“So how are you gonna break it up?”
This seems to be the most popular question among CrossFitters as soon as they see any workout posted. What’s the best strategy to maximize efficiency and performance? Well with a workout like 14.2 you better think carefully about where your strengths lie and even more carefully about your weaknesses.
The ascending ladder style (as many can remember from 13.5) is one that hits you hard and fast. With just 40 repetitions required in the first 3-mins, there is a deceptively “easy” start to this workout. For those athletes looking to separate themselves on the leaderboard, it will be a test of outlasting at all costs.
First looking at the overhead squat. The weights are relatively light for the advanced athletes. Regardless of if this movement is a strength for you or not, find a focal point in front of you and grind them out. Keeping your eyes on the horizon or slightly up can help with keeping the bar balanced overhead. Don’t hang out at the top of the squat; as soon as you get the rep called, send your body back down into the next rep – the less time spent under tension, the better.
Of course to save on time, keeping your sets unbroken is ideal. Be prepared to be uncomfortable, but if you know you will need to break the set up, choose an aggressive stopping point. Dropping the bar when you’re more than halfway through the set can be a mental boost to know that you’re already on the downhill slope.
With regards to the chest-to-bar pull-ups, most athletes are wondering when and how they should plan to break up their sets. Many athletes will choose to take the first rounds of 10-reps unbroken. I think this is smart because it will buy you the most rest time.
However, my best advice is to know your limitations. How will 2-rounds of 10 unbroken pull-ups really affect you? How well can you recover in a short period of time? If you know that chest-to-bar pull-ups pack a nasty punch for you, then I think the smarter thing to do would be to break once on both sets of 10.
Going 6-4 for both rounds of the first 3-minutes will not cause you to lose very much rest time and it could possibly save enough energy in the bank to get you into another round later on in the workout. Remember, just because you come off of the bar, doesn’t mean you have to stay off of the bar!
The moment your feet hit the ground, lift your arms back up and jump back up to finish the set. Avoided stepping away from the bar and instead stay directly underneath it to create that urgency to jump right back up.
The unique component about 14.2 is that there is a built in rest period – use it! Know what you need to recover whether it is a drink of water, a sweat towel, or even a bench to sit on.
In training I always encourage my athletes to stay on their feet and avoid any water breaks until after the workout is over, but in this case I say do what works best for you! You will not be physically recovered in the short time period between rounds, but if you can take some deep breaths, mentally recharge, and regain your composure you will be able to fight through the pain much longer.
Like any CrossFit workout, it isn’t until that pain sets in that the real work begins, so get ready to hold on and dig deep! Good luck!