Friday, October 31, 2008

Waitin' and Workin' -- for what yer be Wantin'

We've wanted it NOW for as long as we can remember, haven't we?

A little anecdote I pulled off Lyle McDonald's blog:

A wanna-be martial arts student once went to the dojo and asked the sensei how long it would take for him to become a master of the art.

The sensei replied “First, you must learn patience.”

And the student asked “Yeah, yeah, patience. How long is that going to take?”
I'm not big on patience myself. In fact, I'm pretty notorious for being impatient. There's little I detest more than unwonted slowness. I look for the quickest route through the maze of cars in traffic, and sometimes (though I probably shouldn't admit this) tailgate cars with my high beams turned on if I think they've been insufferable slowpokes.

During CrossFit WODs, I hate it when people dilly-dally between exercises while the clock is still running, or take unnecessary breaks to gripe and feel sorry for themselves. There's a distinct difference between being physically unable to complete another rep due to muscular failure, and dumping the bar just because your arms are tired. But I won't get too far off track.

Patience is closely connected to effort and reward. It takes time to achieve goals. No thanks to my short attention span, I frequently get sidetracked before I reach what I originally hoped to achieve. It's probably also because I get fed up when I don't seem to be making any apparent progress, and drop it for something else. The fact that the world today is pretty much founded upon principles of instant gratification doesn't help as well.

I've been thinking about some of the goals that I hope to achieve and I think the best way for me to remain committed to seeing them come to fruition will be to post them on this blog. Nothing works better than accountability (or public shaming, for that matter... haha). Hopefully this will motivate me to stay true to these goals, no matter how lofty or faraway they might seem at this initial point in time.

The first goal will be related to diet/nutrition and eating to achieve maximum performance, and I'll post it here. Most probably by the end of this weekend, once I've tinkered with all the necessary macronutrient ratios in the nutrition plan and tweaked it in accordance with my current activity level, as well as my goals, i.e. ideal body composition, and improved performance levels.

"The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools."
- Confucius

Image courtesy of Inmagine.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday 10/30/2008

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of:
DB Hang Squat Cleans (30#)
Weighted Pistols (R) (25#)
2-for-1 Wall Ball Shots (14#)
Weighted Pistols (L) (25#)

20-15-10-5 reps of:
Box Jumps (24")
Shoulder Presses (65#)
Back Squats
Barbell Rollouts

WOD: Revolution
25-minute Spin, followed by -
3 Rounds of:
20R/20L Weighted Barbell Stepups (20" box)
20 Ring Rows
20 Barbell Good Mornings
20 Elevated Pushups

"A man hasn't got a corner on virtue just because his shoes are shined."
- Anne Petry

Wednesday 10/29/2008

WOD: Charge
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of:
Wall Ball (14#)
Hang Power Clean (75#)
Knees to Elbows

"Balls and Bells"
Perform 5 rounds of 10 reps each:
KB American Swing (20 kg)
Medicine Ball Burpee to Clean (20#)
KB Goblet Squat
Medicine Ball Slam
KB Hand Switching Pushup
Medicine Ball Situp with Overhead Toss

"It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes."
- Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday 10/28/2008

With a barbell, perform 10-20-30-20-10 reps of:
Shoulder Press
Weighted Jumping Squat

"Keep doing some kind of work, that the devil may always find you employed."
- St. Jerome

Monday 10/27/2008

5 Rounds of:
15 American KB Swings (16 kg)
10 Toes to Bar
10 Wall Ball Shots (14#)
10 Dead Hang Pullups
30 Jumping Lunges
5R/5L KB Slashers (16 kg)

Time: 21:17

from CrossFit NYC:
For time:
50 Back Squats, 135# (men)/95# (women)
15 laps* Double Overhead Waiter's Walk with Kettlebells, 2x24kg (men)/2x16kg (women)

*Please note that one "lap" is down the length of the gym and back (approx. 20 meters total).

