Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I am not a smart man

As Forest Gump said "I am not a smart man". Well Forest, neither am I. The WOD was 100 reps of deadlifts at body weight. I weigh 178, but put 185 on the bar because it was easiest to put together. I find I am often blissfully unaware of how difficult things can be. I was planning on doing 10 sets of 10 reps with about a one minute rest in between. I figured I could get this workout done in less than 20 minutes. I used a platform in the gym that allowed me to go low enough for my hands to hit the platform (lower than if the 45lb plates hit the floor).

The first set I had to stop after 6 reps. The first 50 were done in 13 minutes, the last 50 in 23 minutes for a total time of 36 minutes flat. My grip, forearms, hamstrings and low back were screaming by the 50th rep. To add to the indignity of it all on my last rep, I lost the grip. I had to take the weight off, lift the bar and put the weight back on to finish the last one. On my way to the gym I was planning to do the 4 5K TT when this was done. I barely made it home. I will make up this workout, maybe tomorrow as it is a scheduled off day.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Holiday Rewind

Christmas was a double workout. So much for a gift from Max. I moved workout 2 to the next day as I didn't want to feel rushed.

The workout was 50/50 40/40 30/30 20/20 10/10 pushups/lunges (I did half the required amount of lunges with each leg). Was running late for Christmas at my in-laws so cranked it out in 9:46. Then I went on to have a great meal followed by 7-8 of the best Christmas cookies I've ever had that Nancy makes every year. Felt guilty, but only for a second. I am glad she only makes them once a year as I have absolutely no self control around them.

On the 26th the wod was 5 sets of 3 reps of back squats. The results are as follows; 135, 155, 185x3. Considering 185 was my max 2 weeks earlier I was really pleased. Form was good as Nancy checked how deep they were. Went to the apartment gym for the 25k bike on the stationary bike. Finished in 45:58.

Sunday was an off day and today I had 2 pullups, 4 deadlifts @ bodyweight, 6 burpees, 8 situps AMRAP in 20 minutes. Finished 12 sets and got thru the deadlifts in the 13th set. I repeated the workout from the other day when I used 60lb. dumbbells to get a comparison. Moving the 4x 5k bike time trials to tomorrow. Not sure if this smart, but I'll let you know.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Forgot to write about my workout of 50 squat cleans with 95lbs. and my swim. I had never done squat cleans before trying them earlier this week. Warmed up with the bar to try and get the movement down. Had to remind myself to try and not reverse curl the weight.

Felt I got into a good rhythm and finished in 10:20.

Then was off to the swim to practice what I learned in the 1st portion of my total immersion workshop. I feel confident that this will help me be a more efficient swimmer. The next part of my workshop is 1/2/10 and I am feeling good about the direction I'm headed.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays

I will work backwards from today's workout. Was off from work and Nancy and I ran a bunch of errands. Called the gym on our way back home to ask what time they would be open as I had to do 2 pullups, 4 deadlifts @bodyweight(180lbs.), 6 burpees and 8 situps AMRAP in 20 minutes. The lady at the gym said they close at 6pm. It was a mad dash to get home, get changed and run to the gym (about a 10 minute walk). When I walked in at 5:30pm, they said they were closed. I politely reminded them that they said 6pm on the phone, whereas they said "Yes we close at 6pm, but the gym floor closes at 5:30pm" I was fuming!!! I had to walk back home, get my ID for the gym for our apartment and improvise. I would not be denied.

There are no barbells and the heaviest dumbbells are 60lbs. I figured I would use these. Was able to get 11 full rounds and go through the burpees on the 12th round before the 20 minute limit. Am actually a little surprised how easy the pullups were. This strength stuff must work.

Yesterday was an off day.

Tuesday was a 5k row for the first workout. The only downside to losing 35 pounds is that I don't have a ton of cushion on my butt anymore (believe me, there is still plenty). My butt was asleep in about 10 minutes. Finished the 5k in 21:12. Hamstrings were a bit tight, so I warmed up for about 5 minutes on the treadmill before beginning the 2nd workout of the day which consisted of 3 TT. 800m, 1600m, 800m. The plan didn't say how long to wait between so I made the executive decision to rest for as long as the previous TT took. First half mile was 3:13, the mile clocked in at 6:52 and the final half mile was 3:25.

