Do you have chest-to-bar pull-ups? How about kipping pull-ups? Can you do a strict one? Can you hang from the bar?
How dare CrossFit have such a brutal movement in the Open? A little history is in order. The chest-to-bar pull-up has made an appearance in every single Open to date. Workouts 11.6, 12.5, 13.5 and 14.2 all contained chest-to-bar pull-ups. That’s four years in a row.
How do you get your chest to touch? It’s a journey over the bar, which starts by being able to hang from it. If you’ve traveled far enough on the CrossFit journey, the Open might be the shove you need to jump over the chasm between barely pulling your chin over the bar and touching your chest to it.
Four years ago, my best friend said, “CrossFit doesn’t put out workouts. They issue challenges.” Just as the CrossFit.com workouts have a prescribed standard that is meant to challenge the capacities of elite athletes, so does the Open. There was a time when I first started CrossFit, that my training partner and I would call each other, seemingly every night when CrossFit.com posted the WOD at (about) 8 p.m. ET, and we’d discuss it with the same bewildered, excited incredulity as we now do with the Open workouts. These were just the WOD. We would figure out a way to get it done, as we couldn’t even come close to doing most of them as prescribed. The Open workouts are as accessible as possible while still being potent tests of fitness. They’re not intended to coddle or to aggrandize the individual. They’re intended to discern and expose the fittest athletes on the planet earth.
The Open says to each of us, “Try and do this, we believe you can.” And, in this case, when we do we’re rewarded with, “Here’s another three minutes. We think you can do a little more.”
“Getting first chest to bar and making dreams come true! Thank you CrossFit!” Said a user on the CrossFit Facebook page. That’s an attitude CrossFitters around the world can get behind.
Everyone will push harder than they have before. For some, it’ll be a three-minute, concentrated effort to achieve their first ever chest-to-bar pull-up. For others it’ll be a game of strategy to see how long they can last and how many rounds they can do. For the fittest among us, it’ll be a pure test of capacity. We likely won’t be one of the eight people who climb to the top of that podium at the Games. Yet, we know this is for all of us and it’s part of the best of us.
Everyone will experience the same struggle; 14.2.
If you have chest-to-bar pull-ups, you’ll do them.
If you only have regular pull-ups you’ll give everything you have to get your chest to that bar; you just might get your first chest-to-bar pull-up.
If you don’t have a pull-up yet, you’ll fight for three minutes to get your chest to that bar; you just might get your first pull-up.
The pull-up bar is a metaphorical barrier. How scary a certain kind of pull-up seems depends on where you see that barrier.
It’s just a fictitious limiting line we place on ourselves. If you’ve never had your chin above the bar before, it seems like an impenetrable ceiling. Smash through it. If you’ve never done a chest to bar pull-up, it seems that’s as high as you can go, because you’ve never gone higher–yet. Try it.
I’ll continue to look past the haters, the neigh-sayers, and the I-can’t-do-that-ers. There’s so much support, so much love and good being done in this community. I’m proud to be a part of it.
The other night a friend and coworker put this more beautifully than I ever could have.
“Accomplishing something you once thought impossible is worth more than $20.”
Indeed. It might be the most valuable thing life has to offer.