Thursday, February 28, 2008

Workout 2/28: Stop the Presses!

I am doing all I can right now to keep my shoulders in their sockets. So today there will be no quips about life, no inspirational stories, no funny thoughts. Just the stats...

CrossFit: Press Medley
Shoulder Press-1x95#, 1x105#, 1x115#, 1x125#, 1x130# (PR)
Push Press-3x95#, 3x115#, 3x125#, 3x130#, 3x135# (PR)
Push Jerk-5x95#, 5x115#, 5x120#(f), 5x120#(f), 5x115#(f)
*My arms were so fatigued by the time I got to the Push Jerks. But hey, two Personal Records...not bad for a day's work.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Workout 2/27: Eva (Sorta-Kinda)

Have you ever stared something and noticed that the end seemed so far away that you never thought you'd truly get there? Grad school has been that way for me, but then I noticed last night that there are a mere 12 weeks left. Sure, those 12 weeks will be jam-packed with work, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Every school year seems like that, but once February hits, you notice that the students have come a long way and you are about to let them go in a few short months. I am sure parenthood is going to be the same. Sometimes I look at my daughter and ask myself how she ever got so big and so articulate. My son, the same. Today's workout was a reflection on the same issue; unfortunately, I had an obligation that made the end come sooner than my will wanted. My body however was screaming for the end and cheered it's shortened workout.

CrossFit: "Eva without Equipment"
5 Rounds for Time of:
800m Run
30 Squats
30 Push-ups
(Finished 3 Rounds in 21:38--Rd.1=6:15; Rd.2=6:53; Rd.3=8:30)
*For the first time, I felt I was going to lose my breakfast! If I had gone 2 more rounds, who knows what would have come up...I might have seen the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.*This is Eva and Greg. Yep, they could both kick my butt. Eva's WOD really does describe what would happen to me it I ever got in the middle of those two. Photo courtesy of Eva's Blog.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Workout 2/25: 5k

Bubblegum Ice Cream and a Movie...that's my daughter's idea of a fantastic evening. I don't think I've ever seen anyone take a whole hour to eat a bowl of ice cream, but it is possible when you pair it with a fascinating movie like Finding Nemo. However, now we have to deal with the consequences of being asked to watch that movie over and over again. Maybe we'll have to have another special evening sometime in the near future before we return it to the movie store.

The weather around here is trying to break. The sun is more frequent, the temps are trying to move above freezing, and I heard my first robin this morning. This means it's time to get my running shoes out for more than just indoor track coaching. It's time to RUN! I am almost praising the fact that my arms have been overused because that means I have more excuses to get out there and run. I'm getting the winter itch; no, not dry skin; I'm antsy and want to get back into regular running paired with CrossFit. Marathon talk has begun nipping at my ears, and it's nearing the time to commit to something.

CrossFit: Run 5k
(Time: 24:39.06; Pace: 7:56)

*Whoa, okay, that pace was awesome! I haven't run much in a long time, so I surprised myself right there. CrossFit is helping me in all areas of fitness. YEAH! Next task, work on POSE running! I run well, but can I run better? That is the question.*And for those of you coming here to hear about good diets, uh, sorry, but this ice cream brings back so many childhood memories.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Workout 2/23: DB Derby

The greatest intentions don't amount to anything; it's action that matters. This is true in every aspect of life. If we don't follow through on our intentions, then we've fooled ourselves and most likely let others down in the process. I am learning this in my work, in my marriage, in my parenting, in my coaching, in my Christian walk, and in all endeavours I commit to. I have been on both sides of this issue too. I have had intentions that I failed to meet. I have been let down by the intentions of others. But isn't it wonderful that grace covers all. My focus this week and over all my weeks is to follow through on my intentions whether they are spoken or not.

Speaking of intentions, I intended to do "Nasty Girls" this morning with the Saturday group, but physical limitations held me back. The crook of my elbow has been reminding me that I have a dull ache, so I was not able to partake in the fun that is known as "Nasty Girls." However, I do not believe I was let off the hook easily by Coach Gio. Nope, in fact, I think I got the harder workout this morning. Of course there is no way to truly justify that, but I got kicked in the pants pretty good by the Dumbbell Derby. So here it is; good luck!

