Friday, December 31, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

Pullup Challenge Submission

Zvi in Israel... TOUGH workout.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Pullup Challenge Submission

Here's Tate in Southern California

Pullup Challenge Submission

This is from Tom Collinson in Swansea. Great location.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Eve

Workout of the Day

100 yd weighted lunge (100 lb)

200 yd run

100 yd burpee broad jump

200 yd run

100 yd bear crawl

200 yd run

100 yd overhead carry (100 lb)

It’s Christmas Eve so I’m not going to write much here other than I hope everyone has a very happy holiday. A few members of my family and I went to the beach this morning and did the above workout.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pullup Challenge Submission

This from Justin in East Sacramento... Love the use of the I-Beam

Pullup Challenge Submission

Thanks to Ben for sending this in. Check it out below and get yours in soon.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Rest Week

This past week marked my 6th in a row of training, meaning the next 7 days I’ll be de-loading and trying to rest as much as possible. Coincidentally, it’s also the week before Christmas and my family and I are heading to southern California to visit my grandmother in Laguna. Not a bad locale to get rejuvenated. Hopefully the weather will be decent enough that I can get in the ocean a few times—wouldn’t mind taking advantage of mother nature’s healing salts.

I’ve been getting lots of messages from people regarding the pullup challenge so I know everyone is thinking about ideas. Get the videos to me as soon as you have them because this is a seriously valuable prize package.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wet Weather

Workout of the Day

10 rounds for time

50 meter swim

10 pushup

10 situp

I didn’t post it, but yesterday I went to CrossFit East Sac and did some heavy squats. I missed my top set at 425 lb but not for lack of strength. The weight felt fine on my back but I think I rushed the descent a little bit. I had already hit 405 lb like it was nothing so I had the confidence going in. But for some reason this set just didn’t have the spring out of the bottom like it normally would. Justin didn’t leave me much time to grovel over it though, because we went right into a conditioning WOD thereafter. Freddie’s Revenge, as it is called, consisted of 5 shoulder to overheads with 185 lb and 10 burpees for 5 rounds. This took me 4:30 to complete, including a 5th round blunder where I dropped the bar from overhead on my 4th shoulder to overhead, forcing me to clean and jerk the weight to get back on track. Cost me at least 20 seconds but overall still happy with how things felt.

Anyways, after yesterday’s heavy workload a lighter bodyweight WOD was the right call today. Justin met me over at the pool this morning around 8:30 so I wasn’t braving the stormy weather alone. No thunder and lightning, mind you, just wind and rain. This marks the 3rd consecutive week that I’ve done a swimming workout and I’m starting to feel my body adapting. The 50 meters felt short every set, even though I’m sure my times were getting slower and slower. What really made things difficult were the pushups in between sets. By the 3rd or 4th set my arms started feeling heavy in the water and I had to really focus on kicking hard to keep myself moving. My final time for all 10 rounds was 14:40. Justin came in at 17:00 even. I would love to see a true swimmer do this and set the bar high.

Afterwards we took 10-15 minutes in the hot tub to relax and recover—so worth it. I’m looking forward to doing things like this frequently throughout the winter and really trying to improve my times in the water. I encourage everyone else to get outside their comfort zone and do the same.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Steelfit Reader Challenge

Here is my version of the Steelfit Challenge workout.
100 pullups for time
Every dropped set = 15 vertical jumps
Most creative workout wins a Steelfit bar and t-shirt including shipping.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

14th and H

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – In the morning…

Deadlift 3, 3, 3, 3

5 rounds for time:

20 squats (45 lb)

10 push press (45 lb)

10 good morning (45 lb)

WOD 2 – In the afternoon…

10 story sandbag carry (100 lb)

50 hand release pushups

20 wall climbs w/ bag (6.5 foot wall)

WOD 3 – In the afternoon…

10 x 10 story stair run

BIIIIGGG workload today. After some heavy deadlifting using a new technique, Bodie and I did a light metcon intended to be done unbroken. The weight was light enough that the lactic acid would only build to the point of discomfort rather than to that of failure. This was nice for a change. Such would not be the case in the afternoon.

We had a great crew together though, so it honestly didn’t seem as bad as it felt. Plus there was a little bit of rain on the top deck of the parking garage to keep us cool during the workout. It felt great to be back training outside, in the middle of the city with skyscrapers rising up around us and a little bit of weather pouring down. Made me think of when I was living in Leiden training at the old citadel.

In all there were 6 of us at 14th and H in downtown Sacramento. We staggered our starts to avoid congestion on the stairwell—worked great. We all finished at different times but never got in each other’s way. The toughest part of this routine was actually the pushups. 50 hand release pushups after carrying 100 lbs up ten stories is no joke. The wall climbs were a blast… definitely needed to re-introduce these into the routine. Since I came back from Europe I haven’t been scaling near enough immovable objects.

Afterwards a couple of us stayed around and did a sequence popularized by local fire captain Chad Augustine. 10 times up and down the stairs, single steps on the odd rounds and double step sprints on the evens. Now, ten floors is a lot of steps but because it takes a good while to get down, the rest interval actually works. I always felt ready to go again by the time I reached the bottom. This was a great way to finish off the day and I’m grateful Chad, Milo, and John convinced me to stick around for it.

