Lil’ Dutch Boy / What I Know

You can bless him or curse him, but celebrity CrossFit programming guru Dutch Lowy can certainly craft a powerfully painful WOD. Today at CrossFit Asheville: 10 minute AMRAP 12 burpees and 8 back squats, Rx’d at body-weight (I did about 5 lbs less than 50% of my body weight). For those of us going below Rx, and not competing for a spot on our affiliate team, this workout followed a strength session of Push-Jerks.

Recently, Our programming coach Shanna contacted Dutch and asked him to create three qualifying WODs for CrossFit Asheville to use in selecting an affiliate team for the upcoming CrossFit regional event, a step on the way towards the 2010 CrossFit games. Dutch complied, putting together a couple of great WODs we all will hope/hate to see come up again in our rotation. This was the first one. It was a doozy.

“New Program” Training Cycle: Week 2/6
No Alcohol Month 4/5
Diet: Flexible-Paleo-Zone
Second Workout of the Week


Results: 10 x 45 / 5 x 65 / 5 x 75 / 5 x 85 / 5 x 95 / 5 x 105 / 5 x 115

Volume: 3,150.

Analysis: apparently, the last time I did a heavy push-jerk was a part of a WOD on Nov. 6th, when I used 105 for three rounds of 5. My last strength session on the Push-Jerk was Oct. 28th, 2009, a pretty anemic session, where I accomplished only 3 reps at 135, and closed with a 5 x 115; I tied that latter number today, but also smashed the overall volume. I supposedly have a 5RM of 135 in the Push-Jerk (from June 6th, 2009). I did not strive for a new PR today, but I feel confident I can exceed what I have on paper during my next max effort attempt on the Push-Jerk.

The WOD: Lil’ Dutch Boy

I used: 85 lbs.

Results: 4 rounds + 1 burpee, 85 lbs.

Analysis: my result may not seem like much… and compared to the big dogs at our gym, it ain’t. But for me it was a good place to be today. After all, who can say no to 49 burpees and 32 back squats with 85 lbs in 10 minutes? It’s not like this didn’t leave me wheezing and feeling like shit!

What Do I Know?

Although I demonstrated not the slightest inclination to load up the bar and test my mettle against the fittest dudes at CFA, I have to admit I was tempted, and jealous of those who did the workout full bore. Now, I weigh about 175, and while I know I could put that much weight up, I haven’t done so in months, and I have never done it for more than 3 reps in a row. My old workout buddies Tom and Rustan both did the WOD as Rx’d and ended up with the best results in the affiliate (although, not with the highest weights).

I have to have patience with my body… still coming back from surgery (in only my second week, in fact, of unrestricted movements) and sick with some kind of respiratory virus for the past week. I am super fatigued and definitely not ready for the big time. I know that I have to have reasonable goals for myself right now.

What goals? The truth is, I’m still formulating what exactly my goals are at the moment. I’m actually working, for the first time in many months, without a definite set of rules. I do know some things, however.

I know that I am 41 years old, in comparatively great shape, and that I want to maintain that advantage without breaking down my body. I know that I continue to use a framework of a 6 week training cycle. I do want a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 CrossFit workouts per week during my “on” weeks (5 out of 6). I know that I am training for the Warrior Dash. I know that over the next year I want to move faster, lift heavier, get my muscle up, get 10 consecutive dead hang pull-ups, run a sub 22 minute 5k, etc. And after today, I now know that I want to be able to knock out 10 body weight back squats, too. I know that I am committed to a diet that combines a commitment to 90% paleo-quality foods, while paying attention to quantities and ratios of macronutrients (I eat a high-fat diet that falls somewhere between carb restriction and the Zone). I know that I want to at least maintain my present weight and body composition, or improve my body composition, or improve my body composition and increase my weight. I do not want to weigh less. I know that I am allowed at least one full blown cheat day per month. I also know that I seem to do well with a random cycle of high-calorie and low calorie days, high-carb and low carb days. I’ll keep doing that. I know that I do at least one 28 hour day of fasting per six week cycle. I know that, at present I have another month and a half without alcohol, and that when this period of abstinence is over, that I will continue to abstain on “school nights,” i.e. everyday except on Fridays and Saturdays. I know that I need more sleep than I typically get, but that I face a deadly combination of threats to proper sleep: I have years of bad sleep habits, and I have very small children, one of whom sleeps in my bedroom still.

I also have discovered something new in the past couple of months: happiness is important, mental health is important. I know that there is something important about happiness; the extent to which I am able to recover physically and maintain my energy is dependent in part on the extent to which I am able to deal with stress. My happiness in marriage, in family, in work, in play, and in training — all these elements of happiness are related together. I know, at a minimum, that my happiness depends on my successfully navigating my responsibilities in work and family life, and that over the past several years I have let things slide that should not have slid. I’m trying to steer the ship of Matt back into the deep part of the channel. It’s proving to be somewhat difficult.

The good news is that I’m thinking about it and I plan to keep working on it.

Three of my four reasons for training; the other one is holding the camera.


  1. Great post, brother…great post.

  2. Couldn’t have said it better myself (as usual), Dr. Baldwin! We work and work out to live, not the other way around…

  3. Is that a moog shirt? Super fly/nerdy!

    Awesome post.

    You obviously have no shortage of fitness goals. Something that helps me is prioritize two. I work on double unders every day and I do shoulder work almost every day.
    I count on the programming to get me more generally fit, but if I want to string double unders and shoulder press my bodyweight, that’s on me. So I chip away at em happily. I used to work on kipping pullups every day too, but I found that two specific targets is enough for now.

Let me know what you think...