Memorial Day Murph

Today we honor the men and women who have lost their lives fighting for our freedoms. The CrossFit community usually does the Hero WOD named “Murph” after LT. Michael P. Murphy.

A team of 4 Navy SEALs led by LT. Michael P. Murphy on a mission to capture or kill a key Taliban leader, found themselves seriously outnumbered in a firefight with well over 100 enemy troops. Pinned down and under intense enemy fire, their communications operator severely wounded, they were in desperate need for help. Due to the mountainous terrain, their communications could not be received. Understanding the situation, LT. Michael P. Murphy moved to open exposing himself to enemy fire, to use his satellite phone to request immediate support to save his team. LT Murphy was mortally wounded making that call. They continued fighting until Lt. Murphy and two of his three team mates were mortally wounded. His fourth team member, severely injured himself, managed to escape where he was taken in by a local villager until he was rescued 4 days later. He went on to tell the story in a book titled “The Lone Survivor”

For his selfless leadership, courageous actions and extraordinary devotion to duty, LT. Michael P. Murphy received the Medal of Honor, the first service member to receive the medal in Operation Enduring Freedom, and the first Navy recipient of the medal since Vietnam.
Memorial Day Murph

As we remember and honor those that have given the greatest sacrifice, we push ourselves a little harder today.

Good flag placement!



  • 1 Mile Run
  • 100 Pull-ups
  • 200 Push-ups
  • 300 Air Squats
  • 1 Mile Run

*Partition the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats as needed. It is recommended to do 20 rounds of “Cindy” by doing 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 air squats per round. Start and finish with a mile run. If you’ve got body armor or a twenty pound vest, wear it.

Our mile loop is actually about 1.05 miles, so we worked extra hard! I finished my first run in 6:42, which is about a 6:22 mile, reaching my goal of sub 6:30! The heat and humidity were brutal today. My total time was 44:26 and that second run probably took about 8 minutes. I was dying and could tell I was dehydrated at that point even though I drank nearly an entire 24 oz bottle of water during the WOD. I did end up expanding a blister I formed during yesterday’s workout. At least it hasn’t ripped open, so it should heal faster. All sets of pull-ups and push-ups were done unbroken, and quite a few of the squat sets were as well.

We had 30 people show up on a holiday to do one of the hardest workouts in CrossFit. That’s amazing. I’m so proud to be a member of this community. After the workout, Survival Fitness held a Paleo BBQ, which was perfect since most of us are participating in the Paleo Challenge. Great food with great people. Here’s a look at the T-shirts you get for donating.

Memorial Day Murph 2012 T-Shirt Front
Memorial Day Murph 2012 T-Shirt Back

Embrace the Suck

The men and women that decimate your times are not superhuman. They’re not particularly genetically gifted. Hell, most of the top CrossFitters in the world would get absolutely pummeled in your standard game of rugby, buried by larger athletes begat by larger parents.

What differentiates these individuals is not a gift, but an unreasonable desire to push self-imposed suck beyond its logical limits. What comes out the other side becomes legendary.

“Dedication” by Jon Gilson, Again Faster Equipment

I need to get better at pushing through the suck if I want to get stronger and improve my endurance faster than my current pace of improvement. I know I can do it. Gotta get the mind right.

My buddy Mo came in to the 11am class with me. I’ve been trying to convince him to try a CrossFit box near him for over 6 months. After 2 days of WODs, he finally understands. You can tell people about it all day long, but they’ll never really understand until they experience the intensity for themselves.


5 rounds

  • Lunges

After doing all of the plyo lunges and air squats yesterday in the gym, this warm-up wasn’t exactly a welcome sight. I do need the work, so that’s a plus I guess.


  • 50 K2E
  • 100 Wall Balls
  • 50 T2B
  • 100 Box Jumps
  • 50 V-ups
  • 100 Burpees
  • 50 Pull-ups

How’s that for a chipper? I was worried about 150 reps hanging from the bar, especially with “Murph” tomorrow. I have some mini-rips, but no major ones, and looks like one small blood blister under a callus. I’ll have to really clean these calluses up tomorrow so they don’t bother me for the 100 pull-ups. The nice thing is that I’ll break them up into “Cindy” rounds so will only be knocking out 5 at a time.

Going back to the quote at the top, I tried to push through the pain as much as I could today. I was able to get 3 sets of 25 burpees, when I’d normally break that up a lot more and take more breaks. Keep getting better each day! We had a 40 minute time limit on the WOD and I was the only person in class to finish with a time of 39:05.

What a great way to start a Sunday!

