Flex Appeal and the Double Down Competition

It’s not easy being me.

What I mean by that is that I spent most of last week sick with an energy-draining cold, and because of that, I haven’t even had a chance to recap the competition from the 11th. CrossFit425 hosted their first annual Double Down competition, and it was a mixed-pairs (i.e., two-person teams consisting of one guy and one gal) competition with divisions for Rx and Rx+ (a.k.a., awesomely elite athletes). JD and I signed up for Rx, after convincing him it would be a great first competition.

The day started early, leaving my house around 6:30AM to get to Bellevue. We signed in, got settled into the athletes’ holding area, connected with our friends who were volunteering at the event, and eventually were briefed on the day. Then it was on to warm-ups and the first work-out at 8:40AM. We probably could have warmed up more, and we probably could have come out harder in the first work-out, but hindsight is 20/20. WOD 2 followed the first work-out immediately, though, and we did go all out there, which then warranted about an hour of rest until our third workout.

Teamwork

The pace of the competition, I should say now, was also very good. Although the length of the work-outs and all the heat times left about an hour between each of our work-outs, it felt like we had just enough time to recover with a quick snack and some water and watch some of the competition before it was time to get back onto the floor. The competition actually ended up running ahead of schedule, too, which is virtually unheard of, as anyone who has ever done anything competitive might know.

Our third workout was, by far, the hardest for me. Overhead squats and wall balls were right in the middle, and those two movements are notorious for slowing me down. However, pull-ups went quite well for both of us, especially considering that neither one of us utilizes the butterfly technique. (Side note: say what you will about the utilization of “fake” pull-ups in CrossFit, strict and kipping pull-ups are both burners in their own special ways–and yes, I can do both.) I was able to hit all of my sets unbroken, partially because the pull-up bars at 425 are high enough off the ground that I needed assistance getting up to the bar! Talk about motivation. Anyway, we got through the full 11 minutes without too much of a meltdown from me, although I was definitely running on empty at the end.

We had some time between finishing the third workout and starting the last workout, and that’s when we took care of the Wildcard WOD. Braxton had arranged a mini obstacle course consisting of a wall, a tire, and a weighted sled. Each partner had to go through the course once, and the team’s time was recorded. For the Rx division, partners could assist one another over the wall if needed, and thank goodness for that (well, for me). We completed the course, and I did not get stuck at the top of the wall, which is what I was most concerned about.

Train for chaos, right?

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The last work-out for us was a down-and-back chipper. When the WODs were released, I thought the chipper was going to be the hardest. Chippers almost always are for me, because the rep schemes always include numbers like “50” and “100” and “you’re probably going to die midway through this set.” However, the more I thought about it, the more I started to think that maybe it would be a good one for us. Certainly it would not be easy, but it could be a workout that played to some of our collective strengths, I thought. JD is very good at double-unders and quick on box jumps, and I enjoy deadlifting quite a bit. Partner push-ups were of concern, though, since I know JD can outpace me by a ways. We knew we needed to stick together on those, so during a strategy session prior to the competition, we agreed to pace the push-ups off of me. We also agreed that I would do more deadlifts, and he would take on a larger share of box jumps and all of the jump rope work since he can typically go unbroken or at least work in large sets, whereas jump rope is still a major sticking point for me.

Once the work-out began, we started flying. JD went unbroken on the first set of dubs, and I picked up on box jumps. I felt faster than I usually do, finishing twenty and moving on to set up for deadlift while JD finished up box jumps. We covered some major ground on the deadlifts (I love me some deadlifing) and got to the push-ups with plenty of time. Maybe it was adrenaline, and maybe it was because they were hand-release push-ups, but we also got through those quickly, without me burning out. And then it was back to deadlifts, a little bit slower this time, but still at a good speed. Then we moved onto box jumps–in which I realized my hamstrings would no longer fire properly because of all my deadlifts–and JD took control, went all-out on the remaining reps, and transitioned smoothly back to the jump rope, going unbroken, and giving us a final time of 7 minutes, 58 seconds (at least from what I could discern). We had a full two minutes to lie around on the ground and congratulate each other on a job well-done. It was a fantastic work-out to close out the day and an absolute testament to what teamwork is about.

Even with strategy sessions, things came up that we needed to work around. We adjusted on-the-fly, and we communicated. We anticipated where our individual strengths were and how we could capitalize on those. We anticipated sticking points, and how we could work around that. And most of all, we went in with the right mindset: to have fun and challenge ourselves. It didn’t hurt one bit to also have a few good friends there, and the atmosphere of the competition was positive and vibrant.

Oh, and our reward after all that work? Korean barbeque. Absolutely the right choice.

If you’re curious, here are the work-outs we completed. WOD 2 (Max Kettlebell Swings) and WOD 4 (The Chipper) were our best showings, finishing tied for 2nd and holding down 4th place, respectively. Our other scores were no lower than 24th, so at the end of the day, we shook out to 12th out of 34 teams in the Rx division. Not bad, not bad.

WOD 1:
AMRAP5
Max ground-to-overhead (85#/135#)
Only one person working at a time
Score is pounds lifted, e.g., (85*27) + (135*39) = final score

60 seconds rest, then…

WOD 2:
AMRAP2
Max kettlebell swings (35/53)
One partner is swings while other partner holds their KB in one hand locked-out overhead
Score is total # of reps

WOD 3:
AMRAP1121 Pull-ups
21 Hang Cleans (65/95)
21 OHS (RX: 65/95)
21 Partner wall ball burpees (RX: 14#)
21 Med-ball partner sit ups (RX: 14#)
Reps MUST be split 10/11; doesn’t matter which partner goes first on each exercise, however, partner A must complete 10 reps before partner B can start their 11 reps (not applicable to partner sit-ups and wall ball burpees)
Score is total # of reps

WOD 4:
Chipper, 10 minute time-cap75 Double-Unders
50 Box jumps (20/24”)
40 Deadlifts (135/205#)
30 Partner push-ups
40 DL
50 Box Jumps
75 Double-Unders
Reps can be split up however teams want to; ex: one partner may do all the double-unders, deadlifts can be split 35/15, etc.
Score is for time (results sheet showed # of reps completed, with time used as tie-breaker for teams who completed)

Wildcard:
Obstacle course
Partner A climbs up and over barrier
3 tire flips
1 sled pull down and back (45#/70#)
3 tire flips, then tag teammate
Partner B climbs up and over
3 tire flips
1 sled pull down and back
3 tire flips
Score is for time

Did I actually mention our team name was “Flex Appeal?” No? Well, it was.

Flex Appeal.

🙂

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