Archive for December 2007

Bike / mtb

Neil and I snuck in a few hours and about 53 km of trails before it just got crushingly hot.



Too hot to sit still and I wanted to do some extras before going out tonight anyway. I had this great idea to do some pressing, some getups and a 21-15-9 style KB snatch / burpee type thing.

Exercise Sets/Reps/Dist Weight/Time
Press 5 x 5 reps 30, 32.5, 35, 35, 35 kg
Turkish Getup 2 x 5 reps es 16 kg KB
Burpees 11 reps 0 kg


It began ok but burpees in the sun at 40° just aren’t cool. I had a ‘this is actually a very bad idea’ moment and aborted after the 11th burpee in the first round. Until I paused there, I actually felt ok. It wasn’t until I stopped that I realised just how hard I was breathing. The KB snatches were surprisingly killer on my hands after the morning’s ride too. I did a couple of sets of 5 pull-ups between the getup sets, and that was pretty good.


  • Muesli w/fruit, nuts + protein
  • Nectarine
  • Nuts
  • Tuna
  • Muesli w/fruit + nuts
  • BBQ and salads
  • Lots of beer and sangria ~:0

We went to Benalla.

We went to Benalla.

Santa came late to me, but brought a bunch of joy in the shape of a 16 kg kettlebell and a set of Elite gymnastic rings.


No workout as such today, but a good hour or so of playing – one and two handed swings, snatches, basic juggling, C&P and snatches with the KB; rows, pull-ups, supports, dips and some cat skinning for the rings. Fun fun!


  • Muesli w/fruit and protein powder
  • Coffee
  • 2 Nectarines
  • Nuts
  • 4 chicken burger patties
  • Coffee

Because energy expenditure, energy burning and quality of life are the same thing, anything that raises your energy expenditure makes you feel good; for instance coffee, for two hours, and then you need another one. Anything that reduces your energy expenditure, like for instance hypo thyroidism as an example, makes you feel lousy.

My former employer, ABC Radio National, ran a very interesting interview with Dr Robert Lustig, Professor of Pediatric Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco. In it he talks about insulin sensitivity, leptin, obesity and sugar – specifically fructose in it’s show The Health Report.

The transcript is here: www.abc.net.au/rn/healthreport/stories/2007/1969924.htm. You can listen to the actual audio from the show’s main page.

Here’s some more:

The question is why does exercise work in obesity? Because it burns calories? That’s ridiculous. Twenty minutes of jogging is one chocolate chip cookie, I mean you can’t do it. One Big Mac requires three hours of vigorous exercise to work that off, that’s not the reason that exercise is important, exercise is important for three reasons exclusive of the fact that it burns calories.

The first is it increases skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity, in other words it makes your muscle more insulin sensitive, therefore your pancreas can make less, therefore your levels can drop, therefore there’s less insulin in your blood to shunt sugar to fat. That’s probably the main reason that exercise is important and I’m totally for it.

The second reason that exercise is important is because it’s the single best treatment to get your cortisol down. Cortisol is your stress hormone, it’s the hormone that goes up when you are mega-stressed, it’s the hormone that basically causes visceral fat deposition which is the bad fat and it has been tied to the metabolic syndrome. So by getting your cortisol down you’re actually reducing the amount of fat deposited and it also reduces food intake. People think that somehow exercise increases food intake, it does not, it reduces food intake.

And then the third reason that exercise is important, which is somewhat not well known, but I’m trying to evaluate this at the present time, is that it actually helps detoxify the sugar fructose. Fructose actually is a hepato-toxin; now fructose is fruit sugar but we were never designed to take in so much fructose. Our consumption of fructose has gone from less than half a pound per year in 1970 to 56 pounds per year in 2003.

And again. Here the concept of glycemic load rushes to the defence of carrots, which find themselves recently maligned for being high GI:

…glycaemic index is half the story, the other half of the story is the fibre. Here’s the way it works — carrots, let’s talk about carrots for a minute. Carrots are very high glycaemic index, what is the definition of glycaemic index? It’s how high your blood sugar goes if you eat 50 grams of carbohydrate in that food, that’s what glycaemic index is. So if you eat 50 grams of carbohydrate in carrots your blood sugar goes up very high and so that would be a high glycaemic index food. Fructose is a low glycaemic index food because fructose does not stimulate insulin, it’s all of these calories but it doesn’t stimulate insulin. So in fact a soda has a glycaemic index of 53 which is low. So you’d say oh wait a second, carrots are bad for you and a soda is good for you? Because glycaemic index is not the whole story, in fact what you really want to talk about is a related concept called glycaemic load.

Glycaemic load is glycaemic index times the amount of food you’d actually have to eat to get the 50 grams of carbohydrate, so in carrots you’d have to eat the entire truck in order to get that. Well you can’t do that, you wouldn’t do that, so in fact carrots, even though they are high glycaemic index are actually low glycaemic load. Carrots are fine, there’s nothing wrong with carrots. On the other hand fructose, I mean a soda, there’s a lot wrong with it but you wouldn’t see it in just looking at glycaemic index.

Check it out.



