friday's workout of OHS and pullups went OK - I managed to use 25# for the OHS - I thought I was going to sup pushups for pullups but my wrists hurt too much after the OHS. The first round, I tried paralette Pushups for a more neutral wrist position, but i got 5 before collapsing. Round 2 I did jumping pullups instead - and only got 11. My pullups have been weak/missing all week - i think from trying to get them legit on Wednesday, and the OHS on Friday. So - basically I got two sets of OHS done with some useless attepts at exercise in between.

For the first set of OHS I managed to get the firt 8 unbroken, and then in 2's and 3's after that. The 2nd rund i only made it to 6. OHS are hard.

Saturday's workout was a good one. Though i was glad to only be doing half volume.
My total time was 13:40

Run 200m

The running went well :-) The first roud of SDHP actually went quite well, too. Burpees just always suck.

Ok - I've just got to save this and move on - more to come: sunday's lifiting, and monday's climbing.

Juggling Sea Urchins (or, I suck at recovery week)

I should really post about yesterday's workout, though it's kind of embarrassing. I found I had a couple hours to spare before having to go back to the theatre for opening night, so I took BART over to GWPC and rented some shoes for some (cue dangerous music)...bouldering.

You see, I don't boulder much. Like, at all. It makes me very, very nervous. Not the climbing, really - I do that all the time. It's the falling onto the GROUND that I dislike. You see, when you fall on toprope or on lead, you don't hit the ground (at least you shouldn't, if you're doing it right). The rope catches you. So, if you have chronic patellar dislocation issues, you don't need to worry so much about your knees blowing out if you should happen to land at a bad angle. Even though bouldering doesn't go very high and the ground is very padded, it still freaks the shit out of me. The upshot of this is that I suck at it. Max, who showed up early for his own workout and so had a little time of his own, joined me and basically held my (figurative) hand up some V1's and even a V1+. I discovered that I really like working the hard cave problems because they're low to the ground, so there's nowhere to fall. This is great, except these kind of problems are very strength-intensive and hard on the hands, so I was pretty pumped and handsore after a couple hours of it. But at the end of the day I'd done 3-4 V0's (basically all of them), and had either tried or completed or pieced together all the V1's. If fear were not an issue, I might be a V2 or V3 climber, but it is, so here's yet another thing I need to do more to get over my mental blocks about it.

Then I did my "strength" workout, which was just silly, and it felt even MORE silly because GWPC only has one cage, and it's in the CrossFit area, and class was going on. So there I was, with the whole gang busting their butts on some clean-and-press variations, but I WASN'T doing that. I was diligently putting up a 95 pound squat. Rawr!

Back Squat x 5: 65-85-95
Back Squat x 21: 65
Bench Press x 5: 65-75-80
Bench Press x 21: 65

This morning I met Tor at Ironworks for some climbing, and my hands were already feeling quite beat up. So I thought I'd try and take it easy. Yeah...that rarely works out, for some reason.

10a(o), L10a/b(o), L10b(DNF), 11a/b(F+), 10b(F)

First 10a felt kind of burly. I switched to leading, which may not have been a good idea. I had a bad case of the freakouts on the bottom of the first climb - about 10' off the ground, just before the first clip, the move called for a traverse on an undercling leading to a fairly small throw up over an overhang. I'd done the climb before, on toprope, without any trouble. But for some reason (probably the bouldering), I lost it a little. My grip felt sketchy, and I started thinking about what would happen if I fell (basically, I'd just fall on Tor, spotting me below). This led to jitters, which led to me downclimbing and coming off the wall to gather my shit. After calming my nerves, I did it again without any trouble (I just skipped the fucking undercling). Then came the horrible 10b. Easy up to the first clip, the next section was so negative as to basically be a long roof. The move was a big jug on the right hand, a two-finger undercling on the left, and a HUGE throw with the right up to a solid jug over the roof, during which time you're keeping yourself on the wall with that two-finger undercling. It's a bitch of a move. On toprope, I'd just go for it and either fall or not, but on lead I felt the need to be more conservative, which basically just wound up burning gas as I tried and backed off twice. I finally just went for it on the third try, and did manage to catch the hold...and then failed to CLIP THE FUCKING ROPE because my left hand was trembling and completely messed up from the strain of the undercling. I swear, I hung there and tried to clip that thing five, six, seven times, all the while my right hand is slowly slipping and I'm 3' above and 2' behind the last draw (ie, falling will pendulum me right into the wall). I didn't make it. Tor took up as much slack as he could and I got my hips as low as possible before letting go, and it was awkward and I did slam into the wall a little and got a little nasty rope burn on the back of my calf somehow. Ugly, but not disastrous.

