Pound for Pound comp

This weekend is my second competition of the year – the Pound for Pound challenge at CrossFit LoDo. This comp is a team comp and I am competing with a female from my gym.

The idea behind the Pound for Pound is that weights are based off of a body weight percentage, thus leveling the field for the “smaller guy/girl”. Which, of course, makes me wonder why in the hell am I doing this??

I can’t really go through a run down/prediction for each event as half of it will be based on what my partner can do, but here are my thoughts and guesses as to how well we do.

Event 1 will be our floater. Our first scheduled WOD isn’t until nearly 11 so we are going to do our floater first. The floater is 4 minutes to find 1RM deadlift. I am not sure if this 4 minutes total for the team or 4 minutes for each team member. Either way I hope to warm up to 350-360 pounds and see how that feels. I hope that it feels OK and I open with that when the clock starts. Then, maybe add 10-15 pounds and pull again? In 4 minutes I don’t think I can pull 3 really heavy deadlifts. Ideally I would pull at the 0 mark, 90 second mark and a third pull right before the 4 minutes is up. This is largely dependent on how I feel. I think my current PR is 375 and I would ecstatic to hit that. If I somehow PR I would be super excited.

Event 2 (WOD 1) is also a bit confusing. While I tried to clarify via Facebook I am still not quite sure what the WOD is. Here is the description of the workout:

2 Rounds for Total Reps 4 Minutes on the clock:

Partner 1: Row 500 meters

Partner 2: Dead hang on the pull up bar

If the partner falls out, partners must switch to finish the row. Once row is completed, partners complete As many hang clean and jerks (80%/70%) as possible in remaining time. Only 1 partner my have their hands on the bar at any given time. The Bar must be resting on the ground before other partner can pick up. 1 Minute rest between rounds

So does this mean there are essentially two 2-minute workouts that are back to back? Does 1 partner row 500m and in the remaining 2 minutes do as many C&J as possible? Then, at the 2 minute mark the 2nd partner rows 500m? I am not sure.

If it is 2 separate workouts in a 4 minute block, then this is really interesting. We can switch as much as possible (when someone drops off the bar you HAVE to switch). Will we even complete 500m in 2 minutes? My 500m PR is like 1:31, but if we have to switch because my partner falls off of the bar (and that is likely as hanging from a bar for 90 seconds isn’t easy), that will certainly add time for the transition and she can’t row as fast. If this is the case, we won’t get many reps in the C&J. I can’t imagine many teams will. Most girls row 500m in like 1:45 or more, right? Add in a transition or 2 and teams will be lucky to complete 500m in under 2 minutes.

Now, if it is just 1 500m row and the remaining time is C&J, that is different. If my partner can hold for like 30 or 45 seconds I can get a solid 250+ meters rowed. I can’t hang from the bar for that long, so she will get only a few pulls and then hopefully we transition once more and I finish the row. Let’s say we get done with the row around 2 minutes, that leaves 2 minutes to do C&J. I will be using 80% of my body weight, or about 160-165 pounds (depending on exactly what I weigh and if they round up or down). I can do a few reps at that weight at a time pretty easily, but not sure after going basically all out on a 500m row. If I had to guess the weight of my partner she will be using about 100 pounds and I know she can rep those. I would say best case is we get 15 reps in per minute for a total of 30 C&J reps.

…but…that could easily change if I am reading the workout incorrectly.

Event 3 (WOD 2) is …
4 minutes for Partner 1 to run 800m
Minutes 4-6 is max OHS at 60/50% body weight
Minutes 6-8 is max hang snatch at same weight
Minutes 8-10 is max burpee box jump overs
Minute 11 (I guess there is a minute rest?) is 800m run for Partner 2
One catch here is that while 1 partner is doing max OHS or snatch, the other partner can do burpee box jumps and score more points.