"DB Derby"
25# Dumbbells used for
20-15-10-5 Rep Sets of:
DB Clean
DB Clean & Jerk
DB Snatch
DB Swing
(Time: 28:21)*Photo courtesy of How the heck are you doing that in jeans?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Workout 2/21: Fran

Today my track athletes are going to be engaged in a killer workout that will work every muscle in their bodies, even ones they had no idea existed. So today I figured I ought to tackle one of the CrossFit girls that I have been avoiding for at least a week now. This is one workout that separates the weak from the strong. Elite athletes boast of times under 2 minutes. Mere mortals are encouraged to complete it in around 5 minutes. So, how did I do? Well, let's just say I may not stack up very closely to the Elite Athlete...nor the Mere Mortals for that matter...HA!

CrossFit: Fran
21-15-9 Rep Sets of:
65# Thrusters
(Time: 11:45.48)

*Yeah, I thrusted through the thrusters. I pulled through the pull-ups, but I didn't have enough pull in me to do these sets unbroken. Well, let's check back in a year and see if I can finally do it without a break. That would drastically bring down my time.*I identify with you brother! Photo courtesy of CrossFit Eastside.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Workout 2/20: Annie

Enough of that Level 1 Testing for a little bit. I'll get back to it on the weekend. Now it's back to some of the fun postings from Now I'm not sure if this workout is actually named after the CrossFit trainer Annie, but if it is, it shows the impressive work that she does. I imagine that if this workout is a reflection of her, then she must have a really strong "core." I know, CrossFit junkies will laugh that I just said "core," but no one else would know what I mean if I said a "stabilized mid-line." I have a feeling my abs and back are going to feel this one tomorrow morning.

CrossFit: Annie
35-25-20-15-10 Rep Sets of:
Tuck Jumps
(8:29.33)*Yep, that's Annie in the background with her daughter in the foreground. Photo courtesy of

Workout 2/18: Christine (Level 1 Testing Cont.)

It was the morning of our first track meet, and I figured I should get my own workout in. My body was yelling at me later in the day, but I think I needed to do that. Otherwise I would have kicked myself all day long for not doing it.

CrossFit: Christine (Level 1 Testing)
Three Rounds for Time of:
500m Row
12 Bodyweight Deadlifts
21 Box Jumps
(20:22) FAILED--ugh! (Benchmark-15:00)

Good thing this month isn't over yet because I have a lot of work to do on the rowing.Rowing makes me feel like this afterwards. Photo courtesy of

Workout 2/16: Level 1 Testing

It's February and that means I am taking on the one first level testing posted by CrossFit Seattle (Level4). The gist behind this is to measure one's basic fitness and strength levels. If a person is able to complete all of the tasks on a certain level with the given benchmark goals, they are well-rounded individuals at that level. Level 1 is the "Well-Rounded Beginner" Level. My goal during this month from 2/16 to 3/16 is to find out if I can pass all of the tests after having done a combination of CrossFit and marathon training over the last year. I'm not much into anniversaries (other than my wedding anniversary), so I have little clue as to what my one-year of CrossFit date is, but I do know it is coming up in this month. So this is why I am undertaking this testing now. Here's how it went.

CrossFit: Level 1 Testing
Test #1: 2000m Row (9:20) Failed (benchmark-8:10)
Test #2: Push-ups (10) Passed
Test #3: Pull-ups (3) Passed
Test #4: Dips (3) Passed
Test #5: Deadlift (155#) Passed
Test #6: Free Squats (50) Passed
Test #7: Dead Hang (30 seconds) Passed

*Went out way too hard on the row, and I paid for it dearly. Next time I need to remember pacing. Just like running, but I haven't been running much lately. I guess it's back to the treadmill to get my stamina up.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Workout 2/14: "Randy"

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I hope every one of you have been made to feel special today by someone in your life. If not, extend your loving heart out to someone and make them feel special, and you may be surprised by what you get in return. I hope that didn't sound to sappy or fortune-cookie-ish, but there is a lot of truth behind that action. As everyday, I was made to feel special by my wife and both of my children. No, I wasn't served breakfast in bed or hugged exorbitantly this morning before heading off to work, but the love that flows so freely from them blows me away. I hope they feel the same way about me even with my imperfections...but aren't we all that way.

