Thanks for waiting… Here is what I did to recover from last year:
From early 2012 all the way to late 2013, my brother and I took a break from handling my programming due to being busy with so many other things. Looking back now we realize we made a big mistake. We took the easy route and it showed. When we realized that I had stalled out we took my programming and training back into our own hands. We went back to the basics. We identified what my biggest weaknesses were and made a plan to attack them. What was even more frustrating is that the weaknesses we identified were the same ones I have struggled with since starting CrossFit. It’s funny how easy it is to go so long ignoring the hardest things to improve on. The specific weakness training was something I did separately from my workouts and I took an extremely focused approach that attacked them from all different directions. The reality is I spent 3-5 days a week working on those weaknesses. Toes to bar, pulling strength, pushing strength, etc.
From late July until mid January, I really focused on getting stronger through powerlifting. I would powerlift 3 times a week, hit workouts only 3 times a week, Olympic lift twice a week, and work on gymnastic movements twice a week. From January until now I have upped my workouts to 4 times a week, switched my lifting focus to 3 days of Olympic lifting specific strength and skill work, and I also added endurance work with running and rowing repeats 4 times a week. Another big realization I made is that I have performed at my absolute best at a much lower bodyweight than what I was competing at. I have dropped down from 217# in October to a much lighter 189#.
All of these changes to my training regimen were a big part of my turnaround. It was more focused on what I personally needed to do and it was much less volume. It changed everything as far as the time and energy I now have to put into the things that matter most to me. I get more time with my wife and boys. She gets to train more and improve as an athlete. I can give more attention to my gym and do what I love, changing more lives through proper nutrition and CrossFit. Most importantly it has allowed me to enjoy life and focus less on me and more on others. I can credit a lot of my success to these changes that allowed me to get back to having fun this year. At CrossFit Kinnick I do all the programming for the competitors and the group classes. For the first time in around 2 years I started working out in group classes. I would program the gym workout and then make a competitor version that would usually include more advanced versions of movements and mix in heavier weights. And my athletes were beating me on workouts. My wife, Giermaine Kinnick, would beat me some days. Nick Robles, Daniel O’Brien, Chris Nicholson, Elyse Persico, Melody Sanchez, Christine Navarro, Sariah Veirs, or Andrew Perry might best me on others. It was awesome because it pushed me. Some days I would program workouts that I knew were strengths for other athletes and use that as an opportunity to try to beat them at something in their wheelhouse. Other days I would program to my strengths and try to lap them. The competitive drive was there but we were all having a blast working out together and pushing each others limits. I came to realize that in strictly following outside programming and pouring everything into my own training I had lost sight of what makes CrossFit so fantastic…the community. Hitting workouts alone or separate from my athletes was a grind. I needed a change but I couldn’t see it. Even though I overhauled my training program and changed my focus, I truly think the biggest change this year is that the fun is back…
“Stick to the basics and when you feel you’ve mastered them it’s time to start all over again, begin anew – again with the basics – this time paying closer attention.” -Greg Glassman
After a very disappointing finish in the 2013 Open & SoCal Regionals I felt burned out and a little confused. What was wrong with me? I trained as much as I could. Heck, I trained more than I ever thought possible. I went 2 weeks or more without resting. I hit multiple workouts daily, plus strength portions, endurance efforts, and skill work. All I did was workout. I went to get ART work done once a week for the entire year. I mobilized constantly. I ate perfectly and upped my intake to give my body more fuel. I did everything my coach said to do. I followed the plan. It left me wondering how I could possibly fail. It felt like more than just falling short of my goals. It felt like I failed to perform at my full capabilities. All the work I put it didn’t amount to much. I wasn’t better than I was the year before. If anything, I was worse. It left me wondering if I truly wanted to continue competing at the top levels in CrossFit. I was doubting all the sacrifices I was putting in. I was giving up precious time with my wife, my boys, and sacrificing everything else in my life to be the best. I understand sometimes you have to do things like this when pursuing great things. But the strain it was having on every aspect of my life was not something I was willing to continue with. I didn’t know what to do…
Flash forward one year. I am sitting in the top 50 worldwide in the 2014 CrossFit Games Open after week 4. I finished 10th in the world on 14.3. I have never felt better in my life. What changed?! How did I get here after such a disappointing year?
Beyond the Whiteboard has been accumulating some legit data throughout the 2014 Open and they put together this awesome graphic for 14.4! Check out the average scores for men and women along with the numbers that top level athletes are reaching. Overall it is no small task to reach the muscle ups in this workout and only the best of the best are completing all 20 to move on to round 2. Where does your score put you? This was a fantastic workout for me and my score of 231 (1 full round + 31 calories on the rower) is looking strong on the leaderboard. Loved every minute of this workout!
The Open is one of the best times to be a CrossFitter. 5 weeks of pure CrossFit fun. The entire community gets an amazing opportunity to push the limits and fully feel the thrill of CrossFit competition in the comforts of your own box. We are glued to the leaderboard, watching the best in the world show us what is possible. This has been a huge year for my own training and it is great to see my hard work paying off. However, one of the best parts of the Open for me is getting to see my CrossFit Kinnick family accomplish things they never thought possible.
This is an awesome year in particular because my mom, Patricia Kinnick, is competing for the very first time. She has been CrossFitting since CrossFit Kinnick first started in my 3 car garage in 2007 and she still hits PRs on her lifts and workouts at 61 years young! Previously she had been very intimidated by the Open and felt that she wouldn’t be able to handle the workouts or some of the tougher movements that could come up. This year she decided to go for it and it has been incredible getting to watch her compete and overcome her fears. This is what the Open all about! So far she has done double unders in 14.1 (she normally does single unders in her WODs) and hit a PR on her overhead squat in 14.2 with 45# (and then proceeded to squat it 32 times!). She is a big inspiration to me, check out the clips of her working through 14.1 and 14.2!