A Week in the USA

With 3 days in the US on business, I headed over to North Carolina expecting the opportunity to eat cleanly and train hard. After 9 hours on the the first flight and 90 mins on the second, there wasn’t a lot I could do on Monday but having eaten pretty well on the flight (‘spanish’ chicken), we went out for Thai where I had a really great red chicken curry with a touch of brown rice. On Tuesday, we were up early and that’s kind of when it all went wrong. It would appear that my US amigos don’t eat breakfast really. Further, they don’t break for lunch routinely and when they do, the US military see fit to serve them Subway, KFC, Wendy’s Taco Bell and other such shit. There is a central dining facility but the base is so far away that it becomes impractical to go there unless you just happen to be passing. It truly shocks and amazes me that there are so many of these franchises on a military base and that they are full to bursting at all times of the day. So, with that in mind, Monday breakfast was nothing more than a coffee and a ‘Clif’ Bar; ok, I do like the peanut butter crunch ones but even so….breakfast!!?? Lunch was a flat bread spicy chicken mess from Subway, not much better.

Feeling like crap, tired and somewhat gooey, I headed over to their High Intensity Tactical Training facility. It’s essentially a CrossFit gym but the US Military are not permitted to have ‘franchised’ fitness on their bases (it’s fine to have utter crap franchise ‘food’ though??). It is a top facility though with everything you could wish for. Two of us went over there to work specifically on Snatch work as well as get a small MetCon in. Videoing the Snatches (and sending to my own coach in New Jersey for his comments), we finished on a WOD of:

5 x Every Other Minute @ 60% of 1RM:

  • 1 x Power Snatch
  • 1 x Hang Snatch
  • 1 x Snatch
  • 1 x Overhead Squat

60% of my 1RM is approx 40kg / 90lbs but this was far too easy. I really should have used a minimum of 45kg, perhaps even 47.5kg. Leaving the facility, I felt that an opportunity had been wasted although I was pleased to see that my Snatch technique is infinitely better than it has been of late. Indeed, remember a few weeks ago and my poor 1RM 60kg Snatches? I threw 60kg up in to a great full depth Snatch without a care and was content.

On Tues night, I was on my own and had the leftovers of the previous night’s Thai. This was a delicious rack of BBQ ribs and a big plate of salad in front of Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows.

On Wed, the same happened for breakfast; a goddamn Powerbar! How the hell is the US military even functioning? Still, I knew I would be getting a good workout in that night as I was staying with a  fellow CF Level 1 who runs his own little outfit called CapeFit. In honour of my attendance, he created a lovely little ‘birthday’ WOD based on the signing of the declaration of independence, 3rd Sept 1783 in Paris. Before we got to that, the strength portion was a pretty neat set of:

5 Rounds of:

  • 1 x Press (Strict) @ 70kg
  • 1 x Push Press @ 70kg
  • 1 x Push Jerk @ 70kg
  • Max Effort Toes to Bar

I was pleased with this. 70kg is a nice weight to be doing this with actually and made me work. The Toes 2 Bar recorded at 15 / 10 / 8 / 8 / 6 although the final round could probably have been 7 or 8 if I had pushed myself. It was more about the weight on the bar though.

The WOD itself was a partner workout; Matt H joined me which worked out pretty well as the 2 associated commanders.

5 Rounds (Each) For Time:

  • 3 x Deadlift (260lbs)
  • 9 x Box Jumps (20″)
  • 17 x Kettlebell Swings (20kg)


  • 83 x Burpees between partners to finish

I thoroughly enjoyed this one in a top little facility in North Carolina. This was swiftly followed by fantastic deliciousness in a plate of pulled pork, broccoli and sweet potato fries. oh, and a bottle or two of Sam Adams. Outstanding.

On Thursday (after coffee, a protein shake and an apple for breakfast) it was all about packing up and heading back to Blighty but there was time for a stop off in the HITT centre again. This time I wanted to redo some benchmark speed work on the rower. I’ve been meaning to do it for some time and I was glad I did.

5 x Row 100m (1min Rest between Rounds)

17.8 / 17.5 / 17.7 / 17.5 / 17.7

Previous best was 18 secs and although this isn’t exactly setting major records, it still gets me back on the board.

1 x Row 250m

Previous best was 47 secs. New PR of 44.7! Very pleased with this; I reckon I could have shaved more off that and will redo it son enough.

Death By Thrusters @ 135lb (60kg)

Total: 31 Reps

I have not done this one before and I wanted to do a benchmark Thruster / Double Under WOD. However, the speed ropes in there have seen better days and were also far too short for a regular male adult. For those not familiar with the “Death By”, this is where you conduct 1 x rep on the first min, 2 on the second, 3 on the third and so on. Using 60kg made this a strength endurance workout and I made it in to the 8th minute. For the remainder of my time in there, I worked quite a few muscle ups and 30′ rope climbs too.

As I say, from then it was off to the airport (via Toys R Us) for wait for the flight back to the UK. Once again, it was dog-shit dinner time with a quite terrible ‘brisket’ and fries. The meal at the second airport wasn’t much better although I chose a chinese meal and avoided the rice. Understand here that I tried to make the best choices I could with the food but for this whole week it has been nigh-on impossible. The amount of junk that is not just available but is ‘enforced’ as the only option is astounding.

Still, I managed to get some PT in throughout the week and have set some new records in the process; we shall see if I am dragged off of the 65th percentile on Monday morning.


1 Comment

  1. Pingback: A Week in the USA - Reynolds Performance Club

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