Who would of thunk it, a rower! Cool! It's not all that surprising though. With something like 10,000 affiliates and the popularity of CrossFit it seems that most people will have access to one. So, how should you go about this workout?
First and foremost, if you do NOT have muscle ups, sprint like a bat outta hell. The tie breaker is your only saving grace on this workout. OK, that takes care of that.
This is a straight up conditioning workout so be sure to get your heard rate up and get a sweat going. You'll want to get a lot of good mobilizing of the shoulders and arms as well. If anything is going to give way here it'll be the grip and the lats. I'm not a fan of giving very direct warm up instruction, just be surer to really warm this one up.
Pace, pace, pace. For you competitive athletes you could probably do this in 1:30 if you went all out. But I suggest you slow things down and get this done between 2-3 minutes, The fact of the matter is, losing 15-30 seconds on the rower means nothing. Save your energy to move better on muscle ups. So slow it down.
- Ease up on your grip for the entire row. Don't grip the thing tightly.
- Set the damper to a lower setting. (I am seeing many people actually UP the damper setting. I don't like that as it will force you to use more grip and more lats. Take it to a 4 setting or so, and let your legs do the work). Try to stick to the same pace the entire row so that you get off it feeling strong.
Toes To Bar:
I like Carl Paoli's tip of getting that pinkie joint up and over the bar. The goal is that if you get a solid position of holding on to the bar, you use less energy and save your grip. Besides that, pace this out. You don't want to get to singles. But if you do, I found that getting a rep-popping off the bar-turning around-getting a rep, is a really fast singles rhythm.
I suggest hitting a set of 10, then doing 5-8 until that seems challenging, then go to 3's
If you know how to use your legs on this, do that. This means that you'll practically jump every rep, but it saves SO much energy in your arms. Basically: throw with your legs. A lot of people are suggesting you to with a huge set here, try to finish this off fast. Again, the goal is the muscle ups for the competitors out there, so I would honestly suggest you break this up as 4 sets of 10. You'll be really freaking gassed at this point and hitting a set of 30+ is could take so much out of you. Do 10, rest 3-5 seconds. You'll "lose" 9-15 seconds here. And as with the rower, losing a few seconds here is worth it to have energy on the muscle ups.
Singles. Don't waist your time on the eccentric, that will crush you for the muscle ups. Catch the bar, make sure you get the rep, then dump it. Ideally you use plates that have minimal bounce. You'd want to get immediately back on the bar the second you drop it.
You are either attempting to get as many muscle up as you can, or getting back to the rower and getting as many calories as you can. If you can bang out 10+ unbroken when fresh, then hitting triples is probably our best bet. Maybe even hitting a set of 5 as an opener. If you're not a stud on the rings, go to singles quickly and minimize you're rest.
The thing to remember here is that it's either an APRAP muscle ups, or get the heck back to the rowing machine, so be smart. You want to get through the rings fast as hell, but you DO NOT want to miss reps. Know yourself enough to take the rest you need to not miss reps. Especially don;t miss on the lock out. Be deliberate there and show those elbows locking out.
If you are one of the good ones who gets back to the rower, go all out. There is no pacing on round two; just get reps!
Some More Tips:
If you have the Reebok weightlifting shoes that are a little ore mobile, wear them. Shoot, if you like the added weight on your feet for kipping exercises, go ahead and wear your Romeleos if you want. The heel will help on the row, wall balls, and cleans, and probably won't hurt you all that much on the bar and rings.
Stay relaxed! One of the worst things you can do on workouts that have fatigued muscle ups is tense up and/or get frustrated. Find a tempo, stay relaxed, stick to it. This is 14 minutes of a LOT of movement, so stay within yourself.
Most of all, have fun!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Those three stupid numbers are the score I got for my three attempts for the final workout of the CrossFit Games Open. The goal was 90 in 4 minutes, so that I would have another 4 minutes to accumulate reps and move myself into a "guaranteed" spot at the Regionals event. As of the time of me writing this, there is still a incredibly thin chance I get a sort of “invite” to this event in May, but I’m not even thinking about that. What I’m thinking about is the intense pain I feel after failing by 1 rep.
