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.


Staring It in the Face

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” – Edward Everett Hale

Regardless of where you stand, the images taken from Friday’s Presidential Inauguration are a pretty telling lesson in body language and facial expressions. The Not Face seen ’round the world.

If images of the new POTUS make you screw up your face, I totally get it. May I suggest installing Make America Kittens Again. Here to help, friends.

20 Jan | F
Mobility | 3x
Bird dogs x 10 ea
Scap press x 10
Banded clammies x 12 ea
Side plank + leg lift x :30 ea

Warm-up | 3x
Wall ball x 8
ing rows x 8
Box jumps x 5
Row x 150m

Work | Class MAP session
A | x 10:00 @ 85%
Wall ball x 15 UB
Slam ball x 5 (20#)
Slam ball TGU x 2 ea (30#)
– Rest x 3:00 –
B | x 10:00 @ 85%
DUs x 30
Bear crawl/crab walk
Ring row x 10
– Rest x 3:00 –
C | x 10:00 @ 85%
Sit-ups x 10
Box jump w/ step down x 10
Run x 200m

21 Jan | Sa
Warm-up | 3x
KB moves
Slam balls x 5
DUs x 20

Work | O-lifting – Week 2
A | 4x: (135#)
Clean pull from blocks [BTK] x 3
right into
Clean high-pull from blocks [BTK] x 3
right into
Clean high-pull w/ foot transitions [floor] x 1
B | 4x: [PAP]
Sled push + sprint
C| 3x:
Samurai squats x 10 (35#)
Fwd banded shoulder rolls x 10

Some stretch

F | Shoulda been a rest day. Feeling pretty spent from this week’s work. The body is feeling great, but the CNS… left on read. LOVED the slam ball TGUs! So revealing. The toughest sequences were the TGUs to the wall balls, and the crawling around on the floor to the ring rows. The running felt nice, actually.

Sa | Pulled lighter weight because, yes, I need a rest day. The last movement on part A was… Awkward. What foot transitions? Ha.

This week’s JRE has convinced me to give a restricted eating window a try. Per Joe’s convo with Dr, Rhonda, limiting your eating window to 10-12 hours, 5 days a week can increase muscle mass. Curious, I want to test that. I’ve installed and set up the Zero fasting app… Stay tuned for updates, if you’re into that kinda thing.

Joe & Rhonda cover a lot of great shit in that podcast. The conversation went together like kitties and tots (or maple and bacon, if you prefer) with the article Ali shared on the blog last week about cultivating discipline over motivation.

Rogan brings up the idea of allowing yourself to “fuck-off” on the little shit and how that merely builds a foundation for not getting shit done when it counts; “the way a person does one thing is the way they do everything” kind of thing. (Like when you need to be designing casework details, but instead you’re writing a blog post.) Rhonda continues with how this can operate in a similar way, but with lies.

This got me circling back to the new POTUS and his choice of words and actions. It will be, um, interesting to see he goes from here.


The Only Way I Want It

“I want to storm in both directions at once. Desire success, court failure.” -Alan Rickman


It seems right to share the newest addition to the current reads stack. What’s on the top of your heap?

17 Jan | Tu
Mobility | 3x
Wall slides x 10
Single-leg elev hip bridge x 10 ea
TVAs x 15

Warm-up | 3x
KB – swing – snatch – RDL x 5 ea
Wall walk x 2 UB
BB RDL x 7
BB row x 7

Work | [favorite]
30:00, rotating: (6)
Front-rack KB carry x 50m [rig to platforms + back] (44#ers)
AD x 1:00
DL x 3 @ 175#
Row x 1:00

Full-size stretch | 20:00

18 Jan | W
Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
Slam balls x 7 @20#
DUs x 20

Work | O-lifting – Week 2
A | Muscle snatch 4 x 2 [build] (65, 75, 85, 85#)
B | 3x: Good mornings x 10 [across – challenging] (95#)
Right into
Snatch-grip pendlay rows x 6-8 (55#)
C| 4x: Bench press 4x 3 [challenging] (95, 95, 90, 90#)
Immediately into
Push-up x AMRAP -2 [Fast AF – PAP] (incline 7, 7, 7, 8)

