Monday, June 3, 2013

The Road to Regionals

It's just past 3 am and I am sitting in a hotel lobby in Salt Lake City Utah.  Typically if I am sitting down to write at three o'clock in the morning it means that I have been over served at a local tavern and I am feeling loquacious.  Tonight is different, I can't sleep because every muscle in my body is cramping in an almost symphonic nature.  About ten hours ago I managed to place 14th in the CrossFit Games South West Regional, which is an improvement of 20 places over the previous year.  But that isn't where this story begins.  In all honesty the journey started the day after last year's 34th place finish.  It has been 360 days of focus and preparation to stand on the same stage as some of the best CrossFit athletes in the world.  360 days of sacrifice and sore muscle, 360 days of commitment to the craft.  Make no mistake, the individuals at this level are professional athletes and they are dedicated to CrossFit as a way of life not just a hobby.  They live it, breath it, bleed it every day.  I knew last year that if I stood any sort of a chance against such a competitor that I would have to step up to their level.  I will tell you this right now though, every delicious golden ale that was skipped, every night going to bed at nine o'clock, every missed day snowboarding with my friends was worth it because only by delaying gratification can we find true fulfillment. As my torn hands peck away at this key pad I feel completely fulfilled.

Since I have already spoiled the ending for you and you know how I placed please let me at least tell you a few details of the weekend.  We were tasked with a total of 7 workouts over 3 days.  This is what they looked like....

Workout 1-
1,000m row
50 thrusters (45lb)
30 pull ups

Rowing has never really been my thing so having this as the first movement of the weekend was a little unsettling.  What should we do when we suck at something?  Do it.... a lot!  I rowed between 3-6 kilometers a day from the time that this workout was announced.  I set my goal at sub 6 minutes, which would be a personal best for me on this workout.  I figured that if I rowed a controlled pace and stayed within myself I had a good shot at going unbroken in the thrusters and pull ups.  I set my dampner to 9 and rowed 22 strokes per minute at a pace of 1:46 per 500m.  I was the last person off of my rower in my heat.  The strategy payed off and I went through all 50 thrusters and all 30 pull ups without so much as a pause in a time of 5:34.  That time was good enough for a 14th place finish.

Workouts 2 and 3 were to be done with just 2 minutes rest between.

Workout 2-
7 minutes to build to heaviest 3 rep overhead squat.
There was two challenging components to this workout (besides the obvious having to overhead squat some heavy shit) first off all you had to start at a specific weight (135, 185, 225 or 255lbs) Second you had to take the barbell from the ground.  I can overhead squat more than I can clean so I was significantly limited.  I chose to play it like you would an Olympic lifting competition and start with a weight that I absolutely knew that I could hit.  I opened with 225lbs.  We were required to increase in 10lb increments.  I was able to hit 235 without a problem and 245 with a couple of grunts.  I feel like I could have hit 255 as I recently hit 295 in practice but I wanted to save something for the next workout which was just minutes away.  My 245 for 3 reps was good enough for an 18th place finish.

Workout 3-
30 burpee muscle ups for time
This workout was written for me.  I was stupid excited when I saw it announced.  The world record going into the event was set by Kenny Leverich at a time of 4:11.  I preformed it in practice in 3:56.  I was confident that despite the previous two workouts that I could repeat or even improve on that time.  I went for it from the gates in a way that would have likely made Steve Prefontaine smile.  It was going to be set a world record or blow up and finish last.  I did not pace properly and had to settle for a 12th place finish with a time of 6:29.

So by the end of day 1 I was sitting in 13th place overall.  I was just one place outside of being in the top heat for day 2.  This was both frustrating and motivating.  I wanted to be in with the top guys, I wanted to know exactly how I would stack up.

Workout 4-
100 wall ball
100 Chest to bar pull ups
100 pistols
100 dumbell snatches (70lbs)

Rocking the Ranger Panties again this year. 

