Monday, May 11, 2009

New Blog

Hi all.

I'm still blogging, but at a new address - I know it's a pain going to a new address and changing your bookmarks (which I hope you do), so as an incentive, let me bribe you -

The first ten people who go to the new site, read every scintillating sentence and leave a comment using the secret word will be entered into a drawing to win the unclaimed but still official Hey Lauren You Should Hire Rob t-shirt.

But what's the secret word you ask? The secret word is - dandy. Bonus entries will be given for creative uses of the secret word. For example, "Gosh Rob, dandy story that one." Or, "You're a dandy writer, Rob." Or even, "Dandy idea Rob, I hadn't thought of it that way."

Yes, that's right - you can own a piece of CrossFit history, right here, right now.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Last Rep

That’s me and Ike, the best training partner ever,
although his squat form sucks and he bitches
every time we have to do burpees.

Hi Lauren.

With this post I will finish my workout:

Complete as many rounds in 30 days as you can of:
Write an engaging blog entry
Take a cool photo

I did 30 rounds, which is a P.R. It was a tough go, and like all CrossFit wods it wore me out and made me sweat and made me sore – but it made me better too. I think I accomplished a lot with this workout (except the getting the job part):

• I demonstrated an ability to write, communicate and entertain
• I expressed my passion for CrossFit
• I demonstrated a good working knowledge of the CrossFit fitness model
• I showed initiative, drive and perseverance
• I got you to send me a shirt
• I got on CrossFit Radio
• But sadly, I ruined my chances of ever getting on American Idol

Sure, I’m disappointed I didn’t get the job, but I trust you made the best decision. Maybe there will be another job at CrossFit that I’d be well suited for, if so, I'll start blogging for it. I owe you and Coach Glassman and everyone involved with CrossFit a huge debt of gratitude – you’ve changed my life for the better, and if I can ever do anything to help out, let me know.

I’ll still keep writing and blogging and taking photos of my CrossFit experience, just not every day and without the overlay of trying to get a job. Stay tuned for the fun!

One final piece of unfinished business: The last verse of my Beverly Hillbillies song.

Well now’s the time to realize I’m not gonna get this job.
But that’s OK I had some fun a writin' on this blog.
You’re all invited back again to this locality.
To have a heaping helping of my CrossFit modality.
Burpees and squats. Sweat a lot. Work real hard.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Votes Are In

Hi Lauren.

The polling stations have just closed and I would like to thank my constituents for voting early and voting often. It has been a long campaign, but well worth the effort.
To refresh everyones memory, the question in question was: Should Lauren hire Rob?
Answer A was: Yes, definitely
Answer B was: Absolutely
Answer C was: Of course
Answer D was: Right on

With a landslide victory of 62% of the 98 votes, the winner is answer A: Yes, definitely. Runner-up with 17% is answer B: Absolutely.

There you have it - inconclusive proof that you should hire me.

The people have spoken.

(I am available for the swearing-in ceremony this weekend.)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Burpee Challenge Day VII: Burpee Variations for Maximum Pain and Discomfort

I know what you’re thinking, “Burpees are my very most favorite exercise and I love them for their simple burpeeness.” Well I have to do 100 burpees a day for this challenge and I’m bored with them and I don’t think Lauren is going to call any time soon, so allow me a little Franken-burpee-steining.

Here’s a list of variations I either know of or came up with. Most of the variants arise from an insertion either at the push-up or the jump. A few require equipment like a barbell, dumbbell or box. And a few are just weird.

Variants at the push-up:
Mountain Climber Burpees - Push-up, then two mountain climbers
Handstand Burpees – Push-up, then kick into handstand, back down, then jump
Bear Crawl Burpees - Push-up, then 10 meters bear crawl
Sit-up Burpees – Push-up, jump feet forward, roll back, do 5 sit ups, roll forward onto feet, then jump

Variants at the jump:
Flying Burpees – Broad jump instead of vertical jump
Handstand Push-up Burpees – Jump, then kick up and do one handstand push-up
Pistol Burpees – After the jump do two pistols, one each leg
Jumping Jack Burpees – Jump, then do five jumping jacks
Sprint Burpees – Jump, then sprint 20 meters
Lunge Burpees – Replace jump with two lunge steps

Variants with equipment:
Wall Ball Burpees – After the push-up, grab a wall ball, throw at target as you stand up
Jump Rope Burpees - With a jump rope in your hand, perform burpee, then do 5 double-unders
Box Jump Burpees – Jump up onto a box
Deadlift Burpees – Deadlift (.75x bw) then push-up while holding bar
Dumbbell Burpees - Perform burpee holding two dumbbells, instead of jumping, finish with snatch, clean and/or press
Sumo-deadlift High-pull Burpees – As you stand, grab barbell and do sdhp
Muscle-up Burpees – Jump up, grab rings, do muscle-up
Jumping Pull-up Burpees – Jump up, grab bar, do pull-up

