Summer 2012 Updates

Olympic Lifting Meet

That’s me looking ridiculous in my first Olympic lifting meet. It was pretty fun. I weighed in at 148 pounds, after eating a large breakfast, easily making my 69 kg weight class goal. I did 80kg on my snatch and 100kg on my clean and jerk for a nice round total of 180kg. Neither of those were PRs, but they were competition PRs. I had more on my snatch, but missed the first lift because I pulled it way too high, so I wanted to make sure I could hit something doable on my last lift. I’m still plagued by my 100kg jerk max limit and power cleaned both reps. Also, I switched to Adistars and I’ve needed to figure out my third pull as I’m not getting the bar to come all the way back and losing it forward a lot.


I spent most of the early part of this summer training olympic lifting, so I didn’t get chance to try many new benchmarks.

New PRs

  • Amanda – 7:45 rx
  • Isabel – 4:21 rx
  • Oly Meet Total – 180kg
  • Snatch 185#

Training Goals

  • Get up to 155# bodyweight
  • Work my overhead strength, so my lifts overhead feel better
  • High rep shoulder to overhead
  • Pullups!
Posted in Workout | 1 Comment

CrossFit Open 2012

Five weeks of the CrossFit Open competition is finally over! Now for having fun with CrossFit again…

We qualified CrossFit Charlottesville for the Mid-Atlantic regionals in 27th place this year.  Here is my personal performance in the Mid-Atlantic Region compared to last year:

Open Year 2011 2012
Rank 162/729, 22.2% 225/1837, 12.4%
Best Workout 64th, DL + BJ 96th, WB + MU
Worst Workout 450th, C&J 657th, Push Press
Total Points 1284 1759
CF C-Ville Rank 3rd 2nd/3rd*

* If you account for competition attrition and account for score ties with middle ranks, all WODs are equally weighted and result in a 2nd place gym finish for me.

Open Review

  • I shouldn’t have tried to pace the burpee WOD. That’s an easy movement for me.
  • I have a severe weakness with any high rep shoulder to overhead movement. Only doing 6 rounds and change on the Push Press WOD is pretty bad for someone with a push press of 195# and the time I’ve spent doing CrossFit.
  • I took care of my hands
  • I need to be careful about going to failure on C2B Pullups. I think that messed me up more than expected on the last WOD
  • I’m relatively happy with my finish this year, but my heavy lifting skills need to increase, especially when they have two heavy (for me) WODs. I got almost exactly the same # rank in the heavy snatch WOD, but with more than double the competitors, that shows I’ve gotten stronger relative to the CrossFit world.
  • While % rank did increase, I’m not happy that I dropped 75 places overall in the region. Obviously, it’s getting more competitive at the top level, but I should have as much training time as the normal competitive people to get better.

2011 Training

I set out with some reasonable goals for the end of 2011. I’ve hit almost all those goals, did really well during my first year at Darden, and only missed my Fran goal of a sub-3 minute Fran (now at 3:08).

Recent PRs

  • Bodyweight: 145#
  • Deadlift: 400#
  • Overhead Squat: 225#x1, 185#x5
  • Snatch: 175#
  • Clean and Jerk: 225#
  • I did my worst workout from the 2010 Open and got 25 reps (PR+7) and that would have put me in 166th place on that WOD, so a big improvement there.
  • I did my first OH Squat metcon in 3 years without headaches. Bam!

2012 Goals

  • Triple Bodyweight Deadlift
  • Clean and Jerk 250#
  • Snatch 200#
  • Most important —> High Rep Shoulder to Overhead Endurance: Increase Bench, Press, Push Press, Jerk Training.
  • Grip Training: Be able to do 3 legless rope climbs to 15′ unbroken.
Posted in Workout | Leave a comment

Happy New Years, PR Stuff & Starting A Business

What do New Year’s, PRs and Starting a Business have do with each other? They are all about a birth (or re-birth) of your life, career and the world in which we live. I got inspired to write this post when a former client asked me for advice in starting his own business.

Quickly, my PRs:

  • Snatch – 174#
  • Deadlift – 381#
  • Bodyweight – A hair shy of 150# (thanks Holidays)
  • Press – 155#
  • Jackie – 6:22
  • Filthy Fifty – 19:14
  • Nasty Girls – 5:58
  • Grace – 2:55

Goals for 2012

  • Run the most badass SuperFit Events ever
  • Clean and Jerk 250#
  • Deadlift 400#
  • Place higher in the CrossFit Open than last year
  • CrossFit Total Over 900#
  • Get my nutrition back on track
  • Do better on benchmark WODs
  • Start a New Business

Starting a New Business (aka a Search Fund)

I love CrossFit Charlottesville so much and it will always be my home, but Darden has opened the doors to some very exciting new opportunities.  Together with my business partner, I plan to start a search fund in which we will seek a business to acquire and operate. This will take us over 6 years from start to finish, so it’s a serious commitment with a lot more risk than the traditional job placement out of MBA programs.

