Fifteen point two. Or should I say fourteen point two? Both are correct. The second workout in the 2015 CrossFit Open was a repeat from last year. You may recall that there were two movements: overhead squats and chest-to-bar pull-ups. You may recall that my score from last year was… one. As in, one rep.
You may be wondering if I improved my score any this year…
Yes. Yes I did.
You’ve probably read my 14.2 recap, but if not, I invite you to read about that struggle/success. Knowing that I did this workout Rx last year (there was no other option) still did not give me confidence that that would be the correct choice for this year. After another weekend full of mobility and PVC pipe squat practice, I decided to go Rx. Which was: an ascending ladder of overhead squats at 95 pounds and chest-to-bar pull-ups.
An overhead squat is where you hold a barbell overhead while squatting below parallel. Chest-to-bar (CTB) pull-ups are pull-ups where the bar makes contact with the chest below the collar bone.
I wished the CTBs came before the OHS because I can do the pull-ups no problem, it’s those dang squats that give me issues!
As I said before, I had decided to go Rx on this workout. The scaled version was 65 pound OHS and regular pull-ups, with a lower rep count per round. Either way, the squats were going to be the limiting factor for me, and if I went scaled I would always wonder how I would’ve done with the Rx.
So, there I was, just me and the 95 pound bar. Time to put it over my head and get low.
And I did.
Guys. I squatted that nemesis of a bar SEVEN TIMES before I had to put it down! 7!! Last year I did one total. In my practice and warm-up, I couldn’t get more than 3 in a row. I don’t know if it was just being in the moment, my sweet lifters, knowing that it was go time or what, but it was a cool experience. I guess it would be like a basketball player getting into a hot streak where he couldn’t miss a shot… that’s what it felt like. I was just knocking the squats out.
Of course, it couldn’t last forever, and I dropped the bar attempting my 8th rep. I snatched it above my head, because yes I can snatch now, and got two more reps. I dropped again, and I got my 10th rep solo.
Sweet! I made it through a round of overhead squats! On to the pull-ups.
The chest-to-bars were nothing. I broke them up into 4-3-3 and had no issues. I had my kip going and made sure my chest hit every time. I avoided any no reps. Perhaps I even pulled a little too hard, I may have bruises on my chest in the morning!
And… that’s pretty much where the recap ends. I made it back to the bar with probably the better part of a minute left. However, I could not muster up one more repetition. I kept dropping the bar forward on my squat descent. I could not keep it over my head.
That’s it. I bettered my 2014 score by 19 reps and ended with an even 20 final score. I wish I could’ve gotten 21, which would be one additional OHS. That would’ve made me happy to know I could make it into a second round and complete one more rep. But 20… that’s definitely better than one wonky rep last year. And the fact that I could do 7 in a row made me happy.
Should I have gone scaled? Maybe. That’s probably more the level I am at for this workout. But like I said, I would’ve always wondered what my Rx score would’ve been. Not even making it beyond the first 3 minutes is probably a good indicator to do the workout scaled… I guess I’m just stubborn.
Should I redo this workout and try for 21+? Maybe. But I don’t think I will. My shoulders are feeling really smoked right now (probably why I couldn’t keep the bar from dumping forward) and I think I would pressure myself too much to get more reps. However, it’s just a 3 minute workout (at least for me – no more than 6) so maybe I will try again… but probably not.
I’ll end by saying this… I’m not gonna lie, it feels really good to see my progress in the course of a year. I realize that my 20 reps fall woefully short of many athlete’s scores, but I’m proud of them. My mobility and strength have definitely improved. And, I have no problem with pull-ups.
Still… it is a little hurtful to the pride to only have a score of 20 and to struggle so much with a certain movement. Last year I worked my butt off for 1 rep. This year, I had less intense preparation and improved 1900% over 14.2. 20 reps won’t get me to the CrossFit Games, but it is enough to get me back in the box and to keep working to improve my fitness and make myself better than yesterday.
And… I’m still having fun. Which of course is the most important thing.
Your turn -> Tell me about a time you were proud of your improvement in something that challenged you.