Wednesday, September 30, 2009

9/30 - Bacon is good for me

Intenisty: Moderate

Goals: Same as most of the week. Muscle endurance, base building, and reloading from previous hard week.

Overheard today:
GOMAD(Gallon of Milk A Day) -

Get bigger muscles by walking -

(it is good and related back to intensity)

AM- Crossfit

Helen of Troy
Goals: We are strength biasing the workout today

Warmup: 10 minutes jump rope trying to chain together as many double unders as you can

Strength: 1-1-1-1-1 Deadlift should pull 85% of 1RM again we are reloading not pushing through


3 Rounds

400m run
21 1.5 pood (55lb) kettlebell swings
12 pullups

I subbed in a 500m row for the run because I am getting my running in outside of Crossfit. It made the workout more interesting because it was a lot of upper body.

I will put up the swim in a comment later tonight, but wanted to get these things up while I had a chance.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

9/29 - Meat and Potatoes

Focus: Base Building and endurance

Intensity: Moderate

Goals: We are working out way up to running 5 days a week. Doing this is going to help us build consistency as well as reinforce good neuro muscular recruitment for running. This week we are moving to 4 days a week over the usual three. Therefore we are going to back down the intensity a little bit. I want you to start thinking about the race you are going to do either Saturday or Sunday and begin to get an idea of what you are capable of running. Once we have the hard and fast numbers we will set a goal that is reasonable for us to achieve 12 weeks from now. Personally I project about a 22 minute 5 k this weekend. Not terribly fast, but a good jumping off place to reach my goal of 18:30 in three weeks. I Have set up this aggressive goal for myself because I know that despite the running I have been doing I am in a deconditioned state. If you have been running consistently you may wish to choose a more moderate, yet still challenging goal.

AM- Cals
Same ole same ole.

7 rounds
20 pushups
30 situps
10 pullups
5 ring dips/ 10 normal dips

5 rounds Skill
20 1 pood (35lbs) kettle bell swings

We are scaling back a little bit to help you recover this week because we are going to push the running a bit more. The additional training day might throw a monkey wrench into things if you are not careful, so decreasing overall volume is a good thing.

PM - Run

5 miles - "Steady State"

4x100m strides Starts off at low intensity accelerating to 80% max effort by 3/4 way and slowing back down

This website is going to become our best friend for the next 12 weeks. In addition to the calculator McMilllan Running has a wealth of information on what training to run is all about.

Tonight we are going to be doing a "Steady State" run. If I plug in a finish time of 21:15 in the calculator above that translates to a 7:46-8:00 pace run. This is not too fast, but the focus here is not on fast, it is on setting yourself up to adapt to that additional day. We will throw something new in for next week, but will not resume speed training on Tuesday night until the week afterward.


Monday, September 28, 2009

9/28 - Three bars of Death

Focus: Base Building Enduance

Intensity: Moderate

Goals: Today is a reload day. After our day off yesterday we need to pick things back up but not at super high intenisty. We want to think of the goal of the day to work on skills or lifts in which we are not super proficient. We do not however want to break ourselves.

Rant: There is more running in the pipeline for the next 12 weeks. Get used to it. Find a 5k this weekend. Enter it, pay the money, and get ready to put down a baseline.

AM- Crossfit

10 minutes of jump rope starting with single jumps, moving to alternating leg and finally ending with consecutive double under efforts

Strength: 7-7-7-7-7 Front Squats. Focusing on correct form over weight moved.

MetCON: AMRAP in 20 minutes


5 Thruster
7 Hang Power Clean
10 Sumo Deadlift High Pull

A good place to scale this is at weight moved. I wasn't tooking to blow out my arms early in the day so I dropped the weight to 65lbs. This means that I could move the weight for more rounds without tiring and overall generate more watts that moving a weight that is less comfortable for me to move. This really focuses on the Met Con Portion of this workouts. Again the idea here is moderation, put the bar down, take your time, regrip and go. This workout is supposed to kill your forearms, but I find my shoulder go long before my grip does.

