Sunday, December 16, 2007

No Bootsraps Were Involved

I've posted before about some of the CrossFit workouts that I hate.* (Incidentally, the Filthy Fifty is also on that list.) There are a few, just a few, WODs that I don't mind so much. At the top of that list is anything that is both bodyweight-only and all upper-body.

Allow me to explain: I'm 5 feet, 5 inches tall and typically weigh 138 to139 pounds, which puts me firmly in the "small" size range. Since one's weight goes roughly as the cube of one's height, while one's strength goes roughly as the square, smaller folk usually do better at bodyweight exercises.** Meanwhile, anyone who's seen me in real life can tell that roughly 100 pounds of that weight is between my navel and my chin. On other words, much of my weight and strength lie in my upper body. These two factors combine to make me happy when the WOD turns out to be mostly pull-ups, dips, or muscle-ups.

Yesterday's WOD was 7 sets of 1-rep maximum of weighted pull-ups. Granted, this workout is not bodyweight-only, but I still benefit from my particular build. For example, yesterday, after swapping the gym and the bedroom, I set a new personal record of 112.5 pounds. I'm quite pleased with that result.

I also enjoy doing 30 Muscle-Ups for Time when that WOD comes around. The first time I attempted this workout, it took me 16 minutes, 29 seconds. Though careful strategizing and slightly improved fitness, I've been able to crank the time down to 4:16. I believe I might be able to push the time to about 3 minutes. After that, progress will be hard-won.

I should point out that I'm not posting these results to brag, just to report on which CrossFit workouts I do best. I'm certain there are plenty of people out there can outperform me on these WODs. If you aren't one of them, it's probably because you aren't a short little guy with a big upper torso.

* I only hate them because they clearly hate me so much.
** This is the reason that you always see claims that the ant*** can lift 20 times her own weight, or whatever. It's not because ants are engineered particularly well; it's just because they are small.
*** As if there's only a single species of ant, and only one caste in that species.

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