Results & Deterrents

“Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it.” -Richard Feynman

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I think Feynman’s quote could apply to the work many of us do, architects included. Strip it down and we’re here to create shelter. But ideally, if not accidentally, the work we do accomplishes much more than that, both in process and fruition.

The Facebook group of a local historic ‘hood recently blew up with comments over one, newly completed single-family residence. The catalyst for the feedback seemed to be it’s modern, wannabe minimalist appearance coupled with a nearly $850k asking price. Surely that comes with a panther, no? I really liked how fired up people were. It was fun sifting through the comments, hearing what the “general pop” had to say. Personally, I tend to be leery of too many “big moves” in a project. Yes, they can be sexy, but sometimes they smell of trickery, intentional or not, serving as shiny distractions from lack of thought and development elsewhere. Never trust a frosted brownie.

I really enjoyed this documentary, Freedom of Space. Our built work, public space, and community would all be enriched if more people would be so engaged – with the space we occupy, with our own bodies and the exploration of their movement, and with one another – outside Facebook, in the flesh. It’s also a good reminder to the leaders tasked with creating these spaces, the professionals in the field of architecture, to recall or (re)consider what it is we are seeking to accomplish when we “do it”.

Freedom Of Space : Skateboard Culture and the Public Space from Functional Films INC on Vimeo.


14 Mar | Tu
Mobility | 3x
Wall slides x 10
Adductor squats x 10 ea
TVAs x 15

Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
KB swing – squat – snatch – RDL x 5 ea
Push-ups x 7

Work | 7x
BB RDL x 10 ea (75, 75, 85, 80, 80, 80, 80#)
Rest x 1:00
Single-arm DB press x 5 ea (25, 6 @30#)
Rest x 1:00
-then-
Russian DB step-ups x 12 ea (25#ers)
Rest x 1:00
-then-
AD x 1:00 for max. meters (.2 mi)

15 Mar | W
Warm-up | 3x
DUs x 30
KB swing – squat – snatch x 5 ea
BB row x 5
BB press x 5

Work | O-lifting
Clean + jerk 10 x 3 (105, 3 @ 115, 6 @120#)
Clean pulls [heavy – no straps] 5 x 2 (3 @175, 2 @185#)

18 Mar | Sa
Mobility | 3x
Wall rotation + slide x 10
GA squat x 10
Elbow plank w/ fwd tap x 10 ea

Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
KBS x 10
Wall walk variations

Work | AD x 30:00
Every 5:00 mark KBS x 10 @ 53#

Stretch | 10:00


Tu | The left side felt significantly less stable on the BB RDLs. Took vid and noticed I open my hips up a little bit outward from the planted foot. Grip was rough on the RDLs even with straps; got even spicier on the Russian step ups. The AD display wasn’t working so I rode the assault bike, which I learned after the fact was set to display in meters. The conversion equals about 320m, but man, that’s a ballpark. Retest.

W | Ten sets of three… cardio. Nice sounds on the pulls click-click, bphhh.

Sa | Totally jacked my lower back whilst pre-gaming Oly with some housecleaning. It’s not the 200# barbell that will get you; it’s maneuvering the coffee table to defurminate the floors that will.

Loaded

“Ideas pull the trigger, but instinct loads the gun.” – Don Marquis

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03 Mar | F
Mobility | 3x
GA squat x 10
Prone y raise – weighted x 10
Single-arm plank x :20 ea

Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
Wall walk x 1 w/ shrugs
Banded rows x 10
Hanging straight-leg raise – no swing x 8

Work | [From the archives]
EMOM x 10:00, rotating:
Clean + FS + FS (115#)
DUs x 40
-Rest x 4:00-
EMOM x 10:00, rotating:
Wall walk + 10 taps
Slam balls x 7 @30#
-Rest x 4:00-
TGUs x 10:00 (44, 53, bottom’s up 26#)
Stretch | 10:00

04 Mar | Sa
Warm-up | 3x
Cossack lunge x 8 ea
Scap press x10
Reverse curl-ups x 7
KBS things x 5 ea
DUs x 30

Work | O-lifting – For Reps
A. Muscle clean 4 x 2 [build] (95, 105#…)
B. BTN jerk 4 x 3 [light + fast] (105, 115, 125, 125#)
C. Clean + jerk 10 x 2 [across] (115#)
D. Pistol + handstands (  )

Stretch | 10:00


F | Rolled through.

