Category: CrossFit

Registration is Now Open for the Disney Fit Challenge!

Disney-Fit-Challenge-Mickey-Barbell

Registration is now open for the first ever Disney Fit Challenge!

This is a a three-day competitive fitness event featuring age and skill divisions hosted at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (WWOS) at Walt Disney World® Resort, September 26-28, 2014.  These CrossFit style workouts (WODs) will test your speed, strength, skill, endurance, balance and power.  Athletes will compete in 4 qualifying WODs on either Friday or Saturday and the leaders in each division will go on to compete in the finals on Sunday.  All athletes must be able to complete these following standard movements:

  • Push-ups
  • Air Squats
  • Weighted Squats
  • Wall Ball Shots
  • Lunges
  • Plyometric Movements
  • Dumbbell Presses
  • Sit-ups
  • Sprints
  • One mile run
  • Obstacles
  • Lift Conventional objects
  • Pushing or Pulling objects

Disney-Fit-Challenge

You can register in one of the following divisions depending on your skill level.

Recreation Division
The Recreation Division is for athletes desiring a chance to test their fitness level against fellow competitors by seeing who can complete a variety of physical tasks the fastest. There will be general calisthenics, as well as strength tests of lifting and carrying heavy objects. This division will also test cardio-respiratory endurance through wind sprints or rowing or a combination of the two.   Recreation Division requires no experience in Olympic lifts or advanced gymnastic movements, as they will not be part of any event.

Scaled Division
The Scaled Division is for athletes that have experience performing high-intensity workouts that include Olympic lifts, Bodyweight movements and cardio-respiratory modalities.  In addition to the standard movements listed above, athletes may have to perform:

  • Olympic lifts (light to medium load)
  • Power lifts (light to medium load)
  • Knees-to-bars (females)
  • Toes-to-bar (males)
  • Pull-ups (males)

RX Division
The Rx Division is for athletes that can perform most benchmark workouts as prescribed in their box or gym. Athletes should be strong, excel in most gymnastic movements and have an ability to sustain a high tempo and pace while working through movements.  In addition to the movements required for the scaled division, athletes may have to perform:

  • Olympic lifts (med to heavy load)
  • Power lifts (med to heavy load)
  • Toes-to-bar
  • Pull-ups
  • Muscle-ups (males)
  • Handstand push-ups
  • Double-unders
  • Rope climbs

Elite Division
The Elite Division is for athletes that possess an elite combination of strength, speed and endurance. Athletes can expect Olympic and Power lifts, complex gymnastic movements such as handstand walks and muscle-ups, weighted pistols, and double-unders.  In addition to the movements required for the Rx division, athletes may have to perform:

  • Olympic lifts (heavy load)
  • Power lifts (heavy load)

Team Division
The Team Division will be comprised of three athletes of the same gender competing together. Teams will be able to partition movements and reps in most events. This will allow each team to strategize and take in to account each team members strength and weakness.   Teams will have the same movements as the Rx division.

All divisions will then be divided up by age group.  For those athletes that are 40+ as of the competition date, there will be a Masters Division and Masters Team Division with standard movements similar to the Rx Division.

Registration for the event is $175 for individuals and $525 per team.  You can use this link to register and select your division.

As many of you know, I have fallen in love with CrossFit in the past few years so this is right up my alley.  I have my finger on the trigger to register for the Scaled Division since I just don’t have a few of the basic moves for Rx down yet.  I rather ensure that I can complete each WOD then struggle through a couple of moves.  The weights will probably be light for me, but hey…maybe that will help me get to the finals on Sunday…YIKES!  Oh and the best part is that this is taking place during the opening weekend of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival…the perfect treat for a day of WODs 🙂

Are you going to compete in the Disney Fit Challenge?

