Oh My Quads


This could be the title of any post regarding a workout that contains a Bike. Specifically the Rogue Echo Bike.



10 Hang Power Clean

20 Cal Bike

Weights were: Rx 155 / R+185 / R++205

Actual look inside my quads as I finished the workout.

The bike does amazing things to your body. Increases massive blood flow to the legs, spikes the heart rate, etc.

The workout went well. I broke the cleans in half for 2 rounds and 5/3/2 in the final round.

Looking back, maybe I could have rested less between sets. Because I felt like the bike pace was pretty good. 75 rpm round one, 65ish, round 2, then the struggle bus of round 3, 60 rpm for 15 caps then picked it up.

As I withered on the floor for a few minutes I couldn’t move. HR was jacked and over 160 right after the wod and had come down to the 130s after a few minutes.

Now, even though I’m well versed in CrossFit is you versus yourself before it’s anything else, I still have times where I struggle with that. The thoughts go like, “wow, I thought I crushed that and then I was beaten by someone by this much time”.

I’m not unhappy that someone posted a great time, but those moments make me question if I should be happy with my effort. Was it good enough? Should I have went harder? Rested less? And I suppose that those can be good introspective questions as long as it doesn’t consume you or get you down about something else. Give it what you have for that day and leave satisfied.

It can be hard to remember that for 95% of the CrossFit world this is about slow progress towards a life of health and fitness. I won’t be going to the CF games, but I can be the best version of myself.

If you find yourself falling into the leaderboard trap, take a step back. Look at yourself. What are your goals? What is your “why”. Keep pushing yourself for small progress and over time we will lead happy, healthy lives.

Lululemon T.H.E. Short 11" Review

I remember the day I first ventured into the world of Lululemon athletic wear. Memorial day 2015. After we did “Murph” at my crossfit gym I went with a friend. You see almost everyone at College Hill Crossfit is a devoted wearer of lululemon and I’d held out for well over a year. I tried on the Core Short and was hooked. Within a month I owned 5 pairs of Core shorts and stopped wearing every other kind of shorts I had. Recently I was told the Core short was being phased out for a new version of T.H.E short and I was heartbroken. 

How could they take the best short I’ve ever worn and simply toss it aside like one does an empty can of Kill Cliff? The hidden cell phone pocket, the amazing comfort, they were just awesome shorts. Unlike many of the short offerings at Lulu the core shorts had an 11″ inseam for those of us that like our shorts knee length and not a little to a lot shorter than that. I wore these shorts for everything, going out, being at home, work (I work from home), wods….literally EVERYTHING!

I reluctantly went and tried on the new version of “T.H.E. Short”, now made in an 11″ inseam version (what the Core short had been).  Much to my surprise I loved these new shorts. The pockets are deeper and slightly more functional, the cell phone pocket may be gone but there is now a small zippered pocket, perfect for your phone or a small wallet and the fact you can zip it in is certainly a plus. The other aspects of the short seem very similar to the core short and I’m very happy with the pair I purchased. I look forward to growing my collection of T.H.E. shorts now. 

Kudos to you Lululemon. Sometimes when things change, it actually is for the better. 

The color shown below is “linen texture white battleship” and it looks amazing in person. (All photos from the Lululemon website)

2015 CrossFit Open Ongiong Post – 15.4 Done

I started CrossFit last year right before the Open and was not ready to sign up to test myself in many things I had never even heard of yet. This year I signed up on Day 1. Excited to be a part of the first step in the selection process to the fittest in the world. I have no illusions about being that person but it will be a fun ride.

15.1 & 15.1A
15.1 –
15 TTB
10 Deadlifts 115#
5 Snatch 115#

15.1A –
6 Min to establish a max Clean & Jerk

The scaned version for week one used hanging knee raises in place of TTB and lighter weight. I did it scaled first and got 188 reps and 140 Clean & Jerk. I was bummed that I didn’t go into it with a plan on how I wanted the C&J to progress in weights and I knew I could have gotten a better lift. My grip got complelty fried on this one. I’d never been to the point that I wasn’t sure if I could hang onto the bar. And the first C&J it was like I couldn’t feel the bar, wasn’t sure it was going to come off the ground.

Redid it on Sunday and did it Rx to see what I could do. I didn’t like any TTB but instead did singles so I could move along at a good pace. 115 snatch is relatively heavy for me and after chasing the first one around for a secone I did okay with the rest. 100 Reps.

The Clean and Jerk went much better and I hit 165, Just 10 shy of my max at that time. This is the score I went with and we will see where things go from here.

