20.5

On Wednesday night my hands were aching from gripping that damn Zeus rope! Rest day yesterday. At the gym for 4pm, but I didn’t end up going until 5:20.

Warm-up

Not the greatest warm-up to be honest. I didn’t end up going until the 4th heat, so any of the warming up I had done was out the window by then. 🤷🏻‍♂️

CrossFit Games Open Workout 20.5

Partition the reps and movements any way you want – 20:00 time cap

  • 40 Muscle-ups
  • 80 cal Row
  • 120 Wall Balls (20#, 10′)

So easy to overthink this workout, which I was doing all night and morning. I had about five different plans before I finally decided on:

  • 2 rounds of 4 MU + 12 WB
  • 8 rounds of 2-2 MU + 12 WB
  • 80 calories

Rowing is my strength so it seemed like a good idea to save it for when I was tired. It also eliminates all of the transitions in and out of the rower. This strategy had similarities with how I did the 150 WB + 75 T2B workout last month. That workout took me 10:52, so with the lower reps and higher skilled MU, I’d be thrilled heading to the rower anywhere close to that time.

At the gym I decided I’d only do 4 unbroken muscle-ups for the first round. I ended up doing 4 MU + 12 WB and then 4 rounds of 2-2 MU + 12 WB. Was at 5:50 there and dying, so I jumped on the rower for 10 cals because I needed rest! Then 2-2-12-10. Then 3 rounds of 2-12-2-10 and a 2-12-2 before finishing on the rower. The muscle-ups were much easier after the rower compared to after the wall balls. I was having a hard time pulling 1,000 cal/hr through those first 50 calories, which is never a hard pace for me. I was able to pick up the pace to get the final 30 calories done in about 90 seconds. Time of 18:57. I went to a dark place in the last couple of minutes on that one and it took a long time to get up off the ground. My mid-back was pretty tight almost immediately after.

If I ever do this workout again (no redo) I think I’ll try 8 rounds of 3-15-2-10 which was my original plan last night. Casey used it and finished in 17:17. Or 2 rounds of 2-2-12 while fresh and then 8 rounds of 2-12-2-10 might work well. Or 4-4 Muscle-ups and then 8 Rounds of 2-15-2-10 with the idea being to get 10 muscle-ups knockout out while fresh. I think I was placing too much emphasis on the rower, which isn’t going to “win” this workout and can be used as recovery while still accumulating reps.

I’m going to keep coming back and updating this post with other good strategy ideas that could work for me.

  • 4-4 MU, 12x 10 WB + 2 MU, 4x 15 cal + 2 MU, 20 cal
  • 4-4 MU, 8x 2 MU + 10 WB + 2 MU + 10 cal, 40 WB
  • 4 Cycles of 5x 2MU + 6 WB, then 20 cal

 

20.4

Rest day yesterday. On Wednesday I setup an adjustable stand on my desk so I can go between sitting and standing. Also bought an anti fatigue mat. After only a few hours I could tell my back was fighting to get in a better position, so hopefully it helps in the long run. I didn’t stand at the desk today since I needed my legs for the Open workout. I was getting anxious about the workout, so I got to the gym pretty early for the 4pm.

Warm-up

I started with 3:00 on the Echo Bike for 28 cals. Then I did a ton of ankle mobility work to get them primed for pistols, including sitting on ankles, KB on a knee and driving the leg forward, air squats, Cossack squats, step-ups, deep stretch with one foot up on a box, etc. I think I did 5×45, 5×95, and 3×135 clean and jerks. Honestly, not a ton of warm-up needed for me because the first five minutes of the workout was going to be a great warm-up and I didn’t want to be going too fast there.

CrossFit Open Workout 20.4

  • 30 Box Jumps / Step-ups (24″)
  • 15 C&J (95#)
  • 30 Box Jumps / Step-ups
  • 15 C&J (135#)
  • 30 Box Jumps / Step-ups
  • 10 C&J (185#)
  • 30 Pistol Squats
  • 10 C&J (225#)
  • 30 Pistol Squats
  • 5 C&J (275#)
  • 30 Pistol Squats
  • 5 C&J (315#)

Step up and down every rep on the box. Then all singles with the barbell. Both would keep my heart rate under control through the first part of the workout. I had my belt on and tightened it for every set with the barbell. Since I wasn’t jumping, I wore lifting shoes to would help with the pistols. Knee sleeves on too, which I pulled up for the pistols.

