Welcome to week 4 of the 2013 Open. After a disappointing showing with my scientific wild-ass guess (SWAG) last week, I'm dialed in and ready to roll for week 4. But first, I wanted to address a question from the comments about my post on points needed to regionals. I think it's a topic that actually feeds nicely into the prediction for this week.
Reader Brian Gresham pointed out that we're seeing pretty low point totals for the top 48 athletes in most regions compared to what I had been projecting. For instance, the 48th place male in the Central East region has 211 points, which is still about 400 points shy of my 'mid' prediction through 5 weeks. What are some possible reasons for this? Well, first, I think the fact that we only have two years of data makes it tough to be accurate, especially when most regions are substantially bigger than the biggest region in 2012 or 2011. Secondly, I think I'll probably re-visit this model next year and consider fitting a square-root (or some over concave down curve), because the slope probably flattens out as the regions get bigger and bigger. Third, let's keep in mind that we've only had three weeks, and these point totals could jump up a lot in the final two weeks. Still, if I'm a betting man, I'm betting my models over-predicted.
But that being said, a big reason for this is the programming this year. The three workouts have all been relatively similar, especially compared to the first three workouts last year. Remember, if you programmed Fran for 5 straight workouts, you'd probably be looking at a very low point total to finish 48th because the results would be really similar every week. Here's what we've seen through 3 weeks in 2011, 2012 and 2013:
2011: Time domains of 10, 15, 5. A couplet, triplet and single modality (if you count C&J as one movement). One very heavy workout that really mixed up the standings, plus one workout that relied heavily on double-unders, which always can shake things up.
2012: Time domains of 7, 10, 18. Two single-modalities and a triplet. One workout completely favoring smaller athletes and one athlete completely favoring heavier athletes. This definitely leads to big variation in points week-to-week.
2013: Time domains of 17, 10, 12. Two triplets and a couplets. The burpees on 13.1 seemed to hold back some of the pure strength folks (even Olympic games weightlifter Chad Vaughn barely cracked 150). No extremely heavy workouts, no extremely light workouts (though 13.2 was all about conditioning).
Clearly through 3 events, 2013 has had the most homogenous programming. In fact, through 3 events last year, the 48th place male in the Central East actually had 308 points despite a field that was half the size of this year's field. I don't think the programming has been bad, and in fact, I've argued in the past that testing single modalities in the Open isn't a great idea for exactly the reason that they can allow athletes who aren't as well-rounded to shake things up too much. There are only 5 workouts, so we want ones that tell us a lot about the athletes.
Now, what does that mean for 13.4? Well, looking at that comparison of 2011-2013, we can see what's missing from this year's programming: short and heavy. The average time has been 13:00, compared to the 2-year average of 11:00. The load-based emphasis on lifting (LBEL) through 3 events this year is about .41 for men and .25 for women, which is below the 2-year averages of .48 and .31. The average relative weight also is low at .81 and .50, compared to 2-year averages of .96 and .62. Not that HQ is necessarily thinking in terms of these exact numbers, but I think it's a reasonable assumption that by the end of week 5, we'll end up with similar numbers to the past two years.
Let's also consider what movements are still on the table, with the number of times they've appeared in past Opens in parentheses: pull-up (2), thruster (2), toes-to-bar (2), clean (1), overhead squat (1), push-up (1). For the sake of judging, I'm going to pray they don't put in push-ups. So that leaves the other 5 movements. I also highly doubt we'll see 11.6/12.5 repeated again, since they just repeated 12.4. So, with all that in mind, here's what I got for 13.4:
AMRAP 6 of 3 squat clean thrusters (155/100), 9 pull-ups (chest-to-bar) - squat clean & jerks are allowed
Feel free to throw in your best SWAG in the comments. I promise a serious high-five if and when we meet if you get it right. Good luck to everyone on 13.4!