Last night, we watched as the fourth installment of this year’s CrossFit Open was announced from the Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
We already knew this announcement would be a special one — it featured a head-to-head matchup we were all dying to see. Katrin Davidsdottir, the reining Fittest Woman on Earth and three-time Games athlete took on Sara Sigmundsdottir, the rookie who wore the leader’s jersey through eight consecutive events at the 2015 CrossFit Games. The two countrywomen are literally identical on paper — same weight, same height and they even both have the same long blond locks — so everyone was excited to see these two rivals and friends rematch during the Open announcement.
In addition to the two Games athletes, there were three airmen who were awarded the chance to compete on the floor during the Open announcement. After a competition similar to the one they were (unknowingly) about to face during the 16.4 announcement, third place 1st Lieutenant Mark Skinner, second place 1st Lieutenant Greg Overton and first place 2nd Lieutenant Jessica Trundy were chosen to compete alongside the Dottirs. This seems to be concurrent with the theme of the Open this year, which is to show not only how diverse the CrossFit following is, but also how functional CrossFit is for a variety of different careers including soldiers, policemen and women and firefighters. The base location was also a salute to CrossFit’s close marriage with the military and the importance CrossFit HQ places on honoring our men and women in uniform.
Sigmundsdottir had said she hoped for deadlifts and handstand pushups in an interview prior to the announcement. So you can imagine, she was quite pleased when Castro announced the following:
16.4 Open Workout
13 Minute AMRAP
55 Deadlifts (225/155 pounds)
55 Calories on the Concept2 Rower
55 Handstand Pushups
That smirk was for a reason. Sigmundsdottir went on to dominate the workout, scoring 274 (that’s 1+54 if you’re curious) reps to Davidsdottir’s 246 reps. Despite some no reps with the wall balls and the handstand push ups, she was able to hold on to and continually increase a pretty significant lead throughout the workout.
Among the airmen, Trundy left her fellow airmen far behind, scoring 160 reps whereas Skinner and Overton tied at 149 reps. Although the reps aren’t far apart, Trundy held a pretty significant lead throughout the workout, making her way to rower before the men finished the deadlifts.
16.4 Open Workout Tips From FitnessHQ
1. It’s A Heavy Rep Load, But Don’t Take Long Breaks
Because most of us aren’t Games athletes, we’re going to have to break up our deadlifts, wall balls and hand stand push ups. Although sometimes breaks are beyond our control, especially as we start to get fatigued, focus on keeping your breaks short and succinct to maximize your workload. You will not die and you can catch your breath later.
2. Catch Your Breath on the Row
Speaking of catching your breath, use the row as a way to get your breathing under control before you attack the hand stand push ups. You know it’s a miserable workout when the row is your best opportunity to breath, but use that slight break to refocus.
3. Don’t Go to Failure
On the handstand push ups, do not go to failure. Sara Sigmundsdottir, who holds a world record for handstand push ups that she set at Regionals last year, quite literally lost the 2015 title over her inability to do handstand push ups. She was fatigued, she was discouraged, and she wasted a lot of time and energy trying to get her feet over the line.
Make ever single rep count. Do your handstand push ups with focus and determination. If you do get no repped, shake it off and re-center yourself before trying again.
4. Keep Your Hands Close to Wall
On the handstand pushups, you are having to push your feet over the line, so don’t make the same mistake Katrin Davidsdottir made last night by situating yourself too far from the wall and cutting off your length. If you do, that’s that much further you have to push your body up to get over the line.
Save that energy and instead position your hands as close to wall as your form will allow you, maximizing your length.
5. Angle Your Feet Downwards
This is something we saw Davidsdottir start doing last night after she wasted several reps. By angling your feet downwards, you raise your heel up to it’s highest point.
Remember, you will be upside down, so when we say downwards, we really mean to flex your foot upwards. But you’re upside down so…well, you get it.
6. This is a Grind — Keep Pushing Through Till the End
This is a workout where you will go to your dark place. Keep pushing. This WOD is an excellent chance to take a look at your work capacity and endurance to see where you can make improvements this year. As usual, keep moving and catch your breath after the buzzer.