CrossFit Open 2016 adaptive 16.5: feeling good, pay no attention to the red line

shoulder press

The final workout of the 2016 CrossFit Open is over, and as many of you know, it was a grueling repeat of a past workout (14.5). Many of my fellow athletes at Impavidus Gym were around the first time the Open combined thrusters & burpees together, and much to our delight they smashed their previous performances. As for me however, it was my first exposure to such a workout, as well as the WheelWOD adaptation. To recall, the Rx edition of 16.5 is:

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time

  • thrusters (95/65lbs)
  • bar-facing-burpees

The adaptation that WheelWOD came up with cuts no corners:

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time

  • strict shoulder press (75/45lbs)
  • Push-up box-over (8 inch platform); to explain, a push-up, a hand walk over a platform, and then back into a push-up

After seeing this workout adaptation, I don’t want to say that I wasn’t too worried, but…I wasn’t too worried. I knew that for the first time in the 2016 Games I could do both movements reasonably well. I can press 75lbs without difficulty, as it is often programmed into our WOD’s at Impavidus. I am also relatively agile moving my body through space, even though I had never done this specific movement (but certainly ask me about the obstacle courses my old coaches at CrossFit Nassau used to create for me sometime!). It was simply going to be a matter of constant movement.

I always game plan the workout the Friday morning that it is announced, and spent a few minutes with Impavidus owner and head Coach Conan about how to do it well in preparation for my workout on Sunday, which coincidentally was Easter Sunday. His primary piece of advice?

You’re strong enough to do this workout, but it’s a lot of reps. You have to stay away from the REDLINE.

What pray tell is the redline? It is easiest understood in car engines. The redline refers to “the maximum engine speed at which an internal combustion engine or traction motor and its components are designed to operate without causing damage to the components themselves or other parts of the engine.”

In fitnesss-speak, it is your optimal output before your muscles start to fail. Essentially, Conan’s words of advice to me were to stay far, far away from that zone early on, even if you know you can do more reps, because if you don’t, your engine is going to break down, and once it is broken, you can’t fix it during the workout.

Right, got it, coach! Let’s do this.

Round 1: 21 reps of strict press, 21 reps of push-up over box.

21 reps up! 21 reps down! Unbroken! I’m going to finish this workout in like 8 minutes!

revr56dfsptro

Then my body hit the floor for the push-ups, and I felt something I wasn’t expecting. Instability in my shoulders. My shoulder and chest platform serve as the core that everything else is built upon. They were wobbling on me. In round 1.

jwonsepjgxwlk

When I finished with the 21 floor reps and went back to the bar, I knew I had made a mistake.

I didn’t heed the redline. And more importantly, I had never taken the time in my workout preparations to even learn where my redline was. I was barely 4 minutes into the workout and all of my momentum, not to mention confidence, was gone. The 18 presses became a struggle, breaking them up first into thirds and then into doubles. The plate platform that I was supposed to be hopping across like a pommel horse was suddenly a life raft that I just wanted to hug and not let go.

The last, most discouraging element to what happens when you breach the redline is that the problems don’t really manifest themselves until the very end. My personal time after the 12 repetition round was a respectable 12 minutes – that is, I had completed 66 of the 84 total reps in 12 minutes. Nearly 80% of the workout was DONE! And yet, because I had driven my tachometer into the red so quickly, the final 18 reps were excruciatingly slow, especially the shoulder press. In fact, when I got to the final two rounds, I was overcome; I started repeatedly failing on my shoulder press reps, unable to even get singles. In the end, the rounds that should have been the quickest took the longest, with the final 3 reps taking over 2 minutes alone.

When all was said and done, I debriefed with my Coach, and the first thing he told me was, “You didn’t stay away from the redline, did you?” No, I didn’t.

But then he said, “As a coach, I would have told you to drop that weight in the 1st round. But since I was your judge in the event, I had to let you go without any coaching, and whatever happens, happens.”