It reminds me of last year when I missed the individual Regionals event by 1 point. Granted, I was signed up to go with a team, but it still stung.
I could write a pretty lengthy book filled with all my failures, from small to big. From little “meaningless” ones like burning a meal I’m cooking for myself, to large ones like failing two classes my first semester Freshman year and needing to take summer courses to keep eligible for baseball.
But I don’t want to list all those, it’s too depressing to think about right now as I feel like a pretty big failure this exact moment. Right now I’m thinking about how tough it is to be so good at so many things, without ever being excellent at any of them. My best friend shot me a text after asking how this workout went and he reminded me that I was born a remarkable athlete. One who could play professional baseball, run 12 marathons, perform at a high level in triathlon and jiu-jitsu, and one who has clearly proven himself at the Sport Of Fitness. I’m “better” than 99% of the people out there he says.
But what hurts for guys like me is that I’m just one step, no, a half step or less away from being one of the best. Being that .01% out there that is just flat out amazing at shit, there are not that many people who have that, but they are there, and we all know them. It may sound pretentious of me, or arrogant or something, but the pain of being good enough to perform with the best, but always finish behind them is almost too great sometimes. There are so many times, times like today, when I just wish I wasn’t good at stuff. There wouldn’t be that hope in me at all times that I have a chance. There wouldn’t be that drive to be the best, because there would be flat out no chance of me being there. But instead I am faced every single day with so much evidence that I can perform with the best of the best (well, maybe not WITH them, but a half step behind them) and my brain and body goes into focus mode. I work so hard. I train, I study, I analyze every bit of my life to figure out what I could do to gain that ½ step. I work, and then work some more. And when it comes down to it, I’m still a half step behind. Is it that I don’t work hard enough? Is it that I’m not doing the right things? I really doubt it.
As a coach I would tell my athletes to focus on all the little achievements. Celebrate the fact that you are determined to get better and that the fact that you would work so hard is the real success. And writing that now, I realize that that is exactly what I have to do. I gave that workout everything I possibly could and my celebration should be in the fact that I worked so hard for the reps I got. It should not be that I failed in achieving my goals. Every single person has limits: physical, emotional psychological, and so on. I am obviously the type of person that tries to test those limits on myself on a pretty regular basis.
Interestingly enough, I have been ignorant in stating I’ve never found my limits (I’ve written that many times). I’ve always thought that there’d be some sort of explosion of awareness in my mind or something when that breaking point actually hit, but that’s not how it works. How it works is, I fail. When I can’t go any further, I fail. I have found my limits over and over, and over again, my entire life. And yet I choose to keep pushing them. I guess my little “catch phrase” I write after every post actually does mean a lot to me. Maybe it’s just a constant reminder to myself as to what my life is all about.
Never Stop. GET FIT.
Talking with a couple people late last night I realized something damn cool about this final workout: it literally defines what I love so much about CrossFit. It is not necessarily the most in-shape person who will score well on this one. Very fit people will also need to know themselves and how they function on these specific movements perfectly. It includes a portion of experience. My training partner is an absolute beast and will be going to Regionals along with me. But I fear he will struggle more with this workout than any of the others because he has never done Fran and has no clue what to expect from doing something like that. Fran is the go-to workout for CrossFit because of its simplicity coupled by its absolute degree of difficulty. Not only is it brutal for those who know how to do it, but it's always tough because you think it should be easy, and it's not. And then to top it off, this Open Workout is slightly harder than Fran, and throws that mind-f**k of added time into the mix. I am shocked that Jason Khalipa got nowhere near that third time addition, AND I have never seen Rich Froning look that beat up while exercising. This one is BRUTAL!
So with the fact that I have no clue how everyone reading this is, I will explain how I plan to approach this workout, and I'll touch on a couple different things you should be thinking about going into it. First off, for those athletes gunning for the 3rd time installment, figuring out timing of thrusters and pull ups probably won;t help you all that much. Pacing this on based off of time will work for such a small collection of people, and I'm sure those people know their times. If you try to pace out 90 perfect reps in 4 minutes you'll hit a wall no matter what and end up screwing yourself up through the 8 minutes. I honestly think the best way to go about this workout is getting your 90 reps (again, for people gunning for the 12 minutes workout) while performing just under your red-line. Then go about doing everything in your power to get another 90 resp in before the 8 minute mark hits. If you are gifted/lucky enough to make it into the 3rd round, it honestly doesn't matter at that point. Take a minute rest and just accumulate some reps. You'll be in such a small percentile of athletes, you'll be pretty set. My point is, any score above 180 is going to be an incredibly high score.