Similar to "Jackie"  I set a very conservative pace in the first few minutes in hopes that I could accelerate toward the end.  Although I could have done at least 80 of the wall balls unbroken I went for a strategy of 25 reps every minute on the minute.  My plan was then to do 5 chest to bar pull ups every 15 seconds.  I knew the pistols and snatches would be just suck it up and go.  I got to the snatches with 6 minutes and felt like I had a very good chance at finishing in under the 25 minute time cap.  After the first rep when I noticed the handle of the dumbell covered in blood I knew this was going to be a tough 6 minutes.  I managed to get 379 total reps before the time expired.  It was the only workout of the weekend that I didn't finish in under the time cap.  It was still my best overall placement of the weekend.  I came in 9th overall.  The only 4 people that finished... Chan, Spealler, Forrest, and Hathcock.  Kind of a who's who in this region, hell in the world.  Finishing 9th checked a big box for me this year.  It was a side goal to have at least 1 top 10 finish.  I honestly didn't think this would be where it would happen but I'll defiantly take it!

Workout 5-
21-15-9 of...
Dead lifts (315lbs)
Box jumps (30")

After the first 4 workouts I was sitting in 9th place overall.  I am going to be honest, I didn't expect that.  I knew that if I applied the training that I had put in that I would do well but to be in the top ten after 4 workouts was an amazing feeling.  I was in the same heat as Games veterans Matt Chan, Chris Spealler, Zach Forrest, Peter Egyed and Pat Burke.  That is a stacked line up! I knew that workout 5 would be my Achilles heel.  So it figures that it is the one that I end up going head to head with some of the best CrossFit athletes in the world.  Here is the video if you wanna see what a bug feels like when he hits a wind shield.  No joke, I went to my happy place on this one.  I finished in under the 8 minute time cap with a time of 7:28.

Workout 6-
100 Double unders
50 handstand push ups
40 toe to bar
30 shoulder to overhead (160lb axle bar)
90 ft walking lunge with 160lb axle bar in front rack position.


My goal going into this one was just to finish.  I did the 100 double unders unbroken then did the first 10 handstand push ups strict.  I broke the remaining 40 up into sets of 5-8 reps.  I managed to pace ahead of that and get through the toe to bar in two sets of 20.  This was the only one of the 7 workouts that I had done multiple times in practice so I knew how much that axle bar was going to slow me down.  I manged sets of 3-5.  The walking lunge is nothing more than 90 feet of gut check.  I yelled at every one of my last 10 steps just to keep moving.  A finishing time of 13:19 not only put me ahead of the 15 minute cut off, it put me in 12th place.

Workout 7-
4 rounds for time of...
2 rope climb
100ft run
4 squat cleans (225lb)
100ft run

That picture is no exaggeration, it really did suck that bad.  I don't think this workout would have been as nasty at all if it wasn't for the 6 before it.  I had no glutes left and by back was as tight as a drum.  Every one of those 225lb cleans felt like 285.  Honestly, I was just happy to finish under the 10 minute time cap.  A time of 9:38 bought me my worst result of the weekend with a placement of 35th.

Vince Lombardi said, "I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious. " If that is true then this weekend was my finest hour thus far in my CrossFit journey.  Today I will return to my gym in Denver and I will be able to look each of the athletes that I coach in the eye and tell them that I gave every ounce of myself, that I left nothing in the tank.  And while in the grad scheme of things a 14th place finish may not sound too impressive, the amount that was necessary to give in order to achieve it was nothing sort of everything that I had in me.  In that effort, I am victorious.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

CrossFit Eminence

Man I love Facebook sometimes.  Lindsey Marcelli, owner and coach at CrossFit Eminence posted an open invite to any regional competitors that wanted to come play with their axle bars that they would be doing Regionals workout 6 at 7:30p.  Since it is really tough to visit other gyms a week before regionals because of the particular training specificity I was really excited to have the opportunity to drop in.  Unlike a lot of CrossFit gyms, Eminence is very visible from the road, which is nice because despite my time as an Army Ranger I have a tendency to get lost sometimes.
The inside of Eminence has a lot of character.  I'm not sure who the artist is but those walls are overflowing with color!

