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My CrossFit Open 2015 Recap and 2014 Accomplishments Recap

The 2015 CrossFit Open is over.  I did’t make it to Regionals…again.  That’s okay.  That’s not my goal.  I got better.  I got stronger.  I got faster.  Physically and mentally.

2014 Accomplishments Recap

Most importantly, with each skill I focused on I blew myself away again, and again, and again.  All year long I surprised myself when after all those moments practicing, “it” finally clicked.  What was “it”?

“It” was:

  • Handstand walking 10 feet
  • Hitting 10 straight Butterfly Pull-Ups
  • Hitting 7 straight Muscle-Ups (Thanks Joe Botta and the 10 Muscle-Up Club!)
  • Snatching 165 pounds
  • Overhead squatting 190 pounds
  • Cleaning 225 pounds (Thanks, SummerSlam team!)
  • Finishing “Annie” in under 3 minutes
  • Hitting 200 Dubs straight

There were others, but these are the big ones.  I’m proud of these.  Each of these took approximately 40 days of training over 1 year [MATH ALERT! ((6 days training per week / 7 days per week) * 365 days per year) / 8 accomplishments = ~40].  Some took a bit more and a few a bit less.

40 days is a lot, but it’s worth it to me.  Achieving a goal is small progress day-by-day, darkest before the dawn, driving the details home.  It’s all worth it for those AHA! moments when “it finally clicks.

Matt focused.
This is me focused. Don’t get in the way of my focus. It’s like a high-speed train.

2015 CrossFit Open Recap

My strategy was to do the workouts once, usually on Sunday.  I practiced a heavy version (i.e. extra weight on the bar or a weight vest) of the workout on Friday with half the volume (i.e. cut the time in half).  That gave me a lot of confidence going into the workout.  At times the weight felt lighter during the real workout from the heavy training, but some of these are just too hard to get much benefit from the heavy loading “trick” I played on myself.  Also, I spent an hour warming up, stretching, foam rolling, lacrosse-balling.  It’s amazing how much easier these moves are with a proper warm-up…not easy, easier.

Here’s how I finished in each Open workout.  Check out the CrossFit Games site for the workout descriptions.


My score was 158 reps on Part A (i.e. 5 complete rounds of the workout below plus a little change).  This felt good.  I’m glad I practiced the toes-to-bar with a weight vest for a few weeks before this.

My score was 200 on Part B, which was great considering my max clean and jerk is about 215 many months ago when I was fresh, not sucking air through a straw.

Matt's snatch.
This is the beginning of my snatch. This is hard.

Part A

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 9 minutes of:

  • 15 toes-to-bars
  • 10 deadlifts @ 115 pounds
  • 5 snatches @ 115 pounds

Part B

  • 1-rep-max clean and jerk

6-minute time cap

Matt's snatch.
This is the end of my snatch. Much happier.


My score was 128 reps (i.e. I made it into the 3rd round of 6-9 minutes and completed a little over 1/2 the reps in that round).  This was fun and I felt a little better than last year, although my score was very similar or slightly better.  My favorite part of the workout was getting tired on my last set of overhead squats, losing my control just a little, and gradually spinning rep by rep to face the other side of the gym.

Every 3 minutes for as long as possible complete:

From 0:00-3:00

2 rounds of:

  • 10 overhead squats @ 95 pounds
  • 10 chest-to-bar pull-ups

From 3:00-6:00

2 rounds of:

  • 12 overhead squats @ 95 pounds
  • 12 chest-to-bar pull-ups

From 6:00-9:00

2 rounds of:

  • 14 overhead squats @ 95 pounds
  • 14 chest-to-bar pull-ups

Etc., following same pattern until you fail to complete both rounds


I scored 367 reps.  This was in my “wheelhouse”.  I was made for these movements.  If only they doubled the time limit to about 30 minutes, I really could have dominated…but probably not walk for a week.

Thank you Joe Botta for the 10-Muscle Up Club challenge this year.  I didn’t quite make it to 10 in a row, but getting 7 straight was enough to breeze through this part of the workout.  Jumping rope and throwing a ball at a high target isn’t a challenge for a tall Boxer.  Still, Wall Balls are slow…for everyone.

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 14 minutes of:

  • 7 muscle-ups
  • 50 wall-ball shots with a 20 pound ball to a 10 foot target
  • 100 double-unders


I scored 38 reps.  I said beforehand that I’d get 40 reps or 70 reps.  38 was due to the new handstand standard.  When I get tired doing handstands, I do a reverse scoliosis move with my back that makes me about 2 feet shorter.  With the new standard, that’s a “No Rep!”  I will be stronger next year.

Complete as many reps as possible in 8 minutes of:

  • 3 handstand push-ups
  • 3 cleans @ 185 pounds
  • 6 handstand push-ups
  • 3 cleans @ 185 pounds
  • 9 handstand push-ups
  • 3 cleans @ 185 pounds
  • 12 handstand push-ups

Etc., adding 3 reps to the handstand push-up each round, and 3 reps to the clean every 3 rounds.

Matt's handstand push-up.
“Being tall is not all it’s cracked up to be…”


I scored 9:42 meaning I finished the 72 calories on the Rower and 72 Thrusters in 9 minutes and 42 seconds.  I enjoyed this one.  It was the last Open workout.  It was going to be painful anyway.  I collapsed in a heap and contemplated the beauty of the paint chipping off the ceiling…and started planning my improvements for the next year.

27-21-15-9 reps for time of:

  • Row (calories)
  • Thrusters @ 95 pounds

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.

– Henry David Thoreau