opinion: the 2019 Crossfit Open

Good Morning loves!

It’s another Saturday morning and I still have a raving addiction to my early morning trips to Dunkin’ Donuts. I really think Dunkin’ Donuts should consider sponsoring pregnant women as influencers, because I surely have spent close to $50 so far in this pregnancy on small iced coffees and blueberry donuts. I am sure once this pregnancy is over I am really going to miss my Saturday morning 6AM trips to the local Dunkin’ Donuts.

Once I got back from my typical Saturday trip, I decided to sit down and start another episode of Grey’s Anatomy. After hearing about this show for years, I decided to take the plunge and start watching it when it appeared on my Netflix feed.

Sometimes I really wonder what we ever did before Netflix…

As much as I love my occasional binge sessions with the TV, I have started trying to read more – for at least an hour a day. I think television and social media have really destroyed that quality time everyone used to spend reading and writing. For me, I want my child to desire to read and write over watching TV – so I have been trying to adjust my habits to reflect what I want my child to imitate.

Following Grey’s and this post, I plan to head to my typical Saturday session at the gym to get in a quick workout. This morning I am heading to Burn Boot Camp for a Saturday Metcon!

Speaking of workouts, I wanted to talk to you today about the Crossfit Open – what I think about it and how I modified the workouts this year given my pregnancy.

If you don’t Crossfit, then you probably aren’t aware of the Crossfit Open, so let me explain.

Each year, close to the start of the year, Crossfit puts together a five-week competition that takes place worldwide in Crossfit affiliates across the country. This competition is to test your strength, physical ability and mental toughness – and it’s usually one of the hardest five weeks of workouts you will ever experience.

Crossfitter’s around the country can register for the Open on the Crossfit Games website and/or App for $20, and see their score ranked among  competitors worldwide.

Each week, a new workout is announced around 8 P.M. EST on Thursday, and competitors have from Friday to Monday night to complete the workout to the best of their abilities for a score. If a competitor completes the workout on Friday, they can redo the workout for a better score as much as they would like until Monday night when that week’s scoring closes.

The Crossfit Open used to select the top athletes who would progress to the Regional competitions and then eventually the Crossfit Games in August. Crossfit has changed this procedure a bit this year, but never fear, the top athletes in the world are still commanding the leader-board for the 2019 Crossfit Open.

If you hate personal opinion articles, then this blog post may not be for you and I won’t be offended if you quit reading now.

Last year, my first nearly full year of Crossfit, I registered for the 2018 Crossfit Open. At the conclusion of the five weeks, I was honestly frustrated and I vowed that I was probably going to never pay the $20 for the Crossfit Open again.

You see, the Open is based on a point(s) system and as a competitor you are awarded points based on the number of reps and/or time score you complete the workout(s) in. The typical claim is that this worldwide competition is for everyone, but if you Crossfit and are like the 80% of the world then you know that is probably not true.

For me, I absolutely love the workouts they come up with in the Open, but I get frustrated that there is always programming I can’t do yet – like a ring muscle up or some heavy weight for snatching.

Competitors have the option to pick between RX and scaled workouts weekly; however, those that do the RX (prescribed) workout, obtain more points than those that do the scaled.

Do you see my issue with this yet?

Essentially based off the scoring, you could do an RX workout and only complete three repetitions and have a higher score than someone who completed the entire scaled workout. Last year I placed 51,800 in the world. Did I really need to know that for $20? Absolutely not.

So I made a note to myself that I wouldn’t register for the Open anymore, but I would still happily do the workouts.

In reality, if you workout at a Crossfit affiliate gym, you don’t really have a choice to do workouts other than the Open workouts because the gym generally doesn’t program anything outside of that on Fridays.

This year, seeming as I am pregnant, I made my own program for the Open. Here’s a breakdown of what I did and how I was beyond happy with it.

19.1 – 14 weeks

Complete as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of:

19 wall-ball shots with a 14-lb ball to a 9-ft target

19-cal row

When I woke up on the Friday morning of 19.1, unaware of what the workout was, I was pleasantly surprised with what Crossfit programmed. You see, I missed the announcement the night before because I fell asleep at 7:30 P.M. – hello week 14 of pregnancy!

I was happy that for week one of the Open, Crossfit programmed something I knew I could do decently well if I didn’t kill myself on the rower.

I personally hate wall-ball shots, so I wasn’t thrilled about that part. The 19 repetitions is right around the cut-off for me of being able to do all 19 shots unbroken, but being really winded. So in 19.1 I went into it and did all 19 wall-ball shots unbroken in the first round, and then followed up the remaining five rounds with 10 shots followed by nine for my total of 19.

I paced myself on the rower at about a 2:15 to 2:20, 500 meter pace. That pace is by no means fast for normal me, who isn’t pregnant, but for being pregnant that was a good pace. Each round, I was able to get off the rower and go directly into my wall-ball shots, and I ended up passing the guy I was working out with who was rowing like he was trying to get away from water zombies.

I ended 19.1 with 217 reps – 5 rounds and 29 reps (19 wall-ball shots and 11 calories on the rower).

19.1 is definitely a Crossfit Open workout I want to use as a benchmark and re-test postpartum.

19.2 – 15 weeks

Beginning on an 8 minute clock, complete as many reps as possible of:

25 toes-to-bar, 50 double-unders, 15 squat cleans (85-lbs), 25 toes-to-bar, 50 double-unders, 13 squat cleans (115-lbs). 

