first iron

I got to the Shed this morning at 6:30 to commence operation ‘Don’t Puke’ – don’t know what was going on with me but trying not to yak took all my concentration. And this is odd because ordinarily I would love to be able to say I worked it so hard I hurled. When the time finally comes though, it doesn’t feel so good. Nausea is not inspiring.

Tried something a little different. Sets on the 2:00, although a few intervals between exercises I pushed out to 3:00 because setting up seemed particularly involved today. For example, setting up for super sets, two bars with weight and adjusting the bench, takes some time. Anyways, the thinking was I would go through my key chest and shoulder lifts (bench, incline and shoulder press) fast before moving on to arms, for which today was the focus, then finish with abdominals. Yes, abdominals. And yes, I know that’s my stomach. I hate abdominal exercises, never do them, but I’ve had it with my belly. It sticks out way far and looks funny. I’m pretty lean right now and in good condition for being me, you can even see stomach muscles, but it just sticks out. Maybe there’s nothing that can be done but I thought I’d try. On the list of exercises I never do, abdominal stuff is at the top.

the numbers:

  • bench press
    • 1 x 12 @ 135 lbs on 2:00
      • feet up
    • 1 x 12 @ 155 on 2:00
      • feet up
    • 1 x 12 @ 175 on 2:00
      • feet down
      • felt good – this is kind of a chunk of change for me for sets on 2:00.
  • incline bench
    • 1 x 12 @ 95 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 115 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 135 on 2:00
  • behind-the-neck shoulder press
    • 1 x 12 @ 55 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 75 on 2:00
    • 1 x 9 @ 95 on 2:00
  • arms super set – skull crushers w/ the bench bar & standing curls w/ the french curl bar
    • skull crushers
      • 1 x 12 @ 55 on 1:00
    • curls
      • 1 x 12 @ 50 (I think the bar is 10 lbs anyway) on 1:00
    • skull crushers
      • 1 x 12 @ 65 on 1:00
    • curls
      • 1 x 12 @ 50 on 1:00
    • skull crushers
      • 1 x 12 @ 65 on 1:00
    • curls
      • 1 x 12 @ 60 on 1:00
    • skull crushers
      • 1 x 12 @ 75 on 1:00
    • curls
      • 1 x 12 @ 60 on 1:00
    • skull crushers
      • 1 x 12 @ 75 on 1:00
    • curls
      • 1 x 12 @ 60 on 1:00
  • dips
    • 1 x 16 on 2:00
    • 2 x 20 on 2:00
  • reverse crunches
    • 3 x 12 on 2:00
      • I thought my stomach muscles might explode out of my body. A major cramp here felt imminent.
  • hanging crunches
    • 1 x 12 on 2:00
    • 1 x 10 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 on 2:00
      • Again, cramping imminent.

Sunday swim

I meant to do a real routine today, a 1000m with short fins, but opted to wuss out instead. I just was not feeling it. After a 300m warm up in the long course I started the 1000, only to bail out after 250m. Inspiring, I know. So instead of a workout I slowed things down, did some kick work with the long fins for 300 or 400m, eventually working up to no-breath 50s streamline. This was fun. 50s with the long fins are rad.Curious about my current long course pace I timed myself on a 100m free – 1:35. Improved.

failure at any cost

So, Saturday’s session at the Tor started out smooth. I warmed up on Power, then a lap on The Sea before I walked over to No Skill. Not only have I not redpointed No Skill this year, I’ve never redpointed it. This being my fourth day on it this season I thought this should go over pretty easy. It had better go over pretty easy because this is MY FOURTH DAY ON IT THIS SEASON. Sure, I’ve only been getting on it once a day and sure, the way it climbs does not suit my style. But the thing is not that hard. Which makes my next two burns that much more amazing. My first go had me falling reaching from the jugs on Chips to the far crimp. One fall, no big. I’ll just give it one more stupid go to make the redpoint official and I never have to get on this pile again. As befitting any story worth telling, the outcome was interesting. I fell. Again. At the same point. Now I’m thinking something’s wrong with me. So, I get on Chips. And crank it like I’m walking to the fridge.you: But, Elijah, isn’t No Skill 5.12c?me: yesyou: …and your projects are hard 5.13s?me: exactlyWhy this stupid friggin’ route has my number I can’t understand. Why I can hike up Chips, eight feet to the right, an undeniably harder route, after flailing twice on stupid No Skill boggles my mind. I’ve managed to turn what should be a lap route, another incidental pile of holds in my mid-summer endurance routine, in to what is now virtually a project. I’m virtually projecting it. Whatever. After Chips I got on The Natural, maybe the most hated route in all of Santa Maria, and tried my variation to the crux sequence. My plan here is to dyno off the two-finger, throwing left hand from the flake to the jug straight above. This eliminates the right hand jug after the pocket. It’s far, I’m not gonna lie. But it’ll go. I got close. Well, all is not lost. I do believe all this endurance garbage I’ve been hammering out lately has helped. Like I said, Chips felt easy. It felt better than it’s felt in a long time, better now than ever this season.

