So work out six and seven was a rough one:
Workout 6 & 7
On one 10-minute clock:
2k m row (workout 6)
With remaining time, AMRAP Devil Presses 2 x 50s (workout 7)
Workout 6 and 7 were done together but scored separately. It started with a 2k row into max effort devil presses in ten minutes. My thought going into this work out was to go hard on the row but don’t go all out. I thought keeping a 1:45 /500m pace would be a good place to be and that would get me off the rower right around seven minutes which would give me three minutes to do devil presses. The interesting part about this workout was they were both scored in the same 10 minutes, so you could go fast on the row and give yourself a lot of time to do devil presses but then you’re smoked and probably can’t get a lot of reps, or you could go slow on the row so you’re fresh for the devil presses but you won’t have a lot of time left, so there was a fine line to figuring out how fast I could go without going too fast. I stayed almost exactly on pace of my plan and got off the rower at 7:01. That gave me 2: 59 to do Devil presses.
If you’ve never done devil presses, they are horrible. They are pretty much a Burpee into a double dumbbell snatch with two 50’s. The goal was to just keep moving on the devil presses, regardless of how fast or slow I was going. With a workout like that the rep counts are so low that every rep can move you up a considerable amount on the leaderboard. I ended up getting 23 double presses after my 7:01 row. The devil presses felt really really heavy, but again it was just more about keeping a decent pace and not stopping.
I thought that workout 8 would be my favorite when I saw it announced, but after doing it I absolutely hated it:
60 Deadlifts 115#
45 Over Head Squats 115#
30 Shoulder to Overhead 115#
This one for whatever reason just really tore me up, especially the overhead squats. The first time I did it the plan was to go unbroken on the deadlifts and then probably do sets of 15 on the on the 45 overhead squats. But for whatever reason my legs just completely blew up from the deadlifts and I really wasn’t able to overhead squat as many as I wanted to. I ended up dropping the bar a lot more than I wanted and took really long breaks between sets. The shoulder to overhead was really just trying to hammer them out as quickly as possible as reps are super quick, but I had to break those up because of how terrible my legs felt.
I knew about halfway through the workout that I needed to redo it. I knew it was a mental push and I had to just suck it up and keep moving even though it hurt alot. After the redo I was able to drop my time by over 90 seconds, and luckily my teammates crushed it so they made up for my slower time.
Work out nine was probably my favorite, but I didn’t realize that until after the workout was done:
4 Rounds of 3 minutes of work, 1 minute of rest:
60 Double Unders
16 DB Box Step Overs 35#
AMRAP bar facing burpees
Score was total reps of bar facing burpees
Each round restarted with the doubles and box step overs. When this first got announced, I would pretty worried since the workout was almost completely based on how good your burpees are. I knew after last years open that burpees were a huge weakness for me, so I had been hammering them to get better, but I had never really tested them in a competition setting, so it was hard to say how well this was going to go. With the minute rest in between rounds, I decided to pick a pretty fast but manageable pace for the burpees. I had been working really hard to standardize my burpee technique, so that each one looked the same. It was the open standard, so your feet and to jump back and jump up together. My technique was jump back, jump up, take a small step forward with my left foot, then hop over the bar kind of sideways, then take another half step with my right foot so I was facing the bar, and repeat. I didn’t count my burpees during the workout, so I had no idea how many I did until after the workout was over. The only number I had to go off was my teammates’ because he did the workout before me. He got 89. I thought there was no way I could get that just because he’s more of a bodyweight guy than me. I was able to keep a solid pace for the first two rounds, the 3rd round I slowed a bit, and then the last I emptied the tank. The minute rests between rounds actually helped me a ton. I ended up getting 30-26-21-22 which totaled 99. I rewatched the video about 5 times because I honestly didn’t believe I got that many, but I was super pumped because I actually did the best on my team, so that made me feel like my burpees really improved over the last year.
And finally, Workout 10, which really wasn’t a workout:
For total time:
60 Pull Ups
30 Chest to Bar Pull Ups
15 Bar Muscle Ups
Each teammate picked a movement, the team score was total time for all 3.
I decided that I would do the 30 chest to bar just because I knew 60 unbroken pull ups for me would probably be impossible, and the 15 bar muscle ups wouldn’t be very fast for me because I would have to rest on top of the bar. I know I can do 30 chest to bars unbroken, so luckily my teammates were cool taking the other two. Being a bigger athlete and therefore a longer butterfly, I tried to jump to the bar right as the clock started to save myself an extra second. Every second on this workout was going to be huge, so I tried my best to cut out split seconds. I was able to get it done in 32 seconds. It looked like everyone was getting somewhere around 30-32 seconds, so I felt that would hold up well.
Overall thoughts on the qualifier and training for Miami:
My team finished 43rd out of about 600 teams (650 signed up but about 50 didn’t submit scores). The top 60 teams qualified, so we were in the bottom half, however looking into the leaderboard the scores that really hurt us where workouts 2 and 3, which were individual sprints. The workouts at WZA will be team based and longer than almost all the qualifier workouts, so removing the individually scored workouts we did pretty well. Looking back at my personal performance, I felt I made really good improvements on my burpees from last year, however focusing on that seemed to make my barbell cycling suffer a bit. I fully expected the burpee workout and the OHS workout to feel like the other, so I will be trying to focus more on barbell cycling leading up to Miami in January.
The workouts come out at the beginning of January, so that gives us about 2 weeks to practice all the synchro movements. The only downside is one of my teammates lives in Colorado, so we most likely won’t be training together until the warm up area before the workout. My other teammate lives in Bucks County near my parents house, so we are trying to train together as much as possible. We are also trying to swim about 2-3 times per week, because there will be a swim workout, hopefully it won’t be a very long swim…..
Follow the CFU socials for updates from Niall and his team while they’re in Miami this weekend competing, and check back later to hear a recap from Niall on his experience! Congrats!