quick note on monday lactate session

6:00 am at CFA the WOD today was 4 x max reps in 30s Thrusters (w/ 80 lbs, ~60% of Thruster 3 RM), with 3:30 rest; followed by 4 rounds of 75 second max effort: 4 pull ups, 8 goblet squats (53 lbs), max reps burpees, @ every 5 minutes (3:45 rest). Result: Thrusters: 12, 13, 13, 13 (51); Burpees: 12, 12, 8, 12 (44).

Fran … Please!

I hate Fran but at least today went better (i.e. heavier and faster) than my last glimpse of her went. But circumstances are against me. I have yet to do a prescribed Fran; either novicity, or weakness, or injury has always prevented me when Fran comes around. One day I’ll be ready for Fran, but not today; today, kipping pull-ups were out, dead hangs were too slow, so I went with a red band.


Agility ladder. Mobility. GHD Sit-Ups (10); Sotts press (10); Squats (10); Push-Ups (20); Pull-Ups (15 x blue band).

Strength: Front Squat

Dynamic effort 60% of 5 RM x 12 x 2 @ 60s; I actually went with 67%; 105 lbs x 12 x 2 @ 60s.

Volume: 2,520.

WOD: Fran

Fran needs no introduction: 21-15-9, 95 lb Thrusters and Pull-Ups, for time.

Two weeks ago I did Franzilla, which is supposed to be heavier than Fran, but isn’t all Thrusters; I used 85 lbs (shoulder pain was worse then, I now remember) and the red band. My time was 10:15.

Back in March when I was recovering from surgery I did a shoulder press Fran w/ 60 lbs dumbells, in 7:25.

The closest I have come to doing an as Rx’d Fran was “Our Lady” about ten months ago. But in that 11 minute workout I fell short of the reps in Fran by 16.

Just over a year ago I did Fran with scaled weight (85) and no bands in 9:50.

This year, I did Fran with 95 lbs and red band in 9:57. I tried the first rep unassisted, and then did two more singles, trying to test whether I could kip, but I had to switch to a red band. That only cost me a few seconds.

This go around was stronger in terms of Thrusters; it was like 450 more pounds of Thruster volume with only 7 extra seconds of time; but I probably lost at least that many pounds off the assisted pull-ups. This isn’t a wash; it all around looks weaker to me, but honestly I just don’t know.

HTFU: Additional Volume

Push-Ups: besides x 20 in warm-up / 4 x 20 after work

Pull-Ups: besides warm-up blue band and Fran 6 sets of 4 dead hang pull-ups after work.

Food Update

I know yesterday I was all, like, I’m going to eat in the Zone for a week. Today I am not 100% behind the plan. But we’ll see.

I tried one day today and it was weird. For one thing, I don’t know if I can so easily make the switch from a fat-dominant diet to the more balanced “Zone” proportions.

Anyway, I’m still game, but like I said I get to have more fruit than usual and I’m using starches (potatoes, and tonight I had white rice).

On today’s meals I overshot carbs by a block or two and I overshot the fat by 7 blocks or so (i.e. I went 1.33x).

AM: BCAAs and JACK3D; L-Carnitine; POST-WOD: BCAAs, L-Glutamine; Chromium, D3, Cal-Mag, B-complex; probiotics

Breakfast (8:30 am): 2 whole eggs; 4 egg whites; touch of butter; 1 cup cooked dandilion greens; 1 tsp. butter; touch of cider vinegar; 1.5 orange (12 slices); 4 oz. white potato; 1 scoop whey powder; 1/2 cup hemp milk; 2/5 banana (47.00 pro 19.50 fat 65.00 cho)

Snack: 10:00 am: 8 almonds (2/5 oz); 3 oz. chicken; 1 apple med/large (23.00 pro 8.25 fat 29.00 cho)

Lunch: 12:00 pm: 12 almonds (3/5 oz); 7 oz. chicken; 1 banana; 1 coconut water; 1 pecan date roll (49.50 pro 17.25 fat 61.00 cho)

Dinner: 5:30 pm: 8 oz. grass fed ground beef fried with 1/2 tomato, 1/4 onion, garlic; added chicken fat (1.5 tsp); 1 cup white rice; 1 date; 1 tbsp. fish oil; 1 tsp. drippings from the pan. (49.00 pro 47.00 fat 80.00 cho)

Totals: 168.5 g pro (met target); 92g fat (17g over target, mostly from the fish oil and scraping the pan); 235g cho (this is basically on-target; 19g over): 2442 calories.

I would have been fine today without the date or the coconut water, apparently. Good to know. At this level of caloric intake I might lose a pound of fat or more this week. We’ll see.

