Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Fran in 6:10


Barbell Thrusters 95/65 lbs

21-15-9 reps, for time

I tackled Fran as Rx'ed in 6:10 yesterday. Sweeeeeeeeet. My next goal is to get to the low 5:00s and hopefully it all gets better as I go along. 5k warm down row after Fran was completed in 22:48 - managed to keep stroke rate around 20 and pace at 2:16 which is fine with me since Fran pretty much takes all you've got in those lactate-inducing few minutes. It was a comfortable row (when strokes per minute are around 20-22) and I never felt I was pulling haplessly. Amazing what Crossfit has done in terms of GPP (general physical preparedness) for me.

I've been reading Crossfit blogs and one of the recurring issues is how a typical WOD would scare away the masses, but Crossfitters hardly bat an eye when faced with the WODs. Take for example "Angie", one of the first Crossfit "Girls" (Crossfit workouts are named after hurricanes for the way they leave you all messed up after):


100 Pull-ups
100 Push-ups
100 Sit-ups
100 Squats
For Time

I mean, the numbers alone are enough to frighten people away. A HUNDRED pull-ups? Followed by another HUNDRED push-ups? And then you're only halfway through? Are you going to spend all day doing "Angie"? Oh, and I forgot to mention that if you do modified versions of the exercises, for instance pull-ups with a band for support or push-ups on your knees, you have to double the original number as stated in the workout. So technically you could really spend a very long time getting through "Angie". I haven't done Angie before, I don't think, so I can't enlighten you on how long it took me to finish off that damned lady. Anyway, as I was saying, after a while Crossfitters take these insane instructions into their stride. "Angie? Oh, that's just 400 repetitions in total. Ten sets of ten for each exercise. Easy!" (As you can tell, the key lies in breaking it down).

BUT I did do "Murph" on Memorial Day (From the Crossfit website: In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.
This workout was one of Mike's favorites and he'd named it 'Body Armor.' From here on it will be referred to as 'Murph' in honor of the focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is.


1 mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 mile Run

Took me 46 minutes and some change but I don't think I could've spent Memorial Day any better.

Anyway, finishing off Fran well was probably my best (and only) birthday present so far. Crossfit is my new buddy - kicks my ass but never lets me down.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Ultimate Fighter Finale

Jens Pulver (left) and BJ Penn stare each other down during official weigh-ins on Friday, June 22.

Last night was a blast with the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 5 on SPIKE TV. As expected, Joe Lauzon and Cole Miller came through with wins (both extremely exciting up-and-coming MMA fighters). Bizarrely enough, Gray Maynard managed to knock himself out cold while doing the same to Rob Emerson, and so the fight was declared a "no-contest" even though the referee stopped the fight when Emerson tapped out. Disappointingly, Manny "Pitbull" Gamburyan (what a machine) had to tap out after popping his shoulder in the second round, leaving Nate Diaz to be the Ultimate Fighter for Season 5. That was a real pity as Gamburyan dominated the entire first round and he ought to have won given the tremendous amount of heart he displayed. And of course the fight of the night was the showdown between former UFC lightweight champion Jens "Lil' Evil" Pulver and arguably the best pound-for-pound MMA fighter, BJ "The Prodigy" Penn. Penn looked positively pasty during the taping of TUF 5 but made weight for the huge fight at 155.5 lbs, with Pulver at 152. I was rooting for Pulver but kudos to Penn who fought with single-minded focus and finished it off in the second round with a submission. BJ Penn is perhaps the most talented fighter in MMA history and it will be exciting to watch him fight in welterweight. As for Pulver, his life story is amazing and I can only say that there's no limits for a man with faith like his. I look forward to watching him fight at 145 lbs in the WEC.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Hmmm it's good to see that Raffles Canoeing is still going strong. Take a look.

I've said it before and I don't think I'll ever stop saying this, but RJCanoeing days were one of the best times ever. Anyway girls team outing sometime soon ok I want to eat cheap steamboat at Bugis again hahahaha.