That is obviously pretty vague, but I think it's a good base of approach. Get your first 90 in without blacking out, then go for broke at a pace YOU can handle and hope to the dear Lord above that you get another 90 in before time expires.
I will be going about it like so: If my butterfly C2B's are working, I'll plan to hit two rounds unbroken. I'll then plan to hit the 3rd round of 15's with unbroken thrusters and then break the C2Bs up either 8/7 or 6/5/4. While I feel good with the C2Bs, I know that they take SO much out of you. It's worth breaking them up earlier with the knowledge that it's always better to do slightly larger chucks of them rather than going to singles and doubles when you get really crushed. After getting the initial 90, it'll be about putting the BB down before hitting a wall so that I can conserve enough energy to get my larger chunks of C2Bs. At that point, all that matters is getting to 180, so it'll be a conservative sprint from there on out. Knowing myself, I can always get 4-6 of each of these movements as long as I'm still standing, so I will plan on making sure I stay at a pace where I can do that. I will probably do 8/8 or 5/5/5 on the thrusters, and 6/5/4 or 5/5/5 on the C2Bs for as long as I can. When I hit a wall with that, I'll just get freaking reps however humanly possible until I am either done (read: dead), or I get the "joy" of getting to go for another 4 minutes. And again, for anyone lucky enough to get to that 3rd round, good work, just get a whatever you can. It's going to be a VERY small collection of people.
For those of you who hope to get into the second round. Get to it with just enough energy to spare, then just get reps in. You know your workout will be over no matter what at 8 minutes so view it as an 8 minute AMRAP. But don;t go too slow at the start. Hit that sub-red-line pace to make sure you get the initial 90, then accumulate reps until you're done.
For those of you who know you won't make it past 4. Sweet, this is a pretty "easy" workout for you. Get as many reps as you possibly can in 4 minutes. Go!
I recognize that this post is the least insightful of all my "notes" posts, but that is because the strategy here is going to be ever so slightly different for each and every person. Go to GymnasticsWOD and get your efficiency notes form Carl Paoli/ The get your mobility prep from MobilityWod and Kelly Starett. After that, break down your Fran, and then your ability to handle a slightly tougher Fran, and be honest and realistic. I know for me, getting 180 reps is possible, but will take some serious star-aligning for it to happen. So I need to set a pace (that i know how to do through experience CrossFitting, and having done Fran 5 times) to give myself the best opportunity to get 180 resp in 8 minutes. If I plan to have any energy after that, I didn't approach this workout correctly.
I recommend weightlifting shoes. They obviously help on the thrusters, and for me, they actually assist my butterfly kip because of the weight distribution to my feet.
Put something on your hands. Wear gloves, or those hand protector things, or tape, something. And shave down those callouses ASAP. If there was a workout out there that would rip your hands up, this is it. And I really have no interest in seeing all the pictures on Facebook with people showing off how "cool" and "bad ass" (read: stupid, and really freaking stupid) they are because they were stupid and ripped their hands.
Warm up by mobilizing your hips and shoulders, AND stabilizing your shoulders. This workout is the equivalent of throwing a 12 inning game with weighted baseballs with both hands (that would be a bad thing by the way, for all you non-baseball minds out there. The point is, this workout is going to destroy your shoulders. make sure they are mobile AND the muscles are active and prepared for hundreds of floppy, gross, dynamic, tendon-ripping reps.
Leave it all on the floor. This is the last workout of The Open! You've come this far, you may as well go all out. For people like me and my training partner, it;s all about gaining a few more extra spots up the leaderboard to assure our spot at Regioanls. For others, it's the a chance to see what you're made of on a diabolical workout. But remember, if you have no chance competing in Regionals, be sure to pay attention to your hands and shoulders throughout. There is no point hurting yourself, or causing a week or more of no training just to get a few more reps.
