Throwdown Series - Event Review for October 2012

I was asked by two of my clients, David Zeff and Chris Berry, to design the workouts for the last Throwdown Series, as well as the current one. David and Chris run the event.

Overall, the event was meant to be completed within a 60-75 minute time frame, and therefore was not meant to utilize all possibilities with event selection. As well, all modalities had to be easily accessible to all participants based on what most facilities would have (i.e. no Airdynes). Here is a short breakdown of my thought process as well as the science involved in the layout. Any feedback is much appreciated (place in comments below).

Event 1 - 3RM Hang Snatch
Modality - 1
Energy System tested - ATP/CP
Characteristics - speed, strength, power, flexibility, technical efficiency, grip strength
- overall, just a variation on testing the ATP/CP system.
- could be either a power snatch, full squat, or split (no knee touch).
- competitors must be able to control the load from overhead, back to hips, and not let bar go below knee caps at any point.
- some of the more technically efficient, and truly powerful individuals, will be limited by the fact they have to bring the weight back to the hips under control.
- using a 3RM instead of 1RM, favours individuals with less neuromuscular efficiency to a certain extent (i.e. those they perform well with multiple reps close to their 1RM's).
- from the hang simplifies the movement, and will allow competitors to truly express hip power as the hang is less technically advanced than from the floor.
- involves a certain amount of skill adaptation, if unfamiliar with doing heavy hang snatches, without the use of straps, or dropping the bar.

(my score = 165lb)

Event 2 - Thruster/Row
Modalities - 2
Energy System tested - Anaerobic Lactate Endurance
Characteristics - speed of movement, technical efficiency, mental fortitude, knowing oneself
- was meant to be a test of Anaerobic Lactate Endurance (i.e. for those that were able to push hard on the thrusters and get them done quickly and unbroken + went hard on the row and pushed for a top time).
- could also have been Aerobic Power (i.e. strong competitor that thrusters were not too difficult + they did not go hard on the Row, a.k.a. performed much below their potential on the event).
- could also have been CP Stamina + Aerobic Power (i.e. competitor that had to break the thrusters several times meaning they were not working for a significant time duration, and did not push the row hard enough, or were unable to due to the leg fatigue).
- could also have been CP Stamina + Anaerobic Lactate Endurance (i.e. competitor had to break the thrusters several times, but pushed hard on the row and made it hurt).
- I designed it, trying to have somewhat of a "fair" event for all sizes of individuals, thinking that a taller individual should be slightly slower on the thrusters and should be slightly faster on the rower. Does it balance out? I don't know. Looking forward to the results to be posted.
- Speed of movement is imperative. For those that are able to do the thrusters unbroken, they should be pushing hard to shave as many seconds off of those 30 reps as possible, demonstrating they possess speed and power.
- the Row! If done right, this event sucks. If done incorrectly, it is not too bad. The top competitors should be doing the event under 2:30 min.
(My score = 2:32)

Event 3 - 5 roundER
Modalities - 3
Energy System tested - Aerobic Power
Characteristics - recovery between events, speed of movement, technical efficiency, knowing oneself/pace accordingly.
- event was meant to be high/fast turnover and sustainable event for 8-12 minutes. This is an event that generally allows most competitors to increase the pace if they want to and allows them to slow down as needed, all while taking very little rest. Meaning, the event is adjustable based on how much pain you want to go through (i.e. think of a 10 min Row for max meters OR AMRAP Cals on an Airdyne in 10 minutes...the better you want to do, the more it is going to hurt).
- I designed it to reward the individual that does no stop moving, performs the movements technically well and rapidly, and displays sustainability and true aerobic power.
- the burpee standard will be different for many people, and quickly adapting to a new standard is necessary in this event, or the time per rep on the burpees will be too slow.
- if event 2 for a competitor is a true lactate endurance event, then those that possess a good aerobic system will recover sufficiently and will also succeed in event 3. If this same competitor does NOT possess a good aerobic system, they will not be able to clear the lactate during that short of a recovery time and then be able to perform in a high aerobic environment for 8-12 minutes in event 3 (maybe they will, but it will be VERY uncomfortable the entire time). What will most likely happen is they will get 1 or 2 rounds into this event, and will have to begin taking multiple breaks. People in this situation NEED to train their aerobic system appropriately throughout the year to make ANY reasonable progress. Otherwise, they will continually bump up against this "wall" in events like this again and again.
(My score - 8:53...I missed 1 burpee in round 1, so I figure a 4 sec penalty is sufficient. Did an extra clean and wall ball in there as well. Event 2 ruined my brain function. I would also like to thank my Aussie camera man for the shaky video...he did his best!)

(Throwdown Series going down in Calgary @ our facility)