another week another deadlift PR

Early AM at ASC. Got off to a later start. A bit weird around my head but otherwise fine. Plenty of sleep. Had a pretty nice strict fast from 6:30 the previous evening. Weighed in at 204.5 this morning.

Warm-Up: a bit of jump rope, floor work, rowing machine, mobility.

Deadlift: 10 x 45 / 5 x 160 / 3 x 245 / 1 x 300 / 5 x 315 (PR). Yawn. Another deadlift PR. +5 lbs from last week. Got my “three wheels” on the bar. This is starting to feel heavy.

Sort of supersetted:

Press: 10 x 45 / 5 x 65 / 3 x 85 / 1 x 95 / 3 x 5 x 100. +5 lbs from last week. Felt pretty good. This was a post broken arm psychological PR from me.

Back Squat: 5 x 45 / 4 x 8 x 110. +5 lbs from last week.

Jump-Rope: 5 x 100 single unders.

there’s no creative name for just another workout

Wednesday afternoon my dad took me with him to the MAC again. I love this old club for no good reason.

CrossFitters only pretend they are “eleeet” athletes. At this club they live “eleeet,” though not in an athletic sense. I think they imagine themselves the elite of Portland’s social life. The only elite level athletes in there yesterday were 19-22 year old college-level athletes home for Christmas break, most likely footballers and lacrosse players. Oh and I saw a couple of others too… there was a visiting lonely CrossFitter (tattooed arms, big and ripped, Vibram five fingers, getting ready to deadlift… had to be one, right?)… and an older, fit guy, wearing a Stanford Rowing t-shirt.

The weight room is labelled the “exercise and conditioning” room… the vast bulk of it is cardio machines of course. But they do have a lone olympic platform and ancient bumper plates, two squat racks, and a bad-ass selection of dumbbells and pre-loaded barbells; it’s an old-school club.

Anyway, I did an abbreviated, vacation version of my normal Wednesday workout. Here it is:

Warm-Up: 5 minutes on the Airdyne.

Mobility: Hips, Hams, Quads, Calves, Shoulders.

Deadlift: 10 x 45 / 5 x 135 / 3 x 225 / 1 x 260 / 1 x 275 / 5 x 280. My body put out an unbelievable quantity of adrenaline during this session. More than enough to finish my set. I did these on the Oly Platform. Which at this club has a ridiculous sign warning people not to drop weights from above the knees. All the bench press stations and their inclined and declined variants surround the oly platform. And the MAC patrons, well, the college athletes anyway, were applying thier chiseled triceps to the bench press, moving their 135s and 185s and so on. I tried to console myself that I may be doughy and old, but at least I’m moving more weight than anyone else in here. (And yes, John Duncan, I know I deadlift at the level of an infant mouse with Parkinson’s disease.)

Supersets of Squat and Press: next I went to the squat rack and set up for some light, higher volume squats. With these, I am trying to grease the groove for better form in my heavy squats. I moved quickly between the pre-loaded barbells in the free-weights area and the squat rack to super-set squats and press.

Squats: 5 x 8 x 95 lbs (cf. last Wed., 4 x 8).

Press: 5 x 45 lbs / 3 x 5 x 65 lbs (cf. last Wed. 3 x 5 x 60).

So the supersets started and ended with squat, and I pressed in-between sets.

Whew! That was almost a conditioning workout! I actually sweated.

Then, I grabbed my dad’s jumprope and set out to do an ambitious conditioning session, which I aborted after only a couple of rounds, because I hadn’t slept the night before, and yada yada yada, anyway I was already feeling spent:

3 rounds: 100 single unders, 6 push-ups.

Cool down.

At the MAC they have a very hot, thick-as-pea-soup steam-room, and an outstanding Norwegian Sauna. They also supply Osage Rub at the sinks. This stuff is marketed as an after-shave cooler; but I use it on my elbows, shoulders, and knee. It’s like liquid Icy-Hot. It starts out as nothing and then a few minutes later feels like you have a painted-on icepack. If you haven’t tried that after a workout… I recommend it. It’s a miracle.

missed friday, so, saturday will do

Saturday, Dec. 3rd, 2011

It wasn’t my fault that Friday morning a tree had fallen and blocked Patton AVE, leaving Asheville Strength and Conditioning inaccessible from ANY direction. I waited and waited in the dark of the DMV parking-lot, but the cops never opened up the street.

