Posts Tagged ‘In the Open’

It’s week 2 of 3 of the 2021 CrossFit Games Open, and we’ve got a repeat workout. Since I already wrote a blog post and recorded a video for this back in 2017, I’m not going to reinvent the wheel. Four years later, my advice is basically exactly the same:

Don’t crash and burn on the burpees and realize that this workout really starts after the round of 30 Snatches. If you’re engine is there, THAT’S when you’ll get your chance to shine.

Click here to go to the original post I made for workout 17.1! And here’s the video that went with it:

Here’s a few extra tips on what to do in order to increase your likelihood of doing better on this workout:

  • Thoroughly warm up your lower back, and keep your chest up throughout the Snatches. It’s going to be easy to drop your chest and use your back on them, resist the urge. Hinge at the hips, load those hammies, and the squeeze your glutes to stand! Capitalize on the efficiency of that movement!
  • Improve DB transition from one hand to the other. The less you need to think about that movement, the more you’ll be able to stay in control.
  • Practice timing of steps/jumps for Burpee Box Jump-Overs. If you’re trying to conserve energy, consider stepping back and stepping up. Learn how to approach the box to be in a safe position to jump onto the box.
  • Don’t rush. On either movement. If you’re in too much of a rush to lockout your arm or stand all the way up, your Snatches won’t count. If you flop down onto the ground out of position, you’ll need to re-do the burpee. Be deliberate throughout the workout and waste NO reps.
  • LIFT YOUR KNEES. As fatigue sets in, many athletes will get lazy and not prioritize getting their entire foot onto the box. Honestly, I feel like not missing a single Box Jump-Over is the biggest win of all in this one! It’s not fun to bust your leg open and it doesn’t feel cool to have a scar on your shin for the rest of your life. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience!

Was this post helpful for you? Let me know, please!

As you approach this workout, remember me saying:

Good luck, have fun, I believe in you!

-Tom

Friends,

The 2021 CrossFit Games Open is finally here!

I don’t know about you, but no one I’m friends with predicted this as the first workout of the new competition year. Wall Walks and Double-Unders are the two movements in the Rx’d division, modified Wall Walks and Single-Unders comprise the Scaled version, the Foundations division includes Bear Crawls and Jumping Jacks, and finally the No Equipment version is made up of Wall Walks and Lateral Jumps.

For this strategy post, I won’t be breaking down each workout division as I have in the past. Instead, I’ll be covering a few main themes I think will be appropriate for nearly all versions of the workout.

The three topics I cover in my video are: (1) Scaled or Rx’d? Which should you choose and why? (2) Pacing? How should you approach the two movements? and (3) Technique – What are a few things to think about to make the movements as efficient as possible.

This is only the first week of the Open and I am always interested in your feedback for how to make these videos more helpful for YOU. Did you like this? Tell me! Would you prefer that I dive more deeply into any other aspect of the workout? Let me know!

I hope you find my advice over the next three weeks to be helpful!

As always…. Good Luck, Have Fun, I Believe In You!

Friends,

It’s the final week of the 2020 Open, and this workout is a good one!

Not a ton of time to share strategy via text here since I’m trying to get this posted before people wake up to hit those 5am classes, but I’d love for you to watch the video at the bottom of this post and let me know what you think.

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Here’s my main strategy, though… there are three primary groups that will be attacking this workout.

Group 1:

These athletes don’t expect to get a single Muscle-Up. As long as you can complete Rx’d Wall Balls and Rowing, this workout is a SPRINT to finish 80 Calories and 120 Wall Balls. Quick sets, quick transitions, then spend the rest of the time working to get your first-ever Muscle-Up!

Group 2:

These athletes can complete some, even many, of the 40 required Muscle-Ups. This group should STILL plan to reach their tie-break time in a decent split, but they should sprinkle in their muscle-up reps throughout the process in order to accumulate as many reps as possible while they’re more fresh! This group should definitely begin the workout with a few muscle-ups while they’re most fresh.

Group 3:

These athletes plan to complete the workout in 20 minutes or less. Athletes of this ability level are really good CrossFitters, and I think they should view this as essentially “40 Muscle-Ups for time.” What does that mean? I think they decide reasonable sets and reps for how they plan to complete their 40 reps, and then break down the Calories and Wall Ball sets to fit around those Muscle-Ups.

