16.5 is Here!



Oh man, how lucky are you all?! Your favorite movements, in one workout?!


Read up on the strategy and warm up from Coach Jacob!




Jacob Tsypkin

Output Management & Technical Considerations

I recommend breaking the workout into segments and moderating your output in each one. There’s no room for an “easy” pace here, but a little bit of management can go a long way towards helping you sustain your output.

  • Start out at a hard but not maximal pace for the 21s.
  • Back off just slightly for the 18s, 15s, and 12s.
  • Start picking it up again in the 9s – even if you barely get faster, you’re staving off a reduction in speed, and preparing mentally for the final rounds.
  • Put the pedal down for the 6s and 3s.

Thrusters: For a top score, the thrusters will need to be unbroken. However, you can pace across the set in a way that allows you to get your breathing in check after the burpees:

  • Perform the first third of the thrusters of each round (except the round of 21) at a controlled pace. Pause briefly at the top, control the bar to the shoulders and descend into the next rep.
  • For the last two thirds of the reps, bring the bar down straight from lockout, letting it come down faster and falling more quickly into the descent of the next rep.
  • Be sure to drive every rep hard with the legs, saving your shoulders for burpees.
  • Breathe through your reps. Holding your breath is going to make this harder than it needs to be.

Burpees: Assuming that you don’t suffer from a tremendous imbalance in ability between the two movements, this workout essentially boils down to not letting the burpees slow down too much. If you keep the thrusters unbroken, it is almost inevitable that the burpees will take up the majority of the time. Managing your rest between reps will be the determining factor in your final time:

  • A good starting strategy is one burpee, one breath. As you land on the opposite side of the bar after completing a rep, take one controlled breath, and descend into your next rep. If you can sustain this, you will be in good shape. Don’t let this turn into one burpee, “one breath”. If the “one breath” is taking you ten seconds, this strategy is not working, and you need to adjust.
  • With that in mind, when in doubt, use the clock. I’ve said it just about every week in one way or another: your head is not to be trusted with your rest time. If you’re unable to maintain one burpee, one breath, you need to decide how much rest you are going to take between burpees, and use the clock to tell you when to go. If your judge is someone you know and trust to help you keep your plan, make sure they know what you’re going for, and they can help you stay on track.
  • For most athletes, resting on the ground is not a good option. It’s just too easy to let the seconds tick away down there. Get off the ground quickly, and you’ll likely find yourself jumping over the bar more or less immediately, as the most taxing part of the movement has already been completed. Then get your breath or your timed rest, and go again.

Other Notes

Finally, something to keep in mind: this workout is designed to make you suffer. There is no escaping that. Whether it takes you eight minutes, ten minutes, or twelve minutes, it is going to hurt. Understand that, embrace it, and remind yourself that if it’s going to suck, you might as well put up a crushing score. Go to that dark place, and leave everything on the floor to finish the 2016 Open.

Specific Warm-Up

1) EMOM 8, alternating:
a) 6 Thrusters
b) 4 Bar Facing Burpees

Thruster: Start with 45# for the first two sets. Increase to 75#/55# for the third set, and 95#/65# for the final set. Practice both the slow thrusters with pause at top and controlled descent, and the faster variation with a quick lockout and drop.

Burpee: Play with jumping up, skipping up, and stepping up. Note the difference in heart rate and cycle time, and feel out the best way to do each variation. Even if you stick with your “normal” variation, it’s best to know how each one feels in case you need to make a change mid workout.

2) 3 sets:
3 Thrusters, 95#/65#
3 Bar Facing Burpees
Rest 30 seconds

Move fast on each round, get a feel for your transitions and breathing.
Rest 2-3 minutes before starting workout, long enough for your heart rate to come down for easy breathing, but not long enough to get cold.

CrossFit Games Open Workout 16.5

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 For Time:
Thruster, 95#/65#
Bar Facing Burpee