What CrossFit Moves Are in Your Wheelhouse?

I never realized the importance of having moves you dominate in CrossFit until my last competition. Called in your wheelhouse, these CrossFit moves are vital to winning workouts and, if you compete, to competitions.

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CrossFit Pull Ups

CrossFit moves in your wheelhouse are moves you dominate every time they show up in a workout — moves you are really, really good at. I made up time in my CrossFit competition when one showed up in one workout, and I won the event where both moves were in my wheelhouse.

In CrossFit, advice is often given on how you need to focus on the moves you’re bad at, so you improve those. This is true. However, you need to make sure you don’t forget NOT to practice the moves in your wheelhouse, so you don’t lose those in sacrifice to others.

The fact of the matter is: you will improve those moves you’re not so good at, but they will never be like the ones you’re naturally good at, the ones you like, the ones you dominate.

CrossFit Moves in My Wheelhouse

  • Assault bike
  • Double unders
  • Rope climbs
  • Running
  • Thrusters
  • Burpees

As you can see, I’m not very good at most CrossFit moves. But these ones are popular and when thrown into a CrossFit WOD can make all the difference whether you win or lose.

CrossFit is constantly-varied, functional movements at high-intensity. Every CrossFit workout you do, you’ll get better. Know what you’re good at and add to them if possible — all the while improving all the other CrossFit movements. This is the key to winning at your box, in your heat, in your mind, and at CrossFit competitions. Good luck!

Being Physically Exhausted from a CrossFit Competition

Last night, I went to bed at 6:30 pm. I was physically exhausted — something I am definitely not used to.

After a 2-day CrossFit Competition, and I worked out yesterday morning with no rest day (I squatted and did a workout with a run, hang power snatches, and burpee box jumps), I was dragging all day at work and when I came home, I was tired. I couldn’t even eat dinner. I just went straight to bed.

CrossFit Competitions will wear you out — emotionally and physically. You want to do your best, you’re disappointed when you don’t do your best, you stress over the details like the drive down and when to eat, and then there’s the actual workouts themselves, which are bears to get through.

The Importance of Sleep after a CrossFit Competition

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Preparing for CrossFit Workout

All of this equals exhaustion. When this happens, listen to your body and get some rest. Sleep is so important with CrossFit to let your body heal, recover, and rejuvenate. Here’s my advice after a CrossFit competition or some other grueling workout, such as a Tough Mudder or Spartan Race:

  • Get extra sleep. This will allow vital tissues and muscles to recover and recuperate after what you’ve just put them through.
  • Drink more than you think you’ll need. I usually lose about 4 pounds every CrossFit competition. Most of this is water weight. At a CrossFit competition, you usually don’t drink much because you don’t want to have to go to the bathroom, you forget, or you’re just too nervous. Afterwards, you need to replenish. Drink extra water and recovery drinks for optimal muscle recovery.
  • Take rest days. I’m a hypocrite. I don’t do this. I don’t like to get behind on my training. Yet, you usually suffer if you don’t (or you’re so tired you lose a whole night!). Give your body some well-deserved time off.
  • Take inventory of what you’ve learned. I learned a lot from this last CrossFit competition. I learned once again I’m stronger than I think I am when I flipped a 300 pound tire multiple times. I learned I need to practice on a bar that I can’t touch the ground on. I learned I can still kick ass when the I have to, especially if the moves are in my wheelhouse. I learned I still have the fire to compete that I thought I had lost from burn-out. I learned I’m just as good as others, if not better.

The whole point of CrossFit competitions is to learn from them, push yourself, and be proud of your achievement. You probably won’t win them all. But within each competition, there will be a personal victory — either a move you did you didn’t think you could do or a workout you annihilated.

Keep in mind why you compete in CrossFit, and you’ll just keep getting better and better.

CrossFit Competitions: Turkey Challenge Day 2

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Sandbag Run at CrossFit Competition

Two-day CrossFit Competitions are rough: You’re tired from Day 1 and you have another tough day ahead of you.

