Tuesday, August 26, 2014

5,000 swings later...

So I'm halfway through the 10,000 Kb challenge, and at this point I'm bored.  I'm pretty sure that it has a lot to do with my personality.  I get easily distracted by shiny objects.  One thing I will say about the program is that my grip strength has improved vastly and my posterior chain does not fatigue nearly as quickly as when I first started.  I haven't done any running (my plantar fasciitis is killing me right now and I'm giving it a rest) but I feel like my cardio has definitely improved.

The first workout I did went on for nearly thirty minutes.  The last workout I completed was near twenty one and a half minutes.  So, I'm definitely getting stronger and I feel like it's doing the job that T-nation touts.

A few tips for these workouts- Do some PVC twists, good mornings, shoulder pass throughs and some over head squats to warm your body up.  I usually started each workout with four rounds of the above for 10-15 reps each.  Depending on how much of a rush I was in.  (I'm a family man and like a quick workout).  Warming up is key for me these days.  I'm not the twenty something that I used to be and find that loosening up and getting warm has definitely decreased my incidence of injuries since starting Crossfit or "functional training"

The KB challenge recipe calls for a five rep max load to be placed on the bar.  To be safe for the first few workouts, I'd recommend dropping that weight by about 20% and make sure your form is locked in.  You'd be surprised at how quickly your posterior chain will be crushed and you'll be tempted to get sloppy on form.  Sloppy form = injuries.  Count on it.

The workout called for Press, Dips, Chin ups, and Goblet squats to be performed.  I tweaked this a little bit and used the Weighted chins and Front Squat or Back squats (alternating) in lieu of the associated movements.  I think it's a good sub, especially if you're looking to continue to make some sort of strength gains.

Mental toughness- this workout calls for a lot of it.  It's hard to keep swinging a KB for 500 reps per workout.  Almost mind numbing.  However the workout really tests you in this area.  It's testing me... I start to drift mentally in the middle of the workouts and frequently lose count.  My punishment for this is starting back at zero.  It's also tempting to drop the KB in the middle of your set of 50 and just convince yourself to take a breath and rest for a few seconds... don't do it.  Like I mentioned on a previous post, give yourself micro-goals to keep yourself going.

Personal thought of the day- I said "freaking" the other day and my seven year old called me out on it.  She said I said a bad word and that I was an example for her and should stop.  She was right.  I generally do my best to not cuss and be an example of the man I want her to marry when she gets older.  Be an example for your children.  Teach them consequence, teach them patience, teach them respect.  The world is falling short in many of these areas.

Happy lifting and until next time!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Kettlebell and the Front squat

As I said before, I'm doing this KB challenge on T-nation.  It's a really good workout, but if you're prone to being distracted by shiny objects, it's probably not the right workout for you.  The reason I chose it is that there is a goal in mind.  TEN THOUSAND SWINGS with a 53lb. KB.  That's a lot of work over the course of four weeks.

Today I decided to sub the goblet squat with the front squat.  I used 135, because I was unsure of how I would tolerate the rep scheme between KB swings and I guessed wrong.  I should have used a heavier weight.  I did manage to go unbroken (no missed reps) but I practiced a little mantra to keep me going.  Chris Spealler of CF fame talked about it on his blog... it's just a little motivation to keep you going.  Tonight for me the mantra was "It doesn't own me".  Sounds lame, but it worked.  I gave myself micro-goals when I was getting tired, too.  Spealler also mentions this in a mental toughness blog he did.  Just tell yourself, "three more reps... ok another three... ok two more..." so on and so forth.  The mental trick is actually handy.

A few random thoughts throughout the day-

Nutrition is key.  I ordinarily eat like crap, but I've got an amazing wife who cooks dinner nightly, which affords me the opportunity to take leftovers to work.  Healthy meals give me fuel.  Water- I've been drinking about 160 oz. of water a day.  I think that's a little over a gallon a day.  That's just what I monitor.  I have a few glasses at night and in the morning, as well.

Be patient and use kind words.  I'm in a business of directing people, giving orders and just being militant, in general.  It's hard to turn that off at home.  I've been working on this because I have a young girl at home that looks up to me and a loving wife that supports me.  I have a long commute home and it helps with the process.  I'm not perfect, but I'm working on it.  Just be nice.  It pays back in the end and makes your life easier.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Random Thoughts

I'm taking this blog on a different kind of turn.  I'm also going to add some new items here and there. For those that were following, this blog started as a journal of sorts.  It was a journal of my fitness adventure with CF.  I still CF... at least I like to call it that.  I don't stick to the same stuff.  I avoid globogyms unless they have a piece of equipment I don't already own in my garage.  I still practice "functional movements across broad domains".  I still agree with randomization.  I still all those principles that make Crossfit what it is.

However, I'll start posting about other things.  Medicine.  Family.  Life.  Adventures.  Academia.  Parenting.  It's sort of a vomitus of my brain and what's on my mind.  It's cheap therapy and it puts my thoughts out there for anyone to comment, or who feels like suffering through my attempts at blogging.  I might start adding tabs to make it more coherent.  We'll see how it goes.

Thanks for continuing to follow.  I appreciate the support.  

