Barbells, Food and Jojo

Join me as I navigate through my love for Olympic Weightlifting, Flexible Dieting and Life


  1. a growth, typically benign and with a stalk, protruding from a mucous membrane.

Okay, let me back up here. If you’re a new follower, welcome! You’re in for a treat. If you’re not, then you are all too familiar with most of my woes. Specifically all the bodily woes I mentioned in my Dark Side of Reverse Dieting post and before that in my Random Rambles: Big Ball of Ugh post. Catch up if you must, I’ll wait.


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Guys. I know I suck. No need to tell me. I know it has been a bazillion years since my last post. This post will almost be irrelevant at this point since it happened back in JULY and it is now OCTOBER. I bring shame to the blogging world. But I still want to share this experience with you all! So bear with me…and step back into time with me.

Ladies and gentleman, I have an announcement.

It happened. The day came and went.

On July 16, 2017, I had my first Max Out Day post hip arthroscopy surgery (for reference, I had surgery in November 2016)! Let me paint you a picture of the day:

Woke up with bloated abdominal pains. Sadly, a usual feeling for me these days. I had plans to head over to train with my Strength Actual team and have eyes on my lifts by my coach (Jeff Vinzon) and was feeling pretty discouraged about it all before even getting in my car.

I made the 30 minute drive to Anaheim and walked into the gym even more bleh. But I thought to myself, “You know what, Jo? Get yourself together. You made the drive, you have not had a max out day of the full lifts in well over a year and you have a mandatory rest week right after today and who knows when your next max out will be. Get shit done.”


Started to tackle this as if it was any other training day. Warmed up as I usually do, took the same jumps in weights I’m normally prescribed in training. Tried to keep everything the same as any other day. The only big differences were location and having eyes on my lifts. In my regular training days, I am a total loner boner.

I have to admit, I still get slightly nervous knowing someone is watching and critiquing my lifts. It’s so different filming my lifts and then sending them to my coach. I also know it’s something I need to get over which is why coach and I agreed that I make the effort to get out to CrossFit Anaheim to train with the team at least once a month so he can evaluate my lifts in person.

Anyway, I digress! Back to the snatch portion of my max out. Leading up to 90%+, I had no misses, which is great! As a matter of fact, I did not miss until I attempted 63kg/139lbs which is 98% of my pre op 1RM! I got so close, that I attempted 63kg/139lbs FOUR times.

Normally, I give myself three attempts and then move on. But the first two, I lost it forward due to cutting my pull short, so coach had me do an above 100% snatch extension (to give me the feeling of finishing my pull with the heavier weight), small break, then attempt the snatch again. The last two attempts, I did not cut my pull short anymore but lost it behind me instead, haha! Go figure. Knowing I can get it overhead is extremely promising moving forward.

Clean & Jerk

Leading up to this max out, my jerks had been feeling meh and cleans generally felt okay with the exception of discomfort on my bloated days (which had been often) and wearing a belt. Needles to say, I did not feel super confident coming into the clean & jerk session of my max out. But I carried on and moved up in my usual jumps. I’d like to point out, that I’m still not great at determining what percentage a weight is just by looking at it. For example, if I throw 65kg on the bar, just by looking at it, I have no clue if it is 60% or 85%. Which could be for the better since I tend to get into my own head when i know it’s a high percentage. I just kept adding weight and climbing. Before I knew it, I was going for a post op PR at 78kg (98%) and GOT IT.

That expression after? That’s about it as much of a PR dance that I do, haha!

I was always taught to not match a PR, but rather go 1-2kg above it. So, for the next climb, I put 81kg/178lbs on the bar. Nervous? Hell yes. It would be a LIFETIME PR C&J if I got that. The good thing is, that at this point, heavy weights hurting my hip are a distant memory. I went for it…and got the clean! That would be a LIFETIME PR for the clean! I failed the jerk, twice. My usual bad habit when it gets heavy reared its ugly head: shorted my split on the jerk.

As I briefly mentioned above, the day after this, I had to take a forced rest week. Remember my intense, painful bloating? Well, the procedure I had done, solved it. More on that in the next blog post. Stay tuned…

But for now, I’ll leave you with my excitement to be pretty much at 100% strength post op and without pain. I have not maxed out since this and look forward to see what I can get to in the near future. A big thanks to my coach, Jeff, for being so patient with me as a remote athlete and my crazy September (more on this later, too). Until next time, folks…


If you’ve been in a never-ending cycle of dieting down and eating minimal total calories without seeing much difference or keep plateauing, chances are your body needs a reverse diet to strengthen your metabolism. What’s a reverse diet, you ask?


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Guys, I haven’t blogged in nearly three months. I know.


I kept thinking, “I really should blog about what I’m going through.” But then, I would get overwhelmed in thoughts revolving around, “How do I explain it all? Where do I start? How do I not sound like a rambling idiot trying to explain everything?” and much more. I have a very busy brain.

For those of you who have followed my journey for some time now, know that I have been dealing with metabolism and fatigue issues for quite a few years. I thought once I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, that I finally had my answer to why I feel the way I do. I believed the thyroid medication I was put on would alleviate it all once my levels were normalized. Well, that wasn’t the case, unfortunately.


Another reason that kept me from blogging about this was, to those of you longtime followers, I did not want to sound like a broken record. But then I realized, this is why I have a blog, to share my experiences, good or bad. And who knows, maybe someone out there is going through what I’m going through and also at a loss.


Well, here we go. First, let me start by asking you fine folk a few questions to let you gauge where I’m at. Let’s say you are following a science based nutrition plan for your goals (adhering to mostly nutrient dense foods),  diligently in the gym Olympic Weightlifting five times a week, including added conditioning, average 6-7 hours of sleep every weeknight (more on weekends), and hydrate with about 70-90 oz of water. What kind of transformation do you think your body would make? The average person that understands what all of the above entails would think, “All of that should yield a pretty healthy, fit person!” You would think, right? Well…

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POW16D7 (Post Op Week 16 Day 7) – I suppose I will keep tracking this until I am back to 100%?

Did you see that? I’m four freakin’ months post hip arthroscopy surgery!


First of all, a quick, “My baaaaad…” for taking so long to update everyone on how my recovery has been going. I haven’t blogged in over five weeks. Oops.


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POW11D6 – Post Op Week 11 Day 6

My, my, my it has been a long time since my last update! Last week I had my third post op appointment with my surgeon after – [ g a s p ] – 11 weeks! I feel like I sound like those pregnant women that talk about how far along they are in weeks, which honestly would annoy me because in my head I’m like, “Okay, so how many months is that? Because I don’t feel like calculating in my head.” #notmathmajor


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Can’t believe I’m on the tail end of my 6th week post op. To me, it honestly feels like it’s been longer but I’m quickly reminded by everyone that that is not that long in the scheme of recovery. Ugh.


I lack the patience gene. But when it comes to recovering and a goal, I am diligent and I follow instructions. I’ve been itching and itching to do more because I physically feel capable but I know I shouldn’t, so I don’t. In the last few weeks I have been cleared for increasing time on the bike and the intensity, farmer carries (unilateral only to increase stability), and of course walking.

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