Save As

612: Accept that you have less control than you want | Paul + Wendy Projects 

My assigned Thursday workout scared me. I believe it to be true that I suck at pulling and pushing, so the thought of eeking out some bench press and strict pull-ups, well, I certainly wasn’t “handstands and pistols” kinda pumped about it.

As I stepped up to the rig to add a second assistance band for the pulling portion, I asked myself how I’d worked to change “this” – “this” being that “Motherfucker-I-still-don’t-have-dead-hangs/dread-at-working-through-something-I’m-seriously-terrible-at” feeling?

My answer was honest, but not the one I’d like to be able to give in response: not much. I hadn’t been working on it. Going through the motions (by, say, overhead pressing some light lbs you know you can nail, shrouded in the safety of the “proper form” umbrella – which is absolutely important, but also an easy scapegoat) isn’t the same as working toward something, Gunz. You know this.

And that, my friends, is how six banded pull-ups lead me to question my existence, over a few rounds of scotch.

The end.

Tyrion FTW.gif

Haha! Just jokes! Though I did call it a night at the gymnasium. Revelations are exhausting; as is watching a group of clueless souls follow a mind-blowing 1-10-1-10… prescribed back squat rep scheme in the “XF” class. Know when to say when, indeed. Or when to ask questions…)

Walking away from that failed Thursday workout, I realized that I need to reacquaint myself with my fears. And instead of conveniently forgetting them, keep them on-deck, and use them bitches for my benefit.

This nugget from Max at the TTT sure was helpful. I like how he describes himself as being “intimate” with is fears, applying a positive connotation with something many of us like to keep in the shadows.

Along the lines of finding and acknowledging our hidden drivers, this read by James Clear on the schemas is pretty great too; our underlying beliefs persist – and have the potential to seriously hold us back.

How would you re-tell the legend of “The War of the Ghosts”? What are your “Save As” Schemas that shape your narrative?

Save me from myself
Sweet baby Jesus, save me from myself

11 Mar | Sa
Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
Wall walk x 1 + taps x 10
Palm-ups BB row x 10
Slam balls x 7 @ 20#

Work | Solo Oly
A1. Pressing snatch balance 4 x 2 (70, 70, 70, 75#)
A2. Heaving snatch balance x 2
A3. Snatch balance x 1
B. Snatch 10 x 2 (85, 90, 90, 95, 95, 95, singles @ 95, 100, 105, 110# [PR])

12 Mar | Su
Mobility | 3x
Hip hikes x 15 ea
Prone y raise x 10
Bird dogs x 10 ea
Side plan + leg lift (aligned AF) x :20

Warm-up | 3x
Wall balls x  7
Single-arm banded rows x 10 ea
DUs x 20

Work | [Do over Thursday]
Incline bench x 3 (80, 80, 85, 85, 90#)
Rest x 1:00
Banded pull-ups x 6 (blue + green)
Rest x 2:00
AD 30/30s x 20:00

Stretch | 15:00

13 Mar | M
Warm-up | 3x
Row x 1:00
Single-arm DB press x 8 (15#)
DUs x 20

Work | 10x:
Back squat x 5 (115, 2 @125, 3 @ 135, 4 @ 140#)
Rest x 1:00
Wall walk x 2
Rest x 1:00
1-1/4 Front squats x 3 (95#)
Rest x 1:00
Banded hammies x 5 ea (blue)
Rest x 1:00

Stretch | 15:00

Saturday | That transition from pressing to heaving is trippy as fuck – getting my lats to fire fast. Baby PR on the snatch. Since it’s Open season we might be tempted to call that a squat snatch. Laaaaawd. 

Sunday | A second attempt of Thursday’s workout. Felt much better. I want some science on why the AD rides so differently from the assault bike: the OG AD has me feelin’ it in my hammies and my quads, not ALL quad like on the ass(ault) bike – ironically named. Hmm.

Pull-ups are my nemesis, but just like with the last one… I will conquer you, nemesis! Here’s some footage and analysis to start the siege:

Monday | Walked away from the back squats wondering if I should have done the sets across and/or heavier. I was expecting to feel more fatigued by the last set than I did. That second sip of air is like a switch to the glutes. I’m thinking it must keep me more up right and then those guys stay engaged better…? But I might merely be suffering from delusional cognitive bias. Tricky.


The Continuum

“I like my coffee like I like my nights: dark, endless, and impossible to sleep through.” -Isn’t


The weekend had me turning over this conversation  with Gloria Steinem – on  friendships, chosen family and love(s).

“The one thing that I learned from this was that people suddenly started to say things to me like, “At last you’ve met the love of your life,” as if there were one love in our lives…I think there are different loves in our lives… I mean, why make a hierarchy out of the people we love?”

