400m Sandbag Run (70)(50)
50 KB Swings (53)(40)
50 Wallball (20)(14)
The Puzzle – Events 2&3 by Jim Kelly
7 Minutes to establish a 3Rep Max Overhead Squat(OHS); Rest 2 Minutes; 7 minutes to complete as many Burpee-Muscle-ups (BMU) in sets of 3, rotating team members in order. Ladies OHS first; Men do muscle-ups first, then switch.
The ice had been broken; a score is on the board and ACF sits 4th after one event, so much more work to do. The afternoon rolls in and after and extended warm-up Team ACF 13 is ready for the next challenge.
Rings have always been a question mark for many athletes, in fact, the rings have been a source of stress for a lot of regional teams after this workout was announced. The ladies especially; If either the men or the women do not successfully complete six BMU, the team is eliminated from the competition. A harsh penalty that is not uncommon when HQ does the programming. Therefore, since the format requires the BMU to be performed in sets of three by the athletes rotating in order, if you do not have two ladies with three BMU, your team’s weekend is over before it ever really got started.
ACF has Muscle-ups. We had been burned by the muscle-up flame in Austin earlier this year. A dominant performance by the team was negated by a tired Panda and a set of ten muscle-ups. The scoring was winner take all on the last event and Panda struggled on the rings. We didn’t podium in Austin, but team coalesced and Panda grew over the weeks following that encounter. He’s been practicing and getting better, learning his recovery pace and the setup on this workout fit his pace just right. The question mark for all teams is the ladies.
Janet and Beth have been known to just about kill each other driving the pace on Muscle-ups when going head-to-head. That’s just how they roll. Obviously they were just fine when they saw muscle-ups and our team was never worried about not advancing due to six muscle-ups. Jamie however was a bit nervous. She had three, even six and nine muscle-ups, but as we practiced she would burn out and would stop the team during her 4th set. She needed to get past that set. If she could the ladies could score in the forties and that was where we needed to be. Her sister was going to help out.
Beth began coaching. She is a great coach and found a way to pace Jamie so that the 4th set was attainable. As we practiced, they improved their number every time. Beth would report to me the progress as I would be coaching the OHS portion of this event and each time she was smiling a bit more and confidence would begin to beam from her eyes. The last practice yielded forty-two BMU for the ladies. That would be very competitive if we have it on game day.
“Overhead squats are quite possibly the hardest exercise known to man” – Phil Simpson
Phil is one of my best friends and when I introduced him to CrossFit he sent me a note with this simple quote. I agree.
We know we are strong. Our ladies numbers are ridiculous and our guys are solid. Our practices have yielded big overhead squat totals that should land us in the top three in this event. Execution is the key.
The team is still in the first heat, so the battle comes early for us. They march in to the platform for OHS and hug each other, high five and wish each other luck. Each has to pull their weight over the next sixteen minutes, and they need each score to be the best it can be today.
The men hit the BMU and, for Daniel, this is a walk in the park. Sets of three with time to rest; he could go for days. It’s about speed for him. He hammers out three and tags Ben. The interesting thing about these rings is that they are 82” from the ground for everyone. Ben Bacon is 73” tall and has a 52” box jump. There is no hanging requirement so….that yields a burpee-jumping-ring-dip essentially. Extremely fast. The cycle begins, and short of the two reps Panda struggled with, the team executes and sets a new PR with fifty-two reps when the horn sounds.
Meanwhile, our ladies are on the platform. They stare at the bar with its beginning load of 85#. That won’t do. 3-2-1 Go!
