Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Anabolic Diet Induction


Run 2 miles

No-Pull-Up "Angie"

100 Push-up
100 Sit-Up
100 Squat


Calories: 1800
Protein: 155 g
Carb 35 g
Fat 115 g

Negative calorie balance = 1000

This was surprisingly easy. Unlike Atkins (10 g carb) this allows you to eat a pound of vegetables, and, therefore, is non-gross.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Accidental Progress

I made a 10-pound jump on the OHS today instead of the 5 I had planned. Sweet!

Overhead Squat 15-5-5-5


Bench Press


All fairly solid. Also, while I ate and drank too much (holidays) and gained weight, most of it seems to be muscle: I'm at 194 pounds at 18% bodyfat according to my scale, which would put me at nearly 160 pounds of muscle mass, which was my one-year goal. This means I still have a chance to be 11% bodyfat at the games with a lean mass of 160 and a bodyweight of 177. I got a different reading (24%!!) later in the day, so let's say 21% with lean mass of 153. Not so awesome. Feh.

I picked up Mario DiPasquale's Metabolic Diet (312 pages!)

Also a CFT of 1000 looks not too far off, maybe 6-8 weeks.

the 225 squat clean looks far away and 3-4 minute Fran seems almost unimaginable, but If I can manage to keep the strength gains and lean out who knows?

I have wanted to try this for a while, it looks promising.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Theoretical 1RM

This is the first time I have put my "Simple 3x5 for CrossFitters" to a personal test. It is working even better than expected.

Back Squat 5-5-5


Deadlift 1x5

365: this just flew up, it was so much easier than last week.

Deadlift from bottom pin of high-pin rack 1x5

495 (very hard)

Hang Power Clean 3-3-3


These lifts are predictive of a 1RM of:

Back Squat 295#

Deadlift 411#

I tried 400# at the end and it did seem like I could have pulled it fairly easily if I was fresh (I gave up on it, it did not seem safe).

Oh, and, funny story?

I have been pissed for a year and a half that I never got 400# on my last serious strength cycle. I was talking to Tom about it and pointed to the weight (8 plates) and said that is the most I have ever pulled, I was pissed I never got 400#. And Tom is like, um, Dude, that's 405#! DOH! So I did get it, and then I hurt my back trying to pull 410# (which I thought was 400. Double Duh, but I'm pleased that I have, in fact, pulled a 400 DL.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Paleokit 2

I contacted the maker of the awesome Paleokit. It turns out it is Steve Liberati the owner of Steve's Club. If you don't know what this is, check it out here. He is setting up an affiliate program and I plan on joining.


5 Rounds For Time:

Back Squat 135#, 15 reps
Deadlift 185#, 15 reps

Time: 18:14

I created this one, and it is only OK, very hard on the low back which makes it hard to really get roaring. I'm going to play around with this one, it has potential.

Protein: 170 g
Carb: 65 g

Negative Calorie Balance = 600

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Great Idea! I'm going to find out if I can be a distributor, but from their website it seems like they cannot keep up with demand. Anyone out there want to collaborate on creating a similar product?



None(planned rest)

Negative Calorie Balance = +200 (fail)



Overhead Squat 15-5-5-5

Bench Press 5-5-5

Max Rep Dead Hang Pull-Up

Protein: 190 G

Carb: 60 G

Negative Calorie Balance = 300

Bailed on C2B kip attempt, my elbow told me not to.

Yesterday I saw an MD for the first time since I was T-Boned on CBR1100XX in 2000. Since I have no medical insurance I went to Quickhealth Medical for treatment of a nasty thumb infection. I have to say I was 1000% satisfied with this cash-only clinic serving mostly a Spanish-Speaking clientele (It's in the Oakland Barrio). I had to wait for an hour, but that is normal even if you have an appointment with a more mainstream Doc I suppose. Dr. Carlos Ramirez was the most pleasant MD I have ever seen and I was OTD with a tetanus shot and antibiotics for 139.00. Dr. Ramirez (who goes by Carlos)also said if my Naproxin Mega-Dose does not work for my elbow they can do a steroid shot for 99.00 OTD. I love it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Jump-Start: Not Fail!

I did a hybrid CF Main Page WOD. I did do the 800 meter runs x 4, but per Gita D I worked on pacing trying to turn over 180 strides per minute. What a weird feeling! I did manage to get 180 in 4 of the minutes and I got 189 in the final minute. This slowed me down a lot, my splits were slightly over 4 minutes (although there were some big hills in this so I would not have gotten 3:00 splits even if I had just run all-out anyway.

I got a very ugly bar muscle-up! My first in many months, although my elbow warned me not to do it again. I could probably get a few ring M-U, but I think I will let my elbow heal more. Anyway, my elbow is healing, my weight is dropping and my strength is increasing. good things.

I also got the Rolling Thunder off the floor loaded up with 125#! I absolutely could not do this before, pretty exciting!

Finally I got a 75# 1-arm snatch. A very satisfying day.

Protein: 170

Carbs: 130

Negative Calorie Balance = 700

Friday, December 19, 2008

Terrible Thirty

Per my plan to cherry-pick the metcons off of the main site, since today is the Filthy Fifty and it just does not seem "strengthy" engough, I have come up with this bit of torture I'm calling the "Terrible Thirty". I'm actually not sure I can do it RX.

30 Box Jump, 30 inch box
30 Chest-To-Bar Pull-Ups
30 Dumbbell Swing 70 pounds
30 Walking Lunges with a 45# Plate held overhead
30 Ankles-To-Bar
30 Good Mornings, 95 pounds
30 Push-Press, 95 Pounds
30 Wall-Ball Shots, 20 pound ball, 12 foot target
30 GI Janes
30 Triple-Unders

I'm fairly certain I can do all of this except the triple-unders. I'll sub 100 double-unders if I can't do it.

If this turns out to be compelling, I think I will have my athletes do this tomorrow and then the straight FF the next Saturday.

This turned out not to be a good WOD, I tinkered with it and did this:

20 Box Jump, 30 inch box
20 Chest-To-Bar Pull-Ups
20 Dumbbell Swing 70 pounds
20 Walking Lunges with a 45# Plate held overhead
20 Ankles-To-Bar
20 Good Mornings, 95 pounds
20 Push-Press, 95 Pounds
20 Double-Squat Wall-Ball
5 GI Janes
100 Double-Unders


Still not a great one. I'm having my athletes do THIS today:

20 GI Janes
Run 200 Meters
20 Box Jump 30" box
Run 200 Meters
20 KB swing 2.0P/1.5P
Run 200 Meters
20 C2B Pull-ups
Run 200 Meters
20 Weight Overhead Lunge 45#/25#
Run 200 Meters
20 Ankles-to-bar
Run 200 Meters
40 Supermans
Run 200 Meters
20 clap push-up
Run 200 Meters
20 Double-Squat Wall-Ball
Run 200 Meters
100 Double-Unders

Protein: 230

Carbs: 130

Negative Calorie Balance = 300

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Max Effort

I have been watching "the boys" over at Ironworks lift a lot lately. All of them have over 500# Squat and Deadlift, and are working on, or can do better than 600# on both.

I gave a shot at stubborn dont-give-up lifting just like they do today. Reasonably pleased with this, my first heavy day in a while.


