Done A Chest To Bar Pull-up (82/366)

“Every personal best pull-up is an event worthy of celebration.”
~ Coach Greg Glassman

The CrossFit Open is almost over! The last workout was announced yesterday. It’s the same closing workout as last year’s Open:

Complete as many reps as possible in 7 minutes following the rep scheme below:
65 pound Thruster, 3 reps
3 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 6 reps
6 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 9 reps
9 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 12 reps
12 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 15 reps
15 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 18 reps
18 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 21 reps
21 Chest to bar Pull-ups…
This is a timed workout. If you complete the round of 21, go on to 24. If you complete 24, go on to 27, etc.

When I first started doing CrossFit, I can’t tell you how ecstatic I was to be able to learn to do kipping pull-ups. Although I’d paddled the Catalina Crossing and the Na Wahine O Ke Kai races a few years before (where we had to pull ourselves up out of the water and into a moving outrigger canoe), pull-ups were always super challenging to me – something almost impossible without the assistance from a Gravitron machine – and learning to kip helped me get through the transitional point in which the small muscles of the shoulders are bearing a lot of the pulling motion needed before the bigger, stronger muscles can kick back in.

Anyway, of course in CrossFit, simple pull-ups are not good enough anymore. You have to keep working, to keep improving – to keep getting stronger, faster … better. The new standard for CrossFit pull-ups, at least in competition, are chest-to-bar. Yikes! Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m still struggling to get back in shape after slacking off for way too long. I’d never even tried to do chest-to-bar pull-ups on my own when they’ve been in WODs (occasionally I’d try them with a band for assistance). But I couldn’t avoid them this time – not if I wanted to complete the Open.

I watched Coach Carl Paoli‘s demo video for his strategy on Open WOD 12.5, and Coach Kelly Starrett‘s as well … they have really great information on form, technique, and efficiency … but right now, I realized I just have to get myself up there however I can since my weight is higher than I’d like and my strength lower. Ha! I decided to get on the bar and try, try again. It took a while to get the feel for pulling myself toward the bar at the top, but I was able to get a few reps after a while. Here are some of them:

I definitely need A LOT of practice, but I’m really happy that I’m able to do these. It’s one of the things that I never thought I’d be able to do. Open WOD 12.5, here I come!!!

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