James can be reached at TwinFreaks CrossFit, where he is an owner and trainer. James coaches barbell lifting classes and CrossFit classes. Contact him by email at james@twinfreakscrossfit.com or by phone at 720-204-2631.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Rest of the Yule Blogs

Friday, Christmas Eve Eve, I went to work briefly to eat the last of the year's sugar.  Screw it, I'm going to admit that I enjoyed over-eating, and I enjoyed eating not just non-paleo but outright junk food.  I am also happy to put the dietary offences behind me.

Saturday, Christmas Eve, was my heavy squat and press day.  There was quite a lot of volume overall, but the work sets on the press were 3 x 4 x 145, and the work sets on the squat were 3 x 4 x 310.  Since I started lifting in the USAPL, I've made it a point to take all my squats too deep, so this was enough work to induce some real soreness in both the back and legs.

Sunday, Christmas, I rowed a marathon, 42,195 meters, on the C2.  Yes I was sore, but my erging partner - who probably doesn't want any extra attention - ran about twelve miles Saturday and probably hurt as much or more than I did going in.

We had some delightful conversation and helped each other get to around 15,000 - 17,000 meters left when we went into our separate pain caves, and the solitary suffering began in earnest.  My only real goal was to finish in under four hours, and while at times I was limping badly, I made it with a few minutes to spare.

My erg-buddy finished in essentially the same time as I did, and said, "that was fun."  Then she explained that we'd have to do it earlier next year because she'll be gone for Christmas.

Holy Fuck.  What a woman.

A.S. asked me via Internet if I'm rowing at 6:30 am tomorrow.  No, A.S. I'm not, but that made me laugh harder than I have in months probably.

Whether you were with me physically or in spirit, that was awesome.  Thanks for a memorable Christmas.

Yeah, maybe we can do it again next year.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Yule Blog #8

For the nine weeks I currently have planned for myself, Thursday is bench and deadlift day.  Last Thursday my work sets on the bench were 6 x 3 x 210.  210 is not really heavy, not even for a triple, but it's heavy enough to demand respect.

I'm fortunate to have a consistent spotter who takes the job seriously, so I didn't complain when we had to change Thursdays' lifting time until it eventually was pushed all the way back to 5:30 pm.  Of course 5:30 became 5:40, and he had to leave at 6:15.

I was rushed, and that was good.  I re-learned that I screw off more than I think I do, and it's possible to do a complete work out quicker than I think it is.

Thanks spotter, and maybe these obstacles thrown at us actually help us dominate.

Yule Blog #7

If this seems wrong, it is really supposed to be Yule Blog #8.  I just like this one better than the one that should be 7, so I'll give it the prime number.

Yes I do like prime numbers, and yes, I spent a few hours today drinking coffee and studying the chess game, Mikhail Tal - Aleksander Koblents, Riga, 1957.  On the downside, I'm not so good with people.  I sometimes even forget who they are and why I am supposed to know them.

People are nice to me anyway, and that continues to amaze me.

Today a CrossFitter gave me a magnesium fire-starter for Christmas, and I realize she couldn't possible have gotten me anything better.  It's even better than the Nose-Tork I would have requested if anyone asked me what I wanted.

I can do what I damn well want with my blog, but as of yet I'll not preach my views on the zombie apocalypse.

Let me just say that if the shit should hit the fan, I'm not waiting for help.  I'm taking my knife collection and my new magnesium fire-starter, and I'll run west into the mountains.

It wouldn't surprise me if I die before the panic-stricken people who sit down and wait for the police, but I'll die facing my last enemy with a sharpened, fire-hardened wooden spear.

I hope that as the triumphs you string together after days, weeks, and months in the gym begin to seem ordinary, you're also gaining confidence to face the extraordinary.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yule Blog #6

If I could explain why this is, I'd actually get paid to write, and sure, I'd still talk to those of you who were around in the early days.  Further, since I know this profound truth, I feel like I have to share it now while it still comes across as a mere assertion and without the explanation.

But here it is - there are ergs in Heaven.

Oh yeah, there are ergs in Hell too.

The difference, I think, is just in the recovery days.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Yule Blog #5

I was asked today if I feel rowing in my arms.

I liked that question enough to continue thinking about it for several minutes after I had answered in the negative.

Here is how it works, in so far as I can remember how rowing feels.  I try to do too much stuff, and because of that sometimes on the erg I'll be conscious of my legs or back failing.  That seems to be associated with heavy lifting days.

On a good day, when I haven't been too ambitious, I'm fully recovered from any previous work outs, and I'm motivated, I don't feel the body in parts, and in fact if I don't exactly feel my body.

On a good day I feel the animal running.  On some of the good days, the animal just runs.  On well over half of even the good days, to be painfully honest, the animal knows its run is inadequate and it lays down to die.

So no.  Only on a bad day can I feel a weak link fail.  On a good day if anything fails, it's a sudden and complete collapse of the very soul.

That hurts a lot worse than the rubber legs.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Yule Blog #4


It was supposed to be a rest day, but I thought I should row 6,000 meters to have any chance to finish the month with 100k.  I realized I had plenty of time, so I decided to row 10k.  I didn't push at all, and I finished in 43 minutes.

I don't like rowing so slow, but I try to make every stroke perfect, and there is probably value in that.

On Sunday 12/18/11, I'm having trouble understanding critics.  I think I piss people off with my continued refusal to sit down, take pills, and pretend I'm old.

I think I'm going to keep doing that.

Yule Blog #3

Saturday's work sets on the press were 3 x 5 x 135, and the work sets on the squat were 3 x 5 x 295.

I thought I could use some extra work on the squat, so I decided to try a reverse band squat at 405 pounds.  I can't really explain how I allowed this to happen, but I set up green bands in the squat cage without bothering to check how much, if at all, the bar would deload at the bottom of the squat.

As I unracked 405 and started pushing my butt back I realized I wasn't getting any deload whatsoever.  I was not at all prepared mentally to be squatting 405, and I had no inclination to really hit the bar at the bottom and try to come back up, so like the Federal Reserve, I aimed for a soft landing.  I ended up doing a very slow negative, dumping the bar on the pins, and laying on the floor.

That was incredibly stupid, and incredibly fun.

I think my willingness to  do sometimes stupid but sometimes productive things is why I feel no inclination to hang colored lights all over fuck and pretend I'm happy one day a year.

In some form, I'm happy every day.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Yule Blog #2

In general terms, my training now looks like this:

Monday: row fast
Tuesday: squat moderate, press moderate
Wednesday: row fast
Thursday: deadlift, bench press
Friday: maybe row fast, maybe row slow, maybe rest (sorry about the unplanned rest today, prospective partner)
Saturday: squat heavy, press heavy, maybe row slow and long
Sunday: absolutely nothing

And this is my yearly attempt to ride two horses with one ass.  It's always a battle, but my lifting is improving.  I'm not so sure about the rowing, but at least it's not getting worse.

I'll be training like this until my next powerlifting meet in March, and I'll have to face the fact that until then my CrossFit will suck.  I won't be going to California to get free Reebok shit.  On the other hand, if I want free Reebok shit, and I won't, I could just take it from a CrossFitter.

So I'm specializing which makes me happy, but sometimes I get bummed or even feel like a complete failure.  I can't guarantee that I'll succeed even in the limited area I specialize in.

Even so I have these lucid days when I'm aware that life isn't so bad.

 A week or so ago I happened on some pictures on facebook of a guy who would be my ex-brother-in-law if I had ever been married to the woman I definitely should have divorced.  The guy has become a sphere.  I got into some trouble with the woman who should be my ex-mother-in-law for suggesting that this guy immediately get to his local CrossFit affiliate.

Yes, I'm aware of my impoliteness.  I am trying to help the guy because he is on the way to an early death.

In the end I'm a weak and wet, inconsistent Human like everyone else.  I do cause myself unnecessary suffering by worrying about whether or not I'll total over 1.200 pounds in 2012 or break the 7 minute 2,000 meter row.

I have some small, meaningless problems, and on some of those lucid days, I thank Generative Reason that one of my problems is not a spherical shape of increasing volume.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Yule Blog #1

So there I was trying to be perfect.  The last two nights I've been looking at the blank Blogger editor for ten minutes or so, then shutting it down without writing anything.

I'm doing some boring things that I find very interesting, and before I write about them I'm trying to make sure there is some great moral precept which will shine through and thoroughly repair the reader's life.  And that is not working.

Earlier this week I was showing a group how it takes me longer to set up a squat than to do one.  I was showing how my left hand has to grind into the bar before the right, and how I'm almost trying to draw blood from the knurling.  I was trying to transfer my bar voodoo, and it didn't immediately occur to me that most of them just need to squat 100 or 150 or 200 pounds to parallel without getting the "poopy dog" back.

I've decided just to write and let the reader be entertained or edified or pissed or whatever.  Take what you can or want and burn through the Yule Blogs.

Thursday 12/15/11

Bench Press work sets - 6 x 2 x 210
Deadlift work sets - 6 x 2 x 320

This was not a good day.  I almost dumped one of the benches on my stomach, and all of them felt too heavy.  The deadlifting was worse.  Absolutely everything felt like lead, and I was back to falling on my face today.  Falling on the ass is kind of cool in that it means the lifter is committed to the lift, but falling forward means there is something fundamentally wrong with the primate.

I had intended to do a fast but furious finisher today, but I left immediately after I racked my last bench.  (Actually I am responsible and I put all my weights away first.)

