CrossFit Progress: Back Squats

Today was a heavy squat day. The workout was 3×3 at 95% of your one rep max. After doing the math my 95% is 305 lb. Going into the workout I was excited. 305 lb. was my previous one rep max last October and today I would be lifting it for 3×3. After our long warm up I started my first set. My first two sets were not too difficult. I was quick coming out of the bottom and didn’t strain myself to stand tall. My last set was a bit difficult especially the last rep. I strained to get out of the bottom of the squat but I managed to make it up.

This wasn’t a PR but I felt accomplished. Six months ago I could barely lift this weight for one rep and now I’m doing it for three reps. Coach Paul thinks I can put 30 lb. on my max which would put it at 355 lb. I believe our squat max day is next week Friday and hopefully I can update everyone with a new PR. If you put in the work, you will see results.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

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Loot Crate May 2015 Theme: UNITE!

Taken from Loot Crate email “May’s theme is UNITE! We’re gathering all our friends, painting animal-shaped robots our favorite colors, and prepping for an EPIC team up! Why? Well two heads are better than one, there’s strength in numbers, and we had like ten whole notebooks full of awesome, unused band names. Get set to travel across dimensions, battle evil, capture some flags, and just plain have fun! We’ve got awesome exclusives from Marvel’s Avengers, Power Rangers, Team Fortress 2, Bravest Warriors, Rick and Morty and more, plus an EXCLUSIVE licensed t-shirt! Thanks for being on our team this month!”

This months theme is not surprising since May 1st is the release of the new Avengers movie. I’m optimistic next months crate will have some cool exclusives. I hope the next shirt is as cool as the D&D shirt from the April crate. Don’t let us down Loot Crate!

April 2015 Loot Crate Unboxing: Fantasy

What is Loot Crate?

Taken from the Loot Crate site, “Each month, Loot Crate™ ships a themed mystery box of the best geek, gaming, and pop culture gear to a subscriber base of over 100,000 Looters. We emphasize phenomenal support and content, and include gear from some of the most respected entertainment and consumer product companies in the world.” Loot Crate sells for $13.95 a month plus $6.00 shipping and handling. You can save money by subscribing for longer periods as well. This month’s theme was, Fantasy, which makes me think of epic quests, wizards and Dungeons & Dragons.

What’s in the Box?

This month’s box takes the form of a wooden table with map, sword and coins on it. The map looks to be in the same style as Game of Thrones. The small Goblin and cobwebs details are cool too.


This shirt is one my favorite items from this month Loot Crate. I’m a big fan of D&D and other pencil and paper RPGs. My friends are going to start up a new 5th edition game soon, and this shirt will go well with the campaign. 

In keeping with the fantasy theme, an inflatable crown, Harry Potter luggage tag and a D&D bow-tie were also included. I didn’t care for the crown since I don’t have a use for it. Maybe I will be able to use it for Halloween this year. The luggage tag is cool, might need to replace my Yoda tag I bought in Korea. I really like the D&D bow-tie but I don’t have a use for it at the moment. The design is unique with a fabric pattern is made up of D20’s and Dragons. I need to find more reasons to wear all the nerd formal wear I received from Loot Crate.

The Princess Bride themed playing cards are great. I have seen the Princess Bride once or twice when I was younger but this card set makes me want to watch it again. The illustrations are detailed and all the face cards are unique. I like to keep a deck of cards around just in case someone wants to play an impromptu poker game.

Since the first season I’ve been a huge fan of Game of Thrones. I haven’t read the books but I may need to since the TV show will start deviating from the source material. The Stark sigil USB drive is awesome but sadly it’s only holds 4 gb of data. If it was at least 32 gb it would have been perfect. I will still put it to good use since it will replace the other small drives that I have. The magnet set has cool designs with the house motto and sigil. These will look great on my refrigerator or on my desk. 

