Brogionals

I’d better write up my personal review of Brogionals before I forget about it all. It’s already been a week and it seems so distant. Heck, I feel different since Brogionals. I guess it’s the post event comedown. The body and mind aren’t as sharp or as focused since then. But I guess that’s normal and expected.

A bit of history:
We (James and I) talked about doing Regionals at some stage, but never set a date. We were ramping up for Week 1 along with the rest of the outlaws, but of course had no idea if we’d do them. Then we suggested a date and took it from there. The name “Brogionals” was suggested to us and of course we ran with it.

Going into Brogionals I wanted to prove to myself that I could perform at Regionals level. This meant I had to (at least) get better than last place in Europe. Now I get that there’s a huge difference between training in your own gym at your own time and travelling away to a competition venue, but that’s what I was aiming for.

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The morning of Day One I was surprisingly nervous as we warmed up for “Jackie”. I’d hit “Jackie” a few weeks back, midway through the ramp up to Regionals. My time then was 8:11. It was the second workout of that day and I did it at 9 after coaching. I remember being slooooow on the Thrusters and my pull ups being all over the place.

Friday it was different. I’d hit a “Jackie” prep workout and was fresher so wanted to put a good time in. My row wasn’t great and I could feel breakfast but the thrusters were good. I was on 35 before I knew it and was pushing hard. 15 butterfly pull ups, quick break, 15 kipped pull ups and I was done in 6:48 (unofficial). With that over, I was more looking forward to the OHS/Burpee Muscle Ups later in the day.

Derek and Pete joined us for this workout and while we’d intended to open at 100Kg (225lbs) but we both missed 90Kg in the warm up! So much for that! James made 90Kg for a double in the warm up and it looked like work for him, but then common sense kicked in and he dropped the weight. “This (the warm up) doesn’t mean anything.” He said.

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I decided to Snatch 80Kg to start off. Always feel better having snatched the weight rather than get it up and overhead. Got it, then 85Kg. Then I missed 90Kg in the snatch three times! This put me under a little time pressure. So I reverted to a power clean and push pres to the shoulders for the OHS. J missed 95Kg so I went to hit that but knew he’d get 95Kg x 3 so loaded 100Kg and hit it for 1 to seal the win on that event. (Derek hit 100Kg on his opening attempt and got one at 105Kg).

The Burpee Muscle Ups were weird. I had previously hit 21 in 7 minutes at a relaxed pace. I’d vary between feeling too gassed (almost panicked out of breath/heart beating) and then shoulders feeling tired. I felt I had the finishing of this in me but just fell off the pace a little bit in the middle. One miss, on the 26th muscle up, which I got again. These worked better for me as Muscle Up then Burpee rather than Burpee into a Muscle Up.

James seemed to stay moving constantly on this one so I didn’t know if I’d a lead on him or not during the BMU, which helped push my pace a bit. A lesson learnt from this workout is definitely that I need to move and complete exercises when I’m still recovering from the previous exertion. I tend to breathe, try calm myself down and then go. Need to find a better balance on my work:rest.

That was Friday. Saturday was moving day.

Saturday I dreaded. I had to work unexpectedly on Friday and was into 4 hours on Saturday morning too. I’d a limited warm up time for the 100s and then into a PT at 1pm. Matt Chan had said the 100s was the hardest both physically and mentally. Uh-oh.

But it wasn’t so bad. Relatively. I hit 20 Wall Balls every minute, but my rest creeped up a bit for the 4th and 5th set. At this point I was 20 reps behind James. I kept my C2Bs in sets of 5, only my rest creeped up. Was happy I got the 5s all the way through. The butterfly style of C2B is so much faster, so another thing I’ll work on.

Then pistols.

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Ha! Pistols did not go as well as I’d planned! I had hoped to make up time on these but it was very much a case of the mind is willing but the body is weak. I broke them into sets of 10, and at that, it was tough to complete. My knee ached and I just needed water and a carb drink! It was a slog. I’d only 50 seconds left by the time I got onto the dumbbell snatches. Series tied.

Competitions aren’t just the events, they’re everything before, after and in between. We’d four hours and while I stood around and tried to coach, others got to stretch out and foam roll. After, I got home, tried to consume as much food as I could tolerate. I took an ice bath and a nap.