If there is a sweeping lesson here, this is probably it: today showed my preferred way to handle the sometimes unavoidable shitty day; do the minimum, get the Hell out, do not panic, do not cry.

What I don't prefer, but I have done more than once, is to do less than the minimum, get the Hell out, do not panic, do not cry.

I'm sure, though, that the worst thing to do in this situation is to attempt doing more than the minimum.

I'm at least a partially functional primate, and I'll be back tomorrow.

Monday, December 5, 2011

USAPL 12-04-11 Co. State Meet

Maybe if you walk through the front of TwinFreaks CrossFit you'll see a whiteboard with three wavy lines running asynchronously along a horizontal axis marked with the first initials of the twelve months of a single year.  That was my first, and maybe my last, attempt to explain how I attempt to periodize training as a three sport athlete.

While I think I know what I'm doing, it's hard to implement my training in practice, and sometimes an intelligent cycle will not fit in the available time before an attempt.  Following the Colorado Masters CrossFit Open and preceding the USAPL state meet, I was able to fit six weeks of a nine week peaking cycle.   I knew I would not be at my best, but this seemed like a good opportunity to get more meet experience and test my lifts before undertaking the next cycle leading up to the 03/04/12 NASA meet.

I decided that since it couldn't possibly be a perfect meet, I'd relax and not worry about anything - body weight, wraps, hitting big numbers - really I didn't think much about the meet at all until 6:30 am Sunday when I deduced that my inability to find my gym bag meant it must be at TFCF.  I had located my singlet, deadlift socks, and ammonia the night before, so worse case scenario was that I would go to TFCF, pick up the Purple Power Belt, and carry everything in a shopping bag.  Actually had I not in fact found the gym bag, I'd have achieved a nice thematic unity with a shopping bag as I was already wearing two t-shirts of questionable origin since it was so cold.

.D.B.1, D.B.2, and I arrived at the meet site in plenty of time to weigh in several pounds over 181, and to have all my t-shirts fail the equipment check.  I had to pay $15 for a Rocky Mountain Lifting Club t-shirt, and while the RMLC is a fine organization, I wasn't happy being compelled to support them.

My goals for the meet were so:
1) Test the raw squat and try to find something close to a 1rm
2) Try to PR the bench big
3) Feel out the sumo deadlift with some real weight, and if possible push above 400 pounds,
And it all went like this:

Squat:  we learned last July that the USAPL deserves its reputation for merciless judging in the squat, so I opened at 150 Kg, which I should be able to do naked at 4:57 am when I get up and without a warm up.

First attempt: 150 Kg good lift.

Second attempt: 160 Kg good lift.

Third attempt: 165 Kg good lift.  Honestly I blew this.  I had no idea what I could do without wraps since I usually start with loose wraps right around 150 Kg in training.  I left way too much on the platform in the squat.  I probably should have taken a second attempt around 170 Kg, and a third around 177-180 depending on what 170 felt like.

Bench: I opened at 107.5 Kg which is more aggressive than I"ve ever been, but I thought it was a reasonably sure thing.  Good Lift.

Second attempt:  115 Kg  I got sloppy on the descent, and the bar was headed for my stomach.  I was able to pull it back into a decent position and drive it to lock out for a good lift and a meet PR.

Third attempt:  I tried 122.5 Kg.  This felt much better than 115, but when I got the "press" command, it stalled about 4" off my chest.  As sometimes happens, the bar started a death arc towards my face, and the spotters did a fine job of jumping in before I lost any teeth.  No Lift.

As far as I know, all powerlifting federations allow the deadlift to be performed without a t-shirt.  I've always just kept on my t-shirt, and I even thought going shirtless showed a lack of class.  But hey, I had an opportunity to protest my forced acquisition, and I took it.

I opened at 160 Kg which was again more aggressive than I've been, but I needed something in this range if I was going to PR.  The bar got too far in front of me which is often the end of a sumo pull, but I was able to grind it to lockout.  In the sense that it got three white lights, it was a good lift, but it was a serious blow to my confidence since I thought an opener should be no problem to lock out.

Second attempt:  We knew I needed 175 Kg to total over a thousand pounds, so I thought I should give it a go.  Here I had no problems.

Third attempt:  It was a long day and the animal in me wasn't coming forth.  I was more affected by the horrible first lift than energized by the smooth second, and I tried 182.5 Kg - really the smallest unit that would get me over 400 pounds and break any mental barrier I had suffered there.  This went up fine, and I was left feeling that I really should have tried 190 Kg.

The all important third deadlift can be seen  here:

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The deadlift has been a struggle for me since blowing up my back over a year and a half ago, and while 402 pounds is really just enough to qualify me as a healthy adult male, it took a lot of hard work for me to get there.  I converted to the sumo deadlift some time ago, and in addition to having a fear of pulling, I had difficulty learning the sumo pull which is surprisingly technical for a slow lift.  Since I am in general weak off the floor, I have to angle my feet apart quite wide and attempt to externally rotate my hips hard.  This leads to a precariously balanced position, and I try to use the teeter-totter pull where the lifter attempts to pull back as much as up.  Too many times in training I fell on my ass or on my face trying to get this right, and it felt great to have the last one groove almost perfectly.

Like it was told to me, if you're not falling down you're not trying.  Lifting can be frustrating, but it eventually rewards patience.

Thanks to D.B.1, D.B.2, the huge guy who passed around the bottle of Nose-Tork, and those who show varying degrees of interest in what I try to do.  At this point I know that I'd be fine falling on my ass alone for five years, and so it's huge to get a simple, "how did it go?"

Yeah, you know who you are :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Challenges and Driving Adaptation

And if one day you do get into erging, you'll want to use the C2 online logbook.  It's clearly the best tool for logging erg work outs, but it can suck you in too far.  Every year C2 has a Holiday Challenge where one tries to row 100,000 or more meters between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and by virtue of using the log book, you're automatically entered.  The choices then are to row over 100,000 meters, or to row less than 100,000 meters; there really is no "I'm not doing the challenge because I should be doing intervals" option.

I'm sucked in.  C2 is a great company, and at least publicly Pete Dreissigacker is a great guy.  For every meter you go over 100k, Dreissigacker and C2 give actual real money to actual real charities.

So I'm trying to row a half-marathon on Thanksgiving, one on Christmas, and get my other 50k + meters in between with high-quality interval work.

Here's my problem.  On a good day I can row a 7:08 2,000 which is a 1:47/500 pace.  It's not easy, and it's not repeatable on demand, so it can be said that for me rowing a 7:08 2000 still disrupts homeostasis and forces my body to get better at rowing 2,000 meters.

From my experience, and more importantly at my experience level - the experience of vastly more experienced rowers, there are a few key work outs for improving the 2k.  Probably foremost among them is 3 x 1,000 meters / 2:00 minute rest.  As much as I hate those, I do them, and I try to do them around a 1:42/500 pace.

Yes, I improve my 2,000 by rowing intervals at a pace faster than my 2k pace thus definitely disrupting homeostasis.

There is also a too common idea circulated which maintains the way to improve the 2k is something like this:

2,000m Row
100 Pull-Ups
200 Push-Ups
300 Squats
2,000m Row

Actually this is not a bad idea.  I can post it to facebook, and it only costs me two or three weeks of training time to recover from.  If I do adopt this approach, I'll have to forget that my first 2k will come in around 7:40, and my second will be over 8:00, neither of which stresses my body enough to make it get better at the 2,000.

I do the half-marathons because I want to be a good citizen and support Dreissigacker's good citizenship.  They do look great on facebook, and they do give a training adaptation.

Yes, my sitz bones are tougher than your sitz bones.

Another thing I'll have to forget along the way is that erg races are decided on time, not on sitz bone density.

Now, read this whole thing again and remember it has nothing to do with rowing.

This is all about scaling those CrossFit WODs that beat you down and make you regress.

Yes, I'll allow that sometimes you have to do epic shit and post to facebook.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I've been staring at the white space too long, so I'm going to try to keep this short and to the point and just do it.  I'm sure all my stuff is less than than perfect, and if this is even worse, well I've had a lot of sugar today.  Yes, gluten too.

Probably somewhere I've alluded to the fact that November has been busy for me.  I don't have the time or inclination for a lot of erging, and I metcon even less.  But I have been lifting seriously and I have been eating seriously.  Usually I just have copious amounts of good food.  Today was the one and only day for months I'll have copious amounts of admittedly delicious but obviously lethal food.

I'm already fatter than I was in October.  But here's the thing: my lifts are going up, even those aggravating hard to progress upper body lifts and I feel great.  Clog the almond butter aisle in the supermarket with as many obese people with carts full of vanilla wafers as you want, and I'll walk through them like so many 135 pound bars waiting to be power cleaned.  That is functional fitness in the contemporary world.

December and January should be much better for me.  I'll pick up the erging with ferocity, and I'll keep lifting in preparation for a meet in March.  After some consideration, I think I'll go up to the 198 pound weight class, hit all the numbers I want, then see if I can back down to 181 and keep my strength.  I also really want a sub 1:25 500 meter row.

I may or may not hit my lifting and erging goals, but March 5th I'll look like a guy who either succeeded or made a serious effort to row fast and lift heavy.  If that doesn't describe an underwear model, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't, I don't care.

But I'm a guy, and I acknowledge that I have it easy compared to women.  I like a lot of the stuff that's posted about strong women being hot, but I usually refrain from commenting.  As a man, I don't understand this, but I know it's possible to fuck up a woman just by expressing an opinion that some body type is or is not hot.

