First the technical jargon. Woke up bright and early for a nice jog up the old crazy hill at Sweeney Ridge. The fog was rolling out and the view was not at it's best, but it was still unreal to be able to look out over the Bay, Ocean and City, even if you couldn't see most of it all. A great way to get the heart going. After a nice breakfast it was back to the house to get a little work done and get cracking on some organizing of stuff to be moved. Then, off to the gym for Dynamic Effort bench and some really solid supplemental work. Second day of West Side Barbell was WAY more successful than the first day! After lunch with Brendon (owner at San Mateo Team Elite, formally CrossFit San Mateo) it was a trip up to the City for a little throwdown with the crew at Lalanne Fitness. It was so great to see all my old friends here! We caught up as i gazed in awe at their new space, then got in a really fun skills warm up (pistol squats, GHD sit ups, handstand push ups and bar muscle ups) before getting all set up for "Isa-Grace": 30 power snatches followed immediately by 30 clean and jerks both at 135#...ouch! I was able to bang this out in 6:57 and felt really good with that time seeing how I have not been focusing on Olympic lifting or serious MetCons. It was just so damn good to see everyone and I can not wait at all to get back up here and workout with them all again!
Perfect little segue to the reality check here...
As I've made painfully clear with my last post, I absolutely love it out here on California. It was a really tough decision and process that Lindsey and I went through to move back East, and that decision, no matter how many times and angles I look at it, was, and is the right one. Here's the conclusion I always come to whenever I think about it, or whenever someone brings it up: happiness does not exist unless it's shared (stolen from "Into The Wild"). My own little opinion on this one is that the greatest thing to have in the world is a person you can share your life with. Someone who supports you through thick and thin, someone who trusts and cares about you, and someone who who wants and needs the same in return from you! Nothing I can imagine (and I have a crazy imagination) could ever be more important than that to me; not my job, not my training program, and certainly not where I live. In my mind, I am the luckiest guy on the face of the planet to have found someone who has made me see this reality.
I enjoy and love so much in life. I love challenges, I love exploring, I love sun, I love good food, I love good, nice people, I love baseball, I love California, I love the great outdoors, I love the thick foliage of the surrounding wild of Washington, DC, and I love the feeling when a smile creeps over my face. And now, I actually have the opportunity to share all of these things with someone. This is the reality I clearly see every day. I ask you this: what could be better?
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Today marked the start of my new crazy program and as the strength building part of it all I am following the greatest program for becoming really freaking strong, the West Side Barbell Program. I'll get into this one a bit later in detail (it's a pretty complicated one at first glance, but so awesome once the details are figured out) but let's just say I started off on a totally bad foot.
Today called for Max Effort box squats with a good deal of supplemental work for the posterior chain and abs. I pushed up 365# pretty easily and then jumped to 385#, a weight I got for a really comfortable couple sets of 3 just two weeks ago, and could not get my butt off the box. Immediately I was overwhelmed with all the basic "what the hell am I doing" thoughts; why am I squatting heavy alone with no spotter? Why did I jump up so fast in weight? Why did I expect to go so heavy without taking proper time to warm up? Why did I run for 52 minutes at 6am in the 98 degree humidity? Who the hell am I going to get out of this?
Well, thankfully box squats are a ton safer than normal squats if you get stuck, all you end up doing is sitting there with a ton of weight on your shoulders. So I sat there for a second and then decided the best thing to do would be to just toss the weight off my back and to the ground. Here's where my mis-judging took over: the box I was on stuck out pretty far behind me, and the weight was, well, heavy, too heavy to "toss" off my shoulders. The bar proceeded to plummet to the edge of the box, landing squarely ON the box and then taking the massive amounts of force to both ends with all the plates loaded on there. This led to the end of the bar. It bent so much! I tried to figure out a couple ways to bend it back real quick but it just did not work. Damn.
