Behind the Scenes

“Sometimes it’s a little better to travel than to have arrived.” -Robert M. Pirsig

power pose
Arrival at failure or a power pose?

Fair warning, I’m gonna do that thing where I string some seemingly random threads together. Yes! I’m making you an afghan blanket just like grandma used to make. It’s for the summer-in-the-desert Netflix and AC chill. We all know it’s best done sans pants and when the blower kicks on, that ish gets drafty. Brrr!

Oh man, off to a good start, Gunz.

Aight times tres.gif
My weekend ‘flix binge

Let me set it up. The internet went down last week at my office. Then the server. And the phones. The daily dose of streaming music had yet to make my daily moments of gratitude…. Until about noon on day 1 of downage (let’s make that a word). When the only sound in the room is the click of your mouse and the voice of a well-meaning but over-sharing coworker, you become hungry for any noise rapido.

I’m pretty sure this is the only time I will ever say this: Facebook (and unlimited data) to the rescue. The first thing in my feed was this conversation with My Girl Kate (Galliett – not actually my girl, but we’re vibing in a limbic resonance kinda way, at least one-directionally):

Isn’t it interesting, the split screen comparison of the backdrops of each human… Hmm. What’s that say about each? *eye brows* Anyway, I really like what Kate had to say, in particular on the matter of our human desires to go “right to do the handstand” in life – resisting or disregarding all the tedious, boring, crucial, delicious (choose your adjective and your mindset) work it takes leading up to it. The dudes at BBS touched on it this week, too, the “rush to greatness” and the desire to just do the cool stuff. I think we can call that Insta-itis. Friends, I get the fever, too.

The allure of all the shiny, shiny shit on Instagram got me thinking about a dude whose work I was introduced to in a theory of architecture class during grad school, Guy Debord. His work, The Society of the Spectacle, is all about “the gaze”. Courtesy of Wikipedia (which does a way better job of summarizing it than I can. Throw them some bones):

“Debord traces the development of a modern society in which authentic social life has been replaced with its representation: ‘All that once was directly lived has become mere representation.’ Debord argues that the history of social life can be understood as ‘the decline of being into having, and having into merely appearing.’ This condition, according to Debord, is the ‘historical moment at which the commodity completes its colonization of social life.’”

Sounds like the moment is now. Though maybe it’s best we converse on the matter. Maybe over a scratch meal…?

My last random thread (Fuuu… that’s gonna be one comfy blankie) is about the eats, the value of home-cooking. Did you know last year Americans spent more money in restaurants than they did on groceries. (Right. This means zero grounds for bitching about the cost of groceries.) I couldn’t agree more with Tamarkin’s take on meal delivery services, but man, there’s so much more that “goes to waste” when you’re not involved in the process (note that rabbit hole, those of us who gather our meats and veggies from a retailer). Similar to the joys of suffering through a workout, the task of creating with others fosters more that the “thing”, it feeds that connection to your people. It’s like time under tension, but with food. Shared effort for the win.

I’ll leave you with this behind the scenes from the man with the bongos, who totally gets why a person might wanna keep an afghan (little “a” friends) handy on the front porch.

02 June | F
AM | Friday Hike Club!
Piestewa Peak

PM | Globo Mountain
Mobility | 3x
Cossack lunge x 12
Scap press x 10
Rev curl-ups x 10

Warm-up | 3x
Row x 1:00
Slam balls x 7
AYTs x 5 EA

Train | [Repeat]
A. Deadlift 7 x 3 (185, 4@195, 2@200#) [2:00]
B1. SA DB snatch 7 x 3 ea (35, 2@40, 3 @45#) [RI]
B2. SL hip bridge x 10 ea (5@20, 2@17.5#) [1:00]
C. Lat pull downs 4 x 10 (60, 3@70#) [1:00]

Stretch | 15:00

03 June | Sa
Mobility | 3x
Wall slides x 10
GA squat x 10
Pope clammies x 15 ea
TVAs x 15

Train |
A1. Row 3 x 300m [RI]
A2. FLR + taps x 12 [RI]
A3. KBS x 5 (44#)
B. 10 x PC + HPC x 2 (3@115, 4@125, 3@115#) [As req’d]
C1. [Cable] Pallof press 3 x 12 (40#)
C2. Kneeling BU KB press x 6 ea (24, 20, 18#)

