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      CrossFit Open 19.5 - Tips, Tricks, & Strategies

      CrossFit Open 19.5 - Tips, Tricks, & Strategies

      2019 Reebok CrossFit Open 19.5 Strategies 

      Written By American GAINZ Nutrition with help from Mahmoud Elzayat (future Fittest in Egypt)

      2019 CROSSFIT OPEN WORKOUT 19.5 – “Death by CTB Fran”

      Directly from the CrossFit Games website:
      This workout begins with the barbell on the floor and the athlete standing tall. After the call of “3, 2, 1 … go,” the athlete will perform:

      33 Thrusters (95 lbs men & 65 lbs women)
      33 Chest-to-bar pull-ups
      27 Thrusters
      27 Chest-to-bar pull-ups
      21 Thrusters
      21 Chest-to-bar pull-ups
      15 Thrusters
      15 Chest-to-bar pull-ups
      9 Thrusters
      9 Chest-to-bar pull-ups

      The athlete’s score will be the total time it takes to complete the entire workout, or the total number of repetitions completed before the 20-minute time cap.

      General Strategy

      Stay at 70% and pick your trigger point to finish strong. Fraser was an absolute practitioner on this workout. As a spectator watching the WZA live announcement, we already knew Travis Williams completed the workout in ~8:39. We didn’t know how Travis executed the workout, however having a firm understanding being part of our local American Gainz family here in Texas, it was a safe bet to assume he went for it all and left nothing on the table.

      American Gainz Note: Travis is the wild animal of the elite CrossFit community, call it whatever you want, there’s a reason he coined the IG hashtag #iknowthisriskybuttheupsideissogoodimtakingit.

      Highlighting the difference in strategies between Mat Fraser & Travis Williams may help guide you. Tracking the athlete in the lead:

      Travis 33 Thrusters 49 seconds (Unbroken) Vs. Mat (19-14, 2 Sets)
      Travis 33 CTB 1:44 (13-10-5-5, 4 sets) Vs. Mat (19-14, 2 Sets)
      Travis 27 Thrusters 2:32 (Unbroken) Vs. Mat (15-12, 2 Sets)
      Travis 27 CTB 3:31 (8-7-6-6, 4 sets) Vs. Mat (15-12, 2 Sets)
      Travis 21 Thrusters 4:30 (3 sets) Vs. Mat (12-9, 2 Sets)
      Matt 21 CTB 5:07 (12-9, 2 Sets) Vs. Travis 5:30 (8-7-6, 3 Sets plus chalking up)
      Matt 15 Thrusters 5:40 (Unbroken) Vs. Travis 6:15 (2 sets)
      Matt 15 CTB 6:07 (12-3, 2 Sets) Vs. Travis 7:25 (6-5-3-3, 4 Sets w/ extra No-reps)
      Matt 9 Thrusters 6:27 (Unbroken) Vs. Travis 7:50 (Unbroken)
      Matt 9 CTB ~6:50 (Unbroken) Vs. Travis 8:39 (4-2-2-1, 4 sets)

      Conclusion – breaking early and staying disciplined is probably the correct strategy for most. The early rounds for Travis going UB on thrusters taxed his ability to string together larger sets of CTB. With the difference in range of motion for these two athletes, without a doubt Travis has to complete more work over the course of the workout, and all things equal (strength, engine, strategy), Mat should win this workout. HOWEVER, Travis left a lot on the table by attacking so hard so early. Optimizing Travis’s strategy could gain him a minute back, as you can see from the break down, Travis lost just under 2 minutes on the 21-15-9 portion. By giving himself 30 more seconds on the 33-27 rounds, we think he could save a minute on the back end 21-15-9 portion. Then again, if Travis did this, he wouldn’t be the unpredictable beast that he is.

      Lungs (it’s not all muscle burn):

      This is going to be a lung burner. Think about turning Fran into an endurance-based workout instead of a sprint. It is a couplet of relatively light weight engine-burning thrusters, combined with cruel grip dependent chest to bars.

      Given its Fran-like nature, be weary of the “Fran-Trap”, assuming it’s a good idea to go ahead and sprint through the beginning of the workout cause that’s how you always start traditional Fran. This is no longer Fran, think of it as not-Fran.

