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Posts Tagged ‘CrossFit Open’

Q&A with The Cave’s Masters Athletes!

Friday, April 18th, 2014
karen-and-martinThis coming weekend, The Cave has 5 athletes competing in the CrossFit Open Masters Competition.  Masters competitors who finished in the top 200 worldwide in their age divisions in the Open are invited to compete in the Masters Qualifier. The Masters Qualifier runs from April 17-21.  At 5 p.m. PT on April 17, four workouts will be released. Competitors will have four days to complete the workouts and submit scores. Our Cave CrossFit competitors are Karen LeFurgy, Rich LeFurgy, Martin Hoe, Mark Anderson, and Bill Berry.  These are amazing athletes that work hard and represent The Cave well.  This is a great opportunity for all of us and The Cave’s greater community to rally around them and cheer them on!  I asked them all a few questions so we could have the opportunity to get to know them better.
How many years have you been doing CrossFit?
I’m not really sure how many years I’ve been doing CrossFit because when I first started I was a reluctant junkie. While I came in and did morning workouts, I also was racing to the Bay Club to finish a kickboxing class or continued running three laps around the marsh mile following class. Only when I relinquished myself to Roger because I wasn’t getting better or stronger and was gaining weight did I truly start CrossFit. He challenged my stubborn side to truly follow the program and I have for at least three and half years.
Why did you start?
I didn’t want to start CrossFit. I wasn’t really looking for a program. I was very happy with the TV over the elliptical, my women’s classes at the Bay Club, running, hiking with the dogs and yoga etc.  But, Rich
The family that CrossFits together sweats together...

The family that CrossFits together sweats together...


had started and suffered an Achilles injury on his right foot. He couldn’t drive. After surgery, while he was recovering, he was dedicated to coming into the gym. I was his driver, I peered in and soon began foundations.

What motivates you to keep going?
Everything about the gym motivates me — the people, the workouts, the process. I would say the balance it provides my life.  But it’s kinda taking the lion’s share of focus right now, luckily my family gets it. Competing as a team hands down motivates me almost as much and trying to keep up with my husband! It is actually my favorite thing to do inside or out of the gym. Considering that, I’d have to say Ashley Martin and Mark motivate me.
What is your favorite CF move?
A clean is hands down my fave for many reasons. First, it’s fast and fun.  But years ago when I first started, heavy weight and poor form lead to an injury and I ripped a tendon in my wrist. I love the fact that we can all come back stronger and I think about that every time I perform a clean.
When was your first competition?
After the first time I competed, I woke up the next morning filled with so much gratitude ’cause you don’t get here on your own. Last year when Martin and I entered a partner competition, we had no idea what we were getting into and to top it off, it was at Diablo CrossFit so we knew their home court bad-asses would be there. We had no idea we would make it to the podium. There are just so many people helping you along the way. It’s never all about you.
Is there a workout/CF move you are hoping not to see next weekend?
I’m a complete dork with heights and skill work.  So I don’t want to see muscle ups, rope climbs etc.
How many years have you been doing CrossFit? Five years this month.
Why did you start? The efficiency and challenge of the workouts.  I heard about it from an ultra-marathoner who suggested it, looked up CrossFit in Marin and called to schedule some introduction classes.
What motivates you to keep going? I like the results, the challenge to keep getting better and the purity of the methodology and the movements.
What is your favorite CF move? cleans
Did you play any other sports? High School football and track
Favorite quote? “My girl is stronger than you.” (Best quote EVER!)
Is there a workout/CF move you are hoping not to see next weekend? Not going to go there.
Martin and Mark cycling box jumps

Martin and Mark cycling box jumps


Martin Hoe:
How many years have you been doing CrossFit? Why did you start? I started in my backyard in January 2008, after being inspired by a friend at a Christmas party who said to me, “You look a little chubby, you need to get some exercise”.
What is your favorite CF move? Leaving.
Did you play any other sports? I wanted to play team sports in school but no-one would pick me, so as an adult I have, at various times, been fanatical about mountain biking, snowboarding and surfing.
Favorite quote: “Two things are infinite: The universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” — Albert Einstein
Is there a workout/CF move you are hoping not to see next weekend?
Handstand walk
Mark Anderson:
How many years have you been doing CrossFit? Five years
Why did you start? I was looking for a more efficient and effective approach to training.  I discovered XFIT through a friend in Santa Cruz. I was addicted after my first session with Roger.
What motivates you to keep going? The never ending mental and physical challenges.
What is your favorite CF move? Muscle up
Do you play any other sports? I do play and coach ice hockey.
Favorite quote? Keeping it close to home:  ” Just be stronger and faster.”  — Coach Bo
Is there a workout/CF move you are hoping not to see next weekend? Heavy snatch
How many years have you been doing CrossFit?
I began CrossFit 71/2 years ago.
Why did you start?
Bill going for a max.