I think one time, I'll say that I'm into those women about whom Walt Whitman said:

They are not one jot less than I am, 
They are tann’d in the face by shining suns and blowing winds, 
Their flesh has the old divine suppleness and strength, 
They know how to swim, row, ride, wrestle, shoot, run, strike, retreat, advance, resist, defend themselves, 
They are ultimate in their own right—they are calm, clear, well-possess’d of themselves.

Hopefully I won't fuck anybody up by suggesting they form their own opinions about how skinny Walt's women were.

Monday, November 21, 2011

If You Squat in the Woods

It would take me more time than I'll allow to search through my C2 logbook and figure out what my 500m row was last year, but 1:29.4 sounds about right.

I was trying to figure out why I'm 2.5 seconds faster so far this year, because while my erging has been serious, it hasn't been frequent.  Nor have I grown taller which would be the easy way to get faster.

I've been doing this all long enough to know that unless you're fortunate, most of the hard stuff is going to be done alone.  Sunday, with no-one in attendance, I squatted 300 x 5 x 5.  That's probably why I can cover 150 meters in ten strokes.

Probably the 2012 Mile High Sprints will be like the 2011 Mile High Sprints.  I'll get done and the CSU guys will say both that they like my mustache and that I row fast.

I'd rather it was the CSU women of course, but whatever.

I'll keep doing the important work alone.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mid-N.O.V.ember & 533.3 watts

Once upon a time, somebody asked Don Shula, legendary head coach of the formerly legendary Miami Dolphins, what the difference was between his two star running backs, Larry Csonka and Lydell Mitchell.  Possibly I've forgotten the exact quote, but Shula responded something like this, "if I tell Larry Csonka to run through a brick wall, he says, 'okay, coach, let's go,' and if I tell Lydell Mitchell to run through a brick wall, he walks to the wall, counts the bricks, walks back and says, 'okay, coach, let's go.'"

And while I like Csonka, I'm becoming ever more like Mitchell.

I now have serious doubts about the N.O.V. muscle-up project.  I have significant shoulder pain, probably from all the pressing I do, and now instead of doing as many muscle-up progressions as I must, I only do as many as I can.  I'm not conceding the project until midnight, December 1st, but I rather doubt it's going to happen in November.

On the good side, I'm becoming better acquainted with the rings and with shoulder pre-hab.  I'm getting much better at ring push-ups and ring dips, and even if that's all that ever happens, it's a good thing.

Somehow, and without much work at all, I can do a pistol on both legs again.  I missed that pistol, and I think this time I'll keep it oiled.

November brought one of my best conversations as a coach ever.  Incredibly Determined and Mentally Tough Woman [IDMTW] and I were talking about the 1,000 meter relay row, and it ended something like this:

IDMTW: "what's a good time for a 1,000 for a woman?"

Me: "3:45"

Me: "3:44"

Me "3:43, I don't like even numbers."

IDMTW: incredibly determined smile

I bet she'll do a 3:47 in training and surprise both of us on race day.

And then I still have my Larry Csonka days.  Maybe it's only because I know this particular brick wall so well, but I can always turn on the animal for a 500 meter row.  I decided a few days ago that as part of my rowing clinic, I'd do a max effort 500 to make sure everybody there knew what rowing looks like.

After a great start I found myself rowing a 1:20/500.  I knew very well that I had to back down somewhere south of 1:25, but it was fascinating to see 1:20 on the monitor, and I wanted to see how long I could sustain it.  I was done at 300 meters, but limped in with a time of 1:26.9 for an average power output of 533.3 watts, tantalizingly close to a triple bodyweight in watts 500.

I'm sure now that if I force myself to row a 1:24-1:25, I can break 1:25.

The readers are aware, doubtless, that a triple bodyweight in watts 500 is both rarer and cooler than a muscle-up anyway, right?

If you don't believe me, ask me.

Of course the wattage is only one variable, and probably I should be more concerned about my floating bodyweight.  November is cooler, and I've been spending more time in the kitchen.  Normally I consider that slightly dangerous.  Directly over the stove, one acclimates to the increasing smoke quickly and may fail to notice its increasing volume and take decisive action to prevent the smoke detector from going off.  Actually playing 1 minute chess in the adjoining room, I notice the smoke sooner.  But cooking is basically taking something that's edible, possibly adding a few more edible compounds, and applying heat, and sometimes it's more entertaining to see how various compounds react to heat than to play yet another 1 minute game.

I've been watching this stuff.

I'm pretty sure I know how to make an obscenely large yet cohesive paleo pancake, and if I can in fact do that I'll have to find three more watts for every new pound I gain.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Undulating Waves & Christmas Denied

November is, unfortunately, insanely busy.  I've been over-working and under-sleeping and largely unmotivated to erg like I should.

Like I preach though, I am not denied my one thing, and predictably I've chosen lifting.  I squat and bench twice weekly and pull deads and press once weekly.  I'm getting fairly high volume at high-moderate intensity as in squatting 6x6x275 and pulling 6x6x300.  The bench is on a six week peaking cycle, and lately I've been topping out with doubles around 235.

Pressing doesn't really fit into my current plan, but I can't leave the press out, so I've put in a max effort press day.  If I feel like crap, I work up to a 3rm, and if I feel good, I'll try a 1rm.  Last week, feeling like crap, I failed to triple 135.  Today feeling way too good for the amount of sleep I got, I singled 170, a new PR.

And that's how it works.  It's a journey, and when you have a shitty day, remember that tomorrow is also a day.  After time these days add up.

I decided a long time ago to compete in the USAPL meet 12/4, but I hadn't decided in which division to compete.  I finally decided to compete raw, which in the USAPL means no knee wraps.  It will be nice not to worry about who is wrapping my knees, but I'll probably take a third attempt squat around 375 pounds.  400ish to me is scary without wraps.

I thought I could weigh in the day of the meet and compete in whatever class that put me in, but I found out I had to declare that in advance, so I registered as a 181.  That all means I should have a fun meet, but I have to stop my uncontrolled free-range eating now, just in time for the holiday season.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

a Bad Day and Consolation Eating

It's fun to PR everything, but it's only possible if you're de-trained, and it can actually be a sign of progress when the PRs slow to a trickle.  I was hoping but certainly not expecting a PR 2k time trial today, but I was unprepared to finish only a half-second faster than my slowest time from last year.

Something that bad can be a shock to my fragile psyche, and I've learned to mitigate the damage by realizing I am still alive and that I don't always suck at everything.  As soon as possible I like to do a failure analysis.  I'm beginning to think that I should recalibrate my damper setting.  I'm almost completely certain that 7 was right last year, but evidence keeps mounting that I can and should row with a lower setting this year. 

But the real problem, I think, was what I didn't eat yesterday and the day before.   I've been insanely busy the last two days, and with limited time I've neglected those beautiful slow baking glycogen bombs, yams.

And thinking about eating reminded me of Jen Comas Keck's blog at EliteFTS which had a recipe for dirty cauli-rice.  I thought this looked intriguing, but I was aware that I couldn't make it.  Firstly there are way too many ingredients, and secondly, I don't understand soup stock.

I've seen soup stock, and from what I can gather it's a liquidized mess of shit that should have been thrown in the garbage.  I believe this because the same people who pull a container of it out of the refrigerator to show me also ask me, "aren't you going to save that for soup stock?" whenever I have shit that needs to be thrown in the garbage.

While on the surface cooking looks impossible, I've learned that problems like this can usually be solved by rational analysis; look, soup stock is some kind of semi-liquid that's heavier than water and lighter than used motor oil.  Yeah, coconut milk is also in that category.  With that in mind I invented:

Awesome Indian Shit #1 aka "Yak Curry"

curry powder
coconut milk

1)  Make your cauli-rice just like Jen says.  I of course don't have a food processor, but improbably I have a cheese grater.  I recommend using a cheese grater, and despite Jen's advice, don't be careful with your fingers.  If you don't have the balls to play cheese grater roulette, you probably shouldn't be in the kitchen, and you should leave the cooking to your "little woman," tough guy.

2) As far as I can tell there are two kinds of canned coconut milk.  Kind one contains some kind of chemical that probably gives you testicular cancer, and kind two contains guar gum which probably at worst give you hemorrhoids or something.  But fuck health considerations.  Kind two becomes solid at a higher temperature than kind one, and that's what we're after here.

3) Open the coconut milk.  Get a fork and eat those 55 heavenly grams of fat occupying the top two-thirds of the can.  The bottom one third is your soup stock.  Pour that over the cauli-rice which should be in a skillet.

4) I forgot Jen's instructions.  I heated this mixture until it was bubbling, then I covered it and turned the heat on low.  I sprinkled some, but probably not enough, curry powder over it.  This gave my kitchen a lovely aroma, which to be honest was not at all like this stuff tasted, so enjoy this part.

5) I think according to Jen this should simmer for 20 minutes.  I played three games of Internet chess and decided it must be done.

6) Brown a 170 gram fistful of hamburger and put some curry over it.  Use more curry than I did.  I thought I used a lot, so once you get to a lot, maybe try half again as much.

7) (Optional) pretend that the hamburger is really lamb.  I tried this, but I realized I could have simply bought lamb, so I decided instead to pretend that I was destitute and that I was cooking up the remains of the beloved family yak I had been forced to slaughter.

