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Thoughts on Crossfit Open Games 2015 programming

It’s my 2nd year doing the Crossfit Open Games this year with the first year being just 6 months after i started i thought it would be good to benchmark against for this years competition.

I’ll be brutally honest and admit I am not or don’t think i would ever be Regionals material but it is a bit of fun, good atmosphere at the box on the Open Wod nights and is good for comparing how i’ve come along over the year whether that’s better or worse.

I’m not saying last year’s Open Wod’s were easy but I was able to complete all of the movements, which led me to signing up this year thinking I could only improve on last years efforts. This was what I thought anyway and after being able to complete all of the movements last year i thought after another year of training and doing the olympic lifts I would be much better but Crossfit HQ had other plans.

There has been a lot of controversy with the programming for the Crossfit Open Games WOD’s for the 2015 Games with them promoting the Open Games for everyone then throwing Muscle Ups as the opening exercise for the 15.3 WOD so if like me you’re ok with the lifting, pretty rubbish at cardio but can have a stab at it I couldn’t get a single rep for 15.3

I wasn’t alone as it appeared as there were a few more at my box and by looking at the uproar on the Crossfit Facebook page they seemed to alienate over 50% of the competitors for the Games. This weeks 15.4 WOD was better but only slightly with Handstand Push Up’s and cleans. These weren’t any normal HSPU’s though these were RX HSPU’s on steroids!! I normally use 10kg plates to do my HSPU’s so don’t normally RX anyway so thought i’d grow a pair and dig deep for the RX but these were something else! I’m used to extending fully on the pushup but my legs are usually really wide but as long as my arms are locked out i thought this was acceptable but for the 15.4 RX HSPU’s we had to stand facing the wall with feet against the wall, hands up in the air resting against the wall and we were made to mark 3 inches below our wrist and this was our target that we had to get our heels above for each complete rep. Oh and we had to start in a handstand with heels above the line before starting the movement instead of starting with your head on the mat or floor, which i’m used to.

That was just the first part of the workout moving onto cleans. Not just cleans but 84kg cleans!! Baring in mine my 1 rep max for cleans is 90kg this was going to be a struggle and after working up to 1 rep max cleans in the previous nights skills class in Crossfit my hands were already sore. I thought i’d give a couple of cleans a go before my time was up to do the Open Wod but i failed to even lift the bar with the 84kg on twice! Oh GOD this was going to be hell i thought with a big gulp!

Time to get the empty bar out and work myself up to the weight in the short time i had as I was next up against the clock! The time had come and I was up, I banged out the first 3 HSPU’s and the took my time on the cleans managing all three but making sure not to burn out too fast. Then onto the 2nd round of HSPU’s and instead of just being able to bash out 6 HSPU’s in quick succession with the momentum I found it damn bloody hard to get above the line in the headstand position before being able to push out the presses and they got harder and harder as the workout went on, which left my shoulders blowing out by the time it got back onto the cleans. I was aiming to get into the 4th round and 30 reps seeing that the weight was pretty hefty as far as I was concerned and managed to get 29 so I wasn’t far off.

Talking to others at the box who are on a 85kg 1 rep max this was not what they were hoping for either and I can imagine this across the other boxes too. I know that the Crossfit Open Games had a scaled version this year but being able to complete all the workouts last year I thought i’d be more than capable with this year at RX too. I’ve also seen the scaled version and even though it’s good they have one and would suit someone just starting off but for someone whose nearing their 2nd year of doing crossfit, even though I only attend 3 times a week i’d get bored after the 1st minute as they are nowhere near what I would find challenging compared to the RX version as they seemed to have scaled it down too much for me especially the 15.3 they took out the muscle ups but instead of swapping it for some other kind of pulling movement they dropped it completely leaving just double under and wall balls :/

I can see that as crossfitters are getting bigger, stronger and faster they need to up the ante to separate the beasts from us mere mortals for the Regionals and finals but promoting the games as for everyone and giving us who competed in the RX version last year false sense of hope then throwing in muscle up’s and cleans 6kg away from my 1RM and as much as some people who go more often than me this will probably put a lot of people off signing up next year. Or the other school of thought is it will push us coasters into getting our asses into open gym more to practice our weaknesses such as muscle up’s ready to smash next year’s Open.

