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CrossFit Games Open WOD 14.3: Advice from Chris Spealler

A six-time CrossFit vet helps you strategize for 14.3.
Spealler at the CrossFit Games

The CrossFit Games Open continued as Games coordinator Dave Castro announced workout 14.3 Thursday night in New Orleans. The details include a couplet of deadlifts with an ascending weightload, and box jumps, that is sure to challenge CrossFitters' strength and stamina. We’ve been enlisting six-time CrossFit competitor Chris Spealler on his best plan of attack for each week’s Open workouts—here's what advice he has for us this time around.

Open Workout 14.3

8-minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)

10 deadlifts (135lbs men/95lb women)
15 box jumps (24/20 inches)
15 deadlifts (185lbs/135lbs)
15 box jumps (24/20 inches)
20 deadlifts (225lbs/155lbs)
15 box jumps
25 deadlifts (275/185lbs)
15 box jumps
30 deadlifts (315lbs/205lbs)
15 box jumps
35 deadlifts (365lbs/225lbs)
15 box jumps

Men's Fitness: We knew a strength ladder was inevitable. What can you tell us in terms of strategy for this one?

Chris Spealler: Avoid slow eccentric movement on the deadlift. It's more time under tension which can fatigue you for the upcoming sets. Steady and smooth pace from the start and try to keep big sets. When you go to single reps, it's going to get more difficult to maintain position. We all know that first pull can be one if the heaviest so hang on to that bar and try not to go to total failure on any set. Make sure you set up your box close by and your weights organized so you don't have to do anything more than a quick swap.  

In a workout like this, how much does ego, or putting ego aside, come into play for CrossFit athletes? 

The reality is that we have to put our ego aside in any workout where we challenge ourselves. This isn't unlike any other workout like that. Even the heavy hitters will have to dig deep in the final reps as the volume of deadlifts is going to accumulate quickly. It's ultimately all about going into a workout with confidence.  


What role do the box jumps play in a workout like this when it's easy to focus on the increasing weight and rep scheme of the deadlift? 

For most people the box jumps won't be too much of an issue.  On a workout like this as you get into the heavier weights I think you need to be thinking of the box jumps almost as active recovery. That’s of course coming from someone's perspective that is a buck 50 and is starring down some heavy deadlifts. Strong and steady pace regardless on the box jump, even if you turn things into a step up or jump up and step down. Keep consistent on these and don't go nuts on the first round or two.

How much of this workout is endurance-based versus strength-based? Does your early pace matter?

In my opinion this is all about stamina on the deadlift. The box jumps are going to keep your heart rate up but those that break through to the big numbers won't be bothered by that.  t's going to be the ability to continue big sets on the deads or quick singles with essentially no rest between reps and handle the increasing volume and loading.  


Yes, this is an 8-minute AMRAP but do you think anyone in the world, male or female, can actually finish this workout with a deadlift that ends at 365 pounds for men and 225 pounds for women at 35 reps?

If someone doesn't finish it, I think we will see some people come close. If someone does finish it, my bet would be on the female side. Breaking into that last round is going to be a big separator.  


Spealler's Advice on Open Workout 14.1>>>

Spealler's Advice on Open Workout 14.2>>>

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