14.5 Recap

Although no one from the gym qualified for the next level, 2014 ended up being the most fun and rewarding Open season for nearly everyone involved.  Members were continually pushing themselves to new limits and they were discovering that the impossible is indeed possible.  What was perhaps the most exciting aspect of this Open was the newly introduced Intra-team competition.  Not only did members perform to boost their own positioning but several members were going above and beyond for the benefit of their team.  It was truly inspiring to watch.  Before a champion was crowned, we all had to endure 14.5.  Everyone on planet Earth knew that thrusters and burpees were the medicine of choice but what no one knew was how it was going to be dished out.  HQ threw a curve at everyone by making 14.5 task oriented...in this workout the clock could not save you.  You either finished or quit and for many, pure grit and determination was the deciding factor.  In 14.5, Teams Red and Green had the best score and the top individual performers were Aimee and P.  Green finally put up a good showing but it was too late...maybe this is a preview of what you can expect from that team all year long.  In the end, Team Red eeked out the win to be crowned Fittest Team in King of Prussia.  As the Intra-team competition seemed to be such a hit, we have some good news.  In an effort to continually build camaraderie and create an atmosphere that is built to breed success, we will be continuing the team competition through Festivus.  We will reserve time throughout the year for team competitions and we encourage everyone to attend to support their team, have fun, get fit and contribute to the amazing community that you help build on a daily basis. 

CrossFit KoP would also like to congratulate Cate Kelly for finishing within the top 200 masters in the country!  This is an amazing accomplishment and we wish her luck in the next stage of her competition to qualify for Carson!  


During 14.5, I heard several people mention something that I thought was worth discussing.  The comment uttered, while sizzling on the ground, was, "That was some awesome programming!"  This comment made me think to myself...is it?  There are many ways to skin a cat.  If you dissect 14.5, you may think thrusters have hip flexion followed by aggressive hip extension followed by a pushing movement overhead.  Burpees too have hip flexion and extension with a pushing movement in another direction.  Some many argue the movements are working many of the same muscle groups...is this bad or good?  In my opinion, the answer is yes.  CrossFit is defined as constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity.  In 14.5, we all did exactly this and as such were wickedly successful.  I truly believe that people thought the programming was awesome but in reality, it was they themselves that were awesome.  For many, the high intensity aspect of CrossFit was realized for the first time and it left them laying in a puddle of sweat and tears.  Burpees and thrusters are not new.  Over the years, we have performed many workouts with both.  The world knew they were coming but the way people responded made this workout legendary.  Think to yourself if you did this workout in the middle of September would have gone as hard as you did during the Open...for many the answer is probably no.  This is what we should strive to change...a great deal of the power of programming comes from within each of us.  Is it the job of Aimee and I to avoid biasing and create programming that targets the weaknesses of many in the gym all while building a strong base.  That being said, many people ask myself or Aimee about programming and why we don't do strength work every single day in addition to the WOD...if you find yourself thinking this question, remember how you felt after 14.5 and ask yourself if you would have wanted to finish with a 5x5 max deadlift.  There are times when something like this may be appropriate but more often than not, INTENSITY is what will dictate your results, not VOLUME.  It is even possible to achieve the same level of exhaustion when working strength...we should all strive to feel how we did after 14.5 after EVERY workout..  If we do this consistently with everything we do, results are a fore-gone conclusion.  If you ever have any questions about this or would like to discuss more, we would love to chat with you. 