Day 2 of the Turkey Challenge began with a “Burden Run,” and, yes, it is just what you think it is.

Wearing a 10 pound weight vest, you had to run with a 60 pound sandbag on your back for 150 meters, do 10 back squats with the bag, 6 lateral burpees over the bar, and then do max calories on the rower. 5 rounds. 2:30 minutes each. 30 seconds rest in-between.

I actually did really well on this one, except once I couldn’t get the bag up. But I got 4th place.

I did 7 tire flips with a 300 pound tire (never done that before).

AND I won my final WOD: 10 rounds of 15 double unders and 1 rope climb.

Overall, a great day. It boosted my confidence after the first day and has got me wanting more. After I take a break and get my tooth fixed.

Lessons Learned from 2-Day CrossFit Competitions

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Double Unders at CrossFit Competition
  • You get to do exercises you otherwise don’t: sandbag runs with a weight vest and tire flips.
  • I’m stronger than I think I am. I did 300 pound tire flips — 7 of them — and I didn’t think I could do one.

Overall, a great competition. Fun to watch. Learned a lot. Got remotivated for CrossFit. Good, albeit long, weekend!

 

CrossFit Competitions: Turkey Challenge Day 1

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Running CrossFit Competition

On a snowy day in Colorado, today was Day 1 of the 2018 Turkey Challenge in Superior, CO, at the Sport Stable arena. I competed in the Masters competition and my daughter competed in the Teens Division.

I could have done better but tomorrow is Day 2, and I’m hoping to improve.  I definitely need a break as I’m feeling burnt out on CrossFit competitions, and it’s showing.

It was fun to do with my daughter (this is her first CrossFit competition). It’s a popular one in Colorado, so it was packed.  Lots of vendors, lots of excitement, and Matt Chan. What more could one ask for?

Matt Chan
Matt Chan at Turkey Challenge Crossfit Competition

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Tips for Multi-Day CrossFit Competitions

  • Pace yourself. Two days is a lot, and you want to save some in the tank for Day 2 of the CrossFit Competition.
  • Realize there are people better than you. I win some CrossFit competitions, but I lose many as well. It all depends on who shows up, and if the workouts play to your strengths.
  • Bring lots of food, water, and energy drinks. You’ll be hungrier than you think you’ll be.
  • Show up early to find out where the workouts will be held. With such a big venue, it’s easy to get lost. Take the stress out of your CrossFit competition, and be early to find your way around.
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Teen Crossfit Competition
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Snatches at CrossFit Competition

CrossFit Competitions: Masters Competition at CrossFit Frontier

CrossFit Strength Training

Yesterday, I competed in a CrossFit masters’ competition at CrossFit Frontier in Cheyenne, WY.

I’ve never done a masters only CrossFit competition, and this one was fun. It was divided into 5 year groups, beginning with age 35 and then from 50 plus. I went with a couple others from my CrossFit Box and had support from my gym, which always makes for a sweet time.

The strength event I did better than I had hoped for. The second event that was predominantly body weight I did well. The last event almost killed me with single-arm dumbbell weights and a bike at the end, but I got through it.

CrossFit Frontier was a great host. Nice owners. Fun people. Nice facilities. I will definitely do this one again next year!

CrossFit Is All About Me

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CrossFit Barbell Lunges

I wrote recently on the advantages of designing your own programming and working out alone. Earlier this week I was thinking how CrossFit is all about me.

HOW CROSSFIT IS ALL ABOUT ME

  • I work out when I want to.
  • I don’t feel the pressure to push myself when I don’t feel mentally or physically up for it.
  • I do workouts I want to do and ones that fit my physical state that day.
  • I can change workouts at the last minute when I feel a tweak or wake up exhausted.
  • I can practice moves and go really slow or do heavier weights and go really slow, which builds my strength without feeling pressure to finish or beat anyone.
  • Going slow I notice things about my moves I need to fix such as hand position, etc.

