Monday, February 26, 2018

Recap CrossFit Open 2018 - 18.1

Last year I was 2-3 weeks into CrossFit during the time of the CrossFit Games Open. I had some different travel plans and I knew I would miss two of the Friday Night Lights events at CrossFit Skopos so I didn't officially sign up. I did a few of the workouts during Open Gym times but I was kicking myself afterwards when I saw how exciting it was for everyone who was officially registered at our box. There was no way I was missing out on it this year.

Now that 18.1 is in the books I can say that I couldn't be happier with it as the opening WOD and with my performance. It was super fun to do the WOD alongside all my friends at Skopos. Cheering other people on and seeing our little fitness community take on 18.1 together is what CrossFit is all about. I can't wait for the next four weeks!

Here's a break down of the 18.1 workout...

CrossFit Open 18.1

20 Min AMRAP of
8 toes-to-bars
10 dumbbell hang clean and jerks 50/35 lbs
14 / 12-cal. row

I found the following scoring chart interesting. It comes from a site called WOD Time Calculator.

Good score to beat for 18.1 RX
Good score to beat for
Beginner athlete: 5 rounds and 13reps (Top 80%)
Average athlete: 8 rounds and 4reps (Top 20-50%)
Advanced athlete: 10 rounds and 26reps (Top 5%)
Elite athlete: 13 rounds and 17reps (Top 1%)
Regional athlete: 14 rounds and 20reps (Top 0.01%)
Scale if slower than: 3 rounds and 25 reps

My score: 322 reps (10 rounds and 2 reps)

I was very excited when the WOD was released on Thursday night. So excited, actually, that I woke up at 4:30 AM on Friday morning thinking about it. I knew there was potential for me to do well on such a long workout but I was also worried about how my shoulders would respond to the DB Hang Clean and Jerks. Plus, as much as my TTB have improved, doing 8 of them over and over again was a little daunting.

I told my judge that my plan was to break up the TTB into sets of four. I also planned to keep each round at 2 minutes or less. Well, that plan was blown up in round one. I felt so good on the TTB that I didn't break them until I got a no rep in round 10! As for pacing myself, I came out pretty hot on the rower and ended up doing the first four rounds at around a 1:45 pace. At one point I looked over at my coach and said, "I'm going way too fast!" My rower time eventually came down to a more manageable pace and I just continued to push it through until the end.

I'm really looking forward to the next four weeks of the Open. Not just for the release of the WODs, but even more so, I'm looking forward to watching the other members at Skopos push themselves and accomplish things they didn't think they could. This is the coolest part of the Open - CrossFit communities all around the world coming together to encourage, support, and cheer one another on!



bring it on. 

Let's go!

** My 11 year old son Andrew came along to eat the potluck and be my photographer. No idea why these are so grainy, but at least he got some cool photo sequences.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

You Got This!

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You are capable of more than you think.

Do you know that? Do you believe that?

One of things I love about CrossFit is that I have the opportunity to see myself and others do more than we believed we could in almost every workout we do at CrossFit Skopos.

+ I see the WOD (workout of the day) and think I can never accomplish that...and then I do.
+ I see someone stare at a 30" box and come up with all kinds of reasons to delay trying the jump...and then they land it.
+ I see someone physically beat, hands at their side, 10 reps to go before the time cap...and then they complete it.
+ I see myself try and try to accomplish a skill...and then I do it.
+ I see someone who has not been able to squat for a long time...and then they do it.
+ I see someone jump rope and trip over and over again...and then they double under for the first time.

It is easy to have a negative mindset.
It is easy to think "I can't" rather then "I can."
It is easy to stop short instead of pushing through the pain to the other side.

But that isn't where the self-discovery and the exhilaration are found.

I never thought I would run a marathon, now I've run two. I never thought I would complete the swim portion of a triathlon, now I've done both 1/4 mile and 1/2 swims. I never thought I would do a HSPU (handstand push-up) and now I can do them in multiple sets.

Don't sell yourself short. Don't look for reasons why you can't do it.

Go big!

The CrossFit Games Open starts this Friday. It will be tough. It will be scary. It will be awesome.

I cannot wait to participate with the members of my Skopos fitness family. It will be so fun to see the smiles on people's faces when they accomplish things they never thought they could do.


You got this.

Let's go!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Observations After Two Weeks of Clean Eating

I'm starting off week number three of my current diet plan. 

Here are some things I have noticed during the first couple weeks...

I eat, a lot. Way more than I thought I would. One co-worker said to another one, "He basically just eats all day long." That's how I feel sometimes.

When I'm not eating, I am usually peeing. Drinking 120 oz of water a day has me going to the bathroom often. Some people say your body adjusts to it but so far I haven't noticed that. The biggest change with the water intake is that the first week I forced myself to drink that much, now it is much easier. 

Being on an eating routine at work is much easier than at home on the weekends. At work I eat at almost the same time every day. 8am/10am/1pm/3pm. I like this. The busyness and running around that happens on the weekends makes keeping to an eating schedule more difficult.

Using packaging containers has been really helpful. Being able to cook, portion and pack everything a day or two before makes it really easy to eat without having to worry about overeating or eating the wrong things. When it's time you simply eat what you have already planned out.

Weekends are the greatest temptations to eat snacks and other things off the plan. I have to be super careful and disciplined during these times. I miss pizza the most. And beer.

One fun part of this experiment is that I am learning how to cook a more diverse range of healthy foods. I have made egg pancakes, baked buffalo cauliflower and sweet potato pancakes to name a few things. I am also adding more vegetables to my diet, including jicama, brussel sprouts and beets. Not only does this increase my nutrient and vitamin intake but it also helps keep things broken up so I don't get bored eating any one specific food.

The added bonus to all this is that after just two weeks I am losing weight. After week one I went from 213 to 209. Last Friday I weighed myself again and I'm down to 205. That's pretty exciting. Equally exciting is that I have not felt like I am losing and strength or workout capacity. More simply put, my food intake is supporting my exercise level and muscle development/recovery.    

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Meal Planning and Prep is the Plan

I have been working hard to step up my diet for the last few weeks. Despite all my work in the gym and the strength gains I have made, I still have too much belly fat and it's time for it to go away.

A big piece of the process for me right now is meal planning and meal prep. I have been trying to make simple meals packed with protein and vegetables, mixing in some starches, fruits and healthy fats. It's a strategy many people in the CrossFit world follow, advocated by the originator of CrossFit.

Using some nice food storage trays that I found at my office has made the process super simple. And I've found it is actually a lot of fun spending time in the kitchen putting things together.

I like to go to the store multiple times a week, grabbing a few different things each time and prepping a couple days worth of food. This seems to keep the routine fresh, giving me the chance to eat a lot different things, while minimizing the amount of prep time that is necessary each day. It also means the food stays fresher. Thirdly, I can watch for deals on different meat and produce items which helps me to control costs.

One thing that has surprised me is I am eating way more food than I thought, without the guilt of consuming empty calories, carbs and sugars. I've divided things up into 5 meals a day and I love how the eating is more staggered and doesn't send me into long periods of time where I feel hungry and am then tempted to eat something without the nutritional value I want.