Monday, December 29, 2008

27 December 2008 - - Dudes In A Gymnastics Gym

- Your video upload did not complete -

Hmph...No Shit...well, I refuse to post any further articles until this gets resolved.  Here is a picture to look at in the meantime.

Nevermind, that did not work either, whatever, we'll see about that, this blog won't get the best of me...I put the 'NUT' in 'Nuthing To It'

Hi Ho

Steven coming out of the Handstand

Yes, so that worked! Now on to the other...

The Unattempted...Attempted from Brett Markwort on Vimeo.
 - filmed and directed by Steven

Haha, Sons of Bitches, Nothing To It.

By the way, Steven and I had a lot of fun performing the WOD and then playing around in the Gymnastics Gym.  Crossfit St. Charles will host a workshop solely in the Gymnastics Gym on the 11th of January 2009 from 9am - 12noon for a cost of $15.  I plan on attending, I hope y'all do too. 

Sunday, December 28, 2008

23 December 2008 - - The Bear & The Tale: Part II

'Are you serious? I'm working out here!'

"Jack of All Trades, Master of None, Though oft better than Master of One"*
-Adam Savage

The following has been in the draft section for a few days, oops, most of the italics denotes fresh.  

Beauty and the Beast. Diane and the Bear. A bit of a mix mash, but today I hooked up with Diane and Sam had his first tussle with the Bear workout. Let's talk about Sam.

Sam's WOD: The Bear

Power Clean
Push Press
Back Squat
Push Press
Front Squat

Gradually increase weight following successful rounds until failure. Rest as desired between rounds.

Load up one bar and perform the above continuously for four repetitions without letting go of the bar once started. From Power Clean to Front Squat is one repetition and then it is 'touch and go' on to the next rep; remember no letting go of the bar or resting it on the ground.

Successful Rounds: #55, #75, #85, #95

Failure was incurred after two and a half reps at #105. Following this round, the weight was brought down to #75 and seven repetitions were completed, quite brilliantly I might add. Good stuff Sam.

After having started, I remembered that way back the last time I did the Bear the front squat followed the power clean. Whatever, it was still functional and still very intense. After searching around, many variations of this workout exist, and the Crossfit Journal has a good article on it. And actually, Crossfit St. Louis, just posted this very article.  Check it out if you like. I would put in a link, however, in addition to my ass being lazy, it is also...

The Tale of the Shrinking Ass: Part II

Before Sam performed Bear, I performed Diane.  

Brett's WOD:  Diane

For Time Perform the Following...

21 - 15 - 9 

Deadlift #225
Handstand Push Up

Brett:  ~ 19:00 as Rx'd

hmmm, maybe I was just not running on all cylinders this day; sometimes you just feel it, can't say I did, but maybe too that is just because my PR is in the ~12:30 region.  Considering that, 19 minutes really sucks, but not surprising.

If you look back to the previous and initial post to this tale, what prompted its telling was a bit too much wiggle room in the posterior and both immediate southern stems from therein (for absolute clarity thighs/quads), in my once recent snug and well fitted slacks.  This finding was unwelcome, and a sort of reflection on the reasons for (loss of muscle mass) and the possible solutions forthcoming ensued.  Fleeting... fading... the thoughts have been difficult to ground and direct.

I travel a lot, approximately a third of the year to give a number, and keeping fit while 'on the road', despite the numerous articles providing '10 great tips for doing your thing on the road', is quite difficult. I'll save that speal for another day, but lets just say that my time here at home and in my usual surrounding is valuable to me.  

I believe Crossfit is not only an excellent path to general fitness for life, but also a sport, as there are some out there that do nothing but Crossfit; in the gym, performing the WODs, three on one off or some plan of similar sort, as there sport. For me, achieving a PR in Diane is not a goal but a hopeful measure.  The WODs that Crossfit has to offer are not events, but training and a measurement of said training.  I train for an unpredictable life, my current fruit of training includes a vast array of sport.  There was once a month stretch over this past summer where I played multiple games of Tennis, Golf, Ice Hockey, trained consistently in Martial Arts, swam, and even travelled to Atlanta for a 7's Rugby Tournament. An uncommonly busy month to say the least, but extremely exciting, and in the spirit of the holidays, I am as extremely thankful for the opportunity to do all that. 

