Tuesday, June 30, 2009

And Back

Well, after an awesome adventure to the surf paradise of Rhode Island, I am back in Minnesota's north woods. I may or may not write a few chronicles describing my trip and if I do they will be listed here. Keep your eyes open.

On to business. To wods on the trip and today hit me hard.

315 lb. DL


I know this one was supposed to be scaled to 70-75% of your 1RM, but I wanted to push it weight wise. Anyway, I'm feeling it. It's good to be back.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

CFFB Cindy

AMRAP in 12 minutes
5 pull-ups
10 push-up
15 Box jumps 20"

13 rounds

As with regular Cindy I took all my rest during the push-ups. I wish I had a real box up here though. I was jumping onto a plate on a bench. Shaky at best and I had to abort a few attempts due to instability. Once again I was working out with Jay and Mike only this time we were doing the same workout. Since we were all using the same pull-up bar I always tried to go faster to get it while it was open and get through my 5 as fast as I could. This helped keep the pace.

Tomorrow is a rest day and I will be heading to Ames to meet up with a friend of mine. We will be going to the surf paradise of Rhode Island for a week. During that time I may look into a few affiliates out there otherwise I will have to come up with beach workout or perhaps a few swimming wods (like out swim a shark or something). It will be a fun trip and I look forward to a little break. The past few weeks have been lots of work. I'll try and take some picture and maybe I'll post as well. Who knows.

Until then hang loose!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


225 Deadlift

8:05 Rx'd

I still need to work on my HSPU strength, but this is a pr by 3:37 from last fall when we did it at CFO. Dead lifts felt good and I only broke up the round of 15 (10-5). I was a little bummed when I checked the CFO WOD for Thursday since it had heavy dead lifts. That one looks more fun too. I'll just have to save it for a later date.

My two proteges are coming along quickly. Today I tried to teach them the clean and by the end of their wod it started to take a recognizable shape. Their wod was
AMRAP in 20
10-95 lb hang cleans (with squat)
12 dips
21 sit-ups
I think they hit 6 rounds and change.

Here is a video I found today that I thought could come in handy some day.
It's about how to properly tape your hands to prevent further rips and protect existing tears.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Plus 1

Today my brother's friend joined us for our workout. I wasn't sure what to choose for a wod but ultimately fell back on a CFO wod from a while back that I had wanted to try.

6 Rounds
7 Burpees
8 DB lunges 40lbs
9 Thrusters 95lbs

10:55 Rx'd

My brother and his friend only did 5 rounds and dropped the thruster weight to 85 and then 75. I think it was a good intro wod for Mike (my brother Jay's friend) since it used some weight and some body coordination. He seemed to like it and is going to be working out with us for the rest of the week. Mike is planning on going into nutrition so after the workout, sweat still dripping and trying to catch my breath, I panted out some of the information I have learned and hopefully planted the seed for the Paleo Zone diet and even intermittent fasting. He seemed to buy it so with any luck he will look into it and hopefully convert.

I still need to find out when the high school gym is open so I can work some O-lifts.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Battle Scars Part Two

Above is a picture of my brother's leg after the bad box incident. At first I was a little scared that such an experience might make him gun shy to box jumps, but I should have known better. The next day not only did he want to workout, but he wanted to finish what he started and redo the box jump/dip wod he skinned his shin on. Having learned his lesson the first time, we assembled a much more stable box. It wasn't as tall but served its purpose. We also added sit-ups in the mix and he plowed through in about 5:20.

Yesterday I did the main site wod:
Walking lunge 100 ft.
21 Pull-ups
21 Sit-ups
Walking lunge 100 ft.
18 Pull-ups
18 Sit-ups
Walking lunge 100 ft.
15 Pull-ups
15 Sit-ups
Walking lunge 100 ft.
12 Pull-ups
12 Sit-ups
Walking lunge 100 ft.
9 Pull-ups
9 Sit-ups
Walking Lunge 100 ft.
6 Pull-ups
6 Sit-ups


And today I did the CFO Wod:
Run as far as you can in 3 minutes. At the completion of three minutes, immediately delve into 30 Walking Lunges and 30 Air Squats.

At the completion of the lunges and squats, see if you can run back to where you started the first run, in 3 minutes.

On the first run I made it about .6 miles and only made it ~.5 on the return trip.

As can be seen I didn't make it back to where I started. In fact I was only one block short when the time ran out. This one was definitely a lung burner and I think I have the black lung yet again. It felt good to run though since it's been a while.