The workout 
100 double unders
50 handstand push ups
40 toe to bar
30 axle bar shoulder to overhead (160 lbs)
90 ft walking lunge with bar in front rack position

I spent about an hour doing heavy jerks before heading over to Eminence and I could defiantly feel that within the first 5 handstand push ups.  My time there was unacceptably slow.  The Eminence crew cheered me through about the worst set of 50 HSPU I've ever had.  Everything else felt okay.  The last 30ft of the walking lunge was a gut check for sure but Lindsey and Kris cheered me on like we were at the Games.  To be honest if it wasn't for those guys screaming at me I likely wouldn't have finished under the time cap of 15 minutes.  

It says a lot about a gym that is so willing to open their doors to other athletes in the community to come and use their equipment to help prepare them for an event.  Hell, Lindsey offered to let me borrow one of their axle bars until regionals!!  That is an incredibly uplifting attitude toward our community.  

The T-Shirt
American Apparel YO!  The color is boss, it's not quite an OD green and I am loving that the American flag is on the correct sleeve.  The right one if you were unfamiliar with your "honor side" it's the arm you salute with.  The flag should also always be headed toward battle never away from it, that is why it looks backward.  I think I got the last one though so you are all shit out of luck.  BOOM!  Lucky day!  

The Score
The space is very open and perfect for CrossFit.  The view out the bay doors is spectacular, the equipment is top notch and the coaches are awesome.  I am giving CrossFit Eminence a score of.....
The first frosty cold beer after the last workout at Regionals!!  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

CrossFit Venture

It has been a wild ride opening my new gym in the highlands.  Between that and school I haven't had a lot of extra time for training or sleeping or breathing for that matter.  Last week was spring break which meant that I got to grab a few hours for myself, how did I use those hours??  I visited other CrossFit gyms of course!  I wanted to get out of town for a day or two and since I have been too busy this season to put any new dents in my Burton I decided to head up to the mountains.  I have been meaning to visit Avon's only CF gym, CrossFit Venture, home of "The burpee Queen" Natalie McLain.
It is tough dropping into other gyms in the middle of the open since you have no clue what will be asked of you in the coming weeks.  The idea of dropping in to a gym that doesn't post their workouts ahead of time is even more dangerous.  I saw that Venture offered an Olympic lifting class and was excited about the idea of not being drug through the mud on a long hero workout the day before the announcement of Open workout 13.4.  
When I walked in I saw Sam on the floor stretching out by himself.  I immediately felt like a shmuck.  I had registered for the class online and even sent an email saying that I was coming but the thought of making the guy go through a class without any of the gyms actual members was not cool.  He told me that one more person was signed up which made me feel better.

Sam explained that we would be working on snatch so he had us grab a PVC pipe and took us through the Burgener warm-up.  With an empty bar he recorded us using an iPad, showing exactly where we were coming up short.  He had us set up a couple of boxes and did a very useful drill with us to help us get under the bar faster.  Now this is usually where I break down the class and talk about results but I am going to stray from my typical format on this one.  Bare with me for a moment but I need to say this, Sam Matthews is a fucking amazing coach!  I'm not sure if I have ever taken more away from any hour at any CrossFit gym as I did with my time with that guy.  The guy has a great eye for human movement and delivers cues in a very easy to understand way.  His excitement and passion for what he does is evident.
Very very infrequently will I stray from the programming that I have written for my gym, however, I felt like the information that I received from my time at CF Venture was so valuable I didn't want to wait to implement it.  When I got back to Denver the next day's training was simply "Snatch"  Every one of the classes at my gym spent a complete hour working on the skills that I took from Sam.  We had several athletes break long standing personal records as a result.  What I took away from my time at Venture was valuable both as an athlete and a coach.
This class really shouldn't be missed.  Even if your goal isn't to compete at Olympic lifting or at CrossFit taking this class will absolutely help you understand the movements better.  Bottom line, if you live anywhere near Avon, hell if you live in Denver, and you miss a chance to train with Sam at Venture you are wrong.

