Training ADD

ADDtshirt Hopefully this post stays on track….. If you read this blog, chances are you exercise regularly. If you do not, you probably used some buzzwords like “fitness” “Crossfit” or “weightlifting” in your search bar and then clicked the link for this blog. Most people read articles and blogs to obtain information that they do not currently have or to approach an issue from a different perspective. In the case of training, or more specifically, programming for ones own fitness, we can all be guilty of heading to the search bar a bit too often. This can be for a myriad of reasons not limited to: bordem, lack of results, frustration, unrealistic expectations, ect. Are we sabotaging our own health and fitness goals via Training Attention Defict Disorder? And if its not us, is someone else at fault? I recently spent a week out of town on a fantastic vacation with my wife and friends. Because we make fitness a strong component of our regular routines, we usually end up feeling a bit soft and slugish by trips end. This is not because we haven’t found other activities to fill the void, it is simply due to being out of our daily routines. As we were packing up to leave, my wife had asked what I thought would be programmed at the gym at the start of the week. It was a simple, unremarkable question and yet something hit me….relief. You see, although I only work out for three main reasons 1) staying functionally fit for my career, 2) staying healthy for my family and 3) desserts, I do put a premium on knowing the how, why and what of my training. When my wife asked about what our programming would be, I knew because there was a plan. I have confidence in the work that is programmed for me and thusly it allows my the freedom to use that energy and effort into performing the work without second guessing it’s motives or design. The key factor in all of this is reason. What is the reason being for your program and are you confident in it? Just over a year ago I had what could be described as an athletic ephipohony. The expensive “program” that I had subscribed to was not all it was cracked up to be. I had noticed that even though my attendance at the gym was between 5-6 days a week, my strength and endurance was not increasing at a rate that it should be. I will be the first to say that more often than not, the customer is usually the weak link in the succesful realization of his/her fitness goals. Success or failure usually amounts to how much quality time you put in and the diet that you support that work with. I knew that neither of those two things were my issues. I was putting in quality time and eating exceptionally well, especially considering the amount of volume I was doing. That left me with one other variable, the programming. I ended up taking a sample size of six months of past programmed WODs. What I found shocked me. There was no rhyme or reason to it all, I had been bamboozled for $200 a month! There was no set rotation for Olympic lifts and no discernable reasons for %’s, sets or reps. This randomness continued over into the programming for traditional power lifting movements. There wasn’t even a back squat performed for 2-1/2 months. You could see things like high rep, high weight posterior chain exercises programmed for four of five days, with some movements duplicated, it made no sense. So what does a responsible person do? Well they certainly don’t bitch and complain about their findings and leave it at that. They ask their programmers for reasoning behind the methodology. The reason? Each of the three programmers were doing two weeks at a time and not discussing directions or goals with one another. They each had their own specifc likes, dislikes, stengths and weaknesses. Three unique, intelligent people with their own set variables interefering with overall composition. What we have is a case of Programming Attention Defict Disorder. Before we move on to the individual and possible ailments contributing to lack of success in obtaining fitness goals, lets identify some ADD habits of Crossfit gyms that may be hindering a customer’s ability to reach their goal. – How long has your gym been programming for? If they are newly opened, perhaps they are trying to get their base clientele (demographic) figured out and have yet to set out a direction. – How many times has your gym openly announced changes in their programming? Do you find that every month there is a new “Fitness Challenge” “Competition Program” “Gymnastics Blast!” Ect. being added but then slowly disappears into oblivion as fast as it came? – Are there regular classes and then extra pay-for-use programs being offered that are embattled to one another? If the main program that you are paying $$$ a month for is effective, why is there other Crossfit programming being offered to anyone, but for more money? – Do you know what the goal of your gym’s program is? This is simple because as a customer, you can ask. It should have a specific goal in mind and it should have a time frame associated with it. If not, you are paying a lot of money for a glorified bootcamp. – If the programming is great, is the instruction equally as good? Do you find that you are lost amongst your peers during a class? It’s great to show up and make it through the class but are you being coached? Is your form or posture being critiqued, are you being challenged during the class rather than allowed to float through? – What do your fellow classmates think? The vibe of a group can be a powerful representation of the overall direction you are going. Are long time members leaving? Why? Is retention good? Why or why not?

