Saturday, December 29, 2007

A short update on my recovery: It's going well, slow but well. I doing 10 slow pushups a day...that's big! I still have a good amount of pain and tightness which keeps me up at night. Over the last week I started to do some very light TGU's with my left arm. Everyday for about 30 mins I do stretching and modified yoga. It's been emotional for me. Realizing how long this is going to take to recover from. So I'm glad to have these guest here to not only encourage you be me as well. Keep moving and eating as well as you can!

The next guest at Jen's Gym is Pamela MacElree. Pamela is one of the owners and coaches of Crossfit Philly. You'll find her blog in my links.Although I have not met her I feel like when we do meet we will fast be friends! Welcome Pamela!

Training To Be Strong Because We Can!

When girls are growing up, most of us are encouraged to believe in skirts and makeup, giggling and marriage, and we learn all the qualities that are considered lady-like as well as those that aren’t. Last I recall, no one ever taught me that I should be training to be strong, not my parents, not my coaches, not my teachers, and certainly not my friends. But I’m not mad, I just didn’t listen to them.

In high school, we played in the weight room, no real strength training came from our time spent there. We challenged each other on who could leg press and bench press the most. Sounds safe doesn’t it? We had no strength and conditioning program, we had no strength and conditioning coach, we just had 2-3 hours a week in the spring to use the weight room. If I only knew then what I know now, I’m sure we could have had some of the best female athletes and girl’s teams in the state. That time is gone, but my desire to prove my strength in training to myself and to anyone that will listen is still going equally as strong.

I believe that women can be strong so they should train to be that way. It ceases to amaze me that women are comfortable with the fact that it’s an effort to get a 40lb bag of dog food off the shelf, into a cart, through the checkout, into the car, out of the car, and finally into the closet at home. The irony is that most purses weigh 20lbs if not more, but as soon as you hand most women a 20lb dumbbell to press overhead they cry that it’s too heavy before they even make an attempt. I’m not saying the female gender needs to become masculine, in fact that’s the farthest idea I’m striving for, but rather develop the strength and conditioning that improves every day living and still cause heads to turn.

There’s a point in strength training when all of a sudden she realizes she can do it. It’s at that point, usually during a heavy press, her first pull up, or 25 plus consecutive push-ups where her nose touches the ground, that she gets that look in her eye and her entire expression changes. She knows she can do it, and I don’t have to tell her anymore. It’s similar to watching a child open the one gift they wanted all year on Christmas morning. The realization that she can do anything she puts her mind to, physical and beyond. At that same exact point, I know I’ve done my job, and know I’m the kid on Christmas morning.

Strength doesn’t happen overnight, and there are of course more benefits to strength training other than being able to move 40lbs of dog food, but being strong is an accomplishment, one to never stop working toward, but most of all one to be proud of. I know I am.
Pamela MacElree

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays! My next Holiday guest is Emmie Woody. She is a true athlete and awesome women! Enjoy here story. You can find her working and working out at Primal Fitness in DC.

Hi, my name is Emmie Woody, I'm a wife and mother of two, I live in Silver Spring, Maryland, and I have been crossfit training for about 2 years. I have a fairly active background, from eleven years of dance, to basketball, rock climbing, hiking, and kayaking. In addition to what I consider play, I have tried to incorporate daily workouts into my routine, naturally in an effort to stay fit. Most of these workouts were simple fitness magazine suggestions, or messing around at the local Y, I was lucking if I broke a sweat. My husband Jesse Woody, (head trainer of Primal Fitness) had been telling me about this thing called crossfit, well after watching him workout, and checking out some of the videos, intimidating became a mere understatement. So after much convincing I tried my first WOD, needless to say I was panting, sweating, and grinning from ear to ear, and that was just after the warm-up. Upon completing the WOD, I felt absolutely amazing, I did it, I wasn't worried about my time or the amount of weight I used, I just relished in the simple fact that I was able to make it through, I didn't give up, even though I wanted to, but I didn't. The next day and the day after that I experienced a muscle pain and soreness like I had never felt before, but I didn't let that stop me from diving back into the squats again and again and again.

Since then I have continued training, recording and documenting my progress. My times have improved, the weights keep going up and huge accomplishments have been achieved. For example I started out having to do all my push ups on my knees and it took me about nine months before I was able to the them straight, now I wear a 20lb weight vest and knock out five at a time. But what I'm finding is yes, I'm physically capable of making it through a workout, what I didn't except, and find to be the most powerful, is the mental aspect, having my mind tell my body not to quit, to push through, harder, faster, stronger. And it is this mind power that I have carried over into other areas of my life, I push myself as a mother, wife, and with my day job. Constantly taking it to the next level, never settling less, keeping it, life, exciting new and adventurous, and I have crossfit to thank for that.

