Wod Love Wednesdays – New PR + A 2008 CrossFit Games Repeat

Wod Love WednesdaywednesdayRest.

Class wasn’t as boring as usual because we got to go on a field trip! While it wasn’t a journey to the museum or zoo, it did take me back to my days of yellow school buses and french braids. Given that this class is Public Relations, it was only fitting that we went to the local news station to watch the live taping of the evening news. It was quite fascinating to tell you the truth, but my favorite part was walking in and seeing the male news anchors applying foundation. Dudes putting make up, not something you see every day. 

thursdayInvictus Competition Training 

A) Every 2 minutes, for 20 minutes (10 sets):
*Sets 1-2 – 3 reps @ 60% (65 lbs.)
*Sets 3-4 – 2 reps @ 70% (80 lbs.) 
*Sets 5-6 – 2 reps @ 80% (90 lbs.)
*Sets 7-8 – 1 rep @ 85-90% (96 lbs.) 
*Sets 9-10 – 1 rep @ 90-95% (101 lbs.) 

I feel like all I do is Jerks. Jerks. Jerks. and more Jerks. The good news is that my 80-95% reps feel pretty good, so hopefully that means my 1RM will increase from 115 pounds. 

B) Every 2 minutes, for 12 minutes (6 sets) of:
Set 1 – 8 reps @ 50% (95 lbs.) 
Set 2 – 6 reps @ 60% (114 lbs.) 
Set 3 – 4 reps @ 70% (135 lbs.) 
Sets 4-6 – 2 reps @ 80% (152 lbs.) 

C) Two sets for max reps of:
4 Minutes of Rowing (for meters)
3 Minutes of Ring Dips @ 10X1
(pause for one second at full extension)
2 Minutes of Shoulder to Overhead (135/95 lbs)
Rest 4 minutes

I was a little short on time after hitting a ton of traffic on my way to CrossFit so I scaled part C to 400 meters of rowing. Each round I completed an average of 12-15 Strict Dips (not on rings) and 15-20 Shoulder to Overheads with 65 pounds.

Invictus Competition Training 

A) 15 min to find a Heavy 1 rep Snatch

My previous 1 RM Snatch was 83 pounds. I was really hoping to PR, but that did not happen. In fact, I made multiple attempts at 83 pounds and was able to Power Snatch it, but I couldn’t get underneath it for a Squat Snatch. My technique felt off and it was just one of those days. 

B) 4 Min AMRAP:
5 Pull Ups
5 Burpees
Rest 2 Min
4 Min AMRAP:
10 Goblet Squats
Rest 2 Min
4 Min AMRAP:
15 D.U.
15 Wtd Sit Ups

I used a 35 pound KB for the RKBS and Goblet Squats and finished with 300 and some total reps. I hadn’t done a regular wod in what seemed like forever, so this was a nice change from Jerks. 

saturday Invictus Competition Training 

A) Every two minutes, for 16 minutes (8 sets):
Back Squat
Set 1 – 5 reps @ 55% (85 lbs.) 
Set 2 – 5 reps @ 65% (105 lbs.) 
Set 3 – 3 reps @ 75% (122 lbs.)
Set 4 – 2 reps @ 85% (138 lbs.) 
Set 5 – 2 reps @ 90% (146 lbs.) 
Set 6 – 1 rep @ 95% (154 lbs.) 
Set 7 – 2 reps @ 90% (146 lbs.) 
Set 8 – 1 rep @ 90% (146 lbs.) 

B, C and D) 
“The 2008 CrossFit Games…Minus the Hill…and compressed into 30 minutes”
Against a running clock, perform the following for time:

“Chest-to-Bar Fran”
Complete rounds of 21, 15 and 9 reps of:
Thrusters (95/65 lbs)
Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups

I RX’d the Thrusters and performed Kipping Pull-Ups. Time: 9:24
2008 Winners: Chris Spealler – 3:01, Gillian Mounsey – 5:17

Rest until the clock hits 10:00, and then…

Five rounds for time of:
5 Deadlifts (275/185 lbs)
10 Burpees

I did not RX the Deadlifts, I used 135 pounds instead. Time: 7:21
2008 Winners: Matt Chan – 2:33, Libby DiBiase – 3:23

Rest until the clock hits 20:00, and then…

For time:
30 Squat Clean & Jerks (155/100 lbs)

I used 70 pounds for the 30 Clean & Jerks and it took me F O R E V E R! Time: 13:32
2008 Winners: Jason Kalipha – 2:46, Caity Matter (Henninger) – 3:30

Okay, the winners from the 2008 CrossFit Games are crazy impressive and also make me wonder if I was moving in slow mo. I wasn’t, but it continues to blow my mind at just how strong and fast they are. 


monday 2Invictus Competition Training  

A) Every two minutes, for 20 minutes (10 sets):
Snatch x 1 rep
Sets 1-2 – 65-75% (55 lbs.) 
Sets 3-4 – 80-85% (60 lbs.) 
Sets 5-6 – 85-90% (60 lbs.) 
Sets 7-8 – 90-95% (65 lbs.) 
Sets 9-10 – 95-105% (70 lbs.) 

Since Snatches having been giving me all kinds of trouble the last couple weeks, I decided to scale them back a bit to focus on my form. Does anyone else think that a Hang Snatch is a lot easier than pulling from the ground? It seems like I’d have more power from the ground, but that’s not the case. 

B) Every minute, on the minute, for 8 minutes:
Strict Shoulder Press x 1 rep
Loads per set (by %): 55, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95

I started with 55 pounds and increased the weight until I reached 75 pounds. 

Then rest two minutes before starting…

Every 2 minutes, for 6 minutes (3 sets) of:
Strict Shoulder Press x 1 rep @ 101-105% (75-80 lbs.)