Garage WOD

My buddy Mo came up for a couple of days to visit and wanted to try some CrossFit. Today we worked out in my garage with the limited equipment I have.


Tabata Mash-up

  • High Knees
  • Plyo Lunges
  • Butt Kicks
  • Mountain Climbers

If you aren’t used to the intensity, this can be a tough 16 minutes, but he hung in there. Plyo lunges were fun in a Tabata.


4 Rounds

  • 1m Man Makers
  • 1m Air Squats
  • 1m KBS (Russian)
  • 2m Rest

We alternated who started with Man Makers and who started with KBS, but always kept Air Squats in the middle. Doing Man Makers first and KBS as the 3rd exercise was definitely easier. We counted total reps for each round, so this was like 4 mini-WODs in one. I got 82, 81, 68, and 73 reps in my rounds. I had 4 Man Makers for each of the first three rounds, but only managed 2 in the last one, due to time lost in transition. We used my 50# KB for the swings and went with 45# DBs for the Man Makers. That’s a nice jump for me and was challenging.


10 Rounds

  • Sprint Driveway (down and back)
  • 20 Russian Twists

I used a 25# DB for the Russian Twists and Mo actually did leg lifts instead because of a lower back issue. Time to complete that was 6:24.

PRs Everywhere!

Even though I said I was only going to get on the scale once a week, I couldn’t help myself. I’m down another pound and a half to 173.5 and body fat is now at 15.1%, which is a 0.8% drop from Monday. My goal for the challenge is to hit 14%, which means I need to average less than 0.5% per week the rest of the way. Seems doable, but it gets tougher as your body fat gets lower. I’ve had some real cravings for sweets at night this week, so it’s a good thing I don’t have any in the house.

At the gym I did a quick test with the handheld device and it showed my body fat down to 10.8%, which is good news because I was skeptical of the initial 12.3% reading it gave on day one of the Paleo challenge and is what will be used for my scoring.

I took a well-needed rest day yesterday, but did get out and walk 18 holes of golf. On Thursday morning, while laying in bed, I came up with my workout for open gym time today. Here’s a screenshot of the note I made on my iPhone. As you can see, I made a few changes


2 rounds

  • 150m Run
  • 20 Band Walk Steps each direction
  • 10 Band Presses after each 20 steps
  • 10 KBS

I used a 53# KB and did American swings.


  • 3-2-1-3-2-1 Deadlifts
  • MAX Strict Pull-ups
  • 2m Rest

I did 2 warm-up sets of 5 reps each with 135# and 223#. For my working sets I did 285#, 305#, 315#, 305#, 320#, 335#. My previous 1RM was 315, so I broke that several times. I also set a new PR for strict pull-ups in a row with 9. I don’t remember what I got the rest of my sets.



  • 150 Wall Balls

Karen is a bitch. I did it in 8:51, which is a 9 second PR, beating when I did it as part of Open Workout 12.4. I’m disappointed with that though. I started out with 25 reps in less than a minute and was at 50 in 2 minutes and change. From there I tried to do sets of 10. As I got past 100 it was less than sets of 10. Too much resting. I just need to push through the hurt.

Ab Finisher

4 Sets

  • MAX L-hang or L-sit
  • 1-2m Rest

I started out on the bar for the first one, but my hands were not feeling the greatest from heavy deadlifts, so hanging on the bar wasn’t the greatest idea. I didn’t time these, but they were better than I’ve done them in the past.

Just Because

3 Sets

  • 2-3m Rest

The few people who came in for open gym were messing around and talking, so since the classes worked on some HSPUs today I figured I’d get in a bit. Got 10 (PR) on the first set and then 8 and 6 I think. These have come a long way since I left Phoenix. I don’t think I was even doing any Rx there. Dropping some weight helps too!

That was fun. Got to work on a bunch of stuff today.

Empty Your Gas Tank

After yesterday’s WOD I was going to make today a rest day because I figured I would be fried. I was feeling good all day though. Matt posted the WOD on Facebook and it looked like a fun one so I decided to head in.


5 rounds

  • 1m Bottom Squat Hold
  • 1m Jumping Jacks

The squat holds are way at the bottom with the intent of opening up the hips. You’re not trying to hold a squat for that long.


20:00 AMRAP

  • 2 SDLHP
  • 2 Burpees
  • 150m Run
  • 4 SDLHP
  • 4 Burpees
  • 150m Run

Increase SDLHP and Burpees by 2 each round, but the run stays the same.

This one was all about how much gas you had in your tank. I used a 71# KB and was able to finish the round of 18 plus 20 SDLHP and 2 burpees.