      Minimizing the Rest on CTB is the Key

      Ultimately, If you are too focused on fighting through thrusters, your CTBs will not be there when you need them. Travis is notorious for his massive sets of unbroken CTB pull ups, his biggest set in this entire workout was 13. Let it be known, most athletes will spend most their time on this workout staring at the rig. So take more time on thrusters and allocate your red-line effort such that you don’t sacrifice the next round of attack. Meaning; if you die to finish the set of 27 thrusters in 2 sets, then find out the hard way that you can no long butterfly CTB, well at this point, why?

      Negative Splits

      When forming your rep scheme and strategy, your approach needs to allow you to get faster as the workout progresses. Start at 70% capacity and every round, noticeably increase effort a few % points. You most likely will not get faster, but by intentionally increasing perceived effort, you are much more likely to hold pace and stay in the game mentally. As much as it is important not to reach aerobic or grip fatigue early in the workout, it is as important to maintain a solid consistent pace especially on the thrusters. Sticking to ~70% with disciplined rest  increasing the pace ever so slightly every set is for sure the best way to attack this workout.

      Unforgiving Volume

      Chances are, this workout is pushing your body and specific muscle groups far beyond what you have been training for. When was the last time you cranked out 105 CTB or 105 Thrusters in your class WOD? Exactly.

      Two things to consider, mental toughness & physical pain, know the difference! No doubt during this workout you will find your self in an expanded section of the middle round of traditional Fran (15-15). Any athlete that has ever attempted to break 3-4 minutes in Fran, knows the middle round is the hardest round to optimize, It’s painful. Well imagine this painful round being closer to 50 reps versus 30. Hopefully your pain cave is fully stocked with all the mind numbing tools needed to stay in this fight.


      When it comes to accessory gear (belt, knee sleeves, hand protection, etc..) certain items might give you a bit of a comfort edge. We do however see it time and time again, more accessories, more problems; so be mindful of losing seconds on every minute adjusting / tinkering with said gear. Keep the Oly shoes at home for this one, unless you have issues with mobility and truly require the heel. The negative aside from the extra weight, is mostly around the joint jolting in your knees and hips after coming off the pull bar tired. 

      How can I or a member of my box get injured during 19.5?

      Rhabdomyolysis: If there was one Open workout this year that has the potential to cause serious health issues around Rhabdo, this is probably it. The ideal candidates on 19.5 susceptible to Rhabdo are going to be those deciding to make a cameo appearance and just “hop in” to this WOD after some time off a regular workout routine (lacking muscle fiber conditioning for this volume). This is not the WOD to attempt your first day at CrossFit, or your first day back from an extended break. Those who attack 19.5 with the mindset of a typical Fran pace from their glory days, may require an intervention.

      Ripping: Don’t Rip, The 2019 Open is almost over, you made it, put it to behind you. Nobody at your place of work, or in your gym wants to hear you talk about the 2019 CrossFit Open after next week, so do yourself a favor and wear hand protection and have back-ups so you aren’t that guy constantly explaining your hand injuries.

      In closing we are always impressed with the professionalism exhibited (Mat Fraser, Tia-Clair Toomey, Travis Williams etc..) after these workouts, all smiles, and not flailing on the ground face down hyperventilating. For the rest of us, maybe put a towel down, unless you trust the gym floor 😊 Good Luck!

      ~American Gainz Nutrition

      CrossFit Open 19.4 - Tips, Tricks, & Strategies

      CrossFit Open 19.4 - Tips, Tricks, & Strategies

      2019 Reebok CrossFit Open 19.4 Strategies 
      Written By American GAINZ Nutrition

      2019 CrossFit Open Workout 19.4 – “Fran Lung”

      Directly from the CrossFit Games website:

      For total time:
      3 rounds of:
      10 snatches
      12 bar-facing burpees

      Then, rest 3 minutes before continuing with 3 rounds of:
      10 bar muscle-ups
      12 bar-facing burpees

      Time cap: 12 minutes, including 3-minute rest period

      General Strategy -

      This workout is a 2-part sprint. The first part is low skill but designed to allow athletes to push with little risk of the community sacrificing to the point of injury. It will hurt, and it will create discomfort early. Just remember, the faster you go, the faster you will finish, and there is a rest period.

      Pit fall:  If you go out to hard, you will hit a wall come part 2.  For most competitive athletes that would sit in that range of top 500 in their region (pre-new structure), we recommend finishing no faster than 1:10 per round.  This would yield a 3:30 for part 1, to optimize your capacity for part 2, this would be the fastest you should go here.  Any faster, you have to ask yourself, why?  

