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Cardinal_22

From the Ashes

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Week 3, Day 5:  Rest day.  I had intended to run, but got too busy at work to fit it in.  On the bright side, I'm finally starting to get less sore... and just in time for the open workout.  Dinner tonight was date night:  we went out to an upscale TGIFriday's style place called Costal Flats.  I had a steak.  My gf had the lobster salad.  It was really nice.

Spoiler:  I did open workout 19.2 around noon on Saturday.  Amazingly, my quads felt OK.  I hit the bare minimum that I was looking for... I got all the way to the set of 185 lb cleans (with 15 seconds left), but I just didn't have enough time to even hit one.  So at least according to the 2016 scores, I'll be around the 60th percentile of Rx athletes. 

Analysis:  Yeah, yeah, yeah... I always do this.  Sorry for the spam.  First, let me start by pointing out that I basically doubled my score from 2016:  80 reps vs. 165 reps.  Just this one little statistic is a serious win, as far as I'm concerned. 

 

I had thought that the squat cleans would be the worst part of the workout.  Yes, they hurt and were slower than I would have liked.  But I was wrong.  The worst part was the toes-to-bar.  In round 1, I went 20/25 - almost unbroken.  In round 2, I was so tired that after the first 8 they were all singles.  That used up a LOT of time.  Also, double unders in lifters are not exactly ideal.

The biggest thing working in my favor is the high skill aspect of the workout.  Almost nobody scaled 19.1.  In contrast, a lot of guys at the gym scaled 19.2, because they couldn't do T2B, DU's, or both.  While my score among Rx athletes looks a bit lower than I'd like, there should be enough scaled athletes that I'll get a 10-15% boost which would ideally put me in the lower 70's, enough to make up for my low performance in 19.1.  

 

This is my fourth CrossFit open, and at least until now, I've been averaging a 10% gain in world rank each year.  I was at the 78th percentile last year.  My hope was to hit at least the 70th percentile this year, based on the fact that I lost out on a lot of training.  To keep my 10% trend going, I'd need to make it into the low 80's.  So the question I've been asking myself each week is, how close am I to the 80s?  Is this even realistic?  Well, each clean at 185 is worth 2-4%, and my biggest issue was the clock.  I'm pretty convinced that if I spend some quality time this summer working on T2B and also add a little bit of raw strength (to speed up the 135 lb cleans) I could save about 30 seconds.  This would ideally be enough time for 1-2 cleans at 185 lbs, which would equate to roughly a 5% improvement in my score.  It's still not quite the 80th, but keep in mind that the strength workout is also my worst one.  I don't need to hit the 80's in EVERY workout... all five just need to average to 80% or above.  Ideally, a low strength workout score (and the thruster workout) would be balanced out by higher scores in the other 3.

One last thing to point out about the 10% goal:  once you get into the Master's groups, the competition gets a bit different.  Each year there's a new group of young athletes who move in, and the oldest athletes move out.  This really drags the average up.  To stay ahead of the curve, you have to work HARD.  So it's quite possible to get better and, at the same time, have your world rank go down.  I guess all I can do is grab the bull by the horns and hope for the best.  =)

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9 hours ago, Cardinal_22 said:

o it's quite possible to get better and, at the same time, have your world rank go down.

 

Forgive my ignorance about all things CrossFit, but is there a way to compare your performance this year against your performance last year other than looking at your rank in the field?  Or is that just down to tracking your own progress in times/weights at the various exercises over the course of the year?

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On 3/4/2019 at 6:40 PM, Cheetah said:

 

Forgive my ignorance about all things CrossFit, but is there a way to compare your performance this year against your performance last year other than looking at your rank in the field?  Or is that just down to tracking your own progress in times/weights at the various exercises over the course of the year?


That's a really good question.  I'm convinced that there must be a better metric out there... but other than the tried and true workout log method, I just don't know what it is.  

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Week 4, Day 1:  The good news:  my quads feel great.  The bad news:  holy cow, my wrists ache.  My upper back is pretty stiff also, but I should be able to stretch that out. 

 

I realized during the day that there IS a difference between open workouts 16.2 and 19.2:  it's the timecap.  In 16.2, you had 5 rounds of 4 minutes each.  In 19.2, you get 8 minutes for the first 2 rounds, and then 4 minutes for each of the last 3.  This actually changes things a lot.  I don't remember my exact split when I started round 2, but it was around the 5 minute mark.  This would not have advanced me to round 2 in 2016.  Granted, keeping my heart rate under control was a big part of my 2019 strategy.  I was holding back a little in the beginning so that I'd have energy to hit a 185 lb clean.  If I instead went all out from the beginning, I probably could have finished round 1 under 4 minutes, albeit dead tired.  The point is this: a number of people who would not have been able to advance to round 2 in 2016 may have done so under the new 2019 timecap.  So the old numbers from beyond the white board are probably going to be off, and there's a good chance that I will not hit my target (the lower 70s in world rank).  That's depressing.

