After a Couple Days on the Golf Course

My cousin Matt and I, all muddied up

On Saturday night I did the Warrior Dash for the first time. It was a lot of fun doing the obstacles. As I had expected, the run wasn’t bad at all. Now I need to step it up and try a Tough Mudder. Then on Sunday and Monday I went on a little golfing trip up to northern Michigan. It was nice to have a couple of rest days away from the WODs.


5 rounds

  • 1m AbMat Sit-ups
  • 1m Russian Twists (30# KB)
  • 1m Plank
  • 1m V-ups
  • 1m Table Top (30s each side)
  • 1m Rest

I could still feel the GHD work that I did on Friday night. This was the first time doing table tops and wow are they tough.


  • 1m Wall Balls
  • 3 rounds
    • 100m Run
    • 5 KB Snatches (L)
    • 5 OH KB Lunges (L)
    • 5 KB Snatches (R)
    • 5 OH KB Lunges (R)
    • 100m Run
  • 1m Wall Balls

Kind of a weird WOD with the minute of wall balls at the beginning and at the end of the WOD, especially when everyone had to keep track of their own minute at the end. I got 29 wall balls that first minute and 25 at the end in the last minute. Total time for the WOD was 8:40, using a 53# KB for all of the snatches and lunges.


  • 100 HR Push-ups

My push-up endurance sucks. I think I started off with a set of 15 and then a set of 10, but after that it was 5s for a while and then whatever I could do. It took me 7:48 to finish off the 100.

Survival Fitness Summer Open 2012

Yesterday, Survival Fitness held the first Summer Open. It was a team event with one male and one female per team. It was a great event with 28 teams competing.

It was the first time I’ve competed in any event like this. The workouts were tough, but fun and rewarding. It was a great experience and very inspiring to watch the top teams. I could barely roll out of bed this morning and it’s a struggle to walk around the house. Even my fingers are sore.

All smiles before WOD #1

WOD #1

10:00 AMRAP (Clean/Deadlift – HR Push-up ladder)

  • Clean 135#
  • HR Push-up


  • Deadlift 135#
  • HR Push-up
  • Man will do 1 clean with 135# and then 1 HR push-up, then…
  • Woman will do 1 deadlift with 135# and then 1 HR push-up, then…
  • Man will do 2 cleans with 135# and then 2 HR push-ups, then…
  • Woman will do 2 deadlifts with 135# and then 2 HR push-ups
  • etc.

This was going to be our weakest workout because of the weight. If we got to the round of 10 I figured it would be good for us. We completed the 10th round and I got in 3 more cleans before time ran out. We placed 24th in the workout. My back has been wrecked for about a week and it’s even worse after this one. I have some pretty good soreness in the lower part of my back. I need to get myself on video to see if there is something I’m doing wrong with my cleans to cause the lower back issues.

The woman had it relatively easy in this one and you could really tell by the fact that the men immediately collapsed to the ground when the 10 minutes was up.

WOD #2

  • Partner A: 100 burpees, then tag off and…
  • Partner B: “Karen”

If you don’t know what “Karen” is, she’s one of the benchmark WODs:

  • 150 Wall Ball Shots for time
  • Women: 16# ball, 8′ target
  • Men: 20# ball, 10′ target

The teams decided who is partner A and who is partner B. This workout had a 14 minute time cap and if your team didn’t finish, each rep not completed adds 1 second to your time for scoring.

Both parts of this are gassers. My partner did burpees and I did the wall balls. My PR for “Karen” is 8:51, but I knew I could do much better. As a best case scenario I was hoping my partner would complete her part under 7 minutes, giving me about 7 minutes to take a shot. She finished up just under 7 minutes and I managed to get 141 wall balls in the 7 remaining minutes. Only 9 more reps and we would have finished! The WOD was our best placing (18th) of the day. My quads and glutes are on fire today from all of the wall balls.

WOD #3

“Isometric Chipper”
15:00 AMRAP

  • Part 1:
    • 60 1 arm d-bell snatch (alternate arms each rep) (45#/30#)
    • Other partner holds a hand stand against the wall
  • Part 2:
    • 50 Goblet squats (45#/30#)
    • Other partner does a bottom squat hold
  • Part 3:
    • 40 AbMat sit-ups
    • Other partner must hold a plank
  • Part 4:
    • 30 K2E
    • Other partner does a bent knee L-hang
  • Part 5:
    • 20 ring rows
    • Other partner holds their chin above the bar

One partner will perform the isometric hold, while the other chips away at the reps. As many switches can be made as needed. No reps are be counted if the partner breaks the isometric hold.

