Save As

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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.

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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]
5x:
Incline bench x 3 (80, 80, 85, 85, 90#)
Rest x 1:00
Banded pull-ups x 6 (blue + green)
Rest x 2:00
-then-
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
-then-
5x:
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.

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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.

Pillows

“Don’t believe everything you think.” -BJ Miller, MD

So then that’s Dr. BJ, amiright?

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Explosions 2.0 by Ken Hermann

Dropping bombs with DJ Khaled


05 Jan | Th
Mo-buhl-eyes |3x
Cossack lunge x 8 ea
Cobra x 8
Hanging leg raise x 8

Warm-up | AD x 5:00
A-Y-Ts 3 x 5 ea

Work | “A”
3x: Run x 400 m
Pendlay row x 10 (65#)
KB push press x 10 (did the Zerchers here @ 75#)
-Rest x 2:00-
“B”
4x: KB snatch x 3 ea + 5 swings + 5 RDL ea (44#)
Zercher squats x 10 (did the KB push press here x 35#ers)
-Rest x 2:00-
“C”
5x: Single-leg banded hammie curls x 5 ea (blue)
Pallof press x 12 ea (red)

Stretch | 10:00

06 Jan | F
Moblity | 3x
GA squat x 10
Scap press x 10
Moster walks x 10 ea

Warm-it up | 3x
AD x 1:00
Banded rows x 12 ea
V-ups x 10

Work | Chin-over-bar holds 3 x 20s, rest x 1:00
Ring dip holds 3 x 15-20s, rest x 1:00 (15s)
Pistols 3 x 5 ea, rest x 1:00

Stretch | 15:00

07 Jan | Sa
Mobility | 3x
Bird dogs x 10 ea
Wall slides x 10
Side clammie holds x 30s ea

Warm-up | 3x
Slam balls x 5 @ 30#
Wall walk x 2 UB
DUs x 30

Work | O-lifting – Week 1
Snatch x heavy single (85, 95, 95 , 105, 105, 110, 115#)

Auxiliary | 3x
Reverse row sit-backs x 6
Ring leg curls x 10
Handstand walks for distance (12′ PR)


Th | Totally fucked up the components of the workout, switching the Zerchers and the push press. A blossoming sinus infection reminded me of the importance of breathing #mouthbreather. Digging the KB work. And was surprised at how much I got the shakes during the Pallof work, which I did split with rig facing leg forward. 

F | Was thankful for the lighter day; had it been any more work, I’d have taken a rest day. The ring dip holds are really challenging; fought for 15 seconds each round. Phase II sinus crap turned then pistols into a cardio session. 

Sa | Wasn’t a spicy day with the barbell; failing at 95# was a pretty good indicator. Had the air brakes in full effect. I don’t get it; I’m mobile enough to get low with a load overhead; why am I not able to get there in the receiving position with the snatch? Many more reps to come. And lifting shoes. Here’s a compilation of the heavy singles:

Was perusing for some old lifting vids and stumbled upon some pics from the last nutrition challenge. Thought it’d be fun to take some currents and compare. The lighting and threads are different, but I think I see the delta; I certainly know I feel it.

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Top: 45-Nutrition Challenge “befores” (July 2015) Middle: 45DNC “afters” (Aug 2015) Bottom: Today (It’s January of 2017 – welcome!)

Fortunately, my sinuses have not exploded through my face and are feeling better; I’m excited for the week ahead – training and the others.

Trick or Treat

“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.” -Nathaniel Hawthorne

trick-or-treat


29 Oct | Sa
Warm-up | Row + DUs + Mobility moves

Work | O-lifting
Snatch 1RMs (105, 115, 110 (power), 110 (PR), 115#)

Work | Farewell OG-nasium Class
“Wrecking Ball” (partner, 19:57)
Wall balls x 100 (14#)
Run x 200m
Burpees x 100
Run x 200m
DUs x 100
Run x 200m
KBS x 100 (44#)
Run x 200m

Stretch | 20:00

28 Oct | F
Mobility | 3x
Wall press x 10
GA squat x 10
Banded clammies x 12 ea
Reaching dead bugs x 1:00

Work | EMOM x 30:00, rotating:
Bench x 3 (75#) + DUs x 30
DL x 5 (135#)
AD x 1:00
-then-
4x:
Single-arm DB row x 12ea (20#)
Rest x 1:00
Banded T’s x 10
Rest x 1:00


Saturday was a day! Kinda tickled with the 10# snatch PR – and that 115 was so close. Followed the snatches with a fun partner workout with Jennifer K! Oh man, it’s been a while since I’ve done such CrossFit-y things. And then there was endings and beginnings with the Cartel…

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Onward and upward – Leah D as Tina B

I mentioned the Holiday Havoc comp to Mayhem… who promptly signed us up. So, we’ve got 2 months to get to 165# on those snatches #realisticgoals #justjokes #peerpressure #ifitdoesntscareyou #boo

In Motion

“The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth of the hole.” -The Gun

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[Pepi Merisio – Grandma Splitting Wood On The Steps, 1952] Get it, Granny
So many things in motion; it’s exciting times! Recent maneuvering in my work sphere has me rediscovering the catharsis of hand-drafting; the focused action that lets you lose your mind, in a good way.

My design school mentor used technical drawing as a first move with any project. His method was straightforward: find your inspiration (often a building plan), place it on your site, and literally copy that shit with your hands and a lead holder. It’s amazing the things you pick up from doing this – scale, the gesture, the procession.

