As speculated in last week’s post, we saw a return of 16.4. Last year, this workout was my worst placed wod as it contains a few of my weaknesses. Wall balls were a major sticking point last year, but the biggest blockade for me were the hand release press ups. Going into it this year I knew the only sticking point would be the press ups, as my wall balls have been feeling pretty good lately.
Instead of busting out a huge set of deadlifts like last year, I followed the same strategy Brooke Wells had: quick sets of 5 with grabbing the bar again as soon as it was resting on the floor. This saved me a huge amount of time and I was done with the deadlifts in 1:24. Going into the wall balls, I followed a descending rep scheme. It was tempting to hit a set of 15 and then stick to 10s, or even go for a huge set of 25 or something and then grind through the remainder, but I know which strategy works best for me. I went 15-12-10-9-9. It’s not wildly different to going 15-10-10-10-10, but picking the ball up for those last 2 sets was mentally a hell of a lot easier.
The row was probably the most highly underestimated part of this workout. For some reason, my mind had decided not to remember how bad the row was in this. I got on thinking I could maintain a 1200cal/h pace, a sensible enough pace that was below what I’m usually used to rowing at. My legs however only could keep me at a 1050cal/h pace, and my lungs were starting to burn. 55 calories is such a hard distance to row for. On the one hand, you know the harder you row for calories, the less distance you actually need to row, but you also are acutely aware that 55 is not a short stint. Pacing this was one of the hardest parts of this workout and it absolutely crushed me.
I couldn’t have been happier to get off the rower at the 7:37 mark, over a full minute quicker at this point than last year’s effort. The last thing my body wanted to do now was to do press ups, the rower absolutely ruined me. I went in thinking that I could hit sets of 5 and see how long I could maintain that. Turns out, 3 sets of 5 was all I could manage. From there out, it was sets of 1s, 2s and 3s. I managed to squeeze out 11 more reps than last year.
Although I should be happy with my improvement, I think it shows that I haven’t really improved on my press ups. If I had come off the rower at the same time as last year, I think I might have only improved by 1 or 2 reps. Sure I should be happy that outside of that weakness, my fitness has improved, but it’s a wake up call to me that I really need to get on with working on my press ups. As soon as the Open finishes, I’ll be hitting that programme, and potentially re test 17.4 in 6 months or so.