Im on FIRE….

I have certainly been slacking on my blog posting, but I have been far from slacking on my wods.

Last week I did two wods with 1rpm’s, shoulder press and push press and deadlifts.

I took on shoulder press first, maxing out at 100lb, over taking my old pr of 90lbs PR 1 for the week. I then transitioned into the shoulder press, 105 went up easy, 115..nothing. 125, now that felt HEAVY, but it went up. onto 135, bodyweight. 1st attempt didnt get much higher than my shoulders, second attempt made it to about eye height. I took a good break, and focused. DIP DRIVE! 135 push pressed overhead! PR2 of the week. I had every intention of moving that into push jerk, but I had nothing left in the tank, so I took my 2 pr’s and walked away.

I came back to the box the next day with deadlifts on the brain. My goal was 260, the elusive 2x bodyweight. I started at 135, 5 reps, 165-5 reps, 185-3 reps, 205-3 reps, then I kept climing by 10lbs each lift at 1 rep. I passed my current PR of 230 pulling a 235….then 245….then 265….I had done it, and it had felt good, so I kept going. 275lbs on the bar, I set, I pull, its slow to move off the ground and it took a good fight, but I got my shoulders back and hips opened. PR #3 for the week! I think it was my new CF Fire socks that gave me a little extra fire! Thanks Jen.

Last week was a rareity, 3 prs in one week. It’s great to know that putting in the hardwork is paying off. Now I’ve just got to keep this pace.


This community ROCKS!

On Saturday I was lucky enough to have gotten into the CF 101 hosted at CFLegacy. I went in not knowing what to expect other than it was going to be led by coach and it was a chance to get together with 75 other crazy crossfitters.

The experience was everything I thought it could be and more. Coach had an open Q&A session for almost 4 hours. He was blunt and honest about any and all questions that were thrown his way from “What happened with Rob” to “where did the girls come from?” and everything in between.

Capping off the whole experience was a team wod. This is what the community is all about….this is what bonds us all. Going into the trenches and coming out alive.

Team wod: Teams of 4, two people can work at a time.
400 squats
300 pushups
200 burpees
100 pullups

Our team was comprised of me, Jackie from CFCLE and Josh and Joel from New SpiciesCF. 13:14

If you have a chance to attend a 101….DO IT!


‘Helen’ truly is a whore…..

So I had the brill ant idea of taking on ‘Helen’ last night. Thought process being…it’s still nice enough to run, I should do a wod that has running in it….’Helen’

I have been chasing the sub 10 Helen, and today was going to be my day! 3…2…1… GO! First run felt good, slam through the kbswings and pull ups unbroken. 3:00min flat, off on the 2nd run. I’m thinking I’ve got to keep this pace to get my sub 10min. Start into the 2nd round of kb swings, again unbroken, wish I could say the same for the pull ups. I got through 9, dropped and got back on the bar to finish off the last 3. Out the door I go, last run. My lower back is screaming at me, but I’m working on getting comfortable with being uncomfortable so I push through.

Last kb swings…1..2..3….11..OH MY GOD…drop the bell. Troy yes over my shoulder “pick it up” I get the mindset “this bell is not going to beat me” 12..13..16..17…”can i stop? you’re so close..” 18…19…”MAKE IT STOP” 20..21….drop the bell and on to the bar. 6 straight, forearms cramping so I drop off the bar…shake it out, 7..8..9…drop. NO MORE!!! 10, 11, 12 TIME!!!! 9:59

I did it…the elusive sub10 Helen, I had captured it. And oh man did I feel it, my entire mid-section felt like i was wearing a corset that was 10 sizes too small, and my stomach was in my throat. I knew I had pushed myself farther than it had wanted to go, and that’s the goal.

3 rounds
400m run
21 kbswings (36lb)
12 pullups



You’re a sissy…no you’re a sissy….no you’re a sissy…

Sissy: a pejorative for a boy or man to indicate that he fails to behave according to the traditional male gender role. Generally, it implies a lack of the courage and stoicism which are thought important to the male role.

Yesturday’s WOD: “Sissy”
7 rounds
7 split jerks (75lb-cleaned from the ground on the 1st rep of each round)
7 burpees
7 pullups

Finished in 9 min flat, and let me tell you….there was nothing sissy about this wod.


Have you met my new best friend, DOMS?

If you haven’t met DOMS you’re not working hard enough. DOMS(Delayed onset muscle soreness): a common result of physical activity that stresses the muscle tissue beyond what it is accustomed to, and usually hits you 24-48 hours post wod.

