So without further ado, let's move on to my thoughts on 13.4 (and a little analysis):
- I think you'll see a lot of folks try this one twice. I know I plan to retry it. With only 7 minutes to work with and an unusual rep scheme, I think strategy can play a big role. Anyone who watched the Chris Spealler-Graham Holmberg demo on Wednesday saw that Graham went way too hard out of the gates and paid for it. However, I felt like I let myself go too far the other way: pacing too much early on simply doesn't leave you enough time to make up ground late. I got a score of 85 but I'm going to give it another go tomorrow.
- Strategy aside, I think for the elite athletes, this workout comes down to who has the biggest engine. The clean & jerks aren't heavy enough that there's really a risk of failing a rep, but they're heavy enough that going unbroken isn't feasible after the early rounds. The key is who can pick the bar up a split-second faster each rep in those rounds of 15 and 18.
- I'm surprised HQ decided to stick the clean and jerk first on this workout, if for no other reason than it does eliminate from the competition any athletes who can't clean and jerk 135/95 pounds. It's not an excessive load, but at the same time, sticking the toes-to-bar first would allow almost everyone to continue on. But I'd also like to expand on the design of this work out more:
Below is a chart showing the expected score of an athlete with the average rates of speed, then also two other scenarios: one with the clean and jerk speed decreased by 20% and the toes-to-bar speed increased by 20%, and another the toes-to-bar speed decreased by 20% and the clean and jerk speed increased by 20%.
So what this is saying is that if you're slower on the clean and jerks, it's very difficult to make up for it on the toes-to-bar. However, the opposite is not true. Going 20% slower on the toes-to-bar and 20% faster on the clean and jerks actually produces a higher score than being average on both of them. Part of this is due to the fact that a 135-lb. clean and jerk is simply harder than a toes-to-bar, yet both are valued the same. But another factor is that the clean and jerk comes up first, which means that most athletes will end up doing more clean and jerks than toes-to-bar when it's all said and done (all three of these athletes did). Let's look at the same leveraging analysis, but assuming the reps scheme was reversed (toes-to-bar, then clean and jerk).
One last set of graphs, just because I thought it was interesting. Here are the speeds for the three athletes on each movement as they progressed through the workout. Notice how much the clean and jerk speed degrades after the first 20 reps, yet the toes-to-bar stay much flatter. Even Graham didn't drop off by as much on his toes-to-bar as he did on the clean and jerks.
That's it for now. Good luck to all for the rest of week 4 and I'll see you Monday night for our last SWAG of the season.
*Due to time constraints, I'm just focusing on this workout from the perspective of high-level athletes (this is not me). The three athletes I used were Holmberg, Spealler and Travis Stoetzel (he had the highest score with a video submission at the time I wrote this). They averaged a score of 106. For athletes shooting for a score of 75, we should use different average speeds to break this down, which would produce a different result. However, I believe you'd find that the emphasis is even more on the clean and jerk for an athlete shooting for a lower score.