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Benjamin R. Greene 04-10-2010 08:18 AM

Re: My Midlife Crisis
Oh, one last motivational suggestion: Watch "Bully Beatdown" on MTV.
For those who are not familiar, the show features real-life evil thugs who torment the helpless, then are invited on the show to fight a real MMA fighter for money. The bullies are always huge, and many of them obviously lift weights and have intimidating physiques. But invariably the pro, of course, just pounds them like a drum. :D
The two most significant differentials I can see are the specific training in grappling and boxing the bullies lack, but also, just as important, the bullies' lack of functional fitness. The importance of anaerobic training, particularly stands out. Many of the bullies are just helpless sacks of potatoes after thirty seconds. Also, while bench pressing, for instance, may develop a big chest, a real life struggle happens in an infinity of positions and stresses and without supporting musculature, you're useless.
One of the most important reasons I got in to fitness and martial arts is the dangerousness of my job. I routinely deal with angry and potentially violent clients and their family members, including the mentally ill and people high on drugs or drunk. Many of them have lengthy criminal records, and administering one more :censored:-kicking isn't, shall we say, morally or legally objectionable. I have been assaulted in my office twice. It's considered by some folks a form of nontraditional interpersonal dispute resolution. So "Bully Beatdown" is more than just entertaining to me.

Benjamin R. Greene 04-10-2010 02:33 PM

Re: My Midlife Crisis
Today's workout:


Five rounds for time of:
155 pound Deadlift, 12 reps
155 pound Hang power clean, 9 reps
155 pound Push jerk, 6 reps

I figured I woulud do well on this one, since Olympic exercises are the easiest workouts for me. I underestimated the difficulty of this one, particularly as to the cardio effects and the strain on my forearms.

12x 155 deadlift
Failed at the 155 on cleans, dropped it to 135, then to 195
from then on, as Rx'd in 17:01. Major forearm challenge.

As a funny story, the guy next to me at the gym just spent the entire time staring at his physique in the mirror. For the whole seventeen minutes and one second, he just stood there and stared at himself, motionless. He had a jug of water and a protein shake with him if that got too exhausting. Perhaps if he cancelled his gym membership and just bought a mirror, he could work out at home.:D

Benjamin R. Greene 04-11-2010 12:17 PM

Re: My Midlife Crisis
Today's workout:

Five rounds for time of:
135 pound Back squat, 20 reps
Handstand walk 20 yards

Since my barbell and weight set is still on order and I didn't feel like going down to my big box gym to have the meatheads laugh and point while I worked out, I figured I would just be creative and substitute for this one.

So, I did five rounds for time of:
Squats with my 120# wife on my back
Wall run, 20 touches

I figured with the added bulkiness and lack of balance to the weight, the squats would be about right. And the wall runs were plenty challenging.

I did it in 20:35 (approximately).

My kids joined me, with Erica using Taylor in 16:01, and Jacob using Joseph (DNF).

I am definitely getting some great workouts on this routine. Every workout is very challenging in it's own way. I want to go six months and challenge my personal records in the pull up, mile run, deadlift, overhead press, bench, and squat. Hopefully, in late September, I will shock myself.

Benjamin R. Greene 04-12-2010 08:25 AM

Re: My Midlife Crisis
Oh wow. Yesterday's workout just killed me. My legs are very sore and my shoulders are hurting from the wall runs, too. Even my stomach muscles are sore. Unless some miracle happens by tonight, there is no way I can do "Erin", another exercise that hits the shoulders. I can either sub something or, perhaps even better, just take a rest day.
Man, no one ever said getting in shape was easy.:(

Benjamin R. Greene 04-12-2010 09:12 AM

Re: My Midlife Crisis
I forgot to record my beginning CFT scores: 365 on deadlift, 135 on press, 315 on squat, for a total of 815. Not bad for a beginner. I can't wait to check them again in six months.
Other benchmarks: 8 pullups, 8:31 mile run, 2:06 400 meter run, 0 muscle-ups, 51 sit-ups in 2 minutes. In MMA, I can beat Diamond and Big Dan at the Valley Fight Club, but Too Tall sent me to the emergency room. I'll recheck these in six months, too.

Benjamin R. Greene 04-13-2010 01:35 AM

Re: My Midlife Crisis
More beginning numbers: 5 ring chin-ups, maybe two ring dips, maybe one chest to bar pull up. 3 mile run in 28:35. Max bench press 225. Body weight around 200, which is about down 10 lbs from my max. I am trying to remember everything so one day I can marvel at my incredible improvements, hopefully.:o

Benjamin R. Greene 04-14-2010 11:40 AM

Re: My Midlife Crisis
I took yesterday off for two rest days of rest in a row. Oh well, I needed it. My legs and shoulders were so sore. Since I am in Ridgecrest on business, I have to make do with a small gym and limited resources, so I just made up my own WOD.

April 13, 2010

Run 800 meters: 3:49

2 minute rest

Run 800 meters: 3:29

Then I went to the gym and did 3 sets of five pullups, trying to get C2B on each, switching hand grips each time. Then I did two sets of assisted (40lbs) pullups of 5 each. My back was burned out at the end. However, I was somewhat impressed with my second 800 meter time. It took me forever to recover from it. But the splits do show that I am capable of a sub 8 minute mile, so that is an improvement.