One thing I will say about the canonical Zone diet, you feel like you’re getting plenty of protein to safeguard your muscles, and there’s no doubt that it supplies TONS of carbs for muscle recovery and brain fuel, so there’s very little risk of gluconeogenesis robbing your lean mass if you’re hypocaloric.

But it feels wrong to me. Going even one day “in the Zone” as I did today, is enough to remind me how much I love the Robb Wolf Rule: you can sub fat for carbs. And I’d rather. But for one week I’m going to try to shoot for these numbers.

By the way. I am aware that lots of CrossFitters use much lower protein prescriptions for their Zone diets; typical CrossFit men are eating just 16-18 blocks a day. I don’t like those numbers: 16 blocks is only 112g protein, and unless you move to 1.5x fat or 2x fat or higher, your totals come out to well under 2000 calories.

In my eating, I have found that I like to set my protein levels high, and carbs much lower. I really seem to thrive on about 24 blocks of protein / 65 blocks of fat / and 15 blocks of carbs. Or thereabouts.

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!

Hands Hands Feet

Briefly: today’s skill work was handstands (mine seem to be getting better) followed by a curious, hard to describe WOD (see the description on the CFA webpage) combining box jumps and thrusters in a slow ascending and quick descending ladder.

On the WOD I used a 20″ box, 85 lbs on the bar (~70% of 5 RM thruster), completed 5 rounds + 14 reps in the first 6 minutes, rested the 7th minute, and then finished out the WOD by 11:17 (i.e. another 4:17 going down the ladder). Total Box Jumps: 72; total Thrusters: 32.

Shoulder Press and Double Jackson

I had a dispiriting workout on Wednesday morning, with a weak performance on the shoulder press and a super slow “Double Jackson,” which was more about mental than physical weakness. But before I rail too much on my “failures” I intend to look at the facts.

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


Some crawling around and footwork. Stretching. Calisthenics: push-ups (5); sledgehammer swings (10 x each side) GREAT for aggression; back squats and overhead squats w/ 45 lb bar (10 x each); GHD sit-ups (10).

Strength: Shoulder Press

The evidence of the past few months shows very little progress in shoulder press. Last time I did shoulder press was during this recovery period from my Feb. surgery, April 1st, when I went light and did about 2,725 in volume. Before that I had done shoulder press right after my surgery (only a week later!) on Feb. 8th where volume was 2,665, and I tied my 5 rep PR, and almost got a new 5 rep PR with 4 x 110, fail on 5. I’ve been stuck at a shoulder press 5 rep PR of 105 since June 09 (see workout of Jan. 4th).

Wednesday didn’t provide any relief from this malaise.

Result: 3 x 95/ 3 x 105 / 3 x 110 / 1 x 115 / 3 x 2 x 115 (failing on 3rd in each set).

Volume: 1,735

This doesn’t look too bad at first for a 3 rep attempt session. Volume is lower, which is to be expected. And the weights were up there. But my paper 3 rep max, set on Dec. 15th 2009, is 120, set during a much more solid session, where all the lifting was at 100 or above; the volume was just a bit less. The only thing better about yesterday’s session was the total number of reps at 115 or above. 7 reps yesterday, only 6 in Dec. MAYBE this means I’m improving. But three of those 115 or above reps on Dec. 15th were at 120.

All things considered, one explanation suggests itself: I’m a bit de-trained, a bit softer today than I was 4 months ago, and that combined with the fact that it was 5:00 am, and I’ve been getting an average of about 4 hours of sleep a night, especially before the early workouts, I brought all I could but it wasn’t as much. This schedule is impeding the training and… dang it all… I have to do something different.

WOD: “Double Jackson”

5 rounds for time of:
20 thrusters (bar weight)
20 push-ups

Result: 18:18. Ridiculously slow. The sets of thrusters I did were flowing and fast, I just broke them up with unnecessarily long rests between sets. And those push-ups. Talk about exposing a weakness. Time for some increased volume of push-ups.

Thrusters and Jump Ball

I had a good start to the workout week this morning with a new 1 RM PR in Thrusters (140 lbs) and a decent time in a little kettlebell / box step-up ladder called “Box Jump.” I went lighter than last time, but a lot faster: 6:19. It’s good to be alive.

Cyber Monday Flood

A 3 rep max Thrusters strength session, setting a new PR of 135 lbs, followed by a 4 round AMRAP 3 minutes of 6 Ring Push-Ups, 3 Squat Cleans and 3 Thrusters, with 95 lbs, resting 1 minute between rounds; total rounds: 8, plus 12 reps.