I decided my next business would be a search fund because it combines so many of the qualities I love about business. It’s entrepreneurial, it requires working with a diverse group of employees, it allows me to work with a network of mentors/investors/partners to operate the perfect business and create value for all stakeholders. It balances my background doing M&A with the excitement of growing into new markets and facing new challenges everyday. And, importantly, life is about the relationships and interactions you have with people around you. I am very excited about working with someone who is both a gentleman and a scholar and has a very strong skillset in my weakness areas.

Advice to Those Starting a New Venture

So, like any training regiment, you have to pick your programming and devise a plan for achieving your goals.  I once gave a lecture at the University of Virginia’s undergraduate business school about what I learned by failing in two of the last three businesses I started. I think the students got a lot out of these lessons:

  • Figure Out Who You Are – If you are not waking up in the morning excited about what today has to offer, you are not doing the right thing with your life.
  • Think Outside the Fish Bowl – People get trapped in the status quo too easily, so don’t. You won’t be successful if you are like everyone else.
  • Find Mentors – Find experienced people with grey hair to tell you are doing it wrong. Listen to them most of the time. They are usually right.
  • Keep Your Goals in Sight – If you are setting big goals for yourself, sometimes it’s hard to get caught in the details. Know you want that big lift or that growth target and don’t worry about the annoying things that get in the way.
  • Embrace Failures – You learn so much from failing. If you miss an olympic lift, watch that video over and over again. It will teach you what you did wrong. The same with any business failure.
  • Do What You Love – Match your passions with your business.
  • Attack Your Weaknesses – This is the hardest. It’s challenging to admit you have weaknesses to yourself. It’s not human nature, but by focusing on those areas which you need improvement, you will grow much more robustly as a leader. This is the most important thing CrossFit has taught me that’s applicable to real life.

I’d also like to add a few more practical lessons that I’ve learned in the last 18 months for Jason or anyone else who is thinking about going out on the entrepreneur path:

Invest the minimum amount of money into a new venture. That way if it goes south, you don’t lose a lot. Without financial backing, it can take several years before you can support a full-time employee, so if you are living off the gym or business, be aware that it will take a while to build the business.

Give your clients the best experience/product possible.

Don’t start something without being able to sell it on Day 1. We sold 35 membership our first week in business because I spent 6 months reminding people I was starting a gym.

View even the most annoying clients/customers as having the best intentions possible, even if they don’t express it.

Be purpose centered in your management of employees; be emotionally aware of their needs.

Be a collaborative leader by defining and building a shared purpose, build an ethic of contribution, and reward and value those who support and reinforce these concepts.

Posted in Workout | 1 Comment

Darden is Officially Harder Than CrossFit…

…That’s a lie.  Sorta.

Here’s the deal I’m updating my blog without any updates to personal records other than some minor stuff. The reason I’m updating relates to me getting my butt kicked at Darden getting my fulltime MBA (which ADVERTISING ALERT just got ranked 4th in the world).

Doing three cases per day + startup stuff + entrepreneur club + CrossFit WOD + 5 hours of class + eating = insane.  But it’s in a good way. When you have that much stuff, you have to think really hard about your training cycle because you have so few opportunities for recovery (read not stressing yourself out).

Interestingly, my metcons seem much easier than this summer, I PRed on my shoulder press at 155# (10 pound PR!), my deadlift went up to 370# and I did a 2:55 Grace. Darden actually has helped me push harder. We took 2nd in the Informal Throwdown event at our gym last weeekend.  My helen time was probably a tie when you account for distance change. I am struggling with my oly lifts right now. My clean is stuck around 215#, my snatch is stuck at 155# again and my jerks.. let’s not talk about those. I think being mentally fatigued makes your oly lifts much harder, but that’s just a theory.

Here’s the deal. I’m going to hire someone to write structured programming around my crazy schedule for this fall. I’m too busy to program it myself, so I gotta get a coach to hook me up with a badass template which I will name the Darden MBA CrossFit Workout Template.  It will also help with not worrying about taking it easy during school time and training during non-school time (Thur – Sunday). Let’s get on it.

P.S. How do other MBAs balance their crazy workout schedules with school? 