Time: 13:35

"The idle man does not know what it is to enjoy rest, for he has not earned it."
- John Lubbock

Sunday 10/26/2008

21-15-9 reps of:
Full Squat Cleans (95#)
Ring Dips

Time: 7:42

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."
- Robert Brault

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Review: CrossFit Gymnastics Certification (Day 2)

The crowd, captivated by Tucker. ;)

Y'know, I had harbored pipe dreams of becoming a lean, mean, flippin', twistin' gymnastics machine after attending the CrossFit Gymnastics Certification. Well, obviously, that wasn't going to happen in two days, but day 2 of the CrossFit Gymnastics Certification proved to be yet another excellent day of learning and drilling (honestly, could I ever have expected anything but?).

It was pretty gray and gloomy outside when I left the hostel where I had spent the night (hey, you can't beat $40/night lodging in Boston, can you?), and trekked the one-and-a-half miles to CrossFit Boston. I got there at 8:30 a.m., in time to knock out an easy 6-K on the Concept 2 rower to warm myself up for the day ahead.

We began promptly at 9:00 a.m. (actually, 8:00 a.m. according to the clock at the gym, which had mysteriously wound itself back an hour -- kind of odd since it had been just fine the day before). Gillian led us through the paces with a dynamic warmup. I'll have to post more about the warmups we did during the gymnastics cert sometime -- I was introduced to many novel exercises and I think they'll be immensely useful as part of future warmups.

Everyone at the mercy of Gillian, during the warmup.

We then went straight into forward roll basics (Tucker: "Keep your chin tucked to your chest! Make like a doodlebug!), and spent a fair bit of time practicing our rolls on gymnastic mats to ensure that we weren't impacting the ground headfirst but rather cushioning the landing by using our upper backs. Forward rolls are very basic, but a useful tool, for instance as an exit strategy when you've overbalanced on a handstand, or when you take a nasty spill, or something.

Gillian demonstrating a handstand into a forward roll.

Believe it or not, as elementary as they might seem, forward rolls were something that scared the shit out of me when I was nine years old and had my first taste of gymnastics during physical education class in primary school. I remember never ever working up the courage to do them (yes, I fully admit to being quite the bumbling, unathletic wuss as a child) in class. I was convinced that I was going to break my neck in the process -- you see, my PE teacher never told us to make like doodlebugs, and so a lot of the kids ended up driving the tops of their heads into the ground when attempting the rolls. But I also remember going back home and vowing that somehow I needed to summon up the courage to perform a forward roll. And what better place to try than the kingsized bed in the master bedroom back home, all bouncy with cushioned springs? I finally did get my first forward roll there (and an assortment of other miscellaneous tumbling tricks that probably won't ever cut it in the real gymnastics world, but were fun for a kid like me). Anyway, back to the gymnastics cert.

We then went on to practice handstands after demos by Gillian and instruction from Tucker. I finally understood what it felt like to be in the "hollow body position" with active shoulders while in a handstand. I don't have a problem with handstands against a wall -- I can stay inverted for pretty long periods of time -- but it was useful to know the exact position that I ought to be in while upside down (i.e. no overarching of the back, no flexed feet, etc.), since it's not exactly the most intuitive thing to be upside down on your hands. Using the drills and cues that Tucker prescribed, there were marked improvements in practically everyone's handstands by the end of the day. As always, the only way to get better at something is to work at it, and so it looks as though I'll be spending more time on my hands from now on.

I was especially thankful for the demonstration on how to use the Jumpstretch (or any other rubber resistance band, for that matter) bands to facilitate gymnastic training. By looping and hooking a band over the top of a pullup bar, and running a thinner band through it, a neat device (kind of like a shoulder harness, almost), could be fashioned to help people achieve full range of motion on their handstand pushups.

Tucker also discussed using the bands to help people achieve full ROM ring dips (place the ends of the band directly under your hands and then grab the rings such that the bands are sandwiched tightly between the heels of your palms and the rings, jump to support, and have someone pull the band directly under your knees and into position -- you can then perform supported ring dips in this manner). This method could also be applied towards iron cross training, where you gradually move your hands (with locked-out elbows) to the sides, in hope of achieving a final position where your arms end up parallel to the ground.

