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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Quick Hits: Regional WODs 4-5 Announced

We're back again for another quick one today after HQ decided to announce Regional WODs 4 and 5 just a day after surprising us with 1-3 on Monday night. For the full descriptions and movement standards, check the Games site. But to recap, here's what we've got:

4) 100 wall balls (20/14 to 10'), 100 chest-to-bar pull-ups, 100 pistols, 100 single DB snatch (70/50)
5) 21-15-9 of deadlifts (315/205), box jumps (30"/24")

First, a quick look at what this does to our key metrics:

  • The average relative weight is now 1.45 for men and 1.01 for women. For both men and women, this is slightly above the average for what we've seen the past two years (note that I've still got an estimate in there for the average load on the 3 RM overhead squat, so these could change slightly). However, one thing that's interesting is that the women's loading is a higher percentage of the men than in past year's. Excluding the 3 RM, the women's average load is about 72% of the men's load, compared with about 65% for the prior two years.
  • The load-based emphasis on lifting (LBEL) is .67 for men and .45 for women. For men, that's actually slightly lower than each of the past two years, while the women are higher than 2011 but lower than 2012. I think that's attributable to the fact that one workout is extremely light ("Jackie") and another is entirely has no lifting at all (30 burpee-muscle-ups). I think it's a bit misleading to say this programming favors smaller athletes, however. One of the "bodyweight" movements so far is rowing, which is not technically weighted but generally favors larger athletes. Overall I think the programming has been about as balanced as the past two years. I expect more of the same on day 3.
  • The average time domain is back more in line with what's typical. Assuming that the 3 RM is basically a time domain of 0, then the average time domain so far is roughly about 8:00. I say roughly because it's tough to say with any certainty how long the average athlete will take on these events. I estimated 6:00 for #1, 6:00 for #3, 23:00 for #4 and 5:00 for #5. I think we can probably expect about 20:00 combined on day 3, assuming there are only two more events.
Every year at the Regionals or Games, there's an event that makes you go, "Wow, the bar has been raised again." In 2011, seeing 45 deadlifts at 315/205 was a shock to a lot of people. In 2012, the 225-lb. hang cleans in event 2 was a game-changer, as well as the insane combination of movements and loading in event 6. This year, I look at event 4 and wonder how these athletes are possibly going to recover from that before event 5. Without having attempted it yet, I suspect this will be much more taxing than the 2011 version of "The 100s," which was awful. The chest-to-bar pull-ups and pistols alone would be a crushing day at the gym for most of us. And because the women's scaling on this is really not that much different than the men, I question how many women will actually complete this under the 25:00 time cap. Of course, the level of athlete tends to surprise me each year, too, so we will see.

As far as event 5, we saw some top athletes go unbroken on this in 2011, and I suspect we will see that from a good chunk of the field this year. I think the top athletes will probably be bunched just under 3:00, with the differences mainly coming down to transition time and who can cycle the box jumps slightly faster. However, remember that athletes did this one relatively fresh on the morning of day 2 that year; this year, they will be just a few hours removed from potentially the most grueling workout in regional history. Recovery will be critical here.

I have to say, day 2 was pretty much right in line with what I expected after day 1 was announced. We did get one of the "long, grinding metcons" (#4) and we got another dumbbell lift (single DB snatch), and of the four movements that were in both 2011 and 2012 that weren't used on day 1, two of them came up on day 2 (deadlift and box jumps). What does that mean for day 3? I'd think that some big Olympic lifting is still yet to come. We've had no barbell snatch or clean so far, so I suspect one or both of those is coming on day 3. I also feel like handstand push-ups are almost a guarantee as well. But again, it doesn't look like we'll have to wait too long to find out.

See you all again after the announcement for day 3.

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