Ice Party!

Ice Party!

Waking up from that nap I felt the cumulative effects of the last 1.5 days! The deadlift/box jump workout I needed to win to win the series. In practice, James had edged me out and we’d both used the same strategy. I needed to win this.

We rowed, we mobilised, we started lifting. Slowly building up the deads and the height of the box. Tightening and loosening the belt between exercises. 140Kg felt tough. Gotta get my touch-n-go on.

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Early in the workout, I knew I had this. I hit my first 7 ahead of J, and knew I could do a 10 second rest. I got an early lead onto the box jumps and I kept telling myself that he could catch up on these or the 15s. Onto the 15s and three sets of 5 with 10 seconds rest. Then I bloody no repped myself by not standing up on Box Jump 3! I shrugged it off and kept on going. I debated 9 deads in a row but went with 5 and 4, 9 Box Jumps and I straight away headed for the roller door. Give me air!! I felt elated. I had targeted that workout and it paid off. It’s the type of workout I can strategise well and know how to pace.

Sunday rolled around and I really began to appreciate what top level Regionals competitors go through. I just wanted to get the chipper out of the way. While my body didn’t feel too shagged I couldn’t imagine really having to have to dig super deep to win your place to the games. Alas, James had that mentality that day.

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In practice, even though my HSPU strategy wasn’t great, I’d beaten James by a large margin in this workout. I actually knew early on in the HSPU that James would win it. I tripped a bit in my double unders and even though my pacing on the HSPU was okay, James wasn’t slowing down. My issue with Kipping HSPU is I don’t try to do them fast. This puts my shoulders under pressure and because I don’t push until I need to push, when I do, it’s more work done. This cost me.

I was only 10 toes to bar ahead when James joined me, and then proceeded to overtake me. He put the Nitros Oxide on and didn’t look back. My kip even fell apart on the toes to bar (a sign I should have kept up my gymnastics work, duh!)

The elation I’d felt after Event 5 changed to the abjection I felt after Event 6. The body didn’t have it, and the belief to catch up and overtake wasn’t there either. In fact, if this weekend could be boiled down to one thing, it’d be belief. Belief in yourself, your technique, your training, your strategy. There’s a fine line between belief and hubris, but there’s also selling yourself short and believing that you aren’t good enough. I had this at times. Why did I believe I’d come second in “Jackie” and the 100s? And the rope climb/sled? Going into these things believing you’ll be chasing or won’t be able to win isn’t good enough, gotta go in feeling you at least have a chance. I never knew how deeply rooted this belief was until this weekend. Why should I believe I’m not Regionals standard or can’t put up awesome times on workouts? This was the best lesson of the weekend for me.

The final was cool. The end was in sight and we even got a live feed up on ustream! That was crazy easy to set up and really fun to do it. At one point we even had 12 live views on the stream!!

As I mentioned, belief was a factor in this workout. I’ve never hit 100Kg cleans in Inov8s before and I knew the rope would destroy my CrossLifts. There was a worry that the workout would be me looking at my bar for 10 minutes. But it turned out a lot better than expected. 7:37 (unofficial).



Video streaming by Ustream

Looking at the video, another lesson learnt is that I need to stand at the bar. Everytime I take a step back I tell myself subconsciously that I need a longer break. I did this workout not to have any misses and maybe had I went for it and really tried to push the pace and push James things could have been different. This is, of course, easy to say when you’re sitting on the coach typing on your Macbook but it’s a lesson learnt I’ll bring into future workouts and events. Play to win.

Brogionals was awesome. It was brilliant to not only be able to do it (I wouldn’t have made it through a practice Regionals last two years I’m sure) but also share that experience with a friend and realise you’ve more in you than you give yourself credit for.

Imma comin for you Sunderz, Imma work so hard bro, you don't even KNOW!

Imma comin for you Sunderz, Imma work so hard bro, you don’t even KNOW!

Sure this week I’ve been flat in training. You can’t get excited and psyched for workouts like that everyday, but you can give yourself a goal, fight for that goal and take daily victories.

I don’t want to do Brogionals 2014. I want to get to Regionals. Let’s go see if I’ve got it in me over the next 9-10 months.

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