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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Quick Hits: All Regional WODs Announced

We're back for the third post in three days. Today HQ finalized the lineup of Regional WODs for the individuals and announced all of the team WODs. I'm not going to be covering the team WODs at all, since that's never really been an emphasis of this blog (maybe someday), but let's go ahead and break down the individual lineup now that it's complete.

Here's a recap of some of the key metrics I typically track:

  • Currently, I have calculated the average relative weight at 1.49 and 1.01 for women. This is above the past two years for each. I should note that these numbers lack a little bit of precision at the moment for two reasons: 1) the average load that will be attained on the OHS 3 RM is not known yet; and 2) I had to make a new assumption about the base weight for the weighted front rack lunge (I used 75-lbs. as a 1.00 on this one, equivalent to a 135-lb. clean). I'm reserving the right to adjust this after watching the competition and gauging just how difficult those lunges appear (or just trying it myself, I suppose). Regardless, the key takeaway here is that the average loading is at or above what we've seen in prior regionals.
  • If we limit that to metcons only, the numbers drop to 1.13 for men and .75 for women. These are right in line with prior years.
  • Despite the average-to-above-average loading, the load-based emphasis on lifting (LBEL) is just .64 for men and .43 for women, which is below both of the past two years. Why? Simple: lifts account for only 43% of the points this year, compared to 48% in 2011 and 67% in 2012. As I mentioned yesterday, that's a bit deceiving because rowing is not counted as lift, but yet it tends to favor larger athletes. I still believe this year's programming favors smaller athletes more so than last year and probably about the same as 2011 (do I smell Spealler for a 7th straight, perhaps?).
To illustrate these a bit better, here's a chart showing the average loading and LBEL for the past three regionals. Note the spike in LBEL last year.

I think we'll have to wait and see how things actually play out to truly judge this year's programming as "good" or "bad," but on paper, I think it looks pretty decent. I think HQ restored some balance after going probably a little bit overboard with the lifting last year, and they hit a wide range of movements (20 by my count, about the same as prior years). When lifting is used this year, it's at or above the level of prior years, but that's offset by a heavy dose of bodyweight movements, which has been more typical of programming at the Games in the past.

My one concern is the lack of running. We do have some sprints (in the final event only), but in total, there are less than 300 meters worth of running this year. I'm going to assume that's a logistical issue, but I think as we move forward, HQ should not continue to ignore any sort of distance running for the first two rounds of competition and then test it in a big way at the Games. My feeling is that you want the athletes who will perform best at the Games to qualify for the games. Having a bunch of bad runners qualify for the Games and then having them run a 15K just doesn't make sense to me. Let's hope this is something that can get worked out with better venues in the future.

Well that's it for me for now. I'll be back in the next couple weeks to make some sort of predictions about Regionals, although I can't commit to how specific they'll be. I haven't taken a stab at predicting Regionals before, and I fully expect it will not be easy.

See you all again soon.


  1. Am I correct that athletes have to snatch or clean the weight for the OHS ladder? Assuming the answer is yes, did that lift count into your analysis?

    1. Yes, that is correct, they have to clean or snatch the weight overhead. Currently, I did not include that in my analysis. My assumption is that athletes won't be limited by the amount they can clean and jerk, but rather the amount they can overhead squat. The only change that would occur with a rack is that you wouldn't have to clean the weight, but you'd still have to jerk it from behind the neck.

      But if it turns out that a significant portion of the athletes are limited by the clean and jerk portion, I would consider including that in an updated version of the analysis.