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…

WOD 1
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

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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…

WOD 1
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.

Floater
Obstacle course Continue reading

My first comp this year…I need to put my thoughts on “paper”

Last year by this time I had probably completed in two or three competitions, but this year I just haven’t had time or found the right one or whatever, until this Saturday. This Saturday I am doing the Battle at the Rock again. I did this one last year and it was a well run competition and some nice challenging WODs. Looks to be the same this year. I want to strategize and I guess I am going to dump my thoughts on this blog.

WOD 1
AMRAP6: 1 Clean and jerk and 4 bar facing burpees. This event is scored twice – first is total number of reps completed in 6 minutes and second is total weight lifted, so the athletes choose their own C&J weight.

I tend to think that I will be one of the stronger athletes there, even though I don’t feel that I am that strong. I have noticed that at these local comps I tend to be at least in the top third or quarter of the male athletes at the events. With that being said, there will definitely be guys who can C&J more than me, and do so easily. I am guessing at least a few guys will go with 225, which I cannot do. So do I use a light bar and try to just go balls to the wall for six minutes or do I go heavier and try to pace? I think if I go heavier and try to pace I have a decent chance of finishing higher than at least half the field in total weight lifted, and, at the same time, finish higher than half the field in total reps. I won’t go super heavy, but not really, really light either. I want to be able to rip that bar off of the floor and overhead almost immediately after doing the burpees. I will pace the 4 burpees somewhat.

What if I use 135 on the bar (fairly light for me, should be able to C&J when severely fatigued) and do 2 full rounds every minutes? That would be 12 reps at 135 or 1,620 pounds lifted and 60 total reps. I tend to overestimate my ability, but I think 1 round every 30 seconds should be very doable at that weight. Continue reading

From over-estimating (14.3) to under-estimating (14.4)

What do 99% of all CrossFitters do? They judge a WOD before starting the WOD.

We all have our go-to or favorite movements and when we see those in a WOD we immediately think it will be easy. We all have movements we absolutely dread and when we see those in a WOD we immediately think it is going to suck. Sometimes the rep schemes of the WOD dictate how you feel about the WOD before starting. No matter what the reason most of us usually have a feeling about a WOD before we begin.

This multiplies during the Open. During the Open there are so many videos on strategy (which I am really starting to think are a large pile of you-know-what), so many people comparing how they score to your score, and vice versa and typically there is a large number of people you work with on a daily basis screaming at you to “go!”. Listen, if I could “go” I WOULD FREAKING “GO”!!

When 14.3 was announced I was a bit afraid. I hate, hate box jumps and am weak when deadlifting. As a guy who weighs 205 on a “light day” getting up onto a box is tiresome. Unfortunately, this guy who usually weighs closer to 210 doesn’t deadlift like a guy who weighs 210. My max deadlift is 365 which is probably 100 pounds less than what it should be. I recently deadlifted 315 for reps in one of the mainsite workouts so I knew I could lift that weight, if I got there. The thought of 25 reps at 275 scared me, especially after doing all those box jumps. Then the flood of “my dream WOD” talk that came across Facebook and the interwebs scared me even more. If everyone else LOVED the WOD then I assumed they would score well and my score might lack which would make me look bad. AIN’T NO ONE WANT TO LOOK BAD! The nerves were piling up shortly after 14.3 was announced on Thursday evening.

Continue reading