Monday, March 8, 2010

Pullups Across the Pond

Workout of the Day:

This workout is a modified version of a workout I got from my friends at Evolve Your Fitness

1000 meter row, max pullups

rest 2 minutes

750 meter row, max pullups

rest 1:30

500 meter row, max pullups

rest 1:00

250 meter row, max pullups

You may not rest between rowing and pullups, and you must rest exactly the interval prescribed between rounds. Each pullup is worth -2 seconds from your total row time.

Graham, Frank, and Eric (pictured above) did this WOD last Monday for their half of the challenge, and scored 7:48, 7:49, and 8:12, respectively (24, 34, and 21 raw pullup totals).

This workout is cool because it offers a strategic challenge as well as a physical one. Going balls out would obviously leave no strength for the pullups, but laying back too much would kill the overall rowing time. Because each pullup is worth 2 seconds, having the strength to do them immediately after the row seems worth sacrificing a few seconds on the ERG. The problem with this is that its hard to know the right blend of effort and conservation.

I did my first 1000 meters in 3:31, holding a 1:45 split for the duration. Honestly, this was too slow. I got off the ERG barely out of breath. The pullups still proved challenging though, but more because I’m a mental midget than because my body gave out. I was only able to get 21 before dropping, and, I’d love to blame this on the slick, chrome plated bar at the Cite gym, but that would give undue credit to my resolve. I’ll come back to this later.

Because the distances were decreasing, I had planned to drop my split a little each round, especially after the first round felt so easy. A hundred meters into the 750 meter round, I realized this was not going to happen. Feeling the impending creep of lactic acid overload, I backed my pace off to around 1:47, finishing the distance in 2:43. Jumping up on the pullup bar this time actually felt more secure than the first round, but I still only managed 20 pullups. It was like I was dropping from the bar out of habit, rather than out of sheer exhaustion, as I should have been.

Walking back to the rower between sets 2 and 3, I was definitely out of breath. But by the end of the 1:30 rest period, that had subsided and I felt ready to go. This side of things I really cannot complain about—my recovery was excellent. Here I had a bit of a mental lapse. I started rowing around a 1:50, and it took me until the 300 meter mark to realize that I shouldn’t be conserving so much. I started pulling like hell and finished the leg in 1:46. That burst cost me on the pullups, as I only tallied 14.

With only 1 minute break before the last set, I barely had time to reset the rower for the new distance before it was time to start moving. Here I didn’t hold much back—most of the distance was spent in the 1:30’s. The final time was 50 seconds even and my pullups were a pathetic 13. In total, this put my time elapsed at 8:50 with 68 total repetitions. At 2 seconds per pullup, that means 2:16 of total subtraction, putting my final time/score at 6:34.

I am not happy with this. More directly, I attacked this workout like a soft, no heart, wet-noodled weakling. I didn’t give enough on rows 1 or 3, and, with the exception of the 3rd set, I left repetitions on the bar with the pullups. The only thing I can think of to explain this is that I rarely do them for maximum repetitions and I didn’t know how to approach it mentally. If that is the case, it’s an easy fix.

Big thanks to Frank from Steelfit for organizing this inaugural WOD. Looking forward to the next one.

1 comment:

  1. No heart, wet noodled weakling.....but you still completley smoked us. Thinking strategically would have us tackling this WOD very differently next time too.