04 June | Su
Mobility | 3x
OHWL x 10
Hip CARs
Glute press x 10
Prone Y raise (abs – check) x 10

Train |
A. Row x 15:00 (Pretty comfy pace, 3457m)
B. Seated hammie curls 4 x 12 (80#) [1:00]
C. Heeeip extensions 4 x 12
D. Zercher reverse lunges 3 x 8 ea (75, 85, 85#) [1:00 btwn legs]
E. Bike or treadmill x 20:00 (bici)

F | Morning hike was pretty fucking sweet. Felt good! Was pleasantly surprised with my capacity and recovery.

day of the donut.JPG
National Day of the Donut… Taco… Pancakes

PM sesh… The DLs felt really strong and easy off the floor. As noted previously, part B is pretty nice cardio. I dropped weight on the SL hip bridges when I noticed I wasn’t able to completely open the hip at the top (a point the emphasized) on the left side. Did the pull-downs with the long bar grip. Yep, felt em.

Decided to hit the scale in the ladies locker room. Results: 163.3. It’s just a number, but I think I’m still gonna do Friday weigh-ins for a while #collectingdata

Questions: I would like to put on some muscle. What do I need to delta to make this happen? What am I missing? Why are my priorities not reflected back? Why does “D-backs” sound like “D-bags” e’rytime? How do they make coffee that has notes of peanut butter and chocolate? And does that still make it Paleo? 

Sa | My butt is real sore from the repeat workout. The cleans felt nice and speedy, so much so that I wanted to see how they felt out the bottom. Dropped some lbs and finished the last 3 sets with a tall clean. I was feeling very “technically proficient” compared to my compadres in the “functional training area”. Do you even know what you’re trying to accomplish there, bruh?

sure would.png
The KnBUKB press (Nailin’ the acronyms – next up greeting cards and paint colors) are pretty solid on the right and crap on the left. Workin’ on it, man.

Su | Low back spoke to me a little during the row… Hike? Deadlift? The combo? But things felt fine on the extensions and lunges. How the eff do people hangout in the hammie trap between sets?!? I lept outta that contraption as soon as I fucking could each round. Fire! Mirrors are totally helpful during the Zerchers.

Moves Like Prey

“It’s different nowadays; happiness is something that people seem to think is their right. There’s no worry about starvation, or having a roof over your head, or being invaded. So they worry about whether they are happy or not. I suppose that’s some kind of progress.” -Henning Mankell

You know the system is FOOKed when people find this offensive…


But don’t think twice about supporting (spending their skrilla on) this…

From “Super Size: The Dizzying Grandeur of 21st Century Agriculture”

Here’s some (info) ammo for the next attack from that one vegan we all know; the one with the “animals are my friends and I don’t eat my friends” approach. (A) That’s cool, but I eat mine, and they are delicious (and nutritious) AF. (B) And lest you forget we’re all in the circle…


20 Nov | Su
3-anna-half-ish miles of active recovery on the mountain to the south

19 Nov | Sa
Mobility | 3x
Single-leg elevated adductor squat x 10 ea
Chin-over-bar hold x :20
Reaching dead bugs x 1:00

Warm-up | 3x
Row x 200m
Slam balls x 7
Wall slides x 10
DUs x 30 or for as long as my pants stay up

Work | O-lifting – Week 3
Muscle snatch 5 x 2 (75#)
Snatch + 1-1/4 OHS [across] 5 x 1 (95#)
Snatch-grip RDL [across] 3 x 3 (145#)
Ring leg curls 3 x 10

17 Nov | Th
Mobilize | 10:00

Work [Recovery] | EMOM x 30:00, rotating:
Bench press x 3 @80# + DUs x 30
OHS x 3 @75#
AD x 1:00
3x | GHR x 10 (10#)
Handstand walks x 3 attempts

Th | I know I should be able to write my own recovery workout, but fuck if I could figure anything out by the end of the day. An EMOM sounded nice, so I inquired about Ali’s recipe:

The Skipper’s EMOM Recipe:
•1 part something you enjoy
•1 part skillz you need to work on
•1 part elevate your heart rate

I ended up going with a combo that I’ve been throwing in the mix kinda frequently as Pappas agreed on it. Partners: so high-maintenance.

