2014 CrossFit Open 14.2 Workout Strategy and Tips

14.2 is:

Every 3 minutes for as long as possible complete:

From 0:00-3:00
 2 rounds of:
10 overhead squats (95/65/45)
10 chest-to-bar pull-ups (chin over for masters men, jumping c2b for masters women)

From 3:00-6:00
2 rounds of:
12 overhead squats
12 chest-to-bar pull-ups

From 6:00-9:00
2 rounds of:
14 overhead squats
14 chest-to-bar pull-ups

Etc., following same pattern until you fail to complete both rounds

For the second time, HQ has surprised me. First it was by starting 14.1 with double unders (a higher skill movement for novices) and now in 14.2 there is an escalating structure (first seen in 13.5 last year) and two fairly tough movements for novices and even intermediate CrossFitters. Of course, the advanced and elite will have no problem with these movements, so I imagine HQ is trying send a message of “WORK ON YOUR WEAKNESSES!”

Required are a pull up bar and a barbell with bumpers. Many of you are wondering what is legal for hand protection. Here is the official line from the CrossFit rulebook:

“Subject to CrossFit, Inc.’s prior approval, non-branded belts, non-tacky gloves, hand tape, neoprene joint sleeves and common fitness wear may be allowed during competition. However, no grip assistance or weight support may be derived from any device worn. In general, gear is allowed that improves safety and/or comfort, but does not confer advantage.”

What does this mean? Basically, you can use chalk or wear tape, gymnastics grip, or gloves, but not the gymnastic grips with the dowel to improve grip. (seen here)


For other gear, most people will wear weightlifting shoes with a raised heel to have better ankle position in the overhead squat. Some might be concerned about the extra weight during c2b pull ups, but in my opinion this is a non issue if it helps your OH squat positioning. If you’re flexible enough to wear sneakers and are used to OHS with them, then go ahead and do whatever is comfortable for you.

Many of you are concerned about the overhead squat. Maybe you’ve gotten away with partial range of motion in your CrossFit classes, but now there is a worldwide standard to abide by. Here is some mobility prep that should help with getting in that overhead position. Focusing on both thoracic and hip mobility will definitely help get in that bottom position. These are not reserved for just before the workout; do them a day or two before and you’ll feel a major difference!:

Note: this post is not really aimed at the firebreather who will string many of these reps. Rather, it’s for the novices/intermediates/slightly advanced crowd.

This workout is deceiving. There is a group of people who will get a score of 10 because they don’t have c2b, but even if OHS and c2b are not concerns, the amount of work will sneak up on you. Without looking at any real results, I imagine most people will not get past the 3rd round.

If you finished the required work in each 3 minute round, you can rest until the next round begins. Some people might think they should blow through and rest as long as possible, but I think this is the wrong decision. Keeping your HR down and lactic acid low is key. Moving at a steady pace and breaking things up is the way to go to maintain longevity. Of course, this will look vastly different across the spectrum of abilities, but here are some thoughts.

If the OHS is heavy or awkward for you, break it up in sets of 2-6. Either equal sets of 2, or a 6/4 split depending on your strength and comfortableness with the movement. Proficient people may squat snatch the weight to get moving quicker, but most should probably power snatch to ensure stability. You may also clean the bar up and put it on your back to get in a snatch grip and push press it up. Focus on a horizon point to maintain stability and watch your breathing to stay stable. Make sure you hit depth because a no-rep will be costly if this is a heavier weight. At the other end, be sure to open your hips, especially you firebreathers who will move quickly. Judges will need a good eye to spot both the top and bottom standards for the OHS. As a novice/intermediate, if you can eek out all 10, then do it. Dropping the bar here is more costly since it takes a good deal of energy to get it back up. If you can do a narrow grip or clean grip OHS, do it. It will save the shoulders by stacking the bar, wrists, and elbows over your shoulders.

For pull ups, unless you are a ninja, break these up, even from the start. You may even want to do singles as long as the bar isn’t far from your reach. The eccentric movement of lowering yourself down (either in a butterfly or a kip) can drain you quickly. As I stated before, better to take a bit more time and keep your body from redlining since the work will catch up to you in the round of 12 or 14. If you do sets of 2 or singles, just stay under the bar and get right back up. No walking around!

You may use any grip for the c2b and I find some people (especially women) do better with an underhand (chin up) grip. It allows them to use their biceps more and combined with a violent kip, can produce great c2b pull ups.

Throughout this workout, your shoulders and grip will feel it. Do what you can to mitigate these side effects and you’ll be able to move along. Be smart about pacing and don’t be a hero in the first round. This workout cannot be won in the first round, but it can definitely be lost.

Lastly, do whatever you can to finish the round you are in. It may be obvious to do your best, but if you need to sprint/redline to finish the round within the relevant 3 minute window, do it. The reason is that finishing allows you to move on to the next round and get more reps, even if it means resting 2 minutes and 30 seconds. In other words, the last rep of the round is worth SO much more than the ones prior to it. The last rep gets you the next round and therefore, 3 minutes to get more work done. You MAY want to repeat the workout if you think you can get into the next round.

What are some other strategies or tips you have for 14.2?


One thought on “2014 CrossFit Open 14.2 Workout Strategy and Tips

  1. Pingback: 2014 CrossFit Open 14.2 Workout Strategy and Tips – Crossfit Directory

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