Memento Mori

true in bed, true at any social event
True in a fire, and any social event

Have you ever laid in bed and worried about something really dumb? Like, oh man, I wonder how old the water heater in this place is? What if the gas line connection is bad and a fire starts; how will I escape? What could I break the window with? What if I can’t escape because of the security grilles on the window and then I die? What then?

Well, I guess I won’t care because I will be dead.

Go to bed, Leah.


30 March | Tu
Pillars | 3x
Plank raise x 6 @10s
Super bird dogs x 10 ea
Side plank clammie x 60s ea

Warm-up | 4x
Wall ball x 8
Push-ups x 5
Reaching DB x :30

Work | RFESS 3 x 8 @32×1 (5# plates)
Rest x 1:00
3 sets:
RDL x 5 (95,115,125#)
Rest x 1:00
BB step-ups x 8 ea (65#)
Rest x 1:00
– then –
EMOM x 10:00:
KBS x 10 (44,53#)


Inspired by this article, I tried a new variation on the dead bug in my warm up.

The standard dead bugs have gotten less challenging, even the wall-pressing ones. Using the kettlebell really engaged the lower abs.

Started with 15#ers on the RFESS but kept dropping down until I stopped cheating with my support leg. Ended up laying the orange foam roller on the bench and putting my toe on that so I absolutely couldn’t use the balance leg/foot to cheat. Ridiculous! But it worked, so maybe less ridiculous than I thought.

The RDLs and the step-ups felt strong and I woke up nice and sore in my nutcracker. (That’s my booty – squeeze the walnut.)

 

Solvitur Ambulando

“I will walk by myself
and cure myself
in the sunshine and the wind.”
-Charles Reznikoff

dime
From Sidewalk Psychology by artist Candy Chang

 

I’m endlessly amazed at the impact the ritual of my morning dog walk has on the rest of my day. Even the most reluctant start is reversed after just a few minutes in the morning sunshine. Because of this, perhaps, I was struck by a series from artist Candy Chang, Sidewalk Psychology: Self-Evaluation in Transit. She does a lot of great work. Click on the image to check it out. I particularly love Confessions, Before I Die , and I Wish I Was.

It’s important to maintain proper position while walking and figuring out your shit. The concept of “primal” posture was presented in, “Lost Posture: Why Some Indigenous Cultures May Not Have Back Pain”. The segment features the work of Esther Gokhale, a “posture guru” who studied biochemistry at a couple Ivy League schools as well as acupuncture in San Francisco. Gokhale argues the shape of our spine should be a ‘J’ rather than an ‘S’. I don’t know how qualified Gokhale is to be dishing out posture advice, but “beefy abdominal muscles” and a less sedentary lifestyle sound good to me.

Esther Gokhale’s 5 Tips for Better Posture:

  • Do a shoulder roll
  • Lengthen your spine
  • Squeeze your glutes
  • Chin back
  • Bellybutton in #NoSeltering

I modified that last one. Because… ouch. My posterior chain cries for hers. And you know I did the walnut test when walking Bo this morning. Primal posture, check.


10 June | Wednesday
Warm-up | 3 rds:
Banded walks x8
Clammies x8
Wall balls x8
DUs x20

Workout | Back squat 4×3 (135, 145, 155, 160#)
– then –
3 Rounds:
Box step ups with KB front rack x10 each leg (26#ers)
Rest x1:00
Snatch grip deadlift x5 @100#
Rest x2:00
– then –
Tabata AD for cals (71)

Stretch | 20:00

09 June | Tuesday
Rest Day

08 June | Monday
Warm-up | 3 rds:
Wall ball x10
Walking lunges x10
DUs x20
Mobility

Training | AMRAP #1 (5+100)
10:00 at consistent pace:
Run x200m
Box yumps x5 @24″
KB push press x5 @ 26#
– Rest x4:00 –
AMRAP #2 (4)
10:00 at consistent pace:
Row x200m
Power clean x5 @ 65#
Push-ups x5
– Rest x4:00 –
AMRAP #3 (5:00 – 2rds)
10:00 at consistent pace:
AD x20 cals
DUs x20


Monday. Kicked. My. Ass. Not sure if it was the 105° temperature or what, but I DNFed AMRAP #3. Now, the rest of the day I will only speak in acronyms.

Monday’s poor performance provoked me to reflect on the previous week’s regime and I discovered I hadn’t taken a rest day. Unacceptable. So, Tuesday was a rest day.

Wednesday the right glute and low back were feeling a little tight. The back squats felt good; I didn’t push it because of the tightness. Here’s the last set at 160#:

Front racks are the best ab workout ever. Couple them with step-ups and oh my, my. The AD felt fine; I was pretty fatigued (again with the head and humidity) and it wasn’t my finest performance. I’m gonna go ahead and call this week “Summer’s Bitch Slap”. I just need a few days for some adaptation. And a few extra hours of sleep this weekend.

