CrossFit Open 19.1 - Tips, Tricks, & Strategies

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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

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