First Kettlebell Workout

Today at CrossFit Central, our Workout Of the Day (WOD) involved the kettlebells for the first time, and it was pretty tough. All of our workouts so far have been some type of compound lift interspersed with 400m runs, and today was no different. The lift was the Deadlift High-Pull with kettlebells instead of a barbell, like this:

Our WOD for the Level I class looked like this:

  • 50 reps Deadlift High-Pulls
  • 400m run
  • 40 reps Deadlift High-Pulls
  • 400m run
  • 30 reps Deadlift High-Pulls
  • 400m run
  • 20 reps Deadlift High-Pulls
  • 400m run
  • 10 reps Deadlift High-Pulls
  • 400m run
  • As you can see, even with the gradually decreasing reps, fatigue set in pretty hard mid-way through the 40-rep set. Your body doesn’t know when to rest, because the run and the lift sets were equally tiring. Every day, at the end of our workout, I am completely exhausted, and dripping with sweat. I felt especially worn-out today because of a lack of sleep. For some reason, I had insomnia last night, and didn’t go to sleep until almost 1am. The alarm at 5am this morning was especially hard to answer!

    I want to send a big happy birthday to my good friend Kellen, who turns 25 today! Kellen is a personal trainer, and a great up-and-coming triathlete, and he serves as an inspiration to me. Jess and I will be going to Sweeny, TX tomorrow to his parents’ house for his birthday bash this weekend. I will have to pay special mind to my diet, and try not to overdo it with beer and food too much. I am really looking forward to a couple of days off with good friends, to relax and recharge for next week.

    Question of the day: What is the best way to balance caloric intake and exercise on off-days from CrossFit? If I take a rest-day between the high-impact, high-intensity CrossFit workouts, should I lower my food intake for that day, since I will be burning fewer calories? Also, what is the proper amount of rest I should be getting per week? If I switch to a 3-day per week schedule at CrossFit, should I work out the other 2 days on my own, or do I need to let my body recover on those days? Please post your opinions and answers in the comments section!


    The Man-Maker

    This morning, we met the Man-Maker for the first time. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Man-Maker consists of using dumbbells to do a push up, alternating rows, then a clean and press, all in one series of movements.
    Here is a video for illustration purposes:

    This was one of the toughest workouts I have done since high school off season stuff for football. The set today was a 400m run, 8 Man-Makers, 400m run, 6 Man-Makers, 400m run, 6 Man-Makers. We then finished out with several wind-sprints, and the usual stretching and cooldown. My entire body is definitely feeling it today; my abs, legs, arms, and back are all sore! I definitely need to get off the treadmill, and start running either on the road, or on the track, because it is a different beast entirely. It seems like running 400m on the street is tougher than running a mile on the treadmill for some reason.

    It is definitely rewarding to feel so exhausted after just a 45 minute workout. I’m not sure what my caloric burn is during that time, but I’m guessing that it is significantly higher than during my normal daily cardio workout. I love not knowing what my workout will be when I get to the gym in the morning. It alleviates boredom, and eliminates the threat of a plateau. CrossFit has also been serving as a dietary motivator, because I know that if I don’t eat well, I will be paying for it at my next workout.

    I’m not certain whether I should eat before or after my daily workout. I have heard conflicting advice on this: some people say that if you workout in the early morning before breakfast, your glycogen levels are lowest, and you will burn stored fat because your carbohydrate stores are depleted; others insist that you will be able to workout more intensely if you eat beforehand. If anyone has links or advice on the topic, please post it to my comments section.

    CrossFit Level I – First Day

    Well, the pain has begun.  We started the actual CrossFit workouts today at 6:30am, and it was much, much more intense than the Elements class we took last week.  The instructor was still very technique-conscious with us (since it is a beginner level class) but it was definitely intense.  We started with the typical warmup with jumping jacks, running in place and with high knees, squats, pushups, lunges, and a 400m run.  To be quite honest, I was slightly winded after all that.  Then the actual workout began.

    We started with a 400m run, then moved to 20 medicine ball cleans, 20 situps, and 20 ring rows, then ran 400m.  Then, we did the same exercises with 15 reps, and ran another 400m at the end of the workout.  Most people in the class finished the last exercises, but nobody had time to complete the final 400m run.  All-in-all, the total of a mile running, and all the exercises, left us red-faced and winded, but it seemed as though everyone had a good time.

    I am definitely sore in some new and interesting exercises, but I really enjoyed being taken out of my workout element.  CrossFit has a good methodology of making you do things that you are not comfortable doing, which is always a better workout, and helps you strengthen your areas of weakness.  All of the work was total-body, with an emphasis on constant motion, and speed.  I am already looking forward to Thursday’s workout!