Sa | Snatches: from red light last week (air brakes) to yellow light on the catch. Widened my stance a bit. Felt really good, but by the looks of it there’s still lots of air there between the booty and the mat.

I hear some people argue static stretching is a waste of time, but I really like it after training. It’s the coffee after hiking; the reading after yard work; the spooning after sex. It’s a little time to chill out and consolidate the day’s work, in whatever capacity that may have been. Or a chance to hear some epic one-liners from Kay-tay. Either way, in the week to come, I’d like to find my corner of the new digs and come back to that.

Walk the Talk

“I believe you can speak things into existence.” – Jay Z

motivational monday-01.jpg

One of this week’s favorite was the Muscle Mind Project’s interview with Rob MacDonald, the guy at Gym Jones who got over 400 cals on 300 FY. It was cool to hear him talk about his preparation for that test; twenty hours a week on the devil’s bike for months. It’s good to be reminded of all the preparation that it takes to accomplish such things. For anyone, blessed genetics or not.

Bobby’s Rules of the Gymnasium:

  • There’s no such thing as a free lunch. There’s a cost to everything. Be prepared.
  • Show up, don’t quit, ask questions.
  • Help foster a good gym/training environment. Make a contribution.
  • Make your walk match your talk.
  • Have fun.

And I liked what he had to say about goal-setting; for us regular folk to push past setting a singular goal, but instead create a set of ten sub-goals. My first stab:

  1. Have healthy enough shoulders to perform Murph 2017 Rx
  2. Back squat: 1.5 BW
  3. Press to handstand
  4. Legless rope climb
  5. Snatch: .75 BW
  6. Bench: .75 BW
  7. Pass all the booty tests: barbell, quarter, coffee cup, las manos
  8. Do my pistols without holding my toes
  9. Side plank with LL: no problem
  10. Free standing tick-tocks

Yep. That does feel more substantial than “get stronger”. What’s your list look like?

30 May | M
Hiking @ S Mtn

29 May | Su
Pillars |3x
Scaption x 8 (ooh soreness)
Hip hikes x 12 ea
Wall-pressing dead bugs x 1:00

Warm-up | 3x
Goblet squat x 5
BB Good mornings x 10
Row x 200m

Work | Clean pulls 7 x 2 (155,155,165#…)
Snatch balance 3 x 3 (60,60, 55#)
4 sets:
Box squats x 3 (115#)
BTN press x 5 (55#, 3 sets only)
GHR x 10
Banded SL RDLs x 10 ea

Stretch | 15:00

27 May | F
Warm-up | 3x
Run x 100m
KBS x 5
Goblet squat x 3
BB press x 5

Work | Class-y workout
20 rounds:
DL + H-hC + FS + S2O (95#)

Stretch |20:00

26 May | Th
Pillars |3x
GA squats x 8
Wall press + rotations x 10
TVA leg drops x 15

Warm-up |4x
AD x 1:00
El hombre push-ups x  7
Sit-ups x 10

Work | Ooooh-lifting
Power clean 6 x 1 (115,125,130,135,140,140#)
Clean 6 x 1 @ 85% of ‘A’ (115#)
Rack jerk 6 x1 across (115#)
3 sets:
Box hops x 10
SA seated press x 6 ea (25#)
Side bridge x 1:00 or max (1:00, :50, :50)

Stretch | 15:00

Th | Really felt like I was gonna nail that 140# on the power cleans. Not today. The last half of the cleans felt really strong and fast. The jerks were solid; feel like I am finally starting to get under it actively. Did the hops on the box because they felt way more stable than the on the padding of the bench. Are those training explosiveness? Interesting to see what part failed first on the side planks. QL and mid back for moi.

