Jonne Koski seminar

Sometime in September (or maybe October), Anna sent me a link and asked me if I’d like to go as a birthday present. The event in question was a seminar held by two time CrossFit Games competitor Jonne Koski.

I have to admit – I didn’t feel confident enough in my skills that I would have immediately answered in the affirmative, but after contacting the seminar organiser Antti Akonniemi I felt like I could answer with a yes. So, finally on Halloween I boarded a bus to Helsinki and spent the following day – my actual birthday – listening to Jonne talk about preparing for competition and competing. And we also did three workouts during the day which was supposed to simulate a competition day…

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I haven’t set any specific goals for myself when it comes to competing, but most likely I will at least attempt to qualify for some smaller competitions once I reach that magical age of 40 and qualify for the masters divisions. As someone who started working out at 37, competing with 20-somethings is virtually impossible :)

Photo by Laura Hämäläinen
Photo by Laura Hämäläinen

Even though my plans on competing are vague and in the air, the seminar itself was very good and thought provoking. For someone who tends to think and over-analyse (and read), getting some real feedback on how to periodise training and what to focus on was extremely beneficial. At least for whatever approach I want to take to my training I now have at least some knowledge from a valid competitor on what works in his case.

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We had a nice small group of 11 participants and Jonne and his assistant, Juha Metsämuuronen, were able to give all of us technique tips during the workouts and give us individual attention. Sure, the seminar was not focused on learning technique, but getting tips on how to be more efficient is always good. And as is always the case, a different coach than the one you typically use can give you new perspective on how you move and give new hints on what to do to improve matters.

Tero Kotilainen

I have to admit that I am extremely glad that the workouts Jonne had planned were not technically difficult but really put all of us through the ringer with pure CrossFit.

If you are at all interested in the sport of CrossFit, then I strongly recommend going to a seminar held by a Games (or even Regionals) level athlete and get their perspective on how to train and prepare for competition. And of course, by participating in a seminar you are also helping support their training.

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Anna did make one request regarding my trip: I had to take a selfie with Jonne. He was naturally ok with it, and lucky for me he also reminded me to switch the camera to the selfie camera on my phone once my hand was already up and all we saw on the screen was CrossFit Herttoniemi’s ceiling… Just goes to show you how often I take selfies.

And yes, I was very tired once I made my way to the bus and the six hour trip back home.

15.1 and 15.2 – Yes, I really am that bad

The CrossFit Games Open season started almost two weeks ago with the presentation of 15.1 – the first of five workouts to be done during the season. I planned on doing the workouts, but held off on registering until about a week before it started. I finally decided to register just to get a bit more of a mental push to complete each movement to the full standard.

When I woke up on Friday and saw the workout for 15.1 and the surprise 15.1a I grimaced. I really can’t remember when I’ve snatched anything over 40kg last and my PR in snatch at is a measly 55kg which I’ve gotten during a weightlifting class when the focus was on technique and not weight. So the 52.5kg was going to be a challenge. T2B I’m ok with, but have trouble stringing them together especially at our gym where all of the pull-up bars are a bit too low for me.

I knew going in that if I can manage the snatches at all, I should be able to complete two rounds. In the end I surprised myself by finishing three rounds and doing 7 T2B on top of that. Now I’m annoyed that I didn’t manage to squeeze in another three reps to break 100 :)

T2B

15.1a was another beast entirely. Shoulder to overhead strength is something that I was dismal at when I started CrossFit so I knew I wouldn’t be getting any earth shattering results. My PR from January was 75kg in C&J so I had some kind of baseline. My first attempt at 70kg failed since I couldn’t quite get lockout. The second attempt succeeded. Then I decided to gamble and threw on 80kg of weight, which I attempted twice and failed both times. But at least I PR’d my clean while doing the attempts :)

So after 15.1 and 15.1a I was at 97642 worldwide.

When 15.2 was announced, I again faced a relative unknown. I’d just started working on chest to bars myself and had so far done them a few times before the WOD. However, I’d done them so that my collar bone had to go above the bar and not touch the bar. So during the warm-up for 15.2 I tested to see that yes, I can do C2B in singles, but I won’t be doing many of them. I did flirt with the idea of going scaled to get more of a metabolic workout, but decided to challenge myself more and stay RX’d.

The first set of OHS went unbroken and then I spent a long time working on getting the 10 C2B. When I went to continue my OHS I decided to squat with a slightly narrower grip to save my shoulders a bit, which worked but caused me to lose my balance after the sixth OHS. Then I had a hard time of getting the bar back up and simply failed to get any more reps in.

C2B

So with a score of 26 I managed to PR my C2B and even go up in the worldwide standing placing 88031 at the moment.

I’m not sure what I think of my performance in the Open so far. I’m satisfied with the effort I have put in, but the workouts have really highlighted how far the sport has come in a short time. The results that the top athletes have posted are simply amazing.

I’m also uncertain on how this will affect my future training. I’ve already noticed that our normal scheduling doesn’t challenge me to the level I wish it would but have struggled to find something that I could stick with instead. A few friends are following Ben Bergeron’s Competitors Training which I could possibly start following myself. So far even most of the open workouts there have seemed like insanity in most cases, but now I see why. Being able to do the programming RX’d would give a better chance of getting at least semi-decent Open scores while at the same time increasing my own strength and conditioning.

What I feel that competitors training lacks though is focus on additional skill-work. So that is something that I’d have to add on and find suitable programs for from somewhere else. Any ideas dear occasional readers?