This week I will be working out with another potential convert. A friend of my brother would like to give it a shot. He's been following a traditional lifting regiment so I will be happy to shock his perception of fitness. Last night I spoke with a friend of mine who lives in Houston and is in northern Minnesota for the summer. He has done a few wod (including Fran) and is interested in doing more. With any luck he will join us for a few workouts as well and we'll have a real following. Right now all of my family except my dad is keeping current with crossfit, but with 2 more potential that would bring the following to 6. I also have at least two other people in mind who have sipped the kool-aid, so it's time to make another batch. Now if we could only find a decent gym...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Battle Scars

Today's WOD was a recent CFO wod with a little addition and a surprise element.

~34" Box Jumps

*After the round of 21 perform first aid on your brother's 9 inch shin gash from missing the box (I will try and post a picture tomorrow)

8:20 Rx'd

My brother has been training with me this past week and I have enjoyed his company. He seems to like crossfit and I'm trying to get him to drink the kool-aid. Today, in our attempt to improvise with the crap they have in this gym, we took a foot tall wooden box, turn it on its end, stacked some mats under it, and put a dumbbell in it for support in order to create a ~30 inch box. It was hazardous at best. However, we proceeded undeterred, my brother on the shin splitter and me on a ~34 inch tall glute-ham-esk device. My brother was going to do 3 rounds of 15 and I was going to do 21-15-9 to see which one would be tougher. He beat me through the first round of jumps and dips, but I made up some time in the burpees. As he started his second round he pulled a classic crossfit mistake and missed the box. When he missed he caught his shin pretty good on the box and scraped a good chunk of skin off. Luckily I had finished burpees and was able to administer first aid. After that was taken care of he took a little rest while I finished the workout. On the up side he will now have an official crossfit scar. On the down side if we could have found a decent box up here in northern Minnesota, none of this would have happened...

Nothing like mixing real world scenarios into a wod to train yourself to perform under various conditions. This got me thinking about throwing a mental element into a wod to see how it pans out. You know, kind of like chess boxing. Maybe have a math problem or a riddle or something. It builds in rest and keeps the mind active. I know that I've zoned out mentally during workouts and I wonder if it would improve mental capacity... something to ponder.

I'm going to try and get into the high school gym a few days this next week since they have bumper plates. I would like to set a few new pr's in my o-lifts so I know where I stand and can focus on some strength building as well. Hopefully they will let me use the place.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


10 rounds for time
3 DL 275 lbs
6 Ring dips
9 Knees to elbows


I tried to keep things moving through this one, but apparently not that fast. Some of those CFFB guys are beasts.

My homemade rings are holding their own, but I need to get some tape on the tops so they don't rip my arms.

Nothing new to report. Rest day tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Business as usual

AMRAP 15 min
7 front squats 185lbs
7 burpee pull-ups

7 rounds

This was a great little workout. I thought the squats would feel heavier, but I was able to manage fairly well or at least better than I expected. The pull-up bar was pretty low so I did chest to bar to make up for it.

I'm s little bummed that I won't be able to push my o-lifts this summer because I can't drop the weights if they get too heavy. Instead I guess I just focus on building strength just below the point of possible failure.

Nothing crazy seen today, except for the three bears, two moose, and a couple of loons that frequent the gym. Oddly enough their workout routine seemed to mimic crossfit. But as I said nothing out of the ordinary.

Monday, June 8, 2009


So when I checked the Crossfit Omaha site today, as I always do, I noticed their posted workout was the EXACT workout I did on Friday. Coincidence? I think not.
But I really can't say anything since I just browse through various crossfit sites until I find a workout I like. It's hard finding something that works with the limited equipment I have available. Thus my workout for today was a CFFB wod from a few days back.

7 rounds
3 jerks 155lbs
6 pull-ups
9 push-ups

Another thing I have noticed is that the bar feel much heavier when I'm not using rubber bumpers. With bumpers I know I can abort a lift if it is too heavy, but with iron plates I feel this mental block where I know I can't drop the weight. I think this also may add a little time to the clock since I have to worry about controlling the bar completely during a drop. I'm going to try and find or buy a bumper set in the near future if things don't pick up.

Awesome experience #2
So I was deep into today's metcon when I noticed a few college aged guys come into the room for a solid day's workout. They started with forearm curls both on a bench and behind the back and continued with calf raises. I thought it must have been a pretty funny sight for anyone to see me sweating and panting like crazy while these guys were working their forearms and calves. Talk about extremes.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Two days in a row.

Things have slowed down for the time being and I was once again not only able to go to the gym, but also to post afterward. Today I did the .com wod of 1RM DL and I also threw in 5x5 press.

