Month: May 2015

Does the CrossFit Open even matter?

Number crunch time…

For Masters athletes there is  a bit of back-and-forth about the Masters Qualifier. Specifically, some people have commented that they feel it’s not fair to include an athlete’s Open score in the calculation for who goes to the Games.

Here is a quick primer or those who are not familiar with how the Masters divisions (40 years old and above) work.

We all do the Open. Then the top 200 Masters Athletes in each age group worldwide are invited to participate in 4 additional WODs. 5 scores are then tallied. The place you finished in the Open is 1 score, and the 4 additional Masters Qualifier WODs provide the 4 other scores. From there, the Top 20 in each age group, worldwide, are invited to the Games.

I keep saying, “Worldwide” because it’s common to think it’s based on your regional standing. That would be cool, but Regional standing only matters for individual athletes and teams.

Is it fair to count your Open finish in the Masters Qualifier?

Quite frankly, I don’t know, but I can take a look and see if it has any impact. For the most part, whoever places in the Top 10 in their Age Group is and amazing athlete who is very likely to remain in the Top 20. I think that’s obvious, but what about other folks.

Just how many people would have qualified for the Games if only the scores from the Masters Qualifier WODs were counted?

Answer: Not very many.

I get it. If you are the person who was affected then n=1, and it sucks. That said, let’s look at the numbers overall.

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 1.09.44 PM


Roughly speaking, about 1 person per age group would have made it to the Games had the Open scores been thrown out.

That is 0.8% of Masters Qualifier participants. Those 1 person per age group? Yep, they sat roughly between 25th and 33rd place, so they were close to the bubble anyway.

Keeping the Open score really doesn’t matter.


Methodology – I used a simple screen scrape and Excel. In the bigger Age Groups, I only grabbed the first 2 screens (1st place through 120th place). Sure, I could have grabbed everyone, but this was manual. Not to mention, it doesn’t change the results. In a few of the age groups less than 120 people completed the MQ WODs, so I only grabbed the people who completed all 4 WODs

I recalculated each person’s point total with only the 4 MQ WODs, sorted, and compared the new sort to the original sort.

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






Anybody else run a 5k this weekend?

GoTR 5k

Let me explain – I needed that.

Last few weeks have been up and down. It happens. We all have to work through it. Getting back into it though? That really sucks.

I bailed out of the office for a noon WOD. Because I’m trying to get that mojo back I really didn’t want to go. Used the old, “get in the car, driver to the gym, figure it out from there” head game.

WOD (next WOD from “Mainsite in May”)Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 2.17.43 PM

5 Rounds
5 Muscle ups
10 Power Cleans (135# Rx)
220m Run

Why 220 and not 200m? Who the hell knows.

I would have had to do less than 5 muscle ups as my MU capacity is low, but I’m really, really afraid of muscle ups. After catching one behind me a few weeks ago and jerking the hell out of my shoulder I’m too afraid to try a muscle up.

So I subbed 5 strict ring dips and 5 pull-ups.

Here’s the good part. This was probably the most consistent workout that I have had for 6 months. Actually, when one considers that I haven’t been back in the gym for  6 months yet… this was the most consistent workout that I have done for 8 months.

It wasn’t pretty, but it was consistent.

135# felt stupid heavy. I switched to singles really early. That sucks because I can do a hell of a lot more, but I did fast singles. No long, drawn out, gasping for air pauses between lifts. Just a steady: power clean, drop the bar, grab the bar, another power clean.

Every time coming into the ring dips I approached the rings, grabbed them, and started repping them out. No fuss, no pauses. Just steady, consistent work. It probably helped a lot that I cruised the runs. Just jogged them out, allowed myself to rest and catch my breath, so when I got back to the rings I wasn’t panting from having blasted the run.

Being consistent felt so good.

15:34, I think. Really doesn’t matter. Elapsed time is not relevant when it comes to feeling good.

I needed this.

Strong is the new skinny…

A few days ago gritlikegabrielle posted her thoughts on “Strong is the New Skinny” and why she doesn’t like the phrase. Her post got me thinking.

I’m coming at this from a different perspective. I’m much older. I grew up in a different era. I’m male. I’m a father of daughters. That’s not to say either of us is “correct” or “incorrect.” It’s more that I thought about why I like the phrase and if my perspective affects my viewpoint.

When I was growing up “Skinny” was the only skinny.

Full stop. End of story. In terms of physical beauty skinny was it. Well, big breasts were important to meet the beauty standard, but the rest of the body had to be thin, thin, thin. The common saying was, “You can never be too rich, too thin, or too blonde.”

There was only one way for a woman to be beautiful. Well, according to media standards there was only one way for a woman to be beautiful. She had to be thin. The Heather Locklear’s and Kate Moss’s were skinny to the point of emaciation. Sure, there were a few female bodybuilders like Cory Everson, but they were viewed as oddities.

“Strong” is an interesting word because it is not one-dimensional.  There is physical strength and mental strength and emotional strength… you get to pick your strength. Skinny is clearly one-dimensional. You don’t get to “pick your skinny.” If your ribcage ain’t showing then you ain’t skinny.

Clearly no catchphrase can capture the complexity of a person or an entire gender. That said, we still distill down to these phrases for meaning and motivation.

