Monday, October 20, 2014

The Return of #jckitchen

Carmie's back!

My beautiful girlfriend just got back from Italy Saturday night. To celebrate, we decided to cook together. The menu? Steak, grilled vegetables, salad, and homemade tomato sauce!

Here are some pictures:

Homemade tomato sauce!

The Sauce!

Making good use of our grill - Steak!

Grilling peppers and mushrooms

Sliced peppers to flatten for better grilling

Aerial view of deliciousness

Close-up of the grilled veggies

A well-plated meal

Leftovers are the best!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Abs > BBQ

Morning coffee: Tim Hortons Medium Black Coffee


6 a.m. wake-up. No morning workout, opting for rest.

Took time to make and enjoy breakfast.


Same general breakfast / lunch, switching mixed greens with the romaine.


I was walking by the cafeteria and found out it was BBQ day! Fortunately, I didn't bring my wallet and had made lunch.

While I definitely love BBQ, I like feeling fit a bit more. Here's the lunch I ended up eating today :)

myfitnesspal profile

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Being boring with habits

Morning coffee: Tim Hortons Medium Dark Roast
... then a small cup of freshly brewed coffee at the office :)


"For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you." --1 Thessalonians 4:3-8


I woke up this morning at 6 a.m. and started my exercise routine at 6:30 a.m. My goal during this time was to complete a specific work set, and more importantly, to improve my quality of life during my work day. I held back on one exercise, saving it for tonight. I'm learning to listen to my body and think long term.


Yesterday was my first time back to CrossFit Markham in a long time (at least a month, if not more). And I was definitely dying during the warm-up. Came back to life only to die again during the workout! Nevertheless, it was fun to be back and tempting to go back more often. 

I need to remember the difference between training and exercise. I'm currently following a strength training protocol, so my metabolic conditioning has dropped significantly. The strength I'm trying to develop requires a long-term perspective and the daily persistence to put in the work. I'll still try to have fun, but not at the expense of my current training program. Too many things will result in lack of focus, and lack of results.

Stay the course.


Are you on myfitnesspal? If so, let's connect! If not, join ... then connect with me :) Here is the link to my profile.

Le Same Breakfast & Lunch
I'm learning to be boring with habits. Yes, this is the exact same photo as yesterday's post. Asides from an extra egg this morning, my breakfast and lunch have been identical - plus the delicious veggie sandwich a coworker made. Ideas for future meals!

Le Delicious Sandwich
Almost two years ago, I wrote about being boring with my habits. That was my resolution for 2013. This is a continual process for me. 

I want to be boring, so that I can have predictable habits, which will invariable lead to predictable results. For starters, I've lost over 10 lbs over the past month through changing my daily habits. I'm sure there will be more up and downs, but I'm going to take it one day at a time, having fun along the way :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

2014.10.06 Morning Coffee

Morning Coffee: McDonald's Small Coffee
... then shortly after, Tim Hortons Small Coffee :)


"Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more." --1 Thessalonians 4:1


"Blameless" by Building 429


A great post on waking up early: Sleep Hacking: A 21-Day 4:30am Early Rising Challenge

While 4:30 a.m. is a bit nuts for me at this moment, I like the ideas and the story she tells of her journey. Today, I woke up at 6 a.m., no snooze :)


Back to Basics.
Started logging again on myfitnesspal.

Today's breakfast + lunch

Friday, October 3, 2014

2014.10.03 Morning Coffee

Morning Coffee: Tim Hortons Medium Coffee


I woke up at 5 a.m. yesterday and today to make it to the gym for the 6 a.m. class. I've been trying to "beat the sunrise" everyday and get up by 5 a.m. If my body needs rest and I have the opportunity, I'll take it!

Other times, I just need to wake up and get into the grind. Wake up, embrace life, and set about your day with purpose and excitement!

"Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." --Benjamin Franklin

I'm in no ways proof of this statement, but I'm learning to learn from the timeless wisdom of ages past.


"Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days." Psalm 90:14


I finished my first speech contest! Was I ever nervous!! This was our Toastmaster Club's Humorous Speech Contest. My speech was titled "My Love Affair with Coffee".

I got a lot of positive feedback and the group was very supportive. I was disqualified, having gone over by 6 seconds. Despite that, I had so much fun! For me, getting through the speech contest was my personal win. I feel a bit more confident and excited to continue with the rest of my speeches in the Toastmasters' program.


Chicken Coconut Soup with Peanut Butter #IMU

Reviewing some notes at Tim Hortons and went through 4 cups of hot water to battle my cold

York Region booth at Markham Fair showing the "Build Your Intersection" activity and connecting with the public on the future of transportation in York Region.

Coffee break. Cheese croissant, fresh from the oven. Couldn't resist :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

2014.10.01 Awake before 5 a.m.

Morning coffee: Starbucks Grande Bold


I woke up today at 4:15 a.m. by accident. I woke up with a sore throat, so instead of falling back asleep, I went to the kitchen and drank some water. Hey, why not boil some water and gargle some salt water? There was some congee sitting on the stove, so I was heating that up too. It wasn't even 5 a.m. yet!

At 5 a.m., I began my workout routine. Today is Foundation work (F7) from the gymnasticbodies program. I'm still on the first progressions, but almost done! I've been a bit slack on my handstand work due to a wrist injury, but I'm getting back into the swing of things. In fact, I was practicing some handstands the past couple days and my wrists were feeling better! Before you think handstands are a "cure-all", note that I gave it plenty of rest and had a few sessions of physio from my dad's magical hands.


Art of Manliness video, Take Pride in Your Pregame by Leveling Up Your Morning Routine


"Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." --Colossians 3:2-3

How to Find Strength in the Strength of God, by John Piper


Today is my first speech contest at Toastmasters. Nervous excited!


Date night on Main St Markham - Part 1 Johnny Bistro!

Seafood Platter Melody
Pan seared tiger shrimp, basil pesto marinated scallops, and marinated calamari over a filleted roasted red pepper drizzled with olive oil and spring mix.

Chicken Souvlaki Dinner
Herb and garlic marinated chicken, charcoal grilled. Served over rice, with roast potatoes, a side Greek salad, and Johnny's homemade tzatziki.

Chicken and the Goat
Tender grilled chicken breast topped with basil pesto and crumbled goat cheese. Served with rice (or roast potatoes) and a grilled vegetable kabob.

Princess Carmelina
Beautiful Mediterranean Babe, with a sunshine for a smile and dangerously cute. Smooth with words such as "your eyes are like almonds, your nose like a pylon..."

Lava Chocolate Cake
The dessert menu was brought on a platter. The cake tasted fresh and chocolaty. Everything about this cake was perfect!

