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



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.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!


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.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

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


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.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

The 2018 CrossFit Open: Damn You Toes to Bar!

18.1 – Can’t Feel My Abs or Hands

Raise your hand if this was you this past weekend. That’s a lot of bandaged hands! After a week in Tokyo and not working out at all, I knew this was going to be rough. Even if I did workout last week, it was going to be hard. 20 minute workouts are the worst but I’m up for anything.


8 Toes to Bar
10 Hang Dumbbell Clean and Jerks (50 lb.)
14 Cal. Row

The Dumbbell is Back

Like last year, we’re starting off the open with a new movement, dumbbell hang clean and jerks.I would have preferred the snatch but the open is about pushing yourself and being uncomfortable. The dumbbell weight wasn’t going to be the problem since it’s not too heavy of a weight. The toes to bar and row however were going to kill me.

Game Plan

I wanted to complete the toes to bar in sets of four and keep going until I would have to start singles. I was sure I could handle the dumbbell clean and jerks and go unbroken for all reps. It’s a new standard and I would have to be mindful of all the points of performance. The row was going to be a grind. I usually die out on long rows and 14 cals. was going to be rough. I didn’t want to start out with a crazy pace but I wanted to stick around 800-900 cals/hr.

The Workout

The workout started off well. I stuck to my game plan and it worked up until round four. At the start of round four, my abs started to cramp. I had to take a few deep breaths and stretch but I had to start doing singles. I also had to take a few moments in between reps since I couldn’t recover fast enough which slowed me down considerably. I was getting no repped on the dumbbell clean and jerk transitions because I wasn’t standing up fully for the first rep. It was an extra rep but I wasn’t frustrated with it. The row was a grind. First four rounds went well. I was able to keep a pace of 900 cals/hr but had to drop to a pace of 750 – 850 cals/hr in the later rounds.

It was a tough workout. My hands ripped slightly but it wasn’t bad. I was able to complete six rounds at the end of 20 minutes. It’s not a great score but I gave it my all. In the coming weeks I’ll pray for a heavy workout. A clean and jerk  or snatch would be awesome. I hope your 18.1 went better than mine and good luck in the coming weeks.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

My Week As Rx (Probably Scaled): September 4 – September 10


3 Position Power Clean – Find a 1 Rep Heavy

I haven’t done heavy power cleans in awhile, especially a three position clean. The last time was about two months ago with a final weight of 85 kg (187 lb.). My max has been 215 lb., about a year ago. I wasn’t super confident about the weight so I decided to focus more on technique.

Working up to a heavy set felt good and muscle memory took over. At 205 lb. the hardest lift was the hang power clean because of grip issues. The power and high hang positions were relatively easy. I failed the hang clean about twice before completing one. I was able to do the high hang clean easy which means I need to work on more grip and more hang cleans.


Chipper – For Time

25 wall balls (20 lb.)
10 hang power cleans (95 lb.)
25 wall balls (20 lb.)
10 power cleans (95 lb.)
25 wall balls (20 lb.)
10 squat cleans (95 lb.)
25 wall balls (20 lb.)

I hate wall balls! Which is why I should be working on them more. 100 reps is going to suck but like all workouts, I’ll just have to power through. The cleans looked easy but the wall balls were going to make them miserable.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to break up the reps for the wall balls. I was thinking, 15 reps and then 10. If I start to die out, I will switch to three sets of five with a minimal rest. At the start of the workout, I was able to hit my wall ball sets. The hang power cleans were fast, under 20 seconds. The second and subsequent sets of wall balls were much more difficult. I had to break them up and took much longer breaks in between. My legs and shoulder were on fire which made the cleans that much harder. It was tough and I didn’t do as well as I wanted. I was looking at eight to nine minutes but I finished in 11:18.


Back Squat – Find a 5 Rep Heavy

The coaches advised me to work up to 75% of my 1RM which would be around 275 lb. I haven’t done much squatting in the past few months and I knew I was going to be rusty. I started to warm up and worked up to 240 lb. I felt different during my squats. My form and movement felt off. I focused on keeping perfect form which helped. I was hoping it was rust and I could shake it off with the next lift. I added 265 lb. to the bar and started my set. It was a lot heavier than I thought but thankfully I had a lifting partner giving me encouragement. I finished the last rep and decided to stop there. Hopefully, my strength comes back in the coming months.

Partner WOD – AMRAP 25 Minutes

25 sit ups
3 rope climbs
Run (400 m)

This workout was going to be tough on the legs. 400 m is not a long distance but it was going to hurt after that squat session. We decided to split the reps in alternating rounds. Sets of five for the sit ups and alternating reps on the rope climbs. One round, one person would do five more sit ups and rope climbs and then alternate between partners. I decided to do the rope climbs while my wife decided to scale.

Our goal for the workout was to finish at least five rounds, A pace of five minutes per round was achievable but we would have to push the run. The first round went well, we zipped through the movements fairly easily. The second round went the same but we started having trouble on the the third round. The sit-ups were quick but I had to take a break on the rope climbs. I have a slight fear of heights and I had to catch my breath and calm myself before attempting the reps. We also took more time on the run, taking a break after 200 m. We would walk for about 10-15 seconds before finishing the run portion.

