Behind the Scenes

“Sometimes it’s a little better to travel than to have arrived.” -Robert M. Pirsig

power pose
Arrival at failure or a power pose?

Fair warning, I’m gonna do that thing where I string some seemingly random threads together. Yes! I’m making you an afghan blanket just like grandma used to make. It’s for the summer-in-the-desert Netflix and AC chill. We all know it’s best done sans pants and when the blower kicks on, that ish gets drafty. Brrr!

Oh man, off to a good start, Gunz.

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My weekend ‘flix binge

Let me set it up. The internet went down last week at my office. Then the server. And the phones. The daily dose of streaming music had yet to make my daily moments of gratitude…. Until about noon on day 1 of downage (let’s make that a word). When the only sound in the room is the click of your mouse and the voice of a well-meaning but over-sharing coworker, you become hungry for any noise rapido.

I’m pretty sure this is the only time I will ever say this: Facebook (and unlimited data) to the rescue. The first thing in my feed was this conversation with My Girl Kate (Galliett – not actually my girl, but we’re vibing in a limbic resonance kinda way, at least one-directionally):

Isn’t it interesting, the split screen comparison of the backdrops of each human… Hmm. What’s that say about each? *eye brows* Anyway, I really like what Kate had to say, in particular on the matter of our human desires to go “right to do the handstand” in life – resisting or disregarding all the tedious, boring, crucial, delicious (choose your adjective and your mindset) work it takes leading up to it. The dudes at BBS touched on it this week, too, the “rush to greatness” and the desire to just do the cool stuff. I think we can call that Insta-itis. Friends, I get the fever, too.

The allure of all the shiny, shiny shit on Instagram got me thinking about a dude whose work I was introduced to in a theory of architecture class during grad school, Guy Debord. His work, The Society of the Spectacle, is all about “the gaze”. Courtesy of Wikipedia (which does a way better job of summarizing it than I can. Throw them some bones):

“Debord traces the development of a modern society in which authentic social life has been replaced with its representation: ‘All that once was directly lived has become mere representation.’ Debord argues that the history of social life can be understood as ‘the decline of being into having, and having into merely appearing.’ This condition, according to Debord, is the ‘historical moment at which the commodity completes its colonization of social life.’”

Sounds like the moment is now. Though maybe it’s best we converse on the matter. Maybe over a scratch meal…?

My last random thread (Fuuu… that’s gonna be one comfy blankie) is about the eats, the value of home-cooking. Did you know last year Americans spent more money in restaurants than they did on groceries. (Right. This means zero grounds for bitching about the cost of groceries.) I couldn’t agree more with Tamarkin’s take on meal delivery services, but man, there’s so much more that “goes to waste” when you’re not involved in the process (note that rabbit hole, those of us who gather our meats and veggies from a retailer). Similar to the joys of suffering through a workout, the task of creating with others fosters more that the “thing”, it feeds that connection to your people. It’s like time under tension, but with food. Shared effort for the win.

I’ll leave you with this behind the scenes from the man with the bongos, who totally gets why a person might wanna keep an afghan (little “a” friends) handy on the front porch.


02 June | F
AM | Friday Hike Club!
Piestewa Peak

PM | Globo Mountain
Mobility | 3x
Cossack lunge x 12
Scap press x 10
Rev curl-ups x 10

Warm-up | 3x
Row x 1:00
Slam balls x 7
AYTs x 5 EA

Train | [Repeat]
A. Deadlift 7 x 3 (185, 4@195, 2@200#) [2:00]
B1. SA DB snatch 7 x 3 ea (35, 2@40, 3 @45#) [RI]
B2. SL hip bridge x 10 ea (5@20, 2@17.5#) [1:00]
C. Lat pull downs 4 x 10 (60, 3@70#) [1:00]

