The 2018 CrossFit Open: 18.5 – Chest-to-Bar Gang

18.5 – All the Chest-to-Bars

18.5 is a repeat workout but instead of Dave Castro telling us what workout it was going to be, the community was able to vote. Three workouts were available 11.6, 13.5 and 14.2. I haven’t done these workouts before so this will be a first for me. Choosing our workouts for 18.5 was like a choose your own adventure or in this case, suffering. Each workout repeat had chest-to-bar pull ups and thrusters or overhead squats. I wanted to do 14.2 but in the end 11.6 won the vote.

18.5 –  AMREP 7 Minutes, CrossFit Games Open Workout 11.6/12.5

3 Thrusters
3 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
6 Thrusters
6 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
9 Thrusters
9 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
12 Thrusters
12 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
15 Thrusters
15 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
18 Thrusters
18 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups

Men use 100 lb.

This is a timed workout. If you complete the round of 18, go on to 21. If you complete 21, go on to 24, etc. Click HERE for workout description and scorecard.

Game Plan

This is going to be a grind. Thrusters are 5 lb. heavier than what were used to and the chest-to-bars are going to get tiring really quick. I’m going to start with a steady pace and not go hard right out of the gate. Thrusters were going to be tough and will have to keep the chest-to-bars at a small reps per set. I might do singles at higher reps. It’s the last workout for the open so I’m going to try and have fun.

The Workout

I did not follow the game plan. After thinking about the workout, I might have went too hard in the first few rounds. The first round of three was easy, I did everything unbroken. The second round was broken up into sets of three for the chest-to-bar and unbroken on the thrusters. The round of tweleve was where things went crazy. I completed the thrusters in sets of two, seven and five. I did the chest-to-bars in fast singles however, I had to take breaks in between a few reps. On the last two reps, my lats started to cramp up and I barely finished. When I got to the bar, I only had a minute left. I pushed my hardest and was only able to complete ten reps by time cap. My total reps for the workout was 70.

Final Thoughts

I know their are a lot of areas I can improve on and if I redid this workout, I could probably get a better score. My breathing was horrible as well as my pacing. I should have broken up the reps better and slowed the pace. The thrusters were not too bad but going unbroken was not the best idea. I wanted to do well since it was the last workout and I pushed myself too quickly. I didn’t do a lot of reps but my body was shot. I couldn’t move for a few minutes after. I had to concentrate to lower my heart rate and my breathing eventually returned to normal. This was my toughest workout yet.

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Gear Review: Pacsafe Venturesafe X30

Pacsafe Venturesafe X30

*Full Disclosure – This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. 

After traveling through Europe with my Venturesafe 150 GII and an old Oakley backpack. I decided to combine the two and pick up a Pacsafe backpack. Pick pocketing is a prevalent crime in large cities and I wanted a more secure backpack for an upcoming trip to Manila and Japan. The Pacsafe Venturesafe X30 looks good and doesn’t scream “anti-theft”.

Backpack Specs

Main Material: 210D Nylon Double Ripstop
Weight: 2.7 lb
Volume: 30L
* Specs taken from Pacsafe Website.

Backpack Features

The appeal of any Pacsafe bag is their anti-theft features and this bag has a lot of them. The bag has four outside pockets with two side pockets to hold other items like water bottles.

Zippers

This bag comes with two types of zippers designed to prevent theft, the zip clip and the secured zip tab. Both zipper types make it harder to pickpocket which is a plus when you’re on a crowded area. The zip tabs are easy to use but the zip clip is a bit harder. Trying to get both zippers to clip is a bit difficult and takes a minute. It’s a great system that could be improved upon in the next version of this bag. The main compartment zipper has holes for a travel lock as well for extra security.

Slash Guard and Straps



Another anti-theft feature is the eXomesh slash guard. The slash guard is a metal net that is between bag fabrics. The net doesn’t cover the whole bag, just the bottom half of the bag. This stops thieves from cutting your bag open and running off with what’s inside. The bag straps also have metal wires which prevent cut and run theft. The strap also comes with a turn and lock security hook which can be attached to a fixture. This helps prevent snatch and grabs.