Last night I came up with sort of a slow scenario that would still let me get up to the 275# bar, where I would just stop. I haven’t lifted that weight in a couple years and it wouldn’t be worth an attempt with how my back was just feeling last week. Here was the plan:

  • 1:30 Box
  • 1:30 C&J (3:00)
  • 1:30 Box (4:30)
  • 2:30 C&J (7:00)
  • 1:30 Box (8:30)
  • 3:00 C&J (11:30)
  • 2:30 Pistols (14:00)
  • 3:30 C&J (17:30)
  • 2:30 Pistols (20:00)

I got through 200 reps with a 18:27 tiebreak, so I finished the 225# C&J and the 2nd set of pistols like I hoped. 💥  I was ahead of my total pace at every point. Here are my splits (compared to plan) and total time (compared to plan).

  • 1:24 (0:06) – 1:24 (0:06
  • 1:23 (0:07) – 2:47 (0:13)
  • 1:41 (-0:11) – 4:28 (0:02)
  • 1:32 (0:58) – 6:00 (1:00)
  • 1:57 (-0:27) – 7:57 (0:33)
  • 2:02 (0:58) – 9:59 (1:31)
  • 2:20 (0:10) – 12:19 (1:41)
  • 4:42 (-1:12) – 17:01 (0:19)
  • 1:26 (1:04) – 18:27 (1:33)

I thought it felt like my step-ups got slower and they sure did. I gave back time during the 2nd and 3rd sets. Kind of crazy that the 95# cleans took 1:23 and the 135# took 1:32. The 25# plates bounce around so much it’s hard to pick the bar back up. I should have gone faster on the first set of pistols, but was trying to keep my heart rate under control before that 225 pounder. Those heavier cleans took much longer than expected, considering I handled all of the other weights well. I was trying to rest about 20 seconds between each rep there because I knew I was ahead and I didn’t want to miss a jerk.

That workout was a lot of fun. I was nervous about my back holding up, but it was good. My entire back side is really tight now though.

20-4-scorecard.jpeg

 

20.2

Another complete rest day yesterday and my legs were still pretty tight. At the 4pm class for the workout.

Warm-up

  • 2:00 Echo Bike
  • Bottom Squat Hold
  • Dead Hang
  • Various DB Thrusters
  • 2:00 Echo Bike
  • Various DB Thrusters
  • 1:00 Echo Bike

CrossFit Games Open Workout 20.2

20:00 AMRAP

  • 4 DB Thrusters (50# DBs)
  • 6 Toes to Bars
  • 24 Double Unders

It’s a big surprise to see thrusters in week 2, but I’m so glad for the small sets if we have to use dumbbells. I feel like picking a good starting pace is important this week as well, so was hoping to do better than 20.1. Last night, 16 rounds seemed like a good goal, which would require a pace of 1:15 per round. Today, after seeing the leaderboards I decided to shoot for 18 rounds.

I did my early rounds and rested until 1:06 had passed for that round. I was feeling pretty good and doing 3-3 for all of my T2B. Then I missed some dubs, lost my rest, missed more dubs, was resting all over the place, and really fell off pace over the second half of the workout. Ended up with 15 + 32. Like week 1, it felt like the weight was affecting me more than it should have, making my T2B and double unders more tiring. I think I only did 3-4 rounds of dubs unbroken, which is not good for only 24 reps. It’s a good thing I broke the T2B too because the second set of three in my last two rounds turned into one of those where I had to reset and stopped my feet at the bottom.

My back was getting tight throughout the workout and I can really feel it afterwards. Definitely not doing it again. Less happy about my effort in this one because I started resting all over the place.

20.1

Yesterday I walked 18 holes. It was a beautiful day and now the weather is shifting tomorrow.

I’m curious how I’ll do this year in the Open. I didn’t do any special “Open prep” work, like the Thruster Attack program or additional gymnastics volume. I’ve been doing the engine builder work, but that’s since February, so not new. My training hasn’t been very consistent for the last couple of months either.

Warm-up

  • Bottom Squat Hold
  • Dead Hang
  • PVC Passes
  • 2:00 Echo Bike
  • Snatches
  • C&J

Maybe could have done a better warm-up. 🤷🏻‍♂️

CrossFit Games Open Workout 20.1

10 Rounds

  • 8 Ground to Overhead (95#)
  • 10 Bar-facing Burpees

Last year for the three rounds of 10 snatches and 12 bar-facing burpees in 19.4 my rounds were 1:20, 1:32, and 1:30. Plus I had a pretty badly tweaked back which slowed me down. Based on the video. I estimated a quick round of this workout would be a little more than a minute with snatches. That was my big question though, to snatch or to clean and jerk?

