Saturday, January 31, 2009

31 January 2009

Economic downturn and Worldwide fiscal woes, Whatever; Thanks to one upbeat 'look at the bright side' British man; I can now sleep and walk about my dwelling at peace.

I just could not stop imagining this...

From the BBC headlines:  Man trapped by sofa sipped whiskey

Note the picture posted above.  One step ahead of you buddy!

Honestly, have you ever imagined your sofa as an area of concern for your safety.  It is supposed to be a place of comfort everlasting.  A location in your confines that you wish to spend less time in, but happily give a few more minutes, and a refuge and safe haven from those nights you simply cannot, do not wish or are forced to make your usual nest. 

I really do not know what to say about this...giggle...I certainly hope that when I come of age I will not be subdued by a sofa of all things.  I do understand that certain enticing centers for relaxation carry quite the load with their fold out mattresses and hidden coolers, but I do hope, should I ever find myself taken down by a resentful sofa, old stale crumbs in my face along with stains and smells I eliminated with a 180 degree turnover, that I should be well enough to squirm and shrimp my way out of said treacherous cavern of fabric and into the kitchen for a leisurely shot of my favorite drink.  Much rather than some awkward sipping, for dear life, of my previous sinning that just happened to linger in between myself and my weight. 

Regardless, you have to hand it to those British, they sure are a humorous and happy lot. 

BTW: This is still a Crossfit influenced Nothing To It'ers blog, we simply have not gotten together or done any WOD's in quite the while.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Shane & Mike, Training, Team Ronin

Two months off the mat is more than enough time to develop some rust and need for training wheels.  But back at it again and I can certainly feel a resurgent set of familiar firings in my mind and body.   I am excited.  Enough said. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

19 January 2009

The most recent trip, this was the best picture I took, Dulles Airport Washington, DC approximately 0800; ugh, all this traveling is beginning to weaken my positive vibes.

It's another lonely evening
And another lonely town
But I ain't too young to worry
And I ain't too old to cry
When a woman gets me down...

But I know what I'm gonna do -
I'm gonna ride on
Ride on
Ride on, standing on the edge of the road
Ride on, thumb in the air
Ride on, one of these days I'm gonna
Ride on, change my evil ways...

Wow, thanks AC/DC.  In that case, and along with the fact that I will actually be in the STL for sizable period of time, I have decided to commit to something that scares me to even think about. Butterflies....but beautiful butterflies.  Arnold World Grappling Championship.

This tournament takes place 07 March 2009 in Columbus, Ohio.  This gives a good solid seven or so weeks to train up.  I will be training up with Ronin MMA.  I have been training with these guys & girl, off and on, for the most part of the past year.  I have no doubt that they can take me to true competition level.

Nothing To It'ers, this event is not something that I can simply walk into with the thought, let's go suck at something, lest I wish to become physically known as damaged goods.  The bar is high, a tremendous challenge that demands time, effort, sweat and a few loose marbles.  I am ready to give the former, thankfully, I already have the latter. 

Sam, you have come a long way since we first got started with Crossfit back in August. I hope you agree.  I will be happy to post WODs and train with you when I can.  My schedule as it stands would include training Mon & Wed nights and Sun morning (but the workload will most likely increase as the tournament draws nearer) and I am also committed now to Kirkwood Rugby and training days of Mon & Thurs afternoons and Saturdays. 

I am completely confident that you have learned and experienced enough, you have done many nitty and nasty gritty workouts, that you can continue to develop your fitness Crossfit style on your own when the situation calls for it.  You will simply have to avoid being a Sack of Shit.  

Herbie is on the Disabled List & Steven I believe is still off in honeymoon land.  Realize the satisfaction of doing something beyond your comfort level and giving your all, and then WOD it up. 

Thoughts or comments?  You know where to post them.  Posts make me happy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

13 January 2008

Steven, a few days before he gets married.  This is Crossfit, not cold feet. 

Oh my, oh my, this one had heartbreak written all over it.  With the memories of last wod's spankings, confidence shaken and all, doubts were in abundance.  


