Friday, February 22nd
Check back for more workout notes and tips on how to tackle 19.1!!
15 Minute AMRAP:
19 Wall Ball Shots
19 Calorie Row
Rx’d: (Ages 16-54) Men throw 20-lb. ball to 10-ft. target
Women throw 14-lb. ball to 9-ft. target
Scaled: (Ages 16-54) Men throw 14-lb. ball to 10-ft. target
Women throw 10-lb. ball to 9-ft. target
Men throw 20-lb. ball to 9-ft. target Women throw 10-lb. ball to 9-ft. target
Scaled Masters 55+:
Men throw 14-lb. ball to 8-ft. target Women throw 10-lb. ball to 8-ft. target
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-ballshots. After 19 reps are complete, the athlete will move to the rower and pull 19 calories. The monitor must read 19calories before the athlete can unstrap and move back tothe wall-ball shots for the next round.
The athlete’s score will be the total number of repetitionscompleted 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.
Row Pace/Time Chart for reference: Calories/Hour … Time to 19 Calories 1950 calories/hour… 0:34s 1700 calories/hour… 0:40s 1500 calories/hour… 0:45s 1350 calories/hour… 0:51s 1200 calories/hour… 0:57s 1100 calories/hour… 1:03 1000 calories/hour… 1:10 920 calories/hour… 1:16 850 calories/hour… 1:22 800 calories/hour… 1:29 740 calories/hour…1:35 700 calories/hour…1:41 650 calories/hour…1:47
A classical CrossFit feel for the first Open workout.
Although simple in design, there are specific areas of focus we want to dive into. Capitalizing on these fundamental, yet deeply complex parts will be what drives us to hold our paces deep inside this workout. Although wallballs and rowing are fairly simple movement patterns, we recognize how quickly a seemingly small movement fault can compound into a significant loss of energy. Simple by design, yet still required our best movement given the time range.
To start, we want to group ourselves into one of three "buckets", each having a unique strategy.
Strategy #1 - If the wallball challenges us. We are looking at 1-2 breaks inside these 19 repetitions, with a good handful of breaths between. Strategy #2 - We're strong on the movement, but over the course of 15 minutes, see ourselves struggling halfway through to maintain unbroken sets. A single break, planned from the onset (such as 11-8), is our approach. Strategy #3 - Wallballs is a strong suit of ours, and we feel confident we can complete all 19 wallballs unbroken, regardless of the fatigue, regardless of the round count (round 1 or round 10).
Our different strategy themes are based on the wallball, purely given how this is the only "station" in the workout where we may come to a complete stop. Almost always, our first place in strategy is minimizing the amount of seconds we spend not moving forward. And in this workout, seconds disappear quickly between athletes when one's medicine ball is resting on the ground.
Strategy #1 in further detail (1-2+ breaks per round): This is a wallball workout for us. As written above, minimizing the amount of time not moving is our focus. The row is secondary, and is our pacer. A recovery movement here between the wallballs. Given how we will face large breaks if we enter the wallballs heavily fatigued from a push on the row, our aim is to go in the opposite direction. Overly pace the row, so we can push our efforts on the medicine ball. Paces here will naturally vary, but think a mid 900 calories (per hour) for males, and a mid 800's for girls.
Strategy #2 in further detail (1 planned, quick break per round): This athlete could do several sets unbroken on the wallball, but it may result in a slower-than-desirable row. And there is a point here where it's actually best to break up the wallballs with a quick, planned break, and push the row.
Using the pacing chart at the top of this page as reference, let's talk through an example: 1200 calories/hour… 0:57s 1100 calories/hour… 1:03 1000 calories/hour… 1:10
A "Strategy #2" athlete could complete the wallballs unbroken for at least a handful of rounds, but it would require a heavily paced row (say 1000 would be their average pace). If that athlete moved their row from 1000, to 1200, they would buy themselves 13 seconds per round. In other words, if that single break is 13 seconds or less, the athlete is doing better than they would at the 1000 calorie per hour pace.
Naturally, this is highly individual dependent, and somewhat tricky for the athletes in this group. It's an aggressive pace, far more aggressive than the "Strategy #1" approach given the increased WB capacity, but - it cannot result in slow transitions or a row pace that pushes our wallball breaks from 1 planned, to 2 (or more). Best piece for us is our rehearsal rounds… let's live in them until we are comfortable and confident with a pacing strategy.
Strategy #3 in further detail (unbroken wallballs throughout): This is the athlete that is very confident that all wallballs will be unbroken, regardless of the level of fatigue… whether in the 5th, or 15th minute. Such an athlete has close to, if not exceeding, 100 wallballs unbroken when fresh. For this athlete, the goal now is to find the fastest possible average pace on the rower, without it negatively impacting our transitions or wallball sets. This is naturally important, as an aggressive row can be negated very quickly if we are slow on the transitions, or find ourselves breaking up the wallballs into two sets.
