Hey there blog land, the fiancée (upgrade from BF) here with another guest post. Last week we did “Amanda”- 9/7/5 muscle ups and snatches at 135#. I first heard of this workout roughly a year ago when I wasn’t close to either a muscle up nor a 135# snatch, and I decided to set it as a big benchmark goal to someday complete it prescribed. It was a long and daunting task I had set, and I had serious doubts on the validity of this goal. I had to increase my snatch PR by 40 lbs just to even be able to do one snatch at that weight, and realistically increase my pr by 60-80 lbs to be able to do all 21 reps. I didn’t even have a muscle up at the time and there was no hope of getting one on sight.
As the year carried on, the burning fire of a new goal slowly faded into an ember stuffed at the back of my mind. Slow, very slowly, I inched my snatch PR to 160, and learned how to get a couple muscle ups doing them one at a time. Eventually, I set a max of 14 muscle ups in one workout- still doing them one at a time, and still shy of the 21 required of Amanda.
Finally, the day came when Amanda was programmed, and despite my progress, I knew I was on the cusp of having the goods to finish it. I went into the last class of the day and knew I had all the time I might need to finish it, and decided I was ready to test myself, go big or go home.
It started out rough, and it didn’t get any easier. First set of nine, it took me 20 attempts to get all nine muscle-ups, and about the same for snatches. Going into the round of 7, I was already smoked and getting psyched out. With desperation, I went somewhere around 7/30 attempts on muscle-ups. At this point, my left arm was malfunctioning and couldn’t get through, so I would have to shift my weight into my right arm while flailing to get the left around. It sort of looked like elvis legs on rings. Snatches followed suit, 7/25. There were many points where I thought I couldn’t do it, but I grit my teeth and pushed my doubts and frustration out, and focused harder with each failed attempt, forming a stubbornness a bull could take lessons from.
Into my set of 5, my determination started winning, and I went 5/8 muscle-up attempts. As I readied myself for what I thought would be my 5th muscle-up, I was so far in my own head that Claire and TJ had to wave their arms literally in front of my face to get my attention to let me know that I had already finished and was about to attempt my 6th. But my body was desperately struggling to match my will. In my last set of snatches I went 5 for 25 attempts, a mere 20% success rate.
In a bit of disbelief, I realized I had just accomplished my first significant goal. To put things in perspective, the pros do this WOD in about 4:30. Normal gym goers do it in about 8-11 minutes. The slowest time that day finished in 11:01. I came in at a whopping 24:46. Yes, this WOD became a very different experience for me than what it was programmed as, but sometimes you just have to go for it. Once in a while, you must place your self in the thin blurred line that separates mind and body–where will can win if strong enough, and where magic can happen.