This was one of the most brutal workouts I’ve ever done. The isometric holds crush your soul. I was shooting to get through one round if we could. We got through the circuit once and got done with 40 more snatches, notching us a 22nd place finish in the workout. Nearly every team struggled with the ring row and chin-up hold combination at the end of the circuit because there was nothing left in the tank.

Today I’m feeling a lot of this one in my abs and especially in my upper back and shoulder area from the handstand holds. My partner had a hard time getting up on the wall, so I had to do the majority of the hand stand holds. The goblet squats most definitely contributed to the sore quads and ass I have today.

Overall we finished 25th out of 28 teams and I couldn’t be happier. My partner in the competition only started doing CrossFit about 2 months ago. I didn’t compete with any visions of placing high. I know I can’t stay with the top guys, but I enjoy the challenge and pushing myself.

In addition to these 3 workouts, the top 4 teams then did:

WOD #4

In 7:00:

  • Flip a 325# tire 50 yards down and 50 yards back in the parking lot.
  • With the remaining time, each partner then does over the box jumps (at the same time) using their own 24″ box

Score is total number of over the box jumps when you add both teammates reps together.

WOD #5

“Double DB Fran”

  • Thrusters (45#/30# DBs)
  • Pull-ups

With only one partner working at a time they have to do 42 thrusters, then 42 pull-ups, then 30 of each, and finally 18 of each. The team can split up the block of reps for a movement however they want but they most be completed before switching movements.

For anyone that doesn’t know, “Fran” is the most well-known CrossFit benchmark. When you ask someone their “Fran” time it’s the equivalent of asking a weightlifter how much he bench presses. In a normal “Fran” you do 21-15-9 using a 95# barbell for guys and a 65# barbell for the gals. Top athletes can finish this in under 3 minutes, but it’s an all-out sprint. My PR for DB “Fran” is 9:05, which is not very good.

Moment of the Day

My favorite moment of the day was during the 5th WOD. The male on the second place team (going into the WOD) hurt his ankle in the 4th WOD so he was only able to do a few of the thrusters. That left his partner doing nearly all of the thrusters and him doing nearly all of the pull-ups. If you’ve ever done thrusters you can already begin to imagine the suck.

Many of us have done “Fran” but we’re talking 42-30-18 here! Not 21-15-9. You could see the woman on the edge of tears each time she had to drop the DBs. The guy’s hands were tore up and bleeding all over. They were several minutes past the times of the other 3 teams in the finals and could have called it quits taking 4th in the WOD no matter what. But they dug deep, we all cheered them on, and they finished. You’ll never see anything like that in another sport. We are CrossFitters.


Four of us guys that competed ended up judging the final two events to give all of the other volunteers a break. It was kind of stressful to be in such an important role. Luckily it’s pretty easy to judge the most elite of the group because their form in usually dialed in.

After Hours

After the awards ceremony and most people went home, about 10 or 15 of us stuck around cleaning up a bit, finishing off a keg and a bunch of beer in the fridge. A couple of people that didn’t compete actually did some drinking WODs! I think I got home around 10:30. It was a long day, but worth every minute.


Here are a bunch of photos I’ve downloaded from Facebook. As folks upload more photos I’ll update the gallery here.

Long and Heavy

This morning when I woke up everything was sore. Everything. Maybe it was the way I slept or maybe I’m recovering faster and faster, because a few hours later I was feeling just fine. I skipped doing a workout out at the lake, which let me pack up and drive home so I could hit open gym at Survival Fitness. I was really looking forward to some heavy barbell work after being away on vacation with only dumbbells to work with.


  • 400m Run
  • 2 rounds
    • 10 PVC Pass-thrus
    • 10 PVC OHS



  • 10x 135#
  • 5x 225#
  • 5x 255#
  • 5x 285#
  • 5x 305#
  • 3x 325#

Deadlifting felt good. My grip gave out on the last set so I was only able to get 3 reps. I think that’s more than I’ve ever done for 3 reps, so no complaints.

Power Cleans
* Every minute on the minute for 5 minutes I did the associated number of reps with a weight. After 5 minutes I took about 2 minutes while I changed weights and recovered a bit before starting on the heavier weight for the next 5 minutes.

  • 7x 115#
  • 4x 135#
  • 2x 155#
  • 2x 165#

I’ve never done anything quite like this so it was an experiment. After completing my reps, I had about 30 seconds left in most of the minutes, with slightly more when I got to the last two weight with only 2 reps each. A few months ago 165# was my clean PR and here I am doing it for reps!