Sa | Worked on widening my grip on the reps of the clean and jerks. Those guys have been off the last couple weeks. Ali noticed the timing was off at the catch with my long arms. So I worked on widening my grip to shorten the OH distance. Pistols in lifting shoes might be the greatest thing ever. Nailed a couple balanced on a KB, which was also fun, but not in lifting shoes.

For The Record

“Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately after they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish. And yet it also pleases me and seems right that what is of value and wisdom to one man seems nonsense to another.”― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

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A recent conversation that may or may not have revolved around the CrossFit Open and how much consternation it gives a certain someone (who may or may not be me) reminded me of several important things:
1. It is very important to surround yourself with people who will call you on your bullshit.
2. Text messages are handy for many things, conversations are not one of them.
3. Key & Peele are funny motherfuckers.


22 Feb | W
Warm-up | 3x
Slam balls x 5
Pipe work
DUs x 20

Work | Oly – Week 7 [Remember this one*]
*A1. Pressing heaving snatch balance 3 x 2 [build] (65, 70, 65#…)
*A2. Heaving snatch balance x 2 [add lbs as req’d] (75, 65#…)
*A3. Snatch balance x 1 (65#)
B. Front squats 5 x 1 [build] (subbed back squats; 155, 165, 175, 185, 195#)
C. Clean + jerk 5 x 1 [build] (125, 135, 140, 140, 145#)

23 Feb | Th
Warm-up | MFR, PVC work, and throwing shade

Work | [From the archives]
“A”
Bench press 7 x 3 (85#), right into
Hang power clean x 3 (tall cleans @105#)
Rest x 2:00
“B”
Incline single-arm DB bench press 5 x 5 ea (30#), right into
Hang power snatch x 2 (75#, thick barbell)
Rest x 2:00
“C”
Zercher lunges 4 x 5 ea @ 75#, right into
Bench hip bridge x 15 ea
Rest x 1:00

Stretch | 10:00

24 Feb | F
Warm-up | 3x
Cossack lunge x 8 ea
DUs x 20
Walk walk x 1
BB palms-up row x 10

Work | [From the archives]
5x:
Front squat x 5 @50% (115#)
Back squat x 5
Rest x 2:00
4x:
Banded RDLs x 12 ea (green)
Rest x 1:00
Banded hamstring curls x 10 ea (blue – hip bones into floor)
-then-
Assault bike x 10:00, every 2:00 slam balls x 10 (20#)

Stretch | 10:00

25 Feb | Sa
Mobility | 3x
Bird dogs x 12 ea
Scap press x 10
Wall rotation + slide x 10

Warm-up | 3x
KBS x 10
Wall walk + shrugs
AYTs x 5 ea
DUs in the sun x 20

Work | O-lifting
Rack jerk 5 x 2 (115, 125, 135#…)
Clean high-pulls 4 x 3 (125, 135, 155, 165#)
Clean + jerk 6 x 1 (115, 125, 135, 140, 140#)

26 Feb | Su
MFR | 10:00
Work | EMOM x 20:00, rotating:
DL – TC – FS – J (115#)
DUs x 40
-then-
3x:
GHR x 10 (15#)
GHD sit-ups x 10
Rest x 1:00

Stretch | 15:00


W | Really liked the sequence of part A; going from the s-l-o-w pressing under to the quick movements made my brain hurt. I want to try these again soon and see how they go. Subbed back squats for part B because of all the reps of the front version on Monday. Did some weird things with disengaging my abs during the jerk; not sure if it was fatigue, a search for tension, or just one of those days, but it did improve with reps.