If completed before 8 minutes, add four minutes to the clock and proceed to: 

25 toes-to-bar, 50 double-unders, 11 squat cleans (145-lbs). 

If completed before 12 minutes, add four minutes to the clock and proceed to:

25 toes-to-bar, 50 double-unders, 9 squat cleans (175-lbs). 

If completed before 16 minutes, add four minutes to the clock and proceed to: 

25 toes-to-bar, 50 double-unders, 7 squat cleans (205-lbs). 

OK, this is where I start to get annoyed with the Open because those weights for a female are heavy AF. I wish I was that strong, but quite frankly the day I can squat clean 205-lbs seven times I am probably going to have thighs larger than my husband’s.

SO, I changed this workout because #WTF and #Pregnancy, oh and not injuring myself…

20 minutes to complete: 

25 dumbbell push press, 50 double-unders, 15 squat cleans (75-lbs). Then I repeated that process (like in the workout above, but instead upping my squat cleans by 10-lbs each round). 

I made it through three reps into the final round of seven squat cleans at 115-lbs, and holy crap did my legs hurt the next day.

19.2 was that kind of workout that had me thinking, “Oh OK, this is not for everyone.”

19.3 – 16 weeks

This is where it gets really funny.

For time: 

200-ft dumbbell overhead lunge (GROSS).

50 dumbbell box step-ups (more GROSS).

50 strict handstand push-ups (are you f-ing crazy)?

200-ft handstand walk. 

35-lb dumbbell, 20-in box and a 10 minute time cap. 

When I woke up to head to the gym for this one, I think I shook my head the whole way there.

Overhead lunging with a 35-lb dumbbell is a sure-fire way for me to dislocate a shoulder, and I just don’t see a need for me to do that right now.

Considering I am always one of the first people at the gym at 5:30 A.M., I decided to look up other programming versus doing this workout. I decided to hop over to Crossfit Mayhem’s workout of the day and do that instead, but modify it so I didn’t have to run outside because it was cold out and raining.

I did:

5 rounds for time:

500 meter row

15 overhead squats at 65-lbs. 

This workout was a party, and since completing it I have leaned towards doing more of Crossfit Mayhem’s programming. Since the coveted Crossfit legend Rich Froning works on this programming and owns the Mayhem gym, I figure their workouts are pretty well thought out and I can modify a lot of these easily for my pregnant belly!

I did this one in a little under 23 minutes – which wasn’t great, but made me happy since I was able to move quickly and didn’t have terrible soreness the next day, unlike all of my Crossfit friends.

Post pregnancy, I have no expectation to ever do 19.3.

19.4 – 17 weeks

19.4 was my JAM!

For total time:

3 rounds of:

10 snatches (65-lbs).

12 bar-facing burpees.

Then rest 3 minutes before continuing with:

3 rounds of: 

10 bar muscle-ups.

12 bar-facing burpees.

Time cap: 12 minutes

I modified this workout because I can’t do muscle ups, because… belly. Pre-pregnancy, I was SO CLOSE to doing an unassisted muscle up and I hope when I get back to routine, postpartum, I can start doing these without any support.

I did 55-lb snatches because I knew I could move those a little faster than 65-lbs to overcompensate for how slow my burpees have gotten now that I have a baby-bump. I also did kipping pull ups, which was the scaled option for muscle ups.

I was sure I would finish this one, but unfortunately my burpees were just a little too slow to get me there.

Overall, I LOVED THIS WORKOUT.

I was able to get through everything except one pull-up and the remaining 12 burpees. I was thrilled I was able to do all of the pull ups unbroken for each round, until I ran out of time for the very last one, in round three.

I plan to do this workout again postpartum and I cannot wait to see how much I crush it!

19.5 – 18 weeks

Complete the following in under 20 minutes:

33-27-21-15-9 Thrusters (65-lbs)

33-27-21-15-9 Chest-to-bar pull-ups

Haha, Crossfit why?

What I did:

33-27-21-15-9 Thrusters (55-lbs)

33-27-21-15-9 Pull-ups

I plan to never do this workout again.

I don’t think we’re meant to do 33 repetitions of a thruster. I mean, what does that actually prepare us for? This was just hard and made me think, “Yay! The Open is OVER!”

For this workout, I made it to 190 reps and was almost done my round of 15 when the timer hit 20 minutes. When I was done, I acted dead for a good three minutes before I put my equipment away.

…and that was the 2019 Open!

Now that you’ve read all of that, and I have potentially made you regret it, I want to say I hope you can see the positives and negatives of the Crossfit Open.

I love that the Open really pushes you outside of your comfort zone, and gives Crossfitters unique workouts that make them think of how they should strategize a workout for their peak performance.

A lot of times, when I get asked about Crossfit and why I choose to do it,  I revert back to telling people about how strong it’s made me. When I first started, I couldn’t hold a PVC pipe over my head. Now, two years later (and pregnant), I can hold 90-lbs over my head and squat at the same time. So yes, Crossfit makes you strong.

Although, I think my love for Crossfit stems down to one important factor: it makes me strategize.

In workouts, I have to think about how I can reach peak performance and work harder in those movements I am good at – like knowing I have great pull ups and knowing how my pace can either hurt or help me in the long run.

Crossfit is wonderful, but paying into the Crossfit Open is not for me. I will leave that to the professionals.

Maddy

 

 

 

 

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