This is a post I will probably massage a bit, but I wanted to archive my running personal records (PRs). In 1989, I was in my senior year at Germantown High School running both Cross Country and Track.
1988 was fall Cross Country season and my best 3 mile effort was 18:05. While not competitive among my fellows, it is still a remarkable achievement to me. At 17 years of age and at 140 lb, I was pretty fast.
1989 was spring Track Season. I typically ran the mile, 2 mile and 2 mile relay. The event that sticks in my mind is the JV championship event (yes, even as a senior, I was not fast enough to make the varsity team). I was in the first heat and leading most of the way running a 5:20 mile 1 split and a 5:30 mile 2 split for a 10:50 personal best in the 2 mile. The 5:20 also happened to be my best recorded 1 mile.
Now as I struggle to run an 8 minute mile or even a 1:45 400 meters, it is difficult to wrap my head around running 70 second 400 meter repeats with a relatively short amount of rest.
It is pretty rare that I talk to someone who gets me amped about body building. Typically I enjoy talking workouts, but will rarely receive nutrition advice well. Tyler happens to have been U.S. Special Forces and was a competitive body builder prior to a workplace injury that has had him recovering from traumatic brain injury and facial reconstruction. He is also an aeronautical engineer who was working in commercial fire mitigation. He is currently planning on getting back in the gym under the guidance of a physical trainer. I will paraphrase and then expound on a couple of the topics we discussed.
Tyler - "As an engineer, you must be really dialed in on your nutrition. How much protein do you consume daily"
Me - "I don't really track, I typically eat a 2500 calorie carb heavy diet with only 10-15% of my calories coming from protein."
This opening got us started on nutrition and he had a few strategies for eating clean. Rather than an elimination diet, eat your clean foods first. For example drink a gallon of water for the day before you have soda. Eat your vegetables before you have a cookie. Strategically you will be satiated and will either not drink the soda or eat the cookies, or worst case scenario eat less. He also recommended a protein supplement to make sure your ratio of proteins to carbohydrates is 2:1.
If my current diet still hovers around 2500 calories, 60% carbs, 30% fats and 10% protein. That puts me at 214 grams of carbs, 83 grams of fats and 62 grams of protein. I think it is quite reasonable to supplement 20 grams of protein a day to get that number up. Also starting with vegetables is reminiscent of the 800 gram challenge.
Tyler - "So what do you do for abs"
Me - "Well...."
This was interesting, because I have always held enough extra weight that "six pack" abs were never on my radar. However, that doesn't mean I should limit myself to abmat sit-ups once a week at best. Tyler's recommendation was laying on your back arms holding onto the couch and do slow leg raises and lowers. Repeat on the sides to get the obliques. Train until you feel it, but not to failure.
This corresponds to what I read in Draper's book about always starting with ab work to get the core primed.
Tyler - "How many pull-ups can you do"
Me - "3 strict pull-ups"
Tyler - "I bet you could do 8 in a month if you worked at it every day"
I had no intention of adjusting my training, but somehow felt good about this. For 30 days, I would work on pull-ups (he suggested mixing in switch grip work) and track my progress. The stakes are $5 from a baseline of 3 pull-ups. If I get the 8, I am not sure if I owe him $5 or he owes me $5. Either way, I have some skin in the game.
Atalanta is a heroine in Greek mythology who was a fierce warrior and always happy. The name was applied to the 2020 Crossfit Games final event which called for the following while wearing a 20/14# weighted vest:
1 mile run
1 mile run
My scaled version started off OK with a 5 minute run and the HSPU broken up 3/1/1. The pistols were OK, but the pull-ups were kipping singles. I finished the first round in about 3:30 and then things went to hell. The next few rounds were around 5 minutes with a 2/1/1/1 rep scheme on the HSPU, pistols and kipping singles. The last round was a little slower and I finished in 29:17 and took off on the final run which was also slower, finishing the WOD in 34:43
Run 1 - 5:00
Round 1 - 3:30 (8:30)
Round 2 - 5:00 (13:30)
Round 3 - 5:00 (18:30)
Round 4 - 5:00 (23:30)
Round 5 - 5:47 (29:17)
Run 2 - 5:26 (34:43)
It was a huge mental win to accomplish that volume of HSPU and pull-ups. I could have managed a tougher scale on the pistols, but it worked out well to have a break between tougher movements. As I was slowing down, I put an arbitrary 20 minute cap on the rounds of Mary, but fortunately pushed through that. In the 20 minute Mary window, I managed 4 Rounds + 4 Reps.