PM - Swim

After three bars of death swimming is going to be a little hard so tonights workout is more kicking than anything else

Mini Beast

200 Kick with fins
100 Pull

Main Set:
5x100F + 10 pushups
5x100k + 20 Flutter Kicks

5 x 50 Under overs (25 Underwater/25Freestyle)
5 x 50 Over Unders (25 Free/ 25 Underwater)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

9/26 - Motivation

So I got caught in the gumption trap of trying to maintain focus and motivation. This is not at all a hard thing to do when you have very little else going on with your life. Compounded further is the fact that I am not getting the kind of feedback validation I need to help convince me that this project is worthwhile. I know it is. Although it may seem that I am posting and reposting some of the same stuff over and over again I know it is important to know the idea behind the workouts, the time domain the effort levels required for each activity. Blindly throwing yourself at the problem of fitness if a good thing, but what will really help you understand your body and your capability is understanding the purpose behind the workouts.

I want to talk about a few things this week. First and foremost is the idea of periodization and overload. While triathletes may be familiar with this concept I am finding a lot of crossfit athletes completely ignorant to the idea. They simply follow along with the mainsite wod. There is not a problem with this, in fact the mainsite wods are built in such a manner that the periodization is implicit in their design. I know I have been Alan absent this last week, but if you had been playing along with the you would have noticed a large portion of the last week's WOD's had a large strength emphasis and the week before there was a emphasis on MetCON with gymnastic movements.

In order to get the constantly varied functional movement that crossfit touts as the end all ad be all of fitness we must necessarily have these periods of emphasis on a certain skill or training modality. That is not to say that you should blow your load all over a different training modality each week. Moderation and recovery are as big a point in training as actually doing the work. Not all the efforts you make in the gym can be all out. In fact that end up being pretty detrimental to long range fitness and makes you much more susceptible to injury and overtraining.

So we need a definition to start this rant. Most useful for this weeks blog is going to be the definition of intensity. We will define intensity at work done at or near absolute work capacity, or for the layman doing things as hard or nearly as hard as you possibly can. Studies of periodization in professional athletes suggest that only 20% of your workouts should be at maximal intensity. Any more than this and you run the risk of putting yourself in an overtrained state. Over training is no Joke. It can take as little as two weeks but up to three months to completely recover from an overtrained state. With that much down time you are very likely to loose a lot of the fitness you have gained from these periods of increased intensity.

Intensity is an very important part of any training regiment. You must ensure that your Hard days are oh my god when will it stop hard and your easy days are spring breeze through a unicorn's bottom easy. This is very easy to regulate in athletes that train in one modality (i.e. running) by only programming two- three hard workouts in a week. However an athlete that must have competency in multiple domain may not be able to work all of his or her sports in those two or three workouts. This holds true in the crossfit training regiment as well.

If we look at the theoretical pyramid of fitness illustrated at the top of the page (I seriously wish I could do inline images....Maybe I can) we see that there are a number of emphasises that lead to physical mastery. Having 4 physical disciplines to be proficient in means that you will be unable to bring the intensity necessary to show progress in each discipline each week. Thus the idea of periodization is further motivated.

Another idea that emerges from this pyramid is that of supportive conditioning and strength work. This idea is the basis behind the strength biased crossfit formula. That is to say that biasing programming towards the more basal strength aspect of crossfit will have a trickle down, or in the case of the pyramid trickle up effect. I believe this to be completely true. If your are able to generate more raw power then simpler less taxing movements will take less away from your energy reserves and you will literally be able to muscle your way through a number of workouts. This extrapolates out to very good effect with short domain activities, which for the sake of this argument we will limit to 20 minutes. We choose this domain as numerous crossfit journal articles point to the fact that energy systems start to change around this time domain and what should have been a high intensity workout turns into a muscular endurance test.