Individuals A couple quick points to set you on the right path…. – Who did you consult for your last program? We’re they a professional? Did they do an assement of your current fitness level. Did they take into account past injuries, nutritional requirements, monetary and time restraints? Did they actually listen to your goals (did you tell them)? – How long have you been on your program? Health and Fitness is a lifelong journey. If you can’t stay on a singular path, it is going to be hard to see results, and if you mix and match, even though you may see marginal results, you may not know what the greatest or most effective contributed was. – Do you find yourself reading/searching for the same articles over and over that give you the same tired advice? – Do you record your personal bests? How do you know if you can squat more, run faster, jump higher if you have no stats to compare these to? Creating an honest baseline is integral to recognizing your success.

Summary When I search through the training methods by the top Crossfit athletes in the world, not your local box beasts, i mean the real professionals, I see one similarity between all of them. Dedicated programming that they stick with. Whether it’s Outlaw, Conjugate, Invictus or Power Athlete, the game plan remains the same. Find a program and stick to it to see success. I am not saying that you are anything like these top athletes, I mean you probably have a full time job, maybe kids, perhaps you are  full time student. Your time is precious and it shouldn’t be spent doing something that is going to cost you results. The next time you see your affiliate create some sort of new option for training (only to have it disappear weeks later) or you find yourself looking for another squat protocol half way through your current flavour of the month, stop and ask yourself…”Am I in the right place with the right people?” Or “Have I followed my program fully for the duration of its cycle?” Focus is key. Pinpoint your desire and make it happen. Rather than stating “I don’t want to be fat” change your mindset and say “I will be more fit!.” Then devise three ways in which you will conquer that statement. In my household we use a three month approach. We stick to something wholeheartedly for three months and at the end, rather than quit or change immediately, we assess what worked and what didn’t. We identify what could have went better, if anything, and adapt from there. “Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.”

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2015 Crossfit Open: The Day After

“New Year, New You….”

Does this sound familiar? It seems that the passing of the Crossfit Open is very much like New Years Eve. People from all walks of life who completed the Crossfit Open will wake up Tuesday with a bit of introspectionl We will measure our strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures weighted on our performance during the worldwide competition. Some will compare age groups, some will use their region, some will simply use their past performance if applicable. For many, they will vow to get better and that this is the first day toward next year. Just like New Years Day, classes will be filled just a little bit more. Fellow “athletes” will come in early, stay a bit late and a general buzz of enthusiasm will fill the room. The inevitable decline of self driven persistence will slowly enter the head space. Work, life, reality will set in and suddenly you realize that you are back to your old routine. This is inevitable. Most people will figure out that Crossfit is merely just a hobby that makes you feel better and helps you live your daily life a bit more efficiently. I mean, really, how many Games athletes do you personally know? I don’t mean a top Regional athlete or a team who misses out on heading to Carson. How many athletes do you know that actually make their sole living on competing in Crossfit? We can throw box owners, who are games bound athletes (past competitors included) in to this small group. Their names and past performance surely aid in their ability to bring in revenue to sustain themselves (argument on whether it is long term), these guys are the real deal, especially if they have repeat success. But that coach who qualifies for Regionals, makes $25 an hour “coaching” as a profession and has nothing else going for them is just like you, Crossfit is a hobby. Feel free to compare yourself to them, but realize that while you are (hopefully) excelling at your respective field, they are simply allocating their time to a different occupation. In the end, you will find that globally (that which surrounds you) you are more successful or that the success is more sustainable. That is the reality and also the most telling difference between us and the 1%. Notice that I am only discussing the competitive side. The industry is also filled with difference makers, owners (almost always performing double duty as coaches) who teach, inspire, mentor their customers. That is a different conversation for another day.

So with the augmenting of the qualifying standards for Regionals and thusly, the Games, are you being honest with your own goals? Are your goals the reason why you are failing?

The Reason:

Why do you train?