Date night on Main St Markham - Part 1 Ci Gusta Markham

Tradition (both the Ci Gusta visit and the photo taking). Don't worry, she got a picture of me taking a photo too!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2014.09.30 Morning Coffee

Morning Coffee: McDonald's Medium Black Coffee


6 a.m. wake-up to ensure I don't get too tired in the evening tonight. After all, tonight is date night :)


"Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving." Colossians 2:6-7


Early morning motivation: Rise and Swim (Welcome to the Grind)



Meditation Techniques for People Who Hate Meditation (Fast Company)

5 Easy Ways to Get More Done (Inc.)

How Entrepreneurs Can Increase Their Productivity (Forbes)

10 minutes with wanderlust co-founder jeff krasno - steal his ideas! (lululemon blog)

Monday, September 29, 2014

2014.09.29 Morning Coffee

Morning Coffee: Starbucks Tall Bold
(last week was a Grande size. my goal is to bring down my consumption to 1 cup a day)


Insights from God's Word,

"A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back." --Proverbs 29:11

"But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead." --Philippians 3:7-11


Adventures at the Main St Markham Farmers' Market

We picked up some fresh produce and made a delicious salad!
Inspiration: The Hundred Foot Journey

Why didn't I discover this sooner?

Koribbean = Korean + Caribbean! What a great summer business, Koribbean Girl

We happened to be here on the day of the chili contest!

We ended up trying the spicy and the vegetarian creations. Both were delicious!

Friday, September 26, 2014

2014.09.26 Morning Coffee

Morning Coffee: Starbucks Grande Bold


I woke up this morning at 5 a.m. ... then snoozed until 6 a.m. I noticed that I slept right away after I came home and felt pretty awake at 5 a.m. but stayed in bed since I thought I needed more sleep. I have a morning routine, and need a "power down" routine. I also need a reason to be up so early in the morning, so some pre-planning may be required.


"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." --John 1:14


Tonight's workout: I got some pretty good feedback on my coaching. I'll try adding mini finishers in between and think of a theme. Maybe TGIF? (Thighs & Glutes, Instant Fun ... or Impenetrable Fortress?) And I'll keep working on my flow and organization so people don't leave feeling they didn't get a workout.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

2014.09.25 Five A.M. Mornings

Morning coffee: Starbucks Grande Bold


"Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you." --Psalm 128:1-2

"A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls." --Proverbs 25:28


I woke up at 5 a.m. this morning! The first of many early mornings :) I can't wait to wake up at 5 a.m. again tomorrow!

Loving life!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

2014.09.24 Morning Coffee

Morning coffee: McDonald's brewed coffee, medium black


This morning, I woke up at 5:30 a.m. My goal is to be up at 5 a.m. on a daily basis. To build this habit, 
... I'm sleeping earlier
... I'm waking up a bit earlier each day
... I'm building routines in the morning and evening
... I wake up with a purpose and a reward (e.g. morning brew)
... I have fun along the way :)


Wisdom from Proverbs 14

v. 23 "In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty."

v. 29 "Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly."


Fitness updates

I recently toned down on CrossFit and heavy lifting. My focus has shifted from exercising to training. What are my goals? Why does this workout achieve? Does it align with my long-term plans?

Note: You can still "train" using CrossFit, and a lot of my friends do. The important thing is to plan and to be deliberate. For me, it is difficult to use CrossFit as part of my training as those workouts usually take a lot out of me (as they should!), leaving me little energy for my personal training goals.

And what are my fitness goals? On a high level, my goals are to move well and live a healthy life.

The implications for me include,
... Managing my workouts and rest so I have enough energy for my other commitments (work, relationships, church)
... Using the GymnasticBodies program as my main strength training program 
... Rediscovering the joy of running again
... Lifting and WODs for mobility and conditioning

For me, the GymnasticBodies program is the best strength training program I know. I've only been consistent with this for the past week, but I think the program is pretty smart. The integrated mobility and strength training works to rebuild my body from the ground up. 

I'll leave it here for now. The website does a better job explaining this than I do. I also need to get stronger and let my results speak for themselves :) Until then, happy training!

Friday, June 13, 2014

2014.06.13 Work

From Tim Keller's The Gospel in Life series, Session 6 "Cultivating the Garden"

The gospel changes
... the motivation for our work
... the ethics of our work
... our conception of our work


Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

Meaningful, restorative rest in Christ


Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24

Serve Christ


The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

Genesis 2:15

God designed us to work and cultivate, taking raw materials and creating something beautiful.


WOD 2014.06.12

Romanian deadlift
5x5 @ 155 lb
great movement to stretch and strengthen my back

Every 2 min, sprint 200 m
x 10
I love running, but this was really hard!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

2014.06.12 On Busyness

Recently read: Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung.


Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:38-42

The good portion of our day is being with Jesus.


A man may preach from false motives. A man may write books, and make fine speeches, and seem diligent in good works, and yet be a Judas Iscariot. But a man seldom goes into his closet, and pours out his soul before God in secret unless he is serious.

J.C. Ryle


I am more and more convinced that what gives a ministry its motivations, perseverance, humility, joy, tenderness, passion, and grace is the devotional life of the one doing ministry. When I daily admit how needy I am, daily meditate on the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and daily feed on the restorative wisdom of his Word, I am propelled to share with others the grace that I am daily receiving at the hands of my Saviour.

Paul Tripp


It's not wrong to be tired. It's not wrong to feel overwhelmed. It's not wrong to go through seasons of complete chaos. What is wrong--and heartbreakingly foolish and wonderfully avoidable--is to live a life with more craziness than we want bcause we have less Jesus than we need.

Kevin DeYoung


WOD 2014.06.11

3 position snatch (from ground, top of knee, high hang)
45 lb, 65 lb, 95 lb, 115 lb, 125 lb, 125 lb

20 min AMRAP
10 pistols
15 pull-ups
Score: 6 rounds, 12 pull-ups
(PB: 11 rounds, 8 pistols)

Food Selection Matters, Charles Poliquin

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Trust in the Lord with all your heart, 
  and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways, acknowledge Him, 
  and He will direct your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes. 
  Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh 
  and refreshment to your bones.
-- Proverbs 3:5-8

This is a convicting passage. Each phrase challenges my motives and choices. And how I long for this healing and refreshment that comes from a grounded life!


An interesting thought today from Seth Godin: It is far easier to love what you are paid for than to try to get paid for what you love.


I have not been to the gym for a few days battling a cold/flu. Rest makes many things better. If all goes well, I will get to work on one of my favorite lifts (the snatch) and do one of my favorite workouts ("Mary").