Ab Finisher

5 Rounds

  • 1m Plank
  • 1m AbMat Sit-ups

My arms were drenched in sweat, which made it harder than normal to hold the plank. 5 rounds of a minute really adds up too. We counted our sit-ups and knew I could blow the high of the day (228) out of the water. My goal was to beat my 67 reps from the Paleo challenge benchmark WOD in every round. I finished with 356 reps. After we were done and Matt was laughing, I realized I can touch my shoes without even lifting my shoulder blades off the ground, which would still be within the box’s standards, so at least I make it harder than that on myself and get some movement into it.

Weak with Heavy Overheads

Yesterday I was going to give an update on the Paleo Challenge, but forgot. The challenge officially started last Wednesday, but I started on Monday. After one week I lost 5 pounds and dropped 1% off my body fat. I posted A Week of Strict Paleo on my main blog that outlines what I ate and gives a bit more info if you are interested.

Today is the sorest I’ve been full-body-wise in a long time. Those prowler sprints from yesterday and the back squats on Sunday did a number on my body.


5 rounds:

  • 15 MB Full Squat Cleans
  • 150m Run

Pretty easy warm-up. I used a 20# MB and finished in 8:55.


  • 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 Clean & Press
  • 1 round of “Cindy”

First, I’ll explain how this works. The number of Clean & Presses increases each time around, but there is only 1 round of “Cindy” to do each round. Make sense? Good. What’s a round of “Cindy” you ask? It comes from the benchmark girl WOD of the same name and is:

  • 5 Pull-ups
  • 10 Push-ups
  • 15 Air Squats

I’m not sure what it is, but when there is heavy overhead work with a lot of reps I really struggle. Look back to the WOD that had fifteen 95# thrusters in each of 5 rounds as an example. Today had a similar outcome. Maybe it has something to do with my height and long arms. Or maybe I’m just a weak-ass pussy!

I used 135# for the clean and press and snuck under the 33 minute time limit, with 2 seconds to spare, for a time of 32:58. The rounds of “Cindy” were actually pretty easy. I did all of the pull-ups and push-ups unbroken each round. I usually split up the air squats to 10-5, but should have pushed myself more there because my endurance fades fast with air squats.

I was going along and for some stupid fucking reason decided to figure out how many reps were left. In total you have 55 clean and press to do, half of those (27) are in the last 3 rounds! I tried to keep pushing as much as I could, but I was gassed. It was a great workout though and I’ve been wanting to get in some moderately heavy clean work, so that was great. The “Cindy” rounds were a good primer for Monday’s Memorial Day Murph.

Since it took me so long to do the WOD I didn’t get to do the Finisher, which was ten 40-yard sprints with a walk back as the rest.

Prowler Sprints

I wasn’t feeling all that motivated today when I was deciding which class to attend tonight. I’m not sure if the busy day with multiple WODs yesterday or walking 18 holes of golf this morning took a lot out of me. I ended up going to the 5:30pm class and felt fine once I got moving.


3 rounds

  • 1m MB Russian Twists
  • 1m MB V-ups
  • 1m Plank
  • 1m Bicycles
  • 1m “Mystery”
  • 1m Rest

I used a 20# MB for Russian twists and V-ups. Each round, the “Mystery Move” changed; first we did side planks, then flutter kicks, and ended with prayer crunches. I was really feeling a burn during this ab circuit due to the leg lifts I did yesterday.


50 reps of each

  • Air Squats
  • Burpees
  • Box Jumps
  • KBS (Russian)
  • Close-grip HR Push-ups
  • Plyo Lunges
  • Pull-ups
  • Sit-ups

I used a 24″ box and a 53# KB. Since I flew through everything, I did full sit-ups to make it harder. I finished in 23:22 and then did 12 reps on the GHD as a bonus.

The close-grip HR push-ups were a bit awkward because you have to keep the hands far enough apart that you can lift them off the ground when your chest is laying down. Pull-ups felt really good and my kip is getting dialed in. I need to learn those butterfly pull-ups soon.


10 Sets

  • High grip Prowler sprint
  • Low grip Prowler sprint
  • Rest

Finally I got to use the Prowler! I probably won’t be too excited when I feel the effects tomorrow. Stayed after class a bit to finish these. The Prowler was loaded with 180# of weights so I’m guessing over 200# total. The distance was probably 25-30 yards each way. The high grip wasn’t too bad, but the low grip took everything I had to get the Prowler moving, was much slower pushing, and got harder each time. Here’s a video of Casey and I. I’m shown first pushing it back to our starting line.