European Crossfit regionals
Well it’s been over a week now since I battled hard and placed 12th in the European Crossfit regionals and if you are still following the competition (crossfit games) just click the link for updates or if you are like me you are checking in most days just to see how I would have stacked up in other regions.
Myself and fellow competitor Will Walshe arrive the day before the competition on the Thursday and were delighted to meet up with Justin Judkins who runs Crossfit Radio which is an excellent podcast dedicated to all things Crossfit. It really well worth having on your ipod while travelling or when training as you pick up plenty of tip and tricks from the very top crossfit performers and trainers.
We had an excellent meal in Nandos (plenty of chicken, sweet potato, peas, nuts and olives) which was the very best choice in a limited amount of good restaurants in Bolton. Justin just loves everything Crossfit and we had a great banter on our thoughts on the sections, events for the regionals and crossfit in general. From there it was back to the hotel for a good nights sleep and some stretching and rolling before bed.
Day one of the regionals ended up ok and I was placed 9th after the first day. The first event (1000m run, 30 hand stand press ups, 1000m row) went off ok for me but my hand stands really need to improve as I felt like I had to break them up too much – more thoracic mobility work for me! Still I finished the row strong doing the 1000m in 3.28m.
Honestly my shirt just fell off when I went to do the 30 handstand press ups!
The second event was over in a flash and it came down to do or die situation i.e. you either got the thruster up overhead or you didn’t. I ended up getting 225lbs (100kg) overhead and failing the 235lb. The olympic lifting I have focused on over the past four months helped here but I have way more to give on this type of event.
Game face for the thruster. Ended with 225lbs
We work up on day two feeling grand really as the previous day was not extremely taxing but two tough workouts were going to change that by the end of the day. The first workout of the day (21,15,9reps of 140kg deadlift and 30inch box jumps) favoured the strong guy so my plan of action was to break up the first 21 deadlifts into three lots, the same on the round of 15 and then get all 9 in a row for the last round. I figured I would just do the box jumps one by one and step down off the box on each rep. I now wish I had jumped down and tried to cycle these faster but hey hindsight is a great thing. I got a respectable time of just over 5mins for this workout and lower back felt pumped but not sore. I must say many guys and girls looked fairly terrible on this workout with excessively rounded lower backs which was going to come back to haunt them on the next workout – the 100 killer!!
The 100 workout (second of the day – there was about a 4-5hr gap in the workouts) consisted of 100 pull ups, kettlebell swings (24kg), double unders and 45kg overhead squats. This workout came down to the overhead squats and making sure that you employed a strategy e.g. doing 10reps of each, rest repeat, move on. Many of the people that completed the pull ups first really struggled with the overhead squats because they went out too fast. However, this did not apply to the really quick guys that went out fast and stayed out fast. This workout favoured the lighter guy but for many it came down to those 100 overhead squats where so many guys did not finish and others struggled with the depth or opening up the hips enough at the top. I wrapped it up in 24.24mins stringing together 10reps in a row at the end. It was possibly one of the toughest mental workouts I have done and everyone’s forearms were being plunged into ice barrels after the workout.
There was a cut for the final day so unless you were in the top 14 you did not progress on to the last day. Will and myself ended up in joint 13th! We were delighted to make it to the third day which was our original goal.
While warming up for the first event on the final day (Crossfit Amanda – 9,7,5reps of muslce ups and 60kg squat snatches) I was feeling beat up and even an ice bath the previous night did not halt the extreme stiffness in my legs. Will and myself went for it in the rain for this workout as the weather refused to co-operate and we both finished up neck and neck at around the 10.30mins mark. I could say I should have done this wayyyy faster but my body would just not respond.
By the time we went into the last event most people were shuffling about and just wanting it to be over – well that’s how I felt and I now know I should have shook it off and told myself it’s only another 10mins. The final workout was a mix bag or chipper – 20 calorie row, 30 burpees, 40 ground to overhead 20kg dumbbells, 50 toes to bar, 100ft walking lunge with 20kg plate overhead and a small run. I really should have cycled through the ground to overhead quicker as I felt fine on these but was thinking too much about the toes to bar. I ended up tearing my hands on the toes to bar which slowed me down some but carried on regardless.
Going overhead with the dumbbells.
Hands were a mess after the toes to bar!
The lesson learned on that workout was that you are going to be forced to take breaks on 50 toes to bar so take your rest then NOT on the previous movement.
All said and done I placed 12th (Will got 13th – a single point behind me) from an original placing of 28th going into the competition so pretty happy with that.
Overall it was a wonderful experience and we made lots of friends and took home so very valuable lessons. I am back training hard again and as usual keeping the workouts varied and fun as shown by this wall workout I did last week –
I will be doing lots of the Crossfit Football workouts over the next while to build up my strength and power a bit more and I am also attending the Crossfit Football cert in Belfast in August which I just know will be amazing.
The Irish crew from www.crossfit.ie with former winner and possible future champion Mikko Salo
Thanks again for all the support and a special thanks has to go to my family who are just amazing to put up with my crazy training schedule. Behind every good man is a great woman. Remember to pass this on to others that might benefit and next time someone asks you can tell them you like to read the website of and be trained by the 12th fittest man in Europe.