Battle of the Rock – take 3 – review

My snatch effort at 170 - I think

My snatch effort at 170 – I think

Late last week I went through my strategy and predicted results for my first comp this year: the Battle at the Rock.

First, let me say this event keeps getting better and better. The first year I did it the final heats were completely re-seeded and the release of the schedule for the final heat took way too long. It was annoying. But CrossFit Castle Rock learned from it and last year that was not the case. This year? It was flawless. CFCR keeps learning and keeps getting better at running an event.

They had 140 athletes this year competing and one of the events was essentially an eight station max rep event. I had noticed that the heats were spaced out exactly eight minutes – leaving NO TIME for any transition between heats, re-organizing of barbells, weights, kettlebells, etc. There was no time left for a heat that starts late, no time available to make up time, just constant heats. Well, this was run perfectly. Each heat had 10 individuals and they sent us off congo style, in groups of two. So the first pair from each heat started their eight minute WOD while three pairs from the previous heat were still finishing their WOD. The way they had it laid out, the way they started us off and the way they ushered us from movement to movement was flawless.

Job well done, CrossFit Castle Rock.

On to my review. Continue reading

About 9 months of following OPT/OPEX – improvement?

I started following the Being programming from OPT (now known at OPEX) on April 21st, 2014. Now that it has been a solid 10+ months of following OPT I thought it would be fun (for me) to see if I have gotten better and stronger.

On April 21st I found my 1 rep max front squat – 250 pounds
I just did 245×3 and 255×2 two days ago. My max front squat was set at 280 on November 6th
30 pound gain

On April 22nd I found my max push press – 225 pounds
According to my records it’s been since June 12th since I went for a max push press and it was 230
5 pound gain
(Tested my PP last night and got 235)

On April 25th I found my max close-grip bench press – 240 pounds
On January 8th I did 265×4 for close grip bench press. I have 300 pounds as my max from July 22nd
60 pound gain
(Tested CGBP this morning and got 315)

On April 28th I found my max clean and jerk – 195 pounds
I set a new C&J PR on December 20th at 235 pounds
40 pound gain

On May 2nd I found my max power clean – 210 pounds
I just power cleaned 230 this morning and my PR is now 235…and have been close a few times with 240
25 pound gain

On May 22nd I found my max weighted pullup – 55 pounds
It has been a long time since I did these, I feel like I could get 60+ pounds
(Tested weighted pullup last night and got 75)

On May 24th I found my max split jerk – 225 pounds
On December 23rd I found a new PR at 250 pounds
25 pound gain

On June 3rd I found my max back squat – 260 pounds
On August 8th I squatted 300, but it’s been a while since I have done that much, but I got 275 just last week
40 pound gain

On June 6th I found my max press – 195 pounds
On June 19th I pressed 205
10 pound gain

On June 14th I found my max snatch – 170 pounds
My max snatch on record is 185 now and I just did 170 for a double this week
15 pound gain

On April 26th I did 3 rounds for time of 15 deadlift at 185 pounds, 15 ring dips and 20 box jumps (24 inch box) and that took me 8:45
I retested this on January 3rd and completed in 7:11

On May 31st I had a WOD with C2B and I noted that if I could link C2B I would have completed it faster
This week I did 9 C2B unbroken and that was after doing 1, 2, 3…7, 8 unbroken first

Since ever I haven’t been able to do a muscle-up
I finally got one this weekend and have done at least a few every day since

I have set PR’s in Fran (4:18), Helen (10:24), Jackie (8:03) and Grace (1:49) in the past 10 months.

I would call this a successful program. Now that I did this I need to test my press, push press, weighted pullup and close-grip bench press tonight.

Sometimes you have to tape yourself

This was yesterday’s “auxiliary” work at 24 Hour Fitness. I was doing a 5×5 of pause squats – 5 second pause at the bottom. This is what I learned by watching:

  1. I count to “5” a lot faster under load than I should. These weren’t 5 second pause squats, more like 2.5 second pause squats.
  2. I can push more. I recall feeling like I really struggled with that 3rd rep at 225 and that’s why I didn’t attempt a 4th. If I was at my CrossFit gym I would have because I don’t mind dumping the weights, but didn’t want to dump at 24 Hour. I remember thinking that it took FOR-EVER to get from the bottom to the top of that 3rd rep, but in review it didn’t take much longer than the rest. I had more in the tank.
  3. And the most important item – I am not staying back on my heels (or even my mid-foot). On a few of those reps you can see a slight bit of daylight under my heels as I descend in the squat. I don’t mind the knee position and am SUPER happy with how upright my torso is and core stability, but I need to stay back a little more. I am also seeing some rotation onto the inside of my foot as I push up, too. I will work on both of these as I warm up going forward.

If I hadn’t recorded myself I would have thought my effort was on point and my squat was perfection.

….and that I can count 1-Mississippi, 2-Mississippi, 3-Mississippi, etc under tension. Definitely can’t do that.


I have had a few goals for a year or two now: 300 back squat, 400 deadlift, 225 clean, 200 snatch. I have power cleaned 225, but I don’t think I have squat cleaned it. I think I would like to add getting 250 overhead to my goals. I can’t forget a free standing handstand and a muscle-up, too. I am able to hold a free standing handstand for a brief second or two, but I really want to get up and hold it for a nice period of time.

Today I finally hit 300 back squat! Looking at my black book, in April of 2012 I started tracking my back squat and in April of 2012 my max was 185. I have added 115 pounds in just over 2 years. I think that is good? To be honest, I don’t know. What I do know is that if I had been actually TRAINING for more of those 2 years I bet I would have hit 300 sooner.

The 1st 50 pounds or so added to my BS was just doing CrossFit and doing weighted back squats – something I very rarely did prior to doing CrossFit. I did 3 separate Smolov Jr cycles, to varying success. Now, the last 3 months I have been doing OPT programming and that has put on about 20 pounds to my squat in about 3 months.

Either way, it is nice to finally hit 300!

The CrossFit plateau

That’s me – a plateau

As I wrote just a few weeks ago: I need a change. I have definitely plateaued. I continue to read more and more that tells me I need specific training rather than “constantly varied” to get stronger and then I read this:

It describes me almost perfectly

Here are some the excerpts that really hit the nail on the head.

You check in on the website the night before and, when hitting “refresh” reveals tomorrow’s WOD, that rush of fear, anxiety, and eagerness shoots right through your belly. And while your gut tells you it’s going to be awful, your head still says, “This will be epic!”

That was totally me when I first signed up at CrossFit LoDo in 2011. I would nail that refresh key in hopes that I would get tomorrow’s WOD before I went to sleep. If I went to bed before the WOD was released I would wake up and, other than going to the bathroom immediately, I would check my phone to see the WOD. I would get in the car, eager and banana in hand and rush down to LoDo. I would arrive in the parking lot, music blasting and just freaking PUMPED to get inside and do the WOD. In fact, I don’t recall ever seeing a WOD I didn’t want to partake in. It was definitely more like the first month of dating than the honeymoon. Continue reading