Month: February 2015

CrossFit Open Scoring – Demystified…. or maybe presented in a completely confusing manner.

Lot of discussion about ” how is the CrossFit Open scored ” and how the rankings are done. Here’s an attempt to explain.

First off – don’t put any serious thought into your scores and ranking until Tuesday or Wednesday. Scores are due by 5pm Pacific time, and then the affiliate has time to validate. Thus many scores “appear” Tuesday throughout the day. Until all of the scores are in things will be tremendously in flux. Look at the Leaderboard all you want, but be prepared to find that things change often until scores are finalized.

There are two terms that are applicable: Score and Place.

“Score” is an absolute number. It’s how many reps you got on 15.1 or the max weight you Clean and Jerked on 15.1A. Your Score does not change.

“Place” is a relative number, and it can change. If you did the most reps on 15.1 then you are in 1st “place.” If you did the 2nd most reps on 15.1 then you are in 2nd “place.” Your Place changes frequently until all of the Scores have been posted.

Looking only at 15.1, let’s say you are a 45-49 year old male and got a score of 115 reps 15.1. At the time of this writing that would put you in in 669th place for the ageScreen Shot 2015-02-28 at 8.55.05 PM group. Anyone else who scored 115 reps would also be in 669th place.

If you scored 114 reps, one less than 115, would you be one back in 670th place? No. You would be in 715th place. Because 46 other people also scored 115 reps. Because 46 people tied at 115 reps that means that 46 people were in 669th place.

669 + 46 = 715, so that one rep cost you 46 points in 15.1.

Oh yeah. Points.

Points are equal to your place in the WOD. If you finish in 1st place you get 1 point.

If you did 115 reps and finished in 669th place you get 669 Points.

So if you did 114 reps (just one less than your buddy) you are in 715th Place. This is where the big point spreads come in. It’s really easy to see situations where 200 people have the same score, so a person with one less rep will see a 200 point differential for the WOD.

If you look at the leaderboard and sort by “Open Week 1” you will see a Score and a Place in the “Workout 01” column. It will read “669 (115)” which means you are in 669th place, and your score was 115.

OK, that was for an individual WOD.

How is the score calculated for Overall place?

For this we use your Points (or per WOD Place).

For 15.1 you scored 115 reps, and your Place was 669. So you have 669 points. Then we look at your Place for 15.1A. The current leader in 15.1A lifted 295#’s in 15.1A. His “score” is 295, and his Place is 1. We combine his points for 15.1, 669 points, with his points for 15.1A, 1 point.

669 + 1 = 670. His “Overall” points were 670.

Take that 670 and compare it to everyone else’s Overall points put him in 259th Place Overall. Look on the far left column of the Leaderboard, and you would see that numbers like “259 (670)” – where 259 is his overall place, and 670 is his running total of points.

So, for each specific WOD, your Score determines your Place, and your Place determines your Points.

It may seem odd that a person will do less reps than you in a WOD and then lift only a little bit heavier and be many places ahead of you overall. That’s because the Points and Placing can swing greatly depending on where you Place.

In the end it’s all about adding your Place for each WOD. If a bunch of people have tie scores, there can be huge gaps in your points and big swings in the Leaderboard.

Wondering how you might place in the Open? Here’s how the 2014 Master’s Qualifier played out.


If you are looking for reasons to DO to the Open – here are 10 Reasons to do the Open that I posted previously.

Care to comment? Click here and leave me a comment or question at the bottom of the post.

15…point….1 and DONE!

I know. Y’all are just dying to know how I did on 15.1.

But first a diversion. You knew this was coming…

Why in the hell am I so down on myself? I walked away from 15.1, quite frankly, pissed off at myself. Walked in the door and my wife said I looked like I’d driven an hour+ to the gym only to find it closed. I was pissed. Didn’t perform to expectations. Then I cracked open a Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter (ABV 11.2%, roughly) and thought a bit.

I’ve made improvements and done some cool stuff, but I’ve been injured somewhat-seriously for 2 freakin’ years. Shoulder surgery was August 2013 and was preceded by 6 or so months of PT, doctor’s visits, MRI’s, and pain. When I finally felt whole after surgery I slid over into hip surgery. That was only 5 1/2 months ago. This ain’t a pity party. It’s somewhat of a realization that I haven’t been 100% for a while now. I’ve still been able to do really cool stuff; first crossift comp, broke 400 in the deadlift, hit top 25% in my age group in the Open last year, but I’m always down on myself for not performing better. That’s kinda dumb really. Add to that I’m back in an executive position at a startup, and life is totally and completely nuts. Time to get real about expectations.