When DOMS comes to visit it hurts to sneeze, shower, drive, think…it hurts to pretty much do anything. So what can you do to alleviate the pain? WOD…duh!!!!

Keeping the muscle in motion can provide some relief. When muscle temperature is increased, blood flow increases, bringing fresh oxygen and healing nutrients to the injured site. This increased blood flow also helps to wash away the chemical irritants responsible for pain.


Happy woding….


The Man Behind The Curtain…

The famous quote we hear is “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” I couldn’t disagree more. Over the last two and a half years I have worked hard, I have gotten great results, but I have not done it alone.

Behind all my hard work and results stands the greatest coach I’ve ever trained under, Bill Russell, Owner of CrossFit Cleveland.

When I met Bill I had no idea where he’d take me over this 2 1/2 year journey. Our relationship started purely as a trainer/trainee relationship. As I continued my love affair with CrossFit Bill was right there to encourage it all the way. He never let me slack or cut myself short. I wanted to share my passion with others so in November of 2008 I went to my level 1. Bill and his wife Staci were also in attendance, and our relationship became one of friendship. That’s also where I really got bit by the bug so to speak. It was the first time I had worked out with cf’ers outside of my box and I LOVED the energy I felt.

That’s when the competitive spirit came out in me and I started thinking….”maybe I should compete?” I started dropping hints to Bill, and without hesitation he was on board.
He took time out of his day to program special wods based on my weaknesses.
He was over my shoulder the last few reps of every wod pushing me through.
He encouraged me throughout the training process.

6 months later I was competing at the Midwest Regionals!!! Holy crap, who would have ever thought?!?!?!? Bill had devoted 6 months of his life to makeing me a better cfer, never asking for anything in return. When it was all said and done, he hugged me and said he was proud of me. At that moment bill was no longer just a trainer, a friend, a coach, he became family. I could not have done it with out Bill and his constant encouragement and support.

We spend so much time in the CF community congratulating the elite athletes (and rightfully so), but we never stop to think about the coaches that got them there. Be it you’re training at a box, globo gym or home gym, no CFer does it alone. Take a minute today and thank your coach. They work hard behind that curtain to make us better cfer’s everyday!


Yesturdays wod:”Angie”
100 pullups
100 pushups
100 situps
100 squats
18:14-a new PR by 1:30, and the previous pr included 30 jumping pullups


Former Fat Kid

2 1/2 years ago I was pushing 185lbs and on the verge of buying a size 14pant. I knew I needed a change. My whole life I played soccer at a competitive level. That meant playing for 2 and sometimes 3 teams at a time, practicing every night of the week and eating like a horse and never gaining an ounce. This all changed when I walked away from my soccer scholarship after my freshman year of college.

I became a “normal” human being for the first time in my life. No practice, no expectations, just being. I continued to work out on my own, but a HUGE downgrade from Division 1 soccer training. There wasn’t team around you, a strength coach pushing you and a trainer rehabbing you. I quickly fell into a 60min of cardio 30min of lifting routine. It was what you read in all the fitness magazines so it had to be the best approach.

Then I went shopping 2 1/2 years ago and could barely zip the size 12 pants and I thought to myself…”when did I get fat?” I had a coming to Jesus moment and realized that I couldn’t fight this battle alone so I googled “fitness groups, Cleveland” and number one on the list, something called CrossFit on meetup.com?? They met every Saturday under a bridge at the local metroparks. I vacillated and then decided I’d go and try it and if I hated it I would never have to go back.

So on a Saturday morning in early June of 2007 I strapped on my shoes, filled a water bottle and headed out the door. It was nerve racking at first. Where they going to judge me? Would they laugh at me? All the normal in securities. But the exact opposite happened, I was welcomed and encouraged, and more importantly…I WAS HOOKED.

2 1/2 years later I waiver between 130-135lb and wear a size 4 pant.

2007: 185lb

2007: 0 pullups
Today: 23

2007: 0 pushups
Today: 16 (still a weakness)

2007: 145lb deadlift
Today: 230lb x 3

2007: 115lb back squat
Today: 195lb

2007: 500m row-2:06
Today: 1:46.6



Hi ho…Hi ho..it’s off to CFEnergy we go…

A HUGE THANK YOU to Kyle and the whole CrossFit Energy crew for welcoming us into their box yesterday. Minus being put under the gun. Let me explain.

