“Push past 220!” was the battle cry of the CrossFit Open 18.3. for many athletes.
Some succeeded in getting their first Double-Unders doing Rx. Others got their first Ring Muscle Up. I on the other hand stalled on the Scaled Workout at the Jumping Chest to Bar Pull-up. So after almost 50 attempts, over the course of 8 minutes, I walked away with my cherished 220.
CrossFit Open 18.3 – the WOD
2 rounds for time of:
20 overhead squats
12 jumping chest-to-bar pull-ups
20 dumbbell snatches
12 jumping chest-to-bar pull-ups
Men perform 45-lb. OHS, 20-lb. DB snatches
Time cap: 14 minutes
This was a brilliantly crafted workout, particularly at the Individuals level. It was a fast-moving workout consisting of multiple movements, some skilled, some strength, but all broken up with heart rate intensity of Double-unders (or singles for Scaled athletes). Observing the match-up of Neal Maddox and Kyle Kasperbauer put the grueling nature of this workout on display. Neither of these beasts finished two rounds. In fact, only three athletes finished at 14:00 minutes or less, worldwide.
The Scaled versions were still an intense workout that exposed many athlete’s weaknesses. Masters 55+ versions subbed movements, eliminating Ring and Bar Muscle-ups, which infuriated many of the elite Masters who feel the workouts are condescending. This was hardly an issue for me, since I was unable to even do the Scaled versions past 220.
I almost hesitate to use the word “strategy” in this workout. Open 18.3 was going to be simple for me. Do 100 Single-unders with the jump rope. Do 20 Overhead Squats with an empty barbell. Do 100 more SUs. Spend the rest of the time attempting to do a legit Jumping Chest to Bar Pull-up.
I followed my strategy with 100% accuracy. Except my Single-unders fell apart and I consumed far too much of the clock. So my Tie-Breaker time will send me to the bottom of the 220 pile.
I arrived at the gym and hour early to work on ankle mobility and to practice my rope. At that time, I knocked out 100+ SU’s unbroken. I knew this was going to go smoothly, up to the 220 mark. Wrong!
My Singles were spotty with many trip-ups. The most difficult part of this workout was for my poor judge, who had to keep resetting his mental jump-counter every time I tripped over the rope.
When I moved onto the Overhead Squat, I was not low enough for a couple lifts, so No Rep. Now I slowed down to ensure I was full depth. So mentally, I was disrupted on what is usually an easier lift for me. Part of it may be that I’m usually doing OHS or Snatches with 75-95 pounds, which may tend to push me down in the squat.
Then as I stalled in my efficiency, I also forgot the rep scheme. I recalled 12 reps for the Pull-ups, and forgot that OHS was for 20. So after deliberately hitting appropriate depth for 12, I set the bar down. My judge yelled at me to pick up the bar and knock out 8 more. Ugh! More mental disruption. Then back to the jump rope for more disjointed Singles.
Then to the pull-up bar.
Pull-up Bar (not really)
I went to the “Not Quite Pull-up Bar” for the next 8 minutes. I have two issues here. Obviously I do not have Pull-ups. Second, I have little vertical jump. So though I can perform a jumping chin-over-bar pull-up, I am unable to get the height for Chest to Bar. So No Rep, ad infinitum.
The Beauty of the CrossFit Open
In its simplest sense, the Open is just another five WODs. BUT, they are typically designed with elements to expose the athlete’s weaknesses, both physically and mentally. In a typical WOD, there is Rx, then there are drastic variations in Scaled, depending upon the athletes strength, ability, skills, etc. Obviously in a Competition setting Scaled is clearly defined, with no room for variation. So an athlete like me, who normally defaults to Ring Rows every time Pull-ups show-up in a WOD, pays the price for not working on weaknesses for the past 11 months.