So I looked at 15.1 as another WOD. I didn’t know if I would be able to get 3 or 4 rounds, or maybe only 2 rounds. In the warmup it dawned on me that I haven’t snatched since last August. Haven’t cleaned for a while, and definitely haven’t done anything close to a heavy jerk. Haven’t squatted over 75#’s since, well, September – early September. I did a few bare bar snatches. They felt unwieldy. Just not used to the movement.

From a 45# bar, we loaded 35’s to get to the 115# Rx weight, and I snatched that. Thank goodness this wasn’t a squat snatch WOD. 115# felt like crap. I got it up, but it was fugly. Left shoulder was a shooting pain. Nice.

Judged for Sam who went first. He did well. 5+ rounds and up to a 241# clean.

My turn. Screw it. Pulled out the Inov-8 Oly shoes for the first time since…. September. Have felt too much like a poser to put them on lately. Plus you don’t need Oly shoes when squatting 75#’s.

No offense intended. Sam is a really good guy, but when he said, “are you sure you want Rx weight?” I kinda wanted to give him a bit of advice… Instead I just said, “Yep,” nodded my head, and took a deep cleansing breath.

Round 1 – Toes-to-Bar. Got the first one easy and…totally couldn’t string them. When I’m on I can string 10 T2B pretty easily. Today? Nothing. Was doing that nasty double kip with a major bottom pause. Switched to a lower bar next to me and started doing singles. Got it done.

Deads? 115# deads? Please.

Then the snatches. That was nasty. Looked like a total newbie. My snatch PR is a sucky 155#, but 115# felt like it was over 200#’s. Had to take  second to clear my head. Sam was giving good coaching advice, but my body is not in position to do put that wisdom into practice. By the 4th rep I was feeling almost OK about the snatch. They were a nasty muscle/power snatch combo, but they were getting done.

Round 2 – got it done. Sometime in these snatches Sam said, “just go Shoulder-to-Overhead. Keep it moving.” Uhhhh, no. Hell no! I’ve got the Rx weight, and I’m going to Rx this WOD. Honestly, it was the right advice, but I’m not smart enough to listen.

No repped myself twice for not touching the bar on the ground between deadlifts. Gots to be legit.

Round 3, them snatches were HEAVY. Into Round 4 I had a minute or so on the clock. Did no-rest toes-to-bar singles. I really wanted to finish that set, and I did.

Back to the deadlifts with maybe 35 seconds on the clock, and I, no bullshit, hammered them out. Score: 115, 3 rounds + 25 reps.

That’s pretty solid for not knowing where I would go. I was tired, but it wasn’t role on the floor tired. I can’t even get into that pain cave with the shape I’m in. Yeah, “get in shape so you REALLY suffer…”

Then 15.1A

The trick is to use 1/2 pound plates to get a single pound on the competition. Sam had them, but some guy had taken them from the pile when I was tying my shoes. What the fuck???? Who takes your weights during a WOD?

Yeah, I expressed my dissatisfaction to him afterwards. He mentioned that he did ask and got permission. I then pointed out that it is better to get permission FROM THE PERSON WHO IS ACTUALLY LIFTING!!!

Coach found 1/4# discs for me quite quickly. Nice. A little adder.

Started at 135.5#’s for a solid opener. Easy.

I forget my exact progression, but my 3rd lift was at 180.5. Folks, I’m barely even power cleaning these reps because I don’t have confidence in my hip. Cleaned the 180.5, which is more than I’ve cleaned in a long time. Then I let my head get in the way and barely got any height on the bar during my jerk.

Still had a couple of minutes left. Trust me folks. You can get 4 solid lifts in. Don’t rush it. And don’t even start your first lift until AT LEAST a minute in. You need to calm down from the MetCon.

I took my time. I chalked up. I tried to breathe. Then I went back to the bar.

Muscle cleaned it. Paused. Took a deep breath. Dipped and … did something. Fugly, fugly, fugly. That was NOT a split jerk. My feet were maybe 6″ apart (back to front), and I push pressed that 180.5# overhead to lockout.

