Pound for Pound Review

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This workout was TERRIBLE.

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As usual, here is my post event review of my performance, and the event, for the Pound for Pound competition I did this past weekend at CrossFit LoDo.

As I wrote late last week, the workout descriptions were not very clear so while I did make some predictions, they either were not valid because the workout was different or were not accurate because some of the smaller details I had incorrect.

The first workout we did was the max deadlift. This ended up being 4 minutes total for the both of us, but we did have 2 barbells so it was OK. I did open with 355 and made that lift, added 20 pounds and made 375 which felt OK, so I added another 10 pounds and waited until our time was nearly over and PR’d with 385. All in all I hoped to PR and I did. Unfortunately, in this competition, my PR was still woefully short of where it needed to be. My score for this event was 385 divided by 210 (my body weight) for a score of 1.8. Most of the guys were scoring closer to 2.25 or 2.5.

The second workout I wasn’t sure how many 500m rows we would need to complete or the exact time domain. Also, when I wrote last week it was a clean and jerk after the 500m…well…there were 2 separate 4 min windows with 1 minute rest between. In each there was a 500m row and the remaining time was a clean and _2_ shoulder to overheads, not just one. This was at 80% of my body weight, so I was using 170 pounds. Each partner had to start 1 of the rows and each time the person hanging from the bar dropped we had to switch.

My partner killed it and didn’t drop off of the bar for the 1st row and I finished the row in about 1:35. She went straight to the bar and started moving it. She did a few reps of the complex and then I would do 1 or 2. She would do 3 and I would do 1 or 2. We sort of followed that pattern for the remaining 2+ minutes. In the 2nd 4 minute workout she started on the row and I started on the hang. I was only able to hang for about 30 or 35 seconds and we switched. She killed it again and I finished the row. This time I think it was closer to 1:45 like I predicted if we should need to switch. We followed the same format for the clean and 2 S2O.

In the end we finished with 90 reps. I was pretty satisfied with that total and we were both exhausted.

Event 3 was our teams undoing. It was absolutely awful. We both had to run the 1st and 2nd 800m run and the 1st 800m was a scored event, the 2 min max efforts were a scored event and then the 2nd 800m times were added with the 1st 800m run for a 3rd scored event. So in 3 events about a mile worth of running was scored as 2 events. With running being one my absolutely worst things and with an event full of so many “little” guys we lost both of those events. I tried to run hard for the 1st 800m, but my running hard is still a solid 45-60 seconds slower than most guys. After 6 minutes of burpee box jumps and some hang snatches my 2nd 800m was almost enough to make me puke….and still really, really slow. We got 88 reps and terrible running times. This was by far the most difficult event of the weekend.

Final event was wall balls and burpee/pullup buy in. Initially I thought this would be the worst workout, but it wasn’t. Thanks to the built in rest it actually wasn’t so bad. While my partner was doing her thing I got to rest and it took her about 90 seconds to do her burpees, pullups and max effort wall balls and 90 seconds rest in a workout is always a nice thing. I guesstimated 100 wall balls and was shooting way low. Thanks to the lower target with the heavier balls it was easier than expected and we got 138 wall balls.

Our placing was 20th (out of 20) in the deadlifts, 11th in the row/C&J, 20th in the 1st run, 15th in the max effort, 20th in the 2nd run and 13th in the wall balls which put us in last place. With 2 runs that is about what I would expect. I need to run more….but lifting is too much fun.

It was a fun day and my partner did great. If not for her I would have somehow figured out a way to finish worse than last place. Now onto the event itself.

This is sort of hard to write as I love LoDo…but…I won’t do this one again. And not because it doesn’t favor big guys like myself. Here’s why:

Right from the get-go the WOD descriptions weren’t clear. There were some grammatical errors and even big things like missing the second shoulder to overhead for the 2nd WOD. They were hard to read and left a lot of questions to be answered. Even after I asked a few questions on Facebook (which were answered quickly), I still was left with questions. I haven’t participated in a ton of events (maybe about 10 now plus volunteered at another 5-10), but I don’t recall having more than one or two questions after reading the workout descriptions. When I did the Castle Rock event last month I didn’t have any questions after reading the workouts. Clear and concise should be the goal when they are published and at least 1, if not 2, reviews of how it reads before posting.

When we arrived and weighed in there was not a goody bag or free t-shirt. Even the cheapest 5k races I have run have given away a free t-shirt. That should almost be mandatory for any event like this. Part of my payment is for a t-shirt. There wasn’t any sponsorship or freebies (which, maybe if they had pursued some sponsors they might have had a little extra revenue to make t-shirts). The volunteers got a pretty cool looking t-shirt, but the participants did not. Big bummer.

The judging was suspect. I have done enough of these that the majority you can expect some poor judging, it happens. When I did the Turkey Challenge the judging was top-notch. When I have judged or watched a big event like the Colorado Open I feel like the judging is top-notch, but this competition was pretty poor. It was stated during the athlete briefing that your burpees for the buy-in for the wall ball workout required full hip extension at the top, clap of the hands and a hop. There were several, if not most of the athletes failing to get full hip extension and some weren’t even close. A few didn’t touch hands at the top and even 1 or 2 didn’t hop! On the wall balls many athletes weren’t breaking parallel on the squat and the judges weren’t even watching – they were only watching that the wall ball hit the target. Some people were clearly not locking their arms on the shoulder to overhead and even more were not coming to full extension at the hips and knees at the top of the shoulder to overhead. And the flaws I noticed were only on the few events I actually watched. I didn’t spend a lot of time watching other heats compete. I can only imagine how many judging infractions I would have seen if I watched more heats.

Finally, and maybe the worst, the scoring wasn’t even. First, when I completed my deadlift the guy running the stop watch and verifying I completed the lift asked how much weight was on the bar, so I told him 385. He didn’t appear to have counted or added up the weight himself, just believed me. I watched him do another competitor from our gym, same thing, he appeared to have no idea how much was on the bar. When I did my first lift I said “355?” with the suggestion that I wanted him to verify my weight – wanted to make sure we were on the same page. That took him off guard. I don’t think he was going to do any math the entire day. It’s pretty easy to mess up by 10 pounds in a situation like that as an athlete. Mistake a 25 for a 35 or just plain mis-calculate. The judge should be well aware how much you are lifting in each attempt and they should verify with you before you lift. To compare to Castle Rock again – that is how they did it there with the snatch event. I even asked the guy when we were done if we needed to sign anything to confirm our weights for the deadlift – nope. Doesn’t give a lot of confidence that the rest of the day (we went early at 9am) was going to be correct…

And then the most blatant scoring mishap – in event #1 another team from our gym finished last and scored 19 points. 1st place got 1 point, 2nd 2 points, etc. There were 20 teams competing, yet they got 19 points. I figured when I 1st saw that that I was just incorrect and not calculating the number of teams correctly. Well, my team got 20 points in the deadlift and both of the runs for being last. I went back and double checked and, sure enough, the worst score in the 1st event was 19 points – and it wasn’t a tie for last place between 2 teams. We weren’t close to finishing other than last so I am not putting much effort into this or trying to comb for other mistakes, but if they made a mistake like that do you have confidence that all the other heats for all of the other divisions were accurate? I don’t.

All in all the event was run really well in that we were on time for the entire day until our last event. We were the last heat of the last event and we were scheduled to go at 4:08 but went closer to 4:20. Other than that they were right on time all day. Check-in went smooth and weigh-in went good, but the rest of the event as a whole left a lot to be desired. Hard for a big guy like me to want to compete in an event for smaller individuals again when there is so much else left to be desired.

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