Today I'm an assistant trainer and event planner at Primal Fitness in DC. I have a 2008 goal of a 200lb deadlift, a muscle up, and 10 kipping pull-ups in a row. Can I do it, yes, with out a doubt I know I will accomplish these challenges and any others I set in front of me, because it's all about making it happen. So find your starting point and strive beyond the finish line, and most importantly, keep life exciting and fun, it's the only one you've got.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My next guest is Fred, who has become a good friend over the last year or so. Sometimes he's more like a brother who you love but he drives you nuts!
Fred, this is a great post, I'm thankful you took the time to write your thoughts down.

When Jen mentioned to me that she was going to be featuring guest entries on her blog, I had a sneaking suspicion that she was using this as a ploy to lessen the demands on her to provide fresh, updated content on the site. When she said she’d allow me to put up a post, I knew that was the case! But, to help her out, I’ve decided to submit a post. So, with some trepidation, below is my contribution to Jen’s blog – which I thank her for tirelessly maintaining. It is a source of information, amusement and inspiration, which I have enjoyed viewing since I’ve known her.

I didn’t set foot in a gym until after I graduated from college and began working in an office setting. I can’t remember how long it took me to get into the gym, maybe a few years after I started working, but I’d peg the age somewhere in my mid-twenties. Up until that point, the idea of lifting weights or using cardio machines was anathema. Being engaged in sports and activities – a fairly wide variety over the years – had always taken me outside and enabled me to use my body as it was designed to be used – for varied, dynamic movements. But, once I began spending more hours of the day seated than active, it all changed. I sought out the gym as an easily obtainable source of activity in the limited time I had outside of work, social commitments, and routine errands. My goal was to move around, challenge my musculature/lungs/heart, maintain flexibility, break a sweat, and tire myself out by the time I was done. I entered through the popularized gateway of “lifting”, with no formal coaching or training, and supplemented with some yoga, running and biking. However, I tired of the gym scene quickly and became bored with the limited exercises and routines that I knew – pushing around more weight was not enough to keep it interesting. The only saving grace of the endeavor was that it kept my body moving, which, was the primary goal.

Then, a few years ago, at the suggestion of a friend, I decided to sub in something new that I had never tried before, kickboxing. This was an entirely new challenge for me, with lots of technique to learn - not to mention a conditioning fest. This was also my introduction to Tom Brose, who taught the class. Slowly, through Tom, I began to learn about functional, multi-joint, multi-muscle group movements and lifts, and slowly, my exercise regimen and philosophy began to change (I’d like to consider it an evolution, but I’m biased). This process (which has been years in the making) ultimately has led me towards Crossfit style workouts and Olympic weightlifting. I’ll also credit Tom for introducing me to both of these endeavors (don’t worry, no more Tom references).

But, I never wanted, and still never want to be a “gym rat”, limiting my activity to the confines of a gym or structured “workout” setting – indoors or out. For all of the passion I have for Crossfit workouts and Olympic lifting, these are merely a means to an end. The end being, the ability to continue to do things (work, sport, movement), perhaps even to broaden the realm of what’s possible to do, as my body inevitably moves on down the road of aging. So, while I have goals for my structured workouts (be it a sub 3 Fran, 400lb deadlift, 75kg snatch, 100kg clean and jerk, etc.), these are not the motivations for training and training hard. Rather, I’m training for the unscripted moments and movements that I may encounter in the course of living. Whether it be sport or not, indoors or out, using body weight or other objects, requiring flexibility, strength, coordination, balance, speed, endurance, or control. In fact, some of my more satisfying moments resulting from training and exercise have come from challenges outside of the gym, when it’s random and unscripted – like squatting down on flat feet to grab something off the low shelf at the store and popping back up, running up the Metro stairs in winter boots with a backpack on, muscling-up and over a fence (no, I wasn’t being chased by cops – but that would have been cool), lifting various objects for someone who was moving, etc. Things that I knew if I hadn’t worked hard to prepare for, without even knowing what it specifically was that I was preparing for, wouldn’t have been possible. That has emerged for me as the real reward of fitness, strength, conditioning, health, and training. For anyone who this concept may resonate with, I’d encourage you to seek functional uses or outlets for the gains you make while in the gym or in structured settings (chances are, if any of this does resonate with you, you already are). Prescribed workouts and benchmarks are helpful as training tools, but not the end all be all. The true test is “out there” – train for it, find it or allow it to find you, and be successful. Good luck.

Friday, December 14, 2007

My next guest blogger is Tracy. Her story is awesome, she's awesome. I don't know how I found her blog but I did. She's a Kettlebelling queen! I find inspiration both for workouts and cooking on her blog. When I get done reading her blog I'm swinging a KB and cooking veggies! Thanks so much Tracy, you've really influenced my workouts and eating. Enjoy her post! You can find her blog link in my list to the Right.

Health and Fitness...It's a Lifestyle

"Are you doing "low carbs?". That sentence started a conversation I recently overheard at work. The conversation was between two overweight co-workers starting a diet (one of them about 50 lbs. and the other at least 100 lbs. overweight), comparing notes. There I sat, literally 10 ft away from them, and instead of asking me my opinion, there they were giving each other advice!

