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:

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.


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!