Bill going for a max.


I began CrossFit because I was beginning to feel old and I was either going to work at getting fit or fat.  I wanted to be able to play with my grandchildren as I grew older and did not want to be exhausted after only being with them a few minutes.  I also wanted to be able to go out with my children and be active with them and not be worn out after a short while.  Last September I saw all this fulfilled when we went to Outer Banks, North Carolina and I was able to play in the ocean with my children and grandchildren for as long as any of them wanted to be there.
What motivates you to keep going?
There are several reasons I keep going.  The results I have experienced are a key motivation.  My physical life has changed radically as a result of CrossFit.  I have also found a place to compete on a regular basis with myself and others along with preparing for the Games.  I had let this part of my life die as far as athletic endeavors.  The final reason is I love the people.  My greatest desire is for the people to know I love them as Christ has loved me.
What is your favorite CF move? My favorites are the Olympic lifts, clean and snatch.
Did you play any other sports? Throughout my growing up years I played baseball and basketball and this continued through high school.  I played some tennis in my 30’s.  Both snow skied and water skied for a good portion of my adult life as well.
Favorite quote? Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. The Apostle Paul (Philippians 2:3-8)
Is there a workout/CF move you are hoping not to see next weekend?
There are too many to name, but if I have to choose on it would be “toes to bar.”
I’ve had the delight of working out with these athletes, even being coached by one.  I hope you’ll all join me this weekend cheering them on!

Martin Sizes Up the 2014 Open!

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

After the extensive whining of 14.1 from the group below, Martin, our resident analyst and numbers guy began his normal research and spreadsheet making.  Thank you Martin for your diligence in looking up what we were too scared to know.  Weekly e-mails flew after 14.1…below is Martin’s summary.

14.2
After 14.1, we had three competitors (Mark, Rich and Bill) who placed well enough to be vying for a spot in the next round of competition (to qualify, athletes need to be in the top 48 in their region for individual competitors and top 200 in the world for the 40+ crowd). Now that 14.2 has finished, The Cave has seven competitors who are in the hunt for post-Open competition! I think that is an amazing number coming out of our little gym!
Amanda is in 44th place in NorCal, which is an extraordinarily competitive region, and she can only solidify her position as heavier workouts come up. Martin, Karen and Jimmy all did well enough in 14.2 to sneak them below 200th place and so they all have something to lose in 14.3 … no pressure! Last but not least, Mark, Rich and Bill improved their positions by putting in great performances for 14.2 and climbed closer to the top of the leader board.
For the most part, the competitors on this list are in the top 10% of their respective divisions, both in NorCal and worldwide. Our 40+ athletes are generally ranked in the top 20 in their respective divisions in NorCal. Let’s hope that the trend continues after 14.3 results are in!
14.3
So after 14.2, Karen was so determined to move up the rankings that she called Dave Castro at Crossfit HQ and said: “Make 14.3 work for me, otherwise I am going to be very angry”. Well, he listened and voila! Deadlifts and box jumps, nice. Karen crushed the WOD, turning in 155 for the 5th best score in the world. This was an amazing effort which moved her from 127th overall after 14.2 to 68th overall after 14.3. Of course, as is typical, she was still pouting that she didn’t complete the 5th round of deadlifts to make 160, but I have no sympathy.
For most of the rest of us, 14.3 did not help. Amanda, Martin and Mark fell outside the cutoff, although they are close enough that there is still a chance to make it back. Rich and Bill ended up marginally worse off, but cemented their place high up the leader board and are very likely to move on to the Masters Qualifier. Jimmy remains just inside the cutoff and is handling the pressure like a pro. Ehren, Shari and Ashley improved their positions, both in rank and percentile. Hopefull,y everyone is still having fun. 14.4 is coming! We are still to see muscle ups, wall balls, burpees, thrusters, toes-to-bar and clean and/or jerk … what will 14.4 bring?
14.4
As Bo predicted, they didn’t save muscle-ups for last! For the non-Masters divisions, the muscle-up requirement was a real separator. If you didn’t have at least a few, the result was that you would plummet down the leader board. The same was true for the Men’s 40-44 division — over 1,200 men got at least one muscle-up, so not having one was very detrimental. For the other Masters divisions, the important thing was to finish the cleans as fast as possible. A muscle-up after that would be nice, but not necessary. For instance, in the Women’s 45-49, only 46 women got at least one muscle-up, so not having one did not really hurt your score at all unless you were in the top 20. Fortunately for the Cave, the people that had to have a muscle-up had them, and the people that didn’t have to have a muscle-up moved fast, so it really turned out to be a win-win for almost everyone!