Now, you might wonder why I would think my opinion could make a difference? Because not only have I lost over 120 lbs in less than a year, without drugs or surgery, but I've maintained the weight loss AND continued to improve my fitness level for 2 years after the fact.. My level of conditioning and fitness is higher than most women my age and younger AND have never had to lose over 100lbs.

But it was this particular conversation that I realized the answer to the question, "How do you lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, and stay "fit"?". (because "fitness" is part of health) the answer have to discover a way to make it your lifestyle. And what I mean is, that you have to eat in a way that becomes how you eat everyday....for the rest of your life! You have to find a way to move your body....progressively looking for improvement....for the rest of your life! You HAVE to, if you don't move forward, toward health and fitness, you move backwards. Diet and "working out" isn't a 12 week program, it's a lifetime program!

I found my answers, this is how I did it,

I cook and prepare 99% of all of the food I consume. I use fresh ingredients, natural and organic when possible.

I exercise. I started out by walking....alot. My husband Mark introduced me to Russian Kettlebells and I developed a style of training that produced an amazing effect of fat loss and conditioning, like nothing else I had ever experienced. I added yoga for flexibility and balance.

These things, the way I eat, and the way I train, are my lifestyle....everyday! You need to find out what works for you. You know what you need to change. But the changes have to be maintainable.

I could go on and on and on, (that's why I have my own blog!), but since I'm writing this specifically for Jen's Gym, I'll focus on my Kettlebell training. My food is #1 responsible for my health and weight, and I have to eat, we all have to...but, my style of kettlebell training is #1 responsible for the composition of my body, truly transformative, and my level of conditioning. Kettlebells have given me a neverending variety of workout possiblities, combining strength training and cario all at the same time. My kettlebell training is the most important part of my physical lifestyle....I will never, never choose to skip a kettlebell workout....never. I like being fit, I like looking's a priority.

My style of kettlebell training combined with my obsessive personality, produces workouts with consistent, progressive intensity. I'm always looking for improvement, and I expect to improve. I look to see what other athletes are doing, men and women, for ideas to base my workouts, without limitations. Kettlebells have "trained" me to be fit in a way that gives me the confidence to be able to, walk / jog / run / hike / lift / jump / swim / stretch / bike / or try any other physical activities, if I want to. And all this after being so overweight for so long is nothing short of amazing.

I realized that this has to be a permanent part of my life, I got my RKC (Russian Kettlebell Certification) to teach and train others how reach their athletic potential, like I feel I have. And although I don't have to work for a living, I chosen to make this part of my lifestyle. I want to be around health and fitness as much as possible. I teach cooking classes, I also talk with people, sort of as a "diet coach" and I've even considered getting certified to teach yoga. This is my life.

Health and fitness....there is no magic pill, no magic surgery, no shortcuts, no secrets, and you can't buy it. You don't think about it, you do it, you live's a lifestyle.

~Tracy Reifkind~

Monday, December 10, 2007

Hey Friends! Next up as a guest blogger here at Jen's Gym we have Zack Even-esh. I asked Zack to tell us about his gym and his Training. If you find yourself in a rut with you motivation you should go to his blog...Zack does not hold back! He tells it like it is! I love it. His blog is in my links.
Thanks Zack for taking the time to do this for me.

I opened The Underground Strength Gymnasium in June of 2007.

I already had a base of approximately 15 - 20 high school wrestlers and football players.

I was training for about 3 years out of my current home. I converted my 2 car garage into a bad ass gym. The only downfall was low ceilings, so overhead barbell work was not happening, but overhead kettlebells and dumbbells training was in.

I used my back yard as well as the field down the street for log carries, rope climbing, stone training, sled training, hill sprints, truck pushing and playground training.

I wanted to get my training out more to the public, not just the few in the know. I now have about 30 athletes training here, middle school and adults, all are athletes.

I wanted to add group training via CrossFit and I was always a big fan of CrossFit. I loved the bonding and the intensity of all the training.

Unfortunately, I had a lot of people "say" they would join but VERY few followed through. My athletes kept growing in numbers and soon we were out of room to justify the small groups of CrossFit.

Right now we have a small group of guys who train and are non athletes. They train with very much the methods of cross fit, but my personal style of program design.

With CrossFit I was not screening and interviewing prospects as I used to, and it was making it too easy for people to try out. Our athletes must prove themselves and they commit to 3 month membership. This eliminates half assers immediately.

Now, every single one of our clients is highly committed and intense with their training. I love it this way.

I am located next door to a gym and many of the law enforcement guys were stopping by, saying they would train with us, instead, they stayed next door, sitting on machines, doing preacher curls and other garbage. I started realizing that this style of training is perhaps TOO hard for the majority of people, and I did NOT want to give up my values and train people like p***ies (parden my language). I decided to stick to my guns and emotionally as well as from a business standpoint, this has been the best decision ever.

My time at the CF cert was amazing, The crew of people and Coach Glassman were awesome, it was really a throw back to the Golden Era where a lot of bonding happened amongst the strength community.