Final Thoughts

I believe this month’s crate was worth it. I would have preferred something from Lord of the Rings instead of Harry Potter but it’s not a deal breaker. The D&D shirt, and Game of Thrones items are my favorites this month. Hopefully next months crate is just as great as this one. If you want to sign up use this link, also use the promo code SAVE3 for $3 off any subscription. I also get credit towards more Loot Crates if you use the link. If you have any questions, leave a comment at the bottom.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

Review: Nike MetCon 1

When you think Nike, you think sport and with CrossFit becoming more mainstream, it would make sense for Nike to enter the market. I think it is safe to say the Nike MetCon 1 is one of the most sought after CrossFit shoes. The marketing hype combined with the limited number of shoes available at launch made them that much more desirable. I felt like I was trying to buy a pair of new Kobe’s or Jordans rather than a pair of CrossFit shoes. If you didn’t get a pair within the first hour of launch, you were out of luck. Thankfully, my fiance manged to order a pair online and they have been my go to CrossFit shoe for a few weeks.

Looks, Fit and Construction

The Anthracite/Black/Cool Grey colorway are my favorite colors from the launch. The shoe has a unique color pattern with the shoe divided up in four sections. The divisions are more noticeable with the other colorways. Ordering shoes online is risky especially when it comes to new shoe models. Thankfully the shoe felt true to size. The shoe fits snug but after you break them in, they feel great. The toe box has enough room to spread your toes which is great for lifts. The shoe is also wider which allows for a stable base.

Since this is a Nike shoe, you’re bound to see some of their tech. The shoe features Flywire, which helps to lock your feet down and gives support to certain areas of the foot.  A Hyperfuse upper and a rubber midsole is more for rope climbs. The newer Flyknit material would probably rip after a few rope climbs making the Hyperfuse upper ideal. After a few weeks of use, the shoes almost look brand new. The excellent shoe quality is what I expect from Nike.

Performance

My first workout in the Metcon 1 was great for a performance test. It was a FGB style workout with wall balls, thrusters, rowing, double unders, burpees and box jumps. Throughout the workout the shoes held up great. I felt stable during all movements. I had no problem jumping during box jumps, it also had a slight spring. The shoes perform well during heavy oly lifts and heavy squats. I felt stable in the bottom position of the lift and the shoe didn’t give as much as I was expecting. The insole is a little thick but the heel area felt solid during lifts. The shoes have great grip and the sticky rubber soles are indeed sticky. I didn’t feel my feet slide around during split jerks or lunges. The midsole grip felt great during rope climbs and the upper held up. Checking the shoes after, it didn’t have any scratches or tears.

During a run however, I noticed most of the flaws of this shoe. My feet felt heavier during runs and the rigidness of the sole is not comfortable. If I know running will be programmed for the day I will use different shoes.

Final Thoughts

The Metcon 1 is a great shoe and is now my favorite shoe to use during CrossFit. It covers almost all workouts except for running. They are holding up well and if I wipe them down with a damp cloth, they will look good as new. I’ve read that the newer versions of the Metcon 1 have some changes to material and construction. I plan to get another pair in another color, and I will update this post if I think the changes will make a difference. My next shoe review will be on the Fastlift 335. Hopefully it will be done in a few weeks. If you have any questions or comments, enter them below.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

CrossFit Progress: 14.5 Can Suck It!

14.5 was the first workout where I gave up, I let myself quit. You had to finish or quit, the clock wasn’t going to save you . I finished the round of twelve reps and started on the round of nine reps. I could barely lift the barbel. I manged to clean the weight but couldn’t finish the thruster. I dropped the barbel and stared at the clock, twenty six minutes. I looked over at my judge, said I’m done and dropped to the floor. My coach and fellow members were trying to get me back up, they wanted me to finish. I waved them off, I was done.

A year later my coaches decided to program 14.5 since many members hit PR’s on their 14.2 scores. I was a little nervous but 15.5 made me more confident in my thrusters. My goal was to finish under twenty six minutes and I was determined not to quit. I finished the workout in 25:43, my new PR. It has been a long year but the training paid off. CrossFit works.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

Review: Strength Wraps

Avengers ans Star Wars Strength Wraps
After a few months of CrossFit I started to feel a pain in my wrists. I approached my coaches and they recommended I work on wrist mobility and wrist strength. In the mean time, they recommended I use a pair of wrist wraps to help stabilize my wrists during overhead movements. I purchased wrist wraps with Velcro fasteners but after a few months of use, the Velcro wore out. I wanted another pair of wraps and decided to look into cloth wraps.
I’ve heard of cloth wraps from a podcast, The Wodcast Podcast. They were sponsored by Strength Wraps, a cloth wrap company. After browsing their print fabric section I saw the Avengers print and ordered it. When I first received my pair of Strength Wraps I didn’t know how to put them on. The wraps didn’t come with directions but I found a tutorial on YouTube. I was skeptical at first but after a few days lifting, I wish I started using them sooner. 
The Force is strong with this one. 

