Wednesday, March 17, 2010


  1. coach | March 17, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Ralph A.: 185-185-185-185-185-lbs.
    Borja G.: 225-225-225-225-225-lbs., 95-95-95-95-95-lbs.
    Erez Y.: 185-185-185-185-185-lbs., 65-65-65-65-65-lbs.
    Mike D.: 185-185-185-185-185-lbs., 85-85-85-85-85-lbs.
    Alex M.: 185-185-185-185-185-lbs., 95-95-95-95-95-lbs.
    Tamra F.: 185-185-185-185-185-lbs., 80-80-80-80-80-lbs.
    Derek B.: 155-155-155-155-155-lbs., 75-75-75-75-75-lbs.
    Kim H.: 155-155-155-155-155-lbs., 65-65-65-65-65-lbs.
    Samir M.: 155-155-155-155-155-lbs., 95-95-95-95-95-lbs.
    Erin K.: 145-145-145-145-145-lbs., 65-65-65-65-65-lbs.
    Amy D.: 125-125-125-125-125-lbs.
    Kris C.: 120-120-120-120-120-lbs., 50-50-50-50-50-lbs.
    Kristie K.: 115-115-115-115-115-lbs., 25-25-25-25-25-lbs.
    Ted K.: 12.5-12.5-12.5-12.5-12.5-lbs. (sub: weighted pull-up)
    Rob K.: 245-245-245-245-245-lbs., 105-105-105-105-105-lbs.
    Jeremy N.: 225-245-245-x-x-lbs., 125-125-125-125-125-lbs.
    David O.: 295-295-295-295-295-lbs., 95-95-95-95-95-lbs.
    Alan N.: 135-135-135-135-135-lbs., 55-55-55-55-55-lbs. (sub: deadlift, single arm kettlebell snatch)
    Ivy F.: 205-205-205-205-205-lbs., 75-75-75x-70-70-lbs.
    Ravi S.: 185-185-185-185-185-lbs., 80-80-80-80-80-lbs.
    Josh M.: 185-185-185-185-185-lbs., 85-95-95x-85-85-lbs.
    Sidra C.: 165-165-165-165-165x-lbs., 75-75-75-75-75-lbs.
    Scott D.: 175-175-175-175-175-lbs., 75-75-75-75-75-lbs.
    Mayra C.: 145-145-145x-135-135-lbs., 65-65-65-65-65-lbs.
    Jessica H.: 170-170-170-170-170-lbs., 70-70-70-70-70-lbs.
    Leota B.: 85-85-85-85-85-lbs., 45-45-45-45-45-lbs.
    Katie M.: 85-85-85-85-85-lbs., 45-45-45-45-45-lbs.
    Joe P.: 225-225-225-225-225-lbs., 115-115-115-115-115-lbs.
    Josh O.: 225-225-205-205-205-lbs., 115-115-115-115-115-lbs.
    Jeff W.: 225-225-225-225-225-lbs., 85-85-85-85-85-lbs.
    Roselena R.: 165-165-165x-155-155-lbs., 65-65-65-65-65-lbs.
    John S.: 135-135-135-135-135-lbs., 65-65-65-65-65-lbs.
    Sara S.: 95-95-95-95-95-lbs., 35-35-35-35-35-lbs.
    Jonathan H.: 185-185-185-185-185-lbs., 85-85-85-85-85-lbs.
    Johnny A.: 135-135-135-135-135-lbs., 75-75-75-75-75-lbs.
    Linda K.: 95-95-95-95-95-lbs., 35-35-35-35-35-lbs.
    Dave R.: 225-225-225-225-225-lbs., 135-135-135-135-135-lbs.
    Joanna L.: 115-115-115-115-lbs.; 50-50-50-50-50-lbs.
    Jessy C.: 85-95-95-85-85-lbs., 50-50-50-50-50-lbs.
    Sara D.: 95-95-95-95-95-lbs, 35-35-35-35-35-lbs.
    Amy S.: 115-115-115-115-115-lbs., 50-50-50-50-50-lbs.
    Jason H.: 185-185-185x-175-175-lbs., 75-75-75-75-75-lbs.
    Kyle F.: 205-205-205-205-205-lbs., 85-85-85-85-85-lbs.
    Steve D.: 255-275-275-275-275-lbs., 115-115-125x-120-120-lbs.
    Sean M.: 255-275-275-275-275-lbs., 135-145-145-145-145-lbs.
    Wayne C.: 185-185-185-185-185-lbs., 90-90-90-90-90-lbs.
    Joe F.: 205-205-205-205-205-lbs., 95-95-95-95-95-lbs.
    Thomas M.: 175-175-175-175-175-lbs., 85-85-85-85-85-lbs.
    Tyler P: 135-135-135-135-135-lbs., 65-65-65-65-65-lbs.
    Shana S.: 125-125-125-125-125-lbs., 60-60-60-60-60-lbs.
    Adam C.: 225-225-225-225-225-lbs., 95-95-95-95-95-lbs.
    Neil A.: 255-275-275-275-275-lbs., 115-115-115-115-115-lbs.
    Meghan M.: 165-165-165-165-165-lbs., 95-105x-100x-95-95-lbs.
    Mike S.: 60-65x-65-65x-x-lbs., 105-115x-105-105-105-lbs. (sub: weighted pull-up)
    Marc B.: 185-185-185-185-185-lbs., 115-115-115-115-115-lbs.
    David S.: 155-165-145-145-145-lbs., 85-85-85-85-85-lbs.
    Jonathan S.: 65-65-65-65-65-lbs., 37 (sub: deadlift, max bodyrow)
    Bill M.: 115-115-115-115-115-lbs., 47 (sub: max bodyrow)
    Susanna B.: 155-165x-155-155-155-lbs., 65-65-65-65-65-lbs.
    Kate S.: 125-125-125-125-125-lbs., 55-60-60-60-60-lbs.
    Christine S.: 125-125-125-125-125-lbs., 60-60-60-60-60-lbs.
    Jenn J.: 125-125-125x-120-120-lbs., 60-60-60-60-60-lbs.
    Teal B.: 135-165-155-155x-145-lbs., 65-65-65-65-65-lbs.