My own training follows a style that is a mix of powerlifting - old school bodybuilding - strongman training and lots of calisthenics.

I fit in training by resting very little and utilizing only the most basic and effective movements, no time wasters for me.

Lots of squats, deadlifts, benching, military pressing, barbell rowing, pull ups, push ups, tire flipping and sled work.

I work during the day, after work, I get to the gym and train for 30 - 40 minutes before clients arrive. If I'm too busy, I might get in 10 - 15 minutes before clients, then another 15 minutes or so at the end of the night.

It's not odd for me to hit pull ups almost every day as my work is a 30 second walk from a playground.

On breaks I hit push ups and pull ups regularly.

I refuse to be the typical weak, fat man after marriage and fatherhood - it's not in me, as I believe that man is supposed to be strong and rugged, regardless of the circumstances.

My plans are to keep growing my gym, and I will be holding a certification in the late winter - early spring. I am psyched for that.

For those who can't make it, they can always access me via my membership site at

Thanks for having me Jennifer, keep kicking ass!


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Up as my first Guest blogger and very good friend we have Tom Brose. Tom is the owner and head coach of Crossfit DC. He is also the manager of City Fitness here in DC. I can't begin to tell you all that I've gleaned from Tom. I asked him to write about what was on his mind. Thanks so much Tom. I for one hear what your saying!

Strength is a Right

In our fitness community, where PRs, CFT Scores and Fran times are lingo de rigueur, we have lost touch with reality. Sometimes we get so caught up in specific modalities of training or technique that we have no understanding of “normal” people. The sad fact is, most people feel that strength is at best a luxury, and in reality unattainable. There are amazing benefits to health, lifestyle and attitude that come with strength, but a majority of Americans have placed this lower on the list of priorities than cleaning their gutters.

When we talk about strength, we need to discuss what that means. A double bodyweight deadlift is great, but in reality not a viable goal for everyone, or a necessity. Being able to pick up a heavy object safely and efficiently is. Olympic weightlifting competitions may not be in your future, but that does not diminish the need to be able to go from standing over an object, to holding it, to putting it overhead. Strength means being able to go through life unencumbered by weakness, not limited by the inability or fear of relatively normal activities. It also builds confidence, not just in its inherent ability, but also in ones discipline and perseverance. Become strong takes hard work, and the accomplishment resonates within.

There are always roadblocks. Several factors come into play stopping even those inclined to put in the work. The absolute worst comes hidden, from those entrusted to help. I’ll let my rage build up and save that for last.

I have to admit, I can be oblivious to peoples situations myself. Browsing the blog of a CFDC regular, I came across an entry talking about her experiences, about a year into CrossFit. She was unsure what to expect when she first contacted me, but was happy to find that I took her desire to get strong seriously. Turns out, she had always wanted to lift. Family, friends and coworkers told her she was crazy, she was too small and it was unrealistic. It never occurred to me that she couldn’t. Our first session she worked with 5 lb. dumbbells. After one year, lots of effort, and a little coaching, she has pull-ups and a deadlift approaching 200 lbs. Take her seriously!

Worse than people who don’t know any better are the “health professionals” who fail to deliver when entrusted. Nothing is worse (at least in this realm) than the personal trainer or physical therapist that hold back the clients success. In fairness, a large chunk of my income comes from personal training, and I have a lot of respect for some therapists. But the standard seems to be stringing people along, with little progress and an endless string of gimmicks. Honestly, I think most trainers don’t have the confidence to teach the squat, deadlift, clean etc. Lacking in integrity, they quickly chalk up basic compound movements as “unsafe”, and continue with 3lb partial ROM side raises standing on one foot. Eventually, the client will pick up an object significantly more than 3 lbs (possibly with both feet on the floor) and be woefully unprepared. I already hinted that this is a pet peeve, so here it is: trainers who fail to get their clients actually strong are not only a waste; they are sabotaging the client’s best intentions. Be ashamed!

Physical therapists fall in the same realm. Their success should be judged by how quickly they get the client out of therapy, not how long they can keep the insurance going. I know, I am bitter about this, but here is why. Its common for me to meet gym members who are in the process of physical therapy, usually from someone eminently qualified because “ he works with the Redskins/ Wizards/ blah blah local sports team”.

Almost always, their specially designed one of a kind program (which any variance from may cause death) looks like this: leg extension, hamstring curl, dead bug, and maybe a resistance tube thrown in. Back, knees, shoulders, whatever the injury, the program is all the same. And the therapists have made sure to warn them not to do anything else, often advising to cancel their gym memberships. Signs of osteoporosis? Stop doing weights and come in to the PT clinic for 15 minutes on the treadmill, billing what, $80-100?

Where are the biomechanically savvy, work out themselves therapists? I went to Kaiser PT, and the therapist had to tip herself sideways to get up from a chair. I want Iron Maven, not a couch potato working on me. Please, therapists, take the time to care!

