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Barbell Cycling and Strategy

Hey Vic City,

During the Open and certain class WODs barbell cycling and strategy can be the difference between being near the top of the leaderboard or being near the bottom. Power snatches, at 75/55, have shown up in the majority of the years of CrossFit Open competition. Often times this weight is seen in 10+ repetitions at a time for multiple rounds. Cycling the barbell in an effective touch and go fashion might save you 0.5 seconds per rep. Over the course of a 100 rep workout, that's 50 seconds! Looking back at the Monday-Tuesday partner WOD, having a solid power snatch cycle time worked to your pair's benefit.

Also, cycling the barbell by using the least amount of energy to get the bar overhead allowed for bigger sets, and less overall fatigue. Think about a wallball rep, you want to finesse the medicine ball just over the line for the rep. If you throw the ball as hard and high as you can, each rep, you'll end up tiring out way faster than necessary. The same applies to the power snatch.

As far as barbell strategy, certain workouts, like 'DT' reward athletes with a plan. The WOD, DT, consists of 12 deadlifts, 9 hang power clean, and 6 shoulder to overhead. Knowing that to get the barbell to the hang position you need to perform a deadlift, and to get the bar to the shoulders you need to perform a clean, a specific strategy has been consistently used. If you do 12 deadlifts and drop the bar, you'll need to essentially perform a 13th deadlift before starting your hang power cleans.

Similarly, if you drop the bar after your 9th hang power clean, you'll have to perform a 10th hang power clean to get the bar on the shoulders for the STO (AKA doing more work than you get credit for). Therefore, the ideal strategy would be resting after the 11th deadlift and then compete the 12th deadlift as you go into the hang power cleans. If you need to drop during the hang power cleans, ensure that there is at least one rep remaining and get credit for that as you start the shoulder to overhead.

Take a peak at Annie Thorisdottir completing a heavy version of DT, and notice her strategy, so that she isn't doing much more work than she has to. She takes break but always manages to compete all the rounds of 6 shoulder to overhead unbroken.




WARM-UP: Rotating 3 person teams - 5-10 Assault bike calories, 30 single skips, rest x 4 rounds each or 9 minutes

SKILL: Movement review for the WOD


This wod is composed of two 8 min AMRAPs, both of which will be done with a partner. You can switch when you want, so switch early to keep the reps fast and crisp!

You'll get two separate scores for these workouts and they are logged separately in BTWB.

AMRAP 1: DT Partners

Complete as many rounds as possible in 8 mins of:

12 Deadlifts, 9 Hang Power Cleans, 6 Shoulder-to-overheads

Rx: 105/155

FG2: 75/115

FG1: 55/75

TG: Scaled as needed

CP: 125/185

REST 4 MINUTES, use the same bar weight as for part 1

AMRAP 2: Box Complex

Complete as many rounds as possible in 8 mins of:

24 HR Pushups, 9 Front Squats, 12 Box Jumps

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