  2. tbferg | March 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    I’ve been struggling all morning to decide which is funnier: snatch hook-grip, or hook snatch-grip.

    Either way, my thumb is still numb from it.

  3. StuLu | March 17, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Switzerland. Idyllic. Rich. Beautiful. Boring. It has always been my philosophy that if someone has too much of anything they will eventually lose the passion that comes from desire. At the edge of not having is the laughter and joy of reach. The Swiss have not had to want for years. As the world reaches, the Swiss quietly neutralize the mess we make in the process, stashing under the mattress a wealth of cash, which they dare not talk about, talk at all, for fear that someone may find out. Which, in retrospect, is why the Swiss are so reserved, “loose lips sink ships.” Well, I guess someone has to do it.

    Of course, this does not lend itself to the community and concept of Crossfit: raucous, in your face workouts that scream ATTENTION! Which, in turn, is why I was so intrigued to see how the culture of Crossfit would play out in a land where the yodel is the loudest form of expression (a fitting Swiss tradition in that the only form of noise here takes place in remote canyons – a primal scream to empty their stored up angst). Would a WOD in Switzerland be one in which we do our max attempt at yodeling while performing weighted pull-ups? Could it be that my drop-in fee will have to be paid by a wire- transfer from the Cayman Islands? Would the coach’s remain neutral if I accidentally throw a kettlebell to the floor? Would athletes be hiding wads of cash in their LuLu Lemon underwear?

    Crossfit Zurich

    -The Box is nicely located in a well-heeled residential area near the financial-district; perhaps the most centrally located affiliate I have seen to date. I wondered how they afford the rent here in what is easily one of the most expensive cities in the world. As I walk up to the entrance I notice the symbol-persona of Switzerland standing in front of the building: an old lady with a mop and bucket. You see them everywhere here. Cleaning the sidewalks and entrances, inspecting everyone who walks by with a suspicious eye, keeping everything neat and tidy. Few people know that the “real” Swiss Army is actually made up of these old babushkas. Armed with only a mop they scour the nation of its sins keeping everything sparkly clean. She mumbled something stern to me while pointing at my car. Apparently I was illegally parked. I mumbled back “not to worry…it is a rental and that in fact it can be parked anywhere.” I am quite certain that the mop was concealing an automatic weapon.

