No Bread 5.0, Retest – Test 1

Today was the retest of our first test for No Bread 5.0.  The first time I did this test, my 1RM was 130# and I did a whopping 5 reps for the AMRAP 8.   I had just PR’d at 140 last week, so I didn’t know what to expect today.  I also didn’t really get a ton of sleep, as I got home late from the New Kids on the Block concert.  Oh, and I’m also developing a chest cold.  Waahhh.  My life is so horrible.

Jarrod was coaching this morning, and while usually I’m all for any of the coaches (because they all offer something awesome) I was relieved.  We’ve been working together on my cleans a lot and I just needed him to coach me through stuff.  Long story short, I got to 135# relatively easy.  I decided that since I got 140 last week, I was just going to go to 145 and make some attempts.  I tried about six times and failed each time.  Meh.  My PR is 10# more than test week a couple of weeks ago, but today, I only did 5# more.  I could get the weight up, I just couldn’t get under the bar fast enough or let go of the bar at the top.  I’ll get there.  Need more work.  Overall improvement over the last 50 days so I can’t really complain.

Then onto the AMRAP 8.  I really just wanted more than 5.  Also, for last week’s AMRAP 4 x 2 I was only able to do 6 and 7 for each round.  Ugh.  Jarrod and I talked about a plan for today, knowing that I fall apart during these things.  I would do a lift every 20-25 seconds or so, really thinking about getting under the bar and fast hips.  Jarrod also got me to not use wrist bands for cleans, and I think it is helping for wrist flexibility as I bring the bar onto my chest in the front rack position.  Even though I did 135# today and not 140, I decided to do the AMRAP at 125 and they actually felt pretty strong.  I was confident going into my set-up and only failed once.  Stuck to my plan and ended up getting 16 or 17 reps.  Much improvement from last time.

I’m officially out of the No Bread challenge (long story about medications and such).  Then since I can’t do burpees or shoulder to overhead right now, I can’t retest Jackie. I’d retest the airdyne, but that’s going to be completely dependent if I can shake this cold.



Cleaning, lots of cleaning!

Yesterday, I wanted to use Open Gym to do some of the skill work that John suggested I do.  I also ended up meeting with Ben (one of the latest editions to the Craic staff, and resident mobility expert!) to talk about some things I could do for my wrist, ankle, and shoulder mobility.

I ended up doing a mini-workout – 3 rounds, at increasing weight:

  • 3 hang cleans
  • 3 power cleans
  • 3 front squats

I did 75, 95, 105.  Form felt better and then I did mobility work.

I should have known that Mondays were going to be clean workouts.  Today’s workout was:

  • (A) 20 minutes to work to a heavy 5RM
  • (B) AMRAP 8 – 5 hang cleans, 7 no push-up burpee box jumps

I ended up working up to 115#, but my footwork started to fall apart and I decided to stop at 115# because I didn’t want to lift any heavier with shitty form.  My right foot just likes to step away.  I don’t even realize I’m doing it until I’ve caught the bar at my chest.  Need to just drill, drill, drill that into my head.

Then, I did the AMRAP and for some reason decided to do the Rx weight to challenge myself.  The first and second rounds went well, and then it fell apart during the hang cleans.  The last two rounds I did, I ended up having to break up the cleans.  I ended up with 5+1 as my final score.

This below, is how I felt during my box jumps:

gifjumpI’m still sticking with No Bread, strictly – but I’m not seeing any number movement on the scale, and even though I know I’m building muscle, I know that there is a decent amount of pounds that I need to lose.  It’s a bit frustrating at the moment, I’m not going to lie.




No Bread 5.0 Test Three

Jackie.  I hate her almost, maybe more, than Fran.  I think I hate her because of the Craic modification at the end.  This was the last test of the No Bread Challenge.  Jackie, as RX is:

  • 1000m row
  • 50 thrusters at 45#
  • 30 pull-ups

I substituted the AD for the row.  I did 50 calories.  The thrusters I did as Rx and the coaches advised that if you couldn’t do 30 pull-ups you had to substitute BURPEES in for the pull-ups.  Burpees.  After doing the Air Dyne and 50 thrusters.  Ugh.  My pal Rob said at the end of the workout that he would rather do two pull-ups than one burpee.  I agree.  14 minute time cap. (And to be clear, I’d like to be able to do just one pull-up 😉 )

I find for these type of workouts (chippers) it’s easy to, well, chip away at them.  The AD took me a bit longer than I thought it would.  I talked to Glen and John ahead of time to figure out how many calories I was doing to bike for, and initially we thought 60 would be a good number.  But I believe that the airdynes (there are two of them in the gym) might be calibrated a bit off.  Who knows?  John said that if I was at 50 cals at 3:30 I should just go to 50 cals.  So, I was at 3:30 and I was at 40 cals.  I ended up going to 50 cals and it took me 4:23.  Got off the airdyne and I had planned to do 10 rounds of 5 thrusters.  This turned out to be a good strategy, as I was able to break it down into little sets with just a little bit of rest.   I think when I do it next time, I might try to do the first round or two at 10 thrusters.  I then broke up the burpees into rounds of 5.  I really need to build up my stamina.  Blargh.  My goal was to finish under the time cap, at 12:54.

