Friday, March 30, 2012

Step Back...I've Gone Viral!


What could I possibly say?  This past week has been one of the most humbling times of my life.  I might as well start off with showing you the video, and then fill in a bit of back-story:

So the Crossfit Journal came to the Black Box last month as we were in the midst of the Crossfit Games Open.  We're also opening a new space a couple blocks north.  So the camera crew took 24 of our resident badass Crossfitters up to the new place to do a main site demo of the WOD known as J.T.  I was not part of this video.  However, the next morning I roll in at 7AM, prepared to do Open WOD 12.2, the now infamous "Snatch Ladder."  A guy with a camera walks right up and asks "are you Reis?" I said yes and he proceeded to explain to me that he surveyed the crowd at the filming of J.T. and asked who the best candidate would be for a lifestyle Journal piece.  Apparently they unanimously said me.  I was stifled by this information, but I had no problem letting them film my workout, and I talked to them for about 10 minutes afterwards.

What happened next was kind of surreal, and morphed into what you see above, a video that as of this writing has been seen by over 7,000 people and shared on Facebook by over 100 Crossfit gyms.  Along with some rambling that I forgot as soon as the interview was done, I went into the WOD hoping to hit just one of the 30 snatches at 135 pounds.  Previously this had been my 1-rep max, and even in the warmup I put up a pretty sloppy rep at that weight, keeping my expectations rather low.  So low and behold I cruise through the 30 reps at 75#, and one by one the 135s started rolling in...over and over until by the end of the WOD I had completed 18 of them.  You see 15 of them in the video, and until later that day I thought the last one didn't count because it was at the buzzer, but coach Avery logged me for 18 reps (you see me say in the video that I got 17).  Either way I blew my expectations out of the water, and I was pretty overtaken by euphoria while the whole interview happened.  Frankly I didn't think it went so well at the time, as I didn't remember what I said, and I was hesitant to let them publish it if I was going to sound either horribly boring or terribly incoherent.  Turns out it wasn't half bad, and I'm still blown away daily by people reaching out from around the world letting me know that they enjoyed my story.

Well thank you all for checking it out, and while it's simply a snapshot in time it plugs into everything else that has solidified my path to fitness.  I'm so driven and so excited to build on my success and really accomplish great things.  I'm honored to have so much attention so early in my Crossfit life, but hopefully down the road I can affect other people's lives the way you all have affected mine.  The appreciation is simply beyond words.  I Love you all...peace.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Recovery Pt. IV - Electrolytes


I know, I know...I am a HEATHEN.  How I could I say something so ridiculous?  Salt?!? Why would I even consider ingesting salt when everyone from the USDA to the AMA to the WWE (OK maybe not) have said that sodium is bad for your health, bad for your blood pressure, just plain BAD?

Well guess what? When you're spent, wrything on the floor after a WOD, then you get up and glance down and your pretty lil sweat're looking at up to (if not more than) a POUND of sweat that you just lost.  Well, let's consider what this pound of sweat contains:

220mg Sodium
63mg Potassium
8mg Magnesium
16mg Calcium

That's a lot of "um"s.  Those ums (also known as electrolytes), as they left your body...took with um energy, muscular efficiency, endurance capacity and your ability to effectively hydrate. What's that you say?  But you drink gallons of water a day to hydrate?  Fantastic!  Except for the fact that this Sodium you're losing reduces your capacity to retain the water you're drinking.  So without replenishing the lost Sodium, you are peeing out as much as you're retaining.  This inefficient hydration can result in problems with muscle tissue, and affect your overall recovery.  And damnit if you're going through the trouble to drink that much water, shouldn't you be getting the most out of it?

Check out this video where K Star breaks the situation down, and then see below for some helpful supplements that will replenish your electrolytes so that you're hydrating optimally:


As the man says, NUUN is a great choice for electrolyte replenishment.  I keep a couple of tubes at my desk so I can drop them in my water bottle and not worry about getting the most out of my hydration.  They are sugar-free and the flavors are great.  I personally use the Lemon-Lime and Tri-Berry flavors.  One a day (on WOD days) does the trick.