8) Put the yak [lamb, hamburger] over the rice and enjoy.

I thought this was actually pretty good if clearly not up to fake Indian American cuisine standards.

I could try tweaking the recipe, but I think next time I'll provide authenticity by just prefacing cooking with a couple Taj Mahal beers and putting up some posters of Himalayan mountainscapes.

Fuck yeah, I'll cater your shit.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


It is often thought, and I can understand why, that all I do is squat and row.  People who know me better are also aware that I find time to be a culinary wizard, provided I restrict myself to eight ingredients and one knife - no confusing utensils, and that I can play non-stop one minute chess on the Internet.  And then people who know me extremely well are aware that I sometimes go to work and that I read.

I'm currently reading the excellent "Fit" by Lon Kilgore et. al., and like most excellent books, it has excellent appendices.  One of those appendices is a chart of performance standards for various bodyweight movements, barbell lifts, and oddly the 1,000 meter row, with metrics ranging from beginner through advanced and on to elite based on age, weight, and gender.

I've been doing all of this long enough for me to score advanced in enough movements that I would probably be believed if I claimed to be advanced in all.  ("Oh, power snatch?  Well I did 750 of those in yesterday's work out; I'm a little bit sore today.")

I'm almost elite in the squat.  I'm close enough that I could load the elite weight on the bar, and on a perfect day, I'd squat it.  On a good day I'd take it low enough to fool the head judge if not the sides.  On an average day, I'd walk it out and decide I had better re-rack it, and for the sake of completeness, on a bad day I'd be headed to the hospital.

I'm so close to elite on the 1,000 meter row that I'm sure I could go in this afternoon, this being a non-lifting day, and do it without extreme exertion.  But I'm also so close here that I want to keep it in reserve for when I need an ego boost, like the next time some hottie shoots me down.  ("Look bitch, you wouldn't know what to do with my Elite ass anyway.")

To sum, I'm good at the stuff I'm serious enough about being good at to actually work on.

And that is what is meant by Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand [SAID.]

I think my favorite John Welbourn quote is still, "I never randomly got good at anything."  John worked very hard on being strong and being able to sprint 40 yards as fast as possible, and his work eventually got him a job in the NFL. 

I admit that being really good at something is an arbitrary decision, and that it's going to detract from something else; John Welbourn is not a marathoner, and I have some of the world's slowest recorded times on bodyweight movements.  Ideas of what constitutes really good or elite or whatever are also arbitrary of course.

In any event, if you're looking for a specific adaptation, be it your first pull-up, a sub-20:00 5 k, or whatever, you might well start by asking yourself where your imposed demand is.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Since the Masters Open, I've mostly been doing the stuff that I do - lifting and rowing.  That's probably the stuff I should be doing because that's the stuff I'm going to do.  I lift again 12/3, the Mile High Sprints are 01/29, and the Denver Indoor Rowing Championships are 02/04.

I also do some serious fucking free range eating, and while I expect to get fluffier, nothing horrible should happen since I restrict myself to the Paleo pasture.

Lifting three times a week and rowing four times a weeks keeps me happy, but me, me, I want more.

It's not just N.O.V.(ember), but also New Skill November.

I've decided I'm doing a muscle up this month.  If I were slightly more suicidal, I'd probably have done one last Sunday.  I was screwing around between sets of squats, and I came within millimeters of turning over a MU.  While I was poised in space between a pull-up and a dip, I had an anti-rowing moment; if I were in an analogous position on the erg, I'd pull harder and trust but not care that I would get through the hard part and live to erg again.  On the rings I had visions of my shoulders dislocating, I did care, I did not trust, and I dropped off.

I hate that, but it was probably the smart and correct thing to do, and I can still retain my masculinity since I remain so good at being stupid and incorrect on the erg and under the bar.

It's N.O.V.(ember.)  I'm doing a muscle-up.

Monday, October 31, 2011

500 Meters

Probably I talk too much.  One of my ideas was to never talk to anyone, and to let myself be known through the blog, but I found I can blog and still talk too much.

It's been noted lately that I don't just talk the talk but walk the walk, and I deeply appreciate that observation.  That's a large part of why I ever do anything, and having one person notice is more than enough motivation to keep trying.  Of course by nature I'd keep trying anyway until I find myself dying alone of hypothermia.

And so since I tell everyone it's always possible to train, I thought I better back it up and I found myself lifting Sunday at 9am.  That's definitely not a good time, but it was the only time, and I worked up to 2 x 3 x 195 on the bench and 6 x 4 x 275 on the squat.

I then went to work because that's the kind of shit I do to avoid hypothermia.

By mid-afternoon I went to Dave's house to watch the Broncos play, and like last time I was there, I cooked an obscene amount of food, all Paleo of course.

I went to TwinFreaks CrossFit at about 4:30 since I was supposed to row a 2 x 8 minute piece, but I was full of food and devoid of motivation.  I ended up playing guitar until 5 when people came in.

About 5:45 I decided it was time to do something or concede that I was doing nothing, so I warmed up with a 5 minute row and decided to try my first real 500 meter piece of the year.  I did a 1:33.3 earlier in the week, but that was after doing a 6 x 500.  I thought that despite squatting earlier in the day I should be able to break 1:30.

I placed the erg facing the whiteboard where I wrote in large hand "1:28." 

During a 500 I am conscious of the monitor, but I am not capable of any complex thought.  All I can report is that I was rowing way too fast, and while I was aware of it, I was unable to back down.  I did the "fly and die."  While the last 100 meters was torturous, I finished in 1:27.5, a huge 1.9 second PR over last year's best.  Now that I know how to pace a 500 in 2011, I think it won't be too hard for me to get under 1:26.

Possibly my near perfect diet and my increased CrossFit accounts for such a huge PR so early in the season.


It's like this guys: before I started I emptied all the barbell clips out of the puke bucket and placed the bucket on my right, dominant, side so that if needed I could grab it without thinking.

That and lately I've been in love with an ancient general's quote in Seneca which I'll paraphrase, "it's necessary to go.  It's not necessary to return."

Yes I felt the burn.

That's Flamethrower Love.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

30 Hours with James

10/26 2:45 am - Wake up unhappy again.  I've had terminal insomnia since late last spring or early summer.  Usually if it's before 3 am, I will try to go back to sleep, but 2:45 is close enough.

2:46 - Notice the clock flashing and conclude that power has been out.  Take care of bodily functions and slam a cold coffee.

2:50 - Sit down at the chess board with "the Final Countdown," a cogent introduction to the theory of conjugate squares in King and Pawn endgames.  I'm not sure if I'll ever play a serious game of tournament chess again, but I still get a considerable aesthetic effect from studying chess.  I'm a geek, but the complexity of apparently simple reduced material endgames can be devastating in its beauty.

4:00 - Hit the wall staring at oddly shaped plastic figures on 32 green and 32 cream squares.  Decide it's time to play on the Internet.  I'm not sure exactly what sites I was on, but probabal candidates were EliteFTS, T-Nation, Derby City CrossFit, CrossFit Balboa, CrossFit main site, and I'm sure I had my Internet Chess Club client open in the background playing a game of 1 minute chess between each article I read.

4:20 - No change.

4:30 - Breakfast - one fist full of hamburger, and I'll bet you as much as you want this is between 140 and 160 grams, and two eggs scrambled and doused in hot sauce.

4:55 - I realize I'm probably going to be shovelling snow, so I head out to TwinFreaks CrossFit.

5:00 - Assess conditions at TFCF.  I decide the snow will probably melt quickly and my claim that I shovelled snow will be irrefutable.

5:35 - Strip down to shorts and do a hand stand push-up outside in the snow.

5:40 - Assess the small but motivated 5:30 am class and decide they don't need me to babysit them during the WOD.  Lament that I stopped cheating on the programming; this is supposed to be a rest day for me, but how can I justify missing a mercifully short WOD of pull-ups and hand stand push ups?  Fuck it, I'm in.

6:30 - Teach the awesome October On-Ramp class.

7:40 - Realize nobody is coming to the 7:30 class.  Consider shooting myself but decide instead to pay some bills so that we can stay open for the people who do come.  Realize again that my love for the people who show up outweighs my disdain for the people who don't.

8:00 - Go home and find out that the power is out again.  Without the ability to cook anything, I decide to drink four eggs.  If you die from salmonella, you're supposed to be dead.

8:30 - Go to bed.  This is a tough one.  I try to avoid sleeping during the day because it's associated with continued horrid insomnia, but I actually have an afternoon of work to do at work, and it's going to be living Hell without a nap.

Before 9, I think - Flanked by my two warm cats I go to sleep.

11ish - Wake up and find power is still out.  With no ability to cook, I drink a can of coconut milk.  Drink more coffee.  This again is tough because excessive or late caffeine consumption is associated with continued insomnia, but my choice here is to be either hyper or a vegetable at work.

12pm-5pm -  Go to work and actually work.

5:15 - Somehow I know that I still won't have power at work.  Inform Dave B. that if I don't have power I'm texting him inviting myself to his house.

5:30 - Go home where I find I do not have power.  With no ability to cook, I drink four eggs.  They're semi-refrigerated so I decide there is no salmonella risk above background.  I begin to wonder if it will drop below freezing during the night.  I get this brilliant idea that the easy way to clean my toilet would be to let it freeze and then use a corkscrew to remove and discard the ice plug - no brushing, no harsh chemicals - completely Paleo.

