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Friday, March 8th

Open Workout 19.3

For Time, with a 10:00 Time Cap: 200' DB Overhead Walking Lunge 50 DB Box Step-Ups 50 Strict HSPU 200' Handstand Walk

Open 19.3 is all about gymnastics. With three “first time in the Open” movements, we have a 10:00 cap to complete a four-station chipper. Dumbbell overhead lunges, dumbbell box steps, strict handstand pushups, and handstand walking.

Unlike our first two weeks of competition, this test will be far less about metabolic capacity. It’s a test of abilities on our hands. And our separator for athletes is the third station – the strict handstand pushups.

Let’s start with our three buckets for some generalizations:

First, we have our very strong gymnastic athletes who will come close to, if not finish this workout. For this group, we want to dial in on the second half of the handstand pushups. The lunge, the step-ups, and even the first half of the strict handstand pushups are our “buy-in”. Those that can maintain the pace in the second half of these strict reps can set themselves up for the top times.

Second, we have athletes who have strict handstand pushup, but likely won’t be finishing the 50. Our theme for this group is maximizing our planning to space out our efforts on the wall. How we pace an AMRAP 6 strict HSPU is different than an AMRAP 3.

Third, we have our athletes who do not have strict handstand pushups. For this group, it’s a dead sprint – 200 feet of lunges and 50 box step-ups for time. Here, efficiency and positions always counts, but we want to push the limits here to move as fast as we can. Details matter here, as every second can separate hundreds and hundreds of athletes.

Overhead Walking Lunges

On hand placement, let’s slide our grip to the top of the handle and allow the dumbbell to angle down behind us. This reduces the amount of tension we need to hold the bell, which amounts over time. It’s a different grip than when we complete dumbbell snatches, where we’re more in the center.

Box Step-Ups

On these, there’s many ways to hold the bell, and there’s no limitations here on where. What we favor here is the single shoulder “rack”, allowing the handle to rest on the shoulder. With a single arm supporting the front head of the dumbbell so that it stays in place, the weight simply rests there.

Similar to the theme of the walking lunges, we just don’t want to tax the shoulders here as we need them for our HSPU next. We want to lock in a position, and go. What we don’t want to do, is have a hand overhead in support. We saw this with some of the Games-athletes in the live announcement. If our arms are up, they are fatiguing unnecessarily.

Next step, is to turn up our speed. Just like the lunge, we can get metabolic here. And we’ll gladly trade that, to save shoulder strength that gets lost holding the bell. Time under tension adds up. We can accomplish this, by focusing on our footwork.

What we want to avoid is extra steps while on the floor, between repetitions. Knowing the standard, that we alternate legs, we want to fall into the pattern of “tapping” the floor between repetitions, versus, coming to a complete stop.

This allows us to simply tap the ground, and move right into our next rep. If we don’t step down with the same leg we stepped up with, we have to change legs on the ground. Over 50 repetitions, it does make a difference, both in time and under tension.

We can plan for a single break, here, at rep 25, but we want to avoid excessive movement here as it eats away on time and energy. Let’s lock it in place.

For those athletes who will be challenged with the weight, an option as we fatigue will be to step up into a squat on the box. If we can get one foot on the box, and then quickly sneak the other up as well, we can use both legs to stand. A good option to keep in mind for those that could use it to keep moving forward.

Strict Handstand Pushups

The workout separator. Athletes who will complete the lunges and step-ups unbroken will get there in the low-4’s. This is where our individual pacing strategy comes into play. And for all strategies, it’s about the second half.

Whether the finish the 50 reps, or we have 5:00, we want to dial in our second half. One of the Games athletes in the live announcement completed the first 25 handstand pushups in 1:07. The second 25, were 2:38. Over twice as long. After opening with a set of 12, 3’s, 2’s, and singles finished the repetitions.

Many athletes will be tempted to come out with a larger set, to get ahead, but this is what happens. We’re reduced to small sets which take a significant amount of effort and time to kick into and out of. Knowing our capabilities, and how much time we have left on the clock, let’s space out of efforts with the second half in mind. If there’s a single takeaway from this entire piece, it’s that – it’s about focusing on the second.

Handstand Walk

If we arrive here, it’s worth mentioning that athletes have been surprised how challenging the transition is. Knowing how we are pushing to the finish on the 50 strict reps, let’s afford ourselves a brief moment of recomposure here. Don’t rush into the first walk if we aren’t ready for it. And when we do, we know how important the kick up is. Nailing this setup sets the tone for the next steps, and placing our highest focus here is where we need to focus our thoughts in the moment. It’s when we get ahead of ourselves where have to come right back down. Knowing the time and energy it takes to kick up, with the clock in mind, let’s aim for consistent chunks.

One of the highest skill Open workouts we’ve ever seen. Let’s have some fun with this one. Know yourself, race your own race on the wall, and let’s get after it.

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