Another great product to try is Endurolytes from Hammer Nutrition. I would take 3-4 capsules within an hour following a heavy WOD.  These are a bit pricey compared to NUUN, but everything Hammer sells is top notch, and it's no wonder they are world-renowned in the endurance community.  Expect an amazing welcome package with your first order, overflowing with samples of their other products.  In this respect you definitely get your money's worth.  While there's some minor differences in the amounts of each electrolyte you get from either of the above supplements, both  give you what you need to be much better off than if you didn't replenish anything at all.


Blair Morrison is a superstar Crossfitter, known for his penchant for outdoor WODs, and choosing natural settings to be his background for staying fit.  I checked out an amazing article through his blog anywherefit.  Here's an excerpt:

After yesterday’s workout at CF 209 Sport in Stockton I was feeling pretty stiff. My lower back, hamstrings, and shoulders were all a bit banged up.This evening I soaked for less than 10 minutes amidst 2 cups of Epsom Salts and a tub full of piping hot water and walked out feeling limber as a pre-teen gymnast. Add a glass of red wine and I’m writing this post 2 shakes from my pillow and an incredible night’s sleep.Curious as to why I was feeling so great after such a short episode, I googled “Epsom Salt Bath” and found the following article. It’s a quick read, but interesting. Just another piece of the recovery puzzle falling into place. 

Please check out the entire piece and give the epsom salt bath a try.  Looks like it may be our best shot at absorbing significant amounts of magnesium.

So there you have it...another installment among many that I hope will at least enlighten you as to how much goes into restoring your body after the relentless abuse we put it through almost daily.  Thanks so much for the emails...peace...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Humbling Journey...

I was asked to do a Q&A on our gym's blog this month, as recently I celebrated my one-year anniversary with Crossfit NYC.  It's unreal that a year has past since I walked into Elements, couldn't do five push-ups, couldn't breathe after less than 10 wall balls, and yet here I am:

I can Deadlift over 400 pounds.  Give me a month and I can back squat over 400 pounds.  I am mere months away from doing unassisted pull-ups, but even with bands I can do over 100 of them in a workout.  I've done close to 250 WODs, and some of the more recent ones have been at RX'ed weights.  I've been inspired by and inspired hundreds of people, not only in my gym, but apparently around the world.

This is not a unique journey, but for those out there just starting, or even just contemplating need to know how possible, yet necessary, this really is.  Do know that I have experienced physical pain like I have never, ever known.  Some days I can barely limp my way down the subway platform. But the world is a new place.  I can lift my son up and swing him around...I can run up and down the stairs, and when I forget something at the bottom, I can go back down, and come back up again and again, and I don't breathe heavy anymore.  My blood pressure is exceptional.  I run from the train to my car BY CHOICE.  Absolutely everything has changed for the better because of my newfound strength and stamina.  It's some of the hardest work I've ever done, but naturally because of that it's been some of the most rewarding.

Click to check out my Q&A.  This is an amazing journey.  I'm honored that I've been able to impart the wisdom I've picked up along the way.  I'll continue to do so here, and more frequently at that.  I appreciate your curiosity, and I hope you've enjoyed my story so far.  It's just barely begun...

Love and Peace...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Recovery Pt. III - Rest

I'm kind of going out of order today, as I felt like this topic should cap the whole recovery series (there are still several editions to come), but it's too appropriate, as I've opted to take a rest day after three days in a row of hardcore WODs.  It's 8:30 AM and I'm already feeling the benefits of rest...a bit of a tingle body-wide as my muscles reset themseves from three days of all-out explosive power output.  It is truly amazing that what amounts to an hour of work among the three days has put my body in a state of necessary rest, to stave off potential over-training and/or injury.