C) For max reps:
90 seconds of Muscle-Ups
Rest 60 seconds
60 seconds of Muscle-Ups
Rest 60 seconds
30 seconds of Muscle-Ups

I replaced the Muscle-Ups with 5 C2B Pull-Ups and 3 Strict Dips. I was able to get 3 rounds on the first set, 2 on the second and 1 on the third. 

tuesday Invictus Competition Training

A) Front Squat
Set 1 – 3 reps @ 85-90% (85-120 lbs. warm-up)
Set 2 – 2 reps @ 90-95% (120 lbs.) 
Set 3 – 1 rep @ 95-102% (128 lbs.) 
Set 4 – 3 reps @ 90-95% (135 lbs.)
Set 5 – 2 reps @ 95-102% (135 lbs.) 
Set 6 – 1 rep @ 105+% (135 lbs.) No PR :( 
Rest 2 minutes between sets

B) Every 2 minutes, for 20 minutes (10 sets) of:
Clean x 1 rep
*Sets 1-2 – 70-75% (80 lbs.) 
*Sets 3-4 – 75-80% (86 lbs.) 
*Sets 5-6 – 80-85% (92 lbs.) 
*Sets 7-8 – 85-90% (97 lbs.) 
*Sets 9-10 – 90-95% (105 lbs.) 

C) Every 3 minutes, for 24 minutes (8 sets):
Run 400 Meters
10 Box Jump-Overs (30″/24″)
1 Clean (Power or Full)

Anytime Invcitus calls for an EMOM wod, I pretty much know that I will be scaling. Yesterday was no different and I scaled the run to 300 meters, which gave me barely enough time to keep up with three minute sets. No rest. I ended up completed the cleans with the following loads: 100, 105, 110, 115, 120, 120, 115 lbs. 120 is a new Power Clean for me! Finally, a PR! Feels like it’s been forever.

What was your favorite workout this week? 

Who is your favorite Games athlete?

Healthy Trick or Treat Eats


Last weekend we decorated for Halloween, which the boys were obviously pretty excited about. To clarify, by “boys” I mean my kids, but more so my husband. 

My husband is the biggest Halloween fan, ever. I, on the other hand, am a fan of the candy, but that’s about it. He loves haunted houses and zombie crawls. I went to a children’s haunted house once and almost peed myself. He watches American Horror Story when I’m not around. I close my eyes during the previews for even semi-scary movies. He is an avid reader of Cormac McCarthy (a post-apocalyptic author). I don’t even know who that is. You get the picture. 

This year I’m doing everything I can to avoid all things frightening because last year I wasn’t so lucky. Somehow he managed to talk me into going to a zombie crawl. What is a zombie crawl? Technically, it’s an organized gathering of people that dress up as zombies. But, for someone that is not a fan of oozing, mindless, flesh eating half human corpses, it is pretty damn terrifying.
Not only did he con me into going, but somehow he managed to work his charm and convince me to do his zombie make up as well. I’m such a sucker. Some white face paint, eye shadow, eyeliner, red pastry dye and liquid latex later, I produced this horrifying face.
Spooky Pic

Spooky pic of my husband. Yes, I’m claiming him even like this.

Scary, right? I know. I almost feel guilty for creating something so bone chilling. Eeeeeek.
Needless to say, I wasn’t surprised when he wanted to go zombie paint balling this year. at night. in a corn maze. I laughed. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I love you, I’m sorry, but no dear I will not willingly go to something that sounds like my worst nightmare. 
Whether you like the witches, ghosts and goblins, oh my! side of Halloween or not, I’m going to venture to guess that you also like the giant bowls of candy and cute kid costumes too! There’s nothing more than I like than those pumpkin shaped candy corns, but eating an entire bag in one sitting and secretly sneaking my kid’s candy when they go to bed is not on the docket this year. Still, it’s Halloween and you can’t not partake in the festivities. So, I’ve gathered some of the most drool worthy treats that won’t rot your teeth or make you want to put on your fat pants (i.e. any pants that are loose fitting and have an elastic waistband). You know the kind you wear on Thanksgiving). ;) 
Healthy Trick or Treat Eats


Paleo Chocolate Caramels
Paleo Skull Gummies
No Bake Vegan Twix Bars
Homemade Junior Mints
Paleo Halloween Cupcakes
Homemade Gummy Worms
Pumpkin Butter Cups
No Bake Paleo Candy Bars
Homemade Paleo Almond Joys


Paleo Yummy Mummies
Raw Witches’ Fingers
3 Ingredient Halloween Apples Bites
Paleo Mummy Dogs
“Candy Corn” Popsicles
Mummy Fingers
Deviled Eyeballs

What is your favorite Halloween treat? 

Are you a fan of haunted houses and things that creep in the night? 

What are you dressing up as for Halloween? 

Wod Love Wednesdays – Snatch Anxiety & Trial Competition Class

Wod Love WednesdaywednesdayRest.

thursdayCCF WOD 
A) Hang Clean
XWOD: Box Jumps (1’s + 2-5″)

I started at the Hang Cleans with 65 lbs. and ended with 95 lbs. I haven’t been able to break my 5 RM Hang Clean for a few months now. Grrrr. For Box Jumps, my lower height for 2 reps was 24″ and my higher height for 1 rep was 24″ plus a 10 lb. plate on top. 