After that I moved to back wall where I toproped an 11a/b slab, one move at a time with a healthy number of falls on practically every move, but at least it wasn't overhang. The last 10b WAS overhung, though, and I was out of gas. I had to take a rest shortly before the end.

Afterwards, my hands felt tingly and painful - opening car doors was wince-inducing. I definitely need to build up some more endurance on my climbing volume.

Tonight's WOD at CrossFit was a good one. New bumpers and bars at GWPC means we can finally do overhead work, so Max whipped this one up:

AMRAP* in 20 minutes:

15 Overhead Squats 95#/65#
Max Rep Pull-Ups

2 rounds, 29 pullups, OHS at 65#

Not much to say about this one. Feeling beat up from all the climbing and, I guess, the ardurous recovery week I'm going through, I approached this with something less than fire in the belly. I did manage 15 consecutive OHS in the second round, though, which I'm proud of. It hurts my wrists like nobody's business - I take a very wide grip due to shoulder flexibility issues. If I can squat with my torso more upright, I wouldn't need such a wide grip, which would be nice. Something (yet another thing) to work towards.

Thursday, April 9, 2009 by Daniel

Messing about with half volume

I am intentionally trying to keep my firebreather aspirations in check this week and approach gymtime with a more casual attitude. Half-volume weeks are tricky. The workouts are much shorter and less satisfying, and you feel like a putz watching everyone else bust their ass while you traipse around doing the CrossFit equivalent of tricep kickbacks (at least I'm not ACTUALLY doing tricep kickbacks). But it's all in the head. I CAN slack off for a week. I can do this.

Walking lunge 100 ft.
21 Pull-ups (men C2B)
21 Sit-ups
Walking lunge 100 ft.
18 Pull-ups
18 Sit-ups
Walking lunge 100 ft.
15 Pull-ups
15 Sit-ups
Walking lunge 100 ft.
12 Pull-ups
12 Sit-ups
Walking lunge 100 ft.
9 Pull-ups
9 Sit-ups
Walking Lunge 100 ft.
6 Pull-ups
6 Sit-ups

~7:30, half-volume, did clap pushups instead of pullups

Class was really crowded last night, and it was nice outside. Rather than compete for space on all these movements, I went outside with Jim and Aaron to do a pushup version of the WOD. Since I was only doing half volume and pushups are so much easier than pullups, I decided it was a good opportunity to practice my clapping pushups. It felt like a hard warmup, which is about what it should feel like.

I made some attempts at flipping the big tire afterwards. I could get it halfway up, and then (for some reason) my right calf cramped up badly every time. So I'm doing something a bit wrong with the technique, but I'm pretty close. Have some nice cherries on my knees and shoulders from the attempts, though. Then I did some skin-the-cats with Jim and James afterwards, and managed to struggle my way back over from full extension, which was a first. That was fun.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 by Rebecca


12:15 - 6:50 - restless. Too much going on in my head.

7:15 - 5 oz black coffee w/sprinkle of cinnamon
1:15 - cottage cheese, etc.
Ate more stuff - studied a lot.

1am - 6:25 OW OW OW yuck! Slept ok while i was asleep - 5.5 hours DEFINTELY not enough - i can't believe i used to do this ona regular basis. I went to bed when I was falling asleep over my book, figuring I could get up early and try to finish what i could with the aid of some coffee.

Took my test, and for good or ill I am done with that class (Intermediate Accounting II). For the record - I am never taking another online course again if I can avoid it. I actually get quite a lot of being in the classroom, and I really missed it.

It's good to have my life back - we watched 2 hours of TV tonight with out pizza, and then spent the rest of the evening watching movie trailers - it was heavenly.