This continued into the fourth round as well. We started our fifth round at four minutes to time cap. Finishing the round was going to be hard, but we were going to try our best. We breezed through the sit ups but I had to take a minute before the rope climbs. We finished our reps and started the run with about a minute left. We were exhausted and tried our best but we were short of our five round goal. We hit the time with only 100 m finished. It was a great workout but that run killed us.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

The 2017 CrossFit Open: #OpenReflections

The 2017 CrossFit Open: #OpenReflections

The last few weeks were a blast. The workouts were fun and challenging making this years Open memorable. We used a new piece of equipment (dumbbells) and a new movement (burpee box jump overs). I set out to achieve a goal this Open and unfortunately, I didn’t reach it. After a few days of self reflection, I’m more motivated to workout this year.My goal for this Open was to place in the 30’s on Guam. Last year, I finished the Open in the 46th spot but this year I placed in the 51st spot. I’ve come up with two reasons why I placed a lot lower this year and didn’t reach my goal.

Pay the Man

“Success isn’t owned. It’s leased, and rent is due everyday” – J.J Watt

Sorry J.J, I’m a few months behind on rent. This sentiment sums up my year since the 2016 Open. Early last year I focused on Oly programming and stopped doing metcons. The Oly programming was long and heavy on most days leaving me with no energy to do a class WOD. I also got married and did not workout or eat healthy for about two months. It adds up. My lack of conditioning showed in 17.4 with me finishing short of my score from last year. I did not put in the work this year.

Everyone is More Fit

I hit PR’s on workouts and increased my fitness but it wasn’t enough. The guys I used to beat in workouts are now beating me. This past year, the guys put in the work. It was a lot more than me and it showed in the workouts and the leaderboard.

Goals for 2018

“You don’t need harder workouts. You need to go harder in your workouts.” – Tommy Hackenbruck

I did not put in the work this year so I’m not surprised I didn’t hit my goal. I’m now more motivated. I want to at least make it into the 30’s on the leaderboard next year. I want to work on Oly lifts but I also want to work on conditioning. It’s going to be a balance but I’m sure I’ll manage. I also want to work on my gymnastics skills, especially muscle ups. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and I’m looking forward to it.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

The 2017 CrossFit Open: 17.5 – Double Unders With A Side of Thrusters

By “crushed it”, I finished under 40 minutes and I didn’t pass out.

17.5 – Double Unders With A Side of Thrusters


10 Rounds: For Time
9 thrusters (95 lb.)
35 double unders

The last open workout of 2017 was not a repeat. We knew thrusters were going to be in this last workout since thrusters were in the last workout the past few opens. Fellow gym members speculated on movements and many thought it would be dumbbell thrusters, double unders and one more movement. The announcement came and we sort of predicted it (wasn’t too hard to be honest). Thrusters and double unders. This should be easy right?

Earlier in the week we did a workout that had burpees, thrusters at 135 lb. and double unders. I was feeling confident but after watching a few heats at the gym I started to get a bit worried. Guys who are a lot fitter than me were finishing 15 – 20 minutes. I knew I was going to be in for a long workout and was shooting for a time under 25 minutes.

The first few rounds of the workout went well. I was finishing the thrusters unbroken and my double unders were not too bad. I would trip myself around 20 reps or so but I was able to keep my pace. The middle of the workout was where I started to break up the thruster set. I would do five reps then four reps after a short break. I was also tripping on the double unders after five to ten reps and took a long break after each trip.

The last two rounds were brutal. I was so close to finishing and did my best to finish. I was able to string the double unders and finish those quickly but I would be extremely exhausted after. The last round of thrusters were done unbroken and I did my best trying to finish the last round of double unders unbroken as well. During the double unders, I started to hyper ventilate and I could barely breathe. I started to feel light headed but I had a few reps to go. I closed my eyes and heard 35 yelled out by my judge and immediately fell to the ground. It was tough and I finished at 23:03. I was under 25 minutes but I was hoping to be a bit faster.

I know I have a few things to work on. Breathing was key and I didn’t do it efficiently. Also, doing double unders while fatigued. I hope you’re last workout went better than mine.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

The 2017 Crossfit Open: 17.4 – The Repeat

17.4 – The Repeat

When Dave Castro announced that 17.4 was going to be the 16.4 workout, I wasn’t surprised. I knew it was going to be heavy and it includes a few movements that we haven’t seen. My goal for the Open was to hit a PR on the repeat workout and I wanted to reach the handstand push ups on this one.

17.4 – AMRAP 13 Minutes

55 deadlifts (225 lb.)
55 wall balls (20 lb., 10ft)
55 row (cals.)
55 hand stand push ups

If you want to know how I did last year read this post. Sadly (like the gif above) I did not reach the handstand push ups. I actually did a lot worse than last year. I was only able to complete 37 calories on the rower, 12 calories short of my 16.4 score.

