#WODoftheWEEK - 'Have fun, don't get hurt, and don't finish last.'
This past weekend, I competed in my second-ever individual competition, at CrossFit Southie for their 7th annual 'Southie Showdown.' I competed in it last year (my first ever solo competition) and I learned A LOT about myself, most importantly that competing in CrossFit isn't necessarily always about beating others, it's about performing at your best, when it counts the most.
Let's dive in, and actually divulge on all five of the workouts we tapped into this weekend.
CrossFit Southie is located in the heart of South Boston, MA and is the only box in the famed, 'Southie' neighborhood. It's been around for about a decade now, and boasts an elite community of some VERY good athletes in the Boston area, as well as a wide mix of athletes who are just getting started, and really hit every single age group there is. No matter what your age, skill, or dedication is, it's a place for everyone, and each one of the staff members, coaches and athletes will make you feel at home here.
It's a very tight community owned, operated, and coached by people who deeply care about the fitness, nutrition, and overall well-being of each one of the athletes there and I couldn't be more proud to call it my home box.
Anyway, this year was my second time competing in the Showdown, and I wanted to do it not to win, but to be able to see where I was as an athlete, so that I could master my performance anxiety a bit more, and have things to focus on down the road, knowing that I'd come away with some bumps, bruises, soreness, and also a bit more experience. I was also extremely lucky to see some very serious competitors from all around the New England community, as the 'Showdown,' itself attracts a large number of elite competitors from every nearby state.
All in all, with the six total divisions, intermediate, RX, and Advanced (both mens and women's divisions) I knew it would be a very busy weekend, and couldn't have been more pumped to tackle some of these workouts, even though it was a lot of work for a two day competition, but a lot of my friends from the 7pm class and others were going to be there, so I knew it'd all be worth it come Monday, and it totally was.
Competing in the RX division, I definitely felt like a better athlete than last year, but with so much pushing and pulling involved in this weekend, I was wondering how my lanky frame would hold up, and it turns out there's definitely room for improvement....haha. Let's get to each one of these workouts, programmed by the CrossFit Southie staff and just recap 'em from my point of view. These all can be taken as a #WODoftheWEEK, so let us know what you think of 'em down in the comments down below!
Let's get to the WOD's and detail each one
WOD #1 HEAVY SACK
535m Sandbag Run (48, 36)
40 Hang Power Cleans (115, 75)
535 Run (no sandbag)
20 Thrusters (115, 75)
20 Sandbag Over the Shoulder (48, 36)
TIME CAP: 13 MINUTES:
Ah, this was a tough one. Talk about having the breath taken out of you right from the get-go. The hang cleans were the toughest part, as 40 is a lot. I tried to go unbroken, but had to drop at 23, 34 before hitting my target. The second run was a catch-up, but those thrusters caught up quick, too. Had to go 10, 5, and 5, before moving onto the sandbag over the shoulder. Was slow to start, but help a decent pace and didn't slow down. Forearm grip was SMOKED, and ended up just after 9 minutes with this finish.
WOD #2 - ASCENT
1 Rep Max Snatch
One athlete will lift at a time, with a lift being performed every 15 seconds. Each athlete will get 3 attempts. Athletes can make multiple attempts at a lift within their 15-second interval, but the lift must be initiated (bar pulled from the floor) prior to the 15-second window ending. Athletes will have 3 minutes 15 seconds between each attempt.
Any type of snatch (power, split, squat) is allowed. At the top of the movement, athletes must be in full control with the feet under the hips and the bar stacked on top of the shoulders, hips and ankles. Dropping to a knee before standing up the lift will result in a no rep. For safety reasons, if the bar goes out of an athlete’s lane at any point, the rep will not be counted. Athletes will be responsible for loading and changing weights. Clips must be used and spare plates must be placed out of the way in their designated spots before each attempted lift.
**THREE ATTEMPTS only**
The athletes at the showdown has a massive space to get warmed up, so the three attempts thing was all mental and being able to perform in front of a crowd of about 100 people. There were SO MANY heavy lifts during some of the heats, I couldn't believe my eyes. I saw some dude hit a 265 lbs snatch, and another chick easily start out at 185. I guess for this, it was all about warming up to your heavy single and going big in front of the crowd. Use it or lose it....I warmed up for about 20 minutes and decided to open up at about 185 lbs. and did it with ease. From there, I jumped up to 205 lbs., feeling pretty good and wanting to PR, but missed it, with a few inches to go. For my last rep, I dialed down to 195 lbs. and hit it pretty spot on without much difficulty. The hard part was definitely going around the room and each having 15 seconds to use it or lose it. Loved the way CrossFit Southie did this! Very Games-esque....
WOD #3 - BRUISED EGO
60/50 Calorie Row
30 Handstand Push Ups
60/50 Calorie Row
TIME CAP: 10 MINUTES
I actually had the pleasure of doing this workout last Wednesday, which was really awesome to do BEFORE the competition. I finished the workout in under ten minutes, and really enjoyed tackling this as a skill workout. It wasn't so much crushing the row, but pacing yourself to get through the handstand push-ups in an appropriate manner. For this one, during the Showdown, I only got through 25 handstand push-ups before hitting the time cap. Kind of a bummer, but truth be told, I didn't have the muscle endurance to get through the handstand push-ups, and I knew it after my first set. Having a 6'4" frame isn't easy, but knowing the HSPU's were in the showdown last year, I had a whole year to work on that strength and gymnastics movement and I obviously didn't get to a performance level I should have been at.
