Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hammerhead Games Part III

Oh, I'm sad that the Hammerhead Games are over.  It was so much fun! Competing at 2-week intervals is the perfect way to stay amped up but not disrupt your big-picture training.  Crossfit Dewitt held the last event in the three-part series on Saturday, February 9th. I wrote a piece about our gym's results here.
Split snatching 95# because I still don't like to squat
As for myself, I was very pleased with my performance, and to be honest, pleasantly surprised at my results. The first event was a 10' AMRAP of 7 hang snatch at 95#, 25yd plate push on the turf (25# plate), 25yd plate drag, and 50yd sprint. On every round, I would fall behind Jess and Meghan on the snatches and then catch back up on the plate drags. Fall behind, catch back up. With 1 minute to go I was in 3rd place, chasing them on the plate drag (which is a funny sight, because it's a race in super slow motion.) When the clock buzzed, I'd managed to eek out the win by less than a foot. The best part of that workout was that my sister and her boyfriend, who came from Binghamton to watch. Thanks guys!
Me and Anna
Plate drag-- wherein feet are on a plate and you just wheelbarrow yourself forward
The second event was a 500m row followed by 21-15-9 of deadlift (145#, low plates), recessed push-ups (hands on 25# plates), and GHD sit-ups. Lucky for me, I was in the lane next to the fabulous Meghan Kelly, so I was able to chase her. The two of us managed to finish 1-2: her first and me second. Word.
Meghan and me at the chalk-trough pre-workout
Lining up to start the row- Jess, Meghan, me
21 deadlifts with the short plates.  Steph's caption on this picture was "North-going Zax and South-going Zax." I love Dr. Suess! 
Me, Erin, and Meghan happy to be DONE! Thanks Steph for the pictures!
Second-place overall in this event bumped me up to third place overall for the series.  Who would have thought!?

A couple people have wondered to what I attribute this improvement. Legs, legs, legs. As I've written about before, when I started crossfit in 2010, my max bench was 150lbs and my max back squat was 115lbs. I could do 25 strict pull ups in a row but I couldn't even deadlift my body weight. It has taken a LONG time, but my legs are starting to catch up.

Next question people ask: "Will this help your kayaking?" Well, I don't think that being a quadzilla (with, say a 280lb back squat and large leg muscles) would help my kayaking, but I believe where I am now definitely will help.  Strength-to-weight ratio in a kayak is paramount, and since my body weight is the same as when I was kayak racing, I know that I have gained muscle mass and lost body fat.  Even though most of that strength gain is in my legs, I can always use some more hip drive in the kayak and push-pull on the footboard!

I will be focusing on CrossFit until I graduate from college (May 18), so I am going to continue to drill the legs until then-- and maybe even after that! It feels surprisingly good to be a more balanced athlete. My body can do a wide range of movements now (not just shoulder and core!)

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