Regardless of how far athletes hope to get, I think it’s critical to identify one’s main weakness out of the three movements. What I mean by that is, if Muscle-Ups start failing first due to shoulder fatigue, I believe the majority of Wall Ball reps should be saved towards the end of the workout. Prioritize movements based on expected levels of fatigue.

We all know each of these movements is “full body” and require cardio, so the goal needs to be to ensure quality reps, no/few misses, and a steady pace throughout.

It’s the final week of the 2020 CrossFit Open. I hope you all have had as much fun competing as I did.

More than that, I hope you found my advice over the last five weeks to be helpful.

As always…. Good Luck, Have Fun, I Believe In You!

And I hope to see you soon!

Happy Thursday, friends!

Another Open Workout is released, and it’s our first repeat of the 2020 Open Season. Workout 20.3 is a re-do of CF Games Open Workout 18.4. After going back and watching the video and reading the post I wrote for this workout back in 2018, I don’t really think I’d change my advice on how I think people should approach this one.

For that reason, I’ve posted the link to my entire 18.4 review at the bottom of this post!

The quick summary of my thoughts, however, is that I think there will be three main groups of athletes for this one.

Group 1 – Those Deads Are Heavy and/or Nope, Handstand Push-Ups Are Not My Jam

Since “tie-break” times are logged after every set of deadlifts, there will be thousands of people at each round’s cut-off. Therefore, the fastest you get through your final set of deads, the higher your ranking. If you think, or know, that it’s unlikely you’ll get through a single HSPU, your goal is to get through your 21 deadlifts as fast (BUT SAFELY) as possible. That could mean 21 seconds in 21 reps, tie-break time noted… and now you’ve got 8 minutes and 39 seconds to try and work through your first handstand push-up.

Group 2 – Diane I’ve Got… The Rest, I’m Not So Sure

If completing 21-15-9 of Rx’d Diane in 9 minutes or less is likely, but you’re not quite sure if you have much to offer for the second workout of heavier deadlifts and handstand walks, I think you should view this Open workout as, “How fast can I get through Diane?” Period. If it takes you 6 minutes to complete it, you have 3 minutes to get as many reps as possible of the second workout. If Diane takes you 8 minutes and 30 seconds, that still gives you 30 seconds to try and get in a few deads at the heavier weight.

Group 3 – Heavy Deads and Handstand Walks all day, baby!

If you fit into this category… congrats! You’re a beast. Pace this like you’d pace most normal CrossFit Open workouts. You need to be smart and realize that for most humans, trying to handstand walk when your shoulders are crushed typically doesn’t end well. If you plan to get to the handstand walks, my advice is to be patient enough to really fight for each 5 foot increment. Some people just flip upside down and hope for the best. Don’t get 4 feet in a row, then get charged a no-rep, four different times because you’re too tired. Be patient, regroup, and make every attempt at HS walk count.

Regardless of the version you choose, remember that you’re about to do a bunch of really heavy deadlifts, at presumably a very fast speed. Heavy deads are likely one of THE MOST COMMON ways that people injure themselves in this sport of exercise racing we all love. Please don’t become another statistic! Keep your core tight, and keep your movement sound. As fun as it is to sprint with a heavy barbell, I’d rather you be able to walk tomorrow. Please be safe.

Alright, here’s my FULL STRATEGY POST from Workout 18.4.

Check it out, and let me know if you have any other questions for me.

As always, “Good Luck, Have Fun, I Believe In You!

Thrusters and Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups for 19.5. A lot of us knew they were going to show up, but I don’t know anyone who predicted a workout this brutal! It’s more reps than Double-Fran, and is more challenging because of the chest-to-bars. Ouch!