I considered this statement and then realized that in the long run, my coach had done me a favor. Had he told me to drop the weight early on, I would have simply placed my workout in his hands, never really thinking about what it means to manage your energy when you’re in the grinder. But instead, he let me make the mistake, and I felt the repercussions…oh, how I felt them/still feeling them…and when I immediately realized what I had done, I knew I would never make that mistake again. I would learn to respect the redline.

If you think this was a sad moment for me though, you are mistaken.

Here is what I ultimately took away from my 16.5 workout on Easter Sunday.

“The minute you feel like you’re the only one going through it … you’re losing.” —Austin Malleolo

The CrossFit Open is many things, but one thing that is easy to forget is that they are designed to exist within community. To be sure some athletes, either by choice or situation, must go at it alone. But for the vast majority, the goal is to share in the experience and the suffering.

What this 16.5 workout communicated to me loud and clear was that my coach, the owner of the gym, was willing to come out on Easter Sunday and help me set up, video record, and judge my workout. And not just him – his entire family! They were all there to help and encourage and just be around each other. Powerful community.

The second message received is from my other coach and friend Jason Kitchens, who willingly did the Rx workout along side of me. He is able-bodied and had already done 16.5 for his own records, but was still willing to get in the chair (and out of the chair) and go through the movements along with me. He’s a phenomenal athlete, so it is no small thing for my own confidence to go through this 15-20 minute workout and see him struggling with the movements the same way I was. And in my final lesson, I could see Jason knew where his redline was, where I had not. He finished ahead of me in large part because he knew how to manage his energy better than I did.

In the end, despite my struggles, 16.5 was my best workout of the Open. I finished 6th the WheelWOD workout of 16.5, my highest score throughout the 5 weeks.

I’ll have more thoughts in a final Open post-mortem, but for now, today, I can rest knowing that I finished the WheelWOD CrossFit Open in the Rx division.

CrossFit Open 2016 adaptive: of failure and continuance

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 1.04.28 AM

Riding high on the momentum from my (slightly) more successful workout 16.3, I was excited to attack 16.4. I was still excited, even after I saw it announced, as it turned out to be a grueling 13 minute chipper that would put athletes’ arms and legs through the, well, the chipper. The Rx workout for 16.4 is:

13 minute time cap for:

  • 55 deadlifts
  • 55 wall-ball shots
  • 55-calorie row
  • 55 handstand push-ups

I looked at this workout and had two thoughts: 1) I can do all of those movements! and 2) No, wait. I can’t even do the first movement.

The reason why I thought this way is because, as a T5-T6 injury paraplegic, I have no muscle control below my pectoral region. How in the world can you do a deadlift if you don’t have either lower back or abdominal muscles? HOW?

I waited with trepidation until 6AM the next day when the wheelchair adaptive site WheelWOD would release their Rx standards, and here they are:

  • 55 deadlifts with 70lb kettlebells
  • 55 wall ball shots with 14lb ball and 9 foot target
  • 35 calorie row
  • 55 dumbbell shoulder presses with 35lb dumbbells

Well crap.

Not only have I never attempted a deadlift using kettlebells (I usually do rows while lying face down on a bench), but the standard required a collective weight of 140lbs. I could already envision it. I’d bend forward, grab these very heavy weights, and then not go anywhere with them. How was I supposed to sit upright? With no active muscles to do the work?

But…you gotta try. So I tried. I bent over, grabbed those two 70lb weights and I…sat up. It wasn’t easy, it strained every point in what could only be called my bifurcated posterior chain, and I wanted to drop them almost immediately, but I sat up. And then I did it again. And again. Even now, at this very moment, I cannot tell you how I did it or what muscle groups I was activating that would enable me to do something that I did not think I had the muscle control to do. But I did it.

14bj0e23zo1wey

(Yes, I nearly head-butted my beloved wife who was trying to keep me from toppling over)

So there it was. Wheelchair paraplegic guy, doing deadlifts. Nothing can stop me now!

