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  • My CrossFit Open Experience by Ed Bauer


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    From Thursday, February 27th through Monday, March 31st, The Reebok CrossFitOpen was my competition. One workout was released each Thursday at 5pm andeach athlete had until the following Monday at 5pm to submit their score.One workout was released each week for five straight weeks. Each person’sscore was the total average of their five performances. Over 209,000 peoplesigned up for the CrossFit Open. Of those, there were 81,141 men competingworldwide. In the Northern California Region, there were 3,709 men. Theseguys were my more specific competition. Now let me share how this all wentdown 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 scorewas not good enough for me, since a lot of the other people doing theworkout at my gym that day got a better score. I decided to repeat it againon Monday. My mind weighed heavy with how well I would perform the secondtime through. This was a smart move. My final score that Monday was 308total reps. That was 6 full rounds, 30 double-unders, and 8 snatches. Thisput me in 568th place for my region. Not the best start, but I had four moreworkouts to try and improve my placing. (You can watch my open workout videohere:

    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 ofeveryone at my gym, and I beat the best score by 4 reps. I got half waythrough the 16’s round and got 4 additional overhead squats before the timeran out. I felt good with this score and left it at that. This was worth322nd place in the region. This was also the week that I was added onto acustom leaderboard of only vegans and vegetarians. A member of the FacebookGroup Vegans & Vegetarians as Rx’d made a custom leaderboard that hadover 40 veg athletes on it. As one of the few faces of Vegan CrossFit, Iknew I wanted to get to the top of this board. This 2nd workout put me in3rd place.

    During these five weeks, my entire focus was on how well I would performthese Open workouts. It took my focus off of my usual strength training, andI ended up skipping other days at the gym because I was worried I wouldn’tbe recovered enough for the Open workouts. To be involved in a competitionfor 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 atthe time, so I knew I wanted to get reps in at 315. The first time I didthis, I ran out of time right before I got to the 315 bar. This made anotherlong weekend with anxiety surrounding whether I could improve my score. Igave 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 138reps! This was good enough for 341st place in the region.

    Workout 14.4 ended up being a long “chipper.” A chipper in CrossFit is anylong workout, one single round, with a lot of movements and reps and youjust 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 wouldbe able to start a second round if they could complete 20 muscle -ups at theend of this workout. This was another workout I performed on Friday, got ascore that I wasn’t pleased with, and retested on Monday. The only thingwas, I retested and got exactly the same score! I went through all thatstress and hard work for nothing. I improved my speed by a full minute, butthen got stuck on the muscle-ups. I managed to get 6 reps on the rings, somy total score was 186. This was a lousy 561st place finish. This did helpmy placing on the Vegans & Vegetarians as Rx’d Leaderboard. It was goodenough 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 meansyou had to keep going regardless of how long it took. Your final score wasyour 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 goingto be a rough one for a lot of people. The best in the world finished thisworkout in 8.5 minutes, while others took over an hour to get this done. Idid this workout on that Friday and finished in 14:13. I didn’t know wherethis would place me on the Vegans Leaderboard. I also was on another customLeaderboard for the gym I train at called GrassRoots CrossFit. I am the onlyvegan coach there, and knew I wanted to have a good score. I once againrepeated this workout hoping to improve my score. Once again, I wasn’t ableto improve my first score. I stuck with my first attempt, submitted myscore, and hoped for the best.

    I was not sure where this would place me on the Vegans & Vegetarians asRx’d Leaderboard, The GrassRoots CrossFit Leaderboard, the NorthernCalifornia 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 into1st Place on the Vegans & Vegetarians as Rx’d Leaderboard, 1st Place onthe GrassRoots CrossFit Leaderboard, 359th Place out of 3,709 on theNorthern California Regional Leaderboard, and 6,419th Place out of 81,141men worldwide. Not only did I manage to take 1st Place out of all the veganscompeting, I was able to take 1st Place in my gym as well and beat out allthe other coaches and members who follow a Paleo diet. My score in theNorthern California Region put me in the top 10% of the region, and myworldwide ranking put me in the top 8% of male CrossFitters worldwide. It’snot the best, but I am proud to show what a vegan athlete can do. I’d alsolike to remind every single meat eating CrossFitter out there; I just beatover 92% of the world. Think about that before you justify killing an animalin the name of improving health or performance.

    Ed Bauer
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