Throwback to the RBG. Mr. Matt Counts. 

2014 CrossFit Games Review, Part 2:

Things We Knew (That Were Confirmed)

1) The season is long.  aka: Smarter, not necessarily harder. But harder.

To compete in the CrossFit Games, you have to put the work in. You’ve got to put it in every damn day. There are no off-days, only recovery days. On those recovery days, it is critical for the athletes to recover physically, but also mentally and emotionally as well. THIS — BY FAR — is the single most important but also the single most difficult things for the athletes to do and the coach to monitor. But it is what can and does separate the good teams from the great teams.

When you have a group of highly motivated, highly dedicated group of athletes willing to grind, suffer and hurt – the priority ha to be on recovery. The coach’s job is to ensure that her athletes are adapting to the training and progressing over the course of the season. There were days when I would have to modify training – or pull the plug altogether, if I thought that the goal of the session was slipping away. Pushing yourself to the brink, but no farther, is intricate and dangerous. Too little and you’ll show up unprepared — too much and you’ll show up a zombie.

The nature of CrossFit (our sport) is one that requires athletes to perform on a daily, weekly and monthly basis – and then perform BIG when it counts. The three stages of our season are spread out from February to July. I would argue that CrossFitters endure more physical stress on a daily basis than any other sport – ever. Managing injuries and mental states over the course of those 6 months is the job of both the athlete and coach. If you’re injured, you can’t train. If you’re injured, you can’t compete. If you’re burned out, you can’t do anything.

Some coaches and blogs out there trend too far to the “work” side of the continuum (maximum non-lethal dose). Some trend too far towards the “recovery” end of the spectrum (minimum effective dose). I think both have their benefits and drawbacks. The former has the ability to prepare you optimally for the mental test, while the latter has the ability to prepare you optimally for the mental test.

The key is to develop ways to train smarter AND harder.

2) Broad and Inclusive

To be a top Games competitor (Individual or Team), your training has to be broad and inclusive. It would be impossible to “train” every single aspect of fitness that might show up at the Games in a systematic and meaningful way in such a short time span (2 months).

However, there are aspects and elements of training that can and will transfer into many other aspects. For example, we made a make-shift Worm out of sandbags tied together with ropes. We trained with sandbags and with this modified Worm four weekends in a row. The men’s bags weighed 90#, while the women’s weighed 60#. It would be silly for us to have trained all year with sandbags and with the makeshift worm. What if the Worm had not showed up? It is one aspect of team competition, and one that places a high priority on teamwork and communication – but not necessarily fitness.

What we did do, however, was to train time under load — a lot. Every weekend from Regionals through the Games, we did some variation of extreme time-under-tension squats. One weekend was 20 reps of squats at ~70% of 1-RM — one rep every 10 seconds (3 minutes and 20 seconds under load). The next weekend was 3 sets of the following: 5 squats @ ~75-80% of 1-RM, hold for 1 minute, 5 squats. This translated very well to the Worm squat/burpee WOD.

We did not train with D-Balls. We did train with atlas stones. We don’t have a Bob, but we did train sled pushes and drags. We don’t have an ocean, but we did swim at Barton Springs every almost every weekend from the Open through the Games.

We did not focus on 1-RM strength at all, as our team was already strong – we did focus on strength-endurance and moving sub-maximal weight for high(er) reps. We trained everything that we could, within reason, but focused on things that would provide us the biggest bang for our buck and allow for the greatest amount of carry-over to other things.

3) We’re not the only good team out there.

There are a lot of friggin’ good team out there. In our Region, we proved that our three women(Ingrid, Chelsea and Lisa) were the best when it came to high-rep gymnastics movements (muscle-ups, HSPU and pull-ups). At the Games, lots of teams had women that were as good if not better than ours. It is paramount to go into the Games confident, but always humble and with respect for your competition.

4) The Open is not Regionals, Regionals is not the Games

3rd in the Open, 1st at Regionals, 21st at the Games.

Some of the top teams (Invictus, NorCal, Brick) were struggling on day 2 with what seemed like only a slim margin to qualify for the Games. But these three teams all ended up performing very well at the Games. Maybe they peaked just right, maybe the workouts suited their athletes and teams, maybe they just showed up to play.

Projections and past finished are just that.


Week 02 Training: 14.08.12

A. Every 2.5 Minutes x 6:

Clean & Jerk: 1@70, 1@75, 1@80

B. 3 Rounds Not For Time:

1 x Good Morning Matrix
14 GHD Situp + Rotation
7 Bent Over Barbell Row with 2-Count Pause at Chest
Lateral Band Walk

C. 4 Rounds for Reps:

15 Seconds ME Strict HSPU
15 Seconds Rest
15 Seconds ME Kipping HSPU
15 Seconds Rest


CrossFit Jääkarhu is a local community in Austin, Texas that is focused on identifying goals, coaching progress and getting results. If you are interested in learning more about our gym, visit our main website (click here). About CrossFit Jääkarhu Programs Available How to Start

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22 comments on “14.08.12
  1. Dr. Wu says:

    Coach, what are some of the markers that you use to see if your athletes are getting burned out? or too fatigued?

    • vanlandingbad says:

      Decreased sexual performance.

    • Dr. Wu!

      As of right now, the main “marker” that I use is athlete feedback. This is obviously not the best method, and presents its own set of challenges…

      The athlete has to trust me, and also has to be honest with me and with him or herself.

      Are they actually overtraining… or are they mentally weak?

      In the past, I have tried to use something as simple as resting heart rate upon rising, but could never gain much momentum there. I have also considered using the “dot test” or “CNS tap test”, or a simple vertical jump.

      Ideally we would use a more complex system of biofeedback, such as HRV monitoring, but quite honestly we have just not moved there yet. It will happen though.

      What are your thoughts and what might you suggest?

  2. Kelly C says:

    A. 95- 110
    B. done
    C. Forgot to count

  3. mlubke says:

    A) 175-195
    B) done
    C) around 20. burned out on strict

  4. Alyson says:

    A) 130/140/150
    B) Done
    C) Strict: 14, Kipping: 30

  5. brettbolus says:

    A) 195/205/220
    B) Done
    C) strict: 11, Kip: 24

  6. vanlandingbad says:

    Good to be back.

    A) 225/245/265
    B) Check
    C) Not sure on the actual count – ~25 total strict and ~35 total kipping

  7. Feliz says:

    A) 90/95/100
    B) done
    C) 2 strict & 20 kipping

  8. Stacy says:

    A) 105, 110, 115
    B) done
    C) done

  9. Chad Fisher says:

    A) 205, 215, 225
    B) Done
    C) Not sure on the actual count – But round 1 was 10 and 10 and then it quickly became sets of 2 or 3

  10. Morgan says:

    a) 165 / 175 / 190
    b) done
    c) 25 total

  11. Russ Laing says:

    A) 185/200/215
    B) done
    C) done – not sure of number

  12. TDUB says:

    A) 205-225 took it easy and eventually cut it down to 135 to work on technique. Still weary of my knee in the jerk
    B) Done skipped GHD and Good mornings,
    C) 53 total didn’t keep track of specific totals.

  13. coachjeffmck says:

    190/205/220. No misses
    B- done
    C- spicy
    D- ice bath/ jacked and tan sesh

  14. Nathan says:

    A) 165 – 185
    B) Had to skip due to time and lack of equipment
    C) 20 strict, 15 kipping

  15. Sarah says:

    A) 110, 115, 120
    B) done
    C) done. lost count.

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The CrossFit Games
2014 Reebok CrossFit GamesJuly 25th, 2014

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