That. Was. Fun.
I got a really cool chance on Sunday to work out with some of Canada’s top CrossFitters and it was both insane and fun.
She’s too modest to admit to this but Heather Gillespie is a bit of a local CrossFit celebrity. Out of CrossFit Lethbridge, she took 2nd place at the Canada West Regional which got her a spot at the 2012 CrossFit Games in July. She was in town on Sunday morning and because of this, Ken came in on his day off and opened the doors of Reebok CrossFit Ramsay to anyone wanting to join in with Heather for a killer of a workout.
I got there entirely too early as I planned for traffic, not remembering it was Sunday morning before 9am and there wouldn’t be any traffic. I got to Ramsay a little after 830 and Ken was already there programming the WOD and when I saw how much writing was on the board, I’ll admit I got a little intimidated. Regardless, I slowly started getting warm, knowing that I still easily had 1/2 an hour to kill before anyone arrived. After some light stretching and squat holds (sit at the bottom of a squat for as long as possible), people started trickling in. When I saw the athletes walking through the door and I realized WHO I was going to be WODding with, I got even more intimidated! Of the 11 people who did the workout, I think I counted 5 CrossFit Regional athletes, 1 CrossFit Games qualifier, a former professional football player and Grey Cup winner, and many more…and me. I definitely felt a little outclassed but then again, I knew who would probably show up and working with the best can only make you push harder right?
When Heather herself showed up I was a little surprised that she recognized me and came over to say hi. Her and I exchanged a few emails and tweets over the last couple of weeks so that I could write a story on her for the Games.CrossFit.com website (link below) so I thought it was pretty awesome that I got to meet her officially. At Regionals I didn’t bug a lot of the athletes simply because I know it’s hard to compete and stay focused when people are bugging you at every turn so I generally stay out of their way unless asked to interview or chat. It’s been an awesome position to be a writer for the Canada West Media Team because I’d still probably be in the dark as to who most of these athletes are had I not been given the chance to chat with them and see them do their thing at Regionals.
For a warm-up we did a CrossFit classic, one of the first things Greg Glassman ever wrote down for a workout–
We kept it light, I just used the 45lb barbell for the thrusters and aimed to maintain the same pace for all 3 runs. Once that was completed we set up our bars and got ready for this monster of a WOD:
Snatches, push press, tricep dips (I did dips off a box), body weight back squats, kettlebell swings, and a 1 min sprint on the rower.
For round one, you were to do 10 burpees at the top of every minute and then complete as many snatches as possible in the remaining time. I used 95 lbs for the snatch. In the first minute I managed 2 snatches, but only accomplished 1 snatch for minutes 2, 3, 5 and 6. I missed the snatch on round 4 because my burpees were slow.
Rest 1 minutes.
Onto push presses, I used 75lbs and we had to do as many as possible in 5 minutes. I was decently happy with myself, finishing 38 push presses in the time frame.
Here’s Heather Gillespie (@crossfitheather on Twitter, follow her!) doing her push presses. A very cool shot by @NIBS29, nice picture using the rings as a frame.
Rest 2 minutes.
Now, every minute on the minute, sprint 100m and then complete the minute doing dips. While the big guns were doing actual RX ring dips, a couple of us just did box dips. I did 10-12 dips each minute but pulled out 16 on the last round.
Rest 3 minutes.
Bodyweight back squats…ya…my body weight back squat is my one rep max. And I’ve only ever done that once. I really wasn’t feeling up to a 275lb squat in a WOD like this, and while I had planned to do the squats at 215lbs, my math skills failed me and I was way off…I forgot to put my last 2-15lb plates on so I actually did 185lbs. I was pretty disappointed with myself afterwards but I still managed 10 reps at 185lbs in the 3 minute span.
Rest 4 minutes.
Do as many 2 pood (70lb) kettlebell swings as possible in 2 minutes. I went over to grab a kettlebell and got it back to my station quickly so that I could get as much rest as possible in the rest period we had. It wasn’t until I picked up the KB to start our 2 minutes that I realized I grabbed the wrong kettlebell, another disappointment due to being unprepared. I grabbed a 1.5p (53lb) instead of the big guy but it was too late to fix my mistake so I made the choice to just swing for all I was worth for that 2 minutes–if I wasn’t doing the RX weight, I sure as shit better me knocking off a good amount of reps. I managed 34 KB swings in the 2 minutes (which I was happy with) and got ready to do my row.
Rest 5 minutes.
Chris Fen-Mac was up first and he cranked out 323m in 1 minute of rowing, I felt bad when he was showing me how to set the 1 minute time limit on the rower when his hands were shaking so bad—mine did afterwards too, hence the blurry photo of the WOD Board! I got set up and got to rowing. My thoughts on sprints are this; they’re quick, fast, and if you have anything left in the tank after that 1 minute, you did it wrong.
@NIBS29 got a good pic of me giving the rower all I could, though I find the pic pretty comical. I look like an angry pirate with that bandana on. That’s Dan from CrossFit Natural High in Okotoks (@CrossFitNatHigh) and Chris Fen-Mac (@ChrisFenMac) cheering me on, thanks for that guys. One minute later I had covered 337m. I felt awesome after the row though, I finished third on the rower in the group which was quite rewarding after the long WOD.
That was one of the harder workouts I’ve ever done. A lot of variety in this one with several different lifts, burpees, sprints, rows and techniques…but very rewarding to complete. It was a pretty intense group for sure but I think that working alongside high caliber athletes made me push just a little bit harder and finish a little bit stronger. That was pretty cool.
Good luck at the Games Heather!
For some cool folks to follow on Twitter, here are the handles of those I know who did the WOD with us!
I’m @xfitrookie and then there’s @crossfitramsay, @AllisonSt, @CrossFitNatHigh, @crossfitheater, @bcduckett, @jtcrossfit, @ChrisFenMac, @NIBS29