Category: Workout Musings

2013 and New Things

2012 has left the building and 2013 just marched right in without a care in the world. Just like it owned the place. In one sense it does, as tomorrow will come and it does not matter if a day, number or name is attached to it. It just rises as it always does, it keeps moving.

Not sure if this is philosophical or not, don’t really care either way, but I think I will follow same relentless and determined goal of the sun rising every day and see what happens. The sun rises without question usually every 12 hours after it sets, give or take the earths position. It is relentless in its quest to keep shining as we revolve around it. With this, I decided, I too need to be relentless in my pursuit to achieve what I want. The goal does not have to be met tomorrow so that I feel like I have failed somehow if it is not achieved. The goal needs to be worn down by the relentless pursuit of being one little bit closer to it, just like the sun rising every day it continues on and on.

Today during the workout I kept that same rule, keep moving, keep going and pounding out the next move as it brings you closer to the end. This worked as I managed for probably one of the very few times, no make that the only time, to beat the time of someone who is a small tank and normally crushes these workouts by 10 seconds. That is akin to Team USA (Lake Placid 1980) in hockey beating the Russians. I feel great!!!

2013 will also bring new things for me. I put in place some goals to achieve for the first time in a long time and will do my best to make them happen. Do I expect to achieve them all? I could say yes but that would be silly as one never knows what the future holds, but I can be relentless and take them one by one. If I have 10 and clear one of them there will be 9 left and I will be that much closer to getting them all completed.

To all who read and follow my blog, thank you. I hope your 2013 will be a success and brings you much joy and happiness. I hope you have the relentless pursuit to achieve what you want that I tried to explain here. I know that tomorrow I will be one step closer to what I want to complete.

May you have the same success.


What a great workout today. An 18 minute AMRAP of the simple things that can knock the crap out of you, power cleans, shoulder to overhead, box jumps and double unders. Some workouts you know will be just pure hell, but others like to sneak up on you. This usually happens when you have done 4 rounds and then realize that you have 9 more minutes to go. WTF is that!! However you just keep on trucking and you know that it does end at some point, just not when you want it to. The catch is that if you dont feel that way you have not either 1) used enough weight or 2) did not go hard enough during the workout. So no matter what, you will not like these type of workouts and if you do you are a sick puppy.

I have been very rude to my fellow bloggers in that I have visited the sites of people who have liked or followed my blog. This is my public apology to all of you and today I took the time to read most of what you have posted. I have found some interesting articles, very beautiful photos and mostly interesting people. I still need to read some more.

Thanks for hanging in and around.

Dragon boat practice tomorrow…

It looks like I am managing the return to the gym rather well, I must say (said in  an Ed Grimsley voice).  No pain, no stiffness in the shoulder just plain old tired muscles from lack of use for 2 months.

I have decided to be more realistic in my approach this time. The 2012 Crossfit Games basically informed me that I need to be in a hell of a lot better shape than I think I was, so a new approach was required. Going over what I lacked was easy, everything! figuring out what I should really work on was even easier, endurance. Throughout all the workouts or whatever else I did, I seemed to be gasping for air at some point. After 2 rounds of most AMRAP’s at the gym and it was star-seeing time. If I want to improve on something it was more cardio/aerobic work.

Enter Crossfit Endurance and a simple 6 week plan to improve endurance. After two weeks, today was the first noticeable improvement in my performance. I have modified the plan slightly to accommodate areas that had some previous issues(Achilles tendon) and that meant cutting down the running and replacing some of it with rowing. I am doing these workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The first week I did 10 x 200M sprint rows on Tuesday and Thursday added 25 alternating oblique twists with 8lb ball from a v-sit position(that was not pleasant). This week it is 5 x 200m sprint row and 5 x 200M run with Thursday adding 20 burpees to the mix.

These days are not to include any olympic style lifting it is just for cardio and endurance. Just doing it for three days and I was not gassed after 2 rounds of a 15 min AMRAP today, in fact I felt pretty good until the arm got so tired I basically could not hold the weights any longer.

We shall see what happens next but so far it is encouraging.

One of the items that I needed to work on before I was sidelined was endurance. A long time ago(in a galaxy far, far away) I had no problem playing a game of hockey for 60 minutes, then have some food and do it all over again. Now, I am lucky if I can do a couple of kms and still be breathing. What happened??

If I am honest with myself I know exactly where it went. Too much food, work taking too much of my time, lack of exercise, next thing I know I have gone from 158 to 255 lbs, high blood pressure and medication.

So, I ask myself in a David Byrne Talking Heads voice,”well how did I get here, this is not my beautiful house”. No it isn’t and I have paid dearly for it. My body has taken the toll I have placed on it and is punishing me for lack of effort. If you are not going to pay the maintenance fees to keep it up it will be an empty shell. I have now a lot of renovations to do and building the foundation is where to start.

Today was the start of endurance training along with the regular workouts. No more 5 times a week workouts. I have got to be more pragmatic in the approach to get where I want to be. 3 days of workouts and 2 days of endurance. I know I can lift weights once everything gets back to normal but being able to sustain that for a period of 30 minutes and I was bagged, gassed, sucking wind, whatever you want to call it – I had nothing in the tank!!

I started with 10 sprints of a 200M row with 90 seconds of rest in between. The goal, which right now is vague, is to be able to crank these off in 30 seconds or less and today the best time was around 42 seconds and the slowest at end was 52 seconds. I have a six-week program to follow and we will see what happens.

