16.5 Thoughts & Suggestions

Hey Everyone,

I received a notification on Wednesday that I had posted my 100th post to this blog.  So, to anyone that has been here since the beginning, congrats on completing (roughly) 100 workouts in this program!  Think back on these sessions, and all the ones before it, and try to comprehend the amount of hard work that you’ve put into this.  I can attest to the fact that these past few months have NOT been easy; you are all tougher, better conditioned, and more skilled than when we started.  Remember that.

Now, put that to use, and smash this last workout.  Because you worked for it.  And you’re ready.


“CrossFit Open Workout 16.5 (also 14.5)”
Complete rounds of 21, 18, 15, 12, 9, 6 and 3 reps for time of:
95/65 lb Thrusters
Bar-Facing Burpees

For those of us that remember this one (and, if you completed it, you haven’t forgotten), we know that there is really no beauty in the design of this one.  The Thrusters and Burpees work similar muscle groups, so unless you’re a total animal, you’ll be pacing the crap out of these first sets in order to stay alive by the end.  Here are some thoughts on each of the movements:


  • The goal here is to make the movement AEROBIC, just like the Power Snatches from 16.3.  The general recommendation here is to give a brief pause at the top of each Thrusters, with the bar fully locked out over your base of support, take a breath, then ride and rebound into the next one.  This “marking” of your position at the top will make it easier for you to return there at the end of each lift, and will also allow your body a brief moment to prepare for the stretch-shortening cycle that will propel your next lift.
  • 99% of people should have a plan to break these up, ideally in a descending rep scheme.  My favorite, and what I did in 2014, was:
    • 8-7-6 (21)
    • 7-6-5 (18)
    • 6-5-4 (15)
    • 5-4-3 (12)
    • 4-3-2 (9)
    • 6
    • 3 (you shouldn’t break up 6 and 3.  Just don’t)
  • STAY AS RELAXED AS POSSIBLE as you work through these reps.  Difficult to do, I know, but we are looking at a constant, steady pace here, not a rapid-fire, all-out sprint.


  • Same methods should be used here as 16.1.  Peel off the ground, “snap” the hips up, take a small step, then jump over the bar.  Slower folks might be taking several steps here, but the key is this: don’t go to jump over the bar from 3 feet away unless you are on your sets of 6 and 3 and are trying to hammer it home.  This excessive jump will add up QUICKLY, so do yourself a favor and step toward the bar as you come up from the ground.
  • Just as with the Thrusters, these need to be kept aerobic, so don’t go too hard too fast.  The rounds of 21 and 18 are not where this workout will be determined; the rounds of 15 and 12 are.  If you have the ability to pick it up a bit on these sets, you will be in good position to push it all the way through the end; if you finish your set of 18, and are totally smoked, well, good luck.


  • Prior to the workout, mobility issues should be addressed: ankles, hips, thoracic spine, overhead position. Also (and this should go without saying), be sure to hydrate throughout the day leading up to this, as dehydration will enhance fatigue in the later rounds (both actual fatigue, and your perception of it).
  • Get a good aerobic warm-up in, working from longer, slower paced biking or rowing, to some shorter, higher-power intervals (ie. 30 seconds on/30 seconds off).
  • Build to a moderately-heavy double or triple on the Thruster, but not something that causes your technique or approach for each rep to change significantly from what it will look like at your working weight.
  • Run through a few short sets of Thrusters and Burpees at the pace you will use for your rounds of 21 and 8.
  • Rest a few minutes, then get after it!

Good luck to everyone completing this tonight/tomorrow, and congratulations on completing the 2016 Open.  We will be having our “End of the Open” Potluck this Saturday (March 26th), at 5pm.  We would love to see all of you there!


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