What do you think about this year’s open WOD and will you be signing up again next year?

Crossfit Open Games 15.2 feedback

So 15.2 saw us revisiting one of the WOD’s from the 2014 Crossfit Games, which also happened to be my worst one of the competition last year.

The WOD

Every 3 minutes for as long as possible complete:

From 0:00-3:00

   2 rounds of:

   10 overhead squats (95 / 65 lb.)

   10 chest-to-bar pull-ups

From 3:00-6:00

   2 rounds of:

   12 overhead squats (95 / 65 lb.)

   12 chest-to-bar pull-ups

From 6:00-9:00

   2 rounds of:

   14 overhead squats (95 / 65 lb.)

   14 chest-to-bar pull-ups

Etc., following same pattern until you fail to complete both rounds

Last year I had only been going to Crossfit for around 8 or 9 months and only for 2-3 times a week so I wasn’t expecting to do too well but thought it would be a good chance to see how I compared against others from around the world.

I’d never even attempted chest to bar burpees before this WOD so to say I wasn’t looking forward to it was an understatement. I’d say I was quite comfortable doing overhead squats and are probably my favourite squat but that’s probably because it’s usually the lightest weight we do whilst squatting so I thought as long as I managed to get through the chest to bars then I shouldn’t have too much of a problem getting through the rounds of OHS.

I didn’t even get through the first stage of 3 minutes with 3 complete rounds and just 1 CTB left to make it through to the 2nd stage but I just didn’t have anything left in me.

You would of thought after that abysmal performance I would of thrown a few sessions of CTB in the following year but you’ve guessed it I haven’t done a single one so you an imagine my face when this resurface from the depths of hell to test me again!

So it after plenty of stretching and letting people go before me I was finally up to be judged for 15.2 and with the countdown from 10-0 on the clock I took a deep breath, grabbed the bar snatched it overhead and proceeded to bang out 10 OHS in quick succession. Now onto the dreaded chest to bar pull-ups… I grab my chalk ball, giving it a tight squeeze I look up and being the midget I am at 5ft 9 (and a half on a good day) getting my tunnel vision on and focusing on the bar I jump grabbing the bar, swing my head through the bar, pull back with a big kick and an almighty pull I nearly clear the bar in what would of been my first muscle up! I’m immediately hit with a surge of confidence…that wasn’t as bad as I remembered!

I push down, head through again and a big push and that’s my two first CTB out of the way and just another 8 to go! That’s all i can think is if i let go now i’m never going to be able to get back up there on the bar so i power through and do my first 10 unbroken and land on my feet in disbelief with the first round of  OHS and CTB done in little over minute with 2 minutes left to complete the 2nd round of them.

I was aiming to beat last years score at least and make it into the 2nd stage, which I did with a lot less effort than i first thought ok it wasn’t easy but man did I struggle on the 2nd set of CTB last year!

I didn’t have high hopes for this attempt I just wanted to get further than last years score and got through the 1st set of 12 OHS and CTB but this final set of CTB did take it out of me. I gripped the barbell ready to go for the 12 OHS managing 6 before dropping the bar for a quick breather and throwing it up overhead for my final 6, which I managed to get through with 2 seconds of the 2nd stage to go.

I’d did it, I’d beat my goal of passing last years score and was just 2 reps off doubling last year score of 39 with 76 reps :)

 

Crossfit Caerphilly Crossfit Games 2015 Leaderboard

Want to find out how we’re all doing at the box in the Crossfit Open Games 2015?

Check out the custom leaderboard showing how everyone at Crossfit Caerphilly have done so far in the Open Games.