ParaWOD Benchmark #5: Cindy takes a bite of me


We have reached the end of Benchmark Week at Crossfit Impavidus, and we end it on a doozy. The entire week, we have focused on speed with limited repetitions:

  1. Fran (4:46)
  2. Annie (11:11)
  3. Jeremy (5:55)
  4. Elizabeth (4:39)

But not for #5. This one goes for 20 minutes, as many rounds as possible (AMRAP).


Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
5 Pull-ups
10 Push-ups
15 Air Squats

While I had trouble finding what the record is exactly for this workout, the Internet tells me that it is somewhere in the vicinity of 38 or 39 rounds, which means that the record holder is cycling through this sequence twice nearly every minute. I figured that setting my sights on one cycle per minute would be a good place to start, since I’ve never tried this one before.

The adaptation for Cindy is straightforward, but we need to figure out a replacement for the air squats. Medicine ball crunches are my typical go-to for this adaptation since they can be done quickly.

5 Pull-ups = Pull-ups, and yes we do it strict
10 Push-ups = Push-ups with raised legs for maximum depth
15 Air Squats = medicine ball crunches (14lbs)

More importantly however, the challenge for the adaptive athlete is to be able to go from one movement to the next quickly so there is minimal downtime. Once you have spent some time getting comfortable with the movements that Crossfit requires, the transition is the element that warrants the most attention.

I solved this problem for Cindy by doing everything from the floor. We set up a stacked mat below a barbell on the rig. The bar would be the pull-up bar and I would attempt the pull-ups from a sitting position on the mat. After the pull-ups, I could easily transition to push-ups with my knees raised on the mat, and then finally pivot again to my back to do the crunches.

(Side note – one small thing I do for these types of workouts is I take off my sneakers. It prevents my feet from getting caught and stuck while I slide around from position to position.)

Here is a video that we took to demonstrate how we created a self-contained station that allows for this fast transition from one movement to another:

I finished this benchmark attempt at 17 rounds + 5 + 10, falling short of my 20 round goal but having a better understanding of the workout. I believe that the one mistake I made that held me back is that I should have used a lighter medicine ball (10lbs) because the air squat movement isn’t about moving weight, but full range of motion. By mid-rounds, I definitely felt like I was moving weight, not simply moving myself, and this movement slowed me down.

Also, my 10 year old daughter knocked out 18 full rounds, so I definitely have something to shoot for!

Great benchmark week at Crossfit Impavidus. Now, let’s do better!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s