Getting Certified

I’ve registered to take a CrossFit Level 1 Course and get the certification. I’ve had the idea of doing this for a while and finally looked at the schedule to see what was available near me. On September 1st and 2nd there is a course down in Columbus, OH at Rogue Fitness. Two others from Survival Fitness have also registered today and there might be more joining us. It’s a few months away, but I’m already excited! There is nothing quite like learning from the best.

I have no desire or extra time to be a trainer. My motivation for taking the course is to expand my knowledge and help improve myself. Just like taking lessons in golf, I like to do everything I can to improve at something and this is the next step. It will also allow me to help out in the gym if they ever need a fill-in trainer and I’ll feel more confident when people ask me questions about the movements.

WODless Weekend

I slept well, but went to bed late and got up early, so didn’t get a ton of sleep. Went in to the 9am class this morning because I’m heading up to my parent’s for the weekend later tonight. I’m actually feeling pretty damn good today considering how much crap I ate yesterday.


  • 500m Run
  • 25 Air Squats
  • 50 Lateral Hops (25 each leg)
  • 75 High Knees
  • 100 Jumping Jacks

Good warm-up to get the blood flowing.


Switch between exercises each minute and aim to work 30-35s of each minute, which will end up giving everyone different rep numbers.

  • 6 DB Split Cleans (35# DBs)
  • 8 Pistols (alternate legs)

The goal here was to work on the skill with the cleans, so we didn’t go heavy. There was still good intensity and I was sweating like a hog. Probably pretty good that we didn’t go heavy since I just did 30 cleans with 135# last night.


10:00 AMRAP


  • SDLHP (88# KB)
  • Plyo Push-ups (clapping)

Each round, the reps increase by 2. I got through the round of 16 plus 13 additional SDLHPs. Nice short WOD, but don’t let that fool you. As the reps increased, I had to use more and more sets to finish the rounds.

There was a finisher of 40 yard sprints up on the board, but we didn’t have time to get to them. Since I’m heading out-of-town for the weekend, I’m going to try not to WOD. I may get in a long run on Saturday or Sunday though.

Working Off That Pizza

As promised, I ordered pizza today. I also ordered a Cinnapie, which I don’t think was my best idea.

Pizza, Cinnapie, and Mountain Dew

Today’s benchmark WOD for the Paleo Challenge was a good test, but I didn’t feel overworked due to all of the rest time. Since I took a rest day yesterday and will be out-of-town all weekend, I went back to the gym at 8pm for some extra work.

I warmed up with an easy 500m run and some shoulder stretching with the bands. Then I did 3 Cleans + Push Presses on the minute, every minute, for 10 minutes with 135#. I worked on DUs here and there a bit, getting one streak of 37 in a row. I did 3 sets of 15 KBS with the 62# KB. The first two sets were on the top of consecutive minutes and the 3rd set was after taking an extra minute off. I jumped on the bar and attempted some MUs, sort of getting up there once, but with a bit of help from my leg on the support 4×4. Doesn’t count.

It’s time to finish the last 3 pieces of pizza and the last 3rd of the Mountain Dew. The Cinnapie was gone hours ago. 🙂

End of the Paleo Challenge

One month ago, we started a team Paleo Challenge at Survival Fitness. I promised myself that I would try to go 100% Paleo for the entire challenge, and with one small exception (shredded cheese and croutons on a salad), I did it. I’ve seen incredible results in my fitness, my body composition, and how I feel.

I started the challenge at 12.3% body fat and 181 pounds. In less than 2 weeks, I had dropped to 172 pounds (home scale)! I was losing too much weight, so I increased my protein sources (eggs, meat, fish, etc.) by 50% at each meal. As an example, I went from eating 4 eggs at breakfast to 6. This brought my weight back up into the 175 pound range where I’ve been able to stabilize. This morning at my final weigh-in at the gym I was 178 pounds (not sure how I got back up that high) and 9.8% body fat. That’s a drop of more than 20% of my starting body fat %. I have a visible 6-pack, which has always been a goal of mine. I can’t believe the changes in my body is one short month. A key point is that I had already been eating 80-90% Paleo since I started doing CrossFit, but going 100% made a huge difference!

After taking the rest day yesterday I was feeling great this morning. I attended the 9am class so I could get the benchmark WOD done early. Can you say pizza and Mountain Dew for lunch and dinner? Seriously!


4 rounds

  • 15s Zombie Kicks
  • 15s Jumping Jacks
  • 15s Butt Kicks
  • 15s Mountain Climbers

12:00 AMRAP

  • 150m Run
  • Rest as long as the run took

I started out pretty fast, but realized 12:00 is a long time to do sprints, so I slowed down to a 30s pace in order to save myself for the WOD. It is a warm-up after all. I think I completed 13 runs.