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CFM Gladiator Gauntlet – A Humbling Experience

Gladiator Gaunlet

This past Saturday was the Gladiator Gauntlet and it was tough…way tougher than I thought it would be.  I’ve been having mixed emotions about the event for the past few days because it challenged everything I feel like I’ve been working towards and made me feel weaker than I have in sometime.  But let’s start from the beginning…

Three of my CFM friends and I signed up for the Gauntlet a few weeks ago as the Honey Badgers…yeah we don’t give a f*ck.  We had been talking about getting customized shirts leading up the event, but nothing ever materialized.  So the day before, a few of us met at Dick’s Sporting Goods to try and find some matching outfits.  Clearly we like color since this is what we came up with…

HoneyBadger Uniform

Um…those are some short shorts…can’t you see the skepticism on my face?!?  WAY too short for me.  I was starting to chafe just walking around the house, so I couldn’t imagine what a 2.5 mile trail run would produce…yikes!  You can read more about my feelings on shorts here.  Needless to say, I decided to go with my tried and true Moving Comfort Fearless Bermudas for the event and Keira was nice enough to switch her neon striped socks for my black ones since my shorts were black.

Striped Socks

My Saucony Kinvara 4s were the perfect match!

Team Honey Badgers

Team Honey Badgers

We were in the 5th heat, which was set to go at 10:15 am so we had time to see some of the other teams go through parts of the course.  We didn’t know a lot of details about the race, but we did know there was mud, a river, a wall climb, air squats, burpees and a 2-person wheelbarrow.  The order was unknown…I hate unknowns!  We figured we’d finish in about 45 minutes…that seemed totally doable!

The waiting area was right in front of a large field where the wall climb was set up, so we were able to see those attempts and I was immediately terrified.  My upper body strength is severely lacking and I’ve never even attempted to jump a wall before…I’m going to look like a complete ass in front of my entire gym!  Lovely…

We were also able to see teams in the first few heats finish and they weren’t as dirty as I had expected, so that was comforting.  I had never attempted a trail run or mud run before this, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  All I know, I was worried about running in wet shoes.

I wanted to stretch a bit before heading out, so I decided to start with some lunge complexes.  I do these EVERYDAY at CFM, so how I managed to pull my right hip flexor/psoas while doing my first one is a mystery to me.  Now my fear of the Gauntlet was getting worse!  Having sustained this injury last year in my left leg, I knew this could be bad.  I didn’t want to say anything to my teammates right away because I was hoping it would work itself out with some targeting stretching and walking.  It helped a little, but I was still sore.  I decided to let them know, but that I should be ok.  Fingers crossed!

Ready to Go!

Ready to Go!

Our team was called and we were ready to go.  There were 3 other teams in our heat and after a very brief run down from our coach we were off and into the woods!  After a short trail run, we came to our first obstacle…air squats.  The team had to complete a total of 200 air squats while standing in a muddy stream.  Yay!  Wet shoes right off the bat!  We broke the squats up into 25 a piece for 2 rounds so we didn’t tire our legs out too quickly.  We blew through this pretty fast and were back off into the woods.

We came across a giant tree down across the path that we had to go over.  I gracefully slipped in my wet shoes as I was going down and landed right on my left shin.  This was going well.  It hurt like hell, but not bad enough that I couldn’t keep going.  I brushed it off and kept moving.  After probably half a mile, we came to a small field where our next obstacle was…burpees…ugh.  The team had to complete 100 burpees and while one person was doing them, the other 3 had told hold a plank.  This was where things started to unravel for me.  Burpees are hard, but after running a half mile faster than my usual pace, holding a plank, and being in wet slippery grass, these were daunting.  All I could think was…what did I get myself into.

