Sand Castles

“Even then, she knew that there is no such thing as sure. There is no absolute anything. The gods love to fuck with us.” -Lauren Groff, Fates and Furies, A Novel 

the castles of today
Masterplan by Chad Wright

This week: that quote and this essay from Joe Rogan.

08 Nov | Su
Pillars | 3 sets
GA squats x 5
Banded walk x 12
Flexed Arm Hang x :20
Super bird dogs x 10

Warm-up | 3 rounds
Wall balls x 10
Ring rows x 10
DUs x 30

Work | Snatch pulls 10 x 2 @ 110% (115#)
Segment snatch 7 x 2 @ 70% (70#)  + :02 pause above knee
3 sets:
Banded knee abduction + OH single arm press x 10 ea
Bent-over reverse fly x 10 reps

07 Nov | Sa
Mormon – National – Geronimo Loop
South Mountain
6.0 miles

06 Nov | F
Rest for Frida

05 Nov | Th
M(other)F(ucke)R | 10:00

Warm-up | 3 rounds
Row x 1:00
Wall runs x 30 20 taps
KB swing X 10 (35#)

Work | Deadlifts – 210# base
5 @ 45%  (95#)
5 @ 55% (115#)
5 @ 65% (135#)
5 @ 75% (165#)
5+ @ 85% (9@185#)

4 sets:
Snatch grip rows x 8 (45, 50, 50,50#)
right into
Banded rows x 10
Rest x 1:30

Banded hip thrust 4 x 1:00
Rest x 1:00

Stretch | 20:00

04 Nov | W
Work | O-Lifting
Front squat + chains 4 x 2 (155, 165, 175, 175#)
C+J 7 x 1 @60% (95#)

4 sets:
Box squats x 5
Hip bridge + Sup single-arm bench press x 10ea (20, 26,26#)
GHR x 5

Stretch | 20:00

03 Nov | Tu

02 Nov | M
Roll it out | 5:00

Pillars | 3 rounds
Side plank clam x :30
Wall slides x 12
1-Arm plank 2(x :20)
Cossack lunge x 6ea

Warm up | 3 rounds
Back squat x 10
Row x 1:00
Lunges x 20 steps

Work | Back squat 5 x 3 (115,125,135,145,150#)
Reverse Zercher lunges 3 x 8 ea
Rest x 1:00 between legs-

EMOM x 10:00: 10 KBS
KB Dead bugs 3 x :45

Get bendy | 20:00

Monday | Pillars, the clammie and single arm planks are challenging in unexpected ways. I hear plank and I think core. Nope. The glutes were screaming in the clammie plank, and I learned why the single arm plank is categorized under “Scapular Stability”.

The back squats felt pretty good. The reverse Zerchers did not. Skipped those. Felt unstable on that right side. The DB Dead Bugs fucked with the tricep so I switched those to banded dead bugs.

Post-workout aura… but no migraine to follow, so a win.

Tuesday | My body is trying to tell me something. I think I shall listen: rest day.

Wednesday | Second-day squat sore is my favorite kind of sore… Leaving that one alone… Those upper anterior thigh muscles, whatever they are called, those and the flutes – I just love when those suckers are sore, despite the work pants problems they may create.

I liked the incorporation of the chains into the game. Boom. (Yep, Boom! I’m a grown ass woman and I’ll say what I wanna say, Jen Sinkler. Also, moist, moist, moist. Moist.) Notes for next time: two sips and widen the grip.

Excited to keep working on the box squats. That goes for the hip bridge bench combo move, too. I didn’t feel any winding in my lat so there’s some pathways to develop. I feel like my GHRs have gotten so much better since I started doing them.

Had some pretty persistent tingling pain down my arm and into the top of my hand Wednesday evening and into Thursday day.  It’s hard to describe but definitely ghosts of previous should issues. I do steer the mouse with that hand, and considering I spend pretty much 6-8 hrs working on the computer that’s a factor.

