Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

meghan jess pistolmeghan jess pistol 2
In Monday’s post, Ivy F. and StuLu had one of the most intelligent exchanges we have seen in the community. Unfortunately, it happened later in the day, so you may have missed it. Click on the link above to get it, and then answer these questions: what do you want from your fitness? Why do you CrossFit? Where in life (at the office, on a hike, in the middle of a soccer match, etc.) do you hope to benefit from CrossFit? Where have you seen these benefits already?

front squat

then, three rounds; rest amply between rounds:
max push press @ 1/2 body weight
max strict bodyrow

This workout is scored by the number of repetitions completed of each exercise from all three rounds.


  1. coach | September 23, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Kris C.: 95-100-100-lbs., 18, 48
    Amy D.: 70-70-70-lbs., 34, 29
    Ted K.: 75-75-75-lbs., 59, 31 (sub: press, pushup)
    Samir M.: 95-95-95-lbs., 87, 42 (45-lbs.; 2 rounds)
    Kim H.: 125-115-115-lbs., 33, 51 (85-lbs.)
    Tamra F.: 95-105-95-lbs., 37, 29 (65-lbs.)
    Rob K.: 145-145-145-lbs., 75, 40
    Alex M.: 115-125-135-lbs., 41, 43 (65-lbs.)
    David O.: 175-175-175-lbs., 51, 37
    John S.: 165-165-165-lbs., 89, 27 (75-lbs.)
    Sean M.: 185-195-205-lbs., 37, 31 (95-lbs.)
    Mike S.: 175-185-175-lbs., 82, 24
    Austin W.: 155-165-165-lbs., 58, 40
    Mike D.: 75-95-115-lbs., 36, 36 (sub: pushup)
    Ivy F.: 125-115-115-lbs., 18, 25
    Neil A.: 165-165-155-lbs., 65, 37
    Jen M.: 85-85-85-lbs., 46, 40 (65-lbs.)
    Michelle C.: 75-85-75x-lbs., 93, 24 (33-lbs.)
    John C.: 75-85-85-lbs., 90, 38 (45-lbs.)
    Ravi S.: 85-85-85-lbs., 49/13 (33-lbs.; 1 round), 26, 20 (45-lbs.; 2 rounds)
    Jeff W.: 155-155-155-lbs., 39, 41 (85-lbs.)
    Meghan M.: 165-165-175-lbs., 42, 24
    Joe P.: 225-225-225-lbs., 40, 32
    Mead O.: 65-65-65-lbs., 26, 45 (65-lbs.)
    Lisa C.: 65x-65x-60-lbs., 38, 57 (sub: press, pushup)
    Matt W.: 75-75-75-lbs., 41, 37
    Josh O.: 85-95-105-lbs., 97, 23 (75-lbs.)
    Josh Mc.: 185-190-185-lbs., 98, 37
    Jenn J.: 95-105-105-lbs., 35, 23 (65-lbs.)
    StuLu.: 135-135-135-lbs., 63, 20 (75-lbs.)
    Ricky B.: 135-135-135-lbs., 46, 34 (75-lbs.)
    Mayra C.: 85-85-85-lbs., 37, 43 (65-lbs.)
    Jeremy N.: 165-165-165-lbs., 75, 41 (45-lbs.)

    • mywaterlooo | September 23, 2009 at 6:44 pm

      Tuesday: v-up 33/25/15/12 = 85
      single rope: 144/134/84/59 = 421
      Wed: 50-50-50/push press w/40 pounds 11/11/10 strict body rows: 20/19/12
      Susan M.

      • coach | September 23, 2009 at 9:50 pm

        Nice job, Susan! Glad to hear that you are working out on your own (and keeping up with our workouts!) during your trip.


  2. Rob | September 23, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Great WOD. I also really like the last couple of days – my whole body hurts right now. But it a good way (kind of).

    As for the benefit of Crossfit outside of the gym, I would have to say it has helped me with flag football more than anything. I play a full-contact-on-the-line variation, and it can be pretty intense. The fact that I don’t get tired over the course of the game helps a lot. And more fundamentally, it helps me keep up with the recent college grads – I probably would have had to quit by now otherwise.

  3. ashacooper | September 23, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Thanks for sparking the conversation Stu and Ivy! Here’s my response to the questions above.

    My fitness desires are quite simple. I simply want to be a much better athlete. I think I have an athletic capacity, but I’ve always shyed away from it because it “hurts” and I’m “slow.”

    But for some reason, at this age, I’ve decided, I want to try to achieve what I should have been working on years prior. After we moved into the gym, I made a “personal committment” (which I wrote, but didn’t share with anyone until now) to improve my overall health and well-being. I decided that I was going to show up as often as possible, and give it my all every time. So far, I’m doing that.

