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Monday, May 6, 2013

Quick Hits: Regional WODs 1-3 Announced

Well, I had considered putting a last-minute wild-ass guess for Regional WOD #1 tonight, but instead HQ decided to go ahead and announce WODs 1-3 early. In case you haven't seen them yet, head to the Games site now to take a look at the full details, then mosey on back this way for some quick reaction.

So here's what we've got:

1) "Jackie" - Row 1,000, 50 thrusters (45/45), 30 pull-ups
2) Overheard squat 3RM (technically a ladder); rest 2:00, then:
3) 30 burpee-muscle-ups for time

Briefly, here's what we have right now in terms of some of the metrics I typically use:

  • Although I'll have to wait until the competition is done to determine the average loading on the overhead squat, I've put in estimates of 255 for men and 175 for women at the moment. Through three events, that puts us with an average relative weight of 1.77 for men and 1.24 for women. That number doesn't mean too much to me, given that one of the three events is a max-effort.
  • The load-based emphasis on lifting is 0.78 for men and 0.55 for women. This is lower than 2012 but heavier than 2011, so I think days 2-3 will probably be right in this range, too. In other words, there's no reason to expect days 2-3 to be exceptionally heavy or exceptionally light.
  • The average time domain here is very short. Most men will be around 6:00 on WOD 1, and WOD 2 is essentially a max-effort (i.e. time domain of 0). WOD 3 is kind of tough to predict, but the time cap is 7:00, so the average should be a bit shorter than that (maybe 5:30 for men, 6:30 for women?). That means we're looking at an average time of around 4:00-5:00 through three events, so I'd fully expect another long, grinding metcon on day 2, in the style of 2011 WOD #4 ("The 100s") or 2012 WOD #4 (squat/pull-up/jerk).
Beyond the numbers, I think the programming looks decent to me right now. I'm not a huge fan of "Jackie" for top athletes because it's so light and the 45-lb. thrusters present a potential judging problem. However, I do like that we've got an event that really puts an emphasis on rowing, rather than uses it as sort of a space-filler. If you're rowing a 3:45 or 3:50 at regionals (for men), you're probably toast on this one.

The overhead squat ladder I like, largely because it's a bit different than the typical ladders we've seen in years past. Having to get the weight overhead presents a bit of a challenge, and the fact that the time between lifts is not structured adds some strategy. Ultimately, it's basically still a max-effort workout, which is fine, because we've come to expect one of those at the Regionals and Games each year.

The burpee muscle-up workout will be really intriguing to me. The fact that the rings are set at a predetermined height (only 7-4 for men and 6-10 for women) could give taller athletes an advantage. I may have to test this out myself (I'm 6-3), but I wouldn't be surprised if the taller guys actually go to something like a jumping muscle-up. Hopefully it's not that big of an advantage. Still, I I think this one will test the athletes' conditioning as well as simply gymnastics proficiency, and I think you could really see some shake-ups in the standings on this one given the complexity of the movement.

So what's left on the table for days 2-3? Well, there haven't been any true Olympic lifts announced yet, so I'd venture to say a heavy dose of cleans, jerks and snatches are yet to come. I also think they'll go back to a dumbbell lift for at least one event again. Handstand push-ups are almost certain to come out, as well as running (hopefully more than last year). But actually, the full list of movements that haven't come up yet but have been in both 2011 and 2012 regionals is relatively short:

Snatch, deadlift, handstand push-up and box jump (technically double-unders, too, but in 2012 they only came up as a minor part of the snatch ladder)

Of course, we don't have to wait much longer, so all these predictions will be moot soon. And when they do, I'll see you all again for a more complete breakdown of the Regional events. Eventually I'd like to put together some sort of predictions for results, but I'll plan to wait at least until all the events have been announced. See you all again soon!

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