Battle in the Barracks 2016: the WODs

It should come as no surprise after last year, but I’ve gone and signed up for CrossFit Currie Barracks’ annual crossfit comp: Battle in the Barracks.  There are two divisions: Rx and Rx+, and only individuals (no teams at this comp).  The competition runs December 3rd and 4th.  Coach Eric posted the WODs yesterday, which only slightly diminished my nervous anticipation of the comp.

Great, 7 more weeks of being nervous!

I’ve been getting treatment for my right shoulder impingement for three weeks-ish now, and this is the first week I’ve been back doing overhead movements (although at a lighter weight than usual).  Of course, I’m excited to get back at training, but I also recognize that I need to let my body heal before I rush back to doing all the things.  So I held off registering before the WODs were posted, as I wanted to be sure I could handle whatever was programmed.  But yesterday, I bit the bullet and signed up – and thank goodness I did because the Rx ladies spots are sold out now!


So, what’s on the agenda this year (for us Rx folks)?

Events 1 & 2 – Clean & Jerk Ladder with a Snatch Chaser

On an 11min clock:

Event 1 – [Squat] Clean & Jerk Ladder:

5 @ 95/65

5 @ 115/75

3 @ 135/95

3 @ 155/105

2 @ 165/115

2 @ 185/125

1 @ 205/135

with remaining time:

Event 2 – Find 1RM Snatch

The game of these two events is that you can bow out of the C&J ladder at any point and start the snatch.

Kait’s opinion:


I love event 1 so am going to try to get as high up the ladder as I can.  Since my snatch number won’t be as high, I’m planning to focus more of my time on the ladder.

Event 3 – Barbell & a Bar

For time:

21 power snatch

21 pull-ups

15 overhead squats

15 pull-ups

9 squat snatch

9 pull-ups

Load: 95/65#

Time Cap: 10 min

Kait’s opinion: We trialed this event in class on Wednesday.  For the girl who hasn’t done anything overhead in three weeks, this event is a whole lot of upper body.  With 45# on the bar and kipping pull-ups, I finished in 9:55.


Clearly I need to work on faster, more efficient pull-ups, and pray that 65# doesn’t crush me.  Not sure I can finish within the 10 minute time cap, but I’m sure as hell going to try.

Event 4 – Up & Down

10 Shoulder to Overhead 115/75

15 Deadlifts 175/125

20 Burpee Box Jumps 24/20

25/20 Cal Row

100 Double Unders

25/20 Cal Row

20 Box Jumps 24/20

15 Power Cleans 115/75

10 Shoulder to Overhead 115/75

Score: Time

Time Cap: 17 min

Kait’s opinion: I don’t hate it.


Last year’s event featured 2x 30 calorie rows which almost killed me, so 20 calories seems totally manageable.  Weird how our perspectives change, hey?  Other than that, looks like a ton of fun!

Fortunately, I’ve conned Anna into joining me again this year so I’ll have her to train with, and motivate me on competition day.  Yay Anna!


I remember last year being terrified about the Battle, but it really pushed me out of my shell and got me comfortable being uncomfortable.  Plus I loved competing alongside my friends and fellow Sunaltans.  And the Battle is a really well-run competition with challenging events, massages/chiro, fun loot bags, and cool shirts.  Win-win!

At last check, the Rx events (both men and women) are sold out; however, there are still a few male and female Rx+ spots open.  And I noticed they’ve started a waiting list for both Rx events.  Sign up here!


Girls Gone Rx: Calgary Recap

On Saturday, Meg, Anna, and I competed at Reebok CrossFit Ramsay’s Girls Gone Rx: Calgary event. Although we didn’t podium – despite the many jokes that were made beforehand that we would – we all had a very fun day of fitness and I’m proud of team Sunalta Strong’s performance in the four events.


Of course because of my excitement about the competition, I was awake at 5 AM Saturday morning. I tried to sleep until 6, then got up and had a larger-than-normal breakfast of smoothie and oatmeal.  Meg picked me up and we were at Ramsay by 8 AM for check in.  I’d never been to CrossFit Ramsay before and WOW the facility is beautiful and huge!

Anna arrived shortly after, and then the organizers held the athlete briefing and discussed movement standards. We were feeling a bit nervous as we were in the first heat, and by the time the briefing wrapped up, we only had 7 minutes to warm up for 1 RM (rep max) cleans.  Luckily they delayed the start a few minutes, but I was still a bit frustrated by the lack of warm-up time.

Event 1

Fortunately, the lack of warm-up didn’t seem to hold Sunalta Strong back! Meg PR’ed her power clean, Anna PR’ed her hang clean, and then I PR’ed my (full) clean by 15#!

I had went into the event hoping to PR my clean with 135#, but of course with competition adrenaline and some awesome crowd support, I somehow managed to clean 145#!  I was so happy with the first event.


Event 2

For the second event, an 8 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible), we beat our previous trial score by 9 reps. We flowed smoothly between wall balls and power cleans, and then I smashed out the last 15 power cleans to give us a score of 5 full rounds.

We finished the event feeling very sweaty and pleased with how well our plan had worked out.

Event 3

The third event was our best finish – 6th place!  It was a “for time” chipper event featuring double unders, lunges, and burpees, while two athletes hang from a pull-up bar.

Luckily, from our trial, we knew our forearms would take a beating and we were prepared mentally for the challenge.

And perhaps the burpees made the event a shorter athlete’s game (which was definitely in our favor, as we three girls were on the more petite end of the spectrum for the competition).

Regardless, we finished in around 9 minutes, which cut a whole minute off our previous trial time.  Yay!

(Somehow all the photos I have show Anna doing the chipper while Meg and I hang out… I promise we all participated!)

Event 4

We were all dreading the fourth event – the 100 calorie row for time, and it snuck up on us because our heat started before the scheduled start time (meaning I didn’t row at all before the clock started!). Definitely not ideal to go from cooled down to 110% effort in zero seconds!  We stuck to our plan of each girl rowing for :50 seconds at a time and helping each other transition, and finished around 5:10.  I felt horrible after the row – calves and forearms cramping, and extremely nauseous.

We hung around for the big group photo and the awards ceremony after, and I managed to down some food which helped with the desire to lose my breakfast.

I wasn’t sure what caliber of athletes would show up for a “fun” competition like Girls Gone Rx (where the prizes are loot, not cash). Turns out, the competition was full of very strong, competitive ladies!  To give you an idea, Alex Parker was in attendance.  In the end, we finished 17th out of 21 teams.  But it goes to show how fierce the competition was!

Overall, despite the rough last event, the competition was a fun one and I’m very proud of how hard all of us worked. We beat all of our trial times, and PR’ed our cleans.  We gave each event our 100%!  It was a great day and a positive, challenging competition!  Thanks to our family and friends who came out to cheer us on. ♥

Thoughts for future competitions:

  • Pack a proper lunch because snacks all day won’t cut it
  • Ensure there is enough time for warming up
  • Team comps are so much fun!

As a final note, I’d like to give a shout out to my physiotherapist Gina of Action Sports Clinic here in Calgary.  She’s been treating my right shoulder for several weeks (for a prior self-inflicted injury) and my shoulder’s happily on the road to recovery.  I can’t say enough good things about Gina and her physio skills!