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Old 04-11-2012, 05:35 PM   #1
John Dayton
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Crossfit skills for 2013 Open

Hey folks. First I want to thank all the contributors to this board as there is some great advice I've gotten from this forum.

I want to compete in the Open next year. Even though I'm 40 and probably wont be super competitive in my division its something I would like to do and think I would be good at.

I work out in my garage and have a pretty good CF setup. My wife and I have basically been doing strength work followed by small metcons (>15 mins) for the past 9 months or so. I realized this past winter that my knee cant take much running at all so I haven't been doing any running at all. I plan on getting it fixed this Oct/Nov during my slow work time.

My strength numbers are decent. DL 450 SQ 360 Bench 315 OHP 190 at 5'11 and 210 with around 15% bodyfat. I want to continue towards my long term strength goals of 500/400/325/BW and hope to get them in the next year or so. I also want to start implementing the Olympic lifts soon and hope that with my strength already up I can advance quickly as I learn technique. I plan to video and post as I learn on these boards and maybe take a class or two at a local box.

My main question is about the specific CF skills and how long they take to get decent at. Should I start working on kipping pullups, ring muscle ups, double unders, HSPU's, rope climbs, etc now to prepare for the 2013 Open. Which skills are more difficult to get down and which only take a couple months to get the hang of? As the Open gets closer I plan on upping my Metcon lengths and focusing on Oly lifts and CF skills. I'm just wondering what do I need to start working on now in order to be relatively prepared for 2013?

I stubbornly want to do most of this on my own in my garage and outdoor gym and design my own programming with the help of these forums and other sites (love Mason's site, CFFB, Lift Strong, Run Fast, etc).
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:50 PM   #2
Mauricio Leal
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Re: Crossfit skills for 2013 Open

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Originally Posted by John Dayton View Post
Hey folks. First I want to thank all the contributors to this board as there is some great advice I've gotten from this forum.

I want to compete in the Open next year. Even though I'm 40 and probably wont be super competitive in my division its something I would like to do and think I would be good at.

I work out in my garage and have a pretty good CF setup. My wife and I have basically been doing strength work followed by small metcons (>15 mins) for the past 9 months or so. I realized this past winter that my knee cant take much running at all so I haven't been doing any running at all. I plan on getting it fixed this Oct/Nov during my slow work time.

My strength numbers are decent. DL 450 SQ 360 Bench 315 OHP 190 at 5'11 and 210 with around 15% bodyfat. I want to continue towards my long term strength goals of 500/400/325/BW and hope to get them in the next year or so. I also want to start implementing the Olympic lifts soon and hope that with my strength already up I can advance quickly as I learn technique. I plan to video and post as I learn on these boards and maybe take a class or two at a local box.

My main question is about the specific CF skills and how long they take to get decent at. Should I start working on kipping pullups, ring muscle ups, double unders, HSPU's, rope climbs, etc now to prepare for the 2013 Open. Which skills are more difficult to get down and which only take a couple months to get the hang of? As the Open gets closer I plan on upping my Metcon lengths and focusing on Oly lifts and CF skills. I'm just wondering what do I need to start working on now in order to be relatively prepared for 2013?

I stubbornly want to do most of this on my own in my garage and outdoor gym and design my own programming with the help of these forums and other sites (love Mason's site, CFFB, Lift Strong, Run Fast, etc).
As a rule you should develop great skills in all the standard movements. It takes so little relative effort to double your efficiency in double unders or wall balls, for example, than to add even 10% to your Back Squat. Oly lifting will take longer to get good at, along with the few higher level gymnastics things. Bottom line is there is no excuse for lacking skills in the Open because the stuff they can program is limited and therefore predictable.

You didn't post any of your metcon numbers, but chances are you need better metcon, as that is what the Open emphasizes. Strength will only carry you so far. There are adaptations to being able to do lots of reps of movements that you're already technically good at, so even strength + skill is not enough. I wouldn't hold back to excluding movements or time domains for at least a while. Try some of the Open workouts from 2011 and 2012. They are a great starting point for seeing how you will probably do in 2013. Now is the time to expose your weaknesses and then come up with a plan to address them, be it the oly lifting, or the 20 min time domain, which is bound to come up. You can play with more targeted programming once you know your weaknesses.

You should check out POSE/barefoot running styles, as knee pain is a sure sign that your current running technique is hurting you. Good luck!
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:15 PM   #3
John Dayton
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Re: Crossfit skills for 2013 Open

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Originally Posted by Mauricio Leal View Post
As a rule you should develop great skills in all the standard movements. It takes so little relative effort to double your efficiency in double unders or wall balls, for example, than to add even 10% to your Back Squat. Oly lifting will take longer to get good at, along with the few higher level gymnastics things. Bottom line is there is no excuse for lacking skills in the Open because the stuff they can program is limited and therefore predictable.

You didn't post any of your metcon numbers, but chances are you need better metcon, as that is what the Open emphasizes. Strength will only carry you so far. There are adaptations to being able to do lots of reps of movements that you're already technically good at, so even strength + skill is not enough. I wouldn't hold back to excluding movements or time domains for at least a while. Try some of the Open workouts from 2011 and 2012. They are a great starting point for seeing how you will probably do in 2013. Now is the time to expose your weaknesses and then come up with a plan to address them, be it the oly lifting, or the 20 min time domain, which is bound to come up. You can play with more targeted programming once you know your weaknesses.