So I got in my planned Friday workout, or most of it, on Saturday. I’m getting used to planning more than I can do. It seems like it’s probably all right. We’ll see.


5 min of Airdyne


Hips, Hams, Quads, Calves, Shoulders, Forearms, Wrists


Primary Goal — Squat: 2 x 5 x 45 / 5 x 135 / 3 x 155 / 1 x 175 / 3 x 10 x 195 (PR)
Secondary Goal — Power Clean: 3 x 25kg / 3 x 30 kg / 4 x 30 kg / 3 x 30kg


Chin-ups (fat bar, orange band, full extension and pull to center of chest): 4, 4, 4, 4, 4
Wrist Curls, pronated and supinated. 12 lbs DBs. With FatGripz. 5 x 3.
Hammer Curls: 20 lbs DBs w/ FatGrips. 5 x 3.
Lying Triceps Extensions w/ DBs. We have no 30s! I used 35s. 5 x 35 lb DBs, 5 x 35 lb DBs, 3 x 35 lb DBs, failed on the left side on rep 4. Frack it!


700 Jump Rope Single Unders (7 set x 100 single unders). Some of these sets were good. I spaced these out by alternating sets with the hammer curls and the lying triceps extensions.

the second goal

In recent months, it’s always the same. Wednesdays are my deadlifting days. And now, having just yesterday settled some issues with help from Andrew G — who convinced me that I really have only two goals: first squat 300 and second deadlift 400 — it seems that Wednesday deadlift days are a fundamental part of my pursuit of my second most important goal.

I am on a journey here. I love the deadlift and have missed doing truly heavy deadlifts during this period while I let my broken arm recover. It’s been 15 weeks today; three more weeks and I’ll be good to pull with all my might. But I’m not yet at the point where I’m doing serious deadlift work.

Instead, I’ve been gradually stressing the bones in my forearm — lifting heavier and heavier weights over the past 4 weeks — and working on my grip. As a part of forearm and wrist rehab, I’ve been doing a lot of auxiliary grip work, including light deadlifts with the fat bar. All the wrist and forearm work I’ve been doing needs to be understood as a part of the larger goal of getting that 400 lb deadlift. (I envision myself doing it with solid form and gas left in the tank for more.) Grip and forearm strength has always been a weakness of mine, whether with respect to deadlifts or pull-ups. And I suspect that I might not have busted my forearm … if only I were built more like Popeye. Hence, FatGripz, Fat Bar work, and chins and pull-ups on the fat bar.

Anyway, enough philosophizing. Here’s what I did today.

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 8th, 2011

Week I, Workout B.

Warm-Up: about 5 min on Airdyne.

Mobility: Hips, Hams, Quads, Calves, Ankles, Shoulders, Wrists.

Deadlifts: 5 x 70 / 3 x 120 / 3 x 140 / 1 x 160 / 5 x 180 (w/ fat bar). It’s one of the more difficult things I do, to complete these sets of 5 with the fat bar!

Wrist/Forearm Rehab: pronated and supinated wrist curls, 10 lbs DBs x 5 x 5

Upper Body Auxiliary: 20 lbs DBs w/ FatGrips — High Pulls, Bench & Reverse Curls x 3 x 5.

Push-Ups: 4, 4, 4, 4, 3

Pull-Ups (fat bar, green band): 3, 3, 3, 3, 3


10 rounds:
8 Kettlebell Swings w/ 15 lb KB
100 single unders w/ Jump Rope

After the 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th rounds I took some active rest doing
100 meter DB Waiter’s Walk (w/ 20 lbs DBs, Fat Gripz)

Super light KB was easy to handle. My jump rope skills are getting much smoother; I had very few stalls while doing 1000 single unders. The Waiter’s Walk was like an active recovery phase, but it was a great stressor on the shoulder girdle and spinal erectors. I’ll be feeling that later.

back at ASC

Friday morning I made it to ASC just at 6:00 am. No plans to squat. Still feeling like crap. The antibiotics are helping but not so much that, as I discovered quickly, a little effort causes me to break out in an unpleasant cold sweat (in my imagination, this has a grey green color and makes me look like a Zombie). But I did something.

Warm-Up: 3 minutes on the Rowing Ergometer. Stats not important (did it light).

