Smashby’s CF Games Open Strategy – WOD 15.1

Posted: February 27, 2015 in CrossFit

I can’t believe it’s already time for the 2015 CrossFit Games Open!

I also can’t believe that it’s been almost a year since I have been actively posting on this blog. Well, what better time to bring it back than the most largely participated-in athletic contest in the WORLD! (I have no idea if that’s true, by the way)

Workout 15.1 is actually two workouts. Woah, that’s never happened before. Here’s what we’re dealing with for this week’s fun:


I was able to get after this one last night, and my advice is actually pretty simple. For me, the hardest part of Workout 15.1 is the toes-to-bar. I started with sets of 5, and wasn’t even able to hold that throughout the entire 9 minutes. My suggestion is to take them in sets that you know you can maintain throughout each round. If that means sets of 5 for the first two rounds, then down to sets of 4, and so on, go for it. Once your grip goes, it could very well be gone. Therefore, burning out in the first 4 minutes of the WOD will lead to a very slow and frustrating final 5. Remember, once you get off of the toes-to-bar, you need to hold onto the bar for deadlifts AND snatches (or potentially clean and jerks for the Scaled division). When that little 9 minute adventure is over, you then need to pick up a heavy barbell. Destroying your grip early on is a lose-lose scenario for me. Instead, I suggest smaller quick sets with very short rest between them.

As for the deadlifts, I feel these are meant to be the easiest part of the workout. I used an alternating grip and got through them all unbroken. If your grip and lower back can take it (which I think they should be able to), I’d go unbroken on all rounds here. Lastly, the snatches. If you can handle 115/75lbs, try your best to get through them unbroken. The time it takes to let the bar settle inbetween “single” attempts is significantly slower than trying to get through them with “touch-and-go” speed. At a moderate to light weight, only having to do 5 reps at a time is a gift! Had there been even 10 reps in a row, I think this would be a totally different workout.

Once the 9 minute AMRAP is done, athletes are to go right into their 6 minute 15.1a, in which a 1 rep max Clean and Jerk should be established. This one can get dirty! My advice here… give yourself 3 attempts.

Resting a little longer than you feel is necessary before your first attempt is probably not a bad idea. Let your forearms and grip recover just a little. Then, I would approach the Clean and Jerk in a way the Olympic Weightlifters might approach a meet:
1st Attempt- I weight that is challenging, but you feel you could hit successfully 99% of the time. For me, that weight would be around 75% of my 1RM (conservative for a meet, but hitting this tired would not be a “gimme” for me)

2nd Attempt- Based on how the first attempt felt, I would gauge my second attempt. Personally, pushing up towards 85% of my 1RM was a good idea.

3rd Attempt- I would suggest waiting until around 1 minute remains in this workout to try your final attempt. That way, worst case scenario, if you miss… you’ll still have some time to compose yourself and give it one more attempt before the buzzer! For me, getting close to 90% of my 1RM is considered a big success for a relatively experienced lifter.

For newer athletes, establishing a true one-rep max may not be something you’re completely comfortable. That said, as long as you can perform the Clean and Jerk safely, be prepared with weights to potentially PR your lift! It’s counterintuitive for many of us to imagine being able to PR when we’re tired, but I’ll tell you what… it happens!!

Alright, folks. It’s time to get out there and have some fun! As always, I would love to hear your own thoughts before and after the workout, and please tell me how you do. Any other questions, let me know!


#TheOpenIsUponUs. Now go crush this first workout!

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