The only prediction I have here is that I run first and gas out as much as possible and hope to complete the run in about 3-3:15. My partner will do most of the OHS and while she is doing those I will get in some burpee box jumps. We will just try to keep moving…

Final event (WOD 3) is going to really, really suck (as if WOD 2 won’t). The final event is scored as a 10 minute AMRAP of wall balls. As if that doesn’t sound bad enough, the wall ball weight is 30/20 pounds. And if THAT wasn’t bad enough, each time the ball stops moving (meaning you can’t rest and hold it, because that means it stopped) before the partner NOT doing wall balls can start doing wall balls they must “buy-in” with 5 burpees and 7 pullups. So, if I am doing wall balls my partner is resting. Once I stop in any fashion (drop the ball, attempt to rest with it or just need to stop) she has to do 5 burpees and 7 pullups before she can start her wall balls. When she stops, I have to do the same. This repeats for 10 minutes.

Sounds absolutely terrible and I actually sort of like wall balls and I do like burpees.

All I can hope for here is that I don’t throw up. I think if you average 10 wall balls a minute with the heavier than typical ball and extra work required to start the wall balls you would be doing really well. So if we get 100 wall balls I will be happy.

It’s going to be a challenging day and I think it will be harder than I expected a team competition to be. I will report back on Monday with the results.

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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

Battle at the Rock – take 3

This weekend I am competing at the Battle of the Rock at CrossFit Castle Rock. This will be my third go at this competition. I think it is well run and each year I have loved the WODs.

My first solo competition was in 2013 at the Battle of the Rock and it was fun and I competed in it again last year and I thought it was even better. This year I make it three in a row.

In 2013 I finished 42nd out of 72 and last year I finished 48 out of 68. As I wrote in my results last year, I think my strategy failed a bit and cost me some points. That along with some missed wall walks that certainly hurt. This year I hope to finish in the top half.

Last year there were more serious competitors, too. I saw guys and gals with those big compression things on their legs to help speed up recovery. That’s a whole other level in local competition that I hadn’t seen yet. I guess I take these comps the same as I do a 5k; sure it is competitive and more so than working out at the gym, but I am not investing thousands of dollars to do something that I do a few weekends a year. Kind of like how I haven’t purchased really nice hiking shoes, although I try to go on at least a few hikes a year and at least one 14’er a year. Then again, maybe some of these folks do several local competitions a year and it is more like golf – and I have spent a few hundred dollars on golf clubs, at least.

In any case, I just want to finish in the top half this year. Compete with the kids who are in the early to middle 20’s. I figure if I can keep up with half of them at the age of 38 I am doing good.

So, as I like to do, here are my thoughts and strategy for the various WODs coming at me on Saturday.

WOD 1: 4 minutes to find max snatch + hang snatch and then at the 4 minute mark, 2 minutes max rep parallel bar burpees.

I haven’t really snatched in a few months trying to let my shoulder heal. And I was going to take today and tomorrow completely off from the gym so I was fresh on Saturday…well…I had to test the snatch portion of this WOD this morning.

After trying some squat snatch complexes at 135 and hitting some and failing on others I decided to ditch the squat variation for my snatch and just go power…and go ugly. Catching the bar in the squat is still a little shaky with my shoulder, but catching it in a more standing position is not as unstable. So, wide leg split and even a press will be on the menu this Saturday. The snatch will count as long as the bar is moved overhead and if you press from there, they will count it. It will make for some ugly snatches, but I am going to play with the rules, ugly snatch and all.

This morning I nearly had 170 for the complex. The power snatch was good, almost pretty, but the hang variation was really ugly. Being that it was early in the morning I think I can hit 175 on Saturday – that’s my goal. Warm up to at least that in the warmup area and then at “go” for the WOD hit 135 at about the 30 second mark (have to load the bar), then 155 around 1:15, then 165 around the 2 min mark and then try 175 around the 3:15 mark. I don’t want to make another attempt close to 4 minutes so I am ready for the burpees. However, I could see that if I get really close to hitting 175 (or 175 feels “easy”) then I could see trying 175 again or 180 before the 4 minute mark.

