140401 – Just Run

HG 015

The sun is out… time to build some mileage.  Speaking of mileage, my buddy Sharpie ran in the Texas Independence Relay this weekend.  Teams of 12 runners challenge themselves on an epic 200 mile run from Gonzales, TX to the San Jacinto Monument on the other side of Houston.  Team members run legs of 4-6 miles each, then tagging the next runner until all 40 legs are completed.  The race has a 60 hour cutoff.

John T did it…… solo.  That so gangsta’ Sharpie.  Here’s John’s Blog.


10k run… or more.

CFV Tuesday WOD


20min AMRAP of…

10x Pushpress @115/85

10x KBS @53/35

10x Box jump 24/20



140331- Heavy Loads Moved Long Distances Quickly


The Olympic lifts are not complicated… quantum physics is complicated.

The Oly lifts are not dangerous… smoking meth is dangerous.

The Oly lifts won’t make you bulky… donuts and TV make you bulky.

Don’t be a Sally… load a bar and lift.

I’m posting early so everyone knows what to expect on 14.5.  As far as strategy on 14.5, break your thrusters 50/50 but don’t stand there looking at it for very long.  Take a couple of breaths and get back on the bar.  Burpees… be steady and methodical… do NOT stop.  This one is all about intestinal fortitude… Dark Place.  I’ll warn you, 18 & 15 are absolutely awful… those two sets suck just about as bad as anything we’ve ever done in the gym… seriously.  Survive them… once you get to 12 pick up the pace… it’s all downhill from there.  How bad do you want it?

Modified Outlaw


1) EMOM for 5sets 2x Power Snatch.  AHAP

2) EMOM for 5 sets 2x Power Clean + 1x Push Jerk.  AHAP


14.5 do’s and redo’s

21, 18, 15, 12, 9 ,6, 3 of

Thruster @95/65#

Bar-facing Burpee

CFV Monday WOD

800m run

21x C&J 155/115

400m run

21x C&J

800m run



140328 – The Dark Place


“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” Ambrose Bierce

Even though the above quote is true, that we often do stupid things out of passion, I believe it has a positive point, that destructive emotions can bring out a side of us that is full of greater potential.

Many times during a grueling physical effort a participant will begin a silent conversation with themselves.  This conversation, for me at least, usually goes to the tune of “holy s#!t this hurts… slow down” during a CF WOD, or “you’ve ran long enough, stop.” during an ultramarathon. It’s something that I fight on a daily basis at the gym and on the trail.  This battle between ourselves is the single most elusive piece of the fitness puzzle. From a performance standpoint it is imperative, as an athlete, that you learn to control (or at least manage) this inner battle.  I have literally talked myself into quitting several races over the years just by giving myself permission to stop if “X” occurs.  Several years ago I had suffered a fractured calcaneus (heel bone), which sidelined me from running for several months.  When I got released from my doctor I made Cactus Rose 50miler my comeback race. It was a 2-loop 25mile course at Hill Country State Natural Area near Bandera.  Even though I still had some residual pain from the injury months earlier, I was going to give it a shot anyway.  A few days before the race I began having doubts and remember saying to myself “if it gets sore it’s ok to drop at 25miles.”  At that very moment my race was doomed before Joe Prusaitis ever yelled “go!”. Come race day that’s exactly what I did, I gave up at 25miles and I regret it to this day.

The mind is the single most important “muscle” an athlete has, and it’s their ability (or lack thereof) to control it which determines their success. The mind is primary.  Every time I watch an elite athlete, be it a CrossFitter or runner, I am amazed at their ability to embrace the activity when it gets hard… to push through this mental threshold and continue to move. Some would say “wow they’re fast” or “can you believe how great of shape they are in?”, but I truly believe what sets elite performers apart from the rest of us is their mental capacity for pain tolerance and their ability to control their emotions. 99% of us will let up when things get tough… we fold to the burning of our lungs, the lactic acid buildup in our muscles, and the aching in our joints.  It’s our basic defense mechanism for survival and what keeps us from pulling out all the stops.  We shy away from this magic land of misery because it f’ing hurts.  The voices in your head that are telling you “take a break, it’s too hard.” get louder and louder, becoming almost the only thought in your mind. But, don’t listen. It’s here where the men (&women) are separated from the mice.  Here is where the switch is flipped to beastmode… what I like to call the “Dark Place”… where we can excel and grow as an athlete and a human being.

