Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Thoughts on CrossFit Open Sectionals WOD #11.4

Camille Leblanc-Bazinet transitioning on the muscle up

HQ just came out with the following for WOD 11.4:

AMRAP in 10 minutes of:
60 bar-facing burpees
30 overhead squats, 120#/90#
10 muscle ups

This workout is continuing the trend of separating the pack of 23,000+ people competing. It allows those folks to get at least 1 repetition, while allowing those with the skills to advance further ahead. 

This burpee is different than normal ones in that there is no standard for vertical position of the body. All they want you to do is have thighs and chest on the ground at the bottom, be perpendicular to the barbell, and then jump with two feet over the barbell and land on two feet. You may come up from the burpee and step UP to the bar, but you have to jump OVER the bar with both feet. (aka no step overs or bunny hops over) If the jump over is no good, you MAY jump back over correctly without completing a new burpee. I imagine staying low and twisting mid air to be in position for the next burpee will make people more proficient than others. Going fast out of the gate probably won't be advantageous since it will gas you more than desired for the OHS.

This weight is moderately heavy enough to separate people at this point. Your shoulders and chest will be feeling the burpees a bit, but your lungs even more. You must control breathing and composure to get these overhead squats done in as few sets as possible. Dropping the bar will cost athletes a good deal of time to snatch or clean and jerk back up. You may squat snatch directly into an overhead squat. Interestingly, there was no mention of taking the bar off a rack. While people are asking, I would play it on the safe side and take it all from the floor rather than risk the very off-chance that HQ would accept a bar off the rack. Range of motion will be key here; judges need to be discerning of open hips at the top and below parallel at the bottom. HQ knows this is a movement that a lot of people short, so mind your hips and butt!

For those that may not know, a muscle up is getting from a hanging position on gymnastic rings to pulling yourself up and into a dip on top of the rings. In gymnastics, it's such a basic movement that it is not scored in competition, but in CrossFit, it's a high skill and strength movement. The reason they placed these at the end of the WOD is that HQ knows many folks will not be able to complete this movement. For those that can do them, ten repetitions is not unreasonable and they can move on to the second round. However, doing 60 burpees and 30 OHS right before will tax you and I think many people who have mu's will be surprised by this when they get to the rings. In terms of range of motion, flashing the wrists out ensures that a full lockout at the bottom is obtained. At the top, elbows must be straight and up at the top of the dip. Tony Budding mentions that this should be a true muscle up with no huge kips or roll overs. This might be cause for confusion, as most people need a pretty big kip. However, there are "butterfly muscle ups" and some videos out there of people being inverted on the rings with feet completely above them and then using the downward momentum to swing into a muscle up. I believe this is what HQ does NOT want. As long as you don't try to be "cutesy" with it, just do your regular muscle up. Lungs will recover by now, but muscle fatigue will be the biggest factor. You will see a lot of people resting longer than you think they should, but they are trying to get a feel for their body and recovering enough to succeed on that mu rather than fail an attempt.

Ten minutes is not a long time domain, nor is it intended to be. It is meant to weed out those who cannot do a muscle up, and to some extent, a moderately heavy overhead squat. 

Get through those burpees. Fast enough to get them done, but not so quickly that you burn out for the overhead squats. Try to get all 30 overhead squats without dropping the bar. If this isn't possible, try to get them done in as few sets as possible. This is a heavy weight for some of you (me included!) so do the best you can. Make sure you hit the standards because there's nothing worse than going through most of a movement and getting it taken away from you. If you have muscle ups, get as many as you can get done. Each one will separate you further and further from the pack. If you are lucky/fit enough to get a full round down, get on those burpees as quickly as possible. 

I can't see anyone doing 2 full rounds, however, I can see a LOT of scores of 60 and 90 (60 for those who can't handle the OHS weight and 90 for those who don't have muscle ups). Beyond that, I see the top 20% guys getting 1 full round plus some burpees. The elite men may get 1 round + 60 burpees + some OHS and elite women will get 1 round + some burpees. I would be really amazed at anyone that gets 2 full rounds (and I would want to see video!) 


  1. The written ohs directions specify no rack. Curious as to your thoughts on why the weight is heavier for women than the usual 67% of men's weight?

  2. I think we do see two rounds. Here is to hoping the MU gods shine on me this Thursday.

  3. I agree with much of this silliness. I dont know about 2 rounds thought either, I think 60 burpees no matter how fast is a good chunk of 10minutes when coupled with 30 overhead squats. Some of us have done 30 before in about 1:04, but that is racing speed as it was just a friendly birthday cashout. If the elite were to hit 2 full rounds, then it'll be very close. More and more each week we are being surprised by the 11. wod results and seemingly the overdelivery of the top athletes is becoming more of a trend, so I am more convinced now 2+ is surely possible.

  4. I agree I think the elites will get 2+ rounds, simply because it sounds crazy. I think the burpees can be done in 3 minutes with the bar part if you're a normal fast person and then the OHS will be a wildcard for the women. 90# is pretty heavy and then if you're not proficient at MU you may have nothing left to get one or two. Glad they are at the end, so that people without them can get some points on the board. This is definately seperating the pack.

  5. Nikki - not sure. Usually women's weight is 65-70%* but this is around 75%. Might have to do with the kg conversion? I guess in the end it doesn't matter because it's not women competing against men.

    Tim - did you just say that you can't see 2 rounds but then say you can see 2 rounds? You're a thinker when you type, aren't you

    *typical CF conversion for men to women weights
    315 / 205
    275 / 185
    225 / 155
    155 / 100-105
    135 / 88-95
    95 / 65
    75 / 55
    65 / 45


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