F45 – Dubai Marina

I got an hour long deep tissue massage last night and boy did I need it. My shoulders are all knotted up and my calves hurt so good when she worked on them. I really need to find a masseuse back home again. Up at 4:40 again this morning, but I was in bed by 10:30.

I noticed there was an F45 gym right around the corner from the apartment, so I figured I’d check it out, especially since they give one free class. I went to the 8am class.

They did a quick demo of the movements (though they are all on TVs) and then a very short warm-up that was maybe three minutes long.

Today is one of their cardio days and the workout was titled “Empire.”

Empire will have you sweating it out in a team training style, combo-set cardio workout.

  • Empire consists of six combo stations and can accommodate 36 members.
  • This workout follows a racetrack-style movement system. Members move in numerical order through all six combo stations. For example, stations 1a & 1b move to station 2a & 2b, stations 2a & 2b move to station 3a & 3b, stations 3a & 3b move to station 4a & 4b. Members complete one combo set at each station and three laps through the room.
  • The timing is 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest. There is a 50-second hydration break after each completed lap.

In was essentially a FGB workout with 12 stations. Work for 45 seconds and you have 15 seconds for transition. After each cycle through the room, you get a longer 50 second rest.

  • 1A: Row
  • 1B: Holding a slam ball (15kg) do 4 side skaters, slam it, and do a burpee on it
  • 2A: Box Jumps (12″)
  • 2B: Inch worm + 10 Mountain Climbers
  • 3A: Holding a sledge hammer upright in front of you do 4 twists, raise it overhead, and do 2 reverse lunges.
  • 3B: Skipping in place clap hands under the leg that is up
  • 4A: Standing spin bike
  • 4B: Step-up with explosive knee raise (24″)
  • 5A: Holding on to the front of a bench, hop your legs over back and forth.
  • 5B: In a squat keep alternating reverse lunges
  • 6A: Plank hold + feet spread on sliders
  • 6B: Jingle Jangles

I would say it did the trick as a cardio day. I noticed right away that all of the rowers were set to a 10 and the demo video guy didn’t even know how to row!


Checking out of the Airbnb today and transferring to the hotel for the work part of the trip. I was able to hit the fitness center in the hotel and do my back rehab work.

Ten Without a Problem

My biceps and lats are sore from yesterday. Out in the garage during lunch.

Year of the Engine – Polarized

45:00 Airdyne
** Endurance with 7s sprint @ 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42

I did 1,240 calories and 26.26 km on my AD2.


That wraps up the second phase (polarization) of the program. I really enjoyed the polarized workouts and am glad to see some of them continue in the next phase. I made it through the first 24 weeks of the program and can’t wait to see what progress comes during the next phase.

Went to the 4pm class.


  • 3 Sets
    • 10 Reverse Hypers (160#)
  • 400m Run
  • 2 Rounds
    • 10 PVC Good Mornings
    • 10 Lunges
    • 5 Ring Rows
    • 5 Inch Worms

Strength & Gymnastics


  • 10×45#
  • 10×115
  • 10×165
  • 10×195

3×10 Bar Muscle-ups

After the dumbbell snatches and box jumps my back was tight from yesterday, so definitely wasn’t pushing deadlifts today. There was an option to do muscle-ups in between sets, so I focused on those instead. I’ve never tried more than 6 before so it seemed like a good day to go for it. I got three unbroken sets of 10 without a problem, which in my new max set. I bet I can get 15+.


  • 2 Rounds
    • 20 cal Assault Bike
    • 20 cal Row
    • 20 Front Rack Lunges (115#)
  • 15 cal Assault Bike
  • 15 cal Row
  • 10 Front Rack Lunges (135#)
  • 15 cal Echo Bike
  • 15 cal Row
  • 10 Front Rack Lunges (135#)

So in reality it was 2 rounds of the second part as well, but the Assault bike was in use when I got there so I finished out on the Echo. Looks like the Echo knocks out the calories quicker. Noted for future workouts! I started out hotter on the first row and was able to keep over a 1,200 cal/hr pace on them all and pushed that last one extra to give myself time to finish under the 15:00 cap. Barely got it, in 14:59! I never dropped the bar during any of the lunge sets.

