post feast beatdown, aka Bronco

I managed to show up for the 7 am workout at CFA on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Strength was Kettlebell Swings, WOD was “Bronco”, 4 rounds of 2 two-minute amrap couplets, a “turn off your brain and rep it out” slug-fest with 16 minutes of work and 3 1/2 minutes of rest.

Warm-Up: 200 meter run, pose drills, mobility and dislocates. Pull-ups (dead hang, x3, x3, x4, x5), push-ups (20), knees to elbows (10), overhead squats (10), sotts press w/ pvc (10); sotts press w/ 20 lb bar: fail! wow that is hard.

Strength: Kettlebell Swings. Results. Both hands, Russian swing: 32 kgs (70.5 lbs) x 15 / x 10 / x 8 . Two KBs, Russian swing: 35 lbs (x2) x 5 / 45 lbs (x2) x 5 / 45 lbs (x2) x 5. Both hands, American swing: 32 kgs (70.5 lbs) x 10.

WOD: “Bronco.”

Complete 4 rounds of the following:
I. As many rounds as possible in 2 minutes of: 5 burpee dumbbell deadlifts / 10 box jumps
30 seconds rest
II. As many rounds as possible in 2 minutes of: 5 pull-ups / 10 squats
30 seconds rest
Begin each round where you left off on the previous set. At the end combine rounds of each couplet for total score. (Every 15 reps counts towards an additional round.)

Results: 24″ box & 35 lb dumbells & purple band assist on pull-ups; burpee deadlifts & box jumps: 7 rounds plus 12 (40 deadlifts and 77 box jumps). Pull-ups plus squats: 10 rounds plus 12 (55 pull-ups and 107 squats); total score: 18 + 9; or 279 reps.

The WOD sounds like nothing but a math scramble on paper but it left me DRENCHED with sweat.

The pull-ups went as well as could be expected. You’d think that the purple band doesn’t add much but I couldn’t have done this without them. Using the band I was able to go with unbroken sets of 5 (duh) until the very last two rounds of pull-ups.

Additional volume: later, I got one set of 6 dead hang pull-ups in. Right now I am just trying to hang on to my fragile progress in dead hang pull-ups, and I figure that one has to, at least, do one set per day of your current maximum reps, just to stay in the game. I did not, however, have any on Thanksgiving.

OHS and Foolish Chief

Friday morning workout at CFA: Overhead Squats and “Foolish Chief,” a 20 minute beatdown involving on the minute sets of power cleans, push-ups and squats. Fun, but painful.


Agility. Mobility. Calisthenics: pull-ups (10, red band); push-ups (20); GHD sit-ups (10); squats (10); PVC sotts press (10).

Strength: Overhead Squats

I worked with Brian Cohen on this one. New 5 rep max effort.

Results: 5 x 45 / 5 x 70 / 3 x 90 / 1 x 110 / 5 x 120 (PR). These felt solid.

Volume: 1,555

WOD: “Foolish Chief”

This WOD requires TOO MANY air squats. I would SO rather do it with weighted front or back squats, and much fewer reps. My knees did NOT like the workout at all. I’ve been making progress against my jumper’s knee on the left patellar tendon; this didn’t help. Back in April I did a half-assed version of this (I was recovering from surgery!). This was my first time through “as Rx’d” (although my weight was not near the maximum Rx).

Every minute on the minute for 20 minutes:
3 Power Cleans (Use ~80% of your 3RM not to exceed 155/105lbs)
6 Push-ups
12 Squats
If you are unable to complete the work within the minute take a full minute to rest. When you jump back in keep the power cleans the same (3 reps) and subtract one rep from the push-ups and two reps from the squats. Continue this pattern until the 20 minutes has expired. Post total squats completed to comments. Highest score possible = 240 squats.

I used 115 lbs (about 80% of my 5 RM, which is currently 145, on paper).

WOD Nov. 19th 2010 "Foolish Chief"

Legend: that’s 10 rounds at 12 squats, rest one round, 4 rounds at 10, plus only 4 squats on the 5th round, rest one round, then 3 rounds at 8. With 115#

Results: 188 squats, 97 push-ups, 54 x 115 power cleans.

Power Clean Volume: 6,210.

What a BEATDOWN. I was not feeling too great after this one. But I must admit that later, I felt happy to be able to do shit like this at all.

CrossFit rocks, even if the amount of volume we sometimes do is ridiculous.