Programming was adapted from Crossfit.com which called for Mary or Cindy (20 minute AMRAPS). I through in the run as an homage to the games athletes that got it done last weekend.
It may be time to pull the trigger on the La Yunta 75" Strongman Yoke. I originally wanted to get the 93" as it made more sense for use as a rack and potentially a pull-up implement as well. As I am purchasing for my basement, I am going to go with the 75" version. This should still be tall enough.
I did reach out to Raptor Fitness Supplier on a couple of questions
1. Is is 2x3" or 3x3" 11 gauge steel? - It is 3x3" 11 gauge steel
2. What is the clearance of the crossbar on the highest setting? - 73.5" on the highest setting, they recommend I get the 93" yoke.
3. Is it compatible with the Rex Series spotter arms? It is
Otherwise I am ready to go with $135 spotter arms, $425 75" yoke, less 5% with SAVE5NOW and $44.16 in tax for a total of $576.16.
Not cheap, but certainly in the realm of what is reasonable.
The nearest competitor for me is the $259 REP PR-1050 Short Home Gym Power Rack. It also features a 48"x48" foot print and is 72" tall. It has 2x2" 14 gauge steel without the bench press spacing, but it does have weight horns for added stability. I am surprised that it is 144 lbs. The La Yunta Yoke is 180 lbs and is obviously heavier gauge steel and larger proportions. The Rep alternative is unfortunately out of stock.
It is amazing to me that my home gym expenditure pre-covid was $1,753 and post-covid has been $2,223. Granted a big chunk of that was the Concept 2 Rower at $990. The second most useful piece has been the $150 timer. The Bumper plates and dumbbells were nice upgrades, but at $563 were more luxuries rather than necessities. Similarly the Yoke at $532 is a luxury as I can continue to squat and bench in the garage. Surprisingly, the other nonsense I have purchased adds up to $520 (Steel Mace, Rower Hanger, Curl Barbell, Bands, Flag, Silencer Pads, 20 kg Competition KB and a Plate Carrier).
Considering the only thing I need it for is a squat rack and bench press, I feel like I can get by without those two movements or even opt for a $45/month membership at BeStrong Strength and Conditioning. I must admit that working and training from home has worked out really well for me.
To share the theme of "If you buy a moose a muffin," now I am obviously going to need another barbell. But this will be a reasonably priced Rep Fitness 15kg Saber barbell.
10/27/2020 UPDATE: Upon further consideration, it makes a lot more sense for me to go with a squat stand from Raptor Fitness Supplier. Although I like the idea of doing yoke carries and loading a stone over a yoke, in all likelihood I will only be using the implement for back squat and bench press. It is beefy enough to use safely at home. With tax and free local pick-up, I am out the door at $473.27 ($325 + $135, less 5% + $36.27 tax). The closest competition is the Rogue SML-1 at $365 + $162.75 for the spotter arms + $89.26 shipping + $27.78 tax = $644.79.
10/28/2020 UPDATE: Upon much further consideration, I am now considering a custom height 84" Yoke. I am guessing this will run me an extra $30 for the yoke and put me closer to $600. I am sure the extra $130 is a bit of a waste, but I can live with that.
I did these at 225# and felt really smooth. I could have gone heavier
20 Hang Power Snatches
20 Box Jumps
20/15 cal row
Barbell - 75/55#
I scaled this to 45#, a 20 inch box and subbed 40 double unders for the row. I finished the first round in 9:08 and the second round at 18:42. I managed another 10 thrusters before time expired. Despite reducing the weight, I still had to do sets of 10/10 for the barbell movements. The first round of DU took me 3 sets, the second round took me 4 sets. This was pretty tough. I originally expected to be able to get 3-4 rounds, but that ended up being pretty unreasonable.
With the colder weather I had transitioned my gym to the basement, but cannot do anything overhead there so I went back to the garage which despite the 15 degree F temperature outside, was a relatively comfortable 45 degrees F inside. The biggest challenge was the cold barbell. I ended up wearing glove for the workout which took a little getting used to.
Deadlift programming was from CFG and the Metcon was from Comptrain.
The 10 fittest men and women were tested October 23-25 in Aromas, CA. I was impressed with the social distancing and media coverage. It was certainly a series of tests, that I would not contemplate tangling with.