Embarrasingly enough my decision to rest was guided by the choice of upcoming WODs today and tomorrow, more than the absolute need to rest that I'm now recognizing and embracing.  Today's WOD amounted to 250 air squats and 500 rope jumps.  But tomorrow is ten rounds of Cindy, with a Clean & Jerk added to the beginning of each round.  Now THAT's what I'm talkin about.  Not to take away from the training benefits of today's WOD but anytime I can combine a cool lift like the clean & jerk with a benchmark like Cindy, SIGN ME UP!

Anyway...back to rest.  In no way does "rest" suggest taking out the daily routines that maintain and support your body.  Ideal nutrition, sufficient protein, electrolyte maintenance (more on this very soon!), icing muscles, stretching & mobility work, foam rolling, good posture and of course adequate sleep...  All of these elements combine to provide your body with a collective rest...truly an abbreviation for the restoration that you're providing your body in the wake of the blaring intensity of Crossfit.

I read a brilliant blog article about the stages of Crossfit which addresses the absolute WOD addiction that kicks in.  Earlier this year I couldn't imagine doing 4-5 days a week, especially in a row.  But I've put a few 5-day weeks behind me in recent months. Often those result in a pretty poor performance on the Friday, as the aggregate effects of days 1-4 just do not allow for the same strength and explosive performance that your average WOD requires.  So I've learned to balance out my need to get to the gym with the recognition of my body's need to rest.  Take last week for instance...
Last week was probably the most demanding week of Crossfit I've ever experienced.  Monday was Fran, Tuesday was 75 handstand pushups & 150 walking lunges, Wednesday was Helen, Thursday Crossfit Total, and Friday Filthy 50. So when would YOU rest? It shook me to the core, and I was in disbelief as I decided, but I knew that even if I powered through and showed up for the Crossfit Total I would not have come close to hitting a PR, and that's really the essence of that WOD.  Right now my Total is 890, but with the strides I've made in recent months it's realistic that on a good, strong day I can get my Total toward 1000.  But I knew it was time to rest.  And because I did I was able to PR my Filthy 50 on Friday by over 4 minutes.

And by no means should rest always take the form of sleep or relaxation.  Get out and ride your bike.  Play with your kids / friends / family.  Go out for a walk or a jog.  There are thousands of articles on active recovery, and many interviews with Crossfitters about "applying your fitness".  These are huge things to consider when making the most of your rest.  So don't think of this as boring or something to avoid.  Make it the rewarding, fun part of the process that it is.  Eventually you'll look forward to it as much as the WODs.

So the moral of this story is that we are in this for the long haul.  It's just another WOD.  Crossfit is a lifelong pursuit.  Balance in your training is as important as balance in everything else in life.  Rest is as necessary as hitting a PR on your back squat or improving your Fran time.  You must give your body what it needs in order to live to fight another day with every ounce of the fight that is in you.  Glassman was onto something when he came up with the 3 on 1 off concept.  There is profound truth in it, and while only you will know when you can push that envelope, sufficient rest needs to have a place in your training if you're going to be successful in the long run.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Recovery Pt. II: Foam Rolling

In Crossfit your workout stays with you all day.  After I walk (or sometimes limp) to work, I spend the morning recharging my system. TONS of water, some caffeine (either black coffee or coffee with almond milk), some fruit and a little sodium replenishment (more on that later).  Throughout the day and night I'm in a constant state of either recovery or preparation for the next WOD.  The Paleo Diet is a major contributor to my nutritional approach to recovery.  But there are far more things to consider beyond nutrition if you're going to optimize your Crossfit experience.  Lately I've been doing five WODs a week, which by my standards even a few months ago is a lot, but I've basically accepted my addiction and I'm making the most of it.  Today's recovery segment deals with one aspect of my evening preparation for the next day's WOD.  This is a simple but beautiful way to reset your spine, your hips, glutes and your legs so that you're primed and ready for more intensity, while minimizing the chance of injury and/or soreness.  This amazing daily practice is foam rolling.