The burpees took a while and we were the last team in our heat to finish.  The worst part was that a team from the heat behind us actually came into the area just as we were finishing…ahhh the pressure!  After we burpees, we had to run up a hill to that open field where the wall climb was.  I already felt like I had no gas left in the tank and there was NO WAY I was getting over those walls.  Ari was awesome and got on all fours so we could step up over the wall, but I couldn’t even do that (plus I didn’t want to break her!) so I just walked around the first wall.  We had to army crawl our way between the 2 walls, the second of which was higher than the first!  So clearly I walked around that as well.  The penalty for that was 5 additional sit-ups (25 were required) on the other side…oh I’ll gladly take the sit-ups.

Wall Climbs

Wall Climbs

I just wanted to stay lying in the grass, but nope we were back into the woods for more running, mud and water.  This area was very muddy and I walked through a lot of it.  Partly because I was tired and partly because I didn’t want to fall.  It was also around this time that my colitis decided to kick into gear and every time I ran, I felt like I had to go!  This just kept getting better!!

The next “obstacle” of sorts was a flooded out field where we had to trapse through water that was up to our knees out to a parked truck and then back.  My teammates made it to the truck and I was about 100m behind them as which point I just motioned for them to head back.  Here’s where all the self-doubt started really kicking into high gear.  I felt like I was slowing them down and I didn’t want to disappoint them!  They were working just as hard as I was, but I couldn’t keep up.  Aren’t I the marathon runner of the group?!?  What’s going on?!?

The next obstacle we came across was actually fun and refreshing.  As a team we had to cross a rapidly moving stream.  The water was about up to our waist and there were large rocks on the bottom which made the footing difficult.  So we all grabbed hands for balance and crossed…it was actually a nice break and we got a few laughs in.  But before I knew it we were off to the next obstacle and I was just praying for this to be over.

This was the final real obstacle…2-person wheelbarrows.  This is when one person holds the other persons legs as they walk on their hands.  We had to go about 100m down and then back.  I was really worried about this and my lack of upper body strength.  I knew I could carry Ari, but could I walk on my arms?  We started by holding each other by the ankles, but it was tough to support that position and walk on your hands.  About halfway down the field, we noticed another team that was holding each other higher up on the thighs so we gave that a shot.  WAY easier and we ended up flying through the 2nd half.  Keep that in mind if you ever find yourself in a wheelbarrow situation!

Now it was down to the final stretch…a sprint back up that first hill we hit after the burpees, tag a coach, go back down and sprint back up to the finish.  I had to walk some of it…I just couldn’t and I LOVE hill sprints.  I can’t thank my teammates enough for their encouragement and Ari’s slaps on the butt to get me through that last hill.  I’ve got some awesome friends!

At the finish!

At the finish!

We finished in 42:58 which I was actually shocked by…it felt like we were out there forever!  I’m so proud of the whole team for getting through the race faster than we anticipated!  I was so excited to see B waiting for me at the finish line.  He rode his bike 15 miles to be there…he rules!  We hung out for a bit to see who the winners were and then headed for some much needed food and beer.

Post race beers!

Post race beers!

The Honey Badgers!!!

The Honey Badgers!!!

Oh and there might have been some cupcakes.  This place won Cupcake Wars…we had to try it!!

I will take ALL the things!

I will take ALL the things!

This was definitely one of the most difficult things I’ve done and it made me very frustrated because afterwards I just kept feeling like I could’ve done better!  I’ve completed 5 half marathons and 1 full marathon, how could I not keep up for 2.5 miles?!?!?!  I didn’t even TRY the wall climbs.  Really?!?  I couldn’t give it the ole college try?!?  It was incredibly disheartening and I was actually beating myself up about it for the rest of the weekend.  But I’ve come to realize that this was just a completely different experience and here’s why:

  1. Competing with a team is totally different!  I felt a lot of pressure to keep up with them and not let them down.  All of the girls on my team probably weigh at least 30-50 pounds less than I do, so running and burpees are just harder for me due to simple physics and I felt like I was just slowing everyone down.  I know we were out there to have fun, but it’s hard to get past that feeling.  They were incredibly supportive, but I still couldn’t help put that pressure on myself.  It’s much easier when you’re just competing against yourself.
  2. We ran the majority of the time.  I think I went out of the gate much faster than I should’ve instead of properly pacing myself (like I ALWAYS do!) and then instead of doing my typical run/walk pace, we strictly ran.  I’m really not used to this and it killed my endurance early on.
  3. The obstacles.  There is something to be said about doing strenuous exercises between runs…it’s DAMN HARD.  We do this often at our WODs in the gym, but usually for must shorter periods of time and often with rests in between.  To keep up that level of endurance for a long time is no joke.
  4. Uneven terrain.  Trails and mud force you to really pay a lot more attention to where your stepping and you can’t just run with your head held high and looking forward.  Surprisingly though, I didn’t find the wet shoes as horrible as I would’ve expected.  I think the fact that I chose lightweight, mesh sneakers helped with that.

I don’t think I went into the Gauntlet fully prepared for what lied ahead.  I was looking at it as more of a 2.5 mile fun run, which would be no big deal!  This was something completely different and I can’t beat myself up over it.  Needless to say it was a humbling experience and I did actually manage to have some fun along the way.  At least I now know what to expect for events like this in the future and will go in with realistic expectations!

Have you ever done a competition like this?  Do you like them?  Would you consider doing one in the future? 

CrossFit Games Northeast Regionals – Part 2

After a late night of laughs and a few cocktails, we woke up ready for Day 3 of the CrossFit Games Northeast Regionals.  I forgot to mention in Part 1 of my recap that I finally tried on a pair of Reebok CrossFit Nano 2.0s.  I’m long overdue for a new pair of CrossFit shoes and this was the clear option.  They were super comfy, so decided to bite the bullet and get a pair!  I strapped on my kicks for the last day of the games…woohoo!

My New Nanos!!

My New Nanos!!

We arrived early enough to catch the team competition and cheer on our team, CrossFit Milford (CFM), for Event 6.  One man and one woman from each team had to complete the following for time:

  • 100 double unders, 50 each
  • 50 handstand push-ups while partner holds handstand
  • 50 Toes-to-bar while partner hangs from the bar
  • 50 Axle (thick bar) Shoulder to overhead (160#/100#) while partner holds axle in front rack
  • Then, both partners lunge 90 feet with the axles held in front rack

Oh no big deal…I can do that in my sleep!  Hahaha!  The set up was intense..

02 CFRG_Event6 Liz and Rob took this one for CFM.

Double Unders

Double Unders

Handstand Push-ups

Handstand Push-ups

Toes-to-bar

Toes-to-bar

Shoulder to Overhead

Shoulder to Overhead

Walking Lunges

Walking Lunges

While CFM didn’t finish on top, they still tied for 11th which is damn impressive.  After the teams, the ladies were up.  Here’s how the event changed for the individuals:

  • 100 Double unders
  • 50 Handstand push-ups
  • 40 Toes-to-bar
  • 30 Shoulder to overhead with axle (160#/100#)
  • 90 foot Walking lunge with axle in front rack (160#/100#)

We were excited to watch our favorite chick of the competition, Jennifer Hunter-Marshall, who we nicknamed Flower because she always had a flower in her hair no matter how tough the WOD was.  She is amazing!!

08 CFRG_Event6Women

Jennifer Hunter-Marshall

The top 5 women killed it and it was so exciting to see Danielle Horan be the first to finish.  She was pretty excited too 😉

09 CFRG_Event6Women

Top 3 Women

Danielle Horan

Danielle Horan

We grabbed some lunch while the the men’s competition took place and then got a great spot for Event 7.  Here is where one of my favorite parts of the competition took place.  Ok, I’m a logistics nerd, so watching the crew reset the rig so quickly was awesome!  Plexiglass wall down, ropes up…seriously impressive.

