back squat EMOM

WOD Prep:

Russian Baby Maker

*Accumulate 3 Minutes


Every Minute On The Minute For 8 Minutes:

Back Squats

* Heavy As Possible

Completed: worked up to completing the reps at 125lbs.


For Time:

Muscle Ups

15 Kettlebell Swings (70/53)

15 Goblet Squats (70/53)

5 Muscle Ups

15 Kettlebell Swings (70/53)

15 Goblet Squats (70/53)

3 Muscle Ups

15 Kettlebell Swings (70/53)

15 Goblet Squats (70/53)

1 Muscle Ups

* 15 Minute Time Cap

Completed: in 11:14

Day 3 – To the Finish.

“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

After last night’s rant I slept like a log. Just goes to show you how pouring out all your struggles on a blog and then crawling between the blankets for bed can lead to sleeping oh, so soundly. It simply helps to get things out. It genuinely does make one feel better. Like hitting the refresh button.

Today in our Whole 30 FB Group, the question was asked – Why are you doing this? What do you hope to accomplish? We all want to lose a little weight so think of something besides that.

My FB response: I’m terrible at finishing things. I see the finish line and think, well, I’m almost there, good enough and stop mid stream. This has lead to many plateaus. I want to know what it feels like to finish, to push through the plateau and see true results. If I start with my body then I believe it will translate to other areas. New level of strength and endurance and confidence in training = changes in how I see the world = new opportunities.

Disclaimer on food – If you’ve read this blog you know I experiment with a lot of different approaches to my food; Whole 30, Intermittent Fasting, zone, Paleo, Paleo-zone while standing on one foot and eating over the kitchen sink. This is all a learning process. I love to experiment and learn what works best for my strength and happiness and health. In the end, the goal is to find what works best for me. End of story. My goal with joining our lovely Whole 30 FB Group is primarily to reign in my poor habits starting with the one area where I have instant and immediate control, my consumption of calories.

The Plan for the next 3o Days – I’ll be eating paleo; no sugar, no alcohol, no cheese, no legumes, no grains. If I reach for dairy (in the form of heavy cream in my coffee) it will only be allowed if sourced from a sustainable healthy beast; farm raised grass fed goats/cows.

Most importantly, the majority of my protein will be obtained from local, grass fed, humanely raised, animals. Whether it leads to CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Meat-Share, or a simple Saturday drive to the local farm to purchase a week’s worth of proteins. Hey, it’s the season of Farmer’s Markets too so what better time to rise to the challenge! Literally, on early Saturday mornings. The plan is still unfolding and it’s glorious to consider and research and strategize recipes.


Breakfast – coffee w/ heavy cream (finishing out the last of my Trader Joe’s heavy cream…)

2:30 Lunch – Chipotle salad to go, with extra lettuce, carnitas, pico de gallo (that’d be salsa…) and that’s it. Used Olive oil and vinegar, salt and pepper for dressing.

Dinner – spaghetti squash with roasted chicken breast and Rao’s marinara sauce. So. Good. Personally, Rao’s is the best tasting and ingredients closest to the source, but it’s also crazy expensive, 8+ per bottle. Therefor I only buy when on sale and when it is, I stock up.

Post dinner snack – raw almonds and cashews and dried blueberries with added Himalayan salt. I’m concerned I’m eating way too many nuts. Like, way too many. How many? I’m afraid to actually keep track.

WOD: (my first WOD back at ACF in six weeks):

High Bar Back Squat 5 x 2 @ 80%

* Rest 60 Seconds Between Working Sets

** Quick Descent, 5 Second Pause in the Bottom, Bounce and Quick Back Up.

Completed: at 95lbs. about 50% of my 1RM 6 long weeks ago.


3 Rounds For Time of:

Run 400m

7 Muscle-Ups

21 Kettlebell Swings

* 20 Minute Time Cap

Completed: in 13:50. Scaled to 14 ringrows and pushups, KB’s at 35lbs.

Facebook Post:

First official WOD back at Albany CrossFit in 6 weeks. I’m weak, and slow, my stamina is for sh*t.
But I’m ready.
And oh so happy.

Back Squat Wednesdays

There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
“I feel this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong.”
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you–just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.” 
— Shel Silverstein

Because of our snow day yesterday the triple-wide was packed today. But like a seasoned Army General, Chad had us working like a well oiled machine of seasoned veterans marching into battle. BBF Carmen was my partner, and awesome partner at that, as we toiled away with the backsquats and then beat out each round of rowing, and burpees and snatches as only two BFF’s can do. Go team. Love the Partner WODs. And backsquat Wednesdays.

I. Strength

High Bar Back Squat

1 x 5 @ 85% – completed at 135lbs.