Posted in Workout | Leave a comment

Starting a Full-Time MBA Program and Coconut Fat

New PRs

  • 165# Snatch
  • 220# Bench Press (20# PR, w00t)
  • 350# Backsquat
  • 145# Standing Press
  • 365# Deadlift
  • 210# Clean and Jerk
  • 3:08 Fran (no butterfly)
  • 2:28 Diane
  • 224# Clean
  • I now weigh 145#! Yay.

Hitting PRs and Getting an MBA

Darden likes to throw an excessive amount of work at you. It’s kinda like hazing, but the business version.  A lot of fellow students have asked “How do you plan to keep running the gym/working out while in school.” The answer is easy. It’s about priorities. Some people prioritize drinking, others watching television. For me, continuing to train hard and hit new goals is a big priority.

The biggest problem honestly is nutrition. Darden feeds you a carb:protein:fat ratio of about 100:1:1. It’s killing my performance and I’m pretty sure I’m starting to lose weight again.  Since I don’t have time to cook, this year will be likely supplemented with excessive amounts of coconut fat and protein in order to counteract an insulin loving palate. PS If you ask for gluten free that means you get salads, sometimes with no meat. Pain.

Why didn’t I get a 375# Deadlift and Why Can’t I Jerk 225#?

I am still trying to figure out why my deadlift is basically the same as my squat. I have some serious training to do to fix my jerk technique, so I’ll be working on that this fall. I will be designing my own jerk-centric oly training program.

New Goals

  • Clean and Jerk 225#
  • Snatch 175#
  • Grace in Under 3 Minutes (still have to do it)
  • Compete in at least one team event this fall
Posted in Workout | 1 Comment

Regionals is Over, New Training Goals and Some Issues

New PRs

  • 155# Snatch
  • 205# Clean and Jerk
  • 143# Overhead Press (bodyweight)
  • 305# 3 Rep Max Backsquat
  • 327# Backsquat 1 Rep
  • Amanda 8:19rx

The Open

7 weeks of CrossFit Open workouts really was an excessively long test. I had fun for the first two weeks, then the burden of these workouts and multiple attempts made it not as fun. I ended up finishing in 162nd in the region, far, far away from qualifying as an individual for regionals.

Here are the summary of things I need to focus on for next year:

  • Heavy overhead stuff. Duh.
  • Headache problems on overhead metcons.  Pushing through WOD4 to get a better score was probably not the brightest idea. I still haven’t fully resolved the exertion headache problem from over a month ago, but I did do a bunch of overhead squats at regionals without a problem.
  • Hand care. The massive tears from WOD5 really hurt my performance on that WOD and the week after.
  • Pacing. I need to learn how to pace a WOD better, especially when it’s an AMRAP.

Regionals Training

My training program for myself was a combination of a performance menu 5 week oly lifting strength program and some really tough metcons we were doing in the gym. I’ve learned that the best training program means systematically approach specific weaknesses (for me, heavy overhead lifts) and to randomize and fit in WODs around what’s tired and needs recovery. Planning ahead for more than a week is silly, especially when the competition gives you so many unknowns.

Regionals Results

We ended up finishing 13th at regionals as a team and the events I competed in we took 5th and 7th, so that was a pretty good weekend, although I would have preferred to make it top 10, because I worked really hard to do Amanda.  Last year when I saw everyone do Amanda at the games, I thought there was no way I could ever do that WOD and doing it in a respectable 8:19 made me realize I have a lot more potential. I enjoy team events much more than non-team and will compete in more stuff this fall.

Goals Through August (before I start school)

  • Deadlift 375#
  • Grace in Under 3 Minutes
  • Clean and Jerk 225#
  • Snatch 165#
  • Backsquat 350#
  • Fran in under 3 minutes (without butterfly kipping)


Posted in Workout | Leave a comment

Competition, 3rd Place and New PRs + New Goals

Overall, my first competition experience was a lot of fun. Gretchen and I took third place.  Before I go into the competition, let’s review some recent PRs:

  • 141# Snatch (bodyweight)
  • 190# Clean and Jerk
  • 315# Backsquat (3 plate club, booya)
  • 345# Deadlift
  • 135# Strict Press

So, I’ve hit all my goals I set for myself and I’m really happy with the performance menu oly strength I just did.  The performance menu programs really easy metcons, so I decided to hit up CrossFit Charlottesville programming for competition prep.  Gretchen and I also added a lot of our weaknesses: wall balls, high rep oly lifting, heavy thrusters etc.


