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CrossFit Games Open & Meet My Nemesis

I entered the Reebok CrossFit Games Open which is a 6 week open competition in the sport of fitness.  It’s open to anyone in the world and runs from March 15 to April 24th.  Each week a CrossFit workout or “WOD” will be posted and participants can do the workout at a CrossFit gym, or video the performance and upload it to the Crossfit Open website.  There are over 20,000 registered participants!  The athlete’s performance will be judged to make sure the movements are correct and to see how quickly or how many reps you completed in the workout.

The top people in each division then go on to a CrossFit games regional qualifier and the top from there go onto the CrossFit games at the end of July.  The first WOD was published on the 15th of March and consisted of the following:

  • 30 Double Unders (Skipping, 1 jump 2 turns of the rope)
  • 15 Power Snatches @ 75lbs for men and 55lbs for women (Bar to overhead, clean and jerk is fine too, etc)

AMRAP (As Many Rounds as Possible): 10 minutes.

On the surface this sounds rather innocent as the weight isn’t that heavy the time isn’t that long.  It only takes doing this workout once to realize how good a measure of fitness this workout is.  This workout isn’t about strength, its about breathing.  After about 2 rounds your heart rate and breathing WILL NOT slow down for the entire workout, and since you’re trying to get as many reps in as possible, you don’t have the luxury of being able to rest to get your heart rate to slow down.

I’ve done the workout 2 times so far, and am considering trying it again on Sunday as a last attempt, I want to be able to do 5 rounds minimum and really am not happy with anything less.  At my first attempt my double unders were awful, 1, 2, trip, 3, 4, trip, 5, trip.  Frustrating since I’m very good and VERY fast at double unders.  I only managed 3 rounds and 24 double unders in my first go all because of my double unders.  In my second attempt my double unders were much better, not perfect, hard to be perfect at double unders when you’re rocking a 175+bpm heart rate, but much better.  However I was getting tired and took too many breaks.  The only way I’ll make my 5 rounds is to push myself where my mind doesn’t want to take me, but in the end that’s the place that will make me stronger.  I managed 4 rounds and 11 double unders in my second attempt.  I believe I need to recover one minute, I need to be one minute faster and take less breaks.  If I decide to do the workout again, I’ll do just that and I’ll get whomever is around me to yell at me if I take more than 5 second breathers.

I didn’t enter the CrossFit Games Open with any dreams of qualifying for the games or regionals.  I did it for one simple reason, it will push me to do better, and work harder.  Without risk there is no reward and without trying there is no gain.

Open Workout #2 is a week delayed because of some technical issues with the Reebok CrossFit Open website.  If I have one big worry for the following WODS it’s got to be Handstand Push-ups.  They are a big weakness of mine and the last thing I still have to scale at my gym. I can do ring dips, muscle ups, and pull-ups until the cows come home but HSPU are my nemesis.  My issue is technique and not strength, I know I can do them, I just don’t do them well which means I burn out quickly and have to result to a “kipping” type of HSPU which means I’m not doing them RX.  I did find a great CrossFit Journal video (membership required) that gave me some pointers that I plan to try at Square One CrossFit tomorrow, starting with wall position, having my toes against the wall rather than heels.  With any luck I can get my HSPU worked out before they show up in one of the Open WODs.

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