Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday - Woot Woot! 3/25

My Day
Today I got to go into Mason's school for his Patriot play today and I didn't wake up too sore. Win win! One of my big goals for the day is to not stress about maxing out my front squat. It's just another lift, another day, another movement that I can do. I know I'm stronger than the last time I did it, so that's that. I WILL be fine. Got a sitter for the last Open workout 15.5. I don't like bringing the boys if there are barbell movements that they could get in the way of. They like going to cheer, play in the giant tire, and see people.....just not always safe. Did the workout at home today, still a little sore from earlier this week. I did not stress about the front squat, almost to a fault. I just didn't have my head in it. Probably should not have done it, but I did. Fail video is on Instagram @alhardman No shame in posting fails, that's how we learn. Gonna focus on lighter weights and building my front squat confidence. That's a thing. Front. Squat. Confidence.

Boys actually got a bath tonight too! I'm the best mom around!

My Food
Breakfast: 2 eggs, Lite Latte from Dunkin - oh, and  Cronut #treatyoself
Snack: Ostrim stick, tons of water
Lunch: 3 patty burger from Elevation Burger. No bun. Duh
Dinner: trying to figure out what I want....meat and veggies


1 rep max front squat (previous is 175#)
failed at 180# rough stuff

ring dips - banded
deadlifts (125#)
Lateral Barbell Burpees
pushed hard for 8:30

Did a 1K sprint row and PR'd by 26 seconds! 4:14. Whahoooooo

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Terrific Tuesday 3/24

My Day
Woke up a little sore. Stupid run yesterday, amazing how just over a mile of hilly jogging (yep, jogging) can make me so sore. I need to get back into running shape. Right on cue Holly asked if we could do Crain today. You run after each that happened. We did 1/2 the workout (supposed to be 2 rounds) and did it at the home gym. I love going to the box, but the home gym allows me more time with family and the boys get to see first hand what I'm up to. It was a ton of fun and we got some good hard work in. My quads feel like jello and I love it!

My Food
Breakfast: eggs, Swiss cheese, mint tea
Snack: chicken salad with nuts
Lunch: barbacoa beef with broccoli
Snack: coffee, Ostrim stick
Dinner: spaghetti squash with Italian sausage

Crain (2 rounds, we did 1)
34 Push-ups Run, 50 yd 34 Deadlifts, 95 lbs Run, 50 yd 34 Box Jump (20 In.)s Run, 50 yd 34 Clean & Jerks, 65 lbs Run, 50 yd 34 Burpees Run, 50 yd 34 Wall Balls, 20 lbs Run, 50 yd 34 Pull-ups no tears!!!! Run, 50 yd
29:00 with my partner in crime Holly. You know a workout sucks when the run is the "break". No chub rub though. thank you very much!

Manic Monday 3/23/15

Woke up with a head cold/allergy thing. Great. Moving through the morning a little slow. Made it through the work day and then got my hair did. LOVE when I get a trim and some color....feels like SPRING! Got the kids from school and then took them to Nana and PopPop's house for dinner while Sam and I work out. That's our Monday routine, the boys go to my In Laws. They help cook dinner, they hang out, they play's great and I love that they have that time with them. We come back from the workout and all eat dinner together. Perfect.

I even got a visit from my favorite 5 week old!

Breakfast: 2eggs, 3 sausages, mint tea - everyday. It's easy, yummy, and quick!
Snack: Ostrim Stick: pepper flavor
Lunch: chicken salad (homemade) with craisins, walnuts, celery
Snack: Barbacoa beef (homemade) with sour cream and tomatoes. Really wanted Guac.....but container was busted and it went bad!!!
Dinner: Hard boiled eggs, swiss cheese, salami, and broccoli

Monday WOD:

Thruster 3RM *from racks
my last 3rm was 123#. I hit 115# easy and went for 130#. I only got 1....but that's a new 1RM!

