Thought about doing one of the engine builder workouts yesterday, but with my WHOOP recovery score still only up to 46% and my back feeling shitty it became a rest day. Needed it. Back in the green with 76% recovery today.

Out in the garage around 10am.

Engine Builder – Interval

5 Rounds

  • 2:30 Airdyne (AD2)
  • 2:00 Rest

I replaced 50 calories each interval with 2:30 since I can only see calories 1/5 of the time on the monitor. I’d have to convert 50 to some higher number anyway to account for the AD2’s quicker calorie accumulation. Last week I couldn’t hold 85 RPM for intervals of three minutes with 30 second rests, but was confident I could for this and I did. My calories were 97, 99, 98, 95, 100 and distances were 1.06, 1.06, 1.06, 1.04, 1.07 miles. It felt good to push that pace.


Dumbbell Curls – 21s

  • 7-7-7 @ 25#
  • 7-7-7 @ 25#
  • 7-7-7 @ 20#

When I get through two sessions at all 25s I think I’ll try one of the alternate 21s workouts.

Gymnastics Strength

8 Rounds (Tabata)

  • 20s HR Push-ups
  • 10s Rest

Didn’t let myself rest during the work sets or I should say not any extra beyond the breath I had to start taking before pressing up. My numbers were something like 14-12-10-8-8-7-7-6 for a total of 72 reps, which is 6 fewer than a month ago. That was the first day I did 21s though and only used 10-15-20# for the three sets.

Now I’m off for San Diego. I wonder what my recovery score will look like in the morning after flying across the country and trying to sleep with the three hour time difference.

Another Tweak!

Here are my updating rankings after 19.2. I’m switching to using a percentile, which is standard compared to saying “top X%” like I have in the past. Last weekend I spent a lot of time creating an epic spreadsheet of my results in every Open and each workout. Cool data to have going forward.


Open Men: 21,830/164,227 (86.7%)
Masters 35-39 Men: 3,457/33,391 (89.6%)


Open Men: 16,760/183,948 (90.9%)
Masters 35-39 Men: 2,402/37,204 (93.5%)

My placing in the workout was down a bit from 19.2, but good enough to rise in the overall standings for both divisions. Getting even one clean at 225# would have been a huge jump in the rankings for that workout. It still turns out to be my best two-week start to an Open. Let’s keep it rolling…


  • 5:00 Assault Bike
  • Dead Hang
  • Banded lat opener
  • Lunges
  • Step-ups
  • OH DB Hold

WHOOP said my recovery had only gone up from 37% to 44% with almost 9 hours of sleep last. I felt great this morning and my back had recovered quite well. I was moving well through warm-ups. Then I went to move my dumbbell across the gym and TWEAK as I stood up. Fuck!


CrossFit Games Open Workout 19.3

  • 200′ Dumbbell Overhead Walking Lunge (50#)
  • 50 Dumbbell Box Step-ups (50#, 24″)
  • 50 Strict Handstand Push-ups
  • 200′ Handstand Walk


  • 10:00 time cap.
  • Lunges and handstand walk are 25′ lengths with a 5′ section for each rep.
  • Step-ups must alternate legs.
  • HSPU use a 24×36″ box for hands, though the fingers may extend past the line.

My plan was to switch hands every 50 feet of lunges. I was fine starting out with my left arm, but with my right shoulder bothering me lately I could only go 25 feet, so I switched the dumbbell every 25 feet the rest of the way. Got through those in 2:41.

I went right to the corner of the box and got in to it. I felt my back on every box step-up, which was fucking horrible. I kept trying to figure out if there was a way I could step-up to limit the shot of pain, but there wasn’t. I supported the dumbbell over a shoulder with one hand under the head of it. I think I moved it side to side after 16, 30, and 40 reps. My tiebreak was 6:42. Ugh, four minutes is a lifetime on that movement.

By the way, I have to mention how stupid the alternating step-up standard is. It slows everyone down and it’s nearly impossible for both the judge and the athlete to keep track of since it’s not an efficient or fast way to do step-ups.

I wanted to do doubles for the HSPU as long as possible with no more than a 5 count rest. Unfortunately my back affected me coming off the wall too, but I adjusted that easily to not affect my timing or anything. I got through 8 or 10 reps doing doubles when I started to feel the second rep getting slow so I changed to singles with shorter rest. That worked surprisingly well and I was able to quickly get back on the wall for another rep. Squeezed out a double before the buzzer for 31 strict handstand push-ups!

I had no expectation of finishing those 50 even though I would have loved to get just 5 feet of handstand walking since I’ve been working on the skill. Maybe next year.

Going in to this workout I was hoping to be done with the box around 5:30 or 6:00 at the latest, but the back tweak and shoulder issue really changed that. On BTWB a score of 124 was the 90th percentile so that was my goal (even though I rarely hit that 90+%). My score of 121 almost got there so I’m really happy with the effort. Currently it ranks in the 88th percentile on BTWB, so after more scores come in it’ll be right there with my 87 and 85 ranks for 19.1 and 19.2.