Results:Red Aimee 11:39 Tim P 18:07 Travis 22:24 Jen S 18:19 Ryan B 15:45 Shawna 38:31Steve Z 0 Jonathan 21:15 Balmer 0  SUM- 840 AVERAGE - 140 (Total = 657.5) 

Green Jason 20:24 KT 14:30 Pete W 14:43 Kwon 19:46 Wax 17:05 Mike S DNF Tracey 23:06 Gina 0 Jen Fugo 0 Sue K 0 SUM  840 AVERAGE - 140 (Total =587.59 )

Yellow Tobin 14:31 Alona 22:54 Flounder 29:58 Pam 14:39 McCan 15:47 Tre 14:55 Diane 23:34 Regi 0 Faby 18:20 SUM 1088 AVERAGE- 136 (Total = 616.9)

Black Keith 17:09 Dave N 23:26 Ditty 27:12 Jess C 15:10 Patrick 22:12 Olan 25:37 Laura 15:14 Miranda H 0 SUM 900 AVERAGE-  128.6 (Total = 640.2 )

Blue King 16:21 Justin R 26:59 John 27:26  Andrea 13:27 Chip 0 Plentus 13:36 Westwood 24:59 Rachel W 22:21 SUM 922 AVERAGE- 131.71  (Total = 642.1)

For all weeks, if a team member received a zero, their score was not held against you.  The scores you see above represent every missed workout being removed from the calculation.

For 14.5, the top scorer was awarded 168 points (#reps) and the second highest score was awarded 166 reps and so forth subtracting 2 each time until all athletes had a score. 


Melanie said...

Congratulations to everyone that competed! And yeah Cate!!!! Congratualtions and good luck!

Barb Z said...

Great write up! I've enjoyed following the open with the KOP athletes. Well done everyone!!!

Cate said...

thanks Mel! and Aimee and Jason!!!

Travis said...

Excellent summary. I loved the open this year and the added competion. It was great to see and hear all the PRs that were accomplished during the open, not to mention the comradery. Congratulations to everyone that competed and to my teammates on Red.

Unknown said...

For the novice, CrossFit Exercise mimics the effects of Training, because it's hard and because stress causes adaptation. Then, progress slows, since the Laws of Physiology cannot be ignored. The more you adapt to physical stress, the stronger and fitter you become. And the stronger and fitter you become, the more difficult it is to get more strong and more fit, because the easy part of the process has already occurred.

This is called the Principle of Diminishing Returns, and is evident throughout nature and your own experiences, if you have paid attention. Once the low-hanging fruit have been picked, you have to get a ladder, and then you might need a helicopter – and each increase in complexity yields less fruit, dammit.

And this is precisely where CrossFit: The Methodology falls apart. Once a person has adapted beyond the ability of random stress applied frequently under time constraints to cause further improvement, progress stalls. And increasing the intensity of the random stress doesn't work either – that just gets you hurt because you haven't gotten stronger, and your heart and lungs can only work at about 200 BPM and about 50 RPM.

Further progress must be based on an analysis of the adaptation you want to create, and a program of Training for the purpose of causing that adaptation to occur must be correctly designed and followed. Beyond a certain point, random physical stress fails to continue to elicit a favorable adaptation.

CrossFit appeals to many people because it claims to be about doing everything well and nothing perfectly. Humans cannot excel at everything, as evidenced by the individual performances within the Decathlon as compared to the specialists' performances in those events. But at some point, even people who don't want to excel at anything in particular realize they aren't really improving at anything in general. People motivated to get this far are also motivated to continue improving, and even if you want to be merely good at everything, there must be a way to continue to improve this general competence. "Mainsite CrossFit" cannot drive this improvement beyond a certain point.

This is precisely why the advanced athletes who win and place at the CrossFit Games do not use CrossFit website programming to achieve advanced levels of the strength and conditioning necessary to perform at that level. None of them. This is widely known and freely admitted by everyone not involved with the company. All athletes at advanced levels must Train intelligently to advance, and CrossFit: The Methodology doesn't do the job.

Strength is an excellent example of a physical characteristic that drives improvement in other athletic parameters. More strength means more power, more endurance, better coordination, and better everything else. This is why, all other things being equal, the stronger athlete is the better athlete.

You can get stronger for a while doing random exercise, but everyone who has tried it knows that at some point you have to put more weight on the bar and lift it on a regular, programmed basis that obeys the rules of adaptive physiology and logic. You have to plan to get stronger by doing things that require that you be stronger, while not doing things that interfere with the process. Random WOD CrossFit is not good at making this happen – or even allowing it to happen.