In 3 minutes do 10 OHS / 10 C2B / 10 OHS / 10C2B. If completed at 3 minutes, you have 3 more minutes to do 12’s. So on and so forth until you don’t finish a round.
Another fun Friday Night Lights at College Hill CrossFit tonight.
I thought about doing scaled when this workout came out but I pushed to to Rx. The 10 OHS weren’t too bad. Now, going into this workout I’d only recently learned I could do a Chest to Bar pull-up. I had done 4 total, EVER. In the workout I doubled that number and finished with 8. After 8 they just went and I couldn’t get another one. Progress is made and I know that I need to work on the kip for these to get more efficient with them. My score of 18 isn’t anything to write home about but it will help me track future progress with this workout and other Open tests as well. Seeing some of the competitors at the gym, especially the ladies put up such awesome results is really inspiring. These ladies put in the wrk late every night because they also have jobs and they continue to kick ass.

Bring on 15.3!

14 Min AMRAP
7 Muscle Ups
50 Wall Balls
100 Double Unders

Scaled Option is:
50 Wall Balls
200 Singles

Seems like this is a polarizing workout. Lots of people upset that Muscles Ups are in the beginning. The way I see it, maybe you don’t want to do “scaled” but if you went Rx in any competition you should expect to see Muscle Ups in it, at least in the finals. If the point of the open is to test the community as a whole, and get the very best athletes to regionals, then this workout will do it.

Last year Muscle Ups were only in the end of 14.4’s chipper. People could get there, get through those and get back to the start. People may have been able to motor through the other movements and get the MU’s but still be weak at them. There won’t be any hiding from weaknesses here.

All that being said, I am not really looking forward to this workout. It’s going to be A LOT of wallballs and jump rope. My calves are a little tender from the running and DU practice this week. I will be missing out on Friday night lights to cheer on UVA in the ACC Tournament Semi-Finals so I’ll hit the workout tomorrow and see what happens.

15.3 Workout
Saturday 3/14 was the day that I did 15.3. I was a little worried about the workout because of all the jump rope practice my calves were still a little sore and I just knew it was going to be a lot of wall balls. I honestly wasn’t really mentally ready to tackle this workout. After warming up the wall balls I almost decided to push the workout by a day and do it on Sunday but I wanted to get it done.
At 3-2-1 Go I grabbed the wall ball and had a plan of doing the wall balls in 10’s and the jump rope in 50’s. The plan went well for the entire first round and after 40 wall balls the 2nd time I did 2 sets of 5’s. The jump rope took a little bit longer on the second round. I started to feel my calves burning during the second round of wall balls and was a little worried but kept moving. I did the 3rd set of wall balls in sets of 5’s and it was getting tough. Had a couple of minutes left and went to 25’s on the single unders and broke a few times. It was really hard to get going again each time but thankfully I had some friends shouting at me nearby. I wasn’t fast but without them there and Mason, my judge, pushing me forward I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I did. I did 191 of the next 200 singles and finished with 741 reps.

I briefly thought about hitting the workout again to try and finish that round but decided that would be crazy. I’m pleased with my effort on this one and am ready to see what will be revealed with 15.4.

15.3 Other Thoughts –
I was really surprised to see a few things. First was the amazing amount of people who pushed themselves to get their first and next muscle ups. That was so awesome.

The bad part was how many people were so upset with the scaled options if they didn’t have muscle ups. The Open has many purposes as I eluded to earlier and one of those is to get the best athletes to regionals. Another will be to help give you new goals for the next year. Maybe more folks like myself will add a goal of getting some muslce ups in the next year. I’m glad that

8 Min AMRAP of Hand Stand Push Ups / Cleans

Another one I’d be doing scaled. The scaled workout was still plenty tough.
10 Push Press at 95# / 10 Cleans at 115# – also 8 min AMRAP.

The Open show introduced a new standard for HSPU’s and that caught a lot of people by surprise.

For my workout I got 85 reps which I was okay with but not really happy. Didn’t want to redo it. After about half way i could feel my wrist with each clean. And while I know it isn’t going to get injured, it still hurts. And gets in my head. I need to keep working on it and move past that. It was also a workout that gassed me quicker than i thought it would. Those push presses were no fun!

Many in our box struggled with the HSPU’s and I’m certain that is something that a lot of people will continue to work on and turn it into a strengh over the next year.

My exciting news was that I got back into a Handstand position. First time since my injury. That was cool, I tried doing a push up but I can’t lower myself down that far. And I tried using dumbells so I wouldn’t be on my fingertips on my left hand but that hurt worse.

