2015 CrossFit Open – Mission Complete!

On Friday, 3/27/2015, I finished the last workout of the 2015 CrossFit Open. While I did the workouts last year in 2014, I only did them because the coaches at my box made us. I was still relatively new to CrossFit (3 months in) when 14.1 was announced, so I really had to scale down a lot of the movements, and while I definitely worked hard, I can’t really say that I was “participating in the Open.”

In the past, the Open has only had two divisions, what they call RX (or prescribed), or Masters (ages 55+ male & female). This meant that you could only post your scores if you completed the workouts at the weight or rep scheme that CrossFit HQ put out; I remember thinking last year that I would never get to those weights, and while I was enjoying CrossFit as a way to get in a phenomenal workout and meet people, I didn’t consider the possibility of ever actually competing in the open. However, this year, CrossFit HQ made the brilliant idea to offer two new divisions – one for teens, and scaled.

SCALED! YES! I’ve been doing CrossFit now for about 16 months, and am way stronger than I ever thought I would be. When they announced the scaled division, I was excited because I knew I would actually be able to post my scores and partake in the Open, for real. I’ve never been terribly competitive, and never was a fan of team sports when I was younger (seriously, I never played any sports in middle school, high school or college). I am, however, extremely competitive against myself, and knew that this would be a great way to gauge how far I’ve come since a year ago.

15.1, and 15.1a, scaled: 

15.1 was a 9 minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible).This workout consisted of the following movements:

– 15 knee raises (instead of toes-to-bar)
– 10 deadlifts at 55 lb
– 5 snatch at 55 lb

15.1a was there they threw us for a loop. After that 9 minute AMRAP, you have 6 minutes to get your max effort clean and jerk.

For 15.1, I did 154 reps (just over 5 total rounds plus a few extra) and C&J 93 lbs. To be perfectly honest, I think this was one of the hardest workouts – you wanted to go all out during the AMRAP, but knowing you still had to get a max effort C&J at the end made you reign in your efforts a bit. I knew that my C&J max wasn’t fantastic (113 lbs), but I still wanted to give it a good effort. In the end, I made the idiotic mistake of doing a clean at 103 lb, then jerked it – AND GOT IT(!!!) – but failed to recover properly (as in I just dropped the bar like a bozo instead of bringing my front foot back and having my back foot join up). By the time I dropped the bar, there were only a few seconds left and I knew I wouldn’t be able to redo the lift. Since I play by the rules and my judge did too, I could only count the previous lift of 93 lbs which I executed correctly. Five weeks later I’m still kicking myself for that mistake, but I do have to remind myself that I could still C&J that 103 after that sucky AMRAP, which is pretty awesome.

15.2, scaled:

15.2 was the same as 14.2 (same as last year’s [2014] second workout), and consisted of overhead squats and chin-to-bar pull-ups. The rep scheme was as follows:

Every 3 minutes for as long as possible complete:

From 0:00-3:00
 2 rounds of:
– 6 overhead squats (65 / 45 lb.)
– 6 chin-over-bar pull-ups

From 3:00-6:00
2 rounds of:
– 8 overhead squats (65 / 45 lb.)
– 8 chin-over-bar pull-ups

From 6:00-9:00
2 rounds of:
– 10 overhead squats (65 / 45 lb.)
– 10 chin-over-bar pull-ups

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

I remember doing this workout last year and did the OHS with just the women’s bar (33 lb) and not even making it past the first round. I was also doing strict, assisted pull ups (with a band), as I couldn’t kip at all yet.

This year was different. I got 88 reps, and I got into the rounds of 10. I completed both rounds of the OHS, one round of pull ups, and then got two more pull ups at the end. Not only did the 45 lb OHS feel pretty damn good, I also did all of the pull ups without any assistance, and realized (during the WOD) that I can now do real kipping pull ups. I think this workout was where I really started to realize, “oh snap! I have gotten fitter.” Considering I could barely do 10 OHS at 33 lbs last year, I was really proud of myself when I did 54 reps at 45 lbs.