375 (Fx2) (previous pr)

130x2 (pr)

My DL is really starting to come back after getting my back fixed. I'm almost to my former pr and have set the goal of breaking that by the end of summer. Press is coming along too. My former pr was 125x3. Press has always been a bit of a weakness of mine, so I'm glad I can push 130 overhead without too much difficulty.

Lately I have been noticing that my all out strength isn't that great, but my work capacity at heavy weights is better than one would expect based on my max lifts. For instance my max DL is 365 but I did 330x5 and didn't break any of the reps during the qualifier wod 1. I don;t know if that is typical, but I'd rather have the stamina than the ability to lift really heavy only once. When time permits, I'm going to work on building strength with hopes of making everything that much easier.

North woods sighting #1
I expect to see some pretty interesting things working out up here, so here is the first of (hopefully) many entries of the bizarre world of northern Minnesota.
In between my sets on the DL, a mustached man in his mid to late forties wearing a pair of engineer glasses walked into the gym. He had been attacked by the sleeve monster on the way in and was rocking his pasty guns. At first I was thinking, "Woohoo! Free tickets to the gun show!" but then his whipped out his workout gloves-vintage, full fingered, leather, work gloves. Apparently the glove that can do anything from bailing hay to working out. And he wasn't messing around. He proceeded to grab a set of dumbbells and worked those guns like no tomorrow. Meanwhile I made a full pulls on the dead lift feeling that one of us was in the wrong place. Unfortunately, I think it was me.

I love working out up here, just to get the funny looks.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Up in da Nort woods!

Well I FINALLY found some time to get an official workout in. The past few days have consisted of loading and unloading oddly shaped heavy objects on to and off of a truck. Talk about functional. The most challenging of which was a stand up piano weighing in at probably around 500 pounds or so. Loading it wasn't so bad since we had a ramp (still not easy), but unloading it was pretty intense. After rolling it down the ramp we had to go down a hill and around the house to the basement. All this on a narrow dirt path. Tons of fun, quarter tons anyway.
Until today the only other workout-esk activity I've encounter was cutting (with a chain saw) and splitting about 100 pieces of wood. The splitting was done using an 8-lb maul if that means anything to you (it doesn't mean much to me).
Anyway today's workout was the one posted on CFO and was pretty much the opposite of chopping wood.

KB Swings 75lb DB
Walking Lunges 50lbs in each hand

I'm not sure of the time since I forgot a watch and had to use a digital one with no seconds. I know I would have pushed harder if I were at CFO, but I did get my brother out to give it a go. Try to convert, you know the drill.

Here are a few pics of the gym I'll be at for the summer. It is simply amazing. (Sorry for the poor quality, didn't know they were turning out fuzzy)

Here you can see a leg machine, inclined bench, regular bench, declined bench, cable machine, and tucked away in the back corner is the only squat rack which is also the only pull-up bar from which you could kip.

This one holds a good view of the inclined bench, another regular bench, lat pull-down machine, 3 DB sets, and 2 preacher benches(?).

This is probably THE MOST USEFUL investment this gym could have ever made. Even though they don't have a set of bumpers (that's right all cast iron weights) they decided to throw some money down on this extremely elaborate device used to work those all important biceps.

However, this gym isn't all bad and where there's a will there's a way. It's no Crossfit Omaha though.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Here's to you CFO!

This one goes out to all the amazing people who comprise Crossfit Omaha. Thank you for everything: for training, for having fun, for inspiring. In all honesty, being part of the gym is what made life worth living. That hour of pain we shared was the highlight of my day everyday. I doubt I will ever do anything workout without thinking of you. I also doubt I will be able to find a gym community that is even close to having the caliber of members and social community that you do. Without a doubt, this has been one of the best experiences of my life and with any luck my path will lead be back someday so we can once again share the pain and sweat that defines Crossfit Omaha.

I haven't worked out since Saturday when I did four way Murph with Jeff, Tovar, and Becky. I think we finished in 14:2something. It was a good one.

This weekend I drove to St. Peter for my sister's graduation from Gustavus, and then drove the rest of the way home to good old Hibbing, MN. Today, I slept in a bit and really needed it. Then I spent the rest of the day disassembling furniture, moving boxes, and preparing the majority of our stuff to be loaded. We rented a 26 foot uhaul and will make the 4 hour drive to Michigan loading and unloads literally tons of stuff, so that will probably be my wod (naturally it will be for time). The following day will probably include moving and chopping about 25 years worth of wood, so that will be another wod down. Luckily I love chopping wood. As soon as I fall into a regular workout routine again, I will be sure and post it. Heck maybe I'll even get fancy and post some pics or if I feel real fancy even a video. You never know.