Image result for thruster
I'm sure I looked just like this

12 Thrusters (75/55)
12 Box Jumps(24/20)
12 Pistols (6l/6r)
3 rounds plus 16 RX

Again, I looked JUST like this

Afterwards I went on a 13 minute jog with my partner in crime Holly.

Every. Single. Time.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

5K - oh, you are serious?

The weekend started off with a bang! I got home from work mentally exhausted, but was met with a Tequilla shot (thanks Sam!) and a package from Afrobrutality! Syn sent 2 pounds of coffee (black cocaine yumminess), a new tank, and a banner for the home gym (Apt.3B).


Stepping up the garage gym!

Friday night was 15.4 and my mom and bro came to cheer me on. I did the scaled version (123 reps) of push press and cleans (65#/75#). The weight was not heavy for me, which meant I needed to move fast and keep moving. I was pretty proud of my effort and super happy to sport my new Afrobrutality tank.

15.4 fun at Crossfit Annandale

Saturday was an early morning of get up, get dressed, and go! The boys school was doing a Fun Run and they NEEDED to sign up. Last year we didn't do it - it was the same day as my son M's birthday party - and apparently it was social suicide not being there. Sorry dudes. This year I signed us up....somehow Sam managed to get out of it.

Numbers on and ready!

We had to do 4 laps around the school and through the neighborhood. Lots and lots of hills. Turns out that they were serious too - this was a real deal 5K. We jogged most of the first lap, then took the approach of jog the flat and walk the hills. The boys did great, but 3 miles was a lot for them. Today they are both walking around like old men....I might be a LITTLE sore too!

Finish line fun!
Saturday was a beautiful day and Perry loved sunbathing. Doors and windows were open, laundry and spring cleaning were in full force.


Ribs for dinner!

Week 2 of meal planning went well. Eggs, pork, asparagus, sausage, fish, sweet potatoes, swiss cheese, Ostrim sticks (yum!). Sunday is prep day for the week so today I will make a list, hit up the grocery store, prep my food and watch Walking Dead (duh). 

Smoked Salmon for Sunday Breakfast


With a running clock, every minute perform 1 lift and add 10 lb.  Start with an empty barbell and snatch for as long as possible. Once you cannot snatch the weight, clean for as long as possible. Once you cannot clean the weight, deadlift for as long as possible. 
Power Snatch 103#
Power Clean 143#
Deadlift 273#

I loved this workout, but I felt it for a few days afterwards. I got to lift with my partner in crime too!

I love getting to lift with my girls

Worked out at the home gym today to spend some extra time with the family. 
Strict Press: Sets
Strict Press, 5 reps | 45 lbs Strict Press, 5 reps | 45 lbs Strict Press, 4 reps | 55 lbs

Push Press: Sets Push Press, 5 reps | 45 lbs Push Press, 5 reps | 55 lbs Push Press, 5 reps | 65 lbs Push Press, 2 reps | 75 lbs Push Press, 2 reps | 85 lbs Push Press, 2 reps | 95 lbs Push Press, 1 rep | 105 lbs Push Press, 1 rep | 115 lbs Push Press, 1 rep | 125 lbs

Sets Front Squat, 5 reps | 45 lbs Front Squat, 5 reps | 95 lbs Front Squat, 3 reps | 115 lbs Front Squat, 2 reps | 135 lbs Front Squat, 1 rep | 155 lbs

Fran - what a B. This was a going away WOD for friends, they picked it, I just tried to live through it
21-15-9 reps of: Thruster, 65 lbs Pull-ups
7:15 a PR by 2:03!!!!! Still need to get my pull-ups stronger, was only stringing 2-3 together consistently. PROGRESS!

Thursday: Rest

8:00 AMRAP: 10 Push Press, 65 lbs 10 Cleans, 75 lbs
I tried to rest as little as possible. Completed 6 rounds plus 3 push presses for 123 reps. 

The dreaded 5K. No timer.....perhaps on purpose? :)

Workout general soreness and get ready to hit the weights Monday!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Man behind Afrobrutality

 Syn Martinez is the man behind Afrobrutality, Afrobrewtality, and Afrobrutality Radio . He is a social media ninja, designing master, brutal programmer, and all around cool guy. First thing I do in the morning is check his Instagram (@afrobrutaliy) - his designs are sick and he pairs them with some great print ("Believe in your fucking self" is one of my faves).

