Archive for October, 2009

Injuries Suck aka CrossFit WOD 3

October 24, 2009 Leave a comment

Today was suppose to be Square One CrossFit WOD #3:

  1. 10 box jumps
  2. 10 knees to elbows

Unfortunately it became quite clear during the warm-up push-ups that I pulled something, what seems to be a lower part of the abdominal muscle.  I couldn’t do any push-ups without serious pain, skipping (practicing double-unders) wasn’t a problem, rowing was a little tough,  certainly seems to be a muscle pull.  Box jumps were a little uncomfortable, but knees to elbows on the chin-up bar was excruciating.  Unfortunately when you’re going from “Couch to Active” your bound to get some “bruises” along the way, all one can do is try to minimize the damage, and with that we decided that today’s WOD just wasn’t in the cards for me.

So today we kept it simple, I gave a Tabata Squats a try, here’s how to do them yourself:

Alternating 20 Seconds of Squats, 10 seconds rest for total of 4 minutes.  Your “score” is your lowest number of squats from any 20 second period.  The secret is to pace yourself, but the 3rd or 4th set you will REALLY start to feel it.  I was doing pretty consistently 10’s and 9’s but dipped to 8 and finished with an 11 so my “score” is an 8.  I will improve on this, but it was a good constant pace.  I really am disappointed I didn’t at least do 10, but I’m sure I’ll do much better than 10 next time.  Secret is to not rush out of the gate and do 20 in the first 20 seconds.  Feel free to try Tabata with push-ups, sit-ups or whatever else you can come up with.

As for my injury, I know I did it with the kettlebells from the other night, I remember a sudden “tug” but didn’t think anything of it.  That’s a lesson to listen to my body!  So no WODs for me until next weekend at the earliest, in the mean time I’m going to take it easy and do some running which doesn’t seem to cause me any pain, plus with running I get to play with my Garmin Forerunner 305 which is totally cool! 🙂 Now I only ask that mother nature cooperate.

I’m really enjoying this!

Categories: CrossFit Tags: , , ,

CrossFit WOD Number 2

October 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Today I managed to finish my first CrossFit WOD, had to make some changes due to my gimpy wrists, but finish it I did.  If you recall from my previous post, I couldn’t finish the previous WOD due to my wrists.  Today’s WOD started with the following warm-up (two times):

  • Suicide
  • 10 Dislocates
  • 10 Lunges
  • Samson Stretch
  • 5 Push-Ups
  • 5 Squats
  • Pigeon Stretch
  • 5 Negative Pull-Ups

The WOD only involved two things, but it still kicks your ass, 21-15-9 repetitions of the following:

  • 12Kg Kettlebells (I think I will move up to the next heaviest kettlebell next time)
  • Push-ups (Called for Burpees but after two I could tell the shock to my wrist was too much)

It was a struggle to finish, it was the push-ups that really did me in, but finish I did.  The great thing with CrossFit is the encouragement the other CrossFitters give you to push through to the end, something you don’t typically get at a traditional “big box” gym.  That encouragement REALLY helped without it I wouldn’t have finished.  Total time for the above was approx 8 minutes (forgot to write it down before I left).

Next WOD Saturday morning, why not join me at Square One CrossFit in Mississauga and give it a try yourself?

My Home Network

October 20, 2009 Leave a comment

I get asked about my home network quite frequently and since I did a rather major upgrade recently – Funny when one can consider their home network sophisticated enough that one talks in terms of “Upgrades” I figure there is no time like the present to discuss my home network.

My network a few years ago went though a consolidation – I had three dedicated machines, 1 for web serving of pictures etc and file serving running linux, 1 for email again running linux and 1 acting as a firewall.  This is aside from the 2 PCs and 1 Mac I had at the time, needless to say, I was consuming a great deal of power and running all this was getting to be a real burden.