Th | Was a pleasure to work out with the dumbbells; using the 30’s rather than having to scale back to the 26# KB. I asked (Just One) Chainz Calvada to record me from the rear on the Zerchers; looking to see about that right knee, whether it was caving in, and also just seeing any differences in movement pattern from the left to the right.

F | The Open makes my eyes bleed. No entiendo. But then, I don’t need to. Eyes on my own plate. Damn them slam balls feel nice.

Sa | Weird jerks again.

Su | The state of Sunday, according to Kolding, Morgan & Loll (Law Firm or Squad?):
Kolding Morgan and Loll.jpg

Breaths, Brains & Beliefs

“Your life is an advertisement for your beliefs. You can never force it on anyone who isn’t interested. If they want what you have, they will come to you. Let your life be the evidence; let it speak for you.” -Emily Maroutian

wait-a-second
Beliefs of the Archer

“Take three breaths and get back to it.” A cue I’ve repeated under my breath with some frequency the last few weeks, not while pushing through a workout, but instead as I step into the coaching world. I knew I had a lot to learn, but pulling back the curtain and attempting the doing has been, at times, overwhelming. There is so much more to it than I could have imagined! (A common realization when you’re learning something new, right? Yet, still somehow surprising.) It’s so exciting! … And terrifying.

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The acts of learning, listening, growing, teaching, all require an open mind. As I attempt to do all those things, how do I let go of what I think I know to make room for new ideas? I am reminded of Manson’s Law of Avoidance here: we resist anything that threatens our identity. So true. Vegetarians are wrong and CrossFit is dumb; Grass-fed cow is tasty AF and if you want to be better get your disengaged glutes on the Strength & Conditioning gains train. Obvs.

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The theme of keeping an open mind has been recurrent this week. The Universe delivers. Actually, that should be “the pulvinar nuclei deliver”. Hold that thought…

It turns out our brains are liars, sort of; in a white lie kind of way. Our brain functions to give us maximum fulfillment. And it does that by reinforcing our established beliefs. I “stumbled upon” forty-two articles on maintaining an open mind because my brain recognized my hunger for them and filtered my intake accordingly. Sorry, Universe. It’s crazy how much our ability to learn and discern information is tied to our beliefs and values.

“If you want someone to accept information that contradicts what they already know, you have to find a story they can buy into. That requires bridging the narrative they’ve already constructed to a new one that is both true and allows them to remain the kind of person they believe themselves to be.” – Christie Aschwanden

All this cognition is paramount in determining the achievement (or not) of your goals, according to this week’s MMPP. The Aussies’ guest, Dr. John Demartini, comes across a little cray at first, but redeems himself by owning that wig of his, and, at least in my book, by avoiding speaking in absolutes: unbiased like a boss. Similar to Manson’s Law, Demartini argues that we will resist what we perceive as road blocks and embrace what understand to be incremental steps in the achievement of our goals. As he puts it, “We resist what’s IN our way, and accept what is ON our way.” So then, in the teaching/coaching/burning-and-growing (say it like the Ah-noldt), we must be able to connect the what (it is we are doing) to the why (it aligns with our beliefs/goals**) to the how (it will get us where we want to go).

Whoa. This shit blows my mind wide open… sip, sip, sip.

**Part of the conversation is about conflicting actions and goals, and incongruency in perceived and actual beliefs – the values we aspire to have; the beliefs we feel we “should” give priority. You know, how on dating profiles everyone says they love to travel and read, that is,  until you inquire into the book they’re reading or the last place they explored. Uhhh… #speechless

Demartini has an online “quiz” (yeeeeees) to help you decipher what your actual values are. Check it.


