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Team Series: What I Learned in Week One

Being part of a coed team is a new competition experience for our resident grinder.


In every community, school or group, there are cliques. In some cases, these groups can be mean and exclusionary and lead to bullying. In other instances, a subset of the greater group can create a place for a handful of individuals to identify with people who have common skills or interests.

One of the many cool things I took away from my first set of events during the CrossFit Team Series was that I had identified a new clique at our affiliate: the Masters-level grinder.

When I competed in the past, it was either as an individual or in a partner competition. The Team Series was different because it was as big of a team as I’d been a part of (in terms of CrossFit competitions) and because it was my first coed competition experience. I’m sure that around the globe, many teams face two big decisions: Do you do the events Rx or scaled? How do we get all four athletes in the same place at the same time to complete the workouts?

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We had two issues in terms of scheduling but no issue making the decision about going scaled on all four of the events for Week One. Scheduling was difficult because of my soccer-coaching schedule, and one of our members was going to be out of town from Saturday to Monday. So the usual allotted time of six days was cut down to three or four because of our schedules.

The scaling was decided because not all our members could do double-unders, the weight of the cleans was too much, none of us really have muscle-ups, and it wasn’t going to happen for the women on our team to be able to do high-volume sets of chest-to-bar pull-ups. With that decision out of the way, we concluded that doubling up Event 1 and Event 2 on the first night of CrossFit HQ’s announcement was the best course of action.

This turned out to be the right call. The single-unders weren’t that bad, just awkward for some of us who had been doing double-unders consistently for our workouts. The rowing and step-ups weren’t bad when we split them up, so we took about 30 minutes rest and then tackled team “Grace” (Event 2). The best part of Event 2 was that there wasn’t much going on cardiowise because all you had to do was a set of five clean-and-jerks and then rest while your partner went. It started off light and reasonable but got heavy quickly.

We agreed to meet again the next night and knock out Event 3 (deadlifts and hand-release push-ups), even though I couldn’t get there until almost 8 p.m. The team had discussed waiting and doing both Event 3 and Event 4 on Friday. As soon as we finished up Event 3, I was grateful that we decided not to do the last two back-to-back. For me, Event 3 was the worst of all the workouts. I don’t love deadlifts, and the 270-pound holds and 90 deadlifts that my partner and I had to complete really crushed me.

This past Friday, we met to complete Event 4 (thrusters and pull-ups, ascending reps). My partner and I were a little better at pull-ups, so we took the second set of each round (the sets of 10, 20, 30, etc., . . . ). If you don’t like “Fran,” like me, this isn’t going to be your favorite workout, but honestly, I would do this one two more times before doing Event 3 again.

Having completed all the work for Week One, I have some observations. First, my teammates are incredible. We all meshed together with our skills and attitudes to formulate realistic plans and strategies. Seeing our scores against other Masters athletes was really cool, but looking at our numbers compared to the top Games athletes was very humbling. Finally, I had a blast doing these workouts with these people. I love seeing videos and pictures from around the planet of all the teams competing and completing the same set of workouts we were doing.

In the end, I’m not sure where we’ll end up on the leader board, but I know that I’m really looking forward to what the Team Series throws at us in October. I know that no matter what the events turn out to be, my clique and I will be ready to grind them out.

How did you like the first week of Team Series events?

Stay on the Grind.