Oh, that’s so beautiful I get the tears. And who else wants to know more about Wilma Mankiller?

23 Oct | Su
Mobilty | 3x
GA squats x 12
Single-leg elevated hip bridge x 12 ea
BB row x 10
Side plank + leg lift x :20 ea

Work | Rotating x 30:00:
Sled pull x 100m (115#)
OH BB carry x 50m (75#)
AD x 30 cals
Row x 400m
Reaching dead-bugs x 1:00

Stretch | 15:00

22 Oct | Sa
Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
Wall ball x 7
Single-arm press x 10 ea

Work | Front squat 5 x 1 (135, 145, 155, 160, 155#)
EMOM x 10:00:
1-1/4 Front squat x 3 @ 50% (80#)
AD 30/30’s x 10:00

Stretch | 15:00

21 Oct | F
Mobility | 3x
Adductor squats x 10 ea
COB holds x :20
Prone y raise x 10
Reverse curl-ups x 8

Warm-up | Row + Poly Vinyl Chloride

Work | Class Barbell Complex
EMOM x 20:00, rotating:
Clean + high-hang clean (95, 105, 115#…)
Snatch | high-hang snatch (5 @75#, 5 @80#)
Get bendy | 20:00

19 Oct | W
Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
DUs x 30
Banded shoulder rolls x 10 ea direction
OH walking lunges x 10

Work | O-lifting – Week 8
Snatch-grip DL – snatch pull – snatch 6 x 1 (95#)
High-hang snatch 4 x 1 (90, 95, 95, 100#)
Good mornings 3 x 10 (75#)
ISO front squats 4 x 10s

Stretch | 15:00

W | Snatches felt really good, nice and snappy. Worked up to my 1RM on the high-hangs.

F | Moved through.

Sa | Ooh those 30/30’s!

Su | Check. Post work-out beer that tasted like coffee, courtesy of Kamanda. My kind of continuum. 



“When jarred, unavoidably, by circumstance, revert at once to yourself, and don’t lose the rhythm more than you can help. You’ll have a better grasp of harmony if you keep going back to it.” -Marcus Aurelius

Saturday morning cartoon rhythm: interrupted.

You ever have days/weeks that just scatter the fuck outta your brain; you can’t focus, you can’t seem to be any one place? After lots of (taste-)testing for something to help aid the return to center, I’ve finally found my method: weird breathing and practicing some gratitude. Not nearly as fun as whisky, and with way less entertaining stories. But it usually does such a good job that I wind up on the other end of things, all fuzzy with clarity.

It turns out both of these things are actual “things”! Check out these articles from The Huffington Post Center for Gratitude: Heart-Breathing and Dimorphous Feels for more words on the matter(s).

29 Sep | Th
Mobility | 3x
GA squat x 10
Reverse tables x 8
Hanging leg raise x 8

Warm-up | 3x
Row x 200m
TGU x 2

Work | 4x:
Single-arm press x 8 ea (25#)
Rest x 1:00
Single- arm  Chinese row x 10 ea (20#)
Rest x 1:00
Single-leg RDLs x 8 ea (35#)
Rest x 1:00
BB step-ups x 8 ea (65, 75, 65#)
Rest x 1:00
AD 30/30s x 12:00

Pressing the parts against apparatus while discussing #PugLivesMatter | 20:00

28 Sep | W
Mob it up | 3x
Single-leg elev adductors squat x 8 ea
Single-leg elev hip bridge x 10 ea
Reverse curl-ups x 10

Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
Palms-up BB row x 8
BB RDL x 10

Work | O-lifting
Heavy snatch balance 3 x 2 (95#)
Snatch balance 4 x 2 (80, 80, 85#…)
Halting clean deadlift [5s pause @ top of pull position – shoulders o/ bb] 3 x 3 (155, 175#…)
Front squat 4 x 3 (125, 135#…)

Stretch | 20:00

27 Sep | Tu
Warm-up | 3x
Wall press x 5
Jog x 200m
KBS x 10

Work | Study Hall Class workout (so much silence)
EMOM x 30:00, rotating:
Wall walk x 1 w/ shoulder taps x 4
Dead bugs x :30
DUs x :30

Stretch | 20:00

Tuesday’s class workout was nice, but let’s get right to it. O-lifting was fucking fantastic! A coincidence that I got to the gymnasium in time to get warmed up? I think not. The sequence of the snatch balances was super helpful. I was really happy my speed under the bar, and moving outta the bottom felt easy. The halting DLs were a good sub for the ISO work – so much time under tension. The front squats were challenging after all that other work.

