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The Open Cycle

By Arthur Leung | In Article, Blog | on January 29, 2016

As a kid, find I loved playing ping-pong and soccer. When I came to US, I started playing around little bit with skateboarding. I was doing all of them as a hobby. Although I was not good at any of them, these sports helped me build muscle coordination.

One day, I saw Jackie Chan’s movie called ‘Drunken Master’ and found an intense urge to learn Chinese martial arts Kungfu/Wushu. I spent next 10-12 years learning Kungfu/Wushu. This is when I started learning a lot about muscle flexibility, training consistency, importance of being fit, skill improvement, and having fun through hard work. I competed in various collegiate and national tournaments. Overtime, I also learned other martial arts such as Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, and Karate.

Then a friend of mine introduced me to CrossFit and Weightlifting. These sports present different kind of challenge and dedication. I quickly fell in love with them and hope to keep on doing for a long long time. In weightlifting, I have won Maryland State 2011 championships and came 5th in US National championships 2012. I also have US Weightlifting (USAW) Level 1 certification.

I will be happy to help you in any way I can.

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Image by C. Campbell

The Crossfit Open will start on February 25th. It’s less than a month away! The Open is when Crossfit athletes around the world will put their fitness to the test. The Open is the first stage in the three-stage journey to The Games. This video explains it more. For 5 weeks, rx one workout is released that will test your fitness, viagra toughness, and determination.

For the next 8 weeks, our programming will focus primarily on preparing for the Open workouts. Expect to work on movements and workouts that will likely be in the Open. They will likely involve couplet, triplet, and chipper (more on these later) type of workouts consisting of olympic lifts and gymnastics. Our previous cycles have made you stronger and better at Olympic lifts, gymnastics, and skills without sacrificing conditioning. This cycle is the culmination of what we’ve been working so hard for during our previous cycles.

So, let’s dive right in and see how this cycle will prepare us for The Open.

What to expect in the Open
The Games site has all the Open workouts from the past three years. Having said that, we can make a fairly accurate guess of what type of workouts we might see:

  • 4 Couplets and triplets lasting no longer than 20 minutes with barbells at moderate loads
  • 4 Movements done with a barbell, pull-up bar, a box, a medicine ball, and rings.
  • 4 Movements that can be done in a garage gym

It’s certainly possible we may see movements that were excluded in the past like pistols or handstand push ups, but we’re confident that we are still addressing the major points to be competitive at this year’s Open.

Couplets, Triplets, and Chippers
Most of our conditioning workouts actually have been couplets and triplets. A couplet simply means a workout with two movements. A triplet, then, is a workout with three movements.

Here’s an example of a couplet:
Open 11.1 Workout
30 Double Unders
15 Power Snatches (75/55)

Here’s an example of a triplet:
Open 12.3 Workout
15 Box Jumps (24/20)
12 Shoulder To Overhead (115/75)
9 Toes To Bar

We expect there to be a moderately loaded barbell combined with a gymnastic and/or skill movement. In this cycle, we will work on cycle time of reps and transition time between exercises. These workouts will challenge you to find your “engine” so that you can move with very minimal rest. So it’s important to find your pace without “redlining” (the point in the workout when you can no longer move because you’re gasping for air and you don’t know if you’ll make it to the end).

A chippers is a workout that consists of a high-volume of multiple exercises. Its purpose is to slow down athletes, even the top competitors, so that they can’t move through the entire workout quickly.

Here’s an example of a chipper:
Open 13.1
40 burpees, 6? jump
30 snatches (75/45)
30 burpees, 6? jump
30 snatches (135/75)
20 burpees, 6? jump
30 snatches (165/100)
10 burpees, 6? jump
AMRAP snatches (210/120)

During the Open, the chippers are usually placed in front of a high skill movement or a heavy lift in order to test your fitness capacity. You need to be able to perform a high skill movement or lift something heavy in a fatigued state. We will incorporate the CP battery training to address this need.

What the heck is that you ask?

Well, read on.

CP Battery Training
A rough explanation of the purpose of the CP (creatine phosphate) battery pathway is that it gives you the ability to consistently perform heavy squats, fast sprints, high jumps at near maximal effort. Think of the CP battery like the battery on your mobile phone that needs to be recharged after browsing Facebook all day. Your CP battery gets drained at high intensity efforts and you need to recharge it to continue performing at a high level. Here’s the science-y explanation of this pathway, if you’re interested. So we need to train this re-charging mechanism.

But how? You ask?

Basically, we will have sessions that will put you in a fatigued state and then perform a high skill movement or a heavy lift immediately afterwards.

Open 15.1 Workout
AMRAP 9 of
15 Toes To Bar
10 Deadlifts (115/75)
5 Snatches
6 Minutes To Find
1 RM Clean And Jerk

Notice that there is no rest between the first and second part of the workout above. The first part places you in a fatigued state and immediately afterwards, you have to find your 1RM on a lift.

Skill Improvement
You can expect to see skill movements like double unders, pull ups, and power snatches. Luckily, we’ve been working on these skills a lot and many of you have made great progress. These skills require practice and proper technique. If you continue to struggle with skill movements, continue working on them. Ideally, you’d want to practice in a non-fatigued state. We encourage you to do them during warmups or after class after you’ve completely recovered from the workout session. We will continue to work with you on proper technique during class. Also, the barbell club will help you with your Olympic lifting technique. They meet on Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30 PM, and Sunday at 9 AM.


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During The Open, we will reserve one day during the week for all athletes to do the posted workout of the week (remember that a new workout is posted each week for five weeks). Expect your fellow athletes to judge you during the workouts. This means that you will likely also need to judge them.

There are a few basic requirements to being an effective judge:

  • 4 Know the movement standards (squats are below parallel, chin over the bar for pull ups)
  • 4 Ask your athlete about their counting preference (silent or audible)
  • 4 Space and equipment awareness (make sure your athlete has plenty of space to operate)
  • 4 Most importantly, be honest (don’t be afraid to hand out repeated “no-reps!”)

These basic qualities will ensure the integrity of your score. As the judge, be encouraging but uphold the movement standards. As the athlete, avoid “no-reps” by performing the movement standards. And, don’t worry about losing count of your reps, your fellow athlete will help you out with that.

In order to become comfortable with judging, we need to practice. So prepare to wear your judging hats during some of the workout sessions as you may be asked to judge your fellow athletes.

So let’s prepare for The Open together and continue to explore what we’re capable of. It will be fun.

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