500 M Row

Back Squat 5-5-5

Deadlift 5
365 (fail 3 reps)

Deadlift rack pull 5

Hang Clean 3-3-3-3-3

Max Effort C2B Pull-Up
14 reps

Max Effort Close Grip Dead-Hang Pull-up
7 Reps


Protein: 190

Carb: 110

Negative Calorie Balance = 700

Very satisfied with today.

My Homie Pavel

Possibly the greatest video ever, which I found over at River City Physical Culture.

Yesterday was a wash. Neither good nor bad.

Protein: 210

Carbs: 150 (fail)

Negative calorie balance = 50 (fail)

One thing I have forgotten over the years of CF/Zoneing: for heavy weight workouts, the Zone prescription is NOT ENOUGH! After 3 days of high protein eating/ heavy weight training, I am clearly stronger and more muscular, also I have hardly gotten sore! While it to early to say, I feel a bit less fat as well. I'm sure this is psychological. I have also been taking fish oil, 1G per day.

Finally the Naproxin (Alleve) seems to be helping with my elbow: This is day 3 of the quadruple dose Frank Moreno RN recommended for me to help with my climbers elbow. If I could start climbing hard again I would be ecstatic!

I'm pretty excited to hit the weights today, and hopefully get 14+ C2B pull-Ups.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Protein 200 g
Carbs 110 g

Negative Calorie Balance = 650


1000 meter row

13 C2B pull-ups

Monday 081215 National WOD

Five rounds for time of:
275 pound Deadlift, 5 reps
10 Burpees


I was originally going to scale this back, but 225 just seemed ridiculously light, so I went with the full weight and dialed back the intensity a bit. Somehow I did not write this down last time, but I'm nearly certain it was about 5:00, so this was just about right as I was looking for 80% intensity this week to ease back into working out without burnout or injury.


Yesterday (081215)

Protein 195 grams
Carbs 100 grams

Negative Calorie Balance = 900


400 meter run

Overhead Squat 15-5-5-5

105 (fail, 9 reps)

135 (fail)

at this point I re-evaluated my set-up with the help of Tom, who had just deadlifted 525 2x, so you gotta figure he knows a thing or two, right? I got properly set up

135 (easy)

135x6, could have done way more.

Bench Press 5-5-5


Monday, December 15, 2008


Former and, hopefully, future glory

My training and diet have been quite mediocre lately. No new PRs since my 309 Fight Gone Bad, which was months ago, although I did well on "The 42" on my birthday. My body comp (and strength to weight ratio) have really backslid. Combined with a nagging elbow injury, this has taken my muscle-up from 7 to 0.

Anyway, I have decided to make my New Year's resolution early and clean up my act.

I'm giving a variation of the Zone Diet that I have been thinking about for a while a shot:

30/25/45 F/C/P

Caloric deficit of 800 calories a day with about 200 grams of protein.

Workout Schedule (six week micro-cycle):

OHS 15-5-5-5
Bench Press 5-5-5

CF Metcon (Cherry Pick)


Back Squat
Hang Clean

CF Metcon (Cherry Pick)

CF Main WOD (rest if rest day)


One thing which has retarded my progress of late (besides being injured) is a seeming inability to hit the national WODs with anything less than blistering intensity, even though in my deconditioned state I have gotten overtrained multiple times by doing so, leading to a lack performance gain. This is a bit of an odd paradox and I wonder if other experienced CF'rs experience it: I have been at this long enough that even in a deconditioned state, I seem to have residual "crossfitness" that enables me to hit the WODs harder than I should.

I have experienced the above twice recently "Mr. Joshua" with a weighted vest (bad idea) and the recent

3 Rounds For time

50 Box Jump
21 185# Deadlifts
30 Pull-Up

I'm rather apprehensive about the Games WOD

Five rounds for time of:
275 pound Deadlift, 5 reps
10 Burpees

It seems these Deadlift ones are the real killers for me, not because I am weak in the DL, but rather because I'm strong enough to hurt myself with them, but not fit enough to recover?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Byer's Gets Discipline

I'm cross-posting an interesting blog entry from Melissa Byers' blog "Byers Gets Diesel" which comes out of an online conversation between us.

Thursday, December 11, 2008
Confessions of a CrossFit hussy
First, let me just say that after killing myself in yesterday's WOD... things just HURT. It started to hit me last night, which did not bode well for today. Thank Oprah it's a rest day, because I'm pretty sure I'm not good for anything else right now.

Continuing from Tuesday’s post, where I discussed leaving “Noviceland” and all those regularly scheduled PRs behind…

Confession: In the past, I’ve been a bit of a PR slut. I would do anything to be able to tack those two letters on to the end of something. So at the end of my workout, despite being mentally and physically spent, I’d invariably load up the bar with a few extra pounds and try to pull one more rep, just to say I did. Even on days where I was supposed to be working straight sets across, I’d almost always finish off with a new 1RM attempt. It just felt GOOD to be able to say that I pulled a new PR. And it’s oh-so-tempting to toss just one more plate on the bar and give it a go.

I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, because I see other people stretching to put those letters on lots of different things. We’ve claimed “PR for reps” or “PR for sets”, for example. But where does it end? Is there a “PR for rest” – I moved the same weight, but I rested less between each set? Can I claim a PR for a brand new workout – I’ve never done it before, so it’s a “PR by default”? I recognized that my PR motivations were starting to get out of hand. And it wasn’t long before these cheap and dirty workout one-night-stands were actually weakening my form, jacking up my programming and steadily pushing me down the path to injury.

I realized that I’m not doing myself any favors by whoring myself out to these two little letters. For one, if I’m supposed to work a 5x5 and instead work a 4x5 and a single, I’m shorting myself four whole reps and a whole lot of weight. Two, I’m also not getting better at these exercises by sacrificing practice with good form in favor of hitting a sloppy 1RM attempt. And three, throwing in these haphazard PR attempts often resulted in failure, which only made me MORE determined when it came time for the next day’s (unscheduled and ill-advised) attempt. Can you say “overtraining” and “injury”?

And yet CrossFit expects – no, demands – 100% effort and intensity… which should translate to frequent PR attempts, right? I mean, “100%” IS “max effort”, which means in my overachieving, perfectionist little brain, CrossFit WANTS me to shoot for a PR every day. But that just sounds unrealistic, doesn’t it? Not to mention that pulling single reps day in and day out isn’t the most effective path to strength, skill, and balanced fitness. So given what I believe is a CrossFit paradox, how am I supposed to reconcile the “intensity” that is demanded of us (and is synonymous with setting PRs) with the “perfect practice” required to build strength, improve form and increase skill? I decided to ask Max Lewin of CrossFit East Bay for some advice. Here is an excerpt from our discussion.


BYERS: Okay, so am I really supposed to shoot for a PR EVERY time I hit a workout?

LEWIN: This is not really possible, or many of us would be superhuman by now. How often you can hit PRs depends on where you fall on the continuum of genetic potential versus genetic actualization. If you are a beginner, far, far away from your genetic potential, gains come easy and hitting PRs every time is not out of the question. The closer you get to your genetic potential, the harder it is to hit PRs. As solid intermediates, we should be trying to hit some PRs, perhaps one every few weeks, depending on how long we have been doing it. Of course one good way to hit new PRs is to try something new, and be back at the bottom of the food chain.

BYERS: Okay, so maybe I can’t hit a PR every day, but CrossFit says I’m supposed to go after every workout at 100%. If I’m going for high intensity in every workout, when do I get the chance to just PRACTICE these movements?

