It is Friday lunch time and for the first time in over a month I am feeling stress-free. Im heading into the weekend not counting repetitions in my head. I am not spending sleepless nights strategising how to get faster or stronger. Mixed feelings abound. After my 4th CrossFit Open, for the first time I am thankful it is over. I am in one group of people who are happy the stress is gone. We enjoy it in the moment but now that it is over we are more than happy to get back to regular programming. We know the game is long and we are already thinking ahead to next year.
For some people though, the week after the open can feel a bit empty. There is a feeling that surely, there's more to it. They miss the Saturday frenzy watching other people go at it whole heartedly and lay everything on the line for one more second, one more rep. I was once there too. However, it is good to always keep reality in check and get back to the grind sooner than later so we can hop straight back into training. For the fittest among us, there's regionals to look forward to and the elite go one step further into the Games. But for us plebs, this is the end of the line. Another year down, and hopefully, better than last year.
Whether or not you belong to either group, this time is mostly spent reflecting on what the last year has been and looking forward to another year of work towards beating this year's results. At the end of the day, the euphoria, the manic weekends and the highs and lows of the Open will fade and give us clearer goals towards next year's open.
Did we lack strength? Did we fail at the gymnastic skills in the WODs? or did we not have that much coveted engine needed for those long grinding workouts? Whatever our short comings the only way is forward and the time to start is now. Let this week or the next settle. Give the body its recovery, then hit the training hard and get back on the Fitness train! Looking forward to The CrossFit Open 2018 already
Coincidentally, if you're looking to Calibrate some skills, Correct some technique or Commit to learning some new tricks that would be helpful in the next Open. Give any of the coaches a holler and we'd love to talk to you about how we can help you get those goals!
For some of you, that means nothing. For others, that's a chance to retest a workout that you probably remember vividly.
Let's take a look at the workout and break it down to HOPEFULLY hit some new personal bests:
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 13 minutes of:
55 wall-ball shots
55 handstand push-ups/hand release push-ups
In this type of workout, the first step is to come up with a solid plan. I know CrossFit is all about intensity and moving super fast but for this, it's calculated intensity that will lead you to success. This is especially true on the earlier movements to ensure that we not only make it to the HSPU but that we are able to execute them properly. Let's talk about some things to think about for each movement.
-Let gravity help a little here. Don't control the bar all the way back to the floor like you're performing tempo deadlifts. That additional time under tension will fatigue you much faster than letting gravity assist in the descent. (Without bouncing, of course)
-use a mixed grip from the start! Alternate hands each set as well. Even though your breathing will be elevated, having a belt to remind you to stay braced and tight may be a great idea. Play around with it in the warmup.
-Keep the medicine ball high on your chest. You should look like you're performing a front squat, not a set of 55 wall ball deadlifts.
-breathing is constant and rhythmic.
-Stay accurate. No reps are toxic.
-There are literally hundreds of faults that we go over and talk about here but I'll save you the trouble. The most common thing we saw last year in this was people push-up the row too hard. Back and forth most of you went at a 27-32 strokes a minutes and within 30 calories you turned into a sloppy, convulsing mass of a human doing something that didn't even resemble rowing. Fix that this year. Make each stroke a proud, strong stroke. No weak, choppy or short strokes. Some of you may be able to maintain that while at a higher stroke rate but don't be scared to slow up when you feel like you're getting too deep.
-Remember your breathing. Regain control on the rower.
Handstand Push-ups/HR push-ups
-Kip. If you don't have kipping, your workout will more than. Likely end here.
-when kipping, ensure that lower back and hips rest on wall as a solid base to drive from as you shoot your legs skyward.
-at the top, dorsiflex your ankles to elevate heels past taped line.
-legs together at the top.
-move closer to the wall if able.
Breaking it up
Obviously, unbroken everything is not the way to go unless of course you want to die. Then go for it! Have a set breakdown in your head before you even start the timer.
You want to break it up so that when you rest between each set, it's no longer than 10 seconds. If you find that you're resting for 20, 30 or 45 seconds, then you went a little too aggressive and it's time to make anew plan. Be adaptable.
Some numbers to think about:
5 sets of 11
11 sets of 5
...you get the idea. Use a strategy that works best for you!
Be realistic with yourself. You won't become the words beat deadlifted overnight so don't come in with a max set unbroken on Saturdaymorning.
For the wall balls, you can be a little more aggressive with larger sets like:
11 sets of 5
DO NOT go lower than sets of 5. Make that 5 reps happen NO MATTER WHAT.
A strong guy will finish 55 calories in about 2 minutes. A girl in about 4. In warmups, row 55 cals at an easy pace, imagining you've just done all that other stuff. See where you fall. Use your best judgment. Guys, if you have 2 minutes left in the workout when you climb on that rower, there is no need to pace. Go!! Finish as many calories as you can and pray that you get a shot at that handstand push-up or two.
Avoid failure like a hippie avoids gluten. That is until about the 30s left on the clock mark. Go all out at this point. Don't hold anything back.
Above all, everyone, stay safe. Take the extra second or two to set up before the deadlifts. If you've never kicked up into a handstand or have done a HS push-up, nows not the time to be flailing upside down under heavy fatigue. Leave your ego at the door and scale if it's the realistic option.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.