Warmup: almost non existent - a little jump rope - about 250 m rowing.

50% volume of
21 Pull-ups (men C2B)
21 Sit-ups
Walking lunge 100 ft.
18 Pull-ups
18 Sit-ups
Walking lunge 100 ft.
15 Pull-ups
15 Sit-ups
Walking lunge 100 ft.
12 Pull-ups
12 Sit-ups
Walking lunge 100 ft.
9 Pull-ups
9 Sit-ups
Walking Lunge 100 ft.
6 Pull-ups
6 Sit-ups

19:10. For 50%.

Ridiculous and embarrassing. The walking lunges are hard for me - and by the end my legs had basically decided to stop cooperating altogether. But the real time killer was the pullups. Since I was only doing 50% I decided to make every pullup as legitimate as I could manage - which meant lengthy rests between attempts.

12:30 - cottage cheese,etc.
1:10 - 2 oz spiced cashews
3:30 - 4oz chicken 1/2 a little yam, some roasted cauliflower and protein powder gravy.
7:00 - 16 oz milk
8:15 - 2 slices Zachary's pizza (end of class, I worked my butt off, yay I'm free, indulgence), 1 cup spinach salad w/ walnuts, cranberries, and feta, 16 oz milk
11:30 - 2 zma

Monday, April 6, 2009 by Daniel

Climb easy

Still feeling somewhat beat up today, particularly in the quads (damn thrusters and squats). So I took it easy at social climbing tonight, toproping with Ynez and shooting shit with Gita and Evelyn.

10a(o), 10c(o), 10c(o), 10b(o)

The first 10a was a reachy arete climb, little pumpy for a 10a. The first 10c had huge holds, but was a long negative punctuated by two big overhangs that went WAY off plumb, which always makes me nervous. Though not as nervous as the...uh...uncomfortable velocity with which Ynez dropped lowered me. Apparently I weigh a lot. The next 10c got increasingly negative up the wall and used a lot off oddball, uncomfortable holds that really worked my grip. The last 10b was easy.

Study Study Study - looking forward to having my life back.

I am behind. I am madly studying for a test I have to take Wednesday morning, and I do not have time or energy to go back and make up blog posts.

The CFSC Throwdown on Saturday was fun - though it retrospect I really should have stayed home to study. Suffice it to say I slept, I worked my butt off (though not nearly as much as most, I am still more sore than I have been in months - the DOMS I was complaining about last week was a walk in the park in comparison. I am looking forward to the 50% week we have in store.

The rest: I slept a fair amount, I ate stuff. Sunday I barely left the house.

11:50 - 7:40. Cats were SUPER restless this morning - sleep was more of a concept than a fact after about 6am.

No climbing tonight -Just studying.

8:40 - 5 oz black coffee w/ a sprinkle of cinnamon
12:40 - cottage cheese with WAAAY too much cinnamon. made it chalky but i ate it anyway :-p, coffee w/milk
4:40 - a little chicken parm - just not very hungry
4:50 - vitamins
7:30 - 2 oz spiced cashews
8:30 ground turkey with broccoli concoction - quite tasty. 16 oz milk
11:40 - 2 zma

Sunday, April 5, 2009 by Daniel

Ready for a rest

Well, I made it to Sunday in one piece...mostly. My legs are pretty rocked from yesterday, and it's definitely a hobble-and-groan day, but I had to head down to IW for the last workday of the week:

Deadlift x 5: 225 - 245 - 275 (pr)
Deadlift x 21: 205 (unbroken)
Press x 5: 75 - 85 - 97 (pr)
Press x 21: 65 (unbroken!)

It turned out to be a good day. The deadlifts felt unscary, and the superset was done with NO extra breaths or pauses...and some seriously burning buttocks. I was really worried about the presses, especially with yesterday's overhead work, but they both went really well - I even finally got the 21 unbroken at 65, after all these weeks of trying. That was satisfying.

Next time: 280/210, 100/70 (gulp!)

It was my intention to skip firebreathers since I'm feeling so thrashed, but it was such a lowkey workout (3rm snatch) and such a beautiful day, I stuck around to hang out in the sunshine and try to throw some weights over my head.