13 Feb | M
Mobility | 3x
GA squats x 10
Single-leg elev hip bridge x 10 ea
Hanging [straight] leg raises x 8 (use abs, not momentum)

Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
KB swings and snatches x 5 ea
Banded rows x 10

Work | [From the archives]
4x:
RDL x 4 @5050 (125, 135, 145, 145#)
Rest x 1:00
Single-arm seated press x 8 ea (26#)
Rest x 1:00
-then-
Barbell hip thrusts 4 x 12 (145, 145, 155, 155#)
Rest x 1:00
-then-
Shiny new assault bike sprints x 10:00,
Work x :20
Rest x :40

14 Feb | Tu
Mobility | 3x
Hip hikes x 12 ea
Elbow plank + fwd tap x 10 ea
V-ups x 10

Warm-up | 2x
Row x 1:00
Banded rows x 10
SL banded RDLs

Work | EMOM x 30:00, rotating:
Bench x 5 @ 75#
DUs x 40
AD x 1:00

15 Feb | W
Warm-up | 3x
Bird dogs x 10 ea
Scap press x 10
Elevated wall slides x 10
DUs x 20
KBS x 10

Work | O-lifting
A1. Clean pull 4 x 2 [build] (155, 165, 175, 175#)
A2. Clean high pull x 2
B. Clean + jerk [build] heavy single in 5 sets (115, 125, 135, 145, 155, 155# (clean only – PR city)
C. Clean + jerk 1 x 5 @85% (135#)

Stretch | 10:00


M | The hip and low back are bugging so I’m taking a break from the squatting. It’s hard to isolate the variables, but I am pretty sure the kicker was the Peralta hike last Sunday, which is a bummer because it wasn’t anything crazy! Just a casual morning hike. Apparently my parts disagree. Though I also think the hip and back are a litmus for my stress/excitement levels. It’s funny how positive things cause the stress too. Don’t wanna shade this joint in negativity.

Tu | I will remain calm and get in as much of my own training time in as I can whilst learning new things. Repeat x 100.

W | Was unsure whether or not I’d join in the Oly workout; this being the consideration:

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Absolute answers

Wrapped up my warm-up and rolled in. Things felt good – ‘no’ to the pain pregunta – so I rolled in. Even the heavy C+J’s felt good. Raymundo noted my trunk shifting on every one of the jerks though. His thought is that I’m lacking stability on the right side so I twist to the left to find it. We’re going to investigate.

Back to Oly, PR’d my clean @155#. Missed the jerk. Here’s me being an 85% jerk… and pressing out at the top. Fuuu…

Handsome Matty’s post has me taking note of my heart rate for the next week or so to establish a baseline.

The Big Bad Wolf

“Let everything happen to you. Beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.” -Rumi

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Tracey Emin, The Last Great Adventure is You, 2014

This week has felt like an information bomb; not sure if it’s the news feed, the stretching of my head with shadowing, or one too many podcast marathons. Whatever it is, I chose to offset my data consumption via the visual arts.

In the process of de-loading my brain, I ran across the work of photographer Christian Houge, and then this fantastic read on his work, In the Shadows of Wolves and Men. I think I could spin a conversation off every paragraph in that piece.

“We are born as something much larger than ourselves. Then you have culture coming in with boxes, with identities, teachers, religion. Before all that, we are nature and we still have all this nature inside us. Well, some more than others.”

Where does your your inner wolf fall in the pack? Mine would definitely be nearest the banjos.


24 Jan | Tu
Mobility | 3x:
GA squats x 8
Elbow plank + fwd tap x 10 ea
Monster walks x 10 ea
Reverse curl-ups x 8

Warm-up | 3x:
AD x 1:00
Dbl KBS – snatch – clean – push press x 3
Wall walk + hip taps x 3 ea
DUs x 20

Work | [from the archives]
Front squat 5 x 1 (135, 145, 155, 165 [PR] 175, 170#)
Rest x 2:00 btwn
EMOM x 10:00:
1-1/4 Front squats x 3 @ 50% (85#)
– then –
AD 30/30’s

Stretch | 10:00

Jan 26 | Th
Mobility| 3x
Wall slides x 10
SL elev glute bride x 10ea
COB hold x :20**
Hanging leg raise x 10 (straight legs, minus the momentum)

Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
Wall ball x 7 @20#
Slam balls x 7 @20#
DUs x 30

Work | O-lifting
A | 6x: Heaving snatch balance + snatch balance (4 @65, 70, 75#)
B | 4x: Front squat x 3 + 3 bounding jumps [PAP] (135/bench, 145/45×1, 145/45×2, 145#/45×2)
C | Clean + jerk [build] 6 x 1 (115, 125, 130, 135, 140, 145#)**

Auxiliary | Handstand shapes + banded hammie curls

Stretch | 20:00


Tu | Added 10 lbs to my front squat 1 RM, which delighted the fuck right outta me. Really thought I was gonna hit 175; the weight felt light. Upon review of the tapes, it looked like my bar path wasn’t as straight as it could me. Notes for next time (which ended up being O-lifting). 

