Power Monkey Camp – Day 4

So I worked out at Rich Froning’s gym…

I know why I am here, but today was a day where I had to convince myself I belong here at Power Monkey Camp.

I’m not used to full days of physical activity and training. Further, I am definitely scaled compared to so many of these Rx coaches and athletes, and especially the elite Games competitors.

With a group WOD and another lifting class in the mix, I knew I had to just stay positive and keep focused on my own learning and growth.


After another awesome breakfast prepared by Paleo Nick and his team, the majority of us campers piled into vans, pick-up trucks and little VW Bugs to drive to Crossville, TN – the home of CrossFit Mayhem and Rich Froning.

I’ll say right upfront, that he did not make an appearance. Regardless, everyone was excited to see his gym and do a regular WOD together.

It was part fandom and part bragging rights as everyone was going to flex their stuff in front of the group.

We started with team “rowling” as a warm-up. In teams of 4, we each had to take turns rowing a 100 meters until we reached 4,000.

The goal was to hit 100 on the nose and how many ever meters you were above or below 100 when you put down the handle you had do a burpee per meter.

The whole thing was for time and the group loved the competition.

Knowing my strength and skills are not as developed, I was determined to row hard and do all my burpees as fast as possible.

I was going to demonstrate to my team and the other campers that push come to shove, I at least have hustle if not equal muscle.

After my first round, my one teammate commented, “Wow, you jump high in your burpeees.” The compliment made my day.

My team finished in 20:02 and consistently had to only do 2-3 burpee per turn and we all hit 100 perfectly at least once.

It was most the fun I’ve ever had doing bumpers and rowing. I’m definitely bringing that one back to my coaches at TwinTown Fitness.

We then moved right into the main WOD, which had a five-minute time cap and had to be done in four heats given that we had 56 people. It was 1-2-3-4-5-5-4-3-2-1 thrusters (135#/95#) and bar muscle-ups.

We were allowed to scale the weight and substitute chest-to-bars. It was an amazing fit of activity to watch as each group went – bars and plates clanging, cheers, grunts and the clock ticking.

When it was my own turn, I tried not to be intimated by the fact that I was staring face to face with Games Athlete April Lowe on the rig as I did my C2B and she did the bar muscle-ups.

The five minutes was exhausting but everyone rode the high and enjoyed e good sweat.


After caveman sized burgers and slaw for lunch at the mess hall, we returned to the main gym for more training sessions.

If you’ve followed my journey, then you know how much trouble the snatch lift caused me in the Dakota Games back in June.

This session with USA Olympic weightlifter Mike Cerbus and Jessica Gallagher-Salvagio was just what I needed. We worked our way through a series of lifts to build to the actual snatch.

We worked on overhead squat, snatch balance, Stotz press, muscle snatch, shrug & hold from Romanian deadlift (RDL) position and snatch from RDL position.

I’ve done the Cal Strength program with my gym and had a great coaching, but it’s always good to hear a new perspective or approach.

The big thing Mike and Jessie had me focus on was

  1. wrists open at top,
  2. keeping a nice straight vertical line,
  3. wider stance and
  4. keeping my head in neutral.

It was a lot of good info to digest and they were excited for the progress I made even in our short time together.


The second session in the afternoon was led by Sadie Durante and Dan Melzar. From afar, watching othe groups go through the session, it appeared to be light and fun and easy.

It was definitely fun, but by no means easy as they put us through a gymnastics warm-up and mobility exercises that left everyone sweating more than we had all week.

We then moved onto some work on the trampoline track, front rolls, back rolls and hand stand falls.

The highlight was doing front flips into the foam pit. I’ve never done a front flip, not even off a diving board, so that was a crazy first.

And now hopefully not the last. The whole session made me excited for the remaining gymnastics classes I have back in Minnesota this month.

The sessions ran right up to dinner, which was Paleo Nick’s version of the Happy Family dish served at Chineses restaurants.

The dish had pieces of grilled chicken, steak, shrimp and tiny meatballs. Paleo Nick also spoke for a few minutes about his mission and outlook on food.

He might give a nutrition talk tomorrow, which I am definitely going to attend.

Until then, I’m ready to just relax and sleep in. We have the morning free and hopefully my bunk mates can all agree that no one needs to get up to workout until at least 8am. This is supposed to be a vacation, right?

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