I was on vacation this weekend and CrossFit Open workout 19.2 wasn’t really a workout when I didn’t make it past the first round, so I was itching for something long and hard. Enter Andy, a CrossFit Hero workout, named for U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Andrew T. Weathers who died Sept. 30, 2014.
Weathers was wounded Sept. 28 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, when he heroically ran to a rooftop through hundreds of incoming rounds to repel an attack of insurgents who were attempting to overrun his position. His actions saved the lives of five U.S. Green Berets and nine Afghan Commandos at his location. Weathers was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
His CrossFit Hero workout is:
50 box jumps
1.5 mile run
50 box jumps
80 pounds on the bar for women and wearing a weight vest (14 lb for women).
I did really well at this workout. I came in way under the 1 hour I thought it would take me, and it was fun. It was just what I needed on this negative degree morning in Colorado. It gave me motivation and encouragement because when I woke up I didn’t want to do it. Long workouts are one of my strengths, and I sweated and this CrossFit Hero WOD was hard. and it was awesome.
CrossFit Open Workout 19.2 was a repeat of CrossFit Open Workout 16.2. It is:
25 toes to bar
50 double unders
15 squat cleans (85 lbs)
25 toes to bar
50 double unders
13 squat cleans (115)
If you finish in under 8 minutes, you get 4 more minutes to do another round with heavier squat clean weight.
I didn’t finish this round, but I was happy with it. I almost did.
After 2 weeks of CrossFit Open workouts for 2019, I’m just not into it. Without Regionals to measure yourself against, you’re against everyone, and being in the thousands tells me nothing of my fitness level. The CrossFit Open used to be a way to measure your improvement over a year. Now, the only way you know if you’ve improved is in your head. Can you do a muscle up this year that you couldn’t last year? Can you string more double unders together? Can you lift heavier weight?
The CrossFit Open to me is not what it used to be. And that saddens me.
Today’s CrossFit competition was at CrossFit Sanitas in Boulder, CO. It was a partner competition called Tuff Love.
This was my first time doing this one. I tried last year to do this CrossFit competition but couldn’t find a partner. This year I was determined to do it. So, I asked everyone I knew to do it with me, and everyone turned me down. So, at the last minute, I convinced my daughter to do this CrossFit competition with me. Tom, one of the owners, graciously opened up a few extra spots, and let us in as I had been in contact with him for a partner as well.
My daughter was not looking forward to this CrossFit competition because we had to scale all the weights down. However, after the first WOD, which was a clean and jerk ladder of sorts, she was having the time of her life.
CrossFit Sanitas as always (this is my third competition there) was gracious and accommodating as a host, and the location has tons of food and areas to walk around. It was cold and snowy for a time, but fun. Definitely will do this one again next year. Thanks to all and the competitors who were amazing.
I’ve done at least two dozen local CrossFit competitions, and usually in each one, there are some of the same pitfalls:
Unfair judging. With local competitions, you get judges who are graciously volunteering their time, but most of them have no experience judging CrossFit competitions and thus make mistakes. This ends up affecting the podium, and I have lost several times because of this.
Inconsistent judging. Again, due to lack of experience, athletes are not held to the same standards. Even though everyone knows the standards for a burpee, some competitors will cheat if they can get away with it — and a lot of the time, they do. No one likes to be the bad guy and “no rep” others. Hence, some athletes cheat themselves to the detriment of others who play by the rules, who have integrity, and who want to win fairly. I see this a lot, which is honestly, sad.
Improper equipment. Having to deadlift with a guy’s bar 20 kilos as opposed to 15 kilos) when you’re not used to it is a disadvantage to women whose bars are thinner and weigh less. When you’re outside in the blazing sun at 90 degrees and you’re trying to grip a guy bar and your hands are sweaty, it’s tough.
Unbalance programming. Due to time constraints, most of the CrossFit workouts are short. This plays to those who are sprinters and not to marathoners. Furthermore, the CrossFit programming is at the whim of the host box and is sometimes inconsistent as well. For example, one CrossFit competition I attended had no gymnastics work at all (pull ups, double unders, muscles ups, handstand push ups, etc). This is a separator for athletes and puts those who have these moves at an advantage. Same goes for one I attended that was all heavy bar work. That puts those who are strong at a disadvantage to those who are agile. Ideally, there should be balance in the CrossFit workouts at CrossFit Competitions.
Poor management/getting off schedule. There have been some local CrossFit competitions where the CrossFit competition has run way off schedule and ended up finishing an hour or more behind — which sucks when you got at least an hour drive home ahead of you.
TIPS FOR BETTER CROSSFIT COMPETITIONS
Balanced programming. Workouts don’t need to be complicated, but they should challenge the athletes and test them across the ten CrossFit fitness domains.
Invest the time in finding good CrossFit judges. Ideally, you’ll want your judges to have taken the CrossFit Judges course. If not, to have at least some experience in judging CrossFit competitions. This eliminates disgruntled athletes who may be disinclined to attend your next CrossFit competition because they feel cheated at yours.
Adhere to your schedule. Hiccups happen out of your control the day of the CrossFit competition. However, you can plan ahead to minimize these as much as possible and stay on schedule. Make sure heats are not too close together to wear athletes out. Test your workouts with members of your gym of all fitness levels to figure out how much time you’ll need to complete them. Consider recovery time, set up time, time for awards, and time for lunch as well.
Have the proper equipment. This doesn’t mean you go out and buy all brand new sandbags for your CrossFit competition. It does mean you borrow what you need from another local box or you program to what you have on hand. Trying to jerry-rig something from nothing will only give you poor impressions and a high likelihood no one will return the following year.
From an athlete’s perspective, I’ll return the following year to one with good programming, one that’s run efficiently, and one with at least judges who do CrossFit. I’ll stay clear of the ones where lackadaisical attitude toward the CrossFit competition by the box ruled.