Open Wod 16.2: By The Numbers

Dan Bailey and Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson put on a memorable exhibition as they attacked 16.2   Despite early predictions that they would struggle to get out of the round of 275 lb. cleans, both athletes plowed right through it, and came incredibly close to finishing the entire WOD.   (Dan actually completed all seven  reps at 315 lb., but an unfortunate judging mishap prevented him from claiming a complete victory).  Still, his determination in that last set was breathtaking.  BKG was up to the challenge as well, finishing just two reps shy of completing the WOD.    In this article, we take a closer look at their amazing efforts. 

As Dave Castro explained, the WOD provides four minute increments to accomplish toes-to-bar, double unders and squat cleans.   Athletes can keep working if they finish early, putting that leftover time in the “bank”.   Dan and BKG did exactly that, racing out of the gate to complete the early rounds ahead of schedule.   Here are the durations of each round:

By the start of Round 3, they each accumulated over two extra minutes.  Dan actually completed Round 3 without dipping into reserves, but by Round 4, both athletes needed extra time.   (Note:  Dan’s Round 4 time reflects only 8 squat cleans, but his 5:24 in Round 5 is for completion of the entire round.    BKG’s last round was stopped by the clock at 20 minutes with two reps left over. )

Now let’s take a look at how they apportioned their time to each movement:

Note that Dan's total time adds to 19:50, while BKG used the entire 20 minutes.  Percentage calculations use those respective totals.  The above chart shows that cleans demand the most time, so if you want to dominate the WOD, you’ll have to either dominate the cleans, or get through the other movements fast enough to have extra time for the heavy lifting.   


This series of charts illustrates the impact of fatigue on each modality throughout the WOD:

A few observations: 

(1) Even the elite are going to slow down on toes to bar when they have to do 125 of them.   Dan and BKG breezed right through the first two rounds, but Rounds 3, 4 and 5 saw substantial increases in the time needed to get these done.   Should they have broken sooner?  It's hard to argue with their scores.   Should you?  We suggest talking it over with your coach, and making a candid assessment of your skills on TTB before formulating a plan.   

(2) Double Unders don’t really change too much.   They can’t; the rope has to move at a minimum speed or DU are impossible.  The extra time in BKG's Round 2 and Round 3 is due to missed reps.   (Note: the time benefit from doing double unders all-out is minimal.  We have measured it, and found that 100 double unders all-out can be done, on average, about 13 seconds faster than 100 double unders at a "smooth" pace.)  This WOD requires at most 250 double unders, which took Dan and BKG about 1/7 of the total time.   We urge against racing through the DU and suggest instead you move at a comfortable pace.

(3) The increases in the weight on the cleans, coupled with accumulated fatigue, overrode the decrease in reps; each set took longer than the preceding set. This seems to suggest a strategy of accumulating extra time while the reps are light, because you'll need it when they are heavy.  

Good luck to all who participate and our sincere thanks to Dan Bailey and BKG for an inspiring demonstration.  


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