Thursday | Body felt pretty good, still some soreness in the shoulder and the glutes. The deadlifts felt good. My barbell math was shitty and I did some extra lbs (just 5 of them) on the last two sets. I didn’t push it on the weight of the snatch-grip row with the shoulder and all. They felt good, challenging to do without shrugging and shit, even without plates. Felt the burn on those banded thrusts. Mo’bunz in progress.

Saturday | Did some hiking. The glute/hip/piriformis/whatever-the-fuck-that-pain-is really started bothering me about halfway through. Unsure as to how much of the Summit Challenge I’ll be able to do, but being outside is nice no matter what.

Sunday | Came into the gym mostly to foam roll but ended up feeling like a workout. The segment snatch with the pause at the knee was very enlightening.



Leveling Up

“It is easy to be heavy; hard to be light.” –G.K. Chesterton

so much bigger

One of my Sunday morning rituals is checking out the Sunday Secrets whilst sipping my coffee and tossing the ball around for Bo Bardi. That image is from this weeks post and it struck me. Do you ever have moments, or phases, where you get that feeling? Times when it seems the universe is telling you it’s time to level-up? I sure do. Maybe even as I write these words…

Here’s another one from this week, which provided some insight as to what in the hell the draw is to spin class. Dark room, loud music, painful seat, and a mic-ed up instructor that doesn’t stop screaming at you for the duration of class. I don’t get it.

oh so thats why they love spin class

Ah ha! Well, you just get on with your randy selves. Find your inspiration where you will.

27 Sept | Su
Summit Challenge Prep | Holbert Trail
South Mountain

26 Sept | Sa
Summit Challenge Prep | Piestewa Peak

Olé Class | Snatch:
1×1 @80% (80#)
1×2 @85% (85#)
3×1 @90% (90#)

Snatch Balance:
1×4 @60% (60#)
1×3 @65% (65#)
3×3 @70% (70,75,75#)

Stretch | 20:00

25 Sept | F
MFR | 5:00
Warm-up | 5:00
Front squat x10
Single-arm band rows x10 ea
Run x100m

Work |  Front squat (135# base)
Rest x3:00 btwn
5 @50% (70#)
5 @60% (80#)
3 @70% (95#)
3 @80% (110#)
3+ @90% (7 @120#)
5 rounds:
Front rack KB lunges x10 steps (26# KBs)
GHR x5
DUs x30
4 sets:
Dead bugs x1:00
Rest x1:00

Stretch | 20:00

24 Sept | Th
Mobility |
UBB Assessment:
Scapular Stability | Prone Y Raise
Core Activation | TVA Leg Drop
Hip Stability | Clam Side Plank
Strong Glutes | Super-Bird Dog
Postural Strength | Cobra
Strong Feet

Stretch | 20:00

23 Sept | W
C + J:
2+2 @80% (105#)
2+1 @85% (115#)
2x(1+1) @90% (120#)
Front Squats:
3×1 @75% (115#)
3×1 @80% (125#)
3×1 @85% (130#)
3×2 @90% (140#)

Stretch | 25:00

22 Sept | Tu
Warm-up | 5:00:
Jog x100m
Push press x5 empty bar
KBS x5 @35#

Work | 10:00 @ a consistent pace: (5+100)
Run x200m (sub row)
Wall ball x10
– Rest x4:00 –
10:00 @ a consistent pace: (9)
Body rows x5
DU’s x20
Box jump step down x5 @20″
– Rest x4:00 –
10:00 @ a consistent pace: (4+15)
AD x10 cals
Sit ups x10
Push-ups x5
Run x100m

Stretch | 20:00

Tuesday | It was raining like a motherbitch…


… And I didn’t deserve it! Sooo I subbed rowing on the warm-up and the first segment. Mother nature had calmed down by the last round, so run I did. The body rows were rough. My right shoulder really wants to shrug the moment I get a little fatigued. My solution was to let go of the bar, reset and try again. That seemed to do the trick, though it slowed me down a little bit, but…

Position > Movement > Speed > Load

What  is this training cycle I am doing called? The five sets with the last set being AMRAP?

