The CrossFit Diaries: 1 Year Later

Well here I am one year later and still doing and LOVING CrossFit. This year has been an adventure for me personally to see how much this one small aspect can impact the rest of my life. To do this properly I’m going to look back at my first post and compare what I said I wanted to accomplish there vs. where I am now and how my view has changed. Here is the full first post for reference.

1) get into better shape by dropping around 20-30 pounds over the next 4-6 months, 2) improve the strength in my back to be able to do 25 pull-ups in a row (without kipping) within a year 3) see some form of abs at some point in the next 12 months (doesn’t need to be a six pack, but it’d be nice to not have so much of a gut anymore) and 4) compete in a regional CrossFit game challenge at some point in the next 24-36 months (super ambitious, but we’ll see how it goes).

1) get into better shape by dropping around 20-30 pounds over the next 4-6 months. Well I nailed that one. I’m comfortably over 30 pounds lost now at the one year mark, and if I’m being honest my original weight and body fat measurements were probably far more accurate than I realized (276lb 30% fat, denial is a powerful tool). I’m happy to say that I’m now comfortably 243 lb and don’t know and don’t care about the body fat percentage. Haven’t looked, but it is definitely lower.

2) improve the strength in my back to be able to do 25 pull-ups in a row (without kipping) within a year. This one was way more ambitious than I realized. I can do 15ish strict pull-ups, so it is still a huge improvement from where I started. I can also do muscle-ups now, so while I didn’t entirely nail this one, I’d call it 90% complete and something I’m continuing to get better at. Overall my strength is way up over the last year and my back is significantly stronger than when I started.

3) see some form of abs at some point in the next 12 months (doesn’t need to be a six pack, but it’d be nice to not have so much of a gut anymore). I’d say this one is pretty well on the way. Not a six pack, but have some abs that are starting to show and the gut is WAY down from where it was a year ago. Beach Season 2015 here I come.

4) compete in a regional CrossFit game challenge at some point in the next 24-36 months (super ambitious, but we’ll see how it goes). Oh to be new again. This is SUPER ambitious even now a year later. I won’t say it is impossible, but the level I’d need to get to is significant and mostly for reasons I had no way of anticipating when I started. I’m not that far off from a strength perspective to be a Regional level athlete, my squat, dead lift, jerk, clean and snatch are all at or approaching that level. My problem is that I’m too big. Seriously, I’m like 4-5 inches too tall and even if I dropped another 15-20 pounds, I’d still too heavy. I’ll keep pushing and seeing if I can break the mold on this one, but man oh man, this was one I had no idea how hard it would be when I started. We’ll see if I can crack the code and how much I improve in the 2015 Open goes, but with a little bit more light shed on the situation, I now see how incredibly difficult this one is. I’m not shying away from it and will continue to pursue that level. Check back in another 12 months.

Just about a week before my 1 year anniversary (which, I’m going to have to talk to the owners about, no cake, or recognition at the gym for it) we had an “In House Throwdown” competition for everyone in the gym that wanted to compete. Knowing how far I had come I felt I would do well. There were three workouts. The first was a clean and jerk ladder starting at 95# and building all the way up to 285#. I completed the entire thing and took 1st in that event (it was expected. It would have been weirder if I didn’t take 1st, which says a lot about how far I’ve progressed this year). The second workout was a 7 minute 1000m row buy-in and then AMRAP of over the rower burpees with the remainder of time. Don’t know how I placed, but I’ll be honest, burpees are not and probably never will be a strength for me. I think I finished 9th (out of 20 guys). The third workout was a chipper workout of run 800m, 50 wall balls, 40 dead lifts at 205#, 30 pull-ups, 20 snatches at 115# and 10 muscle-ups with a 15 minute time cap. That was probably one of the most difficult workouts we’ve ever done in the gym. I got through 18 snatches in the time cap. I wish I had completed them and attempted a muscle-up, but hell, I can’t complain. Overall I took 4th in the competition and am pretty pumped about that finish. I was 3 reps away from taking 3rd, so for only doing this for 1 year, it feels good to see so much improvement.

Also, as a one year anniversary present to myself, I did the baseline workout again. As a refresher it is 500m row, 40 air squats, 30 sit-ups, 20 push-ups and 10 pull-ups. When I originally did it, it took me 7-8 minutes and I couldn’t do all the pull-ups, I actually had to switch to ring rows. I’m pleased to say that I did it yesterday, before my scheduled class and completed the whole thing in 3:45, and that’s with having to walk across the entire gym from the rower to the location I did squats, sit-ups, push-ups and pull-ups in. I crushed it and it felt great to absolutely demolish that workout now a year later.

The progress keeps coming and I haven’t slowed down yet. I’m really starting to up my overall volume and am keeping my diet clean. Hopefully I’ll keep seeing things go forward and will keep the fire burning for this.

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