1500 meter row
then, 5 rounds of
10 bar muscle-up
7 shoulder to overhead (145/235#)
These guys moved the bar, like I move a 65# barbell
320 meter hill sprint with a corn sack (30/50#)
This was difficult to gage, but I have a hard enough time on a 20 meter hill unburdened
1RM Back Squat
1RM Shoulder Press
I should test this sometime.
100 yard handstand walk
~3 mile run on varying terrain and then turn around and go back.
This twist at the end was bullshit, but the athletes sucked it up.
30-20-10 reps for time
KB lunge (yards) (24/32 kg kettlebells)
This might be a fun one to try scaled.
Snatch Speed Triple
Elimination event with bars from 145-185 for ladies and 225-285 for men. The athletes managed the first two rounds, but nearly all failed reps at the end.
10 rounds for time of
440 meter bike sprint
1 legless rope climb
This was a quick event that allowed some athletes to show off their bike handling on the Trek Dual Sport 4. If you could race down and spin the back wheel around you could dramatically improve your times.
200-300 meter hill run
5-7-9-11 reps of
Thruster (increasing weight up to 115 for ladies and 165 for men)
Swim 'N' Stuff
4 rounds each for time
Air Bike calories (10/15)
50 m swim
10 GHD sit-ups
10 slam balls (40/60#)
This was interesting as it was scored on cumulative time. I have no interest in attempting GHD sit-ups and dead ball slams wet. I did get an interest in buying a 30# slam ball from Rep Fitness.
Sprint Sled Sprint
100 yard sprint
100 yard sled push
100 yard spring
This event created quite a bit of separation.
With a 14#/20# weight vest:
1 mile run
1 mile run
I was amazed at how the athletes made short work of this. Considering that I can only occasionally manage a HSPU, cannot do a pistol and could maybe get singles on pull-ups. Nowhere near that volume.
They were sporting the Rogue Plate Carrier (the $125 version that comes in 3 sizes, S-M-L). I am not quite sure how they came up with weights.
Overall, I though it was a great series of tests for elite athletes it was across short and long time domains testing power and endurance. The small field certainly made for quite a bit of jockeying around of the leaderboard. Aside from bragging rights:
First Place - $300K
Second Place - $115K
Third Place - $75K
Fourth Place - $50K
Fifth Place - $35K - Karie Pierce turned in $40K event at the end, moving from 5th to 3rd.
I did feel bad for Haley Adams with her hands torn to shreds after the volume of pull-ups. I was also relieved there were no known injuries during the trail runs or on the GHD sit-ups while soaking wet.
While not at the top of my list anymore, I decided to buy a Plate Carrier and Plates. I saw an ad on Facebook Marketplace offering an off brand (unbranded, looks kind of like Red Rock Outdoor Gear, but not sure) plate carrier and (2) sets of plates. A Rogue 5.75# Lazer Cut Pair and a Rogue 8.75# Lazer Cut Pair. The owner purchased both sets so that it could be used as an Rx set up for men or women. The set up also had a leather patch.
Retail, even knock off vests go for $90 + shipping. The Rogue plates go for $43 and $56 respectively, with shipping and tax you are looking at $126. Finally the leather patch is another $9.50 from Rogue and at least $5 from a knock off. Overall, I estimated $200 retail, plus another $40 shipping. The used price was $120 which I thought was fair. Everything was in pristine condition. The 8.75# plates were still in the box from Rogue.
2.60 mile run (10:39/mile pace) around Pomona Lake Number 2. I was dreading going out and this is my first "cold" run of the year. I guess real runners do not consider 35 degrees cold, but it was to me. I bundled up with a trucker hat and my mitten style gloves. My UA lightweight jogging pants were good, but my Saucony top was a little thin. I should have opted for a light jacket. Anyway, a good workout and a mental win.
Round 3 - cumulative 5:20 11/17/2 DU, unbroken SU and PU
Round 4 - xx 5 sets to complete the DU, unbroken SU and PU
Round 5 - xx 3 sets to complete the DU, 13/2 SU, 8/2 PU
Round 6 - unbroken DU, 10/5 SU, 6/4 PU (strategic breaks)
I finished in 13:09. I do not feel like I went out too hot, I feel like my double unders just need a little more work. 2:00 minutes a round feels right if I go unbroken on the dubs and take strategic breaks on the sit-ups and push-ups.
