Saturday was my first event since Regionals, and it was a great one! CrossFit Football is making a big kick to expand their name a little and they're doing so through a string of events they are calling Occupy Strength. The competition consists of the CrossFit Football Total (1 rep max of power clean, squat, bench and deadlifts), then a short, heavy metcon.
For starters, I didn't even know I was going to be competing until the Tuesday before, so while I was super stoked to be in, I hadn't really thought about planning/tapering. I ended up taking Wednesday-Friday off, not only to let my muscles and brain recover, but also because Tuesday night I came down with a pretty rough cold. My throat swelled up on me real bad, and Wednesday the floodgates opened in my nose! All weekend I was having a really rough time breathing so while I felt good muscularly, I was a little nervous going into the whole thing.
The second challenge was to make it down to the middle weight class (187-220) so I actually had a chance at being competitive in the Total. I weighed in on Tuesday at 228, so it was going to be interesting to do that cut without killing myself or making myself even more sick. It ended up being pretty easy though. Thursday I cut back about 500 total calories on the day, with zero carbs. Friday I had my small meals throughout the day while drinking about 2 gallons of water between 7am and 2pm. At 2, I stopped consuming anything and layered on my sweatpants, sweatshirt, hat, and non-breathable rain jacket and hung out in the gym for a couple hours. I did a 20 minute stationary bike with the outfit on then troweled off. Weigh-in had me at 224. At 8pm I did another 20 minute bike ride, showered and sipped ice water (about 2 small cups of it) until I went to bed around midnight. Weigh-in had me at 220. I then drove the car up in the sweatsuit, with the heater on, and I weighed in officially at 219.7. Success!
The event was hosted at CrossFit South Baltimore, a sweet setup in a warehouse directly across the street from Ravens Stadium. It was packed with about 80 total competitors and another 50+ spectators as we got rolling. The energy was wonderful! Luke and Bo, the guys from CrossFit Football went over the day with everyone and things began.
It all basically worked by height, not by weigh class or weight lifted. So, interestingly, the strongest guy on the day was lifting with 3 women, because he was short. My squad consisted of some of the nicest, coolest dudes, and I have to admit, being with that crew for the long day of heavy lifting really helped a lot. While I knew a ton of people there, it was a great day in that I walked out of there with another 4-5 people I know I'll stay in touch with! We had 20 minutes to attempt a 1 rep max 3 times, then rested about 1.5 hours before our turn for the next lift came around. So think about that; 5 or so hours, 12 total attempts to overload the body in 4 different ways. Complete mental exhaustion. I learned so much about how to prepare for heavy lifting! What was cool was that I felt completely recovered and prepared each attempt physically. I ate well between lifts, had fish oil to help spread the nutrients, hydrated very well, and stayed horizontal as much as I could. What I didn't recover well was my nervous system. Honestly, I don't really know what to do to quickly recover this besides lift heavy all the time so it knows how to adapt to the demand. I think if I stayed lying down for the entirety of my rest times, I would have been a bit better; and, it became clear (thanks to the observation of Andrew Whitener) that I needed to get a good deal more pumped up each attempt. Getting fired up, yelling a little, and getting the adrenaline going really helped heighten my awareness and fire the nervous system. I think that's why I got all 3 deadlifts while missing other lifts. I was hyped up for them!
CrossFit Football Occupy Strength Event
Power Clean - 275, 305(f), 305(pr)
Squat - 440, 460(f), 460(f)
Bench - 315(f), 315, 325(f)
Deadlift - 500, 515, 525
Total - 1585 (2nd place finish in the middle weight division)
By the time we finished all the lifting, it was already about 3pm. Long day! And we had the metcon to get to. Well, more food, and then the announcement of what the metcon was gave me a crazy spike of energy.
4 rounds of:
12 KB swings 70#
8 pull ups
5-10-15 yard shuttle run 70# sandbag
(KB standard was bell above shoulders. Pull ups were any style. The shuttle sprint was 5 yards out and back with the sandbag, 10 yards out and back with the sandbag, drop the sandbag and go 15 yards out and back)
Total wheelhouse workout for me. My buddy John Dill was in the first heat and paced it a little, getting 3:42. And when nobody in the next two heats came close to that, I was really excited for the chance to get in there and win! My goal was sub-3:30, I finished in 3:32. The sandbag running was just hard enough to really crush your ability to do the KB swings fast. And the grip was definitely a factor as well. But, that DID end up being the score to beat and I finished with a WIN! So, 2nd on the Total, 1st on the MetCon. Good day.
To finish up here, as always with these events, I leave feeling like I became so much better of a person. I feel like this because I got to push my limits, challenge myself, and seriously compete all while hanging out with a huge group of people that believe in the same wonderful lifestyle I want. I feed off days and gatherings like that, they make me feel alive, and they confirm all the things I want out of life. Yes, it's great to win, but in the end, just to hang out with such cool, motivating people is something I will clearly benefit from my entire life. I honestly can't wait until the next one!
Congrats to fellow Outlaws Courtney Modecki (1st place women's lightweight total and 2nd place metcon), John Dill (2nd place lightweight Total and 3rd place metcon) and Sean Dunston (3rd place lightweight total). Huge thanks to CrossFit South Baltimore for being such gracious hosts and supplying all the volunteers and judges. I know the stress of putting on an event, and that one was a long one! And of course, CrossFit Football, great guys, great program and great event. Finally, I just want to give a shutout to everyone who competed and spectated. I really can't say enough about the people who take the time and energy to be a part of these things and I am so glad and honored to be a part of a community that is so eagerly involved in the betterment of the human body and mind.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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