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).

Monday, August 25, 2008

Murph C2B

This Time:

54:40 with 20 lb vest and vest-to-bar pull-ups. Extremely happy with this!

Last time (somehow it has been a year since I did this full volume)

54:38 with 20 lb vest and full ROM (chin over bar)
back on August 16, 2007.

Same time with far, far better pull-ups, this is the first time I have applied the new standard, and I was worried I would not be able to do it.

Nutrition-wise, I went totally off the reservation and consumed 90 grams of carbs (.5 white sugar), 40 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat before and during the WOD. I felt good throughout, and I recovered on the last half of the final mile and was able to actually run it at about a 9:00 pace.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Goals Update

My quarterly goals (of my one-year CF Games 2009 training plan) ending October 5 have been met (or not) as follows:

Quarter One:
Goals: (met goals in bold)

* Bodyfat 11% (16%)
* Weight 165# (178)
* Lean = 146 (actually 149)
* CFT 800
* Mile 6:30
* Fran 5:00
* C&J 165

My body composition continues to be my greatest challenge, but it is worth keeping in mind that when I started this journey four years ago, I was 215# and 36% bodyfat with lean mass of only 137 pounds, so my body comp is far more favorable now. I still have not found a diet that will KEEP me at 10% bodyfat, although it is possible to achieve it. Interestingly, my body seems to want to weigh about 178 regardless of body comp. Possibly just concentrating on performance will help.

I will give a shot at that 5:00 fran sometime this week or next, and then concentrate on diet again to see how close I can come to meeting all of the above in six weeks. 13% bodyfat might be doable. Also the weight goal needs to be adjusted up to compensate for the additional lean mass I have gained.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I have been eating a fair amount of Carbs. Somewhere between 100-150 a day I suppose: I had about 115 grams of carbs before the WOD today.

Helen: 11:07 RX. Better than last time (Atkins Induction) which was 11:59, and it felt easier too: I could have gone faster, everything was unbroken. My best time on this is 10:13, and if I continue to improve at this rate, under 10:00 is in sight, which would be great (and would probably mean I could get a sub 5:00 Fran too). Pretty sure I could hit a sub 6:00 Fran now).

I still have not found the sweet spot that will let me get lean and strong at the same time. I'm going to look back over my notes in this blog, try and cherry pick what worked and see what I can put together.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

CrossFit East Bay WOD 8-17-08 @ Ironworks


How many rounds in 20 minutes?

12 KB deadlift
3 KB clean left arm
3 KB push-press left arm
9 KB swing
3 KB clean left arm
3 KB push-press left arm

Men: 1.5 P

Women 1.0 P

Refer back to 3-02-08

We will do the national WOD:

Three rounds, 15-12- and 9 reps, for time of:
135 pound Thruster

on Thursday at GWPC.

Sub will be "Fran".

Friday, August 15, 2008

CrossFit East Bay WOD @ Ironworks 8-16-08


3 rounds for time:

Run 800 Meters
50 weighted feet anchored sit-ups 35#/25#
50 45# Good Mornings
50 Kettlebell Swings 55#/35#

Thursday, August 14, 2008

CrossFit East Bay WOD @ GWPC 8-15-08

More progress. Pull-Up bar is 75% done and will be put to the test tomorrow in the following WOD:

Friday 080815

For time:
50 Pull-ups
50 Ring Dips
40 Pull-ups
40 Ring Dips
30 Pull-ups
30 Ring Dips
20 Pull-ups
20 Ring Dips
10 Pull-ups
10 Ring Dips

Post time to comments.


Enlarge image

CrossFit Kids

The Fall with Brian MacKenzie, CrossFit Endurance - video [wmv] [mov]

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

CrossFit East Bay WOD @ GWPC 8-14-08

Here is the first 5 feet of our 20-foot pull-up bar built by engineer, welder and bad-ass CrossFitter Daniel Hester. Per request of our taller members, this is a super-high pull-up bar (8' 6"), and we will be building plyo boxes in 20", 24" and 26" heights for our less-tall folks to get up to it. One bonus of such a high bar is that it will be ideal for hanging rings for muscle-ups for those of us of normal height or less. I also think it would be a fun idea to put some holds on the wall so one could climb up in a few easy moves.


