Partner Ladder

I really hated taking yesterday off, but my body needed it after 5 days in a row. I did get out and walk 18 holes of golf, so that was some active recovery. My legs were actually a little sore today, maybe lingering from all of the previous WODs building up.


5 rounds

  • 12 Ring Rows
  • 12 Plyo Push-ups

One minute per station, so you rest for the remainder of the minute once your set is done. Ring rows are still a weakness of mine. I was able to do all of the plyo push-ups unbroken though.


Partner Ladder

  • 1 -> 10 Burpees
  • 2 -> 20 KBS
  • 1 -> 10 Pull-ups
  • 2 -> 20 Wall Balls
  • 1000m Run

One partner works at a time, while the other rests. Using burpees as an example, partner A does 1 rep, partner B does 1, partner A does 2, partner B does 2, and so on until both have done the set of 10. For the KBS and Wall Balls, rep counts increase by 2 each time, so it would be 2, 4, 6, … up to 20. I was partnered with Kinde, one of the top women at the gym. Since she had just done 150 pull-ups yesterday, Matt had her do thrusters with 30# DBs, which was so much worse.

I used a 55# KB for the swings and a 20# MB for wall balls. The only thing I didn’t complete unbroken was the set of 20 KBS, which I broke down into sets of 12 and 8. I felt bad for Kinde because she wasn’t getting much rest and then when we got to the run she was having a hard time breathing. She hung on and pushed through it. We finished in 44:27.

I had a tape grip for my right hand to do pull-ups and it really saved me. Last night I trimmed off the loose skin from a big popped blister, so it’s still pretty raw. I was really happy to be able to do all of my pull-up sets unbroken today and my wall balls are like night and day compared to where I was a few weeks ago. This Paleo Challenge is really paying off!


Front Squats

  • 5x 135#
  • 5x 155#
  • 5x 175#
  • 3x 195#
  • 1x 215#

Hitting 215# ties my PR. I hadn’t done front squats in three and a half months, so I’m happy with that after all of the wall balls in today’s WOD. I went for a 2nd rep at 215#, but my legs were toast and I had to dump it. Next time.

Update: When I got home, I rested a bit and then did day 2 of the Armstrong Pull-up Program (PDF). I’m hoping to increase my pull-up strength at a faster pace than what I’m getting from the WODs. I’ve been consistently adding 1 or 2 reps to my maximum rep strict set each month, but I want it to increase faster. I did the first pull-up session last night, so this morning was the first time I did the push-up part of the program.

Iron Gym Extreme
Bought the Iron Gym Extreme, because the pull-up stand I have in my garage sucks


After the turnout for “Murph” yesterday, I can’t stop thinking about how great of a community this is to belong to.

I’m a little sore today, but not bad considering that’s 4 days in a row. Since I won’t be able to WOD tomorrow, I had to push to 5 in a row today.

I’m 2 weeks into the strict Paleo diet as part of the challenge at the box. A few croutons and a small amount of shredded cheese on a salad are still the only “cheats” I’ve had. I’m down 8 pounds (172# this morning) and 1.5% body fat. At times, you can see a 6-pack as shown by the picture in yesterday’s post. I can’t believe how much my body has changed in the last two weeks and how much better I’m performing in the workouts. I figured it would take at least a couple of months to get to the 6-pack stages.

I’m increasing my food consumption in an attempt to speed up muscle growth, because I don’t want to lose any more weight; I want to turn some fat pounds into muscle pounds. A lean 175-180 would be ideal. We’ll see how this goes for the next week.


  • 75-50-25 Squats
  • 30-40-50 KBS (Russian)

I used the 62# KB for the swings and finished in 10:05.

Remember Kelly Kapowski?


5 rounds

  • 400m Run
  • 30 Box Jumps
  • 30 Wall Balls

I love box jumps, so this is my kind of WOD. It’s always fun doing one of the benchmark girls or heroes so you have something to look back on if you do it again.

I used a 24″ box for jumps and a 20# MB for wall balls. Our 400m loop is more like 500 according to Google Maps Pedometer, so we’re working extra hard. 🙂 I did all of the box jumps unbroken each round and started with a set of 15-20 for the wall balls each time to keep my intensity up. Tried to do most of my resting during transitions from move to move with a few seconds of sitting down to drink some water. Finished in 32:22.

Squat endurance was my weak point in the benchmark for the challenge, but it’s getting better and better. Squats and wall balls felt pretty good today, especially since that’s 5 days in a row that have included a lot of squats.