During lunch, I had the privilege of working out alongside Gillian and Sam (another cool lady and awesome athlete from CrossFit Boston). We did "Elizabeth", the workout that had been posted on the CrossFit main site for that day. For the record, "Elizabeth" consists of 21-15-9 reps of full squat cleans (Rx'd weight for women: 85#), and ring dips. "Elizabeth" is a relatively quick and dirty workout, much like "Fran". Well, when you're in the company of such firebreathers, you know they're going to kick it up a notch, and so we decided to use 95# for the FS cleans instead. Going head-to-head with these two on one of the famed "lady WODs" was probably one of the best moments of my trip. I really busted my ass on this workout trying to keep up with Gillian, who was knocking out the ring dips effortlessly (she made it look way too easy, in my opinion). She finished in 6 minutes and something, 6:13 I think, and I came in at 7:42, which I was extremely pleased with (who wouldn't be? Only a minute and a half behind Gillian!). Sam finished in 14 minutes -- all around, an awesome effort by everyone.

After lunch, we busted out the paralletes and worked on achieving extreme ROM on handstand pushups. Getting EROM on HSPUs definitely isn't easy, and something I need to work on. The extra distance makes a considerable difference. Working the standing press will probably help too, much as I dislike shoulder-pressing.

Look at the awesome EROM on those HSPUs!

The parallettes also came in handy for timed L-sits and V-sits. Those really fire up your quads because of the muscular tension necessary to lock your body into position. Sucky, but necessary (much like many of the other movements found in CrossFit). Gillian also demonstrated the L-sit into handstand. Impressive stuff right there, and something I wish I'll be able to do one day!

Jeff Martone in a V-sit. He isn't just good at KBs, but at gymnastics too (despite being affectionately termed a "large chunk of meat" by Tucker)!

Towards the end of the day, Tucker fielded questions from the crowd and discussed programming in further detail. Listening to him speak, I gained a better understanding of how to work gymnastic training into CrossFit instruction and daily workouts. I think a lot of people are averse to gymnastic training because of the element of difficulty. Admittedly, it is difficult -- those feats of strength that gymnasts perform are by no means easy -- but after learning how those could be scaled in a way such that they would become accessible to the masses (for instance, using the bands as a means of assistance), gymnastic training is an extremely valuable part of any fitness program.

I enjoyed the CrossFit Gymnastics cert tremendously. It was a blast hanging with Tucker and his crew (awesome coaches -- Gillian, Melissa, Keith, and John). I also got the opportunity to meet friends that I hadn't seen in a while, like Jen Conlin of Potomac CrossFit and also get acquainted with many other cool individuals, among them Tim from Bay State CrossFit and Alex of "The Hopper Deck" fame (bought a Hopper Deck from Alex and am loving it... everyone should definitely check it out!). And of course, luxuriate in the presence of all the big CrossFit names whom I talked about in my earlier post... haha!

The Gun Show: from left, Tucker, Kelly Moore, Gillian, and E.C. (y'know... I want guns like these!)

This cert was by far one of the most worthwhile investments for me and I'm glad I managed to attend it. It's not cheap by any means ($595.00 for two days, or 16 hours, of coaching), but every penny was justified. If you can find a cert near your location, that definitely helps.

Alternatively, you can do what I did and attempt to cut costs in all other areas. I'm a member of Spirit Airlines' $9.00 fare club which you can join for a nominal fee (I believe you might even get the first year free), and snagged a roundtrip ticket from Detroit to New York City and back for $9.00 each way. I kid you not, $9.00. My roundtrip ticket came up to $39.00 total after factoring in taxes and fees ($21.00). Talk about an awesome deal (well, my flight did get delayed coming back in from NYC due to inclement weather, and I did end up in the second to last row in the plane, squashed right by the window, but I'm not about to complain for $9.00). I stayed with a friend in NYC, took an overnight Greyhound bus down to Boston for $27.00, spent Saturday night in a hostel for forty bucks, and took one of the dodgy NYC-Boston buses that operate from New York's Chinatown back for $15.00 on Sunday evening. So, yeah, pretty economical!

