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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Fun With SWAGs: What Will 15.5 Be?

As I mentioned on Twitter last Friday, there will be no podcast this week.  I'm out of town, but for good reason: I'm attending the SOA's Fellowship Admissions Course, which means I'll basically be "graduating" after years of taking actuarial exams.  I'll be coming home with a few new letters after my name, which is pretty cool.

So no podcast, but that means you get more actual, written words from me - just like in ye olden days, back before I was podcasting and tweeting and listening to all that hippety-hop. Before we get to the SWAG, here's a collection of thoughts about 15.4 and the Open so far:

  • If it wasn't already clear, it should be clear now that HQ does not intend the Rx division to be for the masses.  They want the everyday CrossFitter to use that scaled division and aspire to make it to the Rx division.  I think by next year, people will come into the Open with this mindset, but I'm sure it was difficult for a lot of folks to accept that they'll need to scale workouts this year.  But it's just about modifying your perspective, in my opinion.  The Open was always too heavy, too hard, too skilled for a lot of CrossFitters.  Now they've just made the Rx division an even higher bar to attain, but they've left the scaled division there for the masses.  The scaled division is now even more inclusive than the older Opens, so my guess is that in the future, more and more people will scale, and we'll see the Rx division be a smaller subset of the total field than it is now.
  • I liked the movement choices for 15.4 (although they went against my SWAG, of course), but Occam's Razor would say "What the hell are you doing with that rep scheme?"  Would anyone have complained if it was 3-3-6-6-9-9-...?  In that case, the heavy cleans would have played more of a role, and in my opinion, that would have been a well-balanced workout.  The way it was written, it was not only confusing, but also seemed quite biased toward the handstand push-ups.  I just don't get this one.
  • Rich Froning is going to have a hell of a hard time sitting out of the individual competition this year.  The man can't even let Matt Fraser just have the Open title.  Just watch: Rich will win the final workout, and he will do triple Grace at 315 afterwards and post it on Instagram, just to let you know that he still could win the Games if he wanted to.  And Matt Fraser will come in 2nd on the final workout, and he will win the Open, and it will still be damn impressive.
  • How did Annie Thorisdottir sneak back up into 2nd place on the women's side?  Top 11 on the past three workouts?  Looking at the leaderboard right now, I think it's safe to say the women's side is going to be crazy-competitive at the Games this year.
Enough about the past, let's move on to 15.5.  The Rx division of the Open this year is shaping up to be the heaviest (based on LBEL and average relative load) of all-time, by far.  It's actually on par, right now, with what we typically see at Regionals.  Normally I'd say this implies we'll get something lighter in 15.5, but I doubt that's the case this year.  We've seen a progression so far in 2015 of the workouts getting more and more challenging each week, and I think that continues in 15.5.  I also think this workout will be for-time, and I think they'll make use of most of the movements that have showed up in the past but not this year (burpee, thruster, box jump, row, push-up).

With that in mind, I am going to defer to my wife, who came up with this pick last night.  It has everything I was planning to throw in, and if it ain't broke, why fix it?

3 rounds for time of row 500 meters, 21 burpee-box jumps (24"/20"), 12 thrusters (135/95)

As always, post SWAGs to comments, and enjoy the final workout (or workouts?) of the 2015 Open!


  1. We have similar ideas. I wanted to come up with something that used the rower multiple times, but it can be a pain to get the monitor going again, so I decided not to.

    Continuous clock with a time for the row and a total time...

    1,000m Row
    3 rounds
    25 Burpee Box Jump Overs (24/20)
    25 Thrusters (95/65)

    1. Oh boy, do I hope you're wrong...

      That would be a grueling workout...

    2. Yeah, it would suck, but the Rx workouts have been pretty tame for the majority us I think during this Open. The workouts have been mostly about managing muscle fatigue for a gymnastics movement.

      Almost every programming site I follow has some combination of rowing, thrusters, box jumps, and burpees today. Wouldn't surprise me if we're all wrong. :-)

  2. Replies
    1. I keep thinking we'll see something brand new and that's certainly the most obvious

  3. 15.5 - For Time:
    100 Burpees
    75 Box Jumps
    50 Pistols
    25 Thrusters (135/95)
    1K Row

  4. For Time:
    1000m row
    30 Box Jumps (24/20)
    30 Thrusters (95/65)
    30 Bar Facing Burpees

  5. Probably longer than the original post, again.

    I wanted to comment regarding the weight/rep ratio issue that you mentioned in your post. I also wanted to share my opinion about the HSPU standard. I agree, as more Open seasons come, the community as a whole will grumble less about having to go scaled. This year is probably a test run of that, and subsequent years will be even tougher.
    HSPU: At first, especially after watching Josh Bridges struggle on 15.4, I hated the HSPU standard. My opinion changed after watching athletes in our gym adopt better HSPU positions/techniques to help them meet the standards. I feel the 15.4 standard holds athletes of all sizes to a very fair end point.
    Clean: The heaviest weight “above deadlift height” programmed before 15.4 has been 210/120 on the snatch ladders from 2012/2013 and the 165/110 on 11.3. So 185/125 is the obviously the heaviest Clean we have seen. I liked the weight/rep choices, heres why:
    The Ninjas at my gym had no trouble with the HSPUs, until they had to Clean 185 for 6 reps. As the Cleans taxed them, they suddenly lacked the capacity to breath through HSPU. The Beasts scoffed at the “light” Cleans, but muscle fatigue came very quickly on HSPU. They were halted by the inability to press out HSPU. I feel the rep scheme stopped the Beasts and the Ninjas at a very comparable total rep number. On the other hand, the Firebreathers turned this into an aerobic feat of awesomeness. They were only limited by the ability to properly pace. After watching our athletes all weekend, I changed my mind about how well programmed this WOD was.
    I feel if the weight had been 135/95, then a “matched rep” couplet might have made sense. However, I think the heavier Clean with lower reps did the job of selecting for the best competitive CFers.