Double the Run

My abs are still sore and my back is a little tight. I’ve had a bit of a throat tickle and some hacking the last two days. Not sure where that came from. Out in the garage around 11am.

Year of the Engine – Polarized

39:00 Airdyne

** Endurance with 7s sprint @ 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36

I was able to keep a significantly better pace than I did for the 36 minute rides. Did 1,111 calories and 24.16 km. Later I went to the 4pm class.


  • 3×10 Reverse Hypers (160#)
  • 400m Run
  • 2 Rounds
    • 10 PVC Passes
    • 8 Goblet Squats (40# DB)
    • 4 Inch Worms


Front Squat

  • 5×45#
  • 5×95
  • 5×135
  • 4x5x155

Single Leg KB Deadlift

5x 10/10 (53#)

My back is pretty tight from the lifting yesterday so I didn’t want to push it on the squats. The deadlifts were done in between squat sets.


15:00 AMRAP

  • 21 Wall Balls (20#, 10′)
  • 400m Run
  • 9 Sumo KB Deadlifts (88#)

I did every round of wall balls unbroken. I don’t know what I was thinking going out on the 400 meter course, but as soon as I hit the turn-around point I realized my mistake. Should have only been running 200s, but after one I already committed and stuck with it. The workout was programmed as 15 calories on the rower, but some of us ran since it was a packed house. I also modified from the 225# deadlifts. Finished 4 rounds plus 2 wall balls.

Looking back at my heart rate in WHOOP, it would get up during the wall balls and then it would drop on the run. I need to get better at pushing the runs in stuff like this with a higher heart rate because it was only around 130-135 which is more of what you’d want to see for endurance running.

T2B to Plan

My quads are still sore and my back is a little tight from yesterday. Out in the garage at 11 to get on the bike while watching a company townhall. Figured I might as well use the time to do something while I was listening.


Year of the Engine – Polarized

36:00 Airdyne

** Endurance with 7s sprint @ 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30

I missed out on both of the 33 minute polarized workouts due to the FireWod substitutions last week while on vacation. This was the first time doing six sprints. It completes week 8 of the Polarization phase and week 20 overall.

I racked up 1,042 calories and 21.5 km. That felt really good after not using the Airdyne in over 2 weeks. Went to the 4pm class.


3 Rounds

  • 20 Double Unders
  • 10 Good Mornings (45#)
  • 10 Walking Lunges
  • 4 Inch Worms



  • 10×45#
  • 5×125
  • 5×155
  • 5×185
  • 5×215
  • 5×245
  • 5×265
  • 5×285
  • 5×310

Used a neutral grip throughout and no belt. Felt ok. Not used to lifting weight like this.


15:00 AMRAP

  • 30 Double Unders
  • 15 Wall Balls (20#, 10′)
  • 30 Double Unders
  • 15 Toes to Bars

I’ve done something similar twice before on this programming, but with pull-ups instead of T2B. Some people said they’ve done it with T2B, so I must not have gone on those days. I was close to 6 rounds on my last attempt with the pull-ups, so I was hoping to get in that ballpark. I hadn’t done a double under in about 6 weeks, since the calf injury, so this was going to be a test. My goals were to limit misses with the rope and do 8-7 T2B each round, which I knew would be the big challenge. Would have liked fewer misses with the rope, but I’ll take it after such a long break. It was a success on the bar and I’m loving the Bear KompleX Black Diamond grips, which I haven’t even had to chalk up yet! Got through 5 rounds, dubs, wall balls, and dubs for 5+75.

All Legs

My hamstrings and triceps and still pretty sore from Sunday. Maybe I shouldn’t have done those extra 300 air squats that night. Took some extra rest today since tempo back squats were on the menu and hit up the 5:15pm class.


  • 500m Row
  • 3/3 World’s Greatest Stretch
  • 2 Rounds
    • 10 Inch Worms
    • 10 Leg Swings (F-B, S-S, each leg)
    • 10 Flamingos (each leg)


5×5 Back Squats with 3-2-X-1 Tempo

These are never easy. Entirely different ball game from regular squats. I focused on good form through each rep and keeping everything tight by holding my breath until the ascent out of the hole. Used 135#, 165#, 185#, 205#, and 215#. Don’t think I could have gone heavier either. Felt solid in my lifts even though it’s nowhere near the 255# I used for a normal 5 reps recently.