About 2.5 years ago, when VMWare made VMWare Server free, I moved to VMWare Server running on Linux and consolidated my three machines two 1 machine.  I switched from Linux to FreeNas for file serving, since it was more “NAS Like” than just a Linux box with NFS and SMB shares, and moved my email into Google Apps.  I was now running 1 physical server with Linux and 2 VMs, one Firewall (PFSense) and one Filer, FreeNAS.  The network remained this way for the last 2-2.5 years.

Recently I began to find running my NAS in VMWare server rather limiting.  I had recently built a Home Theater PC for running XBMC and wanted to move more of my content into the NAS – FreeNAS just wasn’t doing what I wanted.  Plus I wanted to move to VMWare ESXi and run of NFS; I’m a BIG fan of running VMWare on NFS.  Back at VMWorld I stumbled across an offer by Iomega for a discount off their newly released ix4-200d 4 Bay NAS.  It wasn’t a Netapp, but I’ll live.  I received my 4TB Iomega “filer” last week and spent the weekend moving over to it and moving VMWare to ESXi.

The Iomega ix4-200d has 2 Gb ports and a whole host of features, but it was the 2Gb ports that sold me. Switching is provided by a pair of switches, my “Core” is a Linksys SRW2008MP 8-port Gigabit PoE switch.  Connected to this are the majority of the devices at home, 2 PCs, 1 Mac, 1 Laptop, 1 netbook, 802.11g Linksys PoE Wireless access point, and a smaller no-name Gigabit switch that connect my Home Theater PC and my Sony PS3 in my home theater.

My current network looks like this:

My Home Network

My Home Network

While it’s far from the largest home network, I do practice what I preach when it comes to VMWare & NFS. ESXi has two virtual switches bound to the two interfaces in my Quad core “server” – One for storage and one for internal network.  As my machine only has two physical interfaces (ESXi isn’t compatible with the other internal card), I run a separate VLAN so my firewall can PPPoE via the DSL modem to the Internet.

The Iomega ix4-200d isn’t a Netapp, but it will have to do.  Up next is to configure one of the killer features of the ix4-200d, and that’s remote off-site replication (rsync) to another ix4-200d running at a friend’s place.  It’s simply rsync but is certainly better than nothing and since Netapp doesn’t make a smaller filer like this I’ll have to live without block level Snapmirror.  Funnily enough since my friend’s network is also running ESXi and is on the same DSL provider as I am, my firewall & Linux machine should come up with little help if I ever decide to have him push the “big red” DR button. 🙂

Categories: General

CrossFit My First Experience

October 18, 2009 2 comments

A friend of mine recently opened a CrossFit gym called Square One CrossFit.  Located in Mississauga, my involvement started when I offered my assitance in helping them create a website, far from my specialty but I’ve always been a jack of all trades.  Since being involved in creating the website and coupled with my constant search for information I started to learn more about CrossFit and finally decided to give it a try myself.  Before going into more details I should start off with what on earth CrossFit is, to that end I suggest you read this.

Knowing you didn’t read the previous link I will go into a small general explanation.  The easiest way to explain CrossFit would be: A back to basics approach to physical fitness.  One where machines don’t rule (aside from rowing machines) but hard intense effort is rewarded with well rounded fitness.  Push-ups, chin-ups, Squats, Sit-ups, lunges, Weighs, kettlebells, rowing, running, the list goes on, are all employed by the CrossFit athelete.  One doesn’t speacialize, every workout is unique.  The workouts are intense, but are generally comprised of what is called the “Work Out of the Day” or “WOD” for short.   Many of the standard WODs as posted daily by have names.  An example of a WOD would be “Tyler” which comprises five rounds for time of, 7 Muscle-ups, 95 pound Sumo-deadlift high-pull, 21 reps.   The following day the WOD might look something like this:

For time:
21 Hip-Back Extensions
Run 400 meters
18 Hip-Back Extensions
Run 400 meters
15 Hip-Back Extensions
Run 400 meters
12 Hip-Back Extensions
Run 400 meters
9 Hip-Back Extensions
Run 400 meters
6 Hip-Back Extensions
Run 400 meters
3 Hip-Back Extensions
Run 400 meters

The next day would be equally something as grueling, rewarding, and different.  CrossFit is NOT about speacializing, just the oposite, the goal is being a rounded athelete.  For example, someone doing CrossFit would more than likely not try “Tyler” again for 2-3 months.

