Category: Competition

New Move – New Coach

Back at the box after a weekend of celebrating and going back to school. I now have less time now that the summer semester has started – Mondays and Wednesdays are out.

Things have change at the gym; we now have more classes available to accommodate the growing number of athletes. Instead of having one 1h class after another, we we have more options, but staggered to start every half hour. That way, we got more training time all the while making it possible to finish earlier. They’ve also added an open gym period on Sundays, for those who want to practice anything – trainer(s) will be present, of course. To make this possible, as I have alluded Sunday, we’ve hired a new coach. She’s a regular at our gym and a newly minted level 1 trainer. I didn’t see much of her training while doing my Bday WOD.. pick your poison day is pretty much do as you like. Today, she was leading our class. The fact that she’s a regular takes the awkwardness of first time teachers out of the way. She’s motivated, pays attention to details and sees things differently than the main coach. Combining those multiple point of views – they are not conflicting so far – help better understand some tricky things for movements. My first impression is a good one, but only time will tell how she’ll develop as a trainer. She’s got a good model in our main coach – that’ll help, too.

Today’s skill was shoulder mobility, something I’m always happy for, while the previous class was doing the WOD. 🙂  Then we switched to the WOD while the next class was warming up and preparing for the skills’ portion. Here’s what was on the menu today: 3 round for time – 15 ring dips, 20 KB Snatch 1.5 pood and 30 OH walking lunged 45lbs. The KB snatch was a new one, but fairly simple: You do a snatch with the kettlebell, with one hand – that’s it. The trick is not to let the KB hit your wrist/forearm too hard as it swings back at the top of the movement. I tried 1.5, but couldn’t do it… 1pood was good enough for me. Waling OH lunges are still a horrible thing to do. It took me 14:21. Demanding, but not too much, and you work out a good sweat. A good workout.

Summer is also coming along, with it’s heat and humidity. That should help me – I thrive training in that weather!

They’re also adding a competition workout/team – commitment  is needed, sweat, pain and soreness are the price to pay, greatness the reward. It seems to be pretty much invite only/talk to the coach about it. It’ll be an intensive thing, for sure… not that I’ll be joining them. I’m aware of my current flaws and weaknesses and crazy schedule. I’m not there yet, but I plan to be.


1 scoop (10g) Beyond Yourself AMRAP (BCAA) with 12oz water – during training, 1 scoop (30g) Beyond Yourself Whey ISO in 500ml water – after training



At last, the long-awaited fifth Open WOD came out. And once again, Dave Castro, the cruel insane genius behind the WODs, didn’t disappoint.

Last year’s 12.5 was a Fran ladder. This year, we got a Super Fran, or Frankenstein. It’s a 4 min AMRAP of 15 thrusters 100lbs and 15 chest to bar pull-ups – chest MUST touch the bar. You’re probably thinking “huh, fast paced, but not too bad”.

But wait! There’s more! If you managed to do 90 reps in the 4 minutes (so 3 full rounds), you earn an extra 4 minutes of time! That’s right, you’ve now 8 minutes to get AMRAP. Now you thinking “ok, it’s nasty, because endurance kicks in now”.

But wait! We’re not done! If you manage to do ANOTHER 90 reps in the now 8 minutes, you earn another 4 minutes to do more reps. And it goes on and on until time runs out or your body gives out. That’s where the mental games kicks in. How much will you push, knowing you’ll have more pain coming as you perform.

Granted, I’m not at that stage at all. Keeping with my new-found state of mind, I went in with an achievable goal. My thrusters are not the best in the world – heck, I haven’t done Fran Rx – though this will change in two weeks. Chest to bars, weeeeelllll, I sort of could do some, that is get the required height. But they have to touch the bar, which makes things complicated. My goal was to get to the first set of 15 C2B, and get a few reps in. An awesome achievement would be for me to complete an entire round. Remember, you only have 4 minutes.

I ended up doing 37 reps, surpassing my awesome achievement by 7 reps. 🙂

I’m happy with what I did. I gave it my all, and left it all on there. No shame, just sweat and PRs. The Open pulled me in, chewed me and spat me out in the deepest corners of my mental hell, but I managed to regroup, refocus and push through to finish a better athlete than when I started. The 5 WODs have exposed big flaws – mental and physical alike – and that what I think it’s for. I know I will not win the Open, or get to the Regionals, but I still consider myself a victor after those 5 weeks – it’s the journey that matters most, not the destination or goal.

On my road to the Spartan race, I took this side path and followed it to the end. I’m now back on the main road a better man.


1 scoop (10g) Beyond Yourself AMRAP (BCAA) with 12oz water – during training, 1 scoop (30g) Beyond Yourself Whey ISO in 500ml water – after training


New Open WOD, new mindset.

I took a more zen approach to 13.4. As I mentionned yesterday, I’d never lifted 135lbs, ever. If I could do 1 rep in the WOD, I’d be happy. Completing the round of 3 would be a personal achievement. Getting in the round of 6, it’d simply be awesome. Like I said, every lift done in this WOD is a PR for me.