They don't stock them!  Venture uses a site called "WODCRUSHER" to distribute their shwag.  I guess they are too busy being awesome coaches to worry about weather they should go with American Apparel or Next Level.  The shirts that they have on that site are super sick.  I went with the "coffee" color.  So you can click the link above and buy any other color than that!

The Score....
A super easy to find location, awesome coaching and the ability to order a shirt online grabs CrossFit Venture a score of...... Top three finish at Regionals!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

CrossFit Low Oxygen- Frisco

First Impression:
CrossFit Low Oxygen was pretty easy to find.  They are just a little bit off of the main road taking you to Brekenridge in Frisco.  The front of the building has two really cool glass roll up doors that I would have taken a picture of had I not been in a hurry to get to happy hour immediately following the workout.  
"Cool gym, but the view is terrible."  I utter to the very muscly tattooed guy that I can only assume was the owner.  The only view that I have ever seen that can top Low Oxygen's is MBS in Broomfield. If you have been there you know exactly what I am talking about.  Low Oxygen has a free drop in policy for visiting CrossFitters they simply ask that you reserve your class online before hand.  I have been to a lot of gyms and I don't think that I have ever seen this before.  The free part that is.  While most gyms will encourage you to buy a shirt I have think of another gym that advertises a free drop in to out of towners.  It was pretty clear within 30 seconds of the start of class that they are very accustomed to people dropping in.  Low Oxygen is located just minutes from half a dozen of the countries best ski resorts.  

The Warm up:
2 minutes of partner quad smash. (this was a basic myofacial release.  Essentially we had a partner mash their foot into our quad.)
Row 500m.
10 kip swings
10 KB bottoms up press
15 Hand release push ups

The Workout:

21-15-9 of....
Right arm KB clean and jerk, Left arm KB clean and jerk, Pull ups.

 There was no "RX" weight.  I chose a 54lb kettlebell and it seemed appropriate. I haven't done a KB C&J in a while so I wasn't sure how this one was going to go to be honest.  By the third or fourth rep I set my goal on doing every set unbroken including the pull ups.  This proved challenging yet manageable.  I finished in a time of 7:12 and met my goal of all unbroken sets.  To my surprise they didn't record anyone's times on the board.  We were in the 5pm class and it looked as though there wasn't a score recorded for any of the classes so far.  This was a first for me.  I have never been to a gym that doesn't record their athletes times.  Many gyms are using software like CF Whiteboard to do online athlete score tracking but it didn't seem like that was the case either.   

The Shwag:
CrossFit LowOxygen has no shortage of awesome shwag choices.  They had a couple of different types of hoodies, fight shorts, hats, water bottles, and a slew of different shirts.  Choosing which one to buy was just about as difficult as the workout!   I went with a super sweet burnt red shirt.  

The Score:

For allowing us to drop in for free, play in their space and take home a couple of awesome new shirts, I give CF Low Oxygen a score of.....  Thirty second free standing handstand hold.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Conviction CrossFit's Abdominal Snowman Competition

I signed up for this competition online several weeks before and hadn't been thinking too much about it because of the upcoming CrossFit Games Open that is set to start in March.  Some people were curious as to why I would be doing a local comp so close to the world wide open.  I have always been someone who gains a great deal from competing.  I was looking at this like one final chance to knock off some cobwebs from being out of the game for several months.  My last four competitions I had some form of injury or illness so I was very excited to be going into this one healthy.

Cuspis Crew

The workouts
CF Conviction had the workouts posted on video two days prior to the event.  To be honest, when I first saw the workouts I was a little deflated.  There was nothing for guys to lift over 95lbs and it appeared as if all of the time domains were the exact same.  Furthermore, there was two original movements that most of the competitors had never seen before (Weight plate get ups and reverse wall ball).  Now this is just my very humble opinion but I believe that the main point of a CrossFit competition is to find out who the fittest athletes are on that day.  By throwing movements that only possibly athletes that go to the host gym have been exposed to and then programming the same time domain 3 times may not be the best way to do that.  Again, just my opinion.  That said, I think that each one of the workouts on their own were great.  

