19.2 – Two Down, Still Three to Go

How are you feeling after CrossFit Open WOD 19.2?  Standing on top of the world, looking down at all these paltry peasants that think they’re fit?  Or maybe a little bit humbled, wondering where these enclaves of fitness cyborgs are hiding around the world?  All kidding aside, hopefully you’re somewhere in the middle of these extremes — you’ve had a workout in 19.1 that you were able to dig into and see how much work you can truly put out in a short(?) period of time, and then an even shorter window in 19.2 to demonstrate some skill along with the horsepower effort.  But if you’ve found a workout that you did relatively well in, you’ve probably also been dosed with some “not-so-fast” pills – maybe it was Toes-to-bar or Double-unders that did you in on the skill side, or maybe you weren’t strong enough to make it through the initial round of Squat Cleans.
What we’ve been gifted with in workout 19.2 is an experiential proof of our weakness (or weaknesses) in the sport of CrossFit.  Since CrossFit tests our overall fitness, then through the transitive property what we know now are the weaknesses, the holes, in our fitness — or at least some of them.
So, what to do now?
First of all, don’t burn your Nanos and quit the gym because one workout didn’t go the way you wanted it to.  There are still three more workouts that will be different types of challenges, and the odds are they won’t include the same movements that ate your lunch last week.
Secondly, learn from it.  We’ve talked about goal setting and action planning before, and if you didn’t have a movement-related goal before, now you do!  Talk to a coach at the gym about what you struggled with.  Let them see you do Double-unders, or Toes-to-bar.  CrossFit Kent Island coaches have a great eye for seeing and correcting movements (we work on it at our All Hands meetings!) and especially if you’re 1-on-1, you WILL get some benefit from working with a coach on a specific movement.
Without working with you individually and watching your movement patterns closely, I do have some initial thoughts on improvement.
– Toes-to-bar – “No-rep” yourself.  If you felt like your sets of 25 Toes-to-bar were A LOT slower than they usually are in a regular CFKI workout, are you really doing Toes-to-bar all the time?  By that I mean: are you consistently meeting the standard as laid out in the Open?  Both feet touch the bar at the same time.  I know I’ve seen a lot of “almost” Toes-to-bars in class workouts.  What I don’t know is… are you counting those?  Train to the standard in every workout session, and when it comes to the Open it won’t be a big deal.
If you can’t do Toes-to-bar at all and that was your downfall this time, work on your core strength (say hi to the GHD once in a while after class), and smash and stretch your tight-as-beef-jerky hamstrings.  You can’t get your toes to the bar if you can’t touch your toes in a standing position.
– Double-unders – These are one of the only difficult movements that we do in CrossFit where there is absolutely no strength (or flexibility) component.  If you want to be better at Double-unders, you have to practice.  Consistent practice WILL lead to results here.  Start with a Crawl-Walk-Run approach:  Get really, really, really good at jumping rope first.  It needs to be unconscious.  That’s Crawl.  Walk is consistently doing one Double-under whenever you want.  Someone hands you a jump rope and you show them a Double-under.  If you can’t consistently and confidently do one, stop trying to string those bad boys together!  Now you’re Walking.  Run has levels.  Let’s call the first a Jog.  This is stringing two consecutive Double-unders together.  That is the hardest part!!!  You are confident enough in your ability to always do one that you jump right off the floor again and knock out one more.  Yes!!!  Run #2 (Gallop?) would be to put five Double-unders together.  Run #3 (definitely Sprint) is 10 in a row.  And from there you’re off to the races.  Be patient through this process and don’t move on to the next step until you feel super confident in the last.
– Squat Clean – There are a couple components here, as the Squat Clean requires some coordination and flexibility for sure, but also STRENGTH.  If you can fly through Toes-to-bar and Double-unders (or Hanging Knee Raises and Single-unders in the scaled version of the 19.2 workout), but the Squat Cleans caused a major traffic jam, to quote my friend Kenny – “you’re just not strong enough”.  Simple, but not easy to fix.  If you have a flexible work schedule, get into Open Gym a couple times a week and Lift. Heavy.  If you’re working that 9-to-5 and can’t make it happen, then when you are in class, it’s gotta count.  Don’t shy away from heavy weights.  If your coach is briefing the workout and says “this weight should be heavy”, then make that weight heavy!  Heavy is relative for everyone, but you should be challenging yourself continually to get stronger if that is a deficit in your game.
Workout 19.3 will be a different challenge.  If you’re working out on Friday and you care about the result, then rest up on Thursday.  If you come into class and want to just spend time stretching or doing some individual work on skills, just let the coach know and then have at it (caveat – you have to defer equipment and space to the class that’s in session).
Come in on Friday rested and ready, and let’s put a hurtin’ on 19.3.

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