Esplanade HIIT

My first workout of the summer season was sprinting and burpees on the Katz Esplanade in Portland Oregon. The location was perfect for some high intensity interval training, and I was lucky to hit a brief interval of warmth and sun.

Training Cycle: Week 4/6 (Vacation Work Week)
Diet: Calorie Cycling (4 days low, 1 day high),
Whole/Clean/Paleo Zone w/ 2x-4x fat
First workout of the Week

Monday morning I rode my dad’s bicycle down to the Eastside of the Esplanade, and chained it up under the spiral access ramp. I did some footwork, pose-running, and movement warm-ups up to the top of the ramp, some push-ups at the top (standard and hindu), and then back down to the bottom, where I began by running north (counter-clockwise) on the riverside boardwalk.

The workout itself was as follows:

5 rounds of:
1 min all out sprint
1 min walking/rest
1 min max reps burpees
1 min walking/rest


Medium-speed run back to starting point.

This was a great session. Really awesome.

Result: Total distance covered during the five rounds of sprinting and walking: about 1.25 miles; total reps of burpees: 64 (rounds: 14, 13, 12, 12, 13). Run time back: 10 min.

I based this workout on “the summit” which was posted on the CrossFit Asheville website for its Memorial Day DIY workout. The original workout called for 5 rounds of 200 meter sprint and max rep burpees in 2 minutes, with a 2 minute rest between rounds. My workout had roughly the same total period (19 minutes versus 18 minutes) and about the same total rest (9 minutes versus 8 minutes). The one minute sprint period meant I was probably sprinting closer to 225 meters on average, but this WOD was much easier to do in an environment without fixed markers of distance, and the differences between the metabolic effects of sprinting for time versus sprinting for distance are minimal. Because my sprint and burpee times were uniform, I probably did less total burpees than I would have in the canonical workout. But it was very revealing of an area I need to work on. I see myself doing some one, two and three minute burpee time trials this summer (comparatively, the only reps posted to comments was 47 burpees, from Kim).

This was a good start to my summer program, and a fine workout to complete before taking three days off for a fishing trip out on the Deschutes river, where, I was pretty sure, I probably wouldn’t get a workout in this time around.

Overhead Squat and Normandy D-Day

Another solid strength day at CFA brought me a new 3 rep PR in overhead squat and a chance to “try out” one of the individual WODs from the upcoming CrossFit Games Southeast Regionals. And then, after that, I went and had minor outpatient surgery to remove a big-ole mole on my back. A lovely morning all in all.

New Program

Training Cycle: Week 3/6 (Work Week)
No Alcohol Month 5/5
Diet: Calorie Cycling (2 days low, 1 day high), Whole/Clean/Paleo Zone w/ 2x-4x fat
Second workout of the Week


Agility ladder, stretching, calisthenics. 400 meter run (barefoot). Boz OHS warm-up.

Strength: Overhead Squat

Result: 65 x 3 / 75 x 3 / 85 x 3 / 95 x 3 / 105 x 3 (PR) / 115 x 3 (PR)

All but the last set were done using a snatch; the last I jerked up from my back after putting it on the rack.

WOD: “Normandy D-Day”

12 minute AMRAP of:
20 double unders
10 box jumps (24″)
10 sandbag lunges (50/25lbs)
We had an option of Handstand push-up buy-in (M-20,W-10). (Nobody did it during my session.) This is a slight variation to the second individual work-out for this weekend’s Southeast Regionals.

I did do this WOD using double unders, to the best of my ability. Result: 4 rounds, and 13 double unders.

Then I went off back home, and later had surgery to remove a large and ugly mole from my back. I am not sure whether I’ll be able to work out the rest of this week. Bummer.

Deadlift and Chieftain

In the first WOD of my last week at CFA before summer break begins in earnest, I managed to get a pretty solid new 1 rep max deadlift PR, and then pushed my way through a few humbling rounds of “The Chieftain,” a metcon involving ring push ups, hang power cleans and push presses.

New Program

Training Cycle: Week 3/6 (Work Week)
No Alcohol Month 5/5
Diet: Calorie Cycling (2 days low, 1 day high), Whole/Clean/Paleo Zone w/ 2x-4x fat
First workout of the Week

I missed my customary Monday workout because I was busy all day, and had only had about 2 hours of sleep before the 5:00 am class time, my usual spot. So this was the first workout this week.


Agility ladder. Stretching. Calisthenics. 400 meter run (barefoot).