    Tonight at the CrossFit Central location, they are putting on a free nutrition seminar.  If you are interested, it will be at the CrossFit Central on Burnet near Koenig Ln at 7:00pm.  I will be there, and hope you will be too.

    Run, Run, Run

    Over the past couple of months, to prepare our bodies for the high impact of the CrossFit workouts, we have been running on the treadmill 3 times per week in the mornings.  When we started adding more and more time, my shins and lower legs were killing me with each stride.  I have been focusing more on running on the balls of my feet over the last several weeks, and my legs feel much, much better because of it.  My shin splints seem to be gone completely!

    This weekend was not great from a dietary standpoint.  We went to the lake with one of Jessica’s coworkers and his family, and the standard fare on the boat was peanutbutter and jelly sandwiches, which broke my no-bread rule.  Dinner with them that night was hot dogs, which aren’t great either.  I will bring my own food next time, and I need to learn to be more prepared with Zone-friendly snacks and such for when I will be away from home for a day.  Yesterday I barbequed babyback ribs and a chicken on my smoker, and limited myself to one small serving of potato salad (I just couldn’t pass it up entirely; I am weak-of-will for potato salad).  I also only had 3 beers, spread out over the entire day while I was cooking.  Since Sunday is my lone designated beer day, I felt pretty good about that.

    I weighed exactly the same this morning as I did on Friday.  I have normally been 3-5lbs heavier on Monday as compared to Friday, because my diet and activity level aren’t consistent through the weekend.  I need to find a way to balance my need to rest, with keeping my caloric burn rate up on Saturday and Sunday.  If anyone has any tips, please leave them in the comments section!

    CrossFit Elements is Complete!

    Well, we finished Day 3 of CrossFit Elements today!  We did some medicine ball work, and some ring work, and worked on form for power cleans and snatch and jerks.  I really like the way CrossFit stresses the Olympic lifts, and really dynamic movements that engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously.  I’ve found myself a bit sore just from repeating the forms and technique over and over.  I’m debating internally now whether I want to jump right into 3 days per week, or start off with 2 days per week.  I definitely intend to do 3 days eventually.

    I have been eating a Paleolithic style diet for the past couple of weeks.  I have been avoiding bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and such, and focusing on lean proteins and fibrous fruits and vegetables when possible.  I have also been drinking a glass of milk per day (HEB’s Mootopia is fantastic, and has 12g protein per serving).  I can already see a bit of a difference in the mirror.  I’m really looking forward to getting started with the CrossFit WODs, to see if I can melt some of the fat off.  I will weigh myself again on Monday, to see if I’ve lost any. *crosses fingers*

    CrossFit Day 2 is Complete!

    Jess, my friend Aaron, and I completed the second day of our three-day CrossFit Elements course today bright and early at 6am.  So far we have learned proper technique for everything from pushups, squats, deadlifts, and push presses, to all the variations in between, like the jerk press.  A lot of this is review for me, since I was an avid lifter in high school, but it is definitely good to have the refresher.  Also, some of the lifts I have never really done, so it’s important to get the proper form to reduce my risk for injury.  The rest of the people in my Elements class have very limited experience with weight lifting, and it is really cool to see them learning and gaining confidence with the movements.  I hope that all of them stick with it!

    Last night, we took Cassius to Redbud Isle Park on Lake Austin.  They have a really nice off-leash area there, and I was able to go into the water to play fetch with Cassius in the lake.  It was his first time to really swim, and he took to it like a fish!  We swam and played fetch in the water for over an hour, and he loved every minute of it.  This will end up being a really great way to tire him out.  With Jess and I working all day, he doesn’t get enough exercise during the day, so I try to make it a point to take him out to run around several times per week.  We are really lucky here in Austin to have a ton of wonderful dog parks, packed with friendly people and (mostly) friendly pups.

    Cassius at 4 months.

    Cassius at 4 months.

    As an aside, football season is rapidly approaching!  With the Hall of Fame game on Sunday, I’m already getting excited!  It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

    Life Change Starts Today

    Hi, my name is Chase, and I’m a fatty. I have been a fatty my entire life, but starting now that will change. I have been working out 5 days per week for a year now, and I have lost 20lbs, but I still weigh 300lbs. Yesterday was my first day of CrossFit (, and I will be doing their workouts until the end of the year. I have a bet with my best friends that I can be below 250lbs by January 1st, so I need to lose 2.18lbs per week, every week, until then. I will update this blog with photos and my weight from now until then.

    Here is a chart with my current weight loss to date: