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Mar 27

14.5 Tips and Tricks

Wow!  What an exciting workout announcement. Was anyone else blown away watching the showdown between Sam Briggs and Rich Froning? Such a close one!

Photo from games.crossfit.com

Photo from games.crossfit.com

14.5 is here, a classic couplet of thrusters and burpees. Doesn’t get anymore CrossFit than that! As the last Open workout, some of you may be going into this one thinking, “Thank goodness, this is the last one”, while others may be on the cusp of qualifying for Regionals. Whatever your situation, these are a few of my tips for attacking 14.5 and maximizing your potential.

This couplet contains two relatively low skill movements that require a high energy output. This makes it a great test of fitness, but also means that you can’t suddenly improve on your skill on one of these to see major gains. For something like this, it’s all in the details of how you prepare in the hours leading up to it, and execute in the workout.

Tip 1: Eat well the night before you perform 14.5. I don’t mean eat your veggies, I mean get plenty of calories across all the macro nutrient groups.  If you are in the top 100 of you region by now you should have enough of an understanding of how your body runs to know what fuels you well. Make sure you eat whatever that is in a large quantity. This is the type of workout where you don’t want a bunch of food sitting in your stomach, so you want to eat light the morning of.  This means that you will be primarily fueled by your dinner the night before. Don’t skimp on calories.

My go to for calories and deliciousness.

My go to for calories and deliciousness.

Tip 2: Follow your standard warm-up. I know, it’s the Open and we all get jazzed and nervous because we want to do well. Keep your routine. If you usually warm-up for twenty minutes, don’t warm-up for an hour. Keep things as routine as possible.

Tip 3: Mobilize your overhead, front rack, and squat positions. K-Star has something like a million different videos and posts telling you all the ways to do this, so google it, and pick 2 or 3 for each and do them. Personally, I like to warm up my squats with some goblet squats and hold the bottom squat position for a while. For overhead and front rack I will roll my lats across a PVC roller and then spend some time working a lacrosse ball around most of my shoulder, biceps, and triceps area. I also like to work in this thoracic extension drill:


Tip 4: Play your own game, by this I mean go by your own strategy. We saw Briggs take off right out of the gate, and then slow slightly but basically try and maintain for the rest of the workout. Conversely, Annie took off with everyone else and slowed much more by the end. Trying to keep up out of the start cost her more time in the long run.  My point is, know your own pace and stick to it. If going unbroken on the early sets of thrusters is at the limit of your capacity, don’t do it. Better to take a quick short rest or even a couple and maintain that speed throughout than try and sprint through those early sets only to crash and burn. Ask yourself this, would you rather run a 5k or sprint a 100M? If you are of the 5k variety, you are probably more likely to go out at a fairly  fast and steady pace that you can maintain throughout and be able to hold it there. Someone like me, who prefers a short sprint, might aim for a steady but not slow pace until about the set of 9. Then it’s turbo speed to the finish. Both athletes could have pretty comparable times, but they had a different means to get there. Figure out which one you are and then execute it.

Tip 5: No missed reps. Period. Hit your depth, get full lockout. It’s too much energy and time to miss these. If you need to rest, think about pausing at the top of the thruster for a breath or two. Make sure you get the chest all the way to the floor on the burpees, and jump with BOTH feet together. Do not skip over the barbell because you are tired. If you need to, step up to the bar before jumping. Focus on breathing. This is all about your engine, so you should expect to breath heavy and don’t try and stop it when it happens. Breath through it, keep the reps solid. Conversely, you are never going to fail on a burpee, so just keep moving. It’s going to hurt. But the less you stop and rest the sooner it will be over.

burpee2

Tip 6: Have FUN! I know a lot of people complain about both of these movements, and guess what, complaining isn’t going to make it any easier for you, or anyone around you. The whole point of doing the Open and being a part of the community is to enjoy it! Don’t stress about it or over think it! For most people this is the end of your 2014 Games season. Try and celebrate your achievements and have gratitude for the community and support you’ve enjoyed throughout. Good luck!!

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