I think going unbroken on the snatches is a trap for the majority of us. When I did 17.5 I split up my thrusters 5-4, so my plan was to do something similar with 4-4 today, and even 4 snatches + 4 c&j. The break helps to slow you down, which in needed in a workout like this. That rest for your grip is a huge help as well. Mixing up between snatches and c&j saves from taxing any specific muscle groups and breaks up the monotony of 80 reps.

My rounds were 1:11, 1:19, 1:22, 1:26, 1:40, 1:41, 1:51, 1:48, 1:51 and I ended up needing 7 more burpees to finish. So I did 9+11. I clipped the bar once with a foot and had to redo a burpee. I started out with 4 snatches and 4 c&j, which was working great. At some point I decided to give up on the snatches and do 2×4 c&j. If I had to guess it was in round 5, where I fell of 14 seconds. Then at some point I went to singles. Guessing it was when I dropped another 10 seconds in round 7. I think I did 1-3-1-1-2 in the 10th round and then 3 quick burpees.

My first rounds took 5:18 and I don’t think I’d want to go much slower than that or there is no room to slow down the rest of the way. The next four rounds took 7:00, so if I can bring that down to the 6:00-6:30 range I’ll be solid. I mentally gave in for whatever reason. I can keep doing the two movements of four reps, which would be huge for my time. Pretty sure I’m going to give this one another try.

I checked WHOOP and my heart rate got up to 150 quickly and then stayed at 145-160.

19.5 is Dumb

Here are my results for the previous workout…

19.4

Open Men: 29,091 / 153,496 (81.0%)
Masters 35-39 Men: 4,653 / 31,148 (85.1%)

Overall

Open Men: 15,389 / 185,449 (91.7%)
Masters 35-39 Men: 2,134 / 37,500 (94.3%)

Having a high skill like bar muscle-ups helped me in that workout. After last year’s terrible 46.6 percentile in 18.2 with bar-facing burpees I worked on the movement all year. So I’m happy that this year’s workout with the burpee was the 81st percentile. Wish I wasn’t injured because I could have done even better. The lower workout ranking didn’t drop me much in either of the overall standings. One more week, so I was looking for a good performance to finish my best Open.

Warm-up

  • 5:00 Assault Bike (40 cals)
  • Bottom Squat Hold
  • 10 Air Squats
  • Dead Hang
  • Shoulder Passes
  • Kip Swings
  • Thrusters
    • 5×45#
    • 5×75#
  • 5 Pull-ups

CrossFit Games Open Workout 19.5

33-27-21-15-9

  • Thrusters (95#)
  • C2B Pull-ups

This is the dumbest workout ever programmed in the Open. The majority of people are going to be working for 20 minutes on two movements, which means A LOT of resting. The huge sets to start off don’t do us any favors.

After looking at some of my previous results, it quickly became clear that my goal should be to finish under the time cap. Small sets right from the start and hopefully with short rests. If I don’t go slow at the beginning, I know my heart rate would be way too high by 5:00 and I’d be standing around way too much is the last 75% of the workout, especially if pull-ups blow up.

The plan for thrusters was 6-6-6-5-5-5, 6-6-5-5-5, 6-5-5-5, 5-5-5, 5-4. For pull-ups three at a time as long as possible.

Speaking of strategy… people give some terrible recommendations in posts and videos during the Open. One guy on reddit shares his post every week and he recommended taking your max set of C2B and doing sets of 50% (or more) of that number! For example he said if you can do less than 7 reps, aim for sets of 4 and less than 14 max should do sets of 8!! I don’t care what kind of athlete you are, that’s a one way road to Blow Up City in the round of 33. I really hope these kind of people are not coaches.

The round of 33 went as planned and took me about 5:10. I was even feeling good about my pull-ups. Then it was a shit show. I kept my thruster sets as planned but stared at the barbell too much the rest of the way. I think I did one chest-to-bar triple to start 27 and singles the rest of the way. Wish I had thought to try a regular kip, but I totally spaced on that. Only got through the round of 15s, for 192 total reps. Not a good effort and not how I wanted to end the Open. 😦

19-5

At least my back felt pretty good, but I have to remember that the only time I’ve picked up a barbell in the last 2.5 weeks was 19.4, so the squats probably took more out of me than they should have. Maybe next year I’ll make it through an Open without an injury. My quads were sore within an hour so I think my body is going to be beat for the next few days.