Yoga variants:
Crow Burpees – Squat down, do crow, then push-up
Down Dog Burpees – Squat down, kick back into down dog, then up dog, then do push-up
Plank Burpees - Push up, then hold in plank

Weird variants:
Inverted Burpees – Start on your back, either spring up onto your feet or forward roll onto feet, kick up into handstand and back down
Beer Burpees - Do a burpee, drink some beer
Double Burpees – Two push-ups, two squats
Dizzy Burpees - Do burpee, spin in a circle
Blind Burpees – With eyes closed
One Arm Burpees – Active arm performs one arm push-up and touches top of head at top of jump, passive arm braces against back of thigh during entire repetition
One Leg Burpees – Passive leg may not touch ground at any time
Grocery Store Burpees - Perform a burpee for each item you put in your cart, five for every non zone-friendly item
Juggling Burpees – After the jump, juggle balls, clubs, small children
Mixer Burpees – Perform all or any combination of the above in one workout

If you can think of any others, please leave a comment. I’ll compile them all, write a little intro and submit them to the CrossFit Journal (I’ll give you credit) and we’ll all be famous.

DAY VI: 8:14.8
DAY VII: 8:02.5

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Hi Lauren.

Life is full of fantastic things, things that everyone should do, things that seem to exist solely for our pleasure and edification. Smarter men, better writers and more eloquent poets than I have already written tomes on the subject far beyond my meager abilities - I will not even try. I am more interested in discussing other things, for today I must write about (cue the scary music), THE THINGS THAT SHOULD NOT BE DONE.

Of this topic I am the expert. I am (stop the scary music already) the preeminent scholar. I am without peer or equal. I am the Grand Poobah, the Lord Chief Justice, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Master of the Buckhounds, Lord High Auditor, Groom of the Back Stairs, and Lord High Everything Else of SHOULD NOTNESS.

Now there are many things that SHOULD NOT BE DONE, but there is one THING THAT SHOULD NOT BE DONE that is most NOT TO BE DONE, and that THING THAT SHOULD NOT BE DONE today I have experienced and today has made me The Grand Poobah of SHOULD NOTNESS.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. It seemed like something fun I could try and then blog about. Like something people would like to hear about, something I could brag on and then challenge others to try. But no. Like so many other THINGS THAT SHOULD NOT BE DONE, this THING seemed harmless, but do not be deceived, this THING THAT SHOULD NOT BE DONE is most foul and villainous. Let me explain.

Last night I had what I thought was a most excellent idea. For the next few days of the Burpee Challenge, I would start introducing burpee variations - and why not start off with a bang. Here is what I proposed:

  • Burpee #1 would be performed from start to finish with one arm. The other arm would be braced against the back of the thigh and was not to lose contact with the thigh throughout the entire repetition. The burpee would end with the active hand patting the top of the head at the top of the jump
  • Burpee #2 would be performed with the arms switching roles
  • Burpee #3 would be performed on one leg. The passive leg was not to touch the ground at any time
  • Burpee #4 would be performed with the legs switching roles
  • Repeat the above variations 25 times for a total of 100

And thus was my doom sealed.

At the appointed time and with a lilt in my step, I unknowingly attempted a THING THAT SHOULD NOT BE DONE. After a sufficient warm up I positioned my water bottle close to hand, set my timer and was off. The first round of four was a bit more of a load than I expected, and my CrossFit, cross-trained, do-anything ego felt a cold shiver down its back. I shrugged it off but quickly reached the point where my brain doesn’t get enough oxygen and it becomes difficult to keep track of reps. Then my vision dims as the pounding in my ears tries to drowned out the sound of my breath ripping from my lungs.

And from there it got worse.

The THING THAT SHOULD NOT BE DONE had me in its clutches and I was no longer a free man, but shackled to this beast until I satisfied its hunger. Burpee followed slow burpee as my limbs quickly transformed into concrete, brick and lead. My count slowed, stopped and then seemed to reverse until I feared never to be done. The THING worked its evil, took its toll and when the 100 were accounted for, left me in a quivering heap.

Vile, treacherous deceiver is man’s own pride, so often leading to one’s own doom. Such was my fate and such a fate I do now hope to protect you from. Do not tarry here and tempt the same doom that was the ruin of me.

