We are now well underway with the 2019 Open. Week 1 is now behind us, and a new workout has now been released. New as in a new week, because the workout itself is deja vu. Hello there 2016! 19.2 is 16.2. The community usually loves repeats because it provides a great opportunity to compare to our past selves and look for what hopefully is an improvement in performance. For a large percentage of people, even if they were not along for the ride in 2016, this workout has already been tested and they have an idea of how it feels like.
The workout consists of a triplet with ascending weight but descending reps of one of the movements in mostly 4 min blocks (excerpt for the first interval)
Beginning on an 8-minute clock, complete as many reps as possible of:
15 squat cleans, 135 lb.
13 squat cleans, 185 lb.
If completed before 8 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
11 squat cleans, 225 lb.
If completed before 12 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
9 squat cleans, 275 lb.
If completed before 16 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
7 squat cleans, 315 lb.
Stop at 20 minutes.
The maximum duration of the workout is 20 min, however you will need to earn the right to continue by performing the specific work in the given time.
With this workout we now also have a scaled option (unlike last week) and so one of the most important decisions you now have is to decide whether to perform the workout Rx or scaled. Personally I’m an apologist that the leaderboard isn’t everything, and so I will usually recommend scaled for a lot of people that would rather perform 1 rep Rx and place higher on the leaderboard. As a test of fitness I would much prefer someone that will go along further in the workout scaled than spend 8 min getting a handful of reps. If the first 2 Rx weights are too challenging or performing 50 toes to bar and 100 double unders in around 6 min impossible I would highly recommend choosing the scaled route.
…wise this workout will be somewhat similar regardless of what route you picked.
For a lot of people this will be a limiting factor. The number of reps is high enough that grip will fatigue quickly and so will the midline making the rest of the workout harder. The advice here is “know your limits”. What is the number of reps you can easily perform without reaching fatigue, and sustain for a considerable amount of time? This number will obviously differ from person to person, but everyone it is important to never get to that point of fatigue we will need a considerable amount of time to rest before we can continue to perform.
Especially in this workout where we need to earn extra time at every step. If your number is 5, keep to that number! If your number is 1, keep to that number! Never try to go beyond that even if it might feel comfortable at the time, it will eventually catch up to you! And especially if you are unsure you will make that extra rep you’re trying to make. The amount of energy and effort you will use to not make that rep will be a complete waste and frustrating.
Don’t forget to protect your hands! Especially if you are going far in the workout the volume of reps is more than enough for some nasty tears that may take a long time to heal, and we are only in week 2! The Picsil AZOR grips are my all time favorite as they provide great coverage of the palm, amazing grip while still malleable enough to feel the bar underneath.
These are placed here for a number of reasons.
The number of reps isn’t huge, but it’s high enough that a lot of people will have a hard time to go unbroken, or at least unbroken every time.
Remember to relax, maybe don’t think as much speed here, but efficiency. A slow controlled 50 unbroken double unders will still be faster than 50 fast double unders where you tripped 2-3 times. Not to mention the frustration you will now carry with you.
While I normally don’t recommend breaking this into sets, it could be a strategy that could be employed if these are your weakness. Plus it could help contain some of the frustration as you chip away at the total number of reps. I won’t delve much further into this but here you have some control over the equipment. The right rope for you is crucial, adjusted to your size to minimize the potential for technical difficulties. I usually recommend Picsil Bee rope as it is a fast rope with comfortable handles, and the bee click system allows for fast and convenient adjustments of the rope size, even during the workout should you need to.
I would say the cleans in this workout will be the downfall of the majority of people, as the weights ascend and quickly with each round. And likely there will come a time you will not be able to stand up that clean. Does this mean you shouldn’t attempt to get to those later weights and attempt a PR lift? Not at all! I say go for it! But let’s be smart and get there in the best condition possible to hopefully succeed.
Go for the clean only when you feel ready! Your midline will be taxed out from the toes to bar, your heart rate will be high from the double unders, the last thing you want is heavy height crashing on your collarbone you aren’t ready for! Be mentally and physically ready. Also be smart! Once you are done with the cleans you will immediately return to the bar for toes to bar and you want the grip to be ready for it! So for this I recommend hitting your cleans as singles from the beginning. Yes I know you can probably touch and go a few, maybe even all of them! But that doesn’t mean it would be the best strategy. Will they be faster that way? Yes. But it will also quickly catch up to you and at that point it will be too late and you will already be thinking of a repeat before the workout is even done!
If there are workouts that can make a lot of sense to repeat, it’s the ones where you are awarded bonus time if you complete the reps before a certain time, and this one is definitely one of those. And especially so if you were maybe 1-3 reps away from being awarded those extra 4 min. How many more reps could you do in 4 min? Well even if you were completely destroyed and rested 1 full minute, you could get a substantial amount of reps more and seriously improve your score.
But again, be smart as this is only week 2 and there are 3 more weeks ahead and there’s no telling what is coming next. So my recommendation is have a smart plan right away and try to put yourself in a position that you won’t need to repeat!