CrossfitHPU Playoff 5 – Recap WOD4 (Karen)

WOD 4 “Karen” (teams of 3 girls/guys)

(10 minute time cap)

150 wall balls (9/6kg) plus plank
60 power cleans (60/40kg)
Foot bite rope climb (when bar is dropped or judge determines rep as not tap and go)

After the excitement of the kids event HPU Platinum had at least an hour and a half to kill before we would be called upon to throw up (a ball), clean up (a bar) and climb up (to the roof).

We (team hpu platinum) ate, we chatted, we watched some heats, Marlon fretted about the cleans and I fretted about climbing the rope all the way to the roof.  On a normal day the rope doesn’t scare me, on a good day I can ever be rx(ish) and climb legless

Today however, was different. I’d never climbed all the way to the roof before and although people kept telling me it was “only one extra foot bite” I didn’t think it was going to be easy given

  1. it’s been a long day and
  2. my forearms would be probably be useless by the time to the rope thanks to the cleans.

To be fair it was going to be hard going even getting that far given that fact my quads were still on fire from the worm and I had wall balls to get through first, although thanks to my team mates being “wall ball specialists” I didn’t have to do too many of them.

Speaking of wall balls, they were first up, 150 of them.  George went first, I planked and Tanz “rested” and we rotated from that point.  The plan was that the girls would do 30 each, yep 30! (which they do easily) and I would do 15, which is 10 more reps than I can usually manage to complete unbroken.

We all got through the first round of wall balls and planks with relative (in the loosest sense of the word) ease but someone must have dropped the ball during our second rotation (which is a compulsory change over) as I had 20 reps to finish off the wall ball section of this WOD.   I got through 10 and it went down hill from there, a set of 5 with a couple of no reps and then 5 slow singles while I gasped for air and the girls screamed at me till I got out that final rep.

We finished the wall balls in 5:50 and could now move onto the cleans and climbs.  In the warm up room I had briefly warmed up with an empty bar.  When someone asked me if I was going to try the real thing I shook my head and replied “I don’t want too, in case it feels heavy. I don’t want to walk into the arena thinking about how heavy the bar was”

The girls made the cleans look easy completing sets of 10. I wanted to get 15 out in my first round so that I only had to do 5 in my last round hoping that would help me have enough in the tank to get up the rope for the second time.

I overestimated my abilities as I got through 12 cleans before George came down from the rope. I thought (briefly) about going for another three, but I thought it would be a better idea to get a fresh (therefore faster) person on the bar to churn out some reps, at least I only had 8 on my return to the bar next time.

I approached the rope knowing that I’d have to get all the way to the roof on my first attempt, if I no repped (or fell) I was never going to have the strength to climb again. As all six team members were sharing the one rope and Ivan and Marlon were waiting it made sense for them to climb first since Ivan can nearly jump to the roof in one go and Marlon (although not as statuesque as Ivan) can still get to the top quicker than I can get half way up it!

The “trick” on the rope climb is to jump and catch the rope as high up as you can. Well when I “jumped” I knew it was going to be a loooong way to the top. 😉 Slow and steady wins the race anyway – right? 😉

I climbed to my usual height and then tried to figure out how I’d get up the last little bit, the rope gets wider at that point and I couldn’t quite work out where to put my hands for the next pull, in the end I kept my hands on the smaller section and then pulled my legs higher and stood up, then held on for dear life, said a prayer and reached upwards.


The rest of the WOD is a blur, the boys finished just as Tanz was on the last 5 cleans of our 60. She’s a machine! I loved watching the girls, they put their game faces on and smash it!

The HPU Platinum girls finished the cleans with seconds to spare so we didn’t finish our rope climbs BUT we took finishing the cleans as a HUGE success and proudly took our 210 rep score.

For WOD4, HPU Platinum aka Team Consistency took yet another 36th placing!

Till next time





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