LEWIN: First, it is impossible to give 100% effort to every single workout. Second, one excellent scheme that allows practice in the context of CF is two or three weeks at full intensity and the third and/or fourth week at 1/2 volume. Using light weights, reduced volume, intentional reduced speed or all three allows for practice. Also, if you are not practicing the movements with light weight/speed/intensity before the workouts, you ought to be. Pretty much every time.

We should all keep in mind that it is no virtue to pound through a workout as fast as possible at any cost. That way lies injury, a lack of coordinational improvement, poor form, decreased efficiency, and, generally, less than full range of motion. This last point is important. A lack of full ROM automatically equals less work volume and makes no sense, if full ROM is possible. This is so often simply ego, or a desire to move as quickly as possible. If you deadlift 300# but can only stand up to 90% of full extension, you might as well have lifted 270# with perfect form and full extension. The amount of work is exactly the same, it is safer and those who understand will be much more impressed with a beautiful maximal lift than a heavy ugly one. My favorite quote of all time from Coach Glassman on full ROM: "I ran a three-minute mile, but it was only half a mile".


In summary:

* Perfect practice can live in harmony with high intensity
* Max efforts should be included, but in a structured fashion
* Check your ego at the door
* Follow the path of virtuosity

More on my conversation with Max later this week, as he had some more great advice about setting goals and structuring a strength-based program. And you can read his “virtuosity” post in its entirety here. It's worth clicking through.

So as of today, call me a good girl, because my PR promiscuity is a thing of the past. My new program will include a lot more 3x5 and 5x5 weight sessions, and far fewer 1RM attempts. In addition, I will incorporate “perfect practice” into my programming on a daily basis, in my work sets, as part of my warm-up AND in dedicated half or three-quarter intensity weeks without a time or weight component. And finally, my new rule is that a PR attempt is not allowed during perfect practice time. If I’m feeling strong, I’ll just do more reps, but I will not load the bar up past my previous 1RM.

A big thank you to Max for all of his help. Post thoughts to comments, and visit CrossFit East Bay for more great programming and WOD ideas.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mir Weighted Vest Day Two: Tabata Something Else

Here is some video of Jason Kalipha, winner of the CrossFit Games 2008 training with a Mir Weighted Vest. This is validation that my heavy cycle is a good idea.

After the suck-fest that was "Mr Joshua" with a 20-Pound Mir Vest, I did a Thanksgiving 10K trail run at Redwood Regional Park with my CrossFit Athletes. The following day I rowed 2K and did 19 C2B pull-ups. Yesterday I did the CF national WOD Deadlift 5x3:


I felt like I had been beaten afterward and needed to nap for hours. Mostly the back-to-back 75X250# Deadlifts with a 20-Pound Weighted vest AND 10K STEEP trail run were to blame. By the time I got to the Heavy DL I was already cooked. The national WOD on Thanksgiving was "Nate" a more upper-body centered Metcon, so my sub was a bit crazy in a week where I was trying to go full-bore.

Today I will give the national WOD a shot wearing the 20-Pound Mir Vest.

"Tabata Something Else"

Complete 32 intervals of 20 seconds of work followed by ten seconds of rest where the first 8 intervals are pull-ups, the second 8 are push-ups, the third 8 intervals are sit-ups, and finally, the last 8 intervals are squats. There is no rest between exercises.

Post total reps from all 32 intervals to comments.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mir 40-Pound Workout Plate Vest, First WOD

Rehab row all done but 2K (98K rowed).

For some time now I have been wanting to do a three-week CrossFit Heavy Cycle, doing all the WODs with a 20# Vest. It was my hope that I would be able to do everything RX, albeit slow. Due to my elbow injury and tertiary weight gain, I doubt my ability to do muscle-ups at my "vest weight" of 205#, but I will do the 4x dip/C2B pull-up sub for M-U.

MIR Fitness vests.

Today was an interesting first WOD:

Wednesday 081126

"Mr. Joshua" (on a boat)

Five rounds for time of:
Row 500 Meters
30 Glute-ham sit-ups
250 pound Deadlift, 15 reps

Time: 30:05. Gave me an exertional headache and migraine artifacts throughout the night.

Initial impressions of vest:

I got 3 MIR Workout Plate Vests for CFEB (cheap) and this will be an opportunity to battle-test them.

MiR Workout Plate Vest

This vest is well-designed and seems very well-made. I have used the X-Vest and V-Max which cost 2-3x as much, and while this is not quite as good, the cost to benefit ratio is quite high. Five pound weight plates (up to 8) fit securely in the front and back pouches. For the initial workout, I did rowing, deadlifts and GHD sit-ups, there was no interference with the first two movements, but sit-ups were tough, as I suppose they would be with any vest. As advertised, due to the short nature of the vest, breathing was somewhat less restricted than with other models I have used. Overall A-.

* Includes one Velcro belt.

* 1200 D-Nylon flap to cover the weight plates in full.

* Cross straps to hold the any weight plates in place.

* 13 inches in length, 14 inches in width, 1 inch in thick.

* Hold up to 40lbs, Plate not included.

Price: $60.00

+40# of 5# plates from Sport Mart on sale for $.80 a pound = about $36.00, total cost $96.00.

You could save money by finding the plastic-type cheap plates, buying them used from Craigslist, or of course if you already have them, this vest is a no-brainer.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I got in another 5K of rowing for 55K total.

I did sprint 8 on my fixie today on the way to teaching my CF classes. Interesting in traffic.

Finished week one of IF/Zone/Paleo, I lost a few pounds (178.5) and took off an inch from my waist (37, still quite fat).

It's times like this that I have to keep perspective and remind myself that when I started this journey I had a 43 inch waist and weighted 215. Not to mention my general physical incompetence. It is tough, because I was at 33.5 waist and 163.5 about a year ago. I guess I should feel good that, approaching 42 years old, I'm still improving in many areas.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rehab Row Again, Yawnx2

100,000 Meter Rehab Row:

Day 01 5000 Meters in 24:00
Day 02 5000 Meters in 23:00
Day 03 5000 Meters in 20:20
Day 04 5000 Meters in 20:04
Day 05 3750 meters in 16:00 (Sprint 8)
Day 05 3550 meters in 16:00 (Sprint 8)
Day 06 3900 meters in 16:00 (Sprint 8)
Day 07 3600 meters in 16:00 (Sprint 8)
Day 08 3600 meters in 16:00 (Sprint 8)
Day 09 3800 meters in 16:00 (Sprint 8)
Day 10 3600 meters in 16:00 (Sprint 8)
Day 11 4200 meters in about 18:00 - Sprint 8 plus a little extra

Running Total: 50,000 Meters - halfway!

My elbow feels far better, this is absoultely a great rest protocol, this is the second time I have used it to good effect.

I started the C2B challenge today, we shall see how long I can stick with that with no ill effects on my elbow.

I'm also adding Overhead Squats, since they don't seem to aggravate my elbow. Did my first sets on Saturday:


This Saturday I will do:
3X5 @ 145

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

50 Consecutive Chest To Bar Pull-Up Challenge

50 Consecutive Chest To Bar Pull-Up Challenge

The 100 day burpee challenge has drawn to a close. Congratulations to CFEB athletes Chuck Sana and Erica Martinez for completing it.

CrossFit East Bay offers the following challenge, with the goal of being able to perform 50 consecutive C2B (chest to bar) pull-ups, or as many consecutive C2B pull-Ups as possible (meaning more or less).