  • 20 Hang Power Cleans (155#)
  • 30 Box Jumps (30″)
  • 40 OH Weighted Walking Lunges (45# plate)
  • 50 Wall Balls (20#, 10′ target)

Phew! I went 10-5-5 on the cleans, unbroken 30 on the box jumps (but not rebounding), 17-15-8 on the lunges, and 5 sets of 10 for wall balls. Finished in 9:06, one of the top Rx times of the day, but am pissed at myself for the finish. I know my wall balls are a weakness and I pussed out by doing sets of 10. I should have pushed harder for bigger sets, especially starting out.


So to punish myself and get in some extra work, I strapped on the 20# weight vest when I got home and did 100 unbroken weighted air squats. They were pretty ugly since my legs were fried, but I did them. Took me 2:29.

4 Hundy? So What!

Feeling pretty damn good today considering it’s day 2 after the Spartan Race and the heavy squatting we did yesterday. Went in for the 5:15pm again so my legs could rest.


  • 400m Run
  • 4 World’s Greatest Stretch (each side)
  • 4 Inch Worms
  • 10 Scorpions (each side)
  • 10 Flamingos (each side)

Scorpions were a new move for me. You lay on your stomach with arms straight out to the sides like you are forming a T. Take your leg behind you and over the other leg to tap the ground on the other side with your toes. Nice stretch.


5 Sets

  • 3-5 Deadlifts
  • 5-7 GHR
  • 2m Rest

More supersetting today! My first time doing GHRs too. I was excited when I saw deadlifts were on the menu. I hit 375# for 5 reps a couple of weeks ago, so I wanted to demolish that today. Set out with a plan and nailed it. I warmed up with 5 reps at 135# and then for my working sets went 225#, 275#, 315#, 365#, and 405#, hitting each one for 5 reps. Didn’t have too much trouble with the 405# either. At the end of December I hit that weight for 2 reps and then lost my grip. No issues today. Sets me up for a big PR next time we go for a 1RM since my old one is only 415#. I did 5 reps of GHRs each set on the GHD.


5 Rounds

  • 3:00 AMRAP
    • 3 C2B Pull-ups
    • 6 American KBS (70# KB)
    • 9 Box Jumps (24″)
  • 1m Rest

There were a lot of people in class so we had to stagger and spread out all of the equipment, which slowed us down some. I started with box jumps and got exactly 3 rounds during each 3 minute round, pretty much sticking just under 1 minute per round. I had 5-10 seconds left on the clock at the end of each 3 minutes, but the KB was too far away from the box to make a run for it just to get one rep. I did all of the C2B pull-ups unbroken and this was the first time doing a bunch of American swings with the 70# KB. 15 total rounds in one hell of a good WOD.

We Are Spartans!

Yesterday I did a 4.7 mile Spartan Race with a group from CrossFit Full Strength. It was a lot of fun and we all did really well. I was 13th in my age group and 70th overall for men on the day, both in the top 10%, with a time of 1:08:01. After going out for food and drinks I was exhausted and slept over 10 hours last night. Was feeling a little tired this morning, but not too bad other than my hips are really tight. Let myself recover some more and went in for the 5:15pm class.



2 Rounds

  • 500m Row
  • 3 World’s Greatest Stretch (each leg)
  • 5 Inch Worms
  • 10 Leg Swings (F2B and S2S, each leg)


5 Sets

  • 2-4 Front Squats
  • 3-5 Back Squats
  • 2m Rest

Holy shit! Super setting front squats with back squats is the toughest squat strength day I’ve ever done. I nearly passed out during the last 3 sets and was sweating more than I did from WOD.

Weight Front Squats Back Squats
135# 4 5
165# 4 5
195# 4 5
225# 3 3
255# 2 5

I had a plan going in to get to 255# by going up 30# each set. It’s always nice when that works out! I hit 255# for a front squat 2RM last week and for a back squat 5RM the week before. Could I do them back-to-back though? Hell yeah! I don’t think I could have gotten another rep at each one. I did take it a little easy on my reps in the 4th set, but I’m ok with that since it allowed me to get heavy and I still hit the minimum reps. Thrilled with this after an exhausting day yesterday. Walking for the next few days might be tough.