B) Tabata:
Wtd. Box Step Ups (55 lbs.)
Push Press (55 lbs.)
Russian KBS (44 lbs.)
Double Unders

Tabata training is a High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T) that consists of working hard for 20 seconds and then resting for 10 seconds. This is only the second time I’ve ever done a Tabata workout and it was brutal. I was kind of afraid that 55 lbs. would be too light, but that was just wishful thinking. The Wtd. Box Step Ups kicked my butt. I blame my short stature and the fact that 20″ seems much higher for someone with short legs, such as myself. I finished with 300 and some reps.  

fridayInvictus Competition Training 
A) Every 90 seconds, for 15 minutes (10 sets):
Snatch x 1 rep

This was just one of those days when the empty barbell feels heavy. Needless to say, I did not PR. In fact, I didn’t get past 70 lbs. on my Snatch. I sulked and suffered through this EMOM wondering if I was actually getting worse as opposed to better. Was working out solo taking it’s toll on my training? Would I be better off doing the regular wods again? Am I not eating enough? Getting enough sleep? I went to a dark place for those 15 minutes. Luckily, the next part brought my spirits back up. 

B) Every 2 minutes, for 16 minutes (8 sets):
Front Squat + Jerk
*Sets 1-2 – 70-75% @ 101 lbs. 
*Sets 3-4 – 80-85% @ 116 lbs.
*Sets 5-6 – 90-95% @ 130 lbs. 
*Sets 7-8 – 95+% @ 137 lbs. 

The weight variations are based on my last 1 RM of 145 pounds. 137 lbs. wasn’t easy by any means, but I wasn’t getting stuck at the bottom either. Phew, maybe I was slightly overreacting about my pathetic attempt at Snatches. 

C ) Every four minutes, for 24 minutes (6 sets) of:
Row 500 Meters (ladies – 400 Meters)
15 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
10 Push Press (155/105 lbs) -> I used 65 lbs. 

Nothing like 90 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups, 1,800 meters of rowing and 60 Push Presses. Yes, I can do math (well, kinda). There was no way I was going to be able to do 400 meters and still have time for everything else. So, I immediately scaled it down to 300 meters. The first 3 rounds sucked, but I was able to finish and have 15-20 seconds to recover. That was not the case with rounds 4-6, NO REST. I was a sloppy, hot mess after this one. Gross. 

 On Saturday, a CF friend and I went to back to the box that our previous coach went to. Last time we did the regular workout, but this time we wanted to do their Competition Class. There was probably about ten athletes in total and everyone looked like they are or could be Regional competitors. I was only a tad bit scared when I walked in and saw all the perfectly chiseled young bodies, ugh. 

A) Warm Up:
2 Rounds of:
8-10 HSPU
40-50 DU’s
This was my first time doing Skin the Cat and it was surprisingly really fun. I did not, however, get anywhere near as far extended as shown in the video – that would require a whole lot more strength and shoulder flexibility.
B) 10 minutes to work on Split Jerk
I started at 65 lbs. and worked up to 95lbs. I probably should have finished closer to 105 lbs., but I ran out of time.
C) 3 Rounds of:
10 C2B Pull-Ups
5 Deadlifts (185 lbs.)
My very first pull up resulted in a callous tear. Boo. Not a ton of blood, but super raw and annoying nonetheless. I ran over to my bag, grabbed one of my gymnastics grips and kept on going trying not to think about the massive flap of dangling skin #crossfitproblems. I scaled the deadlifts down to 155 lbs., which was plenty heavy and finished in 4:29 minutes.
D) 10 Minute AMRAP:
15 Burpees
60 DU
I finished 3rd with 4 rounds and 25 reps. This place is definitely in the running for becoming my new box, but not because it’s convenient or makes the most sense, but because I think that being surrounded by exceptional coaches and athletes will help me become the best possible version of my CrossFit self. I’ve said it before, but I have a voracious appetite for competition, the healthy kind of course and this place appeases my perpetual need to push myself out of my comfort zone. 


monday 2Invictus Competition Training 
A) Every minute, on the minute, for 20 minutes:
Minute 1 – Hang Snatch x 1 rep
Minute 2 – Snatch x 1 rep

These movements were performed at 85-90% of my 1-RM Snatch, which was 85 pounds. I started at 65 lbs. and finished at 95% of my 1 RM. Unlike last Friday, my Snatches felt great! Imagine my relief. 

B) Every two minutes, for 12 minutes (6 sets) of:
Strict Shoulder Press x 2 reps @ 93-98%

I stayed around the 90-95% range on part B, which is 75 to 80 lbs. 

C) “The Quick and the Dead”
Three rounds for time of:
12 Toes to Bar
12/9 Strict Handstand Push-Ups
6 Overhead Squats (185/125 lbs)

I strung about seven T2B together on the first round. I have yet to get to ten in a row, but I’m getting much closer. I’m still using one abmat for Strict Handstand Push-Ups, but I touch my head to it almost every time. I used 70 lbs. for the Overhead Squats. 

The only thing that’s really holding me back from starting at this new box I’ve been trying out lately is the schedule. Right now, I always work out in the evenings at 4:30 pm or 5:30 pm, but if I want to go to this box and be able to get my kids from school in time, I will have to work out during my lunch hour on Mondays and Tuesdays. I wasn’t sure how working out and then returning to the office (without looking like I was just put through the ringer) was going to go, so yesterday was the day to give it a try.  

Warm Up
650m Run
2 Rounds of:
10 Sit Ups
8 Burpee Broad Jumps
6 Ring Dips

A) Ten minutes to work on Squat Cleans

This time was supposed to be used to work up to the weight you plan to use in part B. I worked up to 85 lbs. and decided that was a good place to stop for the wod.

B) 3 Rounds of:
10 Squat Cleans (95/65) (135/95) Adv: (155/105)
15 Weighted Sit-Ups (25/15)

After the first 5 or so Squat Cleans I had to perform them in single reps. I finished in 5:25 minutes.

They always seem to list three variations of weight in order to help their athletes determine an appropriate weight. While I’ve seen some banter online about whether or not coaches should do this, I personally like it because I so desperately want to be at the advanced weight and it gives me something to continually work towards. 