6:00 - Roll up at Dave's.  One of the few good things about me is that I'm extremely conscious of imposing on people, so I inform Dave that I am not imposing but rather I've arrived to give him a Paleo cooking lesson.  Dave does some foraging in various refrigerators and cupboards and we find: hamburger, eggs, yams, canned pumpkin, coconut oil, cinnamon, and some fucking excellent habanero sauce - essentially everything anyone could ever want.

6:20-7:00 - I make yamburger v1, and dessert v3.  This is all available in the JamesD Big Fucking Book of Cooking which exists entirely in my head.  I make enough for 36 dieting women or 2.25 adult males.  Dave is already fading and thinking about going to bed, so I eat about 60% of this stuff.

7:30  - Dave invites me to sleep on the couch, and I get another invite to sleep on a futon.  The futon is tempting because it probably comes with a dog.  I haven't slept with a dog in years but I really like it.  They're big enough to be warm yet unlike Humans they're not big enough to displace me during the night. I also receive a suggestion that I should sleep in the Ice Rink at Roosevelt Park.  Two fantastic offers and one entirely Paleo suggestion, but I decide to assess the conditions at home.

7:45 - Return to dark and cold home.  Take a shower in the dark.  Put on indispensable hoodie and awesome flannel pants thing that someone gave me for Christmas many years ago.

8ish - Get into dark and cold bed regretting deeply that at 5:30 I lacked the foresight to use the dim light to find my awesome wool blanket.  In the dark it will be impossible to find it.

Later8ish - Conceive a nightmare scenario where the day-time nap and the late coffee leave me sleeping fitfully, waking up every hour and finding I have no power and thus can not take solace in studying K+P endgames or web surfing.

Lateryet8ish - Flanked by my two warm cats I fall asleep.

Sometime between lateryet8ish and 4:45am -  I might wake up and feel like I want to vomit from either being too full and having an acidic stomach or perhaps salmonella, or I might dream the whole thing.  I do dream that it's Thursday, I'm talking to Dave, and I ask him if he ate too much and vomited.

4:45am - I wake up and find I have no power, but I know it's 4:45 because I have my Paleo Blackberry.  I take care of bodily functions, and without power to enable me to screw around, I decide I will be like Paleo man and go back to bed.

4:47ish-unbelievably after 6am - I fucking sleep!

Unbelievably after 6am - I get up feeling better than I have in my entire life, and I decide to augment this feeling with coffee.

7am - I stop by TFCF because I thought, correctly, that I had fucked up the blog and I wanted to fix it.  I also decide I will annoy everyone there by proclaiming how great I feel.

8 am - I go to work.  I'm unsure what I will do, but being there early will greatly enhance my reputation, and the common if erroneous assumption will be that I am doing terribly important stuff.

8-9 - I realize that my IQ is temporarily 218.  This is much too good to last more than a few hours so I decide to update my blog..

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Twelve Week Transformation

I have been CrossFitting for over three years now and most of that time I've been on some form of Paleo diet.  At times I have been in stellar condition and able to perform at a high level.  I am, however, a guy which means that I love to lift heavy, and I have a tendency to become obsessed with the slow barbell lifts at the expense of everything else.  I rarely eat junk, but I do have a near weekly cheat day, and at times I have drunk a pint of heavy whipping cream on a daily basis.  I tend to cut CrossFit down to about two work outs a week, and I often cherry-pick those; they're going to be short, heavy, and quite likely barbell-centric.  None of this is really bad, but all of it is far short of perfect.  It makes me strong, people ask me where I work out, and while no-one says, "dude, you're jacked," no-one says I'm fat.

In early July, 2011 I decided to enter the July 31st USAPL power lifting meet at the Colorado State Games at 181.75 pounds. I usually walk around at 185 pounds, and I was shocked to find that I had crept up to 194.  It's not hard to take off 13 pounds in three or four weeks, but I am much more accustomed to take off 5 pounds in a week.  There was, coincidentally, a twelve week fat loss contest at work purportedly with a more than $1,000 prize to the winner, so I thought I had adequate incentive to hone my diet for three months and see how much fat I could strip.  Additionally, the inaugural Colorado CrossFit Master's Open competition would occur immediately after the fat loss contest, so I thought I might as well go all in and see how much I could improve my conditioning in the same three months.

Here is where I started:

7/10/11 Powerlifting Faileo James - those could be abs
Weight: 194
Body fat by four site pinch test: 17.5%
Body fat by consensus: 12-13%
"Cindy" score: 14.433 rounds
2,000 meter row: 7:26.0
mustache: perfect

What I attempted to do for three months:
1) Follow John Welbourn's dietary recommendations for fat loss - strict Paleo diet, no fruit, no dairy, 15 calories per day per pound body weight, 25% protein, 25% carbohydrate, 50% fat. 
2) Lift four days a week hitting the squat, dead lift, bench press, and press.
3) CrossFit four times a week with two entirely random WODs and two cherry-picked WODs designed to hit my weaknesses, notably all body weight movements and time domains exceeding 15 minutes.
4) Do a second work out on the C2 erg.

What I actually did for three months:
I ate absolutely nothing forbidden.  If I want to seriously do anything, I have to make it very easy on myself, so I ate only the following foods: ground beef; chicken; yams; squash; eggs, sardines; coconut oil; various green leafy vegetables.  I entered the nutritional data for all of these into a spreadsheet and tracked my daily intake of macro nutrients and calories.  In ninety days, I never got this absolutely right.  I tended to do okay on the fat, but usually had too much protein at the expense of carbohydrates.  I never had less than my body weight in grams in protein, as I made absolutely sure to hit this number every day no matter what else happened.  When I started, I noticed my calories were way too low, and over time I moved them to the target number and eventually beyond.  I chose not to be hungry.  Often on Thursday, dead lift day, I would program a met con involving high-rep, medium weight dead lifts after my lifting, and I would develop a ravenous appetite.  By the time I gave up tracking calories on Thursdays, I was well over 3,000 while my target was around 2,500.

I was perfect with my lifting.  It's easy to do what you're already good at.

I started out hitting four WODs a week, but after several weeks it was becoming clear to me that I was not recovering.  I was at least smart enough to realize continued pushing would make me regress, so I backed down to three a week.

Over time, my second rowing work out degenerated into a very low intensity affair due to my inadequate recovery.  I love the erg, but here again I realized I over-reached and entirely quit the attempt at a second work out.

To summarize, I did a fantastic if overly ambitious job of planning, and while I fought to the best of my ability, I fell well short of what I targeted as perfection.  Now of course this is subjective, but I honestly believe I came very close to doing my best.  Yes there were days when I could have pushed the WOD harder or passed up the extra 150 grams of ground beef and I failed to do so, but there were not many of those.  To be honest and not merely ego saving, I think I did an excellent job of adjusting my programming and eating on the fly.  My over-riding principal was to listen to my body and quash all the attempts, which I damn well knew I'd make, to be an idiot and push too hard.

Here is what happened in twelve weeks and a few days:

10/16/11 CrossFitting Paleo James - six evident

10/16/11 CrossFitting Paleo James - twin pythons and who knew the trapezius has striations?

Weight dehydrated: 174.5
Walking around weight: 180
Body fat by four site pinch test: 12%
Body fat by consensus: 7% (when building a consensus, find people who already like and support you.)
Body fat by hydrostatic test: 8.1%
"Cindy" score: 16.756 rounds
2,000 meter row: 7:08.4
mustache: still perfect but now seductively lustrous probably from the dietary fat

Twelve weeks is really not a long time to make such a dramatic change.  I had fun the entire time and enjoyed my self imposed discipline.  I did have a very high motivation level for various reasons.  I wanted to win the fat loss contest and the money, I wanted to have a respectable showing at the Master's Open, and as a CrossFit trainer and affiliate owner I though it was time to quit being lazy, practice what I preach, and show my clients the synergistic power of CrossFit and Paleo.

It can be seen that all those are external motivations, and I think that it was critical that I also had a high degree of internal motivation.  To be succinct, I was disgusted with my previous half-hearted efforts at everything besides lifting, and I wanted to quit effing around.

I did what I set out to do, and it was Awesomeness cubed.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday: Searching for Redemption and What's Next

Saturday's DNF was ugly, and while the ground to overhead ladder was good, I finished the day in the cellar..  At the end of the day, my left shoulder was fried, the rest of my body felt bad, and I was pretty sure Sunday's WODs were not designed for me.

But you do what you can.

I was lucky to make it back to Front Range CrossFit today as I started the day by tripping down the stairs before 6 am, but no damage was done.  Absolutely everything hurt today with the worst spots being again the left shoulder, and also the left hip flexors, and the traps.

WOD 3:
5 Rounds for Time
5 Dead Lifts 185 pounds
10 KB Thrusters 24 Kg
150 meter Run

I finished this in 7:48 but realized I fucked up.  I thought I was doing my best, but when I went for my last run I heard somebody yell, "catch him."  I turned around and saw two guys behind me, and I was able to finally find high gear and keep them behind.  I realized I probably could have done that on the first four runs.

I was absolutely dreading WOD 4:
Power Snatch 95 pounds
Side-to Side Jumps 12"

I thought if my shoulder held up I would be fine on the power snatches, but my body is not made for jumping.  No, it's made for heavy squatting and powering the erg.  By this time I felt so bad everywhere that I started warming up an hour early in hopes that I'd be able to move.  I did a very slow paced warm up with rowing and I did a total of maybe five power snatches as I didn't know how many I had left in me for the WOD.  Towards the end of the warm up I started cramping up mainly in the foot and hamstring.  I figured I was fucked, but I took the floor and left matters to fate.