Notes from Day 2 of the CF Gymnastics Cert (again, courtesy of Coach Jeff Tucker):

Forward roll – and its importance
Spotting – Controlled kick up - Controlled falling
Head Stands
Handstands – how to lunge and kick up to your spot
Body position, hands, hollow body, active shoulders
Wall support – kicking up – walking up
HSPU – Hand Stand Push Ups
Power Bands harness – self spotting technique
Press Handstands

L-sit and progression
Tucked V-sits
L-sit into HS
Donkey kick
Push Ups and the EROM
Press Handstands

All photos courtesy of Keith Wittenstein (thanks, Keith!) from CrossFit Virtuosity.

Monday, October 27, 2008

CrossFit Rocks my Socks

CrossFit Gymnastics Certification Seminar, CrossFit Boston, Oct 25-26

Some awesome stuff right here... stay tuned for my account of Day 2 of the CrossFit Gymnastics Cert, coming up soon!

Photo courtesy of the CrossFit affiliate blog.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday 10/25/2008

Day 1 of CrossFit Gymnastics Certification at CrossFit Boston.

Today was a whirlwind day, to say the least. I went to bed at 8:00 p.m. last night after setting my phone alarm to 12:15 a.m. so that I could wake up in time to walk over to the Port Authority Bus Terminal (about half an hour's walk from where I'm bunking in with a friend in NYC), to catch my Greyhound bus to Boston at 2:00 a.m..

Well, as luck would have it, apparently I snoozed peacefully through my alarm at 12:15 a.m., and sat up all in a tizzy at 1:55 a.m., almost frantic and wondering how I was ever going to get to Boston by 9 the next morning. I rushed over to the terminal and was lucky to be told that there was another bus leaving for Boston at 3:30 a.m., and scheduled to reach at 8:05 in the morning. It wasn't a full bus by any means, so I continued the rest of my snooze all the way to Boston. I reached Boston's South Station at 8:15 a.m., jumped into a cab, and hightailed it all the way to CrossFit Boston, getting there at around 8:40 a.m.. Whew! What a way to begin my morning.

Thankfully, the day only got better as we were treated to Tucker's (Coach Jeff Tucker of GSX Athletics, CrossFit's expert on gymnastic training) brand of rowdy Texan humor as he proceeded to teach us all about the elements of gymnastics. The morning was spent primarily on bar work, where we learnt the mechanics of efficient kipping (apparently, the verbal cue "push off away from the bar" isn't the right way to teach a kip, and the kip is initiated by the forward thrust of the torso, rather than the backward swing of the legs).

Now, that is SOME kip.

We also worked on progressions involving knees-to-elbows, rolls, skin-the-cats, inversions, and back levers.

Yours truly as the test subject for skin-the-cats on a bar.

After lunch, we worked on the rings with supports, more levers, and muscle-up progressions. We didn't manage to cover the iron cross support today, but I think we'll do that tomorrow (definitely am looking forward to that)! I learnt a ton of things about proper mechanics of the elementary gymnastic movements, as well as the importance of spotting and safety while attempting gymnastic moves. I also learnt a nifty way to modify ring dips (besides negatives and jumping dips) for people who're struggling to get their first ring dip. I'm hoping to apply all this newfound knowledge when I return to Ann Arbor!

Demo Girl Melissa Byers (of shower-rod-pullup and Olympic-bar-breaking fame) demonstrates a L-sit hold on the rings.

Oh, and this particular seminar is filled with huge, huuuuuuuge names in the CrossFitting world -- Kelly Moore, Lynne Pitts (both of whom have workouts named after them)

5 Rounds for time:
Run 400 meters
30 box jump, 24 inch box
30 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball

5 Rounds for max reps (no time component for this WOD):
Bodyweight bench press

... as well as Gillian Mounsey (third in this year's CF Games and by far one of the best, most well-rounded athletes I've ever seen), and Jeff Martone (CrossFit's resident kettlebell coach and famed for performing a Turkish getup using his wife). And of course affiliate owners like CrossFit NYC's Michael Pommerening, CrossFit Virtuosity's Keith Wittenstein, CrossFit Boston's Jon Gilson and Neal Thompson, and CrossFit Watertown's Lisbeth Darth (writer and editor for both the CF affiliate blog as well as the CF Journal). It's truly a privilege to be in the midst of such awesome athletes and people!

