this is summer

Today CFA announced it’s presenting only “off season” workouts for the next 3-6 weeks, which isn’t going to work well with my “plan apotheosis.” For me, this is the start of summer, and training wise, summer isn’t my off season. Summer, which offers me much greater opportunities for recovery and self-care, is about getting stronger and having fun. I plan to do both. Stay tuned to see what I will do to work around this situation.

a horse stall mat on the concrete slab in my back yard

With this Stall Mat in my Back Yard, I shall Finally Conquer the Double Under!

Monday’s Volume

For the sake of comprehensive training notes, I’m going to list EVERYTHING I did today, and include quantitative data where possible. But I’m going to use short hand, and not explain anything including whatever theory or plan stands behind it.

Pre-CFA: shoulder and forearm mobility work including Karate Punch / Shadow Boxing warm-ups, hamstring flexibility. Pushups (10).

CFA: 400 meter run. Shoulder mobility. OHS 10 x 45#. Pushups (10). Neck Press: about 2 x 6 w/ 65 and 75 lbs, at 2-2-2-2 tempo then because of right (!) shoulder impingement, switch to an Arnold press type movement with 20 lb dumbells for 2 x 6. (Total: 24 reps). Sumo Deadlift: 1 x 8 x 95 / 1 x 8 x 115 / 2 x 8 x 125 at tempo. Ring Rows: 4 x 8 at tempo. Dumbbell Lunge Squats: 3 x 6 x each leg x 20s / 1 x 8 x each leg x 35s.

Post-CFA: One mile run, not timed. Didn’t feel too bad! Bottom of my foot is not too sore.

Later: Walk with kids in stroller downtown and back (to Splashville).

Later: Dead Hang Pull-Ups (2); Push-Ups (10); and about 20 minutes messing around with my jump rope in the back yard.

Later: hauled a new Horse Stall Mat into my back yard (those things are fracking heavy!)

Evening: Mobility work.

monday deadlifts and 400 meter running

A quiet and intimate Monday AM workout at CFA. Deadlifts and sprints.

Deadlift: 4×155 / 4×185 / 2×225 / 2×265 / 2×305 / 2×330 (PR). This was done at 2211 tempo (2 down, 2 on the ground, 1 rest, 1 up) except that the PR 330 was slower on the press up. Pretty good form though. Nothing to be ashamed of!

400 meter sprints at 55%, 65%, 75%, 85% RPE. Splits: 2:08, 1:54, 1:44, 1:35.

Good morning, Asheville!

squat run lift jump

Fun workout at CFA this morning.

Warm-Up. Pose drills followed by 200 meter sprint. Dislocates and mobility. Overhead Squats (10); PVC Sotts Press (10); Pull-ups (7, 2, 1 w/ purple band); Push-Ups (20).

Front Squat: 10 x 45 / 5 x 95 / 3 x 120 / 1 x 155 / 5 x 165 (PR) / 3 x 155. Volume: 2,730.

I was definitely up at the limits of my capacity, mechanically speaking, in front squatting 165. The last two reps were super ugly. Which is irritating to me. I feel like I should not have been so bowed forward and am disappointed that my form got so poor. But I’ll get over it, and, a PR is a PR. Because the set was so ugly I did a much better set of 3 at 155 to conclude. I didn’t want to end with my last rep being such poor form.

Transition: 3 x 100 meter sprints.

WOD: 400 meter run, 20 deadlifts (@ 70% of 5 RM, or 205 in my case), and 30 box jumps (24″).

My box jumps are slow as shit! The deadlifts were much better than I feared they would be. I did them in 5 sets: 1, 4, 5, 5, 5, trying to be safe. Result: 5:42.

Additional: push-ups (2 sets of 20); pull-ups (1 x 6, 1 x 5-fail on 6). My pull-ups are tired today. Maybe they’ll be better tomorrow.

Deadlift and Dead Tired

Got decent sleep last night (thank you, Ambien… Once in a while it helps) and got up early to work out as usual.

Warm-Up. A member at CFA had a serious accident during her WOD (stitches and concussion!) leading to some confusion and slow down in the warm up for the six AM class. (We hope you are feeling better Jess!) Still we did do some warm up and I managed to get my pull-ups and push-ups, squats and ab hollows in.

Strength: Deadlift. 70% 12 x 2 @ 30s intervals. Fun. Weight: 205 lbs. Volume: 4,920.

WOD: 400 meter run, then 20-16-12-8-4 of push press and push-ups, then 400 meter run; weight: 75 lbs (about 50% of my 5 ; 75% was Rx’d but … My shoulder!). Time: 15 min exactly.

The WOD was freaking exhausting. I worked hard to stay in motion even with reduced weights. I knew shortly after I was done that Plan HTFU was NOT gonna proceed today. Instead, I walked around like a Zombie and ate like a one man army. Now it’s just after eight PM and I am going to read in bed. I am dead tired. Too tired for self-care, mobility work, additional pull ups or push ups. No nothing! Bed time. Hoping tonights sleep will be recovery enough for tomorrow.

C2B suck fest

I was 5 minutes late to the 6:00 class this morning, and my attitude was hovering just above 80% positive. What was wrong? Hard to say. Later, I think I figured it out: I got at least one hour less sleep last night than the night before. Touchy touchy.

Warm up

400 meter run dislocates mobility GHD extensions ohs push ups

That run kinda hurt.