I finished in 7:54, a perfectly respectable time, and it was pretty fucking funny.  During the WODs I had tunnel vision and couldn't hear anything.  Because I had it in my head that this was going to be a battle to the death, anything the announcer said through the microphone I interpreted as an update on the approaching cut off time of 10 minutes.  Everytime that guy said anything I thought the cut off must be getting closer and I tried to move faster.

After I finished and was walking off the new pain, several people told me I did great and I asked them, more or less, "what the fuck are you talking about?"  This happened enough times that eventually I realized maybe I did do okay, and in fact I did.

In all it was a fun week end.  I avoided ignomy in a very competitive group.  Even the last place finisher there could hardly be said to be unfit.

I'd like to thank:

MG - advil and advice after doing all this before me
VP - driving and somehow coming up with salt water when I was cramping
DB1 - pre-competition massage
DB2 - megatons of laughs and co-conspiring Operation Golden Tomb
EW - E-coaching
ACW - E-cheering
D&B - coming down before heading out
JS and the Defy crew - reminding me that power lifting is still there when the circus tricks are over

Quickly now, as I'm more than ready for an early bed time, I've had three great days on the Faleo diet.  I haven't eaten anything forbidden, just way too much of the more questionable stuff.

Monday I'll be back to Paleo and I'll be happily training for the Known and Knowable which involves a lot of squatting and rowing.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ammonia for Breakfast, Medicine Ball for Lunch

Evidently the last time I used my gym bag was at the USAPL power lifting meet.  I know this because when it rolled off the pile of junk in my closet this morning and I stepped on it, I heard a, "pop,pop."  I must have already had a coffee because my brain was working quickly enough to surmise that I had just inadvertently broken two ammonia caps.

I pulled out the box of caps, and sure enough, two of those beauties were pink and leaking into the atmosphere.  I couldn't bear the though of losing that ammonia.

I hit that shit.

I had thought that ammonia was losing its effectiveness on me, but a double dose concentrated in the box was like a knee to the face.

I thought that in some form it was going to be a good day.

I proceeded to Front Range CrossFit and day one of the Master's Open.  The first event was:
1,000 Meter Row
75 Wall Ball Shots
500 Meter Row
25 Pull-Ups

I thought this would be a 15 minute work out for me, and had I not DNF'ed I'd have finished in 15:03.  At the 15 minute cut-off, I had one pull-up left.  In reality I did about 100 wall balls and 30 pull-ups, but I had way too many no-reps.  The wall ball was quite a battle as the Front Range wall ball target stands out a few inches from the wall, and the ball has to hit it.  My shots were going above, below, and sometimes in front.

What I did right: I kept my head in the game.  I was not flustered by the endless no-reps and just kept pushing.  I got some extra focus when for the first time in my life, in front of a hundred people of course, I caught a wall ball with my face hard enough to be knocked back two steps.  As far as I can tell, that actually helped me.

What I did wrong: I was struggling badly with the second row.  Probably I should have rowed half or three quarter slide, dropped my power and upped my rating.  That supposedly is the way to do a recovery row, and while I know that, my pain addled mind couldn't pull it out.

Event two was a ground to overhead ladder starting with 135 pounds and going up 5 pounds every twenty seconds.  I haven't attempted a serious clean and jerk in well over a year now, and back when I was doing it, my max was 215.  Complicating matters, I think I fucked my left shoulder doing the first WOD pull-ups.  I was scared to put anything over head, so I warmed up with front squats and trusted that when the time came I could still jerk anything I can clean.  This event turned out to be a study in joy.  I danced my way to 215 pounds where I made the world's ugliest power clean and was saddened to find that, no, I couldn't jerk it.

Tomorrow's events are:

5 rounds for time of:
5 deadlifts 225 pounds
10 kettlebell thrusters 24 Kg
150 meter run


10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps for time of:
power snatch 95 pounds
stick jump, 12 inches

Both of these will be gassers and do not favor me.  With my left shoulder fucked, I'll try doing all the thrusters right-handed.

Of the two, the dead lifts, thrusters, and runs seems a little more palatable to me, so I'm going to go hard there and try to move up a few places in the rankings.

Fuck it.  I have two arms, and I already ruined my face today.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Twelve Weeks and Two Days

And so the fat loss contest ends.

The guy who took our initial pinch tests three months ago quit, and the guy who did our final pinch test measured everybody about 4% high.  I know because the tank put me at 8% and I had him measure me the same day; he came up with 12%.

This means, among other things, that some of the people who didn't try very hard and lost 1 or 2 percent body fat appear to have gained.  Because they know they have lost weight, they're unhappy with the measurement.  Because so many people are unhappy, the contest was called off.  Everybody get $100 back, and I don't get the $1,200.

Of course a few people, those who have lost the most muscle from fasting, are claiming that they won based on how much weight they lost.

I'm going to make my own claim: I got jacked.

No way in Hell am I not staying Paleo, but I relaxed and enjoyed a pound of almond butter and a pint of honey, way too many dates, a pint of cream, and two cups of almond milk.  All very awesome and arguably Paleo, but I'll stay on the ground beef and yams starting again tomorrow.  Why not, it works for me.

Twelve weeks of Paleo and serious CrossFit has been good for me.  I have a lot, I think, to pass on via my blog, but it's going to come in pieces and take time.

First I have this matter of the Master's Open this weekend.  I don't think the first two events favor me at all.

The second event is a ground to overhead ladder starting at 135 pounds and going up 10 pounds every twenty seconds until failure.  I haven't done a serious Olympic lift in over a year.

I'm going to put on wrist wraps and O shoes, engage the bar and see what it wants to do.

The first event is a 1,000 meter row, 75 wall ball shots, 500 meter row, and 25 pull-ups.  Rowing is good, 25 pull-ups can be gutted out with the broken butterfly, but 75 wall ball shots is a lot for me.

It occurs to me that nobody really gives a fuck how I do.

The crux of this is the wall ball shots.  When it really sucks, I'm projecting about 25 in, I'm going to remember that one legendary figure once walked a barbell mile with me. 

I'm going to say to myself, "the target is ten feet high."

If anybody gave a fuck, they'd see some exquisitely beautiful wall ball shots.

For what I damn well hope is less than 15 minutes tomorrow, CrossFit will be life.  Sometimes that's all you get, but it's invariably enough.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Paleo Counter-Point

The scales fell from my eyes, the weight fell from the scale, and I am now a prophet of Paleo.

But the thing in itself is Awesomeness.  In my continued quest for Awesome, I've found Paleo to be a powerful tool.  I realize it may be possible to be Awesome without Paleo, and if you can do so, have at it.

Awesome non-Paleo

This guy has a bagel and a twenty ounce Pepsi and is still awesome.  Stuff like this makes me happy I didn't die fifteen years ago.  It reminds me a bit of my younger self.  I remember at the University of Iowa, we'd walk to Coralville directly next to Iowa City and be so hungry we'd throw down whatever we could afford at Taco Bell and then go to the doughnut shop next door for a dessert of blueberry doughnuts.  We didn't die; we never even puked.

If you're going this route, be careful.  The only reason this guy and a younger me got away with this is that Punk's not gonna die.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I'm a Ho

If you look here you'll perhaps be as surprised as I was today to learn that I am a yoga instructor.

I wasn't sure how I became a yoga instructor, so I dedicated 15 minutes to figuring it out.  Probably last summer I was walking around Longmont with my braided mustache at clavicle length, and probably I was wearing not just dirty shorts, but dirty, torn shorts.  I must have passed a coffee shop with two women inside, serious of course about fitness results, sipping soy chai lattes and asking each other about the hardcore yoga studios.

I'm not really in tune with the Lululemon crowd, but reasonably only one thing could happen when they saw me.

One pointed at me and said to the other, "that motherfucker must have spent some serious time on a Nepalese mountain top."

They followed me, at a safe distance, to TwinFreaks CrossFit and were scared to go inside while still on contract to their current studio but got me a listing.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do when my disciples start showing up.  I do have a world class pigeon pose, but I got that from Brazilian jiu-jitsu, not yoga.  In BJJ, I like to play guard, the bottom position which is by definition defensive but from which an array of submission attacks can be launched.  This, I learned during my time in San Fransisco, is called "topping from bottom," and aside from the applications it has in grappling, it's probably a good skill to have if you're a ho.

Don't ask me why, but recently I've been in a commercial gym.  Among other things, I saw a spherical woman doing seated calf raises.  I recognized this as a spot reduction strategy; I thought spot reduction would be fine for her as long as the spot was her body, and I realized this could only be the work of a personal trainer.

Clearly in this foreign place money was changing hands for questionable physical services and I felt debased.  I wondered, though, what a ho would do, and I decided to display my wares.  With my whorish instincts apparently intact, I approached the weakest prey, two inexperienced underweight high school boys who will be underweight until they go to college, drink beer seven days a week instead of two, and begin a lifelong journey of being overweight.  I pulled up my shirt, flexed my abs and said, "what do you think? Is this okay?"

I had to run the hell out of there before anything could be consummated.

So when the disciples show up, I'm going to rip the "$135 a month" sign off the wall.  I'll tell them I can see they're serious about results, and that I can infallibly deliver for $50 an hour.

