2018 CrossFit Open – After Action Review (AAR)

2018 CrossFit Open – After Action Review (AAR)

Along with my love of CrossFit, I also participate in GORUCK events. After each event, I do an After Action Report (AAR). This gives me the ability to think through my event, assess my performance, and notate areas where I performed well and areas where I can improve. You can read some of my GORUCK AARs if you’re into that sort of thing. As the 2018 CrossFit Open comes to a close, I decided to write up an AAR for my Open performance and share it with all of you. 18.1 In some ways, this should have been a “wheelhouse” workout for me. A long and grindy workout with movements that should have been manageable. Going in, I knew the toes-to-bar would be a weaker part of the workout for me. At 8 reps, I knew that I’d be good for a couple rounds but eventually they’d fall apart and sets of 2-3 would probably occur. The dumbbell was heavy, but not so heavy that it should be an issue. And, the rowing should be where I could make up a little time and maybe even recover a little. Sadly, things didn’t go great. As anticipated, the toes-to-bar went ok for a couple rounds and then fell apart. Fatigue got the best of me as the time went on and my palm ripped about 15+/- minutes in. The biggest failure in this workout was in my transitions. I simply allowed myself to linger way too much between movements. I felt sorry for myself and justified the extra rest. Overall, it was not a great performance. Sustain: Not much. I...
The Journey to Becoming a CrossFitter

The Journey to Becoming a CrossFitter

By Ryan Burns It all starts one day when you’re doing your usual evening routine. You realize that something needs to change in your life. You invest in one of those trendy home workout programs. But, working out at home mostly doesn’t end well. So, one day you see a Groupon for a CrossFit gym. You sign up and tell a friend. He/She explains that if you do CrossFit your kidneys will explode. You ignore your friend. You show up for your intro class. The coaches tells you that they’re gonna show you how to clean and jerk. After that, they say they’ll work on your snatch. You complete your intro classes and get to start participating in the regular WODs. Then you actually do your first real WOD. While it isn’t always easy, you keep showing up and working hard. Now that you’re working out more, you notice your appetite is increasing. You learn about macros. Your deadlift is getting pretty heavy and you’re feeling good. Then you see someone snatch it. You get your first CrossFit injury. (Probably from trying to snatch your deadlift.) You get better. You get back in the gym. You set new PRs. And then, finally, your big day arrives… Your crush a WOD you get your name on the whiteboard.   Ryan started his journey to being a CrossFitter at CrossFit Full Circle 2 years ago. When not writing here, he blogs at...
Mental Toughness for CrossFit: A Primer

Mental Toughness for CrossFit: A Primer

By Ryan Burns Every time I begin a workout at CrossFit Full Circle, I enter two intense battles. The first battle is physical. Grip the bar. Move the weight. Push, pull, toss, throw, lift, drop, repeat. My body is under attack. There is always pain. Then the second (harder) battle begins. The enemy moves in slowly at first, but before I know it, the siege is under way. The battle is in my mind and the enemy is the relentless voice in my head shouting over and over again, “You’ll never be able to do this. Quit now and end this senseless misery.” If you’ve ever done even one CrossFit workout, I’d wager that you, too, have engaged in battle with this merciless enemy. For me, I encounter him every time the clock beeps. This repetitive battle in my mind has led me on a quest to find the right weapons to engage and defeat my enemy. In my searching, one theme comes back again and again: Mental Toughness. Mental toughness is, to some degree, an abstract concept and you’ll find it defined in a number of ways. For me, the most helpful definition I’ve found was in Lars Draeger’s book, “Navy Seals Training Guide: Mental Toughness.” One of the people Draeger interviewed for the book defined mental toughness as, “Man’s ability to defeat the voice in his mind telling him to quit.” Mental Toughness is a man’s ability to defeat the voice in his mind telling him to quit. Click To Tweet That is it for me. That is exactly what I am searching for. The voice is...
Don’t Freakin Quit – Lessons for CrossFit and Life

Don’t Freakin Quit – Lessons for CrossFit and Life

By Ryan Burns This coming Saturday I will be leading a new, once-per-month, free (invite your friends) class at Full Circle that has been affectionately named “Saturday is for Suffering.” The class is designed for people interested in doing a GORUCK, Spartan, Mudder, or anyone who simply wants to add variety into his or her training. The class is one hour long and involves teamwork, bricks, logs, sandbags, an American flag, pain, sweat, and hard work. You should totally join us.   As I’ve been planning our first class, I began to ask the existential question (which I ask during just about all of my workouts at Full Circle), “Why in the world am I doing this?” While I don’t feel like I’ve ever given myself a truly sufficient answer, I most often come back to three little letters: DFQ. Don’t Freakin Quit Life is hard. Despite what your Facebook feed would have you believe, everyone faces challenges and adversity on a near daily basis. Whether it is a crappy boss, a stressful project, a teething infant, a rebellious teen, overdue bills, traffic, tests, cancer, death… the list goes on and on. Life can be hard. The question is, “What are you going to do about it?” Click To Tweet But, what does CrossFit or Saturday is for Suffering have to do with the bigger challenges of life? I think there are three things that I’ve learned from my time at Crossfit Full Circle that spill over to every day life. 1. You can always do more than you think. Recently, I’ve been taking Full Circle’s NSW Candidate Group class. Designed to help future Navy Seal...
Mentally & Physically Preparing for the GORUCK

Mentally & Physically Preparing for the GORUCK

Part 1 of 2: By Matt Bahen and Ryan Burns Don’t Flipping Quit – As told by Matt So, you’ve decided that you want to do something special and have registered for a GORUCK. Now what? How the heck are you going to prepare for 12+ hours of Good Living, all through the night, with a bunch of strangers and doing all sorts of things you’ve never done before (and probably never even heard of)? Seems pretty uncomfortable doesn’t it? Better get comfortable with that. As a military guy, and especially as an EOD dude, this situation isn’t all that unusual. I’ve done some pretty uncomfortable stuff in my time, and I really enjoyed the challenge the GORUCK cadre gave our group during the event. I can say that everybody in our group that completed the challenge went WAY past the point they were used to stopping at, and the brain convinced the body to keep going. Most of Class 1569 (our GORUCK Group) didn’t have the advantage of being prior military, but they all KICKED BUTT during the event. How did they do it? What I gathered from the fellow CrossFit Full Circle members in the class, as well as from other classmates, is a simple list of things that anybody from any background can use to prepare physically and mentally (most important thing to me really) for the challenge. Do CrossFit – I know what you’re thinking, “Well duh…you’re a CrossFit coach and you own a box!” Well, yes that is true, but in my experience training with a GOOD CrossFit gym/coach will take you out of your comfort zone and...