“Exercise should be regarded as tribute to the heart.”
~ Gene Tunney
Five weeks ago, I registered for the CrossFit Open, not knowing exactly what to expect. CrossFit is growing and changing every year, and the idea of the Games each year is to face “The Unknown and the Unknowable”. Signing up for the Open was scarier for me than people probably realize – after I signed up, I realized I’d have to not only complete each workout, but that I’d have to post a public video of each one on the Games website for the whole world to judge. And though I know no one really cares that much, I also realized that the people who might have read my posts would be rooting for me (hopefully!) or following my progress, and I wanted to make sure I made a good showing. But the biggest factor was myself – while I didn’t know what was coming in these workouts, in the past there were elements that came up in Games WODs that I wasn’t proficient in, so I’d have to change the workout or scale it. I didn’t want to have to do that for any of these workouts, or else my WODs wouldn’t count, and although I had no grand delusions about actually competing, I didn’t want to be officially “out” of the Open.
Anyway, while I didn’t do as well as I’d like, I’m happy to report that after 5 weeks of the Unknown and Unknowable, I made it through and was able to do all of the WODs to the best of my current ability, and did not have to scale any elements. My athlete profile is here, if you’d like to see more info, and here are the CrossFit Open 2012 Workouts:
Standards shown below for weights and box height are for Women’s Division.
For all WODs, score is total reps completed (rounds do not have to be completed for reps to count).
Workout 12 . 1
Complete as many reps as possible in 7 minutes of:
This workout begins from the standing position. The Athlete will move from flat on the ground to touching an object with both hands that is 6 inches above their max reach.
Result: I only got 77 reps, but I did the workout 3 times. 77 was my max for that weekend, and I was fine with that. They sucked!
Workout 12 . 2
Proceed through the sequence below completing as many reps as possible in 10 minutes of:
45 pound Snatch, 30 reps
75 pound Snatch, 30 reps
100 pound Snatch, 30 reps
120 pound Snatch, as many reps as possible
Result: My final score was 68 reps. I got through the 30 reps of 45 pounds, and the 30 reps of 75, then got 8 reps of 100 pounds before the time ran out. I did this workout twice, and actually think if I had more time to recover I might have been able to get more reps had I done it a third time. The snatch is the most technical of all lifts, and it really did help me during these WODs just going through the correct motions to get more comfortable with the lift.
Workout 12 . 3
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 18 minutes of:
15 Box jumps, 20″ box
75 pound Push press, 12 reps
Result: My score was 212 reps. That means I completed 5 full rounds of this triplet, then got through the box jumps, push presses, and 5 of the toes-to-bar in the sixth round. I was only 4 away from completing 6 rounds! Argh. Every second counts. I did this WOD twice and improved my score a good deal the second time, after I was more comfortable with the flow of the exercises.
Workout 12 . 4
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 12 minutes of:
150 Wall balls (14lbs to 9′ target)
Result: My score was 141 reps. While I’m not super strong in my double-unders, my plan was to just get through as many as I could after the wall balls in the time allotted. Turns out I couldn’t even GET to the double-unders in the 12 minute time period. For all of these workouts, all reps are counted – rounds don’t have to be completed to count, which is exactly how the organizers wanted to structure the Open – the elite athletes were going to be head and shoulders (sometimes literally) above the less skilled/conditioned athletes, and this was a perfect example. I had hoped to get through at least some of the double-unders, and wouldn’t it have been cool to get my first muscle-up on this day? That was not in the cards for me. Ha! I also did this workout twice. With the sheer volume of wall ball shots that you have to do in this WOD, it is insane that I actually did it twice in one weekend. Still never got to those darn double-unders. Oh well.
Workout 12 . 5
Complete as many reps as possible in 7 minutes following the rep scheme below:
65 pound Thruster, 3 reps
3 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 6 reps
6 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 9 reps
9 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 12 reps
12 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 15 reps
15 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 18 reps
18 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 21 reps
21 Chest to bar Pull-ups…
This is a timed workout. If you complete the round of 21, go on to 24. If you complete 24, go on to 27, etc.
Result: My score for this one was 29. That means I got 3 Thrusters and CTB Pull-ups, then 6 of each, and after the 9 Thrusters I couldn’t get through 9 more pull-ups. I got two, and then time ran out. This one was a bear for me – the thrusters were no big deal, it was the chest-to-bar pull-ups that got me. I had just gotten my first ones a few days before, so I was extremely happy to be able to do these at all, but I realize they’re something I need a lot more work in to become proficient. I did this WOD twice, and actually improved quite a bit the second time (first time I didn’t even get to the 9 thrusters, but Nick reminded me that after each set of pull-ups, it’s like getting those thruster reps for free since they’re not difficult for me), but my hands also started ripping toward the end since I needed to kip so big to get my chest to touch that bar. Ouch.
And now it’s over! I’m done! That sucked! But it was also super fun. It was good to push myself outside of my comfort zone, and to have some challenges that I could look at and say, “What the heck. I may suck really badly at this, but I’m going to try my hardest!” It was also just fun to do all those WODs, and to be able to marvel at the abilities of the elite athletes. While I still have no CrossFit Games competition dreams, by this time next year, I hope to do even better. 3-2-1 … Go!