Stretch | 15:00

03 June | Sa
Mobility | 3x
Wall slides x 10
GA squat x 10
Pope clammies x 15 ea
TVAs x 15

Train |
A1. Row 3 x 300m [RI]
A2. FLR + taps x 12 [RI]
A3. KBS x 5 (44#)
B. 10 x PC + HPC x 2 (3@115, 4@125, 3@115#) [As req’d]
C1. [Cable] Pallof press 3 x 12 (40#)
C2. Kneeling BU KB press x 6 ea (24, 20, 18#)

04 June | Su
Mobility | 3x
OHWL x 10
Hip CARs
Glute press x 10
Prone Y raise (abs – check) x 10

Train |
A. Row x 15:00 (Pretty comfy pace, 3457m)
B. Seated hammie curls 4 x 12 (80#) [1:00]
C. Heeeip extensions 4 x 12
D. Zercher reverse lunges 3 x 8 ea (75, 85, 85#) [1:00 btwn legs]
E. Bike or treadmill x 20:00 (bici)


F | Morning hike was pretty fucking sweet. Felt good! Was pleasantly surprised with my capacity and recovery.

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National Day of the Donut… Taco… Pancakes

PM sesh… The DLs felt really strong and easy off the floor. As noted previously, part B is pretty nice cardio. I dropped weight on the SL hip bridges when I noticed I wasn’t able to completely open the hip at the top (a point the emphasized) on the left side. Did the pull-downs with the long bar grip. Yep, felt em.

Decided to hit the scale in the ladies locker room. Results: 163.3. It’s just a number, but I think I’m still gonna do Friday weigh-ins for a while #collectingdata

Questions: I would like to put on some muscle. What do I need to delta to make this happen? What am I missing? Why are my priorities not reflected back? Why does “D-backs” sound like “D-bags” e’rytime? How do they make coffee that has notes of peanut butter and chocolate? And does that still make it Paleo? 

Sa | My butt is real sore from the repeat workout. The cleans felt nice and speedy, so much so that I wanted to see how they felt out the bottom. Dropped some lbs and finished the last 3 sets with a tall clean. I was feeling very “technically proficient” compared to my compadres in the “functional training area”. Do you even know what you’re trying to accomplish there, bruh?

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The KnBUKB press (Nailin’ the acronyms – next up greeting cards and paint colors) are pretty solid on the right and crap on the left. Workin’ on it, man.

Su | Low back spoke to me a little during the row… Hike? Deadlift? The combo? But things felt fine on the extensions and lunges. How the eff do people hangout in the hammie trap between sets?!? I lept outta that contraption as soon as I fucking could each round. Fire! Mirrors are totally helpful during the Zerchers.

Dirty Birds & Dollar Stores

“You know what’s better than chicken? Everything.” – Power Athlete keeping it real.

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John Cooper Clarke, Evidently Chickentown

Recently, I was chatting with a non-gym friend about the change of my gymnasium environs from that of a CrossFit affiliate to the globo style.

He politely asked me how it was going, blind to the differences between the two, other than the Kool-aid and the mirrors. When I explained that most days I was really cool with the change of venues – recognizing the opportunities the shift in training has to offer, finding enough familiarity to hit the ground running, and appreciating ALL the amenities and ALL the cleanliness (yes, I will use your shower accouterments, towel service and sauna, thank you!) – some days, oh some days I reminisce for the warehouse. (This is where I refer to my own words on the matter.)

My friends response went something like this, “Ahhh, it’s like you’ve been a hoarder for years and you suddenly realized everything is covered in cat shit and filled with knick knacks from the dollar store.” Um… Yeah… Actually, no.

But his statement got me thinking. It is about taking a step back from what you’ve become accustomed to, and viewing what’s in front of you with fresh eyes. (Anyone else feel like they’re constantly checking themselves on that front? Anyone?) I think what my friend was trying to say is that the only difference between the two gyms, is my perception of what I believe them each to be. Man, I’ve got smart friends!

