After what was a grueling near 40 minutes of 17.1, (Don't retest unless you are confident you will improve) I was looking for a break in the posterior chain. From Monday through Thursday night, I did my best to rest and properly fuel my body. Averaging about 3000 calories, stretching for about 30 minutes and working out every day for about 30-90 to stay functional was the goal. Nothing strenuous, just enough to stay fresh and prepared for what Crossfit HQ had in store for us Thursday evening.
A refresher course, I want to be in the top 15% of all Crossfit male athletes ages 35-39. All offseason, I worked on my Olympic lifting and strength to prepare for the upcoming Open and beyond. My cardiovascular/endurance would take a hit but I'd be ready to cycle any heavier barbell movements and I felt okay heading into the season. After 1 week, I am in the 17% of all male athletes in my age range Worldwide, so I was knocking on the door of my objective. Last week was a difficult workout for me, my endurance isn't where I want it. So doing the burpee box jumps for a longer period of time absolutely crushed me. Knowing that some stronger workouts for me are coming, I am happy to flat out survive week 1.
Mentally, I was ready for the announcement to be a repeat workout of 16.2 this year. I felt I bombed it last year but retested and did better this year in training leading up to the Open. I was grocery shopping a couple of minutes before the announcement was going to be made. I picked up my items and scurried to the car, wondering just what in the World was going to be stated for this given week?? I turned Youtube on my phone and plugged the audio into my car to listen to as I was driving. I was shocked and a bit happy to hear exactly what was ahead for me on Friday night.
2 rounds of
50 foot walking weighted lunges using 50 pound dumbbells
16 toes to bar
8 Dumbbell power cleans
Followed by 2 rounds of:
50 foot walking lunges
16 bar muscle ups
8 dumbbell power cleans. If you finish the 4 rounds in less than 12 minutes, you go back to the initial sequence until the 12 minutes are up. Once again, the video description is directly below.
One thing I can tell you is that I cannot stand lunges. I don't work on them very often, you add weight and it can be a nightmare. Toes to bar I am adequate at, the dumbbell power cleans are a completely foreign movement. I've never tried them, much less seen one until last night. The last movement which gets many folks at a standstill or gives them a deer in the headlights look are the bar muscle ups. Thankfully, I learned this skill last year and I can rock out quite a few in a row. The skill for each of these movements are fairly technical, all require full body explosiveness and accurate timing.
I spent my day of my workout stretching, watching the movie "Logan" (If you are a Marvel/Wolverine fan, you MUST GO) and fueling myself properly. My advice to those on days of intense working out are simple.
Hydrate, drink lots of water. Eat many complex carbs (oatmeal, brown rice, berries etc.) to use as energy when you need it, move around a LOT. Don't get stiff and have your limbs get cold from being a sedentary pile of human.
My prediction about 4 hours before I do the workout is I achieve somewhere between 113-120 reps.
My warmup lasted roughly 25 minutes and I felt incredibly fresh. The advice for doing the workout was go through the lunges unbroken, rest the handles on your shoulders and have a light grip on the dumbbell head to control them. Break up the gymnastics movements and the rest will fall in place. The only thing I underestimated was how taxing the bar muscle ups would be. As much as I would like to try this again because I feel I can do better than the 115 reps I achieved, it really isn't worth it. Having a judge hold me accountable and give me a countdown was essential for me to keep going a few seconds before i wanted to due to my shortness of breath. One thing is for sure, I am aware that I'm not going to the Regionals, I'm cognizant that my lung capacity isn't where it should be and it kind of upsets me as I feel as though I've lost a step. Most of our higher echelon athletes at my box did about 5-10 reps more than I did. Which is not a bad sign honestly, but I'm still just a small step behind them. I made the decision that once the Open is over, I will start taking my training more seriously and make a serious run at the 3 person team 35-39 year old Top Granite Games level in September. All I need is more consistent training habits and I will confidently take 2 steps forward and be satisfied with how I'm performing. On another positive note, I will probably either move up in rank Worldwide or stay about where I am. "Update as of this blog post, I'll most likely be in the top 11th percentile of 35-39 year old athletes Worldwide. Quite a significant jump!"
On another positive note, there were 4 people that were able to hit their 1st bar muscle up in the Open. That was quite an awesome moment to see so many of my peers began their ascent to a more confident level of fitness. The Crossfit Open is all about people challenging themselves one night a week and enjoy the community aspect of what Crossfit also symbolizes. Everyone getting together and encouraging one another to do their absolute best, to use it as a fun outlet. For getting away from the stress of jobs, careers, family, etc., it's such an exhilarating experience that I recommend most folks to try just once. Especially if you enjoy the camaraderie piece of teams, clubs etc.
My name is Jesse Velasquez and I'm a fitness coach in Minneapolis, Minnesota. If you'd like to explore the Crossfit World a bit more, check out www.crossfitkingfield.com. Browse my website for all of your general fitness and nutrition needs. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @jcvwellness. Email me or search the website if you have inquiries about pricing, customized programming or any other fitness questions!