I was sweating before the Warm Up was over and all I could think about was how awful it was going to be to put my work clothes back on, ewe. I’m going to need a whole lot of dry shampoo and cleaning cloths if this is going to work. ;) 

Happy Training! 

What was your favorite workout this week? 

Do you ever have “off days” in the gym? 

What is your favorite time of day to workout? 

Hemp Hearts Review + Discount Code

Over the last 8 or so years, I’ve been pretty diligent about eating 5-6 small meals a day to ensure that I’m getting the proper amounts of lean protein, green vegetables and complex carbohydrates. Sometimes I don’t eat enough vegetables and sometimes I eat too many carbs, but I always make sure to eat the right amount of protein. I follow the general rule of thumb that you should eat 1 gram of protein per 1 pound of body weight and then I distribute that number evenly throughout my meals. This isn’t always easy. Consuming that much protein takes a lot of prep work, planning and even creativity because let’s be real, lean ground turkey and chicken breasts can get real old real fast. 
If you’re anything like me and struggle to come up with new ways to get in all your protein, then you’ll love this! I was recently sent a package of Manitoba Harvest’s Hemp Hearts. I’ve seen their products line the shelves at my local grocer’s, but I didn’t really have the slightest clue as to what they were, until now.
Hemp is a sustainable crop that grows in Western Canada and contains 0.0001% of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Rest assured, it will NOT cause a psychoactive effect nor will our products cause a false positive drug test. Hemp  has been around for centuries and is also used to produce food, clothing, rope, paper, plastic, paint fuel, etc. This is where it gets good, so stay with me. Hemp Hearts contain 10 grams of plant-based protein and 10 grams of Omegas per 30 gram serving. That’s more protein and omegas and less carbs than you’ll find in chia or flax. Plus, Hemp Hearts have a light and nutty flavor so you can basically put them on anything.
I’ve been sprinkling them on top of my Greek yogurt in the morning, adding them to my protein smoothies and using them in my salads, but the possibilities are truly endless. In fact, their site has an entire recipe section with tons of ways you can incorporate Hemp Hearts into your diet. Here are just some of the recipes that caught my eye: 
These recipes look amazing, do they not? I definitely want to make the Choco Bites, but until I find time I will just continue to sprinkle them on top of my food or devour them by the handful. Yes, I do this. 
If you’d like to give them a try for yourself, Manitoba Harvest has given me a a 20% discount code to share with all you you. Simply go to Manitoba Harvest, enter HHSweatPink14 during checkout and start enjoying the convenience and great taste of Hemp Hearts
Hemp Hearts is also running a contest until November 30, 2014. Incorporate Hemp Hearts into  your healthy recipes and share your pics by tagging @manitobaharvest. Use #HempHearts and #sweatpink in your posts to be entered to win a 5 lb. bag of Hemp Hearts. Best of luck! 


Have you tried Hemp Hearts

What is your favorite protein source? 

How much protein do you eat in a day? 

*I was provided with product by Vega Sport in exchange for my review. All opinions in this post are 100% my own, and always will be.

Fashionably Fit Wear: Coral + Aqua Marine

It’s finally Friday! Felt like it took a week to get here!! Oh wait…

What a whirlwind of a week. It was a tad bit hectic, to say the least. Between working, going to class, having a midterm due, getting a ticket for expired license plates and having to be at the DMV this morning at 6:45am, I am definitely ready for the weekend. Did I mention my plates expired in July and I didn’t have the slightest clue? Oh and I didn’t have proof of insurance on me either. My new cards were still sitting on the kitchen counter, envelope in tact and all. Not a proud moment. Luckily, I was able to get it all squared away in a matter of just two days.

Now, let’s get to the good stuff. Clothes. This collection was inspired by my undying love for my new Baby G-Shock watch. I bought the matte black one while back when I first started doing the Invictus Competition Training and now I can’t help but want one in every color. The stopwatch feature is super user friendly and a great way for me to time all these dang EMOMs. It also has a 3D protected case structure, an illuminated backlight, a 5 year battery and is 200M water resistant, among other things.

Fashionably Fit Wear_Coral + Aqua Marine

Zella Pretty Moon Dust’ Hooded Jacket in Coral $68

Cozy Orange Aquarius Yoga Crops in tide pool $48

Ellie Just Be Tank in tangerine $24.99

Lululemon Free To Be Bra in blue $42

Reebok Ventilator in teal/blue $79.99

G-Shock Ana-Digi Chronograph Watch, 55mm in blue $150

Under Armour Women’s UA Fly-By Headband in citrus blast $16.99

Happy Shopping!

What fun things do you have planned this weekend?

Do you wear headbands when you workout?

Wod Love Wednesdays – First Trial Wod & Rope Climbs

Wod Love WednesdaywednesdayRest. Class from 6-9 pm. I’d rather be woding. 

thursdayInvictus Competition Training 
A) Every 2 minutes, for 10 minutes (5 sets) of:
Split Jerk x 3 reps @ 70-80% – 80-85 lbs. 

I feel like all I do is split jerks. I would definitely be curious to see what my 1RM is now. It was 113 lbs. 

B) Every 2 minutes, for 10 minutes (5 sets) of:

*Set 1 – 8 reps @ 50% – 95 lbs. 
*Set 2 – 6 reps @ 60% – 114 lbs. 
*Set 3 – 4 reps @ 70% – 133 lbs. 
*Set 4 – 2 reps @ 80% – 152 lbs. 
*Set 5 – 2 reps @ 85% – 161 lbs. 

C) Every 90 seconds for 9 minutes (6 sets):
Speed Deadlift x 3 reps @ 70% – 133 lbs. 

Interestingly enough, these are not touch and go. Rather, you are supposed to explode up with every single rep, letting the bar settle each time. 

