In hindsight, the programming would have been better if reversed.

Yesterday saw the return of CrossFit WOD “Fat Nancy”, 5 rounds of 400m run and 10 OHS at 95/135lbs.  This is a shorter, heavier version of the original CrossFit benchmark WOD “Nancy” which is 5 rounds of 400m run and 15 OHS at 65/95lbs.

Regular Nancy is a bit of a sprint and rounds should take 3-4 minutes each for a finish time between 15 and 20 minutes for an average athlete.  Fat Nancy is heavier and slower with rounds expected to take 4-5 minutes each for an average finish between 20-25 minutes.

The problem with programming Fat Nancy first was that Empower athletes weren’t always certain what weight to use and many ended up doing a Nancy instead of a Fat Nancy.  If the programming order had been reversed it would have been easy to just add a bit of weight from your recently completed Nancy.  Lesson learned.

We had 3 athletes complete Fat Nancy RX’d: Super Mario was just under the 20 minute mark, The Truth was just under 17 minutes (3 minutes, 24 seconds per round) and Hard Rock only needed 16 minutes (or about 3 minutes and 12 seconds per round) to get it done!  Fantastic work:)

Even more impressive to me were athletes who really challenged themselves: FeProf and Tamahock (OK, maybe I pushed her a bit) both completed at 75lbs for the first time!  Crusher, AV, Dauntless, Silk, MK and Riot all seemed to select good weights for this one as well.  But the most impressive performance of the day, without a doubt, goes to Sprite who completed at 65lbs (a total of 250lbs more than last time) while cutting 10 minutes of her previous Fat Nancy time!  Simply outstanding!

The Overhead Squat continues to be a struggle for many.  For fitness, it is not critical that you can overhead squat the RX’d loads.  But being able to stabilize a load overhead through that challenging range of motion is an important test of your functional mobility.  I know from frustrating experience that developing the overhead squat is a tedious undertaking.  It was 3 years before I could confidently overhead squat 95lbs.  But the improved mobility you will develop from mastering this movement will make you healthier, safer and stronger.

While the RX’d weights are not critical to general health and fitness, athletes on the performance track will want to master the overhead squat with 65/95lbs because those are about the lightest weights you’ll see programmed for competition outside the scaled division.  In the 2018 CrossFit Open many of you were stymied by the 20 OHS programmed at 75/115lbs.  There are lots of skills to develop in CrossFit but if you already have RX’d HSPU, Bar and/or ring MU, deadlift and/or back squat at 1.5 x body weight, can string together 10-20 DU, and still can’t bang out 10-15 OHS at 65/95lbs, then I’d suggest you have a major deficit that requires attention.  On make up days instead of a cardio burn you should be grinding through 100 OHS at 65/95lbs in as few sets as possible.  Magnum got his down to 3 sets but if you can complete in 5 sets I think you’re doing great.

And for aspiring competitors, one last thing: get confident with the squat snatch.  Power snatch is good enough for everyone else but in competition a squat snatch will shave 1-1.45 seconds off your time each round.  In a 5 round event that is 5-7.5 seconds saved which can be the difference of 2-3 places on the leader board in a tight race!

Fat Nancy’s visit certainly reminded us of what we need to work on.  I expect Friday’s make up day will see many members practicing squat snatches and overhead squats in preparation for Sunday’s Nancy.