Power Clean 15 reps
Ring Dips 30 reps
Power Clean 12 reps
Ring Dips 24 reps
Power Clean 9 reps
Ring Dips 18 reps
Power Clean 6 reps
Ring Dips 12 reps
Power Clean 3 reps
Ring Dips 6 reps

My goodness, that was tiring just typing that.

Rx weight for Power Clean is #155

This day, I weighed in at #157.5. This is going to be tough. Nothing to it, my ass.

Sam: ~24:00 performed Cleans at #115 and assisted Dips (see below, but next time you are getting more weight)

Herbie: ~32:00 performed Hang Cleans at #85 and Pushups

Brett: ~31:00 as Rx'd

Let's talk about Sam first. Sam is definitely ready to step it up on the Cleans and bend the bar some more.  The form is not perfect, neither is mine, but I was happy to note on the times I caught glimpses that the split step he would do on the catch, a previously formed habit, was corrected. Obviously the Dips need work as ring dip strength is not yet achieved, this can be thrown in the warmup, but I was very happy with the Cleans. 

Herbie performed quite well.  Of the note were his push ups which have come a long way.  I am concerned that we are going to fast throwing in the Hang Cleans though.  I believe that we should go back to getting the Deadlift basics perfect before doing any more Cleans or other more progressive Oly lifts.  His Hang Cleans clearly got better as he became more fatigued, as often happens with high reps, but there were still a few in there that were beyond ugly and likewise beyond the 'safe zone' for the weight he was using.  We will go back to basics.  Before you Run you learn to walk, before you walk you learn to crawl.

As for me and as mentioned above, I was very intimidated by this WOD, but I was determined to finish as prescribed.  My PR on Cleans is #190, my body weight a few hours before performing this WOD was #2.5 over the weight I would be Cleaning.  Performing 45 reps of roughly body weight Power Cleans is not something I do often, throw in 90 Ring Dips, and I may as well slam a fifth of dirt cheap tequila and call it even.  

One by one I lifted, heaved, shrugged, and caught. Grunts followed.  The Ring Dips were handled in patient sets.  Only until the end did it get sloppy.  A missed a Clean on my last rep, I got greedy with my patience, and the sets of Ring Dips became mismatched.  Steady progress produced prescribed completion in ~31:00, the time was not my concern this time around, I was more than satisfied with the completion. 

Excellent work everybody. 

Next WOD:

Deadlift 3-3-3-3-3
Bench Press 5-5-5-5-5

Sam, I really want you to step it up on the Deadlift, and also coach Herbie on his form; start conservative.

The bench press, though unexciting, is a very good way to increase raw push and chest strength for pushup, dips etc.  Work hard, and spot each other. 

Sunday, January 11, 2009

11 January 2009

Shawn Johnson, USA Gymnastic Olympic Team Beijing 08', Runner Up All-Around, Gold Medalist Balance Beam; I wish I was still sixteen

Dudes, and Dudets, in a gymnastics gym.
Today, Crossfit St. Charles hosted an open gym in the Generation Gymnastics gym where they share space. There were about fifteen of us, all Crossfit folk, from various affiliates around the St. Louis region, a large presence however was from Crossfit Valley Park. I did not bring my camera, so in the mean time I will wait until others post pictures so that I can then 'borrow' them and post them here, but in the mean time click on the Valley Park link, they have already posted a few pics.

I almost did not get out of bed this morning, but I am glad that I did, it was a great time. Steven is out of town, but Sam and Herbie, you guys really missed out, and so our next workout is going to be extra awful. At the workshop was a girl who led the group through the gymnasium, showing and detailing various exercises and apparatuses, and allowing us uninhibited reign at making fools of ourselves, proving even for Crossfitters, the laws of physics and most importantly gravity, still apply, and thank God for foam pits and soft reminders. BTW: The girl leading the workshop clearly was not impressed whatsoever with Crossfit and seemed very eager to see said laws of physics at work accompanied by grunts and whines... I liked her.

