Wednesday, April 17, 2013

2013 CrossFit Games Open

2013 CrossFit Games Open

I decided to sign up for the CrossFit Games Open again this year.  The Open is the first step in the journey to the CrossFit Games.  The purpose of the Open is to make it accessible and so that everyone can participate and push themselves.  Therefore, you won't see anything super heavy or complex until the end of the workout, if at all.

Competition this year was at a whole new level.  Just in sheer numbers, there were approximately 75,000 people who participated in all the workouts this year, as compared to ~33,000 last year.  On top of that, people improved a whole lot.  The open consisted of five workouts.  However, instead of the top 60 in each region, this year, the top 45 men, 45 women, and 30 teams were invited to the regional competition in May.  A change from last year!  Then, the top 1-3 athletes in each category (men, women, team) at each region are invited to participate in the CrossFit Games in July, where the fittest man, women, and team are crowned.

The Open experience for me this year was very different from last year, but still somehow, just as stressful.  This year, I went into the Open with some hip issues.  Second, I basically had no shot of going to Regionals.  Since I don't workout at the main NorCal CrossFit location more than 50% of the time, I was not able to sign up under that team.  Third, I didn't have the same drive or motivation as last year.  Unfortunately, this year, the environment I did the workouts in was very negative and depressing instead of encouraging.

The workouts:  There were five workouts in the Open.  These were the workouts:

WOD 13.1 - 12.1 + 12.2: 17min AMRAP:
  • 40 Burpees
  • 30 Snatches 75#/45#
  • 30 Burpees
  • 30 Snatches 135#/75#
  • 20 Burpees
  • 30 Snatches 165#/100#
  • 10 Burpees
  • Max Snatches 210#/125#
Tie Breaker: Mark the cumulative time to complete each burpees and snatches set.  In the case of a tie, the person with the lower time is ranked higher.

My score for this workout was basically the sum of last year's first and second workout.  One year later, and it's still a heavy workout for me.  I think I may have been able to get a few more reps if I didn't focus on technique.  However, after working on my Oly lifting technique at Catalyst,  I didn't think it was worth it.  I still think I improved though, as I highly doubt I would have got any reps at 100# after all those burpees last year.

WOD 13.2 - 10min AMRAP:
  • 5 Shoulder-to-Overhead 115#/75#
  • 10 Deadlift 115#/75#
  • 15 Snatches 24"/20" (step ups OK)
Thank god for step ups.  If actual box jumps was the requirement, I would have been out because of my hip.  Switching gears, I did this workout twice: once at our gym and once at Arena Ready.  I did almost two rounds more at Arena Ready, just because of the positive atmosphere.  At both gyms, I didn't have no reps, I was equally prepped for both, and my strategy was the same.  It was the encouraging, high-energy environment at Arena Ready that really gave me that extra push and hence significantly better score/rank.

2. 13.2 action at Arena Ready.

WOD 13.3 - same as last year (12.4): 12min AMRAP:
  • 150 Wall Ball Shots (20#/14# to 10'/9')
  • 90 Double Unders
  • 30 Muscle Ups
Tie breaker: At the end of each set of exercises, mark cumulative time.  For ties, the person with the lower time is ranked higher.

This was my workout last year, and I guess you can say the same for this year... even though my score was the same.  I got 254 reps on this workout (14 muscle ups).  Last year, that score put me in the top ten for the NorCal region.  This year, it put me in the top 20.  It's crazy how much more competitive it is this year!  As for me, I was very disappointed in my performance on this workout.  This year, I had a full minute more to do the muscle ups... and got the same score.  That's totally on me though, since I pretty much stopped doing muscle ups unless they are programmed in a workout.

WOD 12.4 - 7min AMRAP:
  • 3 Clean & Jerk 135#/95#
  • 3 Toes-to-Bar
  • 6 Clean & Jerk 135#/95#
  • 6 Toes-to-Bar
  • 9 Clean & jerk 135#/95#
  • 9 Toes-to-Bar
  • ...
This was a tough workout for me.  High rep clean and jerks at a moderate weight is hard alone.  I also have a hard time doing the toes-to-bar kip consistently.  I think I did what I could.  The biggest takeaway from this workout for me is how much I need to work on the toes to bar kip!

WOD 12.5 - 4min AMRAP:
  • 15 Thrusters 100#/65#
  • 15 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
Twist: If 90 reps (3 rounds) are completed in under 4 minutes, time extends to 8 minutes.  If 180 reps (6 rounds) are completed in under 8 minutes, time extends to 12 minutes, and so forth.

I thought this workout was very clever and well designed.  Hats off to Dave Castro on this one... there's some method to the madness.  The thing I realized here is I really need to get better at chest-to-bar pull-ups... all around... and learn how to butterfly them.  I think it would have been really tough for anyone to advance on to the 8 minute round without butterflied C2Bs.  Also, relying on specific equipment or configurations is not ideal.  For chest-to-bar pullups, I relied on a low pull-up bar height so I could easily do singles when I start breaking down.  Anyway, all that effort and I forgot to submit my score!  Woohoo for my birthday celebrations.

Final Thoughts

So technically, I didn't finish the open.  However, I remembered to submit it, I would have came in around 160 overall in the NorCal region.  I didn't do as well as I wanted to, and that is my own fault.  My priorities were different and I wasn't very motivated.  It would have been great to do all the Open workouts at Arena Ready, but that would have been quite a drive every week.

I really wanted a shot on the team again this year.  Last year, I had that opportunity so I was competitive and extra motivated.  Keeping up with the ladies last year was very challenging.  I think a large part of that determination really pushed me to do the best I could last year, and I can't say the same for this year.  This year, going team wasn't even an option.  I got a new job, far from the NorCal CrossFit headquarters and commuting in crazy traffic everyday to meet the team requirements, was simply not feasible.

Lastly, the gym and the CrossFit vibe in general has changed so much over the past couple years.  While all the hype and buzz are nice, politics are not and I can't say I like it better.  After how the Open ran this year, it made me question what is the purpose of the Open from a community standpoint?  Is it to cheer on and support one another?  Or is time to glare and be a dick?  I get that standards need to be held, but there's a difference between creating an encouraging environment for everybody versus not.

I did the final workout at Arena Ready.  After all the heats have gone, Sarah was up and determined advance to the bonus round to help the team.  Here is the Thank You post she made after the workout.  The video in it sums up the camaraderie and community spirit I miss.  The important thing to note here is that the community would do this for everyone, not just Sarah or the all-stars.

Anyway, hopefully next year, we'll have our act together better.  Until then, congratulations to all who participated in the Open and good luck to those moving onto Regionals!

Related Posts:
2013 CrossFit Games Regionals - NorCal
2012 CrossFit Games Congratulations Jason | Summary
NorCal Regionals: TeamSummary | Individual | Pre
2012 CrossFit Games Open
2011 CrossFit Games: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

Other CrossFit Comps I Participated In: 2013 SacTown Throwdown | Occupy Strength NorCal2012 Redwood Empire Olympic Weightlifting Championships | NorCal Regionals -Team2012 Sac Town Throwdown | 2011 OktoberFit
Other Oly Comps I Participated In: 2014 Cal Strength Meet2014 Senior National Championships2014 Hassle Free Open & Invitational2013 American Open Championships | 2013 Ensign Gray Invitational | 2013 Fall Classic | 2013 Senior National Championships | 2013 PWA Senior Open | 2012 Redwood Empire Championships