Open Saturday: 15.3

by Rob on March 13th, 2015

Week 3 of 5 for the 2015 Open at Arena Ready, and "Workout 15.3" throws us a bit of a curveball version of 14.4 from last year. 

Like we say every week - whether you're signed-up for the Open and will be competing on Saturday, or you're just doing the workouts for fun and to be a part of the Saturday energy at AR, please watch the 15.3 standards video (I have re-posted it below) so that you are familiar with the movement standards:
Now, some logistics and then a little strategy.

First, logistics:

We will run 3 heats of WOD 15.3 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 also judge one heat within that same hour.  Plan on showing up 15 minutes early for class so you can get yourself mobilized and primed, and so that you can sign-up for a workout heat.

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 acting as roving judges during the heats.  

Your Stuff + Gym Jump Ropes + Warm-Up Prep
As always AR North will be open with all the warm-up items you need - 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. 

A BIG THANK YOU to Esterina for labeling and organizing the gym's jump ropes (and sorting by S/M/L length), so that those of you who need to borrow a rope can do so easily.  Please make sure to put the ropes back in the appropriate place when you're finished!
Second, some thoughts on safety & strategy:

Be smart. Be realistic.
Since this workout's Rx version starts with muscle-ups, many athletes will need to make a smart decision about whether they attempt the Rx or Scaled WOD.  If you have never done a muscle-up before, but have the strict pull-up and ring dip strength required to stabilize yourself through a transition, then perhaps this is the time you'll get that first one (with your friends cheering you on!).  Get to the gym early and work through some transition drills to try and re-enforce the feeling of success - if you've already been doing that consistently you'll have a pretty decent shot at getting yourself on top of those rings.

If you've never done a muscle-up before, aren't all that close, and/or don't really have the strength & stability needed then be smart and do the Scaled workout.  Now is not the time to try and throw yourself up on the rings and pray that good things will happen if you make it up there - that's how people tear a labrum.  

Pacing and smart sets are key.
It's 14 minutes, people.  Consistent work sets with short rest, NOT big chunks of work with longer rest, is the key to maintaining a good pace throughout the 14 minutes.  In terms of exact numbers this will mean different things to different athletes, but it's a good estimate that the folks who excel at wall balls will start with sets of 15-25, and those who do better with smaller sets will be in the 10-15 range to start.  Keep your rest periods short and be controlled about getting back on it.  Same goes for double unders - sets of 20-40 to start (with short rest) will likely help save the shoulders for the rings.  

Use your legs. Use your wrists.
Save your shoulders as much as you can on the wall balls and use your legs!  Think of your legs and hips as a catapult helping to fire the ball up at the target.  Waiting to receive the ball with your hands a bit lower (and cradling the ball a bit against your upper chest) may also help some athletes mitigate shoulder fatigue.

For the double unders & single unders let your wrists do as much work as possible.  Practice this when warming-up - let your wrist flick power the rope and not the rotation of your shoulders or elbows.  This could make a huge difference in levels of shoulder fatigue for many of you. 

Mind your shoes.
It seems elementary but we'll say it anyway - double knot your shoelaces.  Don't be that guy tying his shoes in the middle of the workout.

If your lifting shoes give you a big boost on the wall balls, and you have no problem jumping rope in them while fatigued, then put them on for the workout.  I wouldn't recommend changing shoes back and forth, but there may be a few athletes who are exceptions (i.e. special flowers).  If this is you, and you know it, then don't waste time lacing up the lifting shoes when you put them on (just use the straps to tighten if needed), and make sure you can slip your other shoes (for jumping rope) on & off without re-lacing them.

Play the muscle-up bottleneck to your favor.
At each set of muscle-ups there will be a bottleneck of scores when all is said and done, so be smart and don't waste reps by missing.  Sub-maximal sets when fatigued is usually the way to go here - don't try to throw yourself through another transition if you have any doubt you'll make it.  Leave one in the bank.  This will usually allow you to stay away from multiple misses, and thus will rack up your score even if it "feels like a slower strategy" at the time.  MIssing a few reps, even if you're making a bunch of others at a quick rate, is almost always slower than making all of them with a deliberate & measured pace.  If you're not quite a ninja at muscle-ups but can do them, maybe this measured pace means singles for you - so do singles if you need to!   

Warm-up the movements but don't overdo it.
You want to get some aerobic work in so the workout is not a shock to the body, but no need to do the workout before the workout.  Mobility and dynamic movement prep is important here so get blood pumping into your shoulders and get them moving well - the workout for many will be a shoulder fatigue and quad burn battle.

Give some love to your calf/Achilles region in preparation for all the jumping.  And those of you who can do muscle-ups should do a few reps to feel the movement, but don't overdo it - save the juice for when the clock is running.

Cheer. Have fun.
Some folks are going to PR and have a breakthrough.  Some will try their hardest and may fall a bit short anyway.  Cheer for both of these athlete experiences, because we've all been through both at some point. 

Remember that your score is not you.  It's a data point for this moment in time, during this one specific workout, which you'll take with you and learn from - it's these challenges and hurdles that push us and make us better in the long run.  Repeat what ends up working for you, and learn from what did not.  High five your fellow athletes.  Keep it all in perspective.  Have some fun with it.   

WOD for 03-14-15:

"Open Workout 15.3:
AMRAP 14 Minutes:
7 Muscle-up
50 Wall Ball @ 20/14 lbs to 10/9 ft
100 Double Under


"SCALED Open Workout 15.3"
AMRAP 14 Minutes:
50 Wall Ball @ 20/10 lbs to 9/9 ft
200 Single Under

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