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.


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

monday motivation-01.jpg

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]
Bench press 7 x 3 (85#), right into
Hang power clean x 3 (tall cleans @105#)
Rest x 2:00
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
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]
Front squat x 5 @50% (115#)
Back squat x 5
Rest x 2:00
Banded RDLs x 12 ea (green)
Rest x 1:00
Banded hamstring curls x 10 ea (blue – hip bones into floor)
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
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

The Big Bad Wolf

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

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). 

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.

Let It Ride

“The harder we try with the conscious will to do something, the less we shall succeed.

Proficiency and the results of proficiency come only to those who have learned the paradoxical art of doing and not doing, or combining relaxation with activity, of letting go as a person in order that the immanent and transcendent unknown quantity may take hold.

We cannot make ourselves understand; the most we can do is to foster a state of mind, in which understanding may come to us”. Aldous Huxley, The Law of Reversed Effort

December brought the start of a new audio book, though I’m not sure how much further I’ll make it; too many fucks, even for me. Or maybe I’ve already gleaned out of it what was intended… Hmm. Here’s an excerpt on The Backwards Law. And if all the fucks get to you too, hit the last three paragraphs.

And if instead, you’re saying, “Fuck, Morgan! I’ve had my fill of the words,” here’s a highly scientific dominant personality trait quiz. I got Intelligence, which only proves it’s flawed.

03 Dec | Sa
Warm-up | 3x
Row x 1:00
Wall slides x 10
DUs x 30
Slam ball x 7

Work | O-lifting – Week 5
3x: (65, 65, 75#)
Heaving snatch balance x 2
Snatch balance x 2
Two-position snatch [floor – hang] + OHS 5 x 1 (75, 80, 85, 90, 95#)
Tabata hollow body holds/push-ups

02 Dec | F
Mobility | 3x
Single-leg adductor squat x 10 ea
Chin-over-bar holds x :20
Reverse curl-ups x 10

Warm-up | 3x
Row x 1:00
KB sequence
DUs x 30
KB row x 8 ea

Work [From the archives]| Back squats 10 x 2 (165#)
Rest x 2:00
BB bi’s x 10
Rest x 1:00
Tricep push-downs x 20
Rest x 1:00
Death march 3 x 20 steps (26# KBs)
Rest x 1:30

Stretch | Not tonight, Batman

30 Nov | W
Mobility | 3x
Prone glute press x 10
Scap press x 10
TVA drops x 15

Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
Wall ball x 10
DUs x 30

Work | O-lifting – Week 5
Tall muscle clean 3 x 3 (75, 85, 90#)
Tall power clean 3 x 3 (95, 105, 100#)
Tall clean 3 x 3 (105, 105, 110#)
Mid-hang clean 3 x 3 (115, 120, 125#)
Clean segment DL [2s pause @1″ – knee – mid thigh] 3 x 3 (145#)
Clean 3 x 1 (145, 135, 140, 140#)

W | Lots of volume; really enjoyed the progression. On the mid-hangs I was surprised at how much I’d gotten accustomed to standing all the way up and then backing down to get tension, rather than keeping tension from the floor. Oooh, awareness. Pre-fatigue was a real thing by the time we arrived to the full cleans. Protecting that right hip a bit, so I was cautious not to go crazy with the lbs. Pretty happy with how solid they felt coming outta the bottom. 

queso del fuego.JPG
I was gonna post some footage, but the clean progression pales in comparison to the cheese on the face of El Fuego, amiright? You know you smiled too…

F | Rolled thru the workout. Gotta up my game with the death march using KBs; I think it’s easier with KBs compared to the dumbbells, but will wait for the soreness check manana. Post work-out re-feed food prep morphed into My Drunk Kitchen with shocking speed #lightweight #noob

Sa | My hip and back felt a little tight, but the movement felt good. Kept it light so it’d stay that way. Well – *steps into the honestly zone* – the balance things stay light regardless. Gotta get faster on the push/pull under there. The snatches felt nice, with minimal air brakes. Here are some visuals…. which I’ll also file under “when you are reminded why a beanie pairs better with side braids than a pony”… #penishead #justthetip #whyamIhashtaggingeverything


“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.

A Breather

“A desk is a dangerous place from which to view  the world.” -John le Carre

from the tent

Back to the office tomorrow. I’m so excited.

Rest day this week involved some swimming. I learn some things about my breathing when I get in a pool. This article was pretty informative for me; I’ve always pictured my diaphragm working in the opposite direction, contracted on the inhale. Hmm… So it’s like a plunger. Learned something new today.

Thought this BBS vid on box breathing was worth the time, too. I mean, the SEALs do it. What is it that Coach Sommer says? “If the best in the world are doing it to get stronger, why the fuck aren’t you?” Don’t quote me on that.

10 July | Su
Roll + Mobility | 3x
Wall press x 10
Glute press x 10
Single-arm plank x :30 ea
SL Elevated hip bridge x 12 ea

Recovery | Collecting some vitamin D in the cement pond

09 July | Sa
Warm-up | 3x
Row x 200m
DUs x 30

Work | O-lifting Week 1
A. Clean pulls 3 x 3 (165#)
B1. 2-Position clean – floor, high-hang – 3 x 3 (115,115,105#)
B2. Rack jerk 3 x 3 (95,95,105#)
Cross chop 3 x 8 ea (15#)
Tricep pull downs x 100

Handstands + Stretch | 30:00

08 July | F
Warm-up | 3x
Run around the ‘nasium x 2
Slam balls x 5 (30#)
OH walking lunges x 10

Work | Recess
Barbell Complex:
Hang power clean
Push press/jerk/split jerk
Good mornings
Back squat
x 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 (75,80,85…110#)

Stretch | 15:00

07 July | Th
Mobility | 3x
GA squat x 10
Scap press x 10
Side plank + LL x :20 ea
TVA leg drops x 15

Warm-up | 3x
Row x 1:00
Wall ball x 7
DUs x 20
BB rows x 10

Work | O-lifting – Week1
Heaving snatch balance 3 x 3 (70,75,75#)
1-1/4 OHS 3 x 3 (75,80,85#)
Segmented snatch 3 x 3 (75#)
3 sets:
Reverse curl-ups x 10
Side bend x 10 (25#)

Auxiliary | 3x
Rev row sit-backs x 6
Pistol sticks x 5 ea (2 sets)
Ring leg curls x 6

Stretch | 10:00

Thursday it just felt so great to mobilize and move! I dug into the difference between drop snatch, snatch balance, and the heaving snatch balance after the workout. So, the heaving snatch balance should be heavier. Got it. I didn’t feel like I moved particularly well, having to correct my quads from doing all the work on the OHS, and catching my right heel coming up on the segmented snatch, so I kept the lbs light and just focused on movement. Adding leg curls to the auxiliary work was not the best idea, in hindsight.

The determining factor of Friday’s workout was definitely the good morning. Once I got up around a hundy I struggled to maintain good position with my low back wanting to round.

Didn’t govern myself very well on Friday. I felt pretty fried Saturday morning and it showed.

Took some time for some self care last week. Check out this excellent demo on how to remove calluses! Razor blades are for noobs.