Some train because they had a physical ailment that once prevented them from living a “normal” life and a structured, coached, personal training program is the cure to taking back their lives. Some are tactical athletes, ie. Police, Fire, Military, whereby physical aptitude is a major key to a successful outcome. I mentioned physical ailments but more specifically, some use Crossfit for weight loss. Not only does a competent Crossfit program help you lose weight, the support system of the community, the daily programming and the metabolic benefits of the actual exercise helps ensure that the weight (fat) is kept off so long as you show up, buy in.

Where we get in trouble is not setting realistic goals. While I truly believe in the old adage that

The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark”

What happens if the problem with that goal isn’t that its too high but that its not applicable enough to your life. Its simply the wrong goal. One of the best ways to figure out if you are confused about your own goals is to ask yourself…. “Did I wait until Monday afternoon to submit my score so others couldn’t see it and possibly beat it?” Well if you finished anywhere out of the top 75 in your region, and/or your scores had zero impact on your box qualifying a team, you are delusional. Its one thing to redo a workout because you feel you can do better (just remember that in almost any other Crossfit competition besides the Open, your first score is the one and only one that counts and the best indication of how well prepared your training set you up for the unknown), but to withhold your score to maintain that 380th spot….What was your goal?

Are you one of those folks you constantly talk about Crossfit for 10-1/2 months of the year but then all mention of your Open scores on social media are suddenly nonexistent? Is it embarrassment? Why? What was your goal?

Did you hit the Open WOD the first time half-assed so that you could “test” it and then strategize and hit it again to get a better score the second time around? Why? Did you not have confidence in your own abilities and training throughout the last year? Like I mentioned before, if your score only counts for you (no Regionals implications), why did you change your approach that you had taken all year. Unless repeating each programmed WOD at your box was your plan. Most of these examples speak to a high level of insecurities. So with that said, what was your goal that led to this decision?

The Goal:

The hardest decision you are going to have to make. For some, you are going to have to put ego aside and realize that this isn’t 2008, Crossfit is fringe sport where you and your neighbor are throwing down at sectionals. While the sport maintains its inclusiveness by having movements and workouts that anyone can perform, the Indy Games athletes are now the 1%. These folks are now professional athletes. You play beer league softball, they are in the starting lineup in the Majors. What this doesn’t mean is that you can’t enjoy the journey and train hard. Let’s identify some things that can help you with defining your goals…

– Do you want to lose weight?
– Do you want to get stronger?
– Do you want to increase work capacity?
– Are you wanting to be tactically fit for your future/current career?
– Do you have an athletic goal that Crossfit can help you prepare for? (Ie. Marathon, Iron Man, Tough Mudder, Ect.)
– Are you trying to reduce blood pressure, stress, ect.?
– Are you looking for a change in lifestyle, looking to surround yourself with a different support system or like minded individuals?

Goals can manifest themselves in a variety of ways. What I want you to do is achieve them and be thrilled when you do. It is important to stay on track and have motivation throughout the process. You need to pick a long term goal, perhaps one the coincides with the start of next year’s Open. What will make it possible is setting small stepping stone goals to bridge the gap from start to finish.

Final Word:

Do not under estimate the power of living life outside of the gym. Chances are you work out so that you can move through your regular life with greater skill and efficiency. Nearly everything that is programmed in a typical Crossfit gym can be performed in a door way….think about that and let it sink in…..Squats, Deadlifts, Pull-Ups, Muscle-Ups, Burpees, Box Jumps…..sure the width and height of the door may have to change to accommodate the equipment but this is the reality. So here is some advice to make the most of your fitness…

1) Take the WODs outside the box. Call up some friends, grab some equipment and hit it up at a park. Change your planes of movement while you are at it.

2) A hike, swim, bike or run doesn’t have to be an “active recovery.” Conditioning can count as a training day. Run hills sprints, Tabata some swims.

3) Go educate yourself. Train the mind and the body. What better way to spend an active recovery day than to grab a copy of Supple Leopard, Freestyle or something else that suits your fancy. Use two of your training days and go partake in a seminar.

4) Introduce someone new into your fitness life. Find someone outside of your gym circle and invite them out for a hike or walk. Not only will you find yourself talking less about Crossfit gossip, you will be developing a friendship (relationships need constant training to get stronger too)

5) Remove negativity from your life before it affects your training. I wrote about this in an earlier blog but its worth coming back to. By the time you realize you are in a toxic environment, you have already lost valuable training time. Emotions and mindset can greatly affect your performance. If for any reason you do not enjoy your current fitness regime (aside from hating rowing & thrusters), do an assessment and find out what the issue is. Nothing destroys goal oriented individuals success than attitude an environment.