Notable performances:

*         Mark banged out 4 muscle-ups after completing the cleans in 11:23, good enough for #41 in the world! Overall he went from #202 after 14.3 to #145 after 14.4!

*         Karen raced through the WOD and finished the cleans in 11:05, good enough for #49 in the world! She improved her overall position from #68 to #59.

*         Amanda made 10 muscle-ups to finish #33 in Norcal, bringing her up the leader board from #50 to #47 overall, back into a guaranteed Regionals spot.

So, we are down to the last WOD.  What will 14.5 bring? Karen, Rich and Bill are almost a lock to make it to the Masters Qualifier. Amanda, Mark and Martin still have to put in really solid performances to progress to the next round of competition. We still haven’t seen burpees, thrusters or shoulder-to-overhead. Could it be bar-facing burpee Fran? Or 7 minutes of 3-6-9-12- bar-facing burpees and thrusters? Or some kind of long, medium-heavy triplet?


14.5

14.5 really, really hurt. But now the Open is over and we have one athlete going to Regionals (Amanda!) and five athletes moving on to the Masters Qualifier! Given that there are about 10,000 affiliates around the world, having that many athletes from a single affiliate moving on to the next round is amazing.

Highlights (Congratulations to you all!):

*         Amanda reached her goal of making it to Regionals and although it was widely anticipated to be a nail biter, she had plenty of buffer, finishing #38 in NorCal with 38 points between her and #48, so she has a guaranteed spot for Regionals. This is an outstanding performance as she finished in the top 1.1% of NorCal, out of a field of ~3,500.

*         Bill crushed it yet again and has a legitimate chance of going to the Games again! He finished #18 in the world, sneaking under #20 by laying it all out there in 14.5. His sweat angel is still on display somewhere. He finished top 3.5% in the world, and #5 in NorCal.

*         Karen beat her nemesis, Leka, out of Crossfit Oakland. For those who don’t know, Leka won the 2014 NorCal Masters in Karen’s age group and Karen’s excuse for not competing was “I’m not good enough”. Well, that excuse didn’t fly then and it doesn’t fly now. Karen finished #3 in NorCal (Leka finished at #5) and #53 in world, which puts her in the top 1.6%.

*         The other half of the LeFurgy power couple, Rich, finished #44 in the world and #4 in NorCal. Although outside the top 20, he still has a chance to make the Games. Top 3.9% in the world and #4 in NorCal is no mean feat either.

*         Mark and Martin both made comebacks after a poor showing in 14.3. Mark finished #125 in the world, which is top 5.4%. Martin had the worst rank in the qualifying group at #149 in the world (top 1.4%) and managed to squeak in at #10 in NorCal.

*         Despite not making it to the Qualifiers, Jimmy got close at #257 worldwide and #21 in NorCal. Ashley was in a similar position at #243 worldwide and #19 in NorCal. She kept on improving her rank every week … if only the Open had a sixth WOD!

*         Sera finished #204 in NorCal, which is an awesome effort in an extremely competitive region. Watch this young lady Amanda, she is coming for you!

There was a very obvious trend with the performances at The Cave: as a group we have a pretty good engine, but our strength (or lack thereof) is a weakness. We need to fix this!

Parting questions:

*         Does anyone have any thoughts on what the Qualifiers bring?

*         Are Amanda, Bo, Ehren, Ashley, Sera and Shari willing to be guinea pigs for the Qualifer WODs?

*         Do the athletes want to schedule heat times over the Qualifier weekend so that we can compete head-to-head (and cheer each other)?

The 2014 Crossfit Games Open Has Come to a Close!