D) For time:
Run 400 Meters
21 Strict Handstand Push-Ups
Run 400 Meters
15 Strict Handstand Push-Ups
Run 400 Meters
9 Strict Handstand Push-Ups

I took me on average 2 minutes to do the 400 meter run and I ended up finishing in about 12 minutes. 

fridayInvictus Competition Training 
A) Every 90 seconds, for 15 minutes (10 sets):
Snatch x 1 rep (build by feel) 

I used 65 to 75 lbs. for part A. 

B) Every 90 seconds, for 15 minutes (10 sets):
Front Squat + Jerk
*Sets 1-2 – 65% – 75 lbs. 
*Sets 3-4 – 75% – 84 lbs. 
*Sets 5-6 – 80-85% – 90 lbs. 
*Sets 7-8 – 85-90% – 96 lbs. 
*Sets 9-10 – 90-95% – 101 lbs. 

I based part B on my 1RM jerk, which was 113 lbs. 

C) Every minute, on the minute, for 30 minutes:
Minute 1 – 30 Double-Unders + 10 Pull-Ups
Minute 2 – 10 Burpee Box Jump-Overs (24″/20″)
Minute 3 – 12 Push Press (115/75 lbs)

This was one of those EMOMs that leaves you a sopping hot mess on the floor in fetal position. So hard. Longest 30 minutes of my life. I used 65 lbs. for minute 3. 

 On Saturday, a CF friend and I went to drop in on the coach that recently left. We wanted to check out his new digs and give their free wod a try, but before I get to the wod, let me first say that I have never in my life seen so many beautiful and fit people in one place! I suppose that’s because of it’s urban location, but WOW! Suburbia is seriously lacking in comparison.

There were a handful of people there when I showed up, but within about ten minutes time the gym was jam packed. There ended up being 33 people there for the 9am wod. Insane. Luckily, it was a great energetic crowd and everyone was incredibly friendly and chill. They had a partner wod planned, but ended up switching to teams of 3 given the amount of peeps. 

150 Front Squats (75 lbs)
150 KBS 
150 Burpees
150 Wall Balls 

I forgot to note our time, but we joined forces with one gal that was right on pace with us and we ended up being the 2nd team to finish, somewhere around 20 minutes time. 

Anyways, this place is about ten minutes from my work, so it is definitely in the running. The down side is that is’s about 35-45 minutes from where I live (with decent to no traffic). It’s not ideal, but it could definitely work! I want it to work. 


monday 2Invictus Competition Training 
A) Every minute, on the minute, for 21 minutes (7 sets of each) perform the following:
Minute 1 – Snatch Balance x 1 rep
Minute 2 – Hang Snatch x 1 rep
Minute 3 – Snatch x 1 rep

I performed all movements at 80-85% of my 1-RM Snatch, so 65-75 lbs. 

B) Every two minutes, for 12 minutes (6 sets) of:
Strict Shoulder Press x 3 reps @ 88-92%

Some days strict shoulder presses just feel so difficult. This was one of those days. I used 70 lbs., but I should have been closer to 75 lbs. Sometimes it’s just not in the cards. 

C) Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
2 Ring Dips w/Pause @ 1112
(stick to the tempo, pause one second in the bottom position, and two full seconds at full elbow extension)
2 Overhead Reverse Lunges (155/105 – barbell starts on the ground)
4 Ring Dips w/Pause @ 1112
4 Overhead Reverse Lunges (155/105 – barbell starts on the ground)
6 Ring Dips w/Pause @ 1112
6 Overhead Reverse Lunges (155/105 – barbell starts on the ground)
8 Ring Dips w/Pause @ 1112
8 Overhead Reverse Lunges (155/105 – barbell starts on the ground)
…and so on, up the ladder by two reps each round.

Pretty sure I laughed out loud when I saw the 105 pound OHS reverse lunges. Yea, not happening. I used 65 pounds and that was plenty. The first rounds seemed easy enough, but by the time I got to the round of six, I was dying. The damn ring dips were the hardest part though. I used the thinnest orange band and walked away with some seriously pumped triceps. It’s all in the tempo. 

tuesdayInvictus Competition Training 
A) Every 2 minutes, for 20 minutes (10 sets) of:
Hang Clean + Clean
*Sets 1-3 – 65-70% – 75 lbs. 
*Sets 4-6 – 70-75% – 80 lbs. 
*Sets 7-8 – 75-80% – 86 lbs. 
*Sets 9-10 – 80-85% – 92 lbs. 

B) Front Squat
*Set 1 – 4 reps @ 75-80% – 108 lbs. 
*Set 2 – 3 reps @ 80-85% – 92 lbs. 
*Set 3 – 2 reps @ 85-90% – 123 lbs. 
*Set 4 – 4 reps @ 80-85% – 116 lbs. 
*Set 5 – 3 reps @ 85-90% – 123 lbs. 
*Set 6 – 2 reps @ 90-95% – 130 lbs. 
*Set 7 – 6 reps @ 75-80% – 108 lbs. 
Rest 2 minutes between sets

I was a huge fan of going back down to 75-80% on the last set, 108 lbs. never felt so light! 

C) “Ups and Downs”
Against a 12-minute running clock, complete the following:
at 0:00 on the Running Clock
For time:
50 Wall Ball Shots (20/14 lbs to a 10’ Target)
5 Rope Climbs (15′)

at 4:00 on the Running Clock
For time:
40 Wall Ball Shots (20/14 lbs to a 10’ Target)
4 Rope Climbs (15′)

at 8:00 on the Running Clock
For time:
30 Wall Ball Shots (20/12 lbs to a 10’ Target)
3 Rope Climbs (15′)

Apparently, the team and individual Games athletes completed this under 2:30 for each set. I, on the other hand, completed the 50 wall balls and 2 rope climbs in 4:30 minutes time and then the second round of 40 wall balls and 2 rope climbs in about 5 minutes time.  No, I regret to inform you all that I can not do 5 rope climbs in  row. Two was definitely my max after those darn wall balls. 