For time

25 Squats
75 Double-Unders
50 Squats
50 Double-Unders
75 Squats
25 Double-Unders


For time:

528 burpees

Note: this is "all in" for the CFSC Burpee Challenge, 1 burpee first day, 2, burpees second day, 3 burpees third day ... 100 burpees hundredth day for a total of 5050 burpees.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

CrossFit East Bay WOD @ Ironworks 8-13-08

Raphael in the top position of the Zercher Clean. Learn it. Love it.

- Pull-Up bars are done and will be installed this week.

Wednesday 080813

For time:
20 Sit-ups
20 Supermen
95 pound Thrusters, 30 reps
50 Pull-ups

60 Sit-ups
60 Supermen
95 pound Thrusters, 20 reps
35 Pull-ups

100 Sit-ups
100 Supermen
95 pound Thrusters, 10 reps
20 Pull-ups

Post time to comments.

Hollow Rock, Jeff Tucker - video [wmv] [mov]

Monday, August 11, 2008

CrossFit East Bay Rest Day 8-12-08: No Excuses

Take a look at this picture of CF East Bay Athlete Ynez A. doing a workout despite being on crutches. Now what's your excuse for not getting your workout on?

I think it is time to revive the "Excuse Board" and start perscribing healthy doses of "YBF".

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Performance Increase

Around 90 g of carbs again yesterday.

My performance seems to be climbing again, now that I am eating a diet that agrees with me and am at a lower bodyweight.

WOD (1/2 volume week)

75 Wall-Ball Shots for time:


Happy with this, very painful!

I climbed well today @ GWPC:

"Falcon" 5.9; easy, no elbow pain
"Star Trek" 5.11a/b; way hard, made it to the top with two rests, some pain.
"Ultraman" 5.10d; this was some of the smoothest technical climbing I have done, minimal pain
5.9 cooldown, easy, minimal pain

Tweaking The Zone

CFEB new Boxless Box

I had 90 grams of carbs (all low-GI) yesterday, probably twice that much protein and a huge amount of fat, mostly in the form of Cashew-Macadamia Nut Butter from TJ's.

I took Robb Wolf's advice and saved a bunch of the carbs for post-workout recovery.

I feel absolutely fantastic today, and I'm still in benign dietary ketosis. I'm going to stick to this scheme, which, interestingly, is exactly the amount Robb is suggesting for folks with mild insulin resistance (18 blocks = 180 grams of carb/2 = 90 grams).

Yesterday's workout (scaled for .5 volume week)

25 pound Dumbbell squat snatch, left arm, 21 reps
25 pound Dumbbell squat snatch, right arm, 21 reps
21 Pull-ups
25 pound Dumbbell squat snatch, left arm, 15 reps
25 pound Dumbbell squat snatch, right arm, 15 reps
15 Pull-ups
25 pound Dumbbell squat snatch, left arm, 9 reps
25 pound Dumbbell squat snatch, right arm, 9 reps
9 Pull-ups

Time: 11:39

Not stellar, but I felt some exercise-induced euphoria again during and after which is a HUGE bonus. Pull-ups all easily unbroken (lower bodyweight makes a massive difference) mostly c2b, I think.

I climbed afterward, but my inured elbow shut me down repeatedly:

5.6 (warm-up)
5.10a (painful on elbow)
5.10b (slightly painful, technical route)
5.10d (elbow pain forced me to stop, slabby)

Evelyn hangdoged the 5.10d with two rests, very nice technical climbing with a bit of thugging at the top.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I took the carbs up to 60 yesterday, including a little bit of red wine, and I feel human again. I'm still in mild ketosis.

I really missed fruit more than anything! I got 2 lbs of blueberries from TJ's so that will be my main source of carb over the next few days.

It will be interesting to see what happens to my performance today.

Robb Wolf did a Blog post mentioning my Atkins experience today:

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

8-05-08: OWL

I am pleased with the results of Atkins on my body composition, and I lost the expected amount (8# in two weeks), all bodyfat.

It is clear to me that Atkins is not for athletes, but I am sold on a carbohydrate-restricted low-GI diet.