    In terms of specific exercises, I wanted to improve on squats, pushups, and pullups (bodyrows), in particular. I’m not good at body weight exercises (probably because of the excess body weight on my body…I’ll get to that). I decided to pursue the 100 day burpee challenge, and I have to confess, I’m stuck at day 36 (been here for 4 days). While the squats have gotten much better, the burpees and the other exercises need a lot of work.

    I also wanted to reduce my blood pressure. About a 1.5 years ago, a doctor told me that I had high blood pressure and needed medication. I refused to accept that medicine as a solution. I took the pills for about a month, and then stopped. Since I’ve been working out with MPH, I’ve had no blood pressure issues (NONE) or other health issues for that matter. I think it’s the combination of the workouts and the understanding that these workouts help improve other areas of my life, like stress reduction (which was the real cause of the high blood pressure). On a recent visit to the doctor, they were impressed with my blood pressure. They were not impressed, however, with my weight. That’s a real issue for me, and I know the problem (traveling and a love of sweets). At this point, that’s the missing part of this equation.

    Lastly, I have already seen big payoff from Crossfit in 6 months. I’m much better, although I want to be able to do more. I’m much stronger, and I’m a more balanced person. Crossfit, to my surprise, has helped me tremendously at work. I’m able to handle difficult, stressful tasks with much more ease. I’m also better to deal with difficult people (Knowing that I could physically knock them out helps to put them in perspective. Please know that I’m not suggesting that I’ll use violence, it’s just good to know my own strength).

    So, while the road to better fitness has lots more in store for me, I’m already impressed by the results I’ve seen. And I welcome any good advice for improving body weight exercises and lowering my weight.


  4. HappilyHome | September 23, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Michelle, I just have to thank you for sharing. 🙂

  5. swimdra | September 23, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    I’ve been debating whether I was going to answer these questions because my answer is so simplistic, but here goes. I Crossfit because it makes me a happier person. Being a fitter person makes me happy, knowing that I workout hard a lot makes me happy, and being able to see results from my work outs makes me happy. It’s a great feeling knowing that I have worked out harder than most everyone else in my office will during the entire day (maybe week) before I even get to the office. My job can be a little boring sometimes, and some days I know that I put more mental effort into my workout than I do into things at work. While that may say something about my work, it also makes me very glad to have someplace that challenges me mentally every day. In every workout there is something that I know I will need to focus on in order to perform at my best. When I don’t focus, it shows. I like the crossfit style of working out in groups, where it’s more like a team and we cheer each other on (even if I’m not a very vocal member of the team, I still appreciate it). I trust and respect the coaches. I like that if I’m doing something wrong they will let me know so that I can fix it and make it better. I benefit from the atmosphere at Crossfit mph, and it makes enjoy working out in a way I was unable to find anywhere else. And that makes me a better, happier person.


  6. Jen M. | September 23, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Thanks so much to everyone for sharing!

    I don’t really have one single benefit from or reason why I Crossfit that I can single out, so here’s a random list of some of the benefits I have noticed from Crossfit and/or reasons why I keep coming back for more:
    * I can lift heavy stuff outside of the gym (like last weekend, when Sean and I were in the IKEA parking lot loading 400lbs worth of boxes onto the roof of our car… awersome)
    * Helps keep me (mostly) sane at work
    * Being able to put my luggage in the overhead bin without dropping it on people’s heads or having to ask for help
    * Happy knees
    * Carrying home the inevitably too many groceries I buy at one time from the grocery store
    * Running to catch the bus/metro without being out of breath for the next 10 minutes
    * Keeping up with the younger, faster girls on the soccer field … well, at least at the end of a game, when they get tired and I still have some energy left
    * The look on boys’ faces when they hear I was doing power cleans or deadlifts (or any other workout that girls apparently don’t do) at the gym that morning (priceless!)
    * and last but not least, our awesome coaches and the MPH community!

    Also, going to put my goals down too, because if I write them down here, maybe you guys will kick my butt into getting there faster:
    #1 NUTRITION, NUTRITION, NUTRITION! This tends to be my major weakness (as John is painfully aware…) – well, really just too many happy hours and a slight obsession with pizza – but seriously, my major goal over the next few months is to focus on nutrition because I really need to lose some weight so that I can (a) actually look like I work out as often as I do and (b) get some pullups and maybe even do one of these “% of your bodyweight” workouts as Rx’d for once
    #2 PULLUPS! (with bonus points for getting one before Sean :))

  7. Mrs. Finkenstadt | September 23, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    ‘Here-here” to everything you have all said! Esp. the quality of the coaching and encouragement from everyone in the groups.

  8. Rob | September 23, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Good stuff. I totally agree about how Crossfit makes one happier in your daily life. At bottom, I think that’s why people make it into a lifestyle rather than just a workout routine. Speaking as someone who has drank the kool-aid, I can say the same about the diets espoused by Crossfit (either the zone or paleo). While it’s really hard at first, going paleo makes you much happier in the long run.

