Eat Your Veggies

15 minutes Establish 1RM Power Clean

EMOTM 20 minutes

  • 3 Power Cleans (75% of 1 RM)
  • 7 Push-ups
  • 11 Squats

Post 1RM, number of rounds missed and scale in comments.

Fittest Games CC Panda squat clean
Panda with 315lb Squat Clean (photo c/o The Fittest Games 2013, CrossFit Central)


The Puzzle – Event 5 by Jim Kelly

21-15-9 Deadlifts (275)(185) and Box Jumps (30″)(24″) Male first; Female Finishes

Couplets in a three round scheme of 21-15-9 reps are some of the most feared workouts in CrossFit culture. There is no recovery; the sets are big to start and with only two movements the deficits created in the same muscle groups are nauseating. In order to compete in this style of event you have to go deep into the dark cave of discomfort.

May 8th 2013, the day regional events were announced; my gut told me this event had to be Panda and Jamie. I penciled them in and waited to see their expression when I broke the news. The better expression was the reaction from the others on the team with a subtle fist pump and “yes” under their breath. Just a small personal celebration that they were not tagged with this beast.

Jamie and Panda were fine. They looked at me and said, “Let’s do this” No visible fear at the time. Although now that it is over, I imagine Panda has to run to trashcan even just reading this account of event five.

Practices yielded a disturbing trend; Panda struggled mightily on this event. Both movements got into his legs and head quickly. Deep into the workout he was staggering and could barely stand, let alone jump. Jamie was steady on the deadlifts rarely putting the bar down, just a bit slower on the box jumps. Those needed to be faster. We never finished the event under the eleven-minute time cap in practice.

I knew this was the storm the team would have to weather in order to survive.

The team knew this as well. Everyone giving ideas to improve the time; make the pace more manageable. I received texts from coaches and athletes…”Are we gonna be ok with this pair” – “Should try Daniel on this event?” I responded confidently that we had our best people in the right spots and that this was actually better than splitting Panda and Jamie into separate workouts. We would take our number here and crush the other workouts then see if it was enough.

The texts kept coming, so I acquiesced and asked the Daniel, late in our training prep, to give me a time on this event. I also asked Panda to give me a time on event six and Ben a “Jackie” time.

This was a train wreck of a Sunday morning at ACF.

Daniel puked with a slow time, Ben almost passed out, and Panda probably needed an IV, so did Beth after having to carry him through event six. The experiment went horribly bad and left the three male athletes appreciating what each other had to do. Beth also gained an appreciation for Ben’s contributions on event six, but that comes later…

We would stay with Panda and Jamie; let storm roll in and see how they steer the ship. They were our captains now and we needed their best.

The morning’s first place finish has the team high as a kite. Lot’s of positive energy flowing, but Panda and Jamie are sitting and waiting for heat three. The time is moving so slowly for them. They just want to get it over with. Quietly staying calm externally, but butterflies trying to rip their guts out.

The time has arrived. I meet them in the tunnel and give Jaime some transition advice. Then change my mind. The nerves are getting to me also. We just need a placement better than 20th. Our two firsts and top six or better finishes on the other two events have built a cushion that should help us stay close with 20th place finish or better. Just finish under the time cap.

They walk into the stadium as part of the last heat. The judges are ready quickly and waste no time.

3-2-1 Go!

Panda begins his deadlifts employing the eleven-rep, rest, ten-rep strategy. He is moving a bit faster than in practice. I like what I see. He moves to the box jumps and has a steady, jump\step-down rhythm. This causes him to start to trail the pack as the lead teams have jumpers that rebound from the floor. A much faster technique, but it’s also much harder on the body.

He moves to the set of fifteen deadlifts and begins the mentally toughest part of the workout.

A set of five to start. I think “ok, three sets of five quickly” but then things change. He is taxed physically and mentally things look to be falling apart. He begins sets of one. He picks up the bar and drops from the top, does it again, does it again! I can’t believe he is doing singles this early in the workout. I walk out of the stadium into the concourse and squat against the wall. I can’t watch.

I’m convinced the earlier workout took too much from our mighty Panda and that the singles were the signal that he was in survival mode only, and that time did not matter anymore. I was completely wrong.

Panda moved his active rest of pulling singles to earlier in the workout. He did this out of competitive instinct. We didn’t plan it. He didn’t strategize it. It simply happened in the heat of competition. I returned to watch him struggle, but he wasn’t struggling as I had seen before in practice. He was steady, and the reps were being completed. He finished his fifteen box jumps very smoothly, without staggering like a drunk, and moved to his set of nine. The active rest of pulling singles early had let him be more consistent late in the event and it was paying off. He hits the finish pad at a personal best on this workout of 5:45. It was brilliant, competition brought the best out in Panda, and he hands it off to Jamie with five minutes and fifteen seconds to transition and bring us home. It’s going to be close. Her fastest with transition has been 5:25.

Jamie moves to the bar and rolls it back to the start line (it advances with each round) She struggles a bit with the sticky plates, but gets the weight adjusted to 185lbs and begins her deadlifts. She has a strong grip, and she knows Panda has given her more time than ever to get through her piece of the workout.

The workout looks smooth for her; just keep moving; she is jumping on the box with precision, each repetition faster than in practice. She is breathing heavy, but in typical Jamie fashion, she doesn’t wear it on her sleeve. She is calm and determined. Breaks are minimal, and she continues to her set of nine. Ten minutes hits the clock as she is on her sixth rep of the deadlift. Three more deadlifts and nine box jumps in one minute. Most other teams are finished, and everyone in the Coliseum wants to see every athlete finish before the cutoff.