Engine Builder – Interval

4 Rounds

  • 1k Row
  • 1:00 Rest

Figured I might as well get on the rower while watching Duke and see if I could put in a good effort for the day. My goal was to hold a 1:50/500m pace and I pulled it off. Had to really hold on after the second interval. I got 73 calories each interval and the times were 3:39.8, 3:39.7, 3:39.6, and 3:39.7. Can’t get more consistent than that.

Maybe I should have doe

19.4

My shins we getting show from the hike last night already. My HRV and recover score are the highest recorded so I should be ready to crush this workout.

My percentile rankings for 19.3 turned out to be exactly the same as 19.1 (when rounded to 1 decimal place) in both the Open and Masters divisions. Looking at scores and tiebreak times of some fit people I know, my HSPU strategy worked amazingly well. I’ve been doing singles when workouts have strict pull-ups and may have to play around with this type of strategy for other movements.

I wish my back had been healthy, which would have allowed me to get through the first two movements quicker and have even more time for HSPU. That’ll be a fun workout to redo later this year. The high ranking in 19.3 gave me another good boost in the overall rankings. My best 3 week start to an Open by far.

19.3

Open Men: 16,844 / 158,253 (89.4%)
Masters 35-39 Men: 2,551 / 32,191 (92.1%)

Overall

Open Men: 13,469 / 185,039 (92.7%)
Masters 35-39 Men: 1,818 / 37,422 (95.1%)

Note: I forgot to mention it in previous ranking updates, but I only count against people who posted a score for the workout or have at least one score for overall placing. The iOS app looks like it calculates percentiles based on everyone registered, but there are always plenty of people who never post a score.

Warm-up

  • 5:00 Assault Bike
  • Spent a lot of time laying on a lacrosse ball!
  • Snatches
  • Bar-facing Burpees
  • Kip Swings
  • 2:00 Assault Bike (to raise HR)

CrossFit Games Open Workout 19.4

  • 3 Rounds
    • 10 Snatch (95#)
    • 12 Bar-facing Burpees
  • 3:00 Rest
  • 3 Rounds
    • 10 Bar Muscle-ups
    • 12 Bar-facing Burpees

Was really hoping I’d be fine with the snatches today after not picking up a barbell since last Wednesday. When we got to the gym it was painful bending over in to position to start a snatch with a PVC pipe! Laying on the lacrosse ball really opening things up for me though. Debated waiting until Sunday or Monday to do the workout.

Going in I was hoping to get some bar muscle-ups in the third round. I had to be really careful with the snatches though and you can see that with how long it takes me to pick up the bar and get my first rep. I did 6-4 on the snatches each round with normal powers. Felt like my burpees were getting slower each of the first three rounds. I finished with a tiebreak of 4:22.

Felt fine when I first got on the bar and did 5 bar muscle-ups and wanted to get 5 more, but could feel things going south already. I did 3-2 to finish. After the burpees I did a double and 8 singles with too much rest between each one, but I did not want to miss and each rep was a struggle. Got my second round of burpees done and had about 10 seconds left, but I knew I didn’t have it in me to get another bar muscle-up so I collapsed to the ground. It wasn’t worth risking a fly off the bar moment. So I finished 5 rounds for 110 reps. Early ranking on BTWB is only the 79th percentile. :-/

19-4

I did another five minutes on the Assault Bike to cool down.

 

I worked out my splits on the workout. Here are the times each movement ended and then in parens are the times (in seconds) per movement, including transition/rest.

0:33 – 1:20 (33-47)
2:00 – 2:52 (40-52)
3:34 – 4:22 (42-48)

8:10 – 9:06 (48-56)
11:06 – 11:53 (120-47)

Initial observations:

  • My snatches were slower than normal because I had to be extra careful with my back.
  • I should have gone unbroken on the last round of snatches and pushed the burpees after.
  • Overall pretty consistent with the burpees.
  • The second round of bar muscle-ups were the workout. It took me two minutes to get through them.
  • I should have jumped up to try for a muscle-up at the end.

While heats of the workout were going I jumped on the rower since tomorrow will be a travel day.

Engine Builder – Max Aerobic Power

12 Rounds

  • 500m Row
  • 1:00 Rest

I did 1:49.9 twice, 1:49.8 four times, another 1:49.9, and five at 1:49.8 to finish. Consistent!

My back was getting really tight sitting around the gym while everyone did the workout. Glad I ended up doing 19.4 though so I have more time to recover for 19.5 next week.

Another Tweak!

