Let the games begin!
At long last the CrossFit Open is upon us once again, and the first global workout of the year is a flashback to 2011’s Open; a 10-minute AMRAP of 30 double unders and 15 power snatches/ground-to-overhead-clean-and-jerks-are-okay-too-anyhow things. This workout is designed to shine a spotlight on the well oiled machines in CrossFit, those who are efficient enough to couple double unders with anything and smart enough to know how beguiling a light weight snatch for high reps is.
Here are a few tips to help you get your best score possible:
Calm your nerves. You may be feeling a lot of self-induced pressure on yourself to perform well. It’s okay to have some pregame jitters, but don’t psyche yourself out of the workout before it begins. Take a few deep breaths and trust that all your training in the past year will pay off.
Pacing is everything. Why is Rich Froning the monster that he is? Is he big, strong, fast and fit? Absolutely. But Rich does so much damage because he finds his pace in the workout before anyone else does and he sticks with it. This self-awareness is how you avoid hitting that paralyzing wall of fatigue that takes out the majority of Crossfitters. It’s good to be competitive, but if you attempt to go at your buddy’s pace, you may find yourself a victim to that wall. Remember, trust your training.
Pay attention to your grip. This is hard enough to do as fatigue sets in with double unders alone, but keep in mind that you’ll also be gripping a barbell under that same fatigue. You might catch yourself crushing the crap out of the handles in later rounds, and all that strain adds up quickly and that forearm inferno may get in your head. Play with your grip beforehand, making sure that it won’t fly out of your hands but won’t cripple your snatch either.
Aim for no misses. Easier said than done, but it’s easy to get caught up in the speed game with this movement. Keep in mind that the time it takes to recover from messing up will always be longer than going more controlled and unbroken. Fatigue also rears its ugly head here, as missing reps tends to force you to take a brief (sometimes longer) break, not what you want in a 10-minute AMRAP.
Chalk the bar once. In the Open, every second is precious (no pressure eh?) and the last thing you want is to be standing around not adding to your rep total. Well when you’re chalking up, this is exactly what you’re doing. Chalk up the bar thoroughly before the WOD starts so you can keep your couplet continuous and avoid that minibreak I mentioned earlier.
Use those hips! My athletes hear me yelling that at them for almost every movement, but it’s especially true with this WOD. The bar is deceptively, laughably light, and the temptation to speed up the movement by pulling straight up and not fully extending the hips during that second pull will undoubtedly be there. But whenever the hips do not finish extension, you will pay the price in your lower back. Compound that with the subtly ballistic loading of the spine from double unders and you’ve got a classic CrossFit mid-WOD train wreck waiting to happen. Don’t let it happen to you. Make that hip contact.
Consider the alternatives. If you know that you’re significantly more efficient with a clean and jerk than you are with a snatch, it may better serve you to skip the snatch altogether. You can possibly hit your overhead position in the same amount of time with less fatigue and a lower skill difficulty. Maybe mix it up, your grip will surely thank you. But please don’t fall for that split snatch trap they mentioned in the video. Bringing your feet back together is an extra unnecessary movement that will take reps away from your total.
I think that’s about all I’ve got for this one. If you have any other tips, feel free to leave comments. Everybody have a great, safe Open!