To Failure!

Drove back from Philly yesterday and then Niko and I went to the 7:30 class.  Pistol Pete was coaching.  Workout was very similar to last Monday’s.  Something tells me that we’re on a strength program for legs and pull-ups. 🙂

A) Back Squats Front Squats
Int:5x (4-6)

B) Pullups 5×10
*RingRows w/ Bicep Curls

Shoulder still isn’t allowing me to go into the back squat position, so I did front squats instead.  Since it was less reps than Monday, I scaled up a bit more weight.  I went 95, 115, 125, 145, 165 x 3.  145 seemed pretty easy, so I decided to do a 20# jump and go to 165.  Failed on my 4th rep.  Actually went to failure and I think that’s a good thing.  Ring rows were pretty straight forward and I did a light weight for the bicep curls.  Pete told me that since I was doing a light weight (due to shoulder stuff) that I should do tempo bicep curls ~3 secs up and ~3 secs down. Made them so much harder, but really felt like i was actually getting a workout in on my biceps.

Worked out next to Joe and Johnny D. and I borrowed space on JD’s board to record my weights.

Can you guess which ones are mine?  JD is an animal.

Can you guess which ones are mine? JD is an animal.

Post workout, I managed to get JD to do some practice rope swings (scaled, of course).  He was tired from the back squats.

Oh, and another sign Niko is getting stronger?  I get this IM from him while I’m at work today:

niko: I think I need to jeans shop before my SD trip.. my legs are getting too big for this one pair 🙂



Difference between a woman’s 20’s and 30’s.  This hit a little too close to home for me and is hilariously awesome. #truth

Today it was nice to feel normal in a workout with the class!  The workout was:

A1. Squats – same weight for all sets and all levels
INT – Front Squat 5×5
A2. Upper Body Pulling – 5 sets

B. 7min AMRAP
7 Squats
14 Double Unders
INT- Front Squat 75/55

We were put in our “division” based off our back squat.  If your back squat was less than 1x your body weight, you were in BEG.  If it was 1x – 1.5x, you were in INT.  Above 1.5x, RX.  I like this concept a lot.  I am in the INT division, so I did front squats at 135# for the first two sets and then bumped it up to 145# and did 4 sets at that weight.  I did 3 step-in ring rows.  I can’t wait until I get the all clear to hang from the bar and do some partner assisted pull-ups 🙂

Then for part B, I did 55# and 28 single-unders.  I need to work on some drills to get my double unders to I’m not jumping so hard and slamming my feet into the ground.  8+2 final score.

I’ll close with this video of Wil Wheaton, nerd extraordinaire giving advice to an infant (to watch in the future) about why it’s awesome to be a nerd.  I think that what he says applies to all facets of life. #truth

Jerk Boxes and Back Squats on a Sunday

This weekend, my oldest friend in the world, Seth, came to visit and stay with us on Friday and Saturday.  It was great to see him.  We try to connect every couple of years.  He’s in the USCG and lives across the country from me.  He also has an awesome wife and kids, alas, they weren’t able to make this trip.  We ended taking an impromptu trip up to Boston for the Boston vs. New York Food Truck Throwdown.  This took every ounce of self control that I had, as there was definitely a lot of No Bread Non-Friendly eats that were very tempting.  I ended up going to Mei Mei Street Kitchen.  It’s owned / run by a colleague of mine’s wife.  I ended up getting a pate “ice cream” cone (it was a teeny, tiny cone – so a teeny, tiny cheat, but seriously, nothing to write home about) that was filled with liver pate (not actual ice cream).  And The Laney – which was pork tenderloin, fois gras and fried rice.  I ate all the protein in the dish and gave the rice to Niko 🙂  Other than the teeny ice cream cone (seriously, it wasn’t any bigger than half of my thumb) I managed to maintain self-control.  It was hard, and quite honestly, as it gets warmer all I want is some real ice cream!

Mei Mei Street Kitchen - pure deliciousness

Mei Mei Street Kitchen – pure deliciousness

Friends since 1978

Friends since 1978

After that, we decided to laze about the house and I spent most of Caturday evening snuggling with the kitties and watching television.

photo 3 (1)

Then, back to today, started back up with sessions with Jarrod.  My goals in working with him are definitely strength, form, and a little body building.

We started out on the low jerk boxes doing hang cleans.  Working on explosive hip movement, footwork, and getting under the bar. I’m definitely working really hard on doing my mental set-up before I start at the bar and just going to the bar and doing my lift.  Not over thinking the lift when I’m at the bar is definitely helping.  After a warm up and some skill work, we did a bunch of hang cleans from the box 3 good reps each.  Ended up doing 5 sets of three 55, 75, 95, 115, 135.  135 is a big number for me, as it’s my 1RM for both squat cleans and power cleans.  I didn’t think I could do it and failed the first rep.  After reminding me that I needed to have more explosive hip movements, I actually ended up busting out three of them and my third one felt amazing.  My footwork was definitely a lot better as well.  During the workout, as we do, we were making conversation and Jarrod was all “Oh, have you ever done 20 back squats before?  It’s a good benchmark.  When I did mine, I felt awful when it was done.”  To which I replied, “That sounds like a terrible workout.”  Then he asked how the KB swings went earlier in the week, to which I replied “I had some troubles keeping my form correct after the deads.  Definitely was feeling it in the lower back towards the end of the workout.”