Below is a video from the sandbag workout... That’s right, got myself a new camera finally. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Clean PR

Workout of the Day

Clean 3, 3, 3, 3, 1, 1, 1

Front Squat w/ pause 5, 5, 5, 4

Gymnastics Play time

PR’d my clean today! My heaviest 3 rep set was 265 lb and my heaviest single was 295 lb. I tried another couple at 305 lb and was well under it, just couldn’t secure the rack position to squat it out of the hole. Still, it was an overwhelmingly positive day.

Afterwards we played around on the green turf doing handstand holds into somersaults, somersaults into pistol squats, archer muscle ups, front levers, and a handful of other skills just for fun. I’m starting to see the benefits of these types of “play” sessions in my coordination and balance. I feel a lot more control on my hands and a lot more confidence in trying new things.

Tomorrows WOD is shaping up to be amazing. 14th and H parking deck in downtown Sacramento with some of the fire department guys at 1:30. Bring your sandbag…

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Threshold Training

Weekend Workouts


OH Squat 8, 8, 8, 8

DB push press to 5 second eccentric 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Hanging curl ups 3 x max

800 meter swim


2 rounds with rest as needed:

With a 2 minute cap, do 10 repetitions of the Bear Complex (135 lb) followed by AMRAP muscle ups

I had a great weekend of workouts the past few days, including a trip to Midtown Strength and Conditioning Saturday for some threshold training. Camillo was there and training, Justin Riley came over, and Britney Miller as well. Together we took turns going 2 minutes as hard as possible through 10 rounds of the Bear and as many muscle ups as we could muster. The fact that this WOD had a 2 minute cap didn’t allow us to game or strategize at all, making the 10 rep complex doable unbroken. My first set I got to the rings with about a minute to go, leaving little to no time to rest before running out of time. I got 9 muscle ups and was wiped. It probably took me 10 minutes or so before getting back around to my second set, in which I only managed 6 muscle ups and a slower bear time. The legs, heart rate, and grip were all jacked to near maximal levels for a while afterwards—threshold reached.

After some rest Sunday I’ll be on my 6th week of training consecutively. That means it’s almost time to take a break to let the body recuperate. I’ve been having a lot of discussions lately about how to properly recover, when to properly recover, and why to properly recover. Forget this part of training and you’ll wind up injured or performing poorly.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sprinting through Glue

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – In the morning…

Consecutive 1 minute rounds of


Floor Press (80 kg)

DB Squat Clean (20 kg)

Rest 1 minute & repeat 3 times for total repetitions

WOD 2 – In the afternoon…

6 x 100 meter sprints

Tumbling and handstands in a padded room… J

I had a new workout partner this morning—after a few near misses my longtime friend Clint made it over early today to train. We didn’t waste much time and kind of just dove into it after a brief warm-up. I found this sequence to be very locally taxing on the muscles in my arms and shoulders, but not too difficult on my heart and lungs. I guess compared to running up hills a 3 minute mixed triplet just doesn’t cut it. My effort was high and I got a lot out of the movements, scoring 73, 56, and 48 for each respective round, giving me a grand total of 177 for the WOD.

In the afternoon I met John and Sarah over at McClellan Air Base to train at the Fire Academy weight facility. We decided to do sprints… absolutely devastating. I felt like a single gear bicycle going up a steep hill. I have no idea as to my times, but I can say this: NOT fast. It made me wonder in awe at what it must feel like to be Usain Bolt or any other top tier sprinter, seemingly floating across the track on a 100 mph tailwind. My experience is more akin to an all out brawl with an invisible man, thrashing and gasping through the air like a blind bodyguard in a riot. Sarah, of course, glides across the ground like a deer. Ex-track stars have that luxury it seems.

Afterwards John led us inside to what can only be described as a padded paradise. It is typically used for combat training and self-defense, but it doubles nicely as a gymnastics haven. We did somersaults, handstand walks, hit and kicked the heavy bag, and made a few pathetic attempts at some round-offs. This was such a blast. Having a place like this at their disposal has to be such a resource for the fire and police academies. Padded mats just make it so much easier to try things you otherwise wouldn’t for fear of injury, thus making them quicker to learn. That being said, I am feeling pretty banged up from the results. Hopefully a few bumps and bruises won’t hold me back for long.

In other news, I’ve already heard a few good ideas on the pullup challenge…get those videos together and send them to me when ready.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

New Reader Challenge

As I am still without a video camera, the bystander WOD may have to wait til 2011. In the meantime, Steelfit Strength Systems has generously agreed to pose a new challenge. In the spirit of their specialty, this contest will be won by the most creative pullup WOD done using the most creative apparatus. Simple pullups will not do. They have to be the integral part of a larger workout and they have to be impressive. Steelfit has agreed to supply the winner of this contest with a signature wall mount pullup bar along with a Steelfit T-shirt. These bars are no joke--I have one in my garage and they are legit. With the shirt thrown in the winning video is worth over $300.00 US. Videos should be 5 minutes or less and must be submitted to me via email at This contest will last until the first of the year. Any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Other than that, have at it.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – In the morning…

Single Leg Deadlift 5, 5, 5

Good Mornings 10, 10, 10

Bent Row 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

Superset with

Games Style Pushups 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

WOD 2 – In the afternoon…

30 minute AMRAP:

200 meter hill run

15 ring dips

50 alternating rope slams

(wearing 10 kg vest)

I’ll mention the morning session just because the single leg deadlifts were a great variation on the norm. MUCH more glute activation than standard and the single point of balance made it challenging to even get lined up correctly. If you haven’t tried these before, give ‘em a shot.

