Burpees are a grind for this old man. When I’m fresh, I may knock off about ten in a minute. But only for one minute. In a WOD, I struggle to get 5 or 6. So during the announcement, when I saw CrossFit Open Workout 18.2 had Bar Facing Burpees again, I cringed. When I got home from the gym, I downloaded the PDF of the workout from the Games website. When I viewed the Mens Masters 55+ workout I breathed a sigh of relief.
Open Workout 18.2 is:
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 reps for time of:
Men use 20-lb. dumbbells, burpee over empty barbell, stepping burpees allowed
Time cap: 12 minutes to complete 18.2 AND 18.2a
Pacing for 18.2
A few week ago I performed a WOD that was simply 7 minutes of Burpees. Over the course of a month, I increased from 48 to 53 reps. I knew I had to do 55 reps, in addition to 55 DB Front Squats in about 10 minutes, if I wanted to leave at least two minutes to perform the Power Clean for 18.2a.
Since my previous Burpee Benchmark was jumping to a target, I knew over the bar was different, but still tiring. The big advantage for me was the ability to step over the bar, combined with the fact that the bar could be empty. So while I still had to pick my 200 pound frame from the ground, I simply had to quickly step over the bar and drop to the ground. A much less strenuous movement than having to jump 8-10 inches over a loaded bar. Multiply that reduction in effort by 55 Burpees and that would make the difference between me completing Open 18.2 and moving on to Open 18.2a.
This was the second 2018 Open workout, and for the second time we had Dumbbells in the mix. I don’t mind, I like them (unless it’s front rack lunges). Dumbbell Squats at 20 pounds aren’t a show-stopper for me.
The ascending ladder was a distrcation for me at the beginning. I just wanted to knock out a bunch of Dumbbell Squats, but instead it’s 1 Squat, 1 Burpee, 2 Squats, 2 Burpees…
There seemed to be so much wasted time and movement between rounds on the lower rungs of the ladder. And there was, …by design. Then round 6 and 7 began to feel the grind. Then the realization that upon beginning Round 8, that I was at the halfway mark, by reps, kicked in. This was the first time I looked at the clock.
Round 8 began just over the 5 minute mark. More reps but fewer transitions meant it was possible to hit my 10 minute target for 18.2. I finished at 10:10, leaving just under 1:50 minutes to get a few Cleans on the barbell.
My max Clean and Jerk is about 120. So a fresh Power Clean might hit 120-125. But I knew I was not fresh, so I went conservatively on my lifts. 76*, 96, 106 and Time! In hindsight, I wish I had gone 96, 106, 116 but I wasn’t certain that I’d even get to the 18.2a portion of the WOD, and I wanted at least 1 “sure thing” since I knew I’d be tired, and experiencing a high heart rate and heavy breathing.
* I brought a set of fractional plates for every lift, figuring i might edge out every old guy who lifted 75, 95 or 105, by one pound. I thought it was clever, but it didn’t buy me squat.
Going into this workout I had as my primary goal: Get through the 18.2 portion with adequate time to get at least one lift in 18.2a. I was pleased, I was within 10 seconds of the target I had set for myself. Another area where I was pleased was that I didn’t stall and waste time. Throughout the entire workout, I only paused midway on the Dumbbell, at the top for two deep breathes to bring my heart rate down. I did that on Rounds 9 and 10. That is 10-15 seconds of time that likely cost me a few positions on the leaderboard (where we are battling it out for last place).
Since I was able to perform to plan on the Dumbbells and Burpees, I had adequate time to catch my breathe and get two lifts. Where I messed up on 18.2a was that I underestimated my ability to perform under stress, and I was overly cautious with my planned lifts. That cost me 10-20 pounds on the bar. More lost opportunity.
Redo ? Not on a bet. This year is all Scaled and One-and-Done. I’m doing this for fun and to be part of the huge community. As I get deeper into the 60+ Masters, all the young pups at 60 and 61 are pushing me down on the leaderboard, even though I actually perform better than previous years.
As I’m wrapping up my final edits I just watched the announcement for 18.3. Now that is going to be a long blogpost!
Have fun! Be Well! Be Defiant!