  9. mikeheartspullups | September 23, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    I wasn’t going to respond to any of this; i think i tend to overemotionalize how much i have always loved working out, and then double that overemotionalization because crossfit is so much fun, and because our coaches really know exactly what the fuck they’re doing, and being super strong and “unfuckwithable” (Stu!) is such a great feeling.

    But Rob, you brought up zone/paleo and it caused me to realize that for me, the best part about crossfitting is that it causes me to want to make the right decisions about what i eat the rest of the day.

    to explain: it took me a year to actually listen to john regarding diet. i can still remember when i first started measuring food — august 2008. i never went perfectly zone, but i did it strictly enough, and long enough, to drastically improve my bodyweight-to-strength ratio and develop an innate (and visual) sense of how much protein i need to eat, and how much carb/sugar is too much…

    if you had asked me two years ago whether i ever thought i’d be on a diet or watch what i ate, i’d have said hell no. but now i’ve drank the koolaid too. i really think that what we eat (and how much water we drink, and how much rest we get) is at least as important, if not more so, than our programming (no offense John/Mel/BK!). i never thought i’d think that way. but the benefits of eating right are not just being leaner. i find that i get sick less often, that i perform better, and that i’m sharper-minded when i eat right. I also now think that sugar is the devil. like many of you, i’m now that annoying guy at the restaurant asking for “double meat,” “salad instead of fries,” and “can you take this bread away please?”

    so i guess i realized today that i love crossfitting because it incentivizes me to make good eating decisions during the 23 hours a day that we’re not at MPH. And given my dad’s high blood pressure (and my predisposition thereto) and my absolutely obsessive love of chocolate chip cookies and NY-style pizza, that is a welcome change…

  10. tbferg | September 23, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    Thanks, everyone, for sharing. Here’s my two cents-

    I CrossFit because John told me to. It sounds like a joke, and I guess it is funny in a way, but it’s also the truth. My entire adult life, I have struggled to not be fat, and to find some sort of regular fitness program that I would stick with. My intentions have always been good, but I tend to fall apart on the follow-through. I’ve stuck with John longer than anything else, and actually longer than I have with most boyfriends…That’s a story for another day, I guess.

    John made me not want to quit, and made me realize that I can, in fact, do this. Since getting to know Melody and Rebekka, they have done the same. Although I still struggle with time management and commitment issues, I keep coming back, and I keep re-committing myself. It’s a process, as they say. And I truly appreciate all our coaches, and all of you, for helping to keep me motivated and excited about what we’re doing. A real sense of community has developed here, and I think that’s a large part why I, and probably a lot of us, keep coming back.

    Since starting CrossFit, I notice a real difference in my ability to sleep and the quality of that sleep. On days when I’ve hit the gym in the morning, I’m in a better mood and am better able to manage stress. I also love being just a little bit faster, a little bit stronger, a little bit better on a workout the second or third time it comes around. The transition from individual sessions to group sessions has been a bit difficult to get used to, as change always is, but I really enjoy the camraderie and encouragement I’ve gained from being a part of the group. It’s good motivation, too, to be surrounded by people working so hard and doing so well.

    I still struggle (mightily) with my nutrition. Food is not only a stress go-to for me, but is also something I really enjoy, and so I have struggled with limiting my food options. I also stay busy and am rarely home, so end up grabbing a lot of meals on the run, which never works out well. So, getting my nutrition under control, and ideally losing 25 pounds, are definitely top goals. Pullups are at the top of the list as well. First, though, I need to figure out a way to keep my gym appearances consistent.

  11. eyechip | September 23, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    WOW! What a great dialogue. As a team it is so important to share. We can learn so much from each other and in many ways find the commonality that is in all of us.

    I have noticed two things here:

    1. Goals are in some ways directly related to weaknesses in our lives. The “goal” becomes our desire to overcome the “weaknesses” we recognize in ourselves. Not to make this an AA kinda love-fest of hugging and support – as I am not the hugging type and I like CrossFit because it doesn’t coddle (as well as bar brawls and Dirty Harry movies) – but “the issues” seem clear. Food and weight is a recurring theme. And if our own diets (not diet in the sense of “I’m dieting”) is the weakness there can be only one choice if we want to obtain our goals: eat well and eat what is natural to our human label. Paleo and Zone work well for me as a foundation. But I go outside in also recognizing balance (as an evolved species) in that I also like (now and then) a good Pizza, a few beers, and an occasional Papardelle with a ragout of buttered rabbit.