I’ll adapt, and keep working on it.
The best part of this open for me was seeing my friend Andy, PR his clean and get 185 done. He got 12 reps of this RX and that was awesome. A 20# PR and some funny stories to go with it. Like his chest looking like it was mauled by a tiger from the catch of the clean.
I’m ready to see what the final week of the open brings and see some more people astonish themselves with what they are capable of.

PR City

I’ve been on a monster of a tear lately. Really seeing some gains in the box. 

I’ve PR’d my OHS, my clean, my jerk, my & squat snatch. The technique plus added focus from the lifting class has helped a lot of those. 

My best moment was a retest of a workout called Macho Man. 

Every Min on the Minute
3 Power Cleans / 3 Front Squats / 3 Jerks
In the 11th minute go to 4s, 12th 5s etc

Last time we tested this was a week before I broke my wrist. I went at a decently light weight of 95# and made it 7 rounds and 7 reps. (Macho Man – First Time)

This time I made it 12 rounds and 17 reps. At the same weight! Fella’s, I’ve never left the gym feeling so damn good. 

All of those PR’s above are real PR’s. Not post injury PR’s. So although my wrist won’t let me do everything I want to, and I still have some ways to go to get flexibility to where it needs to be I’ve really had some great improvements.

Barbells for Boobs

**I’m trying to raise $1,000 in 10 days. As a person who works in fundrasing, “we” are always telling our participants that they can do that, so I need to put my “money” where my mouth is. I did a self pledge, and am hoping that I can get 100 people to sponsor me for $10 or more. 

After 5 hours I have $91. 910 to go!

Please consider making a donation at www.stayclassy.org/derekhill**

The Barbells for Boobs fundraiser was held at my gym on October 11th.

We did Helen meets Grace with a Twist.

Helen – 3RFT
400m run
21 Kettlebell swings
12 Pull Ups (ring rows for scaled)


30 – Clean & Jerks

The twist this year was the Kettlebell couldn’t touch the ground until Grace. The running with the KB was a real pain in the ass. I had to substitute a KB Clean & Jerk as I just wasn’t quite ready to get the barbell up with my wrist.

My partner was John and our goal was to have a good time and help raise money. We did both and even finished on the podium. Hey, 3 out of 3 still gets you on the podium!

And the kicker is that we were super hero themed. I was Clark Kent & John’s hero was clearly the Cat in the Hat.

We had a great time & I’m already looking forward to next year, and another competition. It’s a great way to push yourself and something fun to be “in-training” for.

Clark Kent

Anita being held by her son Joe. Anita is a survivor, and she works her tail off in the box!
Clark Kent & The Cat in the Hat

Great Day! 21-15-9 Cleans / Burpees

Today was 1 rep max power clean. I got 10 pounds more than last week when I was working in it. Still can’t really turn the wrist good and the weights get heavy fast. 115 today failed at 125 a few times. 
Then for the metcon 
Power Clean
I went with 75# which is 10 more than grace last week but still heavy enough I couldn’t go unbroken. I am really please with my effort today. I just kept moving. In the competition I had that was like this but had deads / burpees the burpees slowed me down more. 
9 minutes which was the fastest non Rx time (RX was 155). I fully understand that my weights were lighter than many but with the way i stayed consistent I feel really good about today. 

Catching Up

I’m about a week behind on posting about my workouts so this will be a quick rundown.

We did a heavy Sumo Deadlift 3rep heavy scheme where I worked up to 245#. That’s the most I’ve got off the ground since late june with my injury so I was happy with that.

The Metcon was a 14min EMOM
Odd: 5 Sumo Deads (185 maybe), 15 air squats and AMRAP Double Unders. I did single – single – double each time but only counted the doubles for the score.

Back Squat 3×3 across was next and I PR’d that again this week with 205#.

Class was cancelled (school) so I went in and did some C&J work to get ready for Barbells for Boobs on Saturday and then did one off the crossfit main site. 10×250 rowing intervals with 2 min rest between. That was a pretty good one and I kept every 250 under a minute most were right in the 55 second range.

10/10/14 Friday

More C&J work. Up to 105 pounds so the 95 for Barbells 4 Boobs should be okay.

First time Rx’ing a metcon in a while.
12 Slam Balls 30#
12 Abmat situps
200m run.

Man I suck at running

Barbells 4 Boobs will be it’s own post soon.

10/12/14 – Sunday
Yoga Only. Needed some rest and the

10/13/14 – Monday
Birthday WOD
Buy in: 32 Calorie Row
3 Rounds:
10KB Snatches
13 Goblet Squats
2 Rounds:
10 Burpee Box Jump Overs
13 Toes to Bar
Cash Out: 32 KB Swings

I wasn’t feeling great on this one and my grip felt weak (left hand..) and slippery so I did abmat situps and not Toes to Rings. This one was tough.