      The second half of the workout is another sprint assuming the mastery of the high skill bmu (bar muscle up). This 2nd half will however expose those who haven’t mastered optimizing strategy given their capacity to perform bmu’s completely exhausted. Part 2 should be approached like 30 bmu for time. The burpees will only make it harder. Although Patrick made it look easy, the 12-minute time cap will be hit for the mass majority of us.

      Following Patrick Vellner – Absolute stud in the sport, with 3 CrossFit Games appearances as an Individual, each time earning a podium spot.

      1st set of Snatches < 20 seconds
      1st set of burpees < 23 seconds
      Time: 43 seconds

      2nd set of Snatches < 20 seconds
      2nd set of burpees < 23 seconds
      Running Clock: 1:26

      3rd set of snatches < 20 seconds
      3rd set of burpees <23 seconds
      Running Clock: 2:10

      Rest until: 5:10

      1st set of Bar muscle ups < 28 seconds
      1st set of burpees < 27 seconds
      Running Clock: ~6:05

      2nd set of Bar Muscle ups < 30 seconds
      2nd set of burpees < 38 seconds
      Running Clock: ~7:14

      3rd set of Bar Muscle ups < 50 seconds *Chalk then Broke 7-3
      3rd set of burpees < 28 seconds
      Time: 8:34 unofficial time for Pat.

      Know the Standards (Burpees) -

      The Burpee standard matters, the rules this year promote faster burpees, especially when gassed. Although the previous standard (both feet moving together through the rep) forced taxing the core, to be efficient, the athlete would have to have a full range of mobility (hamstring flexibility) and be full of that bouncy energy, otherwise the rep would be very slow. The revised standard has brought back the “step-up” method which helps to keep moving when tired. The revised standard also allows the athlete to land in a pitter-patter style (one foot at a time) which creates room to begin rotating in the air.

      Avoid getting “No Rep’d” -

      Make sure both feet leave the ground together during the take off.
      Make sure your head is behind the barbell when at the bottom
      Make sure you’re facing the bar 😊
      Lastly, Make sure your chest & thighs hit the ground at the bottom of the rep. The “chest” can be a point of contention between you and your judge, so be sure to demo your burpee prior to 3-2-1 Go!

      The Difference - 

      The difference between a fast and a slow burpee will make or break this entire workout for you. A fast Burpee is 2 seconds. A slow Burpee is 6 seconds. If breaking Vellner’s performance down excluding his rest. He only worked for 5 minutes and 34 seconds, which means of that work, 49% was performing burpees. So focus on Burpees, develop that rhythm and actively fight.

      If you are not uncomfortable while doing burpees, especially in Part 1, YOU ARE GOING TO SLOW.

      Part 1:
      Total Time 2:10
      46% was spent on Snatches
      54% was spent on Burpees

      Part 2:
      Total Time 3:24
      53% was spent on Bar Muscle Ups
      47% was spent on Burpees

      Total Work Out: 5:34
      49% was spent on Burpees
      17% was spent on Snatches
      34% was spent on BMU

      Predicting your failure mechanism -

      Okay, first things first, this workout can be approached two different ways. To settle in on a strategy, you’ll first need to be realistic with yourself and identify what part of the workout contains your biggest weakness. Obviously, Part 2.

      Approach 1: You will fail on BMU – limited on only being able to do a few at a time while fresh, or none at all
      Approach 2: You will fail on BMU – Balancing exhaustion with your current BMU capacity to optimize workout score

      *Fun fact – It’s really difficult to fail a burpee.

      Approach 1:

      There is no time like the 2019 CrossFit Open to gain this skill. It’s always fun to see 1st time muscle ups! Ask a coach to be your judge so you can spend this time wisely, learning.

      For those who will be able to get a few singles but not quite 10, every rep counts!

      Approach 2:

      *Assumes 90% effort on burpees

      Max BMU Guide: If you have…
      5 or less unbroken = you are doing doubles at most. With quick sets and rest
      5-10 unbroken = Consider doing 4-3-2-1, beginning that 2nd set of bmu.
      10-20 unbroken = you are doing sets of 5, or possibly 6-4 for the 1st set, and breaking 3 times for subsequent sets.
      30 for time < 4 min = Consider breaking once every set, and focusing on attacking burpees
      30 for time < 3 min = Push it, see how long you can last. Luckily, the workout ends on burpees.