Homemade Gym Equipment

Thanks to CelticKane.com, I've got myself a project for the weekend and hopefully a pair of sweet parallettes to show for it!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

"300" Training

Did the cast of 300 train with CrossFit?

The short answer is yes and no, mostly yes. Watch the 300 Training Video.

We’ve had a few folks contact CrossFit Champions who have somehow discovered a connection between CrossFit and the training of the 300 cast by Mark Twight of Gym Jones in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Like everyone exposed to it, Mark Twight has put his own special spin on CrossFit, but the main ideas and the essence of his current training method remain CrossFit.
Mark Twight is an extremely accomplished endurance alpinist, and author of several books on training for mountaineering events. He was an advocate of long, slow endurance training and high carb, low fat diets until he discovered CrossFit, attended a few CrossFit seminars, and become (temporarily) a CrossFit affiliate. CrossFit turned his world upside down, and he became an advocate of short duration, higher intensity workouts, and low carb, higher fat diets.

Here’s what Twight has said about CrossFit in issue 19 of the CrossFit Journal, “What Is CrossFit?"

“You can talk all you want about being in good shape until you do a few CrossFit workouts. And then you will realize — like I did — that what you have been doing is likely training strong points, rarely working on weak points, and training efficiency to such a degree that the workouts you do are less effective than they might be if you mixed energy modes, duration, and types of work. You probably know something about climbing-specific training because of books like Ex Alp, Clyde’s book, Dale’s book, and maybe Will’s. But none of this will prepare you for what is to come if you make even the slightest effort to follow CrossFit. Coach invited me to CrossFit HQ for an instructor seminar. I was the weakest guy in attendance, by at least 50% during every workout we did over the three days. Those days changed my life. I could “what if?” my old training program and all the years I missed when I thought I was fit but I was nowhere near my potential but the key is to move on when you know that something better is out there, without second-guessing. I don’t believe I will find anything better than CrossFit for developing power, endurance, lactate tolerance, stamina (local area endurance), balanced muscle groups, efficient neurological pathways (in the context of movement), etc. The bottom line: I started toying with the CF protocol last April without truly understanding it. I improved in some diverse areas of fitness but had not seen the light or my own potential yet. I went to CFHQ 1 December. Since then I have lost 12lbs, leaned out, and I am approximately 25% stronger across the board without significant negative effect on endurance despite the short duration of our workouts (nothing longer than 25 minutes, with the norm being half that or less).”

Here’s what Twight has said about CrossFit on his own website:

“In December of 2003 I attended an Instructor Certification course at CrossFit headquarters to learn more about what I had been dabbling with during the previous six months. I went there fit, secretly confident but I was destroyed by each and every fitness challenge presented. Humbled, ego thought we should have a “soloing on loose rock” contest but pragmatism held sway and I poured ego from my cup, which meant it could be filled with the knowledge and experience that hid in every nook and cranny of that small gym in Santa Cruz.”

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Updated Birthday Wishlist

My brother and sister are getting me the boxing gloves so I think that's covered...
I've added 4 more items...

1. Elite Rings

These are the first rings designed from the ground up for fitness training. Weighing less than three pounds, you can take them with you wherever you go. And the quick and easy mounting system allows you to hang them nearly anywhere. The selection of possible exercises is limited only by your imagination: pullups, dips, pushups, muscle-ups, body rows, the iron cross and much more is possible.

Found here, retailing at USD 71.95.

2. Crossfit Journal Subscription

The CrossFit Journal is a monthly chronicle of the CrossFit Program. For only USD 25.00 yearly you can have all the details of the CrossFit concept e-mailed to you monthly.

