I’m on a Boat
Before I knew it, Mayhem in the Meadowlands was finally here. Mayhem in the Meadowlands, or Mayhem as I affectionately call it, is a CrossFit/Military-style competition where teams of three compete on the field at MetLife Stadium. To say that I've been looking forward to competing on the turf where Super Bowl XLVIII just took place, would be an understatement. Being fans of extreme sports does not mean that we don’t appreciate the more run of the mill events like a good Sunday football game. If you are planning on signing up for an event like this, before you even start training, you need to come up with a witty Crossfit-type team name. My team, The Bend and Snatch, had a lot of time to prep for this competition. Although we never met up and did ‘formal’ training as a team, we did step up our game and make sure that we were working out during open gym or completing WODs that would help us during this type of competition. Pro tip #1: You must meet up to strategize. This is a ‘do as we say, not what we did’ situation because we dropped the ball and didn’t begin to strategize until the night before the big day—rookie mistake.
Leading up to the event, Mayhem released the three WOD's, aptly called Evolutions, and the final WOD (for the top five teams in each division). We decided to compete in the "Women’s Scaled" division. We knew what the movements consisted of, and that we could complete with proper form in the Scaled Division.
Evolution #1 - Navy Seal Insertion
This WOD consisted of carrying a boat overhead for 50 yards as a team, followed by one team member at a time completing 20 box jumps, using a 20-inch box, and front rack walking lunges for 50 yards (scaled division: 45 lbs). Once all three team members finished this, we needed to work together to carry the boat back overhead for 50 yards. This WOD was time capped at 12-minutes. Let me tell you that carrying a boat overhead for 50-yards is hard, however, if you are looking on the bright side, you can pretend it is an over-sized floppy hat protecting your face from wrinkles. This may or may not help with the extreme arm-fatigue.
Before the WOD began, we practiced lifting and carrying a boat over our heads. We spent at least a full two minutes doing this, and in hindsight, definitely should have practiced this before the day of the competition. C’est la vie. Box jumps and walking front lunges are standard CrossFit movements we tend to do frequently at our box, so we did not need any extra practice or prep time for this.
Results: We managed to complete this WOD in nine minutes flat. Let's just say that my legs are paying for it today. Out of the 91 teams, the three females of Bend and Snatch came 38th place.
Evolution #2 – Hand-to-Hand Combat
This WOD was eight minutes long, broken down into four movement, for two minutes each. The four movements were back squats, bench press, kettlebell swings, and burpees. The first two minutes were AMRAP of back squats. These back squats were to be done free standing; you had to put the bar on your teammates back and the bar could never touch the ground. You were also allowed to choose your weight as a team. Whatever weight you decided, was also the weight for the next movement. We went with 75 lbs. so each rep was .75 points (most of the other teams in the women’s scaled division were doing 45-65 lbs). Once the two minutes were up, you had to immediately put the bar on the rack to now bench press that same amount of weight. Once again, it was AMRAP in two minutes. Once done, the following two minutes consisted of AMRAP of kettle bell swings (1 pood/35 lbs). Lastly, the final two minutes were burpees. Throughout the entire eight minutes, only one team member could be working at a time, and each team member had to complete at least one rep of each movement.
The first thing we did was practice transitioning the bar from the ground and onto each team member’s back, and then onto the rack for the bench press. We strategized the best way to get ready to bench press. The system we came up with, which ended up being a good system, was making sure to slide our bodies underneath the bar feet first so we were able to lay on the bench and be ready to start pressing. After that, we took turns with the kettle bell swings and then divided the burpees up into 5 reps for each team member at a time. This kind of ‘spreading the wealth’ to each team member is typical for a competition like this.
Results: This WOD went pretty smoothly and we were happy with our performance. Our score was 206 reps and put us in 28th place out of 91 teams for this WOD.
Evolution #3 - Stadium Run with Sand Bag
This WOD was a 1.5 mile run throughout MetLife Stadium. This you may think sounds like the easiest WOD, right? Well, let me just mention that this run was up into the 300 sections of the stadium and then back down to the field, all while carrying a 50 lb. sand bag on your back. At all times one of your team members had to be carrying the sand bag and it could never touch the ground. The only point it was allowed to touch the ground was when you got to the top of the stadium. There, each member had to do 10 cleans with the sand bag. Once done, the bag was put back onto one of your backs and you ran back down to the turf.
We didn't have time to practice this WOD, or how we would carry the sand bag, but we did do something similar a few weeks prior at a Spartan Race. Here, we had to carry a 26 lb. sand bag throughout the stadium stairs. While it was a tough challenge at the time, it was good practice for this WOD.
Results: We finished this event in 18 minutes and 27 seconds. This put us in 27th place out of the 91 teams for this WOD.
Although we didn't make it to the final WOD, our overall score was pretty solid. We placed 30th out of 91 teams in the Women Scaled division. Participating in a competition as a team is not for the faint of heart, however the ability to work towards a common goal as a team made this a very rewarding experience. We were able to emotionally support each other through all of the WODs, while still motivating one another to really go the extra mile. Communication was key during this competition… as were awesome t-shirts and a witty team name.
Mayhem in the Meadowlands was a great event and I look forward to competing in it again next year. There were a total of 300+ teams competing in the various divisions, as well as many spectators supporting and cheering everyone on. Look for Team Bend and Snatch next year, when we return to bend and snatch our way to the top.