I’m not saying that it’s a “good” phrase because good is subjective. I am saying that I like it’s message a hell of a lot better than the message that I grew up with, “You can never be too rich, too thin, or too blonde.” Yes, you can be too thin. I think we all know how badly that can play out.

Maybe it’s the CrossFit community in which I am immersed, but I see women actively celebrating that their butt has grown from strength training, that they are curvier, stronger, and feel better. Others choose a different path. Hopefully people are able to choose the path that is right for them.

I like that choosing your own version of body type and strength is more acceptable to the society that my daughters are growing up in. Life is not perfect. The media still bombards girls and women with unreasonable beauty expectations, but “Strong is the new skinny” feels like a step in the right direction – compared to what I saw growing up.

If I can translate Gabrielle’s viewpoint into my own, coarse, vernacular it might be, “Don’t tell me what the fuck to do. I can figure that out on my own.” I love that and hope to help my daughters gain that determinism (they can choose whether not to include the word “fuck”… odds are they will include it due to my poor influence). Maybe we are actually saying the same thing although my words are colored by the society in which I was raised.

Isn’t that the curse of the older generations? We say, “well you should have seen how bad things were back in the old days…..”

Here’s to progress.

Hero WOD – Jerry…

why is it that every time I take a week off and eat like crap the first WOD back is a Hero WOD?

Run 1 mile
Row 2,000m
Run 1 mile

oh yeah, our box is doing “Mainsite in May” so every WOD from May 2010 or 2011 or 20-pain is on tap.

Carpet upstairs in our house looks awesome. My back after moving furniture? Not so much. My diet after a week of poor choices? Really bad.

First run – legs felt like lead. Sub-8′ish which is pretty pathetic for the amount of effort I felt like I was putting in.

Row – over 2:00/500m the entire way. Down to 2:18/500m at points. Blech!

Clock read 16:44 as I headed out the door.

Second run – it’s always fun trying to run after getting off of a rower. It’s even more fun after rowing 2,000m. Came in for my ½ in 4:07.

Saw a couple of people behind me and decided not to let them catch me. Finished the 2nd ½ in 3:21 for a 7:38 second mile. Too bad I couldn’t hold a 6:42 mile for the whole thing.

Not pretty. Not pretty at all.

Fun stuff – one of our pairs was working on the Team Deadlift/C2B WOD for regionals.
A: that’s a heavy deadlift with the unevenly loaded bar
B: synchronized Chest-to-Bars are going to be challenging in the heat of the moment

Diet – as a whole…. and how it has changed

OK, yesterday was a bad food day. Actually this week is a bad food week. It’s OK. I can live with my choices.

Though most of my calories yesterday were in the form of M&Ms and churros I have to be honest with myself. My diet has changed significantly over the last 3 years. Some time back, no doubt due to the paleo babble at the gym, I made a conscious choice to try the Primal diet. It made sense to me. Eat more good stuff, eat less crap.

Not long after that my box did their annual food challenge which reinforced my new eating routine.

Now? I am definitely NOT a paleo poster boy, but my basic food intake is so much better. I can’t even remember the last time I had a plate of spaghetti. I don’t even know what “gluten intolerance” really means, but I do know that eating bread and similar products makes me feel like hell.

So I avoid them. I love bread, but now I eat it only occasionally and only when it’s really good. No sandwiches for lunch. No chowing on sub-standard bread at a restaurant just because it’s in front of me. My mood is generally better. My energy is generally better. I don’t tend to have those low-blood sugar anger moments.

I could do a much better job. I have bad days. Sometimes I have bad weeks. The difference is that I have a much better understanding of why I feel lethargic or bloated.

As a whole though – so glad that I’ve changed how I eat. More good meet. More good vegetables. Less grains. And a whole lot less processed food.

Quite frankly – it ain’t all that hard.

Being the unequaled Lord and Master

It’s pretty easy to be the alpha-male in my house

I’m…. the only male in my house…. 1 wife, 2 daughters

even the 2 dogs are female.

One dog is an infallible rock. That’s the 65# pit bull. The other dog, however, is an antsy, edgy, always moving chihuahua…. Don’t ask – my daughter wanted a chihuahua. The chihuahua is scared shitless of me. She always has been. No, I’ve never given her reason to be so. It’s probably because I’m the biggest person in the house, I’m loud, and the whole alpha-male thing. (humor me, it;s all I’ve got…)

The little dog is also incredibly social. She reveres my oldest daughter. She actually likes all people, but she rarely comes anywhere near me. This weekend, since I was the only one around it was hilarious to watch her. I’m spending hours on hands and knees, washing baseboards. Do you know how nasty dirty baseboards get? Then taping them off for painting.

Chihuahua is clearly desperate for some attention. She’s also not clear on how to approach me for an ear scratch. When I said, “hours” I meant it. Her proximity kept getting closer and closer, but only by a millimeter at a time. Then I’d move to tape off another section, and she would run away then come back just a little bit closer, I’d lean and she’d jump away.

So I decided to sit still. See what happened – totally army style low crawl, she almost got to within arms reach. It was my own little science experiment.

Finally close enough, I reached out and scratched her ears. The sigh was physical. Then I slid over to tape another section, and she shot away only to come back again. Maybe a little closer this time.

I maybe petted her 3 times all weekend, but it cracked me up every time.

I hate painting baseboards.