Monday, January 7, 2013

Girls, Girls, Girls

These past few weeks at my box, the coaching staff has been programming a number of benchmark WODs, all of them girls. I guess they want to start the New Year off by checking everybody's overall fitness progress. Some of these benchmarks I've seen before, others were my first encounter.

The first of the girls was Annie. Actually I self-programmed this WOD during an open gym. I recently purchased a new Rogue SR-1 Speed Rope. Naturally I wanted to take it for a ride. Holy damn this thing flies during double-unders! There is nothing wrong with the speed ropes provided by the box; however, nothing beats buying your own customized speed rope. The ball bearings certainly help to ramp up the speed!

Annie - 50-40-30-20-10 reps, for time of:
Double Under
Sit-up (abmat)

Pretty much there are two things needed in order to improve: build up my double-under endurance to get through all reps unbroken and strengthen my abs so the sit-ups stay fast and efficient. The new rope helped me fail very few double-under reps. In fact, I through the first 40 unbroken until I was sufficiently out of breath and required a quick 5 second break to finish off the first 50. I have high hope for a sub-7-minute Annie in the coming months.

Annie - Total time: 8:07 (PR by 32 seconds)

The next girl was Helen. Another WOD that I have previously encountered.

Helen - 3 rounds for time of:
Run, 400 m
21 Kettlebell Swings, 1.5/1 pood
12 Pull-ups

My goal when dealing with Helen was to beat the 10-minute barrier. This would have required an improvement of more than one-minute. My strategy when approaching Helen was to do all reps unbroken. Last time I stopped each round of KB swings and broke them up as 11/10, 11/10, 7/7/7. This probably added a good 30-40 seconds to my overall time (maybe more). If I wanted to hit my goal, then I would need to do all rounds unbroken. By round 3, my grip was fried and all I wanted to do was drop the KB and catch my breath. Having the coach there yelling motivational sentences about one foot from my face certainly helped. Thankfully I didn't want to punch him in the face after. Next steps needed for continued improvement? RUN...FASTER!

Helen - Total time: 9:59 (PR by 67 seconds)

The final girl was Fran. What a doozy Fran is. If I ever meet a Fran, I want to punch her right in her ovaries...yes right in the baby makers. Thankfully I don't know anybody named Fran.

Fran - 21-15-9 reps, for time of:
Thruster, 95/65 lbs

This was my first attempt at Fran, the workout that basically started this whole CrossFit phenomenon. Fran is a saucy minx who appears gentle and kind on the outside. By the time she is finished with you, you feel like you've been beaten with PVC and left to drown in a puddle of your own bodily secretions. My goal for Fran was simple: sub-five-minutes. Our coach said, anything with a 4 in front is a respectable time at any box. Well I'm a self-respecting, meat eating, fire-breathing man so I needed to see a 4 in front. I had no idea what to expect, so therefore I had no strategy. My goal was: everything unbroken, then when that fails, small 3-5 second breaks.

Fran - Total time: 4:55

It took me less than five minutes to complete Fran, but over 90 minutes to recover. I sat on the floor for 15 while other athletes finished, sat for another 15 on a bench talking to the coach, and another 15 on the toilet at home when I lost all control of my bowels. I've never gotten the runs from a workout, but it looks like Fran is the first to accomplish that feat. Thanks a lot Fran...I hate you.

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