Persecuted Heroes Focus: The Staines Family

CrossFit: "Randy"--Heroes Workout for Randy Simmons, fallen LAPD officer
For Time:
55# Power Snatch x 50
(Time: 6'58")*Photo courtesy of CrossFit Atlanta

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Workout 2/13: "Nate"

From the looks of things, this is going to be "Heroes" Week on CrossFit. CrossFit often honors fallen soldiers and police officers by creating a workout that reflects their character in some way. The past two postings have been such postings, so I will be working on these new workouts with some grief and sadness. However, my grief and sadness is focused on more than these fallen heroes. Not many people today pay attention to others who are losing their lives due to their beliefs and actions. Everyday Christians are being martyred around the world for their attempts to spread the Gospel. And so when there are these hero workouts, I like to find Heroes for the Word that reflect the similar dedication and endurance. Many of these stories can be found on this blog, Christian Persecution Blog. So today my thoughts and prayers are for Pastor Sajid William.

CrossFit: "Nate"
As Many Rounds as Possible in 15 minutes of:
2 Muscle-ups (Subbed 6 Pull-ups and 6 Dips)
4 Handstand Push-ups
8 55# Dumbbell Swings
(6 Rounds + 6 Pull-ups + 1 Dip)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Workout 2/11: The Evil Eleven

Workouts of the Day are in order for the remainder of the month. I have been saving a couple interesting ones from the previous week that I missed, so it's time to tackle them. I feel so refreshed and rearin' to get back into it. I forgot how awfully rejunivating it is to kick a WOD into gear and finish it with gusto. Although today's was ugly and evil, I feel so accomplished after it. Too bad I forgot a towel to sub for rope climbs. What ever happened to climbing ropes in P.E. classes anyway? Liability has killed physical fitness. Hence the reason why hardly anyone can do a pull-up any more. GO GET 'EM!*Photo courtesy of CrossFit Eastside.

CrossFit: The Evil Eleven (Younger Sibling to the Dirty Dozen)
For Time:
20 Walking Lunge Steps
15 Pull-ups
35 Chair Jumps
30 Single Under Jumprope Jumps
20 Bar Dips
15 Knees to Chest
20 45# Dumbbell Swings
20 Sit-ups
15 25# Hanging Squat Cleans
20 Back Extensions
20 15# Wall Ball Shots
(Time: 17'38")

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Workout 2/9: Muscle-up Training

Back to CrossFit! Yes! And time to learn all about the mighty muscle-up. We'll call it the "holy grail" of the CrossFit community. Sure, there are other accomplishments that are deemed very worthy, but the muscle-up is one that nearly all CFers aim for at some point. CFers like me get tired of not being able to have decent times on workouts that require muscle-ups because we have to substitute 3 pull-ups and 3 dips for 1 muscle-up. Not fair! But that just shows you how mighty the muscle-ups really is. So it was up to Coach Gio to get us on track. Today I was joined by Brett and Scott. Brett came back for more of the CrossFit Kool-Aid after recovering from last week's beating, and Scott was eager to learn more. Two of the coolest guys to work out with, not to mention the other spectacular people who join Coach Gio on Saturday mornings (of course I am not neglecting you). What you will see below is part of the training we received (no that is not Coach Gio) and probably the hardest part of the whole movement. After today, I realized the practice I am going to need before I can pull one of these off. Stay tuned; I might have one of these in my pocket before too long!

Rest = Ready to Go!

So one week of rest will do wonders for getting you ready for the next phase of life. Now that I've had a chance to evaluate and re-evaluate a few things, it's time to get after them. LET'S GO!*Photo courtesy of CrossFit beautiful!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Rest = Goal Setting

I'm in the middle of a recovery week. I have been fighting two distinctly different colds, nursing a sore lower back, and quizzically staring at a scale that is being nasty to me. It was very clear to me that if I did not take this time off, I would end up in a bad situation. So, rest has become my focus. And in these moments, I have had the chance to look at the current status of my health and the upcoming year of fitness goals.

I mentioned that nasty scale because it is evident from that little piece of machinary, that my body is changing. After reaching a low weight of 178# right after my last marathon in October 2007, my weight has slowly creeped up. Now, of course my body has changed too with my focus on strength training through CrossFit, but I don't think all of that weight is new muscle. Sugar, ladies and gentlemen, is my weakness, and The Zoneis my answer. I have attempted The Zone before, but I have never stuck to a strict Zone diet. One of my favorite movie quotes is when Bill Murray talks about "Baby Steps" in What About Bob? So I am going to start taking baby steps to break this sugar addiction. And what better time to do it than during this season of Lent.