RFID


The bag comes with an RFIDsafe pocket for credit cards and passports. This pocket prevents RFID skimming. Most passports have RFID chips as well as some credit cards. My cards do not have an RFID chip so my passport was the only one that needed to be safe.

Rain Cover

This is very convenient and would have come in handy in recent trips. My camera bags have rain covers but I haven’t seen many regular back packs with them. I had to use this once while in the Philippines and it was easy to pull out and cover my bag.

Bag Support

This bag comes with an aluminum support which helps with load transport as well as a hip belt. The hip belt can be stowed away when not in use. Their is also an adjustable sternum strap. If you load up your bag with some heavy stuff this support can take the load from your shoulders and transfer to your hip, making long walks not too bad.

Other Features

Like most bags on the market, this one comes with a organizer pocket, a laptop sleeve and side pockets for drink bottles. The laptop sleeve also doubles as a hydration pouch.  Side compression straps are also available for when your pack is not full and you need to slim your bag a bit. The bag will work with the Travelsafe X15 Anti-Theft Portable Safe if you want another level of securtiy.

Final Impressions

I love this bag. It’s a bit pricey with a MSRP around $170 but the peace of mind is worth it. Nothing beats being aware of your surroundings but this bag surely helps. The durability is great as well. I’ve used it on two trips and it’s holding up very well and looks brand new. I had a minor complaint when it came to the zippers but it’s not a huge issue. It’s also comfortable for long trips with a full pack. If the X30 is too big, they make a smaller model Venturesafe X22 (22 L). Overall, I would recommend this bag for people who want extra security when they travel.

Check out the Pacsafe Venturesafe X30 on Amazon if you’re interested.

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The 2018 CrossFit Games Open: 18.4 – The Standard Strikes Back

Ace Ventura making a second appearance in this years Open.

18.4 – This Standard Gives Zero F*&@!

18.4 – For Time, 9 Minute Time Cap21-15-9

Deadlifts (225 lb.)
Handstand Push-Ups

-Then-

21-15-9

Deadlifts (315 lb.)
50-ft. Handstand Walk

Initial Thoughts

The last time I did Diane was three years ago. I did it scaled and finished in four minutes. With the weights being heavier and the handstand push-up standard being a little harder, this is going to be interesting and I’m shooting to at least finished Diane under time cap. I’m not even looking at the 315 lb. deadlift or handstand walk. If I make it to the second deadlift, it will be icing on the cake.

Game Plan

After watching a bunch of tips on Youtube and Instagram, I decided I was going to try to keep a steady pace and try not to go hard out of the gate. I’m going to break up the deadlifts and handstand push ups into a few sets enough to not go to failure on either movement. The new handstand push-up standard is going to be an adjustment and I’m not sure how that’s going to go.

The Workout

I warmed up with the deadlifts and was very comfortable with 225 lb. I tried out the new standard for the handstand push up and realized how hard it was going to be. My upper body was going to be tired before the end of the first round. During the first round, the deadlifts were easy. I broke it up into sets of five and finished at 1:12. The next seven minutes were a struggle. I started strong and finished disappointed. A few friends recommended that I break up the handstand push-ups into sets of three. The first six reps were good but I could feel my shoulders and triceps start to fatigue. A few reasons were I was trying to make sure my feet were above the line at the top of the rep and when I finished. I would hold this handstand position for about three to five seconds each rep which takes a toll.

As I completed more reps, my form started to suffer. I would arch my back and I wouldn’t be able to press out to my fullest. That’s when the no reps started to come in. After my first no rep I was about half an inch below the line. I tried my best to get my heels up but I was holding a handstand for about 10 seconds by this time and my arms gave out. A few more reps and no reps and the time cap hits. I was only able to finish 17 handstand push-ups.

Final Thoughts

Without a judge, I would have did great in this workout. However, it’s this kind of thinking that is holding me back. Instead, I should be trying to “hold the standard” as Logan from Deuce Gym would say. A lot of people were able to get through the first half of this workout and with a lot of work, I will be able to get through it as well. I wasn’t defeated by the standard, I was defeated by myself. At least their is a way forward and with some time, I’ll be able to complete these handstand push-ups without a problem.