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

wed may 7 - rest day

this morning, I had every intention of doing a workout at 6 a.m. when I woke up, my body demanded otherwise. today is definitely a rest day.


what is my job?


the irony of social media

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Sore ... haha!

I'm sitting at my desk about to start my work day. And wow, am I ever sore! It's not just muscle sore, but also energy/glycogen-depleted sore.

I haven't been blogging in a while, but I have been keeping fit. Here's a brief update.

Olympic Lifting

I attended the CrossFit Weightlifting course (April 26-27) and learned so much! Here are some quick highlights:

  • Head trainer was Josh Everett!!
  • Camille Leblanc-Bazinet was there too! I saw her snatch 190 lb and finish Fran shortly after in 1:59
  • My lifts feel more solid. The highlight for me was hitting a 155 lb snatch.
  • PVC pipes are tiring :)
  • I met a lot of great trainers, coaches and athletes. Blessed and grateful.

Half Marathon

This past Sunday, I joined Carmelina for her first half marathon! Carm was a bit nervous and did not think she could finish. We picked up the slowest pace band we could find (3:15 for the half marathon) and just went for it. The short story is we finished it in 3:14, together, with tears of happiness, disbelief and joy :) A great first race! It goes without saying that I'm extremely proud of her and excited as we continue to become the best we can be physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally.


Monday May 5 @ 8:30 p.m.

Clean ladder
5 sets of 6 x 95 lb
- 2 min break -
5 sets of 4 x 135 lb
- 2 min break -
5 sets of 3 x 155 lb
- 2 min break
6 sets of 1 x 185 lb
(was supposed to be sets of 2)

Tuesday May 6 @ 6 a.m.
(sore from yesterday!)

Push jerk
3 x 95 lb, 3 x 95 lb, 3 x 145 lb, 3 x 145 lb

20 min AMRAP
10 push press (95 lb)
20 deadlifts
30 alt KB swings
40 sit-ups
(2 rounds + 20 swings)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Thinking Long Term During CrossFit Training

Last month, I was in Cornwall for Family Day and dropped into one of my favorite gyms, Caveman Strong (post). While I was there, Coach Tyler said something that struck me, "Think long term". It sounds simple, but it made an impression on me.

Case in point: My current back squat is 305 lb. I want to keep improving and one day hit 400 lbs! But, will I still be squatting 400 lbs when I'm 70? How much is too much? If you have a 400 lb squat with good mechanics and structural integrity, great! But if you don't have the proper mechanics and the anatomical foundation, strength your weaknesses.
Stretch more. Improve mobility. Develop gymnastic skills. Learn how to breathe. Move in unfamiliar environments.
Recently, I came across Canadian Sports for Life's LTAD Training Model (Long Term Athletic Development). The basic idea is that long term health and wellness is key, whether you are a recreational athlete or elite competitor.

Long term athletic development is important in all areas of training. And this brings me to my personal experience with CrossFit.

When I do CrossFit, it's easy to focus on the immediate goals / PRs (squat, 5 K run, snatch, Fran, etc.). This is especially true for the CrossFit Open.

Before going in, I told myself I would be "one and done", like many other CrossFit athletes, including elite athletes. Then, I redid the first workout (14.1) twice. I did the second workout (14.2) three times. I looked at my score and compared it to my friends. I was so focused on those extra reps.
Maybe my friends or coaches will think I'm fitter or cooler or ____ if I get those extra reps in.
After 14.2, I didn't really workout until Saturday, when we did 14.3. My shoulders were fatigued to the point where my whole body was tired and sore. When I redid 14.2 on Monday, I also missed a squat session (improving my squat is also another goal of mine that I neglected recently).

My goal isn't to make it to the Regionals. We each have our own goals, and the way we attack Open workouts or any other endeavor in life depends on our individual goals and abilities.

This past Saturday, I did 14.3. My goal going in was to pull 315 lb once. It didn't happen. I finished with 17 reps at 275 lb. Was I satisfied with the number? Not initially. Did I give my best? Yes. More importantly, is my back okay? Asides from a bit of soreness, I'm still able to move :)

This morning, I thought about redoing 14.3. That thought didn't last long! Sure, maybe my scores aren't as competitive relative to some friends (especially my little bro), but these scores are amazing because I gave my best for each of those workouts.

Long term, what do I need to do? I need to do today's WOD, not do 14.3 ... again. So, I did the 5 sets of front squats. I did the 12 min AMRAP. I showered, downed a recovery shake, then headed to work.
My performance in workouts do not define me. Who I am defines how I approach my workouts and other endeavors.
I will need to remind myself of this each day as I know I will often fail and forget.
But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. --Philippians 3:13-14 

Mon March 17 @ RCFEW

Front squats
5x135#, 5x185#, 5x5x205#

- then -

12 min AMRAP
15 wall ball shots (30 lb)
15 toes-to-bar
15 burpees
(3 rounds + 7 reps)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Getting a job at Google

First, I do not work for Google :)

I recently came across an article from the New York Times on How to Get a Job at Google. While working for Google may seem beyond the grasp of many (including myself), there are several lessons I found that I can apply to my work and life today.

1. Your ability to learn (general cognitive ability) is more important than what you already know.

2. Leadership is not defined by a title but by your capacity to respond to various situations, and knowing when to step up and when to step back.

3. You don't have to be an entrepreneur to take ownership for your work.

4. Remain humble. You need a big ego and a small ego.

5. "Expertise" can be taught. Talent is not enough.

6. Don't rest on your laurels, including your education or past experiences. Keep educating yourself and creating new experiences.
Your degree is not a proxy for your ability to do any job. The world only cares about — and pays off on — what you can do with what you know (and it doesn’t care how you learned it). And in an age when innovation is increasingly a group endeavor, it also cares about a lot of soft skills — leadership, humility, collaboration, adaptability and loving to learn and re-learn. This will be true no matter where you go to work.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

WOD 2014.03.11

7 p.m. @ CrossFit Ark

Front Squat
5 x 135 lb, 3 x 185 lb, 1 x 235 lb, 1 x 255 lb (PR!), 0 x 265 lb (2 attempts)

- then -

10 min AMRAP
5 strict pull-ups
10 burpees
15 air squats
(217 reps)

- then -

Ankle mobility seminar with Dr. Keith Tse! If you're in the Aurora area, check him out at Meridian Wellness!

- golf ball / lacross ball along arch (which connects to your calves too!)
- barbell to smash / roll Achilles' tendon and calves
- massage tibialis posterior (thumb pressure down and up), and flex/extend or rotating ankle
- open ankle joint capsule (manual stretch and distraction using strength band)
- stretch gastrocnemius and soleus

Disconnecting to Connect

So today, I forgot my cell phone at home. I found out only after boarding the GO train. I started to worry.