Track your progress here: "CFEB 50 Consecutive Chest-To-Bar Pull-Up Challenge Log"

This challenge will take 100 days.

On day one, Wednesday, October 22, athletes will perform ONE chest-to-bar pull-up.

Every other day the athletes will perform one additional consecutive chest to bar pull-up:

Day One: One C2B Pull-Up
Day Three: Two C2B Pull-Up
Day Five: Three C2B Pull-Up
Day One Hundred: Fifty C2B Pull-Up

C2B Pull-Ups can be performed as part of the WOD, assuming there are enough consecutive pull-ups in said WOD. For instance, 37 consecutive pull-ups can be performed in Murph, or Angie, but not Cindy or Helen.

If the athlete fails to hit the target number (for example 15 pull-ups on day 30) they will try again (for the preceding example, 15 pull-ups on day 32). If they fail again (for the preceding example 15 pull-ups on day 34) they will drop back 2 pull-ups ( for the preceding example, 13 on day 36, 14 on day 38, 15 on day 40).

If, as above, the athlete falls behind, and at some point feels they can make up some, or all, of the pull-ups, they may attempt it. For the above example, on day 42, 21 pull-ups are called for, but the athlete's target is 16, if they can manage 18 they then attempt 19 or more on day 44.

The point of this challenge is not to accumulate as many reps as possible, but to perform as many consecutive C2B pull-ups as possible, any and all modifications which will lead to doing more consecutive C2B pull-ups are allowed and encouraged, including:

* Starting at a higher number of pull-ups on day one (such as 80% of max rep C2B pull-ups)
* Using a different pyramid scheme
* Anything that will lead to more consecutive C2B pull-ups

You may buy-in at any time, by performing either the RX reps for the day, or your personal best.


Winners in the following categories will receive a CrossFit East Bay "It Hasn't Killed Me Yet" T-Shirt with "C2B Challenge Winner" emblazoned thereon.

Most Men's Consecutive C2B Pull-Ups
Most Women's Consecutive C2B Pull-Ups
Most Boy's (under 16 at start of challenge) Consecutive C2B Pull-Ups
Most Girl's (under 16 at start of challenge) Consecutive C2B Pull-Ups
Most Men's Masters (over 40 at start of challenge) Consecutive C2B Pull-Ups
Most Women's Masters (over 40 at start of challenge) Consecutive C2B Pull-Ups

To be eligible to win, you must be a member of an affiliate, and post a video on YouTube of your effort, filmed at an affiliate, within 24 hours, PDT of the conclusion of the challenge at midnight on day 100. You must post the link to CrossFit Message Board Thread "CFEB 50 Consecutive Chest-To-Bar Pull-Up Challenge Log".

Standard: the standard is the same as the 2008 CrossFit Games standard:

Each rep of the pull-up will count only when full range of motion is achieved. The bottom limit is your arms fully extended. The top limit will be when any part of your chest (from the clavicle down) physically touches the bar. Again, the rep will be considered complete only when your chest contacts the bar. See Photo, above.

Note to CrossFit East Bay Athletes: at the conclusion of this challenge, only C2B pull-ups will count as RX in our WODs.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I have started my push to get my weight and bodyfat in line with my goals for the year:

For the next five weeks I am doing the following:

Intermittent fasting 5-7 days per week, 16-20 hour fasts.
Zone/Paleo - strict, no dairy, no nothing.
13 matched protein/carb block, 3-5x fat.
Creating a caloric deficit of 10,500 calories per week.
Fasted cardio daily, with an emphasis on intervals, such as Sprint 8.
One cheat day per week, where anything goes. Beer, doughnuts, you name it.
Continuing 100K rehab row (when done, will re-evaluate).
Lots of low-level calorie burning, i.e. biking to work, etc.

100,000 Meter Rehab Row:

Day 01 5000 Meters in 24:00
Day 02 5000 Meters in 23:00
Day 03 5000 Meters in 20:20
Day 04 5000 Meters in 20:04
Day 05 3750 meters in 16:00 (Sprint 8)
Day 05 3550 meters in 16:00 (Sprint 8)
Day 06 3900 meters in 16:00 (Sprint 8)
Day 07 3600 meters in 16:00 (Sprint 8)
Day 08 3600 meters in 16:00 (Sprint 8)

Running Total: 38,400 Meters

Monday, October 13, 2008

Rehab Row Continued (Yawn)

100,000 Meter Rehab Row:

Day 01 5000 Meters in 24:00
Day 02 5000 Meters in 23:00
Day 03 5000 Meters in 20:20
Day 04 5000 Meters in 20:04
Day 05 3750 meters in 16:00 (Sprint 8)
Day 05 3550 meters in 16:00 (Sprint 8)

Running Total: 27,300 Meters

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rehab Row

100,000 Meter Rehab Row:

Day 01 5000 Meters in 24:00
Day 02 5000 Meters in 23:00
Day 03 5000 Meters in 20:20
Day 04 5000 Meters in 20:04

Running Total: 20,000 Meters

Kinda pissed at this one, at first I was going to do it as a back-off at 22:00, but then realized, a bit too late, I felt great so decided I was going to go for sub-20 after all, but by then I had rowed 2 K in 8:05, and I just could not get the 5 seconds back.

Rehab-wise this is totally working. My elbow feels as good as it has since May. I am confident this will heal it, and I will be able to start climbing again (carefully).

BTW, the rower that I used has a worn spring, on a brand-new model E, this would be cake.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Q1 Results, Q2 Revised Plan

Today marks the end of my first quarter of getting ready for the CF games.

My performance increased markedly during this time. I did national schedule, every 4th week .5 volume, with one week off in week 12.
Quarter One:
  • Bodyfat 11% (not met, 17%)
  • Weight 169# (not met 180)
  • Lean = 146 (150)
  • CFT 800
  • Mile 6:30
  • Fran 5:00 (not met 6:19)
  • C&J 165
Mostly my body comp goals went nowhere this quarter (although I put on muscle), and hence, my Fran time was slow: my best time on this has been at under 170. Also the stars never really aligned for me on this one. I did get Fight Gone Bad of 309, which while not on the list, is significant.

CrossFit Toronto Fitness Test Output

According to this, I really need some core work: I may go with a weekly 5x5 Overhead Squat/5x5 Clean workout, which would address this. To avoid overtraining, I think I will replace WODs in which I am already strong with this, but how to do so is a bit tricky: For example at this point, I'm, reasonably good in medium time-domain stuff, so I would probably get more out of this than FGB or 5K. Possibly I may stick to the national schedule, working in the things I need, and regulating the intensity.

I have managed to really tweak my elbow, so before anything else can be done I am doing another 100,000 Meter rehab row. No exercise except rowing until I have completed all of it. I planned to do 4x5Ks as follows: 24:00, 23:00, 22:00, 21:00, but I got carried away today and did it in 20:20. Next short effort will be sub-20 5K. I would also like to row a 7:00 2K and a 1:30 500 M.

100,000 Meter Rehab Row:

Day 01 5000 Meters in 24:00
Day 02 5000 Meters in 23:00
Day 03 5000 Meters in 20:20

Running Total: 15,000 Meters

Quarter Two:
  • Bodyfat 10%
  • Weight 170#
  • Lean = 153
  • CFT = 875
  • Mile 6:00
  • Fran 4:00
  • C&J 190 (Jerk 185x2)
  • Meet ALL L2 Standards, at least 1/2 L3s
I'm reading up on tweaking IF for weight loss. 3 months to lose 10 pounds of fat and gain 3 pounds of muscle while increasing performance across all parameters seems just possible. Everything else looks doable, except the sub-4 Fran.

