It has been 2 years, 2 months, 27 days since I have had a Diet Coke (or any carbonated drink for that matter). Don’t get me wrong, I am far from the living example of perfect health, but I used to drink 8-10 of those things a day and happy to kick the habit.
About a month or so ago, I started to notice some issues with my left knee. Never hurt during training, only after. So it was hard to pinpoint if it was a certain movement that was causing it. I really started to focus on form during my squats and tried testing subbing movements to see what worked. Some days it hurt, some days it didn’t. Then it started to hurt after almost every workout. Nothing crazy, but enough to be concerned.
A little over a week ago it got worse. Despite focusing on mobility, stretching, proper warm-up, and everything else people recommend, I would always have this pain in my knee after a workout. Except this time it started to spread around to the inside of my knee and was really tight.
Fast forward to this morning where the doctor did some x-rays and evaluation. Turns out I have patellar tendonitis, arthritis, and also some wearing down of the cartilage around my knee. I got some great advice from the doctor about what I need to do moving forward. Will have to rethink certain movements, especially in the very near future. Overall, I am glad that I went sooner rather than later and still have the confidence of being able to push forward to reach my goals.
Weekly Training Log - 03/10/13
Looking back, this was a really light week for me. I knew with the competition on Saturday that I would rest on Friday, but after the heavy work this past Sunday I never felt like I recovered like normal. Instead of trying to push too hard, I opted to scale it back some. I was still active every day and have been focused on stretching/mobility which is helping, but the intensity level was much lower than normal.
MONDAY - 03/11/13
Active rest, stretching, mobilization.
TUESDAY - 03/12/13
Hips and knee bothering me so I decided to bypass CrossFit and swim instead. 6x100m untimed during lunch.
WEDNESDAY - 03/13/13
Active rest, stretching, mobilization.
THURSDAY - 03/14/13
WOD: 13.2 - 10 minute AMRAP of 5 shoulder to overhead (115), 10 deadlifts (115), 15 box jumps (24”). Detailed writeup here. 6 rounds + 10 box jumps.
Pool (Lunch): 6x100m (untimed)
FRIDAY - 03/15/13
Active rest, stretching, mobilization.
SATURDAY - 03/16/13
I participated in an informal team competition and ended up doing 2 of the 3 WODs before tapping out due to my knee.
WOD #1: Snatch ladder. Starting at 155, each person goes through the ladder and has 1 minute to complete the lift. Each round the weight increases by 10lbs. I made it to 185lbs, matching my PR. While I matched a PR, this was a power snatch. I really need to work on the full snatch and getting under the bar. By all accounts I could easily be over 200lbs on this lift by doing just that. My partner did the jerk ladder and jerked 315 off the rack.
WOD #2: 3-6-9-12 of cleans (185lbs) and pull-ups. One does the set of 3 and once complete, the partner goes. I was doing pretty good but I guess the adrenaline hit me and for some stupid reason, I skipped the round of 9 and went right to the round of 12. It totally threw me off and messed with my head because I was wondering why the guys next to me were getting to the pull-ups faster. So the following round I did 9 instead of 12. Our time was 8:09.
My knee was hurting so badly that I opted to not participate in the next workout (which was a 1000m row, 50 front squats, 50 shoulder to overhead, 50 back squats all at 115lbs, and another 1000m row). I sat down and iced it immediately which helped. I think I could have pushed through it but was afraid of taking something minor and making it major by trying to be a hero.
SUNDAY - 03/17/13
Active rest, stretching, mobilization. Iced my knee a good bit and focused on mobility and rest.
Humbling day for me. During a little informal #crossfit competition one WOD was a team test of strength. 1 does 1RM jerk ladder and the other does a snatch. While I matched my PR of 185 it really opened my eyes to how much I have to learn about technique. Strength will carry you a long way but strength combined with technique will carry you much further. All of my snatches were power snatches. I need to work on getting under the bar in a squat and feel confident that I will be able to increase my PR much more then. I am very appreciative of all the coaching and tips today. #crossfit #hurtlocker #hurtlockerapparel @goldsgymhenrycounty @jagganes #fitness #wod #exercise #snatch #pr
I had a very humbling experience this morning at a little informal CrossFit comp I participated in. Out of the 3 WODs, I tapped out before the last due to my knee (Have an appointment on Monday with the Ortho) and while I probably could have handled it, it was probably the smart move not to risk it.
