CrossFit Games Open: 16.5 Strategy and WOD Advice
We were all expecting a repeat to show up at some point - but a repeat of 14.5? Really?!
At first, we were all pretty horrified about this. But, love it or hate it, you can't deny the fact it's an amazing workout. Put the feeling of impending doom to one side for a minute, and realise this WOD brings us all back to what the Open's all about:
Are you better than you were two years ago?
There's no better way to answer this question than a workout that left the vast majority of us on the floor, in a bath of sweat and tears.
If you're new to this, and didn't get to experience the joys of 14.5, you're in for a treat! Here's the workout:
Bar Facing Burpees
Rich, Mat and Ben made this look effortless during Thursday's announcement. Don't be fooled.
Here's our advice to get through this WOD in one piece - and in less time than 2014.
When you read everyone's thoughts on social media, opinion's pretty divided when it comes to the thrusters. Should you break them into smaller sets, or aim to blitz through unbroken?
The answer very much depends on your ability.
If you know you can do them unbroken, that's undoubtedly the best way to go. Dropping the bar, and re-racking it, takes time and energy you don't need to use. If you find you do need to rest, try to do it at the top of each rep - and don't drop the bar.
If you know you're going to struggle to go unbroken, you have two choices:
- Stick to the RX weight, but break the thrusters down into manageable sets.
- Drop the weight, and choose something you know you can do unbroken. If you choose this option, you'll also keep the intensity of the workout high.
The choice is yours. There are pros and cons to both options - it just depends what you want to get out of the WOD.
As always, we recommend you scale the weight if you can't safely completely all the reps RX, with good form.
How to Tackle the Burpees
It doesn't matter how you go about the burpees: they're not going to be enjoyable. Unless burpees are your idea of fun... Does anyone like burpees?
Try not to overthink this too much - just keep moving at a steady pace. Don't rest at the bottom of your reps, and pay attention to the movement standards. You really don't want to do any more than necessary!
Play the Mind Game
The biggest thing tested during this workout isn't your strength, speed or ability. It's all about your mindset.
That little voice in your head, telling you to slow down or rest, might sneak in quite soon after the WOD starts. You need to keep this voice quiet for as long as possible, and power on through.
The added pressure to beat your 2014 time won't help matters - but try to block out the clock and get the work done.
Before you start the workout, take some time to set expectations. Acknowledge what you'll find difficult about the workout, but also pay attention to the positive. It's a cliché, but a positive mindset really does make a huge difference.
You've done this before, you can do it again.
When it's all over - don't forget to celebrate your achievements. Even if 16.5 doesn't go quite to plan, you've made it through another Open!
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