Crossfit Games Open 15.2: Can Regress indicate Progress?

by ~jenniferlynn on March 11, 2015

in CrossFit

Last year when Crossfit Games Open 14.2 was announced, the Crossfit community was in a bit of an uproar as a pretty advanced movement, at the time, was programmed that a lot of athletes couldn’t do. I, being one of said athletes, saw it as an opportunity, and not only got my first chest-to-bar pull-up but ended up finishing the workout with a score of 33, completing ten overhead squats, ten chest-to-bar, ten overhead squats, and three more chest-to-bar.

When this workout came up again, even though my commitment towards chest-to-bar has not been consistent, I had a goal of being able to make it through the first round, twenty total chest-to-bars. This would guarantee that my score would go from 33 to 50 (as the OHS is an extremely comfortable weight I can do unbroken).

For as long as possible: From 0:00-3:00   2 rounds of:    10 overhead squats (95 / 65 lb.)   10 chest-to-bar pull-ups From 3:00-6:00   2 rounds:  12 OHS,  12 C2B From 6:00-9:00   2 rounds:  14 OHS, 14 C2B Etc., following same pattern

Friday night, I went to do the WOD as programmed and as prescribed. I did a bit of a warm-up, attempted a couple chest-to-bars.. um.. nope. Couldn’t get one. Multiple attempts. Not one single one. I cranked out my 10 OHS to get an official score and called it a day.

I humbly took my score of ten, noted that it was only Friday, and set a plan for the rest of the weekend. Saturday, did some lifting (oddly digging heavy squats lately), attempted chest-to-bars, and was missing all over the place. I’m not pulling to the bar. I’m not getting my hips up. I’m not doing this and not doing that. Had a quick chat with a coach and was able to get three singles in a row. After some more struggles and a chat with another coach, managed three more singles in a row.


The plan of attack was to come in on Sunday, a typical rest day, solely to work on skills for muscle-up and chest-to-bar. After many failed attempts, I was extremely disappointed, frustrated, and pouted my way to the car. (But I didn’t cry, so that’s progress, right?)

Knowing I had to do the workout on Monday, no matter what, I took a step back and thought about what it would mean if I didn’t beat my score.

Have I become a worse athlete over the past year? Am I no longer as fit as I was a year ago? Will I let this one workout define my Open experience and define me as an athlete?

Crossfit progress is not linear by any means. Just because you PR a lift or beat your fastest Fran time doesn’t mean at all that the next time you go to attempt that you will hit it just the same.

So why do we think the Open is going to be any different?

Chances are, on the day you do the Open WODs, will not be the best sleep that you have had over the year.

It will not be a day that you ate the cleanest, and not a day that your veggie intake was on point.

Nor a day that you took all your vitamins and supplements or drank enough water.

It won’t be a day that you have zero work stress and nothing on your mind with relationship issues.

Chances are, the day you do the Open WOD will be quite similar to any normal training day; though is presented as the pinnacle of the past year and a test of how far you have come.

So when you don’t PR your clean and jerk like everyone else, and when you don’t get your first chest-to-bar pull-up, and when you don’t string those 20 DUs in a row as you know you can do, does the past year of progress all of a sudden curl up and die?

A year ago, I couldn’t snatch 100#. I had never done a WOD with a 24kg KB. I never rowed a 5k. A year ago, I cried doing Karen and since then PRed the heck out of it. A year ago, I couldn’t do a ring dip or jerk 130#.

So if I didn’t get a chest-to-bar pull-up and couldn’t beat my score from last year, was I any less of an athlete?

Before I went into the workout on Monday, I knew I was physically capable of doing a chest-to-bar. I did it last year 13 times. I did it Saturday 6 times (I have it on video!).

My original goal was to get 40 reps, which really would be 50 since the OHS were not an issue, but then decided I would be more than happy with 15 C2B reps.

I tried one attempt when I got to the box. I made it, but didn’t try any more as to not psyche myself out.

After a warm-up, wandering around, going to the bathroom four times (maybe trying out a super green smoothie for the first time wasn’t ideal..), I was ready to do this. I gathered a few ladies from the box to judge/watch (I tend to do better with an audience, or being yelled at).

I completed my OHS in no time, and headed for the rig. Now or never.

Attempt 1: Hit.

Attempt 2: Hit.

Attempts 3-10: Hit.


I cranked out my next 10 OHS and went back to the rig. I was going to do this.

I ended up completing 10 more pull-ups, with a couple self-no-reps (which later, the coach said never no rep yourself- it’s the judge’s call ;)). and had time left to spare to rest.

I was breathing heavy, each attempt was like performing a max-effort lift. I was pumped, adrenaline was rushing; I was proud, excited, thrilled!

I ended up finishing the workout with a score of 60. SIXTY reps.

