Recap: CrossFit Evo Winter Challenge

Over the weekend I participated in my first CrossFit competition, the Nuclear Winter at CrossFit Evolution in Longwood, Florida. Although I got my ass kicked in most of the workouts, I had a total blast and set a couple of personal records. Read on for an event recap.

Winter Challenge was basically four workouts in a row between 12:00 and 6:00 pm. The workouts are listed below with my results and notes

  1. Max pullup test – I’ve tested deadhang pullups before and done 23 at one point last year. Never tested with a kip, but on this day I did 25 w/kip which I thought was a pretty piss poor. Part of the problem was I wore gloves in order to preserve tearing my hands…unfortunately, the gloves didn’t allow me a good grip on the slick bar, so I flew off on the 25th rep. I think barehanded I could have gone over 30. Most of the CFFB guys were in the 30s and some were 40+. Highest for the Challenge was 67. Beast.
  2. 1RM Squat Snatch – Another movement I hadn’t really done, I taught myself the squat snatch from watching YouTube videos a week earlier. My goal was a clean rep at 95 lbs, but I surprised myself and knocked out 110 lbs. I tried one attempt at 115 lbs and failed…I think I could have nailed it with another chance. The event was capped at 30′ and I ran out of time. I was pretty elated with this PR and feel good about achieving 135 lbs in 2011.
  3. “Grace” – 30 clean-and-jerks for time. Rx for men is 135 lbs with a 10′ cap, which I’m not even close to being able to do that. I scaled down to 95 lbs and busted a 3:38, which was a PR. This workout was shockingly painful and I wouldn’t have been able to push through without everyone in the gym screaming. I loved it. I want to start working my way to up 135 lbs C/J in the first half of this year.
  4. Chipper – The last event was a chipper, which is basically a race with multiple movements chained together. The chipper was: 1500m run, 30 reps (double unders, pushups, box jumps), 3 rope climbs; 1000m run, 20 reps (d/u, pushups, box jumps) 2 rope climbs; 500m run, 10 reps (d/u, pushups, box jumps), 1 rope climb.  I LOVE chippers and I’ve always been pretty good at them. I finished with a time of 25:52, which was good for 4th among the male CFFB members….I estimated I was in the top 15 or 20 overall in the competition.

Takeways: I stress fractured my foot a month ago, which I detailed in my GoRuck post, and this was my first hard run since then. I had absolutely no problems, not even any lingering soreness after the chipper, and I ran at full blast. I’m super pumped about that and attribute part of the comeback to the two laser therapy sessions I did at my chiropractor’s office.

I had the flu the previous weekend and still felt a little shitty as early as the Monday before the event. No question, the sickness impacted my fitness and I could really feel it on the runs and Grace. My heart rate was waaay too high. With that being said, I’m pretty happy with my performances even though I wasn’t at 100%. I came away with two nice PR’s and a solid performance in the chipper.

Last Thoughts: There were around 120 competitors with maybe 90 male athletes. I was at the very bottom in terms of raw strength…when I say bottom, I mean like bottom 5-10 dudes. The vast majority of guys were able to put up over 135 lbs (or more) on the squat snatch and complete Grace with 135 lbs well under the time limit. I was in awe at how fit these competitors were.

It never ceases to amaze me how strong and how fit the athletes are that do CrossFit. Just as a comparison, I come from a rowing background and I’m easily one of the strongest athletes at my boathouse. My deadlift PR is 265 and I’m one of three guys at the boathouse that can lift up that much. At the CrossFit gym, my 265 PR is among the bottom 5 to 10 out of maybe 60 dudes at the gym. That kills me, but it also motivates me in a big way to get stronger and work on my weaknesses. Working out with athletes that are vastly stronger in a positive environment has done wonders for my own fitness and helped me get to another level last year.

Next Up: I have THREE races this weekend to cap off a hellacious January. First is the UCF Iron Knight on Saturday morning, then Warrior Dash at 4pm that afternoon, then Warrior Dash again at 1:30 pm on Sunday. Iron Knight is a 4.5 mile team run with 8 obstacles and exercise stations along the way. Warrior Dash is a 3 miler obstacle course and mud run. I’m freakin’ PUMPED!!