Catching up again

So yesterday finally was my L1 test. Done and done. I think I did well except for a few outlier questions that gave me HARD time, but I just don't spend too much time thinking about the myriad ways one can express power output and functional recruitment of musculature from core to extremities. We'll see how that goes, and I cannot wait to see how the L2 testing eventually turns out. Having passed it once, I am ready to be tested again and hope I do as well the 2nd time.

Last week's training:
-Monday and Wednesday's lifts I varied slightly. Instead of working to heavy single I limited it to 7 attempts total and for the dynamic sets instead of working up to a set across I did a few warm-ups and then started low, increasing weight with each reps.

Mon: C&J worked up to 190 in 6 singles, repeated 190 due to a slow press out at the top of the jerk. Snatch started at 105, did 15 singles, worked up to 150FLx3, did 145FLx1, made it for 3 then did 150

Tues: PM BS 250 3x5 then 1k row 3:47.9

Weds: AM- 5 triples working to a heavy 3 rep snatch for the day, worked up to 130 for 3 then did C&J on the 2:00x10 worked up to 200 on 9th, made it. 205 on the tenth didn't fare as well. Got under it and bailed. PM-Nate RX 12 rds 2 m/u and 1 HSPU attempt... 4 rd & 2 rep PR

Thurs: FS 3 sets of 5 at 215. No Conditioning.

Tiffany and I discussed doing a month of the mainpage to challenge ourselves. I wonder if that's even possible anymore. More to follow on that.


FGB 6 time.


by Scott Zagarino

Marble starts out as a chunk of stone rooted in the ground that resists removal from its station mightily. It takes brute force to uproot it from its place. Then as an ugly, stubborn chunk it has to be moved by heavy equipment to a place to be cut, shaped and polished until what was once an ugly piece of the earth becomes a beautiful, hard surface brought into service as a floor or a kitchen counter.

There is one more purpose it serves that rises far above the mundane household uses. What was once of the earth becomes of the spirit when it marks a life no longer lived. Most times it marks the cradle to grave passing of a person of the everyday accomplishment of a father, son, brother, sister or friend.

But occasionally there is a rock dug from the earth meant to mark an extraordinary and heroic life. Not long ago I stood before just that special piece of marble on a small piece of ground off the beaten path at the Special Operations Warrior memorial wall in Florida. As I walked from the parking lot and caught my first glance of the yards of cool black marble inscribed to honor and memorialize men and women who had given the most precious thing given to all of us, their lives, I began to feel. It was a feeling of appreciation that any words I write here could not begin to describe.

The black, veined rock had come to a confluence of rest with the souls of people who walk among us but not with us. There was one name I searched for because I knew at least a part of the story that caused the marble slab to bear his name. After walking around the memorial feeling more and more a mixture of sadness, appreciation and a kind of awe took over that I may have felt sometime before, but couldn't remember when.

Then as if I had always been meant to stand in that place, I found myself standing in front of a small, square piece of black marble with the carefully carved inscription, "Lt Michael P Murphy." I disappeared into a sobbing, shattered shadow of the person I had been when I'd woken in my hotel that morning. What was left of Lt Murphy was not a piece of rock, it was a reminder of the heights each of us are capable of rising to from one singular motivation. A motivation I, and most of us, rarely recognize, acknowledge or ever have the chance to act on. A motivation that is the very quality we each squander daily as we race through our lives of never enough. A motivation that makes everything else in the world pale and disappear into the background. The motivation wrought by our total and complete love for our brothers and sisters.

For Michael Murphy, that meant making the choice to stand up, as bullets flew through and by him, pick up a satellite phone and make a phone call that I am sure he knew would be the last act of this life. That phone call was a plea for anyone on the other end to please come to the rescue of his brothers who were being torn apart by enemy fire that there was no escape from. And then Lt Michael Murphy was gone.

But I met Michael Murphy. I met him on a wall sitting in a patch of grass in a small field in Florida. I met him, because that piece of marble that had been so stubborn and rugged would forever stand in that place to remind me, and anyone who stands before it, we all have a chance to rise. We all have a chance to give and serve something precious to us to someone and something bigger than ourselves.

Before I left that place, I rubbed my hand across that cold, dark slab and made a vow to Lt Murphy. Writing this now it may sound insignificant given what he'd given me, but I promised him that as long as there was a Fight Gone Bad I would do everything I could to make sure he was not forgotten, and that as many people as I could reach would not forget him either. At least for seventeen minutes once a year.

On September 17th, every one of us has a chance to rise above ourselves, throw some money in the hat for the people we can help, and say thank you to Lt. Michael Murphy for reminding us who we can be. He gave us the chance to be heroic in our own way.

Let us not, in the words of Theodore Roosevelt, "....be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

Lt. Murphy will never stand or lie in that place.

I hope you'll join us this year on September 17th.



Same day, different week.

Saturday returns and I'm still lifting, still WODing and still behind on everything I do. Oh and yesterday I turned 36. We celebrated with a nice dinner out and followed it up by attending a 3 hour Olympic Weightlifting seminar with Ben Claridad at CrossFit Monterey.

This week saw another PR and some random METCONs at pretty heavy weight.

