Athlete Journal: Michael Winchester, Entry 2 – 2/29/12

Michael Winchester trains at the well-known CrossFit Central in Texas. How has his training been going? And how did he do on the first workout in the CrossFit Games Open?


Journals will be posted at 3pm Pacific:

Mondays – Ingrid Kantola of CrossFit Central

Tuesdays – Peter Egyed of CrossFit Fury

Wednesdays – Michael Winchester of CrossFit Central 

Michael Winchester – Athlete Journal 2/29/12

(Read Michael’s Bio here)

The Open, v. 12.1


A: Yes, seven minutes of burpees. Who would have thought to program that?

HQ – that’s who! I must say, when I heard it was going to be 7 minutes in heaven, I was shocked. But in a good way. If you CrossFit, you probably hate burpees. I mean, who likes burpees? But the truth is, the burpee is an amazing (the best?) test of bodyweight work capacity. It encompasses the fullest range of motion possible: lying down in the bottom portion of the movement to feet off the ground at the top with hip extension.

Functional? Hell-yes.

My history in sports is as a goalkeeper. I played soccer my entire life and finished my career by playing four years of division one ball at Stetson University. I can think of no other CrossFit movement more important or functional to a goalkeeper than the burpee.


I finished with a score of 121. One and done. No do-overs and no take-backs (I will discuss this further next week). My goal was 140. A little high maybe, but this is the time to go big or go home. I had the luxury of watching several of my classes hit the WOD before I did, so I had a good idea of the pace of the WOD and what to expect.

My strategy going in was to hit 20 burpees every minute. If I finished before the minute was up, I would rest for the remainder of that minute. My strategy worked through three rounds…

In round one, I hit 20 burpees at 40 seconds, so I earned 20 seconds of rest.

In round two, I hit 20 burpees at 45 seconds, so I rested for 15 seconds.

In round three, I hit 20 burpees at 60 seconds. It was at this point that I changed strategies to “move and do not stop”.

This turned out to be a pretty good strategy, with the last minute being the biggest gut-check I have had in a long while.

My training leading up to 12.1 was exactly what I laid out for you all last Wednesday. I followed it exactly with one exception: I took an extra rest day! Saturday was the Rob Orlando CF Strongman Cert at CrossFit Central, and truth be told, my back and forearms were done after the weekend was done. Monday and Tuesday we hit it hard, with Tuesday being a double day.

When Wednesday rolled around, I took stock of where my body was and decided to rest. I think this was a great decision for me – I have not taken an unplanned rest day in about 8 months, and I think it gave me a little extra in the tank for 12.1. Bikram Yoga on Tuesday and Thursday was also clutch!

The momentum of doing well on WOD 12.1 definitely carried over into this week’s training – the energy at Central is through the roof and people are setting PR’s left right and center! I PR’d my snatch after being stuck for the last 8 months. I attribute this to all the Oly work we are putting in on Tuesday mornings. (In case you did not know, I am not a fan of Olympic lifting because I am not “good” at it. So I neglect to practice. So I am not good at it…) The snatch PR was the best feeling I have had training in the last month or so – just in time for the next Open WOD!

My nutrition is the best it has ever been. I am eating more vegetables now than I normally do, and taking in a lot more calories to keep up with the workload. Mornings include a breakfast of eggs, bacon, sunbutter and a “green smoothie” (2 handfuls of kale, 2 handfuls of spinach, ½ cup Acai juice, ½ cup cocnut water, 1 lemon, sliced ginger, cinnamon, ½ banana) which really jump-starts my day and keeps me feeling energized.

With 12.1 over, my focus is set squarely on WOD 12.2. I don’t have any predictions and really don’t care what it is. I know it will be CrossFit. I know that it will be a test of fitness. I know that my only goal will be to get one of the top scores in the South Central Region (and beat Ingrid Kantola…)

Good luck to everyone taking on 12.2!