“The pegboard was too hard for women.”
On Sunday night anyone with more than 200 friends on the facebooks was posting about how terrible “Pedal to the Medal 1” was. Even some big-named coaches threw their two cents in; de-affiliation be damned. Why did they say it was too hard? Because many of the athletes were standing around the entire event, unable to complete even a single ascent. I personally agree that it was too difficult a task for the 40-ish fittest women in the world. I however, think it was a perfect event.
Learn your history.
For those of you who didn’t read the description, this was the Sunday morning event at the 2009 Games. It was an 8 minute AMRAP of: 4 Strict Parallette HSPU (maybe a 1″ deficit) – 8 Kettlebell Swings @ 24kg – 12 GHD Situps. There was a MASSIVE amount of controversy about this workout for two reasons…
- The parallettes were too far apart and basically women weren’t strong enough to do HSPU without a kip; especially with a whole three-quarter-inch deficit.
- The KB swing – at 24kg – was extremely heavy, and very dangerous.
No, I am in fact NOT kidding. Kris Clever crushed everyone on this workout with a score of a little over six rounds. That’s roughly twenty-four HSPU, on an odd surface and without really any deficit. For comparisons sake – 2009 Games champ, Tanya Wagner, did two rounds plus three HSPU, and came in sixth. Yes, that means she did eleven HSPU in eight minutes. ELEVEN.
This was not the only “standing at the wall” moment in Games history. In 2010 “Amanda” debuted to open the Games. Out of a field of 43 women, guess how many finished under the 12 minute time cap… Eleven.
Here’s where it gets even more fun:
- -Annie Thorisdottir was capped with seven reps remaining.
-Chyna Cho was capped with eight reps remaining.
-Samantha Briggs was capped with seventeen reps remaining.
The very next year at Regionals, Sam won Amanda with a time of 9:56. Not fast by any means, but a few years later Sam put up a 13.3 score (12 min. AMRAP of: 150 wall balls – 90 double-unders – 30 muscle-ups) of 323 reps. During that workout she opened with a set of ten unbroken Muscle-Ups, and completed the thirty in 3:30 – three minutes, and thirty seconds.
In 2011 the “Dog Sled” was too heavy because only nine women completed the event. In 2012 Regionals were too hard because some females couldn’t do the 70# Dumbbell Snatches for a single rep. In 2013 “Legless” was too hard because only two ladies finished. In 2014 only eight women were under the cap on the “Muscle-Up Biathalon”, so it should have been scaled, right?
Look, I get it, it looked kinda bad on ESPN to have all those really fit women standing around. Even though Amanda Goodman and Kari Pearce finished all three ascents up the pegboard, they still didn’t finish the workout, so it was pointless. If they’d just had them do two reps, or made it shorter, more people would have gotten through.
My response to those arguments would be to raise both middle fingers directly at anyone who is worried about television ratings for this sport, and anyone who is a proponent of making things easier for the female athletes.
See, it’s my opinion that what has made this sport so amazing is not making things easier for the women; which has in turn made our female athletes that baddest women on earth. The Games has NEVER scaled reps for the ladies, and the ladies have adapted because of it.
Katrin won the second part of “Pedal to the Medal” with a time of 4:42, and sealed the victory overall. The workout started with twelve full-parallette deficit HSPU, and included both rowing and assault bike – both of which favor larger athletes (aka – men). Her time would have been good for THIRD overall on the men’s side. You think that would have been possible if those women weren’t standing around at the wall in 2009?
1) EMOM for 7:00 – 3 T&G Power Snatches @ 70% of max Power Snatch
2) EMOM for 7:00 – 2 T&G Power Clean & Push Jerks @ 70% of max Power Clean & Push Jerk
1a) 4X3 Front Squats – @ 80% of 1rm, rest 2:00
1b) 4X3 Strict Muscle-Ups – rest 2:00
Run 1 mile