Snatch x 3: 75 - 85 - 90 - 95
Snatch x 1: 100 (pr)

I still can't dip to receive the snatch once the weight gets even a little heavy, so these were almost all muscle snatches - but they were fairly clean ones. Only the 100, which came after a handful of failures, was really ugly. Still, it's a 13# PR from my 1RM of a couple months ago, so I'll take it.

Saturday, April 4, 2009 by Daniel

CrossFit Santa Clara Throwdown

In the runup to the CrossFit Games this summer, several of the Bay Area affiliates are hosting throwdowns each month. CFEB is a little late to the party, but we sent three teams to last month's party at CrossFit Diablo. I was covering classes that day so didn't go, but thankfully Shira took classes today, so I could go to the meetup down in Santa Clara.

We showed up pretty early to scope out the situation, which took all of 15 minutes, then we spent the next hour hanging out, playing with the toys and watching a beautiful day unfold as we waited for the details of the WOD to emerge. It wound up being a little complicated. It was a team workout, which meant four people, at least one of whom had to be a different gender from the others.

  1. 100 Clean/Jerk 155/95 (2 people working) - scaled to 95/65
  2. 150 KB Swings 2/1.5P (2 people working) - scaled to 1.5/1P
  3. 200 45# Thrusters (3 people working)
  4. 400 Squats (4 people working)
Stations are 200m apart (ie, you have to run around the building after each movement). You must complete all reps at one station before moving on. Your team must all move together and only 3 people may touch the ground at any given moment during station transfer. 7 burpee penalty for the entire team if 4 people touch.

Team Bleach - 20:47 scaled

11 people from CFEB came, which made team formation somewhat awkward. Only one team would be able to attempt the workout RX'd, Team Comfort (Max, Gita, Polly and James C). Team Milk and Cookies, the only team fully intact from last month (Alex, Rebecca H, Raphael and Elaine) went in the second heat, followed by Comfort. I don't remember what Comfort got - 24 something, I think, but Milk and Cookies got 20:48. The three of us that were left comprised Team Bleach (Rebecca R, Ynez and I). We didn't really know what to do about the fourth member until it was almost time to go, at which point the organizer conceded that we could have a five-person team, since we were scaling anyway, and take two competitors from our other teams. So Rebecca Hodges and Gita, showing incredible fortitude, stepped up to do the workout AGAIN. For which we are immensely grateful.

I should really be working, and not goofing off in Photoshop making montages like this.

The clean & jerks were heavier than I thought they'd be, which bums me out - getting weight over my head continues to plague me. The KB swings went by very quickly, and we entered the thrusters strong. That's when things headed south. Between 200 thrusters and 400 squats, even spread out among five people, our legs were jelly, and the partner carries were pretty damn difficult - by the last round, we were doing them in 50m shifts, with Polly running alongside yelling encouragement.

We came in 1 second faster than Team Milk & Cookies, but they A) only had four teammates, and B) did 2 pood KB swings for the guys, just because they could. Gita and Rebecca H did an amazing job, considering how tired they were from the last go-round (poor Gita met Pukie afterwards). On the whole the event was a LOT of fun, and it was enjoyable watching the other teams compete as well - though I could wish for more cross-pollination. The affiliates didn't seem to mingle much. I'm not positive, but I think Santa Clara barely edged out Oakland for the #1 spot, and I don't know who came in third. The top RX times were all 20 and something.

Next month is San Francisco, where I've long wanted to try doing a workout. I hope to be able to go!

Friday, April 3, 2009 by Daniel


I've got to make this quick as I've got to go to bed, so real fast:

Morning Workout:
Sprint-8 on rower: 3,440m
10 minutes POSE practice on treadmill, 6MPH, 1% incline
Climbing: 10a(o), 10d(f), L10b(o), 10d(f)

Evening Workout:

Run 800m every 9 minutes, four times

2:56 | 2:51 | 2:54 | 3:02

Four seconds off my PR, which isn't bad considering how little running I've done lately, plus the urban guerrilla running you have to do to get around the block in Oakland. Someday it'd be nice to try this on an actual track.

Run like the wind ....

11:50 - 8:00 - a bit restless, but mostly sound.