Embrace the Suck

The men and women that decimate your times are not superhuman. They’re not particularly genetically gifted. Hell, most of the top CrossFitters in the world would get absolutely pummeled in your standard game of rugby, buried by larger athletes begat by larger parents.

What differentiates these individuals is not a gift, but an unreasonable desire to push self-imposed suck beyond its logical limits. What comes out the other side becomes legendary.

“Dedication” by Jon Gilson, Again Faster Equipment

I need to get better at pushing through the suck if I want to get stronger and improve my endurance faster than my current pace of improvement. I know I can do it. Gotta get the mind right.

My buddy Mo came in to the 11am class with me. I’ve been trying to convince him to try a CrossFit box near him for over 6 months. After 2 days of WODs, he finally understands. You can tell people about it all day long, but they’ll never really understand until they experience the intensity for themselves.


5 rounds

  • Lunges

After doing all of the plyo lunges and air squats yesterday in the gym, this warm-up wasn’t exactly a welcome sight. I do need the work, so that’s a plus I guess.


  • 50 K2E
  • 100 Wall Balls
  • 50 T2B
  • 100 Box Jumps
  • 50 V-ups
  • 100 Burpees
  • 50 Pull-ups

How’s that for a chipper? I was worried about 150 reps hanging from the bar, especially with “Murph” tomorrow. I have some mini-rips, but no major ones, and looks like one small blood blister under a callus. I’ll have to really clean these calluses up tomorrow so they don’t bother me for the 100 pull-ups. The nice thing is that I’ll break them up into “Cindy” rounds so will only be knocking out 5 at a time.

Going back to the quote at the top, I tried to push through the pain as much as I could today. I was able to get 3 sets of 25 burpees, when I’d normally break that up a lot more and take more breaks. Keep getting better each day! We had a 40 minute time limit on the WOD and I was the only person in class to finish with a time of 39:05.

What a great way to start a Sunday!

PRs Everywhere!

Even though I said I was only going to get on the scale once a week, I couldn’t help myself. I’m down another pound and a half to 173.5 and body fat is now at 15.1%, which is a 0.8% drop from Monday. My goal for the challenge is to hit 14%, which means I need to average less than 0.5% per week the rest of the way. Seems doable, but it gets tougher as your body fat gets lower. I’ve had some real cravings for sweets at night this week, so it’s a good thing I don’t have any in the house.

At the gym I did a quick test with the handheld device and it showed my body fat down to 10.8%, which is good news because I was skeptical of the initial 12.3% reading it gave on day one of the Paleo challenge and is what will be used for my scoring.

I took a well-needed rest day yesterday, but did get out and walk 18 holes of golf. On Thursday morning, while laying in bed, I came up with my workout for open gym time today. Here’s a screenshot of the note I made on my iPhone. As you can see, I made a few changes


2 rounds

  • 150m Run
  • 20 Band Walk Steps each direction
  • 10 Band Presses after each 20 steps
  • 10 KBS

I used a 53# KB and did American swings.


  • 3-2-1-3-2-1 Deadlifts
  • MAX Strict Pull-ups
  • 2m Rest

I did 2 warm-up sets of 5 reps each with 135# and 223#. For my working sets I did 285#, 305#, 315#, 305#, 320#, 335#. My previous 1RM was 315, so I broke that several times. I also set a new PR for strict pull-ups in a row with 9. I don’t remember what I got the rest of my sets.



  • 150 Wall Balls

Karen is a bitch. I did it in 8:51, which is a 9 second PR, beating when I did it as part of Open Workout 12.4. I’m disappointed with that though. I started out with 25 reps in less than a minute and was at 50 in 2 minutes and change. From there I tried to do sets of 10. As I got past 100 it was less than sets of 10. Too much resting. I just need to push through the hurt.

Ab Finisher

4 Sets

  • MAX L-hang or L-sit
  • 1-2m Rest

I started out on the bar for the first one, but my hands were not feeling the greatest from heavy deadlifts, so hanging on the bar wasn’t the greatest idea. I didn’t time these, but they were better than I’ve done them in the past.

Just Because

3 Sets

  • 2-3m Rest

The few people who came in for open gym were messing around and talking, so since the classes worked on some HSPUs today I figured I’d get in a bit. Got 10 (PR) on the first set and then 8 and 6 I think. These have come a long way since I left Phoenix. I don’t think I was even doing any Rx there. Dropping some weight helps too!

That was fun. Got to work on a bunch of stuff today.