    2. Positive Energy at work. I am not sure if CrossFit is the answer to making us all conquering Ottomans…but it can’t hurt. There are plenty of people who never work out that are quite successful. But I agree with all that it certainly does help in handling stress in new ways. It may be a result of the energizing aspect of the kick-ass routine and positive reinforcement that Crossfit gives us more than the actual physical benefits. Who cares, it works nonetheless. My feeling is that this outside sense of purpose which takes us briefly away from the shit we all deal with at work is the key to going forth. Nothing like “Fran” to pull us back and shove us forward with a clear head!

    I am stoked! Looking forward to more sessions where we can swear together in sweating harmony! You humble and motivate me at the same time…you are all an inspiration.


  12. jwood30 | September 23, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Why do I crossfit? This is a question that I have been contemplating for a while now. For one, it helps at work. When I go straight from the gym to a twelve hour shift in the kitchen, and most of that time is spent on my feet, every bit of energy is necessary. I rarely if ever get physically worn out and I stay mentally focused as well.

    The main reason I crossfit is to better my performance in the gym. While my pullups and squats have become stronger and faster they can always be better. My newest projects are double unders and box jumps and they will get better. While every workout is important to me their are a few particular benchmarks that are never far from my mind.

    Of course, their is the whole MPH community. Working out with you guys and getting trained by our coaches truly is the best part of my day. When I leave the gym and I see all the people going in and out of other gyms, I know I have done more in an hour than most of them do in one day. That is a bit of a confidence builder by itself. I am probably one of the least vocal athletes, but this is how crossfit and more importantly MPH makes me feel. JW

  13. sub10NARF | September 24, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    What do I want from my fitness? The answer is similar to what most of us want – look better, feel better, look healthier, feel healthier, get stronger, and to be more “unfuckwithable” (thanks Stu!). It also is to be challenged mentally and physically.

    Why do I Crossfit? The obvious answer is that it addresses all of my fitness needs. But there are other progams/methodologies/etc. that can address my needs. So there has to be more. Part of it is the competition – with my fellow athletes, but mostly with myself. Part of it is the uniqueness of what it is we do – Crossfit is a lot of things, but predictable or boring it certainly is not. Honestly, how fucking cool is it to have your friends or co-workers shake their heads and call you crazy when you tell them that your workout that day was a relatively simple one – 100 pullups for time, for example – and then call you fucking crazy when you tell them about FGB or The Name We Don’t Utter.

    More than that though is the incredible community that crossfit MPH-style has created. Most, if not all, of us came from the GLOBO world, where you might know somebody’s name, but you certainly didn’t know anything about them – their strengths, their weaknesses, their goals. John, Mel and BK constantly refer to us as “Team”. I can’t think of a more appropriate term for us – a bunch of folks committed to the same goals, who work together and support each other in the pursuit of those goals.

    The benefits of Crossfit manifest themselves every day for me now. In many ways it is as simple as knowing that when I leave MPH, the hardest part of my day is over – virtually nothing that comes along after 8AM can challenge me as much mentally or physically, and knowing that makes me fell like a bad ass m____fucker, at least for a little while.

    In the end, I think the reason that I Crossfit is my 4 year old daughter and my 1 year old boy – getting fit and staying fit is the least I can do for them. Plus, no way either of my kids is going to beat me one-on-one in hoops until I am at least 55 🙂


  14. mchofia | September 25, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Why do I crossfit? I once went down a road where I didn’t exercise or watch what I ate. It resulted in me being over 200 pounds and not living the life I wanted. Well I wasn’t living I was observing … and that just wasn’t good enough. Too many of my loved ones have lost limbs to diabetes, died at young age, been rushed to emergency rooms, suffer from high blood pressure, or are just living life from the bleachers for me to take it lightly. I was able to loose a lot of the weight but I still wasn’t fit. I did find a trainer at the globo but she (she being Christy Phillips, the crossfit mid-atlantic champ no big deal. Although at the time I didn’t know how much of a BAMF she was.) left and I figured I could use what I learned and do it on my own. That was a bad idea, I lost my form, strength and I succumbed to the work-out traps… elliptical machine and group classes. I know I shudder at that now. I used to be too intimidated to go on the lower level to lift with all those weight belted dudes.

    Then I found the Saturday class, I was flighty about going still thinking I could just do it on my own. It took a dnf where I thought I was going to see my sneakers come out of my mouth to realize doing it on my own was not working. I signed up for the one on ones and stayed with the Saturday class. Then I would do the WODs right there with those weight-belted back squat spotting punks without a second thought. I guess that’s the “unfuckablewith”ness kicking in. Now I don’t feel that I’m alone in the pursuit of a long healthy life. I love the community that thanks to the coaches we have built. As much as I like seeing my progress I also get a kick out of seeing everyone’s PRs. I am inspired every time I’m in that box by my fellow athletes and get a tremendous sense of accomplishment from my own efforts.


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