Seeing as how my 1RM C&J is 185… I’m pretty stoked about hitting 180-and change with no strength training to speak of, and I’ve missed a lot of workouts lately.

Also, seeing as how my strict press is only 155, I’m pretty sure I could improve on that too. 180.5#’s, on a 4th heavy lift, and after a met con? Dude, my PR’s clearly have a LOT of headroom.

TL:DR – I came home, paid my $20, signed up for the Open, and entered my score.

Yes, I can do the WODs and get a score. It’s a crap score, but it’s a score.

I’ll take it.

I won’t get top 25% this year, but I’ll get scores. Maybe I’ll quit beating myself up too. Stranger things have happened.

Goals and thoughts on 15.1

I gots no goals for this, but I’m doing it.

Well, there’s the goal of just getting a score that I can beat about 9 months from now. When I say “beat” I mean “totally shred into little pieces of minuscule confetti” because I need a mental boost before the 2016 Open.

So here’s the plan for today.

Do the WOD at about 60%. Keep moving but not taxed. Split the Toes-2-Bar into sets Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 9.48.34 AMof 5 for the first 2 rounds. Deads are extremely light. I haven’t snatched anything for 6 months, so 115# may feel heavy. I may go quick singles.

15.1A – I have not squatted with anything over 75#’s since September, so I have no clue where my clean is. I did some heavy clusters a while back, but I did them power not full squat. Plus, my hip has been hurting lately. For the C&J I’m going light. Hella light. Probably starting at something lame like 135#.

I only say “lame” because my pre-surgery max is much higher. Today will not be a day I approach my max though.

Keep it steady. 3 rounds? maybe 4?

Then lift a little heavy.

That’s it. That’s all.

Good luck folks!

My goal for the 2015 CrossFit Open – yes, I do have a goal.

While I’m not registered for the Open, and I will not be registering due to stinkin’ recovery from hip surgery I do have a simple goal for the 2015 Open.

Get a baseline for each of the WODs.

Hate on my performance.

Use that dissatisfaction to help fuel my recovery and return to hard core CrossFit.

End of story.

Yes, I’d love it if I was fueled by rainbow unicorns and fairy tale dreams, but getting good and PISSED OFF motivates me more than anything. I know me. Come February 2016 I’m going to redo all of the 2015 Open WODs and totally shatter my results.

The pain cave is a ways off, but I have  map. And a really accurate compass.

You can’t fake fitness…. (and I can fake a lot of stuff)

WOD tore me up today.

Row 1,0000m
rest 4 minutes
Row 500m
rest 2 minutes
Row 250m
rest 1 minute

Kicker – rows were “all out.” Because we have only 9 ergs the rest periods were less rigid than X minutes. Rest was “when your partner gets off the erg – you go!”

Able to get the first 1,000m in 3:31. Not stellar, but about the best I could do given current fitness level.

500m was 1:41 or so. Was really feeling my lack of endurance here. Quads just don’t have it. I could see the pain cave, but there was no way  I could afford the entrance fee to actually go inside.

250m – short, sweet. 0:48.

By now I was suffering from Fran cough, and my quads were weaker than a newborn baby’s. So much fitness lost.

Round 2? Hell, I just cruised the 1,000m. Held 2:10 just to get it over with. The 500m was a bit better but not worth writing home about. For the 250m I let it fly. Hit 0:46 for the 250m (1:32/500m pace).

That hurt. That really hurt.

Good reminder that I’m nowhere near where I need to be, but I’m not as bad as I thought.

1RM Deadlift (close to PR) and re-do of 14.3

Bit of a “whatever” attitude about working out. More precisely I’m a bit past caring about how well my hip is healing up post-surgery. Dumb attitude? Sure, but it’s there.

Pretty clear the box is looking at the Open coming up SOON. Today was “build to a 1RM deadlift” followed by 14.3 – the deadlift box jump combo. Last year my score was 113 or 23 reps into the 4th round of deads (275#’s, 25 reps). Almost made it to the next set of box jumps.

Today I had no goals and didn’t think at all of where I’d get to.

1RM deadlift…. Built slowly and felt OK. My pre-surgery max was 425#, but I’m nowhere near that now. Felt good working up to 315#, so I added 25’s. Truth be told, 365# was not easy. It was doable though. Being at least a little wise, but also a bit greedy, I added dimes to make it 385#.