I'll show them the pigeon pose, and for $50 an hour, especially if I get a group, I'm whorish enough to tell them I got like this by eating tofu.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fat Loss: Quantity and Quality & etc.

Hello Canada!  I have no idea why I've had a spike in my Canadian readership.  Maybe you like me.  I like you for your English, Canadian English is my favorite, your physical beauty - yes I know you have other fine provinces besides B.C. - and your refusal to be us.

Yesterday I had a hydrostatic body fat test, and I can say with almost complete certainty that I am at 8.1% body fat.  The error will be based on how much air I couldn't force out of my lungs, the specific gravity of my fecal matter, and not much else.  In other words, my body fat percentage is 7-9.

This is sort of important.  Right or wrong, there is a common belief that for men fat loss awesomeness begins below 10%.  I can say now that I know how to get there.

This is sort of meaningless.  There's something comforting about having a number, but there's something approaching orgasmic about having a woman I find insanely attractive telling me I look good, and hearing the same, "you look good," from a CrossFit Games competitor I admire that I hadn't seen for a couple years.

I'd have to read through my blogs to remember how I've rationalized my motivation for leaning out, but I remember the truth now.  Just over two years ago I was CrossFitting heavily and seriously, and I realized I legitimately looked good; I didn't notice it happening, but one day I just wasn't the fat kid anymore. 

Life happened.  I never quit CrossFitting, but I didn't do it heavily or seriously.  In one of the worst episodes of my life, I had to work overnight for three months, and halfway through that nightmare my body demanded to be fed a high-sugar diet which lead to me gaining 24 pounds of pure fat in 12 weeks.

I found myself telling people about the "old days" when I had rippling abs.  Probably some people believed me and some didn't.  I get tired of people talking about the old days, and in a remarkable display of consistency I got tired of my own talking about the old days.

I decided to get ripped again.

I did.

I'd argue that quantification often isn't important.  Look good, feel good, perform well, have insanely attractive women tell you that you look good.  But it was good for me to figure out almost exactly where I'm at.  I know that my lean body mass is 165.5 pounds.

It's no longer ambitious or even stupid for me to try to weigh 165 and be a light weight rower; it's downright deranged.  I get to live inside my head and understand how I think.  I know full well why that idea was so appealing to me, but I also know I can have a perfectly happy life as a nightmare 181 pound power lifter and a recreational 'holy shit that guy tries really hard" rower.

That then is what I'm doing.  There is some unfinished business with the fat-loss contest at work and the Colorado CrossFit Masters' Open.  I'm going to coast to the fat loss finish without trying to drop more, and I'll be CrossFitting hard another two weeks.

My next lifting cycle will start next week, and I'm going to enjoy the hell out of it.  I screwed up my lifting training in terms of being able to peak for any of the remaining 2011 meets, and I'm not sure how to handle that.  I might compete to get more experience on the platform and with the understanding that I won't hit the numbers I'm capable of, or if I decide that's too much of an ego-killer I might go as a coach only.

Here's some stuff I know on Friday, September 30, 2011:

I won't always CrossFit as seriously as I do now.

I will never not CrossFit.

I will not always be as lean as I am now.

I will never really be fat.

I deserve to be paid for all I now know about how to eat.

I like to help people, so here is the important part of what I know for free:
eat as much high-quality food as you want
high quality means among other things, you'll have protein, carbohydrate, and fat
don't be scared of any of these
eating is - yes amazingly - pretty natural and hard to do wrong
skipping breakfast doesn't do a damn thing except make you have a later breakfast
eating carbs after 6 pm doesn't do a damn thing except make you eat carbs after 6 pm
thinking about what to eat when is icing on the cake stuff
I never ate exactly what I thought I should when I thought - that got me to 8.1% body fat
more than worth repeating, do not fear carbs, fat, or protein
grain does not make you defecate
fat probably does make you defecate

enjoy the process

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Already Know I can Row Slowly

I'm still a little mad, so let me try to diffuse my anger right now.  The moral of this blog post, if it has one, may simply be this: fuck off on the rower all you want, but please do it when I'm not around.

Lately someone rowed a 750 as a work out, not as a warm-up or a recovery, and after finishing in nearly five minutes told me how much fun it was.  In that situation, my full bluntness is going to come out, "you didn't do it right."  Now the person in question realized that perhaps I had a point, so we decided to row a brisker 500.  It wasn't great, but I was satisfied that the person at least bumped into pain if not embraced it.

I told the person that I can row a 500 in under 90 seconds, and that there is nothing fun about that.  The person told me there is no joy in my life.

Look, if you want joy, they have television and candy bars and heroin.  I've tried prescription opiates, and I think I'd do well on heroin.  But that's not what I do.

90 seconds.

I think this year I can do it in 85 seconds, and it's going to go like this: in December I'll try to prove that I can do it in 85 seconds, and at the 2012 Mile High Sprints, I'll make my best effort to duplicate my December time.  Last night with no warm-up I rowed a 250 at a 1:26/500 pace, and while that's encouraging it's largely meaningless.  After a 250, you'll be able to replace the handle, smile at the onlookers, and only then feel the pain.  Flat-out, 250-300 meters into a 500 is where you suddenly feel that you've left the crotch-rocket travelling 120 miles per hour and you're now into the barbed wire fence.  There is no joy in finishing 200-250 meters like that.

I've seen people embrace the pain, and that's beautiful, but rarely does anyone understand what maximal effort means.  Yes, I also didn't understand maximal effort for a while, and I wouldn't say my time in the pain zone was wasted.

But here's maximal effort.  You strap your feet into the stretcher without knowing or caring whether you walk off 90 seconds later or your corpse is carried off.  It's not fun, it's true that I can make myself sick thinking about it, and it's true that I'm doing no more than two a year.

There's no joy here.

There's no joy walking into work when it sucks, the bank when you're broke, even your own home when your relationship stinks.  You'll feel like shit and you'll walk like shit - bent over and knuckle-dragging.  When you remember what you do on the rower, you'll straighten back up and go another 200 or 250 meters, whether your max effort is 80 or 120 seconds.

I hate maximal effort 500's like nothing else.

I don't know what joy is.

Twice a year I know how the predator feels.  Keep your television, candy bars, and heroin.  My joyless life is perfect.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Work & Post Work Out Nutrition

Now I'm getting confused.  I can't remember if I'm seven, eight, nine, perhaps even ten weeks in.  I know that I'm three weeks out, and I know results equate directly with hard work.  The battery on my scale is low, but I step on it everyday since it only works correctly one day in three.  I work, today the scale worked, and I weighed 174.6 - through the sticking point.  So when I did "Christine" today, the body weight dead lift was not the formerly normal 185 but rather 175, which felt great.

Maybe the best thing about CrossFit is how it rewards hard work.  It may take weeks to drop ten pounds of lard, but your work in the meantime gets noticed.  If you work hard enough at the right time, you get to go to California and get free Reebok shit, but if you "only" work hard enough enough to start routinely hitting PR's I think the reward is even better.  If you can blast through a WOD, avoid the time wasting "bar stare," PR, then rip your shirt off and collapse heaving in a puddle of sweat, nobody says you were five minutes slower than the guys who get free Reebok shit.  No, rather they say, "dude, you're a manimal - you fucking killed that work out." Which feels great.

This all happens when you get serious.

Now when you get deadly serious, you have to approach eating the same way you approach working out, except that instead of five, ten, or twenty minutes of misery, you're doing this all day, everyday, for days, weeks, and months.  You follow the plan, and if the plan says you eat 855 grams of chicken, again, that's what you do.

That's hard.

And let me just say, when you avoid the "fridge stare," eat the last of the 855 grams, unclasp your belt, wallow to the futon and collapse, absolutely nobody is there to say, "dude, you're a manimal - you fucking killed that chicken."  Which is hard, again.

Post work out nutrition is important, and when you're leaning out, you don't get your favorite protein shake, milk, or cream.  Those all cause insulin spikes which make you fat.  No, you follow John Welbourn and eat real food, lots of real food.  Lots of the same chicken and yam in fact.

I'll be ecstatic when I stop trying to lean out and go back to trying to be awesome.  I'm not going to go insane, but for a few days, I'm going to eat however much I want of whatever I want.  ( My pancake source thinks ice cream may be overkill.  I should probably defer to her, but if I do it's going to be a half gallon of ice cream for breakfast the next day.)  I am, though, going to make a serious attempt to keep the real food post work out meal.

After the other CrossFitters go home or go to work, there's just the drying puddle of sweat, the memory of the dead lifts, and the chicken and yam.  And there's a moment of clarity.  The chicken and yam, you realize, make the dead lifts possible.  Here you do what you want.  I like to thank the deity of my choice, who may or may not be Almighty Evolution, for this miracle by which real food is turned into dead lifts, not fat.  I like to think that the chickens forgive me for not having the disposable income to buy them from the farmers who raise them responsibly - free, happy, and eating worms, and that the yams forgive me for having only enough money to have them chemically treated and shipped in dark trucks from Mexico.  In any case I thank Dieties and Yams and Chickens for Strength and Health rather than curse convention for disease and decay.

And it's still a pretty good world until it's time for the post-post work out meal of chicken and yams.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

CrossFit Dawns & Tangerine Dreams

I have learned that I can be wrong, even more frequently than I would have thought possible.  But I'm still sure that the world is reborn every night, and if you get up early enough you can see it while it's still perfect.  I look at the stars, or Venus if it's partially cloudy, the moon with yet more cloud cover, and despite cyclical depression, I will be happy to be alive in the temporarily perfect world.