Strength is not an extravagance, or luxury. It is part of living an active healthy life. It is not something you have to be born with, and it is not a just young persons game. Strength comes from effort, knowledge and dedication. Strength is a fundamental right for everyone.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Iceland´s Skyr!Skyr (pronounced skeer)

This has to be the best food find of the year. Thanks to Fred!

If you like your yogurt thick and smooth this is the stuff. Look at all that Protein. I add a little honey and Cinnamon to it. You can only get it at Whole foods right now. It's worth the trip! We cook Greek food allot and I used this instead of the Greek yogurt for the garlic and cucumber sauce. It worked well, it just needed to be thinned out with some lemon juice.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Pushup form...hows yours?

Bring out the DB's or KB's and get that depth going with the elbows high.

Pictures taken from Crossfit Challenge in Old Town, VA

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Make sure you keep checking back for some guest bloggers. Since I'm making a recovery which is slow but steady. I though it might be more interesting for you to hear what some other fitness people are doing.

For me I'm still working on my ROM in PT. I'm very tight, and I'm a bit worn out from being in a sling and being uncomfortable. I'm still making a daily effort to walk and do some leg strengthening. Like walking lunges, step ups at the park. Then back home to do some one armed TGU's. Also, I'm spending time working on my squats, both the oly squat and the air squat. which in my case means to get more flexible in my hips and fight the forward lean. It's important to not lose sight of the need for flexibility. Oh, and my ankle flexibility.

Oh, how I miss summer and being able to do handstands!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thought of the day...week...year!

Technique, Form and Flexibility should be on the top of the list of goals for all Crossfitters.

I would rather see people in our classes drop the weight for any given workout until they get more of a mastery of the technique and form.

I've witnessed some good ass kicking with ugly's not worth it. It also does not prove much if your get your "Fran" done in sub 6 mins if your thrusters are more of a forward slid then a squat thrust. So drop the LBS off the bar and let your Fran go to 8 or heaven forbid 10mins and get it done right with nice full depth squats too thrust.

Do you get my point?

Coach Glassmen is a big pusher of form and technique, so non of the blame goes on him. I think in the excitement of competition the main goal gets lost. With so many affiliates coming on board so fast there is a lost of quality control.

Too all the Crossfit Affiliates out there or CF coaches who push form....thank you.
If your a back yard CF'er like myself make sure your work form before Pride.

If your coaching CF tell your people in class to stop and drop the LBS if there form is for shit. In the long run it's worth it. I understand that people want to get there asses kicked and that you can't make them listen to you. I've seen and experienced that.

My experience with more guys then girls(it does happen with included) is that they can baulk at you when you tell them you would rather them do there pushups from there knees because they are only dipping their head down and just not getting that full range of motion. Or that they should use a lighter bar because there push press just fell apart on the second round of whatever.

Really in the long run it's worth the little lost of pride.

Elements Class at Crossfit DC
Over the last few months I've been running an Elements class at 9am on Sundays. It's been going well. I have a few newbies who come and one long time CF'er who comes with his wife who has just started.
I'm at a lost for how to express the need to work on the basics to some of our long time CF'ers. I don't expect them to to come for six weeks or even 4 weeks. Maybe 2 or 3 classes.
In this class that Tom has been so supportive of. We always work on the air squat it's one of the most foundational movements of Crossfit. For me I always have to work on my forward lean and my butt wink.
We at Crossfit use the squat in our thrusters, wall ball, sumo-deadlift high pull and goblet squats, slamnball...I'm sure I've forgotten a few.

If I work the air squat it starts the movements of most of the above.
Then we work the basics of the Deadlift and Push press and other of the bigger lifts. The main focus it to get people familiar with our basic movements. This way when they jump into the 10am class they know what a box jump is and don't need it explained to them at that time. In the Elements class we do a circuit like mini Cindy or a scaled Fran. If some one is advanced in the weight they can move I'll add the Lbs on to make things more of a challenge for them.

As Tom always says...Everone needs to work on the basics. I agree we all do!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

First I worked my dog out. Then I just had to do some GS stuff.
10 One arm deadlifts
Walk to other end of the yard with KB overhead or in clean rack.
10 one armed sumo deadlifts with 20k KB
Lunge with KB overhead to other end of yard.
10 hang cleans with Right arm
Framers walk the yard.
Repeated 5 times...or so.

Yes I'm being safe. Moving slow and careful.
It felt good to work and be winded.
Yes I'm being safe. Moving slow and careful.
It felt good to work and be winded. I've not be released to run or move fast yet. That might be a few more weeks down the road. I see my doctor again in Dec. My shoulder is healing but it's still pretty sore at times. I have no external rotation and have been told to not even try since it will put to much pressure on my labrum. In the meantime I have to do a little something for the rest of my body.

Outside working on my positive attitude.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

What is my Dream??
Well that's simple...I would love to coach Crossfit full time. To change peoples life's with fitness. To make it creative, hard and fun for them.