Oh really - it wasn’t that bad. I finished in 14:13.4, which is just 6 minutes slower than my regular burpee time. I wrote most of this stuff before I actually did it, and well, you know how I go on. If anyone out there would like to try it and beat my time (which I am sure many of you can), I would most graciously bestow upon them my Grand Poobah of SHOULD NOTNESS crown.

With apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Burpee Challenge: Day V

Rough cut of logo. Refinements to come.

Hi Lauren.

Five Hundred burpees and counting. Here are the times for the first five days.

Day I: 9:36.3
Day II: 8:40.1
Day III: 8:33.7
Day IV: 8:18.6
Day V: 8:16.3

It is interesting the perceptions that develop from doing the same thing over and over. For instance, through The Great, Noble & Epic Lauren Call Rob 100 Burpee Challenge I have discovered:

• I don’t like burpees
• Doing burpees over and over has not lessened my dislike for burpees
• My thighs are the first thing to get burpee-burn. Surprisingly, holding my torso straight during the pushups is where I feel it the most
• I can lessen the load on my thighs if I place my hands a foot in front of my feet, and jump my feet to a foot behind my hands
• Doing a bagillion burpees can make you better at burpees, and may eventually make you like burpees and appreciate burpees for the excellent exercise that burpees are (nah, I doubt it)
• Burpees is a very strange name which looks odd in print but is fun to type
• I am rather long limbed, which puts me at a disadvantage because burpees are all about range of motion. I can lessen my range of motion if when I place my hands down I stay on my fingertips until I am in the pushup position
• The first 25 burpees are over before my body realizes it is having to workout - again. The second 25 my body begins to send signals that it would really rather be eating Fritos and watching Desperate Housewives. From 51 to about 67 my body tries to negotiate, “Let’s just stop now and we’ll do the rest later. I won’t tell Lauren.” 68 to 80 my body revolts, “All right dammit, you wanna play rough? How bout a big barf smoothie?” Meanwhile my brain tries to remember why the hell we’re doing this. From 81 to 99 my body and brain both say, “Wow we’re almost there, we can do it.” 100 is greeted with much celebration and rejoicing and high-fiving all around.
• Once a challenge is set and committed to it develops an energy and force and motivation all its own quite separate from any objectives you may have originally intended. Said challenge, as it grows, sustains itself and keeps you going even if you occasionally forgets why you set the challenge in the first place. Eventually it becomes more important to finish the challenge for the challenge’s sake than for the original objective. (Sounds like a lesson I could apply elsewhere, but where?)

That’s all for today.

P.S. I had this really cute idea for tomorrow’s burpees which I will now mention so as to prevent myself from backing out when it goes horribly wrong (which it most definitely will). I am going to do one-arm and one-leg burpees (right arm, left arm, right leg, left leg). Tune in for the fun tomorrow!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Official Hey Lauren Schwag

Hi Lauren.

Here's a picture of your official Hey Lauren t-shirt. Hope it's the right size because I'm not making another one.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Burpee Challenge Logo

I worked up a pencil sketch for the burpee challenge logo, what do you think? It will have a slight retro feel to match the “Great, Noble...” wording. Antique reds and browns and yellows with a subtle compass rosette pattern in the background. I think I’ll modify the angular ribbon on the bottom to match the more organic ribbon at the top. Call me with any input and I’ll Mac it up.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Latest Bonehead Stunt

I’m either doing burpees, or performing some pagan
sun ritual
designed to make people call you, or both.

Hi Lauren, it’s your blog-pest Rob. Here are my reports from the first two days of


The mighty CrossFit gods reigning high on Mt. Pukie have this day, in their infinite wisdom, seen fit to test my mettle and take my measure. How else to explain such a nefarious coincidence? That on the very first day of my righteous quest the workout of the day should be 100 inverted burpees?

Accident, happenstance, or a most sadistic torment engineered by some malignant deity. No matter. I persevered, doing what any CrossFitter would do: I completed my inverted burpees, rested a scant two minutes in the bosom of purity, then completed my regular burpees.

May my true intentions and noble efforts find purchase, be fruitful and multiply.

(I wore out the thesaurus on this one.)

No divine meddling, and much friendlier diction today.

Two hundred burpees so far. Hang on, I think I hear my phone...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It’s My Birthday

Guess what my wish is.

(Call if you need a hint. 417-839-5133)

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Fat Lady (Skinny CrossFitter) Sang

Hi Lauren, it’s me.

Just got off the phone with the CrossFit Radio guys. It was a lot of fun. (Big howdy and thanks to Neil and Justin.) I think the show will generate some visitors to the site, which is cool, but all I can think about is “Why did I ever post that photo of me in my underwear?”

Anyway, I didn’t get the call so I sang as promised/threatened. Doc said my ears should recover - mostly. Here’s the lyrics in case you missed it.