Four rounds, each for time of:

800 meter run every nine minutes on the ninth minute for 27 minutes.

5:11 | 4:59 | 4:58 | 4:42

My PR on the 800 is 4:40, but it was on a track, and I don't know whether the track was short, our 'urban' 800's are long or what, but I haven't ever gotten anything even sort of close to it again. Until today :-D I am pretty sure this is the best 800 I have run - and it's particularly satisfying because my best one was my last one, AND i haven't been doing much running lately, so I am sure I could do better if I worked on it more. I didn't really get a chance to warm up before class started, so my first run was really more of a warmup, and I did what stretching I could in between heats - i think it helped. I was still the slowest person in class for every heat but it was a good day none the less.

I worked on some ring stabilization stuff and double unders after - but not very hard becase i was TIRED.

8:30 - 4oz black coffee
1:50 - cottae cheese, etc.
2:15 - coffee w/milk, 1 tiny bite of soggy oreo (Bleah!) 1 small bike of less than fabulous chocolate cake (bleah :-p) 1 oz spiced cashews to get icky sugar taste out. Yummy :-)
7:00 - 16 oz milk
8:30 - bread and cheese, tomato mozzerella salad, a beer, chicken soup, salad with oranges & goat cheese, 5oz? chicken ... some dark chocolate & ice cream and some ... .5 oz liquer ... not sure what it was called - grippa, grappa? something like that

Thursday, April 2, 2009 by Daniel

Strength Cycle, week 5 part 1

Back Squat x 5: 135 - 155 - 175(pr)
Back Squat x 21: 130
Weighted incline situps x 10: 25 -25 -25
Bench Press x 5: 115 - 135 - 150(pr)
Bench Press x 21: 110
Handstand/Forward roll practice

Squats went much better this week - not having done Karen the night before is very helpful. Even at 175 there was only one rep where I rolled too far forward due to hips coming up too fast. The situps were just an attempt to stay warm while I was waiting for Rebecca. Bench went OK, but the last rep was a struggle. Hopefully I'll be able to keep going up for a little while longer before stalling out.

Next week is supposed to be a half-volume week, so: Squat 95/65, Bench 75/60

Stronger and stronger - strength week 5 pt. 1

12 - 8, lots of dreams I think, but otherwise, sound - didn't even hear the alarm go off.

Hip Openers, air squats, good morning squats - 15# then 45#

Back squats
45# x 10


57# x 21 - 60# next week

Bench Press
45# x 10

55-60-70(PR! - finally!)

55# x 21 (F @ rep 20! >:-( ) - same weight next week. I'll get it.

Cash out:
Forward roll and hand stand practice.

Tonight, overall, was quite a good night. I got PR's in both my 3x5's with MUCH better form than last week on the back squat. Daniel watched every rep, and said they were much improved. I made sure to do a little skill work with the light bar before going for my work sets. I focused on trying to keep my elbows tight and my back upright. I also need to concentrate on keeping my knees out, but i found that i could really only focus on two things at once, and those were the two i chose. As a result, I don't think my neck is going to feel as horrible and bruised as it did last week, despite the fact that I lifted a lot more weight. I think it's pretty cool that my second work set was a PR worthy set just two weeks ago.

The bench press went much better today, too. I managed to get 5x70 almost easily. And I only managed 4 last week. I tried to focus on going a little quicker so that my muscles didn't fatigue between reps, and that really seemed to work. IO tried REALLY hard to get that 21st rep on my superset, but it just was not there. My arms were complete jello. At rep 16 with 5 reps left, I thought I was going to make it, and then I just failed. I know for sure that I will get it next week.

We decided to cash out with more forward roll practice on the big cushy mat downstairs, and I nailed my first one, so I decided to work more on the whole kicking up thing. I made some good progress. One time I had Daniel catch me and was able to hold the handstand position for a good 15 seconds or so.

For some reason I kept collapsing to the left, especially when I tried to get brave and think about kicking all the way up and over - my left arm just wouldn't stay locked out - and then I realized that, when I got nervous, I shifted all my weight to my left to protect my right - so of course it was collapsing. Daniel teased me about trying to perfect my one handed handstands. :-p Riiight.