The entire morning I felt over my head and out of my league in terms of ability. With this Whole Life Challenge, I have seen my strength numbers drop and I am typically 20-30lbs off all of my PRs at the moment. Despite that, I felt good the first workout and matched my PR on snatch. The second WOD really sucked the wind out of me but I finished.
Not really sure what the point of this was, other than to vent some frustration and disappointment in my performance.
13.2 Game Face!
With our girls, it’s really rare for my wife and I to be at the gym at the same time. Sucks during the Open because I would love to be yelling and cheering for my wife. Last night was exceptional because despite not being able to be in the gym, I ended up getting a flood of texts with photos and video from fellow members as my wife took on 13.2.
She went in with a certain number in mind and blew that out of the water. I watched the video sent to me and wanted to yell at the phone to cheer her on. With what she thought was 5lbs under a PR, she banged out reps of 5 with 75# like a freaking boss. In the video I watched her reach a breaking point with the press in the front rack. She had trouble getting a the weight overhead and a trainer got in her face. She dipped and drove and repped it out. Made me wanna go lift some weight right then and there!
Ladies, maybe it is just me running my mouth here because of my own tastes, but strength is just damn attractive. I would much rather my wife be throwing weight around in the gym than trying to be size 0 runway model. Watching her find a limit and break beyond that is attractive. Seeing the expression of confidence and triumph on her face when she came home last night was attractive.
She scored 180 reps and I couldn’t have been more proud of her.
13.2, as seen on our new “whiteboard” courtesy of Wodify.
When I saw this announced, I immediately thought to myself: 1) Thank you for another week without double unders or toes to bar and 2) This is going to suck the air right out of my lungs. With light weight like this, I figured it was designed to go fast and the most time would be spent on the box.
My strategy going into these is to shut up and do them. I don’t plan on watching 40 hours of video and drafting a plan to be reviewed by a committee. All I want is to go in, hit each WOD as best as I can, and when I walk out I know that I did the best that I could do. If you are reading this and want to do each Open WOD 80 times, more power to you. That isn’t me. I highly respect the athletes during the live announcement that are given minutes to think about the WOD and then do it at such a high level in front of a tremendous audience.
Where was I? Oh yea….
My strategy was to move and not rest. I did not have a number in mind that I wanted to hit. I really just wanted to go. These WODs don’t favor us big fellas and being only 10 minutes I knew I couldn’t rest. I suck at box jumps and figured most of my time would be spent there. Ironically enough, one of our trainers mentioned he hated box jumps too. He showed us that with these standards, we could step up instead of jump, and did a short demo of how it saved time. So that is what I did and I think it helped save my legs some. The only regret I have is dropping the bar after the last push press and not going immediately into deads. Other than that, when I lay my head down tonight I know that I went and didn’t rest and did the best that I could do.
The rabbit I mentioned last week was almost a full round ahead of me. A buddy of mine asked me about our scores and I am glad he did. When I told him he just said “Well that has got to make you feel really good to have been so close to his score.” And it did because I felt like I had improved. In the end, isn’t that what this is all about anyway?
6 rounds + 10 box jumps (205).
PS - Wodify is the business. Seriously. I logged into class on my iPhone and it showed up on our big screens. We could log our score after the WOD at the console or from our mobile devices. I can login later and see how everyone did over the entire day.
If you get tired of hearing about my wife, there is an option at the top right that says “unfollow”. Click that.
I was looking at photos from our box and came across this one of my wife. Took me totally off guard. It was a combination of many feelings, but mostly being so proud of her hard work because I see it in this photo. Last week she did 4 rounds of the WOD with the 53lb KB. We have dudes in our box that don’t swing that thing. She looks awesome and feels awesome and carries with her a new confidence as a result.
What is the Whole Life Challenge?
I have had a few messages and comments asking to explain what the Whole Life Challenge is. The Cliff Notes version is this: It is an 8 week challenge focusing on overall health. It is not just a diet. You don’t have to buy $500 worth of supplements for 2 weeks. Eat clean and exercise is the mantra. Here is a video of them explaining how it works if you want to watch it.
