Thursday March 22nd, 2012
My knee jerk reaction to 12.5 was immediate dislike. When this workout came out last year, I really liked the idea of doing something similar to "Fran", but still unique in its own way. Seven minutes of thrusters and pullups is a brutal combination, and there is really nowhere to hide. I've actually supported the programming up to this point. The snatch ladder was awesome for the gym; we had a lot of great PR's with the snatch. The box jump, push press, TTB workout was a fun one as well. I think it's safe to say everyone improved their TTB technique. My favorite WOD was the last one. "Karen" followed by double unders followed by muscle ups was a challenging combination and left nearly everyone devastatingly sore.
Here is my beef with 12.5:
"Fran" is the most overdone, trained for WOD ever
According to BeyondTheWhiteboard.com, Fran was been done 30,000 times. The next most popular workout is "Helen" which was been done 22,000 times, so 8,000 less times than Fran. This is only one database, so if you extrapolate these numbers across the entire community, "Fran" is the most completed workout of all time, and it's not even close.
My question is, why program a workout that everyone has already done so many times? I have seen and heard many CrossFitters train for Fran, in order to have a competitive Fran time. It's not uncommon to see someone with a crazy fast Fran time, and then drastically deficient "Helen"times, even though pullups is a movement in "Helen". However, 12.5 is definitely not "Fran" (5lbs heavier/chest to bar) but it is still the same two movements. I would just rather not see the "Fran"-obsessed be rewarded for over training a specific workout.
We Did This Workout Last Year!
Yes, benchmarks are important for marking progress, but the most exciting thing about the Open is doing a workout you've never done before. It's about experiencing a unique movement combination that challenges you and takes you out of your comfort zone. I'm excited to see if I can PR from last year, but the excitement of tackling a unique WOD is lost for me.
Program Forward by Looking Backward
These are the words you will hear at a Level 1 certification when the programming lecture is given. It is important to look back at previous days, weeks and months and ensure the programming is varied, safe, and effective. Looking back, the wall ball and thruster are testing very similar metabolic pathways, muscle groups and capacities. We tested our ability to front squat and throw a light object 150 times last week. Now, we test a different, heavier object with a near identical movement pattern. I would argue that the front squat-press has already been tested (wall ball, push press in 12.3). I wouldn't go as far to say it's poor programming, because wall balls and thrusters are different, but I think it does lack creativity.
Despite my negativity toward 12.5, I'm still excited to get better at the movements. I want to learn how to do a butterfly-kip for the chest to bar pullups and what better motivation than to do it for competition. I'm also excited to see how all of you do with this one, it's a spicy one! It is what it is, and when it comes down to it, we are all in this to get healthier and more fit!
In My Perfect World
...the workout would be running and situps for 45 minutes. Buuuut, I do realize the limitations of filming and marking track distances so we'll throw that one out for now. Fingers crossed for next year!
If I were HQ programmer guy for a day here is my 12.5:
15 minute AMRAP
40 KB Swings (70/44)
30 Squat Cleans (135/95)
10 Deadlifts (315/205)