I know if done separately both workout times would have been better, but it is tough for me to do two a days, so I end up doing them back to back. I am excited for what the New Year will bring with my workouts. I have never felt better or been in better shape in my life. At this time of the year I am thankful for my family, especially Nancy for being so supportive. I also feel lucky to have found Max as my coach even though a lot of the times I don't feel lucky ;-)

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Weekend Wrap Up

Friday night was thrusters (75lbs., 50 reps for time), then a tabata bike 24x. Went to the gym for my apartment, so I had to substitute dumbbells for the barbell. There are no 37.5 pound dumbbells, so it was either 40lbs or 35lbs. I had a conversation with Max without actually talking to him and he suggested I use the
40lb dumbbells. Finished in 5 minutes flat.

Hopped on the bike for the tabata work. I didn't keep track of distance covered, but worked as hard as possible. Legs actually felt pumped when I was done.

Saturday was an off day, but the beginning of my Total Immersion swim workshop. For the first time since I started training this past January, I felt comfortable in the water. I am extremely optimistic about the results and am looking forward to continuing to learn.

I switched up yesterday's workout and did the 5 pullups, 10 box jumps 15x for time. Again, I used no resistance. Switched the last 3 sets of pullups to close grip (easier for me) and finished in 19:58. Still can't believe I can do pullups.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I can actually do a pull up

Last night's workout consisted of 5 pullups 10 pushups and 15 squats AMRAP 20 minutes.

I vowed not to use any assistance. I completed 12 rounds in the 20 minutes and in only 2 of the pullup sets did I do jumping pullups. Everything else was me, no kipping, no swinging, just me. I think the rest (if you can call it that) doing the pushups and squats enabled me to complete the pullups.

Thrusters and tabata bike tonight. At least I have an off day tomorrow (although I'll swim).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Not every day can be a pr

On Monday had front squats 5 sets of 5 reps. Substituted dumbbells for the barbell. First set was with 35lbs, 2nd was 50lbs, was feeling strong and tried 60lbs. Failed on the 3rd rep so I discounted this set and did 3 more with the 50lb. dumbbells.

Yesterday was an off day with a late night out with clients. Used it as my cheat meal (wondering how many carb blocks there were in the 4 beers I had?).

Today I did my 5k for time and the 6x400m immediately after. Was feeling good at the start on the treadmill. Had a gastrointestinal issue that I couldn't relieve because I was inside with other people, so I ended up running the whole 5k with a stitch in my side. Finished in 23:14. Took a 3 minute break (gastro issue resolved) and was ready to hit the 6x400's.

Here are the results 1) 1:30 2)1:23 3)1:21 4)1:31 5)1:25 6)1:19. There was a lot of heavy breathing. I am amazed at how long and how short 90 seconds can feel. The end can't come soon enough when I am running and I can't beleive how fast it goes while I am recovering.

Had a good conversation with Max today and am motivated and ready for the new year.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Arms Are Longer!!

Moved the 5k from Saturday to Sunday. Had a swim lesson in the am then went to the gym for 500m row, 15 push ups, 15 sit ups and 15 pull ups 4x for time. I did a similar workout last week 3x for time and finished in 13:36. I decided to keep the assistance the same on the gravitron (55lbs.). Finished in 16:45. Checked my watch after the third set to compare and it read 12:12. Happy with the results considering I was fighting a stomach bug of some sort.

Was able to get some rest last night and headed to the gym for the crossfit total, 1 max rep of shoulder press, back squat and deadlift. Warmed up with the bar, then put 135lbs on the bar to test myself. Barely got it, so it was definitely a max weight. Then onto the squat, I am really conscious of the depth of my squats as it is easy to do a lot of weight without going all the way down. I was able to do 185lbs. and realized I could handle more, but I wouldn't get much deeper. Then it was time for the deadlift. I had gotten 285lbs. the other day so I was being ambitious and put 300lbs. on the bar. It took everything I had (this is why my arms are now permanently longer), but I got it. I was surprised I didn't burst a bowel or something.

It was pouring out, so I went straight downstairs to do the 5k on the treadmill. Considering what I had just done, I was really happy with the 20:55 I put up. Came home and had to go horizontal for a while to recover. Feeling good now.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dead Man Lifting

So Last night was Deadlifts (7X 1 rep). I was still really sore from the 500 squats. On top of that I was beat from a long week. It was the first really cold day and I was replacing the swim with the 30 min TT from the other day.