That is, until I got to the very next movement and began to practice the 14lb wall balls at a 9 foot target.

qxbmf6hcykusw

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

See that white line over the whiteboard? That’s my target. That’s my target that I never came close to surpassing. And that was it. That was my workout. 16.4 was officially done, as the WheelWOD rules stipulate that once you fail at a movement 10 times, your workout ends.

I knew that I wouldn’t be able to hit that target with that 14 lb weighted medicine ball. In fact, I could barely reach 9 ft with a 10lb ball. Even now, as I look at the leaderboard, I have no idea how dozens of wheelchair-bound people can generate enough thrust without the use of their legs and hips to toss a 14lb ball that high.

10 attempts, 10 failures. And so my workout was over.

What did I do then? I kept going.

lubuysmvocajw

35 calorie row. Have you ever sat down at a rowing machine and said to yourself, “I’m basically stuck here for the next 4 and a half minutes?” That’s what I was in for, that’s what I knew I was in for, and that’s what I did. The question is, why?

To be sure, I can always quip, “Well, I didn’t want to get dressed up for nothing.” But the truth is, going into this workout, I knew my score would be capped at 55. I knew I wouldn’t get a single wall ball shot. I knew that, from a competitive standpoint, there was no point in continuing.

Why keep going? One reason is that my coach, the genteel Brad Bunde (of whom it is rumored, if not yet confirmed, that he taught Fred Astaire how to dance, Bing Crosby how to sing, and Frank Sinatra how to snorkel), has repeatedly said that the Open is a snapshot of your physical fitness at that specific moment of your life. It might be the absolute best you have to offer, but more than likely it is going to capture your limits in strength, limits in movement, your lack of sleep, the 200 things that are troubling your mind 18 hours a day, and that slice of spam you ate right before you got to the gym. So treat it as such, and don’t be embarrassed by it.

The second reason is my recollection of some savory bits of war history.

“War is the father of us all, King of all. Some it makes gods, some it makes men, some it makes slaves, some free.” – Heraclitus of Ephesus

The idea is that war and conflict are the ultimate purifiers of human character. Conflict is the unapologetic assayer of the truth of humanity. It reveals all things – anger, love, frustration, patience, discord, peace, despair, hope. The inches that separate the weight on the ground and the weight in your hands will tell you quite a bit, not about your musculature, but of your understanding of your own personal nature. The fact of the matter is, you either pick it up, or you don’t. But the truth of the matter is, you see the heavy object insuperable forever, or you see it as a challenge to which you have not yet found the best solution.

Aut inveniam viam aut faciam

This Latin phrase, which is attributed to the Carthagian military commander Hannibal (even though he didn’t speak Latin, but the Punic language of North Africa), translates to:

I shall either find a way or make one

This phrase was Hannibal’s historic response to his generals who told him that it was impossible to take elephants across the Swiss Alps.

Wait, what???

During the Second Punic War in 218BC, the brilliant Carthaginian general Hannibal led his army, and more importantly, his war elephants, across the Pyrenees and Swiss Alps and into Northern Italy to attack the Roman Republic. In what is now held as one of the great accomplishments of military force in the ancient world of warfare, Hannibal resolved to utilize his elephants and take the fight directly to the Romans by maneuvering his infantry across the mountain range.

While Hannibal’s ultimate efforts were mixed, his resolve and war cry will remain forever in antiquity (as well as at the University of Pennsylvania, Breaking Bad, and in tattoos across the world). And so it is with workouts such as this – you either find a way, or you make one. My personal resolve is this – sometimes, the way that you make will take a long time, maybe even a year until the 2017 WheelWOD CrossFit Open. But there is the door, so figure out a way to go through it.

