Chuck's Take: The North Pad

August 1, 2009 1:00 PM

Posted in The Games »
6 Comments » on this entry

NorthPadChaos.jpgChuck Carswell was a judge for the 2009 CrossFit Games, and recently sent us his take on the competition:

Here's my quick recount of the North Pad Wod plus a couple of Nuggets for Happy CF'ing-

Day one: Team Events. Dave Castro puts John Brown and I in charge of the Overhead Squat/Pull Up WOD. He mentions nothing about our Overhead Squatting abilities.

Nugget #1 When it comes to CF: Always - Check your EGO at the door.

No worries, I'll remind Dave later that based on our abilities, he made 2 great choices to run this station. To which he'll reply, "#@%$#^&*.........&^%$#@(!@#>!

So off we go to brief our volunteers. John starts things off. He's the guy from the '08 Games that went ballistic on the volunteers (get a copy of Every Second Counts, it's there.) He runs over the standards. One person doing pull ups at a time. No stealing weights from another group. Points of Interest a) chin clearly over the bar, b) hip crease below knee and c) full extension on both exercises. I chime in where there needs to be emphasis....grey area equals no rep.

Nugget #2 Good movement is obvious to everyone watching. No need to guess. Thanks for that one Sherwood.

3, 2, 1, Go!
The groups have some interesting strategies. Some have chosen to split the guys and the girls up. The guys start with the OHS while the girls do Pull Ups. When the girls finish there first set of Pull-ups they notify the guys then switch places. The girls start their OHS while the guys nail their first set of Pull Ups. Then back and forth they go. Others decide to do all OHS, then all pull-ups. Some run back and forth between each station as needed or desired. I have no clue how things are put together for some teams. Bottom line CF'rs are putting out! Staying on the bar, saving lifts, traveling with the bar, hanging on the pull-up bar upside down (dude, WTF?!), switching weights like a pit crew from the Indy 500, doing math faster than accountants on the 14th of April, using multiple grips on pull-ups (overhand, underhand, traditional, mixed, eastern, western), trying to recover unrecoverable lifts, setting PR's, squatting with good and bad technique, and bleeding too. A few try to stay on the bar past their grip abilities and set sail as a result. I'm starting to believe this is serious.

Hey, that's Rob Miller and Annie Sakamoto who I haven't seen since my first Level 1 back in July '07, Wow, Sage Burgener with something like 165# for 3, Team Copenhagen is moving well in spite of the travel, that's CF Alamo which was home to the first Wounded Warrior Cert, 122 pullups from one athlete. Spectators are intense while their team is on the pad working, the Games are off to a great start.

3,2,1 TIME!

Get this, they're putting the weights back when they finish. John and I huddle up with the hard working, sweaty North Pad Volunteers for encouragement, feedback, water, reminders, restroom shifts, and our traditional "You guys are rocking it - 1,2,3, HELL YEAH!"

This might be the best cult ever.

6 comments on this entry.

1. JB - CrossFit SS wrote...

August 1, 2009 1:41 PM

This was a great event to watch, and you could tell the teams that really train hard together. 4 athletes putting out and knowing when, who, and how to push each other. Glad I had a good seat!


2. silverback wrote...

August 1, 2009 8:26 PM

Go Karen! Really cool to hear different perspectives from everyone at the Games. There were so many moments that people missed and it's great to hear about them.

3. Kim Malz~FitMom wrote...

August 2, 2009 8:28 AM

Great article Chuck- so glad to have had you as one of our coaches at the Level 1 cert October 2008 at CF South Brooklyn.

Your passion, motivation, and desire to see the athletes succeed at the '09 Games was clearly evident. Thank you.

4. Jake wrote...

August 2, 2009 7:44 PM

Chuck's the man! Thanks for a great Level I Cert in Longwood this past 4th of July. I appreciated it and you guys were great!


5. Pat Sherwood wrote...

August 3, 2009 4:11 PM

That's a lot of variation on the pull-up grip styles. It's cool to hear that some teams even pulled out the western grip.

6. Greg Dontchos wrote...

August 4, 2009 3:39 PM

Haha...Western Grip, nice!