Come and listen to my story ‘bout a man named Rob.
A poor CrossFitter just trying to get a job.
And then one day as if in answer to his plea,
He saw a post from Lauren, said “Come and work for me.”
Glassman that is, Lauren G, Coach’s wife.

Well the first thing you know Rob’s sent his resumé.
The kinfolk said, you better rise above the fray.
They said Lauren’s struggling with a resumé backlog,
So he loaded up his thoughts and he starts to write a blog.
Stories that is, articles, anecdotes.

So, it’s time for my next stunt, and I gotta tell you I’m at a bit of a loss. If the singing threat didn’t work, you must be a pretty tough nut to crack. I thought about holding my breath, but I don’t think that will work long distance. A hunger strike seems totally inappropriate. I could take a hostage, but who? Maybe I could boycott something.

Then it hit me:

Here’s how it works: Starting tomorrow, April 21, (which is my birthday by the way) I pledge to do 100 burpees a day, in addition to my workouts, every day until you call. (God, I hope this doesn’t take long.)

I’m going to design a logo, and ask all my CrossFit buddies to pledge with me, and everyone who does gets a logoed shirt or something, and we’ll all get damn sick and tired of burpees to boot.

There it is. 100 burpees a day for a phone call.
In case you don’t have it yet: 417-839-5133.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Why Do We Work Out So Hard and Why Do I Want This Job So Much?

Hi Lauren.

After the workout today I was lying in a pool of my own sweat, my chest bouncing off the floor with each beat of a heart trying desperately to keep up with the demands of some really pissed off muscles. But I was happy - giddily so.

What’s that about? I had just voluntarily and for no good reason put myself through the most agonizingly painful thing I’ll experience today (hopefully). I should not be smiling. But there it was - grimace on the inhale, grin on the exhale. Have I finally met-conned myself into oxygen-depleted brain damage?

I wonder, why do I and all my CrossFit buddies do this to ourselves?

Are we just after a healthy body? That’s probably true, but by AMA standards we could reach optimal health by aping the knuckle-dragging troglodytes down at the local Y. There’s no need to go to CrossFit extremes just to keep our arteries clear.

Is Coach Glassman some sadistic bully and we his masochistic acolytes? As a rule I tend to avoid pain as much as the next person, and I’ve never met Coach, but from watching his videos he seems like a nice guy, so no.

Is it an attempt to maintain a fading youth? In my 45-year-old case, yes. But there are a lot of young wack jobs grinding away just as hard as me.

Is it the love of competition? I do love to compete, but who are my opponents? Some post with a cryptic name and a time to beat. Where’s the fun in that? The real joy in competition comes from looking your adversary in the eye and then stomping their poor excuse for an effort into the dust.

There’s the whole look-good-naked thing, but everyone wants to look good naked. We just seem to be the only ones doing anything about it.

I don’t know, maybe we are the final warning to this couch riding, soda slurping, chip shovelling, can’t go to the grocery store without a motorized cart society. Or more specifically to this rice cake eating, sport drink slurping, silly exercise machine riding, spot reducing, “I just want to tone, not get bulky” pseudo-health society.

Maybe we just realize that we’ve been gifted a precious set of flesh and blood tools and entrusted to make something strong and fast and hard with them. Maybe when the tale of my life is told I want to have spent more time squatting in the gym than squatting on the couch.

Which brings me to Why Do I Want This Job So Much?

I’ve been gifted a set of communication/creativity tools that I have been honing for most of my working life and now need to use for a better purpose than selling barbecue sauce and toilet paper. I need to help get the word out that people like my mom and dad can and should and would have fun exercising; that my cancer-survivor friend at work can walk without a cane again; that the kids in my small town school can compete without the well equipped gyms of their rivals. I want to help people get healthy and strong and I see no better vehicle than CrossFit to accomplish that.

Maybe the reason I work out so hard is the same reason I want this job - to show someone somewhere that they can live a healthier life. That they don’t have to live with the bulge in their belly and the ache in their back. And that if they try, really try, then they can be grinning/grimacing idiots lying on the floor like the rest of us.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Save the CrossFitters!

Hi Lauren.

So we’re just about 48 hours from CrossFit Radio airtime. In case you’ve forgotten the ultimatum you’re up against, I’ll repost it now.

If I do not receive my phone call by airtime (April 20, 8pm central) I am prepared to sing a song to you on air, and let me assure you such an occurrence will cause more pain to the CrossFit community than any WOD ever posted. I haven’t decided on the song yet...

