Our first story is from Ian Wheat of Crossfit Rough in Texas. Not only did Ian up his game from scaled to RX this year, he was also able to complete 165 reps RX!
Q) Tell us a little about yourself, and why you got into Crossfit?
A) I've been sedentary most of my life -- I fall into that stereotype of geeks being overweight gamers. In the summer of 2015, though, I realized that I couldn't get up the stairs following my kids without being winded, and I got up to 300lbs again.
After 3 months of personal training (3 days a week with a trainer and 2 days a week by myself) at a globo gym, I had proven to myself that I could do anything if I wanted it. Well, I decided to give CrossFit a try in January of 2016.
Since then it's been an addiction.
Q) What programming do you follow and what about it do you like about it?
A) My box gets the majority of its programming from Miranda Oldryoyd, and our owner and coaches tailor it from there. I don't really "like" the high volume focus we've had lately but it has certainly prepared me better for the Open! Chalk that up as a success.
We also have a USAW club and that bleeds into our Crossfit programming a bit. Ursula Garza Papandrea has trained our coaches and programs our club with a lot of involvement from our owner.
Q) Since last year, what do you think helped prepare you the most and what did you do specifically that helped you do better in 17.4?
A) Getting over my fear of running. I still don't run long distances, but about 10 months in I realized that I actually could run. In January I tested my 800m time and realized that I could run the whole length without stopping or walking--a huge step forward compared to a stop-and-go approach to even a 200m back when I started.
Tabata rowing and Assault Bike work has also helped condition my lungs and heart nicely.
Q) Going from scaled to RX can be a big jump. What do you think was the biggest difference overall from moving to the RX division, and how did that effect your workout?
A) So far I've done two of the 2017 Open workouts RX and two Scaled. Even on the Scaled ones, though, I had a movement or a weight that was a new challenge.
I'd say that there really isn't a difference if you're ready for RX...although a difference could be being more aware of my own abilities. Last year I had no idea what I should be doing so I leaned 100% on the coaches to tell me how to scale down the scaled workouts. Now, I know going in exactly what I can and can't do.
Q) What would you say to all the athletes out their who are doing scaled but want to improve to the RX division?
A) If you don't have one already, find a buddy. Find someone and work with them as much as you can. The two (or three) of you should know each other's strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes very well. Then, when you need that push, your buddy will be there pushing you.
My workout buddy and I have some similarities and some differences, and generally he's more fit than I am, but we know each other well enough to be able to provide that push and even some guidance on technique or approach mid-workout.
Every Open workout so far we have judged for each other and it has paid off.