Addendum: the man who defeated Hannibal, the great Roman General Scipio Africanus, had a pretty good line of his own:

I am aware of the frailty of man, I think about the power of fortune, and I know that all our actions are at the mercy of a thousand vicissitudes. Now I admit that it would have been arrogant and headstrong reaction on my part if you had come to sue for peace before I crossed to Africa, and I had rejected your petition when you were yourself voluntarily quitting Italy, and had your troops embarked on your ships. But, as it is, I have forced you back to Africa, and you are reluctant and resisting almost to the point of fighting, so that I feel no need to show you any consideration. Accordingly, if something is actually added to the terms on which it seems probable that a peace could be concluded — some sort of indemnity for the forceful appropriation of our ships, along with their cargoes, during truce and for the violation of our envoys — then I have something to take to my council. But if you consider even that to be excessive, prepare for war, for you have found peace intolerable.”

Post script:

My video cut out before I began my attempt at the 35lb dumbbell presses. I can attest that I started them at approximately the 12 minute mark. I can also claim that I did all 55 of them in the 60 second window. As far as you know.

CrossFit Open 2016 adaptive 16.3: best effort yet

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 2.23.18 PM

During the first two weeks of the 2016 CrossFit Open, I have been presented with challenging movements that I’ve never done before. I did them the best that I could, but knew that without any practice in them, my body was fighting a learning curve as well as the strength and skill involved in the movements. For 16.3, it was the first workout where I actually felt like my body had some familiarity with each of the adaptive movements prescribed by WheelWOD‘s adaptation. Because of this, I was able to dedicate most of my focus on the thing that is hardest for me while not worrying too much about the things that are easier.

If you recall, the Rx workout for 16.3 is:

7 minute AMRAP

  • 10 power snatch (75/55)
  • 3 bar muscle-ups

The WheelWOD adaptation is:

  • 10 power snatch (55/35)
  • 3 chest-to-bar pull-ups
  • 3 ring dips

I admit that when I first saw 16.3 revealed I was worried that WheelWOD, instead of assigning the bar muscle-up, which is only attainable by the most elite of wheelie athletes, would instead substitute the ring muscle-up, which while much more attainable, is still a bear.

Fortunately, the adaptation involved the breaking apart of the two muscle-up components – the pull and the push. The chest-to-bar wouldn’t be easy without the use of a kip, but at least it was reachable if I took my time.

The hardest part, similar to 16.2, would of course be the power snatch. In 16.2, I barely got into the power clean due to my struggles in the first few minutes of the workout. This time, I’d be starting things off with the snatch. But just like with the clean, the hardest part for me is to generate enough pull on the bar without the availability of abdominal muscles or hip drive. Furthermore, I had only started learning the snatch six months ago, and it was always at lighter weight (35lbs, 45lbs), and starting off of 30″ boxes. How would I do starting from the floor, and at a weight I had never really tried before?

No time like the present to start trying!

As you can see, my motion from floor to overhead is slow. Each rep took approximately 10-15 seconds, which means that the entire 10 rep set took anywhere from 90 seconds to 2 full minutes. As I look across the leaderboard for the WheelWOD competition, it is easy to see that the men and women who can do this movement the best are the ones with the best scores.

For me, pulling up the bar, repositioning my hips, and then pulling the bar as far as I could to get my elbows under it was a strain on my upper body abilities. That said, prior to this workout I had never done reps at 55lbs before. So while I was slow on this movement, which probably cost me at least another round, the weight itself was a personal record (“PR”). And as the debonair and affable Coach Brad Bunde said afterward, “You just did 30 reps at your PR weight. That’s really good.”

After the snatch came the semi-difficult move, the chest-to-bar pull-up. The key with this movement for this workout is that the bar has to actually touch your chest anywhere from the collarbone down. While I know I can get up high enough with the pull-up, actually creating contact might cause problems. And in fact it did, as in the first set, I rose up high enough but failed to touch the bar. No rep.

However, CrossFit competition is, by and large, a workout regimen of range of motion and not pure technique. With that in mind, I quickly solved my problem:

Switching from a pull-up (mostly back muscles, but pulls you at an angle) to a chin-up (mostly biceps, which burn out much faster), I was easily able to pull the bar into my chest and move on.

Moving on to…the ring dip.

The ring dip is one of the easiest movements I can do, and here is a great opportunity to express my love for all things rings. My assertion is simple – if you have limited range of motion in your legs, there may not be a better workout tool for you than getting strong on the rings. It will train you more in your strength, stability, balance, and explosive power than any other tool available.