I have been to Team Central Gymnastics open gym hours a handful of times. Those moments were great as well (I have grown to really love gymnastics in the past year) and the set up was quite similar. A bunch of dudes, and sometimes dudets, jumping, pulling, swinging, balancing, etc all over the place with an instructor to make sure no one was planning on bouncing into a wall or doing something beyond a layman's acceptable version of stupid. However, those situations, despite one instance where I was the only in attendance and received almost one-on-one instruction, were quite often intimidating. And being in the presence of other dudes and dudets, without any formal training opposite to theirs, working on handstands while they tumbled ridiculous routines, just the clash of experience and the vibe put forth was at times too much. Though I learned a lot from some of them it was nonetheless a weight.

This workshop, set with some familiar faces but all with similar foundations, provided a totally comfortable experience. No need to expand further, it was just plain nice, and I thank the always charming Kim over at Crossfit St. Charles, and hope that she can set up more workshops like that in the future.

On a personal note: One of the skills that I wanted to learn upon first actively engaging in gymnastics was a tumbling pass. Today I performed for the first time a round off tied to a backhand spring. It was done on the trampoline runway deal, and honestly it was more of a mental hurdle, but a big hurdle, and I am quite excited by that. Next up, take it to the floor. Nothing To It.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

08 January 2009

Ever received a wake up call.  For me they are never inviting.  Who the hell would be calling me here at this hour? Oh yeah, I asked for that.

Ever received a wake up call, Crossfit style.  What the hell, there is no way I can finish this Rx'd.  Damn, I have been neglecting that.

This day we did the Crossfit HQ workout which is explained as follows...


Ten Rounds for Time of...

3 Weighted Pullups #45
5 Strict Pullups
7 Kipping Pullups

Coming off the bar at any time concludes a set.

My pullup strength, before going into this one, I knew was lacking.  Not so much my strength, but my power generation.  I rarely do weighted pullups, or strict pullups for that matter.  The ability to perform many kipping pullups, I know, does not bring with it the ability to perform many strict pullups or heavy pullups.  I have neglected this ability but have in the past put it aside, this workout scared me though, and I most definitely received my wake up call. Get your hands on the bar and get yourself over the bar, go heavy. This is the most basic of functional movements of which real life applications are endless.  The simple ability to hoist yourself, and then some, onto and above an obstacle;  fairly basic, quite important.  

Spanked! In a Good Way!

Spanked! In a Bad Way!  I am not even going to detail the results of this WOD.  For me, one round Rx'd. Then a fast steeping decline. Ten rounds not achieved.  Sam zoomed down a similar path.  Herbie showed up late and this workout was above his level.  He did some pullup negatives and a few sets of bar rows, until Sam and I finished our WOD, making more of an exercise walking to the dumbbell rack to substitute for a lighter weight than the actual WOD itself.  Ugh, it sucked, but there is a solution.

Get your hands on the bar, often, and get yourself over the bar, go heavy.  

I have previously written in a post, on my first visit to Crossfit St. Charles, that I don't like to warm up.  However, I am in accord with the fact that the warmup is a great place to work on lacking skills & strength.  Sure, if the WOD calls for many pullups, best save your strength.  But if lacking in pullup strength and power as described above, get in some reps during the warmup, everytime.  Lacking in the Handstand Push Up region, do what you can during the warmup.  Lacking in the Thruster region, the Clean region, etc...

Then get some reps in the warmeps!

See how I made that rhyme, you can let me know if that was clever or not by posting to comments.  

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

30 December 2008

Burpee Race. Oh, the thoughts I had on this one. It was not much of a race. Sam was out of town, Steven was amiss, but Herbie and I went forth, and hopped our way around the track, sucking wind the entire time.

Herbie Burpee'ng for Distance from Brett Markwort on Vimeo.
- filmed & Directed by Brett

My idea for our final workout of the year 2008 was to have ourselves a burpee race, one lap around the track (~150m), advancing only by the jumps following a burpee, with a twist...complete 5 Handstand Pushups and 25 Squats at each turn, beginning the race with said exercises thus finishing with a final glorious Burpee.