But the afternoon WOD was where it’s at. We were back at Nimbus overlook, this time with a weight vest, a rope, and some rings, and the weather was absolutely perfect. Jake, Sarah, and I decided a longer effort was going to be the play so we set the watch for 30 minutes and just started going. I was gassed after 5. The vest slowed my progress up the hill considerably, but not so much because of my breathing. It just taxed the hell out of my legs so that by the third time climbing I wasn’t able to run the whole way. The dips and slams at the top were a nice reprieve, to be honest. I think just about every time I hit the top I was at near max heart rate.

When 30 minutes had expired I had finished 6 full rounds of the prescribed workload (actually did that in 27 minutes and didn’t have the guts to go back down the hill for a partial finish). Jake got 6 rounds plus a hill run without a vest. Trying to keep up with him was a big part of my motivation during the workout, so thanks for that pal. Looking forward to some rest tomorrow and hopefully the continued nice weather. Who says December can’t be beautiful?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

CrossFit Stompin Ground

Stompin Ground Logo


Workout of the Day

A: 6 minutes of partner alternating pushups and pullups

B: 10 deadlifts (225 lb), 30 pushups, 15 clean and jerks (135 lb), 20 pullups, 8 burpee wall balls

C: 25 box jumps, suicide sprint, 15 DB thrusters (45 lb), suicide sprint, 15 KB swings (24 kg), suicide sprint

CrossFit Stompin Ground had their grand opening Sunday, during which the above workouts were performed relay-style amongst teams of 2, 3, and 4. Followed closely by barbeque burgers and other grill fare. Oh happy day.

The first WOD was upper body overload, and practically impossible to keep count of the repetitions. If I had to estimate, I’d say I did my partner and I each did 60 pullups and near 100 pushups in the 6 allotted minutes. Shaking hands with the other teams afterwards was somewhat comical as none of us could close a grip. Thanks to Katie and Winter for that one.

The second WOD was a 3 person team event and was much more diverse. The relay style allowed for lead changes and dramatic finishes, but also guaranteed that each individual did the same workload. This particular sequence I enjoyed most of all. Everything got done unbroken and the peripheral heart action style of the exercise order really sucked the wind out. My split was under 3 minutes.

Finally, we brought things home with a workout requiring a little speed and agility. The suicides were a nice touch, especially since the box jumps and thrusters left your legs feeling very heavy. People were waddling all over the gym by the last set.

Afterwards everyone slammed some food and drink and hit the road. Was a great day that has me feeling very sore and ready to rest. I wish only the best for Jake and Winter with things going forward. If any of you out there find yourselves in the Carmichael neighborhood, definitely check out their place. Won’t be disappointed.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

375 x 5

Workout of the Day

Back Squat 5, 5, 5, 5

Bent Row 10, 10, 10

5 rounds for time:

5 front roll muscle ups

10 jump squats (45 lb)

15 GHD situps

Did this sequence Friday night at the brand new CrossFit Stomping Grounds in Carmichael, CA. Awesome place that will be hosting a grand opening tomorrow with workouts and barbeque. Can’t wait for that.

The session well, though not quite as well as Benoit up there... I squatted 375 lb for 5 reps my final set, failing on the 6th with a great spot from my boy John. Most encouraging was that the weight continues to feel lighter and lighter on my back, leading me to believe that all the core work is paying off. For some reason I get a lot of satisfaction from this lift, probably more so than any other. It's simple and straightforward like the deadlift, but doesn't leave me as sore or as frustrated when I miss a rep.

The conditioning WOD was a change up. I’ve been messing around with front rolling out of muscle ups but hadn’t put it in a workout yet. It definitely takes more out of your arms and stomach as it requires more control than simply dropping out from the top. The jump squats were easy, probably could’ve used more weight or put a box to measure the height of jump better. The GHD’s I feel today. Since I don’t have one, getting this exercise in happens too infrequently. Top of my list as far as equipment needed. My total time was 11:26, most of that being absorbed by muscle fatigue during the muscle ups. This wound up being more of a strength endurance and recovery WOD than an aerobic capacity one.

Christmas party for Bryan College tonight… getting into the seasonal spirit. Looking forward to that pine smell in the living room.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Back in the Pool

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – In the morning…

3 rounds for time:


10 Pullups

15 OH Squat (50 kg)

20 Box Jumps (24 inches)

WOD 2 – In the afternoon…

Swim Day

Woke up ready for a mid-length burner today and I got what I asked for. The workload was short enough to be doable with no breaks on the front end, but heavy enough to be tiring on the back end. The combination of OH squats and box jumps wore out my legs by the end of the second round. Still, I loved the way this felt. The final time was 5:50.

