Category: 15.2

15.2… is why I do CrossFit

Don’t get me wrong. I was no shining star today. Hell, I didn’t even get past 6 minutes, but that’s kind of the point.

For new folks, the 2015 Open is, for me, just a set of scores. I wasn’t supposed to even register, but I couldn’t help myself after I hit 15.1 at the normal box workout. I had hip surgery back in mid-September. It’s been a long, slow recovery. Technically I’m only supposed to be lifting weight this month. As you may guess, I’ve lost a lot of strength and a ton of muscle endurance. As much as I would like to kick ass in my Master’s age-group it’s just not going to happen.

That didn’t stop me from being disappointed in 15.1. While I did what I the best I  could I always want more. Not that I have a real shot at “more” given my setbacks, but I’m greedy….

Why was today (15.2) good?

It had three things that I love about CrossFit.

  • Math
  • A nasty workout


  • Community

I tend to see things as a Mechanical Engineer. That’s not surprising seeing as how that’s my undergrad. There are some simple equations that every ME knows.

Work = Force * Distance

Power = Work/time

It’s really simple. If you want to do well on 15.2 you have to have Power and Work capacity. Work: 95 pounds * 4’ish feet (the distance from the bottom of my squat to overhead). Power = Work/(3 minutes). In 15.2 you gotta have the capacity to get the weight up and down and do it quickly. Simple math.

For 14.2 I was limited by shoulder mobility and endurance having had my right shoulder rebuilt only a few months earlier. Getting to 59 reps was a struggle, and I had to do the WOD twice to get there. This year I have better shoulders, but my leg strength and mobility are compromised. I really didn’t know if I’d be able to match 2014’s score.

On the community front, a few of us got together during Open gym hours. A guy I used to workout with in the morning, Jason, was stoked that I’d be there. We tend to push each other. He and I would never cross paths in real life, so the CrossFit community thing is so cool.

Jason went first. He wanted to get into the 3rd round. Unfortunately he had that first round screw up where the movement just wasn’t working. Funny how that happens. He was able to get back on track, but it slowed him down and messed with his rest time in Round 1. He made it to the final set of chest-to-bars in round 2, but he didn’t make it to round 3.

I just wanted to do some reps. Really, I wanted to break 59 reps (my score from 2014), but I doubted it would happen.

3….2…1….. GO! 10 overhead squats – unbroken. Really didn’t expect that. I was going slow and controlled and did not need to drop the bar.

Did the chest-to-bars in singles. Just no need to burn myself out stringing them together, and it wasn’t much slower than kipping. I didn’t even try to butterfly them. If I was shooting for 5 or 6 rounds then stringing them together would have been smart and allowed for more rest time. As it was, I wasn’t even sure if I’d get out of round 1.

Second set of overhead squats were tougher. I broke at 5 reps. Got back on the bar. Finished off the set and got back to the bar. Knocked out the second set of C2B’s with about 15 seconds left in the round. That’s not a lot of rest.

The overhead squats in round 2 really sucked. My shoulders were not having fun stabilizing the bar. I broke twice.  Getting the bar back up the second time I couldn’t stabilize and dropped it again. Then I really screwed up. On the 12th and final rep I pulled the “CrossFit last rep….” i.e. I didn’t lock out at the top before dropping the bar. Jason no-repped me – it was a legit no rep, but it really hurt. It took me way too long to get back to a point where I could go overhead. Finally I was able to knock out that last overhead squat

In 2014 I got 7 chest-to-bars before I ran out of time. This year I think I had 25 seconds left when I hit the pull-up rig.

I got 7 reps doing singles when Jason told me I had less than 10 seconds to go.

Fuck it. All or nothing – strung 3 together to get 62 total reps. 3 rep PR from last year. Hell yeah!

Not sure if I could have gotten another overhead squat in, but I know I would have finished that set of chest-to-bars if not for that no rep.

Lessons learned:
Legit reps only! Getting no-repped is nasty, especially when you are 99% done with the rep. (easier said than done)
Work capacity – when I am able to I have to increase it. When my current OHS is maybe 135# then doing 95# for reps really sucks.
Power – the engine must be strong. As I recover more from surgery this will improve.

Surprisingly, I’m satisfied with this result. Getting close to my 14.2 score would have been good. Beating it is fantastic. It’s also a pretty low score, so I know that I’ll really kick this WOD’s ass when I hit it again next Fall when I am 100% healthy. That the guy I was working out with is 15 years younger, is NOT recovering from 2 surgeries in 2 years, and only got a few reps more than me…. that doesn’t suck.