This is my best three-week start to the Open due to consistent placing. I hope I don’t wake up with a really bad back in the morning and it can recover for 19.4. Especially since I’m flying out to San Diego on Tuesday for a little vacation. I’ll be out there for Friday Night Lights and hopefully battle by buddy Bryan.


Bench Press

  • 10×45#
  • 8×95
  • 8×135
  • 8×155
  • 8×175
  • 8×185
  • 8×195

Don’t need my back to bench. Matches the 8×195 I did in January, which felt good after those strict HSPU.

Got home and putzed around for an hour before hitting my cardio so I could relax for the rest of the day. I’m on vacation all week!

Engine Builder – Speed

2 Rounds

  • 8:00 Airdyne (AD2)
  • 4:00 Rest

Based on recent intervals I hoped to hold 80 RPM for these. I was in the ballpark, seeing 79-80 quite a bit when RPMs came around on the monitor. My calories were 258 and 262 with distances of 3.13 and 3.15 miles.

Too Aggressive

After being at 81% recovery yesterday, WHOOP says I’m down to 37% this morning with my HRV being the lowest it has recorded so far. I slept well and the intervals I did yesterday weren’t terrible, so it feels like a fluke reading. Maybe the sessions were harder on the body than I realized. Maybe my body is responding to the back tweak. Will keep an eye on things.

I had my breakfast this morning and then got started around 10am.


  • 3:00 Row (750m)

Engine Builder – Max Aerobic Power

15 Rounds

  • 40s Row
  • 20s Rest

Three fewer than the 18 intervals of 30/30 on Wednesday, but moving 10 seconds from rest to work is a big difference. Instead of trying to get to a pace of 1:37-1:39/500m by the 5th pull I thought 1:40-1:42 would be a smart move. Turns out it was too aggressive.

I knew I was in trouble at the beginning of round 7. Started too hot in the first 6 and didn’t have any starting power left the rest of the way. Maybe that WHOOP recovery score is right!

Total of 2,868 meters and 219 calories. Averaged 191.2 meters and 1:44.6 / 500m (1,351 cal/hr) pace with a range of 198-187 meters. Intervals were 16, 16, 15, 16, 15, 15, 14, 14, 14, 14, 14, 14, 14, 14, and 14 calories and 197, 197, 195, 198, 194, 192, 187, 188, 188, 187, 188, 188, 189, 189, and 191 meters.


Dumbbell Curls – 21s

  • 7-7-7 @ 25#
  • 7-7-7 @ 20#
  • 7-7-7 @ 20#

First set felt heavy, but was ok after that. My adjustable dumbbells are definitely more awkward to use than the standard hex heads at the gym.

Engine Builder – Endurance

  • 22:00 Airdyne (AD2)

I tried to stay near 70-75% of max heart rate, which ended up being 68-70 RPM most of the way. There were some weird rises and falls in my HR though. Went 7.57 miles and 536 calories.

Kind of nice to get in two sessions right away.

My back is improving and hopefully it’s good enough for 19.3 tomorrow.

Double Engine

The back tweak from Wednesday turned out to be one. Thankfully it’s not a major one. Yesterday I used my TENS device most of the day. Hopefully it’s a quick recovery so I can do 19.3 on Sunday or Monday. Guess I’ll stick to cardio for a couple of days.

Out in the cold garage by 9am with no food and no warm-up.

Engine Builder – Interval

4 Rounds

  • 3:00 Airdyne (AD2)
  • 30s Rest

Started at 85 RPM but I had to really push to hold 80 by the end of the second interval. Calories were 110-105-103-105. Maybe would do better with at least some warm-up. That 30 seconds was really no time to recover.


In the evening I warmed up with a 3:00 row (760m), increasing my pace every minute. Rested 3:00 before starting.

Engine Builder – Anaerobic

8 Rounds

  • 30s Row
  • 2:30 Rest

In the middle I remembered the other day where I really pushed with my legs to get the flywheel up to speed. Calories were 17-17-17-17-18-18-18-18 and I was getting over 2,400 cal/hr at some points. Looking at my meters and pace shows how I ramped up and found a rhythm.

I’m not sure I ever remember pulling a stroke rate over 40.

It was cool to watch my heart rate and see it come down so well between intervals. My highest HR was actually at the end of the warm-up! Also notice that second peak on the way down from the 5th interval. I stood up for a minute to see if I’d recover better and obviously I did not. I started a 5:00 cool down almost immediately after and went 1,055 meters.


Quite a bit different from the biking intervals this morning, which hurt a lot more.

Hump Day

This right shoulder may have something going on. It feels like other times I’ve had an issue. I’m really hoping it’s a couple day thing that passes. Like other times I didn’t really do anything in a workout and I started feeling it on Monday when I only did cardio work. Maybe the cumulation of workouts Friday, Saturday, and Sunday?

I got a great night of sleep. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it, but I got one of the WHOOP bands last week and I’m really liking it. Nice to have sleep tracking again and the recovery scores and data really push me to improve these other areas of my life. Before I got out of bed I was thinking I’d wait and row before lunch, but after I got moving I felt like getting it done.