Now a quick digression to my training. I am an ultramarathoner and as such my sport requires that I be able to put out a reasonable amount of energy for long periods of time. I am not going to get in the semantics of discussing if this specialization makes me more or less fit on any scale, it is something that I just like to do with my friends and it brings me great joy. I did however notice that the more time I spent on the trails doing low intensity long duration work the easier short duration high intensity work became. No we can speculate as to the cause of this, better aerobic conditioning, more mitochondria density, etc but the fact remained I got better at doing short fast stuff. Couple this long distance easy training with high intensity work on the track as well as high load maximal efforts in the gym and I got even faster. My case is then that as important as intensity is long aerobic and supportive conditioning is just as critical to a well rounded athlete.

I know I am rambling on a bit here, but I would like to incorporate one final idea of sustainability. I will unequivocally state that there is no athlete alive or dead that is capable of working at his or her maximal intensity three days on one day off every day of every week. To believe this is utter bullocks. Even though crossfit workouts are usually of short domain there simply is just not enough time for our bodies to continually repair the kind of damage maximal effort does. Therefore the idea of maximal effort at such and interval is simply non sustainable, or not able to be replicated day in and day out.

Looking back, out initial concept of periodization comes into play. That is we build intensity over a period of days and weeks performing different movements and allowing ourselves time to rest and recover. The number one element in fitness gains is consistency. No matter what fitness program we design for ourselves (withing reason here, eating twinkies and playing x-box is not a fitness plan) so long as we do it consistently we will achieve results. If we have a well designed program like crossfit we will achieve greater results so long as we are able to stick to that program. By executing each workout at high intensity and literally pushing ourselves to the breaking point each time we are ensuring that we will not be able to be consistent.

I suggest a remedy for this that might be blasphemous to crossfit HQ. Don't hit every workout as hard as you can and don't have crossfit be the only piece of your fitness puzzle. I instead suggest you build intensity in cycles. Three days on one off is a great idea, but ultimately too small of an interval to see much benefit. For replicate ability I suggest you try training five days a week with a three on one off, two on one off schema. This ensures that week in and week out that you can reliably schedule your exercise. That shortened first work period really helps prime the pump for intensity in the second. Also make sure your hard days are the days before your rest day. Realize too that if you want to achieve maximal results that rest days shouldn't be complete 0 days. Go for a walk, swim or go to yoga. any low level activity you do will help flush you system of any nasty workout bi products.

Also I suggest you build the intensity of your workouts in 4 week cycles. It may be as simple as realizing where you are in your four week cycles and adjusting intensity accordingly or your may with to formalize and write out the fact in whatever workout log you keep. Just remember the first week is moderate, the second harder, and the third OMG hard the fourth cycles back to easy. This will help keep your injury free for longer and ensure that you give your body time to rest and build itself back stronger.

Anyway, that has been way too much of your time and more information that I had meant to disseminate. If you have questions with anything email me at

Friday, September 18, 2009

9/18 - Cyclopse

Skills: I suck at jump rope. I find it a stupid waste of my time, but only because I am bad at it and tend ot get frustrated easily. For the next few weeks I will be throwing in some jump rope drills to get you on your way to double under promised land. Short little workouts should take less than 5 minutes each.

Workout 1
Basic Bounce Step
Jump over rope 10 times and then stop
Reps: 10
Sets: 5
Rest: 60 sec or
less between sets

Workout 2
Alternate Foot
Count right foot
only and multiply
by 2.
Reps: 5
Sets: 5
Rest: 60 seconds
or less

AM - Crossfit

Goals: Core strength/ muscular endurance. As the WOD is very core intensive we can work more whole body lifts as a strength component. Also we have been working legs pretty hard this week and out hands should be recovering from the onslaught of bodyweight trial by fire last week. We will again be cleaning from the hang position as you get 80% of the benefit of a full clean without starting to cause the problems that are associated with going from the ground. Some college programs have their athletes clean for all 4 years from this position.

Tips: Weigh yourself daily at about the same time. If your goal is to loose weight make sure that you are not sheding more than about a pound a week. too much weight loss will result in a strength loss and we want to keep that to a minimum. If you are trying to gain weight we are looking to gain about .25 lbs a week. that will ensure that the weight is more muscle and not water weight.

