16.3: Snatches and Muscle Ups

First ever bar muscle up

My first ever bar muscle up

Last night, Dave Castro announced the 3rd workout (16.3) of the Crossfit Games Open. I knew that at some point muscle ups were going to feature in the games. I’ve been looking forward to it because our coach keeps telling us that a lot of people get their first one during the games.

I first heard about muscle up from a friend last year. He was working on pull-ups so he could eventually do a muscle up. He showed me some videos of people doing them and it was so cool I immediately decided that I also wanted to get strong enough to do one. Every few weeks, our coach puts some progression work into our WOD so that we can practice the required movements to finish a muscle up. Some of us stay after class sometimes and practice some more. Each session, we’ve been improving. But never quite getting there. A couple of weeks ago, we had another session and I was sooooo close. Then last night the announcement came about 16.3. A 7 minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible):

  • 10x 75 pound power snatch
  • 3x bar muscle ups

I was completely amped. I was texting the other guys in the gym. Texting the coach. I spent most of the evening looking at videos of people doing it. I spent a fair amount of time visualizing myself doing it as well. I was totally excited but super nervous.

When I arrived at the gym, there were two other guys who were planning to go for the Rx version and try to get their first muscle up. We finished the warm up and then our coach briefed us on the workout. He gave us some time to practice and also demonstrated the movement. He always makes it look so easy. I practiced a few snatches. The weight felt manageable. Then we stepped up to the bar to practice the muscle ups. One of the other guys nailed it. The look on his face when he closed out the move at the top of the bar was priceless – joy and disbelief in equal measure. I went for it. First one failed. Second one failed. But I nailed the third one! I was over the moon. Yay! On to the actual workout.

It was tough going. I tried to maintain a steady pace. The snatches were ok. But the muscle ups remained tough. Each rep was an effort. I finished 3 full rounds and I managed to complete 2 muscle ups in round 4 for a total of 51 reps. I was ecstatic. I’m still ecstatic. I’ve been on a high all day long. What a feeling. What. A. Feeling!

It took me 6 months but I did it. The key for me was making sure I maintained enough momentum on the kip to get above the bar. And then keeping my arms as straight as possible on the upswing.

How has 16.3 gone for you? Anyone else make their first muscle up today? What were your keys?



7 thoughts on “16.3: Snatches and Muscle Ups

  1. Pingback: Warp speed. Thoughts on speed and strength. | Remarkable Runs

  2. Pingback: #InTheOpen | Remarkable Runs

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