F | Just greasing the groove for Murph. Made the hang power cleans high-hang cleans, because, you know, I like to feel fast…


Su | Clean pulls felt really good; heavier than I typically go, too. Snatch balance were a little slow. Noticed my grip was pretty narrow, so I widened that out, which helped, but still dropped weight to make them speedy. Realized on the presses that maybe they were slow because the right shoulder was acting up. Stopped at 3 rounds on that movement because my trap kept trying to do the work, not the lat.

Questions & Answers

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” – Voltaire


01 May | Su
Hike with the DTP Crew!
Siphon Draw @ Flatiron

30 April | Sa
Pillars | 3x
Wall press x 10
Plank + reach thru x 8 ea
Scaption x 8
Reaching dead bugs x 1:00

Work-ish | 4x
AD x 5:00
Wall walk x 1 + 10 taps at the top
SL RDL x 8 ea
Bicep curls x 12 ea

Stretch + Mob | 20:00

28 April| Th
Mobility, AD & Stretch | 45:00

Friday eve was spent pant-less, watching A Christmas Story, whilst having needles penetrate a few layers of skin…

I know, but it was all very zen, so… acceptable.

Saturday I did some recovering on my new favorite AD – the one with the luxurious seat and tight pedals. Mmm, girl. Had some pain come into play on my right shoulder when I tried the taps on the wall walks. Thought maybe I could position my way out of it, but nearly performed a faceplant dismount when it happened again on the second round, just took those babies out. Looks like I have some more QT with Raymundo in my future.

Sunday’s hike was outstanding.

da hike-01
The green arrows indicate where the group foto was taken
da crew
The group foto

I love the evolution of conversation from start to finish on challenging hikes. How it covers some ground, just like the body, moving from jokes & catching up to life philosophy to why it seems like the more you know yourself, the harder it can be connect with some people, then back to how delicious coffee is and how selfies are surely an indication that the world is going to shit, and how the fuck can we stop this madness. So many questions and answers.

Riding Nuts

“Many of us spend our whole lives running from feeling with the mistaken belief that you cannot bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is feel all you are beyond that pain.” – Kahlil Gibran


New litmus test for rough weeks: Right, but was it worse than being chased by a bear? I hope never to find out. Here’s a handy guide should you, in fact, see a bear. I’m gonna go ahead and apply the Grizzly advice across the bear board.

23 April | Sa

Warm-up | Sunrise hike @ the Nameless Peak

Work | 9:00 class
EMOM x 12:00, rotating:
Bench press x 5 @ 75#
Row x 150m
-Rest x 4:00-
EMOM x 12:00, rotating:
Power snatch x 2 + OHX x1@ 65#
Alternating: Slam ball x 8 @ 30#, Tire hits x 10
-Rest x 4:00-
EMOM x 12:00, rotating:
Run x 100m
KBS x 10 @ 53#

Stretch | 20:00

That was dumb. On my part. Coming off a stressful week with only one training day mixed in, and  a zero food Friday, doing both the hike and the triplet workout was not my brightest idea. Nothing felt great, but I finished. Hope to roll in tomorrow and do the O-lifting workout and fill in some info on the “new cycle” board.

The Ex-es

“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny.” ― Aristotle

Happy Zombie Jesus Day

Experience, Excellence & Expectation

I’ve been catching up on episodes of The Tim Ferriss Show. Nice Ice has been telling me to check him out for a while, and I’m finally getting after it. Listened to one with beach volleyball’s Gabby Reece, whose picture I may have had taped to my mirror for the duration of high school. (Ah, check out those high cut bottoms. The 90’s were quite a decade.) I found the meatiest part of the episode to be the last 15:00, where Reece talk’s about her “I’ll go first” mindset, not waiting for others to be the first to engage. Smile. Say hello. And stop sitting on your talents, waiting for someone else to show you the way.

The podcast discussion lead me to check out the documentary Spinning Plates. While it won’t replace Jiro Dreams of Sushi on my top docs list, it was a really compelling watch. I found it to have less to do with food and more to do with the ex-es: managing experience, cultivating excellence and letting go of expectation, or perhaps, emotionally detaching from outcomes (but that doesn’t begin with “ex”.)

