Don’t be fooled by the title of today’s blog post, the CrossFit Empower team had a few solid gold performances today.

Our teams, the Barbell Ninjas & 3 Decades had an early 7:45am start today.  The weather was overcast with some scattered showers but it wasn’t enough to dampen the mood or delay the events, in fact, the cool overcast was a welcome reprieve from yesterday afternoon’s heat.

The day started with Going Big, wherein the teams had 8 minutes and three attempts each to establish a one rep max snatch.  This was a tough event to start the day with.  This was the first CrossFit competition outside Empower for all 6 of our team competitors and there were nerves aplenty.  And cool, calm focus is required for snatching when you’ve only got three chances.  There were communication issues, timing errors, rushed lifts and plate changing confusion.  A rocky start and perhaps not the start our teams were hoping for but every lifter made their starting weight so it’s not like anyone left the field with a 0 score.  Lessons were learned and the teams have prepared much better for tomorrow’s 1-rep max hang clean.

Next up the teams had the opportunity for redemption on Axle, a calorie row and max axle bar thrusters.  Both teams acquitted themselves valiantly and got themselves back on track!

The third and final team event for Saturday was Bullet Proof.  This one belonged to 3 Decades who had a strong finish as they pulled together to move themselves up the leaderboard with their best performance of the day.

The sun came out in the afternoon but we still enjoyed some intermittent cloud cover and just enough breeze to make the events bearable.  We had time to wander the vendor village scoring loads of free swag and buying some good gear too.  By this time our tent city had spread out and stretched across a quarter of the stadium’s length.  If it were a game of Monopoly, Empower was certainly winning.  We didn’t get Park Place and Boardwalk but we’d claimed the whole stretch from Kentucky through Pennsylvania Avenue.

Motor & Silk got the afternoon started with Get After It and finished with Axle.  Their lifts yesterday were fantastic but today they were out matched by stronger women who could cycle the barbell much better.  As a gym it is something we all need to work on, men and women.  As I’ve been telling classes, in these sorts of sprints, the ability to cycle a barbell is critical and I hoped to prove that point to our members later when my turn came.

Yesterday the ladies owned the competition accolades with their great lifts but Saturday afternoon was all about our men.  In Get After It (4 rounds of 15 cal ski erg & 10 C&J @135#) all our men finished inside the 8-minute time cap.  It was Waterboy’s first time finishing the WOD (he’d tested it in the gym 3 times without success) and he did it with 3 seconds to spare!  WOD Father took first in the heat demonstrating how you can have one of the slowest, most leisurely ski paces and still calmly dismantle the competition with effective cycling of the clean.  Sandman and Super Mario were not far behind.  Colossus also finished well inside the time cap in his heat.  A great event for our men.

A short time later the men took on the Axle, the 30 cal row with 30 thrusters saw the men donning 20lb weight vests.  Now it was Sandman’s time to shine as he took charge almost from the get go.  He was one of the first men off the row and battled to the head of the pack with 14 thrusters completed inside the 3 minute time cap to take first place in our heat despite a no-rep.  Waterboy and WOD Father battled back from a deficit to finish just 2 reps behind the Sandman and Super Mario was just two reps behind them.  Colossus got penalized on no-reps but still put on a solid performance.  Another great event for our men to finish day 2 of competition.

Not everything went our way today but we learned a lot, had some great performances and got some lessons that will make us better athletes and competitors.  Key take aways from today: practice good reps, learn to cycle your barbell!

Tomorrow is the final day of the CanWest Games as our Teams and Masters take on 3 events apiece.

Thanks to all the great Empower members who came out to cheer us on:  Fast Track, PomPom & the girls, Mom, Poster Girl, K-Rymes, Jet, Mufasa, Peril, The Touch & kids, Mr. International, Skipper, Mark and of course team managers, The Nuke & Mr. Fantastic.  and thanks to all the well-wishers via text and email.  We appreciate all your support!