Here's a brief lowdown on what I've learnt today (courtesy of Coach Jeff Tucker's notes)

Gymnastic Seminar:
The point of this seminar is to educate you in basic gymnastic movements which in turn will allow you to progress in your CrossFit workouts. Such skills and drills, basic or otherwise, will allow you to develop strength moves and variations in your personal training. All of these movements are based on form and the progression toward form with strength. Small moves will bring great rewards – you don’t rush these movements, you LEARN them!

Basic Spotting and Safety:
How to spot others. It is a hands-on exercise. Over-spotting. Hands on exercise
Self spot using stationary objects or assistance with power bands
What to look for when spotting: muscle fatigue, form issues, correction and feedback
Spotting is used until the movement and form is achieved
Grip – thumb around the bar

Spot – various techniques
Active Muscles
Core - Tightness
Form – Proper form and being tight in the movements
What is gymnastics? Striving toward perfection of the forms in CF vs compulsory
Static vs. Dynamic Apparatus

High Bar/Pull Up Bar Variations
Grip – thumb around the bar – Spot – hands ON EXERCISE!
Skin the cat / pull back through to dead hang
L-sit raise – Dead hangs
L-sit pull ups
KTE / Ball Up
Muscle up
Back Levers
Front Lever

Support - Spot
Ring position / strap position / arms close to the body
False grip
Muscle Up progression – training the muscle memory
Muscle Up
Iron Cross variations/progressions

All photos courtesy of Keith Wittenstein (thanks, Keith!) from CrossFit Virtuosity.

Friday 10/24/2008

6 Rounds of:
5 KB Goblet Squats
4 KB Walking Lunges
5 KB Goblet Squats
4 KB Walking Lunges
10 Knees to Elbows

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
10 Pullups
10 KB Weighted Situps
10 Pushups

Total No. of Rounds: 14

"Put a grain of boldness into everything you do."
- Baltasar Gracian

Thursday 10/23/2008

"Filthy Fifty"
50 Box jumps
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings
50 Walking Lunges
50 Knees to elbows
50 Pushups
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots
50 Burpees (with clap overhead)
50 Double unders

Time: 25:55

15 rounds of 7 reps each:
Med Ball Cleans (14#)

Time: 9:32

"The Fluffy Cloud Dance" (a.k.a. "The Super Renegade Pistol Party")

As Many Rounds as You Can in 20 minutes of:
Pistol Right Leg
Pistol Left Leg
Renegade Row Right Arm
Renegade Row Left Arm
7 Superman Back Extensions

The pushups and renegade rows are done with the hands on kettlebells. Men should use 24kg and women 16kg. Smaller KBs are less stable, so if you can't row 16kg, then do the pushups with hands on the floor and pick up the KB each time you row. Squats and pistols can be done with or without holding one of the kettlebells. The supermans are done with the belly on the floor and the arms reaching forward alongside the ears and the legs and feet are squeezed together and do not come apart. Lift the entire chest and the legs off the floor.

Total Rounds Completed: 43

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
- Albert Einstein

Wednesday 10/22/2008

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps of:
DB Overhead Swings (45#)
Elevated Pushups
Double Unders
Back Extensions

4 rounds for time:
Row 250 m
10 Deadlifts (135#)
15 American KB Swings (16 kg)
5 Ring Dips

Time: 9:42

10 rounds of 12 reps each:

Time: 18:30
(Bought into the 100-day Pullup Challenge with this workout!)