2015 Crossfit Open: Recap

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That’s it, that’s all folks…

On Monday at 5pm PST the Crossfit Open will officially end. Results will vary greatly amongst all those who participated and hopefully you have walked away with a better understanding of your own level of skill in relation to the “sport of fitness.” We saw people from all walks of life destroy their very own expectations of what they once thought was impossible. Was this your first Open? Was this the first time completing all of the WODs, maybe you hit all WODs Rx, hey maybe even just a few Rx and a few scaled, did you do better on 15.2 than you did on 14.2?  Everyone who competed hit a goal, that truly is the essence of the inclusiveness that Crossfit strives for. Congratulations on your participation!

My Summary:

This Open did not start great for me. After coming off a very successful strength training programming, I was ready to get my conditioning up to Open levels. For four months I stayed away from any Metcons that were over 15min in length. I left myself two months to get back into metabolic shape (normally one of my few strong attributes). This should have been enough time but unfortunately I sprained my MCL. This injury was not a recurring one but brand new. It caused me to miss time at work and prevented me from training. I couldn’t even drive without extreme discomfort or pain. After about a month and a half of rehab and only two weeks until the announcement of 15.1, I was able to return to full ROM activities with the mindset of reducing the impact on my healing. I did a couple high rep, low weight WODs that would test the strength in and around the knee but when it would “heat up” pain would return at an abbreviated level. I registered for the Open the day of 15.1 announcement all while knowing that this “season” was going to be a write off. What I didn’t expect to come out of my disappointment of not competing at my ability was how much fun I had. This Open was by far the most laid back, fun Open I have ever done. I did not preform up to my own standards but week by week it mattered less and less. I completed three of the workouts at different boxes, missed one while on a great, relaxing vacation and did one while sick. I redid two of them (the HSPU because it was my favourite) and I decided not to strategize. I hit each WOD honestly as I felt that they were intended to be completed. When you are in the 300-400th percentile in your region, why cheat yourself? Knowing lots of athletes at many other boxes and hearing about lengths people will go for better score is embarrassing. Everything from bogus judging, half reps, improper set-ups for HSPU, men using women’s bars (it’s 43lbs when you put 5lbs on each side fellas, that’s a lot of no-reps). So glad I was not a part of any of that shenanigans.

I hit each as if it was an unknown WOD being posted at my box that day, and loved every minute of it. It was also awesome to be a part of an affiliate where I didn’t have to listen to how athletes were going to “game” or “strategize” each and every week. We had a unique set up each week where the boxes would run mini competitions with heats on the Friday night, plus the regular scheduling of the WOD for all classes. People who were from one of our three affiliates would venture away from their home box and show up at one of the other two, just to cheer each other on and be part of the community. I also never heard one negative comment spoken about a fellow gym goer. There are no internal battle, no bickering over a position on a team, no conceited disappoint with a fellow athletes performance, it was truly just a really fun and laid back time.

Looking into the future, I am excited as I have ever been to train. While I still only use Crossfit as a more effective/engaging method of fitness above solo work at a globo gym, I am pumped to emerse myself further into the community. I never knew Crossfit could be this fun and enjoyable. Training is just a small facet of my life. I have a career, a wife, friends, a house (and a new one coming later this year), and another big milestone approaching soon. There are a lot of responsibilities that take my time up that also do a better job at defining who I am but I am thankful to be healthy, happy and able to have a hobby that is measurable.

Thank you!

During the 2015 Crossfit Open I had over 13k readers of this poorly put together blog. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who read it.

2015 Crossfit Open: 15.5 Prediction

Well needless to say I f’d up that last prediction….

15.4 Summary:

Early on before the start of the Open I was head fast in saying that this year Handstand Push-Ups would appear. Like a dumbass, I was easily swayed from this by those who said it would be too difficult to judge. Well I guess HQ found a way to Judge this complex movement to suit their needs.