It was not much of a race, Herbie got winded early but great work, and finished 3/4 of the track in 20:30 and ~ 45 Burpees. I completed the track in 11:30 and ~ 50 Burpees (I lost count a bit). I had fun, adding the distance factor to doing Burpees really makes you jump more forcibly than you would staying in place.

Hopefully we can do this again when we are all together, hopping around in front of those on the treadmills made me feel a little self conscious, albeit I was too busy inhaling air and wiping sweat to care. I am sorry though if I made a few look up from their TV's or magazines. Just imagine what a scene it would be for four guys, Burpeeing their way around the track, it makes me...giggle...just a little bit.

A good WOD to end the year.

Up Next in the WOD Queue: Crossfit HQ has put up a brand new WOD under the date 08 January 2009 that has got me thinking. I would like to try it, some scaling may be in order, but I really don't know how I would handle it as my pullup strength should be better. I guess its right up my alley then. We'll give this one a try.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

06 January 2009

BTW: I cut and pasted a few things on this post and paid the price. The format got all F#@KED, its readable, but you can post your comments if it bothers you. But I did post a rather fit female to brighten the post.

East Meets West. Quite literally. Sam returned yesterday from South Florida, I returned yesterday from San Diego, and we had ourselves a back to work WOD with Herbert joining us. The workout we did was straight from a recent Crossfit HQ posting, so I will just copy and paste that...


With a continuously running clock do one 135 pound Clean and Jerk the first minute, two 135 pound Clean and Jerks the second minute, three 135 pound Clean and Jerks the third minute...continuing as long as you are able.

Use as many sets each minute as needed.

Sam: Performed 6 Rounds Successfully and 4 C&J's on the seventh @ #105

Herbie: Performed 6 Rounds Successfully and 2 C&J's on the seventh @ #75

Brett: Performed 6 Rounds Successfully and 4 C&J's on the seventh as Rx'd

What is up with that Seventh Round?


7 rounds + 5, first time

In the fifth round I was done in 22 seconds, so I am thinking 10 rounds is a piece of cake maybe more. In round six I felt a wave hit me on the last couple reps and near the end of round 7 I felt like I was standing in sand. Massive metabolic breakdown.

Comment #140 - Posted by: p. l. at January 2, 2009 4:16 AM

The above comment, ripped from the HQ site, sounded just about right to me, though I must say that I was not quite as optimistic after, for me, the fifth round, but I thought then that I could make it through seven rounds. As p. l. said, 'massive metabolic breakdown'.

I had never done this type of workout before, it has come up a number of time on the main site but usually involving pullups. It has never seemed to exciting to me. This however is the first time that I have seen it involving Clean & Jerks...

I Heart Cleans

So we did this. Crossfit never disappoints, I enjoyed this one. Slowly, but forcibly turn up the power...

To Eleven.

Sam I thought did very well, however on his cleans he has developed a habit to split his step on the catch. I have never seen that before, it does not seem natural to me, the rest of the movement looks good, I really don't know what to think about it. We'll practice some more and see what happens when the bar gets heavier.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

02 January 2009

InTransit Audio performing live at the Tiki Bar in Pacific Beach, CA.  Left to right are band members Jack (Keys & Trumpet), some Rapper Guy, Dave (Bass & Guitar), Mike (Drums), and Adam (Guitar & Bass)

Happy New Year!!!

Resolutions, nope, not for me. 

How about just Keep on Keepin' On, that was from Joe Dirt by the way. 

There is no better place to do that than what has been almost my home away from home, if you will, than San Diego, CA.  I have been out here quite a bit in the past year and it has always been something special.  New Year's Eve was great, and on New Year's day I got to see the live show of one of my oldest mate's band, InTransit Audio, perform at the Tiki Bar in Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA.  A small venue, but the fresh funk driven wavelengths were enough to penetrate any previous nights sinning. Yaba Daba Doo!

For now, for those on holiday and those the subject of matrimonious events and those celebrating them, enjoy and live it up.  We'll get back to work one of these days.  Keep on Keepin' On!