Here we go with week three of the Open!

Open Athletes - if you haven't already, please watch the 19.3 standards video below, and read the workout details here on the CrossFit Games website.  This will ensure that everyone is on the same page with movement standards and expectations (both Rx and scaled) prior to every athlete and judge starting their workout/heat. This one has more details and requirements than the previous 2 weeks so PLEASE come to the gym with a general understanding of the flow and requirements of the WOD.

As with every week, expect to do the workout AND judge at least one heat as well — and feel free to hang out as long as you like to cheer, judge, high five, and generally enjoy the energy in the gym.

I’m writing this post with our general membership audience in mind, and will skip most of what I’d normally also include for the aspiring competitive exercisers (what we would previously call “aspiring Regionals or Games athletes”) for the sake of brevity and simplicity.

1) Single Dumbbell Overhead Walking Lunges

We’ve done these before so there’s some experience with the movement, and many of you came in to class on Friday to test it out and see what seems feasible for you.

Yes, this is heavy for some of you to do overhead and for those people they probably already know that. If you have limited overhead mobility, are challenged by lunging movements, or both, then you know this will be a tough first movement for you. It’s a great opportunity to focus and see if you can manage to chip away at the lunges in a smart fashion. But please only proceed if you can do so safely and without putting yourself or others around you in jeopardy of dropping a DB (either on you or on someone else). I’ll say what I’ve said with every other DB workout we’ve seen in the Open the last four years —- if you have to drop the DB then it’s probably too heavy for you to begin with.

If overhead just isn’t going to happen then scale to the front rack position (with the same weight, if you’re going by the Open standards) and move through the workout intelligently and with a purpose. We do single DB front rack lunges all the time so you know your ability here, and how & when you can push it or dial it back as needed. If attempting overhead lunges is safe for a while and then becomes not so safe or smart at some point, then bank your Rx score at that point and move on with the remainder of the workout scaling to front rack lunges so that you’re continuing to work out, but not in an unreasonable fashion.

OK, if the overhead lunges are good to go for you then here’s the rundown for most folks:

  • Try to keep the reps as equal as possible on the right arm as the left. Yes, some may need to bias to one side but you’ll pay the price on the HSPU (assuming you get there) if you do so too much.

  • A good time to switch is at the 25-foot turnaround. You don’t have to put it down, but most of us should think about switching arms at the very least (lunge ninjas may want to switch after 50 ft).

  • No, don’t wear weightlifting shoes unless you actually like them for lunging. I don’t want to get into the mechanics and angles of that but for most of us lunging in lifted heels is weird and not helpful. But yes, definitely wear your knee sleeves if you have them (for obvious reasons).

  • Don’t waste reps. A rep is equivalent to a 5-foot segment as marked on the floor. If you’re feeling like you might falter a little on the next step then take a break and don’t waste any steps by having to back up to the last 5-foot mark because you had to break in the middle of the segment.

  • You don’t have to bring your feet together to stand but you do have to reach full extension between steps, so unless you have to (like me, who is a poor lunger with limited overhead mobility LMAO) don’t waste the effort of bringing your feet together until you have to due to fatigue.

  • What’s the strongest position for the DB? The same one we preach every time we do singles-side overhead carries in class, of course!

2) Single Dumbbell Box Step-Ups

Remember that you have to alternate legs on the step-ups (and you can’t push-off on your leg with the off hand) so don’t waste any reps by forgetting to do so and getting no-repped. Here are the most salient points:

  • Find a “comfortable” support position for the DB — try some options out in your warm-up and see what works for you. Whatever you do, DON’T HOLD THE DB BELOW YOUR WAIST (unless that’s literally your only option). I think the two best options are either:

    • A) with the handle resting on one trap/shoulder (with one head in front and one in back) with the OPPOSITE arm crossed in front of the body to allow that hand to hold & balance the front head. This is better than using the same side hand in the same way that a criss-cross front squat is more comfy for most than a normal front rack front squat — less tension required to hold the position.

    • B) across the traps with the handle behind your neck, one head on either side (right / left), and both hands on a head for support. This can get a little sketchy for obvious reasons but may be more comfortable for some — and comfort equals confidence… and confident reps are usually good, clean, faster reps.

  • Consider approaching the box step-up from the corner. This requires a different approach angle for your foot, which for some is much easier (it’s like night & day for me). It depends somewhat on your anatomy & hip structure, but even that aside the requirement for your foot to be pulled directly up is much less… and thus the approach angle is less steep. Try it out in warm-ups and see what feels better.

3) Strict Handstand Push-ups:

Unless you’re one of the handful of people I’m thinking about your best strategy here (if you get this far) is singles. Yes, singles. OK, maybe doubles for a handful but only to start (maybe the first 10 reps?). Like with all strict upper-body pushing once these strict HSPU “go” they are gone. And there’s no coming back. So while a super high-level competitor may want to gamble and test that line in the hopes that it pays off and they can hold bigger sets, 99.9% of us are trying to avoid any failed reps or even any strained/slow reps. And each successful rep puts you ahead of literally thousands of people in the world (if you care about that sort of thing LOL).

Technique advice? Today? Eh, not really at this point. We’ll be there to help those of you who are “close” to refine a thing or two here & there, but I won’t list all the items we’ve covered so many times in class previously (for both strict and kipping variations) since… well, to be honest, the people who really wanted to get these down came in to Open Gym throughout the year and worked on them consistently.

The cool thing is that the scaled version is the SAME EXACT SCALING WE USE IN CLASS when we limit your elevated head surface to a maximum height (which is effectively 5 inches). So those that have scaled in class before are very familiar with what a 5-inch height adjustment feels like, and whether or not you can reasonably make reps (or safely attempt them).

Just remember to be smart here regardless of your ability level. You only get one neck and one brain. And I’m pretty sure that if a bear were chasing after you in the woods and you kicked up to a tree to do some HSPU that bear would still eat you… fitness and all. So, you know…

4) Handstand Walk:

Come talk to us if you think you’re going to get here. The short of it is “take it one segment at a time if you have to.” It may feel like trying to walk longer stretches is the only way to go, but the shoulder fatigue will be real — and as with the HSPU every single rep puts you ahead of so many people that it’s critical not to fail in the middle of a rep (in this case in the middle of a segment).

GO TIME LUNGERS AND HSPU-ers! Let’s do this!!!

WOD For 03-09-19:

“Open 19.3”

For Time (10 Minute Cap)":

200 ft Single Dumbbell Overhead Walking Lunges

50 Single Dumbbell Box Step-ups @ 24/20 in (alternate legs)

50 Strict Handstand Push-ups

200 ft Handstand Walk