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Watching the CrossFit class back squat like…

 Th | Was sort of a subdued day and felt that heading into the gymnasium. But, man, that turned around once I got going. Jumping after lifting heavy is pretty trippy. The clean and jerks felt fantastic after the PAP work. Failed on the last of six sets, at my 1RM.

For Better

“At any moment, you are exactly where you want to be, for better or worse.” -James Altucher

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I don’t really think of myself as a resolution person. I feel like sunrise everyday is a reset of sorts; why wait. But, the beginning of a new year, does have that sort of fresh and clean blank slate kinda feeling, which was totally ratcheted up by this Tim Ferriss podcast episode. He talked about his new year rituals, my favorite of which were:

  • the 17 impossible questions
  • the 80/20 review
  • Happy Money – asking “how will this thing change how I spend my time?”
  • the 5:00 Journal
  • “What is the craziest thing I could do?” brainstorming

That Happy Money question hit home. I’d gone the better part of 5 years without a TV, just streaming whatever I “needed” to see on the computer. Last year I was given a TV for Christmas (mostly because the dude who gave it to me wanted to have it for his use when he visits), and man, that has changed my habits more than I could have predicted, especially when it comes to reading. So maybe I do have a resolution: kill my TV. (Or at least unplug it.)

Have you ever bought a thing with a particular intention, only to have it not quite work out that way?

Here’s to a(n even) better, 2017!


02 Jan | M
Mobility | 3x
Bird dogs x 10 ea
Elbow plank + fwd tap x 10 ea
Reaching dead bugs x 10 ea

Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
Wall ball x 7 – making 20# the standard
Ball slams x 7
Reverse curl-ups x 7

Work | 7x EMOM-ish
DL – RDL – tall clean – push press – BTN jerk (85# barbell)
Sled pull, alt, fwd and rev (135#)
Snatch x 2
DUs x 40

Stretch | 10:00

03 Jan | Tu
Mobility | 3x
Wall slides x 10
Hip hikes x 15 ea
Banded hip bridge x 15

Warm-up | 3x
Wall ball x 10 @ 20#
Palms-up BB row x 10
DUs x 30

Work [From the archives]| 4x:
Single-arm seated KB press x 10 ea (BB, 23, 20.5, 20.5#)
Rest x 1:00
Chin–over-bar x 5 @30×3
Rest x 1:00
-then-
Single-leg hip thrust x 15 ea (cute pink KB)
Rest x 1:00 btwn legs
4x:
Handstand walk x 15′ (10′ max.)
Row x 150m
GHR x 10 (10,10,15,15#)
Rest x 1:00

Stretch | 10:00

04 Jan | W
Mobility | 3x
Wall slides x 10
Bird dogs x 10 ea

Warm-up | 3x
KBS x 10
Wall walk x 2 UB
DUs x 30

Work | O-lifting – Week 1

Clean + jerk x heavy single (125, 135, 145, 4 @150#)


M | The body was feeling rested + recovered. Rolled through the workout; focused on speed with the barbell work and on not spilling the scotch (keeping the sled moving nice and smoothly) on the pulls.

Tu | Man, I feel like I learn a little more every time I do this workout. The single arm presses were hard this time around. Used the smallest KB, which is 18 el-bees, with some plates. First round was not single-arm, and with a barbell because all the KBs were in use. Failed on the last rep of the COB holds the last three rounds; couldn’t get in the proper position at the top to lower down. Too much shrug. Those single-leg thrusts sure are booty burners. Re-positioned the right side a little bit after I noticed my set-up was different.