After taking a step back to think, I calmed down. When I got downtown, I went to a payphone to let Carmelina know I don't have a phone for the day. I sent an e-mail later to my supervisor. Then I started to get to work.

And wow, I just dialed in. There were several moments where I wanted to grab my phone to pass time. But then I took a breath, and just enjoyed the surroundings or explored my thoughts.

It is so easy to get distracted. Removing that distraction was freeing. I was disconnected. And for that temporary time, I felt connected. More connected to people around me. More connected to my work. And most importantly, more connected to my purpose and who I am.

Monday, March 10, 2014

WOD Updates 2014.03.10

Today was the first day I dropped into Reebok CrossFit East Woodbridge with Carmelina! We made it out for the 7 a.m. class and WOW! So much fun! I've included the workouts I did this morning, along with workouts from Friday and Saturday.
Monday March 10

Open WOD 14.2
Attempt 3: 79
Unfortunately, my progress on this workout was nonlinear :P My shoulders and hands were definitely taxed from the weekend. Oh well :) I gave my best. 79 reps was my best this morning.
10 min AMRAP
5 squat cleans (135 lb)
12 burpee over bar
(5 Rounds)
With about a minute left in my last round, Coach Ben came by to watch the last few minutes. That unlocked beastmode! haha! Definitely a pace I can't maintain yet for the full 10 minutes.
Sunday March 9

Rest Day

Saturday March 8

Open WOD 14.2

For as long as possible:
From 0:00-3:00
  2 rounds of:
  10 overhead squats, 95 / 65 lb.
  10 chest-to-bar pull-ups
From 3:00-6:00
  2 rounds of:
  12 overhead squats, 95 / 65 lb.
  12 chest-to-bar pull-ups << this is where I died :)
From 6:00-9:00
  2 rounds of:
  14 overhead squats, 95 / 65 lb.
  14 chest-to-bar pull-ups

Attempt 1: 39
Attempt 2: 78
I missed the time cap by 1 rep on my first attempt!! After a significant improvement in my second attempt, someone came over and said with a look of disappointment, "That's because you don't push yourself", referring to my first attempt. I felt like I gave it my all, and that my hands were sore, and blah blah blah. But after a bit of honest reflection, it's true. I don't push myself (as much as I could). I don't like being uncomfortable. 
Mobility (shoulder, back)

Snatch work (snatch + a few OHS)
@ 75 lb, 95 lb, 115 lb, 135 lb

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

WOD updates

The March 6

Rest Day.
"No rest, no recovery. No recovery, no intensity." Chris Spealler

Wed March 5

8 p.m. @ CrossFit Markham
2x: 10 man makers, 10 box step ups, 2 laps
Squat cleans: 5x95#, 5x115#, 5x145#, 5x165#
5 min AMRAP
500 m airdyne
10 burpee over box (24")
20 KB swings (24 kg)
30 hand release push ups
40 double understand
(Got to 25 DUs)
2 min rest
7 min AMRAP
500 m airdyne
10 burpee over box (24")
20 KB swings (24 kg)
30 hand release push ups
40 double understand
(Got to 70 m on airdyne)

Weakness: push-ups

Tue March 4

8 p.m. @ CrossFit Markham
Warm-up 6 min alt tabata: mermaid rocks, hollow body rocks, kipping swings
6 min AMRAP
10 T2B
10 burpee to target
1 min rest
50 thrusters for time (135 lb)
(Rounds: 4, Time incl AMRAP: 15:40)

Mon March 3 

6 a.m. @ CrossFit Markham
Open WOD 14.1
10 min AMRAP
30 double unders
10 snatches at 75 lb
(Score: 258)

8 p.m. @ CrossFit Markham
Front squats: 4 x 10 @ 145 lb
- then -
For time:
50 wall balls (30#, 10' target)
21-15-9 C&J (135 lb) and C2B pull-ups
(Time: ~24 min ...)

Sun March 2 

2:30 p.m. @ Markville Fitness
Playtime (double unders, a few dips, etc.)

9:30 p.m. @ home
Then at home, some 3 x (15 dips, 15 bicep curls at 30#)

Sat March 1

11 a.m. @ CrossFit Markham
Open WOD 14.1
10 min AMRAP
30 double unders
10 snatches at 75 lb
(Score: 215)
some judging for the Open :)

Fri March 28


Thu March 27


Wed March 26

6 a.m. @ CrossFit Markham
CFM Diet Challenge Day 2
1 min at each station
Row calories
Box jumps
Power cleans 135/95lbs
1 min break
(Score: 168, I think; last time, 150)
Weight: 187.6 lb
Body fat: 17.5%

8 p.m. @ Bridle Trail Baptist Church
5 min AMRAP
1 Burpee tuck jump
6 alt jumping lunges
10 mountain climbers
- then -
Partner WOD
(5 x 1:00, EMOM 5 burpees)
C&J 95 lb
KB swings
Wall climbs
- then -
5x10 wall ball shots (20 lb) target 10'+
(alt with partner until each finishes 50 reps)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Keeping only what is useful

Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own. --Bruce Lee

I saw this quote yesterday and it got me thinking about what works and what doesn't work in my life. I often wonder why I still do things that "don't work" and don't keep doing things that "do work".

Today, I was thinking about what is useful in terms if food/drink consumption. I am trying to be consistent with paleo/zone and then add extra things as needed and see the effects of each variable. Being a coffee lover, I'm also trying to discover how my body best takes coffee and when it truly needs it.

- paleo/zone - this is a good base to start, but only keep what is useful to YOU (measurable, repeatable, precise) - when do I feel amazing eating protein / carbs / fat? when does my body best respond to fruit / sugar?

- coffee - does it promote energy or am I just drinking it when I'm stressed or need energy?

Food log + energy levels 

[the night before]

food prep! last night I bought some groceries and prepared a pretty solid meal the next few days. I plan to keep each day pretty much the same, with only small variations. here's what I have today. 
- fruit: 1 apple, 1 orange
- vegetables: Chinese broccoli
- meat: chicken drumsticks
- nuts and seeds (Brazil nuts)
- some starch: sweet potatoes

this is definitely a refreshing alternative to the fast food / high carb meals I have been eating after the diet challenge (gaining 10 pounds in less than a week). It wasn't useful and the enjoyment didn't last past the last bite. 


7:30 a.m. Wake up 
- slept through 2 earlier alarms; seeing what a "good day of sleep" looks like

8:00 a.m. Protein shake + PB, then a cup of coffee
- feeling great so far :)

10:00 a.m. Coffee
- still feeling amazing! need to beware of drinking copious amounts of coffee

11:30 a.m. Apple, small handful of Brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds
- feel good still, just starting to get hungry now (even after!)