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

Congrats Cave athletes!  We did it!  The 2014 Crossfit Games Open has come to a close.  We saw PRs, pouting, frustration, re-dos, comebacks, triumphs, and now it’s over.

Before I go any further — Make sure to come join us on Friday at 4 PM at the Silver Peso for a celebration!  (Childcare is being offered at The Cave, so no excuses.)
First, I want to begin by thanking Coach Bo for his programming and direction.  I think we have all seen huge improvements from last year, with all of us being stronger, faster, and fitter.  Last year, I finished The Open in 72nd place, this year in 38th.  Your Bogramming is working, so thank you!
Second, congratulations to the 5 Masters athletes moving on to the Regionals Qualifier!  This is the first year CrossFit HQ is doing the qualifier event, so we are not sure what to expect.  When we know more about how and when these athletes are going to perform, we’ll be sure to fill you all in.  To Rich, Karen, Bill, Mark and Martin, we are here to support you and push you however you want us too!  Go kill it!
Ashley, Jimmy and Sera all had outstanding performances as well.  Jimmy and Ashley fell just outside the top 200, and Sera qualified at 204 in our region.  These are huge numbers, and I hope you are proud of yourselves–we are proud of you!
Here is a our leader board:

Amanda’s recap of 14.5:
I woke up on competition Friday with an awful stomach ache, the kind where all I wanted to do was hug a pillow.  Great, back to another week of fun competition.  I went into the gym with low expectations.  My thought was to do the workout, see what it felt like, and attack it again the following Monday.  I was relaxed because I was really only doing exercise.  Thrusters, being one of my least favorites in CrossFit, scare me.  In chatting with Martin the day prior, I decided to use his strategy.  Break them up into 3 sets on the rounds of 21, 18, 15, 2 sets on the 12s, and complete the 9, 6, 3 unbroken.  (If you’ve somehow forgotten what the workout was for 14.5:  21-18-15-12-9-3-6 of Thrusters and Bar Facing Burpees–yuck.)
3-2-1, Go!  Thrusters and then burpees.  I kept a consistent pace and just kept moving.  I followed the strategy until the round of 12s where I felt like there was no way I could handle just 2 sets, so I broke it up into 3.  The 9s I also did in 2 sets, and the 6s and 3s were supposed to be a “sprint”.  I finished the workout in 11:31, about 2 minutes faster than I expected to.  I was happy!
Monday:  Why am I doing this again?!?  My score was still holding pretty well, but I knew I needed to try again, if not for a better time but personal satisfaction as well.  I thought in a perfect world I could make up time in my transitions.  3-2-1, Go!  The first set of thrusters felt much harder!  Apparently I was 5 seconds behind after the 21s which made Karen really nervous (my time-keeper).  But, I guess I made up time in the 18s and held it.  The only thing I changed was being diligent on getting back to the bar, and I did hold on to the round of 12s in 2 sets.  Otherwise, nothing.  I PRed on this workout with a time of 11:15.
By mid-day on Monday, I was still in the 30s overall on the leader board.  I figured that I would drop into the 40s and just squeak into the top 48.  But, I finished at 38!  I met my 2 goals:  Make it to Regionals, and make it to Regionals with a guaranteed spot (as opposed to a second round of invitations).  I was hopeful to have performed better in this Open.  I had high expectations for myself and truly believe I could have done better on both 14.1 and 14.3.  But, the important thing is that I made it, and have Regionals to prove my standing.  Overall, I am really happy and feel like this was the most fun Open yet.
Thanks to all of my supporters, coaches, and pit crew!  Thanks to all of my fellow athletes for working out next to me.  Thanks to this great community of people!  We’ve put another year of the Open in the books.
Now, onto the next round!

What’s Happening This Week in The Cave?

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Our office moved!  Read all about it here:  The Office Is Moving!

The Open is almost closed!   Great work to all the athletes that participated.  Join us for our After the Open Celebration Happy Hour next Friday, April 4th, at 4PM.  See you there! (The Silver Peso, yo.)

SAVE THE DATE:  Cave Client Appreciation BBQ — Saturday, May 3rd 1-7PM.  Stay tuned for more information!

Are you looking for some fun activities to keep the family busy during the spring break?  Our Spring Break Camps are perfect for any kid at any level!   Kids love spending extra hours with their coaches or getting to know new ones.
thecave-spring-break-camps_web
Spring Break Camps:


Register on-line by clicking the links above, OR call 415-927-1630 to sign up now!

