No no rep

13.4 Crossfit Games Open
7 minutes
3-6-9-12-15….
Clean and jerk 135#
Toes to bar

When I heard couplet, I was excited. When I heard clean and jerk, I was happy. When I heard toes to bar, I was good to go. This looked like an easy one, or at least more manageable. I was comfortable with clean and jerk, and while it has been a while since I’ve done toes to bar I had that skill in my bag somewhere.

So off I went to my good friends at Crossfit Insurrecto and jammed with them. I went head to head with one of their guys, but kept to my own game plan and worried about myself. I had to do singles as 136lbs gets heavy quickly for me, but decided to get back to the bar quickly. The cycle could have been better I think, but I’m not to worried about it. I lost my rhythm on the toes to bar and could only string 3 at a time.

We also had a bit of a bar malfunction and had to switch bars losing a few seconds towards the end. I ended up with 46 reps which was 14 shy of my goal. Not great but not bad I think. At least I had no ‘no rep’ and kept my head down and did the work. One more to go.

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24 hour gym

Strength
5/3/1+ Press 105# @ 5 (pull ups in between)
5/3/1+ Squat 245# @ 3

Olympic Lifting
Clean and Jerk practice 60kgs

I decided to get a 5 visit pass to Eclipse 24/7 gym here in Shaw as it is the closest facility to where I’m staying which would suit my needs best. I wasn’t really sure what the vibe was of the place, for sure it wasn’t a normal ‘globo gym’ nor was it a ‘bakal gym’ or a Crossfit facility. But they did have loads of power cages, kettlebells and an area for Olympic lifting/metcon.

I loved the fact that were around 6 or more power racks that you could press, bench press or squat in and I think I would be using those a lot. I do think that their pins needed a bit more improvement as I wasn’t sure if I was in the hooks or not. Their lifting bars felt that the knurling has almost gone, maybe it was just the sweat beading off me (no air conditioning unit that I could see, although it didn’t feel stuffy at all).

I still managed to do more than expected on my lifts and managed to up my estimated 1RM numbers, even though I had to convert kilograms to pounds.

I decided to give the ‘Olympic lifting area’ a go. I got confused here as their bumper plates seemed to be in kgs, while their non Olymic plates were in pounds. It would have been better if things were consistent (I don’t mind lbs vs kgs, so long as they stick to one system). At first I was hesitant to drop the bar, as I felt I was already standing out being the only guy doing Olympic lifts (with my near new Reebok CrossFit Oly shoes). But as I got tired, I dumped the bars and nobody was alarmed or anything which is a good sign. One thing I wasn’t comfortable with was there were a couple of guys lounging around real close to me yapping about something or other while I was doing the lifts which is quite distracting. I’m still not sure how I can do metcons in the area with folks going about their business around me and not aware of what I’m doing, health and safety and all.

In any case it was a good first session and it is a huge bonus that they do operate 24/7 as I have a bit of leeway in terms of scheduling my gym session.

Games standard

WOD
Games Open 13.3
12 minute AMRAP
150 Wall balls 10kg
90 double unders
30 Muscle Up

I was quite looking forward to this, but that may have been a mistake on my part. Based on my numbers I should be able to squeak by the 120 wall balls and at least attempt the double unders. I ended up doing less reps compared to last year, where I think I was able to do 120-something wall balls. There are a few things that might have attributed to this:

1. Stress – finally figured out what has been holding me back in recent performances. Work is getting a bit hectic and I with the upcoming moving flats plus a 3 week business trip I just had too much on my mind. I always fail to consider this as a factor, but reality is that this is a key to any physical endeavor.

2. Too many variables – Having bought a new pair of Reebok CrossFit Oly shoes, this was the first time I’ve ever used them in anger. The result was me not used to the mechanics of having a raised heel, which probably put me off a bit. Plus, I had to throw an extra 1 kg (which amounted to an unnecessary 113kgs of total effort) due to the limited number of 9kg wall balls. Not that it matters, at least I got a good workout out of it.

3. Games standards – I think most of us got hit with this one at some point. It was funny hearing the judges say ‘No Rep! I’m sorry!’. You know how painful those words are, especially if you’ve been ‘no repped’ as well. But we had to be strict, we had to know what is expected of us and that we had to deliver otherwise what’s the point? I’ve always loved the saying: If you have to do it, do it right.

As usual the gang at CrossFit London put in a great effort and we enjoyed cheering each other and gaining inspiration from those who did pretty well. Unfortunately, I will have to bring my cheering to a different box the next 2 WODs. But I am definitely looking forward to share a few pints after all this is over!

The mind of a Crossfitter

Strength
5×5 Deadlift as heavy as possible 100kg
then
3×3 Jerk 60kg

WOD
7 rounds
7 KB front squats (2x24kgs)
100m Farmers walk

Still a bit down from the 13.2 revelation, but work has to get done. I stayed a little on the safe side of 100kgs on the deadlift when I think I could have pushed to 110kg if needed but my back is still a bit funny. 100kgs felt ok though, so that is encouraging.

I recently bought a pair of Reebok Crossfit Oly shoes and tried them out for the Jerk session. It felt different on the clean as I feel like my feet are glued to the ground. Not sure if that is good or bad so I’ll keep an eye out for that one, maybe I need to concentrate on the landing and triple extension. The split jerk felt great however, very solid on the landing especially the front foot.

The WOD looked easy but the farmer’s walk took it’s toll on me. Physically it wasn’t that demanding, but the pressure on your grip then shoulders start to eat at you and you end up dropping the bells. I knew I was stopping more than I should. I don’t know why I wasn’t pushing more or resting less. It was more evident during the front squats. While I was able to do unbroken front squats (except for 1 round), Socs mentioned I was resting too much. I probably was, I might need to take a video of myself working out the next few weeks so I can dissect what needs improvement. An objective critical view should do me good, I hope.

I’ve been out mentally the past few days, too much going on in life I guess. Huge thanks to the guys who cheered me on, makes a hell of a lot of difference when that inner voice tells you it’s too hard and you’re too tired.

13.2 and further reflections

WOD
13.2 Games Open WOD
5 Shoulder to Overhead 52kgs/35kgs
10 Deadlift 52kgs/35kgs
15 Box jump

After party strength session
5×10 Back squat 50kgs

When I saw the WOD, I wasn’t sure what to think. Sure the 52kgs are a bit heavy for shoulder to overhead, but quite light on the deadlift. I figured if I didn’t stop, I could get a decent score. I was wrong. My back felt a bit funny after the previous Tuesday’s heavy deficit deadlifts, so that was one reason for my distasteful performance of 5 rounds and 2 shoulder to overhead. While I dropped the bar a few times, and did step downs on the box jump rather than rebounding I felt there wasn’t much left to squeeze out of me. I am now a solid 3 spots from the bottom of the team. I thought I could do better than that. Scratch that, I thought I was better than that.

It got me thinking as to what was lacking. I’ve got decent technique, strength needs a bit of improvement I guess, and so would my conditioning. But how do I improve them? Doesn’t seem like my 3 days a week isn’t enough. I’ve always thought that I’ve not met my full potential yet. And it seems that I’m way off of that. The final question is which path do I take?

13.3 will be released in a little over 24 hours. I will be able to attempt that with the folks here in London but I will be heading back to the Motherland for 3 weeks for business and I am quite apprehensive about that. I tend to lose whatever gains I’ve made every time I travel, and at my current state, I fear I might be going backwards rather than forwards.