This afternoon I shot over to California Family Fitness to take advantage of their outdoor heated lap pool. Not to mention the hot tub, steam room, and sauna. To make things even cooler, there was a light drizzle outside—making the warm water feel extremely comforting. I did 6 x 50 meter sprint intervals with :45 rest between at first. Then I did a few 100 meters of longer strokes. Finally I did some underwater swimming plus a 100 meter individual medley. This last part was a whole different animal. Combining butterfly, backstroke, breastroke, and freestyle back to back asks a ton of the body neurologically and cardiovascularly, both great preparations for the other type of training we do.

Heavy squats tomorrow, can’t wait.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Back on the Hill

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – In the morning…

Eccentric Loaded Deadlifts 3, 3, 1, 1, 1

Pullups – 1 set for max, 1 set circular, 1 set horizontal

Planche pushups 10, 10, 10

Swiss Ball situps 10, 10, 10

WOD 2 – In the afternoon…

100-150 meter hill sprints

Tried something a little different this morning for my deadlift day. Rather than diving into another progression of 5/3/1 I decided to do a few weeks of eccentric loading, working the movement from the top down and allowing me to put more weight on the bar than I otherwise would. Hopefully this will build some new strength and control through the movement. I was able to get up to 230 kg today for my top set, though I’d like to see better control through the bottom of the lift.

This afternoon I got back out to Nimbus Overlook for some hill sprints. Did 2 separate hills for a total of 3 sprints, each taking between 40 and 50 seconds. This was a max effort activity that, again, has no equal in difficulty. Depending on the weather, I’d like to start coming once a week to try to improve my times.

On another note, I must apologize for falling off of the video challenge for last month. I dumped my camera into the lake a few weeks back and haven’t replaced it yet. Hopefully I can rectify this situation soon and get back on the train. I’d still like to do a bystander workout, so until I do that will remain an open challenge for anyone to submit.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fitness Is...


Slinking, creeping, unraveling doubt.

It’s a burden you know too well. That point halfway through a workout when the voice inside your head starts pounding against your eardrums, telling you you’re too tired, too sick, or too weak to go on. Or out in the world when you convince yourself you’re too fat to wear that dress, too old to play that sport, or too green to do that job. It’s a sensation so overwhelming that you find yourself practically submerged in it, like a liquid skepticism, viscous and disgusting. You rationalize, “Hey, it’s alright… it’s just the way things are. Those dresses are for skinny minnies, those sports are for the young bucks, and that job… well, I’ll bide my time and get there eventually.” But deep down you’re hating yourself, resenting your size, your age, your inexperience, or whatever relative weaknesses you have. You wish you were more fearless, more driven, and more secure, but life has taught you well your incapacities and it’s not your place to argue.

The truth is we’d much rather assume defeat than face our weaknesses head on—far better to avoid the mirror than risk a humiliating sidelong glimpse. In essence, doubt is a mechanism designed to protect our ego from this very confrontation. Years of experience and pain have honed our instincts to sidestep landmines of embarrassment and grief, conditioning us to be chronic under-estimators. On the whole we have grown habitually and pathetically risk-averse.

The problem with this way of living is twofold. First, we forget what it’s like to face a challenge, thus neglecting the skills needed to overcome it. Whichever way you slice it, life is hard and emotionally uncomfortable. It is never quick or easy, and it is harshly unapologetic. In order to truly grow we must be willing to live on the margins and step outside our comfort zone, in many cases risking failure. We need to tap into stores of courage and determination that most days lie collecting dust. If we don’t, they lose their potency and condemn us to chronic intimidation. Then on that day when we no longer have a choice, when we can't avoid the issue or sidestep the mines any longer, we don't have what it takes to survive. You find yourself on an operating table with 3 stints in your heart and no idea how you got there, no idea how to recover. Or you wake up geriatric at 55, unable to pick up your grandkids for fear you might pinch a nerve or slip a disc. Such is not the intended way.

Second, and perhaps more dangerously, we begin to identify more with what we can’t do than with what we can. This is because, in the absence of real confrontation, our doubts become our reality. It doesn’t matter how irrational or ill-conceived the reasoning, the man obsessed with his age looks older by the day; the woman refusing to try on the dress grows less and less likely to ever wear it. If we keep inundating ourselves with notions of inability, we will always struggle to improve. If halfway through every workout you keep telling yourself it can’t be done, chances are it never will be. Soon the mirror knows only negative reflections, having gone so long since showing any other. A productive life cannot be lived in such circumstances.

Granted, fixing this is easier said than done. Behind every sneaking doubt or hesitation there is some truth. But we cannot be defined by these limitations. They are merely yardsticks: Commit yourself to outgrowing them.

When I was a junior in high school I played cornerback for the varsity football team at 5’9, 145 lbs. I wasn’t particularly quick, strong, or tough, and I wasn’t the coach’s son. The only thing I really had going for me was my brain. I always knew where to be and when to be there, and on the not so infrequent occasion when someone else forgot where they were supposed to be, I could get him there too. The problem with being this aware was that I couldn’t fool myself into believing I was something that I wasn’t. Other guys may have convinced their 2nd string bodies they were all-state material, but I knew I was average. I knew I was small and slow and, most of the time, scared. These were facts. They defined my capabilities.