Along with immediate transitions, we are looking to be in the 1300-1400+ range for males, and 1100+ for females. As seen in the chart, the higher we climb in the calories per hour, the more the significant the return. The "sliding scale" starts here and becomes highly rewarding when we climb… but it of course must be balanced with our own conditioning capacity. This is a balancing act
Across three strategies, there are some some overarching constants:
1) Haul ass back to the rower. It's less about how fast we're rowing, and instead about, how fast can we start rowing. Coming off the wallballs, we can expect ourselves to be somewhat "metabolic" here. And we know those first few pulls and calories will be a bit of a recovery for us. Consider the end of the wallball set to be the first pull on the rower. Get there first, and then recover with the following pulls.
2) Tape the rower straps. It is not worth the effort to tighten, and then loosen, the foot straps. These are valuable seconds we can have back without any wasted effort. Tape the straps just loose enough so we can slide in and out, while still preserving the functionality of them pulling us back into our catch position.
3) Be diligent with our wallball strategy, along with transitions between. Before we start the workout, our aim is to systematically plan precisely how each round will look. From the amount of steps we take from the wallball position to the rower, to which foot comes out of the rower straps first when we return back to the ball. These items can become a methodical autonomic act… leaving us to focus on what's truly important: managing our pacing. This is an effort to be pro-active, versus reactive.
Next let's look at each movement, the wallball and row, with key points of performance to focus on.
Wallballs Efficiency is naturally crucial here. As we can imagine, a small movement flaw here compounds massively over time. And it won't be the first five minutes it shows itself, but rather the back half of the workout. Let's set the tone for the workout in round one, spending due diligence towards our mechanics with the big picture in mind.
Start with dialing in our "front rack" position. Key checkpoints: 1) Hands beneath (not outside) 2) Vertical forearms 3) Chin contact
Positioning the ball in this fashion creates three points of contact, and a stable base to work with. We are not looking to tuck the ball beneath the chin, but rather just to make contact for balance. This takes some pressure off our hands and shoulders, which would otherwise to the work to stabilize. A common fault here is having our hands to the sides, or allowing our elbows to flare out to the sides. This requires us to "squeeze in" to support the ball, taxing our chest and shoulders unnecessarily.
Secondly, let’s focus on what we’re doing in between repetitions. After throwing the ball to the target, let’s avoid leaving the hands in the air. If we do so, we’re again sapping our shoulders unnecessarily. Bring them down to afford ourselves a micro-break between. A little bit goes a long way here. Let’s also apply that same theme to our legs. Commonly we’ll toss the ball, and leave our quads flexed and engaged until we receive it a moment later. As we relax the arms after the toss, actively relax the legs so we can utilize these little micro-breaks between reps.
On the row, let’s first talk about our transitions. Inside this workout, transitions are vital. As we move to the rower, our aim is to simply get the fan moving. After every 19th wallball repetition, let’s be in a rush to get the first pull. To simply get the fan moving. We highly recommend taping the straps on the rower to the point where we can immediately slide in, and out, while still using them as the leverage that they bring.
Rower Two focus points: 1) Hip Drive (Posterior chain utilization) 2) Relax on the return
Focusing on our hip drive will leverage our posterior chain. When we think about the muscle groups the wallball will tax, the quads are the first to come to mind. It’s an upright torso squat, and quad intensive. On the rower, we would be doing ourselves a favor to use the opposing muscle group as best as possible – the hips and hamstrings. Our posterior chain. A very common fault in the row is the early opening of the hips, which results in the drive being all quads. It’s less powerful, and in combination with the quad-heavy wallballs, a punishing combination. Focus on driving our hips back from the catch, keeping our shoulders in front of our hips just up until our knees are locked out. See the full strategy write-up for more details on these mechanics.
The second and final focus point on the rower follows in suit with the final wallball focus. Relax on the return. As we return the catch position on the rower, open the hands to relax the upper torso. Knowing that we’ll need our shoulder capacity on the following set of wallballs, this brief micro-break can go a long way.
With that, all of our key checkpoints apply on the row that we consistently want to think about. Mechanics go a long way here:
Sit tall. Sit on the "sit bones" of your butt, trying to be as tall as you can be. This will put us into an engaged position, versus a "slippery and loose" one that all too often results in a loss of power.
Dial in the catch position. This is the heart of every repetition or stroke. Much like how if we set up incorrectly on the start of a snatch, the catch here determines the trajectory of the stroke. Slide in so that our shin bones are just about vertical, sit tall with a proud chest, and get our shoulders in front of our hips allowing us to reach in, maximizing our stroke length.
Cadence. Stroke rates should be on the lower side inside this workout, allowing us to focus on our breathing during these pulls. The wallball tends to elevate our heart rate more than the rower, and is more challenging to breath under (loading is always more challenging than unloaded, even if just a wallball). Although there is no specific ideal "number" (as it varies based on height), males will likely find an ideal stroke rate somewhere between 27-30 SPM(strokes per minute), and females between 30-33. Quality over quantity here.