Warm-up with modified CFWU:
Overhead Squat 20kg
Med Ball Slam 11kg
Good Mornings 20kg
3 x 10 of each


Exercise Sets/Reps/Dist Weight/Time
Deadlift 5 reps 50 kg
Deadlift 2 x 5 reps 70 kg
Deadlift 5 reps 100 kg
Deadlift 3 x 5 reps 90 kg
Deadlift 3 reps 70 kg
1 Arm DB Press 2 x 5 reps 15 kg


I took a video of the last two sets (at 90 and 100 kg) to check form and although I feel really tight, I’m clearly rounding. Not much, but it’s not good and something I should work on. I don’t want to think about how ugly my old 107 kg PB must’ve been. My abs are pretty sore today from the Chrismas burpee workout with Pete. Must be the sit-ups I guess.


  • Muesli w/cottage cheese, nuts and fresh fruit + 1 green apple
  • A little chocolate
  • Salad sandwich
  • Salmon, nuts, nectarine
  • 4 Chicken & herb burger patties, garden salad, 1 egg
  • Nectarine
  • Coffee

Post-Christmas BBQ dinner with the Harrington family.

Lean BBQ meats, salad, prawns and all kinds of chocolate and sugar-filled goodies.

Bike / road / recovery

Got up and did a pre-breakfast roll around the lake with Dad on Christmas morning (12.5 km at recovery pace). We saw quite a few runners out but only a couple of other bikes.



After lunch…
We waited til the pudding settled down and then did this modified (no box, no pull-up bar) version of GJ’s “Those Burpees Suck”.

Exercise Sets/Reps/Dist Weight/Time
SDHP 10 reps 24 kg KB
KB Swings 20 reps 24 kg
Tuck Jumps 30 reps 0 kg
Push-ups 40 reps 0 kg
Sit-ups 50 reps 0 kg
Burpees 60 0 kg
SDHP 10 24 kg KB



Well paced and not as tough as I expected it to be. I paced myself conservatively because Pete had been talking this up pretty badly after sampling it the day before and because, well frankly, 60 burpees sounded pretty nasy.

Push-ups were broken into sets of 10 because I knew they’d get really hard during the burpees. The first 15 burpees were straight (is that all???), then 10 and in sets of 5 from 25 onwards.


Ho ho ho!

Bike / road

Ride to Buninyong from Alfredton via Whitehorse Road and then do two laps of the national championships road course – one with an ascent of Mt Buninyong thrown in as a little extra. Home via the back roads of Mt Clear and Redan.

Exercise Sets/Reps/Dist Weight/Time
Ride 58.9 km 1:59:20
Ride 1 lap NC circuit
(10.4 km)



All in all a very nice ride. The roads were still damp after three days of rain and the air was crisp and on the move from the South which kept things interesting. It wasn’t so cold as to be uncomfortable, but it was enough to give me that ‘I’ve been outside and working all day’ tired feeling in the afternoon; which is a beautiful way to feel on a cool Ballarat afternoon.

The National Championships course is great. The climb is surprisingly hard and just long enough to hurt before turning down. The Fisken Road descent through the forest is fast and big-ring, big-grin fun. I did my lap in almost dead on 20 minutes. I wouldn’t be surprised if the big boys lap it in 15, and they’ll be doing it for 160 km. Should be good to watch.


Kettlebell action with Pete:

10 reps each side of the complex:
Clean and Push-press (not strong enough to press the 24 yet)
Clean and Jerk
Clean and Squat

Exercise Sets/Reps/Dist Weight/Time
KB Clean and Push-press
KB Clean and Jerk
KB Clean and Squat

10 reps es 24 kg
KB Swings 10 reps 24 kg
1 Hand KB Swings 5 reps es 24 kg
1 hand Overhead Lunge 5 steps es 24 kg


The 24 is great for two handed swings, but probably beyond my ability for real strength-endurance work on the other movements. I think I’ll get a 16 and work my way up.

December 2007

On the bike

CrossFit benchmarks

100 Burpees: 11:07 10:32
50 Burpees: 4:24
Angie: 30:47 (60 pull-ups only)
Annie: ---
Cindy: 13 rounds
Dianne: 39:07 (scaled)
Elizabeth: 24:47 (scaled)
Fight Gone Bad (3 rounds): 311
Filthy Fifty: 31:16
Fran: 10:31
Grace (35 kg): 4:25
Hangover Cure: 8 rounds
Helen: 11:10
Jeremy: 13:33
Kelly: 36:09
Linda (scaled): 1:17:04
Michael: 32:30
Murph: 54:17
Nancy: 17:30 (scaled to 35 kg)
Nate: 7 rounds (scaled)
Nicole: 3 rounds, 19 pullups

Row 1k: 3:26.3
Row 2k: 7:15.4
Row 500m: 1:35.7
Run 5k: 24:05 (Feb 17)

Weightlifting PBs

Bench Press: ---
Clean: 70kg
Jerk: 70kg
Press: 52.5kg
Snatch: 47.5kg+
Squat (back): 102.5kg
Squat (front): 85kg (x2)
Deadlift: 130kg
CrossFit Total: 623


3RM OHS: 55kg
3RM Front squat: 82.5kg (x5)
3RM Back squat: 90kg
3RM Deadlift: 130kg
5RM Press: 45kg
5RM Front squat: 82.5kg
5RM Back squat: 90kg
5RM Deadlift: 120
20RM Back squat: 65kg