In the end, I’m still hovering around the same spot I’ve been across the WheelWOD leaderboard, but for the first time I am satisfied with my 2016 submission. I can’t wait for what’s next.

(As an aside, this has been a phenomenal week for the CrossFit Open at Impavidus Gym. The Rx programming which involved the bar muscle-up had a lot of athletes questioning their ability to get past a score of 10. And yet, every single day, I saw groups of coaches and athletes clustered around the rigs, working through the muscle-up progression. In the end, we had so many people defeat the bar muscle-up for the very first time, and is such a joy to watch. It is what makes our gym and so many other CrossFit gyms so special. And hats off to the Games’ programmer Dave Castro, who has endured his fair share of criticism in the past. He programmed a tough workout in 16.3, but whether intentionally or not, created an environment where many athletes saw victory over a difficult movement for the very first time.)

Many thanks to all of the people who helped me with this workout – Kim Evers, Ariana Tkachuk, Brad Bunde, Colleen Taylor, and Doug Naquin. 

ParaWOD 16.2: The struggle is real

T2B

Over the last few years, I have avidly watched the CrossFit Games with my wife. I think because you’re literally watching the best of the best during the final competition, it is easy to miss the level of ‘elite’ that is on constant display. It is only until you try it for yourself where you begin to see the chasm between your own abilities and those athletes who are vying to contend for the championship. For example, you watch a guy like Dan Bailey roll through 16.2 and it gives you a radically superficial belief in yourself that, “Hey, I think getting into round 5 is a realistic goal for me.”

And then you start the workout.

The CrossFit Open is perhaps the only thing I’ve encountered in life that is both empowering and humbling at the same time, and 16.2 was no different.

For your recollection, the official 16.2 workout is thus:

  1. 25 toes-to-bars
  2. 50 double-unders
  3. 15 squat cleans, 135 / 85 lb

Time cap: 4 minutes.

If you finish that round, you get another 4 minutes to do the same number of T2B and DU’s, then your squat clean weight goes up while the reps go down.

The Rx adaptation by WheelWOD is thus:

  1. 15 (Male) / 7 (Female) Hanging Chair raises
  2. 50 (2-4-1) Battle ropes = 100 singles
  3. 12 Barbell Cleans from Floor, 55lbs (Male) /35lbs (Female)

If completed before 4 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:

  1. 15 (Male) / 7 (Female) Hanging Chair raises
  2. 50 (2-4-1) Battle ropes = 100 singles
  3. 10 Barbell Cleans from Floor, 65lbs (Male) /40lbs (Female)

If completed before 8 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:

  1. 15 (Male) / 7 (Female) Hanging Chair raises
  2. 50 (2-4-1) Battle ropes = 100 singles
  3. 8 Barbell Cleans from Floor, 75lbs (Male) /45lbs (Female)

And the weight keeps going up while the reps go down, all the way up to 20 minutes.

As I watched the WheelWOD demo, two things occurred to me.

  1. I’ve never done two of those movements (hanging chair raise, barbell cleans from floor);
  2. I can totally get into the 3rd round of this.

Why my confidence was so high, I have no idea. The hanging chair raise requires a group of muscles that I simply don’t have – abdominal and hip control. Furthermore, the barbell clean started at the weight I usually finish at – 55 lbs. Why I thought I could not only do 12 reps of that, but also include 2 more rounds afterward, well, chalk it up to the adrenaline and/or lack of sleep. Oddly enough, the one thing I didn’t worry about too much was the battle ropes.

Which brings us to the workout.

Let’s start with the positives. After practicing the movement one time, I discovered that I can actually do the hanging chair raise. Thanks to Impavidus Gym and their amazing gymnastics coach Tracey Kloes, over the past few weeks I’ve acquired much greater shoulder and torso movement, which allowed me to create a kipping motion that enabled me to do this movement.

dop64u0nlkahq

My ability to do this movement is a 100% victory for this workout. As a paraplegic with somewhere around a T5 or T6 injury, I shouldn’t be able to do this. Yet with the focus on gymnastic movement and shoulder mobility, this turned into the easiest movement for me during the workout. Things were looking up.