I scored 55 reps on 15.5. I am a bit disappointed as I am normally quite efficient in my HSPU and the 185lbs Cleans were doable, especially at such a low rep scheme. One thing I could not escape was the no-reps on the HSPU. While I could have gone the way of a wide foot stance, thus giving me the ability of wide arms (like a few local affiliates I am told did….we will see if these are the videos that are requested and then let the shit storm of these snakes begin) and more efficient reps, o just made it as legit as possible. This WOD will definitely give me something to work on and the fact that I used a strict setup for tape measure it will easily be repeatable later in the year when I decide to reattempt.

If I was going to peg one WOD that will be repeated next year, this is the one.

15.5 Prediction:

Would it surprise anyone to see Thrusters and Burpees? Historically all signs point to an eventual destination with these two movements at the end. I guess the only question is whether we should expect Box Jumps and/or Rowing to be excluded this year. So here is what I am thinking (hopefully redeeming last weeks rushed prediction)…

50 Burpee Box Jumps
25 Thrusters
40 Burpee Box Jumps
20 Thrusters
30 Burpee Box Jumps
15 Thrusters
20 Burpee Box Jumps
10 Thrusters
10 Burpee Box Jumps
5 Thrusters

Next Year’s New Movement:

The evolution of the “Sport of Fitness” demands that its athletes evolve with it. We saw the introduction of the Overhead Squat two years ago, this year we saw the Handstand Push-Up. Movements are slowly being crafted, developed and added to the everyday athletes arsenal. I expect that for those who want to compete Rx for next year’s open, you are going to have to add another skill.

That skill is….. The Pistol

2015 Crossfit Open: 15.4 Prediction

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On a layover right now so no time to reflect on 15.3 or get in to depth on 15.4 theories.

Looks like my predictions are kinda holding true. I am using the old adage that if you throw enough crap at the wall, something sticks. Certainly not nailing the predictions like I hoped though.

I was unable to attempt 15.3 as the resort we were staying at did not have the required equipment (1st world problems), I am going to hit it in a few days.

Prediction:

I think we would all be surprised if the next WOD was not a Chipper. Let’s just throw it out there. Its probably going to be a Chipper. Looking at the key movements that have gone untouched would leave me to believe that a power clean and/or shoulder to overhead movements will be part of said Chipper.

I will edit this blog later…

It is later, and I have the worst friggen sore throat of my life and a headache that won’t go away. What could it be from? Recirculated airplane air from two flights and 8 hours in the air or using serving spoons at the buffet for 8 days? Looks like this man-flu is keeping me indoors for a good chunk of the day.

Here is a pic I took while in Havana, it is nothing related to Crossfit but I like it

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So on to more predicting….

I think it will be a chipper, so does the rest of the Crossfit world. This either means it is a Chipper (we have done enough AMRAP so let’s effectively rule it out), or we see the burpee/thruster monstrosity a week early. Would it surprise anyone to see a Thruster/Burpee ladder (ascending weight) after three WODs with lights loads and heavy on gymnastics?

I am going with the Chipper for 15.4 and here are the movements I think we will see…

Row for Calories
Boxjumps
Power Cleans
Shoulder to Overhead
Pistols

2015 Crossfit Open – 15.3 Predictions

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We are heading into the middle of what has been a really fun (for me at least) Open thus far. That’s right, hump week of the Open!

15.2 Round Up:

As you may have noticed from my 15.2 Prediction blog, I was pretty much on the money with suggesting that if we were going to see a repeat of a past Open WOD, it was going to be 14.2 and it was going to be in the 2nd week. Combine this with my prediction of having a triplet in 15.1 and I am pretty happy with my speculating thus far.

As of right now, 15.2 has been a nightmare for me. My MCL strain is keeping me pretty cautious on what would normally be a very easy overhead squat. I only managed 119 Reps on my first attempt, although I am much stronger and had been swapping out pull ups for Chest to Bars regularly during the last year, I am still behind my 14.2 score of 125 Reps.

This is not a conditioning issue, this is all about mobility and most importantly, grip strength. I feel that if my knee was 100%, the mitigating factor would still be grip strength as this one is a burner on the forearms. We are leaving for vacation in a day so I may have one more crack at it before the deadline but not too concerned as I would rather be getting back to 100% than risk further injury for a WOD that doesn’t really matter for this amateur exerciser.