Btw, 13.4 is the following: 7 minute AMRAP: 3 Clean and jerk (135lbs), 3 Toes-to-bar, 6 Clean and jerk, 6 Toes-to-bar, 9 Clean and jerk, 9 Toes-to-bar, etc.

I also took a smarter approach to the lift, and my expectations. I got at the box about an hour before the WOD, warmed up and started lifting, getting gradually heavier. Plastic to 45 to 95 to 115 to 135lbs, taking rests in between so not to smoke my shoulders and legs. A split-jerked all of them to make sure I was comfortable with the movement. At the end, I was happy. I lifted 135lbs TWICE! That meant I could at least do 1 clean and jerk at 135lbs during 13.4 – my honor was safe. 😉

The toes to bar were never an issue for me – I like knees to elbows, and all I have to do is extend the legs more. 🙂

In 7 minutes, I ended up doing 41 reps – 41 PRs! That’s getting in the round of 12, wouldn’t you know. It was surprisingly demanding on the cardio, too.


1 scoop (10g) Beyond Yourself AMRAP (BCAA) with 12oz water – during training, 1 scoop (30g) Beyond Yourself Whey ISO in 500ml water – after training

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So, 13.4 came out, and it gave me pause…

7 minute AMRAP of:
3 Clean and jerk (135lbs)
3 Toes-to-bar
… 6 Clean and jerk
6 Toes-to-bar
9 Clean and jerk
9 Toes-to-bar
12 Clean and jerk
12 Toes-to-bar
15 Clean and jerk
15 Toes-to-bar
18 Clean and jerk
18 Toes-to-bar…
Here’s why I took pause. I checked my log, and every clean and jerk at 135lbs will constitute a PR. That’s right, I’ve never C&J that heavy before…


I did was I said I would, took the bull by the horns and did 13.3 again. I still think wallballs suck. In the last 9 days, I’ve done Karen and 13.3 twice, for a total of almost 400 wallballs. My quads, which were busted yesterday, are even worse now, even after yesterday’s massage.

I took today’s WOD like that, a simple WOD. No pressure, no competition, just keep a rhythmn and do better than my last score. That’s it. My coach made sure I kept a good shooting/resting beat. And for once, I left the words in my head. I usually shut out all external sounds, concentrating inwards – not sure if it’s good or bad.

Nonetheless, I went at it without expectations, and it helped. A LOT less no reps than last time, but more pain. Walking will be interesting tomorrow.

Ah, and for the record, I did 127 this time.


1 scoop (10g) Beyond Yourself AMRAP (BCAA) with 12oz water – during training, 1 scoop (30g) Beyond Yourself Whey ISO in 500ml water – after training


Ok, it’s been almost 24h since my meltdown. I’ve had time to rest, talk it out with the Mrs to see what the hell happened and assess the situation. Time to regroup and go forward again.

I though a lot about the issues that are hindering my performance, the sources and the consequences. I have talked to smart people, and I’m better now. I forgive you, WOD, for dragging me to hell and back, then rubbing salt in the wounds and setting me on fire. Seems I’ve taken a side street on my road to the Race, and I have to follow it to the end, until I get back on track. It’s probably not going to me pretty: I have to work on my mental game… more than I thought.

That being said, I’m not happy with my 13.3 results – I did get to learn what it was. I’m not going to publish it yet. I’ve decided to face this demon, and do it again. Next Sunday, I’ve scheduled a spot to try 13.3 again. I don’t want to, but it’s only way I’ll be able to look myself in the eye again when thinking about that WOD. Of note, it’ll be the THIRD time in two weeks that I’ll have done Karen. Sigh…

I also trained today. People seem not too have minded that I blew a gasket yesterday; happens to all of us at some point, it seems.

So today is pick you poison Friday, and I chose yesterday’s workout. Not 13.3, but the box’s WOD. 15 min AMRAP: 15 back extensions, 15 knees to elbows and 15 OH Squats 95lbs. I went with 65lbs: Still enough to constitute a good challenge. I’ve noticed I’ve gained shoulder mobility, too. I need to get some more strength to stabilize while squatting, but I’m not struggling as much to keep the bar over my head. 🙂

I ended up doing 4 rounds and 14 knees to elbows. Not too bad.


1 scoop (10g) Beyond Yourself AMRAP (BCAA) with 12oz water – during training, 1 scoop (30g) Beyond Yourself Whey ISO in 500ml water – after training

This week at the Open

Well, 13.3 is out. Not what I expected, or wanted, at all. At least there are no burpees. So:

WOD 13.3
12 minute AMRAP of:
150 Wall balls
90 Double-unders
30 Muscle-ups

This is a repeat of last year’s 12.4. I did Karen last Friday, so I know it’ll suck. I won’t even be scared about the muscle ups, I’m not going to get there – 90 DU separate us.

I might do it tomorrow… I’ll see.