I have decided on a song, and it harkens back to my days in Hollywood. I'll be singing the theme to The Beverly Hillbillies, (with revised lyrics of course) of which I was an extra for a short time, as evidenced by the photo below.

I played Elly-May’s love interest, cousin Goober. My part was short lived as cousin Goober tragically died diving into the cement pond.

I’m not asking for much - just one phone call, and it doesn’t have to be a long call. For instance you might say, “Hi Rob, Lauren here, you’re hired.” Or “Rob, it’s Lauren, love your blog, when can you start?” What’s that going to take? Two minutes max even with dialing!

Two minutes so that legions of CrossFitters don’t have to do their wods with blood streaming from damaged ears.

Save the CrossFitters - dial the number.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Hanging On and Letting Go

Hi Lauren.

I’ve been thinking about the concept Hanging On, and it’s opposite Letting Go, and how those terms might apply to my CrossFit training.

Let’s look at a hypothetical situation. Say I’m Hanging On to the end of a rope suspended from a cliff. Letting Go will result in falling to my death, Hang On and I live. Unfortunately in our situation I am not rescued and eventually fall to my death. I think we could all agree that since Letting Go results in a really bad day, what actually happens when I fall is a complete failure of Hanging On.

Now let’s look at a CrossFit workout. I just finished the hero workout “DT” (R.I.P. brother) which is:

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

While being a very tough workout, it was in no way a life or death situation (though I thought I might die), and was a perfect crucible for Hanging On vs. Letting Go.

12 reps of deadlifts at 155# was no real test on its own, but was engineered to amplify the grip blasting effect of the HPC, making this workout a literal test in Hanging On. And I’ll admit it - I Let Go. I didn’t come to the limit of Hanging On - I Let Go. Which is not to say I slouched through the workout. 11:42 is a pretty good time based on what the CrossFit Monsters posted that day, but would I have been able to Hang On for a few more reps if I had been suspended from a cliff? Yes.

Interesting. Unless you fail to Hang On, you are Letting Go.

Now certainly there is a level of pacing that must come in to play. You cannot go out so fast that you can’t make it back. But if it was you Hanging On to that hypothetical rope from that hypothetical cliff could you Hang On a little bit longer? If you were being chased by a bear could you run that last 800m a little faster? If your life was at stake could you do one more round of Cindy? Could you do one more burpee or squat or row or press?

Probably. Which brings us to the cool thing, the really cool thing about CrossFit - eventually you’ll fail to Hang On (or Let Go). CrossFit is just too demanding. It will always bring you to that decision point - do I Let Go and rest, or Hang On and grind away.

I don’t know about you, but I want to Hang On a little bit longer and Let Go a little less. Maybe we should change our call to arms from 3-2-1-Go to Hanging-From-Cliff-Go.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Subliminal Blogging

Hi Lauren.
I really have no idea what to blog about today, so I thought I’d just type at random and see if anything suggested itself. Here goes.

Dinso lorpero I should hire Rob. Dolenibh essi. In henisit nismo call Rob dolenis eum dipit ut lummodigna Rob’s a great guy autpat wisl I’ll give him a call. Autpat eu faccum Rob's the best iuscilisl do coreet, suscili I think I’ll hire Rob quipsustrud delestisim Rob has a lot of talent henisi tis ad mincin he is brilliant, really. ulput acilis nim volor Rob is the best choice for this job, lisismod I'm going to call him dunt ad right now. sit 4ad 1digna 7ate 8tie 3vel 9utat 5esecte 1erilit 3non 3vend I want to hire Rob feugiatem il right away ea facilisl delessectem velesed diametue volorper sim zzrit nos ea feuguer suscip ex eum deliquat nis nissi. Ignibh4 ea1 feu7 feummy8 nonullamet3 luptatio9 consecte5 con1 vel3 utet3 coreetuerat I should hire Rob autpat wisl dolum vel ut nulla Rob's the best fatong euis dolut praese delenis modolor erilit non Rob is something else vendigna corpero consenim quisl in Where's my phone? I need to call Rob. hendreet, qui essequisl il el I'm calling Rob ullam right now quis dunt ad dolorem aliquat. Ut voluptat I want to hire Rob Im quam, sustrud dignit I want to hire Rob ilisismod tio esequat autat. Ut iusto odip I want to hire Rob essent eu facinis I want to hire Rob nullaor sim vent at niam, I want to hire Rob commy nosto dolorperit vel I want to hire Rob dunt doluptat. Rit, qui blaor iure I want to hire Rob esequat. Ibh erit, consenissis ad tatisi.

See anything? I didn’t either.
Call me if you think of anything. 417-839-5133

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tit for Tat, Shirt for Shirt

Hey, Lauren.

