Any time you can look back at your week and  a) realize that you’ve learned a few productive things; and  b) see quantifiable progress that has to be categorized as a pretty good week.

I’m not going to recap all four WODs this week. I will highlight the most significant points learned.

1) Take a Break from Time to Time: I mentioned in last Friday’s post that my left leg has been just exhausted and weak of late. In response, Coach Doug gave me a bit of a reprieve this week and we agreed that I would take a week off from squatting. If you Crossfit, then you know this is borderline blasphemy. Squats are life in Crossfit! Saying, “nope, I’m just not going to squat for a week” is kinda mind-blowing. Yet this, in combination with a visit to the good Dr Spicher for a chiropractic adjustment, and a renewed commitment to mobility seems to be just what I needed. I’m feeling great today, even after a full week of WODs.

2) Mobility to Work Ratio: I’m coming to understand that I need roughly a 1:1 ratio of time spent in the gym exercising to time spent at home focusing on mobility. It’s not always easy to work it into the day’s schedule, but for me it seems to be necessary. Knowing that makes it easier to make the commitment to make it happen.

Friday Dec 9
Open WOD 16.4
The workout prescribed was
13 minute AMRAP
55 Deadlifts at 225#
55 Wall Balls 20# ball to 10ft target
55 Calorie Row
55 Handstand Push Ups

I learned earlier this week that this WOD was scheduled for today and I had been looking forward to it. I did this workout back in March. The recap of that performance is here: Open 16point4 . The most significant things of note in that performance: while I thought I had a strategy for breaking up reps, I really wasn’t able to apply it. It all fell apart at 3-2-1-go. Second, I got off the rower at 12:00. I verified this today on the leaderboard. Finally, in that workout I wasn’t able to do any HSPU.

So how did it go today? Today I was able to control the deadlifts and execute as 4 sets of 9, then 7, 7, 5. I confess this wasn’t my original plan. I was planning sets of 8, but 9 felt sustainable, so I went with it for a while, then adjusted late.

Doug and I discussed the wall balls in advance. He was challenging me to do them in as few sets as possible. He was encouraging me to try to complete the 55 reps in two sets. Knowing how they fell apart the first time, I wasn’t confident. I told him I was planning on 20, 20, 15, which he agreed was an acceptable strategy. In my head, I was already adjusting that telling myself, “15-15-15-10 wouldn’t be awful.” However, I was very pleased that I was able to make the original 3 set strategy work.

I rowed just about a cal per stroke. I didn’t note start time. Doesn’t really matter. I don’t have that as a point of reference from the March effort. So there’s no way to compare. What I can see is that I was off the rower today right around 11:05. That’s very nearly a full minute faster than in March! How’s that for quantifiable progress?

Finally, with the time remaining, I was able to make two successful handstand push ups and failed a third attempt! That was very rewarding.

So what was different this time around? As I mentioned online with a friend earlier today. It was a combination of a number of things working in my favor.

1) The programming we follow is specifically geared towards Open/Comp improvement. No question it’s working,
2) Having two healthy and fresh legs under me was great
3) Experience – I could pace better today knowing what to anticipate; and having a more deliberate strategy as opposed to last time where I was definitely figuring things out on the fly.
4) Figuring out HSPU recently.

All in all definitely a Fri-YAY and a very good week.