3 Rounds for total reps of...
1 min hang power snatch (65/95)
1 min push ups
1 min back squat (65/95)
1 min rest

I believe I completed 232 total reps.  As I watched the heats after mine I noticed that several athletes were not being held to the same standard on their push ups.  This happens, some judges will be more lenient than others.  As a spectator I have NO BUSINESS calling out a judge.  It is their call 100%.  If a judge calls something a rep in a competition then that is what it is.  Don't be that guy that stands on the sidelines and argues with a judge, it's quite tasteless.  

WOD 2 
AMRAP in 8 minutes of...
6 burpee box jumps
9 med ball sit ups
12 reverse wall balls

I got to the wall balls on my 8th round.  I had the fortune (or misfortune depending on how you want to look at it) of being lined up next to a fire breather.  We essentially went rep for rep for the first 7 minutes.  I think that a couple of no reps on his part allowed me to pull ahead slightly.  When I first saw the "reverse wall ball" movement I thought it was stupid.  However, after doing them in competition I kind of became a fan of them. That's right, soak it up everyone, Leo is admitting that he talked shit a little too soon!  The movement is great for accuracy and hip extension.  I won't be programming it in a workout anytime soon but it may find its way into a warm up in the future.  

200m. run buy in 

4 rounds of...
12 sandbag clean to back squat
9 toe to bar

30 double under cash out

(10 minute time cut off)

I liked this one the most.  The weight and rep scheme was light/low enough to go unbroken throughout which meant that heart rate would stay up.  

Floater WOD
2 minutes, As many Reps as possible of..
weight plate get ups (25/45)

Here was another place where I saw some athletes being judged/scored differently.  Some athletes were "no repped" for not having their arms fully locked out at the top of the movement when the video standard and pre-event demonstration stated that they didn't have to be.  

The event as a whole ran very smooth.  I believe that all of the heats started on time with maybe with the exception of a couple minute delay at the very end of the day.  Heat times were conviently posted in two locations so athletes knew exactly when to start warming up.  There was a decent sized area designated for athletes to warm up.  They had coffee and I never once had to wait for the bathroom.  The prizes for top finishers were more than generous.  Reebok donated a pair of Nanos for the first place finishers and sports authority hooked up a killer gift card!  It was cool to see a local company like SPN (Simply Pure Nutrients) with a table at the event.  Had I known that the Paleo Wagon was going to be at the event I would defiantly have ordered from them instead of packing a lunch. 
All in all this was a well put together, fun competition.  It was my first time visiting Conviction and I would certainly return for a competition in the future.  The people that were hosting were all super friendly and ultra helpful.  It was clear that they cared about the athletes and the community. 

The Score....
I am rating the CrossFit Conviction Abdominal Snowman Competition a score of....

An extra large frosty glass of chocolate milk! 

Friday, February 22, 2013

The New Guard, CrossFit Sanitas

No matter the size, location, time in business or name of a CrossFit gym I never get tired of stepping through the front door.  It is like unwrapping a present.  Most of the gyms that I have visited have been either modest or came from very modest beginnings and grown over time to their present size.  There seems to be an emergence of CrossFit gyms that have significant financial backing.  The result of this is a much more polished initial product.  What does that mean for the CrossFit community?  Do these models threaten the smaller garage style start up gyms that have been the staple of CrossFit facilities for the past decade?
I had the opportunity to visit one of these "globo boxes"  this week to see for myself.

On Wednesday I dropped in on the 9am class at CrossFit Sanitas to join them for a workout.  They had only been open for a couple of weeks but you absolutely wouldn't know it when you stepped in the front door.  The space is vast and feels incredibly open.  A gentlemen noticed immediately by my wide eyes that it was my first time in.  He was exceptionally polite and welcoming.  The front desk was similar to what you would see at a larger health club. He had me fill out a liability waiver and inquired about my CrossFit experience.

