• Cass Lau

Redoing Repeats, #20point3: The Revenge of Diane

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

#20point3: The Revenge of Diane

21 deadlifts @70kg

21 handstand push-ups

15 deadlifts @70kg

15 handstand push-ups

9 deadlifts @70kg

9 handstand push-ups

21 deadlifts @93kg

50-ft. handstand walk

15 deadlifts @93kg

50-ft. handstand walk

9 deadlifts @93kg

50-ft. handstand walk

Time cap: 9 min.

When Diane PLUS+ was announced, a repeat of 18.4, I wasn’t sure what to think. Yes my handstand push-ups had undoubtedly become better since 18.4 but I never trained to the standard, HOPING that they’d wake up and change it, or that this WOD would never repeat.Who am I kidding?

Dave Castro said "you should do your homework and make the changes for next year", and this was testament to me NOT being prepared under that standard. The programming and standards don’t change to fit YOU. You need to change your standards to fit theirs to play the game.

“if you didn’t train to meet the standard then you’re not ready for the season.”

Earlier in the week, I had completed Diane in training. No fancy schmancy line measurements. Just Deadlifts, a lockout on the pushups and GO. That attempt was a mood booster and assurance that I had gotten better since nearly two years ago when i hit 15 HSPUs in the FIRST SET of 21.

But with the standards in place it was a whole different ballgame. It felt like a completely different workout.

I got measured and tested on Friday when the WOD was announced.

That week I had to do the workout on Saturday, a day earlier than I would usually go. Saturdays at the box are usually more crowded, with our classes going on concurrently, and spillovers from people supporting our weekly matchups.

Fen had set the target on the women’s side, making it to the heavy deadlifts. I really wanted to make it there. I thought it was entirely possible given the decent Diane timing I hit on Tuesday.

I had warmed up to a 100kg barbell. I was afraid to do so, because it would mean that I was expected to hit that bar.

I had a side “wager” with Kylie. That I would be able to break the deadlifts into two sets on the 21 and still be faster than if she had gone unbroken. “Surprise me.” she said. I had hit a tiebreak of 26s the year before. It would be fun to see how fast i could go now.

I was set up for the WOD. My new white belt strapped around my waist, thumbs taped, masking tape marking on the pillar and mat for my hand placement.

3-2-1...I set off at a blazing pace from the get go., 3 breaths, 13.14...21 — a 23 seconds tiebreak.

Then i turned to the pillar where I was measured on. Kylie, who judged me said “go when i tell you to.” So I waited, and waited.



She had meant on each rep of the handstand push-ups (HSPUs). I kicked up. The plan was 6-5-4-3-3. That went pretty well until the last few reps, quite expected.

I chose those reps to experiment with my hand placement. How far could I go out of the demarcated lines to make the cut? I succeeded for most part. Some reps tethered on the edge of a no-rep but I scraped by.

The 15 deadlifts followed. Here I had to break the initial strategy to go unbroken. I went for a quick set of 9 then 6 instead.

The HSPUs that followed were meant to be done in sets of 4 for as long as possible. That plan went to hell within seconds. First set was 4 went through, albeit shaky. Then i started to fail. and FAIL. AND FAIL. The time ticked on. And I got more and more frustrated with my reps.

I remembered why I hated this workout. Failure at a movement I should have gotten better at (i kinda did, but not to the extend I had wanted), and failure in front of a crowd. I let out a shout of exasperation each time my head crashed onto the floor. Let’s just say each rep was far too laborious to recount.I made 14 of the 15 HSPUs.

When I was done I wasn’t satisfied. I felt that I could’ve done better. AT LEAST get to the set of 9 HSPUs. This would never be tested again in the Open and I would never have a chance at self-redemption.

If only I had started my HSPUs earlier. If only i kept my hands within the lines! IF ONLY...

Alvin reckoned I could’ve done better.

Kylie on the other hand, was more concerned about my burst of frustration which I had conveniently forgotten about. In hindsight the repeat was a repeat of my reaction as well. (I guess I haven’t really changed huh)

As I de-geared I toyed with the idea of a redo. Redo the repeat. Sure, I mean, it would only be the third time in 7 days that I would do Diane.

Then memories of my repeats from last year flashed through my mind. I had repeated that workout 2x (3 attempts) in 2018, and the attempts only got worse. Would I see history repeat itself this year? Quite possibly yes.

Attempt #2:

I went again on Monday. We found a corner out of the way of the morning classes (it was a Public Holiday). Incidentally it was the same corner I had attempted my final attempt of 18.4 the earlier year.

This time the rules were simple. NOT let my hands leave the tape marked out on the blue mat. Otherwise, WHY did we bother marking it?

I went into the workout doubtful that I could beat my score from before. My shoulder blades were tight and the warmup with the deadlifts felt slower than before.

They were. My set of 21 were SLOW, not because I was told to slow down, but I simply couldn't pull as fast as I wanted to. As long as I was moving though. The workout is won on the gymnastics, not the deadlifts. Not for me at least.

The goal was to stick to the initial rep scheme with a first set of 5.

But I failed on rep 4.

No matter, take it slow, small sets, reset. At least I was making ALL my reps.

I can't remember which rep I was on, but I knew I was waaaay off course when I looked up at the clock which showed 4:35 and I was not yet done with my set of 21.

I had given up in that moment to complete the remaining reps, but my judge told me to keep going. She probably knew what was going through my mind and nipped the thoughts of stopping in the bud.

I continued, admittedly without much urgency.

I finished 5 of the HSPUs in the round of 15, 9 less than the earlier attempt.

The second attempt was done with much better headspace than before, but Kylie says that I was too relaxed on this attempt? Perhaps it was my attempt to "quell" that frustration I demonstrated in my first attempt, and in doing so, went too lax on the attempt -- Bringing back the Yerkes-Dodson Law mentioned in the Invictus article here. (some reference-ception going on)

Did I regret the redo?

Maybe a little.

Will I do it again?

Well yeah, in a month.

Do I want redemption?

I'm not sure.

🔨: 71 reps | 82nd percentile

(vs. 2018, 35 reps | 74th percentile)


Black vs Yellow & #20point1: The Separator

#20point2: The Trudge

#20point3: The Revenge of Diane (this)

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

#20point5 & Final Thoughts

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