This is probably going to take more careful programming than just straight CF.

I might just have to map this out exactly, but one thing is certain: I need to regulate my intensity and volume better: I got overtrained twice in this cycle and had an injury the entire quarter that did not heal.


Job One = Diet
Job Two = Planning

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A New View of Energy Balance By John Berardi

Science Link Logo johnberardi.com

Science Link LogoProductsServicesArticlesAbout UsF.A.Q.JB-Approved Books and Supplements

A New View of Energy Balance

By Dr. John M Berardi, Ph.D.

Printer friendly version

A Violent Uprising?

Arthur Schopenhauer, a preeminent 19th century philosopher, once said that truth isn’t always as easily accepted as we’d like it to be. Specifically, he stated: "Truth always goes in 3 stages. First it is ridiculed, then violently opposed, and finally accepted as self-evident."

Now, in this article, I intend to introduce the Testosterone Nation to a new
"truth." Well, maybe that’s not the best way of saying it. But, since saying
that I intend to introduce the T-Nation to my best guess at a theoretical model designed to explain and predict a natural phenomenon will leave a few of you scratching your heads, let’s stick with calling it a new truth.

The "new truth" that I want to introduce you to today is a new view of the
concept of energy balance. Although the ideas in this article will suggest that the current view of the energy balance equation offers limited explanatory and predictive power and, as a result, needs revisions, I don’t necessarily think that these ideas will stir uprisings, violent or otherwise.

First of all, the concepts in this article are logical, supported by research, and have appeared in bits and pieces, albeit fragmented, elsewhere on this site in the work of myself and the Warrior Nerd, Dr Lonnie Lowery.

Second of all, I’m just not sure the concept of energy balance has the power to rouse violence. It always makes me chuckle when "experts" (in any field) parrot this Schopenhauer quotation, suggesting that the ridicule of their ideas actually somehow makes the ideas true! Looking back through history, many more ridiculed ideas have been shown to be false than have shown to be true.

So rather than testing the ideas in this article against the barometer of ridicule and violent upheaval, let’s just test them against a much more objective standard—the available body of scientific and clinical evidence.

The Current View of Energy Balance

Let’s start out with a few pictures illustrating the current view of energy
balance, or, at least, how most people view the relationship between "calories in" and "calories out."

The first image below represents how most people perceive the energy balance equation during weight maintenance. As the diagram represents, when "calories in" are equivalent to "calories out," body mass should remain constant.

The next image below represents the conventional view of the energy balance equation during weight gain. As the diagram represents, when "calories in" exceed "calories out" body mass should be gained.

The next image below represents the conventional view of the energy balance equation during weight loss. As the diagram represents, when "calories out" exceed "calories in," body mass should be lost.

Now, in looking at these pictures it’s important to understand exactly what they represent. These pictures represent a scientific model, or in other words, a mental picture, or idealization, based on physical concepts and aesthetic notions that account for what scientists see regarding a particular phenomenon. And not only does a scientific model, as described above, explain a particular phenomenon, it allows scientists to predict a future course for the phenomenon in question.

Therefore, if the energy balance model above (or as we understand it, based on the pictures) can consistently explain body composition changes seen in those altering their exercise and nutritional habits, as well as predict how any specific change in either variable will impact body composition in the future, it’s a valid model. If not, it’s invalid (incomplete, misunderstood, or completely wrong).

From that perspective, let’s take a few case studies of mine and see if the
model above holds up under the explanatory and predictive scrutiny necessary for a scientific model to be valid.

Three Strikes and You’re Out
In order to support my contention that the above-mentioned model of energy
balance (or as we understand it, based on the pictures) is inadequate; here are 3 case studies for your examination.

*Case Study #1:
National Level Cross Country Skier; Female - 20y

Client Information from September 2002:
5’6" ; 160lb ; 22% fat
(125lb lean, 35lbs fat)

Exercise Expenditure:

Energy Intake:
15% protein
65% carbohydrate
20% fat

Client Information from December 2002:
5’6" ; 135lb ; 9% fat
(123lb lean, 12lbs fat)

Exercise Expenditure:

Energy Intake:
35% protein
40% carbohydrate
25% fat

Net result — 12 weeks:
25lbs lost; -23lb fat; -2lbs lean

*Note that in case study #1, we increased energy intake by a whopping 1500 per day while energy expenditure remained the same. Since the athlete was weight stable in September—prior to hiring me—you might have expected her to have gained weight during our 12 week program. However, as you can see, she lost 25lbs (while preserving most of her muscle mass). Since the energy balance model above, as it appears, can’t explain this very interesting result, that’s one strike.

*Case Study #2:
Beginner Weight Lifter; Male — 23y

Client Information from August 2003:
5’6" ; 180lb ; 30% fat
(126lb lean, 54lbs fat)

Exercise Expenditure:

Energy Intake:
21% protein
57% carbohydrate
22% fat

Client Information from October 2003:
5’6" ; 173lb ; 20% body fat
(138.5lb lean, 34.5lbs fat)

Exercise Expenditure:

Energy Intake:
~2200 - 2400kcal/day
35 - 40% protein
30 - 35% carbohydrate
30 - 35% fat

Net result — 8 weeks:
7lb weight loss; -19.5lb fat, +12.5lb lean

*Notice that in case study #2, we increased energy intake by between 500 and 700 per day while increasing energy expenditure by about 400 per day. Again, since the lifter was weight stable in June, prior to hiring me, you might have expected him to have gained weight or at least remained weight stable during this 8 week program. However, as you can see, he lost 7 lbs. But that’s not the most interesting story. During the 8 weeks, he lost almost 20lbs of fat while gaining almost 13 lbs of lean mass. Since the energy balance model above, as it appears, can’t explain this very interesting result, that’s two strikes.

*Case Study #3:
Mixed Martial Arts Trainer; Male — 35y

Client Information from June 2004:
5’10" ; 179lb ; 19% fat
(148.6lb lean, 30.4lbs fat)

Exercise Expenditure:

Energy Intake:
~1100 - 1500kcal/day
48% protein
25% carbohydrate
27% fat

Client Information from August 2004:
5’10" ; 187lb ; 9% body fat
(170.2lb lean, 16.8lbs fat)

Exercise Expenditure:

Energy Intake:
~2400 - 2600kcal/day
26 - 38% protein
28 — 42% carbohydrate
22 — 34% fat

Net results — 8 weeks:
8lb weight gain; -13.6 lb fat, +21.6 lb

*Notice that in case study #3, we increased energy intake by between 1100 and 1300 per day while increasing energy expenditure by only about 300 per day. Again, since the lifter was weight stable in June, prior to hiring me, you might have expected him to have experienced a large gain in mass, both significant muscle and fat gains. However, as you can see, he gained 8 total lbs, having lost almost 14lbs of fat while gaining nearly 22lbs of lean mass.
While the energy balance equation might have predicted weight gain, it’s
unlikely that it would have predicted the radical shift in body composition seen in this individual. Yet another strike against the current view of energy
balance, as it appears.

