WOD 190111

Open Workout 18.1: Breakdown and Approach

For the next seven Fridays, we’ll be seeing Open workouts retested in our classes. The blog posts for that day will provide some analysis and approach that you may (or may not) want to take as you tackle that week’s test.

This week we throw it back to the opening workout from 2018:

18.1 - AMRAP 20

8 Toes-to-bar
5/arm DB hang clean + jerks
14/12 calories rowing

In this one, we have a long, sustained stimulus, a new-ish movement (at least to the Open) and the potential for a decent amount of volume. All of these are staples in the CrossFit Open.

Before we get too far down the rabbit hole here, know this: if you have a large class (>10 athletes), your coaches have been instructed to use bikes or ski ergs for the calorie portion. While this changes the test considerably, the main stimulus in this workout is the duration. Running to two heats per class is not feasible from the standpoint of having athletes standing around. We would prefer that everyone to the work and get some practice in managing intensity over 20 minutes than adhere to the specific modalities today.

First order of business is approach: what should my goal be? That’s really up to you and depends on a variety of individual factors. But for you data nerds out there, we’ll give you some numbers.

On average, last year, most athletes finished 8-10 rounds, with men typically finishing a round or two more than the ladies (advantage: males on the rower, even with the added calorie requirement). For further reference, eight rounds of 18.1 see athletes completing 256 and 240 reps respectively for men and women (32/30 reps per round). Ten rounds would see men completing 320 reps and women 300 reps even. For the gentlemen, 10 rounds puts you comfortably in 75th percentile while the same number of rounds puts ladies in the 90th percentile.

Beyond that, let’s do a little time math. Completing 10 rounds - a pretty mean feat especially if you’re a female - requires you to complete each round in 2 minutes. If you can complete the TTB unbroken, you’re likely looking at ~15 seconds of work. The 10 reps on the DB will likely clock in at ~25 seconds. We’re at 40 seconds of work (not including transition time. That would leave us with 80 seconds to complete the row. Very doable. But time gets away from us fast and transitions in this workout can mean all the difference. while we will give you a specific set up in the room (for safety purposes and adequate coaching sight lines), making the most of the time between movements is something you should focus on. Perhaps a goal of yours will be clean transitions throughout, no pauses and no hesitations.

If the two minutes per round approach isn’t your cup of tea, look at the other end of our average range. Eight rounds gives you an extra 30 seconds per round, which might be ideal if we’re going to RX’d the first time or just getting the hang of toes-to-bar. We can break those TTB up and take a breath or two before jumping back up and reloading.

Speaking of toes-to-bar, your coaches will stress two things when coaching you through this movement today. First, press down on the bar. We press down to move our shoulder and head horizontally behind the bar. This brings our hips under the bar and makes it easier to flick your feet towards the target. Second, when reloading into your next rep, snap your toes down towards the floor below you. If you’re struggling to link repetitions, it’s likely you are swinging your feet too far out as you bring them back down after contact. Snapping them towards the floor reinforces the return to arch that reloads the system (and keeps tension!) so you can go into your next rep.

With the DB hang clean + jerks, you’re thinking legs, legs, legs. Swing the DB up to the shoulder and drive high with the hips for the jerk. Your grip and shoulders are going to get fatigued and relying too much on the arms may result in missed reps or additional rest that you don’t necessarily need to take. Try to stay relaxed on these and rely on your coach to help recommend a good weight for you to use.

On the row, we’ve been working a lot on prioritizing a strong drive back and relaxing on the return. No different here. If you can you want to minimize the work your arms do again. It can be ideal to slide the seat closer to the heels OR lean more forward before launching into the next stroke. Remember that rowing is all about chain length. Try to get into a rhythm where you’re knocking off ~1 calorie for every pull that you make. That makes it easier - count to 14 or 12 once you get up to speed and close your eyes. When you open them, you should be close to, if not already done!

This is a good way to start our Open season. Nothing too high in volume, no where you can get really stuck, just how consistent can you be for 20 minutes. Enjoy this one - we certainly have more challenges ahead!


Friday 190111

Open WOD 18.1


8 Toes-to-bar
5/arm DB hang power clean + jerk
14/12 calorie row

RX DB = 50/35
SC DB = 35/20 (would also apply for Master’s athletes who are 55+)