One note on this WOD and what seems to be a prevailing theme of this years Open is the strategy of using single reps to complete the prescribed work. While I still feel that this goes against the intentions of Crossfit HQ, it seems those who are weak in gymnastics and clearly did not get measurably better (aren’t you supposed to identify your weaknesses and work on them?) are using this strategy to inflate their own scores. I say inflate because if this were a one day, one attempt competition, there would be no chance for strategy like this. The demands placed on the athlete would ensure that those who trained accordingly are the most successful. Its also kind of sad that amateur athletes have to find strategy to increase their mid tier rankings. Here is the big caveat though as I am only using my personal opinion, the individual who competes the way I just outlined will have their own benchmarks and goals so perhaps by not testing their gymnastics but using the WODs to test other parameters or other objectives.

15.3 Prediction:

I will be out of the country for the announcement of the next Open WOD so this next prediction may be my weakest to date. The closer to the date I wait, the more sure I am of the prediction. Because I am rushing this prediction, I am going out on a limb, going to have fun with this one.

Here it is…..

Double Unders
Power Cleans
Box Jumps

I think that there will be some sort of “Buy In” and then an AMRAP. It has never been done before but it would be interesting to see a buy-in of 200 DU before you get a chance to hit a 20/10 complex of Boxjumps and Power Cleans in the remainder of the time.

Best of luck to all who are in the midst of the 2015 Crossfit Open and remember to have fun! Also, thank you to the over 5000k readers who have stopped by, we are on pace to crush last years numbers.

****15.2 Update****

After much thought about how to tackle my redo I hit it just in time before vacation. I was envious of all the big scores being thrown up on the leaderboard and only decided my strategy 5 min leading up to the attempt. It is apparent that a lot of athletes are using the low bar, single rep scheme to hit some very high reps. I think this is great if you need a big score. It was the method I was going to use so that I could feel good about myself in relation to some of my fellow competitors but in the end, I chose differently. I am in a position where my score doesn’t mean anything to anyone but me. It does not count toward any team scores. So my decision was to hit the WOD head on like I did last year. I felt the best way to see if I got better at 14.2 was to perform 15.2 the same way, no inflate the score strategy (which again is totally fine. It just doesn’t prove to me I got better at gymnastics). In the end I scored 131. I am not thrilled but I am content with the growth I showed. My knee did not come into play as much as I thought, sure it was sore, but it wasn’t a detriment. Very excited to see the next three tests upcoming.

2015 Crossfit Open – 15.2 Predictions

I was going to start this post off with the names of all the amazing female athletes who beat my 15.1a score but decided it would take up too much space in this blog….

So a recap of my experience first:

I got one shot at 15.1 because of schedule conflicts so I decided on one theory and went with it. My theory you ask ?(you probably arent asking when you see how shitty I did). Well normally Metcons at light loads are kinda my thing, after seeing a lot of 15.1 scores get posted in my region and seeing the scores of fellow amateur exercisers of similar fitness I decided that I would take it easy on the first WOD (lets say 75% Max effort) so that when 15.1a came I wouldnt drop a large amount of weight on my precious noggin. Knowing that I have difficulty squatting after an MCL injury, Power Cleaning was going to be my safest option. Knowing that my Jerk is hit or miss, saving my grip on 15.1 was going to be essential.

15.1– I did the first three rounds of T2B in an 6-5-4 scheme, followed by unbroken mix grip deadlifts. The first two rounds of Snatch I went touch and go. Now keep in mind that this was at a pace which I could carry on a laboured but coherent conversation. Round 3 Snatch were broken up into singles. At this nice little pace I was at the 4:10 mark at the beginning of round 4. Round 4 had me 4-4-4-3 for T2B, Deadlifts the same as previous, Snatch same as previous. Round 5 was 3-3-3-3-3, Deadlifts same as previous, Snatch same as previous. I started Round 6 at the 8:00 mark which means I started about 30 seconds behind where I wanted to, my goal was to finish 6 rounds. Unfortunately I failed to pay attention to my time caps and missed out on my goal. Had I spend less time thinking about 15.1a and more time just trying to crush a WOD that was in my wheelhouse, I probably would have fared much better.

