It may not often seem this way, but I really do try to think things through. Some days I’m lucky enough that it pays off and goes according to plan.

WOD for Thursday 013113
Hanstand Pushups
30-50 Strict Reps

That’s a WHOLE LOT O’ HSPU’s! I went into this portion of the workout with two goals. 1) Do as many solid controlled negatives as possible. 2) Complete a kipping HSPU.

Well, over the course of the morning, I was able to do 20 really good negative HSPU’s. I did an additional set of 5, but by the end of that set my head was crashing to the Abmat harder than I liked. I was worried about injuring my neck, so I quit there.

Curious to discover that HSPU’s have a bottom out point much like a squat. When I get tired at HSPU’s, there’s a point where as I’m descending the arms just fail and the body just comes down no matter hard I fight it. The arms are tense, tense, tense, and then bang, they relax. Same as descending too deeply into a squat. Funky.

As for kipping, well that did not go as planned. I did not get a complete rep. However, I got my head a few inches off the floor on 2 or 3 attempts. More importantly, I was able to keep my head and neck in a good neutral position. This means that I did NOT slam the back of my head into the wall behind me which I did do the last time I practiced kipping. So we’ll call that progress, if not success.

10 Rounds For Time:
15 Deadlifts (135/95)
15 Pushups

150 pushups?!?! Are you mad?!!? Holy smokes! My only goal today was to get through this METCON Rx. I wanted to know if I had 150 good chest to deck straight plank push ups without dropping to my knees. I developed a strategy from the additional directions posted regarding the METCON, as well as Coach Erin’s warm up routine.

In posting the WOD, Dave pointed out that folks were welcome to modify the pushups to parallette, rings, hand release, whatever if athletes wanted a different challenge. When Coach Erin incorporates push ups in her warm ups, she often has us rotate through different hand placements (hands forward, turned in, turned out) and varying widths. I thought about that and figured, “well, there’s nothing here that says we’re required to do 150 reps with our hands right under our shoulders.” So I used every variant of push up I could think of.

My logic was doing 150 strict reps was sure to smoke my arms early. So each set I did 5 fast strict push ups with my hands just outside my shoulders and hands facing forward. After that I improvised based on what felt right. 3 diamond push ups? Great. 5 wide arm push ups with hands facing out to the sides? All righty then. 2 reps with arms normal width and hands turned inward? Sure. What ever kept me going foward. The only constants were the 5 strict reps to begin a set, good solid plank position and I refused to go to my knees. Did it work?

I finished in 18:18 and I got all the reps in Rx, so I’ll take it.

Crossfit Open
For those wondering, I did register for the Open. A friend reached out yesterday and said, “I’ve got some reservations too, but I’ll do it, if you do it. We can be training partners.” That was all it took.

I was hesitant because I had a couple concerns. 1) There are no scaling options in the Open. If you can’t complete a WOD as prescribed, you’re out. I have a LONG list of exercises that I’m unable to do Rx (review the section above on HSPU’s for one). If one of these exercises shows up, it’s game over. I can’t fix that now, so I’ll accept that.

It has been pointed out that for the most part the exercises and routines associated with the Open are pretty accessible ones, so that shouldn’t be an issue at this level. If I run into a goat that I can’t tame just yet, then so be it. So I’ll set that concern aside and file it in the unknowable category.

Another challenge was timing. The Open workouts will be announced on Wednesday nights. The requirement is that they have to be completed and scores must be entered online by the following Sunday. Crossfit Durham is planning on conducting the announced WOD on Saturdays after they’re posted. Well, I don’t normally work out on Saturdays.

It’s easy to say, “well, just shift your schedule.” It’s not really that simple. While this blog may not reflect it adequately, I’m a husband and dad with interests and responsibilities beyond the gym. Shocking I know, right? Little league baseball season will be underway when the Open begins and I coach my son’s team.

At first glance, the odds seemed pretty high that I’d run into scheduling conflicts with little league games and workout times. It seemed selfish to participate in the Open, a competition that I have no reasonable expectation of advancing to the next round, at the expense of time with my son.

In considering the baseball season more carefully, this was more of an excuse than I realized. The truth is at his age group, most of his games will either be Friday nights, or some time Saturday afternoon. If my partner and I work out at the 10am sessions at CFD, I shouldn’t run into a conflict.

Plus in talking to Dave, the gym owner, and a few coaches, they’ve all been very encouraging saying, “Don’t worry about the schedule. We’ll work something out.” The most logical/efficient option would be to substitute the Open WOD for a workout on a Thursday or Friday morning when I’m normally at the gym. But that lead to my final reservation. Self motivation.

I know myself well enough to know that I don’t do my best work when I’m working out alone. I just don’t get excited the same way. Even if there were 20 people at the gym on a given morning, if 19 of them are doing one WOD and I’m doing something else, I’m just not in the best place to push myself. Having my ‘battle buddy’ reach out and agree to work together was the last piece to fall into place. Just knowing that there’s one other person going through the same WOD I am at the same time will be enough to motivate me to give it my all.

So I’m in. I’m registered. I’m psyched and looking forward to seeing how it all shakes out.