Based on that analysis I seriously considered repeating the workout today, but I was sore enough that I could barely hit the 185 cleans during the warmup.  So I decided to let it go.  I did some weightlifting and then the CrossFit metcon instead.  Dinner tonight was special - we had bought a boneless leg of lamb at Costco and decided to cook it.  We made half of it into vindaloo in the instant pot.  The other half I rubbed with a paste made from 4 cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary, and olive oil, and then I roasted it in the oven for an hour with some red potatoes.  We served both with garlic naan and plain greek yogurt with fresh mint mixed in.  Salad and mixed veggies on the side.  It was amazing.

For the record, here's my workout:

 

Warmed up as if repeating 19.2, but it just isnt going to happen.  Feel too weak.  Then worked on heavy cleans.

 

A.  Hang squat clean
3 x bar, 75, 95, 115 lbs

 

B.  Full squat cleans
1 x 135 lbs, 6 sets
1 x 155 lbs, 3 sets
1 x 165 lbs, 2 sets
1 x 175 lbs, 1 set
1 x 185, 2 sets.  Then started failing in squat.  Drop weight.
1 x 175 lbs, 7 sets

 

Had to judge some friends for 19.2.  Then did metcon.

 

C. For time:
50 ring dips
50 thrusters (95 lbs / 65 lbs)
50 cal row

 

I got 14:01 Rx

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Week 4, Day 2:  Wow, my wrists still hurt.  Today felt pretty vanilla.  I ran a quick 3 miles or so over the lunch hour, then had handstand class in the evening.  I tried hitting a few strict ring muscle ups, but could only get 3... probably because my upper back is still tired from both the weekend and Monday.  Dinner tonight was leftover lamb (we had quite a bit of it).  Snacked on dried fruit and some cheese after that.

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I hope your achy wrists get better soon!

 

How many workouts are there in the Open?

 

Lamb sounds amazing!  I keep threatening my family to make them a goat curry, but they won't even eat regular curry so I haven't bothered yet. :-)

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22 hours ago, Cheetah said:

I hope your achy wrists get better soon!

 

How many workouts are there in the Open?

 

Lamb sounds amazing!  I keep threatening my family to make them a goat curry, but they won't even eat regular curry so I haven't bothered yet. :-)


I LOVE goat curry!!  Back when I lived in Baltimore, there was a place that had it on the menu.  It was amazing.

There are 5 workouts in the open - one each week for 5 weeks.  They are announced every Thursday night at 8 PM EST, and must be completed by Monday, again at 8 PM EST.  

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Week 4, Day 3:  Wrists still hurt, but it's getting better.  I did the CrossFit metcon today, followed by some quick (kipping) bar muscle up practice.  I would have done more, but had to leave early to take care of the dog.  I was on my own for dinner tonight.  I had some 90% lean ground beef sitting in the fridge to use up, so I grilled some burgers and served it with a baby kale salad and some sweet corn.  Finished off with the usual dried fruit.

 

For the record, the workout is here:
A.  CrossFit Metcon

18 min AMRAP

6 Push Press (155 lbs / 105 lbs)

16 Pull Ups

60 Double Unders

 

I got 4 + 6, scaled to 135 lbs.  All other movements were Rx.

 

B.  Bar Muscle Up practice

15 singles

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Update:  So the official results for open workout 19.2 should be in, but I can't get my app to update itself.  Which means no screenshot.  =(   But I can back out the data from the online leaderboards.  It's impossible to tell how many overall competitors there were from the website data, but my app suggests there were 25,981.  Then:

19.1:  6194 / 25,981 = 76th percentile.

19.2:  7215 / 25,981 = 72nd percentile.

Overall:  5905 / 25,981 = 77th percentile.

 

If these numbers are correct, I actually hit my 70%+ goal on 19.2 and I'm doing OK overall.  Surprisingly.

 

 

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Week 4, Day 4:  Sorry I'm a bit slow with the posts.  Work got very busy all of a sudden.  Today's workout consisted of running ~3 miles over the lunch hour, plus a stretch session and then 1 hour of rings class later that night.  My triceps and shoulders are completely smoked, which probably isn't a good thing given that the announcement for open workout 19.3 was tonight... and it has STRICT handstand push-ups.  This could be a real problem... because it's the one CrossFit movement that I still can't do.  I've never hit one before in my entire life.  I'm guessing everyone will pile up at the wall, meaning that even hitting just a few will be a massive score boost.  Ugh.

