Current CrossFit Games Open Rank: 27639th

Posted: February 27th, 2012 | Filed under: CrossFit | Comments Off

Cool.

Can’t wait to see what this week’s workout will test.


Day 23: Registered for 2012 CrossFit Games

Posted: February 23rd, 2012 | Filed under: CrossFit, Food Diary | Comments Off

That was the easy part.

The first open workout was 7 minutes of As Many Burpees As Possible.

That was the hard part.

Eighty reps.

Breakfast

  • Banana nut pancakes

Lunch

  • Eggplant lasagna

Dinner

  • Chicken, cauliflower, and asparagus.


Day 22: Double unders

Posted: February 22nd, 2012 | Filed under: CrossFit, Food Diary, Lessons Learned | 2 Comments »

I’ve been practicing double unders every day for about the last few weeks and I’m quite happy to share that for the first time ever, I did a WOD entirely with double unders. No modifications (no halfsies or 5:1 singles mod). RX.

Wow. I’m so Awesome. Aren’t I wonderful? Not really. Let add some context for you…

I started going to Forever Strong about two years ago and recently started taking double unders seriously enough to practice them everyday for the last six weeks. Recently. In the last six weeks. Why didn’t I do this on my first day, 1 year and 10 months ago?

As far as I was concerned, the 5:1 singles modifications were good enough for me.

Whatever, I’ll just do singles. I’ll figure out double unders some other day.

Gunnery Sgt Hartman knows the truth

(By the way Figure It Out is secret procrastinator’s code for “I don’t want to face the fact that I have to put in a lot of work to get something done.”)

I’d come in on days with a double under WOD, get the rope, throw down a few half assed attempts, then sigh and realize that I’d have to figure it out some other day. Again.

This happened all the time. But you know what really made me mad? Doing a workout and watching other people fly through their double unders. Fortunately, getting mad at myself is one way I get motivated. After repeatedly getting the beat down, I gave myself a month to master double unders. It’s taken me 6 weeks so far, oops. I go three times a week, and only practice for 5 minutes during warm ups.

Here’s the video that helped me the most.

Double Unders from Again Faster on Vimeo.

For the first two weeks, I only picked up the rope during my warm up, then did 5 singles + 1 extra high jump.

In the third and forth week, I learned how to whip my wrists forward quickly enough during the extra high jump, incrementing the number of double unders on each subsequent visit to the gym.

In the last two weeks, I learned how to time my jumps and keep my posture. I’m still learning, so at the moment, I’m alternating between singles and doubles.

Soon.

Breakfast

  • 2 hard boiled eggs

WOD

  • 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 Clean and Jerk 115/85
  • 100, 80, 60, 40, 20 Double Unders

Yes, 300.

Lunch

  • Eggplant lasagna

Dinner

  • Chicken, fish, spinach, and green peppers w/ cayenne peppers marinade.

 


Day 16: Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face

Posted: February 16th, 2012 | Filed under: CrossFit, Food Diary, Lessons Learned | 1 Comment »

At the Winter Open, I was impressed with how the athletes made everything look so easy. So easy in fact, that I almost forgot how much training it took to get to that point of performance. For every squat, ten thousand came before. For as many meters as they rowed, it was likely tiny compared to the total number of meters they have ever rowed.

I was thinking about that during today’s workout. For me, the biggest game I play during a WOD isn’t physical or technical–unless it’s double unders or handstand push ups. No, the biggest game I play is going on in my own head.

Part of this is because I like going in with a strategy. Here’s my inner monologue:

“All out in the first two rounds, then ease up on the third round, then all out in the last round! Okay, let’s go. Come on. Yeaaa!”

As if managing pain with magical strategy dust is somehow going to make everything okay. It’s not and it doesn’t. As Mike Tyson suggests:

Everyone Has A Plan Until They Get Punched In The Face

Just to be clear, there's no punching going in CrossFit

Deep down within me, I know I’m mentally handicapping myself by calling this a strategy, when it’s a more like a barrier. Something that holds people back. And if you take a step back and listen, you’ll hear them all the time.

“I’m not good enough”
“I can’t lift much weight”
“I can’t do a handstand push up”
“Box jumps, no freaking way!”

I get irritated when I hear other people saying it, and I get insanely more mad when I catch myself saying it.

The truth is, CrossFit brought out my tendency to erect barriers during highly intense situations and ever since I noticed that was happening, it made me wonder if this behavior was spilling over into other parts of my life. What other barriers have I created?

