Thoughts on Crossfit Open Games 2015 programming

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It’s my 2nd year doing the Crossfit Open Games this year with the first year being just 6 months after i started i thought it would be good to benchmark against for this years competition.

I’ll be brutally honest and admit I am not or don’t think i would ever be Regionals material but it is a bit of fun, good atmosphere at the box on the Open Wod nights and is good for comparing how i’ve come along over the year whether that’s better or worse.

I’m not saying last year’s Open Wod’s were easy but I was able to complete all of the movements, which led me to signing up this year thinking I could only improve on last years efforts. This was what I thought anyway and after being able to complete all of the movements last year i thought after another year of training and doing the olympic lifts I would be much better but Crossfit HQ had other plans.

There has been a lot of controversy with the programming for the Crossfit Open Games WOD’s for the 2015 Games with them promoting the Open Games for everyone then throwing Muscle Ups as the opening exercise for the 15.3 WOD so if like me you’re ok with the lifting, pretty rubbish at cardio but can have a stab at it I couldn’t get a single rep for 15.3

I wasn’t alone as it appeared as there were a few more at my box and by looking at the uproar on the Crossfit Facebook page they seemed to alienate over 50% of the competitors for the Games. This weeks 15.4 WOD was better but only slightly with Handstand Push Up’s and cleans. These weren’t any normal HSPU’s though these were RX HSPU’s on steroids!! I normally use 10kg plates to do my HSPU’s so don’t normally RX anyway so thought i’d grow a pair and dig deep for the RX but these were something else! I’m used to extending fully on the pushup but my legs are usually really wide but as long as my arms are locked out i thought this was acceptable but for the 15.4 RX HSPU’s we had to stand facing the wall with feet against the wall, hands up in the air resting against the wall and we were made to mark 3 inches below our wrist and this was our target that we had to get our heels above for each complete rep. Oh and we had to start in a handstand with heels above the line before starting the movement instead of starting with your head on the mat or floor, which i’m used to.

That was just the first part of the workout moving onto cleans. Not just cleans but 84kg cleans!! Baring in mine my 1 rep max for cleans is 90kg this was going to be a struggle and after working up to 1 rep max cleans in the previous nights skills class in Crossfit my hands were already sore. I thought i’d give a couple of cleans a go before my time was up to do the Open Wod but i failed to even lift the bar with the 84kg on twice! Oh GOD this was going to be hell i thought with a big gulp!

Time to get the empty bar out and work myself up to the weight in the short time i had as I was next up against the clock! The time had come and I was up, I banged out the first 3 HSPU’s and the took my time on the cleans managing all three but making sure not to burn out too fast. Then onto the 2nd round of HSPU’s and instead of just being able to bash out 6 HSPU’s in quick succession with the momentum I found it damn bloody hard to get above the line in the headstand position before being able to push out the presses and they got harder and harder as the workout went on, which left my shoulders blowing out by the time it got back onto the cleans. I was aiming to get into the 4th round and 30 reps seeing that the weight was pretty hefty as far as I was concerned and managed to get 29 so I wasn’t far off.

Talking to others at the box who are on a 85kg 1 rep max this was not what they were hoping for either and I can imagine this across the other boxes too. I know that the Crossfit Open Games had a scaled version this year but being able to complete all the workouts last year I thought i’d be more than capable with this year at RX too. I’ve also seen the scaled version and even though it’s good they have one and would suit someone just starting off but for someone whose nearing their 2nd year of doing crossfit, even though I only attend 3 times a week i’d get bored after the 1st minute as they are nowhere near what I would find challenging compared to the RX version as they seemed to have scaled it down too much for me especially the 15.3 they took out the muscle ups but instead of swapping it for some other kind of pulling movement they dropped it completely leaving just double under and wall balls :/

I can see that as crossfitters are getting bigger, stronger and faster they need to up the ante to separate the beasts from us mere mortals for the Regionals and finals but promoting the games as for everyone and giving us who competed in the RX version last year false sense of hope then throwing in muscle up’s and cleans 6kg away from my 1RM and as much as some people who go more often than me this will probably put a lot of people off signing up next year. Or the other school of thought is it will push us coasters into getting our asses into open gym more to practice our weaknesses such as muscle up’s ready to smash next year’s Open.

What do you think about this year’s open WOD and will you be signing up again next year?

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