The 4th week of The Open has brought us Deadlifts, Handstand Pushups, and Handstand Walks for the Rx, and Deadlifts, Pushups. and Bear Crawl for the Scales division.

This workout is sponsored by our friends, Dr. Chris Bonin and Don Wong at Total Lifestyle Chiropractic.

There is definitely a strategy to this workout. It’s all about pacing and taking organized rest at specific intervals.

For the Deadlifts

Think about what your 1 Rep Max is. Now, compare that to the weight you are lifting in 18.4. Even if you could do your first set unbroken, what is that going to do to you, physically, for the rest of the workout.

Taking short, 1-2 sec breaks every 3-5 reps will keep your legs feeling better for a lot longer. If you got a chance to watch Scott Panchik complete 18.4, he dumped the bar every 5 or so reps, just long enough to take the pressure off his legs.

As soon as the bar stopped moving, he was already going down to get it.

Now, I get it. There are very few athletes at the level of Scott Panchik, just remember, short, organized rest. As soon as you let go of the bar, take a deep breath to slow your heart rate as you count backwards from 3 or 5 (depending on how much rest you need), and then GO!

Dumping the bar…

Your rep is complete once the bar is in the hang position with your legs locked, and your shoulders slightly behind the bar. Your rep starts again once both sides of the bar hit the ground at the same time.  Once your rep is completed, you may dump the bar.

Work in set as much as possible by stringing at least 2-3 reps together at a time. There are a few reasons for this.

The amount of force and power required to continue moving the bar is significantly less the 2nd rep than the first. Even if you go by 2s, that’s half the room for error in the initial set up of the lift. Waiting for the bar to stop moving takes extra time.

Now, the weight might be such that you get to the point when you need to 1 and dump.  The point is, if you have the ability to work in sets throughout, it’s a much more efficient and much safer way to get through the workout.

Handstand Pushups

They changed the standard in how we measure the line by taking much of the subjectivity out of it. While this might seem like they made it more difficult, the reality is they are just holding everyone to a higher standard.

The Jim Rohn quote, “Don’t with it were easier, wish you were better”. Comes to mind here. We should all hold ourselves to the standard of reaching the full range of motion required for each exercise.

The strategy is the same for the Handstand Push Ups. Break it into sets instead of going to failure. Unless you can hit 20-30 Handstand Pushups in a row, work small sets with short, organized rest.

Keep your body as straight and as close to the wall as possible. This, along with pointing your toes to the floor when you are at the top of your handstand pushup will help you meet the standard and get your heels above the line.

For the hand release push ups, you must keep your torso in a straight line. It will help to push your butt up as you push your chest off the ground.

For the Handstand Walk, just breath, relax, and keep those hands moving one after the other.

To Scale or not to Scale….that is the question…

First off, the Scaled WOD for 18.4 is no joke. The standards are still challenging and depending on where you are at a much better and truer test of your level of fitness.

I get it. You want to do the workout as prescribed. It’s totally valid and a great goal to shoot for.

Think about when you first started CrossFit. You probably didn’t even know what Rx meant let alone had that as a goal. I’m the beginning, it was about getting faster, stronger, and all-around fitter.

I get it, you kick ass at Deadlifts, and that’s great. Ask yourself, if you have never come close to getting up in the handstand with less than 2-3 Ab Mats what’s the point other than just being able to say you did the workout as prescribed?

If you are looking for a way to give yourself a headache or get injured, simply banging your head against the floor is probably easier….oh wait, that’s exactly what we are talking about doing.

I want to be clear.  I DO believe if you are close, you should go Rx and go for your handstand push ups in this WOD. There is something about the adrenaline racing, crowd cheering, and energy in the room that makes incredible things happen.

JUST BE SMART ABOUT IT. There is a difference between the athlete who is close to getting their handstand push ups with 1 Ab Mat or less and those who aren’t even close.

The Open, as with any competition, is about testing your work capacity across broad times and modal domains.

If you aren’t going to even attempt a handstand push up, why do the workout as prescribed? To say you did LESS work in a LONGER period of time?

Just think for a minute about work capacity.

Sure. 21 Deadlifts at 225 or 155 pounds is solid work. If that’s all you complete in the 9 minute cap, you will have lifted, 4725 & 3255 pounds respectively. Now, let’s say you scale it and only complete the first half of the workout (21-15-9 Deadlifts & Hand Release Pushups) at 135 & 95 pounds. That’s 6075 & 4275 pounds respectively, PLUS you also did 45 Hand Release Pushups.

Doing more work in a shorter period of time is what increasing your level of fitness is all about and is the foundation of CrossFit.

 

Cash out…

So far, this has been a GREAT Open. The WildFire Community has done an incredible job and it makes us SO proud of how you have come together to push each other through these challenging workouts.

Thanks to everone for participating and a HUGE shout out and THANK YOU to everyone who has helped to judge and help out to make each week a great experience for everyone.

Thanks to Dr Chris, Don Wong, and the Total Lifestly Chiropractic family for continually taking such great care of our athletes and keeping them moving at their best!

I love the workouts Dave Castro and CrossFit HQ has put together and can’t wait to see what they throw at us in the finale.

It’s going to be a GREAT day, so get ready for some FUN!!


 




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