What’s Next

We have four movements that have not been used in a workout but has been featured in every Open: chest-to-bar pull ups, barbell snatch, thruster and wall ball. We also haven’t seen a repeat workout yet but I can’t see any workout that has all four in it. The movement that is definitely going to be there is the thrusters and not sure what else, probably wall balls. This last workout is going to be fun and it’s probably going to hurt.

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The 2018 CrossFit Open: 18.3 – Hello Ring Muscle Ups, We Meet Again

18.3 – Eight Minutes of Muscle Up Attempts

18.3 – 2 Rounds For Time, 14 Minute Time Cap

100 Double-Unders
20 Overhead Squats (115 lb.)
100 Double-Unders
12 Ring Muscle-Ups
100 Double-Unders
20 Dumbbell Snatches (50 lb.)
100 Double-Unders
12 Bar Muscle-Ups

The ring muscle up is back! If you have them, awesome. If you don’t, its going to be a few minutes of ring muscle up attempts (if you do not scale). We haven’t seen ring muscle-ups since 15.3 and I haven’t attempted them for at least a year and a half. I have done one ring muscle up but I haven’t been able to complete a second one. I hope I can make it two during this workout.

Initial Thoughts

This looks like an interesting workout with some technical movements. The double unders and the muscle ups are definitely going to give people issues. The overhead squats and dumbbell snatches are the easier parts but you have to get to it.

Game Plan

The plan going in was to get to the ring muscle-ups as quickly as possible. The tie break time for this workout is when you finish a set of double unders. I’m going to be in a group of a lot of people if I can’t complete a muscle up but I should be able to get through these movements quickly. Once I get to the muscle-ups, I was just going to try and go for it. I know I can get out of the dip but I have to get into that position first.

The Workout

I started the workout with 60 unbroken double unders. I then completed the last 40 reps and moved on to the overhead squats. Since 115 lb. is not too bad I broke it up into two sets of 10 reps. Instead of snatching for the first rep I decided to use a snatch balance. This would allow me to set my hands closer together which is a better position for me. I would rest the bar on my back during my break instead of dropping the bar. I finished the squats and moved on to the second set of double unders which I finished in two sets of 50 reps. I took some deep breaths between sets but I was able to get to the muscle ups under six minutes.

I was not able to complete one muscle up before time cap. I had a lot of attempts and each one was better than the last. I tried to adjust certain parts of the kip as well as my grip but I wasn’t able to pull it off. It was disappointing but it reminds me that I have a lot of skills I need to work on. If you were able to get your first muscle up, congrats! Hopefully next year, I will able to get at least one.

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The 2018 CrossFit Open: 18.2 – Burpees, Why Did It Have to be Burpees

ace ventura - spear in the leg

My legs after 18.2

18.2 – Burpees, Why Did It Have To Be Burpees

18.2 – 12 Minute Time Cap for 18.2 and 18.2a

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 reps of:

Dumbbell Front Squats (50 lb.)
Burpees Over Barbell
then-

18.2A

1RM Clean

Initial Thoughts

Burpees is a movement I hate with a passion! Mainly because my cardio sucks and I take forever to finish large sets. The dumbbells should be okay but I know it will get heavier in the later rounds. The workout looks fun but I know I’m going to start dying in rounds nine and ten. 55 reps of each are going to suck.

Game Plan

My plan for this workout was to keep a steady pace and not go too crazy in the first few rounds. The burpees are going to suck but I would just have to power through it. My first weight for the clean was going to be 185 lb. just to get a score and I would try to push for 225 lb. or more.

The Workout

I set up my first clean at 185 lb. and warmed up to 205 lb. The cleans felt good but I knew I would feel different after the workout. The first few rounds were great and felt too easy. This workout is deceiving because you only get to halfway at round eight. I kept my pace and felt okay up to round eight. I started to feel the burn in my legs at that round and I had to concentrate to control the breathing. The squats were okay but the burpees were killing me, especially since they changed the standards. I could feel the fatigue setting in but I was determined to finish under time cap and get to the cleans.

As I finished the last two rounds, I felt like I was going to throw up. My breathing was erratic and I tried to focus and breathe after each burpee. I finished at 11:25. I would have liked to have finished under 10 minutes but I had to catch my breath and at least complete one clean. With 15 seconds left, I completed the clean. I was disappointed in my performance but at least I finished. I hope 18.3 will be better.

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