Posts Tagged ‘Crossfit’


Crossfit workout today. In my Vibrams.

I completed an 800 meter run.
5 medicine ball throws.
55 squats
17 pull ups
15 burpees
800 meter run

about 27 minutes.

The gym’s been going to more of a calisthenics / high repetition phase in teams. I prefer heavy weights, myself.

Yesterday I ate a meat sauce over spaghetti squash; for dinner chicken marinated in a onion, garlic, salt and pepper, cinnamon, garam masala, and cumin blend with sauteed vegetables (squash, spinach and onions). Oh yes – and a bottle of wine. There were three of us, and we did in four bottles, actually. And I feel fine. Must be the Cuban cigar.

Categories: Crossfit, Diet, Food, History Tags:


Over the last month I’ve kept my weight at about 171. That’s good, because I’ve not exercised much due to a sprained wrist. And my doctoral thesis. The sprained wrist might keep me out of crossfit for a while.

Aside from a few planned exceptions, including a flourless chocolate cake a couple weeks ago, I’ve been sticking to the diet. I did have a beer to celebrate sending in the thesis. Usually, I’d have 4-5. Now, its no more than two. I think I’ve made some solid changes – I rarely have chips, rice, pasta, or bread. And the few times I have, it’s been modest. I’ll have chips and salsa, but I’ll have a salad and chicken as an entree rather than rice and beans.

Not having my wrist at 100% has really made it hard for me to do some of the workouts I enjoy. And it’s not healing fast. The doctor said it seemed like a sprain – and I agree- but I’m not taking great care of it. I sprained it by trying to lift something heavy without leverage. I tried to lift about 20 lbs without using any leverage from my arms. Then I tried to do some pull-ups.

But I’ll be back to the discipline, pushing myself a bit more this month, even though I’ll have lots of socializing. Socializing usually means booze.

But I think I can lose another 15 lbs. Especially if I stop before I’m full, and not when I’m stuffed. Thats my current strategy. Strict paleo, while being mindful about how much I eat. I don’t want to have to count every calorie.

Crossfit Total

March 11, 2010 3 comments

I did my first crossfit total.

A crossfit total is a backsquat, shoulder press and a deadlift.

I broke 700.
Back squat 265
Press 130
Deadlift 315

My goal = 850.

Categories: Crossfit, History, Log Tags: , , ,

The Bar

February 4, 2010 1 comment

I had promised myself I wouldn’t go back until April 8th.

But I usually have a discussion group, once a month, and the Lazy Boy.  I’d forgotten to change the venue.  The minute I walked in a few acquaintances cheered.  “Father, what’s up?”  Stanley, a chef, said, “they’ve got some amazing brews, a few wonderfully heavenly hoppy concoctions.”  He smiled and stretched back, eager to share this discovery.

“Sounds amazing.  Unfortunately, it’s seltzer and a lime for me tonight.  I won’t be tasting for a while.”  And for a long while.  Beer is off limits until the 8th of April.  “Got a meeting and I’m off the hooch for another 20 days.”

“Really?”  He was intrigued and amused.  Clearly I’ve spent way too much time here.

“Yes.  I’m undergoing a cleanse.”  That’s the only way I’ve discovered I can describe the diet without horrifying people.  “No alcohol.  No sugar.  No dairy.  No grains.  No legumes.”

“Well, that’s cool.”  This is code for, you’re crazy and I’m not sure if I want to talk to you any more.

My co-leader arrived, and I said goodbye to the barflies as we made our trip to a table.

I had expected to find it difficult.   I’m in a familiar environment, one that gives me warm feelings, one where there is society and friendliness, one that has plenty of visible pleasures (I’m thinking of the beer, not the bartenders).

I’ve got a long relationship with beer.  When I’d come back from college, my dad would fill the refrigerator with a six pack of Sam Adams as a sign of affection.  My cousins were both beer distributors for microbreweries in the late eighties, so when I was in my twenties I went to a fair number of beer festivals, and poured at a couple.   I’m an accidental connoisseur.  Paleo asks me, “is it worth it?”