I am directed to the locker room and on my way back Caleb introduces himself to me.  His energy and enthusiasm is palpable.  The website was down so I had no idea what the workout was going to be, which made me nervous considering I had a competition in a couple of days.  I was relieved when Caleb told me that we would be doing sled pulls, push jerks and double unders.

The locker room was well kept and once again similar to what you would expect to see in a corporate type facility.  I can't speak for the women's facilities but the men's locker room had three showers as well as an abundance of storage for your gear.

There was a "Base Camp" class starting at the same time as ours.  Base Camp is CF Sanitas' version of an elements or on ramp class.  At a couple of minutes before 9am Caleb took control of our group and had the others go with their respective instructor.  We had about 10 people in our group and it looked like Base Camp had close to 15.  Caleb's military service was made apparent in the way that he controlled the group and described the movements; using terms like "cease fire" instead of stop.  Before the workout we performed the CF Standard warm up which includes squats, pull ups, dips, sit ups, and hip extensions.

Partner based.  5 Rounds for repetitions.

Person "A" pulls a weighted sled 20 feet while Person "B" does 10 push jerks (135/95).  If person "B" finishes the jerks before "A" finishes the sled pulls then they will use the remaining time to do double unders.  The workout was scored individually.  The objective is to allow your partner the least amount of time to accumulate repetitions.  There was no other time component.

This was a gasser, no doubt.  Like most people I have a tendency to use one movement, or the transition between movements as a rest period.  Any slowing would result in a higher score for someone else.  As the semi competitive person that I am, I worked a little extra hard to make sure that didn't happen!  I think my partner had a little of that competitive GFY because by the last two rounds of the workout I wasn't even getting through the 10 reps.  He was pulling that sled FAST!  While it would be difficult to score a workout like this at a competition, you have to love any training that brings out that level of increased competitive drive in someone.  (See Why we Compete

The post WOD skill development was cool.  Caleb had us practicing a handstand transition from bakasana (crow pose) on the astro turf.  Yeah, I said astro turf.  CF Sanitas has it's own astro turf!  Following our handstand skill development we worked on shoulder mobility.  All in all it felt like we got a lot done in an hour.

The equipment 
This is going to be short, Sanitas is not short on anything.  I have never seen a gym so well equipped in it's first month.  Judging from the box after box after box that was being brought in from FedEx during our workout I am guessing that they still only have a fraction of their toys on the gym floor.

So are the rest of us small box owners in trouble?  Are gyms like Sanitas going to steam roll us by having deeper pockets?  I don't think so.  There may be a paradigm shift at work, however.  Gyms like Sanitas provide a certain level of transitional comfort.  For most people who have been working out in a traditional "globo gym" for years are typically pretty surprised and put off by the idea of spending 2-3 times as much to train in what looks like a garage or warehouse.  By creating an environment that is similar to the gyms that these people are accustomed to it increases the likelihood that they will give it a shot, further expanding our community.  The service that they provide is really quite similar to that of any other gym that has highly experienced and trained coaches, the difference is there presentation.  I understand better than most how tight a budget can be for a new gym and how difficult it can be to provide all the little extra amenities that you want to.  That said, I believe that small gym owners would do well to look at what gyms like Sanitas are doing.  I have always despised statements like, "It's a CrossFit gym, people don't mind if the walls are beat up and the floors look like shit."  As our community grows, so should the expectations and quality of our facilities. There will always be a place for the garage gym, there will always be people that want that grit. Hell, I am one of them.  My favorite gym of all time remains my CrossFit OG training partner Jess Fisher's barn gym. Sanitas, however, is setting the bar very high and appears to be leading the way for "The New Guard"

The Score
For it's progressive approach in staffing, business operations, marketing and athlete development, I am going to give CrossFit Sanitas a score of......

20 pound Snatch PR. 

