I had been waiting rather impatiently for a workout with pull-ups in the CrossFit Open. Specifically, I was waiting for a WOD with a muscle-up movement for RX athletes and a regular pull-up for scaled athletes. The CrossFit Open 19.4 workout did not disappoint. It was:
For total time:
3 rounds of:
12 bar-facing burpees
Then, rest 3 minutes before continuing with:
3 rounds of:
10 chin-over-bar pull-ups
12 bar-facing burpees
Women snatch 45 lb., may step over bar on the burpees
Time cap: 12 minutes
Again, this was the scaled version. I knew, going in, that the snatches would be hard. My one-rep max snatch is 60 lbs.; 45 lbs. is 75 percent of that. But my strengths are body weight movements. In this case, I had an advantage in that I’m good at burpees since I don’t have that far to fall; I’m fast at jumping over the bar during bar-facing burpees since that’s what I practice during every WOD; and I have pull-ups. They’re not always pretty, but I have them.
I devised a strategy for the CrossFit Open 19.4 WOD, since I know that I have pull-ups and wanted to get a good scaled score for my team. My plan was not to completely race out of the gate during the first three rounds of snatches and burpees; I’d hurt myself if I didn’t break up the snatches a few times per set. Then, after the rest, I’d break up the pull-ups in sets of 4, 3, 2 – but no singling.
Also, going in, I’ve adopted the “I’m going to beat Leslie” mentality. As in, I’m going to get more reps scaled than she gets RX. To me, that makes perfect sense. Leslie has bar muscle-ups, and 65 lbs. is likely way less than 75 percent of her one-rep max for snatches.
CrossFit Open 19.4: Go Time
I started out steady as I had planned for the workout, although I did get overly enthusiastic about the snatches and do the first set unbroken. Oops. I also stayed steady on the burpees; it wasn’t so much getting through them super-fast but making sure I’d have enough gas in the tank after the rest. At one point, Leslie (who knows my plan to beat her in rep count) came over to egg me on and tell me I’d have to move faster if I wanted to beat her. In the second and third sets, I had to break up the snatches into sets. That was fine. I finished with a tiebreaker time of 5:52. That would leave me with a few minutes to crank out some pull-ups and more burpees.
Did I mention I had a love-hate relationship with the rest in the CrossFit Open 19.4 workout? I mean, it was nice to sit down for a few minutes and sip some water – but it really ate into the time cap. Especially since I don’t think the intention of this workout was to go heavy with the snatches! It was supposed to be a sprint.
That’s okay, though. I got up at 8:52 and gave it everything I could. I did pull-ups in sets of 4, 3, and 2. And they were legit, chin-over-bar pull-ups, with a really nice kip to them. I impressed myself. When I got back to the burpees, I kept the same steady pace in that first round. The second round of pull-ups were still challenging; I’d come off the bar, take a couple steps away, come back, and repeat. And at some point someone asked me, “Don’t you want to get back to those burpees?” No, really, I’m good. But I did – before the time cap, I managed one full round of pull-ups and burpees, and then 10 pull-ups and 7 more bar-facing burpees.
My total score was 105 reps, scaled.
(Yes, I beat Leslie, although I think her tiebreaker time was something like 4 minutes.)
Once again, I’m really pleased with my CrossFit Open 19.4 score. It wasn’t an easy WOD (none of them are!). It’s not just that I was able to do 30 snatches at 45 lbs. It’s that the bar-facing burpees and jumping over the bar (which is faster) didn’t even faze me. It’s that I have pull-ups and have gotten much better control of my own body.
I felt like this was my kind of workout. Yes, a big weakness in there, but also strengths, and something that not everyone can do. Honestly, it’s sometimes a little demoralizing to think about the numbers I’m throwing over my head compared to some of the other girls, if I think of them in terms of numbers. If I look at it in terms of percentage of my body weight, it’s much more impressive. But there aren’t weight classes for CrossFit. I know I have to work twice as hard with the barbell. But it makes it mentally so much easier when there’s a movement I can do that not everyone can do.
Four down, one more to go.