The Dark Place is different for everyone, but I think what most people have in common is raw emotions are drawn from our caveman brain.  Emotions of anger, fear, and aggression.  Personally I draw strength from painful past experiences in my life.  Times when I’ve felt utterly powerless against whatever the situation was at the time. Most people would prefer NOT to think about certain awful times in their life, but these “demons” can serve a very powerful and positive purpose when it comes to bringing out one’s greatest potential as an athlete.  This place isn’t pretty, it’s not socially acceptable, and it’s not something you talk about at parties, but we all have one.  When we focus our thoughts on these uncomfortable times we drown out the negative voices pleading us to slow down or stop.  From this chaos emerges a sense of urgency and dire need to push harder… to fight or flight.

At my gym the Dark Place is encouraged and can be seen in many different forms… Deleese’s lifting face, Cody Mack’s f-bombs, Todd’s “YEAH!”, Mander’s grunt, Jabe head-butting the puking clown, and Ana’s 1000yard-stare. I believe letting these demons out to play in an appropriate environment like CFV can be just as healthy as the workout itself. Releasing the penned up stress from the daily grind of life is liberating.  I look back and realize that many times I’ve had a PR was at the end of a terrible day… and some of my best running performances occurred during some very dark and depressing times in my life.  Physical activity is the healthiest form of therapy… forget the anti-depressants and counseling, grab a heavy barbell or hit the trails and run til you puke. Learn to purge the negativity inside you through the iron and fresh air.

Even though all we’re doing is exercising and running, we can all gain an exponential advantage in our workouts/competitions and become healthier happier people in general by practicing this mental game of harnessing destructive emotions. So the next time you’re having a rough time in life or your inner voices are begging you to stop and be satisfied with mediocrity, and they’re telling you “you can’t do it… it’s too hard… you aren’t good enough.” Don’t listen to any of it… it’s ALL LIES!  Go to YOUR Dark Place and keep moving.



EMOM for 3min. 5x UB Hi-Hang snatch

rest 3-5min… DO NOT GET COLD, then…

Go to your Dark Place and do Open WOD 14.5


CFV Friday WOD

Open WOD 14.5


140326 – JOATs

Screen Shot 2013-10-11 at 5.16.32 AM

Specialists -vs- JOATs

One of the frequent arguments against CrossFit in the sports community is that WE (“WE” as in the typical CrossFit gym protagonist) don’t do enough of anything specific for CF to have any advantage to any REAL sport.  I beg to differ.  While it’s true, if you look any CF gym’s programming (HQ included) on the surface, the WODs seem to be completely random without rhyme or reason for when certain movements are done.  This is usually not the case, as I know many good programmers, and they take a considerable effort to plan multi-faceted WODs in a timely manner.  Mixing in a good amount of strength, endurance, agility, and conditioning… spaced out in a scheduled manner as not to overtrain a particular area, but provide for progress in all areas.  This is all fine and good, but still doesn’t acknowledge the claim that because our scope of movements is so broad, we don’t do enough sport specific training to “get good” at anything particular other than CF. Again untrue.  While I’ll admit if you compare a seasoned crossfitter to any sports-specialist in their chosen field, with the rare exception, we can’t compare to their level of performance.  I can’t snatch 300#… can’t run a 4min mile… no 2:30 marathon… hold an “iron-cross”, nor play 15 weeks of football at a competitive level without injury… AND I never will.  BUT, what I can say is this… while CF doesn’t train for a specific sport, it makes us “pretty good” at almost EVERY sport.  We run, lift, climb, jump, throw, crawl, and balance.  We are the JOATs (Jacks of all trades) of the sports/fitness community… and human beings in general.

Currently, here are my rough stats…

squat – 2xBW     bench – 1.5xBW   deadlift –  2.5XBW                snatch – BW     C&J –  1.25xBW      1 mile run – 6min       marathon – 3hr 30min

To any real weightlifter or competitive runner these totals are laughable.  But, in the realm of overall general physical preparedness, I’d argue they are respectable.  How many lifters with a 300# C&J can run a mile under 8minutes?  Which world class marathoner can squat their own bodyweight on a barbell?  Their specialism makes them great in their sport, but at a cost in other areas.  At some point competitive sports end no matter how good you are (even Michael Jordan retired), LIFE goes on.  And as John Lennon said “Life is what happens when you are making other plans.”  Life is the unexpected, the chaotic, the difficult, under non-ideal circumstances, and sometimes even the mundane.  Life at times expects you to react quickly and adapt to any situation regardless of if you’ve warmed-up, had a good meal, or if you have any chalk handy.  CrossFit prepares you for life. This to me is the most beautiful aspect of CrossFit training methodology, although you couldn’t have convinced me of this just 2 years ago.  At my current fitness level, at any given time I’m ready at a moment’s notice to help a buddy move furniture, go rock climbing or kayaking, do a big hike, revel in the occasional pub-brawl, or spontaneously jump in a local 10k.  And despite claims of CF’s danger of injury, I attest to the opposite.  At 43 years old, I can say I’m more unbreakable than I was 20 years ago.  Such broad and general training definitely avoids overtraining and burnout.  I want to be strong and fit enough to still enjoy a wealth of physical activities well into my senior years including chasing my grandkids.  Getting old isn’t for sissies, so I want to prepare for old age now.  CF is helping me do this.

