An Arena Ready Holiday Tradition - "The Chief"...
One of the coolest parts about CrossFit is that its workouts, and your personal results, are measurable, observable, and repeatable. So once you've performed a WOD more than once you're able to look back and see how much better (i.e. fitter) you've become - either you went faster, used more weight, or achieved more rounds/reps. It's not an anecdotal measure of your fitness level (e.g. "I think my pants look sexier on me this month" or "I'm pretty sure my abs look better now in the right light"), but actual data that supports your increased work capacity. And sometimes, in the midst of all that nerdy exercise data, you weave a little story around certain WODs that just hold a special place in your heart.
If you've been a member at Arena Ready for a while you knew it was coming... "The Chief." We do this WOD every year at this time because it's one of my favorite workouts of all time, and since Jan 1st is my birthday it has become somewhat of a "Rob's pre-birthday tradition" at AR. We also ran this WOD on my (and Sarah's) wedding day in 2013, and a few other times over the last 7 years (we're good for it once or twice a year, haha).
The WOD itself is a spicy one - it has pulling, pushing, and squatting all included... and the rep scheme and work/rest ratio allow you to keep moving at a pretty fast pace for a fairly long (by CrossFit standards) period of time.
The first time I did this WOD about 9 years ago I remember getting 16 total rounds, laying out on the floor in exhaustion after the final cycle, and thinking there was no way I could ever move any faster. About thirty minutes later I watched Big Tony Miranda casually get 32 rounds (exactly double my score) and I thought surely he wasn't human. Since then I think I've done the workout at least ten more times, and my goal for the WOD has evolved over the years. Initially the gold standard of 20 rounds was what I wanted... after I hit that I aimed for 25 rounds... and after I made that goal I set my sights on 30 rounds, thinking it would be awesome but would probably never happen. In 2014 I hit 29+ rounds twice and was SO CLOSE to the seemingly impossible (for me) goal of 30, and that's when I decided it HAD to happen in my lifetime. New Year's Eve 2015 and 2016 was also just short of 30 rounds for me.
Last year at this time I was four weeks post-hip surgery so I wasn't be able to chase the 30-round mark on New Year’s Eve. And now, 12 months later, while I’m not exactly “back” yet I’m healthy enough to give the workout a go at Rx even if I know nothing close to 30 rounds will happen for me this time around. All good, I’m going to give it all I have anyway.
I turn 41 on Jan 1st and I ask all of you to come in on New Year’s Eve to do the WOD I have come to love (& hate) over the years - the one WOD I continue to measure myself against above nearly all others... "The Chief."
After "The Chief" on our wedding day in September 2013
WOD For 12-31-18:
Five 3-Minute Cycles For Max Rounds:
3 Power Cleans @ 135/95 lbs
9 Air Squats
Each cycle is 3 minutes or work, and there is 1 minute of rest between cycles. We will score this continuously, keeping one running count for total rounds, because that's how I like to do it (and it's how we've always done it) and it's my birthday. So, in the end, your score is one number of total rounds + reps completed.
(Compare to 12-30-17, 12-31-16, 12-31-15, 12-31-14, 06-30-14, 12-31-13, 09-28-13, 06-18-13 and 12-31-12)