Posts Tagged ‘CF Games’

The final workout of the 2018 CrossFit Games Open is finally here! Annnddddd… it’s a workout that has already been featured twice before in other years. Workout 18.5 is the same as workouts 11.6 and 12.5. As someone who has participated in every single year of this wonderful event, I’ve done this particular WOD four times already!

It’s an ascending ladder of Thrusters (100lbs for men and 65lbs for women) and Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups, with a 7 minute time cap.

18-5

 

Thursters

This is a weight that I would consider “CrossFit Medium” for most athletes. Sets of 10-15+ should be possible for a lot of people when they’re fresh, however I do not suggest doing that many in a row. As is the case with all workouts like this that increase in volume as fatigue also increases, the strategy is to pace appropriately right out of the starting gate.

There are very few athletes that I would suggest going past the round of 6 or 9 unbroken. Instead, intentionally break reps every 3 to 6 reps, take short rests, and continue on your way. If you watch Rich Froning when he’d do thrusters in a workout, a lot of people commented how he was moving too slow after the workout started. He’d drive up, pause at the top of the lockout for a split second to take a quick breath, then repeat. Nearly 100% of those same people were wrong when he maintained a comfortable pace from start to finish.

Completing the round of 9 reps in under a minute means nothing for how someone completes this workout. Instead, hold a slower and steady pace for five-and-a-half to six minutes, then turning it on at the end. If you’re crushed after minute 3… you’re going to have a bad time.

Control your breathing. Control your lockout. Don’t crash at the bottom of your reps. Make sure the bar doesn’t bounce all over the place when you drop it. The name of the game here is to be steady and consistent. This is not a sprint.

Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups

My advice for these is very similar to that of the thrusters. Having the physical ability to do large sets when you’re fresh doesn’t mean you should do that here. I’m going to suggest most people complete sets of 3-5 reps at a time from start to finish, with short rest between attempts.

Finding a lower bar which allows for a quick reset of the grip can also lead to conserving energy over the course of seven minutes. Before starting the workout and running out of gas, experiment with timing a few larger sets of pull-ups with longer rests, and comparing them with shorter sets with shorter rest; even if that means quick singles.

Please don’t rip your hands on this workout! Jumping up to a high bar for every set of pull-ups will not only keep your heart rate higher, it will also lead to more fatigue of your grip and shoulders. Breathe. Pace. Take more breaks than you want!

 

Scaled Version

The thruster weight is lighter and the movement is “easier” for the pull-ups. Please be aware that while this may sound great, it’s even more reason for you to slow down and control your heart rate. I would call this a 75% effort workout to most of my athletes. Find a pace where you can keep it moving, but not red line. If you pace this appropriately, you’ll get really far. If not, you’ll be staring at a bar that isn’t even heavy for you, unable to pick it up because of how tired you are. Pace. Breathe. Keep moving.

Throwback Thursday

Since I’ve been in the Open since year number one, I came across a few throwbacks that I wanted to share with all of you. First, here is a video of my first attempt at 11.6. Please note my technique (especially on rep #3 of the first set of thrusters) and my unbelievably smooth and consistent technique through the entire seven minutes. My advice is to watch this video… and do your best to mimic NONE of it. So funny!! We were just kids, then!

Then, I came across one of my first ever CF Open Games Strategy videos. Why am I not wearing a shirt, you ask? It’s because I had just finished the workout and just got home. What better time to record a strategy video, and then pack for a flight that left in six hours taking you out of town for the weekend. Just another throwback gem from the Smashby Training blog! You’re welcome.

It’s the FINAL WEEK of the 2018 Open! Good luck, have fun, I believe in you!

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Many of us predicted that the third week of the 2018 CrossFit Games Open would separate an incredibly high number of athletes from one another on the leaderboard. We were correct. This week’s torture includes up to 800 double-unders… yes, you read that correctly… eight hundred!!! There are also overhead squats, dumbbell snatches, and muscle-ups. What’s that? You’d like to know if the muscle-ups are bar or ring? This week, you have to do BOTH!

18.3

Strategy

For those who can’t complete a particular movement, my advice is to sprint as much as you can to get to that movement as quickly as possible. For those who can physically do everything, pace the double-unders however you need to in order to not burn-out, and break up every other movement prior to failure. While the goal is to get through as much of the workout as you can, if you burn out on any one movement early on, everything else is going to suffer because of it.