One day in practice our tight end (a 250 lb behemoth) caught an out route and turned upfield towards me. I had made plenty of tackles in my life and knew that going low was the safe play, but for whatever reason I went in high with no regard for life or limb. Somehow I connected just right and my 145 lb frame flipped his 250 lb one like a buttermilk pancake. I couldn’t believe it. It didn’t compute. The player I thought I was could never have made that play. Yet there I was, standing over the dragon slain.

It’s no different in society. People aren’t blind or misguided: they look in the mirror and know what they see. If it’s unpleasant they’ll trim it, tuck it, or wrap it in fancy paper, but deep down they know their shortcomings. Many are haunted by them. Some overcompensate—the 5 foot guy drives a Hummer, the incompetent boss screams about everyone else’s incompetence-- but most simply avoid the issue entirely. Precious few address the fact that the doubt in their subconscious is rooted in truth. That guy is 5 feet tall. That boss is incompetent. Until something happens to change those facts no amount of compensation or avoidance will make them feel any better.

The only way to overcome doubt is to welcome it, face it, and test it. We have to invite our weaker sides onstage and see how fragile they truly are. For me it happened by accident, but more deliberate approaches are just as effective. Start by using your doubt as an indicator of where you need work. Rather than silently dreading the day when double unders come up in a WOD, do so many of them that you’d just as soon skip rope across the street as you would walk there. Rather than telling yourself you’re too old to keep up with the fire-breathers, re-define your limits and stop making excuses. Refuse to be intimidated by your weaknesses and you might discover that all this time you were drowning yourself in a 3-foot pool.

Until that hit 10 years ago, I was limited by my own under-estimation. Afterwards I was more aggressive, more decisive, and more effective. I promise that unless you risk your ego from time to time you will never overcome your current limits. They will fester and persist until that pallid reflection becomes real. Remember this the next time that voice starts pounding against your temples. Maybe the outcome isn't so certain.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Workout of the Day

Squat Clean 3, 3, 3, 3, 3

2 Front Squat to Jerk 1, 1, 1, 1, 1

Gymnastic skill work

I trained today at CF East Sac with Justin and Travis. We loaded up the weight and let it fly after a few days rest feeling pretty strong. I did 255 lb pretty smoothly for my top set of cleans and just missed 295 lb for the top set of front squat to jerks. I’m loving the progress I’m making on the major lifts lately, really couldn’t be happier.

Afterwards we played around with front roll muscle ups, handstand pushups on the rings, and L sits. Still have a looong way to go with these skills.

Hoping to get my hands on the video footage from Saturday to show the last event of the Warrior Throwdown. A very exciting finale that I think will be fun to follow. Britney, I’m looking at you.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Warrior Throwdown

Workout of the Day

WOD 1:

10 minute AMRAP

100 meter tire drag

10 box jumps (20 inches)

10 pushups

10 switch lunges

WOD 2:

400 meter run

3 rounds of

10 burpees

15 ABMAT situps

20 air squats

25 heavy rope jumps

400 meter run

Today was the Elk Grove Health and Fitness fair, organized and hosted by Charlie Zamora of Warrior Fitness. Despite the rain and wind this was a hell of a day. Members of Sac Valley CrossFit, CrossFit 916, CrossFit East Sac, CrossFit West Sac, and Rocklin CrossFit were all in attendance. There were individual and team competitions, food, drinks, music, and even a Vice Mayor. The WODs were simple, brutal, and all of them outside so I approved. All in all, I can’t say a thing bad about the experience.

The first workout was pretty straightforward: don’t burn yourself out sprinting around with a tire behind you and forget you have 10 full minutes to deal with. I picked and kept a hard pace throughout and finished 8 rounds plus about 30 meters. This outpaced the previous best score of 7 rounds plus 100 meters, 10 jumps, and 5 pushups by Chad Augustine in the earlier heat. Not to be outdone, Chad hopped in the next heat and re-did the WOD, posting a new best score of 8 full rounds plus 70 meters. Unbelievable.

The second WOD was more of a sprint the whole way. I definitely saved some on the first 400, but from then one I didn’t hold back a thing. I couldn’t for that matter because Chad was matching me rep for rep the entire time. I don’t think I had time to take a breath during any part of the 3 rounds of bodyweight exercises. We finished the final jump rope at exactly the same time and took off for the final quarter mile. My legs were like lead and my lungs were on fire but it didn’t matter at that point. I was able to pull away on the run a bit and finished in a total time of 6:30, completely gassed. This was as hard as I’ve pushed myself in a long while and I have the competition to thank. Nothing to get you going and overcoming yourself than a group of guys that don’t quit.

Some familiar faces were also there: John of course, Justin of CF East Sac, Rick and Brittney from West Sac, and Gary Baron from Rocklin. From the sound of things we'll all be seeing each other again real soon.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Under the Weather

Workout of the Day



Thruster (95 lb)


I could feel a cold coming on yesterday but had hoped a night of rest would stave it off. Unfortunately this was not the case. I woke up today feeling stuffed up and groggy and things have only worsened throughout the day. I managed to stick it out this morning and do my workout as intended, but I think the next few days will be less ambitious. It’s a delicate balance between pressing through obstacles and giving your body the time and space it needs to recover… A balance we all struggle to maintain from time to time.

