Snatching, Deadlifting, & Competing
This weekend was the first time I’ve ever competed as an individual outside of the Open. Most competitions around here are team competitions, and that was really my introduction to competitive exercise. I have to be honest, I didn’t love competing alone. Being an online competition, there wasn’t any of the buzz, adrenaline, or atmosphere of a real competition. There weren’t heats, there wasn’t a rest time or time to think about eating between workouts. It was really just like a really long training session, for two days in a row. It’s hard to push yourself to a competitive level of exercise without any outside motivations. That being said – it was still a great experience, and really great to see how I fit in with the rest of AthleteWOD. I don’t want to give too much away – so let’s jump into the week and the competition at the end.
A. Hang Squat Snatch – Build to a 1RM
A. Shoulder Press – Build to a 1RM
A. Clean-Grip Deadlift – Build to a 1RM
30 second – Sustainable
30 second – Slow Spin
A. “Razor Wire” Every minute, complete 3 TnG Squat Snatches beginning at 135# for men and 95# for women. Each minute, add 10# to the total load for men, add 5# to the total load per min for women
500m Row 1:22.9
rest 2 minutes
500m Row 1:29.9
rest 1 minute
500m Row 1:38.9
C. “Graceful Warrior”
For max reps:
5 minutes – Thrusters @ 155#/95# 32
4 minutes – sets of 40 unbroken Double Unders 120
3 minutes – Burpee Box Jump-Overs @ 30″/24″ 25
2 minute – Muscle-ups 9
1 minute – Thrusters @ 155#/95# 5
A. “Max Power” Build to a 1RM Power Clean
AMRAP in 15 minutes:
15 Power Snatches @ 95#/55#
100m Shuttle Sprint*
C. “King Kraken”
AMRAP in 20 minutes: 4 rounds
20 Overhead Squats @ 135#/75#
20 CTB Pull-ups
20 Bar-Facing Burpees
The start of this week went really well, continued my trend of setting new records. I put another ten pounds on my snatch, from the hang, which should mean an even bigger number from the floor is on the table. I also put 40 pounds on my OHS, but in attempting 275, I jerked the weight in my snatch grip and really upset my shoulder. Not only did I drop that rep, but I ended up dealing with this injury for the entirety of the week. It definitely killed training on Tuesday, I dropped ten pound on my strict press PR, and I know I’m stronger overhead. I came back strong Wednesday and I’m proud of that. Pulling 500 was a huge milestone for training but was the last real training before the competition. Thursday and Friday were both rest and prep days. We’ll skip those and get right to the competition programming.
The competition was broken up into 4 sessions, Saturday AM/PM and Sunday AM/PM. Realistically, I should’ve tried to a little harder to break down the workouts into distinct sessions. Instead I kind of just bummed around the gym until I felt like working out again which I think came back to bite me. My thoughts on the programming… I like Saturday, it was challenging but in a way that I could probably excel a bit, and do okay. I read Sunday’s programming and went completely the opposite direction, I had to simply survive those workouts, especially the last one. If anything, I think I fell a bit on the disappointment side, no wall balls, no deadlifts, no rope climbs, and no power cleans for reps. There was a lot of OHS/Snatch work, which for my frame is punishing.
Saturday’s results were mixed, I definitely underestimated the EMOM portion of TNG snatching, I got far more fatigued than I was expecting, considering I’ve done 215 from the hang for 3, 175 for 2 was a definite disappointment, but thats a tough event. The 2nd event was built for me, if I had lost that event I would’ve been devastated, luckily I didn’t, I rowed my ass off, literally, I crawled around on the floor for a solid 10 minutes after that event and I have the video to prove it. I took a solid hour, maybe more rest after that before even attempting to warm up for the 3rd event Saturday. That event was just okay, I didn’t do poorly, I would’ve loved to do better, but honestly that rowing effort took more out of me than I knew rowing could, so to do as well as I did on the 3rd I’m happy with the effort.
Sunday was a pretty different story. I was excited for the power clean, I love power cleans, I have a very strong pull, I should excel at developing that power off the floor. My issue was more of a fatigue one, I never really woke up Sunday. Without that competitive buzz, there was no adrenaline to push me through. I kind of phoned in the power clean, I had plenty of pull, but no snap under the bar, I pulled 295 to my collar bone but couldn’t make my elbows fire underneath. Even warming up with the barbell I felt slow. There’s nothing you can really do about it but suck it up and keep moving. Given how I felt I was happy to move 285, 10 pounds under my official max, though I think fresh I could easily have had 305/315. I’ve pulled 305 to my shoulders before. At this point in the competition, my events were gone, I had to survive the rest without dropping too many points. I think I did that on the 15 minute AMRAP, I kept a strong enough pace on the snatches not to fall behind on the shuttles. Unfortunately there was really nothing in my power to do on the last workout. Those 3 movements will always be tough for me to succeed at, simply by virtue of biomechanics, they are all slow, there’s nowhere for me to make up ground. That being said I was happy with how I did, I never broke down, I kept my OHS stable and fluid, I kept the CTB in good sets, and I just kept moving through burpees.
This weekend I think opened my mind to a few things, I talk about biomechanics a lot, especially at the gym, because its a really important factor in this sport. With so many people working so hard to find success, it comes down to individual differences, because their diet, training, supplementation, sleep, are all so good. If I’m being honest with myself, I was naive a few years ago, to think I could train my way to being an amazing competitor, I will always be at the mercy of programming like this. Crossfit is not a sport meant for long femurs. This is really the crux of why I think team competition is more interesting, and why I’m really excited to see the Grid League succeed, because it opens up a new avenue for amazing athletes to compete without being punished so much for things out of their control.
At the end of the day I’m happy. I won an event, and I did pretty well at the rest. Enough that I’m excited to get back to training, and getting better. I’m going to settle my mind today and come back strong. I wish this post was more exciting, but there was a lot of nitty gritty to get through. Maybe in a few days I’ll have a more entertaining perspective.