1:30 p.m. ... feeling hungry :p ... wait for it ...

2:00 p.m. Lunch time! Sweet potatoes, Chinese broccoli, chicken drumsticks
- delayed gratification :) while I'm hungry, energy levels are still good

5:30 p.m. Snack (Orange + Brazil nuts / pumpkin seeds) + Stretches at my desk

7:30 p.m. protein shake + PB, leftover noodles
- felt good after the shake; told my body I needed the extra carbs... Didn't feel so good after

8 p.m. WOD @ CrossFit Markham

9:30 p.m. protein shake + PB

10:30 p.m. Soup :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

CF Open WOD 14.1

This morning, I redid 14.1 as part of the CrossFit Open.

Some say you should only do the workout once. In general, I agree. This time, both Carm and I decided to do it a second time.

Here is a record of my scores for 14.1 (10 min of 30 double unders and 15 snatches @ 75 lb)

Last year, Feb 4, 2013: 180 reps

Last Saturday, Mar 1, 2014: 215 reps

This morning, Mar 3, 2014: 258 reps

I was pretty happy with my improvement from last year (180 to 215). I was still doing CrossFit regularly when I hit 180, which tells me I'm steadily improving my fitness, becoming a stronger version of me :)

Now ... the big improvement from Saturday to this morning?

Sure, I watched a few videos and got some good tips. Yes, I did more muscle snatches in the beginning and focused on getting my double unders unbroken. But you want to know the real secret?

Okay, here it is. Instead of loading a 45 lb bar with two 15 lb plates, I loaded a 35 lb bar with two 15 lb plates and two 5 lb plates. The smaller grip on the 35 lb was definitely a big factor.

While I'm happy with the improvement, this identified/confirmed a big weakness of mine: grip strength. This is something I will continue working on. Also, while I was pretty happy with that, I still didn't beat my brother's score of 261 (first attempt, with shin splints ....).

Sunday, March 2, 2014

CrossFit - Coming Full Circle

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the CrossFit Level 1 Seminar with my brother, Jireh. We had a great time learning from excellent trainers and came away feeling better equipped to coach and excited to dig deeper into the world of fitness, both in and out of the CrossFit realm.

My Introduction to CrossFit

I was first introduced to CrossFit 6 years ago by Jordan (Xplore CrossFit). I remember I was doing something that resembled a clean/press with dumbbells, probably sets of 10, trying to get my heart rate up. In between sets, Jordan came up to me, introduced himself, and asked if I wanted to try out CrossFit.

I remember my first session with him learning how to squat. This was my first exposure to squat therapy (developing form / range of motion by facing a wall). I remembered I kept falling over and would practice at home. I would use this same approach to introduce some of the dragonboat athletes I helped coach couple years later!

A couple days after my first intro, Jordan invited me out to my first session. We warmed up with some handstand holds with our chest facing the wall. Being my first time in that position, I was a bit wary and uncomfortable. It's only recently that I realize the importance of the hollow body in the handstand from coaches at Caveman Strong.

After the warm-up, we got ready for the WOD (Workout of the Day): the Spartan 300. We had to accumulate 300 reps of various different movements, most of which I had to modify. Here's the blog post from nearly 6 years ago. Maybe I'll do it again for old time's sake. Anyone interested in joining?

During my one-year stint in Seattle, I dropped into the gym when I could, mixing the CrossFit workouts with my own.

Highlights of the Journey

Since then, I've had the opportunity to ...

... help coach the Iron Dragons for a couple years, where I got live test subjects to try different movements and fitness regimens

... make a lot of cool friends who share similar interests in gymnastics, endurance running, powerlifting, olympic weightlifting and more!

... train a few friends here and there, both individually and on a group level

... join my first ever CrossFit gym (and my current home gym): CrossFit Markham (the first place will always feel like home)

... workout with my family and seeing my mom laugh as she repped out banded pull-ups for the first time!

... visit other great training facilities, including Caveman Strong (my favorite!), Outlaw North, CrossFit Wallaceburg, CrossFit Sarnia, CrossFit Cordis, CrossFit Ark, Reebok CrossFit Firepower, and many more to come!

Why the CrossFit Level 1 Seminar?

All the information from the seminar is free and publicly available. There are cheaper alternatives to get involved in fitness coaching. Some are arguably even better. So why drop the money to take the course?

Simply put, I want to coach. As I was telling a friend earlier, I have a lot of enthusiasm but not much knowledge. I've been helping my friends with fitness, but there is only so much a guy can do if all he has is excitement.

Does this mean I'm qualified to coach now? (By the way, I just found out this morning I passed!)

No. At least, not anymore than I was before the course. The course definitely provided some good pointers and laid a solid foundation. But becoming a good coach is going to be a journey. The CF-L1 designation allows me to start gaining coaching experience, helping others ... making mistakes along the way, ... and if I'm lucky enough, ... change a few lives.

This is just the beginning of my journey. There is still so much to learn, both in and out of CrossFit. My goal is to develop competency over time in a variety of methods that will best serve the people I work with. Off the top of my head, I want to dig deeper into: gymnastics (, weightlifting (NCCP), personal training, poliquin, mobility (Ido Portal and Kelly Starrett), nutrition (Precision Nutrition), self study (anatomy and physiology sound fun!).

In the meantime, I welcome any tips / advice on developing as a coach and trainer.

Smile =)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

CFM Diet Challenge Re-Test - Day 1

WOD Tue Feb 2 @ CrossFit Markham

6 weeks ago

This morning at the 6 a.m. class ... PRs (Personal Records)!

Max push-ups (1 min): 36 (old: 30)
Back squat: 305 lb (old: 265 lb)
Push press: 175 lb (old: 155 lb)


(unplanned) cash-out of wall ball shots


These have improved, but still need work. I just need to be consistent and persistent in my practice. Push-ups are definitely a "goat".

Back squat

I finally broke 300 lb! Around a year ago, I hit 295 lb (low bar). In my excitement, I went for 315 lb. And failed. Thrice. A month later, I stopped going to CrossFit Markham as work was getting busy and money was a bit tight.

I've been doing a bit of strength work on my own, but I never went heavy nor was I consistent. I switched over to high bar squatting after reading an article from Outlaw North. While both have their merits, high bar was harder for me and it was something I wanted to develop.

The lack of consistency was discouraging at times. At one point in the summer, even 185 lb was too heavy. At the beginning of this 6 week challenge, I was back at 265 lb. I started back at CrossFit Markham with Carmelina around Christmas last year and have been trying to incorporate the Starting Strength routine in my regimen. While I was on/off, I did a lot of squatting over the past 6 weeks.

