Mikey likes it!…….So glad to see another Oly lifter in PAIN! Check out the SUCK threshold that our naive friend Mike CRASHED through!
Elite Weightlifter to Humbled CrossFitter: Cerbusted by a 600 Meter Row!?
By Mike Cerbus
In the last three years I have been increasingly drawn into the world of CrossFit. A reoccurring statement that seems to come when working with different athletes and Boxes has been, “you would be great at CrossFit because you’re a weightlifter and built for it!” Not surprisingly, remarks like that and the growing popularity of this great sport had even begun to nurture this false belief in my mind. I mean seriously, I have squatted triple bodyweight, snatched and jerked near double bodyweight, and I am a lean 170lbs so I must be built to dominate any WOD, right!?
Rather than continue down the road of explaining “theories” and “reasons” for why I would, should, or could be a CrossFitter, let me just fast forward to my first actual WOD and we can try to figure out what went wrong.
After a heavy weightlifting session with my athletes at Integrated Fitness in Pittsburgh, I was coerced into taking part in what was deceitfully labeled as an EASY partner WOD. I felt pretty good after the training session in which I worked up to some snatches at 275lbs, clean&jerks at 325lbs, front squats at 405lbs, and even a thruster at 305lbs all while helping with some technical points and cues with the other athletes. I feel bad that these lifts I did prior to the WOD may have tricked my friends into thinking they were going to see me blow through what was supposed to be such a simple WOD; and this next part is where all the fun got sucked out of me.
The WOD was unveiled as follows: 1200m row, 60 supermans, 60 band pulldowns, 60 kettlebell high pulls, 60 ring pushups, 6 prowler pushes. My thoughts expressed internally and verbally were as follows: “Hmmm that seems like a lot, but I guess it won’t be bad split up with a partner right??”
Well it didn’t take me long to make my first mistake which not coincidentally set the stage for what I would label as a death march. As a weightlifter, pacing is not something that I am used to since we train ourselves to fire in short, fast-twitch bursts with plenty of recovery time in between, and I entered the rower with that mentality only to pay dearly!
The rowing felt very similar to a pull in the clean, so I immediately took off in the most powerful burst I could summon which looked great with a 1:22 pace halfway into my 600 meters. However, I truly underestimated the amount of energy and wind being sucked out of my less than aerobically conditioned body. The final result was a 600 meters that finished in more like four minutes, a bruised rib from slamming the handle off my chest, and gasping breaths that would have made you think I smoked for the last 25 years! Oh, and don’t let me forget the part where I whipped the chain so hard it chinked and broke. Sorry Jim, I do owe you one of those!
Now that the rowing was done, I was seriously trying to figure out how this WOD would be finished. I could commentate the remaining pieces, but in fewer words we will just agree that I barely crawled to the prowler where I eventually collapsed to watch my partner attempt to salvage our finish. Yes, I was humbled, defeated, and surprisingly more intrigued than ever once I finished my hour of shameful wheezing on the back lawn which was playfully coined as being “Cerbusted!”.
My next blogs will most certainly be to elaborate on what strengths and weaknesses weightlifters bring to the realm of CrossFit and vice versa. Until then, I will be licking my wounds and possibly taking on some new WODs.