The Importance of Competition
This is going to be a bit of a retrospective, I don’t like to dwell too much on the past but occasionally it can be a good thing to help you keep perspective on the present. Something I don’t think I realized until now, is that I competed more in my first 6 months of Crossfit than in the previous 18. Within 3 months of starting Crossfit I was competing, multiple times at local throw downs as well as larger regional events like Heart of America. Then something happened, the further I got into the sport, the more inadequate I felt, the more skills I realized I needed, the more strength and speed and power I wanted. I just stopped competing for the better part of a year, probably longer. It’s a bit embarrassing to think back on it, it’s kind of like calling yourself a chef, but never cooking for anyone. In any case, with the AthleteWOD online competition, and another team competition this passed weekend I’m starting to get back into that original excitement that got me interested in the sport, and it’s forced me to realize how important competing is. Let’s be clear, if you’re doing Crossfit for exercise, competing is up to you, I don’t think it really matters in terms of just having fun; but for a competitive exerciser, with aspirations, pushing to always improve, its crucial.
Somewhere along the way I lost sight of how important that feedback is, and how great a tool competition can be. Not as a measuring stick, not to “see how you measure up” but to really feel what pushing yourself is. It’s hard to reach that level of adrenaline, and push, in regular training. You just can’t replicate that feel, in a crowd, with a team. I’m going to try and compete at least once every 2-3 months, enough to keep that feeling, and keep that push alive, but not so much that it starts to take away from training, at the end of the day that consistent work is where the real improvement happens. Competition day is just a demonstration of all the work you’ve put in already.
With that, huge shout out to both the 3 amazing members of my team, Jen, Taylor & Joe, you guys killed it! And another big thank you to all the other teams, it was a really fun day, amazing atmosphere, lots of good competition. Really reminds me why I started doing this in the first place. Couldn’t have been a better day. Well almost, I did miss my mush.
B1. Back Squat with Chains; 5 reps x 5 sets; rest 10 seconds
225, 225, 225, 235, 235 + 50 lb chains
100 Double Unders 50-30-20
100 Calorie Row 4:20
A. Clean Deadlift with Chains; 5 reps x 5 sets; rest 2 minutes
335, 335, 345, 345, 355
C1. EEM 8 TTB; 5 rounds
C2 EOM 8 Pullups; 5 rounds
Also I’m supposed to note that I’m not balding… but rather the combination of this lighting, the IG filter, and my short haircut turn me into George Costanza…oops
1RM Power Snatch
15 Min Max Cal Row
40 KBS (70)
40 SDHP (75)
25 Box Over
100 DL (275)
25 Box Over
75 Clean (185)
25 Box Over
50 Snatch (135)
35 Min Z1 Pace
This week’s training is back to regular volume, regular cycle. We broke the chains out again for both squats and deadlifts. Naturally anytime you put a chain on a barbell you have to take a video of it, because if that doesn’t prove how manly and badass you are, nothing will. Correction, grow a beard, then throw some chains on. Breaking up the chain work on Monday and Wednesday was a pretty awful WOD on Tuesday. Made awfuler (it’s a word cause I said so, shuttup it’s Monday), by both my quads trying to cramp about 10 calories into the row. This is an on and off problem I’ve had, seemingly always with rowing the last 7 or 8 months. I don’t believe it to be diet/electrolyte based, as I take a very healthy serving of electrolyte immediately before training. Rather I think it has more to do with muscular endurance, and simply being a fatigue cramp. If it comes up more often I might have to consider more outside help, but for now it’s merely annoying. That being said, I was happy with my time considering I did about 90 calories of rowing and 50 burpees basically without extending my legs fully once. Thursday was a semi-deload day for the comp, just staying fresh and keeping the movements for the competition warm. Friday was 100% off, which naturally meant a nice calm mobility day, something I really need to make more time for.
Saturday was the competition I’ve been speaking of. It was a really great time, the event were fun and well balanced, the split of work was good, felt like actual workouts at the end of the day. Not to mention the competition, the first place team and second place team (us) were never more than 3 points apart, and spent most of the day within a point of each other, which was awesome. It also helped that the 1st place team was our sister gym Crossfit STL West. Really hard to ask for a better day.
Sunday got back to my normal routine, meal prep, airdyne, laundry and relaxation. Trying to squeeze those last bits of freedom out before I get back into school and have homework again. As always heres my Sunday in photo montage form.
A few people asked for the Balsamic Coffee Shredded Beef recipe so here it is.
Balsamic Coffee Shredded Chuck Roast
I started with 2, 5lb grassfed chuck roasts from Whole Foods. You can easily scale this down to just one though, and just cut all the ingredients roughly in half.
In the slow cooker combine
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup cold brew coffee
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos
- 5-6 gloves diced garlic
- ~2 cups beef broth, or whatever is required to cover the meat
From there I only put some salt and pepper on the chuck roast and threw them in, making sure to give them a good spin so they got covered in all that good liquid.
Turned the slow cooker on low for 12-14 hours (12 worked fine but I doubt another hour or two would’ve ruined it, hard to overcook something in a slow cooker covered in liquid).
That’s it! Removed it this morning and shredded it with forks and portioned it out for the week.