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.