Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Surviving long commutes

My commute to work is generally 1-1.5 hours. Sometimes longer (~2 hrs) when there are accidents or snow storms. Sometimes shorter (~40 mins) when I leave at 4 a.m. in the morning.
I took the 407 this week for the first time. It was as if I left at 4 a.m. with an extra two hours of sleep! After resisting for a year, I finally caved. My commute has been, dare I say, enjoyable! 

I also travel for work, driving for several hours at a time. After doing a hard workout, the last thing you want to be doing is sitting still for that long. Even if you didn't workout, sitting for long stretches at a time is not good for you.
I picked up a pair of Skins (compression gear) for my CrossFit workouts. I use these on occasion when I know my legs might die. I've recently started wearing them on long drives and for long days at work on the field. Incredible.
The last but most important part of my commute has been the time I've had in relationships. I get to talk to coworkers I drive, to a friend I carpool with, and most importantly, to my God.

I recently picked up a cable to connect my music player to my car's stereo system. I've been able to listen to music from the Vertical Church Band. I've been incredibly encouraged. During these long but precious commutes, I get the opportunity to worship my God and talk to the one who gave His life for me.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

WOD Oct 29-30


Snatch: skill work and work on 1 RM
(PR: 145 lbs)

3 Rounds for Time
10 deadlifts (275 lbs)
50 double unders
(Time: ~10 mins)


Front squat (work towards a 5 RM)
5 x 135 lbs, 5 x 185 lbs, 5 x 195 lbs
5 x 205 lbs, 5 x 215 lbs, 2 x 225 lbs
(5 rep max: 215 lbs)

Skill work: HSPU, snatch

Saturday, October 27, 2012

WOD Oct 22-29


Rest Day

@ CrossFit Markham


1. Burpees / Rowing
2. Jump squat: With 45 lbs bar / without bar
3. Competition style push-ups / Russian twists (35 lbs)
4. Tuck jumps / knees to elbows
5. Ring rows / V-ups

8 rounds each, alternating between exercises
e.g. Round 1: 20 s burpee, 10 s rest; Round 2: 20 s row, 10 s rest; Round 3: 20 s burpee, etc...

PR - Got my first bar muscle-up!

@ HBCYR w/ The Repenters


1. Jump squats
2. Mountain climber push-ups
3. Jumping lunges
4. Sprints

Friday @ Western Pines w/ Jireh

3 Rounds (max reps)
1 min HSPU
1 min burpee thrusters (25 lbs dumbbells)
1 min KB snatch (55 lbs)
1 min break


Rest day

Wednesday @ CF Sarnia

Squat snatch: 5 x 2 @ 95 lbs
(1 rep = squat snatch from mid thigh + one from floor)
Drop snatch: 2 x 65 lbs, 2 x 85 lbs, 2 x 95 lbs, 2 x 95 lbs, 2 x 95 lbs
Snatch pulls: 5 x 2 @ 135 lbs

Tuesday @ Fit 4 Less w/ Joe 

Leg press: 3 x 10
Front squat: 5 x 5
Deadlift: 5 x 5

- Then -

7 min burpees (jumping on a 45 lbs plate)

Monday @ CF Sarnia

Push jerk
2 x 95 lbs, 2 x 115 lbs, 2 x 135 lbs, 2 x 155 lbs, 2 x 165 (singles)

- Then -

2 Rounds
20 Thrusters (115 lbs)
20 L-pull-ups (only did the first 10 as L-pull-ups; remaining were kipping)

5 min rest

2 rounds (only finished 1 round)
750 row

Thursday, October 11, 2012

WOD 2012.10.11

CFM @ 7 p.m.

Skill warm-up
3 rounds not for time
5 wall climbs
10 overhead squats (45#)
(wall climbs get tiring!)

For time:
70 burpees
60 sit-ups
50 kettlebell swings (55 lbs)
40 wall balls (20 lbs)
500 m run
(Time: 15:06)

Back squat
5 x 185 lbs, 5 x 205 lbs
5 x 5 x 225 lbs

Thrive Diet - Day 3 Reflections

Today, I didn't even have a cup of Teecino! I kept reusing my teabag from Starbucks this morning (Vanilla Roobios tea). Having lots of fruit on hand helps a lot with the coffee cravings. I also bought lunch at the cafe since they made curry. I had the vegetarian curry, and opted not to have the tandoori chicken (I know .. typing this pains me).

Shortly after lunch, I went for a swim. I know - maybe it wasn't the wisest idea. Nevertheless, I felt great after the swim. Lunch workouts do a great job at resetting my day. I came back recharged and ready to work some more.

One thing I noticed is that I'm a lot more regular. I also have higher overall energy levels. We'll see if I can get stronger on my CrossFit Totals from this vegan diet. As I'm typing, I'm eating my post-workout dinner of brown rice and vegetables =)

Excited for family devotions tonight! Romans 5 =) One of my favorite passages is Romans 5:1-8. Check it out!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

WOD 2012.10.10

Paleo Challenge Part II: A Date with Fran

Today's workout was Fran: 21-15-9 of thrusters (95#) and pull-ups. I almost tied my previous score with 6:02 (missed it by a second!).

Going in, I decided to pace myself. From what I recall before, I would go hard on the thrusters, and then die. I made sure to keep a consistent pace and breathe. Here was how I broke it down (the latter part not by choice!):

21 thrusters: unbroken
21 pull-ups: 11-10
15 thrusters: 7-8
15 pull-ups: 5-5-5
9 thrusters: 6-3
9 pull-ups: 7-2

As relaxed as I looked (that's what my coach said), I was in pain, lungs burning, and forearms numb. To improve, I need stronger squats, better pull-ups / grip, and improve cardio capacity. My goal for the re-test is to maintain the same pace but to go through all movements unbroken.