We partnered up again so that we could count each other and get a bit of rest.

5:00 AMRAP

  • Burpees

4:00 AMRAP

  • Wall Balls

3:00 AMRAP

  • Air Squats

2:00 AMRAP

  • KBS (Russian)

1:00 AMRAP

  • AbMat Sit-ups

I improved in each of the tests:

  • Burpees went from 82 to 91, an increase of 10.9%.
  • Wall balls went from 77 to 95, an increase of 23.4%.
  • Air squats went from 101 to 112, an increase of 10.9%
  • KBS went from 76 to 82, an increase of 7.9%.
  • AbMat (“cheater”) sit-ups went from 67 to 81, an increase of 20.9%
  • Total reps went from 403 to 461, an overall increase of 14.4%.

I had one of the top 5 scores for the first assessment, so I figured improving wasn’t going to be easy. I’m thrilled with a 14.4% improvement. Hard work pays off! I’m really happy with my burpee and wall ball improvements because burpees are such a great overall cardio and full body exercise and I knew wall balls were one of my weaknesses. My air squats are still pretty weak compared to the best in the gym, but getting better. It’s hard to improve on the Russian KBS, except by increasing weight, because you can only do them so fast. In the first test I took one short break, but went unbroken for the entire 2 minutes today. I’m not concerned about the sit-up number because it was doing the cheater standard, which I’m no longer doing.

With all of the rest time, I don’t feel like I had to work very hard overall, even though I pushed as hard as I could go. I may try attend 8pm open gym and do a strength WOD since I’ll be out of town for the weekend.

DB “Fran”

The Paleo Challenge ends this week and I can’t wait to order a pizza on Thursday! I love eating Paleo, but I need some cheat meals. With that said, I’m glad I’ve stuck to the program for the entire month, with a very minor cheat. I’ve seen incredible results, but I’ll post more about that in a couple of days.

I joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) called Saginaw Meadows with a couple that I’m good friends with. Yesterday was our first pick-up. It’s going to be pretty neat to get fresh, local, organic stuff each week, some of which I’ve never eaten. The first week was pretty small because not much has grown in yet, but each week we’ll be getting more and more food. I used a green onion in a breakfast scramble this morning and made a sauté with some greens and tomatoes I had picked up on Friday from the local Farmer’s Market. Good food!


  • 100 Jumping Jacks
  • 100 Butt Kicks
  • 100 Lateral Hops
  • 100 Mountain Climbers
  • 10 Slow Air Squats
  • 10 Burpees

I think I did this in about 5:26, without pushing too hard. I wanted to save myself for the WOD because I knew I was going to need everything I had to survive.

3 rounds

  • 1m Plank
  • 1m Leg Raises
  • 1m Bicycles
  • 1m Side Plank (30s each side)
  • 1m Boats
  • 1m Rest

These long core circuits are great and they are always much tougher than they look. Does core work every get any easier?


DB “Fran”


  • Thrusters (45# DBs)
  • Pull-ups

Here’s one of those heavy upper body workouts where I struggle. We had a 10:00 time limit and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to finish. I’ve never attempted “Fran” before, so I didn’t know what to expect. I wish my intro was with the barbell instead of DBs, but you don’t always get what you want. 🙂 I really struggled to string together pull-ups, which took a lot of extra time. I knew I’d have to break the thrusters down quite a bit, especially in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. My time was 9:05. I’ll take it. It gives me something to shoot for next time.


50 Burpees

This was great practice for Thursday when we have to perform the Paleo Challenge benchmark again, which starts out with 5 minutes of burpees. I pushed myself pretty good here and finished in 2:48. In the original benchmark a month ago I did 82 burpees in 5 minutes, so if I can keep up the pace I used today I can beat, especially since I won’t have such a long warm-up and “Fran” to do before.

I’ve only worked out 2 days in a row, but I’m going to take a rest day tomorrow to make sure I’m not too tired or sore for the benchmark test on Thursday. I’ll be walking 18 holes of golf tomorrow morning anyway, so that will get me some exercise.


Teams of 2

Yesterday morning I walked 18 holes of golf and qualified for the Saginaw District Golf Association Invitational Tournament. It got up into the mid or high 90 and was a long day. Perfect timing for a CrossFit rest day! Feeling good and back at it today. When I woke up I knocked out one set of max rep push-ups and decided the Armstrong Pull-up Program just isn’t worth the time. It’s so boring compared to WODs, so I’m done with it.

Matt, the owner of the gym, attended a CrossFit Level 1 Certification over the weekend and will next be working on getting Survival Fitness affiliated as an official CrossFit box next. Pretty exciting stuff. He learned a lot and you could already see it in the way he ran today’s class. I don’t mean anything bad about previous classes by saying that, I just felt like he had more confidence in his teaching of certain movements and pointing out some of our technique issues. It’ll make us all better.


