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The 2016 CrossFit Open is in the books. We have done the standard congratulations for everyone who participated (fully deserved of course!) but what have we learned from the experience?
Let’s start out with some numbers.
Shout out to our top performers who put together some impressive performances.
Unsurprisingly Sophie was top of the female category in 305th place and our best overall athlete. A special note should go to her performance in 16.4, the deadlift/wall ball/row/hspu combo. She topped all athletes at our gym with 235 reps. That meant 1 entire round plus 15 deadlifts in the second round which gave her a very impressive 79th place finish in Europe.
Chris was our best male athlete and he finished in 306th place in Europe. Titouan was not far behind in 422nd, but both are outstanding results.
As a team CrossFit GVA finished in 102nd place in Europe out of 477 teams. This was due to the performance of our top 3 athletes in the male and female categories who were as follows:
What about the rest of us mere mortals? What can we take away from our performances?
One achievement that some can be proud of is finishing all 5 workouts. The first workout of the CrossFit Open is usually greeted with a massive amount of nervousness and excitement. By week 4, that starts to flag. Athletes realise that as cool as the Open is, it’s also pretty damned painful! Combined with work and family commitments, it can be hard to complete all 5 weeks. At CrossFit GVA 76 out of the 112 registered athletes posted 5 official scores.
So what about the workouts themselves? What can we take going forwards and learn for next year? There are a couple of huge takeaway for those who want to improve.
Number one is that having a strategy for each workout is absolutely vital. Starting each wod as fast as you can is not a strategy. At least not for anything other than crashing and burning.
It is hard to strategise if you don’t know your own limitations. How many toes to bar can you do to failure? How many sub maximal sets can you do for 10 minutes? This knowledge comes with training and experience so keep at it!!
Number two is that technical proficiency in certain key movements is absolutely key. We saw this in pretty much every workout other than 16.5.
In 16.1 the chest to bar pull ups were a deciding factor in the scores. Those that were efficient with this movement were able to post better scores. Failed reps were a killer in this workout, both physically and mentally.
In 16.2 weightlifting proficiency was the difference. Athletes who were able to maintain good technique under fatigue did well. We saw strong athletes with decent PR clean numbers struggle in this workout. Under fatigue any technique deficiencies become magnified. You might be able to overcome small positional problems when fresh, but when you are tired more often than not this results in no reps.
In 16.3 the bar muscle up was introduced as a new movement to the Open. We had endless debates as to whether or not these are harder than ring muscle ups. The consensus seemed to be that for some they were easier and for others not so much. Nonetheless here was another skill/gymnastics movement that proved to be the difference in a good or bad score.
In 16.4 gymnastics again was critical. A good tiebreak time in the deadlift, row and wall balls was important, but proficiency in the handstand push up was far more important. We saw some athletes post relatively poor tiebreak times in comparison to others, but still easily have better overall scores thanks to the ability to string together multiple handstand push ups.
16.5 was a good old fashioned CrossFit beatdown. Skill was less of a factor than the ability to go to a very dark place and stay there for as long as possible. No fun at all!
We hope that everyone who took part in the Open had a positive experience and those of you who watched some of the workouts are inspired to participate next year. We still believe that the Open is something everyone should try and we hope to see even more people signed up in 2017.