Simplicity and Energy Balance

After looking at the case studies above, you might be wondering where the
classic view went wrong. (You also might be wondering what these individuals were on in order to progress so quickly—well, actually, not one of them took steroids or any nutritional supplements more powerful than Low-Carb Grow! Surge, and fish oil).

Although scientists are still trying to work out what types of metabolic
"uncoupling" are going on in order to produce results like those results above, it’s my belief that the current view of energy balance (depicted in the slides above) is just too simple to offer consistent explanatory and predictive power in the realm of body composition change. Below are the three main reasons I believe this to be true:

1. Calorie restriction or overfeeding (in the absence of other metabolic
intervention like drugs, supplements, or intense exercise) is likely to
produce equal losses is lean body mass and fat mass (w/restriction) or equal gains in lean body mass and fat mass (w/overfeeding). And even if these gains or losses aren’t necessarily equal, they still are in such a proportion that while body mass may be affected, individuals will only likely end up smaller or larger versions of the same shape. I call this the "body shape status quo".(1)

2. Most people assume too much simplicity by associating energy intake with calorie intake alone, and energy expenditure with exercise activity alone. This simplistic view can lead to false assumptions about what causes weight gain and weight loss.(2) Both sides of the equation are much more complex and it’s these interrelationships that are important to physique mastery.

3. Most people treat the energy intake and energy expenditure sides of the
equation as independent. As a result, even if we could avoid reason #2 (the
problem of simplicity) by matching energy intake against all the known forms of work that the body does in utilizing energy,

"…Obesity can arise in the absence of calorie over consumption. In addition, opposite models can show how obesity can be prevented by increasing expenditure to waste energy and stabilize body weight when challenged by hyperphagia (over consumption)". (3)

Factors Affecting Energy Balance

Now, when I say that most people assume too much simplicity by associating energy intake with calorie intake alone, and energy expenditure with exercise activity alone, I’m not shaking my finger at them. Obviously, of the factors playing into energy balance, these are the most readily modifiable. But, assuming they are the only factors playing into energy balance is what gets people into trouble.

In the diagram below, I’ve outlined all the factors that we currently know to
impact both the energy intake and energy expenditure sides of the energy balance equation.

Notice one thing, though. I don’t mention hormones here. The reason: hormones don’t impact energy expenditure directly. Rather, they signal a change in one of the factors listed on the energy expenditure side of the equation (or they lead to an increased appetite, thus are two steps removed from affecting the energy intake side of the equation).

Obviously, this relationship is much more complex than most people make it out to be. Sure, on the energy intake side of the equation, things are fairly
simple. The "calories in" are mostly affected by the efficiency of digestion
(90-95% of energy in). And we can control this side by volitionally choosing how much we stuff in our mouths.

However, on the energy expenditure side, we’ve got three major "destinations" for our ingested energy; work, heat and storage. And all the energy coming in goes to one of those three destinations. From this perspective, although it seems a bit counterintuitive, we’re actually always in "energy balance" regardless of whether we’re gaining or losing weight. The energy taken in is always balanced by the energy going toward work, heat and storage.

The interesting part is that during periods of over- or under feeding, the
amount of energy in can influence most of the factors on the energy out side.

Relationships Between Energy In and Energy Out

In order to add another touch of complexity to the discussion, as discussed
above, most people treat the two sides of the energy balance equation as
independent. They’re not. But don’t just take my word for it:

"The regulatory systems (of the body) control both energy input and output so that for a given steady state, compensatory changes on the input side are made if expenditure is challenged, or on the output side (expenditure or efficiency) if intake is challenged…Realizing human obesity is caused by the interaction of an obesigenic environment with a large number of susceptibility genes, successful treatment will require uncoupling of these compensatory mechanisms" (4).

"The critical issue in addressing the problem of alterations in body weight
regulation is not intake or expenditure taken separately, but the adjustment of one to the other under ad libitum food intake conditions" (5).

In the end, as these scientists suggest, understanding the relationship between "energy in" and "energy out" requires a more complex energy balance model than the one most people currently picture in their minds.

And, as promised above, here’s my take on what this model should look like in order to more accurately reflect what’s going on with energy balance.

Dr. JB’s Energy Balance Model

Let’s walk through this model together.

First, energy is ingested, with 90-95% of it being digested and absorbed. Once this energy reaches the cells, the intake is "sensed" by the body and signals are sent to the brain (and other tissues) to manipulate energy expenditure.

Here’s one way that energy intake is "sensed." (For a more detailed explanation, check out check out Part 1 of my "Hungry Hungry Hormone" article series.)

Based on the signals received, the brain either sends signals back to the body in order to increase hunger and metabolic efficiency while decreasing metabolism (if in a hypocaloric state), or in order to decrease hunger and metabolic efficiency while increasing metabolism (if in a hypercaloric state).

A complete understanding of this model leads us to realize that trying to
manipulate total energy intake alone in order to alter body composition lets us down because the energy expenditure side of the equation quickly changes to accommodate intake conditions. And trying to manipulate the energy expenditure side of the equation in order to alter body composition lets us down because the energy intake side of the equation is signaled to change in order to match expenditure conditions. In the end, this entire system is in place to prevent significant deviations from a comfortable body composition homeostasis. However, we all know that body mass and body composition can be altered reliably and homeostasis can be overcome to one degree or another. So, how do we manage to "outsmart" the body?

Well, various strategies can help to "uncouple" the relationships between energy intake and expenditure. I’ve detailed a few of them below.

Energy Uncoupling

Notice that there are two possible "uncoupling points" in this energy balance model.

The first uncoupling point lies in the communication between energy sensing/brain signaling (the lower arrow) and the second lies in the communication between the brain and the body—particularly in the drive to eat and the drive to move (the upper arrow).

Think of what dieters face during those inevitable dieting stalemates that
nearly all of us have experienced. Once energy is restricted, appetite is
reduced and both exercise and non-exercise energy expenditure is reduced. In order to combat this inevitable metabolic slow-down, a few of the strategies illustrated above can be beneficial.

First, on the energy sensing/signaling end, periodic re-feeding, the use of
carbohydrate or carbohydrate/protein drinks during exercise, and upregulation of thyroid function by nutritional supplements designed to provide raw materials for thyroid hormone manufacture or to stimulate the conversion of T4 to the more active T3 in the body can help keep the metabolic signal alive.

Secondly, on the brain to body end (the drives to eat and move), although
signals are sent to increase food intake and decrease voluntary activity, these can be uncoupled by refusing to eat more in the face of increased hunger.

Also, uncoupling can occur as a result of performing more exercise and non-exercise activity (including using strategies for increasing the cost of each activity — wearing an X-vest when walking, for example) in an attempt to maintain pre-diet energy expenditure.

If you’re looking for more tips for uncoupling the tight relationship between
energy intake and energy expenditure, check out Dr Lonnie Lowery’s Losing Your Energy Balance series at www.t-nation.com

In addition, as most of you know, I believe that alterations in food type (what
you eat) and food timing (when you eat) can also uncouple this relationship and improve both weight loss profile and muscle building profile.

For more on this, check out my" Lean Eatin’" articles — Part 1 and 2 — as well asmy Appetite for Construction column right here at JB.com.

And if after reading these articles, you still don’t buy into the calore is not a calorie argument (which is closely related to the concepts presented in this article), check out this recent scientific paper by Buchholz and Schoeller (6).

