Open Series - Week 2: Workout and Tips

In week two of our Open Workout Series, on Friday, 1/13, during all classes at Kingfield we will be tackling:

Open Workout 13.1

17 minute AMRAP

40 burpees
30 snatches (75/45)
30 burpees
30 snatches (135/75)
20 burpees
30 snatches (165/100)
10 burpees
AMRAP snatches (210/120)

Whoa, whoa, whoa – What? Yes, you are reading correctly. While last week we handled light weight and a fine motor skill movement, this week we have ascending weights (some may not be in your wheelhouse yet and we’re going to tell you why that’s okay) and the burpee. Despite snatching again, your approach to this workout should be entirely different. This one is all about breathing (which we’ll discuss in our blog post tomorrow) and pacing. A few things that we’d like to bring to your attention: 

  1. Why would we program this? We’re betting that will be the number one question we will get this week. Two major reasons: a) there will likely be an open workout this year where you’ll see the standards and think “Well, guess I’m not doing that one RX’d” – we want to teach you how to approach it, show you that you should still show up! And b) The open is about testing our limits, both as athletes and as coaches. It’s good practice for all of us to be faced with a challenge so our approach on game day is (somewhat) rehearsed.
  2. It’s long. 17 minutes is creeping towards the top end of the time domain of all open workouts. How do you approach a longer one without gassing out too early?
  3. It’s high volume AND increasingly heavier loading. Rarely is this a task you see in class so we are taking the opportunity to teach you how to handle it. You get to experience weight changes mid workout!
  4. Why so many burpees? Because you’re going to do them in the Open, no matter what. Might as well get to practicing them now. We will be recommending the “walking burpee” which your coach will show you in class.

So how is this going to work? On Friday when you come to class, plan to run two heats of the workout. Like many of the classes last week, we will pair you up and you will cheerlead for your partner until it is your time to work. The general warm-up will be specific and brief and the coach in charge will discuss the set-up and strategy to complete the workout.

We will have alternative weight increases to scale the workout for those athletes who still want to climb but perhaps don’t have a 165/100 pound snatch in their repertoire yet. We will discuss approach on the burpees and then we will get going. We will build in time between the heats to ensure that heat two athletes are warm before they begin.

What do I do about the weights? Let’s face it, snatching is already challenging enough as it is. Now you’re being asked to do 30 in a set at increasingly heavier weight with big jumps in between, perhaps at weights you’ve never hit before in your life. As we mentioned above, there will be an alternative ladder options for you and we will also allow you to choose one weight and complete the entire workout at that weight. However, if you want to complete the workout RX’d, consider this:

  1. With the volume of the work required and the weights listed, the likelihood of reaching the final barbell is low. It’s highly likely that our sticking point with this workout will come before the 210/120 barbell.
  2. With that being said, we need to be looking at the two barbells prior to the final one. The sneakiest barbell in this workout is the second one. Following 70 burpees and 30 light snatches (that we will inevitably go too fast through), our “working weight” snatches are going to feel heavy. The key will be pacing these into small sets or even single repetitions.
  3. After that it’s 20 burpees and then the uber challenging 165/100 barbell. At this point, it’ll take some clock awareness to plan your approach. Single reps will be likely here and the goal will be to get as many as possible in the time you have remaining. It is also possible that you will have 4-5 minutes of simply attempting to snatch this weight. As long as you are still moving well, your coaches will let you attempt. This is where all of the cues and tips and tricks we’ve taught you will run through your head. Focus on your technique and some pretty cool things might happen.
  4. If you get back to burpees as time is running out, remember, these are like free reps with time running out. You just gotta go.

So here’s what we ask you to do this week. Consider your options for your approach to 13.1 – Rx’d, scaled ladder, consistent weight – and choose what suits you best for where you are at right now. If you know you will struggle with snatching that second barbell RX’d, opt for the scaled ladder. If you know snatching in general is new and unfamiliar, perhaps it’s best to utilize these repetitions as good practice, refining our technique. Next year may be a better time to go heavier. Are you willing to stare at one barbell for a while and potentially not complete a lift even once at a certain weight? Sometimes we are faced with seemingly impossible tasks - how will you handle it?

All things being equal, you WILL learn something about yourself in this workout. And at the end of the day, that’s what this is about. Finding our limits and then pushing them just a little more so we can continue to grow in our physical and mental performance, starting in the gym and (hopefully) carrying over outside the gym.

-Coach Caitlin