Happy Training! 

What was your favorite workout this week? 

The Kipping Conundrum; Strict vs. Kipping Pull-Ups

To kip, or not to kip, that is the question -

Kipping pull-ups are by far and away one of the most debated Crossfit movements. In addition to being referred to as an epileptic seizure, they are often condemned for common shoulder injuries as a result of repetitively putting the shoulder in a precarious position. I am by no means a kipping pull-up expert, so I’m not going to provide you with ample evidence as to why you should or should not kip, but I am going to endorse the importance of first mastering traditional pull-ups before attempting this infamous kip.

Why? Because the traditional dead hang pull-up is going to produce maximum results by building muscle and strength in your lats, biceps and forearms, faster. The kipping pull-up is an efficient technique to yield high reps, but you are not engaging the muscles in the same manner.

Before even stepping foot in a CrossFit gym, I found myself extremely anxious to learn how to perform kipping pull-ups. I wanted to be able to do hoards of pull-ups in a short amount of time. My first attempt at a kipping pull-up was a complete disaster. The hollow rock concept seemed easy enough, as did the notion of pushing the bar away at the top. I eagerly jumped on the bar to do what looked like a seemingly fluid movement and….and…..and….nothing happened. I couldn’t even get the rhythm down much less connect it to a pull-up. Fail. It became very clear to me that I would be sticking with a band for the time being. I eventually got rid of the band and began performing singular strict pull-ups instead. This killed my wod times, but I continued to do strict pull-ups in place of kipping, and worked simultaneously on my kipping technique on my own time. 

My argument is this, focus on building your upper body strength by doing strict pull-ups so that when you are ready to transition to kipping you are a) less prone to injury and b) have greater mobility. For many, it takes months and sometimes even years to be able to do a singular strict pull-up. On the flip side, it can take much less time to learn how to perform several kipping pull-ups. Just be mindful that performing kipping pull-ups without the necessary strength could mean that you are putting yourself at risk for injury. 

I never thought I’d be able to do ten strict pull-ups, let alone kipping pull-ups and three weighted pull-ups with a 30 pound kettlebell, but I finally can, and I attribute it to the extra time and energy I spent working my strict pull-ups. 

Here are some great ways to can improve your strict pull-ups:

Practice Makes Perfect

Spend extra time outside of your programming to work on unassisted pull-ups. Use a band that is thinner than the one you would use during a wod to do five sets of ten or some variation of that 2-3 days a week. Gradually work your way down to a band with lesser resistance and then get rid of the band altogether as soon as possible. While bands are great for wods, they do not train the muscle properly in order to build the strength necessary for pull-ups.  Remember, accountability is key.

The Dead Hang

Practice the dead hang. Find a bar, grab on, and see how long you can hang there. Shoot for increments of 30-45 seconds. This is a great way to build your grip strength, which is incredibly important in order to be able to perform pull-ups of any kind (especially kipping).

Row, Row and Row Some More

Pull-ups require a great deal of back strength, so it only makes sense to focus on building up these core muscles. Ring rows provide the full range of motion you need and resistance can easily be varied by the positioning of your feet. Ring rows are also a great substitute for banded pull-ups. Dumbbell bent over rows is another great exercise that will help to build strength in your latissimus dorsi (the large flat looking muscle that runs laterally on your back) and upper body. Do them and do them often.

Negative Pull-Ups

Negative pull-ups are considered eccentric work because it involves only the lowering phase of the exercise. This is effective because it causes more muscle breakdown, and therefore will stimulate muscle growth.  To perform a negative pull-up, use a box or stool to help get you into the top position of a regular pull-up, also known as the flexed arm hang position, and then slowly lower yourself down to the dead hang position. Be sure to maintain control at all times.

Strict vs. Kipping Pull-Ups

Note: Anytime you incorporate additional training into your fitness regimen, be sure to ease yourself into it to prevent extreme soreness, and use common sense. If you just performed Fran, Angie, Cindy or any other atrocious wod consisting of endless pull-ups, do not stay after to do more. Listen to your body.

Being able to perform strict pull-ups requires a plan, and simply waiting around for them to magically happen one day is not a plan – that’s a wish. If your goal is to be able to perform strict, kipping or butterfly pull-ups, go back to the basics. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and patience, but it will be worth it when you get to ring that bell and note a big fat RX next to your name.

Once you’ve mastered the kip, then you get to look forward to learning butterfly pull-ups. But, one thing at a time.  

Happy Training! 

Sources: AZ Central, ExRx

The Best Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Paleo Friendly, Kid Approved Waffle Recipe

It’s finally Friday! Felt like it took a week to get here! I promised to share with all of you the best gluten free, sugar free, Paleo friendly, kid approved waffle recipe today, and that I will do!


I have a midterm due right now and am feeling the pressure so this is going to be short and sweet. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it.

A few weeks back, we had a potluck at CrossFit and everyone brought something yummy to share. The waffle bar was hands down the biggest hit, but not only because they were fresh off the griddle. My measly little cinnamon chocolate swirl banana bread didn’t stand a chance against these fluffy yet crisp waffles that just about melted in your mouth. #1Up. Luckily enough, she was happy to share her recipe with all of us. I plan to make them again and again, and then again. You should, too!

