Monday Squat PR and Sprinting MetCon

Sore and tired from my Sunday run, but not so sleep deprived as most days last week, still 100% paleo, and consistent in my eating plan, I made it to CFA at 6:00 am today feeling pretty good. A shout out to Keith Roberts for joining up with us today!

I have no time for extended notes this evening. The gritty detail:

Back Squat

Result: 5 x 95 / 3 x 125 / 1 x 160 / 5 x 175 (fail on 6; PR).. I should be stronger, but I continue to lag behind my peers in the squat. I am going to start Corey’s next level of dynamic strength progression on the next time around. Here’s a video. Any feedback on form or what you see here would be fine.

Met-Con: Bodyweight Trio

A simple but, devastating workout.

400 meter run, 50 squats, 25 pushups; 400 meter run, 30 squats, 15 pushups; 200 meter run, 20 squats, 10 pushups; 200 meter run.

Result: 11:27


So, I got a new 5 rep PR in Back Squat today, but I remain kind of embarrassed by how small my squat numbers are. Young people, remember: squat squat squat. I wish I wasn’t 20 years behind in my squat development.

9.3 mile run (1/2 marathon training)

No time for additional details, whether about empty dark streets, bunnies darting across the road, or almost puking on Edgewood, the little lost dog on College, the horrible auto accident on Hilliard, or mind-numbing pain and struggle… not even time to describe the incredible beauty of a gas-station parking lot playing Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” through the loudspeakers while I drank water and rushed on some serious endorphins. Bottom line is I got up before dawn and ran 9.3 miles today, in 1:34, starting from my house, ending up at the Shell station, where I bought two bags of ice. Later I ate a killer breakfast, drank an awesome recovery shake, and took an ice bath. Now I really do think I can do the 1/2 marathon.

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Weigh In

Weight Measurements Sunday Aug. 29th
Weight Observed Body Fat % Implied Fat Mass Implied Lean Mass Comment
180 lbs 17% 30.6 lbs 149.4 lbs Post run and breakfast. No way this is accurate.
181 lbs 16% 29 lbs 152 lbs Also an unlikely reading
179.5 lbs 15% 27 lbs 152.5 lbs This is closer to reasonable.
181.0 15% 27 lbs 154 lbs The best weight for the day, slightly less mass in all categories than last week.

I do seem to have lost weight, although I may have been overhydrated or bloated when I weighed in last week at 183 lbs, 15% fat. It’s hard to say for sure (you have to look at the long term trend) but in any case I am going to try to eat more this week, and try to maintain my weight at just above 180, since I am “not trying to lose weight.”

If I did lose weight this week, it seems likely to me that I have actually lost body fat. It seems unlikely that I have lost 1.5 real pounds of lean mass, as the numbers would seem to suggest. I’ve been eating a 100% paleo and pretty low carb diet, with no nighttime eating, while working hard on my training (I put in 3 met-cons, 4 lifting sessions, and one endurance run). On the other hand, my sleep has not been too good, which could cause cortisol elevation, and fat retention, and my nutrient partitioning could have been off, resulting in too much gluconeogenesis.

The issue here is that my scale can measure 1/2 lb changes in mass but only offers body-fat estimates in 1% increments. At my current weight, a 1% change is nearly 2 lbs, so I would have to lose a lot of fat to register a new BF % number. Therefore, we can’t expect the Body Fat % number to shift too far, week to week.

One factor complicating things here may be that it is just difficult to time the weigh-in properly, in order to get the best reading; why is it that I saw a 14% body fat reading several times two weeks ago, but haven’t seen one since? And why I did I see a 17% today? Or has my body composition really been moving in the wrong direction? Given more time, we will know for sure.

Dressing in the Dark

Friday morning I couldn’t find my black shorts. I wore my purple old school Birdwell’s Beach Britches board shorts instead; they are a little too slim, a little too short, and much too purple. And they really didn’t go with my tight red singlet. Oh well. I still had fun, although I endured quite a ribbing. I could show you a picture, because T-Bone snapped one and put it on facebook, where the ribbing continued. But I think I’ll leave it for now.

Hang (Squat) Clean

Established a new 5 rep PR.

Result: 5 x 65 / 3 x 85 / 1 x 105 / 6 x 115

WOD: “Gelato”

10-1 ladder of Deadlift
1-10 ladder of Hang clean
For time.
Use 80-90% of TODAY’s hang clean 5RM not to exceed your bodyweight.