Mon: Worked up to a 150 snatch and hit 180 C&J every 2:00 for 8 min.
Tues: AM--3x5 Back Squat @ 240 and Tabata KB swing w/53lb (9) Followed immediately by 2:00 D/U (53) PM--max weighted M/U 55Lb vest, 3x5 Press @105
Weds: Offcycle WOD, 3RM OHS PR @185, and PR 1 RM OHS @ 200, then 5 rds of 5 DL @275, 5 deadhang P/U and 5 burpee box jumps in 6:00
Thurs: FS 3 sets of 5 at 205 then 5 rds of shasta run, 15 box jumps (24) and 15 95lb thrusters

And today, working for about 3 hours on points of performance on the Snatch, Clean and Jerk I worked up to a PR 205Lbs Clean and Jerk. Ben and his crew put on a great clinic, I was very happy to learn what they offer.


L1 test, what?!

Sitting here in San Jose, reading (well... blogging but I should be reading) the revised CrossFit Level 1 handbook, I'm forced to realize how many different irons I have in the fire. So much to fill a plate, when does it end.

PRs this past 10 days:
Max muscle ups in 10 minutes
Consequetive bar muscle ups
and most importantly...


...the snatch.

We went to the CF Games, my nephew came to visit for a week. I got my first perfect score on an Algebra quiz since... well, probably the first one ever.

Oh, and I spoke with Greg Amundson of CF Santa Cruz OG/CF Amundson fame about this little CF Jarhead project of mine. It might not be such a dead letter office deal after all, or who knows, maybe CF NPS was a better idea after all.

Now I sit here all not studying to take my L1 exam, so I can get all bona-fide and such. Between this beautiful lady who enthralls me, the CrossFit stuff, writing a few papers and taking some quizzes, it is what I call my life. Simple and unelegant but utterly mine and I wouldn't trade it for a thing.


Haven't been on the ball

But I have been in the gym. I've also been hosting my nephew I am and giving him an intro to CrossFit and life in graduate school. I don't think he's impressed that algebra never goes away, and surprisingly he likes 7am gym time.


Everything is better with BACON

... incredibly, even bacon.

Vosges Applewood Smoked Salt & Bacon 82% Cacao chocolate bars are not only bacony goodness, they are also the fuel that I speculate has made me hit two PRs in the past 48 hours.

-Over a minute off my Fran time, 4:48
-10 Lb deadlift PR, 365lbs.

I blame the bacon I snaked on over a few nights this week. Or maybe it's the Games high from last weekend, I don't care. Pass the bacony goodness.


Catching up

Yesterday, returned to the barbell for the snatch and the clean and jerk.

Heavy Snatch:
warmed up pretty fast, and it took 3 attempts to pull 145 but it was solid in the end.

Clean and Jerk Volume: warmed up pretty high, didn't have any missed lifts for 10 reps of 175lbs every 2 minutes. Jerks didn't feel very fast or very strong this week.

On a gear note I bought some strength wraps at the Games in the vendor village. They felt much better than a few layers of cloth tape. I feel like they're going to more than earn back what I paid for them. Now I need a good 4 inch belt.


Another beginning

Lots of things learned over the 2011 Games Weekend. I have had a lot of time to reconsider why I train and think about how I train. Consistency has been my greatest flaw, so its got to be my focus this year as the 2012 Open approaches.

Will I make the Games? I have no idea, but I will try to make Regionals, wither individually or as a team. Whether realistic of not, that's my goal.

Yesterday 7AM:
5RM Back Squat, warmed up with 95, 135, 185 and hit 225 for 4 then 2. Definite strength gains shown, but not as much as I'd like.
This was followed by 3 rounds for time of 12 70lb swings, 12 24 inch box jumps and 500m hill runs. 8 min thrity-something, I didn't quite hear my time.

Yesterday at around Noon:
Very breif warm-Up and Stretch, followed by 3 rounds of 5 repsof:
175lb Pendlay Row
35lb weighted Pull Ups

I've decided to add pulling and pushing weighted Strength components to my two conditioning days during the week. I like the idea of increased volume, and I need the increased exposure to more exercises. While I'm no genius at programing I think that if I only do the Snatch & C&J than I'll only get stronger there. If I increase the number of exercises slightly, with some variety, it will provide the breadth and depth of strength I am looking for in an increased general physical preparation.

For pulling days I've picked Pendlay Rows, Sumo Deadlift High Pulls and Weigted pull ups. I'll cycle through these three exercises doing two each week, added weight each time, and alternating between 5x3 and 3x5.

For pushing days I thought that weighted push ups, presses and (shudder) bench press should do the trick. Again alternating between 3x5 and 5x3 and rotating exercises each 'pushing' day.

Along with that I finally went with a protein & recovery drink plan... PROGENEX got me. Since getting into Olympic Lifting I've leaned out, probably due to volume, to a bodyweight hovering right between 165-168. I'd like to add 15-20 lbs of muscle between now and New Years. I'll try to keep a record of any perceived effects to my general health or well-being. Since I've walked around at 180 before, I know I can do it. But that was years ago and I completely stopped running in that time. This time I want it to be good, lean muscle that won't go away as soon as I run a bit or stop supplementing.


At the old HQ, CrossFit MECCA in 2007