Finally, check out my review of my presentation at the 2004 SWIS Symposium for a more complete treatment of how to use the information presented in this article to impact fat loss.

In the end, I hope it’s evident that the traditional picture of energy balance
is missing one key facet—the fact that energy intake and expenditure are tightly inter-related. Without understanding this relationship, some erroneous conclusions are regularly drawn by dieters and nutritionists, conclusions that prevent the types of success seen in the case studies discussed in this article.

Now that you’re armed with this information, you’ll be better equipped to
construct nutrition schedules designed to "outsmart" the body, uncoupling this relationship above, and losing fat (or gaining muscle) while others stagnate.

1. Forbes, GB. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2000 May; 904:359-65.
2. Prentice, A, Jebb, S. Nutr Rev. 2004 Jul;62(7 Pt 2):S98-104.
3. Rampone, AJ, Reynolds, PJ. Life Sci. 1988;43(2):93-110.
4. Berthoud, HR. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2002 Jun;26(4):393-428.
5. Jequier, E. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 Jun;967:379-88.
6. Buchholz AC, Schoeller DA. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 May; 79(5):899S-906S.

See Also:
Find out more about Precision Nutrition
Gourmet Nutrition: The Cookbook for the Fit Food Lover
Gourmet Nutrition: The Cookbook for the Fit Food Lover. Want to learn how to combine the science of nutrition with the art of cooking? Want to build a high performance body while eating great tasting food? Then try our brand new book, Gourmet Nutrition 2.0! We've come up with nearly 300 pages and over 120 recipes to show you how to build the body you never thought you could have by eating food you never thought you could eat.
Find out more about Gourmet Nutrition.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The "300"

Today was an auspicious day, CrossFit-wise. One of my long-term goals, to get 300RX on "Fight Gone Bad!" was met. I have been coming close to this for, literally, years, and during the FGB 3 Fundraiser I got 309, all with excellent form, and full ROM.

I made a change which helped A LOT, which was to change the order and the number of reps I went for in various movements. I have always started with the rower in the past, and the wall-ball has always been the choke point. I have always gone for 20 or better in everything and fallen apart in the last round when I have gotten close.

This time I started with box jumps, which have been a trouble spot as well, so I could do them fresh, and I just went ballistic on my strongest suit, push-press. I basically gave the wall-ball up as a lost cause and used it to recover for SDHP. I actually went to total muscular failure on the SDHP at about 16:53, so I don't think I could have gotten much more. The only bummer was that I was 3 points away from getting the CFEB record (311 presently). Next time I'm sure I'll get it. Ynez was an awesome wingwoman, I'm going to have to enlist her aid next time when I go for 325.

ExerciseSet 1Set 2Set 3
SDHP 75#171725
Box Jump 20"
Push-Press 75#
Wall-Ball 20#111112

Friday, September 19, 2008

There Can Be Only One...

...ideal diet, that is.

The more I learn about nutrition, the more I think genetics play a truly huge role in how we process food. IF is doing me righteous, but I think many people would fall apart on this protocol.

Today is day four of IF (intermittent fasting) as follows:

14-20 hour fasts
1500 calories
super-high quality near paleo foods.
no alcohol

I have eaten basically this for the last three days:

.5 pound red meat
6 oz dark meat chicken
1 oz cheese
one grapefruit
one pound broccoli
2 cups marinara sauce
2 oz whole wheat pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
one packet "black powder"
4 GNC fish oil caps
2 TJ multivitamins
2 TJ Joint complex
2 GNC l-glutamine (1 gram)
small pot coffee, splash milk

Yesterday was a clear PR on "Grace" and I felt like I could do better.

Today in hour 14 of a fast I ran 5K, with 500 meters of elevation change in 24:45 , (and the first somewhat flatter 1.5 miles at a 7:00 pace).

I used to be a serious runner, so I am fairly certain this would translate to a 21:00 or so on a track, and this is by far the best I have felt on a run in long, long time (the last serious FLAT 5K I did took about this long!!).

And, again, at the end I felt like I had a lot left and had not pushed hard enough! Also I felt ecstatic rushes about 10 minutes into it that usually only happen at the end of a really long run (the "runner's high")- bonus!

I'm sold.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tweaked IF

The last two day, I have eaten 1500 calories in a six-hour window, all super-favorable near-paleo foods.


Done in hour 16 of fast.

Grace (30 Clean and Jerk for Time)

4:40 (PR, last time was 5:59).

I think I could do this in 2:59 with proper coaching.

Climbed with Andrea after CF:

5.10a "Ira" - surprisingly difficult
5.11a "Green" - fail, got about 60% of the way
5.10d - finished, first try, best climbing I have done in a while.
5.11a "Pink" - tried hard, got pumped, fell off
V3 - got it!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tweak IF

Yesterday's Feeding between 2:30 and 8:30

Builder Bar - 3 blocks
Muscle Milk - 4 blocks, low carb, 3x fat
2 slices diabetic lifestyles bread, .5 lb 96/4 beef, ounce cheese, apple - 6 matched blocks
TJ's flatbread pizza, .25 lb lox 2 tangerines - 6 blocks 2x fat

19 blocks 2x fat

Analysis: a bit too much food, a bit to many calories, I'm going to tweak this today. I'll let you know how it goes.

Goals Update

New Posterior Chain Mass

I'm well on track with my fitness goals, but my body composition is sticking stubbornly in the 16-18% range.

However, and this is quite interesting, I have put on 7 pounds or so of lean mass in the last 3 months. I am at about 150 pounds of lean mass right now, almost the highest I have ever been at, and it shows: the 185x2 push-jerk the other day was a surprise.

Quarter One (ends Oct. 6th):

* Bodyfat 11% (17%)
* Weight 169# (183)
* Lean = 146# (completed: 150#)
* CFT 800 (completed)
* Mile 6:30 (completed)
* Fran 5:00
* C&J 165 (completed + Push-Jerk 185x2)

The dreaded Fran is today. 5:00 seems unlikely, but I will try and equal my best of 5:45:

00:00 11 thruster
00:30 5 deep breaths
00:45 10 Thruster
01:15 5 deep breaths
01:30 11 pull-Ups
01:50 5 deep breaths
02:05 10 pull-ups
02:20 5 deep breaths
02:35 8 Thruster
03:05 5 deep breaths
03:20 7 thruster
03:50 5 deep breaths
04:05 15 pull-ups
04:35 5 deep breaths
04:50 9 thruster
05:20 5 deep breaths
05:35 9 Pull-ups


Fran RX 7:30

- a variety of factors could have caused this dismal performance:

a: alcohol
b: hypocaloric state/17 hour fast
c: smoked cigar on Saturday

I'm tempted to keep it real clean and try this again in one week, in a fasted state. God I hate Fran.

Did some climbing with Andrea at Diablo Rock Gym:

5.9x2, no break
5.10ax2 no break
5.10ax2 no break
5.10bx2 (needed 3 minute break, overhanging)

Friday, September 12, 2008

IF Day 3: Power Production PR!

Day 3 of IF, and while it is too soon to make any solid judgments, early signs are favorable:

-A near PR in FGB; 284
-A decent performance in Josh
-A PR in the Push-Jerk (185x2)
-Increased mental acuity
-Improved recovery time
-Improved injury healing
-Probable ease in compliance

If this works favorably for my body composition, and the above effects are persistent, I'll be ecstatic!