Standard Firm Foam Rollers
I first got a foam roller from my buddy Scott for the holidays last year.  It's a standard foam cylinder, very firm on the outside...much harder than the rollers we have at Crossfit NYC.  At first it was very painful to roll out my back, but I stuck with it because I studied up on the benefits of "delamination".  This is a process of kneading away superficial layers of a type of tissue in our bodies called "fascia". Picture a thin layer of malleable saran wrap around the outer layers of our muscles.  Over time it can adhere to our muscles, essentially laminating them and causing tightness.  The less we pull fascia apart the more it wraps tightly around our muscles, causing inflammation and restricting our range of motion.  In a practice like Crossfit, compromising your range of motion by limiting activities like foam rolling can be dangerous over time.  No doubt this activity is painful at first, and will be for some time.  But this pain is something to embrace and work through.  Without working through this pain you will not see benefits of foam rolling, and you will not keep your fascia in check, which is terrible for your Crossfitting.  I noticed as the weeks went by that rolling out my back, quads, and IT bands (lengthy muscles on your side that stretch from below your hips to your midsection) became less and less painful, and foam rolling at night became more of a way to self-adjust my back (saves visits to the chiropractor and feels GREAT!) and reset my muscles, preparing them for more work.  That's when I stepped it up and got myself a RUMBLE ROLLER.
Various models of the Rumble Roller

The Rumble Roller is absolutely no joke.  This thing is insane.  It's basically a firm foam roller with hard little nubs surrounding it.  The nubs provide an advanced level of kneading and pulling as you roll, and at first I was in absolute agony using this thing.  But over time, just like with it's traditional predecessor, the Rumble Roller has now become pretty standard during my evening recovery exercises.  I start by rolling out my back and hips with the standard roller, and then I use the Rumble to get into deeper, more painful spots.  The difference has been phenomenal, and just last week I rolled out my back and hips, and along with some mobility work to prepare (more on this later) I set a 40-lb deadlift PR at 425 lbs.  Now I will never point to anything as a silver bullet, so if your nutrition is weak, you barely stretch, and you're new to foam rolling you will not see explosive gains in your Crossfitting just from foam rolling.  But if you combine this activity with a solid arsenal of recovery methods, you will notice major differences in performance, and Crossfit will become an even better, safer experience.

Foam Rolling Videos -
Mobility WOD I
Mobility WOD II

Foam Rolling Articles
- Crossfit Nor'Easter
                                    Crossfit Invictus

Puchase LinksStandard Foam Roller
                         Rumble Roller

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Recovery Pt. I: Protein

I'll make this the first of several posts that deal with recovery.  A common thread throughout my eight months of Crossfit is pain.  At first, the muscle soreness in the days after workouts was downright debilitating.  Now it's something I pretty much depend on, to indicate that yesterday's work is yielding progress, and today's work will adjust according to how heavily I'm in recovery.  What I rarely do is skip a WOD day simply because of soreness.  There are many things that help with recovery, and a very major one of them is protein.

This started as an email to Wayne, one of my Crossfit NYC buddies.  He asked me about my experience with protein and my response morphed into a decent enough passage to share with everyone here...

You can Google all variations imaginable on post-workout nutrition and read for days.  After I did that, I came to the collective conclusion that:

1> Protein ingestion within 15-30 minutes post-WOD is a net positive for muscle growth and accelerating recovery.

2> Combining proteins will enhance the effectiveness of post-WOD nutrition, so it's best to find a product that combines whey with egg and/or casein proteins.  The whey gives you immediate benefit, the egg is nutrient-rich, and the casein is slow-digesting to allow for a steady stream of muscular protein ingestion for several hours (though not as effective as the post-WOD time window).  I happen to use Nitrean, which is made by Chris Mason of At Large Nutrition.  He has written several articles for the Crossfit Journal and I've found him to be a stand up businessman with excellent products.  Nitrean is a powdered shake that comes in several tasty flavors, with minimal sugar content and very low carbs.  Each scoop provides 23-24 grams of protein (a mixture of the ones I mention above).