I am going to try to finish the deadlift portion of Linda as Rx'd today. It is a preliminary test to see if Linda is acheivable.

Benjamin R. Greene 04-14-2010 04:22 PM

Re: My Midlife Crisis
Well, I determined that Linda was way out of my league, at this point at least. I started the workout off by trying to deadlift 295 10 times. I got to 2 and failed. Then I repped 3 more singles before my body called it quits. :(

At that point, I decided to try for a new 1 rep max on bench press. I managed to set a recent PR and tie my lifetime PR of 245. :) I actually hit the supports with the bar on both sides on the way up, so I figure I might be able to do 255 if I hadn't have done from 205 to 245 as a warmup.

Then I went to the park and ran 3 rounds of two minute sprints, separated by one minute breaks. I was really trying for five rounds, but a little breeze kicked up in my face and I just quit.

In macroeconomics, experts speak of the phenomenon of the "revolution of rising expectations". Third world people who have improving economic conditions buy televisions, and become exposed to the type of lifestyle people live on "Friends". This causes them to be unhappy since, although their living standards are improving enormously, they still don't have the type of lives American yuppies live.

I think I am experiencing my own version of this. Even though my level of fitness has improved enormously in the recent past, I am now being exposed to the "PRs" of the world class athletes on this site, so I feel frustrated because I can't compare to them.

I need to just relax and not get frustrated. I am already seeing improvement, and I have only being doing this a little over two weeks. In six months or a year I will be setting new records every time I test myself. I notice my notorious lack of stamina on the runs seems to be improving, for instance.

Also, I need to pat myself on the back for continuing to try despite being out of town on business and being sore and tired sometimes. I am hanging in there and staying on track. Even if some days my workouts are a little easier, like today, I am trying to advance my fitness by keeping to my scheduled workout routine.:highfive:

Kevin Simons 04-14-2010 07:42 PM

Re: My Midlife Crisis
Dude, you are doing great! Linda is one seriously brutal b****. I came from from a powerlifting background, and that was the only WOD I've gotten a DNF in. Puked 26 minutes in and had to quit my first time with her. A lot of CrossFitters consider that to be one of the toughest workouts even after months of training. Don't get discouraged!

And keep in mind that the group of people who write in this forum, and particularly those who keep workout logs, are not a good representation of the average CrossFitter. People here are crazy dedicated and usually have spent years in this type of training. They are firebreathers. If you aspire to these levels, you will certainly get there. It just takes some time.

You've been doing great, consistently hitting the WODs hard and staying on track. When repeat WODs start coming up a few months down the line, I promise you are going to be stoked by the progress you have made!

Benjamin R. Greene 04-15-2010 11:26 PM

Re: My Midlife Crisis
Kevin, as always, I appreciate your encouragement!:thanx:

One of my sons, who is six years old, is studying gymnastics. They are teaching him the back bend, which he is struggling with because he always bonks his little head. He was frustrated and mentioned that he wanted to quit. I explained to him that every pursuit has its difficult moments and challenging times, and that perserverance pays off. I was able to use several examples, but also pointed out that I am continuing to pursue my fitness goals despite the occaisional obstacle. I am trying to be a good role model in that respect. Also, to my delight, my fifteen year old daughter, Erica, has expressed an interest in starting CrossFit workouts.

I completely agree with your observations that the people who are contributing to the CrossFit site are, no doubt, unrepresentative of the population of people following the workouts, much less the athletic population in general. I notice that many of the workout logs posted on the main site, for instance, represent outstanding achievements by a tiny percentage of elite athletes. Certainly comparing your times and performances to them is somewhat unrealistic for a beginner. Whenever I get too depressed, I just think of the guy who stared at his reflection in the gym mirror for the entire seventeen minutes and one second that my workout took. Hey, I'm trying harder than somebody.:)

I have also proven that my lifestyle is not incompatible with my fitness goals. Despite frequently having to travel and work long hours, I can still get in good workouts. The keys are creativity and hitting the workout as soon as I get off work. If I use whatever tools are available and make sure I do it before I get too relaxed, I can keep it up.

Tomorrow I will go to the Valley Fight Club for the first time in a month and see if the heavy emphasis on anaerobic cardio makes a difference in my MMA performance. I am betting it will. I was pretty strong and technical, but I tended to get winded thirty seconds into the fight and get totally exhausted after about two minutes. I have tapped out, to my shame, just because I felt like I was about to have a heart attack.:yikes:

I have noticed that my cardio has improved in the sprint drills, and I'm sure I will pose more of a challenge to Too Tall this time. And if I was in better shape than Big Dan a month ago, just imagine now.:evilsmile There are several professional fighters who train at that gym, so I can really measure my performance against some trained athletes.

Also, tomorrow, my new gym equipment arrives: An Olympic bar and some bumpers. I am going to move my existing equipment from my house into the garage and buy a pull-up and dip bar set as well. By the end of the year I will have a fabulous home gym that will be the envy of the CrossFit community.:D

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