    -I was concerned as to how much a drop-in fee was going to be. In a city of $900.00 a night hotel rooms and $30.00 martinis the sky is truly the limit for an hour of exclusive Swiss sweating. I checked my wallet; I had the equivalent of $500.00 so it was going to be close – but, with a little negotiation I thought I might be able to wrangle myself in for less.

    -The gym is manned by three guys; Ozi, Isaac, and the owner – Herr Furrer (I am being serious here, his last name is Furrer). Needless to say, I was a bit nervous about the possibility of someone named Herr Furrer yelling at me during the WOD. Hopefully, the warm-up would not entail 400 yards of goose-stepping. I introduced myself to Ozi who was incredibly kind and very excited that someone was dropping-in. They have been open only since December and I think that I was the first out-of-towner they have seen. I inquired about the fee; it was clear that they had no idea what to charge. I was becoming growingly concerned as I fondled my wad of Swiss Francs while Isaac and Ozi looked at each other for guidance. Finally Ozi agreed that I pay nothing. Nothing! He only asked that I send him an MPH t-shirt sometime. Deal! I agreed that I would wire it directly to his diversion account in Liechtenstein.

    -The language of the gym was English. This was good as the only German word I know is that for “bra.” Which in German is “keepinemfromfloppin.” Oh, and also “Vaseline,” which is “goodenshlick.” It became clear later as to why English was the language of choice in that most of the people working out here were Americans positioned in Zurich for banking jobs.

    -Ozi showed me to the changing room. However, I was already decked out in my favorite LuLu Lemon finery. I informed him that I am currently wearing my workout clothes, no need to change. He looked me up and down and shrugged.

    -I had arrived at 5:50 PM for a 6:00PM WOD. At 6:00 there were just two of us ready to go. At 6:10 the earlier group of three American guys was still grinding through the workout. At 6:20, long after we finished our warm-up, which involved three rounds of 5-squats, 5-pushups, 5 Burpees, and 20 sit-ups they finally finished. What the hell was this workout? Ozi explained that it was a tough one and that it was taking people a really long-time to get through. Ugh.

    -Once again, during the warmup, it was noticed that I lift my hands for Burpees. Everyone asked me why I would be doing such a crazy thing. So, this time I decided to milk it for something uniquely StuLu: I told them it is the latest technique in the Crossfit arsenal invented by a girl nick-named BK. Thus, the name: The BK Burpee.

    -The WOD: 21,18,15,12,9,6,3 of 225lb dead-lifts, pull-ups, ring dips, and double-unders. Ugh. A chipper for sure. This one took the new award for the longest workout I have ever finished…eclipsing my previous time for Filthy-Fifty by two minutes. I grew a beard by the end of it. And wondered if my wife and daughter would still remember me if I ever got to the finish. All was performed as required.

    -I was clearly the oldest guy they have ever had in the gym. Ozi looked concerned that I would actually want to do the dead-lifts at 225lbs. He had me try-it and was duly impressed when I whipped through 5 warm-up reps. “Ja, das ist wunderbar,” he exclaimed! I was a bit confused as 225lbs is not a big deal…clearly I had become a panda in the zoo of Crossfit Zurich. I demonstrated the other movements which were all fine; again I heard “Wunderbar!” He kept yelling at everyone to check me out while commenting that it is incredible that “a guy my age can do all of these things.” Huh? I told him that I am only 46 and as of yet have not received my AARP card. “Ja, but a Swiss man of your age would be dead on the floor right now if he tried any of these movements.” This was not encouraging; I do not like to be bundled into the category of “death by age” before a workout.

    -We began the WOD with a count down. I looked around the room for the timer and realized that they did not have one on the wall. Ozi was using a $10.00 hand-held stopwatch. Thus, there would be no way to check my time throughout. This is rather odd for a country known for its precise time-keeping in that they would not even have the basic Crossfit wall-timer that is a staple of every box. With that I began cranking out the first 21 dead-lifts as I looked to the corner of the room; I noticed Herr Furrer, quiet, stoic – with arms crossed, clearly inspecting me for something – it was disconcerting. I was praying that it was not his mother downstairs with the mop and bucket.