If you like the idea of keeping the kids healthily active during the summer (while giving parents a few hours break),  check out our Summer Camp schedule below!  Then be sure to register NOW, - these classes fill up FAST!
Summer Camps:

REGISTER ON-LINE OR CALL 415-927-1630.

The Muscle Up — The Bane of 14.4

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Well, 14.4 has come and gone.   This week, I actually have nothing to complain about!  How amazing is that?  I think I finally decided to start competing…only 4 weeks into the game.  Nice, Amanda.

14.4–The Chipper: 60 cal. row, 50 toes to bar, 40 wall ball shots, 30 cleans, 20 muscle ups, 14 min. AMRAP

HIGHLIGHTS:

Ehren H. has taken the lead over Anthony of most attempts at this workout.  It paid off for him though, as 14.4.1 and 14.4.2 gave him no muscle ups, while 14.4.3 got him 2!  Great job Ehren!

Sera S. got 4 muscle ups in her second attempt.  Huge score for Sera, considering her muscle ups are a fairly new skill.  Awesome.

Mark A. apparently had seconds on the muscle ups and was able to pull out 4!

Martin H. takes the throne on 14.4 with 13 muscle ups completed!  Well done Martin!

Both Lori E. and Mark R. attempted 14.4 again on Sunday.   They improved significantly on their second go at it.

Lygia B. visited us from Outlier CrossFit in San Diego.  After getting used to our rings, she made a muscle up (almost 2) on her second attempt.

Again, so many PRs, so many epic tales.  Cavers, you continue to impress me!  Even if you didn’t make your muscle up, or you couldn’t complete the cleans, the gym performance has been outstanding.  (Some of you even competed sick.)  We’ve got one more to go, so stay in the game!

Here is our leader board:

Amanda’s recap of 14.4:

Competition Friday shaped up to be a good day.  I had planned to race Bo so that I would have someone to chase.  Most of you know about my love for rowing (it’s one of my least favorite activities, next to thrusters), so when I was informed that the chipper started with a row, my heart sank a bit. I was not going to do this alone!

After many graphs, tables, and time trials (thank you to the analysis team Martin, Ashley and Rich), I figured out that I wanted to be off the rower and started on the toes to bar at 3:30.  From there, in a perfect world, I could spend 2.5 minutes on the toes to bar, 1.5 minutes on the wall ball, and 2.5 minutes on the cleans.  This would give me 4 minutes of muscle ups.  Although this scenario was a bit ambitious, I wasn’t too far off.

14.4.1

I tried for the above splits.   I was slower on the toes to bar and a bit faster on the cleans, putting me to the muscle ups at 10:54.  Bo was off the rower probably 30-45 seconds before me, so I was able to chase him down on everything.  I was able to catch up on the cleans.  I tried for a set of 2 muscle ups which felt pretty good.  I was playing it smart by sticking to 2 so that I wouldn’t fatigue.  It hit fast, though, and I was able to complete 7, failing 3.  One of the fails was a fall from the top of the rings–very dramatic.   Bo completed 9.  Win for Bo.

14.4.2

I stuck to the same time plan.  I decided to break up the toes to bar more (because I failed some in the first attempt) and go harder on the wall ball (because I was scared of them on the first go).   I gained 20+ seconds on the toes to bar and wall balls, but used it during the cleans.  I think in the end this was a better idea so I wasn’t as winded for the muscle ups.   I ended up getting to the muscle ups one second faster than the first attempt. This time, though, I did singles.   Bo was faster here as well, having slowed down his row which made the entire workout different.  He was on the rings first getting a set of 5.  My goal was 10.  Doing singles, I was able to complete 10 with no fails and 30 seconds to go.  I went for 2 more and failed them both.  Bo also hit 10.   Tie for BoManda.  Martin still wins.

If I could change anything about my performance, I would have waited a little longer before attempting the 11th muscle up.  I most likely would have made the 11th, and failed the 12th.  I didn’t know I had hit the wall yet.  I ended up ranking 33rd on this workout which only bumped me up 3 places. I now sit at 47th. I was thinking that this would give me a better buffer, but I sit around a tight spread.  Until this week, I sit and pray for something good, but I’m pretty sure I know what to expect…not my favorites.

PREDICTIONS:

14.5 = Thrusters and Burpees

How to prepare:

Learn how to feel no pain, and do Tuesday’s programming!