The fact that we never devote significant time to getting really good at one thing is what makes us pretty good at everything.  Coach Glassman said it best when he referred to a critic about how kipping pullups was “cheating”.  “We do your stuff nearly as well as you do, you can’t do ours very well at all, and we do everything that we both don’t do much better than you can. Not very humble, I know, but true.”  Another great quote from a newbie at my 6am class after we had done a 1RMax of benchpress, in which mine went up by 20# since I randomly benched at a gym years ago… (note this was the first time a benchpress has ever been programmed at my gym in 3 years to my knowledge)… noob “So you’re saying you’re bench went up, and yall NEVER benchpress?”  Classic.  THAT is sport-carryover.  So my point is that while crossfitters may not be the absolute best at a particular sport, the CF methods (and madness) are proven effective at getting the most bang for the buck in most every aspect of fitness and producing the most well-rounded injury-free athlete prepared for almost anything that I have ever found.  In Omnia Paratus.  Bring on 14.5

Modified Outlaw


1) EMOM for 3 sets.  5x UB Hi-Hang snatch @ 55%.  Note: this will be a standard part of the warmup for the next 2 weeks.  Get good at getting to rock-bottom fast.  

2) EMOM for 10 sets 1x Power snatch + 1x Hang snatch (full).  AHAP.


E90S for 3 sets each, alternate between a) and b).

a) 10x alternating pistol

b) 8/10x HSPU.  Use the very least # of AbMats… none or deficit if possible.


10min AMRAP

3x power snatch 115/78#

6x thruster 115/78#

12x Burpee

24x DUer


CFV Wednesday WOD

20min AMRAP of…

25x DUer

20x Pushup… (everyone needs work on these… chest to floor, no worming)

15x Burpee

10x KBS 53/35

5x HBBS @BW/.75BW



140325 – Pistols and Such…


Ana and I both have a feeling pistols and HSPU will be in 14.5.  As part of your warmup everyday this week, spend 5-10min each day to practice alternating pistols and your HSPU.  Use the pull-up rack to balance if you need to on the pistols, then wean yourself off.  If you haven’t learned your HSPU kip, SEE A COACH ASAP.  These are basic skill movements that everyone can and should develop.

Modified Outlaw


1) EMOM for 3 sets.  5x UB Hi-Hang snatch @ 55%.  Note: this will be a standard part of the warmup for the next 2 weeks.  Get good at getting to rock-bottom fast.  

2) EMOM for 5 sets 2x Clean + 1x Split Jerk.  AHAP.


E90S for 3 sets each, alternate between a) and b).

a) 10x alternating pistols

b) 10x Sott’s press.  Narrowest grip and AHAP.  Absolutely NO BOUNCE in the legs.


4x 400m sprint.  Rest 60s

CFV Tuesday WOD

On Nov. 5 2009 at 1:34 p.m., a terrorist named Major Nidal Hasan attacked fellow soldiers and civilians at Fort Hood, TX. He killed 12 soldiers and one civilian and wounded 43 others.

SPC Frederick Greene, 29, of Mountain City, TN, PFC Aaron Thomas Nemelka, 19, of West Jordan, UT, PFC Michael Pearson, 22, of Bolingbrook, IL, and SPC Kham Xiong, 23, of St. Paul, MN, along with eleven of the wounded were active CrossFitters in the 20th Engineer Battalion, home to Lumberjack CrossFit.

“Lumberjack 20″

20 Deadlifts (275lbs)
Run 400m
20 KB swings (2pood)
Run 400m
20 Overhead Squats (115lbs)
Run 400m
20 Burpees
Run 400m
20 Pullups (Chest to Bar)
Run 400m
20 Box jumps (24”)
Run 400m
20 DB Squat Cleans (45lbs each)… we will sub 95/65# barbell
Run 400m

This is a Hero WOD folks, so PUT OUT!!!


140324 – Week 5


This is the last week of the Open.  What’s the last WOD?  Pistols?  HSPUs?  Burpees?

Modified Outlaw


1) EMOM for 3sets. 5x Hi-Hang snatch @55%

2) EMOM for 5sets 2x snatch AHAP

Conditioning – “Loaded Cindy”

10 RFT and load

1x C&J @ 85-90%

5x pullup

10x pushup

15x squat

CFV Monday WOD –

same as Outlaw conditioning above


14.4 if you haven’t as a competitor or redo