Thrive Diet - Day 2 Reflections

Breakfast was a Vega One shake along with some warm soup (cauliflower / ginger) courtesy of my mom :) I ate my lunch (quinoa, eggplant, cauliflower) the moment I got to work. And then, I pretty much ate every hour on the hour! A pear at 10 a.m., a banana at 11 a.m., leftover salad / hemp protein shake at 12 p.m., some lentil soup shortly after, an orange at 1 p.m., ... and a 2 hour gap! ... before an avocado. On the way home, I ended up eating an apple. I snacked on some quinoa before CrossFit and had a protein shake after (some combination of hemp, pea and cranberry proteins). And I only had one cup of herbal coffee and it was oh so good! Staying coffee- and meat-free so far :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

WOD 2012.09.10

Paleo Challenge - CrossFit Totals

Today marks Day 1 of the "Paleo" Challenge. For this challenge, my partner and I are doing the Thrive Diet and doing the benchmark tests before and after this 6-week challenge. Here are my scores (1 rep max):

Back squat: 255 lbs
Shoulder press: 125 lbs
Deadlift: 365 lbs

Here is a link to my previous scores. 

Thrive Diet - Day 1 Reflections

No coffee. No meat. Those would have to be the toughest things. Yet here I am, 9 p.m., and have been caffeine-free :) I had some help from Teecino, an herbal coffee, for the 2 p.m. energy drop.

It's hard to stay full on a vegan diet. Or rather, I need to get used to a different kind of fullness. I'm used to the wonderful bloated feeling of eating a good slice of meat. I got really hungry in the afternoon and grabbed a Larabar. I wanted to eat another, but then forced myself to wait.

Dinner, after CrossFit as usual, was delicious, compliments of my mom :) I think I could get used to this diet ... for the next 6 weeks. Just need to avoid any positive thoughts of meat and coffee.

"I don't like eating meat. I'm not interested in drinking coffee. Repeat."

Monday, October 8, 2012

WOD 2012.10.08

Rest Day

Energy Management

Yes, it's yet another rest day. This is - in part - to make up for the missed rest day last Thursday. The main reason, however, is energy management.

I have a fixed amount of energy and need to choose my activities wisely. I will not do a hard workout if I have a tough work week ahead and am still sick. I will work on more creative activities in the morning, and more mechanical tasks later in the afternoon. Energy management is about knowing when and how to pace,  when to go hard, and when to say no.

"Paleo" Challenge

Our gym is holding a 6-week Paleo Challenge. The Paleo diet is based on foods available to cavemen during the Paleolithic Era (meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds). The Paleo Challenge will be done in teams of 2 with prizes given to teams with overall improvement in fitness, measured by body fat % loss, improvement in strength, and improvement in cardiovascular fitness.

My partner and I did this challenge last time following the Paleo diet as best as possible. This time, we signed up for the Challenge, except we will be following a vegan diet based of Brendan Brazier's Thrive Diet. The idea behind this diet is to keep your body alkaline to improve recovery. If you recover faster, you can train harder.

I expect to lose a bit of muscle, though I'm hoping not too much since one of my goals is to get a lot stronger. I stocked up on some vegan protein, so we'll see how that goes.

One of the other things I hope to get from the Thrive Diet is overall increase in energy. This will be interesting since I will be avoiding caffeine during this 6-week period (not even green tea). Let the games begin!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

WOD 2012.07.10

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Rest Day

9 a.m. @ HBCYR
"Good News", Romans 1:8-17
Expressing Thanksgiving (v. 8-10)
Filled with passion (v. 11-13)
Under obligation (v. 14)
Bold for the Gospel (v. 15-17)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

11 a.m. @ CFM w/ Victor

3 Rounds for Time
Run 800 m
20 Box Jumps (20")
20 SDHP (75 lbs)

Friday, October 5, 2012

6 p.m. @ CFM

Shoulder Press
3 x 95 lbs, 3 x 115 lbs, 3 x 95 lbs, 3 x 95 lbs, 6 x 95 lbs

Double unders
(I forgot my time, but sit-ups were definitely a limiting factor. My double-unders are getting better)

8 p.m. @ Home - with Victor, a good friend of mine :)

20 min AMRAP
10 DB snatch each arm (30 lbs)
20 SDHP (75 lbs KB)
30 Squat jumps

Thursday, October 4, 2012

WOD 2012.10.04

Rest Day

"Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love."

1 Corinthians 16:13-14


Update: "Rest Day" ended up looking like this

1 RM clean (got up to 185 lbs, failed at 205 lbs)

- Then -

3 Rounds for Time
12 OHS @ 95 lbs
21 Push-ups
400 m run
(Time: 15 mins)
Push-ups definitely the limiting factor.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

WOD 2012.03.10

2012-10-03 @ CFM

Skill warm-up
3 Rounds
10 pistol squats (each leg)
10 strict pull-ups

7 mins
1 Hang Power Clean @ 145 lbs
1 Toe-to-bar
2-2, 3-3, ...(got up to 7 rounds)

15 mins to accumulate up to 5 min L-sit (rings)
(got a bit over 3 mins)

2012-10-02 @ CFM

1 mile run
GHD sit-ups / raises
4 x 9 squats @ 135 lbs

3 Power Snatch EMOM for 10 min @ 95 lbs
(did a few at 105 lbs, but poor form)

2 muscle-ups (scaled to 6 dips)
4 HSPU (kipping)
8 KB swings @ 72 lbs
(~5 rounds? wasn't keeping count)

Then .... got my first post-pneumonia muscle-up!