    The "Classic Open Movements" that remain are: Thruster, Box Jump, Burpee, S2OH, and Row. The first three movements have been in every Open. The S2OH been in two previous Opens. Three times if you consider that it was counted as its own rep in 11.3. I know it was S2OH was a scaled option this week, but it hasn't been used in Rx’d. I'm counting it. HSPU were subbed with PP for scaled teams in the Team Series and PP was also used in Rx’d. We know the Row has only been programmed once for 14.4.

    I still feel new movements might slip in. Front Squats: tested in the Team Series. I wanted FS in my SWAG, but I suspect a lot of Thrusters in 15.5. Pistols: may be a year away, but I am holding out hope that I am right. Bar MU: I'm told the judges course tested judging this movement, but we may also be a year also… or it was tested because it will make a Regional 2015 appearance. Burpee Box Jumps: programmed in the Team Series.

    The Team Series had a Clean variant three times. Clean was programmed twice in 2011. I am not saying I feel another Clean coming, I am just pointing out that HQ has a history of multiple movement use. I could see them enjoying the “shock value” that would come along with using a movement that we have already dismissed.

    Still holding out for multiple score bookends to the Open.

    I wanted to have a max Snatch or a 3RM of Front Squat or OHS in my 15.5 prediction. I could't make it work logistically with what I suspect HQ will do with a barbell. Went out on a limb with the first part, I really like the second part though.


    AMRAP in 4 Minutes
    40 calorie Row
    20 Pistols
    10 Bar MU

    At 4 Minutes
    For Time
    Thrusters @ 95/65
    Burpee Box Overs 30/24

  6. Blue's Clues detective work on hints to #obvious? movements for 15.5

    Current Casto IG 15.5 Hints:

    Last year, everyone knew Burpees and Thrusters were coming on 14.5. This past weekend, Castro posted back to back Kendrick Lamar sound/video snippets to IG.

    The first was a sound bite from a Lamar song that references "jumping high enough".

    The second is a music video in which Lamar actually raps the word Burpee. He also mentions a P89, a pistol that requires 9mm ammo. Pretty sure "jump high enough" is for Box Jumps, and Burpee is for Burpee.

    Song lyrics from Castro IG post 4 days ago:
    …Kool-Aid on weekdays
    Or JUMP HIGH ENOUGH to get Michael Jordan endorsements
    Or watch BET cause urban support is important
    So why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street?
    When gang banging make me kill a n**** blacker than me?

    Song lyrics from Castro IG post 3 days ago:
    And when the stakes are high, I stake out for days
    And when the water reside, you're Bobby Boucher
    But we thirsty n****, never alert me, n****
    I got a [P89] in a suitcase
    I know you heard me, n****, this is a BURPEE, n****
    Lyrical exercise

  7. 15.5

    95/65-lb. thrusters
    Burpees (bar-facing, jump over bar)

  8. Some good data on 15.4:

    1. Just perused those two. They have some good stuff, the Games site analysis is definitely better than in previous weeks. Nick Momrik pointed me to the data behind that stuff, so I think I'll have some good stuff for you guys when the Open wraps up. A lot of new stuff this year, so it will be nice to take a step back and really evaluate the season as a whole.

  9. OK, firstly we've seen thrusters in the last WOD of every Open from 2011 through 2014. That is a pattern that is due to continue.
    They've historically been at 100/65lbs (although last year was 95/65) so continuing with this year's theme of being heavier than ever I'm going to call 115/75.

    Again, based on history, the last WOD of the Open is historically a couplet, so what to pair it with?
    Well, we've not seen burpees or box jumps yet so why not combine the movement for some burpee-box-jumps, just like in the Team Series?

    As for time, for time, why not? It's what all the cool kids are picking.
    And rep scheme? 3 rds, 30 reps.

    So that gives us:

    3 rds for time:
    30 thrusters (115/75)
    30 burpee box jumps

    I hope I'm wrong...

  10. 500m row
    250m farmers carry
    200m burpee broadjumps
    150m stiff legged bear crawls
    100m inchworms
    50 box jumps
    25 thrusters

    for time

  11. 15.5 SWAG

    Thrusters 95lbs
    Box Jumps

    For time

  12. I'm thinking they might want to recreate the long "for time" (task priority) aspect of 14.5. None of the workouts have been particularly long and grueling for _everyone_; 15.3 could be if you had easy MUs and DUs, and 15.3/15.4 were if you went scaled, but none of those were the case for me, at least.

    If they ignore the rowing (they used it once, but it's not particularly interesting), combine burpees and box jumps (or overs), and up the weight of thrusters, they could do one hell of a nod to 14.5. I was thinking they might go with a 30" box, but not sure if most gyms have enough of those. Because of that, I'll keep it 24"/20". Unsure if thrusters should be 135/95 or 115/75.

    Oh, and pistols. I really think they should add these. They won't add them at the end of a long FT workout since people might fail and have to submit nada. They pro'ly won't do them first because they already did that with MUs. So 15.5/15.5a. And for easy clock management, they'd need to do pistols in the first segment. This brings me to something along the lines of:

    2 minute max Alternating Leg Pistols

    Thrusters, 115/75
    Burpee Box Jump Overs, 24"/20"