'Jack of all trades'*

In a soon, I imagine, failed attempt to keep it simple, the Crossfit method is an excellent module for reaching, maintaining, and surpassing general fitness and athletic capability (I believe), but as varied as its workouts are, from strength to purely metabolic and everything in between the spectrum,  and also its (main page) assumption that workouts are performed consistently from day to day, where does that leave those with often occurring interruptions and yet high desire to progress and 'grow stronger everyday, week to week'.

This is what I have been pondering in past times.  ?Upon return to homestead; jump into the daily WOD regardless of what it may be, go solely 'heavy' (ie. backsquat, Deadlift, 5x5, 3x3), focus on heavy and gut busting workouts such as Diane, Heavy Fran, Grace, etc.?  For now I have been mostly doing the first or designing workouts to fit the needs of all the 'Nothing To It'ers' (thus revealing my thought process: general to specific).  

I will most likely expand on this further, but for now, the best thing to do, like that of the origination of the Crossfit method, is to experiment, gather results, and refine. 

Friday, December 26, 2008

26 December 2008


For Time Complete the Following...

Get Engaged

I have never done this before, but I hear that it can make or break you.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

20 December 2008 - - Crossfit St. Charles is Most Excellent

9am Xfitter's at Crossfit St. Charles (left to right; Kelly, Kim (owner), Sean (behind Mr. Slammy), Matt)

On Saturday, I got myself out of bed, put down some breakfast, threw on a rather funky shirt that reminded me I played hockey the previous night, and made the trek out to Crossfit St. Charles.

Wonderful time.  For those of you that are unaware, Crossfit St. Charles is one of the more recent affiliates in the St. Louis area. Great space, lots of rings, bars, weights, pull up area, and of course the best feature is, room to move.  As an added bonus, something that makes me wish I lived right next door, they occupy a room situated in a gymnastics facility, Generation Gymnastics.  

As our workout was going on young girls and boys were practicing various gymnastic skills.  I was jealous.  I have grown to love gymnastics and body weight movements in the past year.  But, instead of jumping, tumbling and twisting I was pushing and pulling some weight that made me retaste my breakfast.  Just as good. 

Xfit St. Charles WOD:

Warmup:  As Nothing To It'ers know, I don't like to warmup.  This warm up consisted of three rounds of run for one minute and ten repetitions of pullups, ring dips, back extensions, situps, overhead squats, ring rows and a few stretches had me hiding and biding my time looking busy and thinking to myself 'maybe I'll just make this a social call...let's get it on already'.  Note:  Just search, there is a ton of material out there on the benefits, and disbenefits if you will, of warming up. Static stretching bad. Dynamic stretching good. No stretching for heavy work better. Going 'cold' into metcon work and good luck. I have gone 'cold' into a match and played brilliantly and I have gone into a similar test thoroughly warmedup and done the opposite.  If it were that simple, I would not have to say...and vice versa.  Personally, I believe, that if your body is not significantly of kilter, then it is mostly mental.

Anyways, back to the WOD...

As Many Rounds As Possible in Twenty Minutes of...

10 Thruster #65 Men & #35 Women
10 Pullups

Get it on we did. To be honest, I am not a fan of As MRasP WOD's, maybe it is the clock being in control of me instead of me being in control of the time, but this very simple and very brutal workout got me good.  The thrusters went well much to the delight of my 'Shrinking Ass', but the pullups really got to my breakfast around round six.  I was kipping hard then, substituting butterfly kips and C-kips to keep as fresh as possible, and though the strength and desire was there, something funny in the belly was going on. It did not play a significant effect on my end time of eleven rounds plus seven thrusters, but it did mess with my head as I have never 'unloaded'* due to a workout and did not want to do so on my first visit to Crossfit St. Charles.  I wish I would have gone harder, but I pushed through it. 

Brett: 11 Rounds + 7 thrusters  (guess what WOD we are doing next time!)

BTW: Kelly was chasing me the entire time, and keeping her in the corner of my eye, she pushed me beyond my then comfort level.

After the WOD, to top things off, we all went for a Deadlift PR.  My previous PR was #300 and two reps at that (~1.85BW at the time) so my goal was to match that at one rep being now #10 lighter. When it came time for max effort, I went for #305 after hitting #275 soundly, but missed, and though I was not too far off I felt that that was that.  Matt had a great 'bouncing' PR effort, Kelly did great work, and Sean showed us all up. 

Great meeting, great workout, great conversation.  Visit and talk about Crossfit St. Charles.  Kim is a charm. 

