Tag Archives: WOD

O2 Killer WOD

I inherited this O2 meter from my mother. It's fun to put this thing on at the end of a workout.

I inherited this O2 meter from my mother. It’s fun to put this thing on at the end of a workout.

I inherited an O2 meter from my mother.  It’s fun to put this thing on when you finish a workout.  See photo at right — It said 79%/160 bpm but by the time I got out my phone and snapped the picture, both numbers had quickly started to normalize.  You can get these things for about $50.00 at Walgreens.

If you’re into working out, oximeters are super for making sure that you keep your heart rate within safe limits, for downshifting into and maintaining optimal fat burning heart rate, etc. etc.  Lots cheaper than those fancy ones that you synch to your phone, wrist watch or other smart fitness tool.

Anyway, here’s the Cabal Fang WOD that sent my oximeter into a tizzy.

30 min. Heavy Bag Dumbbell Conditioner

Set timer for 8 x 2:00/1:00 and select two dumbbells each ≥ 10% body-weight.  Start timer.  Punch heavy bag with good form for 2:00.  When bell rings to start 1:00, pick up dumbbells and complete 13 Pump Curls.  Put down dumbbells and rest for remainder of 1:00.  Next round, kick heavy bag for 2:00 with good form and, when bell rings, pick up dumbbells and complete 13 Squats.  Repeat that 4 more times for a total of 10 rounds — that’s 65 Pump Curls, 65 Squats, and 30 mins of action.

Pot Luck: My Psychic Watch, Social Trees and WODs

Today’s post is a peculiar little potluck of nubbin ends.

Yesterday morning I got out my father’s watch and it gave me goosebumps.  Once a month or so I get out his watch and wear it when I want to look nice.  To my surprise, the watch had stopped at 5:05 AM.  This is the exact time that nurses went to check on my mother and found her to be deceased.   See photo set above.  You will see a photo of the watch and a screenshot of the bounced call where the nursing home tried to reach me a half hour later.  I don’t know what to say, so I’m moving on.

Tree Sketch '96

I sketched this tree on a lunch break back in 1996. Pentel Superball black ink on copy paper.

Also yesterday morning,  I read an article about Peter Wohlleben and his book The Hidden Life of Trees.  According the article,

“[T]rees in the forest are social beings. They can count, learn and remember; nurse sick neighbors; warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network known as the “Wood Wide Web”; and, for reasons unknown, keep the ancient stumps of long-felled companions alive for centuries by feeding them a sugar solution through their roots.”

 Amazing!  Said it before and I’ll say it again: trees are people too, treants are real, Druids had it right, and people who cut down trees because they don’t want to rake leaves should be pummeled about the head and shoulders with the handles of their axes.

Very very early yesterday morning I had a delightful workout.  Note:  Just because you don’t see a WOD post on this blog doesn’t mean I didn’t work out and/or that you can’t see what I’ve been doing.  My productivity log, which contains all my workouts, is a public Google Doc you can see here.


I use PTDICE for workout inspiration and I take a picture of my dice to help me remember what I did. Just in case I forget before I get a chance to update my log.

Yesterday’s Cabal Fang WOD:¹

  • PTDICE² w/ #20 chain.  AMSAYC in 10 mins of 8 Full Stop Push-ups and 16 Squats (I finished 8 sets) with a 20 lb chain draped around your neck. Calisthenics are the shit.³
  • All-in Heavy Bag Drill.  Place one heavy bag on floor about 2 meters or 6 feet from a second, standing or hanging heavy bag.  Set timer for 8 x 2:00/1:00.  Start timer.  AMSAYC  of 10 max power shots to standing bag, 10 shots to floor bag from mount, lock and roll to bottom position, 10 more shots. Repeat until timer beeps.  Rest 1:00.  Do that 7 more times for a 23-minute sweat extravaganza (24 minutes if you count the final 1:00 rest, but why would you, because the workout is over at the end of Round 8, now isn’t it?)


  1. Cabal Fang is the martial art I founded in 2009 (check it out!) and “WOD” stands for “workout of the day.”
  2. PTDICE are for sale here.  Go get yourself some.
  3. If you like calisthenics, you might enjoy my Calisthenics eBook, The Calisthenics Codex (download it here in any format you like).  By the way,  it’s the #2 calisthenics eBook on Barnes & Noble.

The Ziggurat Workout

ZiggI came up with this new thing I’m calling a ziggurat, and it really seems to be improving my endurance.  What is it?

