I almost named this post with a curse word, but I played nice. This week my box decided to lay down the gauntlet: make 4 of the 5 workouts “Girl” workouts. New to crossfit? Well, strap yourself in because these girls pull no punches and take no prisoners! Technically, these workouts are called “Benchmark WODs” as they serve to measure and measure ones performance. They measure it because they will randomly show up as your Workout of the Day and each time one normally has a better time, increases in weight or both. Thus, creating a new benchmark for the athlete. Or in my case, I created my benchmark for three Girls this week.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had already done her (ha ha, this will always sound dirty!)–at an exceptionally heavy weight for me (85lbs). Grace is 30 push presses for time. The first time it took me 11:38 to do. This week, on Monday, I did less weight (68lbs) and cut over 4 minutes off my time, getting it done in 7:10. This WOD is challenging for me because the barbell has to go back to the ground every time and then get shoved over my head. It’s hard. It works so many muscles in my body. It tires me out quickly. I once read a quote: “How do you build muscle? Lift weights. How do you get cardio? Lift weights faster!” To that, I say Amen! And then I think of the push press (or thrusters). Both get my heart rate jacked in seconds. So overall? I think I could have done Grace 5 pounds heavier. Doing it in just over 7 minutes? Not too shabby!!
Fran is one of the most talked about Benchmark WOD’s out there. Some love her, some hate her. I am unsure how I feel about her. My best performance this week was this workout, which is surprising because I am not a fan of thrusters. Fran seems simple enough: thrusters and pull-ups doing 21, 15 & 9 for time. Well don’t underestimate her, both movements are hard on your shoulders and forearms, so they tire easily, making round 2 hard. Going into this I had a plan–Fran is meant to be a sprint, so I went light on my weight, doing 35 pounds. I then planned out my rests as best as possible: halfway through the first round at ten reps for each movement. Then I planned to do five reps the second round and then see if I could kick out all nine the last round. Best laid plans, eh? I was able to stick to the plan with the thrusters but the pull-ups kind of sucked and I took more rests than I should have during those. Then the last round hit and all bets were off. Surprisingly I finished in 7:10, just like Grace! Which was weird. Having a plan was a big help and viewing the workout as a sprint helping with me figuring out my weight. Some of the girls I workout with were going to do heavier and did my weight and were glad at the end.
By-far the one that sucked the most. Karen is one movement, wall balls, 150 times. Doing it prescribed is at 14lbs for women. Well I am not at that level when it comes to do 150 at once. Wall balls work more than your legs, it also works your shoulders and arms, so those will also tire out, especially if you are doing a weight that challenges you. Instead I did 6lbs (I was going to do 4lbs but Lindsay asked me to try a little bit more). And I had a plan, a plan that died like an animal being hit by a car. After about 40 wall balls all bets were off and I was doing 5 at a time. When I reached 100 I wished I was 20 further in. At the end, I had my girl Jill cheering in my ear, giving me tips and getting me through. I don’t think I would have finished in my time (13:54) if it hadn’t been for her. At the end, I sat on the ground and literally curled into the fetal position!! My lower back was on fire. At that point I didn’t realize how tight my thighs were. My shoulders? Didn’t care. The weight might have been too light, but doing deep squats 150 times was the thing that did me in.
Overall, I loved this week for the simple fact that the people at my box started to figure out that this was happening and clues were leaked out as to which Girl was being done that day. I loved the buzz! I also liked the fact that I could talk to my co-worker David and come up with a plan for it, so I would do well, not burn out fast and approach it with the right mindset. It’s easy to look at Fran and say “I can do heavier thrusters” but can you really if you are approaching the WOD as a sprint, the way it is meant to be?? The answer might be yes, but in my case the answer was no. I am glad I know where I am with these WOD’s. It gives me something to strive for. I hope in another 2 weeks my box will do another week like this, so I can figure out more weights and times.
But it needs to be in a few weeks. My thighs, lower back and shoulders are all pretty tight. And I might be humping the foam roller in the “comfort” of my home.