The Crossfit Open
Hi friends! It’s been too long, turns out opting to work over spring break is great for my bank account, but awful for blogging, between that, school, training, and the open, it didn’t leave a lot of spare cycles for blogging. Doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to say though. Quite the opposite, this year’s Open cycle has been far more interesting than most. Let’s start at the back, this year (season wise), has been a lot of up’s and downs, starting AthleteWOD after last years Open I picked off a lot of low hanging fruit and improved drastically in a lot of areas. The back sprain was a set back but one that I was sure I could bounce back from, and for the most part have, though it cost me a great deal of time, and many weeks during a very important squat endurance cycle. Just as I was hitting stride with training again, in the middle of what was to be Open prep cycle, arguably the most important cycle of the year, I went on a 2 and a half week family vacation. I’m not going to even come close to regretting that, so please don’t read this as “poor me I had to go to Italy and stop exercising competitively.” That’s not what this is, I’m simply recapping the facts of the year. Returning in January, this left me two choices, try and push through as much of what was left of Open prep, get my lungs back, see what I could do; or, scrap 2015, take it as it came, and focus on goals further on the horizon. Obviously I went with that one. It made more sense, for school, for life, in general it was the right decision.
That brings us to the Open, now having trained 8 weeks after returning, it was time to sign up, and I decided to fork over my $20 to get my ass handed to me, and here’s why. I’ve always held onto some pretty unrealistic expectations for myself, not because I really expect to achieve them, but because they push me. I might fail, pretty hard at times, but I’m always miles ahead of where I started, and that’s really the point. I’ve learned so much more failing than I ever would’ve finding success in everything I do. To not sign up for the Open this year would’ve been a cowardly act, scared of what those numbers would tell me, an excuse to dodge workouts I didn’t like the sound of. It would be letting the goal define the journey, rather than getting what I can from whatever comes my way. The Open is a universal chance to measure, not against others, but against yourself, to skip it would be an incredible injustice to the year you’ve spent training. Regardless of the outcome, those are still data points and valuable lessons, strategy. Further, the Open is also a hidden opportunity to convince yourselves that you still like exercise for what it is and not the strange sport it’s become, that you can have fun even if you aren’t winning, and that you still have a healthy relationship with the sport. That’s worth the $20 bill, easily.
I promised myself I would have fun with the Open, and save a few dark moments, I have. I also told myself I wouldn’t let it take away from my training, and it hasn’t, I’ve been full force with Conjugate, and my Gymnastics. The Open comes third.
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 9 minutes of:
10 deadlifts (115 / 75 lb.)
5 snatches (115 / 75 lb.)
1-rep-max clean and jerk
6-minute time cap
Every 3 minutes for as long as possible complete:
2 rounds of:
10 overhead squats (95 / 65 lb.)
10 chest-to-bar pull-ups
2 rounds of:
12 overhead squats (95 / 65 lb.)
12 chest-to-bar pull-ups
2 rounds of:
14 overhead squats (95 / 65 lb.)
14 chest-to-bar pull-ups
Etc., following same pattern until you fail to complete both rounds
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 14 minutes of:
50 wall-ball shots
Men use 20-lb. ball to 10 feet, Women use 14-lb. ball to 9 feet
Right now, I haven’t done 15.4 yet so it won’t rank me, but last I checked I was in the mid 600’s in the region. Last year I finished the year in the mid 600’s, which on it’s surface would suggest to most of you that I haven’t moved anywhere. Here’s why you’d be wrong. First, the North Central region has grown by almost 100%, last year there were 6800 male athletes, this year there are 11,100, so to keep my rank means that instead of the top 10% I’m near the top 5%. Second, the open has been far more skewed towards skilled gymnastics movements this year, which is undoubtedly one of my biggest weaknesses, so to be where I am right now actually is a huge victory. Third, I haven’t prepped for the Open, I haven’t unloaded for it, I’m training at full volume and doing these workouts on normal days of training. Last year I did each one twice, unloaded in between, was barely doing any other work besides some light conditioning and movement prep work. I’m an entirely different athlete, and that’s the exciting part! That’s the journey. Two more workouts left, and then its full force at my weaknesses and I couldn’t be more excited.