Front Squat and a Wicked Trio

Another PR today, this time on Front Squat (160, up 5 lbs from my previous PR), followed by a great little 3×3: 3 rounds of of max reps in 1 minute of Wall Ball Shots, Double Unders, and Sit-Ups, 1 min rest between rounds I got 210 total reps, and feel great.

New Program

Training Cycle: Week 5/6 (Work Week)
No Alcohol Month 5/5
Diet: Hyperlipid / Beyond Primal / Beyond Zone
Second workout of the Week


Agility ladder, stretching. Back, Overhead, and Front Squats, (10 x 45 lbs each). Push-Ups (20). Kipping Swings (20). GHD sit-ups (10).

Strength: Front Squat

Result: 5 x 95 / 3 x 135 / 3 x 145 / 3 x 155 / 3 x 160 (PR) / 2 x 165 fail, spectacularly, on 3

Volume: 2,590.

Analysis: previous PR set in Nov. 2009 at 155 in a session w/ 3,740 volume (in Nov. I included two additional work sets at 135, which I didn’t feel the need to include today). It was a good session, always nice to hit a PR. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that my 2 reps at 165 tied, and then pushed right past my existing 1 rep PR.

WOD: a Wicked Trio

3 Rounds of:
1 minute wall ball shots
1 minute double unders
1 minute sit-ups
1 minute rest
Score: total reps

Result: 25+12+30 / 27+10+30 / 28+15+33 = 210

I know I made a mistake in memory, or addition, either here or at the gym, since I recorded only 207 reps earlier, but now my calculator says 210.

I actually did do double-unders during the WOD. Not stringing them together of course, but spacing them out with 2 to 4 singles between each DU. It was probably my first time doing DUs in a WOD.

This was a fun workout, and after a big post-WOD meal, I felt great.

Shoulder Press and Double Jackson

I had a dispiriting workout on Wednesday morning, with a weak performance on the shoulder press and a super slow “Double Jackson,” which was more about mental than physical weakness. But before I rail too much on my “failures” I intend to look at the facts.

Training Cycle: New Program Week 4/6
No Alcohol Month 5/5
Diet: Flexible-Paleo-Zone
Second workout of the Week


Some crawling around and footwork. Stretching. Calisthenics: push-ups (5); sledgehammer swings (10 x each side) GREAT for aggression; back squats and overhead squats w/ 45 lb bar (10 x each); GHD sit-ups (10).

Strength: Shoulder Press

The evidence of the past few months shows very little progress in shoulder press. Last time I did shoulder press was during this recovery period from my Feb. surgery, April 1st, when I went light and did about 2,725 in volume. Before that I had done shoulder press right after my surgery (only a week later!) on Feb. 8th where volume was 2,665, and I tied my 5 rep PR, and almost got a new 5 rep PR with 4 x 110, fail on 5. I’ve been stuck at a shoulder press 5 rep PR of 105 since June 09 (see workout of Jan. 4th).

Wednesday didn’t provide any relief from this malaise.

Result: 3 x 95/ 3 x 105 / 3 x 110 / 1 x 115 / 3 x 2 x 115 (failing on 3rd in each set).

Volume: 1,735

This doesn’t look too bad at first for a 3 rep attempt session. Volume is lower, which is to be expected. And the weights were up there. But my paper 3 rep max, set on Dec. 15th 2009, is 120, set during a much more solid session, where all the lifting was at 100 or above; the volume was just a bit less. The only thing better about yesterday’s session was the total number of reps at 115 or above. 7 reps yesterday, only 6 in Dec. MAYBE this means I’m improving. But three of those 115 or above reps on Dec. 15th were at 120.

All things considered, one explanation suggests itself: I’m a bit de-trained, a bit softer today than I was 4 months ago, and that combined with the fact that it was 5:00 am, and I’ve been getting an average of about 4 hours of sleep a night, especially before the early workouts, I brought all I could but it wasn’t as much. This schedule is impeding the training and… dang it all… I have to do something different.

WOD: “Double Jackson”

5 rounds for time of:
20 thrusters (bar weight)
20 push-ups

Result: 18:18. Ridiculously slow. The sets of thrusters I did were flowing and fast, I just broke them up with unnecessarily long rests between sets. And those push-ups. Talk about exposing a weakness. Time for some increased volume of push-ups.

et tu Isabel

At CFA this morning: the CrossFit benchmark WOD “Isabel,” 30 snatches for time. Isabel is thus the lovelier and lither cousin of bullish Grace (30 clean and jerks). On a rotten morning, following a difficult night of a sick child, a sick dog, and my own sleeplessness, Isabel came for me. You too?