2 Rounds

  • 50 Push-ups
  • 100 DU
  • 75 AbMat Sit-ups

I ordered the SR-1 Speed Rope from Rogue, which came in on Friday. Tried it out for the first time today in this WOD. Damn it’s a heavy rope! I could really feel the fatigue from it. The handles are awesome, but I might swap out the extra wire that came with the Again Faster Revolution rope. Push-ups were by far the most difficult part of this for me (which I expected), but the last 50 sit-ups were pretty brutal and got slow, but I managed to do all of the sit-ups unbroken in both rounds. My time was 12:17.

Easy Like a Sunday Morning

Feeling great after a solid night’s rest and taking it easy all day yesterday.


5 Rounds

  • 1m MB Cleans (20# MB)
  • 1m Inch Worms
  • 1m Jump Rope
  • 1m Figure 8s (20# KB, 25# KB in round 5)
  • 1m Hand-to-hand KBS (39# KB)
  • 1m Rest

The goal is to keep a decent pace, but not any real high intensity. It was easy.


7 Rounds

  • 24 OH Lunges (20# MB, 12 each leg)
  • 10 Burpees
  • 8 T2B

I really enjoyed this one. It was a WOD where I could go-go-go. Holding the medicine ball overhead was the toughest part of this. In rounds 3 and 4 I split up the lunges into 16 and 8. Other than that, everything was unbroken. I did take a few second breather in between each round as I moved a popsicle stick for counting. Finished in 14:48.

Kevin’s First Class

Went out to the Michigan Tap Room at Stardust last night with some of the Survival Fitness crew. Not feeling the greatest today because of the beer, but I hoped a workout would fix that. Kevin was doing the programming and teaching, so wanted to support him as well. Went in for the 11am.


3 Rounds

  • 50 Russian Twists (30# KB)
  • 40 Bicycles
  • 30s Plank
  • 20 AbMat Sit-ups
  • 10 Inch Worms

Took between 14 and 15 minutes for me to finish this off. Good work for the midline.


3 Rounds

  • 1m Russian KBS (53#)
  • 1m Over the Shoulder Sandbags
  • 1m Wall Balls (20# MB, 10′ target)
  • 1m Thrusters (75#)
  • 1m Jingle Jangles
  • 1m Rest

This was a good Fight Gone Bad style WOD. My rep counts for each round were 107, 111, and 107 for a 325 total. Staying consistent is a key in a WOD like this. The bulk of my reps came in the KBS and jingle jangles, with thrusters definitely having the lowest counts.


Death by Pull-ups (by 2s)

I finished the round of 16 and then got 17 of 18. Total of 89 pull-ups. Last time doing a “death by” for pull-ups was back in May by 3s and I got through the round of 15, which was a total of 45, so that’s quite an improvement. Really happy with how far my pull-ups have come.

Bring Some More

After not getting a ton of sleep for a few nights in a row, I finally got to bed early enough for a solid rest. My legs are sore from the 4 mile run and walking 18 holes of golf yesterday, so I went to a night class at 4:15p today.


5 rounds

  • 20s Mountain Climbers
  • 20s Air Squats (low and slow)
  • 20s Inch Worm

A nice little warm-up to get the blood flowing.

WOD #1

5 rounds

  • 21 KBS
  • 15 HR Push-ups
  • 9 T2B

I used a 55# KB for the swings. I’m starting to get a better kip with the T2B, but have a hard time getting it started without a big swing after the first rep. I think the max I could get in a row was 5 before my grip started to fail. I finished in 12:21.

WOD #2


  • Star Jumps
  • Sit-ups

Compared to jumping jacks, star jumps are on a completely different level. I was able to do all rounds of sit-ups unbroken. Finished in 8:16.


5×5 Deadlift

There was still time left in class, so some of us started on some deadlifts. We actually ended up doing 6 sets. The weights were 135#, 225#, 265#, 285#, 290#, and 300#. Felt pretty good, especially considering I set my 1 rep max at 315# a few weeks ago.

That may be the most work I’ve done in one workout, but I felt great today and absolutely killed it.