Finished with 164 Reps, not bad but not where I should have been and entirely my fault for being a dumbass. I guess this is why so many people “test” the WOD and then repeat it later in the week.

15.2– Here is where things get ridiculous…..

Started with a 205lbs Power Clean, half assed split jerk and got it (11:00min mark). I then proceeded to try and hit 225, three different times before the time cap. Can I do 225? Absolutely! Have I done 225 under fatigue? Sure have! Did I hit 225 today? Not a fucking chance. So with that said, I probably should have warmed up the clean and jerk, and perhaps did a middle lift of 210.

Lesson Learned:

1) Don’t half-ass your strengths so that you can save it for your weaknesses.

2) You are not a professional exerciser so next time dont over think I friggen workout.

On to the prediction:

If we see a repeat, I believe that it will be 14.2. That means OHS and C2B Pull ups. Keeping with my theory of main site programming, this also fits.

Now for the purpose of being different….

Overhead Squats (or lunges), Burpees and Muscle Ups

Why? Why not? (also I ran out of time on this blog this week)

Good luck everyone!

***15.1 Personal Update***

So I only got one solid crack at the first Open WOD and clearly fell a bit short of where I wanted to be. After looking at the Leaderboard (focus on top athletes and my own region), I noticed a discrepancy in scores. Those who were known for overall physical aptitude tended to do alright, but athletes in this group who have traditionally been quite close in scores for past competitions, did show a large fluctuation in scores. What made me question this odd fluctuation in scores was not the scores of these top athletes in relation to each other but the scores of what could be considered less competitive athletes whos historical competitive performances did not directly relate to their inflated scores of what they accomplished on 15.1. While the overall loads prescribed can be heavy for some the point per rep value is not high enough to exponentially effect the athlete’s overall score. With a PPR of 2:1 in this WOD, an athlete with efficient T2B would be expected to do very well. So how is it that someone who is strong but generally poor at gymnastics based movements use this to their advantage to inflate their scores?….Perform single reps.

I tested this theory and re-ran the WOD (well after the cut-off date). Rather than break up the T2B like I did the first time, I performed single reps. I would complete one swing (heels behind midline), hit the bar and drop. When I was fresh I would keep my hands up near the bar between reps, later rounds I dropped my arms quickly between reps before I reached back up to the bar. By the 9min mark I completed 185 reps. This is 19 rep improvement.

So with that said, I believe this is where we have achieved this large fluctuation in scores. I will be the first to say that using any legal competitive advantage to your advantage is OK (albeit each situation would be situation dependent and personal preference). However, I do believe that performing a prescribed WOD like this is directly opposite of the intention of the WOD. Crossfit is trying to find the fittest athlete across all domains, not the athlete who can “game it” better than their competition. This is also a personal perspective thing. I am not a top athlete. I use the Open as a means to set a tangible, recorded benchmark to compare a years worth of training. Just as I used the Wallball/DU WOD from two years ago to see how far I had come in my skill of performing DUs under fatigue, I will use this past WOD as a means to show how far I will have come in linking my T2B (and gymnastics skills) when my grip is fatigued. I remember the day I couldn’t do muscle ups, and then the day I learned to link them, and now I am working on linking them under fatigue without using false grip. If I had gamed a WOD, my benchmark would have been altered and I wouldn’t necessarily know what I need to work on. Just some thoughts, keep yourself honest and challenge yourself!

2015 Crossfit Open – 15.1 Predictions **Final Prediction- Feb 24**

start_your_journey

Welcome back to all the readers from last year. Hello to all the new folks looking for a leg up for this year’s competition or just trying to fill their insatiable appetite for everything that is Crossfit.