This morning, I was a bit nervous. My ideal goal this morning was to break 300 lb, but my back already felt a bit tweaky at 135 lb. And even worse at 225 lb. Maybe I squatted too much the past few days. Maybe my body is broken today. I decided to let go of the PR, save my back + think long term, and just give the best I had today.

I added 30 lb. 255 lb was less than 6 weeks ago. But that's okay. Long term health. It was still a struggle, but my back ... felt better??

20 more pounds. Skip the PR! I mean, all or nothing right? Down and up it went!

20 more? This is my PR from 1 year ago. And I actually hit 295 lb last month with a weightbelt and a spot. Yup! I was a little slow at the bottom, but pain free!

Okay, 3 plates (i.e. 315 lb)? "No, not this time. Think long term, Josh." I don't want to make the same mistake as I did a year ago. So I added 10 more pounds. 305 lb. This would break the 300 pound mark, a huge milestone for me (and a warm-up set for Jireh).

I was getting ready to go for it. The music pumped me up. I got under the bar. Two stomps (copied from Jireh). Stayed tight. Remembering the cues of the Level 1 Seminar Staff, still fresh in my mind. And watched by two great coaches (Ben and Gord).

Big breath ... and down I went. And up I went. Halfway.... I was stuck. My mind started to think. I told it to shut up and just move! It felt like a solid 10 seconds. The yelling around me got louder. My body kept fighting. Then breakthrough! I was up! I finally broke 300 lb!

The journey has just begun. 300 lb isn't the magic number. It was just a number that evaded me for over a year. I'm going to keep getting stronger. Keep doing those 5x5's. Keep targeting my weaknesses. And having fun along the way :)

Push press

I have relatively little to say compared to my back squat. Still, a 20 lb PR is a 20 lb PR. I definitely believe that the coaching I got over this weekend helped dial my technique in. Staying tight throughout this movement was key. Abs tight. Butt tight. Ribs down.

Cash Out

So, I was on my way out when I saw Andrew by the wall with a 30 lb wall ball. Curious, I went over to see what he was up to. 100 wall ball shots to a 10 ft target at 30 lb.

"Wow, cool! Good for you!" I thought.

"Do it with me."

What?! I just PR'd and felt great. But hey, I want to get stronger and fitter right? In reality, I was a bit scared. Scared to "go there". To go to that threshold of fun and pain.

After thinking for all of 10 seconds, I walked over and picked up a 30 lb wall ball. "Hey, this feels pretty light." I thought. I didn't think about the rep scheme much. Who has time for that?

I started with the first 20 unbroken. Then 10's. After 60, I started to break it into 5's. It was really hurting. But Andrew reminded me that "the burn you get feels amazing, but you have to work for it!" I thought back to this weekend, to what Matthieu Dubreucq said, "To be excellent, you need to be willing to do the unsexy stuff, the things that few are willing to do." (paraphrased)

At 91 reps, I was toast. 9 more right? "Let's do 20 reps unbroken." Andrew said. He was pretty much doing an AMRAP of these while I tried to hit it.

At this point, I was doing sets of 3-5. It was not looking good. But I kept pushing and finally finished those 20 reps (111 total).

As Austin Malleolo mentioned, "Intensity is where the good stuff's at." For a long time, I have been unwilling to really go there. I would focus on technique alone. There's a balance though. Finding that threshold is key.

Like my back squat PR, hitting this level of intensity was new and exciting for me. But it's just the beginning. I have to keep hitting it hard day in and day out. It's not always fun and happy, but the "good stuff" comes from doing the "unsexy" stuff (not cool, don't feel like it, not heavy, boring ...).

Whether it's my lifting, met cons, running, stretching/mobility, or even rest days, I need to move/rest with purpose.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Point of Dating

Here's a good video that reminded me of the purpose of dating.

Friday, February 21, 2014

WOD Thu Feb 20 @ CrossFit Markham

Last night, I had the chance to hang out with some men from my small group. We went to CrossFit Markham for a fun workout then had some wings down the street. Here's what we did last night:

Row 1200 m

Skill work
Chest-to-bar pull-ups

3 rounds of
3 min AMRAP: 6 alt jumping lunges, 9 deadlifts (185#), 6 pull-ups
2 min rest
(Score: 8 rounds + 4 reps)

Here's a good article by James Clear about the lessons you can learn from a stained glass artist. He talks about making incremental changes. I love his closing paragraphs:
Of course, change isn’t easy — no matter how you do it. Slow gains are boring. They’re unsexy. Nobody writes news stories about them. But moving forward in a slow and methodical manner doesn’t mean you lack ambition, drive, or vision. The stained glass artist has a very clear vision. He knows exactly what he is working toward.
You and I can do the same. If we keep making small improvements, then pretty soon we will end up with a beautiful masterpiece on our hands instead of a bunch of fragments.
This morning, I came across a cool article on our identity and career. Two key points for me are:
  • We're not defined by our jobs. We're defined by our love.
  • We should let our identity define how we work, play, etc. We should not let our career define our identity.
I'll close with a passage I read this morning: Psalm 46. This is a powerful passage filled with assurance when times get tough or life just gets overwhelming. May it encourage you as it has encouraged me.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

WOD Tue Feb 18 @ CrossFit Ark

Jireh, Carmelina and I went to CrossFit Ark Tuesday night for a fun workout. This was one of those rare days where I beat my brother (Jireh) in a workout. He still remains dominant in virtually every other workout, including repping out front squats at 305# for 4 and blasting through those prowler pushes.

Today is definitely a rest day. I've been squatting and prowler pushing for the past 4 days. As much as I want to go into the gym again, my body needs to reset and recover. Rest is a beautiful thing :)

I've also started drinking my own version of Bulletproof Coffee (link). If you're a coffee lover and haven't tried it out yet, I highly recommend it! I used some organic coffee, goat butter (recipe calls for grassfed unsalted butter) and coconut oil (recipe calls for MCT oil). Here's a picture of my first attempt!

