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March 4, 2016

CrossFit Open 16.2 Recap + Tips

Written by Damect Dominguez

On Thursday night in the garage of Joel Hartzler in Candler, North Carolina, Dave Castro (Director of the CrossFit Games) announced the details of 16.2 to the world. Waiting in close proximity in the small confines of the garage were the 3rd and 4th fittest men from the 2015 Games: Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson and Dan Bailey.

Beginning on a 4-minute clock, complete as many reps as possible of:

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25 toes-to-bars

50 double-unders
15 squat cleans, 135 / 85 lb.
If completed before 4 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:

25 toes-to-bars

50 double-unders
13 squat cleans, 185 / 115 lb.
If completed before 8 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:

25 toes-to-bars

50 double-unders
11 squat cleans, 225 / 145 lb.
If completed before 12 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:

25 toes-to-bars

50 double-unders
9 squat cleans, 275 / 175 lb.
If completed before 16 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:

25 toes-to-bars

50 double-unders
7 squat cleans, 315 / 205 lb.
Stop at 20 minutes.

Key notes
-You have four minutes to complete the opening round of work. If you cannot, your workout is over and your score is recorded by total reps completed.

-If you do complete the workload in the four minutes, you have an additional four minutes to complete the next workload. Once a round is completed, you do not need to wait for the four-minute round to end before moving on to the next round. You can begin working immediately.

-The workout is over when you fail to complete all the repetitions within the cut-off time for that round. The final round ends at the 20-minute mark. The athlete’s score is the number of repetitions completed up to their cut-off time.

-If all 5 rounds are completed in under 20 minutes, enter the time at which the last rep of the workout was completed, as this will be used for the tiebreak score.

-In this workout, another person may assist the athlete in changing the plates on the barbell during the workout, or multiple barbells may be used.

Phew—that’s a lot of information to process. But at the crux of it, this is an opportunity for athletes to showcase their strength—they just have to earn the opportunity to do so.

Bailey vs Gudmundsson

Bailey and Gudmundsson both started at a fairly quick pace, going unbroken on their toes-to-bar and double-unders. Yet both athletes elected to break their squat cleans into singles right from round one. This process continued until the third round, when both athletes broke up their toes-to-bar. At this point, Gudmundsson was taking longer breaks than Bailey, in a presumed effort to conserve his energy for the increasingly heavy cleans. As the athletes entered the fourth round, Bailey held a substantial lead, and Pat Sherwood (CrossFit Games analyst) worried that he might have gone out too fast. Yet, despite slowing considerably, Bailey was able to complete his cleans and move in to the fifth and final round at the 14:30 mark. Gudmundsson joined Bailey in the final round at the 15:21 mark. As the clock ticked ever closer to the 20-minute mark, the question on everyone’s mind was, ‘Could these guys finish the workout?’ Bailey strapped in for his final seven cleans at 315lbs at the 16:51 mark, and the atmosphere in the cold boundaries of the garage rose to a fever pitch. Bailey steadily chipped away, the strain and effort of each clean plain to see on his face (Bailey’s listed one-rep max is 350lbs, Gudmundsson’s 355lbs). Gudmundsson completed his double-unders and made his way to the barbell at the 17:44 mark. Both men continued to lift, drop, and rest as time moved on. But all of a sudden, Bailey found himself with one clean remaining. The clock read 19:43. The American set himself, gave one almighty pull under the bar and dropped under it as the veins and sinews in his neck and face threatened to burst through his skin. Bailey fought the barbell and won, completing his final rep at the (unofficial) 19:49 mark and racking up the full 430 reps. Gudmundsson, to his credit, fought valiantly on and completed his fifth clean as time expired, giving him a final score of 428.

But there was drama to come.

At roughly 10:30 p.m. ET, CrossFit HQ made this post:


Dan Bailey completed only 8 of the 9 required squat cleans at 275 lb. He and his appointed judge both miscounted the score on the fourth round before Dan went on to complete the remaining reps at 19:49. Because of the judging error, Dan’s score has been withheld from the Leaderboard at his request.”

Unbelievable. At some point, both Bailey and his judge lost track of his rep count, and now Bailey must presumably redo the entire workout before the Monday deadline. That, or perhaps CrossFit HQ will adjust his score. Either way, we’ll keep you posted on this developing story. But for now, the unofficial winner of the live announcement of 16.2 must be Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson (428 reps).

Tips for 16.2

-Break the toes to bar and squat cleans early
Bailey and Gudmundsson may have done two full rounds of toes-to-bar without dropping, but the rest of us didn’t finish 4th and 3rd at the Games. Preserve your grip and your core for as long as possible by dropping from the bar early. Just make sure your rest periods are short to give yourself enough time to complete the cleans, especially as the rounds go on and the weight gets heavier. Speaking of the cleans, both of the Games athletes did singles from round 1 onwards. That should tell you something. Muscle fatigue is going to hit you quickly in this workout, so stave off its arrival by doing quick singles early on, then using the time you saved through quick double-unders and toes-to-bar to spend more rests between cleans as the weight gets heavier.

-Try to go unbroken on the double-unders
It may be tough for a lot of you, but you need the time you save through an unbroken set of 50 to complete the cleans.

-Make quick transitions
You don’t want to waste any precious seconds by taking a stroll from one station to the next. Set your gear up close to each other, finish your cleans, and get right back on the pull-up bar ASAP.

-Higher hips on lighter weight, take time to set when it gets heavy
If 135/85 is a relatively light weight for you, don’t worry too much about not getting into your full clean set up for each rep. Your hips can start a little higher than normal because you’ll move quicker. As the weight starts to get heavy, take your time to set up in your full clean stance to make sure you get every rep.

-Warm-up properly
Get your entire core warm and ready, as it’s going to be needed for stability work. Hollow rocks, rowing, some light cleans and a few double-unders should definitely be on the docket. Make sure you do plenty of mobility work for your shoulders and hips too, and don’t overlook your calves or ankles either!

Good luck!

Photo courtesy of Aryan Barto, Behemoth CrossFit/2015 CrossFit Open Photo Submission

About Damect Dominguez

Co-founder of BoxLife Magazine. Author: Training Day: 400+ Workouts to Incorporate in Your Training.

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