Posts Tagged ‘Smashby Speaks’

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!

Since my video this week is 13 minutes long, I’m going to keep the writing in this post short.

Workout 20.2 is:

20 Minute AMRAP

4 Dumbbell Thrusters

6 Toes to Bar

24 Double-Unders

Here’s the basic gist of my advice-

Find a pace for each of the three movements you can maintain at a “forever” pace. If you come out too hot, the last half/quarter of the workout is going to be spent trying to keep it together.

  1. Transitions – Keep your gear as close together, and as neatly organized as possible the entire time. Don’t waste 1-10 seconds per round trying to pull your dumbbells back together or untwisting your jump rope.
  2. Break before you fatigue – If you know you’re going to be wrecked trying to hit 24 DUs in a row, break it up on purpose, take a breath, then continue.
  3. Find a sustainable pace – If you get 3+ more rounds in the first half of this workout than you do in the second half, I think you went out too hot. I’d rather you find a pace that allows you to feel STRONG at the halfway point and THEN turn it on.

Final question I get asked a lot-

Should I “Rx” or “Scale” this workout?

If you care about your “Open Ranking” AND you have the ability to physically perform even ONE rep of each of the movements, I think you should go Rx’d. Remember, if you complete ONE REP at the Rx’d weight, you’ll rank above every single person in the world who completes this workout scaled. That means if it takes you 20 minutes to do 3 reps of double dumbbell thrusters at Rx’d weight, but you can do it, I think it’s worth it to get a score of “3” Rx’d!

However, if your goal is to get a good workout in and sweat for 20 minutes, Scaled is 100% the way to go! Find weights and modifications that will allow you to keep moving, and remember that the best of the best in the world will get close to (or more than) THIRTY rounds of this workout completed.

I don’t know about you, but the last time I completed 1,000+ reps of ANYTHING in 20 minutes was….. probably never. When scaled appropriately, this will be a sneakily effective workout, regardless of the modifications used.

Hey, have fun out there, folks!
At the end of the day, it’s only fitness.

Get out there, be safe, and have some fun!

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!

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!

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

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Practice makes perfect? No, practice makes progress!

Too often, athletes approach their training in search of the moment when they’ll be “strong enough” or “fast enough.” Unless you’re training to compete in a specific event, consider viewing fitness as your own unique method for physical self-expression.

Adding 50 lbs to your back squat, shaving two minutes off of your 5K run time, or increasing your flexibility enough to touch your toes for the first time are all great goals. But if you only view “success” as the day you achieve that goal, you’ll miss out on all of the smaller, incremental gains you make along the way.

Instead of striving for perfection in your health and fitness endeavors, strive for improvement. The phrase “practice makes perfect” sets too many people up for failure. “Practice makes progress,” on the other hand, is a philosophy that encourages and acknowledges improvement in any capacity.

As with many things in life, fitness should be viewed as a marathon, not a sprint. Let me know if you need help setting goals for yourself. Finding something that excites you, and then creating a road map on how to get there is a really fun process.

Did the 2018 CrossFit Games get you fired up and ready to improve more by next year’s Open?

Do you have an intelligent plan in place to get there? You should.

You don’t need a personalized coach to help you create that plan, but if you do it yourself, I suggest at least running over your plan with someone else that you know and trust. Let me know if I can help you in any way.

Train safe, train smart, and have fun out there!

An athlete asked for my advice to help them plan their “return to sport” after some time out of the gym. Whether your training stops due to injury, illness, surgery, or just vacation, it can be really unsafe to push too hard after you’ve been out for several weeks or more.

My advice for most athletes in this context is fairly simple and consistent, regardless of the circumstances: “Build back slower than you think you should.”

A lot of us are Type-A, chargers, achievers, and go-getters. Lifting lighter weight, scaling back reps or rounds in a workout, and taking more rest days can feel like torture. But at the end of the day, I think the big picture needs to be taken into account. If you “Rx” a workout before your body is ready, the recovery time can be extended exponentially, and old injury could be aggravated or made even worse, or new imbalances could be introduced due to overcompensating. Give yourself time to recover fully. Reestablish healthier and safer movement patterns. See and feel how your body reacts to training at 50% for a few days, then 55%, then 60%, and so on. In many cases, slowing down more than you want can lead to a strengthening of movement that actually will help you come back even stronger than before.

As always, I’ve got a lot more to say on the subject, but I tried to keep the video to around four minutes. If anyone would like to continue this conversation, leave a comment and let’s keep it going.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend, friends!