2014 CrossFit Games Open Recap, Grades, and Closing Thoughts

I’ve been CrossFitting for 6 years now, and this is the 5th time I’ve completing at least one workout and the 1st time I’ve completed all five workouts of any open. I didn’t complete all 5 workouts in the past due to injury, inability, and/or disinterest.

I’m pleased with my overall performance, and I’m truly glad that I did indeed complete all five workouts.

Workout 14.1 | Double unders and power snatches
In the not-so-distant past, I would’ve struggled mightily with both power snatches and double unders. That’s certainly not the case now. I do, however, need to work on stringing together more unbroken power snatches, as when I got tired I began to do singles. Oh, and 75# is half of my body weight.

Grade: B+

Workout 14.2 | OHS and chest to bar pull-ups
I was the most pleased with my performance on this workout, particularly with number of rounds/reps completed and that I was able to successfully OHS 95# so many damned times. Chest to bar pull-ups presented little challenge, and OHS presented less of a challenge than expected.

Grade: A-

Workout 14.3 | Dead-lift ladder and box jumps
I was less than happy with my performance on this, as I should’ve made it though all of the 275# dead-lifts and 15 box jumps. I did, however, complete all box jumps, i.e., I didn’t complete box steps as so many others did. Oh, and my form didn’t break for dead-lifts, so that’s an accomplishment. Oh, and 275# felt pretty f@cking heavy.

Grade: B-

Workout 14.4 | Row for calories, toes to bar, wall ball shots, and power cleans
I have very mixed feelings about this workout, as I was pleased with the row, exceedingly displeased with toes to bar, and exceedingly pleased that, for the very first time ever, I completed 135# power cleans in a workout. I was very upset that I didn’t make it to the muscle ups, as I am confident that I could’ve completed a rep of two. This was the only workout of the five that I seriously considered attempting a second time.

Grade: C+

Workout 14.5 | Thrusters and barbell facing burpees
One of my least favorite activities, thrusters, paired with one of my most favorite activities, burpees — yet I failed at three barbell jumps! WTF? I have never completed that many thrusters in one workout, and I never want to do so again. I was neither pleased nor displeased with my performance.

Grade: B-

Overall grade: B, i.e., above average

There was a lot of grumbling about the workouts, particularly in regard to the activities included, e.g., double unders and chest to bar pull-ups, the time domains, as well as, and with 14.4 specifically, the weight of the lifts. As a box owner and coach, I was upset, as I wanted CrossFit Surmount athletes to have a rewarding experience. Unfortunately, many athletes felt disappointed, even disillusioned. Workout 14.2 was, for most athletes, a 3- or 6-minute workout.

As an athlete, I kinda sorta liked the programming, as it was both challenging and doable. Could I have done better? Perhaps.

I am most proud of myself for not being a hypocrite. I’ve consistently impressed upon CrossFit Surmount athletes that the workouts should only be done once, and for a variety of reasons:

  1. If the workout(s) was a true competition, you’d only have one attempt.
  2. CrossFit, by definition, is constantly varied. Doing the same workout more than once within a year, let alone within four days, is anything but varied.
  3. Repeatedly doing the same movements leads to overuse injuries.
  4. I don’t know of anyone who would qualify for regionals based upon an improved score on any one workout.
  5. At the end of the day, it’s just a workout. My score, time, or ranking doesn’t change the person, coach, and/or athlete I am.

I’m sure that many members are happy that the focus will no longer be on the Games. I know that I’ll be happy to provide consistent programming.


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