I have felt like a stalker getting ready for this post, researching Syn, listening to pod casts on Squats and Espresso ( here and here), reading articles, looking at pictures, and going back through his Instagram. Learning more about who he is, and how Afrobrutality came to be, has been inspiring. He works hard, believes in himself, and surrounds himself with great people.

Back in the early 2000's Syn was working from home, eating McDonald's for breakfast, Chinese food for lunch, and watching a lot of movies. Fast forward 115ish pounds and a wake up call workout with his crew, and he knew he needed to make a change. He worked out with his crew, ran some 1/2 marathons, lost 120ish pounds, and got into triathlons. In 2007 he organized a group to compete in the Urbanathalon in NYC and designed their shirts. They were a hit.

Syn learned about CrossFit after a Nike Sparq competition in 2007 and ended up doing the Mainsite WODs for all of 2008. That's when he noticed the training programs, the Level 1 Certs, and the affiliates on the side of the website. There were two established CrossFit gyms in NYC: CF South Brooklyn and Crossfit NYC. He was invited to his first Fight Gone Bad at CF South Brooklyn in 2008 and then did workouts with his crew where they could find the space. Pretty soon his crew was being invited to more competitions in the tri-state area as Crossfit Harlem. They walked in and ruined your day. They were monsters.


Syn's goal with his programming is to create monsters. He loves barbell chippers, running (remember he was triathlon trained), and heavy barbells. His programming is meant to piss you off and get the best out of you. He is a brutal coach because he cares. He's not going to let you lift 65 pounds for 6 months, he is going to push you. His goal is "to help the average individual feel like they could go to the games tomorrow".

I was introduced to Syn through boy Phil (@mrbillup500). He started following Syn and Afrobrutality awhile back. Phil even got tatoo advice from Syn at one point (I'm telling you, this guy knows EVERYTHING). We met face to face at GMU for the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Regionals where he was selling Afrobrutality gear. I got two tank tops and instantly needed more. I went home and ordered more online - tough to choose though since I dig most of his designs. Syn also supported Phil's journey to Nationals in Colorado by donating to his travel/meet fund.

Over the next few months I started following Aftrobrutality on Instagram. We became friends on Facebook - sorry folks, Facebook says he has maxed out his friends. I was instantly hooked. He interacts daily with his fans and he constantly posts really dope designs. I sent him messages here and there and he always responded, which was cool cause he is one busy guy. I just wanted him to know I appreciated what he was doing and what he stood for. After staying in touch for a few months I reached out and talked to Syn about becoming "The People's Athlete" for Afrobrutality. He wants to help the average athlete. That's me, average athlete. My goal is to lead by example and show the average person that you can do this too. You can make time for yourself, you can lift heavy ass shit, you can be fast, you can do a pull up, and you can be bad ass. He was on board!  Little while later I let him know I would be in New York and maybe we could meet up. His response? Sent me his cell#, stayed in touch the whole day, and he set up dinner for my family with some of his crew and Skully the Pitt. Not only did he set up dinner, he shut down SpaHa Soul (a great soul food restaurant) in East Harlem so we could have the place to ourselves! Syn means business, if you are loyal to him, he is loyal to you. I felt like royalty, I have not met many people that would go out of their way to make all that happen. Next time we are in NYC (travel plans in the works) he has promised to take us to the best pizza spot ever - I'm not telling you where though. Top Secret.

He did the design for The Outlaw Way singlets - you can check that out here.

He designed for Bob Harper.

Bob and his boys

Kevin and Matt reppin their Brutality gear.

Kevin Ogar and Matt Hathcock

So we got to chatting the other day and got a some more information for your reading pleasure.
When and how did you get involved in CrossFit/weight lifting?