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My three main pieces of advice for this one are as follow:

  1. Planned Sets. This applies more to the Thrusters than the Pull-Ups. One way to do this (if you are proficient with the Thruster weight), could be to break down your Thrusters into three sets each round. Meaning, for the round of 33, complete three sets of 11 reps. Or, if you’re like me and don’t like needing to repeat the same number of reps more than once, go 13/11/9. Then, for the set of 27 reps, go 11/9/7, and so on.
  2. Control. Controlling your hear rate will be critical, especially with the Thrusters. Coming out of the gate too hot will lead to a ton of standing around by the time you’re halfway through this workout. On pull-ups, know yourself and your abilities before this workout begins. Completing a couple of huge sets at the beginning will lead to most people frying their grip early on. This is going to be a longer workout. Be smart, conserve your energy, and complete steady sets from the start. It’ll be much better to save a little energy for the end of the workout than to crushed for the last two rounds!
  3. Double Fran Plus! The workout Fran is 21-15-9 Thrusters and Pull-Ups. This is more than double that volume. And with Chest-to-Bars! I say that again because I think you need to remember that from the very beginning of this workout! Break up your sets often and early, just minimize your rest between them. Keep yourself moving.

If you watch my video for the week, as always, please let me know what you think and if it helped you at all.

This is the final week of the 2019 CrossFit Games Open! Let me know how it goes for you!

A lot of people I know predicted that workout 19.4 would include some sort of Snatch variation and one kind of Muscle-Up. Well, those friends were correct!

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My three main pieces of advice for this one are as follow:

  1. Which version are you? In my mind, there are two versions of this workout for “Rx” athletes. The first is for athletes who are able to complete the first 3-round workout without too much difficulty, but who will then likely be unable to complete a single Bar Muscle-Up. My advice to those athletes is to view this workout as an ABSOLUTE SPRINT! Get through those three rounds of 10 Snatches and 12 Bar-Facing Burpees as fast as you possibly can! The tie break time after that final Burpee of the third round (Rep 66) will separate THOUSANDS of athletes around the world. Get to that tie break as fast as possible! For the other group of athletes who plan to make it to, and through several of the Bar Muscle-Ups, I think this workout needs to be paced a little bit more. Making it through the first three-rounds and being destroyed will likely leave very little in the tank to get through the Bar Muscle-Ups as efficiently as you’d like. Leave some juice in the tank, and break up the Muscle-Ups earlier than you might want to. Something tells me that shoulders and triceps are going to be more fatigued than people expect.
  2. Breathe. For athletes looking to get into the second three-rounder, it will be very easy to get a little bit too excited when this workout starts and make it an absolute sprint. A lot of athletes can sprint one, and maybe even two rounds of Snatches and Burpees, but if that third round takes it out of you, even a three minute rest won’t allow you to finish strong in the second portion. Keep your heart rate down, your breath slow and controlled, and put yourself in a position where you can *finish* this workout stronger than you start it.
  3. Relax. Same advice as last week. You can’t control other athletes who get credit for “garbage reps” by their judges, so don’t even worry about it! Stand up all the way on your Snatches, face your bar and take off with both feet on your Burpees, and follow protocol on the Muscle-Ups. I received several messages last week from people telling me how frustrating it was to watch judges count Handstand Push-Ups that didn’t meet the standard, but my response to that remains the same; “It’s just a silly competition, and none of it really matters.” Stay in your lane, have fun with your friends, and only worry about controlling what you can control. Remember, this is supposed to be fun!

If you spend the time to watch my video for the week, as always, please let me know what you think, and if it helped you at all.

Only one week of the 2019 CrossFit Games Open remains after this week. Have some fun out there, everyone!

There are going to be a lot of tired shoulders after 19.3 is said and done. Here’s the workout!

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My three main pieces of advice for this one are as follow:

  1. Get your shoulders warm. The bulk of this workout involves making sure your shoulders can move, or stabilize, weight appropriately. Prime your body with that in mind.
  2. Know Your Role. Some athletes know that Strict Handstand Push-Ups may not be in the cards for them today. That’s fine! The workout has a “Tie Break” to be logged at the end of the final Box Step-Up and another after the final Strict HSPU. If the goal is to get through the Lunges and Step-Ups… do that as quickly as possible!
    Second, on the HSPU, there will be thousands of athletes who come out of the gates with too large of sets. Please recognize that for most athletes, 50 reps is a really high amount… especially when tired. Smaller sets and shorter rest without “no-reps” will make for faster work than standing around and missing reps at the end because of fatigue.
  3. Relax. Gyms all over this great world of ours will allow athletes to get away with garbage reps… it’s just human nature. One athlete feels bad no-repping their friend, so full range of motion isn’t enforced. It’ll be ok. Have conversations with your coaches, classmates, and competitors beforehand, and then just move on with your day. The goal is that everyone does every rep correctly, but that simply doesn’t always happen. Just control what you do. That’s all you should focus on anyways!