On my way home from work, I was thinking up as many excuses as I could as to why I should skip the workout. Then I remembered something I heard somewhere, "You can just as easily talk yourself into something as you can out of something." I also thought back to why I started this journey in the first place. One big reason was to be proud of myself for accomplishing what was for me an obnoxious goal and so that the people I care for could be proud of me. I wanted to show myself that I had the stick to it(ness) to complete something that I started. That I had the determination to keep working especially when I was tired, sore, blah blah blah. After this self pep talk I got ready and went to the gym.

Here are the results 205, 245, 275, 285, 285, 285, 205 (285 was a pr for me and I was astonished that as sore as I was I got 3 sets at it). I then went to the gym for my apartment building to ride the stationary bike (giving myself a 15 minute cool down). Managed 10.10 miles and considering my previous best was 10.12 miles, I was very happy with the results. It is amazing to me what we can be capable of, if we just believe in ourselves.

I am sure this won't be the last time I try to get myself out of a workout, but feel more determined than ever to keep doing my best.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


The 500 squats killed me. I could barely walk yesterday and am still really feeling it. I mean really feeling it. My nickname in the office "The Penguin" has resurfaced because of the way I am walking.

Last night had 5 Burpees, 7 Pushups, 9 squats AMRAP in 20 minutes. I am thinking "Max, wtf?" I could barely move and now I have to do burpees and squats. Got 16 full sets by 20 minutes, cursing Max the whole way. I know it serves no purpose, but it makes me feel better.

Deadlift max reps tonight, so more joy.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Last Few Workouts

Okay here goes. Some results from the past few workouts.

Saturday was a double, 500m row, 15 pushups, 15 situps, 15 pullups(55lb assist on the gravitron) 3x for time. Hard workout, finished in 13:36 partly due to the fact that I think the assistance on the pullups was too much. Although, coupled with the rowing my biceps felt really tight. When this was done, had 3- 5k bike TT. First one was 9:59, second was 10:12 and the 3rd was 9:45. Not sure why the 3rd one was faster, I think the first one was due to being not recovered at all from the 1st workout. I did rest about 2-3 minutes between the trials.

Substituted Sunday's workout with a 10k race with the NYRR. It was 33 degrees and Nancy and I were running with 4700 of our closest friends in NYC. I am thinking, are all these people crazy or am I the crazy one. Was happy that Nancy and I were doing this together. Finished in 45:39 (a pr for me) and good for 125th out of 432 men in my age group. Realized 3700 people broke an hour so it was a pretty fast race. This was my first mass start race and I thought I handled it pretty well. I am really thrilled with the time. Thinking about where I've come from, I could not be more pleased with where I am. I know I've said before that I feel slow and weak, not anymore ( at least with the run).

Monday was an off day and this morning did 500 squats for time. Last month this workout took me 22:56. This morning with Nancy's help, I tabata(ed) the whole thing and finished in 18:31. Had a Xmas party tonight so I am moving the 30 min bike TT to another day.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tabata then run

So today's workout was my first attempt at a tabata workout. Eight sets of 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest. There were 4 exercises, in order, pull ups, box jumps, squats, push ups. Chest is still sore from Tuesday. Here are the results;

Pull Ups
40lbs assist on the gravitron
10, 9, 8, 7
55lbs assist on the gravitron
8, 8, 8, 8

Box Jumps






Lungs were burning during the box jumps and still feel sore more than 2 hours later. Rested while Nancy did her tabata work then hopped on the treadmill for a 15 minute time trial. Got 2.2 miles in and was really moving towards the end.

Nancy and I have a 10k Sunday morning (hopefully the snow they are predicting won't stick). Set another reach goal for Sunday of sub 45, but after looking at tomorrow's workout will be surprised if I break 46.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Leg Press

Last night's workout was supposed to be bodyweight backsquats max reps 3x. Was running late, so I went over to the gym close to my apartment and substituted leg presses instead.

Got 17,17,15 with what I think was body weight. I know this is easier as I would of maybe got 5 reps with the back squats. It still was painful enough as I was able to get full range of motion. Already feeling it a bit.

Chest is sore as can be from the workout the other day.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Another 1/2 hour!!

Max and I mixed up today's workout a bit. It consisted of 21 reps of bench presses followed by squats. The first set of squats was timed to set the bar. Got 50 in the 1:30 we set as the timetable.