Anyways, here's what we did at the Ark yesterday:


3 min row @ 75%
1 min single skips
1 min Samson stretch
1 min squats (2 s hold at bottom)
1 min double unders


Front squat
5x135#, 5x185#, 5x205#, 5x225#, 2x2x225#


3 rounds for time:
75 double unders
50 squats
25 calorie row
(Time: 12:09)

Post-WOD conditioning:

Prowler push (160#), x3
6 tire flips in between each push

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

WOD Mon Feb 17 @ Caveman Strong

I had the chance to visit Cornwall on Family Day and had to stop in on my favorite gym! My siblings joined me for the workout. Here's what I ended up doing:


Straight-leg bear crawl (x2)
Duck walk (x2)
Table top overs
2 rounds:
10 PVC pipe (+5 lb) pass throughs
10 gymnastics stretch
10 kozak


Back squat
5x135#, 5x185#, 3x5x235#

10 ring rows in between each set of back squats


Prowler pushes (270#), x3

Sunday, February 16, 2014

WOD Sun Feb 16

Sun Feb 17:

Playing around @ Markville Fitness
- incl squats, pull-ups etc
- then fun workout with brothers :)

12 min AMRAP
5 burpees pull-ups
10 burped sprawls
3 bear complexes (95#)

Prowler push  (250#): 10 lengths each, team of 3

Sat Feb 15:

Back squat
2x5x135#, 5x185#, 5x5x245#
Shoulder press
Power clean

Prowler push (225#): 5 laps, 1:00 rest

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

WOD Tue Feb 11


Shoulder press
5x95#, 3x5x105#

Push press
3x115#, 3x135#, 3x155#

Push jerk
2x1x135#, 1x155#


12 min AMRAP
9 deadlifts (155#)
12 push-ups
15 box jumps (24")
(6 rounds + 8 DL)

Noisli - productivity simplified

Have you ever wanted to get work done, but had a hard time focusing?

It's hard for me to stay focused, whether it is at work, at home reading/studying, or even during a workout!

I have been trying several things to stay focused, including
  • listening to music
  • taking regular breaks
  • writing goals and setting priorities
  • changing environments
The last one is one of my favorites! I'm often quite productive in my favorite coffee shop(s), in libraries, .... and on the beach!

I recently came across a cool website called Noisli. The website features different types of background sounds that can be combined to your heart's content! They have white noise, coffee shop, water, rain, storm, trees, winds ... you name it! They also have an in-built text editor and changing colours so you can soak up the benefits of chromotherapy.

Here's what I did at work today for a superproductive day:
  1. Open Noisli in a new window and stretch it across your screen(s). This will serve as a soothing background as you do your work.
  2. Select your favorite sounds (and wear earphones). Today I had the rain, thunder and trees. Play it for periods when you need to concentrate, focus or just get in that "zone". Switch it up throughout the day for some variety.
  3. Work happily away =)

Work happy =)

Eat, drink and be joyful!

And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun. --Ecclesiastes 8:15

Monday, February 10, 2014

WOD Mon Feb 10


Back squat
1x135#, 1x185#, 5x5@225#

5x5 @ 135 lb

5x @ 135 lb
5x @ 185 lb
5x @ 205 lb
5x @275 lb

Saturday, February 8, 2014

WOD Sat Feb 8

Today was the Day 2 of the Free Indeed conference and wow. So much to digest. I'm glad I made the trip to Oakville though.

There's so much to share but I have some reflecting to do. Here is the main verse from the conference:

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." -- John 8:36

After grabbing a quick bite, I went to Markville Fitness for a quick strength workout (Starting strength inspired). Here's what I did:

Back squats: 5x5 @ 225#
Shoulder press: 5x5 @ 95#
Power clean: 5x5 @ 135#

Friday, February 7, 2014

WOD Fri Feb 7

I haven't really worked out since Monday. I was really sore from the heavy squats and the wall ball shots. I managed to get in this morning with Carm for the 6 a.m. This is what we did:


Overhead squats
2x5x65#, 2x5x95#, 5x115#


For time:
10 overhead squats (OHS) @ 95#
20 pull-ups
30 OHS
40 pull-ups
30 OHS
20 pull-ups
10 OHS
(Time: 25:00)

I had to drop the weight to 85# after the first set of OHS since my joints were in pain. Pull-ups and overhead squats are definitely weaknesses of mine. Need to work on my grip and scapular strength (and just overall fitness ... gassing out too quick :p)

11:30 p.m. update:

I just got back from Day 1 of the Free Indeed conference ( and was incredibly encouraged from my time there. When I got home, I felt an urge to just move, so I did. I rowed 2 km at a relaxed pace (~2:15/500 m) and did 3 sets of 10 push-ups and 10 squats.

I learned two things:

  • Moving is good. I need to move more often.
  • It's okay to break "rules", such as no late night workouts. I often get caught up in the rules and overanalyze, allowing these rules to become excuses. While I need to keep listening to my body, sometimes I need to just move.

Monday, February 3, 2014

WOD Mon Feb 3


Back squat with ~2 sec pause at the bottom
5x135#, 5x185#, 5x205#, 3x5x225#


150 wall ball shots (20#, 10' target)
Rest 5 min
100 push-ups

Total time: 26:22
"Karen" (150 wall balls): 11:29


There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. --Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 ESV

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. ... If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you. ... For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them;  but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” -- Proverbs 1:7, 23, 32-33 ESV

Putting away: complacency, idle thought and actions, senseless anger

Starting: morning with God, trust and obey throughout my day

WOD Updates

Sun Feb 2

Partner WOD

5 Rounds for time:
Row 20 calories
AMRAP: 5 KB swings (75 lb), 5 goblet squats (75 lb), 10 DB snatches (30 lb)

While Partner 1 rows 20 calories, Partner 2 accumulates as many reps as possible. Then switch. This is done 5 times.

J: 120, P: 125

Fri Jan 31

2 Rounds For max reps:
2 Minutes of Rope Climbs (15')
Rest 60 seconds
2 Minutes of Alternating Pistols
Rest 60 seconds
2 Minutes of Double-Unders
(Rope climbs: 9, Pistols: 94, Double unders: ?)


For time:
135/95 pound Thruster, 15 reps
135/95 pound Sumo deadlift high-pull, 21 reps
135/95 pound Thruster, 12 reps
135/95 pound Sumo deadlift high-pull, 15 reps
135/95 pound Thruster, 9 reps
135/95 pound Sumo deadlift high-pull, 9 reps
(Used 95#)

- then -

5 min AMRAP
10 C2B pull-ups
10 alt pistols
- 2 min rest -
10 box jumps (24")
10 shoulder to overhead (95#, instead of Rx 135#)

Wed Jan 29

Partner WOD
5 min alternating C&J @ 135#
- then -
5 min alternating thrusters @ 135#

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

WOD Tue Jan 28

Push press
2 x 6 @ 95 lb
2 x 5 @ 115 lb
2 x 4 @ 135 lb

4 rounds for time
10 hang c&j (135 lb)
20 pull-ups
3 min rest
(Time: 22:26, 3 rounds only)

Note: I only did 3 rounds today in part because everyone already finished and I had to head to work. The main reason though is that my body needed to stop. Knowing when to stop and when to push is something I'm still learning. Having gone to the 8 p.m. class last night, my goal was just to show up to the 6 a.m. class. I had to remind myself of that and think of the bigger picture.

