Coaching Roundtable: CrossFit Open 14.1 Tips & Advice

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Coaching Roundtable: CrossFit Open 14.1 Tips & Advice
The CrossFit Open kicks off for 2014 with a bang with workout 14.1, a 10 minute AMRAP of 30 double-unders and 15 power snatches. Just like last year, we bring together an all-star panel of some of the best coaches in the world of CrossFit to give you their thoughts on the workout and how they would counsel athletes to tackle it with tips & advice from their extensive coaching experience.

Soak it all up, enjoy and most of all – have fun!

Brian MacKenzie: Athlete Cell and CrossFit Endurance

This is a paced piece for the first 5-8 minutes that requires you to understand control!!!

Warm up:
  • 30-45min.
  • Erg to work simulated snatch movement and ankle ROM: 10min aerobic increasing intensity; 4min easy, 3min harder, 2min harder, 1min intense.
  • Dynamic mobility for hamstrings and shoulders. Shoulder pass-throughs both standing and squatting. Shoulder round-abouts both standing and squatting. Hip-openers of your choice.
  • 3 rounds: 10 DUs + 2 snatch at 14.1 weight.
  • Rest 5 min

Start the workout at a pace you know you won’t break in the first 5 minutes, then increase or hold that intensity for the remainder.

Carl Paoli: Naka Athletics and SF CrossFit

Carl Paoli: Naka Athletics and SF CrossFit
Here is my take for the beginner/intermediate CrossFit athlete.

Snatch Style:

Start with a muscle snatch style if the weight feels light and you can guarantee unbroken sets of 15 for at least the first 3 rounds. As soon as the weight starts to feel taxing on your back, legs or shoulders move on to a power snatch.

Breathing for linking snatches:

  • Two small inhales on the way down and one big exhale on the way up.
  • If needed, rest overhead to perform one extra inhale and exhale before starting the next rep.

Rep scheme: 5,4,3,2,1 which adds up to 15.

Commit to the entire sequence of 5,4,3,2,1 or once in a rep scheme make sure to finish. For example, even if I am starting to fatigue after performing 5 plus 4 reps but once I begin the round of 3 reps, I must commit to finishing the 3 reps before taking a rest.

For double-unders:
  • Set the body in the straightest line possible by standing tall with the feet under the hips.
  • Position the shoulders back and relaxed-down to allow for a long neck position.
  • Let the arms hang relaxed and right by the side of your body. As the body gets tired they will want to tense up and flare out. This will make the rope shorter and result in a failed rep.
  • Try to keep the handle with just enough tension to not allow the rope to slip out of your hands.
  • Point your thumbs out and forward in a 45 degree angle.

Make the spin of the rope come from the wrist and not from the arm. It is as if you were shaking your arms out for every double-under repetition.

As you spin the rope around focus on performing the first revolution slightly in front of your hip and the second at hip level or behind you. Finding a rhythm by shifting the hands from in front of your hips to hip level or slightly behind the hip will help guarantee the rope to clear your feet.

“Slow is smooth, smooth is fast” – unknown Try to use the double-unders as recovery. I recommend the beginner athlete keep their feet together as it allows for a better rebound off the ground with out having to focus as much on the jump.

The more advanced athlete can slightly separate the feet to relieve some muscular tension as long as the hips are pressing forward by slightly squeezing the butt.


Breathing during the double-unders depends on the athlete, but inhaling on the way down and exhaling right after the jump helps, when the breathing rate is high two small inhales and two small exhales allows for the athlete to cycle double-unders with better overall body control.

Double-under rep scheme: 10,8,6,4,2

Commit to the entire sequence of 10,8,6,4,2 or once in a rep scheme make sure to finish it. For example, even if I am starting to fatigue after performing 10 plus 8 reps but once I begin the round of 6 reps, I must commit to finishing the 6 reps before taking a rest.

Transitions between movements:

Recover in the transitions and try to commit to a certain transition pace. It may take you 3 rounds or 4 to get there. This is one of the hardest things to gauge, and one of the reasons the experience the elite athlete has allows him or her to maximize the work output for these types of events.

Good luck. “Move like you care and make it look good.”- Coach Carl Paoli

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