What is whey protein you ask? Whey is a dairy product (don't tell the Paleo police) that is separated from milk during the process of making cheese.  The whey is dehydrated, or often "hydrolized" to preserve its nutritional benefits and shelflife.  Whey contains amino acids that are hugely valuable to muscle recovery.  Most of the time whey comes in powder form.

The importance of timing your protein ingestion post-WOD deals with the torn-down state of your muscle tissue.  Picture your muscles like a sponge...after a workout they are highly absorbent for the first 30 minutes, and the amino acids in whey protein are absorbed most efficiently during this time. 

3> People who are looking to gain mass (or are at least not focused on weight loss) have an ideal opportunity to maximize their recovery by adding a significant amount of carbohydrate to their post-WOD meal/shake.  The general thought on carbs is that a ratio of 3:1 (carbs to protein) results in optimal protein/amino acid synthesis.  The carbs cause an insulin spike (as carbs convert to glycogen, or blood glucose [sugar]), which serves as a vehicle for the protein to absorb optimally into the muscle tissue within the 30-minute window.  Apparently the absorption level drops off significantly after the first 30 minutes.  The above 3:1 theory is the basis for chocolate milk being the post-workout meal of choice for so many athletes (both in and out of Crossfit).  I have found that a 16-oz Nesquick has 8g of protein, and that's only 33% of the protein content in a scoop of  Nitrean.  But with 24 grams of carbs it nails the 3:1 ratio on the head.  Milk protein, however, differs from whey in its ability to be absorbed as efficiently.  Also, since I am looking to lean out, I can't see ingesting 75g of carbs to balance out my standard 24g of protein, so I ingest the protein with little to no carbs, and feel that I still get benefits, even if they are sub-optimal.  There is a significant amount of discussion about the benefits of ingesting low-glycemic carbs (like sweet potatoes) post-WOD.  I could see eventually adding this once my weight comes down.

4> Casein before bed - For those looking to continue the protein intake beyond post-WOD for muscle recovery, it's recommended to consume casein protein before bedtime (or at least have it be the last thing you eat).  Casein is the protein found in the chunks in cottage cheese.  It is also known as "curds" (remember Little Miss Muffett eating her curds & whey?) This slow-digesting protein activates your metabolism as you sleep, while giving your muscles a steady stream of protein for recovery.  I've had great success with this.  I use Optimum Nutrition's casein protein (low sugar, no carbs), which is typically best priced online through either Vitamin Shoppe or Amazon.

5>  How much protein is enough? Well it seems the mean theory suggests one gram of protein daily for every pound of lean body mass.  So for instance I'm now around 280 lbs, and while I haven't measured body fat I'm guessing I'm still in the range of 30% body fat despite my sizable weight loss.  Based on this I estimate that I have a lean body mass of around 185 lbs.  Now I'm not at all suggesting that I consume 185 grams of protein daily, but I make sure that I get into the triple digits if i can help it.  Just with shakes post-WOD and at bedtime I cover 50 grams, so that leaves 135 more throughout the day and night...I usually get somewhere around half that, and I've had excellent results.  Some doctors have expressed concern with overdoing it on daily protein intake volume.  Some mentioned potential kidney issues, and a common thread was to space the intake out throughout the day.

In the coming weeks I will also feature non-protein supplements and foods I've added to the recovery menu.  By no means am I saying that the above info will work for everyone, but having made so much progress in such a short time I figured it would benefit at least some of you.  I hope so anyway...drop me a line in the comments and let me know your thoughts.

Here are some interesting articles/discussions on workout recovery:

Journal of Applied Physiology 

Health & Fitness

Running Times 2009

Crossfit Board

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hiatus Sucks

I followed a band around the country when I was in college and a while back they took a couple of years off.  I remember seeing a shirt someone had on that said "Hiatus Sucks". Now obviously I have more readers than they do fans ;), so I can understand the weight of my own hiatus as well.  Thanks for fighting the urge to create your own custom WOD Almighty merchandise in response to my drop off the face of the planet for the last couple of months.  But there is an upside to the story I can assure you...

