So my prediction that Open WOD 16.3 would be a revisit of 14.3 (deadlifts and box jumps) was totally wrong, further reinforcing why I never gamble.

The WOD turned out to be mercilessly simple: 10 snatches at 75#, a very movable weight and 3 bar muscle ups. Complete as many rounds as possible in seven minutes.

I don’t have bar muscle ups, but I’ve sort of flirted around them recently. I knew that there was no way my final score, Rx or scaled, was going to place high enough on the leader board to help my team in the gym Intramural competition. The only way to be helpful on the athletic side of the equation would be to go Rx, luck into a muscle up and score a bonus point for the team by PR’ing a new move during the Open.

So basically I treated this work out as 10 snatches and 6 plus minutes of muscle up practice. In the end, I did not get the muscle up. I did not earn the bonus point. However, I did get closer than I have ever been before! Three times I was able to get to, as it was expressed on a FB meme somewhere, ‘armpits over the bar.’From there I was trying to just MovNat my way into a lock out. I was trying to convert the move into a MovNat pop up (which would be a PR in it’s own right).

The issue was in order to get to that hanging position I had to release my grip and shoot my elbows forward. So I ended up hanging by my armpits, supporting myself on my biceps with my hands clenched in fists under my chin. From there I tried repeatedly to curl up into a ball, kip/swing my hips over the bar so that I could then hopefully reset my grip and lock out a rep. I gave it a hell of a fight and everyone in the gym was SO supportive cheering me on. I just couldn’t work it out.

There was one time where I actually did build up enough momentum that it felt as if my hips were over the bar and as soon as I recognized that weightless feeling I realized that I had NO GRIP on the bar and the potential for rolling clear over and falling 7 feet to the gym floor on the back of my neck was very very real. I panicked and bailed out of that attempt. In the time remaining, I couldn’t work out the steps necessary to execute it safely and I kind of surrendered. No muscle up for me.

I’m not even disappointed. I’m comfortable with the effort and the fight and I have entered my 10 with satisfaction.

Lessons learned:

-) Once all the bruises heal, I’d like to try again with a crash mat under me to see if I can work this out. It would just be for fun. It’s in no way an effective or proper technique for executing a muscle up. I would never teach it to another athlete (at least not in the Crossfit context on a pull up rig). But for the satisfaction of saying, “I got over the bar,” I’d like to puzzle it out.

-) Related to the bruises: Guys on blood thinners shouldn’t get into wrestling matches with iron bars. It doesn’t end well for the flesh. The backs of my biceps are bruised all the way from my elbows to my arm pits. No exaggeration. No, I won’t post pictures.

-) Not really a lesson learned but related to the blood thinners I’ve only got about 3 days worth left on this current prescription and then I’m done with those! So, YAY!
Pop Goes the Kneesle

Today’s WOD was not much fun for me. After all of Saturday’s activity, I failed to ice and rest my knee adequately on Sunday. I probably should have sat out today, but I plan to vote during my morning gym time on Tuesday, so I felt I needed to not skip the gym today.

Right from the start, the clean pulls and cleans assigned for the strength session were aggravating my knee. It felt like it wanted to slip right away. During Doug’s warm up drills with a bare bar the knee kept getting tighter and tighter and I kept having to interrupt my drills to set the bar down, walk away and work the knee loose. I worked through sets of 95# and 115# and abandoned the cleans, switching to a deadlift to warm up for the WOD and figure out my weight for the day.

The WOD was:

Odd Minute 5 Deadlifts (75% of 1RM)
Even Minute 15 box jumps (24″)

I warmed deadlifts up to 225# and while that’s 50# shy of the prescribed load of the day, it was clear it would be plenty for me. For the first time I can recall, deadlifts hurt in my LATS. No doubt from Saturday’s bar muscle up adventure. Still, it was an unexpected place to strain during a deadlift.

Box jumps were weird right from the start. I warmed them up at 24″ trying to jump. I wasn’t convinced I could do 15 reps in a minute for eight rounds so I scaled to 20″ jumps.

Things were moving along ok, but the pressure/tension in my knee was building every round. Finally during the 5th round of box jumps when I switched to step ups and got out of sequence it popped…HARD. I had worked out that if I put the wonky left leg on the box first then drove off the extended healthy right leg I could get up to full extension, stand and then step back down with the right. But I lost the rhythm somehow and ended up stepping down with my weak left leg.

Soon as the foot hit the floor I started to crumble. I caught myself on the box, cried out a bit and sat down on the floor. Coach Doug quickly checked in on me. I confirmed that it was simply my knee. I was not injured more. I wasn’t bleeding, but I didn’t want to play anymore. He agreed that that was fine.

I did sit out for two more rounds, but in that two minutes I realized that all of the pressure in my knee was gone. It actually felt better than it had since Friday.

So I did the last two rounds of deadlifts and subbed in goblet squats with a 44# KB. On the surface, that might seem like a stubborn or selfish decision, but I carefully chose a new exercise that I was confident wouldn’t strain my knee again. Plus, as I’ve mentioned before, the doctors have assured me I won’t make the meniscus tear worse. It’s simply a matter of how much pain I’m willing to tolerate. The answer is, “not much.” If it hurts, I don’t do it. So I’m pleased with the effort to get back into the workout and see it through to some degree. This does raise all sorts of questions about 16.4. If those deadlifts and box jumps come around on Thursday, today’s experience does not inspire confidence. Guess we’ll just have to see what happens.

I am really looking forward to April and getting this knee treated, rehabbed and hopefully fully healthy and recovered.