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Ocean State Masters CrossFit Throw Down.

June 7, 2013

Tomorrow I will head back to my home state to compete in my first ever CrossFit Masters competition.  It is a bit of a journey back in time for me.  As a young athlete I would travel around “Rhody” on school buses to compete in places such as Chariho, Woonsocket, Pawtucket, Warwick, etc.  Tomorrow the stadium is Ocean State CrossFit in Cranston, RI  where CrossFitters my age will be judged and scored on five workouts and a champion will be crowned. I’m excited and anxious.  With me will be five very fit members from my Gym CrossFit New England (CFNE).

This will be my first competition outside of the walls of CFNE and a push out of my comfort zone.  I have been coached at CFNE by some of the best elite athletes in the world and I have watched them at regional and global competitions. They have me prepared and with my 10 year old daughter Mary joining for the road trip to cheer me on, I’m ready! I have been on a strict performance diet for 5 weeks and added extra daily mobility training from programming designed by Heather Bergeron.  Here now I share the workouts, my current best score on each, my coaching, my plan and my goals.

 Workout of the Day (WOD) #1

On the countdown of 3,2,1 go the clock will start and run for seven minutes.  Here is what will happen next.

First – a “buy in” 750 meter row.  Coach Kevin Montoya and I worked on the strategy here.  The workout will not be won on the row but it can be very easily lost. The adrenaline will be pumping and I will need to be smooth, strong and slow…..yes slow! I want my 2,000 meter pace which for me is about 2:10 on 500 meters.  This means I should be getting off the rower around 3:15.  The last 50 meters Kevin tells me to coast it on in.  Why?, Because once I get off the rower the scoring starts.  I don’t want to be gassed out at that point.

Second, AMRAP (As many reps as possible).  I will have roughly 3 minutes and 45 seconds at that point to score as many rep’s as possible of the following:

  • (10) Burpees with jump over rower
  • (10) 95 pound barbell power cleans
  • (10) 95 pound barbell front squats

Once I cycle through these 30 I start back again to the Burpees.  In my training run my score was 52 reps.

My goal tomorrow is 61 reps. It is all out until the 7 minute mark.

 Workout of the Day (WOD) #2

WOD #2 starts EXACTLY 1 minute after WOD #1 This is a volume weightlifting workout which is a real goat for me.

At 3,2,1 go I approach a bar bell with the weight of my choice. I have two minutes to lift as much weight over my head in the format of power clean into a thruster.  I have decided to add 5 pounds to the bar from WOD 1 to make each lift 100#’s.

I can hear my coach MDV and Harry often screaming “HIPS” when I do thrusters and that will be a key thought on each lift. In my practice rounds I have hit 13 lifts or 1,300 pounds.

My goal tomorrow is ¾ Ton or 15 lifts in 2 minutes. I need to hit at least 8 in the first minute with 9 as my target and just push all I can to get to fifteen.

Oh yeah…what’s a goat? A goat is a CrossFit term for an area or movement that you need to work on and improve.  Moving weights for volume is an area that I will always need to work to improve my scores.

 Floater WOD

At some point in the competition my name will be called and I will need to perform the Floater WOD on demand.  This is a sprint.

On 3,2,1, go I will need to move 5 weights 50 feet. Once completed I need to move them back. I will be scored on time or how long it takes me to move back and forth.

  • Farmers Carry – two weights will be 70 pound kettle bells.  I will grab them in a farmers carry and rush them 50 feet.
  • Next I need to get (3) 45 pound bumpers (weights that go on barbells) over the same 50 feet to the kettle bells.

Once that is complete I move them all back!

My first coach, the amazing Mel Ockerby, would often refrain that we need to use correct posture and secure your mid section and this workout will be all about locking in on the farmers carry and using my legs with a tight core with a set back to move the weights.

My planning round time is 1:12.

My goal is to break a minute and my strategy is to combine adrenaline with technique and just go all out.

Workout of the Day (WOD) #4

This is another combination where WOD #4 is an up ladder for 7 minutes and WOD #5 starts EXACTLY one minute later and lasts 2 minutes.

On 3,2,1 go I will sprint 300 meters and return to a barbell loaded at 75 pounds where I will perform:

  • 5 Snatch Grip dead lifts and 5 hang power snatches,
  • into another 300 meter run and back for
  • 10 Snatch Grip dead lifts and 10 hang power snatches
  • into another 300 meter run and back for
  • 15 Snatch Grip dead lifts and 15 hang power snatches

…………and so on until the seven minute mark.  Score will be measured on how far I can climb up this ladder.  I have made it to into the round of 15’s with 2 dead lifts.  My goal is to complete 15 dead lifts.  At CFNE coach Ben Bergeron starts almost every class with the Burgenor Warm Up.  This is a progression of moves that trains your body and mind to perform flawless Olympic lifts.  When I get deep into a rounds of lifts on up ladder workouts like this one, I MUST start with and maintain good technique. Even though I have tracked an amazing increase in my personal strength over the past two years, the fact remains moving a high volume of weight’s for time is a goat of mine.  I need to keep my technique as tight on the last several lifts as the first couple.

Workout of the Day (WOD) #5

After a minute break, I jump into another up ladder with a 75# barbell. The movements are shoulder to overhead and sumo dead lift high pull.

On 3,2,1, go I will raise and push the barbell from my shoulder to over my head with a controlled lock out, set it to the ground, re-grip and perform a sumo deadlift high pull.  And then I progress up ladder:

  • 2 Shoulder to Overheads and 2 Sumo dead lift high pull,
  • 3 Shoulder to Overheads and 3 Sumo dead lift high pull,
  • 4 Shoulder to Overheads and 5 Sumo dead lift high pull,
  • 5 Shoulder to Overheads and 5 Sumo dead lift high pull,
  • 6 Shoulder to Overheads and 6 Sumo dead lift high pull…..

….and so on.

I completed 5 Sumo dead lift high pulls on my training round and my goal in the Ocean State is to get though all 6 shoulder to overheads.

One of my greatest technical weaknesses is my dip drive. I tend to lean forward (which makes 75#’s more like 95#’s) and as a result I tend to push off of my toes and not my heels.  I have spent a great deal of attention/practice on my dip drive movement to fix this flaw.  I have asked and received great personal training from Ben, Heather, MDV, and Doole.

Doole taught me last week to start the dip with the hips and feel them open before the knees bend. I have a tried this technique and it really works for me.

On Goat workout days Heather has pushed me on heavy weights to maintain form on posture in the dip and that has trained me to better set up for the hip drive.

MDV’s tip is to bow the knees out not forward and Ben has drilled me with my back flat against the wall as I dip and I drive.  As I get into round 6 I will hear these CFNE coaches in my mind for what will be the last several seconds of my first ever Masters throw down.  The finish line will be near and instead of thoughts of no, this is hard and I can’t – I will force the voices of these coaches often reminding me that I am strong, I have good technique and I will finish fast. And this is my path to reach my goal of 6 overheads.

Tomorrow will be an amazing day in the Ocean State as after all this I head back to Newport with Mary to BBQ and hang with my brothers.


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