You sent me a fantastic CrossFit t-shirt, so I returned the favor and made you a one of a kind, never to be repeated, sure to be a collector's item, official t-shirt.

I don't know how to get it to you and I'm sure you don't want to give your address to some wacko who blogs to you every day. Just email me your lawyer's address and they can run the package by the bomb sniffing dogs before they give it to you.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

At My Gym

At my gym the most out of shape person is the one behind the counter.

At my gym we don’t have coaches or trainers or even instructors. We have fitness monitors.

At my gym we have one squat rack and three different inner/outer thigh machines.

At my gym you’re expected to wipe down the machine after each use. Sweating is rather frowned upon.

At my gym if I fall to the ground after a workout they come running with the defibrillator kit.

At my gym you need a “machine” to do cardio, and there’s a TV for every two “machines” so you won’t get bored while you workout.

At my gym they play light rock favorites to create a pleasant atmosphere.

At my gym balancing on a ball while twirling pink plastic dumbbells over your head is considered a workout.

At my gym the “exercise stations” are numbered and color coded and you’re expected to use them in order, spending no more than a minute at each station.

At my gym you don’t workout, you do routines.

At my gym the only chalk is on the menu board behind the snack counter.

At my gym the people who pay their bill every month are more valued than the people who show up every day and work hard.

At my gym they have no idea what fitness is or how to achieve it.

At my gym we’re going to tear down their house of cards and liberate their ignorant clientele. Shine the light of truth into every dark corner of confusion, mistruth and false paradigm. Tear off those manacles of NordicTrack and Nautili. Urge their clients to put down their rice cakes and sports drinks and follow us along the hard and straight and narrow road that will lead them to the men and women they were meant to be. And on that day, oh yes on that day, when we are all strong and fit and capable we will melt down those thigh machines to make kettlebells and we will teach those fitness monitors how to squat. And on that day I will say,

At my gym we do CrossFit.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Rest Day Today

I'll post something clever/smart/brilliant tomorrow.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

What’s Your Favorite Workout?

That’s a tough question. An easier question would be what’s your least favorite?

My least favorite is the one I’m doing right now. The one that I can’t suck in enough air for. This lactic acid bomb that I’m only half way through. If I can only get three more rounds, all-right two more rounds, come on just one more round last 10 reps just 5 more don’t stop 3 2 OK last 1 - then I can collapse on the floor and with sweat-blinded eyes watch my lungs rip out of my chest and run away like abused children.

But my favorite?

I do like the long met con killers that you can set your pace and lower your head and grit your teeth and just grind away.

Or the short ones that are over almost before you notice. Let go of the bar and there’s that sweet, sweet moment, just an instant, when you feel weightless and invincible. Then the blood rushes back to your brain and the load hits and you can’t control your feet and you have to hold on to something for a while and you hear someone calling your name and you turn around and it’s some stupid clown with a red nose. Yeah I like those.

My favorite might be the heavy days - pulling a heavy weight off the floor when you’re testing your 1 rep max. That cold steel bar feels alive in your hand, like it wants to raise up on its own. Set your back, weight to your heels, anchor your grip, breathe, tighten down, feel those big posterior chain muscles start to pull. The bar just floats up.

But my favorite workout?

My favorite workout would have to be the next one.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

All I Really Need to Know I Learned from CrossFit

Some things are hard (burpees), and will always be hard (burpees), so you might as well get them over with (burpees).

The tough stuff won’t kill you, but it might feel like it.

Every day brings a new opportunity to test yourself.

Naps are good for you.

Break big problems (Murph) into small tasks (5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 squats).

It’s OK to cry, just don’t quit.

Everyone needs a cheat day now and then.

Hard work is a lot easier if you share it with others.

Calluses are medals. Torn calluses are trophies.

The things you don’t like are probably the things you need to work on the most.

Listen to your coach. They can see things you can’t.

If you can get your arms around it, you can probably move it.

You’re never as alive as when you’re testing your limits.

Sometimes all you can do is try your hardest, and sometimes that’s enough.

And best of all, when you work hard good things happen.

With my apologies to Robert Fulghum

Lauren, I’m working hard to get this job and I know that good things will happen because of it.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Hi Lauren, Rob here.

Got a call from CrossFit Radio today - I’m gonna be famous.

I must warn you though. This will greatly expand the audience of influence for my Hey Lauren campaign, and I intend to use it to get this job. I love CrossFit, I have lots of sweet skills, and I’ll do whatever it takes to get, keep and excel at this job.

Therefore I am respectfully submitting this threat.