Progress Report
Starting Weight (Nov 2010) - 335 lbs
Current Weight (June 2011) - 281 lbs (net loss 54 lbs)

Starting Waist - 56 inches
Current Waist - 46 inches (net loss 10 inches)

No my absence from the blog does not mean I gave up my Crossfit/Paleo journey.  Work became hell for a while, and everything else just kind of spun out of control.  But through it all the least amount of days I dedicated to Crossfit was two, though most weeks saw me at the gym 4-5 days.  I come back to the blog with a fresh perspective and some changes in mind.

I'm going to try to put up more lifestyle-based material.  While I still want to document my WODs there are so many other things about the experience I want to I'm eating, mobility work, equipment that's helped me maintain, supplements, etc.  There's so much that goes into being a healthy person and if just one of you reads this and gets inspired, informed, or changed in even a small way I think that's a lot more constructive than just making this about documenting my workouts.

It really just comes down to how much time I have to devote to the blog, amidst everything else.  Between marriage, parenthood, home ownership, work, Crossfit, and everything else in life it can be tough to sit down for even five minutes to crank out a quick post.  So I'm going to make the most out of my time with you, and not worry so much if you can't read about how hard it was to do 39 handstand pushups today :).

So on we go...let's get healthy together, and as always let me know you're out there.  We're certainly all out there, aren't we ;).


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Looking Back...Literally...

Some days you feel like you're running backwards.  Today is a rare exception in that, well, I was actually running backwards.  Folks, meet another of Crossfit's sadistic brethren, "Griff"...

WOD - "Griff"
For time:
Run 800 meters
Run 400 meters backwards
Run 800 meters
Run 400 meters backwards

Um...OK...what the fuck?  Run BACKWARDS?  You want these tree trunks to run a mile forwards and a half mile BACKWARDS?  REALLY?  BACKWARDS?!?!?  Man this shit should get really interesting on the famed streets of NYC.

I was equally intrigued an terrified as I came into the box today to find Jeff, another trainer who joined Sara to teach & time today's WOD.  Jeff put me through a warmup that had me dripping.  I was all prepped to do my typical handstand pushups, ring pushups, OH squats, etc and Jeff throws this at me:

Samson Stretch (both sides) - Inch Worm* - Crab Walk*  - Twisting Lunges* - Bear Crawl*(*Length of the room)

Shit man that's a warmup?  Geesh!  I was warm, that's for sure...drenched as well.  Safe to say I was nice and warm as we hit the street.

3...2...1...go!  I was off at a comfortable pace as I felt great rounding 24th St.  Every time I come back to running I feel better and better as I still run 800m sets unbroken.  Will I do an unbroken mile?  Certainly by the summer I think that's a reality.  Granted I haven't seen a WOD with a mile run in it except for Murph, and, well, yeah let's not hope for that day to come anytime soon...

I finished the first 800 in less than seven minutes, which I thought was a great pace for me...a 12-minute mile for someone who is close to 300 lbs (though not as close as I used to be ;) isn't bad.  Now the real fun began...I didn't have to look over my shoulder nearly as much as I thought.  I think I trusted that whoever I didn't see would just get out of the way.  I turned around at the Starbuck's on 6th and got a few double takes, and a random street guy started beeping as I was going by like the sound a truck makes when you back up.  For the most part though it wasn't so bad...I turned back around for the next 800 at about 10-11 minutes and kept going.  Surprisingly I did the WOD unbroken, so technically I guess you could say this was my first unbroken mile, split into two segments and sandwiched by a half mile of backwards running craziness.  But I hit the finish line with a decent time.

WOD TIME: 20:44

I was surprisingly peppy after I finished, which turned out to be a good thing, because with time left on the clock Jeff & Sara presented the following cashout:

Run the stairs (all five flights)
3 Rounds for Time (10-minute limit)

Richard (who finished the WOD in like 1/2 the time I did) was with me for this one, and while he lapped me again (he always does), we were both slowing down bigtime getting the top couple of flights on the way up.  The way down was cake, even though I didn't know it but my calves were going to be cooked shortly thereafter.