011 CFRGAnd then the barbell race 2.0 began…

012 CFRGEvent 7 was a killer.  It might sound simple when you read it, but the weights are the heaviest the athletes had to tackle all weekend…not fun after 6 other grueling events.  The team had to complete the following for time:

  • One man and one woman will each complete 3 rounds of:
    • 15 foot rope climbs, 2 reps
    • 2 Squat cleans (225#/135#)
  • One man and one woman will each complete 3 rounds of:
    • 15 foot rope climbs, 2 reps
    • 3 Squat cleans (225#/135#)
  • One man and one woman will each complete 3 rounds of:
    • 15 foot rope climbs, 2 reps
    • 4 Squat cleans (225#/135#)

The weights were set and the team competition began!

013 CFRG_Event7

I think my favorite part of the event took place in the first heat.  The weights were tough and that was clear right off the bat when the men began to struggle.

014 CFRG_Event7

This guy was struggling with the squat cleans, but he had the whole crowd cheering him on!  It was pretty amazing and when he got his last one the crowd when crazy!!  So awesome to watch.

015 CFRG_Event7

And I got to see my favorite bearded competitor again…win.

016 CFRG_Event7CFM was in the final heat and the whole team came out to compete.  At this point, it was near impossible for them to make the top 3 and move on to the Games, but we were supporting them nonetheless.

017 CFRG_Event7CFM

018 CFRG_Event7CFM

Team CFM

019 CFRG_Event6CFM

Jay on the Rope Climb

020 CFRG_Event7CFM

Heavy Squat Cleans!

They struggled through the WOD and sadly didn’t end up finishing, but they gave it a great effort through out the entire weekend finishing 9th overall.

We headed home after the teams competed since it was getting late and we had a 2 1/2 hour drive ahead of us.  But I couldn’t leave without getting a nacho boat from Cross Cuisines for the road.  They used plantains instead of tortilla chips to make them paleo, so we obviously named them banana nachos and they were delicious!

021 CFRG_BananaNachos

Banana Nachos!

Overall, a super fun and inspiring weekend and I can’t wait to do it all again next year!!  Maybe I’ll even participate in the Open next year…maybe 🙂

CrossFit Games Northeast Regionals – Part 1

CFNEREG_Girls

Wow.  This was by far was one of the best sporting events I have ever been to.  The athleticism and determination displayed was beyond inspiring.  But probably the coolest thing, was to get to see the team from my box, CrossFit Milford (CFM), compete.  These were my coaches and people I see train everyday competing among the fittest in the Northeast.  Pretty cool!

In order to qualify for the CrossFit Games Regional competition, all athletes took part in the Open which took place from March 6 – April 7 which consisted of 5 workouts.  The cool thing about the Open is that anyone can compete…anyone…even me if I dared (which I didn’t!).  The top 30 teams and individuals in each region then moved on to the Regional competition.  And last weekend was the Northeast’s turn to take the stage.

The competition began on Friday, May 17th, but I wasn’t able to get up there that day due to work and other obligations.  So Saturday morning, me and 4 of my CFM girls woke up at the crack of dawn and headed up to Canton, MA to cheer on our team and have a little fun on days 2 & 3 of the competition.  The event was held at the Reebok World Headquarters, which was quite the venue!  Unfortunately we missed the team competition that morning, but we arrived just as Event 4 of the Individual Women’s Competition was beginning.  This event was intense:

  • 100 Wall Balls (20#/14# to a 10′ target)
  • 100 Chest to Bar Pull-ups
  • 100 One-legged squats, alternating
  • 100 One-armed dumbbell snatches (75#/50#)

The event was to be completed for time with a 25 minute cap.

Wall Balls

Wall Balls

Chest to Bar Pull-ups

Chest to Bar Pull-ups

Bloody Pull-up Bars

Bloody Pull-up Bars!