3. Nike Free Trainer 7.0 - Men's (STYLE# 315812 COLOR# 071)

The model and color portrayed in the picture above are different. The color scheme for the particular pair I have in mind is Neutral Grey/Pro God/Flint Grey/White, according to the Nike website. I have been using a pair of Nike Free 5.0s for several months now, and they have proved to be excellent cross-trainers (even though they are originally running shoes). I was skeptical about the "barefoot technology" at first, but since I started using them they've been terrific, I haven't suffered any runner's knee relapse, and they really do make you more aware of stability and foot motion. So I'm looking to get a pair specifically for cross-training, with a little more cushioning, and the Nike Free 7.0s fit the bill perfectly.

Retailing online at Nike.com at USD 85.00.

4. ASICS Cael™ V2.0 Wrestling Shoe

The Asics® Cael™ V2.0 wrestling shoe showcases a UniSole™ construction which helps you maximize traction through increased sole contact with the mat. The 3-dimensional lasting contours to your foot for better fit and the integrated lace cover conforms to national and international regulations.

No, I don't wrestle, but it happens that I'm looking for a pair of boxing shoes, and generally wrestling shoes are built to similar specifications that boxing shoes use. I am trying to decide between this, or the Asics® Split Second™ VI Wrestling Shoe, or the adidas Tyrint III Wrestling Shoe.

Retailing online at Dick's Sporting Goods at USD 49.97.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Suck it up, Buttercup

Every so often, the people who do Crossfit decide that doing 21-15-9 95/65# thrusters and pullups are too easy, and so they break it up by throwing a Painstorm into the mix. Now, you may be curious - What is a Painstorm? Well, a Painstorm is a particularly challenging workout (as if the everyday Crossfit WOD (Workout of the Day) were a walk in the park), and comprised of a significant number of movements/ multijoint combinations. There is a Painstorm Workout posted every month. Most Painstorms take 35-40 minutes at the very least to complete, or the skills listed are meant to be performed for 35-40 minutes, and that's probably how they're different from typical Crossfit workouts, which usually range from 4-35 minutes (on average).

Right now there are Painstorms hailing way back to May 2005 floating around in the Crossfit cyber arena, and they are labeled as Painstorm ___ (with Roman numerals dictating their place in the series). I managed to dig up a list of all the Painstorms up till November 2006 on the Internet, and here is the link:

I haven't done a Painstorm yet, although I think one looms ahead in the near future. I was looking through the list of Painstorms, however, and my eye fell on the last one:

Painstorm XIX (November 2006)
With a 70# bar how many rounds can you complete in 40 minutes of:
5 Deadlifts
5 Hang Power Cleans
5 Front Squats
5 Push Presses
5 Back Squats

I can already tell this will be pretty nasty, because I did a Crossfit workout that was similar in fashion just last week. Here it is:

Continuous Rotation:
Front Squat
Push Press
Back Squat
Rx'd (Rx'd means Prescribed Load): 65 lbs
As many reps as possible in 20 min

No. of Reps completed: 38

This workout is slightly different from the Painstorm one in the sense that you don't get a chance to put the weight down once you've picked it up for the deadlift. From the deadlift you go straight into the clean, stand up and then do a front squat below parallel, dip and drive into a push press, lower the bar behind your head such that it rests on your traps, and go into a back squat below parallel. That's one repetition. So if you set the bar down in between movements it's an incomplete rep and a no-count.

The cleans are the sticking point. Cleans are an explosive movement, and so either you get the bar up or you don't (or you do, partway, and then it falls on you, which isn't a pretty sight). Not like you can lower yourself into it as you would a squat. I think I spent the most time dithering on the cleans.

One of the most interesting things about Crossfit is that a long time is devoted to the warm-up (or W/U), such that the W/U itself is essentially a protracted workout, but you can take as long as you need to complete it, since it's meant as a skill refresher/ builder. For instance, the W/U prior to the above WOD was as follows:

Run 800 m
3 Rounds of:
10 Pushups
10 O-Bar (Olympic Bar = 45 lbs) Overhead Squats (OHS)
10 Pullups

Anyway, today's workout kicked ass. It was hard (as usual). Here it is, in case you're similarly inclined towards insanity, and want to give yourself a good hard kick in the seat of your pants:

070619 WOD
Row 500 m
30 Pullups
Row 500 m
30 Plyometric Jumps onto a 20" box
Row 500 m
30 Barbell Hang Power Snatches (if there's anything worse than cleans, it's snatches)
Row 500 m
30 Ring Push Ups
For Time

Following which you ought to be green in the face and foaming at the mouth if you've worked your socks off like you should have (the rows are hard efforts, not a lazy tug at the handle).

