• Cass Lau

#20point5: It was Fun. Until the Ring Muscle-Up, & Final Thoughts

Updated: Nov 25, 2019

#20point5: It was Fun. Until the Ring Muscle-Up

For time, partitioned any way: 40 muscle-ups 80-cal. row 120 wall-ball shots, 20-lb. ball to 10 ft.

Time cap: 20 min.

Workouts are more fun when you can RX everything.

It's a grim statement that I will not sugar-coat, but if you get what I mean then ya do.

When the live announcement was made on CFGames.com, I froze. They had announced ring muscle-ups first and my brain shut off after.

Then the understanding of the structure of the workout kicked in. “Partitioned any way you want.” Meant that I could also arrange this however I wanted? Then it became interesting.

But what was the best way to approach the workout? Small sets and turn this into another 20.2? or big chunks of the two movements that I could do and try at the RMUs after?

The Opens chat was buzzing with excitement and questions, particularly from the newer athletes who had never encounter this DIY-type WOD. Heck, NEITHER HAVE WE EVER. (well CK did do one which was a cocktail of Hero WODs that spelled “New Year” and that was fun)

The real struggle to decide for athletes proficient in RMUs boiled down to which would be a priority. Getting more reps in, or a getting a good tiebreak time. If you knew that you wouldn’t be able to finish the workout then go for tiebreak of course, but they didn’t want to lump the MUs in such that you’d hit failure. It would be exciting to watch.

I was itching to discuss my workout but my training buddy was at work and i had to content with spamming her while she attended to life.

And I harboured a sliver of hope that maybe, just maybe i’ll get one RMU.

Popped over to the box on Friday to see what hype was up, and just a handful of people were present. One stressing about the RMU and another trying all sorts of permutations to get as many RMUs as he could in.

There didn’t seem to be an opportunity that day to discuss strategy because EVERYONE wanted to talk about it. I had to wait till Saturday to observe and see what would best work for me.

Saturday came and we saw all sorts of combinations come out. A regular 8RFT or one which stacked the RMUs early in the beginning with the wallballs. When the clock hit 15 of the allotted 20 minutes people started going for a good tiebreak.

The weekly faceoff was exciting to judge too. I had to manage my athlete because having to be the first up, his initial plan got him gassed out early in the beginning and we had to make adjustments. I learned that RMUs between wallballs would be very, very hard to keep up. Which got us thinking that a straight through 120 wallballs into 80 cals on the rower might not be such a bad idea after all.

Jasmin, our resident German engine went for that, which was awesome because it gave us enough data to go off on for our attempts. And it would help me validate my assumption that changing between energy systems from a walball-rower and back again strategy might be more tiring, and time wasting on the transitions. PLUS the rower had to reset each time so that would be a waste of power generated from earlier strokes.

She got a 10:30ish tiebreak which was dope. And I made up my mind to approach the workout like that too.

Many people PR-ed and the box went wild with camera flashes and cheers of excitement when they showed one success after another. I was happy for them but worried about my own attempt nonetheless.

Sunday. The girls that went before me were super amazing. Shree managed ONE precious muscle up (followed by a near-death experience o.o) and Kylie racked out a good number of RMUs, strict!

Did i mention? We had decided to make the event fun and donned colors from each other’s teams prior beneath our camouflaged tops. Maybe I might have been able to get a few seconds shaved had I not spent 3seconds stripping myself of the “last” piece of yellow clothing on my body.

20 mins later, it was my turn. I just had one job and I had to do it well. Do the wallballs and the rowing as planned and EVERYTHING WILL BE A-OK.

Wallballs (120): 30-20-20-20-15-15

Cal Row (80): straight through @ 1000cal/h

MUs (40): Just try.

The wallballs were great. Didn't get no-repped as I focused on the depth of my squats. My shoulders started to burn in the later sets but breathing was well-managed. I took 5-7 breaths between each set of wallballs and reminded myself that I could always hit that extra rep. Finished, 4:30.

Rowing after that was a different challenge. I closed my eyes for most part of the row, focusing on breathing and driving through with my legs. Please just let me hit 900 cal/h on the row (I saw the other girls hit 700-850 before me, some guys struggling to maintain a 1000 row pace and felt that the initial goal of 1100 cal/h was impossible). I took a peek... 1000 cal/h. Wow.

I ended with a 9:36 tiebreak on the Row.

Then the time came for the MU. I rested a good 3mins before my first attempt, biceps throbbing from the final sprint on the row.

All taped up and wrists nicely chalked I stepped off the boxes, going for a STRICT MU as I had been practising. I couldn't pull as high as I could in practice. No surprise there.

"Kip Cass." I looked at Kylie for guidance and she pointed me to my headcoach, CK.

He gave me a bunch of cues, telling me where I already was and how I had to kip. I was worried. I NEVER practised kipping, but I would give it a shot, and TRUST that my body would understand the timing.

I breathed. And went.


The next few times I went the pulls were inconsistent. I knew trying anymore wouldn't get me there.

I wasn't even close.

But I gave those attempts a good shot. And the bottom line was that I had to TRY and I had to FAIL. Because if I didn't I wouldn't have a good data point to measure my next performance against.

I ended 20.5 without a muscle-up. And I had mixed feelings when I stepped off the boxes. SURE I knew I wouldn't make it, but I had hoped a miracle would happen. Of course it was all just a dream I entertained.

If you asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year it wouldn't be a new bag or nike metcons or even two front teeth. I want that RMU. And I never wanted it as bad as I do now. Not because I haven't already been doing that, but it was a firm reminder to stick to, and trust the process.

So all that's left is to work incredibly hard for that.

🔨: 200 reps | 88th percentile

Final Thoughts

As we closed off the weekend with 20.6 (our customary end-of-Open celebrations) at 11 Hamilton, which by the way has amazing food but not enough to feed 50 hungry crossfitters, I was happy.

That the Black vs. Yellow event went well, that I could noticeably see that our members had grown closer, that even though 60% of the attendance at 20.6 was different from 19.6, the community and spirit was the same.

Team YELLOW 2020

And while Team Yellow didn't win per se, I daresay these people had alot of heart. Talking about attire (wearing yellow articles of clothing) from day 1 to the end. If anything, they started well and finished STRONGER. And I couldn't be more proud of that! 💛

Loved the conversations and help that went on these 5 weeks, and the fear that the Open would usually see membership dip in some places didn't change anything for us. In fact, I think our bonds became that much stronger.

I am thankful for everyone who stepped up to the plate and took up the challenge of the Open. Beyond PRs and good scores on the leaderboard, people proved to themselves that the only way up is through hard work and a supportive system that would allow you to grow and perform.

This is my fitfam. Forever and always <3

Thank you for reading through the past 5 weeks of my thoughts and fears.

Until next time, OTTNMFM, this is @casslauu, signing off.


Black vs Yellow & #20point1: The Separator

#20point2: The Trudge

#20point3: The Revenge of Diane

#20point4: Is it weird that hate that this is "My Workout"

#20point5 & Final Thoughts (this)

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