Friday, December 31, 2010

Snatch & Push Up Ladders...

Today was my first day training since last friday (12/24). I took 6 days off while on vacation in Mexico with my family. It was a nice break but I was looking forward to getting back at it.

I did snatch and push up ladders with the 16kg bell . I did 5 ladders with 5 rungs on each ladder.

Snatch - L &R then Push Up
1 x 3 3 reps
1 x 3 3 reps
1 x 4 4 reps
1 x 5 5 reps
I did the above 5 times.
There were 15 reps each ladder for a total of:
75 Snatch reps left
75 Snatch reps right
150 total snatch reps
75 total Push Ups
It took me 11:12 for 5 rounds compared to 11:38 last week. 
I finished with 50 Gama Cast with the 25# Clubbell.

Friday, December 24, 2010


As Christmas Eve approched I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that has motivated me to become better in my training and with my nutrition. I started this blog 4 years ago as a training log to be able to go back and track my progress. Although I still use it mainly for that purpose it has become much more.

The subtitle of the blog has always been - "The main purpose which is to share ideas and provide motivation for myself and others" and still still holds true to today. I will admit I am amazed how the strength & conditioning and nutrition "online community" has helped shape my thoughts and philosophy about ..."What is Fitness"? but in a good way.

Crossfit has been a great way to get a sense of "community" . It helps push me during my training but when "life happens" and my ability to make it to the box becomes more and more difficult the ability to still connect with like minded individuals helps me keep on track.

I truly appreciate the interactions I have had with each of you.

Merry Christmas,

Double Kettlebell Complexes...

In addition to my Crossfit Training two to three days a week I am getting back to more regular kettlebell training. I am starting Geoff Neupert's Kettlebell Muscle Program. It is all double kettlebell work and is challenging and fun. Check it out!

My training looked like this:

Four rounds of:
5 Double High Pulls
5 Double Snatches
5 Double Military Presses
5 Front Squats

I used the 20kg (44#) bells for all exercises
120 second rest in between rounds

I finished with: Gama Cast - 25lb clubbell - 50 reps

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Eating Survival Guide...

As Christmas and New Years approach I have been thinking about my diet during the holidays. (My wife and I are taking the kids to Mexico for a five to days to an all-inclusive resort so my year end nutritional issues are even bigger than they normally would be). I wanted to wrote a post about surviving the holidays without sabotaging all of your hard work. I found this article from Crossfit Athens and decided to share it.

"Many of you have heard me talk about the 80/20 rule before. For those that haven't, it states that 80% of our rewards come from 20% of our actions. For example, in business, 80% of sales are derived from 20% of the customer base. Conversely, 80% of your headaches come from 20% of your customers"

"An even more CrossFit-esque example: 80% of our gains in strength, flexibility, stamina, cardio endurance, speed, power, accuracy, agility, coordination and balance come from about 20% of the exercises we utilize. Ever wonder why squats, deadlifts, push ups, and pull ups (or some variation of these, ie. wall ball) show up so often? Now you know"

"Taking this principle of 80/20, we can infer that 80% of our gains in the nutritional realm of health come from about 20% of our habbits. Getting rid of sugar and junk food, drinking more water, and eatting more fruits and vegetables is powerful medicine. It will increase the average persons health more so than deciding to take fish oil supplements (or any supplements), worrying about macro-nutrient timing, or getting your Zone block portions correct"

"So how can we put this info to use over the holidays? I'm glad you asked".

"When you're at the office Christmas party this year, hold back on the sugar laiden snacks. Go for a handful of peanuts instead, or even better hit up the meat and cheese tray along with a handful off of the veggie platter. (Yes you can have the Ranch too. Just remember you should still be able to taste your veggies. You're not adding crunch to the Ranch!)"

"As much as possible, drink water. Even if it's as simple as throwing it in every other drink. (Plus an eggnog hangover is just not worth it)".

"When socializing, do so away from the food. We are all mindless eaters. Ever notice how you go through 3 baskets of chips at the Mexican resteraunt? Out of site, out of mind. It works, I promise"!

"There you have it. Remember, 80% of results come from 20% of the effort. Make the simple things work for you!"

