Strategy for CrossFit Open 16.5

Black Star Strategy for CrossFit Open 16.5

Another year of the CrossFit Open is coming to a close. I would say this year marks the best (the most well rounded in testing the strength-endurance continuum) year of programming ever. I would even say that after the somewhat disappointing announcement of the 16.5 workout. Not because I don’t like the workout. I do. It’s challenging and a burner. I simply don’t like the fact that bar facing burpees has already been tested as a movement. Why not test a CrossFit staple movement like box jumps? Or something new, like a short shuttle run (they’ve presented that move in the Judge’s Course)? But that one flaw aside, I think the programming for the Open, particularly for the past two years, is far and above what it used to be. Congrats HQ.

In the spirit of repeat workouts, I’ll just repeat the video I did for 14.5, since the advice is virtually the same for 16.5. The one thing I would change from the original video is… go faster than you did two years ago!



M 95 lb.
F 65 lb.

Strategy for CrossFit Open 16.1

Black Star Strategy for CrossFit Open 16.1

Another year of the CrossFit Games series is upon us. Thursday evening, Workout 16.1 was announced. One new movement – overhead walking lunges. This movement shouldn’t be a challenge for anyone following this program and neither should the workout be much of a challenge either. We haven’t seen a workout this long in a while with this many moving parts, however, it shouldn’t present much of a problem. Which unfortunately means, I predict, you will have a lot of scores bunched on the Leaderboard. So your movement and efficiency are paramount. Consider doing this one multiple times as well. It won’t be very taxing but allow at least two days in between your efforts. Good luck and make sure you check out the strategy video below.


Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 20 minutes of:
25-ft. overhead walking lunge
8 burpees
25-ft. overhead walking lunge
8 chest-to-bar pull-ups

Men lunge 95 lb.
Women lunge 65 lb.

Strategy for Open Workout 15.3

CrossFit Open Workout 15.3 had some familiar tones to it. We’ve seen these movements – muscle-ups, wall balls, and double unders – in combination before in the Open series. However, this year the muscle-ups are coming first. For most of you who follow this site, this won’t be much of an issue. Muscle-ups aren’t the obstacle they once were. Teaching techniques have greatly improved over the years. I imagine we will see many people have no issues with at least the first round of muscle-ups.


15.3 was a little special for us at Black Star, simply because one of our athletes, Lauren Brooks was one of the athletes (along with Julie Foucher) invited to the announcement workout. I thought she did great. Congrats LB.

In terms of strategy, where going to keep it video based again this week. Trying a little different approach with the screencast video. Much faster, and less hassle uploading. Let me know what you think of it.

Thank You And More To Come

Thank you all for visiting the site over the last couple of years and trusting me to guide your journey on your quest to realize your fullest athletic potential. This has been a labor of love for me. It’s been very fulfilling to see the growth in the folks who have followed consistently.

Over the last couple of years Black Star (follow on Instagram and Twitter) has seen some modest growth. And it’s become clear to me I have to make some changes to the site and the program to keep up with that growth. So there will be some changes in the coming weeks.

First, and probably most important to you if you’re reading this, the daily workout which as you know is designed around competing in the CrossFit Games season, is moving to a paid membership. Because of the changes HQ has made to the format of the season, that workout will also now morph into two levels – one designed for those who simply want to crush the Open and another designed for those with an eye on making the Regional. Based on feedback I’ve gotten from followers, it will be priced extremely reasonably. The target for the start of the memberships is January 1 2015.

In the meantime, all the workouts that have been published on the site will remain free and available for the foreseeable future.

Secondly, I will be adding at least two other programs to the membership, for Masters athletes and for those who are preparing to try their hand at the National Pro Grid League (NPGL). Being both a Master athlete and having gone through the inaugural year of the NPGL with the Boston Iron as a 40+ athlete, I think I have some insight into both of these areas.

You should know however, this is not the end of the free stuff on the site. Along with those changes to the programs, I’ve been in the process of putting together a podcast, tentatively called Barbells and Bagels (website coming soon). Also, I have a group of coaches who are also writers who will be adding to the content of the site. And I’ve hooked up with a video production company to put together a series of instructional videos. All those things will be free on the site.

Oh, and the dedicated programming and coaching will continue as per usual on the site.

A lot of these changes (along with some changes to the look of the site) will be rolled out over the next month or so. I want to thank you again for being a part of Black Star to this point. And good luck to you all in the upcoming CrossFit and NPGL season.

Thursday 141023

***Deload Week***

With a continuously running clock complete 5 thrusters every minute.
From 0:00-5:00 use 75 lb.
From 5:00-10:00 use 95 lb.
From 10:00-15:00 use 115 lb.
Continue adding 20 lb. every 5 minutes for as long as you are able.

Watch these guys… Wes Piatt and Pat Barber

Strategy for Open Workout 14.5

The following is our recommendations for the final Open Workout 14.5. An accompanying write-up will be included later this evening. You should have performed at least a dry run of the workout on Friday. We will be performing 14.5 with full effort tomorrow, Monday 140331.

Rest day