If I do not receive my phone call by airtime (April 20, 8pm central) I am prepared to sing a song to you on air, and let me assure you such an occurrence will cause more pain to the CrossFit community than any WOD ever posted. I haven’t decided on the song yet, but I am working on the lyrics for two: Hey, Hey Paula by Paul & Paula, or Da Doo Run Run by The Crystals.

Please understand, I am nervous enough just going on the air. The thought of singing in front of thousands of my closest friends scares me more than Murph with a 40# vest, but if that’s what I have to do to get this job then 3, 2, 1 go.

Just ten numbers to avoid a tragedy, think about it.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thanks Lauren

A quick set of dips to celebrate my new t-shirt.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Idea #2: What's For Dinner?

Hi Lauren, here’s another idea.

What if we held a Zone-friendly recipe contest? We could announce it on the main site and CFJ. Weekly or monthly winners could get t-shirts and the grand prize winner could get half off a cert. The recipes would have to be portioned for 3, 4 or 5 blocks and would be judged based on taste, ease of prep and of course Zone adherence. For a bonus they could pair their meal with a workout (like you pair wine with a meal).

We could ask random affiliate gyms to be guest judges. Maybe the winner could be announced at the CrossFit Games. When we collect enough good recipes we could publish an electronic cookbook. I’ve done several recipe books and have shot a lot of food.

I like this idea because it continues to build connections within this community that you’ve established - this CrossFit tribe. Nothing brings people together like food.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Here's an Idea

Hi Lauren.

My second favorite hobby is gardening which gave me an idea for a CrossFit Journal article.

CrossFit does an excellent job emphasizing the importance of nutrition, but I think we need to consider the quality of the produce found in our grocery stores. Many studies have shown that in the past 50 or so years the nutritional value of our fruits and vegetables has declined.

Several possible reasons are cited.

1. Produce eaten out of season must be picked before fully ripe and shipped thousands of miles.
2. The chemicals and preservatives used in modern agriculture make it easier to produce food, but not food of higher quality.
3. The vegetable varieties grown today are chosen primarily for ruggedness, not nutritional value or taste.
4. Higher yields per acre usually means higher yields of less nutritionally dense food.

Let's start a series of articles showing CrossFitters how easy it is to grow some of their own food. Just growing enough greens for a daily salad would greatly improve their nutritional hit for a minimum of time, money and effort. And being CrossFitters, they’d probably make a workout out of it–double dig your garden bed, for time!

A lot of people don’t have the time or space to start a garden, so on the affiliate blog we might suggest that gym owners align with a local farmer’s market or subscription farmer. Gym members could pick up weekly produce at the gym. It’s a win-win. The gym owners become more involved with their members, the farmer gets a motivated, involved client base for his/her products and the gym members get better tasting, more nutritious food for little effort.

What do you think?

P.S. I recently started a gardening blog. You can get there if you view my profile on this blog.

Monday, April 6, 2009

T-shirt Challenge Day V

Mental State: Ecstatic
Odor: Shower fresh
Shirt Condition: Wet
Results: Comment, email, new shirt

So I got an email from CrossFit HQ Store telling me that my order was on the way. I hadn't ordered anything. Then I noticed it was from Lauren. That's funny. You're funny. I love it.

Then I saw your comment and to celebrate I decided to take a shower. The shirt still hasn't come off–technically the terms were a phone call. But at least I'm clean.

I just hope the shirt dries before bedtime.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

T-shirt Challenge Day IV

The Aftermath of Nicole.

Mental State: Vigilant
Odor: Getting stiff
Shirt Condition: Dirty, pit stains
Results: No call

Day 4 has come and gone. Tomorrow is a work day, which will be interesting. Hope I don't have any meetings in close quarters. Maybe I should wear a cardigan too.

Sample Piece

Hi Lauren, thought I'd write a short autobio to give you a flavor of how I handle words–in a more serious tone.

CrossFit and the Aging Bodybuilder.

At 43 I had been working out for more than half my life. An early stint as a teenage bodybuilder set the stage-

Chest and back on M-Th. Shoulders, Bi's and Tri's on T-F. Legs on W-S. Bench Press. Dumbell Flyes. Cable Crossovers. Preacher Curls. Three sets of ten. 12-10-8. Countless sets of failures, negatives, supersets. Get to the gym, workout, leave.

That was my fitness plan year after year. No thought of warming up, cooling down, recovery. Success was measured by how tight my shirt fit and how much weight I could bench.

But at 43 my joints were telling the tale. My knees hurt all the time. Bending over was tough. My hamstrings were like piano wires and my shoulders like rice crispies. I began to avoid the gym and was about to give up and join the crowd on the couch.