Let me say first, that I am weak. Finished the workout as prescribed in 29:34, every set of benching was broken, including the first. Towards the end I was doing 2 reps, waiting 20 seconds, doing 2 more until completion. I have a feeling I won't be able to wash my hair tomorrow morning. Abs still really sore from Sunday's knees to elbows.

Then it was immediately off to the pool for 4 x200 max efforts. Did I say I was slow? Slow and weak that is how I feel. First 200 finished in 4:21. Realized I got a late start in the pool and only had my lane for 30 minutes so the 3:00 rest was cut in half. 2nd set was 4:58. Then I felt I caught a bit of a groove (for me) and finished the last 2 sets in 4:50 and 4:51. As I am swimming, I keep remembering something a golf pro once said "Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent." I hope I am not ingraining a poor stroke. Will keep at it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A week of results in one post!

Nancy and I were away this week on vacation, but still was able to do all the workouts with only slight modifications in the days they were done.

Traveled to Savannah on Monday. Our plane was delayed (what's new) and we had dinner plans. They have recently upgraded the fitness center at our club in Savannah and it is a huge improvement.

Workout 1--Row 500m, 50 KB swings 1 pood, row 500 m, 40 KB swings, row 500m, 30 KB swings, row 500m. Substituted a 35lb dumbbell for the kettlebell. Nancy has taken to calling me Dan KettleBelmonte since I have lost about 1 Pood since January! There is only 1 Rower and Nancy and I alternated since she had the same workout. Forgot to start my watch, had to wait for Nancy, she had to wait for me, but was still done in about 11 minutes.

On Tuesday was supposed to do Overhead Squats 5 sets 3 reps each and a 30k bike. We played golf in the am and were having friends over for dinner, so I decided to push the 30k bike till Wednesday. This the first time I've done overhead squats with the barbell and boy they were hard. 1st set was 45lbs and the last 4 were at 65lbs. Form was great and I really felt it in my core and shoulders. I am hoping the weight will jump as I get more comfortable with the movement.

Wednesday, 1000m row, 45lb thruster 50 reps and 30 pull ups for time. Rower was busy so I started with the thrusters, rower still busy, so I went to the pullups. Got 8 on my own, then used varying degrees of assistance to finish the 30 reps. Then the rower was free. Finished the workout in 11:39. Got off the rower and jumped on the stationary bike for 64:03 of fun. Nancy kept checking on me, like how much more are you going to be? Definitely not used to working out for 75 minutes like I used to be.

Thursday we took off and enjoyed a really nice Thanksgiving with friends.

Friday, flew back home (surprise no delays). We had decided to do our workout before we left in case of delays. Workout was AMRAP in 20 minutes of 20 squats, 15 deadlifts, 10 shoulder presses and 5 burpees with the 45lb bar never leaving my hand. Was able to complete 5 full sets, plus 20 squats and 5 deadlifts before I hit 20 minutes.

Saturday was a 10k for time. Was running with a different friend who had done a 5 mile turkey trot in 31:30. I am trying to find people that will push me in my runs and he definitely would. We did the big loop in the park, which I have found out is 6.0273 miles. We did it in 45:17 ( a pr for me around the loop). HR was 162 vs. 170 last week. Definitely felt good, my cadence was feeling good too. Nancy did the run as well and her form was looking great when we passed her around mile 3-4.

Sunday, supposed to be an off day, but decided the gym would be quiet as compared to Monday, so off we went to do the filthy 50. Hard all the way (especially the jumping pull ups and knees to elbows). Finished in 34:34 (there is that half hour time again!). Still had a 500 yd swim TT left over from Friday and completed it in 13:13 which was done immediately after the filthy 50. I realize I am SLOW in the pool.

Taking tomorrow off and am looking forward to a good week of workouts. It makes it so much easier knowing Nancy is training too. Maybe she'll try a sprint this year?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Not a lot in the tank

Today was another double. 10k run for time, 1650 yard swim for time. I am working on my technique in the pool so I planned to alter that part of the workout.

Met my friend in Central Park at 8am after working yesterday and being on my feet for over 9 hours. Last week we did the big loop (which is 6.1 miles in 46:47). We pushed it today and finished in 45:35. I was really feeling it the last 15 minutes and was glad my buddy was there to push me.

Came back home and was shot. Had a reserved lane at the pool at 12:30pm. Got 200 yds in before I realized I was doing more harm than good and came home. Feeling a bit run down, but am really looking forward to vacation this week.

