Crossfit Open 16.4 – a beginner mindset, training & meal plan
My first Crossfit Open was such an empowering experience. Not just personally, but also to be surrounded by such strong, committed, fun-loving and encouraging people. Others are much stronger, faster, fitter than I am, and in 16.4 they ran rings around me. But the thing about your Crossfit community is that they’re all their for you when you need them. All throughout the Crossfit Open I was learning from coaches and community members as I was competing, and 16.4 is no exception.
Crossfit 16.4 – the WOD
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 13 minutes of:
55 wall-ball shots
55 handstand push-ups
Men deadlift 225 lb. (102kg) and throw 20-lb. (9kg) ball to 10-ft. (3m) target
Women deadlift 155 lb. (70kg) and throw 14-lb. (6kg) ball to 9-ft. (2.5m) target
Preparing for 16.4
What I ate
I actually can’t remember – sorry! It seems technology has failed me in this instance and I can’t find my food diary from this week. However, you can check out my recap of the Crossfit Open 16.1 and Crossfit Open 16.2 & 16.3, where I have shared my meal plan, meal prep, and recipes.
I can tell you though that I have been getting hungrier! I have been eating more complex carbs than I ordinarily would (sourdough bread, rice, sweet potatoes) and have been consciously keeping my intake of good fats up to keep me feeling full and satiated (homemade protein balls, avocado, meat, etc). It’s way too easy to dip into that mindset of, “I’ve been working out so hard, I can afford to have some ice cream or a piece of cake.” However, that kind of food only leaves you wanting more nutritiously-void foods. Best to fill up on the truly good stuff and prevent the distraction of cravings, I say.
How I trained
- Monday – this Crossfit workout (1hr) + pole fitness (1hr), both in the PM
- Tuesday – this Crossfit workout (1hr) in the AM, run 5km in the PM
- Wednesday – this Crossfit workout (1hr) in the AM, 1hr pole acrobatics and flexibility (1hr) in the PM
- Thursday – this Crossfit workout (1hr) in the AM
- Friday – rest
- Saturday – Crossfit 16.4
- Sunday – rest
Considering I only recorded a 1 RM deadlift of 90kg the week prior, I was super happy to complete 55 x 70kg deadlifts in 16.4! Before starting, I honestly didn’t know if I’d make it to the wall balls, which is why I didn’t strategise too well beyond the deadlifts. I approached the deadlifts in single sets, but when I lifted the barbell the first couple of times I thought I’d pass out before hitting 55.
I kept good form all throughout, but my pace started to wain after 40 reps as my back tired. One of the coaches, Mez, was telling me to think about driving my feet through the floor rather than lifting the weight, which helped immensely, actually. It was only a subtle transfer of weight and strength throughout the body, but it made me feel much more stable, grounded and strong.
Then our trainer and coach, Duncan, wrapped a weight belt around my waist for the last 10. “I’m not hugging you for no reason,” he said. (You’ve got to have a laugh when working out!) The belt was an incredible relief and provided the additional support I needed which allowed me to pick up some speed and power through to complete 55 deadlifts by about the 5:30 min mark.
I tore off the weight belt and transitioned to the wall balls ASAP. I’m good at wall balls, I thought, but punching out 20 unbroken wall balls proved a little too exhausting after those deadlifts. I got several no reps after those first 20, and my exhaustion was compounded by poor form. As I squatted I would catch the falling ball below my knees, rather than keeping it at chin level, which demanded more energy than necessary to thrust the 6kg ball up to the blue line. Still, I made it through with about 45 seconds to go. I straddled the rower, strapped my feet in, and started rowing as hard and as fast as I could. I managed 5 cals on the rower – one of my most challenging exercises – before the 13 minute time cap was up.
My back, surprisingly, felt much better in the days after 16.4 than it did the day after I hit a 90kg RM. I guess it’s about minting good form and not letting technique slip in favour of weight or speed.
If you liked this post, you may be interested in these similar posts: Crossfit Open 16.1 and Crossfit Open 16.2 & 16.3
In case you’re wondering, I train at Crossfit Dubbo – the world’s friendliest box!