WheelWOD qualifiers: which workout first?

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The WheelWOD Open 2016 is finished and we’re now on to the championship qualifiers. And guess what, I qualified to compete in this next round! (Ignore the fact that, to qualify,  I only had to pay the entry fee). Similar to the CrossFit Masters qualifiers, the WheelWOD qualifier consists of 3 different workouts, all released at once, and we get one week to complete each of them.

According to the rules, the top 9 men will advance to the championship round, which will be held in Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada.

Each of the three workouts will be challenging in different ways, and my first order of business is which order I should do them. Suggestions are most welcome!

Workout #1

Adapted Fran

  • 21-15-9
  • Time cap: 10 minutes
  • Seated Shoulder Press 75/35
  • Full Hang Pull up

Well hello, Fran!  This classic CrossFit WOD is in every competitor’s back pocket, and the movements are easily adaptable for a wheelchair athlete. In fact, I’ve done it several times over the years and am comfortable with both the pull-ups as well as the press. No problem, right?

Competition is a different animal. It is different because there is a higher scrutiny and a higher demand for difficult movements. Fran takes on a new visage for me because, while I can do a seated shoulder press at 75lbs, the standard requires me to be able to pick it up off the floor. Since I’ve always taken the weight off the rig, and my clean weight caps out around 65lbs, I’m more than a little concerned that I won’t even be able to get the weight into position to press it.

How will I get that weight up to my shoulders? Should I curl it? Oh my, I can already hear my coaches snickering…

Workout #2

a) 10 minutes to find hanging clean 1 rep max

rest 2 minutes

b) 7 min AMRAP

  • 10 Clean & Jerk from floor @ 65lbs
  • 10 Wall Balls 14lbs @ 8 feet

This workout combines two of my “room for lots of improvement” movements that I’ve learned during the Open. The pulling motion of the clean is and always will be problematic for me, but at the very least, I know I can get to about 65lbs in the 1 rep max. But then to have to do it 10 times per round for part b? Oh boy.

But that’s not even the most demoralizing part. During the Open in 16.4, my score was essentially capped because I couldn’t throw the 14lb wall ball high enough at 9 feet. WheelWOD gives me a little bit of a break in the qualifier, setting the target above 8 feet, but I am still unsure as to how consistently I can hit the lower target.

Workout #3

17 minute Chipper

  • 200 Battle Ropes
  • 100 1 arm alternating dumbbell snatch 25lbs
  • 50 Push ups
  • 25m Crawl
  • 5 Ring muscle-ups

And lastly, we’ve got a lovely chipper to work through. In workout 16.2, the battle ropes were my undoing in the ladder workout. With only makeshift climbing ropes tied together, I was completely gassed by the time the opening round concluded.

This time around, I did what any sensible CrossFitter would do when faced with such a recurring predicament – I bought my own battle rope. While I’m sure it will help me only in a marginal sense, I at least know that I should be able to get through the first section without too much harm done and get to the next five movements with plenty of time. The snatch will take some time, but 25lbs isn’t overwhelming, even at that volume.

The next two movements are basic body movements that I have practice in, but I have learned my lesson; nothing to be taken for granted. Get through these quickly, and I set myself up for the CrossFit dividing line – the ring muscle-up.

Can I do five of them within a few minutes? It really comes down to what day it is. Some days yes, other days, my body won’t cooperate. Perhaps this one will be on a good day.

But the first challenge is obvious – in what order do  I do the workouts???

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