      Ask yourself "How can I get hurt in this Workout" - 

      Lower back: This is a tricky workout from an injury prevention point of view; athletes will be tempted to muscle snatch (not make any body contact with barbell and hinge at the back) for speed. There is nothing wrong with muscle snatching, however pairing this movement with the inflection movement of burpees while in a state of exhaustion could very easily lead to lower back injury. Be careful and prepare to power snatch if your back starts to fatigue.

      Triceps: Prepare to feel the burn… understand your limits.

      Falling: Bar muscle ups create an incredible dynamic load for the grip to endure over time. Use hand protection but also do your best to ensure the rig is dry and if possible, wrap you thumb around the bar to prevent the worst-case scenario.

      Ripping: Don’t Rip, the shower will never be the same. Use hand protection!

      Have fun with this one. It’s going to be rough and for some of us frustrating, but stick with YOUR plan, and run your race. Slow Burpees for some means finishing the workout under the time cap, don’t be that athlete repeating this workout because you went out too hard 😊 Enjoy!

      ~American Gainz Nutrition

      CrossFit Open 19.3 - Tips, Tricks, & Strategies

      CrossFit Open 19.3 - Tips, Tricks, & Strategies

      2019 Reebok CrossFit Open 19.3 Strategies
      Written By American GAINZ Nutrition

      2019 CrossFit Open Workout 19.3 – Let’s call it “Shoulder Boulders”

      Directly from the CrossFit Games website:

      This workout begins with the dumbbell on the floor and the athlete standing tall. After the call of “3, 2, 1 ... go,” the athlete will pick up a single dumbbell and lunge with it overhead for 200 feet. The athlete then will perform 50 dumbbell box step-ups with one dumbbell. After completion of the dumbbell box step-ups, the athlete will perform strict handstand push-ups. Once 50 strict handstand push-ups are completed, the athlete will handstand walk for 200 feet.

      For time:
      200-ft. dumbbell overhead lunge
      50 dumbbell box step-ups
      50 strict handstand push-ups
      200-ft. handstand walk
      Time cap: 10 minutes

      Men use 50-lb. dumbbell, 24-in. box
      Women use 35-lb. dumbbell, 20-in. box

      The athlete’s score will be the time it takes to complete the workout or the total number of repetitions completed before the 10-minute time cap.

      Big Picture:

      For 90% of athletes doing the open this year, this workout will most likely end on Strict HPSU. The good news for box owners and coaches, the judging just became a lot easier. The days of trying to standardize arm angle based on body dimensions are over, now this may only be the case for the strict version, but for those sick of watching people magically get short when measuring and then putting on 6 inch heels to execute the workout, this standard although giving advantage to those with short dimensions, is a bit refreshing with it’s ease of bs. So for all those petite athletes complaining over the last 2 workouts of this year's CrossFit Open, here you go, this is your chance to test your might, so we expect big things!!!

      For the American Gainz Women out there – one of the important rule changes that may warrant systemic change in your HSPU routine is the whole – “Only the heels may touch the wall during the repetition”. What this means, is that the rep needs to start and end with the body in a plank position elbows locked, with only heels touching the wall. So no more lower back to butt roll up the wall with a giant arch in the lower back lol.

      Credit goes to Diablo CrossFit, other than the random audio issues, we feel set the new bar for clear and energetic announcing, commensurate with the days of old (meaning like last year, we do miss Castro though, that pric). So yes, The Open this year without a doubt feels different, but it’s hard to not love seeing the sport become more inclusive and diverse in how it plans to grow given the new infrastructure built over the last year! For 19.3 we did enjoy seeing Pichelli and Fisher go head to head, very much worth watching despite just about all of us having zero shot at replicating their performances 😊.

      So here was the portion of the break down that matters - Alessandra Pichelli Vs. Lauren Fisher

      200-foot Lunge – Fisher

      25 feet 14 seconds
      50 feet 27 seconds
      75 feet 39 seconds
      100 feet 51 seconds
      125 feet 1:06 minutes
      150 feet 1:20 minutes
      175 feet 1:33 minutes
      200 feet 1:53 minutes

      You are fresh here so there isn’t much of a strategy other than to keep it moving and push through your shoulders to avoid injury. If you think it’s a stretch to make it past the HSPU due to your core giving way (Strict HSPU require a tight strong core to be efficient) where a belt, save your core. You won’t feel you need it as you will be fresh, but without a doubt it will help you.