Salvation came as it so often does, through our children. I was watching the movie "300" with my boys and saw the feature on how they trained the actors. It seemed hard and painful and intense and why would anyone ever want to put themselves through that? Naturally, me.

But how? The website from the movie was intentionally cryptic. Other websites would get me in the best shape of my life in only 10 minutes a day for only $19.95 a month. $500 a year to join another website's Secret Inner Circle. Not for me.

I started googling the terms I came across: ohs, sdhp, thrusters, burpees. Every time it led me to Everything was right there spelled out and demonstrated and for free. The daily workouts looked fun and doable. The first one I tried was the Filthy Fifty.

The title should have been my first warning. Feeling dizzy at 10 minutes should have been my second warning. Tasting bile and seeing a bright light in the sky at 20 minutes should have been my third warning. But I was determined to finish. Burpees were performed two at a time followed by a few minutes flat on my back. I subbed singles x2 for double unders, and they were a tangle of rope, heavy feet and curses.

When I came to, twenty minutes later I was hopelessly hooked. I've since learned that this stuff is seriously strong medicine. It can get you in the best shape of your life, and it can kill you. Don't, don't, don't just jump in like I did.

I've learned all the terms and movements. I'm a stickler for form and full range of motion. I'm an 18 block zoner who cheats too much. I'm learning the Olympic lifts. I snicker at the muscle heads in the gym doing concentration curls (like I used to) and I am redeemed every time someone asks me, "Gosh, you workout so hard. What are you training for?"

"Life." Is always my answer.

Training is the pivotal event in my day around which all other things revolve. Meals are planned, rest is regimented, and I'm in the best shape of my life. I've cut my original Filthy Fifty time by more than 30 minutes. I used to look big and muscular. Now I look muscular and athletic, and my joint pain is almost all gone.

Where do I go from here? At 45 I am older than most hardcore CrossFitters. I have to be careful to warm up and warm up again. Cooling down and stretching are paramount. I usually sub 5x5 for 5x1. I love/hate my foam roller, and I love/hate post workout cold showers.

I guess I'm looking for the outer limits of CrossFit. How long can I keep getting better? Getting stronger? Improving my times? Will I ever snatch my bodyweight? How old can I be and still CrossFit like a maniac?

I'll let you know in 40 years.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

T-shirt Challenge Day III

Mental State: Optimistic
Odor: It's stinky
Shirt Condition: No stains
Results: No call

First day of the challenge with a workout. Did Fight Gone Bad. (I stay a triplet or two behind so I can do extra work on my weak points without messing up the next day's workout.) Don't have a rower so subbed burpees for rowing. Got 375. Think I could have gotten close to 400 if I had rowed.

Don't know if I'll get to sleep in the bed tonight. May get real familiar with the couch before this is over.

That number again: 417-839-5133
Operators are standing by. Just not close by.

Friday, April 3, 2009

T-shirt Challenge Day II

Mental State: Buoyant, Hopeful
Odor: None
Shirt Condition: Fresh
Results: No Discernible

Every possible preparation has been made. My cell phone is in my hand. Batteries charged. Ringer on full blast. No call yet, but that's OK. I didn't sign up for this because I thought it would be easy. When you want something bad enough and you're convinced you're the right one for the job every sacrifice is worth it. Semper Fidelis

Thursday, April 2, 2009

T-shirt Challenge

Hi Lauren. I know that getting your audience engaged and interested in what you are saying is the most important thing in communication. To that end I have committed myself to doing whatever it takes to get your attention. I own one (1) CrossFit t-shirt and despite the pleas and threats of those closest to me I am going to wear that one t-shirt day and night until you call me.

Day and night. At home. At work. Sleeping. Eating. Working out.
This Haynes Beefy T preshrunk shall not be removed but for
one phone call.

I want this job. I know I can do it. Give me a try.

Here's that number: 417-839-5133

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hi Lauren

Welcome to my Hey Lauren, you should hire Rob blog. In it I am going to try to convince you to hire me. I am going to say lots of glowing things about my qualifications and abilities and hassle my friends and family to leave nice comments. I'll shamelessly brag about my CrossFit times and go on about what a great, smart, hardworking, etc. guy I am.

(Ordinarily I'm not so egotistical, but it is hard to capture someone's attention from 1800 miles away.)

I'm sure you got a lot of interest in the editor job, but I really think I am the best candidate for the job. I have spent a lot of time learning how to communicate clearly, simply and passionately. I know what it takes to engage your audience, and I know the CrossFit material. I hope you'll give me a shot. I'd be willing to do some projects for free, or work part time for a while, or whatever I need to do to get this job.

Thanks Lauren.
P.S. That's me at the St. Louis Oly Cert held this March. Brown shirt on the left.