"The essence of pleasure is spontaneity."
- Germaine Greer

Tuesday 10/25/2008

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps of:
Ring Rows (with feet elevated on box)
Lateral Hurdle Jumps
Plyo Pushups
Wall Ball Shots

Swim Workout:
W/U: 1000 m
Workout: 10 x 100 m/50 m easy
C/D: 500 m drills

8 rounds of 8 reps each:
KB Snatch (R)
KB Snatch (L)
Ring Pushup
Barbell Shoulder Press
KB Weighted Situp

"The waste of money cures itself, for soon there is no more to waste."
- M.W. Harrison

Monday 10/20/2008

21-15-9 reps of:
Overhead DB Swing (R)
Overhead DB Swing (L)
DB Push Press (R)
DB Push Press (L)
DB Renegade Row

WOD: Charge
5 Rounds of:
400 m Run
30 Dynamax Ball Situps (20#)
15 Deadlifts (135#)

WOD: Revolution
21-15-9 reps of:
Wall Ball
Russian KB Swing

"The best remedy for a short temper is a long walk."
- Jacqueline Schiff

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sunday 10/19/2008

Detroit Free Press Half-Marathon!
Time: 1:49:50

"Poverty sits by the cradle of all our great men and rocks all of them to manhood."
- Heinrich Heine

Saturday 10/18/2008

Every minute on the minute for 30 minutes, perform:
5 Pullups
10 Pushups
15 Squats

"Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally."
- David Frost

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thursday 10/16/2008

4 rounds of 10 reps each:
Thruster (65#)
Decline Situp (25#)
Back Extension (25#)

WOD: Revolution
15-12-9 reps of:
DB Manmakers
Box Jumps

I discovered a movement worthy of incorporation into workouts after scaling the dividing wall at Joust separating the main gym from the yoga/cycling room on a whim (goes towards practice for the military's Standard Obstacle Course) -- 6-foot wall climbs for time!

"We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey."
- Kenji Miyazawa

Wednesday 10/15/2008

5-10-15-20-15-10-5 reps of:
Overhead Squat (45#)
Shoulder Press (45#)
Decline Situp (25#)

Swim Workout
W/U: 500 m
Drill Work: 500 m
Workout: 100/200/300/400/500/400/300/200/100 free

WOD: Charge
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of:
Dead Hang Pullups
2-for-1 Wall Ball Shots

"If it's very painful for you to criticize your friends - you're safe in doing it. But if you take the slightest pleasure in it, that's the time to hold your tongue."
- Alice Duer Miller

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tuesday 10/14/2008

3 rounds of 21 reps:
1-Arm DB Hang Power Snatch (R)
1-Arm DB Hang Power Snatch (L)

21-15-9 reps of:
Overhead Squat (65#)
Tricep Pushup

With a barbell, perform 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of:
Muscle Snatch
Overhead Squat
Sostz Press

(This workout sucks big time, largely due to the Sostz presses)

"A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles."
- Tim Cahill

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday 10/13/2008

WOD: Revolution
25-minute Spin, followed by -
With a 30# DB, perform 21-15-9 reps of:
1-Arm DB Overhead Swing (R, then L)
1-Arm DB Push Press
1-Arm DB Overhead Squat

Time: 10:00 (and three-hundredths of a second -- yes, Patty's that precise)

3 Rounds of:
400 m Run
21 American KB Swings (1 pood)
12 Pullups

Time: 9:51

"A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety."
- Aesop

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Phoenix Theory

The Psychology of Physical Rebirth

Some time ago, I posted in relation to another piece written by Chris Shugart over at T-Nation (read it here). Look past the blatant product advertising and the pictures of scantily-clad (and HOT) women on the website and T-Nation actually has quite a wealth of useful information about training and motivation -- not necessarily in congruence with what I believe or practice, but good to know and think about, in any case. I particularly enjoy Shugart's articles -- he's a FFB (Former Fat Boy)-turned-fit-guy and he has this uncanny ability of being able to place his finger on the frustrations that plague people who're seeking to transform their own lives.

Briefly, the Phoenix Theory of body transformation involves four key stages:

1) A traumatic event leading to a sudden realization and awakening
2) Anger and a firm decision to change
3) The physical transformation itself
4) Continued progress fueled by fear of regression

If the article and the decidedly unflattering picture of the "front-butted fuck" (as Shugart puts it) riding an electric scooter around a grocery store doesn't motivate you to achieve your own goals, I'm not sure what else will. This article definitely got me thinking about my own goals and what I ought to do to achieve them. Interestingly enough, the phoenix has always been a creature that has held particular symbolism for me (you see, the first character of my Chinese name, "feng", means "phoenix"), and it also proves to be an excellent analogy in this context.