I did Fran in 3:03 this morning. Honestly, I don’t know how much the sickness held me back. I didn’t break any of the thrusters and only dropped off the pullup bar long enough to re-grip on the 2nd and 3rd sets. Maybe 5 or 6 seconds in there, but not much more. The only way I can see myself going faster is by somehow getting faster with the individual movements—something I’m honestly not that interested in. The biggest value from these benchmark workouts for me is how they gauge my work capacity. If I can continue straight through at near maximal effort without having to stop then I’m performing well. If I can’t, then something somewhere needs to be improved.

Was hoping to squat and press tomorrow, but it’s looking less likely by the minute. Saturday is the Elk Grove Health and Wellness Fair, hosted by my friends at Warrior Fitness and I’m hoping to be feeling better by then.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Death By KB

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – In the morning…

Sumo Deadlift 3, 3, 3+

Good Mornings 10, 10, 10

Inverted ring rows 15, 15, 15

Pushup with hand release 20, 20, 20

DB clean and press (20 kg) 10, 10, 10

Bicycles 50, 50, 50

WOD 2 – In the afternoon…

32 kg kettlebell swing ladder, aka “death by kb swing”

Decided to go with sumo deadlifts today rather than standard in an effort to save my back for the kettlebells later in the day. I figured I might sacrifice a bit in strength but I actually still felt pretty strong. My last set was at 185 kg for 4 reps—not bad for never doing sumos. The good mornings felt heavy at 80 kg but I managed my way through them. The real tester today was the afternoon session.

I threw the kettlebell in the car when I left the house this morning and left my WOD location undetermined. When I got done teaching the weather was phenomenal, literally 75 degrees and sunny, so naturally the only appropriate place to train was down by the river. I made it down to the shadow of Red Bridge in Fair Oaks just in time to catch the last bit of early afternoon sun and away I went. The last time I’d done a ladder like this was in Paris this past March, and that was with a 25 kg fence post anchor. Needless to say, the demand here was a tad different.

It all felt pretty easy until I hit 12 or 13. By then the rest intervals were getting shorter and shorter and I was able to fully recover in between. At 14 I started splitting the reps to try and conserve energy. By 16 I was really starting to hoof it. In the 18th minute I finished with only 5 seconds to spare and was barely able to hold on to the bell. I only managed 14 reps in the 19th minute and that was that.

This was a throwback routine for me, something I used to utilize quite frequently when I trained in DC. It’s a simple format that is always effective and requires little to no equipment or preparation. Pick a multi-joint exercise and start moving. The early sets warms you up, the later ones kick your ass. Rarely does it go much beyond 20 minutes, unless you’ve grossly underestimated the appropriate weight. I’d love to see some other people try this and see how they do. I know there are some kettlebell machines out there that will humble my performance.

Still haven’t done my version of the bystander WOD, but hoping to get something together Thursday. Also, Danish Anywherefit shirts are still available for order until the end of this month in honor of the video submissions from Yasir and Andre. Get ‘em while you can.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Snatch x 3

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – in the morning

20 mile bike (to and from work)

WOD 2 – in the afternoon

Snatch 3, 3, 3, 3

OH Squat 3, 3, 3, 3

HSPU @ 3 inch elevation 9, 8, 8, 6

L sits 3 x 30 seconds

I hesitate to count the commuting ride as a workout because it’s really just transportation, but the time and effort cannot be ignored. It is 20 miles roundtrip and it takes about 45 minutes each way, so I have to take it into account. The best part is that my route takes me along the edge of Lake Natoma most of the way. Not bad scenery at 7 in the morning…

The Olympic lifting went really well today. My snatch sets were at 60 kg, 80 kg, 85 kg, and 90 kg, respectively. In all of those I didn’t miss a repetition. I tried to go to 95 kg but was unsuccessful. Instead I went straight into overhead squats with the 95 kg and did 4 sets there. Overall I think the heavy overhead lockouts on Saturday made me feel more stable during the snatch but weak during the overhead squats. Funny how that works.

Also, a programming note. If you want to build speed in your Olympic lifts, do sets of 2-3 at 85-90% of you 1RM. The first repetition will feel easy, giving you confidence. The second lift you will feel your pull isn’t as strong and force you to dive a little faster to make the lift but still manage it fairly comfortably. By the third your pull will be considerably weaker and you will have to drop like hell if you want to make it. This progression allows for almost an expectation of success that your body will want to live up to and make it move with greater speed. Try it and see what I mean.