Result: 95 lbs, 11:27

monster mash

Even on less sleep, things went pretty well at CFA this morning: we did shoulder presses (at 120×4 I barely missed a new 5 rep PR) and “metabolic monster,” a wicked combo of 800 meter runs, broad jumps, and waiter’s walking.

I had to stay up late on Tuesday night (getting ready for first day of class) but everything worked out; not eating after 8:00 pm continues to feel righteous, and fasted training in the morning (water only before the workout) keeps working for me. Add to that several days of rock solid 100% paleo, plus fish oil, and I have to say I am feeling fine these days.

Shoulder Press

After the warm-up, we set out to pursue new 5 rep PRs in shoulder press. I was so sore in my shoulders and hands today (overhead squats and a torn callus both on Monday); I knew it was going to be a stretch. Plus, my most recent 5 rep PR (115, and actually 6 reps) was set only 17 days ago. A 5 lb jump in shoulder press was not likely so soon; especially since I hadn’t done a deload day on the movement. Oh well. Proceed apace.

Results: 5 x 65 / 3 x 90 / 1 x 110 / 4 x 120 (fail even to move the 5th).

Analysis: what does this result mean? Well, for one thing, whatever else might be said, it is hard to add five pounds to your max shoulder press number. So the fact I didn’t get a new PR is not surprising. This result ties my 3 rep max from last December; but of course, with one extra rep! The result also points towards pushing right past my 1 rep max (currently 125). What it means, practically speaking, is that I proceed with a series of work sessions on shoulder press, using 115 as my working max. The theory behind sessions are spelled out by Corey in a recent post on the CFA website. Here’s what they will look like for me:

Session I: 60% (for me, that’s 70 lbs) — 12×2 @ 30 sec.

Session II: 70% (80 lbs) — 12×2 @ 30 sec.

Session III: 80% (95 lbs) — 4 rounds of max reps in 30 sec., w/ 2.5 min rest between sets.

WOD: “Metabolic Monster”

AMRAP in 16 minutes of:
800m run
50 ft broad jump
100m waiters’ walk (25/45lbs plate)

Result: 2 rounds & 800 meters & broad jumps; 45 lb plate.

Fun, challenging WOD. 800 meter runs are a bitch.

Deadlift PR (5 x 290)

Today I joined the 9:00 am crew at CFA only for the warm-up and strength session (deadlift). I skipped the met-con, since I just had a good one on Saturday and a decent one yesterday, am planning on tomorrow, and Friday, and have a long endurance run scheduled for Saturday. It’s plenty. But I have to do my lifts! So that felt good.


Result: 5 x 155 / 3 x 210 / 1 x 270 / 5 x 290… barely! (+10 lb PR)

I’ll be feeling this for days. That last reps was wicked slow… weirdly slow. I have no idea what happened, except my ripped callous from yesterday didn’t help anything.

I gotta give the props to Corey and Shanna for the new 5 x 55% / 3 x 75% / 1 x 95% / 5 x new PR (aka CFA 5/3/1) plan. I have hit a new PR in every strength session since returning almost two weeks ago. Nice.

Overhead Squat and Gone in 60 Seconds

Quick note here. No time for rumination.

Overhead Squat: warm-up, then, 5 x 55 / 3 x 75 / 1 x 95 / 6 x 105 (fail on 7). New PR by 10 lbs.

Gone in Sixty Seconds: 228 reps, 35 lbs dumbells, 12 lb. medicine ball. I got one more rep than last time, which was in Dec. I would have had a few more but I ripped a callous on the last pull-up round.

Round Pull-Ups Ball Slams (12#) KB Thrusters (35#s) Ball Slams
1 14 32 8 27
2 11 30 7 25
3 7 30 7 30
totals: 32 92 22 83

Weigh In

Strict paleo for 30 days begins today. No alcohol, limited caffeine, no forbidden foods AT ALL, until Sep. 21st, which is a Tuesday, so, really, I won’t be drinking alcohol until the 24th, which is 33 days.

The numbers today suggest I am pretty much flat for the week, although, I did not see the number 14% show up in either of my two weigh ins — a slightly troubling result.