Pros of Strength Wraps

Great Support – The wraps provide great support for any overhead movement and doesn’t inhibit your range of motion.

Adjustable – These wrist wraps can be adjusted on the fly. With a quick twist they can be loosen or tighten in only a few seconds. 

Cool Prints – Strength Wraps has a wide range of fabric designs. They range from solid colors to picture prints. You can also get custom wraps for your box.

Washable – I usually wash my wraps once a week depending on use. Since they are fabric, it will fade eventually.

Cons of Strength Wraps

Price – Strength Wraps range from $25 to $30, without shipping. Depending on where you are and how many you order, it might be a few dollars more. A 12″ Rogue Wrap with Velcro starts at $12. 

Final Thoughts 

Strength Wraps are great for any overhead movement and oly lifts. The ability to adjust tightness on the fly and the awesome designs make it a great gear addition for any CrossFitter. The price is higher than most wrist wraps but quality and durability make up the price difference. I believe strength wraps will also outlast most conventional wrist wraps since they do not require Velcro to fasten. If you have any questions or comments, post them below.

Get your Strength Wraps HERE.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

March 2015 Loot Crate Unboxing: Covert

Loot Crate is a monthly subscription box for geeks and nerds. It has a variety of items that follow a monthly theme. The cost of the box is $13.95 plus $6.00 for shipping, bringing it to a total of $19.95. The value of the box is subjective so watch and read more reviews before you decide to subscribe. The March theme is Covert. I was expecting some cool spy themed stuff and I wasn’t disappointed. 

What’s in the Crate?


Box Design: Spy Computer 


Loot Crate has been doing box designs for a few months with some being more elaborate than others. Past boxes had cut outs and diorama like set pieces. Last Months box was a board game board while this month has a computer design. The box is actually a puzzle and the URL on the bottom left of the screen (http://bit.ly/19aqSpV) is a link that starts the puzzle. The puzzle has clues that requires you to look at all the things you got this month. At the end you submit your name to be a henchmen and maybe they give you something as well. This was fun and I hope they make more interactive boxes like this. 

James Bond Shirt

This is one of my favorite shirts from Loot Crate. The whole “shaken not stirred” line from Bond is iconic. I will be wearing this as soon as possible. 

Spy Gear


The spy gear is pretty cool. The watch has a blank face and doesn’t show the time unless a button is pressed. The Field Notes notebook is small and easy to carry. I will probably use this more since I prefer writing to using my cell phone. Also included is a paracord survival bracelet with  the Loot Crate colors of orange and black. It’s a very useful item and hopefully I will not have to use it. I remember the Mad Libs games from when I was younger but I haven’t played a game in a while. I will probably play it with my younger siblings, it seems like a fun way to kill some time. 

Agents, Clones and Ninjas 

Two comic books and a cool prop badge are included as well. The Ninjak card comes with a code for a free download. I haven’t heard of the series but it looks interesting. Who doesn’t like futuristic ninjas? I haven’t heard of Orphan Black either. I think it’s a Canadian TV show and will have to do more research later. I hope the comic is a good read. The Agents of Shield badge is cool. I haven’t seen the show because of the bad initial reviews but I’ve heard it gets better during the mid season. 

Final Thoughts

I’m satisfied with the March Loot Crate. I liked majority of the items and the others were not that bad. I’m not sure about the Orphan Black comic but I will give it a read. The shirt and watch are sweet and will probably wear them often. The theme for next month is “Fantasy” so be sure to check the site for another Loot Crate review. 
If you want to sign up use this link, http://looted.by/bYcFC. Use the promo code SAVE3 for $3 off any subscription. I also get credit towards more Loot Crates if you use the link. If you have any questions, leave a comment at the bottom. 

Lift Heavy and Level Up!