      50 Box Step Ups - Fisher

      10 Step ups (2:17 finished)
      20 Step ups (2:43 finished)
      30 Step ups (3:07 finished)
      40 Step ups (3:31 finished)
      50 Step ups (3:58 finished)

      Hopefully you were able to catch the USA live announcement, if not, this portion of the workout is critical to capturing the efficiency piece of this movement. Paying close attention to the athlete’s feet rhythm and pattern. To be efficient in these 50 reps, you’ll need to work one leg at a time, understanding that a slow transfer of weight is required to transition the load to the other leg. This transfer of weight becomes more inefficient being that there is only a single dumbbell already causing an inequity of muscle recruitment. Assumption is the dumbbell is resting on the shoulder. Like all workouts, limiting transitions matter.

      Now imagine you are standing on the box at the end of a rep, you step down with one leg. This single leg on the ground is now weight bearing. Your other leg however is as light as a feather. When that weightless leg goes to step down, do not shift any weight to it, keep it light, tap the ground, and immediately put it back on the box and step back up.

      When the single leg you are working begins to fatigue, shift body weight at the end of the rep (on top of the box). Avoid shifting weight/legs on the ground, doing this will make it much more likely that you delay the rep, take an extra step, adjust the weight, i.e. waste time! These 50 step ups will be uncomfortable and arguably the worst part of the workout, so get after it here.

      50 Strict HSPU - Fisher

      Lauren was able to finish prior to 7 minutes in. She is strong and light.

      This movement is all about shoulder fatigue & strategy, the latter you can actually control so let’s focus there. Obviously if you don’t have this skill in your tool kit (meaning core and brute strength), well this is a great time to get your 1st rep. Anchor the entire workout around reaching this portion of the workout with decent energy to attack and make PB history (personal best, not to be confused with Peanut butter).

      Important* Don't get no rep'd. Too costly, so don't do it.  

      The best tip we can offer for any isometric movement is to break often with quick rest and STAY STEADY at whatever your pace you set. All those small body weight ninjas will blow by you, but so what, once the workout is over, you get to stand a little taller.

      200-ft. handstand walk - Fisher

      Lauren is incredible, and she didn’t quite finish this one. If you get to the handstand walks, you are a winner in our books!

      Good luck on this one, and watch out for that matte burn facial when kicking up on that first hand stand walk after your shoulders are completely blown. We expect to see all these "CrossFit fail" vidoes posted as the weekend plays out.  Don't be that guy!

      ~ American GAINZ Nutrition


      CrossFit Open 19.2 - Tips, Tricks, & Strategies

      2019 Reebok CrossFit Open 19.2 Strategies
      Written By American GAINZ Nutrition with credit to Jenn & Jared Astle

      2019 CROSSFIT OPEN WORKOUT 19.2 – “Modified Repeat of 16.2 - Got Abs?"

      Directly from the CrossFit Games website:

      Beginning on an 8-minute clock, complete as many reps as possible of:
      25 toes-to-bars
      50 double-unders
      15 squat cleans, 135 lb.
      25 toes-to-bars
      50 double-unders
      13 squat cleans, 185 lb.
      If all 178 Reps are completed before 8 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
      25 toes-to-bars
      50 double-unders
      11 squat cleans, 225 lb.
      If all 264 Reps are completed before 12 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
      25 toes-to-bars
      50 double-unders
      9 squat cleans, 275 lb.
      If completed before 16 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
      25 toes-to-bars
      50 double-unders
      7 squat cleans, 315 lb.

      Stop at 20 minutes.

      First off – Shout out to one of our favorite Aussies, John Michael Bric who kicked off the Australian live announcement last night. John was one of very first online reviews for American Gainz back in 2016. He was the announcer with the radiant personality, melodious voice, and overall dreamy look born to captivate! You can see John here (YouTube -  link to AGN first Review) when we first worked with him, awesome guy!

      Predicting your failure mechanism –

      Okay, first things first, this workout can be approached two different ways. To settle in on a strategy, you’ll first need to be realistic with yourself and identify what part of the workout contains your biggest weakness

      • Approach 1: You are either weak at toes-to-bar and worried about midline or grip fatigue
      • Approach 2: Your 1RM squat clean is close to or less than one of these weights and therefore making that lift 7+ times while tired is not very likely.