From Crossfit Athens

“Pink Bunny”...

“Pink Bunny”
4 Rounds for time of:
25 Back Squats (95)
25 Double Under Attempts

13:11 not Rx
Rx was 50 DU's per round

It was more skill practice for me than a Met-Con, Worked on squat depth and double unders

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Muscle Ups & Training Changes...

I went back to CFNE last night with Jared for Crossfit Kids and decided to screw around. I decided to so some Muscle Ups. Another goal down...5 consecutive Muscle Ups. Third PR of the day. "It was a good day"!

Loving CF lately but I realize I need to keep a strength training component in my training. In January I plan on adding two days a week of just strength related training. Maybe "Enter ther Kettlebell" or "Kettlebell Muscle". Also considereing some "German Volume Training" or "Escalating Density Training". Plus I need to make sure that I am working in some Clubbell Training as well to mix it up.

Power Snatch & “Randy”

1. Power Snatch
3 rep Max - 135# (40# PR)

2. “Randy”
75 Power Snatches for time (75)
7:22 (1:25 PR)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Snatch & Push Up Ladders...

I did not make it to Crossfit New England this morning because of lack of sleep last I did the following in the basement (just like last week).

Today I did snatch and push up ladders with the 16kg bell . I did 5 ladders with 5 rungs on each ladder.

Snatch - L &R then Push Up
1 x 3 3 reps
1 x 3 3 reps
1 x 4 4 reps
1 x 5 5 reps

I did the above 5 times.

There were 15 reps each ladder for a total of:
75 Snatch reps left
75 Snatch reps right
150 total snatch reps

75 total Push Ups

It took me 11:38 for 5 rounds compared to 26:58 last week for 10 rounds. On pace for a sub-25 minute 10 round ladder!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

SEALFIT - "CP Smith"...

I did my first "Sealfit" workout this morning.

SEALFIT is an integral training program developed by retired Navy Commander, competetive athlete and martial artist Mark Divine. SEALFIT combines training for elite fitness, mental toughness, and "kokoro spirit" into a single program delivered through daily workouts, an immersion academy, a renowned 50 hour "Kokoro" camp, and a growing number of certified coaches delivering SEALFIT at CrossFit gyms around the country.
SEALFIT picks up where other elite training programs leave off. Focusing on the whole person, we train to a set of powerful values, and focus as much training on the "inner" emotional and spiritual person as we do the "outer" physical person. Our innovative system integrates best practices from CrossFit programming, strength development, austere environmental training, team and leadership development, cutting edge sports psychology and ancient warrior development techniques.

SEALFIT is a graduate level program scalable to beginners and intermediate trainees via our Online Training program, our Academies and through our expert Physical Training Coaches at Partner Gyms. Our clients include Professionals, CrossFit and serious athletes, special operations candidates and others who seek serious mental toughness training and to learn to operate at peak capacity for long periods of time

"CP Smith" - 49.:57

6 Rounds for Time:

15 x Bench Press (175#)

15 x Clapping Push-up

15 x Knees to Elbow

Run 400M

I strength-scaled to 10 reps per exercises for 6 rounds - 60 total
The Bench Presses and Clapping Push-ups got hard early on!


Saturday, December 18, 2010

“Hairy Tounge”...

AMRAP 20 of:

5 C2B Pull ups

10 Ring Dips

15 Overhead Squats (95)

7 Rounds plus 5/10/3

Thursday, December 16, 2010


3 Rounds for time of:

10 Weighted Pull ups – no kipping/Strict - 25#

30 Good Mornings, 45#


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

“Press - Push Press - Push Jerk”

“Press – Push Press -Push Jerk"

Press 5 sets of 1 - worked up to 145# x 1

Push Press 5 sets of 3 - worked up to 160# x 3

Push Jerk 5 sets of 5 - worked up to 165# x 5

45 total reps - My legs and shoulders are smoked!

Monday, December 13, 2010


3 Rounds for time of:
15 Deadlifts (225)
50 Abmat Sit ups

7:17 Rx
All Reps Unbroken!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Black Ice"...