Nailed it. Not sure how I nailed it, but there I was, locked out with 385 in the air. It’s 40#’s below my PR, but I’ll take it. Stopped there. A: it was heavy. B: I almost passed out after the lift. Felt a little wobbly. Coach was laughing, “Bro, you almost pass out there?” Yep.

Really cool note: partner I was lifting with was able to add 20# to his 1RM, setting a 335# deadlift PR. So cool to see people max out!

I’d write out the WOD, but this little screen capture is better at explaining 14.3. Increased # of deadlift reps and increased weight each round coupScreen Shot 2015-02-18 at 8.36.09 AMled with 15 box jumps. I went Rx even though there really was no need to do so.

Took it steady instead of trying to rush it. The early deads are light enough. I did step ups on the box jumps. Felt some pain in my right hip every time I led with my right leg. Clearly I’ve got more work to do there.

Had to break up the 225# deads into sets of 5 with much rest in between. It was not pretty.

Made it to the 275# deads with no gas in the tank. Managed to pull 3 singles before time was called for a score of 93. That’s 20 less reps than last March before I had my hip roto-rootered and my femur shaved down.

Honestly – I’m pretty stoked with both results today. Got to within 90% of my 1RM deadlift, and made it to the 275# deadlifts in 14.3. Really surprised that I was even able to make it to the 4th round at all.

That said, this is a great support of my decision NOT to enter the 2015 CrossFit Open. I’m just not ready yet, and the risk of pushing too hard in the heat of the moment is too great. I needed way too much rest during the 20 reps of 225# deads to be anywhere near competitive, so it’s best to observe this year. I will do the WODs, but I will not be doing them at “competition pace.”

Groin ain’t feeling too great at the moment, but the rest of me is.

Hero WOD: Michael

This one took a while….

Still trying to figure out how best to work my new job structure. Getting in to the office early helps a LOT, but it’s not like I leave the office any earlier when I show up at 6am. That screws up evening workouts. For some (mental) reason, it’s easier to get to the office at 6:00am or 6:30am than it is to get to a WOD at the same time. Forced myself to hit a 7am workout today. Even though it’s President’s Day we are working.

WOD was Micheal.  3 Rounds:Michael

800m run
50 Hip Extensions
50 Situps

Takes a LOT longer than it looks. Then again, any WOD with 3x800m runs always looks like it’s going to be pretty quick for me.

Coach wanted me to beat “Molly” on the first run. Turns out Molly hauls ass. Since I’m not supposed to be running yet, let alone running hard, I went at about 80%. Molly was right there and passed me in the last 50. She is young and fit as hell.

My lack of fitness showed up hard. Just kept moving forward. Was the first person heading out into the 2nd run, but once I got caught at 400m I was solidly in 3rd. The only way to gain back lost fitness is to… do the work.

Finished in 25:05 with an unbroken set of 50 sit-ups to close it out. Made sure to do legit range-of-motion on my hip extensions and sit-ups.

Happy Monday folks. Hope you have an amazing week!

It’s time to kill High School Debate

having been an avid political-junky for many years I’m decided that the the central problem facing America is…

High School Debate

It teaches you that “winning the debate” is more important than….being right or admitting that your position is flawed or [God forbid!] ever admitting that your opponent has a point. Look at the format – a topic is provided and you have to be able to both support and destroy it regardless of your personal views or what the scientific consensus is.

Your only goal is for your position to be better stated than your opponents. 5 seconds later you might be arguing the opposite position.

Look at politics today. What I said two seconds ago is irrelevant. There is no history. There is not agreeing that someone else may [gasp!] be correct. The PPACA (i.e. Obamacare) is a Republican health care plan… but they seek to repeal it. Ted Cruz charged handsomely to defend the Stimulus package payouts until he was against them…. those are just 2 examples.

Consistency of message and maybe listening to what the other person has to say will save us. Clearly Debate contests are the heart of the problem and must be stopped, for the good of America.

The Truth…is out there…. and it hurts… so nicely

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it, well, at least once. Dropping in at a CrossFit box is so much more fun than hitting a globo gym. I’ve been lucky enough to travel a lot. During running days it was, ‘where’s the nearest trail?” or “is it safe to run around here?” With gym stuff it was, “why is everyone giving me the stink eye?” It just feels so impersonal to stop in at an out-of-town globo gym.