2 x 3 @ 90% – completed at 140lbs.

3 x 1@ 95% – completed at 145lbs, then 150lbs.

* Rest 2 Minutes Between Sets

II. Conditioning:

With a Partner Complete:

4 Rounds For Total Working Time of:

Row 300m

14 Lateral Burpees (Over The Bar)

Power Snatches (135/95)

* One Partner Is Working While The Other Rest.

Completed: 3 rounds plus, then ran out of time. Snatch at 55lbs. Chad pointed out something to remember, when you get tired you lean over at the waist, not fully squatting down to get the bar…don’t do that, you’ll burn yourself out, keep proper form. Thanks, Chad.


“I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one. . . . Humans are caught—in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too—in a net of good and evil. . . . There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill?” ― John Steinbeck

Some days are very long days at work. 10 – 11 hour days. When you wake up you know you’re in for a Chipper. You just have to chip away at your day. It helps to know there’s the 8:30pm WOD at ACF, the Dirty-Thirty as it has been nicknamed, waiting for you at the finish line.

I. Strength:

High Bar Back Squat

1 x 5 @80%  – completed at 130lbs.

2 x 3 @ 85%  – completed at 140lbs.

3 x 1 @ 90% – completed at 145lbs.

* Rest 2 Minutes Between Sets

II. Conditioning:

12 Push Press (155/105)

20 Walking Lunges 

9 Push Press (155/105)

40 Walking Lunges

6 Push Press (155/105)

60 Walking Lunges

* 15 Minute Time Cap

Completed: in 7:27 at 65lbs. When the WOD was over it was one of those moments when I knew I went too light with 65lbs. and felt the residual effects of defeat. It was clear I chickened out. Should have gone heavier, 75lbs. Even just a couple of 2.5lbs. thrown on the end for good strength building measure.

Why is it with a Deadlift or Clean I will push myself to the absolute extreme of my strength, but anything over head I go soft? Fear of failure.

Not going to get stronger, not going to get better, if I consistently give into the fear.

Code Red.

“Two people in love, alone, isolated from the world, that’s beautiful.” ― Milan Kundera


Do you ever find yourself always looking for the Finish Line? I do it all the time, in a WOD, at work, carrying groceries from the car. Where am I going? Where’s my destination? When will this current task be complete?

One of the things I struggle with most on my fitness road is understanding and accepting that there is no finish line in being healthy. You do not suddenly wake up one day in a state of ultimate fitness and can officially put an end to all fitness activities. I’m not saying I want to do this, but the goal oriented person in me is always looking for that spot on the horizon. This strategy works with most things, applying to school, doing your taxes, running a 10K. You set your sights on the finish line and get to work on taking the steps necessary to get there.

But with being healthy it is different. Being healthy is a state of existence. It’s an ever moving target that shifts and changes and morphs depending on the moment. One day you PR the shit out of your deadlift, the next you can barely nudge the bumper clips on the bar. Being healthy is not easy. It takes work. One right decision after the next after the next, into infinity, which is why there can be no finish line. It’s an endless work in progress; that work being you. I suppose you could equate it to making the right decisions in life on a moral scale. I choose to not steal, to not do harm to others, to not lie. Some bad choices carrying more dire consequences than others. But it’s not like you will wake up one day and it will suddenly be okay to steal. No, pretty sure you’re going to have to make the decision to not steal, if you so choose, from now until infinity.

Perhaps instead of viewing fitness as an extracurricular activity, it might be better to view it as a necessity. An integral part of life. An integral building block to a good life. Sometimes it feels as if being healthy is an accessory, like a piece of jewelry; there’s a choice to put it on or no, your day relatively unaffected if you do not. Code, Green. Unlike pants or not stealing which are quantifiable in your day to day, in that if you choose to not wear one or to participate in the other, it is going to have an immediate impact on your life. Code, Red.

The thing is, in not choosing to be healthy, you really won’t see the repercussions right away. Perhaps not for 30 years. And so, hey, what’s the urgency? Of course that does not mean the repercussions of your decisions are not there, lurking and waiting to surface.

I found this CrossFit chart of basic strength standards. It seems, according to this, after a year and a half of Crossfit, I am about to embark upon the Intermediate Level. Qui est foutrement incroyable.

I. Strength:

High Bar Back Squat

2 x 5 @ 70% – Rest 45 Seconds – completed at 115lbs.

2 x 3 @ 75% – Rest 45 Seconds – completed at 125lbs.

3 x 1 @ 80% – Rest 30 Seconds – completed at 135lbs.

* Sets at each percentage should be performed without re-racking the barbell.

** Take 90 Seconds rest between each percentage.

Completed: This was a blast since I was able to partner up with Kim, whom I haven’t seen in forever. We share similar strength. It was just great to get to spend the time with her.