No matter what happens, we can all rejoice in the fact that the open is over after this!!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Been a bit since I last ran through what I've been up to, so, here you go! The lull in posts over the past 4-5 days has been because I was out on a cruise down to Mexico and internets was insanely expensive, so, opted to just lay low for a while. Let's start off with The Open. As I write this, we are only hours away from the announcement of the 4th workout (out of 5), and the exciting thing for me with all this has been my rapid comeback. After a debacle of a first workout, finishing 375th in the region, I had a respectable 2nd one, pushing me to 103rd. Then, I good score in my eyes brought me down to 82nd overall after 3 weeks. I'm fired up becuase there are a limited amount of exercises they can bring out for us on the last two workouts, and I am very confident I'll do pretty well. My goal is to not only finish in the top 60, but to hopefully get myself down to a better finish than last year (I finished 30th last year). I haven't really made an official announcement yet, but because the chances of me actually making the Games are pretty slim, I'll be joining the Outlaw CrossFit team and competing with them to hopefully get to the Games that way! I am exited to do this as I've never done a team competition and I feel strongly that team Outlaw will tear it up (as of now, we are at 10th in the region, and am pretty sure we'll finish top 5 or so when all is said and done).
So, this past weekend. This was an interesting trip all around, and it solidified that I really do know what I like and don't like. So, I met Lindsey down in Ft. Lauderdale on Wednesday, grabbed dinner on Las Olas Blvd and then went to get some recovery sleep before doing the 3rd Open workout. After a hearty breakfast we went to The Playground Gym to join their 10am class for the workout. This place was awesome! A HUGE warehouse, just north of downtown and filled with every bit of equipment one would need and more. They had full powerlifting gear, tons of racks and platforms, a great space out back with tires and sleds, and tons of really welcoming and enjoyable athletes, and of course, some great coaches. After getting my 10 rounds plus 27 reps in the crazy humidity of Florida, I hung around for a bit with the coaches to get some light Oly work before headed back to prepare fro the cruise. Had a great time at The Playground Gym (owners of CrossFit Affliction as well) and was excited to head back there on Monday after we got back from the cruise. I was able to get my back squat work, then joined the 7pm class for their conditioning: 5 rounds of 400 meter run and 15 overhead squats at 95#. This was the perfect workout post-crusie bender and I was happy to move through this with a time of 13:41. I would assume that a 12-ish minute time would be doable at full capacity, but it felt so good to just go all out. After that, I hung with the coaches and did a bit more accessory work. So, if you are ever in Ft. Lauderdale, make sure to get in touch with these guys and join in for a class, they are a bunch of damn good people.
On to the cruise! Ok, I totally get how some people can really like these things. Everything is right there for you, food, sun, games and such f you want, and plenty of people to keep the energy levels up. We had some fun on the flow-rider, had a really good people-watching time, got TONS of sun, drank and ate too much, and had a absolute blast on our day out on Cozumel, Mexico. The negatives from my perspective (and mind you, these are merely MY opinions! I have a pretty distinct personality, so take these comments accordingly): you are stuck in a limited space. To me, it is scary as all hell to not be able to go anywhere at any time. While the ship was impressively big, you are still completely limited to what's on it, and I could start to feel myself becoming a tad bit claustrophobic. The next is the food. While it was actually pretty decent, it was insanely processed. I could tell that right off the bat becuase no matter how much or little you ate, you felt crazy bloated after, no matter what! When I had fish tacos in Mexico with fried fish and cheese on them and felt awesome, I knew there was something strange going on. And while there was plenty to do (flow rider, climbing wall, basketball court, game room, freaking skating rink and so on) it was just not the same as say, surfing, actual rock climbing, running around in the woods and swimming in the ocean. I found that my snootiness on relaxation is pretty strong and I can't get myself to be totally chill unless I'm in nature. Oh, right, and I'm also NOT an extrovert; as in, I really don't get any energy at all from being around other people. I get my energy from being alone and in nature. Some people are just different, what can I say. So, if you like being around people, if you like having tons of different foods and and drinks and having everything right there for you, then a cruise is perfect for you. And I know tons of people who love cruises, so, makes sense. But for me, just ain't the thing for me!
