Untitled Document
My CrossFit Open Experience
By Ed Bauer

From Thursday, February 27th through Monday, March 31st, The Reebok CrossFit Open was my competition. One workout was released each Thursday at 5pm and each athlete had until the following Monday at 5pm to submit their score. One workout was released each week for five straight weeks. Each person’s score was the total average of their five performances. Over 209,000 people signed up for the CrossFit Open. Of those, there were 81,141 men competing worldwide. In the Northern California Region, there were 3,709 men. These guys were my more specific competition. Now let me share how this all went down for me.

The first workout was 14.1.

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 10 minutes of:
30 double-unders
15 power snatches, 75 lbs.

I did this workout on the first Saturday. I only got 286 reps. This score was not good enough for me, since a lot of the other people doing the workout at my gym that day got a better score. I decided to repeat it again on Monday. My mind weighed heavy with how well I would perform the second time through. This was a smart move. My final score that Monday was 308 total reps. That was 6 full rounds, 30 double-unders, and 8 snatches. This put me in 568th place for my region. Not the best start, but I had four more workouts to try and improve my placing. (You can watch my open workout video here:

The following week came 14.2

Every 3 minutes for as long as possible complete:
From 0:00-3:00
2 rounds of:
10 overhead squats
10 chest-to-bar pull-ups
From 3:00-6:00
2 rounds of:
12 overhead squats
12 chest-to-bar pull-ups
From 6:00-9:00
2 rounds of:
14 overhead squats
14 chest-to-bar pull-ups
Etc., following same pattern until you fail to complete both rounds
MEN - includes Masters Men up to 54 years old
95-lb. overhead squats
Chest-to-bar pull-ups

I did this workout the Saturday of that week. I did this workout last out of everyone at my gym, and I beat the best score by 4 reps. I got half way through the 16’s round and got 4 additional overhead squats before the time ran out. I felt good with this score and left it at that. This was worth 322nd place in the region. This was also the week that I was added onto a custom leaderboard of only vegans and vegetarians. A member of the Facebook Group Vegans & Vegetarians as Rx’d made a custom leaderboard that had over 40 veg athletes on it. As one of the few faces of Vegan CrossFit, I knew I wanted to get to the top of this board. This 2nd workout put me in 3rd place.

During these five weeks, my entire focus was on how well I would perform these Open workouts. It took my focus off of my usual strength training, and I ended up skipping other days at the gym because I was worried I wouldn’t be recovered enough for the Open workouts. To be involved in a competition for 5 weeks was proving to be stressful.

For the following week, 14.3 was

Complete as many reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
135-lb. deadlifts, 10 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch
185-lb. deadlifts, 15 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch
225-lb. deadlifts, 20 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch
275-lb. deadlifts, 25 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch
315-lb. deadlifts, 30 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch
365-lb. deadlifts, 35 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch

I repeated this workout twice as well. My deadlift 1 rep max was 435lbs at the time, so I knew I wanted to get reps in at 315. The first time I did this, I ran out of time right before I got to the 315 bar. This made another long weekend with anxiety surrounding whether I could improve my score. I gave it another go that Monday. I managed to improve my pace by 1.5 minutes, and I was able to pull 8 deadlifts at 315 lbs, making my final score 138 reps! This was good enough for 341st place in the region.

Workout 14.4 ended up being a long “chipper.” A chipper in CrossFit is any long workout, one single round, with a lot of movements and reps and you just simply “chip” away at it. This workout was:

Complete as many rounds and repetitions as possible in 14 minutes of:
60-calorie row 
50 toes-to-bars
40 wall-ball shots, 20 lb. to 10-foot target
30 cleans, 135 lb.
20 muscle-ups

This workout was designed to be short enough that top level athletes would be able to start a second round if they could complete 20 muscle -ups at the end of this workout. This was another workout I performed on Friday, got a score that I wasn’t pleased with, and retested on Monday. The only thing was, I retested and got exactly the same score! I went through all that stress and hard work for nothing. I improved my speed by a full minute, but then got stuck on the muscle-ups. I managed to get 6 reps on the rings, so my total score was 186. This was a lousy 561st place finish. This did help my placing on the Vegans & Vegetarians as Rx’d Leaderboard. It was good enough to bump me into 2nd place. Now I was only 2 points behind 1st place, and I knew a few things would have to work my way for me to take the lead.

Then, the final workout 14.5 came around. This was a simple couplet of:

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
95 lb. thrusters
Bar-Facing Burpees

The unique component of this workout was that it was “for time,” which means you had to keep going regardless of how long it took. Your final score was your total time. All of the other CrossFit Open workouts have been AMRAPs (as many reps as possible) since the inception of the Open. This was going to be a rough one for a lot of people. The best in the world finished this workout in 8.5 minutes, while others took over an hour to get this done. I did this workout on that Friday and finished in 14:13. I didn’t know where this would place me on the Vegans Leaderboard. I also was on another custom Leaderboard for the gym I train at called GrassRoots CrossFit. I am the only vegan coach there, and knew I wanted to have a good score. I once again repeated this workout hoping to improve my score. Once again, I wasn’t able to improve my first score. I stuck with my first attempt, submitted my score, and hoped for the best.

I was not sure where this would place me on the Vegans & Vegetarians as Rx’d Leaderboard, The GrassRoots CrossFit Leaderboard, the Northern California Regional Leaderboard, or the Worldwide CrossFit Open Leaderboard. I would find out by the end of the day.

As it turns out, that final score for 14.5 was good enough to bump me into 1st Place on the Vegans & Vegetarians as Rx’d Leaderboard, 1st Place on the GrassRoots CrossFit Leaderboard, 359th Place out of 3,709 on the Northern California Regional Leaderboard, and 6,419th Place out of 81,141 men worldwide. Not only did I manage to take 1st Place out of all the vegans competing, I was able to take 1st Place in my gym as well and beat out all the other coaches and members who follow a Paleo diet. My score in the Northern California Region put me in the top 10% of the region, and my worldwide ranking put me in the top 8% of male CrossFitters worldwide. It’s not the best, but I am proud to show what a vegan athlete can do. I’d also like to remind every single meat eating CrossFitter out there; I just beat over 92% of the world. Think about that before you justify killing an animal in the name of improving health or performance.