Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wimp to Spartan Transformation: The Elixir of Life and Hollow Rock Failure

Spartan Crossfit Wimp to Spartan 14 from Peter Murphy on Vimeo.

Okay-- let me tell you that I tried to cut sugar, alcohol and caffeine out of my diet for 2 weeks.  When we filmed this video, it was the first day of this "cleanse."  THAT was why I looked like a Dementor from Harry Potter without its scary robe and giant tapeworm mouth.  Post-filming, I succeeded with the sugar and caffeine, but not so much with the alcohol.  You see, I consider Red Wine to be a) worthy of capitalization and b) its own food group.  I suffer from a questionably Italian superstition: one glass of red a day keeps the co-pay away.  Or perhaps it's not a superstition; perhaps it's fact!  I found the following passage on the most reliable known source available to mankind, Wikipedia:

In 2006, Italian scientists obtained the first positive result of Resveratrol supplementation in a vertebrate (MSCAN = VERTEBRATE!).  Using a short-lived fish, Nothobranchius Furzeri (MSCAN = SWIMMER!), with a median life span of nine weeks, they found a maximal dose of Resveratrol increased the median lifespan by 56% (MSCAN = WILL LIVE LONG TIME!).  Compared with the control fish at nine weeks, that is by the end of control fish's life, the fish supplemented with Resveratrol showed significantly higher general swimming activity and better learning to avoid an unpleasant stimulus.

You know what Resveratrol is in? Red wine.  Wikipedia continues, "It attracted wider attention only in 1992, when it's presence in wine was suggested as the explanation for cardioprotective effects of wine."  MomScan (my mother) and GrammyD'Ag (my Grammy) made those suggestions... I'm sure of it.

Anyway, after a day of giving up caffeine (I'm not so much addicted to coffee as I LOVE the taste of a good cup o' Joe) I had a pounding headache.  I thought I would never make it through the workout.  Generally, I fear for people when I'm that much of a crankypants, but as I've said before, Shane's biceps are the size of my head, so I wasn't about to actually mess with him.  I began the workout.

The torture was pretty standard with ring rows and burpee lunges... but then there were hollow rocks.  For those of you who don't know what a hollow is, I wish I could say "Look at the video and you'll figure it out."  I cannot do that for you.  I do them incorrectly.  The correct way to do them is to engage one's core so forcefully that one can rock back and forth on one's back without having to move arms and legs.  The arms are supposed to be in a streamline position with the biceps by the ears, and for beginners, there should be a 90 degree bend at the knees.  One is NOT supposed to use one's arms to propel oneself (isn't the use of "one" instead of "you" pretentious and obnoxious?).  I did.  I look like an up-side-down, broken rocking horse.  So that was the warm-up.

The came the FRAN.  More sandbag babay!  I love this workout: it's difficult, and when I'm doing the sandbag portion, I look like such a badass.  Or rather, at least I think I do.  Doing the pull-ups got difficult after the cleans, a) because the sandbag was exhausting my arms, and b) because those bands provided less aid than their green predecessors.  Having said that, however, the pull-ups were not as excruciatingly difficult as I had anticipated.  That was a serious confidence boost.  I could tell I was getting stronger and that gave me the determination I needed to overcome the headache and muscle fatigue.  


  1. Based on your obvious research skills and data interpretation in this post, I just don't understand why you are not a scientist!

  2. Thanks! I hope you're enjoying the blog so far!