I was updating my list of benchmarks and PRs (over there in the sidebar to the left) and thinking about just how incredibly far I really have come in the last 11 months. I have goals over there that include: hit the wall ball x just once with the 10# wall ball, jump into and out of the plank position for burpees. Things most people can do the first time they come to class without thinking too much about it. Now, I'm still not great at wall ball, and I'm still pretty slow at burpees, but I can definitely hit the x, and with the 14# ball, and there's no question about whether I can jump into or out of the plank position for burpees, and yesterday, for fight gone bad, I was able to use the Rx weight for the push-presses and there were several girls there who did not. I am no longer DFL for every WOD (just most of them ;-) ) but that's OK - because I know I'm making progress, and it feels fantastic.

8:50 - 3 egg cheesy scramble with veggie sausage, coffee w/milk
12:20 - cottage cheese, etc.
1:00 - 2 oz spiced cashews
1:45 - vitamins (multi, glucosamine, Omega-3)
2:00 - coffee w/ milk
4:15 - chicken parm stuff
8:20 - gordos super carnitas burrito w/ guacamole & tapatillo, 16 oz milk
10:30 - 2 zma

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 by Daniel

Fight Gone Bad!

For all the crazy variations we do in the FGB format, we don't actually do FGB all that often...or maybe I've just missed it, as I haven't actually done a plain-vanilla FGB since FGB III back in September. It was a long time ago, and I scored 239 with an injured ankle. This time, I set my sights considerably higher: 300, the fabled domain of the "advanced" athlete. It, uh...didn't quite work out that way.

Three rounds of:
Wall-ball, 20 pound ball, 10 ft target (Reps)
Sumo deadlift high-pull, 75 pounds (Reps)
Box Jump, 20" box (Reps)
Push-press, 75 pounds (Reps)
Row (Calories)

ExerciseSet 1Set 2Set 3
SDHP 75#252520
Box Jump 20"
Push-Press 75#
Wall-Ball 20#201713

275 RX

Still a PR by 36 points, so I'm fairly happy with it. If I can do that again NEXT time, I'll be in 300 land.

My strategy was to start at a 300 pace and hold it as long as I could. Turns out that was just shy of 2 full rounds, and then I had to drop back down to a 225 pace. The 300 pace is brutal! Max was riding me for most of the last round, and I probably owe about 15-20 points to his encouragement - I was really seeing stars by the end of it.

My weakness is still clearly the push-presses - I just don't have a great deal of push strength or endurance. I'm working on it with this strength routine, but it's slow going.

More FGB

11:35 - 7:41 Slept pretty well for the most part, i think.

Like - 3 double-unders & running up and down stairs helping to set up. (not much)

Three rounds of:
Wall-ball, 20 pound ball, 10 ft target (Reps)
Sumo deadlift high-pull, 75 pounds (Reps)
Box Jump, 20" box (Reps)
Push-press, 75 pounds (Reps)
Row (Calories)

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, except on the rower where each calorie is one point.

Add your points and post them to comments.

ExerciseSet 1Set 2Set 3Total
Wall Ball
Box Jump
Push Press

I actually really like FGB.
Last time (5 rounds)
I did better on my wall ball and my push-presses, about the same on the SDHP, and a little worse on the rowing. It makes a BIG difference having someone there to help you in and out of the rower, reset it, etc. I also fell off the seat in the first round. actually pretty stoked I managed to get a full 9 calories rowed after struggling into it late and spending 10-15 seconds sitting stupidly on the bar instead of the seat. My goal was to see if i could get 40 or more per round, which I accomplished. I gotta get the box jumps so I can get a higher score.

8:30 - 5oz black coffee
12:05 - cottage cheese, etc.
2:00 - Coffee w/ milk. so tasty :-)
2:10 - chicken parm concoction - yummy yummy :-D
6:15 - 8oz milk
6:30 - 4oz milk
7:40 - AMAZING roasted chicken, killer protein powder gravy (ask Daniel), small yam, spinach salad w/walnuts, feta, dried cranberries, 16 oz milk. AWESOME.

... looks like I forgot my vitamins today - and I even remembered to bring them with me to work. *DOH* Otherwise, a really successful food day.