How am I right now???....struggling. It will be two weeks since I had the scope of my shoulder. Today I walked two miles with my dog and partner. I hope to do some weights over the next two days with my right arm. I can't bonce around yet, when I do I have pain.
PT is going well. It's still pretty boring just passive range of motion per my doctors orders.
It's cold outside and that with being unable to do much makes me feel like crap!

As for the coaching, I'm not sure how to make more happen with that. Right now if I do anything it has to be making me money. So doing free stuff for people is out of the question. I feel bad about that, because I want to show people what I can do and most people don't want to pay for your coaching until they see what you can do.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I should never go to the store while on Pain meds! This is what I came home with.

Then the next big decision was which glass to use(I'm a geek...I collect beer glasses)

I had my first real PT session today. It was humbling! I came home and just had to do some sort of workout.
10 TGU sit ups. Which is with the KB just in my right hand overhead with the ab-mat under my back up to sit and back down.
10 squats
5 rounds
Then 10 TGU's with 15lbs in Right hand only.
It felt good to move a little!

Sunday I coached Crossfit DC. We had a blast! Today I start my job at the bike shop to make some extra cash. It's amazing to me that I'm a fully insured health care worker who is having issues paying all the bills from my much needed surgery.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

First day post op. lots of pain with any moving. I will get more details after my appointment in the morning. Doctor said he did more than he first planned.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I do crossfit so that I can be a functionally strong women, not sex appeal. As I get older I want to be able to carry my own bags and not carry extra LBS on my body.

Fitness and Functionality are my goals.

I've always been active and enjoyed sport. Crossfit gives me both of those. I've not always been happy with my body but still pretty secure with it.
It's an added plus to look in the mirror and be happy with what I see. It makes me happier still to be able to properly squat and transfer a patient two times my body weight into their wheel chair. Or carry 60 bags of mulch into my back yard every spring and not be sore for the rest of the week.
I listen to some of my friends talk about how they can't do this or that because of bad knees or bad backs. With fitness you can work around injury. I have a messed up shoulder and have continued to find new ways to stay in shape.

I do Crossfit to be Stronger more flexible keep my agility. In hopes that as life goes on it will give me one more day, minuet or hour of Independence.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Hey Blog peeps. Here are two new Links for you of people I follow via there blogs. Two Women who are strong and fit, Ya gotta love that!

A Philosophy of Strength and Health:
This blog is devoted to physical health and performance for everyone. My primary interest is in athletic development, particularly the appropriate application of resistance training, weight training and weightlifting movements in young athletes.

Pamela MacElree:
Keeping up with the conditioning without losing the strength. Inspiring training for women

You'll find the links on the Right side of this page.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Play this so you can listen as you read. It captures my mood.

10 mins's
5 jumping Pullups
10 push-ups
15 squats
How many rounds? I'm sad to say that my numbers were 8! It was the pushups that killed me. I've not done pushups for months since they bother my shoulder. Today I figured, " well I'm getting my shoulder fixed so just go for it!"
I hit utter failure with them, as in I fell on my face! Yikes!
Today I have been off from work taking it easy and feeling sorta unmotivated. Then I got so mad about my health insurance or should I say American health insurance companies that I just had to work it out of me...Thus "Sad Cindy"

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

AM before work workout.

Warm up: wall squats

5 minuets of Squats
Focuse on form.
Don't go any lower then were my Butt wink starts. My hamstrings are so tight which has increased my butt wink.
My total number was 120

5 min's Sots Presses
100 was the number with this. I had two 10# Db's (that's the biggest we have at work.)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Have you heard of Catalyst athletics? If not you should take a look at there site. They have great information on Oly lifting. I highly recommend there journal. It's worth the money for sure, You get one free issues to check out. That's a must do! If you have questions about Oly lifting or Crossfit the Performance form is very helpful. The guy who runs the site Greg Everett is really cool, he just taught the Oly seminar that I went to a last weekend.
"The Olympic lifts and their derivatives are the most effective training tools known for improving hip and leg power, arguably the most important athletic characteristic in nearly all ground-based sports. Unfortunately, while the need for the lifts’ incorporation into athletic training is great, qualified instruction is extremely limited."

They also offer....
"We offer hourly training consultation and ongoing remote training through email, phone and video for Olympic weightlifting, strength & conditioning, and CrossFit training."

Even though I workout for the most part in my backyard or at parks I've found it priceless to have a stronger knowledge of the Olympic lifts. Don't think I'm going all fancy on you here. The Oly lifts are so dynamic and technical that some solid information and coaching are really useful. Even with my rusty old Oly bar and two 15# plates I've needed technical help.

MY WOD (workout of the day)
Run 400 meters: 1:54
rest two minuets
Run 400 meters 1:56
Rest two minuets
Run 400 meters 1:54
Rest two Minuets
Run 400 meters 1:53

Walking lunges with 45# BB with Bar on shoulders 10 steps out
Walking Lunges with 45# BB in OHS position 10 steps back
Four rounds.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I hate Running!