The cheers are growing as she begins to accelerate. She is coming out of that dark cave in the workout, she sees the light of the finish line and burst through her last sets of nine box jumps rebounding these, so much faster, and fishes in 10:45. Unbelievable!

Jamie does her portion in five minutes flat including transitions; Another Personal best achieved.

The team is excited and we know we just had a clutch performance in our “weakest” event. Let’s see how the numbers play out… 18th Place. They did it. They kept us in second place over all by leaving all they had on the floor in Event 5.

I am looking at the scoreboard and I’m so proud of the team. Dallas Central is still in first and amazingly consistent with only seventeen points. We are in second place with 30 points, CF Katy is in third with 30 points also (ACF owns the tie break with our two first place finishes) and CF Central is in fourth place, only one point behind going into day three. It all comes down to two events for the podium. Katy and Central are happy to have closed the gap after our morning first place finish. ACF is happy to not have make-up points from a deficit. Everyone is optimistic in this card game.

I peek at my cards one more time and smile a bit, because I know I have another ace in the hole.

I’m all in.

29 Responses to “Eat Your Veggies”

  1. Southpaw

    95 PC this morning. Then no misses at 70#.

    I am disappointed that I didn’t take the time to do the math on the 75%. When I actually used the calculator to figure the weight, I found that RX would have been 71.25#, not the 70# I used. RATS!!!

    So if RX is still written by my name somebody please erase it. I don’t want it there if its not legit, & it shouldn’t be there. But next time, I’ll do the math. (The weight I used was still pretty challenging though.)

    My first time to do the 5:30 class. I loved it! Great job today everyone!

    Thanks Coach Jim!

  2. Iceman

    95# – 0 Misses, but only did 7 squats on some rounds

  3. landfil

    Good times this morning with 6:30 peoples.
    Thanks Jim, I’ll work on that hitch during the clean.

    135 – two misses and both were a mental thing. Need a rematch with this one.

  4. Easy Rider aka Robert Hammond

    240# (maybe a PR)

    180# – 3 misses,..180# sure felt heavy..and the squats became unusually difficult.

  5. Easy Rider aka Robert Hammond

    These regional stories are so good. They need to be accessible and not lost somewhere. Fantastic writing Jim.

    • Southpaw

      I agree about the stories. They are windfall & it would be a shame for them to get lost.

  6. Katie Ramos Swan

    90#/2 misses

    Nice WOD today. Fun to share the bar with Ann. Great to see TEACH and Patricia!

  7. arnold

    155#/115# 5 misses
    Should of scaled reps….impossible for me to do full ROM on that many reps. Nice sweaty WOD!

  8. carahinojosa

    The name of this wod is very appropriate considering I ate a double cheeseburger, fries, and a dr. pepper yesterday and felt every gluten-filled, sugary bit of it today. Super dizzy.

    80# ( a lot of misses–4, I think)
    Proud of finally cleaning triple digits, though. 🙂

  9. Monchhichi

    Fun getting a nooner in during a Monday!
    65#, 2 misses

  10. Chief


    Scaled to 20 rounds of 3 hanging power cleans (45); 5 C2G; 3 air squats.

    I figuured out how much work I could do in around 30 seconds, then scaled to a 1 to 1 work/rest ratio for 20 minutes. Hah, it works for me.

    Hey JackRabbit, good to see you back in action. Sorry I beat your ear so much during the WOD but you asked for it when you started talking to me about riding bikes, hah!

  11. Chrissy C

    I’m calling my WOD “Lame Arm #1”

    3 rounds:
    800 m Run
    50 squats
    50 sit ups


    Not used to working out after work. Argh!!!

  12. TIMBO

    180 tied my PR.
    135. 0 misses. Finished all under 45 seconds

  13. Russell J

    100#, 4 misses

    That’s 15# less than 75% of my 1RM from October. I thought it would be too light, but 4 misses tells me it was not.

  14. Southpaw

    Monday nights are exciting. Open gym tonight practicing shoulder press & bench press.

    Thanks for the spot, Trapz!

  15. Iron E

    165# (15# PR) – thanks Sid, Billy for the power clean tips

    105#, 3 misses. My third miss was on 19th. I thought I couldn’t continue until Sid told me to finish up. Finished in 20:24

  16. Napkin

    Earned my 180# PR and felt it on the WOD.

    135# – 5 misses

  17. Nisha

    105# 1 miss

    That was all kinds of terrible….

  18. Eileen

    Love reading the diaries, Jim…feel the pulses.
    65# scaled to 2 ea. round. Squats deteriorated the last 8 rounds. Missed 1 round.

  19. lauraD

    75# 1RM
    55# on the WOD
    scaled push ups: worming c2g on knees mostly
    2 misses but also only did all the squats on the first 5 and last 2 rounds, the rest of the time I just stopped working at the 50 sec mark so I could at least have 10 sec recovery. Mostly about 9 squats instead of 11 on those rounds.
    WAY TO GO Iron E! 15# PR!? Nice!

  20. T-REX

    145# 1RM, light headed! Did not improve from Feb :/
    110# w/ 1 miss. that was rough!
    Way to go On-Rampers on the partner wod w/ DLs, WB, and KBs!
    Also – good work YGs, Christian and Lizzy!

  21. Paige H.

    110 (PR)
    5 misses at 75#; full ROM on pushups slowed me down with my shoulder!

  22. Adam Longoria

    #225…#170 with 5 misses
    Hell of a workout but so good when it was over. Thanks for the push…