My mind has also been occupied with what I want to accomplish this year in the fitness realm. The past three years have been focused on marathons and half-marathons. There is something extremely satisfying about running and finishing a marathon, but the training is so time consuming. So this year's focus is going to be on shorter races and the continuation of CrossFit. The plan: 1 marathon with minimal training, an assortment of 5Ks (my goal is to break 24 minutes), 1 Urbanathlon, and 1 more year of CrossFit training. I plan on working on Level Two of the Level4 Challenge produced by CrossFit Seattle. So, wish me luck, and pray for me!*Photo courtesy of Carrie Klumpar at CrossFit Seattle. Maybe I'll adopt that motto for the year!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Rest = Research

It's been nice so far to have this time to rest because I have had the chance to explore new ways to train and coach while recovering. New goals have also been on my mind, so over the next few days my trusty readers will be exposed to some of the things I have discovered. Today's focus is kettlebells. This piece of equipment has always intrigued me ever since starting fitness training through CrossFit. Being a GloboGym member, I am used to equipment like bars, dumbbells, plates, balls, treadmills, etc. But CrossFit occasionally includes things like kettlebell swings. "What?" was often a question I had when starting this program, but thankfully the CrossFit website is extremely informative. Kettlebells

Some have described the kettlebell as a cannonball with a handle, and that is not far from the truth. Just take a look at it:
This looks like such a primitive piece of equipment, but sometimes there is no need to re-invent the wheel when it comes to fitness. We have become so used to the need to have the "latest and greatest" equipment in fitness, but often times we just need to realize that what already exists, if used correctly, can be far more beneficial. My challenge to everyone is to step away from the machines and the new "inventions" and stick with the "old fashioned" equipment for a period of time. You might find a refreshing new outlook on your fitness training.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Workout 2/2: Row, Pull-up, Ring Push-up, SDLHP

I'm not sure if I addressed this before on my blog, but I have this fear of three simple letters..."DNF." For anyone who is into running, these letters may be familiar to you. They stand for "Did Not Finish." I loathe the sound of that expression, and I do not like the idea of having "DNF" placed behind my name in any area of my life. Thankfully, I have never had it applied to my name in any running races, even the infamous 2007 Chicago Marathon. But I don't think this term is only applicable to sports. "DNF" is a hideous term that can be applied to nearly every area of life. We all make commitments, and we must strive to finish each of those commitments. We have relationships that we do not want to see "DNF" placed after. We have goals that we do not want to see "DNF" placed after. We have responsibilities that we do not want to see "DNF" placed after. So in all you do and all you are, strive to "finish" it. And don't just finish, FINISH STRONG.
Hebrews 12 (Read all of it--not just verses 1 and 2)
CrossFit in the CPD Special Tactical Building:
21-15-9 Rep Sets of:
Row (calories)
Sumo Deadlift High Pulls
Ring Push-ups
(Team Time: 33'33")

*I finally got to take my friend Brett. Brett, I hope you are recovering nicely. I think we both sat in church yesterday with very sore bodies. I could see him cringe when he sat down and empathized with him in my soreness/pain. In fact, I have decided to take the week off from strenuous workouts. My body is sick and sore, and it needs to recover. I am going to take my own advice that I wrote recently. I think this workout was even ill-advised since I had been battling an interesting throat thing for the past few days. Now it's really time to take off and let my body recover. My focus for the next week will be on getting control of my eating. Sweets have dominated my palate; time to kick the sugar habit again.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Workout 2/1: DL, HSPU, PU, Thrusters

Woke up early to drive myself to school,
Seven inches of snow, am I a fool?
Radio man says nearly all are shut,
Districts can't get buses out, but
All's open in Chicago Public Schools!

The snow still steadily coming down,
Attendance at 40% around,
American Gladiators open casting tomorrow,
Wondering should I stay or should I go,
If only I could lose this last pound!

Okay, so I'm not the great Illinois-ian poet Robert Frost. In fact, I am far from any sort of talented poet, but since I am asking my students to write poetry, I figured I ought to try it out too. I already know their poems are far better and more complicated then mine. Speaking of body was far from poetry in motion this morning too. The workout was killer, but I made it it is.

CrossFit: DL, HSPU, PU, Thrusters (a.k.a. The Freakin' Fifteen)
3 Rounds for Time of:
155# Deadlifts x 15
15 Handstand Push-ups
15 Pull-ups
65# Thrusters x 15
(Time: 28'24")

This one had me sucking air like no other at the end. Picked myself up off the floor after a few minutes, and what did I see? A pool of my own sweat! Sweet!Visit CrossFit Stickers for more CrossFit-related slogans.