I'm taking the carbs up to 60 today and will see if I still produce ketones tomorrow. Atkins' recommendation is to go up 5g per week (i.e. 25 g this week) and limits most people to 90 g carb ultimately.

If I took that route, it would take 13 weeks just to get to that level and that is 13 weeks I don't have to spare as far as working on my other athletic goals for the quarter in preparation for CF games 2009:

Quarter One:

* Bodyfat 11% (currently 14%)
* Weight 165# (currently 172)
* Lean = 146 (currently 147)
* CFT 800: DONE
* Mile 6:30: DONE
* Fran 5:00 (currently 6:39)
* C&J 165 (UNK, might be able to do this now)

This diet was BRUTAL, even though there was no hunger, I felt pretty much like shit the whole time.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Atkins Induction Day 13

Even eating as much as I felt like yesterday, I still ended up with a caloric deficit of 2,147 calories (i'm very active). I felt ground down, and did not complete the two of the last three WODs. I'm chalking it up to the diet and considering it a sunk cost to have missed them. I am much closer to my weight goal for the quarter though (165, 11% bodyfat by Oct. 4th).

July 24th: 179.5 18% bodyfat (147 lean)
Aug. 2nd 171.5 14% bodyfat (147 lean)

- size 34 pants fit (barely) again.

The weight loss on Atkins seems to be as advertised, I seem to have low "metabolic resistance".

The mental/performance/physical benefits seem vastly overblown at least for me. I did experience some exercise-induced euphoria (perhaps the runners high occurs when the body is totally depleted of glycogen and has to use fat as fuel?). My performance overall was compromised as follows:

Strength/muscle mass: not affected
Stamina: down perhaps 20%
Endurance: totally compromised, perhaps on the order of 50%

Conclusion: a VLCD is fantastic for reducing bodyfat without loosing muscle mass. In addition, there is NO hunger on such a diet, which seems to reinforce Gary Taub's hypothesis that hunger causes fat and not the other way around. A VLCD does not, however seem to enhance performance, at least for me. Coach has stated that a diet much under 40% carbohydrate will not support CF-type metabolic loads, so this was not unexpected. Being able to loose 8 lbs of pure bodyfat in less than two weeks with no loss of muscle mass is pretty amazing, and this might be a great diet to pair with a two-week strength cycle at some point.

Atkins Induction Day 12

This is induction day 12. Yesterday I misread the WOD:

Row 1000 meters
85 pound Thruster, 21 reps
15 Pull-ups

Row 750 meters
85 pound Thruster, 18 reps
12 Pull-ups

Row 500 meters
85 pound Thruster, 15 reps
9 Pull-ups

Rest 2 minutes between each round. Time each round separately and post times to comments.

Instead I did:

Row 1000 meters
85 pound Thruster, 21 reps

Row 750 meters
85 pound Thruster, 15 reps

Row 500 meters
85 pound Thruster, 9 reps

Rest 2 minutes between each round. Time each round separately and post times to comments.

I realized my mistake as soon as I was done (I had printed out the WOD in tiny print), so I did a final round of:

Row 250 meters
85 pound Thruster 6 reps

Times were 4:35/3:30/2:29/1:23

I felt pretty good during this workout.

Today is the last day of my three-week full volume cycle, but, due to the performance-decreasing effects of the ketogenic diet and my error of yesterday, I owe: 10K, 24 muscle-ups and 36 pull-ups, plus Griff (and my 30 burpees owed for the challenge). I will try and get all of this done today, so I can ACTUALLY do my 1/2 volume week (last 1/2 volume week I did 3 full-volume WODs).

Perhaps I will do:


For time:

Buy-In 30 burpees

Five rounds
run 2K
5 muscle-ups

Cash-Out; 36 pull-ups



Saturday, August 2, 2008

8-2-08: Quick Update

I did "Helen" yesterday, and it felt good, I actually felt a "runner's high" while doing it, but when I finished, I was surprised to see it took 11:59, I thought I was going MUCH faster, my best time on this is 10:13.

Today (Atkins induction day 10) my ketostix showed a pleasing purple color, indicative of strong ketosis, so perhaps today's workout will be better, although since it is not a benchmark, there is no way of knowing exactly what the time means