Wednesday | So many front squats. Felt good, though that pesky right side was speaking just a little bit. Tight right lat, mid-back, and tricep in the front rack position. Was mindful of that and was prepared to stop if need be. But I didn’t need to.

Thursday | Holy sore abs! It had been a while since I did the standard ab mat sit-ups and ooh hay, did I feel ’em. Got my wig done earlier in the day. My entrance into the gymnasium went a little something like this…

My recovery workout was warming up a little bit then doing the Unbreakable Body Assessment. It was pretty enlightening, especially the Clam Side Planks and Super Bird Dogs. I swear I didn’t make those up. The goal this week is to establish a habit incorporating the pillars into my regime.

Friday | Some more front squats! Tilton instructed me to loosen my grip, which allowed me to get that bar really high, you know, pretty much choking myself. It’s painful on the collarbones, but man does help maintain the upright position!

Yep, the front rack lunges are still harder on the right side.

Saturday | Started the day out with some sunrise viewing from the top of Piestewa Peak. Oly class felt good, though I did the first segment twice because barbell math. The lady bar is not 45#. Right.

Sunday | Glutes are SO sore. This satisfies me as I’m not sore  AT ALL in my hip flexors, which in the past have been lit up after hiking and/or squats. Put in some extra time on the foam roller post-hike.

Holbert 9-27
Not pictured: Jennifer K, Kate, Amanda, Me and my spotted doggie

Nutrition | Some notes from the first 24-hour fast:
+2 hrs – I think it’s gonna be a productive afternoon without all of that “pesky” food prep, consumption, and clean-up. Shit, I should just go Soylent – think of how much time I’d have to do shit. And all that soy would totally give me bigger boobs. And leg fat. Ridiculous.
+8.5 hrs – hunger level 3/10, feeling pretty good.
+19 hrs – slept solidly. Got a solid 8 #ifonlythatwereinchesinsteadofhours
Woke up feeling like I had fitness competitors abs. Felt the hunger level go up a little bit during/after morning dog walk. I’d say my hunger is level 5/10.
+23 hrs – definitely feeling hungry, but in a surprisingly good mood. I did notice that I didn’t experience a “sleepy” phase this morning. No drowsy drive in, which can happen on occasion. And was called “chipper” by our structural engineer this morning. That’s a definite first.

Having a helluva time eating more carbs


Living Room Recess

“This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” – Alan W. Watts

A few weeks ago, my girl Kate posted an awesome video on her Instagram feed. Contrary to what usually pops up on the social media feed, it wasn’t a clip showing the “perfect” ____ (fill in that blank). The perfect lift, the perfect muscle-up, the perfect straddle-to-handstand… drool. Instead, it was by her own definition, a “FAIL” clip. And I couldn’t have <heart> ed it harder. I loved that it wasn’t just another highlight reel.

The content of the caption is what really got to me. Kate (I feel like we would be friends, so we’re on a first name basis here) talked about taking 20-30 minutes everyday for “play” in her living room to just move around and explore what your body is, or is not (yet) able to do. Just check it out here…


Sounds fun, right? And what a good way to check in with yourself as to what’s moving well, what isn’t, what hurts like b-jesus, etc. I have the perfect spot set up in the new Casa de Zeebus for just such a thing. So the hit list for the time being: Sleep, Play, Reads.

What’s your hit list for the week?