Skill: Chest to Bar Pull Ups

Oof. My pull ups are flagging. Time for some more work with volume and bands at home.

Sets of: 4, 3, 2, 5 (reverse grip), purple band 2, red band 5. Chest was definitely not always “to bar” in a strict sense. Problem!

WOD: Cleaning House

20 power cleans (rxd at 80% of 5RM; I used 70%, ie 95 lbs)
400 meter run
20 C2B pull ups
For time.

Because I was only at 70%, I flew through the power cleans in one continuous set, and as a consequence got out the door before everybody else and finished the run first. That was fun. The rest was mediocre. Especially my pull ups, where I was struggling to put two reps together and got taken by everybody else. At least the run was less painful in the WOD than it was the warm-up run. In due time I will recover from the damn Half Marathon.

Time: 5:38.

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.

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.

around the block with Big Sister

Great “little” WOD at CFA this Saturday morning, combining hang power snatches and 400 meter runs. I ran one mile and did 84 h.p.s.’s with 65 lbs in 16:45 (approximately). My last 400 was about 2:05. Not great, not bad. What was awesome was hanging out in the heat with my CFA buddies, working out and then shooting the breeze on nutrition, cholesterol, etc. Fun times. How glad I am to be a part of this community.

Before the WOD

A few sips of coffee and water. Training fasted again. I did not eat or drink any calories after about 8:00 pm yesterday. This worked a little less well this time, probably because I had 4 drinks as a part of my last meal yesterday. I may need to come up with a post-drinking hydration and nutrition regimen in order to combat the morning blahs on Friday. But this won’t be a problem once I get fascist-paleo on my diet, beginning Aug. 22nd.


Agility Ladder. Dislocates. Hip Mobility. Front Squats (10). Push-Ups (10 chest to deck). Kipping Pull Ups (10, consecutive). Knees to Elbows (10). Burgener-style hang power snatch review and warm-up.

“Big Sister”

4 rounds of: 21 Hang Power Snatch (60% of 5 RM) / 400 meter run.
For time.

Weight: 65 lbs. Time: 16:45


65 lbs is actually 60% of almost 110 lbs, although my book 5 RM for h.p.s. is only 95 lbs. I think I could do 110 easily and next time the strength work on h.p.s. comes up will proceed as if my current PR was 105. My runs were super slow, revealing that I haven’t done diddly that required any kind of metabolic conditioning for weeks. That sucks, but I am still happy to be back working on it. Proper nutrition and rest will get me back where I need to be in a few weeks. Definitely by the time of my next training cycle! The slowness and pain of the running made me seriously doubt whether I’ll be ready for the 1/2 marathon in 5 weeks. We shall see. I remain open to the possibility.

Post-WOD Nutrition

Coffee w/ cream, 2 servings of coconut juice (about 38g carbs), some sweet potato and red onion sauteed in bacon grease, 3 strips of nitrate free bacon, 3 eggs omelet with spinach and coconut oil, sauteed in clarified butter. Later: whey shake with unsweetened coco powder, hemp milk, and coconut oil (liquid at these temperatures… man it is hot!); fish oil; some bites of banana. Lots of water.

Two Days of WODs: Deadlift, Push Jerk, Helen, Etc.

Lots of fun these past two mornings, but super taxing! On Monday: Deadlifts and Helen. On Tuesday: Push Jerks and 5 rounds of 12 shoulder press 12 toes to bar. Post-WOD on Tuesday: I’m spent.

New Program

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

Warm-up both days

Various footwork. Stretching. Rolling. Push-Ups. A couple of dead hang pull-ups. Back, Overhead, and Front squats (10 x 45# each). GHD sit-ups.

Monday: Workout #1

Strength: Deadlift

Result: 5 x 135 / 3 x 5 x 250 / 3 x 3 x 286.

Volume: 6,999 lbs (!)

Analysis: 250 lbs is 90% of my 5 RM PR (275) and 286 is 98% of my 3 RM PR (290). And the volume kicked butt when compared to my last 3-rep max effort PR day (3,810). These were intense high effort work sets. No wonder I’m so sore the next day. These ought to pay off later… assuming that I didn’t reinforce bad form (some rounding on the 3 RM sets).

WOD: Helen

We did Helen back in December but I wasn’t running at the time, I was rowing. I used the same KB weight and had no improvement in time.

3 rounds for time: 400 meter run, 21 KB swings (1.5 pood Rx’d), 12 pull-ups

Result: Weight: 45 lbs. Time: 12:50

Tuesday: Workout #2

Strength: Push Jerk

I made the mistake of trying to do this as a 1 RM Push Jerk. I am no longer going to pursue 1 RM Push Jerk aside from the Clean and Jerk. That’s because today I didn’t even equal my 1 RM PR Clean and Jerk number from last Monday. So F-that.

Result: 2 x 95 / 1 x 135 / 1 x 145 / 1 x 155 / f x 165 / f x 165

Analysis: this effort sucked doing it and it sucks even worse when written down.

WOD: The 5th Circle

5 rounds of:
12 shoulder press (Use ~60% of 1RM not to exceed 95lbs/65lbs)
12 toes to bar
for time.

Result: 75 lbs on S.P. 13:20.

The thing that is slowing me down here is the Toes to Bar. My hands feel raw and weak, forearms and biceps and triceps spent. Maybe it’s all the pull-ups yesterday? The deadlifts? The shoulder presses and push-jerks? Who really knows.

Stress, recovery. Growth. Hell yes.