16.3 thoughts and feelings

My 16.3 experience

16.3 is in the books and my body and mind couldn’t be happier. It was not a good workout for me. I was one of those idiots who has spent all their time working on ring muscle ups so when bar muscle ups were announced I immediately started searching YouTube for any/every thing that might help me get my first.

Friday morning I tried what the videos told me – big kip, arms straight, hips to the bar – no success. Friday afternoon I tried to aggressively bring my knees up to the ceiling and I was able to get one muscle up. Then two. Got a video of my third. And in between judging throughout the night I probably got 12-15 more muscle ups without a single failure. At this point I figured I could try to work on linking multiple muscle ups together over the weekend and perform 16.3 on Monday before the deadline. Hell, I was getting them too easily.

Saturday morning I showed up, did some rowing and went to the bar to practice. No muscle ups. Not a single one and I didn’t even feel close to getting one. After about 15 minutes of trying I was too upset and quit. Thought maybe a day off and go at it again on Monday when I was fresh would be a good idea.

Monday morning rolls around – still no muscle ups. Must have made 20-30 attempts when I could while I coached the 5 and 6am classes. Again, I didn’t even feel like I was close.

Mind fuck.

So I arrive at the gym around 3:15 on Monday afternoon to hopefully find my muscle ups again before doing the WOD at 4’ish. That was the must-do time for myself. I had to get my son to gymnastics later in the evening so if I didn’t do it at 4 I wouldn’t have time to do it before the deadline.

Nothing. I had two coaches giving me tips, then three. Nothing. Again, I didn’t feel particularly close. At this point my brain is the road block. Oh well, I had to get my 10 snatches and then just hope that I would find my muscle up in the next 6 minutes or so.

At the 6:15 mark my hand slipped and I got a muscle up. Why did my hand slip? Because even though I had been wearing my gymnastic wraps since Friday morning I still tore. On both hands. And on one hand I tore in two spots. I had made so many attempts over the previous few days and may or may not have had a death grip on the bar on Monday afternoon as I was trying too hard to find my muscle up that I ripped.

Not only was I super pissed I only got one muscle up (when I had done 15-20 on Friday night), but I also tore pretty bad even when wearing protection. I hate tearing. It hurts like a mother fucker in the shower and it makes holding a bar really painful for a few days following (I am not doing much with my hands right now).

To add even more insult my right elbow was hurting. Hurting in the sense that it felt like my skin was tight when I moved it. Never had that pain before until attempting muscle ups on Friday morning. On Tuesday I also realized I bruised pretty good under my chest near the top of my rib cage from banging into the bar so much.

I should have done the WOD on Friday night and then if I got better with muscle ups over the weekend re-did the WOD. I am confident I could have gotten 3 or 4 rounds on Friday night and instead my score is a lowly 11. Add in the three rips on my hands, bruised chest/rib area and a funky elbow and I really, really hate 16.3.

Hate it.

Other thoughts on 16.3

CrossFit did a lot of celebrating this weekend. Lots of videos of people getting their first muscle up – and that is awesome. But I do have a complaint. Shocker, I know.

How are these muscle ups OK and permissible by CrossFit standards:

Not only does he basically climb up the bar, but doesn’t his right foot get higher than the bar? I thought if your feet get higher than the bar then the rep does not count.

And speaking of climbing onto the bar, watch this video. How is that legal? During the announcement Rory McKernan says that it is an “old school bar muscle up” and not some sort of “glide kip or gymnastic movement”. Is getting your forearms onto the bar, kicking and screaming a bit and eventually getting your hands back on the bar and squirming into a press really an “old school muscle up”? I don’t think so.

So those two videos above are considered good reps for CrossFit, but if you did any of the “muscle ups” in this video you would get a no rep.

Fast forward to about 1:17 and watch how she gets on the bar. Pretty damn smooth and easy, but in CrossFit that would be a no rep while the girl in yellow above gets a good rep. Then again at the 1:28 mark the gymnast gets onto the high bar and, again, no rep in CrossFit.

I guess what I am saying is that I think there should have been some sort of rule against breaking up the muscle up into like nine parts:

1. Hang on the bar
2. Take 13 swings
3. Sort of kip up towards the bar
4. Chicken wing and try to get a forearm onto the bar
5. Now, at this point it is OK to elevate your feet above the bar, so do so in an attempt to get that other arm to chicken wing over the to of the bar.
6. Rest on both forearms and catch your breath.
7. Do your best to somehow pull yourself just high enough, while resting on your forearms, to sort of lean over the bar.
8. At this point readjust so you are holding the bar in your hands and no longer resting on your forearms.
9. Finally, press out to complete the bar muscle up


Just don’t jump up onto the bar and make a super smooth movement to get on top of the bar by letting your feet get slightly higher than the bar like a gymnast would.

Anyway, this is CrossFit and this is the very, very difficult part about judging standards when people are just exercising.

I am hoping for a re-do of 14.3 this week. My hands need a break from hanging from the bar.

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