      Approach 1: I have the TTB of a sloth not a ninja.

      In 2016, 25 toes-to-bar was a rather large set for most, both mentally and physically. For those who are attacking this workout for the 2nd time, you are probably a bit more mentally fit and respecting of what 25 TTB can do to your midline and heart rate. This said, the main premise hasn’t changed, this workout is about pacing and consistency.

      If your goal is to make it past the 8 minute time cap, your goal needs to be; finishing the 1st round in under 2:45 seconds. That 2nd round, you have to fight.

      Kara Saunders (formally Webb) finished the entire workout averaging ~3:02 per round start to finish in 2016 setting the world record. For the men, Ben Smith finished this workout in 16:54, averaging about ~3:20 per round. Going out hard at a champions pace with the goal to get passed the 8 minute time cap (2nd round), is a fair strategy, at this point you made it, every rep thereafter is a bonus, so go get it!

      Max UB TTB Guide: If you have…

      • 5 or less = you are doing 25 singles. One rep, turn around and back onto that bar. Use the swing to conserve your abs and make these the fastest singles you have ever done.
      • 5-10 = you are doing sets of 3. Same thing as above, quick sets. Hit your 3 reps turn around and do it again.
      • 10-20 = you are doing sets of 5.
      • 20-30 = Set break down is 7-6-5-4-3. Make the turnaround fast!!!!!
      • 30+ = you are in the wrong pathway my friend!

      We have to have a fast turnaround between sets because we HAVE to build up as much residual time as possible. Be aware of what is fatiguing….is it your hip flexors, mid-line, or your grip. Grip you can vary, width, and mix grip. If your hips are failing, you need to preserve your strength. Drop your reps. Your hip flexors will affect your squatting mechanics and ability. Just have a backup plan to stay moving if your initial set plan has to change.


      Approach 2: Friends don’t let friends skip leg day.

      For you this workout is going to be about time! You are going to have to build up a large reserve so that you can rest and get one or two reps at that “brick wall’ weight. Your TTB sets need to be large. 15-10 is a good strategy. Dan Bailey in 2016 for the live announcement did 25 straight and if you are a ninja this may be the strategy for you, for the majority of us this will be suicide. This doesn't mean go slow, you have to get after this workout hard and fast, but with consistency of pace that can be sustained without redlining.

      Big points to take away no matter what your weakness:

      1. Tie break time is based off the completion of the 50th DUB. If you absolutely can not clean the weight, get to that last DUB as fast as you possibly can.
      2. Score differentiation is going to bunch at squat cleans.
      3. If you can’t hit the weight GET THROUGH THE DUBS AS FAST AS YOU CAN, they are the tie breaker
      4. If you can hit the weight but it is going to be like Atlas lifting the world, TAKE YOUR TIME. Recover and hit that first rep. One rep at every weight on this ladder will be hundreds of places. The same goes for two, three, etc. reps.
      5. Residual time is huge! Build it up as much as you can by moving at a CONSISTENT pace. You must look at this as a 20 minute workout (or a 12 minute workout if that is your absolute 1RM) It is not a 4 minute sprint, and it is not an EVERY 4 MINUTES ON THE MINUTE. Build up your rest time so that when you need it to get those last few cleans to BOOST your score, you have it.
      6. DUBS must be as UB as possible. You can’t waste time or effort on these. If you can’t do 50 straight, break them into 25-25 from the beginning. Or 20-20-10, whatever number you can hit all the time every time and take minimal rest between these sets.
      7. Cleans, especially in the first few rounds are not about touch and go. You need to be conservative and know your limits to your consistent pace. You can’t waste time between reps, but you can’t red line here either, as you have to get back to the toes to bar.

      Have fun with this workout. It’s going to be rough, and for some of us frustrating, but stick with YOUR plan, and run your race. Don't get sucked into the guy or girl next to you as their pace isn't your pace. We hope you all crush it and have a good time enjoying the spirit of competition!