I hope this helps you in pursuing your own goals and seeking your own personal transformation!

Sunday 10/12/2008

WOD: Revolutio€
With a pair of DBs (25#), perform 75-50-25 reps of:
Weighted Walking Lunges
Push Presses

100 Walking Lunges
50 Pushups
75 Walking Lunges
50 Ring Rows
50 Walking Lunges
50 Russian KB Swings
25 Walking Lunges
50 Squats

"Sometimes I think and other times I am."
- Paul Valéry

Saturday 10/11/2008

WOD: Charge
1-2-3-4...18-19-20 reps of:
Medicine Ball Thrusters (20#)
Russian KB Swings
Ring Dips

Only managed to get up to round 18 when time was called. This workout is a lot longer than it seems (thanks primarily to the ring dips).

Deck of Cards - pull out a card one at a time and do the assigned exercise until the whole deck is gone. The number of the card is the number of reps. For example, a 6 of hearts would be 6 burpees. A Queen of diamonds would be 12 KB swings.

Diamonds = KB Swings
Hearts = Burpees
Clubs = V-Ups
Spades = One-Arm Ring Rows
Jokers = Run 400 m/ Row 500 m

"Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting."
- Edmund Burke

Friday 10/10/2008

6 rounds of:
24 Box Jumps
18 Decline Pushups
12 Bench Dips (with feet elevated)
6 Burpee Box Jumps

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of:
Hang Squat Cleans (65#)
Barbell Rollouts

"When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get one, but you won't come up with a handful of mud either."
- Leo Burnett

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thursday 10/09/2008

Overhead Squat (65#)
Donkey Kicks

WOD: Charge
21-15-9 reps of:
DB Burpee
DB Thruster
DB Row
DB Weighted Stepup (20")

WOD: Revolution
25-minute Spin, followed by -
21-15-9 reps of:
Deadlift (165#)

"A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices that the system works."
- Bill Vaughan

Wednesday 10/08/2008

21-15-9 reps of:
Shoulder Press (65#)
Spider Pushup
Push Press (65#)
Regular Pushup
Push Jerk (65#)
Diamond Pushup

WOD: Revolution
25-minute Spin, followed by -
21-15-9 reps of:
Clean and Jerk (65#)
Weighted Walking Lunge (65#)

Every minute on the minute, for 30 minutes, perform:
3 Ring Dips
6 Box Jumps (24")
9 Elevated Pushups (20")

2 Power Cleans (95#)
4 Power Wheel Rollouts
6 D-Ball Slams (20#)

Alternate between (1) and (2) each minute.

WOD: Charge
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of:
Burpee Box Jumps
Elevated Pushups (20")

"Little things console us because little things afflict us."
- Blaise Pascal

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tuesday 10/07/2008

21-15-9 reps of:
Box Jumps (25")
Jumping Squats
Walking Lunge Steps

Hold Side Plank for 5 sec between rounds.

"O, How the Bells Toll"
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of:
1-Arm KB Complex (Swing/Snatch/Clean & Press/OHS) -- alt. R/L
KB Figure 8 Upper Cut
KB Burpee
KB H2H Double Tap Swing

"Hire character. Train skill."
- Peter Schutz

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday 10/06/2008

WOD: Charge
100 Wall Balls
100 Russian KB Swings
100 Push Presses (65#)
100 Box Jumps (20")

WOD: Revolution
21-19-17-15-13-11-9-7-5-3-1 reps of:
Sumo Deadlift High Pull (65#)

1-Arm DB Hang Squat Snatch - R (30#)
Plyo Pushup
1-Arm DB Hang Squat Snatch - L
Medicine Ball Thruster

"Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it."
- David Star Jordan

Sunday 10/05/2008

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps of:
Jumping Squat
Elevated Pushup