In unrelated news…

my spirit animal
Tina Belcher might be my spirit animal

 

Wednesday-01

 

Paint Your Day

“Your body is not your masterpiece – your life is.” – Glennon Melton in this great article

use your hands
image by Jessica Wong Cruickshank

 


12 April | Sunday
Rest Day

11 April | Saturday
Rest Day

10 April | Short Shorts Friday
Foam-rolling the scoops | 20:00

Warm-up | 3 rounds:
Wall balls x8
Push-ups x5
Dead bugs x:30

Workout | RFESS 3×8 reps @ 32X1
1:00 rest btwn legs (15#)
– then –
3 sets:
RDL x5 (115, 125, 135#)
1:00 rest
Box step up x8 ea (45, 55, 60#)
1:00 rest
– then –
10:00 EMOM! (44#)
KBS x10

Chatting over beers whilst not stretching

09 April | Thursday
Mobility | 20:00

Warm-up | 3 rounds:
Wall press x10
Wall ball x8
DUs x20

Training | 4 sets:
Bench press x10 @ 55#
1:00 rest
Knees to elbow x5
3:00 rest
– then –
3 Sets:
Chinese row x10 ea (15# DB – use 20# next time)
1:00 rest
Single leg hip thrust x12 ea (15# DB – use 20# next time)
1:00 rest

Stretch | 20:00


Thursday: The Chinese aka Asian aka Hit-your-nips-with-the-dumbbell-the-first-two-sets-but-figure-it-out-by-the-last-one-ouch Row and hip thrusts were maybe not hard enough with the 15# dumbbells. I’m not sure I couldn’t have done all sets with the 20’s, but I’m thinking I should “size-up” next time, even if I have to finish with the smaller ones. Yes? Do I need to be able to do all sets at the same weight or is it fine if I have to shed some on that last round if need be?

Friday’s workout was brought to you by Sir Mix-a-Lot’s Guide to Fitness:

synopsis

Perhaps not the most appropriate sponsor considering the “Masterpiece” article shared above, but why start being appropriate now? Besides, a set of hefty glutes is a useful life tool – I’m certain of it.

Friday’s workout delivered. The split squats are always challenging in a good way. I gotta fight a little bit not to cheat and use the quads, especially on that weaker right leg, but I can tell I’m improving. I love the loaded step-ups. And the beer and chat session after the workout closed out the week perfectly.

Took the weekend off and it was glorious. Except for the fact I may have watched one too many episodes of Game of Thrones. I woke up both relieved and disappointed; no dragons, no Jon Snow. (I’m playing catch-up and nearly through Season 2, so no spoilers!)

04-13 rearview-01

RBG

“I don’t think you go looking for happiness. I think that one fine day you say, “To heck with it,” and go looking for trouble. And you find happiness.” – Robert Brault

I think Ruth Bader Ginsberg went looking for trouble… and ended up becoming a powerful voice for gender equality. Such a fascinating and entertaining interview!

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg Interview & Transcript


17 February | Tuesday

Foam roller | 20:00

Workout | 3 sets:
Bench press x5 (75,75,80#)
Rest 1:00
GHD raise x5-7
Rest 2:00
– then –
3 sets:
Ring push ups x5 tough reps
Rest 1:00
Single leg hip thrust x20 reps
Rest 2:00
– then –
Iron Scap 1 time through

Stretch | 20:00

16 February | Monday

Roller | 15:00

Training | 5 sets:
AD 5:00
DUs x30
KB step-ups (2×26#)

Stretch | 20:00


Tuesday’s ‘Nasium Tips:

  • Face the wall when you do your single leg hip thrusts; there’s a face involved
  • The perfect postition of the GHD food pads for the glute hammies is 2.5 holes exposed (hmm… don’t talk about exposed holes, Morgan)
  • Don’t call Katie “Amanda”
not fitspo
I had a wardrobe malfunction at the office this week. I bet these glutes turn ALL the work pants into tear-a-ways… Really Big Glute problems. RBG… see what I did there? Supreme!

The Iron Scap Routine (would we call it a routine? I feel like maybe it should have a soundtrack then…) was challenging. I can never remember which bands have more or less tension. Also we need  a set-up like homegirl has on you tube – that strap attaching the bands to the rig. Or I just need to do it more. (Yep, pretty sure that’s the case.) I found the AYTY’s and Snow Angels to be the hardest. Taking notes from PT, I really have to focus to fire those midback muscles. Caught my self shrugging a few times. 

Monday was recovery-ish as I had a PT session over the lunch hour. The KB step-ups are feeling stronger.

02-18

Trademark

“Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after an experience with you becomes your trademark.” – Jay Danzie

Lulu lemons

Found this write-up about the Lulu’s, Branded Calves, to be very interesting. What image does the Lululemon logo conjure up for me, personally? “First world problems” followed  way too quickly by “an ass like an angel”.