What I like most about this method are the unknowns – the things you pick up that don’t reveal themselves until later on in the timeline – the slope of a roof-line, a collection of columns, the way light patterns a surface. It’s essentially trusting that the time you invest now will benefit you in some way down the road, whether you recognize it or not. For me it parallels the idea of “acting out the narrative” that Jami Tikkanen brought up with the Aussies this week. Check it.

My latest copy job is courtesy of the greats Enric Miralles and Carme Pinos and their Olympic Archery Range in Barcelona. Check that, too.

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Mmm, girl

27 Oct | Th
Mobility | 3x
Adductor squat x 8 ea
Reverse table x 8
Hanging leg raises x 8

Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
OHWL x 10
BB good mornings x 10
BB row x 10

Work [Favorite] | 5x
Front squat x 5 @ 75% 1RM (120#)
Back squats x 5
Rest x 2:00
-then-
Front rack KB reverse lunges 4 x 6 ea (35# KBs)
Rest x 1:00 between legs -then-
3x: [6:18]
Slam balls x 5 (30#)
Snatches x 5 @ 65#
Row x 200m

Express stretch | 10:00

26 Oct | W
Mobility | 3x
Scap press x 8
Super bird dogs x 8 ea
Hollow rocks + solid arch x 8

Warm-up | Row + PVC things

Work | O-lifting – Week 8
C+J 1RM disguised as EMOM x 12:00, rotating:
Clean + jerk x 1 (115, 125, 135, 145 (PR), 150, 150#)
DUs x 25
-then-
EMOM x 12:00, rotating,
KBS x 10 (53#)
Sit-ups x 10

Stretch | 15:00

24 Oct | M
Mobility | 3x
Wall rotation + press x 10
Glute press x 10
TVA’s x 15

Warm-up | 3x
Wall balls x 10
GHR x 7
Banded rows x 10

Work | 4x:
RDLs x 4 @5050 (135, 135, 145#…)
Rest x 1:00
Single-arm seated DB press x 8 ea (25#)
Rest x 1:00
-then-
Single-leg hip thrusts x 12 (15, 20, 20, 25#)
Rest x 1:00 btwn legs
-then-
Assault bike x 10:00, e’ry 2:00 perform a horseshoe*

Stretch | 15:00


*Horseshoe: walk up the wall, 5 steps laterally, walk down the wall, walk up the wall, 5 steps laterally the other direction, walk down the wall. Get it? Right hip is still nagging me a little bit. Protein bars for dinner FTW.

Clean + jerk felt really good and I got a 10# PR there. PR’d my clean with 150#, but just couldn’t nail the jerk. But I know it’s there… So  yeah, EMOMs – the new method for establishing 1RMs. 

The front-to-back squat sets were interesting; good feedback on what parts “stick”. So much abs on the front and all the booty on the back version. Here’s some footage of the first set:

The slam ball, snatch, row was not fast. I’m out of practice with the CrossFit workouts; there was zero touch’n’go on the snatches.

Whadya Mean?

“I don’t exactly know what I mean by that, but I mean it.” – J.D. Salinger

discenza_012_travel_advisory
Applicable across all the spheres of life

In the interest of full disclosure, I am not a KISS fan, and up until a week ago I didn’t know who the fuck Paul Stanley is. Then I had a listen to his conversation with Joe Rogan (see below). I’m a sucker for a discussion on communication. It’s crazy how casually we can throw our words around, and equally so how selective we can be about picking them up from others. Use your words.

I liked the exchange Rogan and Stanley have on therapy, growing up a “freak”, why self-help books don’t work, clear communication (!), and why we all need friends who will tell us when we’re being an idiot. Especially important during these presidential election/Pokemon Go times.


Goodbye, July | Su
Mobility | 3x
Wall rotation + press x 10
Scap press x 10
Prone glute press x 10
Side plank + LL hold x :25
Reaching dead bugs x 1:00

Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
BB RDLs x 10
Banded rows x 10
PUs x 7

Work | 4x:
Wide-grip bench x 3 (80, 85, 85, 85#)
Rest x :30
Chinese row x 10 ea (20#)
Rest x 2:00
3x:
Reverse zercher lunge x  10 ea (75, 85, 95#)
Rest x 1:00 btwn legs
5x:
AD sprint x :20
Rest x 2:00

30 July | Sa
Warm-up | Uh huh

Work | O-lifting – Week 4
Front Squat – build to a heavy single (135,145, 150, 155 (PR), 160#)
FS isometric holds 3 x 2 @10s ea w/ 5s rest btwn reps
Rack jerks  4 x 2 @ 55-70% (95 ,95 ,105, 105#)
3x:
SA BB lawnmower pulls x 10 ea (60, 60, 75#)
Med ball wall sit + twist x 16-20 reps (10, 14, 20#)

Handstand shapes + Rev row sit backs 3 x 6

Stretch | 15:00


Sa | Took back-to-back rest days then PR’d my front squat. Hmm. And I really think I have 160 in me, which is a mental marker because it’d be over body weight. The iso holds and jerks felt good, too. The last segment just felt awkward, but I’ll chalk it up to new movements.

Su | Session felt good; soreness in the upper back between the blades from Saturday. Zerchered so hard I couldn’t feel my thumbs during the sprints. Those AD sprints felt really solid, which caught me off guard after the O-lifting iso’s. But maybe the two are unrelated. Please discuss.

sweaty sunday
Going skins in the gymnasium because so much sweat