I would like to think that I can do at least 15 burpees each minute, but hoping for 20. I am going to try to go at a “slow and steady” pace to start and if there is gas left in the tank around 1:30 then floor it and finish hard.

The score is weight plus burpees so I am hoping for 175 + about 40 burpees for a score of 215.

WOD 2: 8 movements, 45 seconds max reps, 15 seconds rest. This is pretty straight forward and here is what I hope to score…

Wall balls: Being the first movement, I hope to get 25. I will go UB for as long as I can and then depending on the clock see if I can get more. I think 25 might take me 45 seconds.
Slam balls (40#): 20? 15? These won’t go very fast.
Alternating goblet lunge (53# KB): I think I can just keep moving on this one and get at least 20. I feel like about 2 seconds per lunge is good.
Toes 2 bar: These will be hard as I will be gassed. Hoping for a set of 8-10 and then a second set of 5-7 for about 13-17 reps.
Shoulder to overhead (95): I hope to plow through this. I will stop my T2B a bit early if needed ot get a few extra seconds of rest to kill this one. It’s in my wheelhouse. So if I get 2-3 less T2B it might translate into 5-8 more reps here. I hope to get about 30 reps.
Deadlift (185): I think I will be gassed and will shoot for about 15 reps.
Front squat (95): Again, now I will really be huffing and puffing. I will try not to put the bar down and get 15-20 reps.
Pullups: 10? 15? Depends on how out of wind I am.
So all in all I am guessing I will score somewhere between 133 and 152. That feels like a lot. We’ll see!

WOD3: Buy-in: 30 cal on rower, then 2 rounds of 10 C&J (135), 20 box jump overs (24) (or on and over) and a cash-out of 100 DUs

This one is a bit scary. I think 20 cals on the rower is about 1 min, so I am going to shoot to get the rowing done in 90 seconds. That way I am not gassed, but I could also see me completing the 30 cals in about 1:15. 10 C&J should take about 30 seconds, tops and the box jump overs maybe 1 minute as I will be gassed. In fact, as box jumps aren’t my thing, I will definitely be jumping OVER the box as I think that is easier. So, if the 2 rounds takes me 5 minutes, at most, that will leave me about 3 minutes to complete 100 DUs. Definitely doable. I just wonder how much I overestimate how good my cardio is.

Row in 1:20
Start C&J about 1:30 or 1:35 – round 1 done by 2:15 at worst.
Start BJ about 2:20 or 2:25 – round 1 done by 3:25 at worst.
Start 2nd C&J about 3:30’ish – round 2 done by 4:15 at worst.
Start 2nd BJ about 4:15’ish – round 2 done by 5:15 or 5:20.
Start DUs around 5:30 – finish by 7 minutes. I am going to shoot for 7 minutes for this WOD.

Floater – some sort of shuttle run with sandbags and throwing them over a 6 foot wall.

That’s all that is released as of today. My only goal here is to get my floater time scheduled about 15 minutes after WOD 1. I will be fairly fresh and still loose/warm from WOD 1. 2 short WODs to start the day (I think there is a 3 minute cap on the floater). Then rest a bit, eat a bit before WOD 2.

It’s going to be fun and I can’t wait!

Box Review: CrossFit Establish

20150609_063344_resizedAs my family was making its way from Colorado to Wisconsin we had an overnight in northern Kansas City, Missouri. There is a hotel in Liberty with a pretty solid water park inside of it that is included with your nights stay. When you have children that are 6 and 3 that is a HUGE win on a long road trip.

For a guy like myself I have to search for CrossFit boxes nearby. There were three or four boxes pretty close to the hotel, including CrossFit NKC which I visited a few years ago (and apparently didn’t review?!). However, this trip I needed as much time as possible to get the family to Wisconsin and the closest box was CrossFit Establish. In looking at their website and Facebook it looked like a solid place to train. It was.

