Open Saturday: 15.1 & 15.1a

by Rob on February 27th, 2015

Here we go!

Whether you're signed-up for the Open and will be competing tomorrow, or you're just doing the workouts for fun and to be a part of the Saturday energy at AR, please watch the 15.1/15.1a standards video (I have posted it AGAIN below):
Now, let's talk a little logistics and then a little strategy.  We'll need your help getting through things as smoothly as possible with 15.1/15.1a, as we'd like to ensure an awesome experience for everyone...  

First, logistics:

We will run 3 heats of WOD 15.1/15.1a per class during all Saturday morning classes.  If you haven't signed-up for a class please do so now, and expect to do the WOD and judge one heat within that hour.  I'll cover some movement prep briefly below, but plan on showing up 15 minutes early for class so you can get yourself mobilized and primed, and sign-up for a heat time.  Getting everyone organized will help keep us on schedule.

We have official scorecards printed and clipboards ready for the judges.  We will re-brief you on all the standards, and will have certified CrossFit judges roving as needed during the heats.  

Your Stash of 3 Kinds of Shoes and Energy Drinks + Warm-Up Prep
We've staged AR North with rowers, PVC, foam rollers, lacrosse balls, etc. so you can all throw your stuff in there (to keep the AR South gym floor open for athletes and judges) and start getting your mind right and your body ready with a thorough warm-up.  We'll detail a suggested, self-directed warm-up on the board in AR North, and you're welcome to follow that or do your own warm-up to get yourself ready to go.  

Second, some strategy:

Save for the high level competitors who are gunning for a Regionals spot, and some of our newer athletes who will need to approach the workout based on their individual strengths & limitations, I think these are the most salient points for most of us doing this WOD tomorrow:

1) Prep and prime your body beforehand.
Get a little sweat going and get your heart rate up.  After a general warm-up and some relevant mobility work (shoulders, hamstrings, hips) run through the 15.1 movements for 2-4 reps at a time for 2-4 rounds. 

Then warm-up your clean & jerk to slightly above your planned opening attempt for 15.1a.  For most athletes this wil be in the 75-80% of 1RM range.  Use this time to feel fast, snappy, confident technique, and to determine how you will load your bar (order of plates, possible jumps in weight) during the workout.

2) Be smart about your grip during 15.1.
For many of us this workout will feel like toes-to-bars, with some other stuff mixed in to keep our heart rate up and tax our grip even further.  Assuming that the deadlift/snatch weight is manageable for you, we'd recommend that most athletes break-up the 15 toes-to-bar into 3 sets from the very first round (6-5-4 or 5-5-5), with quick rest periods.  Some may even benefit from four sets (4-4-4-3), since it's the manner with which you save your grip in rounds 1-3 that determine how fast you'll be able to move in rounds 4,5,6.  If you hit the wall too early with toes-to-bar it will make for an uphill battle during the second half of that nine minutes.

For athletes with stronger grip the deadlifts will be an unbroken set of 10, otherwise 2 sets with very quick rest between.  The snatches can be touch-and-go for the stronger athletes (particularly the stronger women), but fast singles could be a smart stratgey for most of our men.  Hook grip those snatches to help save your grip!

3) Pace yourself.
Move swiftly but don't ever be in a rush.  For most athletes there will never really be a period during which you're sprinting, except perhaps the last 90 seconds or so when you're pushing the pace as fast as you can with the remaining energy and grip that you have left.  Keep rest periods short (two breaths and a shake out of the grip), and don't dawdle during the transitions between movements.  Your rest should be as calculated as your reps.

4) For 15.1a take your first Clean & Jerk attempt at a weight you make ALL THE TIME.
You will be plenty warm after 15.1, so it's not a question of needing a "warm-up" attempt.  It's about giving your body a chance to feel the correct clean & jerk mechanics following 9 challenging minutes of doing something else.  Your hamstrings may be taxed from pulling the bar from the floor repeatedly with your hips higher than you would for a clean, so pay close attention to a good clean start position (hips lower than in your deadlifts, big chest, eyes up) so that your first clean is an easy one, setting you up for a confident jerk.

Don't rush loading the bar for your first attempt - catch your breath, and make sure the weights are loaded correctly and collars/clips are on the bar.  If you're going to power clean the bar anyway don't bother changing into your lifting shoes, unless not doing so presents a real mental block for you.  If you know you're going to squat clean sure, go ahead and change your shoes - but be swift about it, and have them ready and immediately accessable.

5) For 15.1a have a plan, and be willing to call an audible based on feel.
Most athletes should plan on doing between 3-5 total clean & jerk attempts.  Know what your easy opener will be, and what sort of jumps in weight you're going to take.  Know ahead of time how you're going to load the plates to get to these weights.  If you have a goal weight that is reasonable but challenging, plan on that being your 3rd or 4th attempt - but don't stick exactly to your plan if it isn't feeling right in the moment.  If you feel great go up a bit.  If you feel wiped take it down a bit from your original plan.  Be smart and maximize your performance based on how you're feeling and moving - trust yourself.

6) Be smart, have fun, cheer on your friends
I want to see everyone on Monday and/or Tuesday, back in the gym training.  Last I checked none of us are getting paid to do this (well, almost none of us), so sacrificing your body in the name of a few reps or a few pounds is short-sighted.  Push yourself hard and fight through discomfort, but don't go into the "yeah I knew at the time I was being stupid, but I wanted to push harder anyway" mode.  You guys and gals are all smarter than that.

[Sarah's note: specifically - 1. Don't accidentally slip off the pull-up bar.  If your hands are slipping you are seriously at risk of falling off.  Please please please don't slip off. 2. Keep your elbows away from your knees on the clean.  If your elbows hit your knees you will probably break your wrist.  You can prevent that by staying at weights you can prevent that very unfortunate occurence.]

The very small minority of athletes who do this as a "sport" and not simply as a means of GPP training will put themselves in more vulnerable positions in the name of achieving other goals.  If you have a chance to make the CF Games or Regionals then perhaps that's a choice you're willing to make, and a sacrifice you're willing to accept.  If that's not you, I would keep the bigger goal in mind - health & fitness accross all the years of your life.

Enjoy the energy of the day and cheer on your friends.  Make new friends.  You'll hear someone you've never met before cheering for you... return the favor.  Stay and judge if you have the time.  Learn something from the experience.  High five people.  This is why you come here to train.  These are the people that help make you better. 

Get some sleep and good food in you, and we'll see you on Saturday morning!

WOD for 02-28-15:

"Workout 15.1"
AMRAP 9 Minutes:
15 Toes-to-Bar
10 Deadlift @ 115/75 lbs
5 Snatch @ 115/75 lbs


"SCALED Workout 15.1"
AMRAP 9 Minutes:
15 Hanging Knee Raise
10 Deadlift @ 85/55 lbs
5 Snatch @ 85/55 lbs
*Ground-to-overhead is allowed instead of a snatch.

Then, immediately following 15.1...

"Workout 15.1a"
6 minutes to establish a 1RM Clean & Jerk

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