Thursday’s notes mostly revolved around the sprints. Talk about dimorphous expressions: so painful and so much fun. Adjusted the weight on the BB step-ups as soon as the oh-my-quad feedback fired up. Booty, Morgan. Or is it backyard? Yes.

Stillness + Stuckness

“Patience is also a form of action.” – Auguste Rodin

brit brit finger taps.gif
Brit Brit practicing her technique.

I’ve been picking up on lots of snippets about behavior patterns lately, recognizing them in oneself, and in your crew. This one from the Barbell Buddha has lots of good stuff in it. I really like the part about the craftsman’s mindset and the commentary on the banana hands.

13 July | W
Warm-up | Row + Mobility

Work | O-Lifting Week #2
Snatch shrug 3 x 3 (125,125,145#)
Muscle snatch 3 x 3 (55#)
1-1/4 OHS 3 x 3 (85,95,90#)
Elbow plank holds x 3 (2:05,1:15, 1:23)

12 July | Tu
Mobility | 3x
GA squats x 10
Prone Y raise x 8
Side plank + leg lift x :20 ea
Reaching dead-bugs x 1:00

Warm-up | 2x
TGU x 2 ea
DUs x 30

Work | 10x
Back squat x 5 @ 70% 1RM (125#)
Rest x 1:00
Banded row x 10
Rest x 1:00
KB front rack walking lunges 4 x 10 steps (2 with 35#s, 2 with 44#s)
Rest x 1:30 btwn sets
AMRAP DUs in 3:00 (160)

Stretch | 10:00

11 July | M
Mobility | 3x
Monster walk x 12 ea
Elbow plank + fwd tap x 6 ea
Side plank clam x :30 ea
Cossack lunge x 8 ea

Warm-up | 3x
Row x 200m
Single arm banded rows x 12 ea
Standard RFESS split squats x 8 ea

Work | Back squat 5 x 1 (140,150,165,175,185#)
EMOM x 10:00:
1-1/4 Back squat x 3 @ 50 % (90#)
AD 30/30’s x 10:00 (106 cals – Ass. bike)

Stretch | 10:00

M | I really like the heavy singles + squat EMOM combo. So you fatigue a muscle group and then put that region under tension for some duration…

smarty pantsTu | Muscle soreness level high going into Tuesday’s session. In particular in the rear mid-thighs (Sometimes we call those hamstrings, Morgan. No, but really, up and to the center from the hamstrings.)

Performing 10 sets gave me lots of opportunity to reinforce the set-up ritual and breath. You know, so when I attempt heavy singles, I don’t mind fuck myself. The front-rack lunges were very challenging, ‘specially with the 44# kettlebells. That transition to the DUs was pretty funny – attempting to jump after all that.

W | O-lifting went fine.


En Feugo

“The best thing you could do is master the chaos in you. You are not thrown into the fire, you are the fire.” – Mama Indigo (another gem courtesy of Design Crush)

The rebel tendency queen, letting her bridges light her way

Lots of fire posts recently…Hmm. Let’s blame Daenerys.

24 May | Tu
Warm-up | Run + Mobility  with KBs

Work | Class workout
Deficit DLs 4 x 2 (165,175,185,195,185#)
Rest x 3:00
30/30’s, 4x, rotating:
Wall ball
Pull-ups (zing zows)

Make-it-awkward brought to you by cat/cow | 20:00

23 May | M
Mobility | 3x
Prone glute press x 10
Bird dogs x 10 ea
SA plank x :20 ea

Warm-up | 3x
Run x 200m
Wall ball x 7
Push-ups x 7

Work | Back squat 5 x 1 (135,145,155,165,175#)
EMOM x 10:00
1-1/4 Back squat x 3 @ 50% of ‘A’ (90#)
Death march x 4 (25#ers)
Rest x 1:00 btwn
Stretch | 20:00

M | Maaaybe have a new 1RM coming on the back squat; 175 felt not hard.

The appetite’s been a little weak and I was feeling skinny after my workout, so I had ice cream for dinner! Good plan. Don’t wanna lose my gainz. Here’s the thing, people say it’s your hands that give away your years, and they are wrong. It’s flapjack booty! Of course I want to be mobile and healthy and all that, but I want the form to follow the function, yo. No slack in the mass. Dropping some archispeak on ya right therrr. 

Tu | The soreness from Monday’s squats really set in Tuesday afternoon. Really. Glutes and hammies. Made the engagement on the deficit DLs really apparent. Ali suggested I adjust my set-up a bit, getting my shoulders in position from more of an upright position, like a clean, and that really helped isolate the GH, and reduced the strain I was feeling in the lats.

The second half of the workout was a little Murph preview. Scaps, mid-back, and triceps: en fuego.

Sit with It

“Don’t be mysterious, it’s the last resort for people with no secrets.” – The Dowager Countess, Downton Abbey


Watched the finale of Downton Abbey last night, staying up way to late on a school night. No more epic castle scenery and fancy vintage costumes. I guess I’ll just continue my Mad Men bingeing, with Jon Hamm’s pants and lots of mid-century modern style.

Why is it that the English language has such less awesome words than other languages around the world? Sure, we have ‘fuck’, ‘ephemeral’, and ‘fugacious’, but why don’t we have a word for “waking up early to hear the birds sing” (‘gokotta’ by dem Swedes)? Or “coming up with an ingenious plan while drunk” (‘Schnapsidee’ the Germans again) ? That’s a very useful word!

And why is it that it’s so much easier to sit with nice thoughts of fun times than it is to sit with difficult ones? I feel like the second line of this article unlocks the secret: don’t focus on the pain (unless you’re into that), focus on finding the pleasure, in anything you do. Clearly I am oversimplifying it, but you can read the article for the real deal. Learn to sit with it, the uncomfortable thoughts, feelings, tasks. At work, at the gymnasium, watching Lena Dunham in an episode of Girls. Sit with it. The Germans have a word for this (of course they do!): ‘sitzfleisch’ – the ability to persevere through hard or boring tasks. Literally translated it means, “sit meat”.

Sit meat: my new term for scoops

07 March | M
Pillars | 3x
GA squats x 5
Leg drops x 14
Side plank clammies x :30 ea
SL elevated glute bridge x 8 ea

Warm-up | 3x
Wall balls x 7
PUs x 7
DUs x 30

Work | 5 sets:
Bench x 3 (80,85#…)
Right into
COB holds x AMSAP (25,23,25,21,23)
Rest x 3:00
– then –
AD 30/30s x 12:00

Stretch + homework | 20:00

Felt really great Monday, the rest day Sunday did me right. Monday’s workout felt good, though the COB holds really fired up my scap and trap. I know I can stay up over that bar over :30, just couldn’t do it yesterday.

I really dig the all the variations of the glute bridges. They make my booty feel really nice the next day…

dear glute bridges
Dear, Glute Bridges…

Going by Feel

  “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” – Stephen R. Covey

Rene Burri 1980
Image by René Burri, 1980


20 April | Monday
Warm-up | 4 rounds:
HR push-ups x5
KBS x10
DUs x20

Training | Back squat x6 sets
Rest 3-4 mins btwn:
5 @ 140# (135#)
4 @ 145# (140)
3 @ 150#
2 @ 155#
1 @ 160#
AMRAP @ 140# (5)
– then –
Front squat 3×6 @ 95#
– then –
5:00 of 30/30’s
DUs x :30
Rest x :30

MRF & stretch | 30:00

19 April | Sunday
Hiking with Jennifer!
Cholla Trail @ Camelback
+/- 4.0 miles
“respect the mountain”

18 April | Saturday
Training | Row x10:00 of 30/30’s:
:30 easy row (+/- 2:30 pace)
:30 hard row (+/- 1:50 pace)
– then –
Press 3×5 (75,70,70#)
Rest x2:00 btwn
– then –
4 rounds:
Run x200m
Unbroken DU’s x20
Burpees x10

Foam-rolling followed by stretch | 30:00

The 30/30’s on the rower are interesting in that the time goes really fast despite being pretty painful. Maybe it’s just that, as a taller, long-armed individual, I am built for rowing. Either way, Saturday my ass was sore; the last 3:00 were rough. But I survived 🙂 I wasn’t able to get my sprint pace down to 1:45, which was my goal.

Ah the press, it felt good – no shoulder pain or anything. I felt the previous day’s ring push-ups. Dropped weight after the first set because my form wasn’t so good (doing the strained neck, belly and butt-out, lopsided push thing, so I put the kibash on that ish). Failed on the very last rep.

Despite some negative self-talk at the onset of the last segment of Saturday’s Session, I am happy with how it went. I noticed I was pretty much able to recover on the run, which made the DUs easy, breezy. And burpees, well, they always get me breathing hard, but I really focused on good form and not flopping around. I can tell I have some extra lbs, but I’m not saying that felt bad.

Monday’s squat started out a little rough. Sore from the hiking maybe? Lightened the load on the first two sets because they didn’t feel awesome. In retrospect though, what’s five lbs? Anyway, caught up on the third set. The weight was challenging; I noticed they got a little shallower as the weight went up, but was still breaking parallel. The front squats felt great – better than last week’s for sure. Perfect reps and the weight felt light.