Monday, January 27, 2014

WOD Mon Jan 27

Back squat:
7 x 135 lb, 7 x 185 lb, 7 x 205 lb,
4 x 7 @ 225 lb

3 min AMRAP
34 squat cleans (135 lb)
34 double unders
1 min rest
4 min AMRAP
34 squat cleans (135 lb)
34 double unders
(1 round + 8 cleans)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Weekend WOD

Sun Jan 26

10 min ArcTrainer (simulates the pains of the AirDyne if you adjust the resistance!)

4 rounds for time:
1 wall climb
10 burpees
1 wall climb
10 box jumps
1 wall climb
10 pull-ups
(Time: 20+ min, incl mid-WOD injury)

Sat Jan 25

Teams of 3
Row 6k

While 2 people Perform
100 burpees
100 wallballs
100 sit-ups
100 air squats
100 push-ups
(Time: 26:06)

Fri Jan 24

Back squats
4 x 9 x 185 lb, 3 x 225 lb
then, with belt, 3 x 225 lb, 3 x 3 x 245 lb

Carmie's Training Plan

Hey Carmie! Here's your weekly training plan to help you reach your goals. Have fun =)

Sam H Training Plan

Here is a training plan to get you started. If you're unsure of any movements, just let me know. Remember, technique/safety first. Then strength. Then intensity.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Slept in till 6 a.m.

6 a.m. is not normally my "sleep in" time.

You see, Carm and I have been going to CrossFit at 6 a.m. the past two days and were hoping to go again this morning. This morning, it was me that slept in, sleeping right through two calls from Carmelina an hour earlier! I definitely appreciate the extra hour and will sleep earlier next time.

Waking up early, being consistent in my workouts, remaining focused at work, being fully present ... all these are small goals I have more myself. These successes come from smaller successes, like avoiding that extra coffee late afternoon/night, saving the Facebook for later, and not giving in to small indulgences like I did last night at Timmy's.

It's very true that the bigger successes come from consistently making the right choices over time.

First ask yourself, What do you want to achieve? Who do you want to become?

Then, map out smaller achievements of how to get there. List some habits of the type of person you want to be.

And then, just do it! Celebrate the successes along the way and if you fall, just pick something up on your way up.


In my spare time, I'm trying to pick up a few skills that are useful for work and everyday life. One of them is graphic design. I found this cool website to get started. It's quite a skill to communicate complex information in meaningful ways.

Writing well is another skill I want to learn and develop. Here's a link I was given to help guide my writing. As always, advice is always welcome.

In other news, I'm taking my CF-L1 certification in February with my brother. Turns out that the cert is at the end of our 6-week Diet Challenge! How cool is that??


I complete forgot to write about this. But the other day, Carm and I met this super cool person that does cool stuff. Check her out.


Matthew 6:11 (from the Lord's Prayer), "Give us this day our daily bread"

This morning, I'm grateful that God provides for my needs each day, including food, shelter, friends and an opportunity to work.

Keep smiling, friends :)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

CFM Diet Challenge Testing - Day 2

I made it out to the 6 a.m. class ... again!

Weight: 189 lb
% Fat: 17.4

3 Rounds for Time
1 min row for calories
1 min pull-ups
1 min box jumps (24")
1 min power cleans (135 lb)
Score: 150 (50 reps per round ... definitely room for improvement)

Morning coffee: black medium coffee (Tim Hortons)

Key verse(s) from this morning: "Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for this life and also for the life to come." --1 Timothy 4:7-8

This morning, I'm thankful for,
... the opportunity to work downtown today
... a productive commute on the GO train
... making it out to the 6 a.m. CrossFit class
... energy and life
... showers haha!
... an encouraging girlfriend
... fresh(ish) air :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

CFM Diet Challenge Testing - Day 1

I made it out to the 6 a.m. class!

Hips: 41.25"
Waist: 32"

Push-ups (1 min): 30
Back squat (1 RM): 265 lb
Push press (1 RM): 155 lb

Morning coffee: black medium coffee (McDonald's)

Key verse(s) from this morning: "Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money." --1 Timothy 3:2-3

This morning, I'm thankful for,
... a smooth commute
... a cool girlfriend
... an interesting job
... fun coworkers
... friends from small group
... life and ability to move
... food to enjoy

Interesting quote: "Chasing meaning is better than avoiding discomfort." --Kelly McGonigal (TED Talk)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

First time using a weightlifting belt

So yesterday I picked up a weightlifting belt and tried it out this morning with some relatively heavy squats. I ended up hitting my old PR (295 lb).

I used to squat low bar and now mostly squat high bar, which is a bit harder on my quads and provides a better transfer to Olympic lifts. Here is the article that converted me to a high bar back squatter.

And yes, you can lift more with a belt. You can find many articles online advocating both sides. For me, I use it to prevent injury and to get comfortable with heavier weight.

With the increased difficulty of the high bar squat and the help from the belt, I think it's fair to say I haven't lost too much strength in my quads. On the other hand, getting back into CrossFit has shown me big areas of weakness and areas where I've gotten weaker (e.g. toes to bar) and areas where my technique needs work (e.g. power cleans). Needless to say, I'm excited to get back into CrossFit again, and hope to develop as an athlete and trainer.

Here is what I did this morning, which was also my last training session at GoodLife.

ArcTrainer, 5x (1:00 on, 1:00 off), increasing speed/resistance with each set
- kind of simulates an airdyne of you adjust the resistance.

Skill work:
5x, alternating between,
Handstand holds
Hollow body rocker

Back squat (with belt after 225#)
5x135#, 4x185#, 3x225#, 2x245#, 2x265#, 2x275#, 1x295#, 0x305#, 0x305#

Partner WOD
5 rounds of 10 box jumps
While one partner is doing box jumps, the other partner accumulates burpees.
(My score was 48 burpees)

Post WOD mobility:
Stretch, roll and floss :)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

WOD Tue Jan 7

5 x (1 hang squat clean, 1 squat clean, 1 split jerk)
95#- 95#-135#-165#-185#

18 min
5 Clean & Push jerk (135#, Rx was 155#)
15 box jumps (24")
3-5 muscle-ups
(Didn't get all the reps, and only 1 MU each round)

Monday, January 6, 2014

WOD Mon Jan 6 2014

Front squat, 3x135#, 3x185, 3x205, 3x225, 3x235

15 min AMRAP
3 thrusters @ 100#
3 burpees
3 chest-to-bar pull-ups
... 6,6,6
... 9,9,9
(Finished 15 pull-ups and 5 thrusters)