Finally a CrossFit gym in Peterborough!
When I first went to HPT I met Nathan Horne one of the co-owners and immediately felt a good vibe. After our initial chat I was determined to make things work this time round. The next day I came back ready to go. I had an introduction with Sam Twin the other co-owner who set a benchmark to see where I was physically – Barbara, 5 rounds of 20 pull ups, 30 push ups, 40 sit ups and 50 air squats. After 28 minutes and only 2 ½ rounds in I had to knock it on the head as I needed to get back to work.
For some reason I wasn’t disappointed with the result of my workout. For the first time I had done a real CrossFit workout in a real CrossFit setting. Also I had just done 60 pull ups and was completely amped about that alone. My hands were a blistered mess, my chest and quads were fried; I also fell off the pull up bar which thankfully nobody saw. None of that mattered as my resolve to get better was immediately strengthened.
How did you get on?
I had been following croffit.com for a little over 6 months and this time round balancing my basketball also. The change of focus I made when my son was born definitely laid some good foundations for my furore into CrossFit this time round.
It was now well into summer and a number of others from the gym were going into the battle for the midlands team competition. After making steady progress on all my scores I was very keen to get involved. Unfortunately there wasn’t anyone to partner with and the owners of the gym convinced me to go individual and said I’ll be fine.
WOD 1 – 10 minutes to establish a 1 rep max clean, snatch and jerk (which can come from the rack). I had a clear plan to follow with time to set pb’s if the situation arose. However when I arrived my hopes of doing well were completely shot after seeing people in the warm up area casually throwing about warm-up weights in excess of my pb’s. For a short while I took comfort thinking they were peaking too soon and would not fare as well in the actual WOD. No such luck!!
In the first event I set 4 pb’s, 3on all lifts and the 4th for the total lifted. That was good for dead last! I won’t go into the detail for the other events but my overall position improved by 1 position over the weekend, which was the result of an unfortunate withdrawal. That was my lowest point in my competitive career in any sport. I have never come last in anything.
Once back at the gym the following Tuesday I vowed that I would never finish that badly again!
For the moment we only care about big tin!
After conducting a post mortem of what happened at battle for the midlands it was clear that overall strength was a big issue should be addressed. In terms of engine output I was fine but once any reasonable load was added I fell into trouble.
For a couple of months I tried a kind of Westside method with the aim of increasing the tonnage output from week to week. I had limited success with this and wasn’t transferring into CrossFit as I’d hoped. I knew I was on the right path as that year I finished strong in the first qualifier for the battle of London, A 12 minute amrap of box jump overs and ascending weights of cleans.
Unfortunately I fared quite badly on the following 2 qualifiers as the workouts were much more technical and with load. The second WOD a double scored event involving toes to bar and snatch – drat, the last WOD a chipper with wall balls and pull ups in the mix – double drat!!
The power of commitment
In the New Year I was listening to the barbell shrugged podcast and the topic was 5/3/1. I was engrossed in the episode and completely bought into the wave aspect of the program allowing for recovery and accessory work. I decided that I would do this for the whole year.
Initial results were great but stalled as I veered off the program a bit. I bought myself back and dedicated to following everything as prescribed and not add extra work in the strength realms.
After a few more months results were really beginning to show. I wasn’t doing huge amounts of metcon’s but when I did I was displaying huge gains. The only weakness was in the gymnastics realms which I was aware of. I tried to address this whenever possible but not lose sight of my main objective – lift heavy every day.
Time for payback!
Summer 2014 and the battle for the midlands is back on. Going team was never an option and I immediately entered as an individual. It was time to test 8 months of hard work, sweat and bloodied hands.
The event went better than anything I could have imagined! The field was 42 strong with much better athletes than what I came up against 12 months prior. The first WOD kicked off with 40 toes through rings, unfazed after I came off the rings I ploughed through the rest of the WOD. I finished within the time cap and in 20th place – redemption!!!
The rest of the weekend was pb after pb and I was loving it. Even when the organisers threw a curveball Sunday morning I just said I’ll do what I can and that’ll have to be enough. 3 minutes of max burpee muscle ups. Bearing in mind I only did my first muscle up 4 months prior I wasn’t looking forward to this. 3 minutes later I had completed 12 and finished in 19th place, I was over the moon.
The best was yet to come. WOD 5 before the cut-off a 6 minute amrap of ascending reps 45k snatch and 30” box jump. This was my jam and I wanted to build steady so that I could go balls out on the last 2 minutes. I had a regionals athlete in the lane next to me and I just wanted to keep him in sight.
The buzzer calls time and I do nothing but fall to the floor, one big sweaty mess with a wall of noise passing over me. I was 1 rep short of finishing the round of 10 snatches and beat the regionals competitor next to me by 3 reps. Holy shit did I just do that, “yes you did I’m afraid”, for WOD 5 I finished 6th and bagged a place in the semi-final.
All of my objectives for the weekend had been achieved and the previous year now a distant memory. The semi-final came and went. I was too far back to make the final and cemented 20th place overall which was just amazing.
Take nothing for granted!
After coming down from that incredible high formulating a plan forward was simple, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”. I turned my attention to the athlete games thinking I could carry on as before. Big mistake!!
The qualifying process was slightly different and I got everything wrong. I didn’t de-load before the competition, I didn’t allow for any recovery between qualifying WOD’s and I lost sight of my weaknesses. To top things off I caught a chest infection from being run down and picked up an injury playing basketball.
My hopes of ending the year on a huge high shattered! I took a lot of rest in the run up to Christmas so that I was ready to pick things up again in the New Year.
New Year new goals!
I decided to stick with 5/3/1 again. It had paid huge dividends but now I just needed to up my game in addressing my weaknesses. There was a quick test on the horizon in the Battle of Britain qualifiers.
I managed to qualify for the Battle of Britain in 59th place with a cut-off of 60. During the event I had strong finished and finished in 28th position. This was a great event which if possible I’ll definitely try and qualify again.
The battle for the midlands came again this year but it was a team only event. I wasn’t going to bother initially as I wanted to focus on the battle of the beasts qualifiers. After a dropout at the gym Shane Vincent asked if I’d be his wingman for the weekend. Reluctantly I agreed and we finished 5th overall after an amazing weekend. I think the highlight for both of us was Sunday morning. We arrived a little late thinking they wouldn’t have the top of the leader board in the 1st heat – whoops. Not only that it was double Amanda 18-14-10 of muscle ups and 60k snatch – shit! I don’t know why we worried as we finished 5th for that WOD with a time of 5:59 – get in!!
Next week we have the final part of Warrens Blog…