Journey to the Games: 13.5 with Gemma

Here we are at 13.5 – the final WOD for the 2013 CrossFit Opens! Lets remind ourselves of what was required for 13.5:

Over to Gemma for her update on the workout…

Wow – we knew the final workout would be tough but what a workout to end with. Two very challenging exercises; especially for those of us that are unable to complete 15 pull ups in one go. I knew I’d split the pull ups into 3 sets of 5, drop down and repeat. I have not fully mastered the butterfly pull up yet, so I would need to kip the pull ups. If you watch Camille Leblanc-Bazinet (US number 1) complete 13.5 she completes full butterfly pull ups, which is a very fast movement, giving her time to move quickly through each set. Whereas, Sam Briggs (Europe’s number 1) is unable to butterfly pull, so she kips her pull ups – this takes more time and energy meaning Sam dropped quickly behind Camille in the open 13.5. The butterfly pull up requires great co-ordination, timing and technique.

With Thrusters, lifting 30KG overhead is light for me, so I knew that my speed needed to be worked here to save time for my pull ups.

Now what didn’t help was that I developed a bacterial infection on the Friday, a day after the workout was released. Gutted I wasn’t feeling 100% and knew my strength wasn’t at its best. However athletes can’t make excuses and a job needed to be done. I restricted my training to only coaching Friday and allowed myself to rest, I drank plenty of water and ate lots of fresh clean food.

Sunday I attempted 13.5. I completed 2 rounds and managed 5 pull ups into my 3rd round. Not a bad attempt but my hands definitely felt the pain!

Where did I finish up? Well the results are still being finalised but it looks like I will finish within 900th place in Europe and within the top 50% worldwide. I am proud of my efforts for this year, it has helped me understand my weaknesses which I need to work on and the biggest part of this journey has been getting the right technique to complete exercises at pace. This is what I tell all my clients when I coach, getting correct form and technique is so important before you are looking to increase your workout load or repetition. Not only is form a big part of my improvement, flexibility is also a key factor and like any athlete, investing in alternative training to improve your flexibility will aid your sporting perforance.

One of the most exciting parts about this week’s journey was introducing myself to my new club Crossfit South London. Philly Brennan put me through an intense fit test;

400m row,

40 air squats,

30 butterfly sit ups,

20 press ups (chest to floor),

10 pulls ups 

I completed in 4 mins 10 seconds – I’m so excited about having a coach to help me jump that leader board for 2014 games and the London Throwdown.

Bring on the training, may the pain and success begin!

…It certainly has been a great five weeks following Gemma’s progress and learning about the CrossFit way of training. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of Gemma…

You can get in touch with Gemma and continue to follow her journey on Twitter @GoodtoTone or Facebook.  

Elle 😉 x


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