The CrossFit Open is currently underway. The Open is comprised of 5 workouts, published over 5 weeks, that anyone in the whole world can participate in. If you’re registered, you can log your official time through your affiliate, or submit video evidence if you don’t belong to an affiliate, and compare your performance to every other athlete in the world who also completed that workout. The workouts are published on the Friday (1am GMT, Thursday at 5pm PT) and you have to submit your score by Monday or Tuesday of the following week (depending on your time zone).

17.1 was my first ever CrossFit open workout because I have only belonged to a box since January 6th! It was comprised of:

  • 10 dumbbell snatches
  • 15 burpee box jump overs
  • 20  dumbbell snatches
  • 15 burpee box jump overs
  • 30  dumbbell snatches
  • 15 burpee box jump overs
  • 40  dumbbell snatches
  • 15 burpee box jump overs
  • 50 dumbbell snatches
  • 15 burpee box jump overs

Snatches to be performed with 50lb dumbbell for men, 35lbs for women.

Box height 24” for men, 20” for women.

Scaled athletes can use a 20lb dumbbell and step up onto the box instead of jumping.

There was a 20 minute time cap, meaning all that graft needed to get done within the allocated 2o minutes.

Before starting, I had a personal goal of wanting to finish, despite the fact that the judge at our box warned us that not many people would and we should manage our expectations. I did a scaled effort and managed to get 19 reps into that final set of 50 snatches before I got time capped. So of a possible 225 reps total I scored 179. I’m looking at that like 80% is a solid B in anyone’s book. Not a bad grade for someone who has only been going to crossfit a short while. My other goals were to make an attempt at something that seemed uncomfortable and to support my community at an event like this. Definitely ticked those boxes! The judge said, “you’re going to go to a dark place, especially around those forties”. I learned that this is a warning not to be taken lightly.

The videos I watched online about performance standards instructed coaches to tape the floor so that the athletes were able to orient themselves in the correct direction (facing the box) to perform their burpee. I thought, “how out of your nut do you have to be not to know which way to face?!” turns out that tape was pretty useful. You get pretty out of it during this workout!

As I reflect on my performance, I knew that setting off at a steady pace was better than going all out from the start. I also knew that the burpee box jump overs would be the thing that slowed me down, and I could use a steady snatch pace as a bit of a breather. I stayed moving pretty consistently until I hit that set of 30 and then had to start breaking them up into sets of 10. A friend from the box counted my reps, and thank goodness she did because I was beyond thinking at that point. If you want to help your friends who are in the pain cave during 17.1, do what she did, and give really clear instructions, because you’re essentially speaking to a borderline-deaf drunken moron at that point. “Do 3 more burpees and then take a breather” or “get your hand back on that dumbbell now!” are helpful cues.

Going forward, I think I need to work on my burpee form. I’ve seen some videos in the last 24 hours of people performing 17.1 and they’re bouncing like those BBJs are nothing. I want to move like that. Spry, like an animal. I need to be more explosive in the portion of the burpee that jumps up from the push up position, and I need to do something about my knees because they’re taking a bloody pasting, let me tell you! Think something might be off with my form, I’ll check into it and work on that for the months to come.

If you’re up for a hell of a workout, get yourself a box and a DB and give this absolutely repulsive little burner a go. Post your time to the comments below, and let’s talk about how glad we are that it’s over! 


Perfect is bunk and it’s destroying your progress

Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good!

How many times have you started a diet or training regime only to have it fall to pieces a few weeks in? How many times have you started over – knowing that this time, you probably won’t succeed in reaching your goals?

It is absolutely staggering that the majority of people are unhappy with the way they look – and look at others with an attitude of “if only I looked like that, then I could be happy” and then expect this negative outlook to give them the ability to love their bodies enough to nourish them properly and train hard. So many people feel this way. It is a serious, serious problem – and I’m saying that with 10 years experience as an academic psychologist. This attitude is toxic and it will seriously impede your progress towards your goals!

You don’t have to have 100% dietary compliance in order to reach your goals. But what you do have to do is consistently steer yourself towards those goals. Fallen off the wagon and over indulged? Doesn’t matter. Your goals haven’t changed. Get back on track. You can correct your progress literally with the next thing you put in your mouth. This is actually really liberating – you can adjust your sails and be back on track before you know it.

Do not wait for tomorrow. Do not wait for Monday. Do not wait for new year. Your goals are important – simply make your next choice one that gets you a step closer to where you want to be.

Ask yourself: do I still want this?

If the answer to that is yes, then keep working towards it. If you can’t stop thinking about your goal, don’t stop working for it. You are worthy of your own efforts! You know that in order to lose fat you need to be in a caloric deficit (that means that you have to eat fewer calories than your body needs to maintain fat). It’s no mystery. You don’t need a magic pill. What you do need is a reality check:

  • This will take longer than you want it to. Do it anyway.
  • This will not be a linear process – you may not lose weight every week, even when your dietary compliance is 100%. It simply doesn’t work like that.
  • When it doesn’t go your way, quitting will not speed it up. Chucking it all in the fuck it bucket will just set your progress back. Good enough is good enough. Just keep plugging away!

This is difficult because it’s not glamourous. There’s no potion, or wrap, or detox cleanse that will help you with this. Many of you reading this will be nodding, thinking “yes, I know it’s about CICO and there are no shortcuts”. However, you may underestimate the level of patience that success requires. You must keep trying even when your body doesn’t yet show changes. You must keep trying even when hot cross buns come into the supermarket – and you love you some hot cross buns. You must keep trying even when it’s cold, and wet, and you don’t want to train because you’re tired.

Dig deep. You will get there. It’s a process, and change takes time.