Competing in 2012 CrossFit Games – Workout 2

The second Crossfit Open workout, or 12.2, posted Wednesday February 29th at 5 pm. The amount of participation in the Open this year has led to so many people hitting the Games website at that time that the site crashes. No different this time around!

If you recall, the first Games workout was to do 7 minutes of jump up burpees. This workout was really targeting an all around full body movement that emphasized efficiency of movement as well as metabolic conditioning. Brutally effective.

12.2 went the other direction and prescribed an Olympic weight-lifting movement – the power snatch to be done in a laddered approach. The workout looked like this for men and women up to 55 years of age:

The format was really smart and kept within the vein of trying to keep it approachable for all levels of Crossfitters in the Games but as the workout progressed make it increasingly demanding so that only the elite Games athletes would be able to continue. They accomplished their goal – the workout was technical, emphasized skills, and ultimately strength and endurance.

When a workout posts, the first thing I do is read the description of requirements and then I watch the demonstration video. This year the people organizing the workouts (Dave Castro) and judging (Adrian Bosworth) are flying around the world and utilizing famous Crossfit Athletes to demonstrate the workouts. Last week the went to Valley Crossfit in Las Angeles and had Kristin Clever (Women’s World Games Champion 2010 and 2nd Place Games 2011) and Rebecca Voight ( 3rd Place 2011) demonstrate the workout. This week they flew to Cookville, TN and had Dan Bailey (2011 Open Champion) and Rich Frohning (Men’s World Games Champion 2011) demo the workout.

It was impressive watching the two men do the workout. Both made it through the first 3 weight categories and got to 210 lbs with about 90 seconds left. Dan’s technique started to fall apart slightly at 210 lbs (95 reps) but Rich’s was flawless (98 reps). Rich’s score ended up being the top men’s score.

Whenever a workout posts, I view the materials but then overlay my own potential and characteristics onto the workout. I also do this against the backdrop of being a 50-55 year old Masters competitor.

I just started learning all the Olympic lifts in August so this area is not my strongest. In particular, the Snatch and Power Snatch are difficult lifts for me because of tightness in my shoulders, hips, and ankles. I have been really working to concurrently improve my technique as well as my mobility (mostly viewing videos in by Kelly Starrett) in all of these body systems. However, my one rep max (1RM) for power snatch going into the competition was 155 lbs and I really had to work to get 135 lbs even a few times. One thing going for me is that I do have quite a bit of raw strength and thought I would be able to achieve a good result regardless.

The other thing that was potentially an advantage is that a vast majority of my fellow Masters would have the same issues. I definitely thought that a fair number of people would be able to do all 30 of both 75 and 135 lbs. However, most of the ones who did well in 12.1 would not have the strength to do well in 12.2. The stronger, larger people who didn’t do well in a 12.1 metabolically oriented WOD would have a great shot at getting some really good scores in 12.2.

I am more of a generalist. I can survive and do fairly well in just about anything but not the best either. Being a generalist is an advantage as no one workout can cause too much damage in the standings.

However, I also thought that getting 60 reps would be crucial as the drop-off below the 60th rep would be too big of a point hit to overcome if I wanted to finish in the top 20 at the end of the Open and go to the Games.

I set two goals. My first goal was to get all 30 reps of 75 lbs and 135 lbs or 60 reps in total. My second goal was to have enough time at the end to take a whack at a few reps in the next weight category of 165 lbs. This would be the ultimate as I thought very few Masters would be able to do this.

My heat for Friday night March 2nd was slated at 7:30. My judge was Chris Medieros. I also was listed as a judge for the 6:25 pm heat. My athlete was La Mar Shepard. I showed up early and did a one-mile run to get warm. I then worked my shoulder mobility and warmed up with the movement at a variety of weights.

I judged La Mar. He did really well and scored a 78.

When my turn came, I started out doing the 30 reps of 75 lbs in 3 sets of 12, 10, and 8. I had a good transition putting on the 135 lbs weights. I got into a really good rhythm of doing one rep every 7 seconds. I could tell my technique wasn’t that great but I was getting the weight up and most importantly I did not miss a rep. With 90 seconds left, I had ten reps to go and really kicked it in. I finished with about 15 seconds to go but didn’t have a enough time to try 165 lbs. However, I was happy with the result, I had never done that many consecutive reps of 135 lbs before.

My score posted and once the dust had settled I had placed 39th out of a little less than 850 people for workout 12.2. The prior week I had place 100th with 12.1 so this score was significant and allowed me to move up to 32nd in the World.

With three more workouts over the next three weeks, I have the opportunity to continue to improve and move up in the standings.

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