Crossfit Games Open Workout 15.2 For as long as possible: From 0:00-3:00 2 rounds of: 10 overhead squats (95 / 65 lb.) 10 chest-to-bar pull-ups From 3:00-6:00 2 rounds of: 12 overhead squats (95 / 65 lb.) 12 chest-to-bar pull-ups From 6:00-9:00 2 rounds of: 14 overhead squats (95 / 65 lb.) 14 chest-to-bar pull-ups Etc., following same pattern ~~~ You can't read the score there, but that's a big fat 6-0!! After some major mental struggles over the past week with this workout, I went in with a positive attitude, optimistic mindset, and was going to let whatever happen happen. My history went like this: 14.2: 33 14.2 redo: 17 Friday 15.1: 10 Saturday total C2B 6/30 attempts Sunday: 0/20 attempts Sooooo was up for anything today! Gathered a small cheering crowd (I do much better with an audience!) And away I went. Thanks @kmgoblue @lerocket @tkoh23 and Hope! 😁 #crossfit #crossfitgames #domoresuckless #overheadsquats #hudybooty #outlawway #chesttobar #babyboobiesftw #ffcheckin #postliftingface

A post shared by Jennifer Hudy (@winetoweights) on

I don’t think that at this time I could have done anything different to complete that round, but I am thankful that I was able to shift my mindset and set a positive attitude but also understand that it doesn’t have any reflection on me if I didn’t do as well as I hoped. Though honestly, the tone may have been different had I not done any…

As with every other workout, always something new to work on and skills to add to the ever-growing list.

But I am excited to see how 15.3 will challenge me, physically and mentally!

Your turn..
Have you ever done worse on a repeat workout? How did you feel?
What is one thing that you have accomplished over the last year that you are proud of?
What is one skill that you feel has not improved over the past year and how will you work on it?

Bethany lee
Twitter: bethanyjolee
March 11, 2015 at 11:21 am

It is interesting reading this for the first time having done that workout too, albeit, very scaled back. 60!! You go girl! So happy for you!!
Bethany lee recently posted..To Begin AgainMy Profile

~jenniferlynn March 11, 2015 at 11:22 am

So exciting that you’re doing the workouts!!! 😀

Twitter: fantabulouslisa
March 11, 2015 at 12:24 pm

I re-did this workout. This was a hard week for me! Pull-ups (and muscle ups and toes to bar and other gymnastic hanging-from-things movements) have always been one of my biggest struggles in crossfit. And when I completed this workout on Friday three reps away from making it to the 16’s, I knew I had to do it again. So I waited until Monday and ended up doing 3 reps worse. I had 60 seconds left in the third round and still needed 28 more reps. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do it, so I kicked my barbell, and then tried anyways.

I didn’t cry! But I wanted to. I submitted a score towards sending my team to regionals, but it was by far the lowest. 🙁
Lisa recently posted..Crossfit Open 15.1My Profile

Chris March 11, 2015 at 12:41 pm

I improved on my OHS this year, and while I definitely entertained the thought of redoing 15.2, I did not. So far pretty much every WOD I’ve redone, I’ve gotten a better time at, or I did a heavier weight and it translated to a better output. There are definitely days though when I feel worse at a given movement, like I’ve regressed or something. Those days frustrate the heck out of me. What you said is very true though, there are a lot of circumstances that affect my performance, and I can’t expect to always be at my best. I cannot measure progress in a vacuum, such as just one day, but across all the domains and across a longer period of time. That’s where you really see improvement. But hey, getting 19 more reps than last year made me happy for sure! =) Good job on your improvement too!
Chris recently posted..2015 CrossFit Open WOD 15.2 RecapMy Profile

Jen @ Chase the Red Grape March 11, 2015 at 12:52 pm

Yay 60 reps! That’s awesome!
You are so right with everything you said above. That’s why I decided not to sign up for the open. Yes I have managed to do the last two WODs scaled but there is no guarantee the rest will be like that – this way when 15.3 gets released, if I can do it scaled then great! but if not that’s ok too – no pressure! It doesn’t mean I’m not strong or fit. 🙂
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Julie March 11, 2015 at 2:49 pm

14.2 was my best wod ever. I placed 105th in my region and was really proud of myself, so I was really nervous about 15.2. I HAD to do better this year. I HAD to make it to the round of 16. Finally, I was so stressed that I did awfull! I couldn’t do more than 2 chest to bars in a row and I left the gym crying. It was really hard on my self esteem and I decided not to redo it nor post a score I was ashamed of. I know I am less dedicated than last year with my training, but it is still hard to accept that you regress… I then asked myself why I was doing that. For fun? Well, I certainly won’t have any fun with this attitude! Your post helped me put everything into perspective, thank you!

Sky @ Blonde Freedom March 11, 2015 at 9:51 pm

Congrats on the 60 reps! You made a lot of great points in this post that I don’t even know how to summarize it. But after having a sucky time with 15.2, I feel better about it. The simple fact that I got up to 45lbs and did 5 OHS is something I need to be proud of. I can be pretty hard on myself sometimes that makes me forget about all the progress I have been making.
Sky @ Blonde Freedom recently posted..Why 15.2 Made Me CryMy Profile

Lisa Luth Fitness March 12, 2015 at 12:46 pm

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Shelly March 13, 2015 at 5:50 pm

From ten to sixty – that is so huge! I sure hope you celebrated appropriately! A glass (or bottle) of wine and some chocolate maybe or in your case maybe some extra pancakes. 😉 I don’t know, but I think it’s so awesome that you didn’t give up and was able to come back after the frustration and totally kill it!
Shelly recently posted..15.2 Recap & The Infamous Muscle-Up Returns in 15.3My Profile

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