Until the battle ropes. Oh my.

Perhaps it was my own hubris, but I wasn’t worried about those. It may be only because I had actually done them before, so I knew what was expected. Well, I was wrong on both counts, because I hadn’t done them to the degree that this workout requires, nor did I really understand what to expect. The battle ropes were my undoing.
h6wmma6y6hvfa

Sometimes, you have to deal with your equipment limitations. Our gym has plenty of climbing ropes, but no actual ‘battle ropes.’ So I have no idea whether the gear I was using were appropriate for the movement or not. What I do know is, in order to meet the 20′ rope requirement, I had to tie two ropes together, and this made the movement incredibly difficult and fatiguing, as the knot in the rope added additional weight to the movement as well as affected the physics transfer of energy. The result was not only that too much time was taken, but I had little energy left for the clean movement.

As I mentioned, the starting weight of 55lbs is usually the weight I stop at during normal CrossFit classes. The reason why is that I have no muscle control over my lower back or any hip extension. The movement is purely a pull from my lap and the hope to get the barbell high enough to bring my elbows underneath.
euaqba1obrszk

With the energy and time I had left, I only got 4 reps on this final round.

Afterward, my coaches talked to me a bit about the purpose of the Open – for the vast majority of us, its purpose is to test us. How can we handle a workout going in cold? With no preparation? For new and different movements? How can it test us in the areas where we aren’t prepared? Where will we surprise ourselves?

With that in mind, as frustrating as the latter two movements were for me in 16.2, the first one is a revelation. Not only that, but all three movements will change my workouts going forward. The toe-to-bar will become the chair raise, double-unders will become battle ropes, and the clean will always start from the floor.

Much thanks to Impavidus Gym and Coaches Doug Naquin, Jason Kitchens, and the dashing Brad Bunde for all of their help.

On to 16.3!

 

ParaWOD’s 16.1 adaptation is in the books

You completed 16.1 this past weekend, right? So did lots of seated adaptive athletes, per the outstanding website WheelWOD. If you are a wheelchair athlete (“wheelie,” per the Chef) and you aren’t familiar with WheelWOD, then it is time to get acclimated. After the official CrossFit Games Open competition workout is announced, Chris “Stouty” Stoutenburg adapts the workout to seated athletes. You may be too late to sign up for the 2016 competition, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do the workouts that he programs.

As we all know, the official 16.1 was thus:

20 minute AMRAP

  • 25-ft. overhead walking lunge (5 reps)
  • 8 burpees (8 reps)
  • 25-ft. overhead walking lunge (5 reps)
  • 8 chest-to-bar pull-ups (8 reps)

Total reps per round: 26

To adapt this workout, Stouty programmed the following:

Rx

  • 25-ft 1 Arm locked out over head wheel (25/15lb plate) (1 rep)
  • 8 chair to floor transfers (8 reps)
  • 25-ft 1 Arm locked out over head wheel (25/15lb plate) (1 rep)
  • 8 full hang pull-ups (8 reps)

Scaled

  • 15ft plate drag (45/35lb plate) (1 rep)
  • 8 Med ball slams (20/10lb) (8 reps)
  • 15ft plate drag (45/35lb plate) (1 rep)
  • 8 seated pull-ups (8 reps)

Total reps per round: 18

To get an idea of the nature of the body movements, as well as how they would be judged, refer to WheelWOD’s 16.1 post here.

To add to the overall experience, my friend Coach Jason decided to get in a wheelchair and attempt the scaled workout along side me. Share in the suffering! It’s the best!

How did I do? 

I attempted the workout Rx and finished the 20 minute workout with 76 total repetitions. Two of the movements – the chair to floor transfer and the plate holds – I had never really attempted before. I do have a chair get-up incorporated into my own workout adaptation, but it always involves an elevated platform like a stool or a box to get the height I need to transfer. But straight from the floor? Never. This would be difficult.