Mobility: Hip, Ham, Quad, Calf, Ankle, Shoulder.

Forearm/Wrist Rehab: 10 lb DBs, pronated and supinated wrist curls: 5 x 3.

Deadlift, with Silverback Athletics Fat Bar: 5 x 50 lbs / 3 x 100 lbs / 3 x 120 lbs / 3 x 140 lbs / 5 x 160 lbs. This was actually starting to get hard! The slick, non-knurled fat bar is a grip challenge.

Upper Body Auxiliary Work: 20 lbs DBs with FatGrips: 3 x 5 x curls, presses, bent over rows (supersets).

Attempted “conditioning”, bailed after 1 round: 200 jump rope single unders, 5 push-ups.

so fracked in the head

Week XI, Workout D

Cold morning. Fall is upon us. I stopped in on Saturday to ASC for some conditioning work.

Matt Smith and Brian Cohen were there, doing real conditioning work. And Sean Clickner too, doing crazy and fun stuff. All of them make me look like a child. But I have my plan… I’m slowly, very slowly, building back up into this shit. And besides, I’ve got my rehabbing forearm to blame, along with a very stubborn and evil case of grody laryngitis and bronchitis! Holy hell I feel like death warmed over.

Warm-Up: a couple of minutes on the Airdyne cycle.


Three Rounds:

Prowler Push (+30 lbs; I used the ugly, short, high friction, rusty prowler): 50 meters; 10 nose breaths; 50 meters.

100 meter waiter’s walk w/ 15 lbs DBs, FatGrips.

200 jump-rope single-unders.

So, 300 meters with the prowler, 300 meters waiters walk, and 600 single unders.

It was enough to almost kill me. And that’s enough. For now. Getting there.

fat wednesday

Workout Wednesday Oct 26th 2011

Week XI, Workout B

Warm-Up: 1000 meters easy on rower; 20-22 s/m, resistance 3.

Mobility: Hip/Ham/Quad/Calf/Ankle/Shoulder/Forearm/Wrist

Deadlift w/ Fat Bar: 3 x 40 lbs / 3 x 80 / 3 x 100 / 3 x 120 / 5 x 140.

Wrist/Forearm Rehab (worked in as needed with above and below):

(a) pronated and supinated wrist curls: 5 x 20 x 8 lbs.

(b) 3 x 10 x 15lbs FatGripz: curls & press; bench & reverse delt flye; reverse curls & triceps extension; high-pulls & front delt raises.

Push-Ups: 4, 3, 3, 3, 3

Chin-Ups (fat bar orange band): 3, 3, 2, 2, 2


200m Farmer’s Carry w/ 15 lbs FatGrips DBs
500 jump rope single unders
200m Farmer’s Carry w/ 15 lbs FatGrips DBs
500 jump rope single unders
200m Farmer’s Carry w/ 15 lbs FatGrips DBs

wednesday squats and an update on my shoulder pain

Week VII, Workout B.

Feeling much more rested on Wednesday I got up super early (4:30 am) and made it to the gym by about 5:20; got most of my workout in before Mike and Lauren arrived.

Warm Up: Row 500m, Res: 7, s/m: 16-18, Time: 2:10; Jump-Rope about 200 single unders; Hip/Leg Mobility.

Squats (alternating with shoulder mobility sets, written just below): 5 x 45, 3 x 95, 3 x 135, 1 x 185, 5 x 190, 5 x 190, 8 x 190 (f on 9). I found that I had to push harder on this than I expected. I think maybe the interval of Friday to Wednesday for heavy squats is TOO long, by at least one day. I missed the optimum window for taking advantage of supercompensation. But I still got my sets and 8 x 190 is technically a PR. This is with body weight of 192, as of Wednesday morning.

Shoulder Mobility: dislocates, “spiders”, rotations.

Bilateral Wrist/Forearm Rehab: 3 x 12 x 5 lb FGDBs: pronated and supinated wrist curls; shrugs; hammer curls & triceps extensions; reverse curls & side delt raises; 400 meter waiter’s walk.

In keeping with my discovery last day that I can perform lightweight barbell movements with both hands, I took our heavy kid’s bar (10kg) and did the following:

Hang Power Cleans: 3 x 5 x 10kg

Hang Power Snatches: 3 x 5 x 10kg

Finally, Push-Ups. Time to start adding volume in these. They are feeling ok!

