Follow me on Twitter!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fun with SWAGs: What Will 14.5 Be?

See? I told you. I knew last week was the week. For the first time in 8 tries (dating back to last year), I put up a SWAG that was pretty close to spot-on. Sure, I missed the row (who saw that coming?), but the combination of wall ball, toes-to-bar, 135/95 cleans and muscle-ups was pretty much spot-on. Will it ever happen again? Eh, probably not.

As for this week, things should be pretty straightforward with just a few movements left on the table. With that in mind, a few quick thoughts before we get to the pick:
  • I've really enjoyed the programming so far this season.  Aside from this past week, it has not been in my favor, but still, I like that they have been willing to get creative and take some chances with the programming. They've also avoided any judging disasters like they had last season with 13.2.
  • Having the video requirement for regional qualifiers seems to have increased the number of videos available for top athletes. This has been nice to see, as it's highlighted how completely legit most of the top athletes are. When I watch a video of a Games-level athlete, the reps are all crystal clear and the range of motion leaves no doubt (except in the head-to-head Open announcement WODs, which seem to have had some questionable reps, in my opinion).
  • I have to say, I'm not sure why HQ felt they needed to add a row this year. In any other setting, I would have no problem with this, but if they really want the Open to be "the most egalitarian sport in the world," requiring the use of a $1,000 piece of equipment doesn't really make sense. Sure, this only impacts 0.1% of the athletes in the Open, but really, was it necessary?
  • I'll have more on this later this week, but at first glance, it appears that my method for mid-week projections worked fairly well last week. Many thanks to Andrew Havko for pulling the data for me at several points this weekend, and thanks to the several others who offered up their services for helping me pull the data.
OK, let's get down to brass tacks. We all know what's left on the table for 14.5: burpees and thrusters. Yes, jerks are left as well, but I don't see them skipping burpees or thrusters, and I doubt they'll put jerks in a workout that already has thrusters. So I'm going to assume it's a couplet of burpees and thrusters.

Weight-wise, I think this needs to be relatively heavy, considering the LBEL and average weight load are still below their historical averages. As far as the time domain, I think they'll keep it short. We have been hovering around 10 minutes throughout the Open, but considering last week was 14 minutes and we're likely to have only two movements this week, I can't see them going long for 14.5.

Bearing all that in mind, let's get to it. My SWAG for 14.5 is:

AMRAP 7 of 3 bar-facing burpees, 3 thrusters (115/75), 6 bar-facing burpees, 6 thrusters, 9 bar-facing burpees, 9 thrusters, ...

I hate putting down something that looks so familiar, but we've seen that 7-minute, 3-6-9-... pattern in each of the past three Opens, so I feel like I had to go with it again this year. I figure the 115/75 thrusters are a bit of a diversion from prior years where it has typically been 100/65, but yeah, this one is kinda dull. Let's hope Castro proves me wrong.

Post SWAGs to comments, and good luck to everyone on 14.5!


  1. No triplets yet this year... Any chance we will see another new movement? Maybe HSPU or pistols?

    1. Please let us see pistols! :-)

    2. Your guess is as good as mine. Before 14.4, they had never used any movements that didn't show up in 2011. So now the door is open for them to possibly expand the list of movements. I'd be surprised if they use pistols, unless they come at the end of a workout (like muscle-ups). Although I'd be fine with them coming up, I think they are still too challenging for many average CrossFitters to perform Rx'd.

      Another possibility is that snatches come back, since they were used very early on, the weight was super-light, and clean-and-jerks were actually allowed instead.

  2. Well, I'm going to call for a single movement of a new move... this week will be

    AMRAP 5 of:

    burpee-squat-clean-thruster with 50lb db's.

  3. I think there will be another wild card: rope climbs
    Perhaps an ascending thruster ladder and rope climbs... kind of like "legless" from the 2013 Games, but you get to use your legs.

  4. My initial guess:

    12:00 AMRAP
    10 Thrusters (100/70)
    15 Bar-facing Burpees
    20 DU

    But I think we may see something completely new again for this final workout and they are bringing out the big dogs with 5 past champions for the live announcement. So I tried to come up with something we have never seen before.

    7:00 AMRAP of Thrusters

    You choose your weight from 45/35, 75/55, 100/65, 135/95, 165/110, but you can't change it once the clock starts. Your score is reps x weight. If you did 50 reps with 100# your score would be 5,000.

    I get excited imagining the data this would produce!!

    1. 7 minutes straight of thrusters would be horrendous, there is no doubt about that. But it is possible. I actually had an idea for a similar workout that might make sense at regionals (or the Open, I suppose):

      EMOM x 10
      5 unbroken thrusters/squats/whatever - athlete picks the weight each round, score is the total weight accumulated. However, failing to reach 5 in any round gets you nothing for that round.

      So you would end up seeing lots of strategy as athletes pushed the limits of how heavy they think they could go. I think something like this would be interesting considering how popular the EMOM-style workouts have become in the community.

    2. I would love to see more WODs like this. I think anything that gives the athletes more freedom to come up with strategies and game plans makes it more interesting than just laying out a WOD and saying 'GO!'

      Tony Budding has sort of hinted that his new league, NFPL, would have events like this, where strategy was just as important as your ability to get the work done.

    3. I hadn't even heard of the NFPL before you mentioned that (or the fact that Tony Budding had left HQ). Interesting to see how that plays out in the future. Any idea if there is animosity between him/NFPL and CrossFit HQ?

    4. I haven't seen anything hostile between the two, but you gotta think it's there. While the NFPL is a total pipe dream now, if it works, it'll be the first legit competition to the Games. Eventually the top level athletes would have to pick one or the other, unless they can really survive with no off season. I've been fascinated with this idea since I heard about it a couple months back and with them getting big times Games athletes to commit already, I'm even more stoked. Really like the idea that OPT is heavily involved too.

  5. Everyone in the world think we'll see burpees and thrusters, so I'm thinking Castro has to have something else up his sleeve. Here's what I'm going with:

    12 minute AMRAP
    15 Thrusters
    12 Bar Facing Burpees
    9 Sumo Deadlift Highpulls

    Maybe starting with 95lb and increasing from there

  6. So now "for time" WODs are in play as well....the predicting business just got infinitely more difficult.

    You did have the right rep scheme though, just in reverse.