The most important set of double-unders will always be the last one that you’ll be able to complete. Get through the final 100 wherever you are to the best of your ability, so you don’t miss hitting that final tie-breaker time for yourself.

In terms of choosing which version of this workout to complete, if you care about your ranking, I think you should 100% do as much of it Rx’d as you can. If that means getting to the Ring Muscle-Ups in an absolute sprint and spending the rest of the workout staring at the rings, that’s what I’d recommend doing. Thousands of places will separate those who get stuck at a movement, but got to it faster than others.

After you get as far as you can and get stuck, you can redo the workout “for fun” with the Scaled options and see how far you can get. In my mind though, if you care about your ranking, doing even three double-unders in 14 minutes makes more sense than going scaled because you’re scared of overhead squats.

Double-Unders

The majority of the workout is spent here. You need to know yourself and understand what makes the most sense for you. If these are legitimately a really easy movement for you and you consider them the “rest,” then you should be really excited. Very few people are going to be able to get through these unbroken. Unfortunately, a lot of people are going to TRY to get through them unbroken because they think they can do three or four sets without stopping. A lot of those people are going to get so tired about halfway through the workout, that every other movement of theirs is going to suffer.

Be smart, rest on your own terms, keep your heart rate down and shoulders as relaxed as you can, and try your best to view these as your time to recover and regroup. Since there’s a tie-breaker after each set of double-unders, I think athletes should push hard and redline on their final set of jumps! Again, there will be THOUSANDS of athletes separated by tie-break times before the following movement. If you don’t have ring muscle-ups, I think the workout needs to be an absolute SPRINT to get to that movement. Finish the jumps as fast as possible, then spend the remainder of the workout trying your best to get one, or as many as you can. Same thing applies if you don’t have bar muscle-ups yet.

If time is potentially going to run out during a set of your double-unders, that’s also a time to absolutely go for it. I don’t care how tired your shoulders are, if you can complete that full set of 100 before the clock runs out, do EVERYTHING in your power to complete them before the buzzer. Otherwise, rest as needed and mess up as little as possible. Being able to complete nearly one hundred reps more than someone else in less than a minute will bump you up big time on the leaderboard. Also, have a second “back-up” rope nearby just in case.

Overhead Squats

If the weight is manageable for you, try to complete slower and comfortable reps and not drop the bar. Consider resting the bar on your back if you need a break if you can, just be sure to completely lock out the bar overhead before continuing onto your next rep. Eyes straight ahead, core tight, and reach that bar up to the sky. If the weight is heavy for you, don’t try to go unbroken, just complete smart sets with short rest between them. Only consider squat-snatching the first rep if you’re confident you’ll be able to catch it controlled and balanced. Otherwise, just power snatch, get set, and then start.

Dumbbell Snatches

Slow and steady wins the race here. If you can keep your heart rate down, and not fatigue the shoulders, just keep it moving. Aim to set the dumbbell down back between your legs a bit, so you can use your hammies and glutes to “swing” the weight overhead rather then pulling it straight up using your arms. Be sure to switch hands BELOW the top of your head to avoid any no-reps, and that both heads of the dumbbells touch the ground each rep. These will be more of a break than any other movement for a lot of people.

Rings AND Bar Muscle-Ups

For the most part, you’ll either have these, or you won’t. In my opinion, the worst thing to do is miss reps on either of these. Hop down from the rings or bar BEFORE you reach failure on either variation.

I can’t say this enough: “If you know that you won’t make it through either of these stations, GET TO THIS MOVEMENT AS FAST AS YOU CAN.” There will be THOUSANDS of people who get TO the muscle-ups, but complete zero (or only a few) of them. The faster you can get here, the faster your tie-break time will be, and the higher you’ll be ranked. And finally, just because you might be able to do a large set of these out of the gate, remember that there’s a lot of work left afterwards. Doing smaller sets with short rest will likely conserve more of your energy to keep you more fresh for everything else.

Good luck, have fun, I believe in you!

Week 2 of the 2016 CrossFit Games Open is here! After watching the video for the 16.2 Workout Reveal, I was pretty floored by watching those guys get after it. Obviously most of us know how much of a beast Dan Bailey is after watching him at the Games for the last few years, but even then I never would have expected him to get through the entire thing in 20 minutes! (I know there was the “missed rep” debacle after the live show, but I’m just saying I didn’t think that 275 and 315 pounds would look that light to those guys!)

