Well, that escalated quickly...
Dave Castro has thrown in some advanced moves fairly early on in this CrossFit Games Open - Double Unders were first on the menu and now Chest to Bar Pullups - typically they have been used to sort the wheat from the chaff in the back half of Open events in the past.
One downside is that people might feel discouraged that they can't do that movement - they shouldn't feel that way - you can still do the workout and scale it...take each Open WOD as a challenge to get better. Each of the past 2 Opens saw me achieve a new PB at something...have a go!
This blog will be broken into advice for those close to CTB pullups and for those who have CTB. If you are not even close to CTB pullups, that's ok - get your 10 OHS and then scale and work on your pullups.
For my previous advice on OHS and CTB Pullups, read by clicking on the links below...
CrossFit Games Open WOD 14.2 is from http://games.crossfit.com
Every 3 minutes for as long as possible complete:
2 rounds of:
10 overhead squats
10 chest-to-bar pull-ups
2 rounds of:
12 overhead squats
12 chest-to-bar pull-ups
2 rounds of:
14 overhead squats
14 chest-to-bar pull-ups
Etc., following same pattern until you fail to complete both rounds
MEN - includes Masters Men up to 54 years old
95-lb. overhead squats
WOMEN - includes Masters Women up to 54 years old
65-lb. overhead squats
- Hand care people (Thanks JH for the reminder!). Need to start shaving those callouses. If you tear, it may affect your ability to repeat or even perform well in the following weeks.
- If you do tear, use an Antibiotic based cream like Neosporin or see the GP for something like that...I am fairly sure it has been shown to help improve wound healing...and we know what those pullup bars can be like 😉
- Don't over chalk - sweat plus excess chalk = slippery goop!! Also, too much traction can cause tearing...in the future, work on your grip strength to hang onto the bar for longer!
Advice for those who are close to getting CTB Pullups
- You have 4 days to get some improvement in your CTB pullups...cardio won't be the problem here...strength and technique will be
- I found that keeping tension in my shoulders helps...I got tight by do some presses with the bar between CTB pullups to keep them tight. It helped.
- Attack them one at a time. Each rep will count
- Consider using a chin-up grip - palms facing you - this can help getting your chest to the bar. in fact, try different grips and see which works best with your kip.
- The secret is in the kip - stay tight, get your feet high and then THRUST those hips explosively up to the bar and PULL. When you hit the bar, drop down and reset
- The OHS is really just the movement that takes up time...this all boils down to CTB pullups...so break it up into 5 and 5 if you want to preserve your shoulders but seeing as though you don't really have CTB, just get them done as you will probably only be doing one round of OHS anyway so get as much time on those CTB attempts!
- If OHS really IS a problem for you, DO NOT lock your shoulders at the top but only do what you need to be stable. Your shoulders should lock at the BOTTOM of the squat. This is because most people incline their torso forwards to get to depth and so their shoulders need to extend (technically it is flexion!) further behind them. If your shoulders are locked already before you incline forwards, you have nowhere else to go so the bar will go forwards!
Advice for those who have some CTB Pullups (but NOT aiming for Regionals and The Games)
- You have CTB but not lots of them...maybe up to 5 in a row
- My suggestion is to keep calm and keep the heart rate down and under control...burning out and hitting the wall will limit your reps
- Consider doing singles/doubles/triples to preserve your grip and your pulling power...once it is gone, it will be hard to bring it back...choose the rep scheme to help keep things together
- You should be able to make it through to 12/12 and 16/16 even - just stay calm and chip away at the reps.
- I really think the key is not to burn out early...work out what the pacing should be and try to stick to it.
- The OHS shouldn't be a problem for you but you may want to break it up into the next rounds e.g. 10/4-3-3/10/4-3-3, then go 6-6 OHS, 4-3-3-2 CTBPU, 6-6, 4-3-3-2 then it might end up 7-7 OHS, 3-3-2-2-2-2 CTB PU, etc etc
Advice for those who have some CTB Pullups (AND aiming for Regionals and The Games)
- I think keeping your heart rate under control for as long as possible is the key
- The OHS should be unbroken until you are at round of 16 or 18reps - otherwise break them up at halfway - keep breathing as it is a light weight
- Snatch that OHS into a full squat for your first rep to save time
- The CTB Pullups will be where it counts...the first 2 rounds will be easy enough for you I think. Then it will start to hurt. Because of that and the fact that you can finish these 2 rounds relatively quickly, consider INTENTIONALLY breaking up your CTB PUs early on. Tempo is key!
- You don't want to end up failing in reps because it will take too long for the energy systems to recover - drop off the bar earlier rather than holding on to squeeze out another rep or two.
- Choose a consistent pace from the beginning and try to keep to it. Tempo is key. If you recover quickly, then maybe go out a bit quicker than others and recover in the minute or so you have left. If you are more of a grinder, take your time from the start and keep consistently moving
- 18/18/18/18 is 72 reps in 180secs - that is not a lot of time to move from the bar to the rig.
- 20/20/20/20 is 80reps in 180secs - not many people will get to or past this level.
- Warm up will be crucial. You definitely want to be ready to access the energy stores you have. Ensure that the movements of OHS and CTB pullups (progressing up to the Rx'd weight) are grooved in and you know where you are at. I would recommend at least 12-15mins of warming up with light areobic exercise including the WOD movements to get things online right. Rest at least 3-5mins before the workout...maybe longer.
- Chalk - don't overdo it!
- Row or Airdyne 1000m - a good hips and shoulders warm up - running doesn't give your hips enough flexion
- Bear crawls/monkey scurries 2mins of forwards, backwards, left and right - these are great to start warming up the shoulders and hips
- Inchworms 5-10 good, loong, slow ones - feel your body extending out into the range that you need for full-on beast-mode!
- OHS with the bar (20kg), 30kg, 45kg - maybe 10-15reps at each weight level - consider using a 15kg bar with 2x15kg plates - this will help preserve the thin 10kg plates!
- Kipping progressions
- Some pullups and chin-ups - 5-10 of each - start with 2-3 strict pullups and chin ups to activate the muscles of the shoulder a bit first
- Progress to CTB pullups using butterfly and kipping
- Repeat the movements as required until you feel ready - take 5mins rest to recover and prepare for the WOD
Some Strict Chest To Bar Pullups
Advice for Future WODs
- Read my blog post on preparing for the Open and the different movements that have been in past workouts - click here
- Find someone to help you - preferably a Physiotherapist/Physical Therapist who has experience with CrossFit performance enhancement
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