Engine Builder – Max Aerobic Power

18 Rounds

  • 30s Row
  • 30s Rest

Tried to get down to 1:37-1:39/500m by the 5th pull and towards the end I realized I could be using my legs better in those first pulls to get up to speed sooner. My overall average pace was 1:41.6/500m and 1,446 cal/hr, which would be 216 calories. There isn’t a way to go back and see cals for each interval, but I saw that the last one was 12 so the maths work. Meters for each interval were 148-150-148-147-147-148-147-146-145-147-147-147-147-147-147-149-148-149 to total 2,654, for an average of 147.4 and a range of 150-145.

I thought this heart rate graph was interesting in several ways.

I think I’m actually liking the cardio to start the day! Went to the 4pm class.


  • 5:00 Machine
  • 10 Hang Power Cleans (45#)
  • 10 Front Squats (45#)
  • 10 Hang Squat Cleans (45#)


2 Hang Power Cleans + 1 Hang Squat Clean

  • 45#
  • 95
  • 135
  • 165
  • 185
  • 205
  • 215
  • 225

Wore my lifters again and put the belt on starting with 185. Tried to drop under the heavier power cleans more instead of getting really wide with my feet like I normally do.

As I was wheeling out the Assault Bike, my back started to lock up and it felt like a tweak. I tried to stretch it and roll on the floor. Seemed good enough to do the workout and if it is a tweak I know it doesn’t gets worse after it’s already happened. I guess my body didn’t like the combination of squat snatches followed by 117 deadlifts yesterday and then the cleans today.


10 Rounds

  • 6 Strict Pull-ups
  • 10 cal Assault Bike
  • 25 Double Unders

All single pull-ups. Obviously. I used a shorter bar than usual, got my arms in to extension and picked my feet off the ground. Did my pull-up, dropped from the top to skip the descent, and then right back on the bar for the next rep. There is no reason to do sets unless you can immediately jump on the bar and bust out every set unbroken.

I started out around 70 RPM, fell in a rhythm around 68, and then realized I could pick up the pace for the last 3 rounds. Am I getting better on the bike or was this just not a taxing workout on the lungs? Probably the latter. My dubs felt great and I never missed. Finished in 15:38.


Dumbbell Curls – 21s

  • 7-7-7 @ 25#
  • 7-7-7 @ 20#
  • 7-7-7 @ 20#

Tried a new route by increasing the dumbbells on the first set this session. Interesting that the end of sets two and three didn’t feel like as much of a struggle as it had been using 20s for every set.

I did some foam rolling on my back and will get on the inversion table tonight. Hopefully I wake up fine in the morning and I’m over the hump. Fingers crossed that this isn’t a back tweak and my shoulder feels better too!

Get Out Front

On the rower by 8am with no warm-up. 🤷‍♂️

Engine Builder – Anaerobic

5 Rounds

  • 400m Row (high intensity)
  • 5:00 Rest

Was thinking maybe 1:40/500m before I started, but I quickly felt that was too slow. Results were:

  • 1:18.8 – 34 cals
  • 1:18.5 – 34 cals
  • 1:18.2 – 34 cals
  • 1:17.9 – 34 cals
  • 1:17.5 – 34 cals

Looking at some other’s results on BTWB I probably should have gone harder. It’ll take me some time to get the feel for my different rowing paces. I haven’t done this stuff in a couple of years.


Went to the 4pm class.


  • 10 Shoulder Rolls (PVC)
  • 10 Overhead Squats (PVC)
  • 10 Snatch Balance (PVC)
  • 5 High Hang Snatch (PVC)
  • 5 Hang Snatch (PVC)
  • 5 Snatch (PVC)

That got me warmed up!


High Hang Squat Snatch + Hang Squat Snatch + Squat Snatch

  • 45#
  • 75
  • 95
  • 115
  • 5 Sets 135

Wore my lifting shoes for the first time in two years. It was programmed for the working sets to be at 75% and if I go off my lift from a couple of weeks ago that would be 145. My right shoulder is feeling a little weird though so I stayed lighter and tried to work on a few things like a wider beginning stance and my speed. Started feeling snappy a few sets in to the 135.

In one of the sets I somehow hit my nose on the way back down. That was a first! Good thing it was a bar without center knurling.


15:00 AMRAP

  • 9 Deadlifts (155#)
  • 12 Hand Release Push-ups
  • 15 Sit-ups

I knew this one would be quick with no real reason to rest other than in the push-ups, so I started off hot out of the gate. It’s fun to do that from time to time and see how many people will follow along. 🙂 Deadlifts were all unbroken. I went 7-5 every round of push-ups and they slowed down but I never hit failure. Sit-ups felt fine the whole way. That’s another 180 reps today after doing 200 on Saturday! I got through 12 rounds the deadlifts and 2 push-ups.


Worked on handstand walking after class for about 15 minutes. Got a few good attempts in, but was really working to keep my legs together plus get the forward lean going.