14.5 Tips

Photo Courtesy of Fittest Games and Brian Flannery

Photo Courtesy of Fittest Games and Brian Flannery

The reactions to this one were timeless. We all knew it was coming but I love the curveball of no time cap (minus the fact that it basically forces me to hurt). I haven’t seen a whole lot of people test this one yet but here’s what we know so far.

1- Watch the Open Announcement and mimic Rich. I know that’s lame and completely impossible for us to imitate but watch his demeanor, his pace, and his movement. He’s never pushing the gas pedal (even at the end), he’s never allowing his pace to determine his rest, and his movement is perfect. No offense to Sam Briggs (an incredible athlete on her own) but watching her doing thrusters next to Rich was the best example of why perfection of movement and efficiency pays off in the long run. Sam I think has a better engine and better capacity for this workout than Rich. No it’s not blasphemy. Seriously, the fact that she can continue to move like that while doing thrusters under that kind of duress with that kind of inefficiency is wildly impressive. However, as we all saw, Rich caught her. He caught her because of one thing. His movement never degraded. It was always precise and efficient. He simply used less energy than Sam did and after 8 minutes he had more energy to expend than she did. Don’t move the bar (especially at the beginning) unless you can move it perfectly. It will pay off in the end.

2- Burpees are the crux of this one. If you watch Annie and Graham, you will notice that neither one of them struggled with the thrusters. The burpees slowed them down. Specifically watching Annie, I noticed her jumping over the bar then resting before completing the next rep. You simply can’t do that in this workout. I don’t care how slow you are moving, KEEP DOING BURPEES! Use them as a “rest” in such a way that your heart rate is able to decrease some from the thrusters. As for movement, you’ll notice that Rich and Sam went straight from the ground to over the bar. They didn’t stand up first. This is clearly the way to perform the burpee as it allows you the second to turn around while catching your breath as needed. However, it’s important to remember that neither Rich nor Sam are particularly tall. If you are a taller athlete (looking at you Beau) it might be worth your while to bring your feet to the ground before jumping over as your range of motion is extreme. If this is the case for you be sure to jump and turn to face the bar at the same time.

3- Unbroken thrusters are the way to go if you have the aerobic capacity because of the descending rep scheme. However, if going unbroken is going to spike your heart rate to such a level that you can’t perform the burpees with a consistent pace then you need to break up the thrusters. If you are breaking up the thrusters, do so according to your capacity but always leave yourself with less reps to complete than the amount you have completed. However, when you get to 9 thrusters suck it up and go unbroken. If you haven’t already done so at 12. An example rep scheme might look like this:
21: 14/7
18: 10/8
15: 8/7
12: 7/5

4- Lastly, after you complete a set of thrusters DO NOT DROP THE BAR. Notice Sam and Rich placed the bar on the ground each rep. This did 2 things. First, it kept them moving at a semi-manageable pace. Second, it kept the bar from bouncing away from them in order to allow them to complete the burpees immediately. Remember the ability to start the burpees right after finishing the thrusters is key.

This is a dirty one. I love the pain that this one is going to cause. Complete it today for sure. This one is repeatable and for those of you on the bubble you will likely learn a lot about your capacity for the thrusters during your first run through.

Good Luck.


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