Dinner tonight was adobo chicken in the instant pot.  Finished off with dried fruit and crackers.

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Week 4, Day 5.  Rest day.  I did have a stretch session in the evening, but no workout.  It's date night, so we went to a new Vietnamese restaurant down the road for dinner.  It was OK - not as good as I had hoped.  But we had a good time, so I guess that's what counts.

 

Spoiler:  I did open workout 19.3 on Saturday.  It was an utter disaster.  I'm not joking.  I had been worried about the handstand pushups.  I should have been worried about the overhead DB lunges.  I could barely do them.  A typical split on the lunges at the gym was somewhere in the range of 2:45 - 4:00.  It took me 6:30.  I got done with the step-ups at 9:48, with just 12 seconds left to try to hit a single HSPU.  And wouldn't you know it... somebody was using my handstand mat.  We had assigned lanes and everything.  I had a dedicated mat.  Nobody but me should have had access to it.  But somehow, it was occupied.  I don't know if this person was in a different heat just warming up or what... but I couldn't even try one, because they wouldn't get off.  I was so mad. 

 

So now, not only am I at the same bottleneck that everyone else is at, but I also have a terrible tiebreak time, which puts me at the bottom of the pile.  I'm literally going to end up with the worst open score I've ever received in the last 4 years.  Like around the 30th.  I don't have a choice:  I have to repeat the workout on Monday.  To say I'm depressed with this result would be an understatement.  I know I have training imbalances.  Everyone does.  But I don't understand how I could have a hole this big in my skill set and not know about it until now.  If things really turn out as badly as I think they will, I'm going to have to radically change my training focus as soon as the open is over.

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I'm sorry that 19.3 was so frustrating. I hope that the second time around goes well and you can get to your hspu spot! hugs 

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Week 5, Day 1:  Well, I got partial redemption today.  I repeated open workout 19.3, and took almost a full 2 minutes off my tiebreak time.  Still couldn't hit any HSPU's, but just the tiebreak change alone should be worth several thousand places in the world ranks.  So I guess I'll take it... not like I have much of a choice or anything.  =)

 

I made several adjustments that really helped out.  First, I spent a lot of time tweaking my arm position for the walking lunges.  It sounds dumb, but it really makes a difference.  The key for me was to focus on touching my bicep to my ear (or further back) while lunging and make absolutely sure my elbow was locked out.  This added a tremendous amount of stability.  (To wit: you have to carry a SINGLE 50 lb dumbbell locked out over your head while lunging, held in only one hand.  It's an inherently unstable position that will make your abs scream).  I switched arms every 25 feet, and this time I started with the weak (left) arm while I was fresh, so that I could finish with the strong (right) arm when my core was tired.  I also decided to wear a lifting belt.  This helped take a lot of pressure out of my lower back, given how tall and thin I am.  All of these changes took my 200 foot lunge split from about ~6:30 to about ~3:30, a much more competitive time.

 

I still had a lot of lactic acid built up in my legs, so the box step ups didn't go as well as they did on Saturday.  I feel like I could take another 30s to 1 min off my tiebreak split if I was fresh.  But I can live with this score.  It will still be low, but not 30th percentile low.  So I'm calling it a win.  Or maybe more accurately, it's not a huge loss anymore.  I guess we'll find out for sure on Thursday. 

 

I spent the rest of my gym time evaluating my strict handstand pushups.  I hit 16 of them (not unbroken) on a 15 lb plate with an ab mat on top.  That's about a 3 inch boost.  I can't get any lower to the ground than that, and my arms are really wide when I do them, which is essentially distributing the entire load to my shoulders.  In theory, your arms should be closer together so that you make a tripod position with your head and engage your triceps a lot more.  I'm guessing that addressing this particular weakness will be the focus of most of my summer strength training. 

Dinner tonight was maple glazed pork chops - thick cut and bone-in, of course.  =)  They were browned in a cast iron skillet and then popped into the oven to finish.  Served with grilled yellow squash and a sweet potato.  After dinner I snacked on the usual dried fruit.

Edit:  oops - I guess NF has switched to 4 week challenges now.  (I'm used to the much older format - I think they were six weeks).  Anyway, since there's still two weeks left in the open, I will probably just keep posting here until the next set of challenges opens up.

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