"Black Ice"

3 Rounds for Time of:
10 Double Kettlebell Snatches (35)
10 Double Clubbell Swipes (25)
10 Clubbell Gama Cast (25)
10 Kettlebell Swings (53)

10:37 Rx

I finished with 50 consecutive Figure 8/Hold (35)

Saturday, December 11, 2010


5 Rounds:
Max Bench Press (bodyweight) - 155#
Max Pull ups (bodyweight)

My total was 56/81
137 reps Rx

There are a number of different ways to do “Lynne.” Today we will be doing a max rep bench immediately followed by a max rep set of Pull ups. Once you come off the Pull up Bar, rest 2 minutes and repeat for a total of 5 rounds.

Friday, December 10, 2010

“Filthy Fifty”...

For time:
50 Box jump, 24 inch box
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings (35)
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press (45)
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots (20)
50 Burpees
50 Double unders

33:46 Rx
PR by 8:13 from last time. (used 14# ball last time)
Spent over 8 minutes on Wall Balls. Uuuuuuggggggghhhhh!
I hate Wall Balls!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Importance of Rest...

Go into your gym and look around some time. What I want you to look for is the people with the knee braces, wrist wraps, elbow braces, etc. continuing to train intensely (or at least trying). Or the ones just going through the motions, who are only there out of some confused sense of obligation or what have you. Perhaps, if you think about it, you’re one of those people.

Rest Days

I want you to ask yourself how many days off you take each week. And when I say off I mean off. Not “I do an hour of aerobics but that doesn’t count.” I mean off. One, maybe two. Probably not that many. How many people (the ones wearing the various braces) are in there every day, sometimes more than once? Either they are doing weights multiple times per week and cardio on the off days or they are doing both each day.

Trust me, I’ve been there too, trying to train 6 days/week (I at least conceded one day off per week, although I didn’t do that consistently until my late 20’s) and wondering why I was burnt out, tired all the time, not performing well, etc.

But you argue, Lance trains 6 days/week, so do most road cyclists. Well, elite road cyclists are genetic freaks, train full time (they don’t have job and such cutting into their time) and the majority of the peleton is using drugs so you really shouldn’t derive very many conclusions about how you, who has a job, has real life stress and isn’t preparing for the Tour De France.

Most runners run 6 days/week. Yeah, and most runners are overtrained and chronically injured. And Arnold and his ilk lifted 6 days/week. Genetics and drugs. Same with the Bulgarians, the Soviets, you name it. These are the genetic elite, training full time with no job or life stress, and juiced to the gills. Unless you have all those things going for you, you shouldn’t try to emulate their training. And given that a massive percentage of elite athletes report being overtrained, perhaps even they should be training less frequently.

Which is simply a long winded way of suggesting that, if you are anything like the normal trainee, you’re doing too much. You probably train too many days per week and take too few days off. You’re lifting 3-4 days/week and trying to do cardio another 3-4 days/week (this is especially true if you are a fat/weight obsessed female). And you wonder why your joints are always kind of sore, you don’t really look forwards to your workouts anymore and everything that signals, if not true overtraining, at least overreaching (the distinction is another topic for another day).

So, I want you to look at your current training schedule, how many days are you training, how many days do you have off? I recommend that everyone, and this is true from the beginning exerciser to the elite athlete have at least one day completely off from training. That’s the minimum.

This is called passive rest, I want you to sit around all day. I’m not a religious person but this is best summed up by a quote from Charlie Francis’s book Speed Trap. Francis had asked his coach if they could afford to take Sunday’s off. His coach told him “The Lord made the world in six days, and on the seventh he rested. Do you think you could do better than that?” Most elite athletes take at least one day off from training each week and the ones who don’t usually pay for it in the long run. Why do you think you need more training than they do? If you simply can’t stay still and not do something, go for a brisk walk outdoors. But stay out of the gym. See if you aren’t refreshed when you go back to the gym the next day.

At least one (and probably two) other days per week, you should be doing active rest. This is light activity done to improve recovery. An endurance cyclist who typically trains for 2 hours might spin very easily (at a heart rate of 130-140 or lower) for 30-40 minutes. And I mean light spinning, almost no pressure on the pedals. It pumps some blood, burns a few calories, and helps recovery. Sipping a protein/carb drink during active recovery may help shuttle nutrients to the worked muscles. A runner should do some sort of cross training to give their connective tissues a rest. Try the EFX/elliptical or something non-impact.

