Competing in the CrossFit Games 2010 NorCal Sectionals

13:38 Fri 26 Mar 2010
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Tomorrow I’m going to be in San Jose taking part in the Northern California Sectional qualifiers for the 2010 CrossFit Games. I have no chance of qualifying for the next round (Regionals), but I’m going anyway, and planning to give it all I’ve got. I don’t think I’ve ever taken part in an organized public athletic competition before[1].

It’s an individual competition, but I’m going down there with a great team of fellow competitors, CrossFitters from CrossFit KMSF: Niall, David, Zac, Robert, Matt, and John. (Good luck guys!). I’ve had the benefit of training with them and the rest of the CFKMSF crew, and of being coached by Kat, Lake, and Cip—thanks for all your hard work getting us ready!


I’ve been training as usual, five days a week, but trying to push it a little harder, and with more focus on my diet. I’ve been fairly clean Paleo-only for the last two months, and haven’t cheated on that at all for the last few weeks. I’m not sure I have my diet quite right yet, but it’s getting there.

The training, unsurprisingly, has been quite varied. We had more of a focus on strength training in January and February, and that’s definitely paid dividends for me.

Going into the weekend, I’m 168 pounds (or 76 kilograms, or 12 stone), and have been at that weight for a while. It’s quite likely that while my weight has been stable, more of it has become muscle over the last month or two.

I’ve been doing CrossFit since last June, with two gaps of almost a month each in there, so a little under nine months of total time, and a little under seven months of actual training time.

The Workouts

I’m only listing the workouts for Saturday, since only the top 100 get to compete on Sunday, and I am rather unlikely to make it that far.

Workout A
In 6 Minutes:
  • Run 800m.
  • Max rep overhead squats at 115 pounds (or 52 kilos, or 8 stone 3).

Scored by total number of overhead squats.

As it happens, 115 pounds is my personal best for an overhead squat… but I know I can get at least a few reps. The key to this for me is probably my power snatch technique, because that’s how I get the bar into the overhead squat position. My heaviest power snatch is 120 pounds, and when we ran this workout for practice, I lost the most time on some failed attempts trying to get the bar overhead. So concentrating on good lifting form is critical for me, as is being entirely focused on keeping the bar overhead for as long as possible. The run is fine, I’m an average runner and it’s certainly not likely to cause me any problems. My overhead squat reps are likely to be limited by my arm strength giving out, rather than my leg strength, so I don’t think the run is going to have much impact on the number of squats I get.

Workout B
AMRAP 10 Mins
  • 7 thrusters at 115 pounds (or 52 kilos, or 8 stone 3).
  • 12 kettlebell swings at 53 pounds (or 1.5 pood, or 24 kilos, or 3 stone 11).
  • 7 pullups.

I’m more worried about this one. My personal best thruster is also 115 pounds—however, the thruster is really just a combined front squat into push press (without stopping), and my bests for those lifts are significantly higher, so I really should be able to deal with it. Nevertheless, that weight definitely feels heavy to me. The number of rounds I get for this one is more or less entirely about how well I deal with the thrusters. The kettlebell swings at that weight are fine, and I really should be able to get through 12 at a time. The pullups should also be fine, since for this one weekend I’m doing butterfly pullups instead of strict pullups. That does bring some injury risk, but I’m willing to try it, particularly since the pullups are chest-to-bar and I just cannot do that without kipping.

If you want to see what any of these movements look like, the standards videos can be downloaded from the right on the NorCal 2010 Sectionals Workouts page.

Total time of both workouts is just 16 minutes! Everyone has four hours between the two; I do the first one at 10:20 and the second at 14:20. By 14:30 I’ll be all done!


Competitively my expectations are low, since I know I’m just not in the shape to qualify. On the other hand, I really want to do the best I possibly can, and to get as close to respectability in my performance as possible.

Afterwards, I intend to keep training on the same schedule, although I will definitely go off the diet for at least a little while (and am already planning a trip to Dottie’s)!

I’ll post about the experience and how I did on Sunday or Monday.

[1] I’m not counting school gym days; the closest is probably a couple of competitive tennis matches I played in school, but there was nobody watching those…

One Response to “Competing in the CrossFit Games 2010 NorCal Sectionals”

  1. Graham Says:

    Good luck dude! Love GJ

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