Competition was a lot of fun and all the judges and event organizers did a great job, but they could have done better. It was cool to do a competition at the one year anniversary of a pretty major shoulder surgery.


Either (Partner A) 3 rounds of 10 Goblet Squats (70/53) and 15 Burpee Box Jumps or (Partner B) 3 rounds of Sandbag Cleans (100/60) and 15 Lateral Burpees.

Gretchen and I won this event. I think I won B and Gretchen got second in A which put us at first overall. The next fastest group was just 20 seconds behind us. Those squat cleans got heavy and the added explosion in the burpees made this one hurt the legs.


20 Handstand Pushups as a Team (on an Abmat), then 10/20… 8/14 to zero of Full Snatch (115 / 75) / Hands of the Ground Pushups.  The second part of this WOD was done individually.

Since I can probably do 30 HSPUs unbroken hearing the event organizers change the standards (from no abmat to abmat and from 30 to 20) away from a strength is frustrating. Gretchen wrecked the women’s time and got just over 4 minutes. I got in the mid 6’s putting us in second place with the third place team about 4 or 5 minutes behind us. We were tied for second.


As a team, 200 Double Unders, 150 KBS 53/35, 100 Ball Slams 20/15#, 75 GHD situps, 50 Sandbag Getups 60/40#, 2500m Row.

We knew this would be a long one and Gretchen and I are bad at rowing, so we knew we needed to be on the rower a full minute before the next team given that this workout really favored larger competitors. We were lucky that the getups were changed from 80#, but were unlucky to see that a lot of competitors didn’t have enforced legs + shoulders on the ground standards for the getups.  This was a fun one and the first place team bested us, so we slipped into second place by one point with the third place team a full 9 points behind us at the end of Day 1.


Toss a medicine ball (20/14) as far as you can.

This workout was just dumb. Picking a skill that clearly favors mass and height and weighting it equally with all the other workouts totally disadvantaged us. When we programmed skills at SuperFit, we made sure to balance out body types.  Rowing = big people, L-sits = small people, etc. Yes, I’m biased because I’m 140# and 5’6″, but I don’t complain about heavy barbell movements.  Gretchen and I placed 8th on this workout and did OK, but weren’t surprised to see the bigger competitors knock us down.


Ground to overhead, any weight (85/75 for us), max reps in 8 minutes, non-working partner has to run 400m.

Gretchen and I made a strategy mistake and she ended up being on the bar longer than me. That hurt us.  I also had an issue with a judge who called back at least 10 reps from me and didn’t let me know when I was making bad reps. I don’t know if he was being quiet or not calling them at all, but that really hurt us and made me continue to do bad reps without knowing. I also wasn’t tired from this WOD which is a crappy feeling to have.  We were in 3rd place after the 5th WOD and couldn’t change positions in the final.


Run 200/200 Relay, 50 Deadlifts (225/155), 50 Box Jumps (24/20), Run, 50 KB High Pull (70/53), 50 Sandbag Push Press (60 /40), Run, 50 Ball Throw, Burpee on Ball, Thruster Throw Things, Run.

Gretchen and I finally saw something that played to our strengths. We won this workout by a full minute, beating even the fastest guy-only team.

Overall, we finished third, having beat the second place team in 4 of the 6 workouts and knocked out of our 2nd place position by throwing a ball. I guess that’s CrossFit competition for you!

It was a fun competition and everyone deserved to be on that podium. It was pretty cool to be about 30 to 40 pounds lighter than the other guys in the top 3. I had a really good time and despite not hitting any of my major strengths: long runs,  pullups, muscle ups, ring dips, real handstand pushups we still finished a solid third and won 2 of 6 of the workouts.  Gretchen did an amazing job and destroyed a few WODs which kept us on the podium.  She was an awesome teammate.

Thanks to our fellow teammates, Jason and Elizabeth who finished 5th and Cat and Ted who finished 7th.  Thanks to our spectators, Amy, Martha, Steve, Lorna, Lydia and Brenton for supporting us and cheering us on.  It was great meeting everyone.  See you next year.

I’d also like to give a big shoutout to Red Bull, Hammer Gel, Sweet Potatoes, Coconut Water, Orca Compression Pants, Ice Baths, EFS Recovery Drink, and Tape. You got me through 6 WODs without injury and with full intensity.

New Goals

  • Qualify for Regionals as an Individual
  • Qualify for Regionals as a CrossFit Charlottesville Team
  • Clean and Jerk Over 200#
  • Snatch 155#
  • Do Grace in Under 3 Minutes.
  • Bodyweight Press
Posted in Workout | Leave a comment