Well, if you’re following this blog at all, you know what a pyramid is in workout terms — that’s when you perform an exercise(s) in increasing reps up to a peak, then back down to the beginning.  A full pyramid to 10 of Bodybuilders is 1 of each, 2 of each, 3, 4, 5, etc. up to 10 of each, then 9, 8, 7, 6, etc. down to 1.  That would be 100 Bodybuilders (and a decent little workout!).  A half pyramid to 10 would get you to the peak without the descent, a total of 55 reps.

A ziggurat is slightly different.  In architectural terms, a ziggurat is a stepped pyramid in the ancient Mesopotamian style, like my adorable little drawing up there at the top (you like that? I did that with Paint — booyah, in yo face with my mad art skills!).  In workout terms, what I’m calling a ziggurat is a stepped pyramid for time instead of for reps.  I use :30 (30 second) increments.

Here a couple of ziggurat examples:

Heavy bag Speed Ziggurat.  Punch and/or kick heavy bag as fast as you can for :30 then rest for :30.  Then 1:00/:30, followed by 1:30/:30, 2:00/:30, and finally 2:30/:30 and back down again.  Total = 16.5 minutes.

Ground ‘n’ Pound Power Ziggurat.  Put your heavy bag on the floor, assume mount position, and punch, hammer and elbow the bag as hard as you can for :30 then rest for :30.  Then 1:00/:30, followed by 1:30/:30, 2:00/:30, and finally 2:30/:30 and back down again.  Total = 16.5 minutes.

Try one.  They make you breathe like nobody’s business!

Romaine Tacos and A WOD That’ll Fry Your Wontons

American Asian Romaine Tacos

Chicken Romaine Tacos with a side of cucumbers.  Sliced cukes, carrots, celery sticks, etc. help keep from reaching for tortilla chips, potato chips, etc.

It’s been a while since I put up one of my quick-n-dirty, four-ingredients-or-less recipes.  So let me show you what I had for dinner one night last week and then give you a WOD that will fry your butt into a crispy wonton.

Chicken Romaine Tacos

  • Fresh, all natural or free range chicken tenders
  • Romaine lettuce leaves
  • Sriracha mustard (I use Kroger sweet hot mustard)
  • Mayonnaise (I use Duke’s Olive Oil Mayo in the squirt bottle)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Spray a nonstick frying pan (or griddle) with oil and turn on medium heat.  Put chicken on, salt and pepper liberally, and set timer for 4 mins.  While chicken is cooking, rinse lettuce leaves and pat dry.  When timer beeps, flip chicken, salt and pepper liberally, and set timer for 3 mins.  Wash, peel, decorate and slice cucumbers to suit your fancy.  When timer beeps again, check the fattest tender with a meat thermometer and make sure it says 155 F.  If it does, put chicken on a plate to rest and reach 160 F (2 or 3 mins).  While you wait, put a stripe each of mustard and mayo in each leaf and put a fan of cukes on each plate.  When the chicken has rested, slide a tender or two into each leaf and you’re ready to eat.

The Fried Wontons WOD

  • Weights — 5 x 10 of Shrugs, Squat Press, Sit-ups, Goblet Squats
  • Calisthenics — AMSAYC* in 8 mins of 8 ea. Staggered Push-ups, Side Crunch, Zombie Squats, Full Stop Push-ups, and Twisters.  If you don’t get through 5 sets in 8 mins, tack on 100 Squats.
  • Kicks — Heavy bag Strike Count Drill.  4 x 1:00/:30 AMAYC* with Right Leg Roundhouse. If strike count for 4th round is less than the 1st, do 100 Squats. Repeat with Left Leg Roundhouse.  Again, if strike count for 4th round is less than 1st, do 100 Squats.
  • After this you should pretty much be fried crispy.


* AMSAYC = “As many sets as you can” and AMAYC = “As many as you can.”

A New Offer and Your O2Max WOD


Stay tuned for the WOD that follows this special offer because it is a real beauty.  Seriously. But first…

From now until January 1st 2016, if you sign up for the Cabal Fang Distance Learning Program,  which is only $10/month, you will receive $20.00 off any order at PTDICE.com  — and I’ll throw in a free t-shirt with your order.  Or, if you’d rather, we’ll give you your first two months free.  After you sign up, just email your preference to first.elder@cabalfang.com and we’ll either email you a PTDICE.com coupon code or refund you two months tuition.

