CrossFit

My CrossFit Open 2016

I didn’t sign up for my first open until only a few minutes before the first workout was announced. I didn’t feel like I would be anywhere near in shape enough to compete with others. Heck, ten months into CrossFit, it was still something special for me to do a workout as prescribed at all! But the option to do all Open workouts in their scaled versions, to represent my gym, and also to compete with CrossFitters I know outside my box, made it appealing enough for me to do it.

16.1

Scaled: 20 min AMRAP
25-ft. front rack walking lunge 45 lb.
8 burpees
25-ft. front rack walking lunge 45 lb.
8 jumping chin-over-bar pull-ups

My first Open workout ever, the first movement I’ve never done before: Front rack walking lunges. It turns out that while my hight is mostly a disadvantage in CrossFit, it worked out well for walking lunges. Most athletes had to do seven or eight lunges to cover the 25 ft—I was able to do them in six. In this workout the Pull-Ups end up being the movement that give you a little bit of a break. Since they can be performed jumping in the scaled version, it only took me a very short amount of time to complete and wasn’t very exhausting. I ended up with a fairly good score of 213, and serious soreness in my glutes the rest of the weekend.

16.2

Scaled: 4 min AMRAP
25 hanging knee raises
50 single-unders
15 squat cleans, 95 lb.

If completed before 4 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock
Repeat with 13 squat cleans, 115 lb.
If completed before 4 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock
Repeat with 11 squat cleans, 135 lb.
If completed before 4 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock
Repeat with 9 squat cleans, 155 lb.
If completed before 4 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock
Repeat with 7 squat cleans, 185 lb.

That was a fun workout! While I was confident I could complete the double-unders of the RX version, I couldn’t do Toes to Bar, the first movement, so I decided to just go with scaled, which ended up being a lot closer to the weights I was able to squat clean anyway.

I finished with three rounds after I wasn’t able to do a fourth squat clean at 135 lb. My previous 1 rep max was 145 lb, so I was glad I got as many reps as I got, especially after completing 28 squat cleans in previous rounds. In the end it wasn’t a time constraint that disqualified me from continuing, but too much weight, which I’m confident I’ll be able improve on over time.

16.3

7 mins AMRAP
10 power snatches 75 lb.
3 bar muscle-ups

I initial did the scaled version with 45 lb. snatches and five jumping chest-to-bar pull-ups. It was a lot harder than I anticipated! I wanted to start out slow, pace myself, and make sure that I still had steam for the last two rounds. But the light weight of 45 lb for the scaled version had me fly through the first two rounds and be burnt out half way through. I think I doubled the time per round between the first and the last, which cost me quite a bit of reps.

Coach told me the secret to a good placement would be to submit Rx scores, even if they’re low since they beat all scaled scores. So I decided to do the ten snatches with a good tie-breaker time and see where it would get me. Unfortunately I’m no where near completing a unassisted bar muscle-up.

16.4

13 mins AMRAP
55 deadlifts 225 lb.
55 wall-ball shots 20 lb.
55-calorie row
55 handstand push-ups

When I heard the first movement being announced, I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to do that workout as prescribed either. Over the next day I thought about it more thought and figured that I could just try to do as many Deadlifts as possible and go from there. Every Rx rep gets me a higher rank, so I could only win. I also figured that if I could get through the wall-balls as well, I could really make a dent with rowing. I knew I couldn’t do a single handstand push-up, but 165 reps Rx would still be a respectable result.

Warming up, I had a really good feeling about the deadlifts. They felt heavy but not insurmountable. Then my coach pointed out that I was warming up with 185 lb and was 40 short. 😑 I had watched some videos with tips about how to approach the workout and employed some of the tips. For my deadlifts I did singles with an opposing grip, switching forward- and backwards facing hands on each repetition. It was definitely no walk in the park, but I ended up finishing the deadlifts with plenty of time to spare. Next up was wall-balls, where I had planned to do eleven sets of five, really pacing myself. That plan went out the window after repetition three. My lower back was just toast after those deadlifts and I had to take frequent and long pauses to complete the wall-balls. At some point I thought I heard someone saying that I had only two more minutes left (I did them with my back to the clock), so I slowed down even more to make sure I finish the wall-balls at least and not burn out before.

After finishing the wall-balls, I was surprised to find myself with a little more time, though not the 4 minutes I hoped I’d have for the row. It took forever for me to get on the rower and strap myself in, I’m pretty sure I lost a good 20 seconds getting ready there. By the time I was actually rowing, I realized how much the wall-balls had destroyed my glutes. I was hardly able to get any pull in through my legs and had to do the majority of work with my arms. I finished with 153 reps, 12 calories short of finishing the row! So close!!

I wasn’t sure whether I should be disappointed that I wasn’t able to finish, with only twelve more pulls separating me from that goal, or happy that I was able to do that much as prescribed in the first place. I chose the latter.

16.5

For time:
21-18-15-12-9-6-3
Thrusters 95 lb.
Barfacing burpees

I decided to go Rx again since I knew I could do 95 lb thrusters. At least a few. We did a similar WOD a few months earlier where I finished the scaled version with 65 lb thrusters in just over 20 minutes. My goal was 25 minutes, accounting for the heavier load and the additional 3 reps compared to the previous workout. Warming up I already realized that it wouldn’t be easy. I did four practice thrusters at 95 lb and almost couldn’t do those straight. My game plan was to break up thrusters into three sets each, doing 7/7/7, 6/6/6, 5/5/5, a.s.o.

My game plan went out the window after repetition 17 when I just could finish that third set of seven. I finished the workout with sets of 3 and lots of long breaks. I just couldn’t get enough oxygen, I didn’t feel terribly good that day, and thrusters are just not a great movement for someone standing 6’7″ tall. It was pure agony. I finished in 31:13 minutes, way past my goal. I was a little disappointed, but also knew I finished RX and that that was just all I had that day.

In Retrospect

As you can see from the length of the paragraphs, by week four it had spurred my competitiveness. I started out just wanting to have fun, but once I realized I’m not too far from those Rx workouts, I wanted to see how good I could be. I finished 87,000th worldwide, 8,400th regionally, and 8th in my box. In all three categories I was in the top 50 percentile, meaning I was better than half the people who entered the competition!

All in all it was a ton of fun. It was great seeing Instagram posts of people all over the world, going through the same pain I went through, and having something in common and talking about workouts with every CrossFitter I know. I don’t know in what kind of shape I’ll be in at next year’s Open, but I think it would be nice to finish in the top 25 percentile. Goals!

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One thought on “My CrossFit Open 2016

  1. Super proud of you, bud. You did a great job and it was fun to talk strategy with you before and commiserate after each workout. Can’t wait to do it again next year.

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