Saturday Beatdown (5k walk/sprint and Carolina Challenge MetCon)

Plan HTFU was in full effect this morning as I did two workouts between 6:30 and 8:30 am; first a 5k walk/sprint (on my usual “Montford Crawl” route) and then, at the 7:30 am CFA class, a few sets of heavy Thrusters followed by the Carolina Challenge WOD.

It was a lot of work. As a result, there’s no need for additional volume in Pull-Ups and Push-Ups today! (I did do one extra set of each, though). I’m spending the rest of the day pigging out, and am going out on the town with Mrs. Baldwin tonight, where I plan to eat whatever the frack I want, although I’ll probably stay completely or mostly gluten free. That’s right: dairy and sugar are permitted tonight! (It’s Saturday, I did two workouts, and I am down 3-4 pounds over the past two weeks).

Montford Crawl 5k walk/sprint

I followed my customary Montford Crawl route.

Protocol: 3 min walking, 90 seconds sprinting (4:30 intervals); result: 7 rounds + 1:31 walking; 33:01 total time.

ANALYSIS of Walk/Sprint Work

I would like to point out that all of these sprint sessions are performed in Vibram Five Fingers shoes.

Comparison of Sprint Work Over All Sessions
Date Distance Protocol Percent Running Total Time Pace Comments
9/25 3.1 90s sprint / 4:30 walk 25% 44:45 14:25.8 DNF all sprints, Pain in Knees
10/2 3.1 60s sprint / 3:00 walk 25% 38:13 12:19.2 No pain
10/9 3.1 90s walk / 30s sprint 25% 32:23 10:26.4 Shorter sprint and recovery intervals leads to faster overall time!
10/16 3.15 6 min walk / 3 min sprint 33% 35:42 11:20 Pain in right leg returns
10/18 3.15 4 min walk / 2 min sprint 33% 34:54 11:04.2 Less pain
10/23 3.1 3 min walk / 90s sprint 33% 33:01 10:39 Pain free!

From this table, it seems that longer walking or recovery times and longer sprint times lead to an overall slower time; but it also seems clear that my results are following a sinuous curve of improvement; not every session will represent a clear improvement over previous work. Although today’s time was not my fastest, if it is compared to the last session with 90s sprints (9/25) it kicked butt. It remains to be seen whether this training protocol will eventually lead to consistent improvements in my 5k time. We shall see.

CFA WOD: “Carolina Challenge ’09”

Today’s CFA WOD included a brief Strength Session and a brutal Mixed Modal MetCon; twice before CFA has done this WOD — which came from last year’s Carolina Fitness Challenge — but I have always had my excuses as to why I couldn’t do it. Not today. Holy Moly.

Strength: Thrusters 3 x 3

Result: 10 x 45 / 5 x 95 / 3 x 115 / 3 x 125.

MetCon: Carolina Challenge

125 Double unders (375 single unders)
100 squats
75 kettlebell swings (53/35lbs)
50 burpees
25 thrusters (~70% of your thruster 5RM not to exceed 115/75lbs)
For time.

My shoulder was my excuse for not doing full weight on the Kettlebell, and I went lighter than Rx’d on the Thrusters as well. There was a 25 minute time limit. I just squeaked by!

Result: 24:35… w/ 35 lb KBs and 80 lb Thrusters.

The Thrusters weight I chose was only 64% of my 5 RM (125). So… that is what it is.

This is a hard workout. Period.

Plan HTFU: Additional Work

Push-Ups: 1 set of 10 in AM before run; 1 set in Warm-Up for WOD.

Pull-Ups: 1 set of 10 in AM before run; 1 set in Warm-Up.

Mobility and Ice: will update later. May not get time tonight, since it’s a date night!

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.

Half Again

Third WOD of the training week, my first week back; I’m still in recuperation mode from my surgery. This was a fun workout involving, for me, a half-serving of 10 rounds of power cleans (going light), push-ups and squats.


A fun partner WOD with body weight only exercises. Later in the day: my scar opens up and my knee starts to bleed.

Mini Dunk

A repeat of “slam dunk,” and in my weakened, post-surgical recovery phase, I still do something… and of that I’m proud.

Cindy full of Grace

My first WOD of 2010 was this fun CFA number, blending Grace with nine rounds of Cindy for a tough, 17+ minute slog. I used 85 lbs on the C&J.