Power Clean + Push Jerk: 3X1 @ 70%, 3X1 @ 75%, 2X1 @ 80% – rest 60 seconds between sets.
– then –
4 rounds for total time of:
12 Handstand Pushups
Rest 2 minutes between rounds.
*Post times. Notes: Strict 20 min time cap. Handstand pushups should be scaled in such a way that they are as difficult as possible, while still being able to work through all 48 reps. For example: If Rx HSPU are too difficult to perform, but knees on the box is performed easily, then 1) raise box, 2) place feet on box, and/or 3) increase vertical angle of torso. The goal is to (while still moving at a proper pace) train your body to move your bodyweight (or as much of it as possible) through the full range of motion. Do not scale ROM.
Regionals Recap: Part I
Training: (This is the cliff-notes version…)
My workload between the Open and Regionals was insane. I followed a very well-planned method designed to build my body up in such a way that I could train as much volume as possible without over training. I trained every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday (rest days are Thursdays and Sundays). I’d wrap up the morning classes and start stretching, mobilizing and warming up at 10:30 AM. After a half hour of warmup I’d start my BBG (barbell gymnastics) work for the day. This usually included 15-20 sets of HEAVY clean & jerks, snatches, or some drill or variation of either movement (keep in mind that each set could include up to 7 or 8 reps). BBG takes about an hour if you’re moving non-stop; up to 2 hours if you take extra rest. After BBG I’d either do strength or skill work. Strength work included Back Squats, Deadlifts, Bench Press, Push Press, Heavy pulls, or some variation of these. Skill work would include L-sits, handstand holds, handstand walks, TGU’s, Triple-Unders, or something else wacky. After skill work I’d do a 10-20 minute MetCon. After the MetCon I’d do core stability work or extra strength work on small muscle groups, like isolated hamstring or back movements. I’d be finished around 1:30 PM. After an hour of rest I’d get ready for another conditioning WOD, usually around 15-25 minutes. I’d often go to a track or other location for the 2nd WOD. Eat. Rest. Rinse. Repeat.
We (Brian, Matt, Morgan, Alvin, Jen, & Myself) left at 9 AM on Thursday. It was fun to be making the trip together. I was filled with nervous energy because 1) I had taken some extra rest days, and 2) I was way nervous, duh. We got to Sonoma and set up camp at the RV park. After we set up I registered and got a lame T-shirt (last year they gave us THREE cool shirts; this year we got ONE orange pastel shirt). Stretched all day, talked some strategy with Brian & Jen, went to bed early. Good day.
Event 1: “Jackie”
“Jackie” was the first WOD on Friday (1k Row, 50 Thrusters, 30 Pullups). I had done “Jackie” 4 times previously. My times were 6:54, 6:51, 6:03, and 6:08. I KNEW I could beat those times, but I’d have to row slower so I could do the thrusters and pullups faster. I’m a pretty good rower, so my tendency is always to row as hard as I can to use my height advantage. This time I slowed my pace down (stayed at ~1:43/500m). I got off the rower and picked up the bar, started thrusters. I did all 50 thrusters unbroken and got no-repped 3 times. I walked straight to the pullup bar and jumped up. Up to this point, I had never done unbroken pullups on this WOD and I didn’t know if I was capable of doing it unbroken or not. I started pullups and when I hit number 15 it felt good so I kept going. I hit number 20 and it still felt good so I kept going. To my surprise I was able to stay on the bar and perform all 30 of the pullups unbroken. As I was working I could hear the CFM crew behind my back yelling their faces off. I absorbed all of that energy. 5:50, PR. I was happy with my workout. Looking backI wish that I had done better thrusters though – the 3 no-reps cost me ~10 seconds. It was another reminder of how important it is to have perfect movement standards during training.
Speaking of standards… I try to make all of my movements perfect – ALWAYS. I’m that way whether anyone is watching or not. Every rep PERFECT. Because of this, I was prepared for the movement standards at Regionals. There are times when I’m tempted to cut a rep short or quit a round a few reps early. I won’t do it. It’s not worth it. The time I put on the whiteboard would be a lie to myself and everyone else. Worse yet, there would be a time when I would NEED those perfect reps in my back pocket, whether it be during the Open, at Regionals, or another competition. I wouldn’t be as prepared as I could if I didn’t train like I was being judged. Chest MUST touch the bar. Toes MUST touch the bar. Ball MUST go over the line. Etc. In fact, leading up to Regionals, Chris Clow would no-rep me during my workouts EVEN IF MY REPS WERE GOOD. It helped. Thanks, Chris 🙂
The first event gave me the experience I had been waiting for. I kept thinking about how fortunate I was to be part of these moments. “I’m here. I earned this.”
Event 2: 3-Rep Max Overhead Squat
This was a tricky one for me. Overhead Squats are one of my strengths so I knew I could do well. Recently, though, I had been having some wrist/forearm problems that were making Overhead Squats difficult. I was able to choose my starting weight: either 225 or 255. This was a tough choice because I knew that I could get 255 on a good day. If I got 255 I’d have a big advantage on everyone else. The downside was that if I wasn’t having a good day and I couldn’t get it for 3 reps then I’d be disqualified from the competition. I chose to be conservative and start at 225. It went up easy for 3 reps. Then I loaded 235 – it went up easy for 3 reps but my wrist was starting to hurt pretty bad. At this point it was only painful, but it hadn’t started working improperly. I loaded 245. When I put it overhead it was hard to focus on anything but the pain coming from my wrist. I got through 2 reps and by the time I finished the 2nd rep my wrist was unable to stabilize any more so I dumped it. My score was 245.2. I was happy with it. I had about 5 minutes left, but I decided to let it be. I’m glad I started conservatively. 2 of the guys who started at 255 only got 2 reps and got disqualified. They watched the rest of the events from the stands. My wrist was good enough to continue – it only gives me problems during overhead squats and there were no more remaining in the weekend so I would be fine.
It was so cool to look out and see the CFM crew cheering me on.
Event 3: 30 Burpee-Muscle Ups
“Stay steady” was my only focus. It worked, mostly…
I started with a Jumping-Muscle-Up for my first rep, which I thought was pretty cool because I was the only competitor in the competition to do it. I did my best to conserve my shoulders on the burpees so I could use them on the muscle ups. Down, up, over, press out. Repeat. I was doing great through 20 reps. I was a few reps ahead in my heat. I felt good about the pace I was on. I knew that if I could keep my pace I’d end up with a very good score. Well, as it turns out, I could not keep my pace. After about 23 reps I wasn’t able to lock out on the muscle up. I got no-repped 6 times out of the next 10 attempts. I finished with 27 reps before the 7-minute cap. It was a decent score and I was content with it.
Sometimes fortune favors the bold. I took off at a risky pace not knowing if I’d be able to maintain it. I’m glad I gave it a shot. Yes, now that I can see it in hindsight, I should have slowed down. It doesn’t matter, though. I gave it my best shot.
Day 1 was over. I came in ranked 45th. Now I was 28th. It was my highest ranking of the weekend. My body wasn’t sore or tired. My hands weren’t torn. I was so happy that I was able to be here doing this.
[To Be Continued…]