Maybe it was the heat, maybe it was the insane the serious lack of sleep the past couple nights, maybe it was just that sometimes I AM as stupid as I think I am. I decided to throw the bar back up there, load the weight back on the bar and give it another shot. And in true Homer Simpson fashion, much to my surprise (NOT...), it all happened again. Literally the same, exact, thing. Idiot. I guess I was just in denial that it happened the first time that I just insisted on going on...
Either way, I jumped into the most complex and serious heavy lifting program without being ready at all, and I knew I wasn't ready. I am embarrassed by this as I know better. So, I'll really be ready to go Wednesday and I'll turn this thing around so fast!
In other news, I am headed out to California tomorrow morning, so my posts may be a little spuratic, but I'll probably get a couple up while there. In terms of workouts, the entire week is posted up on the "Workouts" page, so be sure to see what's in store for the week!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
I haven't really chatted about my own personal stuff for a few days so I figured I'd throw up a little update on how it's been going. This week begins the last week, a deload, of the strength program I was on for two months and I was able to see some pretty impressive gains throughout. With a solid 3 reps at 385# on the back squat, a real good 505# on the deadlift and a comfortable 3 reps at 155# on the strict press, along with a perfect combo of supplemental work, I feel so much stronger. All this combined with some insanely rapid fat loss (15 pounds of legit weight lost in 1 month) and I am feeling like I am on the right track.
I have yet to decide exactly what program I am going on starting next week, but I have been researching both the Wendler 5/3/1 program (I did this for about 4 months or so last year) and the crazy looking West Side Barbell program. Not sold on either one yet, and I may just go ahead and take aspect of them and fit them into a program that fits me, not totally sure just yet. All I know is that I want to get a whole hell of a lot stronger over the next three months so, whatever program will help me do that is what I'll be following.
Running more, CrossFit style metcons here and there but not really a main focus, swimming will start up more, and mobility and gymnastics will begin a bit more as well starting next week. I'll be eating exactly the way I have been, it's been working wonders for me and I don't see a reason why I would switch that up at all. So, really not too much to talk about in terms of nutrition. Turns out the whole Paleo concept is working for me this time around (although i didn't even realize I was eating Paleo until about two days ago, and maybe that's why it's been working!) and I really don;t have any sort of good reason to stop. One point to make about the food though is today. I felt really groggy all day and I quickly realized that besides breakfast yesterday, I had all my meals from a store (Sweet Green salad, Chicken Out turkey and veggies, Whole Foods fish and veggies). While I ate super clean from all those places, I am totally aware of the sodium, sugars and potential other additives that I would not have had if I had made the food myself. A note was made to avoid eating out. No matter how clean the food is, it's never as clean as when you make it yourself.
So, what you will see with my physical training starting next week: a new strength training regimen that will really kick my strength to a whole new level, continued runs, 1-2 swims a week, mobility practice probably each and every day, more gymnastics work.
Another bit of interesting happenings today was a strange sort of culmination of a few things that really messed with me emotionally. At first I got depressed, then I got super motivated, it was interesting to experience. With the CrossFit Games coming up this coming weekend, information and videos have been popping up like crazy, and I have been catching so many of my friends and old training partners, now celebritized through the internet with their impressive growth in the sport. While I am so happy for all them, there is a piece of me that is so envious that they are there while I am at home; I was able to get so close. This was compounded by a really nice lunch and catch-up couple hours with my good friend and Washington Nationals pitcher John Lannon. As always with baseball, it was so great to be around him and talk about the game and such, but it brought back memories of how close I was able to get to "making it" as a baseball player. The depression hit me that I am always just so close to getting there, but not quite. I am really good at so much, just not good enough. Then the motivation hit that I know, deep down, that if I can commit to something, with the abilities that I have, I can really make something happen for myself. Focus and determination will take you far, and I if this whole CrossFit thing is something I am seriously considering giving a shot, I certain I can make it happen (it's eye opening to me to see how far i made it with the training and nutrition plan I was on leading up to it all!). I have a plan, it's being prepared, I am excited.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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