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!

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.

Turkey Challenge – my performance review

Last Friday I wrote my predictions and strategies for the MBS Turkey Challenge. This was my first two-day competition and it was a bunch of fun. And once again I completely and totally overestimated my abilities…

10min AMRAP:
30 Snatch (75)
30 Snatch (95)
30 Snatch (125)
Max reps Snatch (145)

Last week I figured I would get done with the 75# snatches in about 90 seconds, done with the round of 95# around the three minute mark and giving my best to 145# after about six minutes. I cannot emphasize this enough – I was wrong. So wrong. Like I suddenly thought I was Rich Froning or something. My goal was 125 total reps and I only got 81.

I am not exactly sure on my times, but I did go 15-15 on the 75# snatches. I did follow my strategy here as I stopped after 15 snatches even though I could have continued. The bar started empty and I had to take the 15# plates off to put on 25# plates so the transition took a bit longer, but I think I was starting my round of 30 snatches at 95# around the two minute mark. As I started in at 95# I got through nine reps and my grip was suddenly failing. It was hurting. I kept mixing in hook grip and I had to control the bar down to my waist before letting go. That little bit of extra effort cost me my grip a bit, too. I am not sure when I moved on to 125#, but when I did I knew it would be hard to get to 145#. I was gassed. I always forget to calculate in how much work I have already done leading up to sections of workouts when I look forward. At this point the 60 snatches prior to 125 made 125 feel a lot heavier. I pushed for the last few reps to get to 81 and when I was done I was happy with that score. Continue reading

MBS Turkey Challenge …. Post Mortem

First, the bad news, the Odysseus Bar that was introduced during the MBS Turkey Challenge wasn’t a good idea. For those that don’t know the Odysseus is a bar of sorts that sits on top of a pullup bar…and spins. You can put pins into it so it does not spin, but when the pins are pulled it rotates around a pullup bar. The guy who owns Ethikon Fitness (the manufacturer) claims that it helps develop a proper kip. I don’t know what sort of testing he did to verify this statement, but it certainly makes a pullup more interesting.

I got to play with it last week when I did an i99 Fit class at MBS CrossFit and was able to do strict pullups on it easily and did some kipping pullups. I was told that wrapping your thumb around the bar is imperative to not falling off of it. I wrap my thumbs anyway so I am used to that, but I know a lot of folks do not wrap their thumbs around the bar when doing pullups (for shame! bad form!). I only did a few and it wasn’t in a competitive environment. Fast forward to this weekend…

In the team open division if teams completed the prescribed amount of work they could pull the pin on the bar and set it so it spun and then do as many pullups as possible with it spinning to reduce their score. In the first few heats only two or three teams made it to this point. Of those few teams I think I saw two people fall off of the bar. Since they were trying to kip they fell flat on their ass or back. None of them looked too severe. After a bit of watching some of the WODs outside I came back inside to watch the final two heats of the pro team event in which the bar spun for the entirety of the WOD. Each athlete on each team had to perform 50 pullups on the spinning bar and them heavy front squats. In the final heat I think I saw six athletes fall off of the bar. And unfortunately one of those athletes needed to be carried out on a stretcher and was rushed to the hospital.

The good news is that she is OK and MBS is reporting that she was able to walk out of the hospital without assistance and has a badly bruised hip. Continue reading

MBS Turkey Challenge

Time to put my thoughts and strategy on paper for the Turkey Challenge at MBS this weekend. I typically do this and hysterically overestimate my abilities. Let’s do that. I want to look back at this on Monday and wonder what the hell I was thinking…

10min AMRAP:
30 Snatch (75)
30 Snatch (95)
30 Snatch (125)
Max reps Snatch (145)

I think I can do 15 snatches unbroken at 75# really easily. I also think I can do all 15 in less than 30 seconds. I am going to attempt to do 15 in about 20 seconds, rest and then do the final 15 in about 1 minute. If I allow myself 30 seconds to transition weights (should be plenty of time) I will be on to the round of 95# after 90 seconds. At 95# I will drop back to 10 reps every 30 seconds, which means I will be transitioning to 125 at about the 3 minute mark. Add 30 seconds for transition and I am on 125# at 3:30. I will be a bit winded by now so I will shoot for 5 reps every 20 seconds at 125#. If I keep that pace I will be done with 125# at about the 5:30 mark, add 30 seconds for transition to 145# and I have 4 minutes to get as many reps as possible at 145.

At 145# with 4 minutes I should be able to get at least 30 reps. So my goal will be 125 reps.

Obstacle course Continue reading