Good luck everyone!

What’s happening this week at The Cave!

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

From Roger:
“The CrossFit Games Open 2014 is coming to a close within the next week. Only one workout remains. We are waiting with anticipation to see what the final workout will be. I’m sure everyone hopes the workout contains at least one element of strength for each of us!  Work hard, stay strong.  Barring a disastrous last workout, our own Amanda N. is heading to Regionals! It will be her second bid at Regionals, initially qualifying in 2012. Let’s hope for a strong finish for Amanda!
Our three Level 6 girls are headed to State Championships on Sunday, March 30th. All three girls have done great in their first optional season. We have gymnasts in two sessions at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds. The first session starts at 12pm with Liv and the second session starts at with Ashlyn and Mia. Feel free to cheer on and show your support for our talented, young athletes!”

Are you looking for some fun activities to keep the family busy during the spring break?  Our Spring Break Camps are perfect for any kid at any level!   Kids love spending extra hours with their coaches or getting to know new ones.
thecave-spring-break-camps_web
Spring Break Camps:


Register on-line by clicking the links above, OR call 415-927-1630 to sign up now!

If you like the idea of keeping the kids healthily active during the summer (while giving parents a few hours break),  check out our Summer Camp schedule below!  Then be sure to register NOW, - these classes fill up FAST!
Summer Camps:

REGISTER ON-LINE OR CALL 415-927-1630.

14.4 - A Little Something for Everyone

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

The Open does it again.  This time, we have a sweet little chipper that has something for everyone!

14.4 - Complete as many rounds and repetitions as possible in 14 minutes of:

60 calorie row
50 toes to bars
40 wall ball shots (20/14)
30 cleans (135/95)
20 muscle-ups

This workout is a great test of fitness.  For most of us,  there is something we’re good at and something we’re not!   For me, it was the row — I felt it took FOREVER to get through 60 calories, but I was grateful to have 50 toes to bar waiting for me.

Before you tackle 14.4, make sure you warm up everything because this workout hits all our major body parts.  Be kind to them so they can deliver when you’re ready.  Warm up with good mornings, leg swings, a few hollow rocks, pigeon pose, and some jumping air squats.  Build up to your clean weight, row 200 meters, then you’re good to go!

When you’re ready, set a good pace — about 80% on the rower.  You won’t spend too much time here, but you don’t want to burn out either.  If you don’t have muscle-ups or don’t think you’ll make it to them, don’t worry too much about saving your grip on the toes to bar.   Relax off the bar a few times for there are still cleans to do.  I did 2 sets of 15 and then 2 sets of 10, chalking up after my 2nd set of 15.  Then, it was time for the wall balls.

At this point in the workout, be sure to make every rep count!   You’re tired and your form is starting to deteriorate.  There is nothing more  heartbreaking than hearing, “No rep” because you didn’t break parallel, or worse,  just missed the target line for the ball.  Inefficiency will just make extra work for you to do.

Prior to starting, decide how many reps of each exercise you think you can do before breaking.  Think about previous workouts with wall balls and decide from there.  In most WOD’s I can do 10 without breaking, so I stayed with that number and it worked well. I counted to 10 in between each set and went from there.

If you make it to the cleans, take a second to remember your form.  You don’t have to worry too much about getting a no rep.  As long as the bar starts on the ground and makes it to the front rack in one clear movement, it’s a good rep.  BUT, 135/95 is a big weight under fatigue.  Think about your set up, keeping your head neutral, getting full hip extension while the bar remains close to your body, (but not so close that you break your clavicle).  If you’re doing touch and go cleans, make certain the bar clearly hits the ground every time.  If you’re like me and you dump it after every rep, be certain the bar comes to a rest before you set up again.  If you make it to the muscle-ups, you’re my hero!

When the 14 minutes were up, I took a quick 400 meter cool down run — I wasn’t ready to stop moving.

As always, The Open doesn’t disappoint and this  time it handed us a workout that has something for everyone.  When you’re done, hydrate and do some mobility!  I’m looking forward to Amanda’s recap of our amazing Cave athletes and her inspiring performance when 14.4 is done.

Et tu 14.3?

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

CrossFit Games Open, why do you do this to me?!  Another week has passed and I have yet another epic Amanda tale.   But, before we get into that, let’s give a few shout outs!:

Karen L., you have the meanest deadlift in the gym!  You KILLED this one!