Cashout Time: 8:48

Man that was definitely a massive day.  Between the warmup, the WOD and the cashout I'm TOAST.  Not sure if tomorrow's a reality.  If so I'll need to hit the sack super-early tonight.  We'll see.  For now I'm psyched I got through it.  It's not every day you can start off with some backwards running and keep a smile on your face.  Today was a pleasant, rare exception :).


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Jeremy's Spoken

I guess if you do Crossfit long enough your expectations for intensity go through the roof. So it's no wonder that when they posted today's WOD I assumed it was 3x as brutal as it actually was going to be. Here it is as posted:

In honor of “Jeremy”
Three rounds, 21-15-and 9 reps, for time of:
95 pound Overhead squats

So while the 21-15-9 rep scheme is the most common (and cool I must say), I still thought by "three rounds" they meant three rounds of 21-15-9, yielding 63, 45, and 27 reps of each exercise respectively. I called Scott and told him I expected to not be able to move after this one. Lo and behold I walked into the Black Box this morning and found out that it was just straight-up 21-15-9. OK...back to reality...

I told Sara because I expected it to be so brutal I was thinking I was going to use the bar for the OH Squats.  She said "well it's good for you then, since now you're lifting 95 lbs".  I guess that settled it.  RX'ing a WOD is a ton of fun, and while this one wasn't brutally heavy I knew the burpees were going to crush me.  Sara was laughing as I put big band aids on my knees to stave off the bleeding that typically happens when i do tons of burpees, but I was sweating enough from the warmup that this was a fruitless effort.  We set up the bars and got ready to...

...3...2...1...Go!  I knew the overheads wouldn't be too bad.  I start to struggle at around 150 lbs, but 95 lbs was well within my capability.  I fired off the round of 21 unbroken and we were off to the races...the burpee races, that is.  And that is by no stretch a fun race to run.  I was sloppy by rep # 10 and just getting through them was a mess.  I really need to work on these, as brutal as they are.  Despite the tough time the burpees gave me I cranked through the sets of 15 and 9, only breaking up the overheads in the round of 15 (5-5-5), and blasting through the last set.

WOD Time: 11:12

It feels good to RX a WOD and put up a sub-15 minute time.  Granted this one is in the realm of Fran and other workouts that CF superstars can do in 5 minutes or less.  But hey this is absolute progress, and I felt great afterwards...need to work on those burpees though...sheer brutality for sure.


Monday, May 2, 2011

The Front Squat - Reunited and it Feels so...

Monday rest days simply kick ass.  Ease into the week after a weekend of recovery with some strength coaching from Kevin P.  Solid.

BLACK BOX WOD (current skill: front squat):
front squat 5-5-5-5-5

Today I reunited with the front squat for the first time on a strength day since February.  Back then I did triples and got to 200 lbs.  Today was sets of five, so I treated this like uncharted territory, not knowing or expecting where I would go with this amount of reps.  Sure I've had months of training, but every strength day is different, so I was happy to just get something on the bar and lift without expectations.

Warmup – 45×5 – 65×3 – 95×3 – 145×3

I felt pretty damn good once I got some decent weight on the bar, so I figured I would just go for it and hope for the best.  I felt like it wasn't out of the realm of possibility to hit my 3-rep max PR on my first WOD with sets of 5.  Here's how it went:

WOD (sets of 5) 145 – 165 – 175 – 185 – 200*

Fail on #5 at 200, but that was essentially the goal...reach your max set of 5, and getting four solid reps was good enough for me at 200 lbs.  I think honestly once my shoulders get more comfortable in the rack position I'll be able to really get into front squats more.  But I can't expect them to be as productive as back squats, so I feel pretty good about where I'm at.

Ready for tomorrow...