[/caption] The workouts for the 2011 Functional Fitness Games Regionals were announced yesterday and, as expected, they’re very challenging. In the six WODs, you have a host of movements and the classic Functional Fitness combination of gymnastics, weightlifting and monostructural modalities. The goal, of course, is to weed out athletes with any weaknesses and only send the very best on to compete at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., at the end of July. Crystal was very excited to see the workouts, but she’ll be challenged by the handstand push-ups in the first workout and the muscle-ups in the fifth (we suspected they were coming). The other four WODs will be very dificult as well, but she’s ready for deadlifts, box jumps, rowing, running and everything else. HSPUs and muscle-ups, on the other hand, will be a real challenge in Vancouver—but that’s OK. We spent the entire year training to get HSPUs and muscle-ups, and we accomplished a major goal by putting them both in the toolbox. However, this year’s goal was not to master the movements or perform high reps in couplets and triplets so, like several other athletes, Crystal knows she’ll be forced to work hard for single reps in workouts 1 and 5. That will be frustrating to a competitive athlete, but it’s all part of the learning process. If you look at Functional Fitnessters in general, it usually seems to take a minimum of two or three years of hard training to reach the top levels of the sport, and it also takes some natural talent. There are exceptions to the “three-year rule” when you’re dealing with freakish amounts of natural talent, but it almost always takes a fair bit of time to get good at Functional Fitness. That’s often especially true for women, only because most females have never trained for the upper-body strength needed for gymnastics movements. Other athletes are no doubt in the same boat as Crystal. I remember watching top athletes, both male and female, fail repeatedly on Amanda in the 2010 Functional Fitness Games, and those were the best Functional Fitnessters in the world. It’s obvious gymnastics movements remain challenging across the board. But none of that means the Canada West Regional won’t be a great time. For anyone who qualified, the regional is a reward for a year of hard work. If you can do all the movements, it’s a time to give your all and see if you can make it to the Games. If you’re going to struggle in a few spots, don’t worry about it. Enjoy the ride and then absolutely attack the other workouts—and then set new goals for 2012. I’ve asked Crystal to treat the regional like the party after high-school graduation: enjoy yourself and have fun, then set new goals for the next level. We did that last year at sectionals, and it worked out pretty well. In Vancouver, it will be a great test for Crystal to try and get as many muscle-ups and HSPUs as she can, and then we want to go hard on the other workouts and try to mess up the leaderboard a little bit. With so many great athletes in the field, it would be a huge accomplishment to do well in the other workouts. And after the regional wraps, I’ll buy Crystal as many beers as she wants while we sit down and set goals for our next year of training. Good luck to all the individuals and teams going to Vancouver – what are your goals?
How are we using the gym to prepare for the sport of biathlon? Check out two different training programs used by two novice biathletes.