I got a fever.  And the only prescription is MORE DUMBBELLS.

First, logistics...

As we've covered previously in this post here, we'll be running the Open Workout ("17.2") during rolling heats in all of our Saturday morning classes.  If you're officially entered in the Open please sign-up for class in advance and plan on doing the workout and judging another athlete while in the gym (no, you do not have to be a certified judge who has taken the judges course... that is only required if you're judging an aspiring Regionals or Masters Qualifier athlete).  Like last week the warm-up will be self-directed and written on the board in AR North, along with all of the equipment needed to get ready to rock.  Please plan on showing up 10-15 minutes early for class if possible, so that you can sign-up for a heat time when you arrive and get yourself situated for warming-up.  Please note that the number next to your name in the heat list corresponds to the lane number for the workout.     

17.2 brings us a movement many of you are very familiar with - the walking lunge.  In the Open we'll be doing them with dumbbells in the front rack position, and the manner with which you rack the dumbbells will be a key component of each athlete's strategy, as detailed later in this post.


Now, some strategy thoughts...

There are a number of categories to consider:

1. "I can't safely attempt even 5 feet of walking lunges as prescribed." This group should confirm with a coach that you really can't/shouldn't make an attempt, just in case you have too little faith in yourself, and once/if confirmed you'll set up the scaled version of the workout.  Otherwise, you're probably in group 2.

2. "DB walking lunges are nearly impossible at 50/35 lbs, but I think I can manage 5 feet AKA 2 lunges."  This would equate to a score of 1 rep, and would rank higher than all scaled efforts on the scoreboard.  If you can manage 5 feet safely, do the workout as prescribed ("Rx").  If you can get 25 feet done safely (even if you have to break it up) do 25 feet, and so on.  Then you face toes-to-bar (T2B), and may find yourself in category 3 or 4.  Work as hard as you safely can, getting as far along in the Rx workout as possible, and if you hit a bottleneck where you're just not able to continue on reasonably (or safely) then finish the remainder of the 12 minutes using a scaled option from that point forward (you'll still have your Rx score up until the point you switched over).

3. "I can do the lunges just fine, but I'm still working on getting my toes-to-bar." If you're in this group, you'll either have a ton of time and a lot of Arena Ready people cheering for you to get your first ever T2B, or you may attempt T2B for a good while and then decide (after waving the white flag) that switching over to a scaled option is a better use of your remaining time and workout.  Either way, celebrate the effort and make sure to prioritize T2B progressions and movement practice in the coming year so that this is something you'll look back on and think how cool it is that T2B are no longer an obstacle for you (some of you are doing that very thing this year when thinking back to last year).

4. "I can do the lunges and the T2B, but bar muscle-ups? Yeah right."  Saturday will be a day to test yourself, and hopefully get that first bar muscle-up rep!  If you've been in the gym the last several days you may have witnessed an athlete's first-ever bar muscle-up - and you may be next.  If you have the pre-requisite strength and shoulder mobility, then it's just a matter of learning the technical pieces involved in putting your body in the correct positions (yes, easier said than done... but entirely possible for several of you).  There's a ton of videos and tutorials out there, but two of my favorites on the subject are THIS ONE ("Mastering the Bar Muscle-up") if you don't mind a longer video (ten-ish minutes), and THIS ONE (courtesy of Nick Sorrel) if you want something quick and succinct (literally 10 seconds, but with some very helpful notes included). 

I (Rob) posted some bar MU tips in the private Arena Ready Facebook group last year for 16.3 (under Brianne's thread which lists the 16.3 workout movements), so those may help as well if you don't mind reading through old comments.  Come in to the gym early on Saturday so that you can spend some time with a coach and/or experienced athlete in the warm-up area working on nailing that first successful rep.  This is what the Open is all about - clawing your way to those first-ever reps which unlock the door to eventual mastery of the movement. 

5. "I'm going to crush this thing." If you're in this group, set a goal, and stick to your plan.  The plan should likely include the best possible way to get you to bar muscle-ups fresh enough to limit your rest periods, since that is where the majority of your time is spent versus the other movements in the workout.  For most I would recommend the following:  

-Break the toes-to-bar up early (8/8 or even sets of 4 for those who are good at T2B) to save your grip

-Keep your rest strict and on the clock when breaking sets of the T2B

-If you're flexible enough, and have long enough arms, rack the dumbbells vertically, with the bottom head resting on your traps (you can even loosen your grip and save your forearms a lot of fatigue here)

-Break-up the bar muscle-ups and keep your rest strict on the clock (not by feel) - don't allow yourself to get to failure/missing reps

-Don't blow yourself up on the DB power cleans - smooth is fast, and sprinting through them isn't worth it for most athletes


A few more notes:

A. Please don't drop the dumbbells.  We've tried to create stations for everyone to have enough space, but if you are "so tired" that you carelessly drop the DBs, you may break your toe, break the dumbbell, or hit your friend (or the wall).  This is not inevitable.  Even at 50/35 pounds, almost no matter how tired you are, this is a careless, thoughtless choice, and people will judge you for it.  Please put the DBs down like you care about your classmates and take pride in our gym.  Thank you.

B. As a spectator, please cheer for you friends from a safe place.  The benched areas we've set-up are a good option, and it's possible pockets of space will be available in the back as well.  Please be cognizant of your surroundings.

C. If you're planning to judge (thank you!) please review the workout and movement standards in advance.

E. Please remember that our coaches are athletes too, and may be prepping for their own competition.  Many of us will be on hand to help as much as we can, but some are planning to compete at some point on Saturday as well (and most of our coaches will probably be too nice to act busy with their own warm-ups) so as the clock ticks later please leave them to their own mental games if you sense they might be starting to prep!

Good luck, have fun, and be safe!  

WOD for 03-04-17:

"Open Workout 17.2"

AMRAP 12 Minutes:

2 Rounds of...

50ft Dumbbell Front Rack Walking Lunges @ 50/35 lbs (per side)

16 Toes-to-Bar

8 Dumbbell Power Cleans

2 Rounds of...

50ft Dumbbell Front Rack Walking Lunges @ 50/35 lbs (per side)

16 Bar Muscle-ups

8 Dumbbell Power Cleans


The 50 feet of walking lunges is separated into two 25-foot segments, requiring a turnaround at the 25-foot mark.  Each 5-foot segment counts as "one rep" in the workout.

The SCALED Open 17.2 workout follows the same rep scheme and set-up, but uses 35/20 lbs dumbbells, knees-above-hips instead of toes-to-bar, and chin-over-bar pull-ups instead of bar muscle-ups.