Guess who's going to be doing a lot more HSPU's this year??? That's right, this guy. On a good day, I can finish this workout, but during a competition after a lot of pushing and pulling, the muscle endurance fades fast...
WOD #4 - SLAY
50 Wallballs (20, 14)
Then 2 Rounds:
15 Burpee Box Jumps (24″, 20″)
20 Alternating Single Arm Dumbbell Snatches (50, 35)
Day 2 opened up with, "Slay." A deceptively crafty lungburn with no care about your feelings whatsoever. And it showed when you get halfway through this workout.
On paper, "Slay," doesn't look like the worst thing in the world, that is to say, until you get through that first round of burpee box jumps. Obviously, the goal here should be to get through all 50 unbroken, but it's only after you get about halfway done with the burpee box jumps that you realize you're pretty out of breath. If you can transition quickly on the dumbbell snatches then you're in luck, but again, pray for a smooth burpee box jump ride (it helps if you're not tall) so you can quickly burn this workout in under 6 minutes or less. I think my time was 5:49 or thereabouts, but some guys easily crushed this thing in under 5 minutes, with plenty of lungs left. Good for them, it was awesome to watch people 'Slay' this workout.
WOD #5 - NINJA WARRIOR & SECOND WIND
In 4 minutes, complete:
10 Chest to Bar Pull Ups
5 Front Squats (155, 105)
Then in remaining time, AMRAP:
5 Bar Muscle Ups
5 Front Squats (155, 105)
REST TWO MINUTES AND THEN:
In 4 Minutes:
125 Double Unders
10 Shoulder to Overhead (155)
Then AMRAP Toes to Bar
This was the final workout of the weekend for me, and while I knew I was beginning to show signs of wear and tear, I felt good going into this workout, but boy.....did I feel like I underperformed. With so much pushing and pulling involved in the weekend, by the end of Day 2, I had nowhere near the muscle endurance I thought I needed to make a good finish for this workout. With 'Ninja Warrior,' I was slow on the front squats and chest to bar, but was able to finish all three rounds, and had about 90 seconds to go to do as many bar muscle-ups as I could muster. But for some reason, I was only able to come away with just one.
I know I could have done way more, but I was really only physically able to do one.....and in that minute and a half, full of flails, fails, and missed attempts, it seemed like eternity.
"Why do I suck?! COME ON, I NEED THESE!"
I knew each one of those bar muscle-ups was my ticket to a higher place, and I've done 8 in a row before, but why did I fail so bad with finishing them off at the end of this four minute workout?
Ultimately, it all came down to muscle endurance, and at this point in the weekend, I just didn't have enough left in the tank, no fuel to burn, and despite my brain being ready to go, my body just simply wasn't cooperating.
But, there was still four minutes to go.....
Second wind was definitely not a second wind for me at all, with 125 dubs, 10 shoulder-to-overhead, and then an AMRAP filled with toes-to-bar, I knew in the two minutes of rest in-between that it would be another battle to be had, but alas....only four minutes to go here.
With my tall frame, and having to face the crowd, I broke my dubs into 85, 25 and 15. It was really all I had the lungs for, before pushing through into my shoulder to overheads, and needing to break them up into sets of 3's and 2's before clearing my way to the toes-to-bar and only being able to get 19 before time ran out.
Definitely NOT the finish I wanted here, but looking back, there were some great moments (195 lbs. snatch, crushing the run on that first workout, doing pretty well on slay, and a few more good ones, but all in all, the second day I flat out did not recover my body well and I can easily relate the poor physical performance to not getting the proper nutrition. I knew Saturday afternoon/night would be crucial, and I definitely think I didn't eat enough carbs, or protein (despite getting plenty of sleep).
It could have been that, or just simply not having enough to get me through 100% of the weekend. I felt like my lungs were good, but my muscle endurance was still poor. Kind of a weird sensation to describe, but even when I felt good, I just wasn't performing as I should.
Maybe that's just what it's like to get old, ha!
LONG STORY SHORT
It was an awesome weekend, and competing in CrossFit is something EVERYONE should do, regardless of whether you think you're ready for it, or not. The truth is, you'll never be 100% ready for anything. There will be bumps in the road, bruises on the way down, and always a light at the end of the tunnel.
You should do a CF competition because you want to spend time around your friends, regardless of their skills, abilities, or where they finish. Everyone has different limits, capabilities and celebrating and spending time with people that matter. Friends, strangers, competitors, at the end of the day, it's all about rooting for everyone to be their best, and that's something everyone should be able to get down with!
CrossFit Southie is an amazing community, filled with some of the fittest athletes out there, and I couldn't be more proud, excited, and happy to be part of this community. Shout out to the awesome 7 pm family, and I can't wait to continue progressing on my path to being a better, more fit, complete athlete with a great group of friends.
And if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
And remember.....have fun, don't get hurt, and don't finish last.