2012 CrossFit Games Open Challenge; week 1

By Dion Lamb, in health

One of the many awesome things about working for a Schell Brothers company is that our leader feels strongly that people who are healthier and more fit, make happier and more productive employees. As a result we have incentives and yearly contests for people to improve their overall health and fitness. This year CrossFit was selected as one of the avenues for company employees to pursue improved fitness. Employees get a small stipend for each time they attend a workout. As both a Schell Brothers employee and a trainer at CrossFit, it probably goes without saying that I was pretty excited to share something I’m passionate about with my fellow employees. We have had a great turnout so far and I am hopeful that many of my friends and co-workers will fall in love with it as much as I have.

In an effort to share more about CrossFit with our team I am putting myself in the public domain, (a bit scary), by competing in the open portion of the 2012 CrossFit Games. The CrossFit Games Open is a worldwide event that anyone can participate in. They have men’s, women’s, team, and masters levels of competition. I am in the 45-49 year old men’s masters division. Currently there are 1,621 competitors in my age group from around the world, and over 55,000 in the competition as a whole. There are 5 weeks of competition with a new work out each week, the top 25 masters competitors in each age group at the end of the 5 weeks will earn a ticket to the Games final event in California in July, which will be broadcast on ESPN. For the non-old people, they have to finish in the top 60 in their region and then finish in the top 3 at their regional event to earn a ticket to the final event. A seriously grueling process.

We are currently at the start of week 2 in the open. The week 1 exercise was 7 minutes of Burpees to a 6” target above standing reach. A burpee is basically going from a standing position to a push up position flat on the floor back to standing then jump up to touch a target 6” above your standing reach with both hands. This may not sound all that terrible but feel free to try it at home, it’s about as close to self induced water boarding as I can imagine. At about 3 minutes breathing is a distant memory, at 5 minutes your legs turn to cement, at 6:30 your coach/judge is yelling 30 seconds GO, GO, GO!, after about 3 hours 20 seconds has gone by and you try to grind out 2-3 more in the last ten seconds. After which you desperately look for any position that might help get air into your system. Fun, huh? Fortunately you can do it more than once, because the workout is announced Wednesday nights at 8 PM and you have until Sunday at 8 PM to post your score. So I did it twice, because I wasn’t happy with my first effort. Thankfully I did improve, I would have been seriously unhappy to have done it again only to get the same or a lower number.

The Week 2 workout was announced last night, a snatch tree. (Insert joke here). Snatch is an Olympic weight lifting move in which you take the weight from the ground to locked out overhead without resetting at your chest and pressing the weight overhead. Fairly technical, ultra difficult, not one of my strengths. The tree portion means that you start with a weight and complete a set number of reps, then the weight increases after each set of completed reps. You have ten minutes to get as far up the tree as possible. Your score is total reps. The workout is listed below.

Proceed through the sequence below completing as many reps as possible in 10 minutes of:

30 Snatch (M 75 / F 45 lbs)
30 Snatch (M 135 / F 75 lbs)
30 Snatch (M 165 / F 100 lbs)
Max Rep Snatch (M 210 / F 120 lbs)

So how am I putting myself out in the public domain??? You can follow the weekly competition here online. My name is Dion Lamb and I am competing in the Men’s Masters Division 45-49. I do not have even a remote chance of making the top 25 in the world, however my goal is to finish the 5 week competition in the top 25% in the world in my age group. My score after week 1 placed me in a tie for 359th place, which has me in the top 23% in the world so far. So there it is out there for everyone to see, my strengths, my weaknesses, my goal, whether I fail or succeed. Somebody tell me again why I’m doing this. Oh yeah, because when you stop pushing your boundaries, when you stop learning new things, when you stop trying to be better. You might as well just stop. Wherever I finish this year, my goal next year will be to beat it.

My e-mail is Dion@RENEWvation.com feel free to follow along, send encouragement, tell me I’m lame, ask questions about the workouts, whatever you think. I’d love to hear from you. I’ll update this blog throughout the next five weeks including my reaction as each workout gets posted on Wednesday night and when my score is posted on Sunday, or if anything interesting happens in between.

P.S. In case you’re wondering what my initial reaction was to last night’s announcement of the week 2 workout, it was Holy S&*!! Those two words being laced with terror, nervousness, and hope…