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CrossFit Games Open WOD 14.2: Advice from Legend Chris Spealler

A CrossFit veteran helps you strategize for 14.2.
A man performing power cleans

CrossFit co-founder Dave Castro laid down the gauntlet Thursday night when he announced Reebok CrossFit Open Workout 14.2 with a challenging WOD (workout of the day) that is sure to create some separation early on the leaderboard.

Here's the workout: 

For as long as possible:

0-3 minutes: 2 rounds of 10 overhead squats (95 pounds for men/65 for women) and 10 chest-to-bar pullups. 
3-6 minutes: 2 rounds of 12 overhead squats and 12 chest-to-bar pullups.
6-9 minutes: 2 rounds of 14 overhead squats and 14 chest-to-bar pullups

The caveat in this burner is that athletes are required to rest after each set of two rounds before the following three-minute mark. If the athlete fails to complete the two rounds within three minutes, their workout is over. For the CrossFitters out there, casual or elite level, we hit up CrossFit Games legend Chris Spealler for advice on taking on this week’s CrossFit Open challenge.

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Men's Fitness: What's your overall impression of 14.2?

Chris Spealler: Typical CrossFit Open...this is going to be another burner and a true mental test for those with good mobility, stamina, and capacity with pullups. It will act as a nice separator from last week and shuffle up the leaderboard for sure.  

This is certainly the type of WOD that almost "punishes" you for being strong. What's your advice on pacing versus securing some rest between the three-minute sets?

Raw strength won't be the key on this workout. You will see many athletes with high 1 RMs not finishing as high as some of the others with lower 1 RMs. Securing rest is going to be key for the first three to six minutes but be smart on the C2B (chest-to-bar) pullups. These will go far earlier than the OHS (overhead squats) so it may be a good idea to break these up early on even if you're feeling good with them. 

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Some people were surprised to see double-unders in the first Open WOD. Are you at all surprised by the two movements in the 14.2 couplet?

CrossFit has evolved so much over the past four years that the movements we see coming up are really some of the foundational building blocks of what we do. Although the OHS places a high demand on us for technique and mobility, this is one of CrossFit's nine foundational movements, which lends itself to classic CrossFit programming—simple, elegant programming that is going to leave a mark.   

For people who might struggle with chest-to-bar, how would you suggest breaking up the reps, or should CrossFitters get ready for a cooldown after three minutes? And for folks who do have C2B down, what can they do to be more efficient?

For those who really struggle with C2B it's going to be tough to break through the six-minute mark and maybe even the three-minute mark. Especially coupled with an OHS that can fatigue your shoulders. If you are relatively new, try not to resist the negative portion of the pullup. That's a mistake many make in an effort to "control" the movement more.  That eccentric loading is going to be more time under tension and just wear you out. For those who are sound with the C2Bs and have some solid stamina don't be afraid to break things up early. Something along the lines of 5 and 5 for the rounds of 10 reps, 8 and 4 for the rounds of 12 reps, and 7 and 7 for the rounds of 14, are things you should consider. The round of 14s is going to be the game changer.   

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Give us some realistic goals for the average male/female CrossFitter and someone looking to advance to Regionals?

I've seen people just working to hit a few reps of the OHS or working to get their first C2B pullup. A huge victory would be to get through two rounds in three minutes and add on some reps in the following three minutes. For those trying to shoot for Regionals it's tough to say. It's only Week 2, and a lot can still happen, but I would say you need to be getting into the 16s about halfway through the reps to have a good go at this one.


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