11 February | Wednesday

Roller | 15:00

Warm up | 3 rds:
10 OH Walking Lunges
10 Wallballs
20 DUs

Training | Back squat
w/ 3:00 rest between sets
1.  5 reps @ 105#
2.  4 @ 110#
3.  3 @ 120#
4.  2 @ 125#
5.  1 @ 130#
6.  AMRAP @ 105# (17)
– and zen –
3 Sets:
Barbell RDL x8 each leg (45# BB)
1:00 rest
DB step-ups x8 each leg (26# KBs)
right into
Row x 1:00
2:00 rest

10 February | Tuesday

MFR | 15:00

Warm-up | 3 rds:
5 push ups
10 KBS
20 DUs

Workout | 4 sets:
Bench press x3 w/ :03 pause @ top (85,90,90,95#)
1:00 rest
Chinese row x5 ea. (20# DB)
2:00 rest
– then –
15:00 of TGU work

Stretch | 20:00


Tuesday was TGU day. I nearly completed an bottoms up with the 26# KB. Nearly.

bottoms up dance
The bottoms-up completion dance

Really paid attention to my back position on the squat. There was lots of chatter on the internet and my podcasts about PPT and improper lumbar position in the back squat, as well as low bar and high bar variations. It was interesting. Anyway, the back squats felt good, despite my lower back still being sore from Monday’s deficit deadlifts. I noted that on my last AMRAP rep I shifted weight to my left side, so I stopped there. 

I really “enjoyed” Wednesday’s sequence. It was challenging in a quiet way. Does that make sense? 

02-11

More Freaky Humans

“If you want to win anything — a race, your self, your life — you have to go a little berserk.” -George Sheehan

Ali and I were chatting about how CrossFit has evolved as it’s popularity has grown, from a novice perspective. It’s awesome that more people are checking out CrossFit, but I think the Kool-Aid has become a little watered down. A few years ago it was my experience that CrossFit involved a community of people supporting one another in bettering themselves. Period.

Now I’m not saying that community is gone – one of the many things that makes DTP so fantastic is it’s sense of community. But it appears that many noobs aren’t picking up on the “lifestyle” message. I know people who have “gone Paleo” or “do CrossFit” now, but what they mean is they are “on-yet-another-diet” and “get-really-sweaty-for-an-hour” with all other factors remaining the same – no thought on the bigger picture. There’s a difference between “minimum effective dose” and “how can I cheat the system”. Where do you draw the line? I’ll hold myself to a higher standard in the gym, but as soon as I step out the door it’s business as usual…?

its my blog I make the rules
I realize I’m making some broad generalizations, but my blog, my rules.

The latest promo video attempts to make that connection between gym and life, although I think they missed the mark. They don’t succeed in demonstrating how flipping tires or performing toes-to-bar don’t merely, in their own works, make you a better tire flipper. How about squatting down to pick up a child and bag of groceries or loading a 45# bag of dog food from the shelf to you shoulder – no cart required. While I understand that not all training translates in such an obvious way, if you’re trying convince a population of people without exposure to this methodology shouldn’t you speak their language? The promo clip is pretty motivational and bad-ass, but it tastes of fitspo, which I despise like decaf. And you can keep your ripped, bloody hands.


29 January | Pre-Friday

Mobility | 15:00

Training | 10:00 of work @ consistent pace: (5 rds)
200m run
Bench press x5 (75#)
Du’s x20

4:00 rest

10:00 @ consistent pace: (3 rds +14)
Box jump step down x10
Renegade row x10 total reps (15# DBs)
AD x20 cals

4:00 rest

10:00 @ consistent pace: (3 rds +15)
KB snatch x5 ea (35#)
Knees to elbows x5 (floor)
200m run

Stretch | 20:00

28 January | Wednesday

Chattin’ whilst Rollin’  | 20:00

Warm-up | 3 rounds NFT:
10 Wall Balls
10 OH Walking Lunges
:45 Row

Training | Back squat w/ 3:00 rest btwn sets:
1.  5 reps @ 100#
2.  4 @ 105#
3.  3 @ 115#
4.  2 @ 120#
5.  1 @ 125#
6.  AMRAP @ 100# (13)

– then –

3 Sets:
Single leg RDL x8 ea. (35# KB)
1:00 rest
Box step ups x8 ea. (45, 50, 55#)
right into
1:00 Row

GB Handstand Challenge | Day 9 Knee Control (30 reps)
S2HS practice

Stretch | 20:00


Wednesday’s back squat workout was interesting – a couple focal points were spotting straight ahead rather than looking at the floor and keeping my arms close to my body, using my elbows to keep my chest from falling forward, driving up. I think I could have eeked out a couple more reps. I tend to “save some” for the rest of the workout. 