       ~American Gainz Nutrition

      CrossFit Open 19.1 - Tips, Tricks, & Strategies

      2019 Reebok CrossFit Open 19.1 Strategies
      Written By American GAINZ Nutrition

       2019 CrossFit Open Workout 19.1 – Let’s call it “Balls to the Wall”

      (For the record, We love Men & Women, it’s not a guy/girl thing :)

      Directly from the CrossFit Games website:

      Complete as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of:
      19 wall-ball shots
      19-cal. Row

      American Gainz Notes: Notice the 19-calories on the rower is the same for both men & women. We saw Sam Briggs who is an absolute monster (long & strong) knock on the door of 9 rounds, thus our best guess is that a Games level equivalent male could be closer to 10 rounds. The reason for this is due to the rower being the dominant differentiating factor on this workout. Although the wall balls slightly favor women (shorter cycle time), the majority of time on this workout will no doubt be spent on the rower, so strap in!

      Men throw 20-lb. ball to 10-ft. target
      Women throw 14-lb. ball to 9-ft. target

      CrossFit Games Website Notes:

      The workout begins with the medicine ball on the ground and athlete standing tall. After the call of “3, 2, 1 ... go,” the athlete will pick up the ball and perform the wall-ball shots. After 19 reps are complete, the athlete will move to the rower and pull 19 calories. The monitor must read 19 calories before the athlete can unstrap and move back to the wall-ball shots for the next round.

      American Gainz Notes: Be methodical, develop a pattern, transitions matter here so the less fiddling the better. Before you start this workout, practice getting on and off the rower. If you can save 5 seconds per transition by making the right changes, this easily equates to a minute of saved time over the course of the AMRAP.

      The athlete’s score will be the total number of repetitions completed within the 15-minute time cap. Each calorie completed on the row will be equal to 1 rep. There is no tiebreak for this workout.

      American Gainz Notes: “No Tie-break” this means that every rep matters and will equate to several hundred spots on the Global Leader Board, so when you here last call, might as well go balls to the wall!!

      Wall Balls:

      19 wall balls will ultimately catch up with most athletes. If you can do 40-50 wall balls unbroken, strive for as many unbroken sets as possible.

      If your max wall ball set is less than 40, we recommend breaking up as early as the 2nd round and staying intentional with your planned breaks.

      A pitfall in this workout will be getting into the habit of breaking up the wall balls into too many sets. Most athletes will have a natural proclivity to drop the wall ball during their rest period, when this occurs, the athlete just added unnecessary cleans to the mix. We call this the “wall ball tax” and nobody likes paying taxes, so break your sets into no more than 3.  At this point its worth resting longer to ensure you're not cleaning wall balls the entire workout.  

      Rowing for Calories:

      There is no shortage of information out there that highlights the differences between rowing for meters and rowing for calories on the Concept 2. This said, we’ll do our best to give you exactly what you need to know if interested in optimizing the row portion of this workout.

      It’s important to understand that rowing for meters is NOT the same as rowing for calories. Calories on the Concept 2 rower are solely a function of power output (Force).

      Well that’s a fun fact, so how do you use it? First thing is first, get on your rower and toggle through the display until you find the force curve. It looks like this -

      What you’re looking it is called the Force Curve. It’s a graphical representation of how applied force (or power) during the rowing stroke is captured. This force is a function of time; therefore, the shape of the curve is commensurate with the varying forces applied during the entire spectrum of your pull. A sharp high torque pull will yield a spike over a short time, whereas a long slow pull will flatten the profile and extend in horizontally.

      The smoother the curve, the smoother the application of force. The key to calories, is creating the curve profile with the largest area under the curve. The greater the amount of force applied over the longest period of time will yield the most area under the curve and thus reward the rower with the most calories per pull.

      The most common concept 2’s are fitted with either a PM3, PM4 or PM5 digital display. All these monitor types include the Force Curve function (during your row, press “Change Display” or “Display” until you see it, or press the second button down on the right).

      So while you are pulling, pay attention to how this curve is built in real time. The curve displayed represents a professional level technique, however like all CrossFit workouts, sometimes perfect form isn’t the most efficient to obtaining the highest score. A higher peak and a longer pull in this case might yield a faster path to 19 calories. The challenge then becomes understanding the cost of gaming the rower (settling in a technique that’s less than ideal from a body mechanics pov); so when in doubt you can’t go wrong with ideal form.

      Well have fun with this workout and enjoy the burn. Let us know how you did on IG!

      Warning – Be careful when walking down stairs the following day, your quads will not be happy!

      ~ American GAINZ Nutrition