16.1 Accomplished

I’m very relieved to have the CrossFit Open 16.1 WOD over with. Today was a great day at CrossFit Sunalta with plenty of nerves, fun, and #gainz.

Of course, I’d debated a ton about whether or not to scale 16.1. The scaled version appealed to me namely because I’d only ever done a few chest-to-bar pull-ups in my life. Doing the scaled version would enable me to skip the dreaded C2B pull-ups and speedily zip through the other elements.

But the RX version was doable, minus the pull-ups. I knew I was capable, although I also knew it would take me a month of Sundays.

With a bit of peer pressure and pull-up testing at the local playground, I begrudgingly decided to do the RX version. I woke up with a stomach full of nerves and after we walked Penny, we drove to the gym so I could get warmed up. After following Coach Eric’s warm-up, I felt pretty ready and we got rolling.

My friend Colin judged me and it was awesome having such a supportive buddy there to push me as I got tired. 20 minutes is a long time, folks. Dana was there to coach me too from the sidelines, thankfully.

I had zero issue with the lunges, and the burpees were a breeze (I used the step-in approach to save energy); however, the pull-ups were a bit of a drag. Singles from the start, but amazingly I was able to keep going! I alternated grips which really helped.     In the end, with plenty of encouragement from everyone, I got 124 reps (nearly 5 rounds). Nothing compared to Coach Emily Abbott’s performance at the announcement, but I’m definitely really happy with myself for doing the more challenging alternative and beating my goal of 4 rounds.

Dana went a little bit later and got 152 reps. I am so proud of him! His knee’s been bugging him lately but you never would have known it today. He did great!


Meg was in the same heat as me and her performance was amazing. Like me, she questioned her ability to do the C2B pull-ups but she was able to crush 4+ rounds today!

Just like last year’s Open, I found that I was pushed to find my outer limits and then go further. I’m really excited to see what else Dave Castro throws at us in the weeks to come!

How did 16.1 go for you?


Tips & Tricks: Open 16.1

Well, Dave Castro’s announcement reached us all last night from abroad.  20 minutes in the pain cave!  So proud of Coach Em’s great performance.  It was cool to see two average Joes doing the workout alongside Em and Chyna.

open 16.1 crossfit

I’m that athlete who’s in the awkward in-between stage.  Scaled is easy for me, but the chest-to-bar pull-ups make the RX version almost impossible.  I’m fine with all the other RX movements but those pull-ups…


As I mentioned in my recent blog post, I struggle a bit with scaling when I can scrape by and do a workout RX.  Because 1 RX point is worth more on the leaderboard than 200 scaled reps, I feel a bit conflicted.  I’ll get a great workout either way, but I know my level of frustration will be much higher if I choose the RX version.  The scaled version would allow me to be (practically) an all-star since none of the movements are personal “goats”.  Do I choose the easier path, which allows me a higher score, or the harder path, which has the potential for tears?

CrossFit Sunalta is doing the Open intramurals-style this year to make the Open more of a local competition.  My team is Jacked in the Box!  It’s a fun way to do the Open because we get points for various things like participation, top finishes, and team spirit. Our box is running heats on Sunday so I’ve got a long weekend of anticipation and strategizing ahead…

jacked in the box

Since I love to come armed with ALL THE INFORMATION, here’s a round up of tips and tricks for the CrossFit Open 16.1 workout:

  • Tabata Times always does a very detailed discussion of the WOD.  I like their emphasis on FUN this year.  Also, they mention that the burpees are your rest.
  • A little shameless CrossFit Sunalta promotion – Coach Eric did a great write-up and includes lots of notes about warming up appropriately (down in the “Coach’s Notes” section).  Coach says: “Treat this like you’re running a 5K. Don’t race out of the gates.”
  • Coach Emily Abbott blogged on the Blonyx site about the Open in general. A great read from a Games-level athlete, and I highly identify with her so-called “tomato face” (as I also suffer from the same condition).
  • This blogger recommends approaching 16.1 as you would any other workout, and just focus on doing better than last year.  (My goal is to RX at least two of the Open WODs this year.)
  • I’m definitely going to use some advice from this post: if I do the RX version, I’ll try using a supinated (palms inward) grip for the pull-ups, and go at 80% until the end is in sight
  • This post about crossfit as a hobby vs. crossfit as a sport was well-written.  Basically, going to the CrossFit Games as an elite athlete is like competing in hockey for the Stanley Cup.  For the rest of us, crossfit is simply a form of exercise.  And to answer my own question about whether or not to scale 16.1, “mov[e] with integrity to get the best training stimulus.”

With that, I’m signing off for the weekend.  Good luck with your 16.1 attempts and may the odds be ever in your favour!  Let me know how it goes!


CrossFit Open 16.1


‘Twas the dawn before the Open,

And all through the Box,

Nothing was stirring

Not even the chalk.

The jump ropes were hung on the wall sans care,

With hopes that Castro’s announcement soon would be there.


With Emily Abbott in Santa Clara, and Cho there too,

One could only guess what Castro would have them do.

They may lift, do gymnastics, or do things in pairs,

In anticipation of the victory that soon will be theirs.

Emily’s brute strength would make quite a showcase,

Though something heavy may make Cho a disgrace.

We hope Em doesn’t face muscle-ups for seven minutes,

Because even we know she does have her limits.

When out of Castro’s mouth will burst sixteen-point-one,

Only Emily and Cho will know what has to get done.

The clock will count down: 3, 2, 1 – GO:

Whatever the WOD is, it will be quite the show!


Then the rest of us athletes at home on the couch

Will gasp and hurriedly erupt from our slouch,

To strategize, plot, and plan our attack

To ensure we avoid collapsing flat on our back.

We’ll eat clean, get sleep, and properly hydrate,

And know the schedule so we’re never late.

We’ll cheer loudly for our team and judge when we can,

To support our home athletes and be the best fan.


Although the leaderboard counts for a little bit,

Unless we’re Abbott we shouldn’t give a shit.

It’s only me against me, and you against you,

Time to get done what we love to do!