So then we start taking the weights off the bar and Jarrod starts setting up the racks.  Okay, we’re going to work on back squats.  At least it’s not 20 reps. I start warming up with the bar, doing 5 back squats.  He puts on 105.  “So, you’re going to do 20 of these.”  Shit.  105 was relatively easy, except the last 5 which I had to push on.  I was definitely light headed when we were done.  Then we discuss the next weight and we decide that I’m going to try for 135.  20 reps in a row of 135.  1-5 went really smoothly and 5-10 got a bit harder.  I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to 20.  By the time I got t0 reps 14-16 I thought I was going to be toast.  But I got through those three reps and told myself that I only had three reps to go.  The last three were really hard, but I knew I could do it.  After I finished, I racked the weight and walked over to the wall and had it hold me up for a few minutes.  That shit was tough and I know my quads are going to be screaming at me tomorrow and Tuesday.  I thought we were done and going to work on mobility, but from the conversation I mentioned above, I’m sure you can guess what we did next.

Jarrod pulls out the 70# kettlebell and walks over to me.  As a side note, I’ve not done more than 44# before with the kettlebell.  So I tell him this and we do some skill work with the 53#.  I really have to learn how to just let the KB drop and not actually control the descent.  Rough.  As I’m working on the skill work, Jarrod walks over the pulls out the airdyne.  I’m not done for the day until I do 3 RFT with two minutes rest in between of 10 KB swings (Russian) and 10 calories on the AD.  Oh, and the workout was done with the 70# KB.  Yikes! Times ended up being 1:06, 1:01, :56. Happy that I knocked time off for each round and I got through it with the 70# KB!

Overall, great morning workout.  Couldn’t have asked for more.  I was really happy with the hang clean off the jerk boxes at 135#.  Gives me hope for the future.  When I got home, I rewarded myself with a delicious breakfast of a bacon / veggie scramble, bacon, and avocado.  Yummy in my belly!

photo 4 (1)

How Much Do You Want It?

So Jarrod forwarded me this hour long video of a day in the life of a body builder – which did, well, folow a day in the life of body builder named Kai Green.  While I’m not out to be a professional body builder, the message of the video was clear – if you want something bad enough, and are willing to work for it…it will happen.  Before you read on, this is a pic that John McEvoy took of Jarrod post 13.3.  It’s one of my most fave pics…EVER.

Dizzle and Leif

Dizzle and Leif

One of the best quotes from Kai is in reference to the role and work that YOU are responsible for in achieving YOUR goals:

“This is the work that will produce the desired end result.  Being able to climb in the trenches now, when it’s not convenient, not comfortable.  There is a certain amount of work that we really have to take on ourselves and not expect someone to do for you.  The best coaches, the best supplements, the best company… the best product you can ever have available to you will be of little resource to you if you’re not able to do what work is required of you when it’s time to do it.” 

So simple, so true.  I loved it so much that I watched it over and over again and wrote it down so I could share it with you.

 The next No Bread challenge is starting towards the end of April, and this time they have different divisions.  The division that I’m competing in is the Leaning Out Division, which is described as: “This is the intermediate group.  You can feel your six-pack just beneath some extra fat.  You know you are close.  You may have been through a NO BREAD challenge already.  Chances are you Know what you should and shouldn’t be eating you just need a solid 50 days of discipline to get the results you know you’re capable of.”  Time to put the work in and get closer to my weight loss goals!

Now onto today’s workout.  It’s one of those buggers that sneak up on you.  Strength workout:

A1) Back Squat
RX- 5×5 – same weight
INT- 5×10 – same weight
BEG- 5×15 – same weight

A2) Pick a movement you are currently working on and do 3-10 reps at it.
Options are:
muscle-ups, HSPU, Pullups, pushups, Double Unders, Toes to Bar

I did INT level, as my 1RM is less than 1.5 of my body weight and chose to work on push-ups the legit way for A2.  I got to workout with my friend Lauren (who, along with Gienah and Jayme) got her first muscle-up over the weekend!  I hate trying to figure out what the weight was, and unlike past workouts, Jarrod (who was coaching this morning) advised us to try to use the same weight through all of the rounds vs. increase weight each round.  I looked back at some workouts to figure out what to do for weights.  10 reps at a heavy load is hard!  Checked out a workout I did on 12/13/12, which was 7×7 back squats.  I ended up doing 145# for that, so I thought that would be a good weight to do for this workout.  That turned out to be just enough 🙂  For each set, reps 8,9, and 10 were brutal.  But I used my handy knee sleeves and there was no wear and tear on my knees!  Really happy with that weight, looking back to September, we did the 5×5 benchmark and I was only able to do 125#.  5×10 at 145# is a big jump!  20# more and double the reps!

Going to try my best to stay on track until I leave for vacation in Rome.  In closing of this post, here are some awesome pics that John took while I was judging 13.4 and 13.3.

