Ah yes….week 2…
Where do I begin!?
I suppose I can actually start off by saying how impressed and inspired I am by the efforts in week 1.
While I wasn’t a huge fan of 18.1 as an OPENING work out to this year, I still thought it was a “fun” and a well designed workout.
The real pleasure I got was from watching the many personal victories that came with that workout…whether that was a first toes to bar, handling a heavier dumbbell, or simply re-doing the workout and getting a new personal best.
It was an inspiring way to begin this year’s open as a gym.
So lets talk week 2…
I like to encourage people to ride the momentum from week to week, but watching this week’s announcement I saw a lot of concerned faces among those in attendance at the viewing.
If you aren’t sure about 18.2 consists of, you can find the details and standards here:
We had 2 athletes throw it down immediately after the announcement, and without knowing much of what to expect, they both did very well, and made it to the clean portion (18.2A).
On Friday I had a handful of athletes do the workout, and here are some of the lessons learned from watching them go.
1.Chill the eff out on rounds 1-6…treat those sets like your warm up. I am not saying go slow, but there is absolutely NO sense of urgency during those rounds. The workout does not START until the 7 set.
2. Set up is key. I saw a lot of different set ups, but much like last week, you do not want to lose time in transition. The main issue is where do you put your dumbbells. I saw some people put it next to their bar on one side, some put it in line with their barbell on one end or the other, some even did their squats facing the bar, and then put the dumbbells down wide enough so their feet could go in between them on the burpees. I am not saying one way is better than the other, I am just saying you need to a set up that will allow you to move fluidly from the DBs to the burpees and vice versa.
3.How you hold the DBs on the front squats is key. I talk about this all the time when we practice DBs and KBs in the front rack. Naturally they will want to pull you forward, so especially as you fatigue, it is important to feel that you ARE NOT being pulled forward. I saw athletes hold the DBs in a traditional front rack, I saw athletes hold the DBs slanted more towards their backside, I saw athletes stack the DBs on their traps vertically and rest them on their head while squatting, and I saw athletes piggy back on last year’s 17.2 workout and rest the dumbbells on their shoulders with hands around the handle, or straight up with hands on the end of the dumbbell. I feel like for rounds 1-5 and maybe 6, if you can get away with holding the DBS, do so…if not, take the extra time to rest the DBs on your shoulders, and that will ensure you are using your body to move the weight, and not risk wearing out your arms, or being pulled into bad positions. The downside to this method is IT IS NOT VERY COMFORTABLE, and might take some practice. (Right Fred?) we can talk more about this on a case by case basis.
4.Similar to DB placement, DB transition. Having a solid way of getting the DBs up AND down is necessary as well. I would be naive to expect people won’t “accidentally” drop the dumbbells tomorrow, so I will do everything in my power to make sure you feel comfortable transitioning with the DBs during your workout.
5.Capitalize on your strengths. If you are worried about the squats, be methodical with them, and heed my advice about finding an optimal DB placement. Look to make up time on the burpees (AKA…move with a purpose to buy time you might lose on the DBs) If you are strong on the DBs and slow on the burpees, do the opposite. Don’t blast your legs, but move with a purpose on the squats, and find a rhythm on the burpees that is sustainable without redlining.
6.Don’t read too much into what weight to start with on the bar for your clean. If you are worried about whether or not you will make it to the clean, the weight you put on the bar should be a GIMME…something that you can step up to on any given day and hit NO MATTER WHAT…you will be tired, and mentally you will not want to pick up the bar…so it needs to be something relatively mindless, especially if you only have :10 to hit the lift…(pucker factor at about 5000). If you are confident you will make it to the cleans with time to spare, again, don’t read too much into your opener, especially before the workout. Get a weight that is 50-60% of your 1RM on the bar, plan to rest a min or 2 after your workout, then step up and hit that % to establish your motor patterns for your upcoming attempts. If you can power clean more than you can full clean, power all day!
7.DO NOT STOP MOVING….ever. I don’t care if it’s slow movement, you have to find a way to keep moving. The squats can be slow, but keep them unbroken. The burpees can be slow, but have a pattern to your movement and DO NOT STOP.
This is another clever workout as far as a way to test who can move quickly AND lift heavy in a given time.
Here are some strategy videos that I recommend watching before doing the workout:
I have talked to several athletes about 2015 when we saw a similar 2 part workout. What some gyms did then was have their heavy hitters do 1 rep of the AMRAP portion, and then wait in the wings until the second portion where they would unleash the fury on a heavy lift. Games directors Dave Castro caught wind of this, and rejected those gym’s scores, telling them they needed to put fourth a reasonable effort on the workout and could not game it like that. So 3 years later, we see the same format again, but now both events are capped, thus eliminating the possibility of gaming the workout to play to your strengths, You must complete 18.2 for time in order to make it to 18.2A and get a lift.
This is another workout where the RX efforts will rank higher than any scaled score. EVEN IF YOU DON’T MAKE IT TO THE CLEAN. If you post a zero on the clean, the only thing that does is put you out of the running to go compete at the CrossFit games…..so yeah…take some risks tomorrow, and lets get it!
Here is the heat list for tomorrow, if you are registered for the open, please put your name on the list. If you are not registered for the Open, and want to come and do the workout for fun, show up Saturday between 9am and 12pm and I will get you in!
If you cannot make it on Saturday, I will be in Sunday from 9am-12pm and I will be available all day Monday as well to get people through as well, just let me know what you need and we will make it happen.
I can always use judges, especially in the early heats on Saturday and the late hours on Monday where a lot of last minute athletes come to get it in before the deadline. This workout is nice because once you make it to the cleans, you can have people load an unload your bar for you. So if you want to coordinate with some friends, fellow athletes, or even family members to be your pit crew for the workout, this workout is a great opportunity for that as well!
Village Inn is our week 2 sponsor! Thank you to them and for Melanie Clair for arranging the literal stacks of pies we will have available for tomorrow, as well as gift cards and gift certificates to hand out and give away!
So bring the heat for the workout, and bring your appetite for some delicious post workout pie!
Let’s do this!