*Unloaded during Pitch A Tent 7's Rugby Summer 2006, but that was after the first match after little sleep due to an unlimited keg fest in a field.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

19 December 2008 - - Filthy Fifty & The All Too Messy 25

This was a tough that has been in making for some time...a nemesis of which time was secondary to the seemingly simple task of completion.  No need to justify the first attempt, Did Not Finish; the second, Did Not Finish; the third & the charm, Success...Nothing To It! 

Sam's WOD:  Filthy Fifty

For Time Complete 50 Repetitions of the Following Ten Exercises in Order

Box Jump (~20" I would say)
Jumping Pull Up
Kettlebell Swing 1pood (35#)
Push Press 45#
Back Extension 
Wall Ball 18# (Rx is 20#, I was very happy to find this guy sitting around)
Double Under

This workout is very difficult.  The name, Filthy Fifty, does it justice.  And one can only really appreciate the notion, after going through it or just attempting it, that this workout gets almost exponentially more difficult as it goes on. Not just due to a build up of fatigue and stress, but because the sets of 50 repetitions of Wall Ball, Burpees and Double Unders is to put it simply, damn hard.  Here you are, almost at the end having completed 50 reps of seven different exercises back to back, making good time and then...yeah, this is damn hard. 

Sam: 46:00 Excellent work and a huge milestone to have completed the task.  Note: The wall clock was used so give or take a few seconds.

Steven's WOD:  Messy Twenty Five

For Time Complete 25 Repetitions of the Same Exercises As Filthy Fifty

Half the difficulty you say? Guess again.  Sure, its half the reps as the Filthy, but the added sprint like factor adds an interesting element.  The element of sneaky fast pain!

Steven: 30:30 approximately, and though the Double Unders were not done to completion, due to fatigue yes, but also to lack of adeptness at the skill as the number of attempts were on order, this WOD was called at a time rather than at DNF.  The effort more than justifies it.

The Filthy Fifty is definitely one of the most complex and involved WOD's that Crossfit has to offer as a benchmark workout.  Ten different exercises, fifty repetitions each, back to back, as fast as you can.  Its crazy, its hardcore, its madness.  But is there method?  And how often in life would you find the above applicable as it is laid out.  Break it down.  You are jumping, pulling, heaving, contracting, pushing, lifting, throwing and moving; driving through as fast as possible...thinking, strategizing and fighting comfort with desire.  And all the while under complete self support.  If life through at you a situation where you had to perform any of the just mentioned actions would you stop to ask for a bench to rest upon as you pushed, decline pulling because it is your scheduled leg day and not curl in the mirror day, ask for water because you are thirsty...giggle...bringing it back down from the pedestal, there is method.  

It is a method that is as difficult as the workout to explain to a Filthy virgin; but to one that has experienced the madness, ask yourself this, am I I more fit physically, mentally, for having done that? To go a bit further, and this is out of pure curiosity, if you were to consider that over the course of one week you were to jog 12 miles and work your chest, back and legs on off running days...would you prefer that discipline over one day of the Filthy?

Stay Tuned For...Pictures to this post (I am working with a weak signal connection here that is not permitting picture uploads, so blame whomever I am stealing it from), my most excellent WOD experience during my first visit to Crossfit St. Charles, and of course the continuation of the Tale of the Shrinking Ass: Part II. 

Thursday, December 18, 2008

17 December 2008 - - Cleans & The Shrinking Ass

Before I get to the Shrinking Ass part, as our WOD following warmup, Sam and I did the following...

WOD: Maximum Clean

The Clean, full squat clean that is, is an extremely potent and challenging movement, and also my favorite in the Crossfit regimine. Strength, power and balance; once you start loading up the bar a heavy clean really calls for complete body awareness, requires full range of motion and demands a heavy dose of good and nasty aggression to execute properly. Note, properly implies safely.

Sam and I both began light, but soon worked our way up to our max efforts. There were no set amount of sets and reps. Just load up the bar, hit it, hit it again it you like for good measure, then kick it up a notch.

Early on Sam had some difficulties keeping stable at the bottom of the clean (This is where having a solid front squat comes into play. Remember, stay on those heels and reach as high as you can with those elbows). However, he pushed through some troubles and kept hitting his weights. We did have a loss of focus during Sam's first max effort attempt of 135# (Note: Front Squat max recorded the other day at 145#), but the culprit of his meanderings, thoughts on a mechanical dog fetcher of all things...giggle...were beaten on the second attempt...Success! Nothing To It!