10/15/14 – Tuesday
No School for fall break so I was able to workout today too. Which is good becasue I will be off Thursday (class) – Sunday (working an event out of town)

2 Back to back Metcons.
10 Push Press – I did 75#
10 Box Jump – I did 24 inch (most I’ve jumped at that height in a metcon)

Rest 5 Minutes

For Time
100-80-60-40-20 Double unders (singles x2)
25-20-15-10-5 Abmat Situps


I really also suck at jumping and need to get back to practicing this. It kills my calves and I need to work on double unders because that’s one skill I should be able to master in the next few months. I can move my wrist enough for that now.

Grace & Her Friends

I did Grace on Friday, knowing that she was programmed for Monday. But I was working on C&J already, and wanted to see how it went. Plus, we have Barbells for Boobs On the 11th and it’s Helen meets Grace, so I wanted to start to get comfortable with this girl as we hadn’t met before.

I worked up to 70 pounds, and let me just say the difference between 65 and 70 felt like 30 pounds on my wrist. Overly cautious? All in my head? Maybe, but it was a stout difference. 65 really wasn’t too bad after I got comfortable with it.

Grace – 2:15. Went out of the gate too hard and the last 15 were tougher than the first 15 but all in all not too terribly bad, but again, that’s a pretty light barbell.

Saturday – was an off day as my wife and I spent the day with family and we attended an Alzheimer’s walk in honor of her grandmother.

Sunday – Girls Just Want to Have Fun

They wanted us using the same Fran weight and Nancy weight, but I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to going in. After warming up I was able to get comfortable enough with the OHS that I went with 65#

Fran was 65# and Ring Rows and I finished her in 5:45. My first Fran experience. During the round of 15 I remember thinking, everyone is right, this is a damn good workout.

Started off with a decent paced run on Nancy but the OHS got heavy and I had to drop twice. I only did 1 run, 15 OHS and another run.

Annie – doesn’t seem like it should be too bad doing singles and ab mat sit ups. But sit ups definitely go in my suck bbucketand I started to cramp up during them. Didn’t make it through the round of 40 and was disappointed with that.

After that, I did our Yoga class. It felt great to get stretched out.

Grace Again:
Warmed up with 75 pounds but decided to stick with 65# with Grace again. Afterwards I wished I’d gone with the heavier weight and certainly will again soon. I think I’ll test Grace once a month and make sure I’m adding weight each time until my wrist is strong enough to make it happen at the Rx’d 135.

Grace – 1:46

Also did 5×5 Front Squats before that. After Grace I continued to work on the C&J to get my wrist used to more weight. At Barbells for Boobs this weekend the scaled weight is 95 (its a partner WOD) and I have worked up to that weight now. I think I’ll do more work today and get to 115 so 95 feels more comfortable.

To finish off with, the conditioning, next level was 3x1000m row with 3 min rest between intervals.

OC Challenge – Retest #2

Damn good day at the Box!

We had the retest of the 2nd Challenge WOD.

15 Power Clean
10 Front Squat
5 Push Press

Last time I was still one handed working out and used a 16kg KB. I thought it was probably too light as I finished the WOD in 4:01.

We have to retest with the same weight / etc as the first time. I knew that I’d need to go unbroken this time or damn near close to it to beat that time.

So, unbroken I went. 90 reps straight through the damn thing.
2:26 this time.

I don’t miss working out 1 handed at all.

I felt good about the early part of the workout too. Working up to a heavy Push Jerk. I actually used a bar with weights for the first time tonight. It was a 22# bar with 40 pounds on it. I can clean / jerk / press etc. I’m getting things back slowly. Throwing a barbell around is about as good of PT as you can get in my opinion.

And to end the night I did the next level, 3×3 Back Squats.

PR’d that by 10 pounds. 195. Not super heavy, and I could have done more, but a PR is a PR.

Ready for Friday’s 3rd retest. After all those are done I’ll update my results from the challenge.

OC Challenge 1 – retest

My challenge at the box has 3 workouts associated with it. 
Today was the retest of the first one. 
Calorie Row / Burpees
In the first of the month I was still one arm rowing and did burpees at a 5 to 3 ratio. So my burpees were 15-12-9-6
As we are testing we were supposed to stay the same. So today I rowed with 1 arm again  and did the burpees. 
I knew the time would be made up on the burpees as I was still not ready to go all out with the arm / etc last time. I pushed really hard this time
Last time I got with 17:01
This time 13:48
I’m damn happy with the improvement