People involved in heavy weight training can do something similar for passive rest, just very light cardio activity (brisk walking, spin on the bike) but, again, the intensity should be pretty low. If your trying to bodybuild, your focus should be on lifting anyhow and 3-4 days/week should be plenty for everyone. Most powerlifters only lift 4 days/week (on average) although many are starting to do extra stuff of late. Again, these are typically full time athletes and there is always the steroid factor to consider. Why do you think you need more time in the weight room than they do? If you want to do a little aerobic conditioning, either double it up on one of your training days or keep it very low intensity on the off days.

Even for general fitness exercisers, I think taking extra days off (or performing active rest) is beneficial. Find places to cut your weight training down (most people’s workouts are absurdly long) and put some of your cardiovascular work after your weights (on upper body days). I think you get the idea. Find a way to get your training down to 3-4 days/week total with 1 day completely off and a couple of days of active recovery.

Try this for the next 2 weeks, cutting back your training days and increasing how many days you rest and recover. See if you don’t freshen up and start to get more enthusiastic about the days you are in the gym. In the follow up to this article, in 2 weeks, I’ll talk about taking longer breaks from training and why it’s such a good idea.

More Rest Considerations

Now, I want you to ask yourself when the last extended break from training you took was. By extended I mean more than a day or two off from training, more like a 5-14 day span where you stayed out of the gym, where you either did nothing or did something completely different than your normal training program. If you can’t think of one, try to think about the last time that you got sick or injured and were forced to take an extended period of time off from your training. What did you notice when you came back?

Unless it was a very extended time off (more than 2 weeks), I bet you were far more enthusiastic about your training, some of those little twinges or aches had gone away. Perhaps you busted through your previous plateaus after a short break in period.

And then, if you’re like everyone else out there, you went right back to training the way you had done before. Hammering for weeks, months, even years on end without a break. Or until you got sick or injured again. Repeat the cycle until you wise up. If you ever do.

Odds are, if you’re like most out there, the mere idea of taking 5 days (or more) off from training fills you with fear. All your strength, muscle and fitness will just disappear. And, oh my god, you’ll just get fat.

Except that the detraining studies, and real-world experience, show something different. You lose very little fitness in a 5-14 day span, depending on what you’re looking at. I mean think about it this way: if you spend 11.5 months out of the year getting in-shape, how much fitness can you honestly lose in 5-14 days? Not very much is the answer.

Given how overtrained many people are, many come back stronger or fitter than before. Even in terms of fat loss, I’ve seen people who were training at insane levels and watching their diet get leaner when they took a break from all that training and ate more (this magic trick usually lasts about a week maximum).

Almost all athletes take easy periods in their training (some call this unloading or deloading) although this depends significantly on how they are training. And the ones that don’t should. The average scheme is to train intensely for 3 weeks and then take an easy week where volume, intensity, frequency or all three are reduced. Others will go 5-6 weeks and then take an easy week. My generic bulking routine, alternates 2 weeks of easy training with 4-6 weeks pushing the weights up I’d probably suggest, on average, taking a full week off from training after every 3 cycles (18-24 weeks) of continuous training.

Longer cycles of 16-18 weeks are often followed by periods of 5-10 days completely off from training. Charlie Francis, sprint coach extraordinaire, often gave his athletes 5 days completely off from training between every 12-16 week block. So they’d work up to a new peak over 12 weeks (on a 3 week hard/1 week easy schedule) including their final taper, take 5 days off to recharge and then do it again. Yet most people training recreationally think they can go all out year round (bodybuilders are notorious for this).

Additionally, at the end of every training season, most athletes will take anywhere from 2-4 weeks away from their sport during what is called the transition phase (where you transition from the previous season of training to the next). This used to be called the off-season, athletes would sit around for a month or two but, with periods that extended, they would detrain and lose a lot of fitness. Now it’s closer to 2-4 weeks but with some amount of activity to prevent too much fitness loss.

