Pound for Pound Review

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. Continue reading

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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.

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

Box Review: CrossFit Amplify

20150611_085524_resizedAs I posted yesterday, Chicago gave me the opportunity to visit two different CrossFit boxes. The second of those two boxes was CrossFit Amplify.

My initial thought as I walked into Amplify was how big it was. The second thing that caught my attention, but I don’t recall how it caught my attention (if someone told me or I read it somewhere) was that they had an athlete compete at the Central Regional and finish 12th! That is amazing. Making it to Regionals is amazing and finishing that high is tremendous. Something Amplify should promote the heck out of.

Tons of room - including a nice area covered in turf.

Tons of room – including a nice area covered in turf.

Anyway, the first thing that sticks out in my mind from Amplify is that the warmup was tough and that we did partner carries…someone had to carry me, sweat and all. Poor guy.

During the CrossFit class Amplify also had a boot camp class running at the exact same time. The space was big enough that the CrossFit class of about seven individuals didn’t run into the boot camp class that had at least 10 of their own. This was at 9:30am – the perfect time for a boot camp class full of stay-at-home moms.

The warmup was two minutes of rowing, then a variety of drills like high knees and butt kicks and ended with two rounds of eight lunges and six burpees.

The fun part to begin class were heavy sled drags. We paired up and each team had to pull the sled 30 times in 10 minutes. After the sled pulls we did six evil wheels every two minutes for a total of five rounds. Then the WOD was, with a partner: 60 burpee box jump overs (switch every 6 reps), 12 partner carries (about 100 feet) and 120 HRPU (switch every 10 reps). The pushups were surprisingly difficult after the evil wheels and burpees.

Once again, I was a soaking mess in the midwest.

20150611_085520_resizedEveryone was super nice, especially my partner for carrying me. Even after class a few folks from the boot camp class introduced themselves to me. The only downer was that I couldn’t get a t-shirt – they were out.

The space itself is amazing and if you live in the area I would highly recommend joining. I am guessing they have a ton of different class times and different class types. Would be a lot of fun.

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