For 99% of the amateur exercisers out there, your season begins in little over a week. All of your hard work, skill and strength development will be called upon. Some of you will be looking to set a benchmark for 2016, others will be looking to see how far they have progressed. You will make new friends, you will become a teammate while competing by yourself. You will lose sleep over the thought of the next WOD, your hours and days will cease to use the hands of time but rather, they will be defined by a decimal place. You are going to see people accomplish what they thought was impossible. Your friends (and hopefully you!) will get their first chest-to-bar pullup, muscle up and/or overhead squat. Someone that you never expected is going probably going to beat you on one of the WODs, and you are probably going to do the same to others. Although this part of the blog is not meant to be the prediction part (I sure am making a lot of general assumptions though), You are probably going to do at least one WOD over again, you sick, twisted individual.

Prediction

Although we are one week out of the first official workout, I feel it is still too early to make a decent prediction. Those of you who read lasts years blog may remember two key facts….

1) I did not predict a single WOD correctly,

2) I nailed almost four weeks of what movements would be in the upcoming WOD. So with that said, I will make a few generic predictions and then later on in the week, I will have my 15.1 prediction at the bottom of this post. The one thing I am unsure of this year is how the Scaled division will effect the standard Open division as we have seen it in the past. What I can assume is that loads will be heavier and technical skills may be asked to be completed earlier in a WOD. A year ago I spoke of Crossfit losing its inclusiveness by placing too many demands on the less experienced, less fit, less technically sound individual that makes up the vast majority of its membership. By adding the Scaled division I think we will see how Crossfit is going to combat the naysayers who say the Open division is too difficult.

There will be a triplet:Excluding the last Open, there have been seven triplets programmed. While last year did see the first WOD with 5 movements programmed (14.4), we did not see a triplet which I truly believe will make its return.

Introduction of a new movement: I expect that a new movement will be introduced into the Open Category this year (we will also see scaled versions of familiar movements in the appropriately named “Scaled” Division, ie. Knees to Elbow). I have long held the belief that Handstand Push Ups would make their way into the Open. After numerous conversations with fellow gym goers, coaches and affiliate owners, I retract that thought. We know that one of the fundamental flaws in the Open is the varied interpretation of what a good rep is. I feel that the depth and hand placement for a HSPU would be too difficult to judge for the average Open participant and subject to a wider discrepancy. I also believe that for the same reasons, Ring Dips will not appear (one only has to look at Regionals and the implentation of aids to help judges determine a rep).

With all that said, my thought is that we will see our first Bar Muscle-Up programmed into a WOD, most likely into a Chipper. If I was going to go out on a limb (like I did when correctly determining the inclusion of the Overhead Squat for 2014), I would not be surprised to see Triple Unders added into the Open division.

Below are the ongoing inclusions and exclusions of movements that I feel will/will not be part of 15.1. These will be subject to change as the week goes on….

15.1 Exclusions:

Thrusters, Shoulder to Overhead Movements, Snatch, Overhead Squat, Row

15.1 Inclusions:

Burpees, Double Unders,Toes to Bar, Muscle Ups, Pull-Ups, Cleans

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15.1 Prediction:

AMRAP

Double Unders

Box Jumps

Burpees

*** If any weighted movement comes up, my guess is the Clean (Squat, Power, Muscle or whatever else gets you from ground to front rack)***

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-Every **.1 WOD to date has been a couplet

-3 of 4 years has had Snatch

-2 of 4 have had Burpee

-2 of 4 have had DU

So if you were going to make an inclusive WOD that starts off with movements that nearly every one of your participants could score a point in, it does not get much more straightforward than these three movements. There has never been a defined movement standard for the Snatch, other than it must go from ground to overhead (G2OH) so while the intention is for the efficient athlete to utilize this to their advantage, the parameters placed on the regular Joe/Jane are such that he/she can perform the same movement while not having to be a Snatch master (or ninja, if you prefer). A burpee is gymnastics in it’s most basic form, a movement that almost any and all can do, which means that everyone can score a point. I put this in as a triplet because we did not see one last year, we have not seen one for the first WOD of any Open, so I thought, what the hell? Might as well throw it in now!

 

***UPDATE***

 I am now going with a full gymnastics WOD for the first open workout. Thats right, no weights at all. This may be a bit weird but after reviewing the info, this is what I am going with. It may not be an AMRAP, it could be a Gymnastics Chipper for all I know (or nothing even close).

-Following the same formula I did last year, whereby successfully predicting many of the movements, I have now excluded the Snatch for 15.1.

-OHS has now been excluded