    -Chipping away…rep by rep…I was dripping in sweat. Once again, my status of panda in the zoo was front and center as Ozi continued his exclamations of “Wunderbar…look at this old guy kipping!” Then he took it to the next level by starting to take photographs and video of me doing pull-ups and ring-dips – adding to the fray with a statement that I am “moving like a 30-year old.” He would hold the camera and ask me to do more so that he can get a better shot. What the hell? Was I unknowingly destined for a Swiss porn video that features sweaty men in LuLu Lemon?

    -Here’s a new one: Ozi brought me multiple glasses of sparkling water during the WOD. Either this was a special touch of exceptional and precise Swiss service or he was worried that I would “hit a wall” and drop dead on the floor should he not provide water to the “old guy.” I was imagining, as I took an obligatory sip, whether John would provide complimentary sparkling water – served gently in crystal glasses – during each workout.

    -I finally finished the WOD. The three people who arrived early for the 7:00PM class had rallied around me for the end. But they never said anything. Just stood and watched. One of the guys gave me a fist pump as I ran to do my last double-unders. In their own way I know they were cheering me on, quietly, in a peculiar Swiss style.

    -As I cooled down Ozi and I chatted. He was done coaching (or video-taping porn…depending on what I get when I google “StuLu” in the coming days) and Isaac was leading the next group, explaining to them that from now on Crossfit Zurich will be exclusively doing the BK Burpee. We actually talked about Crossfit and the growing culture for over an hour. He told me that he flew to Crossfit San Diego (a gym that I had coincidentally just been at) to get his certification. Afterwards he wanted to travel around the West to see other affiliates and learn as much as he could. He admitted though that he made it as far as Las Vegas and never left. Or even visited another box. I was laughing inside as I visualized this young Swiss guy in Vegas for the first time – Ozi, standing on the boulevard peering up at the bright lights, and excitedly seeing first-hand all that his country had built.

    StuLu Rating: 4 kettlebells. (But, keep in mind that Crossfit in Europe is about 5 years behind the curve).

    • coach | March 17, 2010 at 4:13 pm

      Top notch, StuLu. I’m serious about making you a page for these reviews. They’re too good to get relegated to the daily comments.

      And, we finally have a name for the new burpee—fantastic, because I’m tired of writing things like “duck walk” and “inchworm” on the board. You probably think I’m kidding, but you should see the warm-ups Mel came up with this week.

      Sparkling water? You know what else would be surprising? A foot massage. I’ll work on it.

      Great stuff, StuLu. Travel safe.


      • Kimmie | March 17, 2010 at 5:13 pm

        I live for StuLu posts. I think his own page is a great idea Coach.

        Great read Stu!

    • Rob | March 17, 2010 at 4:59 pm

      Stulu – a fantastic tour-de-force of a review. Did you get a chance to ask the Swiss what they really think of the movie “Heidi?”

    • train2live | March 17, 2010 at 7:42 pm

      Stu Lu,

      Another excellent review! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

      Dave O.

  4. Need A Bionic Back | March 17, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Great stuff indeed StuLu! Can’t wait for the next one.

    John S.

  5. Mrs. Finkenstadt | March 17, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    That is the funniest thing I have ever read. I practically had tears running down my face at the sparkling water paragraph! Please god let there truly be a video. Please.

  6. Mrs. Finkenstadt | March 17, 2010 at 5:48 pm
  7. StuLu | March 17, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Well, I just went to the Crossfit Zurich website to thank everyone for a great time. Lo-and-behold, they are, in fact, thanking ME! For teaching them the new BK Burpee. I am not kidding. Check it out: It is under the comments for today’s WOD.

    BK, I am going to make you famous. If I can just get back to Japan soon you will become an instant icon. The world will be doing the BK Burpee.

    StuLu-Ich bin ein sow.

    • b-kay | March 17, 2010 at 9:49 pm

      StuLu!…awesome!…this works perfectly into my plan for world domination…


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