CrossFit Open 19.2 Breakdown and Tips
We have a repeat! (and Possibly a better version than the first one)
19.2 is 25 toes to bar, 50 double unders, then 15/13/11/9/7 squat cleans (with the first two rounds being 85/135lb, and 115/185lbs). You must complete the first two rounds in 8 minutes or less to move onto the next round. The third round must be completed in under 12 minutes. The fourth round in under 16 minutes. The fifth round in under 20 minutes.
For most people, this is going to be a 8 or 12 minute workout. And that is fine! With a good strategy, you’ll be able to score much higher on the leaderboard than if you go into without having a plan. The strategy you use will depend on how good you are at toes to bar, and how your cleans are when doing a large volume of reps at a significant load.
Be Realistic About the Clean
I think a lot of people will be too optimistic about the cleans. Even if your 1RM clean is near double the first bar, you’ll be surprised at how hard that first and second sets are. Understand that this workout is much more about the toes to bar for most people (no matter what your clean is).
If that second bar is about 70-80% of your max, and you have decent toes to bar, you have a chance at breaking through to the third round. If that second bar is ‘heavy’ and/or you can’t do sets of 15+ toes to bar generally, you will be shooting for just getting as many reps as possible in 8 minutes.
Average Joe/Jane Pacing
- 25 toes to bar: 0 sec – 1:00/1:30
- 50 double unders: 1:30 – 2:30
- 15 squat cleans: 2:30 – 4:00/4:30
- 25 toes to bar: 4:30 sec – 5:30/6:00
- 50 double unders: 5:30 – 6:30
- 15 squat cleans: 6:30 – 8:00
So basically, you want to finish that first round in 4 minutes or less to ‘break through’ to round 3. If you finish the 15 squat cleans in 5 or 6 minutes, you’ll just be shooting to see how many reps you can get with the second bar.
For people getting to the 3rd round and beyond, you want to go fast so you have more time on the later rounds, but you need to be aware that going too fast can hurt you in the later rounds (especially with toes to bar). I recommend pacing the toes to bar, but then going fast on the double unders and cleans.
Double Unders are the Tie Breaker!
In case you missed it, the time you finished your last round of 50 double unders is going to be your tie breaker. There will be a lot of people who can’t do the next barbell weight, or who tie you for the number of reps. Make sure you get through the double unders fast so you can have a fast tie breaker time (even if it means you need a few extra seconds before cleaning the bar).
Prior to the workout, you’ll want to make sure you are thoroughly warmed up. Here is a good example:
Dynamic Warm up: 2 min jump rope practice (singles and doubles to warm up). Then 3 sets of 10 squat jumps, 10 kip swings, 10 sit ups, 2 crab bridges. Then 5,4,3,2,1 with an empty bar: straight leg deadlift, tall squat clean, front squat
Mobility: Focus on the opening of the shoulders for toes to bar and the front rack position for cleans. Then spend some time on the hips so you can have a good first pull on the cleans, and you can keep an upright torso on the catch and squat
Skill: 30s on, 30s off, double under practice for 4 minutes (scale up to doing 3-5 toes to bar during the rest if you wish). Optional: Spend 8 minutes warming up your clean (work up to your second to last planned bar weight for singles)
Toes to Bar
Find a bar that isn’t too high so you can do lots of small sets without having to worry about a big jump. If you can’t find the perfect bar, have something you can step up on to avoid jumping. If you know you will need to go to singles, try and have a bar that is even lower so you can do fast singles and drop off the bar each rep to save your grip.
I am a fan of the bent knee and ‘flick’ style of toes to bar. If you are more comfortable with the straight leg version, stick with that, but the bent knee style means that the feet are making a more linear path and will faster. This style also puts a bit less stress on the hip flexors and maximizes the benefit of the kip.
Point your toes! Keeping your ankles at 90 degrees puts extra tension through your posterior chain (your calves up through your hamstrings and glutes). 90 deg ankles also means that you have to hit the bar with the tip of the shoe versus the entire top of the foot, the tip of the toes increases the likelihood that you may miss or tap your feet out of synch causing a ‘no rep’.
(the part of the video of about the fast kick and pointing the toes):
Mix up your grip. By switching up the width and alternating which hand is overhand and which hand is underhand, you’ll be able to save your grip and avoid ripping your hands!
Make sure you practice your timing ahead of time. Do not get caught in the trap of skipping these because you are afraid you will “run out” before the workout starts. Spending some time warming these up will make sure you have your groove and that they go well during the workout.
Keep your arms close to your sides. This will save your shoulders and help you do bigger sets.
The body should be straight. Double unders are all in the ankles and the wrist. Avoid jumping too high and using too much knee bend. Think about flexing your quads (pulling your knee caps up). If you are slamming your feet down, you are probably jumping too much with your knees and your hips.
Make sure you are BREATHING! Many people who get to 15 or 20 reps, then mess up, are holding their breath. Try to time your breathing with the rope so that you don’t become hypoxic from holding your breath.