Strength: Deadlift

Result: 135 x 10 / 225 x 1 / 245 x 1 / 265 x 1 / 285 x 1 / 305 x 1 / 315 x 1 (PR) / 325 x 1 (PR)

An awesome session. My form degraded on the 315 and 325; it was time to stop. My new PR is about 1.8x my bodyweight, and is enough to put me officially at “intermediate” level according to common standards for the deadlift.

WOD: Cheiftain

AMRAP in 3 minutes of:
10 Ring Push-ups
8 Hang Power Cleans
6 Push-press
1 minutes rest b/w rounds
Complete 3 total rounds. Pick up where you left off at the end of each round. Use 70% of your push-press 5RM not to exceed 135/95lbs. Post total rounds plus additional reps.

I used only 80 lbs on the bar, due to a stupid error in math. I meant to do 90 lbs.

Result: 5 rounds plus 10 ring push ups

Analysis: I did considerably worse on this WOD today than I did in January, using much less weight and completing only 3 more total reps. The limiting factor in both sessions was my Ring Push-Ups, not the HPCs or the Push-Press. The Push-Press was hard, and would have been harder at 95 than 80, to be sure, but I was so slow on the push-ups that I was actually embarrassed!

Oh well… better luck next time! PR on the deadlift and then a sucky WOD. You take what life gives, up and down.

Southeast Warrior Dash 2010 CFA Stylee

CrossFit Asheville made a great showing at the Southeast Warrior Dash 2010, in Mountain City, GA. In terms of overall results, I placed 15th in my age group (among the Saturday racers), and 247th overall… out of 5455 contestants (that’s top 5%)!

The crew from Asheville
Rustan Adcock, Kim Schwartz,
Britt Cannon, Matt Baldwin and Brian Cohen

The crew from Paducah:
Eric Lester, Kimberly Collins,
Aaron and Amber Woods

My first beer in 5 months!

Smoked Turkey Legs Baby! T-Bone, Me and Rustan

Drunken Handstand Practice!

The Warrior Dash was an incredibly huge event, with two days of heats. It was an impressive business venture too… what a money maker! About 10,000 runners paying money to race, and then staying around to drink beer, eat turkey legs, and buy gear? Outrageous.

The weather was perfect. With all the mud, sun, booze, and barefoot horseplay in the grass, at least one commentator astutely observed (while viewing the photos on Facebook, of course) that this was basically a CrossFit Woodstock.

The event was packed with friends old and new. Those of us from CrossFit Asheville who made it to the race were joined by other friends from Asheville (such as my pal Jody Kuhne) and also by a contingent from CrossFit Paducah. Tamara and Brian Cohen graciously played host to Rustan and myself and the Paducah crew. Poor Tamara wasn’t allowed to participate in the ridiculous fun… regionals! Who can risk tripping over a rusty car in the backwoods of Georgia when CrossFit regionals is coming up in just a few days?!

The race itself was shorter than advertised. I finished it in under 21 minutes, and that included some walking (in single file lines up muddy hills) and about 10 more or less ridiculous obstacles (mud pits, fires, cargo-nets, rusted vehicles, pipes, water crossings, fields of tires, etc). It was quick fun… and it quickly became obvious that the day would be more about drinking the Pyramid Ales that were on offer in the central party zone. And wearing stupid hats!

So, we boozed it up, and as the day wore on the fun became blearier and crazier. For instance: by the end of the night, Eric was using me to demonstrate his considerable back squat abilities.


Athlete Overall Place Place in Age Group Time
Rustan Adcock


11 in 35-39

Jody Kuhne


14 in 40-44

Matt Baldwin


15 in 40-44

Brian Cohen


111 in 35-39

Kim Schwartz


3 in 45-49

Brit Cannon


25 in 30-34

Aaron Woods


480 in 25-29

Eric Lester


482 in 25-29

Kim Collins


244 in 20-24

Amber Woods


245 in 20-24


Kettlebells, Push Jerks and Box Jumps

Wednesday AM was a fun time at CrossFit Asheville. For strength we did some Kettlebell Swings (and for me, One Arm Kettlebell Snatches too) and for a met-con we did 3 rounds for time of push-jerks and high box jumps. Now, no more WODs until Saturday’s Warrior Dash in Georgia. That day also marks the end of my five month alcohol fast.

New Program

Training Cycle: Week 2/6 (Work Week)
No Alcohol Month 5/5
Diet: Calorie Cycling (2 days low, 1 day high), Whole/Clean/Paleo Zone w/ 2x-4x fat
Second workout of the Week


Crawling around. Stretching. Calisthenics.