You kick it off with measurements and a baseline workout. This gives you a starting point. From there, you focus on several areas throughout the day and have a certain number of points to work with. Every day you log into the WLC website and enter how you did for the previous day.
Here is what you log:
- Nutrition: 0 - 5 points. Start the day with 5 points. For each infraction of a rule, lose a point. You can’t get less than 0! For nutrition, you can chose to follow the challenge as it was written or “scale” it. I am opting to go strict, which means no grains or starchy carbohydrates, no sugar or sweeteners, no dairy, no alcohol/soda/fruit juice, no artificial ingredients or processed foods. But if you have these, you subtract the points. To me this is close to real life in that you have a cheat meal one week.
- Exercise: Did you workout for at least 10 minutes? Yes or No. A workout can be deﬁned as hard and intense, or easy and gentle (what we call “active recovery”), but you must do something every day. Yes = 2 points, No = 0 points.
- Mobilization: Did you physically stretch your body for at least 10 minutes? Yes or No. This can be broken up over the course of a day. Yes = 2 points, No = 0 points.
- Supplement: Did you take your supplement? Yes or No. You may choose the supplement that you are going to take over the course of the challenge (our favorites are ﬁsh oil, vitamin d, pro-biotics, multi-vitamin, etc.). Yes = 1 point, No = 0 points.
- Lifestyle: Did you do the identiﬁed lifestyle habit? Yes or No. Every 2 weeks we will introduce a new lifestyle habit for you to take on. These will be in the areas of drinking water, sleep, mindfulness, and making a difference for others. Yes = 1 point, No = 0 points.
This continues until the end when you do final measurements and the baseline workout again. The challenge winner is based on leaderboard ranking (determined by points), workout ranking improvement, and improvement in your measurements.
If you are considering doing this, I would highly encourage you to wait until they start this again so you can get going from the very beginning. If you belong to a gym, talk to them about doing it. Your gym can setup a team so that you can compete globally but also against fellow members. When my wife went through this at our box, they gave a prize to the winner on our team. It was really cool and she has seen amazing results from it.
When Gina was doing this, the first week was horrible for her. I had to listen to her complain about how hard the challenge was and how it didn’t make any sense. That changed after the first week. This challenge changed her outlook on nutrition and fitness. She frequently said “I can see myself doing this for the rest of my life”. I thought she had lost her freaking mind, honestly. I viewed it as a challenge, something temporary, just to grab some money or another trendy thing for gyms around the world to do. Or just some stricter Paleo challenge and with me already eating pretty close to strict Paleo I didn’t need something like this. But I saw her change right before my eyes. I did it by proxy but still had my doubts. When they did the final measurements/results/baseline, I knew it was legit. Ironically, I have found myself in the same cycle that she went through. I can now see myself following this the rest of my life. Sure, if I want a cheat meal I will have it, but as for the day to day eating, my body has responded quite well to this.
But you tell me, these results are convincing right?
WLC, Week 3 Recap
Week 3 of the Whole Life Challenge went pretty good, probably the best to date. I actually feel as if my body is completely detoxed from all of the processed foods. I never, ever thought I would be to the point where I would be drinking black coffee and Stevia. Who am I?
When my wife went through this challenge a while back, I really thought she had lost her mind when she said “I can really see doing this long term.” I wrote it off. Probably the lack of sugar to her brain making her talk crazy like that. However, now that I am in the middle of this, and as strange as it sounds, I don’t feel limited with how I am eating. It doesn’t feel like I can only eat tree bark and cows. I can see doing this long term.
Now, I have to say this, that during this challenge I am adhering to the rules like they have hidden cameras on me. When it is over, I am certainly not saying that if I have been eating good and hitting the gym hard, that I wouldn’t go out for pizza. I would. And I wouldn’t feel guilty about it. But what I have really enjoyed about this challenge is how I view food now.
This isn’t just a “food” challenge. This past week we have had to get at least 7 hours a sleep a night. Fail. I get up at 4am on the days I go to CrossFit, have a full time job, and 2 kids. LOL at 7 hours. Just ain’t in the cards sometimes. That’s just real. I try, though.