The Best Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Paleo Friendly, Kid Approved Waffle Recipe

The Best Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Paleo Friendly, Kid Approved Waffle Recipe
Yields 8
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  1. 8 eggs
  2. 1/2 C “yogurt” alternative (coconut, almond, etc)
  3. 1/2 C “milk” alternative (coconut, almond, etc)
  4. 2 tsp vanilla extract (optional if youʼre super strict Paleo)
  5. 1/4 C coconut oil or butter (grass fed)
  6. 2-4 T honey (optional)
  7. 2 C tapioca flour/starch
  8. 1/3 C coconut flour
  9. 1/3 C almond meal
  10. 2 tsp baking soda
  11. 3/4 tsp salt
  12. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  1. Whisk together eggs, yogurt alternative, milk alternative and vanilla in medium bowl and set aside.
  2. In a microwavable safe container, mix together coconut oil or butter (grass fed) and 2-4 T honey (optional).
  3. Mix tapioca, coconut flour, almond meal, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  4. Add your egg mixture to your dry ingredients. Mix well with a whisk.
  5. Whisk in the melted fat and honey mixture.
  6. Simply follow your waffle maker instructions and enjoy!
  1. If you like a crisp waffle, cook them until just lightly golden brown in the waffle iron and then toast them for a few seconds in a very hot oven or toaster oven. Freeze extras.
Beauty and the Box | Exploring CrossFit, Health and Real Food One Blog Post At A Time http://beauty-and-the-box.com/

Have a fun and safe weekend!

Wod Love Wednesdays – Goodbye Invictus, Hello Invictus

Wod Love WednesdaywednesdayInvictus Competition Training 
A) Every 2 minutes, for 10 minutes (5 sets) of:
Split Jerk x 3 reps @ 65-75%

There was a note on this portion to “focus on PERFECT mechanics by pausing in the receiving position and checking that you are perfectly balanced and your feet are where you want them to be before recovering.” Pffft, easier said than done. I love split jerks, but this wide stance with my toes facing forward just feels awkward. I blame my background as a Rhythmic Gymnast because it was ingrained in me to always have my toes pointing outwards, and therefore my back foot does not cooperate, ever. Side note: It’s quite difficult to check my stance and adjust my feet accordingly after the fact, even at only 70 pounds, which is 65% of my 1 RM. Practice, practice, practice. 

B) Every 2 minutes, for 8 minutes (4 sets) of:
*Set 1 – 8 reps @ 50% (95 lbs.) 
*Set 2 – 6 reps @ 60% (114 lbs.)
*Set 3 – 4 reps @ 70% (133 lbs.)
*Set 4 – 2 reps @ 80% (152 lbs.) 

D) Complete rounds of 21, 15 and 9 reps for time of:
Strict Handstand Push-Ups
Ring Dips
Burpees to Target 6″ Over Reach

I completed part D in 12:10 minutes. 

Apparently, I forgot to take a photo of the whiteboard and for some reason this wod is not listed the website. I can’t for the life of me remember anything about it. Next. 

fridayInvictus Competition Training 
A) Every 90 seconds, for 15 minutes (10 sets):
Snatch x 1 rep

B) Every minute, on the minute, for 12 minutes:
Front Squat + Jerk
*Sets 1-2 – 60%
*Sets 3-4 – 70%
*Sets 5-6 – 75%
*Sets 7-8 – 80%
*Sets 9-10 – 85%
*Sets 11-12 – 90%

I ranged from 85 pounds to 130 pounds on part B as my 1 RM is 145 pounds. 

C) Every minute, on the minute, for 24 minutes:
Minute 1 – 30 Double-Unders + 10 Pull-Ups
Minute 2 – 10 Burpee Box Jump-Overs (20″)
Minute 3 – 12 Push Press (65 lbs)

This was my coaches last day and therefore my last day doing Invictus as well. :( I will be staying put throughout the month of October while I figure out if/where/when I plan on going to continue my CrossFit training. I will be dropping in at some local boxes in the next week or two to check out their competition/level 2 programs and coaches an dam hopeful to make a decision here very soon. 

Rest and eat. 

Rest and eat. 

monday 2Invictus Competition Training 
A) Every 45 seconds, for 18 minutes (8 sets of each) perform the following:
Interval 1 (45s) – Snatch Balance x 1 rep
Interval 2 (90s) – Hang Snatch x 1 rep
Interval 3 (135s) – Snatch x 1 rep

All movements were to be performed at 75-80% of your 1-RM snatch. I started with 55 pounds and ended with 70 pounds. 

B) Every two minutes, for 12 minutes (6 sets) of:
Strict Shoulder Press x 4 reps @ 85-90%

I used 70 pounds for part B. 

C ) Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
3 Muscle-ups (C2B)
6 Ring Dips
12 Kettlebell Swings (24 kg)

I subbed the muscle-ups for chest to bar pull-ups (C2B) and finished with 6 rounds. The 53 pounds kettlebell is feeling lighter and lighter. 

Why am I doing Invictus after just stating that I would no longer be able to? Well, because the owner gave me permission to go ahead and do it on my own, that’s why! Needless to say, I am elated to be able to continue this programming and will be doing it full-time, effective immediately. She assured me that she will keep an eye on me and critique my form as needed. 

Does this change my decision to continue looking for a new box that offers a level 2/competition class? It does not. I think there is a ton of value in the Invictus Competition Training program, but it is equally important and valuable for me to have someone there to push me out of my comfort zone. I love the energy and intensity of CrossFit and while I will still be surrounded by it, I don’t’ think I will feel as included in it when I am off to the side doing my own thing at my own pace. The search continues…

tuesdayInvictus Competition Training 
A) Every 2 minutes, for 20 minutes (10 sets) of:
Clean + Hang Clean
*Sets 1-3 – 65-70% (65 lbs.) 
*Sets 4-6 – 70-75% (70 lbs.)
*Sets 7-8 – 75-80% (75 lbs.)
*Sets 9-10 – 80-85% (80 lbs. and then 85 lbs). 

