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.

Full Throttle

Training Cycle: New Program Week 1/6
No Alcohol Month 4/5
Diet: Flexible-Paleo-Zone
WOD #4 of the Week

Five o’clock am, I love you.

Ok maybe not, but I do love my CrossFit Asheville 5 am peeps.

WOD, PART I: 100 burpees for time

Result: 10:40.

WOD, PART II: 3200 relay sprint w/ 25 lb sandbag

Team of 4: Angela, Kim, Frank, and Myself… all over 40, average age 41.75. We split the running evenly into 4x200m each.

Result: 12:54


Today my burpees could have been faster, but I have my excuses… just getting back from surgery… suffering with a head cold… not getting my Rx’d sleep… blah blah blah. Next time it will be faster. I’m still proud of myself.

The first time I had to do 100 burpees in a WOD I could not finish them. Since then I’ve done a lot of burpees, and gotten faster on them. Not too long ago I actually did 100 burpees and 125 squats in 16:15 (on Dec. 12th, 2009). But according to my coaches, one year ago I did 100 burpees for time on April 1st, 2009, in about 11:57 (as I recall). So today’s time beat that by 1:17. Back then I wasn’t keeping this blog yet. That’s hard to believe, since, at this point, it feels like I’ve been keeping this blog forever. Let this number stand as my new personal best for 100 burpees. I want to be able to do it in about 6 minutes. NEXT YEAR!

Cycle’s End

The last WOD of the latest cycle, and it was a doozy. Weighted ring dips. And a Tabata protocol Mash-Up of Wall Ball shots (12 lbs) with box step-ups (20″), rest 3 min, then Kettlebell Swings (1.5 pood / 53 lbs) and

Cold Work

Sub 40 degrees outside, and the coaches away at a meet. Time to get cold with some outdoor parkour and calisthenics!


I barely squeeze out a new five rep PR in Back Squat, and miss a new three rep PR by a mile, then a fast jumprope / burpee 10 minutes AMRAP. Finally a 1.3 mile warm-down barefoot run at the YMCA.

Thrusters and Siete

A new 5 rep PR in Thrusters and a decent time in the Met-Con WOD “Siete,” consisting of thrusters and ring dips, make for a great workout this morning. I was feeling well rested from two days in a row of rest, and I worked hard. Today is also the beginning of a 28 hour fast.

Deadlift and Sit n’ Slam

For strength, the Deadlift, work sets at around 77.1% of 5 rep PR, or 212.2 lbs. For met-con, the “Sit n’ Slam,” which is a fun little AMRAP with a progression through increasing reps of sit-ups and med ball slams, with a 200 meter run. Later, it turns into a Halloween Weekend alcohol cheat night.

Fear of Burpees

Training Cycle: Week 3/6 (Work Week)
Dietary Cycle: Week 3/3 (Cutting)
Daily Calorie Target: 2800
(Zone “blocks:” approx 24, 2.5x fat)
Second WOD of this Week

Struggling to get out of bed today, I said to myself, concerning the WOD: “please, please, at least, let there be no burpees.” There were burpees. Why do I hate them so? I need to adjust my attitude.


Agility Ladders. Stretching. Calisthenics: Push-Ups (15), Sit-Ups (15), Overhead Squats (20), Pull-Ups (10, deadhang, in three sets: 2, 4, 4).

Strength: Push-Press

It’s time for a 3 rep max Push-Press. My current PR was set on June 6th, 2009 at 130 lbs.

It went well today.

Result: 5 x 45 / 3 x 95 / 3 x 105 / 3 x 115 / 3 x 125 / 3 x 135 (pr).

Form felt solid. It was nice to get a PR. To be perfectly clear: prior to pressing, we cleaned these weights from the ground. We did not use a rack.

WOD: “Jeremy”

Our WOD today is based on a CrossFit Kids WOD known simply as “Jeremy” or “Little Jeremy”, a memorial workout for a six year old kid named Jeremy Bloniasz. The original design was to use a broomstick or PVC for the overhead squats. I guess our version has been amped up for adults.

Overhead squats
For time.
Use 50-60% of your max OHS weight not to exceed 95/65lbs.

My max overhead squat weight remains stuck at 75 lbs, a PR set last month. The truth is I just haven’t done that much with this movement. I did the WOD using 60%, which is a 45 lb bar.

Result: 6:33.


To combat pain in my leg while running, I am doing short sessions on the treadmill after the WOD. They seem to help, by stimulating (or positively stressing) the old break site. In the past, I have found that increasing my running distance a bit really helps my leg feel better overall.

Yesterday: 5 minutes. Today: 7 minutes, 5.5 mph.