Train Your Weakness *Rope Style*

One perk of being a CrossFit coach means I have the ability to look ahead into our programming to see what workouts are planned for the week.  Our athletes only know day by day.  I saw this workout posted on Sunday and immediately knew I was going to opt to do the scaled version.  Scaled in crossfit means you might sub out an advanced movement for a less advanced movement, or you may scale the amount of reps or time, etc.  Another words, it’s a way to modify the workout to fit your own abilities or needs.

The WOD (workout of the day) for today was:

Run a 800 meters

15reps-12reps-9reps-6reps-3reps of Pistols (which are one legged squats).  This could be scaled to goblet squats (which means holding the KB to do a squat)

5reps, 4 reps, 3reps, 2reps, 1 rep of rope climbing.  This could be scaled to doing 15-12-9-6-3 ring rows.

Then 100 double-unders (cycling two jumps when jump roping at a time). This could be scaled by doing 200 single jump ropes.

***The way this workout function is you run and then you alternate between doing the pistols and rope climbs reps before doing the double-unders.  Another words, you run, then do 15 pistols, then 5 rope climbs, 12 pistols, 4 rope climbs, etc….. then you finished the workout with your 100 double-unders.



Here’s the deal with rope climbs.  They are HARD! Especially after you do one or two of them.  Or at least they are for me! One reason they are hard for me is because I need to learn a better, more efficient technique that allows me to use more legs than arms.  Rope climbs need to be more leg work, than arm work.  But this is where I struggle.  I use all arm strength.  Which is why I have never done more than two full rope climbs at a time because it simply wears my arms out!

So–I saw this workout and immediately knew there was NO WAY I could do 5 rope climbs back to back…let alone, 4 more back to back later, then 3, 2, 1.  NO WAY! I have only done two back to back before.

Of course, I get there and my coach says, “Nope, your doing them.  Just take breaks in between each climb”.  I was super reluctant.  I had my mind set on ring rows (and I am sore from yesterday’s handstand pushups—–EXCUSES- HA).  I even was ok with doing one or two rope climbs at a time and then finishing off my set with doing ring rows.  But not according to my coach.  She wanted me doing them!

I gave it my very best. To my surprise, I did my first five fairly well.  This was already a win in my book. I was stragetic. I had made sure to take breaks in between each climb.  But let me tell you, the set of 4 was soo hard! I needed more than just a break.  I needed full on coaching to get me on that rope.  Then set 3—well, it became very mental!! VERY MENTAL.  My arms were on fire (especially my forearms).  I even made it half way up a couple of times and had to come down for more break time.  I got the set of 3 done.  It was ugly! It was exhausting! It took all I had.  My arms were so spent after doing 5 in a row, 4 in a row, and 3 in a row.  As bad as I wanted to continue rope climbs 2 and 1…. I knew with my arms feeling so tight and looking a little swollen, that it wasn’t worth getting injured over.

So—-today I trained one of my weakness!  I did not complete this workout with all rope climbs.  But I am by no means feeling defeated.  I feel inspired to work on this even more.  I am very proud at the fact that I did 12 out of 15 required rope climbs—when I have never done more than 2 at time before. I will now learn a better way to use less arms and learn to use more legs (or get a better foot wrap around the rope).  But today, I didn’t just train my weakness of rope climbing, but I also trained my mind.  I didn’t want to try this workout and I did.  I wanted to walk away several times because it was hard, but I kept coming back to the rope to try again.  I quit a couple of times mid-climb because it was getting hard to hold on.  But I kept coming back to the rope again to finish that set.  My last two rope climbs were as much mental as they were physical.  It was hard to hold on to that rope when my arms were DONE, but I would hold on, take a deep breath and do all I could do regrip the rope with my feet.  I finally got up those last two ropes without quit. But I finished that set—however, I did not complete the last two rounds of 2 and 1 climbs (I subbed them for ring rows).  But that’s only because I felt like my body had actually hit it’s limits.

I trained my weakness today! :-).  I became a better athlete today, as well!