I love Crossfit, can you tell?

Risin' up, back on the street
Did my time, took my chances
Went the distance, now I'm back on my feet
Just a man and his will to survive

So many times, it happens too fast
You change your passion for glory
Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive

It's the eye of the tiger, it's the cream of the fight
Risin' up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night
And he's watchin' us all in the eye of the tiger

Face to face, out in the heat
Hangin' tough, stayin' hungry
They stack the odds 'til we take to the street
For we kill with the skill to survive


Sunday, June 17, 2007

My birthday is coming, so a wish list is in order:

1. Century Grant Wrist Wrap Boxing Gloves Century (14 oz)
I just need a pair of decent training gloves, nothing fancy - these are pretty economical and will suffice for working the heavy bag. We'll leave the flashy lace-up genuine leather ones for later.

2. Money, of course
Pretty self-explanatory. Isn't cash something we could always use more of?

3. Whole Foods Gift Cards
These are really awesome. I could live off hummus and black bean dip with carrots forever.

Shucks I have to think about this list. Will update as time goes by.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Real pleased with the way my clean & jerk (C&J) is coming along. I have a tendency to use my arms rather than rely on power from the hip extension, but going up in weight on the Olympic lifts forces me to to use leg power rather than purely arm power. Today the Crossfit workout was as follows:
1500 m row
21 C&J
1000 m row
15 C&J
500 m row
9 C&J
Rx'd: 95 lbs/ 75 lbs
For Time

Now if that isn't a crazy ass workout, I don't know what is. Hoo boy those cleans get me every time. And the snatches too. Anyway I made a list of some of my most hated - alright, most challenging - Crossfit/ Boot Camp exercises. And so here they are.
- Wall Balls to a 10 ft target
- Ball Slams with anything more than 30 lbs for an insanely high number of repetitions
- Weighted DB Stepups onto a 20-inch plyo box
- Pressing/ Heaving Snatch Balance
- Double Unders (pfffttt I need to work on jumping rope)
- Thrusters of any kind
- And of course, (Hooray) Burpees!

Taken from crossfit.com-

World-Class Fitness in 100 Words:

Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Haha ok this is pretty random but American TV is awesome. I'm hooked on the Food Network. Top Chef 3 on Bravo TV premieres on Wednesday evening, The Next Food Network Star just started two weeks back and is proving to be an awesome reality show, and I can hardly live without my daily dose of the stunningly gorgeous Giada de Laurentiis and Iron Chef Bobby Flay.

And of course all the Mixed Martial Arts fights are pretty sweet. UFC, IFC, Tapout... Boxing - ESPN Friday Night Fights, aahh I wish there were things like that worth watching on Singapore TV.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

okay im going to leave this blog for random posts... i've decided to move my crossfit posts to another place, just so I can keep this blog for my occasional musings!

Friday, June 01, 2007

A video from last Monday's training session to whet your appetite. One of the toughest Crossfit workouts I've done so far.


"Fran on Crack" - a variant of the milder, but no less challenging "Fran", which is 21, 18, 12.

Workout as follows:
21 barbell thrusters
21 pullups
18 barbell thrusters
18 pullups
15 barbell thrusters
15 pullups
12 barbell thrusters
12 pullups
9 barbell thrusters
9 pullups
6 barbell thrusters
6 pullups
3 barbell thrusters
3 pullups
For Time

Can't remember my time, I should have taken it down. But I definitely know that it either took or seemed like forever. Watch and share my agony.