Riyad and I started CrossFit at around the same time. This quote reminds me of how I felt after about 6 months. Sometimes you just have to tell the voice of doubt to shut the fuck up and get past your own state of mind and execute the WOD even if your legs are burning, your heart is pounding, and you can’t feel your calves anymore.

But I didn’t do that today. I haven’t beaten my own mind, yet. But like the competitors in last week’s Winter Open who practiced distance rowing and speed squatting, beating the mental game will take practice. And that I can do.

Breakfast

  • Banana nut pancakes
  • Sausage links

WOD

  • 1 Round for fastest times: 500 m Row, 100 m Row, 250 m Row, 1000 m Row

Lunch

  • More awesome quail
  • Side of butternut squash
  • Side of broccoli
  • Side of cauliflower

Dinner

  • Pesto squash with chicken
  • Side of cauliflower
  • Side of broccoli

Yes, I know it’s only 4pm, but I’m forecasting what I’m having for dinner.


My First 30 Day Challenge

Posted: February 2nd, 2012 | Filed under: Body Progress, CrossFit, Lessons Learned, Paleo | 1 Comment »

Saturday, March 5th, 2011. Almost a year ago.

That’s the day we started Paleo. And we lived happily after and that’s the end of the story.

Okay, not really. Making the switch wasn’t as easy or as quick as it sounds. In fact, even though pulling the trigger happened literally overnight, there was a lot momentum building up to that point.

In the weeks leading up to March 5th, there were a couple of things happening in my life.

  1. I was putting on weight again. A few months earlier, I lost weight for our wedding–like everyone, who gets married thinks about doing, ever. What I didn’t know then was how terrible I was at losing weight. I mean, my entire strategy revolved around eating less food and doing more cardio. So, less rice and more running. That’s called a recipe for miserable. And, as it tuns out, it was quite ineffective in the long run.
  2. My Crossfit gym was organizing a nutrition education session. A few members were also curious about healthy eating and so the owners put on a short 90-minute session.  I had been doing Crossfit for just under a year and even though I was getting stronger, my body didn’t look any better. Both my wife and I attended.
  3. Finally, I had grown tired. Tired of ridiculing my friends for their latest ‘caveman’ diet fad even though I could clearly see the results. I know, I know, at first they ignore you…

I left Saturday’s nutrition session feeling empowered. I got to see the big picture behind Paleo. Some of it seemed like common sense why do I keep eating oatmeal? and holy crap that High Fructose Corn Syrup really is all over the place. I had a curated Recipe Book that I used as a starting point. I had the support of everyone at the gym. But more importantly, I had the support of my wife, who was just crazy enough to suggest that we give Paleo a shot. We jumped right into our first 30-day challenge.

Later that weekend, we cleared out our pantry…

All The Shit I Used To Eat

Don't worry, that bacon was really awful.

and replaced it entirely with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Food I Eat Now

Snacks

Which brings me to my first tip:

TIP #1: PREPARE YOUR MEALS AHEAD OF TIME. Your chances of success dramatically increase if your ability to cheat is lowered or eliminated. This convenience ‘hack’ can make the difference between waffles or banana nut pancakes for breakfast.

I’ll talk about how to prepare for the first few days of the 30-day challenge in a later post. In the meantime, if you’re curious about how it worked out for me.

Fatty Chung, six months and 25 lbs later.

 


Pay it forward

Posted: February 1st, 2012 | Filed under: CrossFit, Paleo | Comments Off

My wife and I first heard about the Paleo Diet in early 2011, around Chinese New Year. I remember this because I had cooked up a new year dinner and invited friends over to celebrate with me.

P: “I can’t eat that, it’s not allowed on my diet”

Me: “What do you mean ‘not allowed’, it’s Chinese longevity noodles. Consumption is required!”

P: “I can only eat foods that were available to cavemen.”

Me: “That’s crazy. I hate you”

Silly me. By March, just two months later, my wife and I both converted over and we haven’t looked back since.

The first time you hear someone explaining Paleo, there’s always a slight pause and puzzled look when explaining how to ‘eat like a caveman’. By this point in the conversation, most people have tuned out and are figuring out how to politely excuse themselves so they can load up on the dessert cart next to you.

So why did it work for us? That’s part of what I’ll be sharing over the next few weeks on this blog. I will share my tips, my frameworks, my best explanations, and the recipes I’ve grown to love.

Why am I doing this? Ultimately, I just want to share my perspectives and help people understand how to succeed on Paleo. It’s done wonders for me and now it’s time to pay it forward.