And here’s a great related read that touches on some of those old beliefs currently getting rewritten in my repertoire. Do any of them sound familiar with you?


29 Apr | Sa
Warm-up | 3x
Row x 1:00
ATYs x 5 ea
TVAs x 15

Work |
A. 5x:
BB press x 10 @33×1
Rope singles x 30
Monster walks x 10 ea
B. BTN press 4 x 5 @4112 (55 – fail on 5, 4 @50#): Rest x 2:00
C1. Half-kneeling bottoms-up KB press 4 x 6 (20#); right into
C2. Single-arm front rack carry x 20m ea (40, 3 @45#)
D1. [Single-arm?] DB snatch 3 x 6 (30, 35, 40#); right into
D2.Single arm bench @2121 (25, 30 – fail on 4R, 27.5# – fail on 6R)

Stretch | 10:00

30 Apr | Su
Warm-up | 3x
Row x 1:00
Slam balls x 5
DUs x 20

Work |
A. Power clean singles x 10 (135, 135, 140, 140, 145, 140#…)
B. Clean pulls 4 x 3 (175, 185#…); Rest x 3:00
C1. Cable pallof 4 x 10 ea (40, 45#…); right into
C2. FLR x :30

Stretch | 10:00

04 May | Th
Mobilize | 3x
GA squats x 10 ea
Elbow plank + fwd reach x 10 ea
Rev curl-ups x 10

Work | “Burns + Grows” [fave]
A. Bike x 20:00
B. Row x 10:00
C. 5x: Goblet squats x 6 @33×1(35#)
Jump lunge x 10 (ea)
Bear crawl x 20m [sub: FLR x :30]

Full stretch | 20:00


Sa | Conducted some pre-workout research regarding the tempo work, as I needed a refresher. Notes resulting from research – some shit just ain’t for keyboards:

tempo is for sketching
Did I get it correct? Sure felt correct

Hope I didn’t fuck up the tempo work. Was still a total tard with the single-under coordination…

Totally cracked myself up attempting them. Right side was sticky with the BTN’s. Dropped down to fiddy so I didn’t do the neck strain thing. Bottoms-up is humbling; watching the footage, looks like I could improve my technique, keeping my elbow in alignment.

Su | The power cleans felt off; slow elbows, which isn’t normally an issue. The pulls felt good. Dug the pallofs and plank action. Footage reveals I need to commit to the lunge on the pallofs; was doing more of a quarter squat thing.

Th | Holy crap that part “C” was fun times. Looks like I could get lower in the lunge on the jumping lunges as well as work on keeping my body in vertical alignment – no lean. Wanted to go heavier on the KB but still some weird shit going on at the bottom on my right side, and the 35#er allowed me to do the movement minus the weird shit. Subbed the FLR for the crawls as the alley way behind the benches was occupied by bros. Would really like to give this a shot with the crawls in the future.

RSN – that’s acronym for Random Site Note – the crew at BBS totally featured battle ropes this week – something I’ve seen a ton of at the new gym… Curious.

Pursuit & Propaganda

 

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Pursue your dreams! I dream of a waffles emoji! Waffles or pancakes – what team are you on?

>>> Why logic and reasoning takes a back seat to propaganda. And that image of the anchor-brained ginger…

I think my favorite oh-shit-there-is-no-time blogging template is connecting two random media nuggets with an alliterative title.

And closing with a Tony Robbin’s hand clap. Say yes?

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04 April | Tu
Mobility | 3x
GA squat x 10
Prone y raise x 10
Dlb wall pressing dead bugs x :30

Work | x 30:00, rotating:
Bench x 3 (85#) + DUs x 30
BB hip thrust x 10 (125#)
AD x 1:00
4x: DB row x 12 ea (30#)
Rest x 1:00
Banded Ts x 10 (red)
Rest x 1:00

PT things | 10:00

08 April | Sa
AM: Back Alley CrossFit
Warm-up | 3x
Row x 1:00
PVC moves
DUs x 30

Work | [From the archives]
Back squat 5 x 1 (135, 145, 155, 165, 175#)
Rest x 2:00 btwn
-then-
EMOM x 10:00
1-1/4 Back squats x 3 @ 50% (90# – how’s that math…?)
-then-
Ass bike 30/30s x 10:00

Roll + stretch x 10:00

PM: Mountainside Fitness @ the ballpark – aka The Mountain
A. DB incline bench 5 x 10; rest 1:00 (25#ers)
B1. Close-grip cable pull downs 4 x 12 (50, 60, 70, 70#)
B2. Single-arm DB press x 5 ea; rest x 1:00 (17.5, 20, 25, 25#)
C1. Reverse flys 3 x 10 (10#s)
C2. Cable Pallof press x 10 ea; ressts x 1:00 (30#)

More stretch | 10:00


Tu | PT visit was interesting. Took some notes about positions and patterns to work on, and was given some mobility/recovery work to do, though – honesty zone – I’m not so sure I’ll actually KB smash my psoas on my own. Also had my first dry needling experience, which apparently is like getting tattooed in that you need (hmmm… want?) carbs and a nap after. I liked this aptly-time convo about the PT things, in particular the segment that talked about how body chemistry can affect body mechanics:

Sa | Tested out some new ‘nasium digs. Yes, my barbell workout was likely a poor choice, with the hip issues. The bike thirties made me SAF (choose your S-work, but – spoiler alert – it rhymes with ‘whore’). The globo session was really great; just had to do the work, instead of thinking about doing the work, and let go of my own propaganda.

Coming soon: restroom selfies. For now, here’s the last set of the won-anna-quad-ahs:

But Tomorrow…    

“Today I am not in my skin. My body cannot contain me. I am spilling out and over, like a rogue wave on the shore… My demons are lying in wait, they are grinning in the shadows, their polished fangs glinting, knowing today, it will be an easy kill. But tomorrow, tomorrow could be different, and that is what keeps me going today.” -Lang Leav, The Universe of Us

july012
Hidden Exits | Charles Wilkin

Sometimes things just fit together. I really like how Lang’s poem and Wilken’s collage relate to one another; in their darkness, and their beauty.

If you’re thinking, “Lighten the fuck up, Gunz! We like our blogs like we like our conversations: safe AF,” then check out this TED talk followed by the Kenny Kane on Barbell Shrugged. Both scratch the surface, but you won’t give you the nervous giggles. Practice and performance zones – we need them both, but not in equal measure. Like hamstrings & booty shorts, carbs & barbells, 90’s gansta rap & Die Antwoord…

What zone are you giving preferential treatment to…?


02 Feb | Th
Mobility | 3x
Bird dogs x 10 ea
Prone y raise x 10
Banded hip bridges x 15

Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
DUs x 20
V-ups x 10

Work | [From the archives]
4x:
Box squats x 3 (115, 125, 135, 135#)
BTN Jerk x 2 (95, 105, 115, 115#)
3x:
Reverse row sit-backs x 8
SL banded RDLs x 10 ea (green)
Stretch | 7:00

04 Feb | Sa
Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
KB things
DUs x 20

Work | O-lifting
[PAP] Clean deadlift 4×3 [heavy], right into (165#)
Clean x 2 (125, 125, 125, 120#)
Segmented snatch [1″ – BTK] 3×1
Snatch 6×1

06 Feb | M
Fail


Th | Not very focused. Need headphones. Or a more savage resting bitch face. Box squats felt solid at +20# from the last time I performed these.

Sa | E’rything felt heavy today. And regressed to a noob on the snatches again. Definitely in the practice zone with all my failed attempts.

M | New plan: AM sessions on Monday. Hip and back are not loving Sunday’s hike. Time constraints have had me easing up on the mobility and stretch a bit. Perhaps that’s playing a role.

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When your stretch sesh requires a safe word