As a coach, I really like keeping to myself and to my community. I pride myself on being a hermit coach but sometimes, and especially as of late, kids (which is my way of saying dude for athletes or people), have been getting me out from under my rock. In the last thirty days I have gone on five trips for coaching. I visited the east coast to evaluate athletes, traveled to another country for personal training, and went to a few states to coach and prep athletes. This is all motivated by my passion for coaching and CrossFit. I have been blessed with coaching around the world, including all types of athletes and people looking to get the most out of their genetic potential. It is amazing to see how far CrossFit, coaching, the general quest for fitness has come. However, being a hermit coach is a choice that allows me to focus on my true passion; my community and athletes at a grassroots level.
15.2 IS 14.2! This is a great CrossFit workout!!! This workout tests your anaerobic threshold through your work-to-rest rate capacity. Hopefully if you did not have a chest to bar pull up last year you do have one this year. If you did not have a pull up last year you better have one this year if not shame on you! The CrossFit Open is meant to test our fitness each year. If you have not progressed in the last year, you should look at your training habits and diet and fix those ASAP! Remember CrossFit has movements like double-unders and chest to bar pull ups and if you do not have them yet, do not be scared, you have 365 days to work on it until next year! Yes you should work on things that you are struggling with or just flat out do not have. That also includes dieting and stretching! I am excited for this workout mostly because I have a lot of members that use bands but should not be using them, yet cannot move away from the training wheels… Here we go!!!
Now let us dive in to this workout.
15.2 is a “Pay-to-Play” workout or “Multi-Level Buy-In” workout. It is every 3 minutes for as long as possible complete 2 rounds of overhead squats at 95 lbs. for men and 65 lbs. for women, combined with chest-to-bar pull-ups. It starts with 10 reps of each and goes up by 2 reps every completed round until failure. The weight is light, so snatch the first one and hold on for the ride and go unbroken. If by chance this weight is heavy in an overhead squat you have two options. Power snatch it up and get set to overhead squat, or power clean and push jerk to narrow grip overhead squat or power clean and push jerk it over to your back, move your hands out jerk it up to an overhead squat position. I am not going to lie that’s a lot of steps but if you have to go for it! Try to relax and recover on the overhead squat. If you start to break up the overhead squats it will take you to long and getting out of each buy-in will get hard. The chest-to-bar is the tough part of this workout. Butterflies are faster but they do tax people if you cannot relax during them, so do not try and learn something new now or change what you’ve been doing. Test what you have and improve on it, or change it for next year because now is not the time. This goes for overhead squat position too. I gave the example to my athletes of going to a shooting contest and borrowing a friend’s gun the day before which you have never used in competition or let alone shot before. You could only imagine how well that would go. So go with what you know works. Even though butterfly pull ups are faster it’s not necessarily a good thing on this workout. 15.2 is all about pace and work-to-rest ratio. Finding a way to not work too hard and being able to rest and recover is going to be your success or failure in this work out.
When thinking of work-to-rest ratio you want to stay on the side of working less time and resting more time. However this workout will get you if you move too fast too soon and at some point it’s going to turn in to too much work in to too little time. I feel this workout needs to be paced at a 1 to 1 work-to-rest ratio from the start and then let it slowly slip away 15 to 20 seconds each time. Here is an outline of the pace that I think is needed to get to the 18’s.
Round 1: From 0:00-3:00 = 1 minute 20 second (40 second a round)
Round 2: From 3:00-6:00 = 1 minute 30 second (45 second a round) / +10 sec (+5sec a rd)
Round 3: From 6:00-9:00 = 1 minute 50 second (55 second a round) / +20 sec (+10sec a rd)
Round 4: From 9:00-12:00 = 2 minute 20 second (1 minute 10 second a round) / +30 sec (+15sec a rd)
Round 5: From 12:00-15:00 = 3 minute (1 minute 30 second a round) / +40 sec (+20 sec a rd)
Round 6: From 15:00-18:00 = Hold On!!!
Now these are rough numbers. You could start at a slower pace, but by round 3 the amount of work in the amount of time starts to catch up. Let alone the 208 total reps (104 being pull-ups), all in twelve minutes. 15.2 is like the beep test, or for us CrossFitters, Death by Pull-Ups. It starts out smooth, everyone talking, then ZANG it’s quiet and everyone is trying to outrun the avalanche. So my advice to anyone doing this work out no matter the level would be: start off by going slow and steady, be mentally tough, and have a pacing strategy..
Strategy, Tips, and Break Down
(1) Power Snatch to Overhead Squat
(a) Do OHS in 3rds, half’s or Unbroken
(a) PR time!!! Cross grip, reps: singles or maximum of 3’s
(1) Try to Snatch first rep or Clean to Jerk + Narrow grip OHS
(a) Unbroken OHS and move to half’s sets in later rounds
(a) Do the C2B reps in 3 sets at most! No need to work harder.
(1) Overhead Squat
(a) Snatch 1st rep
(b) OHS go unbroken
(c) Recover on the OHS but do not break them up! Get them out of the way.
(a) Do the C2B reps in 2 to 3 sets at the start.
(b) If reps slow down, immediately move to 3 or 4 sets
(c) 10’s: 2-3 sets, 12’s: 3 sets, 14’s: 3 to 4 sets, 16’s: 4 sets, 18’s: 4-6 sets
(1) Recover on the overhead squat
(2) If reps slow down, immediately move down in rep scheme
(3) Work Little to rest less
(4) Stay under the 2min mark to move on two more rounds.
(5) Be prepared to hit a wall out of nowhere and try to find a way to work through it
(6) 2014 Tips http://youtu.be/Oo506lse1I0