Also, when I first started my CrossFit life, my Kiwi coach had me practice holding a kettlebell straight up (i.e. inverted, with the handle facing down toward the floor) while he pushed me around the room trying to knock me off balance. That’s the closest I ever got to this plate hold movement, but having to push myself in a straight line, that was new.

Because of the requirements on the plate hold, I knew that I would have to use my basketball chair, the only thing that would roll straight and easily and allow me to push both wheels with the same hand.

I practiced both of these movements for about 10 minutes, and I was fortunate to even get that amount of practice time, as our gym was a frenzy of activity during the opening weekend of the 2016 Open. Using my sport chair, I was confident I could do both, but knew I wouldn’t be fast doing either. As far as the strict pull-ups, I wasn’t concerned, as that is a staple of my gym’s routine programming.

As it turned out however, the biggest challenge was not in the workout, but in providing video evidence that I did it successfully. WheelWOD’s standards require that the entire workout be done in a single video shot with all movements and clock visible at all times. With the space required for this workout, combined with the sheer floor space that my gym at CrossFit Impavidus possesses, the video shots were anything but basic. And in the end, my lack of preparation in this regard ended up costing me on the leaderboard, as the judges did not have the clarity they needed to evaluate effectively. As a result, my poor video planning cost me a 15% penalty, which lowered my score to a 63.

Here are my movements:

1. Plate hold

nmxzrzgc5hmse

(clip sped up slightly to see full distance)

2. Chair to floor transfer

bivevdtad99xa

3. Strict pull-up

q8xw50ptp0hv2

As frustrating as it was to get penalized and not receive an official score that I thought was commensurate with my effort, there were plenty of lessons learned, not the least of which is that planning and preparation are important when it comes to providing video evidence.

Aside from that, the workout was still a winner for me. I challenged myself, completed two new movements in the process, and got to do a 20 minute workout with Coach Jason.

Thanks to Impavidus Gym for helping me out. I’ll do better on 16.2. Can’t wait!

ParaWod gets started with the 2016 CrossFit Open

If you’re associated with the CrossFit community, then you’re quite aware with their announcement yesterday evening of the kick-off for the 2016 season, beginning with the Open. The Open is where every athlete can enter and compete, and this year they are giving greater support and consideration for athletes to scale workouts.

If you want to watch both the announcement of the first workout, called 16.1, as well as the workout it self, you can view it here. If you want to jump straight to the workout, fast forward to about 33 minutes in.

At Impavidus Gym, like for many Crossfit boxes, we had a watch party followed by the first attempts at 16.1. Much merriment and suffering was had by all. In case you missed it, here is the 16.1 workout RX:

20 minute AMRAP

  • 25-ft. overhead walking lunge
  • 8 burpees
  • 25-ft. overhead walking lunge
  • 8 chest-to-bar pull-ups

Our gym has been knocking it out with much aplomb, and I had to get in on the action. Much to my delight, there is another guy named Chris Stoutenburg who runs a great site called WheelWOD, and he’s well ahead of me in terms of adaptation. He’s even built out his own adaptive CrossFit Open! So of course I signed up, and he will be posting his official adaptations that I will be doing for my own competition.

However, in the meantime, I couldn’t let my box-mates have all the fun, so I programmed my own workout while I wait for “Stouty.”

Here is what I did as I waited for WheelWOD’s 16.1:

  1. Walking lunge = 5 stations, 5 yards apart for the 25 yards. At each station, 2 kettlebells. Clean & press at each station before moving on. (5 reps)
  2. 8 Burpees = 8 chirpees (8 reps)
  3. 5 kettlebell stations back (5 reps)
  4. 8 C2B pull-ups = 8 strict pull-ups (8 reps)

Total reps per round: 26

Final results: 6 rounds + 1 = 157 total reps

Tune in next time as I take on Stouty’s adapted 16.1 workout!