***I PROMISE I TRY TO KEEP MY VIDEOS SHORT!***

If you spend the time to watch this, as always, please let me know what you think, and if it helped you at all.

Good luck out there, friends!

This week we’ve got (what is essentially) our first “repeat” workout from a previous year’s Open. Workout 19.2 is structured basically the same as workout 16.2, the only difference is that instead of potentially being stopped at minute four, all athletes get the chance to work for at least 8 minutes. I love that!

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My strategy video for this week’s workout is longer than last week’s, but I felt it was necessary to drill in a few key points on how I think people should strategize this one!

  1. Tie Break: In this workout, your judge will write the time after you complete each set of 50 double-unders. More than other workouts, I’m encouraging athletes to charge a little bit faster through what will likely be their final set of jump rope in order to hopefully move ahead of other athletes on the leaderboard. If you tie with someone else, the person who finished their final set of doubles first will be considered the winner!
  2. Barbell Loading: This week, you *are* allowed to have other people switch out your barbell weights. If there are extra bodies around to help do that, use their help! The last thing I feel like doing when I’m tired is bending over to load or unload my bar. Use any help you have, or load up multiple barbells if possible. Conserve as much of your energy as possible!
  3. Singles on Cleans: I know that for a lot of athletes the first weight (and maybe even the second) are quite manageable and the tendency will be to want to “touch-and-go” reps. Please resist that urge. For athletes who plan to make it to the third or fourth round of this workout, rounds one and two are just your warm-up. If you jack up your heart rate too fast early on, you will likely not be able to recover when the weight actually gets heavy. Find some hard rubber (or competition) bumper plates, keep that bar close, and stick with quick singles for this entire piece.

I hope you found this information useful, and that the video gave some more advice to how I think you should attack this thing. Now get out there and have some fun!

If you watch the video below, I’d love to know what you think in the comments!

Does workout 19.1 favor tall athletes?

Sure.

Do you know who it favors more than tall people, though?

Fit people.

It’s only workout one of five. There are still four more to go!

To people who consider themselves “short”… build that tiny little bridge for our tiny little legs, and get over it. You’ll be “graced” with Thrusters (a traditionally non-tall-person friendly movement) before you know it.

(Then you’ll probably complain that Thrusters were programmed, too! No? That’s just me that’ll complain? Ok, cool.)

Tall people… enjoy your 15 minutes of CF Games Open movement selection glory! I bet Burpees and Air Squats will be here soon! (Short people, rejoice!)

Now, get back out there and have some fun!

The 2019 CrossFit Games Open is here, and workout 19.1 was released a few hours ago!

The workout is fairly straightforward, too. It’s a 15 Minute AMRAP or 19 Wall Ball Shots and 19 Calories on the Rower.

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In my strategy video for this one I tried to keep it simple, and my three main pieces of advice are as follows:

  1. PACE – Keep your heart rate low and your breath as controlled as possible. Your bodies are going to want to “Fight or Flight” fast if you come sprinting out of the gates.
  2. Transitions – There will be a lot of up and down in this workout. For the Wall Balls, keep the ball as close to the wall as you can when you finish each set, and try your best not to let it drop to the ground if you need a break mid set. On the Rower, keep that wheel spinning at an even pace, and make the transition from sitting down on the machine to getting back up is as smooth as possible.
  3. Movement Efficiency – It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you’re moving, if you’re wasting a ton of energy as you do it. Finding subtle ways to row or “throw” a bit more productively could lead to conserving enough energy to give a solid push for the last few minutes. When it comes to these movements, less wasted effort equals more reps!

If you watch the video below, I’d love to know what you think in the comment!

 

The first week of the 2019 CrossFit Games Open is under way, and I’m excited for another year of fun with all of you!

-Tom