Programming was modified from Vintage Crossfit which called for:
800 m run
3 rounds of
50 double unders
25 ab-mat sit-ups
800 m run
3 rounds of
50 double unders
25 ab-mat sit-ups
800 m run
It was raining and I cannot row and do double unders in the same space. Further the thought of 300 double unders, 150 sit-ups and 90 push-ups seemed like a terrible idea.
The HSPU was taken from Crossfit Golden programming which called for Push Jerks and then a Metcon with rowing, C2B and max effort HSPU.
This was tougher than expected. I was prepared for a long workout, I was not prepared for my hamstrings to start tightening up on the second round. I should have warmed up a little more. I finished in 28:56 and it was a mental win for me to not scale the volume. 1.25 miles of running, 100 wall ball shots and 100 alternating lunges is no joke.
Round 1 - 5:00
Round 2 - 5:20 (10:20)
Round 3 - 6:00 (16:20)
Round 4 - 6:20 (22:40)
Round 5 - 6:16 (28:56)
Programming was from Crossfit Golden for 10.21.20 which called for a 20/14# wall ball and a 24/16 kg kettlebell.
Supposedly, I have a 1RM of 95# set back on June 26, 2019. I obviously neglect Olympic weightlifting. Nevertheless, I managed the first complex at 45, 55, 55, 55# (58% of 1RM). I managed the second complex at 65# (68% of 1RM). I was pleased with my movement and those numbers, although I am still disgruntled with my large diameter barbell. I really need to get a 15 kg barbell.
Buy In - 75 Calorie Row
15 Box Jump Over (24")
I finished the row in a little over 6 minutes and then only managed 1 round plus 12 reps.
The weightlifting was taken from Crossfit Golden. The metcon was modified from Comptrain's "Round and Round" which called for 75 calories on the bike erg, C2B rather than pull-ups and Double DB Power Clean rather than burpees.
I found myself in the enviable position of being up early while on vacation so I headed to the hotel gym at the Hampton Inn in Alamosa.
It was well appointed with (3) treadmills, elliptical and recumbent bike. It also had (2) nautilus adjustable benches, 3 med balls, dumbbells from 5-75# in 5# increments (custom Hampton Fitness logos), an exercise ball and a gymnastics mat.
I hopped on the treadmill for 3 min (3 mph), 4 min (5.4 mph) and 3 min (3 mph). I really wasn't feeling it.
Then I started with dumbbells
10x15 - curls
10x20 - curls
8x25 - curls
3x8x30 - shoulder press
I finished with 50 air squats and 30 push-ups.
Overall, it was a nice little 30 minute workout to get the blood pumping.
23:29.7 I set out and was able to substantially maintain a 2:20 / 500 m pace. I was around 24-25 strokes/minute the whole time, slowing down in the middle and picking it up at the end. This was a good test that I would like to repeat.
4/3/2015 - 24:15.7 (Crossfit Undeniable)
6/1/2016 - 24:08 (Oracle Gym)
11/22/2016 - 22:25.2 (Oracle Gym)
2 strict pull-ups
Warmed up with some kip swings and scap pull-ups. I was able to complete these without issue.
I bagged on the programming and just wanted to get the blood pumping and some skill work.
2.57 mile (10:20 pace) run on Little Dry Creek Trail around Pomona Lake Number 2
Sunday I took a day off as I was feeling pretty wiped out and I felt a twinge in my left shoulder blade. That resolved and then I found myself with 2 long days at work and had to skip workouts Monday and Tuesday. While not high intensity, it was nice to get back after it today.
Target was 75-80% of 1RM. As I haven't done much Olympic Lifting in a while, I used 135# for a max and 105# for the clean complex. It ended up being a good weight and I felt confident under the sets.
500 m row
1 legless rope climb (max effort)
10 hand release push-ups
15 abmat sit-ups
This was as tough as expected. was keeping a 2:20ish pace on the rower, the legless rope climbs sucked and I went hand over hand about 3 times. The HRPU and sit-ups were unbroken. I finished with 4 Rounds + 1 Row at the 20 minute clock.
Programming was modified from CFG Strength and Vintage Crossfit metcon.
April 30, 2020 - last virtual coached workout through CFG
October 6, 2020 - marks 176 workouts without CFG structure
89 of those were my programming - 70 monostructural activities and 19 WODs
33 were CFG programming
31 were Sharkk Fitness classes
13 were comptrain
8 were from crossfit.com
1 was from vintage crossfit
So over 5 months, I continue to train 6-7 days per week. I leaned heavily on CFG programming and have very much enjoyed getting back into running. In fact, I hit a tipping point at which my speeds began to improve.
