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.

Oh Fran Fran Fran

CrossFit Asheville does Fran. Strength Work: Overhead Squats, with a new 5 rep PR at 95 lbs. Followed by the benchmark most loved and feared, in which WOD I smash my previous time and performance (from February).

A Greater High

Another awesome Friday morning at CrossFit Asheville. Thrusters. Ball Slams, Pull-Ups, and High Box Jumps. Lots of fun. But then I ended up eating and drinking a bit too much. That’s the weekend for you.

Level Headed (CrossFit Seattle)

A Macaque Monkey at the Seattle Zoo

A Macaque Monkey at the Seattle Zoo

Gosh I slept terribly last night — tossing and turning, looking for comfort — and little nephew Hugo got up at 4:00 am and started playing on the floor RIGHT ABOVE where we were sleeping. So I guess I got between 4 and 6 hours total sleep… I’m not sure. 1 block breakfast, and off to Level 4 CrossFit Seattle for their 6:00 am group class. Before coming out West I had contacted Level 4 general manager Nancy Meenen, who was super nice and welcomed me as a drop in.

The trainer at the 6:00 am session was Matt Alford, who turned out to be a super cool guy, very high energy, and clearly a strong and fit dude. I guess you have to have all these qualities, when your day job is teaching grade school gym class (in comparison, adult CrossFitters probably have a tendency to scream a little less than 3rd graders).

Warm Up

A jog around the block (maybe 600 meters?) followed by a very interesting, Yoga-influenced warm up that combined some static stretching and dynamic movements. I wish I could have memorized the sequence of moves. Some of the stuff was pretty good. It certainly got me worked up. One thing I do remember that I liked were moves that combined PVC shoulder dislocates with forward bend stretching with snatch and overhead squat training, and another move that used the PVC pipe to facilitate ballistic leg swings. Fun stuff!


Incredibly… the strength component was to find a 15 rep (yes, 15 rep) max on the Overhead Squat. I only did about 3 full sets, I think.

15 x 20 kg
15 x 30 kg
11 x 35 kg


Turns out the OHS strength work was designed to help identify a work weight for the WOD, which I am calling “Level Headed.”

Seven rounds of:
7 x Thrusters
7 x Pull Ups
For time.
Work with a partner, each partner completes the round before moving on to the next round.

Obviously, this WOD resembles a broken down version of Fran. But it has 4 more reps than Fran, and for most people, the weights were lighter. On the other hand, I do think that the strongest and fastest Level 4 folks were actually using heavier weights than Fran and were also wearing weight vests! Holy shit.

My partner was a nice enough guy, named Bruce. He was a little slower than me, and ended up scaling down his weight for the Thrusters, but we were probably the best matched in the group, so, there it is. Our time was the slowest in the house. :-( But what are you gonna do?

Results: Thrusters: 35 kg, Pull-Ups: smallest (black) band
Total time: 12 minutes something (yes I forgot to get the exact time).

Fun in Seattle

Afterwards, we took a little trip to the Seattle Zoo with the families. Very fun.

“No Limits”

Played poker last night with my whiskey-swilling, cigarette-smoking, pizza-scarfing comrades in vice, and I managed to escape with minimal damage (certainly no cigarettes, only two shots of whiskey, and only one slice of Papa John’s Meat Lover’s Pizza — call it a mini-cheat; it did not appreciably throw off the day’s totals). Went to bed by about 1:00 am, but could not fall asleep until 3:00 am. Reset the alarm… got up at 6:15, 1 block b’fast, 7:00 am CFA workout. Yeah that’s right, I got 3 hours of sleep. I’m gonna need coffee… and then a nap.

Warm Up

Agility drills (karaokes footwork of various types, standing broad jumps, one legged broad jumps, bear crawls, crab walks, etc.); dislocates, sampsons, hips, hams, calves, push-ups (15), squats (15), knees to elbows (15), pull-ups (12).

I gotta get back on the Pull-Up tip. I can feel my Lats wilting.

We finished warming up with Burgener clean progression.

The WOD: “No Limits”

Today’s CrossFit Asheville WOD:
20 minute AMRAP:
5 Thrusters
7 Hang Power Clean
10 Sumo Deadlift High-pull
Rx’d Men: 95#; Women: 65#.

No desire to kill myself; I am satisfied with doing more than the Rx’d women’s weight. I used a 20kg bar and 15# per side, or 74.1 pounds.

Results: 8 rounds exactly.

This is a great workout. Think about it: 8 rounds is 40 thrusters, 56 HPCs, and 80 SDHPs. All in 20 minutes. 176 reps is a lot of work. Gotta love CrossFit.

"Mini Fran." PUC Postponed.

Lousy sleep, only from 1:00 am to 6:30 am. I went to bed before 11:00 pm, but couldn’t fall asleep. Thinking about so many things. But I felt ok in the morning and I jetted off to the 7:00 am workout at CFA. No coffee. No breakfast. Only about 8 oz. of water. So I knew I was asking for trouble. But it was alright.

When I got there I saw that the workout was “Fran.” Ouch. And bad timing for me. My first experience with “Fran” was when I was a CrossFit Newbie (see Feb. 16, 2009), and today, as luck would have it, I encountered her again when I was recovering from an acute back injury.

Never mind, I decided to do a mini-Fran, and let’s just say this: “it is what it is.”

Warm Up

Agility drills (footwork, arms, crawling, etc.), Shoulder Dislocates, Sampson, Hip Mobility, Hamstrings and Calf stretches, Squats (10), Push-Ups (15), Knees to Elbows (12), Pull-Ups (medium band assist, 10).

I was happy and surprised at how easily I knocked out the K2Es. I did 12 in a row with just a tiny little kip to get me up. Knees touched the elbows every time.

Strength and Skill

Rx’d was work on Kipping Pull-Ups or Muscle Ups. I worked a bit on the Kipping Pull Up. Nothing major. I just took it easy.

WOD: “Mini-Fran”

For me, Mini-Fran today was:
15, 12, 9 of Thrusters (65 lbs), and Pull-Ups (medium band assist)
for time.

Results: 6:54.

This felt ok. I felt a little wimpy for not going all-out, especially knowing that both Tom and Rustan had pushed themselves as hard as they could go during the 6:00 am workout, using no resistance bands, and prescribed weights.

My back is recovering and I did not aggravate it further with the thrusters or the pull-ups. That was the goal. I also got the metabolic rush which told me at least that I was not sandbagging it through my Mini-Fran, even if she was light on the weight, easy on the pull-ups, and smaller on the reps.

It’s hard to compare this case of “Fran” with the previous one in February. I did 9 fewer reps, and I did 10 fewer pounds, but I used less resistance on the pull-ups. And I personally weigh a lot less; I weighed in at 179.5 yesterday, and I weighed in at 211 on Feb 15th. But the fact is that I did this one almost 9 minutes faster than the last one. I am clearly stronger, faster, and more capable of putting out the power now. But the results are not comparable, strictly speaking.

Pull-Up Challenge Postponed

It’s my challenge, so I make the rules. I know I have been poking through the end of this first third of the challenge, having stretched one week’s worth out into about 3 weeks worth of time so far. But until I am sure that my back is going to recover without getting further tweaked, I am going to hold off on the extra pull-up training.