Oh, I liked this one! Almost devoid of eccentric contractions, it won’t leave you sore and it won’t overload your central nervous system but it is a really tough workout! I set the clock to 20 minutes with the goal of meeting Tim Anderson’s challenge of accumulating 10 unbroken minutes of leopard crawl. A perfect score on this WOD would be 1 which means 20 minutes unbroken crawling but that wasn’t really the intent, I wanted to get to the other two challenges as well. The crawl got tough. My glasses slipped off my sweaty face and I couldn’t see the timer. When I finally risked asking Super Mario how much time was left I was relieved to hear I had already completed almost 11 minutes of unbroken crawling.
I jumped up for the bar hang and was happy to get a bit over a minute before picking up the 90lb sandbag in a bear hug. Easy at first, it was my forearms, tired from hanging, which began to burn first. And then all the erector spinae muscles, the small muscles that run all the way along the spine, began to burn. These are critical postural muscles that often fatigue early on the big lifts like deadlifts resulting in a break down in posture. Are mine weak because I don’t do enough loaded carries? This exercise is all isometric contraction so as much discomfort as it causes, little tissue damage is occurring so I soldiered on. And then the sweat started to cause the bag to slide off my chest – a disadvantage to not wearing a shirt (don’t worry; I used the hypochlorous acid to spray down the sandbag after use). Each time it slid down I had to readjust the sandbag causing back and forearms to scream. But I made it right through, achieving my goal of completing 20 minutes in just 3 sets, one time at each exercise.
Crawling ties your core together strengthening the contralateral sling connecting left and right and upper and lower body and moving your limbs together strengthens the neurological connections.
Bar hangs develop grip strength and seem to be effective in correcting shoulder alignment and improving shoulder function.
Legendary strength coach Dan John recommends you do loaded carries daily. And this 56 year old claims that he transformed his body in 90 days using only farmer’s carries. At the 2014 CrossFit Team Challenge Sam Dancer deadlifted 655lbs which is pretty good for a non-power lifter. In an interview I was surprised to learn he doesn’t train deadlift much but mostly uses loaded carries for his strength training. Considering the neural fatigue of deadlifts and how many of them we do already in training, this is great to know.
OS Body Armour is designed to build you up without breaking you down. Give it your best effort and go get after it!
Pull Up Bar or heavy Kettlebell/barbell/dumbbells backpack as close to body weight as possible
Odd object to carry at roughly 40% body weight
In 2 mins max Bar Hang then Baby Crawl
In 2 mins max Bar Hang then Elevated Rock
In 2 mins max Bar Hang then OS Full Body Rock
In 2 mins max Bar Hang then Cross-Walk
Bar Hang/Farmer’s Carry/Suitcase Carry
Bear Hug Carry
20 min AFSAP
Leopard Crawl, when you can’t maintain form or need a break switch to:
Bar Hang, when you have to come down switch to:
Bear Hug carry @40% body weight, when you have to put it back down start over again with the leopard crawl
Your score is how many sets you require to get through all 20 minutes, lower is better. Don’t cheat yourself wasting time in transitions!
1 min Hands and Knees Rock
1 min Scap Rock
1 min Scap Rotations
1 min Scap retractions
1 min Upper Body Roll
1 min Lower Body Roll