I started the deadlifts in sets of six. I took short breaks in between each set and broke the sets in fives after five sets. I continued doing the deadlifts in sets of five but I couldn’t keep it up for long and finished the deadlifts around five minutes. The wall balls were the movement that I started to hit a wall on. I decided to go for bigger sets at the beginning but I couldn’t sustain it. I would break it up into much smaller sets of five or six reps. I finished with the wall balls at 9:58 and started on the row. I started to feel discouraged with my time. I knew going into the row that I wouldn’t finish but I was going to try as hard as I could. I pulled with a pace of 800 – 900 cals/hr and finished with 37 calories.

I wanted to redo the workout on Monday but after a day of playing beach volleyball, my left foot was bruised. I didn’t want to risk damage to my foot and decided to do this workout once. I have accepted that this would be the first workout of the Open that I wouldn’t PR but I’m optimistic. I know where my weaknesses are and I plan to work on them in the coming year. I hope your workout went better than mine and congrats if you hit a PR.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

The 2017 CrossFit Open: 17.3 – The One Without Dumbbells

I know the equation above is not a solve for x. I have no clue what it means and it may be gibberish.

17.3 – The One Without Dumbbells


Prior to 8:00, complete:
3 rounds of:
6 chest-to-bar pull-ups
6 squat snatches (95 lb.)
3 rounds of:
7 chest-to-bar pull-ups
5 squat snatches (135 lb.)
*Prior to 12:00, complete:
3 rounds of:
8 chest-to-bar pull-ups
4 squat snatches (185 lb.)
*Prior to 16:00, complete:
3 rounds
9 chest-to-bar pull-ups
3 squat snatches (225 lb.)
*Prior to 20:00, complete:
10 chest-to-bar pull-ups
2 squat snatches (245 lb.)
*Prior to 24:00, complete:
11 chest-to-bar pull-ups
1 squat snatch 265 lb.

*If all reps are completed, time cap extends by 4 minutes.

When Dave Castro announced the workout I stopped following at 185 lb. snatches. My max recorded snatch is 175 lb. and 185 lb. is too heavy for me. My wrist has been giving me issues during snatches so I was not confident at attempting that weight. I don’t know why I’m thinking about the heavy snatches when the path to get there is going to be very difficult.

I did 17.3 twice. Unlike 17.1 and 17.2, I liked this workout to do it twice. I finished the first workout in the fourth round, completing four 135 lb. snatches. I completed the second workout in the fifth round, completing three 135 lb. snatches.

I did the chest-to-bar  pull-ups in single reps which didn’t take me much time. I also did the 95 lb. snatches touch and go. This lowered my time by at least two minutes but I had to catch my breath when I started on the 135 lb. snatches. I took about a minute on the snatches because I did them in singles. I started the fifth round at six minutes but I knew I wasn’t going to make it to the next round. I finished with three snatches, two reps short of my goal. I didn’t finish the second round of snatches but I did my best and I beat my first score by almost a full round. I’m happy with my result and I hope I’ll be able to hit 185 lb. for reps next year.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

The 2017 CrossFit Open: 17.2 – Legs

17.2 – I Can’t Feel My Legs!

Last week it was my back and this week it’s my legs.

17.2 – AMRAP, 12 Minutes

2 Rounds
50 ft. dumbbell lunge (50 lb.)
16 toes-to-bar
8 dumbbell power clean (50 lb.)
2 Rounds
50 ft. dumbbell lunge (50 lb.)
16 bar muscle ups
8 dumbbell power clean (50 lb.)

Etc., alternating between toe-to-bar and bar muscle ups every two rounds.

Last week it was a single dumbbell, now it’s two! My biggest worry was getting at least one rep on the muscle ups. I haven’t done one since August and I failed in my previous attempts. I should have focused on the lunges since they were the hardest movement.

The workout started off great. I used the dumbbell stacking technique and did the lunges quickly. The toes-to-bar were done in sets of five and six. The cleans were not too bad either. I started to feel my legs get tired during the second round of lunges. I could feel my legs tightening up and had to rest at the end of 25 ft. I switched my grip to having one dumbbell head rest on my shoulder since it was becoming more difficult to stabilize the dumbbells when they were stacked. I finished the last set of lunges and went for another round of toes-to-bar and dumbbell power cleans.

Fatigue had set in and I was barely able to complete the reps on the toes-to-bar. I did small sets and then singles. I finished the cleans and started on the lunges. I finished 25 ft. and took a minute to catch my breath. It was close to time cap when I started my last 25 ft. of lunges. I finished at 11:55 and didn’t get to the muscle ups. After the workout I signed my sheet and went outside to throw up. I pushed myself to the limit and I wasn’t happy with my performance. I wanted to at least attempt a few muscle ups but I overestimated my fitness. However, this workout has given me the motivation to start going harder and pushing myself in workouts. I know I can do better, I just need to put in the work. I hope your workout went better than mine.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!