*Updated to include the MobilityWOD “Dream Team” video from San Francisco CrossFit featuring Brian MacKenzie, Diane Fu, Carl Paoli and Kelly Starrett*
The CrossFit Games Open is now upon us, and the first workout (Open 13.1) has been announced: 17 minutes of burpees and snatches. Now might be a good time to brush up on our past articles on How To Prep For a Burpee and 3 Tips To Improve The First Pull For a Better Snatch.
We have assembled an all-star roundtable of coaches who will provide you with their thoughts on the workout, how they would counsel their athletes, and what preparation tips, techniques and pointers they have for folks who are going to tackle this WOD.
Ready for some insight?
MobilityWOD Dream Team (San Francisco CrossFit, MobilityWOD)
Carl Paoli’s additional tips: make sure to mobilize: (a) thoracic spine, and (b) shoulders and hips in flexion and extension.
All burpees should be unbroken thanks to a steady and consistent pace. Set up behind the bar (6″ above you) so your arms stay in front of you the entire time. Feet hip to shoulder width apart. The hands and feet should always be placed in the exact same place.
Make sure to worm/snake your way up out of the bottom of the burpee.
As you jump and touch the bar, drop the arms forward to follow into the next rep.
Snatches are all about trying to stay mechanically correct at all times and keeping a steady pace for each rep.
Paul Estrada (CrossFit Elysium)
I think that 13.1 is overall not a bad test. I say “test” versus workout because making a workout for the Open or for competition is different then a workout you are doing in your day-to-day programming.
If you are a little guy that can do 130 burpees in seven minutes, that isn’t going to help when your max snatch is 135. As well, if you are a big strong guy who can throw a barbell around for days but bouncing your body off the floor is hard for you … well, this is going to be rough.
I would be surprised if anyone does this workout twice, mainly because I think this is going to be a hard one to recover from in time to give it a another 100% effort by Sunday. Your posterior chain is going to get seriously taxed and worked on this one.
Anyone that thinks this workout is going to be won by getting through the first round of burpees and snatches the fastest is going to be in for a surprise.
Especially with the weight on the snatches getting heavier as you go along — conserve energy where you can.
For example, on the snatches I think about getting the bar to my hips, making contact and getting a big tall jump for a solid power snatch. I see a lot of people do tap and go snatches where the bar is nowhere close to their hips on the second pull, and that is going to tax the back and take power away from the jump significantly.
I would also consider using the same technique for the 75lbs as I would the 210. Muscling through 75lbs, burning the shoulders, then going to burpees is only going to set you up for non-optimal form and overworked arms and back for the 135. If you hit a point where you are failing reps, start looking at the clock. A five to ten second difference in rest might be what allows you to make that rep instead of failing again and having to stand around for another 20-30 seconds.
If the burpees are the part you are not looking forward to (like myself), just remember that there is no good reason to stop burpees. You don’t have to do the fastest burpees but you have to stay moving.
Pacing, pacing, pacing is going to be what makes someone get more reps on this one. Watch your breathing: if you are 8 minutes in and you are gasping for air, you probably are going too fast. Gasping for air shouldn’t happen until the last few minutes. Focusing on the big slow breaths is something that I feel helps me a lot on longer WODs like this one.
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