So Troy Bratz and I ventured out of our CFCleveland box to play with the CFEnergy crew in Bath, OH. We show up, get the quick tour and we begin warming up. As we’re warming up Kyle casually begins talking about rowing and asks me “what is your 500m row pr?” I think about it, I know it’s under 150, I say 142 (after reviewing my log when I got home I confirmed it was actually 148)…this will be important later. He asks Troy the same question. We continue warming up, not thinking anything of it. The cfenergy crew starts arriving, there are introductions, and then the hammer is dropped on us.

Kyle asks everyone look at the board…
15 overhead squats
10 burpee box jumps
400m run
3 rounds
Not too bad….. then Kyle drops the “Kate and Troy are going to row for new 500m row PR and if they don’t reach it I’ll be doubling what’s on the board.”
I quickly begin back peddling…I’m sure my pr is really 1:58 or higher. CRAP…!!! I just went from welcome guest to the possibly being the most hated person in the gym.

Ok…I can’t back down in front of my 10 new friends. Troy and I strap in and off we go. Stroke….stroke….stroke…..I’m holding a steady 1:41 pace the first 250. My legs begin burning…1:43 200m to go. Oh no…I’ve got to pick it up. If I don’t PR everyone’s going to suffer. Then the head game starts. 1:46 I’m losing my steam and the chain has never felt heavier. 1:50 150m to go. Everyone starts cheering, and I’m trying to give it my all, but I’m just exhausted. I came out of the gates too fast and I’m running on fumes 1:52 100m to go. I grunt it out and finish strong 1:46.6 (not my pr, or so I thought) and in my head all I can think is I didn’t PR now everyone’s going to have to do 2 times the wod.

Then the jester, Kyle, says “you guys did awesome, but we’re not doubling the wod. I never was going to, I just had to put you on the spot.Now let’s go wod. ”

A HUGE relief comes over me, I didn’t let anyone down. The the reality of having to wod after leaving your guts on the floor hits me. Holy hell that wod felt hard after that row, but I survived and got a t-shrit for my collection.

After the ride back home I checked my log and my real 500m row pr was a 148….I DID PR! Awesome! Thanks for a GREAT day Kyle…I’ll definitely be down to play again.


Caveman vs. Barry Sears

1st, the formalities: last nights wod
12 Deadlift (145lb)
24 Abmat situps
500m run

Now the good stuff….Paleo vs. Zone. The on going debate. I have tried both and here’s my 2 cents.

Zone for idiots: eat protein/fat/carb in equal portions at every meal, eat 5-6 meals a day
Zone Experiment: I started turning my diet around with the zone. I promised myself that I would weigh and measure everything for a month….and boy did I see a difference. I cut fat, had more energy during the day, and crushed wods! I did this through my training for the games last year and never felt better.

Paleo for idiots: if you can’t hunt or gather you can’t eat it, no dairy products or bean, eat as much as you want
Paleo Experiment: This summer I decided to give this whole paleo thing a try. I continued to use the zone principles making sure I got a protein, fat and carb at each meal, it was just all paleo friendly. It took some getting used to no dairy or beans, but I did it. I cut a small percentage of fat, but didn’t’ see a huge increase in energy and my wods weren’t through the roof. I was pretty lean and already eating an almost paleo zone.

The way people have talked about Paleo it’s like a religion. My thoughts….I like a PaleoZoneish diet. It works the best for me. I would say that I eat a 90% paleo diet. I do like my cheese and the occasional serving of oatmeal or a slice of bread. And no, I’m not a worse person for it. ha!

My advice….try them both. Keep notes on your wods, your energy level, your body composition. You’ll see trends and what works the best for you. The key is to realize that what works for Kahalipa, OPT, Gillian, Tonya (a few of the top cfer’s) may not work for you. You have to listen to and learn from your own body.



We truly are a sick group of people. Only CrossFitters get a truly gratifying feeling from ending up on the floor in a pool of our own sweat, muscles cramping and gasping for air.

Today’s torture:
4 rounds
25 box jumps (20″)
25 pushups (chest to deck)
25 kb swings (36lb)
25 pullups
25 wallball (14lb 8′ target)

Finished in 26:06

It took me about 15 min to feel ‘normal’ again, and that made me feel pretty damn good. My goal every wod is to get uncomfortable. The constant that you’ll see from all the top competitors is that they are comfortable with being uncomfortable. I can say I haven’t mastered it yet, but I’m aware of it, and isn’t that always the first step?