By Coach Tim Lawrence.
I thought that, after 17.1, we could let the new 22.5kg dumbells and box of tape gather dust, but how wrong I was. That was surprise number one. The second surprise is that, for the first time, we are seeing pull-ups being programmed for scaled athletes. This week’s Open WOD is, essentially, two different workouts depending on your ability to perform bar muscle ups or pull-ups and I’ll expand on this below when considering pacing and strategy.
But first, let’s take a look at each of the movements. First, the dumbell walking lunges. Two things here: try very hard not to break these, find a rhythm and get them done. Second, relax your grip as much as you can, try and preserve your grip strength for the toes-to-bar and bar muscle ups/pull-ups. There is some room to interpet the standard here: you are required to keep the dumbells “at the shoulders”, and the demo shows the rear hex on the athlete’s shoulder, gripping the dumbell in the conventional manner. If you do this, try and keep the elbows up so that as much of the weight as possible rests on your shoulders, rather than using your hands and arms to support the weight. I have seen a photo of Sam Briggs doing the WOD and it looks as though she has the dumbells resting on her shoulders with her hands on top of the handles, which appears to meet the requirement to have the dumbbells at the shoulder and having the hands remaining around the handle. I tried this but found it quite cumbersome.
So far as the gymnastic movements are concerned, it’s vital to be efficient and to avoid failure. Break the sets down, with short breaks in between. Bear in mind, with the T2B and pull-ups, that fast singles, if you commit to them, are a fast and effective way to get through the reps. Don’t be afraid to use this method.
With the cleans, use a power clean, dipping to receive the dumbells – this will be less demanding on your grip than muscle cleaning. Try to avoid breaking them. If you need to break, try and do seven reps, take a break, then do your final clean, keep the dumbbells at your shoulders and start the lunges.
Try and transition between the rig and dumbells as rapidly as possible and avoid using the transitions as an opportunity for an exended rest.
Finally, strategy. If you have bar muscle ups or pull-ups, then your approach should be to move through the first two rounds quickly, but not at a speed which will leave you struggling to get through these movements. Remember: getting even a single bar muscle up (rx) or pull-up (scaled) will be game-changing in leaderboard terms. However, if you know that you are unable, or unlikely, to make a single rep, then your goal is to get through the first two rounds as quickly as possible on order to get a great tie-break. You don’t need to think about preserving grip and keeping your heart rate down, push hard and move quickly.
Good luck to everyone who will be doing 17.2 over the weekend, can’t wait to see how you get on!