Didn't manage to make it to CrossFit Boston due to time issues. So I was definitely glad I managed to get in a hotel workout earlier in the morning! Boston was awesome -- it's been almost 11 years since I first visited. My friend and I rubbed John Harvard's shoe during our walk around Harvard University (I did do that way back in 1997, but I've convinced myself that the reason I didn't end up there for undergraduate studies was because I didn't even bother applying in the first place, ha ha), in the hope that doing so would get us into Harvard for our PhDs. Well, we'll see if that works. Did loads of walking throughout the day, though -- from our hotel in Cambridge to Boston's South End, up to Chinatown, back to the South End, and back to the hotel again, about six miles or so. Saturday's Singapore Seminar was good as well -- met up with scholars from all around the U.S. and had a generally edifying time. I think I ate far too much as well. Baked stuffed lobster, New England Clam Bake, clam chowder, the works. Yum! I was upgraded to First Class on my way back from Boston as well, which is one of the perks of being a Gold Elite member with NWA (there's always a pretty good chance that I get upgraded on any flight). All in all, a fun trip.

"Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time."
- Steven Wright

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Saturday 10/05/2008

2.5 mile run, followed by:
40-30-20-10 reps of:
Flutter Kicks (4-Count)

Going to CrossFit Boston tomorrow!

"We are all primary numbers divisible only by ourselves."
- Jean Guitton

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday 10/03/2008

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of:
Overhead Squat (75#)

With two 45# plates, perform a 100 m Farmer's Walk after each round.

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of:
Power Clean (95#)
Box Jump (24")
Ring Dip

"Most of us can read the writing on the wall; we just assume it's addressed to someone else."
- Ivern Ball

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thursday 10/02/2008

21-15-9 reps of:
Sumo Deadlift High Pull (65#)
Power Clean (65#)
Flag (also known as Rotational or T-) Pushup

WOD: Charge
As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
5 Pullups
10 Pushups
15 Squats

Score: 26 Rounds + 7 Squats (PR!!!)

21-15-9 reps of:
Barbell Shoulder Press
Dumbbell Russian Swing (45#)
Jumping Squat

Time: 4:22

"Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity."
- Edwin Hubbel Chapin

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wednesday 10/01/2008

100 Squats
75 Decline Situps (25#)
50 Pushups
25 Burpees

WOD: Revolution
25-minute Spin, followed by -
30-20-10 reps of:
Medicine Ball Clean to Wall Ball (aka. the Ball-Sucker)
Medicine Ball Situp

Jenn and I each picked 5 exercises at random separately, and then engaged in a game of "Rock, Paper, Scissors" to determine the 5 exercises that would feature in our workout. So here were the initial matchups:

Feng -- Jenn:
#1: Plyo Pushups -- Overhead Squats
#2: DB Manmakers -- Ring Pushups
#3: Ring Dips -- KB Snatches
#4: Turkish Getups -- Shoulder Presses
#5: Burpee Box Jumps -- Sumo Deadlift High Pulls

I won all but #3 (Yeah! I am the reigning champion in Rock, Paper, Scissors, which I grew up calling Scissors, Paper, Stone in Singapore -- that's your interesting but admittedly quite useless piece of trivia for the day), which resulted in the following workout -

5 Rounds of:
3 DB Manmakers
6R/6L Turkish Getups
9R/9L KB Snatches
12 Burpee Box Jumps
15 Plyo Pushups

As usual, it was my good fortune to win all the rounds that featured exercises with compound movements. I do like to make life difficult for myself, don't I?

This workout took us over forty minutes to complete, thanks to Jenn who decided that 5 rounds would be a good idea. In any case, it was an excellent and nicely random workout.

"The Plate of Fate"
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of:
Standing Barbell Russian Twist (with 25# plate loaded)
Barbell Side-to-Side Pushup*
1-Arm Barbell Bent-over Row** (R, then L)

* See #11 on this site - push up, and then power yourself over the barbell, and land with the opposite hand on the end.

** See #3.

"Injustice is relatively easy to bear; it is justice that hurts."
- H.L. Mencken