16.3 Strategy

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Hi guys! So another surprise in the 2016 CrossFit Games Open with a new movement introduced… the bar muscle-up. Who saw that coming? I honestly thought we might, but wrestled with it just because some gyms don’t have single rails. That said if yours doesn’t start making friends!

Thoughts on this workout:

  • Lots of upper body pulling and pushing. Make sure you get some good flow to both muscle groups (including forearms) in your warm up! Not necessarily by doing a bunch of bar muscle-ups, but easier things like push ups and rowing and then hit the movements a “little” before the workout.
  • Most people will need to break the snatches early on in order to pace them correctly. I usually like picking descending numbers because it helps mentally. So start with 6/4, then 4/3/3, etc. you get me.
  • For most people the workout will be bar muscle-up limited, so you will want to pace the snatches enough to start right into them when you drop the barbell. i.e. no standing and staring at the pull-up bar recovering because you felt like you had to go unbroken.
  • The guys tonight were muscle snatching. If you have a beast of an upper body along with great muscle endurance that’s cool. Most humans however will want to think about using their hips a bit more and catching with a slight knee bend.
  • Thumbs! Grip will definitely be taxed by this workout so use your strongest digit… your thumb! You want to hook grip the barbell and put your thumbs around the pull-up bar as well. Not to mention it’s safer and you’ll be less likely to end up in some video flying off the bar that goes viral this weekend! Also think about relaxing your grip at the top of the bar muscle-up and snatch just to give it a rest.
  • The second bar muscle-up is always easier so try to keep them strung together. If you rest between reps rest on top of the bar.
  • This workout has a LOT of transitions so the more time you can limit there the better! i.e. bars close together, chalk (if needed) super accessible, and for gosh sakes don’t walk around when it starts to hurt. People always do this. Where are they going? You can’t leave, you’re in this, so might as well stay where you are! Ok rant over, next…
  • Hand protection! This may get to be a lot of bar muscle-ups. Think about taping your hands or using protective grips for this one. Unless you like the sting of shampoo on raw skin!
  • This is not a sprint, but it’s not 16.1 either. Output should be high the whole time, but not 100%, more like 90ish. Think of it as running a 800m. For the elite think triple Fran. Now that just sounds awful!

This looks like a fun one. I’m doing it Saturday instead of Thursday this time. One and done seems to be better for me than trying to repeat them. I have a better strategy the second go round, but not enough in the tank again to execute it. Such is life! So now that ya’ll have your strategies ready, go forth and dominate 16.3!

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