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What I learned today. And do you see it?  Tell me you see it…

W | Went into Oly with a nice level of back soreness. Threw some DUs inbetween attempts, which I enjoy; keeps me relaxed and shit. The cleans at 150 felt good. Do believe I need to work on the elbow position and the dip at the front end of the jerk, as well as getting under it, low and fast #nothighandtight

 

 

The Reds

“Sometimes you have to do something unforgivable just to be able to go on living.” – Carl Jung

­­­

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Illustration by The Joy of Seex

Jung keeps popping up on my radar lately; I’m thinking it’s the holidays and all the emotions expressed by the “collective unconscious” over the course of them. Perhaps, not. But, I found this article on The Red Book of Jung to be an amusing read.

And for some quotes of quotes of quotes, here’s a little snippet:

Creating the book also led (Carl) Jung to reformulate how he worked with clients, as evidenced by an entry … found in a self-published book written by a former client, in which she recalls Jung’s advice for processing what went on in the deeper and sometimes frightening parts of her mind.

“I should advise you to put it all down as beautifully as you can — in some beautifully bound book,” Jung instructed. “It will seem as if you were making the visions banal — but then you need to do that — then you are freed from the power of them. . .  Then when these things are in some precious book you can go to the book & turn over the pages & for you it will be your church — your cathedral — the silent places of your spirit where you will find renewal. If anyone tells you that it is morbid or neurotic and you listen to them — then you will lose your soul — for in that book is your soul.”

Ooh, I really dig that last part. And the section about the “big dreams”. The last one I had was pretty fucked up. I suppose I should write that down.


22 Dec | Th
Warm-up | 3x
Row x 1:00
BB RDL x 10
BB row x 10

Work | EMOM x 30:00, rotating:
Deadlift x 3 + DUs x 40 (165#)
Clean + front squat + front squat (115#)
AD x 1:00

21 Dec | W
Mobility | 3x
Wall slides x 10
Scap press x 10
TVAs x 15

Warm-up | AD + DUs

Work | O-lifting – Week 8
Jerk balance 3 x 1 (75, 85, 85#)
Front squat + jerk 3 x 1 (105, 115, 125#)
Clean + jerk [across] 5 x 1 (2@ 135, 3@140#)
Good mornings 3 x 6 (95#) 

Handstand shenanigans + stretch | 15:00

20 Dec | Tu
Mobility | 3x
GA squats x 10 ea
Hip hikes x 15 ea
OH kneeling hold things x :30
Reverse curl-ups x 10

Warm-up | 3x
Row x 1:00
Wall walk x 2 (UB)
Palms-up BB row x 10
SL RDL x 8 ea

Work | “A”
Back squat 7 x 2, rest x 2:00 @70-ish% 1RM (135#)
“B”
GH raise 5 x 10, rest x 1:00 (15#)
Banded triceps push-downs x 10, rest x 1:00
KB Sotts press x 3 ea; rest x 1:00 (26#)
“C”
Banded hamstring curls 3 x 4-5 ea

Stretch x 15:00


Tu | Read this, then tried this

Yeah, felt it in my jacked shoulder… Hmmm. Boom-(that’d be explosive)-out-the-bottom back squats felt good. The KB sotts press left me with some questions. If I’m struggling with lockout at the top… That’s a mobility issue, yes? So, would one drop weight until lockout could be achieved? Or is lockout not the point? Also, that KB takes a very different path to the top depending upon which side is doing the pressing. I need to dig into this sotts business a little more. Detective Morgan. 

W | The hip is still not happy with some movements, but, man, am I happy with how the clean and jerks are feeling. I remember when 135# was a real struggle #nomas

Th | Express workout from the archives. Wanted to get in some movement, but also had a ballet date with the Amazon belly-dancer. So, got in, did some work, got outta there; mission: accomplished.

Interesting how shitty my skin is and how the headaches and congestion have been more frequent as I’ve been indulging in the sugar and booze… Connected? Connected. Consciously.