Stephanie R. has PR’d on yet another workout.  Do you believe you are stronger yet?

Glen R. didn’t even have the 4th round of weights set up because he didn’t believe he would get there.  It may have been ugly, but you got it!

Anthony E. proves, yet again, that he does these workouts more than anyone…(NOTE:  This is not recommended).

Deadlifts and box jumps were what we were faced with in 14.3.  Not only were the deadlifts a ladder in strength, but also in reps. This workout certainly skewed the leader boards.  CrossFit Marin athletes continue to impress me in their efforts!  You guys are awesome both in your attempts and in your camaraderie.  We’ve got two more weeks, and a celebration well-deserved to follow!

Here is the CFM leader board:

(NOTE:  If your numbers are not on the gym board, please be sure to fill them in!)

Amanda’s Epic Tale of 14.3:

Where do I begin?  This year the Open was supposed to be easy for me.  I was going to be in the top 40 all the time, no problem. Well, here I am, sitting at 50. Yet again, I am fighting for a spot at Regionals!

I came on Friday having no idea what to expect.  This workout scared me a little, not knowing what I needed and what it was going to feel like.  My deadlifts have gotten so much better in the last 6 months, but they still have a long way to go.

Bo was my judge.   I had Rich, Karen, Narendra, Bryan O., Bill and a few others surrounding me.  Since I have to video my workouts (in case they invite me to Regionals), my clock was set on the ground facing the camera.  I was waiting until everyone was ready, not standing in position, when I suddenly heard, “3-2-1, go!” and jumped on the bar.  Not the best way to start, but I recovered.

I hit the set of 10.  Plyo box jumps.   I went into the 15’s…box jumps.  The set of 20 felt heavy, but I got through it.  Suddenly, I was cruising — 95, 135, 185, 205.   Holy crap!  I am actually getting into the 225!   In my head I am a freakin’ rockstar!  I was beating the chicks in the video.  I am lifting my previous PR (hideously).  I was killing it!  My deadlifts broke down big time, but I didn’t care.   I was going to keep going to get the best score I could.  I got 3 at 225 and fell to the floor.

Bo went to tally up my score and totaled 133.  WHAT?  No way, I got into the round of 225.   All the heads came together trying to figure out what was going on.  He said I got 133.  We went over my weight changes, and sure enough, I had skipped the 155 weight, meaning I did everything a whole lot heavier.

Bo, you’re fired.   Don’t worry, Roger is fired too — Need I mention 14.1?

I was pretty pissed off.   I knew that score wouldn’t hold up, but I also knew my back was in a bad way.   Still,  I’ll need to do it again.  All weekend long, I iced, rolled, stretched, soaked in a hot tub, hydrated…   I pulled out every trick I knew, including alcohol.   It took me a while to recover from my pissed off-ed-ness.  I really wanted to find someone to blame.   Shoot, the whole gang of people didn’t catch the mistake.  But, I really can only blame myself.   A Monday re-do would be fun…NOT.

So, I gave it another go.   Thank you Rich for being my guru on my second attempt.  I must have asked 5 times if we all agreed on my weight changes.  It went much better, getting 145.  I really, really wanted to be in the 150’s.  I’d say my back was at 80%, so if I was fresh, maybe it would have been possible, but 145 was it.  This was not going to be my strongest workout of the Open, but I wanted more.   Now I am in 50th place, and the fight continues!

I am hoping the next 2 weeks will be smooth sailing.  We’ll see what happens.

PREDICTIONS:
This week, I’ll bet the chipper comes along with the muscle up somewhere in there.

How to prepare:
Keep your back healthy and keep up your training.  Don’t let the Open change your patterns.  Be ready to just do work!

14.2 — So, how are your hands feeling???

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

After 14.2, I am torn up!  I ripped 3 times on Friday’s first attempt, and 2 more times on Monday’s final go at it.

To the athletes who gave 14.2 a try (or several):  Congratulations!   This was a tough workout.  Not only was the overhead squat a bit heavy for some of us, but it is highly dependent on mobility.  Some of you (you know who you are) have a hard time with open shoulders and an overhead squat is sure to expose mobility limitations.  Others of you might not have been able to get that weight overhead.  Then, there was a chest-to-bar pull up…not an easy thing to do.  But, with all that said, there were A LOT of PRs on this workout!  Great job everyone!
Here is our leaderboard:

My Recap on 14.2:
My hands hurt!   My goal was to hit 200 reps, which I fell short by 2.  Fortunately, this workout put me back in Regionals contention, finishing at 44th overall (33rd on this workout).  My first attempt was 195.  Total hand and forearm failure.  My second was 198.  I don’t  think I could have done much better.
I had a feeling that overhead squats were coming, and they did!  My thoughts on having a Fran come up though, have been changed…I don’t think we’ll see pull ups again.