I've been lifting weights since I was in 13 years old at school and I was able to maintain that until I moved to Harlem in 1996.
How did Afrobrutality come about?

When I was doing Triathlons and during my off season in 2007 I found a Competition in Midtown call Nike Sparq Testing, so I entered. The competition was based on measurements how high could you jump, how fast could you run from side to side and how long could you maintain a runners pace. Based on my Scores and my Age at the time (36) I came in First place. When it was over we were all sitting around talking about what we did to prepare for the Competition and a guy named David Lipson (Camille's now Husband) said "CrossFit" and another guy said "GymJones" so I went home and researched both and decided on "CrossFit".
Where was the first box you went to?

At first I just followed Main Site ( and did the workouts with my Crew, then one day I realized that on the right hand side of the page there were two things "Affiliates" and Level 1's. So I first went to CrossFit NYC when they were on 39 between 5th and 6th Ave, it was very small, I couldn't find a parking space and I decided to not go in. The Second place I went to was CrossFit Virtuosity at the time Keith (the Owner at the Time) was using a Dance Studio and it was all Body Weight stuff and one set of rings, no barbells, and the Third place was CrossFit South Brooklyn which was near my job at the time. It was the first actual CrossFit gym I went to and the first person I met was Jacinto (three time Games competitor and oldest ever to compete at The Games).
Ok. Fun one: 3 things you would take if stranded on an island?

Barbell, weights, my lady
Crossfit South Brooklyn. How long were you there before you knew this was for you?

I was never a member of any CrossFit but my own. In 2007 when I ran came across I knew immediately it was for me.

Afrobrutality started out of your trunk....what made you decide to start that line?

I was thinking of a good CrossFit affiliate name and something to call me and my crew at CrossFit competitions. At every CrossFit competition we were called CrossFit Harlem so we decided that would be our name. So when I thought about how the first CrossFit Harlem shirt would look I knew it needed to be a symbol that I always wanted make which was Huge Afro, a Skull and an Afro pic with a middle finger coming out of it.

The first shirt just had CrossFit Harlem on the front and the Skull on the back, so I sent it around and everyone said the Skull has to be on the front. So in my mind I said if I do that what would I put on the back. I had a few names, AfroArmageddon, AfroTerminator but I remember two things, one is when I started posting workouts on FaceBook they were all called Brutal, and the more dominate part of the logo is the Afro so AfroBrutal hmmm how about AfroBrutality and Boom.

Another fun one: most embarrassing song you love?

I grew up with Soft Rock so I have an entire embarrassing playlist. Abba. Barry Manilo.
You are a social media ninja. How do you stay on top of it all?

It's not easy I can tell you. I started with Facebook in 2009 and just took it slow. I was the first CrossFit affiliate with a Facebook page and from there I just kept up work the with the Trends. It takes being anal about staying on top of it. Making sure you have the right notifications and always make sure your telling your story.

What's a typical day look like for you?

5am Instagram catch up
 9am AfroBrutality post 
9:15am-10am emails and text messages 
10am-5pm Designing for myself and others
 1pm AfroBrutality post 
 9:15am-9pm InstaGram, FaceBook and Twitter posts 
8-9pm get the supplies for "Our Routine"
 9pm AfroBrutality post
 9pm-11pm "Our Routine"

What's your favorite cup of coffee? Sugar, cream, black.......


Sometime MCT Oil and Ghee butter

Do have have fitness goals for yourself now? Deadlift a certain weight, do a competition, run marathon?

I just want to workout three times a week. Since I closed the gym it's been hard to workout regularly
Any desire to open another one?

Not by myself.

Are you programming for gyms now?

Yeah, I program one day a week
For how many gyms?
And are you looking to expand that? Or is one day cool for you?

Always looking to expand. 5 gyms so far
What happened that you branched out into radio, coffee........stuff you love? How did you decide "I need more work"?

Just replacing the energy I put into the gym into dreams I've had in the past.
Any other big dreams coming?

The radio thing will be big. I've got some ideas for a total weightlifting gym and coffee shop. I just need a good team and some Capitol.

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