I have been enjoying the mobility part of this. The 10 required minutes each day is truly awesome. Yesterday I went a little harder than normal, doing some running in the morning and then lifting in the afternoon. I was pretty well worn out and might have been hobbling around really bad this morning had it not been for taking the time to stretch and mobilize. This has really helped me think more about the big picture about what I am doing.
The worst part is this part of body composition I am at right now. I am seeing some definition that I have never seen (Oh hello top part of my abs) but my strength numbers are not what they were. I want the magical answer of how to lean out while at the same time increasing my strength numbers. Yesterday I was off my 1RM on front squat by about 30lbs and it messed with my head. Same with the clean & jerk, though I was only about 10lbs off that. I know it isn’t realistic to match my PR every time. Stupid mind games.
I guess I am just at a different spot than before in this whole process. It used to be “just drop a few pounds” and now it is about changing my body composition. I will have to learn a new patience and lean out to where I want to be and then focus on building my numbers back up to where they were.
Weekly Training Log - 03/04/13
MONDAY - 03/04/13
Pool (Lunch): 4x100m; 1x25m freestyle; 1x25m breast stroke; Untimed. Active recovery, stretching, and mobilization.
TUESDAY - 03/05/13
CrossFit (5:00 a.m.)
WOD: “Helen” - Benchmark and one that isn’t really my favorite to do. I can’t recall the last time I ran. Swings were unbroken and never really a great challenge. Pull-ups were better than the last time I have done it. Run was slow. 13:20.
Cash-Out: 5x10 GHD (Yea, I skipped the ring dips)
WEDNESDAY - 03/06/13
Pool (Lunch): 20x50m w/30 sec ri. 26:50.
THURSDAY - 03/07/13
CrossFit (5:00 a.m.)
WOD: CrossFit Open 13.1. Wrote up something more detailed here. Score was 126.
FRIDAY - 03/08/13
Pool (Lunch): 3x300m w/1:30 ri. Actual 300m untimed.
SATURDAY - 03/09/13
CrossFit (7:00 a.m.)
Strength: 5 rounds of 185lb squat clean + 4 front squats; 90 sec rest between each round.
WOD: For Time - 50 abmat sit-ups, 40 KB swings (53lb), 30 burpees, 20 deadlifts (185lbs), 10 clean & jerks (185lbs), 500m row.15:43. I think this would have been faster had I done it with a class and not on my own. Great WOD and the C&J were the sticking point for sure.
Cash-Out: 3 minute partner snatch dual @ 95lbs (One does 5 snatches while the other rests); 5x5 C2B
SUNDAY - 03/10/13
Track (7:00 a.m.)
Running: 1 mile slow warm-up; 10x100m sprints with about a 50m slow recovery in between. We also took a break to time a friend’s all out 400m. Then we did a slow 400m cool down. Felt good to run and my knee actually did very well.
Strength (1:00 p.m.): Warmed up with a 500m row, light push presses, wall balls, and some pull-ups.
Squat Clean & Jerk: I rarely get the chance to work these, so it was great and lots of help with the 2 guys I was lifting with. Excellent coaching tips. 2x135, 1x185,1x195,1x205,1x225, 1x235 (Failed the jerk). After I failed the jerk I dropped back and worked a few at 225. I know that I can get much more weight up than this, just have to work the technique.
Front Squat: 1x225, 1x255, 1x265, 1x275, 1x285, 1x295,
1x305. While I love how I feel from this Whole Life Challenge, I can see my strength numbers struggle a bit. My 1RM is 325 on this lift. Haven’t touched that in a while. But still, I was pleased to get 295 after everything else that I had done that day.
Meal prep Monday!
This accompanied me to work today. First snack will be carrots. Lunch will be a salad (mixed greens, onions, bacon, hard boiled egg, cherry tomatoes, mixed nuts & seeds, with organic chunky salsa & guac) with some fruit. Second snack will be an apple, followed by a plain turkey patty about an hour after that. Still trying to get half my body weight in ounces of water in a day as well.
What did you bring?
With the very real possibility of C2Bs coming in the Open, I stayed after today and worked on them.
It’s been so long since I have attempted them that I can’t even remember when that was. After the WOD, I did 5 sets of 5 and was stoked that I got my chest up there each time! They are certainly harder and require a little more pull, but doable.
Think that the days I stay and work pull-ups I may do C2B instead of the regular kipping pull-ups and see how that goes.