They immediately unload the bar and place the opening weight of #145 and Jamie and Janet hammer out their opening set of three OHS. Beth is waiting. The weight goes to 165# and Beth hits her opening set. No Problem. Janet goes again and hits 165#, but the morning’s Jackie has taken its toll an she will go no higher. Jamie hits 175# and it looks so easy. Beth asks for 185# the biggest number on the floor by 10# and the bar is loaded. She executes a precise clean and moves the bar to her back pops it up and hammers out three OHS with confidence. YES! The numbers had been hit, or so I thought…
Jamie wants 185#. She looks at me and asks for permission. “By all means, young lady”, I think to myself, and give an approving nod. She advances to the bar quickly, as we have less than two minutes left, cleans it, but it looks heavy. Moves the bar to her back and jerks it overhead. She looks so solid right now. She has a chance to PR by 10#. The first rep looks great. The second looks really good. She pauses at the top to hit the third; adjusts for just a second and begins her descent. The crowd is excited. Half way down her right shoulder goes soft. I cringe when I see it. At that weight, any softness and it’s over. She can’t recover, the weight falls in front of her and the crowd releases a collective sigh, all hoping for her success.
My thoughts turn to Beth. She has practiced with 190# and never made the lift. She asked before going onto the floor; “If I get there can I have a shot?” I told her that up to this point, I hadn’t seen the mental change required to hit that weight and that’s why she hadn’t been successful in practice, but if we get there she can shoot for the PR.
There is 90 seconds left. Beth looks at me and asks for 190#. I approve. The bar is loaded. I ask her to wait by motioning down with my arms. Then with 40 seconds left I give her the go sign.
She squat cleans the weight and it looks heavy coming out of the hole; manageable but heavy. She moves the weight to her back and it still looks really heavy. Then with surgical precision, she jerks the weight overhead perfectly, no press out. She is standing there with the perfect OHS position. My heart leaps at this point because when she has it overhead her legs won’t fail. 1 rep, 2 reps the crowd knows the heaviest weight on the floor is moving perfectly through the OHS. Beth has the announcer’s undivided attention, and with complete confidence, she finishes the third rep as the entire coliseum erupts with approval.
Five pounds, the PR was five pounds. The horn sounds and it’s time to switch.
The men are now on the platform exhausted from 7 minutes of burpee-muscle-ups. We just need to hit our numbers. Daniel 225# Ben 245# Panda 265#. The event begins and the opening lifts for Daniel and Ben are at 205# both look a bit rusty, but are good. The bar goes 225# and Daniel is up for his number. He is tired from this morning, but handles the weight. The reps are methodical and require some adjustment, but he hits his three and is done. Only the second time he has ever moved 225# OHS for a triple. He is happy.
The bar jumps to 245# and Panda gets his opening lift. Precise and steady his lift looks great. Ben moves to the bar and struggles on his first attempt. He has to regroup and make his weight. He returns to the bar and moves much more confident under it. His first two reps are good but not great. The third rep begins to fall apart on his way up, but he “eeks” it out and hits his 245#. It was close, but the judge counted it. We’ll take it.
Panda has hit 265# in practice and looked so good at 245# I was thinking 275# might be in the cards today. I was wrong. Panda moves to 265# and it never looked right. It slid off his back once, it never looked right over head. It just wasn’t there. 245# was all Panda had today. He is visibly upset; he can’t believe it. Will it be enough?
The ladies are hammering out Burpee Muscle-ups with steady resolve. They are surrounded by teams struggling to stay in the competition. There is tears and cursing, but not from our ladies. They know how to do this and keep the muscle-ups rolling. Jamie hits all her sets and the ladies PR with forty-three reps. Just nine short of the men. A true team effort establishing a score of ninety-five reps.
The numbers were interesting this afternoon. 95 BMU ended up getting a 6th place finish in event three; a bit lower than we hoped, but very much in the thick of things. 1245 lbs on Event 2 however, earned Team ACF13 their first overall “1”
ACF finished five pounds ahead of CrossFit Katy. Five pounds. Thanks Teach.
Second place overall after day one with 11 overall points. No media attention, no interviews. Just an interesting new name on the leaderboard. That’s all,
…..but there is storm rolling in and tomorrow’s events will change all that.