  • 1m Bottom Squat Hold
  • 1m Mountain Climbers
  • 1m Bottom Squat Hold
  • 1m PVC Pass-thrus
  • 1m Bottom Squat Hold
  • 1m Lateral hops (30s each leg)
  • 1m Bottom Squat Hold
  • 1m Bicycles
  • 1m Bottom Squat Hold
  • 1m Jumping Jacks

We’ve been doing a lot of these bottom squat holds and I think it’s helping to open up my hips more. Matt pointed out that I had too much of a round in my back though, so I have to fight for a better position.


Teams of 2 (45:00 limit)

  • 200 Air Squats
  • 100 T2B
  • 150 Burpees
  • 500m Run holding a 20# MB (both people run at the same time and at the pace of the slowest)
  • 150 Box Jumps (24″)
  • 100 Pull-ups
  • 200 Walking Lunge Steps
  • 200 SDLHP (barbell loaded to 95#)

Only 1 person is working at a time except during the run. The goal is to keep a high intensity and hand off to your partner when you start to slow down. The hand off is hard to do, even when you know you are starting to slow, because you want to keep knocking out reps. I attended the 8pm class, which is the last class of the day and no team had completed the WOD all day. The closest anyone got was 49 reps left by a team of 2 of the fittest women at Survival Fitness. I was paired up with Brent, which was a good pairing because we are both near the top of the men at SF. We flew along pretty good, but the pull-ups slowed us down and then the SDLHP were absolutely brutal. I’m sure I’ll be feeling those tomorrow. We pushed it hard through the entire 45 minutes and fell 33 reps shy of completing the WOD, but set the record for the day. With a little better strategy I think we could have finished. Next time!


CrossFit for Hope

I was feeling pretty rough as I got out of bed this morning, due to last night’s epic workout. I loosed up after I started moving around the house though. I didn’t do the push-ups for the Armstrong Pull-up Program first thing in the morning because I wanted to save everything I had for the WOD. Went in to the 10am class instead of 11 because it’s supposed to get really hot and humid today.

If you want to donate (everything goes to St. Jude Children’s Hospital), head over to my sponsorship page. Every extra $ helps out the kids and furthers cancer research.


  • 1m Deep Squat Hold
  • 1m PVC Deadlift
  • 1m Deep Squat Hold
  • 1m PVC Clean
  • 1m Deep Squat Hold
  • 1m PVC Shoulder Pass-thrus
  • 1m Deep Squat Hold
  • 1m PVC Snatch

This was a nice warm-up to loosen up for the movements and I’m glad it wasn’t a high cardio one, which saved energy for the actual WOD.


3 rounds

  • Burpees
  • Power snatch (75#)
  • Box jump (24″) *Rebounding off the top is allowed
  • Thruster (75#)
  • Chest to bar Pull-ups

“Hope” has the same format as Fight Gone Bad. In this workout you move from each of five stations after a minute. This is a five-minute round from which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. On call of “rotate,” the athlete/s must move to next station immediately for good score. One point is given for each rep.

WOW! This is the toughest WOD I’ve ever done and I didn’t hold anything back. My goal was to get 150 reps, which I had before the 2nd round was over! I managed a total of 235 reps with rounds of 82, 74, and 78, doing everything Rx. Pace and consistency were a key in this WOD. If you started out too fast, you’d wipe yourself out for the movements late in your round or even worse for the 2nd and 3rd rounds. I couldn’t be happier with my performance. During the next class Casey, the stud of Survival Fitness, got 255 reps, so I’m even happier with my rep total. Another Casey, who I paired up with, started out way too fast, but held in there for 211 reps. As far as I know, no other guys did it Rx. I don’t know if any of the women did it Rx, but I would assume Michelle did for 176 reps.

Here I am at the end of the snatch station in round 3.

Since we paired up and did 2 heats, after I was done I counted for my partner, Casey (CA). During the 3rd round my hands started to tingle and it progressively spread up my arms and eventually through most of my body down into my feet. As soon as their heat was over, I refilled my water bottle and started slamming water. I didn’t think I could be too dehydrated at this point, but after watching someone go into shock on Deadliest Catch from dehydration I didn’t want to take any chances. I was getting a little dizzy, so I sat down for a while. I’m glad there was another class right after, because it would not have been smart for me to go home, where I’d be alone if something happened to me. I think I was feeling the effects of pushing my body beyond its limits, which hasn’t happened in a long time. As I rested, I recovered and was able to help clean up the equipment when the 2nd class finished. I was fine to go home on my own at that point. A little scary though, to be honest.

I think I’m going to skip the push-ups for the Armstrong program today, but will try to get the pull-ups done tonight.