1. Break the Pull-Ups Early – After watching Camille and Talanya compete last night, I really have to emphasize breaking the pull-ups early. Otherwise, you risk blowing up your forearms early and get stuck staring up at the pull-up bar. I would start by breaking the first set of 10 pull-ups. 6’s and 4’s, and then with the 12’s, maybe 7/5 or even 6/4/2. You get the idea. However, all of this really comes down to your personal pull-up proficiency.
For the more advanced athletes (e.g. those trying to qualify for regional’s), I would treat your first round of pull-ups different from your second round and for each 3 minute interval after that. For example, 3:00 – 6:00 with the 12’s, I would perform the first 12 pull-ups as 6/6 or 7/5 and then the second set of 12 pull-ups as 6/2/2/2. You have time to rest! There is no reason to rush through your second round of pull-ups unless you are racing the clock! You really risk blowing up your forearms and setting yourself back on the next rounds to come. Assess how you are feeling every round/interval. Use this time to plan your breaks on the pull-ups
2. Pull-Up Technique – The pull-ups are limiting. Once again, if you are proficient, make sure you are pulling into the bar and not up to. Camille is a perfect example of this technique. Go back and watch her 13.5 video as I think they were performed a little cleaner than they were this time around.
3. Stretching – Don’t overdue the stretching right before you workout. People get over zealous by telling you to stretch every single body part immediately prior to performing your workout. That will not help and might cause more harm than good. Instead, you should be stretching already after 14.1. And if not… (shame on you) perform some dynamic range of motion exercises like good mornings with overhead squat reach, high kicks, butt kicks with hip extension, side lunges and reverse lunges with overhead squat style reach.
4. Activation – If you watched Camille and Talayna at 14.2, you noticed around the 12th minute, Camille started to shake on her overhead squats. Her core was fatigued and she couldn’t stabilize. She did a good job of using it, but it just got tired. Make sure you activate your middle in preparation for this workout by doing stuff like lunges or high knees while holding a med ball over head.
5. On the Overhead Squats – Push up from your wrists, not the shoulders. Lengthen the entire kinetic chain; it will make your arms feel lighter. Also, if you have the flexibility, narrow your grip on the overhead squats. This will take pressure off your upper arms, and keep them fresh for the pull-up bar.
6. Don’t chalk your pull-up bar – This will cause you to rip quicker. When performing chest-to-bar pull-ups, your hands need to rotate. You could see Camille struggling with her pull-ups as her hands started to rip.
7. Turnover Time – Doing overhead squats with proper range of motion at the top takes time. Work on the turn-over speed at the top but making sure you get good reps.
8. Olympic shoes are heavy – Use them only if you need the help with the overhead squats, if not, stick to whatever you are comfortable in and don’t carry around that extra weight.
9. Don’t go out too fast. Holding stuff is hard – Try not to hold on to things too long. Even Talayna commented that too much time holding the pull-up bar blows out your forearms.
10. Interval Splits – For Talayna and Camille, each round added about 20 seconds of work. Their first split times were 1:10, then 1:30ish then 1:55ish then 2:20ish then Talayna just finished the 5th interval. Keep these marks in mind when pacing the first round of each interval. I hope you’ve been practicing your interval work?
11. Stay away from performing this workout twice in a week as much as possible. Doing so would be unsafe in terms of recovery and overuse.
Good luck on 14.2. As Justin Bergh (GM of CrossFit Games) put it, “this workout will create a huge separation between the people who are just very fit and the fittest.” Please comment below with any questions you may have. I’m here to help you strategize.
Almost forgot…here is a video we had recorded moments after Talayna and Camille closed out 14.2 at I Am CrossFit. Enjoy!