Ok, now that you know what CrossFit is you might ask yourself why on earth someone would try this.  Quite simply, it works, but I have to admit, it isn’t for everyone and so brings us to the point of this post, I’m giving CrossFit a go.  I started yesterday. First I should give you some background about me, I’m 6’3″ and 225lbs and not in great shape, not completely out of shape since I started running about 3 months ago, but I’m far from in shape too.  Cardio wise I’m starting to improve but when you’re a life long geek that hasn’t had much if any physical activity in 15 years, it takes a while to get back on the horse.  My road to better health started a few years ago, I was at 260lbs and had high cholesterol and HAD to do something about it, mostly through diet I dropped down to 225, lost 6″ from my waist and had my cholesterol under control in 6 months.  I noticed recently that I was starting to “fall off the horse” – My weight went up to 237, so I started to eat better again and started to run 3 months ago.  My goal is a weight of 205 and with CrossFit’s help maybe another 10lbs of muscle for a total of 215, I’m 6″3″ so I don’t want to be too skinny.  So yesterday I started with Crossfit.

Yesterday’s workout started with a “simple” warm up:

  1. Suicide
  2. 10 Sit-ups
  3. 10 Push-Ups
  4. 10-Pull-Ups

Do the above twice – That was the warm up, for someone not in the best of shape that isn’t just a simple warm-up.  After the Warm-up we moved onto some instruction on how to do a proper squat, it’s harder than it looks, and a push press (see this Youtube video for what a push press is).  We then moved onto Saturday’s WOD:

  1. Row 200m
  2. 10 x Front squat 65lbs
  3. 6 x Push Press 55lbs

5 Rounds of the above.

Honestly it doesn’t sound like much but I promise you no matter who you are it will KICK YOUR ASS.  Unfortunately I couldn’t finish the WOD, not because I ran out of steam, but rather due to previous injury, a series of breaks (5 of them) to my wrists and various parts of my hand from when I was younger.  Unfortunately the squat and push press involved weight on a bent wrist, something my wrists can’t handle.  I got through 2.5 rounds of the WOD and had to stop.  Does that mean I can’t do CrossFit?  Nope.  CrossFit is all about scalability, I spoke with the folks at SquareOne CrossFit and we discussed what I could do next time to get around my injuries.  We’re going to change the barbell in the push press for a pair of kettlebells which will allow me to do the press without needing to bend my wrist.  Likewise for the squat I can start by holding a medicine ball or some other substitute for the weights.  Scalability is one of the hallmarks of CrossFit and one of the reasons this works for young and old alike.

I have to admit even though I wasn’t able to complete the full workout I’m still feeling it like crazy the following day.  Interesting my previous experience with weights was quite different with muscles hurting in very specific areas – one day was upper body following day lower body – However with this CrossFit WOD I don’t just feel it in one muscle but just about EVERY muscle.  My quads, my abs, traps, glutes, and various other smaller muscle groups were all woken up like nothing I’ve ever felt.  Oh, and I FEAR the stairs today, my legs think I’m insane.  But it feels GOOD!

Will I stick with CrossFit?  It is too early to tell, it is VERY intense and I can tell you it certainly isn’t for everyone.  That said, I’m going to give it a fare shake and hopefully get rid of this extra 20lbs, and ideally put on that 10-15lbs of muscle in the process, if I decided it isn’t for me, I’ll always have my running.

Another post to come later in the week following my next WOD.