20 PVC Pass through
20 PVC arm circles
Bergner warmup

Strength: 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 Hang Power Clean


Five rounds for time of:
30 Glute-ham sit-ups
25 Back extensions

PM Swim-

Notes: SeaBest will only be appearing once a week from here on out, but the distances swam will be getting bigger. We ill have two more traditional swim workouts M W, but unfortunately they will not get posted until after 9 at night. If you wish to follow the swim program just defer your swimming days till the next day.

Warmup: 300 yards backstroke

Phase 1:
5 x
{100 free/10 pushups} on 2:30
{100 IM/10 pushups} on 3:00

Phase 2:

Aquajob 30 minutes. Hands open to increase resistance on arms.

Phase 3:

3 rounds vertical kick drills hand position (side/out of water/on head)
:30/:30 Flutter
:30/:30 Dolphin
:30/1:00 Scull

2 rounds vertical kick hands at (side/out of water)
1:00/:30 Flutter
1:00/:30 Dolphin
1:00/:30 Scull


Phase 4:
10 x
150 fin with mask
10 get outs


Happy training.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

9/17 Sweet Skills

AM - Cals

Goals: Muscle endurance, now with skill practicals.

10 x
20 pushups
30 situps
10 pullups
5 ring dips/10 dips

Skill work: Ring rows
5 x 10 rows

5 x 10 skin the cat to a :10 back lever hold

PM -

7 mile run or 25 mile bike ride. Medium effort with 2:00 hard efforts

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

9/15 - Zoom Zoom

AM- Cals

Goals: for form and unbrokenness
10 x
20 pushups
30 situps
10 pullups
5 ring dip/10 regual dips

Stretch out between round get limber.

PM Track Work
Warmup : 1 Mile Jog

4 x
200 Rep Pace
200 Jog

1 mile at tempo pace
400 Jog

10 x 100 m strides

Cool Down: 1 mile jog

9/16 - Die-ane

AM - Crossfit

Goals: Power, short duration anaerobic capacity. This workout is going to burn, not for very long, but burn all the same. Time domain for this workout is less than 10 minutes. If you believe you can complete the workout as written please do, but if you find yourself exceeding the 10 minute mark stop the effort. A good place to scale this workout is at handstand pushups. Not many people are able to do these and I suggest that most people get the assistance of stretch right bands.

Strength: Front Squat 3-3-3-3-3

21-15-9 225lb deadlift/handstand pushups

Alternative: If you are bound and determined to work thought the set as written you can break the tasks into nine five rep rounds. This is a good idea for those of you that are between weights i.e. can do perscribed weights but not for all of the exercises. If you choose to task prioritize like this it is important that you go heavier than you would have otherwise.

PM - swim

300 F
4x75 kick
200 Stroke

100 C.U.R.L.S "Catch up, Right, Left, Swim) on LPS +:20
50 F on LPS (Fast)
50 K on LPS + :20 (Moderate)
100 C.U.R.L.S "Catch up, Right, Left, Swim) on LPS +:20
2 x 50 F on LPS (Fast)
2x50 K on LPS + :20 (Moderate)

12x25 on :30
Descend 1-4,5-8,9-12

10 get Outs
30 Flutterkicks

Sunday, September 13, 2009

9/14 -

AM - Crossfit

Goal: Strength and muscular endurance. Weights we are dealing with are going to be heavy but will be well within the realm of what you are capable of pushing. Focus on A tight core with the overhead squats. These are really core exercises in disguise. Your legs are going to be plenty strong to pump these out, but your shoulders (in that good active position) and your core won't be able to support a lot of repitions. Remember too that a great indicator of fitness is the ability to to 15 body weight overhead squats. L-Pullups will be the limiting factor here, but very important for the core stability you will need.