19 Jan | Th
Warm-up | 3x
Row x 1:00
Wall walk
DUs x 20

Work | [from the archives]
Back squat 5 x 1 (145, 155, 165, 175, 185# PR!)
EMOM x 10:00
1-1/4 back squat x 3 @50% (95#)
EMOM x 10:00
Slam ball x 10
KBS x 10 @ 53#

Tu | The legs seemed to have recovered from Saturday’s sled-sprints. I really like this workout, it’s sneaky hard; begin anything by squishing your guts and making breathing awkward and I suppose that sets the tone for the rest of the work to be done.

W | Can I blame my long ass arms for sucking so much on the forward pressing? I know; excuses. Wednesday was a humbling workout for sure. And with some insights into how recovered I was during the warm-up, struggling to string the DUs together. Muscle snatches felt strong. Bench did not – right side slow to finish at fatigue set in. The Fast AF push-ups… eh, not so fast, but the most I could muster.

Th | Sneaked in a back squat PR! That made me feel pretty nice. Really sore from all the pressing. Subbed some hinging for the Rx squatting because my legs were jello from the first two sections. Focused on moving the KB with intention; are you gonna ask it, or tell it?


“The world is this continually unfolding set of possibilities and opportunities, and the tricky thing about life is, on the one hand having the courage to enter into things that aren’t familiar, but to also to have the wisdom to stop exploring when you’ve found something that’s worth sticking around for. That’s true of a place, a person, of a vocation… It’s very hard to get the balance of those two things right… Be careful not to err on one side or the other because you have an ill-conceived idea of who you are.” -Sebastian Junger

Jenny Holzer, Living Series

Got to thinking (uh-oh) about a statement Kirk Parsley dropped whilst chatting with the dudes at BBS. Doc Parsley talked about how we like to separate the body into systems, cardiac, nervous, etc, in an attempt to understand and learn them, but the fact remains we are just one very complex system. He then goes on to explain how we do this in a similar fashion with the pillars of health: stress, sleep, movement, food. We try to isolate them, but you can’t change one without influencing the others.

It’s funny how we humans like to compartmentalize, put shit in boxes, or if you’re my mother, zipper pouches and decorative tins. The “systems” of the body got me thinking about the systems of our “self”. I’ve been thinking a lot about my roles, or what I perceive my role in different spheres of my life to be. Prompted by this read from Forbes, which focuses primarily on work (know your audience) it occurred to me that just like the physical human body, our identity is interconnected as well, maybe less like a series of balls we juggle and more like weighted hula hoop. How does who we are, or perception of self change as we redistribute the weight?

What have been your Rhonda Rousey moments?

12 Jan | Th
Mobility |3x
Glute press x 10
Scap press x 10
Reverse curl-ups x 10

Warm-up | 3x
KB swing x 5 – snatch x 5 ea – RDL x 5ea

Work | EMOM x 30:00
TGU x 1 ea (5 @44#, 5 @53#)
DUs x 40
AD x 1:00

Stretch | some

14 Jan | Sa
Mobility | 3x
Wall slides x 10
Bird dogs x 10
TVAs x 15

Warm-up | 3x
Row x 1:00
Wall walk x 2 unbroken (hold at plank)
Slam balls x 5 @20#
DUs x 20

Work | O-lifting – Week 2
Hang snatch + snatch x 4 (75, 75, 85, 85, 85#)
4x: Sled run @240# x 10 yds immediately into sprint x 10 yds [PAP]
3x: Pause clean [1″ – BTK – mid-thigh] x1 + jerk x 2 (105, 115, 125#)

Stretch | 10:00

16 Jan | M
Warm-up | 3x
Laps around the bldg + pipe moves

Work | Recess
EMOM x 30:00, rotating:
DUs x 40
Power clean [TNG] x 4 (105#)
Push press x 3 + jerk x 1

Short stretch | 7:00

Th | Stressful work day + so much booty soreness = make up an EMOM to move through. Really digging the KBs in the warm-up. And those 53# TGUs are solid for more than just a couple reps. Gotta give that 62# a run next time I’m working the get-ups. 

