As previously mentioned, due to tweaking my back, I wasn’t able to do the 5th and final workout of the Open this year. I’m feeling good to go now and didn’t want to delay my attempt on 17.5 any longer, so I did it in my garage yesterday.
When the workout was announced I knew everyone would be tricked into thinking they had to do the thrusters unbroken. It’s the beauty of the workout design. Change it from 9 to 10 reps and people would have thought different about it. I tried to convince people breaking up the thrusters would be beneficial, but nobody believed me. I certainly didn’t plan to do 10 sets of 9 unbroken thrusters.
I split up the first 9 sets into 5 reps, a strict 3 count to rest, and a set of 4 reps. I did the 10th round unbroken. It worked out great and allowed me keep a steady pace through the entire workout. I geek out a bit on split times over on my workout blog if you’re interested in that kind of thing. Finished the workout in 13:28.
While not official results, I calculated where I would have ranked this year if I had been able to submit this score. Overall through the 5 weeks I would have had 139,975 points in the Open division, ranking me 20,616 / 201,951 (10.2%) and 18,825 points in the new Masters 35-39 division for 2,455 / 38,106 (6.4%). My best year yet!
CrossFit Games Open Ranking History
- 2012: 16,395 / 20,857 (78.6%)
- 2013: 9,251 / 43,479 (21.3%)
- 2014: 13,721 / 66,904 (20.5%)
- 2015: 13187 / 118,237 (11.2%)
- 2016: 19,060 / 139,037 (13.7%)
- 2017: 20,616 / 201,951 (10.2%)
I don’t know why, but a bunch of these previous year numbers are substantially different in terms of participation (lower) that I’ve written about before. According to the current CrossFit Games Leaderboards it’s the data I come up with though. I always base it off the number of men who completed at least one of the workouts.
My 17.5 will have to wait. I tweaked my back 6 reps into a 17.4 redo on Sunday and it has turned out to be the worst one I’ve experienced. Walking and basic human function has been challenging most of the week. Thankfully I finally started to see some improvements this afternoon. I made it to the gym tonight to watch some of the crew crush the workout and then got to enjoy beer and pizza with everyone.
I’ll battle with 17.5 in a few weeks when I’m healed up. I’m going to finally find a PT and hopefully correct whatever keeps causing these back problems.
Went faster by doing fewer sets of toes-to-bars and cleans. Still no grip issues though.
“Save your grip,” they said. Grip was not an issue. Easy redo.
Much better. Hurt like a bitch though!
10 reps shy of finishing. 😕 Giving myself the option to redo them this year. I’m going to finish this bitch!
I just finished my second go-round of the Thruster Attack program I created almost 2 years ago. I didn’t remember it hurting so much. I started on November 12th and had to stretch out this final week so today actually marks 71 days.
Basically you do thruster intervals twice a week. The days start on opposite ends of the energy pathway spectrum, aerobic and anaerobic, and meet in the middle during week 10. For specifics, read the original post (linked above). I’m really happy with how well the program holds up. I’ve seen solid improvements in my fitness both times I’ve done it and several friends who just finished or are in various weeks of the program are also seeing fitness gains.
Many of us who enjoy fitness say we’d pick a heavy squat if we could only do one movement for the rest of our life, but a thruster might be the better choice.
While I think the program as originally written is solid, I tried out some changes on myself this time:
- During the first 3 weeks, I did 2 extra sets on the heavy days.
- For the first 3 weeks of Tabata work I kept the rep count at 8 for every set.
- In weeks 4-5 I started to increase the reps during later Tabata rounds.
- For weeks 6-10 I did 9 reps for every set of Tabata work.
- After the first week or two, I rarely did any other exercising on thruster days.
- Until the last few weeks, I was only doing CrossFit 1-2 other days per week.
All of those changes worked well for me, but may not work for others. The rep counts were low enough in those initial weeks where I could recover fast enough to add in the extra sets on heavy days. During weeks 4-5 the heavy days were the worst and I had to break up some sets. When I originally wrote this program and was testing it out, I’m pretty sure I skipped one of those weeks due to a work trip. In week 4 I had to do the last set of 10 as sets of 6 and 4. Then in week 5 I had to go 6-4 and 4-3-3 on the final two sets. While some of the Tabata work gets boring and turns into a grind, I was never in danger of failing any reps.
How about some numbers? Over the course of 20 sessions, I completed 2,309 thrusters and moved 146,890 pounds! Warm-ups would push those over 2,400 and 150k.
Thruster movement chart from Beyond the Whiteboard
Is it overkill doing so many thrusters? Maybe. Did I want to quit? Almost every workout. Does it work? Definitely.
When I picked up the new Nano 7 I could immediately sense the improvements in the quality of materials over the previous versions of the shoe. Not to say they were bad, but the weave they used feels so much different on the 7. Overall the shoe seems to be a good mix of the best parts of each previous Nano. I think it’s also the best looking one.
I wore them for heavy back squats last night and they felt solid and stable.
Check out these cool new ads for Reebok’s “Be More Human” campaign.
This year the CrossFit Games is adding a new 35-39 age group to the Masters divisions. At 37, I fall right in the middle. Excited to see how I stack up in the 2017 Open, which will be my 6th year competing. It’ll be nice not having to compete on the same leaderboard as all of the young bucks.
This is a great video from Brute about scaling in CrossFit. While it’s a very important topic for coaches, I think every athlete in the gym can benefit from understanding some of the concepts and learning how to scale more often. Too many people seems afraid to scale back on reps in workouts, but you can get fitter by doing less work if it means keeping your intensity higher throughout a workout.