The thugs will have been in bed for an hour or two while the cretins and sluggards will continue sleeping.  There are no asshole drivers at 5:15.  Sure you have idiot drivers, those who think that because they've never encountered a car at an uncontrolled intersection so early they never will, but because they're merely idiots and not assholes, there's no reason to scream, "Jesus fuck you fucking idiot."  A very calm yet assertive, 'fucking, Starbucks, motherfucker" will suffice.

For a few hours my brain will work.  Brutal insomnia notwithstanding, during 6:30 am Foundation classes I can talk about lumbar curves, while at 6:30 pm I have, more than once, pointed at my back and asked, "what do we call this thing?"

And I'm not the only one who has CrossFit dawns.  I'm on facebook around 5 am not to see who got drunk and laid and who only got drunk the previous night, but rather to make sure that Nicole Gibson at CrossFit Roots and Jonathan Sabar at Defy CrossFit are up and ready to go.  I don't get paid to do this, and until now no one knew that I do it, but it's part of the morning crew duties.

Then I have the 5:30 am people who come in.  I waited months for these guys, shovelling snow at 5:15 then sitting in the truck because it's much warmer than the gym and because nobody comes at 5:30.  But one eventually did and then another and at length the whole crew.

At 5:30 everything is perfect except my body which won't really want to anything until 7:30 at the earliest.  But sometimes I look at the crew.  I know that each of them can do thrusters and pull-ups without me watching.  And then, on a day like that, I have to do "Fran" at 5:30.

Now that I can see more of my body than bodybuilders can theirs with an x-ray, I'm officially pushing fat loss to the stupid level.  Actually I'm exaggerating, but if I flex my chest hard enough to cramp, I can see the bottom of my pectorals, which for me is uncharted territory.

Seriously, this is at least moderately stupid, and I don't recommend it for anyone.  As a trainer, I think I should know how to do it, and one time only, I will.  Later, always later, I'll blog about how I got stuck and what I'm doing to restart losing fat.  Suffice it to say now that I'm using aggressive techniques.

But if you're going to be stupid, at least be smart about it.  In an effort to spare muscle, I decided after research to start supplementing with branch-chain amino acids.  The thing with these, like all or most supplements, is that they have sugar and artificial flavoring.  True, if I take bcaa's only before and after work outs, it will take me a month to ingest the same amount of poison the average American gets at breakfast, but to me after eating absolutely clean for seven weeks that's huge.

I tried to hide the sugar under what I guessed would be the least offensive flavouring, tangerine.

At some point you might have adequate justification to take in a fake tangerine sugar bomb.

All I really want to say, guys, is that there must be a better time to experiment with that than after your 5:30 "Fran."


Friday, September 16, 2011

Master's Open Mental Preparation & Halfway

I'm not sure I'm counting correctly, but I think this is the third installment of the Master's preparation series. It was supposed to be the fourth, but I realized I realized I'm not an expert on recovery, the proposed third part. I can say only that I believe it's the most important part of training, and that I'm not sleeping.

I'm doing what needs done in this situation, excluding variables, but so far, nothing.

VP recently reported that I'm CrossFitting like I mean it, and I'm not sure if she made that up, or if she's repeating something I said in pre-preparation trash talking, but in either case I realize I now know what this means to me. The whole of my mental preparation and CrossFitting like I mean it is simply this: before I start a work out, I instruct myself to do my best, and in the event of any kind of mid-work out breakdown, I take two tenths of a second to ask myself if I'm doing my best.

The preliminary instruction part is pretty straight forward; I demand my best and I get it. I can tell you that tomorrow when I do Fight Gone Bad 6, whether I score 250 or 350, it will have been no less than I was capable of at that time on that day.

The breakdown part is more involved, but probably not necessary for the majority of people. If you've been around me for 60 minutes of CrossFit, you know that I could be described, charitably, as temperamental. If I don't like where the chalk bucket is, I want to kick it through the wall. If I don't like the knurling on the barbell, I want to roll it off the mats. If I don't want cheer leading, I want to scream, "shut the fuck up," and so on.

None of that, of course, helps with my power output. What I'm training myself to do, successfully, is to realize that nothing will ever be the way I want it to - and indeed why should it - and that my power output declines less taking two tenths of a second to regroup than it does righting the plyo box I would have bounced off the wall.

Last week was the halfway point in the fat loss contest, and my success in going from an estimated - by four site pinch test - 17% to an estimated 10% provoked some productive discussion about motivation. I'm going to admit there's a large and narcissistic component to this. If we have beaches in Colorado, it's probably too late to go to them, so the usual solution ( I think it was first proposed by IronSport Gym in Pa. ) is to provoke bar fights so that when you rip off your Affliction shirt, your washboard abs are prominently displayed.

That's not my style at all, but yes, I do spend way too much time praying the copy machine at work jams so I can rip off my shirt and clear that motherfucker.

Okay, that's fun. But really I do this because I can, and I take that as incontrovertible proof that you can too. If I play a small role in your getting the girl because of your assertive and aesthetic handling of the copy machine, that's pretty fucking cool.

Things I've learned in six weeks of hard work:

it's true; you can have results or excuses, not both

the hardest part of erging a personal best 2k is strapping into the stretcher and knowing that you're not getting back out for seven minutes or more

the most important part of erging a personal best 2k is saying, "today, motherfuckers, no excuses"

as soon as you can do 100 pull-ups, you have to do 100 pull-ups - tomorrow may never come and even if you're not cremated, it's customary to pose the corpse hands clasped on abdomen

for no reason whatsoever it can be decided that masters athletes don't have to do double unders - when you suck at double unders, doing your best means they stay in your warm up

for a while, over-reaching is a great training stimulus. don't be an idiot and dip into over-training, you're awesome, not immortal

some days you can't do shit. what matters is that you showed up, and trying but failing to do shit was your best that day.

it's possible to blow your calories and macros eating clean food - that just takes a kilogram of yams or 2 kilos of squash.

if you eat a kilogram of yams, it was probably dead lift and heavy metcon day. most of those frightening carbs got shoved into your depleted muscles, and if you wake up a half-pound heavier, it's probably a quarter-pound of perfectly usable glycogen in the muscles, and a quarter-pound of retained water that will be leaving soon enough.

when you do your best, you can cry because thirty people don't show up, or you can remember why you love the three who do.

forget the hookers and cocaine, Twinkies and Sprite, the pancakes will still be there

if you weren't going to drink the gasoline your Puerto Rican friend brought back from the island, it wouldn't be sitting on your desk. you're doing your best, and after the contest, win or lose, you can drink it in celebration. dipping into it now is going to fuck you over, but that's also your choice.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Losing, Quitting, and Hate me After You Lift 8 Tons

"You win some / you lose some / it's all the same to me" - Motorhead

Success can be incredibly motivating. As soon as I could move after PR'ing my 2k row, I did a nice little victory dance around the erg.

And then, at least after a few hours, I started to get mad. Certainly if I can row a 7:10, I can find 10.1 seconds in there somewhere and break 7. So I started studying in earnest for the next Mile High Sprints, which unless something changes are in early February, 2012. I was looking mainly for articles on pacing tactics when I stumbled on an article giving advice on how to handle dying in the middle of a 2k.

That's the kind of thing I file away in case I need it, but I don't actively try to remember it. I'm still convinced my problems are all mental, and if I find myself thinking during an erg test that I know what to do if I start dying, I'll believe that I'm dying, and I'll die. Nonetheless I do remember the first step in the author's suggested 5 step recovery plan, "do not stop."

And that's golden.

Failure can be incredibly motivating. At last year's Sprints, my - much too - high goal was to row a sub-7, my realistic goal was to PR, and my low goal was to avoid finishing last, none of which I did.

But I failed correctly. It's a known bad idea to try to watch the large monitor at an erg race, but I stole a glance to see what I needed to do to hit my low goal. Under 500 meters, I was a full boat length behind, so I did what needs to be done when you're losing; I attacked. I ended up losing by two seats, I couldn't stand up again for a few minutes, and I got enough motivation to start erging for 2012.

If I could have waltzed in there and rowed a 6:30, I'd have most likely moved on to four-square by now.

So you see, I think it's ridiculous that talk is circulating about quitting the fat loss contest at work now that we had a mid-point pinch test, and some people are forced to realize that they're behind. There are insinuations that I intentionally "bulked up" pre-contest, and that that is somehow cheating. I made it public knowledge that I was training for a power lifting meet and slamming a pint of heavy whipping cream a day, and now that I am literally working my ass off, that seems to bother people.

Is putting on adipose tissue by running a caloric excess with whipping cream while lifting heavy ass shit somehow wrong, while putting on adipose tissue by heavy-ass sitting and Cheetos is acceptable?

I pointed out to the group that no matter how fat has been gained, we all lose it the same way, and that as CrossFit Balboa likes to make very known, you can have results or you can have excuses.

So fucking hate me and quit. Hate me because you spend hundreds of dollars a month on caffeine and placebo weight loss supplements. If I expected a free ride to progress, I'd go back to drinking coffee. It costs less than supplements, it would make me even more erratic and unpleasant to be around, and it would even stain my teeth.

But I neither want nor expect the free ride. That's why last week, among other things, I dead-lifted over 8 tons and did 45 box jumps in 8 minutes.

So fucking hate me, or you could try moving 8 tons as fast as possible, and see if you don't get results like I do and entirely lose the desire to hate anyone.