Big meeting tomorrow with a property owner in Granite Bay to discuss a potential lease. CrossFit Anywhere could be just around the corner… I’ll keep you posted.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Threshold Training

Met a bunch of friends at CrossFit East Sac yesterday to press our limits. The idea was to work at as close to maximal levels for a set amount of time to give the body a taste of what it's like to perform up there. The session included a couple 50 meter truck pulls followed by max time overhead lockouts with 225 lb; and 2 minute bouts of double unders and burpees back to back. The video below captures a little bit of everything.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Front Roll Muscle Ups

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – In the morning…

Back Squat 5, 5, 5+

Floor Press 5, 5, 5+

Strict toes to Bar 10, 10, 10

Fly pushups 10, 10, 10

WOD 2 – In the afternoon…

Front Roll muscle ups in the park

Got back to heavy back squatting today for the first time in a couple weeks and was quickly reminded what a small time off will do to your kinesthetic awareness. It took me a few sets just to get comfortable under the bar again, but overall my strength still felt decent. My top set was at 165 kg for 6 reps with no spotter. The floor presses felt much stronger though, where I was able to get 255 lb for 7 reps. I can tell my nervous system is starting to learn this movement better because I’m more confident on the descent that I won’t smash my elbows into the ground.

In the afternoon I rode my bike down the Cordova side of the American River and found a good spot to hang up the rings for some gymnastic practice. It was a beautiful day and I don’t think the picnickers minded y swinging around too much. All I did was try to string as many muscle ups together as I could while doing a front roll between them. At first this felt awkward, but after a few sets I go the hang of it and was able to set the roll directly into my next kip. By the end I was getting sets of 5 consistently and having a blast doing it. It’s funny how small alterations in technique make an old exercise feel like new. I think we have to keep constantly re-inventing the challenges we give ourselves in order to stimulate that “new shoes” feel we love so much.

Next up is threshold training with some of Sacramento’s best Crossfitters. Hoping to make this a bi-monthly activity that will be open to all.

Friday, November 12, 2010

6:58 Helen

Workout of the Day


3 rounds for time of

400 m run

21 kb swings (24 kg)

12 pullups

Only the second time I’ve ever done this one, and the first time was up a hill in Washington DC. Needless to say it was a challenge I’ve been meaning to tackle.

I rested yesterday and attempted to shake out some of the soreness that was sinking into my legs, but when I awoke this morning it was all still there. The squats with the weight vest really did a number on my quads. Aside from the soreness, however, I felt pretty good. My energy levels were high, I felt like I’d gotten plenty of sleep, and I was pretty excited for the WOD.

Bodie met me at the garage around 6:30 and we warmed up quickly. It was his first go around with this type of workout and I was proud of him for sticking with it after the initial “Oh shit what have I got myself into.” He finished in 14:54 and didn’t leave much on the table.

We had to go separately because I only have one 24 kg kettlebell, so I decided to wait until he was done to start. The runs didn’t feel tough until the last lap and I never had to break the swings or pullups. My final time was 6:58. Definitely my kind of workout—I have to think all the hill running is starting to pay off in the form of work capacity. Running on flat land just didn’t feel that hard.

Tomorrow I’m looking to Squat heavy and practice some gymnastic skills down by the river in the afternoon. Also, the CrossFit Journal published “Fitness is Potential” yesterday as part of an ongoing series based on this blog. Pretty cool. Check it out here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Deadlift Day

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – In the morning

Deadlift 5, 5, 5+

Good Mornings 10, 10, 10

3 rounds with 1 minute rest:

10 chinups

20 hand release pushup

3 rounds no rest:

10 ring dips

AMRAP medball Russian twists

WOD 2 – In the afternoon (wearing 20 lb vest)

3 rounds w/ 2 minute rest for total repetitions:

1 minute rope climbs (18 feet)

1 minute air squats

1 minute rope climb

1 minute air squats

Big workload today. Loved it. In reality yesterday’s WOD and everything today all came in a single 24 hour window, so I have to be happy with how well my body maintained energy levels. I will be resting tomorrow—massage time baby.

The deadlifts I topped out at 385 for 7 and the good mornings I did all three sets at 176 lb (new high). Felt good all morning and really liked finishing off the workout with the two mini couplets. Local muscle fatigue is something I don’t test enough so this will become a habit from now on.

This afternoon John and I went back behind Del Campo and found a great tree to tie the rope. We alternated between each exercise while letting the clock run… I finished with 11 rope climbs (3, 2, 2, 1, 2, 1) and he got 9 ½; and I managed 260 squats but have no idea the splits for each set. Every one was somewhere in the 45 neighborhood. It’s easy to forget that weight vest is on you, boy. Then you look up and realize that’s a big part of the reason things feel so damn hard. But until you do, you expect your body to perform to it’s unweighted level and thus don’t allow it any excuses for not doing so. Interesting dynamic.

Day off tomorrow then hoping to take on a Bystander WOD Thursday for the November challenge.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

7 weeks til 2011

Workout of the Day

Clean and Jerk 3, 2, 1, 1, 1

4 sets of 3 Front Squats to 1 Jerk

30 minutes various gymnastic skills

So, first day officially back on the program and I feel great! I was strong, technical, and motivated all the way through. My top set of C&J was at 125 kg and it didn’t feel heavy. I decided not to go up beyond it simply because I wanted to work the front squats to jerk before getting too fatigued. My top set there was also at 125 kg, the jerk at the end being the limiting factor. Just a long time to bear the heavy weight and still be prepared to get it overhead. Overall though, things are feeling real good.