There is a greater issue at stake.  I’m an admirer of civilization.  If our culture is derived from agricultural society, then there are some practices worth keeping.  For some, beer is why there is a civilization.  Someone accidentally discovered the enjoyable properties of mead and decided to cultivate the ingredients for a more consistent state of mental bliss.  After all, that is how early bureaucrats got paid.  In beer.  (I’ll let someone else to the fact checking on this).

Actually,  being there wasn’t bad – I’m habituated by this point, to say no to everything.    I’m also seeing results.  The other evening, a friend said, “your face looks thinner.”  She was the type who is fairly … obsessed with bodies and body images, so I took it seriously.    I admit, there was some mental preparation I was doing instinctively.  There was no question about what I would do.

I ordered an Angus, grass fed burger with sweet potato fries.  It was the first time I’d ever willingly substituted sweet potato fries for regular fries.  But like the other replacements I’ve been using, it has been easy to make that switch.  Sweet potato fries will never be like Belgian frites, but it will do, and it will do permanently.

I’d asked them to keep the bun, but they still served it to me, not because they wanted to sabotage my diligence, which could be the desire of some, such as grain worshiping vegans or shills for ConAgra, but because they were not in the habit.  I pushed the bun to the side.  I used to take the bun off but still eat it just because it was there.  I’m training myself otherwise.

I did write the owner the other day, “consider paleo!”  He wrote back saying he’d look into it.

I shared my experience with Crossfit with my colleague’s husband.  “Stamford?”

“Yes, it’s not easy, but it’s worth it.”  I gave the outline:  high intensity; bodyweights; pure exercises.  It’s not a gym, but more like a dojo.  It’s like a philosophy.  “It’s a cult,” I joked.

Let me be careful here.  I’m using this word in a very technical sense.  For most people “cults” are where there is a charismatic leader that leads people to kill themselves.  It’s pejorative.  But the more precise definition is, a cult is a religion that requires initiation and commitment.    Granted, there’s no worshiping, except for the ideal of a strong healthy body.  Still, in order to join, you need to be dedicated, and those who are more committed will be invited into learning more of the faith’s secrets.

It’s nothing like being an Episcopalian.  We’re like, “hey, come whenever.”  We don’t care.

Crossfit is “Look, if you really want to be strong, you have to go through the ritual.”  The ritual, in this case, is the WOD.    Crossfit asks, do you want to be like the all the lazy, unhealthy schlubs in the rest of the world who can’t save some one from a fire, pull themselves up from the edge of a cliff, or who can’t run from bears? Do you really want to be like that?  Really?    Well, that’s OK.  We’re for motivated people.

And I, padre old stone, want to be part of that.  I’m realizing it’s clearly not for everybody.

“You should join,” I said.  “It’s been great.”  He’s strong and a good athlete.

“I’ll go!  Take me.  It sounds like my kind of workout.”

“I  think you’ll need to get in touch with them yourself.”  It’s his journey.


February 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Here’s a pretty good benchmark photo that Crossfit sent me.

posing at the nutrition seminar

I’m on the right, eyes closed.  Andy, center, is the owner of CrossFit Stamford and my coach.  Dennis is on the left.

I have a lot of work to do.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,


January 25, 2010 Leave a comment

For those new to Crossfit, “W.O.D.” stands for “Workout of the Day.”

Today’s brutality was As Many Rounds as Possible (AMRAP) in 12 minutes:

5 Thrusters

10 Burpees

Thrusters are taking a bar from the squat position and pressing it up above your head.  The arms are taut, the face forward.  The butt has to hit the ball as squat.  It’s best to use the squat to propel the weight upwards.  The bar is initially held on the chest, and the elbows are forward.  With good technique, a slender person can push a fair amount of weight.

Burpees are a combination of pushups, squats and jumping jacks.  You do the following.

1) Throw yourself to the ground;

2) Push yourself back up;

3) Jump and throw your hands over your head;

4) Repeat.

By the end of a set, “throwing” is more like “falling.”  It becomes almost impossible to get back up.

I did 5.5 rounds:  six sets of thrusters at 75 lbs and 5.7 sets of burpees (a total of 57).  It was brutal, but worthwhile.

I suspect I could have done 5 sets of 95 lbs and had better form.  The weight helps push the squat down, making one more flexible.  I played it safe this time.

Categories: Crossfit Tags: , , ,