I do CrossFit for me. I do it for how it makes me feel, how it makes me look, and the accomplishments I achieve over time. CrossFit is all about me. And I love it!

CrossFit Competitions: Battle at the Rock

Yesterday, I competed in a CrossFit competition called Battle at the Rock at CrossFit Castle Rock in Castle Rock, Colorado.

This CrossFit competition was all a test of mental fortitude because I had just done Project Uplift the day before. I was sore. I was tired. I was beat.

Let me just stress that I had not planned to do two CrossFit competitions two days in a row. Yesterday, I was a last minute fill in. Battle at the Rock I had planned for a month or so.

Workout number one was just plain fun. It was a 6 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of one clean and jerk and 4 lateral bar over burpees. I chose a lighter weight for 2 reasons:

  1. I wanted to keep moving and minimize my pauses. The heavier I go, the more taxing it becomes, the longer the jerk takes, and the less reps I’ll get. There were 2 scores for this workout: reps and weight moved.
  2. After yesterday, my arms were already killing me. I didn’t want to strain anything. 85 lbs was a safe bet. Heavy enough for points but not too heavy I’d have to strain.

I got one rep short of 15 rounds. It was fun.

CrossFit Dumbbell Push Ups

I did the floater next which was 21 calories on the bike followed by dumbbell squats with 35 lbs in each hand. After the bike, I was wiped. This could have been faster.

After this workout, I felt terrible. I went to my truck and sat and rested.

Workout #2 was okay. It was a 24 calorie buy in followed by 30-20-10 of dumbbell snatches at 35 lbs and box jump overs ended by a 24 calories buyout. Normally, this is my cup of tea (except the row). It was all I had just to keep moving.

I had a 2 hour break in-between before the last workout. I took a nap. I ate. I felt much better.

The last workout was normally my cup of tea as well, but I was so tired it was all I could do to keep moving. It was 15 hang power cleans at 65 lbs, 30 step forward lunges with that bar, 15 toes to bar, 30 wall balls (10 foot target but only 10 lbs) and then 15 pull ups. 2 Rounds with a 12 min time cap.

I stricted all the toes to bar and the pull ups even though it’s slower because my hands were killing me, and I didn’t want to tweak anything from my overworked body. Also, I didn’t want to mess with my grips since I don’t use grips on barbell movements and on wall balls.

Well, I got to the 2nd round of wall balls and wanted to die. I honestly just wanted to skip the wall balls and go to the pull ups.

I made it through this CrossFit competition and finished in 2nd for the masters’ women. It was fun, but I am so glad it’s over. I honestly couldn’t have done any more work.

WHAT I LEARNED FROM TWO DAYS OF CROSSFIT COMPETITIONS

  • This is 90% mental. It’s showing up. It’s doing the work. It’s grinding through it when all you want to do is sit.
  • The rest is overcoming the physical exhaustion your body feels. It’s eating enough, drinking enough, planning it all, so you can perform.

I’m unsure if I’ll do two CrossFit competitions in a row again. It’s physically exhausting. Draining. I feel completely wiped out. I have nothing left.

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CrossFit Competition Colorado

I’ve gained a whole new appreciation for the CrossFit Games athletes who workout for continuous days as well as other CrossFit competitors who do multiple days. It’s a whole different level I didn’t appreciate until now.

It was fun, but I need a break!

CrossFit: When the Workout is Perfect

Has this ever happened to you? You show up to do your WOD/workout and it was exactly what your body needed that day?

This happens to me occasionally and today’s workout was exactly what I needed after my CrossFit competition on Saturday.

I warmed up with cardio: an EMOM (every minute on the minute) of row, burpees, and double unders–perfect to get the body warmed and work all your muscles.

