Follow me on Twitter!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Quick Hits: Open Week 1 Initial Thoughts

This will just be a quick one, since we really don't have enough results in to draw a ton of conclusions, but I wanted to write up some thoughts on the first workout before I head out of town tomorrow morning. I've got a more detailed post planned looking at the number of points you'll likely need to score in order to make regionals. It's an interesting topic for sure, but for now, let's stick with Week 1.

So here we go, in no particular order:
  • I really like the programming here, especially as it compares to last year. Not that HQ was influenced in any way by my blog, but I'd like to quote my last post regarding WOD design: "For instance, something like AMRAP 10 of 10 snatches (95/65), 10 burpees will punish the specialist more so than AMRAP 7 of burpees followed by AMRAP 10 of snatches." Lo and behold, HQ actually puts up a workout that does punish the specialist more by setting up the workout this way. A little eerie, no? 
  • Thank you, HQ for implementing a tie-breaker. Although I'm sure there may be some bumps along the way with people inputting this incorrectly, the scoring is infinitely more fair to everyone involved. There is no more push to get that ONE REP that will make a 4,000-point difference. Also, the athletes who get that one or two snatches at the beginning of each new weight are now rewarded the way they should be, since all the athletes who tied just below them don't automatically get pushed up to the top end. 
  • Time will tell, but my feeling is that this workout punishes the "burpee-specialist" more than the "snatch-specialist." Most people can grind through the first 100 reps, but what will really separate a large majority of people will be that 30 snatches at 135/75. I'd like to do the type of leveraging analysis I talked about in my last post, but the varying weights on the snatch makes it a bit more complicated. Maybe we can do something with the results to look into this once they're complete.
  • As an athlete, I was surprised how much this workout hurt. I underestimated the "suck" factor of the burpees, and I'm not exactly sure why. Burpees are always terrible; I suppose that's the lesson here. For what it's worth, I got 154 reps (4 snatches at 165) and that will probably be my only attempt.
  • I'd be curious how HQ chose the weights for this. My guess was that when they set it up last year (12.2), they tried to base the weights on specific percentiles of the 1RM's that were listed. They are certainly out of line with the typical women's scaling (more reading on women's scaling in a prior post for those interested). It looks like we're seeing that for the top women, these weights are much easier than for the top men, which is consistent with what we saw last year. I could see someone like an Annie Thorisdottir or Lindsay Valenzuela hitting 20+ snatches at 120.
  • Now that the snatch and burpees have been combined, we're likely to see at least one more movement than we saw last year. My hope is that there are no single-modality workouts this year, because in my opinion, five workouts isn't enough to waste one of those on a single movement. Especially in light of how incredibly tight the competition is getting just to qualify for regionals, you need to test as many things as possible in order to select the best athletes.
As I noted above, my next post will look into how many points an athlete will likely need to reach regionals. Suffice it to say you don't need to be in the top 48 every week to finish there, but exactly how far you can fall in any given week is a tricky question to answer. Though it likely won't affect me,  a lot of athletes need to know what types of scores they can afford to post, and whether re-doing a workout (and wasting a training day) is a necessity.

Good luck to all the rest of week 1!

1 comment:

  1. Super glad you're back for the '13 Open, as I love reading your analysis.

    Wondering if you know of any other folks also blogging (quality) analysis of the '13 Open. There were a few others last year but (so far) it looks like you're the only one writing this year.