“I found CrossFit was very beneficial to my athletes that I trained. It also benefitted my profession as a firefighter and made me more competitive in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which helped start a career as a professional MMA fighter.”
At age 32, 5-foot-6 and 175 pounds, Bryce Teager is one of only 33 people in the world to make it beyond 180 reps in Open Workout 13.5.
His score of 221 reps earned him a first-place finish in that workout and moved him from 90th to 70th in North Central.
Teager, of CrossFit Omaha, has been doing CrossFit since 2005 when he worked as a strength and conditioning graduate assistant at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
“I found CrossFit was very beneficial to my athletes that I trained. It also benefitted my profession as a firefighter and made me more competitive in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which helped start a career as a professional MMA fighter,” says the 2008 and 2010 Midwest Cage champion.
This year was Teager’s first year participating in the Open.
“I am happy with my results,” he says. “My height definitely helped me in some of the movements this year, but short people and wall balls just don't get along. That is probably why 13.3 was my least favorite workout. One-hundred fifty in a row of your least favorite movement becomes miserable.”
Even though it was his least favorite workout, he still scored 258 reps.
Going into the final week of the Open, Teager changed his preparation and recovery in hopes of earning a score on 13.5 that would make him feel good about the competition.
“I ate really clean and got plenty of rest the week of 13.5,” he explains. “I also got a recovery day before, which wasn't always the case for the previous Open workouts. I went into some of the other workouts pretty beat up, but I felt good for 13.5.”
Teager’s strategy for 13.5 was to finish the first three rounds of 15 thrusters and 15 chest-to-bar pull-ups in around three minutes.
“I watched Rich Froning and Jason Khalipa complete 13.5, so I knew what kind of pace I would have to maintain in order to get to the third round. Those are two pretty good movements for me, so while I knew it was going to be a ‘bloodbath,’ I was also confident about getting a decent score.”
He completed the first 30 reps unbroken. On his fourth, fifth and sixth rounds, he broke his reps into sets of seven to eight on both thrusters and pull-ups, and finished with almost three seconds to spare.
“I really wanted to rest for about three minutes and 45 seconds, and then just do a couple more reps, but my girlfriend was standing nearby giving me a countdown to get to the bar every five to 10 seconds,” Teager recalls. “I didn't always listen to her, but I definitely took less rest than I would have otherwise.”
“I am really amazed at what these elite athletes can accomplish. Some of it doesn't seem humanly possible, but guys like Froning are proving me wrong. I have a lot to work on and while 13.5 was a good workout for me, there are movements I need to become more efficient at.”
Teager’s Open finish of 70th place won’t qualify him as an Individual for the North Central Regional, but four out of his five scores contributed to the CrossFit Omaha team scores. The team finished sixth in the Region to move on to Regionals May 31-June 2.
With Teager joining the team this year, he says he’s feeling good.
“I feel like our team is strong,” he says. “As much as I hate to say it, I hope they program some thrusters and chest-to-bar pull-ups.”