One-legged Squats

One-legged Squats

I was exhausted from watching this and seriously needed some food 🙂  So after the women finished, we headed out to the grounds to grab some lunch and check out some of the vendors.  I have to say this was some of the best “festival” food I’ve ever had…amazing paleo options!  I don’t think there would be any other event where you could get grilled meat with a ton of avocado and bacon on top?!

06 CFRG_Grounds

Ashley & I :)

Ashley & I 🙂

Event 5 was up next and we were finally able to see the teams compete.  One man and one woman from each team had to complete the following for time:

Man completes 21-15-9 reps of:

  • 275# deadlift
  • 30″ box jump

Then, woman completes 21-15-9 reps of:

  • 185# deadlift
  • 24″ box jump

No big deal right??  Ugh…

08 CFRG_Event5Team

Dead lifts & box jumps!

We watched all the teams compete and here is where I found my most favorite team to watch…

07 CFRG_Event5Team

I mean really, how can you not love them??  I also really enjoyed watching Team CrossFit One who where incredibly inspiring and just seemed to enjoy every moment of the competition.  We were convinced these two are in love…who knows??

09 CFRG_Event5TeamTeam CFM was in the final heat and we were all so excited to finally get to cheer our team on.  Ryan and Katie took this stage for this event…

010 CFRG_Event5TeamCFM

They did an awesome job and finished 10th for the event.  I can’t even jump on a 24″ box so I was completely in awe.  The individuals were up next and the event was increased to the following weights:

  • 305#/205# deadlift
  • 30″/24″ box jumps

It was amazing to watch, but I think my favorite part about it was the set up.  For some reason, the way the weights came racing around the corner was extremely entertaining!

013 CFRG_WeightsBut by far, the best part of the competition and the CrossFit community in general is the camaraderie.  My favorite thing was to watch how the the competitors who had finished went right over to those who were still finishing up and cheered them on.  Some were clearly struggling to get through the WOD and I can only imagine how much that helped get them through the end.  Pure awesome.

011 CFRG_Team Cheer012 CFRG_Team CheerDay 2 of the games wrapped up and we headed back to our hotel some dinner and a night of shenanigans.  Sorry…but what happens in Canton, stays in Canton 😉  All I can say is we had a lot of laughs and were psyched to see what day 3 had to bring.

See Part 2 of the CrossFit Games Northeast Regionals HERE!

Burpees = Bruised Knees

So raise your hand if you like burpees…  Anyone? Anyone?  Beuller?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.

burpees-1

If you’re not sure what a burpee is, here is the official description CrossFit description:

To perform a burpee with a pushup, you will begin in a squat position with hands on the floor in front of you (1). Kick your feet back, while simultaneously lowering yourself into the bottom portion of a pushup. Your arms will not be extended. (2). Immediately return your feet to the squat position, while simultaneously pushing “up” with your arms. You will perform a pushup as you return your feet to the squat position (3). Leap up as high as possible from the squat position (4). Repeat, moving as fast as possible.

And it looks like this:

HowToDoBurpee

Well it should look like that, but here’s what I feel like I look like doing burpees:

Walrus-on-the-beach

When in reality, I look like this:

Burpees...booooooo

Sarah Burpee2

I hate burpees.  Whenever I see them in a WOD, I want to run the other way.  But I end up sticking it out because they are SO good for you!  They use just about every muscle in your body and give you a killer workout.  But I have a dilemma…  Every time I do a lot of burpees, my knees look like this for about a week after:

Bruised KneesOuch!  I get seriously bruised knees!  I attribute this to my lack of upper body strength for the pushup part of the burpee and having to use my knees to push up off the ground.  Or maybe I just have really bad form.  Or maybe I need to drop a few pounds so I can be lighter on the drop down.  All I know, is that it hurts!

So what are your thoughts on burpees?  Do you get bruised knees from doing them?  Any tips? 

On a side note, while talking about burpees with my CrossFit pals yesterday, my friend Kat found this UH-Mazing video of a walrus exercising…enjoy 🙂

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