So, I want you to look at your last year’s training, when’s the last time you took an extended break from training, or took a week or two to do something completely different. Stay out of the weight room, go do bodyweight circuits in the park. Hike in the hills for some leg training, just go do something different. And don’t be afraid to take 5 days of easy training every 3-4 months to give your body and mind a break, you won’t lose anything and you may find that you gain a lot when you come back to the gym. Both physically and psychologically. Because, let’s face it, if training is a chore and you’re not pushing yourself, you’re not making gains anyhow. Taking some time away from your training can refresh the mind as well as the body and get you more excited about your training.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Snatch & Push Up Ladders...

I had could not make it to Crossfit New England this morning because I had an early morning appointment 150 miles away. I got home early enough to make it to the night class but thought that 315 miles was enough driving for the I did the following in the basement (just like last week).

Today I did snatch and push up ladders with the 16kg bell . I did 10 ladders with 5 rungs on each ladder.

Snatch - L &R then Push Up
1 x 3 3 reps
1 x 3 3 reps
1 x 4 4 reps
1 x 5 5 reps

I did the above 10 times.
There were 15 reps each ladder for a total of:

150 Snatch reps left
150 Snatch reps right
300 total snatch reps

150 total Push Ups

It took me 26:58 at a fast pace compared to 37:24 last week which translates into a 10:26 PR.
Next time - sub 25:00!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

“Deadlift OTM” & “AMRAP 7 Goat”...

1. “Deadlift OTM”
10 rounds of:
Every Minute on the Minute Complete 2 Deadlifts.
275, 295, 305, 315, 325, 330, 335, 345, 350, 355

2. “AMRAP 7 Goat”
10 OH Squats (95)
10 Double Unders

4 Rounds - Got 7 rounds in the “AMRAP 15″ last time

“Goats” are weaknesses or movements that give you trouble. Next to training with Intensity, there is no faster way to improve your overall fitness (GPP) than fixing chinks in your armour. For the past 4 weeks we have been working AMRAP 15 Goat WODs. This week we are doing an AMRAP 7, and attempting to beat 1/2 your PR from the “AMRAP 15″

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Death By Kettlebell Thrusters...

On the first minute complete 1 Thruster. On the second minute complete 2 Thrusters. Continue to add one Thruster every minute for as long as you are able to complete the prescribed reps within the minute.

Death By KB Thrusters - 20kg bells (88#) - 8 rounds (36 reps)

I finished with: KB Figure 8/Hold - 24kg bell - 50 reps

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Clubbell Barbarian Squats & Push Ups...

One of my favorite Clubbell exercises is the heavy Clubbell Barbarian Squat. Simply stated, it’s a full body complex which addresses the legs and glutes like a squat, the traps and back like a deadlift, the shoulders like a pull over and front raise, the arms like a curl and extension, and the core like a medball floor routine. Few things hit everything like the Barbarian Squat.

My training looked like this today:
20 sets of 5 for time: 18:27
Clubbell Barbarian Squat - 25lb Clubbell - 100 reps
Push Ups - 100 reps

I finished with 50 Hammer Swings with the 25lb Clubbell

Friday, December 3, 2010

“The Other Total”

“The Other Total”

Max reps of Clean and Jerk (bodyweight) - 3 @ 155# (PR)
Max reps of Bench Press (bodyweight) - 24 @ 155#(PR)
Max reps of Overhead Squat (bodyweight) - 2  @ 155# (PR)

Warm up as needed. Then load the bar equal to your bodyweight and complete as many reps as possible in one unbroken set. If you can not complete one rep at bodyweight work up to a 1 rep max.

Clean and Jerks are touch and go. You may rest at the hang, the rack or overhead, but not the ground.

Bench must touch chest.

OHS can be from the rack.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Clubbell & Bodyweight Training...

My training looked like this:

Double Swipes - 15lb clubbells - 50 reps
Hammer Swings - 15lb clubbell - 100 reps
One-handed Mills - 15lb clubbell - 100 reps
Gama Cast - 25lb clubbell - 100 reps
Dips - 50 reps
Toes to Bar - 50 reps