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2014 Open Recap – the Challenge

April 07, 2014

The 2014 CrossFit Games Open is in the books, web and I wanted to take a little time to reflect on the competition.  Today, healing I’ll be discussing the event itself, and in tomorrow’s post I’ll talk about some of CrossFit Oakdale’s performances of note.

First off, I was very pleased with our participation and enthusiasm during the event – the Open is a fun, worthwhile community event.  If feel like we were well prepared for the movements and the weights that were thrown at us – although there were some surprises.

I still get nervous when the WODs are announced, and it’s fun to share that anticipation with the rest of the gym.  The guessing, checking off movements and breaking down of WODs makes for a fun, it not slightly nerve wracking five weeks.  Why do we get nervous?  I think it’s because we want to do well.  We all have expectations for how we can do, and we want to meet those expectations.

2014 started of simple enough with 14.1, a couplet of double unders and light snatches.  This is exactly the type of workout I would have expected in the Open – in fact, it was repeat of 11.1.  Double unders are a struggle for some, but the weight was light and very reasonable.

14.2 is where things started to get different.  First off, this was the first time that Chest to Bar Pullups showed up so early in the Open – in the previously 3 years, they had been held to the last WOD – in the “Fran” type event.  Second, it was the first true work/rest WOD in the Open.  This was a tough one and a major separator of those that are really fit and truly experienced CrossFitters.

14.3 was, in my opinion, the best programmed WOD of the 2014. Open.  It was a tough couplet of deadlifts and box jumps with an 8 minute cap.  Within that 8 minutes was a hidden minute of weight transitions, so you had to really be moving if you wanted to pull some big weight.  Now, if you were fit, your barbell got heavy pretty quick.  If you were really fit, it got really heavy.  This was, by far, the heaviest WOD in the history of the Open, with a real opportunity to pull 315/205, and the possibility of even pulling 365/225 off the floor.  I loved Castro’s quote on this one – something to the effect of – we want to test your strength, but you must earn the right to test your strength.  Could you see some ugly deadlift’s here?  Absolutely.  But…if you didn’t have the fitness level to get to the really heavy stuff, it never played a factor.  There was a chance you were so tired by the time you reached the really big weight you might not even be able to pull it.

I’ll be honest, heavy deadlift’s in the Open had me a little nervous, but I was happy with how the gym fared.  Our backs looked pretty good, and although we were sore, I don’t think I can recall one locked up back from this one.  And heavy is always better than light, right?  I’ll take heavy like 14.2 over light and fast like 13.2 any day of the week.

14.4 was another couple of new type of WOD for the Open.  We had seen some Chipper type WOD before, but this was the most Chipper-y.  Second, we saw the first inclusion of the C2 rower in the Open.  Yes, there were muscle ups, but they were at the end, exactly as expected.  I feel like this was the most technically challenging WOD, with lots of cleans and toes to bar, but I was very pleased with how prepared we were for this one.  Even with minimal rowing, you guys killed this one.

14.5 was the final first – the first Open WOD for time.  Thrusters and bar facing burpees – a lot of them – equaled pain.  But it was, again, stuff we were ready for.  We did 9 million burpees and thrusters to get ready, but I gotta be honest, when that round of 15 hit, it didn’t matter.  It became all heart and guts.

One of the beauties of the Open is that no one, no matter their fitness level, finishes last – we all finish together – until 14.5.  But by this point, I think we were ready to gather around each other and cheer to the finish.

This was the fourth year of the Open and I would say it was easily the toughest.  Not to mention how much more competitive CrossFit has become.  We had 34 CFO athletes sign up and test their mettle against the fittest on earth and many others did the WODs.  Congratulations on putting yourself out there in a true test of fitness.


Workout of the Day



5 sets of 2, 80% of 1RM


100/75 Pushups

Start pushups on one side of the gym.  If you break for more than second, lunge to the other side of the gym.  Be smart and chip away.


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