Surviving The Open – Hints and Tips By Coach Rusty

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Open Workout 14.5

“The Finale”

Assess Manage Adapt…

Fourteen point five the final instalment of the Crossfit Open it’s here the WOD we were all expecting but not necessarily the format.

For the first time in Crossfit Games Open History a task domain workout.
Task domain: a set amount of work you are trying to do as fast as possible “For Time”

I would like to think of this WOD as a “Sprint Chipper” ie. there is a lot of work to get done but you are trying to do it as fast as possible.
Watching two contrasting approaches to this WOD it was awesome to see Sam Briggs and Rich Froning go head to head. Sam took the more “Sprint” approach and try to “hang on” to the explosive pace she set in the 21’s where as Rich methodically took every rep one at a time and looked to pause on every thruster at the top of the rep from rep 121 all the way to rep 33.
More on that in strategy below.

Warm Up & Mobility

Warm Up:
3min Row 15 on 45 off – short intense intervals 15secs to simulate thruster and leg drive and then cruise the rower to simulate the burpees

Air Squats – work on an upright torso the entire time

Thruster – warm up to WOD weight and practice your timing on receiving the bar from the overhead position. Timing and position is everything on a thruster. It’s all in the Hips!


Rack – open up that rack position the higher you can keep your elbows resting the bar on the shoulders “the shelf” the easier the squats will be and less likely you’ll be pulled forward making it easier to push over head.
– dowel external rotation
– banded super rack (behind the back and under your foot)

Overhead position – clear any restrictions overhead to allow the bar to transition cleanly overhead (arms against ears) and return back to the rack position.
– overhead banded rack and external rotation – have your elbow bent at 90 in the band like a sling lean into it allow yourself to relax.

Ankles – the looser more mobile the ankles the easier it will be in the squat of the thruster and the jump over the bar with the burpees.
– sit in a squat with the barbell on your knee and push back and forth on your quad to close down the angle in your ankle and allow it to loosen up.
– foot up against a pole or wall and stretch the back of your calves

Technique & Srategy

As mentioned this is a sprint chipper the athlete that can keep out of the red zone and move efficiently will be the athlete coming out on top. Look at Rich Froning never looked out of control and always had the same pace.

The thrusters are where you can use your speed, the burpees are where you can cruise.
You cannot go faster on a burpee but you can get slower…
It’s all in the Hips, pop that hip hard as you come out of the squat to float that bar up over head and save your arms.
Use your head and do not go to failure remember “sprint Chipper” find a pace you can maintain until you can see the finish line small sets.


New to Crossfit
Break the reps early on and hit small effective sets (you are not rich froning or Briggs)

21 = 3×7
18 = 3×6
15 = 3×5
12 = 3×4
9 = 3×3
6 = 2×3
3 = 3

Experienced Crossfitters
Know your strengths and weaknesses, if pressing and Burpees are not your strongest movement you may too look to break the numbers earlier and then try to hang on and sprint home.

21 = 8,7,6
18 = 7,6,5
15 = 6,5,4
12 = 5,4,3
9 = 5,4
6 = 6
3 = 3


Speed out of the Bottom – speed up out of the squat explode from the hip.
Pause at the top of each rep – LOCK OUT this will allow your muscles a small time to breathe allowing you to keep moving
Always set the bar on the rack as you descend – this will allow your body to carry the weight (not your wrists) and use the power and energy from your hips to push the bar up (not your arms)
Load to Explode – pause at the top then as the bar makes contact with your rack Down & UP! into the next rep pausing again at the top. Eg. a fluid easy tempo to maintain.


Find a pace and stick with it
Two foot jump over the bar – make sure you jump not hop you do not want to be no repped in this WOD
Fall down – this is not a push up it is a controlled fall..
Land on two feet FLAT – every rep you should land on feet FLAT to the floor upright to set you up for the next jump and save your knees and ankles from screaming at you.

Thats it guys the end of the open i hope you all enjoy it Give it your all and ill see you all in a puddle of sweat and beer at the finish ๐Ÿ˜‰

Assess Manage Adapt…

Coach Rusty

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