Training Cycle: New Program Week 4/6
No Alcohol Month 5/5
Diet: Flexible-Paleo-Zone
First workout of the Week

I’m nowhere near prescribed weight (135) on this one, recovery from surgery quite aside, although that probably knocked me down a few pounds. But my time was good. The effort was good. So I’m happy.


A bunch of crawling around, fun stuff. Stretching. Overhead Squats w/ 45 lb bar (10); glue-ham sit ups (10); hammer swings (10 per side). I left out push-ups and pull-ups today.

Strength/Skill: Pistol Box Jumps

I worked with Frank Castelblanco on this one; we didn’t go high but we had fun. result: 9.5″, multiple reps per leg.

This was deeply challenging for my knees on both “good” leg and bad. Strangely, my “good” leg doesn’t generally feel as good as the “bad” anymore. I just need to squat more.

WOD: Isabel

30 snatches for time. 135 rx’d

Well, I didn’t do Rx’d. I used 75 lbs. 2:19. A benchmark.

Ladder Day

CFA today: front squats, and pull-ups. The front squats were our third Dutch Lowy WOD. For me, today was light in volume and intensity, which suited me fine, since the combined effects of four days on (Fri, Sat, Sun and Mon) were such that my rest day yesterday (Tue) was insufficient time to recover.

Training Cycle: New Program Week 3/6
No Alcohol Month 4/5
Diet: Flexible-Paleo-Zone
Third workout of the Week

Strength / 3rd Lowy WOD: 7 rep Max Front Squat

I do not think my coaches would disagree with me that Dutch Lowy’s third qualifying WOD for us is a little bit hokey. Here it is as written:

After a 5 minute movement specific warm-up, you will have 7 minutes to find the heaviest wt you can front squat for 7 reps. Score is highest wt.

Most people just warmed up the front squat a few sets, and then did a single set of seven, as heavy as they could.

I did: 10 x 45 / 7 x 95 / 1 x 125 / 7 x 125.

Volume: not really worth mentioning: 2,115.

Analysis: on paper, my front squat 5 rm is 145, set on Oct, 5th 2009. I should have been able to do that today for my 7 rep max. However, I wasn’t interested in pushing myself on the squat yet. Also, if I may complain, my tendonosis on my left knee is acting up the last two days.

WOD: Pull-Up Ladder

With a continuously running clock do one pull-up the first minute, two pull-ups the second minute, three pull-ups the third minute… continuing as long as you are able.

Sets may be broken during the minute. The WOD is completed once you are unable to complete the designated number of pull-ups within the minute.

I love this WOD. And today, I performed better on it than I ever have, in terms of my capacity to do sets of unbroken reps. The first 8 minutes were unbroken sets. I split the 9th minute into three sets of 3. Then, on the 10th minute, I tore my right hand up in three spots. Ouch! I could have done more, but preserving the hand seemed smarter. Later, Corey told me that mechanically, I’m ripping my hand in part because I’m “ripping” my body up on my kip. A smoother motion throughout the kip should yield better results on my hands. I’ll work on it.

Result: 9 rounds + 4 reps (49 pull-ups).

Analysis: I know we’ve done pull-up ladders before, but I can’t find my record of it. :-( I also know I’ve never done 6, 7, 8 consecutive kipping pull-ups in a WOD before. I’m proud of myself. But not overly spent! It’ll be a good two days until the next WOD, on Friday.

Brother Power

Monday at CrossFit Asheville we did heavy single power cleans, followed by the second Dutch Lowy WOD. I tied my previous 1 rep PR on power cleans and performed respectably on my scaled version of the Lowy WOD. All in all, a fun and challenging morning.

Training Cycle: New Program Week 3/6
No Alcohol Month 4/5
Diet: Flexible-Paleo-Zone
Second workout of the Week

Strength: Power Clean

My heavy power cleans were as follows: 1 x 95 / 1 x 115 / 1 x 135 / 1 x 155 / f x 165 / 3 x 135 / 3 x 135.

Volume: 1,350.

Analysis: I tied my power clean PR from Jan 29th, 2010, which means, at least, that I haven’t lost this crucial movement. Volume was way down, but otherwise, the session was respectable.

WOD: Big Brother

The prescribed WOD was

4 rounds for time of:
21 power cleans (at 115) and
400 meter run.

I scaled for my process of recovery of course: power cleans at 75 lbs and 200 meter runs. My time: 9:55.