10 hang cleans with 75lb BB
5 swings right with 16k KB
5 swings left with 16k KB
Run 400 meters
Five Rounds for time.
Whew...That was gross!

The Crow, I loved this Movie. Brandon was so cool in this flick. He died during the filming of the movie oh strange is that.

On another note. My surgery is on NOV 13 for my shoulder. At this point I just want to get it done and start the Rehab.

If you've never had Kostritzer beer your missing out! It has a very deep mahogany hue. Bready and lightly smoky aromas follow through on a medium-bodied palate with chewy malt character and a surprisingly clean finish where light hop bitters and smoky notes linger. YUUUMMMM! Because it's really not like other beers Germans say that Köstritzer is the "Black Beer with the Blond Soul"!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Warm up:
30 Burpees for time= 2:27

My Bear: 1.Hang Clean
1. Front Squat
1. Push Press
1. Back Squat
1. Thruster
One time through is 1 rep. I did 5 sets for time. On my first set of 5 I forgot to start my watch.

My rest was 10 hang cleans with the 45lb bar, 10 split jerks.

Then I repeated the above for time, which was 2 minuets flat. Not very fast because I have to think about my shoulder which hurts and form which can be weak at times.

Someone asked me why my workouts are short. Well that's what got me into this whole deal. Yes, I could and do at times spend more than 40 minuets doing a workout. The point is to get a lot done fitness wise fast. fast without giving up good form and being safe. Because I'm into the coaching end of this fitness/Crossfit deal I do spend more time than I should "playing". Let's remember this is a get fit and stay intrested kind of workout I'm doing. What keeps people doing CF is that they can get really fit in a short amount of time. Epic workouts have there place, but not everyday. I can't go to work at the hospital all beat up for a 12 hour shift. My Am workday workouts are mostly Tabata or something like that. When I have time to spend hours working out I plan them so that I have days to recover or I end up sick.

Monday, October 29, 2007

This past weekend I went to the Oly Seminar at Primal Fitness here in DC. Thanks to Tom and Primal for making that happen by helping me out with the cost.
I learned so much I can barley walk! My calf's are so sore I can't believe it.
Greg Everett from Performance menu was the coach of this seminar. It was great to meet him. He's a very down to earth kinda guy which makes for a great coaching style. Thanks for your help this weekend Greg!

By far the most helpful thing I learned was the difference between a Crossfit Air squat and the Oly squat.
The air squat is back and down while keeping the torso tight and flat or straight. With the feet under the hips with the toes turned out a little.

The Oly squat is keeping the back tight and flat or in good lumbar curve while dropping your butt as close to sitting on your Calif's as possible. You don't want to crash down onto your calf's. You control and stay active in your quads on the way down so that you have power to come back up. By having your heels pointed more in to each other you can open your hips so that your knees go out as you lower down onto your calf's.

My issue...Oh there are so many. The one I can actually work on is becoming more flexible in my Oly squat and open my hips up.

My clean needs work as well. Dip and pull up while getting under the bar without going forward. Also another point that was that in the dip it's straight down not forward.
Oh the list is endless.

Let's remember I'm a Crossfitter. I'm never going to be a great Oly lifter. The reason I do all this is to stay fit and help others get fit. It's a jack of all master of non kinda deal. That being said I do want to be as good as I can in as many areas of crossfit as possible. It's quite a challenge with crossfit staying on top of so many skills. Which as I have stated before is part of the attraction to CF. You sure as hell should not get bored. There's always something to work on! If you think you're good at all of it..your wrong!

It was a great weekend hanging out with the crew. Watching Fred and Steve kill themselves during a lunch workout, going out to lunch with a bunch of area CF'ers. Meeting Judd from Crossfit Rockville was really cool. I wish him luck in his new CF gym. I can't wait to go over and get my ass kicked!

Friday, October 19, 2007


Over the last week I've slacked off on my hydration. Water is not my favorite thing to drink. Sometimes I just forget. Even with yesterdays workout being half ass I felt it more today because I've not be hydrating in general. It's not just because I did not drink enough during or after the workout. It's the 3 or 4 days before that caused me to be more sore and fatigued more than normal.
I really fucked up yesterdays workout!
Maybe I was sleepy or just foggy. I went into Crossfit Old Town Challenge. Jerry said he was going to do "Nasty Girls" which is

50 squats
7 Muscle ups
10 hang power cleans 135lbs for Men and 85lbs for women

To scale this for me it should have been

50 squats
14 jump to supports on the rings
10 hang power cleans with 85lbs

This is what I did

50 squats
7 jump to support on rings
10 hang power cleans with 75lbs

Well, what can you do.
My time was 6:30 not that it counts for anything.
I will be hitting this again soon.

I was pleased with...
Being in a class and coaching while learning.
Doing a Turkish Get up with a 45lb bar!
Doing a barbell hang clean of 65lbs with one arm and then jerking it up once.
Now that's fun!

Friday, October 12, 2007

I was off today and had a list a mile long of things that needed to be done.

