So… I don’t know how we would go about reporting or posting a “world record”, but we’ve got one (does Guinness have to be there?). Earlier today Brendan Griffin, from CrossFit Shifted (who’s team have been following for the last 5 months), OBLITERATED Dan Bailey’s 1:35 “Diane”. I know, you’re thinking, “How in the fuck can you obliterate a 1:35 ‘Diane’?”
Oh, I don’t know, how about a ONE TWENTY EIGHT?
Go ahead, rub your eyes, you read it right. Twenty-year-old Brendan Griffin did “Diane” today in 1:28. Before you say he’s not locking out on the round of 21, wait until the round of 15, you’ll see—he’s fucking locking out. In fact, I’d go so far as to say his standards are at the least comparable to Bailey’s, if not better (oh, he’s an inch taller than Bailey).
Someone should probably call Pat Sherwood…
Now we’ll break from our regularly scheduled awesomeness, as an opportunity for me to do something I love to do—admit a gigantic fuckup.
Throughout the off-season we preached the benefits and necessity of the kipping HSPU. This prophecy played out when the Regional WODs were announced, and the one that started the whole thing off featured 45 HSPU. I remember sitting in a hotel in Edinburgh, frantically reading through the standards of “Diane”, in order to find out if kipping was allowed. When I read it was, I whispered a little fuck yeah because I knew it would give a huge advantage to our group of Games hopefuls, and that those who weren’t BW ninjas would struggle if they weren’t proficient at the least manly movement in competitive exercise. For our ladies it was a no-brainer. With the exception of Becky, who has our gym record of 2:08 on Diane, I’ve never seen a woman who can complete that many reps—without a kip—at a very rapid pace. For the dudes it was a different story.
After BP’s 27th place debacle on the 30 HSPU workout at Regionals in 2011, I decided I’d make sure that any male I coached would know how to kip HSPU–no matter how many unbroken strict they had. We worked on both versions almost every week in the off-season, throughout the Open, and in preparation for Regionals. Whenever we’d work strict, Jay Rhodes would always have preposterous numbers. He’s one of those that’s in the 30-40 unbroken range, and can do them to about a 2 foot deficit. I would have NEVER thought they’d be an issue for him, especially with a fairly wide standard and no deficit, but then I saw the setup at the SE Regional, and to be completely honest—it mindfucked me.
I’ve made a pretty good name, and had some pretty good success, by being one of the first coaches to really propagate the idea of using “strategy” for a competitive advantage. My assistant head coach, Corey Perry, and I have pretty much tested everything at one point or another, and we can do a pretty good job of telling you where things will fall apart, or where you can gain a few seconds. I knew before the first Regional that kipping would be my strategic recommendation for almost all my athletes. After BP’s second mid-twenties finish on the first WOD of a Regional, which would have likely been avoided easily by kipping all reps, I had no doubt I’d recommend it to everyone. Jay Rhodes, however, was an odd case.
The reason the setup at the SE mindfucked me was because of the lack of the bottom 3′ on the wall. You’ve all seen it by now, so you know what I’m talking about. It’s not a big deal unless you have an odd way of balancing yourself on the wall, like Jay Rhodes, which includes the back of your head rubbing the wall through the entire range of motion. Seriously. He’s actually rubbed a near bald spot into the back of his head from time to time, and as soon as I saw the hole I knew it would throw him off. This sent both of us into a million-text-a-day freakout, that had Jay doing a thousand HSPU a day in every possible scenario. His kip sucked, the hole in the wall threw him off, the sky was falling, and we couldn’t figure out what to do. Jay had something like a 2:10 Diane on video, but I think we were both worried he’d “pull a BP” on WOD 1, and we’d be working out of a hole the entire weekend.
This leads to my fuckup.
I convinced Jay to practice his kip and just go with it. I knew this might make us take an 8th, but I couldn’t live with him trying to go strict and dying on the round of 15. I got to the venue in Toronto late, and barely had time to get back to the warmup area to watch Jay warmup. The kip he showed me was fast and precise, and it looked to be something he could do all day long. I felt confident he’d be in the low 2s, and honestly felt pretty relaxed about where he’d place. When the WOD started he flew through the deadlifts, but on his very first HSPU O knew there was something wrong. He was further away from the wall then we’d practiced, and instantly went to a longer kip then I’d ever seen him do. I was a solid 200′ away, and instantly went into a full sprint to try to get as close as possible so I could let him know he’d changed his kip.
When I got to the side of the wall (pretty sure I ran a 4.2 40), I noticed that the mats looked a lot more sloped then the setup I had seen the 2 weeks prior. I also noticed that all the guys who were kipping were struggling to stay on the wall because they, despite being at the end of the box, just seemed closer than I had seen. This hadn’t been a problem anywhere else, and I had even talked to BP about being too far from the wall at the end of the box. I yelled at Jay to shorten up and he just looked at me like he was trying everything he could and didn’t know what was wrong. He finished in 3:42 which was good for 6th overall. 6th isn’t bad at all, but when a guy has a legit 2:10 PR, 1:32 slower isn’t exactly what you want. The funny thing was that many of the times in Canada East were far slower than the other regions. The only male who had a time that was even remotely competitive was A.D. Larouche, who put up a 2:13 completely strict.
Let me preface (or is it to late for that?) by saying, that even if Jay had put up a 1:28 Diane, it wouldn’t have really made much difference in the standings. His still-healing back locked up and went into spasms on WOD 4, and that basically ended Jay’s weekend. The problem is, as a coach, strategical errors are the kind of things that keep me up at night. Apparently there was something odd about the mat setup that weekend. Everyone who kipped struggled with it. We heard rumors of people measuring the box something like 6″ too close to the wall, and the mats were definitely sloped in a way that would push you away—especially with a big kip. The only guy that didn’t struggle, didn’t kip.
I know it’s all a huge fucking “what if”, but today Jay showed me that I probably convinced him to make the wrong choice.
Jay Rhodes – 1:40 “Diane”- FML.
Snatches (full squat) 135/95#