Continue reading

January is coming to a close in a couple of days and I have not written too much for a couple of weeks. Lately I have been getting caught up with stuff at work and other things that have taken up more time than I wanted them to. This is not an excuse just a simple fact that days only have 24 hours and you still need to eat, sleep, work and it takes time to go from one place to another.

I have made a self challenge for February that my wife has taken me up on and that is doing 75 squats per day for the month. This came about when I felt I did not do a WOD particularly well that had 300 air squats. I needed to improve that movement as they are an integral part of Crossfit. Now on top of the monday to friday WOD I will be doing these babies for the month.

The next decision I made was based on some discussions at work with some people about an event called the Tough Mudder. This little darling is an endurance and fitness test of 10-12 miles of 20 or so obstacles that usually include electric shocks, fire, water, cargo nets, ropes and of mud and lots of it. I have been trying to see what my schedule was in July as their would be one close to us in New England however I have limited availability that month. August is good and there is one in Toronto where I can visit family at the same time, so that looks more promising.

It looks like I now have a purpose for the year. I need to improve dramatically or Games 2013 will not happen, that is not an option as the Games are goal #1. The Atlantic Hopper will be in July and I do not want to be last and the Tough Mudder in August will take a lot of training just to do 10 miles of running/walking while completing the obstacles.

With this set of fun things to do, I need to start somewhere and it looks like the legs will be the first place to start and if this weather keeps getting warmer I may be able to get outside to start running sooner than I expected. I am not sure that is a good thing.

The last two Mondays have been a real wake up call to where I need to be in regards to qualifying for the Crossfit Games. There are some movements that I have not yet mastered and I realize that, but today’s was the wake up. The workout we did was last years second workout of the Open. It is listed below:

As many rounds as possible in 15 minutes – one round consists of the following 9 Deadlifts @ 145lbs, 12 hand release push ups, 15 box jumps @20 inches  = 36 reps for each round.

I completed 6 rounds + 21 reps for a total of 237 reps. The top 20 get to go to the Crossfit Games and the worst performance by someone who made it to the  Games had 310 reps meaning that I am 77 reps short which is just a little over 2 complete rounds. My score would have placed me 105th for that workout. As with all things there is good news in all of this and that is you need to complete the six weeks of qualifying to be selected and after looking at the scores for the age group, if I can at least complete something in any of the workouts that I know I can do I should be able to make the top 50. I think that would be a great accomplishment in my first shot at the Games. So while I am disappointed in todays performance I feel pretty good at where I am.

Must… stay… positive…

I knew Mike, the box co-owner, would start to up the intensity level now that Open competition for the CF Games 2012 are just over 6 weeks away. And with a blast from the past we did Workout 11.1  from 2011 today, in other words, last years first workout.

I did not compete last year and have no benchmark to see what I did, I do know that I would have died if I competed last year. It would have been less than 4 months since I joined, only went 2-3 times a week (no point killing one self at the beginning) and I was just beginning to understand some of the lifts and bodyweight exercises.

I completed 3 rounds +10 reps for this and I only did single unders (we use a 3 to 1 margin to double unders). All in all not bad. I was most happy with the warmup as I managed to get 2 double unders 3 times, a little bit more practice and I will be able to do them more consistently. I should have looked up what the masters division did last year as I qualify for the 55-60 age group, oh well what I don’t know won’t kill me.

On a side note I did find a site that from what I read and seen is pretty good for Paleo food diets and planning. If you are interested just follow this link – and enjoy.



We are getting nearer to that point of no return for the 2012 Crossfit Games. While I am not yet Games material in technique, I do have the determination to enter and see what happens. While I have not mastered or in some cases have not been able to complete some movements, it does not mean I should not enter.

The point is that I did my best and if I come up short then so be it. Life is too short to take chances that I will be able to compete “next year”. Things happen that can derail any of the best laid plans, but I will be able to say I entered the competition and did my best. What is great about the people of Crossfit is that they will still cheer me on and encourage me to go further. They will not judge me, they will not tell me I “can’t”, they will not laugh at me, for I have at least attempted and did my best.

This is what I like about the Crossfit community.

So February 1st I will sign up and do my best. I hope to see you do the same.

I had the best start to my day today. First, my doctor said I lost 5 pounds from the last visit, even though I am actually up 7 pounds from my pre-Christmas body massacre of scarfing everything that had sugar, alcohol plus anything bad that I have avoided in large quantities over the last 4-6 months. Second, he said while my BP was up slightly I do not have to go on any meds as he figures the target weight goal of 195 will bring the it in line. And third and most importantly, I had someone let me know that I have inspired them to do something about exercising.

Monica W, you have started my year off fantastically. I felt great all day because of that and it got me to thinking, what should I do to honour that lofty praise. I mentioned it to other people at work about how humble it made me feel. Three people at work told me that they are joining our gym’s (box) boot camp program because of what I have done in the last year.

So, the only thing I could think of was to dedicate the workout I did last night to Monica W. I have worked hard to get where I am fitness wise and I am not where I want to be as I have set a goal of making it to the Crossfit Games as a competitor not a spectator. If I have inspired someone because of what I have accomplished now, how many could I inspire when I make it?

After going through tonight’s workout that took me 25 minutes, I thought about what I could really do and the only thing I could think of was to work even harder to reach my goal. While my muscles are recovering from the aches I have put them through and I have decided to eat a better diet more often, I do not feel so bad. My aches will go away (eventually I hope) but what I have done will last for a long time.