Strategy on this one, for me, is going to boil down to knowing your own ability level on Toes to Bar and Double-Unders. In my mind, those are two movements where being proficient can be an absolute game changer. Just because an athlete CAN do 25 reps of TTB in row, does NOT mean that they SHOULD do 25 reps in a row. Once your TTB fatigue your grip and/or your core, sets of 10-15+ will very quickly become sets of 2-3 reps. It is not worth crashing and burning that hard for that movement.

For athletes who have controlled kips, and can get through reps smoothly, I think sets of 5-10 will be best to try and maintain throughout the entire workout. Remember, hopping down off of the bar, turning around, chalking up, hopping back up, can all take a MINIMUM of 5-10 seconds every time. The smoother those transitions can be, the easier it will be to make it through to the next round.

I feel the same way about DUs. Just because an athlete CAN do 50 in a row, if it’s going to take so much out of them that on the next round, they mess up every 5-6 jumps because they’re so tired, 50 in a row wasn’t worth it. While in my video I emphasize the importance of getting to that tie-breaker as quickly as possible, unless time in the round is about to expire, I don’t think it should be at the expense of absolutely crushing your pace.

Remember, after all of that jumping rope, you need to pick up a heavy bar, quite a few times. So, if fatigue starts to set in by the 20th or 30th rep of DU, take a short rest, regroup, then finish the set. That will minimize the time needed to feel prepared to attack that next set of cleans.

In my opinion, the longest rest of the round should be taken after completing the final clean, and before the first TTB. If an athlete rushes back to the TTB too soon, they’ll likely get far fewer reps before needing to jump down. Remember, every time you hop off of the bar, it’s probably going to take 5 seconds to get back on. So, sets of 5-7 reps will be far more efficient than having to hop down every 2-3. Take your time, and make sure you’re getting slightly larger sets before having to hop down as long as your kip is solid.

Truthfully, unlike 15.1 last year, I don’t really see this as being a workout where TOO many people will PR and hit a weight for the first time and keep repeating. However, given how the tiebreaker is set up, I do think that the folks who move through the other movements (TTB and DU) as smoothly as possible, will have a big advantage over their counterparts who come out swinging and just can’t hold on.

I feel the breaking point for “regular” people 🙂 on this one will be the round of 225lb squat cleans for men and 145lb for ladies. The athletes who can cycle through consistent singles and keep their breathing under control will pass the folks who get too excited and try to hit 3-5 reps of touch-and-go through the first few sets. Athletes who make it through the round of 225 will have a HUGE advantage. If time is getting close to capping during that 4th round, athletes will be able to go harder with their final sets. Remember, if toes to bar get completed, the reps added to the score due to double-unders at the end are significant! Get to that final tie-break as quickly as possible on the last round!

Have fun, and as always, please let me know if you guys found this helpful!

THE OPEN IS HERE!!

Here are my initial thoughts on workout 14.1, which is a repeat of the first ever Open workout, 11.1.

14.1

What do you think of my advice? Let’s talk.

It finally happened, everyone! CrossFit HQ has made a change to the rules that states if and when an individual qualifies for Regionals and goes as an individual, their point totals will be REMOVED from their gym’s team total, and the team will be reranked accordingly.

Here is the official post from the CF Games site:

“Athletes who accept the invitation to compete as Individuals at their Regional will have their contributing Open scores removed from their respective Teams. The Team Leaderboard will then be re-sorted and the top 30 teams will be invited to compete at their respective Regional competition.”

This addresses an issue that many CrossFit athletes felt was unfair in the past. Example, sorry to use Froning as the example, but it’s the easiest way for most of us to understand!

If he qualifies #1 in the world, that would obviously give his gym a HUGE boost in the TEAM rankings as well. If he chooses to go individual, his point totals would NOT have been removed from his gym’s Team ranking…. until now! Now, once the athlete declares that they would like to go individual, their points would then be reevaluated MINUS the totals earned from Froning.

My opinion: That is much more fair, and will open the door to several more of those “bubble” teams who missed qualifying their gym by only a few spots.

Important additional details to note (also from the CF Games article):
“Those athletes who choose to compete individually at Regionals will not be barred from returning to their team for the Games (if the do not qualify as individuals). Additionally, team competitors who sit out of the Regional to recover from injury, etc., may compete on their team at the Games.”

All in all, I say GREAT JOB, HQ! Moving in the right direction to try and make this selection and qualifying process even more fair.