I then continued with my efforts, and after failing on my first attempt at max effort, I hit my second attempt quite soundly, matching my previous PR of 190#.

Which brings me to my thoughts on the Shrinking Ass. The tale of the Shrinking Ass, brought to my attention just last week, after dawning a pair of slacks purchased and fitted just this past summer, actually begins almost six weeks ago when I departed for San Diego with then a month long layover in El Salvador. And the theory that this tale precipitates, but also assuming no significant change took place before departing for San Diego (none was observed), has caused me to have a bit of a reflection on the way I pursue fitness. Considering the type of workouts performed in the gym as well as my lifestyle of extensive traveling and array of athletic activities, the focus of course being over the past few months, I believe that real change to my current fitness philosophy could be put forth to maximize the little time I do spend strictly in the gym and likewise improve my fitness and performance in my other arenas.

How will this tangent affect our small band of Nothing To It'ers? I don't know, I still have not gotten that far, and in fact this whole thing may remain just that, a tangent, and nothing more than a isolated, inspiration laced thought process spawned by office procrastination. In any case, I will continue with the tale itself, and we'll go from there.

The tale of the Shrinking Ass...TO BE Continued...giggle...

Friday, December 12, 2008

12 December 2008 - - Fran


For Time Perform The Following For Time...

21 - 15 - 9

Thrusters 95#

Scale as necessary. Post time and performance to comments.

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

10 December 2008


Front Squat  

Gradually increase weight for each set of three reps of front squats.  Work up to a three rep maximum. 

Sorry for the late post, hope the workout went well.  Sam commented, when told of the WOD, that it was not very creative.  No, it is not, however pure strength days are just as important as the metabolic type conditioning like we did last WOD.  And even though these types of workouts seem to be 'too little' for a day's WOD, they greatly tax the body's muscular and nervous systems and promote production and release of all kinds of good hormones that make you strong and feel like a man; Something like that anyway.  There is a plethora of information on the Crossfit website relating to this very topic, I'll write on it too, but not today. 

Monday, December 8, 2008

08 December 2008


For Time Perform the Following...

25 Handstand Pushups 
800m Run
15 KNE (Knee To Elbow)
30 Pullups
15 KNE
800m Run
25 Handstand Pushups

Note: I forgot the stopwatch so give or take some seconds on times

Brett: 17:30 Rx
Sam: 18:00 (legs elevated on windowsill during Handstand Pushups)
Herbie: 26:45 (regular Pushups)

I will be out of town from 09 - 16 December 2008.   I will post the next WOD by this Wednesday. 

Check It Out!  The new link in the upper right hand 'Friends of 321NothingToIt: Ronin MMA'.  This blog was started just yesterday by a good friend, Sam you met him during Fight Gone Bad III, who has been running the Martial Arts training that I have been fortunate enough to be able to attend over the past year. 

Friday, December 5, 2008

05 December 2005 - - The Gang is Back to Work!!!

Yes! The gang is back; some have endured the hiatus in blazing sun, dazzling blue skies, warm winds and ocean tides; others, long dark and local cold times.

WOD: Let's call it a 'Furious Forty'

For Time...

40 second L-Sit
40 Front Squat 75#
40 Burpees
40 SDHP 75# (Sumo Deadlift High Pull)
40 second L-Sit

L-Sits can be done by various manners (Hanging, on the dip bars, floor, on raised platform) but the idea is to hold your legs out as close to a 'L' as possible. Progressive substitutions would be to first hold to knees out to the 'L' position, and as proficiency grows to gradually extend the leg(s) out to the true 'L' position. From here one can progress to the 'V' position as seen in most gymnastic competitions (this position not only requires a tremendous amount of strength to hold as one needs to hold the hips almost in front of the hands in a counterweight like hold, but an above average Pike flexibility is also required). Very Cool, L-Sit and flexibility practice will get you here and I have heard and do not doubt that if you can hold this then any ab work otherwise would be a piece of cake.

Glad that we could get together today. It would seem that the next few weeks will be trying, accommodating people getting married and all that, but nonetheless after such a long time being out of touch, really great work by everybody.

Brett: 13.54
Sam: 18.36
Steven: DNF (Did Not Finish after twenty or so burpees)

We'll meet again on Monday, say same time as this time.