Well the thruster-burpee combo that we’ve all been expecting for a week is finally here, so get your stopwatches ready because CrossFit 14.5 Open Workout is for time!
Not a ton to break down or analyze with this one; unfortunately, it’s going to hurt for all of us. Much like “Fran” this is an easy one to shoot out of the gate hot on the 21 set and then feel a huge crash toward the middle/end of the next set (in this case the 18s). I recommend finding a sustainable rhythm on the first set of both thrusters and burpees. It shouldn’t be a sprint until you’re closer to the end.
Getting in the groove with your thruster can start in the warm-up. Consider wearing a Olympic lifting shoe for a better position in the hole. Assuming it won’t negatively affect your burpees, I would consider it the better choice for those with a less-than-perfect front squat position. Every time that weight pulls you forward onto you’re toes, you’re leaking power and having to compensate somewhere else. Stay back in your heels as you drive out of the bottom of your squat and look for that magic moment when you pop your hip open at the top, the bar becomes weightless, and you can more easily reach lockout. You’re not going to want to rely on your arms to do much pressing over the course of the 84 thrusters.
On the way down, take advantage of gravity as best as you can and let the bar fall down to your shoulders (or even pull it down fast if you are confident in the movement) and send you down to the bottom of the squat. Practice this in your warm-ups so that the descent of the bar sets you up perfectly for the next rep every time. You will not want to do a lot of re-adjusting between reps if you can help it.
The burpee rhythm will be where athletes can lose the most time if they’re not careful. Different than a standard burpee in place, the bar-facing burpee adds a rotation of the body as well as a lateral distance you need to jump. It will be very easy for even the best burpee-ers to develop a slight hitch or added step(s) to their usual burpee routine of “kick out, kick in, jump up.”
Staying smooth and methodical from one rep to the next, you are more likely to stick with your rhythm and not lose any precious seconds. Use your warm-ups to develop a sustainable pattern to your bar-facing burpee, such as “kick out, kick in, jump over, step turn”. If you are easily winded by the burpee, consider stepping a foot forward to get up out of the bottom of the burpee (rather than a “kick in”) to save your jumping energy for when you have to jump over the bar. It may seem like a minor adjustment but eliminating that one extra hop will add up over the course of 84 reps!
Ultimately, be prepared to dig deep in the end. It’s going to hurt the worst and it’s when you need to step on the gas the hardest. Once you hit those 6 and 3 sets it’s an all out sprint no matter how you feel. Just remember, no matter what you feel: you can always do 3 burpees!