Jay Condrick photo by John McEvoy

Jay Condrick photo by John McEvoy

Jacob "Grumpy Cat" Burrows

Jacob “Grumpy Cat” Burrows photo by John McEvoy

Jay Condrick photo by John McEvoy

Jay Condrick

Ben Follen

Ben Follen photo by John McEvoy

Back squats, front squats…every where you squat squat!

Straight forward workout today. Lots of…you guessed it… squats!

7×7 backsquats – about 75% – 80% of your 1RM weight.  I did 145#.  It was nice to not have to pause at the bottom of the squats like last week.  Worked with Kendyl and Leila today.  Love them. I need to work on keeping my knees out when I come up from the back squat.  

The second half of the workout was 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 front squats and for me, ring pulls.  I did 75# for the front squats.  Was able to do entire set unbroken.  Just focused on maintaining a steady, quick pace throughout the entire ladder.  Worked on not using my legs to propel me upward on the ring rows.  Am definitely feeling it in my back muscles and shoulders.  Final time was 7:08. 

Rest Day

Last night, my little kitty Hobo had an asthma attack, so I had to deal with that.  I think it’s the winter months – after doing a cursory research on the internet – it seems that it gets worse in the winter – which makes sense as that’s when his asthma flared up after we first got him last year.  So I had to get him up and give him the inhaler and it left me zonked this morning.  I was also very sore from Wednesday and Thursday’s workout so it made sense for me to rest.

Here’s me and my handsome fella!  We’re twinsies!


After my long post yesterday, I forgot to post the actual results from yesterday’s WOD!  Oops.

A) Back squat with a 2 sec pause at the bottom: 1 down, 2 sec pause, explode up, 1 sec pause at top

8-10 reps x 5 sets, rest 3 min

B) 7 minute AMRAP

  • 7 pullups
  • 7 Air Squats

I did all 5 sets at 10 reps.  I moved up five pounds each set.  Did this at the following rep scheme: 105#, 110#, 115#, 120#, 125#.  The last three reps for each set was rough  My legs are a wee bit sore today.

The AMRAP was modified, I did ring pulls.  Need to work on not using my legs when my arms get tired.  Final score was 9+9.

Back squats – Benchmark 5×5

Today was a benchmark workout.  We did 5×5 back squats.  I looked up when I this benchmark this last (it was mid-June) and I did 95#.

I looked up what weight I did with Morgan awhile back.  We did 5×3 at 145#.  Previous to that, I did 7×2 at 125#.  I decided that I was going to go with 125# for this set and see what happened.  My legs are pretty zonked from the running yesterday, but I wanted to give it a shot.

I really need to work on pushing out my knees as I’m coming up from the squat position, but other than that – I got through the workout fine.  I think it was just the right amount of weight for this workout.  In aggregate, I lifted over 3125# today (it doesn’t include the build up to the final WoD weight)!  The last two sets were tough, especially at the 4th and 5th reps – but I finished at 125#.

Some day I’ll be like my girl Susie Diesel.

Staying Awake!

Landed in Boston after flying back from Germany the other day.  12 hours of total travel time really takes it out of you.  We landed an hour early and Niko came to pick me up.  Since working out when I landed in Cologne helped me normalize my schedule, I decided to look up the workout at Craic and if I thought it was something that I could scale for my exhausted body – I’d show up.  The WoD was 8×2 backsquats, resting for 3 seconds at the bottom of the squat.  John explained the purpose of the set here.  I think I was running on my 2nd wind when I showed up and my body was sort of rested from not having worked out since Monday.  I worked out with Elizabeth (who coincidentally is usually in the 6:30AM class with me and randomly showed up to the 6:30PM class) and the other Christina.  It was a great time, we were loose and joking around.  I started out at 75# and that was way too easy.  I then went to 95#, 115#, 125# and ended up doing the workout at 135#.  Even though I wasn’t planning on it, I got the bug to really push myself.  The last backsquat of the last set was the hardest, but I pushed through. I even got a compliment from Sara and Dork (two of the coaches) that my squat was “perfect.”  That was a good boost.  I went home, grabbed dinner with Niko and then promptly passed out around 9:30AM.


I couldn’t get my butt out of bed and since today was a strict strength workout, I decided to go to the 6:30PM class.  Last time I did back squats, we did 6×2 back squats and I did it at a weight of 125#.  Today’s WoD was 5×3 back squats.  I got to work out with my girl Morgan and she can lift a bit more than me, but it pushed me to do better than a couple of weeks ago.  We worked our way up 95#, 115#, 125#, 135# and finally ended at 145#.  By the time we got to the last set, I barely (but did) get it up.  I really wanted to see what my PR was going to be, but I was toast when all was said and done.  It felt good and it was fun working out with a different class time.  


In my previous post, I mentioned my friend, Susie, getting three PRs in one day on her back squats.  Her original PR was 195#, but she was doing a program that was supposed to boost her 1RM PR by 10#.  She did 200# effortlessly.  Then she decided to try for 205# and I really wanted to get it on film.  Not satisfied with PRs in one day, she went for besting her PR by 15# at 210#.  As you can see from the video, NO PROBLEM.  They don’t call her Susie Diesel for nothing 🙂