As I write this, I am not experiencing the second-day delayed muscles soreness that usually follows RDLs and step-ups. So next time I’ll try the RDLs using the 44# KB and start with a heavier weight on the barbell for the step-ups. In the past I hadn’t used a 45# plate at the base because the ridges in the plate made me a little uncomfortable (waaaah!). I didn’t understand that you want the hip above the knee in the start position – to get those glutes engaged rather than the quad, I am guessing… Anyway, that start position really changed how these felt. The right side still feels weaker than the left, as my knee wants to fall in when I step up. But I’m aware of this, and it’s improving. So, yay progress. (And was there supposed to be a rest after the row??? I took 2:00… Pppt…)

Thursday was “running in the rain” day and that was awesome. It felt good to run. I dropped to my knees on the push-up portion of the renegade row (continuous movement) but planked out on the row itself, being mindful of the hip position. I also modified the knees to elbow to the floor version ’cause that hanging action bugs the shoulder. Must get that looked at now that the insurance has reset for the year. 2014 – Year of the Hip. 2015- Year of the Shoulder.

01-29
Work was really stressful. And nothing makes the espresso taste better.

 

The Good Doctor(s)

what was that bossman
The appropriate response to your boss when he asks you to pick up his dry cleaning

Way back in the dial-up days, a drinking buddy of mine and I used to joke about the need for a website to find all the hot doctors. Specifically, we wanted a hot dentist; the rationale being that gazing at a handsome face would really enhance the overall experience of a dental cleaning and while they are medical professionals, dentists don’t get too… invasive.

I recently went in for my yearly physical and blood work. Honestly, this was the very first time I had a panel done and I was looking forward to seeing what info the results would yield. Now, my doctor is pretty awesome – she’s got big Texas hair (actually a wig) and is a great listener and thorough explainer of all things. I’m talking the kind of doc who spends a good hour plus talking with you before even touching her stethoscope.

That being said, she and I have some very different views on things I consider to be relevant. And I have searched to find another MD or DO whose philosophy aligns with my own – and also accepts my insurance. This search is ongoing…

The universe delivered this weekend. Tucked into the latest episode of the TED Radio Hour was a discussion about doctor transparency and patients’ right to know their doctors stance on issues that could directly affect their health. Leana Wen, an ER physician and patient advocate, founded a campaign,Who’s My Doctor, to break down what she calls the “barrier of fear” between patients and their doctors. I prefer the dialogue in the podcast, which you can listen to here, but if you prefer the visuals, here is the TED talk:

 


 16 December | Tuesday

Weight (of myself) | 158# (finally remembered to do this)

Warm-up | 4 rounds:
10 Wall balls
15 Sit-ups
20 DUs
100m row

Werk-out |
3 sets:
Chin over bar hold x Max (:20, :18, :22)
1:30 rest
8 sets:
Jerk x2 (95 push, 95 split, 105 push,  105 split, 115 split, 120, 115, 115)
2:00 rest
3 set:
GH raise x3
right into
Chinese row x8 ea side (20# DB)
1:30 rest

Stretch | 20:00

15 December | Monday

Warm-up | 3 rounds:
10 Wall balls
15 KBS
20 DU’s

Workout |
4 sets:
Wide grip bench press x3 (85,90,90,90#)
:30 rest
Chin up x5 (failed on numero 4 of the last set)
2:00 rest
3 Sets :
KB front rack box step ups x8 ea leg (2×26# KBs)
1:00 rest between
AD Sprints x5 sets
:20 sprint, 2:00 rest


Monday’s workout: The wide grip bench felt strong, unlike the chin-ups. My grip and traps were really fatigued from the kickboxing session, I am guessing. After completing the step-ups and upon watching Ali’s demo to the 6:00 class, I realized my box was not in the proper position. Ha! I am uneasy stepping down onto the ridges in bumper plates so I omitted them –  only to learn that positioning your hip above your knee was the whole point. Oops. That being said, I still felt it in my glutes and a TON in my abz. The AD sprints are good for the soul.

Tuesday! My forearms and grip was SAF so the chin-over-bar holds were brief. I also hate them. I know that is why I need to do them. The jerks were fun (I love fun with jerks!) but the barbell felt heavy fast. When I got up to 120# I was really feeling it in my lower back. I fought to keep everything engaged but it felt like I was sticking my ass out. So I shed a little weight there and finished the sets. The glute-hammie raises are really hard! I love them though! Here’s my video (where I can see I am lifting my heels which is no good):

During stretch we chatted about the difference between being healthy and being an athlete, how an athlete often times sacrifices their health in some aspect for their sport. And then I went home and read an article on SB Nation about playing with concussions in the NFL. I’d say knocking a decade off your lifetime is a pretty big sacrifice.

12-16