4 rounds

  • 25 HR Push-ups
  • 25 Wall Balls (10′ with 20# MB)
  • 25 Sit-ups
  • 25 Box Jumps (24″)

My plan for this morning was to do “Angie” and I was still thinking about doing it at open gym, maybe with a modification like you see here to turn it into 4 rounds of 25 reps each instead of 100 straight of each movement. After doing the deadlifts and the cleans, my hands were is rough shape and I was close to having some blisters and rips, so it was an easy decision to skip pull-ups.

I decided to substitute wall balls for air squats since I hadn’t done any while away on vacation. Instead of pull-ups I threw in box jumps thinking it would be my rest station. After killing my legs with deadlifts and cleans it was rough to jump. I couldn’t rebound at all.

I completed the WOD in 23:01. Nearly 2 solid hours of work and a great way to come back to town.

Karen Plus Helen

Today was another scorcher and I had gone out walking 18 holes of golf this morning, so I went to the 8pm class hoping it would cool off some. I just got home (9:15 pm as I write this) and it’s still 86 degrees out.


  • 50-40-30-20-10 DUs
  • 25-20-15-10-5 Burpees

I finished in 7:59 and had good rhythm with the DUs through each set.


Split up Karen 6 ways and mix the pieces with Helen. What do you get? Haren? Kelen? How about a suck fest?

  • 25 Wall Balls (20# MB)
  • 400m Run
  • 21 KBS (55#)
  • 25 Wall Balls
  • 12 Pull-ups
  • 400m Run
  • 25 Wall Balls
  • 21 KBS
  • 12 Pull-ups
  • 25 Wall Balls
  • 400m Run
  • 21 KBS
  • 25 Wall Balls
  • 12 Pull-ups
  • 25 Wall Balls

I knocked out the best time of the day at 20:59 with one of the owners, Cora, right behind me setting the 2nd best time of the day at 21:06. After we were both done we were talking about how we would not have pushed as hard if the other hadn’t been there, which is so true. Out of the corner of your eye you might see someone close to your level catching up to you or taking a break. That small glimpse makes you push to extend your lead or catch up. In the end, we all make each other better.

End of the Paleo Challenge

One month ago, we started a team Paleo Challenge at Survival Fitness. I promised myself that I would try to go 100% Paleo for the entire challenge, and with one small exception (shredded cheese and croutons on a salad), I did it. I’ve seen incredible results in my fitness, my body composition, and how I feel.

I started the challenge at 12.3% body fat and 181 pounds. In less than 2 weeks, I had dropped to 172 pounds (home scale)! I was losing too much weight, so I increased my protein sources (eggs, meat, fish, etc.) by 50% at each meal. As an example, I went from eating 4 eggs at breakfast to 6. This brought my weight back up into the 175 pound range where I’ve been able to stabilize. This morning at my final weigh-in at the gym I was 178 pounds (not sure how I got back up that high) and 9.8% body fat. That’s a drop of more than 20% of my starting body fat %. I have a visible 6-pack, which has always been a goal of mine. I can’t believe the changes in my body is one short month. A key point is that I had already been eating 80-90% Paleo since I started doing CrossFit, but going 100% made a huge difference!

After taking the rest day yesterday I was feeling great this morning. I attended the 9am class so I could get the benchmark WOD done early. Can you say pizza and Mountain Dew for lunch and dinner? Seriously!


4 rounds

  • 15s Zombie Kicks
  • 15s Jumping Jacks
  • 15s Butt Kicks
  • 15s Mountain Climbers

12:00 AMRAP

  • 150m Run
  • Rest as long as the run took

I started out pretty fast, but realized 12:00 is a long time to do sprints, so I slowed down to a 30s pace in order to save myself for the WOD. It is a warm-up after all. I think I completed 13 runs.


We partnered up again so that we could count each other and get a bit of rest.

5:00 AMRAP

  • Burpees

4:00 AMRAP

  • Wall Balls

3:00 AMRAP

  • Air Squats

2:00 AMRAP

  • KBS (Russian)

1:00 AMRAP

  • AbMat Sit-ups

I improved in each of the tests:

  • Burpees went from 82 to 91, an increase of 10.9%.
  • Wall balls went from 77 to 95, an increase of 23.4%.
  • Air squats went from 101 to 112, an increase of 10.9%
  • KBS went from 76 to 82, an increase of 7.9%.
  • AbMat (“cheater”) sit-ups went from 67 to 81, an increase of 20.9%
  • Total reps went from 403 to 461, an overall increase of 14.4%.