Here are my updating rankings after 19.2. I’m switching to using a percentile, which is standard compared to saying “top X%” like I have in the past. Last weekend I spent a lot of time creating an epic spreadsheet of my results in every Open and each workout. Cool data to have going forward.

19.2

Open Men: 21,830/164,227 (86.7%)
Masters 35-39 Men: 3,457/33,391 (89.6%)

Overall

Open Men: 16,760/183,948 (90.9%)
Masters 35-39 Men: 2,402/37,204 (93.5%)

My placing in the workout was down a bit from 19.2, but good enough to rise in the overall standings for both divisions. Getting even one clean at 225# would have been a huge jump in the rankings for that workout. It still turns out to be my best two-week start to an Open. Let’s keep it rolling…

Warm-up

  • 5:00 Assault Bike
  • Dead Hang
  • Banded lat opener
  • Lunges
  • Step-ups
  • OH DB Hold

WHOOP said my recovery had only gone up from 37% to 44% with almost 9 hours of sleep last. I felt great this morning and my back had recovered quite well. I was moving well through warm-ups. Then I went to move my dumbbell across the gym and TWEAK as I stood up. Fuck!

Conditioning

CrossFit Games Open Workout 19.3

  • 200′ Dumbbell Overhead Walking Lunge (50#)
  • 50 Dumbbell Box Step-ups (50#, 24″)
  • 50 Strict Handstand Push-ups
  • 200′ Handstand Walk

Details:

  • 10:00 time cap.
  • Lunges and handstand walk are 25′ lengths with a 5′ section for each rep.
  • Step-ups must alternate legs.
  • HSPU use a 24×36″ box for hands, though the fingers may extend past the line.

My plan was to switch hands every 50 feet of lunges. I was fine starting out with my left arm, but with my right shoulder bothering me lately I could only go 25 feet, so I switched the dumbbell every 25 feet the rest of the way. Got through those in 2:41.

I went right to the corner of the box and got in to it. I felt my back on every box step-up, which was fucking horrible. I kept trying to figure out if there was a way I could step-up to limit the shot of pain, but there wasn’t. I supported the dumbbell over a shoulder with one hand under the head of it. I think I moved it side to side after 16, 30, and 40 reps. My tiebreak was 6:42. Ugh, four minutes is a lifetime on that movement.

By the way, I have to mention how stupid the alternating step-up standard is. It slows everyone down and it’s nearly impossible for both the judge and the athlete to keep track of since it’s not an efficient or fast way to do step-ups.

I wanted to do doubles for the HSPU as long as possible with no more than a 5 count rest. Unfortunately my back affected me coming off the wall too, but I adjusted that easily to not affect my timing or anything. I got through 8 or 10 reps doing doubles when I started to feel the second rep getting slow so I changed to singles with shorter rest. That worked surprisingly well and I was able to quickly get back on the wall for another rep. Squeezed out a double before the buzzer for 31 strict handstand push-ups!

I had no expectation of finishing those 50 even though I would have loved to get just 5 feet of handstand walking since I’ve been working on the skill. Maybe next year.

Going in to this workout I was hoping to be done with the box around 5:30 or 6:00 at the latest, but the back tweak and shoulder issue really changed that. On BTWB a score of 124 was the 90th percentile so that was my goal (even though I rarely hit that 90+%). My score of 121 almost got there so I’m really happy with the effort. Currently it ranks in the 88th percentile on BTWB, so after more scores come in it’ll be right there with my 87 and 85 ranks for 19.1 and 19.2.

This is my best three-week start to the Open due to consistent placing. I hope I don’t wake up with a really bad back in the morning and it can recover for 19.4. Especially since I’m flying out to San Diego on Tuesday for a little vacation. I’ll be out there for Friday Night Lights and hopefully battle by buddy Bryan.

Strength

Bench Press

  • 10×45#
  • 8×95
  • 8×135
  • 8×155
  • 8×175
  • 8×185
  • 8×195

Don’t need my back to bench. Matches the 8×195 I did in January, which felt good after those strict HSPU.

Got home and putzed around for an hour before hitting my cardio so I could relax for the rest of the day. I’m on vacation all week!

Engine Builder – Speed

2 Rounds

  • 8:00 Airdyne (AD2)
  • 4:00 Rest

Based on recent intervals I hoped to hold 80 RPM for these. I was in the ballpark, seeing 79-80 quite a bit when RPMs came around on the monitor. My calories were 258 and 262 with distances of 3.13 and 3.15 miles.