I have been neglecting Olympic Weightlifting
Powerlifting is going OK. I would like to SBD more often.
Crossfit Skills have been hit or miss. I have worked on HSPU, but neglected DU, lunges, pull-ups and T2B
Monostructural I have done well on. I would like to ride my bike more.
I have been neglecting Strongman training.
Training at Sharkk Fitness was a fun diversion. I enjoyed learning the mace, kickboxing and Dutch drills. I could easily see myself getting a heavy bag for my next (hopefully expanded) home gym.
My gym space feels pretty good. Over the past 6 months, I have added a tire, timer, more plates, rubber coated dumbbells, rower, curl barbell, some flags, a 10# mace, silencer pads and a competition kettlebell. By far the most important purchase this year was the timer. I would like to get some storage, but otherwise want for nothing. If I continue with comptrain programming it would be nice to have an Echo Bike and a GHD, but those are bulky and heavy and would not fit in my current space. I want to have a banner printed for the gym as well, but am running out of wall space. It would be nice to have 400 square feet with 15 foot ceilings, but that is wishful thinking.
Most often used:
Rack w/pull-up bar
Least often used:
Strengths - Training consistently
Weaknesses - Need more variety and should add in more Olympic Lifting and Strongman
Opportunities - Should really take this time to have technique sessions
I worked up from 105, 115, 125, 130 and failed 135#
Push Press (Max Reps)
Every 3 minutes, for 6 minutes (2 sets):
Max Reps @ 80-85% of 1RM
I again used 95#, but stopped at 8 reps each set.
3 Rounds for time of:
21 Kettlebell Swings, 53# / 35#
This was a repeat 3/16/20 and 6/24/19 when I finished in 14:14 and 13:12 respectively. Looking back on the old times, I am feeling better about my performance today:
Round 1: 4:38
Round 2: 9:33 (4:55)
Round 3: 14:16 (4:43)
I used 35# for the KBS and went unbroken. On my previous Helen efforts, I used a 26# KB. The pull-ups were fast kipping singles and that certainly has the most room for improvement. I considered using my new 44# KB, but after a few warm up swings, it was feeling pretty heavy.
I bought a 20KG kettlebell from Simpson's Fitness Supply and picked it up this afternoon. It looks great out of the box and the handle has a good feel.
The last time I did KB swings, I felt like I should have gone heavier. I kind of regretted selling my 24 KG kettlebell, but honestly it rarely saw any use because it was too heavy for me. I decided to split the difference and go for 20KG. I also was intent on getting a competition kettlebell. While my Rep Fitness KB is great, I do like the wider handle. I think the narrower handles are fine for single arm stuff.
These all went up pretty good, which surprised me as 295# felt not great last week.
10 Rounds for Time (20:00 cap)
10 DB deadlift (50#)
10 Lateral burpee over DB
This was as brutal as expected. I was quite pleased with myself for mentally staying in the game to do 70 burpees with jumps over the DBs every time. First round was just under 2 minutes. I finished the fourth round around 10 minutes, then things started to unravel. Overall I managed 7 Rounds + 10 Reps before my self imposed 20 minute cap.
Programming was from Crossfit Golden, who was doing the workout without a cap. Had I been in class, I likely would have opted for step overs.
3.84 mile run (11:32) pace along Rocky Mountain Greenway Trail and then west along Standley Lake. I wasn't really feeling it today and was pleasantly surprised with my pace. I opted to head west rather than east to change things up.
I saw the cap and scaled this right out of the gate. 90 pull-ups is not something my body was ready for and rather than doing ring rows, I decided to scale the reps. I opted for:
20 Power Snatch (65#)
20 Box Jump Over (20")
30 Calorie row
The power snatches started with a set of 5 and then doubles the first round. They were singles the following two rounds. The box jump overs were steady and 20" was a good height. I started the pull-ups with 5 strict, but the remaining 25 were kipping singles. The row was good.
Round 1 - 9:17
Round 2 - 19:52 (10:45)
Round 3 - 30:15 (10:23) - I finished with a strong row, "Eye of the Tiger" came on Sirius - Road Trip Radio.
Programming was based on Comptrain for today. I have been wanting some more Olympic lifting and pull-ups and realized I had not done box jumps in a long time.