Dropped in at CrossFit Rite in Pittsburgh today. Got introduced, everybody introduced themselves. During the workout just about everyone re-asked my name, where I was from, etc… So good to feel welcome.

Then they kicked my ass.

50 deadlifts. Rx was 115#. Such an easy deadlift
50 walking lunges (thankfully, no weight)
40 back squats
40 Toes-to-Bar
30 power cleans
30 burpee box jumps
20 thrusters
20 double unders
10 pistols

I didn’t get out of the thrusters. What 2 weeks off, bad eating, and not really being in shape can do to you.

That 115# Rx weight was a bit screwy. 115# reads? Oh yeah, all day. And then it got real. My legs are nowhere near at strength. For the squats I dropped to 95# and then to a bare bar. Truth be told, there was a bit of ego involved, but that was soon crushed.

Toes-to-bar. While I can do them they are not pretty. Burpee box jumps were a lesson in humility. Thrusters. OK, I tried 95#’s. Lets just say I won’t be PR’ing Fran anytime soon. Ahhhhh the life.

Sweaty, nasty mess. Perfect way to close out the day.

How was your WOD?

The Downfall of America

Saw a bunch of folks decrying the downfall of America and sharing pithy videos where TV characters railed about how much better America used to be when “we were united as a team.” Quite frankly, some things deserve a long-form reply.american flag

Dear folks who bemoan that “America was so much better back then”

Shut the fuck up. No, really. Just shut up.

Maybe I’ll be quiet for a minute and you can tell me which specific America you have in mind? 1950’s? 1980’s? 1850’s?

It’s OK. I’ll wait…..


I get that America is fuckin’-A-awesome. It offers so much to so many people. It has created more value and more progress than probably any other society in the history of the entire earth. Actually it still does.

But let’s get serious for a minute. Which “magic decade” should we go back to? Which time period provides more opportunity for literally everyone than America today? When you look at your daughters, as I look at mine, can you tell them, “because of where we are now you are more able to do whatever you choose than at any point in this nation’s history?” Yes, you can.

Is this country perfect? Hell no. Nothing is perfect. If you want to talk perfection then we have nothing to talk about.

Let’s look at a few things. Sure, I’m set. I’m a 6 foot tall white man. I’ve benefitted from over 200 years of affirmative action. Before you get bent out of shape try looking up the definition of the word, “benefit.” It’s an “advantage” it’s not an all-encompassing gift. I put myself through school, both undergrad and graduate. I’ve worked a lot of hours and still have a LOT more hours to work. That said, I know I have benefitted from several things. One of the things I have benefitted from is 200 freakin’ years of people treating white men better than anyone else in this country.

It makes me laugh especially when my brown-skinned friends yearn for our better days gone by. Tell me honestly, when was life so much better for you? When you joined the Navy and you were only allowed to be a steward (eg. a servant) but you were not allowed to even be an officer let alone rise to the level of command? When you weren’t allowed to buy property in most neighborhoods?

America is great, but it’s not some failed ass nation-state.

Was America great? Hell yeah. Is America still great? Seriously – do you really think this is a problem? Jesus people.

I know there are still societal limits placed on girls (like my daughters), but I also know that, unlike any other time in the past, they truly have almost any door open to them that they wish to pursue. Do they want to be a lawyer? They can do that. Do they want to be a plumber? They can do that. Do they want to be a stay-at-home mom and raise kids? They can do that.

Do they want to do all three at some point in their lives? Yes, they can do that too.

One of the most amazing things that has happened in my lifetime has been the election of a black man to be be President of the United States of America which is, arguably, the most powerful position on this planet. Does this mean we are “post-racial?” Fuck no. Does it mean he is infallible? Of course not. What it means is for 200 years only one type of person was allowed to run this country. You could be from any background: rich or poor. You could have any hair color. You could come from any sate in the Union. You could be from just about any Christian denomination (mostly), but you had to be White. Barrack Obama broke through that glass ceiling, and I’m still amazed when I see a man of color speaking during the State of the Union. Quite frankly it makes me incredibly proud. Things are not perfect, but we are marching forward.

Is America worse than what it was?

For that to be true you’d have to show me during which decade things were so much better.

I’m open to suggestion. Show me when.