Micah on No Skill. He does yoga.
Justin on When the Sea Doesn’t Want You.

It was me, Micah and Justin.Temperature was about 85. Kinda hot but nothing like last weekend.Saturday’s routine:

  • Power of Eating (5.11d) – redpoint
  • When the Sea Doesn’t Want You (5.12a) – redpoint
  • No Skill (5.12c) – 1 fall, going from the Chips jugs to the far crimp
  • No Skill (5.12c) – 1 fall, same spot
  • Chips Ahoy (5.12d) – redpoint
  • The Natural (5.12b) – Lots of falls, trying to work out a new ridiculous sequence.

first water

Rowdy Gaines appeared on my TV yesterday to talk about his gold medal performance in the 100m freestyle at the ’84 Olympic Games. Rad. Though I won’t be competing at Beijing this year I get psyched hearing about these Olympians, their training and competitive drive. And with that thought I went to the UCSB pool this morning. Rowdy would not have been impressed, though this is a substantial improvement for me. 200s on the 5 minute, my longest sets to date, had me coming in just over 3:00 and breathing like a football fan.

  • warm up
    • 2 x 100 free
  • 5 x 200 free @ 5:00
    • Coming in between 3:00 – 3:05.
  • 8 x 25 free kick
  • 8 x 25 fly kick w/ short fins, no breathe

Being in the water, especially first thing of the day, is ultra rad. Why I ever stopped swimming is beyond my comprehension.

first iron


While watching the U.S. women’s gymnastics Olympic trials last night I realized I suck. Shawn Johnson, for comparison, does not suck. She’s physically a specimen and a monstrous competitor. And if you just looked at her face you would think she is a sweet little high school girl. She is a predator posing as a house pet and she’s rad. So, this morning I tried to be ferocious like Shawn. I don’t know that I achieved ferociousness but I certainly was inspired.

The numbers:

  • DB bench press
    • 1 x 12 @ 65 lbs on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 70 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 75 on 2:00
  • cable flys
    • 2 x 12 @ 40 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 45 on 2:00
  • seated DB shoulder press
    • 1 x 12 @ 30 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 35 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 40 on 2:00
  • later DB shoulder raises
    • 2 x 12 @ 15 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 20 on 2:00
  • preacher curls
    • 1 x 12 @ 65 (assuming 25 lb bar) on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 85 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 75 on 2:00
  • skull crushers
    • 1 x 12 @ 75 (assuming 25 lb bar) on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 85 on 2:00
    • 1 x 11 @ 85 on 2:00
  • triceps cable press downs
    • 2 x 10 @ 55 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 40 on 2:00

Did some restorative shoulder cuff exercises at the end. And lots of stretching.

first wood

I met Justin and Andy at the shed this morning for campusing. This is the first day in 2 or 3 weeks I did some moves. After much three- and four-finger warming up on the big and round/flat rungs I spent most of my time four-fingering the round/flats with interspersed two-finger hangs. This turned out being kind of a lot of moves. My two-finger strength is feeling good lately. No moves yet but a lot of hangs on both the small incut and round/flat rungs. A lot of staggered hangs too, some 4-1. Since my elbow felt surprisingly good I went through the 1-5 combinations on the round/flats four-fingered, missing once on my right hand trying 1-4-5 but did it next go. I felt heavy, maybe because I am now 180lbs, and not as strong as I would have thought with this much rest and recent campus board static work. This makes me think hangs on the board are not very effective.

first water

Had a good swim this morning. I would have liked to get in a long course lane but in the interest of avoiding a confrontation I opted for the kiddie pool. My lungs feel a little stiff the past couple days, I guess from Sunday’s swim session. Today felt much better than Sunday though. Short course times are much quicker and the workouts less intense, I feel. For example, Sunday’s 10 x 100s had me coming in between 1:40 and 1:50. This morning’s same set put my 100 times between 1:20 and 1:25. Sunday I couldn’t even finish the set without fins for the last half. Today I did it all. And it was hard.

  • 1 x 100 free
  • 10 x 100 free @ 3:00
  • 20 x 25 free kick

For the last kick sets I used short fins, streamline position and focused on reducing breaths. The last few lengths I wasn’t breathing at all, felt rad.