B) Five sets of:
Front Squat x 3-4 reps @ 4111
(MUST move up in weight from last week by 4-6%)
Rest 3 minutes

Last week, I used 80 pounds. and so this week I used 85 pounds. Note: the @ 4111 is the tempo. So, down for 4 seconds, hold for 1 second and then stand in 2 seconds. 

C) Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 5 minutes of:
5 Power Cleans (205/145 lbs)
10 Burpees Over the Barbell
20 Double-Unders

Rest exactly 5 minutes, and then…

D) Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 5 minutes of:
10 Push Press (155/105 lbs)
20 Pull-Ups

I used 85 pounds for the power cleans in part C and finished with 4 complete rounds. I then used 65 pounds for the push presses in part D and finished with 2 complete rounds. 20 consecutive pull-ups is a whole lots of pull-ups! I can kip them, but my max is typically about 7 in a row before I have to drop down to 3-5. 

Happy Training! 

What was your favorite workout this week? 

Weekend Eats & Treats: Too Much of A Good Thing

I don’t know about you, but I had a major case of the Mondays today. So, I started off the morning with a little motivation and an extra cup of coffee to help ease me back into work after a weekend full of fun and food. 
Success Quote
I wish I could say I knew what was causing me to feel extra lethargic today, but I know exactly why. I ate my weight in food this weekend. I typically eat really clean Monday – Friday, consuming 5-6 small meals every day to ensure that I am getting the proper amounts of lean protein, healthy fat, green veggies and starchy carbohydrates. The weekends, on the other hand, usually include a cheat meal or two and some kind of Paleo-fied dessert. It’s no secret I like my sweets, but this weekend was jam packed with them and boy was I feeling it today.
It all started Friday night with PaleOMG’s Easy Chocolate Almond Butter Cups. This one was not my fault. After devouring dinner, my boys were adamant about having dessert. (This may or may not be an exaggeration on my part. It is possible that they asked what was for dessert just once and I proceeded to obsess about it until I finally gave in to my own cravings.) Anyways, there is no need to place blame. With limited time and resources, I made a quick batch of Chocolate Almond Butter Cups, and all were happy. 
PaleOMG Easy Chocolate Almond Butter Cups
After five straight days of CrossFit, I decided to take a rest day on Saturday. What did I do with this new and unfamiliar free time on my hands? I made breakfast, of course, and there is nothing I like more than breakfast! In fact, last Monday night when I was scrounging around the fridge looking for some dinner inspiration, I skipped defrosting frozen chicken and opted for waffles. I whipped up a stack of grain free, gluten free, sugar free, paleo-ish waffles, threw a handful of raspberries on top and called it dinner. Little did I know, my kids would soon be in hog heaven. They went nuts, ranting and raving that it was the best dinner I’ve ever made. I was gleaming with joy over my culinary success and the fact that I had single-handedly duped my boys into eating and loving this healthy creation.
All of two days later they were already asking for a repeat, so I went ahead and made them again. Besides, it would just be mean to deny their blossoming little taste buds such joy. While the raspberries were a hit on their own, I decided to try and one up myself and make a mixed berry syrup. Mom of the year nomination, here I come.
Despite my best attempt to make them try the berry syrup and love it, they refused to admit how deliciously sweet and heavenly it was. Stubborn little things. I wonder where they get it from, surely not me. I eventually yielded and decided it just meant more for me. They both inhaled two large Belgian style waffles, as did I.  
Paleo Friendly Waffles
I will post this healthy Belgian style waffle & mixed berry syrup recipe on Friday. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on this gluten fee, sugar free, Paleo friendly, kid approved recipe! 
While sitting in class later that afternoon, in which I was in and out of consciousness, I decided to finally give Stupid Easy Paleo’s Paleo Chick-Fil-A recipe a try that evening. I’ve had my eye on this one for some time now since my boys love, Love, LOVE Chick-Fil-A. Can you blame them? The recipe did not disappoint and was gobbled up in no time. In fact, they conduced a vote during dinner to decide which was better – the chicken or waffles? It was a tie! Naturally, I took full credit for the sheer brilliance of both recipes despite the fact that neither were my own creations.
Stupid Easy Paleo Chick-Fil-A.jpg
We met my sister at a nearby pumpkin patch Sunday morning so all the kids could partake in some fall fun. They went threw a corn maze, bounced around in giant bubbles, buried themselves in corn, swung, and picked out pumpkins. It was exhausting, but such a great time! 
Pumpkin Patch_2014
That evening, we had my Dad over for dinner to celebrate his birthday. Luckily, I had placed a roast in the crock pot that morning. Good thinking ahead, I know.  All I had to do was make some parsnip and carrot fries and a box of Annie’s Organic Mac and Cheese to go with it for the kiddos. The “fries” are incredibly easy and yummy. Simply cut the carrots and parsnips into french fry like strips, place on a foil lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and flavor with salt, pepper and garlic. Pop em in the oven at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes and voila! Easy, yet delicious. Done. 
Paleo Pot Roast
Paleo Parsnip & Carrot Fries
I knew I had to come up with something decadent for dessert since my Dad has a sweet tooth like no other. I thought about making him a good ole’ fashioned chocolate cake, but said eff it and went with PaleOMG’s Sweet Potato Brownies. Yes, her again. Why? Because she is ridiculously talented and I have yet to try one of her recipes that didn’t turn out amazing. I knew it would be a win, and it was! These things are dangerously good. If you make them, be prepared to eat the entire pan in one sitting. Seriously, they are to die for. 
 PaleOMG Sweet Potato Brownies
And now, hopefully my lackadaisical approach to Monday makes more sense. While I didn’t eat anything that I would consider to be REALLY bad, I definitely ate way too much! 
Shakespeare was definitely right in that, “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful”, but it can also be bad. 

What was the best thing you ate this weekend?