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Rowing in CrossFit Competition

 

The workout was 5 rounds for time of:

  • 15 cal row
  • 10 bar-facing burpees
  • 5 power cleans, climbing in weight each round

I had so much fun doing this I did an extra round! It was one of those workouts you never want to stop. You just want to keep going and going and going…like the Energizer bunny.

I polished it off with some strength work and felt amazing even though my arms are still incredibly sore from Saturday’s CrossFit competition.

Recovery Tips for CrossFit Competitions

  • Hydration. You used a ton of energy in one day and you need to replenish. Drink water till your heart’s content.
  • Active Recovery. Take one day off and then get moving! Get your muscles working to get rid of the lactic acid build up and start feeling better sooner.
  • If you’re sore in some areas, work the others. Give your body time to rest, but that doesn’t mean don’t do anything. Work your legs if your arms are sore and vice versa.
  • Don’t kill yourself in the next few days, trying to beat the best guy in your box. The last thing you want is a strain or injury.
  • Listen to your body. Do what it’s telling you: rest, recover, light exercise, massage, etc.

Every CrossFit competition is different. After some CrossFit competitions, I’m fine and not sore at all. After other CrossFit competitions, I’m wrecked and need more recovery time.

Find a workout that’s right for you where you’re at right now. You’ll feel so much better afterwards and be on the road to recovery. Happy Competing!

CrossFit Competitions : Granite Games Throwdown

My home box, CrossFit Endure, hosted the Granite Games Throwdown today.

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Third Place Granite Games Throwdown at CrossFit Endure

It was an awesome day, great weather, full of fun and friends and challenging workouts, laughter, and camaraderie.
The gals and I finished third place, and I couldn’t be more proud of them. Both are some strong ladies who know how to bring it! Thanks, Michelle and Candice, for making great memories!

CrossFit Competitions: How to Get Your First Pistols

I had a CrossFit competition at Official Fitness in Windsor, CO. It was called the Silly Summer Showdown since it was built around odd objects.

Odd objects in CrossFit are not one of my strengths. But my weekend opened up and a friend wanted me to do it with her, so I signed up.

One of the workouts had pistol squats in them. This is an advanced move in CrossFit where you do a squat on one leg (body weight) and stand up. It’s very challenging for most because it not only requires a lot of strength, but it also requires coordination as well.

I have never done a pistol squat in my life without assistance. But I didn’t want to do scaled because I’m not a scaled athlete, so I signed up for this as RX (or prescribed). In CrossFit terminology, this means doing a harder workout.

My goal was just to get one. I know. Lofty, right? But that was my goal.

My gymnastics daughter who was with me (and is my official CrossFit photographer at these events) said I could do them.

The CrossFit Workout was:

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Pistol Squats

4 Rounds for time of:

  • 10 chest to bar pull ups
  • 10 hand release push ups
  • 10 pistol squats

But every minute on the minute you had to stop and do 5 wall balls. The time cap was 8 minutes.

I do my first round of pull ups and push ups and get to the pistols. I do one almost easily. I was ecstatic! I keep going, the whole 8 minutes and ended up doing 20 pistol squats!

Even though I didn’t do so well in this CrossFit competition, I had won in my heart. I was beaming after that WOD, so excited to have accomplished a move I never thought I would.

TIPS ON PISTOL SQUATS

So how did I do it?

  1. I wore lifters (olympic weightlifting shoes). Lifters have a higher heel, therefore allowing you greater range of motion and stability.
  2. I had the strength. It’s amazing to me how much stronger I am than 6 months ago. CrossFit works. Any training program works if you stay consistent. Slow, methodical progress you can’t see every day happens. Trust the process.
  3. I pressed through my heel. After a few, I found the technique. Press through your heel until you stand back up.
  4. I used the bounce. Use the bounce at the bottom to get back up.

CrossFit is about believing in yourself, pushing the boundaries, and having the self-confidence to just do it!

I didn’t think I could do it.

I proved myself wrong.

And that’s the best feeling ever!