16.2: Quick and Painful

Our resident grinder was deeply humbled by this Open workout.

The Open finds new ways to challenge us every year — from last week’s addition of overhead walking lunges to this week’s progressively heavier squat-clean workout that earned athletes extra credit if they could finish rounds quickly, beating the four-minute time cap for each of the five rounds.

Here’s how 16.2 was broken down:

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

  • 25 toes-to-bars
  • 50 double-unders
  • 15 squat cleans, 135/85 pounds

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 pounds

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 pounds

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 pounds

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 pounds

Stop at 20 minutes.

Toes-to-bars are a decent movement for me, so I wasn’t too concerned about that part. I’m above average in terms of double-unders, so even if I couldn’t do those unbroken, I could get pretty close. My max squat clean is 205 pounds, so the plan for hitting 15 reps at almost 70 percent of my max after 25 toes-to-bars and 50 double-unders seemed like a daunting task. I knew I had to go “all-out” in order to have as much time as possible on the cleans. My five-sets-of-five-reps strategy on the 25 toes-to-bars was OK for rounds one to three, but midway through the fourth set, I broke down to singles to finish out the 25 reps right around the one-minute mark.

See Also Double-Unders Done Right

I moved quickly to the double-unders and got to my third one, tripped up and then busted out 47 unbroken. With 2:03 left on my opening round, I grabbed the 135-pound barbell determined to power through the 15 reps. One through five of my opening reps felt fine. I was really laboring with my breathing and my heart rate was high, but I knew I had no time to rest if I wanted a shot at round two and an extra four minutes. Reps six to eight got heavy, very quickly, and I was struggling with the weight and beginning to drop my elbows too much in the front-rack position on the way up out of the bottom of my squat, causing me to pitch forward.

Reps nine to 13 were a battle, each one slower and more labored than the next. With about 30 seconds and determination, I fought through a very ugly 14th rep. I knew I had to go, so I stepped back, got back the bar and with wobbly legs, grabbed it, cleaned it and tried to bounce out of the bottom of the squat. On the way up, I started to go much more forward than vertical and began chasing the bar into the athlete’s area in front of me. At that point, I had two choices: drop the bar and take a ‘no rep’, or hang on, finish the round but possibly trip over his barbell in the process.

I dropped the bar. With about five seconds left, I grabbed it, cleaned it, and swayed back and forth as I eventually stood it up, only to look at the clock that read 4:06. I didn’t make it. I completed 89 (and ¾) reps out of 90, and I could hardly stand.

It was an extremely humbling experience, and although I thought earlier in the day that I would possibly redo this one, I decided not to. I checked my pride, entered my 89 reps, and now I’ll sit and wait for Thursday and whatever 16.3 throws our way.

How did your 16.2 go? Everything work out as planned or did it get the best of you like it did for me?

Stay on the grind.