Sa | Snatches didn’t go well, but man, did I dig that PAP work! Couldn’t shake the air brakes on the snatches which tells me my hip is bugging no matter how much I want to will (lie to) myself that it’s not. That moment of transition from the sled push into the sprint is amazing! Maybe the first time I’ve ever FELT like I was sprinting. 

M | Super sore in the quads; Saturday’s sprints, perhaps…?

Mental Muscles

“There are some jokes you cannot understand until you have been a fool many, many years and thought yourself finally cured, and then found out that you had just become a different kind of fool.” -Robert Anton Wilson


27 Questions

09 Jan | M
Mobility | 3x
Glewt activator sqwaaats x 10
Elbow plank + reach thru x 10 ea
Plate hold x :20

Warm-up | 3x
Wall balls x 7 @ 20#
BB RDL x 10
BB palms-up row x 10
Row x 100m

Work | “A”
Back squat 7 x 2 @ +/- 70% 1RM (145#)
Rest x 2:00
Death march 5 x 10 (35# KBs), right into
Banded tricep push-downs x 10 (blue), right into
Row x 250m (:55, :55, :56, :54, :55)
Rest x 1:00
Banded hamstrang curls 3 x 5 ea (blue)

Handstand walks for fun + some stretch, but mostly chats | 10:00

10 Jan | Tu
Mobility | 3x
Cossack lunges x 8 ea
Scorpions x 5 ea
Bird dogs x 8 ea
Reaching dbl dead bugs  x 10

Warm-up | 3x
DUs x 30
Slam balls x 7
Banded OH press x 7 ea

Work [Booty 5000] | “A”
Bench press 7 x 3 (85#), right into
Hang power clean x 3 (tall cleans @105#)
Rest x 2:00
Incline single-arm KB bench press 5 x 5 ea (26#), right into
Hang power snatch x 2 (75#)
Rest x 2:00
Zercher lunges 4 x 5 ea @ 75#, right into
Bench hip bridge x 15 ea
Rest x 1:00

11 Jan | W
Warm-up | Weak. Some DUs

Work | O-lifting – Week 2 – Testing Post-Activation Potentiation
Pause snatch pull [1″ – BTK – mid-thigh – pop!] 4 x 2, right into
Snatch high-pull x 1 (115#)
High-hang clean 4 x 1 (2@ 125, 2@ 135#)
“C” [PAP]
Front squat 3 x 3 @ 80% of 1RM C+J, right into (125/65#)
Front squat 3 x 3 @ 50% of 80% [move fucking fast!]

M | The squats felt really good. Looked like I had a hint of ass wink primarily on the first rep. Not sure about my ROM on the hammie curls; it feels a little short. Added some handstand walks at the end because they felt so effortless on Saturday and I wanted to test that.

Tu | Check. All ladies bars in use; subbed a big one (heh!) for the duration. This made for some fun re-gripping on the snatches. Might have to do that again.

W | So much booty soreness from Tuesday’s sesh. On the back end of that workout I was questioning whether I’d used enough weight on the forward pressing components. The soreness in my lats and chest reminds me it’s not just about the lbs.

Cue of the Day from the Skipper: Stand up straight, arms at your side, feel squat distance apart. Now lean forward and come up on your toes, paying attention to what muscles are engaging as you do this. Lean backwards doing the same. Now go back and forth, and feel the transition from quad to glute. Now consider the top of your pull and how these two relate.

Excited to test the PAP this cycle. Despite not falling on to the fast twitch portion of the continuum, maybe AT ALL, testing will be fun. Already has me considering how it is I think about exploding out of the bottom. Are you actually moving fast or are thinking you’re moving fast? Let’s do both.