21 Sept | M
Warm-up | 3 rounds:
RDL x10
Row x200m
DB reverse fly x10  (5# plates)

Work | Deadlift x5 sets (205# base)
Rest x3:00 btwn
5 @50% (105#)
5 @60% (125#)
3 @70% (145#)
3 @80% (165#)
3+ @90% (7 @185#)
3 sets:
KB single-leg RDL x8ea (35#KB)
Right into
KB swing x10 @44#
Rest x1:30
EMOM x12:00
Wall walks x2 (6 rds)

20 Sept | Su
Rest Day
Hiking | Geronimo Trail
@ South Mountain
5-7 miles depending upon whose app you ask

19 Sept | Sa
Work | Olé Class
Clean + Jerk 5×1 @85% (115#)
RDLs 3×4 @100% (135#)
BTN Jerk:
4 @60% (80#)
4 @65% (85#)
3 @70% (95#)
3 @75% (100#)
2 @80% (110#)

Stretch | 20:00
MFR | 5:00

18 Sept | F
Rolling | 5:00
Warm-up | 3 rounds:
Front squat x10 reps – empty bar
Single-arm band rows x10 each arm
Run x200m

Work | Front squat x5 sets
Rest x3:00 btwn
5 @45% (75#)
5 @55% (85#)
5 @65% (100#)
5 @75% (110#)
5+ @85% (3 @125#)
– then –
5 rounds:
Sled wak x100m (2@115#, 3@140#)
Front rack KB carry x50m; Farmer’s carry 50m back (35# KBs)
GH raise x5

17 Sept | Th
Cleaning floors for time
Protein: 123g

Monday | The right shoulder was buggin’ a little bit. Didn’t feel it too much in the deadlift, a little bit as the weight approached 200#, but it wasn’t feeling good on the wall walks so I stopped after 6 rounds. Also, 2 wall walks OTM can get cha breathin’ pretty good. Here’s the vid of the DL:

Almost Dextered Sansone there giving me advice midway through the lift. Also, totally thought that last rep was ugly when I was doing it, but it doesn’t look so bad in the vid. Maybe could have gotten a couple reps in there…

Sunday | First hike in a while. and the first one to kick off our Summit Challenge practice. I really like the Geronimo Trail; there’s not a lot of traffic and some nice view of downtown. But mostly, there aren’t any people. Did I say that already? Sore glute media (That’s the plural form of ‘medius’, right? OR the butt channel. Hmm…) today. Not sure if it’s from the hiking or the O-lifting, or the combination.

Saturday | Note to self: I gotta get to the gym earlier to warm-up for Oly Class. The C&J’s felt great! Had to remind myself a few times to stick with the Rx weights as they felt lighter than usual  #trusttheprogram

Friday | Front squats felt good, just heavy by that last round. I feel like the abs are the weak point…

The sled drag, rack carry portion was good; those rack carries are always… enlightening.

Thursday | We had a doggy digestion/lack of dog door situation on the homefront, so it was a different kind of workout/rest day.

In other news, I am a winner! I mean, obvs.

pooped pants
I don’t know. It just made me laugh…

But seriously, I won a free membership to the Unbreakable Body program. What?!? That’s right the one with my girl Kate. Haaay! I am still in the initial phase of assessment, but am excited to give it a try.

First day of the second cycle of nutrition challenge is in the books… I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes me, especially with that fasting day and the sleep component. I have a lot of questions but know they will likely answer themselves here in the first week or so.


The Key Log

“It’s cute with the right amount of dirty.” – Thomas

Thomas was referring to the commercial for the Obol, but it seems appropriate for my new ‘hood. With an alternate meaning of dirty. Well, as far as I know…

I spent the long(er), glorious holiday weekend settling into the new digs and getting to know the new ‘hood. It only took 3 trips to Ace and about as many to Goodwill to unload all the surplus goods. I’m not certain how I ended up with 30’ of cable line, or 14 night lights (clearly from the pre-amber goggle days), but man did that free up some floor space. And I finally got rid of the boxing gloves. I should have tucked those in the crawl space for use as a ferrel cat deterrant. Staaanky.

I’ve got feeling this move is gonna be the key log for some other changes on-deck. Clearing up the log jam of life. Woohoo!

Despite not having the internet yet, I was able to stream a few podcasts. Thanks neighbors! Diana Rodgers was the featured guest on the Harder to Kill Podcast and has me feelin’ all inspired to add some raised beds to the new yard once the weather cools down a little. And a clothes line.

laundry methods
sunshine > laundromat e’erytime

Get to know your neighbors.