 II. Conditioning:

Perform The Following With A Partner:

Row 9 x 200m

* Every set should be an all-out effort.

** Each partner will perform all 9 sets. Alternate after each 200m.

Completed: again with Kim. Awesome! This was a lung burner. Set the goal to avg. 1:45 pace per round. 3,600 meters completed in 14:38.


“Live in the present, remember the past, and fear not the future, for it doesn’t exist and never shall. There is only now.” ― Christopher Paolini

It’s  pretty special when you have a WOD date. Even more special when you have two. When you know you’re going to be meeting up with some of your favorite fellow ACF’ers for an hour of torture and good times. There’s always sure to be lots of cheering and high-fiving and just all around sharing of good will, and especially, my personal favorite: ‘You CAN do this.’

Tonight I met up with Carmen and Lynn, two beautiful tall ladies who continue to amaze me with their willingness to try, to work hard, to encourage others to do so as well, and to be well, beautifully bright from the inside out.

I. Strength:

High Bar Back Squat

1X5 @ 80%, 1X3 @ 85%, 1X2 @ 90%, 2X1 @ 95%

* Rest 2 Minutes Between Sets

Completed: at 125lbs., 135lbs., 145lbs…… then ran out of time.  But, the best feeling of all was knowing I could have gone heavier for the 2 sets of 1. Have a feeling my 1RM may have jumped, and that’s the best feeling ever.

II. Conditioning:

5 Rounds For Total Hand Stand Push-Ups of:
2 Minutes To Complete –
Row 20 Calories
12 Lateral Box Jumps (20″)
Max Effort Hand Stand Push-Ups

* Rest 2 Minutes After Each Round.

Completed: 20 cal row for each round in just under the one minute cut-off (with Carmen rowing next to me cheering for me to reach the 20 each and every round), and a hodgepodge combination of stacked rogue blocks for lateral jumps and barely enough time to get in a couple scaled pushups at the end.

Box jumps make me nervous, like, ‘I really don’t want to hurt myself’ nervous. When I was training with Dean I jumped up to 28″ and I’ve used the 24″ during a WOD, but I dunno, there’s a fear there that’s sprouted after one Friday Night Fights in particular wherein I attempted max box jumps in three minutes.

That night I stepped up confidently for the team to complete the task but in the process of going to work the wheels of confidence came off and I was left in the middle of a competition WOD with a body that just wouldn’t go. Scary stuff.

In the days after FNF I tried to repeat the max box jumps workout in the quiet of an empty double-wide, just me and the clock, but even though my performance improved it felt as if the fear was there to stay.

So last night after max effort on the rower, it was interesting how unsteady I felt as I stepped up to face the box. I measured the risk (falling into the box and doing damage) vs. reward (pushing through the fear and using the box) and decided today was not the day to push this and used the soft stacked Rogue blocks instead.

I’m okay with this for now.


“…make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt… once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.” ― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

Today was one of those WOD’s that you think about all day. You’re at work and the WOD just won’t let you be, it’s there lurking in the back of your mind as you start to do the math. Two rounds of 50 Burpees, well that’s 100 Burpees total. 20 Frontsquats at 70%, cleaned from the ground. I think my last front squat 1RM is 125. Or was it lighter. Probably lighter. It is 100 burpees.

Then rationalization: I’m tired today. Sore from yesterday. I should take a rest day. Work is really busy today. Not sure I’ll get out in time. I should take a rest day.

When I text the word ‘burpees’ my phone auto-corrects it to all caps, ‘BURPEES.’ Seems appropriate.

While Strongman is on Wednesday nights at 7 I was of a mind frame today to mix up the routine. Plus, as scared I was of today’s WOD, I wanted it that much more.

Then Acceptance: Just show up, I told myself. The rest will take care of itself.

So while I watched my Strongman peeps across the hall completing feats of incredible human strength, I relaxed into my own fate as it was laid out before me during the 7pm WOD, 100 burpees and 20 front squats at 75lbs. But first… back squats:

I. Strength:

High Bar Back Squat

1X5 @ 70%, 1X5 @ 75%, 1X3 @ 80%, 1X3 @ 85%, 3X2 @ 90%

* Rest  2 Minutes Between Sets

Completed: at 85lbs., 105lbs., 125lbs., 135lbs., and 145lbs.

 II. Conditioning:

For Time:

50 Burpees

20 Front Squat @ 70% 1RM

50 Burpees

* 12 Minute Time Cap

** Fronts Must Be Cleaned From The Floor.

Completed: at 75lbs., with my last burpee no. 100 just around the 12 minute time cap mark. Done. And Done!