It's the final week of the 2016 Open at Arena Ready, and our final Saturday Open WOD brings us thrusters and bar facing burpees!  It’s a re-test of Open workout 14.5, and those of you who did the Open in 2014 likely remember it well.

Like we say every week - whether you're signed-up for the Open and will be competing on Saturday, or you're just doing the workouts for fun & fitness - and to be a part of the Saturday energy at AR -please watch the 16.5 standards video (I have re-posted it above) and read the workout details here on the CrossFit Games website.

Now, some logistics and then a little strategy.

First, logistics:

Heats Stations

For some this will be the longest Open workout of 2016, as there is no official time cap.  For those who are not officially entered in the Open, we will enforce a 20-minute time cap.  Additionally, if you are entered in the Open (whether doing the workout Rx or scaled) but your performance and movement deteriorates to the point of unsafe levels WE WILL CUT YOU OFF. 

Due to the task priority (versus time priority) nature of this workout, we will run on-going stations instead of group heats.  Each station will have a stopwatch to keep the official time for that individual station.  We will run stations of the workout during all Saturday morning classes.  If you haven't signed-up for a class please do so now, and expect to do the workout and judge one station/athlete within that hour.  Plan on showing up 10-15 minutes early for class so you can get yourself mobilized and primed, and so that you can sign-up on the running station list on the whiteboard.

We have official scorecards printed and clipboards ready for the judges.  We will re-brief you on all the standards, and will have certified CrossFit judges acting as roving judges during the workout, keeping the stations moving.

You Stash of Stuff & Warm-up Prep

Per our SOP we'll stage AR North with warm-up rowers, PVC, foam rollers, lacrosse balls, etc. so you can all throw your stuff in there (to keep the AR South gym floor open for athletes and judges) and start getting your mind right and your body ready with a thorough warm-up.  We'll detail a suggested, self-directed warm-up on the board in AR North, and you're welcome to follow that or do your own warm-up to get yourself ready to go.


Second, some thoughts on strategy:

There's not a lot to it this week, folks.  Some sources have over-complicated the strategy element of this workout to the point where I think they're just making up rhetoric in an effort to sound smart.  Chances are you've done these two movements hundreds of times before... so assuming you already prioritize movement over all else as your default mode of operation, let's talk about some items that may help you maximize efficiency:

1) Shocker..... pacing is key.

Smooth and steady is fast.  Smooth and steady is fast.  Smooth and steady is fast.  Trying to go out hot is a recipe for disaster.  Some of you saw two Games Champions and a (likely) future Champ do the workout live on Thursday evening, and at no point did any of them look like they were sprinting.  So pace it nice and easy early on, and just don't stop moving.  

Breaking up the thrusters into sets is a matter of specific athlete ability.  There are a few of you that shouldn't put the bar down at all, some of you that will benefit from big sets (think 2, or maybe 3 sets in the rounds of 21, 18, and 15), and many who will need to split it up into smaller sets early and often.  You need to know yourself as an athlete and do what it takes to keep the engine under the redline.

Regardless of your strategy on thruster sets, the strategy on burpees is pretty basic... don't stop moving.  Pick a sustainable pace and keep your body in constant motion.  You will NEVER fail a burpee rep, you will ALWAYS be able to get back up.  Just keep getting back down on the ground, and keep moving and breathing.  It's like running - one foot in front of the other, constant movement, slow down or speed up if you need to, but don't ever stop.  It's always harder to re-start once you stop.  The vast majority of the time spent on this workout is on the burpees - it's not even close, and for most it’s two-thirds of the total workout time or more.  So while the thrusters look like the sexy movement, and will draw a lot of attention by many on how to approach the workout, the real key to a good performance is your constant movement on the burpees.   

Don't waste any reps by skipping over the bar, separating the feet, and getting no-repped.  Make sure to jump off of, and land on, two feet.  Step-up to the bar before jumping if you need to, just don't waste any reps.  Also, make sure to clear the bar with your feet and your face.

2) Warm-up all the movements but don't go crazy.

You want to get some aerobic work in so the workout is not a shock to the body, but no need to do the workout before doing the workout.  Get the heart rate up, get a little sweat going if that works for you, and then let it come down a bit before you start.  Beyond that, and some focused mobility and movement prep, you don't need much else.  This is not the time to make up for lost technique work, lest you end up doing half of the workout before you even start the workout.

Speaking of mobility and dynamic movement prep...

3) Hips, Shoulder Girdle, Wrists, and Upper Pecs.

Get these guys ready.  You know what your body needs to get blood the pumping and your tissues unglued.  We will write some suggested mobility and movement prep items on the warm-up board, but feel free to do the ones you like to make sure you're good to go.  Your hips (and ankles too) need to be ready for the bottom position of the thruster, and your shoulders need to be ready for all the pushing you'll be doing, both off of the floor and over your head. 

4) If you need help at the bottom of the squat position put the weightlifting shoes on.

This is assuming they're not an older pair that weigh as much as a brick.  They will help you sit into the bottom with a more upright torso, which will save you from smoking your quads, low back, and shoulders.  A relatively modern pair is not likely to hinder the jump over the bar. Use knee sleeves if you have them and you're used to them.  They can support your knees in the thrusters, and provide a bit of padding on the burpees. 

5) Embrace the suck. 

This is supposed to be hard.  That's exactly why you do it.  If it were easy it wouldn't be worth doing.  So when the suck factor sets in try to remember that this is exactly where you want to be... exactly where you knew you would be.  Embrace it.  Get comfortable with uncomfortable.  This is what makes you better.  This is why you're here. 

WOD for 03-26-16:

"Open 16.5" (AKA "Open 14.5")

For Time:


Thrusters @ 95/65 lbs

Bar Facing Burpees


(Compare to 01-29-15 and 03-29-14)