One Month Paleo Challenge

We’re doing a one month Paleo Challenge at Survival Fitness. Everyone has to keep a food journal to work on a point system. You get 5 points to start the day. Bad things like a cheat meal or alcohol are negative points, but you can ears extra points by doing a WOD at the gym, getting 8 hours of sleep, or drinking 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water. Everyone has their body fat taken at the beginning and does a benchmark WOD. We’re going to randomly be put on teams. Scoring is 50% body fat change, 25% WOD improvement, and 25% food journal points.

It was only $25 to join and I need something to get me on track to those abs I want, so I figured being part of a team will hold me more accountable. So I get to class, weigh myself, and have my body fat measured with the handheld device. It read 12.3%! Yeah right! If I was that low you’d already be seeing my abs. The Withings scale puts me consistently at 16-17% which is more realistic. With such a low starting number, I won’t be winning the body fat portion of the competition so I’ll have to make up for it in the other parts I guess.


  • 30 Air Squats holding PVC vertical in front
  • 20 PVC Pass-thrus
  • 30 PVC OHS
  • 4 partner rounds (alternate each round)
    • 50 Jumping Jacks
    • 50 Butt Kicks
    • 50 High Knees
    • 50 Lateral Hops
    • 50 Mountain Climbers


For the Paleo Challenge benchmark, we did 5 different AMRAPs and totaled up our reps. We partnered up 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 did 82 burpees, 77 wall balls (20# MB), 101 air squats, 76 KBS (53# KB), and 67 sit-ups for a total of 403 reps. Doing the air squats right after wall balls was the worst and my score showed compared to others in the class. I pushed pretty hard, so it’s going to be interesting to see how my numbers come out a month from now.

Update: After all classes finished for the day, I had the 4th best score.

Down with the Sickness

After going to class 5 days in a row my plan was to take Friday and Saturday off since Dad was in town and do a home WOD on Sunday night. While in bed on Saturday night I started to get a sore throat, which luckily only lasted a day, but as Sunday went along I felt weaker and weaker. Woke up Monday with a nasty cold and Tuesday was no better. I’m finally feeling better today and have been better and better as the day goes on. I was really missing the WODs and 5 days off is too many.


  • 50 Sit-ups
  • 25 MB Snatches
  • 40 Sit-ups
  • 20 MB Snatches
  • 30 Sit-ups
  • 15 MB Snatches
  • 20 Sit-ups
  • 10 MB Snatches
  • 10 Sit-ups
  • 5 MB Snatches

Whipped through the warm-up. I may start reaching for my toes on the “sit-ups” because the standard we use (only need to get up far enough to touch your shoes) is a joke when you have long arms like I do. I can almost touch my shoes with my shoulder blades still on the ground. The box is without power so I don’t know how fast my time was, but it was around 7 minutes judging by when Cari called out the 6 minute mark. I did 25 jumping jacks on the minute until the 12 minute time limit.


5 rounds:

  • 15 Burpees
  • 15 1-arm DB snatches (each arm)
  • 15 Wall Balls

I used a 40# DB for the snatches and a 20# MB for wall balls. Total time was 23:56. I survived better than expected. There was nowhere to rest in this WOD with each movement involving the full body.


Death by pull-ups, counting by 3s

I did rounds of 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 for a total of 45 pull-ups in 5 minutes. The round of 18 was not going to happen so I didn’t even attempt it.

It sure felt good to get my sweat on. Tomorrow I should be feeling 100%.

Packed House

Biggest class I’ve attended, but Tuesday is usually pretty big because there is only a 5:30pm and a 7pm at night. I think we had 18 or 20 people there. It’s cool to see the box growing especially in the new space.


3 Rounds:

  • 200m Run
  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • 50 High Knees
  • 50 Butt Kicks

Pretty easy warm-up, but it did its job and got the blood flowing.


15:00 AMRAP

  • 5 Box Jumps
  • 10 Wall Balls

I used a 28 inch box and a 20# MB. Started out strong going rep for rep with the fittest guy in the gym, but I couldn’t keep up and fell 2 rounds behind him by the end. I completed 15 rounds + 4 box jumps, so that’s an entire Karen in there.


5 Rounds:

  • 1m Russian Twists
  • 30s Side Plank on each side
  • 1m Ab Crunch
  • 1m Hand Plank
  • 1m Scissor Kicks
  • 1m Rest

I used a 30# KB for the Russian twists which was plenty with all of the other stuff in there. The ab crunches were probably the hardest but nothing was easy I guess. Had to take breaks during most everything except the side planks and only one short break during the hand planks.

Great workout today and probably the most I’ve sweated during a CrossFit workout since I started. I feel like I lost 5 pounds. It’s not even 60 degrees out, so I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like when it gets in the 80s or 90s with high humidity.