And I’m not sure if I posted this video before, but it’s how to exercise with cats.  I would have no-repped him on the squats, but it’s still very informative if you have cats and need to exercise with them.

Have a session with John McEvoy tomorrow with the focus on form for my lifts.  After the struggles I had earlier this week, I definitely need it.  He’s probably one of the best lifting coaches around, so I’m fortunate he’s the owner of my gym 🙂

No Bread 5.0, Test 2

Today’s test was a running test, and the alternative was rowing.  I couldn’t really do either because the amount of impact on my ankle / foot for both ankles was not really great at a long distance and my wrist gets all effed up after about 750 meters. For the regular peeps, the running test was run 3K for time and if you can’t run, row 2K for time.  I was thinking that I might run, just slow and even wore my running shoes to Craic – but I wanted to be smart  and not  “ease” back into running by just going out there and running 3K meters!  In addition, my wrist / grip issues aren’t so great, so rowing 2K didn’t seem like a treat either.  Airdyne it was!

I went to the track with my fellow 6:30AM classmates and cheered them on.  To test a bit, I did the 400m warm up with the group, but my right ankle felt like something was cracking and snapping a bit.  So without a doubt, it was the airdyne for me. After discussing with John, he told me to do 15 minutes on the airdyne for calories.  I hate the airdyne.  Pedaling to nowhere.  I ended up getting 156 calories and it was rough.  Not going to say I’m looking forward re-testing this one, but it will be great to see how I progress over these next 50 days or so.

Taking Tuesday and Thursday off this week because John suggested we do so – so that we are primed for all the tests.



AM: Kids banana / apple slurper (pre-workout), bacon, eggs

MID: Salad w/chicken salad, veggie mix, bacon

PM: Sausages, avocado, almond crusted pork chops, unsweetened appple sauce

Snack: Handful almonds


AM: bacon, eggs

MID: salad, lots of veggies and chicken salad

PM: pork chop, salad greens with balsamic, avocado

Snack: bell peppers, almonds, taro chips, mixed nuts

I’ve been trying to drink a ton of water.  As Thug Kitchen will tell you:



I’m already starting to see some numbers go down on the scale, showing that this stuff actually works.  Still dedicated to pushing pretty hard during this challenge.  The one major thing I’m struggling with is mindless snacking.  I’m trying to just chew gum more and distract myself that way.  And also fill my tummy with water, lots of free fucking water.



NB 5.0 Test Workout #1

So we are going to have a series of three benchmark / test workouts for the No Bread Challenge.  Today’s was the first workout was, what I thought, a nice re-entry into Crossfit given I had just taken the week off.

The test was:

A) 20 Minutes to get 1RM power clean

B) AMRAP 8 90% of part A weight power cleans

My squat clean 1RM is 135# and my power clean is 125#, so I went in hoping to get at least 125#.  I was, and still am, a bit jetlagged, so this post will be short as my capacity to put thoughts down coherently is diminishing by each letter I type.  It went like this:

95, 115, 125, 130 (my fifth attempt), 135 FAIL

I was happy with 130, and even though it took me 5 attempts, I was oddly calm.  While it was frustrating in the moment to fail, I knew that I could only get better over the next 50 days.

I did the maths wrong and ended up doing 120 for part B.  I was aiming for 16-20 reps.  Turns out, this was not in the cards today.  I got the first two reps and then failed and failed and failed.  In the entire 8 minutes, I got 5 reps and even on them, my form was crap.

I scheduled a session with John for this weekend to do a little more direct work on my form.

Yesterday’s NO BREAD Eats:

AM – Egg scramble with kebab leftovers and avocado

MID – Vegetable mix from salad bar at Whole Foods

PM – Chartucerie plate (sans bread), pork loin wrapped in pork belly, ramps

Today, I started breakfast off with some good ol’ bacon!

photo (3)



No Bread 5.0

Craic’s NO BREAD 5.0 challenge started Friday.  Since I was on vacation in Italy, I decided that I was going to start it today – as Italy isn’t really the proper place to start a challenge like that (nor is a transatlantic flight).



I’m participating in the Lean Out Division of the challenge.  I’ve not been consistent about my eating habits since the new year hit and have definitely packed on some unwanted weight.  Niko took my “Day 1” pictures this morning and it was humbling to stand in a sports bra and shorts to pose for them.  My body is not anywhere near where I want it to be, and the pictures were a stark reality of that.  It’s no one’s fault but my own and these next 50 days are about taking full responsibility of this, without excuses.  The “rules” overview of the lean out division:

The Leaning Out Division

AKA:I’m So Close I can Taste It:

 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.

ALLOWED FOODS: meat, veggies, nuts, seeds, some fruit, little starch

 NOT ALLOWED: Sugar, salad dressings, dairy, bread, ice cream, pasta, cookies, crackers etc…….And if you’re really looking to lean out, NO FRUIT.

Judging Criteria:  This group will be judged on body composition results with before and after photos.  There will also be a test/retest workout or workouts (TBA) that will not be FRAN this go round (though Fran may show up in the 50 days)  We expect the winner of this group will not only look and feel better but that this 50 day challenge will lead them to a special place where everything they touch turns to gold and PR’s and confidence and self esteem and all kinds of awesomeness.

Stay tuned.