All that being said, I expect to be a redhead again by 5:00pm on Wednesday or…
highlights are bullshit

27 March | Su
Bajada – Alta Trail
South Mtn
+/- 4.5 miles

26 March | Sa
Warm-up | 3x
Wall ball x 7
DUs x 25
AD x 15 cals

Work | O-lifting
Snatch high pulls 5 x 3 (95,105#…)
Bench press + chains (95,95,100,105,105#)
3 sets:
Banded row x 10
Barbell hip thrusts x 10 (95,105,115#)
Windmills x 5 ea (20,25,30#)
– then –
Stand-on-ya-hands practice
Stretch | 20:00

25 March | F
Pillars | 3x
Cobra x3 @30s
SL Suspended adductor squat x 8 ea
Side plank + leg lift x 8 ea
TVA leg drops x 15

Warm-it-up | 2x
Row x 2:00
BB RDL x 10
Reverse fly x 10

Work | 30:00 rotating:
AD x 30 cals
Sled pull x 100m @115#
Carries – rack x 50m + farmer x 50 m (35#s)
FLR x 1:00

Stretching! Now with Beer! | 25:00

24 March | Th
Pillars | 3x
Toes to elbows 2 x 5
Prone y raise 2 x 8
Prone glute press x 10


Work | EMOM  25:00
Snatch-grip DL + High-hang power snatch + 2 OHS (4 rds @ 65#, remainder @ 75#)

Stretch + NKT work | 25:00

Thursday | Awoke a little lit up in the upper back area; I suspect the COB holds. I made up an EMOM, though I am not sure I got the response I was looking for. It was like :15 seconds of work… Sprouse stepped up and joined in on the EMOM action. 

Friday | A recovery session to be ready for O-lifting. Sore in the upper/mid back and booty regions. I fail at the side plank with leg lift. I’d like to figure out what it is that isn’t firing. Attempted 2-3 reps on each side in an effort to get some neural drive, in case maybe that’s part of the issue.

Saturday | First time using the chains on bench; worked on being fast out of the bottom. The barbell hip thrusts felt really strong; time to be less timid with the weights, me thinks.


Rehearsing the WCS

“The best time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining” – JFK

A very real – and very first world – Worst Case Scenario

Pappas told me about a couple Tim Ferriss episodes worth checking out; he may be an asshole, but he’s definitely not a liar. Good stuff. The two I listened to are, How to Practice Poverty & Reduce Fears, and Groundless Fears. I was really struck by the idea of practicing for the worst-case scenario by living it, and then posing the question, “Is this the condition I feared?” I mean, it’s really fucking nuts how much of our lives are controlled not by what we want, but by what we fear.

19 March | Sa
Hiking + The Highland Games!
Geronimo – National – Mormon Trail Loop
South Mtn
+/- 6.5 mi

20 March | Su
Pillars | 3x
Wall rotation + press x10 ea
Hip hikes x 15 ea
Side clammie holds x :45 ea
Single-leg elevated hip bridge x 10 ea

Warm-up | 4x
Row x 1:00
DUs x 25

Work | Saturday’s O-lifting Class
Halting power snatch 5 x 2 (75,75,80,80,85#)
BTN push press 5 x 2 (80,90,95,100,100#)
3 sets:
Good mornings x 5 (75#)
KB front rack box step-ups x 5 ea (26#ers)

Missed more days in the gymnasium than I’d like last week. Resuming the regularly scheduled program(ming) this week though.

Geronimo Trail – South Mountain in the PHX

Missed O-Lifting due to the Highland Games on Saturday! Warmed up for the sunshine + kilts by hiking a longer-ish trail early Saturday morning. Found a section of the National Trail that will be perfect training ground for Ragnar Trail McDowell Mountain. Also ran into a group of beefcakes banging out push-ups on the trail. I guess it’s never too early for the pump.

cartwheel Katie
That’s Katie (on the right). She was the only chic to successfully turn the caber on Saturday. She does a cartwheel after she turns it, and strips down to damn near nothing between events. I suspect Katie is a CrossFitter