Push Ups: 3 x 1.

Update on My Right Shoulder Pain

So… I figured out what happened to my right shoulder.

Things improved markedly starting on Monday. I did multiple sets of shoulder mobility exercises Monday through Wednesday morning and kept feeling more and more life in my joint. The shoulder is still sore as all get out. But I came to realize that it wasn’t some piddly little set of low-weight high volume bench presses or deltoid raises that had screwed my shoulder up. After everything shifted back into place, the pain localized, and this triggered my memory. And my common sense.

The localized pain sits more or less on the protuberances of the bones on top of the shoulder: the distal clavicle, the Acromion process, and maybe the Coracoid process. The tissues between, among, and under all these protuberances is also quite sore and complains alot during various movements.

It was while I was contemplating why these bones and tissues on top of my shoulder might hurt, I finally remembered something I had done on Saturday that might have aggravated them.

Oops! On Saturday, while helping T-Bone reorganize the gym, I twice moved around the giant strongman competition implement called “the yoke.” I found out this week that this thing weighs about 150 lbs. And I did not balance this thing properly on my back, as in a walking back squat. I just put it all on one shoulder, the right side, hoisted it carelessly, and moved it around.

This yoke did feel uncomfortable while carrying it; there was intense pressure placed through the tendons of my trapezius muscles onto the distal end of the Clavicle, which in turn was pressed down, affecting the so-called “Acromioclavicular joint” and the “Acromial bursa” beneath it. The pressure would have affected the Coracoacromial, Superior Transverse Scapular, and Coracoclavicular ligaments.

To put a less fine point on it: this point-specific weighted compression probably displaced and bruised some shit, and basically messed stuff up. Definitely stretched and maybe lightly tore some shit. The good news is, I think, this is an eminently recoverable injury… it will be history after two weeks. And I’ve learned a lesson… and some anatomy… for my trouble.

You gotta be careful, Baldwin!

mon wed thu fri this week

Monday hit CFA 6:00 am warm up included shoulder work then did the WOD. Best OHS # was 12 x 95. Will look up the rest. Afternoon included multiple rounds of jump rope and wood chopping and splitting with axe, 10 lb sledge and 5 lb wedge. Also: pull ups dead hang weighted 1 x +15, 2x+10, push ups (10).

Tuesday I worked on the house, on a ladder, off a ladder, with a sharp scraping blade overhead, knocking down the texture on our living room ceiling.

Wednesday, open gym at CFA, 400 meter run, ohs 10 x 45, push ups 10, shoulder exercises (db press, btn press, t3, rotations). Deadlift, 5×135, 3x5x205 at tempo; squats, high bar, 3 x 5 x 155. Overhead squats, plus cleans, jerks, etc (no racks) 1 x 95, 3 x 105, 3 x 115, f x 130, 1 x 130, 1 x 135, 1 x 135 (PR). Snatch: 1 x 95, 10 x 1 x 105, f x 115, 1 x 115, ohs 3 x 115. Later I did dead hang pull ups: 2 x +15 lbs, 1x +15 lbs; and weighted ring dips: 1x +15, 1x +15. I felt good about the PR Overhead Squat. In the afternoon I mudded and taped in the living room, again on the ladder and overhead.

Thursday, no workout, but, plenty of yard work in the afternoon and into the night, by a fire, with cultivating rake and pitchfork, swinging a machete and axe, deadlifting, carrying, stacking log rounds, throwing branches and limbs. Like a jerk I neglected mobility work and sleep, staying up into Friday AM. This workout is called lumberjacking. I call it active rest. It’s summer.

Friday, no way I could get up at 6:00 am. During the afternoon I performed 4 rounds of: 5 minutes jump rope practice, 5 minutes hauling/throwing/cutting on the downed cherry and crepe myrtle in my yard, i.e. lumberjacking. I’m starting to regain my rhythm in the double under. I think I did a couple hundred of them in my 4 rounds. I could barely move with the axe, so I stuck to the machete and moving heavy rounds. Also: dead hang pull up: 1 x +15. Left shoulder bothering me this evening. Skipped the dips. I feel myself slacking off. I weighed in at 197 today. I drank milkshakes with my kids at Cook Out today. That was fun. Our living room makes the house chaotic. I’m good and exhausted. Off to Durham early tomorrow. Good night.