It has been a pretty remarkable week at Empower.  We’ve seen some noteworthy achievements and performances that call for recognition.  We actually saw quite a few personal best performances throughout the week and some great scores on the Open WODs so it’s not just a few people who deserve a pat on the back and a compliment but there are a few performances that stood out to me:

Applause for the Judges
This year’s Open has required everyone to guide themselves through the WODs on their own schedule without the coaches organizing and running the events as usual.  As such it has really highlighted what an amazing team of judges we have at Empower.  We have so many members with years of judging experience who have proven essential to the success of our athletes.  As I look around the gym, engaged in coaching the Zoomers and assisting Open Gym attendees, I have watched our judges keeping our athletes organized and on track and realized our judging team is second to none!   You do an amazing job of upholding the competition standards and guiding our athletes.  Thank you for your dedicated service!

Big Loads for Big Cat
This week we saw several members score personal bests on the front squat including a gym record of 300lbs by Big Cat which beats the previous gym record of 285lbs set by…Big Cat.  Big Cat certainly seems to be the boss of the front squat!  Impressive lift.

Top 10%
In this year’s CrossFit Open the top 10% in each division will advance to the second stage online qualifiers.  Top 10% in the world is not too shabby an achievement.  Last week in 21.1 Sandman was one of few Empower members to make it and he did so by a good margin.  A score of 350 was required to make the top 10% in the men’s 45-49 year old division.  Sandman had a solid 374!  Completing 21.2 under the time cap he may very well make the top 10% again this week.

Crushing 21.2
Sandman was not alone in making the top 10% in 21.1, Hard Rock with a score of 320 in that event also made the women’s 45-49 year old top 10%.  But it is her performance in 21.2 that I want to share with you as she finished the RX’d version with time to spare at 18:36!  I’m willing to bet that puts her in the top 5% for her division worldwide.  It was a remarkable and inspirational performance.  Would you believe she almost didn’t register for this year’s Open?

There’s Only One with Two Times Three
Friday The Touch went downtown to the testing centre for the fingerprints and pat downs and high security clearance for writing the 4-hour CrossFit Level 3 exam.  He’s been studying as one must for months in great depth and breadth.  It is an exam with a very high failure rate.  I have always considered myself a very good exam taker and excelled on exams throughout university.  Despite my confidence and my extensive preparation, my CrossFit Level 3 exam was by far the toughest exam I have ever taken and unlike other exams I’ve taken, upon completion I was not at all confident that I had passed or or could pass it again.  But I was confident that The Touch would pass.  In fact, I never had a doubt about it because I know him as someone who can conquer any challenge he puts his mind to and I know he put in the study hours.  And that’s where the real transformation happens.  It is not passing the exam that makes you a Level 3 coach, it is the months of dedicated study and preparation that transform your understanding and forces you to rise to a new level of coaching awareness.  This credential is so rare and difficult to get that in a city with a dozen or more Crossfit gyms each employing many coaches, there are only 4 CrossFit Level 3 Coaches and there is only one CrossFit gym that has 2 Level 3 coaches.  And you’re training at it!

Across the board I see high standards. High standards are not achieved by talking about high standards but by working for them.  From our judges to our coaches to our athletes: Empower is a community of individuals who hold themselves and each other to higher standards.  I look around the gym and I see athletes performing good reps being counted by great judges and coached by outstanding coaches.  I am very proud of what I see.  And my obvious next question is: how do we become better?

Monday WOD
For Zoomers joining from home you may need to modify the reps each set based on the load you have available.  In each set we will be going for a max effort quitting just one rep before failure.

Equipment: Barbell or substitute

Warm Up:
Bradford Press

Shoulder Press

Shoulder Press