Get started on your next set of DU right away. You’ll see people who plan on doing a big set take too much time before starting their next set. Pick that jump rope up and get started! You may only do a small set, but you may surprise yourself and get in a pretty big set. If you aren’t going to go unbroken, getting a chunk of reps done ahead of time (then taking a small break) will help you get through the 100 reps faster.
You will likely ‘trip up’. If you aren’t tired yet, get right back on your next set. Do not over think it or use it as a time to rest. Do not try and make too many corrections (which leads to more trip ups). Take a breath and get back to it. If you trip up because you are ‘gassed’, or you get gassed and need a break, stop and take some time to catch your wind. Just keep in mind that the 50 DUs are the tie breaker!
Remember that faster double unders are more efficient! If you can speed up and do less of a ‘hop’ (jumping not as high), you’ll use less total energy. This will pay off as you do a lot of reps.
Another reminder: push the pace on the double unders because of the tie breaker. You may also have to change the plates for the next bar (if you don’t have anyone around to help you), so that will be a bit of built in rest!
Side Notes: TIE YOUR DAMN SHOES! Double knot them. Shoes have a habit of coming untied during double unders and you don’t want that to slow you down. CHECK YOUR ROPE OR HAVE A SPARE! Make sure the screws are tight so you don’t end up with a rope coming apart on you. If your score is really critical (to you or the gym), have a spare ready ‘just in case’.
You may also want to have an extra jump rope handy. Nothing ruins an Open workout faster than having your jump rope fall apart mid set!
Break these up into smaller sets (even singles). Lowering the bar takes valuable energy, and it won’t save you that much time because you’ll end up taking longer breaks between sets.
A lot of this is mental. When you are mentally preparing for a larger set, you’ll wait longer than if you plan on doing a small one.
If the bar is pretty ‘light’ for you, you may want to link some in the earlier rounds, but you should still plan on breaking them up more often than you have to so you can do better on the later rounds.
Power cleans to front squats are ‘okay’. You do not need to catch this in a squat. If you are more comfortable with a power clean into a front squat, go ahead and do that. But keep in mind that it will be a bit slower!
Avoid no reps! Usually when the bar gets heavy (or when we are moving really fast), it is easy to let the bar off the shoulders before we stand up all the way. Make sure you get credit for the rep before you drop the bar!
You can get help with changing the plates! Have your judge help you at least, but if you have a super friend that can be your ‘plate jockey’ it will save you time and energy.
But if you do have to change the plates yourself… Only worry about doing right before your next set of heavy cleans! If you stop to change the plates right after finishing your set (or while taking a break from toes to bar), it will negatively affect your tie breaker score on the next round.
This workout isn’t the worst to do repeats with if you are someone who is capping out at the 8 or 12 minute mark. The larger sets of toes to bar will make you sore (and possibly wear on your hands), but the double unders and cleans shouldn’t affect you too negatively. There is also the opportunity to ‘break through’ to the next round if you were close.
Here is the checklist:
- Did you pace the toes to bar poorly? Did you have to go to singles because you were blown up?
- Were your double unders really bad? Did you trip up far more often than usual?
- Were you close to breaking through to the next round? Or getting another rep but you ran out of time?
If you answer ‘yes’ to all three of these questions, and your score is really important to you, you may consider a repeat (especially if the age qualifier is something you have your eye on). Make sure you talk to your gym and coaches to find out the best time to do a repeat so you don’t put too much stress on the gym and judging team!
If you are planning on just getting through the first round and the second barbell load is out of your reach, do your best to get the fastest tie breaker.
If you know you can do some reps with the second bar, but breaking through the 13 reps is a ‘stretch’, get a good tie breaker, and pay attention to the pacing guide above.
If you have a good chance at finishing the 13 cleans at the second weight, make sure you don’t get too crazy with the speed on the first two rounds of toes to bar so you have a chance of getting through the third round and getting some reps of cleans on round 3.
If you are shooting for round 4 or 5, try to stay ahead of the clock, but pay attention to the tie breaker time on your last round, and remember to break up the toes to bar early and often.
Everyone: Don’t think about the load on the bar when you finish the double unders. Step up to it and get that first rep in. Know that it will feel heavy, but you can still get that first rep on the board.
As you approach the time cap, make sure you pay attention to the clock so you can plan your last few reps (finishing a ‘clean rep’ right at the buzzer as opposed to finishing early or failing a rep).
Shoes and Belt
If you are comfortable doing toes to bar and double unders in your Olympic Lifting shoes… you might think about wearing them. Otherwise, I would leave them in the duffle bag.
I would have the belt nearby so you can strap it on AFTER your first set of cleans. Do your toes to bar and double unders without it, then do a rep (or 5) without it as well. When resting between reps, put that badboy on.
That said, if you make it to a bar that is ‘heavy’ for you, put it on before you make that first attempt!
We can now eliminate 5 movements from what is likely to show up! You now have another week (or more) to work on those critical movements. Pull ups (maybe even strict), muscle ups, snatches, thrusters, burpees, box jumps… As soon as you recover from this week, put in the work to set you up for success in the later weeks!