Allrighty, there's the update show for today. I got a few things planned out for posts to come, so look for those through the week!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Well, yet again I have neglected writing for a couple weeks and I apologies to those of you who enjoy reading my blog on the regular! But I have decided on what I will be doing for Lent. First off, I have never actually done anything for Lent, never really grew up with it or anything so it never really caught on for me. And really, I am approaching this first time for me all wrong, but that's ok, I'm really just committing to something and it just so happens to land on the first day of Lent. I am giving up on excuses for NOT writing on this blog and will be writing a post every single day! Yep, it's back at posting up motivations, updates, ideas, thoughts, complaints, and on and on. So, you have that to look forward to!
Other than that, I'll start off with a little update on my training, the progress of the gym space, The Open, training with The Outlaws and whatever else pops in my head as I write! So, training has been going very well. Following The Outlaw Way, and getting down to train with Rudy Nielson and his crew on a regular basis has worked wonders on my progress. I always thought that I just needed to break down one last wall before becoming legitimately good at this whole CrossFit thing, and while I am no Rich Froning, Jr., I feel like I have at the very least figured out exactly what it takes. I still have my weaknesses, and while they are big weaknesses, I am WAY better than I was even teo months ago. I feel like that wall I need to break through is still there; but rather than being a 10 foot think steel wall, it's a frail drywall (the link there is for fun, and it tends to be highly offensive and littered with bad language, besides that, it is hysterical. you've been warned). Last Friday we hit a threshold workout and something just clicked in me. I figured out how to push through more than ever before. And while I've had a few crappy workouts after that, it has really opened my eyes on how to better approach all the other workouts that could and will be offered throughout a competition. I am bubbling with confidence when it comes to competitions coming up.
That leads me to The Open. Tonight CrossFit will be announcing the first of five workouts that around 50,000 people worldwide will be performing in what is easily the largest and most divers competition the world has ever seen. After the same process last year, I can honestly say that the powers that may be over at CrossFit figured out the best method for finding The Fittest On Earth in the given year. While I am sure there will be some minor changes throughout the years, I think the basic template will stay the same. For those of you who do not know, it works like this:
One workout is announced every Wednesday night. People have until Sunday night to submit their score, either by video, or by going to a qualified affiliate who can validate your score for you. Every person is signed up in a specific region, and I think there are 14 regions around the world (I am in the Mid Atlantic Region).
The top 60 athletes from each reason will make it to Regionals. They get their by being the best at the workouts announced over the five weeks of the The Open. This event will be a 3-day event (although the dates posted this year suggest a 4-day event...). These will be run just like a normal CrossFit event, with 6+ workouts over the weekend, all at the same location and everyone competing for a top spot!
The top 3 athletes from each Regional make it to The Games. This is the big event that will probably be on ESPN and where the winner get $250K! It just keeps getting bigger and bigger!
It's a pretty cool event all around, and if you don;t want to sign up for The Open yourself (you might as well, it's only $20 and can be done almost anywhere!) you can follow along the world HERE, or me and my adventures on my blog as I'll be updating my process. Turns out I'll be performing each of the 5 workouts in a different location each week! Crazy!
Cool, besides that, not much going on! I have a massive project in the Courage Bars looming over me which is nothing short of insanely exciting, and I am focusing on getting those made up and marketed in some way as I train and get my clients training as well. I am negotiating a gym space right now, and with all the bad luck that has followed me in trying to open a space since I moved back to the East Coast, this is proving to be the most promising. I don;t want to spill the beans on the details with this one yet at all, but know that I am still working on a daily basis to get something going! Obviously, as things roll along I will update everyone, so, staying positive!
If you haven't yet, or if you know of some people that can vote, please vote for me for Best Personal Trainer in DC here. It only take s few seconds and I am committing to doing something wonderfully crazy and entertaining (physically obviously) if I win this year!
Ok, that'll be the update for now. But I'm excited to get to writing on a daily basis, have lots' of great topics to get to!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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