Despite the technicality of the muscle-ups, it was the humble rope that brought athletes to their knees in 18.3…
“A double-under workout for sure” – that’s what Neil Maddox concluded after completing 18.3 during the Open announcement show last Thursday. For the seasoned Games vet the double-unders did represent the bulk of the working time for this workout; the muscle-ups, barbell and dumbbell segments only punctuated the constant bouncing. For the average box-goer however, this workout was a minefield of technical obstacles.
The initial workout announced by Dave Castro, Director of the Crossfit Games, was enough to make most athletes wince: a 2 round loop of 20 overhead squats, 12 ring muscles up, 20 dumbbell snatch and 12 bar muscle-ups. For any who turned their nose up at this initial offering however their hubris quickly vanished when Castro announced a caveat: intermittent rounds of 100 double-unders between movements.
For many in the Rx division, the muscle-ups represented the end of the road on 18.3. The difficult movement was due to rear its head in this year’s Open and 2018’s muscle-up instalment came fairly early into the workout. For those capable of getting through the muscle-ups however, the limiting factor became the rope.
The double-unders elevated heart rates and set shoulders on fire. Athletes, to whom 100 double-unders alone are childsplay were having to break multiple times along the course of the workout. The recurring demand of the rope made the gymnastics and weightlifting components even more challenging and slowed athletes who would have otherwise cruised through this workout well under the timecap.
For athletes getting through a significant volume of double-unders, the effects of the rope may have impacted more than their Open score. The sheer volume of work on the toes put significant strain on the achilles and calves and was likely felt by many the day after completing 18.3.
Those that opted for a stiffer shoe in 18.3, perhaps to aid with the weighted components, put their lower limbs through a lot of punishment in the bouncing of the double-unders. In terms of a footwear choice, this workout really needed a lighter shoe that sapped less energy in the bounce but also was forgiving underfoot.
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