Battle at the Rock – take 4 – review

Another year has passed and another attempt at finishing in the top half of the male athletes competing at the Battle of the Rock has passed. And another year in which I did not make that goal. At the age of 39 competing with guys in their early 20’s is getting more and more difficult.

My goal every year for this event is to finish in the top half of the athletes and this year I finished 47th out of 73 athletes. Close, but no knee sleeves.

This event continues to be really well run. I don’t compete in many events every year, but this is one I always will try to compete in.

I think they were on time all day except for maybe the last two or three male heats of the second to last event. But I think they caught up for the last event even with the re-seeding of athletes. I believe the first male masters heat of the last event was supposed to start at 4:30 and I think I went right at 4:30.

The judges were super nice. The swag bags were on point. The free chiropractic service was awesome and it looked like the winners loot was bountiful.

The communication prior and even after the event was top notch. You can tell that the folks who run this event truly care about it being one of the most successful events every year in Colorado.

Now on to my recap of each event and my day: Continue reading

Battle at the Rock, year 4, my strategy

This will be my fourth year doing the Battle of the Rock. It is a great event, run very well and the competition is tough.

As I have done in the past I am going to try to write down my strategy and guessestimate how I will do on each of the WODs. Three of the WODs were announced last night and the floater isn’t announced until Friday evening.

WOD 1:
This is two parts, but scored three times.
Part 1 carries a 4-6-8 rep scheme of deadlifts and box jump overs (or on and overs). There are three sets of 4-6-8 with each set having a heavier deadlift. The first set is at 135, second set at 185 and third set at 225. I will perform 4-6-8 of deadlifts (135) and box jump on and overs (24) immediately followed by the same scheme but using 185 for deadlift. Then repeat a third time using 225 for the deadlift. That has a seven minute cap.

Part 2 is simple: 40 bar facing burpees. This has a five minute cap and the entire event has a 12 minute cap.

The 4-6-8 part is one score, the 40 burpees are another score and the time it takes to do all of the work is a third score. This is quite the workout to start out with and score three times.

If I had to venture it will take me about 90 seconds to do the first set of 4-6-8 and not much longer for the second set. My back has not been happy leading into this event so if it holds up the last one shouldn’t take too long, either. I should finish under seven minutes pretty easily (well, maybe not easily, but with time to spare, this will hurt).

I think my strategy here will be to try to keep a nice, even, semi-hard pace. I won’t sprint out of the box and try to keep a nice pace. I fear if I sprint out of the box I will be gassed by the time I get to the middle of the 185 round and definitely be gassed by 225. Not to mention when I get my first burpee. I would rather go steady and try to finish the first part in about six minutes and then get the burpees done quickly – I think I can go faster here with little rest. My goal will be to complete the entire thing in less than nine minutes.

800m run, 30 KBS (53), 15 thrusters (95), 30 pull ups, 15 thrusters and 30 KBS
The run is going to probably take me longer than most and then there isn’t enough work in there to allow me time to catch up. I know 800m, especially with the hill I think we will have to run up to finish the run, will take me close to 3:30-4 minutes. I think I can do the KBS unbroken and with a few deep breaths I can do the thrusters unbroken, too. Hopefully I catch up a little bit there. The pull ups I will try to plow through. It is a small enough set that I will do as many as possible to begin and then keep my breaks short – even if that means small sets. This has a 12 minute cap and I should finish in time.

800m worse case is 4 minutes, about 1 minute for KBS and maybe another minute for thrusters puts me at 6 minutes. The pull ups should take 2 minutes at the very most with another few minutes of thrusters and KBS puts me around the 10 minute mark for this workout. I’m going to try to keep my transitions short and push on the pull ups and try for 9 minutes on this WOD, too.

This is a repeat from my first year competing. We have three minutes to complete “Grace” and with the remaining time do as many double unders as possible. The funny thing is that just the other day I felt like redoing this WOD. I didn’t, but I had planned on redoing it after the competition.

When I did this in 2013 it took me 2:35 to complete Grace and I only got eight double unders. My PR now on Grace is 1:49 – but I won’t shoot for that. Assuming my back feels good I will try to get at least 10 reps of Grace unbroken to start – hopefully 15. Then do quick singles to finish and hope to finish in less than two minutes. Considering how taxing Grace is, but how much better my DUBs are then they were a 3 years ago I hope to get 50+ reps in for my double unders. If I have a minute I hope I can rally and keep the side stitches to a minimum and get a bunch of DUBs unbroken. And that is the key – get a bunch  UB. If I can get a set of 30 to begin that should only take me about 20 seconds. Leaving me another 20-30 seconds to get more. I look forward to redoing this workout.