*21 hour fast (except 30 calories in one serving of "Black Powder" pre-WOD)

*WOD: Push-Jerk 3-3-3-3-3
155-170-175-180(PR)-185x2(F, but a PR)

Food: .5 lb broccoli in cheese sauce, double cheeseburger (96/4 lean) on Diabetic Lifestyles bread, Can of Salmon, 2 builder bars, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. 1 Trader Joe's Thin Crust Pizza with Ham and Gruyere Cheese.

About 16 blocks +2x fat

Yesterday I only managed about 11 blocks before the clock ran out on my 6-hour window, so I need to make sure to plan my eating well.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

IF Day Two

I have decided to give IF a try, as I said in yesterday's post, I had good results with something similar before (warrior diet). I plan to do 16 hour fasts, and eat my full allotment of calories in the remaining 6 hours. I'll do 14 matched blocks (9 carb/9 protein)with plenty of fat.

I had a hard time eating enough yesterday, maybe 12 blocks, and I could barely sleep last night.

Very interested to see how this affects my WOD performance today, I plan to do it before eating.

Update: I did the 9/11 "Hero of your choice" WOD, I chose Josh:

* 95 pound Overhead squat, 21 reps
* 42 Pull-ups
* 95 pound Overhead squat, 15 reps
* 30 Pull-ups
* 95 pound Overhead squat, 9 reps
* 18 Pull-ups

I never did this so I have no comparison, but coming of the heels of severe caloric deprivation and a 17 hour fast, it felt tough.

Time: 12:20 RX


I seemed to be needing more recovery time than normal, but since I have never done this it is hard to say. I think sub-10 would be a good performance for me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Almost IF/ Full Recovery

I took three days off, and besides my elbow, I feel fully recovered. I've been in the zone for some days now, 13-17 blocks.

Daniel over at ROCK ON is getting good results with IF, and I'm intrigued. I did something similar to this in Tucson back in 02 and got decent results. Today I did Fight Gone Bad in a fairly fasted state (.5 cup milk in coffee, 30 calories in "Black Powder" that I took pre-WOD).

Score was 284, subbed 45# thrusters for wall-ball

Row 20/20/18
Thruster 16/15/10
SDHP 20/20/16
Box Jump 20/18/15
Push-Press 24/27/29

Total - 284

I think my best ever score was 289 with shitty form and best legit was maybe 279, so I am pretty happy with this. I am fairly certain I will (finally) hit 300 at FGB III on the 27th.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Big Fake Boobies? Glass Eyes? Lipo? Tattoos? What is "acceptable"?

I recently did a post that elicited a lot of (90% negative) comments, about considering liposuction, the gist of which were that lipo is for the vain/lazy/shallow/SoCal set.

I actually do have a cosmetic augmentation (a prosthetic eye). Is this shallow vanity? If not, what is the difference?

Is is acceptable to have giant fake tits, like those featured prominently on the national site recently? Is that different?

Is it shallow vanity to remove an unsightly but harmless mole? Why or why not?

And who amongst us has nary a tat? Is that not shallow (almost by definition) vanity?

Serious Overtraining

I guess I'm pushing into being an advanced athlete, or at least a solid intermediate. because I have STILL not recovered from the Burpee/Murph, etc. punishment.

Beginners who become overtrained will recover fairly quickly
Intermediates/advanced athletes can take weeks or months to recover
Elites can blow a whole season or year by overtraining

I did Linda RX in 28:34, a good six minutes off of my PR (at a lower bodyweight) and I'm crushed again. I took yesterday off and will give FGB a shot today, but I'm not optimistic about it.

-Plan your breaks or nature will provide them for you.

Been solidly in the zone for the last few days - 13-17 blocks fairly clean. I went shopping yesterday and I have all good clean zone food again.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


FGB III is rapidly approaching. We have 7 slots left on our team: the event is September 27th @ 11 AM @ Berkeley Ironworks.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Fab Four-Blocker

I'm back in the zone. 15 blocks yesterday, 13 today.

Yesterday's breakfast (pictured)

3 eggs, 1.5 oz lox, 1 oz Neufch√Ętel cheese, 2 slices diabetic lifestyles bread (very low GI) 1/4 pound broccoli, 1 heirloom tomato.

4 delicious blocks + 2x fat

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What Does It Take? Cosmetic Surgery?

My post-atkins results are very discouraging.

Pre-Atkins: 178, 18% bodyfat, 146 lean
Post-Atkins: 172, 14% bodyfat, 146 lean
Now: 182, 18.5% bodyfat, 149 lean

OK, so I am a bit stronger, but I seem to go right back to an unacceptable 18% bodyfat as soon as I stop paying attention: mind you, I'm still working out harder and more frequently, and eating better than 90%++ of people so this really sucks.

Anyway, the thing that has worked the best so far is just strict zone, between 1x and 3x fat, with 14 blocks for loss and 18-19 blocks for maintainance, so I'm back at that.

I went to Bikram Yoga (which was my pre-CF fitness regimen) and it was great, but you stare in the mirror the whole time: I actually am satisfied with my body overall, but I always have "love handles" that I just hate, and I have had them even at 10.5% bodyfat, the lowest I have ever been measured at (159 pounds, over 10 years ago). I am seriously considering liposuction on just this area, at the very least I think I will go in for a consultation. I certainly would not do this before at least getting as lean as I have been in the last 10 years (13% bodyfat or below).

Yesterday I had 13 blocks, all clean and did about 150 burpees.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Horror of Overtraining

Still knocked out. This sucks. I just cannot seem to recover from the last bout of intense back-to-back workouts.

I'm eating strict zone today and doing a bit of rowing, hopefully that will help.

9AM: 3 eggs, 1.5 oz salmon, tbsp. cream cheese, .5 tsp olive oil, .5 lb broccoli, couple of cherry tomatoes, 1.5 slice diabetic lifestyles bread. 4 blocks, 2x fat.

Did Bikram which seemed to help my elbow enormously. I was really hungry after, ended up with 22 blocks for the day.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Rest Week

Part of my success with CrossFit as a moderately older athlete (early 40s)is rest/work regulation.

This should have been the last full-volume (3 day)mini-cycle, and if my timing had been perfect I would have peaked this week with new PRs in the 400 and "Nasty Girls". The brutal volume of the last two weeks, combined with the 100-day burpee challenge has left me utterly wiped however. I did peak on "Murph" with a new PR (same time as last year but C2B with 20# vest)

Yesterday, I could not, for the life of me do ONE muscle-up (generally I can do 4-6 bent arm and 2-3 full lockout). I could not even do a chicken-wing bar muscle-up!

I'm tired, my heart rate is elevated, I'm not motivated to work out, and I have several nagging injuries AKA OVERTRAINED!

So it is time to swallow my pride and OCD and take my rest week one week early. No lifting, no climbing, no sprinting of any kind. Maybe some easy Yoga would be nice. Been a while since I did Bikram, but that is too much work.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Blog of Note: Healthy Evelyn

CrossFit East Bay Athlete-Paralegal Ev R. Has a new blog reflecting her renewed fanata.. er, dedication to the cul.., I mean concept of CF:


Worth bookmarking, I'm sure this will chronicle some amazing results.


I did the 5x10 Front Squats today.

95-115-135-155-165(fail 3 reps)

I really disliked this: perhaps it was to develop wrist flexibility? Hard to believe this sort of thing used to be the bread and butter of my training (albeit with a lot of single-joint exercises thrown in).