I won't be able to post until next weekend, but plan on staying the course while away. Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Run like you are being chased

Today was an off day. Yesterday's workout consisted of running 1 mile, resting 10 minutes, 4 times.

Went to the West Side Highway people path to run after work. All I am thinking about when I am running is that I am being chased and I have to keep going.

First mile finished in 6:04. A pang of disappointed went through me as I thought to how close I was to breaking 6 minutes. It quickly left as I recalibrated in my head how fast I can actually run. I don't know what to do for the 10 minutes, so I walk, sit down, walk, stretch, sit down, etc.
Next mile is 6:36 as my legs feel a little heavy. The third mile is 6:53. I only wait 8 minuutes before taking off for my last mile as I am getting a little cold outside. Finished in 7:06.

Overall, very pleased with the results. Had to work all day today on my feet and am definitely feeling it. Running the big loop in Central Park tomorrow with a friend, before swimming in the early afternoon. I am hoping to break 45 minutes (what's with me and reach goals?).

Can't wait for vacation this week.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

More push ups?

So the workout of the day from Max consisted of Running a 1/4 mile, 100ft of lunges and 35 push ups 5x for time. I was hoping to get this workout in quickly or try not to have be 30 minutes long.

We don't live near a track, so I opted for the gym and the treadmill. It is amazing to me that the treadmill actually goes past 10 miles an hour. Even more amazing is that I can run faster than 10 miles an hour (got up to 11.2 today). I can't do the walking lunges in the gym so I measured my stride (3 feet long, 17 lunges with each leg equals 102 feet). Was feeling good until I got to the pushups and was wondering why they were so hard, then I remembered I did 175 last night!

Made it through the workout in 20:29. Looking forward to testing myself with the workout tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Doing the Double

Had a double workout today. First, 35 squats, 25 pushups, 15 pullups 7 times for time. There are those words that kill me everytime I see them. For time. When I see them, the dread and anxiety of the pain to come is all I can think about. Then the procrastination starts with heading over to the gym. Once I am there, I am fine and ready to go.

Like most people I imagine, pullups are the hardest. We have a gravitron at the gym, but whenever I have pullups, I do as many as I can without help the first set (Today was 8). Used 40lbs. of assistance the rest of the way. Finished the workout in 28:30. I see everyone does these crossfit workouts in 10 minutes or so, but they seem to always take me about a half hour.

After the first part, the 2nd half was a bike. 10x 2 minutes all out with a 1 minute rest in between. After doing 245 squats, my legs were a little tired needless to say. I will do my best to keep going with the double workouts, but may have to talk to Max about a change for January. Overall, feeling really good about where I am headed with my fitness.

30 Minute Time Trial

Had a 30 minute time trial on the bike on Monday evening. Nancy and I had the same workout planned. It is really hard to do a time trial in Manhattan even when the weather is great. So off to the gym to work on the stationary bike. I find what works for me is to breakdown these workouts into very small increments. My first 3 minutes I covered a mile, so in my head I planned for 10 miles. Knowing Nancy covered 9.3 miles I was hopeful I'd could keep the pace. My rpm never fell below 100, and every 3 minutes I was able to doublecheck my progress. I think this workout will be tough to improve on as I think you can only go so fast on the stationary bike. Had a day off yesterday and we drove to see Max for a running lesson for Nancy. It was good to catch up and I know he helped Nancy a lot. It was also good for me to hear what he was saying as I am sure I can implement his words in my own running.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Getting Started

After reading Martin's training blog, I thought it might be nice to record my own journey. I have come a long way since my training started in January of 2009. I couldn't swim 25 yards and would kill myself to get 2.5 miles on the treadmill in 30 minutes. With a whole lot of help from Max Wunderle and Trimax fitness and with a huge amount of support from my wife Nancy, I completed the REV3 half iron triathlon in early June 2009. This all started as a way to get in the best shape of my life for my 40th birthday (Feb. 2010) and raise some money for a great cause (Jimmy V Foundation).

With the goal accomplished, I set out to try another half iron distance race and complete it in under 6 hours (what was I thinking as it took me 7:06 to finish REV3). I finished the "Belly of the Beast" half iron in 6:45. I have signed up for REV3 again for 2010 as well as Timberman. The goal is the same, finish in under 6 hours. With Max's help I am sure I will be as well prepared as I can be.

I will start putting down my thoughts as I am sure they will get me through the tough training ahead.