My Predictions:
This week we’ll see the “something heavy” or the “something long”.  Things we have yet to see are:  the wall ball, burpee, deadlift, box jump, muscle up, clean and/or clean and jerk, thruster, toes to bar, etc.

How to Prepare:

You might want to practice any and all of the above movements.  If wall balls are coming, there will be a lot of them.  Do an extra EMOM of wall balls to get your volume up.  If burpees are coming, there will be a lot of them.  Do a 30 sec on 30 sec off of burpees and box jumps, or burpees and toes to bar.  Either way, being familiar with all of the above movements will serve you well.

Shout Out:
Big shout out to Rich L. for KILLING IT on this workout!  His final score was 243.  Way to go Rich!  Rich is great at pull ups and this workout really showed his strength.

Another shout out to Mark R.  Mark probably shouldn’t do overhead squats at all.  He has been working really hard to fix his shoulder mobility, but its not quite there yet.  Mark did 3 overhead squats, 3 more than he has probably ever done.  Great job Mark for signing up and PRing on lots of things!

Until Thursday at 5pm, continue training hard and keep up the good work.  Stretch your parts and ice your bits.  3 more weeks of competition to go!

THE OPEN IS COMING! Kickoff Party Friday February 21st!

Friday, February 14th, 2014

What is The Open?
The Open is a party we all get to crash!
For five weeks, for five workouts, any and every athlete in the world has the opportunity to participate in an event that is the precursor to Regionals and the Games, where the best of the best throw down in order to be named the fittest on earth!

During The Open, thousands of people from all over the world complete workouts in their own gym and then submit their scores online. From those scores, the top males, females, and teams from each region will go on to Regionals; then the top athletes from Regionals go on to the CrossFit Games in California.

Who can participate?
The Open: Everyone! All Open competitors will be ranked both worldwide and by region.
Regionals: After The Open, the fittest 48 men, 48 women, and 30 teams from each region will earn invitations to one of 17 Regionals. Qualifying Masters skip regionals and go directly to the games
The Games: After Regionals, the top 44 women and 47 men will compete in The Games Individual Competition; 43 teams will compete in the Team Competition; 20 men and 20 women will compete in Masters in each of the five age divisions (40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, and 60+).

How does it work?
Crossfit HQ releases one workout a week. The first Open workout will be released on Thursday, February 27th. The Fifth and final Open workout will be released five weeks later on Thursday, March 27th. Once the workout is released, The Cave will get to work sending out pointers and tips so you can be on top of your game. On Fridays we’ll all do the workout together! The Open workout will be Friday’s WOD for all. Participants then input their scores online by the following Monday.

Yeah! I’m in, how do I sign up?
Easy. Just go to: http://games.crossfit.com/article/register-open-now
Be sure to choose CrossFit Marin/The Cave as your affiliate during registration. (Once you sign up, you will be registered on The Cave Team.)

Now what?
Come to our Kickoff Party at The Cave on Friday February 21st!

I’m not sure…Why should I do The Open?
Top 5 reasons why you should do The Open:

1. Get out of your comfort zone! CrossFit is all about being comfortable in the uncomfortable. We learn to push our bodies to their absolute limits and then come back the next day with a smile on our faces ready for more.
2. You will be here for a gym workout anyway, so why not see where you stack up? Every Friday throughout The Open we will program The Open workout as the regular gym workout. If you’re already at the gym to workout, why not submit your score online and see how you do compared to thousands of other people your age all over the world?
3. Build and support our community!
4. You may enter thinking that no matter what you do, someone else is always going to do better. But you will set PR’s. You should compete because you will realize YOU are way better than you think you are.
5. You can participate all the whole way through and it’s fun! You should compete because it’s a commitment. You will train harder, you will eat better, and you will connect with your coaches and community in ways you never thought possible. You should compete because you can.
SO, what are you waiting for? Sign up! http://games.crossfit.com/article/register-open-now