Ohhh..... the shirt!   I got set up with an American Apparel long sleeve thermal, which was perfect for enjoying a post WOD coffee on a chilly Boulder morning!   well worth the $25!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

CrossTown ThrowDown

Normally I would attempt to bait you with some interesting line about competitive drive or a thought provoking nugget regarding tiny shorts and baby oil.  Well guess what, I'm not going to do that.  I'm not going to promise pictures of highly fit, half naked people in this post (Don't worry, I wouldn't dare leave them out)  Nope, all I am going to say is, Competing at CrossFit is fucking RAD!  Gather around the camp fire kiddos and let uncle Leroy tell you about the time that he threw down at the CrossTown ThrowDown.

No shit there I was....
It is 24 hours before the start of my first individual competition since last July and wouldn't you know it, I have a bout of something that makes food not stay in your body so well.  I am convinced that it was some form of food poisoning (my clever friend informs me that it was a virus but he went to a half rate medical school so I don't pay him too much mind)  Regardless, I loose about 12 pounds in a 36 hour period, I can't keep anything down, I can barely stand up and it feels like I've been hit by a Mack truck.  So it is only logical that I would do a competition that entails multiple high intensity workouts in a single day.  

The CrossTown Throwdown was being hosted by CF Stapleton.  Any one who knows me knows that I often speak highly of this place.  I have done workouts here before and I am always impressed by the coaches knowledge and professionalism.  That said, I had high expectations going into this event. I hate to spoil the end of this little review for you but those expectations were exceeded.  Let's hop right to the meat of this samich...

WOD 1- Run 1 mile.

WOD 2- (Begining within 4 minutes of finishing WOD 1)  Clean and Jerk ladder starting at 135#

WOD 3- 4 rounds of- 250m row, 7 thrusters (95#) max rep double unders (in two minutes total) rest 1 minute

WOD 4- 30 snatches (115) 5 rope climbs, 50 wall ball, 30 toe to bar, 25 burpees

FLOATER- Max rep unbroken pull ups

Typically I would discuss my results and where I could improve but I am going to forgo all that and say that I performed as well as could hope for having food poisoning.   In fact, less than a minute before the one mile run I was still actively vomiting.  (Sorry guy in heat 3 whose shoes I Spackled)
It's no secret, I am a programming geek.  So much of how I rate a competition is based off of how it is programmed.  Here is why this competition did better than regionals to determine who was actually the fittest athlete there.

How do we determine the fittest athlete?  A broad range of tests.  The ThrowDown had a heavy pulling and pushing component, a max repetition effort component, a mono-structural component, and interval based metabolic component and an chipper that stressed oxidative phosphoralation. Athletes with proficiency in high skill level movements like double unders, rope climbs and snatches were clearly rewarded but were punished for not having high end strength or capacity.    So many competitions (Regionals included) test the same thing over and over again.  I understand the logistical restrictions that are placed on competitions but with just a little thought those things can be overcome.

Programming isn't the only thing that makes a competition.  Having a (close to) up to the minute online athlete score sheet was an very cool touch.  I have competed at other events where this has been used and it is very cool to be able to email a link to your grandma so she can see how fucking bad ass you are!

The throwdown had coffee and water bottles for athletes as well as one of my favorite eateries, The Paleo Wagon, dishing up lots of amazing food that my stomach wouldn't have been able to tolerate given my condition.  The shirts...... you knew it was coming!  The shirts were very cool.  I honestly wasn't expecting to get one since the entry for the event was so low.  The flag on the sleeve was a super cool touch.  Honestly, as someone who has put these events on I don't think that they made a dime off of there hard work.  There was simply too much offered for such a low price.

The only suggestion that I would give for next year is to possibly have a designated athlete warm up area for competitors.

Somehow, despite being sick, I managed to make it to the podium.  The prizes were rad, I came in second and got a brand new 30lb slam ball and Rage Fitness speed rope which have both already seen use in my new gym.

Based off of having videos posted of all workouts before hand, excellent programming, great prizes, and how smoothly the entire day went, I am giving the CrossFit Stapleton's CrossTown ThrowDown a score of All you can eat steak and potato dinner!