Rich’s Guide to 20.5

By Rich Deschamps | In WOD | on November 7, 2019

This style of workout is one we have never seen before in the Open but I think will be a lot of fun. Being able to split up the work however you want makes it super interesting and allows us to play to our skills. When we look at this workout, if there are any movements we are not particularly strong with or maybe even scare us (likely the muscle-ups), we want to start with that movement first. We then want to use the other two movements as “rest” for the one we will struggle with.

Having such high rep numbers allows us to break this workout up into very small and manageable sets. For example, if we have muscle-ups but aren’t particularly good at them, we can do something like:

10 rounds of:

1 muscle-up

12 wall balls

1 muscle-up

8 calorie row

This allows us to keep moving through the workout acquiring reps, while still pacing so that we don’t have any failed muscle-up attempts. If we are attempting to do muscle-ups during this workout, we need to make sure that every rep counts.

If we are choosing to do the scaled option, it is still chin-over bar pull-ups. If we don’t have chin over bar pull-ups, performing jumping pull-ups is absolutely allowed. Remember, we can alter the workout however necessary to accommodate our abilities (unless we are signed up for the online Open). If we are capable of higher rep sets of chin-over bar pull-ups, we can start to think about breaking the workout up into bigger chunks. This will minimize our transition time and therefore our overall time.

4 rounds of:

10 pull-ups

20 cal row

30 wall balls


8 rounds of:

5 pull-ups

10 cal row

15 wall balls


When we are rowing, we want to minimize how much we are pulling with our arms in order to save some pulling strength for the gymnastics. Think about an aggressive leg drive and an opening of the hips with the arms just being the finishing pull. Hold a pace you know is sustainable and can get off the rower from and get right to work.

When we are performing wall balls, we need to fall into a rhythm with our breath. As we are just about to release the ball from our hands to throw to the target we start to exhale, then as the ball starts travelling back down into our hands, we are catching our inhale. Every rep of the wall ball should be a breath. When warming up, practice bringing your hands/arms immediately back down after you throw the ball. Leaving them in the air while you wait for the ball will only add extra fatigue to your shoulders.

I think this workout is going to be extremely fun. Have a plan for how you are going to break it up before going into it, and then stick to the plan. If you start breaking it up more than you planned on, stay calm and keep chipping away at it.

See you tomorrow night at the final Friday Night Lights!


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