I arrived early in the morning before most everyone else except the coach and owner. Both introduced themselves and made sure I felt like I was at home.

I wish we had turf like that at my box. Would be a lot of fun.

I wish we had turf like that at my box. Would be a lot of fun.

As I was stretching my shoulders because we were going to start with snatches I started to notice a trend in what the other athletes were doing as they slowly showed up for the early morning class…I realized that all of them were doing the same stretches. As more people kept arriving, and eventually doing the same pattern of stretches I initially thought that the box must have a basic set of stretching everyone does before class. The stretches were popular, yet effective stretches like the ever favorite couch stretch and some pigeon stretching. But then I noticed what looked like a warmup on the board, some of it in lingo I wasn’t familiar with. While I like to consider myself well versed in CrossFit lingo or exercise lingo in general I am always amazed how I run across terminology I don’t recognize all the time. Some gyms refer to things differently. Even things as common as PVC pass-throughs.

Anyway, I soon realized I wasn’t doing the prescribed warmup for the day. This was the one thing I didn’t like about Establish: they didn’t keep me informed on what I should be doing, class schedules, patterns, how it would be run, etc. When I have visitors attend one of my classes I make sure they know I will start the warmup and the class will warmup together, what to expect for the WOD, cool down, etc. In this case I had no idea what some of the movements were in the warmup or that it had even started. Thankfully I know what I like to do to get warmed up for snatches so it turned out OK, but for a newbie this could be a real turnoff. Continue reading

Box Review: SouthWind CrossFit

20150608_053859_resizedThis review is a long time coming. I first visiting SouthWind a few years ago while visiting my mother-in-law in Victoria, KS. Victoria is a town of maybe 1,000 and about 10 miles east of Hays, KS. Hays is a bit bigger and has one of the better breweries I have ever been to – Gella’s. Look it up. It is well worth the 15 minute drive south off of I-70 as you drive through Kansas. But that is off topic.

Hays is also home to SouthWind CrossFit – the only CrossFit gym within who knows how many square miles.

Now one might think that if you run a gym without any real competition for miles you could half-ass it, SouthWind does not. They have a solid space, not overly large, but plenty big for their client base (the class I attended while in town most recently had about 12 athletes and there was plenty of room). Their equipment is top notch with high quality Rogue bumpers and bars. A Nice rig, climbing ropes and even a space that can be use for sled pushing or dragging in the colder winter months. My wife tells me that the building they are in used to be a furniture store and they did a good job changing it to a CrossFit box.

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Strength class prior to the 6am class

When I got there early for their 6am class there was a few athletes, including the owner working on a strength program. They were doing some heavy squats, lunges and strict pullups. In looking around their Facebook page it appears they have a pretty competitive atmosphere and the weight being moved that morning was pretty impressive.

As the time moved closer to 6am most athletes showed up of all different shapes and sizes. Exactly what you expect for a typical 6am class and what I like to see – people there for all different types of goals.

The workout had a strength portion to begin, a nice quick WOD in the middle and a decent finisher. If I recall my previous visit correctly their classes last time were like this. They make the most out of of an hour.

They were in the middle of a 5/3/1 program and the day I attended was a “3” day for the push press. After the strength the metcon was 21-15-9 of burpees, KBS and double-unders – a very short WOD. Finally, the “cool down” or “cash out” for class was 100 lunges. Due to the humidity I took this portion outside. A theme whenever I go to the midwest to workout is how soaked my shirts get. Sweaty.

As I remember from my last visit the owner is super nice. The members were awesome and many introduced themselves to me before class. One of them gave me props on my time for the metcon. The class was fun, the athletes were lighthearted and it was a good time. Just what I want when visiting a box. I highly recommend SouthWind if you ever find yourself in north western Kansas.