4 Rounds
10 1.5 pood goblet squats
Run 200m

Strength: 3-3-3-3-3 Overhead Squats

10 rounds
6 thruster at 60% max
6 L pullup

PM - Operation Sea Beast

Goals: Endurance and hip flexor strength

200 yards warmup

5x 100 Fr/IM with 10 pushups in between

5 x
:30/:30 vertical kicking drills hands at (side/out of water/on head)
:30/1:00 sculling

500 yards aquajog

150 yard fin
20 flutter kicks

Optional: 5 x overunders (25 yard sprint, 25 yard underwater)
5 x giant stride entry to mask recovery

9/13 - Rest and Relax

So I thought that I might start to flesh out the idea behind project Mastodon. While this post is not meant to serve as a complete manifesto I wanted to get some salient points out in text. I think it is then best to start to describe what Project Mastodon is not.

Project Mastodon:
1) Is not a bunch of self congratulating fitness snobs indoctrinated so deeply in mysticism that they disrespect any definition of fitness but their own. Addendum: Project Mastodon may be this for the purposes of poking fun of other such organizations, clubs or cycling teams.

2) Is not meant to be taken too seriously at any point of time.Addendum: We take our working out quite seriously when we are doing the thing that we are doing. We make every effort to adhere to a reasonable and well planned training schema, but will not feel butthurt when life or out body gets in the way of what we had planned for the day.

3) There are no fitness celebrities in Project Mastodon. Respect is expected and given between athletes of every ability. You know what you know and perform how you perform. No excuses made or accepted.

Glad those are out of the way. Now we can get down to the business of defining what we actually are.

1) Project Mastodon is directly the product of too much free time, heavy metal and love of the active way of life.

2) Project Mastodon is hopefully a way to inject camaraderie, drive and focus into whatever you are training for.

3) Project Mastodon is a evolving system of personal anecdotes and hard science put together in as factual and interesting enough manner to help you attain your fitness goals.

4) Project Mastodon is most of all doing the thing that needs done. I know this definition is not precise and I hate dealing with with inexactness but it is necessary in this instance. There is not one single definition of fitness that once attained you may be considered fit. No weights, reps, or times that once completed will signal the ultimate culmination of everything fitness related. Project Mastodon aims to bring new training strategies and philosophies to bear and help you do what you need to or love to do even better.

TLDR; Project Mastodon is a open minded and mostly scientific approach to training designed to help you do what you love to do better. But mostly it is about Heavy Metal.

I would love to develop a set of Rules A La Fight Club that encapsulate these ideas and others we deem pertinent. For now I am going to let this peculate for a bit.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Acrtic

AM - The Arctic

Goals: Work Capacity. That means this is a chipper style workout that throws a lot of dynamic movement at you. That said it is a light chipper and thing will get harder from here.

Warm up:

4 Rounds
Barbell Complex at 55# (That's right, stay light)

HUG - Hip Mobility Drill


(1) 6 Rounds
8x Back Squat @ 115#
50x Step ups, unloaded, to 20" box
30 Seconds rest

(2) 6 Rounds
8x Power Clean @ 115#
Run 400m
30 seconds rest

(3) 3 Rounds
5x Sitting Russian Twist @ 35#
10x GHD Situp
30/5/30 (30 second side bridge, 5 Plank push ups, 30 second side bridge other side)

PM - Long Run.

Goals: Shake the crap out of your legs and put in some decent base miles.
Distance: 8 miles
Intensity: able to hold conversation through entire run or 137bpm

Thursday, September 10, 2009

9/11 - Barberella


Gymnastic movement firestorm. Prep for start of first strength period. Introduction to yardage in the pool again.


Movement prep:

25 overhead squats facing wall.

3 rounds
10 sampson stretch
10 plank walkouts
10 scorpions


BackSquat 7-7-7-7-7

Don't go too heavy here or you will pay for it in the MetCON portion



Five rounds, each for time of:
20 Pull-ups
30 Push-ups
40 Sit-ups
50 Squats

rest exactly 3 minutes between rounds


The Kracken

300 yards warm up choice

10 x 100 On LPS + :10
4x 400 Distance pace on LPS + :30
4 x (3 25's descending 1-3 on :30)

300 cool down Kick-Drill Swim by 25's

9/10/09 - Options

Hey guys Couple options today and I need feedback on how you want things to work.