You should check out POSE/barefoot running styles, as knee pain is a sure sign that your current running technique is hurting you. Good luck!
Hey Mauricio, thanks for the quick response. We don't really do alot of specific CF metcon workouts. We do alot of tire flips, KB swings, burpees, box jumps, sled drags, sledgehammer strikes and accessory barbell movements. Whatever seems fun at the time. We do record and try to improve the #'s though. Just don't do alot of CF skills.

Definately know my metcon #'s will need to improve, oly lifting, and the specific skills. Was hoping that as I get more comfortable with the oly lifts and some of the skills I can do some of the classic workouts and start comparing #'s with other competive guys around my age.

Actually planning on working in Oly lifts starting next week, but didn't know what other skills have a really long learning curve.

I've seen the POSE and it looks interesting. ACL's shot I think and I got a big old Baker's cyst behind my knee. Never bothers me with jumping, squatting or DL'ing. Just gets really swollen with any jogging, running, sprinting.

Last edited by John Dayton : 04-11-2012 at 06:23 PM. Reason: I spelled Mauricio's name wrong
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:43 PM   #4
Phil Griffin
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Re: Crossfit skills for 2013 Open

I've dropped in to the Oly lifting class at Crossfit Epic in Iowa City, I was impressed with the coach there. I'd encourage you to check that out.

Like you I'm fairly new at CF (8 months in), still working on skill development, and do most of my workouts in my garage. I'd really encourage you to get the oly lifts down if you plan on competing. You can count on heavy and/or high rep oly lifts in competition, and it seems to me that people with great form use much, much less energy than those of us who are just muscling things up. I don't think it's possible to spend too much time working on the snatch, that is one complex movement.
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:39 AM   #5
John Dayton
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Re: Crossfit skills for 2013 Open

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Originally Posted by Phil Griffin View Post
I've dropped in to the Oly lifting class at Crossfit Epic in Iowa City, I was impressed with the coach there. I'd encourage you to check that out.

Like you I'm fairly new at CF (8 months in), still working on skill development, and do most of my workouts in my garage. I'd really encourage you to get the oly lifts down if you plan on competing. You can count on heavy and/or high rep oly lifts in competition, and it seems to me that people with great form use much, much less energy than those of us who are just muscling things up. I don't think it's possible to spend too much time working on the snatch, that is one complex movement.

Hey Phil, thats some good feedback on CF Epic cause that was what I was hoping to do. Get a class or two and I'm in Iowa City every day (Go Hawks). No doubt form rules at the Oly's.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:14 AM   #6
Sebastian B. Vaneria
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Re: Crossfit skills for 2013 Open

Two major skills that separated many competitors over the last two years in the Open were chest-to-bar pull-ups and toes-to-bar. Not just the ability to do a few reps, but the ability to handle a bunch of volume. I can do 15-20 toes-to-bar when I'm fresh. But, during the Open, when the heart rate is jacked and the body is fatigued, I found sets of 9 to be very challenging. Same thing with chest-to-bar pull-ups. The top competitors were able to stay on the bar during the thruster/pull-up workout whereas the average competitor had to start breaking up reps early. In terms of skills, I would highlight those two in your training for next year's Open.

The other two skills we've seen are muscle-ups and double-unders.
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:00 PM   #7
John Dayton
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Re: Crossfit skills for 2013 Open

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Originally Posted by Sebastian B. Vaneria View Post
Two major skills that separated many competitors over the last two years in the Open were chest-to-bar pull-ups and toes-to-bar. Not just the ability to do a few reps, but the ability to handle a bunch of volume. I can do 15-20 toes-to-bar when I'm fresh. But, during the Open, when the heart rate is jacked and the body is fatigued, I found sets of 9 to be very challenging. Same thing with chest-to-bar pull-ups. The top competitors were able to stay on the bar during the thruster/pull-up workout whereas the average competitor had to start breaking up reps early. In terms of skills, I would highlight those two in your training for next year's Open.

The other two skills we've seen are muscle-ups and double-unders.
Well those are two skills I actually have a head start on. I don't do kipping pullups but I do alot of regular and chest to bar along with bar muscle-ups. I'm planning to lose some more bodyfat as I go which should also help. I worked up to 3 sets of 10 toes to bar with a minute rest this winter/spring so I've got a base there. I have a set of rings and hope the bar muscle-ups will help translate to the rings. Never done a doulble-under.
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:04 PM   #8
Sean Dunston
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Re: Crossfit skills for 2013 Open

you may want to check into Outlaw's programming. it looks like you already have a decent strength base, but need to work on your skills/goats. rudy is very good at programming to nail most goats, and we are definitely have a heavy barbell bias.

best of luck reaching your goals.
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:23 PM   #9
John Dayton
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Re: Crossfit skills for 2013 Open

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Originally Posted by Sean Dunston View Post
you may want to check into Outlaw's programming. it looks like you already have a decent strength base, but need to work on your skills/goats. rudy is very good at programming to nail most goats, and we are definitely have a heavy barbell bias.

best of luck reaching your goals.
Hey thanks Sean, seen you on here a bunch but never looked up the Outlaw site. Looks good.
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