I had one of the top 5 scores for the first assessment, so I figured improving wasn’t going to be easy. I’m thrilled with a 14.4% improvement. Hard work pays off! I’m really happy with my burpee and wall ball improvements because burpees are such a great overall cardio and full body exercise and I knew wall balls were one of my weaknesses. My air squats are still pretty weak compared to the best in the gym, but getting better. It’s hard to improve on the Russian KBS, except by increasing weight, because you can only do them so fast. In the first test I took one short break, but went unbroken for the entire 2 minutes today. I’m not concerned about the sit-up number because it was doing the cheater standard, which I’m no longer doing.

With all of the rest time, I don’t feel like I had to work very hard overall, even though I pushed as hard as I could go. I may try attend 8pm open gym and do a strength WOD since I’ll be out of town for the weekend.

Do You Like Butterflies?

This morning it was back on the Armstrong Pull-up Program after the prescribed two days off, so I banged out my 3 sets of push-ups in the morning. Walked 18 holes of golf and then worked, so I attended the 8pm class for the first time. It was a fun partner WOD.


2 rounds

  • 1m Plank Step-outs
  • 1m Standing Bicycle/Steam Engine
  • 1m Side Bends (35# KB)
  • 1m Russian Twist (35# KB)
  • 1m Superman Plank
  • 1m Rest

The plank step-outs and Superman planks were both new to me. I could feel both of them working right away.


We partnered up and did a ladder with 2 exercises, wall balls (20# MB) and box jumps (24″). I was teamed up with Jason, who has lost over 60 pounds since he started about 3 months ago. Amazing! Jason did 25 wall balls, while I did 25 box jumps. When we both completed our reps, we swapped exercises, but were now on 24 reps. So each time we switched, we decreased a rep. In the end I did more box jumps and Jason did more wall balls, but I think it was only a difference of 13 reps. My goal was to complete all of my sets unbroken, which I was able to do. Jason did an awesome job and we ended up setting the best time for the day with 20:09. I know you’re not supposed to compare yourself too much to everyone else, but that’s still one hell of a feeling and I can’t help by try to win everything I do.


After the WOD, I alternated between doing 10 pistols (switching legs each rep) and working on the butterfly kipping pull-up. As the sets went on, my pistols got better and better. It’s all about finding the balance points when I do them. As far as the butterfly pull-ups go, they are a work-in-progress. I started to feel some of the cycling, and got 2 in a row towards the end.

As soon as I got home I knocked out 5 max rep sets of strict pull-ups with 90 seconds of rest in between for the Armstrong program. After just doing a bunch of pull-up work at Survival Fitness, I didn’t get too many.

Fifties on Sunday

Yesterday while watching golf, I downloaded a bunch of Survival Fitness videos from Facebook and compiled them into a movie.

My body is pretty freaking sore all over. I haven’t felt like this in a couple of months, so I can tell the WODs have been great and the extra work I’m putting in is paying off . Yesterday I mentioned my tailbone was really sore. Well, it’s more than that. I have two quarter-sized floor burn marks on the sides of my tailbone. No wonder in hurts to sit down! Sorry, no pictures. 😉

Do you ever get bruises in CrossFit and have no idea where they came from? I have one under my right arm and a matching one under my armpit almost all the way to my back. Weird.

I did the push-ups of Armstrong Pull-up Program when I got out of bed this morning. It’s a nice way to start the day. I went in to the noon class today and it was packed with 20 people. Since class was so big we had to skip around during the movements, but it all worked out.


5 rounds

  • 1m Deep Squat Hold
  • 1m Mountain Climbers

I was stiffer than usual from the squat holds and 1 minute is a long time to do mountain climbers in a row, so I had to take 2-3 short breaks for them each round.


50 of each

  • DUs
  • Burpees
  • MB Snatches (20#)
  • Push Presses (30# DBs)
  • Wall Balls (20#)
  • K2E
  • Walking Lunges
  • KBS (53#)
  • Jumping Pull-ups
  • Box Jumps (24″)

It was ordered different on the board, but this is the order I ended up doing. I finished in 32:01. Most people did tuck jumps, but I was able to string together a few DUs before we started, so I went with DUs and completed them in 4 sets. I think I need to start practicing them again.

Later tonight I’ll do the nightly pull-ups and then it’s 2 days off from Armstrong Pull-ups. Tomorrow will also be a day off from CrossFit, which I’m really looking forward to. I will get out and walk 18 holes of golf.

Update: I just couldn’t stand sitting around later in the evening even though I went out and walked 9 holes of golf after lunch. I had to lace up the shoes and go out for a run, so I did a 5 minute warm-up, Tabata sprints, and a 5 minute cool down. In 14:14 I covered a total of 1.73 miles.