I think these next 6-8 weeks are going to be incredible… here’s how I see it shaping up:

Monday – Olympic lifts and gymnastic skills… more of a skill day than anything, but will definitely push the packet on the O lifts and the supplemental stuff (front squats, snatch balances, etc).

Tuesday – morning: deadlift 5/3/1 + assistance. Afternoon: outdoor metcon

Wednesday – rest.

Thursday – morning: indoor metcon, focusing on shorter efforts. Afternoon: monostructural/longer effort metcon

Friday – Squat/Press 5/3/1 + assistance, gymnastic skills

Saturday – outdoor metcon, looking to re-introduce most effective methods to challenge work capacity, ie hills, sleds, vests, etc.

Sunday – rest.

Believe it or not I’m looking forward to a little bit of foul weather to change up my training environment. It’s easy to tap out when it’s raining but I think this winter in Sacramento will add something beneficial.

Also, details are coming for the August 2011 Anywherefit Iceland tour so be ready for when those drop. We have confirmed a white water rafting adventure and two days of WODs on the central glacier… and that’s barely scratching the surface so stay tuned.

Monday, November 8, 2010

October Winner Is...

Andre from Copenhagen!!
Congratulations to the fast becoming video production powerhouse in the Danish Capital. It was a cool monument, a great workout, and it had a great view. I'll be sending Andre a shirt for the victory.
Also, great submissions all around this month. Really enjoyed watching them and getting some new ideas as I'm sure everyone else did.
For the month of November, the challenge will be to incorporate an innocent bystander. That's right, take your inspiration from Andre's bonus clip on the back end of his video if you need to. but any use of a person in any location will suffice. Remember, the more creative the better and this theme has all kinds of potential. Looking forward to seeing what lays in store...
I'm back on schedule starting Monday, trying to continue gaining strength while incorporating a little more muscle endurance on the back end of workouts. Need to finish this year strong.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Still time to Vote

My week of rest is coming to a close tomorrow. Feeling tan fit and ready to start getting better. Still 3 more days to vote for your favorite video from October's Monument WOD. Right now Andre from Copenhagen is in the lead but more votes are coming in lately for the boys from Salem and Darwin. Remember, email me at or post your vote to comments here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Keep Voting!

This is a rest week for me training wise. Trying to stretch and foam roll as much as possible to heal any micro tears and soreness I may have acquired the last 6 weeks. So far I'm enjoying the rest but I know I will get antsy soon. Below is a video from Sarah and Jason, two of my best friends abroad, doing a workout at the Danish Royal Life Guard facility outside Copenhagen. Thanks for submitting this guys, hope to see you soon.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monument WOD Finalists

The above picture is of the special edition Danish T shirt that Yasir won for September's challenge. Anyone who wants one of these, they will be on sale until the end of November. As for this month, below are the finalists... and it's a hell of a group. Narrowing down the top 3 was really tough: Our panel of judges ended up giving weight to the more unique monuments and the most creative use of them. Voting will stay open until next Monday so reply to comments or email your vote to Thanks to everyone for contributing!!!
Andre in Copenhagen
Aaron in Darwin
Henry in Salem
And an honorable mention to Josh in San Francisco for finding the most remote monument. Well done in the fog...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Last Day for Submissions!!!

Weaverville Weekend

If you’ve never heard of Weaverville don’t worry, you’re not the only one. It isn’t exactly one of California’s more household names. Nestled in the shadow of Mount Shasta, the town is small—a few baby baskets short of 4000 citizens—but appropriately so. The social temperature is mild and familiar, and everyone everywhere seems to know each other’s names. Most days the place is wrapped in a soft fog that rolls off the mountains like a smoke-white avalanche, suspending the mountain’s taller trees on waves of opaque clouds and giving their images a ghostly likeness to a back alley silhouette. Below the fog line Weaverville is a kaleidoscope of natural color. Everywhere are splatter paints of green pine, yellow aspen, and fire red maple, the artistic blend of which I caught myself admiring more than once. If October is autumn’s last breath then these mountains are surely among the best places to capture it.

Luckily for me, my high school friend and teammate Tom Johnson has lived here the past 5 years. He operates the local golf course with his brother Will and was a more than hospitable host this weekend. While around I soaked up as much of the small town experience as I could. It featured costume parties, breakfast cafes, and televised college football. We ate greasy burgers, drank local beers, and danced the grange hall into submission.

And, of course, I trained.

On Saturday afternoon Tom agreed to show me around the course and help find some tools to work with. After driving around a bit we decided on the following WOD:

1.5 mile trail run

5 rounds of 20 lunges & 20 shoulder to overhead (w/50 lb railroad tie)

1.5 mile trail run

I completed the entire sequence in 22 minutes and think I would do some version of this workout at least once a week if I lived here permanently. A golf course has to be among the most serene settings in the “civilized” world. And this course probably more so than most. I was literally dodging deer while running across the fairway. The railroad tie was awkwardly heavy, making the 100 repetitions of overhead presses very rough by the end. I included a video link below.

Although I had to leave Weaverville behind on Sunday, I did so with the fullest intent to return. I’m told the summer months are incredible, full of clean rivers and lakes, and some unreal hiking. The plan is to be back in May to take advantage.