Those are three really challenging workouts and I look forward to the day. It will be a lot of fun!


…. I wonder what the floater will be? In the past it has been a very short sprint of sorts. Maybe this year it will be something heavy since none of the workouts have any heavy weight in them.

Why do people keep doing this?

Don’t people have access to the internet? Don’t they have any common sense?

Pull up bars in doorways and those cheap plastic step up boxes they use at 24 Hour Fitness (and I assume other globo gyms) for those dance/step aerobic classes – both are recipes for disaster.

How many more videos like this do people need to see before they stop trying max height box jumps on those step up things?

😭 By @erky5

A video posted by @failsvids on

GRID League “season”

First – I tried to search for GRID on Bing and Bing couldn’t find it. Strike 1 against GRID being a “thing” in anyway….or probably more likely….strike 1 on Bing ever taking over Google’s status as the best search engine ever. I tried searching “NPGL” and “National Pro Grid League” in Bing and Bing couldn’t find the website. I searched “NPGL” on Google and their website popped right up.

I follow a lot of CrossFit athletes on Instagram and many of them are getting “Grid ready” right now. There are quite a few already training with their team and flooding Instagram with pictures of them in a van with like 30 people. They are all getting ready for the Grid season. Which had me wondering…how long is the Grid season?

Last year the league was in a bit of a flux so the season was supposedly shortened to about 2 weeks just so they could get a season in and not miss a year in the 2nd year of the league. So is this season longer? More of a real season? I mean, when I think season I think at least Spring, Fall, Summer or Winter – 3 months. If I am thinking sports and I hear “season” I think many months. Baseball lasts 6 months and football lasts 4-5. Hockey and basketball feel like they last pretty much all year between when the year starts and the champion is crowned.

The 2016 Grid league season lasts 3 weeks. From the start of the first match – this Wednesday, to the championship game is exactly 3 weeks.

Hard to take a league seriously that doesn’t even last as long as my 7 year old’s summer baseball.

Newhart competing in local comp

For those who have read my stuff in the past know I am a fan of Natalie Newhart. Ever since that fateful moment at the CrossFit Games a few years ago when she couldn’t budge the deadlift weight in the final event – I have been a fan. Since she is local to Colorado it made being a fan for me even easier (I like rooting for the home teams …except the Broncos). When she whooped Andrea Ager at the Turkey Challenge at MBS a few seasons ago – even bigger fan.

Then she got caught doping by CrossFit.

She has/had one glaring weakness – her strength. But she is a little girl. Sort of like Chris Spealler. There is only so much weight you are going to be able to lift when you are naturally about 5 feet tall and weighing in around 120 pounds (is what I imagine her stats were before she started getting yolked). Spealler is only going to be able to lift so much, so is Newhart. There are guys and girls with bigger frames that will support more weight. I don’t think that has anything to do with your level of fitness. I think any weighted event should be based on body weight, not same weight for each athlete no matter how big or tall. Of course that then would open up the bag of worms for the bigger athletes doing body weight movements.

Anyway, on to the point…

There is a fairly big local competition coming up in Wyoming that many athletes will travel to compete in from surrounding states: the Wyoming Open. Today in a local Facebook Affiliate group this article was posted: Despite Ban, Newhart Allowed to Compete at 2016 Wyoming Open.

I have no problem with this. Especially if she isn’t going to be on the leaderboard or have a chance at winning any money. If she just wants to compete and feel that rush, fine by me.

What I do have a problem with is that no other athletes are being tested. Now, I don’t know 100% that they aren’t testing, but I can’t imagine they are. I doubt the really big national competitions like WZA and the Granite Games are testing athletes much less a competition out of Wyoming. So if you are not testing any other athletes how is it fair to punish one that was caught cheating by another organization? What’s to say she hasn’t stopped using for months now and is clean? And an even better question – how are you so sure that other athletes competing are NOT using? If they haven’t sniffed Regionals for CrossFit then they are not being tested. And I have to think that there are a LOT of CrossFitters using PEDs. It’s no different than that meathead at the globo gym curling 100 pounds and has a back covered in acne.

You’re being blind if you think only the top level athletes are using. I would guess that the percentage of local competitors using is higher than the percentage of those that make Regionals in CrossFit. There are probably more guys and gals using supplements that can be purchased online at these local competitions that have long been banned in “professional” sports (I put professional in quotes because I still find it hard to believe that athletes who compete at the CrossFit games are professionals when many have to raise money just to pay for their travel to get to the games).

So, to let Newhart play is great, but to single her out as a “cheater” when you aren’t verifying that no one else is “cheating” is not fair.

Let her play and let her win whatever she can until you are sure you have a fair playing field.