Side note- I started the 10,000 KB swing challenge on T-Nation. - http://www.t-nation.com/workouts/10000-swing-kettlebell-workout - It's killing my hands, but I like the challenge.  Just gonna do this as a quick break from CF.  After that, I'll be at CF with a strength bias again.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mortal Crossfit

So, I joined this box.  I didn't really know what to expect.  I've been CFing in my garage box for the better part of the past three years now.  Most of it has been off and on.  Especially throughout PA school.  Prior to PA school, it was game on though- you'll notice on the blog that there is a significant lapse between 2010-2012.

I met with the owner, a really nice guy and he showed me around.  It was exactly what I expected.  Horsestall mats, old bars, that smell of sweat mixed with cleaner mixed with metal.  Most of all what stood out were the flags at the end of the box.  It's one thing that I certainly appreciate about CF boxes.  American flag and the service flags- you can feel the patriotism in a box.  It was awesome.  Absolutely awesome.  The people there are great too.  They're not angry 20-30 something year olds with a chip on their shoulder and something to prove (most of my patients and peers).  They're normal everyday people that love fitness and want to get better at life, they want to get better at everything.

I've been completing most of the WODs there as rx.  But, I have certainly noticed that I'm not as conditioned as I once was.  In fact, I'm terribly deconditioned.  My times are off and I've got to dial my diet back in. I've been dieting with limited success.  I'm definitely feeling leaner, but I'm not dropping the weight like I'd like to.  Unfortunately that's a problem for body types like mine- Mesomorphs.  Mesomorphs are notorious for getting into or getting back into shape relatively quickly, but we also put on fat easily and have to really pay attention to the diet.  My approach recently has been just cutting junk out, and I've started juicing.  I really like this mean green recipe I got and don't feel any lethargy at all.  Generally speaking, I've been doing a mean green and protein shake (each) about three times per day and having a sensible meal in the evenings.  It's also convenient for my patient load.  Mornings are crazy and I usually don't get a chance to breathe until noon (I usually get to clinic around 0600).

I've registered for the Crossfit mobility and movement certification.  Looking forward to the certification and a bit curious about how it will go given my recent education in medicine.  The course is designed to address mobility constraints for crossfitters and, I suspect, people off the street.  It's taught by Dr. Kelly Starrett of CF famedom.  His website is here.  What I hope to gain from the course is his approach to athletes (people, in general) with mobility limitations secondary to a sedentary lifestyle or previous injuries.  I'll blog about how it goes.

Workouts this past week have been awesome.  No PRs and nothing crazy.  I will say that my experience at the box has been nothing short of amazing.  Everyone there is so happy and willing to help.  Everyone cheers the next person on and motivates them.  I love that.  It's inspiring to see in action.  It's also quite humbling.

It's good to know that good people are still out there.

Till next time... 3. 2. 1. Go!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Joining a box

I'm going to workout at Mortal Crossfit in Georgetown today.  It's only open gym, but I'm pretty excited.  There's something archaic about the feel of a box.  There is rarely anything shiny around, there's a light coat of chalk on just about everything, and the temperature in the gym is usually within five degrees of the temperature outside.  It just feels like working out should be.  I don't have anything against shiny new equipment, or air conditioning/ heating.... I just like the feel of real.  You know what I mean?

Today I'm going to focus on drilling my clean and jerks, split jerks, and then work on overhead balance with snatches.  My worst lift is definitely the snatch.  It requires so much of the body- balance, shoulder stability, midline stability, and posterior chain strength.  During my open gym sessions, I'm going to focus on Olympic lifts and Gymnastics.  Handstands are getting better because I'm drilling them with my daughter, who's in cheer.

In other news, I'm situated as a PA and school is finally over.  You'll notice that I've had about a two year hiatus from posting anything.  During that time, I spent time doing a lot of short METCONS and occasional heavy lifting- squats, front squats, deadlifts.  The rest of the time was spent walking or jogging at a very slow pace on a treadmill while I read various medical texts.  I had to do what I needed to do stay in shape and make it through school.  So, over the last two years, my conditioning has decreased, and my strength has decreased.  It's my goal to return to my previous shape in the next 4-6 months.

I'll be running a marathon in February.  It's the live strong marathon.  It's a box-check thing.  I absolutely despise the long run days, but I've been using crossfit endurance to get me ready.  I'm a little leary of the programming because the "long run" days never exceed half marathon distance.  We'll see. To help out with nutrition, I've been pounding down an extra 40 grams of whey protein per day and I've increased my fish oil intake to another three pills per day.  I've noticed I'm less sore now that I've done this.  Not sure if that's a diet thing or if it's a conditioning thing.

Take care and happy exercising everyone!

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Today's WOD is Clovis. Run 10 miles and 150 burpee pullups. Partition the distance and burpee pullups as necessary. I'm gonna do this at Georgetown Park.

 It's been a while since I've posted, but I'm determined to do this again. My gym is smaller and I have less time to get things done. I'm gonna try and do mainsite as much as I possibly can. We'll see how that works out.

 In the past two years, I'm certain I've decreased my ability to mentally endure some of the work outs. I feel older, and I'm deconditioned. I also need to dial in my diet. I'll talk more about these things later. I just wanted to kick this one out real quick. Good luck to all hitting this one today.


Friday, September 24, 2010


Drink a six pack for time. Rest. Wake up in the morning and go for a nice run around the neighborhood. Probably 6-8 miles. Intermittent push ups and squats throughout.