Monday, July 20, 2009


Extremism in the defense of gluttony is no vice. - Fred Goldwater (Barry's fat brother)

I have to face it - I'm an extremist, but I do it in phases. I go to college and party like a mad man, barely graduating on time. I clean up my act, take up biking and log 100s of miles a week for years. I take up serious chess, studying for hours each night, enter tournaments and don't do half-bad. I get back into martial arts in grad school and hardly miss a class in two years. I start a career and go a year before I take two days in a row off. I buy a house and occupy my weekends and evenings fixing it up a little at a time. I take up a healthy paleoish diet and don't eat sugar or grains for two months. I get on a roll with my CrossFit training and get myself into shape for the Games Qualifiers.

Then, I let work take over my life, and I all but stop working out. I could have spent evenings in the motel room getting in some training. I couldn't have continued balls-to-the-wall, but I could have done something. Instead, I was focused on work and I let my metcon and my diet slip. Even as my schedule has eased, I've had a tough time jumping back into a decent workout routine. I'll get in a good week with workouts and diet, and then it slips. Sure, I've had some good excuses to let things slip, a busy week in the office, vacation, minor injuries, but the pattern is clear. I'm not jumping back into the CrossFit routine, quite simply, because the workouts suck. I'm avoiding the pain.

It's not all bad. I've been enjoying myself, and while my metcon suffers and I've lost a little ROM and CF-specific strength, my overall strength is still decent. I don't intend to jump with both feet into Serious Training or Strict Dieting. It's more important for me to learn to balance the competing interests of family, work, fitness, and fun, but, I offer this little what-have-you-done-for-me-lately post as a means of both catching up on things and restarting my blog in hopes of keeping myself honest in that pursuit of balance.

The notion is to do a mix of oly lifting, gymnastics, and outdoor workouts, whether that be hiking and biking, or tire-flipping and sandbag carrying. I'm figuring a 2-on, 1-off approach would be ideal, as far as recovery and schedule go. We'll see.


A few highlight since I last checked in a month ago.

    Figuring out double unders (conceptually at least) - PR of 22 consecutive
    Front squat PR 245# (but I had this one in the bag already)
    Oly lifting and sandbag & tire-flipping metcons with John Barney
That was June. Not a complete washout, but more rest days than work days still. July has featured little in the way of workouts, given two weeks of too much work, bookending the vacation week I spent on the Cape. I brought my rings and dumbbells on vacation, but they never got unpacked. (That was lame. A single workout to get me started would have done me good.) I did get in a demanding 2-hour mountain bike ride and a short, high-speed road ride, but it was mostly about eating, drinking, and family. Lots of playing with the kids in the water and a day of body surfing at Marconi Beach - a fun, little workout that involved getting slammed repeatedly into the stone shoreline, while holding my breath. I repeated this workout yesterday (minus the body slamming) at Second Beach Newport with a solid 1.5 hours in the water, either throwing my kids around or riding the surf. Managed a couple halfway decent handstands and press handstands, too.

Don't get me wrong. I've enjoyed myself and feel good about that. It's the balance I'm seeking. A trail run, some squat cleans, and some muscle-ups would have fit in well with my vacation, if I just got off my ass in the morning.

A few photos:

Marconi Beach

Skaket Beach

whale watching

general vacationing


My July CF workout (the only one thus far) - Saturday July 18, 8:30 a.m.

5:00 Jump rope (double unders not quite there, but they'll be back)
Shoulder mobility
Hip mobility (adductor still not happy with me - even after 3 weeks off)

Heavy stuff
Overhead squat 45x5x2, 95x3, 125x2, 145, 155, 165, 175 (PR)
Muscle snatch 75x3, 95x2, 115x2, 125, 135, 135f (matched PR)
Power snatch 135 x1 x4

I had more in me on the OHS, but I didn't want to risk wobbling about at the bottom and tweaking my slow-to-heal groin injury. Good to know that my solid winter training is still carrying over.

3 rounds:

    100m run
    10 broad jumps
    20 pullups

A bit too many pullups for the first day back in three weeks. Shoulder mobility is way down and I can't straighten my arms fully. Hopefully, the latter will mend itself by tomorow. I won't be doing pullups or going overhead, I suspect, but it would be good to not feel I need to marshall my recovery resources to tend to an injury.


While on the topic of extremism, I stopped off at a Whole Foods on my way back from Rhode Island yesterday and picked up the a nice sampling of the four food groups: beef, lamb, pork, and chicken. The latter three spent the evening on my smoker. (Can't let the diet slip as much as the workouts, or I'll really suffer.