I was on point in the morning....but got side tracked and ended up at Primal.

Sophie and I put the tire in the back of the car and headed to the post office.
Then we went to the Bank.
On the way home we stopped at the field by my house for a little workout.
30 seconds pulling the tire 10 seconds rest. Not running because I've had a cold so I was just walking fast.
We did 8 sets and Sophie did great!
Got home and did some things around the house.
Ran/walked to the metro and headed down to the New Primal fitness building.
Wow! What a space! It's huge and has huge possibilities.

Since my plan had been to stay at home and get some things done and workout more, I put in a short and sweet sprint of a workout at Primal. Three laps with two 45# DB's. Up and back for time.
So I did get some workout in today nothing killer just enough.
I have hopes of getting a crew together for a workout outside tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A while back I did an on-line power lifting meet. At Virtual I did horrible! So in this vid you wont see much of me. It was not that I was not lifting really bad, it was that I did not follow the rules for most of it. My only lift that counted was my 195# Deadlift, which is a long way from my max. I did get my max that day of 235# but at the top of the lift I drooped the bar. At the time I thought that was my exclamation point, not knowing that you have to lower the bar for the lift to count. DUMB ME! Anyhow it was fun. My friend Emmie did well also, she's the tall skinny chick....who is strong as hell! Over all power lifting is fun. I'm glad I do Crossfit. If you know Crossfit you know that the theorie is Jack of all fitness master of as many areas as possible. Which makes it so fun. Just when you "master" one thing you start to suck at another! Crossfit Makes you Fit...that's the goal.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Fight Gone Bad Video.

No workout today since I had to get my Rabies shot.
Yup, today was number five of my rabies shots. It sucks alright and hurts too. Last week I got bit by a dog of some street kids in Adams Morgan. It was a strange situation one that I tell better in person. It hurt and the shots hurt as well, not to mention they make me sick. Just a general blah feeling with a headache.

So if you know me and I'm a bitch to out I bite!

At Crossfit DC I ran my first Elements class. If your in the area and want to get a feel for Crossfit please come in on Oct 21 at 9am. We will cover some of the basics of Crossfit. You'll still get a kick ass workout with an emphasise on form.

As Crossfit Grows in the DC area specifically Crossfit DC we really want to make sure that,
A. No one gets lost in the Crowd

B. That form is always a priority

This in not a class just for folks who are new to exercise. It's a class for the In and out of shape people. A time to make sure your moving as well as you can before your jump into a big class.
Let the ego go and come get an Elements class under your belt.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Fight Gone bad went really well for Crossfit DC. It also looks and sounds like it went well at Crossfit Challenge.

My personal score is not so great, 211. Not to make excuses....but..
I used the 24' box for box jumps because I like to jump. I jumped every rep no step ups. So there!
It's amazing what mental hesitation can do to you. With my shoulder I've had weeks that are so horrible because of the pain. This caused me to "play it safe" in my speed and out put. I'll be honest it was a hard ass workout and I have been working out at 70% since Feb. This is the first time since then that I have gone up to 80% or 85%. In saying that it was not all wisdom and restraint, it was lack of ability to put out any more do to lack of metabolic capacity.

In the end I raises $700 for the fundraiser and our team raised about $7000!

Over the last week I've been busy. Too busy! Doctors appointments and running around before and after work.

I've decided to get my shoulder scoped. After my visit with doctor Branch it looks like its time. The bottom line is that it's not getting better. My shoulder is loose, a grade 3. Zero being the tightest 4 being the most loose. At this point I'm not sure when, I have to fill out my family Med leave and do all that kinda stuff.

I will be out of work for a few months as it looks right now. My fitness goals are being re-arranged in my head. Once the initial pain is controlled I will have to keep in shape without using my Left arm. I need to get a belt to pull things with! The one armed KB swings will be a good movement for me as well. My head is swimming with plans. Tabata squats will be my staple!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

It's been a week! I got my car fixed but it still needs work...lot's of work.
Diane had a death in the family this past week. Which was a very emotional time for her whole family. I feel so bad for them right now, death is never an easy thing to deal with. It has however made me and her family closer. Which is always a good thing.
Then on my first day back to work I was attacked from behind by a patient. She had to be 180# or so. I was hanging her shirt up so my arms were up and she football tackled me from behind. I flew out of the room onto the floor, hitting both elbows really hard. As I was Turing to get back up and defend myself four or five medics jumped her and took her down. She was later arrested. We have a court date next month. My back is sore and my pride is a bit damaged. It pisses me off that it happened. Now I'm a little jumpy around aggressive patients, Where I used to be very sure of myself. Being attacked from behind is a weak move!
On top of all that I've been menstrual which just adds to the drama.

This photo makes me cry! Victory is so fucking sweat!
Ok, So Fight Gone Bad is in the Morning! Crossfit DC is going to have a blast! We raised a lot of money and have a strong team. I hope my shoulder holds out!
Thank you for your support.