Open WOD 19.2 Tips & Strategy

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Week 2 of the CrossFit Games Open is here, and for those of you who thought the first workout of as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of 19 wall balls and 19 calorie row was a bit lackluster, CrossFit HQ definitely kicked it up a notch. In fact, for the most part, 19.2 is a repeat of 16.2.

19.2 is technically a For Time workout where the goal is to complete all 5 rounds of the workout in under 20 minutes. Each Round consists of 25 Toes to Bar, 50 Double Unders and Squat Cleans. Each Round, the Reps of the Squat Cleans go down and the Weight goes up, starting at 15 Squat Cleans at 135 Men & 85 Women for Round 1, and then goes to 13 Reps at 185 & 115, 11 Reps at 225 & 145, 9 Reps at 275 & 175, and finally, 7 Reps at 315 & 205 for Rounds 2,3,4, & 5.

The kicker is that each Round must be completed in 4 minutes or less in order to move on to the next round with 1 exception. Athletes will have 8 minutes to get through both Round 1 and 2, so even if you are not finished with Round 1 when the first 4 minutes is up, you will be able to continue on to Round 2, however, you must complete both Round 1 & 2 in under 8 minutes in order to make it to Round 3.

I know, sounds complicated, once you get going, it will all make sense. There is a tie-break time in this workout in each round after the Toes 2 Bar and Double Unders. That means, even if you get the same number of reps as someone else, whoever gets through the Double Unders the fastest will rank the higher than anyone else with the same amount of reps.

While the goal is to get through all 5 rounds, due to the increasing weight of the Squat Cleans and the 4-minute time limit on completing each additional round, it’s going to be the top 10% of all athletes who actually complete this workout. In 2016, there were 61 Women worldwide who completed this workout compared to only 32 Men, so the ladies have it on this one.

As for tips and strategy, this first tip is to know your weights. You must have a good idea of the weight you are able to put up so that you know when to floor it. For example, if you know your 1 rep max Squat Clean is 215, and the required weight for the 3rd Round is 225, then it is going to help your score to get through the Toes to Bar and Double Unders as fast as possible, so you get a better tie break time. Based on previous years, there are going to be large bottlenecks in the rankings at the start of each round of Squat Cleans, so the tie-break time will help you rank better overall. This strategy does NOT mean you shouldn’t attempt the weight, you never know what you might be able to do when the adrenaline is high and people are cheering for you. Plus, getting to the Squat Cleans as fast as possible will give you a few seconds to rest before you hit your first rep.

When you get to a challenging weight, take your time. Remember that the total completed reps is the most important element of getting the best score possible. Catch your breath, even take a few seconds to sit on your weight, then, HIT IT, remember to use good form, and be sure to use the Hook Grip.  

For the Toes to Bar, first, kipping is going to be key if you want to advance past the first 2 rounds of the workout. Putting that extra swing in there is just going to wear you out faster and will take a lot more time to complete. Second, much like the Wall Balls last week, unless you can do all 25 in one set, and can consistently maintain that, break the 25 reps into 2 or more sets. If you go to failure on the Toes to Bar, it’s going to be a lot harder to keep the kipping going without taking a longer rest. It’s better to do sets with a short 3-5 second break. That break should be just enough time to take a breath, shake out your arms, and get back on the bar. If you are doing the scaled version of Knee Raises, the same tips apply.

For the Double Unders, find a pace that allows you to keep going as long as possible. If you can do 50 unbroken go for it. Usually the sets of Double Unders are going to be determined when you miss. When you do miss, take a breath, shake it out, and continue to go. Doing 5-10 Double Unders at a time is just going to take longer, so keep the biggest number of sets possible each time. For the scaled version of Singles, it’s the same number of 50 reps. So, slow it down, and work on doing all 50 in a row.

And finally, the Squat Clean. Make sure you work on good form and speed under the bar. Whether the weight is easy or challenging, remember that you have to complete another round to go up in weight again. If you burn out going to fast on your first set in Round 1, getting through Round 2 in under 8 minutes is going to be a challenge.

For many, this is essentially going to be an 8-minute workout, getting as far through the first two rounds as possible. Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right. If you go into it saying, “I’ll never be able to get a 185 lb or 115 lb Squat Clean, you are right. Now, I’m not saying you are magically going to turn into Rich Froning or anything, the point is to think positive, keep your mind on the current round you are in, and GO.

Also, it’s okay to be nervous. Everyone is. This is a competition with judges and other athletes watching. In fact, I’d be a little surprised if you weren’t nervous. Just don’t let it control you. You have an amazing community behind you and everyone, whether they are wearing green, purple, red, or blue, has your back. And everyone who is watching will either get their chance or had their to do the workout too. So HAVE FUN! Cheer each other on and do the very best that you are able to do. And if those things happen, when it’s all said and done, you will be able to hold your head high, and get ready for week 3 of the CrossFit Games Open at WildFire CrossFit.

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