OPEN SERIES - WEEK 4: Workout and Tips

In week four of our Open Workout Series, we’ve got something a little different for you. On Friday, 1/27, all classes at Kingfield we will be doing:


Open Workout 14.2

For as long as possible

From 0:00 – 3:00, complete 2 Rounds of:

10 Overhead squats (95/65)
10 Chest-to-bar pull-ups


From 3:00 – 6:00, complete 2 Rounds of:

12 Overhead squats (95/65)
12 Chest-to-bar pull-ups


From 6:00 – 9:00, complete 2 Rounds of:

14 Overhead squats (95/65)
14 Chest-to-bar pull-ups


From 9:00 – 12:00, complete 2 Rounds of:

16 Overhead squats (95/65)
16 Chest-to-bar pull-ups

If you complete the required work in the given time, you MUST wait to begin your next round until the 3:00 minute interval is up.

*For our purposes in class, we will cap this workout at 18 minutes. That would require athletes to complete 2 rounds of 20 OHS & 20 C2B pull-ups in 3 minutes. If you do get here, performing the workout as RX’d, we will do our best to let you continue working until you fail to complete the required amount of work.


Holy moly. What a workout! Before we get too excited, let’s break it down. First, we’re back to a couplet (two movements) after our triplet last week. Couplets and triplets are considered classic CrossFit. Here we have an upper and lower body press with an upper body pull. Kind of Fran-esque if you ask me…


The challenge here is going to be shoulder fatigue, far and away. If you’re planning on tackling this one, whether Rx’d or scaled, we’re going to have to consider ways to manage that fatigue. How do we do that when we have an increasingly higher volume workload but our time domain does not change?


First: pace yourselfUse your three minutes in the first few rounds to your advantage. Instead of racing from the barbell to the pull-up bar and back, take a second to breathe between movements. Focus on steady consistent movement throughout the squats. You can switch up your grip on the OHS, going narrower or wider, depending on your level of fatigue. When you get to the pull-ups, break them up. Even from the start, I would recommend splitting up the sets. Save your bigger sets for later in the workout, when you're up against the clock. This will save your shoulders in those later rounds and result in possibly being able to eke out a few more reps than you would have otherwise.


Mentally, there are two very tough scenarios you will face in this workout. First, you will finish your first or second round and you'll be waiting. And you'll be waiting and now knowing how much that next round is going to hurt but you get to do it anyways. In this workout, you can practice telling your mind to quiet down. Focus on one small set at a time and pay attention to what you can control: your breathing and your brain. Use you rest time to reset and plan your next attack.

The second scenario is equally (if not more) tough. You will reach a point in a workout like this where you will have to make a decision: to push or concede. You will reach a point where you'll be close to completing the required work as time is running out. You will have to make the decision to push through as that time runs out to finish, only to turn around and start another round, this one requiring more of you than the last, the one you thought you wouldn't finish. You can also choose to call it. Perhaps you just make it through a round you didn't think you'd get to and you're spent. It is okay to tap out. However, we would encourage you to keep in mind, you have earned an additional 3:00 might be worthwhile to use it, no matter how many or how few reps you do end up getting. We will ALL be challenged this Friday, quite possibly more mentally than physically.


I will recommend you do two things when you attack this workout on Friday. First, choose a level of the workout that suits your current ability level. If you’re going to spend 2:15 of your first 3 minute interval trying to get one chest-to-bar pull-up, your workout is going to be very short. Your coaches will help you decide what scaling options are right for you. Our scaling options are (but not limited to):


Kingfield Scaling Options*

Option #1 – OHS @ 65/45 & jumping C2B pull-ups (using the standards from the 2016 Open) or chin-over-bar pull-ups 

Option #2 – OHS @ 45/35 & jumping pull-ups (or ring rows, depending on the size of class) 

*Depending on the sizes of our classes, the scaling options that coaches offer will change to accommodate the class.


Second, break these sets up early and often, especially on the pull-ups. Overhead squats are similar to wallballs or thrusters: as long as you can control your breathing (exhale on the extension, inhale as you descend), you can probably do these for large sets, even when you’re tired. That is the movement I would encourage you to push through on. Pull-ups, however, are a different story. For these, know your capacity. Much like handstand push-ups, once these go, they’re pretty much gone. The strength required to pull to the chest is generally not a natural strength; it’s something that we have to work to develop. If you know that performing 10 C2B pull-ups in a row is challenging, break those first sets up into 5-5 or 6-4, right from the start. Remember that on the earlier rounds, the work can be completed in the time given. What we have to do to beat the clock is not beat ourselves. Use the extra time to your advantage. Hop down off the bar, shake your arms out, take a deep breath and go again when you’re ready. When you finish, hustle back to your barbell and bust off a big set of squats.


The clock is both our enemy and our friend in this workout. Pay attention to it. Pace yourself but also know when you can push. If you make it to a new round, keep going. Every rep you get is added to your score. You may just surprise yourself with what you’re capable of when you’re under pressure.


Hope to see you for another challenge on Friday! Each class will talk about the chest-to-bar pull-up and what we need to do differently from a regular pull-up. We will also talk about variation in hand placement for overhead squats.


Stay tuned - we'll be posting a sign-up sheet for the Open at the gym and an FAQ on this blog that will help you decide if you are in or out for this year's Open. Don't hesitate to email me ( as well if you have other questions!


Best of luck to you all! Come in and see how far you can get.


­-Coach Caitlin


On Saturday 1/28, at noon, I will be leading the group through Open Workout 15.4


3 Handstand push-ups (HSPUs)
3 Cleans (185/125)
3 Cleans
3 Cleans
12 HSPUs
6 Cleans
15 HSPUs

6 Cleans

Continue to add 3 reps each round to the HSPUs and 3 reps to the cleans every 3 rounds until time runs out.