Wednesday’s benchmark WOD is “Angie” – 100 pullups, more about pushups, discount sit-ups and squats, chipper style. To complete Angie as prescribed, you must do all 100 pullups, then all 100 pushups, etc until complete.
Quick story. The first time I did Angie as prescribed was in 2006. I was living in NYC, and I did the WOD at my gym on a Sunday. It took me a little over 17 minutes, which was really exciting. I had a meeting in Washington DC the next day, so I drove down that Sunday night. As I drove, I noticed my arms were locked tight on the steering wheel. The next day, my meeting was in an unnamed location where people wear dark suits and walk around with very serious faces. Sometime after lunch, I realized I could not straighten my arms. I was wearing a suit, trying to massage and straighten my arms in the stuffy meeting room full of serious faces. I was sitting next to a kindred spirit – a back of the class wise-cracking type. As I kept trying to straighten my arms, he asked “What the hell is wrong with you, bro?” I whispered a did this stupid workout that started with a hundred pullups. He looked at me with a smirk and said, “Had to go for the hundo, huh.” I don’t know why, but that’s always stuck with me.
Angie is tough, and it seems like it starts with the toughest movement, then each movement gets easier. That’s correct, in theory. In truth/action, that is totally WRONG! I’ve found that as the WOD develops, and you load lactic acid, each movement gets tougher. As you are doing pullups, you may think, man I can’t wait for pushups. But, you quickly realize your arms are loaded with lactic acid, and pushups are tougher then you thought they would be.
For example, I generally get into the 30’s on pushups before I really load up with lactic acid. Wanna know where I got last time I did Angie? 11. And I had to stop.
Here’s my thoughts
If you’re going to scale, scale pullups and pushups to the lowest level and work to completion. For pushups, no hand release is necessary.
For sit-ups, use the abmat and anchor your feet is DB are available. Anchored is faster. Make sure you touch the DB on every rep.
For squats, wear weightlifting shoes.
Strategy for RX
Basically, this is a pullup and pushup WOD. Even if you have to break, sit-ups and squats are simple enough that the break will be relatively short. Wear weightlifting shoes, as you will be more solid on the squatting.
For the pullups, I would try to hold smart sets. You can open with a big set, but I would not go to failure. In the past, I have been able to do over 50 pullups. For Angie, or 100 pull-up efforts, I stop at 40. If I can do 1 more big set, usually no more than 20, great. Otherwise, I try to stick to sets of 10. Use the clock, and try to keep your rests small and disciplined. 10 second breaks work really well here.
In the Regionals Chest to Pullup Bar WOD, Rich Froning and Jason Khalipa did small sets (5 for Rich, 3 for Jason) with very short breaks – 3-5 seconds – to get to 100. A 3 second break is basically dropping down then getting right back on the bar. A 5 second break is a drop, an arm shake, then back on the bar. Have a plan, and try to stick to is.
The pushups is a different story. You will have to push your lactic threshold a bit here. I would recommend opening with a moderate set, no more than 30, then try to hold 10s. This may be harder then it sounds, and 10 may be your number. Again, use the clock to count rest.
A smoking time for Angie is under 12 – 4 minutes for pullups, 3 minutes for pushups, 3 minutes for sit-ups and 2 minutes for squats. Depending on strengths and weaknesses, you may be faster in one category than another.
Satrurday Challenge WOD 2 is from the Bounty Hunter Open
10 Clean and Jerks 115/75
10 minute cap
Workout of the Day