Weight Measurements Sunday Aug. 22nd
Weight Observed Body Fat % Implied Fat Mass Implied Lean Mass Comment
183.5 lbs 16% 29.5 lbs 154 lbs A lethargic day leads to higher BF% measurements.
183.0 lbs 15% 27.5 lbs 155.5 lbs A slight gain in mass over last week.

D.T. again

Today at CFA: definitive proof that I’m getting stronger and faster. The WOD, called “D.T.” is a hero workout honoring slain soldier Timothy P. Davis (RIP D.T.)

I’ve done the workout at CFA twice before, in April and in August 2009. According to my records, CFA last did D.T. exactly one year ago today.

Last year I found the WOD so challenging that I renamed it “Delirium Tremens;” back in Aug. 2009 it was a Friday morning and I was a bit hungover. Those days are gone now. Today I was training in a hydrated, caffeinated and fasted state, with no hangover (though I did have a couple of drinks last night) and plenty of decent sleep.

In Apr. 2009 I used 95 lbs and it took me 12:38. In Aug. 2009 I used 105 lbs and it took me a ridiculous 16:45.

Today: 110 lbs, 10:47.

Something’s working. VERY WELL.

A note on the weights: originally, this WOD was Rx’d at 155 lbs, which is super heavy. Our coaches have now set the Rx at 80% of Push Press 5 RM, which seems quite reasonable.

Paris, Burning

Ouch! Something about today’s workout put the hurt on me. I’m not injured, it’s just that when I finished my work (dead last in the 6:00 am class) I felt like dying. I took a walk through the bank parking lot so my pain wouldn’t be so evident to all.


I got decent sleep last night (finally) (maybe 10:00 pm to 5:00 am with minimal waking in between). I’ve been very good about my daily half-fasts (no food after 8:00 pm, no food until after 8:00 am) and have found that training in a fasted state — before the WOD I drink a lot of water, but take no food and no coffee — has been working pretty well for me.

Running-style footwork, stretching; overhead squats (10); GHD sit-ups (10); ring dips (I forced out 6 unassisted and then did 6 with a red band); and pull-ups (10, kipping, semi-consecutive).

Strength: Power Snatch

I came into this knowing that my most recent power snatch 5 rep PR was set more just over a year ago (a year and a day, actually, 08/19/09) almost to the day. What a year it has been. I couldn’t believe that I haven’t had an opportunity to work this great lift in this fashion since then! My previous PR was 105, but given my recent work on “the Cred” I thought I could easily top that. Not so fast buster! Going in, my plan was WACK; and although I got a new PR (and, apparently, snatch more weight than any other member today, which seems … odd) it wasn’t what I went in thinking of.

My plan was to shoot for a 20 lb PR (stupid, I know) and I laid out my lifts accordingly. But I made an error in my calculations when I loaded up the bar, and ended up totally failing on my 1 rep set of the 5/3/1 progression! But I recovered, did a 2 rep set, and then blasted out a new PR at 5 lbs above my previous weight.

Results: 5 x 70 / 3 x 90 / fail x 120 (ERROR; supposed to be 110) / 2 x 105 / 5 x 110. Shanna’s feedback was that the last rep was a slight press out, which means, I think, that I start the work cycles on power snatch next time around. Also, although she didn’t mention it, I know that my landing was too wide, and on several reps I could feel my right knee shoot out to the side.

Still, I felt good about my new PR.

WOD: “Paris”

This WOD is “Helen” but with burpees instead of pull-ups. Hence the name, Paris (Helen’s lover in the Illiad; the cad whose seduction caused the Trojan war).

3 rounds for time:
400 meter run
21 kettlebell swings (53 lbs Rxd)
12 burpees

I did this WOD as Rx’d, but was very slow.

Result: 12:45

This hurt bad. It took me several minutes to get my composure back afterward. I was drenched in sweat.

3 mile bike ride

The difficult WOD didn’t stop me, later, from riding my bike from my mechanic’s back home. I had to drop my wife’s Subaru off at Organic Mechanic in West Asheville, which I did at about 8:15 am. A few minutes later I rode off on my bike and was home pretty quick. I did not actually check the time. It is a kind of difficult ride, beginning with a really fun downhill, across the French Broad River, and then back up the hill on the other side. Needless to say, this week has been a bit of a stretch for me. But it’s all good.

More later.