Stregnth: KB Swings and Snatches

Result: swing: 15 x 35 lbs; One arm KB snatches: 5 x 35 lbs x each arm; swing: 15 x 45; snatch: 5 x 45 x each arm; 15 x 53; snatch: 5 x 53 x each arm; swing: 15 x 72; snatch: 1 x 72 x right arm; fail x 72 x left arm (finished with right hand assist).

WOD: Push Jerks and High Box Jumps

3 Rounds of:
7 Push Jerk (80-85% 5RM not to exceed 155/105lbs)
7 HIGH box jumps (35″/28″)
For time.

Although the web-published version of this was to uses 80-85% of 5 RM, in the gym I was told to use 75% of my 1 rep Clean and Jerk max (165). That would have been 125 lbs; due to a lack of sleep and general problems with my damn knee, I went lighter, 115 lbs. It turns out that 115 is indeed just over 85% of my current 5 rep push-jerk PR (see here) although it is high time I boost that number up.

Result: 4:11 w/ 115 lbs and 30″ box.

The damn box jumps DEFINITELY hurt my left knee patellar tendon. Frack. I hate injuries and chronic debilitation. Prescription: diet, bodywork, rolling, stretching, ACTIVITY!

My Year in Body Fat

Thinking about my body composition goals for the 2009-2010 school year, and how I failed to meet them, and what it means for my dietary practice, going forward.

Disco Stud (KB Snatch Fever)

A light day at CrossFit Asheville this morning, with just a few reps of “muscle up progression” followed by a quick and dirty “Kettlebell Snatch Count Down,” a little workout I’m calling Disco Stud, in honor of the Homer Simpson in all of us, or at least, in me.

New Program

Training Cycle: Week 1/6 (Work Week)
No Alcohol Month 5/5
Diet: Hi-Fat Zone balanced Clean / Whole Foods
Fourth workout of the Week


Footwork. Stretching. GHD sit ups (10); Overhead squats (10 x 45#); push-ups (10); dead hang pull-ups (1 set of 10, blue band). Feeling kinda weak and tweakey.

Muscle-Ups Progression

Things were disorganized; the rings were not set up properly for novice progressions. People needed to have the moves demonstrated, and once we got one set of rings set up, I was sharing them with two fellow novices. Not many reps were had.

Result: 1 x red; 2 x blue; 2 x blue; 2 x blue; 1 x blue

Basically, I discovered to my shock this morning the truism: if you don’t use it you lose it. Screw that. I need my muscle up. And I’ve lost serious ground in the last 4 months. FRACK THAT. And for that matter, my pull-ups have become anemic too.

Announcement: Simultaneous Muscle-Up and Pull-Up Challenges

The only solution here is to do more reps. So I am going to do a 10 day Muscle-Up / Pull-Up challenge. This is different than your usual, days 1-100 challenge. Those excessive things risk injury. I won’t do them “every day.” I will do 10 days of extra muscle-ups and 10 days of extra pull-ups, spread out over the next 20 workouts.

The extra reps will be done only on WOD days, alternating between a “Pull-Up” challenge day and a “Muscle-Up” challenge day. I also won’t be going from 1 rep to 10 reps. (What would the point of that be?) On each day, I will be doing 5 x the day’s number of reps. So, 5 reps on day 1, 10 on day 2, etc. The reps will be done in a minimum of 5 sets (i.e. 5 x 1 on day 1; 5 x 2 on day 2, 5 x 3 on day 3, 5 x 4 on day 4, 5 x 5 on day 5, etc) On the last day I’ll be shooting for 5 x 10. But if I can’t do that… I’ll do more sets of fewer reps.

This starts tomorrow with pull-ups. It’s just 5 extra! Continues Monday with muscle-ups (5). Tuesday pull-ups (10). Wednesday muscle-ups (10). Then a couple of days off (for the Warrior Dash). Then back on Monday (15). Tuesday (15). Etc. Let’s see if I can do this. By my calculations, this could take me a few weeks into summer.

WOD: Disco Stud

20-16-12-8-4, Kettlebell snatch, for time.

The first round will be 10 on the R and 10 on the L to equal 20 reps. Rxd with 1.5 and 1 pood kettlebells. The full squat is NOT required for these kettlebell snatches. The bell must travel from between the legs and be fully locked out overhead.

Result: 30 lbs KB, 2:15.

This was way too easy. I should have gone heavier. I left the gym feeling under-worked today… that’s NOT the feeling I usually have or look for in my CrossFit workouts.

But there was one bright spot… doing this WOD fast makes you feel like an old school disco stud.

KB Snatch Video