Mon 30 Mar 15 – End of CrossFit Games Open 2015

So there we have it, the CrossFit Open 2015 is over. Before I get to “what’s next”, what happened?

CF Open WOD 15.5

For Time:

  • 27 x Calorie Row
  • 27 x Thruster @ 43kg
  • 21 x Row
  • 21 x Thruster
  • 15 x Row
  • 15 x Thruster
  • 9 x Row
  • 9 x Thruster

As soon as it was posted, the fear started in most. I wasn’t that fussed actually. I knew I would be able to control the rowing at about 1 cal per stroke and after a decent reshow of 14.5 recently, I knew that the Thrusters were manageable. While the elite folk were coming in sub-8mins, I was aiming for 11:30 after seeing where the 60th percentile was on Beyond The Whiteboard. As it happened, I put together a really decent pacing and ended up at 10:52 RX. This immediately put me on about the 72nd percentile and I was really pleased to end on what I consider to be a high.

After 5 rounds, (and with a few hours left to play) I am sat at just over 57th percentile on the CrossFit Open and this is pretty much where I expect to end up. All in all, I’m ok with this. It’s a measurement of where I sit amongst all those who completed all 5 rounds, both RX and scaled. What it does highlight is how skewed the placings have become due to bringing the scaled WODs. I totally agree with having the scaled options though as it has enabled a greater degree of inclusivity. However, so many people who would have attempted RX have moved in to the scaled bracket which just means that I can’t compare this performance to last year. Further, my idea of measuring against Beyond The Whiteboard was also flawed from the outset as I’m now ranking only amongst those who took part in the RX versions anyway. That being the case though, my mean average placing among 6 WODs (including 15.1a as a separate WOD) actually left me on 60th percentile.

Anyway! Placings, percentiles, positions…..did I or didn’t I do better than last year? Have I or have I not progressed?

Well, my best WOD (almost top 1/4) was 15.5 and this was very much an ‘engine’ WOD; pace and hold that pace. After last year, this was the one area that I really wanted to improve and so it would seem that I have.  15.2 was my next best, a repeat of 14.2. I scored the same as last year, achieving a top third score (almost). The Overhead Squats were pretty solid but they were relatively light. It was the pull ups that pulled me down and this was almost entirely down to the grip going far too early.  15.4 came out third in my list with a top 40% finish…just. While the handstand pushups were unbroken throughout, it was the cleans that cleaned me out. 80kg is only 12.5 kg off my 1 Rep Max (92.5kg) and trying to get repetitions in really did stop me progressing in this WOD. Below that, 15.1, 15.1a and 15.3 were all lost due to grip (Toes To Bar) and Max Strength (Cleans in 15.1a).

So what next? Well, I know what has been wrong and I think I know how to progress.

For the next 3 months or so, I really have to focus on raw strength. Clean, Jerk and Snatch numbers all have to go up. Over this last year, the only number to go up progressively for me has been the Front Squat (now at 120kg). I can continue with the MetCons on a Mon, Wed and Fri as well as the strength elements that CF Plymouth put in. I’ll speak to the head coach but I now want to augment with 2 further days of Strength-only work on Tues and Thurs that I can do either at work or at home.

I expect that grip strength will improve naturally with increased barbell work but it’s something I’ll pay attention to increasingly, forcing extra time on the bars as much as possible.

Developmental pathways will be created soon enough and I’ll upload them once done they’re ready but knowing key areas of weakness is at least the start. I’m not saying that next year I’ll be top of the leaderboard or anything but I really do think that having identified specifics, I will now progress.

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