15.3, scaled:

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 14 minutes of:

50 wall-ball shots (10 lb. ball)
200 single-unders

Oh man, this one was my jam. Seriously, I think this workout was my best performance. I am just under 6 feet tall, so wall balls are one of the few movements where my height is actually an advantage. Additionally, I’ve become pretty efficient at double-unders, so singles were no problem.

I ended up with 990 reps for this one, and had I not gotten a few no-reps for clumsy aim with the wall balls, I might have gotten over 1,000 reps. I did the first 50 WB unbroken, and was grateful that I usually do WBs with a 14 lb ball – the 10 lb felt really light. I think this was my strongest Open workout, and am really happy with how I did.

15.4, scaled:

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
10 push presses
10 cleans

Men push press 95 lb. and clean 115 lb.
Women push press 65 lb. and clean 75 lb.

This one wasn’t my favorite, and I think it was the most difficult for me for a few reasons. This workout was almost entirely shoulders, and I don’t have the best upper body strength. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a hell of a lot stronger than I was a year ago, but it is still a lot of shoulders. Additionally, I felt like crap from a workout earlier in the week where I used both a heavier slam ball and a heavier power clean weight. So, paired with muscle soreness and the fact that I was dumb and didn’t eat enough that day…this workout was where I definitely had to push myself harder than usual, and really wanted that 8 minutes to be over.

I do love doing cleans and I think it’s my best lift, so I was excited to see them in the workout. I ended up with 91 reps total, and seriously considered eating everything in sight that evening.

15.5, scaled:

27-21-15-9 reps for time of:
Row (calories)

Men use 65 lb.
Women use 45 lb.

I think everyone who did this workout can safely say that this blew. Thrusters are the worst (I would take burpees over thrusters any day. Seriously.), and while the 21-15-9 rep scheme is fairly common (not to mention manageable) in CrossFit programming, that extra 27 reps was seriously daunting. Thrusters are frustrating for me as I’m just not very efficient at them – I mentioned earlier I’m just under 6 ft tall, so it literally takes me more time to travel up and down than someone who is 5’6″ or so. I knew that I was capable of doing the RX’ed weight of 65 lbs, but I really wanted to push myself and get a decent score in the scaled division. As far as the rowing portion, I think I was one of the few who was really happy it was in there, because again, it’s one of the few things where my height gives me an advantage.

I finished this workout in 10:17. The thrusters sucked, but were manageable at 45 lbs. I also broke them up into sets of 9 for the 27 reps, sets of 7 for the 21, 5 for the 15, and then went unbroken on the 9.

Overall, I am really happy with myself. It was such a cool experience to actually be able to participate and post my scores with athletes from all over the world. While the goal is to eventually be able to get to the RX’ed workouts, I have to be realistic and look at how far I’ve come in the 15 months I’ve been doing CrossFit. In the Open this year, I accomplished things I couldn’t do even a few months ago, and I felt like I could even (dare I say it?) do those things well.

I am my own worst critic, and I am my biggest competition. The nice thing about CrossFit is that there will always be things you need to work on, and you will never be the best at everything. That’s also the downside of it, and I know that certain elements are going to be harder for me as an individual than other elements. But, that goes for everyone – you will always have your weaknesses, and you will always have your strengths. The idea is to become a well-rounded athlete who can do most things pretty well. I know I have a good engine, and longer workouts are good for me, and I tend to pace myself out pretty well, which is why I like AMRAPS. I also know that anything gymnastics related will be harder, and anything that includes the barbell will probably take me longer (deadlifts, squats, snatches, etc). simply because I physically have to travel more space that shorter athletes. Instead of using that as an excuse, I see those weaknesses as areas that need to be worked on, and provided I put in the work, they will get better. So often we don’t do things because they’re hard or we’re not good at them, but unfortunately we don’t get better at things by not doing them.

What were your thoughts on the 2015 Open workouts? What did you like, what did you hate, and what are you going to work on for next year?

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