What is the Cabal Fang Distance Learning Program like?  Look, you can’t learn martial arts by working out solo at home.  But what you can do is practice the fitness and the philosophy of Cabal Fang martial arts.   It works like this:

  • You’ll be keeping a training journal.  Each month you’ll scan and submit your journal for review and receive new assignments.
  • In addition to getting your body in shape with fitness drills, you’ll improve your mental and spiritual strength as well.   Cabal Fang philosophy is based on Hermetic concepts, the so-called “secret wisdom” of the Western Esoteric Tradition that pervades all great spiritual paths.  
  •  You’ll be given free self-exams (we call them “trials”) for rank advancement when you’re ready.  There are no additional fees for rank advancement, nor are there any hidden or surprise fees of any kind.
  • Very little equipment is required.   But if money is tight, we can assist with our wholesale supply accounts and/or give you instructions on how to make some of your equipment yourself.  About 100 square feet of training space would be great, but if you’re comfortable training outside, you don’t even need that.

This is an exciting, one-of-a-kind educational opportunity.  Take advantage of it while it lasts.

And now for your Workout Of the Day, a.k.a. your WOD.  Since it’s Mettlecraft* Month at my martial arts club, I decided to push it a little this morning.  Here’s a 30-minute O2Max WOD that’s one one the hardest workouts I’ve done this year.  Beware: This workout is not for beginners.  Monitor your heart rate and keep it within safe limits!

  1. Box.  Set timer for 15 mins and hit your heavy bag as hard and as fast as you can until it beeps, taking as few 12 second breaks as you can to avoid collapsing (I had to take 7).
  2. Calisthenics.  Set timer for 15 minutes and cycle through these exercises until it beeps, taking as few 12-second breaks as you can to avoid collapsing (I had to take 8).   Go to failure or 50 reps, whichever comes first of:


  • Diamond Push-ups
  • Front Lunges
  • Crunches, legs up
  • Bodybuilders
  • Half Squats
  • Bicycles



*Mettlecraft (noun) is a term we use in Cabal Fang that refers to the art or practice of cultivating one’s mettle.  What’s “mettle?”  The word mettle, which dates back to the 1500s, is a variant of the world metal.  It means courage, character, toughness, determination, endurance, and grit.

Hot Hot Burning Heat

Lost of stuff has happened and/or is happening right now that falls under the heading “HOT.”

  • On Friday somebody gave me a Paqui Ghost Pepper tortilla chip.  Delicious.  But make no mistake. These mother-truckers are hot.
  • It was in the 70s yesterday and last night my wife and I had to open the windows to keep from sweating under our winter comforter.  To those people who laughed when Bernie Sanders said that the biggest threat facing the planet is climate change: Can you “feel the Bern” now?  No, of course you can’t.  Because you’re idiots.
  • This morning, while cooking breakfast, I watched a very cheerful Tamron Hall talk about all of the fun stuff people were doing this weekend because it was so nice and warm.  Are you fricking kidding me?  I know gloom and doom doesn’t sell advertising, but the lame-stream media has got to take some time away from stupidity and give it to important, intelligent storytelling.  So I tweeted thusly:



And now for your Cabal Fang WOD.  This is a 45- minute “FEEL THE BURN” killer.  Enjoy.

  • Dumbbells. 4 x 10 of Bent Rows, Squats, Kung Fu Curls, Curl-ups.
  • Kicks. 10 x 1:00/:30 of max power kicks vs. heavy bag.
  • Bike.  30 x :30, alternating AFAYC and coasting.




Your WOD and Three Genius Actors

What the…?  Did you know that Robert Forster (from the movie Jackie Brown) is a member of the Tripe Nine Society (people with IQ higher than the 99.9%)?

And how about that James Franco?  He got his BA in English from UCLA in 2006, graduating with a 3.5 GPA.  He obtained his Master’s in Fine Arts from Columbia in 2010.  And he’s an accomplished painter.

Nolan Gould, the kid from the TV show Modern Family, graduated from high school at age 13.  He is a member of the high IQ society Mensa and plays six different musical instruments – double bass, banjo, mandolin, sitar, and didgeridoo.

Now for your Cabal Fang WOD.

  • Rope Weight Combo Conditioner.  Set timer to beep at 1 min. intervals.  Select 2 dumbbells 40% your 1RM.  Complete 4 sets of Dumbbell Presses, alternating (1:00), Squats (1:00), Jump Rope (2:00).  Total = 16 mins.
  • Ground-fighting Conditioner #4.  Put on your MMA gloves and set timer for 10 minutes.  Shin or Knee Ride bag, face post, and punch “head” 10 times.  Slide leg over into mount and strike 10 times.  Body lock bag and roll to guard.  Push up bag with one hand and strike it 10 times with the other.  Hip escape and advance back to Shin or Knee Ride and repeat as many times as you can before the timer beeps.