07 Sept | M
MFR + Mobility | 15:00
Warm-up | 3 rounds
RDL x10 empty bar
DB rows x10 each @20#
Row x1:00

Work | Deadlift 4×1 (185,195,205,215#)
Rest x3:00
– then –
A lil cardio :
10:00 @ consistent pace
Wall walk x2
Row x300m
DUs x30
– Rest x4:00 –
10:00 @ consistent pace
KBS x5 @35#
Hang power clean x5 @65# (75#)
AD x15 cals

Stretch | 20:00
Protein: 141g

06 Sept | Su
Protein: The Macallen + McConnell’s

05 Sept | Sa
Warm-up | by Ali
Work | Partner Workout w/ Jorden
20:00 Rotating:
Run x200m
Box Jumps x10
Wall Balls x10
Tire Hits x10
Double-Unders x30

Stretch Class
Protein: 94g

04 Sept | F
Warm-up | 3 rounds:
Front Squat x10
KB swing x10 @35#
AD x1:00

Work | Front squat 4×1 (135,145,150#)
Rest x3:00
Bench press 4×1 (95,105, 110#)
Rest x3:00
Dead bugs 4×1:00
Rest x1:00

Stretch | 25:00
Protein: 155g

03 Sept | Th
Recovery | 4 rounds:
AD x2:00
FLR x1:00
Dead Bugs x1:00
Run x400m
Row x2:00

Stretch | 20:00
Protein: 132g

02 Sept | W
Rest Day
Protein: 125g

Wednesday | Needed a rest day; took a rest day.

Thursday | Just rolled through recovery. Not mentally “in it” this week. The running portion of the recovery especially good. I feel those missing 5 lbs, in a very good way.

Friday | The front squat felt heavy at the bottom in the abs. I was excited to see how bench felt, and while the movement is feeling right, I was bummed not to get the PR. But, based on how I was feeling this week – stressed, a little distracted, and recovering from crappy sleep – it makes sense. Here’s the footage:

Saturday | The partner workout was really fun! It was nice to get outside, and in some nice morning weather, too!

Sunday | Rest day brought to you by scotch and ice cream. In moderation. The wheels are not off the crazy bus. 

Monday | Started the new week off feeling great. The deadlifts felt good, despite just a hint of tightness on the right side in the low back region.

The “cardio” was cathartic; I was breathing hard and sweaty as fuck, but ooh it felt good.

I want to keep going, pushing myself  more. I don’t need to go all “Pappas” – and I know staying in touch with how things are feeling is vital – but I’d really like to drive those 1RMs up. And continue to build the muscles. Aesthetically, I want the glutes and the hammies, but, fuck, I want to increase Bench and Press and maybe even get some pull-ups.

Did I just do that thing where I say I want ALL the things? I think so.



“The nation that will insist upon drawing a broad line of demarcation between the fighting man and the thinking man is liable to find its fighting done by fools and its thinking by cowards.” –Thucydides

How badass is that?

Found this really informative article via the social media today, “Stop Stretching, You’re Wasting Your Time – Here’s What to do Instead“. Awkward and somewhat misleading title. But it’s filled with info on hip pathology, adaptation, fake hip extension and other things I aspire to know more about.

If that sounds boring, here’s a great video on how to get Venus Dimples. “The first factor is genetics. You have no control over that. ” WTF? Some people aspire for scoops, other want back dimples. Apparently.

11 November | Tuesday

Echo Canyon
@ Camelback Mtn
2.5 miles of fun

10 November | Monday

-Facial release + mobility | 15:00

Warm-up | 3 rounds NFT:
10 wall balls
20 DUs
10 KBS

Training | 4 sets:
DB bench press x5 (30#, 35# SA fail, 35# KB fail)
3:00 rest
– then –
15:00 TGUs (25:00 @35, 44#, bottoms up @26#)

Stretch | 20:00

09 November | Sunday

Rest Day

From the top, I hiked Echo Canyon for the first time in over a year today. That is such a beautiful hike. And it turns out sunset on a “holiday” is a great time for it as the traffic on the trail was light. I made it to the top in just under 34:00, without running, just keeping  a steady pace. My fastest time to the top that I know of was 27:00. Not that it’s a race, I was just kinda wanting to test where I am with my aerobic base.

