Now the the journey to the Games is over for the vast majority of Crossfitters (including yours truly), I took some time to look back and reflect on the lessons learned from the Open and the changes needed become a better all-around athlete.
Before I continue, I really don't like to post my WOD results on this blog. I feel that by doing so, people may feel excluded - either because my programming is "too advanced" for a beginner to keep up, or (and more realistically) that I'm not advanced enough, and my programming shouldn't be taken seriously. That being said, I reluctantly give you my Open results, and what I've learned each step of the way:
Week 1: 12.1 (Burpees)
Score - 98 (top 42% worldwide)
I did this WOD twice. Once at an affiliate, and once at home. My score wasn't great, and even though I improved by 9 on the second attempt, I know I could have scored better if I planned better. The 6" target was exactly over my head during myfirst attempt, which caused me to miss 12+ reps. I re-did the WOD less than 24 hours after the first attempt- which means I was still toast from the first try.
Week 2: 12.2 (Snatch Ladder)
Score - 60 (top 24% worldwide)
did this WOD at an Crossfit Lincoln. My score was exactly where I thought it would be. In order to make it to the third round of the ladder, I would have had to snatch 165#, which (at the time) was my 1 rep max. I worked on technique, planned out a strategy, and stuck to it. However, when I made it to the third round of the ladder, I didn't have enough left in the tank, and couldn't simply get that elusive 61st rep.
Week 3: 12.3 (Box Jump, Press, Toes to Bar)
Score - 267 (top 29% worldwide)
did this WOD twice as well. One at an Crossfit North Ft. Collins, and one at home. However, this time, I wasn't able to get a better score the second time around. I had 20+ missed reps my first try, and was far too burnt out the second time around to do any better. I blame myself. I didn't talk with my judge about the movements, or how I wanted a "no rep" to be called.
Week 4: 12.4 (Wall Ball, Double Under, Muscle-Up)
Score - 245 (top 16% worldwide)
Finally, A WOD I liked! I did this WOD once at home. I had a plan, I knew where I would struggle, and I knew my attack plan. I did surprisingly well, but feel that I ran low on steam at the end. With a little work, I felt I could get a bit further on a WOD like this.
Week 5: 12.5 (Fran Ladder)
Score - 98 (top 17% worldwide)
Again, a WOD I liked and was comfortable doing. I did this WOD at Crossfit Frontier I did well, planned ahead, and was fairly happy with my results. At the end, I ran out of strength (not stamina). I simply couldn't pull my chest to the bar like at the beginning of the WOD.
I learned that there are several weaknesses that I must address if I want to make big strides in time for the 2013 Crossfit Open:
1) Overhead Work: My biggest weakness is, and has been overhead work. This was made known loud and clear throughout the Open this this year. Every single WOD had some type of overhead work. These movements slowed me, impaired me, or simply stopped me dead in my tracks.
2) Strength: In the past, my training largely focused on the METCON. I shied away from "going heavy" often. While I can't neglect any aspect of my training, I simply won't be able to make large gains until my capacity to move more weight increases. I feel that if I adjust as to slightly bias my routines with a weight component, the gains I achieve in strength far exceed any meanial losses I may see in my endurance training.
3) Technique: I struggled with "No-Reps" in two of my first three WODs. I shot myself in the foot, because I had to do much more work, and received lower scores than necessary. Without the "no-reps", I know I could've scored much higher. Full range of motion and flexibility are vital in avoiding no-reps. It's easy to gloss over these skills in the daily routine - but can prove fatal.
Conclusion: The Open was a great litmus test.I was happy to showcase the gains I made within the last year. But I'm more happy to expose weaknesses. I knew my strengths, but now have a much clearer picture of my weaknesses. More importantly, I now know how to fix them.
Heber J. Grant was often quoted saying, "That which we persist in doing becomes easier for
us to do—not that the nature of the thing is changed, but that our power
to do is increased.” I dare say, we must first need to know what we must persist in doing before we are able to persist in the act itself.
See you in 2013!