Option 1 - Crossfit Option

Goals: Skill Work to enforce good form. Cleans done from hand position to emphasize finish of lift. you can get 80% of the benefits from Clean and Jerk by going from the hang position. MetCON not enough hard running efforts coming up for my liking. I know there was a 10k run in the programming earlier this week, but nothing that we have done would have sharpened you up for it. Here is a way to get faster and stronger. Going to incorportate a lot more running....becausue it is good for you and it is my background.

Warmup - Bergner warmup and Skill Transfer

Strength - 5-5-5-5-5 Hang Power Clean

MetCON - 3 rounds for time(post results in comments)

Row 500 meters
30 (1.5 or 55lb) kettlebell Swings
Run 400 meters

Option 2 - General preparedness Option

In my training scheme today is a working rest day. That is that we are going to perform some work, but bring the intensity level way down. Today's Goal is muscle endurance. The AM workout won't beat you up too bad, but just get you used to hauling around weight. Make sure you eat a big lunch and rest up for the evening training session. The PM workout is just getting your muscles to hold up to the strain of more gymnastic movements. Work on your form here and try to complete each element of the set unbroken. Rest and stretch between rounds for just long enough where you know you can make the next round unbroken.

AM 2 hour Ruck March with 40lbs


10 rounds for form and unbrokenness.

20 pushups
30 situps
10 pullups
5 ring dips/10 normal dips

Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Legs.


Varaition on crossfit warmup:

10 PVC pass throughs to establish squat grip on bar.
25 Overhead Squats

3 rounds
10 pushups
10 air squats
5 ring dips / 10 normal dips

10 PVC arm Circles each side

Strength: 3-3-3-3-3 Push Jerk
%3RM 50 - 65 - 75 - 85 - 90 - 95


4 Rounds for TIME (post in comments)

100ft walking lunges with 45# plate overhead
30 24inch box jumps
20 30# weighted pullups

Scale Metcon by weight (less overhead, less/none on the pullups)

You should be aiming to finish the workout in 20 minutes or less. Too far outside of this time domain and what is suppose to be a high intensity workout turns into an endurance slog. If that is what you are looking for check back tomorrow.


Going to be writing my own proagraming for a while. Nick got bogged down with school and because the only thing I am doing is coding the site I thought I would step it up.

For my convenience the programming will reflect what I do in training, not only because I think it works over broad time and modal domains, but it is fun too.

Training follows this formula

M - AM Crossfit PM Swim
Tu - AM Cals PM Track Workout
W - AM Crossfit PM Swim
Th - AM ruck PM Cals
F - AM Crossfit PM Swim
Sa - AM Chipper PM Long Run

Intensity Builds M-> W and F-Sa Thursday is a working rest day and Sunday is completely which I mean there is no formal training. Go ride bikes, backpack and generally use your fitness to enjoy you life you are back at it in only one day.

Friday, September 4, 2009


I am in Fort Collins for the week and I stopped by a local box for a wod. I got shown what was up by these guys

Crossfit warmup

800m time trial (you may use two attempts for this)

5 rounds

20 burpees
20 knees to elbow

The Asskicker

6-6-6-6 Squat Clean

25-20-15-10-5 reps
1.5 POOD kettlebells swing/ Pullups (alternate each round)
Box Jump

Row your boat

Bear Complex/Barbell Complex

5 rounds of 6 reps

Go heavy, this is your strength WOD


2000m Row time trial

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lucky Number 7

20 Man Makers @ 35# (2 dumbells of 35#)

7 rounds for time:
7 Overhead Squats 135 lbs
7 Box Jumps 24"
7 Clapping Push Ups

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I hate YOU

For time:
1 mile run
21 Thrusters (95#/65#)
21 Pull-ups
800 meter run
15 Thrusters (95#/65#)
15 Pull-ups
400 meter run
9 Thrusters (95#/65#)
9 Pull-ups

Hopefully after this workout, you will hate me too