Echo in 34

Monday’s bottoms-up get-ups were really fun. And much more challenging that I’d thought they’d be. I look forward to continue to work on those. Now, why is it that I can lift more on the DB Bench when I am doing both arms at the same time vs single arm? The 30# DB didn’t feel all that challenging, but as there was only one 35# DB I tried using that single-arm style. And failed. Then I tried a pair of 35# KBs. And failed (but mostly because getting them in the position for bench was really awkward.) So I went back to the 30#. That was a long story. The end.

Sunday was an active rest day and it was nice.

Thinking I am going to stop the food logging in a week. I will have logged for 28 days, which seems like a good sample size. Totally slipped up on the sugar detox today. What? There were some madeleines in the office. They were delicious (and surprisingly sweet, so I think my buds are adjusting.)


Discipline > Motivation

“You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren’t paying attention to.” -Robin Williams

final hike trot
What post-squat hiking feels like… Totally natural gait.

There was a fantastic articled posted on Nerd Fitness last week, Is Motivation Useless?”. Here’s an image referenced in the post that does a pretty great job summarizing the take away:

A different perspective on motivation. - Imgur
“The question isn’t how to keep yourself motivated. It’s how to train yourself to work without it.” Coming off injury, without the motivation of a PR or even just progress, I really appreciate this message. If I am anything, I am disciplined, and that article really re-framed for me how I can use that discipline to my advantage.

08 November | Saturday

Final Training Hike
Telegraph – National – Desert Classic Trail
@ South Mountain
9.8 miles

07 November | Friday

Recovery workout | 30:00 rotating:
2:00 AD
2:00 Row
100m Sled pull (115#)
200m jog

Sweet baby Jesse, am I sore (in a good way) from the front squats. And the step ups. (Those barbell step-ups are glute builders, I can feel it.) The recovery workout did it’s job; things felt much better once they were put in motion.

Telegraph Elev
Maybe I was still half asleep, but that first ascent didn’t seem like a big deal at all. Feelin’ ready.

 The hay is in the barn; we’re ready for the Summit Challenge. The pace of the hike was good despite being very sore, though by then end the legs were feeling pretty tight. Logged some extra time stretching while watching the ASU game.

Bo in gold
Bandannas on Bo Bardi’s are usually frown upon, but an exception was made for the ASU game. Go Devils!



DC crushes it again

Quote courtesy of designcrush on Instagram. She kills it over there.

 03 November | Monday

Warm up | 3 rounds NFT:
5 wall balls
10 KBS
15 DUs

Workout | 3 sets:
Single-leg RDLs x6 (35# KB)
1:00 Rest btwn sides
– then –
20:00 AD w/
2x wall walks
5x T2B
@ every 5:00

Stretchin’ | 20:00

02 November | Sunday

PSC Training Hike Numero 13
Cholla Trail
@ Camelback Mtn
+/- 3 miles

The workout felt good. Went to the recess class and got some Vitamin D with my AD ride. The RDLs are really easy on one side and really hard on the other. Lots of focus on not opening up my hip on the challenging side. Added some toes to bar because I just hadn’t done them in a while.

Sunday’s hike was really fantastic. It felt like fall! We made it to the top in 46:00 with stops along the way for pics and taking in the scenery.

side by side
Left: JK & I at the top of Camelback at about 7:00am Right: Walking my pup to the park around 9:00am Hey I was JUST up there!

Today is the first day of the 21 Day Sugar Detox. I think I’ll miss the sweet potatoes and the maple syrup in my coffee the most.